Open Letter to Scientists

On Evolution

(There’s just the chance that the occasional real scientist will read this. Failing that, it’ll make a few people think, instead of accepting the current dumbing-down.)

Needless to say – we’re badly educated laymen. So our approach to ‘the scientific world’ may not be very polished. Or polite. But although we have a definite angle, our questions are genuine.

So stick with us for a few more paragraphs. We’ll bellyache. Then give our questions. Then we’ll make what we think is a reasonable offer to put any genuine answers on our website, with full credits. Fair? Here goes...

Our angle is we’re Christians. So we take the Bible pretty literally. Which includes Genesis. So we choose to believe the account of the creation: you know – six days, all done by God, style of thing. Later, a world-wide flood, eight folk in a purpose-built floating box, plus animals.

But we don’t exactly live in a cave. We’re aware that in the real world there’s a heck of a lot of literature that disagrees totally. And (to sum it all up) we’re told that ‘science says...’, ‘science knows...’, ‘science has proved...’ In other words, evolution and creation in their fundamentalist form are opposed. (Yeah, we’ve heard of ‘theistic evolution’; that’s for wimps.)

So, like we say, we’ve got an angle.

But so have you. ‘Science’ isn’t as ivory tower and idealistic as we are led to believe. Scientists are human. Which means science is – fundamentally – about getting research grants. Getting published before someone else. Rivalry and jealousy. Professional reputation. Not rocking certain boats or shooting certain sacred cows lest one’s colleagues close ranks to exclude you.

(Remember an academic called Velikovsky? No, we’re neither supporting nor rebutting him. Just that we remember the mass boycott of his publisher by the scientific community because he cut across certain accepted teachings. That was straight censorship.)

(And that was a digression.)

Look: if we read books on evolution pitched at our intellectual level, we are told this: Life formed from murky primordial protein broth and thunderbolts; simple single-celled creatures banded together to become more efficient life-forms; vertebrates and amphibians heralded the complex organisms that culminated in man. The record is there in fossil form, in the recapitulation of the embryo, and can be witnessed in a small way by anyone involved in selective breeding or by observing natural selection. Religion may be nice for some, but it has been a big mistake to regard Genesis as history.

Except that books on evolution pitched at our intellectual level (and tv programmes by the thousand) tell lies when they tell us all that.

And when ordinary folk like ourselves ask questions, we get bullied or patronised. We don’t get answers.

But once in a while, uneducated people make the effort to read real books. Not just the coffee-table beauties with big glossy pictures and not much text. Real books, put out by qualified scientists for their colleagues and students. Books with big words in them, references, tables. And – wouldn’t it rock you – evolution isn’t the nice, watertight system we were taught in high school. It’s not the steady from-goo-to-you-via-the-zoo airbrushed wonder that is the received wisdom of the past hundred-plus years.

(Stay with us. We’ll get into specifics. But a gripe or two more must come first.)

There are huge gaps in the neat lines of evolving organisms. Transitional fossils aren’t there. And even the reassuring order of fossils – often used to date the rocks they’re found in – varies from place to place. Plus (when we read the fine print) fossils date rocks and rocks date fossils – which is a circular argument – which is invalid.

(Meantime, the lectures and the documentaries contain phrases like ‘nature decided’. Pardon us?)

We’ve got news for you scientists who don’t want to jeopardise their reputations by thinking for yourselves. Natural selection is micro-evolution, and actually limits a species, it doesn’t produce anything new. Spontaneous mutation is almost always awfully harmful, again failing to produce something new. And, in case you've been living under a rock for a few decades – somebody just ruined your lunch by discovering DNA, which (if you haven’t realised it) blows evolution clean out of the water.

How? DNA is a highly detailed blueprint of everything needed to describe a living organism. Okay – to improve that organism, say, to add new features and enhancements, you need not only to modify the blueprint, but to add more code. That... can’t... happen. Not all by itself, it can’t. Not by a zap from some cosmic ray, it can’t. You haven’t the slightest evidence of a mechanism that makes evolution work – and DNA insists that new creatures need new coded, complex, interlocking blueprints. No, you don’t have to believe in a personal God if you choose not to. But you have to believe in a First Cause (‘Intelligent Design’, some honest scientists are calling it) because you haven’t found the least trace of anything mechanical to justify your monopoly.

Okay – to the questions.

And if you can come up with answers, we’ll be happy to post them on this website and give you full credit for them.


QUESTION ONE: How did eyes evolve?

No flash-bang miracle, now. That’s our territory. How can an eye evolve, step by step, without being a life-threatening liability in each generation and therefore liable to be eliminated by natural selection? Just to remind you: eyes are self-repairing, 3-D, auto-focussing, three colour, image processors – not just cameras, but linked to real-time image recognition. You’ve got the optics and the data-crunching to consider; one's no good without the other. Plus – why three colours? Good old black-and-white was adequate, surely. Or bi-colour, like the Russian cinema finds so attractive and cheap. How did ‘nature know’ (that’s your phrase, remember) there are colours. Come to think of it – how did ‘nature know’ there was light? Some books say eyes evolved from ‘light-sensitive skin’. So how did light-sensitive skin begin? And why isn’t all our seeing ’way down in the infra-red band, if it came from sensitive skin?

QUESTION TWO: How did simple single-cell creatures evolve?

In fact, the phrasing of that question is meant to be said tongue-in-cheek. Single-cell organisms are as simple as a fully automated factory, and then some. We’ve seen – and so have you – the blobs drawn by some hack artist: the wiggly outline, a dot for a nucleus, then the vague way the wiggly shape develops a waist, and splits into two. Simple. Until someone invented the electron microscope and found that an amœba and other similar beasties have wondrous mechanisms within, some capable of changing form to suit different tasks, some – complete with rotating parts – that are scaled down motors running with an efficiency man can only dream about. Couple all this with fuel-seeking, self-replicating powers (von Neuman’s ‘invention’) and this isn’t a bad little bit of primitive life-form. Go on – how?

QUESTION THREE: While we’re on the subject of primitive life-forms – how did life begin?

We’ve been around long enough to have heard the popular press cry ‘wolf’ umpteen times over with banner headlines saying: ‘Scientists Create Life in Laboratory’. Load of old rubbish, every time. It’s been the synthesis of protein molecules, that’s what. And while we’re happy to blame the press for the headline, the breezy scientific explanation that followed was a little low on detail. The boffins gave the impression that there was little more to their experiment than a few basic elements and a healthy jolt of electricity – what they invariably describe as ‘the building blocks of life’. What doesn’t get told, but can be tracked down, is that the apparatus is damn complex and bears no resemblance to any set-up that could conceivably exist in nature. But let’s flag all that away. With all the idealised laboratory situations that exist, how come nobody has the slightest clue (let alone the slightest success) of how to replicate a phenomenon that ‘just happened’?

QUESTION FOUR: Explain the monarch butterfly.

Sit beside a swan plant and watch the caterpillars. They’re totally suited to their environment – so why don’t they stay that way? Instead, they turn into chrysalises, box themselves in, and turn their guts into a complicated soup, then re-emerge as a totally different creature: a complex butterfly. Different locomotion, feeding, seeing. Yet capable of reproducing its original caterpillar form. You might think we’re naïve, looking on the transformation as a specific miracle. Okay, then. Will someone kindly write a thesis on the mechanism that just happened? Or even send us an email suggesting how any of the current evolutionary theories hold together in this specific instance.


Enough questions. We were going to ask how evolution manages to break the second law of thermodynamics, but we won’t. We were going to ask why books still show the faked drawings of recapitulation, but we won’t. And we were going to ask why the Britannica uses the circular argument that rocks are dated by the fossils in them – and fossils are dated by the rocks they are in. But we won’t. And we’d love to ask how the platypus – that phoney-looking beastie with characteristics from half a dozen branches of the much-trumpeted evolutionary tree - evolved. But we won’t. And we won’t even mention that the media cliché of ‘the missing link’ is the understatement of all time; there are hundreds of thousands of missing transitional forms between clearly different creatures.

Plus - FOR ADULTS ONLY - what about sex? 'Simple' creatures reproduce by fission, right? (Let's ignore whether that's simple or not.) So - if splitting in two actually works (like, ask any amoeba), how does the whole complex business of sexual reproduction appear? You've got to have two divergent types (male and female) that still have to be able to split into two, and those two types have to develop all the bells and whistles that won't be one damn bit of good until they are fully formed. C'mon, there's not a snowball's chance in hell that sexual reproduction in any imaginable form could have ever evolved. And you know it.

We wait. We won’t hold our breath. We’d like hard facts in rebuttal and we’ll put them on our website, giving you full credit; but we’ll read books that you recommend, as long as they do more than bully or patronise. We’re at – click this to email us.

And sure, it’s not the business of science to prove there is a God. But equally it’s not the business of science to cobble together a set of tenuous speculations and make it into orthodox dogma.

Chat to historians and archaeologists – you’ll find that the Bible is holding up pretty well, these days. We’ve heard it said that ‘the Bible isn’t a scientific textbook’; we can only reply: ’Thank God’.


George and Eileen Anderson

(This may be copied, printed out and distributed as long as no changes – or charges – are made to the text.)

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