Insight on the News
“No Evidence at All”
In an effort to explain how living things evolved, modern-day sociobiologists rely on Neo-Darwinism, which is a later version of Charles Darwin’s theory of slow, adaptive evolution. But a newer, rival theory—called “punctuated equilibrium” by Stephen Gould and others—holds that the production of new animal species occurred in comparatively sudden jumps, or “jerks.”
Punctuationists maintain that fossil evidence is in their favor. Why? Because intermediate animal forms are “not detectable in the fossil record,” observes Dr. John Turner in a recent issue of New Scientist. But the main difference between these two camps is that punctuationists claim that (1) the “jerks” were generated, not by some form of Neo-Darwinian adaption, but by some process possibly still unknown and (2) the “jerks,” according to Turner, “always accompany the branching of the evolutionary tree.”
“There is no good evidence for [these ideas],” concludes Dr. Turner. “I am tempted to say no evidence at all. Of the essential jerk theory, one can say as Gould did of sociobiology, that it brings no new insights, and can cite on its behalf not a single unambiguous fact.” But since punctuated equilibrium is so popular among rival evolutionists, this also amounts to an unintended admission of how little, if any, evidence there is for the traditional evolutionary belief. Since neither theory can explain the gaps in the fossil record, both lack credibility.
However, there is a fully satisfying explanation for fossil gaps, one that also agrees with modern genetics. It is found in the Bible’s statements that animals produce “according to their kinds” and that man is an independent creation of God.—Genesis 1:24; 2:7.
Science a Religion?
In a recent article in New Scientist, Michael Shallis has come to the defense of physicist Fred Hoyle, who has been criticized for some of his views. “Perhaps Hoyle’s biggest heresy,” says Shallis, ‘is that he has introduced the idea that the Universe needs a cosmic intelligence to control it.’ He adds that Hoyle believes that without such intelligence “the Universe does not make sense.”
Though Shallis maintains that the existence of God or purpose in the universe is a “metaphysical question” with which science cannot deal, he observes “that scientists are permitted by their own colleagues to say metaphysical things about lack of purpose and not the reverse. This suggests . . . that science, in allowing this metaphysical notion, sees itself as religion and presumably as an atheistic religion (if you can have such a thing).”
Refusal to believe in a higher power reveals an attitude similar to that cited by the psalmist, who said: “The wicked one according to his superciliousness makes no search; all his ideas are: ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 10:4; 19:1) Furthermore, this attitude has the effect of limiting the theories of the origin of the universe to mere chance.
The numerous studies in psychosomatic healing now being conducted “signal a transformation in the traditional view [of medicine] that has been described as ‘nothing short of revolutionary,’” says Medical World News. For example, the mind’s effect on the body’s immune system has been a subject of growing interest. Recent studies demonstrate significantly reduced immunity to disease in widows and widowers after bereavement. The immunity does not return to normal levels until mourners adjust to their loss.
In a three-year study, evidence of the mind’s effect on the heart was demonstrated in the treatment of cardiac patients said to have “hard-driving, aggressive, competitive ways.” Teaching these men patience, rearranging their schedules to make time for reflection and for loved ones, and defusing everyday irritations were among the factors that cut the rate of recurrence of myocardial infarctions some two and three times over men who received only medical counseling and regular physicals.
Among other things, such research confirms certain Scriptural statements. For instance, the Bible says, “A heart that is joyful does good as a curer” and “a calm heart is the life of the fleshly organism.”—Proverbs 17:22; 14:30.