This is Part Two of a three-part series on evolution from a Jewish perspective.
Note: Asher (Roland) Norman is an author, attorney, and Orthodox Jew, living in California. He also lectures on the subject of “The Scientific Case against Random Macro Evolution (and for Intelligent Design).” He also lectures on the subject of Jewish holiness, explaining the organizing principle of Jewish holiness in separating between life and death regarding food, (kosher laws) intimacy (family purity laws) and time (Shabbat).
Neo-Darwinism and Natural Selection
The second part of Neo-Darwinism is Natural Selection. Darwinists assert because a useful mutation improves a species, that improved species will become part of the population of the entire species through the process of Natural Selection.
Natural selection means animals and plants best fitted to their environment are most successful. This concept is commonly known as “Survival of the Fittest.” How do Darwinists measure success? They measure success by the animal’s ability to survive. How do Darwinists measure survival? By the number of offspring are left. Therefore, fitness means survival and survival means success at breeding. What does “survival of the fittest mean? To a geneticist “fitness’ has nothing to do with health, strength or good looks. Once again, it only means effectiveness in breeding. Natural selection is therefore so nebulous a concept it can fit a huge range of mutually contradictory outcomes. Fitness predicts nothing. It only works after the fact, looking backwards.
The theory of Natural Selection states the fittest individuals in a population (defined as those who leave the most offspring) will leave the most offspring. (Tom Bethell, “Darwin’s Mistake.”) Is this science? No. It is a circular argument.
To explain this extraordinary “good luck”, Darwinists are fond of using cute phrases like “selection pressure” to back-door the idea luck isn’t blind. But this is another example of of scientific fraud because luck is blind and their “good luck” is impossible statistically, as demonstrated above.
Normally, species are tenacious. They thrive perfectly well and once entrenched are unlikely either to change or be displaced by newly arrived beings unless a mass extinction knocks ecosystems off their tracks. Recent evidence seems to show mass extinction (perhaps caused by meteors striking the earth) have been responsible for the massive loss of species on earth, not natural selection. No organisms are adapted to survive such calamities.
Seven mass extinctions have occurred. These extinctions seem to account for the loss of species, not natural selection. If natural selection has not occurred, a key part in the theory of evolution is disproved!
It wasn’t competing mammals that finally pushed dinosaurs over the brink of extinction.
Professor Ernst Chain, Nobel Laureate from the University of Oxford and author of a book about mass extinction stated: “survival of the fittest seems to me a hypothesis based on no evidence and irreconcilable with the facts.” (“The Great Dying” 1986 p.88)
The Theory of Competition is the interaction between organisms or species in which the fitness of one is lowered by the presence of another. The problem with the theory of competition is it is rarely found in nature where it determines which individuals will leave the most offspring.
- Where male animals fight for the privilege of mating, the female will usually also mate with the loser later. The fighting in most species rarely causes fatal injury and is mostly ritual in nature.
- There are over 1 million insect species. Most of these species do not aggressively compete.
Usually luck, not “fitness” determines the outcome of survival issues. Fire, draught, flood or no food may determine which individuals will leave the most offspring. Very often cooperation increases the chances of survival much more than struggle, in which case the Theory of Competition falls apart…
Natural selection is also problematic because it assumes useful mutation in one offspring eventually become part of the entire population. This is highly dubious because there is no basis for assuming the offspring will not be killed by predators, by disease or it will leave any offspring. Even if it does, there is no reasonable probability the useful mutation will become part of an entire population.
The Problem of the Lack of Statistical Possibility for First Life and for Darwinian Evolution
Darwinists assert life began spontaneously by natural processes. They claim time is a central feature in the drama of first life. Darwinists insist given enough time, an unknown process may bring first life into existence. They are therefore characterized by an unquenchable optimism that given enough time anything is possible. Darwinists make sweeping statements about probability without any statistical mathematical support. I will demonstrate below the necessary time was not available because the fossil evidence now shows single celled life began almost immediately and all the phyla were “created” in a 5 to 10 million year period during the Cambrian Explosion. According to Darwinism, change this fast is impossible because the extreme rarity of useful mutations would require a massive amount of time.
It is a mathematical precept that if the odds against an event occurring are greater than one in 10/50th, it cannot be proposed as a scientific theory because it is statistically impossible. According to mathematician Lee M Spetner, writing in his book “Not by Chance! Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution”:
- Typical bacterium has 2000 different enzymes. To compute the odds of randomly assembling a Bacterium from all the right enzymes, you take the probability of assembling one-enzyme times itself 2000 times.
- The result: there is a 1 in a 1/4,000th chance a single bacterium ever evolved on earth after a billion years of trials and assuming the available enzyme stew (for which there is no evidence.)
In 1981, Nobel laureate Sir Fred Hoyle and his associate Dr. Chandra Wickramasinghe calculated that these odds made up such an outrageously small probability it could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup. “Evolution from Space” (1981)
Hoyle added, “… it was more likely (for just one bacterium to self-generate) that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.” To get a cell by chance would require at least 100 functional proteins to appear simultaneously in one place. That is 100 simultaneous events each with an independent probability of one in 10/20th. 10/20 X 100 equals an overall probability of one in 10/2000th.
The Human Condition
There are 25,000 operative enzymes in a human being (vs. 2000 for a bacterium). The probability of 25,000 enzymes forming spontaneously once in a billion years is about 1 in 10/600,000th (Just the enzymes in a human, ignoring the profoundly complex structures and processes that are required.)
The odds of these enzymes of a human evolving randomly in earth’s history are equal to the chance of pulling one red marble out of a mound of black marbles trillions and trillions and trillions times larger than the entire universe in one try. Not to mention how these enzymes could have assembled into skin, bones, muscles, eyes, nucleotides and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).
Professor Shaperio considers even this probability far too optimistic. “Things are much worse. A tidy set of twenty amino acids, all in the L-form wasn’t likely to even have been available on early earth.” He believes Dr. Harold Morowitz, a Yale Physicist is more correct in his calculation of the odds of evolving a bacterium on earth, at 10/100,000,000,000th (hundred billion). This is equal to rolling 199 trillion consecutive double sixes of dice.
In 1978, Sir Fred Hoyle and Dr. Chandra Wickramasinghe favored abandoning evolution in favor of seeding by intelligent beings from distant corners of the Universe. They stated in 1981, “No matter how large the environment one considers, life cannot have had a random beginning.”
Darwinists are fond of using the “monkeys at the typewriter analogy” to “prove” evolution is possible. They claim given enough time and enough monkeys typing randomly on typewriters, they would eventually produce one of Shakespeare’s sonnets by luck and chance. They get away with this nonsense because they never show the actual statistical probabilities. They just make the case with rhetoric. The actual likelihood of producing an average length sonnet of Shakespeare (containing only 23 words) by random typing is one in 10/690th. Remember, an event occurring with the odds against it more than one in 10/50th is statistically impossible.
Troops of monkeys thundering away at random on typewriters could not produce the works of Shakespeare, for the practical reason that the whole observable universe is not large enough to contain the necessary monkey hordes, the necessary typewriters and certainly the waste paper baskets required for the deposition of the wrong attempts. The same is true for living material.
L. M. Spetner, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 1964
Albert Einstein and the Paradigm
One reason evolution is still accepted although contradicted by the scientific evidence is the power of the paradigm. A paradigm is defined as a frame of reference comprising interlocking scientific, social or political ideas. A paradigm is so powerful scientists will continue to believe in it even in the face of contradictory evidence.
Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity proved the universe was expanding. But the existing paradigm accepted by almost all scientists at the time was the universe was static. Einstein actually inserted a “cosmological constant” into his mathematical equation to agree with the paradigm. After he received criticism from other scientists, he finally removed this “fudge factor” to show an expanding universe. He later admitted this was the greatest mistake of his career. A scientist of his stature succumbed to the power of the paradigm. Contemporary scientists are making the same mistake regarding evolution.
Darwinists Big Problem – Explaining the Origin of Life
- By definition, all information has an intelligent source because information is data organized by intelligence.
- DNA is the most profound information imaginable since it is the only information that designates and creates self-replicating life.
- The first life was probably bacteria. A bacterium had to have had DNA or there could not have been second bacteria. Before life on earth there was only inorganic matter. Is there any scientific evidence inorganic matter can be the source of DNA? Absolutely not.
The most difficult problem Darwinists face relates to first life. It is necessary for them to explain how the wall of cells, extremely complex interdependent cell structures, processes, and biological information in DNA came into existence without a designer.
DNA is a biological information system of unbelievable complexity. The first living being had to have had DNA or there would not have been a second living being. The DNA for a human being contains 3000 million instructions.
The capacity of DNA to store information vastly exceeds that of any other known system. It is so efficient that all the information needed to specify an organism like man weighs less than as few thousand millionths of a gram. The information necessary to specify the design of all the organisms which have ever existed on the planet could be held in a teaspoon and there would still be room left for all the information in every book ever written.
Michael Denton, “Evolution, A Theory in Crisis” p, 336, (1986)
Darwinists assert DNA came into existence by “luck and chance” then accuse religious believers of having “religious faith.” The problem with this assertion is Darwin NEVER claimed inorganic matter could become living creatures. He believed GOD was the origin of first life.
Darwin never said evolution was Godless or directionless. In fact, a reading of the sixth edition of Origin proves both assertions are factually incorrect. The second page of the Origin prominently displays this quote:
To conclude, therefore, let no man out of a weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God’s works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavour an endless progress or proficience in both.
— Bacon: Advancement of Learning
It should be noted that “Origin” is called “The Origin of Species”, not “The Origin of Life”.
In the next article Asher Norman will continue his study of evolution from a Jewish perspective by examining the “pre-biotic soup.”
- Evolution from a Jewish Perspective, Part 1
— Koinonia House
- Topical Bible Study: Creation/Evolution
— Koinonia House
- Judaism: Judaism and Evolution
— Jewish Virtual Library
- Does the Theory of Evolution Jibe with Judaism?
- The Theory of Evolution – A Jewish Perspective
— US National Library of Medicine
- The Origins of Life: A Jewish Perspective