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THE FAILURE OF DARWINISM AND ITS FULLER IMPLICATIONS
Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis
(Adler and Adler: Bethesda, Maryland, 3rd ed. 1986) 368 pages, hardback $19.95.
reviewed by John F. McCarthy
The central thesis of this book is that Darwin's theory of evolution has not been validated by one single empirical discovery or scientific advance since its publication in 1859. Denton succeeds in refuting Darwinian evolution in terms of the empirical facts as they are known to natural scientists today, yet, for emotional reasons, he cannot entirely give up the theory. Because of the irrational element of this attachment, some of the historical judgments that he expresses are unsubstantiated and contradictory.
THE FAILURE OF DARWINISM
Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, expressing therein a view which implied that "all the diversity of life on the Earth arose from natural and random processes and not, as was previously believed, from the creative activity of God" (Denton, 17). "Before Darwin, men had believed a providential intelligence had imposed its mysterious design upon nature, but now chance ruled supreme" (15). The mechanism of evolution depended on the ultimate premise that all organisms are subject to an intense struggle for existence which favors by natural selection the preservation of beneficial variations (Denton, 42). "Thus not only was God banished from the creation of species but from the entire realm of biology" (53).
According to Denton, Darwin was aware that the evolutionary edifice he had constructed was "entirely theoretical" (55). Darwin had "absolutely no direct empirical evidence" in terms of clear-cut intermediates that large-scale evolution had ever occurred (56); he was not able "to point to the bona fide case" where natural selection had actually generated an evolutionary change of any kind, let alone a new species (62).
For Denton "there can be no question that Darwin had nothing like sufficient evidence to establish his theory of evolution," (69) and yet Darwin's theory was elevated into an "unchallenged dogma" in little more than twenty years. Denton sees this to have been the result of "non-scientific factors of a social, psychological and philosophical nature" (70). The big appeal for many scientists was its "general harmony with scientific thought," and it was to be used by them to "wrest from theology the entire domain of cosmological theory" (72, quoting J. Tyndall). In fact, Denton observes, "today all biological phenomena are interpreted in Darwinian terms and every professional biologist is subject throughout his working day to continued affirmation of the truth of Darwinian theory," (74) even though "neither of the two fundamental axioms of Darwin's macroevolutionary theory ... have been validated by one single empirical discovery or scientific advance since 1859" (345) These two axioms never verified by science were (a) a functional continuum linking all species of life together, leading back to a primeval cell and (b) all the design of living things the result of a blind random process.
In his book Denton succeeds in laying out powerful and convincing evidence against the Darwinian theory of evolution and in favor of the typological explanation of organic species. It is popularly believed today that "all the facts of biology irrefutably support an evolutionary interpretation." But, if this were so, why is it that "so many of the founders of modern biology ... hold nature to be fundamentally a discontinuum of isolated and unique types unbridged by transitional varieties" (100)? Was their typological model of nature derived from religious and philosophical preconceptions that were prevalent at the time? No, says Michael Denton, they, as biologists, simply found no evidence either among living organisms or in the fossil record for the idea of gradual transformations. "It was the absence of factual evidence which was the primary source of their scepticism and not religious prejudice" (104).
What the typologists of the nineteenth century saw was that each class of organism possesses a set of unique defining characteristics "which occur in fundamentally invariant form in all the species of that class but which are not found even in rudimentary form in any species outside that class" (105). According to Denton, "one could continue citing almost ad infinitum complex defining characteristics of particular classes of organisms which are without analogy or precedent in any other part of the living kingdom and are not led up to in any way through a series of transitional structures" (107).
Denton gives an impressive description of details that can only be alluded to in this review. Every living cell has basically the same structure; "no cell has ever been found that departs in any significant way from the universal pattern of the (genetic) code" (109). The lungfish has been presented by evolutionists as a good example of a transitional type from fish to amphibian, but its individual characteristics "are not in any realistic sense transitional between the two types" (109). Other similar examples are not really transitional but rather "a mosaic of characteristics drawn from two distinct groups" (110).
Not only this, but cases where one might claim to see any kind of sequential arrangement of species are extremely rare. To take a well-known example, the vertebrate series from the cyclostomes through fish, amphibia, and reptiles to man is entirely unconvincing except in the section fish to lungfish to amphibia. But even the organ systems of the lungfish are not truly transitional. And in the case of other alleged sequential arrangements "it invariably turns out that on critical examination the evidence for sequence is vague and ill defined" (116).
The first to formulate the principles of classification was Aristotle, and many of his principles are still used by biologists today. In fact, his perception of the pattern of physical nature as an ordered hierarchic system reappeared with the birth of modern biology in the eighteenth century. All the major classes identified by the typologists have survived the inroads of evolutionary biology (125), even though "no two ways of looking at nature could be more different" (98, quoting E. Mayr). "Even today zoologists find it impossible to relate the major groups of organisms in any sort of lineal or sequential arrangement" (125). The hierarchic pattern of species is a witness against organic evolution. "If the hierarchy suggests any model of nature it is typology and not evolution" (137).
Darwin saw extinction as an important factor in widening the gaps between the existing types, extinction as a random process. "But surely," reasons Denton, "no purely random process of extinction would have eliminated so effectively all ancestral and transitional forms, all evidence of the trunk and branches of the supposed tree, and left all remaining groups: mammals, cats, flowering plants, birds, tortoises, vertebrates, molluscs, hymenoptera, fleas and so on, so isolated and related only in a strictly sisterly sense" (136). A significant number of biologists in our time are insisting that no species can be considered ancestral to any other and that in the final analysis the order of biological nature is not sequential (139-140).
Darwin took 'homology' to mean "that relationship between parts which results from their development from corresponding embryonic parts," but biologists like De Beer emphasize today that this is "just what homology is not" (149). Modern knowledge of homology [similar relationship between parts] is incompatible with the evolutionary explanation (151). If the hierarchic patterns themselves are suggestive of some kind of theory of descent, they do not tell us how the descent may have occurred or "whether the causal mechanism was Darwinian, Lamarckian, vitalistic or even creationist." Denton draws the logical conclusion: "The same facts of comparative anatomy which proclaim unity also proclaim division; while resemblance suggests evolution, division, especially where it appears profound, is counter-evidence against the whole notion of transmutation" (155).
Transitional forms were essential to the credibility of Darwin's claims. But the transitional forms are not there. Not only do the gaps remain, but there are fewer transitional species between the major divisions then between the minor, fewer transitional forms between the mouse and the whale than between the dog and the cat (191-192). For this reason, there has been a recent tendency to see evolution as saltational, as occurring in jumps, such as in the theory of 'punctuated equilibrium' developed by Eldridge and Gould. Denton feels that this may explain small gaps between species, but "it is doubtful if it can be extended to explain the larger systematic gaps" (193). The historic cover-up of the absence of transitional forms in the fossil record is what Stephen Gould has called "the trade secret of paleontology" (194).
Denton points out that "organisms are tremendously complex objects." To reconstruct even one hypothetical organ is "a task beyond any biologist at present," and, of known organisms, only a fraction of their total adaptive complexity is understood. "We still do not have anything approaching a complete description of even the simplest bacterial cell" (201). He presents at length the complexity of the feather and of the avian lung, neither of which could have developed by small modifications over a long period of time (209-212). Darwin once exclaimed: If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." According to Denton: "The avian lung and the feather bring us very close to answering Darwin's challenge" (213).
For the evolutionist, the amniotic egg of the reptile "raises absolutely horrendous problems" (219). In the most dramatic cases of metamorphosis of invertebrate forms (in which one type of fully functional organism is broken down into what amounts to a nutrient broth from which an utterly different type of organism emerges) "not even the vaguest attempts have been made to provide hypothetical scenarios explaining how such an astonishing sequence of transformations could have come about gradually as a result of a succession of small beneficial mutations" (221).
Denton explains that "protein molecules are the ultimate stuff of life" (234). Most protein molecules are made up of thousands of atoms folded into different immensely complex spatial arrangements according to the different functions that they perform (238). "Some DNA molecules may consist of several million subunits and when fully extended stretch for several centimetres" (240). "Because DNA can encode for all the proteins necessary for transcription, translation and its own replication, the cell system can replicate itself" (248).
Molecular biology "has served only to emphasize the gap" between the cell and non-living matter. Even the tiniest bacterial cell contains thousands of intricately designed pieces of "molecular machinery" and is made up of one hundred thousand million atoms, "far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world." And yet, in spite of all of its variegated structure, the basic design of the cell system "is essentially the same in all living systems on earth from bacteria to mammals." Hence, as regards their basic biochemical design, "no living system can be thought of as being primitive or ancestral with respect to any other system, nor is there the slightest empirical hint of an evolutionary sequence among all the incredibly diverse cells on earth" (250). Nor can one seriously imagine that this exquisite design emerged out of some "prebiotic soup," of whose supposed existence there is not one shred of positive evidence (261). "The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle" (264).
After showing at length how such components of the living cell as the protein synthetic system, enzymes, and the translational system can in no way be thought of as having evolved without having to face insoluble problems in terms of modern biochemical knowledge, Denton goes on to point out that the problem of the origin of life "only represents the most dramatic example of the universal principle that complex systems cannot be approached gradually through functional intermediates because of the necessity of perfect coadaptation of their components as a precondition of function" (270).
Morphology [the science of structural organic types] demonstrates the great diversity of living forms. Denton brings out that even at the molecular level the same pattern of diversity exists in conformity to "a highly ordered hierarchic system." In fact, "each class at a molecular level is unique, isolated and unlinked by intermediates," and no organism is seen to be ancestral with regard to its relatives. Nature, examined by the new techniques of molecular biology, has provided no intermediate forms, but has rather confirmed the typological pattern proposed by Aristotle and the great comparative anatomists of the nineteenth century (290).
Another Darwinian concept that has been reduced to rubbish by the new molecular biology is that of "uniform drift," that is, the idea of uniform rates of evolution in all organisms which "is presented in the literature as if it were an empirical discovery." In view of the molecular data now available, "there is simply no way of explaining how a uniform rate of evolution could have occurred in any family of homologous proteins by either chance or selection." Why, then, do exponents of evolution continue to cite this concept? "The hold of the evolutionary paradigm is so powerful that an idea which is more like a principle of medieval astrology than a serious twentieth-century scientific theory has become a reality for evolutionary biologists" (305-306).
Denton uses the analogy of the computer to show the impossibility of Darwin's idea of chance alone as the cause of design in living organisms. Saltational models of evolution do not escape this problem, because biology has not even the beginning of an explanation for such a process. "It is surely a little premature to claim that random processes could have assembled mosquitoes and elephants when we still have to determine the actual probability of the discovery by chance of one single functional protein molecule" (324)! And the life of a typical living cell depends upon the integrated activities of at least tens of thousands of different kinds of protein molecules (329). Yet, in terms of complexity, an individual cell is nothing when compared with a system like the human brain, which consists of about ten thousand million nerve cells, each of which "puts out somewhere in the region of between ten thousand and one hundred thousand connecting fibres by which it makes contact with other nerve cells in the brain" (330).
In 1779 David Hume attacked the argument for intelligent design of organisms, namely, that one would never infer that a watch, for instance, had arisen by chance. Hume maintained that organisms may be only superficially like machines but natural in essence (339). But because of advances in molecular biology since about 1965 "Hume's criticism has been finally invalidated and the analogy between organisms and machines has at last become convincing" (340). The inference to design is not a fundamentally metaphysical a priori deduction; it is "a purely a posteriori induction based on a ruthlessly consistent application of the logic of analogy. The conclusion may have religious implications, but it does not depend on religious presuppositions" (341).
To the critical scientific observer, the proposition that the genetic programs of higher organisms were composed by a purely random process "is simply an affront to reason." But to the Darwinist "the idea is accepted without a ripple of doubt - the paradigm takes precedence" (351). "Put simply, no one has ever observed the interconnecting continuum of functional forms linking all known past and present species of life, ... and contrary to what is widely assumed by evolutionary biologists today, it has always been the anti-evolutionists, not the evolutionists, in the scientific community who have stuck rigidly to the facts and adhered to a more strictly empirical approach" (353-354).
Denton's conclusion, on the basis of the empirical facts as he knows them, is flatly against Darwin's theory of organic evolution. "The rationalizations are unconvincing to anyone not emotionally committed to the defence of Darwinian theory. To an outsider from the community of belief, they merely tend to emphasize the metaphysical nature of evolutionary claims and the lack of any sort of rational or empirical basis. The anti-evolutionary thesis argued in this book ... runs counter to the whole thrust of modern biological thought" (353). "Ultimately the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century. ...it satisfies the same deep psychological need for an all embracing explanation for the origin of the world which has motivated all the cosmogenic myth makers of the past, from the shamans of primitive peoples to the ideologues of the medieval church" (358).
THE FULLER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FAILURE OF DARWINISM
Darwin's "special theory" of evolution was restricted to proposing that species arise and races are preserved by means of natural selection. His "general theory" of evolution claims that the processes underlying the "relatively trivial" changes that he had observed, for instance on the Galapagos Islands, could be extrapolated to explain the entire phenomenon of life on earth (44). Thus, for Darwin, "all evolution was merely an extension of microevolutionary processes." But not all biologists have accepted the inference. Many first-rate biologists "have been inclined to the view that macroevolution [that is, across the major divisions in nature] cannot be explained in terms of microevolutionary processes, or any other currently known mechanisms" (86). As Denton points out, "There is obviously an enormous difference between the evolution of a colour change in a moth's wing and the evolution of an organ like the human brain, and the differences among the fruit flies of Hawaii, for example, are utterly trivial compared with the differences between a mouse and an elephant, or an octopus and a bee" (87).
Natural selection, according to Denton, has been observed as operating in nature, and the origin of a new species from a pre-existing species has also been indirectly observed. There are examples of "circular overlaps" where the terminal links of a chain of intergrading subspecies do not interbreed, even though they are connected by a complete chain of interbreeding populations. The classic case of this is the contrast between the herring gull and the lesser black backed gull. "One can trace, step by step, the formation of the two species by following the intergrading subspecies right round the northern hemisphere" (81-82).
If by "non-interbreeding" is meant, not simply that these two species "do not interbreed," but that they physically "cannot interbreed" and produce offspring, the example has significance. But one must keep in mind that the small differences by which modern biologists separate organisms into different "species" are "utterly trivial" with regard to the central question of evolution, as Denton admits (89). Denton defines a species as "a reproductively isolated population of organisms" (81). Genetic inability to mate is a significant difference, but it is not by itself a determining difference in the overall question. The herring gull and the lesser black backed gull are both gulls, and one could ask whether it is not within the ordinary adaptive power of a gull to become another kind of gull without any evolution being involved. Evolution implies development from the more simple to the more complex, from the lower to the higher, from the less advanced to the more advanced. Which of these two kinds of gulls is the simpler, the lower, the less advanced?
In Hawaii, "from only one or two original colonizations by the fruit fly Drosophila, something like six or seven hundred unique Hawaiian species have evolved. ... By studying the order of genes along the chromosomes in the various Drosophila species on the different islands biologists have found a number of perfect evolutionary sequences and have been able to work out the entire evolutionary history of most of the Hawaiian species" (82). While this is an interesting accomplishment and does illustrate something, for Denton with the circular overlaps it comes very close to providing "absolutely bona fide evidence for the reality of microevolutionary change and speciation in nature" (83). But Denton himself admits that these instances of "microevolution" do not indicate the occurrence of evolution in the proper sense of the term. "However attractive the extrapolation, it does not necessarily follow that, because a certain degree of evolution has been known to occur, therefore any degree of evolution is possible" (87). What I would add is that the species remains the species. Biologists can talk about "six or seven hundred unique Hawaiian species" of Drosophila, but the one species is the Drosophila, and, if biologists want to divide this one species up into two thousand or two hundred thousand subspecies, there is still only one species of Drosophila as far as the argument with anti-evolutionists is concerned. That Drosophila flies can "evolve" (develop) into other Drosophila flies is no great surprise. It may well be within the adaptive powers of that hypothetical feedback mechanism that Denton calls so mysterious.
He declares that before Darwin most zoologists "postulated 'non-material, inner forces,' or 'vital drives' of a basically mysterious nature which lay deep within organisms" and which could drive evolving organisms upward to an ever more complex and perfect state (41). Whether organisms were ever programmed to evolve into higher states is another question that Denton does not really answer in his book, because these programs, if instilled by God, would not be the random processes that he refutes. But in excluding the presence of any "non-material inner force" that could have a directive influence in the life of the living organism, he is deducing a priori from his metaphysics of materialism rather than reasoning from the empirical data. Excluding a non-material principle of life does not eliminate mystery from the data; it adds mystery to developments that would otherwise be explained, at least in part.
In Denton's opinion, the problem with regard to vitalistic theories of evolution is that they must posit "some sort of mysterious intelligent feed-back device in every living organism which could directly influence the genetic make-up of its offspring in a particular and intelligent way so that its adaptations could be purposefully changed and improved" (41). But Denton's reasoning about this problem is not persuasive. He admits that random processes cannot explain the design in living organisms. Therefore, there must be some intelligent cause behind them. If, on the one hand, that intelligent cause is completely extrinsic to the organisms themselves, then every species of organisms is a product of divine intervention. If, on the other hand, there is some intelligently designed cause or mechanism within the organisms themselves, then the "feed-back device" idea is not to be excluded. An empiricist may call such a device "mysterious," but in all events it is not nearly so mysterious as is the positing by Darwinians of evolution without an intelligent cause.
Denton, by his methods, seems to have shown conclusively that there was no evolution on a grand scale between major divisions of living things. This suggests a divine intervention for major jumps. On a lesser scale Denton does not seem to have shown that there was not some original programming in the powers (genetic or otherwise) of the different species of organisms that would enable them to make smaller jumps within the limits of their own kind.
Darwinism never had sufficient evidence to be a viable theory (69) and yet it became an unchallenged dogma because of "non-scientific factors of a social, psychological and philosophical nature" (70). It remains today an almost unchallenged dogma in most of the scientific community because "The hold of the evolutionary paradigm is so powerful" that pseudoscientific ideas become realities for evolutionary biologists (306). It remains a dogma because it satisfies a "deep psychological need for an all embracing explanation for the origin of the world."
Denton himself feels this need, and he is, therefore, reluctant to let go of the theory of evolution. The alternative, that God designed the systems of living organisms, is an alternative that he is unwilling to face. He knows that scientists "before Darwin" accepted the idea of the creation of the world (20), but that only emphasizes, he says, "the enormous intellectual gulf" that separates the outlook of natural scientists of that period from "the secular ethos of today" (23). Denton feels that "the Darwinian model is still the only model of evolution ever proposed which evokes well-understood physical and natural processes as the causal agencies of evolutionary change." In other words, the Darwinian theory does not admit the act of God into the picture, it does not admit the notion of soul or spirit, and it does not allow for intelligent design. So it is "scientific." For Denton, "Darwinism remains, therefore, the only truly scientific theory of evolution. ... Reject Darwinism and there is, in effect, no scientific theory of evolution" (355).
I find this to be a remarkable statement from an otherwise careful thinker. Having already shown convincingly that the world of living organisms could not simply have evolved by chance without some intelligent design, and, therefore, without a supremely intelligent designer, he clings to a theory that excludes all intelligent design on the ground that to admit an intelligent designer would not be "scientific." Having shown that sheer evolution (without a factor of intelligence) could not have taken place, he nevertheless retains sheer evolution as the only available "truly scientific theory of evolution." Now, this is a contradiction in terms. If sheer, mindless evolution is scientifically inconceivable, then there is no such thing as a scientific theory of sheer mindless evolution.
But it is the creationist alternative that Denton seeks to escape at any cost. For this he is willing to sacrifice even the results of empirical observation, and he calls this sacrifice of understanding the "scientific ethos." He tells us, "The entire scientific ethos and philosophy of modern western man is based to a large extent upon the central claim of Darwinian theory that humanity was not born by the creative intentions of a deity but by a completely mindless trial and error selection of random molecular patterns. The cultural importance of evolution theory is therefore immeasurable, forming as it does the centrepiece, the crowning achievement, of the naturalistic view of the world, the final triumph of the secular thesis which since the end of the middle ages has displaced the old naive cosmology of Genesis from the western mind." To retain this secular, atheistic thesis, Denton has to violate a native rule of logic and declare: "What was once a deduction from materialism has today become its foundation" (357-358).
So, on the one hand, he logically concludes that "the proposition that the genetic programmes of higher organisms ... were composed by a purely random process is simply an affront to reason" (351). Yet, on the other hand, he also (illogically) concludes that the proposition that humanity was born "by a completely mindless trial and error selection of random molecular patterns" is the "crowning achievement of the naturalistic view of the world, the final triumph of the secular thesis" (357). And Denton holds to the secular thesis, but that Darwinian theory has turned out to be "neither fully plausible, nor comprehensive" he finds "deeply troubling." He exclaims (justifiably): "One might have expected that a theory of such cardinal importance, a theory that literally changed the world, would have been something more than metaphysics, something more than a myth" (358).
What emerges from Denton's attempts to survey the full implications of his empirical findings is that he is really not that well prepared to think on a broader level. In fact, he has in some sense excluded all thought on a broader level, as is shown by his references to "metaphysical nonsense" (117), as though all broader thought were nonsense, and as though all recourse to considerations that go beyond empirical observations would be "a retreat from empiricism" (ibid.). So to read the handwriting on the wall, to raise his mind to see what it means that these organisms did not design themselves, that they had to have been designed by Someone, would be for him "a retreat from empiricism."
Rather early in his book, Denton points out that the advent of the theory of evolution was "catastrophic" for Christianity. He observes that "Despite the attempt by liberal theology to disguise the point, the fact is that no biblically derived religion can really be compromised with the fundamental assertion of Darwinian theory" (66). Well and good. But by the end of the book it is also clear from Denton's own data that now no empirically based science can really be compromised with the same fundamental assertion of Darwinian theory, and this is catastrophic for the "secular thesis" and for the truncated outlook of the naturalistic so-called "scientific ethos."
The idea of many that the theory of evolution is in "general harmony with scientific thought" bespeaks the need to revise their definition of scientific thought, not limiting "science" to "what has been empirically observed," but recognizing it as "the knowledge of all reality as such." Invisible reality together with the invisible aspects of visible reality is thus seen to be the object of true science. It was certainly erroneous, if not perverse, to try to reduce "the entire domain of cosmological theory" to those aspects of reality which are materially observable. Today, unfortunately, this is often done, but only, as Denton admits, by the use of a theory that violates the empirical facts.
As we have seen, "it has always been the anti-evolutionists ... who have stuck rigidly to the facts." The Darwinians have constantly had to rationalize their position; their rationalizations "are unconvincing to anyone not emotionally committed to the defence of Darwinian theory" (353). Still Denton feels that, not only the average biologist, but "the entire scientific ethos and philosophy of modern western man" (357) is emotionally committed to the defense of Darwinian theory. And Denton himself is emotionally committed to its defense. It is only a partial, almost a trivial defense, but he cannot let it go, in spite of his obvious honesty in admitting that it is "an affront to reason."
Denton remarks that it is the "lack of any obvious scientific alternative" that has remained an enduring strength of Darwinism since 1859 (355). For him, creation is not a scientific alternative, because "creationist theories invoke frankly supernatural causes" (355). Yet some of the founders of modern biology and some very competent living biologists do accept the reality of supernatural causation. Denton's idea that "modern western man" has somehow evolved into a compulsive materialist is a figment having no basis in empirical reality. And such imagined mutations have no place in a scientific outlook. Denton needs to examine the concept of reality in its full proportions, on the metaphysical as well as on the physical level. In acknowledging that Aristotle was able to formulate many of the principles of classification that biologists use today (125), he could well try to discover what valid principles Aristotle and other thinkers have succeeded in formulating on the level of metaphysics. What a joy it would be to discover that there is a hierarchical pattern, not only of organic species, but of the whole of reality, leading up to God the Creator. Looked at in their full physical and metaphysical dimensions, the hierarchical patterns (155) do tell us Who is the ultimate cause behind them. Looked at in its full proportion, the occurrence of life is a miracle, and miracles do not produce themselves. They have to have a divine origin, which is the ultimate origin of species.
The recognition of intelligent design in living things has religious implications (341). The first such implication is the valid inference to the existence of a Designer, but Denton, for reasons of a social, psychological, and philosophical nature (70), is reluctant to draw this conclusion. For him, it would be going back to the pre-Darwinian biologists, who believed that "all of the categories represented an ideal plan or type which had been conceived in the mind of God" (51). Put simply, these scientists saw, from the empirical data, that God made the various kinds of living things to be what they are. Darwinian theory falsely blinded many later biologists to this fact. Contemporary Darwinians, and all hidebound empiricists, could do no better now than to open their eyes to the empirical fact of the creation of life on earth.
Scientists need to go on studying the material processes at work in living organisms. To do this adequately, they need to study as well the immaterial causes behind these processes. Science, to be science, has to adhere to the complete picture of reality. Therefore, what is waiting to emerge at our stage of development is the step upward of what Denton calls "modern western man" to an awareness of the natural and supernatural causes of life on earth and to a scientific awareness of the presence of God in the history of the planet. Such a change, such an "evolution," is within the adaptive capabilities of the species man. Michael Denton has helped modern devotees of materialism to be able to make that great leap forward. Will they, will he have the inner force to make it?
Link to Amazon Books - Michael Denton,
Evolution: A Theory in Crisis
(Adler and Adler: Bethesda, Maryland, paperback 2nd ed. 1996) ISBN 091756152X
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