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Can one believe in science and evolution?
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Evolution related
We are very used to being told that evolution is science. It happens so often that some people really believe it. Yet evolution and science are two completely different subjects. Science uses testable, observable and repeatable experiments to establish what laws of nature govern for instance the growth of trees, or cell multiplication. Thus science is an investigation into how nature works, and it can only investigate phenomena that take place in the present.
Evolution, on the other hand, is a suggestion or idea that all life on earth evolved by natural means (without interference of outside agents like the Creator), for example that atoms began to self assemble to form a genetic recipe. Evolution has to do with past events as it is about the origin of living things, not how they work. Thus to equate science and evolution is to defy the laws of logic that say the present is not the past, or a triangle is not a square.
The question is whether one can believe both science and evolution? That is tricky. For example, if we use historical science and try to reconstruct the scenario in which the genetic recipe evolved, we find it is impossible. Let us look at it. The genetic recipe consists of only five different atoms: carbon (C), hydrogen (H), oxygen (O2), phosphate (P) and nitrogen (N). According to the generally accepted evolutionary model, they must have combined naturally in water to form the molecules adenine, guanine, thymine and cytosine. The twisted double helix needs a sugar phosphate backbone. These processes were supposed to have happened naturally, and, as is presumed, in water. Water would normally dissolve any formed molecules. Besides that, we are talking about countless billions of atoms being precisely arranged not only to form the double helix, but to spell out the precise assembling and operating recipe for each kind of living organism (this includes all the extinct life forms as well). Each original kind of organism had to have its own distinctive recipe (just like different kinds of cakes need different amounts of the same basic baking ingredients like flour, butter, milk, eggs, sugar, et cetera).
Using logic, we can understand that different cake recipes need intelligence to design them. A writer uses his intelligence to arrange 26 letters to write a recipe, or a novel or a historical narrative. Just as that could not happen naturally (or automatically) so the genetic recipes could not have assembled naturally by chance, even if trillions of years were available. Atoms cannot combine by natural means in such a detailed, precise arrangement that they form individual recipe books.
Science does investigate the genetic recipe, but only to find out how it functions, never where it comes from. It is the domain of historical science to apply principles of science to determine if the genetic recipe could have been formed without a Creator? It was impossible. However, when it comes to evolution, the natural evolution of the genetic code is accepted by faith. There is no scientific evidence available to prove that it evolved by itself. Faith in Darwin is the key.
To answer whether one can believe in both science and evolution, the answer is yes, one can.
Science depends on facts, evolution on faith. We have numerous examples in Richard Dawkins' book, The Greatest Show on Earth, The Evidence for Evolution (Bantam Press, 2009), where evolution is accepted by faith. There is no scientific explanation of how the genetic code evolved. It is easy to explain why he is silent on the matter. He has no evidence, but only faith in Darwin.