Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Doubt About Darwin

Stephen C. Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt (HarperOne, 2013) is sure to reignite lively discussions concerning intelligent design. Many scientists decry the ID concept unscientific, not to mention their underlying doubts that a Designer has worked in nature to produce our finely-tuned universe, earth’s first life, and the sudden appearance of new species on this planet.

Meyer’s volume focuses heavily on the apparent absence of precursors for many new species appearing in the fossil record. The most startling example is the Cambrian “explosion,” a geologically sudden appearance of novel body plans never before seen on Earth. This event is called one of “Biology’s Big Bangs,” even by many paleontologists who do not subscribe to any episodes of sudden creation events. This blog has discussed these geologically sudden appearances in many past posts.

Professional reviews of Meyer’s latest book reveal the unhappiness of many evolutionists. Comments range from judgment of the “many errors” Meyer commits to their commentary concerning the unscientific nature of intelligent design. Critics seek to shield their evolutionary proposals for the totally naturalistic explanation of life’s origin and development by proposing a variety of new theories for the knotty problems they encounter. In the case of the Cambrian explosion, they posit that the exceedingly sparse and simple life present on earth prior to the Cambrian was sufficient to generate great numbers of complex phyla in a virtual geological overnight. Evolutionists acknowledge traditional evolutionary processes posed to explain such diversity do not occur so fast, even if they really occur.

Over the past few years, many new explanations in support of evolution have been proposed to the delight of philosophically committed evolutionists. This includes believers in both naturalistic and theistic evolution. Critics of intelligent design are fond of using the expression “chestnut,” (a stale joke or story) to ridicule the ID propositions they wish to attack. We may turn this expression back on our naturalistic friends by citing their tendency to say, “We have not yet found enough fossils to prove the naturalistic succession of species development.” They confidently pronounce evolution a settled question, another of their chestnuts. By no means is the question settled.

The book jacket of Darwin’s Doubt implies “The explosive origin of animal life and the case for intelligent design” was troubling for Charles Darwin as it should be for evolutionists today. Explaining the sudden appearance of life forms on earth is a paramount issue for evolutionists and creationists alike. Stephen C. Meyer is an outstanding scientist. His 500-page volume is packed with the rationale for numerous supernatural design events. Calling them “design” episodes points to the supernatural intervention of the Creator--the God of the Bible.

Stephen C. Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt is a must-read if you believe traditional scientific evidence speaks more loudly than philosophical commitment.