Purloff on Evolution

This is an article by James Purloff (I may have mispelled his name.) which appeared in the 2-20-01 edition of Worldnetdaily. Purloff's book is Tornado in a Junkyard.

by James Perloff © 2001 WorldNetDaily.com

Mainstream Americans have been losing the values battle for many years. Presidential candidates who run on resolutely moral platforms earn only single digits in polls, and often the best we can hope for are "establishment Republicans," whose commitment to values rarely seems to go much beyond their speeches.

Like other Americans, I watched as one scandal after another broke about Bill Clinton over the past eight years. Each time, I said to myself, "This one will be his downfall." But the fall never came -- even though any one of those scandals would have ruined a president 40 years ago. Although the major media were sympathetic to Clinton and did their best to downplay the stories, it was evident that American culture has changed.

Clearly, before we can get the right kind of candidates elected, there must be a transformation in the hearts of the electorate.

Roots of decline A glance at the rates of divorce, drug use and teen suicide tell us that America is in a serious moral decline. What happened at Columbine High School would have been unthinkable in the '50s, when no one dreamed that school entrances would ever require weapons detectors.

The question is: What is at the root of the decline? Many would say, "Well, we've lost our respect for traditional moral values." OK, where do "traditional moral values" come from? They come mostly from the Bible, which, at least until recently, had been Western culture's central guiding document.

So why have we lost our respect for the Bible? I believe it is no exaggeration to say that it was the widespread acceptance and teaching of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution as "fact."

Darwinism teaches that man came not from the hand of God, but from ape-like ancestors through chance mutations, and that life itself is not from God, but resulted from the chance concurrence of chemicals in an ancient ocean. When this is taught as fact in public schools, God and the Bible become irrelevant in the minds of many children -- and there begins the fall of morality. As a former atheist, I can certainly say it did for me!

Evolution was not heavily underscored in American public schools before the 1960s. But in 1959, the National Science Foundation, a federal agency, granted $7 million to the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, which began producing high school biology textbooks with a strong evolutionary slant. I wasn't raised religiously myself, but once sold on the "fact" of evolution, faith stood no chance with me. And there was a reason why my generation, the baby boomers, bought evolution so easily. Teen-agers usually aren't too hot about biblical morality to begin with. But here was teacher saying the Bible was an old myth. Well, to us that meant the Ten Commandments were a myth. We could make up our own rules! For rebellious teens, that message wasn't too hard to take.

"As were many persons from Alabama, I was a born-again Christian," wrote Harvard professor E.O. Wilson in a 1982 article for The Humanist. "When I was fifteen, I entered the Southern Baptist Church with great fervor and interest in the fundamentalist religion; I left at seventeen when I got to the University of Alabama and heard about evolutionary theory." That's a pretty good summary of what happened to the baby boom generation.

Historically, Darwinism has had some deadly effects, especially beyond our shores. Karl Marx said: "Darwin's book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural science for the class struggle in history." Soviet dictator Josef Stalin murdered millions. In 1940, a book was published in Moscow entitled "Landmarks in the Life of Stalin." In it we read:

At a very early age, while still a pupil in the ecclesiastical school, Comrade Stalin developed a critical mind and revolutionary sentiments. He began to read Darwin and became an atheist.

G. Glurdjidze, a boyhood friend of Stalin's, relates:

"I began to speak of God. Joseph heard me out, and after a moment's silence, said:

"'You know, they are fooling us, there is no God. ...'

"I was astonished at these words. I had never heard anything like it before.

"'How can you say such things, Soso?' I exclaimed.

"'I'll lend you a book to read; it will show you that the world and all living things are quite different from what you imagine, and all this talk about God is sheer nonsense,' Joseph said.

"'What book is that?' I enquired.

"'Darwin. You must read it,' Joseph impressed on me."

While Marx and Stalin saw the "struggle for existence" as between classes, Hitler saw it as between races, and sought to evolve a "master race." As German philosopher Erich Fromm observed, "If Hitler believed in anything at all, then it was in the laws of evolution which justified and sanctified his actions and especially his cruelties." Sir Arthur Keith, president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, wrote in the 1940s: "The German Fuhrer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution." In his demented way, Hitler was fulfilling this prediction Darwin made in his book, "The Descent of Man":

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. ... The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian [Aborigine] and the gorilla.

This is not in any way to imply that today's evolutionists are racists; and certainly, Hitler's atrocities would have revolted Charles Darwin. But there is no denying that the Darwinist worldview -- which sees man as an animal and God as an irrelevancy -- has had a profoundly negative social impact. Will Durant, author of "The Story of Civilization," was one of the preeminent historians of our time. "By offering evolution in place of God as a cause of history," he opined shortly before his death, "Darwin removed the theological basis of the moral code of Christendom. And the moral code that has no fear of God is very shaky. That's the condition we are in."

Survival of the evidence: Genetics WorldNetDaily.com received some criticism when it started carrying my book, "Tornado in a Junkyard: The Relentless Myth of Darwinism." Some even considered it embarrassing for a top independent news website to "ally itself" with creation science. Shouldn't WorldNetDaily be busying itself with more important things, like exposing the latest Clinton scandal? And after all, isn't evolution a proven fact?

People who make such comments are unaware of two things: 1) that the current moral climate, which tolerated Bill Clinton, is largely rooted in Darwinism's denial of moral absolutes; and 2) that overwhelming evidence has arisen in recent years discrediting Darwin's theory.

"Overwhelming evidence"? Like what?

We'll start with genetics. Darwin's theory says fish evolved, through many intermediate steps, into human beings. The question thus arises: How did fish acquire the genes to become human beings? A creature cannot be anything physically its genes won't allow it to be.

Genetics was not developed as a science in Darwin's day, and he assumed that animals essentially had an unlimited capacity to adapt to environments -- unaware that no change could ever take place without the right genes being there.

To resolve this dilemma, modern evolutionists asserted that the fish's genes must have mutated into human genes over eons. Mutations, of course, are abrupt alterations in genes.

However, this hypothesis is no longer tenable. Dr. Lee Spetner, who taught information theory for a decade at Johns Hopkins University and the Weizman Institute, spent years studying mutations on a molecular level. He has written an important new book, "Not by Chance: Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution" In it, he writes, "In all the reading I've done in the life-sciences literature, I've never found a mutation that added information. … All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not increase it."

Why is this a problem for evolution? Because if Darwin's thesis is correct, and all life began as a single organism, then chance mutations must have produced nearly every feature of life on Earth, from the remarkable sonar system of the dolphin to the ingenious pacemaker and valves of the human heart. Yet mutations always delete -- never add -- information to the genetic code. And what are mutations actually observed to cause in human beings? Hemophilia. Sickle cell anemia. Cystic fibrosis. Down's Syndrome. Sterility. Death. The genetic code is designed for the perfect running of an organism -- mutations delete information from the code, causing defects.

To advance their view, evolutionists have long pointed out that mutations sometimes make bacteria resistant to antibiotics -- and so, the argument goes, "If mutations can make bacteria stronger, they must be able to do the same for other creatures." Dr. Spetner points out that this is based on a misunderstanding of antibiotic resistance. To destroy a bacterium, antibiotics like streptomycin attach to a constituent of the bacterial cell called ribosomes. Mutations sometimes cause a structural deformity in ribosomes. Since the antibiotic cannot connect with the misshapen ribosome, the bacterium is resistant. But even though this mutation turns out to be beneficial, it still constitutes a loss of genetic information, not a gain. No "evolution" has taken place; the bacteria are not "stronger." In fact, under normal conditions, with no antibiotic present, they are weaker than their nonmutated cousins.

Let's take an analogy. Suppose a country's dictator ordered dissidents to be rounded up and handcuffed. So the police were busy handcuffing dissidents. But one day, they ran into a man born deformed -- with no arms. One could conceivably say that, in this case, the man had an advantage over others, since he couldn't be handcuffed. But it certainly wouldn't represent an evolutionary advance.

Ernst Chain, who shared a Nobel Prize for his work in developing penicillin, obviously knew much about bacteria and antibiotics. "To postulate that the development and survival of the fittest is entirely a consequence of chance mutations, or even that nature carries out experiments by trial and error through mutations in order to create living systems better fitted to survive," he wrote, "seems to me a hypothesis based on no evidence and irreconcilable with the facts."

Survival of the evidence: Biochemistry Biochemistry is also giving Darwin problems. Michael Behe, biochemist at Lehigh University, has written a book entitled "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution." In this book, Behe describes how certain biochemical systems are so complex that they cannot have evolved step-by-step; he calls this "irreducible complexity."

For example, blood clotting swings into action when we get a cut. The formation of a blood clot is a complex, multi-step process that utilizes numerous proteins, many with no other function besides clotting. Each protein depends on an enzyme to activate it. So to paraphrase Behe very simply: What evolved first -- the protein or enzyme? Not the protein; it cannot function without the enzyme to switch it on. But why would nature evolve the activating enzyme first? Without the protein, it serves no purpose. Furthermore, if blood clotting had evolved step-by-step over eons, creatures would have bled to death before it was ever perfected. The system is irreducibly complex.

Behe demonstrates that other human biochemical systems, such as the immune system and vision, are also irreducibly complex -- they cannot have evolved step-by-step -- and give clear evidence that they resulted from intelligent design.

Even larger difficulties arise with the Darwinian idea of life's origin. Charles Darwin and his contemporaries thought cells were rather simple, and that it would thus be feasible for chemicals in a "primordial soup" to come together and form one. However, through advances in microbiology, we now know that even a simple cell contains enough information to fill a hundred million pages of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Cells consist essentially of proteins; one cell has thousands of proteins, and proteins are in turn made of smaller building blocks called amino acids. Normally, it takes chains of hundreds of amino acids to make up a protein, and these amino acids must be in precise sequence.

According to the evolutionary scenario, then, how did the first cell happen? Supposedly, amino acids formed in a primordial soup, and since millions of years were involved, eventually they came, by chance, into the correct sequences, and the first proteins were formed and hence the first cell.

But Sir Frances Crick, who shared the Nobel Prize for co-discovering the structure of DNA, has pointed out that that would be impossible. He notes in his 1981 book, "Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature," that the probability of getting just one protein by chance would be one in 10 to the power of 260 -- that's a one with 260 zeroes after it. To put this in perspective, mathematicians usually consider anything with odds worse than one in 10 to the power of 50 to be, for practical purposes, impossible. Thus we see that chance couldn't produce even one protein -- let alone the thousands of proteins a cell requires.

Furthermore, suppose there really were some basic organic compounds formed from the "primordial soup." If there was any free oxygen in the atmosphere, it would oxidize those compounds -- in other words, it would destroy them. To resolve this dilemma, evolutionists have long hypothesized that there was no free oxygen in the Earth's ancient atmosphere.

However, geologists have now examined the Earth's oldest rocks and have concluded that the early Earth was probably rich in oxygen. Still, let's say the evolutionists are right -- there was no free oxygen in the early Earth. Without oxygen, there would be no ozone layer, and without the ozone layer, we would receive a lethal dose of the sun's radiation in just 0.3 seconds. How could the fragile beginnings of life have survived in such an environment?

And cells need more than proteins -- they require the genetic code. The genetic code of a bacterium is far more complex than the codes for Window 98. Does anyone think the program for Windows 98 could have arisen by chance?

But wait! Cells need more than the genetic code. Like any language, it must be translated to be understood. Cells have devices that actually translate the genetic code. To believe in evolution, we must be believe that, by pure chance, the genetic code was created, and also, by pure chance, translation devices arose which took this meaningless code and translated it into something with meaning.

Evolutionists cannot argue that "natural selection would have improved the odds." Natural selection operates in living things -- here we are discussing dead chemicals that preceded life's beginning.

But let's say that somehow, by chance, a cell really formed in a primeval ocean, complete with all the proteins, amino acids, genetic code, translation devices, a cell membrane, etc. One would think that this little cell, floating on the waves, would have been very short-lived. But it must have been quite a cell -- because within its lifetime, it must have evolved the complete process of cellular reproduction. Otherwise, there never would have been another cell.

And where did sexual reproduction come from? Male and female reproductive systems are quite different. Why would nature evolve a male reproductive system? Until it was fully functional, it would serve no purpose -- and it would still serve no purpose unless there was, conveniently available, a female reproductive system -- which must also have arisen by chance.

Although we have touched on only a few of the problems of "chemical evolution," we can see that the hypothesis is, at every step, effectively impossible. Yet today, even 1st-grade children are taught the "fact" that life began in the ancient ocean as a single cell -- with the scientific obstacles rarely if ever mentioned.

Boning up on the facts What about the fossil record? Does it document evolution? According to Darwinism, single-celled organisms eventually evolved into the first invertebrates (creatures with no backbones, such as jellyfish). But invertebrate fossils appear suddenly in the fossil record with no visible ancestors -- in the so-called "Cambrian explosion."

Supposedly invertebrates evolved into the first fish. But despite millions of fossils from both groups, transitional fossils linking them are missing.

Insects, rodents, bats, pterodactyls and numerous other life forms appear in the fossil record with no trace of fossils showing how they developed. As Gareth J. Nelson of the American Museum of Natural History pointed out, "It is a mistake to believe that even one fossil species or fossil 'group' can be demonstrated to have been ancestral to another."

Likewise, Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History, wrote, "Gould and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils. As a paleontologist myself, I am much occupied with the philosophical problems of identifying ancestral forms in the fossil record. … I will lay it on the line -- there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument."

Many other paleontologists have made equally strong affirmations. Of course, this certainly does not mean that there are no transitional forms claimed today by evolutionists. But in a number of cases -- such as the Piltdown Man, coelacanth, and most recently, the Archaeoraptor -- cited transitional forms have turned out to be errors or even hoaxes.

The main point: If evolutionary theory is true, we should find the innumerable transitional forms Darwin predicted would be in the geologic record. We shouldn't find just a handful, but billions of them. Instead, the fossil record shows animals complete -- not in developmental stages -- the very first time they are seen. And this is just what we would expect if the Bible is right and God created animals whole.

Darwin's developing problem Corroboration of this comes from yet another scientific sphere. Molecular biologist Michael Denton studied cellular structures from various animals on a molecular level, and found no evidence for the classic evolutionary sequence: fish to amphibian to reptile to mammal. In his book, "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Dr. Denton writes, "Instead of revealing a multitude of transitional forms through which the evolution of a cell might have occurred, molecular biology has served only to emphasize the enormity of the gap. … [N]o living system can be thought of as being primitive or ancestral with respect to any other system, nor is there the slightest empirical hint of an evolutionary sequence among all the incredibly diverse cells on earth."

Embryology is a field that evolutionists long used to make a case for Darwin's theory. Most of us have seen those pictures in biology textbooks of developing human embryos next to developing animal embryos, and the human embryos and animals look indistinguishable. This was said to demonstrate that we share a common ancestry with these animals and thus prove the theory of evolution.

These pictures were designed by German zoologist Ernst Haeckel. What few people know is that they were fakes. At Jena, the university where he taught, Haeckel was charged with fraud by five professors and convicted by a university court. His deceit was exposed in "Haeckel's Frauds and Forgeries" (1915), a book by J. Assmuth and Ernest R. Hull. They quoted 19 leading authorities of the day. Anatomist F. Keibel of Freiburg University said, "it clearly appears that Haeckel has in many cases freely invented embryos, or reproduced the illustrations given by others in a substantially changed form." Zoologist L. Rütimeyer of Basle University called his distorted drawings "a sin against scientific truthfulness."

In spite of his conviction for fraud, and in spite of the exposure, Western educators continued using Haeckel's drawings in biology textbooks as proof of the theory of evolution.

The matter has finally been settled by Dr. Michael Richardson, an embryologist at St. George's Medical School, London. He found there was no record that anyone ever actually checked Haeckel's claims by systematically comparing human and other fetuses during development. He assembled a scientific team that did just that -- photographing the growing embryos of 39 different species. In a 1997 interview in The Times of London, Dr. Richardson stated, "This is one of the worst cases of scientific fraud. It's shocking to find that somebody one thought was a great scientist was deliberately misleading. It makes me angry. … What he [Haeckel] did was to take a human embryo and copy it, pretending that the salamander and the pig and all the others looked the same at the same stage of development. They don't. … These are fakes."

And then there is common sense. In a popular evolutionary explanation, here's how reptiles evolved into birds: They wanted to eat flying insects that were out of reach. So the reptiles began leaping, and flapping their arms to get higher. Over millions of years, their limbs transformed into wings by increments, their tough reptilian scales gradually sprouting soft feathers.

But the theory suffers when scrutinized. According to natural selection, a physical trait is acquired because it enhances survival. Obviously, flight is beneficial, and one can certainly see how flying animals might survive better than those who couldn't, and thus natural selection would preserve them.

The problem is, wings would have no genuine survival value until they reached the point of flight. Birds' wings and feathers are perfectly designed instruments. Those with crippled or clipped wings cannot fly, and are bad candidates for survival. Likewise, the intermediate creature whose limb was half leg, half wing, would fare poorly -- it couldn't fly, nor walk well. Natural selection would eliminate it without a second thought.

Let's raise an even more fundamental question: Why aren't reptiles today developing feathers? Why aren't fish today growing little legs, trying to adapt to land? Shouldn't evolution be ongoing?

And why is man so incredibly different than all other animals? What animal can solve math equations? Write poetry? Laugh at jokes? Design computer software? How can we say that man is merely "one more animal, just more highly evolved"?

Truth decay Americans adhering to traditional values continue to oppose many things -- abortion, pornography, the radical homosexual movement, etc. -- and are constantly losing ground. They are losing ground because these issues are peripheral. These movements do not budge because they are rooted in something deeper: disbelief in God, which leads to moral relativism on all issues. And unbelief is largely stemming from children being massively indoctrinated in the "fact" of evolution. Students are taught that they are simply animals, the products of chance mutations from an ancient slime -- which implies that life is meaningless.

"Why should we care about Clinton's scandals? After all, morality itself evolved by chance -- therefore, there are no moral truths."

But there are truths, and one of them is: Charles Darwin's theory is crumbling under contrary evidence. Americans need to be aware of this, because until the scientific case against Darwinism becomes widely known, our nation's political prospects, like its morality, will continue to decay.

James Perloff is the author of Tornado in a Junkyard: The Relentless Myth of Darwinism, available at WorldNetDaily's online store.