2016-06-30 @ 10:45 CDT
Is the idea that the universe and everything in it—including life—came to be and then evolved by solely natural causes “just a theory”? Or is it something else entirely?
Sir Karl Popper (1902–1994) is regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest philosophers of science. Few if any knew the implications of evolution better than he. His answer to the above questions is telling. He called evolution, taken in the broadest possible sense, a “metaphysical research program” (Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information, chapter 6.4, paragraph 11). What did Popper mean?
If evolution, taken in that broad sense, were simply a physical research program, then it would limit itself to studying the physical origins and history of the universe and of life within it. Then evolution really would be “just a theory”—a scientific explanation of physical reality that could be tested and, should the physical facts demand it, disproved. But Popper called evolution a metaphysical research program—an attempt to address questions which actually are beyond the scope of natural science. Among those questions are: What is the origin of the universe? What is its first cause? What is the ultimate reason for the existence of the universe? Is its existence even necessary? If those questions sound familiar, they should. They are the same questions religious people ask, all around the world. These same questions are asked by scientists who believe in special creation and intelligent design, rather than in evolution.