I spent some time today watching Jacyln Glenn’s rebuttal to Ray Comfort’s film, “Evolution vs God.”
I frown upon the insults she directed towards Ray –such coarse treatment of another person or their art tends to hinder good discussions by suggesting a person side with one or the other person out of a fear of being ridiculed. A person can be wrong, but that doesn’t make them or their art stupid, simply wrong or misinformed.
In regards to her comments about the banana, it appears as though there was one mutation that occurred in 1836 that resulted in the sweet yellow bananas we have today, a mutation noted by Jean Francois Poujot (http://homecooking.about.com/od/foodhistory/a/bananahistory.htm).
It would be interesting to note the genetic differences between the yellow sweet banana and the green or red bananas in that the mutation resulted in not only a change in color but a change in carbohydrate composition (more sugar less starch), or a change in ripening characteristics. Was the enzyme that caused the greater sugar over starch content the same enzyme that gives the banana the yellow color? Or, if not an enzyme, was there a change in the carbohydrate processing organelles themselves? Were these two separate mutations? If so, it would give more viability to the belief that evolution is guided by an Intelligent Designer, or rather, the hand of God, as the change of two mutations occurring at once is even less likely through random chance.
It appears that Jaclyn is right about genetic changes taking place in a species to such an extent that two divisions of the same species can no longer interbreed, giving rise to a new kind, based on the Biblical definition of what constitutes a new kind. She uses the Greenish Warbler as an example.
However, it can also be argued that while extensive mutations of two separate divisions within a species can give rise to two different creatures so remarkably different that they cannot interbreed, it still does not, in my mind, account sufficiently for the variety of plants and animals we have today. The Greenish Warbler and the Green Warbler are still both birds, just different kinds of birds, having adapted different traits to better suit their environment. Put another way, the Green Warbler and the Greenish Warbler adapted so remarkably in different ways that they can no longer interbreed, but they are both still birds.
When speaking about molecular genetics, Ms. Glenn discusses genetic similarities between chimpanzees and humans, suggesting that this evidence establishes that humans evolved from chimpanzees. While physical evidence could support this truth, I believe we should be careful in how we present it because the assertion encompasses a level of simplicity that may inadvertently remove the possibility of Intelligent Design –the same Being that created something from nothing in setting the Universe in motion also had in His mind the creation of the human being, who bears a closer resemblance to the Creator than the Chimpanzee.
While a human being and a chimpanzee may look alike, only the human being has a soul. This broader contextual understanding of the similarities between chimpanzees and humans reveals a more complete truth. The human soul did not develop from random mutations in the chimpanzee genome; rather, it is a gift of God, having been made in His image.
Interestingly, Chimpanzees are 96% to 98% similar to human beings based on genome, depending on how they are calculated, while 75% of mouse genes have equivalents in humans. Looking at a mouse and a human, would you say they are 75% similar? Would you say a human and a fruit fly are 60% similar? http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/25335-Percentage-of-genetic-similarity-between-humans-and-animals
Some things I’d like to know:
When does the frog or lizard that becomes a snake realize a survival advantage from losing its legs?
Does a flying lizard grow feathers and develop the muscles to flap its wings and become a bird? If so, does it occur in one mutation or does the lizard start out with one feather on a specific area of its body?
How does the scale precede a feather? How genetically similar are they? What is the molecular process of forming a feather versus a scale?
How does the one creature that has this mutation derive enough benefit to pass on the mutation to their offspring, assuming the mutation doesn’t change it into a bird all at once?
When does the lizard that becomes a snake, assuming it happens this way, realize a survival advantage the lizard wouldn’t already have? Moreover, when does slithering around on its belly confer an advantage that legs wouldn’t already provide? if it isn’t a gradual process that its legs become shorter and shorter, which would assume it doesn’t happen all in one mutation, does its body also mutate to become longer and do muscles involved with slithering need to come into existence at the same time?
Could a lizard’s awareness of its inability to slither into a hole because it has legs suggest that it should have offspring that don’t have legs? Wouldn’t being a smaller lizard accomplish the same thing?
If the snake evolved from a fish instead of a lizard, being able to breathe water and air as an amphibian, when did it decide to leave areas with water and be only able to breathe air? Wouldn’t food options always be higher if the animal could both breathe air and water? Did it get lost?
When and where does the frog or lizard or fish transform into the elephant, the cat and the panda bear?
When and where does the bacteria or fungi or protozoan transform into the cock roach, the lady bug and the grasshopper?
When and where does the sea moss or algae or protozoan become a palm tree, a sunflower and a tomato? When do they become a banana?
I find it difficult to explain these changes and the remarkable diversity we have on earth, by simply attributing them to random mutations and time.
I think this type of questioning is healthy, and something that students should be encouraged to do while going through school, i.e. Intelligent Design should be taught alongside evolution. I hope to continue asking questions rather than supposing I know the answers, especially in the face of those who would shriek at my belief that God is directly responsible for these changes and the remarkable diversity we have here. As for fellow believers, I suppose we’ll continue in solidarity through our belief in a Creator or to some extent, Intelligent Design; for those who also share my Christian/Catholic faith, we’ll have even greater solidarity through our belief in the existence of absolute truth, a soul and a judgment day.