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20th August, 2007

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Evolution: a modern Dagon?

The infinite mind of God cannot be plumbed by the finite mind of man. Strangely, the mind of man sometimes seems almost impossible to comprehend, too. Christians know that Christmas stems from pagan origins and that Christmas customs make absolutely no commonsense whatsoever, yet they persist in, and insist on, observing the celebration religiously. Educated, computer-programming Hindus must surely recognize that the idea of a four-armed god who has been incarnated nine times in the past and who sleeps on a huge serpent floating in the waters and shares deity with Brahma and Shiva cannot be reconciled with rational, scientific thought. Yet many worship this fictitious Vishnu and his divine colleagues zealously. Ancient Sumerian farmers apparently believed that their fertility god was murdered and then resurrected again every year, just in time for lambing.

Are we nuts? The fact is, our capacity to doggedly cling to crazy ideas once we have decided to do so runs strong and deep in the human psyche. Who can understand the ancient Philistines? They worshiped the god Dagon (often described, without any but the scantest evidence, as a “fish God") for centuries in spite of irrefutable evidence of his impotence. When they captured their Israelite enemy, Samson, the Philistines ascribed their success to Dagon. But Dagon was powerless to prevent Samson from pulling out the main supporting pillars of his temple and crushing thousands of his worshipers (Judges 16). Worship of Dagon continued. Some years later, the Philistines captured Israel's ark of the covenant and placed it in Dagon's rebuilt temple. A bad mistake! The next morning Dagon's statue was found lying head down. They propped him up again only to find him, the following morning, in the same position with his head and “palms” broken off (1 Sam. 5:4). Did they get the point? No way; Dagonism continued to thrive. And you can be sure that they were just as intelligent as we are.

Just as educated Christians today continue to adhere to easily refutable customs, millions of intelligent people cling tenaciously to an idea that can only be described as madness, sheer

madness. The idea we speak of is evolution. Sure, sure, sure, nobody can deny that organisms have a capacity to respond to environmental conditions. But this fact fits perfectly well with the creation model. Any being intelligent enough to create living things would, of course, be aware of the need for “plasticity” among organisms — a capacity to modify behavior and morphology (form) in order simply to survive in a world of constantly changing conditions. The extrapolation of this fact to a philosophy of creation by natural means stands out as senseless as continuing to worship Dagon after his total impotence had been demonstrated for all to see. Evolution theory should be embarrassed by its “new clothes”.

As Hindus steeped in Hinduism see it as acceptable and rational, as Catholics steeped in Catholicism cannot perceive the egregious errors of their belief system, so too humanists enamored of evolution theory are confident that their feet are on firm ground. Everything in the universe oozes with the marks of intelligent planning and design, yet adherents of the no-God delusion mock believers in creation by an all-powerful and infinitely intelligent being as slaves of an illusion. They seem incapable of recognizing the illusoriness of evolution theory, as evidenced by confessions of their own priests. Take this all-revealing statement from a well-known student of phylogeny (evolutionary relationships):

As the major metazoan bodyplans appear abruptly and without known intermediates in the fossil record, the morphological gaps between bodyplans have to be filled by hypothetical intermediates in order to connect them into a branching structure. Given this freedom to hypothesize, however, it is possible to conjure up intermediate forms that might connect almost any of the phyla with almost any other phylum (James Valentine, On the Origin of Phyla).

The whole system rests on the shakiest of foundations. Yet its adherents, once immersed within the belief system, seem no more capable of shaking off the religious delusion of evolutionism than the Philistines were of turning against Dagon.


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