My Personal Journey Through Darwinian Evolution


Article #308

by Bill Nugent


Sitting in public school science class in the fifth grade, I saw a classmate flip through an evolution picture book. The boy excitedly exclaimed that apes could turn into people over time.  I got a dramatic lesson in evolution in that teachable moment. I was converted to the religion of blind chance plus apes equals human beings. It was the year 1966 and I had recently made the transition from Catholic parochial school to public school. I went from being a devout Catholic to budding atheist within a few months.


Darwinism is the taproot of secularism. Darwinian evolution is the origins myth of atheism. Darwinism is taught in public schools at taxpayer expense and it destroys the faith of many. I was one of millions of young people who cast aside Christian faith and morals.


I was a very serious little boy. Before my embrace of atheism I was very religious and conscientious. I was the teacher’s pet. I observed things. I analyzed and pondered. For years I paid close attention in religion class in Saint Mary’s Elementary School in Katonah, New York. I remember a nun teaching me that Christ was raised from the dead. My parents took me to Saint Mary’s church every Sunday. I went to confession every few months and did acts of contrition as commanded to me by the priests.


Paradoxically, I also had a great interest in nature. I loved the outdoor world. I spent countless hours at nearby Todd’s Pond, catching turtles and frogs. I also had an interest in dinosaurs and fossils. My parents took me to the Museum of Natural History in New York City. The full scale skeletons of dinosaurs were fascinating for adults, much more so to an impressionable child.


I learned about fossils and paleontology at an earlier age than most kids in the New York City suburbs. My inordinate interest in fossils set me up for the public school lessons on atheistic, blind chance, goo to you by way of the zoo, Darwinian evolution. I swallowed it hook line and sinker. The public school teachers seldom mentioned the gaps in the fossil record or the lack of transitional forms.


My devout Catholicism fell by the wayside. Atheism seemed so liberating. I didn’t have to obey religious laws, rules, precepts and commands. I could make my own rules and break any rules anytime. I could live for myself and live for pleasure. I began to live recklessly and got into trouble.


As a ten year old kid I didn’t do much in the way of grievous sin or varsity venality. As I got older, though, my troubles increased. As I got bigger, my sins got bigger. Foul language and schoolboy pranks grew into drugs, drunkenness and larceny. I was headed downhill fast by the time I arrived on college campus in the fall of ’74.


Getting back to my public school lessons on evolution, I found it easy to believe that the accumulation of beneficial mutations in DNA could change one animal into another. We studied genetics in biology class in the ninth grade. It all seemed so simple and so reasonable. Reasonable, that is, until you looked at it a little more closely. In my extensive studies in genetics since those early boyhood years, I’ve come to find out that beneficial genetic mutations are an extremely tiny percentage of the overall number of mutations. Mutations are overwhelmingly destructive to the DNA.


Any internet search of genetic diseases will show thousands of diseases and conditions caused by bad mutations. Thousands of diseases caused by genetic mutations are listed on websites all over the internet. There are only a few, perhaps a dozen, beneficial genetic mutations in the human genome being studied. Any geneticist will freely admit that beneficial mutations are extremely rare. Creationists and even many nonreligious scientists see this as a major flaw in the evolution hypothesis. I wish I knew that when I was ten or fifteen or eighteen years old!


Also consider that mutations don’t add new information to the DNA that would cause the addition of new biological structures. The mutagenic chemicals and radiation that causes mutations don’t bring new, additional nucleotide base pairs to the DNA. Nucleotide base pairs are like letters of words giving information in DNA. It would take thousands, if not millions of new base pairs added to the DNA to put wings on a lizard to make a bird or add a smart brain to an ape to make a human. Radiation does not add base pairs to DNA.


Now, many years after my primary school indoctrination into the church of Darwin, I look at nature in a different way. I see superbly engineered, fine tuned biological structures. I see the retractable poisonous fangs of a snake with its poison bladders and ducts. How could that gradually form, step by step, by accident? I read that it takes 30 muscles to flap the wings of an insect. The metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly is an amazingly complex and inscrutable process in a “simple” lower form of life. These structures are irreducibly complex, meaning that a partially formed organ system such as the fangs of a snake would be very disadvantageous. The fang and poison bladder system of a snake would have to be formed all at once or not at all.


Mutations simply shuffle pre-existing base pairs in DNA, usually causing a loss of information. There is virtually never a net gain of any useful information in DNA caused by mutations. Even genetic duplication is just an extra copy of pre-existing base pairs in the DNA.


In public school I was not informed of the glaring flaws in the theory of evolution. The genetic evidence and even the fossil evidence that undermined Darwinism was seldom, if ever discussed. There are many skunks in the woodpile of Darwinism. I was not allowed to see them or smell them. Darwinism was taught in a biased way as the dogma of a new secular faith. It would be many years later that I would read scientific literature that exposed the major shortcomings of Darwinism.


However, as a young teenager, I began to hear of reports of Christian miracles. There were reliable reports of extraordinary miraculous healings that occurred in answer to prayer. My own father, Paul C. Nugent, told me of some accounts of miracles.


The nuns in Catholic school had taught me, back when I was in parochial school, that the prophets foretold the coming of Christ. Fulfillment of prophecy is also a type of miracle. I pondered these things. As a young atheist, hearing about miracles and reflecting on my boyhood Christian training, I began to doubt atheism.


I also came to find out that Christ died for our sins. Christ died in our place. The prophets foretold in Isaiah 53 and other Old Testament passages that Christ, in His suffering and death, would bear the penalty of our sins. I never understood that or had it clearly explained to me in my parochial school training in Catholicism. The nuns taught many things from the Bible and from the Catholic catechism but I don’t remember anything on substitutionary atonement.


I eventually learned that the Bible teaches that our good works can’t earn salvation. Good works are important but only the atoning death of Christ could pay the penalty of our sins and give us forgiveness of sins and right standing with God.


“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God” (First Peter 3:18).


I turned away from my sins as a young man in college and made a commitment to Christ. I received Christ as Savior and I follow Him as Lord. I left evolution behind. I regard Darwinism as a flawed hypothesis. I continue to enjoy nature and I realize that even nature itself, by its very complexity, reveals the work of the Creator. I invite you to turn to Christ today to receive forgiveness of sins.

Steps to salvation:

Jesus said “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).

  • 1) Believe that God created you and loves you and sent the Messiah (Messiah is Hebrew for Christ) to redeem you.
  • 2) Believe that Jesus Christ came in fulfillment of over 300 Bible prophecies to die for you, to take upon Himself the penalty of your sins (Isaiah 53:5-6, John 6:29, Romans 4:5, First Peter 3:18).
  • 3) Turn from sin and call on the name of Jesus to receive forgiveness of sins (Romans 10:13).
  • 4) Receive Jesus as Savior and experience the new birth (John 1:12, Acts 2:38).
  • 5) Follow Jesus Christ as Lord (John 14:21).

Prayer to receive salvation:

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for us at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on our behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer:

“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask for your forgiveness on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

If you prayed this prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!

(C) 2016 William P. Nugent, permission granted to email or republish for Christian outreach.

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