Aug 26, 2013

Questions about Evolution

Listen to this BBC interview with several prominent evolutionists on the Cambrian Explosion demonstrating the nature of the problem that atheists face. It is
 the one called "IOTS: The Cambrian ExplosionThursday, February 17, 2005 2:00 AM. Melvyn Bragg examines the Cambrian period, when there was an explosion of life on Earth. With Simon Conway Morris, Richard Corfield and Jane Francis". It seems evolutionists realize they have problems when they're by themselves! Simon Conway Morris holds to evolution yet seems to intimate we are in a "post-Darwinian world", for example What's so interesting is that they all agree that evolution happened ... but on very little else it seems! I appreciate their expertise, collegiality and candor. I'm just saying that evolution leaves lots of unanswered questions - in fact, I would say too many to be viable.

Here is a paragraph I just read from Dembski's book on intelligent design that you may find helpful as it expresses my viewpoint for the most part: "indeed the following problems have proven utterly intractable not only for the mutation-selection mechanism but also for any other undirected natural process propose to date: the origin of life, the origin of the genetic code, the origin of multicellular life, the origin of sexuality, the scarcity of transitional forms in the fossil record, the biological Big Bang that occurred the Cambrian era, the development of complex organ systems and the development of irreducibly complex molecular machines." (It's from ch 5 I believe of Intelligent Design: bridging the gap between theology and science I think.)

I understand no model has everything perfectly answered. I wouldn't want to act like that's evolution's real problem. The question is does the theory even have the right narrative for life, the right mechanism(s), the right big idea in place. No, it seems certain it does not. That is why these problems won't go away. 

In the meantime, it seems as if evolutionists will hold on to the big idea despite the details and then be willing to satisfy for rather poor solutions along the way. Evolution is not clearly defined enough and it seems as if it gets a pass in so many ways; the rigor exerted in so many other areas gets replaced and all the sudden it looks as if we are grading on a curve for the sake of evolution.

I read a Ken Miller piece critiquing ID (at the Dover Trial, 
I was not impressed with Miller, especially the tie clip illustration. That almost seemed like bad comedy - almost). What I found was that he -like almost all ID critics- misrepresents the project as an "argument from personal incredulity." But as these men have had to say time and time again, the conclusion is not derived from *what we do not know* but rather from *what we do know*. Intelligent agents being the only cause of information is one such example. In a sense, irreducible complexity is another. In any event, here is Dembski’s response to Miller’s piece 

Miller admits that evolution has not accounted for the origin of hardly any cellular structures. But then he gives an example demonstrating that, eventually, they will be accounted for; I do not take Miller’s word for it. I do believe that when the "right theory" arrives, many evolutionists will be rather easily satisfied with some "just so story" as they often are ... but I do not believe this will be a real explanation. 

However, it seems that most evolutionists think we will not accept these theories either for lack of imagination or for lack of scientific knowledge … but is that really why? 

One problem it seems that many of the evolutionists explanation for the bacterial flagellum’s irreducible complexity is that not only do they need to find viable biological activity for the component parts prior to their assembly, they also need to demonstrate how these components are all "held in waiting" while the other parts have yet to evolve! And then, they have to be able to assemble them all together once all the needed parts have "arrived", if you will (I am trying to couch this in simple language, for my sake.

These seem like real issues, not made up problems. I mean, it it almost sounds as if one would need evolution to have an actual goal in mind, as if it understands intuitively teleology. But that is something that intelligent agents such as planners and architects do. It almost sounds as if evolution needs to be able to "read" a set of instructions (from whence come the instructions in the first place). What I’m getting at is the problem of self-assembly and self organizing.

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