Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Evolution Debate

When the topic of Evolution comes up, there are two extreme opinions. One side says that no evolution could have happened because everything was created by God in 6 days. So Evolution is completely impossible. The other side regards Evolution as established truth. For people in this second category, Evolution has conclusively proved the Bible wrong. It seems that one has to choose between the two views. I beg to differ.

Evolution and the existence of God

There is a major confusion about the connection between Evolution and the existence of God. I say that Evolution need not exclude the possibility of God's existence. Rather, it is completely compatible with the existence of God, the Creator. It is not Evolutionists, rather materialists that take the extreme view that Evolution has proved the Theistic claim false.

There is an interesting point that is worthy of note about the compatibility between the so called book religions or Western religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and Evolution. In both, there is a progression from simple forms to more complex creatures, not the other way around. Only one stream of evolution, a materialistic evolution that happens ultimately by chance is incompatible with belief in a Creator. But evolution is not limited to that interpretation.

Insufficient data

The survival of the fittest presumes the arrival of the fit. Natural selection gives a reasonable explanation about why animals with particular characteristics like moths of a given colour, give way to those having a different colour over a period of time. This much can and has if I'm not mistaken, been measured and observed. But for one species to lead to another is quite another matter - it is a giant leap to take, not backed by sufficient data. And to conclude that this "Origin of Species" happens by complete chance, just on its own? Someone explain the rationale behind this kind of assumption.

We are speaking as if Evolution is established fact. This is not completely true. The test of any scientific theory is empirical data. Anthropologists have found some fossil records of species with different levels of development. However, they have not found sufficient intermediate species to show a clear progression from simple to complex life forms. When the relationships between different elements was expressed as the periodic table, there was some data to show it possible. Later, when missing elements were found, it corroborated what was earlier a possible and plausible explanation. Honest examination of the data for Evolution does not yield the same clarity and prove it indisputable.

Mind over matter?

Here's a mock dialogue with a blind chance Evolutionist:

Evolutionist: Evolution has proved the Bible wrong

Rebel: So you're convinced Evolution is proven fact. You say we all came from apes?

Evolutionist: Yes, we are all products of Evolution. Accept defeat.

Rebel: Why should I?

Evolutionist: You ought to be convinced. It's clean enough to my mind? Doesn't yours.

Rebel: Ah, so you trust your mind, and expect me to trust mine? And you say these evolved by blind chance?

Almost every sane person (in fact even an insane person) trusts his mind. So we believe our minds have a positive ability to understand and know truth chance. It begs the acceptance of deliberate intentional design to direct a possible Evolution to yield our human species.

The Great Mind and our existence

In the true scientific spirit, the search for evidence to verify Evolution - exploring, discovering and examining the data that corroborates or refutes it will continue. Nevertheless, the fact that we exist here on earth and can think and reason bears witness to the fact that there is a Great Mind that willed us to be here. We are deliberately bestowed with intelligence - to be able to think, reason, invent, improve our lives, both individual and collective.

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