Why I Wrote this Book 4

These are the two basic choices we have…self-assemblage by accident through the means of naturalistic materialism…or premeditated intelligent design through the special creative actions of a divine God.

Scientifically qualified or not…like many other people…I see large holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions in the macroevolutionary program that should disqualify it as a viable explanation for the origin and diversity of biological life.

As a Christian, I can concede to the Darwinists all of the scientific fact-based evidence regarding the material aspects of living organisms…because this evidence belongs to me every bit as much as to the person who accepts Darwinian macroevolution as the explanation for the diversity of life and the origin species.

The scientific fact-based evidence produced by research into the material aspects of the living and non-living world…are entirely neutral…are not conclusive for common descent or design…a topic for a later essay in this book on the delicate balance between belief and unbelief…a huge apologetic argument in favor of the existence and the brilliance of the God of the Bible.

What I cannot concede…as a Christian…to the Darwinists…that is an issue worth fighting for…is the philosophical extrapolation from the scientific fact-based evidence generated through the investigation of the material aspects of the living and non-living natural world…what can be observed, measured, quantified, categorized into groups, and formulated into natural laws…to artificially and unjustifiably extend as if by good logic…into the atheistic worldview of naturalistic materialism…the adopted mechanism and methodology of Darwinian macroevolution.

The facts that we discover through the scientific investigation of the phenomenon we observe in the natural world…does not overwhelmingly point to either common descent or to intelligent design.[1]

This ambiguity…after hundreds of years of modern science and the uncovering of the answers to myriads of questions into the mysteries of the natural world…in one of the top-level, fundamental questions underlying the source of the origin of this magnificent existence we see all around and inside us…requires some explanation as to why the outcome of this question is still in doubt.

From the atheistic perspective…why would the Creator God hold back some of the clear evidence for His existence…allowing space for the alternate view of a purely naturalistic explanation for the phenomenon of the natural world to operate…fully developed within the atheistic worldview of Darwinian macroevolution?

From the Christian perspective…why doesn’t God write across the sky in flaming, fiery red letters that He is the true God…and to worship only Him.  Why didn’t Jesus a few days after His resurrection…walk down the middle of Main Street in Jerusalem and straight into the temple…showing Himself that He is the Son of God and the Messiah of Israel?

Why doesn’t God instantly create one new species on earth today…popping-up in the clear and unquestioned view of everyone…that would resolve the evolution/creation debate once and for all?

Why doesn’t the God of the Bible…translate the immeasurable and unquantifiable elements of faith and trust…central to all personal relationships of friendship and love…into the empirical certainty equal to the existence of the noonday sun or the fact that two-plus-two equals four…through a natural miraculous demonstration…changing faith and trust into the commonplace and unremarkable observation of an obvious fact?

The observation that after intensive research for hundreds of years into the workings of our natural world…that this yields no conclusive answer as to the question of its origin and source…is itself a window into the purpose and meaning of our existence.

Some scientists argue that belief in God limits scientific research.  This is both accurate and inaccurate.

The orderliness and intelligibility of the natural world has enabled enormous progress into the deepest understanding of the living and non-living world.

The Creator God cannot be faulted on this score…in the openness of the natural world to scientific investigation…in our mental capacity to formulate programs of inquiry…and to be able to analyze the results.

But a materialistic approach will probably never unravel what life is…any more than musical theory will explain how Chopin artistically created his Opus 10 Number 3 Etude…or how Jane Austin thought-up her brilliant book Pride and Prejudice.

There seems to be within reality a definite demarcation-line between the material and the immaterial.

Should God prove His existence by telling us in the Bible how He created life…in terms of the physics, chemistry, and mathematics?

Might this rather be proprietary information that is best kept to Himself?

Using the material aspects of the natural world…human beings have already created the atomic bomb…that is capable of destroying all life on the planet.

In the critical area of biological life and the origin of species…the God of the Bible has limited His revelation of how He created life to the simple words of: “And God said.”

Why would God want to tell us more than this in the area of the biology of life…when today a tyrant like Hitler or Stalin could use this information to create the science-fictional, clone-soldier armies in books and movies…like Star Wars…to dominant the world?

The orderliness and intelligibility of the natural world has already enabled human beings to create weapons of mass-destruction that can wipe-out all life on the earth.

As previously argued…a complete knowledge of the material aspects of living organisms will only take us so far.

Scientific investigation will not answer the question as to whom or what is the source and origin of the universe.  It will not answer the fundamental questions as to the purpose and meaning of human life.

[1] Stephen C. Meyer, “The Methodological Equivalence of Design & Descent”, 67-102, in The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence of an Intelligent Designer, J. P. Moreland, ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1994).

Why I Wrote this Book 3

Material atomic particles and energy could never produce this massive quantity and quality of complex, highly specified, and coordinated systems of information that creates the functionally diverse body plans and their accompanying lifestyle habits…of this vast number of distinct and discontinuous living animals and plants in the natural world today.

The sooner we accept the limitations of the purely materialistic worldview…of a ceiling beyond which naturalistic materialism cannot take us…the sooner we allow this concept to enter into our worldview…that the origin of life…and the development of complex living organisms…contain too much information to be the product of a purely naturalistic explanation for the diversity of life…then the more realistic and clear will become the picture…the more complete will become the jigsaw puzzle.

What I am saying here…in my opinion…is that 95% of what is presented in Jerry A. Coyne’s book Why Evolution Is True is spot-on correct…simply because it describes empirical facts about the physical characteristics and the lifestyle habits of living things that are irrefutable and clearly observable in the natural world…that are material aspects amenable to being observed, measured, quantified, and categorized…according to human scientific investigation.

The point here is that the compelling nature of the scientific fact-based evidence for micro evolution is sound.  This is the evidence that was observable and uncontroversial long before Darwin…and is still sound evidence when skillfully presented in a 2009 book on the marvels of biological life.

The 5% part that is grossly inaccurate is the theoretical extrapolation to macro evolution…a factually unsubstantiated, hypothetical leap that was empirically unsupported in Darwin’s The Origin of Species in 1859…and is still unsupported and controversial today…but that must be the accepted working hypothesis as the main ingredient…for the worldview philosophy of naturalistic materialism to be valid…for atheism to have its own creation story.

Macro evolution is the lynch-pin mechanism that must be in place for a purely naturalistic explanation for the diversity of life…and the brilliance of the natural world…to be valid in the scientific research field of biology.

Without the common descent linkage of macro evolution…enabling ancestral living forms to naturally evolve over time into future variations…then the only remaining plausible explanation for the brilliance of the natural living and non-living world is a divine, intelligent designer God…which some people vehemently reject because they think this inserts limitations around scientific investigation because we would presumably…at some point…hit the demarcation line of the natural/supernatural boundary…beyond which scientific investigation can no longer go…the line beyond which we cannot observe, measure,  quantify, categorizes into groups, and systemize into physical laws.

The obvious problem for a purely naturalistic explanation for the origin and diversity of life…along with all of the complex relationships in the non-living phenomenon…micro and macro that support life on earth…is that it optimistically bites off more than it can chew and swallow…is that it needs to explain everything from A to Z…that it must have a consistently naturalistic explanation to cover the entire seven-course meal from soup-to-nuts.

This is a hopelessly ambitious scope, an unrealistically broad, empirically unreachable journey’s end for purely naturalistic explanations in the 21st century…applied to the physical phenomenon we investigate in the natural world…which is becoming more out of reach every day as our database of detailed knowledge about the natural world expands exponentially.

Naturalistic materialism has to explain the origin of the Big Bang of 13.7 billion years ago…in which all of the material particles and energy are created in just the right quantities and proportions to form this rapidly expanding universe…along with the accompanying laws and coordinated relationships between mathematics, physics, and chemistry…many of which are balanced on a knife’s edge of precision to be able to support complex life like ourselves…coming billions of years later…13.7 billion years to be more precise…all without using the foresight of premediated, thoughtfully guided intelligent design.

Naturalistic materialism has to explain the origin of the 40-plus, fine-tuned mathematical constants in what is called the Anthropic Principle…such as the force of gravity, the cosmological constant that describes the expansion speed of the universe, the relative strengths of the strong and the weak nuclear forces, and the constant speed of light c throughout the universe…in Einstein’s equation e = mc²…to name only a few…without which the universe could not support life.

Naturalistic materialism has to explain the architectural design of the universe with its hundreds of billions of galaxies and trillions of stars and planets…arranged in the same orderly and intelligible way in the vast expanse of outer space…that we also detect in the microscopic world of living cells, proteins, amino acids, RNA, and DNA genetic sequences.

Naturalistic materialism has to explain the 20-plus conditions in our solar system…such as the distance of the earth from the sun, the size and type of our sun, the size and effect of the moon to our earth, the make-up of our atmosphere, and the properties of liquid water…to again name only a few…that are required for complex life to exist on earth.

Naturalistic materialism has to explain the inconceivably artistic imagination behind the vast diversity of life on the earth…numbering in the tens of millions of unique and discrete life-form species…each having unimaginably complex systems of information…that near-perfectly fit into living and non-living ecological niches on an equally diverse planet earth…like gears in a wrist watch.

Naturalistic materialism has to explain the massive, “Grand Canyon” sized leap across the gulf from non-living matter to living organisms.

Naturalistic materialism has to explain the gargantuan-sized, innovative first-step from single-cell bacteria to multi-cellular organisms…requiring huge infusions of new genetic information combined with the creative novelty of someone or something initiating this actuality.

Naturalistic materialism must explain not only the inconceivably complex folding of amino acids into functionally shaped cells of varied types and job descriptions…but also the unimaginable placement of hundreds of trillions of individual cells in the uniquely precise xyz-coordinates that make up the African bush elephant…if placed within a three-dimensional rectangular box…with the xyz-lines identifying each individual cell…for example.

The African elephant is not the meat-eating terror of the African savanna plains…chasing down its prey of zebras, water buffalo, and wildebeest with short bursts of speed up to 50 mph…but instead feeds on tree leaves and the grasses found in the subtropical and temperate forests, the dry and seasonally flooded grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, and agricultural lands…within narrowly defined ecological niches brilliantly and near-perfectly tailored to the survival of the elephant.

The African bush elephant is not only the sum of the microscopic cellular parts that are so acutely specified as to location within a three-dimensional arrangement…but also exhibits a unique lifestyle-habit program that belongs exclusively to the elephant…that defines the essence of what it means to be an elephant.

This same amazing reality of uniquely defining essence…of lifestyle habits matched with architectural body-plans precisely fitting within tight ecological niches…applies to the tens of millions of other living species on the earth…including human beings.

All of these inconceivably coordinated and integrated conditions and realities…according to a purely naturalistic materialism…must rely upon the idea that complex things can self-assemble on their own to reach their end-points of brilliant functionality…according to a model of accidental genetic occurrences having no intelligently guided design.

But the scientific fact-based evidence…obvious and observable to everyone…is that we do not see anything in the living or non-living world that can self-assemble into something that is a complex, specified, and coherently integrated system.

That the complex information of living and non-living systems would all just fall into place on their own…to self-assemble without foresight, pre-planning, and the most expert guidance to reach a functional end-point…without this self-automated assembly being the observed, recognized, and obvious reality of the phenomenon we see in the natural world today…renders the philosophy of naturalistic materialism…plausibly reasonable as a working hypothesis up until a few decades ago…to be currently inadequate as a universal, overall explanatory mechanism.

The only new things we see coming into being…for better or for worse in terms of the ecosystem of our planet…are the mechanical inventions created by human beings…who are by nature incurable intelligent designers.

The real source of this active, creative input of the information behind the origin of life and of the universe…can only be an incredibly intelligent designer like ourselves…having at His disposal a timeless reality…the sheer quantity of imaginative information exhibited overwhelming any blind, mindless, unguided, random-chance, trial-and-error alternate explanation…no matter how much time we give for its development, functional integration, and ecological balance.

Why I Wrote this Book 2

Declaring with all of the small amount of humility I possess…by default I am the world’s leading expert on avoiding mistakes in the design and construction of new houses…simply because no one else…to my knowledge…has taken-on this difficult research project.

If a person goes-out at 4 A.M. at sunrise to their local wetlands, lake, or river…to observe the morning habits of the ring-necked, spotted warbler bird (my hypothetically invented bird)…publishes their findings in a scientific journal on nature…and no one else has conducted this specific study…then that person “owns” that particular topic…that specialized knowledge.

By virtue of the 42 years I spent on jobsites working in several building trades in my twenties, an assistant superintendent and superintendent in production tract housing, as a customer service repair-person in new housing construction, a bank field inspector, a project engineer, project manager, and vice-president of construction building four luxury mansions…working in both residential and commercial construction…I would place the basic field research I did to observe and record mistakes in the design and construction of new buildings…published in four books by McGraw-Hill (1995-98 under Bart Jahn) and four books currently self-published (under Barton Jahn)…favorably alongside the basic field research of any paleontologist, biologist, archaeologist, or anthropologist researching the natural living and non-living world.

The information in my roughly 2,000-topic database does not contain any mathematics, physics, or chemistry…but is difficult to research because it requires an investment of time with the observer having both feet planted on the ground…on a variety of new housing construction jobsites observing and recording scheduling coordination problems, proper sequencing of activities issues, and a plethora of crashes and collisions between two or more building elements competing for the same space…which were not anticipated on the building plans.

Does this scientific research program of observing and recording phenomenon on new building constructions sites…qualify me to opine on the creation/evolution debate?

The popular axiom that a specialist who ventures outside of their area of expertise becomes a layman…applies to everyone …including me.

But the Darwinists who write books aimed at a popular reading audience…purposely simplify the technical arguments to be understandable and accessible to people who are outside of their area of expertise…in order to convince us of the truth of their worldview narrative.

The second answer to this legitimate question of qualifications to write this Part Two series of essays…is therefore also straight-forward.

I am precisely the person Darwinism wants to win-over and convert.

I care enough about the debate to read both sides…to take my research beyond mere cultural osmosis and acquiescence to the authority of the accepted standard wisdom…to thoughtfully take-apart each of the arguments and to carefully weigh the evidence.

The rest of the general population…that understandably thinks the technical issues are too complex or do not directly apply to their own lives…nonetheless get indirectly and unconsciously influenced toward Darwinism by nature programs on the television that parrot the general scientific consensus in favor of common descent…while these programs give no supporting evidence for this naturalistic viewpoint.

I recently read the 2009 book Why Evolution Is True by Jerry A. Coyne…a PhD professor of biology at the University of Chicago.

The book is well-written…presenting a thorough and up-to-date case in support for the brilliance of evolution…persuasively and elegantly…in great detail…as one might expect from a college professor who has taught this subject for over 30 years.

But what is curiously counter-intuitive from the viewpoint of this reader…in so thoroughly and capably laying-out his arguments…is that Dr. Coyne actually makes the case in the opposite direction than intended…for special creation having intelligent design…rather than for blind, unguided, naturalistic macro evolution.

The unbiased and open-minded reader…not initially onboard for Darwinian macro evolution at the outset…gets to about pages 75-85 in Dr. Coyne’s book and realizes there is simply too much brilliantly complex and artistically arranged information in living creatures…to ever become the mature and fully developed living productions they are…through the supposed creative methodology of accidental genetic mutations acted upon by natural selection.

Dr. Coyne’s detailed descriptions of the exquisite lifestyle habits that are attached to the brilliantly functional, diverse physical characteristics of every living thing…described throughout his book…outpace by a mile the simplistic explanations for origin and development…coming from the working model of naturalistic materialism.

For a purely naturalistic explanation for the marvels of the living and non-living natural world to pass the commonsense test…to be believable…the natural world today would have to be a much simpler reality.

The natural world today would also have to exhibit a more chaotic appearance…with a myriad of living organisms in transitional flux…caught in the middle of development toward some future end-point.

The irony…in this search for truth regarding the origin of the diversity we see and study in the natural world all around us…is that the more complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated the description of each complete and fully mature living thing comes across in Dr. Coyne’s book…the more precise the  detailed evidence becomes to accurately describe the unique qualities of each living organism…then the stronger becomes the unavoidably air-tight case for special creation…for intelligent design…and the worse becomes the vague and fuzzy case for the huge leaps across massive voids of incredulity…in proposing the Darwinian macro evolution half of the argument…of blind, mindless, unguided, accidental, and indifferent natural selection…as the explanation for this brilliant diversity of life.

Why I Wrote this Book 1

Biological science does not belong exclusively to the group of scientists who are atheists…who sprang-up in the study of the natural living world…during the time-period after the publication of Darwin’s book The Origin of Species.

The evidentiary facts of biological science belong to everyone to ponder and to evaluate…regardless of philosophical worldviews…regardless of whether we are theists, atheists, agnostic, or simply undecided regarding our outlook on the investigative reach of  science as it relates to  ultimate purpose and meaning in human life.

The facts that the universe came into being around 13.7 billion years ago…our earth around 4.5 billion years ago…and that primitive life in the form of single-cell bacteria first appeared on earth about 3.8 billion years ago…belong to me as evidence to contemplate and incorporate within my worldview as a Christian…adopting the reasonably informed and scripturally accurate “old earth” biblical interpretation of Genesis chapters 1 and 2…as much as it belongs to a Harvard trained paleontologist…steeped in the philosophy of materialism.

The fact that in 1929 Edwin Hubble discovered an expanding universe evidenced by the red-shift on the wave-length spectrum of light…while looking through the massive Mt. Wilson Observatory telescope into the deepest regions of outer space…and that this confirmed Albert Einstein’s previous mathematics calculations of either an expanding or a contracting universe in his 1916 theory of general relativity…belongs to my next-door neighbor to consider as part of her outlook on life…as much as it belongs to a PhD astrophysicist working at the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

The fact that within living cells the micro-molecule DNA contains 3.1 to 3.5 billion bits of information…unimaginably complex in its logically sequenced arrangement to produce coherently coordinated function in the replication process within the living cell…be it a cell that is bone, muscle, tendon, skin, blood, hair, brain tissue, or internal organ in a human body…belongs as scientific fact-based evidence to a common person “walking down the street”…to own and to evaluate…to inform our judgment as to the reality of the natural world and of truth in general…as much as it does to a professor of microbiology or genetics…a proponent of Darwinian macroevolution…at any major university.

The worldview of scientism…that says that the only reliable guide to truth is science…is inadequate as a universal explanation that covers all reality…because human scientific investigation utilizing the philosophy of materialism will only take us so far.

Art can describe how romantic love expresses itself through human actions…but materialism cannot tell us what romantic love is.

Physics and chemistry can tell us how ink bonds to paper…but materialism as far as it goes cannot tell us how intelligence arranges the ink on paper to create the information conveyed through the headlines of the New York Times front page.

Neither the physics and chemistry of ink bonding to paper, or musical theory, or the magnificent mechanics of the concert grand piano…can explain the creative genius of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, Debussy’s Clare de Lune, or Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto.

Materialism can hardly be the mode of explanation for the incredible dexterity, virtuosic attention to detail, and brilliantly artistic performance of Hillary Hahn playing Mendelsohn’s Violin Concerto…or the virtuoso violinist Jascha Heifetz playing Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy.

For most people living in the twenty-first century…there is simply too much information content observably at work and in action in the living and non-living natural world…highly specified and coherently coordinated and integrated…to be the sole product of a mindless, accidental, random-chance, trial-and-error, unguided mechanism.

Darwinists complain that macroevolution has not been accepted by the majority of people in modern cultures…and blame in- part religious faith as being antagonistic toward their theory.

The reason that most modern people do not accept macroevolution…do not ascribe to the philosophy of naturalistic materialism…as the explanation for the vast diversity of life and the origin of species…is not religious faith…but the simple reality is that at the upper, fundamental level of being a general, universal explanation… macroevolution does not hold water…does not stack-up…does not make total and complete sense as the overarching, explanatory origin for the brilliant diversity of living organisms…including ourselves.

The reader of this Part Two series of essays…may reasonably ask why its author is not a professional scientist…a paleontologist, biologist, geologist, or some other closely related science that would afford being able to claim expert status on this subject.

The first answer to this legitimate question is straight-forward.

Much of the literature that has been written by Darwinian evolutionists…beginning in 1859 with Darwin’s book The Origin of Species itself…is written in non-technical language intended for a popular audience.

Whether it is Ernst Mayr, Richard Leakey, Edward O. Wilson, Stephen Jay Gould, Niles Eldridge, Richard Dawkins, Janet Browne, Donald Johanson, or any of the other prolific writers on Darwinian evolution…many if not most of their books are non-technical and understandable to the general public.

Although it is true in nearly every scientific field that the “devil is in the details”…in support of one or another scientific theory …in the field of Darwinian evolution there are several generalized assertions and conclusions, that can be taken apart and analyzed for truth-value by laymen non-scientists…without having to possess doctoral degrees in biology, biochemistry, history of science, philosophy of science, or paleontology.

The arguments made for the general truth-claims for macro evolution are open to the general public through the large volume of literature on the subject…to access and to evaluate.

This renders Darwinian evolution open to refutation by layman or expert…which should be and is the case for all genuine scientific theories.

The simple answer therefore is that all of us…scientists and laymen alike…can study, think, and write about Darwinian evolution …and its broader social, cultural, and yes…theological implications…in the form of questions, comments, and discussions on website blogs on evolution on the Internet…and if we have enough material and enough to say…in a book.