Just how scientific is “Evolution” and just how unscientific is “Creation”?
Is there any distinction between “improbable” and “impossible”?
If Darwin wrote “The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” this scientifically preferred study is already adrift with metaphysical questions about who or what accounts for this thing called “natural selection”.
The word “selection” betrays the existence of choice and therefore of why that choice was made – which leads further to “purpose” or “aim” or “intention”, which again pre-supposes some sort of expectation, some idea of what is needed or what is necessary – and eventually takes us uncomforatbly near the idea of intelligent design
Even logically, to select a particular species as “viable” would be to put it through tests such as, for instance, its “survival” capability. (Notice that we have placed “survival” as a determinant without addressing why survival is of any importance at all – that is, we are imposing upon nature that which “makes sense” to us without justifying why we make this ***”sensible”*** assumption). There is a certain “idealism” that we impose upon nature, but we should have the honesty to admit that this idealism is of our own creaton, not something “out there” independent of us.
Then again, if evolution is merely a random mutation, there would be countless different “models” that would have been put to the test and did not “survive” – just so as to be fair to the pure randomness model. Yet, we do not see any evidence of these expectedly numerous “failed” species. Given the sheer number of possibilities, we should be having carcasses of failed species all over the place through all of time.
We do not see that, of course. So let’s give it another chance. Let’s assume that the failed species fails even before the organism develops – right at the DNA mutation stage. If this is so then as it stands we are already contradicting the “survival of the fittest” ground rule. How do we know a particular DNA type will not survive unless we allow it become a full fledged organism? Does the failed DNA already know that it will not survive in the future? There is nothing wrong with this theory actually, except that science is more comfortable with causality as being something that affects the present from the past, rather than from the futureThe water is boiling in my kettle because I switched it on 5 minutes ago is “more scientific” than “I switched on the kettle to have some hot tea after five minutes”.
Another way to accomodate natural selection and survival of the fittest is to unify them as a singular principle. A mutating DNA molecule, let us assume, is capable of surviving or it is naturally “selected” as long as it is capable of self-replication, and therefore of growth in numbers and therefore of creating a new species. The survival capability, let us conjecture, is already verified at the initial stages whereby the molecules’ capacity to self-replicate is itself the least test of its survival capability.
Further let us say that not all DNA combinations get “selected” or as we have tried to show, not all DNA molecules retain the capacity for self-replication after any mutation. Even by this method of evolution (whereby natural selction / survival is determined at the molecular level itself) there would be trillions upon trillions of failed DNA mutations, and who is to remember whether a certain mutation failed – so let’s not make the same error again. By the strict rules of randomness, even all errors could get repeated indefinitely unless there is a sort of memory that retains the attempts tha thave already failed. The DNA type B as mutated from the DNA type A is rejected. But, supppose htat without any memory, the environmental conditions are such that DNA type A repeatedly mutates to DNA type B. Waiting for the environmental conditions to change could take anywhere between 1 nanosecond to one thousand billion trillion years. And now we have another variable to multiply into the already huge improbability of it all. I do not think I need to emphasize my point by going into the mathematics of pure probability. So far we have not even tried to go further down the line whereby, beginning with the singularity called the Big Bang itself, the probability of life emerging from random movements of molecules is as close to zero as we can ever get.
Presupposing that life has somehow emerged, and coming back to Evolution itself, if we keep the environment out of it, we can’t appeal to “natural selection” either, because prior to the idea of natural selecton we need to have evolved an environment that is capable of natural selection. And that’s amother evolution we have to account for. Remember that we are trying our best to do away with any sort of “intelligence” overseeing and guiding the evolutionary process here. We are trying to be “scientific” and yet the mathematical improbability of it all is getting the better of us.
Maybe we are making a very fundamental mistake. Maybe we have not considered that there may be a distinction between what is improbable and what is impossible. Maybe, just maybe…we think, as scientists, that improbable is “better” than impossible because if something is impossible it will also be improbable. But if something is improbable it is not necessarily impossible. We can always insert biases and prejudices to make the improbable probable. Scientific Axioms are no different from religious Tenets epistemologically. So what are we complaining about?