…much of present-day biological knowledge is ideological. A key symptom of ideological thinking is the explanation that has no implications and cannot be tested. I call such logical dead ends antitheories because they have exactly the opposite effect of real theories: they stop thinking rather than stimulate it. Evolution by natural selection, for instance, which Charles Darwin originally conceived as a great theory, has lately come to function more as an antitheory, called upon to cover up embarrassing experimental shortcomings and legitimize findings that are at best questionable and at worst not even wrong. Your protein defies the laws of mass action? Evolution did it! Your complicated mess of chemical reactions turns into a chicken? Evolution! The human brain works on logical principles no computer can emulate? Evolution is the cause! Sometimes one hears it argued that the issue is moot because biochemistry is a fact-based discipline for which theories are neither helpful nor wanted. The argument is false, for theories are needed for formulating experiments. Biology has plenty of theories. They are just not discussed—or scrutinized—in public. The ostensibly noble repudiation of theoretical prejudice is, in fact, a cleverly disguised antitheory, whose actual function is to evade the requirement for logical consistency as a means of eliminating falsehood.— Nobel Prize-winning physicist Robert B. Laughlin, quoted by Vern Poythress
The authors of this book are very straightforward about the assumptions underlying their approach to science: they believe the Bible is true and authoritative, that it should be interpreted literally, and that it should inform every aspect of one’s life, including forming your paradigm for approaching science. Even if you disagree with their starting points (or conclusions), it’s refreshing to hear scientists articulate their a priori assumptions so clearly and unashamedly from the get-go. I wish everyone in this debate would do so. There is, in truth, no such thing as totally neutral science.
The most valuable lesson that any reader can take away from this book, whether he is sympathetic to it’s viewpoint or not, is the recognition that paradigms are integral to one’s view on any subject. Paradigms provide the entire intellectual framework for how one evaluates data and what “makes sense” to classify something as reasonable or not. In other words, paradigms provide a context for understanding the world. They are inescapable, but they are often unrecognized. For more, see Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
Anyway, in the paradigm of these researchers, the history in Genesis is all true, the Flood really happened, and the Tower of Babel was the source of human civilization’s spread throughout the globe. If you accept this premise and work your way outward from it, the book argues, all of a sudden a lot of otherwise unexplainable historical anomalies make sense and find a place in science and history. The modern naturalistic evolutionary worldview, which assumes a linear progression of human cultural development over millions of years, cannot account for the evidence of advanced civilization at many of the places in history that we find it, nor can it make sense of the similarities among ancient cultures that arose—apparently independently—thousands of miles apart, separated by oceans and continents. For example, there are scores of ancient architectural works that today’s scientists still can’t explain how they were built because the degree of advanced knowledge and understanding required is far ahead of what the evolutionary paradigm allows for. Another example is the commonality of various creation myths and religious laws. If Babel is true, and if this diaspora was indeed the headwater of a global expansion of highly civilized man, these commonalities make sense.
This book was obviously prepared by a team of college students overseen by one or more professors. The voice and writing quality varied by chapter. I also found some pretty unforgivable typos. This may be nit-picky, but a book about rigorous and intellectually honest science should set the bar high.
This book is neither a comprehensive defense of creationism nor a complete dismantling of evolution. It’s simply an exploration of an sideline approach to some of the issues involved, and an exposition of how a different paradigm from the “mainstream scientific consensus” can explain the otherwise unexplainable. It definitely stretched my thinking
This last Friday I had the privilege of debating David Niose, president of the American Humanist Association. The debate was sponsored by the fine folks in the Federalist Society at Liberty University Law School. We were debating whether Christianity or humanism provided the better path for culture, law, politics, and so forth. I was advocating, natch, mere Christendom.— Douglas Wilson
Mr. Niose, who struck me as a very nice man, said in the course of the debate that the Bible was a tired and ancient book, with a bunch of irrelevant laws, citing as one example the Old Testament prohibition of eating shellfish. In my reply, I pointed to the stark alternative this presented — a faith in which the adherents were at one time prohibited from eating shellfish, and on the other hand a faith in which the adherents used to be shellfish.
This actually made me LOL.
god i hate being human sometimes.
How perfect is it that Kirk Cameron’s show was called GROWING PAINS??!!
This is brilliant.
My friend Ard Louis, an Oxford physicist who studies protein folding, once compared the origin of life in terms of children’s toys. Find cars and spaceships made out of Legos, he told me, and you’ll be impressed. (And so I will be, having boys who do brilliant things with Legos.) But come into a room and find Legos snapping themselves into complex, coherent shapes, and the wonder is all the greater. Thus evolution itself is (he believes) a subtler but ultimately more impressive expression of God’s creative activity than direct design would be.— David Marshall (via wesleyhill)
In this landmark work, based on his 2009 Gifford lectures, Alister McGrath examines the apparent “fine-tuning” of the universe and its significance for natural theology. Exploring a wide range of physical and biological phenomena and drawing on the latest research in biochemistry and evolutionary biology, McGrath outlines our new understanding of the natural world and discusses its implications for traditional debates about the existence of God.
For long centuries, God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself. He gave it hands whose thumbs could be applied to each of the fingers, and jaws and teeth and throat capable of articulation, and a brain sufficiently complex to execute all of the material motions whereby rational thought is incarnated. The creature may have existed in this stage for ages before it became man: it may have even been clever enough to make things which a clever archaeologist would accept as proof of its humanity. But it was only an animal because all its physical and psychical processes where directed to purely material and natural ends. Then in fullness of time, God caused to descend upon this organism, both on its psychology and physiology, a new kind of consciousness which could say “I” and “me,” which could look upon itself as an object, which knew God, which could make judgments of truth, beauty, and goodness, and which was so far above time that is could perceive time flowing past. … We do not know how many of these creatures God made, nor how long they continued in the Paradisal state. But sooner or later they fell. Someone or something whispered that they could become as gods. … They wanted some corner in the universe in which they could say to God, “This is our business, not yours.” But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were and must eternally be, mere adjectives. We have no idea what particular act, or series of acts, the self-contradictory, impossible wish found expression. For all I can see, it might have concerned the literal eating of a fruit, but the question is of no consequence.— CS Lewis (via azspot)
Creationism is attractive because it’s easy: it requires no thought and blind obedience. Thus, it has no value. But it is easy. My guess is that most of the people who don’t think evolution is true don’t really spend a lot of time thinking about evolution at all.—
I’m going to be very honest and at risk of attack here, but I don’t care. I repeat: I SERIOUSLY don’t care whether or not you think my opinions on evolution or creation are the “correct” opinions. (Sidenote- adding to the discourse via open-minded, nonjudgemental ideas are fine.)
Okay, so, creation is actually the one thing that keeps me hanging on to agnosticism rather than becoming a full-on atheist. Life is just too much for me to chalk it all up to chance without serious thought. For the sake of real honesty, evolution doesn’t sound that smart to me either. If we’ve all evolved from apes, then why did we stop evolving? Let’s face it, in today’s society, I could use a 3rd arm… and evolution is letting me down.
Obviously I speak somewhat in jest, but to make a point. Why haven’t apes in the Congo learned to use guns yet? Or turn green for camouflage? Did life decide it was “good enough”? Or did it just give up?
I’m fine with not being sure, and I’m fine with not knowing everything. The sense of peace you get from letting go of the quest for omniscience is overwhelming. I’m not trying to win a game, I’m trying to enjoy myself. I can be in awe of my cat batting a cotton ball across the floor without knowing anything for sure.
Basically, I don’t think either side has all that convincing of an argument. Statements like the above, from die hard evolutionists, are equally as off-putting to me as fundamentalist Christians. No one likes a know-it-all, so chill. “[You] don’t spend a lot of time thinking” is such an arrogant statement. It wasn’t that long ago that the most learned men thought that the earth was flat, that atoms were the tiniest matter in the universe, that phen-phen was good for you, etc. Face it. Odds are, you’re wrong about this, too.
co-sign. Evolution, to me, doesn’t make any sense. I’m not saying that creationism makes more sense, but to claim as cold hard fact that one animal evolved from an entirely different animal? This, to me, is totally illogical. Why haven’t we seen this in other animals? Why didn’t tigers evolve from lions? They are similar the same way humans and apes are similar. Also, might we consider that even a human lung would have taken more time to be formed than the Earth has been in existence? Without some kind of design, the elements of the incredibly complex human system could not have come together by chance.
Creationism and evolution both have holes in their theories, although I’m more inclined toward evolution as the means God used. Neither can fully explain a plethora of phenomena, and many evolution propoents are as hatefully dogmatic in their philosophical (not scientific) opposition to Christianity as some Creationists are disdainful of “those secular evolutionists.”
Geoff Moore & The Distance - “Evolution…Redefined”
It’s Old-School CCM Friday!
This song ridicules scientific evolution, and I tentatively agree only to the extent that scientific processes alone cannot account for certain qualities of humanity—our moral compass, rationality, spiritual sensitivity, the ability to create/recognize beauty, etc. As I’ve stated before, I don’t necessarily see an incompatibility between the process of evolution and the belief in a sovereign Creator.
The main point of the song is the “evolution” of hearts and minds that God brings about in his followers.
(Yes, the sarcastic impression of a professor is done by Mark Lowry)( This has been played 40 times.)
[Charles] Darwin, who was raised Anglican and even considered becoming a clergyman, did eventually relinquish his Christian faith. But he did not do so because of evolution. […] To the end of his life, Darwin insisted that one could be “an ardent theist and an evolutionist.” […] Over time, Darwin’s hostility to Christianity did play a role in his scientific views. While Darwin was originally very modest about evolution—a theory to account for transitions from one life form to another—he became increasingly insistent that evolution was an entirely naturalistic system, having no room for miracles or divine intervention at any point. […] Darwin’s ultimate position was that it was disastrous for evolution to, at any point, permit a divine foot in the door. […] This history is important because we can embrace Darwin’s account of evolution without embracing his metaphysical naturalism and unbelief. Dawkins and others like him are in a way confusing the two faces of Charles Darwin. They are under the illusion that to be an evolutionist is essentially to be an atheist. Darwin, to his credit, rejected the equation of these two stances as illogical, even if he didn’t always maintain, within his own life, a clear distinction between his science and his animus toward God.— The Evolution of Darwin | Dinesh D’Souza | Christianity Today
Mark Driscoll @ Mars Hill Church - “Creation: God Makes”
This is well worth watching/listening. Driscoll presents a solid overview of the basis of the Christian worldview in relation to the origins of the earth and the universe. He reviews the multiple Christian viewpoints about the earth and mankind, defends his own perspective, and articulates how atheistic evolution proponents are anti-science and intellectually dishonest.