Today I start a series on evolution that I expect will be the most controversial I have every done. For any adherents of the theory of evolution as Charles Darwin proposed it I would ask that you hear me out with an open mind. One does not have to be a Christian or even religious to see problems with the theory as it stands. Finally, I would respectively ask that all discussions be kept civil. I have always believed that resorting to profanity, insults or ad hominem attacks never resolves anything and is usually used by someone who either does not have facts on their side or refuses to have an opened mind.
I have a confession to make. Up until about twelve years ago I was a confirmed believer in Darwin and his theory of evolution. Now don’t get me wrong I was also a Christian and firm believer in God but I felt that both were right. I guess I believed what the late Stephen Jay Gould said about separate magisteriums of science and religion. I had God in one box and Darwin in the other, never the twain to meet. But over the years I felt like they should be reconciled. So about twelve years ago I set out to do some research and make a case for theistic evolution.
Before I get into what I found I will give you a little background on my acceptance of evolution as Darwin and others that followed taught. I am a science junkie. I love it and as a kid I devoured books and article about science. Isaac Asimov was my scientific hero. Of the over two hundred books he wrote I guess I read well over half of them. I waited each week in anticipation of when his science essay would appear in the local paper. Then I would reread them when a collection came out. I loved his science fiction and was first in line at the library when a new book came out. At the school library I read every science book, it mattered not what the subject was. I loved astronomy, paleontology, chemistry and biology. If it was science I read it. And if Asimov believed in evolution then so did I.
As I got older I read the Panda’s Thumb by Stephen Jay Gould and found a new favorite science author and reinforcement for my acceptance of evolution. I read each of his books as they came out and accepted that evolution was not just a theory but a proven theory and settled science. I continue to read Discover magazine, Science Illustrated and on occasion Scientific American. My love of science continues but I have become disenchanted with evolution. Stephen Gould started it when he admitted that the fossil record did not support gradualism, more on this in a latter post. Gould put forth a change to Darwin’s theory adding punctuated equilibrium to explain the sudden appearance of organisms on the scene. This was and continues to be ridiculed and shot down in scientific circles; one of the chief critics is Richard Dawkins.
But Gould’s books and theories got me to looking at the evidence supporting Darwin’s gradualism theory of evolution and frankly I found serious holes. Not only holes but fraud, lack of research and unproven assumptions. To put it in a nutshell, the theory of evolution has been and still is stuck in the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century every other branch of science has seen theories changed or discarded as new information comes to light. We now know just how complex cells are, that the universe had a beginning and with new facts came new theories. The twentieth century saw an explosion of scientific knowledge, only evolution has not changed. Evolutionists cling to gradualism to explain all life and ignore any evidence to the contrary.
About ten years ago I wrote a paper in which I took a look at how evolution was taught in Texas schools for seventh grade science. What I found was outdated information, theories that have been abandoned for decades, unproven assumptions and in one case fraud that has been repeated for over a hundred years and another for over sixty years. Over the next few weeks I will revisit that paper; updating it using some newer text books in use today. I will expand on what I wrote then as I had space limitations. We will also look at intelligent design and see how that fits with the evidence. It has always been my belief that science should go where the evidence leads and not try to shoehorn the evidence into a pet theory. Of course it helps that I also believe that about religion.
Now some may ask if I think creationism or intelligent design should be taught in schools. No I don’t. First, I look at creationism as in the realm of religion. As for Intelligent Design, it is just too early in the game to teach in schools. I know the unbelievers reading this will say there is no difference between the two. That Intelligent design is just creationism dressed up in scientific language, but we will see the difference later.
What I do think needs to be taught are the issues with evolution. People need to know that there are problems that are yet to be resolved. I say put evolution out there warts and all and challenge kids to think and make their own decisions. If evolution is true then just maybe some young mind will be able to make the changes necessary for the theory to fit the facts. Or, just maybe Intelligent Design is true. Right now evolution is untouchable, something no scientific theory should be.
As a matter of full disclosure, I am an Old Earth creation believer. While I believe there is ample evidence in the Bible to support this conclusion I also believe that God would not design a universe with the appearance of age if it was only a few thousand years old. God is a God truth and that seems to me to at the least skirt the truth. The God of the Bible is not a trickster like Loki of Norse mythology. I also believe that Satan does not have to power to conceal God’s handiwork. Also, as I was writing this I came to realize that this is going to take a lot longer than I originally thought. Please bear with me as I want to be as accurate as possible in presenting my argument.
Have a blessed day