"The Origin of Species" was published on November 24, 1859. That was a long time ago. In it, Charles Darwin theorized that all life forms evolved from simple life forms. He further theorized if the theory were true, it would be verified in the fossil record. Since the theory was proposed, and especially over the past fifty years with the increase of technology, relentless effort has been ongoing to inspect the deepest reaches of land and sea in the search for transitional life forms in the fossil record. So far, no true transitional forms have been forthcoming. Thus, some 150 years later, we can say with certainty there is no evidence for the evolution of life forms.
What we can also say with certainty is the only thing that has evolved is evolutionary theory. One example of the evolution of the theory is the late Stephen Jay Gould's proposal (or should we say re-submission of the "hopeful monster" theory) of "Punctuated Equilibrium". This theory proposes that a species is able to build up a body of new genetic code that enables reproduction into a fully developed new species without undergoing the process of mutant changes. (How the new code is developed and then written onto the DNA in order for this change to occur is not explained.) According to Dr. Gould, an example of the theory of "Punctuated Equilibrium" is represented in the Cambrian explosion where there is an explosion of new life forms.
Punctuated Equilibrium is hardly an answer to the explosion of millions of new life forms with no history in the fossil record. This is hardly a scientific answer to an evolutionary question. It seems more like an evolutionary answer to a scientific question. But it doesn't answer the question of how millions of new life forms could explode onto the scene fully developed with no evolutionary history.
Another example of the evolution of the theory is what is now defined as micro changes in life forms. Evolutionary theorists no longer confine themselves to macro changes that would imply changes in the DNA or changes in the chromozome count. These would be required for a new species. Now, simple micro changes are being taught as evolutionary advances. This is cited famously in the changes in the Finch beaks on the island of Darwin's study. But an honest analysis of this change is not evolutionary, but is simply adaptation within the species. The DNA allows for this type of adaptation. There is no change to the DNA or change to the chromozome count. Another example of this type of adaptation are the multi-varied breeds of dogs. Once again, this is not evolution at work. This is simply diversity within the species that is allowed within the structure of the DNA. This shows the wonderful handiwork of God in the creation of these species. Look at the variations that are allowed within the species of horses, cats, etc.. All variations that are allowed in the DNA of these various species.
But, a further question must be answered. Whatever was the cause for the extinction of all the life forms in a moment of time (both land and sea) that pre-existed the Cambrian explosion at the end of the Paleozoic period? So much for uniformitarianism (billions of years of uninterrupted evolutionary processes).
But the evolutionary debate has been fruitful for the Christian community nonetheless. The debate has required the Christian community to keep abreast of the advances of science in all the diversity of scientific inquiry. What began as a quest to defend our position has given way to a greater appreciation for the wisdom of God as the creator of all things. Scientific progress has been wonderful for the believer!
© 2012 Gregory Drake