Some time ago I wrote a blog post which questioned the Darwinian article of faith--Evolution by Natural Selection. As I understood Natural Selection, It was a process of random selection of random mutations to the genetic structure of DNA. My questioning such an article of faith quite naturally caused some kickback from neo-Darwinists.
One critiquer of my position argued that evolution was not random--that it was a non-random selection from a variety of random mutations. I see two problems with this thesis. First, it says that evolution is both non-random and random at the same time. This, of course, violates the logical rule of non-contradiction. As Aristotle put it, a thing cannot be and not be at the same time. Second, the way out of this logical contradiction is to recognize that if there is a non-random selection from random mutations, then the process of evolution is not random at all. In other words, an intelligence of some sort drives evolution.
To use the "intelligent design" escape from the neo-Darwinian self-contradiction is not to buy into the belief that the "intelligent designer" is God. Here is a theory of evolution which should be congenial to both theists and atheists--a "self-organization" theory.
Science teaches that there are four fundamental forces of nature--the strong force, the weak force, electromagnetism, and gravity. I theorize a fifth force--the self-organizing force. The phenomenon of self-organization has been identified on all levels of physical science and biology. From the organization of subatomic particles into atoms to the organization of galaxies into clusters and superclusters, the clues of self-organization are everywhere. So how would a self-organization theory of evolution work?
To grossly oversimplify:
Natural Selection posits that when the asteroid hit Mexico 66,000,000 years ago, the big, lumbering behemoth dinosaurs went extinct, but some dinosaurs accidentally evolved into birds and continue living to this day. This certainly was a fortuitous accident. Out of a near-infinity of possible random mutations (most of which would have been harmful), a mutation occurred which saved the descendants of the dinosaurs.
According to the Self-Organization Theory of evolution, when the asteroid struck, some dinosaur DNA reacted to the fact that its current structure was no longer working and reprogrammed itself to eventually become birds. It will be easy to say, "Self-organization is a godless process like the other four fundamental forces of Nature," and look no farther. But there is a new scientific theory floating around which is suggestive of an Intelligent Designer.
According to this theory, the Universe is actually a virtual reality simulation. Partial evidence of this theory is found in the fact that every aspect of the Universe is so well-organized.
If we live in a virtual reality Universe, then it stands to reason that somewhere outside the Universe is a Virtual Reality Simulator. One atheistic view of the virtual reality simulator is to imagine the Universe as a computer simulation on somebody's laptop. A theistic view might be that the Virtual Reality Simulator is God.
Regardless of which theory suits your fancy, or even if neither does, evolution by self-organization makes more sense than evolution by random accident aka Natural Selection.