A recent issue of Scientific American (October 1994) somehow reminded me of the famous line from Coleridge's Ancient Mariner.
Water, water everywhere, and all the boards did shrink
Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.
The eight feature articles in that magazine cover the evolutionary gamut from the evolution of the universe to the evolution of intelligence. The most remarkable thing about this anthology, however, is that not one of the twelve eminent authors (all of whom are on the faculties of very prestigious universities), in all their explorations of the origin of every facet of the universe and life, deign to give even a "nod to God' as having anything whatever to do with the origin of anything!
Every article is replete with speculation about how this or that might have happened, but without a shred of proof about the origin of any of it. God should at least have been included as one of their speculations, but there was not a nod toward Him at all.
Such scientists, studying firsthand the beauties and complexities and interrelationships of God's creation, ought to be able to see abundant evidence of God in the creation. Ordinary people have no difficulty in doing so, and God's word tells us it is inexcusable not to.
Ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall He not hear? He that formed the eye, shall He not see?... He that teacheth man knowledge, shall not He know? (Psalm 94:8-10).
The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, ... so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20).
There are innumerable evidences of design everywhere one looks in the creation, but these men seem to see no evidence whatever of God's handiwork.
For example, the four authors of an essay on "The Evolution of the Universe," assert sanctimoniously that:
In science we adopt the plodding route: we accept only what is tested by experiment or observation. 1
They write as if they could actually observe or conduct an experiment on the evolution of the universe! They proceed then to invoke the standard "Big Bang" cosmology as the way they know the universe to have evolved. They do admit, however, that:
We do not know why there was a big bang or what may have existed before. 2
Dr. Robert R. Kirshner, Chairman of Harvard's Department of Astronomy, writing on "The Earth's Elements," is satisfied that all the chemical elements that compose the "matter" of the cosmos originated in this primordial Bang.
Matter in the universe was born in violence. Hydrogen and helium emerged from the intense heat of the big bang some 15 billion years ago. 3
The heavier elements are then explained as arising later, either in "the burning depths of stars" or in "supernova explosions." However, he also indicates a degree of uncertainty, acknowledging that:
... the rug in most astronomy departments is lumpy from all the discrepancies that have been swept under it. 4
He concludes his contribution with this statement of faith in "Matter":
But understanding the history of matter and searching for its most interesting forms, such as galaxies, stars, planets and life, seem a suitable use for our intelligence. 5
As to our own Earth, however, he seems quite sure that "complex atoms, formed in stellar cauldrons, have organized themselves into intelligent systems." 6
In further reference to the earth, the two distinguished authors of the article on "The Evolution of the Earth" are quite certain that it originated by accretion of rock fragments bumping into each other. 7 They also give a nod to the Gaia hypothesis (though not to God), suggesting that the earth and life may have cooperated with each other in furthering their own evolution. 8
One of the top researchers on the naturalistic origin of life is Dr. Leslie Orgel of the Salk Institute, who writes on "The Origin of Life on the Earth." He reviews the many unsuccessful speculations of the past and then makes quite a number of his own. He does recognize, however, that:
... at first glance, one might have to conclude that life could never, in fact, have originated by chemical means. 9
Not to worry. Orgel, Francis Crick, and others have come to the rescue.
We have proposed that RNA might well have come first and established what is now called the RNA world.... The scenario could have occurred, he notes, if prebiotic RNA had two properties not evident today: a capacity to replicate without the help of proteins and an ability to catalyze every step of protein synthesis.10
This is quite an "if." These properties are indeed "not evident today." RNA cannot even replicate itself, let alone catalyze any step of protein synthesis for further evolution. Orgel is hopeful, but he still must admit at the end, that:
The precise events giving rise to the RNA world remain unclear. As we have seen, investigators have proposed many hypotheses, but evidence in favor of each of them is fragmentary at best. 11
Dr. Steven Weinberg, in the first article of the symposium, discussed "Life in the Universe," surveying the various theories of cosmic origins and the origin and nature of life. Although he did not know the answer to these problems, he is sure we don't need God.
The experience of the past 150 years has shown that life is subject to the same laws of nature as is inanimate matter. Nor is there any evidence of a grand design in the origin or evolution of life. 12
That icon of the evolutionary establishment, Dr. Carl Sagan, has discussed one of his favorite subjects in "The Search for Extra-terrestrial Life."
While no one yet has found living organisms beyond the earth, there are reasons to be encouraged. 13
His encouragement centers on the hope that other solar systems like ours will someday be discovered, and the fact that organic molecules (carbon-containing compounds) have been found in space. He is evidently not easily discouraged!
Dr. Sagan's chief rival for icon-hood in the evolutionary temple is Harvard's Stephen Jay Gould, who has written an article entitled "The Evolution of Life on the Earth." He stresses the almost complete randomness of evolutionary history.
Humans arose, rather, as a fortuitous and contingent outcome of thousands of linked events, any one of which could have occurred differently and sent history on an alternate pathway that would not have led to consciousness. 14
There is neither design nor progress evident in Gould's evolutionary scenario, let alone any evidence of God.
Finally, Dr. William Calvin discusses "The Evolution of Intelligence," but he has difficulty in even defining the word. He does see that:
Language is the most defining feature of human intelligence; without syntax--the orderly arrangement of verbal ideas--we would be little more clever than a chimpanzee. 15
He seems to think that this attribute was somehow acquired by natural selection among "ideas" competing for "workspace" in the pre-human brain.
To a creationist it is humorous to read the speculations of evolutionists grasping at straws, as it were, in their almost paranoid attempts to get away from their own Maker.
If they really wish to know how the universe originated, for example, God has told them. "By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth' (Psalm 33:6). Would they like to know how the earth, with its lands and seas, came to be? "The sea is His, and He made it: and His hands formed the dry land" (Psalm 95:5).
And how about life in all its varieties? "God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth" (Genesis 1:21). If they ask why and how man appeared on Earth, God answers that man is no accident, " . . . for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him" (Isaiah 43:7). And can we expect to find life in outer space? No, for "the heavens, are the LORD's: but the earth hath He given to the children of men" (Psalm 115:16).
There is water--spiritual water--everywhere one looks, and He calls, through His word: 'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters" (Isaiah 55:1). In the last invitation of the Bible, He still calls: "Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely " (Revelation 22:17). It is sad that there is so much pure water everywhere, but nary a drop will they drink.
1. J. E. Peebles, D.N. Schramm, E.L. Turner and R.G. Kron, Scientific American (Volume 271. October 1994), p. 53.
2. Ibid., p. 57.
3. Robert P. Kershner, Loc. cit., p. 59.
5. Op. cit., p. 65.
7. Claude H. Allegre and Stephen H. Schneider, Loc. cit., pp. 67-68.
8. Ibid., pp. 70-71.
9. Leslie E. Orgel. Loc. cit., p. 78.
11. Op. ch., p. 83.
12. Steven Weinberg. Loc. ch., p. 47.
13. Carl Sagan, Ibid., p. 93. Loc. cit., p. 93.
14. Stephen Jay Gould, Ibid., p. 86. Loc. Ch., p. 86.
15. William H. Calvin, Loc. cit., p. 102.
* Dr. Morris (1918-2006) was Founder of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris, H. 1995. Nor Any Nod to God. Acts & Facts. 24 (1).