Description: Order and design - Evolution
What is the Meaning of Life?
Order and Design – Evolution?
by Ernest O’Neill
What is the meaning of life? That’s what we’re talking about. What’s the meaning of the purpose of life, and
why are we here? What’s the point of it all? What we were discussing yesterday was: Are there any clues in
the universe itself and especially in the existence of the world itself? Is there any meaning that one can
perceive in that? We were talking about what you thought was the origin of the world itself.
We discussed several possibilities all of us have learned almost by rote since we were school children.
Things like, the “Big Bang” theory or the idea of some decomposing substance, and really none of them make too
Some of us, of course, have been so programmed through our education that we tend to say, “Well that’s easy.
Where did the world come from? That’s easy. Evolution explains it all. It all came about by evolution,
that’s it! That’s obviously proven over the years. Now, everybody accepts evolution and that’s the
explanation of the origin of the world and of the universe. I’m happy with that. Everybody else is happy
with it. All our top scientists are happy with the idea and that’s good enough for me.”
“The cosmic question is too big for me to answer, and so I’m prepared to be led by the great thinkers of our
era. They obviously have concluded that evolution is the reason for the existence of things and the
explanation of the origin of things. That’s what I believe. Evolution is the answer.”
Of course, evolution is not at all an attempt at explaining the origin of the world. It has never pretended to
be such an explanation. It has never claimed to be an explanation of the origin of anything. Evolution is a
suggestion of the way things might have evolved after an original creation of some kind took place.
That’s indeed why anybody bothers about a “Big Bang” theory because all scientists know that evolution is
simply a theory or hypothesis about the way things might have developed after the original seed, whatever that
was, was created or came into existence; but evolution itself is never claimed by scientists of stature or
integrity to be an explanation of the origin of things.
If anything, it is what Darwin himself described it as being, a possible explanation of the origin of species,
but certainly not an explanation of the origin of the world and of these species. It’s simply a possible
explanation of the origin of species of different forms, different types, different kinds of creatures and
In other words, evolution is just one way in which things might have developed into their present state once
there had been an original creation. But, that’s all it is. Indeed, evolution itself has some problems as far
as its own origin is concerned because, of course, we all glibly say, “Well, well, evolution obviously comes
about by the survival of the fittest. That’s it. That’s what happens. The little moths that aren’t strong
enough die off, and the ones that remain are the ones that continue. So, that’s how we have certain creatures
today in existence. The weak ones have just fallen by the wayside.”
You can see yourself that there is, in fact, a question that begs to be asked. The question is this: what
programmed that direction into evolution? I mean, why should the fittest survive? Why should anything try to
survive? Why should there be any urge to live? What put the urge to live or the urge to survive into them?
What programmed things to try to survive?
In other words, it’s no use saying, “The survival of the fittest explains how evolution operates.” The fact is
evolution itself is a question unless we can explain how the program to survive or the program to exercise
itself to maintain life came into any creatures at all. It’s the same with the whole suggestion of the
direction of evolution. What programmed evolution itself? Some of us say, “Oh well, I don’t know. Evolution
obviously is the evolution of things from simpler forms to more complex forms. That’s what evolution is.
Things started as a single cell in a kind of formation and then, they broke into two cells. Then, they
developed more cells into more complex systems. So, I mean the ape was simpler than we are. It has a smaller
brain then we have, so our brain develops. Evolution is simply the evolving of simple forms to more complex
Don’t you see that there’s a question that begs to be asked? What determined that things would evolve from a
simple to a more complex form?
Why didn’t things evolve from a more complex form to a simpler form? What programmed these things to operate
in this way? What put the urge inside things to evolve even if that’s the way that things evolved? What
programmed them to evolve that way? It’s not enough to say that’s the way they evolved. The question is,
what made them want to do that?
Of course, some of us glibly answer, “Well, I don’t know, but it all comes about by mutation. That’s how it
comes about. That’s how you get some darkened moths in industrial cities as opposed to white moths. It comes
partly from the effect of the environment, and they pass genes to one another.” They create mutations, and
yet, the fact is part of the reason we’re all worried about the fall-out from nuclear disasters is that they
cause mutations. The mutations are things that always cause deterioration. They cause things to deteriorate,
not to evolve into more beautiful and wonderful forms. They cause them to deteriorate. Most mutations that we
know of are actually harmful things. They are not things that improve.
In other words, if things like evolution are caused by mutation, then, you have to ask the question, “Where
did this beneficial mutation come from? What programmed that beneficial mutation into evolution?” So, when
one answers, “Oh, evolution caused the universe” the only suggestion is that evolution might be the way the
universe has developed into its present state. However, every suggestion we make as to how evolution took
place brings us back to the question. Yes, but what programmed that direction into evolution? Inanimate
objects can’t create that kind of program of direction themselves. Of course, that’s the kind of statement
that the so-called father of evolution made.
If you have read “The Origin of Species”, you remember that the last chapter ends like this, Darwin writes,
“There is a grandeur in this view of life with its several powers having been originally breathed by the
Creator to a few forms or into one that whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of
gravity. From so simple a beginning, endless forms so beautiful and most wonderful have been and are being
evolved.” So, Darwin makes it clear that the origin of species is not an alternative to creation. He,
himself says, “There is a grandeur in this view of life with its several powers having been originally
breathed by the creator into a few forms or into one.”
There has to be some explanation of the thing that originally evolved. Maybe you’d think a little about that
and we can discuss that a little further tomorrow.