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Sunday, 13 April 2014

It was Humpty Dumpty!

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less." (Through the Looking Glass; ch.6)

We seem to be living in an increasingly Humpty Dumpty world.  As a "child who was born on the Sabbath Day" (well, it was actually a Sunday - but in the little rhyme, the two terms are synonymous!), I was always happy to claim to living up to what I was supposed to be: "bonnie, and blithe, and good, and gay".  However, I am less likely, today, to refer to myself by that last adjective.

Likewise, politicians in a number of parts of the world have, recently, redefined the word 'marriage'.  All that it now means is that two (for the moment!) people declare love for one another.  There is no need for even the possibility of procreation; and there are still questions as to what would constitute grounds for divorce!

Even as long-standing a word as 'evolution' seems to be able to change (or ought I to say, evolve?!) its meaning.  I have been reading up on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) with regard to getting more 'traffic' to this blog.  In one article, I read: "Thus, through evolution, smart engineers at the engines devised better ways to find valuable results that searchers would appreciate and enjoy."

Two things jumped out at me.  First of all, there was the interesting juxtaposition of 'evolution' and 'devised'.  Surely, I asked myself, the whole point of evolution is that it is the result of random choices made over a very long period of time?!  If something is 'devised', that clearly implies that there has been forethought, planning, design.  It certainly doesn't sit well with a notion of random choice.

Nor should it.  The second thing that I saw was the reference to "smart engineers".  That suggests a certain level of intelligence - certainly not a mindless, chaotic, series of accidentally fortuitous circumstances!

Of course, this is the point made by the proponents of ID (Intelligent Design) - that there is abundant evidence in the known universe for us to be able to postulate a creative, intelligent, mind behind all that is. As the old advertisement, for something or other, had it: "You know it makes sense!" 

Speaking, by telephone, with a very dear friend in the south of England, earlier this evening (or last evening, if one wishes to be pedantically accurate - it is now past midnight!) we discussed, among other things, this very point.  Charles Darwin confessed that his theory with regard to the origin of species was flawed by the failure to discover fossil evidence of any of the necessary 'intermediate' creatures.  However, more than 200 years after his birth, and more than 150 years after the publication of On the Origin of Species, such evidence is still notable by its absence.

Another problem, recognised by Darwin, concerns the eye.  He wrote: “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”  Indeed, the thousands of elements in the single-lens eye must all be in position, and working correctly, for that eye to have any vision.  Take away any of the elements, and the eye simply doesn't function!

Evolution is, in fact, a pseudo-science that provides a philosophical framework for those who refuse to admit the existence of a Creator to Whom we are all, ultimately, accountable.  It is the refuge of those who are like the Biblical 'fool' who says in his heart, "There is no God"! (Ps.14:1).  By the way, the Hebrew word used (nabal) refers to someone who is 'empty-headed' in a morally deficient sense, not to someone who is intellectually wanting.

Praise God, He has not left Himself without witness, and the day is coming - perhaps sooner than many think - when at the Name of Jesus (Who, of course, is God the Son) every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (see Phil.2:10-11).

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