Evolution as Philosophy

One can not totally divorce “fact” from an underlying philosophy. Any time one looks at evidence and then says, “This shows that…”, you have introduced philosophy into the discussion.  Objectively, it shows nothing.

An old bone might mean that I had fried chicken for dinner, or that a murderer is on the loose, or that my cat brought me a little present again.  But the bone itself means none of those things without some sort of philosophical assumption on which to begin my interpretation.

For evolution, this is the great unspoken.  There are two great underlying assumptions with Evolution, and they are neither scientific nor face-based.  They can not be tested, they are simply assumed.  (+Dr. Marquardt+, of blessed memory, is the one to point this out.)

1. Matter is eternal, or can arise from nothingness.

2. Randomness can appear ordered.

The first is merely philosophical speculation. It is either true or it isn’t, and there is no way to prove, and no evidence to seek for either side.

The second however, goes against every observable trait in the universe. The law of entropy speaks against it.  Randomness is the exact opposite of order.  Randomness is the exact opposite of information.  No matter how much observing scientists do about the world around them, there is not one scintilla of evidence that randomness can beget order, or that information arises without an intelligence ordering it.  To claim that #2 is true is not merely to pick a philosophical position, but to pick a position (implicitly or explicitly) contradicted by every scientific study ever conducted.  Indeed, the very nature of scientific study is to assume the exact opposite is true.

Every medical experiment ever compares the positive effect of the medication to the positive effect of a control group.  If they are different, it is assumed that the medication (which is intelligently designed) had good effect.  It is not assumed that information randomly arose among these people but not the others.  If I pour two liquids (both clear) into a beaker and the color suddenly changes to yellow, I assume that there was a specific cause, that perhaps one of the elements in beaker A reacted to an element in beaker B, thus creating a new compound.  I do not assume that the materials suddenly and inexplicably started reflecting a different color of light because of a random quirk of the universe that can not be repeated.

There is information behind any experiment, and there is order to the way the universe reacts to itself.  If random mutation could explain that, then there would be no point of ever doing a scientific experiment in the first place.

So, show all the evidence for evolution you want.  It matters not until you can answer this entirely philosophical question:

By what entirely naturalistic mechanism in the universe does randomness appear ordered?

 

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