Mountain of Evidence is Theoretically Driven 1

What is critical to understand is that the contention by Darwinists that macroevolution has a “mountain of evidence”…thereby establishing the “fact of evolution”…proceeds not from the facts themselves but only materializes (no pun intended) after applying the philosophical framework of naturalistic materialism over the biological facts in nature.

The common descent viewpoint when stretched to fit over all living things can produce a tentative, provisional mountain of evidence in support of macroevolution…but only if common descent is first assumed to be true.  Common descent will explain the fossil progression from the simple to the more complex over time, the homology (similarities) in design between creatures, and the biological distribution of similar creatures split apart by continents.

But intelligent design, based upon the empirical evidence of highly specified information and integrated complexity explains this natural phenomenon better.  Intelligent design is a more persuasive and plausible interpretation of the evidence…than is common descent.

Without the hard empirical evidence for the methodology and mechanism of how macroevolution changes a fish into a land reptile into a bird over time…having wings, feathers, and a totally unique breathing capacity to enable sustained flight…the philosophical overlay of Darwinian naturalism does not produce “overwhelming, mutually supportive evidence.”

The Darwinian model produces nothing more than the hypothetically connected structure of common descent…supported by circumstantial arguments alone…whose artificially connected structure falls apart when the concept of the discontinuities between the varied body-plan architectures and lifestyle habits of hundreds of billions of life-forms on the planet…is introduced.

The theoretically unimaginable jump across the gap of running and leaping along the ground or in the branches of trees, then “evolving” into winged flight through small, incremental, progressive steps, without any detailed supporting explanation as to the massive anatomical changes that would have to occur, is alleged by Darwinists to have happened simply because this is what is required to have happened according to the philosophical paradigm of naturalism.

The theoretically unimaginable jump from the functioning respiratory system of the gills of fish extracting oxygen from water under the surface of oceans, lakes, and rivers, to the fully functioning system of lungs in amphibians, reptiles, and mammals breathing air above the water, must take place in a matter of seconds or immediate death follows.

This is an enormous gap of discontinuity.  Small incremental change here is unimaginable…in terms of function…in terms of survival and reproduction.

Yet for macroevolution to be valid, this discontinuity must be plausibly explainable within the unifying theory of common descent taken from Darwin’s hypothetical “tree of life”…connecting all living things.

Darwinists allege that this type of jump in development and diversity from living underwater to living above water…had to have occurred in small, incremental, progressive steps because it simply had to happen this way according to the paradigm philosophy of naturalism.

This type of secularly skewed argumentation is then stretched to apply to the enumerable discontinuities large and small of the billions of different life-forms on the planet, mixing together the dissimilar ingredients of diversity and likeness into the theory of common descent…based in large part upon its appeal to scientists of being a unifying theory of biology, and at the same time offering a non-theistic explanation for the origin and diversity of life.

But from the start Darwinian macroevolution could not explain the Cambrian Explosion…the sudden appearance of a diversity of complex life-forms in an instant of geological time…which should also have had an accompanying and complimentary backstory of transitional intermediate life-forms appearing in the Precambrian rock strata.

Darwinists have also been unable to explain the sudden appearance during the geological era known as the Cretaceous…of the angiosperms…the flowering plants having their seeds enclosed in an ovary…without transitional precursors in the rock strata leading up to this time-period.

Over time, the many difficulties with the theory of macroevolution should have resolved themselves.

Instead, the idea of common descent has not bridged the enormous gaps of discontinuity in the living world between the major groups like amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds, insects, or mammals, or the discontinuities in the subdivided lower levels of each of the major groups…like the large African mammals separated by the unbridgeable lifestyle gaps between elephants, giraffes, water buffalo, rhinoceros, zebras, lions, leopards, cheetahs, and Thompson’s gazelles.

One major factual problem for Darwinism is that there is no evidence for the actual existence of the transitional “nodes” at the apex junctures of Darwin’s branching “tree of life” between the major groups and their subdivisions, which must be there for common descent to occur.

These nodes do not exist now and they do not exist in the fossil record…unless artificially created through a fictional, philosophical overlay of common descent crafted through human imagination.

Darwinian evolution is a classic example of being a half-truth.  It explains microevolution which occurs within a species.  It explains variation over time within a species.  But the extrapolation from microevolution to macroevolution…the origination of new species using genetic variation and natural selection…is an over-reach…an extension of philosophy rather than an empirical product of science.

This is why Darwinian macroevolution is subtly persuasive but vacuous.  The “mountain of evidence” is artificially produced through circular reasoning…the philosophy must first be superimposed on the evidence to rescue the philosophy…rather than the evidence itself independently standing on its own to formulate the philosophy.

It is the theory of common descent that connects the dots into the forced linear arrangement of an ascending “tree of life”…the dots do not logically align themselves to connect that way on their own.  The connections between dots are by philosophy…not by explanatory, scientific fact-based evidence.

Information Has Surpassed Darwinian Explanations

One problem for modern atheism is that as our appreciation of the vast amounts of information contained within highly complex systems in the natural world grows…all integrated and coordinated toward distinct functions that have the definite and unmistakable appearance of purposeful design…the plausibility of the naturalistic explanation as time marches forward…no longer makes sense.

It is as if the foot-size of our expanding knowledge of the natural world has grown to shoe-size 15 since 1859, yet the philosophical naturalist shoemaker, limited by the now obsolete worldview shaped by Darwinian evolution, has no shoe-size pattern beyond foot-size 8.

As I read through the evolution literature, some books attempt to explain away the intelligently designed brilliance of eyesight by looking at the architecture of the eye in isolation.

An appeal to the plausibility of the argument for common descent is given by identifying many creatures in nature that have varying yet functional qualities of eyesight…the thread of thought being that partial qualities of eyesight are beneficially functional even when evolved through intermediate, transitional increments of quality over time.

These book sections on the hypothetical evolution of the eye are usually well-written, illuminating, and factually instructive, yet not compelling as evidence in an argument in support of Darwinian macroevolution.

Because the same factual evidence could also be used to make a more plausible argument for intelligent agency in the design of the eye and functional eyesight, Darwinian evolution falls short of making a clear demarcation from intelligent design in the all-important area of independently explaining causation through scientific fact-based evidence.

From a big-picture, wide-angle viewpoint, Darwinian macroevolution can be seen as little more than a philosophical overlay…a human interpretational veneer applied to otherwise neutral and unbiased scientific evidence.

One of the problems of looking at the eye in isolation is that eyesight…that enables survivability…integrates every other characteristic of the physical makeup of the functionally mature creature…central nervous system, bone structure, muscles and nerves, internal organs, the five senses, instinct, and such unique features as leaping, running, swimming, burrowing, and flight.

But maybe most important of all are the uniquely different informational programs…lifestyle habits…defining and supporting the existence of each and every species that has eyesight.

Eyesight must be evaluated within the integrated whole of the living creature, in order to give the overall conceptual brilliance of the design of eyesight its full context.

When the unimaginable complexity of this is carried-out down to the last minutest detail of matter, energy, and information, the notion of making this argument for common descent (macroevolution) by reference to the varying qualities of functional eyesight in different species alive today…appears to this student of the creation/evolution debate to be inadequate and too simplistic to pass the rational test of reality.

Appealing to the varying qualities of functional eyesight in living organisms as an argument for incrementally gradualistic eye development fails to account for the big-picture totality of eyesight coherently integrated into the whole program of the lifestyle habits of each individual creature having eyesight.

Again, the size-15 foot of the massive amount of ordered and highly-specified information, plus our new understanding of intelligent agency required in the arrangement and integration of information in complex systems such as computer software code, will no longer fit in the archaic shoe-size 8 of philosophical naturalism.

When we watch DVD documentaries supporting Darwinian evolution, in explaining the hypothetical development of early life just before and just after the Cambrian geologic period according to the naturalistic scenario, we repeatedly hear the vague phrase “and they developed” such features as skin, fins, skeletons, eyesight, wings, et cetera, without any empirical explanation as to how.

“And some crawled up out of the water on to land” requires the precise scientific mechanism to explain this massive change in anatomical characteristics…if Darwinian macroevolution is to rise above the level of a mere philosophical construction overlaid on top of the otherwise neutral facts.

For Darwinian macroevolution to validly connect the dots…to provide a plausible framework…it needs to explain the mechanism that closes the gaps of discontinuity in characteristics that separate creatures in the fossil record, and that separate the vast diversity of current life into the modern taxonomy classifications of today.

Christians should know and understand that Charles Darwin did not produce the methodological and mechanistic evidence for precisely how evolution actually worked on a macro level.  This methodological and mechanistic evidence for one species changing into another different species did not exist then, nor does it exist today.

If the incontrovertible evidence for the method of how macroevolution works was discovered anytime between 1859 and today, the debate would be over.

Instead, Darwin proposed a persuasive and well-documented philosophical argument based on circumstantial evidence, connecting the facts of the current living world, and then applying them backwards in time into a hypothetical framework that would support a theory of common descent…a process categorized today as a historical science…like archaeology, historical geology, and modern forensic science reconstructing a past crime scene.

Is it allowed for philosophical naturalism to provide a theoretical hypothesis for a secular interpretation of biological phenomenon, in advance of producing empirical evidence for the connecting mechanism of how Darwinian macroevolution actually works?  The answer is…of course.

This is one way in which science works.  A new theoretical hypothesis is presented…then tested or argued against the known facts…then either confirmed, refuted, or replaced by a new hypothesis as new incoming evidence grows and is evaluated.

One Christian’s View of Science

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.                                      (Psalm 19:1-2)

The present day contention that rational truth is confined exclusively to the realm of natural causes…explained only by scientific investigation…thereby leading to the conclusion that the philosophy of naturalism is the one and only acceptable way of viewing reality, is  brilliantly subtle but entirely vacuous.

The Spirit-born Christian scientist…using the purest scientific methodology…can investigate a particular area of natural phenomenon and discover entirely naturalistic causations, while privately giving his or her Intelligent Designer God the credit for His ingenuity and craftsmanship, without ever leaving their fidelity to empirical facts or setting aside their personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The atheist scientist, on the opposite extreme, can use the same techniques to investigate the same phenomenon, and discover the exact same naturalistic causations…yet interpret their new findings as an increase in our knowledge of the natural world…thereby creating a corresponding reduction in the need for God’s existence and agency in the affairs of nature and mankind.

Yet the raw, empirical information content about heat, or the behavior of gases, or the properties of water, or of mass, momentum, and energy, of mountain building through plate tectonics, the internal composition of stars, or the complexity found within DNA…discovered through careful scientific investigation…are the same.

The vast difference in the interpretation of the facts at the broad, worldview level are not based upon what the empirical scientific evidence itself is saying independently, because the information in its purest form remains neutrally silent regarding philosophy.

The observable, measurable, quantifiable facts of natural phenomenon amenable to us in the physical sciences…are open to interpretation and can be selectively placed in more than one optional, exclusivistic, contradictory worldview.

For the atheist scientist, especially since the 1859 publication of Darwin’s The Origin of Species, the steady and rapid advance in our knowledge of the natural world has morphed into an irrational zero-sum game…as if each new understanding of some physical phenomenon in nature equates to further liberation from the influence of a supernatural Creator God.

But the Spirit-born, Christian scientist exploring nature through scientific investigation is not looking for reasons to push God away, but instead sees the complex, integrated information and the precise craftsmanship that went into each newly understood phenomenon of nature…and glorifies God for its designed naturalistic function, the orderliness and intelligibility underlying nature, and our mental capacity to be able to unravel these mysteries in succession one at a time.

The secularly biased notion that science only looks for naturalistic explanations for physical phenomenon in the natural world is actually now inadequate and over-simplistic by about three decades.

Information has now been recognized and added to the short list…of matter and energy…as the major components amenable to study in our quest to understand ultimate reality, purpose, and meaning in the universe.

Information, like gravity, is an important component that currently falls outside the domain of the unifying “theory of everything” being sought-after in the field of physics.

The classic example given to describe the fundamental distance between information and physical matter is the analogy to the front page of any major daily newspaper.  The physics and chemistry of “how” ink bonds to paper does not explain…because it cannot explain from the realm of the physical sciences…the “why” component of the individual daily arrangement of the ink to produce intelligible information expressed, in the case of the New York Times, in the English language.

The ink does not arrange itself into intelligible English letters conveying information.  Human intelligent design is the causation of this meaningful communication of information.

The information given on the front page of the newspaper can therefore be said to transcend above the basic physics and chemistry explanation at the mechanical level of ink bonding to paper.

Similarly, the complex and highly specified information given in human designed computer software programs transcends above, and cannot be reduced down to or explained by, the basic mechanics of the ones and zeroes of computer binary language code as the cause for its intelligently designed function.

This same quality of coherently integrated, highly specified information can now be seen, studied, and analyzed…in terms of its source of origin and its relationship to the micro-molecule DNA…in the body-plan lifestyle habits of hundreds of billions of distinct plants, trees, bacteria, fungi, insects, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals in the living world.

In this brief opening section on the validity of pronouncements made about science as being the only reliable tool to define the rational boundary lines around truth and knowledge, the curious thing about this contention…coming from the field of logic…is that it deconstructs itself…that it does not stand up under the weight of its own requirements.

The statement that science alone can produce truth does not itself derive from empirical scientific investigation.

The statement does not therefore meets its own internal test for veracity.  “Science alone produces truth” is an opinion about science…not an axiom derived through science.  The statement is rendered invalid for truth content…by virtue of not meeting the high standard imposed by the statement itself…of being scientifically derived.