#14 Summary

Charles Darwin presented his theory of evolution in 1859. For various reasons Atheism arose at the end of the 19th century and during the 20th century in the Western world. During this time evolution became the big idea – so rather than saying ‘God created it’, people now say ‘it evolved.’

The church survived the Atheist secular climate by proclaiming that the natural processes of evolution were God’s method of creation.

In our society science is equated with truth, while religious belief is an irrelevant side show, ignored by most people. Theology bows to the theories of modern science – in this way we avoid conflict with a secular world.

But who is this Creator God? Can he do anything? Can we do anything?

Is it right that we should bow down to the idols of science to the extent of not daring to question the theories of science?

Science was my first love and remains the focus of my life.  But I serve God by asking the questions, searching for new understandings, and I believe I have found many of the answers.

When I examined genetics and what is known through the Human Genome Project (which is on-going), I found that mutation does not build up new genes, mutation disables genes and switches them off.

The switching off of genes may lead to genetic disease – this is disadvantageous mutation.  But when the non-expression of genes is useful, it is selected by natural selection – this is advantageous mutation.

I developed a new theory of evolution called Entropic Evolution.  Life was created able to evolve.  For evolution to be possible, it is necessary to start with a high level of complexity.  Complex life can evolve in many different directions and produce a great diversity of species.

It is right that the church should uphold science and accept belief in evolution – but in the right way. As citizens and as Christians we have the right to debate the meanings of things.  The church is a good platform for debate.

So I put it to you – that evolution properly understood – does not fit into the picture as a means of creation, but as part of the fall.

#13 The Fall and Mutation

Genesis expresses theological truths – our relationship to God.

God’s perfect creation is symbolized by the Garden of Eden.  Perfection is followed by the fall.  The fall is the coming into the world of sin and disorder. Genesis puts all the blame on a woman – I don’t want to argue about that just now. 

In essence, Genesis shows that God created life and it was good.  But over time it fell.  It became imperfect.

Evolution fits into the picture as part of the fall.  It is imperfect, based on mutation and it occurs over time.

There are two parallels here: the fall was a rebellion against God and a mistake, but it led to our redemption – so the fall was not all bad news.

Likewise, evolution is based on mutational error and so a mistake, but it leads to diversity and adaptation in the natural world, so evolution is not all bad news.

Evolution produces what is beautiful as well as what is ugly.  The beautiful is the many different species of plants and animals we see around us; the ugly includes parasites that not only look ugly but also do horrible things to other creatures.  So evolution is part of a fallen imperfect world.

It is not all bad news:

In the Easter Vigil liturgy the priest sings about the fall of Adam and Eve, ‘Oh happy fault, the fault that brought our redemption’.  He sings this because the fall brought about our redemption through Jesus Christ.  But just as the priest sings ‘Oh happy fault’ at the Easter Vigil referring to the fall, we can sing ‘Oh happy error’ referring to mutation since the processes of evolution have led to a great diversity of species adapted to the different environments on earth.

It is the original perfection and complexity of the genetic system that has allowed the evolution of diverse forms of life through genetic switching off.

Genetic switching off produces ‘lucky dysfunctions’ in that it guides a complex system towards new ends.  You could call this a ‘tuning up’ of the original system. 

#12 God Does Not Create Through Error

I believe it has been a very big mistake to conflate and equate God’s creation with evolution.

There are scientific reasons for affirming that random processes involving error cannot build up complete functional systems; random processes are not the basis to a message or code that can carry meaning – this includes a code such as the genetic code. Even the selection of certain fortunate errors would not give rise to complex functions.

I am absolutely certain that God does not guide mutation – on the contrary, he only allows errors to occur and people are born with genetic diseases sometimes, but never because God willed it to be that way.  We live amongst error in a fallen world.

God has not used random mutation as his instrument to create life. God does not create through error.

Life in its wonderful, amazing perfection is the product of mind – the greatest Mind that has ever expressed itself.

An act of creation would be a miracle.  God is capable of performing miracles on specific chosen occasions.

God is omniscient.  That means he knows all things, and he knows all about science.  Life was created as a message written in a DNA code.  By investigation science thinks God’s thoughts after him.

#11 Created Life Undergoes Natural Selection

Evolution most certainly is about survival, and it is about adaptation to new environmental conditions.  But this adaptation is based on the switching off of certain genes by mutation, not on the evolution of new genes or new levels of complexity.

I uphold that natural selection allows modification of existing forms of life, but it does not cause those forms of life to exist in the first place.

I call my theory of evolution ‘Entropic Evolution’ because it involves a loss of information at the genetic level. 

Entropy in this sense is about the loss of information that occurs during transmission of the message.

Therefore, I do believe that evolution through natural selection takes place, and to a very high degree but it starts with the creation of basic forms of life.

Life was created able to evolve.

#10 A Third Meaning of Natural Selection

A third meaning to natural selection is the idea that life can become more and more complex by the building up of complexity bit by bit.  This is the belief that new body plans, new organs and new structures can develop when an animal needs them.

The problem with this is that there is no actual explanation to show how a natural process could cause new proteins to come into existence to accomplish this.

Secular scientists just observe the natural world with all its levels of complexity and say because it is there, it has evolved.  The building up of complexity through natural selection is based on belief in the theory, but lacks a real scientific basis or explanation.

#9 Two Meanings of Natural Selection

Charles Darwin wrote about natural selection in On The Origin of Species.  Natural selection, in fact, involves more than one concept.  Darwin was ambiguous about what natural selection actually meant.

A well-known explanation for natural selection is that it involves the survival of the fittest.  The weak die while the strong reproduce and leave more offspring.  In nature many more offspring are produced than survive, and even a small advantage can give the edge to the lucky individuals.

If selection pressures are strong, a change can be observed in a short space of time, may be even as little as 30 years.  For example, Darwin’s finches show different shapes and lengths of beaks depending on which seeds they eat.  If there are droughts year after year birds with short beaks die out while birds with stronger beaks live because the food source has changed.  Environmental change drives species change.

Another meaning of natural selection is the selection of modified traits such that plants and animals become adapted to new conditions and thus avoid extinction.

I fully endorse both of these meanings.

#8 Switched-Off Genes are Often Useful

In certain circumstances the switched off version of a gene is useful.  When it is useful because it causes a beneficial modification, it is spread in the population. 

For example, the mutations that have changed a brown bear into a white polar bear in the Arctic could be described as advantageous mutations, but the actual basis to the change is loss of genes encoding the production of pigment in the fur.

Advantageous mutations and disadvantageous mutations are, in fact, exactly the same thing – they are both errors that cause dysfunction in the genome.  But the effect on the physical body of the switching off of some genes is beneficial, and in these cases they are qualified as advantageous mutations.

#7 What is Advantageous Mutation?

The key to this new understanding of evolution is the definition of advantageous mutation.

Mutations are errors in the replication of DNA. Disadvantageous or deleterious mutation is very easy to understand – they cause genetic diseases.  But what is advantageous mutation?

We know that when an advantageous mutation occurs, natural selection spreads the mutation throughout the population.  This is the basis to Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Is advantageous mutation the opposite to disadvantageous mutation?  If disadvantageous mutation is the incorporation of the wrong nucleotide base, is advantageous mutation a change to the right nucleotide base?

The answer to this is no. 

Whereas a gene can be rendered dysfunctional by a single mutation, a new gene with new function would require hundreds of mutations to occur simultaneously and be fixed for the new gene to be a viable gene. The new gene would also have to be fixed in the population.

I realized that the term ‘advantageous’ is a qualification, not a thing.  It is a way of describing what turned out, in hind sight, to be beneficial.

#6 Hundreds of Examples of Reduction Through Evolution

The natural world has hundreds of examples of the reduction of parts through the processes of evolution. 

An example of this is grass: grass has tiny green flowers that have lost their petals.  The reason for this is that these flowers are no longer pollinated by insects, but pollinated by wind so colourful petals are unnecessary to the survival of grass.

Another example is that moles have lost their eyes, if moles had eyes they would get infected due to dirt getting in as they burrow underground, so fur has grown over the empty eye sockets.

In this way I started to develop a new theory of evolution.

#5 The Human Genome Project Reveals the Details

The science of genetics has made huge progress with the Human Genome Project. This project was initiated in 1990.

These studies have started to reveal details about genes showing that mutations often cause dysfunction compared to the original function :  for example, tortoise shell cats have a patterning gene that inhibits the production of black pigment.  The gene is called agouti.  When this inhibitor is switched off, the result is black cats which have no tortoise shell pattern.  This occurs by a single mutation. 

What I realized was that evolution at the genetic level involves loss of information in the genetic code.  There is a move from function to dysfunction.  But at the physical body level there is either modification or loss of parts.