Six articles by Kirk
Straughen and Anonymous appear below:
Flaws in Human Anatomy
157, 2014 July)
Design is a variation of creationism (a form of Christian
fundamentalism that asserts God created the world as outlined in
Genesis) which claims the existence of the universe and life are best
accounted for by the operation of an intelligent cause (God) rather
than natural evolutionary processes.
In this article
I will examine the human body to see if it can be considered a product
of intelligent design. If our bodies have been designed by an
omniscient engineer then they should be free of basic design flaws, but
is this really the case? I shall now proceed to examine the issue.
Below is a table
of anatomical imperfections (by no means an extensive list), or flaws
in the design of the human body that could have been easily solved by
an all-powerful and all-wise intelligence.
||Spiky ridges exist
inside the skull. Blows to th
e head cause the brain to collide with these ridges resulting in
| Better insulation
and smoother inner surfaces would reduce injury.
results when swallowed substances pass into the trachea rather than the
oesophagus. The epiglottis usually closes off the trachea during
swallowing to prevent this.
|Separate pathways for
air, food and water to enter the body.
|The Eustachian tubes
connecting the back of the mouth to the middle ear
are too long and narrow making humans prone to ear infections because
poor air circulation promotes bacterial growth. Also, the hair cells in
the organ of Corti are easily damaged by loud noises leading to
Eustachian tubes to allow better air circulation, and hair cells like
those in bird's ears, which automatically re-grow when damaged.
injury due to external placement.
|Testicles to be
internal like those of birds.
appendix appears to be involved in the suppression of destructive
antibody responses. In the digestive system. Unfortunately, it is prone
to appendicitis a potentially life threatening infection.
occurs when the appendix is blocked by stool or foreign matter. The
appendix needs to be modified so it is self cleaning, per-haps
squeezing out the blockage by peristalsis.
||The nerve is exposed
at the elbow, making it vulnerable to injury. It is the only nerve in
the body to face this risk.
||Run the nerve through
the inside of the elbow.
||Our knees suffer a
huge amount of damage due to the impact of walking and running. This
results in cartilage damage, and cartilage IS not good at repairing
cartilage re-generation and the redesigning of the knee joint so that
it bends backwards to decrease wear and tear on knee and foot joints.
feet are poor at absorbing impact. As a result the force of walking and
running is transmitted to the knees and hips risking injury.
| Impact absorbing
tissue such as fat or collagen on soles of feet.
That the above
design deficiencies exist is at odds with the belief that the human
body was planned by a super-intelligent designer/engineer who is
allegedly conversant with all the laws of nature.
of a Designer
of the design argument is the assumption that intelligence is required
— a human-like intelligence external to nature.
But is this
assumption well founded? Humans are intelligent and can design things,
but what is human intelligence? Although our brains can design things
they are, at a fundamental level, composed of microscopic mechanistic
and non-conscious steps — chemical reactions and interactions that have
no intelligence whatsoever.
arises as a result of the sum of these interactions. No one postulates
an exterior force that enables the human brain to design things. It is
the interaction of physical non-conscious entities within the system
itself that leads to the emergence of intelligence and design — matter
(the brain) designing matter (external things).
As with the
brain so too with the rest of the world — the microscopic mechanistic
and non-conscious steps of evolution — chemical reactions and
interactions that have no intelligence whatsoever, give rise to
complexity that is mistaken for design by a conscious intelligence.
Nature designs things; it just uses processes different from those we
There is no
evidence that the human body is the product of intelligent design, or
that there is a designer capable of creating humans. On the contrary,
all the evidence leads to the conclusion that human beings, along with
all other living things, owe their existence to natural evolutionary
processes. Non-conscious nature has done the best job that it could
through the process of natural selection operating over eons of time:
that our bodies have shortcomings is to be expected in the light of
this fact and is evidence of design by non-conscious processes.
Lastly, as a final thought:
"Theodicy is the
age-old conundrum of how to reconcile a just God with a world
containing evils and flaws. With respect to biological imperfections,
evolution can emancipate religion from the shackles of theodicy.
No longer need we feel tempted to blaspheme an omnipotent deity by
making him directly responsible for human frailties and physical
shortcomings; including those we now know to be commonplace at the
molecular and biochemical levels. No longer need we be apologists for
God in regard to the details of biology. Instead, we can put the blame
for biological flaws squarely on the shoulders of evolutionary
processes. In this way, evolutionary science can help return religion
to its rightful realm — not as a secular interpreter of the biological
minutiae of our physical existence, but rather as a respectable
counselor on grander philosophical issues that have always been of
ultimate concern to theologians." (John Avise)
redesign human beings:
&page= 1#.Txrin PnCaSo
Design Flaws in
the Human Body:
Five Body Flaws:
Wrong with the Argument from Design?
John A vise
for the Existence of God:
158, 2014 September)
Is the human
body a product of design?
(#157) says "No" and points to alleged "Design Flaws in Human Anatomy"
and suggests improvements.
I could suggest
How about eyes
with lenses which can slide in and out like a telescope and magnify
images, making it easier to see and identify criminals running from a
How about skin
with a top layer composed of asbestos to reduce burns from fires
started when we fall asleep while smoking cigarettes?
"hair cells in the organ of Corti" are easily damaged by loud noises.
Perhaps this shows poor design of the atmosphere — we need a thinner
atmosphere so that loud sounds travel less effectively, and the thinner
air could be countered by having bigger lungs. Alternatively, what’s
wrong with covering one’s ears or staying away from overly loud noises?
wants testicles to be internal like those of birds to reduce risk of
injury to them. Couldn't the risk also be reduced by getting into fewer
fights or otherwise being careful?
wants feet that better absorb impact. What's wrong with shoes that
absorb impact? Or what's wrong with using the stairs instead of jumping
off the balcony?
The point is
that ethics, carefulness and common sense can guide our conduct; and no
supposed improvements to our physical bodies would compensate if
ethics, carefulness and sense are disregarded.
We also live in
a Universe that permits (or is designed to permit) the invention of
technology that helps us cope better. I mentioned shoes and stairs, but
a full list of inventions would list millions.
human body works marvelously — all its parts cooperate effectively for
survival and reproductive success. It begins as one cell and is built
up toward adulthood via trillions of cell divisions powered and guided
by tens of thousands of chemical reactions occurring in each cell.
to show that the changes he wants in the finished product i.e. in human
adult anatomy are compatible with this process. A tiny alteration early
on might have a cascading effect, causing multiple detrimental results
further along. Perhaps the internal testicles Straughen wants in
imitation of birds can only come about if human fetal brains also
develop into bird-brains. We don't know.
It's a topic
fraught with countless value judgments regarding what sort of body is
better than what we have, along with assumptions on whether the
"better" item can develop from a single cell without other bits
suffering loss in function.
Also relevant is
the Christian doctrine of human degeneration which teaches that
sickness and death entered the human race when the first humans decided
against God's guidance. Genetic mutations presumably multiplied in
humans due to changes in diet, stress, radiation and viruses. Later
came interbreeding with at least one inferior species — several verses
in Genesis imply such a scenario.
degenerated then we don't know what body parts have become degraded or
to what extent.
Straughen's criticisms, therefore, are like evaluating a car-design by
looking at a car after a crash rather than examining the new product in
criterion to judge whether something is "designed", other than seeking
deficiencies along parameters of our choosing, is to consider whether
it can fulfill or potentially fulfill its purpose.
The Bible states
that humans can collectively achieve virtually anything — "nothing that
they propose to do will be impossible". Unlimited achievement and
mastery of every environment is therefore, according to the Bible, part
of our purpose. I would therefore predict that future humans will
control and manipulate ever greater energies and technologies and do
ever greater things previously considered forever impossible.
If nothing is
impossible then humans will also improve on today's "designer babies"
and eventually design humans far superior to our present-day selves.
Straughen could then have his "organ of Corti" and testicles and feet
according to his own design.
This raises the
question: "Can anything that is not designed, design and create
superior versions of itself?"
or Not — Reply to Anonymous
159, 2014 November)
his response to my article "Design Flaws in Human Anatomy" makes some
suggestions of his own about how the human body could be improved, such
as asbestos coated skin. My suggestions were made with the view that
they were in the realm of biological possibility. It is difficult to
view Anonymous' improvements in a similar light, so I can only conclude
they are merely tongue in cheek frivolities.
on to argue that the improvements I mentioned are not needed, that any
alleged deficiencies can be overcome through the use of caution and
ethical behaviour. The same can be said of motor vehicle accidents.
Should we remove seat belts, airbags and other safety devices and rely
solely on ethics and caution? Ethics and caution are important, but
things can go wrong and it is always wise to have a failsafe.
Is it a value
judgment when it comes to deciding the kind of bodies we would like as
Anonymous suggests? It probably is when it involves aesthetic concepts
of beauty, but one of the improvements I suggested was an appendix that
was more resistant to infection than what it is.
not a rare condition, and can prove fatal. A modified appendix less
prone to infection would have been beneficial in past ages when modern
medicine didn't exist. Of course one could always claim that it is a
value judgment to think that reducing human suffering is a good thing,
but I'll let my readers make up their own minds on this issue.
objection Anonymous raises is the possibility that having internal
testacies similar to those of birds may result in humans having bird
brains. His argument is that if we change one aspect of human anatomy,
genetically, it could well have unintended consequences. This might
apply if we start to experiment on ourselves using genetic engineering,
particularly if we think we know what we are doing when we don't.
However, I don't see this as a problem for a hypothetical all-wise
god, particularly when we have examples of internal testicles already
existing in nature.
on to suggest that humans have degenerated due to the sin of Adam and
Eve — that the human body was originally perfect, but is no longer so.
The problem is that there is no evidence that the human body was ever
perfect. Indeed, all the evidence points to humanity arising from
prehuman ancestors through the natural evolutionary process.
article "Lavoisier's influence on the Third Reich: Everyone who was
anyone embraced Chemistry" (No 155, page 14), appears to indicate he
considers the evidence for evolution well established. If he accepts
the evidence that life evolved, then why persist with a belief in a
literal interpretation of the Genesis creation myth?
The authors of
Genesis weren't scientists. They tried to explain the origin of the
world as best as they could using the limited knowledge and concepts of
the age in which they were writing. That evolution isn't mentioned is
understandable. The same applies to quantum mechanics and all other
aspects of contemporary science. Genesis gives us an insight into the
beliefs if an ancient culture, but that is all it can do.
161, 2015 January)
(Investigator 159) says that "appendicitis" can kill which proves the
appendix was not designed.
however, would imply that a defective TV was also not designed whereas
Defects do not
necessarily prove non-design — they could prove something went wrong
during the item's creation or that it suffered damage later.
The human race
suffers thousands of diseases and genetic defects, affecting every
organ, structure, cell and cell component. The biblical answer which
I've stated before is twofold:
1. Humans were
created with resistance to disease and powers of recuperation beyond
what we have now, but began to degenerate after rebelling against God.
2. The original
intention was that humans be guided supernaturally (Genesis 2:16) to
avoid serious harm but humans rejected guidance and suffer the
consequences of ignorance.
"there is no evidence that the human body was ever perfect…"
evidence can occur if something never happened or if the evidence has
been lost or destroyed.
investigation of the past has barely begun and future methods will
uncover much more. For the present we have the biblical prediction
"Nothing that they [humans] propose to do will now be impossible."
(Genesis 11:6) Potentially this includes everything that God can do or
is said to have done — which would include creating "perfect human
"Perfect bodies" are not predicted by evolution theory and therefore
would, if ever they become scientific fact, confirm our origin as God's
"all the evidence points to humanity arising from pre-human ancestors…"
But to argue from "all the evidence" when most of it has not yet been
discovered is premature.
science writers foretell that science will create humans who don't get
sick, or grow old, and with bodies able to outdo all present-day
athletes, and minds that beat today's highest IQs.
New Scientist even has a name for
them "the incredibles". (May 13, 2006) The name I once picked was "Homo
superior". If future scientists create "Home superior" what would the
fossil record show regarding his origin?
record would show similarities in anatomy between Homo superior and
fossil apes and a seeming "progression". But since his origin is by
intelligent design in the laboratory this "progression" would be a
false conclusion based on irrelevant observations.
Superior mates with an ordinary woman who introduces into his
descendants the genes of Neanderthals and other extinct races. That
would, if Homo superior's origin in the lab is forgotten, lead everyone
who relies on fossils and genes for final answers to wrongs conclusions.
Adam and Eve are
comparable to this illustration. Harry Edwards (a prominent atheist in
Australia) noticed that Genesis implies there were people who were not
descendants of Adam and Eve. (#91) Other readers of Genesis in recent
centuries noticed this too. In 1997 science proved that Neanderthals
are a separate species that interbred with humans.
explained above, to determine whether humans ever had "perfect bodies"
requires that we look into the future rather than to the past.
fossil record has countless gaps, requiring leaps of faith that
intermediary species existed.
In the late
1970s some students (including myself) at Adelaide University noted the
paucity of intermediate fossils in human origins and asked in the
Zoology Department for something decisive.
We received an
article from Scientific American
about Ramapithecus — Volume 236, 1977, Issue 5, 28-35. This "decisive"
evidence, however, soon became a dud — Ramapithecus was exposed by
paleontologists as not an ancestor of humans.
Did the evidence
get better after 1977 and become "decisive"? No! We read in Scientific American in 2014:
"scientists have had to revise virtually every chapter of the human
story." (Wong 2014)
Nor is Genesis
limited as Straughen claims to ancient, false beliefs. That planet
Earth suffered catastrophes which covered it in water (Genesis 1:2) —
something I knew in 1974 — is now confirmed by science. (Marshall 2014)
Churches had accepted the error regarding Ramapithecus or the error
that humans evolved from Neanderthals and reasoned: "The Bible is
wrong; there is now no basis for our ministries, charities and good
works and it should all be liquidated." Hundreds of millions of people
would have suffered loss in education, prosperity, technology and
medical care. They would have suffered for a delusion.
As stated in
#158 an alternative way to judge whether something is "designed", than
by looking for supposed defects in its structure, is to consider how
well as a whole it functions and whether it fulfils or potentially
fulfills a purpose.
The Bible shows
that humans are meant to be companions of God and rule all creation and
reach heights where "nothing that they propose to do will be
impossible." (Genesis 11:6) This implies mastery of the Universe and
who knows what more! Perhaps future humans will master time travel and
praise God in past and future eternity. (Jude 25 and II Peter 3:18)
life to planet Earth. If humans can adapt to the whole Universe then
humans were designed.
TWO KINDS OF DESIGN
confuse questions of bodily design with the "design" in the Universe as
indicated by its "fine turning". In previous discussions we considered
six reasons to believe God exists, of which one reason is the laws of
physics and chemistry that run the Universe. (#157)
tuned" laws made possible the existence of stars, planets, rocks, rain,
wind, life, humans, natural selection and everything else that
naturally exists. Such secondary things based on the original "fine
tuning" may or may not come by intelligent intervention. The creation
of a knife or computer, for example, requires intelligent manipulation
of existing laws and matter, whereas rocks on a remote hillside came
about without intelligent action.
suggests that creation — i.e. creation in the secondary sense by making
products by applying the laws of physics and chemistry — can proceed
slowly. God, for example, is said to have "created" Israel (Isaiah
43:15) as well as "all mortals" (Psalm 89:47) which were slow
processes. Although I think the creation of Adam and Eve was quick,
comparable to Homo Superior in the lab, I'm open to belief in a slower
Investigator #83 Genesis, Creation
Investigator #110 Genesis and Human
Investigator #157 God's Existence
Lawton, G. The
Incredibles, New Scientist,
13 May, 2006, 32-37
Seriously big rocks hit Earth's early life, New Scientist, 16 August, 2014, p.
Wong, K. The
Human Saga, Scientific American,
September 2014, 20-31
or Not - a Final Reply
162, 2015 May)
As part of his
argument that the human body is designed Anonymous (Inv. 161, pg. 38)
claims that humans had superior bodies that have deteriorated due to
original sin, and that this accounts for our biological imperfections
such as the appendix being prone to infection, and goes on to say in
connection to the lack of evidence for his claim:
"Absence of evidence
can occur if something never happened or if the evidence has been
This is all very
well, but in order for us to consider that there is evidence that
humans were perfect divine creations and that evidence for this has
been lost, we must have reasonable grounds that humans were divinely
created in the first place. In my opinion Anonymous has not presented
any reasonable grounds for believing this is so.
It is important
to remember that the idea of divine creation was the prevailing view.
The reason why the scientific community, motivated by a search for
truth, moved away from this belief is because the testimony of nature
leads to evolutionary conclusions rather than the mythical account of
human origins found in Genesis.
Anonymous and other similar minded individuals are entitled to believe
what they like, but because their beliefs are contrary to the consensus
of experts, consensus that has been arrived at through over one hundred
years of research and debate, it seems to me that creationism in all
its forms is highly unlikely to be true.
on to mention gaps in the fossil record. Do gaps disprove or weaken
evolution? The answer is no they don't for the following reasons:
While it's true
that there are gaps in the fossil record, this does not constitute
evidence against evolutionary theory. Scientists evaluate hypotheses
and theories by figuring out what we would expect to observe if a
particular idea were true then seeing if those expectations are borne
out. If evolutionary theory were true, then we'd expect there to have
been transitional forms connecting ancient species with ancestors and
descendents. This expectation has been borne out.
have found many fossils with transitional features,
and new fossils are discovered all the time. However, if evolutionary
theory were true, we would not expect all of these forms to be
preserved in the fossil record. Many organisms don't have any body
parts that fossilize well, the environmental conditions for forming
good fossils are rare, and of course, we've only discovered a small
percentage of the fossils that might be preserved somewhere on Earth.
So scientists expect that for many evolutionary transitions, there will
be gaps in the fossil record. (1)
One of the issues
most frequently raised by both creationist and intelligent design
writers is the question of gaps in the fossil record. These writers
assert that there are large, significant gaps, and that the
conventional scientific picture of a smooth sequence of species through
the ages is a myth. It is not entirely clear what proposition the
creationist and intelligent design writers would insert in the place of
evolution in this regard, but these criticisms are nonetheless
prominently featured in their writings. Creationist Henry Morris, for
instance, asserts that there are "systematic gaps" in the fossil
record, and "There is no evidence that there have ever been
transitional forms between these basic kinds." [Morris 2000, pg. 78-79]
In discussing this
issue, one first must carefully define the context. Does one mean a
"gap" that had been identified in Darwin's time, or one that was
identified in the mid¬-twentieth century, or one that exists now?
After all, at least one if not more transitional fossils have been
found for virtually all gaps thought to exist in Darwin's day. Along
this line, if one transitional fossil is found for a given gap, does
that mean that two more gaps have suddenly appeared and must be filled
(one on each side of the new fossil)? This is obviously a game that no
amount of scientific research can ever fully satisfy…
transitional fossils have been found over the past few decades, filling
"gaps" that once were thought to be well-nigh unbridgeable. In general,
the paleontological (fossil) history of the earth is now much better
understood than even a decade or two ago.
creationists have long listed ichthyosaurs, namely dolphin-like
reptiles that lived in the ocean during the age of dinosaurs, as a
leading counter-example to evolutionary theory. Ichthyosaurs are
hypothesized to have evolved from earlier terrestrial creatures that
subsequently re-entered the water, yet until recently no transitional
fossils were known. But in November 2014, a team of researchers from
the U.S., Italy and China announced that they have discovered a perfect
intermediate fossil, a 50 cm-long specimen that lived 248 million years
ago. Unlike ichthyosaurs, this species had large flippers to facilitate
walking on land like a seal. (2 & 3)
evolution specifically: New Scientist
recently published Issue 4 of their "New Scientist the Collection: The
Human Story" — a 127 page anthology of new and updated articles on
human origins. Nowhere does it mention evidence for a supernatural
creation for the simple reason there is no evidence to support the
(as outlined in New to the Family, pg. 26 of Issue 4) are indeed
forcing evolutionary biologists to rethink a crucial period in human
evolution. This, however, is a refinement of our understanding rather
than a disproof of the theory. Science works by modifying theories in
the light of new evidence so we come to a closer understanding of the
On page 40
Anonymous suggests that if rejection of the Bible's account of divine
creation occurred that there would be no basis for good works. This is
simply nonsense. Good works and charity don't depend on what the Bible
says or doesn't say. Good works and charity spring from human nature
itself, which transcends all religions.
those wanting to know more about human evolution I recommend New Scientist's Human Evolution
OR NOT Part 3
163, 2015 July)
about whether humans were designed has widened to include evolution,
and Straughen (#162) claims:
…the testimony of
nature leads to evolutionary conclusions rather than the mythical
account of human origins found in Genesis.
of Genesis 1:2 as a description of Earth when the planet was ruined by
an asteroid impact prior to the six days of creation, implies an old
planet. (#38; #62)
reference to God as "creator" of Israel (Isaiah 43:1-15), of "all
mortals" (Psalm 89:47), and of new plantations and rivers (Isaiah
41:18-20) suggests, since such did not appear instantly, that
"creation" can occur slowly.
That Genesis is
not "myth" is seen because the description of Earth in 1:2 is now
confirmed and probably happened multiple times. Mann (2014) for example
reports a 3.26 billion-year-old impact by a 45km-wide object that
"shook the planet … generating seismic waves and tsunamis…"
belief in long time periods is what I stated years ago, that I accept
evolution to the extent science demonstrates it.
Setting up a
sequence of primate fossils that progressively look more human seems
inadequate evidence of human origins for four reasons:
Fossils Cannot Demonstrate Creation
It is difficult
to determine intelligent input or lack of it in human or other origins,
solely from fossils.
input to life on Earth by
human efforts includes domestication of
animals, selective breeding (Pell & Allen 2015), development of
numerous new fruits and vegetables, and medical advances that permit
millions of people who would previously have died to live and have
If, however, we limit ourselves solely to fossil evidence then
none of this could be attributed to planning or intelligence even
though we know that planning and intelligence contributed.
produced by selective breeding are "intelligently designed" and would
not otherwise exist. Evolution and design are therefore not the
opposing and distinct concepts Straughen makes them out to be.
Evolution Is Not Contrary To Design
The same would
be the case if "God created man in his own image". Fossils don't
confirm or refute such a creation. As argued previously, if future
geneticists create a superior human or "Homo superior" in the lab it
would seem from the fossils that Homo superior is another branch on the
"evolutionary tree" whereas his origin would be by creation.
Errors, Doubts and Genesis
gets regularly revised. I mentioned how the University's Zoology
Department directed students to Ramapithecus in 1977, but Ramapithecus
as our ancestor was later dismissed by paleontologists.
pamphlets routinely mention Piltdown man (a manufactured hoax) and
Nebraska man (an extinct pig). But errors are still happening. Barras
One of our closest
long-lost relatives may never have existed. The fossils of
Australopithecus sediba, which promised to rewrite the story of human
evolution, may actually be the remains of two species jumbled together.
evolution specialist writes: "The latest salvo in
the ongoing Homo floresiensis battle has placed the science of human
evolution in deep conceptual crisis." He adds that human fossils are
"exceedingly rare … and specimens are often incomplete or damaged… And,
a single find can offer a major challenge, effectively sweeping away
long-entrenched ideas." (Curnoe 2013)
What about the
popular "out of Africa" hypothesis? Brahic (2014) writes:
The "out of Africa at
60,000 years ago" … is slowly being challenged as ancient bones are
uncovered in the east.
There are even
whispers that one of the most important evolutionary events of all —
the appearance of our genus, Homo — may have occurred under Eurasian
rather than African skies.
Straughen on human origins in #109 to #114 (nine years ago) included
"Mitochondrial Eve" and the 84,000-year difference between her and the
common ancestor of all men.
The 84,000-year difference has now shrunk. Pilcher (2013) reports:
But new research at
Stanford University suggests that Y-chromosomal Adam lived … between
120,000 and 156,000 years ago — roughly the same time as Mitochondrial
Eve, who lived between 99,000 and 148,000 years ago.
"Adam and Eve" were not the Adam and Eve of the Bible, nor the only
people on Earth. What we have are suggestive similarities between
science and the Bible as follows:
Both Eves were "the mother of all";
Both Eves lived about the same time as an "Adam";
Other people (now called Neanderthals and Denisovans) existed
alongside the descendants of both Eves;
All men descend from one human "father";
No known fossils link humans to earlier hominids — this is true
scientifically and also anticipated from Genesis.
Except for point
"5" this evidence was unavailable in my University days. And since
numerous other controversial biblical claims have turned out correct,
why not expect more scientific support of Genesis in future?
In 2010 science
identified "Denisovans" who died out 30,000 years ago and interprets
them as a "sister group to Neanderthals". Denisovans interbred with
early modern humans in SE Asia and 4% of the genome of Melanesian
peoples is on average Denisovan. Marshall (2014) writes:
discovery of the Denisovans tells us … there is still a lot to learn
about human evolution. Despite decades of research, we had missed an
That "there is
still a lot to learn" is a good point.
Gradual Morphing Dubious
were Neanderthals from Homo erectus, or humans from alleged
predecessors? How many mutational steps are required to change one into
Let's guess that
morphing from one to another requires 200 mutational steps. To prove
that the entire 200-step process occurred would require the discovery
of fossils corresponding to all 200 steps.
Alternatively we could argue inductively: "We have fossils
corresponding to five supposed steps [or whatever the number is];
therefore the other 195 steps also occurred."
inductive argument presumes that progressive step-by-step conversion is
possible whereas maybe it's not. I'll explain with an illustration:
electronics technician tries to convert a radio into a computer by
making step by step alterations. Suppose the technician can achieve the
conversion through a sequence of 500 alterations. The question is: "Can
he do the conversion in such a sequence as to leave every part of every
in-between version of the radio/computer functional and useful? That
is, do all 500 in-between stages have only functional and useful parts?
I doubt that this is possible.
this analogy, all species should if they developed in stages have
plenty of useless parts. Indeed evolutionists used to list hundreds of
"vestigial organs", i.e. organs and structures that seemed to have no
function. However, functions were later discovered — every organ in
every healthy organism (and apparently every organelle in cells)
contributes to survival and wellbeing!
To assume that
all species evolved without divine intervention at any stage requires
us to imagine the existence of billions of missing links. To infer
billions of in-between varieties from the relatively-few discovered,
takes induction (or faith?) to an extreme.
The paucity of
predecessors is also true of genes. Pilcher (2013) writes:
When biologists began
sequencing genomes, they discovered that up to a third of genes in each
species seemed to have no parents or family of any kind. Nevertheless,
some of these "orphan genes" are high achievers, and a few even seem to
have played a part in the evolution of the human brain.
that if rejection of the Bible's account of divine creation occurred
that there would be no basis for good works. This is simply nonsense.
Good works and charity don't depend on what the Bible says or doesn't
forgets that people often have reasons for doing what they do. For
Bible believers the reasons for charity and other good works may
The example of Jesus;
Biblical commands to do good;
Sharing in bringing the "blessing to all the nations" announced
in Genesis 18:18;
Demonstrating in small measure that the peaceful, prosperous
world of Bible prophecy is possible (Isaiah 9:1-7; 11:1-9; 25:6-10).
reasons and millions of past and current ministries would not have
Straughen and I
discussed human origins in #86 to #90 and #109 to #113 and he has
failed again to prove his beliefs.
As argued in
#161 "design" is indicated if something fulfils a purpose. Humanity's
purpose includes achieving Godlike powers where "Nothing will be
impossible". (Genesis 11:6)
Evolutionists did not make this prediction.
Humanity's unlimited potential confirms our descent from humans
designed "in the image of God".
Missing link may be a jumble of species, New Scientist, 12 April, 2014, p. 11
Barras, C. Our
Asian origins, New Scientist,
11 May, 2013, 41-43
Humanity's forgotten pioneers, New
Scientist, 9 August 2014, p. 10
Hobbit Saga Highlights a Science in Crisis, Australasian Science, May 2013,
Mystery relations, New Scientist,
5 April 2014, 34-38
Pell, R.W. &
Allen, L.B. Bringing Post Natural History into View, American Scientist, May-June, 2015,
Genetic Adam and Eve lived around the same time, Focus, October 2013, p. 24
Pilcher, H. All
alone, New Scientist, 19
January, 2013, 40-43.