Evolution: Theory, Science of Philosophy
The term evolution conjures up different images to different people. For some it is a theory of origins, fraught with difficulties. For others it is science and as unquestionable as hydrogen and oxygen making water.
Should you hold to the latter school of thought, you may also hold to a principal assumption of evolution; that the processes of evolution are random and accidental. This is taken one step further by evolutionary radicals as to propose that evolution disproves the existence of God. And so the philosophy of evolution is born. More will be said of these different points of view in future articles.
If evolution is simply a theory, the implication is that it is possible for it to be flawed. A growing number of non-Christian scientists believe that if it is so flawed, there is nothing for it but to throw it out completely. Since the time of Darwin (the founder of the theory), anomalous findings have resulted in the adaptation of the theory itself. This is what one might expect of a man-made theory.
Creationism, on the other hand, also proposes various models or theories as to what the earth may have been like over the ages. It is true that they have based their ideas upon some scriptural texts. How literally these scriptures have been taken has varied. In all cases however, these scriptures have been expanded upon in order to come up with a theory. Creation models are therefore also subject to errors and require refinement.
It has to be said that evolutionary zeal has lead to extensive progress in what we know about our earth and its past. However, all discoveries have to fit the theory; or the theory needs adjusting. It is interesting that both theories use the same data but interpret it completely differently.
What is important here, is that there are anomalies in both theories. But our modern world does not give nearly as much credibility to any theory of creation. This is probably due to the fact that the flaws of evolution are little known. There are few experts on the theory as a whole. Most scientists are highly specialised and take the work of other specialities for granted. The average person would never think to question the scientific establishment and seldom take the trouble to question whether we are indeed a product of random circumstance. Why should this be?
Christians believe that left to ourselves, man does not want to be accountable to God. It is more comfortable to accept a philosophy of God’s non-existence. Scripture puts it like this:
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.
Having discussed evolution in terms of it being flawed theory, we now need to address the other point of view.
Do you accept evolution as science? And if as science, do you consider evolution to be proven? True science is based upon what is repeatedly observed through experimentation. This is known as empirical data. All theories regarding the origins of life are based on what we observe of our world today. What we make of this information is highly speculative as we are not at liberty to observe the past. Neither can we re-enact the past to allow for repeatable observations. By definition then, evolution simply can not be considered science.
If you are not convinced, and persist in embracing all of what is currently accepted as ‘evolution’, you may hold to the idea that our world is a product of chance. The most vocal protagonists of evolution are those who uphold this view. They claim there is no God. This is clearly moving beyond objective science, and could be defined as the philosophy of evolution.
It is at this point that the debate is no longer academic. It cuts to the core of human experience. It has all sorts of ramifications upon our society. All those who sway more towards the acceptance of evolution as science, may believe that God’s non-existence is proven. This thinking is popular in the ‘developed’ world. It will become increasingly more prevalent in the ‘developing’ world. Many hold up the banner of evolution as their stumbling block for belief in God. After all, could all those scientists be wrong?
Consider these few points:
- Scientists have not always been right in their theorising. For many years, for example, people believed the earth to be flat.
- The flaws of evolution are little known - even to highly specialised scientists.
- The very laws and processes of nature are immutable (not evolving) and accepted as a given in our understanding of the universe. Evolutionists themselves use these laws in their craft. Where did they come from? What controls them? It is interesting that so many physicists are theists.
- Christianity teaches that there is no excuse for disbelief in God as nature itself provides us with an intuition of God’s existence (see Romans 1:20). Michael Denton, a non-Christian medical doctor and molecular scientist, has this to say in his book ‘Evolution: A theory in crisis’, "The intuitive feeling that pure chance could never have achieved the degree of complexity and ingenuity so ubiquitous in nature has been a source of scepticism ever since the publication of the Origin of the Species (Darwin’s original work on evolution)…"
Evolution is not science. As a theory, it is flawed. Any world-view taken from a pre-supposition of evolution therefore needs to be called into question. We need to be less ignorant of the claims and shortcomings of evolution. How important is truth? Examine your motives.