By Harry R. Osborne
If you were down to your last dollar, would you make an investment that had one chance in a thousand of making a profit? Suppose that you were starving for food, would you go to a place for food that only had meals once every three years or would you go someplace sure to have it’? If your life was on the line, would you be willing to take a course of action which would give you less than a 1% chance of survival?
If you are like most people, those kind of odds would not be acceptable in a critical situation. However, those who support the general theory of evolution as the explanation for all life forms in existence depend on odds much worse! Yet, in many places, this theory is presented as “fact” and the only “scientific” explanation for life. In the past few articles, we have seen that the Bible has a credible explanation which is in keeping with true, scientific fact.
As we noted previously, some believe that all present life forms originated from one case of non-living matter forming one single-celled organism. They further believe that this one, single-celled organism mutated and reproduced so that better adapted and more sustainable life forms resulted. At the point where they suppose that only one organism existed, what were its odds of mutating successfully and surviving? What were the odds when only a few survived? A famed evolutionist, Sir Julian Huxley, made the following admission about the harmful nature of the overwhelming majority of mutations:
A proportion of favorable mutations of one in a thou-sand does not sound like much, but it is probably generous, since so many mutations are lethal, preventing the organ-ism living at all, and the great majority of the rest throw the machinery slightly out of gear (Evolution in Action, 45).
More recent experiments regarding the proportion of favorable mutations as opposed to harmful ones show that Huxley’s one to one thousand ratio is not only generous, but wishful. In one researcher’s work, A.M. Winchester found that well over 99% of all mutations were harmful to life. That figure does not even consider the vast majority of the remaining 1% that, while not being harmful, would not aid the viability of a given life form. Experiments on the fruit fly and other animals involving radiation induced mutations and natural mutations show that favorable mutations are so rare as to be negligible.
Yet, let us suppose that Huxley’s extremely generous ratio were a fact. Even with this generous help, think of the chances of survival for that first organism that supposedly came into existence by spontaneous generation, a process in itself contrary to all known laws of science. That one organism had a one in one thousand chance of surviving. If it survived to reproduce, the next generation was faced with formidable odds again. Beyond that, each generation had to face those odds and overcome them without fail for generations to allow life to survive. For the evolutionary explanation of all life forms to be given a chance, one has to assume a scenario totally outside the realm of probability. Does such a theory sound like “proven fact” to you?
Assuming the general theory of evolution is allowed this enormous leap of faith to provide for the survival of these early life forms, another problem must be faced. The simple fact is that we find no evidence of the kind of mutations necessary to provide for the evolutionary explanation of life. Notice the following from Dr. Bolton Davidheisar:
When a gene mutates it produces an alternative form of the structure or condition it produced before. When a gene for a wing form mutates it produces another wing form, and not an eye color… Thus, if we evolved from protozoa (one-celled organisms), where along the way did we get genes which produce bones, blood, and teeth, for protozoa do not have these? (Evolution and Christian Faith, 213).
As more and more work is done on how the DNA in every cell works in replication, this point becomes an even larger obstacle for the evolutionary explanation of all life forms being the results of mutations from a single-celled organ-ism.
Beyond the problems already noted with mutations to account for all present varieties of life, there is a mathematical problem with the time necessary for the process. Though one or two billion years is a great deal of time, various mathematical models have shown that even the time speculated would not provide enough time for the number of mutations which had to be made to result in the present life forms if we all started from a single-celled organism. An example of this debate can be seen in The Wistar Institute Symposium Monograph (No. 5) published by the Wistar Press in 1967.
When one considers the number of changes that would have to take place in order to change a single-celled organism into every life form in existence and the length of time necessary for each change, the problem becomes a mathematical one. Several mathematical statisticians have published models showing the general theory of evolution to be statistically impossible. To date, I have seen no mathematical attempt to show that the theory is possible within the framework of time given. It is, however, interesting to note that the evolutionists have attempted to help their cause by adding a few billion years to their assumed age of the universe in order to buy more time for their theories. However, this creates other problems for them as we will see in a later article on the age of the earth.
Thus, not only does the evolutionary explanation for all life fail to show the proof that the necessary mutations could occur, it also fails to face the fact that there is not enough time for those changes to occur even if those changes were possible. Add that to the proportion of harmful mutations that do exist and the general theory of evolution faces monumental problems with its explanation for the present variety of life through mutations from a single-celled animal.
However, we have not even had time to note other problems regarding mutations as the mechanism for the evolution of all life forms. We could note that most mutations are recessive giving the change little chance of being manifested in one organism, much less an entire species. We could ask why such upward advancement through mutations is not being seen today. The questions could abound.
The fundamental problem for evolutionists is that mutations provide the only mechanism for their theory. Theodosius Dobzhansky admitted that mutations are “the only known source of new material of genetic variability, and hence of evolution” (American Scientist, 45, p. 385). Ernest Hooten, Harvard anthropologist, sounded a fitting warning when he acknowledged that he and other anthropologists are “leaning upon a broken reed when we depend upon mutations” (Apes, Men & Morons 118).
If the evolutionists want to laugh at the faith necessary to believe in the Bible account of Creation, they better take a long look at their own theory. The Bible explanation that “God created the heavens and the earth” is believable if we are not predisposed to deny the existence of an omnipotent God. If we accept that a single-celled organism suddenly came to life from non-living matter, the evolutionary explanation is still implausible.
Guardian of Truth XXXIX: 8 p. 14-15
April 20, 1995