Those who deny God's existence seek to account for the existence of life on this planet by saying that a living cell somehow arose spontaneously and then evolved continuously until we now have a vast array of incredibly well designed organisms. Here is just one of many problems in that scenario:
(1) J.B.S. Haldane has shown that it takes 300 generations for a single mutation to be fixed within a species population.
(2) This assumes that a beneficial mutation could take place that actually adds information to a given genome (which has not been shown). But for the sake of argument, we will grant that such beneficial mutations that add information to the genome actually exist and we simply have not yet been successful in isolating these instances.
(3) The difference between one genus and another is a matter of much more than a single mutation. The genetic difference between chimps and humans, for example, is no less than 40 million mutations (a very conservative estimate that does not include the so-called "junk DNA"--that which does not code for proteins, but which we are now discovering does indeed have essential functions).
(4) At the very least, this would require a fixing of 20 million mutations (40 million divided by 2). Again, this is a very conservative estimate that assumes that evolution can take a linear path from one to the other, fixing only the needed mutations and no others (a rather unlikely scenario, but for the sake of argument, we will allow it).
(5) Assuming a period of 20 years per generation, this means it would take 120,000,000,000 years for a common ancestor of chimps to evolve into a human. Yeah, that's 120 billion years! (20 years/generation x 300 generations/mutation x 20,000,000 mutations). So even given these very conservative numbers and rather unrealistic assumptions (#2, 3 & 4), such evolution would take more than 30 times longer than the ~3.8 billion years since evolutionists claim that the first living cells appeared on earth (the problems with which I do not have time to go into today). Are you starting to see the problem? But wait! There's more.
(6) During this whole period of time in which we are hoping to fix these 20 million+ mutations in order to bring about the imagined macroevolution from hominid ancestor to modern humans....our genomes have been acquiring deleterious mutations at a rate in excess of 600 per progeny per generation. Over the course of the 6 billion generations that it would take to fix these 20 million mutations, the genome will acquire 3.6 trillion deleterious mutations (if only figuring for the input of one individual per generation). The human genome, for instance, only has a little more than 3 billion potential mutation sites. In other words, the genome that needs to evolve from hominid ancestor to human would have been completely eroded ~1,200 times during the period in which the 20 million+ mutations need to be fixed. That's a pretty serious attrition rate. Yet evolution must somehow overcome all of these impossible obstacles millions of times to bring about the vast number of living organisms. And when it gets down to the nitty gritty of organic chemistry (where such evolution must take place), no one has a clue how it could have happened. Perhaps you believe it can somehow be done. If so, you have more faith than I do.
(7) Still not seeing a problem? This "low rate" of deleterious mutations is due to the incredibly robust duplication system built into our cells that incorporates several proofreading mechanisms. In other words, imagine how much higher the attrition rate would have to be before the imagined evolutionary process got around to building these sophisticated error-correcting features into our replication system....
*You can find an excellent discussion of most of this by one of the world's leading geneticists, Dr. John Sanford, in his book Genetic Entropy & The Mystery of the Genome (2005), see especially p.123ff, 149, 159f. (The heart of this argument comes from his book. Some of the observations are mine.) A 2-part video presentation in which Dr. Sanford presents this information.
**It should be noted that Dr. Sanford discusses other factors in his Genetic Entropy book that increase this problem exponentially (p.123ff).
(1) An excellent article that provides a much more serious discussion of the general argument that I have presented here (and discusses not only how Haldane arrived at this conclusion but also more recent studies concerning the same issue), can be found online: Online Article.
(2) No known mutations add information: Besides Sanford's book, also see: Dr. Lee Spetner's book "Not By Chance" (1996).
(4) The figure of 40 million is based on a 2002 study by Britten which establishes a 5% genetic difference between chimps and humans. Some evolutionists have argued for as little as 1% difference, but the actual difference may be as high as 30% (see the book by Dr. Jeff Tomkins). For an excellent discussion of this issue see the online article by Dr. Jay Wile: online article here. I think it likely that the actual genetic difference is somewhere in the middle; but even if we allow for only a 1% difference, it will still take 24 billion years to fix the needed mutations. So it will still take 4000 times longer for this imagined evolution to take place than the 6 million years allowed by the hypothetical evolutionary timeline. And during that 24 billion year time span, the genome would be eroded 240 times by the accumulation of deleterious mutations.
(3) No junk DNA: Dr. Jonathan Well's book, The Myth of Junk DNA ....also: Online article.
(5) Note: I have edited this figure since original publication, since in my haste I had misplaced a decimal point.
(6) Scientists have no idea how organic chemistry could possibly lead to evolution: Online article.
(7) Proofreading mechanisms: Online article.
QUOTES FROM EVOLUTIONISTS:
“Evolution is a fairy tale for adults,” ~ evolutionist, Dr. Paul LeMoine
“The evolution theory is purely the product of the imagination.” ~ Dr. Ambrose Flemming, served as President of the Philosophical Society of Great Britain
“Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion -- a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint -- ...and Mr. Gish is but one of many to make it - the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution today.” ~ Dr. Michael Ruse, professor of philosophy and zoology at the University of Guelph
"It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favoured by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test." ~Patterson*, Colin, Personal Letter to Luther D. Sunderland, April 10, 1979.
*Dr. Patterson was the Senior Paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History in London
"My attempts to demonstrate evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed.....It is not even possible to make a caricature of an evolution out of paleobiological facts...The idea of an evolution rests on pure belief." ~Dr. Nils Heribert-Nilsson, noted Swedish botanist and geneticist, of Lund University
“One morning I woke up and . . . it struck me that I had been working on this stuff for twenty years and there was not one thing I knew about it. That’s quite a shock to learn that one can be misled so long . . . I’ve tried putting a simple question to various people: ‘Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing, any one thing that is true?’ I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said, ‘I do know one thing—it ought not to be taught in high school.’” ~Dr. Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist, British Museum of Natural History, in a keynote address at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, in 1981
*"A Billion Genes and Not One Beneficial Mutation" at Evolution News & Views