The Evolutionary theory of Natural Selection makes extraordinary claims. It explains the ability of creatures to convert sunlight to useful energy, to spin silk, to metabolise sulfurous rock – and much more besides.
Such amazing feats in nature require an amazing explanation. The existence of a God is very helpful in this regard; after all, humans have designed diesel cars and digital computers, so why couldn’t an entity with God’s power and talent create all the nature we see?
The trouble many people have with Natural Selection, is that while it can clearly explain some biology, using it to explain away practically all biology (and psychology, language, culture, etc.) is an extrapolation – and a big one at that.
Why do scientists allow such an extrapolation? Surely this is arrogance?
Thinking about this, I have an proposition…
If you come from the premise that there is nothing outside of nature (see my recent post), then it comes easily. If the God option is written off a priori, we have no other logical option than to expect that the gaps in our knowledge of evolution will be filled in eventually. This allows us to sleep at night with the extraordinary.
If you start from the premise that there is a God, then this will strike you are arrogant.
The constant supply of greater details, filling in the gaps, gives encouragement to those who feel the theory is right (see God of the Gaps). It’s a bit like looking for Nessy – we can’t do a Star-Trek style ‘scan for lifeforms’ to be sure she does not exist, but the more we search the less likely she is to exist.
Of course, while evolution explaining away the wondrous variety in life does not prove there is no God, it sure makes God less necessary, and less necessarily capable.