Seeking to Define the Essence of the Difference
Between "Evolution" and "Creation"
Most of this document was drafted on or before 14 May 2004.
I resumed work on 27 September 2007 starting with section 20 on page 78 and this version is released on 4 October 2007 with minor modifications to the first part of the book while accepting that my understanding of some issues has evolved in the intervening three and a half years.
ABOUT INTERPRETING THIS DOCUMENT
This document started out with a vague idea of where i was headed in terms of solid evidence in support of the thesis that there is a creator.
As i wrote and researched i gained more insight into what i thought was important.
I have chosen not to edit the overall structure and flow of the document much in order to attempt to preserve the line of thought i followed.
I started writing out with quite a high level of uncertainty about the conclusion and, as things progressed, developed a higher level of certainty.
I have chosen to leave this development in the document in the hope that it will be of assistance to others in tracing my steps in this particular voyage of discovery.
For this reason the document does not always flow and there is some repetition of points as i revisited some issues and reached greater clarity.
I hope that this approach will work for you and that you will gain some value from it no matter what you conclude.
In my research i found many cases where the argument seemed to revolve around the choice of words of a particular person or about the opinions of a particular person rather than focusing on what seemed to me to be fundamental principles.
In reading what follows, i ask you not to focus on my particular choice of words or what "i" say. Rather focus on the concepts and principles that YOU can verify from your OWN personal experience and see where that takes you.
This ebook sets out to evaluate whether there is solid physical evidence of the existence of a creator and that our world and human kind were created and did not evolve.
A wide diversity of examples are used to evidence something that is referred to as engineered evolutionary creation and to argue against random non-engineered evolution.
It is concluded that for those who are willing to rationally examine all the evidence there is a robust case for the existence of a creator while if someone does not want to believe they will probably find excuses not to accept the evidence that is presented.
It is concluded that in both cases it is a matter of faith -- either one believes in a creator and cannot explain where He came from or one believes in the existence of matter from an origin that we cannot explain.
The critical reason to accept the existence of a creator is that He is reported to have said that those who do believe will be rewarded and may qualify to sit on a high throne in heaven for eternity while those who do not believe will burn in a lake of fire and brimstone for eternity. However, i cannot offer solid evidence of these choices.
The bottom line as i see it is for you to assess that there is a reasonable basis to believe that a Creator exists and then to pray to Him to reveal Himself to you.
Faith is a personal thing that is more about personal experience of the creator than it is about intellectual assent to the probability of His existence, although intellectual assent may be an essential step in the road to true faith.
In writing this eBook i have done my best to be impartial, to the extent that i have failed in this endeavour, please accept my sincere apologies.
To the extent that various items of content may be offensive to various people i apologise, it was not my intention to offend you.
I hope that you will find this book interesting and challenging.
04 October 2007
I have recently (May 2004) become intensely aware of the debate between those who allege that the universe and mankind "evolved" and those who allege that it was "created" by a supernatural creator.
By training, i am an engineer with a doctorate in Civil Engineering. Accordingly, i have a rigorous formal training in physics, chemistry, mathematics, thermodynamics and mechanics amongst other disciplines.
Up to the age of thirty nine, i was convinced of the validity of the theory commonly referred to as "evolution" and was sceptical, cynical and judgmental about people who believed in creation and a creator. I had some level of intellectual knowledge of "Christianity" and a lot of judgments about "The Bible", the "Church", etc.
In 1993, i had a significant experience which convinced me that there was a creator and that he wanted a personal relationship with me. I made certain choices about believing "The Bible" and about seeking a personal relationship with this creator. Since then, i have had many experiences that have reinforced my conviction that this creator, whose essential name i understand to be "Yah", who describes himself as "Yah the eternally self existing", does exist and does want a personal relationship with every person on this planet. In what follows, i will refer to this being as "the Almighty".
I appreciate that this may constitute an obstacle to some who read this article. However, i ask you to grant me the space to use certain terminology that i am familiar with. I will attempt in the remainder of this article to minimise the use of this term and other terms which might be seen as seeking to impose my perspective on what i hope will be a reasonably objective analysis of what seems important from my perspective.
I have also come to believe profoundly that mankind today knows very little about this being who i believe created us and that much of what mankind claims to know about this being and his ways and why he does things is seriously in error. So much so, that a few days ago i was forced to conclude that i was not certain that i could offer a solid, objective, unemotional case to substantiate what i believe.
I also concluded that there was much that was said in support of "evolution" that i could not summarily reject or offer convincing evidence to disprove.
Much of this realisation came about as a consequence of an email dialogue with two proponents of evolution. During this dialogue, particularly with the second person, the channel director of an internationally broadcast specialist television channel on history, i came to see that my attitude had become arrogant, judgmental and positional.
I was writing in a way that suggested that i HAD "all truth" and that those who did not believe what i believed were not walking in integrity or were fools.
This is not consistent with the values and disciplines associated with what i claim to believe, specifically that i should not judge others.
This brought me to the challenging realisation that, having departed from a harsh and judgmental position in support of evolution, i had migrated to a harsh and judgmental position in support of creation.
After much soul searching, i concluded that this was not what i wanted for myself.
I concluded that, while i have profound conviction of the essence of what i believe, there was much that i could not adequately explain in a manner that satisfied my engineering training and that, accordingly, i was not equipped to offer any other person an adequate basis to rationally consider whether they could accept and adopt what i believe.
In evaluating my position, i spent several hours on the internet. I started by looking for some "evidence" that i was convinced existed and would incontrovertibly support my position. I found rapidly that others had very different views of my "evidence".
In particular, i spent several hours on the http://www.talkorigins.org - "The Talk Origins Archive" a web site "Exploring the Creation / Evolution Controversy".
This site contains literally hundreds of pages seeking to address many of the pieces of "evidence" that i had held in my earlier discussions to be solid.
This was a challenging experience in that it offered me the opportunity to assess what people who support evolution are saying about the arguments and evidence offered by those who support creation.
I found myself confronted with many statements in support of creation that i could not agree with and also confronted with many statements in support of evolution that i could not agree with. I also found many statements on both sides that i understood to be valid.
These findings presented me with many dilemma's that challenged me considerably. In particular, i found myself challenged to see whether i could objectively, in a manner that was respectful and honouring of my engineering disciplines, present an analysis of the subject that would stand the test of scrutiny. And, if i could not, whether i could objectively own what it was that i could not substantiate in a manner that left space for others to draw their own conclusions.
This document is an attempt to meet this objective.
It is my hope that no matter what your perspective that this article will challenge you to take a fresh look at your perspective on the subject of evolution versus creation.
2. AN IMPORTANT ASSUMPTION AND SOME PAINFUL DEDUCTIONS
In all that follows, i would like to suggest that ultimately there is only one accurate explanation for any piece of evidence or data and that is what actually happened.
Thus, at the simplest level, the universe exists, it came from somewhere.
As far as i can see, whatever evolutionists and creationists want to believe it only happened one way.
It seems clear to me that any answer must take account of all available data and evidence.
One of the problems that i notice is that it seems that most people ATTACH their interpretation to the evidence as though the interpretation is part of the evidence.
Something that seems very clear to me is that there is no human being alive today who was present before the first human being capable of speaking came into existence. Whether they were created or evolved or came to be as the conclusion of an evolutionary process of creation or whether they came into existence in some other way.
There is also no written record, written at the time, which provides a human eye witness account. There is not even a written record which claims to provide an eye witness account. Specifically, "the Bible" does not claim to provide an eye witness account by a human being of how the first human being came to exist.
Accordingly, there is no human eye witness account of HOW the first man came to exist that is offered by either side in the controversy.
There is an enormous amount of evidence that man does exist, that the universe exists, that animals and plants exist.
However, there is a great deal of dispute about how they got there.
There are allegedly physical remains, rock masses, deposits of material and remains that provide tangible evidence of the prior existence of living creatures that DID exist at some time, as evidenced by their skeletons, etc. This includes alleged evidence of creatures that have the appearance of being "intermediate" between apes and humans. It also includes alleged evidence of giants, artifacts supporting "Bible" stories, etc.
It seems to me that, provided these remains are physically verifiably in existence, it is not helpful to offer explanations that sound like they are ignoring the existence of these specimens.
Here i find what seems to me to be a very substantial dilemma.
I CAN verify that i exist, at least at the level that i can see myself, touch myself, hear myself talk, interact with other people. For the purpose of this article i choose to accept this as definitive evidence of my existence and your existence.
I can also verify at some basic level that the planet earth exists and that the universe exists. There are things that i can see, have seen and experienced. Depending on how much an individual person has physically travelled around the earth they will have more or less tangible evidence in this regard.
For the rest, i realised that i am reliant on what other human beings say.
By way of example, there are archaeological finds that support certain of my religious beliefs that i have seen on video. These finds are reported by a man i have met personally and who i believe to be trustworthy and a man of integrity. Yet i have NOT personally seen any of the evidence. I have not travelled to any of the sites he refers to. I have not spoken personally to any of his sources.
I ONLY have his word for it.
And, given that by his own admission some of what he reports is based on the evidence of other people and that he has not traveled to all the sites and personally inspected all the evidence that he cites, i ONLY have the word of his sources for that information.
In considering this data, i was forced to confront the reality that in the context of my understanding of the moon, the sun, the stars, the universe, in the context of my understanding of the seas, almost all animals and plants on earth, even my understanding of cities and places i have not visited, i am ENTIRELY dependent on what other human beings write, say, portray on television, etc.
Taking this further, it occurred to me that with regard to the ENTIRE body of evidence that any single human being uses to support their world view of creation, evolution or any other view, most arguments seem to me to be almost entirely dependent on what numerous other human beings have reported or on very narrow technical expertise which is not available to most of us.
I realised that even those human beings who are regarded as "most distinguished", "expert", etc only have personal exposure to a minute fraction of the total data that is available on the earth and, for the rest, they are dependent on the information that they receive from other human beings.
In addition to this, some of those who believe there IS a creator, claim to have had experiences with this creator and some of these claim to have some level of personal relationship with this creator and even claim that he speaks to them and they speak to him.
However, many of those who believe in a creator seem not to believe those who claim that this creator speaks to human beings today and even fewer, as far as i know, believe that it is possible to have a deep personal relationship with this creator today.
In other words, those who do believe in a creator do not seem to agree with one another on many many points. This seems to me to make it very difficult for those who do not believe in a creator to find a basis to reassess what they believe.
In fact, it seems to me that much of what is offered in argument against creation is actually argument against the beliefs of specific groups of people who believe in creation.
In addition, i realised a few days ago, that even though i claim to have a deep personal relationship with the Almighty and claim to hear his voice at some level, i have not heard him personally say anything to me about many of the issues that are addressed in this article. I also realised that what it has seemed important to me to address with him has not generally been associated with the subject of this article.
I therefore concluded that it is probably highly unlikely that there are many, if any, human beings alive today who claim to have a relationship with the creator who they allege exists, who have had any lengthy discussion with this creator with regard to the full scope of what is addressed in the debate with regard to creation versus evolution.
In fact, i concluded that, based on my life experience to date, most of the opinions of people who believe in creation is based on what other human beings have said and recorded, in particular, many of these people place a lot of reliance on "the Bible". And, the present editions of "the Bible" have been produced by human beings based on writings produced by other human beings.
Accordingly, once more, there is very little first hand evidence. It seems to me that whether one subscribes to evolution or to creation or to something else, it behooves us to acknowledge that almost everything we subscribe to is based on the opinions or teachings or ... of some person or persons who, for whatever reason, we personally hold to be relevant and authoritative.
One of the painful conclusions i reached in my deliberations is that the best i can say with regard to many things that i had believed at the time of starting this article pertaining to the debate regarding evolution versus creation is that i personally DO NOT KNOW - my opinions are based on third party reports and evidence which i have personally NOT touched, felt, seen or experienced.
It seems to me that this conclusion applies to every person on the planet. There are some to whom it applies less, since they have devoted decades of their lives to their particular areas of study. However, in the scheme of the entire picture of knowledge, they too, are largely reliant on what others have reported.
3. SOME IMPORTANT PREPARATORY POINTS
Arising out of the communication referred to in the introduction, particularly the communication with the television channel director, i reached a number of conclusions regarding the manner in which the subject of creation versus evolution is debated that it seems important to me to share at this point.
These are as follows:
3.1. JUDGMENTAL LANGUAGE
I realised that i had used language in my emails that was judgmental and imputed intentional negative motive to people who consider evolution to be valid.
I also realised that people who subscribe to creation seem to be particularly prone to this. This is despite the fact that the religious disciplines to which many of these people claim to subscribe specifically forbid judging others.
At the same time, in my research, i observed that those who subscribe to evolution seem to be prone to other language which, when closely analyzed, seems to me also to be judgmental and dismissive.
I concluded that the use of judgmental language, name calling, insinuation, etc is a barrier to another person receiving a message, whatever that message may be.
Accordingly, it seems to me that an important step in resolving the debate with regard to evolution versus creation is that people who sincerely are seeking the truth choose to avoid such language.
This seems to me to be particularly important if one is willing to accept that in the final analysis there can only be one comprehensive explanation for any specific event or development.
In other words, it seems clear to me that whether one subscribes to evolution, creation or something else, it would be helpful to admit that there is only one correct answer.
This does NOT mean that i am suggesting that either "evolution" is correct or "creation" is correct. I am suggesting that there is a correct answer which may lie between these two themes.
I am also suggesting that "evolution" and "creation" are very broad and very loose terms that are understood differently by different people and, as such, they are not necessarily particularly useful descriptors.
I am also suggesting that the truth may lie somewhere between what a simplistic interpretation of "creation" or "evolution" suggests.
In fact, it seems to me that some of what evolution says is probably more or less accurate and some of what creation says is more or less accurate.
It therefore seems to me that between these two labels exists the possibility of a reality which could include what has been referred to previously as "an evolutionary process of creation".
Accordingly, what i am motivating in this point is that both sides stop judging the other and start considering whether it is possible that some of what others have to say has validity.
I am also suggesting that this entire subject is too complex to call ANY specific interpretation "correct" or "incorrect". It seems clear to me that in interpreting almost any piece of evidence there is a continuum on a scale of zero to ten between complete error and complete truth. In other words, it seems to me that there are many interpretations that may be partially accurate at some level and partially inaccurate at some level.
As i see it, the challenge thus becomes to determine what portion of any specific interpretation or opinion is valid or invalid rather than to attach total accuracy or total inaccuracy as the only possible "judgments".
3.2. CONSPIRACY IMPUTED
I also realised that in the correspondence referred to, my choice of words at least at some level, imputed that there is a conspiracy to deny creation and support evolution.
From personal experience i conclude that some or other form of "conspiracy theory" is quite common amongst those who subscribe to creation. I do not have significant evidence to support a view that this possibly happens amongst those who subscribe to evolution.
In the light of the previous point, i concluded that any form of "conspiracy" theory is a form of judgment and therefore not compatible with the values and disciplines that i claim to subscribe to.
In response to this i examined what i believe regarding "conspiracy" in some detail and concluded that i do NOT believe that there is any form of conspiracy.
I DO believe that people who support evolution do so sincerely on the basis of the data they have at their disposal and on the basis of their confidence and trust in others who support evolution.
I cannot find any possible reason why people would actively champion something that they know to be in error.
I do NOT think that people make errors deliberately nor do i think that people hold views and opinions that they consciously know are in error.
I hold that this applies just as much to those who support evolution as it applies to those who support creation.
It seems clear to me that none of these people are consciously in error.
This does not say that people do not have "blind spots" things that we are unable to see for whatever reason. In my personal life i have regularly found things life that i could not recognise i was doing but which i eventually came to "own".
By my own life evidence, i drastically changed what i believe relative to evolution versus creation in 1993 and, since then, i have drastically changed what i believe on any number of matters pertaining to religion and life generally.
It seems clear to me that the opportunity is there for every human being to make such shifts and to discover that what they have held to be true is not true.
It also seems clear to me that everyone of us filters what we see and hear through social, religious and other filters in terms of which we SUBCONSCIOUSLY hold to be true or not true.
Thus, it seems to me, that if one has a strongly held belief that the entire universe and all forms of plant and animal life including human kind were literally created in six periods of twenty four hours, one is going to find it difficult to comprehend the view point of someone who holds that this process took hundreds of millions or even billions of years.
The paradigms are so extremely opposed that reconciliation SEEMS impossible and labels that impute lack of integrity or lack of intellect or conspiracy or other negative therefore appear to me to be very widely applied.
This does not seem to me to be helpful in the context of mankind establishing what is true about these things. Whatever that truth may be.
3.3. ABSOLUTE POSITIONING
In reviewing the emails referred to earlier, i also noticed that the manner in which i presented my view was consistently in absolute terms.
In other words, i took a position that what i wrote was absolutely correct and left no space for disagreement or discussion.
In the introspection that this observation occasioned, i came to acknowledge that:
1) I do NOT have ALL truth.
2) That i do hold many of my opinions firmly and with deep conviction.
3) That there ARE opinions that i have changed at various times in my life and it is therefore possible that others have data that i lack which could cause me to change my opinions further.
Accordingly, i concluded that this form of positioning was NOT helpful and apologised accordingly.
This point is, in a sense, an extension of the previous point.
On reflecting on these findings i have also concluded that my training as an engineer at least at some level encouraged me to seek to come to a place of absolute certainty with regard to opinions regarding data that i had validated.
I have also concluded that the tendency for society to encourage us to move to absolute positions is widespread.
"I don't know" and "i am not sure" are not phrases that i read frequently in any form of publication or hear in any form of communication.
I read the articles on the web site referred to previously as consistently presenting statements which i experienced as absolute and positional.
I realised that this did not leave much margin for discussion.
It seems to me that taking an absolute position inherently creates a situation where there is almost no room for another party with a different viewpoint to do anything but respond in a manner that is judgmental and confrontational or, at least, will be experienced this way.
In the days after i made this observation and apologised to the person who had received my emails, i have given much thought to this subject. I have concluded that positioning is something i have done through most of my life and that it is something that i have experienced from others throughout of my life. I have also concluded that it seems to be endemic and that it is not serving me particularly well, nor, it seems to me, is this serving humankind particularly well.
I offer this for your consideration.
It seems to me that, in the context of evolution versus creation, that if significant players on both sides were to depart from absolute positions, the possibility of finding a middle ground which accommodates what is really true about both positions would be a possibility.
I have also found in the last few days that "i don't know", applied to many things that i had previous held that i "did know" has been an interesting and freeing experience.
The truth is that in many areas of my life, including my religious beliefs and beliefs regarding creation and evolution, i simply do NOT know. I have deep convictions and strongly held beliefs, but MOST of them are based on what other people have said or written and which i cannot verify at all or can only verify at enormous cost in time and finances.
I have also realised that there are many conclusions that i have drawn from my own experiences that it now seems to me are not nearly as absolute as i thought they were.
In fact, notwithstanding an honours degree in Civil Engineering with distinction, a PhD in Civil Engineering, listing in "Who's Who in the World" and various other international accolades, presentations at technical and business conferences internationally and publishing a professional book on "The Critical Factors For Information Technology Investment Success", there is MUCH that i don't know, much that i think i know and not a lot that i can demonstrably prove absolutely to be true!
It seems to me that this conclusion applies to every person on the planet if we are willing to confront such an unsettling reality.
It seems to me that if we are able to depart from absolute positioning we will find a basis for resolving "creation" versus "evolution" and also a basis for revolving conflict on earth.
This may be idealistic, i still think it is worth raising for consideration.
3.4. DEBATES ABOUT WORDS
In much of my research into this subject, it seemed to me that the debate was often about the meaning of words used by others rather than about the substance or essence of the subject.
There also seemed to be a lot of debate that was directed at refuting some other person's point rather than addressing what seemed to me to be the fundamental principles behind the other person's point of view.
I don't see how proving another person wrong really moves this debate forward. It is easy to do at some debating level, i think it is more challenging and more productive to try and see what IS true about what another person says and then to try and integrate this into one's own thinking.
I have tried to do this in this document. I am not sure that i have succeeded particularly well.
To the extent that i have not accomplished this i ask you to do what you can to focus on the essence of what i am trying to communicate rather on the details where i may be in error.
4. USE OF STATISTICS FROM GOOGLE.COM
In various parts of this article i have made use of statistics from the "Google" internet search engine at http://www.google.com.
I have chosen to do this as a simple statistical data gathering approach which can be verified by any reader with access to the internet.
In June 2000 Google was indexing approximately one billion internet web pages. At the beginning of May 2004 Google was searching over four billion web pages (email@example.com).
Entering the same words or phrases in the Google search engine that are used in this document will return the statistics that apply at that point in time. The number of pages will change as new web pages are created and old web pages are edited or removed. The statistics in this article were gathered during the second half of April 2004 and the first half of May 2004.
It is my expectation that if you undertake a search at any time in the next few years you will obtain numbers that are more or less in line with the numbers presented here. As such, this seems to me to represent simple, verifiable data that is potentially available to many who might read this article.
My rationale in using these statistics is to give some indication of the level of interest in the world in specific subjects. It may also give some indication of the level of specialisation in a specific subject.
Insofar as, in my experience, it takes anything from a few minutes to several days to create the content for a single web page and populate the page, the number of pages gives some indication of the extent to which people somewhere are investing time creating pages which mention the particular word or phrase or combination of words in question.
At some level, on the assumption that people create web pages in the hope that somebody else will read them, it seems to me that the number of web pages is also an indication of some level of expectation regarding the number of people who might look for web pages that refer to that subject.
Accordingly, i see these statistics as a basic first approximation sampling technique which gives some indication of level of interest and, by implication, some indication in some level of "belief" that such things exist and are relevant.
Thus, the existence of approximately 21,200,000 million web pages which contain the word "creation" one or more times indicates to me that there is a reasonably high level of interest in subjects that at least at some level refer to this concept and, by implication, a significant number of people who believe in such a concept at least at some level.
The existence of 18,100,000 web pages which contain the word "evolution" one or more times to me indicates a similar level of interest.
I personally do not think that any conclusion can be drawn from the three million web page difference in the count for creation versus the count for evolution. Both words can be used in contexts other than the context used in this document.
The form of reference used in this document to report Google search statistics is mostly of the form "word or phrase" (nnn,nnn) where "word or phrase" is either a single word in quotation marks, or a phrase in quotation marks or several words each in quotation marks or a phrase NOT in quotation marks. Where a phrase was searched with part or all of the search text NOT in quotation marks it is reported with a hyphen before and after the phrase such as -is there a god-. The hyphens were NOT used in the search.
In the case of a single word, this is the word that was searched in the Google search engine by entering the word into the search box and starting the search. For example "creation".
In the case of a phrase in quotes, the phrase was entered in the search box with the entire phrase in quotes, as it appears in this document. For example "argument from incredulity".
In the case of multiple discrete words or phrases, each word or phrase was entered as indicated in this document with quotation marks around phrases and other words standing alone in the search box. Such composite search text is shown between hyphens, for example -"is there a god" who is a creator- in this case "is there a god" is searched for an exact match and the words -who is a creator- are searched anywhere on the same page.
Phrases without quotes can give rise to very diverse responses may of which are unlikely to relate to the sense of the phrase, the occurrence of the major words in the phrase on the same page may give some indication of the level to which those words are associated. This is not a very significant indicator unless there are a number of keywords in the phrase which are relatively uncommon in general use.
These counts are approximate for many reasons. Some will be more approximate than others.
Some words such as "fear" have been appropriated for other uses, included in names of pop groups, etc. Statistics will include all of these instances.
Some words such as "bar" have multiple meanings as in a "bar of music" and in a place where alcohol is sold and a form of metal formed into a "bar", etc. In such cases, a search on the individual word will not deliver a statistic of any relevance.
I have endeavored to exclude the more extreme cases where i have been conscious that they exist but it is likely that there are other examples where i may have overlooked alternative uses of the word that may be obvious to you. In such cases, please disregard that particular statistic.
The thesis of this document is not fundamentally founded on these counts, they are offered as an indication of some widely available data that i think collectively points to some things which at some level seem relevant to me in building the overall case of this document. It is up to you whether you attach any significance to any of these numbers.
Where statistics have been offered for different forms of the same word, such as "fear" and "fearful" it is possible that there will likely be considerable overlap between different forms of the same word on the same web pages. Where the statistics are similar i do not think that they have much relevance. Where there are significant differences between counts then it may indicate some finer detail. I have searched on multiple word forms because i did not have any particular basis to select a specific word form and therefore offer the results of my research for your information.
I have not defined the words on which the searches were conducted unless it seems to me to be a relatively unknown term. I assume that most readers will be familiar with most of the words at some level. If there is a word that is cited and you are not familiar with it i suggest that you go to Google (enter http://www.google.com in an internet browser) and search on the word. On the bar near the top where the search result is reported the word "definition" appears towards the right. Click on (definition) and a definition of the word will be displayed.
In the format that the search results are presented, as set out above, (nnn,nnn) represents the number of web site pages that were found by the Google search engine when it searched it's database of information contained on the internet.
The nnn,nnn can range from a small number, such as "argument from incredulity" (578) that is 578 web pages to very large numbers such as "love" with 122,000,000 (122 million pages). Counts are to three significant digits.
5. ARGUMENT FROM INCREDULITY
In reviewing the "Talk Origins" web site referred to above i repeatedly found reference to something called "argument from incredulity".
The explanation of this is as follows:
It is inconceivable that ____ (fill in the blank) could have originated naturally. Therefore, it must have been created.
This argument, also known as the argument from ignorance or "god of the gaps," is implicit in very many different creationist arguments. In particular, it is behind all arguments against abiogenesis and any and all claims of intelligent design.
Really, the claim is "I can't conceive that. . ." Others might be able to find a natural explanation; in many cases, they already have. Nobody knows everything, so it is unreasonable to conclude that something is impossible just because you don't know it.
The peril of negative arguments is that they may rest on our lack of knowledge, rather than on positive results. [Behe 2003]
The argument from incredulity creates a God of the Gaps. Gods were responsible for lightning until we determined natural causes for lightning; for infectious diseases until we found bacteria and viruses; for mental illness until we found biochemical causes for them. God is confined only to those parts of the universe we don't know about, and that keeps shrinking." (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA100.html)
I encountered the response that something was an "argument from incredulity" in many locations on the Talk Origins web site. A search on Google identified approximately 578 web sites containing the exact phrase "argument from incredulity". Brief visits to a few of these indicated similar definitions to that above.
I find myself severely challenged by the concept of "argument from incredulity" on two fronts.
Firstly, "Argument from incredulity" is used to directly refute a number of aspects of what i believe about life that i hold to be fundamentally and verifiably true. Some of these points i hold to reinforce my belief in a creator although the fundamental basis of my belief in creator is based on a series of experiences that are intensely personal and not provable or verifiable.
Thus, in the context of a commitment that i made in one of my emails to provide "solid provable evidence" of creation, i found my thesis seemingly largely and possibly entirely neutralised.
Secondly, I experience "argument from incredulity" to be in direct conflict with the principle of "reductio ad absurdum". This is a mathematical problem solving technique that i learned, i think in my second year in high school, and which i have applied repeatedly and effectively in solving problems in the physical realm in engineering and in many other areas of my life.
A search on "Google" for the exact phrase "reductio ad absurdum" identified approximately 41,000 web sites dealing with this subject.
A brief visit to "The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy" at http://www.iep.utm.edu/r/reductio.htm gave the following definition "Reductio ad absurdum is a mode of argumentation that seeks to establish a contention by deriving an absurdity from its denial, thus arguing that a thesis must be accepted because its rejection would be untenable. It is a style of reasoning that has been employed throughout the history of mathematics and philosophy from classical antiquity onwards."
The first part of this definition is basically what i recall from school.
This same web page makes reference to "Per Impossible Reasoning" and indicates that "reductio" style argument or analysis is important in many areas beyond mathematics, including in classical philosophy and in law.
Thus, i find myself confronted with "argument from incredulity" which seems to me to be directly in opposition to and contradictory to "reductio ad absurdum".
Previously i would probably have resolved this contradiction on the basis of citing that there are 41,000 web sites referring to "reductio" and "only" 578 referring to "incredulity" and used some language that would have been positional and judgmental.
Having realised that this approach probably does not work much of the time and that i have concluded that it is not particularly constructive, i now find myself with a challenge.
Since much of what i would previously have argued in support of creation based on "reductio ad absurdum" is, in the opinion of some, neutralised by "argument from incredulity", what do i do?
I would like to demonstrate my dilemma by reference to a few examples that i personally hold to be fundamentally verifiably true.
My life experience is as an engineer, designer, problem solver, analyst and consultant. I have been designing and making things since the age of five. I have at various times spent considerable time designing things and creating things. At times the things that i have designed have worked exceptionally well. At other times they have not worked at all or have not worked nearly as well as i thought they would.
I hold that this entire experience tells me that even relatively simple structures, mechanisms, computer software, etc require the input of a well trained and knowledgeable person in order to succeed.
I hold that i find no evidence anywhere to suggest that if i take a pile of timber of various shapes and sizes together with a diversity of appropriate fasteners and tools and place this material and equipment in a pile in my garden that i will return at some time to find some sort of practical and usable structure. I have never heard of such a case. All my experience tells me that to create even a very basic dog kennel requires at least a basic set of knowledge and experience and some tools. I hold it to be "absurd" that material can assemble itself into anything significant without external assistance.
My whole life experience tells me that if i leave the above mentioned material and equipment in my garden for years or decades the wood will rot and the fasteners and tools will corrode and deteriorate to a point where, in time, they will become increasingly unusable. If i live in a dry desert area these items may survive for decades while if i live on a tropical beach they may all but disappear within a decade. Another outcome would be theft of some or all of the items by humans or even some types of animal. I have no information that there is any possibility of a constructive outcome unless there is some human intervention.
Accordingly, i hold that this example proves that since i hold that man is much more complex than any structure or system that i have ever been exposed to directly or through television or books, that there IS a creator.
However, i find that "argument from incredulity" says that just because i cannot "conceive" that this is possible does not prove it is not possible.
I can follow the same argument with regard to the development of motor cars and aircraft.
I can argue that dwellings around the world differ and therefore that there is no evidence that a single form will become dominant across isolated continents with no communication and that this disproves non-intelligent evolution.
I can argue that all my experience tells me that to create a human being, in two genders, who have reproductive organs that fit together perfectly and which give rise to sensation that most people find pleasurable, cannot happen by accident. I hold that it is my understanding that virtually any man on the planet can join himself sexually to virtually any woman on the planet and, if they do it by choice, they can have a pleasurable sexual experience, to be only possible if there is a highly sophisticated engineer who designed this system.
I hold that the sun is consuming energy and that all my experience and education tells me that all things decay from a state of higher order to a state of lower order. I hold that i can verify that my motor car deteriorates, my house deteriorates, human beings deteriorate, etc and that this proves the existence of a higher power that created all these things.
I hold that the very existence of matter and the universe proves the existence of a creator.
"Argument from incredulity" neutralizes all these things and many others that i hold to be fundamentally true and it requires that i either have a head-on argument or that i see if i can find another way to prove my thesis that there is a creator.
I could also resort to arguing that arguments that there cannot be a creator are also an "argument from incredulity". It seems that way to me.
One conclusion that i drew during my research was that in very simplistic terms:
- It seems to me that in essence those who subscribe to creation believe something like "i am here, the universe is here and therefore there must be a creator, however i cannot explain where the creator came from and i choose not to think about this".
- It seems to me that in essence those who subscribe to evolution believe something like "i am here, the universe is here and i believe there was a big bang and i cannot explain where the material in the 'big bang' came from and i believe one day i will figure it out".
To me it seems that it requires as much faith to believe in a creator as it takes to believe that someday there will be an explanation for how uncountable billions of tons of matter came into existence from nowhere.
This causes me to wonder if there really is much of a gap at all between those who subscribe to creation and those who subscribe to evolution. It seems to me that at some level both subscribe to something that can be neutralized by "argument from incredulity".
However, since i have chosen to seek to do the best i can to avoid positioning myself and to avoid passing judgment, i choose to explore whether there is a way to prove my thesis without confronting whether "argument from incredulity" is valid or not.
I hope to do this in the remainder of this article.
6. PROGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT VERSUS INSTANTANEOUS CREATION
Having expressed some opinions in the previous section that indicate that i have strong resistance to certain aspects of what i have encountered being argued against creation, it seems important to indicate that i have other objections to some of what is argued against evolution.
Most specifically, i am personally familiar with a school of thought with regard to creation that indicates that creation took place in a series of twenty four hour periods based on certain passages in the book commonly known as "the Bible". It seems to me that on the basis that twenty four hours is an extremely small period of time in the context of thousands, millions or billions of years, this can reasonably accurately be referred to as "instantaneous creation".
Using the examples of motor vehicles and aircraft, as an engineer i have at times read and listened with great interest to reports about the progressive development of these reasonably complex machines which it seems to me are not nearly as complex as human beings.
I have been personally directly involved in the progressive development and application of computers in business since the early seventies. I have even recently published a book on the effective application of computer systems in business. I have personally experienced a hard and very challenging learning curve about what works with computers and what does not. I have invested hundreds of hours and even thousands of hours in projects that have failed totally. I have also had outcomes that i hold to be "successful".
In considering these examples, all the evidence at my disposal indicates that all these technologies have become more sophisticated and more reliable through a process that could be called "progressive development". This process could, as far as i understand the term, also be referred to as "evolution".
Accordingly, applying "reductio ad absurdum" i can draw a conclusion that complex systems do not happen instantly. From this i can begin to infer that it is unlikely that creation took place in six consecutive twenty four hour periods.
From the same data, i hold that i can conclude that complex systems do not evolve of their own accord.
I also hold that the evolution of aircraft and motor vehicles proves "survival of the fittest" at least at some level, although it also seems to prove to me that the technologically most "fit" machine frequently does NOT survive. Frequently survival in these industries has been determined at least as much by marketing and management as it has been determined by any intrinsic property of a specific machine itself. The VHS and Betamax video technologies are a frequently cited example of the principle that inferior technology well marketed will succeed above exceptional technology poorly marketed.
It seems to me that there is much more that can be drawn from these examples, both in support of certain cases offered by those supporting creation and other aspects in support of those supporting evolution.
From my personal knowledge and experience of plants and animals it seems clear to me that there is a progression in development which is consistent with a concept of evolutionary creation. There does not seem to me to be any reason why the creator could not have created the universe, the earth, plants and animals one step at a time over thousands, millions or billions of years.
Taking the above points a step further.
We have at times considered purchasing a fish tank for sea water fish. We have consistently been told that it takes about six months to progressively establish stable ecological conditions in such a tank before sea water fish have any hope of surviving. Based on other knowledge and experience i hold that this information is probably more or less accurate.
Extrapolating this information to consideration of the requirements for the establishment of a planet like earth with the biodiversity that exists i conclude that it is highly improbable that the earth was created and populated in six consecutive twenty four hour periods. I also find that believing in a creator does not require this to be so.
Accordingly, i must conclude that if there are people with solid evidence that the development of life on earth took millions or billions of years, i personally cannot offer any "solid provable" evidence to counter this and i cannot subscribe to a view that it took twenty four hours or some small multiple thereof.
At the same time, it seems to me that acceptance that animals COULD have evolved over millions of years as a principle for the development of the points in this document does not mean that i believe that humans in their present form necessarily came into existence a long time ago.
As i see it, humankind could have come into existence relatively recently, for example, say, six thousand years ago, but it might have taken millions of years of prototyping to reach this point. Other plants and animals might have been created and stabilized thousands or millions of years or more before this.
On another front, the basic complexity of the universe is to a limited extent visible from earth. There are clearly many stars. I therefore hold that at the very least the basic observations about the scope, complexity, geometry, etc of the universe is at some level accurate.
On a broader level, the introspection referred to previously brought me to a further conclusion in this regard. I hold that my life experience and engineering experience have practically verified many of the laws of physics, chemistry, mathematics, mechanics, thermodynamics, statistics, etc that i have been taught.
On reflection, i cannot reconcile what i know about the universe, the solar system and the planet earth with creation in a series of consecutive twenty four hour periods. It seems to me that to mechanically place every planet, sun, etc in it's place, impart precise trajectory and, in some cases rotation, to it and manage the complex interaction of gravitational fields, all within the first "twenty four hours of creation" violates a significant number of physical laws and would result in all sorts of dynamic instabilities and variable forces and would generally not be conducive to creating a stable sustainable universe.
Given that i understand the creator to have existed for eternity, i am not personally able to come up with any explanation for why He would force things to happen in such a short time when He had eternity to do it.
I have therefore concluded that i cannot offer any evidence to support creation in such a short space of time. Furthermore, on superficially examining the Hebrew of the first book in the "Bible" commonly known as "Genesis" and referring to the first chapter, which as far as i know, is the primary text used in support of Bible based instantaneous creation arguments, i find that the word translated "day" does not have the specific meaning of a twenty four hour period, it can also have many other meanings including a "space of time".
Strong's dictionary, as provided in the "P C Study Bible" software version 2.1 G, published by Biblesoft, allocates this word the reference number 3117 and defines it as "from an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literal (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figurative (a space of time defined by an associated term), [often used adverb]:"
This word is listed as having been translated in the King James Bible into all the following English words "age, + always, + chronicals, continually (-ance), daily, ([birth-], each, to) day, (now a, two) days (agone), + elder, X end, + evening, + (for) ever (-lasting, -more), X full, life, as (so) long as (... live), (even) now, + old, + outlived, + perpetually, presently, + remaineth, X required, season, X since, space, then, (process of) time, + as at other times, + in trouble, weather, (as) when, (a, the, within a) while (that), X whole (+age), (full) year (-ly), + younger."
Accordingly, there does not appear to be any basis to allege that Genesis chapter one is referring to twenty four hour periods and it seems quite possible that creation took place during a series of discrete "spaces of time" during which various components of creation "evolved".
There are other aspects of the Bible which relate to seven days for creation which could be seen to offer greater challenges, however, i have come to the conclusion that these are matters of interpretation, not verifiable fact. This raises the question of the reliability of the Bible as a source, which is discussed in a later section and will therefore not be addressed here.
In light of the above, it seems clear to me that whether one believes in a literal seven day creation or in evolutionary creation over hundreds of millions or billions of years is a matter of personal choice, not a matter of evidence in support of "creation" or "evolution". I have come to hold that requiring belief in a literal seven day creation as evidence of the existence of a creator is not helpful. It also does not seem to be fundamental in any way, unless one chooses to make it so.
In line with what is written in previous sections, i have chosen to do my best not to get positioned on this particular issue and to seek to discover if there are some things which are more fundamental and more provable to support the existence of a creator.
7. OTHER RELIGIONS AND SPIRITS
At a superficial level, it seems to me that from my recent research and from my recollections of the debate from both sides during my life, the discussion of evolution versus creation seems to focus on what might be termed a "European" view.
It seems to be a debate between people whose recent origin seems to be primarily European. It seems to me that these people are divided into people who support creation from a primarily "Christian" perspective and people who support evolution from primarily a "Western scientific" perspective.
Specifically, the information at my disposal indicates to me that Muslims believe in a creator and creation. That same information indicates to me that it appears that Muslims have fundamental disagreements with Christians and Jews regarding some and possibly many aspects of what Christians have to say about the Bible and creation.
I am also under the impression that other groups in Asia, Africa and elsewhere have views on the subject of creation that are not in accordance with what i understand to be the Christian view and which also are not in accordance with what i understand to be the evolution view.
It seems to me that there is material cultural and religious positioning in what i know of the debate that it seems to me does not honour billions of people on this planet. I wonder if by taking more account of these other beliefs one might find a greater richness and complexity in the puzzle.
Furthermore, as best i can determine, billions of these people believe in spirits in one or other form. It is my understanding that there are a diversity of groups of people who believe in and claim to interact in some way with ancestor spirits, spirits of animals, spirits of trees, even spirits of rocks.
From personal experience, various Christian and allied groups hold various views including that the creator is a spirit, that men have spirits, that there are spirits called "messengers" or "angels" that have the ability to manifest with human form and that there are "demons". Different groups disagree on whether some or all of these exist or not.
My own reality is that i have had numerous spiritual experiences and that i am personally persuaded that the creator is a spirit, that human beings have spirits, that there are messengers and there are demons. I cannot prove any of this.
As best i can determine, the existence of spirits cannot be proved with any of the rules of scientific observation, etc that i have seen laid down by those who support evolution.
I also did not find any indication that the existence of spirits has been argued much, if at all, by those who support creation. As best i understand it, many, maybe even most of those who support creation do not believe there are spirits in the way that i understand billions of others to believe.
Insofar as i am personally very certain, based on numerous personal experiences, that spirits are real, i see this as presenting a challenge for evolution. Even if one can explain the evolution of animals, plants and man without a creator, i have great difficulty in understanding how spirits, which have no substance, could have evolved without a creator.
Here the "argument from incredulity" is really challenging. Those who don't believe that spirits exist would seem to be arguing from incredulity. Those who do, can be labelled with any number of labels because they cannot offer any scientific evidence. It would seem that, viewed from the perspective of people who do not believe spirits exist, all evidence of "out of body experiences" and other spiritual experiences must automatically have some negative label applied to them on the basis of the incredulity of those who lack evidence.
Once more i find myself neutralized by "argument from incredulity" from using evidence that i hold to be valid and verifiable based on my own experience BUT it seems to me that the other viewpoint is similarly neutralized.
I choose to continue to seek a way to present solid evidence in support of creation.
8. SOME OTHER ISSUES WITH CERTAIN RELIGIOUS VIEWS OF CREATION
As i was considering the points raised in earlier sections, i was also confronted with the reality that in addition to not accepting a six literal day creation, there were a number of other arguments raised in support of creation which seem to me to be major and which i do not agree with.
8.1. THE BIBLE CONTAINS ERRORS AND IS NOT THE "WORD OF GOD" / "WORD OF THE ALMIGHTY"
For many years i discounted the Bible completely. In my teens i found that what the church was teaching in a number of areas did not in any way correspond with what was in the Bible. For example, many denominations in the Christian the church teach that monogamy is ordained "by God" / "the Almighty" and that more than one wife is sin and yet the Bible contains reports of men with close relationships with the creator who had more than one wife.
As far as i am aware there is no dispute that the basic book called the bible contains manuscripts that are at least about 1,700 years old. There seems to be a reasonably large body of opinion that much of the "old testament" is at least 2,500 years old. There are some opinions that some of the "old testament", particularly the first five books are about 3,500 years old.
Even if the entire book is only 1,700 years old, it still seems to me that this is a reasonably ancient source of information and therefore should be taken into account as a source of historical information.
When i found the monogamy versus polygymy (many wives) conundrum with regard to the Bible as well as other examples, i put the Bible back on the shelf and did not look at it again for about twenty years.
Then, following a series of intense personal experiences i came to discover experientially that the creator was real.
At that time i was greatly impacted by a certain Christian church and chose to align myself with what they were teaching. Since my experience had been so intense, i assumed that everything these people taught was true.
In particular, although i could not intellectually accept it, i chose to believe that the Bible was the "inerrant Word of God [the Almighty]". "The Bible says it, that settles it" was a fairly common statement which i accepted.
In the years that followed, i read the texts commonly referred to as "The Old Testament" about ten times in many different translations. I read the texts commonly referred to as "The New Testament" about thirty five times. Also in many translations.
I became aware that there were different versions of the Bible that contained different texts. I also became aware that different versions of the Bible associated with the "Protestant" wing of the church were based on different manuscripts and that there were disputes as to which manuscripts were authoritative. I found that there were people in these disputes who were positioned behind certain sources. I experienced the debate as highly judgmental, was offended by it and chose to ignore it.
Through reading diverse translations it was also apparent that the English translations differed widely. Thus, i could not find any basis to claim that any particular English version was without error.
In time, i increasingly found that those who claimed that the Bible was the "word of God" [the Almighty] and without error did not agree amongst themselves and i also found that there were many passages that were ignored or explained away. Amongst other things, i found that i was not able to have a discussion with regard to passages relating to a man having more than one wife without having judgmental labels applied to me.
It increasingly seems to me that such inconsistencies must cause any person who does not believe in a creator and who finds the Bible attached to proving the existence of a creator a serious problem.
Some years ago, i found that i could no longer ignore the reality that there were different passages in the Bible that actually contradicted each other. The texts commonly referred to as "Matthew" and "Luke" present different genealogies for the man widely known as "Jesus Christ", "Matthew" and "Acts" present different accounts of how the man widely known as "Judas Iscariot" died. "Exodus" and "Deuteronomy" do not agree exactly on what the creator allegedly said when he spoke to the Israelites from the mountain in the wilderness.
I also found that there were people who were using something that amounted to an "argument from incredulity" to answer these concerns. I experienced this as being something like "because you cannot reconcile the genealogies does not mean they cannot be reconciled". I have encountered writings in support of evolution which seem to hold that such an argument is absurd - which seems rather ironic to me considering that these same writers make use of "argument from incredulity" to counter creationists who argue that some aspects of evolution theory are absurd.
I also concluded that i could not find a single body of text in the Bible where the writer made any claim whatsoever that all that they had written was the "Word of God" / "Word of the Almighty", i could find no declaration that any passage was without error and i could find no declaration by the people who had copied the manuscripts that they had made the copies without error. I could not even find a Bible where the compilers or any other person made a declaration that the entire compilation was "the Word of God [the Almighty]" or that it was without error.
Eventually, i conceded that as far as i can determine the Bible is actually a body of text written by men, it contains visible errors and it may therefore contain other errors. In some respects i reach this conclusion by applying "reductio ad absurdum" - since i can find one error i can find no basis to claim that it is without error.
To argue otherwise i experience as "argument from incredulity" which i have difficulty with, no matter which side uses it.
Accordingly, i choose NOT to believe the Bible is the "inerrant Word of God / the Almighty".
Eventually, i concluded that believing the Bible is the "inerrant Word of God / the Almighty" does not even accord with what the book contains in terms of the commandment not to worship anything except the creator. Believing that a book written, collated, translated and printed by men is "inerrant" does not seem to me to fit this commandment.
Since my belief in a creator was originally based on a personal experience and not on the Bible, accepting that it contains error and is not the "Word of God" [the Almighty] does not present me with any problem regarding believing in a creator.
Since i hold that the Bible does not prove the existence of a creator, it does not seem to me that this conclusion presents any obstacle to me in proving creation, other than further reducing the options open to me.
Notwithstanding the above, i hold that the writings contained in the book widely labelled "The Bible" do contain:
1) Statements that are attributed to the Almighty that include direct commandments and instructions.
2) Passages of text inspired by the Almighty.
3) Historical accounts of events involving the interaction of the Almighty with human beings.
4) Accounts of visions and other communications between the Almighty and human beings.
5) Diverse other information including information about things said and done by people that were not inspired by the Almighty in any way.
In other words, based on personal experience i hold that many and possibly most of the writings in this book are relevant and basically accurate in terms of guiding humankind towards better understanding of the Almighty.
Whether this is so or not does not seem to me to be relevant to the essential thesis of this article although it does support certain of the points that are made in this document. It is my intention that if you choose to disregard those points in this document that you consider to be based in any way on the Bible the rest of this document will stand on its own.
I also hold that there are many other writings, both recent and ancient, that compliment what is recorded in the writings in the Bible.
In reaching the above conclusions, i have also confronted something else that it seems to me does not work if one believes that the Bible is the "inerrant Word of God / the Almighty". It seems to me that such belief requires that every word and every action of every person reported in the entire book was actively directed by the Almighty. In other words, it seems to me that this belief requires that when a person lied, they were caused to lie by the Almighty, that when a person committed adultery or murder, they were caused to do this by the Almighty, etc.
In the light of the introspection referred to previously, i have concluded that this is not what i believe and that it does not accord with my own experience. I have also concluded that such interpretation, based on belief in the "inerrant Word of God" [the Almighty] is very likely to cause many people to reject belief in the creator outright. It seems to me that believing in the "inerrant Word of God" [the Almighty] requires one to believe in a creator who is manipulative and controlling and who sets people up to "sin" and then punishes them for this. I do not believe this.
Accordingly, i conclude that, for me, debating anything about the Bible is not helpful in resolving a debate about creation versus evolution.
8.2. OTHER ASPECTS OF RELIGION
I have also come to understand that there are many aspects of those religions that specifically claim to believe in a creator and a creation -- Christianity, Islam and Judaism -- that are not congruent within a particular religion.
There are major differences between groups / sects / denominations, etc and they argue and fight among themselves. This is particularly so in the case of "Christianity". There are even greater differences between these three religions.
To me it seems that this is likely to cause those who notice this to call into question more abstract aspects of what these religions and groups believe.
For example, if Christians cannot agree amongst themselves about physical issues like whether "baptism" is immersion of a consenting adult or sprinkling drops of "holy water" on a newly born infant, it seems to me that many people are going to have difficulty accepting their views on something as abstract as a universal creator and other such matters?
Accordingly, i have to admit that it seems to me that there is much that people who subscribe to creation believe that is not consistent, congruent or provable, even within the parameters that they themselves define for interpreting evidence.
I acknowledge that this must present major obstacles to any person who objectively wants to consider the case for creation.
This further limits the basis on which i can support my belief in creation.
In the sections that follow i will continue to endeavour to provide such evidence.
9. WHAT NEXT?
In the interests of preparing the way for the next point, it seems useful to sum-up where i find myself at this point in this document:
1) I have faith in the existence of a creator based on personal experience but, at this point, i cannot present solid, provable evidence of this.
2) I do not agree with "argument from incredulity" but i recognise it is an argument that is used and i choose not to dispute it at this point.
3) I find myself able to agree with an evolutionary model for creation.
4) I have great difficulty in accepting a model of evolution that does not include a creator although "argument from incredulity" neutralizes this as a basis for any case.
5) I have, over a number of years, as one who claims significant faith in a creator and claims some level of experience of the creator, come to accept that many things that people who support creation claim as being attached to believing in creation, are not so attached.
In the sections that follow, i will seek to explore other aspects of the debate between creation and evolution.
10. THE "I AM RIGHT" "YOU ARE WRONG" PARADOX
Recently i have been doing some work around the dynamics of the breakdown of marital relationships.
In particular, i have recently been seeking to address situations in which a husband and wife have fundamentally opposite views.
One of the observations i made was that in situations of real tension, i have encountered cases where the situation presents more or less as follows:
1) The husband states that he loves his wife BUT on the particular point in dispute she is entirely at fault and in error.
2) The wife states that she loves her husband BUT on the particular point in dispute he is entirely at fault and in error.
In other words, she believes he is 100% in error and he believes she is 100% in error.
Recently i found myself confronting what i hold to be the reality that it is not possible for them both to be 100% correct or 100% in error. It seems to me that there is a reasonable basis to assume, as a first approximation or simplifying assumption, that they are each approximately 50% in error and 50% correct.
Applying this in practice in a particular situation produced what seem to me to be significant results in terms of shifting a specific situation thereby validating the assumption at a very basic level.
I am not suggesting that this is a universal principle although it does seem to me that it is probably valid in many and possibly most cases. Not only in terms of marital dispute but in terms of dispute generally.
What i also concluded from this example is that if the wife is firmly attached to the extreme value of her position and the husband is firmly attached to the extreme value of his position the probability of a close to 100% breakdown in communication seems to me to be almost inevitable.
The above conclusions were reached during the same period that i was engaged in the personal introspection about my beliefs that has been mentioned previously and which has occasioned this article.
In studying the web site referred to previously, i was struck by my perspective that there were statements in support of evolution that it seemed to me that i could not reject and there were statements in support of creation that i was also not willing to reject. There were other statements in support of both positions which, as set out above, i was not able to accept.
As a simplifying assumption, i would therefore like to suggest the possibility that, on the assumption that neither side is deliberately in error, both sides are probably approximately 50% in error.
In other words, it seems to me that there is a distinct possibility that about half of what those supporting creation have to say is true, even if their interpretation may be coloured by other beliefs, judgmental language, etc. It also seems quite possible that the same applies to those who support evolution, half of what they say is true.
I cannot prove this 50:50 split since my perception of "correct" and "incorrect" is based on my current position which i cannot prove is accurate and cannot prove is objective. Nevertheless, i do think the principle is useful in this context.
In other words, i am suggesting that "evolutionary creation" is possible and may be the factual answer. I am also suggesting that many of the apparent differences relating to evidence that can be physically viewed and many times even touched are in fact differences of interpretation NOT differences of data.
It seems to me that there are many cases where someone on either side has a piece of physical evidence that they interpret as having a particular meaning and, because of the interpretation, the other side rejects the evidence. It seems to me that in cases like this both sides resort to positioning, the use of judgmental language, conspiracy theory, etc. It does not seem to me that summarily rejecting another persons evidence is in the interests of peaceful coexistence of a supposedly advanced species (if one subscribes to evolution) or of a being supposedly created in the image of the Almighty (if one subscribes to creation).
I would like to suggest that it would help if both sides chose to be more open about the other side's evidence and chose to be open minded about seeing whether some aspect of their interpretation could be meshed with some aspect of the other side's interpretation.
Please will you consider whether you are willing to examine and consider such a view.
11. DOES THIS MEAN DEADLOCK?
As i deliberated on my findings and the conclusions presented above, i came to some further conclusions which seem to me to be important.
One of these conclusions was that there appeared to me to be a very considerable amount of discussion around points which, as far as i could see, did not actually address what seemed to me to be the essence of the evolution versus creation debate. It seemed to me that perhaps eighty percent or more of the time and effort on both sides was being devoted to points that i think cannot prove creation or evolution.
The debate about the Bible and Bible based evidence seems to me to be such an example.
Since much of what i do in my work as a management and strategy consultant and in information technology relates to identifying the critical issues, the few key points that are central to any particular strategic objective, i found myself moving to this point of view without difficulty.
Since much of my experience over the past few decades supports my opinion that much of the time human beings spend their time discussing the things that are easy to get a "hold on" rather than the things that are challenging and more abstract, this conclusion was probably inevitable. Notwithstanding this, please consider putting aside any objections you may have and following through what follows.
A conclusion that i reached was that it increasingly seemed to me that in some respects "creation" and "evolution" are not on the same playing field. It seems to me that the essence of "creation" is the question of whether there is a creator or not. It seems to me that the essence of "evolution" is the process and steps whereby the current state of the universe and the planet earth and its inhabitants was achieved.
As stated before, it seems increasingly to me that believing in "evolution" does not require any particular belief about "creation". It seems to me that believing in the mechanism of evolution DOES require such a position. In other words, the essence of the dispute seems to be whether a creator created all these things (as i see it, in an evolutionary way) or whether they "happened" in some way that can be postulated but, as far as i can determine, not conclusively proved.
What i mean by "conclusively proved" is that i am not aware of any reproducible evidence that suggests that an explosion such as a "big bang" (2,370,000) can give rise to a state of order. I am not aware of any evidence that a mass of chemicals in a vacuum can develop an atmosphere and eventually life and thereafter human beings.
I hold that this is particularly the case when the core of the pile of chemicals is a molten mass that has supposedly cooled in a way that water and an atmosphere were able to form on the surface in a complete vacuum while other masses from the same source have turned into "suns" which have been burning for millions or billions of years.
For me, offering "argument from incredulity" in response to my objections does not help me to accept that there is NOT a creator. My reality is that i have practical evidence of the existence of a creator, rejecting this on the basis that i cannot demonstrate it or prove it seems to me to also be an "argument from incredulity".
This seems to leave me with a no win situation.
It seems that both sides can use "argument from incredulity" and both sides can use "reductio ad absurdum" in some way. As i experience both of these statements, they both indicate a judgment on the other side that is not pleasant and i don't experience as constructive.
12. A DIFFERENT APPROACH?
After giving the matter quite a lot of thought and discussing the subject at some length with my wife, i concluded that it seemed to me that there were some critical questions about the question of creation versus evolution.
I offer these here together with my thoughts in the hope that it will assist both sides to see the debate in a different light.
12.1. ARE THERE SPIRITS?
Insofar as it is my understanding that a very large proportion of the population of the world believe that there are spirits, it seems to me that this is an important question to resolve.
Since i understand that the basis of these beliefs, like my own, is experiential and not theoretical, it seems to me that any theory that supports a view that human kind have evolved without the influence of a creator should acknowledge this aspect and address it constructively in a way that can satisfy those who have experiential belief in spirits.
It seems to me that to argue that spirits do not exist because there is no scientific evidence is an argument from incredulity. Based on my interpretation of how the term argument from incredulity is applied in the context of the origination of the matter which makes up the universe, it seems to me that applying argument from incredulity to the statement "spirits do not exist because it is not possible to prove they exist" indicates that it is entirely possible for spirits to exist.
My reality is that i have personally met dozens of people who claim to have personally experienced the existence of spirits. I have encountered numerous reports that indicate that millions and possibly billions of people believe spirits exist and many claim to have had experiences of spirits.
Searching in Google i find the following occurrences of words that i understand to relate to spirits:- spirit (26,200,000), demon (6,560,000), demons (2,420,000), fairy (4,820,000),
fairy's (45,200), elf (4,640,000), elves (1,150,000), tokolosh (name of spirits in Africa) (907), tokoloshes (109), ghosts (2,950,000), ghost (10,100,000), poltergeist (261,000), poltergeists (36,100).
Collectively these statistics indicate that words relating at least at some level to what i perceive to be the spirit realm occur widely on the internet. Casual inquiry indicates that at least some of these pages relate to people who consider spirits to exist and who claim to have had personal experience of them. It is my impression that such people constitute a statistically significant proportion of the above statistics.
Applying reductio ad absurdum to this information, it seems to me that this provides a basis to claim that spirit's exist.
It seems to me that this conclusion is entirely consistent with applying argument from incredulity to the statement that spirit's do not exist. Accordingly, this seems to me to provide a basis to conclude that spirit's do exist.
Certain evolutionists argue in favour of things called "memes" which relate to thoughts and ideas. I don't think that it will be any more difficult to prove that there are memes than to prove that there are spirits. Both concepts are intangible and relate to things that cannot be seen and seemingly have no substance themselves in terms of generally accepted definitions of substance. It seems to me that if people who subscribe to evolution can consider the possibility of "memes", certainly as i have read about them, then it would be helpful to extend the same level of credulity to spirits.
If one does not believe in spirits, it is probably very difficult to prove they exist and if one does believe in spirits it is probably relatively easy to prove they exist. Insofar as my information is that a very large number, possibly billions, of people believe that spirits exist and many claim personal experience, i have difficulty in seeing how this can be discounted. It seems to me that any theory of evolution should clearly define how spirits come into existence.
What one chooses to believe about this is a matter of personal choice relative to what one does with available information in finding what one considers to be substantive evidence.
12.2. DO HUMAN'S HAVE SPIRIT'S?
This is a more specific aspect of the previous question.
If the answer is "yes", which it is my understanding that many people who do not necessarily believe in creation hold to be the case, then, it seems to me that any theory with regard to the way in which human kind came to exist should address this aspect.
A Google search indicates "human spirit" (421,000), "out of body experience" (79,100), reincarnation (656,000), reincarnated (149,000), resurrect (280,000), resurrected (530,000), resurrection (2,880,000).
As i understand it, all of these terms relate at some level to a belief in the existence of a human spirit. It seems to me that evolution should not summarily discount this but should seek to offer a constructive explanation. If we can have "memes" why can we not have spirits?
Applying argument from incredulity to a statement that it is not possible to prove that human beings have spirit's seems to me to indicate that the statement is an argument from incredulity. Therefore, since there is much information that indicates that millions and possibly billions of people believe that human beings do have a spirit, reductio ad absurdum indicates to me that they do exist. I understand argument from incredulity to admit this possibility.
As with the previous point this is a personal choice unless evidence that you consider substantive can be produced.
12.3. IS THERE A CREATOR?
It seems to me that this is the essence of the question and all the other questions ultimately point to this question.
I have put this question third since it seems to me that there are more people on earth who have experience of spirit's than have experience of the creator and that there are more people who have had experience of human spirit's than have experience of the creator.
Searching in Google returns:- creator (9,430,000) and God (60,200,000). In my experience, the word "God" is not necessarily the same as saying there is a creator. God IS synonymous with "creator" for many people but not for all people. Nevertheless there are indications that a substantial number of people have belief in such a being. It seems to me that there are many more who believe in a creator than believe in evolution.
As mentioned early on in this article so far i cannot offer any "scientifically provable" evidence. Furthermore, it seems to me that all the evidence that i have been able to offer so far is neutralized by "argument from incredulity". I can only offer personal experience and i accept that this is not of real value to anyone else.
I have also concluded, since starting this article, that my own experience and my knowledge of the experience of others indicates that asking the creator to reveal himself through a supernatural sign of some sort is also not particularly helpful to those who do not believe. If one has no experience of the creator, how does one experience something that one believes is not possible?
I don't have an answer!
I can only suggest that you check out for yourself whether, in practice, "argument from incredulity" really works to discount the examples that i used above that motor cars, aircraft, buildings, etc do not evolve themselves and do not create themselves, i ask you to consider that all of these cases, without an exception that i know of, require the intervention of man, that is a creator, in order to take place. Hence, i suggest that the existence of man is dependent on the existence of a higher being, a creator.
I still cannot prove it with "solid provable evidence".
As with the previous two points, it seems to me that there is plenty of evidence that millions and possibly billions of people believe in a creator. I understand reductio ad absurdum applied to this information to indicate the existence of a creator. I also understand argument from incredulity applied to a statement that there is no creator because it cannot be proved that a creator exists creates space to admit the possibility of there being a creator.
Once more, there is the possibility of other perspectives and it is a matter of personal choice how one interprets this information unless one can obtain what one considers to be substantive evidence.
12.4. WHERE DID WE COME FROM?
As far as i can determine there is no dispute that we exist, that the planet exists or that the universe exists.
It seems that all can agree on that.
It seems to me that there is no real difficulty in agreeing that we arrived at where we are today through a process of progressive development that i find no difficulty terming "evolution".
The mechanism of how this progressive development happened, is inherent in other questions, so i would like to leave it out of this point.
As i see it, this point is essentially about whether there is a creator or whether there is some other explanation.
One writer says "How the universe originated is unknown, but to claim therefore that it must have been supernatural is the argument from incredulity. There are other possibilities. For example, anti-energy could have been created simultaneously to satisfy conservation laws. Or perhaps the laws of thermodynamics evolved after the first moments of the universe." http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CF/CF101.html
This example suggests that "anti-energy could have been created simultaneously to satisfy conservation laws" in an argument to prove there is no creator. I have great difficulty in comprehending how what is stated here could happen if the universe evolved without a creator. I am unable to understand how is it possible for anti-energy to be "created simultaneously" if there is no creator. Yet, i find myself neutralized by "incredulity".
Personally, i cannot see how the above quote can be taken as anything other than a statement of faith that is at least equivalent in my mind to believing in a creator.
I also do not understand why, if one looks at the origin of everything, it is so difficult to believe that there is a creator. The problem is that i DO believe and i am not sure that i will be able to offer any physical evidence that will overcome an argument such as that offered above. As i see it, the problem of physical evidence lies not with the evidence but with the interpretation of the evidence - the "how" and "why" as opposed to the "what".
As with the previous three points, millions and possibly billions believe the universe, the planet and man were created. Reductio ad absurdum therefore indicates that this conclusion is admissible. I understand that arguing that it cannot be proved is an argument from incredulity which therefore admits the possibility that these things have been created.
Once more, there is the possibility of other perspectives and it is a matter of personal choice how one interprets this information unless one can find what you consider to be a substantive answer.
12.5. WHY ARE WE HERE?
The conclusions one draws with respect to the previous four questions may point towards a particular conclusion here.
However, it seems to me that this is not necessarily so.
As i currently understand the position of what it seems to me might be termed "non-creation evolution", "we are here because we are here". It seems to me that people who support this form of evolution are basically stating that the universe, the planet and humankind are all here and that is sufficient reason to explain why we are here.
It seems to me that this is more or less equivalent to saying "i do not understand why i am here but i am here and i do not need to understand why i am here because i am here". IF this is more or less what those who support evolution are saying in response to this question, then it seems to me that this looks like faith in another form.
As i understand the point of view of those who support creation, it occurs to me that i have not encountered a clear explanation that is uniformly accepted by those who support creation.
I would like to try and sum up in a short statement why i believe we are here.
My personal belief is that the Almighty chose to create very advanced spiritual beings who could choose to be in close relationship with him. I believe this took place within a clearly defined framework of commandments or laws which carried with them clearly defined penalties for transgression, including banishment to a place which today is widely called "hell". It is my impression that this took place within a clearly defined time frame.
I personally think that it would be reasonable to postulate that the creator was lonely and He created us so that He would have people to talk to and share His vision of the future with and who would participate in His vision and that He desired creatures to love and who would love Him out of free choice.
It is my understanding that we are here in order to make personal choices about whether we want a relationship with the Almighty or not, whether we want to avail ourselves of the benefits of such a relationship and whether we want to spend eternity in close relationship with Him at a level that includes sitting on a throne for eternity with many other options.
It is my understanding that we are free to chose any other option, including being free to chose to spend eternity in a place referred to in some writings as "the lake of fire and brimstone" or "lake of fire". This is frequently referred to as "hell" although my understanding is that hell and the lake of fire are not the same.
A Google search returns:- "Day of Judgment" (112,000), hell (17,000,000), heaven (15,600,000), "lake of fire and brimstone" (7,830), "lake of fire" (77,400). I think there is a song about the lake of fire and probably various facetious and other uses of these words and phrases.
Nevertheless, they are terms that are quite widely used thereby indicating a reasonably high level of acceptance of these concepts.
It seems to me that the concept of a "Day of Judgment" is the logical end point of "survival of the fittest". The alleged contest between humankind and the being referred to as "Satan" also appears to be a form of "survival of the fittest".
It seems strange to me that those who support evolution are willing to accept that in some way every prototype or intermediate form or "missing link" has died out within the concept of "survival of the fittest" and then seem to be offended at the idea that they, too, could be participating in an evolutionary "survival of the fittest" experience where the stakes are higher but the basic concept is the same.
By way of example, if we have just "evolved" spontaneously, why is death so disturbing and so fearful for so many people? Surely death is part of evolving?
It seems to me that belief in the existence of a creator is the entry level requirement for a more complex survival of the fittest process. I have it that belief in a creator does not qualify one for heaven, it simply opens the door for one to begin to gain the knowledge and experience and relationship that makes entry into heaven possible.
In summary, i believe we are here in order to give us the opportunity to voluntarily seek a deep personal relationship with the Almighty and qualify to be "fit" to enter heaven.
I cannot prove this, but i have deep personal conviction of the validity of at least the essence of what i have written in the preceding paragraphs. So much so that i have written a detailed article on the subject of some aspects of what i understand to be required in order to spend eternity in heaven. This article is available on request.
As with the previous points, it is my understanding that there are certainly millions and possibly billions who have some view that at least partially coincides with the above. For example, the Quran, the principal Muslim text, repeatedly makes reference to the choice between heaven and hell. Once more, it seems to me that reductio ad absurdum indicates the validity of the basic premise and argument from incredulity applied to a statement that the above interpretation cannot be proved provides the opportunity to suggest that it can be admitted.
The big challenge that i see with this particular point is that if those who believe in a creator and a day of judgment are correct, then those who do not believe in a creator have a serious problem for eternity. If those who believe there is no creator are mistaken then they will not even be disappointed when they die, they won't know they were wrong.
Accordingly, as i see it, from the point of view of a "fail safe" opinion, believing in a creator has merit.
Once more it is a matter of personal choice how one interprets this information in the absence of what any particular person may regard as substantive evidence.
12.6. WHERE ARE WE GOING?
I see this as an extension of the previous point.
It seems to me that the view of those who support non-creational evolution is that we are going wherever we are going and we are going to continue going there for as long as we are around. I have read and seen all sorts of views on what this could look like in thousands or millions of years.
Since this view is based on the opinion that there is no creator, it seems to me to necessitate an opinion that we have no way of determining where we are going. It seems to me that this view assumes that a long series of events determined by our environment and survival of the fittest, etc brought us to this point and that events determined by our environment and survival of the fittest will continue to determine our path.
It is my view that inspection of the diversity of motor vehicles, houses, home decoration, etc indicates that there is no indication of a collective, common and universal view on the part of humankind of what constitutes an ideal state. This seems to me to indicate that there is no indication that humankind can collectively in any significant manner direct our course into the future.
I have it that since we cannot agree on whether there is a creator or not it is unlikely that we will agree on the future direction of the human race. It therefore seems to me that this world view indicates that we will end up where we end up.
To me this seems to make life rather pointless - i understand this view to say that i am going to live and do whatever i find to do and then i am going to die. End of story. Once more, argument from incredulity seems to neutralize my view.
Those who believe in creation seem, at some level, to agree that we are going towards a "Day of Judgment". However, in my experience there are differing views. Based on personal observation, it is my information that many Christians believe that "Jesus is coming soon and i'm going to heaven and the rest of them are going to be judged".
This is not my belief.
I believe that we will ALL be judged, whatever we have believed. In other words, Christians will also be judged.
As i understand it, the basis of judgment is abstract, complex and little understood today. Refer the document mentioned earlier on "Where will YOU spend eternity?".
I DO believe that all the information at my disposal indicates that if one does not have a personal knowledge and relationship with the Almighty one will end up in a very unpleasant situation, a location commonly referred to as "hell".
I do believe that we all originated from a single man and woman and were perpetuated through a man and his three sons and their four wives who survived a global catastrophe widely referred to as "the flood". Accordingly, i do believe that at the outset humankind had access to the data necessary to equip them to live a life that would enable them to spend eternity in a close personal relationship with the Almighty in a place that is beautiful beyond description, frequently termed "heaven".
I cannot prove it.
In summary, i believe that we are "going" towards a Day of Judgment.
Based on my information, there are millions and probably billions, who at some level, mostly not on a very informed basis, believe that this is so. As with the previous questions, it seems to me that reductio ad absurdum indicates that this is confirmed and that applying argument from incredulity to a statement that "i cannot believe there is a judgment" and / or "i cannot believe there is a hell" indicates that it is possible to admit that there is a judgment and that there is a place that corresponds to "hell".
Once more it is a matter of personal choice how one interprets this information and, since we are referring to future events, no way that this can be "substantively" proved.
12.7. WHAT ACTION CAN I TAKE?
Depending on the conclusions drawn from answering the previous questions, there seem to me to be a number of courses of action.
It seems to me that if, having considered the previous points and answered the questions, one is still committed to non-creationary evolution, then one simply gets on with one's life until one dies and does the best one can to accomplish whatever one has set oneself to accomplish.
As i understand an outcome that concludes that there is a creator, that we are on earth in order to form a close personal relationship with Him and there is a Day of Judgment, this indicates that it is desirable to do whatever one finds to do in order to form a close relationship with the creator and prepare for coming judgment.
There are a large number of permutations of answers to the previous six questions, accordingly, it seems to me that there are a wide range of possible courses of action.
I am not sure how to interpret many of the possible outcomes and, accordingly, chose not to.
My answers to the previous questions are that:
1) There are spirits.
2) Human beings have spirits.
3) There is a creator.
4) We were created.
5) We are here to develop a close relationship with the creator.
6) There will be a day on which all of humankind will be judged. There is a heaven and a hell. We each have the right to chose how we live our lives and the outcome of the judgment will be determined by the choices we make. We can make choices that will result in a "high throne" for eternity and we can make choices that will result in "the lake of fire and brimstone" for eternity.
I would like to offer some comments on my understanding of what one might do if one agrees to the above six statements, particularly 3, 5 and 6.
It seems to me that there are numerous avenues by which one might have reached such a position. Again, i chose not to explore all of them.
If, having read as much of this document as you chose to, you have decided to shift position on the fundamental point of the existence of a creator, my experience indicates that there are a few important action points to be aware of:
1) Pray to the Almighty in whatever way you chose with an essential message that you now acknowledge His existence, that you desire to serve him, that you apologise (repent) for not believing in Him previously and that you ask Him to forgive you and help you to serve Him, draw close to Him and form a close personal relationship with Him.
2) I only know one way to do this and that is through prayer in the name of "Yahooshua the anointed of Yah of Natsareth" -- widely translated as "Jesus Christ of Nazareth".
3) Immerse oneself in water, praying in the name of Yahoohua for the forgiveness and cleansing of sins.
4) Do whatever you can find to do in order to draw closer to the Almighty. You are welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
5) There is much else that could be written but this document is not intended to address this subject.
If you have previously believed in a creator and have concluded from reading this far that there are adjustments to be made, i assume that you have some basis of dealing with these choices. Alternatively, you are welcome to contact me at email@example.com
Once more, i cannot offer any proof of the above, i draw these conclusions based on my personal experience.
There are also many who hold to a broadly similar view of the above course of action but with widely differing details particularly between Christianity and Islam. Accordingly i chose to try not to be prescriptive. Ultimately, it is for each individual to find their own way and ask the Almighty to lead them to whoever He chooses who can assist them on their journey at whatever stage they may be.
Once more it is a matter of personal choice how one interprets this information and views the consequences of believing that there is a creator or not.
13. SOME ISSUES THAT ARISE FROM THE ABOVE QUESTIONS
The discussion of the questions presented above suggests to me some other issues that it seems appropriate to discuss at this point.
13.1. WHAT IF WE WERE CREATED?
As previously stated, it is my belief that we were created. In terms of this belief i would like to offer my understanding of the broad implications of this belief. This is set out in below.
In broad terms, i believe that:
1) The First Human Beings
The first human beings were created with great intelligence, great knowledge of the ways of the Almighty, great spiritual gifting and power and great physical capacity and capability.
There are various individuals who have produced books, videos and other material presenting physical evidence and rationale to support this view. While i do not agree with everything that these individuals say, it is my belief that, in essence, they accurately report genuine information which clearly supports a view that the first human beings created had the attributes mentioned above.
2) Early Choices
Most early human beings made choices which resulted in them breaking the commandments of the Almighty that had been clearly spelt out to them at the outset. I understand this to have resulted in a judgment which resulted in a global flood which destroyed all life except for certain individuals who were preserved in a large boat.
I believe that all of humankind today has descended from these individuals.
3) Further Choices
In the years that followed, humankind again progressively departed from relationship with the Almighty and from compliance with His commandments.
4) Progressive Deterioration
This resulted in spiritual, intellectual, moral and physical deterioration of humankind to a point where today, in the third millennium AD, i believe that the current generation is spiritually and morally the weakest generation that has ever lived. I am not certain as to the extent to which humankind has regained some physical and intellectual capability in recent centuries. I am aware that there are reports of physical and intellectual advancement in recent generations.
I have a broad impression that the deterioration of humankind in spiritual and moral terms and to a significant extent in the intellectual and physical context.
I cannot prove this.
While i have reason to believe that this process has taken place over a period of approximately six thousand years, it does not seem important to me in this document to assert that this is so. Whether this process has taken six thousand years or many millions of years does not seem to me to detract from the essential thesis.
It seems to me as an engineer that this decay curve is entirely consistent with the manner in which all structures and systems created by human beings deteriorate over time. Initially the rate of decay is small. Without regular maintenance, servicing, repair, etc the rate of decay gradually accelerates until eventual collapse. I hold that this applies to motor cars, to houses, to roads, to aircraft and to any other thing that humankind has created.
It therefore seems to me to be probable that if humankind is a created entity, that we will also deteriorate over time unless regularly maintained. I understand this maintenance to require an intimate relationship with the Almighty and it is my belief that there are no human beings on earth today who have such a close relationship with the Almighty that they have in a material way been able to change their position on this decay curve.
It seems to me that this view is diametrically opposed to a view of progressive environmentally determined evolution without a creator over millions or billions of years.
I say this in the sense that my understanding of the non-creation view of evolution is that those who subscribe to evolution without a creator hold that the present generation is the most advanced and most evolved version of humankind that has ever existed.
If the perspectives discussed above are approximate indications of the broad view of how humankind has reached their present state, then this represents a very substantial non-conformity in which one of the models must be invalid.
To me, taken in context with my comments about "why are we here" and "where are we going", this seems to be important information.
It seems to me that these different curves highlight the importance of considering all available information, including information that one has possibly previously rejected, and choosing which point of view one is going to hold in the future.
Again, i cannot prove this and leave it to individual readers to evaluate.
13.2. WHAT IF THERE IS A JUDGMENT?
From a personal point of view, it seems to me that the most important question that this entire document raises is the issue of a "Day of Judgment" and a "lake of fire".
If those who advocate evolution without a creator are correct, then it seems to me that we have nothing to fear. I am under the impression that those who advocate this view hold that human beings will each grow old and eventually die and that will be the end of it.
I understand the implication of this position to be that one should do the "best" one can with one's life on the basis of what one concludes is "best" and there is no "wrong" answer and no negative consequence of making a "mistake".
For many years i lived my life more or less in line with this belief until, one day, i had an experience that showed me clearly that there WAS a creator and that there WAS a judgment. I have concluded over the years that where i have experiences like this, others cannot share in my experience and cannot accept what i say based on my experience. Accordingly, it does not seem necessary to me to share the experience.
I do not think that many people will choose to believe in a creator on the basis of someone else's experience.
If those who believe in a creator AND a Day of Judgment are correct, then i believe that this has serious consequences for every human being. There are those, including myself, whose understanding of the situation is that all those who do not believe there is a creator will spend eternity in the lake of fire.
One can argue against this on the basis that it is "unjust", "wrong", "i don't believe it", etc. I experience that as an argument from incredulity. Because one cannot believe there is a Judgment and lake of fire does not mean they do not exist.
From my perspective the possibility of a day of judgment is the most significant reason that i can give why anyone should seriously consider the possibility of the existence of a creator and therefore consider the remainder of this article which seeks to demonstrate the existence of a creator using data that is available to most human beings.
I think there is also merit in seeking the truth from a point of view of the intellectual satisfaction of finding a robust answer to an abstract question. On this basis i ask you to continue reading whatever your response is to the previous paragraph.
13.3. WHERE FROM VERSUS WHERE GOING -- REAR VIEW MIRROR VISION
It seems to me that one of the fundamental differences between "evolution" and "creation" thinking is that evolution is primarily concerned with "where have we come from" and "creation" is more about "where are we going".
I do not think that this distinction is made clear by most people who hold creation to be true, however, i think that they do have this in mind in most of what they think and say.
I think it might be useful to make this distinction much more evident than it is at present.
As a strategist and consultant to large organizations on the formulation and implementation of strategy, one of the important principles is the requirement for a clear view or vision of where the organization is going and what it will look like when it gets there.
Many speakers on effective management warn executives NOT to manage by "looking in the rear view mirror".
It seems to me that many who subscribe to evolution devote a considerable amount of time to looking at the past.
It seems to me that many who argue in favour of creation also do this.
I would like to suggest that while the past may be of interest, the future is where we will spend the rest of our lives, irrespective of whether there is life after death or not.
Accordingly, it seems to me that any model of creation or evolution should offer a basis for formulating a clear view of where human kind is going and that if one model appears to offer more clarity this might be a basis for giving that model more detailed scrutiny.
I submit that belief in a creator and a day of judgment offers such an opportunity.
In considering the subject of this article, i find that i have it that there is a large amount of recorded information about a creator and His alleged interactions with humankind. This includes the Bible but i understand it to include diverse other writings as well.
As far as i know there is not a comparable body of ancient writing about spontaneous evolution.
Insofar as i hold the above to be valid, i do not understand why some people seem to have such a need to seemingly totally discount the collective beliefs and experience of millions and possibly billions of people?
It seems trite to simply dismiss these beliefs as "superstition" or use some more dismissive, and insulting, language to justify a solution that ignores these beliefs as not being "scientific" or similar. I do not understand why it is "scientific" to be "incredulous" of the beliefs of millions AND "scientific" to use "argument from incredulity" to dismiss the objections of these same people to non-creative evolution.
It seems to me that either argument from incredulity IS scientific, in which case i submit that it applies to both sides OR it does not apply to either.
There are many other points which seem to me to flow from this point. I choose not to go further with this in this section.
13.4. CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS FOR THE END OF LIFE
Whether one has a view of coming judgment and eternal life and eternal damnation or whether one holds that at the end of this life one will cease to exist, it seems to me that most people would have some view of how they would like to live their lives.
I would like to offer the outcome of an exercise that my wife and i recently undertook, as a means of highlighting some things that i think may be applicable to many people on earth today.
I would like to suggest that irrespective of what believes, one must, at least subconsciously, have some view of what one would like to accomplish by the time one lies on one's death bed. These are not necessarily conscious measures, they are quite likely to be "gut feel" about what one considers really important.
My wife and i undertook such an exercise recently and found that we were in close agreement about the factors that seemed important to us.
I offer them for your consideration with limited explanation:
1) Service to the Almighty
Found to be a "good and faithful servant", close relationship with the Almighty, obedience and submission to Him, qualify to sit on a high throne for eternity, impacts all the points that follow and impacted by them.
2) Make a Difference in the World
Impact many lives for the Kingdom of the Almighty.
3) Achieve my Potential
Achieve my potential as a man or woman in every area of my life - family, business, profession / occupation, community, nation, etc.
4) Marriage and Sex
Rich and fulfilling marriage including passionate and fulfilling sexual relationships within marriage lived in partnership, harmony, love, empathy, caring, unity, etc.
Children grow up the way i would like them to be - serving the Almighty and living their lives with similar critical success factors to these.
6) Experience the World
Experience the richness of creation, travel, nature, cultures, food, etc.
7) Enjoy Life and Things
Enjoy the fullness of what exists - material things, finances, house, cars, furniture, etc.
It seems to me that, barring the first item, the remaining six are likely to apply whether one believes in a creator or not. They seem to me to be fairly fundamental.
The interpretation of the points may differ significantly.
For example, if one does not believe there is a day of judgment, the fourth point might look more like "rich and varied sexual relationships".
It seems to me that the relative importance is also likely to differ significantly.
At the time i did the above exercise i concluded that the relative importance of each of these seven points to me (the percentage that each factor contributes to my life view) was 67%; 8%; 7%; 6%; 5%; 4% and 3% respectively. All the points ARE important to me, however, if i do not make significant progress on the first point it seems to me that, based on what i believe, on the day i die the other points will be largely irrelevant.
I think that at least some who believe in a creator will assign the first point a relatively high weight.
It seems to me that if one does not believe in a creator then the first point would be cancelled, it would not exist, thereby leaving SIX points. Alternatively, there might be another seventh point that i have not thought of which would apply in such a case. Possibly "money" or "financial success" might be separated out of the seventh point above.
If i look at the world around me, it seems that if one does not believe in a creator and one does not believe in a day of judgment, then the 67% that i have allocated to the first point might be distributed over the remaining points with a lot of emphasis on the material world, things and finance. I seem to recall that this was the way i saw things a decade or two ago.
I would like to suggest that you might find it an interesting exercise to determine what the six or seven factors are that you will use to rate your life on your death bed based on what you believe about creation versus evolution.
14. SCIENCE - ENGINEERING - RELIGION
Since writing the outline of section 16 approximately a week has elapsed.
In this time i spent several hours on the internet researching further information, i corresponded with the television channel director mentioned previously and obtained more information from him and i spent considerable time thinking and observing the world around me.
In all of this i was seeking to obtain data with a view to improving my understanding of the situation, understanding other view points and seeing if i could agree with them and seeking to validate or invalidate what i believe based on my life experience and my living environment.
In particular, i was seeking to find "solid provable evidence" of creation.
I was also seeking to better understand my interpretation of the world in which i live and which i have PERSONALLY experienced.
I was also looking for data that would be readily available to as many people as possible and which, as far as possible, would be personally experientially verifiable to as many people as possible.
I was trying to look "close to home" and not rely on any data from third parties but rather to rely on my own personal living environment and life experience with particular emphasis on those components that it seems to me that most people on the planet will be able to relate to at some level.
Each person's environment and life experience is different, however, it increasingly seems to me that there are components that are common to the majority of human beings at some level.
In the sections that follow, i hope to present the evidence that i have found in the hope that you will be able to relate to and personally verify at least some of it.
In doing the above research, analysis and thinking, i became increasingly focused on applying lessons that i have learned as an engineer and scientist.
At the time of writing, i am fifty years old. For about forty five years i have been designing and building things. In my childhood i built things with Meccano (metal components for building models) and built electrical circuits. I graduated to building aviaries (large bird cages) and doing household maintenance and alterations. I have been involved in a "hands on" way with building major extensions to houses, rebuilding motor car engines, rebuilding a boat, building a twenty story office block, a major highway, road cuttings, blasting, major open pit mines, a diversity of computer software, strategic designs for large organizations and many other things.
I have a four year engineering science honours degree in Civil Engineering with distinction and a PhD in materials for construction of large dams for which i received a national award. My basic engineering degree required me to study mathematics, chemistry, physics, statistics, thermodynamics, geology and computer science as scientific disciplines.
I am a registered professional engineer, which means that i have undergone an "apprenticeship" and qualified to take lead responsibility for engineering projects within my domain of knowledge and experience and i accept my responsibility to call in other professionals when required.
I have also been involved in the military as a military engineer and have commanded a regiment of over five hundred men. I have been trained in the tactical and strategic analysis, planning and conduct of military operations up to the scope of thousands of men and all associated land and air combat machines and supporting logistics.
I have also had a lifelong interest in plants and animals and in my youth owned aviaries and bred birds, owned a collection of exotic plants and collected and classified insects as well as collecting rock and mineral samples. Accordingly, i have a hands-on working knowledge of botany, zoology and geology.
I studied Biology at school and excelled, coming first in a national youth science exam and thus have a reasonably solid grounding in zoology, botany, anatomy, taxonomy, etc.
At the time of writing, i have spent the last fifteen years working as a management consultant designing business computer software solutions, advising clients on the implementation and optimization of such solutions and assisting clients with strategy development and implementation.
In the process i have learned much about the psychology of change, what is required to bring about sustainable corporate improvement and about psychology generally.
I have received international recognition for my work on why seventy percent of all business information technology investments fail totally and another twenty percent fail to meet the original business requirement. This recognition includes listing in "Who's Who in the World" for four consecutive years and three other international accolades, refer http://www.jar-a.com for details.
I have recently published a book on "The Critical Factors for Information Technology Investment Success" which seeks to explain why the failure rate is so high and sets out an approach to designing failure out of the solution.
In summary, i have forty five years of extremely diverse experience in the design, construction / creation, implementation and operation of numerous engineering and other systems as well as experience of life and nature.
In this time, i have found that the rigorous approach that i was trained to use at University and my first years in practice as an engineer have been vital to solving complex problems and designing systems that work.
I have also experienced a number of traumatic events in my life, including an extramarital affair, divorce and the loss of access to my children. I have learned much about what it means to be a human being, much about love and grief and other intensely human experiences. I have come to understand that human beings are extremely complex and not amenable to simplistic engineering solutions.
At the same time, i have come to understand that a rigorous engineering approach, appropriately applied, CAN enable one to better understand the "human condition" and spiritual matters and better explain the complex physical, psychological and spiritual organism that i have experienced myself and other human beings to be.
Accordingly, in thinking about this analysis, i have increasingly come to conclude that, as far as i can see, there are three major disciplines that have a bearing on this discussion.
In the interests of making my point, i would like to offer three simplified definitions that seem to be helpful to categorise my thinking. These definitions are not intended to be definitive but are intended to demonstrate a point that seems important to me at this time.
I would like to define three specific disciplines of human endeavour, that is science, engineering and religion. My reality is that, in practice, there is significant overlap in interpretation of some of these terms, however, it seems useful to adopt a simplifying definition for the balance of this document.
Defining "science" and therefore "scientific" seems important since i have encountered a number of statements regarding proof of evolution versus creation that make use of the word "scientific". For example, it has been suggested to me that the arguments used by "creationists" to counter the arguments of a particular proponent of evolution have "major flaws in their scientific reasoning".
I read this to indicate a clear and specific definition of the term "scientific". In other words, i read this particular statement to indicate that "scientific reasoning" is a recognizable discipline that any person debating creation versus evolution should be able and willing to apply.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary includes in it's definition of "science" the statement "Systematic and formulated knowledge".
This seems to me to conform to my perception of what is "scientific". I understand science to relate to systematically gathering data, verifying it and documenting it on the basis of "scientifically" reproducible experiments or other approaches.
To me science is very much about documenting what "is" - things that are verifiable and reproducible.
I am aware that the term "science" is applied much more widely than what i have suggested above, such as in "social science" where, in my experience, one is dealing with relatively abstract interpretations and explanations which are not necessarily always reproducible. There seems to me to be a tendency in such areas for the interpretations and explanations to shift and change.
Once this happens, it seems to me that one is dealing more with the personal opinion of a specific individual or group of individuals rather than with verifiable "scientifically" reproducible fact.
It seems to me that there is a significant difference between stating that one has found a fossil and that it "appears" to be an intermediate form between apes and man and stating that it "is" an intermediate form.
Having said this, it also seems to me that there is a considerable body of evidence to support the view that such fossils do provide evidence of intermediate forms.
The term "missing link" (731,000) is widely used to describe intermediate forms between apes and humankind which are a necessary requirement for evolution without a creator. I am aware of much debate about whether these "links" exist, whether the fossils that have been found are such links, whether there are "sufficient" intermediate forms to explain evolution from ape to man, etc.
While i can accept that there is evidence that appears to indicate the existence of intermediate forms or missing links i have much greater difficulty with statements which i interpret to indicate that this intermediate form (missing link) progressively transformed itself into the form of human being that exists on the planet today in some manner of evolutionary mutation without external intelligent influence.
Since i am absolutely certain that no human being on earth today was present at the time this transformation took place i do not understand how this can possibly be stated with absolute certainty and then be called "scientific".
As i see it, this is a "theory" and the existence of fossil evidence of apparent intermediate forms does not prove or disprove the existence of a creator. It seems to me that until a group of ape's have been isolated in a closed environment for however long it takes for them to change into humans i cannot see how it can be held to be "scientific" that this is possible. If such an experiment requires millions of years then that is how long it will take to prove or disprove evolution without a creator.
It also seems to me that if one is willing to apply the term "science" to "social science" and theories of evolution, that it would be helpful to apply the term science to the study of spiritual matters. It seems to me that if one is willing to call an unreproducible theory about something that allegedly takes millions of years "science" then it would be equitable to be willing to apply that term to matters relating to spirits which millions of people hold to be experientially valid and, at some level, reproducible.
I understand that argument from incredulity neutralizes much of what is written above and i choose not to debate whether this is scientific or not in this section. I consider that this is a personal choice for each reader.
As a graduate scientist, i would like to appeal to anyone who reads this and who holds that evolution without a creator is scientifically verifiable to check out for themselves whether they can really say that the theory of evolution without a creator really is science and whether they are willing to consider other ways of arriving at a conclusion.
14.2. ENGINEERING (AND ARCHITECTURE)
In considering the information that i have at my disposal regarding evolution and creation, i have concluded that both approaches are dealing with the coming into existence of a new state that did not exist before.
As a graduate engineer, i hold that the knowledge and experience associated with bringing new physical states into existence that have not existed previously is primarily a form of engineering.
There is also a role for the "architect" as someone who conceptualizes the overall aesthetics, appearance and, in some cases, broad function of a particular design. This applies particularly in the case of buildings and in certain other design situations.
In the balance of this document i will refer to engineering and not mention the role of the architect in order to reduce complexity. Having said this, i DO consider that there IS an architectural role in creation as i perceive it relating to the overall aesthetics of plants and animals including form, flowers, etc. This seems to me to be further evidence of a creator.
I understand "engineering" to be the analysis, design, construction, implementation and operation of systems, structures, etc which did not exist previously. This includes buildings, vehicles, aircraft and nearly every material item that human beings have brought into existence on this planet. This includes formal and informal engineering.
Engineering as i have experienced it throughout my life is founded on verifiable and reproducible laws and principles of mechanics, physics, chemistry, mathematics, thermodynamics, etc. Engineering is coupled with a large body of knowledge and experience about how to design and build systems that work, whether buildings, machines or any other type of engineering output.
This is supported by "Codes of Practice", standards, professional societies, regulatory bodies and legislation. An engineer who designs or builds a system that fails in a way that suggests negligence or bad practice faces disciplinary hearings and potentially criminal or other legal charges. This can result in an engineer being debarred from practice temporarily or permanently and also result in the engineer and their employer being held personally financially accountable for the damage.
An engineer who publishes a formal technical white paper or book which contains verifiably false on unprovable information that causes loss to others could also face disciplinary measures or at least peer approbation.
Since i perceive the essence of the debate regarding evolution versus creation relates to the manner in which a wide diversity of complex systems came into existence, it seems to me that the application of engineering principles and disciplines is an appropriate approach to seeking to resolve the debate.
Accordingly, i have chosen in that which follows to place considerable reliance on my engineering knowledge and experience and to seek, as best i can, to offer information based on this approach.
I recognize that since we are dealing with abstract and intangible issues arguments can be offered against what i have to say. Again this is a matter of personal choice which i ask you to evaluate.
It seems to me, from my perspective, as one who believes in a creator, a Day of Judgment and a lake of fire, that engineering discipline indicates a requirement for anyone who publishes on this subject. Specifically, it seems to me that someone who alleges that they can prove that there is no creator and speaks about it or publishes about it, to place on record their willingness to accept responsibility if they are in error.
In other words, a statement like "i ... do solemnly take oath and swear that there is no creator, no day of judgment and no lake of fire and declare that if i am in error and there is a creator, a judgment and a lake of fire i will take the place in the lake of fire of everyone who trusts my opinion and acts on it". It seems to me that anyone who tells people that there is no lake of fire should be willing to go there on behalf of those who believe them in the event that they are mistaken.
I consider such a declaration to be comparable to the statutory responsibility that a registered professional engineer or medical doctor carries.
It is not my intention to debate this point. I leave it open to each reader to consider.
One of the things that i am increasingly finding extremely challenging with regard to researching and writing this document is to reconcile the concept of there being a dispute between evolution and creation. This is discussed in more detail below in section 17.
In essence, it seems to me that both creation and evolution are speaking about creation. One is speaking about creation by an external intelligent "engineer" and the other is speaking about creation without a creator, that is, without an engineer.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines create as "bring into existence, give rise to; originate".
It seems to me that what i understand the theory of evolution to offer is a theory about how the universe, the earth and all animals, plants, etc on the earth "originated". I understand this to be the same as saying that the theory of evolution is a theory of creation without a creator. This seems to me to be a contradiction from an engineering sense at least.
In the light of the above, it seems to me that the debate about evolution versus creation is first and foremost a debate about engineering and NOT about science.
It seems to me that at some level all engineers are scientists but most scientists are not engineers. Accordingly, i think that the creator, if there is one, must be an architect and an engineer as well as a scientist.
In making this point, i would like to stress that i, together with many other engineers, regard engineering as an art as well as a science. The phrase "the art of engineering" occurs 2,570 times when searched on Google. Pages with the words -the art of engineering- occur 5,710,000 times. The phrase "the art and science of engineering" occurs 341 times and pages with the words -the art and science of engineering- occur 3,690,000 times.
Based on the points in this section, the remainder of this document makes reference to a number of aspects of widely available data that seem particularly important to me from an engineering point of view. In other words, points that are important in the context of the practical issues which in my experience are really important in designing and building complex systems that work reliably and sustainably in practice.
Continuing with my objective of offering simple definitions, it seems to me that religion is essentially about explaining those things that science and engineering cannot explain, that is primarily the non-physical, spiritual, ethical, moral and related realms.
Searches on Google return the following numbers: religion (31,500,000), worship (8,980,000), praise (has connotations other than religion) (6,440,000). It seems to me that a broad concept of religion is a significant part of the thinking of many people.
As a "religious" person, i hold that my religion offers an explanation for the existence of the universe, the existence of the earth and the existence of all that is on the earth with particular emphasis on an explanation for the existence of humankind. Why humankind is here, where humankind came from and where humankind is going.
Given what i have written above about science and engineering it seems to me that the "theory of evolution" or any other theory about where humankind came from cannot be verified by standards that i personally hold to be "scientific" nor can i find a way to verify it by methods that i hold to conform to "engineering" disciplines.
This leaves me to conclude that the theory of evolution is just as much a religion as belief in a creator is a religion.
It seems to me that the word "faith" could be substituted for "religion" and lead to the same conclusion.
Personally, i keep coming back to "creation" being faith in a creator whose origin cannot be explained and "evolution" is faith in a creative event that brought uncountable billions of tons of physical matter into existence whose origin cannot be explained. I think it requires less faith to believe in a creator than it takes to believe in something that i experience as "we will figure it out some day".
I cannot prove this and leave it for your consideration.
16. SUGGESTED PRINCIPLES FOR FURTHER ANALYSIS
At this point, i would like to revisit certain points addressed previously and make some further suggestions with regard to an approach to analyzing available data with a view to drawing a conclusion about the existence or non-existence of a creator which is as substantive as possible.
16.1. ARGUMENT FROM INCREDULITY IS NEUTRAL - OR SELF CANCELLING
In the analysis that i undertook in the week mentioned above, i found myself constantly confronted with "argument from incredulity".
I also found myself constantly confronted with my own mind saying "i cannot understand". In other words, i cannot understand how anyone can believe that a system as complex as a human being could ever come into existence without an external engineering creative agency. That is neutralized by argument from incredulity.
However, i experience statements that people cannot believe in a creator because i cannot give them "solid provable evidence" as also being an argument from incredulity. This also applies to demands for proof that spirit's exist, that there will be a judgment, that there is a lake of fire, that there is a heaven, that there is life after death, that human beings have spirit's, etc.
Accordingly, i have concluded that "argument from incredulity" is neutral, results in deadlock and is self cancelling. It seems to me that people can use argument from incredulity to neutralize the arguments of those who oppose creation just as effectively as it can be used in the opposite direction.
Accordingly, i have chosen not to address argument from incredulity further in this document.
I recognize that in most and possibly everything that follows it will be possible to use incredulity to nullify the points that are offered. I appeal to you not to do this and, if you disagree with what i write, please find another basis to reject it.
At some level it seems to me that the end result of argument from incredulity is that each individual is confronted with having to make a choice on the basis of there being one essential point that each side cannot answer:
- It seems to me that those who do not believe there is a creator cannot prove where the matter from which the universe is constructed came from and do not have a verifiable and reproducible answer.
- As one who believes in a creator, i admit that i do not have any explanation for where the creator came from. He says that he is "eternally self existent" and i choose to believe this. I personally cannot begin to comprehend where He came from and i choose not to concern myself with this. I have ample evidence that He exists and i choose to consider this to be more important than seeking to understand something that i hold to be incomprehensible.
I really cannot see very much difference between these two positions. It really does seem that both require similar levels of faith in something - either a creator who is eternal or in matter that self created in an absolute vacuum. I really keep coming back to the latter looking like a belief in creation.
Ultimately it is a matter of personal choice.
16.2. REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM
As indicated previously, "reductio ad absurdum" is a principle that i was taught at school and which the web site referenced previously indicates is widely applied.
I hold that this principle is an intrinsic part of a significant part of science and is valid and reliable as a deductive analytical process.
It seems to me that "reductio ad absurdum" and "argument from incredulity" are, on a macro level, mutually exclusive. Accordingly, i have decided to choose reductio ad absurdum as my preferred tool. Having said this, i submit that close consideration of what follows will indicate that this decision is not central to the argument that is presented.
16.3. ENTITIES ARE NOT TO BE MULTIPLIED BEYOND NECESSITY
A principle that was advanced to me in the context of the discussions referred to above is the principle of "non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem" (614) which means "entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity" and is apparently referred to as "Ockham's Razor".
This principle seems to me to be intuitively sound although i have no recollection of encountering it previously.
This principle was advanced on the basis that it was suggested that since evolution theory could explain the existence of the Universe and man without a creator there was no need for a creator.
I think that IF it can be shown that the universe and man could have come into existence without a creator, then this IS a valid thesis.
In the sections that follow, i present evidence which i believe indicates that the universe and man could NOT have come into existence without a creator.
16.4. PROBABILITY AND STATISTICS
It is my understanding that "probability and statistics" (413,000) are regarded as a science.
The application of probability and statistics have certainly been central to my engineering training and career.
I therefore hold that the appropriate application of statistics and probabilistic techniques is a valid tool in understanding complex problems. Accordingly, in the sections that follow some reference is made to the application of these principles although the arguments that are presented do not rely on any significant knowledge of this field.
16.5. STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE
The concept of "statistical significance" (299,000) is a specific aspect of statistics
The web site http://www.surveysystem.com/signif.htm defines "Statistical Significance" as "In normal English, "significant" means important, while in Statistics "significant" means probably true (not due to chance). A research finding may be true without being important. When statisticians say a result is "highly significant" they mean it is very probably true. They do not (necessarily) mean it is highly important."
The word significant, as applied in the sections that follow, is in terms of this definition. In other words, there are individual observations which i hold to be statistically significant in terms of supporting certain conclusions, this does not necessarily mean that any particular conclusion is "highly important". In some cases this may be so but i will then endeavour to make this clear in the text.
Statistical significance in rigorous terms is determined using "significance tests" (29,700) which are specific mathematical and statistical calculations. I have not undertaken formal significance test computations on any of the examples given below, however, based on nearly thirty years experience i am personally satisfied that the examples to which the term significance are applied would more than adequately satisfy the requirements for a high level of statistical significance.
This does not mean that the individual examples are absolute but that there is substantial evidence to indicate that they are true to such an extent that there is a substantial basis from which to argue for or against spontaneous evolution.
16.6. ARGUMENT FROM SPECIFIC TO GENERAL
In considering many of the arguments with regard to the debate of evolution versus creation, it seemed that in many cases people on both sides were arguing from the specific to the general with very small sample sizes relative to other potential sampling areas.
My professional training indicates that argument from specific to general is not a valid deductive technique. In other words, using an experiment in a test tube does not, in terms of my training, provide a basis to argue substantively for or against evolution.
I will endeavour in the sections that follow to argue from general principles to specific or to use specific examples which i hold to be indicative of observably general principles.
17. "PLANNED (ENGINEERED) CREATIVE EVOLUTION" VERSUS "UNPLANNED (UNENGINEERED) SPONTANEOUS EVOLUTION"
In a previous section it has been suggested that both evolution and creation are forms of creation.
I would now like to propose that they are also both forms of evolution.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary includes the following in the definition of evolution "... appearance in due succession ... development (of organism, human society, the universe, design, argument, etc); origination of species by development from earlier forms, not by special creation ...".
In seeking to converge the analysis in this document towards something that i think i can offer as "solid" and "provable" it increasingly seemed important to more closely define what i perceive to be the principal attributes of the two arguments.
Following are my suggestions.
17.1. INSTANTANEOUS CREATION
I have indicated in a previous section that i do not believe that creation took place in six consecutive twenty four hour periods. By extension i do not believe that creation of all that exists today took place instantaneously, that is in periods of less than twenty four hours.
For the sake of this point i would like to define such concepts as "instantaneous creation".
I do not believe that instantaneous creation is a necessary pre-requisite for the existence of a creator. I see no reason why a creator who says He is eternal would need to resort to instantaneous creation, even if He IS capable of it.
As far as i can see, the time frame of creation is not relevant to establishing whether there is a creator or not. The time period since the completion of the creation of man may be more relevant but even then i do not see that disputing the time period will can have any impact on whether there is a creator or not.
Accordingly, i appeal to those who believe there IS a creator NOT to attach issues of timing to any argument that they advance in support of a creator.
I appeal to those who do NOT believe there is a creator also to find another basis to present an argument to prove there is no creator.
I will not address this scenario further in this document and in the remainder of this section will focus my attention on two definitions that seem to me to be important.
17.2. PLANNED (ENGINEERED) CREATIVE EVOLUTION
Having accepted that belief in creation of the universe and humankind in six consecutive periods of twenty four hours is not a precondition for belief in a creator and that creation may have taken millions or billions of years, opens up some other possibilities. Specifically that it seems to me that it is quite possible for creation, by an eternally self existing creator, to have taken place in an evolutionary manner.
A fundamental engineering principle in designing complex systems is that one builds one or more prototypes, operates them, identifies opportunities for improvement and then builds production units. As one gains experience with the operation of production units one identifies areas for further improvement and these are incorporated into subsequent versions of production units which may also go through one or more prototype stages.
If one is seeking to create something that has never existed before, such as a heavier than air flying machine, one may create numerous prototypes before one even begins to function in the manner envisaged. It can take many iterations even after a functioning prototype has been created before one can achieve the level of performance, functionality, reliability, etc that one envisages when one first embarks on the project.
In the case of heavier than air flying machines, it took centuries before a machine that flew for any distance was created and many decades further before the levels of performance, functionality, reliability, safety and affordability that we are accustomed to today were achieved. Today, engineers continue to make improvements to flying machines in order to improve their operating attributes.
The need for prototypes is NOT an indication of lack of intelligence or other deficiency, it is simply evidence that when creating a complex system that has never been created before it is to be expected that the first design will offer opportunity for improvement as one gains experience with the design, construction and operation of the particular system.
In my experience, these principles apply whether it is a twelve year old trying to build a simple kennel for their dog or an international space agency cooperative programme designing a "space station".
If one has never designed, built and operated something before, it is necessary to gain experience with the design, construction and operation of that something before one can build a "something" that is reasonably optimized. Alternatively one can learn from others who have done the same or similar things previously, this is the basis of engineering education.
This being so in terms of my life experience, i hold it to be so in all areas of development that i have ever read about or heard of.
At a more personal level, it is my observation that if someone designs and builds a house for themselves, when they take occupation they will always find opportunity for improvement unless they employed a really skilled architect who really understood their requirements extremely well and the person briefing the architect was very clear about the requirements and had considerable experience.
I would like to suggest that if you have ever designed and built anything you have personal experience that indicates that it is not trivial to accomplish the outcome you desired at the start and you may also have experience that indicates that if you undertook the same project again you would do it differently with the expectation of an improved outcome.
It is my belief that the Almighty has created a universe like ours only once.
Accordingly, it seems to me that it is certain that creation was undertaken on an incremental basis similar to that described above.
In the hope of demonstrating what i am suggesting, i would like to suggest the following scenario as one possible view for consideration:
1) A limited amount of matter was created in order to develop the periodic table of the elements. This may have taken any number of prototypes (or experiments).
2) Some or all of the amount of matter that exists in the universe today was created. This could have been created as a single mass and distributed through some form of "big bang" or it could have been created a step at a time, each sun, planet, etc in it's place and motion.
The term "big bang" is defined at http://dictionary.reference.com as "big bang n. The cosmic explosion that marked the origin of the universe according to the big bang theory".
3) Any number of prototype "solar systems" could have been created in order to obtain a particular desired set of conditions. This would have eventually resulted in the construction of our solar system.
4) As the design was unfolding, different components of the universe could have been given different trajectories, orbits, rotations, etc. This could also have taken place on a step by step experimental / prototype basis.
5) Any number of prototype "earths" could have been created in these solar systems in order to obtain the desired levels of temperature, ecological conditions, etc. This allows for the possibility of any number of other habitable or near habitable planets to exist in the universe.
6) Once the present planet was stabilized there might have been any number of iterations of refinement of the atmosphere, biosphere, etc. Such iterations may also have occurred on other prototype earth planets before being implemented here.
7) As the environment on earth stabilized there could have been a progressive implementation or development of increasingly sophisticated life forms and organisms, starting with any number of the one cell organisms which i understand to be an essential part of evolution theory.
8) Over time this progressive evolution of life may have resulted in any number of prototypes that did not fully conform to the original design objectives and these forms may have been formally extinguished or else allowed to die out. Either way, this represents a form of "survival of the fittest".
9) As the plant life on the planet stabilized this would have created the environment for increasingly complex animals until eventually the full range of land mammals was in existence. At each stage of development there could have been multiple prototypes and the successful prototypes could then have become basic patterns for different groupings of animals such as horses, cats, dogs, cattle, antelope, apes, rodents, etc. Prototyping at each stage seems quite possible to me.
10) In the process of developing these life forms, at some stage animal spirits may have been introduced. There are many who believe that animals have spirits. It is my impression that the spirits commonly referred to as angels or messengers may have been created before any physical matter was created. It is my understanding that they were active agents in the creation process. This is not a necessary condition to the validity of this scenario.
11) Once the animal ecology was well established (it may have been continuing to develop) initial prototypes of human kind may have been developed. There may have been many prototype iterations, thus accounting for the range of intermediate forms that are reported to have been found.
12) Eventually, once a final design had been arrived at, human kind would have been put "into production". While there are other reasons why a decision as to whether this took place thousands of years ago or millions of years ago seems to me to be significant, it does not seem to me to be important for the current point.
13) One could argue that the earth has continued to evolve from the time of creation of man or one can argue that it has been deteriorating since then. I hold the latter view and hold that there is evidence of this. However, this is not relevant to this point.
It also seems possible that in the above scenario many types of animal could have further evolved since the completion of a formal development process. It seems to me that there could be ongoing evolution / mutation / of present forms with or without the intervention of a creator and / or with or without the intervention of other spiritual beings. Thus all dogs may have evolved from one created pair, all cats may have evolved from one created pair, all butterflies, all human beings, etc may have evolved from one created pair.
In the event of evolution without a creator it is my understanding that it is taken as given that all dogs must have evolved from one successful pair and that the same applies to the other examples given above. In sections that follow i will seek to demonstrate that this is a necessary requirement for evolution without a creator to happen.
It seems to me that progressive development of dogs and other animals does not indicate the existence of a creator or not. At some level i accept that it can be taken as indicating that evolution without a creator IS possible within the constraints of a particular form, such as dogs.
In other words, there can be spontaneity of development at a level of some complexity without it proving spontaneity at a macro or universal level.
The essence of my point above is that i can see no reason why creation by a creator could not have taken place in a manner that it seems to me is entirely congruent with possibly all of the verifiable data that i have encountered offered in support of evolution without a creator.
In other words, it seems to me that there is no available physical evidence that i am aware of that proves that there is not a creator.
I am willing to accept that there is much evidence that proves that what some people who believe in a creator have said was not accurate. This does not prove that there is not a creator, it simply proves that some people made mistakes. I hold that all human beings make mistakes and that the fact that some people and even most or all people who have believed in creation up to the present have made mistakes does not prove anything other than that they are human and make mistakes.
Insofar as this document is likely to contain mistakes, this does not prove anything about the existence of a creator, it simply proves that at some level i made mistakes and therefore i deduce that i am human.
I hope that this helps to present a point of view on creation that may help some to look at the available data differently.
In the interests of more narrowly defining the above concept, i have elected to call the above "Planned (Engineered) Creative Evolution".
- "Evolution" because i am convinced that what exists today evolved and was not instantaneously or near instantaneously created but developed one increment or prototype at a time.
- "Creative" because i am convinced that this process of evolution required an external agency to happen. More evidence in support of this is offered in subsequent sections.
- "Planned" because i am convinced there was a clear objective of creating an environment in which human kind could be brought into existence and because all the evidence that i see around me about the universe, the planet, plants and animals, etc tells me, as an engineer, that this could not have come into existence without a clear plan.
- "Engineered" because i am convinced that the creative process took place in a systematic manner that embodied the disciplines of engineering, prototyping, progressive development, etc.
As i see it, "planned" and "engineered" are redundant in terms of my understanding of the word "create", it seems to me that others do not all see things this way.
I would therefore like to offer the term "Planned (Engineered) Creative Evolution" as a more detailed definition of "creation" for your consideration.
I leave it to you to decide whether this works for you at some level or not at all. Whether it works for you or not, i ask you to please consider what follows.
17.3. "UNPLANNED (UNENGINEERED) SPONTANEOUS EVOLUTION"
In contrast to planned (engineered) creative evolution, i have concluded that my understanding of "evolution" is currently best summed up by the term "Unplanned (Unengineered) Spontaneous Evolution".
- "Evolution" because i am convinced that there was evolution and it fits.
- "Spontaneous" because i understand "evolution" to be about a process which was not initiated by an external agency and which took place in response to environmental and other stimuli which resulted in progressive, incremental mutation / adaptation of life forms, etc.
- "Unplanned" for the same reason as the previous point. I understand "evolution" to hold that there was no external agency and therefore, i understand this to indicate that there was no plan to evolve to any particular intermediate or end state, it "just happened".
- "Un-engineered" (which i understand is not necessarily "good" English, but i cannot think of another term) for the same reason as the previous point. I understand engineering to require an experienced and knowledgeable being to bring to bear their intellect, knowledge, experience, etc to conceptualize, specify, analyze, design, build, commission, implement and sometimes operate anything that has any complexity.
I accept that the definition offered above is redundant in some respects. I have chosen to accept this redundancy in order to comparatively align the two points of view as i currently think i have understood them. I would like to think that these two definitions more specifically home in on the essence of the point of whether there is a creator or not in a way that you will find at least to some degree useful.
I leave it to you to decide and ask you please to persevere with me even if you do not agree.
18. IS THERE EVIDENCE OF A CREATOR?
At this point, i would like to submit that the dispute is NOT between "evolution" and "creation" it is "is there a creator or not" and if there is, what evidence is there to prove that a creator exists.
Thus far i have offered various points that i hold to be experientially true for me, none of which are particularly amenable to third party verification. As much as i may be passionately convinced of the veracity of these points as a consequence of personal experiences that i hold to be profound, my experiences and my faith are of no relevance to a third party seeking to make an informed decision that conforms to fundamental scientific and engineering principles.
At this stage i would like to explore some evidence that seems to me to be directly accessible to almost any person in the world and of which i think you are likely to have at least some personal experience that you can relate to.
I will do this first by considering the environment in which most human beings live, their dwelling, transport, furnishings, etc and secondly by considering some specific attributes of being a human being.
In doing this i will seek to focus on those items that i have some level of personal knowledge and experience of although at times i will also refer to items that i have had a significant number of independent confirmations of and therefore consider reasonably likely to be valid.
In each case i offer a number of points which each seem to me to offer robust empirical evidence of a creator which, individually, may not carry much weight but which i like to think collectively do offer robust evidence.
At all times, on each point and on the entire thesis, it is a matter of personal choice. It is my hope to persuade you but it is not necessary for me to do this.
19. EVIDENCE IN THE IMMEDIATE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
After much thought about the subject of this document, i eventually identified a number of factors which seemed to me to be relevant in terms of my own personal experience in my daily life and which it seems to me could be relevant to most people on the planet. This may not apply fully to every example but i hope that at least some of them will be relevant to you.
As with the rest of this document, my intention is not to present a comprehensive case for any single point but to raise some broad principles that seem important to me in the hope that the collective case will provide a basis for an informed decision, which ever way that decision may go.
I hope that each example will demonstrate in some way the probability of planned (engineered) creative evolution and therefore the existence of a creator as an intelligent external agency with a clear objective who managed and directed the entire process of development.
19.1. LAND BASED MAMMALS WITHOUT WINGS
For this example i would like to largely exclude marine mammals like whales and dolphins and winged mammals, specifically bats. I would like to focus on the land based mammals that most human beings have had some contact with, ranging from cats, dogs and rats through to elephant, antelope, sheep, cattle, apes, etc.
On reflecting on the subject of this article, it seemed noteworthy to me that the majority of land mammals in the categories i have chosen to focus on have basically similar structure and design:
1) Four legs
2) Two ears on the side of the head toward the top
3) Two eyes towards the top of the head and in front
4) A nose or breathing apparatus (trunk in the case of elephants) below the eyes and central to the head.
5) A mouth below the nose
6) The head is on a neck which connects at the base of the skull to the end of the body above the front limbs
7) Where there is a tail it is at the rear end of the body between and above the rear limbs
8) The anus is between the rear limbs, forward of the tail and behind the genitals
9) The genitals are between the rear limbs
10) The male genitals have essentially the same external structure - a penis with the capacity to become erect and two testicles
11) The female genitals are, as far as i know, essentially similar
12) The body is symmetrical in the form of a mirror image of the left and right sides - the left ear is a mirror of the right ear, the left forelimb of the right forelimb, etc
There are also more detailed aspects such as structure of the skeleton, design of the eyes, design of the internal organs, reproductive system, etc which, as far as i know, are broadly similar. I do not have detailed knowledge of this aspect and such knowledge is not readily available to the majority of people so i chose not to go into further detail.
The human body conforms largely to the same pattern with the exception of greater differentiation in certain respects from the other animals referred to in this category.
Apes seem visibly closer to humans than other mammals thereby supporting a view that apes were created as a more specialised form of land mammal and that the basic design for apes was then used as the starting point for development of humans, possibly using a progressive prototyping approach as outlined in a previous section.
I say this in recognition of my understanding that it is the view of those who favour evolution that man evolved from apes without an external creative agency, planner, designer or engineer.
It seems to me that there is remarkable consistency within this group of animals. It is my impression that this consistency becomes even more apparent if one considers skeletal structure, blood system, nervous system, eye structure, reproductive system, etc.
My engineering experience suggests to me that this level of consistency requires external management of the evolution process. All the variations of design within this group seem to me to be harmonious with an overall theme.
This suggests to me that at the very least all these animals originated from a single prototype pair and that there was only one pair of this prototype on the entire planet. It further suggests to me that all other less successful prototypes died out.
If one accepts a concept of unplanned, unengineered, spontaneous evolution, it seems to me to be impossible for two pairs with exactly the same design to originate spontaneously and simultaneously AND in such a way that they could interbreed and carry the same genetic structure in matching male and female forms. I simply do not have the capacity to visualise such duplication and therefore it seems clear to me that there must have been a single pair to start with.
I can only support this from a perspective of my own experience that it is very difficult to design and build two duplicate complex systems without careful planning and design and careful manufacturing quality control. It seems to me that anyone who has tried to make several identical copies of one item, whether a knitting pattern, a dog kennel or anything more complex will have experience that it requires time and effort. It also seems to me that anyone who has attempted such duplication will have experience that without high attention to detail the resulting products will be different at a noticeable and significant level.
I am not saying that this cannot happen with spontaneous evolution, i am saying that it seems to me to represent a very precarious point in the evolutionary process - only one pair that has no knowledge of other variants elsewhere on the planet somehow manages to survive and all other derivatives vanish.
It seems to me that in a process of spontaneous evolution it would be inevitable that evolution would proceed at different rates at different locations in the world. Accordingly it seems inevitable to me that there would be multiple variants and that at least some of these variants would persist indefinitely. At the very least it seems to me that there would be significant occurrences of such variants in the fossil record. I do not recall ever having read or heard of the level of fossil variation that it seems to me would result.
In order to try and make my point clearer, i would like to briefly address the number of legs. All these animals have four limbs. As i understand it, even bats and whales have four limbs. Insects have six legs, arthropods have eight legs, other invertebrates have ten or more legs.
If all animals evolved spontaneously without any coordinating influence i don't understand why are there no mammals with six, eight or ten legs. Or even animals with one, three, five, seven or nine legs.
In a review of a book by a professor who it has been suggested to me is authoritative in the field of evolution, i encountered the following quote: "to a first approximation, all animals fly ... because ... to a first approximation, all species are insects". Since the quote is off a web site that is opposed to what this professor has written i accept that it might be inaccurate. In the hope that this is not so i have chosen to cite the reference as it seems to support my point.
If all animals are to a first approximation insects then i do not understand why at least some mammals do not have six legs.
I raise this point because it seems to me that survival of the fittest suggests that, at least in some cases, six or eight legs would be preferable to four. In the case of a four legged animal, if is in a fight or in danger and one leg is injured, it has a significant disadvantage as far as i can see. In contrast, it seems clear to me that a six or eight legged animal would be in a much better position to survive.
When a cat such as a lion, tiger or cheetah is pursuing its prey at speed, the television programmes that i have watched suggest to me that the cat is relatively unstable when it tackles its prey and it sometimes loses the animal it is pursuing as a consequence. It seems to me that if it was running on four legs and had two legs to tackle its prey this would give a higher survival rate.
I have traveled at high speed over rough terrain in armored fighting vehicles with four, six and eight wheels. In my experience the six and eight wheel vehicles have far better stability and traction. I have also traveled at speed in a six wheeled armoredpersonnel carrier which was missing one wheel. The vehicle remained stable and mobile. This experience gives me strong grounds to suggest that a four legged mammal is sub-optimal from a survival of the fittest perspective.
Accordingly, i don't understand why there are no land mammals with more than four legs. As far as i am aware there have not even been reports of fossils of land mammals with more than four legs. Particularly if a prominent evolutionist believes that mammals evolved from insects i have great difficulty in seeing how this can support evolution.
It seems much easier for me to believe that there is a creator who chose to create mammals with four limbs for whatever reasons He considered appropriate.
Along similar lines, it seems to me that survival of the fittest would support many animals having four eyes with two at the back of the head, certainly for those animals that are subject to being preyed upon such as antelope. It seems to me that rodents which are subject to predation by birds would benefit from eyes in the top of their heads as well.
If survival of the fittest occurred in terms of spontaneous evolution i wonder why humans do not have eyes in the back of their heads, this would surely improve survival rates? This seems to me to suggest a creator who wanted humans in particular to learn to work in teams.
Television recreations of "primitive" men fleeing from pursuers show them constantly looking over their shoulders, surely an additional two or four eyes must have come into existence spontaneously at some stage and must surely have supported survival if spontaneous evolution is valid.
Virtually every motor vehicle that travels on public roads has a rear-view mirror or a television camera at the rear again evidencing the importance of rearward vision.
On another track, there are reptiles which have similar external structure to that of the mammals outlined above. This seems to me to indicate the need for at least one additional intermediate form which branches off into warm blooded and cold blooded animals.
The left and right side symmetry (2,740,000) of most animals also seems to me to be remarkable. In many cases the external organs and structure, including the skeleton are symmetric whereas the internal organs are asymmetric. I do not understand how spontaneously evolving animals without an external design agency could decide which components should be symmetric and which asymmetric. For example, why two lungs but one heart? two kidneys but one (asymmetric) stomach? two ovaries but one uterus? etc.
Considering symmetry from another perspective, i do not understand how the molecules and cells on one side of the evolving animal knew what those on the other side were doing when they assembled themselves if there was no external creative agency with a clear plan and design. I also do not understand how these cells and molecules managed to communicate this information to the reproductive cells.
Taking this further, i do not understand how DNA knows what the body looks like and how it grows if the cells have to "communicate" this to the DNA and none of these specialist cells and material have any way of seeing how they all fit together and seeing the full picture and no way of articulating their interfaces in the context of an overall design?
I do not understand how DNA kept pace with the evolution of the body if the cells and molecules were randomly and spontaneously attaching themselves to other cells and molecules and evolving at the same time.
I do not understand how the teeth which, as i understand it, largely comprise non-living chemical material, communicate with the DNA and rest of the body about their design, manufacture and growth. How did teeth, bone, hair and toe and finger nail design keep pace with the rest of the body when these items are not alive as i understand it? How did human teeth decide to replace themselves at a certain age if there was no designer?
I find the appearance of many plants and animals to be aesthetically pleasing and proportioned in a way that appeals to me. These are subjective opinions which i understand to be shared by many human beings. The fact that human beings experience beauty and aesthetics seems, in some way, to indicate a level of non-physical complexity in human beings that i have difficulty comprehending as happening spontaneously without a creator. The fact that many human beings experience much of the world around them as being aesthetically pleasing seems to me to suggest some inter-related design concept directed at producing an environment and inhabitants that are in some way beautiful and also appreciate beauty.
The functional efficiency and effectiveness of the organs of the bodies of animals and humans and of plants and ecosystems, etc is, it seems to me from an engineering perspective to be highly complex and sophisticated and to require considerable design effort.
It also seems to me that the information about common attributes of land mammals indicates that for evolution without a creator to apply there must be a common "missing link" between the predecessor of all the above mammals and those mammals through a single pair. It seems to me that there must also be a common missing link between that missing link and all cats, another for all cattle type mammals, another for all apes, etc.
The duck-billed platypus has a large tail, a bill that looks like a duck's bill, an overall appearance that looks a bit like a crocodile, lays eggs and allegedly has blood temperature lower than other mammals. Spontaneous evolution needs to take account of how this happened. Is this animal THE "link" between cold blooded reptiles and mammals?
I have only encountered reference to the missing link between apes and humankind. While i can understand that this seems most relevant and most recent i have difficulty in envisaging the practicality and survivability of what now seems to me to be a significant number of what might be termed "evolution points" where it seems to me from a design consistency perspective that only a single pair could have survived worldwide at each evolution point.
I think that detailed mapping of all required evolution points required to trace spontaneous evolution from a very simple cell to human beings and all other plants and animals alive today would require a substantial number of "missing links".
I do understand that it is possible to develop a scenario or hypothesis to counter these objections and demonstrate that spontaneous evolution can account for all this. As an engineer i simply cannot find a basis to believe that this could possibly happen in practice.
Once more it is a matter of choice.
19.2. HUMAN HABITATIONS
I would now like to examine something that is more directly experienced and known by nearly all human beings, the dwelling in which each person lives and the dwellings their families, friends, associates and community members live in.
This dwelling is a structure created by human beings by applying their intelligence, knowledge, experience, cultural background, etc and therefore it seems to me that you are likely to ask what relevance it has to this article.
I would like to suggest that since in many countries many people specify and build their own dwellings, this gives a useful example of what happens in a situation which to me approximates spontaneous evolution.
In some countries and in some localities there are state housing regulations and standards which limit the materials, ground utilization, etc of private dwellings. These regulations vary from country to country. The standards in former British colonies tend to be similar, those in countries with other histories differ. Even within former British colonies there are noticeable differences in basic architecture with regard to traditional housing.
The building materials in different countries differ markedly in some cases. In much of the United States of America houses are built with timber frames or entirely of timber. In South Africa, where i live, houses are almost entirely built with bricks or blocks and timber houses are not frequently encountered. Elsewhere in the world there are differences.
In most of the places that i have traveled in the world, individual private dwellings are different one from another. In some locations there may be a limited range of designs on a particular housing estate but, overall, my experience is that houses in nearly all cases are distinct, unique and different from those around them and from those i have visited elsewhere in the world. They are different in terms of architecture and appearance and they are different in terms of layout of rooms, number of rooms, size of rooms, etc.
My conclusion is that when human beings undertake spontaneous creation within the limits of state imposed standards the resulting dwellings are distinct, individual and unique. Since human beings are highly intelligent and capable of learning, including being capable of discerning an optimum design, this suggests to me that there are other factors which inhibit the formation of an optimum design or that there is no such thing as an optimum design for a human dwelling place.
It seems to me that as a first approximation, any spontaneous evolution process with no external creative intervention is unlikely to produce less diversity than the example given here.
Conversely, where there is a high level of standardization with regard to dwellings, as far as i have ever encountered it, this has always resulted from state intervention or economic factors or similar. In other words, a higher authority has set limits on individual creativity and imposed standards. It seems to me that this example demonstrates that it is very unlikely that spontaneous evolution would give rise to the level of standardization of basic structure and architecture and technical components that i perceive to exist in the animal and plant kingdoms and amongst stars, planets, etc.
19.3. MOTOR VEHICLES
It seems to me that the diversity of motor vehicles, even though mass produced, reinforces this point.
Motor vehicles are produced to diverse designs by different manufacturers and, as far as i can see, there is currently little or no convergence and i think there may well be divergence. Within the ranges produces by individual manufacturers there are diverse models ranging from low cost functional low performance low luxury vehicles to sophisticated luxury models, sports models, off road models, etc. Then there are commercial vehicles, military vehicles, etc.
As far as i know, even within classes of motor vehicle that look externally similar there is considerable diversity in terms of internal structure, metallurgy, etc. It is my understanding that this diversity is far greater than in mammals. I base this observation on casual observation at motor vehicle body repair shops.
It seems inconceivable to me that there will ever be convergence on a very limited number of models unless there is a global government that imposes very harsh external standards and controls.
Military vehicles within a particular fighting force tend to be highly standardized for practical reasons, however these standards are imposed by a higher authority and are not necessarily optimal they may be commercial or political.
I infer from these examples that unless there is a higher authority imposing standards there is little or no tendency for spontaneity to lead to convergence on a single design or even a limited range. Accordingly, from an engineering perspective i cannot understand how there can be the level of standardization that i experience in the animal and plant kingdoms without an external creator who has applied rigorous engineering disciplines and standards within the scope of a clearly defined plan.
Again, i cannot prove this and leave it for your consideration and choice.
19.4. DOMESTIC FURNISHINGS, FINISHES, ORNAMENTS, ETC
My experience of visiting private dwellings in various countries leads me to conclude that at the level of the contents of a dwelling every single dwelling on the planet is different unless there is some very intense level of control, such as in a maximum security prison where inmates are prevented from bringing in personal items. Even in prison it is my impression that every inmate will do something to differentiate their cell from the others or, in other terms, to "stamp their personality" on their cell.
Again this suggests to me that spontaneous evolution is very unlikely to result in the level of conformity that i perceive exists within the plant and animal kingdoms.
In the so-called "industrialized" nations, many of the furnishings, fabrics, bric-a-brac, ornaments, etc that result in the inside of every home being different are mass produced in factories to fine manufacturing tolerances with exacting standards. Accordingly, it seems clear to me that even when there is a high level of commercially imposed standardization on the components, the end result is spontaneous, diverse and does not converge on any single outcome.
19.5. THE NUMBER OF WORDS IN ENGLISH
The number of words in the English language is another indication of constrained diversity.
These words are essentially based on twenty six letters in the alphabet if one ignores capitalization, inflections and other special forms of standard letters and punctuation marks such as apostrophes.
An article by Glenn Kersten, titled "Speaking of Language..." at http://www.sls.lib.il.us/reference/por/features/97/language.html presents an interesting discussion of the number of words in the English language.
It appears from this article that there are about 400,000 to 600,000 words depending on the definition of "word". The article states that "there are more than a million chemical names, more than a million plant species, and more than a million insect species names". In addition there are hundreds of thousands and possibly over a million technical terms. From this i conclude that there are probably over four million words in the English language.
The web site http://www.kabalarians.com lists 714,399 proper names.
The article also states that "The most important count for your patrons to remember is the one given by Bryson: 'Altogether, about 200,000 English words are in common use.'" The article also points out that new words are constantly being "coined".
This is an example of how much diversity can be generated within the constraint of twenty six basic letters. Even if one includes the additional diversity of capitalization, accents, etc it seems unlikely to me that there are more than about ninety characters that account for the full diversity referred to above.
If one considers the number of words in all languages in the world and all character sets the diversity of language is considerable.
At the opposite extreme, letting an illiterate child of three sit at a computer and punch the keyboard for hours is not likely to produce many character combinations that are meaningful words. Even placing an illiterate adult in front of a computer and letting them punch the keyboard is unlikely to produce many meaningful words. This is an indication of the degree of difficulty that i think is associated with the spontaneous assembly of molecules to produce cells and assembly of cells to produce human beings which are many orders of magnitude more complex than a word.
This seems to me to give an indication of the diversity that can result from intelligent evolution of a language with limited resources (letters). If one considers all the possible character sequences that could result with no intelligence applied to the assembly of letters this gives some indication of the challenges that i foresee in postulating unplanned, un-engineered, spontaneous evolution involving millions of possible source molecules.
I would like to suggest that this example is something that most people on the planet can relate to from practical experience. It took effort to learn a basic vocabulary and even more effort to learn to spell and write the words that made up that basic vocabulary. In my case, it did not happen spontaneously, someone taught me and incentivised me to learn.
19.6. BOOKS AND WRITING
Taking the diversity of words to the next level, it is my understanding that no two people will write the identical sentence if the sentence is more than a few words and addresses anything but the most basic concept or is based on a more widely taught phrase.
As i understand it, this is a fundamental principle of intellectual property rights legislation. If two documents contain the same paragraph this is taken as prima facie evidence that the one author copied the work of the other.
This is also an essential principle of intellectual property rights legislation with regard to computer software as well as with regard to books.
Even the shape and form of items designed by humans is subject to intellectual property rights legislation. I have heard a report of case law to the effect that the curvature of the dome of a barbecue was the subject of successful court action. As i recall the matter, it was held that two unrelated designers will not arrive at exactly the same curvature and form unless one has copied the other.
I hold that it is experientially true that i cannot repeatedly write a paragraph about the same subject and use exactly the same words and sentence structure every time unless i copy a previous version.
Accordingly, i hold that it is true that it is not possible for two animals to have the same design of any component unless they both evolved from the same source animal OR they were designed by the same designer.
As a simple example of this principle, you could try searching on the internet for random sentences that are not generic in nature. Place the sentence in quotation marks and search. Try using any sentence of more than about ten words from any document that you have ever written and you are unlikely to find that sentence on the internet unless it is a reference to the document that you have used as a source.
The same applies to using a sentence out of any book in your possession or any page on the internet. It is highly unlikely that you will find that exact sentence unless it is an exact reference to the same document that you have used as source.
My personal understanding is that it will not happen that you will find an exact match except where the match refers to the same source.
Taking one sentence or moderately long phrase off a web page is regarded as a simple and efficient way of testing whether one's web site is listed in the search engines, the expectation is that only that web site will be returned. This has been my experience and seems to me to be intuitively correct.
To me this demonstrates what i suggest is "infinite random potential" - as far as i know spontaneous generation will never generate a book unless there is an author.
This principle of infinite randomness in word assembly to form paragraphs and longer passages of text is also inherent in the forensic analysis of writing style which i seem to recall has been used in certain criminal cases as a means of identifying a suspect.
19.7. HANDWRITING AND SIGNATURES
I am under the impression that it is a generally accepted principle that the handwriting of every person is different and specifically that every signature is different unless copied. It is my understanding that this is an essential principle in contract law and even in legal process. Great reliance is placed on every signature being unique.
If one considers that a signature comprises a limited number of discrete strokes with the writing instrument in a very specific general shape, form and sequence, in a limited space on a piece of paper, generally in one colour ink or pencil it illustrates how much difference can be generated with very few resources.
This is an indication of how diverse constrained randomness can be in the domain of experience of every person who has a bank account or enters into contracts or uses a signature for any purpose.
19.8. ELEMENTS IN THE PERIODIC TABLE OF ELEMENTS
An aspect which may not be well known to many readers is the periodic table of elements which describes the systematic relationship in properties of all the atoms from which all known matter is created.
Since many readers may not have personal experience of this table i will not go into detail.
The important points for me are that there is structure in this table which suggests to me that there is a creator and also that there are 113 elements or atoms in the entire table including a number of derivatives of uranium. Other articles suggest that there are 109 basic atoms.
For the purpose of this article i would simply like to contrast the degree of diversity of words based on twenty six letters, of which we all have some degree of experience, with the degree of variability that is possible based on 109 or 113 elements. The number of combinations is enormously greater.
Spontaneous evolution requires these elements to have come into existence of their own volition and then have chosen to assemble themselves to form molecules in ways that result in the molecules that are required for the planets, suns, earth, plants, animals and humans.
My experience as a person who has written literally tens of thousands of pages of text in the form of articles, white papers, technical reports, books, etc is that i cannot even begin to conceive how all these elements could spontaneously combine to form molecules and cells such that the entire universe and everything in it could come into existence on its own even in billions of years.
19.9. NUMBER OF KNOWN MOLECULES
As an extension of the above point, i tried to find an estimate of the number of molecules known to humankind.
I could not find any estimate other than "huge".
Based on the example of words, it seems to me that this is an inevitable conclusion.
Molecules are not linear like words, they are multidimensional. Molecules are not limited in length by the capacity of a reader to interpret the letters and form a word, molecules can comprise very long chains which can include patterns of atoms repeated in different forms.
As far as i know many industrial chemicals, medical drugs and other chemical compounds, including the chemical compounds that make up the human body are extremely complex. Many industrial and pharmaceutical chemicals are in the realms of trade secrets and intellectual property. At least some of these chemicals require the use of "catalysts" to form and these require highly trained, knowledgeable and experienced chemical engineering expertise to create and operate the processes that generate the output molecules.
As an engineer i cannot begin to conceive how specific atoms formed specific molecules that formed specific cells that formed specific organ systems that formed the human body without a highly intelligent, highly visionary, highly experienced external creative agency planning, analyzing, designing and overseeing the entire process.
I would go so far as to suggest that even a highly advanced creative being would require a considerable number of incremental developments, iterations and prototypes to progress development from a collection of matter, such as i understand to be postulated as existing before the "big bang", to what exists today in terms of the universe, my immediate surroundings and the person i see when i look in the mirror.
Building on the earlier point about evolution taking place in an incremental manner, this point suggests to me that there is no need for a creator to have a precise view of the end result of any major increment of an evolutionary creative process. I believe that the creator DID have a macro objective in mind at the beginning, however, i conclude that it is not necessary for the creator to have had a detailed view of what a human would look like at the start of the creation process.
I understand that belief that the creator knew exactly what a human would look like and in fact exactly what i would look like and how i would behave and exactly what i would accomplish in my life IS widely subscribed to. I submit that such capability is NOT a necessary prerequisite for deciding whether there is a creator or not.
As an engineer, my experience indicates that exact foreknowledge of the outcome of a design process is not a requirement for commencing a design. One can commence design of a very complex system with a vague concept and refine it as one gains understanding of the parameters of the situation and the components of the solution through progressive prototyping, etc.
Once can undertake experiments in order to gain knowledge without knowing what the outcome will be. That is a fundamental principle behind the concept of "original research" (462,000) which in my experience is pre-requisite for a doctoral thesis.
All the above points point to what i consider to be enormous levels of variability, difference and unpredictably in a diversity of situations which i consider to exist under various levels of macro constraint in terms of possible outcome.
I hold that many of these examples provide substantial evidence of comprehensive randomness where spontaneity occurs even when there are intelligent creative beings involved.
I would like to develop this theme a bit further. I am NOT sure that all the following statements are fully provable, however, i have heard or read statements supporting what is reported below sufficiently frequently to consider that they have a reasonable probability of being significantly true.
They ALL rely on third party evidence which cannot be comprehensive. The points do seem to me to be widely held but the complexity of what is embedded in the statements seems to me to make it difficult to obtain significant statistics in Google. Accordingly, i have chosen to assume that these statements are valid at a statistically significant level but not to build the entire case on them.
1) "Every snowflake is different" (246)
While the occurrence of the statement that "every snowflake is different" in Google 246 times suggests that this is a widely held belief, i did not find absolute evidence and did find an indication that two nearly identical snowflakes had been observed. It seems to me that given the total number of snowflakes that have ever fallen it is probable that at some point there is duplication over time.
This example does, however, seem to me to indicate a very wide diversity of basic outcomes from the assembly of a single molecule (water) in ice crystals.
This seems to me to point clearly to the level of diversity that can be expected when different molecules randomly assemble themselves in the "primeval soup" (3,600) that i have repeatedly found referred to in the context of evolution.
Insofar as i am not aware of snowflakes assembling themselves into structures of material size and complexity, even in arctic ice packs, this seems to me to suggest that progressive assembly of systems of material size and complexity involving a more diverse combination of molecules is even more unlikely without a creator.
2) "Every fingerprint is different" (24)
Other searches result in "all fingerprints are different" (16) and -all fingerprints are different- (214,000), -all fingerprints are unique- (144,000).
http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a980821.html suggests that "the chances of duplicating even a portion of a fingerprint are 1 in 100 quintillion (one followed by 20 zeros)." This same site also reports that even identical twins have different fingerprints.
The above quote refers to a "portion of a fingerprint". If this is extended to the combination of the full prints of all ten fingers the probability will increase dramatically.
I do not have any solid evidence that the above statistic is correct but i understand the complexity of the parameters that define a fingerprint to be such that it seems to me that this number is at least a reasonable approximate indication.
I DO know that computer based finger print reading devices are being used increasingly for a range of reasonably high security applications including access control, banking, etc.
I also know that i have heard of the use of finger prints in criminal trials throughout my life and that it has consistently been my understanding that this is based on the exceptionally high uniqueness of finger prints.
Given that there is so much constrained randomness in the print of one finger, i cannot conceive how the entire human being can have come into existence through a spontaneous random process without an external intelligent agency responsible for design and fabrication.
3) Every voice is different
Voice recognition is being used in computer based access control and security systems.
4) Every human retina is different
Retina recognition is being used in computer based access control and security systems.
5) Every human face is different
Photographs are routinely used to identify individuals in passports, identity documents, etc. Computer access control systems that recognize the overall facial structure also exist.
6) The marking of every zebra / ... is different
Photographs of markings on a diversity of animals are used to uniquely identify specific individuals ranging from Killer Whales to zebra, to tigers, to dogs and so on.
As i understand it, this is essentially the same principle as finger prints.
7) Other examples
As far as i know every dancer is different, every musician is different, every soccer player and other sports "star" is different. This applies no matter how well an individual is trained and coached, that is why there are called stars, they are unique.
What such people do is extremely complex and takes years to develop a high level of skill and accomplishment. In all cases a material amount of learning, practising, etc is required to reach a high level of consistent and sustainable successful outcome within formal disciplines.
This again points me to the conclusion that really harmonious and effective outcomes require a high level of intelligent input to accomplish and does not happen randomly.
I hold that it is not possible for someone to become an accomplished violinist if they have never seen a violin and heard it played. Accordingly, i hold that it is not possible for calcium atoms to assemble themselves into complex molecules and create teeth without the input of an external design and fabrication agency to create the first prototype and programme its reproduction.
Every television image (per fraction of a second) is different unless it is a replay of a previous image. It is my understanding that the number of image points and the number of possible colour values for every image point on a television screen per refresh cycle is far less than the complexity that exists in a human being. Accordingly, since i have no evidence of television producers randomly producing the same images independently of one another i hold that random generation of two identical or even similar designs for human beings or animals or plants or planets without an external creative agency is not possible.
The more complex the item the more probable that there is universal uniqueness. This is not a pre-requisite for proving the existence of a creator but it seems to me to be a useful indicator of what spontaneous evolution is likely to produce and an indication that there are serious challenges in obtaining what we have in the universe today by spontaneous evolution.
As i see it, this offers evidence of a creator who orders some things to be rigidly consistent, such as the structural and functional design of each specie of animal and plant and yet permits other things, such as fingerprints. to be completely random in order to give each individual plant or animal its own unique attributes.
19.11. DIFFERENTIATION IN STRATEGY AND MARKETING
As a management consultant, one of my areas of claimed expertise is in the field of development and detailed design of strategic plans.
A vital aspect of market focused strategic planning is the need to develop a "unique selling proposition" (25,000) to "differentiate" the organization from its competitors (1,770,000, also relates to calculus). Differentiation (2,790,000), "competitive advantage" (2,420,000).
Accordingly, it seems to me that one of the primary requirements for survival of the fittest in commerce is "differentiation". It seems to me that this is also a requirement for survival in "nature".
Insofar as many business supplying nominally similar products, such as motor cars, manage to survive for decades based on different strategies, this seems to me to indicate that survival of the fittest does NOT require that only one variety of intelligent being (human beings) should evolve.
Since it seems to me that differentiation is a natural consequence of spontaneity and randomness. It also seems to me that if spontaneous evolution is valid there are strong grounds to expect a variety of very different intelligent life forms that could evolve on different continents or in different locations on the same continents. I really cannot see why several forms of intelligent, human-like, life could not develop even coexisting within a single location and community if spontaneous evolution is a valid model that works in practice.
I have been using computers for over thirty years and studied "computer science" at University.
I have designed and built or supervised the building of computer solutions at various times during this period.
For the past fifteen years i have consulted to various organizations on the effective application of computers in business and have recently written a book on "The Critical Factors for Information Technology Investment Success".
One of the things that i a very clear on is that computers are very complex adding machines that add 0's and 1's. They are very sophisticated binary adding machines.
Computers are powerful because they are able to do these additions extremely rapidly.
The power of computers as experienced by human beings results from a number of layers of increasing sophistication and complexity in terms of the human interface languages which are used to tell the computer what to do.
This functionality is generated in various ways, the way that i understand to be most common today involves the use of characters comprising eight bits, that is eight consecutive binary digits that can have a value of 0 or 1. This eight bit character definition enables the computer to distinguish 256 discrete alphanumeric and other characters that are used in interfacing with human beings. Every letter of the alphabet, every number, every punctuation mark, every line delimiter, etc has a unique eight bit value assigned to it which is part of the widely used ASCII (American Standard Code of Information Interchange) standard.
Using these characters programmers have created increasingly sophisticated "programming languages" which provide instructions that activate lengthy and complex "machine code" commands.
These languages have been used to create "graphical user interfaces" like the "Windows" operating system which use graphics as well as text to communicate with the user.
However, even the most impressive and most sophisticated computer applications are ultimately based on a micro-processor adding 0's and 1's - on off switches.
One of the hard lessons that i have learned about computers is that they are completely unintelligent. If i type in something and make a mistake, the computer will not correct the mistake unless a human being has programmed the computer to recognize that particular mistake and given the computer instructions how to correct the mistake.
In other words, if i make a single "syntax error", a single spelling or punctuation error in a computer programme, it will either not run at all, that is "crash" or it will return an outcome that is not the outcome i intended.
All my experience with computers and the application of engineering rigour to the application of computers indicates to me that computers will never be more than binary adding machines and will never reach a point where they can make complex, abstract cognitive decisions that have not first been defined by a human being in terms of rules.
This leads me to a number of conclusions.
Firstly, when i read of "computer simulations" being used to "prove" some thesis of spontaneous evolution, i cannot even begin to consider such a "proof" valid. It was necessary for a human being to create the software application that was used for the simulation, accordingly such simulation either proves the need for a creator or proves nothing at all.
Secondly, since every computer application i have ever used and you have ever used has operated fundamentally on the basis of the extremely fast operation of millions of binary on-off switches, this indicates to me that even the most simple binary coupling of the simplest molecules in a model of spontaneous evolution is never going to produce anything of value. Since it takes considerable knowledge and experience for a human being to programme a computer to do even the most elementary tasks how can complex molecules randomly assemble themselves into anything useful, let alone a human being?
I have also found that a number of computer programmers presented with the same problem of any level of material complexity will go about solving the problem in somewhat different ways and the resulting computer programme will be different for each programmer and will look different for each programmer, UNLESS such programming takes place within rigidly defined and enforced standards which make it possible for two programmers to create something that looks the same. Even so, the source code generated by each programmer will be different.
As with text, this is the basis of intellectual property rights legislation relating to computer software. Such legal action addresses both the "look and feel" and the internal specification of the solution.
This example points to the extremely low probability, in my mind impossibility, of systems of material complexity self creating themselves in a spontaneous way without an external creative agency who has developed a concept, undertaken analysis and design and managed the fabrication and commissioning process.
If one moves away from binary arithmetic and considers the visible eight bit characters displayed in text portions of a computer display, this relates into the point about written text and again illustrates that personal experience indicates that no two people will produce the identical screen of text on a computer unless one copies the other.
If one moves to the level of graphic displays with screen resolutions in common use today, where every screen "pixel" or dot can have 256 or more different colour values, it is apparent to me that no two people will independently create a single identical screen design unless they use the same tools, same standards and same content specification. Even then, my experience indicates that it is very challenging to get two people to achieve an identical result.
This points again to the need for a creator to create what exists in the universe and the world around us.
As another example, computer viruses are very precisely designed pieces of software which require very specific knowledge of complex components of the Windows operating system. Using computer viruses as an example to support non-creative evolution, as some people do, is therefore something that i have great difficulty in not using harsh judgmental language to describe.
As mentioned above, i have recently written a book on the effective application of computers in business. One of the primary reasons for writing the book is a large body of evidence that indicates that seventy percent of all business computer system investments fail totally. That is that nothing that works is accomplished. A further twenty percent of investments fail materially to meet the original business requirement.
In addition, a recent report stated that ninety five percent of international brand name "Enterprise Resource Planning System" (E.R.P.) investments "do not deliver what is promised". This is referring to investments running to millions and even tens of millions of US Dollars made by medium to large organizations around the world.
These failure statistics occur despite information technology being a multi-billion dollar turnover industry.
I have it that millions and possibly billions of person years have so far been invested in the information technology industry over the past fifty years or so and yet the above failure rates are being recorded.
I also have it that even the most complex computer software application is less complex than a human being if one takes account of emotions, feelings, etc. Accordingly, given that my data indicates that millions of highly qualified and highly intelligent people have so far failed to develop a reliable method of designing, building, configuring, implementing and operating complex business computerized information systems, there is no basis to suggest that human beings could possibly have come into existence without an external, highly intelligent agency engaging in a process of design.
19.13. CAN A DOG KENNEL SELF CONSTRUCT?
As i understand it one of the fundamental aspects of the theory of evolution without a creator is a requirement for collection of molecules in some form of "primeval soup" to find a way of combining with one another to form a living organism over some period of time which could be millions or billions of years.
An example which comes to mind for me as some sort of parallel to use in validating the hypothesis of spontaneous evolution without a creator is the construction of a physical structure without human intervention.
I would like to suggest that my life experience teaches me that if i designed a basic dog kennel, cut all the timber to size, purchased all the required fasteners such as screws and created detailed assembly drawings and instructions and placed them outside in my back garden together with all required tools, that material would never assemble itself into a dog kennel. My experience indicates to me that depending on where i was in the world the paper and timber would rot or be eaten by insects, the fasteners and tools would corrode and, in anything from a few years in the case of a location on a tropical ocean beach to a few decades in a desert climate, there would be little if anything left of this material.
Even if these items were placed in an environment where no deterioration was possible, my entire life experience indicates to me that these materials, fasteners and tools would not assemble a dog kennel even if left for a million years or longer.
As i see it there is an inherent assumption that non-intelligent building components, whether organic and inorganic molecules or building materials have some capability to make decisions about how they join to one another in such a way that they can create something of greater and more useful complexity than the component parts.
It seems to me that an inherent requirement of spontaneous evolution is that diverse molecules decide whether a union they have formed with another molecule is "fitter" (in the sense of survival of the fittest) or not. If the union is NOT "fitter" it seems to me that it would be necessary for the molecules to break their union in order to try another combination. I hold that this is only possible if there is an external intelligent agency with a clearly defined definition of "fitter" who is able to make this decision AND apply energy and resources to separating molecules that have not formed a "fitter" union.
As an aside, i really don't understand how someone who has not successfully designed and built a reasonably complex system can express a really authoritative opinion in support of the feasibility of spontaneous evolution in a way which addresses the objections raised in this document. On the other hand, it seems to me that most human beings have enough personal experience to be able to relate to at least some of the examples used in this document and conclude that spontaneous evolution without a creator is not a viable explanation.
I cannot prove this and i leave it to you to decide.
19.14. PLANT AND ANIMAL BREEDING AND OPTIMIZATION
Many years ago i had limited personal exposure to the procedures followed in South Africa in developing pine trees capable of producing structural timber. This process included careful selection of specimens exhibiting the desired traits, breeding in a manner that prevented spontaneous fertilization and replication of prime specimens by grafting twigs onto reliable rootstock.
Over decades the South African timber industry succeeded in breeding high performance trees that today reliably produce structural timber.
Based on my observation of television programmes and my exposure to dog and cat breeders, these same basic principles are applied in many areas to produce plants and animals that are optimized in terms of some human requirement, be it structural, aesthetic, functional or whatever.
It seems to me that all these programmes are directed at producing specimens that are "fittest" for their specific purpose as defined by a specific human or group of humans.
In the case of aesthetic criteria such as the appearance of dogs, cats and other show animals, different humans have different aesthetic criteria and the criteria of the same human changes over time. As far as i can see this results in diversification of dog and cat varieties and also results in defects that result from excessive in-breeding.
The conclusion i draw is that the criteria for "fitness" are not absolute and that systematic improvement requires the active intervention of an intelligent external agency to design and manage the selective breeding process.
19.15. BINARY SPONTANEITY - WHICH SIDE OF THE ROAD TO DRIVE ON
It seems to me that one of the most visible examples of constrained spontaneity that most human beings can relate to is the issue of which side of the road to drive on.
As i see it there are only two possible options, left or right. Center or random will result in people getting killed.
Accordingly, going back to the days of horse drawn vehicles different nations have made different decisions about which side of the road to drive on. Most nations whose heritage lies with the British Empire drive on the left and many of the rest drive on the right. The countries of Europe drive on the right resulting in a challenge for any driver who travels from Britain to mainland Europe or vice versa.
These standards are entrenched in each society. The layout of roads, the location of road markings and street signs, the design of highway interchanges, the way drivers are trained and children are trained to cross the road all entrenches this standard.
Technically there is no reason to prefer left or right. Accordingly both options are widely adopted.
However, within a country left or right is a rigidly enforced legal requirement based on "traffic safety".
To convert any country with a large number of roads and drivers to drive on the other side of the road would require an investment and dislocation of society which, i submit, makes such a change unthinkable. Furthermore, it seems evident to me that such a change would result in a very substantial increase in traffic accidents, injuries and deaths for months and possibly years after such a change took place even if the logistics of reversing road markings, traffic signs, interchanges, etc could be managed.
I submit that there is NO basis on which a major road using nation could conceivably develop a case to make such a change at any time in the future.
This example suggests to me that without clear standards and overall management spontaneous evolution is not going to converge on the level of standardization that exists in animals and plants or the universe today. It seems to me that the consistency of design that i observe in mammals and many other components of the universe and plant and animal life on this planet is such that it indicates a precise and narrow specification of acceptable appearance, function and performance in terms of symmetry, balance, proportion, aesthetics, etc. I am personally convinced that what we observe in our daily lives could only have come into existence within the constraints of a development plan imposed by an external creative agency with a very clear concept of what was required.
19.16. PLAYING CARDS
Another example of constrained randomness that it seems to me that many people have exposure to is a pack or deck of playing cards.
Card games are based on the extremely large number of possible combinations that can be dealt out of a randomly shuffled deck of fifty two playing cards.
I suggest that any person who has some experience of playing any form of card game that involves "shuffling" the deck before playing will probably hold that it is impossible for a randomly shuffled deck to sort in the exact sequence of value and suite that the deck was in at the time it was manufactured. This is not entirely correct, statistically the number of possible combinations in which a deck of fifty two playing cards can sort is of the order of 52,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
What is the probability of a person taking a well used pack (deck) of playing cards, shuffling them thoroughly and finding that they are all in the predefined sequence that is widely known?
This is an example of constrained randomness.
Therefore, what is the probability of all the molecules in the human body arranging themselves into the form that we know today, ditto other plants and animals?
20. TYING UP LOOSE ENDS
The last time that i worked on this document was 14 May 2004.
On 27 September 2007 i proof read the document to this point and found that i had a further 25 pages of notes, Google statistics and partially complete passages.
In the past three and a half years since writing what you have read thus far, i have read much that reinforces my belief in the existence of a creator as well as my belief that humans came into existence in their present form approximately six thousand years ago, but in a very superior form to what exists today.
I am also convinced that there was a massive global destructive event in which the earth tilted on its axis as a consequence of a comet flyby and massive tectonic earth crust movement occurred coupled with massive flooding that covered the earth and totally reshaped it. For more information refer to www.beforeus.com.
None of this additional information is central to the thesis of this book.
Accordingly, i have decided to hold over some of the remaining notes in the document produced in 2004 towards a second document which may be produced at some time in the future.
I choose to do this because of personal time constraints at this time and also because, having read the book this far i am satisfied that while it does not necessarily provide incontrovertible evidence of the existence of a creator and the invalidity of evolution with no creator, i think that it does provide solid food for thought.
Accordingly, in the sections that follow i will pick out items that seem relevant and easy to extract and leave the rest for a book to perhaps be written in the future.
21. VARIOUS BITS AND PIECES
Following are various bits and pieces built on the notes i made three and a half years ago.
21.1. PROBABILITY OF FAILURE AND CONSTRAINED RANDOMNESS
Based on the examples given above with regard to the very high statistical variability that occurs within constrained spontaneity it is my understanding of the statistics that the probability of spontaneous (random) self assembly of a human being with all the documented and experienced functionality is too small to be expressed in any numerical system available to us other than in an exponential that runs into millions of leading zeroes.
All my engineering and statistical knowledge and experience says that there is absolutely no possibility whatsoever that human beings in male and female form could come into existence in terms of a model of spontaneous evolution without an external creative agency who has an overall design, prototypes individual components, designs them to fit, optimizes them and then codes the specification into DNA.
When i say it cannot be done, i am saying that the number of statistical permutations and combinations available are so great that they are "infinite" in the true sense of an open ended range of alternatives that will NEVER converge on a constrained outcome no matter how many billions of years pass.
Examples of evolution of mouse traps and computer simulations of the evolution of an eye, as used in some of the arguments for non-engineered evolution, do not in any way begin to address the magnitude of the range of statistical options that are available to the chemicals and molecules in existence to assemble themselves in ways that even begin to approximate the human body, let alone develop the detailed intellectual, emotional and other capabilities that human beings possess.
I am aware that others seem willing to offer explanations as to why the above is not valid. I cannot prove that what i have written is valid yet my entire engineering training and experience and my training and experience of statistics tell me that this is intuitively so.
I hold that there are many people who have this type of engineering experience who, if presented with the information contained above, would agree that this is so.
My engineering training leads me to conclude that this conclusion is absolute and indisputable. However, i have read articles by people with claimed reputations who suggest otherwise.
I don't know how to respond to this other than to suggest that unless someone has personally designed and supervised the creation of a complex system i do not see how they can possibly have an authoritative opinion on the subject.
In concluding this section, all i can say is that it is a matter of personal choice, check the above points out with your personal life experience and draw your own conclusions.
21.2. OTHER TOPICS IN MY NOTES
The following additional topics are covered in my notes and you are welcome to correspond with me about them. They are included in the hope that they will stimulate further avenues of inquiry for you to evaluate your position on this question.
Standards -- there is a high level of standardization and uniformity apparent in the world around us, whether the shape of planets, the shape of animals and plants, etc.
Standardization results from the imposition of a set of standards and guidelines imposed with discipline by an intelligent creative being with a clear view of the outcome that is required.
The reproductive process in all organisms on earth that i can think of is highly standardized. The children are recognizably standardized models of the parents and are not randomly variable manifestations of contorted randomly assembled elements comprising derivatives of the building blocks that represent the parents. There is constrained, that is managed and controlled, randomness that confirms to precise standards.
Configuration management and version control: The same argument as with standards apply -- there is careful configuration management in the creation of each new generation of plants, animals and humans. Something that in the world of engineering only occurs with rigorous formal training and disciplines.
Conformity between different plant varieties that produce whorls of leaves, fronds, etc: The existence of whorls of leaves and fronds in Aloes, Lilies, Ferns, Palms, and other plant types cuts across different specific lines in a way that suggests that these plants all originated through a single evolutionary path or that a creative intelligence found this model to be attractive and effective and introduced it into the design of various distinct plant families and species. Other components of these same plant families have correlation with families that do not produce leaves in whorls.
This is a huge subject and i am not qualified to comment in depth. My casual observation as someone with a basic qualification in botany is that there is not much evidence that all the plants that existed today could have evolved without some external creative influence.
Survival of the fittest in technology: Survival of the fittest appears to be a model that applies in the context of managed evolution directed by an external, engineering creative agency.
Small errors cause failure of the fittest in modern technology and survival of the fittest has as much to do with technical bestness as it does with best marketing -- the VHS versus Betamax video recording technology outcome is an example.
The technologically superior Betamax was defeated by VHS in the market on the basis of better marketing. So here we have survival of the fittest being influenced by soft issues relating to the human psyche and the response of human beings to persuasive advertising NOT mechanical survival of best practice in the context of a creative agency producing these items.
If development of complex systems is spontaneous then why do engineers and technicians need to be trained? Many of these examples beg the question as to why engineers and technicians spend three or four years at University or Technical College and then serve an apprenticeship of a further three years or more in order to learn how to design and build things that work. If the norm of the world was spontaneous non-engineered evolution then surely such training is not necessary?
Macro standardisation of humans, animals and plants: The macro standardization of humans, animals and plants is touched on above, how does this happen without an external creative agency apply engineering disciplines to constrain variability?
Cardiovascular system is a closed pressurized system: The cardiovascular system is a closed pressurized system that operates in very specific ways and if the blood pressure becomes too high or too low the organism becomes ill and may die. If primary arteries are punctured or severed death follows almost immediately. How did pressure build up in such a precise way in response to unstructured spontaneous evolution without an external creative agency with a clear view of the outcome that was required?
If survival of the fittest is the fundamental law of existence then why is murder a problem for those who support non-creative evolution? -- surely, if we live by survival of the fittest then murder is a manifestation of a more fit individual eliminating a less fit individual in support of evolution of the species and therefore cause for rejoicing? Yet there is an underlying fear of and abhorrence of murder that is the manifestation of a deep underlying set of ethics and morals in most societies. Again, this suggests a higher creative being who has instilled in us innate values that are widely regarded as appropriate.
How can fragments of exploding matter form into perfect spheres (suns and planets) with very different properties? If a "big bang" took place with the inherent picture of an explosion of sufficient force to fling fragments of materials into space, how did those fragments becomes spheres, how did some form into suns and some into planets, how did they develop trajectories of rotation around one another that are different to the radial trajectory that would result from a central explosion?
The order of the universe speaks to me again of some engineering agency that carefully fashioned each star and planet and assembled them in solar systems, etc in such a way as to create the huge diversity and beauty that we behold coupled with carefully balanced gravitational forces that allow these units to inter-operate in gravitational balance that enables us to see stable, gradually evolving patterns rather than huge randomness coupled with a destroyed body of matter comprising fragments that somehow magically shape themselves into perfect or near perfect spheres in a vacuum with no erosive or other formative external agency to provide the smoothing and rounding.
Massive man-made structures that are thousands of years old suggest that humans were more advanced thousands of years ago. The pyramids, Matchu Pitchu, the temple at Baalbeck, etc. Large structures, many of which we would be hard pressed to engineer today yet created thousands of years ago by human beings who were apparently evolving from apes. Search on the Internet for examples.
If human beings on earth in 2007 are the most highly evolved form of the ape, homo sapiens, then these structures are inexplicable, except through stories of men from outer space.
The story of men from outer space could be plausible but does not help at all because all that this does is to transfer the debate on earth to a wider created environment and still leaves us with precisely the same dilemma as to where those beings "evolved" from leading again to the conclusion of an external creative engineering agency that created those beings from another planet.
Incidentally, i do not believe that beings from another planet did form human beings, i believe that we were created on this planet but i cannot offer you substantive evidence other than to say that i think that the question is irrelevant for the reasons mentioned above.
We need to home in on the essence of the question -- how did what we see today come into existence of its own creative volition with the structure, order, complexity, inter-operability, etc that we see today without a higher creative agency?
Untrained people cannot use sophisticated technology: I don't think that a single person who has no knowledge or experience of tools, construction, etc and who comes from a "primitive" environment where they have not been exposed to any Western constructed products, if placed in an extremely large workshop with a comprehensive selection of hand tools and diverse construction materials would product anything useful.
One only needs to pass a wood saw once over stone or metal to blunt it. This being so, i don't understand how a molecule surrounded by other molecules can decide to join itself to another molecule in any way that has any hope of resulting in something that could eventually result in a one cell living organism, let alone proceed to self construct a human being by randomly picking other molecules and cells to join to itself.
22. SOME OTHER CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING CREATION VERSUS EVOLUTION
In wrapping up this document, i would like to return to consideration of the question of whether i can offer "provable physical evidence" of creation.
In seeking to attempt this, i would like to confirm that it seems to me that the physical evidence used in support of evolution is seldom, if ever, in conflict with a concept of "evolutionary creation". It also seems to me that the physical evidence used in support of creation, a flood, etc is not in any way in conflict with a concept of "evolutionary creation".
It seems to me that the basic point of conflict with regard to "evolution" relates to the question of whether there is a creator or whether evolution took place by developmental response to environmental factors and where the matter that exists today came from. In other words, it seems to me that the dispute relates to HOW to interpret the data, NOT to the data itself.
It seems to me that the basic point of conflict with regard to "creation" relates more to diverse points of interpretation, many of which relate to "the Bible says" rather than to what i perceive to be the essential question of whether a creator exists and whether He is willing to enter into a close personal relationship with any human being who seeks Him. In other words, reference to the Bible, while a source of certain peoples perspective of history, is not a basis to dispute evolution and, as i see it, is counter productive.
As indicated in a previous section i have chosen to ignore "argument from incredulity" for the rest of this document.
I am still left without "physically verifiable evidence" of a creator outside of what i have offered so far.
While accepting that "argument from incredulity" potentially neutralizes all that i have to offer, i would like to offer a few points for consideration which, to me, seem to clearly demonstrate the existence of a creator.
22.1. LOVE, GRIEF, PASSION, ETC
In my life i have experienced love with a woman at a level of intensity that has had what i experienced as intense, tangible and reproducible physical manifestations.
I have experienced grief in comparable ways and i have experienced intense passion with a woman.
I find much evidence to support the view that these are widespread human experiences.
Since these experiences clearly seem to me to result from a level of interaction between human beings that is not dependent on environmental factors, and since it seems to me that these experiences indicate a level of spiritual and emotional / psychological sophistication that i find amazing, they seem to me to evidence the existence of a creator who has created humankind with enormous hidden and abstract complexity.
I cannot prove this but it seems real to me and i have not encountered any non-creation evolution explanation that i can experience as valid in terms of my life experience.
22.2. HUMAN SEXUALITY, ORGANS AND REPRODUCTION
As far as i know, it is physically possible, barring limited extreme cases, for any male human being on this planet to couple sexually with any female human being on this planet, experience some level of sexual pleasure and, provided the woman is fertile, conceive a child which will be functionally and recognizably a human being with similarity to its parents.
My entire experience of engineering tells me that it would require an enormous amount of design effort and enormous intellect and creative ability to build this level of compatibility into over six billion people in the current generation with what i understand to be an extremely low failure rate.
I say this in terms of:
The level of compatibility of the process of conception. It is my understanding that any human sperm is capable of fertilizing any human ovum and that, once fertilized the developmental process is consistently the same, the division of DNA between parents is consistent and reproducible and the resulting offspring will be an exact 50:50 composite of the parents.
To me this evidences a level of precision in design, construction and sustainable reproduction over hundreds or even thousands of generations that is beyond my capability to conceive of happening except through the offices of a super natural (above nature) creator of exceptional knowledge and capability.
The biggest issue for me is that the male and female human are provably physically materially different. It is my understanding that non-creationary evolution requires that both these types evolved in parallel in response to environmental stimulus. I cannot conceive how it is possible for the matching components in the male and female reproductive cells to have come into existence without the intervention of a creator who designed them to fit.
I do recognize that argument from incredulity can be used to neutralize this point but i really do submit to you that i cannot conceive that incredulity is a valid logical construct.
2) MECHANICAL FIT
As stated above, it is my understanding that virtually any human male organ will fit virtually any human female organ on the planet. I understand this to be irrespective of racial grouping, physical size or any other parameter across over six billion people.
This indicates to me a level of flexibility and adaptability that again indicates considerable engineering design and sophistication of construction. I do not understand how this could happen with any form of parallel evolution that did not involve an external creator who designed and built these systems to do this.
Contrast this with other "male" - "female" connectors such as electrical plugs and machine screws. The male and female components need to be machined with exceptional precision to precise standards otherwise no workable coupling will be possible.
23. SOFT ATTRIBUTES OF HUMAN BEINGS
There is enormous "soft" non-physical (psychological, spiritual) complexity in human beings that seems to me to have no relevance and no way of coming into existence with a mechanical evolution from molecules model.
Following are some quotes, statistics and phrases to consider:
23.1. SELF SACRIFICING LOVE
Sir John Templeton "Agape Love: A Tradition Found in Eight World Religions" (35)
Works of love find a high-minded financier
William R. Macklin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Winter 2002
Sir John Templeton cares so much about agape love that he's even written a book about it. But when he's asked to define it, he pauses, lets a few reflective moments waft by, then, almost cryptically, says, "It's easier to tell you what it is not."
"It is not eros love. It is not filial love. It is not tribal love," says Templeton.
Then, the one-time financier reaches into the recesses of the complex mind that helped conceive the rudiments of global investment and finds a definition that seems to belie all the hard-nosed tactics associated with the business world in which Templeton made millions.
"It is pure love for every human being with never any exception," he says.
Love, boundless and all-encompassing, a concept the ancient Greeks termed agape (AH-gah-pay) but that Templeton says exists everywhere and knows no sectarian boundaries.
"I might even say that the universe is an expression of God's love," he says.
Templeton, a lifelong Presbyterian who turns 87 tomorrow, expounds the prevalence of universal goodwill in his recently published book, Agape Love: A Tradition Found in Eight World Religions. The founder, chairman and chief donor of the foundation that bears his name - which pays upwards of $35 million a year for the scientific study of spiritual faith - Templeton is a forceful, sometimes controversial figure in the world of ecumenical theology.
Before remaking himself as a sort of Indiana Jones in search of lost spiritual virtues, Templeton made a fortune in international finance as the founder and head of the Templeton Group of Mutual Funds.
But while he once commanded the forces of global capitalism, he now seeks to understand the vast, "mysterious force" of agape.
Its disparate strands are evident in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism and American Indian religions, Templeton maintains. Agape is the charity, kindness, forgiveness and compassion expressed by believers everywhere, he says. At least everywhere that the human ego has been brought into check.
I find it very difficult to conceive how what is described above could evolve from a primordial soup.
A Tradition Found in Eight World Religions
John Marks Templeton
The tradition of agape, or unconditional love, is not exclusive to any one religion. Actually, it is a major underlying principle found in religions worldwide. The concept of altruistic love is one that challenges the spiritual person to "love your enemies," or to "love without thought of return." It is a love that flows out to others in the form of compassion, kindness, tenderness, and charitable giving.
Buddhists have a path of compassion, where caring for others becomes the motivating force behind existence. Hindus have a branch of yoga, the heart-centred path, that leads to enlightenment through an overwhelming love for God that takes the form of loving all of humanity. Eastern religions, such as Taoism and Confucianism, see transcendent love as an essential part of true wisdom.
The Jewish faith carries the essential message of agape in this passage from Leviticus: "You shall not hate your brother in your heart... but you shall love your neighbour as yourself." - Lev. 19:17f. This is very similar to the New Testament passage: "You shall love your neighbour as yourself." - Matthew 22:39.
The universal theme of love is found in all religious traditions, whether Buddhist, Christian, Islam, or others. As we begin to realize that all religions have at their core this spiritual principle of love, we can develop a sense of common humanity. The religious tradition of agape love examined in this book will serve as an inspiration for those who are learning to grow in compassion and love for all people.
Various phenomena or experiences that seem to me to be spiritual and not amenable to explanation by spontaneous evolution and yet which are referred to throughout the Internet representing the thoughts of millions of writers (statistics as at April - May 2004) -- love (122,000,000), passion (15,4000,000), telepathy (277,000), intuition (1,690,000), intuitive (3,230,000), empathy (843,000), feelings (8,320,000), feel (57,500,000), emotion (4,930,000), emotional (9,430,000), fear (18,700,000), fearful (1,130,000), laugh (7,050,000), laughter (3,110,000), joy (15,000,000), joyful (1,170,000), happy (41,600,000), happiness (5,380,000), anger (6,500,000), angry (6,580,000), numb (1,300,000), numbness (503,000), stress in human terms, other uses of this word -- stressful (1,270,000), hugs (1,640,000), hug (2,410,000).
Continuing: kiss (14,800,000), smell (4,720,000), taste (13,700,000), lust (7,660,000), lustful (294,000), lusting (121,000), covet (225,000), covetous (111,000), magic (30,500,000), luck (11,800,000), hypnosis (1,540,000), hypnotize (298,000), curses (884,000), curse (3,400,000), lucky (11,800,000), selling (34,500,000), sell (58,100,000), market (89,500,000), marketing (71,400,000), perfect (41,300,000), perfection (3,500,000), mercy (5,290,000), grace (13,400,000), intuition (2,140,000), intuitive (3,260,000).
Evidence of creativity in humans -- music (224,000,000), song (43,900,000), art (180,000,000), dance (39,400,000), imagine (12,900,000), imagination (5,970,000), vision (32,000,000), visionary (1,650,000), cognitive (5,490,000), cognition (1,520,000), experience (75,100,000), experienced (16,800,000), knowledge (51,700,000), abstract (62,100,000), abstractness (23,900), abstraction (1,800,000), concept (22,800,000), conceptualise (166,000).
There are a huge number of references to music and art.
Non tangible attributes of knowledge and ability: IQ (15,800,000), psychology (14,100,000), psychometric (277,000), psychiatric (3,180,000), semantics (2,710,000), individuality (793,000), knowledge, experience, experienced.
How did all this come to pass spontaneously and randomly when it all fits together in such a complicated and congruent manner? Why is it so difficult to believe in a creator who created this entire environment and creates us in all our complexity in order to teach us about things like love, joy, caring, compassion, empathy, passion, partnership, sacrificial love, putting others first and innumerable other intangible and abstract concepts all directed at assisting us to learn to know Him better day by day.
Surely learning about these things and how to apply them in a holistic, integrated manner for the better service of those around us is the ultimate test of fitness (as in survival of the fittest)?
Evidence of a need for plans or guidelines or other assistance in order to reliably create things -- recipe (14,700,000), plan (108,000,000), design (167,000,000), analyze (13,900,000), analysis (72,000,000), guide (103,000,000), "step by step" (7,930,000), instructions (29,900,000), teach (14,100,000), teaching (32,200,000), blueprint (1,290,000), "change management" (1,890,000), "how to" (23,000,000), coordination (8,210,000), liaison (4,670,000).
Evidence of a consideration of beauty and form -- aesthetics (1,440,000), beauty (41,500,000), beautiful (38,000,000, proportion (7.030,000) -- various meanings not necessarily what i had in mind.
People working collaboratively -- teams (25,300,000), teamwork (1,780,000), marching (2,160,000), army (27,200,000).
The numbers are offered without comment other than to say that they are an indication of the level of interest of human beings in these subjects and therefore an indication of the probability that these non-tangible attributes exist and, i submit, evidence of a higher creative authority in creating this level of abstract, non-tangible complexity.
23.2. POWER OF WORDS
You've heard of the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words?" Well, it's also true that "a word is worth a thousand pictures!" Let me show you what I mean. Like the dentist example earlier, it's hard to picture, say, "calculus removal." Wouldn't you agree?
But with "beautiful smiles," you can instantly visualize teeth that are (among many other things): shiny, white, stainless, straight, unbroken, clean, healthy, strong and perfectly aligned!
You see, words are extremely potent! So, the words you pick are CRITICAL!
When you use the right words on your website, they all have a sort of magical power to make your visitors salivate with mouth-watering envy and mesmerize them to the point that they're whipping out their credit cards, pleading with you to sell them your products!
"power of words" (59,600)
The Power of Words
Emotional appeals, fallacies, manipulations, disinformation,
misdirection and Political Correctness
Generally, when people get their own way with others, they do it with words; they want others to agree with their point of view, give them what they want, do what they ask and buy what they are selling. From the car salesman's hard sell, the hammering of television commercials, the relative's request for a loan, the doctor's diagnosis to the child's pleading to stay up late, the seduction and/or assault of words is continuous.
In these verbal contests between one person's desires and another's, some people find they always lose, convinced they must be wrong, while others consistently win; their logic, their reasons are so powerful, so compelling, they almost force others to change their opinions, their beliefs and their behaviour to comply with what's being asked.
This enormous power is in the meaning of the words, what they mean to the person who hears them. Far more than simple communication, truth, falsehood and the infinite shades between them, words have the power to manipulate other people's thinking and behaviour. These powers have been defined as fallacious arguments.
There are 20 or so of these misleading and deceptive arguments. Their tremendous power lies in the fact that they elicit emotional responses in those who hear them. While the arguments appear to relate to the subject under discussion, they do not. In most cases they have little to do with the subject at all.
Their danger lies in the fact that decisions based on them are not based on truth, common sense, logic, legality, one's best interests or right and wrong but on emotions favouring those who put forth the more powerful arguments. They are designed to benefit someone else!
As emotions are constantly changing, opinions and decisions based on them also change. They are not stable, dependable or consistent over time. At any moment, they can be overthrown by someone else's more compelling argument. Unknowingly making choices based on emotional appeals and logical tricks, one allows others to control their thinking, and their behaviour, setting themselves up to be used for someone else's interests.
Recognizing these arguments for what they are renders them ineffective and powerless. Knowing them to be false and self-serving, one can separate their emotional responses from the subject at hand, knowing they are not the same thing.
23.3. PLEASURE AND SEX
I have personal experiential evidence that the coupling of male and female can be ecstatically pleasurable and give rise to sensations that reach great intensity. I am aware of an enormous body of evidence that this is an extremely widespread experience. There are numerous writings on the subject of sexual pleasure and the statistics below indicate that one of the most prevalent uses of the internet relates to people interested in sex.
Searches on www.google.com resulted in the following statistics -- orgasm (4,040,000), sex (214,000,000), lovemaking (545,000), "sex technique" (66,900)
Sex rates with art and music in terms of frequency of occurrence.
This compares with "argument from incredulity" (578), "reductio ad absurdem" (41,000) reported previously and bible (24,200,000), Jesus (24,000,000), Quran (1,010,000), Muhammed (393,000), Christian (48,900,000), Islam (9,540,000), Mohammed (2,010,000), Koran (986,000), Christianity (6,310,000).
Compare this with -- creation (21,200,000), evolution (18,100,000), "proof that there is no creation" (1,110,000)
There are approximately 4.4 times as many instances of "sex" than of "Christian" and 11.8 times as many instances of "sex" than of "evolution". In May 2004 Web pages with the word "sex" represent over five percent of all the web pages indexed by Google.
In April 2002 "sex" was the sixth most frequently searched word on the internet -- http://www.waller.co.uk/web.htm
The site literotica.com which publishes explicit erotic literature was ranked by www.Alexa.com as the 719th most visited web site in the world.
It seems that there is a reasonable basis to suggest that sexual pleasure is one of the most significant interests, if not the most significant interest, on the Internet and, as i see it, by extension, on the planet.
This relates to something that is not tangible and is not necessary for chemicals in a "soup" to combine together randomly to create human beings. In fact, sex is a massive obstacle to non-creative evolution -- it is inconceivable that the two parts could come together without an overarching architect come engineer.
Words indicating interest in sex: "sexual intercourse" (676,000), slang for sexual intercourse (f...) (32,200,000) and f...ing (29,500,000), vagina (6,710,000), slang for vagina (c...), (6,690,000), penis (17,200,000), slang for penis (c...), (25,1000,000), vulva (793,000), slang for vulva (p....), (39,500,000), labia (510,000).
There is a close association between the concept of love and sex "love" and "sex" (10,500,000).
Pornography as an indication of a level of interest in sex that does not seem to me to correlate with any concept of spontaneous evolution, there does not seem to me to be any reason why an evolving animal (humankind) would have such an interest in such things -- porn (70,400,000), pornography (3,850,000), "sex pics" (4,670,000), "live sex feeds" (54,600), "sex videos" (2,560,000). Particularly when the same level of sexual obsession is not evidenced at comparable levels in any of the life forms from which humans have supposedly evolved.
Sexual chemistry as a non physical phenomenon that seems to me to indicate a level of complexity that seems to me to be spiritual and difficult to explain in terms of spontaneous evolution -- "sexual chemistry" (20,700), pheromones (374,000), hormones (2,690,000), stroke (9,010,000), erotic (56,100,000), erotica (8,670,000), caress (817,000), tickle (769,000), erogenous (69,300), "cold woman" 2,970, "cold man" (10,900).
Sex is associated with religion at a seemingly significant level "sex in religion" (1,400), "sex and religion" (11,500), "sex" and "religion" (both words on the same page) (5,220,000).
23.4. NON-ESSENTIAL PARTS OF THE HUMAN BODY
The human body has a number of appendages that appear to only have relevance in the context of biblical requirements. The foreskin is an apparently unnecessary organ (472,000) except in the context of circumcision (793,000).
The clitoris is an apparently unnecessary organ which it does not seem could be explained by spontaneous evolution -- clitoris (2,560,000), slang for clitoris (c...) (3,650,000).
The so called "G Spot" in women is another seemingly redundant organ "G spot" (643,000) that only has relevance in creating human beings to obtain pleasure from sexual interaction in a way that brings about a level of sexual interaction that certainly in humans is dramatic.
It is reported that about 10% of women experience a direct stimulatory link between their nipples and their clitoris -- how did the nerves come into existence that make this possible, what evolutionary purpose do they serve, how do they satisfy any survival criteria?
Orgasm as a phenomenon that it does not seem to me could evolve without a creative intervention "multiple orgasm" (32,700), "simultaneous orgasm" (22,100). It requires the ability in both parties to stimulated and simultaneously be stimulated at a level that is at least partly psychological. How did this happen in random, non-engineered evolution -- the mechanics involved all point to a highly sophisticated design and precise engineering control and standards to enable this to be present in over six billion human beings today.
Another phenomenon that does not seem to have any useful purpose in the context of spontaneous evolution is "female ejaculation" (395,000) it seems to me that it may even work against fertilization in the same way that the design of the cervix as an outward facing cone appears also to work against fertilization. Both of these items seem to support a view that the primary purpose of the female human sexual organs is pleasure not reproduction.
Consider also masturbation as a seemingly unnecessary act in terms of spontaneous evolution, not appropriate for survival -- masturbation (6,650,000).
23.5. VIRGINITY AS SOMETHING THAT SEEMS PARTICULARLY UNNECESSARY
Emphasis on virginity as seeming evidence of creation -- virginity (642,000), virgin (20,6000,000) supported by an organ that does not seem to have any relevance in terms of spontaneous evolution the hymen (327,000).
The hymen (or maidenhead) is a membrane </encyclopedia/membrane> which completely or partially occludes the vaginal opening in human females. The term comes from a Greek word meaning "membrane". Because sexual activity would usually puncture this membrane, its presence has been considered a guarantor of virginity </encyclopedia/virgin> in societies that place a high value on female chastity </encyclopedia/sexual_abstinence> before marriage.
Yet the Bible attaches very strong importance to virginity and indicates clearly that a woman who is not a virgin is not free to marry another man.
13 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,
14 And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid:
15 Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate:
16 And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her;
17 And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city.
18 And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him;
19 And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days.
20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:
21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.
22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.
23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.
25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die:
26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:
27 For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.
28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.
(King James Version of the Bible)
So, circumstantially we find a passage in a book which is believed by many to contain commandments from the Almighty which has very specific commandments relating to virginity. There are other passages which support this interpretation.
It therefore seems reasonable to conclude that the Almighty created woman with a hymen and man with a foreskin for very specific covenant purposes. If this is so then the existence of these organs makes sense. If there is no creator it seems difficult to postulate the relevance of these organs in spontaneous non-engineered evolution.
23.6. BABIES AND EGGS
Surely babies and eggs cannot have evolved, they could not survive. Thus the adult must have evolved and then subsequently developed replication by eggs or babies. How did they replicate before this?
Surely the way they replicated previously must be more reliable and more survivable than replicating through eggs which can be eaten, trampled on, etc and which must frequently be left to fend for themselves or via babies who must be nurtured, fed, etc.
Surely if even the newborn child of the two most gifted (however this is defined) people in the world was left in a room with all the food it required for the first twenty years of its life it would die within a few days?
Surely if a number of newborn children were placed in an environment with all they require to grow and thrive and numerous books, tools and materials and they were somehow kept alive until old enough to feed themselves with no education, they would end up as "primitive" people with no material knowledge and experience who would survive by experimentation and accomplish little more than survive?
If not, why does no one conduct the experiment? Surely, if we evolved our new born infants must have some way of surviving without us or else there is a more reliable form of reproduction that we are overlooking.
24. DOES THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION PROVE CREATION?
It seems to me that it takes a great deal of creativity to arrive at some of the explanations i have read about evolution and about why there is not a creator.
Why reject the long history of a creator?
Surely the people closer to the event have more knowledge? -- so if ancient books like the Bible report creation then surely these sources should be regarded as authoritative at some level?
25. IF ALL ELSE FAILS ASK FOR A "SIGN"?
So, i find myself at a point where i have assembled a huge diversity of information which i can relate to in terms of my own personal life experience over nearly 54 years and all of these things suggest to me convincingly that we have come into existence and all around us has come into existence as a systematic creative endeavour by a super engineer, architect, scientist, etc who over thousands and quite possibly millions of years has progressively created and assembled building blocks to produce what we have today.
Was there an element of evolutionary prototyping and experimentation, yes i think so.
Did all this self create itself to achieve such perfection and completion and complexity all on its own, particles binding to particles to create atoms, atoms to atoms to create molecules, molecules to molecules to create planets, plants, animals and finally humans? Without an external engineering agency i do not think that it is possible to provide any substantive evidence that this is possible. But, i am still left to conclude that if you do NOT want to see this there is nothing i can do to force you to see it.
I can offer you the dozens of examples and arguments presented in this document but i cannot provide you with the one solid piece of irrefutable evidence that proves that there is a super-natural creator, that is a choice that you have to make.
If you are more comfortable with an inexplicable creative miracle that caused all that we see around us to come into existence without any creative agency, then you have greater faith than i do.
I choose to believe in the existence of a creator and i cannot prove to you where He came from but accept His existence by faith and through fourteen years of personal experience of His existence.
So, both sides of the debate have faith in something they cannot explain.
There is one remaining thing to consider: Revelation 21:8 in the Bible says "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (King James Version of the Bible)
The Bible and other books such as the Quran, allege that people who do not believe in the creator will spend eternity in a lake of fire and brimstone (sulphur).
So the best reason i can give you to look at all that i have presented and choose to consider strongly the existence of a creator is simply that there is evidence of a strong belief in the lake of fire -- Google 3 October 2007 reports "lake of fire and brimstone" (40,500), "lake of fire" (1,990,00).
What IF it is REAL?
If you want to consider this further, my ebook, "Where will YOU spend Eternity" provides an in-depth examination of this subject. Please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and i will send you a copy.
There is one further course of action -- pray in humility and openness and ask the Almighty to reveal Himself to you and prove to you that He is real. You will need to be open and willing to see the sign or signs that He gives you but i have great confidence that He will answer you if you are truly seeking truth.
I have written a document "Essential Principles in Seeking a Valid Sign from The Almighty" which goes into this subject in some detail. Please email me at email@example.com and i will send you a copy.
In essence you might pray something like the following:
"I am told that there is a mighty creator and that He desires a relationship with me. I ask that if you are there you will reveal yourself to me in ways that i can understand and i ask you to help me to see when you are revealing yourself to me".
I cannot guarantee this prayer will be answered but i do believe that if you pray it sincerely it will be answered, the challenge will be for you to discern that it has been answered.
The bottom line is that the essential question is a question of faith and belief, not a question of intellect.
As i hope you will see from this document, you can rationalize, argue, present facts, find fault with facts presented by others, etc and at the end of the day if you are really honest with yourself you will probably intellectually decide absolutely that there is a creator, but is unlikely that without a personal experience you will really conclude that He wants a relationship with you and that there is a high throne in heaven for eternity if you serve Him faithfully to the end versus a place in a lake of fire and brimstone for eternity if you reject Him and do your own thing.
I think that it is likely that you will not agree with all of the points in this document.
Some of my points may even have offended you, for which i apologize.
I think that it is probable that there are some points where i have missed something or have not thought of all the possibilities and therefore that some of the points could be invalid.
I am confident that most points are materially valid and i do think that taken together the entire body of evidence in this document DOES provide robust, substantive, provable evidence of a creator, perhaps not at an entirely absolute level but at a level that i am satisfied provides the best i can do.
In the end, it seems to me that if one accepts that there is a creator one is left with the question of where the creator came from.
If one decides there is no creator, it seems to me that this leaves a significant number of unsolved puzzles presented in this document that i cannot conceive can all be satisfactorily explained in terms of engineering disciplines which require proof that it works or could conceivably work under any set of circumstances.
My conclusion is that all these puzzles cease to be puzzles once one accepts a creator who has created this universe and world and all that is in them in an evolutionary, step by step manner and who is not bound to create everything in six consecutive twenty four hour periods. If one accepts that a day of judgment coupled with heaven and a lake of fire is the ultimate form of "survival of the fittest" then creation seems to me to be even easier to reconcile with most of what is said about evolution.
I find it far easier to believe that there is a creator than to believe in spontaneous evolution without a plan, without any direction and without any objective.
However, i hold that i have many personal experiences of the creator and therefore this is easy for me to say.
At the end of the day, in absolute terms, i cannot prove absolutely that there is a creator.
In closing, i leave you with this thought about how i see things:
- If there is NOT a creator then when one dies that is the end, there is nothing, one simply ceases to exist.
- If there IS a creator and a judgment then when one dies one is faced with eternity to consider what one did on earth.
- I would rather believe there is a creator and be found in error, because i will never know my error, than to die and find there IS a creator and spend eternity regretting my decision.
I think that this IS THE ULTIMATE TEST OF "SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST" -- willingness to enter into a loving relationship with the creator and learning to please Him by loving others and serving others and putting others first within the constraints of the fundamental moral and ethical laws that He has appointed.
With that, i leave the choice up to you.
I hope that you have found this article interesting and challenging and that it leads you to discover the existence of the creator if you did not know Him prior to reading this.