Potiphar12's Blog
An Octogenarian in the modern world


I came across the report of an evolution v. creation debate, set in New York. The issue seems to loom bigger in US than it does in UK. I thought the words RANDOM and PURPOSEFUL were tossed about without much thought. RANDOM was used as if it was an unassailable classification, not to be disputed or qualified in any way. It was used about evolution, to create a distinction with the PURPOSE attributed to God by creationists. The assumption was that evolution was random, the mutation of genes being wholly a matter of chance. The argument then was “Because it was random it can’t be purposeful”. But are we sure that mutation was chance?  One definition of chance is “The absence of an assignable cause”. That means that we don’t know a cause. not that here can’t be one.Many sets of data that we once regarded as random have later been found to be part of a pattern, and perhaps there are patterns in evolution that are as yet unknown. If a cause for genetic change were know, it would cease to be random. The more a logical pattern is perceived in nature, the more our minds are lilely to suspect a conscious purpose behind it.

The  creation stories, and the way they have developed, certainly show human minds at work. That does not make it impossible that there might be a purposeful entity involved. How would the creator of a creature communicate with that creature except by using such capabilities as he had granted it?

For an illustration, imagine that you had no concept of the thing called a jig-saw puzzle and stumbled across one or two pieces from a 1,000 – word puzzle. You might deduce from the tags and indentations that one piece could somehow be connected with another like piece. More likely, you would write each piece off as a freak of nature. You would not deduce the concept of a jig-saw puzzle. You would not imagine a purpose.

It seems to me that people who argue so vehemently against religion have an astonishing faith in the adequacy of human senses and human intelligence. After The Age of Enlightenment we seem to have reached The Age of Arrogance. There is a vast stock of “Things we did not know but know now”. There is a further stock of “Things we know we don’t know but are determined to find out”. There is probaly a further stock labelled “Things we are quite unaware of,” and yet another labelled “Things our senses are unable to register,” The thought is damaging to the human ego.

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