The debate over creation and evolution has taken a significant evolutionary leap.
In this year that marks Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book, On the Origin of Species,1 the debate over creation and evolution has taken a significant evolutionary leap. An American-Canadian team of geologists and geophysicists recently published a paper in which they argue that minerals on and in the crust of Earth have evolved.2 They make the claim that, in a manner similar to the history of life, new minerals adapt or evolve with changing environmental conditions throughout geologic time.3
In their attempts to provide an evolutionary explanation for the mineral history of Earth’s crust the research team inadvertently delivers much new evidence for creation. They point out that the dust particles in the pre-stellar molecular cloud from which the solar system formed contained only about a dozen different minerals. Gravitational clumping within the molecular cloud led to the formation of a proto-Sun surrounded by a protoplanetary disk. Then, careful fine-tuning of the protoplanetary disk’s characteristics resulted in the meteorites ending up with 60 different mineral species, out of which Earth formed. Subsequent aqueous and thermal alteration of the meteorites and asteroidal accretion and differentiation, under just-right conditions, caused the 60 minerals to increase to 250.
Once Earth had fully formed with a stable crust and ocean in place, biological processes produced explosive advances in Earth’s surface mineralogy. In fact, the research team demonstrated that with each big bang of life (sudden, widespread radiation of new life-forms) a mineralogy big bang followed. They show that the most dramatic biomineral explosion by far took place following the Cambrian explosion event some 543 million years ago.
According to the research team life plays a crucial and unique role in Earth’s surface mineralogy. Unlike any other chemical pathway, living systems can generate far-from-equilibrium conditions. Thus, the enormous diversity and abundance of life throughout the past 543 million years resulted in an especially great variety of far-from-equilibrium chemical circumstances.
Thanks to the way life was introduced on Earth, the early 250 mineral species have exploded to the present 4,300 known mineral species. And because of this abundance, humans possessed all the necessary mineral resources to easily launch and sustain global, high-technology civilization.
RTB’s creation model asserts that without the supernatural planning, design, and control with which the Creator formed the planet and introduced and sustained life, humanity would have been bereft of the necessary mineral reserves, in addition to biological and biodeposit resources. Just as the long progression of life on Earth from simple-to-complex-and-diverse testifies of the handiwork of a super-intelligent Creator rather than just mere natural processes, likewise the growth in the number and complexity of mineral species on Earth’s surface over the past four billion years gives evidence for the work of the same Creator.4
- Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition (Rockville, Maryland: Wildside Press, 2003).
- Robert M. Hazen et al., “Mineral Evolution,” American Mineralogist 93 (November-December, 2008): 1693-1720.
- Crisogono Vasconcelos and Judith A. McKenzie, “The Descent of Minerals,” Science 323 (January 9, 2009): 218.
- Hugh Ross, More Than a Theory (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2009).