What were the intellectual sparks that brought the theory of evolution into being? Was it the popularity of the notion of a distant uninvolved god. A god who perhaps set things in motion, but then left the world on its own. Deism is a name often used to refer to such a belief.
Was Darwin a deist? Perhaps. Did he feel a need to fabricate an explanation for creation since he didn’t really think that his god was really actively involved in his world? After all, how can you account for the diversity of living things if your god is more or less out of the picture?
Darwin was making important discoveries about the adaptability of many creatures in response to environmental change. He supposed that if many such adaptations could happen over time, a very different creature could come into being. Later this process became known as, “evolution”.
Darwin’s logic was influenced by his religious beliefs no doubt. That could be said about any of us! So, how do you account for all the wonderful forms of life on this planet if you assume that your god had little to do with their creation? You take all the environmental factors that effect adaptation and give them the mind of their own and call this creative force, “natural selection”.
Today, the scientific establishment has adopted the darwinian creation story with a few changes to account for new data that has come out of genetics. (Darwin had no knowledge of genetics since the discipline did not yet exist. Genetics was not friendly to his theory since genes usually combine to produce discrete traits with one trait usually dominating over others that are possible. The traits of each parent doesn’t usually blend, but rather pass on from one or the other.)
Today, mutations are the preferred source of evolutionary changes. On the face of it you might say, “have they gone from bad to worse?” Well being clever as they are, they have somehow put mutant genes to the task of creating all of life on earth, and even beyond!
Now, just a minute! What about “natural selection”? That sounds like it could have some smarts! “Natural selection” without wonderfully coincidental mutants would be like “American Idol” having judges, but no contestants. To make things even more dire, the only factor that “natural selection” judges on is “reproductive success”.
So, modern science has teamed together two rather lame components to equip their wonderful creator with the tools needed to engineer all of life on earth. A bouncer, code named, “natural selection” and a superhuman mind called, “mutation”. Now, hold on if that seems like a hard pill to swallow, just wave a magic wand over it called, “vast periods of time” and you’re guaranteed a formula for success!!
Just remember the all important rule!!! Never mention the word “intelligent” when you discuss science.