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Son of God Book

The Challenge

By Les Sherlock



* If it can’t be seen it is not science, but faith!

* This Challenge was issued some time before the emergence of facts that have radically altered the debate. As can be seen here, the observable difference between chimp and human DNA is huge - probably at least 30%. However, I have left the challenge as it was originally written, simply to show that even with the most optimistic calculations, evolutionary theory is impotent to explain the observable facts.

* Britten, R.J. 2002. ‘Divergence between samples of chimpanzee and human DNA sequences is 5% counting indels.’ Proceedings National Academy Science 99:13633–13635. See: Quote 1;  (which points out chimps have about 12% more DNA than humans: so a 95% similarity is very generous to evolutionists! See also:  Quote 2  and Quote 3

* See here for an account of the way an evolutionist, who specialises in destroying the arguments of creationists, floundered when presented with this challenge.

Evolutionists tell us that the reason we can’t see the process of evolution taking place is because change happens too slowly (typically over millions of years) for it to be seen, which effectively is saying that not being able to see evolutionary change taking place is evidence for evolutionary change taking place! * However, it is not necessary to observe events over millions of years in order to disprove the theory, since if we know both the amount of change required to produce a new kind of creature and the time period available for this to happen, then we can easily calculate if it is possible or not. If the observable rate of change in DNA cannot produce the amount of change required within the available time period, then it is impossible for it to have happened through evolutionary processes.

The challenge is very simple: since we have a good idea about the minimum difference* between chimps and humans, who we are told evolved from a common ancestor, how did this difference come about? If it is not possible to give a logical explanation for such a comparatively tiny change, it is certainly impossible for the huge amount of change required to produce all living things from a single cell to have taken place. Thus the theory of evolution stands or falls on this issue.

The Challenge Part One: DNA

According to the Human Genome Project web site there are 3,164,700,000 base pairs in human DNA. It is now accepted there is at least a 5% difference between humans and chimps,* although since chimps have over 10% more DNA than humans, it is obviously at least double that! For the sake of this exercise we’ll be generous to evolutionists and calculate on 5%. According to evolutionary theory, this means a minimum of 158,235,000 base pairs have changed since the two species branched out from their common ancestor. If we assume a similar amount of change took place in the two branches, 79,117,500 had to mutate in each branch. The challenge is to explain how a change of this size could take place.

The steps to meet this challenge are these: *

According to the theory of evolution, if a mutation gives advantage, then the mutant will survive better than its contemporaries and the mutation will be passed on, eventually becoming a characteristic of the entire population (or at least, most of the population). So there must be a number of generations between each mutation for this to take place.

STEP 1: explain on average how many generations would be required to spread a mutation through a population in order for it to become predominant before another mutation appears.

Example Answer to STEP 1

20 generations

Since the most one could expect would be for a population to double every generation, it would take 20 generations to reach 1 million individuals who inherited any given mutation: Richard Dawkins calculates on a population of this size.

* When I searched the Internet, most evolutionists were claiming 4 million years, so this is the period I used. Some say up to 6 million years. Evolutionist Massimo Pigliucci calculates on a generation length of 25 years, so using three-fifths of his generation length counters any underestimate with 4 million years. See here for my quote from his book, Denying Evolution.

If, for example, the change from the common ancestor to what we presently see took 4 million years and on average the generation length was 15 years, * then this would allow 266,667 generations.

STEP 2: explain

[a] how long the change from common ancestor to modern man and ape took;
[b] how long on average was each generation;
[c] and therefore how many generations were possible.

Example Answer to STEP 2

[a] 4 million years,
[b] 15 years,
[c] 4,000,000/15= 266,667 generations

For [c] divide the length of time by the generation length.

STEP 3: combining the first two steps, explain how many mutation events took place (i.e. how many different populations of transitional species there were).

Example Answer to STEP 3

266,667/20= 13,333 different transitional species

Divide the number of possible generations (answer 2,c) by the number of generations required to spread a mutation through the population (answer 1).

According to the laws of natural selection, change needs to be beneficial (i.e. an improvement on the present species) in order for it to be favoured and become predominant in the population.

STEP 4: would it be possible for there to be as many improvements in both lines in the progression from common ancestor to modern man and to ape as you have produced in your answer to step 3?

Example Answer to STEP 4

No, there couldn’t be 13,333
different stages with each
being better than the last!

The more base pairs changing in each single mutational event, the higher the odds against all of those changes producing an advantageous change. If, for example, 100 base pairs mutated at each mutation, this would require 791,175 different mutation events (or transitional species). However the chances of getting 100 base pairs to mutate randomly into any particular combination would be 1 in 6x1060 * (6 followed by 60 zeros). Even if there were ten billion different viable combinations, it would still be 1 chance in 6x1050. These are odds impossible for a random event to overcome even once, let alone the number of times needed to produce the difference we now see.

* As there are four different types of base pair, there are four possibilities when one mutates. With two pairs there are 16 different possibilities (4 x 4). So for the chances of 100 mutating into any particular combination you have to multiply 1 by 4, 100 times. (1 x 4)100 =  6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,  000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

STEP 5: explain

[a] how many base pairs mutated on average in each mutation;
[b] how possible it would be for random mutation to accurately change this number.

Example Answer to step 5

[a] 79,117,500/13,333 = 5,934 base pairs
[b] Impossibly high!

For [a] divide the number of base pairs needing to mutate by the number of transitional species (answer 3).

Approximately 100 base pairs mutate on average per person per generation, with perhaps up to 300 possible. See here for more details.

STEP 6: is your answer to step five within the average, or even the maximum possible size of mutation?

Example Answer to STEP 6


The only explanation we have for the absence of all these transitional species in the fossil record is punctuated equilibrium: i.e. the changes took place quickly and most of the time no change was taking place.

STEP 7: explain either

[a] how punctuated equilibrium fits in with the massive series of changes that had to take place, or
[b] give a viable alternative explanation for the absence of all these transitional forms in the fossil record

Example Answer to STEP 7

[a] It doesn’t!
[b] I can’t!

If instead of the mutations taking place as a series, many mutations were taking place throughout the population at the same time,* a large amount of mutation will certainly appear comparatively quickly, as can be seen in the diagram below.

* Of course, this is contrary to the accepted theory of evolution, which has change taking place gradually across a species: not quickly with lots of different types of change taking place simultaneously.

In this example different mutations of 100 base pairs in eight breeding pairs are combined in offspring that have a further 100 base pair mutation of their own. In turn, these children interbreed resulting in offspring with additional mutation of their own as before. Within just four generations of this taking place, the amount of combined mutation has risen to over 3,000.

Up until the year 2012, the evolutionist’s ‘get-out’ was to say that 95% of human DNA is junk, therefore anything found in this area can be discounted. However, when the ENCODE findings were published, this excuse was no longer valid, since throughout that 95% of our DNA are vital ‘switches’ controlling the area that previously was believed to be the only functional part of DNA. All the evidence is that when we do finally discover what is going on, there will be very little, if any, DNA that has no function at all.

As mentioned in the note at the top of this page, the actual difference between chimps and humans is significantly larger than shown in the calculations in this challenge. If you cannot meet the challenge with these figures, and I do not believe you will be able to do, how can you meet it with the real ones?

Another way of describing the problem can be found here, with this quote: “Think about it; in the evolutionary model there have only been 3–6 million years since humans and chimps diverged. With average human generation times of 20–30 years, this gives them only 100,000 to 300,000 generations to fix the millions of mutations that separate humans and chimps. This includes at least 35 million single letter differences,over 90 million base pairs of non-shared DNA, nearly 700 extra genes in humans (about 6% not shared with chimpanzees), and tens of thousands of chromosomal rearrangements. Also, the chimp genome is about 13% larger than that of humans, but mostly due to the heterochromatin that caps the chromosome telomeres. All this has to happen in a very short amount of evolutionary time. They don’t have enough time, even after discounting the functionality of over 95% of the genome—but their position becomes grave if junk DNA turns out to be functional. Every new function found for Junk DNA makes the evolutionists’ case that much more difficult.”

* See here for details.

** A technical explanation of his problem can be seen at JOURNAL OF CREATION 21(3) 2007 page 116

* Remember that Lenski used 12 populations of
E. coli, each one being massively larger and with far more generations than could have been the case leading to man/chimp, and the double mutation only happened in one population once - after 30,000 generations! So for it to happen every 300 generations is very optimistic, to say the least. See here for more on his experiment.

* 6 million years is the longest period I have seen claimed: much longer than this and the rest of evolution will not fit into the evolutionary time-frame.

* ‘A Brief History of Time’, page 11.

* Contrary to the claim constantly pushed by evolutionists that creationists can never predict anything!

** Which show the difference between humans and chimps is at least 12% - more than double the 5% used in the calculations on this page.

* Quoted from here.

** However, the author, while explaining the error of most scientists in accepting evolution, still accepts their faith in the Big Bang, which in 2015 was challenged when they started to claim that it never happened at all! If they are wrong about this, why should they be trusted for that?

However, we now hit a different problem. The mutants must interbreed in this kind of way in order for all the mutations to be brought into the same population. But when the different mutations are combined like this, the point would be reached very quickly where the difference in the DNA of the individuals would be too great for conception to be possible, thus preventing the mutations from combining.

This can be seen quite clearly in the Galapagos finches. In their case, although they are all still 100% finches and no new genetic information has appeared that can begin to turn them into anything other than finches, it is still the case that the genetic drift prevents some of them from interbreeding.

If this is true for the finches, it is obvious that for the massive number of base pairs needing to mutate to produce modern humans and apes from a common ancestor, the difference between the mutants would rapidly become too high for conception to be possible. So trying to get around the problem of the vast amount of change needed in this way simply does not work.

However you juggle the figures, you cannot get away from the fact that either the amount of change needed in each mutation will be too high to be possible, or the number of transitional species will be too many to fit into the time-scale, too many for natural selection to select, and/or too many to leave no trace in the fossil record.


Precisely how did the present difference we see between man and ape appear through random mutation in a time compatible with evolutionary theory? If you have a valid answer, then please write either your answers to steps 3 & 5, or your brief description of a scenario that works, here.

Example Answer to The Challenge

3: 13,333
5: 5,934

Other than the way I have described it here, the problem is by no means new: indeed it has been known by evolutionists for many years. The famous geneticist J. B. S. Haldane spelled out the problem in 1957, and thereafter it became known as Haldane’s dilemma! * He calculated that it would take about 300 generations for a favourable mutation to become fixed in a population (every member having a double copy of it).** In the sample answers I gave above, I calculated on just 20! So according to him, the process would take 15 times longer!

He calculated that in the approximately 6 million years since our supposed hominid ancestor split from the chimpanzee line, only about 1000 (<2000 according to ReMine) such mutations could become fixed. We now know the amount of change necessary to produce modern man and chimps from a common ancestor is orders of magnitude larger than this.

If you fail to produce a logical explanation to the challenge, you demonstrate that the kind of changes required to produce all life forms from a single cell are impossible and that the theory of evolution is no more than science fiction. Of course, your explanation must be based on what happens in the real world and not on the unrealistically optimistic figures I used here to illustrate the challenge. For example, if you calculate on the basis of Dawkins’ 25-year generation length, Haldane’s 300-generation requirement to fix a new mutation, the maximum size of beneficial change in a single mutation that can be preserved by natural selection observed by Lenski in his experiment on E. Coli, which is 2,* and the minimum possible difference between chimp and human, which is 12%, then this works out at requiring 712,057,500,000 years, or about 52 times the evolutionary estimated age of the universe!

Calculations: 12% of 3,164,700,000, divided by 2 for human/chimp lines, divided by 2 again for double mutations, x 300 for generation gaps, x 25 for generation lengths = 712,057,500,000. Evolutionists estimate the age of the universe at 13.7 billion years: 712,057,500,000/13,700,000,000=51.975.

If you dispute a generation length of 25 years, you need to take it up with the evolutionary guru Richard Dawkins, not me! If you dispute the double mutations, then you need to [a] produce examples of mutations larger than this creating advantage that have been preserved by natural selection, and [b] demonstrate that it occurs often enough to create the amount of mutation needed. Otherwise it makes little difference what you do with the other figures. The size of the problem is so great, you can calculate on the difference between chimps and humans being just 1% and mutations occurring in every single generation and it would still take 197,793,750 years, which is nearly 33 times longer to appear than the maximum evolutionary time-frame of around 6 million years.*

Stephen Hawking said,

“…you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory” *

This is the observation that disproves the theory of evolution. Evolutionists have been brushing it under the carpet ever since Haldane, assuming that later research would solve their problem; but, as has been predicted by creationists * throughout this time, the reverse is the case and the mapping of human and chimp genomes in the 21st century,** along with the publishing of the ENCODE project results in 2012, shows the obstacle to the theory is insurmountable.

If you believe in the theory of evolution, then you can produce as much evidence in other areas as you like, but if you cannot meet the challenge I have set on this page then you will know in your heart that your belief flies in the face of scientific observation of mutation and natural selection in the real world, and is based on the religious belief that God does not exist.

“A milestone meeting was the Wistar Institute Symposium held in Philadelphia in April 1966. The chairman, Sir Peter Medawar, made the following opening remark: “The immediate cause of this conference is a pretty widespread sense of dissatisfaction about what has come to be thought as the accepted evolutionary theory in the English-speaking world, the so-called neo-Darwinian theory . . These objections to current neo-Darwinian theory are very widely held among biologists generally; and we must on no account, I think, make light of them.”” *

Over 50 years later, the only answer evolutionists can give to this problem is to close their eyes, put their fingers in their ears and sing, “La, la, la,” very loudly. See this technical article,** which goes into great depth with the mathematical impossibility for evolution either to begin at all or to go on to produce all life forms from a single cell, as discussed at the Wistar Symposium. It is very long, but you only have to read a few paragraphs to realise the fantastically impossible obstacle to evolution.

The Challenge Part Two - Mitochondrial DNA *

The Challenge Part One is, of course, looking purely at nuclear DNA, one version of which is inherited from each parent. However, mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the female, and recent research ** into this has shown that the variation found between individuals is so small it could only have been subject to mutation for a few thousand years. In other words, the Bible’s report of Adam and Eve beginning the entire human race around 6,000 years ago is perfectly consistent with what we now see.*** Mitochondrial DNA proves that humans could not possibly have been around for the c180,000 years required by the theory of evolution. See the link on the right for the report from Nathaniel T. Jeanson, Ph.D, who received his Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard University.

* (added, July 2015)

** Nathaniel T. Jeanson, Ph.D. 2014. New Genetic-Clock Research Challenges Millions of Years. Acts & Facts. 43 (4).

***  This means we have a situation where mutation that can be preserved by natural selection in nuclear DNA must appear far faster than has ever been observed, while in mitochondrial DNA it must appear far slower!

Stephen Hawking said,

“…you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory”

So we now have not one but two observations, which are not of peripheral issues, but right at the heart of the matter. Primarily the theory of evolution is about species changing into higher species through mutation and natural selection; but observation proves the amount of change required for nuclear DNA is vastly too high, and the amount of variation present in mitochondrial DNA is massively too small, to square with the theory.

The Challenge Part Three - Abiogenesis

In order for evolution to take place, inanimate matter had to change into a living organism. No-one has ever observed this taking place. No-one can even begin to explain how it could have happened in the past. Abiogenesis is not science because it is unobservable, untestable and is contrary to all known laws of nature. There are a number of reasons why it could never happen, but we will look at three.

1. Chirality

At the molecular level, amino acids can exist in two forms: right-handed and left-handed. In inanimate matter they are in a random 50/50 mixture. In life, nearly all amino acids that can be used in proteins must be left-handed, and almost all carbohydrates and polymers must be right-handed. So for a living organism to emerge from inanimate matter, the 50/50 mixture must, contrary to nature, organise itself into single chirality.

2. Irreducible Complexity *

This considers the things that must be present before a system can function. The very first living organism, at the very least, had to be capable of taking in energy and reproducing. This means when its DNA miraculously appeared out of inanimate matter, it had to code for mechanisms to enable it to do these things, without which it could not live and evolve. Dawkins claims that the beginning of life had to be simple and thinks it would have been based on a simpler RNA system, rather than the DNA/RNA combination that controls all living things. However, in another context, he also says that change to the system of DNA would be fatal; ** so clearly it would be impossible for DNA to have changed from something else; but even if the impossible happened yet again and it did indeed begin life with a much simpler coding system, it still had to be complex enough to create the ability to live and breed. It is absolutely impossible, for the amount of coding necessary for everything the organism needed for this, to arise by chance in a single event.

* Of course, this topic is one of the huge obstacles to evolution: [a] ‘machinery’ at the molecular level, [b] all the parts of needed for each individual organ of a body to function, and [c] the number of different organs required for a body to live, all must be in place and functioning before they can give advantage to be favoured by natural selection. However here we are looking at abiogenesis, rather than evolution.

** Greatest Show on Earth, page 409

3 Specified complexity *

Very close to irreducible complexity, this looks at the coding of DNA. The smallest living organism known to man is a microbe called Pelagibacter. At www.genome we are told it has 1,308,759 nucleotides, with 1,354 protein genes and 35 RNA genes. Although there are smaller organisms, these are incapable of independent life: they require higher organisms in order to survive. No scientific observation can produce anything capable of life and reproduction that could be significantly smaller than this; but the possibility of such a large number of elements combining in the correct order by random means is so astronomically small it could never happen - even in an infinite number of universes!

* See here for more on specified complexity.

See here for a short video explanation of the impossibility of a single protein arising by chance.


Inanimate matter could never turn into a living organism by unintelligent means; the amount of observable change in mitochondrial DNA is far too small for humans to have been around longer than a few thousand years; and the amount of change needed in nuclear DNA  to produce humans and chimps from a common ancestor is far too large to have taken place within evolutionary time-scales.

Stephen Hawking said,

“…you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory”

So we now have not one, not two, but three observations, which are not of peripheral issues, but right at the heart of the matter: how did life begin, and how did it become what we see today?




“The size of the problem is so great,
you can calculate on the difference between chimps and humans being just 1%
and mutations occurring in every single generation
and it would still take… nearly 33 times longer to appear than
the maximum evolutionary time-frame of around 6 million years.”