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  CHAPTER 5:  Where Natural Selection Fails


Page 81




   Chapter 5

Where Natural Selection Fails

  More times than not, scientists disagree
in their interpretation of the evidence.

–David I. Blumenstock
1


WITHOUT NATURAL SELECTION, evolution is dead.  This process has become almost a deity to the more ardent followers of evolution, though of course they are entirely unaware of this.  One often finds a bit of worship tucked in at the end of a scientific article.  A writer, after waxing eloquent about some beautiful adaptation, will often end his dissertation in some such way as in this example: “We shall forever marvel at the astonishing truth that beings as intricate as ourselves can be produced by the long operation of natural selection.”2
    Before going on with the intriguing task of applying probability theory to the origin of protein molecules, it is important to realize the limitations of natural selection.  Knowing these limits is a vital part of the desired certainty as to whether evolution could be true.

The Process of Natural Selection

    Natural selection is the technique by which organisms that are best equipped to survive and reproduce become predominant.  This seems perfectly logical, of course.  There is such an operation in nature, within certain limits.  Clearly, only those


82               Evolution: Possible or Impossible?

organisms that are able to exist and produce offspring will be represented in future generations.
    This limits the continuance of animals which might weaken the line.  It is a built-in mechanism that also prevents much unnecessary suffering by taking out those not sufficiently equipped for life’s difficulties, so that they will not produce others to suffer through life.  It is in perfect accord with the idea of creation.
    However, natural selection has been given too big a job toaccomplish.  Evolutionists suppose it to be the means by which progress is made from lower to higher forms, all the way from one-celled animals to human beings.
    A more accurate appraisal is the following, from an article by George F. Howe and P. William Davis: “Under close scrutiny, however, natural selection is seen predominantly as a ‘weeding out’ operation in which harmful mutations are slowly reduced in future populations.”
3

Natural Selection Cannot Select What Is Not There!

    A man cannot select from the shelves of a store what the store does not carry.  Before evolution can work, there must be varieties from which to select.  The variations, moreover, must offer improvements which involve surviving or producing offspring.  The improvements must also eventually lead to different kinds of animals or plants.  Otherwise there is no evolution.  But alas, there is difficulty finding a source for new material with such a capability.
    There are two prominent current ideas which attempt to provide for the desired variation.  They are: (1) mutations, and (2) modern “Lamarckism.”  Lamarck, a French scientist whose famous hypothesis began to be accepted around 1802, believed that animals can pass on to their descendants the characteristics they have acquired in adapting themselves to their surroundings.
    It was later proved to the satisfaction of nearly all scientists that such “acquired characteristics” are not inherited.  Similarly, skills developed by deliberate practice–golf, typing, playing a trombone–are not passed on to one’s children, at least not by heredity.
    There is a modern form of Lamarckism, however.  It holds that, as a result of an animal’s practice or habits, its hormones are changed.  This results in inheritance by the offspring of


Where Natural Selection Fails                 83

the variations thus called forth by the parents’ adaptation to environment.  Imagine a bird which must walk in shallow water and must continually attempt to stretch its legs.  Its hormones, they say, will become modified by this practice.  Its eggs are then supposed to be influenced by this hormonal change.  The offspring will tend to have longer legs as a result, according to modern Lamarckism.
    Many scientists, if not most, consider this a mere reversion to a hypothesis disproved earlier.  They see no solid evidence that such a process exists.  Evolutionists, however, must have some plan for producing change.  As we will see, mutations are far from ideal as a solution.  Lamarckism is taken by some as an alternative.
    André de Cayeux, French paleontologist and geologist, wrote, “At the present time, most Anglo-Saxons believe in the idea of mutation.  The French tend toward Lamarckism.  The Russians, too, favor Lamarckism, which fits in well with the Marxist doctrine.  But there are exceptions.”
4
    Even if hormonal changes were possible, this could not begin to explain the first formation of complex protein molecules.  The hormone system itself is complex, delicately regulated, and many hormones are proteins.  They would first have to exist, before they could help evolution.

The Failure of Mutations to Explain Evolution

    Mutations are the sole source depended on at present by most American evolutionists.  Prominent evolution advocate George Gaylord Simpson writes with co-author William S. Beck:

    Mutations are, indeed, the ultimate sources of all new genetic materials, which then are endlessly shuffled in the processes of sexual reproduction.  In the final analysis, all evolutionary change depends on mutations. . . . A capacity for mutation is one of the universal and definitive characteristics of life, and all organic evolution is contingent on it.5

    Mutations are chance alterations in the DNA code message that are heritable.  Such changes carry to the offspring deviations such as color-blindness or diabetes.  Mutations are believed


84               Evolution: Possible or Impossible?

to be caused primarily by injuries and by copying errors in the DNA duplication process.
    Just consider that last sentence.  The new material on which evolution is to proceed comes mainly by accidents and mistakes.  Does it not seem strange that the vast array of amazingly efficient and complex living things would have developed from random negative sources?
    André de Cayeux uses this devastating metaphor against mutations: “The explanation for a sonata is not in a series of wrong notes.”  He elaborates as follows:

    We know that the great majority of mutations are bad.  We can even see this exemplified in our own flesh, or at least the flesh of other men.  Most congenital defects are of this origin.  So to explain evolution and the progress of life throughout time by a process where defects and imperfections are dominant seems paradoxical.  Resorting to selection attenuates the paradox, but does it erase it?6

    John C. Kendrew, Cambridge University scientist who is a Nobel laureate for his discovery of the structure of the protein myoglobin, calls mutations “misprints.”  He wrote,

    Just as in a real book misprints are more likely to produce nonsense than better sense, so mutations will almost always be deleterious, almost always, in fact, they will kill the organism or the cell, often at so early a stage in its existence that we do not even realize it ever came into being at all.7

    He calls development through mutations a “random process,” and the only basis he gives for using it as a source for evolution is that it has operated for “more than five hundred million years.”  Some would quadruple that to two billion, or even three billion.  In this connection, we might note that chance would require forty-six trillion times that long8 to select just once the phrase: The Theory of Evolution, working at the speed of light, a billion tries per second.
    The cell is an exceedingly delicately adjusted operating mechanism.  Here is one of the usual descriptions such as scientists give, this one by Simpson and Beck:

    Organisms are the most intricate systems that exist, far more
Where Natural Selection Fails                 85

complicated and elaborate than even the most advanced electronic computers, detection and control systems, or automated factories so far constructed by man.  Organisms produce replicas of themselves . . . exceedingly complex systems.9

    Mutations may be caused by certain chemicals, heat, ultraviolet light, cosmic rays, or other radiation.  A mutation in such a complicated system caused by ionizing radiation, for example, is comparable to the result of shooting a rifle bullet into the works of a computer, or into the instrument panel of a jet airliner.  To expect improvement from any disarranging influence is a bit optimistic.
    Occasionally, however, a rare mutation occurs which may seem to give an improvement.  Perhaps, for example, a strain of wheat exists which has weak stalks which blow down in a strong wind.  A mutation engineered by the scientist from one of the grains of this wheat then produces a type that has strong stalks.  The “improvement” may represent a false impression.  It may involve other weaknesses and be unable to survive in the wild.  Some mutations, furthermore, have been found to be merely corrections of former harmful mutations.  For example, Thomas H. Jukes told of a case where “a mutagenic chemical produced seven different changes in a coding triplet when added to a bacterial culture, each change favoring survival of the bacteria by restoring the function of a defective gene.”10
    In fact, evolutionists are in difficulty when asked to name any mutations that have actually occurred in nature which have involved any real improvement.  Most have produced weaknesses and deformities–anemia, mental retardation, clubfootedness,


86               Evolution: Possible or Impossible?

inclinations to hernia, and other negative changes.  Some others involve merely a return to a former better condition.
    “Chance provides the raw material on which natural selection operates,” said Adler.
11  We have already begun to discover, however, that chance is incapable and decrepit as to producing any ordered result, or usable raw material.

Mutations Produce No New Characters

    Geneticist Bolton Davidheiser says, “When a gene mutates it produces an alternative form of the structure or condition it produced before.  When a gene for wing form mutates it produces another wing form, and not an eye color.”12
    There is never any new type of organ that the particular species did not have before.  Mutations do not result in adding a wing to a cow or a backbone to a worm or a new enzyme to a cell, though defective enzymes are sometimes repaired by reverse mutations.  The most widely used example of a “good” mutation involves merely the color of a species of moth in England–changed from light to dark!
    Any and all alterations, however, have absolutely nothing to do with changing one type of creature into a different type.  Evolutionists cite a few plausible-sounding developments that might seem like a long continuous changeover in kind.  When one carefully examines the evidence, the chain falls apart.  An example of this is the presumed evolution of the horse, which will be discussed later.
    The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has been subjected to radiation in laboratories for many years for the study of induced mutations.  None of the results–changes in eye color, misshapen wings, or other grotesque deformities–indicate any progress toward evolving new types of insects.  As Davidheiser points out in an excellent study on this subject, the reason mutations are retained as a source of evolutionary hope is that there is nothing better.
    Much has been made of difference in the beaks of finches in the Galapagos Islands, made famous by Charles Darwin’s study.  (It has been pointed out, however, that Darwin evidently did not attach much significance to this at first, for it is not mentioned


Where Natural Selection Fails                 87

in his diary, and there is only a brief statement in his first edition of The Voyage of the Beagle.)13  These, and other such modifications, are apparently only minor adaptations within types, as would be expected in any design of creation.  Modern genetics indicates possible explanations of how these may occur.  Eldon J. Gardner, of the University of Utah, writes “Basically, then, it is ranges of modifiability that are inherited. . . .”14
    Too much trust is put in mutations, as in natural selection.  A scientist who relies on mutation and natural selection for his philosophy of origins and development could be compared to a man who has trained a crow to say words.  In his enthusiasm, he overestimates this feat and envisions using the crow as an office receptionist or telephone operator.  Like evolutionists who depend upon natural selection, he is expecting what is beyond its capability.
    Fred John Meldau in his excellent book, Why We Believe in Creation, Not in Evolution, repeatedly stressed the principle, “Mutations, but no transmutations.”
15  All changes remain within kinds.  This is in complete accord with the oft-repeated law in Genesis, chapter one: “after their kind.”


88               Evolution: Possible or Impossible?

    In spite of the limitations, mutations are still accepted by many as the sole hope, as in this statement: “Mutations are the very source of genetic variability, and so they are ultimately responsible for the evolution of all present forms of life.”16
    Consider this remarkable pair of sentences from the Encyclopaedia Britannica: “Natural selection has used mutations for building up well-integrated organisms.  New mutations are likely to upset this balance and are therefore mostly harmful or lethal.”17

Natural Selection Cannot Explain “Fine-Tuning” Adaptations

    Any mutation, in order to be adopted by natural selection, would have to present a certain kind of advantage, not just any improvement.  It would have to be the kind of change that sooner or later makes the difference between life and death or the difference between leaving successful offspring and failure to do so.  According to the logic of the idea, the changed organism could never take precedence over other forms unless the change affected actual survival or reproduction.18
    Natural selection cannot account at all for the finely tuned adaptations and innovations we see all about us–things not necessary to life or to successful production of offspring.  The beautiful hanging nests built by orioles are not necessary for survival.  Many other birds build plainer nests.  Some build none at all.  The nest of a dove is a small flat bunch of sticks on the fork of a horizontal limb.  In contrast, its neighbor, the oriole, weaves a complicated nest swinging below the end of a branch.
    Natural selection cannot explain the beautiful designs and colors on bird eggs, each distinctive for its own species.  One can identify many species of birds by their eggs alone.  These differences have no connection with survival, or winning a mate,


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or the successful leaving of progeny.  A cat’s instinctive technique for washing its face cannot have been selected for these reasons.  This is also true of our own enjoyment of music, for example, which is not required for survival.  The reader may think of dozens more such examples.

Micro-Mutations and Long Ages of Time

    Lack of evidence of any large useful mutations has driven most evolutionists to take refuge in micro-evolution.  It is postulated that changes occur in minute degree, to be followed sometime later by other small changes.  Finally, the story goes, there is a complete new organ or function, perhaps a new animal or plant species.  Of course, the changes eventually have to be spread throughout a population or gene pool.  Another evolutionary precept involves geographical isolation from the unchanged group, so “intermarriage” will not dilute or cancel out the new characteristic.
    Such a developmental process calls for a long period of time.  This is a problem even if one accepts the geological time scale, without which evolutionists would be helpless.
    While an organism would be waiting for a specific random mutation to help forward the presumed long process of evolving a new organ, there would be no way to hold all the other characteristics of the organism steady.  All these other factors would be under attack by mutations most likely to be lethal or harmful.  The laws of chance rule out any actual evolution upward.
    The postulated small beginnings of new organs, in most cases, would be of no help to the organism and would be in the way; e.g., the wing membrane of a bat.  Offering no help, it would be a hindrance until operationally complete.  There is no real evidence, anyway, of any such changes ever starting.  No organism evolves any new type of organ or function that did not exist already in that species.

Attempts to Find New Methods Other Than Mutations

    Some evolutionary scientists, realizing the failure of natural selection by small mutations, have perseveringly looked for better methods.  They seem to feel that it is absolutely necessary to find an explanation that does not require a Creator.  Some will accept impersonal “Nature” as their god, but not a God


90               Evolution: Possible or Impossible?

who is an infinite Person as revealed in the Bible.  That would involve responsibility.
    Richard Goldschmidt showed quite clearly the poverty of evolutionary theory via micro-mutations.  To supplant it, he postulated large changes of dramatic degree, occurring very rarely.19  The fact that it was an idea without any solid evidence did not seem to trouble him.  This, however, has made his hypothesis vulnerable to damaging attacks.
    More recently, a Russian scientist, L. S. Davitashvili, writing in the periodical, Evolution, explained his own new Lamarckian plan.  Different environments, and particularly changes in food, may bring about evolution in whole populations, he argues, producing quick changes.20  Davitashvili’s theory likewise suffers from lack of valid evidence, since all environmentally produced variation is within the same species and does not result in new species.

Natural Selection Helpless Before Duplication Developed

    The most impossible jump required in evolution is the leap from nonliving matter to life.  Many evolutionists have had the perception to realize it would be foolish to assume it happened by chance all at once.  It has been necessary instead to find a process leading from the land of nonlife to fully functioning living cells. The communist biologist, A. I. Oparin, first, and other scientists by the hundreds following his lead, have spent much time in research on this problem.  To get the job done, Oparin finds it necessary to call in the evolutionists’ main work horse, natural selection, long before his “protobiont” or pre-cell is anywhere close to becoming a living system.21
    The droplets of coagulated groups of molecules (which he assumes) are supposed to be “selected”–the better ones getting more of the “food” supply.  Droplets with the “best” random molecules made of amino acids are supposed to grow.  A plan was needed to insure that amino acids were formed


Where Natural Selection Fails                 91

naturally in great numbers.  This required, as noted earlier, the assumption that the “primitive atmosphere” was very different.
    Some droplets might contain mineral salts that might act as weak catalysts to help forward any natural reactions.  This would, he says, give an advantage in the struggle for existence.  It is not explained why the nonliving droplet would even struggle.  In process of time, the growing droplet or coacervate gets broken into two, by action of waves or other accident.  That is supposed to give two “good” molecules and is a primitive duplication process, Oparin infers.  But is it?
    When the drop is split, the two parts will be different from each other, because the original could not make exact copies of everything in it.  Suppose that there were such catalyst mineral salts in the original droplet, giving it an advantage.  When the split occurred, there would be half as many of these salts in each, or perhaps none of some ingredients in one of the new “daughter” droplets.22  There would be no way to duplicate these catalysts in the droplets.
    Without any way to make exact copies of all components, that would be the end of the line.  Sooner or later something would bring an end to that droplet with its better molecules.  Since it could not replicate or duplicate all of its parts, there would have been no chance at all for natural selection to bring about continuing improvement.
    Selection depends upon a continuing supply of the improved varieties.  When there is only one copy of each, even if it is “selected,” it has no future.  It cannot make provisions for any “offspring” like itself.  There is no logical place for considering natural selection here at all, even if such a process would work to produce evolution in truly living things.
    Professor John Keosian indicated that many scientists recognize that natural selection could have no place at all before life existed, when he said:

    To the horror of some biologists the term natural selection is employed freely to indicate the process by which the prevalence of one type of molecule over another possible type

92               Evolution: Possible or Impossible?

might have taken place or the process by which a nonliving macro-molecular system might grow increasingly complex.23

    The ability to duplicate accurately would seem to be impossible, short of a complicated coding system like DNA.  Evolutionists working earnestly to explain the origin of life spontaneously will sometimes make vague references to proteins serving as templates or patterns on which copies like themselves would form.  No way has been found to make such an outcome occur.  Theodosius Dobzhansky, well-known biologist with Rockefeller University in New York, stated this undeniable precept: “For natural selection to operate, there must be reproduction, and reproduction is the key property of life24 (italics added).  Therefore, we may conclude, natural selection was impossible during the assumed natural origin of life.

Computers That Vetoed Natural Selection

    In an ingenious experiment at Stanford University, Michael Conrad and H. H. Pattee tried to get computers to perform natural selection.  The scientists programmed the computers to simulate “ecosystems”–imaginary environments with imaginary organisms of several types.  The organisms were put through various lifelike stresses.  They were given opportunities to “struggle for survival.”  Their food supply was slowly diminished so that some would not survive.  They were jumped into new environments, to bring out possible adaptations leading to evolution.  They were primed to seek symbionts, partner organisms which would help each other in the way that bees and flowers work together. 
    The carefully planned experiment turned out dismally discouraging for evolution.  Reporting in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, the scientists wrote concerning the “organisms” that survived:

    The predominant types of organisms were definitely inefficient.  Many organisms carried phenome sequences of no apparent selective value. . . . Organisms with efficiently placed parametric symbols exhibited no clear advantage over those with inefficiently placed symbols.25


Where Natural Selection Fails                 93

    The professors told of the unforeseen failure of natural selection in this carefully arranged test which involved several “systems”:

    The low efficiency of organisms and the decline in the matching ratio are somewhat surprising since improvement in these properties would often be regarded as a criterion for evolution.  Yet System 1, which had a steadily increasing matching ratio did not exhibit behavior at all characteristic of evolution.26

Darwin Conceded an Error Which Weakens the Theory

    Charles Darwin, in later editions of The Origin of Species, corrected a mistaken idea contained in the original version about the operation of natural selection.  With his customary frankness, he confessed that until reading an article in the North British Review in 1867, “I did not appreciate how rarely single variations, whether slight or strongly marked, could be perpetuated.”  Because only a small percentage of the organisms of each generation survive, Darwin applied this fact also to an individual with a positive variation, stating, “The chances would be strongly against its survival.”  Suppose, however, that such an organism did happen to survive, and that half its young received the variation.  Darwin showed that the probability of each particular offspring’s survival would be quite small and “this chance would go on decreasing in the succeeding generations.  The justice of these remarks cannot, I think, be disputed.”
    This, of course, was a serious blow to evolution.  In an effort to get around it, Darwin then put his trust in the idea that the odds might be overcome if a particular variation occurred in large numbers of a population.  Concerning perpetuation of such a variation, he theorized, “Judging by what we see taking place under domestication . . . this result would follow from the preservation during many generations of a large number of individuals”27 with the variation involved.  We may note, however, that domesticated animals have a completely different situation in this regard, and a large percentage of each generation may survive.  This makes the comparison invalid.
    Though valiant efforts by evolutionists since then may have


94               Evolution: Possible or Impossible?

been partially successful in relieving this difficulty to which Darwin called attention, it remains a very real problem.
    The key idea of evolution was envisioned in his book as a gradual, step-by-step process.  Small variations would be preserved by natural selection, to be followed, after perhaps long intervals, by further variations in the same direction.  Darwin admitted that this plan was “an assumption.”  “But whether it is true,” he went on, “we can judge only by seeing how far the hypothesis accords with and explains the general phenomena of nature.”28  The evidence that has accumulated since then has tended to dispute that assumption rather than to verify it.  In spite of this, many of Darwin’s present-day followers have completely lost sight of the fact that it has always been merely an assumption.

The Crime of the Age

    It is time the praise was taken back from natural selection and given to the God of Creation.  Taking away the Designer’s credit is the crime of the age.  One wonders if there is any better application of this Scripture:

    Knowing God, they have refused to honor him as God, or to render him thanks.  Hence all their thinking has ended in futility. . . . They boast of their wisdom, but they have made fools of themselves, exchanging the splendour of immortal God for an image shaped like mortal man . . . (Romans 1:21, 22 NEB).

    Many scientists who are fine citizens otherwise may without intention have done just that.  Such a course is tragic for them and for those they teach.
    How much more logical for all who investigate and see the wonders built into all living things that instead we look up in adoration to Him of whom great throngs in heaven sing, “Great and marvelous are thy deeds, O Lord God, sovereign over all . . . Who shall not revere thee, Lord, and do homage to thy name?” (Revelation 15:3,4, NEB).


  1 David I. Blumenstock, The Ocean of Air (New Brunswick, N.l.: Rutgers University Press, 1959), p. vii of preface.

  2 Francis H. C. Crick, “The Language of Life,” 1969 Yearbook of Science and the Future (Britannica), p. 139.

  3 George F. Howe and P. William Davis, “Natural Selection Reexamined,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 8 (June, 1971), p. 43.

  4 André de Cayeux, Three Billion Years of Life (New York: Stein and Day, 1969) p. 198.  First published in France in 1964.

  5 George G. Simpson and William S. Beck, Life: An Introduction to Biology, Shorter Edition (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1969), p. 143.

  6 de Cayeux, Three Billion Years, p. 200.

  7 John C. Kendrew, The Thread of Life (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1966), pp. 106, 107.

  8 More than forty-six trillion times three billion years.  This is calculated from the figures obtained in chapter 2.

  9 Simpson and Beck, Life, p. 132.

  10 Thomas H. Jukes, Molecules and Evolution (New York: Columbia University Press, 1966), preface.
    Such reverse mutations are common in laboratory work with bacteria.  (Roger Y. Stanier, Michael Doudoroff, and Edward A. Adelberg, The Microbial World, 3rd ed. [Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1970], pp. 471, 472).  This doubtless arises in part from their rapid multiplication rate.
    These authors also mention the probability that many “good” mutations which occur in experiments with bacteria might nevertheless make the possessors unfit for survival in the wild: “In adapting to existence in laboratory media, organisms may undergo genetic modifications that would lead to their speedy suppression in a competitive environment” (p. 478).
    To understand this principle more clearly, imagine this extreme but comparable situation: a human being who is by mutation immune to athlete’s foot (which is good) because he has no feet (which is bad for the entire organism except in the most artificial of situations.)  An actually existing good/bad mutation makes the possessor immune to some forms of malaria but also predisposes him to sickle-cell anemia.

  11 Irving Adler, Probability and Statistics for Everyman (New York: John Day Co., 1963), p. 239.

  12 Bolton Davidheiser, Evolution and Christian Faith (Nutley, N.J.: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1969), p. 212.

  13 David Lack, “Darwin’s Finches,” Scientific American, Vol.188 (April, 1953), p.67.

  14 Eldon J. Gardner, Principles of Genetics (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1972), p. 358.
    Adaptation of animals of the same species to different environments is well known.  Species which in warm climates have short hair may have longer hair when found in cold climates.  Snowshoe rabbits (varying hares) change color from winter to summer.  Any plan by a Creator would doubtless provide a method for such changes within species.  This may perhaps be linked to environmental factors which trigger the proper genes into action to bring about the needed result by turning them on.  Conceivably, we may speculate, this could also be done through changes in diet, or even possibly from large alterations in behavior.  Such changes would merely make use of already existing genes that were dormant or turned off until thus induced into production.  Mechanisms for such induction of idle genes are known at the cellular level
    While not necessarily meant to lead to such conclusions, the following statements of Professor Gardner would give a basis for the preceding hypothesis to account for adaptability:
    “We know that environmental factors are interwoven with inheritance mechanisms at every point in the developmental process” (ibid., p. 357).  Quantitative traits, however, are influenced by the environment as well as by inheritance (p. 367).  “The inheritance of quantitative traits depends upon the cumulative or additive action of several or many genes, each of which produces a small proportion of the total effect.  This is in marked contrast to the inheritance of qualitative traits which is an all-or-none phenomenon dependent on one gene or a few interacting genes.  An important consideration in studies of inheritance of quantitative traits is that environmental factors also have an effect on end products such as height, weight, or color intensity” (p. 119).  This might explain variations in the beaks of Darwin’s finches.

  15 Fred John Meldau, Why We Believe in Creation, Not in Evolution (Denver: Christian Victory Publishing Co., 1959), p. 19.

  16 Björn Sigurbjörnsson, “Induced Mutations in Plants,” Scientific American (January, 1971), p. 87.
    One may suspect, however, that mutations have by mistake been given the credit for many changes which were not genetic at all.  Authors of a study on Hawaiian lizard variation in 1973 included this suggestion in their report: “Perhaps environmental heterogeneity may be a very important source of variation in some morphological characters.”  (M. E. Soule, et al., “Island Lizards: the Genetic-Phenetic Variation Correlation,” Nature, Vol. 242 [March 16, 1973], pp. 191-193.)  In line with the hypothesis explained in reference 14 a bit earlier, some of these outward variations may have resulted from the turning on of existing genes by environmental stimuli.  Some mechanisms for such regulation will be described in chapter 9.

  17 Encyclopaedia Britannica (1967), s.v. “mutations.”

  18 Differential reproduction is currently stressed as the key way natural selection operates.  Organisms who survive to produce greater numbers of viable offspring will be selected.

  19 Richard Goldschmidt, The Material Basis of Evolution (Paterson, N.J.: Pageant Books, 1960), pp. 390,391.  First published 1940.
    Goldschmidt made feeble attempts at citing examples.  One was the short-legged dog, the dachshund, which is able to enter badgers’ dens because of its short legs!  However, the dachshund is bred by genetic engineering and would doubtless not survive in the wild.

  20 L. S. Davitashvili, in “Notes and Comments,” Evolution, Vol. 23 (September, 1969), p. 514.

  21 A. I. Oparin, Genesis and Evolutionary Development of Life (New York: Academic Press, 1968), p. 130.

  22 If all droplets had those catalyst salts, they would be equal, and no selection could operate.  If some, but not all, droplets had such an advantage as better catalysts, there could be no further progress without an accurate duplicating system.  Each “better” molecule would be a blind alley.  If we consider just the droplets lucky enough to get these catalyst salts and thereby to monopolize the “food” supply, this still provides for no intrinsic improvement, but depends wholly on external conditions.

  23 John Keosian, The Origin of Life (New York: Reinhold Publishing Corp., 1964), p. 89.

  24 Theodosius Dobzhansky, The Biology of Ultimate Concern (New York: New American Library, 1967), p. 48.  (Dobzhansky is an evolutionist, but is quite definite in his protest against this careless use of the term “natural selection” to apply to the era before life existed.)

  25 Michael Conrad and H. H. Pattee, “Evolution Experiments with an Artificial Ecosystem,” Journal of Theoretical Biology (September, 1970), pp. 405, 406.  These authors did not state their own philosophy regarding evolution in this article.

  26 Ibid., p. 406.

  27 Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, Mentor Edition (New York: New American Library, 1958); all the foregoing quotations are on pp. 96, 97.

  28 Ibid., p. 91.

 

Chapter 4

Table of Contents

Chapter 6