Controversy! Who doesn’t love a good controversy?
One of our best modern controversies is Evolution vs. Intelligent Design. Now, if you were raised in public school like me, the answer should be immediately clear to anyone with half a brain: evolution.
However, this answer is not as obvious as you might think.
For starters, most people don’t know that evolution is not the same as natural selection. Natural selection is what people mean when they say “survival of the fittest.” To my knowledge, no one denies natural selection. Evolution, on the other hand, is the theory that all life originated from a single organism which transformed into all the lifeforms we see today through replication, mutation, chance, and natural selection.
Most people don’t know that Intelligent Design is not the same as Creationism.
Creationism starts with a particular interpretation of the Bible, and tries to reconcile science with that interpretation. Intelligent Design starts with scientific experiments, and concludes that a conscious designer had a hand in forming life rather than blind processes. As Douglas Axe said, “The jump from ‘intelligent designer’ to ‘God’ requires something beyond the essential principles of science.” As far as science can tell, the designer could very well be aliens from another dimension! If one wished to examine some of the scientific discoveries that cast doubt on the theory of evolution, they’re not terribly hard to find. Best one I’ve found is the Top Ten Problems with Evolution, which provides a handy synopsis of a wide swathe of the literature. Douglas Axe also wrote an entire book on the subject which I will review here shortly.
Much as Evolutionists like to argue how they stand on the side of “science” and “reason,” they also pretend these contrary findings don’t exist. Why? Because evolution is not just about science. It’s about one’s entire world view. Just as atheists like to argue that proponents of Intelligent Design are merely projecting their own desires onto their findings, the exact same can be said of Evolutionists. In other words, there’s a lot more on the line here than just a simple revision of a scientific formula.
For scientific materialists at the end of the nineteenth century, the whole history of the universe and life could be told as a seamless‚ or nearly seamless, unfolding of the potentiality of matter and energy. No longer could it be held that a pre-existent mind shaped matter. Rather, modern science showed that matter shaped and created the capacities of mind (and not the reverse). God did not create “the heavens and the earth.” The heavens and the earth (i.e., matter) created (via evolution) the minds that created the concept of God.
The reason evolution is defended so staunchly is not because of its solidity or predictive power, but because it is one of the cruxes of materialism. It is the only way atheists can account for one of the most important aspects of life — how we got here — without referring to God for an answer.
Which side are you on?