Evolution’s random mutations and natural selection

If you have paid attention to the headlines during the last twenty years, you are probably aware of stem cells. A popular understanding of stem cells, at least, what I have understood, is that these early embryonic cells hold the potential to transform into every different type of cell an organism will possess.

However, as these cells divide and the embryo grows, stem cells begin to become specified as a particular type of cell. As this transformation occurs they lose the ability to become alternative cell types. Eventually, they fill a particular niche wonderfully, but have lost the ability to become a radically different type of cell.

Stem cells can serve as a metaphor illustrating a powerful idea regarding Darwin’s proposed mechanisms for evolution. Research reveals that random mutations and natural selection do transform species, however, at a surprising cost. Continue reading “Evolution’s random mutations and natural selection”

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. Continue reading “The mouse trap”

Tick, tock, tick, tock

For almost twenty-five years a wedding gift has hung in our hallway or living room. That battery powered wooden framed clock has marked the passage of seconds, minutes and hours for decades.

Such clocks are not the only ones. The earth is filled with many different types of clocks, some more accurate than others. Tides regularly wax and wane. Trees experience periods of rapid growth and then dormancy thus producing tree rings.

A new clock has been identified. From our mothers we inherit a slightly imperfect copy of her mitochondrial DNA. Experimentation has identified the rate at which human mitochondrial DNA mutates./1

Continue reading “Tick, tock, tick, tock”

Nature’s battery


by Barry Newton

If a scientist were to explain a battery’s functioning, he might say: “An oxidation reaction on the anode terminal releases electrons.”

Although physics and chemistry can explain how a common AA battery works, what would happen if we had never seen one before and we found one on an unknown island? Could science inform us about its origin? Continue reading “Nature’s battery”

The naturalistic imagination

by Barry Newton

Imagine rice turning into mice. For Jan Baptist van Helmont, who lived from 1580 to 1644 A.D., this seemed reasonable. In fact, he proposed a recipe for making mice from rice.

Today it seems incredible that anyone could be so gullible and ignorant of the ongoing processes in biology. Herein lies both the fundamental flaw and the raw power of the naturalistic imagination. Continue reading “The naturalistic imagination”

Flaws in Creation?

by Barry Newton

I still remember the first time I read the allegation that our biological world was not merely clumsily cobbled together by evolutionary forces, but modern engineers could have designed better living systems. The assertion struck at the heart of the worldview asserting, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

One such attack comes from Kenneth Miller and Richard Dawkins, who contend that the vertebrate eye contains a functional flaw. Continue reading “Flaws in Creation?”