Authors: Charles M. Byrne
In his theory of evolution by natural selection, Charles Darwin provided a plausible alternative to Christianity's creation account of human origins. In response, the Christian botanist Asa Gray suggested to Darwin that the variation that drives evolution might be generated by God. Darwin rejected Gray’s hypothesis, invoking philosophical naturalism, a hallmark scientific paradigm. Darwin's conclusion was reached on ideological grounds rather than empirical ones. Biological evidence that emerged subsequent to Darwin’s time yields a different conclusion. A means to assess the question of the source of genetic variation is provided by fitting the Poisson distribution to counts of point mutation and chromosome crossover events at the DNA sites where they occur. A general failure of fit between observational data and the Poisson distribution constitutes an exception to the naturalistic paradigm, and thereby provides epistemic access to the existence of God.
Comments: 14 pages, Keywords: God, evolution, mutation, recombination, genetics, molecular biology, naturalism, Poisson distribution
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