What do you think of philosopher and photographer Laszlo Bencze’s analogy:
The central theme of evolution is that tiny improvements in fitness can steadily accumulate resulting in a new species. The unstated assumption (usually) is that the original species was in need of improvement. So let’s apply these assumptions to a common educational experience. Let’s assume that a teacher has assigned to an eighth grade class the writing of an essay on the causes of the Civil War.
You stand in for evolution and your task is to convert a poorly written “F” paper to an essay that can be published in Harper’s Magazine. This is reasonably analogous to fish evolving into an amphibians or a dinosaurs into a birds.
However, your conversion of the inept essay must proceed one word at a time and each word substitution must instantly improve the essay. No storing up words for future use is allowed.
After changing a few obvious one-word mistakes, you will run into a brick wall. It doesn’t matter how clever you are or how many dictionaries and writers’ guides you have at your disposal. Only by deleting entire paragraphs and adding complete sentences would you have any chance of getting to a better essay. But that would be equivalent to a small dinosaur sprouting functional wings or a fish being able to breathe air in a single mutation. Changing one word at a time and expecting that to result in better writing is hopeless.
But remember, this analogy is extremely friendly to evolution. If we want the analogy to be more realistic we would eliminate the intelligent agent and have a computer randomly changing one letter in each step. Furthermore, a better representation of selection would be to submit the paper with the one letter change to the same professor who gave it an “F” first time around. What could we expect in this scenario? Well, let’s assume the random letter change was very lucky. It took the word “blut”, a typo, and dropped the “L” or it converted “recieve” into “receive”. And how much better might this lucky change be?
Let’s use a number commonly used by evolutionists and say that it’s now 0.1%* better than it was before. Big deal. Is that minuscule change going to raise the grade from an F to a D? No way. The paper had 47 typos and misspellings. Fixing one has no significant effect. Nor would a 0.1% change have any effect in any characteristic of a species. In fact, such a trivial change would be astoundingly difficult to even measure. If one boxer is 0.1% better than another boxer how could you tell? Same goes for one antelope being able to run 0.1% faster than another. In fact, in real life having two different things within 0.1% of each other is another way of saying they are identical!
But of course it’s vastly more probable that random letter changes will simply introduce more mistakes and as the changes proceed, the more garbled the essay becomes. The paper will never be anything but an F paper. And as far as living things go, the outcome is far worse than getting an F. It’s death.
But before we leave this topic, let’s take another look at that 0.1% improvement. How many trials would it require to prove with statistical certainty that one thing is 0.1% better than another? You might think that a thousand trials would be enough. You would be wrong. Likewise for ten thousand trials. According to the math, you would have to run 138,889 trials* to be certain of that 0.1% difference. No matter what your testing protocol or what thing you were testing, it would be worn out long before the the trials were over. And on top of that, the supposed 0.1% difference would be swamped by various random factors impossible to eliminate from any testing.
A long sequence of tiny, incremental improvements simply cannot result in individuals becoming steadily more fit. And if they don’t become more fit generation after generation, they can’t be on the road to becoming new species. These tiny fitness steps will simply disappear from the population. Hence the most foundational supposition of evolution is false. Evolution cannot do the job demanded of it by Darwinists.
*My reference to the 0.1% differential attributed to evolutionary steps comes from Lee Spetner’s Not by Chance. The necessity for 138,889 trials comes from a mathematics student of Bill Dembski’s.
Readers? What do you think?
See also: Do random mutations never increase information? Ever?