Recently, a highly publicized discussion on the nature of creation versus evolution was held between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. Interestingly, the scientific realities of Intelligent Design (ID) versus evolution were not brought up, even though they offer some questions worth asking. Whereas creationism is based primarily in faith and historically accurate religious documents, ID science is a detailed study of empirical evidence which does not limit itself to the preconceived conclusion of “evolution.”
Evolution, which means “change over time,” is an absolute reality. Everything in the whole of known existence changes over time. However, the blind insistence that natural selection, chance, mutation and “survival of the fittest” were all that was necessary to turn a microbe into a microbiologist, requires an unusually high level of faith.
Faith, that a “missing link” will be found for every creature of the Cambrian. Faith, that science will eventually discover how life began. Faith, that there has actually been enough time since the beginning of the universe for DNA to have formed. Faith, that some testable, repeatable, unimpeachable proof will arise, which cannot be completely explained away using logic and science. The amount of blind faith necessary to believe in evolution, would humble a Gregorian monk.
All too often, readily understood processes like genetic drift and microevolution are given as evidence of the macro evolution described by Darwinian evolution theorists. Genetic drift for instance, is the process by which we get so many different breeds of modern dog, all based upon the Wolf. All dogs and wolves can interbreed successfully; that is one of the reasons they are known as a single species. Speciation in itself, is still so poorly understood – even by the evolution theorists who study it – there is still no definitive literature which explains exactly what speciation is. Nor has any genuine speciation event – where one distinct species has “evolved” into a completely separate and more fit species – ever been recorded. The best the current literature can point to is where one strain of a species has lost enough genetic information that it can no longer interact with its cousins, or behaves in a slightly different manner.
Sadly, the literature of evolution theorists is filled with words like “believed” and “indicates” or “inferred.” When the dogmatic shackles of evolution are removed from the research, the data and mechanisms are always described with words like “designed” and “created.” Natural selection and blind chance cannot, by their very nature, employ the wisdom of foresight. That fact never seems to stop to the evolution theorists from implying that “nature has a plan.”
The first, and easily the hardest question for evolution to answer, is “how did life begin?” That question alone is what sparked the entire concept of Intelligent Design. As scientific disciplines like molecular biology advance, many of the preconceived notions which evolution required scientists to adhere to, either fail completely, or come up false. Evolution theorists do not believe those questions are worth asking, but the Intelligent Design scientist does.
The ever popular Tree of Life, which was the map of evolutionary progress according to Darwinian theory for well over a century, has been rendered utterly useless. Now that science can employ genetic links as opposed to simple physiological resemblances, many fossils which were once thought to be predecessors to modern animals, have been discovered to have no relationship, whatsoever. The Tree of Life has been chopped down in favor of the new Web of Life, because interlinked relationships must have had multiple sets of origins.
Evolution theorists will often point to mutation as the key driver of their hypothesis. Unfortunately for that theory, genetic mutations are predominantly destructive. Furthermore, for a beneficial mutation to take hold with in a viable population – just for one occurrence of genuine speciation, not that whole “microbes to microbiologist” chain of events – there has not been enough time on the planet. Thus far, every example of mutation available to cite, involves a loss of information, not a gain. Instances like “ring species” of birds, where mountain ranges have separated populations for thousands of years, wherein the two separate populations can no longer interbreed, represent a loss of genetic data, not the emergence of two separate new species.
Another question for the evolution theorists, which does creep slightly into the metaphysical realm of creationism, concerns the nature of data. Evolution theorists, in an the attempt to stump religion, insist that all arguments must be based in empirical, measurable, natural world realities. Evolution theorists love to demand “show me proof of God!” God is assumed to be unquantifiable, and therefore easily dismissed as a source of information. However if the word “information” is used to replace the word God, the argument takes on a whole new set of complexities. Information, for all that it can be stored, referenced, built upon and amassed, cannot be weighed, measured or clocked.
Information is an absolute intangible, and yet every molecule of the genetic code is packed with it. Modern computer science has yet to come up with anything even close to the data storage capacity of DNA. A blank CD without any information written on it, will not weigh one iota less than it does when it is completely packed with movies and music and whatnot. Like that CD, genes and amino acids are useless without the information their organization requires. DNA is not simply a set of instructions on how to assemble building materials. It is a beautifully organized, flawlessly balanced, supremely flexible and elegant masterpiece of design.
Anyone who has visited Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota, can easily tell where the hand of man employed “design,” and where it did not. There are other rock faces in the Black Hills; there are even other rubble strewn landslides. Not one of which comes anywhere close to the obvious design necessary to put president’s faces on the rock. No one would be willing to say that erosion, water and wind formed those faces. They are very obviously designed, which means some designer was necessary to create them. So, what makes all of the intricate designs in biology, capable of being randomly produced? Evolution theorists don’t believe it’s worth their time to ask those kinds of questions, but Intelligent Design scientists will pursue them to their logical conclusion.
There are of course thousands of examples of intelligent design around the world; various henges, from the megalithic Stonehenge in England, to numerous rock formations throughout the eastern US. Archaeolo-astrology evident in the alignments of the stones with various heavenly bodies on specific important dates, proves they were shaped and placed by the hand of man. Stone monuments and cities in the jungles of South America and Asia – which have been discovered grown over with plant life – are obviously not random collections of stones which fell together in the shape of cities.
Why is it then, that perfectly reasonable, purportedly intelligence scientific minds, when looking at the millions of obvious designs inherent in biology, demand they all occurred by random chance? Intelligent Design scientists ask those questions, where evolution theorists don’t even believe it is worth their time.
Another excellent question for the evolution theorist revolves around how did the sexes become separate. Asexual reproduction is an abundantly more “fit” process to pass along genetic information, even if it is a lot less fun. All current single celled organisms known, are asexual. Quite a few of the lower order multicellular animals are, as well.
Since evolution requires the “incremental, slow but sure” advancement of any evolutionary addition, what possible process would divergent sex organs have undergone? More importantly perhaps; why did natural selection slide evolutionarily critical spermatozoa and a smelly waste product, down the same channel? If survival of the fittest worked as advertised, wouldn’t those two functions require separate apparatus?
The scientists who promote Intelligent Design ask reasonable, logical questions, which the evolution theorist’s dogmatic ideology says are not even worth discussing. A condition which seems counterintuitive, considering the brilliant minds which populate the evolution camp. When pressed about the design issue, one very famous evolutionist/atheist, Dr. Richard Dawkins, invoked the science fiction concept of galactic panspermia. The theory that aliens from outer space – which of course developed “by some Darwinian means” – spread life about the cosmos by seeding earth-like planets.
There is another even more far-fetched theory which evolution theorists have been forced to adopt. In that, mathematically speaking, there has not been enough time since the Big Bang for DNA to have developed the information rich structure it possesses, evolution hopefuls have had to jump through some very contorted hoops. Every aspect of the known universe seems to have been delicately and elegantly designed for life to exist on planet Earth. Gravity, the speed of light, all of the various constants, even the very mass and expansion rates of the universe, must be exactly precisely what they are – in one case, the cosmological constant, to 16 decimal places out – for complex life to exist. The odds against all of those constants being so perfectly balanced, are so infinitesimal as to be called “utterly nonexistent.”
Those particular facts are becoming so universally accepted, that the evolution theorist has had to adopt the least provable theory possible, in order to contend with it. The Multiverse theory. There is, quite literally, more tangible evidence of God, than there is of a multiverse. However, when faced with the mathematical reality of the incalculable odds against life happening anywhere, the atheist/evolutionist camp was forced to re-slant the odds in their favor.
With evolution theorists coming up with answers as improbable and unprovable as “the multiverse,” is it even worth an Intelligent Design scientist asking them further questions?
Commentary by Ben Gaul