I just listened to the show on Evolution and it was really interesting to hear Emery's view and to hear Scott respond. I wish I could have participated but I know the show would have taken a whole different direction and so in a way, I am glad I was sitting out to hear their views without the need to interrupt. I think I would like to respond first with the things for which I agree.
First, the way the authors try and explain why evolutions are wrong is because they have already determined that they are wrong. But I agree, it doesn't make any sense to discuss "why" someone is wrong until you show "that" they are wrong. I could argue with the cop at my door that it was not my son killed in the car crash down the street. The cop would say, sir, I understand this is hard to accept but we found his body and car wrapped around a tree. But if I say, officer, my son is here at home and here he is, the evidence trumps my reasons to want to disbelieve the cop. So readers have to understand the authors believe they have shown the evidence "that" evolution is wrong so they start to discuss "why" they are wrong. But I don't think the one single chapter is sufficient to disprove evolution.
I agree that the ID movement is messed up in a lot of ways. First, there are the young earther's who mistake the Genesis account for a scientific account of creation. It is a myth that was written in the genre of such, yet it happens to overlap with the reality of what happened only on a much lower resolution of accuracy. It was meant to be the true creation myth as opposed to the pagan myths of the time. Moses, who had studied all the myths in Egypt was responding to them with the Genesis account. What was key in that account was that the universe had a beginning (and a Beginner), that the earth’s development happened in stages, (coinciding with realty), and that God finally rested after intervening during the process. It is the only religious text that has these features and is unique in this regard.
The Young Earthers are an embarrassment to the Christian Church as they hold on to beliefs that are completely against the record of nature. We see the heavens as a video tape of the development of the universe. The farther we look out in space the farther back in time we are seeing. Young Earthers will say, "Nobody was there so how do you know?" We, we have a video record of it. We can watch the whole thing happen right up to about 100K years from the big bang. Sometimes young earthers will use a stupid analogy saying that God made Adam at a mature age and he did the same thing with the universe. But that analogy would only work if along with making Adam fully mature, he provided a video tape of his childhood, left scars on his body from falling off his bike and a memory of all of these events. The evidence for the universe being almost 14 Billion years old is so overwhelming and so detailed from so many perspectives that only a fool would claim the universe is young. Or, God is tricking us all, and that is foolishness.
But because of this, and so many other things that Christians have done and believed and pushed for, the idea of yet more Christians debating evolution seems redundant. I fully understand that. And, I understand Emery's complaint about ID proponents not providing an alternative model. This is so true. All they do is play defense which doesn't work because the premise of science is that when we don't understand, we know there is a materialistic explanation so there is no reason to abandon a bad theory for no theory. If evolution had a competing materialistic theory, I promise you, the good skeptics that are troubled with the view now, would be out there blazing a trail and exposing the weakness of evolution. An alternative theory that allows of God tinkering with DNA is not going to ever be accepted by the scientific community. But right now, there is no other conceivable theory so it is all or nothing for the materialist and for the scientist. Evolution is being treated as the procuring cause of all life and is considered a fact.
At the same time, just like religious people have been wrong, so has the scientific community. Sometimes widely accepted theories are later abandoned for better, more accurate theories. But just suppose for a minute that something intelligent did tinker with the dna of species and introduce new life in stages over time. How would that be proven? Evolution would still be considered the best theory and would not be overthrown just because some intelligent being changed DNA along the way! What method would we use to discover this fact? A very close skeptical look at the evidence would be needed. This is just not going to happen in this day an age. But I predict, as time goes on, maybe 200 years from now, some bold high end scientist will decide to study the evidence at a very detailed level with appropriate skepticism and will conclude that intelligence did tinker with the software. And indeed, this scientist will make a name for himself.
So, The ID movement needs to first all get on the same page with the age of the universe and not fear the facts. Second, they need to work on a model that makes testable predictions with ways to adjust for new data. There are a bunch of ways this could be done in Biology, Genetics and Astrophysics. And someday it will.
Next, the discussion regarding theistic evolution was troubling to me. Remember, the theory of evolution maintains that life came about by random chance, without guidance and without intelligence. That the small incremental changes that occurred were also randomly driven by chance and by the random events of the physical surroundings that were also driven by chance. The resulting life forms are a combination of jillions of previous chance events that combined to create the diversity of life and balance that we find today as a moving snap shot of random processes on the move to whatever random direction they find themselves. This is the basis for materialism and is taught to every good materials child and disciple.
Emery and Scott said that a God that could cause all of this at the big bang would be a greater God then one the created as he went. And in one sense I see their point. At least philosophically, God could have known the outcome of an infinite number of random universes before he caused them and in causing this one, he could have simply choose this one to actuate as opposed to the other ones. In this sense, the random events that caused us would be divinely inspired. The only problem with this view is that the physical record doesn't show that, and the biblical record records stages of God "working".
The momentum for evolution is so overwhelming that I understand that to argue with materialist on the point of evolution is like playing with fire in a firecracker factory. There is no way to win because of the history of Christians being stupid and the seeming consensus of all the scientists that evolution is a fact. So, for me to start making a case as to why I think evolution is not the procuring cause of life, is to make myself out to be a complete idiot. I fully empathize with the attitude and the looks I get when making my case. I am not ignorant of the facts that materialist use to "prove" evolution and they are not idiots for believing evolution based upon what is known.
But let me start by saying what I believe and what most ID proponents believe. Obviously, God created the cosmos and after the universe was at the correct age and size (elements needed were in place by cycles of supernova processes), the earth was positioned in a place with all the right features to support life. (both the universe and the earth needed to be remarkably fine tuned to allow for life). The early earth rapidly was covered with life. Just within a few hundred million years of cooling to a solid, the earth was covered with bacteria. This was used to help create oxygen. But the earth was eventually struck by a huge asteroid that killed off all the life on the earth. But again, life started and more oxidation occurred. And again, after a few hundred million years, all life was wiped out again. And the process started again. Comets and asteroids pelted the earth and water accumulated and oxygen was created.
Then more complicated life was introduced in stages over billions of years. Just like the myth in the bible described. And eventually, man was created. After this point, God rested. No more intervening. I know this sounds like silliness to the materialist but let’s look at the general evidence. And I know I will not convince anyone to change from materialism to Theism with this argument but maybe a few points will stick in their minds and they will start to consider the reality of it down the road as they hear more evidence.
There has been no theory that has explained how life could have arisen out of a pre-biotic soup. The more we learn about the early earth, the more unlikely it becomes. The fact that life had to have arisen several times, not just once, is lost in the general discussion. Astro-physists know this but very few people are taught this fact. Second, the fossil record doesn't show the prediction that Darwin made that the transitional forms would be there between species. Materialist claim that this is because the changes happened suddenly but they do not explain why? There are some rare cases that can be speculated but the abundance of transitional forms are simply not there. This is not some creationist story or angle, this is real. The theoretical evolutionist are admitting this and are looking for adjustments as to why this is the case. But the general public is unaware of this issue because it is just assumed that it will be solved somehow.
The very fact that species were added in stages is not enough to prove evolution. The fossil record would need to reflect the story in the same way the cosmos reflects the story of the universe. It simply is not there. There are more and more problems coming up as more fossils are found. What are at one time deemed “transitional” are quietly swept under the table when species and traits that were thought to be descendants are discovered prior to or contemporizes of these so called transitional forms.
Here are a few facts. Humans have not shown to be on earth beyond about 70k years ago. This is nothing in evolutionary terms. Genetically, all humans have been shown to be related to the same singular women. Humans are not related to Neanderthals as was once thought. It is speculated that we are related to some creature way back but not even close. This has been proven lately using genetics as well. The fossil record shows mass extinctions. For example 6-8 million years ago, the earth was covered with 100's of varieties of monkeys and apes. It quite literally was the planet of the apes. There were even apes that walked upright on two feet. Knuckle walkers came later. The number of physical changes that have to take place for a species to go from walking on four legs to two is simply amazing, it is a change in the hips the back bone the feet, the knees the neck the skull etc... It goes on and on. For all of these changes to occur in just a few million years is not understood at this time.
It is clear that natural selection occurred and is occurring. People call this evolution and I understand how the human mind extrapolates this out to the actual cause of all life. But it simply doesn't play out. It is fair to say that the design of species has a feature that allows for adaptation. This is a feature that an intelligence would include. But when you look at a species that has adapted to an extreme environment, the species loses some features that it needs and it loses the ability to adapt back. For instance. Dogs can be breed from wild dogs to any breed. But you cannot take a beagle and breed it back to a wild dog. There seems to be a continuum that species can adapt to, but no further.
The irreducible complexity of Behe is a huge challenge. The early evolutionist didn't realize the complexity of the cell and of the processes that go on there. There are a ton of books now on this subject and it is interesting to read about the debate. The things you have to accept to embrace evolution are amazing, but there is no other choice for the materialist so they do. There are writers that are worth reading. William Dembski and Phillip Johnson are the most famous in this regard. Sometimes the minority position is the right one. But the issue brought up in the book about how feathers can evolve from scales is interesting. Both are useless in between each other, yet this is what is accepted.
The DNA code not only is complex physically, but it has messages with meaning and language on top of the physical complexity. Moreover, like an architect, there are plans within plans with order and purpose. The multi layers of complexity that have to occur in order show an intelligence above the scene that is directing this project. Just explaining how an eyeball could evolve is tough, but when it is connected to a device with a liver, spine, blood stream, skin and each component has the blueprint for the whole device on board? It is just to wild to think this all happened by chance without direction.
I know I have not convinced anyone but I hope at least one person read this diatribe of mine....This subject can get really detailed and there are some many parts to it we have not even scratched the surface. But the truth is evolution is a theory that should be approached with more skepticism. The full acceptance of it is not justified by the evidence that is there. As more information comes in, either the materialist will look for a better theory or continue to simply trust that there must be an explanation for the "fact" of evolution cannot be overthrown.
We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2 Peter 1:16