Skip to main content

Evolutionism & Living Reality

From Marbaniang, Domenic. Philosophy of Science, 2007, 2011 (Amazon; Lulu, ITunes)


Evolutionism concerns the problem of the origin and nature of living reality. Evolutionism, in science, refers to the theory that ‘the many complex organisms now existent descended or evolved from relatively fewer and simpler organisms.’[1] The hypothetical nature of evolutionism, despite accruement of evidences in support yet inability to verify in prediction or through experimentation, has led some to label it as being not a scientific theory but a philosophical one.[2]

Supposed evidence for organic evolution comes from comparative anatomy, study of vestigial remains, embryology, blood and fluid tests of animals, examination of fossils, study of geographical distribution, domestication and experimentation, and classification.[3]

The theory of evolution doesn’t simply end at ‘the fewer and simpler organisms’. The ultimate problem is how life itself originated. The religious or purely philosophical answers do not concern scientific metaphysics. However, though evolutionism has been labeled sometimes as religious and sometimes as philosophical, its claim to an empirical scientific methodology, generally allots it a place in physical anthropology. According to Duane T. Gish, the General Theory of Evolution is the ‘theory that all living things have arisen by naturalistic, mechanistic processes from a single primeval cell, which in turn had arisen by similar processes from a dead, inanimate world.’[4]

Critics of evolution theory have pointed out that it fails to meet the criteria of a scientific theory. To Gish, for instance its failure consists in not being observed, not being subject to experimentation, and assuming the form of non-falsifiability.[5] Further, a verifiable prediction on the basis of evolution theory has never been successfully made and verified because an adequate theory to explain the mechanism has never been given. In fact, in order for such a theory to even exist, evolution must be first observed, which has never been the case. Therefore, evolutionism cannot be regarded as science, at least in the sense in which all other scientific theories are concerned. However, as relevant to the subject and science and also philosophy, the fundamental assumptions of evolutionism need to be examined.

Evolutionism assumes that life is material. In other words, life is all about a right arrangement of atoms and molecules. On the basis of this assumption, it is supposed that a mixture of certain gases, energy, and water could have given rise to certain organic substances, like amino acids (the building blocks of proteins, including the all-important enzymes that control the chemical processes of life), and purines and pyrimidines (the building blocks of RNA and DNA).[6]Consequently, the sea would have become a ‘soup’ of prebiological organic compounds which would become conducive to the generation of some kind of a replicator that played a crucial role in the development of cells and the origin of life. What all these substances and replicators are is unknown to science. How all this happened is unknown to science.

However, evolutionists seem to be sure that though they are not sure how this all happened, they are at least sure that it has so happened, although they have never observed it happening. Such kind of an approach seems to be too superstitious to some. But all of this proceeds out of a materialistic outlook that not only looks at the world as a machine but also looks at the organism also as a machine. Life, then, is not some spiritual element within the organism. It is simply the animation or growth caused in a material body due to some programmed materials that chanced to happen at random. The strength of belief in evolutionism despite such uncertainty in providing adequate scientific explanations cannot qualify evolutionism as a philosophy, which seeks not mere speculation but argument and reasoning to establish the absoluteness of truth. Consequently, theories that are based on evolutionism also may be as unreliable as evolutionism since it itself stands on uncertainty.


[1] Milton D. Hunnex, Chronological and Thematic Charts of Philosophies and Philosophers (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), p. 17
[2] Harry Rimmer, The Theory of Evolution and the Facts of Science (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1935), p. 18
[3] Titus, Smith, and Nolan, Living Issues in Philosophy, p. 33
[4] Duane Tolbert Gish, “Creation, Evolution and Public Education,” Philosophy and Contemporary Issues, 4th edn. (eds. John R. Burr & Milton Goldinger;New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1984), p. 458
[5] Ibid, p. 459
[6] “Evolution,” Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia (Microsoft Corporation, 2001)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Couplets (Dohas) by Rahim and Kabir With English Meanings

Khanzada Mirza Khan Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana(17 December 1556 – 1626) (Hindi: अब्दुल रहीम ख़ान-ए-ख़ाना, Urdu: عبدالرحيم خان خانان), also known as Rahim (रहीम, رحیم) was a poet who lived during the rule of Mughal emperor Akbar. He was one of the nine important ministers (dewan) in his court, also known as the Navaratnas. Rahim is known for his Hindi couplets and his books on astrology. The village of Khankhana, which is named after him, is located in the Nawanshahr district of the state of Punjab, India. (Wikipedia)
Couplets (Dohas) of Rahim जो रहीम उत्तम प्रकृति, का करी सकत कुसंग,
चन्दन विष व्यापत नहीं, लिपटे रहत भुजंग.
A person of excellent nature cannot be corrupted by bad company.
Sandalwood is untouched by the poison of a serpent coiled around the tree. बिगरी बात बने नहीं, लाख करो किन कोय.
रहिमन फाटे दूध को, मथे न माखन होय.
A million attempts cannot mend a spoiled matter,
As much churning can't turn spoiled milk to butter. रहिमन देखि बड़ेन को, लघु न दीजिए डारि.
जहां काम आवे सु…

Fight Against Corruption

Denmark ranks as the 1st among the world's least corrupt countries. Singapore ranks 8th. India ranks 65th. North Korea and Somalia rank 149th.

A study of these systems reveal the following facts.

1. An Anti-corruption agency, independent of the police and executive is crucial to check corruption. Countries having multiple anti-corruption agencies don't seem to have much success. One cannot remove dirt with dirt; one has to use an agent that is intrinsically anti-dirt (soap-water). Singapore's "anti-corruption agency, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), is well resourced and independent. It is empowered to investigate any person, even police officers and ministers, and conducts public outreach to raise public awareness and shape social norms." (Lee Hsien Loong)

2. In countries like Singapore, the high-level officials are paid well and corruption is kept at bay at that level. The idea is that anti-corruption begins from top to bottom. "There i…

The Call of Moses: The First Excuse (Exodus 3)

Exodus 3 and 4 record God's call of Moses to deliver the people of Israel and lead them into the Promised Land.

BackgroundHebrews 11:23 tells us that the parents of Moses were strong believers.

Hebrews 11:24-26 tells us that when the time came for Moses to choose, he "refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. (Heb 11:24-26)

In other words, Moses was a person who made a honest choice to follow Christ and His path of suffering. It is wrong to imagine that if Moses would have been patient and not killed the Egyptian he would have become the next Pharaoh. The Bible says that He actually made the choice to refuse to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. It seems that Egyptian politics was deeply tied with their polytheistic religion that in a way also dei…