Monday, March 21, 2011

Deep Roots of Evolution

Some of the best reasons to be skeptical of evolutionary claims come from the statements of naturalistic evolutionists. They do not acknowledge either divine origin of the universe or its divine sustenance. Theistic evolutionists claim to believe in a God who originated the universe and in some way sustains it even to this moment. The naturalistic evolutionist never has a need to invoke the supernatural, either in the past or in the present. Theistic evolutionists are in danger of acquiring an identical mindset.

Naturalistic evolutionists are driven by the worldview of naturalism. Our universe, they claim, self-originated and sustains itself to this moment. All observed effects result from a previous physical cause. Every conclusion concerning reality in the field of origins is driven by philosophical (metaphysical, ontological) naturalism.

When we consider the merits of theistic evolution, it is impossible to divorce it from naturalistic evolution which was, in turn, birthed from the womb of philosophical naturalism. Theistic evolutionists may wish to humbly consider the following statements of naturalistic evolutionists. The statements are philosophically homogeneous. They have a consistent connotation. Consider these brief statements penned by several famous naturalistic evolutionary scientists:

Niles Eldredge: He (Darwin) taught us that we can understand life’s history in purely naturalistic terms, without recourse to the supernatural or divine.

Julian Huxley: In the evolutionary pattern of thought there is no longer either need or room for the supernatural. The earth was not created; it evolved. So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul as well as brain and body. So did religion.

Richard Lewontin: We are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a divine foot in the door.

Ernst Mayr: The Darwinian revolution was not merely the replacement of one scientific theory by another, as had been the scientific revolutions in the physical sciences, but rather the replacement of a world view, in which the supernatural was accepted as a normal and relevant explanatory principle, by a new world view in which there was no room for supernatural forces.

Michael Ruse: And it seems to me very clear that at some very basic level, evolution as a scientific theory makes a commitment to a kind of naturalism, namely, that at some level one is going to exclude miracles and these sorts of things, come what may.

Endorsing an evolutionary belief structure born, as it is, of naturalistic parentage should trigger extreme caution. The naturalist agenda extends beyond simple scientific beliefs promoted by the science professionals of our day. Naturalism is a worldview capable of deforming our religious beliefs. Therefore, skepticism is a healthy response to the paradigm of evolution relentlessly promoted by citing the consensus of the scientific community. The Christian community should be extremely circumspect in its endorsement of “theistic” evolution. Evolution is founded upon many questionable conclusions of contemporary consensus science. It germinated from and is now rooted in the naturalistic worldview.