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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Evolution & Intelligent Design & Devolution

The search for truth includes an admission that we lack complete knowledge.

Here is a cut and paste from the Junior Partner Ministries web site about the contradictions that arise from an investigation of evolution.

A mere is a reflective puddle.

Evolution, a word that brings emotions and training to the fore. All people very strongly interpret evidence as supportive of what they believe, or want to believe. Just look at politics. All people also strongly downplay or ignore evidence contrary to their beliefs. An open mind is an elusive delight.

There are three basic camps on the theory of evolution: yes, managed, and none. Christians tend to fall into the last two camps and may refer to managed evolution as intelligent design. There are scientists in all three camps.

Scientists supporting each theory seek evidence to support their hypotheses. Many claim to have sufficient empirical evidence to discredit other's theories. In the first two camps they predominately debate on the mechanism of evolution, simply because a mechanism is not present to be observed and measured.

History unfortunately can not be substantiated with a double blind experiment, and the evidence has huge gaps open to our fallible, subjective reasoning. Even my seeing huge gaps, rather than evidence scattered between the gaps , is probably a result of wanting to support what I believe. A firm belief in any evolutionary or creation position seems to require faith.

Regarding the science of evolution, I tend to agree with R. Buckminster Fuller, the brilliant multidisciplinary scientist, inventor, and creative thinker. He wrote in his 1981 book Critical Path: "For this and other persuasive reasons my speculative prehistory has assumed (since 1927) Darwin's evolution of life from the simple to the complex, accomplished through progressive agglomeration of single-cell amoebas, to be in reverse of the facts." Fuller charted a rigorous scientific route to his conclusions. We will instead sail a merry jaunt on the small pond of common sense.

Assume this world started as pangaea possessing a breed of super-dog. That single land mass split and became the bits and pieces we are so fond of today. Ask yourself, would in-breeding on one small island create a better super-dog perfect for that island? Or would the population's quality decline, mellowing into a distinguishably inferior sub-mutt struggling to survive? Subjectively consider in-bred humans, from hillbillies to royal families. Do you consider them an improvement on the general human gene pool? Why faithfully accept a dog's improvement because of a limited gene pool?

There will be more long hair white dogs surviving on an island covered with snow, more short hair black dogs on a tropical island covered with black sand. These are subsets of the original. The type of sub-mutt will vary by environment, but it will be less than the original super-dog, not greater; and it will still be a dog.

Specialized breeds trade their robust nature to enhance specific attributes. It takes constant control to create and maintain a specialized breed. If abandoned, a super-dog and our island dogs will not change their wild brethren to be like themselves. Over time, unfettered breeds blend back into the declining estate of muttdom. Natural selection involves continual loss and a consequently smaller gene pool. Natural selection gave us mutts.

Apparently some have found the thought of a creator repugnant. That made it psychologically expedient to abandon reason and think backwards. We all very strongly interpret evidence as supportive of what we want to believe. I have found the existence of a creator, and my personal relationship with him, to be a great joy. I'm sure that colors what follows.

We start our reasoning with Socrates, who said a sculpture inferred a sculptor. From this, we recognize systems are not self-ordering. Continuing, we find that current scientific understanding pertaining to chemical, biological, and thermodynamic entropy implies a congruent precedent in the Earthen biosphere.

Now, we simply perceive species around us digressing and disappearing. At the same time we are unable to observe any substantial, in-process, species conversion or progression. This causes us to consider evidence in the historical and archeological records supporting biological degeneration and species extinction as ongoing phenomena. Based on these and other considerations, we must now add a fourth general category to yes, managed or no evolution.

This hypothesis is equally unproven, and perhaps equally improbable. I choose to believe evidence showing biological diversity has declined since creation. I therefore, for now, believe in the theory of devolution. You may choose, for now, to believe the same. Or not. Someday we will know as we are known, for now we have our prejudice, our bias, and our faith.

Yes, committing to any theory requires faith.

They remain mere theories because they lack proof.