Apologetics, ID Theory, Traditionalism, Wolfgang Smith

Against Darwinism & Theistic Evolution

theistic-evolutionThese two passages are taken from Wolfgang Smith’s work, Theistic Evolution: The Teilhardian Heresy. Beginning with a statement from the preface,


“By way of a first orientation it can be said that what presently confuses and misleads the faithful above all are pseudo-philosophical notions masquerading in scientific garb. It is this spurious pretension to be ‘science-based’ that renders these tenets virtually sacrosanct in the eyes of the populace, and explains why even theologians of rank have been misled. Does not our science work ‘signs and wonders’ that could indeed ‘deceive even the elect’ as Christ has foretold?”

Continuing from the Introduction,

“The tenet of theistic evolution, as its very name implies, is the off-spring of two disparate disciplines – science and theology, namely – and may consequently be viewed from either side. Let us begin on the side of science by recalling the gist of Darwin’s famous theory. The basic idea is as simple as it is bold: one species, supposedly, can give birth to another by way of small random mutations. The stipulated scenario is obviously ‘slow’ and hence of enormous duration, and requires a principle selection to determine which mutations are incorporated into the line of descent. And there again the idea is simple: it is summed up in the phrase ‘survival of the fittest.’ Let me further recall that Darwin supported his theory in The Origins of Species by citing copious examples of species inhabiting the Galapagos Islands which had deviated from their mainland ancestors through the acquisition of characteristics needful to survival in the new environment.

More than a century and a half has now elapsed since this theory was first promulgated, and apparently it has taken about that length of time for the inherent difficulties to manifest. One must remember that, in Darwin’s day, the science of biology was as yet in its infancy. Most notably, genetics – the biology of descent! – did not yet exist: the foundation was laid by Gregor Mendel in 1865, and his work remained unnoticed for some thirty five years. It then took another half century before the actual structures that carry the hereditary traits – the DNA contained in the nuclei of cells – came into view. And it turns out that the more biology we know, the more difficult it becomes for the Darwinist to stand his ground. The interested reader may consult the serious anti-Darwinist literature – which in recent decades has been growing by leaps and bounds – to learn exactly what the problems are that now threaten the theory, and in the opinion of many, have rendered it untenable.

For the purpose of this Introduction, three simple points will suffice. First, the evidence for the existence of evolutive transformations, as given in The Origin of Species, pertains to what has come to be called ‘microevolution,’ a kind which is severely limited in its scope. Whether microevolution does or does not transgress the bounds of a species depends of course upon the definition we assign to this elusive term. Yet it appears that the authentic species does prove to be inviolable. The Galapagos finches, notwithstanding their unusual plumage and beaks, are still finches; and as a matter of fact, no bona fide ‘transformation of species’ has ever been observed. And this sharpens the debate: what henceforth stands at issue is macroevolution. And here the theory runs into two main problems, the first being what some have termed ‘fossil stasis.’ Not only are the intermediary forms demanded by Darwin’s theory nowhere to be found, but it happens that the fossil record is characterized throughout by a pattern of stasis, interrupted here and there by the sudden emergence of new morphological forms. In a word, the paleontological evidence unquestionably repudiates the Darwinist theory: that is the first major problem, which has been recognized for quite a long time. The second came to light more recently: with the emergence of molecular biology, to be exact, a science which provides mathematically sharp examples of what Michael Behe terms ‘irreducible complexity.’ The idea is simple, ‘By irreducibly complex,’ writes Behe, ‘I mean a single system composed of several well matched-parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease function.’ What this means is that an irreducibly complex structure could not have evolved by way of chance mutations selectively assumed into the genetic line: on the molecular level the question submits to mathematical analysis through the calculation of probabilities, and thus at last renders possible a rigorous refutation of the Darwinist hypothesis. This line of inquiry is presently being pursued by advocates of what has come to be known as ‘intelligent design.’ More cogently perhaps than any other discipline, ID research demonstrates the impossibility of the evolutionist claim.

Why, then, in the face of mounting counter-evidence, is the Darwinian theory not only retained, but pronounced in high quarters to be scientifically sacrosanct truth? The answer to this puzzling question has been given with the utmost clarity by a leading evolutionist himself. I am referring to Richard Lewontin, who avers that it is ‘our a priori commitment to material causes’ that drives the Darwinist: ‘and that commitment,’ he tells us, ‘is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.’ Which brings us finally to our proper subject, namely ‘theistic evolution’: a new kind of Darwinism, which not only does allow ‘a Divine Foot in the door’, but maintains that ‘a Divine Foot’ is in fact needed if evolution is to take place. Instead of replacing God as Creator by the evolutive process, theistic evolution affirms that this process is actually the means by which God does create: ‘God creates by evolution,’ so the dictum goes. Strange as it may sound, Darwin’s atheistic theory has thus metamorphosed into a theistic doctrine, espoused today by major segments within the Christian world. The fact is that theistic evolutionism, in conjunction with the so-called big bang scenario, is nowadays taught in seminaries and widely disseminated to the faithful as the enlightened up-to-date cosmogony, which in effect replaces what is waved aside as the ‘literal sense of Genesis.’”

Wolfgang Smith, Theistic Evolution: The Teilhardian Heresy


In addition to this lengthy passage referenced above, the homily titled, The Golden Calf of Evolution, is a wonderful exposition of what the traditionalist position ought to be concerning the doctrine of creation and the idol of scientistic Neo-Darwinism.

 

– Lucas G. Westman

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