Creative evolution

Evolution is OK, but it implies an uncaused cause. Is that scientific?

Words. We use them all the time. They come from our intellect and express our thoughts, ideas, intentions, emotions… approximately, but not always. We say:
Words can't express…
I can't find the words…
Words fail me...
Words change. Language develops. Each generation stretches, twists, and changes the meanings of words, using them in new ways, adding concepts, re-moulding the intonations, identifications, implications, and applications, until some words change their meaning completely.

Language evolves. Each word adapting to imperfectly express the new ideas - until new situations force further changes. Some people try to resist the changes, but the process is irresistible. Why talk about language in an article about evolution? Because the processes are similar, though the timescales differ. Language changes over decades and centuries. Biological changes take millennia. Ultimately, whole languages change, so that the old words and phrases can no longer be understood by new generations. A new language species has evolved. This is evolution, but it's created by human intelligence - and that's not the only form of evolution that humans create.

Technology uses words as code, seeking to make machines do what humans do. Words fail them, so their codes become less and less recognisable to the general population. And, eventually, the word-by-word principle hampers progress, so developers prompt the programs to evolve independent solutions. Developers work on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and even machines that code themselves. Self-programming devices evolve intelligence, producing life-like behaviours in non-living materials. People may regret these developments, and even oppose them; but they are happening.

So, could there be a time when, in some future civilization, or by some alien life form, one of these machines is discovered - alone, with no human companion? And, if they do, will they examine this artefact and declare:
"It's pure chance. It happened spontaneously" - implying that there was no creator?
If so, they'd be wrong, because human intention, and human intelligence, kick-started the process.

Evolution is prompted by intelligence. And it always has been. To believe in evolution is by no means to disbelieve in God. When we identify a process, we prove nothing about its cause. Cause-and-effect is a fundamental of physics and life. If we follow effects by way of causes right back to the beginning, we must admit that there was an original uncaused cause. I call that cause 'God' and acknowledge that this is a leap of faith. But it requires less faith than the unscientific declaration that "it happened spontaneously".

© Derrick Phillips - 2017