On pathological science: Darwinian evolution and the devaluing of man
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May 13, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Questions regarding such theories as the origins of the universe, the emergence of life on earth, the meaning of human existence, and the concept of personhood are more pivotal to contemporary intellectual thought than ever before. These questions, which form the undergirding platform for the most existential controversies of our time, and the inevitable answers to these questions, wield momentous implications and consequences for science, technology, and society as a whole, profoundly impacting civilization and humanity itself. The contemporary response to these theoretical concepts is the ideological triad of, secularism, relativism, and materialism (SRM). SRM constitutes a new world religion; and the prophets of this New Age creed are Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud, and Marx.
The basic tenets of this new dogma are essentially this: (1) Secularism – that nature is mechanistic, a self-perpetuating, self-validating, evolutionary automaton encompassing the sum total of reality. And, employing Occam’s Razor, with a Nihilistic twist, if there is no creation, it follows that there can be no talk of a creator. (2) Relativism – that there are no absolute truths, (viz., moral virtues), that constitute the undergirding concepts which ground the ideas “right” and “wrong.” Instead, relativism asserts that all moral talk is comprised of pseudo-moral statements, artificial constructions, devoid of objective reality; and (3) Materialism – that Man is a purely material being, bearing no distinction from any other material being save for the fact that his existence is inherently harmful to the rest of the natural world, but that, nevertheless, on his own – through social and biological engineering – he is capable of modifying his own nature.
Alone secularism, relativism, and materialism constitute largely unsustainable philosophical positions; but the triad, SRM, emerges as the new orthodoxy, a militant belief system. Its adherents are zealous and dogmatic, indeed evangelical, in their mission to indoctrinate the unbeliever.
In short, SRM is a world view based on methodological naturalism in the absence of absolutes, and buttressed by the Darwinian myth about the descent of Man – that anthropological fantasy that the human being is merely an outcropping of an evolutionary chain of random events.
The consequences of SRM are vitiating. SRM makes possible – and inevitable – the exploitation of the environment, and all sentient species, including human beings, where human personhood is utterly de-valued and eviscerated (e.g., abortion, genocide, slavery (human trafficking of all stripes). SRM’s vicious disregard for personhood has been justified by the secular materialists’ creed of relativism, rationalized by Darwin’s theory of evolution.
In 1953, Nobel laureate Irving Langmuir coined the expression “Pathological Science” as the “science of things that aren’t so”. Nowhere is this more applicable theory than Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Today, in academia and throughout all public discourse, Darwin’s theory is presented as fact, something clearly and definitively known by scientific authority – it is never questioned, never referred to as a hypothesis. From elementary school through college, students are indoctrinated by the dogma’s tenets, they are required to memorize its particulars and to recite its details on exams and in oral presentations without scrutiny or critical analysis. This is a strange and puzzling attitude, because it is incumbent upon educators and scientists of all stripes to vet stories, hypotheses, and theories presented as facts but requiring validation or proof. Following the Scientific Method, it should obligate us to apply the same rigor to Darwinian dogma as we do to all other scientific claims. Nevertheless, Darwinian dogma is strangely viewed as a belief system, which is committed to memory by the devoted, expounded upon with unerring reverence, and taught in the hushed tones of scribes solemnly pouring over revered texts. Modern educators, like clerics, preach to students as if they were disciples, with something akin to an evangelical fervor. We should be alarmed that in teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution we are preaching a pseudo-religious ideology. It is that ideology which is espoused by SRM as the genuine creed—supplanting Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And anyone who might dare to question this new dogma is cast out of the assembly as an infidel, to be derided and vilified as a heretic.
The fact is Darwin’s theory is incomplete and unverifiable – something that Darwin himself confessed... It has never been substantiated by evidentiary proof (such as a discovery of a so-called “missing link”). No one repudiates the fact that Darwin’s theory contains many contradictions, and broken chains of explanatory reasoning (ranging from organisms of “irreducible complexity”, to the Cambrian explosion). Indeed, a growing body of scientists, including biochemists, cosmologists, paleontologists, embryologists, and geneticists, have found Darwin’s main hypothesis – namely, evolution by way of an unguided process of random events and environmental dynamics – to be lacking explanatory depth or validity.
A principal concern of these scientific authorities emanate from the theory’s inadequate ability to explain the highly ordered complexity, and mind-boggling variety found in Nature. Indeed, the intricacy, diversity, poetic beauty, and mathematical precision of biological organisms seem rather to suggest deliberate process, which we have come to designate “Intelligent Design.”
Perhaps we can account for the inadequacies of his theory, if we reflect that Darwin – though once a deeply religious man – began to doubt the correlative relationship he once believed existed between God and Man. As his world view became secular, his theory took shape upon open questions and fabulous conjectures. But neither Darwin nor his contemporary Wallace, were in any way revolutionary in their hypothesis about evolutionary changes to explain the nature of the physical earth and its life forms. An amusing example can be found in the beliefs of the Ionian philosopher-scientist Anaximander (565 B.C.) who believed that human beings evolved from fish.
And many early scientists, in studying the natural world, assumed “spontaneous generation” was responsible for the appearance of life forms which they had not discovered before.
A surprising example can even be found in the Medieval philosophy of St. Augustine (354-430 A.D.) who believed that God created through the word (logos), and the word found its expression in an unfolding (evolution) of things over time, according to a Divine Plan (Logoi spermatikoi).
In short, there is nothing whatsoever unique or novel about Darwin’s concept of evolution in general.
Actually, Darwin’s version had been rejected and debunked in his own day, by his own contemporaries…. Why then did it “sprout legs” (to use an idiom of evolution)?
Darwin’s theory of evolution was eagerly embraced by secular philosophers of his century, such as Nietzsche. We can trace its ascendancy in the United States back to the radical campus movement of the 1960’s; a period during which a vocal community of discontent academics and cultural elite were preoccupied with challenging traditional authority of every kind – moral, social, and political. And these “anarchists” found a perfect vehicle in Darwin’s ideas. This failed theory became a mechanism to explain away God; to dispense with the “Watchmaker”, and in so doing, liberate individuals from the Ultimate Authority – and laws, altogether.
The theory of evolution took root. And the pernicious ideology of relativism spread like a noxious weed.
But what about his central tenets? Do they have any validity?
It turns out there are many fatal problems with Darwinian evolution. Let us consider a few of the many flaws and inconsistencies and inadequacies of Evolution.
What is life?
The biggest problem with any effort to explain the origins of Life, is that no one understands what it is.
Life is not merely intrinsic and essential biological existence only: it is not mere matter.
It is consciousness, a state of being entailing awareness – if even at a most primitive level.
It is the real which transcends the corporeal.
The cells of a strand of hair are not aware; amoeba, are.
The fallen leaf is not sensible; the hemoglobin coursing through a squirrel’s veins, is.
Moreover, while Man certainly can clinically duplicate the essential facts, events and conditions that permit and sustain Life, he cannot transform that prepared set of organic substance and primed conditions to actual living state. There is some energy, some reality, here at work, which transcends the purely corporeal world. Perhaps something…. spiritual.
So: if we can not even say with any understanding what Life is, how can we be so arrogant as to claim we know how it began?
The question of what Life is, and how it occurred to begin with, is beyond the scope of science. Therefore, any scientist who claims to know makes a theological claim based on religious beliefs, not scientific knowledge.
In the final analysis, any person who claims to know – scientifically – how and when life occurred, is a fraud, because any “explanation” of those things is purely religious and must be accepted on faith!
Here is a perfect example of how we rely upon both science and faith to attain a lucid understanding of the important questions: biology can certainly explain satisfactorily how living organisms behave, but it requires faith to assert why it exists at all. So, if Darwin claimed to explain the origins and teleology of Life, he offered a religious doctrine, not a scientific theory.
The origin of Life – in that life transcends the purely corporeal – remains a mystery to science. It is beyond the scope of empirical study; it is the realm of theology.
In the absence of actual empirical evidence, proponents of evolution invariably resort to non-scientific justifications. Darwinists feel compelled to employ theological argument to establish their claim about a purely scientific matter.
For example: “if it had been designed by ‘God’ it would be perfect: and as it is not, it must be the outcome of evolution,” as though we were in a position to determine whether an organism were flawed or “perfect”, and as though evolution could be the only possible alternative explanation. Read Paul A. Nelson (in his article in the journal Biology and Philosophy)1, and Cornelius George Hunter (Darwin’s God) 2 for more on the role of theological arguments in defending a supposedly scientific position. Other evolutionary biologists and psychologists address the questions of meaning and purpose, which are strictly the domain of philosophy, and which cannot be addressed in a scientific theory at all.
Take for example the classic debate over the Human eye.
Biologist Kenneth R. Miller explains: “In Darwin’s day, the very existence of an organ of extreme perfection like the eye was taken by many as proof of a Designer. How else could all the intricate organs and substructures of the eye have come together in just the right way to make vision so possible, so perfect? But it turns out the eye isn’t exactly perfect after all. In fact, the eye contains profound optical imperfections [which] are proof, in a sense, of the evolutionary ancestry of the eye.” 3
This argument in defense of evolution is fallacious in a couple of glaring ways.
First, in a matter of science, the only thing that counts is evidence. It is inappropriate to couch the supporting argument solely in theological terms.
And secondly, it does not follow that even if flaws exist, Darwin’s outlandish claims must all be true: that even if a life form is not “perfect”, it must mean that natural selection was responsible. As if there were no other explanations.
But thirdly! It turns out that:
“despite Miller’s claim, the vertebrate eye seems to be a masterpiece of engineering!... The light-sensing cells in the eyes of higher vertebrates are extremely efficient at amplifying faint light. The efficient, hard-working tips of the light-sensing cells need lots of energy, and they also need to be constantly regenerated. The energy is provided by a dense bed of capillaries, and the regeneration is facilitated by a special layer of epithelial cells. If the tips of the light-sensing cells faced forward, as Miller thinks they should, incoming light would be blocked by the dense capillary bed and the epithelial layer. Such an eye would be much less efficient – and therefore less perfect – than the one we have now, because the capillaries and epithelial cells are now behind the retina instead of in front of it. And although this arrangement [creates] a blind spot, vertebrates have two eyes, and the blind spots cancel out.
Another problem with Miller’s argument is its implication that the retina of vertebrate eyes is ‘backwards’ because evolution was forced to tinker with something it already had. This is false. [More primitive] vertebrates all have retinas that face forward. There is no backwards retina in a primitive animal that [according to evolution] could have served as an evolutionary precursor to the vertebrate eye. So where is Miller’s ‘proof of the evolutionary ancestry of the vertebrate eye’?” (Getting the Facts Straight, Discovery Institute Press, 2001) 4.
To begin with, Darwin’s main claim as spelled out in The Origin of Species, is that all forms of life on earth evolved from a single “tree of life”; that the great variety of life, all descended from one common ancestor; that all flora and fauna evolved from a single ancestral root by an unguided process of random events, and natural selection in response to changing environments. His claim is that all living things are the unintentional result of an undirected natural sequence of random events.
That, given enough time, anything can take place by random events, within the laws of nature.
This was Darwin’s best effort to eliminate the idea of deliberate design from the question of how life forms came into being.
This is fundamentally a contradiction, because “randomness” implies the absence of governing “laws.” There cannot simultaneously exist laws that dictate process, and at the same time haphazardness of process, which is, a kind of “natural anarchy.”
The bigger problem with ancestry
For one thing, Darwin claimed that natural selection was responsible for creating not only new species, but in fact completely new forms of organisms. That given enough time, not only would a frog “turn into” a lizard, but that a lizard would “turn into” a bird! He asserted that natural selection relies on randomness, over time improving the success of an organism within a changing environment.
The only evidence of natural selection is that minor changes continually occur within a species, but never produce new species, higher forms of organisms, or entirely new and different organisms.
Even strictly within a given species, according to Darwin’s theory, complex specialized organs can form as a result of innumerable changes over time. The idea is, that a biological organism somehow incorporates self-remediating paradigms, which result in an increasingly sophisticated and complex organ. Besides the fact that this is purely hypothetical – and there is no evidence even to support it – no one has ever fully defined an actual complete theory, that is, no one has been able to offer an explanation of the mechanism involved, not even in a single kind of “transmutation” between life forms.
As observed by Stephen Meyer in Darwin’s Doubt, “genes that are obviously variable within natural populations seem to affect only minor aspects of form and function—while those genes that govern major changes, the very stuff of macroevolution, apparently do not vary or vary only to the detriment of the organism.” 5
Instead, it is more reasonable to conclude that a species progresses much in the same way that an individual creature matures over its lifespan, going from embryo to adult, in realizing its full genetic potential and biological capacity in order for it to compete and succeed.
Moreover, one would expect that, in the same way neural networks function along electrical pathways, biological evolutionary changes would route from primitive to advanced state along paths of least resistance. That is, modifications to an organism’s programming or design would follow along the simplest lines, and only accomplish the most elementary basic and rudimentary changes, resulting in the least complexity. And the changes – modifications of design and variations – would be within the closed system of the species.
Presumably, Nature – left on its own – would prefer a kind of economy of design and functionality. But this did not happen in reality.
The fact is, (as is evidenced in the so-called “Cambrian explosion” as elsewhere throughout the fossil record), organisms and their design components are unnecessarily complex and ….. beautiful. Biological design does not appear to be solely justified by necessity, as it would have to be if evolution theory applied.
If anywhere there were evidence for Darwin’s theory, we would expect to find it in bacteria. Scientists have studied tens of thousands of generations over the past few decades, and yet no new species have emerged. Bacteriologist Alan H. Linton wrote recently: “Throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another.” 6
Anyway, mere similarity is insufficient to establish Darwinian descent as a product of a chain of haphazard modifications or adaptations to changing environments.
In fact, the fossil record does not – and cannot – show us ancestry and descent. Maybe some of the fossils we saw were ancestral to others, within a species, but as Henry Gee, chief science writer for Nature wrote in 1999: “the intervals of time that separate fossils are so huge that we cannot say anything definite about their possible connection through ancestry and descent…. To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story – amusing, perhaps, even instructive, but not scientific.” 7
Mere similarity between fossils does not prove an ancestor-descendant relationship, but may merely demonstrate similarity of deliberate design, in the same way an automobile manufacturer produces different vehicle models of a similar design or whose components have similar functionality.
Evolutionary biologist Neil Shubin argues (referring to specimens of a jellyfish, a millipede, a beetle and a crab): “Evolution tinkered with fish to make limbs, …. The question is, what sort of tinkering led to these body plans?” 8
But, according to Francois Jacob, a “tinkerer” works according to a plan, which perhaps is not preconceived (as perhaps, one designed by an engineer), but it is deliberate, nonetheless. 9
And the very act of tinkering suggests thoughtful consideration, and an element of creativity.
No evidence of such thoughtfulness or creativity has been found in Nature. Nor has any natural process been suggested which would emulate deliberate tinkering.
On the other hand, this may very well support the theory that all of these life forms, whether separate species, or transitional forms of the same species, were created by an intelligent designer. Unless we can define a natural mechanism, and show that it was capable of producing the myriad complexity, diversity and mathematical precision of every organism that ever lived, then how can Darwin’s theory have any credibility whatsoever, let alone conclude the final doctrine of The Origin of Species?
Darwin claims that an accumulation of slight differences through natural selection and mutation can produce the enormous differences among living things. But where is the evidence of such a claim? As we have already said, there are no facts to support Darwin’s claim. There is not even one example of a “missing link”. (And the missing link is crucial to the credibility of so much of his theory.)
“Similarities and differences among living species, among fossils, and between fossils and living species, were already known to scientists, long before Darwin, but they attributed them to clearly intentional design rather than to unguided random evolution. There has never existed, and cannot be found, any evidence that natural selection can do what Darwin said it did, or that it is random. Where is the proof?” (Getting the Facts Straight, Discovery Institute Press) 10.
Science must be based on proof.
The more we examine Darwin’s ideas, the more we realize his theory of evolution is not science – simply pathological science. Or rather a Naturalistic philosophy, having nothing to do with science.
On mutation and irreducible complexity
Another problem is Darwin’s evolutionary claim that there were countless mutations over a span of hundreds of thousand years that “fine-tuned” and refined organs such as the Human brain, for example, to give it all the incredible powers it has today.
But nobody is able to suggest the process by which mutations would so modify an organ or affect its functionality or capacity, or result in its amazing powers of creativity.
Moreover, there is no evidence that genetic mutations can do anything so extraordinary, even over an enormous span of time.
As a matter of fact! all known mutations that affect development are invariably harmful. And in Nature, all of these changes would have been eliminated by “natural selection.”
Nevertheless, for instance, when geneticists experimented by inserting a mouse eye gene into a fruit fly, it produced a fruit fly eye, not a mouse eye. That is, the mouse gene was not responsible for the architecture of the organ in the other species; it was only a “switch” for the insect to make an eye when and where it needed. But it did not determine what kind of eye was produced: that was determined by the unique genetic programming of the insect species itself. 11
Darwin wrote that natural selection takes slow small incremental steps, it does not “jump”. And modifications in an organism are not simultaneous. Natural selection distinguishes the slightest variations, rejecting those that adversely affect survival and preserving those changes that provide an advantage.
Consider then the example suggested by celebrated biochemist Michael Behe – that of the bacterial flagellum, described as one of the most efficient machines in the universe. 12 This microscopic organelle is essentially a perfectly designed outboard motor – complete with a stator, u-joint, drive shaft, environmental sensors, electromagnet, and water-cooled motor. This rotating motor consists of a number of necessary parts in a particular organized way, any part without which the machine will not work.
If each part had to result from an individual separate evolutionary change, that part on its own, would have had to provide an evolutionary advantage. However, the part independent of the complete mechanism, would have not itself provided any benefit – if it can even be believed that the u-joint for example would have evolved for no particular reason, by random chance. Instead, that part would not be passed on to the next generation by replication. The flagellum could not be built over generations incrementally, in steps. Natural selection would eliminate any characteristic in successive generations, short of a complete functioning flagellum mechanism. Integrated complexity of the organelle presents an insurmountable obstacle to the fundamental claims of Darwinian evolution.
This is an example of what Darwin feared, an organism of irreducible complexity.
Darwin himself acknowledged that the existence of even one such process or organism would invalidate his entire construct. “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down” - Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.
At the molecular level, there are tens of thousands of such examples, which were unknown to anyone in Darwin’s day, of which the bacterial flagellum is just one. However, not only are specific parts necessary – the number and exact kind of components – but the organization and precise assembly is required for the flagellum to function. This is a complex molecular machine which is irreducible in every aspect. Consider the construction of the motor involved: the ring structure of the stator, the rod of exact proportions, a u-joint to fit precisely of a specific size at a precise angle… And the blueprint, the set of instructions for the design of the apparatus is detailed in the DNA.
DNA itself is one of the most definite arguments against evolutionary theories involving random process.
DNA, resembling a ladder twisted into a double helix, contains compressed genetic information. Each rung of the ladder is a pair of nucleotides. The order and sequence of these nucleotides form words, which are Genes, a set of cellular instructions for the growth and development of every cell of the organism. Mutation resulting in a new gene involves a random change to a random 150-link chain, each link of which is separately selected from 20 possible amino acids.
Douglas Axe of Cambridge determined that of all 150-link amino acid sequences, one in 1077 will possibly fold into a stable protein, the rest will be gibberish from which a useful protein is statistically impossible.
DNA coding of the blueprint of life is so mind-bogglingly complex and complete, that it is unthinkable it could have occurred by random chance, by amino acids accidentally coming into contact randomly over the millennia.
It is more credible that the complete works of Shakespeare might have been produced by typewriter tumbling down a 1000-foot staircase.
DNA is the most densely packed and complete set of information in the known universe.
In any organism, DNA contains the specific genetic instructions required for all cellular functions.
Without DNA there is no replication. But without replication there is no Natural Selection.
However, Natural Selection cannot explain DNA, hence elementary cell biology categorically refutes chemical evolution according to very basic logic.
The evolutionary “Big Bang”
Still yet, another evolutionary quandary has to do with the event known as the “Cambrian explosion”; the sudden appearance of fossils, which Darwin himself regarded as an almost insurmountable problem for his theory.
If all creatures, in fact, all life, descended from a common ancestor as Darwin claimed, we would expect to find that animal life began with one discrete form – an irreducibly simple life form – and this single organism gave rise to other forms, which eventually diverged and became differentiated from each other. Eventually, after millions of generations, the major differences that now distinguish species would result.
But the fact is that in the actual fossil record, these major differences appear first! The fossil record is exactly opposite of that Darwin’s theory would have described. Darwin thought this contradiction would rectify itself when more fossils had been found…But after more than a century of fossil collecting since his claim, the only evidence has shown that Darwin was actually wrong. How is it that during this early period, in a spontaneous explosion of diversity, all these complex and advanced creatures “suddenly came out of nowhere?” That side by side with phytoplankton and amoeba, were amazingly complex and advanced creatures, such as dinosaurs and mammoths.
All evolutionists can say is that the Cambrian explosion is “still something of a mystery.”
But Darwin himself was more honest, saying “If numerous species, belonging to the same genera or families, have really started into life all at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of descent with slow modification through natural selection.”
Equally troubling is the diversity of life during the Devonian period: this also presents an insurmountable puzzle which Darwin cannot explain in the simple terms of evolution.
This remains problematic for the proponents of Darwinian evolution, in addition to a failure 1) to establish common ancestry, viz., the supposed finding of a “missing link”; and 2) to nullify the argument of “irreducible complexity.”
On mathematical capacity and reason
The disinterested and dispassionate observer will acknowledge that Mathematics is the basis of the natural order of the universe – the very order which science itself seeks to discover. And we further observe the obvious: that order cannot result from random processes, the kind of randomness upon which Darwin’s theory of evolution is based.
But, in purely Human terms, Mathematics can be viewed as a linguistic – a semantic through which the human can communicate abstract ideas and formally represent universals and intangibles. One thing in particular, which the laws of evolution cannot explain is Mathematics. Mathematics is not a product of Human invention, it is external to the Human mind, yet can be discovered by the Human mind alone. How did the Human mind attain mathematical capacity? Darwin’s theory provides no explanation.
Nor can evolution explain how the Human can reflect upon himself, and even wonder about abstract ideas, like the questions of purpose or of order, to begin with.
The very fact that we can inquire about the nature of the Universe and questions of purpose and identity are evidence of a Transcendent Rationality. And undermines any confidence we might have in Darwin’s nonsense about Man as a mere outcropping of a lineage of primitive creatures evolving from a primordial soup of protoplasm.
The problem of creativity and the question of altruism
Evolutionary Psychologists have attempted to explain away creative action which Humans have proven to be capable of – art, literature, music, etc. – by inventing the term “memes.” Not only is this an unnecessary contrivance, but it actually introduces a notion which comes into conflict with Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Memes, which evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould dismissed as a “meaningless metaphor” for invention, science, art and ultimately history, actually compete with genes, which could not be possible in a natural world strictly governed by random process and natural selection.13 We are talking about something which transcends the purely natural world, and evolution is incapable of explaining how creativity is possible, or how it began, what biological process precipitated it, how it resulted from some random mechanical chain of events. The perplexing thing is that evolutionists actually rely on a dubious theory which ultimately casts doubt on their belief in evolution, in order to put a Darwinian spin on everything, including Human culture, in a bizarre attempt to force “absolutely everything into a Darwinian framework,” even if it raises more questions than Darwin’s theories could possibly answer... Even biologist Jerry A. Coyne referred to this as “a work not of science, but of extreme advocacy.” 14
Some naturalists claim the Human Being is an intruder, whose presence in Nature is undesirable and harmful to the ecosystem. Ironically, it is when you deliberate on Man’s destructive power that he actually “fits” into Nature, in complying with two predominant natural laws – those of entropy and survival.
But, when you focus on Man’s creative powers you see that he transcends the purely natural realm. His ability to invent systems of law and justice, bodies of art and language and music and Mathematics…his ability to wonder about the reality that eludes physical experience, and to make into reality the substance of his visions and dreams,…then Man no longer “fits” the corporeal confines of his nature – being more akin to the Divine.
When we look at the Human’s capacity for creativity, heroism and acts of selflessness, then it is clear that we do not have a natural place in the purely corporeal world. For, while the rest of creation is comfortable in the temporal, material existence, we cannot be… no matter how prosperous our species is.
And when we understand this truth, we realize that selflessness is not some anomaly, rather it is a moral imperative unique to the Human species.
Hence, an even greater problem for Darwin’s theory is Altruism. Altruism is defined biologically as “increasing the fitness of another at the expense of one’s own fitness. But an altruist thereby reduces his or her own chances for survival; so in the context of evolutionary theory, altruism should not survive or evolve. Yet altruistic people exist.” (Getting the Facts Straight, Discovery Institute Press)15 And altruism, in the words of Edward O. Wilson remains the “culminating mystery of all biology.”16
On transcendence and free will
Most importantly, one crucial thing which laws of random events and probabilities cannot explain, is Human free will, the ability of any creature to defy its own nature.
Man tempers his natural appetites with moral reflection; he weighs each act and each compulsion and mood against the standards of a transcendent Absolute, and not the mercurial circumstances or temporal dictates, or social mores of his situation.
Animals, in contrast, knows no better than to serve their immediate and momentary needs, and devote their energies to the urges of their nature. It is because they are constrained to the natural realm, which Man transcends.
But he possesses rational powers, and moral conscience, faculties which are supernatural.
It is a spiritual dimension. This is what we refer to as free will. The Human is not constrained by natural law. The urges of other creatures are governed by instinct, which the Human does not possess. The only government he can exercise is rational and moral self-determination.
The Human is capable of moral choice, hence his actions have a moral dimension.
Only Humans are capable of “evil.”
Indeed, it is precisely his ability – if not his propensity – to do evil that distinguishes Human from beast. The animal cannot perpetrate wrongs, as beasts are subject to their natures, governed by their design, ruled by their instincts, whereas the Human must rise above his natural urges if ever to be truly Human.
This is a great paradox.
If, as Darwin decreed, we were merely soul-less biological outcroppings of some evolutionary chain of random events, then when we yield to natural urges it would be “good” because we are obeying our nature, as it is with other creatures. In fact, the reality of the conscience, and Free Will, is the most salient argument against Materialism.
That any organism, no matter how advanced in a stage of evolution, might be capable of denying its own natural impulses, that is, of countermanding its own genetic programming, contradicts the fundamental tenets of Darwin’s model of Nature. (Where here we distinguish between natural urges, necessitated by survival or perpetuation of the species – such as the drive to kill or procreate, and instinct which is Nature’s mechanism for governing those basic urges and regulating animal behavior.)
In short the most important problem with Darwinism is two-fold: not only that Man can willingly defy his own nature, but that indeed he lacks any natural instinct at all, to govern his basic appetites and urges which are essential to his physical well-being and perpetuation of his species.
As evidence of our distinction from the purely natural world, also consider the question of hunger. For the Human, hunger has a spiritual dimension. The very experience of eating has a metaphysical quality. The appeal of food goes beyond the mere satiating of a bodily need, but it feeds the soul, too.
Indeed, we hunger not so much for food, but for validation of our existence. That is, not only for preservation of our existence, but for proof of our reality… and our importance in the vast universe in which we find ourselves.
In particular, were we mere creatures as Darwin asserted, we would never eat to excess. But we seek a spiritual quality in food: it is the hunger of the soul we wish to sate. But it is a misplaced spirituality. More dangerous, too, is that we do not even recognize it for what it is.
A dog does not savor; he does not sip, nor mull food on his palate. He wolfs his food; he swallows it, untasted.
To a beast, the purpose of food is to nourish, only – to satiate the physical hunger which compels him to seek that nourishment. And once the hunger is abated, his need filled, he ceases to consume, because he ceases to crave.
The Human is otherwise. Rather than enslaved by his natural compulsion to fill his needs, as a beast does, whether to slay or consume or procreate, he is exhorted by his spiritual nature to rise above these natural urges and deny himself.
The creature’s appetites are purely corporeal. Submitting to its natural hunger, the creature is behaving in accordance with its design. But it is precisely in denying those same corporeal appetites that we are fully Human. For the Human being transcends the purely Natural realm, and so our hunger is for greater things – that reality which transcends and in fact contains the natural – Truth. Our hunger is for this Truth. And we respond to that hunger by exercise of Free Will, to choose right, and control our appetites.
For though, like other creatures, we possess urges, we do not possess as they the instinct by which to govern these urges, but rather only reason, and the spiritual guidance of our conscience. Moreover, observe that the reason is the implementation of the will – it exists only to serve us in our exercise of Free Will. Natural compulsions do not rule us as they do the creature, for we may freely will otherwise.
It is precisely when the Human denies his nature that he attains true Humanity, in becoming more obedient to a higher government – his conscience, and less obedient to the world.
Indeed, the Human, ever restless, finds no final comfort in the physical world.
Ultimately, Man is distinguished from other creatures in one most important respect: he is self-aware. This is the consequence and the mechanism by which he is able to exercise free will. He is able to reflect upon the morality of his choices.
And Man’s unique identity rests in the fact his awareness transcends that of a mere creature of Nature and all other living organisms. He resides not only in the organic realm, but in the moral realm. His is a spiritual reality.
How can we, the reflection of the Infinite, be content in confinement to the finite?
How can we, the heirs to the eternal be subdued by the temporal?
The forbidden fruit syndrome
Theories of natural selection are absurdly inadequate when it comes to explaining Human self-awareness, or the morality of Human action.
Because we exist in both the Natural and the moral realms, it is precisely when we rise above our natures – when we deny our natural appetites – that we are fully human.
We have no power over the outcome of choices, that is, whether they are good or evil, but only over the intention. We have power over agency, if not destiny. We can determine whether to conform our wills to what is right.
And the true purpose of religion (and in fact, the thrust of civilization), is to habituate the Human Being to virtue. Persons of good conscience become virtuous by practicing virtue.
And it will be clear that moral action derives from spiritual conviction and religious belief, recognizing that we are free agents, who aspire to the Divine…and accountable as such to a higher order.
That is, Man answers to a supernatural Authority – the Creator of the very same natural world which Darwin attempted to explain by explaining the Creator away.
Karl Marx was to some degree correct: “Religion” is today as ever the “opiate of the people.”
But it is not traditional religion which subdues the modern masses, but rather a blind faith in our mortal masters.
We demonstrate blind faith in the naïve belief that government and technology can solve all our problems and perfect our nature: that laws and bureaucratic policy and New Age psychology can somehow “save” the human race.
We have so eagerly surrendered our utter and unreasoned trust in technology’s capacity to regulate and improve our lives, such that even when they prove despotic, we would divest ourselves of our own self-government and invest it in the hands of bureaucrats and demagogues and scientists and social engineers, trading autonomy for security, like so many fatted calves.
The new totalitarianism
All this being said, let us not forget, that science only pertains to what is measurable, testable, observable.
Anything else is religion….. or simply mythology.
Geneticist Gabriel Dover wrote:
“The problem with [evolutionists’] story telling is not some minor irritation…. The problem runs much deeper and wider, embracing many new disciplines of evolutionary psychology, Darwinian medicine, linguistics, biological ethics and sociobiology. Here quite vulgar explanations are offered, based on the crudest applications of selection theory, of why we humans are the way we are…. There seems to be no aspect of our make-up that does not receive its supposed evolutionary explanation from the sorts of things our selfish genes forced us to do 200,000 to 500,000 years ago…. Not only is there the embarrassing selfish genetic determinism, but we are also shackled with their self-imposed justification in giving ‘scientific’ respectability to complex behavioral phenomena in humans which we simply do not so far have the scientific tools and methodologies to investigate.” 17
Indeed, it is only the naïve and the gullible who accept evolution with all its inconsistencies and contradictions and fallacies, as valid science.
The Darwinian hypothesis of evolution by way of use and disuse, natural selection and mutation lack scientific validity. Yet modern secularists have uncritically embraced carte blanc this unscientific collection of “just so” stories that constitute Darwinian evolution, and are zealous in advocating evolution, solely because they abhor the idea of the existence of a Creator, and need a theory such as Darwin’s to explain away the “fingerprints of God” found in Nature.
The sole objective of secular humanists is to undermine other people’s belief in a Supreme Being. Their agenda is to establish atheism as the world religion, and they have used Darwin’s theory to do this.
And this is the chief incentive to teach Darwin in the schools: to indoctrinate the public to accept evolution without critical examination or challenge.
Indeed, Huston Smith, an authority on world religions, asserts that Darwinism has been a major factor in the “modern loss of faith in transcendence basic to the traditional/religious worldview.” Smith declares that “Darwinism is supported more by atheistic philosophical assumptions than by scientific evidence.” 18
From Darwin’s theory has emerged a new brand of religion, the “creed” of modern secular materialism, a faith which exacts from its followers absolute and unreasoning loyalty. And its insidious influence harms the virtuous and the corrupt alike.
Its devout followers trust blindly in it, and do not question its authority. And with complete abandon, this “New Age flock” completely entrust their faith in the institutions of men – in government or in science – to rule them, to provide for them, to judge them, and to dictate their fate.
Conveniently unspoken and ignored, are Darwin’s blatantly racist views espoused in his treatise, Descent of Man. As Austin Anderson observed:
“Not only does Darwin believe in white supremacy, he offers a biological explanation for it, namely that white people are further evolved.… Darwin’s theory claims that Africans and Australians are more closely related to apes than Europeans are. The spectrum of organisms is a hierarchy here, with white Europeans at the top and apes at the bottom. In Darwin’s theory, colored people fall somewhere in between. Modern human is essentially restricted only to white Europeans, with all other races viewed as somehow sub-human.”
Moreover, Anderson notes: “Darwin’s theory applies survival of the fittest to human races, suggesting that extermination of non-white races is a natural consequence of white Europeans being a superior and more successful race. Further, Darwin justifies violently overtaking other cultures because it has happened regularly throughout natural history.” 19
It is clearly spelled out in From Darwin to Hitler, in which Richard Weikart lays out the inexorable link between the evolutionary materialistic view of Humanity, the principle of survival of the fittest embraced by ideologues and megalomaniacs, and the Human rights atrocities that inevitably result.
As Paul Kengor describes the Darwinian roots of Marx’s and Engels’ attitude toward humanity: “They viewed human beings as made not in the image of God — the imago Dei — but in the image of apes…. To Marx and Engels, Darwin was the figure to look to, not God — who, after all, didn’t exist….Darwin was hailed by leading Marxists in god-like language….This materialistic-atheistic ideology would beget over 100 million deaths in the 20th century alone“. 20.
We must realize that the biggest danger with preaching the creed of Darwin is that public policy and popular sentiment is dominated by relativism. In the absence of absolutes, we cannot distinguish right from wrong.
The essential issue here, underlying the debate over how life evolved, is the question whether Humans possess an animal nature, or are just animals.
Many demagogues are inclined to adopt the New Age mantra “a dog is a pig is a boy”. In other words, if we yield to the view that the human race is nothing more than the biological outcropping of an evolutionary chain of events, then we permit a society in which human life is easily devalued. The terrors of the “Brave New World” loom possible, and there is rumor of terrible things…. and in all there prevails – in the words of St. Pope John Paul II – the “culture of death.”
Mainstream rhetoric reflects this slide toward subjectivity, and the denunciation of absolute truth. And with it, public policy is increasingly weighted toward the utility of persons versus their intrinsic worth.
Moreover, if we embrace the pernicious teaching that evolutionary success depends upon natural selection – survival of the fittest, and that there are no absolute truths which govern good and evil, then a person’s value is relative, and only the strong might prevail. Our ethos, and codes of behavior would necessarily reflect this terrible ideology. Consequently, we will find it difficult to justify the defense of the weak, the infirm or the disenfranchised.
This slide toward utilitarianism has already begun.
1. Paul a. Nelson. “The Role of Theology in Current Evolutionary Reasoning”. Biology and Philosophy 11 (1996), 493-517
2. Cornelius George Hunter. Darwin’s God. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press (2001).
3. Kenneth R. Miller. PBS “Evolution”. Evolution Project/WGBH Boston, http://www.wgbh.org/. (June 2001)
and Finding Darwin’s God. New York: Cliff Street Books (2000).
4. Getting the Fact Straight: A Viewer’s Guide to PBS’s “Evolution”. Discovery Institute (2001). http://www.discovery.org
5. Stephen Meyer, Darwin’s Doubt Harper Collins, 2013
6. Alan Linton. The Times Higher Education Supplement (April20, 2001), 29.
7. Henry Gee. In Search of Deep Time. New York: The Free Press (1999).
8. Neil Shubin. PBS “Evolution”. Evolution Project/WGBH Boston, http://www.wgbh.org/. (June 2001)
9. Francois Jacob. “Evolution and Tinkering”. Science 196 (1977), 1161.
10. Getting the Fact Straight: A Viewer’s Guide to PBS’s “Evolution”. Discovery Institute (2001). http://www.discovery.org
12. Michael Behe. “Darwin’s Black Box”, Free Press, Simon & Schuster, 2006
13. Stephen Jay Gould. “Sociobiology: The Art of Storytelling”. New Scientist (Nov 16, 1978) 530
14. Jerry A. Coyne. “The Self-Centered Meme”. (book review) Nature (April 29, 1999) 767.
15. Getting the Fact Straight: A Viewer’s Guide to PBS’s “Evolution”. Discovery Institute (2001). http://www.discovery.org
16. E.O.Wilson. Sociobiology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, (paperback edition 1980).
17. Gabriel Dover. Dear Mr. Darwin. Berkeley: University of California Press (2000) 44-5.
18. Huston Smith. “Huston Smith Replies to Barbour, Goodenough, and Peterson”. Zygon 36, no.2 (June, 2001) Why Religion Matters: The Fate of the Human Spirit in an Age of Disbelief. New York: Harper Collins (2001).
19. Austin Anderson. “The Dark Side of Darwin”, 2016, https://sites.williams.edu/engl-209-fall16/uncategorized/the-dark-side-of-darwinism/
20. Paul Kengor, https://www.christianpost.com/voices/marx-on-christianity-judaism-evolution-and-race.html