I recently read the book, Darwin’s Doubt, by Stephen C. Meyer, a Cambridge University Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Science. The book uses Darwin’s acknowledgment that the Cambrian Explosion was a significant problem to his evolutionary theory of the origin of life as a springboard to explore in detail that problem which Meyer aptly names “Darwin’s doubt”.
I have summarized the first ten chapters of the book on a different Blog, Perspective, starting with a summary of the first four chapters of the book. Read my blog if you want to read a summary description of the detail that Meyer explores without buying the book, though I strongly suggest buying the book if your are interested.
In this blog, I want to provide an overarching description of the basis for Intelligent Design, which is ultimately the theory that Meyer espouses. For Meyer, the key bases for Intelligent Design is 1) the argument from biological or genetic information and 2) the argument from physics or cosmology. Both arguments can be summed up in the statement that we live in a world so finely-tuned for life that it could not have happened by chance or unguided “natural law”.
Meyer focuses on the biological argument, observing that, to build the complex biological machines that exist, prior information is necessary, and any discussion of that complexity begs the question: where did that information necessary to build the protein parts out of which the complex structures are made come from in the first place?
What cause is capable of generating that information?
I am fascinated by evolution. I have learned more about evolution in the last ten years of my life than I did in the first 50. I have come to respect the science, though I do not come to it from within the scientific community. As an outsider to this community, I am curious to see the religious fervor with which evolution, as theory for the origin of life, has provides for its adherents. It prompts me to ask: why are so many people so religiously attached to evolution?
I am no scientist. I will admit that; at the same time, I note that many people are downright dogmatic on this topic. Questioning the theory of evolution as an explanation for the origin of life is sacrilege in these modern times – so much so that we have laws in the United States that forbid competing theories (like intelligent design or creationism, which are very different models) from even being mentioned in a public school.
As I focus on evolution in this blog piece, I am not talking about the adaptation of species. I see more than sufficient proof of evolution in that sense. I am not even talking about the origin of species, though I believe we need more sufficient evidence to prove that evolution is the sole explanation for the origin of species.
I am talking about the origin of life, itself – the big picture, the forest, not the trees. When talking about the evolutionary paradigm as an explanation of the origin of life, I do not see a satisfactory explanation of the big picture, not even close, and it seems to me that the forest gets lost in the trees. Continue reading “Not So Random Thoughts on Evolution”→
I have had some time to think about the debate last week in a little more detail, and I have some additional observations. (Disclaimer: I am not a science guy.)
One place where I think Ham made a legitimate point is where Ham drew a distinction between observable science and historical science. He said that creationists do not disagree with evolutionists on the observable science; they come to different conclusions on the same evidencce. Nye kept stating that only science that is “reproducible” is real science, but how can scientists reproduce the Big Bang? How do we observe primordial goo turning into a life form (any life form)?
We don’t. Clearly Bill Nye overstated or misstated the scientific method when it comes to determining what happened in the past. We must necessarily engage different scientific tools than the tools of the laboratory. We need to employ a different tool kit.
Nye’s point that creationists cannot test and reproduce the theory of creationism is not well-taken because evolutionists cannot test and reproduce the ultimate conclusions they reach either. In fact, both conclusions of the origins of man and origins of the earth require scientists to go beyond laboratory science because we can’t reproduce either a 6000 year old earth or a 4.3 Billion year old earth. We must use historical evidence at hand and reason to the best conclusion, and we have to understand that those conclusions will be impacted by our initial assumptions, which are often more philosophical than scientific.
To reach those conclusions requires something more than “pure science”. It requires logic, philosophy and even faith – because we don’t know what we don’t know.
To reach those ultimate conclusions requires us to start with a premise that is not based on “pure science”. That initial premise is often driven by worldview. Worldview has more of an impact on science than the scientific community cares to admit.
In this 30 minute piece called Evolution vs. God, fundamental holes in the evolutionary theory of the origin of the earth and man are exposed. The gaps come out of the mouths of evolutionary theorists themselves in response to questions asked of them. It is well worth the time to watch it.
This is not say that Ken Ham is right about the age of the earth, mind you.