On December 11, 2006, the United States House of Representatives Government Reform Committee released a 29-page document titled “Intolerance and Politicization of Science at the Smithsonian: Top Smithsonian Officials Allow Demotion and Degradation. harassment from scientists skeptical of Darwinian Evolution. ” The skeptical scientist was Richard Sternberg, who authorized the publication of an article (“The origin of biological information and higher taxonomic categories”) defending Stephen Meyer’s theory of intelligent design (ID) in The Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. . The article is primarily a review of existing attempts to understand the evolution of the organization of proteins in cells, cells in tissues, tissues in organs, and organs in organisms. At the end of the article, Dr. Meyer suggested that ID was a better theory than Darwinism.

This was the first time a peer-reviewed journal published a supporting identification document. The behavior of the Smithsonian scientists and administrators toward Dr. Sternberg was deplorable and justifies the caption of the Congressional report. Dr. Sternberg and the three reviewers probably thought that Meyer’s mention of ID was a minor philosophical appendix that did not adversely affect the scientific value of the article.

In the article, Dr. Meyer offers no evidence that there is a smart designer. His only argument is that the existing “materialist” explanations were flawed. He did not mention that existing theories could improve as more data is collected and the paradigm of natural selection acting on random mutations improves. In fact, James Shapiro, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago, has already argued that “natural genetic engineering” will replace the random mutations paradigm in the 21st century.[1]

Dr. Meyer probably knew better than Dr. Sternberg and the three anonymous reviewers that there would be consternation if the article were published. As far as I know, he did not warn Dr. Sternberg about this because such a revelation would not have been of interest to him.

What this scandal shows is that there is an emotional conflict over ID, not a rational disagreement. Conflict between people causes anxiety, and anxiety prevents people from thinking rationally and intelligently and behaving with integrity. Intelligence is usually a measure of how fast or slow it takes someone to understand a theory. People have a hard time understanding a theory that threatens their most cherished beliefs. When the conflict has to do with religion, people have blind spots and poor judgment.

The conflict over ID is undoubtedly a conflict over religion. Most advocates of ID believe in life after death, and many Darwinists, especially biologists, think this belief is irrational. One of the causes of the conflict over ID is that both parties do not understand the cosmological argument for the existence of God, which is the first of the five Thomas Aquinas tests. The concept of the prime mover or stationary motor was pioneered by Aristotle, but was improved upon by Ètienne Gilson in the early 1920s. My metaphysics professor at university was the author of The One and the Many: A Contemporary Thomistic Metaphysics. [2] Father Clarke told his metaphysics class in 1963 that St. Thomas did a better job proving that God exists when he wasn’t trying.

The contemporary cosmological argument is based on the observation that humans have free will and are finite beings. A finite being is a composition of two metaphysical principles: essence and existence. The essence of a finite being limits its existence, and an infinite being is a pure act of existence. An infinite being exists because a finite being needs a cause. In Western religions, the infinite being is called God.

This argument assumes or expects the universe to be intelligible, something ID advocates and Darwinists don’t even consider. It also raises the question of what motivated God to create finite beings. The only thing that could motivate God to do something is self-love. Finite beings exist because God loved himself as generous. But God could also love himself without giving. This means that we do not understand why finite beings exist. God exists because a universe with only finite beings would be less intelligible than a universe with one infinite being. To me, this means that the Big Bang, the origin of life and evolution is evidence that God does not exist because it is evidence that the universe is not intelligible. I also consider it evidence that God inspired the human authors of the Bible because the Bible says that God created the universe out of nothing.

In a criminal trial, jurors reach different conclusions because jurors differ in their intelligence and judgment. It is usually clear whether a little bit of evidence helps or hurts the defendant, but this is not necessarily the case. A particular display in the mind of one juror could help the defendant, but harm the defendant in the mind of another. In the minds of ID advocates and Darwinists, the Big Bang is proof of God’s existence. This means that both parties do not understand the cosmological argument. Neither Wikipedia and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, for that matter. This also means that ID advocates think Darwinists have bad judgment and vice versa.

Thinking that someone who disagrees with you has bad judgment can be a source of anxiety because you may be the one with bad judgment. This is a hypothetical conversation about the cosmological argument:

ID Defender: The Big Bang Proves God Exists.

Darwinist: I am not convinced.

Identity defender: You have bad judgment.

Darwinist: No, you have bad judgment.

The ID defender initiated the selfish abuse, but the Darwinian should have admitted that he agreed that the Big Bang is proof of God’s existence. ID advocates feel the need to persuade themselves that God exists. Darwinists are equally eager to justify their own thoughts to all educated, intelligent, and rational people who believe in life after death. This neurotic conflict raises the question of what caused microscopic organisms to evolve into whales in a span of approximately one billion years. This is the conversation above with evolution rather than the Big Bang being the bone of contention:

ID Defender: ID is a better theory than Darwinism.

Darwinist: Darwinism is a better theory than ID.

Since both statements are correct, this is not a rational exchange of views. ID is a better theory than Darwinism because Darwinism only explains the adaptation of species to the environment, not common descent.[3] On the other hand, Darwinism is a better theory than ID because the evidence supports it. If ID advocates understood the contemporary cosmological argument for the existence of God, they could abandon ID. If this happens, Darwinists could be more forthcoming than they currently are about the limitations of Darwinism.

This conflict over identification is analogous to a conflict over a branch of physics related to temperature and other observables of real objects:[4]

Creationist: Evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics.

Darwinist: Evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics.

According to the second law of thermodynamics, a gas will fill the entire container in which it is found because nature tends to a disorderly arrangement of molecules. An orderly arrangement would occur if the molecules remained packed together in a small section of the container. This law does not apply to gases in outer space. Stars are formed when there are so many hydrogen atoms that the gravitational force between the atoms is not negligible and it brings the atoms closer together. This law also does not apply to living organisms. A living organism is a complex piece of machinery, like a jet airplane in flight. For this reason, it is incorrect to say that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics.[5]

This is not the reason Darwinists give. “Entropy and Evolution,” the reference in footnote 4, for example, holds that evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics because the sun somehow pumps order into the biosphere. This reasoning is literally unintelligible.[6] However, the article “Entropy and evolution” goes further. It actually performs a calculation in thermodynamics that proves that the second law of thermodynamics is not violated. This calculation was probably made in good faith, as it is widely believed that the sun generates the order found in living organisms. However, since the miscalculation has been pointed out, it is fair to call the AJP article a hoax promoted by Darwinists to crush identification and creationism.

[1] Shapiro, James A. 2011. Evolution: A View from the 21st Century, FT Press Science, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

[2] Clarke, W. Norris. 2001. The One and the Many: A Contemporary Thomistic Metaphysics, University of Notre Dame Press.

[3] “The history of life presents three great sources of wonder. One is adaptation, the wonderful fit between the organism and the environment. The other two are diversity and complexity, the enormous variety of life forms today and the enormous complexity of its internal structure. Natural selection. explains adaptation. But what explains diversity and complexity? “(Location 78 Kindle edition, McShae, Daniel and Brandon, Michael. 2010. First law of biology: Diversity and Complexity Trend to Increase in Evolutionary Systems, University of Chicago Press)

[4] “Does the second law of thermodynamics prohibit biological evolution? The wrong answer ‘yes’ is sometimes presented in the creationist literature …” (Styer, Daniel. 2008. “Entropy and evolution”. Am. J. Phys. , Vol. 76, No. 11)

[5] “Based on what we have said so far, some will be prepared and ready to take a leap from the notion of accident accumulation to the second law of thermodynamics … We advise readers not to do so, for their own safety. on the other side of that jump there may not be a firm foundation. In fact, there may be an abyss. First, we believe that the ZFEL base [zero-force evolutionary law] it lies in the theory of probability, not in the second law or any other law of physics. And secondly, our notions of diversity and complexity differ fundamentally from entropy, in that entropy, unlike diversity and complexity, is not a level-related concept. “(Location 220, op. Cit.)

[6] McIntosh, Andrew C. 2009. “Top-Down or Bottom-Up Entropy Information and Development in Living Systems?” In t. J. of Design and Nature and Ecodynamics Vol. 4, nº 4.351-385.