email - December 2014

A Hindu’s Thoughts on Evolution

His religion has nothing to do with it.

This email comes from someone who is not a Christian, Jew, or Moslem, so he does not reject evolution because he believes the creation account in the book of Genesis. He is a Hindu scientist who called himself, “Guru.” His objection to the theory of evolution is based on science, not religion.

Dear Do-while Jones,

I came across your wonderful website sometime back and thoroughly enjoyed reading all the articles. I always had a difficult time believing in evolution through random variations.

I also like the website of the month feature that introduces new websites.

I don't have words to appreciate your patience and hard work over these many years.

Your site is remarkably different in that it does not impose upon the reader, an alternative theory. I work in the information technology field and am a Hindu in belief. There are no detailed descriptions about the process of creation of life and various creatures in various Hindu mythologies. So most educated Hindus unquestioningly believe Darwinian evolution to be true.

The ape to human transformation needs a lot of incredible "feature additions". But I don't understand why scientists or others do not raise questions. In evolution, a genetic beneficial mutation in a single sperm/egg in a single organism creates a new feature which confers some survival edge to the organism. Theoretically this should lead to relatively more offsprings of this mutated entity to be produced.

My doubts

1. As population of mutated organisms there will be competition among those organisms.

2. Every mating choice in favour of original population would dilute the mutated stock.

3. At some point the DNA of the two populations are too different that the two populations drift apart without possibility of mating. In case of humans, we have 23 pairs and apes have 24 paris of chromosomes. At some point some intermediate form of ape-man suddenly should have 23 pairs while the rest of the population had 24. Now I don't know what this means morphologically for the mutated ape-man. Even if this mutant succeeds in mating with the 24 paired individuals, how does reproduction happen?

4. If we go by similarity of DNA as evidence for evolution, an alien concluding GMO food as evolved cousins of natural specie would be a absurd conclusion isn't it? So similarity definitely does not imply common ancestor after just a few decades of mucking with DNA.

-Guru

His email boils down to, “Why don’t scientists ask the obvious questions?” Our answer is that they don’t want to hear the obvious answers.

Our feature essay this month made the observation that scientists recognize purpose and conscious intent immediately—as long as it doesn’t conflict with their world view.

The theory of evolution is full of flaws that should be obvious to any scientist—but these flaws go unrecognized by many.

Guru recognizes these flaws, and can examine the scientific evidence without being prejudiced by his religious beliefs. His faith is not threatened by scientific reality. There is no conflict between evolution and the Hindu faith—but there is no conflict between Intelligent Design and the Hindu faith, either. This leaves him free to pursue science without restrictions.

Although there is definitely a conflict between Christianity and evolution, there is no conflict between Christianity and science because evolution is unscientific.

There is no conflict between science and any religion (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, or Buddhism, etc.) except atheism. Atheism is the only religion that is in conflict with science because the creation myth of atheism is unscientific.

Atheists cling to evolution because they fear that rejection of Darwinian evolution will force them to believe in the God of Abraham. Clearly, this isn’t true in Guru’s case.

Guru can’t understand why scientists or others do not raise the obvious questions about evolution. That’s because he doesn’t understand that atheists cannot separate science from religion.

Guru says educated Hindus unquestionably believe Darwinian evolution to be true. That’s because there is a fine line between education and indoctrination. Hindus have been indoctrinated to believe evolution is true, and because it does not conflict with their religious beliefs, they are not likely to question it.

Guru has been trained in information technology. He naturally thinks about DNA as just another information system. He is used to thinking in terms of encoding and decoding information, processing and transmitting information. He understands the fundamental concepts in information processing because the scientific method can be used to verify data-processing techniques. Facts learned through the scientific method can be trusted to be true. When these facts contradict theories which rely on nothing more than speculation and wishful thinking, those fanciful theories are correctly rejected.

It is true that Christians, Jews, and Moslems are more likely to question evolution than other people because evolution is inconsistent with their faith; but faith just raises the question. It is science, not religion, which supplies the answer.

His Doubts

Let’s look at Guru’s four doubts to see if they are reasonable.

1. As population of mutated organisms there will be competition among those organisms.

Obviously, every organism capable of reproducing is capable of surviving. If it can’t survive, it can’t reproduce. So every organism is “good enough” to live. The chance that a mutation will provide a significant survival advantage is unlikely—mutations tend to make things worse.

Randomly changing any word in this newsletter is likely to obscure the message, not make it clearer. But each one of our newsletters goes through a thorough review process, in which many words are changed to remove ambiguity. Conscious design improvements tend to make things better, but random changes don’t. Random mutations won’t help mutated organisms compete in the struggle for survival, as Guru correctly observes.

2. Every mating choice in favour of original population would dilute the mutated stock.

Yes, if an organism does get a random mutation, and that organism reproduces sexually, only half of its children will inherit the mutation. Half of its children’s children will inherit the mutation. So, with each subsequent generation, the unique mutation will naturally become less prevalent. Since the mutation probably won’t confer any survival advantage, it will likely become more and more diluted, until it dies out.

Natural selection is actually a conservative force—not an innovative force. Natural selection is chlorine for the gene pool. It tends to keep the half of the generation that inherits the unique, bad mutation from surviving long enough to pass it on.

3. At some point the DNA of the two populations are too different …

That’s the problem with the origin of sexual species—the male and female versions have to evolve at the same time, in the same geographic location. Otherwise, they won’t find a mate, and the new species dies out in the first generation.

There are lots of jokes like, “What do you get when you cross an alligator with a chicken?” The serious answer is, “You don’t get anything because you can’t cross an alligator with a chicken.” The DNA of the two individuals is “too different,” as Guru recognizes. The DNA has to have the same number of genes, and they have to be in the right place on the DNA to match up. Trying to mate different species is like trying to zip up a jacket that has a zipper on the left side, but buttons on the right side.

4. If we go by similarity of DNA as evidence for evolution …

As we have written many times over the past 19 years, similarity could just as easily be the result of common design as common descent. There is no definitive test to determine the difference. Carts, trains, and automobiles all have wheels because designers recognized the usefulness of wheels for moving things.

We find it more than a little bit amusing that evolutionists cite similarity as proof of evolution (“similarity is the result of a common ancestor”) and then cite difference as proof of evolution (“the difference is the result of evolution”). When two opposite things prove the same conclusion, it’s hard to argue with “logic” like that.

Evolutionists have traditionally based their Tree of Life on physical similarity. If two creatures look a lot alike, they must have a close common ancestor. They expected DNA analysis to confirm their suspicions—but it hasn’t. One doesn’t have to look very hard in the technical literature to find examples of species evolutionists have traditionally considered to be closely related which have very different DNA, and “unrelated” species which have similar unique DNA features.

In Science We Trust

You can trust science—but you can’t trust scientists. Scientists often have an agenda, and they try to advance that agenda by making it appear to be scientific. Often that agenda is to give atheism credibility by associating the creation myth of atheism (evolution) with science. But science is against evolution, and scientists without a religious axe to grind recognize that fact.

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