THE NAS'S ERROR ON NATURAL SELECTION
In the section of Science and Creationism
called "Evidence Supporting Biological Evolution," anyone hoping
to find evidence for the theory of evolution will suffer a grave disappointment.
The chapter contains subjects which evolutionists never cease repeating,
like a mantra, even though their invalidity has been proved time and
time again. Naturally enough, "natural selection," regarded as one
of the fundamental mechanisms of evolution, heads the list of these
In a herd of zebra, the fastest runners
have a better chance of survival, and slower runners are hunted
down and eliminated. As a result, this herd will consist of
fast runners in a few generations' time.
The correct definition of natural selection, which was
known well before Darwin, is this: Those living things whose features
are best suited to the conditions in their surroundings naturally
have a better chance of survival. For instance, in a place where winters
are long and the ground remains covered with snow for extended periods,
white-furred rabbits will be better camouflaged and fall prey to predators
less often than darker ones, giving them a greater chance of surviving,
and thus of reproducing. This being the case, the proportion of white-furred
rabbits in the population will keep rising, while the relative number
of dark-furred rabbits will decline. To give another example, in a
herd of zebras which constantly have to flee from leopards, those
which run fastest will survive while the others die. Since fast runners
will survive in every generation, the herd will come to consist of
nothing but fast runners in a few generations' time.
is the definition of natural selection: the best-adapted survive, while
the others are eliminated. That is why the species in question continues
to become ever better adapted. This may not always apply, of course.
For example, in an area where the climate is changing and the snow covering
is disappearing-say, due to global warming-the white rabbits would suddenly
be at a disadvantage compared to dark rabbits, and so, having now become
poorly adapted, they would be doomed to disappear. Therefore, natural
selection cannot always be expected always to select the same features
for a given species.
Evolutionists, however, believe that natural selection
selects and gradually accumulates the same features in a species over
millions of years, acting on variation within a species and then somehow
giving rise to entirely different species. The fact is, however, that
even if natural selection did always select the same characteristics,
this would only lead to the improvement of certain features in living
species by spreading advantageous characteristics throughout the whole
population. It could not lead to these beings' acquiring totally new
characteristics. Much less, then, could it afford them the opportunity
to turn into other species.
A species can only change to the extent
that its genes permit.
Rabbits always remain rabbits, and zebras remain zebras.
That is because the genetic pool (genome) of a species prevents it
from turning into another one. A species can only change to the extent
permitted by its genes.
Darwin, however, loaded an extra meaning onto natural
selection over and above this scientific definition, and suggested
that it was the basic mechanism of evolution. According to Darwin
and contemporary evolutionists, natural selection, devoid of any reason
or consciousness, began with a single-celled bacterium and gradually,
over billions of years, created such marvels as trees, birds, flowers,
ants, deer, parrots, strawberries, oranges, horses, peacocks, and
human beings. It is clear that this claim is inconsistent and unscientific,
because natural selection cannot bring about new characteristics or
new genetic information; it can only select between among what already
Stephen Jay Gould, one of the
theory of evolution's most prominent supporters, says that evolutionists
are seeking from natural selection a power it does not possess:
According to the claim of Darwinism, natural
selection began with a bacterial cell, and slowly, over billions
of years, created such marvels as trees, birds, flowers, ants,
antelopes, parrots, strawberries, oranges, peacocks, and horses.
This is inconceivable nonsense.
The essence of Darwinism lies in a single phrase: natural
selection is the major creative force of evolutionary change. No one
denies that natural selection will play a negative role in eliminating
the unfit. Darwinian theories require that it create the fit as well.
In an article published in Scientific
American in 1994, Gould describes the limitations of natural selection
in these terms:
Natural selection is therefore a principle of local adaptation,
not of general advance or progress. 2
In his comments on a new mechanism for
evolution postulated by Edward Wiley and Daniel Brooks, Roger Lewin
Natural selection, a central feature of neo-Darwinism,
is allowed for in Brooks and Wiley's theory, but only as a minor influence.
"It can affect survivorship" says Brooks. "It can weed out some of
the complexity and so slow down the information decay that results
in speciation. It may have a stabilizing effect, but it does not promote
speciation. It is not a creative force
as many people have suggested." 3
A book by four evolutionary biologists titled Parasitology
makes the following statement about natural selection:
Natural selection can act only
on those biologic properties that already exist; it cannot create
properties in order to meet adaptational needs4
The subject which evolutionists really need to explain
is how the above "biologic properties that already exist" came to be.
Evolutionists themselves confess that natural selection is unable to
provide an answer. That is why the neo-Darwinist theory was proposed.
Neo-Darwinism suggests that the biological changes expected to be chosen
by natural selection came about by means of mutations. As we shall be
seeing, however, mutations are incapable of bringing about the beneficial
changes necessary for a living thing to evolve.
The Error in Darwin's Analogy Method
Darwin arrived at his conclusion that natural selection
was the mechanism which accounted for the origin of species, not by
means of experiment or observation, but by a method of comparison.
In Darwin's time there was considerable interest in livestock
breeding. Despite frequent claims that Darwin's ideas were inspired
by the beaks of Galapagos finches and Malthus's demographic studies,
the inspiration behind them actually came from livestock breeding.
drew an analogy between the breeding of livestock (artificial selection)
and natural selection, and concluded that if livestock and plant breeders
can improve plants and animals through the use of artificial selection
and breed sheep with better wool, cows with more flesh and better running
horses, then nature may well do these also. Yet this comparison is misleading
in a number of respects. First and foremost, those who breed animals
and plants possess the necessary information to select the most suitable
and to protect what they select. Darwin's theory, on the other hand,
maintains that aimless natural process can replace a rational one.
Gould has made the following comment regarding the invalidity
of this comparison:
[Tom] Bethell argues quite correctly
[in a piece called "Darwin'sMistake" in Harper's] that [Darwin]
relied upon analogy to establish it [his definition of survival of
the fittest], a dangerous and slippery strategy.5
There is a limit to even the most expert breeders' ability
to produce variation-in other words, varying characteristics-within
a species. No new animal species has ever been obtained as a result
of animal breeding. The reason for this is not that animal or plant
breeders have been unable to continue their artificial selection right
to the end, but that the living things in question have reached the
end of their genetic limits. The renowned French zoologist Pierre-Paul
Grassť has stated that artificial selection testifies against Darwinism:
In spite of the intense pressure generated
by artificial selection [eliminating any parent not answering the
criteria of choice] over whole millennia, no new species are born.
A comparative study of sera, hemoglobins, blood proteins, interfertility,
etc., proves that the strains remain the same specific definition.
This is not a matter of opinion or subjective classification, but
a measurable reality. The fact is that selection gives tangible form
to and gathers together all the varieties a genome is capable of producing
but does not constitute an innovative evolutionary process.6
To put it another way, the reason why dogs do not turn
into lions is not that we have not been breeding them for long enough,
but rather that dogs lack the necessary genetic capacity for this to
Natural Selection's Circular Reasoning: "Survivors Survive"
Natural selection, regarded as the explanation of the
origin of species, is not a scientific theory at all, but rather a
tautology, a logical vicious circle. A tautology is a statement that
appears to provide information, but that is really nothing but circular
reasoning. Tautologies provide no new information. They cannot be
tested, for which reason they are not scientific. A simple example
of a tautology is "All hats are hats." This is a true sentence, but
one which provides no information and explains nothing. Tautologies
are often employed in jokes and poetry, but they should not be employed
in scientific accounts.
Science explains effects in terms of causes. Since causes
and effects are different things, they cannot have the same causal
explanation. In a tautology, however, the cause and effect are the
same, so no explanation is actually given, only the impression of
one. When a doctor says, "Your father's hearing impairment has caused
his deafness," that is a tautology. The doctor is offering no explanation
at all of your father's deafness. The sentence contains two parts
that appear to be cause and effect, but actually mean the same thing.
One does not explain the other.
In addition to failing to explain anything, tautologies
cannot be regarded as scientific because they cannot be tested and
can never be refuted.
A tautology is a statement that appears
to provide information, but actually does nothing of the sort.
"All hats are hats" is a simple example of a tautology. This
is a true statement, but one which provides no information.
Natural selection is also formulated as a tautology by
evolutionists. Natural selection is the survival of the fittest, and
the tautology appears in the expression "of the fittest." "The fittest"
are defined as those which survive. When we ask "Who are the fittest?,"
we are told "Those which survive." The answer to the question "Who
survives?" is "The fittest." This means that natural selection is
"the survival of the survivors." This is circular reasoning.
Some evolutionists maintain that natural selection is
not a tautology, and that this is a misinterpretation by the proponents
of Creation. The fact is, however, that prominent evolutionists also
accept that natural selection is a tautology. That is why we feel
the need to devote some space to statements by prominent evolutionists
maintaining that natural selection is indeed tautological.
For example, the British geneticist
J.B.S. Haldane accepts the tautological nature of natural selection
by saying: "...the phrase 'survival of the fittest' is something of
Professor of Ecology R.H. Peters from Canada's McGill
University also states that theories of evolution are tautological
and that they cannot be regarded as scientific:
I argue that the "theory of evolution"
does not make predictions, so far as ecology is concerned, but is
instead a logical formula which can be used only to classify empiricisms
[theories] and to show the relationships which such a classification
implies. These theories are actually tautologies and, as such, cannot
make empirically testable predictions. They are not scientific theories
Professor Steven Stanley of Johns Hopkins
University has this to say about natural selection in his book Macroevolution:
Pattern and Process:
I tend to agree with those who have viewed natural selection
as a tautology rather than a true theory.9
Karl Popper (1902-1994)
Karl Popper, regarded as one of the
major philosophers of the twentieth century, cites evolutionists such
as Ronald Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane and George Gaylord Simpson as examples,
Some of the greatest contemporary Darwinists themselves
formulate the theory in such a way that it amounts to the tautology
that those organisms that leave most offspring leave most offspring.10
Clearly, if someone wishes to learn how a bacterial
cell could turn into a fish, a fish into a bird, and a reptile into
a human being, it is no answer to tell him that "organisms which leave
the most offspring are those which leave most offspring." Natural
selection cannot prove anything about the claim that species evolve.
Despite being aware of this, evolutionists play word and logic games
and attempt to portray natural selection and evolution as a logical-sounding
Despite being the person who suggested
natural selection and the theory of evolution, Darwin said,
"I shall know that the theory of Natural Selection, is, in the
main, safe; that it includes, as now put forth, many errors,
is almost certain, though I cannot see them." (Charles Darwin
to C. Lyell, October 11, 1859).
such as Gould, are undecided when it comes to defending natural selection.
Gould expresses that unwillingness in the words: "I, although I wear
the Darwinian label with some pride, am not among the most ardent
defenders of natural selection."11 Despite being
the person who proposed the theory of natural selection, Darwin himself
offered a rather prescient analysis: "I shall know that the theory
of Natural Selection, is, in the main, safe; that it includes, as
now put forth, many errors, is almost certain, though I cannot see
It is most surprising and thought-provoking that evolutionist
scientists should keep repeating this circular reasoning and regard
natural selection as a force with the capacity to cause evolution.
Many people believe in the theory of evolution without really knowing
what it is they believe in. The philosopher of science Arthur Koestler
expresses this fact:
In the meantime, the
educated public continues to believe that Darwin has provided all the
relevant answers by the magic formula of random mutations plus natural
selection-quite unaware of the fact that random mutations have turned
out to be irrelevant and natural selection a tautology.13
Evolutionists' Errors in Regarding Natural Selection As a Conscious
It is suggested in Science and Creationism that "Although
the genetic variation on which natural selection works is based on
random or chance elements, natural selection itself produces "adaptive"
change-the very opposite of chance." (Science and Creationism,
p. 10). The evolutionist authors of the book are employing misleading
expressions here. They seek to give the impression that no matter
how random the mutations selected by natural selection may be, since
natural selection selects those that are best adapted, the overall
result is not random. It is as though a conscious mechanism entered
It is impossible for an unconscious and
blind mechanism to have created the infinite variety of life
However, anyone examining the subject a little deeper
will see through the deception here: Natural selection is not a conscious
mechanism capable of planning or foresight. This is most clearly revealed
in the study of irreducibly complex organs: these structures only
provide any benefit to an organism when they are fully formed. For
instance, during the transition from water to land, which evolutionists
so fondly dream of, natural selection would not select changes in
a fish that might have produced only a few components of a lung. A
structure that lacks any of the characteristics of a perfect lung
is of no benefit to a land creature. Since natural selection is also
unable to calculate that a fish might shortly emerge onto land and
would therefore need a lung-and that the lung would therefore need
to undergo many intermediate stages waiting for the accumulation of
alterations-it would not select those changes. In this way, an animal
with only a few of the necessary changes would be eliminated.
As the world-famous historian of biology William Coleman
The organism, being a functionally integrated whole each
part of which stood in close relation to every other part, could not,
under pain of almost immediate extinction, depart significantly from
the norms established for the species by the first anatomical rule.
Richard Dawkins and his book The Blind
A major change, for example, a sharp
increase in the heart beat or the diminution by half of the kidney
and thus a reduction in renal secretion, would by itself have wrought
havoc with the general constitution of the animal. In order that an
animal might persist after a change of this magnitude it would be
necessary that the other organs of the body be also proportionally
modified. In other words, an organism must change en bloc or not at
all. Only saltatory modification could occur, and this idea was to
Cuvier, as it is to most modern zoologists, but for very different
reasons, unverified and basically absurd. Transmutation by the accumulation
of alterations, great or small, would thus be impossible.14
Evolutionists also accept that natural selection is an
unconscious, blind process. Richard Dawkins, for example, one of the
most passionate proponents of the theory of evolution, defines natural
selection in these terms in his book The Blind Watchmaker:
Natural selection, the blind, unconscious,
automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is
the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of
all life, has no purpose in mind. It has no mind and no mind's eye.
It does not plan for the future. It has no vision, no foresight, no
sight at all. If it can be said to play the role of watchmaker in
nature, it is the blind watchmaker.15
It is impossible for an unconscious, blind mechanism
to have created the complex information and design in living things.
Evolutionists, who seek to portray natural selection as a divine creator
of all living things, are no different from worshippers of idols and
totems-pagans who ascribe divinity to natural events such as thunder
and lightning. They are merely the twenty-first century version of