Posts Tagged ‘Intelligent Design’

|

Will The Real God Please Stand Up! (Part 2)

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

In part one of this post, I was taking a look at some of the clichés that have become popular in our culture when it comes to religion-  namely, the idea that “all beliefs about God are equally true.”  In the process, we discovered that slogans of that kind often make the mistake of treating belief and truth as if they are the same thing when, if fact, they are not at all the same thing.  Furthermore, we established that all beliefs about God cannot be true because they are making contradictory claims about God.  This eventually led to the question:  Is there any way that we can verify which beliefs about God actually correspond to the truth about God?  Before proceeding to that question, I think that it would be best to begin by addressing those who would insist that it’s rather pointless for us to even ask such a question since we cannot know anything about God.  In response to that, let me quickly say that if God has chosen to remain anonymous by leaving it entirely up to us to figure it out for ourselves, then they are correct-  we cannot know.  However, if God has chosen to reveal himself to us by some means, then this gives us the ability to sort out which beliefs about God are more likely to be true about God.

There are many compelling reasons why I think that God has, in fact, intentionally revealed himself to us.  Both time and space in this post do not allow for a thorough presentation of the various evidences from philosophy and science for the existence of God.  That alone is such a huge topic that it deserves and requires a series of posts that I plan to address in the future.  For now, let it suffice to say that the list includes such evidence as the origin, immensity, and fine-tuning of the universe, the information content of DNA, the countless examples of obvious design that we observe in nature, and our shared moral intuitions that transcend time and culture.  When all of the evidence is combined, it requires an intelligent Cause of the universe and everything in it, who is greater than the universe itself.  In order to best explain the evidence, this First Cause must be self-existent, eternal and all-powerful (to explain the universe), all-knowing (to explain the complexity and variety of living things), moral (to explain our shared moral intuitions), and personal (to explain conscious, creative human persons).

This information alone begins the process of narrowing down the options in our attempt to determine which beliefs about God are more likely to be true.  If we begin with the evidence, as well as the characteristics that God must possess in order to best explain that evidence, it serves as a “filter” through which we can process various beliefs about God.  For example, if the combined evidence points favorably in the direction of God’s existence, then it is highly unlikely that belief systems such as atheism, agnosticism, or Buddhism are true, because they either deny God’s existence or imply that God doesn’t exist.  They disqualify themselves on the basis that they do not fit the observable evidence.  If conscious, self-aware, creative human beings (persons) are best explained by a personal Creator, then any belief system which claims that God is an impersonal force or energy immediately loses traction.  Again, they disqualify themselves because they do not comport with the observable evidence.

Once we’ve processed all of the world’s beliefs about God through this “filter”, the only three belief systems which remain are Judaism, Islam and Christianity.  Is there any way to narrow down our search any further?  Is there any way to determine which of the three “finalists” is most likely to give us the truth about God?  That will be my topic in the third and final part of this series.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Theology | 1 Comment »

Undermining the Basis for Science

Monday, May 17th, 2010

A few years ago, a close friend of mine invited me to join him in attending an afternoon lecture at ASU that was open to the general public. The speaker was a professor of zoology who also happened to be a staunch evolutionist.  His lecture that day was dealing with the topic of Intelligent Design.  For those who may not be familiar with the term, Intelligent Design (I.D.) is basically the scientific investigation of living systems that reveal striking examples of design, thus implying a designer behind it.  Proponents of I.D. do not make any claims as to who the designer is, only that evidence of an intelligent designer is clearly present.  As those attending the lecture were about to find out, not only was this professor absolutely closed-minded to the possibility of I.D., he was a cynical opponent to the very notion of a designer.

Throughout the entire lecture, in various ways, he continued to drive home the point that “no REAL scientist would ever allow for the possibility of a designer behind the design.”  His presentation included political cartoons that portrayed I.D. scientists as inept, ignorant, ‘pseudo-scientists’ not worthy of serious attention.  By the time he was finished, he had left the students with the impression that there are two distinct categories of people when it comes to the origins debate.   On one side, you have those who are bright, intelligent, educated people who are smart enough to know that evolution is a ‘fact’ and that there is nothing outside of the material world- especially God.  On the other hand, you have those who dare to question evolution, but they only do so because they are ignorant, uneducated, pitiful, superstitious types, most of whom are only pretending to be real scientists.  That was his overall message, but the scenario he had presented that day is a false dichotomy.

During the question and answer time, my friend and I pointed out to the professor that if we are expected to take his claims seriously, then what are we to make of someone such as the late Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith, professor and lecturer, who held three doctorates and authored or co-authored over seventy scientific publications and thirty books that included such topics as the scientific problems with evolutionary theory and the scientific case in favor of a Creator.  Furthermore, what are we to make of the growing list of  scientists who have recently signed on to a document openly stating their dissent from Darwinism?

Had time allowed, there were many other things that we could have said that afternoon to point out that “the emperor has no clothes”, but the most telling thing of all occurred to me as we were leaving the building after his lecture.  As we stepped outside, I looked back and noticed that on the front of the very building that we had just exited, there were several names engraved across the top of the building for all to see.   The list included such notable names as Pasteur, Newton, and Kepler.  It is no accident that the architect intended for those names to appear on that building because those names represent some of the ‘Founding Fathers’ of science.  More importantly, those very same scientists all shared something in common- they all held the view that there IS a Creator behind the creation and that He has revealed Himself through that which He has made.  More than that, they also felt that through scientific investigation of His creation they would be able to understand  more about Him.

Maybe it’s a good thing that we didn’t get a chance to bring this to the attention of the professor.  Had we done so, he may very well have demanded that the university plaster over those names in an attempt to expunge their memory from science’s ‘Hall of Fame’.  But, try as he may, that professor will never be able to blot out the enormous contributions that they have made in laying the very foundation of modern science- the same science of which he has been a beneficiary as well.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Science | 2 Comments »

|
  • In today's world, there is a great deal of confusion when it comes to matters of truth, meaning, morality, our origin, and our destiny. The purpose of Renewed Thoughts is to bring clarity to such issues by examining them in light of a Biblical worldview, using the tools of science, philosophy, and critical thinking.