Scientific Journals Promoting Evolution alongside Materialism
In July, I noted that Francisco Ayala wrote an article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describing evolution as "randomness and determinism interlocked in a natural process" where "is no entity or person who is selecting adaptive combinations." Clearly, some theists might find that such descriptions of evolution contravene their religious beliefs. Indeed, there are a number of recent examples of scientific papers promoting evolution alongside anti-religious sentiments:
- A recent editorial by the editors of Nature explained that "the idea that human minds are the product of evolution" is "unassailable fact" and went on to conclude that "the idea that man was created in the image of God can surely be put aside." ("Evolution and the brain," Nature, Vol. 447:753 (June 14, 2007).)
- A similar view was promoted by Eugene V. Koonin, biologist at the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Institutes of Health, who in the journal Cell Cycle wrote that the evolution of genomic complexity has "far-reaching biological and philosophical implications" because "Darwin demonstrated that man emerged not by a special act of creation in God's image, but as a regular result of biological evolution." (Eugene V. Koonin, "A Non-Adaptationist Perspective on Evolution of Genomic Complexity or the Continued Dethroning of Man," Cell Cycle, Vol. 3(3):280-285 (March, 2004).)
- Another recent article discussing the evolution of the flagellum in Microbe Magazine stated that "the English playwright Oscar Wilde said, 'Science is the record of dead religions.' In terms of the intelligent design case regarding [flagellar evolution], the current factual analyses force this example to exit the realm of religion and return fully to the arena of science." (Wong et al., "Evolution of the Bacterial Flagellum," Microbe Magazine (July, 2007).)
- Finally, last year, in the journal Gene, Emile Zuckerkandl, Stanford biologist and one of the founders in the field of molecular evolution, explicitly contends that God would not produce the biological structures we observe in nature:
The observations in question definitely do not suggest that living systems have been built up thanks to the insights and decisions of a master engineer. Rather, the observations testify to a vast amount of continuous tinkering by trial and error with macromolecular interactions. The results of this tinkering are often retained when they can be integrated into the organism's functional whole. But why would God tinker? Doesn't He know in advance the biological pathways that work? Isn't a tinkering God one who loudly says "I am not"? And why would He say so if He existed?
(Emile Zuckerkandl, "Intelligent design and biological complexity," Gene, Vol. 315:2-18 (2006).)