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What Darwin Didn't Know

Geoffrey Simmons, M.D.

Harvest House Publishers, (Paperback Edition), 318 pages, 2004

Item# B082
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The lawyers and philosophers got the Intelligent Design movement rolling in the early 1990's. Next the mathematicians and biologists joined in, quickly followed by the chemists and physicists. This past year several medical doctors have joined the fray revealing why Darwinian "just so" stories fail to explain the fantastic complexity of the human body. Howard Glicksman, M.D. recently started a monthly web column at ARN exposing why the step-by-step theories of Darwinian evolution can not account for the complex interdependencies of the human body. Now Geoffrey Simmons, M.D. catalogs over 80 examples of purposeful design in human body that defy explanation by the Darwinian process of chance mutation and natural selection.

Darwin might have thought twice about publishing his theories if he'd had access to today's medical and microbiological discoveries. Drawing on years of research, Dr. Simmons demonstrates that the almost infinite complexity of the human anatomy simply could not have developed by chance. For example:

  • the body runs on "battery power"...from the hundreds of mitochondria in each cell
  • the two sexes-evolutionary theory cannot explain why they exist
  • every cell is its own pharmacist, chemist, and metallurgist
  • The brain resembles a continent swept by electrical hurricanes and chemical tidal waves that somehow make sense out of reality
  • A fertilized egg makes a journey as complex as the path of a golf ball that rolls 30 miles and lands precisely in the 18th hole of a course it's never seen.
  • The immune system contains multiple defenses that confine trillions of microorganisims to your skin.

The great thing about Simmons' book is you don't have to have a biology degree to understand it. It's written for the layman and includes helpful drawings, diagrams and photos to illustrate his points. At the end of the preface Simmons states that he once asked Carl Sagan why he thought humans could have developed into such complex beings through mere evolution. Sagan's answer simply stated, was "six billion years." Simmons concludes "I thought he was wrong then, and I know he's wrong now." He then ends the book claiming "I am not a theologian, nor do I pretend to be. I'm merely a collector and analyzer of biological and medical facts. The data, as I see it, points directly to an Intelligent Designer, much like a car speaks for an automaker, a souffl� for a chef, and a play for a playwright. Alternative explanations may yet be found or proposed, but the theory of evolution cannot satisfy what the facts demand."


"Geoffrey Simmons makes Darwinism's sleight of hand plain to see."
-from the foreword by William Dembski, Ph.D., Baylor University, author of The Design Revolution

"In What Darwin Didn't Know, Dr. Simmons gives a marvelous, entertaining, physician's-eye view of the intricate functioning of the human body. The relentless detailing of biological elegance and complexity overwhelms facile Darwinian stories as a tidal wave overwhelms a beach."
-Michael J. Behe, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, Lehigh University, and author of the bestselling book Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution

"Several years ago the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Science carried a research article titled 'Did Darwin Get It All Right?' The subtitle answered the question with a 'No.' There is a tide of data mounting against the Darwinian (though not necessarily Darwin's) concept that randomness can explain the wonder of life. In What Darwin Didn't Know, Geoffrey Simmons converts that tide into a tidal wave of evidence. In his book, Simmons treats us to the respect for the complexity of life he has gained as a doctor with 35 years of experience. His frontline experience with the challenges of maintaining life has given him insights that armchair and laboratory biologists never have."
-Gerald Schroeder, Ph.D., author of The Science of God, MIT-trained nuclear physicist and earth and planetary scientist

"Sit back and enjoy as Dr. Simmons leads you on an exhilarating romp through your own anatomy. Journey past your taste buds. (Did you know they're in your throat, too?) Explore the complexity of reproduction. Celebrate the miracle of your birthday. Examine the differences between man and ape. And in the end, be prepared to confront the overwhelming evidence against Darwin's explanation for your existence."
-Dr. Jed Macosko, professor at the University of New Mexico and molecular biologist

Dr. Geoffrey Simmons has studied the human body and evolutionary theory for more than 40 years. He received his M.D. in 1969 and now practices medicine in Oregon.

Geoffrey Simmons, M.D. holds two degrees (BS in Zoology and MD) from the University of Illinois. His internship and residency in Internal Medicine were completed at LAC-USC Medical Center from 1969-1970 and 1970-1974. Simmons has nearly forty years of experience working in the medical field, including three years at the Astoria Clinic in Astoria, Oregon and twenty-six years in the Eugene/Springfield community. Over the course of the last twenty-six years living and working in Eugene, Simmons has had a solo practice and has also worked for both the Oregon Medical Group and PeaceHealth Medical Group where he continues to practice now.

Having maintained an active role in the Eugene medical community for many years, Simmons is well connected and informed on local issues and needs. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Lane County Medical Society (LCMS) for four years. Positions he has held with the LCMS include: LCMS Disaster Preparedness Task Force Chair, Medical Reserve Corps. Chair 2002 and LCMS President-elect 2002/03. Other local groups he has served within the last ten years are the Oregon Medical Group (board member, 1995), PeaceHealth Medical Group Physician Advisory Council (1997), Sacred Heart Medical Center (SHMC) - various committees including: Medical Education Committee, Disaster Committee and By-Laws Committee. Simmons is presently on the SHMC Disaster Preparedness Committee and the Eugene Citizen Corps.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
The Gig Is Up Foreward by William Dembski, Ph.D.
The Ever-Increasing Problems of Darwin's Theories

Part I: Basic Issues
1. The Scope of the Challenges (see excerpt below)
2. The Cell
3. Reproduction: Macroscopic
4. Reproduction: Microscopic
5. The Beginning

Part II: External Connections
6. The Neurological System
7. Vision
8. Hearing
9. Balance
10. Smell
11. Taste
12. Touch
13. Skin

Part III: Internal Systems
14. The Endocrine System
15. The Respiratory System
16. The Gastrointestinal System
17. The Circulatory System
18. The Excretory System
19. The Musculoskeletal System

Part IV: More Enigmas
20. Self-Protection
21. Gifts
22. Biorhythms
23. The Differences Between Man and Monkey
24. Purposeful Design

Darwin Dissected

Chapter 1 Excerpt:
The Scope of the Challenges
In many regards the theory of evolution seems to make sense. Approximately three billion years ago, lightning may have struck a primordial soup, creating a few reactive amino acids, the building blocks of life�or perhaps an asteroid loaded with organic compounds from another planet crashed into the Earth's surface and began sprouting life-forms like sown seeds. As millions of years passed, these compounds might have combined and recombined to form complex organisms that began competing, reproducing, mutating, and steadily improving, until eventually humans arrived about a hundred thousand years ago. Everyone has heard the story. The progression from unicellular organisms to primates can be found in every biology book, on T-shirts and bumper stickers, on posters, and in movies.

The Problem of Change
Ironically, one of the major problems is change itself. Scientific evidence suggests that the human brain has tripled in size from 400 to 1350 cubic centimeters. Human beings have gone from walking on all fours to bipedal locomotion, lost most of their fur (hair), silenced ovulation (eggs are released without a female going into "heat"), gained millions of sweat glands, developed breasts (when not lactating), nearly doubled in height, lengthened their arms or shortened their legs, and learned to communicate in extremely complex ways. Yet there are many animal and plant species in our environment that have not changed appreciably during the same period. The modern dolphin is a prime example. This mammal looks, and probably acts, the same as it did long before humans arrived-about five million years ago. A similar pattern exists for crocodiles, turtles, jellyfish, sharks, clams, certain fish, and numerous insects. In fact, the crocodile and cockroach have remained virtually unchanged for 200 million years, and there is evidence that certain jellyfish have not changed in 550 million years. The coelacanth fish and the ginkgo tree are considered living fossils.

Why would man steadily improve in size, skills, and intelligence-given the exposure to the same air, radiation, climate, and foods-while other species have remained unimproved? Did human changes come about by accident, or were they the result of intelligent design? Or could they be both? These have been, and continue to be, major questions-and there are many very strongly held beliefs. Curiously, in 1860, Darwin declared,"I had no intent to write atheistically." Yet that is exactly how he has been interpreted.

Although the theories of natural selection, survival of the fittest, and random mutations have retained their appeal for nearly a hundred-and-fifty years, these processes have had little to no impact on many species. One might therefore ask if the "minimum-changers" are innately resistant to mutagens (factors causing mutations), such as variations in global temperature, radiation, ultraviolet light, pathogenic viruses, and toxic chemicals. This is unlikely since all living cells are exquisitely sensitive. Have these steady-state species reached the pinnacle of evolutionary perfection? This is also doubtful, but pinnacles are hard to define. Are they the toughest, smartest, most prolific, fastest, best-camouflaged, or meanest members of their group around? If one looks closely, this is often not the case. Do animals go through short evolutionary bursts or pauses (millions of years)�and the exceptions of today are merely in a pause? No one can answer this, but it defies contemporary scientific principles. Did an asteroid strike near the Yucat�n Peninsula 65 million years ago, causing tidal waves and nuclear winters that selectively drove dinosaurs to extinction and yet spared many prehuman mammals? If so, one might wonder why the entire evolutionary clock wasn't set back. Then again, is surviving a matter of survival of the fittest- or of the luckiest? Questions such as these cloud evolutionary thought. Even the most ardent supporters of the theory of evolution still call it a theory-with very good reason: no knowledgeable scientist has ever called it the "facts of evolution."

The Problem of Complexity
Complexity is another major problem for Darwin's theories. In On the Origin of Species, he wrote, "The eye to this day gives me a cold shudder." Imagine walking past the fanciest Ferrari ever made and assuming that only evolution was responsible for its existence. There is a parallel logic. First came the wheel, then the cart, the wagon, the unicycle, the bicycle, the Model-T Ford, a sedan, a convertible, and then a Ferrari. It should be obvious to any passerby that this car was man-made, not derived from a series of mutations (accidents)�and yet many people believe that the human body, a considerably more complex machine, came about, in part, through a series of lucky genetic accidents. (Accidents, in my mind, are burns and broken bones.) Nearly all accidents (mutations) in nature are either silent and useless, extremely challenging, outright deforming, or simply incompatible with life. They are not capable of creating complex individuals who can paint beautiful pictures, write wonderful stories, repair cleft palates, debate political issues, or build racing cars.

The Genes
Everything that transpires within the body is controlled by the three billion base pairs that make up the 100,000 genes that form the 23 paired chromosomes within the nucleus of nearly every cell. The amount of information stored within a single nucleus is equal to a library of 1000 encyclopedias, each with 1000 pages. Multiply that by the 35 billion cells in a brain, not to mention the ten or more trillion cells in a single body, and the amount of information moving about the body in each second becomes astronomical. Yet if one could put all of the DNA coordinating the growth, development, and functioning of every human on Earth into a single pile, it would weigh barely 50 grams. How could a particle smaller than dust have enough knowledge to, as it were, multiply into a trillion-room skyscraper-and also know the color, shape, and size of every room, every worker who would ever be employed in it, and every speck of furniture, wiring, and plumbing? (This speck might even know the past, the present, and the future.)

Did these all-knowing genes come about through a series of accidents? If so, that would mean that an average of two bases were added to our chromosomes per year throughout the presumed three billion years of life. They were also placed in the right order at the right time on the correct chromosomes, and were fully capable of coordinating with the other genes. For example, the genes that control human eye color and shape must either reside close by each other or have a way of communicating. The gene specifying the texture of a person's hair would not function well if it were placed with the genes for the ear or for bladder function. A major challenge to evolution has been whether repeated mutations could truly have created changes in the correct order.

Every aspect of human physiology has multiple facets, steps, purposes, managers, feedback loops, and anticipated outcomes. The idea that ten or more trillion cells can even coordinate with each other is mind-boggling. How can the sight of a tennis ball's shape, size, color, and speed be sent to dozens of spots in the brain at the same time, be recombined into a functional image, and then result in an action-all in less than a second? The fact that a mother and her baby simultaneously know when it's time to be delivered, and the baby knows when to take its first breath, seems like a miracle. A breath taken too early would result in drowning or suffocation; one too late would cause permanent brain damage. The process that causes a baby to suckle and a mother's breasts to start releasing milk simultaneously cannot have come about with a few random changes. And why is it that lactation is a natural contraceptive? To lessen sibling competition for mother's milk? Why does a nursing baby lack teeth the first seven to nine months? To lessen breast injuries? The chances of multiple, purposeful, interacting mutations happening to two individuals and then being passed down the generations is beyond calculation. If one were to try to argue to the contrary, one would need to find examples of newborns that progressed through tiny, incremental steps: from those that didn't breast-feed, to species that partially breast-feed, to present-day mammals.

No such data exists.
How does the liver know to grow in synchrony with the other organs? Why do all lungs always look like lungs? How do the calves and thighs know to grow at the same rate as the knees and toes? Leonardo da Vinci's famous Vitruvian Man demonstrates this symmetry. With outstretched arms and legs, this man's fingers and toes touch the circumference of a circle, and his navel lies exactly in the center. If his extremities remain perpendicular, their further points touch all sides of a square.

The body automatically maintains its design integrity. There are no fossils found with lopsided extremities. Somehow the top half coordinates with the bottom half, the left side with the right side, the front with the back. Just the complexity of managing simultaneous, coordinated growth alone is overwhelming. Can it possibly be coincidence?

Look at how we transfer sugar, minerals, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins from our dinner plates to our mouths, down to the gastrointestinal tract, through the walls of the small bowel, into the bloodstream, through the liver, and ultimately to every cell in the body. Millions of macroscopic and microscopic processes are utilized. How does the body even know which sugar (and there are many types) to absorb, or which protein (and there are hundreds) goes where, when, and in what quantity? How does it know which substances are safe to absorb, and which should be ignored, quickly eliminated, or destroyed? How does the small bowel know how to cooperate with the 500 different kinds of bacteria that live in it? These are incredibly complex functions that work together-and only together-to maintain the health of an individual.

How does the body know when there's too much or too little sugar in the bloodstream and whether more or less insulin should be secreted? How does it mobilize the sugar stored in the liver and change it into energy,using as many as 1000 mitochondria per cell? Questions such as these are endless, yet they address important bodily functions that were unknown at Darwin's time. Evolution says we easily changed from prehistoric fish digesting algae to primates whosavor meat. But not only do humans have many more and different digestive processes than our presumed forebears, but experts overlook the relatively sudden appearance of a tongue and a full set of teeth- with a total lack of precedents. There are few, if any, examples of mouths with partial tongues, a single, odd tooth, or both.

The Problem of the Whole-Package Phenomenon
A third problem for Darwin is Michael Behe's concept of irreducible complexity-or what might also be called "all-or-none," or the whole-package phenomenon (WPP). He cites the process of blood clotting (mentioned in the introduction of this book), but there are hundreds of examples, all made up of "useless" intermediate steps. Take the body's ability to fight infections. A dirty wound might contain billions of microorganisms, yet every step in the body's system for protecting us from intruders-even those never before encountered-has to have been in place beforehand. Or take the hemoglobin molecule. Hundreds of amino acids have to be put in the right order and configuration, or else the molecule cannot carry oxygen. Could there have been a species with only intermediate, useless molecules of hemoglobin floating around in its bloodstream? It didn't happen.

Six billion years doesn't even come close to the time needed to evolve a ten-trillion-plus-cell body. To start, the active amino acids in the primordial soup would have had to link up in such a way that they could reproduce, protect themselves, find nourishment, and add new functions as needed. The likelihood of that happening is akin to having a swimmer from England meeting a swimmer from Florida in the middle of the Atlantic without a GPS system. If the swimmers are to survive beyond that, they would also need to build shelter, catch food, and reproduce-or else they would perish.

To further understand purposeful changes and irreducible complexity, imagine a prehistoric blind man called Gene who started building a wooden bridge off Key West. Although he could not see and lacked knowledge of any distant lands, he added one seemingly "useless" plank after another, aiming directly for Portugal. One day when he was extremely old, he completed the ten-million-plus plank connection. He accomplished this task despite lightning strikes and hurricanes, without making any significant errors. And so it goes with human evolution. There are thousands of such lengthy bridges, and millions of well-aimed, individually useless steps (planks)� and yet, according to evolutionists, we came about without a plan.

An incredible number of steps (planks) are needed to manufacture and use insulin. We all secrete this twisted, multifaceted hormone after each meal to control sugar. A shortage results in uncontrolled sugar levels in the bloodstream, or diabetes; an excess may cause hypoglycemia or fainting. In the process of insulin manufacture, none of the several "pre-insulin" molecules are useful (envision a car being made along an assembly line). Not only is this an all-or-none process, but so are the mechanisms that tell the body when to secrete insulin, how much insulin to produce or secrete, for how long, where to send it, how to link it to nutrients in the blood, how to transport it, and how to turn it off when the job is done.

The Problem of Intermediates
A fourth problem with Darwin's theories is the lack of intermediate species. Thousands of animal species suddenly exploded on the scene in the Cambrian period, and many more "sudden-species" have shown up since. Some experts have argued that there was an atmospheric problem, like low oxygen tension, that prevented fossil formation in certain areas-yet there are much older, unrelated fossils in the same areas. Note that the whale, the largest animal on the planet, lacks significant fossil evidence. (Darwin said whales came from bears, but there are no part-bear, part-whale fossilized bones.)

If humans truly had monkeys as prehistoric intermediates, shouldn't there still be, somewhere in the world, a remote family of humans that still walk on all fours, or a few folks with very long arms, or people who hang from and procreate in trees, or groups who still eat ticks found on their spouses? Shouldn't some humans have retained a hairy coat? Desmond Morris wrote that there are 193 living species of monkeys and apes and that 192 are covered with hair. It seems odd that only one line requires parkas, gloves, and electric heating for chilly nights. Survival of the fittest should have enhanced those who had natural protection from the cold. And where did that tail go? The entire appendage just dropped off.

Listen to Mr. Darwin's worries on the subject:

The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on the Earth must be enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain: and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.

Ape babies pass through the birth canal with their faces looking up, whereas most human babies face downward. How did the birth of a child swing around 180 degrees without any intermediate stages? It seems as though the entire human race would have perished if that change had evolved slowly-a baby would die quickly if its head passed through the pelvis sideways and got stuck; it would probably kill the mother as well. If this flip-over had happened suddenly, the change would have required an immeasurable number of simultaneous, purposeful, genetic mutations in both mother and baby. It couldn't have just happened. So if it could not have happened slowly and it could not have come about quickly, where's the answer? That depends on one's belief system, not known facts. It's also odd that the gorilla, which is double human-size, delivers an infant that is 50-percent smaller than the average human baby. Maybe we humans should have smaller babies, which favors survival-not ones whose heads are so large they can damage and sometimes kill their mothers. Perhaps the original primates delivered their babies face down, and apes (not us) are the changed ones. If so, one would then have to explain how the intermediate monkeys survived childbirth.

The Problem of Purposeful Function
A fifth problem involves the issue of purposeful function, or intelligent design. Why are we born with the thickest skin on the bottom of our feet (where it needs to be), the most sensitive skin on our fingertips and lips (where it should be), the thinnest and most transparent skin in our eyelids (so we wake when the sun rises), chemically different tears for crying, happiness, and lubrication, adrenaline for sudden energy bursts, a nose situated above the mouth to assess food before it enters the system, taste buds to catch a poison before it goes down (or vomiting, aided by gagging, if the bad stuff slips through), a thumb that opposes the other fingers (where are the hands with trial thumbs elsewhere?), endorphins to lessen pain, killer sperms, a rectum and bladder strategically located to aid elimination, genitals that naturally fit together, eyelids that close snugly, a rectum that seals shut, a heart with a backup electrical system, body language skills, ear wax that kills mites, stomach acid that kills bacteria, white cells that destroy viruses, nipples that face outward to aid a nursing babe in arms, waterproof skin, and a conscience that usually helps us make our lives reasonable and rational? Why are eating, drinking, sleeping, and having sex so pleasurable? Could the enjoyment be a result of a design to promote these activities and thereby promote the species? Or is enjoyment merely a mutation or a result of natural selection? I believe that the latter arguments stretch logic. Too many complex, internal systems are involved.

The Problem of "Gifts"
A sixth problem with Darwin's theories has to be gifts. These are attributes like laughing, singing, dancing, reading, playing, understanding, complex thinking, offering sympathy, and simply smiling. Experts on evolution rarely tackle these qualities because they can't explain them. Is Albert Einstein a product of natural selection, or is he merely a product of many genetic mutations? Or Mark Twain? Or Gandhi? Or Shakespeare? Or Mother Teresa? What about "idiot savants" who can play thousands of songs on the piano without a lesson? Evolutionary theories do not explain these special skills.

What Darwin Didn't Know
Despite having been given enormous credit for insight into biological processes, Darwin knew very little about human cells when he wrote On the Origin of Species. His knowledge of human physiology was sparse and mostly mistaken. In that book he wrote,

The laws governing inheritance are quite unknown; no one can say why the same peculiarity in different individuals of the same species, and in individuals of different species, is sometimes inherited and sometimes not so.

If a pig could be made into a fatter pig, Darwin felt that gills could change into lungs, fins into legs, and a monkey into a man. Although an artist makes it look simple, the genetic change from one species to another is more complicated than transforming Paris into Hong Kong. Although man and monkey are 95 to 98 percent genetically similar, the difference at the chemical base level is still in the millions. (Note that the DNA of the zebra fish is 92 percent similar to humans. Why don't zebra fish and monkeys hang out together?)

Despite huge gaps in the fossil evidence, and though he lacked even the simplest of genetic information, Darwin's guesses have dominated modern scientific thought like no other. Even his strongest proponents have admitted there have been significant problems with his theories and have merely offered Band-Aid guesses of their own. What Bertrand Russell once said may readily apply:

The fact that an opinion is widely held is no evidence whatsoever that it is not utterly absurd.

Bottom-Line Points

  • Given the exposure to the same air, radiation, climate, and foods, why would man steadily improve in size, skills, and intelligence while other species like the dolphin, cockroach, and crocodile have remained unimproved for millions of years?
  • Natural selection may be a very legitimate law of nature, much like gravity or water freezing, but it falls way short of explaining evolution. Fast rabbits still remain rabbits; they do not becomejaguars.
  • Science has been wrong many times in the past; why are we so certain evolutionary science is correct now?
  • Every aspect of human physiology has multiple facets, steps, purposes, managers, feedback loops, anticipated outcomes, and double checks. Every function is too complex to have been formed by slow, accidental changes that luckily fit together.
  • Darwin knew very little about genetics, cell theory, or human physiology.

Excerpted from What Darwin Didn't Know by Geoffrey Simmons, M.D. Copyright � 2004 by Harvest House Publishers. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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