An interview with Andrew Berry was carried in a Sunday supplement to the Turkish daily Vatan. (“We are no more intelligent than our ancestors of 5000 years ago!”, Vatan, 13 August, 2006). In this interview with Pinar Ersor, the Harvard University geneticist Berry gave evolutionist interpretations of human beings’ physical limitations, attractiveness factors, and differences between men and women, and set out, one after the other, evolutionist claims adopted as dogma. The evolutionist errors in Berry’s interview are responded to below:
The claim that evolution is continuing on the cellular level is unrealistic
Berry maintains that although man is not undergoing any evolutionary development in terms of intelligence or height, evolution is still continuing on the cellular level. The fact is, however, that this claim consists of an error that is ridiculous in the face of the complexity displayed by the cell. A eukaryotic cell, for example, is an exceedingly complex structure with organelles such as the membrane, mitochondria, nucleus and ribosome, and in which these organelles work together like a factory. Molecular machines consisting of protein complexes perform a wide variety of functions inside the cell. Exhibiting irreducible complexity, these molecular machines refute the evolutionary claim of gradual development. This is a fact also admitted in evolutionist publications. For example, an article in the scientific journal American Scientist, published in the May-June 2000 edition and titled “Biomolecules and Nanotechnology” (David S. Goodsell, Vol. 88, No. 3, p. 230), said this on the subject:
“If a cell fails to generate a living descendent, all of its biological discoveries will be lost. This is far more limiting than the technology of our familiar world. If we create machines that don"t function, we scrap them and go back to the drawing board. But if a cell takes a gamble and changes a critical machine, it had better get it right the first time or the result will be disastrous.”
As can be seen from these statements, everything inside the cell has to be present in exactly the right place, complete and perfect, right from the very first moment. The slightest deficiency or alteration will spell disaster for the cell. It is clear that coincidences and unconscious natural events, the mechanisms of evolution, will only inflict destruction on such a structure. Indeed, evolutionists have never witnessed the emergence of even a single protein as the result of random changes taking place inside the cell. For that reason, Berry’s claim consists of a blindly adopted error in which scientific findings are ignored.
The sickle cell anemia and AIDS resistance errors
In the framework of his claim regarding evolution at the cellular level, Berry refers to the sickle cell and goes on to say:
“For example, what is known as the ‘sickle-cell feature’ emerged in many Africans. Since the red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen and that are normally round shaped assume a sickle shape instead, the malaria parasite is unable to settle, for which reason Africans are unaffected by malaria." (Translated from the interview published in Turkish)
No matter how much Berry refers to “the sickle-cell feature” and attempts to portray it as a beneficial property, at the end of the day we are still looking at a “disease.” It is a mutation that damages the structure of the hemoglobin molecule responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood that leads to this disease. As a result of this mutation the molecule’s ability to transport oxygen is severely impaired. People who suffer from sickle cell anemia experience increasing respiratory difficulties and increasing pain in the joints. Furthermore, the genes that lead to sickle cell anemia may even prove fatal in the event they are passed on by both parents.
As we have seen, sickle cell anemia is a disease that causes severe damage to human health. That being the case, the fact that those who suffer from it also acquire resistance to malaria does not improve their condition. For example, a baby born with no arms as the result of mutation may be said to have acquired immunity to the risk of ever injuring its hands. Yet it would clearly be ridiculous to attempt to portray this as a beneficial state of affairs by ignoring the absence of the baby’s arms. Berry’s attempt to depict sickle cell anemia as a beneficial condition is just as ridiculous.
Berry’s claim regarding resistance to AIDS is similarly mistaken. He says that Africans have become more resistant to AIDS and that healthier children of the race are being born. However, we know that the reason for the appearance of such resistances is not evolutionary. The resistance mechanisms in question are based not on evolutionary novelties that arise subsequently, but on already existing genetic variations. This is known both from the bacterial resistance to antibiotics and from that exhibited by insects against the insecticide DDT. (You can obtain more comprehensive information on this subject here.)
A response to the distortion of the fact of creation
In one part of the interview, Berry resorts to a number of distortions against the fact of creation and maintains that evolution should be taught in science classes and creation in lessons on religion. However, excluding the fact of creation from the scientific sphere is inconsistent right from the very outset because the foundations of modern science were in any case constructed on the fact of creation. The idea that the universe was created as part of a plan and operates according to systematic principles established by a Creator led human beings to investigate the universe and made scientific research possible.
The evolutionist thinker Loren Eiseley describes how the foundations of modern science are based on the belief that the universe was created:
“The philosophy of experimental science . . . began its discoveries and made use of its method in the faith . . . that it was dealing with a rational universe controlled by a Creator… It is surely one of the curious paradoxes of history that science, which professionally has little to do with faith, owes its origins to an act of faith that the universe can be rationally interpreted, and that science today is sustained by that assumption.” (Loren Eiseley, Darwin’s Century: Evolution and the Men Who Discovered It, Doubleday, Anchor, New York, 1961)
To attempt to exclude the fact of creation, which is the basis for scientific discoveries, from science classes is utterly incomprehensible.
Our advice to the Vatan management, who published the Berry interview, is to see that these claims are unscientific myths and to put an end to their blind evolutionary propaganda.