26.4 Why evolution is true
There are many similarities of theistically-driven evolution with raising a family
or raising democracy in a nation. We never begin from scratch. Sudden changes are
rarely successful. Everyone must gradually develop his own character, as if from
himself.Molecular designs will have been selected, not
only for physical efficiency, but also for their ability to receive theistic
influx and so represent some small part of the human functional form in the mental
and spiritual degrees. It may be that putative examples of ‘bad design’ have their
good uses when the needs for reception are taken into account. We certainly cannot
decide ‘good design’ on purely physical grounds since the overall purpose is always
the coming into existence of human-like beings who are able to spiritually receive,
retain, and delight in (and hence return) the love of God. When evolution comes
to the spiritual stage where actions during the life have very long-lasting consequences,
then phenomena of disease, predation, etc take on new importance and have to be
managed to minimize their occurrence.
Many scientific investigations are still needed, even given the concept of theistically-driven
evolution. We still have to understand the history of life on earth and the frequencies
of genes in the various populations. We still have the problem of finding transitional
species. Even in the hands-on limit, there must still be transitional forms between
the main taxa of life in the various eras. There are the same needs here for evidence
as in Darwinian evolution. The development of a new species may now seem easy to
explain, perhaps too easy, but speciation is still a difficult process to understand
and to accomplish. There must have been preparatory collection and harboring of
new genetic information in the non-functional parts of existing genomes until these
new sections could be activated together to give birth to a new species. How, given
what we know of molecular genetics, could that have been managed? And managed simultaneously
in several creatures of a species (especially if there is sexual reproduction)?
Apart from that word ‘managed’, the questions of the continuous variations of genetic
structures are very similar to those asked by Darwinian evolutionists. Therefore
such research work is still needed.
The origin of life is still difficult to understand, even if now it is not so
astronomically improbable as it would be according to a purely naturalistic account.
We need to understand how the materials for life were assembled together into a
form that keeps some perpetuating structure of its own. If you watch these materials
in detail they will not follow exactly the laws of physics of inanimate bodies.
Only the very simplest structures can be directly assembled (for reasons explained
above). After the first assemblies, all else must follow by driving ‘behind the
scenes’ to make these evolve gradually into new forms of life. The difficulties,
even for God, of assembling organisms (as if from themselves) are sufficiently numerous
that the idea that all the world’s creatures came from just one ancestor (‘universal
common descent’) seems (to me) to be rather plausible. Whether it is also true must
be the subject of scientific investigations, but, certainly, universal common descent
cannot be used as distinguishing feature of only Darwin’s theory.
We will look again at the meanings of religious scriptures such as the first
chapters of Genesis to properly understand the manner in which living beings come