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Ben Greenfield's discoveries, from the latest news on the fronts of fitness, nutrition, health, wellness, biohacking, and anti-aging research. I also recap my upcoming events and special announcements so you can keep up with giveaways, discounts, and more!
New Discoveries Of The Week: Cool New Things I'm Trying, Books I'm Reading, And More!
The Science of “Creation vs. Evolution”
It’s no secret that I’ve hosted podcasts guests in the past who I’ve respectfully, but verbally, disagreed with during the show when it comes to the origin of the universe, and creation vs. evolution. Of course, it can be difficult to marry faith to science and still speak to the scientific possibility of a “six-day creation” by an intelligent being. I’ve found no better book than In Six Days: Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation to sort through these matters.
Within the pages of this book are the testimonies of fifty men and women holding doctorates in a wide range of scientific fields who have been convicted by the evidence to believe in a literal six-day creation. For example, you meet:
- The geneticist who concludes that there must have been 150 billion forerunners of “modern man” in order for the natural selection required by evolution to have taken place in the development of man. The evidence for such vast numbers of “prehistoric man” is in dire shortage.
- The orthodontist who discovered that European museum fossils of ancient man have been tampered with to adhere to evolution theories.
- The geologist who studied under the late Stephen Jay Gould and literally cut the Bible to pieces before totally rejecting evolution.
All fifty of the scientists in In Six Days, through faith and scientific fact, came to the conclusion everything had its origin not so very long ago, in the beginning, “in six days.” Here are a few of my notable highlights from the book:
- …the catastrophic processes observed during and following the eruption of Mount St. Helens in the Cascades of Washington state produced a scale model of the Grand Canyon in a very brief period of time.
- The problem is that the half-lives of many of the basic building blocks of life “are too short to allow for the adequate accumulation of these compounds. … Therefore, unless the origin of life took place extremely rapidly (<100 years) … a high temperature origin of life … cannot involve adenine, uracil, guanine, or cytosine”…
- Evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould stated that even if evolutionary history on earth repeated itself a million times, he doubts whether anything like Homo sapiens would ever develop again. He concluded that humans are a glorious evolutionary accident which required 60 trillion contingent events.
- The only question I have is: why did He take so long — “six days”? Throughout Scripture God is shown as an instant Creator, not in six days or 20 billion years. To give but a few examples: a fish to swallow Jonah, the sun turning back, the parting of the Red Sea, water turning into wine, stilling of the storm, raising the dead, healing, etc. Therefore, why did He use six days? Scripture gives us the answer. He established a blueprint for our life, six days of work and one day of rest (Exod. 20:8). It must have been painstaking for God to slow down to our pace, to six days. It would have been more His nature to create everything instantly. I have often considered belief in Genesis chapters 1 to 11 as the “acid test” of believing in God, and in the salvation through Jesus Christ.
- It appears that life on earth actually makes life on earth possible. That is, life on earth makes it possible for life on earth to continue. This is not saying that life made (past tense) life on earth exist, of course. It is saying that the whole system had to be present for life to go on existing. If this is true, there is no room for gradually unfolding ecology.
- The presence of complexity — interdependent parts that do not function unless other parts are also present — poses another major problem for evolution. For instance, a muscle is useless without a nerve going to the muscle to direct its contracting activity. But both the muscle and the nerve are useless without a complicated control mechanism in the brain to direct the contracting activity of the muscle and correlate its activity with that of other muscles. Without these three essential components, we have only useless parts. In a process of gradual evolutionary changes, how does complexity evolve?
- Darwin then attributed the problem to the “extreme imperfection” of the fossil record. We have found millions of fossils since Darwin's time, and the lack of intermediates remains as a major problem for evolution. The paleontologist David B. Kitts, at the University of Oklahoma, points out, “Despite the bright promise that paleontology provides a means of ‘seeing' evolution, it has presented some nasty difficulties for evolutionists, the most notorious of which is the presence of ‘gaps' in the fossil record. Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them.” A very few missing links, like Archaeopteryx, which is considered to be intermediate between reptiles and birds, have been described, but these few examples do little to satisfy the many thousands expected there.
- “Theistic evolution” is one of these intermediate models. It proposes that God used an evolutionary process over eons of time. The model preserves some kind of god, but he is not the kind of good God described in the Bible. God's creation described in the Bible is “very good.” Furthermore, He is a God with concern for those who need help. The aberrant results, the competition, and the survival of only the fittest in the evolutionary process are very much out of character with the kind of God described in the Bible. Furthermore, the fossil record does not provide the intermediates expected from an evolutionary process.
- An intriguing creationist theory has been proposed which involves a white hole cosmology, a bounded universe, an initial water mass, and Einstein's theory of general relativity. This cosmology allows for a literal six-day creation in the frame of reference of the earth (which is taken to be somewhere in the vicinity of the center of the universe), while long periods of time could elapse in other portions of the universe, thus allowing sufficient time for starlight to have travelled distances of billions of light years to reach the earth.
- The reason is because creation and evolution are actually both outside the realms of science and, to know this, you need to know what science is — and as we have seen, most scientists don't. Neither “process” is currently observable, testable, or repeatable.
- A quick summation will reveal that the process of converting DNA information into proteins requires at least 75 different protein molecules. But each and every one of these 75 proteins must be synthesized in the first place by the process in which they themselves are involved. How could the process begin without the presence of all the necessary proteins? Could all 75 proteins have arisen by chance in just the right place at just the right time? Could it be that a strand of DNA with all the necessary information for making this exact same set of proteins just happened to be in the same place as all these proteins? And could it be that all the precursor molecules also happened to be around in their energized form so as to allow the proteins to utilize them properly?
- At the biochemical level, I know of some of the complexities of metabolism in living things. I could look with amazement at the chart of biochemical pathways in cells even after several years of research work. The chart is the size of a large student poster and is covered with small print showing the various pathways that synthesize the molecules required for the cell to function. Needless to say, the publisher updates it at regular intervals as more is learned of biochemical processes in cells.
- The most complete and reliable exegesis of the Hebrew word yom (day), as it is used in Genesis, is that it can only mean a literal 24-hour period. In fact, the complete context of the Genesis creation account does not even allow for yom to be translated as an indefinite length of time.
- This concept can be readily treated by the mathematical laws of probability. Several writers have done this. Probably the best known is Fred Hoyle. The procedure is to estimate probabilities at each individual step of a postulated evolutionary path and concatenate these to arrive at the probability of finding an evolutionary product at any point along that path. Before proceeding very far along the path, probabilities drop to values so low that the proper word to describe such happenings is impossible. Hoyle put it roughly like this: The probability that life arose by random processes is equivalent to believing that a tornado striking a junkyard would reassemble the trash and leave a completed, assembled, and functioning Boeing 707 there.
- Concerning Bible interpretation, a monumental essay was penned by Raymond Surburg, “In the Beginning God Created,” in Darwin, Evolution, and Creation, in which this Hebrew scholar asserted that whenever the Bible word “day” (yom in Hebrew) is accompanied by the definite number like “first” day, “second” day, etc., it invariably means a real day, not some long age.
- The disequilibrium between the measured rate of C-14 decay and the rate of its atmospheric production support an age of less than 10,000 years for the earth’s atmosphere. And so it goes.
- My chemical knowledge has allowed me to understand the criticisms of isotopic dating methods for rock samples and to realize that there are enormous problems with the interpretation of the data. Consequently, my own view is that rocks are nowhere near as old as they are alleged to be. From the biochemical point of view, the idea that amino acids, sugars, etc., some of the vital “building blocks” for proteins and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), could be formed simply by interaction of electrical discharges with a primitive reducing-type atmosphere, can be criticized in so many ways and at so many levels. My own studies in numerous biochemical control mechanisms, especially in the control of steroid hormone formation (for which I was awarded the higher doctorate, DSc) convince me that all these processes are ordered precisely. This order and the extraordinary complexity are entirely consistent, in my own opinion, with the existence of a Creator, who himself must be capable of creating with such design.
- Much of science today is based upon the assumption that the physical world is the only reality, though this has escaped the notice of most people. This has not always been the case. When science as we know it began to develop more than three centuries ago, scientists came to realize that the world follows certain rules. Sir Isaac Newton and many of his contemporaries believed that these rules were God-ordained, and that the rules were divinely imposed at the time of creation. Today most scientists assume that physical laws merely exist and that they can be extrapolated into the past to tell us how creation happened. In other words, God is irrelevant to the question of origins.
- Indeed, some scientists believe that the aggregate (schizochroal) eyes of some trilobites were the most sophisticated optical systems ever utilized by any organism. The schizochroal eye is a compound eye, made up of many single lenses, each specifically designed to correct for spherical aberration, thus allowing the trilobites to see an undistorted image under water. The elegant physical design of trilobite eyes also employs Fermat’s principle, Abbe’s sine law, Snell’s laws of refraction, and compensates for the optics of birefringent crystals. Such a vision system has all the evidence of being constructed by an exceedingly brilliant designer! The trilobite’s extraordinary complexity hardly warrants the creature being called “primitive,” but herein lies the dilemma for evolutionists. There are no possible evolutionary ancestors to the trilobites in the rock layers beneath where the trilobites are found, for example, in the Grand Canyon. In fact, the trilobites appear in the geological record suddenly, fully formed and complexly integrated creatures with the most sophisticated optical systems ever utilized by any organism, without any hint or trace of an ancestor in the many rock layers beneath. There is absolutely no clue as to how the amazing complexity of trilobites arose, and thus they quite clearly argue for design and fiat creation, just as we would predict from the biblical account in Genesis.
- The word “day” in Genesis 1 and Exodus 20:11, etc., can only mean a solar day. The fact that God created the various plant and animal types “after their kind,” as repeated ten times in Genesis 1, absolutely prohibits them having descended with modification from previously existing kinds.
- Some of the convincing evidence that I found demonstrating that the evolution model fails, and the young earth creation/global flood model fits include: comets disintegrate too quickly not enough mud on the sea floor not enough sodium in the sea earth’s magnetic field is decaying too fast many strata are too tightly bent injected sandstone shortens geologic “ages” fossil radioactivity shortens geologic “ages” to a few years helium in the wrong places not enough Stone Age skeletons the big bang fails to provide an explanation of where all the information around us and in us comes from the time it would take the moon to recede from the earth to its present position, and the lack of a significant layer of dust and meteorite debris on the moon after 4,600,000,000 years.
- My scientific belief in creation is largely based on two thermo-dynamic laws of nature. In fact these are the two most basic laws in the entire science realm. The first law states that energy is conserved or constant at all times. Energy, in whichever of its many forms, absolutely can be neither created nor destroyed. This rule ensures a dependable and predictable universe, whether for stars or for human life. Energy conservation likely was established at the completion of the creation week. At this time the Creator ceased the input of energy into the physical universe from His infinite reserves. This fundamental energy law cannot be disobeyed like a man-made law. Only the Creator has the power to lay His laws aside, for example with miracles. The second basic law of nature also involves energy. It describes unavoidable losses in any process whatsoever which involves the transfer of energy. The energy does not disappear, but some always becomes unavailable, often as unusable heat. Stated in another way, everything deteriorates, breaks down, and becomes less ordered with time. Ultimately, death itself is a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics. This law is directly related to the Curse which was placed upon nature at the fall of mankind in Eden.
- In the evolutionary scenario, life arose spontaneously from simple chemicals. But this is impossible with what is now known of the mind-boggling complexity of the simplest of living things – even the simplest conceivable self-reproducing cell. There are so many problems with this idea, which has become even more untenable since I was a student at university. Chirality is a huge problem – the “handedness” of amino acids and sugars, for example. Physical chemistry can produce amino acids under the right conditions, but they are wrong for life to form because they are mixtures of left- and right-hand forms, not the pure ones needed in living things. Only enzymes produce the pure amino acids and sugars necessary for life, but enzyme manufacture requires a living cell. Life is based on life. Then there is the insurmountable problem of getting even one functional enzyme by random processes, even if you could get all the ingredients assembled together. Let us consider just one enzyme comprised of a typical 300 amino acids. Even if we are generous to the materialist and assume that only 150 amino acids have to be specified for the function of the enzyme, the probability of getting a functional sequence is less than 1 in 10. We cannot imagine such an improbability. There are possibly 1080 atoms in the universe. If we made every atom in our universe another universe just like ours, and every one of those atoms were an experiment for every millisecond of the presumed evolutionary age of our universe, this would amount to 10181 experiments – still a long way short of even the remotest chance of getting one functional enzyme. That's just one enzyme. This simplest living cell must have at least several hundred enzymes/proteins.
- But is intuition enough? There have been detailed studies of this problem published in recent years, which show that the generation of new functional complexity by accidents is so improbable that it would never happen, even in the evolutionists billions of years. Mutations cause loss of information, loss of functional complexity not an increase, as evolution requires. Sometimes loss of complexity/specificity can be advantageous for example, the loss of wings in beetles descended from a species of flying beetles blown onto a windy island. In this situation, flying is a health hazard, as the flying beetles could be blown into the sea, so loss of wings can be an advantage. A mutation in one of the genes controlling wing formation could easily cause loss of wings. So such a mutation can be beneficial, but it is nevertheless a loss of information, not the increase that evolution requires. Antibiotic resistance can arise through loss of genetic information. For example, Staphylococcus resistance to penicillin happened through the loss of control over the production of an enzyme which breaks down the penicillin. This results in the over-production of the enzyme, which is helpful in the presence of the antibiotic but a hopeless waste of resources normally. Another mechanism for gaining antibiotic resistance is the acquisition of parcels of genes from other types of bacteria through conjugation, a mating process in bacteria. However, there is no new complex functionality arising through any of these processes. All involve either loss of information or acquisition from something else, neither of which supports the belief in upwards progression through evolution.
- Interestingly, the patterns of similarity actually speak against the evolutionary explanation. For example, the marsupial mole and the placental mole, and the marsupial mouse and the placental mouse, look incredibly similar. But this cannot be due to evolutionary relatedness because, in the evolutionary scheme, the marsupial body plan and the placental body plan diverged before the moles and mice supposedly evolved. So an ad hoc “explanation” is offered for the similarities: they just happened to look alike because they evolved in similar environments “convergent evolution.”
Anyways, it’s well worth a read. You can get it here.
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