Upside-Down: Science Stoppers

Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?
-Isaiah 29:16

Atheists often claim that belief in supernatural creation is a science-stopper. Christians explain everything in nature by claiming “God did it,” or so the argument goes. As usual, those that reject God’s wisdom have turned the truth upside-down. Evolutionism, not creationism, has slowed scientific progress in some areas and stopped it altogether in others. In the area of biology, one scientist starts with the premise that every part of an organism is there for a purpose and seeks to discover each one’s function. Another scientist expects to find structures which have no useful function and turns away from further investigation.

In the 1925 Scopes trial, “The trial of the Century,” the defense argued that the presence of 180 vestigial organs in the human body is evidence of Darwinism. “Vestigial” organs are those believed to have no useful function because they are “leftovers” from an earlier stage of evolution. Among the organs presented during the trial were the: appendix, pituitary gland, and coccyx (tail bone). Since then, scientists have discovered useful functions for nearly all organs once considered vestiges of our past development. The appendix plays a role in early development and immunity. The pituitary glandcontrols several other glands and produces a growth hormone. The coccyx has many muscles attached to it, making it something like a structural “keystone.” These discoveries have forced evolutionary biologists to modify their definition of “vestigial” to allow for some level of functionality, but they have not abandoned the concept altogether.

The modern version of this argument is something called “junk DNA,” formally known aspseudogenes. These are sections of DNA that currently appear to have no purpose and therefore are presumed to be left over from past mutations. In contradiction to this perspective shaped by the naturalistic paradigm, some scientists are investigating these genetic regions and are beginning to discover functions for them. For instance, a University of Michigan study suggests that some pseudogenes assist in repairing broken strands of DNA.

If more scientists today were devising experiments to discover the uses of pseudogenes rather than drawing branches on an imaginary ancestral tree, how much more might we know today about the building blocks of life? If those in 1925 had not proclaimed the appendix and other organs as vestigial, how much sooner might we have learned of their importance and applied that knowledge to modern medicine?

When we begin with a different viewpoint that every living thing and every part within it is intricately designed by a mindful Creator, we have good reasons to perform scientific investigations to determine the logic behind constructs that we do not yet understand. In fact, one might even argue that this principle of design is the basis for modern science. The real science-stopper is evolutionism or any other belief system that denies that there is any purpose behind the beauty we observe, leaving us with less reason to experiment, to wonder, to study, or to know anything more.