"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
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 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