So I got into this discussion with my cousin the other night (sorry it took so long to get to this, Travis), in which we started talking about God and science. As I've previously mentioned, I believe the human mind is the greatest creation God has ever been responsible for...and it would be a sin to let it go to waste.
Before I go further, I would like to say that without a doubt, I am a firm believer in the One True God of Abraham. I am of the Christian persuasion, and believe a sinless man named Jesus was borne of a virgin, walked this earth, and eventually died for my sins before rising again a few days later. Hopefully, that should clear up any misconceptions that anyone may have.
Now, moving right along. I'd also like to say that I am also a firm believer in Darwinian Theory, at least the minuscule portions of it that I understand. Why? It's quite simple. I place far more belief in what I see, rather than what I read...especially if the text is several thousand years old and has been translated across several different languages, after being passed down through generations by people who had no written language.
Let's look, for a moment, at Darwinian theory. Yes, it is a THEORY. No one knows exactly what happened several million years ago (or, as Travis believes, a few thousand years ago). The best we can do is SPECULATE and base our theories upon the evidence we can actually see...in nature presently, in nature from the past (via fossil records), and what we can observe in laboratories.
Then, we have Creationist theory. Yes, it is a THEORY, as well. No one knows what happened a few thousand years ago (or several million years ago, as I believe). Again, the best we can hope for is evidence based upon observation, both in nature and in the lab.
As I was telling my cousin the other night, I am of the opinion that science used for the purpose of proving an ideology is doomed to fail...because you will ALWAYS find evidence that supports your theory, even if you think JFK was assassinated by little green men from Mars. Science should never be utilized for ANYTHING except the search for honest knowledge, regardless of whether it supports or disputes your ideology. If your findings don't support your preconceived notions, is there a chance that your preconceived notions might possibly be wrong?
Think about it this way...it's obvious, to both me AND my cousin, that our Almighty created the universe. Now, taking that into account, wouldn't you agree that he's a pretty intelligent dude? In my opinion, he's the most "Intelligent Designer" ever. Ever. EVER. EVER! Sorry, I just can't seem to emphasize that one enough.
If he's intelligent enough to create something as complex as the human mind, would he not be intelligent enough to create something so SIMPLE (in my opinion, anyway) as the mechanism of biological evolution?
Obviously, there are massive "holes" in evolutionary theory, that cannot be readily explained away. There are also quite a few massive holes in creationist theory that can't be explained scientifically...and sorry, but NO, quoting the Holy Bible doesn't count. Not even if you use the King James Version. That's just not science.
I have faith in God, but I will never truly understand him until the day I meet him and get to have a chat with the guy...and you won't either. There's a reason why they call it "faith" in God. You believe it. You can't touch it, you can't taste it, you can't see it, but you know it's there.
Now, for a response to something I saw on ProjectCreation.org...and I must admit, I had to rummage through some stuff, because it's been a while since I've had a biology class. On that website, there were three questions posed to believers in Darwinian (aka "Evolutionary") Theory...here they are, and here are my answers.
1) Where did the information in DNA come from originally?
It came from the earth, just like everything else God so intelligently designed. DNA is nothing more than a very complex polymer, made of elements found naturally in the earth. If natural events can cause something as spectacular as a volcanic eruption or a tsunami to occur, is it really that far-fetched to believe that millions of years of nature (or even thousands, if you so believe) cannot produce the necessary environment for the creation of life? If a small group of humans can produce an actual artificial organism less than 150 years (138, to be exact) after actually discovering DNA, I'm quite certain that nature can create the necessary environment somewhere.
2) How can mutations that are only capable of rearranging or losing information, cause brand new information to appear?
This question is, quite simply, a loaded question that contains a logical fallacy. If information is "rearranged", it is NEW INFORMATION. For a practical demonstration, let's look at something known as an "anagram". An "anagram" is nothing more than a word, whose letters are rearranged, to produce an entirely different word. There are only 26 letters in the modern English alphabet...and, literally, thousands of anagrams are known. DNA consists of 4 distinct molecules, which are cytosine, adenine, guanine, and thymine. They are bonded with "hydrogen bonds"...and, due to basic chemistry, adenine will bind with thymine and cytosine will bind with guanine. It doesn't change. What DOES change is the pattern of binding. If you REARRANGE the pattern of binding, you have CREATED NEW INFORMATION. For instance, take the word "bastard". Merely using those six letters, and THE EXACT NUMBER OF LETTERS IN THAT WORD, you can come up with no less than 38 other words or combination of words.
The manner in which DNA differs from an "anagram", even though it uses the base pairings of A+T and G+T, is the fact that these combinations are not limited to the number of pairs that may be used...and they don't have to conform to a preexisting written language! The largest DNA strand responsible for a single human gene consists of 220 MILLION base pairings...and it doesn't have to make a readable word or anything! All it has to do is convey information.
3) Why is there no evidence of 2, 4, 8 celled animals etc., ever having lived?
Umm, that's a good question, but let's think about this for a minute. Without digressing into a history lesson about Darwin's finches, let's look at WHY evolution takes place (according, of course, to Darwinian theory). Biological evolution is, with regard to the "short answer", the survival of the fittest. If a species is capable of surviving while being single-celled (such as the "Sea Grapes" are), they would have no reason to evolve into multi-celluar organisms...but would instead, evolve into the largest and strongest single-celled organisms, because this is what works.
Cockroaches are still in existence, in much the same state they were millions of years ago (if you follow modern science), because THERE WAS NO NECESSITY OF CHANGE FOR THE SPECIES TO SURVIVE. Cockroaches breed at a rate that would make a rabbit blush, can survive nuclear fallout, and will even survive being "nuked" in a microwave oven. Even though they can't survive the heel of my Bates steelcaps, you can rest assured that their brothers and sisters will. There's no need for the species to evolve, because there is nothing to prevent the survival of the species.
According to the website these questions came from, "There is abundant evidence for one-celled animals in both the living world and the fossil record, but there is not one shred of evidence of any animal above the one-celled level until it reaches many thousands of cells in multi-cellular creatures."
Let's look at that statement, and look at this. There are certain species of amoeba (the world's "single-celled animals") that have a MAXIMUM size of 3microns. The largest fossilized organism known to man is 5microns wide. If this is true, then it is possible for a species to be smaller than what is detectible by fossil record AWKI ("as we know it", from here on out).
Now, let's look at the fact that we have actual laboratory evidence of 2-, 4-, 6-, and 8-celled organisms of the fungus category...both laboratory-engineered, and naturally-observed. It's obvious that life DOES happen in a 4-cell scenario.
Looking back that the animal kingdom questioned, let's examine the question of multi-celled and single-celled organisms. The human body is made of literally BILLIONS of cells, working simultaneously. The largest-known single-celled animal is the "Sea Grape", recently discovered on the ocean floor in the Bahamas. It's clearly visible to the naked eye, and has been photographed near a shrimp for comparison. It's at least 1/4" wide. A red blood cell, by comparison, is roughly 7microns wide.
This goes back to original Darwinian theory (long before we ever discovered Sea Grapes or blood cells), but if an organism was able to sustain the species in an "as-is" format, it did so...and the members of that species most likely to survive were also the most likely to procreate. If you are an animal with no known natural predators, and you can survive with nothing more than a single cell, you are unlikely to have a need for cell division into specialized cells.
Lest we forget, even the Human body is made up of nothing more than a gazillion cells that work in conjunction with each other. In the scientific sense, the human body isn't really that spectacular. Cells make up organs, organs make up systems, and systems make up the complete body...it's all "building blocks". If you can have a single organism that is capable of survival without having to branch off into specialization, why fix it if it ain't broke?
Furthermore, we have undeniable evidence that both multi-cellular AND single-cellular animals exist and may consist of cells smaller than the smallest known fossilized cell. Taking this into account, along with the fact that multi-celled organisms whose cellular count has not reached double-digits are CURRENTLY in existence, is it not that far from the realm of possibility that an eight-celled animal might have existed (and, for that matter, may STILL exist) and we just don't know it?
I'll be the first to admit that I've read Origin of Species and still don't understand much of it...but to deny the possibility of evolution based upon a book that has been translated across several different languages (after being passed down from generation to generation in a society that had no written language) just doesn't seem very scientific to me.
God created mankind, as well as every other creature and plant on this planet. Is it really that much of a stretch to think that he is able to create something as simple as biological evolution? In the grand scheme of things, evolution is much simpler than creating man out of dirt. I'm quite certain that my Almighty God is more than capable...
Then again, that's just the way I see it, I could be wrong.