Evolutionists have promoted their theory as “just science” while employing and relying on crucial metaphysical premises. Hume argued that the existence of evil refutes design, and likewise Darwin argued that homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern revealed the lack of design. So much of biology was, for Darwin, “utterly inexplicable if species are independent creations.” There is, of course, no scientific experiment one could do to gain such knowledge. It is metaphysical.
Obviously Darwin needed a naturalistic explanation for the species—his religious beliefs ruled out design. And likewise for today’s evolutionists. According to George Williams, there was “no evidence that God has any engineering expertise.” Evolution must be true.
For Williams and the evolutionists, the many evils and inefficiencies in nature mandate evolution. Evolutionists don’t know how life evolved, but they know it must have evolved. Evolution is not a fact because the empirical evidence says so, evolution is a fact because our religious belief says so. Fossils appear abruptly and remain unchanged for eons, cousin species reveal profound differences, distant species carry identical designs, adaptative mutations occur in response to environmental challenges, and life is packed with profound engineering secrets. The evidence certainly does not make for the fact of evolution.
Rather, the conviction that evolution is true, as is so often the case with convictions, comes from religion not science. As Stephen Jay Gould explained, “Odd arrangements and funny solutions are the proof of evolution—paths that a sensible God would never tread.” As usual, religion trumps science.
Evolution makes little scientific sense. Science does not indicate that complex designs arise from warm little ponds, no matter how much time is available. The DNA code, hemoglobin, vision, consciousness, and a thousand other designs are not explained scientifically by evolution. Yet we are told it is a fact because we cannot accept design.
This evolutionary sentiment is no big surprise. It dates back to long before Darwin. It is no surprise that people have strong religious feelings about God and nature. But how has this religious movement escaped the watchful eye of American jurisprudence? How could the ruling in the 2005 trial in Dover, PA, for instance, possibly miss the metaphysical elephant in the room?
The Dover trial itself was obvious enough. Evolutionist Ken Miller used various examples of evolutionary theology to make his case. For instance, he made the usual metaphysical argument that pseudogenes mandate evolution. Darwin and later evolutionists are moved by designs that don’t seem to work. But this proof from dysteleology is reinforced when the apparently flawed designs are shared amongst different species.
There are thousands of similarities between similar species, but similarities that are dysfunctional in both species are a prize for evolutionists. For we know that the Designer would never create such “shared errors.” What was rather unremarkable evidence for evolution (similarities between species bring confounding as well as supporting evidences) suddenly becomes an undeniable proof for evolutionists.
How did genes evolve against astronomical odds? Who knows, but they must have, for the pseudogenes decisively disprove design. They are now a favorite example for evolutionists, and what better evidence for Ken Miller to use in his Dover testimony.
There was only one problem: the deep metaphysics of the “shared error” argument would expose evolution for what it is. One cannot argue that evolution is just science using the usual metaphysical arguments.
Miller was attempting to argue that intelligent design is religious and that evolution is just science, and furthermore that evolution is a scientific fact. But the arguments for evolution are metaphysical. Hence Miller had a dilemma. He could not argue for the fact of evolution using empirical scientific evidence, for those evidences bear against evolution. Yes, there are the powerful metaphysical arguments, but they would reveal to the court the nature of evolution. Miller’s solution was to use the powerful metaphysics, but with careful wording. Here is the relevant passage from his Dover testimony on pseudogenes:
9 Now, the reason that this is important in
10 evolution is actually very simple, and that is, these
11 errors appear in a gene, they have no functional
12 purpose. And you might ask yourself, what would I do,
13 what would you do if we were to find another organism
14 that didn't just have similar genes but also had a
15 pseudogene in the same spot and had the same set of
17 There’s no reason why evolution would
18 produce a duplicate set of mistakes in two copies of
19 things. It must mean that these two organisms are
20 descended with modification from another organism that
21 had the same set of mistakes.
On line 17 Miller uses the word “evolution” rather than the usual “God” or “the Designer.” Consequently the passage makes no sense but sounds like powerful empirical evidence to an unsuspecting audience. By swapping in “evolution” for “God” Miller misrepresented evolution as a scientific theory. This misrepresentation is, of course, material to the case at hand and so amounts to perjury.
Elsewhere evolutionists make this argument without deception. Terry Gray, for instance, has argued that the pseudogene for L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase, an enzyme in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) biosynthesis must have evolved:
Now we could argue that in God’s inscrutable purpose he placed that vitamin C synthesis look-alike gene in the guinea pig or human DNA or we could admit the more obvious conclusion, that humans and primates and other mammals share a common ancestor.
Likewise for evolutionist Edward E. Max, pseudogenes are errors that “cannot reasonably be interpreted as having been ‘designed.’”
And we need not look to other evolutionists for examples of metaphysical interpretations of pseudogenes. While not under oath in federal court, Miller himself has made the argument crystal clear. Pseudogenes, proclaims Miller, must have evolved, for otherwise they would reveal a designer who “made serious errors, wasting millions of bases of DNA on a blueprint full of junk and scribbles.”
And Miller’s embracing of evolutionary theology is by no means limited to pseudogenes. Miller echoes the evolutionary interpretation of extinctions when he informs his readers that without evolution, they leave us with a designer who “just can’t get it right the first time. Nothing he designs is able to make it over the long term.”
Who needs scientific evidence when evolution is the only alternative? There is also the problem that fossil species sometimes are similar to the living species in the same region. “Why,” asks Miller, “should such a unique set of animals be found in exactly the same place as their closest fossil relatives?” Surely God would not create similar species in the same locale. “There could be just one answer,” states Miller, “a process of descent with modification linked the present to the past.”
But if the fossil record evinces too much order it also has an arbitrary aspect that, for evolutionists, does not accord with creation. For the fossil species do not always seem to progress in any particular direction. For instance, Miller finds evidence against the creator in the elephant fossils. There are, explains Miller, dozens of elephant or elephant-like fossil species dating back to as much as 50 million years ago. Trends in the design of the trunks and tusks can be found amongst these species. Using these trends, the species can be compared, classified, and even arranged in an evolutionary tree if one believes in evolution. And we should believe in evolution, according to Miller, for can we possibly believe there is a Creator behind this haphazard arrangement?
This designer has been busy! And what a stickler for repetitive work! Although no fossil of the Indian elephant has been found that is older than 1 million years, in just the last 4 million years no fewer than nine members of its genus, Elephas, have come and gone. We are asked to believe that each one of these species bears no relation to the next, except in the mind of that unnamed designer whose motivation and imagination are beyond our ability to fathom. Nonetheless, the first time he designed an organism sufficiently similar to the Indian elephant to be placed in the same genus was just 4 million years ago—Elephas ekorensis. Then, in rapid succession, he designed ten (count’em!) different Elephas species, giving up work only when he had completed Elephas Maximus, the sole surviving species.
In fact, tallying up all the millions of different species ever found, the Creator must have been constantly at work and this too, for Miller, is hard to believe. And do not the evils of nature also disprove a designing hand? As Miller rhetorically asks, would God “really want to take credit for the mosquito?” The answer for Miller is obvious.
Following the centuries long evolution genre, Miller provides a consistent stream of powerful religious arguments which for evolutionists disprove design and creation. Evolution is a deeply metaphysical theory, and Miller’s misrepresentation of it as nothing more than empirical science is serious because his testimony influenced the Dover judge, and was cited in the opinion.
Evolutionist’s arguments entail metaphysical premises, and this is how they can claim their theory is a fact. Without their religious arguments they would be left merely with empirical evidence which fails to support evolution as a fact because there is substantial negative evidence.
Evolution’s use of metaphysical premises is well documented. And Miller relies on these heavily in his own apologetics. But so long as legal testimony represents evolution as just science, courts will continue to miss the elephant in the room.