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Author Topic:   Let us reason together.
drummachine
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 152 (30278)
01-27-2003 1:59 AM


I excepted the Lord Jesus on 12/20/00. He's totally changed my life. I was addicted to drug's and alcohol for 7 years. I would be a professional musician right now but I gave it up. To know the King of kings is greater than all thins. I am 23 and I am now a new person, a new creation. I hated life. I hated my father and wanted to murder him. I'm shure many can relate. I now have a peace and joy that can only be from the Almighty. The world has made Him into a clown but He is who He is. You can bring all the archaeology to man or science, but truly it is the darkness in our hearts. Our sin. That is what seperates us from Him. I struggled my whole life with the question, "How can a God of love allow evil?" Child abuse, death, etc. Its because of sin. Man's sin alone. Now I see that acording to the Bible which I believe is the only absolute that the eternal living God created everything perfectly about 6,000 years ago. It was very good. There was no sin, so no death. For the wages of sin is death. Man was created in the image of God. God created him with the ability to do good or evil and with an eternal purpose. Man turned from God and wanted to be like God. Because God is Holy and Just He brought His just judgement on the earth and through the centuries man has continued in sin. We all have. 2,000 years ago God who is three (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) emptied himself and became man and the sin of the world was placed on Him at the cross and was raised from the dead and is at the right hand of the Father calling us all. God is not a religion but the Ancient of Days. He is spirit, not material. He is not far from us. He was crushed, He was bruised and He was torn apart for our sin. Let's be truthful here. We all have sinned and fallen short. I have been desperately wicked. But He is so loving and full of grace and mercy and not wanting anyone to perish. If we will only humble ourselves and repent and receive Him into our hearts and lives. All through the existence of man they have tried to prove that there was no intelligence in the beginning. They will not. Let us be wise and turn to Him and His love. One day He will make a new heaven and a new earth. The prophecies and the sign of the times are evident of His return. Look at Ezekiel 37. Israel after 2,000 years became a nation in 1948. And that is just one. A thief in the night He will return like. The truth will set you free friends not just going to church, or rituals or saying I believe there is some kind of God. Buddha, Allah, etc. did not die for our sin. Can any of you truly believe when you look at a monkey it is your ancestor?
[This message has been edited by drummachine, 01-27-2003]

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drummachine
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 152 (30638)
01-30-2003 1:36 AM


MISTAKE! SORRY!
[This message has been edited by drummachine, 01-30-2003]

drummachine
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 152 (30641)
01-30-2003 1:52 AM


I struggled with God's love in this world my whole life. Why all the pain and suffering? Man is desperately wicked. Now I understand that He has a perfect plan. He has spoken in His word about everything in life. If He gave us all the information there would be an infinite amount of books. If God did not give man the ability to choose between good and evil, we would be puppets. Sin entered into a perfect world. When I look at a monkey I dont see Grandpa. Evolution to me is not science. It truly means, man is God. We can just prove there was no inteligence in the beginning. They have not proven anything anyways. We have never seen dog change into non-dog and we will never see that my friends. I would ask someone who believes in evolution for a simple proof. Not a long scientific statement. The God of the Bible claims to be the true God and the only God over 3,000 times. Look at the prophecy in the Bible. Search and you will find numerous prophecies fulfilled. Look at the archaeology being found every day. It truly is a heart problem. Man says, "Give me evidence! Give me proof! Give me a sign!" God is spirit. He says come to me, repent, receive eternal life and let me reveal myself to you. I am a new Christian by the way. A little over two years now. I have peace and joy in life. No anxiety, no worries. The pain and hatred have been destroyed. Were a broken human race. When you receive Him and your sin is nailed to the cross then your are truly free. He convicts our hearts every day. It says in Romans 1 the things of God are clearly seen and man is without excuse. He bore that suffering on the cross for us all. He is the God of love. When a man hurts his child blame the man. He has spoken how He brought everything into existence. Proof of a global flood? For starter's there are marine fossils on mountains like Mt. Everest. No man was there in the past. No one can accurately age date the earth. Assumptions? Jesus Christ said come to me all who labor and I will give you rest. Its about God's grace and mercy that changes people's heart's, not a set of religious rules. Christ took the place of man on the cross because our sin, not His. We dont fully understand how a sovereign God works. We can have a million PHD's or whatever and we cannot even come close to God's understanding. Even though man will keep on trying.

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drummachine
Inactive Member


Message 16 of 152 (30796)
01-31-2003 12:05 AM


David unfamous,
How did I say I was better than anyone? No one is righteous. Christ died for my sins, not because I'm a good person. I do speak for myself. Let the Master touch your life and He will show He is creator. To have a relationship with the Almighty. This material world is a circus of deception that is passing away. People think Christians are brain-dead and dont think for themselves. I know what He has done in my life. I'm not just reciting some empty words. I have chosen to walk with the creator for eternity and that by His grace, because I sin every day. Thats why I need His grace. There is nothing I could ever bring before the living God because we breath because He has given life and breath. What is wisdom? Everything came together by time and chance or the infinite creator God created everything good and with purpose.
IS THIS WHAT EVOLUTION TRULY IS?
There is no absolute. There are no laws because there is no creator. Everything was thrown together by time and chance. A faith of non-evidence. So-called science that changes theories all the time.

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drummachine
Inactive Member


Message 20 of 152 (31008)
02-01-2003 9:39 PM


Yeah! If you guys can give me a simple and brief explanation of evolution. I would appreciate it.

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drummachine
Inactive Member


Message 23 of 152 (31073)
02-02-2003 5:06 PM


I like science. I just dont believe evolution is science. The Bible says God created everything very good. Man sinned and brought death into the world. I believe God orignally created for example two dogs. When they produced offspring some of the original genes were not distributed to that dog that was born. Offspring after offspring. There is no evidence and there will not be of evolution. We see changes. Different ways the dog looks but there is no dog changing into a lion or whatever. The Bible says He made them after their own kind, not one kind changing into another, which we do not see. The Bible fits with what we see. God made the Bible easy for people to understand. If He explained everything we would have an infinite amount of books. Millions of years ago there was an explosion, or in the beginning God created. Which one sounds correct? There is only one truth and Jesus said, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life." Christianity is not a set religious rules to follow but about Christ dying on the cross for our sins. To give us freedom, peace, hope and eternal life. Its about God's grace and the only thing that seperates us from Him is our sin. But we can be free if we want. To know we can go to heaven, not because we have done anything but because of His sacrifice for our sin and reciving thisgift. I like that God is simple.
Romans 1:19-22 Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.

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drummachine
Inactive Member


Message 26 of 152 (31585)
02-06-2003 9:06 PM


FROM ANSWERS IN GENESIS
synthesis of prebiotic organic molecules.
It has been generally accepted that at about 1.5 Ga
[Giga annum ] the oxygen content of
the air rose at least 15-fold. (Note that evolutionary/
uniformitarian ‘ages’ are only used here for argument’s
sake.) Before this, the oxygen had been reduced by Fe(II)
in sea water and deposited in enormous bands as oxides or
hydroxides on the shallow sea floors. The source of the
ferrous iron was hydrothermal vents in the company of
reducing gases such as hydrogen sulphide (H2S).
In 1993 Widdel and his team cultured non-sulphur
bacteria from marine and freshwater muds. These
anoxygenic, photosynthetic bacteria use ferrous iron as
the electron donor to drive CO2 fixation. It was a signal
discovery that oxygen-independent biological iron
oxidation was possible before the evolution of oxygenreleasing
photosynthesis. Quantitative calculations support
the possibility of generating such massive iron oxide
deposits dating from Archaean and Early Proterozoic times,
3.5—1.8 Ga.4
AW SWEE-ENG
ABSTRACT
Profound advances in the fields of molecular biology in recent years
have enabled the elucidation of cell structure and function in detail
previously unimaginable. The unexpected levels of complexity revealed at
the molecular level have further strained the concept of the random assembly
of a self-replicating system. At the same time, the recent discovery of fossil
algae and stromatolites (primitive colonies of cyanobacteria) from as early
as the Precambrian, have reduced the time for development of the first cell
as much as tenfold. Together with implications of this for the oxidative
state of the primitive atmosphere, these developments will force researchers
to rethink many fundamental ideas pertaining to current models of the origin
of life on Earth. The evidence for the nature of the primitive atmosphere is
examined and the possibility of ribonucleic acid (RNA) as the first selfreplicating
molecule is evaluated. The focus is then on DNA, proteins and
the first cells.
The Origin of Life:
A Critique of
Current Scientific Models
THE EARLY ATMOSPHERE
The nature of the atmosphere under which life arose
is of great interest. The high oxygen content of the Earth’s
atmosphere is unique among the planets of the Solar System
and could have been tied up with the composition of the
core and its crust. It has to be said that none of the
hypotheses of core formation of the Earth survives
quantitative scrutiny. The gross features of mantle
geochemistry, such as its redox state (FeO) and its iron—
sulphur systems, apparently do not agree with experimental
data.1,2 There are outstanding questions relating to the
formation and recycling of the Archaean crust.3
Interesting organic molecules such as sugars and amino
acids can be formed from laboratory ‘atmospheres’ of
different proportions of CO2, H2O, N2, NH3, H2, CH4, H2S
and CO. This happens only in the absence of free O2.
Oxygen is highly reactive, breaking chemical bonds by
removing electrons from them. A reducing gas (H2, CH4
or CO) is therefore thought to be essential for the successful
300 CEN Tech. J., vol. 10, no. 3, 1996
In-Depth Reviews
The Origin of Life Aw
CEN Tech. J., vol. 10, no. 3, 1996 301
In-Depth Reviews
less hydrogen, methane and ammonia. Still, it seems
prudent to consider other mechanisms for the
accumulation of the constituents of proteins and nucleic
acids in the prebiotic soup.
For instance, the amino acids and nitrogen-containing
bases needed for life on the earth might have been
delivered by interstellar dust, meteorites and comets.’15
In his essay on the origin of life on Earth, Orgel quotes
the experiments of Miller, and of Juan Oro' who used the
Miller model to produce adenine with hydrogen cyanide
and ammonia.16 His conclusions overall are:
‘Since then, workers have subjected many different
mixtures of simple gases to various energy sources.
The results of these experiments can be summarized
neatly. Under sufficiently reducing conditions, amino
acids form easily. Conversely, under oxidizing
conditions, they do not arise at all or do so only in
small amounts.’
Saturn’s giant moon, Titan, has an atmosphere
composed mainly of molecular nitrogen and up to 10 per
cent methane. Carl Sagan and Bishun Khare of Cornell
University simulated the pressure and composition of
Titan’s atmosphere and irradiated the gases with charged
particles. A dark solid was formed, which on dissolving
in water yielded amino acids and traces of nucleotide bases,
polycyclic hydrocarbons and many other compounds. It
was then assumed that from this ‘wonderful brew’ life
would have originated.17 In the text Molecular Biology
of the Cell the authors note that experimentalists are
In 1992 Han and Runnegar made a discovery which
impinged on discussions of oxygen evolution during the
Precambrian. To everyone’s surprise they reported the
spiral algal fossil Grypania within banded iron formations
(BIFs) in Michigan, USA. Algae require oxygen, so their
existence at this juncture shows banded iron formations
do not necessarily indicate global anoxic conditions.5
Indeed, as early as 1980 two reports appeared on the
discovery of stromatolites in the 3.4—3.5 Ga Warrawoona
Group sediments from the Pilbara Block, Australia.6,7
Similar remains were also discovered in Zimbabwe8 and
South Africa.9
It is fair to conclude that the Earth’s early atmosphere
before 3.5 Ga could have significant quantities of oxygen.
This should discourage the sort of hypothesising on abiotic
monomer and polymer syntheses so often assumed to have
occurred in Archaean times. Robert Riding says that the
Grypania discovery
‘could spell the end of BIF-dominated models of
oxygen build-up in the early atmosphere . . . The cat
really will be put among the pigeons, however, if
[further] fossil discoveries extend the eukaryote record
back much beyond 2200 million years ago, into what
is still widely perceived to have been an essentially
anaerobic world.’10
SCENARIOS FOR PREBIOLOGY
A number of revised textbooks on molecular biology
came out in 1994—1995 which, while conveying the
standard arguments for origin-of-life hypotheses, are
cautious in their affirmation. Rightly so, because advances
in the field have uncovered exquisite details of intracellular
processes. These challenge superficial explanations that
their origin and subsequent refinement were fed by
randomness. After mentioning the famous simulation by
Miller and Urey of prebiotic synthesis of organic
compounds (Figure 1), Voet and Voet handle the riddle of
the formation of biological monomers with a caveat. They
write:
‘Keep in mind, however, that there are valid scientific
objections to this scenario as well as to the several
others that have been seriously entertained so that we
are far from certain as to how life arose.’11
The text of Molecular Cell Biology in its second
edition was well indexed on the evolution of cells,
describing the Miller experiment in detail.12 The third
edition has dropped the chapter on evolution of cells found
in the second edition.13 Similarly, Stryer’s fourth edition
of his textbook on biochemistry makes no mention of the
abiotic synthesis of organic molecules.14
‘Doubt has arisen because recent investigations
indicate the earth’s atmosphere was never as reducing
as Urey and Miller presumed. I suspect that many
organic compounds generated in past studies would
have been produced even in an atmosphere containing
Figure 1. Simplified apparatus for abiotic synthesis of organic
compounds as performed originally by Miller and Urey. By
varying the mixture of gases, including using volcanic gases
of today, experimenters have been able to produce many
types of organic compounds.
302 CEN Tech. J., vol. 10, no. 3, 1996
The Origin of Life Aw In-Depth Reviews
gases issuing from the vents, with
hydrothermal mixing there would emerge
peptides, nucleotides and even protocells
of some sort. Miller and Bada, however,
dispute the plausibility.
‘This proposal, however, is based on a
number of misunderstandings concerning
the organic chemistry involved. An
example is the suggestion that organic
compounds were destroyed on the surface
of the early Earth by the impact of
asteroids and comets, but at the same time
assuming that organic syntheses can
occur in hydrothermal vents. The high
temperatures in the vents would not allow
synthesis of organic compounds, but
would decompose them, unless the
exposure time at vent temperatures was
short. Even if the essential organic
molecules were available in the hot
hydrothermal waters, the subsequent
steps of polymerization and the
conversion of these polymers into the first
organisms would not occur as the vent
waters were quenched to the colder
temperatures of the primitive oceans.’20
TIME-SPAN FOR PREBIOLOGY
A pillar of ‘prebiological evolution’
has been the long period of time
supposedly available for the emergence
of ‘protocells’ whose development in turn
profoundly altered the climate of the
planet and its geology. For an estimated age of the Earth
of 4.6 Ga this seemed initially to pose no problem.
However, the discovery of stromatolites in Western
Australia21,22 and in South Africa23,24 upset the timetable
severely. The finding of algal filaments dated at only
slightly more than 1 Ga younger than the Earth itself
restricted the time required for the evolution of the living
cell. Pari passu the list of processes thought to occur
abiotically has been shrinking.25,26 Even the origin of the
huge banded iron formations of the Archaean can now be
attributed to microorganisms,27 and Raup and Valentine
have suggested that bolide impacts have, at intervals of
105 to 107 years, periodically erased more than one origin
of life.28 According to this scenario, ten or more extinct
bioclades could have preceded the Cambrian. A bioclade
is a group of life forms descended from a single event of
life origin. 4.2 Ga has been given as the date of the oldest
rocks, which is ostensibly consistent with the cooling and
degassing of an active molten Earth that is said to be 4.6 Ga
old.29 According to the isotopic carbon record in
sedimentary rocks, 3.8 Ga would date the origin of life.30
Fred Hoyle, the Cambridge astronomer and physicist,
beguiled by the ‘surprisingly easy’ manner in which organic
molecules form.18 Little store is laid for such crucial points
as the lability of the organic products, or their reactivity
among themselves to form mixed polymers. Indeed, the
problem of spontaneously producing a simple homochiral
compound, say, L-alanine, from racemic reaction systems
has not been solved (see Figure 2).
Classical mechanisms generally rely on chance for the
selection of L-amino and D-sugars by self-replicating
systems. Mason has put forward the tantalising speculation
that a weak nuclear interaction will stabilise the L-amino
acids and their polypeptides over their D-forms. This
electroweak advantage is considered too weak to affect
the outcome of biochemical evolution. An imaginary flow
reactor of a kilometre in diameter and four metres deep
would be needed to autocatalyse a change of 10-2 to 10-3
moles of one isomer over 10,000 years if the temperature
is kept at ambient. Admittedly a good thought experiment
‘but it will find no popular primitive Earth scenarios.’19
The discovery of hydrothermal vents at oceanic ridge
crests has spawned several origin-of-life hypotheses. It
seemed an attractive suggestion that, given the dissolved
Figure 2. Optical activity and chirality. Ordinary light consists of waves vibrating in all possible
directions perpendicular to its path. Certain substances will selectively transmit
light waves vibrating only in a specific plane plane polarised light. Most
compounds isolated from natural sources are able to rotate the plane of polarised
light a characteristic number of degrees for any specific substance. The significance
of this phenomenon to molecular biology and the origin of life is that stereoisomers,
molecules of identical but mirror image structure, possess such ‘optical activity’.
For example, in the case of the stereoisomers of the amino acid alanine shown
above, L-alanine will rotate the plane of polarised light in the opposite direction to Dalanine.
Why biological systems utilise exclusively levorotatory (left-handed) amino
acids and dextrorotatory (right-handed) sugars remains unfathomable. Mixtures
of organic compounds synthesised in Urey-Miller type experiments always consist
of racemic (equal amounts of left- and right-handed) mixtures.
The Origin of Life Aw
CEN Tech. J., vol. 10, no. 3, 1996 303
In-Depth Reviews
strands of RNA that reproduced
themselves, perhaps on clay surfaces.
This conjecture is strengthened by the fact
that in cells today there are segments of
some eukaryotic pre-rRNAs which can
cleave themselves off and join the two cut
ends together to reform the mature rRNA.
In 1982 Thomas Cech and his colleagues
at the University of Colorado discovered
this can take place in the absence of
protein in the ciliated protozoan
Tetrahymena thermophila.35 Just as
remarkable are the small nuclear RNAs
(snRNAs), which complex with protein
to form small nuclear ribonucleoproteins
(snRNPs; pronounced ‘snurps’).
Particles called spliceosomes convert premRNA
to mRNA.36 Other ribozymes
include the hammerhead variety and
RNAse P, which generates the 5' ends of
tRNAs. The former are found in certain
plant viruses. Origin-of-life theories see
prebiotic significance in these ‘vestigial’
post-translational mechanisms.
Though attractive, there are several
serious objections to the notion that life
began with RNA:—
(1)Pentose sugars, constituents of RNA
and DNA, can be synthesised in the
formose reaction, given the presence of
formaldehyde (HCHO). The products are
a melange of sugars of various carbon
lengths which are optically left- and righthanded
(D and L). With few exceptions
sugars found in biological systems are of
the D type; for instance, b-D-ribose of
RNA, which is always produced in small
quantities abiotically.
(2)Hydrocyanic acid (HCN) undergoes
polymerisation to form diaminomaleonitrile
which is on the pathway to
producing adenine, hypoxanthine,
guanine, xanthine and diaminopurine.
These are purines: there is difficulty in
producing pyrimidines (cytosine, thymine
and uracil) in comparable quantities37,38
(see Figure 3).
(3)Neither preformed purines nor
pyrimidines have been successfully linked
to ribose by organic chemists. An attempt
to make purine nucleosides resulted in a
‘dizzying array of related compounds’.39
This is expected if sugars and bases were
randomly coupled. The prebiotic
production of numerous isomers and
closely related molecules hinders the
made some sobering calculations on the
origin of the cell.31 The probability of
forming the 2,000 or so enzymes needed
by a cell lies in the realm of 1 in 1040,000.
This makes the conceptual leap from even
the most complex ‘soup’ to the simplest
cell in the time available (that is, about
500 Ma) so dramatic that it requires some
suspension of rationality in order to
accept it. Small wonder that latterly it is
being touted that life may have taken far
less time to appear.
Carl Sagan has opined:
‘If 100 million years is enough for the
origin of life on the earth, could 1,000
years be enough for it (to appear) on
Titan?’32
A RIBONUCLEIC ACID (RNA)
WORLD
RNA is a linear polymer of ribonucleotides,
usually single stranded. Each
ribonucleotide monomer contains the
sugar ribose linked with a phosphate
group and one of four bases: adenine,
guanine, cytosine or uracil. RNA appears
in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
as messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer
RNA (tRNA) and ribosomal RNA
(rRNA) which are involved in protein
synthesis with DNA the source of
information. Some viruses however
contain genomes of RNA. The nuclei of
eukaryotic cells carry two other types of
RNA; heterogeneous nuclear RNA
(hnRNA or pre-mRNA) and small nuclear
RNA (snRNA).
In recent literature there is much
excitement over the discovery that there
are RNAs that can catalyse specif ic
biochemical reactions. These are the
ribozymes, that is, RNA with enzymatic
functions.33 RNA can do this surprising
feat by folding its linear chains to
appropriate secondary and tertiary
structures thereby conferring ‘domain’
type catalytic structures as seen in protein
enzymes.
That RNA can act as a template and
also now exhibits catalytic activity fuelled
hypotheses for the evolution of an ‘RNA
world’.34 In this scenario RNA is the
primary polymer of life that replicates
itself. DNA and proteins were later
refinements. So the first genes were short
Figure 3. The molecular structures of
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
and ribonucleic acid (RNA)
are built using the
nitrogenous bases adenine
and guanine (purines), and
thymine, cytosine and uracil
(pyrimidines), which are the
‘letters’ of the genetic code.
304 CEN Tech. J., vol. 10, no. 3, 1996
The Origin of Life Aw In-Depth Reviews
likelihood of forming desirable mononucleosides.
Furthermore, unless ribose and the purine bases form
nucleosides rapidly they would be degraded quite quickly.
Purine and Pyrimidine
Nucleotide Biosynthesis
Purine ribonucleotides (for example, AMP, GMP) are
synthesised from scratch by living systems in ways not
remotely connected with the laboratory models. The purine
ring system is built up stepwise from an intermediate 5'-
phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate (PRPP) to a larger
molecule inosine monophosphate (IMP). This involves a
pathway comprising 11 reactions.
The biosynthesis of pyrimidines is less complex, but
again the process is elegantly dissimilar to the in vitro
chemistry, with some of the enzymes on the pathway
exercising regulatory functions.
The purine and pyrimidine biosynthetic pathways are
finely tuned, and defects such as enzyme deficiencies, their
mutant forms or loss of feedback inhibition, cause diseases
in man.
Suppose that we already have mononucleosides
purines (or pyrimidines) linked to ribose. Heating these
in a mixture of urea, ammonium chloride and hydrated
calcium phosphate has been shown to produce mono-, diand
cyclic phosphates of the mononucleoside. The
subsequent chemistry would yield a rich (or untidy,
depending on how it is viewed) racemic mixture of D and
L-oligonucleotides in all sorts of combinations and
permutations. Internal cyclisation reactions would destroy
much of these oligonucleotides.40
Suppose further that we have a parent strand of RNA
in a chirally-mixed pool of activated monoribonucleotides.
By base-pairing the strand correctly aligns on itself the
incoming monomeric units in matching sequence.
Phosphodiester bonds are spontaneously forged.
The chief obstacles to efficient and faithful copying
appear to be threefold.41
(a) D-mononucleotides and L-mononucleotides hinder
each others’ polymerisation on an RNA template.
(b) Short chains of nucleotides tend to fold back on
themselves to form double helical Watson-Crick
segments.
(c) Newly formed strands separate with difficulty from
their parent RNA strands. The process grinds to a halt.
Using activated monomers both nucleotides and amino
acids Ferris and his co-workers could form oligomers
up to 55 monomers long on mineral surfaces. Such
surfaces bind monomers of one charge (negative in these
experiments) and strength of binding increases with chain
length. Desorption then becomes impossible.42
Joyce sums up the difficulties of conjuring up a
hypothetical RNA world in these words.
‘The most reasonable interpretation is that life did not
start with RNA . . . . The transition to an RNA world,
like the origins of life in general, is fraught with
uncertainty and is plagued by a lack of relevant
experimental data. Researchers into the origins of life
have grown accustomed to the level of frustration in
these problems . . . . It is time to go beyond talking
about an RNA world and begin to put the evolution of
RNA in the context of the chemistry that came before
it and the biology that followed.’43
These sentiments are shared by Orgel, a long-time,
well-known prebiotic chemist. In 1994 he wrote:
‘The precise events giving rise to the RNA world remain
unclear. As we have seen, investigators have proposed
many hypotheses, but evidence in favour of each of
them is fragmentary at best. The full details of how
the RNA world, and life, emerged may not be revealed
in the near future.’44
As we have seen, the intuition that an RNA world
preceded DNA and protein is based on some features found
in modern cells. But it appears to be contradicted by the
available experimental evidence. In fact, the extra hydroxyl
of ribose renders it more reactive than deoxyribose and, in
principle, makes the more stable DNA a more likely
progenitor.
Other Options
Attention switched to other molecules that can carry
information and replicate themselves. In 1991 a team of
Danish chemists led by Egholm strung the four familiar
bases of nucleic acids along a peptide (polyamide)
backbone forming a peptide nucleic acid (PNA).45,46
Unfortunately, PNAs bind natural DNA and RNA tightly
(about 50 to 100 times stronger than the natural polymers
KEY POINTS
The presumed rise of oxygen levels in a primitive
reducing atmosphere formerly attributed to the
evolution of photosynthesis can be explained by
oxygen-independent biological iron oxidation.
Recent investigations indicate that the Earth’s
atmosphere was never as reducing as previously
thought.
Recent discovery of fossil stromatolites and algae
from the Precambrian has reduced the time for
evolution of the first cell ten-fold.
The atmosphere of 3.5 billion years ago could have
contained significant quantities of oxygen.
Under oxidising conditions, the formation of organic
compounds and their polymerisation do not occur.
Biological homochirality of sugars and amino acids
remains an enigma.
Hypotheses of ribonucleic acids (RNAs) as the initial
self-replicating molecule have serious unresolved
difficulties.
Extrapolating results of in vitro synthesis of purines
and pyrimidines should take into account that
biosynthesis utilises different reaction pathways.
The Origin of Life Aw
CEN Tech. J., vol. 10, no. 3, 1996 305
In-Depth Reviews
classes are presumed to have evolved. It has been proposed
that the pristine reductase enzyme, similar to present-day
class III enzymes, arose before the advent of
photosynthesis and therefore before the appearance of
oxygen.
Now the E. coli class III enzyme mentioned above
can be induced by culturing the bacteria under anaerobic
conditions. This enzyme is an Fe-S protein that in its active
form contains an oxygen-sensitive glycyl free radical.51
This poses a conundrum: the survival and continual
evolution of an oxygen-sensitive enzyme when oxygen
appeared. On the other hand, the class I reductases require
oxygen for free radical generation. Surely they could not
have evolved and operated in the anaerobic first cell in an
oxygen-free environment.52 Moreover, one of the most
remarkable aspects of this E. coli ribonucleotide class I
reductase is its ability to maintain its highly reactive free
radical state for a long period. Interestingly, this is achieved
in vivo by internally generated oxygen. Four proteins
have to be in place:—
Flavin oxidoreductase, which releases superoxide ion
(O2
-

drummachine
Inactive Member


Message 27 of 152 (31587)
02-06-2003 9:09 PM


The Origin of Species*
by Mark Eastman, MD
While a naturalistic explanation for the origin of life is critical to evolutionary purists, Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species, spent very little time on this issue. Darwin’s primary goal was to describe a natural mechanism for the origin of complex structures in living systems as well as the origin of new species themselves.
By the time Origin was published naturalists had extensively cataloged and compared thousands of the many life forms on earth. In the eighteenth century, biologists recognized many divisions of organisms that were believed to be distinct interbreeding populations. While world authorities still disagree, the definition of a species is generally understood as a group of organisms that interbreed in the wild. Prior to Darwin’s theories most biologists believed that distinct groups of organisms (kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species) were the result of divine creation. Darwin specifically set out to dispel this very notion.
"Descent With Modification"
Darwin proposed that an organism’s inheritable traits were mutable. By this he meant that they could be changed, either for better or for worse, through a process at that time yet unknown. This mutability provided, according to Darwin, a rich pool of possible traits with which an animal might be born.
According to Darwin those organisms most fit for their environment are more likely to succeed in the competition for resources and therefore survive to the age of reproductive maturity. In turn, those traits will be preferentially passed to the next generation. The fittest organisms were, in effect, selected by nature.
Over time the mutability of an organism’s traits coupled with such natural selection, produced entirely new species as well as the highly complex adaptations, i.e., hearts, brains, eyes, kidneys, etc. Darwin called this process descent with modification. Providing a possible mechanism for evolution was, in the minds of contemporary biologists, Darwin’s greatest contribution.
The Neo-Darwinian Formulation
When the structure of DNA and the method of information storage in living systems was deciphered, the method by which an organism’s traits were mutable became apparent.
As discussed in chapter two, the information (chemical instructions) for the production of all the structures in all the life-forms on earth is stored by long chains of nucleotides. Two of these chains are bonded together to form the double spiral helix DNA molecule. A section of DNA is produced by adding one nucleotide at a time onto an ever-lengthening chain. From time to time an incorrect nucleotide will be placed resulting in a slightly different daughter molecule. These errors in replication are called mutations.
With this new understanding of the molecular basis of inheritance, Darwin’s theory was reformulated into the neo-Darwinian synthesis. This new formulation proposes that beneficial mutations will increase the fitness of an organism increasing the likelihood that it will survive to reproductive maturity and pass those mutations to the next generation.
According to theory, these beneficial mutations are then selected by nature and are concentrated and distributed throughout the population. Over time, natural selection, coupled with millions of beneficial mutations, will produce a new species of individuals which are better adapted (i.e., more fit) to the environment they occupy.
From the Goo to You
Darwin’s theory proposes that all life on earth began as single-celled organisms similar to the simplest bacteria on earth. Over time these single-celled organisms evolved via the process of mutation and natural selection into all the complex life forms on planet earth.
The simplest free-living bacterial organisms have a genetic blueprint of approximately two million nucleotide pairs. This compares to at least six-billion nucleotide pairs in the forty-six chromosomes found in every human being.
According to the principles of information theory, the information required to create or synthesize a machine is directly related to its complexity. NASA’s Space Shuttle is much more complex than a paper airplane. Indeed the amount of information required to produce a Space Shuttle is vastly greater than the amount of information required to produce a paper airplane.
A human being is vastly more complex than a single-celled bacterium. Consequently, much more information is required to construct a man.
If we propose that a single-celled organism developed into a human being then we are, in effect, proposing the spontaneous generation of vast quantities of new information. This additional information is required to guide the production of all the complex systems (cardiovascular, visual, respiratory, gastrointestinal and reproductive, etc.) that we humans possess and bacteria do not.
According to neo-Darwinian theory, the information required to change a simple single-celled organism into a man was generated by the chance mutation of an existing genetic program—the one required to produce the single-celled free-living organism in the first place.
However, in recent years the claims of neo-Darwinists that mutations and natural selection are the source of new and beneficial information has been seriously threatened by the science of information theory.
Mutations: The Source of New Information?
Mutations are simply random changes in the nucleotides sequence of a DNA molecule. These errors in copying of DNA are random and non-directional. Because of the error correcting duplication process discussed in chapter two, mutations are very rare.
Regarding the rarity of mutations biologist Francisco Ayala stated;
Although mutation is the ultimate source of all genetic variation, it is a relatively rare event.
Secondly, experimental evidence to date indicates that the vast majority of mutations are either harmful, lethal or at best neutral to an existing code or program. In fact, there are many fatal diseases which are the result of a single genetic mutation. Truly advantageous mutations are extremely rare.
Regarding the nature of mutations scientist C.P. Martin stated;
Mutation does produce hereditary changes, but the mass of evidence shows that all, or almost all, known mutations are unmistakably pathological and the few remaining ones are highly suspect.
Theodosius Dobzhansky stated;
The process of mutation is the only known source of the raw materials of genetic variability, and hence of evolutionthe mutants which arise are, with rare exceptions, deleterious to their carriers, at least in the environments which the species normally encounters.
While it is impossible to know with certainty, it has been estimated that less than one in ten thousand mutations is beneficial to an organism. If this is true, it means that nine thousand, nine hundred, and ninety-nine mutations out of ten thousand are either harmful, lethal or neutral to the population of organisms in question.
While one might imagine that beneficial mutations could accumulate in a given population, it is incredulous to assume that they could do so without the accumulation of many more harmful mutations.
Most lethal mutations will not be passed to the next generation because the organisms that possess them rarely survive to reproductive maturity. However, harmful mutations, which gradually cause the extinction of a species, are passed to the next generation.
Consequently, it is much more likely that a population will become extinct before it is improved by random mutations! This assertion is supported by the principles of information theory.
Codes and programs, such as those found in computer software, are always the result of intelligent design and contrivance. When a software developer attempts to write a code, a program or a language convention, he expends a great amount of time and energy trying to assure that chance plays no role in the formation and function of the code. In fact, when chance errors do occur in the writing of a software program it usually causes the program to malfunction, hence the term bug. Such bugs are, in effect, the information scientist’s equivalent to a mutation in the DNA molecule and the genetic code.
Consequently, when viewed from the point of view of information science, mutations are harmful to existing codes and are, in effect, informational noise or static. Because the great abundance of mutations are harmful, lethal or neutral, the amount of static accumulated in the genetic code would far outweigh any beneficial changes in the code and would result in the eventual destruction of the code altogether. In biological systems this means extinction.
Over time, as dictated by the Second Law of Thermodynamics, such informational errors (mutations) in an existing code will cause the code to contain less information and eventually become nonfunctional. The result is the destruction of the code and the death of the organism and the interbreeding population as a whole. This insight has not been adequately addressed by evolutionists to this point.
The Problem of Intermediate Forms
The primary postulate of Darwinian evolution is that interbreeding populations change, over long time periods, into new species which are genetically distinct from their predecessors. For example, it is generally accepted that amphibians evolved into reptiles. Evolutionists also accept that reptiles evolved into birds and mammals over many millions of years.
If this scenario is true then it means that these organisms passed through innumerable intermediate stages on the evolutionary path to a new species. Furthermore, this scenario also demands that complex new systems and structures be developed.
For example, if reptiles evolved into birds then there are a number of new adaptations that had to evolve from previously extant reptile structures. Light-weight bones adapted for flight had to evolve from heavier reptile bones. Wings had to evolve from the forelimbs of a reptile and feathers had to evolve from scales or some other structure in the reptile’s skin.
If reptiles evolved into mammals then this means that egg laying was replaced by inter-uterine pregnancy in mammals. Scales were presumably replaced by hair. Finally, mammary glands, for the production of milk, had to evolve from an unknown structure, presumably in the skin.
Such changes are not trivial. They involve major changes in the structure and function of previously extant systems. For this to occur there must be the addition of millions of bits of new information to the genetic code of the ancestral organism.
Darwin knew that if his scenario for evolution was true then there would have been millions of transitional organisms. That is, organisms that were, for example, between a reptile and a bird. Genetically, such organisms would not be considered reptiles anymore. However, they would not be fully bird-like either.
Darwin recognized that if such intermediates ever existed then the record of their existence would be preserved in the fossil record. During Darwin’s time, however, there were no fossils that were recognized as truly transitional. Darwin admitted this deficiency and said that if his theory was true then the transitional forms would eventually be found. However, as we will see, not a single truly transitional form has ever been discovered in the fossil record.
The Origin of Complex Systems
In the last forty years astonishing discoveries in molecular biology have demonstrated that living systems possess unparalleled complexity.
According to molecular biologist Michael Denton, a simple amoebae is more complex than any machine made by man, including the Space Shuttle or a super computer.
Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than 10-12 grams, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world.
Within the structure of a complex machine like the space shuttle we see a variety of interdependent systems. There are the onboard computers for information storage and retrieval. There are systems for maintaining the proper environment inside the cabin. There are systems which function to generate and facilitate the use of energy. There are navigational systems, communication systems, and multiple systems involved in launching and landing the Space Shuttle.
When we examine living systems we find a number of striking parallels to complex machines. In mammals, for example, we find the visual system for processing light, an olfactory system which analyzes chemicals in the air to provide our sense of smell. We have an auditory system for hearing, a respiratory system for the maintenance of proper oxygen balance, a cardiovascular system which delivers oxygen to the entire body. We find waste removal systems such as the kidneys and the liver which cleanse and purify the blood stream.
However, unlike any machine made by man, living systems are capable of self-reproduction. This capability requires a vast amount of additional information storage and complex machinery.
Every one of these systems is a highly complex, machine-like collection of molecular hardware. In addition, every system in our bodies is composed of multiple sub-systems or integrated parts, each of which is required for the system to function at all. If neo-Darwinian evolution is valid it must explain the origin of these systems without the introduction of intelligent guidance or expertise.
The Eye: Darwin’s Nightmare
It is now time to put the creative power of mutation and natural selection to the test. Let’s examine, for example, the question of the origin of the human visual system.
The visual system in human beings is an incredibly complex, integrated system which converts photons into meaningful information with incredible speed, unparalleled by modern video digitizing computers. The enormous complexity of vision was eloquently discussed by John Stevens, in Byte Magazine, in 1985;
While today’s digital hardware is extremely impressive, it is clear that the human retina’s real-time performance goes unchallenged. Actually, to simulate 10 milliseconds (ms) of the complete processing of even a single nerve cell from the retina would require the solution of about 500 simultaneous nonlinear differential equations 100 times and would take at least several minutes of processing time on a Cray super computer. Keeping in mind that there are 10 million or more such cells interacting with each other in complex ways, it would take a minimum of 100 years of Cray time to simulate what takes place in your eye many times every second.
In the eye, there is a lens which focuses images on the retina in the back of the eye. On the retina visual images are displayed up-side-down. Within the retina, there is a highly complex chemical system which converts the photons of light to electrons. These electrons then travel down a wire, the optic nerve, to at least three different areas in the brain.
The visual signal travels first to the geniculate body where the visual information is first organized. The visual signals are then sent to the occipital cortex where the visual information is displayed right-side-up, and finally to the frontal lobes of the brain where pattern recognition occurs.
Unless all of these sub-systems are present and properly connected, the visual system does not function. A visual system composed of four-fifths of the necessary components does not give eighty percent vision. It provides no vision at all!
Consequently, one of the most difficult problems for the neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory is to explain how highly complex systems, such as the visual system, which is composed of multiple indispensable sub-systems, could have arisen over a long period of time when a partially evolved system is of no use to the organism.
According to neo-Darwinian theory this occurred by the piecemeal accumulation of mutations necessary to code for each of the sub-components. These sub-components were then integrated and connected, ultimately resulting in a functional visual system.
The Fatal Flaw!
While this scenario may, on the surface, seem reasonable, there is a fatal flaw seldom recognized by evolutionary theorists.
According to evolutionary theory, mutations are preferentially selected, concen-trated and distributed throughout a population when they are beneficial; that is, when they increase the fitness of an organism and its offspring.
Consequently, according to neo-Darwinian theory, complex systems, such as the visual system, would have arisen very gradually over millions of years through the step by step accumulation of mutations necessary to produce the separate parts.
However, this mechanism has an insurmountable difficulty which has not been adequately addressed by evolutionists.
According to standard evolutionary thinking, approximately 800 million years ago a blind primitive creature had a number of mutations which gave rise to a pigmented spot on the surface of its skin. This pigmented spot was the beginning of an early retina. Gradually, the pigmented cells became connected to a nerve which in turn became connected to the organism’s brain. Over many millions of years all the various parts of this primitive visual system became connected and the organism could sense light. Evolutionists admit that such early visual systems could only distinguish between light and dark. However, this newly developed ability gave the organism a competitive advantage over its neighbors and, therefore, it was more successful in competing for resources.
The problem with this theory is that the mutations that gave rise to the early eye will provide no increased functional capacity to the organism. This is because a partially evolved visual system does not provide a little bit of vision, it provides no vision at all. Consequently, the mutations that produced the primitive eye (the pigmented spot) will not be beneficial and will not be concentrated in the population. They will be lost and the fortuitous genetic experiment to create vision will be a bust!
The fundamental failure of mutation and natural selection, as presented by the neo-Darwinists, is that there is no known mechanism which will allow the mutations that produce one of the sub-systems in the visual system to wait around for millions of years while the other sub-systems are being produced in a similar piece-meal random fashion.
Arthur Koestler comments on the implausibility of this scenario;
Each mutation occurring alone would be wiped out before it could be combined with the others. They are all inter-dependent. The doctrine that their coming together was due to a series of blind coincidences is an affront not only to common sense but to the basic principles of scientific explanation.
Charles Darwin even revealed some doubt regarding his theories ability to explain the origin of complex systems such as the visual system;
To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.
Yet, after stating that it was "absurd in the highest degree" to think that natural selection could explain the origin of the visual system, he went on to state that reason tell him that it could:
"Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself first originated; but I may remark that several facts make me suspect that any sensitive nerve may be rendered sensitive to light, and likewise to those coarser vibrations of the air which produce sound."
The problem of a functional transitional visual system has also been recognized by biologist Gertrude Himmelfarb;
The eye, as one of the most complex organs, has been the symbol and archetype of his [Darwin’s] dilemma. Since the eye is obviously of no use at all except in its final, complete form, how could natural selection have functioned in those initial stages of its evolution when the variations had no possible survival value? No single variation, indeed no single part, being of any use without every other, and natural selection presuming no knowledge of the ultimate end or purpose of the organ, the criterion of utility, or survival, would seem to be irrelevant. And there are other equally provoking examples of organs and processes which seem to defy natural selection. Biochemistry provides the case of chemical synthesis built up in several stages, of which the intermediate substance formed at any one stage is of no value at all, and only the end product, the final elaborate and delicate machinery, is usefuland not only useful but vital to life. How can selection, knowing nothing of the end or final purpose of this process, function when the only test is precisely that end or final purpose?
If we assume that life is the product of intelligent design we can see that the designer need only place all of the sub-components together in the organism simultaneously and they would be fully functional. On this point, neo-Darwinism fails entirely to explain the origin of complex systems.
If this were not enough we now know that the complex systems in organisms such as human beings are also integrated. For example, the visual system is connected to the digestive system. When we see a photograph of a food we like, we begin to salivate. The respiratory and the cardiovascular system are connected to the visual system, endocrine system, to the reproductive system and on and on.
Each of the systems affects the other systems in ways that insure the survival and preservation of the species. It staggers the mind to imagine how such complex systems could be built in a piecemeal fashion over millions of years by the neo-Darwinian evolutionary process.
Robert Jastrow echoed this sentiment when he stated;
It is hard to accept the evolution of the human eye as a product of chance; it is even harder to accept the evolution of human intelligence as the product of random disruptions in the brain cells of our ancestors.
Try To Imagine?
When the deficiencies of mutations are pointed out, evolutionists usually bring up their second and most powerful creative force, natural selection.
Natural selection, as we have discussed, is the blind selection of those traits which are most favored for a particular environment. For example, in a very cold environment those organisms with a thick coat of fur and a thick layer of fat will be more fit than a hairless, thin creature.
However, traits which are favorable to one environment may be extremely detrimental to a species in another environment. Those organisms which have the most ideal collection of traits for their environment are said to be the fittest.
The environment does not consciously select the traits that are most fit. It is simply the fact that those organisms which possess a collection of traits that allows them to survive to reproductive maturity are considered most fit.
So natural selection does not create anything. Nature simply preserves favorable traits that are already present in the breeding population.
In an article in Science, a prestigious secular journal committed to the promotion of evolution, biologist Daniel Brooks stated;
[Natural selection] may have a stabilizing effect, but it does not promote speciation. It is not a creative force as many people have suggested.
A simple illustration will help us understand this major deficiency of natural selection.
Let’s examine the notion of natural selection and the origin of flight. According to evolutionists, birds evolved from a reptile-like creature some 60-100 million years ago. Evolutionists propose that the forelimb of the reptile evolved into wings as the scales were gradually transformed into feathers. This process, taking millions of years, occurred as random mutations caused the scales of the reptile to be gradually lengthened. Eventually, the scales were converted to fully developed feathers and flight emerged.
On the surface, this scenario may seem reasonable. However, the supposed creative force of natural selection is, in fact, a tremendous stumbling block to the evolution of flight. An illustration will help to drive home the point.
Imagine a population of lizards that are highly skilled in running and hunting. Then one day a litter of lizards is hatched who have, in their genetic code, a mutation that caused their scales to be four times longer than normal. At this point the lizards cannot fly because the scales do not provide any significant aerodynamic lift.
These lizards, in turn have offspring which have an additional mutation which lengthens the scales even further. From an evolutionary viewpoint the scales are well on their way to evolving into feathers.
Over the next 1,000 generations hundreds of additional mutations occur which cause further lengthening of the scales. The scales are now about half the size necessary to allow for flight. However, there is a problem.
The long stiff scales now begin to hinder the lizards ability to run and climb. As the scales continue to lengthen in succeeding generations the problem worsens.
What was once a swift runner and climber has become a clumsy creature that cannot run nor climb as well as its adversaries. So natural selection, which allows for the survival of the fittest, becomes the enemy of this transitional form.
Since it cannot run as it once did, this transitional form cannot catch its prey as efficiently as a true lizard. And because it cannot climb as well as it once could, it cannot evade its predators. So it loses out in the competition for resources or is killed by its fleet-footed predators. Natural selection then wipes out the evolutionary experiment because it is not as fit as its predecessors or its competition.
The point is that the lizard’s forelimb becomes a bad leg long before it becomes a good wing. So the transitional form is eliminated by natural selection because it is less fit. Natural selection, therefore, tends to be a preserving force rather than a creative force.
Many other examples like this could be imagined where a transitional structure is less fit than its predecessor.
How would a transitional reproductive system function? Unless all the parts are present and fully functional it does not work. How would a transitional ear perceive sound? Unless all the parts are connected and functioning properly, the auditory system does not function.
This inability to conceive of transitional structures has rarely been addressed by evolutionists. Those that have addressed it have expressed their frustration about this problem.
Stephen Jay Gould, professor of paleontology at Harvard University addressed the problem of the viability of transitional structures;
Of what possible use are the imperfect incipient stages of useful structures? What good is half a jaw or half a wing?
Some will argue that organisms, like the Horseshoe Crab, have a transitional visual system which is an early evolutionary stage of our own visual system. However, what they fail to recognize is that the Horseshoe Crab’s visual system possesses all of the basic parts of the mammalian visual system. That is, it possesses a lens to focus an image, a retina to convert photons to electrons, an optic nerve to send the electrons to the brain and the necessary connections in the brain to make sense of the visual information.
Far from being a primitive system, the Horseshoe Crab’s visual system is, in principle, as complex as the human visual system and is in no way a transitional visual system. It is fully functional and fully integrated.
The Fossil Record
When Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of Species, he knew that if his theory was true the record of evolution should be found throughout the earth in the sedimentary rocks. However, by Darwin’s time tens of thousands of fossils had been found which revealed the skeletal structure of hundreds of different species. However, Darwin himself admitted that the fossil record did not support his theory.
But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them imbedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?
The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed [must] truly be enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record.
Darwin states the answer lies in the "extreme imperfection of the geologic record." Yet, early 150 years later we have found billions of fossils representing hundreds of thousands of species and the situation hasn’t changed. World authorities still agree that the fossil record does not support the gradual evolution of life on earth.
Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time.
Finally, in the late 1970’s, Stephen Jay Gould confirmed the fact that the fossil record does not confirm the process of evolution.
The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference. However reasonable, not the evidence of fossils. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study.
In other words, the evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks are based on conjecture, i.e., they guessed.
Made by Design!
In this brief review of Darwinian evolutionary theory we have seen that the mutability of inherited traits, coupled with natural selection, is totally incapable of explaining the origin of the complex, integrated systems found in living organisms. Chance chemistry, the god of Darwinian evolution, is also incapable of explaining the origin of life. So the question remains; how did the incredibly complex structures found in living systems arise?
As we have seen, the fundamental error of Darwinism is the non-viability of transitional systems. Unless the sub-components of complex systems arise simultaneously they will not function. As a result, the mutations that gave rise to the primitive sub-components will be lost and will not be preserved and concentrated in the population. However, the only other option to the chance origin of complex systems is that their sub-components were intentionally designed and brought together as an act of purposeful creation. There is no third option.
Since the laws of chemistry and physics in our universe are incapable of explaining the chance origin and evolution of life then the source must be an extra dimensional one. That is, a creative source that exists outside time and space.
For thousands of years the Bible has taught that God is a transcendent Being who existed before time and space and spoke the universe and its life forms into existence. In Isaiah 57:15 we are told that God inhabits eternity, a domain outside time and space;
For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
The Bible also teaches that time, space and matter had a beginning in Genesis 1:1;
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Remarkably, in the twentieth century astronomers have arrived at the same conclusion: Time, space and matter had a beginning.
It is indeed ironic that twentieth century scientific inquiry now demands a Creator that exists outside the space-time domain; One that inhabits eternity. The Creator revealed in the Bible is not only outside time and space, according to the biblical account, that Creator applied biochemical know-how onto matter and designed and created man from the dust of the earth.
Paul the Apostle said in Romans chapter one that the existence of God is confirmed in the things that are made. Indeed, the Creator revealed in the Bible has revealed Himself to mankind through His Creation, through His Word and through His Son Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the very Creator of the universe who, though He inhabited eternity, became flesh and dwelt among us. The One who provided a way of salvation through His substitutionary, sacrificial death on a cross nearly 2,000 years ago. By faith in Him and Him alone we can have forgiveness of our sins, reconciliation with our Creator and eternal life in heaven with Him Who inhabits eternity whose name is Holy."
References can be found in the book Creation By Design, by Mark Eastman, MD and can be obtained from The Word for Today 714-979-0706

drummachine
Inactive Member


Message 28 of 152 (31588)
02-06-2003 9:16 PM


UNNATURAL SELECTION
For years, people who embrace the idea of evolution have reverenced the term natural selection as a means of explaining away God. Changes in the environment through time, the evolutionist believes, molds and shapes life from simple to the complex. A Creator is not necessary for life, they say. Time, chance, and a changing environment, according to those who believe in Darwinism, can adequately explain away the need for a Creator.
While it is possible to accept that random changes within the genetic code could provide the variation required for a species to adapt, how reasonable is it to say that natural selection can explain the complexity of all living things. Evolutionists can make some pretty large claims, but what evidence do they have to support their cherished views?
For example, consider the human eye. Where in the fossil record do we find the evidence to show the development of the complex eye? How about the feathers of a bird, or the organs essential for life like the kidney, the liver, the heart, or the brain?
Although, Darwin is often credited with providing the mechanism that explains away God, a survey of the literature will show that he himself realized there was more to life than blind chance. Darwin once stated: The belief that an organ as the eye could have formed by natural selection, is enough to stagger anyone. I have felt this difficulty far too keenly to be surprised at others hesitating to extend the principle of natural selection to so startling a length. [1]
Stop and think about what Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, said. He was surprised that others made natural selection the mother of all miracles. As any scientist will tell you, in order for a theory to be classified as scientific, it has to be backed up by the hard cold facts. If there are no facts, then the theory is only a belief based on faith. Could it be the idea that life developed by natural selection is nothing more than a religious myth?
What would Charles Darwin say if he were alive today? Modern science has revealed life is far more complex than Darwin could have ever imagined. If natural selection could not explain the complexity of the eye when Darwin was alive, what about now? Nearly one hundred and fifty years have passed, and creationists are still asking the same question Darwin asked — why do so many people jump to such wild conclusions without any evidence? Is it possible they would rather believe in evolution than in God?

drummachine
Inactive Member


Message 29 of 152 (31589)
02-06-2003 9:17 PM


UNNATURAL SELECTION
For years, people who embrace the idea of evolution have reverenced the term natural selection as a means of explaining away God. Changes in the environment through time, the evolutionist believes, molds and shapes life from simple to the complex. A Creator is not necessary for life, they say. Time, chance, and a changing environment, according to those who believe in Darwinism, can adequately explain away the need for a Creator.
While it is possible to accept that random changes within the genetic code could provide the variation required for a species to adapt, how reasonable is it to say that natural selection can explain the complexity of all living things. Evolutionists can make some pretty large claims, but what evidence do they have to support their cherished views?
For example, consider the human eye. Where in the fossil record do we find the evidence to show the development of the complex eye? How about the feathers of a bird, or the organs essential for life like the kidney, the liver, the heart, or the brain?
Although, Darwin is often credited with providing the mechanism that explains away God, a survey of the literature will show that he himself realized there was more to life than blind chance. Darwin once stated: The belief that an organ as the eye could have formed by natural selection, is enough to stagger anyone. I have felt this difficulty far too keenly to be surprised at others hesitating to extend the principle of natural selection to so startling a length. [1]
Stop and think about what Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, said. He was surprised that others made natural selection the mother of all miracles. As any scientist will tell you, in order for a theory to be classified as scientific, it has to be backed up by the hard cold facts. If there are no facts, then the theory is only a belief based on faith. Could it be the idea that life developed by natural selection is nothing more than a religious myth?
What would Charles Darwin say if he were alive today? Modern science has revealed life is far more complex than Darwin could have ever imagined. If natural selection could not explain the complexity of the eye when Darwin was alive, what about now? Nearly one hundred and fifty years have passed, and creationists are still asking the same question Darwin asked — why do so many people jump to such wild conclusions without any evidence? Is it possible they would rather believe in evolution than in God?

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drummachine
Inactive Member


Message 33 of 152 (31741)
02-08-2003 2:00 PM


Well friend what cut and paste is what I believe. I looked at the site. I believe there are mutations in the genes. In the beginning were 2 dogs for example. They had offspring and some of the parents genes were not passed to the pup. It has always been only man, only dog, etc. I believe because of sin. So, everything evolved by chance? We look at the heavens or the earth or even a little ant. By chance? No designer? Would you be willing to read what I posted?

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drummachine
Inactive Member


Message 35 of 152 (31764)
02-08-2003 10:05 PM


I believe you can be a Christian and believe in evolution, but I think that it is not consistent.

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drummachine
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 152 (31767)
02-09-2003 1:03 AM


I do deeply care for all people and all religions, but I believe there is only one truth and salvation is only through the blood of Christ. The most important thing is the truth. There are many religions of the world, but there can only be one truth.

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drummachine
Inactive Member


Message 41 of 152 (32196)
02-14-2003 1:41 AM


For more information, visit Q&A: Creation Compromises
10 Dangers of theistic evolution
Werner Gitt
First published in:
Creation Ex Nihilo 17(4):49—51,
September—November 1995
The atheistic formula for evolution is:
Evolution = matter + evolutionary factors (chance and necessity + mutation + selection + isolation + death) + very long time periods.
In the theistic evolutionary view, God is added:
Theistic evolution = matter + evolutionary factors (chance and necessity + mutation + selection + isolation + death) + very long time periods + God.
In this system God is not the omnipotent Lord of all things, whose Word has to be taken seriously by all men, but He is integrated into the evolutionary philosophy. This leads to 10 dangers for Christians.1
Danger No. 1 — Misrepresentation of the Nature of God
The Bible reveals God to us as our Father in Heaven, who is absolutely perfect (Matthew 5:48), holy (Isaiah 6:3), and omnipotent (Jeremiah 32:17). The Apostle John tells us that 'God is love', 'light', and 'life' (1 John 4:16; 1:5; 1:1-2). When this God creates something, His work is described as 'very good' (Genesis 1:31) and 'perfect' (Deuteronomy 32:4).
Theistic evolution gives a false representation of the nature of God because death and ghastliness are ascribed to the Creator as principles of creation. (Progressive creationism, likewise, allows for millions of years of death and horror before sin.)
Danger No. 2 — God becomes a God of the Gaps
The Bible states that God is the Prime Cause of all things. 'But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things ... and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him' (1 Corinthians 8:6).
However, in theistic evolution the only workspace allotted to God is that part of nature which evolution cannot 'explain' with the means presently at its disposal. In this way He is reduced to being a 'god of the gaps' for those phenomena about which there are doubts. This leads to the view that 'God is therefore not absolute, but He Himself has evolved - He is evolution'.2
Danger No. 3 — Denial of Central Biblical Teachings
The entire Bible bears witness that we are dealing with a source of truth authored by God (2 Timothy 3:16), with the Old Testament as the indispensable 'ramp' leading to the New Testament, like an access road leads to a motor free way (John 5:39). The biblical creation account should not be regarded as a myth, a parable, or an allegory, but as a historical report, because:
Biological, astronomical and anthropological facts are given in didactic [teaching] form.
In the Ten Commandments God bases the six working days and one day of rest on the same time-span as that described in the creation account (Exodus 20:8-11).
In the New Testament Jesus referred to facts of the creation (e.g. Matthew 19:4-5).
Nowhere in the Bible are there any indications that the creation account should be understood in any other way than as a factual report.
The doctrine of theistic evolution undermines this basic way of reading the Bible, as vouched for by Jesus, the prophets and the Apostles. Events reported in the Bible are reduced to mythical imagery, and an understanding of the message of the Bible as being true in word and meaning is lost.
Danger No. 4 — Loss of the Way for Finding God
The Bible describes man as being completely ensnared by sin after Adam's fall (Romans 7:18-19). Only those persons who realize that they are sinful and lost will seek the Saviour who 'came to save that which was lost' (Luke 19:10).
However, evolution knows no sin in the biblical sense of missing one's purpose (in relation to God). Sin is made meaningless, and that is exactly the opposite of what the Holy Spirit does - He declares sin to be sinful. If sin is seen as a harmless evolutionary factor, then one has lost the key for finding God, which is not resolved by adding 'God' to the evolutionary scenario.
Danger No. 5 — The Doctrine of God's Incarnation is Undermined
The incarnation of God through His Son Jesus Christ is one of the basic teachings of the Bible. The Bible states that 'The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us' (John 1:14), 'Christ Jesus ... was made in the likeness of men' (Philippians 2:5-7).
The idea of evolution undermines this foundation of our salvation. Evolutionist Hoimar von Ditfurth discusses the incompatibility of Jesus' incarnation and evolutionary thought: 'Consideration of evolution inevitably forces us to a critical review ... of Christian formulations. This clearly holds for the central Christian concept of the 'incarnation' of God ... '.3
Danger No. 6 — The Biblical Basis of Jesus' Work of Redemption Is Mythologized
The Bible teaches that the first man's fall into sin was a real event and that this was the direct cause of sin in the world. 'Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned' (Romans 5:12).
Theistic evolution does not acknowledge Adam as the first man, nor that he was created directly from 'the dust of the ground' by God (Genesis 2:17). Most theistic evolutionists regard the creation account as being merely a mythical tale, albeit with some spiritual significance. However, the sinner Adam and the Saviour Jesus are linked together in the Bible - Romans 5:16-18. Thus any the logical view which mythologizes Adam undermines the biblical basis of Jesus' work of redemption.
Danger No. 7 — Loss of Biblical Chronology
The Bible provides us with a time-scale for history and this underlies a proper understanding of the Bible. This time-scale includes:
The time-scale cannot be extended indefinitely into the past, nor into the future. There is a well-defined beginning in Genesis 1:1, as well as a moment when physical time will end (Matthew 24:14).
The total duration of creation was six days (Exodus 20:11).
The age of the universe may be estimated in terms of the genealogies recorded in the Bible (but note that it can not be calculated exactly). It is of the order of several thousand years, not billions.
Galatians 4:4 points out the most outstanding event in the world's history: 'But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son.' This happened nearly 2,000 years ago.
The return of Christ in power and glory is the greatest expected future event.
Supporters of theistic evolution (and progressive creation) disregard the biblically given measures of time in favour of evolutionist time-scales involving billions of years both past and future (for which there are no convincing physical grounds). This can lead to two errors:
Not all statements of the Bible are to be taken seriously.
Vigilance concerning the second coming of Jesus may be lost.
Danger No. 8 — Loss of Creation Concepts
Certain essential creation concepts are taught in the Bible. These include:
God created matter without using any available material.
God created the earth first, and on the fourth day He added the moon, the solar system, our local galaxy, and all other star systems. This sequence conflicts with all ideas of 'cosmic evolution', such as the 'big bang' cosmology.
Theistic evolution ignores all such biblical creation principles and replaces them with evolutionary notions, there by contradicting and opposing God's omnipotent acts of creation.
Danger No. 9 — Misrepresentation of Reality
The Bible carries the seal of truth, and all its pronouncements are authoritative - whether they deal with questions of faith and salvation, daily living, or matters of scientific importance.
Evolutionists brush all this aside, e.g. Richard Dawkins says,
'Nearly all peoples have developed their own creation myth, and the Genesis story is just the one that happened to have been adopted by one particular tribe of Middle Eastern herders. It has no more special status than the belief of a particular West African tribe that the world was created from the excrement of ants'.4
If evolution is false, then numerous sciences have embraced false testimony. Whenever these sciences conform with evolutionary views, they misrepresent reality. How much more then a theology which departs from what the Bible says and embraces evolution!
Danger No. 10 — Missing the Purpose
In no other historical book do we find so many and such valuable statements of purpose for man, as in the Bible. For example:
Man is God's purpose in creation (Genesis 1:27-28).
Man is the purpose of God's plan of redemption (Isaiah 53:5).
Man is the purpose of the mission of God's Son (1 John 4:9).
We are the purpose of God's inheritance (Titus 3:7).
Heaven is our destination (1 Peter 1:4).
However, the very thought of purposefulness is anathema to evolutionists. 'Evolutionary adaptations never follow a purposeful program, they thus can not be regarded as teleonomical.'5 Thus a belief system such as theistic evolution that marries purposefulness with non-purposefulness is a contradiction in terms.
Conclusion
The doctrines of creation and evolution are so strongly divergent that reconciliation is totally impossible. The theistic evolutionists attempt to integrate the two doctrines, however such syncretism reduces the message of the Bible to insignificance. The conclusion is inevitable: There is no support for theistic evolution in the Bible.
References
This article has been adapted from chapter 8 'The Consequences of Theistic Evolution', from Prof. Dr. Werner Gitt's book, Did God use Evolution?, Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung e.V., Postfach 11 01 35 . 33661, Bielefeld, Germany.
E. Jantsch, Die Selbstorganisation des Universums, Munchen, 1979, p. 412.
Hoimar von Ditfurth, Wir sind nicht nur von dieser Welt, Munchen, 1984, pp. 21-22.
Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, Penguin Books, London, 1986, p. 316.
H. Penzlin, Das Teleologie-Problem in der Biologie, Biologische Rundschau, 25 (1987), S.7-26, p. 19.
What does Theistic Evolution involve?
The following evolutionary assumptions are generally applicable to theistic evolution:
The basic principle, evolution, is taken for granted.
It is believed that evolution is a universal principle.
As far as scientific laws are concerned, there is no difference between the origin of the earth and all life and their subsequent development (the principle of uniformity).
Evolution relies on processes that allow increases in organization from the simple to the complex, from non-life to life, and from lower to higher forms of life.
The driving forces of evolution are mutation, selection, isolation, and mixing. Chance and necessity, long time epochs, ecological changes, and death are additional indispensable factors.
The time line is so prolonged that anyone can have as much time as he/she likes for the process of evolution.
The present is the key to the past.
There was a smooth transition from non-life to life.
Evolution will persist into the distant future.
In addition to these evolutionary assumptions, three additional beliefs apply to theistic evolution:
God used evolution as a means of creating.
The Bible contains no usable or relevant ideas which can be applied in present-day origins science.
Evolutionistic pronouncements have priority over biblical statements. The Bible must be reinterpreted when and wherever it contradicts the present evolutionary world view.
* This section is adapted from Werner Gitt's, Did God Use Evolution?, pp. 13-16, 24.
CHRISTIANANSWERS.NET
It is certainly understandable that even a very earnest and sincere seeker after truth would be confused over the religious situation today, with hundreds of denominations, sects, and cults in Christendom alone, as well as hundreds more in other countries and cultures, and with new religious movements arising almost every day. Nevertheless, God has provided adequate instruction for us to enable us to "know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error" (I John 4:6) if we really want to do so.
There are three criteria which are especially helpful in evaluating a particular cult or movement: the teachings of its leaders concerning the Bible, concerning Christ, and concerning the way of salvation, respectively.
1. Attitude toward the Bible
The Bible claims, many hundreds of time, to be the written Word of God. The Old Testament Scriptures were accepted by Christ and the apostles as divinely inspired and completely infallible. Jesus said: "The scriptures cannot be broken" (John 10:35). With respect to the New Testament, He promised His apostles that "the Holy Ghost shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26), and that "the Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13).
Therefore, during the first century, the apostles who had been with Christ, had witnessed His resurrection and had received these promises, gradually wrote down the Gospels and Epistles which now comprise the New Testament. These were readily received and recognized by the early Christians as inspired Scriptures. The apostles claimed that these writings were divinely inspired and authoritative, and true Christians have always accepted them as such.
Finally, the last of the apostles, John the Beloved, near the end of the first century, was enabled to look prophetically into the future ages and to write down the last of the true Scriptures, the book of Revelation. This completed God's written words, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life" (Revelation 22:18, 19).
These last words of Christ's apostles give us a most important rule. The Scriptures are fully inspired, even to the very words, and those who would add to them or take away from them are, to the extent they do so, false teachers.
In general, cultists have been guilty of "adding to" the Scriptures, claiming either that the writings of their own founders were divinely inspired or that the interpretations of their leaders were uniquely necessary and authoritative. Modernists and liberals, on the other hand, have been guilty of the even more serious error of "taking away from" Scripture, culling out or allegorizing those portions which they decide are unscientific or unreasonable to modern man. The true teacher, however, will accept all the Scriptures, and only the Scriptures, as the infallible Word of God.
2. Attitude toward Christ
A true Christian teacher will gladly accept and proclaim Jesus Christ as He is, true God and true man. "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is the antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son" (I John 2:22). "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist" (II John 7). "There shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought (that is, 'redeemed') them: (II Peter 2:1).
Error concerning the person of Christ can take either the form of the ancient Gnostic heresy, which denied His true humanity, or that of the modern Agnostic heresy, which denies His true deity. The latter considers Him to be a great man and great religious teacher and leader, but rejects His virgin birth, His sinless life, His substitutionary atonement, and His bodily resurrection and ascension. Any cult or denomination or religious movement which does not clearly and forcefully proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ both as the perfect Son of man and the only begotten Son of God, "the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty' (Revelation 1:8) is false, and should be rejected.
3. Attitude toward Salvation
The gospel of Christ is "the power of God unto salvation, to everyone that believeth" (Romans 1:16). The word "gospel" means "good news," not "good advice." It does not tell us what we must do and not do in order to earn salvation, but rather what Christ has done to provide salvation as a free gift. "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9).
Every other religion under the sun, whether pseudo-Christian or non-Christian, panders to man's pride by teaching him there is something he can do to earn, or to help in earning, his own salvation. Only true Biblical Christianity recognizes man as he really is, utterly lost in sin, destined for eternal separation from God. The gospel, "by which you are saved," is the glorious new that "Christ died for our sin" (I Corinthians 15:1,3), and that we can be saved by grace, through personal faith in Christ, plus nothing else whatever! Any religion which teaches otherwise is, to that extent, false. Paul said, "If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:9). One who is truly saved by God's grace in Christ will, of course, then seek to follow Christ and His Word in all things, not to earn salvation, but in love and gratitude for His glorious gift of cleansing and everlasting life.

drummachine
Inactive Member


Message 42 of 152 (32198)
02-14-2003 1:44 AM


Schrafinator,
Would you please be willing to read what I posted and answer on that?

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