Friday, January 15, 2010

THE LAW OF NATURAL SELECTION

In terms of natural selection or the survival of the fittest, only those who follow Christ are fit to survive, for, according to the Bible, Jesus Christ saves only those who believe in Him for salvation. To the non-Christian world, belief in Christ is seen as a crutch, a weakness, but to God it is a vital component in His plan of cosmic redemption. It is as Jesus says, ‘Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?’ Mark 8:35-37. Therefore according to the law of natural selection unbelief is irrefutable evidence demonstrating to the unfit that they thus far have not survived nor will survive when God calls them to give account!
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"A man or woman rejects God neither because of intellectual demands nor because of the paucity of evidence. One rejects God because of a moral resistance that refuses to admit one’s need for God. God invites each one to come to Him, the Author of life, and receive His salvation offered through Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself reminds us that it will profit a man nothing if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul. But to the one who trusts in Him, He offers life in all its fullness."[1]

When Adam and Eve rebelled against God they sought to hide themselves from Him among the trees of the Garden. The contemporary Evolutionist or neo-Darwinist seeks to do the same by hiding in a world in which (according to him) all need for God has been or in due process will be removed. In other words because the neo-Darwinist has adopted the Materialist worldview he proclaims to all who will listen that there is no ‘evidence’ for God. Here the Christian reminds the neo-Darwinist that he is rejecting the Triune God who has revealed (i.e., has given ‘evidence’ of) Himself in at least three verifiable ways.

Thus the Christian presents the neo-Darwinist with ample ‘evidence’ of the Triune God by inviting him to consider:
1) The general revelation of God, i.e., the material things God has made, e.g., the sun, the moon, the stars, the birds, bees, trees, etc., including man and his social interactions.
2) The written revelation of God, i.e., the sixty-six books of the Holy Bible.
3) The internal revelation of God, i.e., the individual’s own conscience (which either accuses or excuses the individual for his or her own thoughts, words, and actions.)

Of course, being part of the fallen mass of mankind the neo-Darwinist continues trying to hide from God by suppressing the truth of God in the three aforementioned spheres. Therefore, as expected, he rejects outright the ‘evidence’ for God as revealed in the things God has made (from the macro to micro). And, since he has already said ‘no’ to the Triune God, he feels he can safely reject His written revelation too. Then he explains away the revelation of God in the human conscience simply by adjusting it to fit his Materialistic Evolutionary worldview. Thus the neo-Darwinist rejects all of the ‘evidence’ the Triune God gives of Himself.

The neo-Darwinist is a Materialist, but God is Spirit. Therefore Materialism is Atheism. And, because it has adopted a Materialist stance neo-Darwinism has introduced the cancerous cell-destroying and soul-destroying Atheism into the scientific sphere.

"The atheist risks everything for the present and the future, on the basis of a belief that we are uncaused by any intelligent being. We just happen to be here. That one is willing to live and die in that belief is a very high price to pay for conjecture."[2]

As per the law of natural selection, Atheism means that there is no room for a Grand Design or a Grand Designer at the back of creation. This is why the rod of contemporary Atheism is trying to swallow Almighty God! However, even with his mouth full of evidence to the contrary the neo-Darwinist insists on proclaiming absurdities (such as those espoused by the Atheist Richard Dawkins e.g., that all design in creation is merely illusory!) But, the neo-Darwinist cannot have his cake and eat it too. For, there is evidence that at least one neo-Darwinist does not believe in ‘blind indifference’, i.e., lack of design and purposelessness.

In a reply to a poster in a forum discussing whether science should be taught in (Scottish) schools based on Evolutionist or a Creationist presuppositions a pro-Evolutionary-science poster wrote:

"Natural selection is NOT chance. Don’t you get it? It is NOT chance. Evolutionists are NOT proposing chance events alone over time, but a selective mechanism (natural selection) that sorts out the mutations and builds on what has gone before. That is NOT chance. Got it? It is NOT chance. Only the mutations are chance (or random – another word you [i.e., a pro-Creationist-science poster] abuse) but that is irrelevant as even if they were not, natural selection would still operate. By deliberately omitting the non-chance mechanism of natural selection you are deliberately misrepresenting me, and that is just plain dishonest."[3]

Whether the writer just quoted was being dishonestly misrepresented is something we’ll leave for Judgment Day. However, clearly this Evolutionary-science advocate, by positing that there is a ‘non-chance mechanism’ component to Natural Selection, has seen the need to distance himself from Richard Dawkins who preaches that:

"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference."[4]

Since ‘non-chance’ and ‘blind, pitiless indifference’ are as mutually exclusive as chance and purpose, by definition, any non-chance mechanism cannot at the same time be indifferent. Here, Dawkins, the forum-poster, and I are in agreement that genetic mutations happen in accordance with ‘chance.’ Mutations have the appearance of no design or purpose. For example, a fruit fly with legs for antennae clearly is not according to design! So far so good! However, please note that it is precisely because of the use of the words such as ‘chance’, and ‘random’ when referring to mutations that purpose and design are exemplified. A fruit fly with antennae where wings ought to be is an anomaly. It is a breakdown or degeneration of the original model or design. Otherwise we would not refer to it as a ‘mutation.’ Therefore by speaking of chance mutations we are acknowledging that which goes against the norm. Put another way, chance mutations break the law of original design.

Dawkins and the forum poster deny original design while insisting that mutations occur by chance! Then our forum-poster insists that, through a process of natural selection, some mutations are randomly selected and survive as the fittest to produce more mutations that may or may not be selected in the process! However, any mutation or random event is a suspension or disruption of a natural law. It is a going against the ‘norm.’ Whether mutations occur by chance or not is not the issue. The issue is whether there is an original non-mutant model, i.e., a working model before mutation. The mere use of the word ‘mutation’ is testimony that there is. Thus Natural Selection is design by another name, and as such, cannot at the same time be an illusion of design!

We therefore agree with our ‘forum poster’ that though genetic mutations may very well be ‘chance’ occurrences, Natural Selection itself is a non-chance mechanism. However, as Calvinists we do not believe in chance in any sphere but rather believe in the sovereignty of God in all things, from the micro to the macro, and we believe in His sovereignty in all creation from beginning to everlasting. In short, we believe that everything that comes to pass was ordained by God and, though man is held responsible for his own actions, everything is sovereignly brought to pass in accordance with God’s decretive will.

The pro-Evolutionist-science advocate just quoted above (i.e., the forum-poster) is clearly frustrated with the confusion caused by the use of the term ‘Natural Selection’ – which term, (if I have understood him correctly!) he believes to be synonymous with ‘random selection.’ The terms natural or random selection frustrate me too! Random or natural selection sounds very much like an oxymoron to my ears.

While viewing the same ‘evidence’ in nature Calvin and Darwin concluded different things, which was that, whereas Calvin saw that the reason for cruelty among animals (e.g., a cat toying with a mouse before it kills it) is because creation is fallen. This is in accordance with God’s written Word. However Darwin, on the other hand, putting the written revelation of God to one side, started talking in terms of the ‘Survival of the Fittest,’ otherwise known as ‘Natural Selection.’

We do not have any real problem per se with these two synonymous terms (i.e., Survival of the Fittest and Natural Selection) so long as they are qualified with what our ‘forum reader’ refers to as a ‘non-chance mechanism.’ By definition, ‘non-chance’ denotes purpose, (i.e., real, not imagined, purpose!) Therefore Natural Selection is evidence or revelation of purpose. Purpose is evidence or revelation of intention or design. Design is evidence or revelation of a Designer, but not any old designer, but rather the Triune God. Thus Dawkins’ panicky head-in-the-sand denial of design is because he dare not let God get a foot in the door of his Evolutionary religion.

The Calvinist RC Sproul offers some help regarding the oxymoron of natural or random selection. Says Sproul,

"Logic functions as a policeman not only when we indulge in irrational concepts like self-creation. We find other oxymorons popping up from time to time in discussions of science (and in philosophy, theology, and every other field of inquiry).
Linguistic confusion occurs when analytically false statements are used or when ‘studied ambiguity’ replaces linguistic precision. Precision in speech is an important complement to precision in research.
"When phrases such as ‘inherent randomness’ or ‘random selection’ are used, we wonder what they mean.
"If a particle is said to have ‘inherent randomness,’ this suggests that a random character is built in or intrinsic to it. Does this mean that it acts the way it does for no reason at all? Or does it merely mean that its activity cannot presently be predicted? The latter is a posture of humility commensurate with the real limitations of our knowledge. The former suggests an illogical concept, namely that the activity of the particle is an effect without a cause.
The phrase random selection (or random mutation) is also somewhat confusing.
To make a ‘selection’ suggests some sort of intentionality, a trait usually associated with intelligence. Is it possible to have an unintentional intention?
"In popular jargon we use the phrase random selection to describe certain types of actions. Suppose we are going to draw a ticket stub from a box in order to award a door prize to a ‘lucky’ participant. We shake the box to insure a proper mixing and perhaps even blindfold the person designated to select the ticket. We want to choose the ticket ‘at random’ to insure that the drawing is not rigged in favour of a particular contestant. We seek to leave the outcome to ‘chance.’
"This is a legitimate use of the phrase random selection. A selection is made but without the specific intention of choosing a particular person’s ticket. But intention is at work. We are intentionally choosing an unknown ticket. Again ‘chance’ does not influence which ticket is chosen. That is determined by how the hidden tickets were mixed in the shaking and where the selector’s hand reaches into the box. There is no operation of chance itself.
If the phrase random selection is used as a synonym for action-without-a-cause, then it is illogical. Also the term selection may be used in a metaphorical or figurative sense. This is the way the phrase natural selection is often used."[5]

The folly of neo-Darwinism’s worldview can surely be seen in its use of the term Natural Selection. This term is an oxymoron – but, ironically, only to the neo-Darwinist! Selection that takes place naturally is still selection. For selection naturally follows a set of laws, even if those laws are natural laws. All law is evidence or revelation of a lawgiver. Even a cursory reading of Genesis chapter one would demonstrate to the reader that every time the Triune God said the word ‘Let’ He was setting ‘natural’ laws in place. For example, ‘Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth according to its kind”, and it was so.’ The antecedent of all law (whether physical, genetic, biological, mathematical, aeronautical, lingual, musical, moral, natural, etc., etc.) is God the great Lawgiver. Natural Selection is indeed a ‘non-chance mechanism.’ Therefore whatever else it may be, Natural Selection, is a law, i.e., of Natural Law,[6] and as such, is revelation of – i.e., is evidence of – the lawgiver who is none other than the Triune God.

[1] Ravi Zacharias, The Real Face of Atheism, Baker Books, 2006, pp. 155-6.
[2] Ibid. p. 154.
[3] The Herald Forum, Glasgow, May 8, 2008.
[4] Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden. p. 155.
[5] RC Sproul, Not a Chance, The Myth of Chance in Modern Science & Cosmology, Baker Books, 1994, p. 162-163.
[6] Natural Law = 1 Philos. Unchanging moral principles common to all people by virtue of their nature as human beings. 2 a correct statement of an invariable sequence between specified conditions and a specified phenomenon. 3 the laws of nature; regularity in nature (where they saw chance, we saw natural law). Oxford English Reference Dictionary.

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