When we watch DVD documentaries supporting Darwinian evolution, in explaining the hypothetical development of early life just before and just after the Cambrian geologic period according to the naturalistic scenario, we repeatedly hear the vague phrase “and they developed” such features as skin, fins, skeletons, eyesight, wings, et cetera, without any empirical explanation as to how. “And some crawled up out of the water on to land” requires the precise scientific mechanism to explain this massive change in anatomical characteristics if Darwinian macroevolution is to rise above the level of a mere philosophical construction overlaid on top of the otherwise neutral facts.
For Darwinian macroevolution to validly connect the dots…to provide a plausible framework…it needs to explain the mechanism that closes the gaps of discontinuity in characteristics that separate creatures in the fossil record, and that separate the vast diversity of current life into the modern taxonomy classifications of today.
Christians should know and understand that Charles Darwin did not produce the methodological and mechanistic evidence for precisely how evolution actually worked on a macro level. This methodological and mechanistic evidence for one species changing into another different species did not exist then, nor does it exist today. If the incontrovertible evidence for the method of how macroevolution works was discovered anytime between 1859 and today, the debate would be over.
Instead, Darwin proposed a persuasive and well-documented philosophical argument based on circumstantial evidence, connecting the facts of the current living world, and then applying them backwards in time into a hypothetical framework that would support a theory of common descent…a process categorized today as a historical science…like archaeology, historical geology, and modern forensic science reconstructing a past crime scene.
Is it allowed for philosophical naturalism to provide a theoretical hypothesis for a secular interpretation of biological phenomenon, in advance of producing empirical evidence for the connecting mechanism of how Darwinian macroevolution actually works? The answer is…of course. This is one way in which science works. A new theoretical hypothesis is presented…then tested or argued against the known facts…then either confirmed, refuted, or replaced by a new hypothesis as new incoming evidence grows and is evaluated.
Mountain of Evidence is Theoretically Driven
What is critical to understand here is that the contention by Darwinists that macroevolution has a “mountain of evidence”…thereby establishing the “fact of evolution”…proceeds not from the facts themselves but only materializes (no pun intended) after applying the philosophical framework of naturalism over the biological facts in nature. The common descent viewpoint when stretched to fit over all living things can produce a tentative, provisional mountain of evidence in support of macroevolution…but only if common descent is first assumed to be true. Common descent will explain the fossil progression from the simple to the more complex over time, the homology (similarities) in design between creatures, and the biological distribution of similar creatures split apart by continents.
But intelligent design, based upon the empirical evidence of highly specified information and integrated complexity explains this natural phenomenon better. Intelligent design is a more persuasive and plausible interpretation of the evidence than is common descent.