By: Jim Virkler
Our way of envisioning and explaining life and the world surrounding us, our personal traditions and past and present external reality is called worldview. Our total experience revolves around our worldview, even when we are unaware of the concept or its meaning. In this post we continue with statements offered by The Truth Project worldview workshop on one of the many dimensions included in their worldview discussion—the vision of science and its ongoing discoveries.
Science is not an isolated segment of life’s reality. Rather, science integrates with every aspect of our experience. It helps explain human history, man’s present experience, and the projected trajectory of future human experience. In this light we approach discussion of natural phenomena. Dr. Stephen Meyer was quoted concerning a “fundamental reality” discovered in the nucleus of every living cell. This reality relates to cellular information in the the DNA molecule which directs the building of proteins, the copying of information, and the transfer of the coded information. Any building process, whether within the cell or in the physical construction process of an office building complex in our community, must follow building sequences in the correct order. Acknowledgement of the building Designer is inescapable.
With respect to evolution of life forms, specifically what is known as “molecules to man” evolution, Charles Darwin made a famous statement. He claimed that a complex organ such as an eye (and by extension a complete organism) could not form from a long and gradual succession of small changes. His theory would absolutely break down if a gradual succession were not in evidence. In real life, Darwinists must acknowledge that there are no examples of intermediate forms linking one species to a different species. David Berlinski, noted mathematician and senior fellow of The Discovery Institute think tank which advocates purpose and intelligent design in the natural world, has estimated that 50,000 separate morphological changes would be involved in transforming a sea animal to a land animal.
Evolutionists are not convinced that arguments such as the ones posed by Berlinski or scientists such as Stephen C. Meyer or biochemist Michael Behe have significant relevance to the complex arguments for or against evolution, or for or against design. We encourage serious personal investigation of these issues. Respect for the truth or falsity of evolution is heavily linked with individual appreciation for the reality of the naturalistic worldview over against the reality of the theological worldview. We acknowledge that individual views of the universe as a closed system (denial of all supernatural causes within our universe) is only one end of the opinion spectrum of origins reality. At a different position on the opinion spectrum, evolutionary creationists (theistic evolutionists) believe that God guides the “molecules to man” evolutionary process. Creationists occupy the opposite end of the spectrum.
Divine action to enable evolution as a guided process is at odds with geological evidence. A theoretical linear graphic of the historical progress of evolution does not manifest gradual upward movement. Instead, a succession of steps characterizes the graphic. The vertical features on the steps indicate sudden appearances of new species. The horizontal steps illustrate stasis—no significant change. Sudden changes indicating the appearance of new species at spaced intervals interspersed with long periods of stasis are the norm. Gradualism is not in evidence. “Evolution” is evidenced if we examine the total record of life in the past four billion years: Life has changed, of course. However, the condition of the evolutionary highway is bumpy, not smooth! The Cambrian Explosion of life may be the most significant “bump.”
Evolutionary arguments for transitions from one species to another are weak, at best. Environmental changes or selection pressures are evident in Darwin’s finches or the development of numerous dog breeds. But such changes return to normal when environmental or selection extremes are reversed.
Worldview issues related to evolution and other biological realities relate differently to human experience than worldview issues related to ethics, government, or societal structure. The latter issues are addressed by the special revelation of inspired scripture. Science issues relate to general revelation, the record of nature and how we interpret evidence from the world of nature. The evidence points to the God of creation.
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Jim Virkler, a retired New Jersey public school science educator, now devotes his time investigating the harmony of scientific discoveries and Christian faith. He and his wife, Eleanor, now reside in the mid-west near their children and grandchildren.