Are There Natural Limits To Evolution?
By Babu G. Ranganathan
The famous nineteenth century naturalist Charles Darwin assumed that because micro-evolution ocurrs in nature then macro-evolution must also be possible, but the modern scientific evidence from genetics supports only the possibility of micro-evolution, or limited biological variation, occurring naturally in living things. For example, no matter how many different races or varieties of dogs come into being they will always remain dogs and not change or evolve into some other kind of animal. Even the formation of an entirely new species of plant or animal from hybridization will not support Darwinian evolution since such hybridization does not involve any production of new genetic information but merely the recombination of already existing genes. Modifications and/or recombinations of already existing genes have been shown to occur in nature but never the production of entirely new genes. The theory of macro-evolution, on the other hand, teaches that there are no biological limits to variation and change. For example, macro-evolution teaches that over millions of years something like a dog evolved into an ape and then something like an ape evolved into a human being. But, unless the environment or Nature has the ability to perform genetic engineering such macro-evolutionary changes, as proposed by Darwin, are not possible - millions of years or no millions of years! It is true that natural selection occurs in nature, but natural selection itself is not a creative force. Natural selection can only work with biological variations that are possible. Natural selection does not produce or generate biological variations. It is a passive process in nature. When a biological change or variation occurs which helps an animal to survive in its environment then that variation will be preserved in nature and be passed on to future offspring. Scientists call that "natural selection." The term "natural selection" is simply a figure of speech. Evolutionists believe that random mutations in the genetic code, caused by environmental forces such as radiation, will produce entirely new traits and variations which natural selection can then act upon. However, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that the environment has the ability to generate entirely new genes for entirely new traits in species. It would require genetic engineering to accomplish such a feat. Evolutionists argue that given enough time random changes (mutations) in the genetic code caused by environmental forces, such as radiation, can perform such genetic eningeering. However, mutations are accidents in the sequential molecular structure of the genetic code and they are almost always harmful, as would be expected from accidents. Of course, just like some earthquakes that don't do any damage to buildings, there are also mutations that don't do any biological harm. But, even if a good mutation does occur for every good mutation there will be hundreds of harmful ones with the net result over time being disastrous for the species. For those who are not read-up on their biology, a little information on genes would be helpful here. What we call "genes" are actually segments of the DNA molecule. DNA, or the genetic code, is composed of a molecular string of various nucleic acids (chemical letters) which are arranged in a sequence just like the letters found in the words and sentences of a book. It is this sequence of nucleic acids in DNA that tell cells how to construct or build various proteins, tissues and organs such as nose, eyes, brain, etc.If the nucleic acids in the genetic code are not in the correct sequence then malfunctioning, or even worse, harmful proteins may form causing serious health problems and even death. There is no law in science that nucleic acids have to come together in a particular sequence. Any nucleic acid can just as easily bond with any other. The only reason for why nucleic acids are found in a particular sequence in the DNA of the cells of our bodies is because they are directed to do so by previously existing DNA. When new cells form in our bodies the DNA of the old cells direct the formation of the DNA in the new cells. The common belief among evolutionists is that radiation and other environmental forces causing random mutations in the sequential structure of nucleic acids in the genetic code over time will produce entirely new sequences for entirely new genes which in turn will program for the formation of entirely new biological traits, characteristics, organs, and structures which natural selection can then act upon. Would it be rational to believe that by randomly changing the sequence of letters in a cookbook that you will eventually get a book on astronomy? Of course not! And if the book were a living being it would have died in the process of such random changes. Such changes as transforming one book into another or the DNA of one species into the DNA of another, especially one more complex, simply cannot occur by random or chance alterations. It would require intelligent planning and design to change one book into another or to change the DNA of a simpler species into the DNA of a more complex one. Yes, the raw materials and chemicals to make new genes exists in all species, but the random forces of the environment (i.e. radiation, etc.)producing random mutations in the genetic code simply have no ability to rearrange those chemicals and biological materials into entirely new genes or into an entirely new genetic code. Mutations simply produce new varieties of already existing traits. For example, mutations in the gene for human hair may change the gene so that another type of human hair develops, but the mutations won't change the gene so that feathers or wings develop. Sometimes mutations may trigger the duplication of already existing traits (i.e. an extra finger, toe, or even an entire head, even in another area of the body!). But mutations have no ability to produce entirely new traits or characteristics. Most of the biological variations in species, however, are due to new combinations of already existing genes - not because of mutations which are rare. Young people, and even adults, often wonder how all the varieties and races of people could come from the same human ancestors. Well, in principle, that's no different than asking how children with different color hair ( i.e., blond, brunette, brown, red ) can come from the same parents who both have black hair. Just as some individuals today carry genes to produce descendants with different color hair and eyes, humanity's first parents possessed genes to produce all the variety and races of men. You and I today may not carry the genes to produce every variety or race of humans, but humanity's first parents did possess such genes. All varieties of humans carry genes for the same basic traits, but not all humans carry every possible variation of those genes. For example, one person may be carrying several variations of the gene for eye color ( i.e., brown, green, blue ) , but someone else may be carrying only one variation of the gene for eye color ( i.e., brown ). Thus, both will have different abilities to affect the eye color of their offspring. Considering the inability of the environment to perform genetic engineering, the best interpretation for genetic and biological similarities between species is because of a common Designer, not common evolutionary ancestry. The Creator designed similar functions for similar purposes and different functions for different purposes in the various forms of life. Even humans employ the principle of common design in their varied architecture of buildings!. Furthermore, a half-evolved and useless organ waiting millions of years to be completed by random mutations would be a liability and hindrance to a species - not exactly a prime candidate for natural selection. In fact, how could it have been possible for species to survive, over supposedly millions of years, while their vital organs which are necessary for survival were still, supposedly, in the process of evolving!evolving Usually the definition of a biological "kind" means a natural species but this may not always be the case. The key to keep in mind here is that in order for evolution in nature to occur from one biological "kind" to another biological "kind" entirely new genes would have to be generated and not just merely modifications and/or recombinations of already existing genes. We do know that environmental forces may cause mutations that may trigger the duplication of already existing genes but such duplication of already existing genes is not the same as new genetic information. If the environment doesn't possess the ability to perform genetic engineering and if macro-evolution really did not occur then how else can one explain the genetic and biological similarities which exist between various species and, indeed, all of life. Although it cannot be scientifically proved, creationists believe that the only rational explanation for the genetic and biological similarities between all forms of life is due to a common Designer who designed and created similar functions for similar purposes and different functions for different purposes in all of the various forms of life from the simplest to the most complex. What we believe about our origins affects everything we think and do in life! We cannot separate our philosophy of life from what we believe about how we came into being. Are we here by chance or by design? Various issues (i.e. the age of the earth, the origin of life, the fossil record, mutations, natural selection or survival of the fittest, genetic and biological similarities between species, arguments from embryology, the subject of vestigial organs or structures, etc.) will be examined and discussed in this essay. Although some issues such as that of mutations have already been raised and covered in the above paragraphs, we will cover these issues again for the sake of emphasis later on in the essay. Here you will read scientific information that, unfortunately, most editors and publishers of science textbooks fail to mention or include when covering the subject of origins. [To read the rest of this essay please visit www.religionscience.com and click on the title: "The Natural Limits of Evolution"]. Some helpful sites from scientists who are creationists are: www.creationscience.com, www.icr.org, and www.SearchfortheTruth.net
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The above opinion piece is written by Mr. Babu G. Ranganathan (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org), religion and science writer who was recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis Who's Who in The East. He holds a B.A. with concentrations in theology and biology. His articles can be reached at www.religionscience.com
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