googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Where evolution fails

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Where evolution fails

In my previous blog, I talked about the difference between natural selection and evolution. As I pointed out there, natural selection involves the ELIMINATION of traits not suited to an environment. Evolution requires the ACQUISITION of novel traits in an organism. Consider bears for a moment. In the north, polar bears have white fur (actually it’s clear). This gives them an advantage because the white fur blends in with the snow and allows them to sneak up on prey. The trait of dark fur has been eliminated among polar bears. Further south, grizzly bears have dark fur. White fur makes lousy camouflage in the woods so the trait of white fur is eliminated in that population. We see traits being eliminated all the time.

Evolution, on the other hand, requires that animals acquire new traits yet we never observe animals acquiring novel traits. This is such an important point that it cannot be stressed enough.
To make this point, I have a favorite illustration that I use. Think about dogs. I like to use dogs because so many people are familiar with them. They’re also notorious breeders and we can easily observe many generations of dogs in a single human lifetime. Now dogs come in a lot of colors - red, black, brown, white, blonde, and different shades in between. But have you noticed that dogs don’t come in new colors? I like the color blue. There are blue birds, fish, reptiles, insects, and plants. Why aren’t there any blue-haired dogs? There aren’t any blue-haired mammals for that matter. If I wanted a blue-haired dog, how long would I have to wait for one to evolve? I’d have to wait a long time indeed because even though dogs come in a lot of colors, they don’t come in NEW colors. So I don’t expect to ever see a blue, green, or purple-haired dog. Do you?

Of course, critics scoff at this example. Am I saying that evolution can’t be true because there aren’t blue-haired dogs? Not exactly. Let’s think about this: animals aren’t becoming new colors. Yet, if evolution were true, dogs would have had to become new colors sometime in the past. I mean all the colors we see in dogs now had to be new sometime, right? So even though we know animals don’t come in new colors, evolution demands that they do. Then which is it? Do animals come in new colors or is evolution false?

To explain the rise of new traits, evolutionists invariably point to one thing - mutations. Mutations are mistakes or errors in the genes. They’re usually neutral or harmful (we normally call them “birth defects”) but occasionally an animal is born with a beneficial mutation. An animal is born with a birth defect, nature selects for or against the defect, the successful animals leave more offspring which inherit the mutation, and the "new" feature makes its way into the entire population. It is these beneficial mutations that evolutionists believe fuels novel traits in organisms.

In reality, though, mutations cannot explain novel traits. Go back to my example of polar bears. Polar bears have webbed-toes due to a mutation where the bear’s toes fail to divide during embryonic development. Now, this actually helps the bear swim better so it proved to be beneficial. And since, among bears, the trait is unique to polar bears, it could be called novel. However, it is still the result of a LOSS of function in the gene - that is, the toes FAIL to divide. It doesn’t, for example, explain how bears got toes in the first place. Deformed toes on a creature that already has toes isn’t really all that novel, is it?

So where are the observed examples of new traits arising in animals? How can I believe in a theory that defies simple observation? The inability of evolution to explain the rise of novel traits is the failure of the theory.

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