Evolution by natural causes emancipates religion from the shackles of theodicy. No longer need we agonize about why a Creator God is the world’s leading abortionist and mass murderer. No longer need we query a Creator God’s motives for debilitating countless innocents with horrific genetic conditions. No longer must we anguish about the interventionist motives of a supreme intelligence that permits gross evil and suffering in the world. No longer need we be tempted to blaspheme an omnipotent Deity by charging Him directly responsible for human frailties and physical shortcomings (including those that we now understand to be commonplace at molecular and biochemical levels). No longer need we blame a Creator God’s direct hand for any of these disturbing empirical facts. Instead, we can put the blame squarely on the agency of insentient, natural evolutionary causation. In part for this reason, the evolutionary biologist and philosopher Francisco J. Ayala has hailed the discovery of natural selection as “Darwin’s gift to science and religion.” [Inside the Human Genome, 157-8]
This is the reason why evolution is a fact. No Creator God would have intended for this world. From a scientific perspective, the theory of evolution is a non starter.
Fossil species appear abruptly in diversity Big Bangs followed by extinctions.
Adaptations that we do observe in populations arise quickly as a result of complex mechanisms that respond to the environmental challenge. Not only does this falsify evolutionary expectations, it also fails to fulfill the hope that the large-scale evolution requires can be explained as repeated rounds of adaptive change.
Sister species reveal, upon close inspection, dramatic differences for which evolution cannot account. And distant species reveal repeated designs. Incredible convergence is ubiquitous in biology and the evolutionary tree has consistently failed to explain the pattern of similarities and difference between the species.
And of course evolution cannot explain how even a single protein arose, to say nothing of the never-ending series of fantastic biological designs. Evolution is so astronomically unlikely that it far exceeds what scientists ordinarily take as impossible.
That doesn’t mean we can know that evolution is impossible. But we do know that the claim that evolution is a fact is not scientific.
It would be difficult to find, in the history of science, an idea that is held with more confidence and is more unlikely. It literally is today’s “Emperor’s New Clothes” tale with the twist that Hans Christian Andersen’s royalty is replaced by religion.
Avise’s sentiment in the above passage is typical. Evolution is underwritten by religious mandates. Evolution is a fact, yes, but that fact is metaphysical. Evolutionists provide a great many proofs of their fact, but the proofs always entail theological premises.