Evolution basically falls into three distinct but interrelated categories: Cosmological evolution, chemical evolution and biological evolution. All three are secular theories (an idea of or belief about something arrived at through speculation or conjecture ) of origins that seek to explain the evolution of the Universe (cosmological evolution), the origin of life (chemical evolution) and the origin of the complete and total diversity of life (biological evolution) using only natural causes (involves an absence of external, precipitating agents).
I’ll show to those who are not blinded by hypocrisy that all three ideas amount to historical narratives that rest on conjecture, illogical faith and biased doctrine. Faith and doctrine is particularly necessary in the case of cosmological evolution and chemical evolution. Biological evolution assumes the truth of faith-based cosmological and chemical evolution. It then argues that random variations in replicating organisms produced via chemical evolution adequately account for the apparent design of all living organisms. However, major controversy exists with respect to the adequacy of biological evolution to account for large increases in bio diversity, such as that evidenced by bio-systems and machines that appear irreducibly complex.
Biologists uniformly recognize that living systems look like they have been designed by a mind for a purpose but they stop short of admitting it due to their intensive years of indoctrination. . Biologists typically describe bio-systems with language employed by human software designers to describe human designed information processing systems. Biological “operating systems” consist of “coded messages” that are “copied”, “edited,” “error checked” and ultimately “translated” into a variety of “tools” and “machines” that are used to construct, operate and maintain “information processing networks” that run cellular systems that comprise life.
The “operating system” embedded in the genome of the oldest form of life has been compared to the less efficient and robust Linux operating system. As explained by one evolutionary biologist, “the challenge for evolutionary biologists is to explain how seemingly well designed features of organism, where the fit of function to biological structure and organization often seems superb, is achieved without a sentient Designer.” Although life looks created by a designer, the basic claim of evolutionary biology is that the apparent design of life is like the “rising sun,” just an illusion, explained by undirected chemical necessity and chance.
At its core, “intelligent design” is a respectful dissent to the secularist’s claim of illusion.
Although chemical necessity can explain the illusion of design exhibited by an exquisite snowflake, it does not explain the multi-faceted ‘coded’ sequences of the four genetic letters that define the all memory, operating systems and application ‘programs’ that generate, operate and maintain life on this earth. The order of the genetic “letters” in the gene sequences, just like the order of the letters in this sentence or in a computer program, is not determined chemically or physically random. Like multiple text messages or conversations sent over the radio waves, the four genetic “letters” or symbols used to carry the messages of life can occupy any position on the sugar-phosphate backbone to which they are attached.
Since the order of the sequence that defines life cannot be explained by chemistry, all of the heavy lifting of natural cause explanations is left by default to “chance” – random variations like random mutations. The problem with the plausibility of chance that is inherent but ignored by so many is that even with billions of years of evolutionary history, the probability decreases exponentially as the complexity or number of “letters” needed to specify the message increases only incrementally. Common mathematics it is, and yet secularists want to avoid this part of the equation as often as they can. Because of the exponential decrease in probability, the time needed to run through enough trial events to expect a specified event to occur by chance, no matter how small of a change, increases at an exponential rate. Very quickly evolution runs out of time, even for a single gene.
The best example is a simple combination lock. If it has a dial with only four set points and it has to be turned twice to the correct number to open the lock. That gives us 4 x 2 or only 8 trials are needed to expect the lock to be opened by chance: Probability = 8 trials/4×2 possible outcomes = 1.
However, if the dial has 100 set points and it must be turned correctly five times in a row, then 100x100x100x100x100 or ten billion trials are needed (P=1005 trials/1005 possible outcomes = 1). Ten billion five-step trials to open the lock by chance. It will take quite a bit more time than the simpler four point lock set.
Natural cause advocates waive their hands and say “evolution has billions of years and therefore chance is a reasonable explanation.” ID advocates say “Stop waiving your hands. Do the math. It doesn’t work.”
An old universe is not necessarily helpful because integrated events (development of matching reproductive systems for one) must often occur within narrow time frames to produce function. But even assuming one had all of the time and opportunity provided by a universe a billion times 20 billion years old, one would still not have enough opportunity to plausibly account for the sequence of genetic letters in a simple 900 “letter” gene by chance.
Like the combination lock, there are four alternatives at each position in the message carried by the gene – A, C, T and G. This means that to unlock the combination or make a specific 900 letter gene needed for a specific function, a dial consisting of 4 set points must be turned 900 times correctly in sequence, thereby requiring 4900 or 10540 900 step-trials. How many trials are possible in our billion times 20 billion year old universe? Hold on to your seats. Only 10150!
When 10150 is divided by 10540 the probability of the correct gene sequence happening once by chance in the entire universe since the big bang is 1/10390, a number which quickly rounds to zero. This is just for one gene. The human genome is 3 billion genetic letters long, not 900. Billions of years do not seem enough for mindless matter to get the job done by chance. Indeed, the math suggests that any novel gene sequence greater than 250 bases cannot be expected to arise by chance within the known universe, even given billions of years of evolution. Similarly, one would never expect a winner of a lottery where the winning number is 250 digits long. Lotteries must use short sequences to reasonably expect a winner over a short period of time or people would stop playing them even if the payout was $30 billion if you had to pick 250 digits correctly.
The secularist argues, again waving their hands for attention, that natural selection reduces the odds, thereby making the claim of illusion plausible. One problem is the lack of any serious statistical calculations that might confirm the assertion, otherwise based on hand waiving. The second is that natural selection only operates positively in very limited circumstances. Natural selection does not operate until replicating life has commenced. This is an event that apparently requires, as a minimum, two or three hundred genes and a supporting system that captures, converts and directs energy to cause the genes to be expressed in the right order, at the right time and in the right place.
After life starts, a replicating population does not “save” a new gene configuration until it functionally aids survival of the organism. To generate a new function that will aid survival, many new novel genes and messages may be required, each requiring many additional set points on the dial and turns of the knob to achieve a viable function for any particular organism. Until this viable function is achieved, natural selection, which by definition abhors energy wasting activities, acts to eliminate the mutation, or genetic abnormality before it can fully develop its changes within the 3 billion character sequence.
There are other reasons for ID dissent to the claim of illusion. The inherent conceptual problem with the secularist narrative is that living systems are all forward looking. Not only do they look “designed,” they actually use directed energy to do things at specified times in the future. Thus, the inanimate components of life actually “conceive of” or point to future events that natural causes, which are lacking a mind, cannot “comprehend” or “foresee.” Only a mind or some kind of intelligence has foresight. Lacking foresight it is difficult to conceive how matter, energy and the many forces that naturally move from a state of order to disorder can simply “result” in a system such as a biological clock that functions for a future event that only a mind can contemplate.
So, one may ask, if the claim of illusion is not supported, why hasn’t it been abandoned by science? The answer lies in an exclusive definition of religion which has led science to embrace a doctrine called “methodological naturalism.” It concerns itself not with claims about what exists but with methods of learning what nature is. It is strictly the idea that all scientific endeavors—all hypotheses and events—are to be explained and tested by reference to natural causes and events. The genesis of nature (for example, by an act of God or the time or circumstances of something’s coming into being) is not dealt with. Naturalism seeks only to provide a framework within which to conduct the scientific study of the laws of nature. Methodological naturalism is a way of acquiring knowledge. It is a distinct system of thought concerned with a cognitive approach to reality, and is thus a philosophy of knowledge.
MN as applied to the origin and nature of life essentially functions as a non-theistic religious doctrine used by modern institutions of science that requires one to assume the claim of illusion to be true, regardless of the evidence. Per MN only natural causes can explain the cause of life, hence the claim of illusion must be true. So, at its core the claim of illusion is supported by doctrine, not evidence. With MN, the weight of the evidence of design is irrelevant, as it is not allowed.
MN as a presumption has clear utility in many areas of operational science. When seeking the cause of an apple falling from a tree, it is reasonable to assume a natural cause given our ability to agree on a common set of meanings for our knowledge of gravity and wind. However, the assumption is not reasonable if we ask a different question – where does the apple and its ancestors come from? Much of the data necessary to answer that historical question has been lost to time and is not readily accessible. If natural cause is the only permitted answer, then science has closed its mind to other and unknown possibilities and embraced an atheistic orthodoxy.
Many have tried to demarcate science and religion based on subject matter. Science studies the natural world, while religion seeks to provide answers to the ultimate metaphysical questions of life such as the origin,nature and purpose of life. However, modern science has strayed into all of these areas formerly reserved to religion.
Given the overlapping subject matter, the defining characteristic of science that distinguishes it from religion, is objectivity. Science is necessarily objective while religion is necessarily orthodox. Given this profound distinction, the inclusive definition of religion is actually necessary to keep science objective and inherently different from religion.
Atheists have been compelled in a number of cases to acknowledge their beliefs to be religious. To have standing to sue for an injunction against a nativity scene, the Ten Commandments or the reference to God in the Pledge, Atheists have had to argue that the displays offend their “religious beliefs.” The courts, including the Supreme Court, have agreed.
The issue was put squarely before the Supreme Court in 1992 in Lee v. Weisman. Proponents of a high school graduation prayer argued it was constitutional as it did not refer to any particular God and was therefor “nonpreferential” and “neutral” as to all religious beliefs. This argument assumed that religion was confined to only beliefs in God. In holding for complaining Atheists, the Supreme Court found the prayer was preferential as it preferred theistic religions over “nontheistic religions.” Justice O’Connor, Souter and Stevens explained in a concurring opinion that “[A] nonpreferentialist who would condemn subjecting public school graduates to, say, the Anglican liturgy would still need to explain why the government’s preference for theistic over nontheistic religion is constitutional.” The “settled law” is that the “Clause applies ‘to each of us, be he Jew or Agnostic, Christian or Atheist, Buddhist or Freethinker’” “Freethinkers” are essentially “Secular” Humanists.
Based on the decisions of the Supreme Court, the Seventh Circuit held Atheism to be an Establishment Clause religion in the 2005 case of Kaufmann v. McCaughtry. In 2008 the EEOC embraced the inclusive definition of religion in a compliance manual for use in Title VII cases involving religious discrimination in the work place. In addition to Atheism, the courts have found a variety of other traditional and non-traditional belief systems to qualify as religions, to include Buddhism, Taoism, Wicca and Scientology.
If religion is limited to theistic positions on the cause, nature and purpose of life, then an exclusion of religion from science entails an exclusion of the idea that mind rather than matter may be its cause. Once this exclusion is effected, then science must close its mind to a possible intelligent cause and thereby embrace the core tenet of Atheism – that life derives from matter rather than mind. This then renders science orthodox rather than objective as to the ultimate religious questions – the cause and nature of life. Since the orthodoxy provides an answer to the ultimate religious question, it functions as a religious orthodoxy that causes science to become religious rather than objective.
The opposite occurs when science excludes religion defined inclusively. That exclusion effectively requires science to be objective rather than orthodox when it addresses religious subject matter such as the cause, nature and purpose of life. Not only does it open the mind of science to competing possibilities, it also enables science to acknowledge that it actually does not “know” the answer to those ultimate questions.
The many reasons MN is actually counter productive in origins science is because its stated purpose – to exclude the supernatural – is religious, not secular. The dogma frustrates, rather than advances scientific testing of explanations, it is contrary to the scientific method which seeks to open, rather than close minds, it is used irrefutably only in science that addresses the ultimate religious questions – Where do we come from?–, and as a doctrine that must be employed, it is far more problematic than philosophical naturalism, which is merely a belief that one may choose to reject.
MN is promoted with the kind of organized religious zeal typical of all religions. MN is promoted with a false dichotomy that there are only two responses possible to the question of origins – natural or supernatural cause. Since science cannot entertain the supernatural, it has no choice but to embrace the natural. This is a false dichotomy because there is a third response – cause unknown. Cause unknown is the explanation given by the coroner when the data is insufficient to declare a natural or intelligent cause for a death. In origins science we do not know the cause of the big bang, the cause of life, the cause of the genetic codes that are at the root of the operating systems that run life, or the cause of major increases in the diversity of life. MN precludes the “I don’t know” response and thereby demands that science side with the Atheist in answering the ultimate question of life – Where do we come from?
Since you can’t or won’t answer the ultimate question, then Atheist, Secularists, ‘world viewists’ please, waive your hand goodbye! My belief system answers all the questions, with answers that you folks tend to ignore or find ways to dismiss instead of rebutting intelligently.