Ordered thoughts regarding important stuff like God, Science, and the Universe. The author will endeavor to answer all sincere questions in these matters, including help with math homework, genuine questions about God, etc.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

THE RELIGION OF EVOLUTION – AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CHURCH OF DARWIN/ J. Colannino

Introduction
Evolution is currently a theory in crisis owing to a poverty of evidence. As proposed by Darwin, evolution was a gradual transition of one kind of creature to another. However, no evidence exists for any suych gradual transitions, and the problem grows worse the more we look in detail. [1] The term evolution is usually equivocated to obfuscate the distinction between microevolution and macroevolution. Microevolution is not controversial. It is an increase in the gene pool frequency caused by a selective breeding pressure. That is, any environmental condition that favors one characteristic over another will lead over time to an increase in the expression of that characteristic. Microevolution is demonstrable and stands up to the four pillars of the scientific method – it is observable, testable, repeatable, and falsifiable. Microevolution can lead to great diversity within creature categories and may cause species to diverge so far apart that they can no longer interbreed. However, birds remain birds, moths remain moths, etc. We do not have lizards becoming birds or one kind of creature morphing into another.

Macroevolution and Chemical Evolution
In contrast, macroevolution postulates reptiles evolving into birds or sharing a common ancestor; likewise for apes and men and all of life as we know it. Chemical evolution extrapolates even further, postulating that chemicals in a primordial "soup" blanketed by some presumed atmosphere combined to form self-replicating molecules and the beginning of life. For the “Church of Darwin,” evolution incorporates all these concepts in a metaphysical “goo-to-you” scheme as a matter of faith. None of these latter conjectures are science because they are not testable, repeatable, or falsifiable. When evolutionists are asked for proof of goo-to-you evolution (which they simply call “evolution”) they equivocate and cite microevolution (which they also call evolution). This bait and switch tactic is so common that most evolutionists do not even know that they are doing it. Thus, evolutionists give their religion an air of credibility by associating it with science. In this sense, it is like other religions birthed after the scientific revolution such as Christian Science; The Church of Christ, Scientist; or, the Church of Scientology.

Creedal Statements of the Church of Darwin
Christianity has various creeds and paradigms (e.g., the golden rule, resurrection of the dead, substitutionary atonement, etc.). Not to be outdone, the Church of Darwin endorses certain creeds or mantras such as descent with modification (that is, the concept of continual and gradual change), time and chance as causative agents, life from chemicals, etc.

Perhaps the best known creedal statement is “survival of the fittest.” With apologies in advance to Binney & Smith, “survival of the fittest” is the Silly Putty™ of creedal statements because it can stretch itself into any desired special pleading. Why is the swift leopard favored evolutionarily? Because of its swiftness. Why is the slow sloth favored evolutionarily? Because of its slowness. Why is the large elephant favored, or the small mouse, or warm-blooded mammals, or cold-blooded reptiles? Because of their respective largeness, or smallness, or warm-bloodedness, or cold-bloodedness, or whatever. Swiftness is an advantage in catching prey, slowness is an advantage in conserving energy. Largeness is an advantage in resisting attack. Smallness is an advantage in avoiding capture and detection. Cold-bloodedness confers energy efficiency. Warm-bloodedness allows motility in cold. Survival of the fittest is merely circular reasoning. Those that survive are fittest. Those that are fittest, survive. These are mere tautologies, and as all tautologies, have no predictive or explanatory power whatsoever.

There is nothing that cannot be explained by evolution because evolution explains everything, even contradictory things. Consider “descent with modification –” the concept of continual change. Yet, supposedly the crocodile has not evolved for millions of years and is a “living fossil.” If evolution is so unrelenting, if time is so coercive, why has the crocodile stayed so refractory a creature? The same can be asked of some plants (e.g., the Ginkgo Biloba tree), mammals (e.g., the okapi), fish (e.g., the coelacanth), insects (e.g., army ants, cockroaches) or amphibians (e.g., the salamander). All are “living fossils.” Apparently, evolution is relentless except when it is not.

Religious Stories
All religions have their stories. Christians take Bible stories quite literally. The Church of Darwin is similar to Christianity in that it believes its stories, but with far less warrant. The Church of Darwin teaches that long ago in a land not so far away, the ancient atmosphere comprised ammonia, methane, and water vapor blanketing a primoridal soup. One day, an energetic event produced amino acids, which led to the first self-replicating molecule. Then these self-replicating molecules assembled into the first life – protozoa. [2] Ultimately, protozoa evolved to plums, platypuses, and people.

However, history gives us a different picture: the proposition of evolution came first, and afterward, when proponents realized that oxygen atmospheres were an embarrassment for evolution, the atmosphere was changed to a reducing one. Not now or ever has there been any evidence to support the seminal requirements of a reducing atmosphere or a primordial pre-biotic soup. [3] It is a just-so story created to bolster the possibility of evolution. Moreover, even the most favorable reducing atmosphere and fairy tale scenario creates only chemicals from chemicals. In fact, such simulations testify in the opposite direction, that the synthesis of organic chemicals requires intelligent design, because such experiments cannot produce any detectable quantity of amino acids except by finely tuned starting chemistry and elaborately designed apparatuses to trap organic chemicals as they form. Without intelligent intervention, the rate of destruction dwarfs and overwhelms the rate of formation.

Another oxymoronic mantra is that “time makes the impossible possible.” Unfortunately, all of the necessary reactions proceed in the wrong direction – from you to goo, not from goo to you. Given enough time, all you becomes goo, not the other way around. When your driving in the wrong direction, neither speed nor time are your ally. It is a bit like trying to reach your destination by averaging a million steps backward for every step forward. Actually, this is a gross understatement, and so far we have only considered amino acids. One is still unbelievably far removed from a single protein, and still farther removed from a single cell, and still farther removed from the distinction between “live cell” and “dead cell,” such distinction being all but opaque to modern biological science.

The metaphysics of evolution
Strictly speaking, evolution is metaphysics. It is a belief system. In a word, it is religion, though mythology is a better moniker. Therefore, it needs to be countered not with scientific data (which evolutionists routinely ignore,[4] distort,[5] or invent[6]) but with metaphysical arguments.

Evolution is a worldview. Ironically, the worldview embraces materialism, which states that nothing exists but matter. Obviously, this is a self-destructive argument. It reasons that only matter exists. However, reason is not a material entity. Materialism also disavows the supernatural, but without foundation. Ask the evolutionist “What created life?” and he will answer “Matter.” What created matter? "The Big Bang." What created the Big Bang?

The current mythology goes like this: “15 billion years ago a singularity exploded and the universe leapt into existence.” Nice try, but what caused the singularity? Was it self-caused? A self-caused entity is formally impossible because nothing can predate itself. Was it an infinite regress of causes? This too is a philosophical disaster. It is a bit like the king who asks his wise men “What supports the world?” The reply – two elephants. And what supports the elephants? Giant turtles. And what supports the giant turtles? More turtles. When the king begins to ask what supports these turtles he is interrupted: “No use asking sire, it’s turtles all the way down!”[7] An infinite regress solves nothing, it merely compounds the problem infinitely. If there is no first cause then the entire system collapses without foundation. Was the first cause uncaused? Then we arrive at an Uncaused Cause, and this leads inexorably to an Almighty God (see A Proof of God, in a previous blog.)

Evolution, like all religions, primarily concerns man and his relationship to God. Historically, it was not creationists (main stream scientists of the time) that invoked religious or metaphysical arguments to bolster their claims, but rather evolutionists.[8] This trend continues today. Rarely do Christians make reference to God in their scientific works, except perhaps in passing. On the other hand, defenders of evolution almost always do.[9] This is because evolution is not a science but a religious movement. To be sure, Christians do earnestly contend for the faith, but they do so in the course of apologetics, not science. In other words, evolutionists treat evolution the way Christians treat Christianity. One may consider this as hostile evidence for evolution as primarily religious, not scientific.

Religious Iconography of the Church of Darwin
Like all religions, the Church of Darwin has its iconography. Eastern philosophy has the yin and yang symbol. Christianity has the cross (an icon for the crucifixion) and the dove (an icon for the Holy Spirit and His gracious work). However, the icon of Christianity itself may well be the fish. It calls to mind the supernatural in the miracle of the loaves and fishes[10], Christ's promise to make the apostles "fishers of men,"[10a] and originates from the Greek acronym for “Jesus Christ, God’s Son – Savior.” In Greek, these letters transliterate to “ichthys,” the Greek word for fish.

The Church of Darwin now has its own symbol – a fish with legs, reflecting the evolutionary creed "descent with modification." In lieu of the Greek letters, the fish encapsulates the word “DARWIN.” In mocking the ichthys, the clear idea is that Darwinism is a rival worldview to Christianity and antagonistic toward it. Some versions display the Darwinian fish eating the Christian ichthys. This conveys the important Darwinian creed “survival of the fittest.” The clear message is that Darwinism is both hostile to and superior to Christianity. It appears that once one becomes a member of the Church of Darwin, there is neither room nor need for Jesus Christ, God, or a Savior – a concept that evolutionists comprehend all too quickly and Christians apprehend all too slowly.

Evolution as a Competing Religion
The church has withstood various philosophical attacks throughout history including many heresies and persecutions. However, the theory of evolution has been, by far, the most devastating and is responsible for more people abandoning their faith or failing to come to faith than any other single factor.[11] For example, a 2004 study by UCLA reported that more than 80 percent of college freshman said they attended church services frequently or occasionally during the latter years of high school. By their freshman year in college, that number plummeted to 52%, and by their junior year, only 29% continued in church attendance.[12]

The Legacy of Evolution
All religions have had moments that they would rather forget. The Crusades and Inquisitions[13] are a genuine embarrassment to Christians for several reasons; first because about 5,000 persons were murdered over the course of 300 years,[14] in violation of the Biblical dictum “You shall not murder,” and Jesus’ clear teaching: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In this case, one can make a distinction between nominal Christianity and Christianity. Though it does not ameliorate the casualties, we can confidently declare that nominal Christianity imitates the name but not the practice. The paranoia surrounding Moslem conquest spawned the Inquisition. However, the words of Christianity's author, Jesus Christ, cannot rationally be stretched to condone it.

Nominal Christians have also advocated slavery and racism. And the Bible admits that there are always some who have no regard for context, preferring instead to distort scripture to a self-serving end.[15] The Bible even records Satan misquoting scripture,[16] but the point is that nothing paradigmatic to Christianity can fairly or rationally be stretched to justify such practices. That is not to say that all religions are equal in this regard.[17] However, in its capacity for violence, no religion can even come close to the legacy of Darwinism, whose atheology is responsible for tens of millions of murders.[18] There is nothing remotely like it anywhere else in the history of religion.

However, unlike the Inquisition, there is no possible appeal to contradiction in what the Church of Darwin taught and what its practitioners applied. The roots of racism, oppression, and murder are inherent in its creeds. If the fittest survive, it is normative for the strong to oppress the weak – an antithesis of Christian practice and its influence in civilized law. This is not to say that modern proponents of evolution believe in racism or genocide, or the murder of innocents. The horror of the Nazi death camps shook evolutionists from their historic positions. However, nothing within evolution itself offered any such restraint because such attitudes were foundational. Charles Darwin, himself, held that “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world.”[19] Thomas Huxley (a.k.a, “Darwin’s Bulldog”) stated “No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man. [H]e will [not] be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller-jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites.”[20] As regards racism and genocide, modern evolutionists are thankfully inconsistent with logical deductions from evolutionary creeds and with evolution's founders. Christianity stands in stark contrast, declaring that all men are of one race physically,[21] and in Christ.[22]

A Matter of Faith
Religions have certain articles which they take on faith and without conclusive evidence. For example, Christianity believes in a God that is spirit and cannot be seen in the ordinary sense. We believe it because we have been told so – that is, we believe on the basis of authority. For that matter, much of what all persons believe, they believe by authority. For example, most of us believe in electrons, the rotation of the earth, its orbit around the sun, etc., without ever having independently verified these via sensory perception or independent investigation. That is, we have placed our faith in an authority. An important reason Christians believe the Bible to be the word of God is because where we can verify the Bible, we find it to be highly accurate. That is, as to matters of history, genealogy, linguistics, geography, fulfilled prophecy, anthropology, etc., the Bible has shown itself to be highly accurate, even with the minor corruptions we have in today’s copies.[23] That is, Christian faith is an informed faith, not a blind faith. In the case of evolution, the opposite is true.

Evolution demands tens of thousands of transitional forms, yet the fossil record has yielded none unequivocally. The fossil record shows us that various kinds of creatures appear suddenly and fully formed without any transition between them. Indeed, advances in microbiology all but rule out even the possibility of transitional forms. That is, transitional forms appear to be formally impossible, even by conjecture, due to heretofore unimagined complexities found in even the “simplest” life forms and unbridgeable gulfs betwixt them.[24] The evidence is so devastating, even Francis Crick, co-founder of the DNA double helix no longer believes in undirected evolution.[24]

No evidence exists for a pre-biotic soup, or an atmosphere that was any different from our present one, or a different kind of earth than we know today. Evolution demands all of these but obtains none of them, and ultimately reduces to unsupported conjecture and metaphysics. Judging by the hostile evidence, the only reason to believe in evolution appears to be to avoid believing in a personal God who will hold us all accountable at the judgment seat of Christ for our actions now. Unlike the informed faith of Christianity, the faith of evolution is blind, impotent, reactionary, and irrational.

The Conclusion of the Matter
So what is the conclusion of the matter.
1. Evolution is a religion, having all its attributes including
___a. creedal statements,
___b. iconography,
___c. metaphysical beliefs,
___d. religious stories, and
___e. competition with Christianity on a religious basis.

2. It is not scientific because
___a. it consists mainly of special pleadings that are neither testable, repeatable, nor falsifiable,
___b. it lacks evidence, and
___c. is contradicted by living fossils and well established principles of kinetics, equilibrium, and thermodynamics. These establish you-to-goo devolution, not goo-to-you evolution

3. It is philosophically untenable and formally false, requiring effects without a cause and other self-destructing metaphysics.

4. It is demonstrably racist and genocidal as shown by its historical record and by logical deductions from its creedal statements and paradigms.

5. It requires a blind and irrational faith.

So then the conclusion of the matter is that evolution is not science, but a religion, and in that matter, grossly inferior to Christianity.

References
[1]According to agnostic, Michael Denton, “every aspect of evolutionary theory is being debated with an intensity which has rarely been seen recently in any other branch of science.” Denton, Michael, Evolution, A Theory in Crisis, Adler & Adler, 1986.

[2]In Greek, Protozoa literally means “first life.”

[3]The 1953 Urey/Miller experiment, proved that biologists could make amino acids from a mythological atmosphere, but little else (http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2001/0105news.asp ). Nonetheless, it has been heralded as proof of chemical evolution. My college biology professor even went so far as to say that Stanley L. Miller was God. Hubert P. Yockey, the author of Information Theory and Molecular Biology, put it this way: “Although at the beginning the paradigm was worth consideration, now the entire effort in the primeval soup paradigm is self-deception on the ideology of its champions.” Yockey, Hubert P., Information Theory and Molecular Biology , p 336, Cambridge University Press, UK, 1992, as reported at http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/3972.asp .


[4]With respect to now discredited Java man, two human skulls were found in the same vicinity by the same discoverer and downplayed for more than 30 years. The later Selanka expedition discredited Java man as a human ancestor. Yet, Time magazine still went ahead with its published cover story “How Man Began,” citing Java man as a bona fide link in evolutionary history. For details, see Hanegraaph, Hank, “The Face the Demonstrates the Farce of Evolution,” W Publishing Group, Nashville, TN, 1998.

[5] Archaeopteryx was immediately hailed as a flying species intermediate between lizards and birds. Later evidence showed clearly, however, that archaeopteryx was a full-fledged bird and nothing of a missing link.

Pithecanthropus erectus a.k.a. homo erectus a.k.a. Java man, is an example of another famous distortion. With so many references in the literature, one would think that such fossils abound, though they do not. In the case of Java man, it comprised nothing more than a piece of skullcap and three teeth. A year and fifty feet later, a thighbone was added to the concocted assemblage, and voila – Java man. Such scarcity of evidence is the rule.

[6] For example, pro-avis is an invention of evolutionists. It is the supposed link between lizard and birds, yet it is pure conjecture without a shred of evidence.

The entire pictorial anthropoid series ubiquitous to most high school and college biology classrooms is fantasy.

Many of us have also seen embryos of various species and marveled at the similarity between fish, rabbits, frogs, and humans, for example. Unfortunately, these famous drawings were deliberate frauds. Many will be surprised to know that the frauds were publicly exposed in 1911 but still taught long afterward.

Piltdown man was another deliberate fraud. Such frauds are inexcusable and should be obvious to anyone skilled in the art if indeed such art were really science.

[7]This is likely an apocryphal story. For a different version see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_all_the_way_down.

[8] “The concept of the continuity of nature has existed in the mind of man, never in the facts of nature. In a very real sense, therefore, advocacy of the doctrine of continuity has always necessitated a retreat from pure empiricism, and contrary to what is widely assumed by evolutionary biologists today, it has always been the anti-evolutionists, not the evolutionists, in the scientific community who have stuck rigidly to the facts and adhered to a more strictly empirical approach.” (Ibid 1, pp 353-354).

[9]Virtually every book on evolution for the lay market seems to go out of its way to denigrate God. For example, Dawkins makes the point that “To explain the origin of the DNA/protein machine by invoking a supernatural Designer is to explain precisely nothing for it leaves unexplained the origin of the Designer.” p 141, Dawkins, Richard, The Blind Watchmaker, W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 1986.

Similarly, Gould remarks that “If God had designed a beautiful machine to reflect his wisdom and power, surely he would not have used a collection of parts generally fashioned for other purposes. Orchids were not made by an ideal engineer; they are jury-rigged from a limited set of available components.” p20, Gould, Stephen Jay, The Pandas Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History, W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 1992.

To these I will reply briefly. Dawkins remark is absurd on its face and a non sequitur. God is an eternally existing and Necessary Being. Dawkins alternative requires an infinite regress of material causes and is formally impossible.

With respect to Gould’s argument from inferiority, I would humbly suggest that he is in no position to critique the Designer of the orchid considering that he has not designed any life forms lately. In my experience, most biologists are notoriously poor engineers, and understand little about the principles of economy and optimization. “Jury rigged” is nothing but a gross distortion when we consider that the orchid, like all life, requires self-assembling molecular machinery for effecting its own production and self-replication, and such is accomplished with a ribosome weighing less than 0.0000000000000001 of a gram. (see Denton, Ibid 1).

[10]Matthew 14.19.

[10a] Matthew 4.19, Mark 1.17.

[11]To again quote Denton “… the decline in religious belief can probably be attributed more to the propagation and advocacy by the intellectual and scientific community of the Darwinian version of evolution than to any other single factor.” Ibid 1, p 66.

[12] http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/11/152005a.asp

[13] http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04543c.htm

[14] http://www.bede.org.uk/inquisition.htm

[15] 2 Peter 3.15

[16] Matthew 4.6

[17] For example, Islam is a religion without clear ethics, see Sproul, R.C., and Saleeb, Abdul, “The Dark Side of Islam,” Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 2003

[18] The communist and fascist regimes of the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, China, and Cambodia amassed 54 million murders, collectively, from 1915 to 1979 according to Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Milwaukee WI. All of these despots embraced evolution, Darwin, and atheism as a fundamental tenets of their ideology. According to Raymond Hall, “Darwin’s Impact – The Bloodstained Legacy of Evolution,” http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v27/i2/darwin.asp, Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, Joseph Stalin, and Adolph Hitler to name several, were all converts to the Church of Darwin. Marx wrote that Darwin’s book ‘contain[ed] the basis” for communism and Lenin was his disciple. Leon Trotsky claimed that Darwin stood “…like a mighty doorkeeper at the entrance to the temple of the universe.” Joseph Stalin became an atheist after embracing Darwin. Adolph Hitler viewed Darwinism as a seminal reason for extermination of Jews and other “inferiors.” Mao Tse Tung held Darwin in high esteem as one of his favorite authors.

[19] Darwin, Charles Robert, “The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex”, Chapter 6, Elibron Classics, UK, 2005.

[20] Huxley, Thomas H., “Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews,” p. 20., Appleton, New York, 1871.

[21] Romans, Chapter 5.

[22] Galatians 3.28.

[23] The principle of inerrancy extends only to the autographa – the original words penned by the apostles and prophets. Extant copies show minor variations and we know that some phrases have been inserted at later dates that were not part of the original manuscripts. Probably the most famous interpolation is the addendum to the Lord’s prayer “For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, amen.”

However, in no case do such variations subvert any tenet of Christianity. Though there is some uncertainty in word usage, we know with greater certainty the words of the New Testament than of those of much later works (e.g., the writings of William Shakespeare came more than a millennium after the New Testament and are less certain than the New Testament text). Most ancient works such as Homer’s writings and historical writings of the first century or earlier have only one or several surviving manuscript copies. In contrast, the New Testament has roughly a thousand manuscript copies in whole or in part, separated in the extreme by roughly a millennia, and accurate nearly word for word, as well as many external citations. There is nothing like the manuscript evidence for the Bible in any other historical document, and it is not without warrant that one may say that its integrity is something of a miracle.

By way of contrast, consider the Book of Mormon. It comprised hundreds of errors, distortions, plagiarisms, anachronisms, and contradictions. It was revised numerous times by the Mormon church including approximately 4000 word changes. Even in its present "corrected" form it is unsupported or flatly contradicted by modern archaeology, geography, and history. For documentation, see Martin, Walter, Kingdom of the Cults, Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1997.

[24] Ibid, 1.

[25] Francis Crick alternatively advocates “directed panspermia,” which holds that the seeds of life were deliberately spread by extraterrestrial intelligence, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia.

2 Comments:

Anonymous drl@cooptel.qc.ca said...

There are many sites on the web that could give you more accurate information on what evolution really is, so you wouldn't need to keep repeating the counter-factual nonsense from the evolution-deniers. Or try starting with an beginning biology textbook. You will find that most of what you are saying has no relation to what biologists who actually study the field are finding and thinking.

Sunday, November 26, 2006 11:13:00 AM

 
Blogger Joe Colannino said...

Thank you for caring enough to leave a comment. However, it has no substance to critique. What is it in particular with which you disagree? Perhaps then we could start a dialog.

Sunday, November 26, 2006 4:44:00 PM

 

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