** Almost a Miracle **The Rambam wrote:
the divine sense of humor
the divine sense of humor
When a person contemplates G-d's great and wondrous deeds and creations, and he observes through them His infinite wisdom which surpasses all comparison, he will immediately love, praise, and glorify Him, yearn with tremendous desire to know [G-d's] great name, as David stated: "My soul thirsts for the L-rd, for the living G-d" [Psalms 42:3].Along came Darwin and proposed really life is not the result of any special engineering. In fact, there is not even any intelligence behind it! It is solely the result of dumb luck accumulated over time. That's my theory!
When he [continues] to reflect on these matters, he will immediately recoil in awe and fear, knowing how he is a tiny, lowly, and dark creature, standing with his flimsy, limited, wisdom before He who is of perfect knowledge, as David stated: "When I see Your heavens, the work of Your fingers... [I wonder] what is man that You should recall Him" [Psalms 8:4-5]. (Mishne Torah, Yesodei Torah ch.2)
The scientific community at the time was convinced there must be a naturalistic, materialistic explanation for everything. The scientific movement had been riding on a string of successes at describing the world such as Newton's laws of motion or the discovery that the earth revolved around the sun, so they embraced the theory. Atheists were jubilant at having finally exorcised religion from humanity once and for all.
But as scientific knowledge progressed, new layers of complexity were discovered every decade as our understanding of cells grew. The dream of fully reverse-engineering life retreated further and further away like a desert mirage. Even the simplest cells have proven to be enormously sophisticated - our most advanced CPU are a total joke in comparison. What's worse, the more we discovered, the more we found hints of new and strange worlds of bewildering complexity awaiting us. Not to mention complex organs which leave one totally boggled with no approach whatsoever (see this video for example by a female university professor).
But most of the scientific community holds on to their paradigm. Insisting that as science progresses we will eventually see that Darwin was right. After all, says Daniel Dennett (in Darwin's Dangerous Idea), Dawkins is "almost certainly right" because "Darwinism is basically on the right track." In this, he echoes the philosopher Kim Sterenly, who is also persuaded that "something like Dawkins's stories have got to be right". After all, he asserts, "natural selection is the only possible explanation of complex adaptation."
If you ask them "how can random chance produce order?" They will reply: "No". Not pure chance but by the inexorable laws of nature. Natural Selection is not random; it is endlessly purposeful."
But this is as meaningless an argument as saying that natural selection will preserve the strongest buildings when a hurricane comes. True, but will natural selection build the strongest buildings, or a building of any kind? Will a billion years of hurricane shape beams and arrange them to form even a simple hut? (the Universe Testifies pg.20)
"But it happened!" they protest, "don't you see the results!"
It is important to realize that there is ZERO evidence whatsoever that natural selection can produce new features of non-trivial complexity. None whatsoever. Everything they bring for this aspect of evolution always has a trick. If you can't see it for something they bring, email me and I'll show you the trick.
But they insist on believing this whatever the cost. For they are unable to accept the alternative.
Like the Biblical Pharaoh, they are unable to change their minds. They march on and on with their research, steadfastly holding on to their paradigm as if bound by a spell. No amount of wisdom is ever enough for them.
Some rare individuals are starting to sense where this is all going. Here is a quote from an interview of Dr. Michael Denton, a famous geneticist who is an agnostic:
Everyone working in fundamental biological research can hardly fail to see, was namely that things are getting more and more complicated every decade as our understanding increases. The endless complexification of biological systems with advancing knowledge was the subject of a recent article in Nature...With these words he echoes the famous prediction of the Zohar as explained here.
As far as where science is going in the future, I think that it's going to be increasingly obvious as the scientific revelation rolls on that you cannot account for life in the universe without proposing that there's some intelligent order behind it. And I think this is going to grow more obvious with each year as biological science advances. Already biological systems are, as currently understood, complex almost beyond conception - think of the millions of neuronal path finding cells navigating through the ever changing biochemical matrix of the developing brain and laying down the circuitry of the nervous system, or the zoo of regulatory micro RNAs regulating gene expression, or the complex, ever-changing 3D topologies of the genome during development.
Or consider the fine-tuning of nature to have living things here in the universe and thriving on a planet like the earth. In this area the criteria are becoming more and more stringent as knowledge advances necessitating an ever-greater degree of fine-tuning of nature's laws toward the end of life. I also see this ongoing revelation as one of the great purposes of science in human history. So if you ask me where science is going in the future I think it's essentially going to be drawn towards some form of intelligent design to account for the world we see around us. And I think that's perhaps the destiny of science, and this was perhaps its destiny from its inception. It's perhaps a somewhat extreme or radical view of the scientific adventure but I think that's what it's about.
Note the term "almost beyond conception" in Denton's words. The word "almost" comes up frequently by atheists and agnostics when encountering the divine wisdom. Another example is from the Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist Fred Hoyle (atheist):
"Would you not say to yourself, 'Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.'"Similarly Francis Crick (atheist), the discoverer of DNA:
An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.He can't say it's a miracle because Crick is an atheist. So "almost a miracle" is as close as he can get.
Yet another by physicist Richard Morris:
"How is it that common elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen happened to have just the kind of atomic structure that they needed to combine to make the molecules upon which life depends? It is almost as though the universe had been consciously designed..."Others have managed to break the spell of folly. Ex. Anthony Flew, a British philosopher, Oxford professor, and leading champion of atheism for more than fifty years renounced atheism in 2004 and declared himself a believer in G-d.
Flew: "I think that the most impressive arguments for G-d's existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries. I've never been much impressed by the Kalam cosmological argument, and I don't think it has gotten any stronger recently. However, I think the argument to Intelligent Design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it... Absolutely. It seems to me that Richard Dawkins constantly overlooks the fact that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design."An interesting alternative to Darwin's random evolution theory is being presented by some such as Perry Marshall, an engineer. Here's an excerpt from his paper.
A cell under stress will splice its own DNA into over 100,000 pieces. Then a program senses hundreds of variables in its environment and then re-arranges those pieces to produce a new, better, evolved cell... consider the significance of this. A protozoa re-programs its own DNA and evolves. Intelligently...In other words, adaptive changes do happen but they are not random. The cell has the power to re-program its own DNA intelligently. Scientists mistakenly "prove" random evolution by pointing to changes in living things. But they fail to realize that these changes are not necessarily random. They are part of the incredible machinery of the cell. see there for more. See also Denton's book "Nature's Destiny" where he brings evidence on this and concludes the same.
If Microsoft DOS 1.0 evolved into the Windows of today without any engineer touching it, would you say: That accidental file copying errors, culled by natural selection, were responsible for these evolutionary changes? OR would you say: That the original engineer who wrote DOS 1.0 was so incredibly skilled that he actually devised a program that could self-adapt? That it could upgrade itself without downloading another annoying Service Pack?
If you ask: "What about all the evidence for evolution in genetics (DNA)?"
Answer: The purpose of the world in this stage of history is human free will. Thus there needs to always be a balance of free will, not too much, not too little. As science increasingly reveals the bottomless, divine wisdom in nature, there must be a counter-balance to maintain the possibility of free will to deny G-d for those who are looking for an excuse to do so. But, the poor scientists are in a trap for the further they go, the more ridiculous they find themselves for maintaining there was no intelligence involved. For they cannot fully understand even the "simplest" bacteria. Perhaps this is the divine sense of humor.
For a detailed treatise on evolution see here.
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