Fifth, the crossover application of the concept of radical change over time using the analogy to inanimate geological has to be one of the worst in history.
Charles Lyell’s uniformitarianism involving inanimate things like wind, water, tidal, and glacial erosion over long periods of time, creates natural wonders that are functional from start to finish. A canyon created by water runoff is functional throughout its development. A river delta formed by sediment deposited over a long period of time is fully functional throughout its intermediate stages. The Grand Canyon was fully functional when it hypothetically started out as a river being three feet deep and fifty yards wide…eons of time ago…regardless of the catastrophic divulge that carved out its immense dimensions sometime in the far distant past.
To apply this same reality of the continuous functionality of non-living, geological things amenable to radical change over long periods of time, as an analogy to support an argument for a similar functionality in the long road from a single living antecedent to the diversity we observe today in the living world…Darwin’s “tree of life”…is not only unsupported scientifically but is bad philosophy. Inanimate, non-living things in geology can never be anything other than functional no matter what transitional condition we find them in. The same cannot be said for living things in a delicately but perfectly balanced ecosystem.
A main point I want to make in this chapter, and indeed in this book, is that God has high standards and expectations for us. This is one reason why God composes our journey of faith life-scripts. Darwinian macroevolution has no high standards. Something in intermediate transition without a definite trajectory and having a random chance outcome cannot be classified as having high standards and expectations.
When the reactive mode is factored in, nature is downgraded to a system in constant need of corrective debugging utilizing unguided and purposeless trajectories, rather than the near flawless wonder that it is.
In macroevolution there is no high standard of expectation…no optimistic foresight…for a Mount Improbable outcome of functional biological characteristics, because there is not the foresight of a mountaintop in contemplation to aim for. There is only aimless, dysfunctional meandering in relatively meaningless directions. Mount Improbable outcomes across the breadth of the diversity of life require foresight, and Darwinian macroevolution by definition lacks foresight.
For Christians, the natural world is a source of pride in our Creator God. For atheists and agnostics, the natural world is on a par with human created things that need corrective debugging to resolve transitional intermediate imperfections through Darwinian evolution.
Biblical-quality journeys of faith promote higher morality than the philosophy of naturalism fueled by Darwinian macroevolution. The challenges, difficulties, and adversity inherent in God-composed adventures of faith produce resiliency in the area of moral absolutes, which are meaningless in a God-less, naturalistic worldview.
If a rising tide lifts all boats, the converse is also true. Remove direction and meaning from life, and replace it with the serendipity of random chance outcomes without any standards or expectations, and we have a global explanation for the underlying cause for many of our cultural, societal problems today.
If after 150 years of intensive effort the search for macroevolution in the fossil record has failed, instead producing the contrary evidence of the Cambrian Explosion, stasis, and extinction, and if the new information age has exposed the utter incapacity of random chance search strategies to produce function in complex systems, instead requiring the obvious need for intelligent agency…if macroevolution is thereby empirically proved to be a false choice…then the only concept left standing is creationism.
If theism owes any debt of gratitude to Darwinian evolution it is that it narrowed the field down to two and only two choices. If macroevolution drops out as a candidate, then the only candidate remaining is God. If this becomes the clear reality in the near future, why would we continue to teach macroevolution in our high schools and colleges, if this promotes the culturally debilitating, aimless, purposeless, philosophy of naturalism?
Sixth, and finally, many people working in building construction would say: “Is there any other way than the reactive mode? Of course we will get out there and start the work and then deal with any problems as they arise. We don’t have the time to spend sitting around figuring out what might go wrong.”
Many people think the most economical approach in terms of time investment is found in the reactive mode alone.
But the proactive and reactive modes are not subtly nuanced “differences without a distinction.” In human life-choices they are as fundamentally opposed as can be at the broad, worldview level. If we are living our lives in the reactive mode in response to whatever comes our way, we will make little progress.
There is nothing random about the life of Jesus. Yes, Jesus is daily responding to situations as they occur. But Jesus is never operating in the blind, trial-and-error, random chance search strategy of the response mode. In John 5:19 Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”
The miraculous works of Jesus are anything but random. In John chapter nine the story is told of the healing of a blind man. The disciples ask Jesus: “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? (Jn. 9:2). The non-random explanation by Jesus, incomprehensible to human understanding now, is: “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (Jn. 9:3). If in the future we can ask this man in heaven, looking back, if it was worth his previous suffering on earth as a blind man…to be a participant in manifesting the works of God recorded in the gospel of John for untold millions of people to read…my guess is he would say yes…yes it was worth being blind for a period of time so that the miraculous works of God through Jesus might be recorded in the New Testament gospels.
When Jesus stands before Pilate responding to Pilate’s assertion that he has the power to crucify or to release Jesus, Jesus refutes the randomness inherent in this statement by answering: “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above…” (Jn. 19:11).
There is absolutely nothing random about the proclamation of Jesus in the synagogue of Nazareth: “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Lk. 4:21), boldly, clearly, and confidently connecting Himself to the messianic prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-2.
A God-composed journey of faith life-script, and a journey of self-reliance apart from God, are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Darwinian macroevolution promotes the idea of responding to chance events in life in the reactive mode…leading nowhere. The biblical narrative stories of faith tell us that God has unique life-plans for each of us that are steeped in purpose, meaning, and direction. The competing issues at stake here are enormous…they are not superficial, not minor, not inconsequential, and not random…but rather located at the fundamental point of the meaning of life itself.
One goal of this chapter is to try to dispel the notion that atheists own science. Science belongs to everyone…to all thinking persons…theists and atheists alike.
If after 500 years of the modern scientific quest to rid mankind of superstition, folklore, magic, witchcraft, and “old-wives tales”…if this effort reveals unmistakable patterns of complex information arranged to create living creatures, which clearly points towards design by intelligent agency by means currently outside of our understanding…then our worldview philosophy will simply have to change and adapt to include this new reality…as it has numerous times over the last 500 years.