Big News in Science
Commentary for October 26, 2004 — Science Begins to Acknowledge God
An interesting event occurred recently in science. The event was not a new discovery but it was a milestone in scientific publication. The event was a small step by science to begin a serious look at reality. It has come by the publication of a recent peer-reviewed article in an old and established American science journal. The article discusses long-considered scientific data showing that current evolutionary explanations and models are hopelessly flawed and are in fact impossible and useless as explanations for the origin of life. As a result, more and more scientists are slowly and subtly reconsidering creation by God. While the information in the article has long been considered and discussed among creationists, such a discussion has never occurred in a peer-reviewed scientific article. Publication of this peer-reviewed article is the first sign of a growing acceptance of a creation model. The article reviews the various evolutionary theories and models for the creation of life on earth and the increasing necessary and inescapable conclusion of intelligent design behind that creation, with no role for evolution. It does this by pointing out the increasing realization by scientists that as the so-called basic elements of creation and life — cells, genes, DNA, amino acids, organic molecules down to atoms and subatomic particles — show an incredible complexity. Those so-called “basic” elements do not get simpler as one examines the smallest elements of life, but they demonstrate surprisingly precise and complex systems and patterns down to the smallest constituent parts.
Patterns of Life
Furthermore, these “basic” elements reveal systems and patterns similar to modes of communication that we are familiar with today. In other words the patterns of these living systems, and the components that make up these living systems, convey messages so that the pattern can be duplicated and passed on to future generations. This is, of course, necessary in living things so that a particular “kind” of organism, with all its functioning body parts and living systems, can procreate for many generations. If this scientific acknowledgement of creation continues on an ever increasing scale then we will have an element of what Paul writes about in Romans chapter 1, knowledge that was known at one time, was lost and may be in the process of being recovered (see my article “Restitution of All Things: What to Expect”
“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”The Article
• Romans 1:19–20
The science article is titled “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories,” written by Steven C. Meyer, Director and Senior Fellow of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute, in Seattle, Washington. This extensive review article was published in Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington (volume 117, no. 2, pp. 213–239), a peer-reviewed science journal published at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.
“Dr. Meyer argues that no current materialistic theory of evolution can account for the origin of the information necessary to build novel animal forms. He proposes intelligent design as an alternative explanation for the origin of biological information and the higher taxa.”Meyer begins by discussing the inadequate theories of biological form generation. This involves change of form within one organism from egg, to birth, to young, to adult. Then Meyer discusses the theories about how those forms supposedly changed into new forms or “species” (or “kinds,” using the biblical term, found in Genesis 1:11f, 21, 24f, 6:20, 7:14, Leviticus 11:14ff, 19, 22, 29; Deuteronomy 14:13ff, 18; and Ezekiel 47:10). Both problems need to be addressed by evolutionary theory.
• Abstract prior to article, at website
“In the last decade or so a host of scientific essays and books have questioned the efficacy of selection and mutation as a mechanism for generating morphological novelty, as even a brief literature survey will establish. ... Genetics might be adequate for explaining microevolution, but microevolutionary changes in gene frequency were not seen as able to turn a reptile into a mammal or to convert a fish into an amphibian. Microevolution looks at adaptations that concern the survival of the fittest, not the arrival of the fittest. As Goodwin (1995) points out, 'the origin of species — Darwin's problem — remains unsolved.’”[Note: Microevolution involves the natural selection and breeding within a species or kind. Dogs of all breeds are still dogs. They do not change into something other than dogs, no matter the variety or extent of change. Chihuahuas and Great Danes are both still dogs, no matter how great the changes. Microevolution is true and operates within the biblical understanding. Meyer says that macroevolution, changes to a new species or kind through some “natural” process, never occurs.] Meyer goes on to detail the many small internal structures that make up an organism and concludes that biological systems:
• Meyer, “Origin”
“... also depend on hierarchical arrangements of parts. Genes and proteins are made from simple building blocks — nucleotide bases and amino acids — arranged in specific ways. Cell types are made of, among other things, systems of specialized proteins. Organs are made of specialized arrangements of cell types and tissues. And body plans comprise specific arrangements of specialized organs.”He cites biological studies that clearly show the impossibility of those building blocks (genes and proteins) “changing” into a different kind of building block by chance, and that the non-chance changes that do occur cannot be without instruction. These instructions that cause the changes do not occur by chance. All of those infinitesimal building blocks of proteins and cells must work together perfectly to produce larger structures like organs and bones, throughout the lifetime of the organism until it can produce offspring. The genes and proteins must communicate to cells to specifically build bone, or skin, or fur, or a stomach, or a lung, or structures of the eye. In so doing these proteins and cells transmit incredibly large amounts of coded information to each other within the organism and from generation to generation. No evolutionary explanation exists of how this happens within one organism, much less between organisms, or between kinds. The amount of information needed to produce a single organism is such that,
• Meyer, “Origin”
“Our experience-based knowledge of information-flow confirms that systems with large amount of specified complexity (especially codes and languages) invariably originate from an intelligent source from a mind or personal agent.”As a result, evidence is developing that any evolutionary explanation is impossible. In fact evolutionists admit that there is “a pervasive pattern of ‘sudden appearance’ and ‘stasis’ in the fossil record.” The fossil record confirms that animal forms appeared without intermediary forms. An article that is peer reviewed has three or more experts in the field determine that the article warrants publication, even if they disagree with the conclusions. From discussions about the article, it appears that the reviewers did not agree with the author’s conclusions, but acknowledged that the article was professional enough to warrant publication and discussion. This is a small step in the right direction that should be noted. This article, and the fact that it has any association (however small) with the Smithsonian Institution is causing a big stir in scientific circles. Reviews of this article have appeared in two other major science publications, The Scientist (“Intelligent design study appears: Publication of paper in peer-reviewed journal sparks controversy”) and Nature (“Peer-reviewed paper defends theory of intelligent design”). So the fact that it was published and that its publication was noticed is a very significant event. Meyer believes that science is not monolithic except in the discussion of the origins of life. After reviewing the literature and the shortcomings of the various evolutionary models, Steven Meyer concludes “what natural selection lacks, intelligent selection — purposive or goal-directed design — provides.” In other words, there is a God who created life and sustains it.
• Meyer, “Origin”
“Analysis of the problem of the origin of biological information, therefore, exposes a deficiency in the causal powers of natural selection that corresponds precisely to powers that agents are uniquely known to possess. Intelligent agents have foresight. ... The causal powers that natural selection lacks — almost by definition — are associated with the attributes of consciousness and rationality — with purposive intelligence.”The Present
• Meyer, “Origin”
I suspect there are many findings “contrary-to-expectations” being made in most all fields of the biological sciences that deal with “origin of life” issues. These findings may finally be receiving the recognition they deserve. This science article, while somewhat difficult to read, is unusually well written. Much of it is understandable to a layperson, even though it contains a great number of specialized terms. The conclusion of the article, of course, implies a Creator. You and I know the name of that Creator. His name is YHWH (which is God’s self-designated personal name in Exodus 3:13–15). This is God the Father. The Word, begotten as Jesus, is also a Creator because from YHWH all things were created through the Word: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). The apostle Paul expands on that same thought referring to Jesus as the Son:
“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”Paul could not have been more inclusive or expansive in his description of Christ’s role in the creation. As “the firstborn of every creature” the Son was the first creation of God the Father (see also Revelation 3:14). From that point everything else was created. Both the Father (YHWH) and the Son (the Word, Jesus Christ) were intimately involved in the subsequent creation.
• Colossians 1:15–17
The restitution of all things (Acts 3:21) must obviously include acknowledgement of God’s existence. This means that a change will take place from the situation Paul described in his past and up to our current day:
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”The restitution of all things will occur according to God’s timetable. You will see changes in thought in not only science, but also in the realms of religion, politics, and social ethics. The changes in thought will be voluntary, not forced by some authoritarian order. It will appear that the times of the prophets are being fulfilled:
• Romans 1:21–23
“For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”The nations will likely pray (individually and corporately) in partial fulfillment of Psalm 67:
• Habakkuk 2:14 (see also Isaiah 11:9)“All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before you.”
• Psalm 22:27
“God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. That your way may be known upon earth, your saving health among all nations. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for you shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah. Let the people praise you, O God; let all the people praise you. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.”Events may develop to the extent that the nations perform at that time what the Psalmist says they will surely later do after Christ’s return:
• Psalm 67:1–7
“All nations whom you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord; and shall glorify your name. For you are great, and do wondrous things: You are God alone. Teach me your way, O Lord; I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear your name.”The conversion will merely be on the surface, however genuine at the moment. It will be similar to the conversion of many thousands of Jews who accepted Christ Jesus as their Messiah and later fell away and rejected Him when events did not occur as they thought they should occur. There was a falling away from truth.
• Psalm 86:9–11
The Falling Away
In the future there will be another falling away from truth (and it will not be a falling away from evangelical Christianity today). It is called “the falling away” (apostasia in Greek, “the apostasy” in English) with a definite article indicating a particular extraordinary falling away. It will be followed by a great deception, the revealing of the man of sin, and then the final events of the Day of the Lord.
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come [the] falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”The publication of this one science article is perhaps a new trend beginning for science: acknowledgement of the Creator of heaven and earth. For us it might be another milestone to mark toward the soon-coming restitution of all things.
• 2 Thessalonians 2:1–4
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