The Strange Metaphysical World of Evolution

Secular colleges and universities, the media, and the Internet are alive with vitriolic accusations regarding the supposedly unscientific nature of creation science.

But is evolutionary science itself “scientific”? In opposition to what is normally claimed, it would seem that when it comes to the supernatural, secular science not only believes in it—it also depends on it.

For example, evolutionists believe in “ghosts.” Commenting on the implications of finding tetrapod tracks “18 million years” earlier than expected, authors of a Nature study stated, “This forces us to infer much longer ghost lineages for tetrapods and elpistostegids [lobe-finned fish] than the body fossil record suggests.”1

“Ghost lineages” are conjured up to explain puzzling gaps in the fossil record. A particular animal might appear near the bottom of the record, be absent for many strata, then reappear far above the first layer. In some cases, the upper specimen is found first, then another much lower down. Sometimes a lower-layer fossil is surprisingly discovered still alive!

Commenting on the issue of ghost lineages, creation writer David Coppedge said, “In other words, [evolutionists] see phantoms in their evolutionary mind’s eye. They see mythical entities that must have existed, simply because their belief system requires them. And you thought science required evidence.”2

The enigma of ghost lineages is solved when the rock record is decoupled from belief in millions of years. Some of the same kinds of organisms may have been inundated and fossilized earlier in the year of the Great Flood, with others fossilized a little later on. Large hiatuses in the fossil record are no mystery if all these creatures lived at the same time, as the Genesis record states.

In similar vein, evolutionists believe in mysterious powers, like “the 5th Force: a mysterious new power [that] is shaping our cosmos,” according to New Scientist. The article says, “A force that keeps changing its spots might explain the mysteries of dark energy,” although this cryptic dark energy “has never been seen or produced on Earth.”3

Some evolutionists believe in invisible hands:

Our findings confirm that cooperation does not always require benevolence or deliberate planning. This form of cooperation, at least, is guided by an “invisible hand,” as happens so often in Darwin’s theory of natural selection.4

Some evolutionists believe in magic. Kathryn Applegate of BioLogos said, “The bacterial flagellum may look like an outboard motor, but there is at least one profound difference: the flagellum assembles spontaneously, without the help of any conscious agent.” Acknowledging that “the self-assembly of such a complex machine almost defies the imagination,” Dr. Applegate assures the reader that this is not really a problem, because “natural forces work ‘like magic.’”5 Magic is defined as “the use of charms, spells, etc. in seeking or pretending to control events,” or “any mysterious power.”6

Some evolutionists have faith there’s something unknowable out there—as long as it’s not the revealed Creator of the Bible. “I suspect there could be [alien] life and intelligence out there in forms that we can’t conceive” said Lord Rees, president of the Royal Society.7

Each of these metaphysical claims contradicts a standard doctrine of evolutionary naturalism—that nothing exists outside the physical universe. But faced with the facts of a created cosmos, in which the “invisible things” of God are so clear that no one has an excuse for failing to recognize their Creator, evolutionists instead choose to attribute them to wacky, unseen, and unknowable imaginary causes.


  1. Nied´zwiedzki, G. et al. 2010. Tetrapod trackways from the early Middle Devonian period of Poland. Nature. 463 (7277): 43-48.
  2. Coppedge, D. Creation/Evolution Headlines. Commentary to “Tiktaalik Demoted to Has-Been.” Posted on, accessed October 1, 2010.
  3. Reich, E. S. 2010. Chameleon Cosmos. New Scientist. 6: 31.
  4. Research shows that “invisible hand” guides evolution of cooperative turn-taking. University of Leicester press release, July 9, 2009.
  5. Applegate, K. Self-Assembly of the Bacterial Flagellum: No Intelligence Required. The BioLogos Forum. Posted on biologos. org August 19, 2010, accessed August 1, 2010.
  6. Magic. 1995. Webster’s New World Dictionary. New York: Simon & Schuster, 354.
  7. Ghosh, P. Astronomers hopeful of detecting extraterrestrial life. BBC News. Posted on January 25, 2010, accessed October 1, 2010.

* Mr. Sherwin is Senior Science Lecturer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: Sherwin, F. 2010. The Strange Metaphysical World of Evolution. Acts & Facts. 39 (12): 16.

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