Monday, February 27, 2012

Why evolution is true (within theism)

There are many similarities of theistically-driven evolution with raising a family or raising democracy in a nation. We never begin from scratch. Sudden changes are rarely successful. Everyone must gradually develop his own character, as if from himself. Molecular designs will have been selected, not only for physical efficiency, but also, as we discussed, for their ability to receive theistic influx and so represent some small part of the human functional form in the mental and spiritual degrees. It may be that putative examples of ‘bad design’ have their good uses when the needs for reception are taken into account. We certainly cannot decide ‘good design’ on purely physical grounds since the overall purpose is always the coming into existence of human-like beings who are able to spiritually receive, retain, and delight in (and hence return) the love of God. When evolution comes to the spiritual stage where actions during the life have very long-lasting consequences, then phenomena of disease, predation, etc take on new importance and have to be managed to minimize their occurrence.
Many scientific investigations are still needed, even given the concept of theistically-driven evolution. We still have to understand the history of life on earth and the frequencies of genes in the various populations. We still have the problem of finding transitional species. Even in the hands-on limit, there must still be transitional forms between the main taxa of life in the various eras. There are the same needs here for evidence as in Darwinian evolution. The development of a new species may now seem easy to explain, perhaps too easy, but speciation is still a difficult process to understand and to accomplish. There must have been preparatory collection and harboring of new genetic information in the non-functional parts of existing genomes until these new sections could be activated together to give birth to a new species. How, given what we know of molecular genetics, could that have been managed?  And managed simultaneously in several creatures of a species (especially if there is sexual reproduction)?  Apart from that word ‘managed’, the questions of the continuous variations of genetic structures are very similar to those asked by Darwinian evolutionists. Therefore such research work is still needed.
The origin of life is still difficult to understand, even if now it is not so astronomically improbable as it would be according to a purely naturalistic account. We need to understand how the materials for life were assembled together into a form that keeps some perpetuating structure of its own. If you watch these materials in detail they will not follow exactly the laws of physics of inanimate bodies. Only the very simplest structures can be directly assembled (for reasons explained above). After the first assemblies, all else must follow by driving ‘behind the scenes’ to make these evolve gradually into new forms of life. The difficulties, even for God, of assembling organisms (as if from themselves) are sufficiently numerous that the idea that all the world’s creatures came from just one ancestor (‘universal common descent’) seems (to me) to be rather plausible. Whether it is also true must be the subject of scientific investigations, but, certainly, universal common descent cannot be used as distinguishing feature of only Darwin’s theory.

No comments:

Post a Comment