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National Geographic's Darwin Error
The November edition of National Geographic magazine (NG) posed the question "Was Darwin Wrong?" on its front cover. Natural scientist David Quammen, author of the article by the same name, replied "No" to that question from his own perspective, and claimed that Darwin's theory of evolution was today backed up by powerful scientific evidence. Quammen repeated the main claims from Darwin's book The Origin of Species, but overlooked one important detail.
Darwin added another chapter to his book, one called "Difficulties on Theory," and openly admitted the existence of difficulties in these terms:
Such is the sum of the several chief objections and difficulties which may justly be urged against my theory… I have felt these difficulties far too heavily during many years to doubt their weight. 1
The fact is, however, that the NG article discussed not one of the phenomena that Darwin regarded as a problem for his theory, and even ignored their existence. For example, although Darwin referred in his book to the way the fossil record failed to back up his theory and to the complexity in the eye, NG magazine did not even touch on such subjects which the theory of evolution is unable to account for as the Cambrian Explosion, biological complexity and the origin of genetic information.
Quammen, who thus appears to be more of a Darwinist than Darwin himself, emerged as the defender not of a theory that can account for difficulties, but of a "dogma" that needs to be shielded from criticism.
In this article, Quammen's so-called evidence is analysed and the Darwinist propaganda embarked on by NG magazine refuted.
An Example of NG Turkey's Dogmatic Stance
The English language edition of the NG article "Was Darwin Wrong?" also devoted space to Harun Yahya's works about the theory of evolution. In the section describing worldwide reactions against evolution the following words appeared in reference to Harun Yahya:
Their discomfort is paralleled by Islamic creationists such as Harun Yahya, author of a recent volume titled The Evolution Deceit, who points to the six-day creation story in the Koran as literal truth and calls the theory of evolution "nothing but a deception imposed on us by the dominators of the world system."
Interestingly though, Harun Yahya did not appear in NG's Turkish version, and this section was altered, assuming the following form: "This unease displays a parallelism among those who support the Islamic idea of creation."
As someone who states his primary aim as being that of describing the philosophy and scientific invalidity of Darwinism, Harun Yahya has closely monitored Darwinist propaganda in recent years and has responded, in the light of scientific findings, to the pro-evolutionist writings and broadcasts of media organisations, of which NG is one. (see www.darwinism-watch.com)
If Darwinism really were supported by a mass of evidence, as claimed in this NG article, then why is NG Turkey trying to prevent Harun Yahya's scientific criticisms from being heard? Could it be that NG Turkey was concerned that Darwinism will be unable to withstand such scientific criticism? In fact, this attitude by NG's Turkey desk not only shows that the magazine is unwilling to inform its readers of the source of effective criticism of evolution, but also confirms the criticism that it is seeking to keep Darwinism on its feet as an ideology.
NG Is Unwilling to Face the Modern Scientific Facts
There can be no doubt that in order to provide a realistic response to the question "Was Darwin Wrong?" one needs to look at what Darwin actually said and to compare this to modern scientific facts. In his book The Origin of Species, in which he unveiled his theory of evolution, Darwin provided a very important criterion by which to test his theory. So concrete is that criterion that in Darwin's own words it could "absolutely break down" the theory. Darwin wrote:
"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." 2
Darwin maintained that organs evolved during a gradual process. Thinking of this imaginary process in reverse, it appears that Darwin assumed that these organs possessed reducibility. However, advances made in the field of biochemistry, especially over the last 40 years, have revealed that the cell possesses a superior complexity, the details of which were unknown in Darwin's time, for which reason it was equated to a "black box," and that certain structures within the cell actually possess the feature of "irreducible complexity."
"Irreducible complexity" is a phenomenon based on empirical evidence and literally constitutes the antithesis of Darwin's theory. The most important figure to bring this concept onto the agenda of the scientific world is the biochemist Michael J. Behe from Lehigh University in the USA. In his 1996 book Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution Behe examines the irreducibly complex natures of the cell and certain other biological structures, and reveals that these cannot possibly be accounted for in terms of evolution. Behe sets out the effect that irreducible complexity has on the claims of Darwinism thus:
"To Darwin, the cell was a 'black box' -- its inner workings were utterly mysterious to him. Now, the black box has been opened up and we know how it works. Applying Darwin's test to the ultra-complex world of molecular machinery and cellular systems that have been discovered over the past 40 years, we can say that Darwin's theory has 'absolutely broken down'." 3
Irreducible complexity has demolished Darwinism, and proved that life is the product of intelligent design, in other words that God has created all living things. The way that NG seeks to keep this from its readers constitutes a flight from reality.
NG's biogeographical tales
In his article in NG, Quammen begins his account of the so-called evidence for Darwinism with biogeography, and it may be of use to provide a description of this concept at this point. Biogeography is a branch of science that investigates the geographical distribution of species and seeks an answer to the question of how they came by these habitat regions by drawing up maps of their locations on the Earth.
Most books in the field of biogeography are full of facts that say nothing, neither in favour nor against, the theory of evolution: such as maps of living species' habitat areas, the features of those areas, questions regarding the spread of organisms, and the grouping together of species on the basis of geographical area ... 4
When their distribution on the Earth is examined it can be seen that species do not generally exhibit a global distribution. Species have rather spread in large groups in areas possessing specific climatic and environmental conditions. Ever since Darwin, evolutionists have sought to portray this spread as evidence for evolution, though with regard to the "fundamental" living categories of geographical distribution their efforts have failed to come up with a consistent evolutionary scenario.
In their book Systematics and Biogeography, G. Nelson and N. Platnick of the New York American Museum of Natural History analysed the studies performed in this field and set out their conclusion:
We conclude, therefore, that biogeography (or geographical distribution of organisms) has not been shown to be evidence for or against evolution in any sense. 5
If evolutionists really wish to offer evidence for their theory then what they need to do is to abandon their fairy tales about "if this living thing is found here then it must have evolved here, and if that living thing is found there then it must have evolved there," and instead scientifically document their own responses to the question of how living things came into being in the first place. (It is an indisputable fact that the mechanisms of random mutation and natural selection cannot account for the origin of species.)
The fact that evolutionist claims based on biogeography are myths devoid of any scientific evidence clearly emerge on inspection of NG's claims about palaeontology. The fossil record clearly reveals that the idea that living things spread by evolving is a myth.
NG's palaeontology deception
NG makes a generalisation about the fossil strata, telling its readers that so-called closely related species are generally found side by side in consecutive strata, and that a life form going back millions of years in one stratum is followed by a similar, though not identical, one in the subsequent stratum. As an example of this generalisation it cites the equine sequence that even evolutionists abandoned years ago; it maintains that the modern-day horse emerged at the end of the sequence Hyracotherium, Orohippus, Epihippus and Mohippus, fossils of which are found in consecutive strata.
What NG is doing here consists of a blatant deception. The equine sequence is an unfounded one, the invalidity of which has now been demonstrated. That being the case, putting it forward as a generalisation regarding the fossil record cannot be described as anything else than an attempt to verify that generalisation with a deceptive example.
Life forms emerged with no evolutionary progenitors, but in a single moment, and with flawless bodily structures
Darwin, who maintained that living things emerged through graduated evolution and who hoped that the fossil record to confirm that claim would be obtained in future excavations, was mistaken. The fossils obtained in endless excavations carried out by palaeontologists all over the world have produced findings that openly refute the idea of gradual change in consecutive strata. These facts concern the phenomena of sudden appearance and stasis.
Species emerge suddenly, with no evolutionary progenitors but with flawless bodily structures. In his 1999 book Fossils and Evolution, Tom Kemp, Curator of the Zoological Collections in Oxford University Museum of Natural History, admits this:
In virtually all cases a new taxon appears for the first time in the fossil record with most definitive features already present, and practically no known stem-group forms. 6
Fossils hundreds of millions of years old that bear no
trace of evolution invalidate neo-Darwinism
Furthermore, species exhibit no gradual change as suggested in the NG generalisation. Species with natural histories of hundreds of millions of years exhibit a "stability" demonstrating a permanency throughout geological strata. The shark, coelacanth, ant, salamander and many other species, fossils of which have been found and which have remained unchanged for hundreds of millions of years, have led to palaeontologists accepting stasis as one of the most striking aspects of the fossil record. This phenomenon refutes Darwinism's prediction of gradual change and invalidates the theory. Professor of Geology Peter J. Williamson describes this in Nature magazine:
The principal problem is morphological stasis. A theory is only as good as its predictions, and conventional neo-Darwinism, which claims to be a comprehensive explanation of evolutionary process, has failed to predict the widespread long-term morphological stasis now recognized as one of the most striking aspects of the fossil record. 7
In short, NG's claim of graduated change throughout geological strata is a myth supported in the face of the science of palaeontology. The way that NG seeks to support that myth with the equine sequence only makes matters worse.
The truth in the equine sequence that NG seeks to conceal from its readers
The equine sequence is based on various hoofed fossils unearthed in North America. Darwinists set these out in such a way as to establish a sequence, according to the fossils' dental characteristics and numbers of toes, and for years put this forward as evidence for Darwinism. Continuing palaeontological excavations, however, definitively revealed the inconsistencies within that series. NG, known for its blind devotion to Darwinism, has no qualms about concealing this development from its readers and writing that the alleged evolutionary ancestors of the horse follow one another in consecutive geological strata.
Former BBC science editor Gordon Rattray Taylor describes how the equine sequence constitutes no evidence for Darwinism:
But perhaps the most serious weakness of Darwinism is the failure of paleontologists to find convincing phylogenies or sequences of organisms demonstrating major evolutionary change... The horse is often cited as the only fully worked-out example. But the fact is that the line from Eohippus to Equus is very erratic. It is alleged to show a continual increase in size, but the truth is that some variants were smaller than Eohippus, not larger. Specimens from different sources can be brought together in a convincing-looking sequence, but there is no evidence that they were actually ranged in this order in time. 8
At a meeting in November 1980 at the Chicago Museum of Natural History, attended by 150 evolutionists, one speaker, Boyce Rensberger, stated that there was no basis in the fossil record for the scenario of equine evolution, and that no gradual equine evolution ever took place:
The popularly told example of horse evolution, suggesting a gradual sequence of changes from four-toed fox-sized creatures living nearly 50 million years ago to today's much larger one-toed horse, has long been known to be wrong. Instead of gradual change, fossils of each intermediate species appear fully distinct, persist unchanged, and then become extinct. Transitional forms are unknown. 9
Discoveries that living things included in the imaginary sequence of equine evolution actually lived at the same time, and even together, totally refute Quammen. One of the most striking examples of this came to light in 1981. Fossils of thousands of living things, 10 million years old, that had been buried under lava as the result of a volcanic eruption and whose skeletons had been preserved down to the present day, were dug up in the US state of Nebraska. With that discovery it emerged that three- and single-toed equines assumed to have lived at different periods and to have ancestral relationships with one another in the framework of evolutionists' imaginary equine sequence, actually lived side by side. Interestingly the source of this information is NG magazine. 10
The myth of whale evolution
I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale. 11
From watching bears fishing along a river bank, Darwin set out his ideas on the origin of whales in these words in his book The Origin of Species, though he elected to remove that section from subsequent editions of the book. Yet evolutionists who came after Darwin had no hesitation over adopting this myth, with various minor amendments, that came down as a monument to the unrestricted nature of his imagination. They continued to propagate the myth that the whale evolved not from the bear but from other land mammals, as if this were a scientific fact.
It can now be seen that NG, one of the main representatives of Darwinian mythology, is behaving no differently, and is seeking to portray this great myth, supported for the sake of the dogma of evolution, as representing evidence for evolution.
There are enormous differences, in terms of such basic physiological characteristics as water conservation, sight and communication, between whales and the land mammals alleged to have been their progenitors. Let us now consider the scientific dilemma facing the myth of evolution by examining the design in whales:
The special water conservation design in whales' bodies
Although they live in water, whales are unable to meet their water requirements from salty sea water. They need fresh water to live. Although it is not known exactly how they meet their water needs, it is thought that a large part of it is obtained by eating sea creatures that contain levels of salt that are 30% lower than those of the ocean water.In such an environment, where fresh water is exceedingly scarce, the maximum conservation of water in living things' bodies and minimum consumption thereof are critical. Water levels are of great importance to whales, for which reason, just like camels, whales do not perspire. Their kidneys regulate urine concentration in such a way as to supply water.
Why is whale milk fatty?
Another delicate balance with regard to water needs appears in the fat level in the female whale's milk. The mother whale feeds her young with a very thick milk, of the consistency of cheese. This milk is ten times fattier than human milk. There is a chemical reason why this milk contains such a high level of fat. Water is produced as a side product as fat is processed after being consumed by the baby. In this way the mother meets her offspring's need for water with minimal water loss.
The design in whales' eyes
There are complex arrangements in the design of the whale eye and its communication systems, no examples of which are to be found in terrestrial mammals. Land mammals have eyelids to protect against dust and impact. Whales, on the other hand, have a hard layer to protect against a different danger, the pressure under the sea. Moreover, the refractive index in the design of the whale eye makes it possible for a killer whale to leap up and catch a fish six metres above the water level in an amusement park with considerable accuracy. In addition, whales' eyes are on either side of the head, unlike terrestrial mammals, thus protecting them from the current. Thanks to the levels of rod and cone cells in the eye, their sensitivity levels to light, colour and other details are very high. In addition to that ratio, the presence of phosphorus in the eyes is a design that facilitates their ability to see in the dark depths of the oceans.
The mathematical calculation employed by whales
The sense used by whales in the location of sources of food and of one another is not actually sight, but rather hearing. Many whales hunt at the dark regions at the bottom of the sea thanks to a form of natural "sonar." The whale's brain emits clicking sounds, in a way not yet fully understood by scientists. The distance of an object is determined by means of a mathematical calculation. The whale brain multiplies the speed at which the sounds it emits strike an object and bounce back by the time necessary for this, and divides the result by two. The result is the distance of the object from itself. Furthermore, the whale also possesses the ability to focus the sound waves with its brain on a specific point and to emit these like a light impulse. The returning waves are analysed and interpreted in the animal's brain. This interpretation determines the shape of the body in front of it, its size, speed and position. The animal's skull is sound-proofed to protect it from the bombardment of powerful sound waves it constantly emits and which could even seriously damage the brain itself. The sonic system in the animal is unbelievably sensitive, so much so that the US Navy imitates the sonar design in sea mammals in developing its own technology. 12
Special designs for whale calves
The perfect designs in whales are by no means limited to these. The shape of a whale calf's mouth has been designed in such a way as to be ideally suited to fit its mother's teats, so that the calf is able to suckle without losing a drop of milk and without taking in a drop of sea water. Moreover, they possess lungs capable of storing high levels of oxygen for protracted dives and an ear membrane designed to protect them from high pressure.
These arrangements, every one of which indicates an evident design, are particular to whales and are not to be found in any terrestrial mammal. NG, however, expects it readers to set reason aside and believe that these all came about by chance. NG denies that whales were intelligently designed, maintaining instead that one fine day a land mammal decided to live in the sea, and that the whale evolved as the result of unconscious mechanisms such as random mutations and natural selection.
Yet what mutation could possibly produce sonar in a mammal that was allegedly the progenitor of the whale? Bearing in mind the effect of mutations and the importance of the brain to the whale's survival, it is clear that mutations would damage the brain, crippling or killing the whale. Could the brain, that produces sound waves, be able to focus these on a particular point and determine the location of objects using a mathematical calculation, acquire a perfect sonar in an area that would be damaged during this random process? By what coincidence could it produce sonar of such a high quality that even the US Navy's technology development units have been unable to match it? What mutations could turn a land mammal's feet into fins and a tail capable of propelling several tons of weight?
There is no doubt that these questions may also be asked with regard to the systems that make it possible to use water so productively, the suckling system and the protective systems in the eye and ear. However, NG has no reasonable response to give to these questions. There is but one answer. Whales were created fully formed in a single moment. God created whales to be flawless, endowed with all the systems for their needs, just as He did all other living things. In one verse of the Qur'an it is revealed that:
Mankind! remember God's blessing to you. Is there any creator other than God providing for you from heaven and earth? There is no god but Him. So how have you been perverted? (Qur'an, 35: 3)
(For a more detailed reply to NG's fantastical whale story see http://www.harunyahya.com/70national_geographic_sci29.php)
NG's error regarding embryology
Another error in Quammen's article in NG is the repetition of a myth once known as the "law of recapitulation." This belonged to the German biologist Ernst Haeckel and in his claim regarding embryology Darwin was to a large extent "inspired" by Haeckel. The law of recapitulation maintains that the embryological development of living things repeats the imaginary stages undergone during the descent of the alleged evolutionary ancestors.
The fact that Quammen devotes space to this in his article reveals a wide gap of knowledge on his part. Objections along the lines that Haeckel's claims were devoid of any scientific justification and that the evidence he offered was forged began 136 years ago13, and the end of the law of recapitulation as the subject of scientific debate came as far back as 80 years ago 14. Even George Gaylord Simpson, one of the founders of neo-Darwinism, admitted this fact 42 years ago in the words:
Haeckel misstated the evolutionary principle involved. It is now firmly established that ontogeny does not repeat phylogeny. 15
Moreover, the myth of recapitulation, which NG has no qualms over recapitulating itself, involves what one British embryologist referred to in 1997 as "the best known fraud in the history of biology." In his book Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte (The History of Natural Creation), written in 1868, Haeckel deliberately distorted the pictures of human, monkey and dog embryos in such a way as to support his claim.
One striking aspect of this fraud is that it also constitutes a "centennial monument" to Darwinist dogmatism. Until recently, a number of Darwinist sources, including text books, continued either to use the counterfeit drawings as they were, or else to repeat the myth of recapitulation. The Harvard University professor and evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould displayed great common sense and offered the following criticism:
… [W]e do, I think, have the right to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks! 16
NG has not used counterfeit drawings. Yet it has no hesitations over using recapitulation, the invalidity of which emerged at least 80 years ago, as support for Darwinism.
We urge NG to consider Stephen Jay Gould's words.
NG's errors with regard to morphology
Quammen exhibits a most thought-provoking attitude in that section in which he deals with Darwin's claims on the subject of morphology. The way that a zoo is organised into birds, monkeys, big cats, crocodiles or fish in the aquarium is interpreted as evidence for evolution. According to Quammen, the fact that living things can be classified under a hierarchical system in families, orders and kingdoms must be the product of an evolutionary process.
However, Quammen's portrayal of hierarchical classification as evidence for evolution is nonsensical. That is because the fact that forms of life can be classified hierarchically is not a prediction first put forward by evolutionists and then subsequently confirmed. The Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus, the father of the modern system of classification, was a scientist who believed in creation from nothing and regarded that classification as the product of intelligent design. That is compatible with what we see with our own eyes and is grounded in common sense. The ability to be hierarchically classified is a well known hallmark of intelligent design. Means of transport, for example, can be classified as land, air and sea vehicles, and may be broken down into subcategories and even smaller subgroups. Yet this classification does not show that the modes of transport in question came into being through evolution.
Indeed, in an article published in the magazine New Scientist, the prominent evolutionist Mark Ridley makes the following statement:
The simple fact that species can be classified hierarchically into genera, families, and so on, is not an argument for evolution. It is possible to classify any set of objects into a hierarchy whether their variation is evolutionary or not. 17
In the same way that what Quammen writes on this subject are far from supporting his claim, it also reveals how he relies on preconceptions rather than scientific evidence:
Such a pattern of tiered resemblances?groups of similar species nested within broader groupings, and all descending from a single source?isn't naturally present among other collections of items. You won't find anything equivalent if you try to categorize rocks, or musical instruments, or jewelry. Why not? Because rock types and styles of jewelry don't reflect unbroken descent from common ancestors. Biological diversity does. The number of shared characteristics between any one species and another indicates how recently those two species have diverged from a shared lineage. (p. 13)
Quammen placed the hierarchical categorisation in living things in a separate place, on the grounds that it reflects a continual chain of descent from a common ancestor. That term, however, is helpless labelling in Quammen's desperate attempts to prove Darwin right.
As is made clear above, there is no fossil record capable of being proposed as evidence of any evolutionary link between living categories. The words of the prominent evolutionary palaeontologist Stephen Jay Gould that "The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches" are an admission of the fact that there is actually no evidence for the evolutionary links assumed to exist among living things. 18
In short, the origin of the evolutionary chain of descent that Quammen claims exists among living categories is not scientific fact such as the fossil record, but rather his own dogmatic mentality.
The five-digit skeletal structure error
Quammen maintains that the way that various vertebrates such as the bat, the dolphin and human beings all share the feature of having five digits stems from descent from a common ancestor. This claim rests on the fact that although there is the same basic plan in the front and rear legs of the living things in question, these can still be easily differentiated (the homological claim). This claim of Quammen's can of course only deceive those readers who are unaware of the facts of modern science. Advances in the field of molecular biology definitively invalidate this morphology-based claim. One striking discovery that led to this is that the production of these organs, assumed to be a legacy from a common ancestor, is in fact controlled by different genes in different creatures.
The evolutionary biologist William Fix describes the collapse of the evolutionary thesis concerning pentadactylism (having five digits) in this area in the face of this discovery:
The older textbooks on evolution make much of the idea of homology, pointing out the obvious resemblances between the skeletons of the limbs of different animals. Thus the `pentadactyl' limb pattern is found in the arm of a man, the wing of a bird, and flipper of a whale, and this is held to indicate their common origin. Now if these various structures were transmitted by the same gene couples, varied from time to time by mutations and acted upon by environmental selection, the theory would make good sense. Unfortunately this is not the case. Homologous organs are now known to be produced by totally different gene complexes in the different species. The concept of homology in terms of similar genes handed on from a common ancestor has broken down. 19
NG's vestigial Darwinism
Quammen displays a striking determination not to grasp the fact that Darwin's claims have been demolished by modern science. One of the indications of this is his repetition of the claim regarding vestigial organs, a claim which is utterly illusory. It is maintained in the article that organs such as the male nipple, structures claimed to be the vestiges of rear legs in certain snakes, or the covered wings in coleoptera that are not actually used, are redundant, functionless organs left over from the evolutionary process. Quammen is clearly ignoring the definitive results from scientific developments:
The list of up to 180 supposed vestigial organs at the beginning of the 20th century eventually shrank to almost none in the face of discoveries from scientific research. One by one it emerged that a great many organs, such as the appendix and the plica semilunaris, once supposed to be vestigial organs, do actually have functions.20 "Science" is in any case the process by which human beings come to know what was previously unknown. The gradual emergence of the functions of organs that were once regarded as vestigial shows that, logically, the functions of the last few remaining organs whose functions are still unknown will soon be revealed.
Indeed, a great many present-day evolutionists have admitted that the myth of "vestigial organs" is an argument rooted in ignorance. In an article headed "Do Vestigial Organs Represent Evidence for Evolution?" published in the journal Evolutionary Theory, the evolutionary biologist S. R. Scadding admits this fact:
Since it is not possible to unambiguously identify useless structures, and since the structure of the argument used is not scientifically valid, I conclude that 'vestigial organs' provide no special evidence for the theory of evolution. 21
Evolutionists' claim on the subject of vestigial organs stem not from any vestigialism in these organs, but from the vestigial nature of their own perspectives. The existence of any living thing proves only the existence of God, its creator. The way that inanimate and unconscious atoms combine to produce a hearing, smelling, touching and seeing human being is proof of God's flawless creation. That it is because it is impossible for atoms, which cannot smell, hear or see, to wish to have perception and to combine together for that purpose. For a collection of matter to stand and look at itself in front of a mirror, or for matter to taste and touch itself, has no place in evolutionary logic. These feelings can only be explained in terms of a superior creation, in other words the existence of God and His flawless creation. Despite this self-evident truth, evolutionists hold to the irrational and blind belief that they themselves are the product of matter and blind chance, which shows that their claim regarding vestigial organs is one based on this prejudiced and dogmatic perspective.
The realisation that the organs regarded by evolutionists as vestigial do actually have functions is a proof of this. For example, the structures portrayed as the vestiges of rear legs in certain species of snake are now known to help them to grip one another during mating. To regard the male nipple as the product of an evolutionary process also rests on a distorted logic. If the male nipple were a leftover from an evolutionary process then males must have evolved from a population consisting solely of females, which is a scenario so unimaginable that no evolutionist has felt able to accept it. Coleoptera, another example cited by Quammen, also constitute no evidence for evolution. Insect species which do not develop a functional wing are generally seen in open habitats with strong winds, such as ocean islands. In an environment where strong winds blow and surrounded by large masses of water, insects' being able to fly is by no means an advantage, and may even represent a danger. That is because insects flying in the air are exposed to the effects of the wind and can be hurled into trees or rocks, ending up crippled or dead. There may, therefore, have been a tendency for them to move towards a ground-based lifestyle. Over time, the insect population that lives near the ground comes to consist of individuals that do not develop fully fledged wings. That is because, unlike flying insects, mutations that prevent insects that live near to ground level developing wings may not be damaging to the insect (on the provision that they do not cause a total interruption in its physiology).
A mutation that prevented wing development in a flying insect living in a habitat uninfluenced by winds would be harmful and maybe even lethal. That is because normally an insect that uses its wings to feed and to avoid predators would possess functionless wings because of that mutation and would be unable to survive and thus eliminated from the population.
On the other hand, in insects living in a habitat affected by winds and that used their feet to move about in the same way as non-flying insects, a mutation in the wings might not have lethal consequences. That is because the insect will already have grown accustomed to a life style in which it does not use wings, and it will make no difference whether its wings are healthy or else lose their function due to mutation (as long as the mutation in question is not one that affects the insect's general physiology). In short, a destructive mutation leading to the loss of an insect's wings may not be lethal in an environment where wings are in any case of no consequence.
However, it cannot be said that the coleoptera that are assumed to have undergone such a process represent evidence of evolution. The theory of evolution proposes that organs gradually assume a more complex form. The genetic change proposed in support of this claim must be of such a kind as to add new genetic information to creatures' DNA. It is evident, however, that coleoptera do not gain any new genetic information during this process and that, on the contrary, they suffer a loss of information in the genes that control wing development.
Can this acquisition of genetic information, which is not seen in coleoptera, be observed in any other living thing? Definitely not. Evolutionists have been unable to show the emergence of a new organ, or even a new protein, by means of random mutations.
In short, the theory of evolution maintains that living things acquire new organs with the addition of new genetic information to their DNA, but the vestigial organ argument is one that concerns a loss of function, in other words a loss of genetic data. Therefore, vestigial organs provide no scientific support for the theory of evolution. The reason for evolutionists' determination to place this claim on the scientific agenda is psychological rather than scientific. Their display of blind devotion to materialism leads them to adopt a vestigial perspective towards the evident truth of creation. (You can read Harun Yahya's article that demolishes evolutionists' vestigial viewpoint here. http://www.darwinism-watch.com/hurriyet_science0407.php)
James P. Gills, M.D., founder of St. Luke's Cataract and Laser Institute in Tarpon Springs, Florida, is a creationist scientist. He is also a world-renowned ophthalmologist. In his book Darwinism Under the Microscope, Gills cites a great many proofs of creation that totally undermine evolution, and writes that the only reason why scientists still insist on evolution is the spiritual cataract of thinking of themselves as the product of blind chance. 22
The error of thinking that resistance to antibiotics and DDT is evidence of evolution
The NG article seeks to show that bacterial immunity to antibiotics and insects' resistance to such pesticides as DDT constitutes evidence for evolution. On the subject of the resistance that microbes appear to develop to drugs Quammen confidently states:
There's no better or more immediate evidence supporting the Darwinian theory than this process of forced transformation among our inimical germs. (p. 21)
However, Quammen's excitement in portraying bacterial immunity as evidence for evolution is totally misplaced. It is explained below why these two phenomena do not represent evidence for Darwinism.
The first of the "deadly molecules" employed against micro-organisms was penicillin, discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928. Fleming discovered a molecule that killed the Staphylococcus mould bacterium, after which antibiotics taken from micro-organisms were used against various bacteria. Although it appeared at first that definitive results had been obtained, the truth later emerged: bacteria gradually acquire resistance to antibiotics. The great majority of bacteria exposed to antibiotics die, but since a small minority remain unaffected this rapidly multiply and eventually come to constitute the entire population. Thus the entire population becomes resistant to the antibiotic.
However, there is no question of bacteria developing through mutation here, because the bacteria already possess the characteristics in question before being exposed to antibiotics. Despite being an evolutionist publication, Scientific American magazine admitted these facts in its March 1998 edition:
Many bacteria possessed resistance genes even before commercial antibiotics came into use. Scientists do not know exactly why these genes evolved and were maintained. 23
Insects acquire resistance to pesticides such as DDT in the same way, and, again in the same way, this represents no evidence for evolution.
The prominent evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala accepts the truth of this in the words:
The genetic variants required for resistance to the most diverse kinds of pesticides were apparently present in every one of the populations exposed to these man-made compounds. 24
One of those to carry out the most detailed research on this subject is the Israeli biophysicist Dr. Lee Spetner. In his book Not by Chance, published in 1997, Spetner showed that bacterial immunity is brought about by two different mechanisms, but that these offer no support for the theory of evolution. For more detail on this subject see http://www.harunyahya.com/20questions05.php#q19 and http://www.darwinismrefuted.com/embryology_01.html)
Another so-called piece of evidence in the NG article, in addition to the resistance in bacteria and insects, concerns genetic similarities.
The deception that evolution can be observed
NG claims that evolution can actually be witnessed in nature and in the laboratory. This, however, is a fantastical and groundless claim. In an article titled "How Are New Species Formed?" published in the 14 June, 2003, edition of New Scientist, George Turner made the following significant "admission":
Not long ago, we thought we knew how species formed. We believed that the process almost always started with complete isolation of populations. It often occurred after a population had gone through a severe "genetic bottleneck," as might happen after a pregnant female was swept off to a remote island and her offspring mated with each other. The beauty of this so-called "founder effect" model was that it could be tested in the lab. In reality, it just didn't hold up. Despite evolutionary biologists' best efforts, nobody has even got close to creating a new species from a founder population. What's more, as far as we know, no new species has formed as a result of humans releasing small numbers of organisms into alien environments. 25
As we have seen, evolutionists do not actually know how new species are formed. In other words, Quammen's claim about being able to witness evolution in action is totally unfounded. The fact that the long years of study carried out by the Grants into chaffinch beak lengths on the Galapagos islands is cited in support is the result of Darwinism misrepresenting variations to represent evidence for itself. (For further information, see http://www.harunyahya.com/nas04.php)
As we have seen, Darwin was wrong. National Geographic's posing the question whether he was wrong is as ridiculous as asking "Was Freud wrong?" or "Was Marx wrong?" That is because, like Freudianism and Marxism, Darwinism is a theory that has come to the end of its life. We call upon NG magazine to abandon its support for this outdated myth and to accept that creation is the true origin of life.
What NG needs to do is to set its preconceptions to one side and cease supporting Darwinism as a dogma, and to face up to the scientific evidence that undermines this theory. Discoveries in the last 40 years in particular have definitively revealed the invalidity of the naturalist philosophy at the heart of Darwinism. If NG does face up to that fact it will see that the organised complexity of life and the genetic information on which it depends point to intelligent design, in other words that life did not evolve on its own through chance and natural events, but was "created."
NG - and all other Darwinists - have so far avoided facing up to this, and may therefore have resorted to covering up the difficulties facing their theory. Yet they must be aware that this avoidance will be of no use in keeping their theory alive. That is because a major development in the world of science is serving notice that the age of sweeping matters under the carpet has come to an end.
The way that the intelligent design movement, that has been sweeping through the USA over the last 10 years, has one by one unmasked the dogmas of Darwinism, has made it the focus of wide interest. The intellectual basis of this movement is the "Theory of Intelligent Design." The theory in question maintains that complex biological structures containing large amounts of information can only be explained in terms of intelligence-based causes, and that these causes can be empirically studied in the field of biology. 26
One indication that the intelligent design movement may represent the dynamic for major cultural changes is the way it is effectively and in a widespread manner revealing that the evidence for so long taught as evidence for Darwinism in schools actually consists of mythology, deception, misrepresentation and even fraud. California Berkeley University's Professor Phillip E. Johnson, the leader of the movement, stresses that Darwinism will pass into the dustbin of history sometime in this century. 27
It will be of use here to remind NG of the damage from a determined persistence in its policy of uncritical defence of Darwinism. It will be remembered that NG announced the discovery of the Archaeoraptor fossil discovered in China as definitive proof that birds evolved from dinosaurs, without waiting for it to be described in referred scientific journals. Later, however, it was realised that the fossil did not represent a missing link at all, but was a counterfeit "produced" by a Chinese peasant.26 Because of its blind devotion to Darwinism NG had no hesitation in embracing this fossil as "proof" by unscientific methods, and later found itself in "modern paleontology's greatest embarrassment." 29
According to the ornithologist Dr. Storrs Olson, "National Geographic has reached an all-time low for engaging in sensationalistic, unsubstantiated, tabloid journalism." 30
The portrayal of the claim of recapitulation, which died at least 80 years ago, as evidence for evolution in NG's article "Was Darwin Wrong" shows that it is devoid of the seriousness required by science and is continuing with its "unsubstantiated, tabloid journalism." NG is not behaving intelligently. Maintaining this approach does not provide any support for Darwinism. On the contrary, NG is documenting its own dogmatism in an ever more obvious way.
We invite NG to consider these points and to accept that creation is the true origin of life.
There is no doubt that the Lord of all living things, on Earth, in the Sky, and between, is God. In one verse of the Qur'an God reveals that:
Your God is One God. There is no god but Him, the All-Merciful, the Most Merciful. (Qur'an, 2: 163)
Under the pen name of Harun Yahya, Adnan Oktar has written some 250 works. His books contain a total of 46,000 pages and 31,500 illustrations. Of these books, 7,000 pages and 6,000 illustrations deal with the collapse of the Theory of Evolution. You can read, free of charge, all the books Adnan Oktar has written under the pen name Harun Yahya on these websites www.harunyahya.com
1. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library.
2. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition, Harvard University Press, 1964, p. 189.
3. Michael Behe, Darwin's Black Box, 1996
4. For more information about the evolutionist theses on biogeography, please see Walter J. Remine, “The Biotic Message: Evolution Versus Message Theory”, Saint Paul Science; 1st ed edition, 1993. page 538.
5. G. Nelson & N. Platnick, Systematics and Biogeography: Cladistics and Vicariance, Columbia University Press, 1981, p. 223.
6. Fossils and Evolution, Dr TS Kemp - Curator of Zoological Collections, Oxford University, Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 246.
7. Peter G. Williamson, "Morphological stasis and developmental constraint: real problems for neo-Darwinism," Nature, vol. 294, 19 November 1981, p. 214; Stephen E. Jones, http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/
8. Gordon Rattray Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery, Abacus, Sphere Books, London, 1984, p. 230.
9. Boyce Rensberger, Houston Chronicle, November 5, 1980, p. 15.
10. Voorhies M.R., "Ancient Ashfall Creates a Pompei of Prehistoric Animals," National Geographic, Vol. 159, No. 1, January 1981, pp.67-68,74 ; "Horse Find Defies Evolution" Creation Ex Nihilo 5(3):15, January 1983, http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/3723.asp
11. Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition, Harvard University Press, 1964, p. 184.
12. Spotting Mines With Dolphin Sonar , ScienceNOW 1998: 2
13 L. Rutimeyer, "Referate," Archiv fur Anthropologie, 1868
14 Keith S. Thompson, "Ontogeny and Phylogeny Recapitulated", American Scientist, vol. 76, May / June 1988, p. 273
15 G. G. Simpson, W. Beck, An Introduction to Biology, Harcourt Brace and World, New York, 1965, p. 241.
16 Stephen Jay Gould, "Abscheulich! - Atrocious! - the precursor to the theory of natural selection," Natural History, March 2000, p. 45.
17 Mark Ridley, "Who Doubts Evolution?" New Scientist, vol. 90 (25 June 1981), p. 832.
18 Gould S.J, "Evolution's Erratic Pace," Natural History, May 1977, p. 13-14.
19 William Fix, The Bone Peddlers: Selling Evolution, Macmillan Publishing Co., New York, 1984, p. 189.
20 J. Bergman & G. Howe, Vestigial Organs are Fully Functional, CRS Books, Terre Haute, IN, 1990.
21 S. R. Scadding, "Do 'Vestigial Organs' Provide Evidence for Evolution?," Evolutionary Theory, vol. 5, May 1981, p. 173.
22 James P.Gills, M.D. & Thomas Woodward, Ph.D., Darwinism under the Microscope, Charisma House, 2002, p. 39.
23 Stuart B. Levy, "The Challenge of Antibiotic Resistance," Scientific American, March 1998, p. 35
24 Francisco J.Ayala, "The Mechanisms of Evolution," Scientific American, vol. 239, September 1978, p. 64
25 George Turner, "How Are New Species Formed?," New Scientist, vol. 178, issue 2399, 14 June 2003, p. 36
26 http://www.arn.org , http://www.discovery.org/csc/
27 Phillip E. Johnson, "Mothballed Science," Touchstone Magazine, December 2003
28 For more information about Archaeoraptor forgery, please see http://www.harunyahya.com/20questions03.php#q7
29 Tim Friend, "The 'missing link' fossil that wasn't", USA Today, 02/01/2000
30 Open Letter to National Geographic Society by Storrs L. Olson, Curator of Birds, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
About the Author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, HARUN YAHYA
Born in Ankara in 1956, Adnan Oktar writes his books under the pen name of Harun Yahya. Ever since his university years, he has dedicated his life to telling of the existence and oneness of Almighty Allah, and to disseminating the moral values of the Qur'an. He has never wavered in the face of difficulties and despite oppression, still continues this intellectual struggle today exhibiting great patience and determination. For mor information pls visit: http://www.harunyahya.com/theauthor.php
Plant-eating crocodiles in the fossil record? Found where?
I heard about them years ago, that they were found in strata that placed them after the Cretaceous. I would be most interested to know whether they evolved only in isolated places like S.America when it was surrounded by ocean, or Madagascar -- just like giant birds. It would support the extinction theory I wrote about at dinotheorist.com.
It seems the answer is Madagascar and China.
On the Madagascar species:
The species from China:
"The reported find of a fossilised herbivorous crocodyliform (Wu, 1995) is almost as surprising as finding a herbivorous member of the Cat Family. Crocodiles are perceived as reptilian predators par excellence in the popular mind. From diagnostic features in the teeth, the "first known herbivorous member of that group" has been identified, named Chimaerasuchus paradoxus."
On that species, see:
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Do Dragons Walk Among Us (Carry Out They Still) Part 1
Just about any culture on earth comes with an oral tradition of runs into with big, strange beasts? creatures different from those we realize. Were they dragons? Why don? big t we still have dragons among us? Or maybe do many of us? Will we all ever know for certain?
Exactly what are dragons?
From the fossil file, we've a sizeable body of knowledge about huge animals that are no longer represented in the animal kingdom. Though these kinds of creatures varied greatly when it comes to size, appearance, diet, environment, mode involving motility, and probably almost every other characteristic, all of us collectively call all such anciently died out species? dinosaurs.?
In regards to what ended their particular presence on the planet, we've only rumours, with people of differing thoughts being just as adamant concerning their points of see. Standard evolutionary hypothesis favors the explanation that the devastating Meteorite hit the planet earth about 65 million years back, creating extended darkness from dust and debris thrown to the atmosphere, thus snuffing out and about many living forms.
The particular creationist standpoint, however, tends toward an infinitely more recent time frame for the collective demise of the large ancient animals. Precisely how recent is a subject of debate, even the type of who share the same basic Biblical viewpoint, with? old-earth? creationists occupying something of a middle ground between your evolutionists and the? new-earth? creationists, that date the earth at around 10, 000 years. Those two groups agree that the death of the dinosaurs was due to the Genesis Flood and/or the global geological and climatic changes that transpired after that.
Those who want to think that dragons really lived (and who wouldn? t?) might you should consider a probable link involving dinosaurs, the Loch Ness beast, and a great flood (or the fantastic Flood).
Dragons around the world
Both Old and New Testaments talk about monsters? the books of Job, Psalms, Isaiah, and Revelation. Dragons can be found in the Babylonian creation story; Nebuchadnezzar built the city of Babylon with carvings of dragons all around the walls, and put the dragon upon his close off. Ancient Egyptians used images of dragons to protect their palaces. Both ancient Greeks and Romans experienced dragon mythologies, as do China and Japan, Mesopotamia and India.
Europe comes with an especially rich tradition of dragons. The Vikings carved dragons on their ships. Celtic nobleman in England were named? dragons.? Pendragon means? chief dragon,? or head of most chiefs among the ancient Britons. Scotland and France have dragon contacts. Wales gets the dragon since its country wide symbol. Britain alone has nearly 200 sites identified together with dragon lore.
As a land composed of islands, Great britain has an obvious attract creatures that thrive in or close to water, which might explain its particularly strong relationship with dragons? an association that produces sense in the Flood scenario. Several local fests of ancient origin continue to re-enact the actual killing of the resident dragon. Around England are generally places named for dragon slayings. Monster Hill will be where St. George, patron saint of England, is said to have killed the dragon. Tale says that grass has never since grown where the dragon? s blood was spilled.
United states has the share regarding dragons. Mexican history provides Quetzalcoatl? component serpent and part beautiful bird? the particular god of wind, intelligence, and life. The actual Algonquin Indians of United states worshipped any dragon known as Piasa; the actual Apache group had one called Chiricahua.
Based on dragon lore, many and varied types of dragons as soon as graced the planet earth. Some have two legs, some have four, a few none. Some have wings. Several breathe flame, some have poisonous stingers on the tails. Some have parts of the body of another animal or of a human. Some have scales; some have smooth, leathery epidermis. They can be found in all colors and a variety of sizes. Common history is important here, since features just like color and skin texture can't be determined from fossil exam. These descriptions could be superimposed upon the ones from dinosaurs without taxing the imagination.
Curiously, while Western dragons are portrayed since man-eating and evil, Far eastern dragons are believed good, type, and intelligent.
How can Nessie easily fit into?
Much while the traditional land-based monster, the floating around monster likewise enjoys a worldwide reputation. Of those, the actual Loch Ness list is arguably the most famous.
Studies of Loch Ness monster sightings pretty much agree on what Nessie appears like. She (I? m going to call it? she? intended for simplicity? s sake) is really a large dog, 20-60 legs long, with a thick, rounded back and a muscular-looking tail. She has a small head along with lashes extensions and a long neck of the guitar, a little thicker than an elephant? s trunk area, forming numerous arches. She's got elephant-like skin and two really short forelegs or perhaps flippers. Her body might have a fin as well, and is grayish-black. She actually is reportedly an easy swimmer.
Nessie has been spotted periodically for above 1400 many years. The initial recorded sighting was by St. Columba within 565 ADVERTISING.
Loch Lochy, Loch Lomond, and Loch Shiel all have been sites of probable monster presence. Ireland includes a lake animal they call up Plasts; Wales has one called Afanc. The uk? s deepest human body of fresh water, Pond Morar, over 1, 000 ft deep, possesses Morag.
Sweden has the Great River Monster. Spain has several lakes together with long-necked animals. A pond in Japan now states a pond monster, because does River Van, a saltwater river in southeastern Chicken.
Lake Okanagan inside British Columbia hosts Ogopogo. In america, Lake Champlain offers Champ, Wallowa Pond in Oregon has Wally, and California-Nevada? t Lake Tahoe has received a number of sightings involving strange drinking water creatures.
What Nessie et ing. could be
Most arguments against Nessie becoming any known types of creature start with an assumption of the evolutionary scenario. It's been suggested that Nessie might be an associate of the supposedly died out group archaeoceti, a suborder regarding Cetacea, the actual order including whales, porpoises, and dolphins.
It's not uncommon regarding animals thought to have gone extinct to show up alive and well. One example may be the coelacanth, the fish of the order crossopterygii, the actual order which includes a fish considered to have been the ancestral of property vertebrates. The particular discovery of a live coelacanth necessitated any rearrangement of the? family tree.?
Additionally, your pet species we have do not always belong to neat groups. The platypus and the spiny anteater (both mammals) lay down eggs. Bats (also mammals) take flight. The lungfish and the mudskipper (both fish) walk, and the walking perch can live for a day without water due to a supplemental respiratory system chamber that enables the fish to make use of air. Several snakes put eggs, others give birth to reside young, yet each one is reptiles. Indeed, the essential problem with taxonomy (the actual classification of organisms in a ordered method) is that it presupposes any correlation between your various levels of classification and the geological schedules of which they differentiated from one another.
Nessie might be an aquatic animal like a hippo or even crocodile that breathes together with just her nostrils over the waterline, or perhaps an amphibian together with gills, or any other unique creature.
While many descriptions of Nessie are similar, differing photos taken associated with her might suggest different species of lake pests. The presence of several species is not unlikely.
To be continued?.
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