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  1. Andrew Lacayo

    in the end may be I’m just using too narrow of a definition of “after their kind” and may be God intended more flexibility in that phrase than I’m allowing it to have.

  2. Andrew, in my science and Mormonism blog, I have a post giving my reasons for believing that creation after their kind and evolution are both important in creation. I won’t go into the details here, since my essay is online for all to read, but I will say that evolution without “after their kind” would lead to instability in creation.

  3. Damian

    Bryce, this is my first view of your website. I have loved the other content.

    I applaud your temerity in venturing into this topic, because it has provoked an interesting discussion.

    But I have to say that I side with the comments of Eric, and Rob, D. Rolling Kearney who have challenged some aspects of your views.

    I am not a scientist but I look at evidence for a living. From what I have read, evolution can explain the evolutionary workings within a species, but it doesn’t provide sufficient evidence to explain how the species got here in the first place.

    Unquestionably, we have a definitional problem, because “evolution” is much too broad a term. We need to distinguish between “micro-evolution” (adaptation within a species) and “macro-evolution” (changing from one species to another). Too often, we use the term “evolution” is used to refer to either or both. This creates tremendous confusion.

    I believe in micro-evolution, because I think it is amply demonstrated, but I do not accept the macro-evolutionary theory, because I think it is anything but proven. Indeed, I think the evidence goes against it.

    I believe in science. I believe that true science, when properly understood, is compatible with true religion. Micro-evolution is compatible with my beliefs and with my reason. Macro-evolution conflicts both with my faith and my reason, for reasons that follow:

    *on a religious basis, the scriptures tell us that God commanded each species of plant and animal life to multiply “after their kind,” Micro-evolution, adaption of species to survive (including organisms such as insects adapting to pesticides, or bacteria adapting to antibiotics), and the use of science to enhance breeds, etc., explains the variety we have within species, and is perfectly compatible with science, the scriptures, and our own life experience.

    Macro-evolution, on the other hand, requires at some point that one animal or plant species will morph into another in a completely random fashion. Again, evolutionary adaptation within a species does not prove this. Micro-evolution might result in a variations in size, color, coat, and other characteristics in the dog species, but doesn’t change a dog into another species.

    Scientists sometimes point to an isolated fossil record somewhere to try to demonstrate species jumping, but I haven’t found the evidence compelling, nor is evidence of species jumping found in the volume that would be required to explain the variation and extent of different species that we have now. More on that below.

    *I think any theory has to have some basis in common sense. True macro-evolutionary theory–especially if not guided or directed by a creator–requires that random collisions of molecules originating in some primordial soup result in ever more complicated and sophisticated species until, voila!, here we sit as human beings talking about it.

    Reason tells me that randomness would produce the opposite result–more disorganization and less sophisticated organisms. The macro-evolutionist answers, “well, it is possible, and in fact we are here, which proves that it happened.” That is a tautology: “evolution happened, therefore it happened.”

    Yes, I guess anything is “possible.” It is possible that an ape playing on a typewriter could eventually create a Shakespearean sonnet. But the chances of that happening are so infinitesimally small and so contrary to common sense and experience that we dismiss the possibility out of hand. Similarly, while it is “possible” that random collisions of atoms could create life and then result in increasing complexity and organization (up to and including the human brain), is so unlikely as to resemble fantasy rather than science.

    *for species to have begun and then transmuted sufficiently to provide the infinite variety that we have today, we would have to have literally billions (indeed, probably trillions) of examples of mid-species forms showing how an amoeba became a mouse, and how a mouse became a whale, etc. Where is this shown in the fossil records? The scale and scope that would have been required is not shown in the fossil records. Indeed, fossil records dating back hundreds of millions of years old show species remarkably similar to what we have today. And the Cambrian explosion (in which a variety of life forms appear at once) leaves insufficient time for all of these species to have evolved from lower life forms.

    *in order to support the theory, macro-evolutionists have to assume virtually unlimited time in order for the process to work. But the passage of time still doesn’t answer the questions: how do these random mutations result in increasingly sophisticated and complicated and interdependent organisms and structures? From what we see in nature, mutations make the creature less able to survive, not more.

    *as mentioned by some posters, macro-evolution does not explain the origins of life, or the phenomenon of intelligence. Random collisions of molecules doesn’t explain how we perceive that we are able to make choices among alternatives. Is this an illusion? How can free will exist in a random universe?

    *macro-evolution glosses over the application of the theory to even the simplest mechanisms, let alone the complexity of something like, for instance, a human eye. Could even a simple mechanism like a mouse trap evolve? For this to occur, you would have to have the intersection of the board, the spring, the bait platform, all in the right size, and in a certain orientation, combined with a simultaneous application of force that cocks the mechanism. As unlikely as this is, how much more unlikely is it that all of the variables simultaneously come together to result in an eye that collects light and transmits images by electrical impulses through an optic nerve to the brain?

    *in the absence of evidence, macro-evolutionists have pretty well insisted that we take these things on faith–or that we believe that because micro-evolution is proven, macro-evolution is a fact. It becomes a religion in which heterodoxy is severely punished: no other point of view can be explored. Frankly, I don’t have the blind faith to believe in macro-evolution based on what its adherents have shown me. It is like the junkyard explosion resulting in a 747 aircraft. The wonder of life in all its forms, the spinning of the earth in its orbit, the organization of the universe, the miracle of birth, makes it much easier for me to believe that God set all of these things in motion.

    Perhaps some day, macro-evolutionists will come up with better evidence to support the theory. Until then, I don’t have the blind faith necessary to accept these fantastic explanations.

    I truly believe that in the “big movie,” we will be shocked at the credulity we showed to believe in something so contrary to reason and experience. I believe we will find that the “wisdom of their wise men shall perish,” and that, in the final analysis, the emperor had no clothes.

  4. Hi Damian, thanks for your comment. I can’t address all your comment right now, but I would suggest reading more books about evolution. The evidence is quite overwhelming for full blown macro evolution, and it is accepted by most academics, including LDS scholars.

  5. Cody Andrews

    “The theory of evolution is as much a theory as the theory of gravity, the theory of continental drift, the theory of plate tectonics, the theory of relativity, the theory of cells, the theory of atoms, the theory of heliocentrism (the Earth revolves around the Sun), and a host of other theories that we take for granted today as facts of life.”

    I believe that it should be noted that, while there is a “theory of gravity”, there is Newton’s Law of Gravitation. Listing off theories without their counterpart laws seems like sweeping things under the rug.

    However, this is not me saying that I am against any of the points you have made. This is a well written article and I will certainly need some time to study it in a more thorough manner.

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