Evolution — Science or Pompous Ancestor Worship?

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evolution

EVOLUTION – SCIENCE OR POMPOUS ANCESTOR WORSHIP?

This is an invitation to those atheists who are at least mildly open-minded and willing to take even a tiny peek outside of the box. This is not intended to disparage because many of you are sincere but simply ignorant of basic facts and misinformed about the Creationist position. I understand you have merely become accustomed to parroting what the “experts of evolution” have given you; assuming these are unimpeachable witnesses with no agenda. Please take a few minutes to avail yourself of a perspective you will never get from the “experts” and to consider the consequences of such a philosophy.

Let’s start with this oft quoted favorite “you have magic and I have science”. If by “magic” evolutionists mean something mysterious that is not explainable through recourse to any known physical laws then I suggest their faith belies their words. As philosophic materialists, they believe inanimate particles can become a man. While their mystical device is not a wand instantaneously transforming its object it is no less magical and no less undirected by any known physical law. Their device is time plus natural selection pressing its object to a higher state in violation of all known physical laws.

Please allow me to state for the record, Creationists do not nor have we ever tried to deny that limited changes can and do occur within each given kind (cats, dogs, birds, fish, etc.). We have no problem conceding that the DNA of each kind allows for some adaptive modifications. This is evident, for instance when comparing a Great Dane to a Chihuahua (microevolution). We also have no problem conceding that something of a culling process occurs in nature which can be referred to as natural selection. What we do object to, however, is making huge extrapolations from an observable but very limited process (microevolution) to infer that the completely unobservable process of macroevolution (or Grand Evolution—particles to people) has thereby been proven. We also object to the extreme pliable use of the word “evolution”. It seems philosophic materialists reserve the right to change its meaning in the middle of an argument (as many times as is necessary). If a Creationist presents evidence damning to the Grand view, he is often accused of denying the reality of changes within a kind.

The theory of evolution assumes a sort of fluidity in nature that simply is nowhere to be found. We do not seem to see evidence anywhere that things are just bursting at the seams to “evolve”. For instance, the DNA in each organism, in its unimaginable complexity, is predisposed to resist innovation. In fact it so resists change that only copying errors or violent abrupt invasions (mutations) rearranging the nucleotide sequences of certain reproductive cells can potentially produce the tiny change that can be passed on to offspring.

DNA is utterly dependent upon the cell itself in which it resides, providing the delicate balance of sugars, amino acids, and assorted chemicals necessary for the numerous exchanges between the various organelles involved in the process of life and providing the necessary medium for proteins (literally molecular “machines”), to perform their vital functions. In addition to regulating the metabolism of the cell (its entire range of energy production and consumption), these carry out the reproduction of the cell, the repair of the cell, the disposal of its waste, and the staggeringly complex processes of transcription, translation, and DNA replication. Transcription alone involves an enormous concert of proteins separating the two DNA strands at the precise location required to code for a specific protein. Here a copy of the sequence is made (in the form of Messenger RNA) which is then sent out of the nucleus to link with ribosomes where short chain molecules of Transfer RNA each contribute their single amino acid but only after “reading” the Messenger RNA to find the complementary base it may “plug” into. If we consider only the initial complications the separation of those two DNA strands introduces, the process should absolutely break down at this point. Yet fortuitously, legions of proteins, each specializing in some vital function, are available to prevent the cascade of otherwise disastrous events.

The cell is itself a tremendous wonder, regulating myriad processes as complex as the city of New York, yet featuring a selectively permeable membrane which allows it to literally “communicate” with other cells while filtering out harmful materials. It is difficult to imagine how any of the parts that make up the cell could come into existence by some gradual Darwinian process when each of these parts requires all other parts and especially the precise and protective environment of the cell. Proteins can only be made at the precise direction of DNA yet DNA is dependent upon proteins for its existence.

Please understand, my friends, an extra digit suddenly showing up in a generation is not evidence of evolution. It is not at the anatomical but at the cellular level where change must occur if evolution is to have any chance at all. Only mutations can produce these kinds of changes. Unfortunately, mutations, because they rearrange the already existing information, reduce the information content. While this reduction may confer an advantage to the organism in some particular situation, overall survivability is weakened. Evolution requires changes that lead to higher complexity and over-all increased survivability. This can only come about with an increase in information content; not smearing, rearranging, or even repeating the same exiting information numerous times.

Since the discovery of DNA in the mid-1950s, the emerging evidence has not led to the discovery of new pathways to evolution but many more mind-boggling obstacles. Because natural selection has no power to bring inanimate matter to life but can only work on already existing living organisms, the evolution story must of necessity incorporate some component of spontaneous generation. Never mind the concept was conclusively disproved by Louis Pasteur in the late 1800s, this remains a necessary article of faith. Yet this problem is becoming increasingly burdensome. We now know, for instance, that all living things display same-handedness; that is, the polymers of nucleic acids are all right handed and the polymers of amino acids are uniformly left handed. Non-living systems all display random right and left handedness. The most primitive cell would have required a reproductive system making it already immensely complex. Whatever early DNA (imagining it could somehow have existed and thrived in some “simple” state outside a cell), or even if only RNA, would have had to meticulously bind the sugar ribose to the various building blocks, vigorously resisting the natural tendency for long-chain molecules to break down. Yet this “simple” strand, without all the machinery in place to read its information would have been useless.

The simplest carriers of nucleic acid we know of are viruses. Viruses are so “simple” that they never contain both DNA and RNA; one but not the other. Though this is already a magnitude of complexity that defies any Darwinist explanation, it is not sufficient to reproduce without plugging into a living cell with that cell’s full complement of nucleic acid and fully functioning structures in place. Viruses can only reproduce by somehow causing the host cell to produce virus proteins instead of the host’s proteins.

In almost complete denial of these staggering problems we are asked to assume a very primitive cell, whether a light sensitive spot or some other simple glob of protoplasm, as evolution’s starting point. Yet all of these supposed primitive origins turn out to be already so mind-numbingly complex (for instance, a “light sensitive spot” must have all the neurological machinery in place to interpret whatever information that spot is giving and to make some kind of survival response) some evolutionists, when pressed, suggest the earth was “seeded” by alien space beings. This of course only begs the question and kicks the can down the road (how did they come about and on and on?).

To those who face the problem of emergent life honestly, the answer must come down to belief in a one-time highly improbable chance event. Somehow the right elements were all placed into their proper sequences in just the right ratios, under just the right conditions, with all the necessary software in place and were then subjected to exactly the right spark that sent life on its way. I do not in principle object to any believing in such a fairy tale any more than I do those who believe in the Easter Bunny Hypothesis. I do, however, object to the Easter Bunny Hypothesis being presented as unimpeachable science, building an entire worldview upon it that deliberately undermines the Judeo/Christian worldview and then declaring any who disagree delusional.

If evolution were true, we should have uncovered a law operating in nature that pressures simple systems toward higher complexity. Instead we have discovered a law that pressures complex systems to break down. Of course this is summed up in the Law of Increasing Entropy. It is often insisted this is no problem for evolution since we occupy an open system with the sun bathing our biosphere with more than enough energy to overcome the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Snowflakes are sometimes forwarded as evidence that order can come from random natural processes. This might be impressive if we ever saw snowflakes on their way to becoming something more complex. As far as I know, though, a snowflake is pleased in all circumstances to remain a snowflake (just as rapidly mutating bacteria are pleased to remain bacteria, and Darwin’s finches were pleased to remain finches). I concede that patterns of very simple order can be extracted from random processes. A monkey might randomly type out the repeating pattern ABCD several times. Isn’t it a bit of a leap to infer specified complex information can as well be explained by random natural processes, especially when information is neither mass nor energy? Would we conclude a complete set of Shakespeare’s works next to our hypothetical monkey must be the fruit of our simian friend’s labor since after all, he’s already demonstrated the potential for order in randomness?

I dispute neither the notion we live in an open system or that our sun is a constant source of energy. But simply supplying energy to the equation solves nothing. The sun bathing the building materials at a construction site does nothing to bring the materials together. In fact, the sun speeds up the decay process. A bull in a China shop is capable of releasing a great deal of energy also, but who suspects that release will leave that shop more highly ordered? It seems pretty obvious some type of coded plan must exist from the beginning that directs energy and material in the process of growth; but that code must also be working in concert with an equally complex conversion mechanism with the whole array of machinery in place to actually harness and translate all that energy into something useful. In living systems the growth program is evident in the genetic code. Where are we to find such a code [or something mimicking a code] in the flow of nature? A mutation cannot qualify since it actually increases entropy. Natural Selection cannot qualify either since it has no forethought but only filters out those characteristics that threaten the survival of a species in the immediate circumstance (again, not by adding but eliminating bits of information).

It could perhaps be argued that the Law of Increasing Entropy is overcome numerous times every day by living systems within our biosphere. In actuality entropy is only overcome temporarily since all living things eventually die (alas, even snowflakes breakdown). But here’s the kicker: the temporary overcoming of entropy can only be accomplished where there is first such a complex code present to direct the temporary growth process. Thus the code could not have come into existence through some gradual step by step Darwinian process. Without something first present to oppose the inexorable march of universal entropy, no growth of any kind could have been possible. The code is unarguably a representation of information and highly complex information at that. Sorry the dots don’t connect in a pleasant direction, but a complex message presupposes an even far more complex message originator.

The sum of all the above—in the beginning could not have been chaos but information. I am willing to posit a sufficient cause to explain the tremendous effect we see all around. I find a purely materialist cause (the universe and all ordered systems, especially highly specified and complex, arising through unfolding natural processes or some extraordinary chaotic event) counterintuitive and completely inadequate. A flashlight converts electrical energy into light. Can that conversion process be the only plausible explanation for the flashlight’s existence? But what if nothing in that process yields even a clue as to how the flashlight came into existence? Are we then predisposed to deny any sort of outside intelligent agent because by definition we would no longer be doing science? In which case are we then compelled to issue more and more fanciful just-so scenarios of how the flashlight may have come about if just the right conditions mysteriously aligned?

When was it determined all search for knowledge must be constrained by physical law? This would have been absurd to science pioneers such as Kepler, Newton, Cuvier, Farraday, Mendel, and even recent heroes Raymond Damadian (magnetic resonance imaging) and Werner Von Braun (the Apollo program). The Laws of Physics do not, in fact, tell us what is possible. They tell us how the universe is currently being upheld and what is normal. They do not yield a clue as to how anything came into existence or even how they (the very laws themselves) came into existence any more than the conversion of electrical energy into light gives us any insight into how that flashlight came about.

So what is the true Judeo/Christian definition of faith? I understand it is common for philosophic materialists to frame the debate in terms of “faith vs. reason”. The implication of course is that faith is embracing the irrational especially in opposition to evidence. Yet true Biblical faith is to believe, though there may be many questions and much hardship, because the Bible has demonstrated a consistent pattern over a protracted period of recorded events of its own trustworthiness, and especially of the God it reveals. As everyone routinely demonstrates faith in something, the real debate is “reasonable faith vs. unreasonable faith”. My dear atheist friends, putting the label “science” on your faith does not transform it any more than it might confer some special status to my faith.

For any theory to be truly scientific it must be possible to set up risky predictions that, if not fulfilled, falsify the theory, collapsing the entire paradigm. But ever since Darwin, evolution has been a story of never-ending modifications because that which we should see never seems to materialize (such as those millions of transitional fossils). To the extent it retains any predictive power at all this is so generalized as to render these “predictions” scientifically meaningless. For instance, I think we knew even before Darwin that the offspring of parents both having red hair and green eyes would probably exhibit the same. In fact it was not Darwin but a Christian monk by the name of Mendel who provided the precise scientific explanation to this.

My dear friends, you believe yours is the superior position because it is rooted in reason and rationality whereas mine is a blind superstition appealing almost entirely to the emotional. But what if your conviction is based on a relatively small and isolated view that is either unaware of or entirely ignores a far larger context that might radically alter your conclusions? Were you to view that context you would see it is not the Judeo/Christian worldview that is irrational but the naturalistic worldview you now hold. “Evolution”, once we peel away all the modern, sophisticated trappings, is in its essence indistinguishable from any ancient fertility cult (the hallowed reverence given bones in modern museums of natural history, indistinguishable from ancestor worship). Thus it is your worldview that owes an immense debt not to modern science but to a very old pagan superstition.

Contrary to what you have been told, the modern scientific method is not is the enemy of Christianity. I am a huge fan of operational science; that which is based on empirics—testing, observation, measuring, and repeatability. This has brought incalculable advances to the world. Origins science (or evolution), on the other hand, though it has wrapped itself in the mantle of modern science, is an atheistic philosophy that bears almost no connection to the modern scientific method, indeed, finds its greatest obstacle the hostile pronouncements of empirical science.

Certainly old ideas can be polished, reconstituted, or given some impressive names. Yet none of these cosmetic treatments, no matter how artfully executed, change the essential nature of these ideas. What if it should turn out that that man-centered invention, Statism—meticulously constructed, proudly displayed, and enthusiastically promoted by modern “progressives”— is but the culmination of thousands of years of that same ancient pagan superstition? What if Statism, for all its sophisticated pretensions, is simply the final manifestation of a very old counterfeit to the Kingdom of God?

Consider just the following ways in which Statism sets itself up in fierce competition with and as a deliberate alternative to Judeo/Christianity. It establishes an alternate form of justice (“fairness”—leveling the playing field through government deciding the winners and losers); an alternate morality—the end justifies the means; heaven—a man-made earthly Utopia; savior—the State; and an alternate king—Caesar. Evolution, for all its pretentions to cutting-edge science, is simply this alternate religion’s creation myth, every bit as much the cornerstone of Statism as Christ is of Christianity. Unfortunately Statism, because it recognizes no higher authority also recognizes no limits to its reach, placing the restraining emphasis entirely on the governed. Thus it can only become the cruelest tyranny, and in every instance has. Friends, do you really wish to stake all your hopes on a primitive fertility cult for a promise of an authoritarian Utopia?

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

Julien Stanford

I have been a Born-Again Christian since 1982. Since 1989 I have been involved in the Quality Control/Quality Assurance field within the nuclear industry. I attended Louisiana State University and am a graduate of T.H. Harris Technical School. My interests include woodcarving, politics, microbiology, history (especially Church history and the American Founding), and of course writing. I have written numerous papers in defense of the Christian faith dealing with a wide range of subjects and have completed an extensive manuscript "Kingdom of God or Pagan Empire?". The majority of my research hours have been taken with the subject of evolution as I find no single idea to have produced such widespread cultural devastation and on so many levels.

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