Saturday, November 26, 2005


...though Darwin made repeated references to the Creator, he never needed to define his terms, for the modern view of God was widely accepted.

In constructing the arguments for his theory of evolution, Darwin repeatedly argued that God would never have created the world that the nineteenth-century naturalists were uncovering. Shortly after going pub lic with his theory, Darwin wrote to a friend: “There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the [wasp] with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that the cat should play with mice.”
Nature seemed to lack precision and economy in design and was often “inexplicable on the theory of creation.” In addition to this growing list of imperfections and mistakes, Darwin questioned the way the various species were designed. He observed, on the one hand, that different species use “an almost infinite diversity of means” for the same task and that this should not be the case if each species had been independently created by a single Creator. On the other hand, Darwin observed that different species use similar means for different tasks.” This too, he argued, does not fit with the theory of divine creation.

What exactly did Darwin expect God’s creation to look like? We may never know, but for our purposes the point is that Darwin was significantly motivated by nonscientific premises. He had a specific notion of God in view, and as it had for Milton, that view defined the framework of his thinking. Though biology was young and little was known about how organisms actually worked, Darwin believed he had sufficient evidence to show that God would not have created this world. God’s world had to fit into certain specific criteria that humans had devised.

This view was not peculiar to Darwin. Philosophers and scientists had become quite confident in their knowledge of God. This attitude developed over many centuries, and by Darwin’s day it was internalized and needed no justification. Today this view continues to be evident in evolutionary literature, from popular presentations of the theory to college level textbooks.
(Darwin's God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil
by Cornelius G. Hunter :12-13)

Eventually, it seems that some may as well argue: "We have to go to the bathroom. Yet I find that icky. So God does not exist...and therefore, uh, evolution is true or somethin'." (Typically, all one has to do about this is to question the level of abstraction that this sort of argument exists in and the pride and arrogance that it is based on. For what excretory system for a self-replicating and self-healing automata that runs on plant and animal products would they devise? E.g., applying this type of refutation to Darwinist arguments on God and the mammalian vagina.)

But back to those wasps and things, is Darwinism really a valid scientific explanation? E.g.
The work of Chrystal demonstrates that the larva of the wood wasp Sirex is also peculiarly accommodating towards its predator, the parasitic wasp Ibalia. Sirex bores a hole in the trunk of a conifer, in which it deposits its egg. The egg yields a grub which feeds on the wood. As the grub feeds on the wood it gradually bores a tunnel. After some years the grub turns into a pupa which finally yields the adult wasp, which, using its powerful jaws, bites its way out of the tree. The Ibalia using the hole bored by the Sirex lays its egg in the Sirex grub. The Ibalia grub gradually consumes the tissues of the Sirex grub but does not eat the vital organs until last, thus ensuring a fresh supply of meat until its development, which takes three years, is complete. The presence of the italic;">Ibalia changes the behaviour of the Sirex. Normally the Sirex larva bores deeply into the wood but when infected by the Ibalia it bores towards the surface. This is a vital behavioural change for Ibalia because it has comparatively weak jaws and would be unable to bore as far through the wood as Sirex to escape from the trunk. Yet another example of interspecific altruism? What conceivable value [for natural selection to operate on] can the Sirex grub gain by changing the direction of its boring? By what curious sequence of small evolutionary steps did the Ibalias’ predatory habit induce this vital behavioural change?

Even bacteria provide examples of complex systems which pose a challenge to gradualistic explanations. Take, for example, the bacterial flagellum. This tiny microscopic hair...
(Evolution: A Theory in Crisis
By Michael Denton :223)

Enough, if I read about that tiny microscopic hair one more time...

It is odd though, that there's all these little things swimming around inside you right now. It's enough to make one's tiny microscopic hairs stand on end. Even "your" cells are moving around to make you and enough are dying and being replaced that in about seven years you'll have a new body even if information is saved in its scars. I suppose that one could say that in the fullness of time your body is born again. After all, if you didn't have a body then you'd be nobody, and everyone needs somebody.

Parasites need some body to eat and maybe somebody might say come and eat ye all of me. The parasites are not good, yet that doesn't mean that natural selections as applied to "random" mutations explain the parasites that need to eat somebody to live:
As described in Chapter Seven, in the case of certain types of insect such as butterflies, beetles, bees and ants, which undergo what is termed complete metamorphosis during a quiescent pupation stage, the transformation involves virtually the complete dissolution of all the organ systems of the larva and their reconstitution de novo from small masses of undifferentiated embryonic cells called the imaginal discs. In other words, one type of fully functional organism is broken down into what amounts to a nutrient broth from which an utterly different type of organism emerges.
The life history of some parasites, which are in themselves astonishing enough, often involve what amounts to a number of metamorphoses. Consider the life cycle of the liver fluke. The adult lives in the intestine of a sheep. After the eggs are laid they pass with the faeces onto the ground. The eggs hatch, giving rise to small ciliated larvae which can swim about in water. If the larvae are lucky they find a pond snail: they must do this to survive, for the snail is the vehicle for the next stage in the life cycle of the liver fluke. Having found a snail the larvae finds its way into the pulmonary chamber or lung. Here it loses its cilia and its size increases. At this stage it is known as a sporocyst. While in this condition it buds off germinal cells into its body cavity which develop into a second type of larvae known as rediae. These are oval in shape, possessing a mouth and stomach and a pair of protuberances which they use to move about. The rediae eventually leave the sporocyst, entering the tissue of the snail, after which they develop into yet another larval form known as cercariae which appear superficially to resemble a tadpole. Using their long tails these tadpole-like larvae work their way through and eventually out of the snail and onto blades of grass, where each larva sheds its tail and encases itself in a sheath. Eventually they are eaten by a sheep. Inside the sheep they find their way to the liver where they develop sexual organs and mature into the adult state. They finally leave the sheep’s liver and migrate to the intestine where they mate and so complete their extraordinary life cycle.

In the case of many of the more dramatic invertebrate metamorphoses not even the vaguest attempts have been made to provide hypothetical scenarios explaining how such an astonishing sequence of transformations could have come about gradually as a result of a succession of small beneficial mutations.
(Ib. :220-222)

That failure is common, not even the vaguest hand waving. It's ironic, those who write the hypothetical/mythological narratives of Naturalism often fail to actually write them. Instead they tend to be content with: "God didn't do it because it seems evil." Probably because engaging in that type of natural theology was almost all that Darwinism was about in the first place.

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