The Hollowness of the Theory of Evolution
OpinionThe Bottom Line

The Hollowness of the Theory of Evolution

Allen H. Lipis shares his thoughts of evolution and G-d.

By itself, I have a serious problem with the theory of evolution. Under this theory, the world improved when a mutation occurred that was more capable of surviving than the original that created it. Small mutations have been proven, like a horse getting bigger over time or a new fruit being produced. Scientists continue to fill in piece after piece of their theory, suggesting that small changes occurred all along the evolution path. Under the theory, very big mutations are also possible to make evolution work.

It is a big leap to prove that once the universe was created, life was created from no life at all — from only chemicals and atmospheric conditions. It is incredible to believe that an eye was created from an organism with no eye at all based on pure random mutation, or that lungs developed from gills through a random roll of the dice, or wings and light bones occurred at random to allow a land-based creature to fly. If genetic mutation alone is the essence of the theory of evolution, then enormous leaps in mutation must be accepted. The enormous number of them and the vast coverage across all of life’s organisms are necessary to make this theory work, even given billions of years of time.

A scientific law like gravity is one that occurs again and again; repetition gives the same result. When we come to the theory of evolution, we argue not for consistency and repetition, but for the exception, the mutation, the random occurrence. We cannot prove that repeating the experiment of evolution will produce the same result.  It all depends on chance and natural selection.  It is not a scientific law because it cannot be replicated to obtain similar results.

The greatest difficulty with the theory of evolution alone is what it means to us humans in a philosophical and religious context. It implies that once G-d created the universe with a Big Bang, He did nothing else. The rest of the world after that is pure evolution, mutation and natural selection. We are the product of millions and billions of mutations, a human created at random from nonsensical interactions over billions of years. We are nothing more than the next link in the evolutionary chain that came from random chance and will continue by random occurrence. There is no purpose in the universe. We have no meaning, there is no purpose to life, no G-d who knows us. G-d is totally apathetic and indifferent. We have come from chaos, have evolved through millions of random events and we will be meaningless for all eternity.

Evolution, by itself, is a hollow philosophy, a philosophy of meaninglessness, of utter randomness, and of making no difference in this world.  Evolution does not empower anyone, nor does it have a shred of optimism about today, tomorrow or ever. The philosophy behind evolution is the most uninspiring way I can imagine to think about life and the way to be in this life. It has nothing to offer about the future.

I heard this story about a well-known rabbi, who in his 90s was flying to Israel in the first-class section next to an atheist Israeli named Heschel. While these two were talking about the differences between a Jewish G-d and the theory of evolution a man in his 40s came from the economy class to inquire about the rabbi’s health. The rabbi said he was fine. Then a woman in her 20s also came from the economy area to inquire whether the rabbi was okay. The rabbi said he was fine. Heschel, curious, asked the rabbi who these caring people were. The rabbi said the man was his son and the woman was his granddaughter, and they were going with him to Israel. Heschel, with a note of jealousy, remarked that he wished he saw his son as much as the rabbi did, since he rarely talked with him, and he hardly ever saw his grandchildren. With that, the rabbi remarked that he understood why. For the rabbi, his children saw him as one link closer to Sinai, the commandments and G-d, but for Heschel, his children saw him as one link closer to the apes!

I accept the theory of evolution, but I accept it only with a G-d behind it all. The first reason is that the number of mutations, the size of the changes and the possibilities that the changes would all happen by chance alone is extremely remote. The second reason is that this philosophy by itself is hollow, that it leads to a sense of hopelessness and helplessness in a world full of random events with no purpose to life except that change is inevitable. We are merely one more link in a vast evolution going nowhere, directionless and subject to change by the mutations of chance. The third reason is that there is a much more elegant theory, a much more empowering theory, a much more useful theory for living in this world, and that is the belief in an all knowing, all powerful G-d behind evolution that cares about us, that wants us to be like Him, and that has given us the rules by which we can make that happen.

The Bottom Line: Without G-d there are no answers; with G-d there are no questions.

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