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The Oxymoron of Evolution
Get your own words, fellas.

by Everett Wilson
February 9, 2008

I am stating an hypothesis. I invite you, in your reading, to see evidences of it in popular scientific reporting.

It is not stated until the fifth paragraph. The first four will take you no more than two minutes to get to it, and that's if you move your lips; you can get probably get to it in more than one. 

I have been told all my life that there is such a thing as theistic evolution, the concept that evolution is a process willed and directed by divine intelligence. Theistic evolution is not the oxymoron of evolution; the oxymoron, which we will get to, is a favorite tool of atheistic evolutionists. 

I wasn't enough trained in the sciences to defend theistic evolution, and besides, in my benighted Biblicism, didn't need it as an explanation of first things. I had limited patience, if any, with those who thought a natural phenomenon like evolution (existing as a process in time) conflicted with metaphysical realities that stand beyond time and nature. One can believe in these realities or not, but evolution one way or another has nothing to do with your belief. It seemed to me that the arguments both for and against intelligent design — the secular term some use when they want to say that God made the world, without actually having to say it — all beg the question. They begin with their conclusions.

Father Robert F. Capon was closer to the classic Christian position when he wrote cheerfully, over thirty years ago, that  God made Adam out of dirt or monkeys or whatever.  

Francis Collins helped me on theistic evolution in The Language of God. He is an orthodox Christian — by definition one who believes in creation —but one whose life-work, as co-discoverer of the "human genome," is predicated on evolution as fact. He says clearly and confidently that God is the creator of all things, and also that evolution is one way things have developed into their present  state. 

What has bugged me for some time is the way atheist evolutionists are too lazy to state their position on its own terms. Their use of anthropomorphisms like choice and will falsifies their position. It reminds me of the story going around in which the atheistic scientist declares to God that he can make  a man, and allows God to go first in the demonstration. God scoops up a handful of dirt, and in a few minutes produces a perfect human being. The scientist then  scoops up a handful of dirt, but God interrupts him: "Get your own dirt."

Evolution may be discerned by an atheist after it happens over an unimaginable span of time, but it cannot be specifically predicted  before it happened the first time because there was no one to predict it.  

  • "Natural  selection" is an oxymoron. Do not say "natural selection" when you mean "random outcome." In atheistic evolution, nature has no mind or will; to treat it as such is pantheism, which is a form of theism. Selection means "this, instead of that." It always requires a selector. Selection is an intentional act, while an outcome may or not be. Strictly speaking (and scientists should always speak strictly), if it is selective, it cannot be natural; if it is natural, it cannot be selective.
  • Popular scientific reporting attributes will to nature with the use of what atheistic evolutionists ought to reject as illegitimate metaphors. An outrageous example is in the January 28 issue of Time, in which romantic love is described as a "commitment device," and then invents the reason for it  out of nothing: "Natural selection has built love to make us feel romantic." How a mindless process can build anything, nor how it would know that it should, is never stated. On the other hand, we are often told with smug superiority, though not in this article,  that it is particularly stupid to think that God did it. 
So get your own words, fellas. Our words mean something because we have a reference for choice, will, design, and so on. You want our words without our reference. That's cheating.  

About the Author:
Everett Wilson's latest book is Real Things, a novel. (Partial Observer Books, 2008).   His first three books were theological.  He has been a contributor to  The Partial Observer since the autumn of 2000, writing on anything that comes to mind or that bugs him.  This article is in the latter category.

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