We continue the series in which we consider what happens to people when their god is Science. The previous installment included a quick introduction to the issue and my first response to one of four questions previously posed to me by a former Adventist pastor now turned evolutionist. This post will contain Q&A’s #2 and #3 for your consideration. While there is much more I could have said in my original answers, I think the average reader will understand the issues as presented and explained. If there are questions or concerns, or more information is desired, I invite you to submit a comment.
Question 2.) The few creationist/ID scientists that do exist, when publishing in scientific journals, never go beyond showing epistemological gaps in evolution, that the other acknowledge as problems to solve by further research. How come in most cases such scientists are also outspoken Christians? Do not Cr/ID scientists thus inherently imply that science should stop looking for natural explanations and accept biblical constrains like in the dark ages? (Galileo comes to mind).
With regard to gaps in evolution: they are many and fatal. The first of which is that natural selection and random mutations have consistently failed to produce ANY viable new, improved or transitional species in a lab setting anywhere in the world, nor is supported by fossil records which contain no species caught in the act of transition. By contrast, directed (induced) mutation experiments with Drosophila melanogaster and others have been conducted for over 100 years now. These have produced extra sets of eyes, wings or other organs. Alas, these extra organs appear at great cost to both energy needs and survivability. Further, they are either useless, detract from the overall fitness of the organism or nearly decimate subsequent generations in which the mutation accumulates. No fruit fly mutation experiment to date has given rise to a new and improved fly species that survives and thrives in the wild. I also refer you to Lenski’s E. coli experiments and the resulting loss of function mutations they demonstrated. Here again, no new or improved species appeared as a result of mutations, which were curiously shown to occur not randomly but in response to environmental pressures, forcing adaptation.
Instead mutations are, by far, detrimental to living organisms. Mutations cannot improve a perfectly working protein; they only weaken it. I could say much more about the illogical notion of mutations driving evolution into higher and more complex species. Even worse, no evolutionary mechanism has been demonstrated that can assemble DNA of the correct chirality required for life that produces functional proteins based on physical chemistry (ie, the basic elements). (All DNA experiments conducted to date using the assumed conditions of the early Earth have resulted in 50/50 racemic mixtures of left- and right-handed molecules, yet Life utilizes only the right-hand ones. Even more curiously, the amino acids produced from DNA result in left-handed molecules. Why these two arbitrary constraints if these molecules arose spontaneously by chance?)
Computational genomics, when viewed from the proper perspective, are overly simplified computer games that cannot handle the processing requirements to produce any potential genetic sequence beyond a few genes, nor can they account for the vast unknown variables found in nature. The results are totally insufficient to draw any meaningful conclusions, being unable to calculate the immense probabilities required for the formation of even the smallest organism (Mycoplasma genitalium) which contains over 500 genes. Worse still, results from computational genomics studies are cutting down evolution’s “Tree of Life,” demonstrating the reality that it’s more of a tangled “Thicket of Life” with no clear or discernible ancestry relationships (see here for starters). The ideologues merely see them where it suits their purposes. Therefore, to use computational genomics as evidence for evolution in the real world is both sad and laughable. Simply put, evolution through mutation is nonexistent, but it doesn’t seem to deter evolutionists.
With regard to Creationists implying that we should stop looking for natural explanations and accept Biblical constraints: by no means is this my view. In light of progress recently made just in the field of genetics alone, which demonstrates how complex even the most apparently simple organism is, there is so much more to learn. The natural world should be (and is) a source of constant wonder, study and discovery. By discarding the shackles of interpreting everything through the lens of Darwinian evolution, we can form truly pertinent hypotheses and design worthwhile experiments. We have truly not even scratched the surface of the vast knowledge available to us: 75% of the world’s oceans remain unexplored; less than 1% of all bacteria estimated to exist have been discovered; medical breakthroughs with regards to cancer, HIV, superinfections and the like occur regularly and are based on discoveries in nature, such as the origin of aspirin and bacteriophage therapy. The problem is not that Man continues to study the natural world; the problem is that science establishment discourages any other opinion and twists much of the data to support evolution as the only explanation possible. This is evidenced, for example, by their stance towards anthropogenic climate change dissenters and suppression of all other theories of Origins in national education systems.
(With regards to Galileo, let me add this short excerpt from True Reason by Tom Gilson here:
Galileo’s problem was not simply that he challenged the authority of the Church. The issue was far more complex. Galileo also upset secular professors whose careers were dedicated to the older cosmology. Prior to the 16th century, most educated people (regardless of religious persuasion) accepted the primary cosmological model of the ancient Greeks, who believed Earth sat stationary while the sun revolved around it. When Galileo offered scientific evidence against this model, he “rattled the cages” of both the Church and academia.
Galileo made three costly mistakes in his diplomacy (or lack thereof) that led to his reproof. First, he broke his promise not to teach that Copernicanism was true. Given that the evidence for heliocentrism was inconclusive at the time, Galileo agreed not to teach its truth. But he went back on his word with the release of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.
Second, Galileo openly mocked the pope in this same book through a fictitious dialogue between two people— himself and the pope. This was especially odd since Pope Urban VIII was both a friend and supporter. Galileo named the pope Simplicio, which means “simpleton” or “buffoon.” Galileo’s character was articulate and elegant as he responded to the foolish and simplistic remarks of Simplicio. Needless to say, the pope was not amused.
Galileo was neither executed nor persecuted by the Church for his diplomatic blunders. After his trial before the Inquisition, he was placed under the care of the archbishop of Siena, who housed him in his beautiful palace for five months. Galileo was then released to his home in Florence where he received a Church pension for the rest of his life. He was able to continue his scientific research in areas unrelated to heliocentrism.
Question 3.) All the ID/Creationist think tanks, websites, textbooks, journals, etc. are openly or secretly (e.g. the subpoena at the trial in Dover) on a mission to defend a biblical/fundamentalist worldview, and resort to conspiracy theories about a secret agenda of science or to political strawmen like: the menace of a new Holocaust, eugenics, abortion, communist style atheism, etc. In view of all these, how would you characterize their claim of defending freedom of thought, “teaching the controversy” and “thinking out of the box”?
I beg to differ: the reality of the Holocaust, eugenics, and other heinous deeds is no conspiracy theory or Straw Man argument. Instead, it should be a reminder of what Man is capable of when the ends justify the means, when he has the political power and resources of the State to treat others as subhuman, subjecting them to cruel experiments or to take lives because they are of inferior race or “just a clump of cells.” We are now allowed to create chimeras – amalgamations of animal cells and human cells – overturning previous ethical and moral boundaries of science. If you seriously doubt these events could possibly happen (because you reason we have “evolved” since), or doubt that science is political, you give Man too much credit and clearly don’t reside in reality with respect to the checkered history of science or the 20th century.
History clearly and graphically records these dark chapters, when the State proposed itself as god, and by the rhetoric of some scientists today who even go so far as to advocate prison sentences for anthropogenic climate change dissenters, I think anything is possible. Ironically, freedom of thought, discourse, and thinking outside the box is precisely what is not allowed by the establishment and strongly discouraged because it rocks Darwin’s boat of Evolution, jeopardizes scientists’ salaries, career/tenure, research grants at taxpayers’ expense, prestige in academia, potentially lucrative TV roles and so on. This is evidenced in such cases as the Dover trial you mentioned. Why does the government take it upon itself to make it unlawful to teach Creationism, or Intelligent Design, or other Origins theories in public schools when there is no empirical, experimental evidence that evolution works? This seems to be in violation of the 1st Amendment and is a disservice to students. They should be allowed to hear all sides of the debate and be able to discern what claims are true or false, based on the evidence. After all, education, beliefs, and worldviews are personal decisions to be undertaken by the student and family, not the state.
The tools of science are being increasingly misused to pursue social and political agendas that have no realm or basis in true science. For reference, I kindly refer you to the “March for Science” (see here) led by none other than TV personality-turned-political activist Bill Nye, who is no “Science Guy,” and mainly funded by democrat activists. Their site claims:
“Scientists and people who care about science are an intersectional group, embodying a diverse range of races, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, religions, ages, socioeconomic and immigration statuses.”
The simple fact that science clearly demonstrates sex/gender is based on chromosomes (not feelings) and that sexual reproduction and procreation of species involves male and female (disqualifying homosexuality) eludes these poor souls. It should highlight how far off course these “scientists and people who care about science” truly are. If ever there was a group of folks more committed to ideologies than to the facts, true science, or individual freedoms for that matter, it is these. It’s even more unfortunate that they attempt to speak for all scientists. Therefore it is not Creationists who are hijacking science; it is mainstream science and politics that accomplish this. Your disdain is certainly noted but demonstrably misplaced.