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

Science vs Reason

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Yes, you read that correctly. The title of today’s blog is NOT faith vs reason.  It is science vs reason.  It seems most of society currently believes that science is the answer to all humanity’s questions.  Science is assumed to be logical, rational, and reasonable.  Science is looked on as the dependable and unassailable bastion of all truth. Science can tell us whether the universe is the grand design of God, or an accident of cosmology. Science can supposedly tell us if we are a child of God or the children of apes.

Faith, on the other hand, (at least in the secular media and on college campuses) is represented as illogical, irrational, and unreasonable.  Faith, according to the secular academics, is for stupid people, and science is for the thoughtful, rational, deductive, “smart” people.  Right?  (I think not.  But perhaps we can discuss that another day.)  Today we discuss Science vs Reason.

Science, like mathematics, logic, or philosophy are wonderful things, when applied properly to an appropriate subject or area.  But by the same token, like any other discipline, science can give misleading or inaccurate information when misapplied.  (See earlier blogs on Scientism.)  If we applied pure science in medicine, there would be no place for empathy, compassion or intuition. Very ill patients might be evaluated and terminated.  Emotions might be ignored.  In fact, there would be absolutely nothing precluding experimentation on prisoners if science alone were our guide..

In a similar vein, pure mathematics cannot solve many types of scientific problems where trial and error are indispensable to provide proof of a theory.  Historical studies are not well suited to solving problems in math or science.  Yet the current fad among institutions of scientific research is to believe all questions in all areas of learning can either be solved by science, or to presume that other areas of study offer solutions inferior to the solutions offered by science. Such an application of so called “science” is not only irrational and unreasonable.  It is dangerous. It is in effect sham philosophy pretending to be science. If mankind were a mere collection of chemicals, without free will and moral choices, perhaps science alone could be our god.  But we are more.  Much more.

Consider for example, philosophy.  As stated by Julian Friedland,

For roughly 98 percent of the last 2,500 years of Western intellectual history, philosophy was considered the mother of all knowledge. It generated most of the fields of research still with us today. This is why we continue to call our highest degrees Ph.D.’s, namely, philosophy doctorates. At the same time, we live an age in which many seem no longer sure what philosophy is or is good for anymore.(1)

Philosophy as a means of understanding the world clearly has limitations. Philosophers are of no help in building complicated machines or directing complex chemical processes.  In fact, philosophy has gotten a bad rap because so many philosophers and their arguments are totally disconnected from reality.  Even at its best, philosophy relies on very specific word choices, and is often subject to interpretation and argumentation when viewed from different vantage points. So it seems perfectly understandable that humanity would seek a more solid ground for understanding the universe, and the natural and obvious choice would seem to be science.

But as written by Joseph Rowlands, “The problem is that many scientists sought to escape from the clutches of rationalizing philosophy by jumping into Empiricism, the philosophy that rejects theoretical knowledge and only accepts direct sensory evidence.  As Rand said, philosophy is inescapable.  You don’t have a choice about having one.  If you try to reject philosophy, you’re just enslaving yourself to your implicit philosophy.” (2)

That is the absolute key to today’s discussion.  We are not given the choice of philosophy or faith vs science.  We are only given the choice of which philosophy we use to approach science.  Science in and of itself is nothing but a tool.  Like any tool, it can be used to accomplish a variety of tasks.  How the tool is applied it critical to the results obtained.  A hammer is equally capable of building a house, or tearing a house down.  Science is perfectly capable of building a rational view of the universe, or of portraying a totally false and indefensible view of the universe.  

Paul Bloom of the Atlantic, wrote, “Sociologists and philosophers deserve a lot of credit in reminding us that scientific practice is permeated by groupthink, bias, and financial, political, and personal motivations.” The physicist Richard Feynman once wrote that the essence of science was “bending over backwards to prove ourselves wrong.” But he was talking about the collective cultural activity of science, not scientists as individuals, most of whom prefer to be proven right, and who are highly biased to see the evidence in whatever light most favors their preferred theory.”(3)

I believe there is sufficient evidence to support the proposition that secular scientists have chosen to use the “hammer” of science in ways that are tearing down the house of humanity.  In future blogs we will discuss ways to apply science more appropriately.

 

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.
 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?
 On what were its footings set,
    or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?” Job 38:4-7 NIV 

 

(1) opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/philosophy-is-not-a-science/

(2) http://rebirthofreason.com/Articles/Rowlands/Philosophy_vs_Science.shtml

(3) https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2015/11/why-scientific-faith-isnt-the-same-as-religious-faith/417357/