Science vs. the Big Bang & Evolution: A Concise Look
[NOTE: The following article is a special section within the Apologetics Press study Bible, currently scheduled to be released in 2020. In order to stay in keeping with the “concise” approach, the typical references have been omitted. The reader is referred to our Web site and monthly journal Reason & Revelation for citation of the many relevant articles on these subjects.]
Many within Christendom have attempted to create compatibility between naturalistic evolution (i.e., cosmic evolution—the Big Bang Theory plus Darwinian Evolution) and Scripture. Before even spending time attempting to reconcile Scripture with such theories, however, one should first consider whether evolution is even a rational scientific theory to begin with—supported by the evidence.
According to the Big Bang Theory, all matter and energy that comprise the Universe were originally in an infinitely dense “spec” (a singularity) roughly 14 billion years ago. That “cosmic egg” expanded faster than the speed of light for well less than one second (i.e., “inflation”), and now continues to expand indefinitely. Particles began forming in the first few seconds, atoms after 380,000 years, the first stars after 200-300 million years, and our solar system and Earth roughly nine billion years later.
According to the secular model, some 800 million years later (3.8 billion years ago), life sprang into existence on Earth and Darwinian evolution began. The initial single-celled organisms eventually evolved into multicellular organisms (and the earliest plants), which eventually evolved into invertebrates, which then evolved into vertebrates. Vertebrate fish evolved into amphibians, then reptiles, which gave rise to dinosaurs and mammals. Dinosaurs evolved into birds, and mammals ultimately evolved into primates. The genus homo, within the primate group, arrived some 2-3 million years ago, ultimately evolving into humans.
There are many problems with this “just so” story as proposed by naturalists. Here are 15 of them, some of which apply to naturalistic evolution exclusively, and some to both naturalistic and “supernaturalistic” evolution:
- The origin of laws of science: At the heart of science is man’s discovery of the laws of nature that govern the Universe, telling it how to behave. These laws exist, and yet there is absolutely no evidence from nature that such laws can “write” themselves into existence. One cannot be a naturalist and believe such a thing happens, since there is no evidence that such a thing could happen in nature. To believe that the laws of science could write themselves would require a blind “faith.”
- The origin of matter/energy: Not only would the laws that govern the Universe have to create themselves, but the physical material of the Universe would have to either be eternal or create itself. The Big Bang model asserts that the Universe began with all matter/energy in one place and it rapidly expanded eventually forming the Universe. Those who believe the matter of the Universe was the result of a quantum fluctuation must also believe in a quantum field of energy that “fluctuated.” No naturalistic model explains the origin of all matter/energy, but rather, what happened to that already existing material at the beginning. Again, upon examination of the scientific evidence from the natural realm, one discovers three relevant laws of science which prohibit a natural origin of the Universe. The First Law of Thermodynamics indicates that in nature, matter and energy do not create themselves from nothing. Energy can be converted into matter (and vice versa), but the sum total amount of matter/energy in the Universe must be constant. Either matter/energy in the natural realm were created by Something outside of the natural realm, or matter/energy are eternal. Few cosmologists today would accept the latter in light of the findings of the Second Law of Thermodynamics—entropy happens. We are steadily running out of usable energy—that is, the Universe is “wearing out” or “running down,” implying that it could not have existed forever or we would long since have exhausted all usable energy and be in a state of Universal heat death. The Law of Causality—perhaps the most fundamental of all scientific laws—indicates that every effect that we see in the natural realm always has a cause. Since the Universe is an effect, it requires a cause. Since matter/energy could not exist forever or create itself in a natural way, the Cause must be outside of (i.e., super-) nature.
- The Horizon/Flatness problems: Several decades ago cosmologists observed that the entire Universe appears to have the same temperature, implying that there had to be sufficient time for every location in the Universe to have exchanged its energy with other locations and come to equilibrium. Some places in the Universe, however, are too far from each other to have had time to exchange their energy if the Big Bang model is correct. This problem has been termed the Horizon problem. Further, based on the Big Bang model, if the Universe is billions of years old, when we examine the composition of energy in the Universe, the ratio of gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy in the Universe (i.e., W) should be either zero or enormous if the Universe is as old as is claimed. The evidence, however, indicates that W is estimated to be close to the very unlikely number one, making the Universe very close to “flat” in curvature (rather than “closed” or “open”). That discovery would seem to imply that either the Universe is not actually billions of years old, or that W was initially exactly one to within 15 significant figures—an occurrence so unlikely that it would appear that the Universe was finely tuned (i.e., designed).
- A lack of evidence for inflation: Inflation was invented, in part, to resolve the Horizon and Flatness problems and yet, to date, there is absolutely no evidence for inflation. Even if it were true, other problems would exist, such as what caused inflation and what caused it to stop? Although inflation is essential for the Big Bang model, accepting it amounts to grasping an irrational blind “faith,” and ironically, leading naturalistic cosmologists acknowledge that fact. Inflation theory is not science.
- A lack of evidence for dark energy: Big Bang theorists see the evidence for Universal expansion—a key observation undergirding the theory—but cannot (with their model) explain why the expansion of space appears to be accelerating, rather than decelerating, as would be expected based on the Big Bang model. In an attempt to be consistent with the blind “faith” theme of modern cosmology, dark energy was invented to attempt to explain the accelerated expansion. An enormous “fudge factor,” so to speak, was added to the cosmological equation. Presumably, an unknown, unobserved and possibly unobservable energy in space—an energy thought to make up 73% of the Universe, but which we do not know exists—is driving the accelerated expansion. The Big Bang model does not adequately explain the evidence.
- The smoothness problem: The Big Bang model relies on the fundamental assumption known as the Cosmological Principle—the idea that the Universe is uniform and homogeneous (i.e., spread out evenly). Once again, however, the actual observable evidence indicates that the Universe is not smooth, but rather, is “clumpy” (e.g., there exist stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, etc. that clump rather than spread out). The Universe is characterized by deviations from homogeneity. The Universe should be smooth if the Big Bang is true, but it is not.
- Missing antimatter: Energy can be transformed into matter, according to the First Law of Thermodynamics, but when it happens, an equal amount of antimatter (basically normal matter with a reversed charge on its particles) is always produced—without exception according to the laboratory evidence. So if the Big Bang is true and energy was transformed into all of the matter of the Universe at the beginning, there should have been an equal amount of matter and antimatter produced—but there clearly was not, or else when the two touched, they would have been immediately destroyed, releasing their energy. Today the Universe is virtually completely composed of regular matter. (Apparently the Big Bang did not occur.)
- The Fermi Paradox: If the Big Bang model is true, it would be inconceivable that other life—even advanced life—does not exist somewhere in the Universe with its billions of stars and even, presumably, more planets. Such life should have long ago colonized our region of the Universe, and yet there is absolutely no evidence for the existence of extraterrestrials. If one predicts that aliens should exist and should have been noticed by humans by now if the Big Bang Theory is true and that prediction fails upon examining the evidence, then the Big Bang Theory has been effectively falsified by the evidence.
- The Anthropic Principle: The “Anthropic Principle” is the term used by leading cosmologists to describe the incredibly fine-tuned nature of the Universe. Mounting evidence indicates that it seems to have been perfectly designed for life on Earth to exist. In order to by-pass the supernatural implication of the scientific evidence for design (i.e., that there must be a Designer for the Universe), many cosmologists are suggesting that our Universe is one of an infinite number within a “multiverse,” and we “happen” to live in the right one. Other cosmologists, however, point out that such a hypothesis not only requires a blind faith (having no evidence to support it, making it irrational), but it merely “moves the goal posts.” The sleight-of-hand only begs the question: what would cause the multiverse to exist—God?
- Origin of life: Even if the Big Bang happened, at some point, non-living substances had to spontaneously come to life. When we examine the evidence, however, we find that in nature, life always and exclusively comes from life—a fundamental biological rule known as the Law of Biogenesis. In order to be a naturalist, one must ignore the mountain of scientific evidence for biogenesis and blindly believe that something unnatural occurred at least once (i.e., abiogenesis). In short, one must cease to be a naturalist and become a super-naturalist like us. The problem of the first life spontaneously animating, however, is greater than is perhaps often considered. The first organism could not be simple, since it required an operating program to control its functions and also had to be equipped with a replication system, or its death would have promptly ended its evolutionary journey before it began. Absolutely no evidence exists that such a “just so” story could occur.
- Darwinian evolution (i.e., macroevolution) lacks solid evidence: After the hypothetical, original life spontaneously animated, Darwinists contend that it eventually evolved into all forms of life we see today. In order for a theory to be rational, however, it must have sufficient evidence to support it. Upon examination of the alleged evidences for evolution, however, they are found, without exception, to be either erroneous (e.g., alleged embryonic recapitulation; horse and whale evolution in the fossil record; vestigial organs and genes; transitional forms; human/chimp chromosome fusion; mitochondrial DNA; and radio-isotope dating techniques); irrelevant (e.g., natural selection, which explains the survival of the fittest, not their arrival; geographic distribution; evidences of microevolution, like “Darwin’s finches,” English peppered moths, the evolution of bacterial antibiotic resistance, epigenetics, and fruit fly evolution, which represent mere diversification within already existing kinds rather than evidence of evolution across phylogenic boundaries into distinctly different kinds of creatures); or inadequate (e.g., homologous structures and genetic similarities). Macroevolution is found to be merely a wishful dream conjured by naturalists, rather than a conclusion warranted by the actual scientific evidence.
- Origin of genetic information: A single-celled organism is substantially different from a human being, genetically speaking. In order for macroevolution to happen—evolving a single-celled organism into a distinctly different organism—nature must have a mechanism to generate new raw material or genetic information in living organisms over time. No such mechanism is known to exist. Rather, the observable evidence indicates that information is always and exclusively the product of a sender or mind. It is not generated spontaneously from nothing. Neo-Darwinists speculate that genetic mutations could be the mechanism that drives change, but according to the observable evidence, genetic mutations do not create new raw material. It’s not rocket science: without a mechanism to evolve a creature, a creature cannot evolve.
- Evidence of common ancestry lacking: A fundamental contention of naturalistic evolution is the proposition “relation through descent from a common ancestor”—all living organisms are related, however distantly. Not only is such a contention contrary to the observable evidence that life comes only from life and that of its kind (i.e., the Law of Biogenesis) and would require a mechanism for change which does not exist, but such a contention would imply that the fossil record should be replete with billions of fossils from the transitional species that link all organisms back to the original single-celled organism. Not only did Darwin himself acknowledge that the fossil record does not reveal that evidence (and admitted that the fossil record is, perhaps, the “most obvious and serious objection” which could be levied against his theory), but leading paleontologists admit it as well. For example, every alleged transitional fossil that has been discovered and attempted to be used as evidence that humans evolved from an ape-like creature has been found to be either fraudulent or inconclusive at best (without exception), even though there should be multiplied millions of those transitional fossils, making macroevolution beyond a doubt, and multiplied billions of the transitional fossils of every other species on the planet as well—a prediction which the fossil record does not bear out. Further, the fossil record is characterized by abrupt appearance of fully formed and functional species, stasis (i.e., little change of the species throughout its tenure in the geologic column, rather than evidence of change into distinctly different species), and then extinction—not evidence of evolution. The Cambrian Explosion at the base of the geologic column effectively constitutes a falsification of evolution, since the many fossilized creatures that are found there appear abruptly, fully formed and functional, exhibit complex design (e.g., the trilobite), and show no evidence of having evolved from previous life forms. Ironically, there is a paucity of fossils that are even alleged to be transitional forms, and they are all vertebrate species, which are known to represent only a minute portion of the complete fossil record (perhaps less than one percent). The bulk of the fossil record, however, is comprised of invertebrate species, and yet no transitional forms among the invertebrates are even known. Bottom line: the fossil record falsifies Darwinian evolution rather than verifying it.
- Uniformitarianism is false: At the heart of every old Earth dating technique (e.g., radioisotope dating techniques, ice core layering analysis, tree ring dating, etc.) is the assumption known as uniformitarianism—the principle that processes and rates currently observed have continued with the same rates and intensity throughout time, implying, for example, that geologic features are explainable by current processes (also implying an old age of the Earth and Universe)—“the present is the key to the past.” Once again, such an assumption does not hold up upon examination of the actual physical evidence. Catastrophic events (e.g., Mount St. Helens volcano eruptions; Mississippi River drainage; rapid canyon erosion from local flooding) are known to speed up “normal” rates and processes. Ironically, even secular geologists now acknowledge that strict uniformitarianism does not hold. The growing theory among secular scientists concerning how the dinosaurs went extinct, for example, involves a massive meteorite that struck the Earth 65 million years ago: a world-wide catastrophic event to be sure. What many geologists appear to ignore, however, is that yielding strict uniformitarianism and accepting catastrophism in any form acknowledges that all old Earth dating techniques could be flawed, since they are all based on the assumption of uniformitarianism.
- Evidence for an old Earth is lacking: In order to allow the time for cosmic evolution to occur, it is argued that the Universe must be many billions of years old. Even if it was true that time would allow cosmic evolution to occur (and there is no evidence that time has the power to bridge the many gaps in evolution that have already been alluded to), there is no solid evidence to substantiate the claim that the Universe is billions of years old. Uniformitarianism, a fundamental assumption of all evolutionary dating techniques and capable, if true, of allowing for billions of years of evolution, has already been shown to be false, and the oft’ cited radioisotope dating techniques are riddled with further erroneous assumptions. Such techniques (e.g., Rubidium-Strontium, Uranium-Lead, Potassium-Argon, and Carbon-14) assume (1) that the nuclear decay rate from parent to daughter isotope has been constant throughout time—a contention which recent scientific evidence has called into question; (2) the specimen being measured is a closed system, never having been affected by any outside force—a contention which has been observed to be illegitimate; and (3) the specimen was originally only comprised of the parent element—an assumption which has been disproved observationally time and again. Those issues are compounded by the many examples that indicate that the Earth is relatively young—far younger than the cosmic evolutionary timeline indicates.1
Conclusion: the many problems with cosmic evolution are not mere bumps in the road. They are uncrossable chasms which effectively falsify naturalism. One cannot believe in naturalism and simultaneously have a rational faith. Rather, his “faith” must be a blind one. In truth, there is no such thing as a naturalist, since every person must believe that something unnatural has occurred at least once (e.g., spontaneous generation of natural laws, matter/energy, life, and genetic information). A naturalist is really a supernaturalist in disguise, one who believes in a modern, “respectable” form of witchcraft—only without the existence of an actual witch to do the magic. The supernatural realm is demanded by the scientific evidence. One need only follow the evidence to arrive at God.
1 E.g., the decay rate of Earth’s magnetic field; lunar recession rate implications; population statistics; atmospheric helium content; amount of sea floor sediment; C-14 and soft tissue in dinosaur fossils; helium in radioactive rocks; C-14 in coal and diamonds; short-lived comets; amount of salt in sea; spiral galaxies; etc.
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