I believe there are strict scientific, philosophical, and religious reasons to not adhere to evolution.
Design evokes a designer/creator. Nature and the observations of science support this concept. There are definable, reproducible phenomenon in nature (i.e. the law of gravity). Common design principles are seen among various life forms, e.g. light receptor systems, smell, locomotion, energy transformation, waste production, flight, and others. A common genetic code contains these details. Analogy has been made of the factory with the functions of the cell. The eye is compared to the camera, the digestive system with a fuel burning engine, eighth cranial nerve vestibular function with that of a gyroscope, etc. Nature abounds and attests of common design features - both within the organic and inorganic world. Man only utilizes design features already present in the natural world.
Contrary to what some scientists believe, there is little evidence to support a non-designed, mechanistic development (evolution) of life from non-life. Numerous studies have shown that life could not have developed from simple organic molecules on our present earth. Some have devised convoluted arguments as to how life began on another planet and was somehow transferred here (via comet, etc.), yet absolutely no substantial evidence exists for organic extraterrestrial life.
The concept of natural or artificial selection does not support evolution or transmutation from simple to complex life forms. It is even questionable whether there is such a thing as a simple life form. Regardless, many evolutionists believe that the mechanism of selective pressure on mutational alterations has resulted in this supposed progression. In contradiction, enhancing the mutation rates among fruit flies has done much to help in the understanding of individual gene function, but has scant effect in changing fruit flies into other organisms. In fact, just the opposite occurs. A fly with double the set of wings can't fly whereas the normal one can. An antenna in place of the eye is debilitating. The concept of gene mutational load and the necessity of DNA repair mechanisms argue against the usefulness of mutations. Natural selection does occur however. Debilitated animals are removed from the herd by predators, or die from organic diseases. But this serves to preserve or even cleanse the gene pool from some of the effects of mutations. Thus, there is little empirical evidence that it forms the basis of trans-mutational (i.e. reptile to bird) change. In addition, most so-called vestigial organs have been shown to have a functional purpose - as knowledge has advanced, e.g., tonsils, appendix.
Some will say that the fossil record reveals the evidence for transmutation. Yet, certain non-empirical and preconceived ideas must be accepted concerning the record. I, for one, do not accept that the record was the product of slow accumulation of layer upon layer of sedimentary soil, with life forms occasionally trapped in it. There is much evidence for catastrophic deposition. Present conditions do not support the preservation of numerous whole large animals by simply dying and settling in the ooze. Yet, catastrophic preservation of intact animals and humans has been shown at Pompeii. As well, because animal and plant life lie together in a given strata, it does not follow that they necessarily lived together; but only that they may have been buried together. Even when one accepts some sort of slow progressive sedimentary buildup, there is not gradual transition from one life form to another.
Because of this, and the absolute commitment to trans-mutational change, some have devised the concept of punctuated equilibrium, which surmises that the transition occurred rapidly in small numbers not allowing for preservation of sufficient numbers of organisms. Thus, it is a non-verifiable idea to explain why there is no evidence for transitional life forms. Using this concept some have propounded upward, sidewards, and downwards evolution. It may be a philosophy or paradigm, but it is not a working hypothesis, because it cannot be tested for falsity.
One might ask why when the observations of science cry out for design and a designer, do some scientists cling to a mechanistic (non-purposeful, non-designed) view of the universe. The reasons are probably as varied as the individuals involved. Many choose to believe in evolution because it allows them to dictate their own views of right and wrong. Unfortunately when whole societies have believed this it has led to anarchy. The so called battle between science and religion is really a battle of world views: the mechanistic view of life verses a creation view of life. Nonetheless, I do believe the concepts and observations of science better support design and thus a designer/creator.
For the above reasons and many others, I believe in God and not evolution.
John G. Leslie PhD, MD, PhD