Reformed Perspectives Magazine, Volume 10, Number 20, May 11 to May 17 2008

The Case Against Evolution

By Henry M. Morris

Henry M. Morris attended the University of Minnesota (M.S.; Ph.D.), and Rice University (B.S.). He was Head of the Civil Engineering Department at Southwestern Louisiana University; Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at University of Minnesota; Instructor of Civil Engineering at Rice University; Junior Engineer to Assistant Hydraulic Engineer, International Boundary and Water Commission. He was also Professor of Hydraulic Engineering and Head of the Department of Civil Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Books authored by him are Applied Hydraulics in Engineering; The Bible and Modern Science; That You Might Believe; and The Genesis Flood, co-authored with John C. Whitcomb. This article is taken from his book The Twilight of Evolution, (Baker: Grand Rapids) 1963, pp. 29-46.
In this chapter and the next we shall summarize the evidence against evolution by showing, first, that there is no evidence of evolution occurring at present and, second, that there is no evidence that evolution has occurred in the past. In doing this, it is necessary to start with the Biblical record. Particularly in the past, prior to human historical records, it is manifestly impossible to prove scientifically whether evolution took place or not. In the nature of the case, the history of the earth and its inhabitants cannot be subject to scientific experimentation; the events are non-reproducible and, therefore, not legitimately subject to analysis by means of the so-called "scientific method."

One must, therefore, either start with the assumption that God is the Creator and the Author of history, or else with the assumption that there is no God and that the history of the earth and the universe is to be explained without him. The way one approaches the study of this history must necessarily depend upon the assumption with which he starts. If one more or less arbitrarily ignores God in developing such a history, even though he may not deliberately intend to exclude the possibility of God, in effect he is making the second assumption and is taking the approach of atheism. For it should be plainly emphasized that, if God does exist and if he is the Creator and Sustainer of history, then it is foolhardy to attempt to understand history apart from his revealed Word. In other words, the only way we can know with certainty the time of creation, the order of creation, the meaning of creation, the methods of creation, and anything else concerned with pre-historical events, is for God to tell us these things. He was there and we were not. Therefore, in every case, we believe that the only legitimate method of reasoning in this sphere is the deductive method. One starts with either one assumption or the other and then develops his system and his conclusions. He cannot use the inductive method, attempting to build up a historical record on the basis of bits of evidence he may be able to find in the present world. In doing this, he is in reality using the deductive method but starting with the atheistic assumption that God has not already spoken concerning these things.

We, therefore, must simply start with the assumption that God exists and is the Creator and Sustainer of this universe. Consequently we must acknowledge that God can reveal himself if he so wills and that it is not possible for us really to understand anything (since our very minds have been created by him) unless he does so. The Bible claims in numberless ways to be this revelation, and has validated its claims in equally innumerable ways. Therefore, in any historical or scientific argumentation, here is where we start.

With respect to the possibility of evolution occurring in the present or in the past, we must first of all define clearly what is meant by evolution. Evolution does not simply mean change. This is important, because the evidence cited by most writers in favor of their claim that evolution is a fact is simply evidence of change. But true evolution is a certain kind of change.

Once again, we shall let evolution's chief present-day spokesman and protagonist, Sir Julian Huxley, settle this particular question:

Evolution is a one-way process, irreversible in time, producing apparent novelties and greater variety, and leading to higher degrees of organization, more differentiated, more complex, but at the same time more integrated. 1

This statement was intended to include both inorganic and organic evolution, and to comprehend the whole of the physical and biological universes. That is, everything in the universe has been developed by this process of evolution, of development, of progress, of higher and higher levels of organization and complexity.

With this definition in mind, we come to examine the question of whether there is any evidence that such a process is now taking place in the world. And the answer, both Scripturally and scientifically, is, unequivocally, no!

As far as the Bible is concerned, this process of organization, of increasing complexity, of development, of integration, is simply the process of creation. And, according to Scripture, creation is no longer taking place.

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made" (Genesis 2:1-3).

"For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:11).

"It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed" (Exodus 31:17).

"By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast" (Psalm 33:6, 9).

"Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all" (Nehemiah 9:6).

"By the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water" (II Peter 3:5).

"The works were finished from the foundation of the world" (Hebrews 4:3).

"For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his" (Hebrews 4:10).

These passages of Scripture, in both Old and New Testaments, make it plain that the work of creation was terminated at the end of the six days. God is now preserving everything he had created in the six days, but he is no longer creating anything.

God has, therefore, told us plainly in his Word that nothing is now being either created or destroyed, and we are, therefore, not surprised when, as we study the laws of nature, we find that the most basic, the most universal, the best-proved, law of all science is the law of Conservation!

Actually, there are many so-called conservation laws of science. Conservation of mass, conservation of linear momentum, conservation of electric charge, conservation of angular momentum, and conservation of energy are the most important. And without doubt the one truly universal conservation law is that of energy conservation, especially when broadened to include possible mass-energy conversions.

Energy, defined as "capacity for doing work," actually includes everything in the physical universe. Because of mass-energy equivalence, all forms of matter are, in a very real sense, merely forms of energy. Energy may also appear as mechanical, electrical, electro-magnetic, chemical, light, heat, sound, and other types of energy.

The First Law of Thermodynamics is merely another name for the Law of Conservation of Energy.... This law states that energy can be transformed in various ways, but can neither be created nor destroyed. 2

All processes in the universe — physical, geological, biological, etc. — involve transformations of energy. It is not too much to say that the whole of physical reality is merely the outworking of the energies of the universe. And all of this is fundamentally described and controlled by the law of energy conservation, which states that mass-energy is neither being created nor destroyed. And this is precisely what the Biblical revelation has told us!

Furthermore, it ought to be evident that this universal law squarely contradicts, and therefore disproves, the evolutionary hypothesis, which maintains that "creation" — that is, increasing organization and integration and development — is continually taking place in the present.

And if the first law of thermodynamics disproves evolution, what could one say about the second law of thermodynamics! The second law, equally universal and also proved beyond any scientific doubt whatever, states that in all energy transformations there is a tendency for some of the energy to be transformed into non-reversible heat energy. That is, the availability of the energy of the system or process for the performance of work is reduced. It "runs down" or "wears out." The term entropy is used as a measure of the amount of energy thus depleted from the system, and the second law states, therefore, that the entropy of a closed system can never decrease, but rather always tends to increase.

The second law of thermodynamics was originally developed by Carnot, Clausius, and Kelvin, starting from work on the engineering problems of steam engines. In its early forms, it was developed at about the same time as Darwin's publication of Origin of Species. However, its broader implications were only gradually becoming understood by the end of the 19th century. Even today, it is obvious that most people, especially most evolutionists, have very little understanding of the tremendous implications of the second law:

Understanding of the law has continued to grow since the time of Clausius and Kelvin.... In its most modern forms, the Second Law is considered to have an extremely wide range of validity. It is a remarkable illustration of the ranging power of the human intellect that a principle first detected in connection with the clumsy puffing of the early steam engines should be found to apply to the whole world, and possibly even to the whole cosmic Universe. 3

The physicist R. B. Lindsay, Dean of the Brown University Graduate School, says concerning the universal importance of the two laws of thermodynamics:

Thermodynamics is a physical theory of great generality impinging on practically every phase of human experience. It may be called the description of the behaviour of matter in equilibrium and of its changes from one equilibrium state to another. Thermodynamics operates with two master concepts or constructs and two great principles. The concepts are energy and entropy, and the principles are the so-called first and second laws of thermodynamics. ... 4

There is no real question, either, that the two laws apply to biological systems as well as physical systems. In fact, practically all evolutionary biologists today reject vitalism in biology, insisting that all biological processes are really only physico-chemical processes, with no "vital force" or "vital energy" involved. It thus follows that these physico-chemical processes in living systems must conform to the two laws of thermodynamics. The significance of this becomes clear when the second law is defined in most general terms. As implied above, its implications are far wider than contained in the tendency for processes to produce irrecoverable heat energy. The thermodynamic application is in reality only a special case of a universal tendency for everything to become more "probable" — that is, more disorganized, more "random." The Princeton biologist, Harold Blum, applying this fact to biological systems, makes this quite clear:

A major consequence of the second law of thermodynamics is that all real processes go toward a condition of greater probability. The probability function generally used in thermodynamics is entropy.

...The second law of thermodynamics says that left to itself any isolated system will go toward greater entropy, which also means toward greater randomization and greater likelihood. 5

It would hardly be possible to conceive of two more completely opposite principles than this principle of entropy increase and the principle of evolution. Each is precisely the converse of the other. As Huxley defined it, evolution involves a continual increase of order, of organization, of size, of complexity. The entropy principle involves a continual decrease of order, of organization, of size, of complexity. It seems axiomatic that both cannot possibly be true. But there is no question whatever that the second law of thermodynamics is true!

Of course, it is quite possible for entropy to decrease in an open system. In fact, every instance of a local increase in organization — the growth of a child, the development of a crystal, the raising of a building — is an example of the influx of an excess of "energy" or "information" into the particular open system, so that its innate tendency toward decay is temporarily offset. But that child, or crystal, or building, or anything else will eventually start to grow old or wear out or decay. Even the temporary, supposedly natural growth of an organism is really to be attributed ultimately to the creation and maintenance by God of a marvelous mechanism of reproduction and sustenance.

And remember that evolution, in the minds of its proponents, is not a localized phenomenon anyway, but rather a universal law, explaining alike the development of species in biology, elements in chemistry, and suns in astronomy! As Huxley insists: "The whole of reality is evolution." 6

It is hard to believe that the leaders in evolutionary thought, not to mention their hosts of uncritical followers, have ever really confronted this gross contradiction between their theory of evolution (which they protest overmuch to be a "fact") and the second law of thermodynamics. For example, the great Darwinian Centennial Celebration at the University of Chicago in 1959, which brought together the acknowledged leaders in this field from all over the world, and which produced many original papers and much discussion, apparently never even recognized the existence of this problem. In the three volumes of papers and discussions emanating from this conference, it is almost impossible to find any mention of questions of this sort at all. Although of course some may have been missed, a fairly careful search indicates that only two of the writers" in this Symposium refer to it, and these only briefly and cursorily.

And until this fundamental contradiction is thoroughly cleared up and harmonized, creationists are abundantly justified in insisting that evolution as a universal principle is not only unproved but statistically almost impossible! The second law of thermodynamics plainly and relentlessly insists that there is a universal tendency toward decay and disorder, not growth and development. This is true on the cosmic scale and, even though it may temporarily be negated on a small scale by local increases in order resulting from external influences, even these are only temporary and will eventually decay.

But this is not at all surprising to the Christian, for this is what is taught in the Word of God. Not only has God told us that he has finished his creation, and is now preserving it, so that nothing further is being created nor is anything being destroyed, but he has also told us that there is everywhere in the world a tendency toward decay and death. Everything, left to itself, tends to grow old and to run down and finally to die.

"Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed" (Psalm 102:25, 26).

"Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished" (Isaiah 51:6).

"For the creation was made subject to vanity. . . . For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now" (Romans 8:20, 22).

"For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man is as the flower of grass. The grass withereth and the flower thereof falleth away" (I Peter 1:24).

"All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again" (Ecclesiastes 3:20).

"Heaven and earth shall pass away" (Matthew 24:35).

Not only does the Bible tell us the fact of decay in the creation, but it also gives us the explanation for it, something which thermodynamics has not been able to do. The universal validity of the second law of thermodynamics is demonstrated, but no one knows why it is true. It is strictly an empirical law, which has always been found to be true wherever it could be tested, but for which there is no known natural explanation.

But the Biblical explanation is that it is involved in the curse of God upon this world and its whole system, because of Adam's sin. At the end of the six days of creation, the Scripture says that "God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Genesis 1:31). If there be any doubt as to what is meant by this, it is clarified by the description of conditions in the new earth, which will be created by God after this present system has passed away. In Revelation 21:4, it is promised that there will then be no more (1) sorrow, (2) pain, (3) crying, or (4) death. That all of these things are associated with the curse on the present world is evident from the parallel statement in Revelation 22:3, which says that in the new earth, "there shall be no more curse." And it is also evident from the actual description of the curse as given in Genesis 3:17, as we shall note below.

Therefore, we conclude that the Bible teaches that, originally, there was no disorder, no decay, no aging process, no suffering, and above all, no death, in the world when the creation was completed. All was "very good."

But, "by one man, sin entered the world, and death by sin" (Romans 5:12). Eve sinned, and Adam sinned, the essence of both acts being rejection of the word of God. Eve listened to the words of Satan, and Adam harkened to the words of his wife, and both thereby explained away the word of God, and then flagrantly refused to obey his word. Fellowship with their Creator was broken, and the perfect order of God's creation and purpose was disturbed by the entrance of disorder and rebellion into the world. Since Adam had been designated master of all the earth and everything in it (Genesis 1:28), the curse likewise comprehended everything under Adam's dominion.

According to the Biblical record, the curse is as follows:

"Cursed is the ground [or earth, which is an alternate rendering of the Hebrew] for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:17-19).

As noted above in connection with the eventual removal of the curse from the earth, there are four main elements in it: (1) sorrow; (2) pain — symbolized by the thorns and thistles; (3) crying, that is, the groaning and struggle and intense effort necessary to wrest a living from a reluctant earth, all intimated by the sweat; and (4) death, when the highly organized protein and other structures of the body will finally break down and decay and eventually return to the basic elements — the "dust of the earth" from which it was made.

All of this can be summarized in terms of a great principle of decay and disorder in the earth. Adam was originally commissioned to "subdue" the earth and to exercise dominion over it, but now he and his descendants must reckon with an earth which resists his efforts. Only by continual effort and overcoming all manner of difficulties can order be maintained or increased. In the struggle there will be encountered much pain and sorrow, both of which manifest an inharmonious environment, external and internal. And ultimately, regardless of all the sorrow and sweating and pain overcome in "eating of" the earth, the earth will finally be victorious and will regain her "dust."

Can there be any doubt that here, and here only, we have the real explanation for the relentless increase of entropy in the world? As the physicist, R. B. Lindsay, has said, concerning the second law of thermodynamics:

All experience points to the fact that every living organism eventually dies. This is a process in which the highly developed order of the organism is reduced to a random and disorderly collection of molecules. We are reminded that we are ‘dust' and to ‘dust' we ultimately return. 7

The exact physiological mechanism which is responsible for aging and death of an animal has never been fully determined, and this is in fact an active area of modern research. As Howard Curtis, of the Brookhaven National Laboratory, says:

Everyone realizes that he will undergo adverse changes, with the passage of time, which will eventually lead to death in one form or another, and accepts this as inevitable. It is difficult to think of a biological process of more interest to most adults, and yet through the years the explanations for this phenomenon have mostly been couched in vague generalities. Even today gerontologists cannot agree upon a definition of aging. 8

After discussing various suggested causes for aging, Curtis presents strong modern evidence that the main cause is found in somatic mutations. These are sudden changes in the structure of the somatic cells (as distinct from the germ cells which transmit genetic character from parent to offspring), brought about by radiation or other mutagens affecting the organs and general body cell structure of the animal. He says:

Certainly the vast majority of mutations must be deleterious, so if the organs of older animals contain appreciable numbers of cells which are carrying mutations, it is a virtual certainty that the organs are functioning less efficiently than they otherwise would. 9

These somatic mutations have no effect upon evolution, because, as is now well established, acquired characters cannot be inherited. However, similar mutations occur in the germ cells, and these can be and are transmitted to descendants, as discussed later. These genetic mutations must have a similarly deleterious effect upon the species as a whole, just as the somatic mutations seem clearly to lead to the aging and death of the individual. However, the germ cells are much better protected from factors causing mutation than are the somatic cells. As Curtis says:

It is suggested that the mutation rates for somatic cells are very much higher than the rates for gametic cells, and that this circumstance insures the death of the individual and the survival of the species. 10

But even many species eventually decay and die, with the accumulated effects of generations of mutations and a hostile environment, including especially the presence of man. The effects of the Fall and the Curse are both worldwide and age-long, and there is really no other satisfactory way of accounting for the fact that the "whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." In a recent Phi Beta Kappa address, the noted anthropologist, Loren Eiseley, has said:

As one gropes amid all this attic dust it becomes ever more apparent that some lethal factor, some arsenical poison seems to lurk behind the pleasant show of the natural order or even the most enticing cultural edifices that man has been able to erect. 11

But, of course, the Word of God not only reveals the cause of the universal decay, but also reveals that it will not last forever. The so-called "heat death" anticipated by scientists as the ultimate fate of the universe, when all free energy has been utilized, and converted into non-available heat energy, will never be reached.

"Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption [that is, decay] into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Romans 8:21).

"For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the manifestation [that is, revealing] of the sons of God" (Romans 8:19).

"Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (II Peter 3:13).

This, perhaps, is not the best place for a gospel message, but all this is nevertheless an outworking of the gospel. The revealing of the redeemed children of God, the deliverance of the creation, the new heavens and the new earth, are all made possible by the tremendous fact of Jesus Christ. God, in Christ, has redeemed the world from sin and death by himself dying for the sins of the whole world (I John 2:2) and his bodily resurrection from the grave. At present, he is "taking out a people for his name" (Acts 15:14), regenerating those whom he calls and who "believe on his name" (John 1:12, 13), making them, through the indwelling of his Holy Spirit, the "sons of God" (Romans 8:14), who will be openly manifested as such when Christ "shall appear" (I John 3:2, 3) — that is, when Christ comes again to this world at the end of this age.

But until he comes, the whole creation continues in the bondage of decay. Physical systems, left to themselves, run down and stop; biological organisms grow old and die; societies isolated from uplifting influences deteriorate and vanish away; individuals, who reject or neglect the regenerating influences of the gospel or its by-products, soon drift downward morally and spiritually, as well as physically, and finally die.

"Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (James 1:15).

And this is all so absolutely contrary to the whole concept and philosophy of evolution that one could scarcely conceive more diametrically opposed systems. The two systems are alike in only one respect, in that both involve continual change. But one is a change up, the other a change down. One is development, the other deterioration; one growth, the other decay.

Here we encounter in our study of this subject a very remarkable phenomenon. This fact of change, which is both Biblically and scientifically observed to be a universal implication of the second law of thermodynamics, has been appropriated by evolutionists as the evidential basis for their theory.

No one would question that change occurs. New varieties of various species are developed, by means of various types of biological mechanisms. In most cases, however, these changes are quite definitely within narrow limits. All the varieties of dogs remain inter-fertile and are still dogs, for example. Within all recorded human experience, it is highly questionable whether evolutionists can point with assurance to more than this kind of change occurring. The Mendelian laws of heredity provide for much variation on the basis of the outworking of the genetic factors present in the chromosome structure of the germ cells of each species. But such variation (or, depending on definitions, perhaps sometimes speciation) always has definite limits.

This is exactly the situation that would be expected on the basis of the Genesis account of creation. Nothing in the account indicates how many original "species" there were, or what constitutes a "species." However, it does clearly indicate that there were meant to be definite limits to the possible biological changes that might take place. The only biological unit identified therein is called a kind, and at least ten times in the first chapter of Genesis is it mentioned that the various types of living creatures were to bring forth "after their kind." This states, quite plainly, that there were to be definite limits to possible biological change, perhaps, by implication, these limits being those of interfertility. But within those limits, it can surely be inferred that variation and speciation are possible. An interesting comment on the unsettled state of the "species problem" in modern biological research is given in a recent article by two Stanford biologists:

The term species should be retained only in its original, less restrictive sense of ‘kind.' There seems to be no reason why quantitative methods should not be used to study phenetic relationships (those based on similarity rather than imagined phylogeny) at what we now loosely call the species level. 12

But changes of this type have nothing much to do with what evolutionists consider to be true evolution. Mere reshuffling of genetic factors already present is not evolution. This process corresponds analogically to energy transformations in a physical system, with nothing really gained or added — just the form changed. Rather, some permanent and hereditable change must occur of an entirely different type than those potentially present already. Such changes are called "mutations," and are brought about by a definite and sudden change in one or more genes in the germ cell. Bonner says:

[Mutation] is really the factor of fundamental importance. Since mutation means a chemical change in the gene structure, all progressive advancements must ultimately be by mutation, and all that can be done by recombination is to shuffle what is given by mutation. Gene mutation provides the raw material for evolution, and recombination sets this material out in different ways so that selection may be furthered by being provided with a whole series of possible arrangements. 13

That true mutations do occur, and that these are hereditable, and may result in permanent change in the species, no creationist need question in the least. But the important point is that these changes are fully in line with the universal law of deterioration; in fact, that is exactly what such changes amount to.

For a mutation is essentially a sudden and apparently random change in the genetic structure of the germ cell, brought about by penetration of the cell by radiation, a mutagenic chemical or some other disorganizing agent. The effect is analogous to what would happen to, say, a television picture tube if a bomb were exploded inside it. There would be a change, all right, but it would, in all probability, not be an improvement! (This might depend on one's point of view with respect to television programs, however.)

Mutations and mutation rates have been studied in a wide variety of experimental plants and animals, and in man. There is one general result that clearly emerges: almost all mutations are harmful. The degree of harm ranges from mutant genes that kill their carrier, to those that cause only minor impairment. Even if we didn't have a great deal of data on this point, we could still be quite sure on theoretical grounds that mutations would usually be detrimental. For a mutation is a random change of a highly organized, reasonably smoothly functioning living body. A random change in the highly integrated system of chemical processes which constitute life is almost certain to impair it. 14

Evolutionists are hard pressed to find any actually observed mutations, as distinguished from mere recombinations of genetic factors, which are helpful in the struggle for existence. Occasionally a rare mutation, such as bacterial resistance to penicillin, may accidentally result in improved ability to cope with a changed environment. And it is these occasional helpful mutations occurring in artificially changed environments which arc actually proposed by evolutionists as the biological mechanism accounting for the entire development of all living organisms through geologic time! The hypothetical process of natural selection is supposed to act on these occasional mutations in such a way as to preserve those rare ones which are beneficial. Actually, the more complex an organism, the less chance there is of a mutation being beneficial in any environment. This is a principle of such generality as to have status fully as valid as that of most other physical "laws," or putting it another way, the more complex a structure, the less probable it is that a random change will increase its complexity. Therefore, the mutation concept of evolution seems about as logical as to say that, if a man travels south ninety-nine miles, then north one mile, then south ninety-nine miles, then north one mile, and so on, he will reach the North Pole before he reaches the South Pole!

Mutations really, therefore, offer a perfect illustration of the second law of thermodynamics, which says that the natural tendency of all change is to create a greater degree of disorder and randomness. This would mean that the overall direction of change of a biological "kind" would he deteriorative rather than developmental. This is evident not only in the case of present genetic changes, but also in those evidences that have been cited in favor of past evolutionary changes. For example, the evidence of vestigial organs is often cited as an argument for evolution. But it is immediately evident that the loss of organs through disuse is an illustration of deterioration.

Similarly, paleontology reveals that practically every type of living creature in the present world has ancestors in the fossil record which are larger than their present-day descendants. One thinks, for example, of the mammoths, the cave bears, saber-tooth tigers, giant bisons, the dinosaurs, the giant beavers, cockroaches, rhinos, and even giant men! The evolutionary increase in size and complexity supposedly revealed by the fossil record apparently breaks down in the transition from the hypothetical sequences of the geologic past to the actual creatures of the present! And, as we shall see later, these hypothetical phylogenies of the fossil record can be interpreted in an alternate manner which supports, rather than contradicts, the second law of thermodynamics.

Before leaving this subject, it would be well to note a recent theory that has attempted to sidestep the problems posed by the second law of thermodynamics.

A recent suggestion is that for the Universe considered as a whole the law of entropy increase is brought to a standstill by the ‘continuous creation' of matter. The hypothesis of ‘continuous creation' has in fact been introduced in the attempt to neutralize the law of entropy-trend on the cosmic scale. 15

This theory of the "steady-state" universe has been widely publicized and popularized in recent years. A group of British astronomers, especially Hoyle and Bondi, have been the leaders in the promulgation of this strange hypothesis. It is miscalled the "continuous creation" theory, since it does not postulate that God is still creating anything. In fact, it is thoroughly atheistic, since it assumes that the universe never had a beginning at all, and will never have an end. It arbitrarily decides that the universe should always be essentially the same, at any point of time or space. In order to eliminate the profound difficulty imposed upon such a theory by the second law of thermodynamics, which rigidly interpreted would require both a beginning and an end of the universe as observed, it allows for the continual evolution (not "creation") of matter out of nothing!

It must be clearly recognized that there cannot possibly be any observational or experimental basis in support of such a notion. It is simply required by the assumption of a "steady-state" universe, with neither beginning nor end. Its proponents argue that this assumption is so reasonable that it warrants the otherwise absurd idea of continual evolution of matter out of nothing.

This is merely a striking confirmation of the earlier assertion that a man's presuppositions will determine how he handles the scientific data. But even many uniformitarian scientists are appalled at the presumption of Hoyle and his colleagues in promoting such a theory as this in the name of science. In a recent review of several new books bearing on this theme, G. C. McVittie, Head of the University of Illinois Astronomy Department, says:

The temptation to substitute logic for observation is peculiarly hard to resist in astronomy. This is because astronomical data are hard to come by, and the data rapidly diminish in number and accuracy as the objects we observe recede from the earth.... Nevertheless, the fact that data may be scarce and inaccurate is no reason for failing to use them as our main guides in the formulation of theory....Once upon a time, British science was sometimes criticized for being too empirical. During the past 30 years a number of a priori theories of cosmology, of which the steady-state theory is one, have completely reversed the trend, which is a curious and unexpected development. 16

We conclude this section, then, by reiterating that the revealed Word of God, supported completely by all true science, teaches that the evolutionary principle, as applied to present processes and events, is not only not valid but is essentially impossible. The basic processes at the present time are those of conservation and deterioration, not innovation and development.


1. Ibid., p. 44. See also footnote 4, chapter 1.

2. A. R. Ubbelohde: Man and Energy (New York; George Braziller, Inc., 1955), p. 149. Dr. Ubbelohde is Professor of Thermodynamics at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in the University of London, and also Dean of the Faculty of Science at Queen's University in Belfast.

3. Ibid., p. 146.

4. "Entropy Consumption and Values in Physical Science," American Scientist, V. 47, September, 1959, p. 376.

5. "Perspectives in Evolution," American Scientist, V. 43, October, 1955, p. 595.

6. Hans Gaffron: "The Origin of Life," in The Evolution of Life (Vol. I of Evolution after Darwin, Sol Tax, Ed., University of Chicago Press, 1960), p. 40. Alfred E. Emerson: "The Evolution of Adaptation in Living Systems." Ibid., p. 312.

7. "Entropy Consumption and Values in Physical Science," American Scientist, Vol. 47, September, 1959, p. 384.

8. "Biological Mechanisms Underlying the Aging Process," Science, Vol. 141, August 23, 1963, p. 686.

9. Ibid, p. 688.

10. Ibid, p. 694.

11. "Man, the Lethal Factor," American Scientist, Vol. 51, March, 1963, p. 72.

12. Paul R. Ehrlich and Richard W. Holm: "Patterns and Populations," Science, Vol. 137, August 31, 1962, p. 655.

13. The Ideas of Biology (New York; Harper and Brothers, 1962), p. 64.

14. James F. Crow: "Genetic Effects of Radiation," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 14, January, 1958, pp. 19-20.

15. A. R. Ubbelohde: Man and Energy, p. 177.

16. "Rationalism versus Empiricism in Cosmology," Science, Vol. 133, April 21, 1961, p. 1236.

This article is provided as a ministry of Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill). If you have a question about this article, please email our Theological Editor.

Subscribe to Reformed Perspectives Magazine

RPM subscribers receive an email notification each time a new issue is published. Notifications include the title, author, and description of each article in the issue, as well as links directly to the articles. Like RPM itself, subscriptions are free. To subscribe to Reformed Perspectives Magazine, please select this link.