The New Priesthoodrecent example of this thinking comes from professor Jason Rosenhouse.
The idea that all of the biological evidences are exactly what evolution would expect is a misrepresentation of the science. The misrepresentation is striking given the extent to which the evidence contradicts evolutionary theory. You can see examples of these contradictions here.
It is important to understand that evolutionists are not merely saying their theory is an interesting idea that merits investigation. They are not merely saying their theory deserves to be considered or has some degree of merit. Such circumspect sentiment is not, and never has been, what evolutionary thought is about. Evolutionary thought is about high truth claims, with complete certainty, which contradict what we know about the world.
This cognitive dissonance is maintained by evolutionists using two moves. First, because evolution is taken to be true from the start (for non scientific reasons), the evidences naturally undergo interpretation and filtering.
The body of evidence, as understood by evolutionists, is what philosophers refer to as theory laden. For instance, contradictory evidences are often set aside. They may be viewed as incomplete, erroneous, not normative, or anomalous. One way or another they are not ready for prime time.
For example, evolutionists compare homologous genetic sequences between species to evaluate their evolutionary relationship. But the very act of comparing homologous sequences ignores, and filters out, the many sequences for which there is no homology.
The second move is to discount and delegitimize scientific objection as insignificant or nefarious. If you point out the many scientific problems with the Epicurean belief that chance events, coupled with natural laws, explain the origin of the world, then ironically the tables will be turned and you will be blamed for having the religious agenda.
Rosenhouse expresses these points, in typical fashion:
every scrap of evidence discovered by scientists points strongly in that direction [naturalism and evolution]. If evolution is false, for example, then it should have been trivially easy to disprove. And yet every scrap of data we have is consistent with what evolution tells us to expect.
Every scrap of evidence points strongly in the direction of naturalism and evolution? Even though I have seen such claims many times now, I still wince. They are, as they say, not even wrong. This is one of those rare times where superlatives really are appropriate. This is not just absurd, it is very absurd. Not just a misrepresentation but a perversion. Not just a lie, but a damn lie.
From the age-old evidence of breeding and twentieth century fly experiments to the more modern protein evolution studies and the violations of the common descent pattern across the species (a mere four of many examples), the “scraps” of evidence we actually have unequivocally do not point in the direction of naturalism and evolution.
This is simply a bald faced lie.
Rosenhouse then proceeds to discount the actual science as insignificant and merely the product of those religiously-driven creationists trying to prove their creator. What would evolutionists do without the Creationists?
Of course there is a reason for all the machinations. Evolutionists do not insist their modern-day Epicureanism is a fact, in spite of everything around us, without reason. Not surprisingly, that reason is really no different than that of the Epicureans. Modern thinkers have substantially elaborated on the theological details, but it boils down to religious beliefs about how a Creator would and should interact with the world.
First, if a creator were specifically design and create a world, it certainly would not look like this one. Beyond that, a truly great god would not use miracles anyway, and even if he would, the lowly things of this world are beneath his dignity to begin with. Furthermore science becomes impossible with an interventionist god.
The arguments go on and on, and they mandate a naturalistic origins. So not surprisingly, Rosenhouse explains that whatever concerns one might have with evolution, the real problem lies with the alternative:
For example, those biomolecular systems we were talking about never look quite so impressive after you study them in detail. … However superficially implausible they [the problems with evolution] seem, the only alternative on offer is much harder to believe.
After all, we just can’t really understand God:
Whatever mysteries you think you have found in the naturalistic view of life pale in comparison to what happens when you try to comprehend an entity with the attributes God is said to have.
For instance, how can God cause physical actions if he has no physical existence?
God is said to be mind without brain. For all the experience we have with actual minds and actual brains, that just looks like a contradiction in terms. God has no physical existence, yet acts of His will can cause whole universes with finely-tuned fundamental constants to appear where there was nothing before. How does He do that?
And what is the connection between His will and the creation of matter? Did you ever think of that?
What’s the connection between His will and the creation of matter? God knows what everyone is thinking at every moment of every day. How is that possible? How can he process and store all of that information? He exists “necessarily,” whatever that means, in contrast to the more mundane sort of existence we see all around us each day. I could go on multiplying the implausibilities, but I think you get the idea.
Yes, we certainly do get the idea. Evolutionists are driven by religious dogma in spite of the obvious evidence staring right at them. As even Rosenhouse must admit:
Personally, I find it incredible that the four fundamental forces of physics, operating from the moment after the Big Bang, could rearrange matter into everything that we see today. That unintelligent causes can ultimately lead to the creation of intelligent creatures, who can then rearrange matter and energy in clever ways, is, I entirely agree, hard to believe. And Darwinian evolution strains credulity as well. I am very sympathetic to the view that natural forces do not construct delicate, biomolecular machines.
But of course none of that matters because, after all, don’t forget the creationists. We must not allow God to interact with the world.
Young children are content with magical, supernatural explanations for things. But as we grow up most of us come to realize that invocations of God never really explain much of anything. They just create big mysteries where only small ones existed before.
Of course they are evolutionists, their religion requires it. Religion drives science, and it matters.