Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"The Genesis Enigma" and the Certainty of Science

Wikimedia Commons, author Nobu Tamura,
user "ArthurWeasley"
The Genesis Enigma by Andrew Parker, I should stress that Parker is a scientist, not a theologian. His background is impressive. In the Preface he goes into some of his accomplishments, specifically to discoveries he made which filled in a major gap that needed to be filled in for evolution to be true. I had trouble following his explanation of exactly what he discovered and how that discovery was made and how it filled the gap, but it appears the scientific community must think it did so.
Continuing my review of

Parker has no doubt whatsoever that science knows how life formed, and knows that from a single cell somewhere in the primordial soup the entire breadth of life that we now has evolved. Parker is certain of this. Throughout the text he gives many examples of geologists, archaeologists, astronomers, paleontologists, chemists, and others who used the scientific method to come up with critical theories and then conclusions concerning the origin of life. I found some of this hard to follow, some of it boring, and some of it unnecessary to the premise and discussion of the book. Some of it, however, was excellent.
He references experiments in the 1950s in which some professor created an apparatus and a mixture that represented what scientists think the early earth was like, and was able to create amino acids. To Parker, this is evidence that God was unnecessary for life to begin. Other reviews posted at Amazon state that these experiments have been widely discredited, and had been so discredited before Parker wrote his book, i.e. he ignored the issue. I don't know the correct answer to this, and have noted it for further research.
Parker comes out strongly and says evolution is no longer a theory. It has been proven beyond any doubt, and should be considered a fact.
The "theory of evolution" has become "evolution, the fact." ...By definition, all "theories" allegedly solving the same problem must begin with equal standing—in which case, anyone could invent a theory to account for the diversity of life...and be given equal standing on a stage with Darin and Wallace. ...As I said, evolution is a fact. [page 192]

Parker spent a lot of time on the Cambrian Explosion, which is the point in time, perhaps 510-520 million years ago, that number of life forms on the earth really grew, to the point where all phyla known today have been found represented in the fossil record from that time. Parker says science's explanation of why the Cambrian Explosion took place was the sudden and rapid evolution of the eye. He calls it the Light Switch Theory, e.g. somebody turned on the lights for these animals, and once they could see they could evolve quickly into many, many life forms.

Since then, says Parker, it's all been evolution. God had no part in it. God wasn't needed. Parker also says this is all very certain. Also, he's certain that science has it right. To him, new science never conflicts with older science. It just builds on itself. So what science learned in 2005 simply built on what it thought was correct in 1932, which was nothing but gap-closing from what Darwin said in 1859. He has no concern that scientific discoveries yet to be made will contradict scientific "facts" from years gone by. So certain is he.

So where does Genesis come in, then? I'll cover that in my next post, but here's Parker's lead-in.
Science came to its account of the history of the universe and of life through centuries of painstaking research, engulfing the life's work of many vigilant and impartial thinkers, forever fine-tuning the story until it fitted the facts. But how did the writer of Genesis come to his conclusion? [page 182]


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