Sunday, November 21

A Simple Evolution Question

K Chesterton in The Everlasting Man, pointed out
It is useless to begin by saying that everything was slow and smooth and a mere matter of development and degree. For in the plain matter like the pictures there is in fact not a trace of any such development or degree. Monkeys did not begin pictures and men finish them; Pithecanthropus did not draw a reindeer badly and Homo Sapiens draw it well. The higher animals did not draw better and better portraits; the dog did not paint better in his best period than in his early bad manner as a jackal; the wild horse was not an Impressionist and the race horse a Post-Impressionist. All we can say of this notion of reproducing things in shadow or representative shape is that it exists nowhere in nature except in man; and that we cannot even talk about it without treating man as something separate from nature. In other words, every sane sort of history must begin with man as man, a thing standing absolute and alone.

My question is similar. Is there any evidence for the evolution of those things distinctively human, like for example aesthetic appreciation for the arts, creativity, or philosophical questioning? Or is this just one of the questions evolution doesn't answer for us.

To be honest, I think the biggest disservice that the IDC/Creationist crowd has done to the science of evolution is to cause them to circle the wagons and stop questioning their own premises.

There are weaknesses and un-explained mysteries left for the evolutionary scientist to answer. If their weren't, then there would be nothing left to study in that field. The existence of evolutionary biologists disproves that hypothesis. My (unsolicited) advice for the evolutionary biology crowd would be to mostly ignore the IDC/creationist school entirely. Let's face it, the young student firmly believing in the Biblical account of creation isn't going to suddenly "wake up" and become the next Stephen Jay Gould or whomever else might be an eminent evolutionary biologist (Mr Gould being the only one I've read in print). And after a short discussion recently with some evolutionary proponents, it seems the only possibilities proposed that would be "lost" if a person might believe in creation instead of evolution are quite weak. They were
  1. If we fail to believe in evolution we might mistakenly think that the oxygen levels present are not biological in nature. Well, rest easy my secular children, for that Creation believing boy also believes man is God's appointed steward of the planet and it his task to care for the well being of the world as well. Environmental causes are also Christian causes. You are allies for this fight.
  2. The second proposed "fact of nature" possibly missed by the Creationist would be the development of resistance to antibiotics by bacteria. Well, again you can all rest easy, there is no indication that after God created the universe and was done, that Scripture indicates that the world is then held in some sort of stasis with respect to the species in existence.
If you know any other "practical" objections to how a failure to believe in evolution would hinder one's ability to cope in the modern world, please let me know.