The dispute of the century
Published in GralsWelt special issue 21/2008
One hundred and fifty years after Darwin's The Origin of Species was first published (On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection) on November 24, 1859, the dispute over the theory of evolution has not yet subsided. There are essentially three camps facing each other, which accuse each other of ideological biases.
"The Bible is not intended to show us what the course of the heavens is like, but how we get to heaven. "
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
The great majority of natural scientists accept the modified theory of evolution with its many improvements (see Part 5 "The rise of the living") as the only logical explanation for the development of life in the course of natural history.
Opponents accuse them of sticking to this materialistic hypothesis, despite many inconsistencies, mainly because it does without supernatural (transcendent) influences or a creator god. Then the accusation of atheism is also obvious.
“When the difficulties get too great, one takes refuge behind the fog of centuries (and millions of years), one hides, as far as one's imagination allows, in the darkness of the past, one invokes time, this factor about which we are so little able and that is precisely why it is so well suited to covering up fantasies. "
Jean-Henri Fabre (1823-1915).
For millennia, gods were considered to be the rulers of earthly and heavenly events. For the person who felt helplessly at the mercy of divine counsel, there was only a small amount of freedom; the exploration of a nature ruled by divine will must seem hopeless.
In the meantime, natural scientists have gradually been able to show that both heavenly events - such as the planetary movements - as well as earthly processes obey natural laws that humans can explore, understand and apply. It is then difficult to reintroduce an unknown, unpredictable variable called “God's work” or “miracle”. Because that would mean that scientists cannot research everything, cannot understand everything, and their results would never be absolutely reliable.
Heisenberg's uncertainty principle has shown that not everything can be calculated in advance. Thus there is always a certain leeway for what can only be recorded statistically, for chance, free will or fate. In any case, the future cannot be foreseen exactly.
The world as a raffle
“In evolution, chance does not only rule when playing with the genetic make-up that creates new organisms. Luck and bad luck also decide whether a new development can establish itself permanently on the stage of life or whether it disappears again. And many of the principles that determine the future of an innovation in nature also apply in human society - especially in business.
The influence of chance is greatest during the first generations. If the better gene is lucky, it soon spreads to so many individuals that it can hardly be eradicated ...
In addition, nature's innovation only has a chance if it occurs at the right time and in the right environment. Because every invention has to assert itself against what is already there, and it is usually unpredictable how the competition between the ancestral residents of a living space and the newcomers will turn out. And even if the new property has established itself in a population, disasters such as climatic changes, the impact of a meteorite or even overexploitation by humans can kill all carriers of the excellent gene and thus set evolution back a step.
The development of plants and animals is less like a game of chess, in which the best move counts, than a gigantic raffle. Do humans also owe their creation to chance? In any case, the American paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould was convinced that the film of natural history would be very different if it were played back. " (9, p. 138).
The critics of selection theory can be found partly in the camp of the letter-believing fundamentalists, the creationists, who have to be accused of theological delusion.
Whether Jew, Christian or Muslim, whoever takes his holy scriptures literally and strictly trusts the teachings of his religion, has to believe in a divine creation and in a plan of creation proceeding from God himself.
From the point of view of evolutionary biology, such old religious books are by no means to be taken literally if they are not dismissed as outdated along with the religions concerned.
In some contributions ("Bible versus Darwin in America ", under “History of religion” and in “Brief, succinct, curious” on page 71 “The iron hammer from the Cretaceous”) we reported on creationism and the Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose (Texas). Another museum that denies recognized natural history opened in July 2007 in Petersburg, Kentucky. Here, too, an attempt is made to refute the theory of evolution and to reconcile the observable facts with the biblical story of creation, especially the book of Genesis.
Especially in Anglo-Saxon countries - from the USA to Australia - various evangelical groups want to bring a Bible-compliant biology to the curriculum in schools. In individual cases they have already had success with it. There are similar efforts in the Islamic world (17), and in Russia the head of the Orthodox Church has professed creationism (16).
The ID theory
In the post "A Constructed Universe" (under “Science”) we talked about the ID (Intelligent Design) theory, which strives for a non-Darwinian natural history on a scientific basis.
Proponents of this direction - including serious scientists - believe that they can find a lot of evidence in nature that living beings must be well thought-out constructions that cannot have arisen purely by chance. However, the ID theory is neither provable nor refutable, and therefore not a scientific theory in the strict sense. Examples of German-language books that deal critically with the evolution model would be (3), (7), (11) and (12).
Evolutionary Biology and Christian Teaching
Even in the 21st century, z. B. Evangelicals evolutionary biology is not much different than it was in Darwin's day. The Catholic Church has recently accepted the history of development, but only sees humans (not also animals) as animated beings. Eugene Ulmer contrasted this standpoint of the Catholic Church with the evolutionary biology image of man:
“In Christian doctrine there is neither an 'animal nor a plant soul', ie only the species Homo sapiens is said to be 'animated'. This belief was established by Pope Benedict XVI. a year before his inauguration (2004) formulated as follows: 'The human soul is directly created by God'. According to the Bible, animals, as 'God's creatures', are therefore not on an equal footing with humans, but are in their service. In earlier years this dogma was seen as a justification for the merciless exploitation of animals by humans, who granted themselves a special biological position as the 'crown of creation' or 'the image of God'.
However, evolutionary biology has led to the finding that the species H. sapiens, which is genetically identical to the genus Pan (chimpanzee) to about 99%, is not a biological peculiarity. As the DNA sequence tree of the primates shows, humans are more closely related to African monkeys (chimpanzees, gorillas) than those to Southwest Asian orangutans. The genetic distance between humans and chimpanzees is therefore smaller than that between chimpanzees and orangutans. Together with the chimpanzee and the gorilla, we therefore belong to the zoological subfamily of the Homininae, which, together with the Ponginae (the only type of organ-utan), forms the Hominidae family. As one of many millions of biospecies, humans are nothing more than a special type of mammal, which, however, has been particularly successful due to its relatively highly developed intelligence (efficient culture and knowledge transfer from generation to generation) " (10, p. 266).
Darwin critics like Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig are with the description of man as "99 percent chimpanzee" disagreeing. They point out that this broad agreement applies to the genotype but not to the phenotype. The genotype is the genetic makeup, the phenotype the physical appearance. In humans, the latter is only about 80 percent identical to that of the chimpanzee. Accordingly, the genes can by no means say everything about a living being.
The limited informative value of the genetic makeup of the sexes is particularly clear. There is only minimal genetic difference between women and men. Genetics cannot adequately justify the serious differences in body structure and behavior between female and male.
Naturalism therefore only leads to poor results if an explanation for the prominent position of man is sought.
Because man is a spiritual being! Its characteristics cannot be adequately explained by its genes, walking upright, large brain, or other physical characteristics.
In addition, the Nobel Laureate John Carew Eccles (1903-1997): "Since materialistic solutions cannot provide a justification for our uniqueness, I see myself compelled to ascribe the uniqueness of the psyche or soul to a supernatural mental or spiritual creation." (1, p. 88).
Anyone who knows the Grail Message "In the Light of Truth" by Abd-ru-shin has access to an image of man and his place in nature that is not committed to materialism. (See "The difference in origin between humans and animals").
The Islamic point of view shows a well-presented book published in many languages (15) that brings the same scientific arguments against Darwinism as the proponents of ID theory and refers to the Koran in ideological questions, but comes to similar conclusions as Christian creationists use the Bible as the basis of their faith.
Creationists who believe in the Bible or the Koran, proponents of ID theory and other Darwin critics start from different approaches, which, however, mostly resemble one another in that they do not consider the interplay of mutation and selection to be sufficient to explain the upward development of life. They refer to the many gaps and inconsistencies in the Darwinian worldview.
Even the geological timescale - which supports Darwinism - is, from their point of view, nowhere near as secure as it usually seems.
Evolutionists sometimes lump the various critics of Darwinism together and thus distract from the fact that there are not only religious but also scientifically based objections to the selection theory.
Many Darwin critics - whether religiously or scientifically motivated - see the ascent of the living as a targeted, a planned, a "teleological" development.
For evolutionary biologists, however, any kind of planning or directing evolution is unacceptable. Because that would require a “planner” - or at least something that saves and evaluates experiences. Such a “superordinate, higher authority” does not currently find a place in scientific theories.
From an evolutionist point of view, the development of life was and is subject to the principle of chance, which excludes targeted planning as well as the participation of natural beings (devas), angels, or even direct divine interventions in creation, i.e. miracles.
After the above, it is difficult to discuss Darwin without ideology. It is not just about scientific or religious world views; political burdens can also distort the picture.
This shows - in addition to social Darwinism (Part 4 "The Law of the Jungle") - a well-known example from the Soviet Union:
Marx and Angel had Darwin recognized that proceeded from the inheritance of acquired traits. At the beginning of the 20th century, experiments with fruit flies (Drosophila) showed that the genes are decisive for inheritance. The question of inheritance of acquired traits seemed to be settled. (See Part 5 "The rise of the living").
In the first half of the 20th century it was an urgent goal of the Bolshevik leadership to create the “new man”. The passing on of characteristics that are acquired through environmental influences - or, in the case of humans, through upbringing - seemed to be a suitable political concept.
The Russian biologist Trofim Denisovich Lysenko (1898-1976) adopted this ideology and developed “politically correct” Stalinist genetics. This made him one of the leading Russian biologists, whose work was disadvantageous for Russian agriculture. Lyssenko's opponent, including the renowned geneticist Nikolai Vavilov (1884-1943), landed in the gulag. This subordination of science to politics is frowned upon today as "Lysenkoism".
The principle of chance
According to the modern synthetic theory of evolution, essential changes in genes are possible, particularly through mutations. These arise randomly, regardless of whether they occur spontaneously or are triggered by external influences. However, the vast majority of mutations are disadvantageous for the living being in question.
In extensive experiments with the aforementioned fruit flies, which can reach thirty generations per year, the natural mutation rates were increased 75,000 times by radiation and chemicals. Thousands of mutations have been observed, but all of them were insignificant or harmful. Not once did a new species emerge.
Bacteria have a very short generation line. Up to 3,500,000 generations can occur within 100 years. Over the course of millions of years they have adapted well to their environment, they react quickly to environmental toxins or become resistant to antibiotics. But they have remained bacteria. No biologist has yet been able to observe whether and how bacteria develop into more highly structured organisms.
Micro and macro evolution
The Darwinian model of mutation and selection is quite capable of explaining minor changes that serve to adapt to the environment. One speaks here of "microevolution", as it z. B. is described with its two variants of the birch moth (see Part 5 "The rise of the living"). Other examples would be the antibiotic resistance of bacteria, or the resistance of pests to pesticides.
In the context of the existing gene pool, considerable changes can also be achieved through breeding; well-known examples would be chicken or dog breeds. Such breeds - apart from the fact that they are targeted - often lead to specialization and impoverishment of the gene pool, which does not improve the long-term chances of survival of the breeds (subspecies) concerned.
The development from simple living beings to more complex forms, i.e. the emergence of new species, genera, families, orders, classes, etc., cannot be adequately explained with many small and very small steps. So that z. If, for example, new genres are developed, combinations of properties must come together that are only meaningful when they work together harmoniously.
There have been long periods of standstill in the history of development. These were interrupted several times by mass extinction of species (through catastrophes?) And short episodes in which new species emerged very quickly, almost spontaneously. So there have been leaps in development, major mutations, a “macroevolution”. So far such leaps in development, the z. B. lead to new genera and families, are not yet observed.
From an evolutionist point of view, micro- and macro-evolution probably merge into one another: If many mutations occur very quickly - or almost simultaneously - then it appears as macroevolution. (See Part 5 "The rise of the living").
Is chance enough to explain a multitude of mutations that are harmoniously coordinated with one another and that give rise to new species and families of living beings in a short period of time?
An indispensable prerequisite for the higher development of life is the growth in length of the DNA chain. According to today's knowledge, the carriers of the genetic information, the genes, are stored in every cell of a living being in the form of DNA strands, so that the "blueprint" or the "construction drawing" of the living being can be seen in these molecular chains.
The larger and more complicated a living being is, the more information is necessary for its structure. In the course of the development of life, the length of the DNA chains has increased from 1 mm in bacteria to over 1 m (mammals) to 1.8 m in humans.
How do chain extensions come about?
It seems unlikely that any elongation of the DNA strands would occur by chance in a way that would be beneficial to living things. As can be seen from biochemical considerations, the chance is as good as zero. The possibility that a new animal or plant species will emerge through coincidence seems even less likely:
“The emergence of new animal classes (fish - reptile - bird) requires the creation of synthesis possibilities for numerous new substances. The synthesis of a new substance involves 5 to 10 synthesis stages, and each individual stage requires its enzyme. Every new enzyme, however, presupposes the existence of a corresponding new gene, so that the synthesis of a new substance requires the extension of the DNA chain by 5 to 10 genes. Since a half-finished synthesis chain does not provide any new substance, a selection of 5 to 10 new genes before the synthesis chain is completed and put into service is absolutely unthinkable. The probability for the development of these genes lies between (10high6) to the power of 5 = 10high30 and (10high6) to the power of 10 = 10high60, so it is already an extremely unlikely event, in contrast to mutations that inevitably occur from time to time as spontaneous replication errors, i.e. with The probability of one take place, but without being able to bring about an elongation of the DNA through the creation of new genes, which is absolutely necessary for the creation of a new class of living beings.
With the ability to synthesize a new substance, a living being was usually still far from having acquired a new property that would secure it any kind of superiority over its fellow species. Even a new property, for example feathers instead of scales or foot stubs ('tassels') instead of fins, whose formation is only conceivable with the help of many new substances (apart from the fact that new forms cannot be explained by new substances alone), would have it happy individuals by no means advantages, but - as one can easily see - only brought disadvantages, as long as a number of other properties and abilities had not been added. The flight muscles, flight motor skills and the associated nervous system and the central control in the brain, until the first bird was able to move away from its enemies in the third dimension, belonged to the plumage (which is hardly lighter and more agile, but makes it more vulnerable compared to scales) finally obtained a full replacement for the lost protective scales of the reptile and had the advantage of a new habitat. " (13, p. 96).
Darwinists are of the opinion that this statement is based on false assumptions, since the chain extension can also involve many small successive steps, each of which is not so unlikely.
In general, evolutionary biologists do not like such probability calculations, which regularly come down to the fact that the origin and development of organic life is a highly improbable occurrence and that highly developed forms of life such as humans cannot actually exist.
In addition, biologists see the principle of chance a little differently than mathematicians. So says z. B. Josef H. Reichholf:
“Because chance is not a lottery game. Only what is possible is possible. 'Chance' is very limited, and many errors caused by mutations are corrected by the genome. Order builds on order, new things emerge from what is already there. Complicated structures like eyes did not come about by chance, but rather through many intermediate and transitional stages. Evolution arises from the interaction of restricted and newly opening degrees of freedom. The mere coincidence is as meaningless as the indeterminacy in the (sub) atomic range for the real structure of matter. "
In GW Issue 11 we spoke of the "creative forces of nature" (here under "World riddles and natural wonders“VI) that were personified in all ancient cultures. In our time, too, we speak of natural beings, devas, creative intelligences, etc., which in Abrahamic religions are collectively referred to as angels.
According to Christian tradition, there is an almost unlimited number of angels, large and small. They not only appear as messengers of God, but also administer the earthly world on His behalf.
Interestingly, the second discoverer of selection theory was Alfred Russel Wallace (see Part 2 "The dynamic world of nature"), Of the opinion that there must be other influences on evolution besides variation and selection:
“After Darwin and Wallace jointly published the theory of evolution through natural selection, Darwin developed a somber materialism that still pervades the thinking of neo-Darwinism, the orthodox teaching of academic biology. The entire evolution must have come about by chance and by unconscious laws of nature; it has no sense or purpose.
In contrast, Wallace concluded that there was more to evolution than natural choice, and that it was guided by creative intelligence, which he identified with angels. His concept is summarized in the title of his last book: 'The World of Life: A Manifestation of Creative Powers, Directive Mind and Ultimate Purpose'. We hear a lot about Darwin today, but hardly anything about Wallace. I find it fascinating that these two different concepts of evolution were proposed by the two founders of the theory of evolution. They show that evolution can be interpreted in very different ways. If you are a materialist, evolutionary creativity can only be a matter of blind chance. However, if we believe in other forces or intelligences in the universe, then there are also other possible sources of creativity, whether we want to call them angels or not."(3, p. 45).
The natural history
The doctrine of the development of life, the natural or evolutionary history, is in my view sufficiently proven in principle; regardless of many open questions in detail.
Life on earth developed from simple beginnings; probably beginning with primitive, unicellular organisms (the eobionts). And the whole abundance of life forms that our earth is currently allowed to carry is the result of an evolution of unimaginable dynamics and unbelievable size, which extends over a period of three billion years. This evolution is not over in our day. It should and will continue - unless we humans persist on the current path of stubborn disconnection from nature and destroy the basis of life through ruthless plundering of the earth.
So there is no need to argue whether life arose directly from the hand of God or whether it developed within the framework of natural laws - in which one can recognize an expression of divine will.
The driving forces that bring about and "control" the development of life are up for discussion:
· Is it blind chance, or is it a "higher principle", a targeted force that guides and promotes the development from the simple to the complex, from the unconscious to the conscious?
· Are there role models in the higher realms for developments on earth? The old esoteric principle “as above so below” would in this case coincide with Plato's theory of ideas.
Many people - whether natural scientists or not - believe that they feel in the weaving of nature a living force driving development, which has so far eluded scientific evidence. Maybe has KE v. Bear (1792-1876), a once influential physician and naturalist, hit the crux of the problem when he was born in 1860 by "Thoughts of creation, brought down to earth" spoke. (7, p. 75).
There are behaviors in nature that could not arise through chance mutations and selection, through trial and error. In part 5 ("The rise of the living") we spoke of digger wasps as an example. One of the most incredible chains of behavior has been explored in the brainworm. This is particularly well suited to get Darwinists in need of explanation:
“The lancet leech (Dicrocoelium denitriticum) is a suction worm that parasitizes in the bile ducts of the liver of sheep and cattle. The eggs produced by the adult worm get out with the faeces of the host animal. There they are ingested by small land snails (zebrina, helicella) that feed on the droppings. The snail serves as the first intermediate host; Miracidia larvae develop in it from the leech eggs. Such parasites always have great losses on the way from one host to the next, especially if their eggs are shed with the excrement of the host animal; because animals usually do not eat their own droppings. The parasite is much more likely to find its way into what is known as a vector or intermediate host, in this case in snails. From there it is still a long way to a new cattle or sheep.
This is why the parasite inserts a few multiplication steps in the larval stage, increasing its number of individuals: the larva develops into what is known as a sporocyst, in it daughter sporocysts develop, and in each of these numerous cercariae - these are still larval stages of the lancet gel. These cercaries secrete a slimy shell in which they - several hundred packed next to each other - leave the snail through its respiratory cavity.
Now they lie in the grass and are easily found by ants who eat the mucus and with it the cercaria, around 50 pieces per meal. The cercariae are not digested in the ant, but rather bite through the wall of the stomach and migrate into the body of the ant. The ant's body wall is made of chitin, and chitin does not heal. So that the ant can continue to live, each cercaria seals its hole with a dark brown chitin glue - the only known parasite that mends its host. The ant repaired in this way can live on for over a year. For W. Hohorst and G. Graefe, who studied the life cycle of this parasite so thoroughly, the dark spots in the light chitin were a convenient tool for counting how many cercariae an ant was infested with. The cercariae grow in the ant - their second intermediate host - to a cyst stage and then wait until they come back into a cattle or sheep.
As much as you searched, you found in the body of each infected ant one less cyst than the stomach wall had points. But it was finally found, in a completely unexpected place in the sub-canal ganglion (i.e. the brain) of the ant. This brainworm, as it was called, now has two peculiarities: First, it changes the behavior of the ant from this point. In the evening, when it gets cool, she does not go home to the nest, but climbs a blade of grass and bites the tip of it. The ant sleeping on the blade of grass can now be swallowed by grazing cattle the next morning - before it has woken up. And so the parasites have returned to their final host, where they develop into ready-made lancet leeches. But - and this is the second specialty - the brainworm itself dies. He can no longer infect a host. He sacrifices himself for the other cercaries ... " (14, pp. 140 f.) .-
(1) Dürr Hans-Peter, Geist und Natur, Scherz, Munich, 1989.
(2) Eichelbeck Reinhard, The Darwin Conspiracy, Bertelsmann, Gütersloh, 1999.
(3) Fox Matthew / Sheldrake Rupert, Engel die cosmic intelligence, Kösel, Munich, 1998.
(4) Grün Johannes, The creation a divine plan, Verax, CH-7537 Müstair / GR, 2000.
(5) Hagl Siegfried, The gap between science and truth, published by the Grail Message Foundation, Stuttgart, 1986.
(6) Illies Joachim, Der Jahrhundert-Errtum, Umschau, Frankfurt, 1983.
(7) Illies Joachim, Creation or Evolution, Interfrom, Zurich, 1979.
(8) Junker Reinhard / Scherer Siegfried, Evolution, Weyel, Gießen, 1998.
(9) Klein Stefan, Alles Zufall, Rowohlt, Reinbeck, 2004.
(10) Kutschera Ulrich, Evolutionary Biology, Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart, 2006.
(11) Logan Kevin, Crash Course: Creation and Evolution, Brockhaus, Wuppertal, 2004.
(12) Lönnig Wolf-Ekkehard, Concept of Species, Evolution and Creation, Naturwissenschaftlicher Verlag, Cologne, 1990.
(13) Vollmert Bruno, Chance 1: 101.200.000, Nature, Issue 11/1982.
(14) Wickler Wolfgang / Seibt Uta, Das Prinzip Eigennutz, DTV, Munich 1981.
(15) Yahya Harun, The Evolutionary Swindle, Vural Yayincilik, Istanbul, 2002