Science in Christian Perspective
An Excerpt from A Talk Presented
Before the American Scientific Affiliation
Theodore N. Tahmisian, B.A., M.S., Ph.D.
From JASA 9 (March 1957): 11-13.
During the past ten years I have been interested in the effects of ionizing irradiation on living cells. The many facets of the problem revealed some interesting facts. It was found that the various biological principles were differentially effected by irradiation. The capacity of the cells to differentiate into tissue formation was the most susceptible principle. At a higher irradiation dose cell division was abolished. At a much higher dose the capacity of the cells to anabolize was injured. Very high doses were required to stop energy metabolism or catabolism. We were able to upset the processes of tissue induction so that many terata were produced with very low doses of x-irradiation. These anomalies were not transmitted to the progeny.
It is known that experimentally or naturally occurring radiations cause some gene mutations which are transmitted to the progeny. Mutations also occur through chemical action of some mutagenic chemicals such as nitrogen mustards. Etymologically the term mutation denotes a change, and it implies that the change can be an addition or a deletion of the gene transmissible from the parent to the progeny subject to genetic laws. To date every viable mutation on record has been a deletion. I have challenged biologists to show me a single case of advance through mutations but after twenty years of challenging no one has produced the evidence. Most of the biologists assume that such mutations are present but they do not know of any specific case. This fallacy is accepted by faith. There is not a single case in which the mutant shows the addition of a character formed de novo which was absent in the parental generation. In addition to genetic mutations that are either lethal or else their presence is derived mathematically and not teleologically. In either case propagation of progeny from nonexistent parents is an impossibility. The proponents of the theory of evolution are aware of the above facts, and they themselves state that evolution through mutations by deletions ad infiniturn is absurd. Yet they also know that without an additive change evolution is impossible. They discard their experimental facts and assume that improvement through mutations must occur. It is not therefore peculiar that after 100 years of experimentation and fact-finding that the subject remains a theory.
A supposition is a belief and must be accepted by faith. The subject of evolution then is not a science but a religion accepted by faith. This religion denies the existence of God, professes initial spontaneity, hopes for advance through mutations, has its reward in deletions, and is crowned with translocations and lethal genes. Can one reconcile such a religion with Christianity? -Choose you this day whom ye will serve ; - - as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Josh. 24:15).
If you read Julian Huxley, P. A. Moody, G. G. Simpson, T. Dobzhansky, and others and you will find the following statements. The mathematical odds of a man, a mammal, or a fruitfly coming into existence accidentally by the united effects of all the mutations in one group of animals is represented by a number so large that it would fill a large novel with naughts. Or, a number larger then all the electrons and protons in the known universe. They postulate that selection must have taken place. Nothing is said concerning the mode of selection or the probability of mutant alleles in two different animals occuring and finding each other simultaneously. They state that favorable mutations occur at a rate of one per 100,000 and two in 100,0002, and twenty mutations in one animal that may show a diff erence has a chance of one in 1 X 1025. They admit that such odds are ridiculous. These probabilities are discarded and hope is based upon the improbabilities.
If a cell is irradiated for a long period one would expect some mutations to occur. The primordia of the Sequoia gigantea have been irradiated by cosmic, nuclide, and ultraviolet rays for two thousand years. Since both the male and female gametes are found on the same plant there is an effective irradiation of four thousand years. Some deletions may have produced nonviable seeds, but the fertile seeds produce trees identical to the parent tree. The fit survive because they have the attributes of their parents. Others have become unfit through deletions.
The theory of evolution postulates that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. If the higher phyla evolved they must have evolved through mutations. Mutations are invariably recessive. Further mutations should cause decapitulation. Of the thousands of observations decapitulation has not been observed or produced experimentally.
The latest avenue of escape for the theory of evolution is the proposition that the species were formed through an explosive event. If we must call it an explosion, the Bible notes six explosions during the time of creation whose exploder is the Triune God.
Carbon dating has not found anything older than 20,000 years. Those items found to be older than 10,000 years are invariably of plant origin. (See Libby 1952).
I was disturbed with Dr. Adolph's reconciliation of the theory of evolution with the Bible (See J.A.S.A. vol. 8, no. 3). He implies that Heb. 11:3, shows that men may have evolved. On the contrary man thinks that evolution happened but the Bible states that he was created by God. Jesus said God made them male And female (Matth. 19:4). The presence of fossils ,in various geological strata is explained by the destruction of pre-Adamic life (Jer. 4:23-26). The Lord also turned the earth upside down (Isa. 24:1). In antithesis to Dr. Adolph's explanation of Psalms 139: 115-16 after praying I prefer to read it thus: My sub.stance (mortality to immortality) was not hid from thee (it was predestined), when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought (immorality wrought through His faithfulness) in the lowest parts of the earth (He descended into hell with my sins). Thine eves did see my substance (immortal Bride of Christ), yet being unperfect (while the number of the chosen for the formation of the Bride of Christ is not completed); and in thy book (book of life)) all my members (the chosen) were written, which in continuance were fashioned (Christ's Bride is fashioned in continuance by the addition of the saints from every generation), when as yet there was none of them (elected even before our existence).
In conclusion my prayer may be as stated in I Cor. 2:5 "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
Tahmisian, T. N. (1949). The effect of x-radiation on the metabolic processes of the resting cell. J. Exp. Zool., v. 111122. pp. 449-464.
Tahmisian, T. N. and D. M. Adamson (1950). Oxidase increase in M'elanoplus differentialis eggs caused by x-irradiation. J. Exp. Zool., v. 115, pp. 379-398.
Tahmisian, T. N. and J. Gasvoda (1951). The effect of Beta irradiation of the respiration and morphology of Melanoplus differentialis embryos. Trans. Ill. Acad. Sci., V. 44, pp. 235-252.
Tahmisian, T. N., J. V. Passonneau and D. M. Adamson (1954). The effect of X irradiation and lowered metabolic rate on the morphogenesis of the developing Melanoplus differentialis embryos. J. Nat. Cancer Inst., v. 14, pp. 941-951.
Tahmisian T. N. and R. L. Devine (1955). Repression and enhancement of irradiation effects on Grasshopper cells by metabolic poisons and oxygen. Radialion Res. v. 3., pp. 182-190.
Libby, W. F., Radiocarbon Dating. U. of Chicago Press 195Z
Dobizhanski, T. Genetics and the Origin of Species. Columbia 1951.
Dobzhanski, T. Evolution Genetics and Man. John Wiley and Sons Inc., 1955.
Simpson, G. G. The Major Features of Evolution Columbia 1953.
Huxley, J. Evolution as a Process Allen and Unwin 1954
Moody, P. A. Introduction to Evolution Harper and Brothers