“If Biology Remains Only Biology”

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Stephen M. Barr is a theoretical physicist at the Bartol Research Institute of the University of Delaware, and he believes the current battles between “science” and “religion” on the theories of origins are avoidable.   He writes, in the article The Miracle of Evolution,

If biology remains only biology, it is not to be feared. Much of the fear that does exist is rooted in the notion that God is in competition with nature, so that the more we attribute to one the less we can attribute to the other. That is false. The greater the powers and potentialities in nature, the more magnificent must be nature’s far-sighted Author, that God whose “ways are unsearchable” and who “reaches from end to end ordering all things mightily.” Richard Dawkins famously called the universe “a blind watchmaker.” If it is, it is miracle enough for anyone; for it is incomparably greater to design a watchmaker than a watch. We need not pit evolution against design, if we recognize that evolution is part of God’s design.(1) Here is one creationist’s attempt to unite the current teachings of evolution with the teachings of the Bible. But is it really this simple? Barr continues.

The question for science is whether the neo-Darwinian account of evolution is sufficient to explain all instances of biological complexity. Many scientists are supremely confident that it is, which is strange, given that so little is known about the steps by which some complex structures actually evolved.(1)

In a similar vein, Eric Hovind writes, scientifically speaking, “Evolutionist proponents of the big bang theory claim that planets and stars formed when bits of matter and gas were compressed spontaneously. But this violates Boyle’s law of gas established in the seventeenth century, which states that gases cannot be compressed without some intervening mechanism. So what is the evolutionists’ intervening mechanism? Nothing. It happened all by itself; it was a miracle. They likewise believe that biological organisms could produce offspring of higher complexity simply by means of natural selection. This is not science, however, and must also fall within the realm of miracle. In fact, evolutionists hold on to many more miracles (or assumptions) in their religion of evolutionism.”(2)

It is yet another example of secular scientists relying on miracles, “As is common in evolutionary literature, Brunet and Arendt do not ask whether hard parts (skeleton) evolved, but only how they evolved. According to the “rules of science,” questioning naturalism is forbidden. By limiting one’s explanatory toolkit to unguided natural processes, however, difficulties arise. There’s nothing like an appeal to miracles to get around a difficulty. As Finagle advised, “Do not believe in miracles. Rely on them.”(3)

As scientists began to decode the human DNA molecule, they found something quite unexpected—an exquisite “language” composed of some 3 billion genetic letters. It’s hard for us to fathom, but the amount of information in human DNA is roughly equivalent to 12 sets of The Encyclopaedia Britannica— an incredible 384 volumes’ worth of detailed information that would fill 48 feet of library shelves!(4)

“The precision of this genetic language is such that the average mistake that is not caught turns out to be one error per 10 billion letters. If a mistake occurs in one of the most significant parts of the code, which is in the genes, it can cause a disease such as sickle-cell anemia. Yet even the best and most intelligent typist in the world couldn’t come close to making only one mistake per 10 billion letters—far from it. So to believe that the genetic code gradually evolved in Darwinian style would break all the known rules of how matter, energy and the laws of nature work. In fact, there has not been found in nature any example of one information system inside the cell gradually evolving into another functional information program.) (5)

Yet you will never hear these facts in evolutionary circles, nor in secular atheist college classrooms.  But the absolute truth is that neither the study of Science, nor specifically the study of Biology, is incompatible with belief in Creation.  They will in fact inevitably lead directly back to God.

 

(1) http://www.firstthings.com/article/2006/02/the-miracle-of-evolution

(2) creationtoday.org/evolution-miracle-of-miracles/

(3) evolutionnews.org/2016/07/miracles_in_evo/

(4) http://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/lifes-ultimate-question-does-god-exist/the-tiny-miracle-thats-toppling-evolution

(5) ibid

Generational Indoctrination. The status of public education in America.

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America, just 50 years ago, was known to have the greatest educational system in the world.  Perhaps the greatest in all of history. No rational person would say the same today.  What happened?

A mere 50 years, a tiny drop in the ocean of time has passed, and we now have one of the least successful, least effective, most profligately wasteful educational systems in the world.  As stated by educational expert Arne Duncan,  “At no level – early childhood, K-12, higher ed – are we even in the top 10 internationally. And that should scare us. It is scary and it does not bode well for the future.” (1)

What happened? Well, of course, many things have happened. Atheism happened. Scientism happened. Working moms happened. Multiculturalism happened. Abortion happened. Substance abuse happened. Indoctrination happened. But how did we get from fidelity, to foolishness in education?

Without any attempt to inject politics, “At the state and federal level, the United States spends more than $620 billion dollars on K-12 education each year,” Trump said on Sept. 8, 2016. “That’s an average of about $12,296 dollars for every student enrolled in our elementary and secondary public schools.”(2) Even the liberal-leaning site Politifact admits this is true. We once had the best schools, but now all we are left with is the most expensive schools in history.

Perhaps no single factor can be isolated upon which to cast all the blame. But we can be certain that the cause is NOT a lack of teachers, nor a lack of funding.  These simplistic, knee jerk responses have been tried ad nauseam for decades, with massive, seemingly perpetual increases in funding.  And the results? Massive, seemingly perpetual losses in educational outcomes for students.

Education, first and foremost, must pass on truth.  Educational techniques are important but not essential.  Many different teaching styles can be successful. Class sizes and budgets are, in the end, far less important than educational content.  Style, in the end, is vastly less important than substance. No educational system that denies ultimate truths can, in the end, be successful.

Our public educational systems, and most of our original colleges and universities, were founded on a belief in the Bible and a desire to pass on the teachings and beliefs contained therein. Then came the scientific revolution, and the sexual revolution. And from the top down, educational systems have come to represent atheism as the new norm, and eventually to ridicule all things associated with the Bible and Christianity. Oddly enough, as that process has occurred, all the measures of educational excellence have simultaneously declined.

Columnist Dennis Prager has stated that a causal factor of the rise in atheism is the “secular indoctrination of a generation,” and that “From elementary school through graduate school, only one way of looking at the world – the secular – is presented. The typical individual in the Western world receives as secular an indoctrination as the typical European received a religious one in the Middle Ages.”(3)

What is the source or reason for this indoctrination?  There have been amazing advances in the scientific fields that have captured the imagination of teachers, students, and school boards alike.  So much so that they have nearly all fallen prey to the fad of scientism. And in the process, students have come to expect the “magic” of science to solve all their problems, without room for faith, logic, mind, will, or even perseverence.

Austin L Hughes,  Carolina Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina, in his superb article The Folly of Scientism, writes, “Of all the fads and foibles in the long history of human credulity, scientism in all its varied guises — from fanciful cosmology to evolutionary epistemology and ethics — seems among the more dangerous, both because it pretends to be something very different from what it really is and because it has been accorded widespread and uncritical adherence.“(4)

Jason Barney adds, “Scientism is a problem because the field of education is not a hard science, but a branch of moral philosophy, scientia mōrālis. Every philosophy of education necessarily relies on a previously established account of what it means to be human. But scientism screens out such foundational questions about man, the good life, and ultimate purpose, in an attempt to be more precise—or precise in a different way—than the subject matter admits of (cf. Aristotle, EN I.3, 1094b12-15). In so doing, it does not actually attain a neutral, “objective” viewpoint; instead, half-baked philosophies and unexamined assumptions rush back in, as seven demons take the place of the one that was exorcised. Scientism promises us firmer knowledge, not swayed to and fro by the winds of history and the waves of philosophy, but in reality it delivers only ignorance of how we are recycling old ideas by recasting them into new, scientific-looking forms.”(5)  Wow!  What a succinct and cogent realization!  If only our educators could see and understand this!

As I wrote in “To Teach. To Educate. Or to Tell the Truth“, teaching is a high calling, and that high calling involves always instilling truth, not lies.  It also involves equipping students to search out truth, and recognize falsehood. But today, even in American high schools, colleges and universities this is often not the case. We instead see a focus on messengers, and messaging, and political correctness. Truth, the student is told, is always relative, not absolute.  Many educators focus on instilling “liberal values” and “fighting creationist propaganda” rather than evaluating the issues themselves, or seeking out truth in the midst of lies. They have even created “safe spaces” where students and groups can avoid any open debate that threatens their preconceptions or their liberal mindset. Teachers with a more conservative mindset often feel cowed into submission, unwilling to face the persecution certain to come if they stray from the secular atheistic agenda.

The solution to “what is wrong with schools in America” is not funding, or class size.  It is not methods, or media.  It is not even school choice or neighborhoods.  All of these may have positive or negative impacts and should be addressed.  But the solution to America’s educational dilemma is admitting that:

  1. For decades we have taught the lie of scientism.
  2. For decades we have promoted godlessness and atheism.
  3. For decades we have allowed concern with populist topics like sexism and racism to overshadow all other concerns, including education itself!

 

If we could just find and teach the truths of literature, history, and science in their proper context, in the eternal light of God and the Bible, all these other educational concerns will vanish. If we return to teaching Truth, the minds of our next generation will be the best educated in all of history.

 

(1) http://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2018-07-27/americas-schools-arent-working-for-americas-kids

(2) http://www.politifact.com/ohio/statements/2016/sep/21/donald-trump/trump-us-spends-more-almost-any-other-major-countr/

(3) /www.conservapedia.com/Atheist_indoctrination

(4) http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-folly-of-scientism

(5) http://www.circeinstitute.org/blog/problem-scientism-conventional-education

 

Is Intelligent Design Scientific?

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Do you believe the Bible, or do you believe “science”?  More importantly, is there any rational or logical reason you must choose between the two?

If one were to listen to the media hype, the Hollywood explanations, prime time TV, or many liberal college professors, one might assume there are just two choices in cosmology.  A person can either can believe “science” or one can have “faith” in the Bible story.  But is this even remotely true? Is it even sensible to place science and faith in different camps? Or is this entire scenario a false dichotomy?

Many of my previous posts have already discussed the evolutionary side of this issue very thoroughly, and I believe we have more than adequately proven that belief in evolution is neither logical, nor scientific.  Belief in evolution is clearly a faith based choice.  If you read my earlier blogs,  “Astonishing Ice Age facts“, or “The Data in the Strata“, or “A Totally Modern View on Evolution” you will understand that belief in Evolution is not a scientific choice or preference, but rather a philosophical one. There are vastly more scientific facts and principles supporting Creation, than those supporting the Big Bang or Evolution.

Perhaps belief in Evolution stems from a prideful desire to elevate man to the point of understanding all of the Universe and Creation. Perhaps, as noted in the earlier blog “To Teach. To Educate. Or to Tell the Truth?” it is just generational  indoctrination. Or maybe it originates in the illogical belief that avoiding belief in God as our Creator will somehow avoid the consequences of our sins, failures and rebellion. Regardless, as the tagline of this blog has stated from the beginning, “It takes a lot of FAITH to believe in evolution.”

The evidence (outlined in 80 or so blogs over the last year) clearly shows that belief in Evolution is a faith based choice. But what of the other side?  Is belief in Creation merely a “Scientific cop out”?  Do proponents of Intelligent Design (ID) and so-called “creation scientists” abandon scientific processes and base their beliefs totally on religious principles? Not so, according to the following quote from Casey Luskin originally posted at OpposingViews.com. Speaking of ID (Intelligent Design), he writes;

“One can disagree with the conclusions of ID, but one cannot reasonably claim that it is an argument based upon religion, faith, or divine revelation. Nothing critics can say—whether appealing to politically motivated condemnations of ID issued by pro-Darwin scientific authorities, or harping upon the religious beliefs of ID proponents—will change the fact that intelligent design is not a “faith-based” argument. Intelligent design has scientific merit because it is an empirically based argument that uses well-accepted scientific methods of historical sciences in order to detect in nature the types of complexity which we understand, from present-day observations, are derived from intelligent causes.”(1)

Luskin further explains, “The scientific method is commonly described as a four-step process involving observations, hypothesis, experiments, and conclusion. As noted, ID begins with the observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified information (CSI). Design theorists hypothesize that if a natural object was designed, it will contain high levels of CSI. Scientists then perform experimental tests upon natural objects to determine if they contain complex and specified information. One easily testable form of CSI is irreducible complexity, which can tested and discovered by experimentally reverse-engineering biological structures through genetic knockout experiments to determine if they require all of their parts to function. When experimental work uncovers irreducible complexity in biology, they conclude that such structures were designed.”(2)

Luskin “gets it”.  Most secular atheists don’t.  There is absolutely NO logical reason to separate science vs faith on issues of cosmology, or any issues related to where humanity or the universe originated. However, if one were to objectively discuss which cosmology has more scientific support, I believe firmly that Creation science would win the argument.  Still, the point remains, there is no reason to “choose” one or the other.  Science, unimpeded and freely practiced, is not in opposition to Scripture!

As I wrote in the blog “BIG GOD. small god. Why Cosmology Matters. “Atheists say creation is impossible because it would have required something miraculous, something fantastic, something unbelievable, something outside the bounds of science. Creationists say that the The Big Bang and Evolution are impossible because they would have required something miraculous, something fantastic, something unbelievable, something outside the bounds of science.” And BOTH are correct.

In essence, as written by Stephen C. Meyer, “Proponents of neo-Darwinism contend that the information in life arose via purposeless, blind, and unguided processes. ID proponents contend that the information in life arose via purposeful, intelligently guided processes. Both claims are scientifically testable using scientific methods employed by standard historical sciences. ID thus is based upon the claim that there are “telltale features of living systems and the universe that are best explained by an intelligent cause.”(3)

You have a mind. You have an intellect. (Both of which are, by the way, strong arguments for ID.) You get to choose whether you believe secular stories about a universe that magically appeared from nothing and life that created itself, or to believe in an Almighty Creator God.  But you cannot use as your crutch any statement that you don’t believe in Creation because it is not scientific.  Not if you want to be intellectually honest.

 

(1) http://www.discovery.org/a/7051/

(2) ibid

(3) Stephen C. Meyer, Not by Chance: From Bacterial Propulsion Systems to Human DNA, Evidence of Intelligent Design Is Everywhere, Natl. Post A22 (Dec. 1, 2005).

 

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

Psalm 14:1 NIV