The Spring 2009 issue of Christian Apologetics Journal carried an article by J. Thomas Bridges called “Intelligent Design: Its Nature, Limitations, And Future.” In it, Bridges has the following:
“In his book The Genomic Potential Hypothesis: A Chemist’s View of the Origins, Evolution, and Unfolding of Life, Christian Schwabe reveals a startling and obvious Achilles’ heel of the ultimate common ancestry assumption. In the mid-nineteenth century Darwin assumed that all life might hail from an ultimate common ancestor in the form of a single-celled organism. From this origin all life gradually diversified into the biological world as we know it. . . . Schwabe believes that life is the result of chemical necessity. Whatever we think of this view, the point is this: the neo-Darwiniam paradigm readily assumes that life arose from nonliving chemicals but fails to realize that a purely chemical reaction yields outcomes on the molar scale (6.02 x 1023) not numerically one outcome. Schwabe admits that the number of origins is more likely in the millions than only one. The conclusion is clear; if the original chemcial environment was sufficient to produce life, it woud have produced a plethora of life not a single common ancestor.”
Even if we consider that the term ‘single common ancestor’ is not a single organism, but rather a relatively few, or even a relatively few species, the problem of chemistry is still there. Schwabe’s point is that if the chemistry works, it would work everywhere all at once, and the typical pyramid-shaped evolutionary tree would be upside down from how it is presented now. Massive generation of life would appear everywhere, then either stabilize, keep generating new life throughout history, or slowly die out. We would not have a relatively few in the past, with increases in categories of life over time.
Next, we consider the work of Dr. Eugene M. McCarthy (www.macroevolution.net), who promotes a theory of stabilization. McCarthy’s position is that the fossil record reflects stabilization, not gradualism, and suggests a new naturalistic theory as a solution. In stabilization theory, McCarthy teaches a theory of genetic change that denies gradual mutation and common ancestry. Stabilization Theory holds to a lack of change over time, then sudden extinctions and developments in genetic material. In McCarthy’s stabilization theory, the changes are not the result of gradual, random mutation, but rather sudden change due to hybridizing and structural changes in DNA. If true, gone is the competition model of survival of the fittest, gone is the common ancestor, and gone is the work of the vast majority of neo-Darwinists that spend their hours trying to sequence species on a theoretical genetic tree.
Keep in mind that these men are not wild-eyed creationists, but secular scientists that have proposed completely natural explanations that, if true, totally refute neo-Darwinism. One of the professors in the McCarthy lecture I attended said “Why is it that in every field that formerly embraced a competition model — sociology, government, eocnomic theory — all these fields have abandoned the competition model years ago, yet the evolutionary biologists tenatiously cling to a model that appears to have so many questions?”
From a perspective of Christian apologetics, the models presented by Schwabe and McCarthy do not directly help our cause, for they are but more claims to naturalism with no connection with the supernatural. But they at least lead in the right direction: humans appear suddenly, the genetic material was widespread at the beginning, the racism of evolution is denied, and individuals benefit from cooperation, not competition. And in the end, science might be better off, for perhaps the field will take off the blinders and consider some alternate theories.