The Cell Declares His Handiwork

July-August 2011By Tom Bethell

Tom Bethell, a Contributing Editor of the NOR, is the author, most recently, of Questioning Einstein: Is Relativity Necessary? (Vales Lake Publishing, 2009).

The evolution wars continue, although less frequently these days in the headlines. Perhaps that’s because the Darwinists are slowly losing their grip. Most of the new research is at the molecular level, studying the interior of the cell. The findings are not encouraging to those whose philosophy obliges them to believe that organisms assembled themselves, bit by accidental bit. That philosophy is materialism, the belief that matter in motion is all that exists. But the newfound complexity of the cell implies that some higher power must have designed it, and all of life.

On the anti-Darwin side, several books have been published in recent years, among them Michael J. Behe’s The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism (2007) and Stephen C. Meyer’s Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (2009). A new book, The Myth of Junk DNA, by Jonathan Wells, the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, has just come out.

Behe is a professor of biological science at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and Meyer directs the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. Wells, who has two Ph.D.s — one in cell biology and one in theology — is also connected with the Discovery Institute. Discovery has played a major role in funding scientists associated with intelligent design, including the Biologic Institute directed by Douglas Axe. It undertakes original research in molecular biology. Discovery also publicizes the cases of academics who continue to be penalized for questioning Darwinism.

Supporters of intelligent design (ID) agree with creationists that Darwin’s theory of evolution cannot explain the existence of life. But unlike creationists, the advocates of ID rely solely on scientific and logical arguments and do not appeal to religious faith or to Scripture. Darwinists believe that random variation (mutation) and natural selection — the mechanism of evolution that was central to Darwin’s Origin of Species — sufficiently account for every living thing.

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Both "sides" of the evolution/creation argument begin by seeming to dismiss the other side - usually though gross misunderstanding of the others position.

Go back and few years and you will see that science books would admit that "it does look designed" even as they criticized the argument. But they were respectful of the obvious order in things. And religionists were generally respectful of science. That seems to be gone now.
Bethell's first paragraph sarcastically characterizes the evolution argument by claiming that it holds that cells evolved "bit by accidental bit."

No doubt there are scientists who believe this, just as there are creationists who think the earth is 6,000 years old.

The word "accidental" is the weasel word. "Unpredictable" might be better. The exact pattern of traffic on the freeway is unpredictable, but every driver has a specific purpose. The direction a pebble takes falling down a mountain is unpredictable, but it is generally "down" - under the force of gravity.

So there are scientists and trained minds who admit that the Universe is very very old, and the evidence for evolution very very good, and still maintain their faith is a sovereign God who directs all things and loves us.
Posted by: eberwein
August 09, 2011 02:08 PM EDT
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