Evolutionism, Scientism, and the Demise of Atheism

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Sometimes a single domino falls and hundreds more fall in rapid succession. I have reason to believe this may soon be the case with evolution.  How could this occur?  Well, in reality just one thing needs to happen. Real science must be allowed to freely take its course.

Secular scientists should be among the first to recognize the importance of seeking truth. Science is a study based on ruling out false hypotheses, and continually seeking a truer understanding of our physical universe. Science can ONLY be advanced by the honest and objective analysis of both our successes AND our failures. A repetitive refusal to acknowledge failed hypotheses is not just bad science.  It is not science at all. But in the case of these three inextricably linked arguments (evolution, scientism, and atheism) the failure of any one piece exposes the logical, philosophical, and scientific fallacies of the others.

As science advances, even in spite of the extreme pro-evolutionary bias of  our institutions of higher learning, the scientific underpinnings of evolution have been progressively undermined to the point that belief in evolution is now held completely on the basis of faith, not science. (see prior posts on Science vs Reason, Hoaxed, Natural Selection, the Cambrian Explosion, and The Data in the Strata.)

But as early as Shakespeare, the phrase was used, “The truth will out.”
Or as Buddha said, ““Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” And this is exactly what is occurring in society today as we discuss evolutionism, scientism, and atheism.
Evolutionism describes the belief in the evolution of organisms. Its exact meaning has changed over time as the study of evolution has progressed. In the 19th-century, it was used to describe the belief that organisms deliberately improved themselves through progressive inherited change (orthogenesis).The teleological belief went on to include cultural evolution and social evolution. (1)

Unfortunately, although evolution has lost scientific credibility as explained in prior posts, it remains as the current foundational teaching for biology in our schools. In addition there is an intricately woven web of assumptions and presuppositions developed over the last century in which science has sought NOT the truth, but merely sought to support evolution.  Rather than searching for truth, atheistic biologists and cosmologists sought support for their own atheistic assumptions.  This is referred to as scientism (see prior posts on scientism).

Scientism is an ideology that promotes science as the purportedly objective means by which society should determine normative and epistemological values.“(2) Don’t let that  definition deter you. It is actually quite simple.The key principle is that Scientism is an ideology, and a philosophy.  Scientism is not science!
In previous posts the failures of Scientism have been discussed more thoroughly, but for now suffice it to say that Scientism is completely illogical, and ultimately self defeating. As stated by Edward Feser, “Scientism is the view that all real knowledge is scientific knowledge—that there is no rational, objective form of inquiry that is not a branch of science…Despite its adherents’ pose of rationality, scientism has a serious problem: it is either self-refuting or trivial. Take the first horn of this dilemma. The claim that scientism is true is not itself a scientific claim, not something that can be established using scientific methods. Indeed, that science is even a rational form of inquiry (let alone the only rational form of inquiry) is not something that can be established scientifically.”(3)
Or as JP Moreland has written about the self-refuting nature of Scientism, “The only knowledge we can have about reality are those that have been properly tested in the hard sciences” is not itself a statement about reality that has been properly tested in the hard sciences, so it cannot be a knowledge claim about reality. It is actually a claim of philosophy to the effect that all claims outside the hard sciences, including those of philosophy, cannot be known to be true. Thus, it is an inherently self-refuting claim.”(4)
Atheism has a similar problem. Of course Atheism, as we had inferred earlier is totally dependent on evolution and scientism in order to explain its very existence. But that is not all. As written by Matt Slick in his discussion of materialistic atheism, “Materialism is the theory that matter is the only thing that exists in the universe, and that all phenomena can be explained in terms of it and its properties. This would mean that everything must operate within the bounds of physical laws, including the human brain. But this presents a problem for the materialistic atheist. A materialist atheist has no intellectual justification whatsoever to trust his own thinking because his physical brain cannot exceed the limits of physics and chemistry. Therefore, there’s no reason for him to conclude that his rationality is correct since his brain is acting “mechanically.” (5)
The good news in all this is that recently thousands of scientists are beginning to clearly understand and espouse the failures of evolutionism and scientism. As they write and speak clearly of the scientific reasons that neither life, nor the universe have created themselves, millions of people may reject atheism and once again feel free to explore the more rational and spiritually fulfilling alternative of belief in an Almighty God who created the universe, and humanity, for His divine purposes.
The good news is that Atheism is no longer able to assume the stamp of philosophical or scientific approval.
The good news is that life has meaning.
The good news is you are not just made up of matter. You Matter!

 

John 8:45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!
(1) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionism
(2) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism
(5) carm.org/materialistic-atheism-self-refuting

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evolutioncreation1

Emergency Room Physician. Student of science and student of scripture. Defending truth in a post-truth society. I believe that Truth exists, and I believe it is our duty and privilege to seek it out, amidst ignorance, frivolity, and misconceptions.

11 thoughts on “Evolutionism, Scientism, and the Demise of Atheism”

  1. Interesting strawman attack. To define ‘evolutionism’ and attack ‘evolution’ with the false statement that ‘evolution has lost scientific credibility’ is intellectually disingenuous and of suspect ethical basis. The scientific notion of the mechanics of evolution has been refined over the years, as this is precisely what scientific method is supposed to do—to refine a definition based on new information, rather than to hold to a doctrine despite additional evidence.

    Scientifically speaking, evolution is precisely not teleological. There is no goal. It just happens based on the state of an organism in interaction with its environment.

    You are correct that scientism is not science; rather, it’s the fetishising of science into religious zeal. And like religion, it favours dogma over reality.

    Contrary to your assertion, atheism and agnosticism are increasing in the world, and your dualistic bias is showing. It is also disingenuous to lump all atheists into one bucket, and there are degrees of atheist as well as myriad motivations behind disbelief. Besides, even if there were material and immaterial components of reality, it does not follow that there is any intelligence or divine constituent to the immaterial part.

    In the end, this is a very unscientific ‘scientific’ case against evolution. #JustSaying

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    1. Can you specify at which point the argument is a straw man argument? My statement that evolution has lost scientific credibility is based on the 50 earlier posts over the last 6 months. If you read those, or read the book “In Six Days”, or look at the concept of Uniformitarianism objectively I think you will find that Evolution as a theory was far more plausible 100 years ago than it is now. On your other point, I do not believe I said atheism was not increasing, rather, the point was that it has been increasing for decades, at least in part due to the false secular dogma taught in public schools. Exposing the scientifically weak position of evolution is, from my viewpoint, a good thing. Facts matter. Science matters. Good science doesn’t perpetuate myths, like evolution.

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      1. Hi, the strawman is attacking ‘evolutionism’. I am pretty sure that is not a thing in any significant way. Separately, evolution is decidedly neither deliberate nor teleological. I am also pretty sure that no scientist of genetics would agree to that definition. Darwin, for one, did not ascribe to this notion.

        I see that you cite a Wikipedia entry as a source where it further references a definition from https://www.amazon.com/Chambers-Encyclopedic-English-Dictionary-Robert/dp/0550110003 (following the footnote), where the author makes a claim without basis. The claim of ‘widely held’ belief is a weasel phrase and reflective of poor editorial execution.

        Evolution is probabilistic. Period. It is based (somewhat oversimplified for our purposes) on small, incidental mutations that in concert with the prevailing environmental factors of the day make the organism more or less likely to survive to produce offspring, who in turn would propagate this gene. As long as it continues to provide more benefit than some alternative (whether status quo or some other mutation), the progression will continue. So, unless you enter transhumanism into the equation, there is no deliberate anything. And the outcome is not preordained, so neither is this effect teleological. Prior to Darwin’s notion of evolution, there had been a teleological factor. In fact, Classical Virtue ethics assumed that there was some archetypal form one could approach.

        After attacking this odd notion of ‘evolutionism’, (and without skipping a beat or explaining how you see these connected), you attack ‘evolution’, a tangential but different topic. And whilst the scientific understanding of the mechanisms of evolution has changed as we gain more insight into how genetics operation through DNA sequencing and so on, the concept has hardly lost credibility among geneticists or even the broader population. I suppose you might feel the concept is less credible, but the scientists who study it don’t share your belief.

        Before you wrap up this paragraph and lead into the next, you make two claims: (1) that these scientists do not seek truth; and (2) seeking support for ‘their own atheistic assumptions’ is referred to as Scientism.

        (1) Don’t confuse ‘truth’ with ‘facts’. There is no truth to seek. There are only facts.
        (2) Scientism is approaching science with blind zeal in the same manner as a religious believer does. However, if this were the case, then your earlier claim that the definition of evolution doesn’t sound as plausible. Besides your own definition in the subsequent paragraphs does not even support your claim. It seems you are mixing metaphors.

        As this response has taken more time than I had anticipated, I’ll limit my critique to this paragraph.

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      2. In reply to you note that evolution is probabilistic, I offer the comments of Sir Fred Hoyle, the brilliant British astronomer, mathematician, and cosmologist, who wrote, “Once we see, however, that the probability of life originating at random is so utterly miniscule as to make it absurd, it becomes sensible to think that the favorable properties of physics on which life depends are in every respect deliberate … . It is therefore almost inevitable that our own measure of intelligence must reflect … higher intelligences … even to the limit of God … such a theory is so obvious that one wonders why it is not widely accepted as being self-evident. The reasons are psychological rather than scientific.”(5)

        Hoyle also wrote, “Life cannot have had a random beginning … The trouble is that there are about 2000 enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in 10^40,000, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup.”

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      3. Yet, here we are.

        Before becoming a management consultant, I was a statistician and economist, having taught undergraduates for the better part of a decade. To make a statement of the evidence of some highly improbable event as evidence that it could not happen is to fundamentally misunderstand the laws of probability. In fact, the genesis of life need have only occurred once in the entire expanse of time for us to eventually arrive at a point where we could have this conversation.

        To be fair, Hoyle’s quote you cite is his opinion and not the result of ‘science’, as it were. However, if we are playing the probability game, the occurrence of God and the occurrence of life may have approximately the same probability, so your choice of one over the other is a matter of your own convenience to support your own metanarrative.

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      4. ‘To make a statement of the evidence of some highly improbable event as evidence that it could not happen is to fundamentally misunderstand the laws of probability.’

        When a thing is ludicrously improbable it is ludicrously unlikely to have happened.

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      5. In response to the comments about evolutionism and evolution. I think you may misunderstand. I absolutely and intentionally conflate the two. I fully believe that the teaching of evolution has become the dogma of the last half century. For 50 years scientist have sought proof in the geological strata, or in the fossil record, or in genomics, but have found nothing. (If you have proof of evolution I hope you will bring it forward, because all I have ever seen, read, or heard is unsubstantiated theory.)
        In the meantime I believe you will enjoy this article…
        http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/tomball/opinion/article/The-fossil-record-offers-no-support-for-gradual-9373494.php

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      6. As you said earlier, the concept of evolution has evolved over time. In fact, this is the nature of scientific inquiry and discovery. I am not a ‘scientist’ in either the ordinary or pejorative sense of the term. I do believe in the fundamentals of logic and reason, but, like you, I believe that people hide behind science, making it into a religion.

        This said, looking for evidence of genetic evolution in fossils is somewhat akin to searching for bacteria with a telescope. One is micro and one is macro. Separate to this, it is important to understand what a fossil is—a reverse impression of an object along with ossified content. The manner in which fossils are created favours water-based environments over land. A lot has changed (read: advanced) in the understanding of genetics and evolution, and many gaps in the fossil record have been filled in, but, again, this is a rather specious misdirection, as it still follows the path of hunting for microbes with a telescope.

        The evidence of genetic evolution is in the DNA record, not the fossil record. Genetic variations result from changes, or mutations, in the nucleotide sequence of DNA, the molecule that genes are made from. Such changes in DNA now can be detected and described with great precision.

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      7. I appreciate your thoughtful comments. I think we are have, in essence three separate discussions going within a single thread. This is probably my fault for not making it clear when I jump from one type proof to another. I certainly was not attempting to correlate genetics with fossils. ( Not yet anyway, although the finding of RBCs and proteins in supposedly 350 million year old fossils might allow that someday.) I was simply trying to inform the reader that there is no support for evolution from fossils in the geological strata, and archeologists are increasingly admitting that. And separately to note that there was also no support found in other areas such as genomics. I would be interested as to your comment that “the evidence of genetic evolution is in the DNA record”. I know that was felt to be true 20 years ago, but in my understanding that line of study was absolutely unfruitful. It seems to me that DNA studies have NOT correlated with the supposed “tree of life” or evolutionary branching at all! Finally, as to the “genesis of life need have only occurred once in the entire expanse of time”, I think you will find my comments on that in the prior blog entitled “Microevolution under the Microscope”. Thanks again.

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      8. Quite right. I was brought up on a diet of pro evolutionary information and its supposed beauty. It took me several decades to see through it. It is the Emperor’s New Clothes of the current age.

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      9. Interestingly enough, even if the theory of Evolution were to be entirely disproven, it would still not do a thing to provide support for a Creation-based hypothesis. #JustSaying 😉

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