“The debate is over. Evolution is a fact (even though no one has ever seen it take place.)” Evolutionists have never proved evolution. A something-from-nothing premise is not scientifically demonstrable. If it were, we would be seeing experiments on how nothing became something, but we don’t.
Change within existing species is not evolution. When Tim Berra, professor of zoology at Ohio State University, compares biological evolution with the “evolution” of the Corvette, he is lying. It can’t be said any other way.1 There are various materials needed to make an automobile (where did the “stuff” to make the parts come from?), designers to conceptualize how the material needs to fit together (where did the information come from needed to design a self-propelled machine?), and workers to take the original design and the manufactured parts and assemble them to make a functioning machine (the parts did not assemble themselves).
There is a fourth point. None of this works unless there is a moral worldview that states that once an automobile is manufactured people can’t steal them. The beginnings of evolution (as evolutionists explain the theory) knew nothing of morality. It was “nature, red in tooth and claw” and there was nobody around to say otherwise.
Two technology stories demonstrate that evolution is impossible. If it takes designers and manufacturers and programmers to make a robotic arm, then how is it possible the stuff of the cosmos came together on its own to make us? There is a new four-fingered, three-jointed robotic hand that “can catch a ball, a bottle or a tennis racket thrown in its direction in less than five-hundredths of a second.” Here’s the key part:
To achieve such rapid responses, researchers took inspiration from human learning methods of imitation, and trial and error. They used a technique called ‘programming by demonstration,’ in which the robot is not given specific instructions. Instead, researchers manually guided the arm to a catching position several times, until the robot learned to move into position itself.
The designers, manufacturers, and programmers copied the way humans learned and transferred that model into their robotic arm. If it was necessary to design, build, and program a robotic arm, why wasn’t it necessary for the designers, builders, and programmers of the robotic arm to be designed, built, and programmed?
Here’s what two of the robot-arm builders have to say about their work:
“We teach the robot. . . . The main novelty that we bring to object catching is in the way we transfer information from a human to the robot. We call this ‘programming by demonstration.’ . . . The robot can observe the task from a human.”
Now we come to the moral question. Not only must robots be programmed by humans to perform human-like actions, but they must be programmed with a moral sense.
The Office of Naval Research will award $7.5 million in grant money over five years to university researchers from Tufts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Brown, Yale and Georgetown to explore how to build a sense of right and wrong and moral consequence into autonomous robotic systems.
“Even though today’s unmanned systems are ‘dumb’ in comparison to a human counterpart, strides are being made quickly to incorporate more automation at a faster pace than we’ve seen before,” Paul Bello, director of the cognitive science program at the Office of Naval Research told Defense One. “For example, Google’s self-driving cars are legal and in-use in several states at this point. As researchers, we are playing catch-up trying to figure out the ethical and legal implications. We do not want to be caught similarly flat-footed in any kind of military domain where lives are at stake.”
Why not let the robots “evolve” a moral sense? Why is it necessary to build “a sense of right and wrong and moral consequence” into robots? According to evolutionists, that’s not how we got moral.
At every level the theory of evolution meets insurmountable challenges that cannot be resolved.
Isaac Asimov was best known as a science fiction writer. Interest in Asimov’s works was rekindled with the release of the movie I, Robot, loosely based on a compilation of short stories that were published in book form in 1950. It was with his fiction works dealing with robotics that Asimov developed the three laws to govern the behavior of robots. Asimov is given credit for being the first person to use the term “robotics” and to offer a vision of the future where robots would exist to serve their creators.
Asimov’s laws were put into action in the superbly scripted science fiction classic Forbidden Planet (1956) where we see Robby the Robot unable to carry out a command to kill a human being. Morbius, his creator, using technology developed centuries before by the long-extinct Krell, instinctively knew that any creation, no matter how primitive, needed a moral code to live by. Not coincidentally, the robot of Asimov’s first story in the I, Robot collection is called “Robbie.”
Asimov’s robot laws are curious given that he was an atheist. Creating laws violates a major tenet of evolution. Evolutionists are materialists. For the materialist, only matter is real. Laws have no material substance; therefore, they do not exist in a real way.
In a matter-only worldview, law is nothing more than a social construct designed for the moment. Geneticist and author J. B. S. Haldane put it like this: “If materialism is true, it seems to me that we cannot know that it is true. If my opinions are the result of the chemical processes going on in my brain, they are determined by the laws of chemistry, not of logic.”2
Even so, Asimov and other atheists realize that laws are required for living with others. The creator, as a builder of robots, gets to make the rules; he must make rules or the creatures will overwhelm their creators. Then there’s the further problem that these robots could never have evolved. They had designers, and evolutionists do not believe in design.
Like so much of the atheist worldview, it must borrow from the Christian worldview to sustain itself. Darwin and his successors believe that morality is found in biology. But any moral code the Darwinist comes up with is measured against an existing morality that does not have its roots in evolution. Robert Bork, writing in the Preface to Herbert Schlossberg’s Idols for Destruction, reveals the flaw in an evolutionary ethic devoid of a fixed and unimpeachable reference point:
Some few years ago friends whose judgment I greatly respect argued that religion constitutes the only reliable basis for morality and that when religion loses its hold on a society, standards of morality will gradually crumble. I objected that there were many moral people who are not at all religious; my friends replied that such people are living on the moral capital left by generations that believed there is a God and that he makes demands on us. The prospect, they said, was that the remaining moral capital would dwindle and our society become less moral. The course of society and culture has been as they predicted, which certainly does not prove their point but does provide evidence for it.3
The banal evolutionary optimism of Asimov has been voided by the reality that moral reasoning has no secure place to stand since God has been replaced with a random and purposeless cosmos. Asimov’s future, since it is unpredictable and always evolving, could easily become a society where Robo Cops and Terminators patrol the streets and Watchbirds guard the skies, and where their law is just as valid as any law proposed by man.
- Tim Berra, Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: A Basic Guide to the Facts in the Evolution Debate (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999), 118–119.(↩)
- J. B. S. Haldane, The Inequality of Man (1937) 157. Quoted in Ric Machuga, In Defense of the Soul: What it Means to Be Human (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Books, 2002), 189, note 19.(↩)
- Robert H. Bork, “Preface,” in Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, , 1993), xviii.(↩)