I once asked an atheist friend, “Does a truly intelligent individual base the possibility of his eternal existence upon a conviction in Neo-Darwinism if he doesn’t first fully explore the alternative explanations offered by Intelligent Design and Creationism?”
[Note: Neo-Darwinism is the macro-evolutionary theory that natural forces alone, given sufficient time, will cause one kind of animal to become a completely different kind of animal. As discussed below, there’s no fossil evidence to support this contention. I believe in micro-evolution which acknowledges the existence of smaller changes that enable life forms to adapt to changing environments. For example, a direct relationship has now been shown to exist between the beak variations of finches observed by Darwin on the Galapagos Islands and the varying amounts of rainfall that gave rise to the modified beak designs needed by the birds to more effectively engage in their food gathering activities.]
The reason I asked my friend this question was to make the point that a failure to critically examine contrary views means we determine our beliefs by reliance upon a consensus viewpoint of those we consider authoritative.
The original question I asked my friend led to a second, “Is consensus reasoning the manner in which intelligent individuals ascertain real Truth?”
Should a faith in the faith of others be relied upon to determine the true reality upon which we base answers to life’s most important questions?
Over time, I’d come to understand my friend’s atheism was predicated, in large part, upon his belief in Darwinian evolution — a position he’d chosen because of its acceptance by peers and by the authors of pro-evolution writings he’d chosen to read. His strong bias toward Naturalism had precluded any serious consideration of Intelligent Design or Creationism. I suggested he first consider the possibility that we are eternal beings. If reasonable evidence pointed to an eternity after death, would it be prudent for him to continue to wager his future existence in the next realm upon what I believed an unbiased inquiry would conclude was the flawed science of Naturalism. As an intelligent guy, shouldn’t he fully explore the alternatives I presented?
As a fellow seeker of Truth, I suggest the same to you. Study and research the underpinnings of Naturalism and Materialism. Contrast them in an unbiased manner with those of the Intelligent Design and Creationist communities. I think you’ll be hard pressed to deny the veracity of the conclusions reached by the non-Darwinists.
To do so, you must be able to satisfactorily answer the questions of a growing number of Intelligent Design scientists who have demonstrated erroneous assumptions embedded within Darwin’s theory.
Engage in your own deductive analysis of our origins by giving both sides of this question a genuine opportunity to make their case to you.
It will occur to you to ask why, in light of the growing number of contrary evidences I assert are becoming available to us, so many scientists still deny the existence of God and accept evolution as being unquestionably true. To answer that question and explain the importance of evaluating both sides of an issue, it will be helpful for me to draw upon personal experience.
During my exposure to trial work in which I engaged as an attorney, I found a measure of success because in preparing my cases, I always looked for legal precedent that was in opposition to my client’s position as well as for case law supportive of my facts. I then worked to satisfy myself that at trial I would be able to distinguish the unsupportive cases, if raised by opposing counsel, from those upon I would rely on to make the case for my client. If I didn’t feel I could overcome the contrary position, many times I’d accept the inevitable and discuss favorable settlement options with my client. I was willing to accept and act upon an honest review and assessment of the relative strengths of the competing position.
The unfortunate truth is that many scientists do not approach their work in an open manner. They enter their laboratories firmly anchored in their set beliefs. As a result, many of the conclusions they reach are predisposed. They only consider findings that support their predilections and ignore or “explain away” all else. They have embraced the “powerful delusion” the Apostle Paul writes about in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.
Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the DNA molecule and Nobel Prize recipient represents an insightful example of scientific bias toward Darwinian evolution. He once said, “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”
Think about that statement. All the intricate life systems that Crick (and others like him) examine each day in the Petri dishes of their laboratories testify to a purposeful design. Yet such scientists must be instructed by their peers to “constantly keep in mind” — despite the obvious design they see — it wasn’t really constructed by an intelligence
Let me give another example that involves the critical lynchpin of evolutionary theory. I have studied (to the extent I can understand it, of course) Carbon14 dating. I have found that a material assumption made by Willard Libby ignored empirical findings that didn’t support the conclusion he wanted to reach. To achieve the desired end and uphold his findings, he characterized a significant, unsupportive discrepancy in his data — the existence of a prolonged and stabilized relationship between Carbon14 and Carbon12 in the atmosphere — as “scientific error” even though it clearly was not.
Like Crick, Libby’s judgment was tainted by an overwhelming desire to prove an hypothesis that would be hailed by the scientific community, and he was willing to ignore contrary indications in order to achieve his purpose.
Why is this important? Carbon14 dating is central to the “millions of years” predicate of macro-evolution. The truth is, much of what we’re told about natural selection and about the “blind” forces which supposedly induced a big bang are based upon critically flawed assumptions. Without conducting a critical examination on your own to answer questions of eternal significance, are you really willing to accept the assumptions of scientists who’ve been told to ignore the appearance of Design when they see it?
Does it make sense to spend more time researching the make of car you’ll drive for the next 5 years than time expended determining your place of residence in eternity?
Hard core skeptics often assert that Christians foolishly rely solely upon fanciful stories from a supposedly sacred book to support their belief in God. Those same skeptics take great pride in the fact that by way of contrast, they base their belief upon the solid evidence produced by science. They believe faith and reason, as well as religion and science, are opposites and scoff at what they categorize to be the Christian’s unscientific (and, therefore, unreasonable) belief in an invisible Intelligent Designer/Creator whose existence (they say) cannot be empirically shown.
It is interesting to note that many of these same skeptics have long considered it prudent to scan the seemingly lifeless Universe for intelligence. For many years, they’ve streamed an assorted array of messages into space hoping their signals would elicit a response from fellow beings who reside on a distant planet. To date, no replies have been received. But what if one day, scientists actually receive the highly anticipated response? Surely they’d begin to draw inferences of meaning in order to decipher the message and determine if an intelligence was attempting to communicate.
These scientists look upon their efforts as being sound but consider Christians to be foolish for accepting the numerous communications we’ve received from an Intelligent Being who exists beyond our realm and has spoken to us through His Creation.
Specifically, what are we to logically infer from general revelations such as the deliberate design of Anthropic Constants, the volume of complex information contained in DNA that genetically maps all living things, the construct and function of the intricate cellular machine known as the flagellum, as well as a multitude of other clear signs of ordered design? All of these communications emanate from and point to an intelligent source.
Are we to ignore scientific observations that shout “Everything was designed”? If nothing else, reason and personal experience should tell us intelligence is always necessary to produce information. How long would it have taken for random natural forces acting upon the keyboard of a computer to produce the sequence of letters that appear as information on this posting you’ve just finished reading? And where’d the keyboard come from?
In the end, belief in a supernatural intelligence is not simply a matter of Blind Faith. It is a matter of applying a reasoned examination to the volumes of evidences and general communications God has provided to us.