SIDEBAR: Does evolutionary science really entail completeness?
One evolution professor wrote to me that evolutionary science does not claim completeness. Evolutionists readily agree that phenomena may lie outside the realm of strict naturalism. Is that true?
One sure sign of incompleteness at work is a scientist, when grappling with a difficult problem, allowing for even just the possibility that the problem may not be strictly naturalistic. One would expect these scientists to be found, at least on rare occasions, discussing the boundary between naturalism and non naturalism, even if they are not sure where it lies or even if there are any non naturalistic phenomena. But such conversations are hard to find amongst evolutionists.
And it is not as though they don’t have their share of hard to crack problems. After all, there is no scientific evidence that something (in this case everything) comes from nothing, as they believe. Nor does science support their rather heroic contention that life and all the millions of species arose spontaneously. There certainly are no easy answers for consciousness but again, evolutionists rush in, where wise men fear to tread, with their unlikely explanations.
Evolutionists don’t even hesitate when it comes to the origin of the universe itself. And when problems arise they even call upon a multitude of universes—the so-called multiverse. From multiverses to the origin of life and emergence of complexity, evolutionists evidence little awareness or concerns about potential incompleteness limitations.
So how did this evolution professor defend his claim that evolutionary science does not claim completeness? Believe it or not, his source was that fount of knowledge, the famous Judge John Jones, as though the judge was now an authority on the subject. Yes, this is the same judge who, regarding his preparation for the Dover trial, explained that “I understood the general theme. I’d seen Inherit the Wind.”
One of the many examples of the evolutionist’s secret gnosis comes from an essay written by Theodosius Dobzhansky entitled “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” It is a fitting example because that title has become a popular phrase in the evolutionary literature, including the popular literature and peer-reviewed research papers.
In that essay Dobzhansky rehearses the typical theological naturalism (i.e., theological arguments mandating a strictly naturalistic creation narrative) which is endemic to the evolution literature. For instance, Dobzhansky explained that the fossil record reveals many extinctions, and while this would be understandable under evolution, it would make no sense for God to do this:
but what a senseless operation it would have been, on God's part, to fabricate a multitude of species ex nihilo and then let most of them die out!
Or again, can we really believe that all existing species were generated by supernatural fiat a few thousand years ago, pretty much as we find them today? For “what is the sense of having as many as 2 or 3 million species living on earth?”
The beauty of natural selection is that it does not work according to a foreordained plan. But it would make no sense for a Creator to intentionally create the species we find. As Dobzhansky explains:
Was the Creator in a jocular mood when he made Psilopa petrolei for California oil fields and species of Drosophila to live exclusively on some body-parts of certain land crabs on only certain islands in the Caribbean?
Echoing Kant from centuries ago, who theorized of creation by natural means to avoid a capricious Creator, Dobzhansky explains:
The organic diversity becomes, however, reasonable and understandable if the Creator has created the living world not by caprice but by evolution propelled by natural selection.
And what about the fundamental biochemistry built into the species? Again, evolution is mandated for intentional design and creation of such a pattern is offensive to us, as Dobzhansky explains:
But what if there was no evolution and every one of the millions of species were created by separate fiat? However offensive the notion may be to religious feeling and to reason, the anti-evolutionists must again accuse the Creator of cheating. They must insist that He deliberately arranged things exactly as if his method of creation was evolution, intentionally to mislead sincere seekers of truth.
These are the types of powerful religious arguments that motivate and justify the evolutionary thought. It is all about metaphysics. Evolution must be a fact and so, of course, evolutionists enjoy completeness and realism along with their methodological naturalism. This is their secret gnosis.