Dec 16, 2006

Off Topic (but always interesting): "Evolution Vs. Creationism"

As I was roaming around Edward Griffin's (the well known reporter/writer of the FED story 'The Creature from Jekyll Island') libertarian web site "Freedom Force International", I came across this rather elegant and concise argument that deals a numbing blow to Darwinsts everywhere...

"...There are only two possibilities regarding the origin of the universe. It either is with design or without design. There can be no middle ground – and that is the concept I was attempting to describe when I used the word creation to imply “with design.” Unfortunately, that word is so closely bound in many people’s minds with the concept of religion and the book of Genesis that it blocks consideration of any other meaning. So let us use the phrase “with design,” for that more closely describes my personal view.

Most adults have personal convictions regarding the origin and purpose of life, and I have neither the desire nor the ability to challenge any of them. But, since I find myself having to explain my previously published comments about evolution, I am obligated to give at least some of the reasons behind my own convictions. If we were to remove the cover from a computer, we would gaze upon a maze of wires and intricate electronic components neatly arranged and connected to each other in such a way as to give function to a complex mechanism. The supposition that such a combination of components and their sub-components accidentally came into existence and then accidentally combined together as a result of an explosion is so absurd that no one in their right mind would attempt to defend it. Even Mr. Sagan’s explanation of “eons and eons of time” (which translates into billions and billions of explosions) fails to satisfy my logic. It certainly fails to meet the rigid test of scientific method that, by definition, requires controlled and repeatable experiments.

If it is illogical to assume that a simple computer was created “without design,” then it is far more illogical to believe that the vast universe and infinitely complex life forms all came into being and then arranged themselves through a long series of accidents. Something has to exist before it can undergo an accident, and the “without cause” theory can never accommodate that fact.

It is not my purpose here to elaborate on the complexity of life and the forces of nature that sustain it. Surely, everyone has pondered the awesome perfection and balance and beauty of our existence. But, it is an interesting mental exercise to consider how many mechanisms must be in place and perfectly integrated with each other before even the simplest life function can work. Take a bird, for example. We have all read in evolutionary text books how these creatures gradually evolved from lizards who, over millions and millions of years, developed feathers from their previous reptilian scales – and the accompanying artist sketches made it seem so logical, as though we were actually viewing photographic evidence.

But, wait a minute. What else is required for a reptile to become a bird? Here is a very partial list: Feathers; feathers of the proper length; feathers in the right location; a wing structure to place the feathers in the proper position for flight; muscles that connect to the wing structure; tendons that connect to the muscles; a blood supply and nerve network for the muscles; feet with toe structures to grasp branches or capture prey; bone structures, muscles, nerves, and tendons for the feet and toes; an instinct to know how to fly; eyes that are capable of seeing far ahead; to name just a few.

The point is this: The theory of evolution holds that these sub-systems gradually developed over millions of years, but such an assumption is highly illogical. The creature called bird cannot exist unless all of these sub-systems are in place and fully functional. If even one component is missing, the total mechanism fails. Therefore, any reptile that developed some or even most of these systems would have no survival advantage over reptiles that did not. In fact, a reptile with feathers that could not fly would have negative survival value and would have been pushed out of the gene pool. This is supported by the fossil record. If birds (or any other creatures) gradually evolved out of more primitive life forms, there would be fossil remains of their intermediary stages of development. We would find half-insects, half-fish, half-reptiles, half-birds, and half-mammals. Half-species would abound. However, the only place we find such specimens is in artist sketches.

For a complex life form to survive and procreate, all of its sub-systems must have come into successful operation at the same time; and that, too, is supported by the evidence. As geologists dig deeper and deeper into the earth, they pass through sediments from previous ages. At each layer, they find fossils for complete life forms. The deeper they go, the more primitive the forms are until they finally come to the point where there is no evidence of life at all. However, when fossils of new forms are discovered at higher levels of sediment, they always are complete – never in a partial stage of development. That means they arrived on this planet as a completely developed and successfully functioning species. The theory of evolution cannot explain that phenomenon. In an attempt to do so, modern Darwinists have added a new theory of so-called evolutionary bursts, which postulates that evolution is still at work, but it is not gradual as thought at first. The new theory claims that intensive episodes of sun spots or other sources of cosmic radiation may have stimulated protein molecules or DNA chains in existing life forms to undergo bursts of mutations that, somehow, combined into the successful development of subsystems and whole new species.

Mutations are notorious for being destructive. They almost always cause freakish changes that have negative survival value. Only one in a million is considered to have any positive value. That means the chances for a mutation to have survival value is a million-to-one against it. That works out all right if we are looking at a single change that would have adaptive value, such as an increase of skin pigment in a species living in areas with bright sunlight, but it is the reverse when it come to developing an entire species with its own unique characteristics and multiple sub-systems.

To develop a unique species would require an incredible number of favorable mutations occurring at the same time. I have never seen a number assigned to this; but my guess, considering the complexity of higher species and their sub-systems, is that it would be at least one billion. However, for the sake of illustration, let us assume a lower number of only one million. The odds against a single favorable mutation are a thousand-to-one. The odds against two simultaneous favorable mutations would be one thousand times one thousand, or one-million-to-one. The odds against three simultaneous favorable mutations would be one thousand times one thousand times one thousand, or one billion-to-one – and so forth. The odds against one million simultaneous favorable mutations would be so great that there is no mathematical term to express it. It has been said that, if we type the number on a typewriter, to hold all the zeros on a single line would require a piece of paper wide enough to reach around the world. It makes no difference if we theorize a gradual process or a burst of cosmic radiation, this is the assumption of evolution.

Before leaving the cosmic-burst theory, and while we are typing all those zeros, we must remember that destructive mutations would also be occurring at a thousand times higher rate than beneficial mutations. That means, if there really had been a burst of mutations caused by cosmic radiation, every species on the planet would have been wiped out, and we wouldn’t even be here to ponder over it.

One final consideration: Even if we think the theory of evolution makes sense – either the gradual or burst variation – that still does not explain why all those protein molecules came into existence in the first place or why the source of cosmic energy even exists. The theory of evolution does not have an answer to such questions. It begins with the assumption that something already exists without attempting to explain its origin.

These are some of the reasons I personally have concluded that the universe and life exist “with design” rather than “without design.” To me it is just a matter of logic.

That leads back to the issue of religion. “With design” opens the question: “What design?” and that is where disagreement enters. Mankind is deeply divided over the answer to this question, because it touches on our belief in what our purpose is in life and what may be in store for us in the hereafter. That is no small matter, and it is the reason emotions run so high on a topic that, otherwise, would be merely an interesting scientific puzzle. While my logic has led me to accept a design, it can lead no further. Beyond that, there is no roadmap except personal faith, and I am not qualified to be anyone’s guide on such a journey. All I can say is that accepting a design for existence is not the same as professing a particular theology. It is wrong to say that, since life is no accident, therefore we must embrace the finite explanations and doctrines of such-and-such a religion. The complexity and majesty of our existence is so great that it is far beyond the mental grasp of mortal man, and I believe that any effort to explain it with human vocabulary is doomed to failure."


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