Of Chickens and Eggs
Questions of origins are important if only because everyone has a beginning and may eventually question life’s purpose. Even the process of life in which we find ourselves seems to require an explanation. Understanding how humanity originated is important because its answer touches on one of the most fundamental of inquiries —the nature and authority of ethical thought.
This concept brings us to the old question, “Which came first—the chicken or the egg?” Humble as is the wording of the riddle to a philosopher, its query is profound. Either the chicken or the egg is chronologically, and logically, prior to the other.
There are only two possible explanations for the existence of human life: creation or evolution. If evolution is true, then humanity came to exist either by the process of birth or of transformation. Birth entails a non-human giving birth to a human. Transformation means that a non-human somehow became human. Warren described it in this way: “a non-human is walking down a path and, upon raising his right foot to take his next step, he lifts it as a non-human and sets it down as a human” (cf. Warren and Matson 245-48). Of course this does not explain the means by which such a thing could happen. Each of these alternatives suffers a fatal weakness: neither can be demonstrated (proved) by evidence. Since science requires material evidence to fulfill its self-claimed method (i.e. the Scientific Method), then this a problem. It constitutes an admission of defeat in the controversy concerning origins.
The Law of Rationality is a basic, self-evident tenet of thought. Variously stated it says, “One should only draw such conclusions as are warranted by the evidence” or “One should only go where the evidence leads.” The attempt to disprove this is doomed to failure.
Why raise logical “rules” at this point in a consideration of physical and material matters? It is because the evidence of scientific nature cannot be interpreted without a logical construct. Information wrongly interpreted does not yield knowledge but error. In other words, “Even a scientist must reason to reach conclusions.” Since atheistic scientists insist that the biblical creationist produce proof that God exists, such inquiry is appropriate as it applies to atheistic assumptions.
Back to our subject. If birth and transformation are the only two modalities of macro-evolution (as admitted by its proponents) and if neither can be proven, then no-one can know that such a process is the origin of life. Further, if the only two possibilities (strong disjuncts in a logical argument) are Evolution and Creation, and if Evolution is not able to be proven, then of necessity, Creation is the only logical explanation for life on Earth. The atheist finds this to be a “revolting development.” The very rules that he insist that others follow destroy his theory of a purely material universe and of macro-evolution as the explanation for life.
The chicken or the egg? The chicken, of course. But first, God made the chicken (cf. Genesis 1; Hebrews 3:4).
Warren, Thomas B. and Wallace I. Matson. The Warren-Matson Debate on the Existence of God. Jonesboro: National Christian, 1978.
Philip Davis was a student of the late Dr. Thomas B. Warren and may be contacted at: email@example.com