A Personal Pilgrimage

On February 6, 2012 by Valmy S. Karemera

Few years ago something extraordinary happened. It was a culmination of many years of a long and difficult search. These were hard years of a relentless pursuit. My journey was driven by few, but foundational questions: What is life? Why life? Is there meaning to life? What is the ultimate reality? Why suffering and death in the world?

In attempt to find meaning and answers to these questions, I resorted to pleasure. I partied and clubbed seven days a week. I welcomed pleasure with its seducing and venomous look. I walked those dark streets of pleasure; I experienced those split seconds and often-costly decisions. In addition, I smoked nearly a pack of cigarettes a day. I became a tyrant to myself. I pushed the envelope to its limit. But the more I pushed, the more I felt the aching pains of my search: loneliness, emptiness, meaninglessness and hopelessness. My life was simply a walking contradiction.

Beside this hedonistic pursuit, I also turned my mind to science. With its shrewd and rigorous scrutiny of facts and figures, science seemed like a best friend to lean upon when seeking for truth about life’s questions. I longed for answers to the tough questions that marred my youth and young adulthood.

Then I walked in a Biology class. I remember being so fascinated by the lecture on how a baby goes through “all the evolutionary stages” in the womb, a concept referred to as “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.”  As a science major in college, I sat in evolution class for a full semester. I must admit; I liked my evolutionary Biology professor.  He was truly gifted, eloquent, passionate and convicted of naturalistic evolution (macroevolution). “The evidence for evolution is overwhelming and irrefutable,” my professor would re-iterate this over and over!  “Could it be possible that Darwinism holds the key to my life’s long search?”  “What about Creationism?”

Darwinism and/or Creationism

Each of these worldviews claim to possess a key to understanding the origins of life and to be the locus of cosmology. But how would these mutually exclusive and historically contested ideologies answer my existential struggles? Logically speaking, both could be wrong, but both could not be true at the same time. Only one could be right. Therefore, I perceived that whichever had a cogent, coherent, and consistent explanation for the origins of life; it would answer to some degree foundational questions such as suffering and death.

Coming from a third world country, suffering and death are indubitable–they are apart of everyday experience. “If you and I are going to die tomorrow, why not eat and drink today for tomorrow we die?”  “If suffering and death are color blind, why life?”  “If this life is all we have, is life worth living after all?”

The facticity of death pervades all human existence. Either Darwinism or Creationism had to have an answer to this basic problem of life. For me, death—the antithesis of life—was the litmus test to either ideology. But which of these two systems could explain the “why” of death?

I chose death because it is a metaphysical reality that transcended traditional arguments: Creationism “is not scientific enough, it is objectively lacking,” and Darwinism is more scientific because of “its rigor and intellectual interpretation of nature.”  As such, since both Darwinism and Creationism purport to favor life, they some how had to explain the redundancy of death. If I was to be honest with my intentions and sciences, nothing promotes life by destroying it.

Darwinism

My search began with evolution. I perused as much materials as I could get. And after sometime reflecting on the subject, I settled on this conclusion: Darwinism thrives on death. It claims to be a system that enhances life, however, with a built-in mechanism of randomly eliminating the weakest of societies, Darwinism shows inconsistency when it destroys the same life its claims to promote. It makes no logical and existential sense.

This inherent fundamental flaw in evolutionary thought pushed me towards Creationism. But before I could move on to Creationism, there was one other compelling empirical evidence I could not simply ignore—entropy. Darwinism claims that things move from disorder to order, whereas physics through entropy–the second law of thermodynamics–argues the opposite. All material reality moves from order to disorder. This truth is self-evident. The wear and tear of all physical materials is ever with us.

Entropy and death were not the only problems against Darwinism; they simply added to a growing list of other scientific and existential conundrums within evolutionary system. For example:  what is the mathematical probability of matter causing mind?  Can DNA and its repair mechanism arise by chance?  Can proteins and DNA chirality coming into existence randomly?  Can evolution explain the irreducible complexities and anthropic principle?  How about the intricacy of the eye? The human brain, polonium halos, missing links in fossils, the evidence for rapidly formed geologic column, the list goes on and on.

Karl Popper was right, “Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research program.”* I rejected Darwinism because it failed to provide necessary and sufficient answers to my existential struggles such as death, suffering, and the meaning of life. Most importantly, however, I rejected macro-evolution because of overwhelming scientific and metaphysical evidence against it.

But now that I parted with Darwinism, would Creationism have any answers for me? Join me next time as I continue to retrace my footsteps to December of 2004.

* Later on, Karl Popper retracted this statement. Nonetheless, it remains empirically true.

4 Responses to “A Personal Pilgrimage”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *