Do you see now why the arrogance of Darwinists like Dennett and Dawkins is entirely misplaced? These fellows seem to think they are armed with some master theory that provides a full explanation for the universe, and for our place in it. Yet their cherished evolutionary theory cannot account for the origin of life, the origin of consciousness, or the origin of human rationality and morality. Any theory that cannot account for these landmark stages can hardly claim to have solved the problem of origins, either of life or of the universe. It can take credit only for elucidating some transitions along the way. Evolu- tion seems right as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go very far.
True, one day science may provide us with better answers. I am not making a “God of the Gaps” argument that says because science cannot explain this, therefore God did it. But neither do I want to succumb to the “atheism of the gaps” that holds that even where there is no explanation, we should be confident that a natural explanation is forthcoming. Yes,science has made huge strides in explaining some things but in other areas science has not markedly advanced since the days of the Babylonians. Our best bet is to go with what we know so far and draw conclusions based on that. As of now, evolution is a useful theory but one that falls well short of accounting for the kind of life we have in the world.
Let us now return to the claims by Dawkins and others that Darwin’s theory of evolution has decimated Paley’s argument from design. Actually, Paley’s argument has never been refuted. I am not talking of the specific details that Paley cited, but about his general case for design. That case is actually much stronger today than when Paley made it two centuries ago.
Dawkins is too blinded by anti-religious prejudice to see it, but his argument in The Blind Watchmaker actually supports the design argument. To see why, consider the example of a computer. A computer is like Paley’s watch: it shows clear evidence of design. No one could seriously contend that the computer somehow “evolved” through the forces of natural selection. Someone made it and someone programmed it. Now let’s assume that this is not the case with a certain type of software. Let’s assume that this software operates in a kind of “open source” mode. It accepts random changes and somehow the most useful and adaptive programs survive.
Let’s posit that the process here is evolutionary; it is guided by no one. My question is the following: would the fact of evolution in the case of the software in any way undermine the fact of design in the case of the computer? Obviously not. The software may evolve but someone still had to make the computer and install in it the original programming.
Now apply this analogy to the universe. I have in previous chapters offered strong evidence that the universe is the product of design. The universe could not have evolved through natural selection, as the universe makes up the whole of nature. Someone made the universe and prescribed the laws that govern its operations. Now within the universe there are innumerable life forms that correspond in our analogy to the software programs. These life forms are the product of evolution, and Darwin and his successors have elegantly elucidated the modes of transition. But evolution has no explanation for the origin of the universe or its laws. So how can evolution undercut the argument from design as it applies to the universe itself and the laws that govern it? Clearly it cannot. In this case, as with the computer, the evolution of the part in no way refutes the deliberate design of the whole. The overwhelming evidence is that someone planned the whole thing.