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A View from the Altar / Evolution’s gaps
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Evolution’s gaps

These aren’t really gaps as that’s far too small a word.  These are more like megaparsecs or something.

1.  The gap from nothing to something.

There is nothing about nature which leads us to expect that something could ever come from nothing naturally.  Everyone is agreed that the universe had a beginning.  Now the question is how.  Christianity affirms logically enough that the beginning of the universe is supernatural.

2.  The gap from chaos to natural law.

The Big Bang theory assumes an expansion from a hot center.  What’s left unexplained is why anything in the expansion should have been governed by natural laws, physical forces, natural constants, and so on.  Even if we allow for the sake of argument the initial expansion (a huge concession!), we’re left without any reason to expect that there should have been a law of gravity, or that Planck’s constant should have turned out to be what it is, why the electron charge should have been a certain value, and so on.  Even assuming a Big Bang, why didn’t it produce sheer chaos?

3.  The gap from matter to life.

All our experience in the real world tells us that non-living matter doesn’t come to life on its own.  Even on the purely material level, the simplest living things are incomprehensibly complex.  Humans haven’t sorted out all the details concerning even the most basic, single-celled critters.  Let’s not get sidetracked into squabbles about probabilites.  Let’s just talk about what human beings have witnessed in millennia of observation: Neither clay nor seawater come to life on their own.  How, then, to explain the presence of living things?

4.  The gap from life to consciousness.

There is no particular reason why such a thing as thought should have arisen from so humble a beginning as protozoa.  The notion that cells began to team up and specialize until, through sheer complexity they gained consciousness, is sci-fi hokum.  You can network computers by the billions, and no such things as consciousness and spontaneous, self-aware thought will ever arise.

5.  The gap from consciousness to morality.

Every day we see fresh evidence that the most important things in human existence are moral and spiritual.  Yet nobody can account for categories of “right” and “wrong” on materialistic terms.  Attempts to reduce these to mere social conventions are absurd since we know instinctively that some things are objectively right and other things objectively wrong.  To deny this is to set aside the most critical wedge of our humanity and open the door to evil — real, objective evil.

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