Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Signature of Creation

Personal handwritten signatures bear unique characteristics of the signer. Ordinarily the distinctiveness of the signer is difficult to conceal. Handwriting experts have the ability to identify genuine as well as fraudulent signatures. Sources claim individual handwriting may reveal characteristics of the signer and do not change significantly over time. The term “signature” has been broadened from its original usage to denote a set of human characteristics unrelated to personal handwriting. It may reveal identity in ways other than personally created graphics.

Our post title suggests the universe with its present and past characteristics of time, space, matter, and energy bears a signature of the Creator and the Creator’s work. In particular, life on Planet Earth bears the signature of the Creator in ways distinct from the many lifeless worlds now visible beyond our Solar System. Scientists have provided a portrait of earth history, including the history of earth’s life forms in the past several hundred years. This history was only vaguely imagined prior to the Scientific Revolution.

Earth’s life forms provide signatures of the Creator and His acts of creation in a variety of ways. We glory in the wonder of the characteristics of life and the wondrously designed and integrated body systems of humans and other life forms. Scientists speculate on the nature of human consciousness. Even secular scientists acknowledge human ability to define concepts of God-consciousness or the ultimate meaning of human existence. Genesis 1:27 is the earliest scriptural account of the presence of God’s image in humanity. Judeo-Christian scripture is an account of man’s desire to nourish (or resist) our awareness of the Image of God.

Many theistic scientists have addressed the signature of creation in terms of the origin of life, the sequence of life’s presence on earth, and the “adequate cause” of the present manifestation of earth life. Theistic evolutionists and creationists characterize the signatures of creation in substantially divergent ways. Naturalistic evolutionists do not believe the record of earth life possesses any signature of a divine Creator. Some “evolutionary” creationists may conceive of the Creator’s signature as their personal perception of evolution as God-authored in the beginning, blending into the “now” with God presently acting as observer and sustainer. It is worth noting that their “signature of the Creator” consists of a concept. Of course, most theists embrace the idea that the orderliness of matter in the natural realm may be a signature of the Creator.

To old earth creationist organizations such as our blog host Ankerberg Theological Research Institute (ATRI) and Reasons to Believe (RTB), the signature of creation is left indelibly in the record of ancient fossils for us to inspect. In August RTB offered a Burgess Shale Adventure to the Canadian national parks Banff and Yoho. The latter is the location of one of the world’s two best sites revealing the startling sudden appearance of Cambrian Explosion biota on this planet. In the two most famous sites, the Burgess Shale of Yoho and at the Chengjiang site in China, unique conditions preserved even the soft tissue of specimens representing several dozen phyla appearing suddenly on earth without precursors. From the old earth creationist perspective, this event, poorly explained by contemporary proposals of evolutionists, appears to be an astonishing creation event of divine origin.

We ask, “What are some of the best signatures of creation to occur regularly in the geological record?” We answer, (1) many major animal groups appear with startling suddenness; (2) legitimate examples of fossil antecedents are not found; (3) there are disputed or non-existent transitional species; and (4) stasis is the rule during the tenure of existing species.

The signature of Creation is writ large in the record of the rocks in spite of loud crowing of evolutionists to the contrary. Nearly the entire bioscience profession is philosophically committed to the paradigm of evolution. Uncritically, many non-scientists take the word of professional scientists in their conclusions concerning evolution. Media bias also plays a role. This is defined as “the bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media, in the selection of which events and stories are reported and how they are covered.” The science profession has an active and loyal cadre of media reporters in many braches of science. Unvarnished truth is sometimes subsumed under the cover of their private agenda.

Creationism and Intelligent Design are sometimes reported by the science media as being equivalent. ID is said to be a cover for the real agenda of theistic creationism. Both are denigrated by many in the science community because they are said to promote non-science. We ask the same questions several secular, agnostic scientists have asked: Is creationism true? Is ID true? The question is not whether creationism and ID are perceived by the science community as being non-scientific. The question is, “What is true?”

Truth overwhelms all other philosophical agendas. If the fossil record reveals the signature of creation, we must allow the truth of creation to overwhelm the philosophical commitment to evolution and its dependence on naturalism. I call on theistic evolutionists to consider the serious consequences of embracing a false paradigm of naturalistic evolution. In the face of many signatures of creation in the record of nature, evolution is plainly not a settled issue.