Creation versus Evolution
Large books have been written debating the issues of creation versus evolution. Sometimes the debate is akin to two deaf old men screaming their arguments at each other. There is a lot of noise, but there is little understanding. Evolutionists usually don’t understand God’s creative process; believers often disregard evolutionary evidence, being put off by speculative evolutionary conclusions. For one, the idea that God made man is ridiculous; for the other, the idea that man evolved from chimpanzees is untenable. Is it possible that there is some common ground? That religion and science can compliment each other?
Proper perspective on such an important subject requires a historical review of the facts. Ironically, the story revolves around two men—Charles Darwin and Joseph Smith.
Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in England. Well-schooled and bright, the young Charles was lucky enough to join the HMS Beagle on its voyage to circumnavigate the globe. At the age of 22, Charles would be the ship’s naturalist, and eventually, the companion and friend of the ship’s captain. His 5-year voyage from 1831 to 1835, would forever change his life. He would be lucky enough to discover and report many new species of plants, animals, and insects.
Joseph Smith was born on December 23, 1805, little more than 3 years older than Charles. He was bright but not well-schooled. Trained by angels rather than schoolteachers, by 22, Joseph had already begun to translate the Book of Mormon by the power of God. At the age of 24, he would organize a church, and over the next 5 years, he would reveal a completely new understanding of Christianity. By 1835, his writings included major theological concepts as contained in 100 different published revelations (sections of the D&C). But he was not a recluse passively developing heady ideas. He was a man of action who, by 1835, had already gathered his followers, organized cities, sent off missionaries, and nearly completed a temple.
By the fall of 1834, the HMS Beagle had successfully navigated the Strait of Magellan. A year later, the vessel found itself exploring a small archipelago of merely 10 islands off the west coast of modern-day Ecuador—the Galapagos Archipelago. Here, Darwin would observe various species of birds, tortoise, and lizards—species which were peculiarly different from those on the mainland. He wondered why the islands were home to so many unique animals. From these observations, sprang the concept of survival of the fittest—an adaptive evolutionary concept which would revolutionize scientific thought.
At the same time that Darwin was examining lizards and tortoises in the Galapagos, Joseph Smith was translating ancient Egyptian papyri he purchased from a collector. From July to November 1835, the Prophet would intermittently work on the translation of the Book of Abraham containing a record of the Creation story reaffirming the validity of the Genesis account. From September to October of 1835, Darwin’s evolution would be born in the Galapagos. Darwin would become a champion of Evolutionism. Joseph Smith, less famously, would become a champion of Creationism. Both are thought to explain the origin and variety of life on the earth. Both have enormously important implications for theology and science. According to some, the very existence of God, at least as far as man is concerned, hangs in the balance.
What Observations Suggested Evolution to Darwin?
The story of the Galapagos is key to understanding the origins of Darwin’s ideas.
“The Galapagos Islands, where Darwin spent five weeks in the fall of 1835, was of particular interest… he soon realized the extreme value of the place, noting that ‘The natural history of this archipelago is very remarkable; it seems to be a little world within itself; the greater number of its inhabitants, both vegetable and animal, being found nowhere else.’ This is exactly the setting Darwin needed to fuel his evolutionary theories. Of particular interest are the giant cactus-eating reptiles; he is amazed to discover that locals can determine the precise island of a tortoises’ origin, just by the shape of its shell. The work on these islands figures prominently in his Origin of Species.” (Catherine A. Henze, Introduction to The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin, [New York: Barnes and Noble, 2004] xvi)
“The natural history of these islands is eminently curious, and well deserves attention. Most of the organic productions are aboriginal creations, found nowhere else; there is even a difference between the inhabitants of the different islands; yet all show a marked relationship with those of America, though separated from that continent by an open space of ocean, between 500 and 600 miles in width. The archipelago is a little world within itself…
“Of land-birds I obtained twenty-six kinds, all peculiar to the group and found nowhere else, with the exception of one lark-like finch from North America… Of waders and water-birds I was able to get only eleven kinds, and of these only three… are new species.” (Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle, [New York: Barnes and Noble, 2004], 397-399)
The naturalist then goes on to describe three dominant reptiles, the tortoise and two lizards. The tortoise species would grow to an immense size—so large “that it required six or eight men to life them from the ground; and that some had afforded as much as two hundred pounds of meat.” (The Voyage of the Beagle, 402) Isolation seemed to foster differences in the tortoise. Tortoises from different islands could be distinguished by slightly different physical characteristics.
“…the different islands to a considerable extent are inhabited by a different set of beings. My attention was first called to this fact by the Vice Governor, Mr. Lawson, declaring that the tortoises differed from the different islands, and that he could with certainty tell from which island any one was brought. I did not for some time pay sufficient attention to this statement, and I had already partially mingled together the collections from two of the islands. I never dreamed that islands, about 50 or 60 miles apart, and most of them in sight of each other, formed of precisely the same rocks, placed under a quite similar climate, rising to a nearly equal height, would have been differently tenanted; but we shall soon see that this is the case.” (The Voyage of the Beagle, 414-415)
The two lizard species were perhaps the best example of adaptive change seen in the Galapagos. The center islands were home to an Iguana-like lizard (Amblyrhynchus Demarlii) which was completely terrestrial with “a round tail, and toes without webs.” It burrowed in the ground avoiding water and coastal areas, confining itself to the high-ground in the center of the islands.
The coastal version of this lizard (Amblyrhynchus Cristatus) was as aquatic as its cousin was land-locked. This lizard, Darwin wrote:
“is extremely common on all the islands throughout the group, and lives exclusively on the rocky sea-beaches, being never found, at least I never saw one, even ten yards in-shore. It is a hideous-looking creature, of a dirty black colour, stupid and sluggish in its movements… Their tails are flattened sideways, and all four feet partially webbed… When in the water this lizard swims with perfect ease and quickness, by a serpentine movement of its body and flattened tail—the legs being motionless and closely collapsed on its sides… Their limbs and strong claws are admirably adapted for crawling over the rugged and fissured masses of lava, which everywhere form the coast.” (The Voyage of the Beagle, 406)
With these lizards we begin to see evidence of a functional evolutionary adaptation. The one lizard being peculiarly adapted to a marine environment, and the other being peculiarly adapted to land.
“These two species of Amblyrhynchus agree, as I have already stated, in their general structure, and in many of their habits. Neither have that rapid movement, so characteristic of the genera Lacerta and Iguana. They are both herbivorous… It is very interesting thus to find a well-characterized genus, having its marine and terrestrial species, belonging to so confined a portion of the world.” (The Voyage of the Beagle, 410)
Darwin was adept at his job. He noted differences in insects and plant life. “Of the flowering plants, 100 are new species.” He and other shipmates noted differences in the birds, their beaks, plumage, etc. These characteristics differed from the birds on the South American mainland. Many species had never been before described. Darwin’s brain went to work:
“it is the circumstance, that several of the islands possess their own species of the tortoise, mocking-thrush, finches, and numerous plants, these species having the same general habits, occupying analogous situations, and obviously filling the same place in the natural economy of this archipelago, that strikes me with wonder…
“And lastly, the profound depth of the ocean between the islands, and their apparently recent (in a geological sense) volcanic origin, render it highly unlikely that they were ever united; and this, probably, is a far more important consideration than any other, with respect to the geographical distribution of their inhabitants. Reviewing the facts here given, one is astonished at the amount of creative force, if such an expression may be used, displayed on these small, barren, and rocky islands.” (The Voyage of the Beagle, 413, 418-419)
Darwin describes a “creative force” in his initial observations. But he would return to England and begin to explain, or try to explain, the observations made on this pivotal voyage. The concept of a “creative force” would disappear; the idea of an evolutionary force, an adaptive pressure, a survival-of-the-fittest theory would emerge. These ideas were explored in his pivotal works, The Origin of the Species (1859), and The Descent of Man (1872).
A good historian uses primary sources. They return to the writings, statement, and interviews of those who were witnesses of historical events. A good scientist should do the same thing. The material presented above is a condensed version of Darwin’s original observations. These were the key elements which spawned his scientific career. These lizards, tortoises, plants and birds are the origin of his ideas—the initial evidence of evolution.
These observations have somehow revolutionized scientific thought. They are the reason your science teacher taught that Man descended from apes. They are the beginning of a biology which explains that life began in the oceans, evolved amphibious capabilities, and then produced mammalian life. These adaptive Galapagos lizards have somehow convinced the world that Man is nothing more than the most well-adapted of all primates. The theme of evolutionary doctrine, which runs throughout all the biological sciences, essentially came from the tortoises and lizards of the Galapagos. Perhaps, you don’t see the connection. Perhaps, you don’t see sufficient evidence. The conclusions Darwin and scientist have drawn over the last 175 years have come from a remarkably small amount of evidence. Faulty conclusions, based on scant evidence has been the pattern of evolutionists ever since.
What is the significance of the Book of Abraham?
Ask an evolutionary scientist if he has ever heard of the Book of Abraham and he will likely give you a blank stare. Of Joseph Smith, he probably knows little more. So how does this obscure religious writing figure into the discussion of the origins of man?
First of all, the Book of Abraham as translated by Joseph Smith can and perhaps should be considered outside the realm of religious writings. The papyri, after all, were taken from the catacombs of Egypt. They were an archaeological find of great historical value. They were translated by Joseph Smith, in part, because of his reputation for translating ancient documents. The record can be examined without the constraints of modern theology as a history of how earlier civilizations viewed the origin of man. The historical value of the record is found in the ancient nature of the papyri. The record pre-dates any biblical author by over 400 years. What is the significance of this? Well, certainly it demonstrates that the tradition of a Supreme Being creating this earth in a step-wise fashion cannot be considered the fanciful brainchild of Moses or his Jewish followers. The ideas pre-dated Moses and the Israel nation. The Book of Abraham establishes the existence of an ancient written tradition that the earth and man were created by a supreme intelligence.
Perhaps, for the skeptical scientist, the Book of Abraham is as easy to summarily reject as is the Bible. Such a cursory dismissal is a mistake. Several important lessons are taught in the ancient record—lessons that are missing from the Genesis account. When examined from a scientific standpoint, the Abraham account withstands critical scrutiny much better than the Genesis story.
First of all, scientists are quick to discount the concept of creation as many Christians have interpreted it. If creation means to make something out of nothing, then the scientist can easily dismiss such a silly idea. Matter can neither disappear nor can it magically appear. It always exists. It can only change form or be transformed into energy. The idea that God created the earth out of nothing is ridiculous to the scientist. Of course, on this point, the scientist is quite correct. Matter is eternal in nature. God did not say “poof,” and immediately matter came into being.
Interestingly, the Abraham version would reinforce the scientific principle of the indestructible and eternal nature of matter. Instead of the word create, the phrase “organized and formed” is used. This has a completely different connotation. It implies that God exercised control over pre-existing matter and shaped it into a planetary globe. It does not support the idea of creation ex-nihilo at all. Already, the creation story is becoming more scientifically plausible.
The second concept which bothers scientists is that God made this incredible earth in a period of six days and that this earth is only perhaps a little over 6000 years old. Geological evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. Rock formations date back millions of years. Even animal bones, by carbon dating, place the origins of life on this globe much earlier than a few thousand years. Again, religious ideas just look ridiculous to the scientist. “Who can believe such a timeline when the scientific evidence to the contrary is so well established?”
Here again, the Book of Abraham is on the side of the scientist. The Abrahamic record would suggest a different time scheme for the creation process. Instead of “six days,” the creation process occurs over six different periods of “time.” The length of each period is intentionally not specified. All of a sudden, the age of the earth can be surmised to be much greater than six millennia. What if the “time” period mentioned was one or two million years? As to the age of the earth, doesn’t that at least mitigate the apparent contradiction between science and traditional Christian creationism? To be fair, the Book of Abraham does not declare the age of the earth, but it does allow for a much more extended origin than a strict interpretation of Genesis.
The third concept worth discussion is the issue of species variability as seen in Nature. Evolution, at least on a small scale, can be witnessed regularly among different plants and animals. Does the Book of Abraham allow for such change? The answer is a surprising, yes! The Abraham account would suggest that the propagation of species occurs based on specific patterns that are completely consistent with current scientific understanding of reproductive biology. The reproductive restriction in the Abraham account is that the tree, for instance, could only produce seeds that would make more trees. The seeds of grass would make more grass. The offspring of birds would be birds. The offspring of whales would be whales. The divine mandate was that “the earth [was] to bring forth the tree from its own seed, yielding fruit, whose seed could only bring forth the same in itself, after his kind.” (Abr. 4:12) Biologists have done enough experiments to know that this is the case. You can try to mate a horse with a dog all you want, but the DNA just won’t allow it. (It is probably not good for the dog, either.) You might be able to cross red petunias with white petunias to make pink petunias, but crossing petunias with oak trees is a different proposition altogether.
Nowhere does the Abraham record disallow variability within species. There is no restriction which says blue birds can’t produce gray birds; that flat-tailed lizards couldn’t give birth to round-tailed lizards; that large finned fish couldn’t on occasion produce progeny with smaller fins. Nowhere does the Abraham account assert that all forms of life must be exact clones of their progenitors. In fact, it would imply quite the opposite—that variety in different phenotypic expressions is favorable.
Now all of the sudden, the landscape has changed. The silliness and absurdness of religious thought actually begins to merge with the current understanding of biology. The scientist has much less to laugh at—much less to mock and ridicule in the creation story. The once obscure Book of Abraham becomes more legitimate and plausible with time.
The concept of inexplicable complexity
Current arguments in favor of a supreme being have included the concept of “irreducible complexity.” The idea, discussed earlier, is that certain biological machines in nature are composed of several different proteins in order to correctly function. These machines require all the different components to function correctly. The absence of any single component means the machine won’t work. These machines do not have evolutionary precursors on a biochemical scale. In other words, if a complex conglomeration of proteins performs a specific task needed for life, then evolutionists must be able to explain the evolution of the biological machine. The biological evidence of evolution on this small scale is lacking. Such complex task-oriented proteins are replete in nature. The simplest single celled organisms have hundreds if not thousands. Explaining their spontaneous development has been a roadblock for evolutionists. All they can do is point to other biological processes which use similar proteins and declare, without evidence, that the one evolved into the other. The argument is akin to saying that since skyscrapers and shopping malls are both made of steel and concrete, then skyscrapers obviously evolved from shopping malls.
We introduce a new and related concept for discussion. While “irreducible complexity” deals with complexity on a small scale, “inexplicable complexity” deals with it on a large scale. For most believers in a supreme intelligence, this idea is intuitive. However, explaining and exploring the concept is still a useful exercise.
Inexplicable complexity is the idea that all biological forms of life, the remarkable life sustaining conditions on earth, and the grand and magnificent order seen in the vast universe are systems of such great complexity and order, that they could not have come about by coincidence. It does not matter how many years, the existing forces of gravity, the pressures of survival of the fittest, the other few driving forces for order in the universe have been in play; there is just no conceivable way that chance could produce such order on such a large scale. So many variables, factors, conditions must be strictly controlled in any system of equal or lesser order. The idea that all of these conditions were met by mere chance and coincidence is an astounding feat of creative imagination.
Can elements or forces of nature for that matter spontaneously organize multiple integrated systems? Science, for years, has witnessed the tendency of matter to do just the opposite. Matter will tend to exist in its least complex state. This idea is called entropy. Entropy means that matter prefers its most random and disorganized state. To explain, we will use a balloon. A balloon can be filled with pure oxygen. How do the oxygen molecules behave inside the balloon? Do they organize themselves into social groups? Are there areas inside the balloon in which ice, water, and steam co-exist and interact? Of course not. The oxygen molecules behave according to the laws of entropy. They don’t organize; they scatter throughout the available space, traveling in a random fashion at speeds determined by the temperature of the gas in the balloon. There is no driving force for order. The driving force is for disorder and randomness.
A physicist has explained entropy in this way:
“One of the ideas involved in the concept of entropy is that nature tends from order to disorder in isolated systems…
“If you assert that nature tends to take things from order to disorder and give an example or two, then you will get almost universal recognition and assent. It is a part of our common experience. Spend hours cleaning your desk, your basement, your attic, and it seems to spontaneously revert back to disorder and chaos before your eyes. So if you say that entropy is a measure of disorder, and that nature tends toward maximum entropy for any isolated system, then you do have some insight into the ideas of the second law of thermodynamics.
“For a glass of water the number of molecules is astronomical. [A glass of jumbled] ice chips may look more disordered in comparison to the glass of water which looks uniform and homogeneous. But the ice chips place limits on the number of ways the molecules can be arranged. The water molecules in the glass of water can be arranged in many more ways; they have greater ‘multiplicity’ and therefore greater entropy.” (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/therm/entrop.html#e3)
Disorder can be seen in biological life as well. Consider what happens to a slice of bread over time. Mold begins to grow on one edge. Consider for a moment that the mold is penicillium a common mold with an anti-bacterial defense system. In certain systems, penicillium competes with bacteria for life. How does this affect the mold growing on a slice of bread? Does the mold form a defensive perimeter around the edge of the slice of bread? Is there an organized behavior in how the mold grows? Of course not, the mold starts where conditions for growth are best; it flourishes and spreads in a random fashion. The growth of mold follows the random principles of entropy.
A Million Missing Links
Everyone is familiar with the search for a species intermediate between primates and man. The Neanderthal is thought to be the proof of the evolution of man. The “missing link” between primate and man is only one of a million examples of science lacking actual evidence of major changes in biological form and function. Scientist might argue that eukaryotic cells evolved from prokaryotic forms but they lack an organism that bridges the gap. Scientists might argue that mitochondria in most human cells evolved from more primitive single-celled organisms but they lack the transitional organism which would prove the theory.
If birds evolved from lizards or dinosaurs, where are the species which demonstrate the transition from one to the other? Where is the species of fish that developed the most rudimentary form of flippers for land travel? What is the species of fish that has a respiratory tract that bridges the gap between respiration in water versus air? There are a million questions to ask. There are a million missing transitions. It is not enough to say, “this species is the most closely related to that. Therefore, this species is obviously the evolutionary precursor.” Scientists must be able to show the transition of every minor variation in biological life. They can explain a few, but they can’t explain them all—they can’t even come close and they know it. Instead, they compare and contrast without really demonstrating evidence of evolution. The following discussion of the human eardrum is a typical example.
The Human Ear
There are scores of complex processes required for mammals to perceive and correctly interpret sound waves. This discussion has time only for one—the eardrum and ear bones. Understanding the function of the system is essential for a discussion on its evolutionary origins. Therefore a brief review of auditory physiology is in order.
Sound waves traveling through the air do not transfer sound waves efficiently into a fluid medium. The human inner ear has sound sensing hair cells floating in a specialized fluid. The sound waves must reach the hair cells through this fluid, called endolymph. If sound enters your ear and hits the inner ear without being transformed by the eardrum and ear bones, the volume of sound pressure is decreased more than 10,000 fold. Most of us have experienced this phenomenon without understanding it. If you have ever swum along the bottom of a swimming pool, you know that it is very difficult to hear a poolside conversation. Sound from around the pool tends to reflect off the surface of the water rather than penetrate it. Sounds created inside the fluid medium, on the other hand, are easy to hear. When underwater, a coin or watch hitting the bottom of the pool is much easier to hear than sounds from above the surface.
In other words, sound waves traveling through air can be described as having a low pressure and high amplitude. It does not take much energy to transfer sound to the surrounding air molecules. Fluids are a different story. Sound transfer in fluid requires higher pressures and smaller amplitudes of vibration. In essence, air has a lower resistance to vibrations and fluids have a higher resistance to vibrations. The technical term for this problem is an impedance mismatch. In rough terms, the resistance to vibrations in air does not match the resistance to vibrations in fluid.
The eardrum and ear bones of mammals are designed to solve this problem. The system is a marvel of acoustic physiology. The system is smaller than walnut yet transforms the low-pressure high-amplitude vibrations in air to the high-pressure low-amplitude vibrations required in fluids. There are two primary mechanisms whereby the problem is solved. First of all, an eardrum is larger than the footplate of the stirrup bone which transfers sound to the inner ear. The pressure applied to a relatively larger eardrum is concentrated to the smaller surface area of the stirrup bone or stapes. This is a principle similar to fluid hydraulics, where pressures are increased for mechanical advantage.
The second mechanism by which pressure is increased by the ear bones is a lever action. A fulcrum can transfer higher pressures over a smaller distance. This is exactly what happens when you use a car-jack to raise a car with a flat tire. Large downward movements of the lever arm are transferred to small upward movements of the car frame. The lever action in the human ear is accomplished by designing the first and second ear bones, the hammer and anvil, of different lengths. The longer arm of the first ear bone is attached to the eardrum, like the lever on the car-jack, the shorter arm of the second ear bone is attached to the stirrup or stapes bone. Thus the lever action increases the pressure of sound waves to the inner ear. The lever action and the hydraulic effect described above combine to increase the pressure of sound waves to the inner ear by a factor of 10,000.
The rational thinker must ask the question, “what is the likelihood that chance and coincidence could produce this mechanical system?” What events must take place in order for a mammalian middle ear to work? First, an eardrum must evolve in a location close enough to the inner ear that the two can be connected by a chance development. Of course, the eardrum must be exposed to the outside environment, as an eardrum in the middle of your head is not very helpful. Secondly, the eardrum, as with any good drum, works best if it is circular. Chance must not produce a square or triangular shaped eardrum. Third, the drum must be suspended in air by a nearly circular bony encasement. Fourth, the drum must develop an attachment to a small bone. In the case of humans the tip of the long arm of this bone happens to attach to the very center of the eardrum. This design allows maximal transfer of sound pressure to the inner ear. Fifth, the first ear bone must develop an attachment to a second ear bone. The attachment cannot be completely rigid. There must be tiny joint allowing some independent movement while still effectively transferring vibrations. Sixth, the second ear bone must have a shorter length to provide the fulcrum effect. Seventh, the second ear bone must attach itself to a third ear bone. It must be in the right location and angle to attach to this third ear bone. Eighth, the third bone must have a small base compared to the size of the eardrum to produce the hydraulic effect.
Perhaps the reader thinks this discussion is a bit tiring and nit picky. Well, actually, it is an abbreviated description of ear development. In addition to the factors discussed above, there is more complexity. The eardrum has three layers yet remains paper-thin. The outside layer is very thin and similar to skin cells. The middle layer is a tough fibrous layer that gives the drum its tensile strength. The inner layer matches the rest of the middle ear space and is more like the lining of the nose and sinuses.
Evolution must also explain the development of two muscles which attach to the ear bones. They are each controlled by nerves which exit the base of the skull, but each is innervated by a different nerve. One muscle controls the tension of the first bone with respect to the eardrum. The other muscle is attached to the third bone. It contracts when the listener is exposed to loud sounds, thereby decreasing the damage that loud sounds might cause to the delicate structures of the inner ear. Another factor is that the ear bones must be surrounded by air—not by muscles and tendons like all other bones. Otherwise, the eardrum just doesn’t vibrate correctly. This air pocket on the other side of the eardrum must be preserved by a connection between the middle ear and the back part of the nose. This requires a tube—the Eustachian tube—to regulate air pressure inside the drum and around the bones.
Evolution has a lot of work to create an eardrum and three ear bones. Chance has to be pretty smart; coincidence must be a master auditory physiologist; natural selection must produce a myriad of complex design features.
The example used above describes one biological machine, the middle ear. The complexity of this machine is actually rather simple when compared to most biological systems. Nor does the discussion above deal with the other elements of comprehending sound. We did not discuss the shape of the ear, the way the shape of the ear canal amplifies certain sound frequencies like the pipe of an organ. We did not bore the reader with details of the design of the snail shaped inner ear. We did not try to explain how chance could produce hair cells which could transfer fluid vibrations into nerve impulses. We neglected to discuss that the rolled up membrane which supports these hair cells is organized tonotopically. That means that high frequencies are detected closest to the vibrating ear bone and low frequencies are detected at the tip. The hair cells in between are arranged according to frequency like the keys on a piano—each detecting sound at a subtly different pitch. We did not discuss the different kind and function of inner and outer hair cells. We ignored the complex chemistry of the inner ear fluids which allow electrical impulses to be generated in response to vibrations in the fluid.
We have not begun to discuss the difference between hearing a sound and correctly processing it. We have not attempted to explain how an individual can localize the source of a sound. We could not begin to make sense of the complex brain functions which generate powerful emotions in response to sound. How is it that the grating cry of a newborn in the middle of the night gives such a different emotional response than the complex interplay of a symphonic orchestra?
Chance and coincidence should produce a lot of deaf animals. There should be animals with eardrums of varied shapes and sizes. There should be some with one ear bone, others with two, and still others with three. There should be species with ear bones but not surrounded by air as well as species with bones partially surrounded by air. There should be species without Eustachian tubes and other species with rudimentary Eustachian tubes. There should be species with flat shaped cochlea and some with swirled shaped cochlea. There should be species with eardrums not exposed to the outside environment.
Where are all these variations of middle ear development? What can the evolutionists tell us about each step in each process? Where are all the deaf and partially deaf animals that chance would naturally produce? It seems there is a missing link for every portion of this complex system. Indeed, the mammalian middle ear is just part of the story of a million missing links.
Evolutionists have chimed in on this very issue. They know that the complex sensory organs are the toughest for them to explain. After discussing the complexity of the relatively simple middle ear, let’s see what they have to say about the evolution of the ear.
See Duane T. Gish, "The Mammal-like Reptiles," Impact, no. 102, December 1981
"Evolutionists claim that all mammals, including human beings, evolved from reptiles. But, as we saw earlier, reptiles' ear structures are very different from those of mammals. All mammals possess the middle ear structure made up of the three bones that have just been described, whereas there is only one bone in the middle ear of all reptiles. In response to this, evolutionists claim that four separate bones in the jaws of reptiles changed place by chance and "migrated" to the middle ear, and that again by chance they took on just the right shape to turn into the anvil and stirrup bones. According to this imaginary scenario, the single bone in reptiles' middle ears changed shape and turned into the hammer bone, and the exceedingly sensitive equilibrium between the three bones in the middle ear was established by chance.
This fantastical claim, based on no scientific discovery at all (it corresponds to nothing in the fossil record), is exceedingly self-contradictory. The most important point here is that such an imaginary change would leave a creature deaf. Naturally, a living thing cannot continue hearing if its jaw bones slowly start entering its inner ear. Such a species would be at a disadvantage compared to other living things and would be eliminated, according to what evolutionists themselves believe. http://www.darwinismrefuted.com/irreducible_complexity_08.html
Testimony of Elder Russell M. Nelson
My long road to become a doctor of medicine was only the beginning. After that came years of hospital work, research, specialty training, and certifying examinations. Then followed many years of teaching, service, and the challenges of the newly emerging field of open-heart surgery, all of which brought me to a profound reverence for the structure and function of the human body. I was convinced that its creation was divine.
The Remarkable Human Body
Think of the genesis of a human body. It begins with the union of two reproductive cells—one from the mother and one from the father. Together, these cells contain all of the new individual’s hereditary information, stored in a space so small it cannot be seen by the naked eye. Twenty-three chromosomes from each parent unite in one new cell. These chromosomes contain thousands of genes which determine the physical characteristics of the unborn person. Approximately 22 days after these cells unite, a tiny heart begins to beat. At 26 days, blood begins to circulate. Cells multiply and divide. Some become eyes that see; others become ears that hear or fingers that feel the wondrous things about us.
Each organ is an amazing creation. The eye has a self-focusing lens. Nerves and muscles allow two eyes to make a single three-dimensional image. The ear converts sound waves into audible tones perceived in the brain.
The heart has four delicate valves that control the direction of blood flow. They open and close more than 100,000 times a day—36 million times a year. Unless altered by disease, they are able to withstand this stress almost indefinitely. No man-made material can be flexed so frequently and so long without breaking. Each day, the adult heart pumps enough fluid to fill a 2,000-gallon (7,570-L) tank. At the crest of the heart is a source of electricity that transmits energy down special lines, causing myriads of muscle fibers to work together.
Think of the body’s backup systems. Each paired organ has instant backup available from the other of the pair. Single organs, such as the brain, the heart, and the liver, are nourished by two routes of blood supply. This protects the organ if blood flow should be impeded through one of those routes.
Think of the body’s capacity to defend itself. To protect it from harm, the body perceives pain. In response to infection, it generates antibodies. They not only help to combat an immediate problem, but they persist to bolster resistance to any future infection.
Think how the body repairs itself. Broken bones mend and become strong again. Skin lacerations heal themselves. A leak in the circulation can seal itself. The body renews its own outdated cells.
The body regulates its own vital ingredients. Levels of essential elements and constituents are adjusted continuously. And regardless of wide fluctuations in temperature of the environment, the temperature of the body is carefully controlled within narrow bounds.
Through years of experience, I have learned that healing occurs only when all of the laws relevant to that blessing are obeyed. The structure and function of the body are governed by law. A verse of scripture so states: “Unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.” (D&C 88:38)
Scientists in many disciplines observe similar manifestations of law and order, whether in the predictability of the tides, the phases of the moon, or the location of stars in the sky. Such law and order undergird all creation. Those laws can be discovered and defined. Their consequences can be measured. Such order bears witness of a Supreme Creator. (See Alma 30:44)
The matter of faith, on the other hand, cannot be measured. But the correlation of faith in God with the law and order of the universe is revealed in scripture:
“[God] hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons;
And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets. …
Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.” (Russell M. Nelson, “Faith in Jesus Christ,” Ensign, Mar. 2008, 25-27)
What are the chances that a big bang could produce an orderly array of billions of galaxies each with billions of stars placed in orderly elliptical patterns? What are the chances that such a random explosion would produce so many energy-filled stars that they can hardly be numbered? How likely is it that these separately positioned stars would all move in perfect order within their respective galaxies? What are the chances that our sun and our moon would be positioned so as to appear exactly the same size in the sky? What are the chances that the moon would rotate in such an orderly fashion that the same side of the moon is always facing the earth? What are the chances that all the necessary elements for life would be conveniently present on the third planet from our sun in our solar system? What are the chances that the carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and other atoms would spontaneously erupt into the first living organism? What are the chances that millions upon millions of years could transform such a basic form of life into a being as complicated and organized as a fish, let alone a reptile, bird, mammal, or human being? What are the odds of all of these coincidences when taken collectively? What if we multiply the probabilities of all of these miraculous coincidences?
What are we to make of scientists who would have us believe this sequence of events? Should we honor their wisdom, knowledge, and powers of deductive reasoning? Do they have the most believable story? Does their position make the most sense? We are left to conclude that these thinkers may be great scientists, but they are poor mathematicians. They may be great at comparative anatomy, but they are lousy at statistics. They excel in discussing possibilities, but fail miserably in understanding probabilities.
Doesn’t it take a lot of faith to believe such a story? The rigid scientist disregards religious ideas because they are based on faith. They mock the idea of a supernatural being. Yet, we may fairly ask—“What takes more faith?” Certainly, it takes a lot of faith in coincidence, chance, randomness, and dumb luck to believe a sequence so unlikely. If an alien race visited our planet and saw an automobile but no humans, would they return home with the tale that on earth, the iron ore, nickel, aluminum, copper, rubber trees, components of fiberglass, cow skins that make up leather, hydrocarbons which make up plastic, and crude oil that makes up petroleum had spontaneously evolved into a car? Would they explain that the process involved matchbox cars evolving into larger plastic cars which later developed self-propelling engines, power steering, disc brakes, and GPS navigation systems? Would they estimate the process to have taken several billions of years? Would they be esteemed as the greatest astronaut-scientists of their planet?
Which is more complicated—an automobile or the human body? Which is more likely to arise by pure chance alone? Which is more ridiculous to believe—that all this structure, organization, and order is a product of eons of time—or to believe that an omniscient being, a supreme and ultimate scientist, has control over the entire universe and all the life-forms in it?
Indeed, all the believers in a supreme intelligence should bend the knee, take off the hat, and honor the evolutionary scientists who demonstrate more faith, more belief in the unbelievable, more hope in the invisible, more confidence in the impossible than any believer in God ever could. They have more to teach us about believing in the unlikely than any religion. They have grasped the unreachable, accepted the unthinkable, and rejected the most plausible. We stand in awe of them; we honor their great and unequalled exercise of faith.