John A. Bloom


"No other intellectual revolution in modern times (with the possible exception of the Copernican) so profoundly affected the way men viewed themselves and their place in the universe."

Replaced design with chance to explain the origin of life.

The problem of multiple patterns in the data.


Evolution is change over time (aging).

Evolution - "Change in the genetic makeup of a population over time" (drug resistance).


New races and species arise in nature by the agency of natural selection, involving mutation and survival of the fittest.

Mechanism valid: seen in animal/plant breeding of goldfish, dogs, pigeons. Seen in nature in geographical variation.

=> Aristotle and Plato were wrong.
=> God designed adaptable creatures.


All life on earth arose by extension of the above mechanism.

All changes occur by natural selection of small (usually single) mutations.

=> Problems are in macro-, not micro-evolution.


Macro-evolution has not been observed.

It is not strictly in the realm of science because it cannot be observed or reproduced in the lab because it takes millions/billions of years. Level of certainty is less.

Macroevolution is an extrapolation derived from microevolution.

Limits exist in other natural sciences as new mechanisms take over, so that one cannot be extrapolated indefinitely.

Evidence of limits to microevolution.

1. Modern Taxonomy. Transition by small mutation would imply that thousands of intermediate forms would exist between classes, making classical taxonomy impossible.

If evolution is true, then no ancestral or primitive transitional forms must have survived until today.

Figure 1

2. The fossil record has a notable lack of transition forms.

Abrupt appearance: Classes appear suddenly, then do not change for millions of years.

Showcase examples of transitional animals only show micro-evolution and complex adaptive radiation. Their rarity makes them exceptions used to prove a rule.

Gaps in the fossil record are explained as due to:

1) insufficient research -- 100+ years?
2) imperfection of record - 80% complete?
3) jumps in evolution.

Problem: There are fewer transitional fossil species between the major divisions than between the minor ones.

Gaps pose a problem to the assumption of descent as the sole cause for similarity between animal types.

3. Molecular biology. Study of variation in proteins common to most life forms shows neutral variation in an already-optimized basic structure.

Protein studies appear to show an evolutionary sequence, but also show equidistance, like typology would predict.


Evolution expects types to be blurred or indistinct. Why have the proteins remained distinct at the class level?

Critical parts of the enzyme remain constant and do not evolve, straining origin of life models.

The DNA and proteins of "living fossils" also vary but the animals do not evolve (Frogs, lungfish).

The rate of evolution is not proportional to the rate of neutral change (mammals vs. reptiles).

Neutral variation is not improvement, hence it does not demonstrate evolution.

The mechanism of variation is unknown (it is independent of replication rate).

The gap problem: How does similarity in anatomy and DNA prove descent?

4. Biochemical mechanism: In terms of their basic biochemical design, no living system can be thought of as being primitive or ancestral with respect to any other system.

DNA, RNA, protein system.
Genetic code.

More theoretical problems:

Coordinated systems are difficult to change with single mutations because fully-functional intermediates are always required.

Macro-evolution assumes:

1) Continuous improvement.
2) Fully functional intermediates at all stages.

Complex organ systems in animals appear as "islands of function" with no transitional forms.

Birds: Feathers, lungs, and bones are specially "adapted."

Transition from the amphibian to reptile egg (wet/dry).

The eye.

Bacterial flagella motor.

Systems are too complex to change "one bolt at a time."

"Limited by our imagination in thinking of the intermediate steps."

Pre-adaptation: See that some systems must be developed before they are used or needed. What is the selective pressure?

Such complex functional integrity appears to apply to the organism as a whole, especially during embryonic development.

Accumulation of information.

Random chance does not work on a large scale.

DNA/RNA system looks like a mechanism for preserving information, not for generating t.

No feedback from protein or RNA to DNA.


1) Micro-evolution is a fact.

2) Macro-evolution is an untestable extrapolation from micro-evolution.

3) Is not true science, but a philosophy using scientific data to justify itself.

4) Macro-evolution is not foundational to biological studies. It is one of many patterns for organizing the data (from simple to complex).

5) Not a religious issue: Many agnostic scientists are skeptical of the macroevolutionary theory.

Why is evolution believed?

1) Micro-evolution is true and can be demonstrated; a jump to macro-evolution is then assumed as possible.

2) Most people accept what they are taught uncritically.

3) No explanation other than evolution is considered 'scientific' (purely naturalistic explanations of phenomena).

Poor definition of science; need to recognize limitations to the method.

4) Evolution is difficult to disprove because it can explain any observed phenomena (cf. convergent evolution).

5) For some, it justifies an irresponsible lifestyle.

Summary: Christians need not be afraid of truth.

Propose: The data from nature and the data from the Bible have the same Author. Our interpretations may be at fault, but the data should harmonize.



Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. Bethesda, MD: Adler & Adler, 1986.
-Probably the best book on this topic to give to a skeptic. Bear in mind that most of the people he quotes are evolutionists although they voice awareness of its problems.

Luther D. Sunderland, Darwin's Enigma: Fossils and Other Problems. Santee, CA: Master Book Publishers, 1984.
-Written by a 'young-earther" but does not present this view. Stresses the gaps in the fossil record by means of interviews with several directors of museums of natural history around the world. Good background reading, but not one I would give an antagonistic instructor.

Robert Shapiro, Origins: A Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth. New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1987.
-An evolutionist, but one who is willing to look hard at the evidence and admit that it isn't really proven yet.