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Billions of Missing Links

Geoffrey Simmons M.D. (Harvest House: Feb 15, 2007), 288 pages.

Dr. Geoffrey Simmons focuses on the millions of structures and systems on the Earth that came about all at once, entire… with no preceding links, no subsequent links, no “sideways” links. To illustrate, he surveys examples like… the hummingbird and its circulatory system, insects and insect–eating plants, the role of the thousands of species of viruses, chemical signals and the sensory apparatus that detects them, the self–regulating capacity of the Earth’s ocean/air/soil system. It’s clear: Nature contains only leaps, not links. Only the intelligence and purpose of an all–powerful Designer can explain the intricate creatures, connections, and “coincidences” everywhere.

Table of Contents

    • Illustrations 9
    • Forethought 11
  • Part One: Overwhelming Improbabilities
    • 1. How Scientific is the Method? 17
    • 2. Improbable Coincidences 27
    • 3. Our Planet 41
  • Part Two: Natural Improbabilities
    • 4. On the Land 57
    • 5. In the Sea 67
    • 6. In the Air 75
    • 7. Subterranean Life 79
    • 8. The Microbial and Submicrobial World 85
  • Part Three: Improbable Natural Designs
    • 9. Motion Designs 101
    • 10. Structure Designs 107
    • 11. Chemical Designs 109
    • 12. Plant Designs 113
    • 13. Nature’s Laws 119
    • 14. Treasure Hunt 127
  • Part Four: Improbable Natural Functions
    • 15. Electricity and Bioluminescence 141
    • 16. Groundskeepers 147
    • 17. Symbiosis 155
    • 18. Migration 165
    • 19. Hibernation, Estivation, and Sleep 171
    • 20. Adaptation 181
    • 21. Camouflage 185
    • 22. Temperature Regulation 189
  • Part Five: Improbable Natural Instincts
    • 23. Home-Building 201
    • 24. Defense and Offense 207
    • 25. Reproduction 219
    • 26. Other Unusual Instincts 227
  • Part Six: Improbable Natural Communications
    • 27. Chemical and Visual Signals 239
    • 28. In the Realms of the Biosphere
  • Part Seven: Improbable Confessions
    • 29. Is Darwinism Disguised Religion?
    • 30. Science’s Remaining Responsibility
    • Afterthought 271
    • Acknowledgments 274
    • Notes 277
    • Bibliography 279

From Fritz R. Ward

Despite living a century before Karl Popper, the great philosopher of Science, Darwin understood that any genuine scientific theory had to include the possibility of falsification. He therefore suggested in 1872 that if any complex organ (or organism) existed which could not have evolved from successive small steps or “modifications” that his theory would “ultimately break down.” The bulk of this book by Geoffrey Simmons is an attempt to do just that. In it he quickly surveys the plant and animal kindoms and finds numerous instances of living organisms with traits so unique and highly adapted that, he argues, they could not have evolved in short successive steps.

Repeating the many examples Simmons offers would be beyond the scope of this review, but in general Simmons suggests two versions of his critique to Darwin’s theory. The first is the lack of fossil antecedents. In his discussion of bats, for example, Simmons notes that bat fossils can be found over a period of 50 million years but each fossil shows clearly defined bat characteristics, including echolocation abilities and unique tendons that allow bats to easily hang upside down. There are, he notes, no obvious predecessors which perhaps occasionally fell (darn those unevolved tendons) or flew into cave walls (better sonar next time…). Similar points are made about the dragonfly.

Simmons’s second critique, far more common than the first, is that it is impossible to imagine successful intermediate steps for some plant and animal traits. He notes that many species are so highly adapted that they have symbiotic relationships with other plants or animals. Since these behaviors and accompanying physical characteristics are so closely bound together, one has a hard time imagining just how these relationships could have evolved independently. One example of this is the Mojave Yucca and the Yucca Moth. Although it is not mentioned in this book, the relationship between the two is characterized in popular literature as a “mystery” of the desert. But this is only a mystery if one assumes Darwin’s hypothesis of slight modifications. Other examples Simmons offers include resident bacteria within humans that allow us to utilize vitamin K.