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The error of theistic evolution
Intelligent design theory rebuts Darwin's evolutionism claims about macroevolution of species by means of an unguided process of random mutations and natural selection. Darwinism can prove neither experimentally nor theoretically its claims. It may seem that a solution to the origin-of-life and origin-of-species problems might be found in the compromise of theistic evolution. This last recognizes macroevolution processes need an intelligent agent and besides supposes this intelligent agent is a transcendent one. But fundamental ontological and cosmological principles about intelligent agency and causality refute theistic evolution as well. Macroevolution cannot be proved by means of modern positivistic science. This study will show how common ancestry and macroevolution, even as considered by theistic evolution, are erroneous hypothesis from a conceptual viewpoint.
To explain origin of species living on Earth, evolutionism proposes the hypothesis of "common ancestry" (or "common descent"). As the term "evolutionism" suggests, the hypothesis entails a sequence of mutants that, from a primordial form (supposed very simple), would have generated all species living today (and the extinct ones too), until arriving to man, the more complex living being. The diagram of species would be a sort of tree (the so-called Darwin's "tree of life"). The unique root of this tree would represent the common ancestor.
The sequence of mutants would entail a series of many little step-by-step transformations.
These transformations necessarily should have generated countless intermediate forms, which never were found. Evolutionists grant us they will be found in the future, but this is what they just affirmed 150 years ago. Setting aside for a moment this historical "detail", we prefer to consider some matters of principle. In fact matters of principle are indeed those that allow us to be sure those countless intermediate forms will never be found. Sometimes biologists pretend to have discovered some "missing-link". For example Tiktaalik, the "tetrapod-like fish" fossil found recently on a Canadian island. These finds and any other similar (as the old Archaeopteryx) cannot prove macroevolution like three (or more) static pictures cannot prove the existence of a film (e.g. here the 3 pictures are: #1, fish; #2, tetrapod-like fish; #3, tetrapod land animal). Tetrapod-like fishes and Archaeopteryx may be well distinct, fixed species and not at all transitional forms (as Darwinians believe). Anthropologists always will find "pictures" only, they never will be able to find and exhibit a complete "film". So we can be conceptually sure fossils will never be able to prove macroevolution. Moreover evolutionists are able to propose no sensible theoretical model of their hypotheses apart their random mutation and natural selection scenario. Unfortunately Darwinian mutation and selection are unable to account for information needed by the rise of the rich morphological novelty in biology.
The American biologist Jonathan Wells (agreeing with other Intelligent Design supporters), about the reasons on which evolutionism tries to base its common ancestry hypothesis wrote:
«In "Icons of Evolution", I questioned the evidence for common ancestry at the level of the animal phyla. The principal lines of evidence are the fossil record, homology, embryology, and molecular comparisons. Yet (as we have seen) one of the most striking features of the fossil record is the Cambrian explosion, which provides no support for the common ancestry of the animal phyla. Homology remains unexplained by evolutionary       biology, so even at the level of vertebrate classes it cannot be used to distinguish between common ancestry and common design. And the early embryonic similarities that supposedly demonstrate the common ancestry of the vertebrates turn out to be non-existent, while embryos of other phyla are even less similar. The evidence from molecular comparisons is also problematic. As biologist Michael Lynch wrote in 1999: "Clarification of the phylogenetic [i.e., ancestor-descendant] relationships of the major animal phyla has been an elusive problem, with analyses based on different genes and even different analyses based on the same genes yielding a diversity of phylogenetic trees"».
It's obvious as common descent hypothesis alone is not enough to explain all. They need another hypothesis about the way this incredible macroevolution would have happened. To simplify this discussion here we will consider only the two main hypothesis about the evolutionary way, i.e. the modalities of these supposed macro transformations. The first hypothesis consists in neo-Darwinian theory, which claims that the chain of common ancestry arose thanks to random mutations and natural selection only. Many refute this claim (in particular the Intelligent Design movement). They show that unguided random mutations and natural selection are unable to explain the huge genetic, biological and morphological differences among species. In short, complexity is not gratis.
A second hypothesis would remain, i.e. what is usually named "theistic evolution" (or "evolutionary theism"). Some affirm it can be considered a sort of compromise between theism and evolutionism. According to this compromise an intelligent agent would have driven the evolutionary sequence of common ancestry. This intelligent cause would have given information necessary for the transformations (information that mutations and selection alone are unable to give). Intelligent design theory applied to molecular biology and genetics teach us that more the morphological novelty is, more information is needed.
Therefore who doubts Darwin, believes in IDT and common ancestry in the same time, should necessarily suppose a direct or indirect intervention of the "designer" to give information during the history of species on Earth. Since the compromise between theism and evolutionism seems to conciliate both positions why not to be satisfied and not to stop at this conclusion? We do think common ancestry and theistic evolution are baseless hypothesis. We will show that theistic evolution is incompatible with traditional cosmology in general, and in particular with its formulation we can find in Genesis.
Moreover we will explain how macroevolution and the concept of cosmos' designing disagree. To do that we will use a simple terminology, conform to the way of thinking of modern man. Doing this it will be evident as common ancestry is incompatible with Intelligent Design, although some think the two theories may agree.
Theistic evolution is incompatible with design
Manifestation of the universe entails design. Evidence of design in the cosmos is overwhelming. In the biological field evidence of design is spectacular indeed. Darwin thought cell were a glob of glue. The last finds in molecular biology have revealed cell is a complex information processing system, more complex than computers made by man. In fact here we don't face biochemistry only, albeit very complex. Here there is information processing and coding. Evidence before our eyes shows that all times there is information creation and processing, an intelligent agent is always involved. Computers are an example of that. Usually biological projects (i.e. living organisms) are far more complex than artificial ones. That's sensible if we consider organisms are able to do things artificial systems aren't: to survive, self reproduce and self repair. The evolution misunderstanding arose on Darwin's time and was continuing until now because biologists didn't have to design and maintain complex systems and today who has to project complex systems do not study biology. Nowadays Intelligent Design movement collects scientists from many different branches of science. As a consequence the absurdities of evolution are more visible. In this section we do an assumption: the cosmos is designed. Intelligent design theory has the main task of demonstrating that. Given this supposition as true, we will try to show that design is incompatible with theistic evolution. Given the fact that design in nature shows scientific evidence, let's analyze in details what design is and what design entails.
It might be useful to bethink just a little on what a design process entails. Any designing process is composed of at least three main steps: ideation, development and fabrication. Notice the same process by which a man expresses ideas functions the same way. Consider a professor when teaching in school: first he has to conceive ideas, secondly he must express them according to a specific language in his mind, and then his mouth outputs sounds. Moreover, for the concept itself of project, it is a top-down process. In fact every designing starts from what one wants to make, from an idea - to say it in a unique word. Hence it follows mainly a teleological paradigm from beginning to end (i.e. a goal oriented task). What one wants to make is clear and established just from the beginning and doesn't change during the designing iter. For instance, if one wants to make a computer, one doesn't start doing an electric toaster, and then transforms it step-by-step to a computer. More the goal is complex more this ascertainment is true. To be technically more precise we can say this is always true when the project is irreducibly complex. Note that the more complex designs in nature are living beings. As such to them we must apply the above teleological paradigm: in short a more complex organism is not obtained starting from a simpler, fully different, one.
Some might object that human design seems going from simplicity to complexity. First, we have to note that history of technology and discoveries has driven by human intelligence, which has given information. Secondly, we have to understand that evolution of artifacts is possible for not-irreducibly-complex systems only. For example, M.Behe's mousetrap conceptually didn't evolve. Or better, as Behe says, the mousetrap has no functioning precursors. As a consequence, beyond the irreducible complexity threshold, human designing shows a fundamental coherence between the beginning step and the end step, i.e. between idea and final product. Whether there is analogy between natural biological designs and artificial designs made by man (beyond a certain threshold), then the question above is: does it exist in artificial designing something similar, at least partially, to Darwinian macroevolution? The answer is: it doesn't.
According to traditional cosmology the flow "ideation, development and fabrication" is related to the three fundamental planes or layers of the cosmos: the plane beyond forms (archetypal plane), the animic plane (psychical plane), and the corporeal plane.
A living being incarnates this tripartite schema too. That depends on the fundamental principle of analogy between the structure of macrocosmos and microcosmos. Why macrocosms and microcosms must share the same layering? The reason is this layering is a very concatenation of causes, it's not a simple stack of planes disconnected each from the others. To believe that microcosms might have different layering respect macrocosms would mean to disavow the very causal hierarchy. Briefly that would entail there are effects without cause and this is logically absurd. So, in a sense, it's right to say that a portion of the universe is always analog to the whole universe. This ascertainment is based on the above cosmological principle.
Common ancestry, as justified by any sort of theistic evolution, would entail that in general a living being, at a certain instant in history, would be transformed in another living being, different under all three aspects of the cosmological layering. In particular common ancestry hypothesis that man was derived from a hominid or anthropoid (i.e. from a primate species fundamentally different from the human one). It's evident how that disagrees with the teleological principle of coherence between idea and product. In fact this teleological principle is strictly related to the layering of the cosmos.
To explain better our reasoning there is nothing better than to face directly the issue of human origin, which - according to evolutionism - would be explained by a transition from a not-human species to the human one. Let's see some counter objections to this incredible transformation "ape to man". For example also a language specialist as Chomsky affirmed "human language is structural". Language is an advanced tool of intellect, which ape hasn't. Brain, from an informatics point of view, is composed of neural networks. It was experimentally demonstrated that training neural network of apes, as they were children, one doesn't obtain the same results (use of intellect, human language, symbolic and logic reasoning and so on). To say with Chomsky that "language is structural" in man, means to say that ape's brain is very different from man. These brains are designed to be different and to carrying out different tasks. If man were derived really from anthropoids substantial cerebral modifies (and many others) would be needed. This ascertainment is done considering the corporeal level only.
But to reason at the corporeal level only is not enough, because according to traditional cosmology corporeal manifestation derives causally from the incorporeal or psychical plane. In particular human soul is the incorporeal or psychical modality of human being, which human body derives from. For example Catholic doctrine denies that human soul might have been injected in a pre-existent body at a time. That is similar to say in general "psyche is structural in man" (as Chomsky admits in particular for human language). Aquinas, who agrees with Chomsky on that, affirms: «Soul is the "form" of body, gives man his absolute being and cannot be connected to body by accidental means» (Summa Teologica, 76). To explain better this concept we can consider the following mathematical terminology. In mathematics the fact that a variable Y depends on (or is function F of) another variable X (named "independent") is written: Y = F (X). Using this terminology we can express the materialistic proposition backed by evolutionism with the formula: soul = F (body), i.e. soul function of body. Catholic doctrine and in general traditional cosmology affirm instead that body is function of soul: body = F (soul).
Common ancestry would entail insertion of a soul into a pre-existent body. According to what said above, that's impossible because would involve a very inversion of causality. This causality entails that man is an organic and integrated whole, a synthetic and functional set composed of spirit, soul and body. Here reductionism is not applicable. Spirit and soul are not plug-ins addable to any species to transform it in a man. The add-on policy is critic even for many artificial constructions. In the artifacts beyond a certain threshold of complexity the add-ons are not the rule, but exceptions. A fortiori soul cannot be added to body after the birth. Using the terminology of IDT we might say the set "spirit, soul, body" is irreducibly complex. As such if one component is missing the whole cannot function. For this reason in nature nothing is really inanimate, and all derive from some archetypal principle. To believe otherwise would mean to reduce nature to quantity only and ignore quality. That is exactly what naturalism, materialism and positivism do. The causality chain is irreversible: from overformal archetypes to corporeal modality passing trough a development at the level of animic forms.
That is analog to the designing process of man: ideation, development, and fabrication.
Universal manifestation entails at macrocosmic level the same hierarchy of the artificial designing process. An engineer can construct nothing without ideation and development. To believe in common ancestry means at last to believe that one can add the design after its fabrication. An objection might be this: why not to consider a change to fabrication as part of the designing iter? A fabrication change can never entail the design in toto, because fabrication cannot even begin without a design. Hence at the fabrication level one can do only minor changes. In biology these minor changes constitute microevolution (i.e. little variations and varieties into a species or sub-species). None refutes the reality of biological microevolution. In fact it's easy to understand that biological realities have some sort of flexibility. It's enough to consider that into a species or family individuals are always different on many aspects. Microevolution is simply the next step beyond differentiation among individuals.
The analogy with artificial designing that, meanwhile it's possible that soul without body exists, a body without soul cannot exist. Obviously we are considering a body alive, because a dead body can be detached from soul (in this case we have simple a corpse, i.e. something that has lost qualities respect a living body and is destined to an ineluctable degeneration). A living body without soul is a contradiction. Instead common ancestry would mean to consider the possibility of body without soul. Besides the possibility that soul can exist without body explains as corporeal forms arose on Earth at different time (first unicellular, then all animals and finally man). The explanation of these phenomena might be something as this: the successive living forms were not yet corporeally manifested, even if they were potentially included in their animic embryo. Traditional cosmology is logic and coherent, meanwhile Darwinism is illogical and incoherent. The delayed arising of living forms during history caused the transformistic illusion[1] used by Darwinist to propagandize their theory. Let's notice that fossil finds of bone's fragments about hominids cannot prove at all the common ancestry hypothesis. In fact the more qualitative aspects of man are indeed those more distant from matter and then those without any fossil residues.
The analogy with human designing let us to understand another thing. Any designer tries always to create systems functioning such way he has not to intervene after the deployment. That's a very difficult task. A clever engineer is able to make systems that need little maintenance. A fortiori God formed living beings such way he has not to design after creation. Using the informatics terminology we could say that God doesn't design at "run-time". Common ancestry, as considered by theistic evolution, would mean indeed a continue series of divine interventions of designing. That this would happen for design changes, it's really a non-sense from a design point of view.
But there is worse about the common ancestry theory: it would mean that man derived from a not human species. Common ancestry would hypothesize a long afterward ancestors sequence until unicellular and beyond, i.e. until sparse molecules. We would have a "plus" deriving from a "minus". Unfortunately that's impossible: a lower thing cannot cause a higher thing. The main problem of common ancestry is that it inverts the logical order of causality under several aspects. These are matters of principle, not matters of detail. There is nothing more emblematic of what Darwin wrote: "spirit is function of matter"[2]. That's a very axiom of materialism. Mutatis mutandis materialism affirms design derives from fabrication, cause is function of its effects and so on. That would entail a designer has idea of something after its fabrication. At last that would mean "to do before thinking", action before knowledge. We might consider common ancestry as a consequence of the wrong Cartesian motto "cogito ergo sum", instead of the right one "I am then I think". All that is absurd, from a causality point of view, as putting the cart before the horse.
Psychic modalities are not abstract concepts of our mind. Psychic modalities are causes of corporeal modalities. They are the "secunda causas" respect our corporeal world. In a sense we could consider them as the incorporeal embryos of living beings. According to the deepest interpretations of Genesis body arose last during formation of man (it is the "dress" of Adam and Eve). Instead according to "common ancestry" body arose first. Common ancestry inverts causes and effects. One could say that in nature everything shares "life" at some degree, because life is a condition of corporeal plane (like space, time, matter and form). Life is a matter of degree. But what about formation of the first man? That happens without need of parents. Man was conceived, designed and fabricated just from the beginning as a whole. About man, who is the microcosms per antonomasia, it is true what said before about the structural layering of macrocosms.
Some might object as follows: even admit every living being has a soul and cosmic planes exist. Consider an anthropoid endowed with its body and soul. Moreover consider a man with its body and soul. Why not to consider a high intelligent intervention (God) transforming anthropoid to man, converting in the same time both soul and body? God would act as a human designer, who, for saving time and work, starts from a previous model for obtaining a better new one. That is absurd for God has not human limits. That would be contrary to what Aquinas names "perfection of primitive production of beings". It would be something as an error or limit of God. To consider God as a designer is symbolism. Symbolism is a correspondence between a richer or superior reality (God) and a poorer or inferior one (man). So defects of the inferior reality cannot be found in the superior one. Metaphysically speaking, when manifestation goes on, transformations of species have no sense, because all things and living beings are virtually present in the principle of existence (Being) just from the beginning (to be precise in a sense just before the beginning). Metaphysical reality has no evolution because it involves what was named "immutable essences". The possible objection is that absence of evolution in metaphysical reality is compatible with evolution in material world. Plato himself affirms immutability of Ideas doesn't deny the possibility of changes in material world. But we must distinguish between "changes". There are many different kinds of changes. None deny changes and variations in the universe. But changes into the matter world cannot be design changes for design changes involve information and intelligence, i.e. - in Plato's terms - they entail Ideas. In IDT terms, they need complex specified information (CSI). Hence biological evolution in matter world may be microevolution only (run-time variations of some parameter values). Instead the hypothetical common ancestry would be something of infinitely more complex, i.e. macroevolution (huge changes in designs).
Many supporters of common ancestry are materialist Darwinists. There are some supporters of theistic evolution who aren't materialist because they believe in an incorporeal reality. For example some Catholics don't understand the irreconcilability of their doctrine with evolutionism. Paradoxically whether we consider incorporeal plane in addition to corporeal plane common ancestry becomes even more problematic. Here is the reason: suppose an anthropoid with a not human body and a not human soul. To transform it one should transform body and soul too. That's is more difficult than transforming body only. Whether to transform body needs information and intelligence, to transform soul needs even more information and intelligence, because soul is more complex and rich than body (for soul is cause of body). Consider the issue from a theological point of view: God contains archetypes (Platonic Ideas) of man and all other beings too. According to theistic evolution God would have manifested an anthropoid before man. At one instant of history (at run-time, i.e. during the process execution, if we like to use informatics jargon) God would have transformed this anthropoid according to the Idea of man. Why not to use man's Idea just from the beginning? That's contradicts sufficient reason principle. Imagine an architect. He has two projects in his office: the project of a house and that of a cathedral. He knows he has to construct both. But his behavior is this: he constructs the house, after - starting from the house - he wants to construct the cathedral. He must study a very complex design variation (the changes from the house to the cathedral). Then he must fabricate this incredible (even impossible) transformation. More designs, more work, more fabrication. Is not all that absurd? To express things theologically we could say: God embedded a form (essence) into matter (substance) to create living beings. This matter was not another pre-existent living being. Why should we limit God to need pre-existent beings to create other ones? Here is one of many reasons of the logical absurdity of common ancestry.
Some say Catholic doctrine doesn't speak specifically of common ancestry, and then Catholic doctrine doesn't deny it. Catholic doctrine doesn't speak specifically of common ancestry because this is a modern error, but the principles themselves of Catholic doctrine and Thomism disagree with evolutionism in general and common ancestry in particular. For example read some quotes from the encyclical "Humani generis" (1950) by Pope PioXII:
«Some imprudently and indiscreetly hold that evolution, which has not been fully proved even in the domain of natural sciences, explains the origin of all this, and audaciously support the monistic and pantheistic opinion that the world is in continual evolution. [...] Such fictitious tenets of evolution which repudiate all that is absolute, firm and immutable, have paved the way for the new erroneous philosophy which, rivaling idealism, immanentism and pragmatism, has assumed the name of existentialism, since it concerns itself only with existence of individual things and neglects all consideration of their immutable essences». 
Besides consider these important words of Genesis "Let us make man to our image and likeness" (Genesis 1:26). They deny any derivation of man from other animals. Consider this analogy: whether a Darwinist wanted to have a portrait made by a distant artist, what would he mail to him: "please, now I send you this picture of an ape, just for you to start portrait, then after I will send you my photograph to complete it?" Sure he wouldn't. The same way God didn't start making ape and then modifying it for obtaining man "his image". The Genesis scenario is clear: it describes the formation of macrocosms and microcosms by God starting from overformal archetypes by means of two cosmological complementary principles, essence and substance: "In the beginning God created Sky (essence) and Earth (substance), Genesis 1:1. Genesis describes the formation on the embryonic incorporeal plane of all living species: fishes, birds, land animals and man. Every embryo of species derives directly from its overformal archetype. Every species doesn't need to derive from another pre-existent species. No need of evolution in this cosmological conception. Whether any species derives directly from its overformal archetype, one doesn't understand why indeed man, the more perfect and similar to God of all being on Earth, should have arisen from a pre-existent not human being. That's is fully absurd and for this reason common ancestry disagrees with the symbolic Genesis. This describes a formation process fundamentally parallel; meanwhile evolution is conceptually a process of serial transformation.
Supporters of common ancestry believe that a proof of their hypothesis is the similarities and homologies between human species and other animal species. Such similarities do exist at every level, from biochemical to genetic level, from organic to corporeal level. But, instead of proving common ancestry, these homologies are clear signs of a common designer. In particular human species, being the synthesis of all terrestrial beings, integrates and sensitizes all the possibilities present in other species. Traditional cosmology goes further:  not only man is the center of the terrestrial world, man represents a microcosms analog to macrocosms in its entirety (i.e. the entire universe).
One could see things another way. Traditional cosmology explains apparition of living forms according to a "vertical" paradigm. Instead evolutionism proposes a "horizontal" paradigm. The "vertical" paradigm is more complex and complete insofar it entails that the manifestation of a living being involves all three hierarchical planes of the cosmos, which are overlapped vertically according to the causal order concatenating them. The "horizontal" paradigm instead hypothesizes that manifestation of a living being doesn't need to involve the three planes because it is sufficient a simple transformation at the lowest level, the corporeal one. This transformation at the material level can be considered "horizontal". This difference between vertical vs. horizontal expresses another way the difference that above we have expressed as "parallel" vs. "serial".
In this brief notes we have preferred a deductive approach to the origin of species problem. This deductive approach goes from principles to consequences (top-down paradigm) instead of empirical approaches (going bottom-up), which are less explicative. In doing that it was necessary to line briefly a worldview disagreeing with anti-metaphysical naturalism and reductive positivism. The problem of bio-diversity can be expressed with this question: man arose from another species or he was formed independently? The answer to this sub-problem would tell us whether theistic evolution is right or traditional cosmology is right.
Let's look today around us in nature and ask: how do beings arise? All beings (also the biggest ones) derive from a very infinitesimal embryo. That suggest us a general ascertainment: what we see in nature is almost always a big fruit instead of a little seed. The universe itself at the Big Bang was extremely little and now is extremely large. Also from this point of view there is analogy between microcosms and macrocosms. In general effects are visible, their causes are hidden. In other words, corporeal things derive from near incorporeal things. That is related to the famous three planes of cosmos cited above and causality going top-down through them. That suggest us that, also at the beginning of the world, things happened same way. We like to name this rule "embryo paradigm". Darwinists oppose to this "embryo paradigm" their "transformation paradigm". According to the "transformation paradigm" during history new species didn't arise from an embryo, new species arose from a preexistent species. It seems to us that what we see today in nature in general disagrees with transformism, or at least it makes transformism to appear as a very strange hypothesis. Even more if we remember that transformism should involve all species, not one only. Traditional cosmology speaks of a "world egg", i.e. a cosmic embryo containing the germs of what will manifest into the cosmos. What we see today in nature should suggest us that origin of man and all other living forms, entails an incorporeal embryo, in turn derived from an archetype present into the first cause of the universe, instead the transformation of a preexistent anthropoid? It seems that what we see today in nature in general disagrees with common ancestry, or at least does common ancestry to appear as a very strange hypothesis. Yet more if we remember that common ancestry should regard all species, not humans only. So we would have that, for the first birth of species nature used a paradigm and after, for the next births, nature are using a fully opposite paradigm. In fact, if Darwinists were correct, we would have that, for the first birth of the first individual of a new species nature used the "transformation paradigm" and after, for the births of next individuals, nature is using a fully opposite paradigm, the "embryo paradigm". The question is: why? Why has nature used two opposite paradigms? Why has nature done an exception to a general cosmological rule? Also the Occam razor tells us that similar exceptions are quite dubious. There is no logical reason nature changed fully during history its methods and its operations. It's sensible instead to think there is likeness of operative methods between the first birth e the next birth for every species. The difference is only their respective causes. In the cases of successive births cause is, as known, sexual or asexual reproduction. In the case of first birth the ultimate cause in the intelligence of the Designer. Perhaps Darwinists did never think about this aspect of origin of species problem.
The fallacy of theistic evolution

The above considerations were propaedeutic only. Now it's time to give a real theoretical disprove of theistic evolution.  To prove rigorously the wrongness of theistic evolution is necessary to explain some elements of traditional ontology and cosmology. These ones are deductive sciences. They go from principles to consequences, according to a top-down approach. They start from a priori axioms and deduce other propositions. In that they are different from positivist science, which is based on experimental data alone and uses bottom-up approaches. We will give here a very simple treatment of these issues. Anyway just that will allow us to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt why theistic evolution is a non-sense.
Ontology states that Being is the First Cause of universal existence (also named "manifestation" or "universe"). Meanwhile Being "is", universal existence contains all that "exists". The verb "to exists" needs the verb "to be". Universal existence has its cause in Being. That's a priori truth, beyond any discussion. It can be known by intellect. So in the universe there can be nowhere evidence against Being. Instead intellect can see everywhere evidence of Being. Obviously atheists, when refuting Being, are able to do that only thank to Being (also if they are not aware of that). First Cause contains all secondary causes and all derived effects. All effects stay always virtually in their cause. That's the fundamental axiom of causality.
How is universal existence structured? It's possible to do a first distinction between things or beings having a form and thing not having a form. Here we are using "form" in its usual inferior meaning of "picture" or "image". Here we aren't using "form" in the meaning of "Form" of Scholasticism. Things or beings with form are individual things and things without form are over-individual. The distinction between what is limited by a form and what isn't limited by a form is related to the distinction between individual and universal. Moreover it's possible to do a secondary nested distinction between things or beings with form having a corporeal form and things or beings having a not-corporeal form. For simplicity we will name the plane of over-individual, without-form, things or beings as the "spiritual" plane. We will name the plane of formal, not-corporeal, things or beings as the "animic" plane. We will name the plane of formal, corporeal, things or beings as the "corporeal" plane.
How does all that match with our experience? All men know directly the corporeal plane. Nobody denies corporeal world. It's the plane of matter and all objects that are directly perceivable by physical senses. All men know directly the animic plane. In fact the animic plane is related to psyche or mind of man. When man is awake and is thinking and when man is asleep and is dreaming man is having two direct experiences of the animic plane. Moreover when man will die man will have another third direct experience of the animic plane, the experience of post-mortem states. Aristotle says when man is thinking imagines (or forms) he is using his mind. Besides Aristotle adds that man can achieve truths beyond forms by means of intellect. Mind in its largest sense is not a corporeal thing. Mind overarches brain. Brain is only a tool of mind. Materialists, when refuting this, unfortunately are disclaiming their direct experience. Man can achieve also a direct experience of the spiritual plane by mean of the very intellectual meditation when he, not distracted by his physical senses, is contemplating the highest realities by the "eyes" of intellect. These high experiences are more rare but anyway possible.
Hence we have established the cosmos has a tripartite structure. It's possible to consider other more or less general sub-divisions, but, by the way, for what's the matter here, this structure is good. For the following reasoning please always refer to the figure below:

This figure is a very simplified schema of the structure of a portion of manifestation. Here is an explanation of its elements. Of course our figure is a symbol only. Its goal is simply to help us to understand some cosmological concepts. The unique point B (B stays for "Being") symbolizes Being, the principle of manifestation. The indefinite plane on which the figure stays symbolizes manifestation. The arch S is a portion of an indefinite circle symbolizing the spiritual level. The arch A is a portion of an indefinite circle symbolizing the animic level. The arch C is a portion of an indefinite circle symbolizing the corporeal level. The semistraight b1 (i.e. the segment B-b1) represents a being (e.g. a man). The semistraight b2 (i.e. the segment B-b2) represents another being (e.g. another man). Of course we have to consider an indefinite number of beings in the universe. But for simplicity in the figure we have drawn two beings only. The point Cb1 represents the corporeal modality of the being b1 (i.e. his body). The point Ab1 represents the animic modality of the being b1 (i.e. his soul). The point Sb1 represents the spiritual modality referred to the being b1. The same will be valid for b2 and all other beings bn.
Now the question is: how does intelligence agency act? Of course the source of any intelligence is Being because a lower thing cannot cause a higher thing. We face a fundamental ontological hierarchy. Being is the source of intellect. In turn intellect is the source of reason. All other means of action are derived from and guided by these ones. Intellect works at the level of the spiritual or intellectual plane. Reason works at the level of the animic or psychical plane. So what we might call the "line of action" of intelligence is always a vertical line. This vertical line will always have its source in Being (represented by the point "B"). In other words none can intelligently will and act on any inferior planes without the overarching Being's will and knowledge. We must notice that intelligence agency "line" is in the same time a causality chain. In other words intelligence causes always cause vertically. Why cannot intelligence agency act horizontally? In general causes can act horizontally, but they never are intelligent causes. For example there can be secondary causes at the animic and corporeal level too. At the corporeal level all forces studied by modern science act continually according to the chemical-physical laws. They act on a horizontal plane but are not intelligent causes. In general every individual intelligence and in particular human one are participation of the universal intelligence of Being. Both intelligences act vertically. The reason of this is that between intelligence and its products or effects must exist an ontological hierarchy. Ontological hierarchy can exist only vertically, according to the causality schema we have used to explain this.
Consider eventually the products that some individual intelligent beings design. For example the man B-b1 designs and fabricates an artifact (e.g. a house). We have symbolized this artifact of B-b1 with the letter "a" below its designer himself connected with b1 with a dotted line. This way we appreciate the fact that all artifacts do not exist in nature without the acting of some individual intelligent beings. If artifacts would exist for default in nature artifacts would stay on the arc C. We see that the artificial designing of the man B-b1 stays on the same semistraight b1. The point "a" simply extends the semistraight b1vertically. This geometrically shows what we have said above: individual intelligence and will necessarily participates and gets its source in universal intelligence and will. So we have that also artificial designing confirms the golden rule of intelligence causality acting vertically.
The usual objection to these ascertainments is: if Being wanted that, why couldn't Being act horizontally? This question is similar to this one: why does causality work this way and not otherwise? All reasoning and all experimental data confirm that intelligent agency works as explained above. There is no reasons intelligent causality works as evolutionists want it to do. Hence this objection is a rhetorical question about the power of God as this old one: why didn't God make 2 + 2 = 5?
Another objection might be something as this: a man b1 premeditates in his mind a plan for killing another man b2, his enemy. Thus the former physically kills the latter. It seems that an intelligent agency is acting along the path: Ab1-Cb1-Cb2. The segment Cb1-Cb2 is horizontal, and then it seems we have an intelligent agency acting horizontally. The answer to this objection is this: on the horizontal segment what is acting is the body only (the body Cb1 killing the body Cb2). This physical act is an unintelligent one per se. The intelligent agency exists on the segment Ab1-Cb1 only, which is vertical. The physical act of murder is a horizontal effect only of a vertical intelligent cause. This vertical intelligent cause is related to the will of an individual agent. It is important to notice that in general horizontal effects never involve generation or increase of information. Horizontal effects can be due to intelligen agents or can be due to simple natural laws or other factors or chance but anyway never create or increase information. Creation and increase of information can happen on vertical pathways only because they need intelligent agency and intelligent causality always acts vertically. Of course at last the very ultimate source of information is always Being, i.e First Cause.
How can we use all that for the rebuttal of theistic evolution? Theistic evolution is better than Darwinian evolution because understands the necessity of intelligence (Darwinian evolution denies this necessity as well). Unfortunately theistic evolution does not consider how intelligent agency really acts. To understand the problem, consider again the figure above. For example let's examine the evolution from ape to man. Suppose now b1 is an anthropoid and b2 is a man. According to theistic evolution at a time an intelligent intervention converted all modalities of b1 in the correspondent modalities of b2 (i.e. Sb1 converted to Sb2, Ab1 converted to Ab2, Cb1 converted to Cb2). For simplicity consider only the body: the passage from Cb1 to Cb2 (represented by the segment Cb1-Cb2) is a horizontal one. This horizontal passage would entail generation and increase of information. We have just said above that intelligent acts don't work horizontally. Besides we have noted as horizontal passages cannot involve creation and increase of information. Simply there is no intelligence whatsoever doing the work of transformation on the segment Cb1-Cb2 for the very fact that there is no intelligence whatsoever acting horizontally everywhere tout court. Whether in the universe something is acting horizontally, that isn't an intelligent agent. Moreover in the universe information never is created or increased horizontally. As a consequence the claims of theistic evolution are wrong. We have shown this in the particular case of the transition ape-man. But the same reasoning can be applied to whatsoever hypothetical evolutionary macro transition needing intelligence and information. Intelligent causality of Being acts always vertically through all the planes of the cosmos. That's a must. Intelligent agency can be limited during a period of time to some planes only but anyway always spans vertically. To think differently means to disclaim the ontological hierarchy and to rebut causality law. To think differently means not to understand the very "modus operandi" of intelligent agency and causality. So unfortunately theistic evolution is wrong for matters of principle. The inevitable conclusion is living species on Earth didn't evolve one from another but were manifested in a sort of vertical, parallel mode thank to the knowledge and power of Being.

[1] See the book of Douglas Dewar, with the same title "The transformistic illusion"
[2] C.Darwin, Carnet N.