“The theory of evolution, like the theory of gravity, is a scientific fact”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, the renowned astrophysicist, notes that the theory of evolution which proposes that organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable physical or behavioural traits cannot be disputed. This treatise aims to examine the theory of evolution and creationism. At this stage we neither propose that the universe emanated from a God (which ever one you might believe in) nor from the Big Bang (out of nothing/randomness).
The Oxford dictionary defines evolution as the process throughwhich different kinds of living organism are believed to have developed from earlier forms during the history of the earth. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution hold the premise that all life is related and has descended from a common ancestor. The birds and the bananas, the fishes and the flowers are all related. This general theory presumes that life springs forth from non-life and stresses a purely naturalistic (undirected) “descent with modification”.
As such, complex creatures evolved from their more simplistic ancestors over time. Darwin’s Theory proposes that random genetic mutations takes place within an organism’s genetic code. The mutations that are beneficial are preserved because they help he creatures survival. This process is referred to as “natural selection.” As a result, these positive mutations are passed on to the next generation and over time, beneficial mutations accumulate and the result is an entirely different organism; entirely different creature. So humans emanate from fish.
With respect to this theory, we shall briefly consider the absence of an intelligent being, time and randomness.
The Theory of Intelligent Design is the assertion that certain features of the universe and of living things exhibit the characteristics of a product resulting from an intelligent cause or agent. Not an undirected process such as natural selection. Proponents of this school of though assert that sophisticated entities such as the universe and man must have an intelligent maker. Often this intelligence is God.
St. Thomas Aquinas in his fifth proof of the existence of God suggested that “wherever complex design exists, there must have been a designer; nature is complex; therefore nature must have had an intelligent designer”.
However, evolutionist assert that the intelligent design argument is an argument from ignorance. This is because there is a lack of evidence; for one view is erroneously argued to constitute proof of the correctness of another view. Scott and Branch say that it relies on a lack of knowledge for its conclusion: lacking a natural explanation for certain specific aspects of evolution, we assume intelligent cause. They contend most scientists would reply that the unexplained is not unexplainable, and that “we don’t know yet” is a more appropriate response than invoking a cause outside science.
Simply the intelligent design arguments seek to keep God and the Bible out of the discussion, and present intelligent design in the language of science as though it were a scientific hypothesis.
They fail to recognise that for a theory to be scientific it must be consistent, parsimonious (sparing in its proposed entities (God effect or explanations), useful (describes and explains observed phenomena, and can be used in a predictive manner), empirically testable and falsifiable (potentially confirmable or disprovable by experiment or observation). It must also be based on multiple observations,Correctable and dynamic (modified in the light of observations that do not support it),Progressive (refines previous theories), Provisional or tentative (is open to experimental checking, and does not assert certainty).
Evolutionist suggest that ideally all of these criteria must be met in order for it to be scientific the fewer criteria are met, the less scientific it is. Thus if an argument meets only a few or none at all, then it cannot be treated as scientific in any meaningful sense of the word.
As such the intelligent design theory is not scientific and as such not fact. Their reasons behind this is that one cannot behold this intelligent marker. No one has seen God, no one can conduct an experiment of God and his works in a lab. Evolutionist assert that the proponents of the intelligent design seek to change the foundations of science by extinguishing “methodological naturalism” from science and replacing it with theistic realism. Intelligent design proponents argue that naturalistic explanations fail to explain certain phenomena and that supernatural explanations provide a very simple and intuitive explanation for the origins of life and the universe.
Intelligent Designs failure to follow the procedures of scientific discourse and the failure to submit work to the scientific community that withstands scrutiny have weighed against intelligent design being accepted as valid.
BIG BANG: TIME AND RANDOMNESS.
The universe starts off with the Big Bang theory.
It is the leading explanation about how the universe began. At its core, it postulates that the universe as we know it starting with a small singularity, then inflating over the next 13.8 billion years to the cosmos that we know today.
According to the theory, all matter and all space was originally part of an infinitesimally small point called the Singularity. The initial singularity was the gravitational singularity of infinite density thought to have contained all of the mass and spacetime of the Universe before quantum fluctuations caused it to rapidly expand in the Big Bang and subsequent inflationary, creating the present-day Universe.
The Big Bang theory says nothing about where that singularity came from. It is assumed to have come about by a random quantum event.
Brad Lemley noted that “to the average person it might seem obvious that nothing can happen in nothing. But to a quantum physicist, nothing is, in fact, something”.
Quantum theory also holds that a vacuum, like atoms, is subject to quantum uncertainties. As such, things can materialise out of the vacuum, although they tend to vanish back into it quickly. This phenomenon can be illustrated by the the emergence and disappearance of stars. In plain English, things appear from nothing and then disappear back into nothing. And nobody has ever seen any of that occur.
The astronomer Heather Cowper put it this way, in a children’s book called The Big Bang.
“Our Universe probably came into existence not only from nothing, but from nowhere”.
This does not appear as a scientific argument, but more like a doctrine of religious faith. “In the beginning, there was nothing. And that nothing exploded”. The most common misconception about the theory is the idea that it teaches that matter exploded and spread out into empty space. It teaches that space itself was also small. This is difficult to get our heads around, but it is worth trying, for reasons that will become clear. Thus, at the point of singularity, there was still matter everywhere in the Universe.
The Big Bang Theory thus holistically proposes that the universe and our world originated out of of nothing. There is an absence of an intelligent force that puts into the motive the creation process. From a layman a perspective, through out the vast existence of the universe unintelligent organism have evolved to create intelligent complex entities.
A Creationist is someone who believes in a god who is absolute creator of heaven and earth, out of nothing, by an act of free will.
Such an entity is thought to be constantly involved in the creation, ready to intervene as necessary, and without whose constant concern the creation would cease or disappear.
Christians, Jews, and Muslims are all Creationists in this sense. Generally they are known as ‘theists,’ distinguishing them from ‘deists,’ that is people who believe that there is a designer who might or might not have created the material on which he (or she or it) is working and who does not interfere once the designing act is finishing. The ethos of this section is to a focus on Creationism in the realms of religion and philosophy.
In Genesis, at the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth. The earth was waste and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep. This account of the creation story denotes that the universe originates from the act of an intelligent force know as God. This God, a King, governs the spiritual unseen world and as created an expansion of His Kingdom. This kingdom is the physical world. The world made up of matter, atoms, flesh and blood. Human Being, His last creation are his divine and Royal representative on Earth. Our job on earth aside worshiping God is to oversee and administration of the world.
This notion requires 3 elements for one to understand. They are hope, love and faith.
Faith is the “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”. Therefore religious creationist (theists) have a resounding faith that there are things that are beyond their understand and they must believe in hope with limited evidence that there is an intelligent purpose behind the existence of the universe and themselves.
Scripture states; “in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God All things were made through him; without him was anything made that had been made”. In this verse “Word” has two transactions. Firstly, in Greek “Word” translates to a still thought or idea, a plan and or a blueprint. Therefore in the beginning when God was creating the world there was a unique plan or an intelligent purpose of design. This notion is a deviation for the Big Bang theory and evolutionary principles. The other translation of Word in Hebrew denotes an agent of creation. This is line with the story of creation in Genesis, that God created the world and humanity. God created all things. The sun, the moon and animals. These scriptures do one offer a description of the origin of the universe and man. It rather states that God is the creator, it promotes the idea of an intelligent force or the grand architect (as known by Freemasons).
There are a wide range of arguments that seek to justify the existence of God outside the boundaries of faith. The reason is; the God of the philosophers aren’t the Gods of people of various faiths. Philosophers who use reason and analogy to justify God seek to do so in an unbiased way. By doing this, the allocate to no God, the title of the true God.
An ontological argument is a philosophical argument for the existence of God by studying the nature of being, becoming, existence or reality. Ontological arguments begin with a priori theory of the organisation of the universe. A priori knowledge or justification is independent of experience and with mathematics, (5+2=7), tautologies (“All bachelors are unmarried”), and deduction from pure reason.
The first ontological argument was proposed by Anselm of Canterbury. Anselm defined God as “that than which nothing greater can be conceived”, and proposed that this being must exist in the mind; even in the mind of the person who denies the existence of God.
He goes on to allude that, if the greatest possible being exists in the mind, it must also exist in reality. If it only exists in the mind, then an even greater being must be possible — one which exists both in the mind and in reality. Therefore, this greatest possible being must exist in reality. Simply, if one in his mind can perceive the idea of a God then this God must exist. This is because the very notion of God is a being that is the most powerful a believer and unbeliever can conceive.
This notion relates to the bible verse that say that As the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are the way of God higher than man. As such God’s existence not based on whether one believes in him or not. The mere fact that you can receive him in your mind, then He exist.
French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes in Meditation of 1st Philosophy deployed a similar argument. Descartes argument on the existence of God was centred on the idea that God’s existence is immediately inferable from a “clear and distinct” idea of a supremely perfect being. As such to him God is a being that is good, great and perfect in all his ways. As such, it is out of His great intelligence that He created the universe and functioned the foundations of the earth. Gaunilo a monk objected to Anselm’s argument. He invites his reader to conceive an island “more excellent” than any other island. He suggested that, according to Anselm’s proof, this island must necessarily exist, as an island that exists would be more excellent.
This criticism does not explicitly demonstrate a flaw in Anselm’s argument; rather, it argues that if Anselm’s argument is sound, so are many other arguments of the same logical nature, which cannot be accepted. His objections can be understandable. Anselm chooses to base his argument on a prior knowledge and proceeds to suggest that if we can think of it in our minds then it does exist. So if one can think of a perfect world in his mind it does exist. Should one define this world as one that lack a God factor whatever that is, then such a world exist.
These notions give rise to the argument of God not existing; and if He doesn’t exist, then He did not create the world.
This article, from its inception, we sought to understand the various schools of thought on creation and existence or non existence of God. In doing this we have considered the big band , evolution, ontological arguments and the bibles story of creation as well as the intelligence design theory.
We have laid out various school of thoughts without presenting one to be true. One must based on their own accord pick a side. What we have demonstrated is that; to a large extent, both evolution and creationism are base on some element of faith. If the theory of the Big Bang is true then I should be able to conduct and experiment and gain knowledge. I should be able to scientifically proof in the lab the something can come from nothing.
Also, we realised the the story of creation in the bible does not focus on science. It doesn’t talk about what elements that make up the sun or air. It just states that this is whom made all of this. That also requires faith, the one thing evolutionist urge us to discard.
In conclusion one must study both claims and reconcile whatever truths they wish uphold in those personal belief system.