Category Archives: Science

Evolutionary Bait and Switch

A recent Gallup poll found that 38% of Americans hold to the Creationist view of human origins.”  The remaining 62% believe that evolution (either guided or unguided) played a part.  In the court of public opinion, evolutionists appear to have won the day.  The problem however is that the debate suffers from a lack of precision in terms.  “Evolution” means different things to different people.  In general we know that it refers to some transformation of a species of living beings but most discussion occurs without making that definition more specific.  This is why the first (and most important step) in any discussion is to define your terms. Evolution falls into two main categories, microevolution and macroevolution.  As the name suggests, microevolution explains the changes that lead to variation within a given species.  Macroevolution refers to the large-scale changes that lead to increasingly more complex species.  The failure to make a distinction between these two categories is the source of most of the confusion in the current debate between so-called creationists and evolutionists.

Microevoltion and Macroevolution

As the “experts” in the scientific fields, the evolutionary philosophers, that is, those who treat evolution as a philosophy such that it explains all of reality rather than as a scientific theory that explains part of reality, are only too happy to have these two lumped together.  Microevolution seems to be self-evident and it doesn’t take an expert to see this.  Anyone who has had to take multiple antibiotics for an infection knows that bacteria can evolve such that they are resistant to certain antibiotics.  With the self-evident quality of microevolution, the evolutionists can perform a bait and switch of sorts lumping macroevolution in and selling it as “evolution.”  Opposing something that seems so obvious makes one look like an unreasonable religious nut.  We must insist then that swallowing the microevolutionary slice doesn’t mean we must eat the whole evolutionary pie.

Many insist that there ought to be no distinction between micro- and macro-evolution because macroevolution is simply an extrapolation over time of the same processes that drive microevolution.  This viewpoint is scientifically problematic for at least three reasons.

First, there is the problem of the Missing Link in the fossil record.  “The problem is”, as GK Chesterton pointed out nearly a century ago, “that the missing link is still missing.”  The use of the term “missing link” is considered archaic, but the idea I think is still valid even as we find more and more examples of intermediate species  within the fossil record.  These intermediate species are often labeled as “transitional” but the problem is that this implies that the jump from one to the other is very short.  If macroevolution based on microevolution is true, then there ought to be something like a linear or gradual progression between species.    Instead there are still jumps, and even if the jumps are getting smaller, they are still pretty large.

Too often the “missing link” became an argument from silence, but I think it is still valid because the gap of say 400,000 years between two related species is non-trivial.  The fossil record really appears to show something like fits and starts.  A species is stable and then abruptly a new species appears.

If science truly is allowed to go where the data takes it, then it is far from definitive that macroevolution has occurred based on the fossil record.  In fact in a controversial paper in 1972 as Stephen Jay Gould points out the exact opposite,

“The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism:

(1)Stasis. Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless.

(2) Sudden appearance. In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and ‘fully formed.'”

Second there is the problem of time.  Extrapolation from micro to macro-evolution we are told, happened slowly over time.  If a chasm is so wide that it cannot be crossed without a bridge, no amount of time is going to make it crossable.  The macroevolutionist might say that there were small stepping stones that arose that made the crossingpossible, but that those stepping stones disappeared.  Again one would have to ask where the data is that suggests that such stones actually appeared, especially when there is a simpler and much more reasonable assumption that they were carried across.  That is unreasonable, if you have not already presupposed that no such carrier existed.

The third problem is related to the mechanism by which evolution is said to occur, namely natural selection.  This ought to be obvious from the name, but Natural Selection is selective and not productive.  It does not bring new creatures into being, but instead is a mechanism by which certain individuals are favored because of their adaptations to some environmental condition.  It cannot create those individuals but draws from those who already exist in the population.  Many treat Natural Selection as a creative force; as if it somehow causes the favorable mutation rather than just selecting based on it.

An Edge to Evolution?

As we continue to study the genetic basis of mutation, Natural Selection seems not to be a mechanism by which this jump from microevolution to macroevolution could have occurred.  In his book, The Edge of Evolution, biologist Michael Behe documents a study in which about 30,000 generations, or 1 million years of E. coli have been manufactured and what they have found is “ Mostly devolution.”  It will advance to a certain stage and then throw away chunks of genetic patrimony because it costs too much energy to maintain.  What Behe claims is that this is one example among many of the edge to evolution.  There is a barrier beyond which selective breeding will not pass because either sterility occurs or genetic variability is exhausted.  Although Behe is not popular among some of his colleagues, it is mostly on ideological and not scientific grounds.  Even scientific giants like Richard Dawkins could only resort to ad hominem  arguments to refute Behe.

None of this, of course, proves that macroevolution does not offer a true explanation of the variety of species.  But it does show the need for intellectual honesty that starts by using terms properly.  We should not fall for the evolutionary bait and switch that many neo-Darwinist philosophers try to sell us.  Evolution, especially macroevolution is an open question and ought to be treated as such.

Where’s the Conflict?

In the first of the thirty-two correspondences between a junior tempter and his devilish uncle Screwtape “discovered” by CS Lewis, the latter cautions his nephew Wormwood not to “use science (I mean, the real sciences) as a defense against Christianity. They will positively encourage him to think about realities he can’t touch and see.”  Yet, to most people science is a great enemy of Christianity.  It seems that Satan has taken the exact opposite approach to Lewis’ discovery by using what is seen to debunk what is unseen.  But he always operates under illusions and half-truths, especially when it comes any supposed conflict between science and religion.  The two can never conflict even if, at first sight, there are apparent contradictions…[because] we know, in fact, that truth cannot contradict truth” (St. John Paul II, Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, October 22, 1996).

In addressing why any conflict is not real and only apparent, we must begin by recognizing the dependence that science has on faith.  All of science rests upon two fundamental assumptions.  Like most first principles they cannot be proven, but instead require faith on the part of the person.  The scientist is no different in this regard because he believes first of all that the world itself is intelligible.  It is the assumption that there is a law behind what is being studied that drives us to discover the law.  No reasonable person would set out to discover something that he believed was truly random in the statistical (as opposed to the scientific) sense.  This leads to the second point, namely that the scientist assumes that the human mind has the power to accurately grasp that which he is seeking to discover.  Intelligibility requires intelligence to measure it.  Every scientist bases assumes his instruments can provide accurate measurements and depends on this.  The mind, as the instrument of the scientist, too must have the capacity to grasp reality.  Both are necessary for science and both must be taken on faith.  As Chesterton says, the “Materialist cannot explain why anything should go right, even observation and deduction.  Why good logic should not be as misleading as bad logic, if they are both movements in the brain of a bewildered ape.”

What does the faith of the scientist have to do with religion?  The intelligibility of the universe is a religious assumption because it necessitates an Intelligence behind it.  In other words, it requires a God, and not just any kind of God, but the Judeo-Christian God.  Only He is a God of reason or Logos.  Historically speaking it was no accident that modern science arose when it did—in the midst of a Christian culture. In fact, it is certain Christian fundamental ideas that allowed the emergence of scientific thought to begin with.  The study of science arose because of a belief in a transcendent Creator who endowed His creation with orderly physical laws.  Scholasticism was responsible for the rejection of the pantheistic approach to nature.  Christian belief debunked the idea that created things have a mind of their own and but instead followed fixed physical laws.   In fact, the pioneers of modern science, such as Galileo, Kepler, Harvey, and Newton thought that by pointing out the wonders of creation they would lead people to the praise of the Creator of those wonders.

Gregor Mendel

Why is it then that scientists are often the ones leading the way of the New Atheist movement?  Chesterton hinted at the answer in his quote regarding the Materialist, but it is because they use science as a smokescreen for their philosophy.  While Science and Christianity cannot conflict, Christianity and Scientific Materialism are natural enemies.  The Materialist believes all reality is only matter (or at least ultimately derived from matter).  It is easy to prove that this philosophy is true when you assume it to be true.  Not surprisingly, when you use instruments that are designed to measure matter to measure the immaterial, you will never find them.  It is like walking around with a calculator looking for a cell-phone signal and denying its existence to the people talking on their phones.

In many ways modern scientific materialism is no different than ancient paganism.  The pagans saw the supernatural everywhere.  Things were gods or the playthings of the gods moving at the whim of the gods.  The Judeo-Christian religion demolished all such superstition.  The two Creation accounts in Genesis are mainly written to debunk the superstition of the Babylonians by showing that their gods were actually made by the True God and in fact were not gods at all.  So it is ironic that the materialist now comes along and accuses the Christians of superstition by debunking the Creation accounts.  The materialist sees his mission as one of freeing mankind from superstition.

But superstition by definition is an irrational or unfounded belief.  The reason why Christianity was able to free the pagans from superstition was because it is a religion that is reasonable and with a belief in the natural world.  Christians may believe in the miraculous, but they view it as a supernatural act.  In other words, the miracles of the Christian faith rest upon the natural world.  You cannot have the supernatural without the natural.  It is precisely the understanding that men naturally die that allows us to see the Resurrection for what it is.  The very foundation of Christianity is rooted in an unwavering belief in intelligibility and predictability of the natural world.

This is why the First Vatican Council in its first canon said ““If anyone says that the one, true God, our creator and lord, cannot be known with certainty from the things that have been made, by the natural light of human reason: let him be anathema.”  In other words it is an article of faith that you don’t need faith to believe in God.  To believe in God is the most reasonable thing one can conclude based on the intelligibility of the universe.

It is not without irony then that the Materialist accuses Christians of superstitions when in fact it is they who are superstitious.  For their claim is most certainly not a scientific but a religious one.     What they actually believe is irrational.  They are just as superstitious as the most superstitious of the ancient pagans.  As Stephen Barr has pointed out, the ancient pagan thought that his actions were controlled by the orbits of the planets while the materialist says they are controlled by the orbits of electrons in his brain.  Rather than speaking of fate like the pagan, he speaks of determinism.

In the nearly three centuries since the rise of modern science, mankind has learned more about the workings of the universe than in all the previous centuries combined.  We know more about how things work with each day.  This ought to lead us to deeper wonder and awe and we learn more about the Designer Who made all things to reveal Himself to us.  This is why Screwtape was so vehement with Wormwood about staying away from true science.  But once philosophy is masquerading as science, we run the risk of it drawing people from God in a way that Lewis’ characters would have reveled in .

Happy Darwin’s Day

To mark his 209th birthday, the American Humanist Association has honored Charles Darwin by declaring today to be International Darwin Day.  The group praises Darwin and his theory of evolution for “unclasping scientific progress from theological limitations and paving the way for a fuller understanding of our place in the universe.”   While they mention “theological limitations,” one gets the sense that it is really any “limitations” to natural science, including those that are inherently part of its essence that humanists will not accept.  Natural science is limited in that it is designed to look for material causes as explanation for certain effects.  It can neither find nor detect non-material agents.  It is a valuable and reliable field of knowledge for sure, but knowledge is not wisdom.  As the name suggests, Homo sapiens (literally “wise person) as a species seek wisdom and therefore are necessarily philosophical.  Humanists forget that physics is always at the service of metaphysics.  What ends up happening is that physics becomes metaphysics and bad science follows.  Only when natural science respects it limitations can it truly pave the way for “a fuller understanding of our place in the universe.”

If one reads Darwin’s Descent of Man then it becomes readily apparent that Darwin starts with the assumption that the mind was entirely material and that humans had an ape-like ancestor.  In other words, he took the theory of evolution as he describes it in the Origin of Species and applied it to man without any scientific justification.  In other words, he first made a metaphysical assumption and then simply asserted what that would look like scientifically.  Of course, his metaphysics was not solid as I showed in a previous post.

But science also needs religion.  In fact, it is certain Christian fundamental ideas that allowed the emergence of scientific thought to begin with.  The study of science arose because of a belief in a transcendent Creator who endowed His creation with orderly physical laws.  Any good scientist knows that what you study is not only observable, but that it follows some known order.   No reasonable scientist would study what he truly believed to be random coin flips.  Furthermore, man must be capable of recognizing this order so as to study it.  In order to discover the order of the universe of which man is a part, he must also somehow transcend it.  In other words, Humanists must recognize that to reject either of these truths, undermines any attempts that they make to gather knowledge about the world.  In fact, the pioneers of modern science, such as Galileo, Kepler, Harvey, and Newton thought science was at the service of wonder so that it would give content to the praise of the Creator.

Historically speaking, religious faith and science thrived side by side until the start of the eighteenth century.  For various reasons, some of which were valid such as wars within Christianity itself, many Enlightenment intellectuals became disillusioned with Christianity.  In response to this, they proposed a “religion of reason” that would replace the dogmas of faith.  This co-option of science by the Enlightenment was characterized by its claims that science must be “value free”.

Creation of Man Sistine

It should be noted as well that Darwin was not the first to posit a theory of evolution.  One of the questions that theology has long been trying to answer was where Adam’s body came from.  Some posited that it came about instantly while other said it came through some stages of development.  For example, St. Augustine in his commentary on Genesis (De Genesi ad Literam) thought that Adam came into the world in full maturity.  But he left it open to the idea that his body could have come about through long process similar to embryonic development (or evolution of some sort).

So what does Divine Revelation have to say about the “Origin of Species?”  First that God created the world ex nihilio.  This does not preclude Him using something like the Big Bang as the mechanism, although this particular theory has some serious flaws scientifically that need to be worked out.  When you are using a theoretical construct that cannot be measured like Dark Matter to explain 5/6 of the matter in the Universe, it is far from a complete explanation.  Regardless of whether it is true or not, one still has to explain how the point of infinite density and temperature at time zero ever got there.  In other words, scientists may be able to answer the question as to how things come about, but they will never be able to answer the question as to why there is something instead of nothing.  That is a question for metaphysics and religion.  To pretend natural science could answer that question or to pretend that is not the more important question is to delude yourself.  Metaphysical questions are always the most important questions because we crave purpose and meaning and not mere explanation.

Regarding the “Descent of Man”, Pius XII in his Encyclical Humani Generis, offered three specific truths from Revelation that must be safeguarded.  The first is that man, because of his spiritual soul, could not be a direct product of evolution.  There is nothing contrary to Revelation to say that man’s body came through evolution, but the soul must be believed to have been directly infused into that body by God.

Second, we must hold that the first woman came directly from the first man.  At first this seems unnecessary or even superfluous, but Pius XII was reaffirming that which had been taught as part of the Ordinary Magisterium going all the way back to Pope Pelagius I in 561 (“together with Adam himself and his wife, who were not born of other parents, but were created: one from the earth and the other from the side of the man”).  The reason why this truth is of particular importance is because it affirms the essential equality (in dignity) of man and woman.  An unchecked theory of evolution always leads to justifying inequality between people because one group is always somehow inferior to the more evolved one.  It was Francis Galton, a cousin of Darwin’s who applied Darwin’s arguments for Natural Selection to improved breeding of human beings.  He is the first to coin the term eugenics, to which the likes of Marx, Hitler and Margaret Sanger all devoted their time.

Finally, Pius XII said that Adam and Eve were two real people from which the entire human race has come (this is called monogenism).  The Pontiff said that “When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains either that after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parents of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now, it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the teaching authority of the Church proposed with regard to original sin which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam in which through generation is passed onto all and is in everyone as his own” (Humani Generis 37).

This is why a wholesale adoption of evolution is problematic.  Evolution without Revelation would require that in the transition from animal to man, there would necessarily be a multitude of men and not just two.  What is at stake in this is Jesus and His Mission.  If there is no Adam and no Original Sin as separation from God then there is no need for the Incarnation and Redemption.  While we may not be immediately aware of the implications of this belief, humanists certainly are.  In an article entitled, “The Meaning of Evolution,” the author says that, “[E]volution destroys utterly and finally the very reason for Jesus’ earthly life, which was supposedly made necessary, for if you destroy Adam and Eve and original sin, then you will find the sorry remains of the Son of God. Take away the meaning of his death, and if Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, then Christianity is nothing.”

Ultimately, the battle between science and revelation has a direct bearing upon science itself.  As Pius XII said, “truth cannot contradict truth” so that   those places where modern science contradict revelation will ultimately lead to dead ends.  No amount of faith in scientific fudge factors like dark matter, dark, energy, inflation, and missing links will ultimately lead to truth.  It certainly is not at the service of reason to continue to create hypothetical constructs to fill in the gaps when Revelation has a perfectly reasonable answer—I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

 

 

Evolution and the Church

In a 1996 address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences entitled Truth Cannot Contradict Truth, Pope St. John Paul II said “the Church takes a direct interest in the question of evolution, because it touches on the conception of man, whom Revelation tells us is created in the image and likeness of God.”  Rather than dismissing evolution as somehow anti-Christian, the Pontiff embraced it as “more than an hypothesis.”  To be clear, the Holy Father never actually endorsed a specific theory of evolution, but instead says it is “more accurate to speak of the theories of evolution” because many of the so-called theories of evolution are wrong because they rest on a flawed metaphysical system.  This shows how the two areas, philosophical and scientific, must remain in dialogue with each other if we are to find the truth about man’s origins.  If the scientific community will turn its evolutionary glance towards the most highly evolved Ox, St. Thomas Aquinas, then he can point them only in the direction of those theories that rest on a firm metaphysical foundation.

Mostly as a matter of polemics, there is a false dichotomy that is often set up between creation and evolution.  But the two need not be mutually exclusive.  All too often a belief in creation is often lumped together with what is commonly referred to in Christian fundamentalist circles as “creationism.”  Creationism starts with the view that the six days of creation are meant to be taken literally and then posits that the earth is about six thousand years old.  Of course when science examines the question of the age of the earth, it comes up with a much larger number.  Since “truth cannot contradict truth” it is the scientific that wins out because it seems to be more in line with human reason.  What starts out as a defense of the Christian faith ends up making it look absurd.  St. Thomas warns about attempting to invoke arguments like these for “the Christian faith that are ridiculous because they are in obvious contradiction to reason” and only serve to provoke the irrisio infedelium, the mockery of unbelievers.

Along the same lines, a second dichotomy is set up in that creation means that the Creator had to make the world perfect.  If it is not perfect, then it must be one based solely on chance.  St. Thomas would reject both viewpoints.  In response to the latter, St. Thomas himself addressed the question as to whether chance could govern the world. St. Thomas countered the neo-Darwinists’ of his time called the “atomists” who saw the variety in the world as the result of a random interplay of matter by arguing that variety is precisely the intention of the Creator.  God “brought forth many and diverse creatures, that what was wanting to one in the representation of the divine goodness might be supplied by another. For goodness, which in God is simple and uniform, in creatures is manifold and divided” (ST, I, q.47 a.1).  In fact, if the purpose of creation is to show forth the Creator, then this diversity would be exactly as one would expect.  Just as no work of art can express or exhaust everything an artist has to say because it is always limited by its material framework, likewise no creature can entirely express the Creator.

In response to those who say the existence of a Creator necessitates that the world be perfect, St. Thomas would say that the world, because it is not an end in itself, is actually is a state of becoming, rather than already perfected.  In fact while St. Thomas affirms the goodness of everything that exists (this is called ontological goodness), this does not imply that everything is the best that it can possibly be.  In fact he even says that God could have created a better world (ST I, q.25, a.6, ad.1).  While the world may be journeying towards its ultimate purpose, it is not yet there.

Meet your relatives

It is the philosophical underpinnings of the response to this false dichotomy that gives us a Thomistic launching pad for philosophically valid theories of evolution.  The idea that each goodness is “manifold and divided” and each creature is limited is expressed by St. Thomas in his distinction between essence and existence.  What Aquinas teaches is that everything that exists (while allowing for a possible exception) is constituted by an inner structure of two metaphysical principles.  The first is the act of existence by which the thing is present is the universe of real things.  The second is the manner in which its existence is limited and that is its essence or type of thing.  Think of existence having two dimensions.  The vertical dimension is like a ladder in that the variety of things each have an increasing “amount of existence” that is determined by how much being its particular nature can hold.  There is also a horizontal dimension in which things can share the same nature or essential form and be multiplied because of matter.  Just as essence limits existence, so too matter limits the number of individuals.  So while two rose plants are identical in nature (and therefore being), they do not have the same level of being as say a bear.

Philosophically, St. Thomas would say that there is a dynamic principle that governs the change by relying on the Aristotelian notion of act and potency.  As things change, there must be a principle of continuity that acts as a means for the thing to receive a new mode of being.  This aptitude is its potency or potentiality.  Potency can be either passive which is the capacity to receive some actual perfection from without or active which is the capacity to act from within.  Creatures in essence shape themselves.  They have an active potency or inner force that is governed by their nature that shapes what they become.

It is also necessary to include as foundational the Principle of Sufficient Reason.  The principle of causality, as it is commonly referred to, states that every being that lacks the sufficient reason for its own existence in itself must have an adequate efficient cause. It seems then that the central metaphysical problem related to evolution is how to explain it without violating the Principle of Sufficient Reason, specifically the causal axiom that “no effect can be greater than its cause.”  Drawing upon what was said above about active potencies as the ability to act by some inner power, we can say that two beings already in existing in nature may have the active potentiality to combine with each other under certain conditions to form a new being.  For example, two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, both of which are flammable, combine to form a water molecule which has the opposite property of putting fires out.  This viewpoint may explain evolution in the pre-biological dimension of our world in which all change may be a change in degree.  However this theory cannot explain those changes that require a step up the ladder of being without violating the principle of sufficient reason.

One final principle that needs to be articulated is the distinction between differences in degree and differences in kind.  A difference in kind refers to the fact that there could not possibly an intermediary between the two (called the law of the excluded middle) while a difference in degree admits this possibility.  Two things differ in kind if one possesses a characteristic totally lacked by the other or if one can do something that the other cannot while a difference in degree is a characteristic that one has more of it and the other less.

Any solution to the question of evolution would need to conform to the principle of sufficient reason.  This means that it must present creation as containing some points of discontinuities and cannot be a wholly continuous process that has been set in motion.  Non-living creation shares in existence to a lesser extent than creation that has life.  There is a further division within the realm of living beings.  All living beings have a soul, but they are different in kind and not just degree. These kinds of souls, delineated as vegetative, sensitive and rational, serve as animating principles for living beings.  All living things have vegetative powers in their souls, but only plants have a vegetative soul.  Likewise both man and the animals have sensitive powers in their soul, but only animals have a sensitive soul.  Only man, with reason and will, has a rational soul.  It seems natural to posit that the points of discontinuity would be reflective of these distinctions.  A Thomistic theory of evolution then could be developed by dividing the problem into four distinct areas.

The first would be evolution in the non-living universe from the beginning to the formation of the earth.  In order to satisfy the principle of sufficient reason all that seems to be needed is the infusion of a range of active potentialities (even if they are somehow dormant) in the universe.  This integration would require an Organizing Intelligence but would not require any further special intervention of the Creator (although there is room for such an intervention in theory).

Secondly we could speak of the evolution of plant life.  The principle of sufficient reason requires that an outside source of causality would be needed to move up the ladder of being from non-living to living.  The matter in the plants may have the passive potentiality to receive life, but that life would need to be supplied from an outside source.

Next we could speak of evolution of subhuman animals.  The presence of the sensitive powers must indicate a difference in kind because between the presence of these powers and the lack there are no intermediaries possible.  Therefore this suggests that there is a new level of being here as well.

It should be mentioned that the idea of microevolution within species presents no special philosophical problem because they could be the result of accidental changes with the same nature that produces beings that have only a difference in degree.  Many scientists such as Francis Collins have said that these accidental changes could be brought about by an active potentiality that consists in gene jumping in response to a given environment.  This may in fact become so cumulative that the later entities are no longer able to breed with the earlier and thus a new species is judged.  This however does not imply a qualitatively new level of being.

Finally, we come to the final step and that is the “evolution” of man.  Once again we find that man represents a jump up the ladder of being through the spirituality of the human soul.  The ability to form abstractions is attributed to man along with propositional speech, tool making for future use, and cumulative culture all mark a transcendence of the immediate environment.  These non-material powers cannot be explained by the combination of material causes and in fact would need the intervention of some outside non-material cause.

Notice that throughout the discussion we did not rely on Divine Revelation at all.  This is not because Divine Revelation has nothing useful to say or that we should ignore it.  It was simply beyond the scope of what was being proposed.  Science, philosophy and Divine Revelation are all reliable sources of knowledge and in an ideal world all three should be working in unison to come up with a unified vision of man’s origin.  This essay simply took a bottom up approach that would require no faith on the part of the scientist.  Followed properly, any reasonable person would begin to ask what (or Who) this non-material source might be.  In a future essay we will add the guidelines imposed by Divine Revelation to complete the full picture.