From the Archives: Evolution as a Scientific Theory | The BioLogos Forum

Note: This post was originally published on February 21, 2013. It is part of the series "Evolution Basics", which is the most comprehensive resource on evolutionary science in our entire library, written specifically for those without advanced training in science. In this article, Dennis Venema addresses confusion over the scientific definition of the word "theory", which fuels many misunderstandings about the science of evolution. For those who want an in-depth look at the building blocks of modern evolutionary science, we strongly recommend reading through this series.

Not a hunch, just a theory

In common English usage, “theory” means something like “guess” or “hunch”. It means something speculative, uncertain. In science, however, the meaning is almost exactly the opposite. In science, a theory is an idea that has stood the test of time. This difference between the common usage and the scientific usage of the word is a frequent source of confusion for nonscientists. In science, a theory is a well-tested idea – an explanatory framework that makes sense of the current facts available, and continues to make accurate predictions about the natural world.

Theories get their start as merely an idea, or hypothesis (plural = hypotheses). This literally means “less than” (hypo) a theory (thesis)”, and the name is appropriate. What scientists call a hypothesis is basically what nonscientists call a “theory” in the common English sense we discussed above. It’s an idea that makes sense, and fits with what we already know, but as such does not yet have much (or even any) experimental support. Here is where science departs from other approaches to knowledge: the key feature that distinguishes science from other activities is hypothesis testing. Rather than merely entertain a hypothesis as an interesting idea, scientists use a hypothesis to make specific predictions about the natural world, and then test to see if these predictions can be supported with experimental evidence. If the prediction is supported by the results of one experiment, scientists will use the same hypothesis to make (and test) more predictions. If the hypothesis is in fact an accurate idea about the way things really are, then this hypothesis will continue to make accurate predictions. Over time, as the idea gains more and more experimental support, scientists eventually drop the “hypo” prefix from hypothesis and start referring to the idea as a theory – a well-tested explanatory framework that continues to make accurate predictions about the natural world.

Theories: well-tested, but provisional

Despite being well-tested ideas, however, theories in science are never accepted as absolutely true. During hypothesis testing, only two results are possible: the scientist can reject the hypothesis if it did not make an accurate prediction, or the scientists can fail to reject the hypothesis if it did make an accurate prediction. The important point is that the scientist cannot accept the hypothesis. Put another way, science can show that certain ideas are “wrong” (in that they cannot be used to make accurate predictions about the natural world), but science cannot show that a given idea is “right” or “true.” To say that a hypothesis is “right” would be to imply that it will withstand all future tests of predictions it makes – something that is not possible, since there are always more tests that can be done. All science can say is that an idea has not yet been shown to be wrong. As such, all theories in science are seen as provisional, and are revised as new information comes in. The point here is this: theories in science remain theories – they don’t graduate to become something else (like a “law” for example).

So, a theory is an interesting entity in science – at the same time it is known to be both a powerful explanatory framework and a provisional one, subject to future revision (or even abandonment, should an even better idea be found). In practice, some scientific theories are so well supported that it is highly unlikely that their core ideas will be significantly changed in the future. These theories are ideas that are very close approximations of the way things really are, and as such they won’t change appreciably. Once a theory gets to this level, science accepts it as a given and moves on to other areas, nearer the fringes of what we do not know.

Learning from the past

Perhaps an example from history would be useful here. Take the theory of heliocentrism – the idea that the sun is the center of our solar system. (If it surprises you to hear this idea referred to as a theory recall that we are using the scientific meaning for theory here. Obviously heliocentrism is a very well-supported idea, and it’s not likely going to change in the future, but it remains a theory in the scientific sense). When heliocentrism was first conceived as an idea in contrast to an Earth-centered solar system there was precious little evidence to support it. Indeed, it had popularity only among mathematicians, who were attracted to the idea based on its simplicity and elegance. Once the idea was articulated, however, evidence came to light that supported it: Galileo’s observation that Venus had phases, like the moon (an observation incompatible with the standard geocentric model of the time) and his observation that Jupiter was orbited by four moons (a model in the heavens of bodies in motion around a larger body).

Now, Galileo’s observations allowed science to discard the standard geocentric model, but not an alternative geocentric model advanced by Tycho Brahe. Heliocentrism did make a key prediction, however. In Brahe’s model, like all geocentric models, the earth was predicted to be stationary. In the heliocentric model, the earth was in motion, orbiting the sun. This key prediction (and, at the time, the lack of evidence supporting it) was not lost on those commenting on this issue in the years after Galileo:

Again, I argue thus, the Motion of the Earth can be felt, or it cannot: If they hold it cannot, they are confuted by Earth-quakes … I mean the gentler Tremblings of the Earth, of which there are abundant Instances in History, and we our selves have had one not long since; so that by too true an experiment we are taught that the Earth’s Motion may be felt. If this were not a thing that had been frequently experienc’d, I confess they might have something to say, they put us off with this, that it is not possible to perceive the moving of the Earth: But now they cannot evade it thus; they must be forc’d to ackowlegd the motion of it is sensible. If then they hold this, I ask why this Motion also which they speak of is not perceived by us? Can a Man perswade himself that the light Trepidation of this Element can be felt, and yet the rapid Circumvolution of it cannot? Are we presently apprehensive of the Earth’s shaking never so little under us? And yet have no apprehension at all of our continual capering about the Sun?1

Unfortunately for Galileo, direct physical evidence of the earth’s motion would have to wait until the 1720s, when stellar aberration (the effect of the earth’s motion on starlight) was first observed. It would take over hundred years more (the 1830s) for the first successful measurement of stellar parallax, the slight shifting of the relative positions of stars as observed from earth due to our change in perspective as the earth moves through space. By the time this observation was made, heliocentrism was a theory—a well-tested framework that made accurate predictions, including predicting stellar parallax. Of course, by the 1830s, heliocentrism had come a long way from its humble beginnings, and it continued to be modified in accordance with new evidence afterwards as well. Still, as an idea, it stood the test of time since it was a reasonably accurate representation of the way things really are. We accept it (yes, provisionally) since it is a productive, useful framework. Its core ideas are not likely to change, even if we add nuances to it now that Galileo could not have imagined. While it’s difficult to imagine, we might even discard it some day, should an even better framework come along—but any competition will have a very tough battle ahead of it.

Evolution as theory

So, what does any of this have to do with evolution? Simply this: despite what many evangelical Christians have been told, evolution is a theory in the scientific sense. It started off as a hypothesis, and scientists have been trying to reject that hypothesis to no avail. In the present day evolution is an explanatory framework that has withstood 150 years of testing, and continues to make accurate predictions about the natural world. Like heliocentrism, our ideas about evolution have developed significantly since the 1850s. In the next post in this series, we’ll sketch out some of the lines of evidence that Darwin offered in his Origin of Species, before going on to examine the state of the evidence in the present day.


  1. Edwards, John. A Demonstration of the Existence and Providence of God From the Contemplation of the Visible Structure of the Greater and Lesser World. London, 1696, pp. 45-47.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Is Darwin’s theory of evolution a successful scientific theory?

While most scientists would say yes, there is at least very prominent scientific thinker who stands out like a sore thumb in disagreement, and that is Karl Popper.

Many supporters of Darwin point to Popper’s “recantation” of his criticism of Darwin’s view of Natural Selection as “circular thinking” and thus not scientific. However it should be noted that even in his recantation what he said was that Darwin’s Natural Selection was “a most successful metaphysical research programme.” Emphasis added. From Dialectical 32: pp. 344-46.

The point is that he did not say it was a scientific theory, but a metaphysical program. As far as I can see this metaphysical program has not been scientifically tested and as far as it has been tested, it has failed.

Part of the problem is that Natural Selection is not the whole of Darwin’s theory, but only a part. The other key part, Variation works well enough that the failure of Natural Selection is overlooked by most people, except not for the late Karl Popper, and others including the late Lynn Margulis. Personally I admire people who do not allow sloppy thinking to go unnoticed and find the next big breakthrough where others saw only minor problems.

Although evolution is a very successful theory, that does not necessarily mean it is correct. The difference between evolutionary theory and theory of gravity is that the theory of evolution has thousands of scientists who doubt it even after 150 years, and I have not heard of any who doubt gravity. Many of these scientists reject evolution, (whether to any general avail or not may have very little to do with science, but more to do with a metaphysical world view).

However, whatever motivation is used to challenge evolution, the theory must still meet the challenges in order to be viable or creditable.

Hi John,

There are not thousands of scientists with relevant training that doubt evolution. With any discipline, you can always find a few folks on the fringe that have odd ideas (and usually they have their own preferred, non-mainstream views that they push instead).

Hello John, please support your claim that there are thousands of scientists that doubt evolution by offering one, just one, of their publications that refute the theory of evolution with evidence. Publications in a reputable journal.

Jay and Dennis, it is convenient to put all kinds of qualifiers on the scientists you would consider credible. In the end, you might even come to saying that " please provide one evolutionary biologist that doubts evolution". Or, like saying, please provide one single Christian that doubts the existence of God. Anyway, that aside, Dr. John Sanford, plant geneticist, an inventor of the gene gun, PhD, has demonstrated that contrary to Dawkins, natural selection does NOT penalize most of the bad mutations, because the smaller the mutation, the smaller the mutation effects, the smaller the selective effects. Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, PhD in Physical Chemistry, is well qualified, and has written half a dozen books refuting evolution with scientific arguments. He has also explained in detail why Dawkins research, and Dawkins examples as evidence for evolution are scientifically inadequate. Dr. Don Batten, PhD Plant Physiology, also doubts evolution, Dr. Emil Silvestru, PhD Geology, Dr. Jim Mason, PhD Experimental Nucear Physics, Dr. Carter, PhD Marine Biology, Dr. Bergman, PhD Human Biology as well. There are many scientists you could argue perhaps do not have the qualifications you would like, such as Dr. Walt Brown, PhD Engineering, but they are scientists nevertheless, and there is no doubt that their training is relevant. To argue that scientists have odd ideas is a non-starter, because it is a mere adhominem, and does not meet the actual arguments presented. Science often progresses because of scientists with odd ideas, because the ideas are only “odd” in their time. (In fact that is how evolution started. So that statement about “odd” ideas, is meaningless.

So have they all refuted evolution? No. Some like Dr. Brown have merely provided an alternative explanation for only some phenomena. But some, like Dr. Silvestru, Dr. Sarfati, and Dr. Carter have provided cogent arguments for why evolution has insurmountable problems. It doesn’t matter whether you agree with them or not; the point is from their scientific perspectives, evolution is unconvincing.

Not that it matters in a way as to the truth of a theory. Obviously many more have accepted evolution; but of course many of those do not have any more relevant training thant the men I identified above, and most (99% ?) of those have also not written anything about evolution in a peer reviewed journal, and of those who have, most have not examined evolution critically, but merely assumed it, so they have not encountered nor countered any refutations of it.

The thing is that while sometimes the theory makes accurate predictions, it is also true that sometimes it makes inaccurate predictions. It predicted that the coelacanth fish was extinct, when it was not. It predicted a number of vestigial organs, which were found not to be vestigial but to have their own purpose. It predicted that most sedimentary layers were deposited by wind, which was later found to be false… most sediments were laid down by water. It predicts that harmful mutations will be quickly selected against, but that is also false, since most harmful mutations are too minor or small to be selected against, and can exist almost indefinately as recessive alleles in a sexually-reproducing population. It would be interesting to make an entire list of all the false predictions it has made, and compare it to the true predictions.

Comparing one theory to another, or comparing a theory to a “law” is interesting, but says nothing about the validity of any particular theory.

And again, Dennis and Jay, here are some quotes that show why it is difficult (not necessarily impossible) to publish in non-creation scientific journals:

A typical example of the consensus claim is a statement by the National Academy of Science that “The scientific consensus around [Darwinian] evolution is overwhelming”, and, therefore, ideas that oppose it are properly censored. 2 Anonymous, Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy Press, 2nd edn, p. 28, 1999.

Becky Ashe, president of the Tennessee Science Teachers Association, wrote in opposition to a law that would protect the careers of teachers who critiqued evolution, that “the scientific theory of evolution is accepted by mainstream scientists around the world as the cornerstone of biology and the single, unifying explanation for the diversity of life on earth and is, therefore, beyond question.”3Ashe, B., The Tennessee Science Teachers Association Bulletin, 2012, p. 1.

A few other scientists besides the ones I already mentioned, include Dr. Baumgardner, and Dr. Russell Humphreys, Dr. David Catchpoole, Dr. John Hartnett, Dr. Tas Walker, Dr. Horace Skipper, Dr. Marcus Ross, Dr. Gentry. Dr. Gentry did some ground breaking research with radio-halos, and Dr. Humphreys did some valuable work with the RATE project and measuring helium in zircon crystals. These are very relevant fields. There are many others who have masters or bachelors degrees as well. Most of these have earned their degrees at secular universities, not at christian universities. Many of these also were not christians when they first began to examine evolution more closely.

Even today, many scientists reject particles-to-people evolution (i.e., everything made itself). The Creation Ministries International (Australia) staff scientists have published many scientific papers in their own fields. Dr Russell Humphreys, a nuclear physicist working with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has had over 20 articles published in physics journals, while Dr John Baumgardner’s catastrophic plate tectonics theory was reported in Nature. Dr Edward Boudreaux of the University of New Orleans has published 26 articles and four books in physical chemistry. Dr Maciej Giertych, head of the Department of Genetics at the Institute of Dendrology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, has published 90 papers in scientific journals. Dr Raymond Damadian invented the lifesaving medical advance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).19 Dr Raymond Jones was described as one of Australia’s top scientists for his discoveries about the legume Leucaena and bacterial symbiosis with grazing animals, worth millions of dollars per year to Australia.20 Dr Brian Stone has won a record number of awards for excellence in engineering teaching at Australian universities.21 An evolutionist opponent admitted the following about a leading creationist biochemist and debater, Dr Duane Gish:
Duane Gish has very strong scientific credentials. As a biochemist, he has synthesized peptides, compounds intermediate between amino acids and proteins. He has been co-author of a number of outstanding publications in peptide chemistry.2

As I said, I do not have any problem with scientific journals in general. But they are not always the holy grail. One medical journal recently had to retract at least 43 published articles which were deemed not to have gone through a legitimate peer review, and in some cases the peer review was fraudulent. They estimated a possible 200 papers may have been part of this illegitimate process. There have been other cases where measurements made in the experiment were done improperly or not done, and yet the paper was published. These are only the cases which have been discovered.

In addition, I have done research on crop rotations which was not published, and also on direct seeding/zero-tillage, which was not published. The fact that it was not published, did not make it less true. By the time some zero-till research was published, many farmers had already adopted the practice, making the publishing of the research merely academic, adding “published papers and citations” to the curiculum vitae of some scientists. I do not begrudge the journals, nor the publishing, but they are not the holy grail. In the case of general evolution theory, a four hundred page book dealing with the subject is more comprehensive than a research paper in a journal. This is especially true, because mostly the facts are not in dispute, while the interpretation of the facts is in dispute.

@johnZ, Your listing of a handful of scientists who doubt evolution does nothing to refute Dennis V’s claims. He explicitly says:

Without some idea of the total number of qualified people, your examples mean very little. To demonstrate that seemingly impressive lists of evolution-doubting scientists shouldn’t carry much weight, the NCSE produced a list of scientists named Steve who accept evolution. Their list is much longer than any list of creation scientists.

Or consider the report from Pew that found 98% of AAAS scientists (and 99% of their biologists) accept human evolution. The kind of things you’re saying lead to another finding of the report: that 29% of the public believe that scientists are divided about evolution. It’s tough to construe 1% dissent as “scientists are divided.” That’s just false and you shouldn’t keep perpetuating it.

Now, of course truth isn’t decided by vote. But science has proven to be enormously good at self-correcting. Science deniers all have their favorite example of when someone was shot down and discriminated against without being able to present the facts. But these are extreme outliers (much more so than in the church, I’m afraid). Your evolution denying scientists need only persuade their peers with evidence, and they would win the Nobel Prize.

It looks like you have no basis for your claim of “thousands of scientists,” John. What motivated you to make it? Does wishing that something is true justify your claiming that it is true?

I think you are missing the point, James, but thanks for your kind response. It wasn’t to refute Dennis’ claim, but rather to substantiate my own claim that I said what I did. But I did refute part of his claim, since I named relevant scientists. I named only a few, but Jerry Bergman put together a list of many more, and we can be assured that there are many who don’t identify themselves due to the enormous pressure such as the way you are talking about it, (and the pressure in the academic world as I highlighted in my post). I already acknowledged that the number of scientists who accept evolution is much higher, didn’t you see that statement I made? I never said, “scientists are divided”. What I said literally is that a number of scientists doubt evolution, while none doubt gravity. Can you name any scientists that doubt gravity? I also said that it is meaningless to accuse scientists of “odd ideas” in a general way without being specific. Also, it is not about how much weight these evolution-doubting scientists carry… that is certainly debatable. But the fact is, compared to scientists who doubt gravity? Quite a few in comparison.

A major storm of protest against the myth of evolution has been building for many years, as proved by almost a thousand major scientists, all with doctorates who have signed on to the following statement as of 2010: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

Those scientists threw down the gauntlet to evolutionists by publishing a two-page ad in a national magazine with the heading, “A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism.” Fevered, fanatical, and foolish evolutionists will charge that those dissenting scientists were backwoods yokels (maybe even a few snake handlers and flat earthers mixed in) dug up by pushy creationists to promote their cause. Not so, I have gone over the list and if certification and accreditation are so important, impressive, and indispensable, then those people will give evolutionists a perpetual heartburn. Major scientists around the world agree with them and many of them have not yet signed on to the dissent although they have gone on record that mutations and natural selection did not produce evolution. Dr. Don Boys, Canada Free Press, May 2, 2010.

These dissenters have PhDs, and at least 150 are biologists, as reported in Evolution News. You can reasonably guess or imagine that if you add in those with masters or bachelors degrees, you will at least triple the number, perhaps multiply by ten.

Dr. Jerry Bergman says: Yet, in spite of these claims, I was able to with little difficulty assemble a list of almost 3,000 scientists and professors who reject Darwinism as defined as variation caused by mutations plus natural selection ultimately accounts for all life forms, most of whom hold a Ph.D. degree in some field of science. This is but a small percentage of the estimated 113,000 Darwin Skeptic scientists and academics in the United States alone, accordingly to a Harvard researcher (Gross and Simmons, 2006).

As a Christian, you would know that if Christians only comprised 1% of the population, would that change your mind about whether Christianity was true? So how important or insignificant is the 1% as a number?

I also pointed out that most of the scientists who say they accept evolution do not have any more relevant experience or education than the ones I mentioned above. In addition, the huge majority of them have not published something on evolution itself, since they practice in other fields. I’m wondering how carefully you read what I wrote in the two preceding posts.

The fact is that there are a number of scientists in relevant fields that discount, disbelieve, or doubt evolution. This does not mean that they doubt natural selection or mutations. It doesn’t even mean that they doubt speciation. The real point is not how many there are, or whether they are “odd” (many scientists are “odd”, depending on your definition of “odd”), but as my concluding statement in that original post, “However, whatever motivation is used to challenge evolution, the theory must still meet the challenges in order to be viable or creditable.”

This would also be true for gravity, but no one is challenging gravity.

In any case, one good critique is better than one hundred poor critiques anyway. Too often the critique is on unimportant things such as how many scientists believe this or that, rather than on explaining the cambrian explosion, or pointing out that there are soft bodied fossils (contrary to Dawkins claim), or dealing with the rapid layering of sediment, or the unrealistic gap boundaries between sedimentary layers, or the lack of transitional fossils, etc. etc.

No one is saying that there is not evidence for evolution. But the evidence against it seems to be stronger, according to these scientists.

It would have been more profitable if you had dealt with the ability of evolution to make good predictions vs wrong predictions. And then carried that further to analyze whether the good predictions it made were not possible under any other theory, were not coincidental, and were substantial, compared to the wrong predictions. At least then we would be talking science rather than people.

But thanks for your response; it helps to clarify things.

Your evolution denying scientists need only persuade their peers with evidence, and they would win the Nobel Prize.

Jim, are you sure this is true? What would the nobel prize be for? My understanding is that a nobel prize would not be offered for anything on evolution, pro or con, because of the nature of the theory, and because of the type of science involved. A bit like giving a nobel prize for finally solving the murder of president Kennedy, maybe?

But that aside, it is amazing how often evolutionists are not really willing to look at the evidence that doesn’t support their view. Or who like Dawkins, twists and turns to avoid confronting the evidence directly, by creating straw men and attacking them instead.

it is amazing how often evolutionists are not really willing to look at the evidence that doesn’t support their view.

Hi John,

I’ve spent years reading YEC and OEC anti-evolution materials in depth, carefully evaluating their arguments. None of them hold water. In the area of genetics, most of the time the authors don’t even understand the science they are attempting to dismiss. I don’t say this to be combative, merely descriptive. Have you read Todd Wood’s 2006 article? He’s a YEC and he comes to the same conclusion.

Dennis, I have just read an article by Todd Wood where he talks about baraminology (2006). I did not see a specific comment related to him saying that most authors don’t understand genetics. I did see a comment that conclusions are often being revised. I find it(your statement) ironic that none of the YEC arguments hold water (rather an absolutist statement), and yet YEC Todd Wood’s statement “conclusion” of this same opinion, does hold water? I don’t understand this type of argumentation.

I find that in general, these types of generalizations are not very helpful. Maybe I am just as guilty in saying that often evolutionists are unwilling to look at the evidence that doesn’t support their view… I was just reacting to critical comments being made on a blog where 95% of the commenters had not read and were not willing to read some YEC literature, and yet were quite willing to condemn it sight unseen.

Many perceptions of what YEC conclusions are, are out of date, and Sarfati makes clear that in some cases Dawkins is attacking things that YEC does not believe. As Christians we must make an effort not to fall into this type of “consensus” thinking or mindset, where we simply establish camps, and can no longer talk with one another. It may be difficult, even frustrating, but since this discussion is more based on science than anything else, then it should be possible to discuss these things from a scientific perspective without adopting Dawkins approach of attacking people and faith.

Great post and I look forward to more.

There are some interesting questions that I believe evolution still has difficulty explaining.

Two, quick ones:

  1. It is believed by most researches that specialize on this topic, that what we call “blue-green” algae (also called cyanobacteria) exploded on the Precambrian Earth scene as one the very first life forms. Not really a plant or an animal, but it did use the energy of the sun to process CO2 and expel O2 as a by-product. Once the iron in the oceans was sufficiently oxidized (giving us huge layered iron deposits) oxygen began bubbling out in excessive amounts giving us the key ingredient for other life forms in a relatively short period of time. I find this amazing. What is even more amazing to my simple mind, is this same form of life is still around today and never evolved significantly to a “higher” form of life. Why is this? All of that time to evolve or die out, and it never did either.

  2. Why is man so smart? Is he not much, much smarter than he needs to be based on how evolution explains why life forms continue to evolve? Just my opinion and certainly food for discussion.

Hey, Zebman. Small organisms, like cyanobacteria, tend to either adapt very rapidly or hardly at all. When there are situations that compromise their survival, their extremely short lifespans allow for rapid adaptation within the population. That being said, the environment does not usually change so much to a point that it is threatening to such small organisms. If they are well-suited and fit for their environment, why should they change? The only reason change would happen without an environment shift on the microscopic level would be genetic drift. Even that doesn’t change much because of their relatively small genome. Granted, the cyanobacteria alive today is likely different from the originals. But, it probably isn’t too different. On a related note, nothing living today is more or less “evolved” than anything else. We have all had the same amount of time to evolve, and some creatures are way more complex than others. This does not mean they are “higher” on the evolutionary tree, it just means they needed different things to survive. Sometimes, I think, the most elegant examples of this are in organisms with very few cells or even just one cell. They are so simple, but still survive so well. The only thing higher than the other animals (and all other life) is humans. The Bible says that way are made in God’s image and are made to rule over the animals. We are higher than them, but not in an evolutionary sense. In that sense, we have had just as much time to evolve.


The reason for this is because life is not about evolution, it is about ecology. Ecology is about adaption to the environment. If a life form is well adapted to an environment that does not change, there is no need for the life form to evolve. If the environment does not disappear, the life form will not become extinct.

Sadly evolutionists believe the myth that biology is based on evolution, when in fact it is based on ecology. Hopefully they will wakeup before it is too late.

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Zebman, there are at least two serious problems with the origin of life. By the time you get to bacteria, you already have a fairly complicated organism with DNA, proteins, and molecular machines in the cell. The problem: DNA stores biological information, but the information cannot be read without decoding machinery, which requires DNA to build it. This means all has to happen at once, or nothing happens. I understand that the second main problem is that a reducing atmosphere without free O2 would be required for a-biogenesis. However, for the survival of the organism, O2 would be required immediately. There are other problems which include the necessity for one-handed amino acids, and the fact that the molecules would break down before they could be sufficiently large to carry or transfer information in a useful fashion.

John, go back through what you’ve written here. You’re conflating evidence with rhetoric. I’ve got an idea–let’s discuss the evidence that won that 2009 Nobel Prize!

A big evidentiary problem for you: RNA stores biological information and carries out incredibly important enzymatic reactions–shall we discuss its role in one of the most fundamental biological machines? No creationist writings will help you in this case, because this case provides a vivid demonstration of who is not really willing to look at evidence that doesn’t support their view.

We have a Nobel Prize awarded for evolutionary significance that relates directly to your claim here. Are you interested in the evidence–directly?

Joao, In the summary of the 2009 Nobel Prize report which I read, not a word of evolution was mentioned. Examining the molecular and atomic structure of ribosomes under extreme conditions was done for the purpose of looking at potential for antibiotic attack of bacterial ribosomes; this adds to general antibiotic theory and does not upend it; I do not see the relevance to what we are discussing.