Evolution, Information, and Politics

Here's a sample of what seems to be a typical Evolutionist blog... http://healthvsmedicine.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_archive.html (starting with the August 3rd posting)
The person here fills their site with a variety of interesting scientific information. Yet, and here's the key thing, not much of that information actually speaks to the issue at hand. What is the issue at hand? Are all of those stupid, willfully ignorant, Bible-thumping, homophobic, %#@&! CHRISTIANS correct when they assert that "God created?"

First, please observe that these blogs don't direct their venom at anyone else but Christians: Jews whose scriptures teach a Divine Creator do not get any attention. Muslims, who teach a Divine Creator, never get a word. No; note well that in the U.S. and Europe it is the Christians who get the hate mail. Talk about ethnocentricity!

Please also notice the unspoken assertion in these comments. The real premise is this: evolution explains life so therefore God isn’t needed. This begs the question: why is it important to not need God? Why is it important to make an assertion that God needs not to exist? What is it in the minds of these folks that drives them to conclude that even the idea of God is bad? It certainly isn’t because the concept of God is intellectually repugnant – the history of great thinkers throughout all of our civilization (as well as others) show that the concept of God is vital to a rigorous intellectual life. So what's the deal?

Second, note that a lengthy, detailed, and coherent discussion of the science of cellular biology does not advance a whit the proposition that Darwinian evolution is true. Such information is useful, helpful, and good to know. But such information, as a tool, is as inappropriate to apply to the issue of "creation vs. evolution" as is the use of a pneumatic jack-hammer to the task of interpreting Shakespeare. It's not "Apples and Oranges," it's "Apples and Laws covering the settlement of bank drafts" - almost completely unrelated!

Let me restate: the 'evolutionary' evidence often purports to prove much more than it actually does. The question is, if I understand it properly, "What happened?" That - right there - is an historic query, not a scientific one. Here's where the typical "Evolutionist" gets off the tracks. The issue of what happened is one of history and must use historical processes to determine what actually was the truth of the matter at a certain place and time. The process of history actually makes use of legal reasoning rather than scientific reasoning. Why is scientific reasoning the inappropriate process? Because science, rightly understood, is the process of observation, hypothesis, and repeatable phenomena to prove the hypothesis. Even then, a right understanding of science always makes such conclusions tentative and speaks in terms of probability (Noam Chomsky states that, in fact, there's no such thing as scientific "proofs"). In any case, history is not amenable to the scientific method, if for no other reason, because there is no place for a repeatable experiment.
Do you want to prove that Julius Caesar wrote “The Gallic Wars?” You can’t perform an experiment on that because Caesar’s putative creation of a specific work is a one-time occurrence – it can’t be repeated.
When you are rightly doing science (as opposed to the quasi-religion of “scientism”), you are limited to repeatable phenomena. When you are doing history, you are generally restricted to one time occurrences.
Certainly, you can use science to bolster a historical hypothesis. And you can use history to add weight to a scientific hypothesis. But, and here’s the crux, you can’t use science alone to “prove” a historical event.
So what historical event are we talking about? The evolution or creation of homo sapiens.

Here’s what we are unable to do: we can not create humans as the theists claim that God did.

There’s the old joke: One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him. The scientist walked up to God and said, "God, we've decided that we no longer need you. We're to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don't you just go on and get lost." God listened very patiently and kindly to the man and after the scientist was done talking, God said, "Very well. How about this? Let's say we have a man making contest." To which the scientist replied, "OK, great!" But God added, "Now, we're going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam." The scientist said, "Sure; no problem." and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt. God just looked at him and said, "No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!" (http://members.tripod.com/~TechBabe/dirt.html)

Here’s the even more damaging thing: scientists can not even create life. We aren’t even talking about critters, or even cells. Even the "building blocks" of life itself is beyond the grasp of human technology, engineering, and science. Not only that, but there is no real good theory of how life arose in the first place. Darwin’s “spontaneous generation” of life turned out to be an embarrassing dead-end.
The “prebiotic soup” (simple amino acids created in a laboratory flask) theory of life emergence are even more embarassing. Those were the experiments based on the work of Oparin and Haldane and then Urey and Miller and turned out to be one of the most notorious frauds of science. They had no proof that earth’s early atmosphere contained ammonia, methane, and hydrogen (the basis of the “successful experiment”), but there is considerable research to show that the earth’s early atmosphere contained great amounts of water, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen – remarkably inert chemicals. When the infamous “flask of life” was created in the laboratory from ammonia, methane, hydrogen, and a sparkplug (for which there is no evidence those conditions ever existed) – those conditions were stacked in advance to get the results desired: a single type of a VERY simple amino acid.
Further, amino acids (note: there are many!) are just the first step in constructing a functioning cell. Getting all the parts of a simple cell together and working is, well, chemically and physically no easy thing and something scientists still can not do, nor do they have a good theory to explain how this happened.

Then, of course, you have the evolutionary problem of DNA.

Evolutionists invoke DNA as evidence for the validity of Darwinian evolution. That is a terrible mistake. Evolutionists should run far away from DNA - far and fast. Why? Historically, in the 'unlocking' of the understanding of DNA, it was not evolutionary biology that helped us get a grip on the function of DNA, it was the application of Information Theory. When it became clear that DNA wasn't just a chemical catalyst, but actual information that directed the progress of cellular function, then its function became clear. We understand DNA in that way to this day.

Here's the rub: DNA is information (I don't know anyone who seriously denies that). However, if that is true, then information has to imply an "Informer." While 'design' does not necessarily imply a "Designer," information clearly requires an intelligence.
Where did the intelligence come from?
I'm a theist so, for me, the answer is obvious. Your mileage may vary.

This discussion is good stuff: how do we make sense of the world we find ourselves in? It is these observations, questions like these, and the hypothesis they create, which is the core of the scientific method. By the way, these specific intellectual issues are part of the "Intelligent Design" discussion.

But Intelligent Design has, irrationally, become politicized. A legitimate inquiry of science and philosophic thought has suddenly been spun as "code words for religion." Because one of the implications of Intelligent Design might be the concept of personal creator, suddenly we are told that we must stop such inquiry (become scientific Amish) because we tread "dangerously" close to the ground of religion. First, why is thoughtful inquiry "dangerous?" Second, why must we all be forced to commit intellectual suicide by not allowing these matters to be discussed, explored, maybe even rejected (on their merits!)? Third, why have we allowed politics to spin these matters into ones of "dangerous religion?"

What do you think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, I thought your only forte was Bibliology and Ecclesiology. Looks like you are truly expanding my good friend. Very intesting your tact to explain the truth without having to go into the detailed realm of the debate. For if people read more deeply into the many different sub-topis of this debate, they would conclude very easily to what is truth, but most only hear or study one side of the topics they have heard or know best.