did man come from?
1) the war of philosophies
have a prior commitment to materialism...to create an apparatus of investigation
and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how
counterintuitive...that Materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a
Divine Foot in the door." 66
all, if intelligent design is at least possible, how rational or 'scientific'
is it to adopt a methodology that is blind to all possible evidence for
it? " 67
The warring philosophies of origin
A) Did mankind accidentally
evolve from lifeless matter, or...
B) Were we, and all
of life, the intended product of some form of intelligent action?
It will take the next
ten chapters to answer this question. The question of whether life arose
by chance or design is a familiar controversy. It's equally
a philosophical war between materialists and those who hold life in very
special regard. It's a war over whether or not life may have an absolute
purpose. It's also a war over whether or not we are the product of a destiny-shaping
intelligence greater than ourselves.
While science will be
our main area of study, the philosophical implications of whether or
not life was designed (and thus inferred to have an objective purpose)
are overwhelming. The implications are so great they can totally
eclipse objective thinking. Ask anyone, for example, if there's an objective
goal in life that adherence to, or deviation from, constitutes absolute
right and wrong, and I'll bet they won't ask for evidence before they answer.
Nancy Pearcy, quoting
and writing about intelligent design proponent Phillip Johnson, observes
against Darwinism on university campuses, he has found "that any
discussion with modernists about the weaknesses of the theory of evolution
quickly turns into a discussion of politics, particularly sexual politics."
Why? Because modernists "typically fear that any discrediting of
naturalistic evolution will end in women being sent to the kitchen, gays
to the closet, and abortionists to jail." 68
While the modernists
in question would be wrong to jump to their conclusions, they would be right
in concluding there to be a link between the material order and the
Our views on origins
and purpose shape our moral definitions. How we define right and wrong affects
how we live, how we vote, and how we treat others. Precisely because others
are affected, often greatly affected, this war over origins is being waged
Is the war over origins about God?
Yes and no. Yes in the
sense that a Christian would interpret a spiritual struggle to be taking
place. And yes in the sense that certain evolutionists like Aldous and Julian
Huxley support evolution primarily as an escape from belief in God and biblical
sexuality. But no in the sense that the scientific investigation
into where life came from is not necessarily a "God vs. no-God"
debate. These are three basic positions to consider:
2. Intelligent design
3. Creation science
(we'll study several forms) seeks to explain how life arose apart from any
divine intervention. For the last 150 years, evolution has been the traditional
secular explanation for the origin of life. The word secular means
having to do with a great period of time, which is exactly what evolution
says man is a product of - time and chance.
While evolution would not per se rule out that God does or does not
exist, secularism and materialism, like atheism, definitely exclude God.
design theory (IDT) implicates an intelligence was the designer
of life, but stops short of identifying that intelligence (alien or divine);
proceeding only as far as tangible evidence allows. IDT has arisen out of
the last several decades of scientific research during which time certain
surprises have caught the eye of both anti-darwinists and creationists.
IDT's strict dedication
to empirical evidence has given it a wide base of support. It's absence
of concluding a deity to be life's designer is accommodating to non-theists,
while its general thesis and adherence to testable data is quite accommodating
science is the only one of the three to positively include God in
the origin and purpose of life. Creation science, as is now mostly taught,
accepts IDT but additionally uses the Bible to reason that God, the God
of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is that intelligent designer.
The war of evolutionists
(on one side) versus creationists and intelligent design theorists (together
on the other) is being fought on what I interpret as two major fronts. The
first is the legal front. In maintaining a Darwinist monopoly over
secular schools, evolutionists press the biblical, hence religious, nature
of creation science, and have been winning.
nonreligious intelligent design theory, however, evolutionists have been
attempting to portray it, too, as religious. Such was the case in the state
of Kansas recently. In the Kansas City Star newspaper, quotes from
University of Kansas professors who favored Darwinism were paired against
quotes from mall shoppers and assorted non-professionals whose comments
crudely espoused a sort of creationism - a subject not even part of the
debate. Local television coverage similarly balanced prepared academic opinions
against those of citizens stopped at random as they exited their Sunday
Absolutely no quotes
were included from any of the knighted astronomers or Nobel-winning geneticists
and biologists whose contributions have helped shape IDT. Even a local research
biologist I have met, William S. Harris, who is also a doctor, director
at a local hospital, and has published over 70 scientific papers, was blandly
identified in one article as only an 'anti-Darwin proponent'. Locally,
this strategy has pretty much netted the results such biased coverage ensures.
But IDT has won in several other states, and battles are pending in even
The second front of
this war of philosophies is the public front. The uneven media treatments
above are one type of example. Another is illustrated in the pair of quotes
creationism law, which requires creationism be taught wherever the theory
of evolution is explained, is unconstitutional, a U.S. Court of Appeals
Press, July 9, 1985
has not entered the curriculum for a reason so simple and so basic that
we often forget to mention it: because it is false..."
The legal victories
won quietly in court on religious grounds are later touted in public
as victories won on scientific grounds. If evolution truly had the
scientific grounds to defeat other worldviews, those would be used in court
to win decisively - but they aren't. Harvard professors like Gould don't
"forget" the scientific merits of evolution. The merits aren't
used because they don't exist. Macro-evolution is unproven, unprovable,
and all the empirical evidence points to some form of intelligent intervention.
Open and shut case then? No, because again, this is a war between philosophies
and everyone is fighting for their side.
How do we know who is right?
which view should we favor? How do we decide if the philosophies behind
the scientific conclusions overwhelm science itself?
We will start by looking
at the history of evolutionary theory and the effects of its philosophy
in the next section. But in light of the fact that nineteenth-century Darwinism
is what most of us were first taught, we should pause to test our own objectivity
with a question that Philip Johnson poses:
What should we
do if empirical evidence and materialist philosophy are going in different
directions? Suppose, for example, that the evidence suggests that intelligent
causes were involved in biological creation. Should we follow the evidence
or the philosophy? 69
To be objective and
arrive at the answer which most closely resembles reality, one must stick
with following the evidence. This has become the case in states which now
allow IDT in the classroom as an alternative to the nineteenth-century concept
of origins. Following the evidence poses no threat to anyone open-minded
enough to seek truth no matter where the evidence leads. Again, Phillip
Johnson (paraphrasing William Dembski in the last paragraph):
We who are willing
to consider the evidence for ID...think of ourselves as the true empiricists
and hence the true practitioners of scientific thinking...If design is
a legitimate subject for scientific investigation in the case of computers,
communications from space aliens [SETI], and peculiar markings on cave
walls, why should it be excluded from consideration when dealing with
the biological cell or the conscious mind? 70
...It is that intelligent
causes can do things that unintelligent causes cannot do, and scientific
investigation can tell the difference. 71
PART 2) The history of evolution