(Minghui.org) How are human beings different from chimpanzees? Quite different, from the way they look and walk to their strength and communication abilities. But some believe they are close kin, citing a 1975 paper that claimed a 1% genetic difference between the two species. Subsequent in-depth studies, however, showed it is not that simple.
The Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium examined the genome in 2005 and found about 3% additional differences in gene insertion and deletion compared to the human genome, wrote Jon Cohen in a 2007 Science article titled “Relative Differences: The Myth of 1%.” Furthermore, computational genomics at Indiana University showed humans and chimpanzees had a gene copy difference of 6.4%, while UCLA neuroscientists found that 17.4% of the connection in the cortex are specific to humans.
Discoveries in Paleontology
While many people tend to accept evolution theory, various evidence, especially those in paleontology, have posed serious challenges to evolution theory.
For example, Charles Darwin considered evolution a slow and gradual process. But anatomists and paleontologists have found that although microevolution (within a species) can be explained, macroevolution (between a species) is much harder to justify.
Second, extinction happened over time throughout history. Scientists called the loss of between 0.1 and 1 species per 10,000 species per 100 years normal extinction. Another type, which could lose 75% of the world’s species in a short amount of geological time, is called mass extinction. While the former may be explained by evolution theory, the latter remains a puzzle.
Third, unlike mass extinction, the sudden emergence of a large number of species is also a major challenge. One example was the Cambrian explosion about 540 million years ago with a major diversification between groups of organisms in a short time. Darwin himself was also confused about it. “To the question of why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these…periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer,” he wrote. Similar to other mass extinctions such as the Triassic-Jurassic extinction, it contradicts the model of natural selection and survival of the fittest.
Fourth, progress at the molecular level has led modern biologists to propose the neutral theory of molecular evolution. That is, most mutations are neutral rather than beneficial. Occurring at a relatively constant rate, they are independent of population size, species longevity, reproductive capacity, or surrounding environment. All these undermined the importance of natural selection as Darwin had proposed.
Fifth, as a 2009 article from the Institute of Paleontology in the Chinese Academy of Sciences pointed out, ecologists have found that species and populations maintain a balance with other species as well as the environment. Merely emphasising the survival of the fittest is biased since it ignores the fact that species rely on each other to co-exist in an ecosystem.
Challenges to the Theory of Evolution
Besides the problems mentioned above, there are also other arguments worth noting. Michael Denton, a British-Australian scholar, published Evolution: A Theory In Crisis in 1985. “The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event,” he wrote,.“Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle.”
In the book, Denton wrote that it is inappropriate to extrapolate microevolution to macroevolution and produce new species. In fact, even Darwin himself claimed the forces of nature are gradual and continuous. “Nature does not make a leap (Natura non facit saltum),” he once wrote. But the reality is that, not only can species be rigorously categorised by their features, the discontinuous categorisation is also supported by DNA evidence and fossil records.
Inspired by this book, biochemistry professor Michael Behe became a strong advocate of intelligent design. Use the mousetrap as an example, he explained that “All of these [[the base, the catch, the spring, the hammer, and the hold-down bar]] must be in place for the mousetrap to work, as the removal of any one piece destroys the function of the mousetrap.” Natural selection, on the other hand, could not create such a complex system. He referred to this concept as irreducible complexity (IC).
Another example is the flagella of certain bacteria that constitute a molecular motor requiring the interaction of about 40 different protein parts. As “a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning,” Behe considered it “an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional. That is, it could not have evolved gradually through natural selection.”
Recent discoveries have also raised more questions about the evolution theory. Nature published an article on January 12 titled “Mutation bias reflects natural selection in Arabidopsis thaliana.” “We always thought of mutation as basically random across the genome,” remarked Grey Monroe, lead author from the UC Davis Department, “It turns out that mutation is very non-random and it’s non-random in a way that benefits the plant. It’s a totally new way of thinking about mutation.”
Evolution and Atheism
Given so many unanswered questions about evolution, why do so many people hold it as a fact and dare not rethink it? This may be related to the context of how evolution emerged.
The theory of evolution had existed before Darwin. But the natural selection proposed by him covered the theory with a scientific coating. With the crisis of faith in Europe in the 1800s, atheism became prevalent and Karl Marx published The Communist Manifesto in 1848. Eleven years later, Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859. Historians said Marx had read Darwin’s book a few times and included its ideas in his own writing. He even offered to dedicate a part of the volume of his book to Darwin, but the offer was rejected.
There is an obvious common ground between Darwin’s evolution and Marx’s communism. The full title of the former’s book was On the Origin of Species by means of natural selection and the Survival of the Fittest in the Preservation of Favoured Races. The key concept of survival and struggle is well in line with Marx’s idea on social class struggle. “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles,” wrote Marx at the beginning of The Communist Manifesto.
In reality, evolution became a key weapon for Marx to advance atheism. “Marx and Engels accepted evolution almost immediately after Darwin published The Origin of Species,” explained American researcher Conway Zirkle, “Evolution, of course, was just what the founders of Communism needed to explain how Mankind could have come into being without the intervention of any supernatural force, and consequently, it could be used to bolster the foundations of their materialistic philosophy.”
A Constant Pursuit
Many people believe Nicholas Copernicus, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein are among the greatest scientists in history due to the breakthroughs they brought to mankind. But all of them dared to find the truth even if it meant challenging the established scientific community.
But when evolution and communism dominate a society, anyone who attempts to express different opinions is often met with serious resistance. After over 500 doctoral scientists signed a statement publicly expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution, the National Centre for Science Education made several statements criticising individual signatories instead of addressing the unanswered questions.
In fact, from Copernicus to Newton to Albert Einstein, all of them were very humble and opposed atheism. They considered knowledge a gift from the divine, not a weapon with which to defy the higher power.
“To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power; to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful workings of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more grateful than knowledge,” Copernicus wrote.
“I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me,” wrote Newton, “In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.”
“I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thoughts. The rest are details,” Einstein wrote, “I see a pattern, but my imagination cannot picture the maker of that pattern. I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one?”
From the Paris Commune to the Soviet Union, to Mao Zedong to today’s Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the communist regimes have advocated evolution along with atheism to wipe out traditional values and morality in this society. Once taking power, however, it suppresses any different opinions and continues to expand.
But this is not totally surprising. After all, Darwin promoted “survival of the fittest” while Marx advocated “class struggle.” Their high priority was its own survival, not benefiting the society of mankind.
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