The Creation Explanation
|Man in His World|
Is This Really Science?
The key chapter in Darwn's book, The Origin of Species, is Chapter IV on natural selection. In the 1958 Mentor edition this chapter occupies forty-four pages. On these pages Darwin used the language of speculation, imagination and assumption at least 190 times. For example, pages 118 and 119 contain the following phrases: "may have been," "is supposed to," "perhaps," "if we suppose," "may still be," "we have only to suppose," "as I believe," "it is probable," "I have assumed," "will generally tend," "may," "will generally tend," "if," "it...assumed," "supposed," "supposed," "probably," "It seems, therefore, extremely probable," "We may suppose."
In 1956 W. R. Thompson, a Canadian entomologist of international reputation, was sharply critical of Darwin's "logic" in the Origin. In the introduction to the centennial edition of Darwin's book he wrote: "...Personal convictions, simple possibilities, are presented as if they were proofs, or at least valid arguments in favor of the theory...The demonstration can be modified without difficulty to fit any conceivable case. It is without scientific value, since it cannot be verified; but since the imagination has free rein, it is easys to convey the impression that a concrete example of real transmutation has been given. ....Darwin did not show in the Origin that species had originated by natural selection; he merely showed, on the basis of certain facts and assumptions, how this might have happened, and as he convinced himself he was able to convince others."6
It would seem high time for the self-correcting features of science to be applied to the theory of evolution, which is what W. R. Thompson hoped and expected would eventually happen. Perhaps if the members of the scientific community were to do this, they would suddenly find themselves set free from an intellectual bondage which has greatly hindered scientific progress. The new freedom night result in unimagined advances in human understanding of structure, interaction, function, relationship, interdependence and law in nature, which is the objective of true science.
A Modern Myth
Come with us, if you will, through the looking glass into the strange world called Evolutiana. The landscape we view is wild and barren. No sign of life can be seen. The atmosphere is suffocating, without oxygen, and one breath makes us feel giddy. We quickly don our oxygen masks and start to explore the rough terrain. Look, there's a pool of water. Stooping down, we peer into its depths. It is not pure water but seems to contain dissolved chemical which are filtering down out of the atmosphere and oozing out of volcanic vents. We examine the pool using the super-video-microscope from our portable laboratory, which magnifies a hundred million times to enable us to see atoms and molecules. It also records and plays back on the screen an image slowed down ten billion times, so that we can follow the motions of the molecules and atoms which actually are moving with blinding speed.
We observe no living organisms, only the mad dance of trillions of various molecules colliding, combining, breaking up, recombining in other myriad forms. There are some larger molecules forming, too. Say, look at that large molecule of several thousand atoms. It has just reproduced itself. Now there are two of them...three...four! We watch, spellbound, as the strange new kind of molecule multiplies. The new molecules seem to be able to use smaller molecules in the pond to build copies of themselves. Now there are several other kinds of large molecules which are doing the same thing and are getting friendly with the first kind. Now the big molecules are collecting into larger globs of molecules. The globs are dividing to make copies of themselves. Now we see pieces of very thin membranes floating around, and they seem to be wrapping themselves around the big globs. Look, one of these combinations is now behaving like a living cell.Now it is dividing, and there are two cells...four...eight.... Life has begun before our very eyes!
Soon the pond is filled with the newly evolved cells which have a brownish color. Some of the cells when they divide are a little different from the original cell. The chemicals in the pond are getting eaten up by the cells. How will the cells survive when their food supply is used up? Look, aren't some of them a little greenish in color. They must have by chance learned to make chlorophyll. Yes, see. They are catching light photons from the sun and are making sugar molecules and also other kinds of molecules from the minerals and other dissolved substances in the pond water. Uh-oh. The brown cells have begun to eat the green cells. Isn't this exciting? We are seeing life originate and different species, plants and animals, and an entire ecosystem evolve right before our eyes.
Say, aren't those some clumps of cells? Yes, and now they are developing backbones, tails and fins and are swimming around the pool. Some of them are changing their fins into legs. One is crawling out on the bank. He is crawling around pool. Look, now he is standing up, straighter and straighter. It's an animal. No, now it's a man--I think. He's walking around the pool. He's stooped down--must be thinking about something. Now what is he doing? Why is he kneeling down in the mud? Look, he has taken a microscope out of his pocket and is studying the little squiggling things that are trying to climb out of the pool in his footsteps.
If this fantasy sounds absurd to you, you are not alone. However, many people including perhaps most scientists prefer to live and do their thinking in this strange, mythical world of Evolutiana. But you can come with us back through the looking glass into the real world where we can shake off the befuddling effects of the atmosphere of Evolutiana. Here in the real world we can once again appreciate the myriad kinds of evidence for the fact of intelligent, purposeful design in everything that we see. At the same time we must not deprecate the intelligence or sincerity of those who prefer Evolutiana, even though we have been speaking above in a satirical vein. As we have tried to make clear, the decision between evolution and creation is at its base a choice founded upon faith, and faith itself is also a matter of choice.We must all respect others, even those with whom we disagree, and never try to force our personal choices on them. Surely this applies to the practice of science. Anybody who holds otherwise is a bigot. Unfortunately, Christians who particpate in science, education and other fields of scholarly endeavor today are likely sooner or later to be confronted by anti-Christian bigots who would make distorted science a weapon against all believers in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
6. Thompson, W.R., in Introduction to Darwin, Charles, The Origin of Species (E.P. Dutton, New York, 1956)