"On Evolution and Design", a response to Bernard Cloutier

Ian A. Juby

Background:  In the previous edition of the Canadian Mensa magazine, MC2, Mr. Bernard Cloutier had a well-written and provocative article printed entitled "Reflections on truth."  One of the "truths" reflected upon at great length referred to evolution and truth, and so I wrote the following response which was published in the August 2005 edition of MC2.

Dear Mr. Editor and Mr. Cloutier,

I appreciated Mr. Cloutier’s well written and heart felt article reflecting on truth.  As a fellow intellectual, I could relate to many of his struggles in life, even though I came to entirely different conclusions.

While some might take Mr. Cloutier's comments as a slight towards people like myself, I don't believe Mr. Cloutier intended it that way.  Rather, I think he was simply trying to be forthright and "matter of fact."  I do hope that my response is taken in kind.  It is not my intention to be condescending as Mr. Cloutier has asked many of the same questions I did, but apparently he has not thought through some of the ramifications of his conclusions.

Mr. Cloutier, you start off your reflections with your excellent writing on how and why you abandoned your faith and embraced the "truth" of evolution.  May I suggest that this is hardly the case but rather you have merely changed religion?  Apparently you're not aware of the fact that evolution, if it has occurred, has done so in violation of known natural laws, and thus it is a process outside of the natural realm.

It is easy to demonstrate:  Let's take a living frog, put it in a blender, put in on "puree" (now kids - don’t try this at home!).  Let's take our frog soup and add some energy (gentle energy to give the best possibility for success) - let's put it out in the sun and leave it for a million years.

Do you think we'll get life?  We know that we will not because of natural law - biogenesis, and the second law of thermodynamics.  We've started with only the basic building blocks of life (forget about the quantum leap from non-living material to life building blocks!) and we still wind up with nothing!  In fact, the basic building blocks themselves will disintegrate.  I got it - let's apply some more more agressive energy.... lightning?  I have a microwave oven I reserve strictly for science experiments!  Mmmmm mmmmm - I can smell it now.

Do you believe a frog can turn into a prince?  If you believe we evolved, then that is precisely what you believe.  In fact, to extrapolate a little: Evolution requires you to believe that a rock turned into a living, simple celled organism, which turned into a fish, turned into a frog, turned into a dog/cow/monkey/human and then turned into whales and birds!  It did this leaving no evidence and in flagrant violation of known laws of nature which are predictable, observable, and repeatable:  Macro-evolution is none of these things.

Because evolution falls outside of the laws of nature, it is (by definition) an extra-natural, metaphysical process: yup, a miracle.  The only difference between a super-natural process and an extra-natural process is the denial of a supernatural being - they are both believed completely in blind faith, and both are completely outside the realm of science and the natural world.
So how does one figure out which faith is the correct faith?

Where I see design, I conclude there is a designer.  I'm open to argument, but I would contend that this is not faith, this is intelligence being used to detect intelligence.  Imagine you and I observing a car and I start arguing the car had no designer.  "What?  You believe that car had a creator?" (chuckle, chuckle) "C'mon - you don't really believe in that fairy tale, do you?  Where is this supposed 'creator' you speak of?  I'll bet you believe that story that the creator made it out of dirt too - don't you?"  Would you not mock me?

How do you know that someone built it? That is intelligence detecting intelligence; perfectly logical, perfectly scientific.  I find it exceedingly odd that some people are so enthusiastic about the SETI project (intelligence being used to detect intelligence in radio signals from outer space) who then turn around and say “Ya, life looks designed, but that doesn’t mean it had a designer.”

Do you think Microsoft Windows was the result of a lightning strike on a hard drive?  (Hmmm....some might argue that this must've indeed been the case  - perhaps this is a bad example on my part!?)  Even if it was - did the computer it runs on come about by random processes or by directed design?  Both the computer and the program need each other, and so it is in the cell:

-The DNA provides the “program” on how to build the protein synthesis apparatus (PSA) in the cell, but the PSA provides the proteins that are needed to build the DNA
-The PSA provides the proteins for the energy system, but the energy system provides the energy for the PSA to function
-the PSA provides the proteins for the cell membrane, but without the cell membrane, the whole factory (including the PSA) falls apart!

When I see a program, I conclude there was a programmer.  When I see a machine made of complex, interconnected, co-dependant systems that cannot exist one without the other, I conclude there was a designer who built them all simultaneously with intent.  I would never even think that it was the result of random processes!  So why should I draw that conclusion for the cell?
I will not mock you as I realize that you (like the rest of us)  have also been beat over the head with the “fact” of evolution, but do you realize that in arguing for evolution you are the one arguing the car had no creator, and neither did the entire car factory!?

Mr. Cloutier, you and I are of a kindred spirit; we obviously share the same, strong sense of cynicism <grin>.  However I have to admit that some of your passing comments really irked me.  I hope you’ll forgive my boldness and just take what I have to say in stride.

You referred to the "primitive societies" who filled in the unknown with "pure speculation."  Before this, you wrote at great length about our hominid ancestry - you wrote of changes in brain size and social characteristics.  Waidaminit - you weren't there, were you?  At least, I'm assuming you weren't (there we go with assumptions again, eh?)  This is nothing but "filling in the unknown with pure speculation" on your part.  The fossil record simply cannot tell us the things you claimed, and there's no biological mechanism for all of this supposed "evolution" you refer to.  I'd be quite willing to discuss this more if you'd like.

Eventually you conclude that life essentially has no purpose.  Boy that’s depressing!  I'd like to think that I can do better than that.  I have a hope in that personal Creator, which incidentally makes complete logical sense.  Think about it:  If there was a Creator, would he not want to personally relate to his Creation?

In order to relate to a personal Creator, you need to be able to both give and receive hate in order to give and receive love, and you need a free will to choose between the two.  You need to have the ability to give and receive a lie in order to even know what truth is!  Is it not a perfectly logical conclusion that you were created with these capabilities and qualities for a purpose?

You concluded that “Our ability to lie has been programmed into us by evolution and is completely natural.”  But wait - if there’s anything I will agree with you on, it is this:  If there is no Creator God, then you're absolutely right, there is no absolute truth!  It's all just relative.  So, if we are the result of evolution, then there is no truth and consequently, no lie.  How then has evolution programmed us with the ability to lie?

I appreciated your bravery and honesty in sharing your story.  Indeed I could relate and am saddened that hypocrites and those who claim to be “Christians” would have caused you to change your faith. Mr. Cloutier I would never expect you to be perfect, and (egads) I do not pretend to be perfect.  Why do I feel that suddenly, because I claim to be a “Christian”, I am expected to be perfect?  Unfortunately, I think you’ve fallen for the very pitfall that I did years ago - you rejected the Creator for what you think he is; a picture given you by hypocrites and others who think they know what he is.
My imperfections, even hypocrisies, have nothing to do with what is and isn’t truth, so I hope you'll take that into account in your continuing search for the "truth."  The truth is, whether you believe it or not.
I look forward to your response, and your future articles.

Ian A. Juby
President of the International Creation Science SIG     www.icssig.org