Sunday, January 02, 2011

Six Degrees of Evolution?

Opabinia regalis, from the Cambrian Burgess Sh...                              Image via Wikipedia
How rich is evolution and the processes that brought us... us?

Evolution (change over time) can/could include:

1. Direction via direct divine agency, e.g., possibly, the first cell, the Cambrian templates, man from pre-existing matter and/or chemical/biological material.

2. Direction via intentional intelligent front-loading of DNA templates with possibilities that are realized at a future point. (There is glossed-over scientific evidence for this.)

3. Direction via programmed algorithmic variation (DNA switches being turned on/off) which pushes life in certain directions to achieve the twin teleological goals of persistently robust life and breathtaking, mind-numbing, God-glorifying variation. (There is glossed-over scientific evidence for this.)

4. Direction via chemical/bio-chemical laws. Darwinists increasingly recognize that chemical evolution at least is fundamentally law- as opposed to random- based. (It's what puts the "inevitable" in the idea that the universe must be teeming with life; it's also what is currently used to "prove" the truth of origins of life (OOL) darwinism!) The darwinist, of course, says these laws "just are".  No curiosity there.

5. Direction via random mutation subject to a sovereign God. Intelligent Design proponents Michael Behe, William Dembski, and Jay Richards all say that this mechanism alone (coupled with 4. above), is plausibly sufficient to create all of life as we see it. (This is where the minimal claims of IDers get really close to theistic evolutionists, yet they are still at each other's throats.)  The issue is not random mutation, it is undirected mutation. The irreducible issue is the nature of nature -- is it dead and random, or created by a God who sustains and directs it?

6. Undirected random mutation i.e, copying errors. This is where most of the grief of disease and deformity comes in. Something's not working right.

Darwinists lump 5 and 6 together and attribute everything to it and 4 (without the direction part). What other choice do they have?  Their philosophical premise going into the study is that the evolution of life is undirected and unintended. Unfortunately for them the empirical evidence is that random mutation is a demonstrably feeble mechanism (e.g., see Behe). And yet they stubbornly cling to their beliefs based on a shop-worn 19th cc. philosophy.

Here's the point: they are not really free to pursue the evidence where it leads, or to reach interpretations warranted by the evidence; unlike theists, they are severely limited in their options; they've got all their eggs in the materialist basket, and, if reality is actually richer and more complex than what their science allows, tough. They will continue to look through blinkered lens and see evidences for purpose, design, intelligence, and engineering while denying that any of these are actually present.

If the only tool in your darwinian kit is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.


Joe said...

Having fun with mathematics.

If there has been life on earth for 2 billion years as is often speculated. If there have been 30 million species as is also speculated then there should be a new species emerging about every 67 years assuming that new species arise out of random acts of mutation without some sort of outside forcing.

RkBall said...

Thanks Joe,

happy new year!

Joe said...

I haven't been around quite 67 years yet but I haven't seen any new species. Maybe the long forecast jackalope will show its homely face and all the bartenders in southern Alberta can take those stupid antelope horns off those jack rabbit heads. I do have to give the bartenders credit though they were just keeping with the Darwinist tradition of fooling the people

BTW Happy New Year to you and all your readers Richard.

jonathan said...

This again ehh? I'm glad that Joe reminded me that because I didn't observe something then it must be completely untrue. Thanks Joe for that gem of knowledge!

RkBall said...

"I'm glad that Joe reminded me that because I didn't observe something then it must be completely untrue."

This is what atheists say about God!

Joe said...

Hey Richard I think we make a pretty fair team. I sets em up and you knocks em out of the ballpark!

In the word of a really bad commercial: Well Played Sir!

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"