Aliens, Hopeful Monsters, Panspermia, Gaia, The Noosphere, Multiverses, Self-Organization
By David Cloud
“In tenacious commitment to atheism, naturalistic evolution fashions the marriage of the false modern gods of Mother Earth and Father Time as an inferior substitute for the great and awesome Creator of the Scriptures” (Jeremy Walter, Ph.d. in mechanical engineering, In Six Days, p. 18).
Even the most strident naturalistic evolutionist suspects that life is too mysterious in its origin and operation, too perfect and intricate and complex in its laws and functions, to have evolved blindly from nothing. They suspect there is Something beyond that which can be examined with a microscope or telescope.
But even when evolutionists admit that their theories can’t really explain life, they typically refuse to believe in Almighty God. They would rather believe in any fairy tale than submit to the Creator God as revealed in Scripture and suffer the reproach of being a Bible-believing Christian. And the fairy tales they have invented are truly amazing.
The Intelligent Design (ID) movement is picking up steam and having an impact, in spite of all efforts of atheistic evolutionists in the “establishment” to censor every voice that questions Darwinism. I predict that Intelligent Design will continue to spread among evolutionists, but the “intelligence” behind the design will generally not be identified as the God of the Bible, but rather as some sort of mystical power within the pantheon of Darwinian New Age gods.
Consider some examples:
Nature is granted God-like qualities in evolutionary writings.
“We human beings are the subject of [Nature’s] experiments--the pawns of her great game” (Arthur Keith, cited by Roger Lewin, Bones of Contention, p. 42).
“Nature was making her great experiments to achieve the transmutation of the base substance of some brutal Ape into the divine form of man” (Elliot Smith, Essays on the Evolution of Man, 1924, p. 77).
How could “nature,” which according to Darwinism has no intelligence, make great experiments and play games? This is simply an attempt to replace God with something that has the same ability as God, all the while claiming that there is no God.
A PANTHEISTIC HIGHER POWER
Many evolutionists have fled to a pantheistic higher power to answer life’s mysteries. This evolutionary “God” is acceptable, because He is not man’s master and judge.
Charles Darwin’s grandfather Erasmus Darwin, who actually developed the fundamental elements of Darwinian evolution, worshipped God as “the vast Unknown” and “adored in the Temple of Nature” (Adrian Desmond, Darwin, pp. 5, 9). Erasmus preached the doctrine of evolution in a popular two-volume set of books entitled Zoonomia; or, the Laws of Organic Life (1794-96). He promoted the very concepts later popularized by the grandson Charles: natural selection, survival of the fittest, sexual selection, gradual transformation of species, homology, and vestigial organs. Erasmus believed that everything has risen from an original “living filament” which formed by “spontaneous vitality” in “the primeval ocean.”
Erasmus Darwin thought of himself as a free thinker, but his religion was nothing more than ancient goddess-earth worship. His book The Temple of Nature presented the doctrine of evolution under the guise of lessons he supposedly learned from the goddess Urania, Priestess of Nature.
One of Thomas Huxley’s students, C. Lloyd Morgan, developed the concept of “Emergent Evolution,” which saw “God” as “the Creative Source of evolution.” Morgan believed that “all observable change is due to some form of Spiritual Activity,” as a part of “a scheme” directed by God and leading upward toward God. This is a pantheistic higher power that is mysteriously working throughout the material world toward some unknown objective.
Alfred Russel Wallace, who co-founded the doctrine of natural selection with Charles Darwin, believed in a universe permeated with “cosmic intelligence.” Wallace was the forerunner of evolutionists who have proposed a marriage of science and religion. He proposed “a reconciliation of Science with Theology.” Wallace wrote:
“While admitting to the full extent of the agency of the same great laws of organic development in the origin of the human race as in the origin of all organized beings, there yet seems to be evidence of a Power which has guided the action of those laws in definite directions and for special ends. ... Let us not shut our eyes to the evidence that an Overruling Intelligence has watched over the action of those laws, so directing variations and so determining their accumulation, as finally to produce an organization sufficiently perfect to admit of, and even to aid in, the indefinite advancement of our mental and moral nature” (Wallace, “Sir Charles Lyell on Geological Climates and the Origin of Species,” Quarterly Review, April 1867, pp. 393, 394).
While rejecting the sovereign Creator God of the Bible, Wallace believed in a pantheistic “Power,” an “Overruling Intelligence” that is evolving everything toward an objective.
Ernst Haeckel, Darwin’s most ardent German disciple, believed in a pantheistic Nature-God that energizes everything. While rejecting the “concept of the personal creator,” Haeckel defined God as “the universal law of causality. ... the sum of all forces, thus also of all matter” (Mario Di Gregorio, From Here to Eternity, p. 200). Haeckel conceived of “the unity of God within the whole of nature.” Matter and spirit are one.
Henry Fairfield Osborn, head of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, hated the Genesis account of creation and biblical fundamentalism but believed in a God who is “with us, in us, and everywhere around us” (The Earth Speaks to Bryan, 1925, p. 86). He believed that a “purpose pervades all Nature, from nebula to man,” and he called it the “Wisdom and Spirit of the Universe.” This unknowable “Spirit” keeps everything in “everlasting motion.”
Theodosius Dobzhansky rejected the existence of a personal God, but was nonetheless called “a religious man” by geneticist Francisco Ayala. In a eulogy following Dobzhansky’s death, Ayala said:
“Dobzhansky held that in man, biological evolution has transcended itself into the realm of self-awareness and culture. He believed that mankind would eventually evolve into higher levels of harmony and creativity. He was a metaphysical optimist” (“Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution: Theodosius Dobzhansky,” Journal of Heredity, Vol. 68, No. 3, 19777, p. 3).
Dobzhansky wrote that the evolutionary process has “become conscious of itself” in man. This is the New Age pantheistic god that looks upon nature as self-aware and self-evolving.
Gaylord Simpson acknowledged that science cannot explain many things about life, so he allowed for a “hidden First Cause.”
“... the origin of that cosmos and the causal principles of its history remain unexplained and inaccessible to science. Here is hidden the First Cause sought by theology and philosophy. The First Cause is not known and I suspect it will never be known to living man. We may, if we are so inclined, worship it in our own ways, but we certainly do not comprehend it” (Simpson, The Meaning of Evolution).
Simpson’s “hidden First Cause” was deemed acceptable, in contrast to Almighty God, because man is not responsible to such vague, unknowable thing.
Stephen Jay Gould allowed for a “clock-winding god.” This is similar to the Deist principle of an absentee god.
“... no intervening spirit watches lovingly over the affairs of nature (though Newton’s clock-winding god might have set up the machinery at the beginning of time and then let it run)” (Stephen Jay Gould, “In Praise of Charles Darwin,” Discover magazine, Feb. 1982; also printed as a chapter in Darwin’s Legacy, edited by Charles Hamrum, 1983, pp. 6-7).
George Wald, a rabid Darwinist who “used to state that he didn't even like to use the word ‘God’ in a sentence,” eventually bought into a form of pantheism because of science’s inability resolve the mysteries of life.
“There are two major problems rooted in science, but unassimilable as science, consciousness and cosmology. ... The universe wants to be known. Did the universe come about to play its role to empty benches?” (Dietrick Thomsen, “A Knowing Universe Seeking to Be Known,” Science News, Feb. 19, 1983).
Jeremy Rifkin described the New Age evolutionary god as follows:
"Evolution is no longer viewed as a mindless affair, quite the opposite. It is mind enlarging its domain up the chain of species. ... In this way one eventually ends up with the idea of the universe as a mind that oversees, orchestrates, and gives order and structure to all things” (Algeny, 1983, p. 188, 195).
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) is a prime example of the bridge between Darwinian evolution and New Age mysticism. Teilhard (pronounced tay-yar) was a Jesuit priest and an evolutionary paleontologist who believed that “man descended from monkeys” (The New York Times, March 19, 1937). He was one of the discoverers of the so-called Peking Man. But Teihard didn’t believe in blind evolution. He was “a leading proponent of orthogenesis, the idea that evolution occurs in a directional, goal driven way.”
Teilhard taught that God is the consciousness of the universe, that everything is one, and that everything is evolving in greater and greater enlightenment toward an ultimate point of perfection. He called this perfection CHRIST and THE OMEGA POINT. To Teilhard, all men’s souls constitute the “soul of the world” that is evolving toward an “ultimate convergence in perfection on Omega and the Christ” (Anne Bancroft, Twentieth-Century Mystics, p. 55).
Thus, man is supposedly part of the divine and will eventually merge with it.
Teilhard called his doctrine the Law of Complexity, claiming that the Omega Point is drawing the universe to itself so that it is being guided toward ever higher states of consciousness. He described the Omega Point as a divine personal intellectual being that is outside of the framework of evolution and that is guiding evolution.
Teilhard taught that evolution has progressed in three stages, the geosphere, the biosphere, and the noosphere. The geosphere (inanimate matter) was formed first, followed by the biosphere (biological life). The NOOSPHERE is the “sphere of human thought” or “collective consciousness” that is now evolving toward perfection.
In The Phenomenon of Man (1968) Teilhard claimed that man is on the verge of an evolutionary leap in consciousness similar to that allegedly achieved when man emerged from the animal kingdom. He “believed the new consciousness would be similar to mystical enlightenment in that it was likely to have collective and cosmic elements which would have the effect of drawing individuals closer to God” (The Aquarian Guide to the New Age).
New Agers such as Barbara Hubbard have latched onto this doctrine as foundational to their program.
Teilhard was a mystic and described his practice of meditation as “going down into my innermost self, to the deep abyss” (The Divine Milieu, p. 76). He said: “At each step of the descent a new person was disclosed within me of whose name I was no longer sure, and who no longer obeyed me.” At the end of the journey he found “a bottomless abyss at my feet.”
This is a loud warning to those who have ears to hear. Though the mystic believes that he is touching light and truth through contemplative practices, in reality he is fellowshipping with darkness and devils. Who were these “persons” that were distinct from Teilhard himself and that did not obey him? From a biblical perspective, we conclude that he was communicating with demons.
Teilhard said he was led along by a spirit all his life.
“Ever since my childhood an enigmatic force had been impelling me” (Teilhard, The Heart of the Matter, 1979, p. 53).
Because of his communion with devils through mysticism, Teilhard rejected the Christ of the Bible and salvation through Christ’s blood atonement, and adopted a pantheistic view of God.
“[T]he Cross still stands ... But this on one condition, and one only: that it expand itself to the dimensions of a New Age, and cease to present itself to us as primarily (or even exclusively) the sign of a victory over sin” (Christianity and Evolution, pp. 219-220).
“I believe that the Messiah whom we await, whom we all without any doubt await, is the universal Christ; that is to say, the Christ of evolution” (Christianity and Evolution, p. 95).
“What I am proposing to do is to narrow that gap between pantheism and Christianity by bringing out what one might call the Christian soul of Pantheism or the pantheist aspect of Christianity” (Christianity and Evolution, p. 56).
The New Age merger of scientific evolution with a pantheistic or panentheistic god has spread widely in our day. It is even promoted in the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins at the American Museum of Natural History. The displays depict man as a product of blind Darwinian evolution and brashly contradict the Bible’s account of creation, but a video presentation features prominent evolutionists claiming that science and religion are friends.
Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, says:
“I’m a scientist that believes the tools of science are the way to understand the natural world and one needs to be rigorous about that. But I’m also a believer in a personal God. I find the scientific worldview and the spiritual worldview to be entirely complementary. And I find it quite wonderful to be able to have both of those worldviews existing in my life in a given day, because each illuminates the other.”
This might sound respectful toward “religion,” but in fact it is a bold repudiation of the Bible, because the Bible refuses to speak only about “religious things.” The Bible begins with a plain account of how the material universe was made, so it refuses to leave such things to “science.” And if the Bible is wrong about the material universe there is no reason to believe it is right about anything else and no reason to “respect” its teachings on any other subject.
Michael Dowd, author of Thank God for Evolution: The Marriage of Science and Religion (2008), identifies God as “a personification of one or more deeply significant dimensions of reality.” He says, “Getting right with God means coming into right relationship with our planet and all its gloriously diverse species and cultures.” He says that he had a mystical enlightenment during a course on “The New Catholic Mysticism” operated by the United Church of Christ. He wept as he saw “the scientific story of the Universe” as a “sacred epic.” He foresees a time when “religious leaders get their guidance and inspiration from humanity’s common creation story [Darwinism] and teach and preach the discoveries of science as God’s word.”
Dowd praises the “new atheists” such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, and they, in turn, have responded somewhat sympathetically to his approach. There is a merger ongoing.
PANSPERMIA AND ALIENS
From time to time, evolutionary scientists have theorized that life on earth came from outer space.
The doctrine is not new. It was held by Benoit de Maillet in the 18th century. He believed that germs from space fell into earth’s oceans and grew into fish, which became amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. He was convinced that there are lots of such evolving germs in space.
William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) proposed a similar idea in the 19th century. Thomson, president of the London Royal Society for five years, formulated the dissipation of energy principle that is summarized as the second law of thermodynamics. He invented devices that made the first transatlantic telegraph cable possible. His sounding device for determining the depth of the sea from a ship was in use for more than a century. His research in physics helped prepare the way for wireless telegraphy. He is buried in Westminster Abbey beside Sir Isaac Newton.
In 1864, Thomson told the Royal Society of Edinburgh that life came to this planet from outer space. He said, “The hypothesis that life originated on this earth through moss-grown fragments from the ruins of another world may seem wild and visionary; all I maintain is that it is not unscientific.” In 1881, he repeated this idea before the British Association for the Advancement of Science, saying that life was carried to earth on “countless seed-bearing meteoritic stones.”
“Hence, and because we all confidently believe that there are at present, and have been from time immemorial, many worlds of life besides our own, we must regard it as probable in the highest degree that there are countless seed-bearing meteoric stones moving about through space. If at the present instance no life existed upon this earth, one such stone falling upon it might, by what we blindly call natural causes, lead to its becoming covered with vegetation” (Thomson, cited from Fred Hoyle, Evolution from Space, p. 38).
This statement represents a doctrine of blind faith. There is no scientifically established evidence that there are many worlds of life besides our own or that there are countless seed-bearing meteors moving about space or that such a meteor landing on earth could produce the bewildering variety of life that currently exists. These men mock faith in the Almighty Creator God of the Bible as blind, but they are the ones who stumble in gross darkness and are captured by fables.
In 1907, Svante Arrhenius of Germany claimed in his book Worlds in the Making that life wafts through space by means of “spores” that colonize any hospitable planet they find. He called this “panspermia.” He hypothesized that the living spores are transported by star light.
Sir Fred Hoyle (d. 2001), noted British astronomer, also held the proposition that alien life enters earth from outer space. He believed that this is responsible for epidemic outbreaks and new diseases and by this means various new life forms have been seeded on earth.
He believed that the earth has been repeatedly seeded with alien life, and that the seeding is a product of intelligent design by some unknown higher power with “an overt plan of planetary invasion” (Evolution from Space, p. 126).
“In our view the arrival at the Earth of living cells, and of fragments of genetic material more generally, is a continuing ongoing process which does the job that is usually attributed to Darwinism” (Evolution from Space, p. 51).
The thing that led Hoyle to the conclusion that life on earth came from aliens is his recognition that chemical evolution (molecules to man) is impossible. He wrote:
“If one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that BIOMATERIALS WITH THEIR AMAZING MEASURE OR ORDER MUST BE THE OUTCOME OF INTELLIGENT DESIGN. No other possibility I have been able to think of” (“Evolution from Space,” Omni Lecture, Royal Institution, London, January 12, 1982).
As for the Darwinian idea that life could arise in a primordial organic soup on earth, Hoyle called it “nonsense of a high order.”
Hoyle was right about this, but he refused to follow this logic to the personal God of the Bible. In fact, he hated that God. He wrote that the “biggest thing going for Darwinism was that it finally broke the tyranny in which Christianity had held the minds of men for many centuries” (Evolution from Space, p. 133). He called the concept of one God “ludicrous” (p. 143).
Instead, Hoyle went on a misguided search for aliens and ended up in pure mythology. He concluded that there are hierarchies of “gods” in the universe, which is similar to the ancient Gnostic concept. He wrote of “many levels of intelligence rising upwards from ourselves” (Evolution from Space, p. 31). He called these “cosmic space agency experts” (p. 110) and hypothesized that they have “domains of influence” (p. 113).
Or course, in regard to the mystery of the origin of life, Hoyle’s “theory” solved nothing. It merely put the problem off to another time and place. What it did do, though, was provide a way to get rid of that pesky Creator God of the Bible to whom every man is accountable.
Astronomer Chandra Wickramasinghe, director of the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology, agrees with Hoyle’s principle. They co-authored the book Evolution from Space. Wickramasinghe says:
“Comets arriving at the Earth from the 100 billion-strong Oort cometary cloud of our solar system brought the first life onto our planet some 3,800 million years ago. Evolution of life on the Earth was directed by the continued arrival of cometary bacteria, bacteria which must still be arriving at this present time” (interview with Robert Britt, “Panspermia Q and A: Leading Proponent Chandra Wickramasinghe,” Space.com, Oct. 27, 2000, http://www.space.com/searchforlife/chandra_sidebar_001027.html).
This is myth upon myth. The Oort cloud is an evolutionary fable without a scintilla of evidence. It was invented to answer the problem that comets point to a young solar system. If the solar system is as old as evolution claims, icy comets should have melted away by now in their journeys around the sun. No problem, evolutionists reply; there must be a place where comets are continually created. Died-in-the-wool evolutionists always have a new trick to pull out of the Darwinian hat. They can say with the late “Reverend Ike” “You can’t lose with the stuff I use.”
Francis Crick (d. 2004), co-discoverer of the DNA’s double helix construction, and Leslie Orgel (d. 2007), a British chemist, proposed the “theory” of “directed panspermia” in the 1970s. They suggested that the seeds of life were planted on earth by extraterrestrials. Crick, who won the Nobel Prize for his work in the discovery of the structure of DNA, theorized that perhaps an alien civilization facing annihilation, or hoping to create living planets for future colonization, built a spaceship to send bacteria to the earth. He published this view in the book Life Itself (1981).
While believing in aliens, Crick hated the Bible and suggested that Christianity “should not be taught to young children.” He described himself as a skeptic with “a strong inclination towards atheism.” He denied the existence of man’s eternal soul and was an advocate for the establishment of Darwin Day as a British national holiday. When Churchill College, Cambridge, elected to build a Christian chapel (even though the Christianity it represents is exceedingly liberal), Crick resigned his fellowship in protest. He is a poster child for the Bible’s contention that men who are unthankful to God and professing themselves to be wise become fools (Romans 1:22).
Astrobiologist Richard Shapiro also suspects that life began with aliens in outer space. Shapiro is Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Chemistry at New York University. He has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard and postdoctoral training in DNA chemistry at Cambridge. In Origins: A Skeptic’s Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth (1986), Shapiro argues that life is too complex to have evolved through any of the standard proposed evolutionary processes and speculates that life originated in outer space.
The avowed atheist Richard Dawkins said in an interview with Ben Stein that he suspects that life was seeded on earth by aliens. This was published in the documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, is an atheist on a ridiculous rampage against the Almighty. He calls the God of the Bible “the most unpleasant character in all fiction” and a “capriciously malevolent bully.” Like the late Francis Crick, Dawkins believes that Christianity should not be taught to children.
Ben Stein asked Dawkins, “Who did create the heavens and the earth? How did it start?”
Dawkins replied, “No one knows how it started. We know the kind of event it must have been for the origin of life. It was the origin of the first self-replicating molecule.”
Stein asked, “What do you think is the possibility that Intelligent Design might turn out to be the answer to some issues in genetics?”
To this Dawkins gave the following amazing reply:
“It could be that at some earlier time somewhere in the universe a civilization evolved by, probably some kind of Darwinian means, to a very, very high level of technology and designed the form of life they seeded on to this planet. That is a possibility and an intriguing possibility, and I suppose it is possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry and molecular biology you might find a signature of some sort of designer. And that designer could well be a higher intelligence from elsewhere in the universe. That higher intelligence would itself have had to have come about by some ultimately explicable process. It couldn’t have just jumped into existence spontaneously.”
So Richard Dawkins admits that life couldn’t have just jumped into existence from non-life as Darwinian evolution claims and that there IS evidence for an intelligent designer. But since he has rejected the God of the Bible, he launches out into the never-never land of “aliens.” And this is the same man that mocks those who believe in God. Indeed, no man is more blind than he who willfully ignorant (2 Peter 3:3-8).
There is absolutely zero scientific evidence for the “theory” of aliens or panspermia. Hands-on research in outer space has been going on for decades, but neither Russia nor the USA have found evidence of living spores floating in space. There is plenty of hypothesizing and there are questionable sightings and assumptions, but no evidence that would stand up in a court of law.
As for “moss-grown fragments” or “seed-bearing meteorites” bringing life to earth, there is no evidence for that, either.
In 1962, “organized elements” were discovered in the Orgueil meteorite, that had fallen to earth in southern France in 1864. These were announced as evidence that life came to earth from outer space, but they turned out to be either mineral crystals or pollen or fungal spores that had contaminated the sample. The “life fossils” turned out to be highly questionable at best, and this has been true every time fossilized “life” has been “discovered” in meteorites.
In 1965, a fragment of the Orgueil meteorite was found to have seeds embedded in it, but though there was great initial excitement, it turned out to be a hoax. Someone had glued seeds from the rush plant into the meteorite fragment and camouflaged it using coal dust. The “glassy layer” that was thought at first to have protected the seed, turned out to be glue.
There was a claim in 1996 that a meteorite called “Allan Hills” found in Antarctica contained “fossilized trails of microbial life that originated on Mars.” Again, it is highly questionable at best. This allegation has been strongly discounted by other scientists who say that the “fossilized microbial life” is nothing of the sort or that it was introduced after the meteorite fell to earth. Much has been made of this by proponents of panspermia, but you can’t prove a proposition with evidence this ridiculously shaky!
There have been a few other reports of fossilized bacteria in meteorites, but all such reports are highly questionable even within the scientific community.
A study by researchers at Caltech, Vanderbildt, and McGill universities in the 1990s claimed that had there been Martian bacteria in the Allan Hills meteorite it could have survived the fiery entry through earth’s atmosphere. This study claims that the interior of the rock only reached 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). The scientists conclude that “space rocks are capable of acting as vessels for the transport of organisms around the solar system” (Robert Britt, “Mars Rock Cool Enough to Transport Life to Earth,” Space.com, Oct. 26, 2000).
This, though, is still purely hypothetical. No established evidence that life has actually come to earth from outer space has ever been found and it is still not certain that living bacteria could survive the entry through earth’s atmosphere.
In fact, the European Space Agency strapped basalt and granite disks riddled with bacteria to the heat shield of an unmanned spacecraft, Foton-M3. After orbiting the earth for 12 days, it crashed to earth. The bacteria didn’t survive. Rene Demets of the European Space Agency said that real meteorites would provide more protection, but that is still a mere proposition and evolutionary wishful thinking.
The fact is that no living bacteria coming to earth from outer space has ever been found. And living bacteria has never been found anywhere in outer space.
In 2002, it was reported that glycine (the simplest amino acid) had been discovered in interstellar clouds, but it turned out to be untrue (“L. Snyder, “A Rigorous Attempt to Verify Interstellar Glycine,” Astrophysical Journal, 2005).
Some pro-panspermia web sites take the stance that it is a fact that living bacteria have been found in outer space and have survived entrance through the earth’s atmosphere. They can be very convincing, but when you examine their “evidence” it is found to be questionable in the extreme. It’s all smoke and mirrors based on evolutionary assumptions.
One thing is certain, if life were to have been brought to earth as a germ on a meteorite, that really answers nothing from an evolutionary point of view. It doesn’t answer how that germ came into existence in the first place. And it doesn’t answer how that germ could become a man.
One evolutionist has boldly proposed that the assembly of cellular life is the product of magic:
“Over at BioLogos, biologist Kathryn Applegate has offered what has to be one of the more creative alternatives to the intelligent design of the bacterial flagellum: Magic. [‘Self-Assembly of the Bacterial Flagellum: No Intelligence Required,’ The Biologos Forum, Aug. 19, 2010] I'm not kidding. Applegate readily concedes biochemist Michael Behe's point that the flagellum ‘looks and functions just like the outboard motor, a machine designed by intelligent human engineers. So conspicuous is the resemblance that it seems perfectly logical to infer a Designer for the flagellum.’ But, wait, she says: ‘The bacterial flagellum may look like an outboard motor, but there is at least one profound difference: the flagellum assembles spontaneously, without the help of any conscious agent.’ (emphasis added) Acknowledging that ‘the self-assembly of such a complex machine almost defies the imagination,’ Dr. Applegate assures her readers that this is not really a problem because ‘Natural forces work like magic.’ Presto, chango, something appears!” (“Behe Critic on Bacterial Flagellum,” Evolution News & Views, Aug. 25, 2010).
GAIA AND OTHER GODDESSES
Some evolutionists invoke goddesses and the sacredness of the earth.
As we have seen, Charles Darwin’s grandfather, Erasmus, who is the actual father of Darwinian evolution, wrote a long poem that is purported to be the doctrine of the goddess Urania, priestess of nature. Called “The Temple of Nature,” the poem borrows from ancient paganism and is pure goddess-earth worship.
In more recent times, evolutionists have proposed the Gaia theory, which looks upon the earth itself as a living entity, or something very much like a living entity. Gaia was a Greek goddess.
The “theory” was formulated in the 1960s by James Lovelock, a research scientist who has worked for NASA. It was promoted through articles and a 1979 book Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. The Gaia doctrine sees the amazing interlocking systems of life on earth as being guided by a metaphysical force that is identified with the earth itself.
Lovelock defines Gaia as “a complex entity involving the Earth’s biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil; the totality constituting a feedback or cybernetic system which seeks an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet.”
Though many evolutionary scientists have vehemently rejected it, the “theory” has gained proponents. Dr. Lynn Margulis, a noted microbiologist, is a proponent of Gaia. She dedicated a portion of her book The Symbiotic Planet to this proposition.
The first Chapman Conference on the Gaia Hypothesis was held in 1989 in San Diego, organized by climatologist Stephen Schneider. The second was held in Valencia, Spain, in 2000, and the third in Arlington, Virginia, in 2006. In addition to Lovelock and Margulis, speakers included Tyler Volk, director of the Program in Earth and Environmental Science at New York University; Thomas Lovejoy, president of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment; Robert Correll of the Atmospheric Policy Program of the American Meteorological Society; and J. Baird Callicott, environmental ethicist.
Smarting under the criticism of some of his fellow evolutionists for inventing a “neo-Pagan New Age religion,” Lovelock backed away from some of his earlier statements and has said that he does not believe that “planetary self-regulation is purposeful, or involves foresight or planning by the biota.” Margulis, though, agrees with Lovelock’s earlier conclusion that the earth’s surface is “best regarded as alive.”
Whether Lovelock himself pursues Gaia to its logical conclusion--that there is a intelligent metaphysical entity beyond biological life--we believe that some type of New Age pantheism represents the future of evolution. Most men cannot be satisfied with the idea that we are the product of blind chance and that there is no metaphysical aspect and no purpose to life. Even the most brash atheist does not live his life consistently with that principle. A man might say that he believes he is an evolved worm, but he does not consider himself a worm and does not want to be treated like a worm. Men want something more, but having rejected the Creator God of the Bible, they are left to grope in the darkness of their own vain imagination and to be captured by demonic myths. The “god of this world” is leading the evolutionary crowd along by the nose, and there is no doubt that they will eventually worship the antichrist as “god.”
THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE
Closely associated with Gaia is the Anthropic Principle. According to this doctrine, the universe “is conscious in some sense and is inseparably tied in with the existence of human life on earth” (Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 124).
This doctrine is held by many scientists such as P.A. Dirac, Robert Dicke, Freeman Dyson, John Wheeler, Richard Gott, Brandon Carter, Paul Davies, and George Wald.
Following are some quotes that describe the doctrine:
“The universe in some sense must have known we were coming” (Freeman Dyson, quoted by Judith Hooper, “Perfect Timing,” New Age Journal, Dec. 1985, p. 18).
“The universe wants to be known. Did the universe come about to play its role to empty benches”? (George Wald, Nobel prize winner, Harvard University, cited by Dietrick Thomsen, “A Knowing Universe Seeking to Be Known,” Science News, Feb. 19, 1983, p. 124).
“The universe is no longer seen as a machine, made up of a multitude of objects, but has to be pictured as one indivisible, dynamic whole whose parts are essentially interrelated and can be understood only as patterns of a cosmic process” (Fritjof Capra, The Turning Point, 1982, pp. 77, 78).
SELF-ORGANIZATION (THE COMPLEXITY THEORY)
Another Darwinian god is the myth of self-organization or the “complexity theory.” It has been championed by Stuart Kauffman, founder of the University of Calgary’s Institute for Biocomplexity and Informatics; Stuart Newman, professor of cell biology at New York Medical College; Stuart Pivar, and others.
According to this doctrine, life spontaneously organized itself into ordered patterns. “Kauffman proposes that chemicals in the prebiotic soup organized themselves into complex metabolic pathways.” Supposedly one type of complex system can switch to another type through “perturbations” (Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box).
Kauffman believes that the biosphere constructs itself using sunlight and free energy and that the universe is “ceaselessly creative” (Suzan Mazur, The Altenberg 16, p. 55).
Kauffman has the New Age goal of creating “safe spiritual space across all our traditions” and treating “all in our global culture as sacred.”
Stuart Newman theorizes that “all 35 animal phyla self-organized by the time of the Cambrian explosion half a billion years ago using dynamical patterning modules (DPMs), a pattern language that called up certain physical processes and enabled highly plastic single-celled organisms to leap into multicellularity and build cavities, layers of tissue, segments, extremities, primitive hearts and even eyes” (Mazur, pp. 12, 13).
“When they [single cells] found themselves together in a multicellular-scale structure, their combined effect was to make segmentation all-but-inevitable. In fact, we know that modern-day embryos, including those of humans, still use these ancient ‘generic’ physical processes to form their segmented backbones. ... At the point when the modern animal body plans first emerged [half a billion years ago] just about all of the genes that are used in modern organisms to make embryos were already there. They had evolved in the single-celled world but they weren’t doing embryogenesis. What did it take to get them to do embryogenesis? It took a change in scale. What led that change in scale is that, possibly due to alterations in external conditions, cells became sticky. And once they became sticky, you had multicellular organisms, and mobilization of the self-organizing physical processes of mesoscale materials” (Mazur, p. 52).
Other than the sticky cells statement, my favorite Newman quote is the following:
“Cells have these clocks inside of them, these oscillations. And in the single cell world an oscillation just periodically changes the state of a cell. But in the multicellular state, the oscillation can lead to spatial segmentation. You’re mobilizing things that existed before, that evolved in the single cell world but then when they meet up with the physics of mesoscale (middle scale) materials, you get all these morphogenetic processes--all these form-producing processes come into play” (Mazur, p. 127).
If you remove the evolutionary assumptions from these statements you are left with absolutely nothing but a ridiculous just-so story. How did incredibly complicated living cells appear from non life? How did they “find themselves” together? By what scientific process is cellular segmentation “inevitable”? What scientifically established evidence is there that animals evolved from a single cell? How did cells become sticky? What scientific evidence is there that stickiness has anything to do with the creation of multicellular organisms? How, scientifically, does the oscillation of a cell change to spatial segmentation? How do things that supposedly evolved in a single celled world “mobilize” into new, incredibly complicated forms? What are the evolutionary form-producing processes that have been scientifically demonstrated even to the level of hypothesis?
Stuart Pivar describes the self-organization of life as “a slow-moving, elongated smoke ring” (Mazur, p. 94). He theorizes that every living creature self-organized from “the same toroidal germ plasm” and he has created computerized “animated blueprints” to depict this. Pivar says that his torus model of evolution has been called “plausible, publishable and worthy of further investigation” by Dimitar Sasselov, Director, Harvard Initiative for the Study of the Origins of Life; theoretical biologist Brian Goodwin; Nobel laureate Murray Gell-Mann; biologist Stan Salthe; NASA origins of life scientist Robert Hazen, and MIT’s Noam Chomsky (Mazur, p. 96). But all of the top scientists in the world agreeing that something is “plausible” does not add up to one scintilla of scientific evidence!
The “theory” is largely based upon mathematical computer modeling. It is garbage in (evolutionary assumptions), garbage out (modeling predictions).
Biologist Michael Behe, who understands the complexity of life at the cellular level, remarks:
“... the complexity theory began as a mathematical concept to describe the behavior of some computer programs, and its proponents have not yet succeeded in connecting it to real life. Rather, the chief mode of argumentation so far has been for proponents to point to the behavior of a computer program and assert that computer behavior resembles the behavior of a biological system. ...
“No proponent of complexity theory has yet gone into a laboratory, mixed a large variety of chemicals in a test tube, and looked to see if self-sustaining metabolic pathways spontaneously organize themselves. If they ever do try such an experiment, they will merely be repeating the frustrating work of origin-of-life scientists who have gone before them--and who have seen that complex mixtures yield a lot of muck on the sides of a flask, and not much else.
“Indeed, some proponents see great significance in the fact that they can write short computer programs which display images on the screen that resemble biological objects such as a clam shell. The implication is that it doesn’t take much to make a clam. But a biologist or biochemist would want to know, if you opened the computer clam, would you see a pearl inside? If you enlarged the image sufficiently, would you see cilia and ribosomes and mitochondria and intracellular transport systems and all the other systems that real, live organisms need? To ask the question is to answer it. In the article, Kauffman observes that ‘At some point artificial life drifts off into someplace where I cannot tell where the boundary is between talking about the world--I mean, everything out there--and really neat computer games and art forms and toys.’ More people are beginning to think that the drifting point occurs very early. ...
“Complexity theory may yet make important contributions to mathematics, and it may still make modest contributions to biochemistry. But it cannot explain the origin of the complex biochemical structures that undergird life. It doesn’t even try” (Darwin’s Black Box, chapter 9, “Intelligent Design”).
A view akin to “self-organization” is “autoevolution.” This term was coined by Antonio Lima-De-Faria, author of Molecular Evolution and the Organization of the Chromosome.
He believes that there have been four separate stages of autoevolution: elementary particles, chemical elements, minerals, and biology.
“Evolution starts when the universe is born. And this is not a loose process since the elementary particles already show specific ancestors and specific rules of evolution. Later the chemical elements of the periodic table also display an ordered and well-defined evolution. Still later, the minerals also undergo an evolution of their own. These three separate evolutions preceded the biological one. ... I felt compelled to coin the word autoevolution. It describes the transformation phenomenon which is inherent to the construction of matter and energy. This consequently produced and canalized the emergence of forms and functions” (Lima-de-Faria, Evolution with Selection: Form and Function by Autoevolution, 1988, p. 18, cited from Suzan Mazur, The Altenberg 16, pp. 81, 82).
Lima-de-Faria believes that everything from atoms to humans autoevolved. He says that life “has no beginning; it is a process inherent to the structure of the universe” (Mazur, p. 83).
That is a LOT of self-creating by a mindless universe!
But this man would not dream of believing in the Almighty Creator of Scripture. That would be extreme and unscientific.
THE INDETERMINATE SEA OF POTENTIALITY
In his lectures on astronomy at the University of Oregon James Schombert says,
“... the Universe probably derived from an indeterminate sea of potentiality that we call the quantum vacuum, whose properties may always remain beyond our current understanding” (http://zebu.uoregon.edu/~js/ast123/lectures/lec15.html).
It takes far more “faith” to believe in the existence of an indeterminate sea of (non-intelligent) potentiality than it does to believe in an Almighty Creator.
The multiverse proposition, also called megaverse and the Landscape, purports that our universe is only one of an infinite number of universes, none of the others being observable. The laws of nature that we find in our universe are not necessarily the same in other universes. Thus anything is supposedly possible somewhere.
“[the Multiverse hypothesis] popularized in David Deutsch’s book The Fabric of Reality ... postulates the simultaneous existence of many, possibly infinitely many, parallel universes in which (almost) anything which is theoretically possible will ultimately be actualized, so that there is nothing surprising in the existence of a universe like ours” (John Lennox, God’s Undertaker, p. 74).
The bottom line is that there is no scientific evidence whatsoever for a multiverse.
“Let us recognize these speculations for what they are. They are not physics, but in the strictest sense, metaphysics. There is no purely scientific reason to believe in an ensemble of universes” (John Polkinghorne, One World, 1986, p. 80).
Multiverse was invented for the sole reason of avoiding the necessity of the Almighty Creator of the Bible.
“Several factors are combining to increase belief (of the ‘faith’ variety, not the ‘demonstrated fact’ variety) in the multiverse among materialists. ... At the biological level materialists are beginning to understand that the probability that life arose by random material processes is so low (estimated in this article written by materialists to be 10 raised to -1018) that infinite universes are required for it to have occurred, the implication being that we just happen to live in the ever-so-lucky universe where it all came together. At the cosmological level, the probability that the fine tuning of the universe necessary for the existence of life arose by sheer coincidence is so low that again the multiverse is invoked to provide infinite ‘probabilistic resources’ to do the job” (Barry Arrington, “Multiverse Mavens Hoisted on Own Petard,” Uncommon Descent, March 6, 2010).
The mathematician Dr. David Berlinski, who describes himself as a secular Jew, acknowledges that there is no evidence for a multiverse.
“The Landscape has, after all, been brought into existence by assumption. It cannot be observed. It embodies an article of faith ... There are by now thousands of professional papers about the Landscape, and reading even a handful makes for the uneasy conviction that were physicists to stop writing about the place, the Landscape, like Atlantis, would stop existing--just like that. This cannot be said of the sun” (David Berlinski, The Devil’s Delusion, pp. 119, 128).
Dr. Paul Davies explains that it would be impossible to detect a multiverse:
“Where are the other universes? The short answer is, a very long way away. It is a prediction of the inflation theory that the size of a typical bubble [containing one universe] is fantastically bigger than that of the observed universe. By fantastically, I mean ‘exponentially’ bigger. Our observed universe is likely to be deeply embedded in a region some 10 to the 10 billionth power kilometers across! Compare this with the size of the observable universe, a mere 10 to the 23rd power kilometers across. And if by some magic we could be transported to the edge of our bubble, we wouldn’t encounter the universe next door. Instead, there would be a region where space is still inflating, doubling in size every 10 to the minus 34 seconds or faster. So even though pocket universes like ours are expanding, they won’t intersect because they are being moved apart by inflation in the gaps between them much faster than their boundaries are growing. It is thus physically impossible, even for light, to cross the widening gulf between them” (The Goldilocks Enigma, p. 95).
To mock Theists who believe in God and to charge them with being unscientific and then to appeal to a wild-eyed multiverse for which there is not a speck of evidence is the height of evolutionary folly. As Berlinski observes:
“After all, the theologian need only appeal to a single God lording over it all and a single universe--our own. [Richard] Dawkins must appeal to an infinitely many universes crammed into creation, with laws of nature wriggling indiscreetly and fundamental physical parameters changing as one travels from one corner of the cosmos to the next, the whole entire gargantuan structure scientifically unobservable and devoid of any connection to experience” (The Devil’s Delusion, p. 153).
Philosopher Richard Swinburne is just as emphatic about the ridiculousness of the multiverse doctrine,
“To postulate a trillion-trillion other universes, rather than one God, in order to explain the orderliness of our universe, seems the height of irrationality” (Richard Swinburne, Is There One God, 1995, p. 68).
Cosmologist Edward Harrison adds,
“Take your choice: blind chance that requires multitudes of universes, or design that requires only one” (Masks of the Universe, 1985, p. 252).
Further, the multiverse hypothesis solves nothing in that it does not answer how or why any universe came into existence.
The supposed evidence for the multiverse comes from “quantum cosmology,” which is a metaphysical abuse of quantum physics. It has become a favorite god of some 21st century evolutionists, including Richard Dawkins, to explain how the universe could come from nothing.
Quantum physics has given us such mind-numbing and incomprehensible concepts as “quantum fuzziness,” “maybe-space-maybe-time fuzziness,” “eternal inflation,” and “the bubble bath universe.”
Quantum and theoretical physicists are the modern Gnostics, delving into mysteries they cannot understand and pretending knowledge they don’t possess. Asking foolish questions and making foolish assumptions, they arrive at foolish answers.
David Berlinski gives a clever critique of quantum cosmology in his book The Devil’s Delusion.
The details may be found in [Stephen] Hawking’s best-selling A Brief History of Time, a book that was widely considered fascinating by those who did not read it, and incomprehensible by those who did. Their work will seem remarkably familiar to readers who grasp the principle behind pyramid schemes or magical acts in which women disappear into a box only to emerge as tigers shortly thereafter.
The wave function of the universe cannot be seen, measured, assessed, or tested. It is purely a theoretical artifact. Physicists have found it remarkably easy to pass from speculation about the wave function of the universe to the conviction that there is a wave function of the universe.
... the doctrines of quantum cosmology are what they seem: biased, partial, inconclusive, and largely in the service of passionate but unexamined conviction.
A Catechism of Quantum Cosmology
Q: From what did our universe evolve?
A: Our universe evolved from a much smaller, much emptier mini-universe. You may think of it as an egg.
Q. What was the smaller, emptier universe like?
A: It was a four-dimensional sphere with nothing much inside it. You may think of that as weird.
Q. How can a sphere have four dimensions?
A: A sphere may have four dimensions if it has one more dimension than a three-dimensional sphere. You may think of that as obvious.
Q. Does the smaller, emptier universe have a name?
A: The smaller, emptier universe is called a de Sitter universe. You may think of that as about time someone paid attention to de Sitter.
Q. Is there anything else I should know about the smaller, emptier universe?
A: Yes. It represents a solution to Einstein’s field equations. You may think of that as a good thing.
Q. Where was that smaller, emptier universe or egg?
A: It was in the place where space as we know it did not exist. You may think of it as a sac.
Q. When was it there?
A: It was there at the time when time as we know it did not exist. You may think of it as a mystery.
Q. Where did the egg come from?
A: The egg did not actually come from anywhere. You may think of this as astonishing.
Q. If the egg did not come from anywhere, how did it get there?
A. The egg got there because the wave function of the universe said it was probable. You may think of this as a done deal.
Q. How did our universe evolve from the egg?
A. It evolved by inflating itself up from its sac to become the universe in which we now find ourselves. You may think of that as just one of those things.
This catechism, I should add, is not a parody of quantum cosmology. It is quantum cosmology.
Quantum cosmology is a branch of mathematical metaphysics. It provides no cause for the emergence of the universe, and so does not answer the first cosmological question, and it offers no reason for the existence of the universe. ...
[The string theory] was an idea that possessed every advantage except clarity, elegance, and a demonstrated connection to reality (David Berlinski, The Devil’s Delusion, pp. 98-107, 119).
Well, there you have it for the Darwinian gods: Gaia, Urania, the Temple of Nature, the vast Unknown, cosmic intelligence, the revealing universe, the universe as mind, noosphere, panspermia, aliens, self-organization, autoevolution, the indeterminate sea of potentiality, the multiverse, and just plain magic!
Evolutionists get really weird when they start speculating about a “higher power” apart from the God of the Bible.
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