Thursday, July 31, 2008

Following Reason to Its Limits

Why is it more rational to assume God to be self-existent than to assume the same of matter? Isn’t it just as irrational to assume the self-existence of God as to assume the self-existence of matter? When you get right down to it, doesn’t the idea of God defy rational explanation just as much as any naturalistic theory of beginnings does?

Yes, both God and naturalistic accounts of origins are beyond the reach of rational explanation. Both believers and naturalists must admit that ultimate origins defy comprehension and either alternative proposed to explain them is impossible for the mind to grasp.

Reason cannot explain origins because, according to reason, everything that exists must be caused, which means that something had to exist prior to it. The mind cannot encompass the idea that anything could exist without a beginning, which is a necessity in both the naturalistic and the theistic alternatives. Yet one of these alternatives must be true because existence cannot be explained apart from self-existence.

We must find the courage to venture out past what we can fully understand. We cannot understand how uncaused existence is possible, but we can rationally accept the necessity of it. But when reason examines the evidence, it can accept the concept of God as a rational necessity because nothing less will account for the existence of matter, life and order. Based on this rational necessity, reason can rightly direct the mind to take the step beyond comprehension into belief.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Explanation for Origins

The Bible opens with a sort of big bang of its own. In a concise, ten-word sentence, it gives us the one viable alternative to naturalistic evolution as an explanation for origins. It tells us that all that exists was created by the self-existent God: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Of course, to unbelievers this biblical explanation of origins is not credible. They see divine creation as a myth devised to explain beginnings in a way that simple minds could grasp. Others regard it as an explanation that was accepted as true until science proved it false, just as the flat earth theory was accepted until we learned better. Those who continue to defend the biblical view are thought to be uneducated, close-minded, blinded by a religious agenda or unwilling to let go of the comfort they find in God despite overwhelming evidence that their belief has been discredited.

For other unbelievers, resistance to the biblical explanation of origins has nothing to do with whether it is true. They point to some judgmental, hypocritical churchgoers and morally bankrupt preachers and televangelists and say, “If that’s Christianity, I don’t want anything to do with it.” They are unwilling to consider that the Bible may be true in spite of some people who represent its teachings poorly.

Whatever unbelievers may think about the Bible, it does give us the one viable alternative to naturalism. Unbelievers who are serious about their search for certainty should overcome their conditioned aversion to the Bible and give the biblical explanation a hard look.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Sacrifice of Reason

Evolution offers something many people want so badly that they are willing to sacrifice reason to get it. They want a universe without God hovering over it and evolution offers such a universe. Evolution is not a fact. It is a theoretical prop to the philosophy that nature is all that exists. Dr. Watson’s philosophy said that creation was unbelievable. His science would not support that conclusion, so he adopted the theory of evolution—not because it agreed with his science, but because it agreed with his philosophy. People do not reject God because of facts and logic. They reject Him because they choose to do so. They search for an alternative belief with no supernatural strings attached and they find it in evolution.

When scientists make pronouncements concerning metaphysics or the supernatural, they step outside their field and do not speak as experts. They prostitute the high pedestal that science has given them as a pulpit for their personal philosophy. We should give their claims no more credence than if they were made by accountants, football stars, artists, bricklayers or rock singers.

Evolution is showing earmarks of vulnerability as thinking scientists awaken to its irrationalities. By no means have all such scientists abandoned evolution or become believers in God. But it is dawning on some that the theory of evolution has insurmountable weaknesses. If the scientific community continues to produce such honest thinkers who have the courage to proclaim their findings, the world will soon learn that the weaknesses in evolution are insurmountable. The absolute for origins lies elsewhere.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why Do People Believe in Evolution?

You may think we must have grossly overstated the case against evolution. Surely the theory can’t possibly be as unscientific and unreasonable as we have made it out to be. Isn’t it presumptuous for us laypeople to challenge the opinions of these influential experts? History shows us that prevailing opinion is often at odds with the truth. Prevailing opinion can be wrong regardless of how widely accepted it is. By supporting evolution and shutting out the voices of rational alternatives, scientists may save face with their peers and keep their reputations intact today. But when the theory collapses in the future, as it almost certainly will, history will lump evolutionists with those who believed in a flat earth, alchemy and bloodletting.

How did evolution become the prevailing theory of origins in our most influential institutions? It gained respectability when it caught the imagination of influential thinkers who found in it an intellectual prop for atheism. Evolution became the thing to believe for those who wanted to be known as daring and independent thinkers. Since new and daring ideas are newsworthy, the evolutionists with their new theory became the darlings of the media. When evolution became the politically correct thing to believe among the fashionable and educated, much of the general public began to fall in step without examining the basic rationality of the theory. It was enough for them that the right people already believed.

Science has accomplished so much in our time that many have come to think it can do almost anything. Therefore, when scientists promote a theory that seems to make the traditional God of Christianity unnecessary, many people do not feel a great loss. They don’t feel a need for a god as long as they have science to look after them.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What about the Bones of Prehistoric Man?

If we deny evolution, how do we deal with the bones of prehistoric humanlike creatures that paleontologists occasionally dig up? The fact that bones similar to human or ape bones exist does not prove that they belonged to humans or apes. Such bones may be the remains of creatures outside the ancestral line of either. They could point to extinct species of apelike or humanlike creatures with no kinship to humans at all. To claim that the bones of such creatures are stages in the process of evolution is an unwarranted jump to a biased conclusion.

Scientists who are firmly entrenched in the evolutionary theory should be embarrassed by the lack of fossil evidence for transitional species that would demonstrate evolution conclusively. Charles Darwin himself was troubled by the absence of fossil evidence for evolution. He said, “As by this theory, innumerable transitional forms must have existed. Why do we not find them embedded in the crust of the earth? Why is not all nature in confusion [of transitional species] instead of being, as we see them, well-defined species?”

Despite claims to the contrary, evolution is not a fact; it is a theory. Data is often interpreted to support the theory by using the assumptions of the theory as the starting point. The result is a tautology—a closed circle of logic without a solid premise: We know that evolution must be true because we have found the bones of evolving humans. We are convinced that these are the bones of evolving humans, because we know that evolution must be true. It just doesn’t work that way.

Unfortunately, the bones paleontologists dig up do not come with identifying labels already attached. As it is, the discoverers name them and give them histories that fit their theories. Dogmatic evolutionists insist that these bones show us stages in the evolution of humans. Dogmatic creationists might as easily insist that they point to some form of human or ape or the remains of an independent, extinct species. The truth is, no one knows what these bones are. All claims are guesses.

Monday, July 21, 2008

What about the Supernatural?

Many scientists believe so strongly in the power of science to determine all reality that for anything to exist outside nature is, for them, out of the question. Yet we have the inevitability of the supernatural staring us right in the face. We can conceive of but two possible concepts to account for origins, and both are supernatural. Either something is self-existent, or existence somehow occurred spontaneously from nothing. We do not think anyone seriously proposes that existence came into being out of nothing, therefore we will give that concept no more consideration. By purely natural standards, existence itself is impossible because any explanation for it is beyond comprehension. Yet somehow we are here, and things exist. Even though existence defies nature, science, and rational explanation, scientists steeped in naturalism find any admission of the supernatural unacceptable, so they simply ignore the question of ultimate origins. They accept the existence of matter without asking where it came from and divert attention to evolution to explain how matter became living creatures.

It is refreshing to find some highly respected scientists take issue with colleagues who make such exaggerated claims. One of the founding and guiding pioneers of NASA, Dr. Robert Jastrow wrote, “Scientists have no proof that life was not the result of an act of creation, but they are driven by the nature of their profession to seek explanations for the origin of life that lie within the boundaries of natural law.” The ruling elite of science, education, and media have largely smothered such healthy breaths of open-minded honesty. They have usurped the name of science to close the doors against all possibility of the supernatural.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Is Evolution Science or Theory?

Pure science that simply observes, experiments, and reports show us an orderly universe of unalterable law and reason. But scientists are still asserting that evolution as the explanation for the origins of life is a certified, scientific truth.

Dr. Phillip E. Johnson, the University of California law professor whose impeccable logic has tripped up many of the most prominent evolutionists, has pointed out that this assertion is an illegitimate jump to a conclusion. Science has observed that selective breeding and environmental influences can produce adaptive changes within a species. “But evolutionary biologists are not content merely to explain how variation occurs within limits,” Johnson says. “They aspire to answer a much broader question: how complex organisms like birds and flowers and human beings came into existence in the first place.” But there is nothing in the obvious fact of species adaptation to justify the incredibly broad claim that all species and life itself are the result of a continuing movement toward increasing complexity.

Theories about the origin of matter and life can never come under the umbrella of true science because they cannot be observed or proven scientifically. Science by definition is limited to the study of nature and cannot reach beyond it. Origins demand explanations that nature alone cannot supply. Therefore the events that generated matter, life and reason are beyond the reach of scientific inquiry.

Scientists stretch science beyond its capacity when they claim that God does not exist because He does not register on scientific instrumentation. If there is a God, He is supernatural, which means He exists above and outside nature and thus beyond the reach of scientific investigation. It is presumptuous for scientists to claim that science alone is capable of giving us a complete tally of all that exists. Where data is not available, they should suspend judgment and remain open to possibilities.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What’s Wrong with Evolution?

The case for evolution rests on the assumption that three actions have happened. However, not one of them has been observed in action, and all three would necessitate an exception to the natural laws of the universe:

1. Evolution assumes that order can emerge naturally out of chaos. No law of nature can account for order coming out of chaos. The idea contradicts inviolable laws of entropy, which say, in a nutshell, that life always plays out into death; the organic decays into the inorganic. Stars burn out and disintegrate. Planets slow infinitesimally with each orbit. Energy is consumed, and we consistently observe a universe that is irrevocably running down.

2. Evolution assumes that all life emerged from dead matter. Never in the history of our world has anyone caused life to start up from dead matter or witnessed such a phenomenon. No one has ever been able to create a single organic cell or bring a dead cell to life even under the most carefully controlled laboratory conditions. A totally naturalistic universe that begins with nothing in it but dead, inorganic elements will remain dead and inorganic. To believe otherwise is to turn a rational, foundational principle of science upside down.

3. Evolution assumes that human intelligence and reason evolved from dead matter. According to the theory, no thinking, reasoning organisms existed when the big bang went off. What principle operating in nature accounts for the spontaneous appearance of a self-aware, thinking organism arising out of formless gases and inanimate minerals? The answer is simple: There is no such force or principle.

Nothing can give more than it has. A universe that begins in lifeless chaos will remain lifeless and chaotic. Yet evolution asks us to suspend reason and assume an exception has occurred despite the fact that no exception has ever been observed or demonstrated. Evolution is not as concrete as scientists would like you to believe.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Theory of Evolution

First, let me say that I have no problem with the word evolution as it is sometimes used to mean changes and adaptations that occur within a species. In the secular world, the most widely accepted explanation for the origin of life grew out of the Darwinian theory called the evolution of the species. According to the theory, a delicately balanced combination of chemicals happened to fuse together under ideal conditions to form a simple organic cell. The cell began to reproduce and they combined in increasingly complex patterns to form plants and animals. Then millions of years of evolution, one branch of the intelligent animal kingdom became human.

Common, everyday reason exposes the theory of evolution as a fantasy. The case for evolution rests on assumptions that three things have happened, each of which demands an exception to the natural order of the universe that no one has ever observed in action. Science can’t cause them to happen, and reason says they can’t happen:

1. Evolution assumes that order can emerge naturally out of chaos.
2. Evolution assumes that all life emerged from dead matter.
3. Evolution assumes that human intelligence and reason evolved from dead matter.

I will discuss each one in the next blog.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What is the Origin of Life?

Most of us have spent summer nights lying on the lawn, gazing into the sparkling mystery of deep heaven. As we stare in awe, we begin to feel small as we realize that our home planet is only a speck in a vast universe that extends in all directions without end. We find it impossible to imagine space with limits or without limits. The impossible but inevitable concept of infinite space is simply more than our minds can handle.

Thinking about time presents the same dilemma. We can’t conceive of a beginning or an ending of time because the only thing we can imagine beyond it is just more time. And we wonder if matter always existed, or did everything come into being from nothing at some point in the past? Either option is unfathomable to our finite minds. Even the well-known big bang theory assumes the existence of a small, incredibly dense mass of condensed matter before the bang. How did this ball of matter come to exist?

The most controversial question is how did life begin? Was it a blind accident or a deliberate act? Or has life always existed without a beginning? In the search for certainty, we must grapple with the issue of origins, especially the origin of life. Can we find bedrock for our belief in a creator? Or do the naturalists have just as much foundation for their view of origins? Let’s begin by taking a look at the issue of evolution.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Essence of Beauty

Naturalism is inadequate to account for beauty. Beauty growing out of naturalism is like a rose growing out of a dunghill. The rose is easy to explain if we assume the dunghill is not all that exists—that a seed was dropped into it from a source above it. And this is exactly the position of believers. Unbelievers should at least take a hard look at the possibility that beauty is no illusion. Beauty leads us to the certainty that just outside our field of vision is a living power who cares for us and wants us to experience delight.

But we must beware. Beauty exerts such a pull on our souls that many turn to it as the ultimate experience, trying to find fulfillment in what is only a pointer to a greater reality. We all have heard others say they find their greatest spiritual experiences in nature or art or music or their loved one. God’s greatest gifts can most easily become substitutes for God himself.

Beauty apart from its source is not enough to give us lasting joy; it is merely a guide to joy and an enhancement of it. God gave us beauty to lead us to Him. It is in relationship to Him that we experience the essence of beauty.