Quotations about Evolution

Quotations about Small Evolution

David A. Plaisted


Here are some quotes from Behe's book "Darwin's Black Box" that are relevant to my attempt to distinguish small evolution from large evolution and to define the "kernel" of an organism that is tightly constrained.

Page 26:

At one of her many public talks, she [Lynn Margulis] asks the molecular biologists in the audience to name a single unambiguous example of the formation of a new species by the accumulation of mutations. Her challenge goes unmet.

Page 28:

University of Georgia geneticist John McDonald notes a conundrum:

"The results of the last 20 years of research on the genetic basis of adaptation has led us to a great Darwinian paradox. Those [genes] that are obviously variable within natural populations do not seem to lie at the basis of many major adaptive changes, while those [genes] that seemingly do constitute the foundation of many, if not most, major adaptive changes apparently are not variable within natural poplulations."

The first quote indicates that mutations do not appear to play a large role in evolution, and the second suggests the distinction between the kernel of an organism, which is tightly constrained, and the remainder, which is not.

General Quotes about Evolution


Here are some other general quotations about the theory of evolution:

Amino Acid Sequences

Dr. Colin Patterson who is Senior Principle Scientific Officer in the Paleontology Department at the British Museum (Natural History) and an evolutionist, realized that amino acid sequences in near-relatives on the phylogenetic tree would be expected to show close correlation, according to evolutionary theory. Of course, the theory was developed from the 19th century science of comparative anatomy before anything could have been known about the sequences of amino acids in proteins of these various animals. So here was a chance to prove or disprove evolution. If two species were considered by comparative anatomy to be near relatives, then they also should be very nearly alike when their biology is examined at the microscopic level. To Patterson, this was a great opportunity to test the theory. The results: absolutely no correlation between similarity of sequences and nearness on the evolutionary tree. Patterson, in a speech given Nov. 5, 1981 before other evolutionists, pointed out to a stunned audience that the new data on amino acid sequences contradicts the theory of evolution. He said, "The theory makes a prediction; we've tested it, and the prediction is falsified precisely ... evolution not only conveys no knowledge but seems to somehow to convey anti-knowledge ... harmful to systematics (science of classifying forms of life)."

The Human Genome Project

The following information was sent to me by a friend:

The theory of evolution proposes that gradual positive changes in a species, over a long period of time, will eventually result in a new and different species. The positive changes (mutations) must also occur in the genetic coding material (DNA) so that the changes can be passed on to the next generations. An overwhelming problem for evolution is the fact that random genetic changes in a complex organism are not favorable. At best they are neutral. DNA is information. It is a language that describes in detail the specific creature it was coded for. Any changes in the code can be considered a loss of information. Evolution requires an increased amount of information.

Random changes in an animal's DNA result in some non-functional anatomic structure which usually means death. This is "Nature's" way of preserving the quality of a species. There are fixed limits of variation in a species. Scientific observations in breeding and by inducing mutations by radiation and chemical means show no improved changes and no new species. These results directly contradict evolutionary theory.

The Human Genome Project is a world wide cooperative effort begun in 1988 to completely decode the human DNA. This includes all 46 chromosomes down to the nucleotide monomer (individual building block molecule) sequence. By 1992, 2000 of the 50,000 to 100,000 genes in the human genome had been sequenced. The precise mutation point (nucleotide change) in some fatal hereditary diseases have been determined. The results of this research is also fatal to the theory of evolution.

Cystic fibrosis is one example. Cystic fibrosis is an autosomal recessive hereditary disease affecting about 2000 babies each year in the United States. It is caused by a tiny mutation in Chromosome 7 that leads to the deletion of a single amino acid out of a sequence 1480 amino acids long. The total nucleotide monomer content of the human DNA is at least 3 billion nucleotides. All are specifically interdependent in very complex ways. The cystic fibrosis genetic mutation involves a random change in no more than 3 nucleotides, or one part per billion.

The scientific evidence obtained from the human genome project indicates that a genetic mutation of as little as 0.0000001% of an animal's genome is fatal.

The genetic difference between humans and their nearest "relative" is at least 1.6% when considering chimpanzees. The number of random beneficial nucleotide changes required to bridge the gap between man and chimpanzee is about 48 million. Obviously there is no way to bridge even a small genetic gap in animal species by random genetic changes.

Quantitative genetic information from the Human Genome Project is proving the theory of evolution to be the most irrational belief ever held by mankind. Individual species had to be assembled separately in the genetic code by an intelligent being whose electrical and chemical engineering technology is vastly superior to ours. The only word for such intelligence is GOD.

Lazarus Effect

Possibly the best example of a 'Lazarus' effect is Neoplina (type of mollusc) which is found only in Cambrian and Devonian strata. However in 1952 some (10) were dug up and found to be exactly the same as 350 million years ago (standard geologic time scale). These are discussed in Invertebrate Zoology by R.D. Barnes. Thus from the Cambrian they resurface again in the Devonian unchanged and separated by over 100 million years. Then from Devonian they are non-existent until modern day and they are found unchanged.

Young Old Bones

At the 1992 Twin Cities Creation Conference, there was a paper presented called "Direct Dating of Cretaceous-Jurassic Fossils (and Other Evidences for Human-Dinosaur Coexistence)". Among other things, the results of carbon-dating of Acrocanthosaurus bones are given.

The authors noted that dinosaur bones are frequently ("as a rule") found with a black carbon residue of some sort on the bones. The authors speculated that this residue could be the leftovers of the decayed skin and flesh: they quote the Penguin Geology Encyclopedia's definition of "carbonization": "Carbonization; the reduction of organic tissue to a carbon residue. An unusual kind of fossilization in which the tissue is preserved as a carbon film. Plants are commonly preserved in this manner, soft-bodied animals more rarely." Since this material is organic, it can be used to carbon-date the fossils.

The authors describe in detail the measures taken to ensure that no other source of carbon contamination was present inside or outside the bones. When the bones were ground up and carbon-dated, the dates they received from the lab from different methods were 9,890 to 36,500 years BP (before present).

[We should remember that the amount of Carbon 14 in the atmosphere is still increasing, which would tend to make even these dates too old.] On the same subject, some fossils from the Paluxy River are "anomalous" as well. Carbonized (burnt) wood was discovered in Cretaceous limestone, and dated to 12,800 to 45,000 YBP.

In Creation Ex Nihilo (June-August 1997, p.49), Buddy Davis (Answers in Genesis) says that he and four others (including Drs. Whitmore and Speck) brought back over 200 pounds of dinosaur bones from the Liscomb Bone Bed (Alaska). Earlier in the interview (conducted by Don Batten), Davis said that this bed "has probably thousands of frozen unfossilized dinosaur bones," and ligaments have been found, too.

Living Fossils

Niles Eldridge, Curator, American Museum Of Natural History, made the following comments under the heading, Living Fossils, in his book, FOSSILS, 1991.

"...there seems to have been almost no change in any part we can compare between the living organism and its fossilized progenitors of the remote geological past. Living fossils embody the theme of evolutionary stability to an extreme degree. ....We have not completely solved the riddle of living fossils." p.101, 108

He mentions Neopilina as a specific example:

"...were thought to have been extinct by the end of the Middle Devonian [385 MYA]. Modern Neopilina species, however, were dredged from the deep oceans in the 1950's..." p.101

Old Young Rocks

The volcanic deposits from the Mt. St. Helens eruption were dated by K-Ar radiometric dating as over a million years old.

Punctuated Equilibrium

From the talk.origins FAQ:

The theory of Punctuated Equilibria provides paleontologists with an explanation for the patterns which they find in the fossil record. This pattern includes the characteristically abrupt appearance of new species, the relative stability of morphology in widespread species, the distribution of transitional fossils when those are found, the apparent differences in morphology between ancestral and daughter species, and the pattern of extinction of species.
Fourth, the period of transition between parent species and daughter species is short compared to the period of time a species exists as a distinct form ... .

Michael Denton (Ph.D. in molecular biology and M.D.) writes in his book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (London: Burnett Books, 1985), p. 193-194:

"The gaps which separated species: dog/fox, rat/mouse etc. are utterly trivial compared with, say, that between a primitive terrestrial mammal and a whale or a primitive terrestrial reptile and an Ichthyosaur; and even these relatively major discontinuities are trivial alongside those which divide phyla such as molluscs and arthropods. . . . To suggest that the hundreds, thousands or possibly even millions of transitional species which must have existed in the interval between vastly dissimilar types were all unsuccessful species occupying isolated areas and having very small population numbers is verging in the incredible!"

Gould Speaks

Stephen Jay Gould, a well-known evolutionist and professor of geology and paleontology at Harvard University, has stated, "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 the branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils."

He also stated: "We're not just evolving slowly. For all practical purposes we're not evolving. There's no reason to think we're going to get bigger brains or smaller toes or whatever - we are what we are."

Horse Evolution

Approved North Carolina biology textbooks hold up the so-called "horse series" as proof of evolution. Dr. Niles Eldredge, a curator at the American Museum in New York, has said: ". . . the most famous example . . . still on exhibit downstairs is the exhibit on horse evolution. . . That has been presented as literal truth in textbook after textbook. . . [T]he people who propose these kinds of stories themselves may be aware of the speculative nature of some of the stuff. But by the time it filters down to the textbooks, we've got science as truth and we've got a problem."

Human Evolution

In 1982, Dr. Lyall Watson stated: "The fossils that decorate our family tree are so scarce that there are still more scientists than specimens. The remarkable fact is that all the physical evidence we have for human evolution can still be placed, with room to spare, inside a single coffin!" (Science Digest, vol. 90, May '82 p. 44.)


Alan Feduccia, an ornithologist and expert on bird evolution, noted in a 1993 article in Science, "Archaeopteryx probably cannot tell us much about the early origins of feathers and flight in true protobirds because Archaeopteryx was, in a modern sense, a bird."

John Ostrom of Yale said, "It is obvious that we must now look for the ancestors of birds in a period of time much older than that in which Archaeopteryx lived."

Pough, Heiser, and McFarland unquivocally state in their text Vertebrate Life 3rd ed. (New York: McMillan, 1989), pp. 468, 470, "No intermediate fossils link Archaeopteryx with any of the groups from which it might have evolved."

Mark Norrell, a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History, acknowledged in a recent Washington Post story that few paleontologists still believe that Archaeopteryx is a direct ancestor of modern birds (see, John Schwartz, "New Evolution Research Ruffles Some Feathers," Washington Post 11/15/96, A3).

Concerning the alleged dinosaur ancestry of birds, ornithologist Alan Feduccia declared in Science (11/1/96, p. 721), "It is biophysically impossible to evolve flight from such large bipeds with foreshortened limbs and heavy, balancing tails" (because as noted by the writer of the article, that is exactly the wrong anatomy for flight). Fedducia stated, "In my opinion, the theropod origin of birds will be the greatest embarrassment of paleontology in the 20th century."

Extinction of the Dinosaurs

George Gaylord Simpson writes:

"The most puzzling event in the history of life on earth is the change from the Mesozoic, the Age of Reptiles, to the Age of Mammals. It is as if the curtain were rung down suddenly on the stage where all the leading roles were taken by reptiles, especially dinosaurs, in great numbers and bewildering variety, and rose again immediately to reveal the same setting but an entirely new cast, a cast in which the dinosaurs do not appear at all, other reptiles are supernumeraries, and all the leading parts are played by mammals of sorts barely hinted at in preceding acts." Quoted in Duane T. Gish, "Evolution: The Fossils Still Say NO!" (El Cajon, CA: Institute for Creation Research, 1995), 174-175.

Radiometric Dating

The following quotations are taken from The Biotic Message by Walter ReMine:

"[Radiometric dating] is ruled out for most sedimentary rocks, ... because their component minerals either are not radioactive or are present as old particles washed into a depositional basin that is much younger than they." (Stanley, The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of Species, 1981, p. 81.)

"The use of radioactive isotopes in geologic dating has many problems. The methods are inexact and contain many sources of error. .... a series of dates run on a single rock may produce quite different results ... ." (Raup, "The Geological and Paleontological Arguments of Creationism," in Godfrey (editor), Scientists Confront Creationism, 1983, p. 155).

"Ever since ... the 19th century, fossils have been and still are the best and most accurate method of dating and correlating the rocks in which they occur. .... As for having all the credit passed to the physicists and the measurement of isotopic decay, the blood boils! Certainly such studies give dates in terms of millions of years, with huge margins of error, but this is an exceedingly crude instrument with which to measure our strata and I can think of no occasion when it has been put to an immediate practical use. Apart from very `modern' examples, which are really archaeology, I can think of no cases of radioactive decay being used to date fossils." (Ager, "Fossil Frustrations," New Scientist, November 10, 1983, p. 435)

"Nowhere is the entire sequence, from Cambrian to recent, displayed conformably in a single locality. Nevertheless, many regions contain conformable sequences that include up to one-fourth or one-third of the total record." (Stebbins, Darwin to DNA, Molecules to Humanity, 1982, p. 106)

The Two Alternatives

According to evolutionist D.J. Futuyma,

"Creation and Evolution, between them, exhaust the possible explanations for the origin of living things. Organisms either appeared on the earth fully developed or they did not. If they did not, they must have developed from preexisting species by some process of modification. If they did appear in a fully developed state, they must have been created by some omnipotent intelligence." (_Science on Trial_, p. 197)

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