a lecture at the American Museum of Natural History in 1981, prominent
evolutionist Colin Patterson asked his esteemed audience of evolutionists
a surprising question:
Can you tell me anything you know
about evolution, any one thing ... that is true? I tried that question
on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and
the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of
the Evolutionary Morphology seminar in the University of Chicago,
a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was
silence for a long time and eventually one person said 'I do know
one thing -- it ought not to be taught in high school.' 
Many people today accept evolution
is a "fact." But is this truly the case? As indicated by
the response to Colin Patterson's question, it would seem that the
case for evolution is not as rock solid as many think. To be truly
informed about the issue, we must also examine the other side of the
story. I think that we will see that evolution is by no means a proven
fact. On the contrary, there are good reasons to reject the theory
of evolution. This work is not intended to be an in-depth treatment,
but only to show a few of the problems in the evolutionary theory
and, most importantly, to stimulate critical thinking about the issue.
The Problem of Mutations
Natural selection (the mechanism of evolution) can only retain or
destroy a characteristic that already exists. What evolution needs
to explain, however, is how those characteristics got there in the
first place. Thus, it is said that mutations (random errors in copying
the genetic code) in the DNA have produced the significant changes
over time. Because of the complexity involved, however, it would take
literally millions of tiny mutations to produce even a single new
organ such as a heart. To think that such a complex organ could be
constructed by such random events seems very odd. Furthermore, about
99.9% of mutations are either harmful or neutral (have no significant
effect). Mutations simply cannot provide a sufficient mechanism to
produce changes because mutations that are both not lethal
and not neutral would need to be much more frequent.
For example, the mathematician D.S. Ulam argued that "it was
highly improbable that the eye could have evolved by the accumulation
of small mutations, because the number of mutations would have to
be so large and the time available was not nearly long enough for
them to appear."  Famous astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle conceded
that the chances that life just occurred on earth are about as unlikely
as a "tornado sweeping thorough a junkyard and constructing a
Boeing 747." 
The Problem of the Fossil Record
The fossil record simply does not support evolution. In the 1800s
Darwin admitted that "We have seen in the last chapter that whole
groups of species sometimes appear to have abruptly developed; and
I have attempted to give an explanation of this fact, which if true
would be fatal to my views."  Darwin also questioned "why,
if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine graduations,
do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms?"
 The issue is not about the missing link. It is about the
millions of missing links.
The gaps in the fossil record have still not been filled, even though
many paleontologists agree that the fossil record today is complete.
In the words of prominent evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould: "The
history of most fossil species includes two features particularly
inconsistent with gradualism:
1. Stasis. Most species exhibit no
directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in
the fossil record looking pretty much the same as when the disappear;
morphological change is usually limited and directionless.
2. Sudden appearance. In any local
area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation
of its ancestors; it appears all at once and fully formed."
As Gould says, not only
do most species just suddenly appear with no record of a long, gradual
period of development, but there is also no record of change for the
species' during their stay on earth. If the micro-mutation theory
is correct (that all organs and organisms came about through slow,
small modifications), we would expect to find some creatures with
half-formed feet or a half-formed wing. There are no examples of this
in the fossil record.  Further, such transitional stages during
the animal's adaptation period would not help it survive, but actually
hurt it. For example, an animal that slowly evolves wings from appendages
would become very awkward for climbing or grasping and so he would
be made easy prey.
Philip Johnson brings out the ramifications of this: "In short,
if evolution means the gradual change of one kind of organism into
another kind, the outstanding characteristic of the fossil record
is the absence of evidence for evolution."  Even if a few
decent candidates for ancestor status to a species could be found,
this would not be enough to rescue the theory of evolution, which
acknowledges a world-wide history of continual development.
Because of the evidence of the fossil record, many scientists are
abandoning the micro-mutation theory of Darwin (that evolution took
place gradually through many favorable mutation s) in favor of the
macro-mutation theory (that evolution occurred in sudden jumps, not
gradually over long periods of time. This is what Steven Jay Gould
argues for). However, the macro-mutation theory still requires many
intermediate species--no one holds that one organism became another
in a single generation. So the absence of any transitional forms still
posses a problem. Additionally, it is just not likely that a structures
as complex as an eye or a wing could have been produced only through
mutations in the course of a few generations. There are definite bound
aries within which mutations must operate: "... mutations are
incapable of producing evolution because they cannot alter and effect
the existing structure of genes: they cannot create new genetic material
or new genetic potential."  Additionally, in order for evolution
to occur rapidly, in the course of a few generations, there would
need to be several large mutations in a short period of time. We have
already seen that large, beneficial mutations are just not frequent
enough to cause such "sudden changes."
Micro-mutationists do not accept that the fossil record disproves
their theory, arguing that the transitional forms lived, but were
not preserved. Thus, they say, evolution still happened through gradual
processes over millions of years. Macro-mutationists also hold that
their transitional forms were not preserved (since the transition
occurred during such a short period of time). In other words, they
are saying that the fossil record is not complete. However, many paleontologists
are persuaded that the fossil record is complete. Further,
it really doesn't matter whether it is complete or not. If it is complete,
then the fossil record does not support evolution. If it is not complete,
then what right do evolutionists have to fill these gaps with imaginary
animals for which there is no evidence of their existence? Lastly,
stasis (the absence of directional change in a species during its
existence) is positive documentation that organisms remained as they
were, and did not change into other organisms.
Since there are no transitional links and intermediate forms in the
fossil record, there is no actual evidence that evolution has occurred.
The Problem of Probabilities
Carl Sagan (an evolutionist) and other prominent scientists have estimated
the chance of man evolving at roughly 1 chance in 10 followed by two
billion zeros.  According to Borel's law, anything beyond 1 chance
in 10 followed by 50 zeros is impossible.  The infintesimal probability
of evolution happening makes it impossible.
One Common Piece of Evidence for Evolution Investigated
A common evidence for evolution has been what used to be called the
"biogenetic law." This states that the development of an
organism's embryo reproduces the evolutionary development of that
kind of animal. However, very few modern embryologists espouse this
view today. Columbia University biologist Walter J. Bock concluded
that this theory has "...been demonstrated to be wrong by numerous
... scholars."  Professor C.H. Waddington said, "The
type of analogical thinking that leads to theories that development
is based on the recapitulation of ancestral stages or the like no
longer seems at all convincing or even very interesting to biologists."
The Problem of the "Ape men"
Five transitional forms which were once considered to be ancestors
of humans have been disproved. Nebraska man's existence was hypothesized
on the basis of a single tooth, which was later shown to be a pig's
tooth. Java man was found to be a gibbon, not an "ancestor"
for man. Piltdown man was found to be a hoax in 1953; Australopithecines
were found to be only ancient apes which never "evolved"
into men; and both Neanderthal and Cro-Magnan man are Homo Sapiens
themselves, and thus cannot be transitional forms for Homo Sapiens.
Cited in: Phillip Johnson. Darwin
on Trial (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1991),
p. 10. Johnson says in the research notes of his book that Patterson's
lecture was not published, but he had reviewed a transcript of it
(p. 173). Furthermore, Patterson again stated the same position
in an interview with journalist Tom Bethell (Bethell, "Deducing
from Materialism," National Review, Aug. 29, 1986, p.
- Johnson, p. 38.
- Sir Fred Hoyle. "Hoyle on Evolution,"
Nature, Vol. 294 (Nov. 12, 1981), p. 105.
Charles Darwin. The Origin of
Species, New York: The New American Library, 1958, p. 316.
- Darwin (1982 edition), p. 133.
- Cited in Johnson, p. 50.
- B.B. Ranganathan. Origins?
(Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1988), pp. 19-20.
- Johnson, pp. 50-51.
- Ranganathan, p. 9.
Carl Sagan, et. al. Communication
with Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press,
- Emile Borel. Probabilities and
LIfe (New York: Dover, 1962), Chapters 1 and 3.
- William J. Bock. "Evolution
by Orderly Law," Science, vol. 164 (May 4, 1969).
- C.H. Waddington. Principles of
Embryology, 1965, p. 10.