Revolution against Evolution
– an Update
Douglas B. Sharp
In 1986 I published the first edition of Revolution against Evolution as classroom materials for a seminar I taught at the Mount Hope Bible Training Institute. That edition sold out and in 1993 I updated the materials and put together a revised edition. Now that the book is out of print, there is still a demand for non-technical introductory creation materials of this sort. This book has been updated and available as a print on demand book. The new version is found at https://www.rae.org/product/rae2020.
The book has held up surprisingly well in spite of its age. Since 1993 there has been a whole wealth of new research, and it has backed up most of the ideas I wrote about. Revolution against Evolution was a good snapshot of what creationist thinking was about back in 1993, but a few of the arguments and theories have gone by the wayside in favor of better evidence. It is my intention to review these issues in this article and bring the book up to date.
CHAPTER 1: ORDER FROM DISORDER
In this chapter I discussed the second law of thermodynamics as a problem for the theory of evolution. This certainly has been a good argument, but to get the whole picture you must consider much more than thermodynamics, which deals only with heat. Probability and information theory contribute to our understanding of why, when we observe our physical surroundings, we see a tendency for everything to age, break down and decay. This is what I was talking about in this chapter. A good summary of the four laws of thermodynamics is found in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_thermodynamics.
Early creationists taught that the second law of thermodynamics came into being at the time of the curse of man in Genesis. I repeated that idea in this chapter, but I no longer teach it, as it would require a whole different understanding and reworking of the laws of physics before the fall of man and afterward. Such an idea is not demanded from scripture. Instead I believe that eternal life is possible with constant fellowship with the Lord and His provision. The curse came as a result of man choosing a separate life from God, and as a result, God withdrew his sustaining power from him.
The three factors of thermodynamics, probability and information theory especially apply to the origin living systems. Outside of life, the components of life such as amino acids, nucleotides, proteins, DNA and RNA break down into simpler components and do not self-organize. Speculations about the origin of life from non-life have caused such frustration with evolutionists to the point where they now argue that it has nothing to do with evolution at all. I will deal more with this in Chapter 6 where I talk about the chemistry of life.
CHAPTER 2: HISTORICAL GEOLOGY and FAULT FINDING
One of the great pleasures I have had since I updated this book in 1993 was visiting many of the places mentioned in this chapter where the rock strata are found out of order. Since I wrote this book I have found several more examples where strata mix-ups are found and a few of these are readily accessible near major population centers.
The most spectacular of these were at Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire near Las Vegas, Nevada. Here, the strata order is Cambrian on top, then Jurassic, Triassic, and Permian. Though these two parks are separated by about 75 miles, the out of order strata are the same. Red Rock Canyon is about 25 miles west of Las Vegas, and Valley of Fire is located about 50 miles north and east. Just east of Las Vegas is Frenchman Mountain, which contains Precambrian Vishnu Schist. This is a complex thrusting problem for evolutionary geologists to sort out, and it presents a challenge for creationists to explain as well. I hiked up the Keystone Thrust trail to the spot where the gray Cambrian stratum overrides the red Jurassic strata. The photo is on Google Earth:
You can also see the formation from Calico Basin:
Since the same gray Cambrian strata overrides the Jurassic in Valley of Fire you are faced with the dilemma of explaining how the same out-of-order sequence occurred in two different places:
or how a massive 150 mile rock movement took place. Neither explanation is plausible. My explanation is that this is strong evidence that these rocks were laid down by the same event, and they were laid down in that order.
In 2011 I discovered that the geology of South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona could pose a serious problem for the standard geologic column, as the top layers are Precambrian and the layers underneath are Tertiary. In this case, the entire geologic column is called into question. Evolutionists propose that this was a massive low-angle fault where rock movement took place. The amount of evidence for rock movement is the key to determine if this is a good explanation. The mere presence of breccia, slickensides, or gouge doesn’t necessarily justify appealing to the idea that the rock sequence moved.
I find that the geologic surveys of areas like this are particularly revealing, and it is interesting and challenging to apply Biblical flood model principles to the explanations offered by uniformitarian geologists. You can often find such literature at the park bookstores.
On that same trip, geologist David Vonderheide and I explored the Empire Mountain out of order strata sequence. We were not able to find the exact formation documented in an old filmstrip by John Read and Clifford Burdick, but we found similar undulating strata in the same area. My photograph is here:
In 2007, I traveled with our TV technician Larry Perry to Joggins, Nova Scotia to meet with fellow creation speakers Ian Juby, Vance Nelson, and David Vonderheide. There we explored the Joggins fossil cliffs where fossil trees extend through several layers of strata. The Joggins cliffs are tilted on an angle and planed off at the top. Photos of the fossil trees are at
The dinosaur and human tracks at the Paluxy River in Texas and some additional ones at Tuba City in Arizona have always been controversial, and we visited the Creation Evidence Museum at the site of the Paluxy tracks in Glen Rose, Texas in 2003, 2004 and 2009. We also visited the Tuba City track site in 1999, 2011 and 2016. When the Revolution Against Evolution was first printed in 1986, controversy arose concerning these tracks when Dr. John Morris of the Institute for Creation Research urged caution about using these tracks as evidence that dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time, since some of the more distinct human tracks appeared more “dinosaur-like” after being eroded.
I am convinced that the human tracks found at the Paluxy site are genuine and humans made them. Evolutionists accuse creationists of carving tracks. Having participated in one of the excavations of these tracks in the summer of 2004, I can testify that no track carving is taking place. During that excavation, we removed a limestone layer and the dirt underneath to reveal 10 new dinosaur tracks out of a total of 43. Near that area, the “Beverly” track was found earlier, a human track that stepped inside a dinosaur track.
The Creation Evidence Museum has documented many examples of human and dinosaur tracks found together. Some of the more spectacular examples are the Delk Track, the Willett track and the Meister print found near Antelope Springs, Utah.
Our GodTube videos about these tracks are here:
In the Dinosaur Valley State Park nearby, there is a track sequence of about 4 tracks leading up to the spot where the Willett Track was excavated in the 1950’s. One of these tracks exhibits toe impressions:
This is the stepping stones across the river and the ledge where these tracks appear. Below are impressions in the track sequence.
The Tuba City human and dinosaur tracks are a bit more problematic in that the impressions are on a different layer of rock on top of the layers containing the dinosaur tracks. The Navajo guides at the site certainly knew about them and helped us find them. They claimed that there were many more, not just at that site. The one set of tracks we found:
On our trip to the four corners region of the southwest in 2001, we were able to find the dinosaur petroglyph carved by the Native Americans at Natural Bridges National Monument. Our photographs are here:
Natural Bridges National Monument has three natural bridges named the Sipapu Bridge, Kachina Bridge, and Owachomo Bridge. Underneath the middle bridge called Kachina Bridge is this petroglyph. The petroglyph actually shows two sauropod dinosaurs, but the second one is more difficult to distinguish. To find these petroglyphs, there is a guest registry underneath the bridge, and the petroglyph of interest is to the left up above the ledge. The area is covered with interesting petroglyphs, and is worthy of further investigation.
In 2016 we visited the area again, and found that the canyon had eroded about 10-15 feet deeper. The petroglyphs were at eye level in 2001, but they were much higher on the cliff face in 2016.
Also of interest is the Me-she-pe-shiw pictograph found at Lake Superior Provincial Park:
In 2000, the Institute for Creation Research sponsored a research project called RATE, which stands for Radioisotope Dating and the Age of the Earth. In my book, as early as 1986, I had pointed out the assumptions of radioisotope dating and that study narrowed down the assumption that is most likely to be the cause of inflated dates. Surprisingly, the evidence showed that he rate of decay likely accelerated sometime in the past. The study results are at http://www.icr.org/rate/.
Because Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5730 years according to evolutionists, if a fossil is found in strata that are supposed to be millions of years old, they do not bother to date it using this method. Part of the RATE study was to Carbon-14 date coal, diamonds and limestone, and a significant amount of carbon-14 was found in each of these. Carbon-14 therefore is the friend of creationists.
At the time of publication of the RAE book, the water vapor canopy theory was in vogue amongst creationists. Since then, several scientists from the Institute for Creation Research led by Larry Vardiman concluded that there were many problems with this idea, and for the most part this theory has been scrapped as being unnecessary. The biggest problem was keeping enough water aloft to account for the flood. There are some who continue to think that a canopy on a small scale regulated the climate before the flood, and I still entertain that idea as possible.
CHAPTER 3: EARLY MAN
Although Nebraska Man was in the news at the time of the Scopes Trial, the story was never actually brought up during the trial. Since William Jennings Bryan was from Nebraska, there were a lot of references to it poking fun at him, but by the time the trial actually took place, there was enough doubt concerning the conclusions that it never came up in the discussion.
Creationists classify the so-called ape-men into two categories: variants of human that may have been diseased or of extreme age, and extinct apes. Cro-Magnon man, Java man, Neanderthal man are in the first category, australopithecines are in the second.
Several years ago, I was asked to verify the story in my book about the Neanderthal in chainmail armor, and I remembered that I got that out of a video by Dr. Michael Girouard, but he did not give a reference in the video. I contacted him and he said that he found that Ian Taylor’s book In the Minds of Men. Ian Taylor referenced two articles in a 1908 Nature publication, one that talked about the late survival of Neanderthal type and living Neanderthal man among the Taytay people in the Philippines. A reader of my article in https://www.rae.org/essay-links/lucy tracked down the original article in the Bulletin International of the Academy of Sciences of Cracow, Poland, scanned the article and Ian Juby published it on his web site http://www.ianjuby.org/neanderthal/.
The story about Lucy’s knee joint also needs to be clarified a bit. To avoid any misunderstanding, it should be noted that the question the student asked was not how far away from Lucy her own knee joint was found, but rather how far away from Lucy was the knee joint found by Johanson the previous year. The discoveries and locations of both the original knee joint (1973) and Lucy (1974) are described in Donald C. Johanson and Maitland E. Edey, Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind (1981) and in the April 1982 issue of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Johanson argues that the original knee-joint is of the same species as Lucy [australopithecus afarensis] because of anatomical similarity, and points to it as one of several evidences to claim that these creatures walked upright. See David Buckna’s article about this at https://www.rae.org/essay-links/lucy.
When we visited South Africa in 2005 and again in 2012, we visited the Sterkfontein caves near Johannesburg where three australopithecine fossils were found. The first was called Mrs. Ples, the second they called Littlefoot and the most recent was named Australopithecus Sediba. For creationists, Littlefoot is of most interest in that it is one of the most complete examples of Australopithecus, with the extremities preserved. In other examples such as Lucy, the feet are missing. The interpretation has always been that Australopithecus is associated with the Laetoli footprints, which are virtually identical to humans. Yet the Littlefoot fossil shows an opposable toe, clearly showing that Australopithecines were great apes.
The museum at Sterkfontein, and also the ones at Maropeng, the Museum of Africa and Ditsong have displays that try to show fossil man in an evolutionary sequence. I question why more people don’t find the implications of this offensive and racist. If you consider the photos at Sterkfontein and the sequence of the display, the racist implications are obvious.
Creationists do not think the fossil evidence is sufficient to establish an evolutionary sequence from ape to man. What has been found so far is much like trying to describe what a movie is about by looking at a dozen of the stills.
In chapter 3, I also repeated the argument concerning population growth statistics, a common argument often used by creationists against a world millions of years old. Since there are many factors that govern the population of species, including decrease in population and extinction, I no longer use that argument.
CHAPTER 4: WHICH MODEL IS BEST?
The critiques of I had of theistic evolution, the day-age theory and gap theory as compromise to scriptural interpretation are still valid, but since 1993, the young-earth creation model has become more robust and mature. At the same time quite a number of new young-earth models s have materialized, and others like the canopy theory, once popular, have been abandoned. This chapter was moved further toward the end of the book.
Most creationists now believe that the waters that produced the flood of Noah came from subterranean sources. The Bible clearly talks about the breakup of the fountains of the deep at the time of the flood. What that actually means concerning the physical effect is the current source of speculation among creation scientists. There are several models proposed, and it is not within the scope of this book to discuss their relative merits, only to allow you to research them on your own.
- Catastrophic Plate Tectonics – Dr. John Baumgardner.
- Hydroplate Model – Dr. Walt Brown
- Vertical Tectonics – Michael Oard
- Tectonically Associated Biological Provinces – John Woodmorappe
- Collapse Tectonics – Philip Budd
Each of these models extrapolates back into the past what the world might have looked like before the flood, and speculates on the mechanics of the flood. Several of the models speculate that the Mid-Atlantic ridge was the point of separation for the continents, and that the continents moved rapidly in a catastrophic manner to form the oceans today.
The debate among creationists involves the following mechanisms:
- Rapid continental movement during the flood or vertical tectonics.
- The role of meteorite or comet impact.
- Runaway subduction of the continents into the mantle.
- How much of the strata were formed pre-flood, by sedimentation during the flood and post flood.
Most young earth creationists also believe that the flood would have caused a weather pattern that would have created an ice age where the oceans were warm but the continents would have been cold. That would explain why fossilized creatures were found in the Polar Regions along with evidence for continental ice sheets. Michael Oard has written several books on this subject.
CHAPTER 5: ANIMALS THAT COULD NOT HAVE EVOLVED
There is actually very little that I changed in this chapter, except to mention that a whole new movement has materialized around the arguments listed here. The Intelligent Design movement is a group of scientists that argue that the world is too complicated to have evolved by chance. There are some young earth creationists that are directly involved in this group, but for the most part Intelligent Design advocates avoid the age of the earth question and focus on the fact that the earth looks like it was designed. Young earth creationists like Dr. Donald DeYoung point out that many scientific inventions copy design in nature, and part of our purpose is to discover the intent our creator has for each of his designed animals. I am gratified that after all these years, that these arguments have held up without any serious challenge.
CHAPTER 6: PROTEINS, DNA AND THE CELL
This chapter has also held its own since its inception. I have an article on the web site that quantifies the problem of left-handed amino acids by comparing the task of creating proteins to that of a snail whose job it is to move the entire earth to the other side of the universe and back one molecule at a time. The article is at https://www.rae.org/essay-links/lefthandaa.
In 2006 I was invited to participate in Institute for Creation Research’s GENE project, and they investigated several questions concerning origin of life, mutations, and genetics. One question had to do with the claim that the genomes of humans and chimps were 99% similar. By examining the actual genome data published on the University of California, Santa Clara web site and the analysis tool they have available, we were able to see for ourselves the deceptive nature of these claims. What they did was use one genome as a scaffold, and matched segments of DNA from the other genome to make it fit. Genes from one chromosome were matched to a different chromosome, and anything they considered “junk DNA” was not counted. We know now what the purpose of this so-called “junk DNA” is, and the figure is now 70% matching, not 99%.
We know now that the genetic code and mechanism behind it is incredibly complex, and that it is a computer program in four dimensions. The three dimensional nature of DNA, proteins and the cell all has meaning, and it changes with time and purpose.
CHAPTER 7: THE STARS AND PLANETS
This chapter was totally rewritten a few years ago and since 1993 has had the most study from creationists that produced change in perspective. Certainly the most popular solution for the starlight and time problem has been the white-hole cosmology of D. Russell Humphreys.
Other ideas have been proposed by David Harris, Barry Setterfield, Steve Miller, Jason Lisle, and John Hartnett. Though this question still remains one in the realm of speculation, the key thing to understand is that there are quite a number of possible Biblical creationist solutions, and the problem isn’t as intimidating as it once was.
CHAPTER 8: ANSWERING COMMON ARGUMENTS
After twenty years, the challenges I tackled in this chapter still hold up. The only thing I did is to add a few more examples of icons of evolution that have been exposed and refuted.
CHAPTER 9: EVIDENCE VERSUS MYTHS
The Answers in Genesis web site has an article called Arguments Creationists Should not Use. This chapter quantifies this into four different categories of evidence, and identifies the arguments that are scientifically solid versus the ones that are weaker.
The only caution I have concerning this is that it is possible to be wrong about being wrong and cave into the trap of rejecting an argument because the source had some credibility issues, only to find out with further research that it is sound. In this category I would put the dinosaur and human tracks from the Paluxy River in Texas. Having participated in a dig there and seen these tracks first-hand, I am glad I left this evidence in the book even though there was much controversy about these tracks at the time the book was published.
CHAPTER 10: ISSUES AND ANSWERS
I didn’t change anything in this chapter.