|By: Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon; ©2002|
|Darwin, and indeed, followers of his Theory today must go to extreme lengths to overcome some of the difficulties raised by the Theory of Evolution. But their efforts are absolutely necessary. The authors explain why they must make evolution work.|
In spite of all the difficulties in his Theory of Evolution, Darwin usually proposed some seeming explanation which he felt did not make the difficulty necessarily fatal. For example, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case.”
Notice how Darwin stresses again and again that we must never doubt the possibility of evolution to accomplish its goal:
Isn’t the only reason he must be “extremely cautious” because without mutations’ natural selection there is simply no basis for the theory of evolution to begin with? Over and again we are told, “The difficulty is not nearly so great as it at first appears.” “And those that are real are not, I think, fatal to my theory.”
Again and again, natural selection became the miracle Darwin needed to justify his theory:
In the end, even the miracle of the eye can be explained by natural selection: “Then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real.”
No matter how impossible the job, Darwin assumed that mutations and natural selection can account for the production of any given organ, feature, plant or animal. Today it is a scientific fact that virtually every complex organ and creature “could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications.” Darwin could not apparently think of a single case when natural selection would fail; today we cannot think of a single case where it would succeed.
Yet Darwin almost certainly knew that he was requesting miracles and that evolution required faith at least as great as the alleged religious “superstitions” he rejected. Consider two illustrations Darwin was willing to let stand in The Origin of Species. Although they hardly convey the degree of miracle required for evolution overall, they nevertheless give us an indication of Darwin’s faith:
In other words, Darwin believed that the immensely complex radar system of a bat might somehow evolve from a flying squirrel or that a bear, by the “accumulation of infinitesimally small inherited modifications, each profitable to the preserved being” could eventually change into a whale! This, of course, is faith, but hardly of the noble variety. It was a faith Darwin invoked at every level of significant evolutionary change.
That his faith was finally irrational is seen in his personal letters illustrating what he termed “my endless oscillations of doubt and difficulty” concerning evolution. Even his theory of natural selection was suspect: “In fact, the belief in Natural Selection must at present be grounded entirely on general considerations.... When we descend to details, we can prove that no one species has changed... nor can we prove that the supposed changes are beneficial, which is the groundwork of the theory.”
As noted earlier, Darwin was not alone in having doubts. Darwin, Spencer, Huxley and Wallace were the four pillars of 19th Century Darwinism and the individuals responsible for the acceptance of evolution in that century.
Yet, all of them had doubts. Alfred Russell Wallace, the co-founder of biological evolution, confessed that the human brain “could never have been solely developed by any of those laws of evolution....” T. H. Huxley admitted his belief in evolution was “an act of philosophic faith.” And Herbert Spencer admitted that, “Even in its most defensible shape there are serious difficulties in its way.”
All these men accepted evolution (despite their doubts) because they had first rejected Divine creation and simply had no other option. Because they were biased against the supernatural and preferred not to believe in the Creator God of Genesis, evolution was accepted by default:
Overall, in most cases it “was not a study of nature itself that led men to search for some hypothesis of natural evolution, but rather the desire to escape the supernatural.”
(to be continued)