Materialism

Taking apart a Steinway & Sons concert grand piano piece-by-piece to understand how it works, no matter how thorough and expert is the scientific methodology in dissecting and analyzing the function of its parts, will never on its own make the artistic leap to the creative invention of a Beethoven piano concerto or a Chopin etude.  The imaginative inspiration of a musical composition is on another level…in another domain of reality…informationally unconnected to the basic physical mechanics of the parts of the musical instrument.

This is a huge argument against the inadequacy of the atheistic naturalism of Darwinian macroevolution…because it subtly blends together two distinct yet related parts…focusing in great anatomical details on the architectural body-plans of living things…while ignoring as an unknowable mystery…not amenable to scientific study…the equally important connection between architectural body-plan designs…and lifestyle habits.

The artistic creative brilliance of the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven or Ballade No. 2 by Chopin…cannot be measured quantitatively or qualitatively in terms of size, weight, length, or force.  Music is like romantic love…of human friendship…or courage in military battle.  These realities are not measureable…and are therefore not amenable to strict scientific analysis.

This same reality applied as an analogy to the biological world…leaves out half of the characteristics of lions, elephants, giraffes, falcons, sharks, whales, redwood trees, and rose bushes…their singularly unique and entirely discontinuous lifestyle habits…their behaviors for survival and reproduction that are tied to their architectural body-plan designs…yet too subjective…too creatively artistic…to fall within human scientific investigation.

The creative, artistic program of information that goes into the “why” component of the ingenuity of a Beethoven piano concerto is not at all the information package that makes up the mathematics, physics, and chemistry of “how” the concert grand piano produces beautiful sounding individual notes.

Dissecting the piano painstakingly piece-by-piece for scientific analysis will not uncover the secret of music or the purpose behind the creation of the body-plan of the musical instrument.  The secret of music composition will not be found in the physics and chemistry of the keys, the strings, the soundboard, or the distinctive shape of the wood box, raised lid, and three supporting legs.

The most skilled modern scientist, using the best techniques and finest equipment available, analyzing the acoustic features of the sound-board and the vibrating resonance of the various strings while clunking away at the piano keys, may or may not be artistically inspired to create a musical composition simultaneously as the investigative work progresses, based upon a positive reaction to the beauty of the sounds he or she is producing at the keyboard.

The beautiful tones of the concert grand piano tells the researcher there is the possibility of “music” inside, but if they fail to respond in an artistic way to experiment with the highly specified arrangement of the musical notes of the various piano keys to create a musical composition, they will remain in the purely materialistic zone of the physics and chemistry of the musical instrument alone.

The two potentially parallel, simultaneous efforts…first the scientific investigation of the workings of the piano and second the creative discovery that the sounds produced can be arranged into an interesting and satisfying musical composition…are intimately connected yet are very different, discrete programs of information.

This is one explanation for the dichotomy between the differing viewpoints of atheistic materialism and theistic creationism.

The Christian sees the order and intelligibility underlying the “body plans” of the varied phenomenon of the natural world as a confirmation for the experiencing of beautiful lives…like creating musical compositions.  The scientist working within the narrower worldview of naturalism sees no such transcendent reality above the ceiling line of the pure mathematics, physics, and chemistry of the functioning parts.

Taking this argument of the different levels of existing information a step further…the creative, directional, information program that assembles the cheek bones, nose, chin, lips, forehead, muscles, tendons, and skin of the face of a beautiful woman is likewise entirely different from the informational program that arranges the basic parts of the DNA, protein, and amino acid molecules…encased within the microscopic eukaryotic cells of the human body.

The information program that forms the intended limits and boundaries of the shape of the beautiful woman’s face is analogous to both the creative mechanical imagination that invents the functional body-plan arrangement of ascending and descending notes on the keyboard of the concert grand piano…combined with the artistic genius that composes Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata or Chopin’s Ballade No. 2.

Some guiding informational program must tell each living cell precisely where to go in the human body and what function to perform, in exactly the right artistic arrangement to produce the sparkling eyes, radiant smile, beautiful hair, lovely shape of the face, and melodious voice having perfect pitch, tone, and resonance coming from the beautifully attractive human female.

Like the information contained within a musical composition that transcends the mechanics of the piano, the essence of what makes a beautiful woman enchantingly feminine is a mystery that transcends far above the hypothetical creative capacity of material particles…particles acting without the outside guidance of blueprint instructions according to the naturalistic scenario.

The artistic imagination contained within the creation of the body-plan form of the face of the beautiful human female cannot be reduced to the materialistic parts of proteins, amino acids, and DNA any more than the musical genius of a Bach, Beethoven, or Brahms can be explained merely by the inked musical notes drawn on the page of a musical score, or the engineering statics and mechanics composition of the parts of the concert grand piano.

Darwinists might complain here that the materialistic aspects of the anatomical parts of living things…is all that we have to go on…are the only facts available to scientific investigation and analysis.

But that is the point of this essay.  Darwinian macroevolutionary theory makes the grand claim that common descent is the explanation for the vast diversity of life…achieved through genetic accidents putting out variant traits…chosen by natural selection…without guidance or intelligent design.

But Darwinism makes this grand claim with only half the data…the materialistic data analogous to understanding the physics, chemistry, and mathematics of the concert grand piano…while skipping altogether the artistic body of data…which requires a Bach, a Beethoven, or a Chopin…an intelligent designer…to create and bring into existence.

This is not to say that Darwinism understands the mechanism that might produce evolutionary change on a macro level in the biological world…in the same way that we do actually understand how the components of a concert grand piano produces its beautiful sounds.

Simply giving the benefit-of-the-doubt to Darwinism in this area of focusing upon the precise details of the anatomies of living things…which we can study, measure, and categorize into groups…as if the similarities we find…homology…equates to common descent…still leaves out the huge considerations of lifestyle habits…as vastly different and distinct as the number of animals and plants in the natural world.

One of the reasons why Darwinian evolution has never caught on with the majority of people, at least in America, is that people sense that the atheists and agnostics who preach the philosophy of naturalism intermixed with evolution, are proposing a simplistic explanation entailing only the mechanistic side of the equation…that is inadequate to encompass the fullness of reality that includes innovative lifestyle-habit programs as well.

Scientific investigation is incapable of answering the larger, fundamental question as to why the concert grand piano was created in the first place.  Analyzing the various parts of the piano…no matter how thorough and complete…will not answer the fundamental “why” question as to the piano’s origin or its functional integration within the world of music.  This basic limitation of the explanatory reach of the scientific method is profound.

The empirical evidence for an extrapolation from microevolution to macroevolution, including the all-important, essential lifestyle changes required…is simply not there.  People look at the complexity of the outside natural world and the intricate coordination internally in the functioning of their own bodies and conclude by mere commonsense that all of this is beyond a complexity…that random chance could possibly assemble into functionally coordinated realities.

To fill-in the gaps of our understanding with the speculative philosophy of atheistic naturalism and materialism is not the automatic, default option of reason.  The atheistic philosophy of naturalism has enormous philosophical problems, leaving humanity at the extreme end-point of a cold and purposeless existence having no meaning, no compass, no anchor, and no sure confidence in our own mental reasoning capacity when reduced to mere materialistic particles…in other words…only the materialistic understanding of the mechanics of the concert grand piano…but without the beauty of musical compositions.

God created the precision of the natural world so that God-composed journeys of faith could be experienced by people of faith…like playing Debussy’s beautiful Claire de Lune on a piano.

The idea that living things of incredible functionality, adaptability, fearsome power, and breathtaking beauty merely self-assembled themselves, according to the naturalistic philosophy that nature can create itself through a random-chance search strategy, without any guidance from outside intelligence, requires the clearest scientific explanation in detailed and specific terms of the method of how Darwinian macroevolution might occur.

Fill-in speculative philosophy will not suffice in this incredibly important area of scientific investigation and worldview formulation.

Author: Barton Jahn

I worked in building construction as a field superintendent and project manager. I have four books published by McGraw-Hill on housing construction (1995-98) under Bart Jahn, and have seven Christian books self-published through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). I have a bachelor of science degree in construction management from California State University Long Beach. I grew up in Southern California, was an avid surfer, and am fortunate enough to have always lived within one mile of the ocean. I discovered writing at the age of 30, and it is now one of my favorite activities. I am currently working on more books on building construction.

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