Jerry Bergman is a well-known creationist author who has extensively published over many decades and who has taught at several universities. He has taught biology, biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, genetics, and other courses for over 40 years. He has over 1,700 publications in both scholarly and popular science journals and monographs.
The three pillars of evolution identified by Bergman are abiogenesis (aka chemical evolution), natural and sexual selection, and mutations. The author of this book finds all three of these pillars defective as evidence for evolution.
Bergman has examined claims of abiogenesis, the nature of mutations, and the explanatory power of natural selection. As in the title of this book, he has thoroughly demolished them. The monopoly of the theory of evolution, in academia, is all the more irresponsible. In fact, it is puzzling.
Naturalistic origin of life assumed, not demonstrated
Bergman is especially critical of Miller–Urey ‘chemical soup’ explanations for the putative abiogenesis of life, not so much because they are grossly inadequate, but because they are not even seriously examined.
“Producing even simple amino acids and functional proteins requires highly laboratory-controlled experiments. Even under these ideal conditions, the very conditions hypothesized to create amino acids also rapidly destroy proteins” (p. 60).
Finally, ‘chemical soup’ experiments very much confuse the issue. Forming the building blocks of life, by abiogenesis, is the trivial part. The hard part is accounting for the information content necessary for even the most rudimentary form of life. Evolutionistic origin-of-life hypotheses do not even begin to do this!
Most ‘neutral mutations’ are not neutral after all
The next pillar of evolution, examined by Bergman, is that of mutations. The term ‘neutral mutation’ refers to a mutation that neither enhances nor reduces the fitness of the organism bearing it. Evolutionary orthodoxy long held that most mutations are neutral. Bergman challenges this and shows that most ‘neutral’ mutations are mildly deleterious. This creates a new problem for evolution. ‘Neutral’ mutations are not innocent, as previously believed. They do not kill the bearer outright, but, because their harm is subtle, they accumulate with other ‘neutral’ mutations in the genome. Bergman warns, “Even mutations that have ‘little effect’ on health can accumulate both in somatic and germ cells, eventually causing major damage” (p. 120)
Natural selection—an amorphous and misleading term
The third pillar of evolution is identified as natural selection. Bergman has a way with analogies. He compares the claims of natural selection with the statement, “The man is rich because he has money.” Others have characterized the natural selection explanation as a ‘survival of the survivors’ statement.
One must make a clear distinction between the arrival of the fittest and the survival of the fittest. The two, though often conflated, are most certainly not the same. The confusion goes back to the very beginning, as pointed out by Bergman:
“Darwin … portrayed natural selection as equivalent to artificial breeding, thereby making it more difficult to refute natural selection by arguing that it was a real physical force. Claiming that nature does the selecting avoids the requirement of discussing the actual factors involved in the causation events attributed to natural selection. Such obfuscation may have been excusable in Charles Darwin’s day, but is inexcusable in ours” (p. 165).
Natural selection does not even have theoretical explanatory power in many cases. Bergman comments: “Human life consists of many activities that are mentally pleasurable, none of which natural selection convincingly explains. Walking in forests, listening to music, creating poems, doing scientific research, aesthetic enjoyment of nature, and myriads of other activities are often not related to survival, or adaptation in a Darwinian sense. Some writers have struggled in vain to explain the existence by natural selection of our human ability to create music and art, all of which involve extremely complex body and brain systems” (p. 213).
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