Recently had an interview with a student doing research on evolution versus “creation.” Thought I would post the interaction here.
Interviewer: I am supposed to use physical proof of creation instead of bible verses to prove my point. So if there was any, what was the proof that convinced you that God created the world and that it wasn’t evolution?
Couple of thoughts, when we enter the conversation of the beginning of the universe – it is no longer just science. The question of origins ultimately lands in the philosophical arena. Furthermore, no matter what theory we hold to, we all have the same “physical evidence.” The physical evidence doesn’t prove one side or the other. It is there to be interpreted.
And we all come to the evidence with different lenses and biases. There really isn’t any escape to this. Unfortunately in our culture, the sense of wonder that normally accompanied this conversation has been replaced with political rhetoric and debate that seems to create more enemies than really advance the conversation.
I came to the conclusion of Intelligent Design BEFORE I really started following Christ. It was a long journey to this position from evolution but there were three huge pivot points for me. I’ll try to hit the highlights without going to deep.
#1 – Law of Biogenesis
It’s the first law of science we are taught -in like the 3rd or 4th grade I believe – life begets life. Nothing comes from nothing. Must have life to get life. Louis Pasteur’s experiment of where did the maggots come from on rotted meat? Remember this? Superstition had it that the demons put the maggots on the meat. Reality was that flies laid their eggs on the meat and the eggs produced maggots. So the idea that life sprang out of a soup of nothingness or “just happened” is illogical. Must have life to get life.
#2 – Irreducibility of a Complex Organism
This took a long time for me to understand – due to my slowness – but here’s a basic understanding. Macro-evolution (species to species) teaches us that only the strong traits survive, strong species survive. If a trait helps a species survive better, it is passed on. If a trait doesn’t, it eventually is replaced or gone from the gene pool. The classic example is the short-necked giraffe versus the long neck giraffe. Basically – if a trait doesn’t help the species survive, it is replaced or lost.
However, if macro-evolution is true there MUST be evidence/proof/possibility for an organism to grow more and more complex components of their system. An example is an eye. An eye is a huge evolution advantage but — how did the first eye in any organism “evolve?”
IF you take away any component of an eye, it is no longer an eye. It won’t work. And if it won’t work – it is useless in a species. And if it is useless and won’t help the species survive – it will eventually be lost or replaced or the species dies out. Hence, there is no logical/evolutional reason that the eye should have ever come into existence.
So there is this conflict in evolution theory. It works one direction — from the complex de-volving to the simple but can’t from the simple to the complex. This is the basis for the 2nd law of thermo-dynamics. (I’ll let you look that one up on your own!! ha ha ha)
I could give more examples but hopefully this helps in the short term.
#3 – The ongoing research of DNA
DNA are the building blocks of life. This “code” is where all life springs from. So if any theory of origins is going to work, it must work on the molecular level.
And evolution doesn’t. We now know that all of the “adaptations” that a certain species has was there the WHOLE time in their genetic code. It was only when the conditions changed that those other “recessive” genes were then given the opportunity to be dominant. The species themselves didn’t evolve at all since the CODE was already inside the animal to start with.
This has HUGE implications. The code is there from the moment of conception. All the DNA code a person needs is there at the very beginning. They code didn’t evolve — it was there. And all codes have a codebreaker, an author, a designer. Darwin knew nothing of this code. I do wonder what he would have written now.
Michael Behe — Molecular Prof at Boston College — was huge shifting point for me. Try to read some of his books. Very helpful.
Interviewer: Have you heard of any legitimate proof that the theory of evolution could be real?
Yes. In fact, a lot of evidence points to the validity of micro-evolution. That is – inside a genus or species, an animal or organism changes and adapts to their culture. Certain traits and aspects become more dominant or less dominant as it helps them to survive. Long versus short neck giraffes, moths and so on. For this there is much evidence.
My particular problem/hang-up came with the concept of MACRO-evolution. A reptile becoming a bird, an ape becoming human. For this to happen on the scale required for evolution to work, we should have thousands of transition fossils….which we don’t have. Plus MACRO doesn’t overcome the DNA issues or the irreducibility of a complex organism.
Interviewer:What do you think leads people to believe that it couldn’t be God that created the world?
I completely understand the reluctance in making the leap from “Intelligent Design” or evolution to God as Creator. Just think about the implications for a minute. God in the picture changes everything – meaning of life, morality, purpose, values. What about the question of evil and suffering?
Any system using God as the Creator has a whole host of other issues to sort out on top the question of origins. Adding God in the mix makes it much more complicated, not easier.
And the topic of God is not one that the scientific realm can really discuss with authority anyway. The theologians and philosophers are at home in that discussion.