The mouse trap

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, I know it very well” (Psalm 139:14).

The theory of evolution, as you know, asserts that nature changes over the eons by a long series of advantageous mutations, selecting the ones that help and rejecting those changes that hurt. Usually supporters of the theory like to point to such things as an elephant’s trunk, which apparently began as a normal mammal’s nose, but over time lengthened to the powerful but dexterous limb that is the great creature’s most distinctive feature.

Critics of the theory might wonder how the elephant reached leaves and seeds on the trees above him during the millennia that his nose was, well, just a nose. Seems like some of those poor pachyderms would have gone very hungry in the intervening millennia!

But the process assumed by evolutionists is far more complex than that. In a day when scientists are studying DNA structure, stem cells and so on, have you ever considered how astonishingly complex life is and how much had to go right for it to exist? The process of natural selection would have to be far more skillful than a neurosurgeon to accomplish this, and all of it without his training, skills, and instruments.

Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe, has specialized in the DNA markers in the human body called cells. They are, he explains, the “black box” that records physical characteristics, from a gill on a fish to the wing on a bird, from the pretty red-headed girl to her ability to play Mozart! Are we being asked to believe (yes, that is the verb I want) that the “mutation god” created all of this? Now that would be a miracle!

Behe makes an apt analogy. He suggests that for a cell to undergo the astonishing number of random mutations this process requires is like building a mousetrap by putting the various pieces of the trap together, one by one, mutation by mutation, over time. Of course, mousetraps are far less complex than the cilium or flagellum of a cell. But what if, by accident, we added the various parts of a trap, the wooden base, the spring, the cheese, one at a time; what would we have?

Behe’s answer clarifies the problem. “If one part is missing,” he observes, “you don’t get a mouse trap that catches only half as many mice: you don’t get a mousetrap at all!”

It is impossible for the “numerous, successive, slight modifications of natural selection” to all have worked and for the organism (that might be you or me, come to think of it), to exist. Life at the molecular level, Behe declares, “is a loud, clear, piercing cry of design.”

The theory of evolution has us being overrun by mice. While their theory is still trying to explain how fish became amphibians and how missing links began to use IPods, science becomes exponentially more complex and intricate. Everything scientists learn about the universe confirms that those who believe in natural selection must accept something far more miraculous than anything the Bible describes!

Maybe that’s why elephants are frightened of mice!

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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3 thoughts on “The mouse trap

  1. Excellent thoughts and such a good reality check! At the Museum of Natural History in London, in the Darwinian section, they openly explain that Darwin knew nothing about DNA. If he had, his hypothesis would never have been written. Thanks for your article!

  2. Dr. Gilmore mentions Behe in his Contemporary Ethics class. You have done well with your reading and understanding of Behe’s position about the Complexity of Life. Even Antony Flew, in his later years, acknowledged this complexity in the DNA. Bruce Lewis, Ed.D.

    1. Before his death, Anthony Flew renounced his atheistic position because of this DNA evidence.

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