Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools."

– Plato


Friday, April 2, 2010

Well I'll Be A Monkey's Uncle

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution has become part of the conventional wisdom of western culture, but I must be stupid because there are things about that theory that make no sense to me. George Orwell said that one has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things that an ordinary man would be a fool to believe. Maybe it’s good to be ordinary.

I was reminded recently of how complex yet vulnerable our physical bodies are. If something inside us isn’t working perfectly, it can kill us. But according to evolution all these intricacies happened by chance, gradually changing over millions of years, through trial and error.

Here are a few things that I don’t understand. I don’t understand how a creature could breathe before its lungs were fully developed and working perfectly. How about a primitive amphibian bumping into things for ten thousand years before his eyes began to focus? What organ in my body could I live without because it wasn’t fully evolved? Doesn’t everything need to be in place and working perfectly for me to stay alive?

Take the process of reproduction. Two prehistoric rodents bump into each other in a tunnel, fall in love, have a couple of drinks, breed their brains out, and then hope that all the millions of tasks involved in fertilization and gestation work perfectly so junior rodent can pop out alive and well. If anything goes wrong, extinction wins. What if a single piece of this puzzle isn’t in place? What if the girl rodent hadn’t evolved fully functioning mammary glands to coincide with the timely physiological needs of the offspring?

I was taught in college that Archaeopteryx was a transitional form between reptile and bird. I’ve since learned that this unique creature was actually a bird and there is no fossil evidence of creatures gradually transitioning into Archaeopteryx and nothing evolving from him. And according to fossil evidence normal birds were flying around at the same time as the “reptilian” raptor. “Say what…??”

How could an ambitious reptile with his eyes on the friendly skies survive during the centuries it took for his front legs to turn into wings? He couldn’t run and he couldn’t fly. I picture the poor guy flopping around on the ground frantically trying to catch something to eat while he becomes easy prey due to his lack of mobility. That poor sucker wouldn’t last through the day.

Aristotle taught that when something new emerges, it doesn’t come from nothing. It derives from potentiality and the potential must be in the genes. If a cat doesn’t have the genetic potential to become a dog, it won’t happen. If you’re playing with two dice, you’ll never throw a thirteen.

Changes within species, called microevolution, goes on constantly. Evolution on that level is observable and factual. Adaptive adjustments are visible every day. What does not happen is change from one species to a different species. This is a key point.

If certain traits were necessary for survival, how did the creature survive before they were fully developed? If they weren’t necessary for survival, why did they develop at all? And how did these brainless organisms figure it all out? How did the spider come up with the web idea? How did butterflies design their glorious escape from their humble beginnings inching along the stem of a Geranium while dreaming of flight?

Sir Julian Huxley said evolution involves continual increase of order, organization, size and complexity. That’s the premise of evolutionary theory. Evolution requires a full spectrum leading right up the evolutionary ladder, but the evidence isn’t there. The rocks exploded with fossils during the Cambrian period, but the fossil record presents individual species fully formed. There’s an obvious lack of transitional forms.

True believers put their evolution money on mutations, but there are many scientific reasons why mutations won’t work, including the fact that mutations are malformations and are normally deleterious or fatal to the individual.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics, known as the Law of Entropy, states that in all energy transformations, there is a tendency for some of the energy to be transformed into non-reversible heat energy. Everything runs down, decays, and decreases in complexity. But the Theory of Evolution is based on the idea that living forms move from the simple to the complex, the exact opposite of the Second Law. So here we have a proven scientific law in direct conflict with a theory. What do we do now?

The late Malcolm Muggeridge said that someday people would laugh at the idea of evolution. That makes me feel a lot better. Muggeridge was smarter than I am and he didn’t buy it either.


  1. Actually, Ralph, I did overhear a monkey that believed in evolution ask the following question: "Am I my keeper's brother?"

  2. Ed -
    How did you answer your monkey's question?

  3. Ralph,
    Realizing the time frame required for a species to evolve, I don't think life on earth, in any form, has existed long enough. What do you think?

  4. You're right. Not only that, but the potential for change has to be in the genes. With a pair of dice you will never throw a 13. Change within the species happens all the time, but mutations are normally deadly and not beneficial.