Shubin’s Biological “Law of Everything” Makes Evolution Impossible

Neil Shubin’s national bestseller titled Your Inner Fish is fraught with error and irrational reasoning about evolution, design, and creation (see Butt, 2010a and Butt, 2010b). At one point in the book, Shubin, apparently inadvertently, formulated a statement that makes materialistic evolution impossible. Shubin stated:

I can share with you one true law that all of us can agree upon. This law is so profound that most of us take it completely for granted. Yet it is the starting point for almost everything we do in paleontology, developmental biology, and genetics. This biological “law of everything” is that every living thing on the planet had parents. Every person you’ve ever known has biological parents, as does every bird, salamander, or shark you have ever seen…. To put it in a more precise form: every living thing sprang from some parental genetic information (2009, p. 174).

Shubin is right to suggest that all can agree upon this concept, since it is nothing more than a reformulation of the Law of Biogenesis, about which creationists have often written (see Butt, 2002; Thompson, 1989). Shubin fails to make the connection, however, that if his “biological law of everything” is true, then life could never have arisen from non-living chemicals. If it is the case that “every living thing sprang from some parental genetic information,” then how did the first “parental genetic information” arise without any such information preceding it?

The importance of Shubin’s concession should not be missed. Shubin recognizes that the actual scientific information verifies that life in the natural world must come from previously existing life. And yet he refuses to carry that fact out to its proper conclusion: that life could not have sprung from non-living chemicals. Materialistic evolution cannot adequately account for or explain the most basic laws of science, not the least of which is the Law of Biogenesis. Only the conclusion that a supernatural Intelligence placed life in our Universe coincides with the real scientific evidence that we have.


Shubin, Neil (2009), Your Inner Fish (New York: Vintage Books).

Butt, Kyle (2002), “Biogenesis—The Long Arm of the Law,”

Butt, Kyle (2010a), “Critical Thinking About the Geologic Column,”

Butt, Kyle (2010b), “Shubin’s Inner Fish Can’t Swallow Proper Scientific Interpretation,”

Thompson, Bert (1989), “The Bible and the Laws of Science: The Law of Biogenesis,”


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