The Unpacking Problem
Ask any evolutionist and they will be sure to tell you that they have rejected Aristotle and his teleological science. Like justice, nature and her laws are blind to need and influence. Actions, and reactions, occur according to mathematical relationships and mechanistic causes. There are no properties or goals—out with the final causes and in with the proximate causes.
Yet, oddly enough, the literature is loaded with teleological language, as we have so often pointed out in these pages. Dinosaurs “were experimenting” with flight, the genome was “designed by evolution to sense and respond to the signals that impinge on it,” and evolution created a “rich genomic ‘starter-kit’ to support the increase in the cellular and genomic complexity that is characteristic of eukaryotes.”
This neo Aristotelianism only gets worse when it comes to evolution’s Holy Grail, natural selection. Consider the University of California at Berkeley’s “Understanding Evolution” website which informs the student that “natural selection can produce amazing adaptations.” This hilariously appears on a page entitled “Misconceptions about natural selection.”
In fact natural selection, even at its best, does not “produce” anything. Natural selection does not and cannot influence the construction of any adaptations, amazing or not. If a mutation occurs which improves differential reproduction, then it propagates into future generations. Natural selection is simply the name given to that process. It selects for survival of that which already exists. Natural selection has no role in the mutation event. It does not induce mutations, helpful or otherwise, to occur. According to evolutionary theory every single mutation, leading to every single species, is a random event with respect to need.
Natural selection cannot change that. It cannot induce a design to appear.
And yet, an Aristotelian mythology has been erected, imagining that natural selection creates things. This brings us back to this weekend’s debate, in which evolutionists Lawrence Krauss and Denis Lamoureux propagated and insisted upon this myth, and Stephen Meyer was presented with an enormous unpacking job. How does one disabuse two interlocutors whose perceived success depends on them not understanding the basic facts—in 30 seconds or less?
Religion drives science and it matters.