MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
Inevitably, those of us who aren’t professional scientists have to take a lot of science on trust. Equally those of us who are not clergymen have to take a lot of religion on faith. Unfortunately, due to varying opinions of both many people make all sorts of leaps based on bias.
There are three things that guide our discernment processes and they are belief, faith, and bias, everything else is just noise or due to a lack of knowledge is discounted as a fallacy.
Ignorance steers us into all sorts of myths and tall tales to feed into our bias.
For example, there is a story that I have heard spread around Christian circles that sounds amazing to promote faith but does nothing to promote any logic.
The story goes that in the 1960s, a team of astronomers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland were using some advanced cutting-edge computers to recreate the orbits of the planets, thousands of years in the past. Suddenly, an error message flashes up. There’s a problem: way back in history, one whole day appears to be missing.
The scientists are baffled until a Christian member of the team vaguely recalls something and rushes to get a Bible from his desk. He thumbs through it until he reaches the Book of Joshua, chapter 10, in which Joshua asks God to stop the world for “about a full day!” There is an uproar in the computer lab. The astronomers have happened upon proof that God controls the universe on a day-to-day basis that the Bible is literally true, and that by extension the story of creation is, in fact, a reality.
From there the leap is made that Darwin was wrong.
Then the same Christian in the room spins the myth that Darwin recanted on his deathbed that evolution was all a lie … and so on and that we can all cast another point for creationist truth.
Well, sincerely we can all stop there and call it all an urban legend that does everything to fortify the bias of people who want to say that Darwin is wrong. The truth is we don’t need tall tales to prove him wrong, true evolutionary thinking can prove him wrong and we no longer have to have an intellectomy in order to prove it.
The real truth is that Darwin didn’t recant anything on his deathbed. He went to his deathbed protesting that he’d been misinterpreted: there was no reason, he said, to assume that natural selection was the only imaginable mechanism of evolution.
Tall tales that push creationism are not doing any justice to creationists. However, ideas that go beyond evolutionary thinking is the new revolution and quite possibly the new way of looking how we came to be is logical and we can even include God in the mix without the embarrassment of urban legends to do it.
We are learning that Darwin’s theory of evolution as most of us learned it at school and believe we understand it, is, in crucial respects, not entirely accurate.
Such talk, naturally, is liable to drive evolutionary biologists into a rage. I have opened up about such things as intelligent design and panspermia before and while some people are open to the discussions – there are still closed-minded individuals that shut down the argument saying that it is a deceptive way of saying that God is an alien and that he put single-celled organisms on comets and meteors and seeded the earth.
Well, in all honesty, it is not exactly that, it is simply the idea that there is an omnipotent intelligence in the universe that was able to put the building blocks for life on celestial vehicles and send them to various planets.
We just happen to be the lucky planet that has life on it; at least the only planet that we know of.
The problem in introducing a halfway point between creationism and evolution is that nobody likes hearing someone provide ammunition to the proponents of creationism or Darwinism.
It is an all or nothing argument for some people.
But we are living in the 21st century and in the culture at large, we may be on the brink of a major shift in perspective, with enormous implications for how most of us think about how life came to be the way it is.
The whole point of natural selection – the so-called “modern synthesis” of Darwin’s theories with subsequent discoveries about genes is simplistic.
Over time the simplicity has seeped into the culture and we’ve come to understand natural selection, frequently referred to as the best idea in the history of science.
Yet epigenetics suggests this isn’t the whole story. If what happens to you during your lifetime – living in a stress-inducing world, or overeating can affect how your genes express themselves in future generations. Not only that we have now been able to cheat death with medicines and pharmaceuticals where the once weaker of the species can be helped to attain strength and immunity.
So the absolutely simple version of natural selection begins to look questionable.
Rather than genes simply “offering up” a random smorgasbord of traits in each new generation, which then either prove suited or unsuited to the environment, it seems that the environment plays a role in creating those traits in future generations, if only in a short-term and reversible way.
Epigenetics, as a simplified definition, is the study of biological mechanisms that will switch genes on and off.
Epigenetics is the most vivid reason why the popular understanding of evolution might need revising, but it’s not the only one.
We’ve learned that huge proportions of the human genome consist of viruses, or virus-like materials, raising the notion that they got there through infection, meaning that natural selection acts not just on random mutations, but on new stuff that’s introduced from elsewhere.
There is growing evidence, at the level of microbes, of genes being transferred not just vertically, from ancestors to parents to offspring, but also horizontally, between organisms.
I don’t think that Darwin could have even predicted how epigenetics could prove him wrong but it is and in many ways.
Reproductive cells (eggs and sperm) contain intact genetic information. During the reproductive process, the epigenetic tags are erased through what is known as “reprogramming” so that they can be re-programmed into specialized cells – we now see that environment is what contributes to evolution and we also need to include mutation and other anomalies within the genetic scope.
We are also learning more and more about cell memory and how trauma affects future generations.
This is mind-blowing: since most of the history of life on earth has been the history of micro-organisms, the evidence for horizontal transfer suggests that a mainly Darwinian account of evolution may be only the latest version, applicable to the most recent, much more complex forms of life.
Darwin, writing before the discovery of DNA, knew very well that his work heralded the beginning of a journey to understand the origins and development of life. All we may be discovering now is that we remain closer to the beginning of that journey than we’ve come to think.
Now many people will tell you that this does nothing to silence the debate.
Is Creationism true? Or is Darwinism true? And why would it have to be one or the other? It seems it hasn’t occurred to many people that both might be wrong. Since both of them, despite what they might claim, are more about ideology than science, it shouldn’t really be too surprising that science doesn’t really support either; at least not in the form they’re presented.
Most people who believe in Creationism do so because they were raised Christians, and they literally believe the simple stories of creation in the Bible with no real explanation on how God did what he did. On the other hand, there seem to be three main reasons why people believe in Darwinism: they’ve been taught it at school, they only have a vague sense of the underlying science, and/or they’re convinced Creationism is nonsense and believe their only other option is Darwinism. There are, however, some serious problems with all three of these justifications.
First, the way Darwinism is taught in schools is extremely deceptive.
Second, the vague knowledge of the science and facts relevant to evolution that most people have actually prevented them from seeing the countless problems of Darwinism. The notion that organisms evolved step by step is easy to swallow when you have no clear idea of what exactly these steps would have to be and how exactly the mechanism of evolution is supposed to work. Without a clear sense of what the cell looks like, what it contains, how complex it is, how it works, and what DNA does, you’re only left with the talking points that affirm that it all really does work and that science has proved it and that only ignorant people question it.
Third, Darwinism and Creationism aren’t our only choices. This is not an election where you have to choose between two candidates. Just like with a choice between two presidential candidates, if you allow yourself to be convinced that those are your only options, you’ve already lost. The assumptions that anyone who isn’t a Darwinist must be a Creationist and that if you’re not a Creationist, you have to be a Darwinist, are false.
To put it directly – there’s Creationism, there’s Darwinism, and then there’s the truth.
There’s no need to invoke God to show that Darwinian evolution doesn’t work as described. Science does the job. Believing in the ability of Darwinism to explain evolution is not about how much you know but about how much you’re willing to ignore.
It should also be noted that, in general, we’re talking about things for which there is often insufficient clear evidence, and much of the evidence we have is subject to interpretation.
Different people have different interpretations of the same facts, largely influenced by their particular world views and beliefs. Some things we know for sure, but many things are much less clear.
In any theory of evolution, we are by definition dealing with events and processes that occurred long ago, and we can study some of them only from scattered pieces of evidence that don’t include the complete context required to understand them fully. In many cases, we must simply acknowledge that we don’t know and that our differing beliefs are based on theories and speculations.
If you ask, ‘where did all this life come from?’ Creationists say, ‘God did it’. Darwinists say this explanation is lazy. But if you ask them to answer that question, they’ll say ‘it happened randomly’. That’s an even lazier explanation and makes even less sense. The whole Darwinian view of how things work is extremely simplistic and naive.
Creation is the beginning but it is hard to describe something that seems to have no beginning and end—religion sometimes can make it that simplistic and in essence is a bit naïve as well.
Religion tells us that God is Eternal or infinite and yet creationism makes it all so finite. There is no progression, humans and animals remain the same, there is no mutation, no entropy, and that life outside of earth is some demonic deception.
It is evident that if God is the architect of intelligent design, he has actually created many things that have evolved over time naturally and according to plan—that is what we call physics.
The principle of entropy says that, over time, everything degrades, moves from more complicated and unusual to more simple and normal, from a state of lower probability to a state of higher probability, from order to disorder. But the theory of evolution directly contradicts entropy.
According to it, information in the genome gets progressively more complex on its own, by a random process, with no intelligent input. This is illogical and nonsensical. Meaningful information doesn’t arise randomly, and consciousness doesn’t accidentally spring from dead matter.
Yet that is exactly what Darwinism relies on to work. It claims that a random process with no intelligence and no goal produces information, consciousness, and intelligence.
Now, we also can’t forget another factor and that is adaptation – combine that with mutation and natural selection and this can explain a few questions people have about why this evolves into that and so forth.
Can a wolf evolve into a dog or a fox? No. But can a species mutate and adapt to its environment and eventually resemble the other? Yes.
Think about it – they have the same skeletal structure, organs, fur, same number of legs etc. Only a change of sizes and colors would be needed. Simple mutations do that.
Can a wolf evolve into an eagle or an elephant? No. Randomness, one step at a time, doesn’t create functional wings or tusks where there was no genetic code for them before.
Can an ape evolve into a human? No. But it can mutate and adapt, and if you will permit me, can learn to talk and wonder if he has a creator. So while we are cousins to the monkey – we may be monkey’s that adapted to a higher learning curve. We adapted and mutated so that we basically have the same skeletal structure and everything else – and what if the human came before the ape and an ape is a mutation of man?
That would change everything.
What can a fish evolve into? Other fish.
What can a fish not evolve into? An eagle, an elephant, an ant, a human, a palm tree, or really anything that’s not a fish.
We could say that micro-evolution works and macro-evolution doesn’t.
Transposition to Hybridization are processes that expand the information in the genetic code. They’re not quite random, they exhibit signs of intelligence or purpose, and they produce more useful results than random mutation can.
That is what is called Adaptive Mutation – bring that one up in your arguments over the intelligent design and randomness of life, it is an argument that certainly is not lazy and it keeps you from sounding naive and non-relevant.
Darwin didn’t concern himself with the origin of life. He simply acknowledged that life began somehow, and his concern was how it evolved from there. But what about life elsewhere? How would it evolve in extreme conditions?
Charles Cockell, the director of the U.K. Center for Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh, said in a statement that: “The pervasive nature of life on Earth is leading us to make this assumption On our planet, carbon leaches into most habitat space and provides energy for microorganisms to live. There are only a few vacant habitats that may persist for any length of time on Earth, but we cannot assume that this is the case on other planets.”
Cockell’s hypothesis states that, although habitable planets might abound in solar systems around the universe, it does not mean these locales harbor extraterrestrial life.
“It is dangerous to assume life is common across the universe. It encourages people to think that not finding signs of life is a ‘failure,’ when in fact it would tell us a lot about the origins of life.”
In the meantime, while the cynicism of the origins of life and the possibility of a multiple genesis theory is dismissed in one area of the world, another reports that there are signs that life here on earth most certainly came from space. Researchers have found algae-like fossils in meteorite fragments that landed in Sri Lanka last year.
This is the strongest evidence yet of cometary Panspermia.
Panspermia is the notion that that life on Earth began when a meteorite or comet containing simple organisms landed here, billions of years ago and perhaps more importantly, that there’s life elsewhere in the universe.
This is an entirely new idea of creationism – it is exocreationsim.
With the possibility of the idea of exocreationism, there are many willing to silence it in favor of more primitive thoughts on the origins of mankind.
The narratives that have their focus on science and religion are sending mixed messages to the consensus. Mankind is hell-bent on discovering our origins and reenacting the big bang in huge colliders. Their objectives are to find the natural key to open the doorway to the mind of God and understand what it is like to have the power of God in their hands.
Physicists have now made it official, they believe they have discovered the subatomic particle predicted nearly a half-century ago, which will go a long way toward explaining what gives electrons and all matter in the universe size and shape.
The elusive particle, called a Higgs Boson, was predicted in 1964 to help fill in our understanding of the creation of the universe, which many theorize occurred in a massive explosion known as the Big Bang.
The particle was named for Peter Higgs, one of the physicists who proposed its existence, but it later became popularly known as the “God particle.”
The particle’s existence helps confirm the theory that objects gain their size and shape when particles interact in an energy field with a key particle, the Higgs Boson. The more they attract, the bigger their mass will be – or so the theory goes.
With this knowledge, we are edging closer to understanding how creation began and how powerful that force is on a quantum level. Many will entertain the idea that this is man playing God or trying to circumvent the magic that God has kept secret from mankind since the beginning of time.
The secrets of the creation process are revealing themselves and perhaps it is time that we realize that there may be that halfway point between the romanticism of the religious story of creation and the scientific method in which creation manifests and data confirms.
This opens the door to an even greater discussion as to what or even who is responsible for why we are here, where we are going, and how and why we exist.
You may not believe in powers that exist beyond earth and beyond man’s comprehension, but it is evident that religious organizations now believe or at least have their ideas about the probability of exobiology, space agencies around the world are entertaining the ideas of life out in space and that the United States Military, NASA and other black ops organizations have sensitive information that they have kept from the American people regarding strange anomalous activities in space. It is getting to the point where NASA is no longer capable of keeping everything “top secret.” Some things cannot easily be explained by science.
NASA is finding it harder to hide the truth about an “alien” presence on earth and in the solar system. They are also finding it harder to hide the fact that the solar system is going through some abrupt changes.
It’s clear that something as sophisticated as DNA is an incomprehensibly immense database of manuals for complex structures and processes.
Science is reluctantly coming to the conclusion that it had to be designed by an advanced intelligence. Nobody has been able to offer any plausible alternative. Darwinists are trying hard, even desperately, but they’re stuck at “we don’t have a clue” or stupidly insist that it was all an accident.
As I’ve mentioned, a cell that can reproduce needs to be far more complex than just DNA itself. This kind of complexity requires design. Some people equate intelligent design with God.
The properties of DNA tell us that it was most likely the product of intelligent design and the designer must have been much smarter than we are.
We ourselves have been messing with genetic engineering for a while. There isn’t really much stopping us from seeding life on another planet, should we find one with favorable conditions. So, logistically, there’s no reason why life on Earth couldn’t have been seeded by somebody like us who decided to make us in his image after his likeness.
So this brings up another subject entirely. Can man evolve into becoming a God? No, not quite but to be consistent, in theory, we could mutate and adapt and learn and develop in ways that can be similar—much like a Wolf can adapt and mutate into something greater.
If we were to emulate God and seed life elsewhere, we’d have to use Earthly DNA—or through synthetic biology –create artificial life forms in a lab and watch them grow – like our own little Garden of Eden.
It is clear that the immensely sophisticated code for life on Earth is a product of intelligent design of some kind. Just because we can’t know the designer at this point, doesn’t mean this inevitable conclusion is somehow less valid. Calling the designer God gives it an identity and also has generated a reason to create various religions that fight over who has the keys to interpret how the designer feels about his creation.
Now it appears that science is hedging its bets as they are now finding interest in consciousness – the very thing that animated all of this mutated matter that exists in the world.
They are doing this because I am sure they are seriously trying to find a way to put consciousness into robots and catapult us into a world of transhumanism.
The very idea of creating some mechanical golem that mimics humans makes everything more material and less spiritual. God never made us to be gene-programmed biological robots with no free will, no purpose, no values, and no meaning.
We mutated and adapted – over time we were able to survive longer and thwart the Darwinian rigidity and the future is beckoning us to evolve again, making the change from human to human plus or a mechanical form.
We have to concede that computing isn’t true intelligence. And perhaps more importantly, machines can’t feel. No love. No excitement. No fear. No true empathy or sympathy. No grief. No core humanity.
There is no brain implant for that. There is no pill. It is a virtue toward which we have to consciously strive — in the way we behave toward others, in the charity we exhibit, in the humility we attain. Only human beings have the capacity to pursue virtues. It is part of what makes us exceptional.
Something or someone with forethought gave us this potential and we have accumulated this as we adapted to our environment.