Featured

The Blind Watchmaker who is also Deaf and Dumb – Part III

Visualsing how this highly sophisticated electrical device was constructed in the sea, without purpose, without design and without a knowledge of how electricity works, one is only left with the scenario that one day in the remote past, an ordinary fish might have been surprised with the bizarre chance appearance of some portholes in its belly. All we can do is to sympathise at its exasperation while waiting for this most complicated electronic generative system to evolve into a meaningful device. Some internal disturbance indeed for the fish because as yet it could not have understood any useful purpose for this rigmarole. How long it could have taken in terms of Darwinian time, Dawkins understands better. Then, somewhere else in the body, the voltmeter began to appear with connecting wires to the tiny brain of the fish, and some fantastic physical changes were followed by a new arrangement of each muscle with special alignment and phenomenal qualities. The unknown maker, whoever it was, had thus created a masterpiece of an electric generator. Was it the know-nothing formless mindless principle of natural selection? Was it the brain of the fish which was not even aware of its own functional abilities? Was it the almighty gene which without possessing a conscious brain occupied the command centre to perfectly operate a system 36 Review of Religions – August 2002 The ‘Blind Watchmaker’ Who is also Deaf and Dumb – part III This is an extract taken from the book Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth, written by Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad. which had to be operated by a highly competent scientist? Dawkins also avoids many other key issues. He provides no clear logical solution for the question as to why two such electric fish species, the South American and African weakly electric fish, are quite unrelated to each other and how both could be developing independently in different geographical locations, with a similar functional design. He further elaborates this separated yet convergent evolution in the following words, ‘Electric fish have, at least twice independently, hit upon this ingenious method of navigation…’20 and again, ‘Fascinatingly, the South American electric fish have hit upon almost exactly the same solution as the African ones…’21 How these fish unanimously ‘hit upon the same idea’ is a most intriguing question. Moreover, how could they have hit upon an idea so complicated and problematic which they could not even contemplate, let alone resolve. This would also imply that different animals all over the world are hitting upon ideas to simultaneously develop bit by bit. The polar bear has hit upon the idea of being white in the Arctic whereas the polar bear in Canada hit upon the idea of being brown – all independently! This positively indicates purpose and design. The fact is that fish do not hit upon ideas nor does any other animal for that matter. Though Dawkins himself has provided all the necessary data for proof of a Great Conscious Designer, he fails to make the correct analysis of his hard labour. It is because of his greatly flawed 37 The ‘Blind Watchmaker’ who is also Deaf and Dumb – Part III Review of Religions – August 2002 theory that he has resorted to giving up and claiming that: ‘The physical principle that they exploit – electric fields in water – is even more alien to our consciousness than that of bats and dolphins.’22 On this point of wonderment, which he is emphasising, we have made preceding observations previously in this chapter. The purpose of the preceding passage is to prove that Dawkins is definitely wrong in his previous assertions that the living do not present any purpose. All the paths of evolution which he describes, though having no relationship with each other, arrive at the same point of culmination independently. What made them converge to that point while pursuing a completely different and alien journey which had no destination? If different people begin their journey, without purpose and without aim, in directions which they do not choose, how can they meet exactly at the same spot which invariably suits them individually and collectively? Let Dawkins think this over calmly. Let him reconsider his theory of purposelessness in view of the testimony of his own scholarly writings. His lack of design theory is also strongly rebutted by the coordinated development of animals and plants. There are thousands of such examples some of which we have already discussed in our book. Here we quote just one such example with reference to Darwin himself. Darwin has discussed the coexistence of many species of animal and vegetative life evolving together complementarily. Worms, insects and birds, on the one hand, go on evolving exactly in accordance with the evolution of plants. The nature and shape of the flowers and fruits on the other hand, remain exactly harmonised with animals which evolve separately. We can quote hundreds of such examples where it is impossible to suggest a blind mutual 38 The ‘Blind Watchmaker’ who is also Deaf and Dumb – Part III Review of Religions – August 2002 cooperation of the two entirely governed by natural selection. Here we refer to the discovery of Madagascan orchid, Angracecum. The biologists refer to an episode in relation to this plant which had a star-shaped snow-white flower from which descended a foot long curved tubular structure into the ovarian chamber. Only a half-inch of this chamber was filled with nectar. When it was enquired from Darwin how this plant could have been pollinated, he suggested that there must exist a counterpart of this plant in the form of a moth which should have a corresponding foot long curved proboscis which could reach the nectar along this path. This is exactly what was discovered later on. It paid a tribute to Darwin’s genius but not to his principle of natural selection. By the mere operation of natural selection, both the plant and the moth could not have evolved separately, yet together, in perfect harmony. The question arose as to how this flower could have survived without its reproductive system being operative. If there was a bit by bit evolutionary process involved, why did it begin to evolve into an impossible situation? Why grow an exceptionally long curved tube and hide its nectar beneath it? Why obstruct any bird or insect from reaching the nectar at the bottom for the sake of pollination so that its reproductive organs could be activated? Two separate, yet simultaneous courses of evolution, one occurring in the plant and the other in the animal, are impossible to explain away by the mere factor of chance. Can Professor Dawkins suggest some solution applicable to the problem quoted above? How did that flower evolve bit by bit simultaneously with the hawk-moth possessing that extraordinary proboscis? Do moths ever have such a long curved proboscis? How many varieties of moths must have been created and destroyed before natural selection could begin its work upon 39 The ‘Blind Watchmaker’ who is also Deaf and Dumb – Part III Review of Religions – August 2002 them. Both must have started their beginnings from a most trivial state. They had to remain constantly aware of what was happening on the other side so that they could precisely correspond to each other’s shape and design perfectly. They both must have been interlocked into a single entity as though their separate identities as an animal and a vegetable had ceased to exist. Having done that, Dawkins is required to throw light on the forces which throughout governed this separate, yet powerful development. What hand of blind selection could have achieved it? At each of millions of little steps they must have separately taken, the number of steps which must have gone wrong would be enormous, in accordance with the mathematics of chance. The blind hand of natural selection had a prodigal task of choosing and rejecting from among them. Yet the ultimate choice of natural selection went absolutely wrong. A flower was created which was almost impossible to be pollinated – a moth evolved which could only survive on the ultimate completion of that particular flower. Here at least Dawkins must admit that natural selection worked against itself in creating enormous difficulties for the survival of species. The evolution of the two depended entirely on the coordinated moves of the species we have mentioned above. This by itself is impossible without a conscious and an extremely knowledgeable mind to govern it – a mind which natural selection does not possess. Neither of the two parallel evolutions should have survived to reach their culmination if there were no controller guiding their separate steps to remain exactly complimentary to each other. There are many other factors in the grand scheme of things as created by God which are beyond the dominion of natural selection. If those specifically designed factors were not brought into play, and evolution of the living 40 The ‘Blind Watchmaker’ who is also Deaf and Dumb – Part III Review of Religions – August 2002 were left entirely at the mercy of natural selection, life would have completely lost its bearing. The list of the many specific measures taken by God during the evolution of life, which had nothing to do with natural selection, is too long to be reproduced here. One of them, for instance, relates to the extinction of dinosaurs and the profound objective this served in the scheme of creation. Why a massive meteorite should have brought about the end of the age of the dinosaurs precisely at the time when this end was needed? If predesigned by God, as we believe, one purpose it could and did serve was to give other forms of life a chance to develop their evolutionary potentials to the maximum limits, undeterred by dinosaurs. The second highly essential purpose it served, but was understood much later in time, was to bury dinosaurs deep down by the sea shore to gradually convert them to oil, which man of that age would have so direly needed. Such is the work of an All-Knowing Creator. None can attribute this perfect exercise to mere chance. It is impossible for it to have happened accidentally, while now we can clearly read a perfect well-coordinated design in this entire exercise, serving at least two essential purposes in the scheme of things. How on earth could this be the work of natural selection! How we wish Dawkins had applied his all-pervasive theory to the real mysteries of nature which he so competently describes instead of the phantom games his mind creates. Incidentally, we draw his attention to figure 5 on page 61 of his book, which he has presented to justify his theory of accumulating small change. Each figure shown there, starting with the one resembling a swallowtail, could have at random created any other figure shown in this group of seventeen. This is a deliberate attempt to mislead the innocent computer which is only attuned to his master’s voice. What concept of genes was fed into that will ever 41 The ‘Blind Watchmaker’ who is also Deaf and Dumb – Part III Review of Religions – August 2002 remain a mystery because the behaviour of genes is unpredictable and they do not work in a two-dimensional world of lines and figures. The world of genes is far more complex than the land of biomorphs where evidently the figures at every generation are doctored by a brain which genes do not possess. Again the figures are concocted by a brain which operated the computer, while it can never claim to know all the intracacies of the world of genes. The childlike figures which his computer has drawn could as well have been sketched by a toddler on a piece of paper, lacking meaning and reality as much as the figures produced by his computer do. Could figures such as these ever be the creation of genes? Genes do not possess minds but the complex work they produce cannot be created by a mindless thing. They work as though they possess the most advanced mind and are capable of implementing their intricate decisions. No comparison whatsoever can be drawn between these computer figures and real living things. But let us suppose for a while that this model is really representative. If so, any figure among the seventeen could give birth to any other figure by cellular development or random mutations of genes. If such computations as Dawkins has done could be found in nature, a swallowtail could give birth to a ‘man in hat’, or an extremely surprised ‘man in hat’ could give birth to a scorpion. A frog could be born out of a spitfire giving birth to a fox which could lay a litter of beautiful lamps, out of which emerge jumping spiders or bats rapidly fluttering away to their caves of darkness. This is how his computer game works in a single plane of straight or twisted lines. Why not start an analytical study of a real man wearing a hat and show us how natural selection could have built such a person, with or without the hat? Why pull a bat out of the hat of his computer images? Why not turn to the bats whom he has so aptly described and begin to show how they could have evolved bit by bit. There he should have paused and 42 The ‘Blind Watchmaker’ who is also Deaf and Dumb – Part III Review of Religions – August 2002 demonstrated how natural selection could have created even the wing of the bat. Incidentally, talking of wings, we are amazed to read his suggestion that amphibians could have turned into flying birds bit by bit just by flapping their arms. If anyone knows, he should have known that wings cannot be created by the flapping or twisting of arms. Such flapping or twisting could go on for billions of years yet would fail to create a wing. The anatomy of a flying bird is far more complex. If moving arms up and down could create the internal and anatomical changes which could carve the breast bone of a bird, only then perhaps could we entertain this absurd suggestion. But the entire frame of the light hollow bones which a bird possesses are a prerequisite for the possibility of flight. Again feathers are not born with the up and down physical exercise of arms. They may go on till eternity but not the ghost of a feather would grow out of their movements. We have yet to see a physical trainer with his arms covered with tiny feather-like growth which could bit by bit turn into feathers. A naturalist could object to this suggestion by reminding us that the lifetime of a physical instructor is too short to produce such anatomical changes. He should remember that the class of mammals have been in existence for around three hundred million years. All mammals move their limbs, all try to scale as much height as they can by jumping, but feathers they never grow! Is that a prerogative of amphibians alone? But feathers or no feathers, the amphibians could never have built their internal mechanism into that of even the most rudimentary of birds. We know Darwin has suggested this but his suggestions can never alter the realities of life. Amphibians or no amphibians, Dawkins must project his mind five hundred million years into the past when the entire earth was buzzing with flying insects. How did they develop their wings bit by bit with all the 43 The ‘Blind Watchmaker’ who is also Deaf and Dumb – Part III Review of Religions – August 2002 cellular and anatomical features which go into the making of a flying insect? Turning once again to the computer images of Dawkins, which seem to be so popular with him, he has taken only twenty-nine steps, while for a realistic vision of what happens within the genes and how they work, enormously large number of computations were required. Moreover genes according to his admission have no mind and no computer to work upon – while he has a mind and a computer and the know-how to manipulate the computer to his own advantage. Not only this, he also admits that he selected some specific figures out of every generation of computer images to be re-fed into the computer for creating the next generation. He has also disregarded the important factor that no human can visualize when genes should mutate or should not mutate. No scientist’s brain, no matter how clever he might be, can project itself into the cellular universe. Thus any computer model proposed by the most knowledgeable scientist based on his estimation of when and how the genes should spurt into activity, interplaying with a myriad of other internal factors, is fiction not reality. References 1 DAWKINS, R. (1986) The Blind Watchmaker. Penguin Books Ltd, England pg98-99. 2. DAWKINS, R. (1986) ibid p.99. 3. DAWKINS, R. (1986) ibid p.97. 44 The ‘Blind Watchmaker’ who is also Deaf and Dumb – Part III Review of Religions – August 2002