By: Jay Dyer
There are numerous misunderstandings surrounding the subjects of Genesis, creation, evolution, science and theology, which muddy the primordial goo even further than it already was (if only it was real!). From reliance on naïve positivism and empiricism to assumptions and equivocations over terms, the standard debates on these issues are often ill-served by both sides, including “Creationists” (and/or Intelligent Design proponents), generally due to bad philosophy. The same is true for the opponents of Creation, who almost never have a background in the philosophy science, which looks at the logos – the mechanics and workings – of the very thing they propose to practice and defend. The worst side of this matter is undoubtedly the Darwinian side, which I will argue is the most irrational and incoherent of all, and that rather than a position that need be taken seriously and conciliated or reconciled to theology, ought to be dispensed with as preposterous. The purpose of this essay is, in part, to respond to a recent defense of “Theistic Evolution,” as well as to shed light on more fundamental, presuppositional problems in this often misguided debate (with more to follow in the future).
The Evolution of Darwinian Evolution and Anti-Epistemological Self-Negation
The most misunderstood and simultaneously most important factor to grasp is how presuppositions and paradigms function as templates to interpret “facts.” An epistemological mistake that has become the entrenched norm since the Enlightenment’s tabula rasa is the presumption there are “brute facts” that come un-interpreted, outside of some contextual framework or worldview. In the older paradigm, which retained a more classical anthropology where man was seen as a created being, man was equipped with a host of faculties from God, endowing him with the ability to will, act, learn and modify his environment. This holistic view was grounded in a wide-ranging metaphysical anthropology inherited primarily from the Eastern Christian Tradition and the Christology of the 7 Ecumenical Councils, but also with terminological and conceptual insights and analogies from the Greek philosophical tradition.
The revolutions of the Enlightenment period repositioned man in a vast, mechanistic, determined cosmos of flux and brute “causality” in which he sought to become the ultimate agent and source of meaning itself. Western Establishment science eventually came to reflect this revolution in thought by offering a new paradigm of the natural sciences, where man was now the chance product of endless aeons of chaos and flux. The crucial point to keep in mind for our discussion is the fact that the purely “naturalistic” framework for understanding the world was promulgated with an astounding degree of propaganda and top-down dogmatism, notably from the Royal Society. Evolutionary naturalism, as we will explore, is undoubtedly and certainly a conspiracy, and not at all a “neutral” theory of “open scientific inquiry,” as it pretends to be.
It is this notion of scientific and epistemic “neutrality” which must first be examined and dispensed with first. Presuming to interpret the phenomena of experience without a contextual framework or schema within one’s lexicon of linguistic symbols becomes self-evident upon reflection, yet mysteriously eluded so many of the empiricists of the last few centuries precisely because it contradicted their dogma of tabula rasa. Ironically, this is already an older, outdated philosophy of perception that perfectly mirrored the zeitgeist of a Hume, Kant or Locke. For those studied in modern philosophy of science, phenomenology and traditions counter to the Darwinian ethos, there are numerous indicators which show the “facts” of our experience are rather parts of a network of signs and symbols, as well as being situated within a “web” or our wider or more foundational beliefs and assumptions about the world.
The earthworm, for example, was famously hailed by Darwin himself, as well as many of his disciples today, to be the most important “evolutionary appearance” prior to the supposed “dawn of man.” Let’s take the earthworm as an example of how science actually functions on the ground, and consider what philosophical and perceptual truths emerge that are, in fact prior to the actual praxis of the scientific method. The earthworm investigated in the lab is the earthworm as known, experienced and interpreted by the individual scientist, given his inner framework of past experiences, accumulated knowledge and present “direct” experiences with the slimy dirt-dweller, all of which form an interpretation of the object before him in his lab. Upon reflection, it should be self-evident that the mechanics of how this creature is understood will be informed intuitively by the mind of the scientist’s conceptions concerning it. In other words, the earthworm does not spontaneously generate its own, wholly new meaning to the fresh mind’s eye, nor does a scientific blank slate of perception simply record quantitative “facts” about the object, add them all up and produce an earthworm calculus for all such “species.”
This earthworm did not appear out of a vacuum with an instruction manual, nor does the mere quantification of its length, weight, diet, etc. afford the scientist all possible earthworm gnosis. While these points seem obvious to us as we read and ponder the actual actions of perceiving phenomena in any given scientific lab, this naïve empiricism is still the normative approach and presupposition for mainstream science! This, in fact, is why modern science tends to avoid the questions of philosophy of science, relegating them to the dustbin, along with medieval metaphysics and angels because it pretends they are unanswerable. However, they are not unanswerable, but rather the answers and explanations for such questions are not what mainstream science wants to hear.
Why this is so is obvious, as it immediately brings metaphysics back into the picture, but not only metaphysics, it immediately shows the inescapable need for, and usage of, invariant, immaterial, conceptual realities (such as laws of logic, mathematics, etc.), which are not coherent in most paradigms of secular and naturalistic materialistic science. While I am not advocating Husserl’s notion of “bracketing,” Husserl certainly showed the scientific method itself operates on principles of logic, inference, coherence and regularity that are not empirically knowable or verifiable, in his Logical Investigations. For example, the principle of induction, upon which all of science is founded, cannot be known of verified empirically.
That the future will be like the past, as Hume consistently showed, cannot be known by past or present empirical observations without begging the question or being circular. In a Christian context, of course, we have a reason for believing the future will be like the past and nature will function with regularity, known as the Providence of God. While seemingly laughable and jeered at by modern self-negating man, this is perfectly coherent, if the kind of God professed exists, yet utterly incoherent in the worldview professed by the naturalist, and especially the naïve empiricist naturalist (which is the majority of that camp to this day). Indeed, that scientists are so ignorant of philosophy – and by extension logic – is really a folly to their own detriment (and a source of most of this nonsense).
As philosopher of science Michael Polanyi commented:
“To say that the discovery of objective truth in science consists in the apprehension of a rationality which commands our respect and arouses our contemplative admiration, that such discovery, while using the experience of our senses as clues, transcends this experience by embracing the vision of a reality beyond the impression of our senses, a vision which speaks for itself in guiding us to an even deeper understanding of reality-such an account of scientific procedure would be generally shrugged aside as out-dated Platonism: a piece of mystery-mongering unworthy of an enlightened age. Yet it is precisely on this conception of objectivity that I wish to insist in.” (Personal Knowledge, p. 5-6)
But back to our scientist in the lab with his pet earthworm – from whence earthworm? Estimations (generally spouted as factual dogmas) of the earthworm’s presumed genetic development will already be assumed to be that given the Darwinian paradigm. Similarities in genetic code with other worms will be read precisely according to the “single ancestor” thesis, proclaiming (with Darwin) this worm the “most influential” ancestor. The standard reply: “It came from a sea worm 500 million years ago.” Really? And how might this be determined, aside from so-called “carbon dating”? It is presumed from the hazy and monstrously speculative (and nonsensical) theory of the Darwinian “Tree of Life” of common ancestry.
So, from this example we can see the interpretation of the earthworm is bound up with its origins, already assumed to be the result of an arbitrary and preposterous claim of 500 million years (!) based on a chart devised by an artistic rendering of a “Tree of Life” that is in turn based on flawed semiotics – the philosophy of interpreting signs and symbols, where homologies and morphology, which literally amount to “look how this thing looks like that thing – so there.” The example scientist in this case is relying on a theory that is based entirely upon authority, which he learned from his professors, etc., with no empirical means whatsoever of establishing anything approximating the fantastical dating of 500 million years. The figure of half a billion years is so staggering and beyond human conception one wonders how supposedly learned men toss such figures around like it was a recounting of the ingredients of last week’s lunch.
Mystery Science Theater Time Lords from Planet X 5,000,000,000
A crucial few points should be added here concerning the “appearance of great age,” which you will see in light of the earthworm and my arguments below concerning phylogeny, morphology and homology, are also subject to interpretation of appearances, based on presuppositions. The only reason the layers of rock or calcite buildup are perceived to be ancient is because “authorities” (operating on all the same assumptions outlined here) proclaimed it to be so. It must have taken millions of years for geological formations to occur as they have. It simply must have taken millions of years for calcium carbonate to accumulate around geysers, stalactites and stalagmites. The Grand Canyon must have taken millions of years! Just look at it – you can see all those millions of aeons in those cake-resembling layers!
Yet upon reflection, there is absolutely nothing a priori that conveys any information whatsoever concerning vast aeons of time when observing these structures. Quite the contrary – for every one of these common examples, there are observed facts of very brief spans of time in which similar structures have been observed to manifest! Ironically, there is no experiential, empirical basis for believing in the vast aeons for dating these structures, given the very nature of the astounding and fantastical claims – 60 million years, 4.5 billion years, etc. The Darwinian and naturalist modes of “science” are far closer to science fiction and H.G. Wells’ vast aeon propaganda, than anything empirically observed.
In regard to the formations of stalagmites, stalactites and geysers, the Fly Geyser in Nevada near “Burning Man” is an accidental human creation resulting from drilling that over a few decades caused an exceptional pillar of calcium carbonate (along with two other similar structures). Mainstream science dates them up to 190,000 years, when they empirically are consistently seen to form in decades. The same phenomena can also be seen in caves and basements of old houses, only a hundred years ago. Canyons similar to the Grand Canyon have opened up overnight, such as the massive crack (known as “The Gash”) near the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming in October of 2015. While not the same size as the Grand Canyon, yet still very large, the crack was the result of seismic shift, showing a larger Grand Canyon sized hole could easily occur suddenly, and not as a result of vast (unobserved) aeons. Polystrate fossils, which defy the aeons of time fit the same pattern of extending up through layers of substrate supposedly accruing over millions of years. Quite obviously, this is impossible on the mainstream model of dating (and rather clearly suggest a worldwide flood). The same principle applies for ice cores and their purported aeons of formation, as well as objects frozen across layers they should not be. Dr. Larry Vardiman comments, showing again the empirical pattern is consonant with short spans of time, not vast aeons:
“The Greenland Society of Atlanta has recently attempted to excavate a 10-foot diameter shaft in the Greenland ice pack to remove two B-17 Flying Fortresses and six P-38 Lightning fighters trapped under an estimated 250 feet of ice for almost 50 years (Bloomberg, 1989). Aside from the fascination with salvaging several vintage aircraft for parts and movie rights, the fact that these aircraft were buried so deeply in such a short time focuses attention on the time scales used to estimate the chronologies of ice.
If the aircraft were buried under about 250 feet of ice and snow in about 50 years, this means the ice sheet has been accumulating at an average rate of five feet per year. The Greenland ice sheet averages almost 4000 feet thick. If we were to assume the ice sheet has been accumulating at this rate since its beginning, it would take less than 1000 years for it to form and the recent-creation model might seem to be vindicated.”
Setting aside the absurdity of the vast aeons of time involved in this scheme, the point is clear concerning the understanding of the earthworm as an example for the interpretation of any and all scientific datum (as well as all phenomena of experience), inasmuch as no object of experience is independent of the totality of our familiarity of the object. Thus, the philosophy of science raises the question of how the naïve empiricism involved in the entirety of the concocting (not to mention undergirding) of this theory is at all tenable, given what the view itself says about man. By this point I mean that the kind of “man” proposed in this Darwinian scheme is not created man – he is not man with a will, psyche, nous, etc., he is purely natural “man,” which term is merely a nominalist expulsion of air from the lungs, signifying some token object (and not signifying an actual metaphysical category). Darwinism is inescapably anti-metaphysical (we will come to Theistic evolution in a moment) and devised precisely to be so. As St. Paul remarked, the “natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit.” (1 Cor. 2:14)
The emergence of the Enlightenment tabula rasa was intended to enthrone man’s reason and scientific enquiry as supreme, while within a few generations man was dethroned in Darwin’s scheme, relegating his reason to the logical consequence of also being a meaningless or non-existent appearance of the same deterministic natural causes that produced man himself. Inexorably bound up in the determinist/naturalistic fallacy, the “reason” and “consciousness” that purport to do science are negated and made meaningless by the naturalism and transformism that function as its “chosen” grand narrative. Just as free will, volition and consciousness must be tossed aside, so also must “reason” and “scientific knowledge” go (as well as the “self,” etc., as additional metaphysical verbiage).
As I have remarked many times, these are all variations on the same argument concerning the impossibility of naturalistic materialism, given that its scientistic empiricism are self-refuting: the scientific method itself cannot be empirically known (nor a host of other things, such as conceptual entities, numbers, logical laws, etc), and yet they obviously undergird and used in the process of scientific enquiry. Physicalism is a dead end absurdity and the embracing of it makes one a fool manifestly, especially when they pretend to possess the keys of all gnosis, simultaneously showing their foolishness in the very act of speaking, as their presuppositions negate their own self as a conscious being.
Subjective Semiotics Masquerading as Bare Empiricism and More Fraud
As for homologies, morphology, and phylogeny, it should be insightful for those who aren’t aware that Ernst Haeckel was notoriously guilty of forging the very inception of this idea, and this is known to be so. Recall the homologies are the central basis for the entire theory, as well as the so-called common ancestor “Tree of Life.” (As we will see, DNA is not a basis for Darwinian theory at all – quite the contrary, it is one of the strongest refutations). Russell Grigg writes:
“Haeckel’s enthusiasm for the theory of evolution led him to fraudulently manufacture ‘evidence’ to bolster his views. He was the first person to draw an evolutionary ‘family tree’ for mankind. To fill the gap in this between inorganic non-living matter and the first signs of life, he invented a series of minute protoplasmic organisms which he called Monera (plural of Moneron). These, he said, were
‘not composed of any organs at all, but consist entirely of shapeless, simple homogeneous matter … nothing more than a shapeless, mobile, little lump of mucus or slime, consisting of albuminous combination of carbon.’
In 1868, a prestigious German scientific journal published 73 pages of his speculations, with more than 30 drawings of these imaginary Monera, as well as scientific names such as Protamoeba primitivia, and the process of fission by which they allegedly reproduced,7even though his detailed descriptions and elaborate drawings were totally fictional, as these ‘life particles’ were entirely non-existent.
Later the same year, Thomas Huxley, Darwin’s champion in England, reported finding something that fitted Haeckel’s descriptions in mud samples that had been dredged from the bottom of the north Atlantic and preserved in alcohol. Huxley named them Bathybius haeckelii.”
Haeckel is also famous for his faked sketches of supposed embryo similarity titled the “biogenetic law” of phylogeny. Grigg again:
“In his book Natürliche Schöpfungs-geschichte (The Natural History of Creation),published in German in 1868 (and in English in 1876 with the title The History of Creation), Haeckel used the drawing of a 25-day-old dog embryo which had been published by T.L.W. Bischoff in 1845, and that of a 4-week-old human embryo published by A. Ecker in 1851–59. Wilhelm His, Sr (1831–1904), a famous comparative embryologist of the day and professor of anatomy at the University of Leipzig, uncovered the fraud.
Prof. Wilhelm His showed in 1874 that Haeckel had added 3.5 mm to the head of Bischoff’s dog embryo, taken 2 mm off the head of Ecker’s human embryo, doubled the length of the human posterior, and substantially altered the details of the human eye. He sarcastically pointed out that Haeckel taught in Jena, home of the then finest optical equipment available, and so had no excuse for inaccuracy. He concluded that anyone who engaged in such blatant fraud had forfeited all respect and that Haeckel had eliminated himself from the ranks of scientific research workers of any stature.”
This fraud has also been reexamined to be far more profound that many assumed. What the embryonic homology example and the Berkeley website’s examples show is that this theory is fundamentally about “recognizing patterns,” which is an interpretation of forms, assuming all manner of conclusions based on unsubstantiated starting points. This is semiotics – interpreting forms and symbols, a very philosophical and subjective enterprise, though this is never admitted by those who proffer this scheme’s simple, observable “empirical proof.” Furthermore, this is not mere “pattern recognition,” which might be objective, were it concerning mathematical samples, but instead, the various patterns involved in homology and morphology are not readily apparent. This subjective element to the phylogeny of Darwinism is laughably revealed when the Berkeley Site adds the following “probably” caveat, with the ridiculous, arbitrary conclusion “birds are dinosaurs”:
“The process of evolution produces a pattern of relationships between species. As lineages evolve and split and modifications are inherited, their evolutionary paths diverge. This produces a branching pattern of evolutionary relationships….
The tree is supported by many lines of evidence, but it is probably not flawless. Scientists constantly reevaluate hypotheses and compare them to new evidence. As scientists gather even more data, they may revise these particular hypotheses, rearranging some of the branches on the tree. For example, evidence discovered in the last 50 years suggests that birds are dinosaurs, which required adjustment to several “vertebrate twigs.”
Quite a required adjustment, to say the least! The entirety of this nonsense is based on the assumption of a common ancestor (never demonstrated, only assumed – how could you possibly demonstrate this?), which is alternately defended on the claim of “similar DNA” (and variations on that claim, such as endogenous retroviruses, ERVs) However, the small percentage of DNA differentiation between man and mouse, for example, obviously reveals a vast disparity in features, making the oft-cited monkey similarity example useless and absurd. Yet that is the point, we are told – the common DNA must have originated in a common ancestor, which is assumed to be the only rational thesis, as if God could not have created separate forms or species together. However, in a creation paradigm it makes perfect sense why common DNA exists – the same Designer created and coded them all from the same material of sea and earth (Gen. 1:11, 20, 24, 2:7). This is even taught visually in the Icon of Creation by the Logos.
The cry here will inevitably be that no “supernatural Causes can be invoked” when doing “science.” Such claims aren’t “scientific.” However, the nature of the argumentation is precisely about Divine origins, making this arbitrary setting of the parameters of the debate to exclude the matter under examination (God) from the outset! A purely natural explanation of origins only works if it’s true, and that is what is being considered. Since both paradigms (naturalism versus Christian Theism) ultimately rely on assumptions that cannot be “justified,” and are thus self-referential, the only resort is to look at internal coherence for each paradigm. Which paradigm can make sense of the process of science itself, how science (and ultimately knowledge itself) is even possible. This is a transcendental argument. Since the scientific method cannot be demonstrated empirically or known through the scientific method (circularity), both paradigms will rest on a form of self-referentiality (as shown, for example, in Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorums). This is in contrast to the classical foundationalist epistemology of the Enlightenment and earlier Western thinkers. The Christian Theist falls back on the Christian system of belief and revelation as his governing paradigm (including understanding the natural world!), while the naturalist relies on radical “human” epistemic autonomy (ironically negated in his general denial of consciousness and free will).
With this framework analysis in place, I hope my approach will be made clear. It is in this manner that we must examine the Darwinian paradigm and set it over against the Christian view to see which presentations make it possible to even do science, and which negates that possibility. Once the Darwinian paradigm is understood for what it actually is – pseudoscience masquerading as the preeminent catch-all grand narrative pinnacle of gnosis, it will become clearer how it is not only impossible to reconcile with Creation and the origin of man, but rather it is so incoherent and contradictory as to make its adherents moronic: “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” (Ps. 14:1) A scientific theory ought to be coherent and consistent on its own grounds before one chooses to adopt it, and before kowtowing to the establishment’s desire to reconcile it with Theism in some form, it ought first be examined in its fundamental premises to see how bankrupt and preposterous it truly is. I can only think the desire for accolades and the fear of being ostracized is generally the source for such a desire to wed Theism with this retarded cousin, but the offspring of such a pairing will sadly result in an exceedingly unfit mongoloid mutation.
Creation as a Revealed Doctrine and Thomistic Compromise
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Heb. 11:3)
Contrary to Thomism for example, Creation ex nihilo is not a doctrine that is “proven” through purely rational enquiry to autonomous man, nor is it perceived directly upon investigation of the external world. While there are many factors that may contribute evidence towards Creation, and certainly were man perceiving the world aright, Creation is the only rational position possible. While that is technically true, for Thomism, the natural world only testifies to a generic “First Cause,” purported to be of some different, more supreme substance than the created order. This flawed method of argumentation (based as it is upon a faulty Thomistic anthropology devoid of the nous) undergirds most “classical apologetics.” “God,” as argued for by an Aquinas or an Etienne Gilson, is described as a “Being” for whom the declaration of Exodus 3:14 signifies “I AM Being.”
This Greek philosophical exegesis of the biblical text is certainly not what Moses nor the Spirit of God had in Mind when the text was recorded, and quite contrary to these speculations, the declaration is at once Personal. This is why the so-called classical apologetics function to prove any sort of generic theistic First Cause. Perhaps that First Cause is a multitude of gods, perhaps it’s the Islamic Deity, perhaps Mormon. This “Being” is not the God described in the biblical text, Who considers His existence certain, as do His followers (Acts 2:36), despite Aquinas and others’ contention God cannot be certainly known to exist – only with a high degree of probability. This is because for Thomism, “science” is a matter of empirical experience and natural reason, while “faith” is a matter of supernatural grace.
For example, Aquinas explains his principles in a couple seminal sections of the Summa Theologica, demonstrating his “classical foundationalist” (roughly empirical) epistemology synonymous with his two-tiered nature/grace assumption, as well as how this approach is conditioned from the outset by his rejection of the nous and belief in the Beatific Vision (God cannot be seen directly and empirically in this life, contrary to the Eastern Dogma):
“On the contrary, No one can mentally admit the opposite of what is self-evident; as the Philosopher (Metaph. iv, lect. vi) states concerning the first principles of demonstration. But the opposite of the proposition “God is” can be mentally admitted: “The fool said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 52:1). Therefore, that God exists is not self-evident.
Reply to Objection 1. The existence of God and other like truths about God, which can be known by natural reason, are not articles of faith, but are preambles to the articles; for faith presupposes natural knowledge, even as grace presupposes nature, and perfection supposes something that can be perfected. Nevertheless, there is nothing to prevent a man, who cannot grasp a proof, accepting, as a matter of faith, something which in itself is capable of being scientifically known and demonstrated.”
“I answer that, All science is derived from self-evident and therefore “seen” principles; wherefore all objects of science must needs be, in a fashion, seen.
Now as stated above (Article 4), it is impossible that one and the same thing should be believed and seen by the same person. Hence it is equally impossible for one and the same thing to be an object of science and of belief for the same person. It may happen, however, that a thing which is an object of vision or science for one, is believed by another: since we hope to see some day what we now believe about the Trinity, according to 1 Corinthians 13:12: “We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face”: which vision the angels possess already; so that what we believe, they see. On like manner it may happen that what is an object of vision or scientific knowledge for one man, even in the state of a wayfarer, is, for another man, an object of faith, because he does not know it by demonstration.
Nevertheless that which is proposed to be believed equally by all, is equally unknown by all as an object of science: such are the things which are of faith simply. Consequently faith and science are not about the same things.” (source)
Faith and science are not about the same things because for Aquinas, the logoi are not immanent in creation through the Logos’ divine energies. Aquinas is also explicit in his rejection of the divine energies, citing and rejecting St. John of Damascus on the very point, affirming absolute divine simplicity, and affirming God’s actions and existence are His essence in strict identification. This point is stressed so many times in the Summas it is absurd to have to constantly debate it. For one example, Thomas says:
“Article 2. Whether any name can be applied to God substantially?
Objection 1. It seems that no name can be applied to God substantially. For Damascene says (De Fide Orth. i, 9): “Everything said of God signifies not His substance, but rather shows forth what He is not; or expresses some relation, or something following from His nature or operation [energy].
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. vi): “The being of God is the being strong, or the being wise, or whatever else we may say of that simplicity whereby His substance is signified.” Therefore all names of this kind signify the divine substance.
Therefore we must hold a different doctrine–viz. that these names signify the divine substance, and are predicated substantially of God, although they fall short of a full representation of Him. Which is proved thus. For these names express God, so far as our intellects know Him. Now since our intellect knows God from creatures, it knows Him as far as creatures represent Him. “
Now, why in the midst of this discussion of Darwin and evolution would I bring Thomism into the picture, and pull out these dense theological issues? Somewhat near this period of Aquinas, the 14th century East was debating these very underlying points with the West, as embodied in the discussion between Barlaam the Calabrian and St. Gregory Palamas. The debate was a manifestation of an Augustinian with an Orthodox, resulting in the affirmation on the part of the East of “Palamism,” which is incorrectly titled, as it is the classical Orthodox view, and in that debate Palamas specifically predicts the Western trek would be to banish God from the Created order through banishing His immanent energies. As a result, on the “created effects” of God are known, leaving Palamas to title the entire project “atheism.” Indeed, it is the Thomistic approach and its presuppositions that unwittingly led to the purely naturalistic empiricism that would reach its apogee in the West in Darwin. I have detailed this at more length in this piece. Fr. John Peck comments:
“In his 150 Chapters St. Gregory demonstrates that the failure to distinguish between the essence and energies in God leads either to atheism or polytheism. He argues that if the energies of God are created then they of necessity belong to a created nature, for as St. John Damascene writes, the energy distinct from the divine substance is a natural one. St. Cyril writes that creation belongs to the divine energy, and so if the energy in God is itself created, then we must seek out an uncreated energy behind it which gave rise to it. If there is but substance in God, then there is no creation, operation, or relation to be found, which means He is not the principle and Lord of the universe, and destroys the trihypostatic Godhead,
“And one who is not trihypostatic nor master of the universe is not even God. Therefore, those who thus hold the opinions of Barlaam and Akindynos are atheists.”
Theistic Evolution: A Doomed Marriage Officiated by Jesuits
It is from this ethos the modern scientistic rationalism arose, coming as it did from the division Aquinas laid down above, despite Aquinas’ own intentions. The logic is obvious: The natural world can be known and understand without reference to revelation in large part, as an aspect of “natural reason,” apart from the Logos. Hopefully, Thomas goads you, you would please possibly tack Jesus and the Trinity and Mother Church onto the science at some point down the road, because they’re sure fire helpers! On the contrary (to use Thomasspeak), the Logos is the beginning, middle and telos of all creation, and all human cognition, Him being apprehended directly by the nous, not by intellect and psyche passing judgment on His existence upon supposed accumulations of empirical evidences. Intellect and psyche serve the nous, not the reverse, and the nous is the faculty for perceiving God directly in Creation through His Incarnation, in which all of creation is recapitulated into the Logos who created it to begin with: “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Col. 1:17, Heb. 11:3). That is true whether it is acknowledged by the unbeliever or not.
With the West’s acceptance of these presuppositions (Thomism is still the official philosophy of the Roman Church), the dominance of naturalism was only a matter of time – it logically follows that the “scientific method” would toss away the ‘First Cause god” who cannot be seen in nature, aside from “created analogical effects,” this god eventually functioning as a useless place holder atop a chain of generic Being. If empirical knowledge is the assumption, and empirical knowledge never attains to this deity (in this life), what use of what certainty or reason do we have to think It exists? What relevance does a Supreme Substance have to the life of everyday Catholics? Of course, the rank and file weren’t concerned with a Supremely Simple Philosophical Substance, but with the Personal God they heard about in the liturgy in narrative form. Nevertheless, the academic and churchly establishment of the West marched on, Summas in hand, handing over their heritage inch by inch as the centuries passed, fulfilling the prophetic words of St. Gregory Palamas the end result would be atheism.
With that in mind, it becomes clear why the Roman Catholic Church also gradually adopted the German higher critical methodologies of revisionist excising of all the texts, eventually New Testament and Old, until at the hands of liberal Jesuits and “scholars,” the entire Bible was ripped into nothing. Ironically, even the Sainted Roman Pope Pius X explicitly and with full papal authority (for their communion) rejected higher critical methods and modernism as heresy, across the board and unequivocally (See Lamentabili Sane). Why is all this relevant? Because the same specious and fantastical presuppositions of Darwinian theory are the presuppositions of the unbelieving academics who fostered higher criticism as a conspiracy, grounded on a documentary hypothesis of “JEPD” that secular biblical scholars often no longer adhere to in our day! Indeed, the Darwinian metaphysical assumption of all things being subjected to constant flux – if that is true – must also apply to religious doctrines, texts and traditions, making the confessions of various religious bodies subject to the ebb and flow of the Great God Flux. Ironically, the father of higher criticism, Julius Wellhausen admitted his documentary approach was part of his own personal agenda – he hated the Mosaic texts.
Thomism’s assumption of rational, autonomous man judging God to be existing or not based on “evidence” is come to full fruition in rational man judging the texts to be erroneous, exaggerated, superstitious and mere mythologies. And we all know many of the later pioneers of evolutionary theory were Jesuits who, although not ardent followers of Thomas, are ardent believers in the assumptions of classical foundationalist epistemology. For example, Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s “defense” of the biblical texts, where he adjures readers to make their own mind up about “inspiration” based on the available “evidence” (See Life of Christ, Chapter 1). Given the Roman Communion’s belief since Cardinal Newman and Vatican I in the evolution and tree-like growth of dogma (how else can Vatican I be made sense of), it’s only natural the communion as a whole would become an ardent evangelist for Theistic Evolution, which finally gives way to the wild absurdities, process philosophy and occultic-flavored gobbledygook of rabid evolutionists, such as Teilhard de Chardin (a man once excommunicated, then “rehabilitated” after Vatican II, whatever that means). Teilhard, you will recall, was also present at one of the more notorious frauds of Darwinian invention – the infamous “Piltdown Man,” as even Stephen J. Gould argued. By the way, the Darwinians speak of reading patterns – are you beginning to see a pattern concerning the frauds, in this entire atheistic enterprise? (See the excellent critique of Teilhard by Dr. Philip Sherrard here.)
No New Codes in the Fly Soup
It is my contention that the presence of believing persons amongst the ranks of Darwin is absolutely and utterly irrelevant. So what if Theodore Dobzhansky and Archbishop Greekopoulous and the Patriarch of Constantinople, along with the popes to boot, all believe in “Theistic Evolution”? None of those individual persons amount to anything in contrast to almost the entire history and Tradition of the Church, East and West, in contrast to a recent Orthodox writer defending Theistic Evolution. Everyone knows there are countless heretical Patriarchs and Bishops, and what evangelicals do or do not hold to 6 Day Creation is also irrelevant. Protestant fundamentalists hold to the Virgin Birth – is that also a doctrine of Western dialectical creation? Of course not, and neither is the revealed doctrine of Creation. Dobzhansky, it must be understood, was a student of the Western Darwinian milieu, adopting the guiding presuppositions of his masters, like Royal Society Illuminist Julian Huxley, in proclaiming “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,” which echoes the Gospel of arch-villains the Huxleys: “Medieval theology urged men to think of human life in the light of eternity—sub specie aeternitatis: I am attempting to rethink it sub specie evolutionis—in the light of evolution.” (Julian Huxley in Evolution in Action, pg. 152)
In regard to Dobzhansky’s famed “fruit flies,” the irony of this experiment is that it in no way demonstrates or proves transformism – that new species arise from environmental pressures. Setting aside the fact that in the Darwinian ethos the notion of a “species” is never clear or coherent, the “mutations” purported to be observed in the lab presuppose the rise of a “new species” at some future date. Ironically, the DNA information in any species is never new information, only the switching on or off of existing information in that species. The earthworm at no point, and in no case or example, ever begins to produce whale DNA. A bear swimming over several decades does not begin to produce new duck DNA, as if webbed feet might appear. This admitted fact of DNA across the board is one of the strongest evidential arguments against the “thesis” of Darwinism, given that its theory of transformism necessitates new information in the code. This is why “junk DNA,” a much propagandized catch-all “proof” of evolution has now been discarded, with Richard Dawkins dishonestly altering his views, claiming he never did (though he’s on video contradicting himself). Furthermore, Dobzhansky was a Teilhardist who rejected a Personal God, Providence and many other dogmas:
“Natural selection is a blind and a creative process. It does not work according to a foreordained plan.” -T. Dobzhansky
The other consistent dishonesty on this topic is the claim that adaptations, which no one denies, are equivalent to a new species. They are not – an adaptation is an alteration in the existing information, and never a foreign code and never the empirical observation of a new species! The assumption is that the mutation must be the source for the rise of a new species over vast aeons of time because of the assumption of common ancestry! At once the circularity becomes apparent in this theory, as the proof of transformism is based on the unfounded assumption of common ancestry, while common ancestry is in turn based on the assumption of new species arising from long periods of mutations. Neither of these ridiculous and sophistical positions are ever observed and all predicated on an interpretive matrix foisted on the “evidences” (i.e., bones, fossils, DNA, etc.).
At this juncture it will be mentioned that certain fathers like Augustine held to some speculative view of Genesis 1. And certainly other fathers in the East held to different opinions on the Serpent, the meaning of this day and that, and so on, but that is not our purpose here. This matter has been dealt with extensively by many writers such as Fr. Seraphim Rose in his excellent Genesis, Creation and Early Man, but it is also sufficient to say the traditional presentation of St. Basil’s Hexaemeron is normative for the Orthodoxy of that period, and the majority of the Church. If you have not read it, I recommend you do so, especially before attempting to meld your faith with the absurdity known as Darwinism. Another misunderstanding to keep in mind is that whatever patristic opinions might have been had on certain texts of Genesis 1-3, none of those are coherent, compatible with or suggestive of the Darwinian thesis (not even Augustine’s view). The patristic consensus in no way allows for man to arise on the scene after the emergence of death, a preposterous and heretical opinion in Orthodoxy, yet necessitated by Darwinian aeons. Death – all death, spiritual and physical – is explicitly the result of man’s fall, as steward and covenant head of Creation. This is why the Logos recapitulates all creation in His Incarnation as the New Adam and covenant Head (Col. 1:15).
As an addendum, I recommend the excellent interview with Dr. David Berlinksi where the highlights of the major flaws in this ridiculous position from a secular vantagepoint, that make it utterly unappealing. Once the position is really understood, it escapes me why anyone would want to adopt this view, much less combine it with Theism.
In conclusion, the fear and desire for compromise with this theory is really the result of misunderstanding the position’s actual claims, as well as numerous equivocations about terms (such as adaptation). Until the presuppositions of this paradigm are examined and challenged, the “evidence” will always be stretched or cut to fit “the facts,” as demonstrated in Thomas Kuhn’s famous book, The Structures of Scientific Revolutions. Only when this, and the countless instances of reliance on the fallacy of consensus and authority are properly understood, is Darwinian naturalism truly unmasked as nonsensical, irrational, contradictory and intellectually bankrupt. Only when the countless instances of fraud and dishonesty are understood is it seen to be an empty, destructive thesis. Evolutionary theory is not scientific, it is an enforced religious mythology from the halls of the Masonic Lodge, not an honest theory from the labs of academia. It is a position grounded on atheistic presuppositions at war with revelation and Theism, despite its popularity amongst “Theists.” Not only is the theory a sure path to apostasy, it is a silly way to go. A biblical Theist should be scientific and that is why I could never adopt Darwinism, nor its Mongoloid Mutation, Theistic Evolution.
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