петък, 4 март 2011 г.

“Evolution or Creation” – Reflections and Emotions

Valentin Velchev

In this article I will try to take a stand on an argument that has recently arised in the United States and that threatens to spread on a global scale. The outcome of this argument can turn out to be crucial not only for the American education and culture but also for the whole “civilized world”. The issue at hand is the recently widely discussed case in which a group of parents from the town of Dover (Pennsylvania State) brought a suit against the board of the local school. The parents opposed against the decision of the school council to teach in biology classes the so-called theory of “Intelligent Design” alongside the evolution theory. Their claim is that this alternative is religious and violates the Constitution of the United States that prohibits religious education in school. The trail has ended with a victory for the parents – the Federal Court proclaimed “Intelligent Design” a theological (that is “unscientific”) conception.[1]
On the face of it, the argument for the origin of creatures and man opposes the conservative Christians against the teachers and scientists with naturalistic beliefs. But is there not another, deeper perspective and does it nor concern all people? If Darwin is right, then everything – from the formation of space systems to the origin of life and its evolution – is due to self-organization of matter.[2] All in all the Universe - as well as any life form in it - are destined to death and the best conclusion for us is "let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die". But what follows if, for a moment, we imagine that the Golgotha Martyr might be right? Then his cross turns into a demarcation line for all mankind - eternal life for some but what about the others... In this case does it not turn out that we are all from the same team because truth about the world is equally important and valid for each one of us?

What is science striving for?

It may sound rather paradoxical but according to an astronomer friend of mine: “it is scientists with Christian beliefs who have created the so-called methodical materialism which applies observation and experiment and has as its priority to look for natural explanations for the natural phenomena.” The most prominent Enlightenment figures in their fight against the church, and a number of atheistically oriented thinkers afterwards, have gradually turned this approach into an ideological one, that is, there is a sign of equality between materialism and science. Here I will venture the opinion that the aim of science is not so much to find the natural reasons behind the phenomena but to reveal the objective truth about things from reality.
Let me paraphrase the classic example with the watch. A skilled master invented the first watch but while walking in the forest, he lost it. You find this beautiful, copper-made watch, open it and look at its different parts. Eventually, you realize that all of its mechanisms are created in such a way that it tells the time with great precision. Then you decide to show your find to a professor you know in order to understand how it has appeared. You find him talking to a colleague in his office. After long meditation, he starts his explanation like that: "You have found this object in nature and therefore it must be nature that has created it. This object has originated as a product of a long and complex evolution of copper". And the theory begins – “In the beginning Earth developed as a planet in a gigantic gas-dust cloud that started to get thicker... and was heated to thousands degrees. In the process of its gradual cooling, copper disassociated from the other substances as a native metal because of the difference in their hardening points... In a special type of crystallization of the copper atoms the separate springs, ringlets, cam-gears, screws, dials and hands were formed. The original matter was full of them… In a complex way they grouped into a watch mechanism and gradually as a result of something like “natural selection” the more precise watches continued to exist until this species that shows the time so precisely appeared".
“But the chance for this object to have appeared in nature by accident is extremely small - objects the other professor. - Why cannot we assume then that it was created by a reasonable creator?”
So what do we get in actual fact? If the criterion for scientific character is to find the natural reasons for the origin of everything, then the first explanation is scientific but untrue. The second is true but unscientific.[3]
So is it not better to accept that the aim of science in reality is to find the objective truth? Thus everything falls into place. That is, if natural forces and laws apply, things should be explained by them, and if there is intelligent intervention, this should also be acknowledged. The watch hands are moved by the elastic force of the spring, but the watch itself has not appeared as a result of the “complex evolution of copper”. By analogy: all processes in nature are caused by natural causes but is not nature as a whole a work of a skilled Creator?

God or natural elements?

“Alright - someone might exclaim – there is a 50% chance that God has created the Universe, the living creatures and men, and a 50% chance that they have appeared as a result of evolution.” Are these calculations correct, however? Let us consider a suitable example again. If we throw dices – what is the probability to get sixes? For one dice - it is 1/6, for two - 1/36, for three - 1/216, for four - 1/1296, etc. No matter how many the dice are (thousands, millions and so on) we can always and with a hundred per cent of probability deliberately put all sixes on top. This means that for those things that depend on out intellect, there are sometimes insignificant and sometimes even impossible probabilities to happen.
The automobile is a creation of out mind. Could it be assembled as a result of chaotic processes? Let us have a look at one part of the engine only. Let us imagine we have a ready-made cylinder. What is the probability the fitting piston to appear by accident with the exact shape and size? Simple reasoning suggests that is it 1/infinity to the 2th power (because both shapes and sizes are countless). And if the cylinder itself has to appear in the same manner, so that these two elements to be combined and the system to be working, then the total probability is 1/infinity to the 4th power, that is, smaller than “absolute zero”. Such an example clearly demonstrates the mind's ability of multiple variants among which to choose the right one and to act accordingly (something completely impossible for the blind accident).
In one of my books I have calculated that for the accidental origin of the Universe the probabilities are also of the order of 1/ infinity raised to some power, and for the appearance of the albumens and nucleic acid – insignificantly small, practically impossible statistic numbers. That is, for a powerful and sage God it is a hundred per cent probable to create the world, whereas the natural elements stand no chance for such a deed.

Is “Intelligent Design” intelligent? [4]

Intelligent design has been proclaimed for a pseudo-science by some for two main reasons: First of all, the acknowledgement of the possibility for a supernatural interference equals the refusal of knowledge because we cannot research what is beyond matter.
The criticism against the followers of this theory is that they see the work of a supreme Creature almost behind each corner. As we have already explained, even the early scientists have considered a weakness the usage of the white spots in science in order to look for transcendental causes for explanation of the natural phenomena. While still living, Newton was ridiculed for his view that the Solar System is unstable and God must constantly rebuild its disturbed balance. The Lutheran philosopher and mathematician G. W. Leibnitz laughed at the assumption that the Creator cannot create a perfect world and has to repeatedly correct its defects. (Such inconsistency is more characteristic of the so-called theory of “Theistic evolution”. Its champions agree that evolution as a whole is due to natural causes, that is, it follows the same mechanisms that are included in Darwin's principles. Others claim that God’s right-hand has interfered with biology history many times – with the arrangement of the genetic code, with the leap at the appearance of some bigger taxonomic units, and first of all, with the ignition of the sparkle of human mind.[5]) In their book “The Soul of Science”, Ch. Thaxton and N. Pearcey convincingly show that the original principles of modern science are borrowed from the Bible, and the people, we now consider most important in scientific knowledge, were believers "to the marrow of their bones" and the most passionate discussion between them was “which philosophy of nature describes better the God-created world”[6]. Most Christian scientists have always considered creation as relatively autonomous and therefore have tried to explain events in a natural way (except for the biblical miracles, of course). A rather significant fact in this respect is the huge pile of knowledge that they have left for us in all spheres of the natural and social sciences. Their successors act the same way even today, and therefore the above accusation seems rather biased and far-fetched.
Second, “Intelligent Design” is regarded by many sociologists and philosophers of science as a “science-like theory” which is not backed by serious arguments and does not set a scientific program or opportunity for experimental check-up.
We must acknowledge that the pointed argument is somewhat valid. Most arguments by the founders of "Intelligent Design" which are used to prove their theses have been disproved by the opponents from the enemy camp. I have tried to eliminate some of the disadvantages of this doctrine: I have developed a “theorem” that proves the impossibility of evolution and I have drawn better criteria testifying for an intelligent power in the universe.)
According to the aims and goals of “Intelligent design” we believe that its supporters can develop in future an even better scientific program for action (after all the movement has not existed for a long time). As far as the experimental check-up is concerned, it is a matter of time a cosmological patterns to be created that will detect the differences among the various versions of the Creation proposed by the creationist scientists. The data that were received by the current satellites, which explores the origin of the Universe, will help us to discover soon the reliable scientific hypothesis.

“He catches the wise in their own craftiness” (І Cor. 3:19)

Materialists assume that it is possible for life centers to exist on other planets in the cosmos. All over the world, researchers from the SETI project have scanned the sky in search of signals from intelligent creatures. Spacecrafts directed outside the limits of the Solar system carry a phonographic record with golden cover as a message to the galactic brothers-in-mind. Many scientists are even inclined to believe that our biosphere is an experiment of a technically advanced extraterrestrial civilization.
A difficult to explain contradiction arises here, however. These same authorities, who emphatically reject the divine origin (and have proclaimed such a doctrine un-scientific), accept an intelligent intervention from another civilization with such a readiness?! Blaise Pascal asks: “Why are there so many people who do not believe in God's truths? Is it because they have not been proven to them?” And answers: “No, because they do not like them.”
We ask ourselves all the time “who are we”, “where do we come from and where are we going”. A popular newspaper once explained this strong anxiety for answers like that: "Some suppose that it is possible for an extraterrestrial intellect to have emitted huge streams of coded information, a virtual galactic encyclopedia consisting of insights for the origin of the Universe or immortality."[7]. Man desperately needs someone to tell him what is his origin and how to find immortality.
As other scientists remark: “An infinite Intellect has already sent “streams” of information, a “universal encyclopedia” answering the questions where do we come from, why are we here, as well as an insight regarding immortality - and it is not coded! It is revealed by the One who has created everything and is translated in almost every language in the world. The Holy BIBLE."


NOTES:
[1] The verdict of the court was reached in December 2005 while the article was written only a few months later – during the spring of 2006 year.
[2]. According to Ch. Darwin's doctrine, the factors of the biological evolution are reduced to до mutability, heredity and survival of the fittest. From the point of view of naturalism, however, his theory could be applied also for the development of still nature.
The Russin aphysicist A. Linde (working at present with the Stanford University) launches the idea of the so called "chaotic inflation". According to it, the quantum fluctuations of vacuum lead permanently to the generation of mini-universes. They are develoing in isolation, initially being swelled by inflation processes, and later - according to the Big Bang classical theory. At the emergence of a new world, mutability in laws and constants of the matter is observed. Casual repetitions of some of them are considered as a king of heredity. The survival of the species is also in operation, preserving the physical structures - atoms, molecules, celestial systems - when, at the combination of appropriate parameters, they are stable.
Fig.1 Linde's model is depicted as tree-like structure, consisting of an infinite number of branching "bubbles" (inflation universes). Every newly-generated universe can "Всяка новополучена вселена може да се "bud", forming new filial mini-universes. (The change of the color is "mutations" in the physical laws compared to the parental universes.)

Is it not paradoxical, however, that the man who exercised most influence on the formation of the materialistic philosophy of modern civilization only had… theological education. Few people know that Charles Darwin had only graduated a three-year course in Theology at Cambridge University and was later included in the military map-making expedition with the ship “Beagle” as a naturalist. All his life he worked rather as a dilletant and not as a specialist in the field of Biology sciences (Botany, Zoology, Palaeontology, etc.).
[3]. If some reader objects that things that have appeared as a result of intelligent design can easily be recognized, then we must ask him what the is criterion for that. For example, the bacterial cell, the simplest life form, has a much more complex level of organization than a mechanic (or electronic) watch. Which one is a product of an intelligent creator and which one is a game of the chemical molecules?
In a number of spheres we need clear rules allowing us to differentiate the products of the conscious activity. Otherwise, how will we determine in anthropology that a stone is a tool used by the “early human” and not just a piece of rock with a weird shape? And why is this approach considered antiscientific?
[4] According to “scientific creationism” (from Latin creatio - creation) after the completion of the God’s creation act, the world was created in a complete and final mode. Intelligent design is perceived as a softer form of the creationist doctrine because it tries to direct the attention of the reader towards the conscious perspective in the conception of nature without revealing Who and how has realized this plan.
[5] “Theistic evolution” is in its core a rather liberal conception that has striking discrepancies not only with the story in Genesis, but also with the main Christian doctrines. (See the book by the Informatics professor Werner Gitt "Did God Use Evolution?", Weren, 1997.).
[6] This brilliant bestseller is able to change out ideas of history and philosophy of science. We recommend it to each studious reader who still believes that Christian theism was aggressive towards rational knowledge.
[7] Union-Tribune, San Diego, California, 5 November 1993.

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