Science, Assumptions and Intelligent Design Part 4: The Distinctions (a)

Last time I noted that the Intelligent design movement is a refinement of the teleological argument for God. Behe as I noted, for example, argues not against evolution, but against atheistic evolution. The case I made in my recent pamphlet is that Christians should refute evolution itself on the grounds that it requires one to accept assumptions that the resurrection of Christ disproves. One can accept both intelligent design implications and young earth creationism, one can accept intelligent design implications and theistic evolution, but the two are different.

But that raises the question of how evolutionary theory and young earth creationism differ. All are ultimately not scientific arguments, though all use scientific data, these are ultimately philosophical/theological ones. As even Dennett seems to agree when he refers to Darwin’s theory as the universal acid; Richard Dawkins is famous for noting that Darwinism made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist (though I think he fails to realize that what Darwin has given, Nietsche has taken away), thus while they think of Darwin in biological terms, both seem to accept it as a more universal philosophy (which is rather scary when one considers the destruction caused by “social Darwinism”). IN fact, Dawkins has attempted (unsuccessfully) to develop an epistemology based on genetics and darwinian assumptions (his concept of memes), similar things are true of Hegel and Marx, both of whom were extensively influenced by evolution as an epistemological concept. Even today in cosmology many materialists have an almost darwinistic view of the universe’s origin due to the problems created by the fact that even their theories of the universe indicate it had a beginning, which is a serious problem for naturalism in general. In fact, Evolutionists and Christians are not working from different facts, but they are using different organizing principles of these facts. Bear in mind this is not my area of expertise, I know people that can provide more precise details, and what I am about to note is not comprehensive, it is however a starting point.

Stasis and Change
Many times, at least in popular sources, a university level discussion of evolution is compared to a second grade Sunday School discussion of creationism. Often one hears evolutions say that change occurs – and young earth Creationists do not disagree. Young Earth Creationists believe that species have changed, and that there are more species today than during the time of the flood or creation, I recently noticed at the Creation Museum a note that only about 1000 kinds were present on the Ark, I do not know how they arrived at this number, but this means young earth creationists have a very different view of the problems surrounding the flood that old earthers or evolutionists.

The Direction of change
More to the point, many creationists (myself included) view changes within the animal kingdom as negative or in terms of information being lost through natural selection. Many times when I was younger, I heard evolutionists describe genetic changes in terms of scribal errors – I know something about scribal errors from my studies of New Testament criticism, and happen to know that when changes occur in a manuscript unintentionally, those changes are less likely to change the meaning of a text, the real difficulty when it comes to scribal errors, the ones that change meaning are most typically related intentional changes – a scribe assumes that his exemplar is in error so makes an alteration to that text. Similarly, with genetics, mutations in nature don’t seem to lead to new information, they tend to lead to cancer and death, this is one of the factors that led to the non-Darwinian version of evolution known as “the Hopeful Monster” theory.

Genetics are proving to be vastly more complicated than was thought when I was in school. Embryological studies alone are demonstrating that the structure of an embryo for example are not coded in the genome, and they are now finding new ways that genes encode information, but all of this makes the most sense if there was at some point Someone intelligently “wrote the code” and if the code was written by an intelligent designer, it would make sense that changes would still be degenerative rather than progressive as evolution demands.

We will come back to this point soon. Unfortunately, I’m adjusting to third shift, and I apologize for any delays in my columns.

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