How has the diversity of life come to be on earth?(continued)
Richard Dawkins, who was raised in the Anglican faith and went on to reject it, has been a leading proponent of atheism over the past thirty-five years. Professor Dawkins writes that one of the greatest challenges to the human intellect has been to explain “how the complex, improbable design in the universe arises”. He suggests that there are two competing explanations:
A hypothesis involving a designer, that is, a complex being to account for the complexity that we see.
A hypothesis, with supporting theories, that explains how, from simple origins and principles, something more complex can emerge. [i]
The Bible teaches that the first “hypothesis” is the correct one, that God is our faithful Creator. Many scientific issues challenge the validity of the second hypothesis. Dawkins has placed his confidence in a process which Charles Darwin called “natural selection” to account for the diversity of life on earth. Darwin reasoned that if human breeders were able to develop many exotic types of pigeons from one original pair of wild stock—a breeding process he called “artificial selection”—he inferred that nature itself, given enough time, could also make advantageous selections and produce new genera.
One great challenge is that no one has ever demonstrated the capacity of either intelligent human breeders or nature acting on its own to generate a new “kind.” Variation always runs into genetic limits. For example, breeders can only get pigeons from pigeons, not eagles or crows.
If Darwin’s explanation was valid, as Dawkins contends, we would expect to find in a nature a much more unstructured range of living creatures, without distinct breeding boundaries and discrete identities that could be classified taxonomically. Further, life forms would be a living laboratory of experimental, transitional stages of function. We would see many intermediate stages of development—body and organ systems, for example—undergoing selection through neo-Darwinian evolution and therefore creatures not fully optimized to survive.
The facts that living things are able to be arranged and organized according to a taxonomic system and that living creatures are fully optimized for their present existence are strong arguments in favour of the first “hypothesis” and consistent with the message of the Bible.
[i] Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The God Delusion