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There is a common misconception concerning evolution which continues to be perpetuated. For example, recently ( in November of '04 ) articles had appeared in major U.S. newspapers in which journalists interpreted and claimed that according to research running may have contributed to the evolution of man.
The simple fact is that physical traits and characteristics are determined and passed on by genes - not by running or any other form of exercise. Any exercises that are performed do not affect the genes.
Traits or characteristics which are acquired from the environment simply cannot be passed on to offspring ( i.e. a woman who loses her finger will not cause her baby to be born with a missing finger; changing the color or texture of your hair will not affect the hair color or texture of your descendants, and etc. ). Thus, even if an ape ever did learn to walk and run upright it still would not be able to pass on this trait to its offspring. Only changes which occur in the genes of reproductive cells ( i.e. sperm and egg ) can be passed on to offspring. That is a simple fact of biology.
Furthermore, there are genetic limits to biological change and variation in nature. All biological variations, whether they are beneficial to survival or not, are possible only within the genetic potential and limits of a biological kind such as the varieties among dogs, cats, horses, cows, etc., but variations across biological kinds such as humans evolving from ape-like creatures and apes, in turn, evolving from dog-like creatures and so on, as Darwinian evolutionary theory teaches, are not possible unless nature can perform genetic engineering so as to increase the genetic information potential in species.
It is true that natural selection occurs in nature, but natural selection itself is not a creative force. Natural selection can only select from biological variations which are possible. The common belief among evolutionists is that random mutations in the genetic code over time will provide the new and progressive biological variations for natural selection to act upon. Evolutionists consider mutations to be a form of natural genetic engineering.
However, the nature of mutations precludes such a possibility. Mutations are accidents in the genetic code caused by random environmental forces such as radiation. Mutations have been found to be almost always harmful, which is what one would normally expect from accidents. Even if a good mutation occurred for every good one there will be thousands of harmful ones with the net effect over time being disastrous for the species.
Most biological variations occur as a result of new combinations of previously existing genes - not because of mutations which are rare in nature.
Furthermore, mutations simply produce new variations of already existing traits. They do not produce entirely new traits or characteristics.
It is not rational to believe that the gradual accumulation of random mutations in the genetic code over time will produce more complex species anymore than it is rational to believe that the random changes caused by earthquakes will produce increasingly more complex buildings.
Furthermore, a half-evolved and useless organ waiting millions of years to be completed via random mutations would be a biological hindrance, obstruction, and liability - not exactly a suitable candidate for natural selection assuming, of course, that random mutations could ever get an organ to the half-evolved stage.
How could species have survived over supposedly millions of years while their vital organs were still evolving?
Given that nature has no true ability to perform genetic engineering, it is more logical to believe that the genetic and biological similarities between species are due to a common Designer rather than a common evolutionary ancestry.
Science cannot prove we're here by creation, but neither can science prove we're here by chance or evolution. The issue is which faith, evolution or creation, has better scientific support.
The simple fact is that nature can only work with the already given genetic potential in species and no more. Before any tissue, organ, or biological structure can ever develop there must first exist the prerequisite genetic information and potential.
Young people, and even adults, often wonder how all the varieties and races of people could come from the same human ancestors. Well, in principle, that's no different than asking how children with different color hair ( i.e., blond, brunette, brown, red ) can come from the same parents who both have black hair. Just as some individuals today carry genes to produce descendents with different color hair and eyes, humanity's first parents possessed genes to produce all the variety and races of men. You and I today may not carry the genes to produce every variety or race of humans, but humanity's first parents did possess such genes.
All varieties of humans carry the genes for the same basic traits, but not all humans carry every possible variation of those genes. For example, one person may be carrying several variations of the gene for eye color ( i.e., brown, green, blue ) , but someone else may be carrying only one variation of the gene for eye color ( i.e., brown ). Thus, both will have different abilities to affect the eye color of their offspring.
There is, of course, much more to be said on this subject and I cover various scientific issues ( i.e. fossils, mutations, the origin of life, embryology, comparative anatomy/physiology, the issue of vestigial organs, the age of the earth, etc. ) at greater depth in my essay The Natural Limits of Evolution on my website: www.religionscience.com; I explain why the scientific evidence better supports creation than evolution.
In my essay, I even discuss the possibility of any life on Mars having originated from Earth due to the great geological disturbances in the Earth's past which could have easily spewed rocks and dirt containing microbes into space.
It is only fair that school students be exposed to the scientific arguments and evidence on both sides of the creation/evolution issue.
As a religion and science writer I have had the privilege of being recognized in Marquis Who's Who In The East. I have also given lectures and seminars before science faculty and students at various secular college and university campuses on the creation/evolution issue. Thank you so much.
Babu G. Ranganathan
( B.A. Theology/Biology)
* Creationist and scientist Dr. Walt Brown has his entire book In The Beginning available on the web for reading. Please go to www.creationscience.com.
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