A Skeptic Takes a Look at Science Part I

A Skeptic Takes a Look at Science

Part I

It would like to share with you why I am skeptical of many of the theories of modern science.  My motive for writing this is not to put down science but to put people’s understanding of it into a proper perspective.  That perspective is this, science is not God and it is not your salvation from death or nature.  Those that put their faith in it for salvation will be sadly disappointed.

My concern for Peoples attitude toward science began to mount when talking to a young man at a funeral about death; something he seemed very uncomfortable to talk about.  Shortly into our conversation he told me that he believed by the time he approached old age that science would discover a cure for death.  First I informed him death was not a sickness or a disease, but rather a law of nature and there was no cure for it, at least by science.

One of my complaints about modern science is its unspoken attitude toward nature.  It seems to think that nature is an enemy or a disease that needs to be overcome or cured[1].  For all I know it may be an enemy but if it is, it is one, where I don’t think we’re going overcome or cure it unless we evolve into gods.  And at the present rate of evolution I don’t think that’s going to happen before sun burns out.

In contrast to the above young man, I talked to a real scientist that headed up a research group in a large university and asked her if she thought that science would overcome cancer in the near future.  Her answer was forth right and struck an authentic cord of realism.  She said that they really did not know what caused cancer.  She went on to say that science had made tremendous advancements in treating cancer but it is lagging behind in the understanding of what causes it.  She said the latest theory was that it was a combination of a virus, the immune system, and genetics; she did not see a cure on the near horizon.  Then she dropped the bomb, when I asked hear what her personal opinion was about cancer.  She said she believed it was death and if they found a cure for it, it would just break out in some new form.  Now that is realism.

The above young man who had accepted the myth of science as salvation has accepted a false religion.  The young scientist had a proper perspective of science and a realistic view of salvation and science.  Science can hide you from nature for a time and it can heal you from some of the wounds of nature, but in the end it cannot save you from it, nature will kill you.  So if you are looking for ultimate salvation you had better look elsewhere than science.

[1] Some want to overcome it and others want to worship it.

A letter to a Christian Science Teacher

A letter to a Christian Science Teacher

Your interpretation of the Bible seems to align with those that you dislike i.e. fundamentalist, and your defense of science seems to contradict your statement that it is not a religion.  You defend science as though it is your religion and the way you defend it seems to be a little over the top. If you view it simply as a method of finding the truth i.e. the scientific method why the big fuss. No one disagrees with the scientific method. The question is do scientists really follow the scientific method? I personal think not. The scientific method is used pretty much to make the scientific community respectable and they keep it as law about as well as the Jews kept the Law of Moses and Christians the commandments of Jesus.

I think it is self-evident that in many people’s minds science has become a metaphysical concept, which goes way beyond people in white jackets applying the scientific method to their research.  Science has become the authority that people appeal to in a secular atheistic culture and in this, for many science has evolved into a new religion which has been labeled “scientism”. It used to be that people would appeal to the Bible or the church as the authority for their statements. “The Bible says so or the church says so” now it is nothing but science says.  For many in our culture the only knowledge that has not been debunked and found useless is that which is called science.  Of course, this is nonsense; however it is fostered by many in the scientific community.

To me there is far more truth in a good work of art than in most scientific theories or more power in a song than all the science in the world. Science has given us many toys and made life easier in some ways, but I think it has not given many people meaning, peace of mind, joy or love. In fact, many scientists are arrogant jackasses.  “Knowledge puffs up love builds up”. Science does not teach this the Bible does. Moreover, the false god of science has taken us to the very edge of the abyss. It has given evil men the power to take away our humanity and turn us in to machines. The state is already using it to manipulate the herd in any direction it wishes. Science is now the handmaid of the state as religion was a century ago.  I personally, value my freedom more than comfort, ease, and pleasure which science promises.  To me science is like religion, it is human and therefore needs to be criticized and critiqued often.  The power that it has is equal to that of religion and is therefore one of the powers that the Bible speaks about as being oppressive to human beings.  Remember that our battle is not with flesh and blood but rather with the metaphysical principalities and powers.  Those heavenly powers have their counterpart on this earth and science as metaphysics is one of them. What do you think stands behind the metaphysical concept of science?

The way I see it, science is the false god of many worldly people and even some that profess Christ. It promises them salvation if they will give it their money and commitment.  It promises health and wealth to all that follow it. It claims to be able to predict the future (global warming), something the Bible says only God can do. Not only does it claim to know the future, it also claims it can control it. It also boasts of its miracles of healing and its signs and wonders. To me this sounds a little like the antichrist in the book of Thessalonians and surely sounds a lot like false religion and not true science. Of course, I think science is what you make of it, but for many they have made it their faith and religion.

Remember what the apostle Paul says, “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders,  and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie  and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness (2 Thess 2:8-12).

Am I saying that science is the antichrist? Absolutely not , but when used and controlled by bad men it become as dangerous as religion that is controlled by bad men. Like religion it can empower evil men which use their power to oppress humanity.

“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).

 

 

 

Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

Extraordinary evidence

Carl Sagan said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”  The problem with this is that Sagan does not define what would constitute an extraordinary claim[1] or what would represent extraordinary evidence.  So, no matter what evidence you give the skeptic he will simply say it is not evidence or it is not extraordinary evidence.  The skeptic then becomes the judge of what is evidence, what is not evidence, and what is extraordinary evidence.  From this simple observation I would have to conclude that evidence is for the seeker or for a person who has the will to believe.  A seeker or a person who has a will to believe is surely not a person who has a prior commitment to skepticism.

 

Usually, what the skeptic wants is absolute or overwhelming evidence.  In other words he wants you to beat him into submission.  Of course, this is a requirement and condition that many skeptics only apply to the existence of God.  For example, many of them believe in the string theory and the existence of aliens, both of which have no evidence at the present time, yet they believe these highly speculative theories.  So, what is the difference between these  beliefs and the belief in a deity?  These theories seem to be extraordinary claims, which means they should all have extraordinary evidence to prove them.  However, they have none and yet they are believed.  This is said not to disagree with Carl Sagan but rather to show the inconsistencies of skeptics and their bias towards faith in God.  Many of them have a prior commitment to materialism and atheism[2].

We also need to point out that you can prove very little to a person who has a will to doubt.  René Descartes the famous French philosopher believed that you could only prove to yourself your own existence.  Thus his famous statement, “I think therefore I am”[3].  When people demand proof before they will believe something, they are asking for a lot.  Proof and evidence seem to be somewhat in the eyes of the beholder.  Absolute proof cannot be given, because a person could claim that the thing to believe, or the evidence, is an illusion or that we live in a matrix where everything is not real.  On the other hand, there seems to be room for different degrees of evidence which point to the truthfulness of something.  There can be circumstantial evidence which is inferred from other things and there can be eyewitness evidence.

However, I do believe there is some extraordinary evidence for the existence of God.  That extraordinary evidence comes in the form of miracles.  By miracles I mean something that cannot be explained by natural causes or by the laws of nature.  When we use the word miracle we also are inferring that the things that we are talking about are very rare or only happened once in the history of the universe.  These miracles are (1) That something came from nothing. (2) That part of the something was alive. (3) That some of the living stuff had consciousness (4) That something which was alive changed into something else.

Let’s look at each one of the above.  First, that something came from nothing.[4]  This miracle happened when the universe came into existence.  Science refers to this event as the big bang theory.  If you wanted a detailed explanation of what happened in the big bang, you need to go to science.  If you go to the book of Beginnings (Genesis) it simply says in  concise speech, “In the begin God created the heavens and earth”.  In this we find that the something came not from nothing, but was rather created by a something (God).  For the how of that, you would have to go back to science again.

My question is this, what is more of extraordinary claim.  That God, an intelligent being, created the heavens and the earth or the claim of the naturalist atheist, that something came from nothing.  If you believe that something came from nothing please send me your extraordinary evidence.

The second miracle is that a part of the something that was created is alive.  When we look at the universe, its order and its complexity, we must stand in awe not only of the universe but also of the fact that there is life in it.  Life is a miracle and there is no evidence  of life coming out of nonlife today[5]. That secures the creation of life a place among miracles of miracles.

The third miracle is that some of the living stuff had consciousness; certainly we are talking about the existence of man.  The fact that the universe gave birth to a conscious being like man is an extraordinary happening beyond imagination.  There is one thing that is more miraculous than consciousness  and it is that conscious beings could believe that consciousness came from unconsciousness.

The fourth miracle is that something that was alive, changed into something else.  Yes, I am talking about evolution or continuous development.  Did you ever think about how much of a miracle, evolution is?  In essence the universe and life does not exist but it is becoming and we do not know what it is becoming.  Some say it is dying, but I don’t think so.  I think it is simply changing, growing and maturing.  Could it be evolving toward the omega point?

A part of this growth and development is still another miracle which was the resurrection of Christ into a higher life form, or the new being.  His resurrection was the last evolution of mankind into his final and complete form.  In his pre-resurrection form he was called “a root out of dry ground” which expressed the unlikelihood of his existence.  His existence like the other miracles was a onetime happening that is hard to explain.  In his death and resurrection he demonstrates something coming from nothing, something that was dead coming to life, and something changing from one state to another and becoming something else.  In this, he is the one that all existence points to. As scripture reads, “He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end”.  He is the over man of Nietzsche or the omega man who is over all of creation.

I know that all of these miracles can be explained away by materialists and their tall tale of naturalism.  They tell an unbelievable story of how these things happened and then declare the story as evidence that all these miracles just happened naturally without an intelligent guide behind it.  In other words they were just accidents.  It is up to the reader to choose what they will believe.  Accidents or miracles?

[1] Sagan being an atheist or at best an agnostic only used this criteria when talking about religious questions. He seemed to have no problem with the speculative theories of physics, i.e. string theory, big bang theory and black holes. All of which are based on very thin scientific evidence. Sagan is a classic example of scientific bias, which comes from a prior commitment to materialism.

[2]  Richard Lewontin (evolutionary geneticist), s,” hints at this predisposition and bias when he says “[The public] take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.” “Billions and Billions of Demons,” page 31 Quota in Never Pure by Shapin Steven

[3] A statement by the seventeenth century philosopher René Descartes. “I think; therefore I am” was the end of the search Descartes conducted for a statement that could not be doubted. He found that could not doubt that he himself existed, as he was the one doing the doubting in the first place. In Latin (the language in which Descartes wrote), the phrase is “Cogito, ergo sum.”

[4] “A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing” By Lawrence M. Krauss is an attempt to explain the universe without God  or a first cause. The book is a disappointment, for the nothing that it propounds that the universe came from, turns out to be a something.   Jan 1, 2013 by Lawrence M. Krauss and Richard Dawkins

[5] There was a time when some scientists believed in spontaneous generation, however, this theory was disproven by Louis Pasteur when he established beyond a shadow of a doubt that spontaneous generation is impossible under present day conditions. Even if science were to create life in the laboratory, it would only confirm that the lesser comes from the greater. For such an experiment would show that it took consciousness to arrange the elements to make life.  In 1953 the Miller-Urey experiment created some of the chemical ingredients that are found in basic life forms.  However, these scientists’ claim that they had done this by reproducing early earth conditions has been proven false.  Plus, it is basically a false presupposition that they created life.  A few of the building blocks of life is not life.  A few bricks are not a house.  Even if science were to create life in the laboratory, it would only confirm that the lesser comes from the greater.  For such an experiment would show that it took consciousness to arrange the elements to make life.

 

The Nothingness that is Something

The Nothingness that is Something

What is the nothingness that is outside space-time, i.e. that which was before space-time existed? You might be saying hold on, you can’t speak about nothingness, because nothingness means nothing. Does it? Does not the law of causality say that something cannot come from nothing and that the cause must be equal to or greater than the effect. So, when we say that something came from nothing are we not violating the law of causality? Yes, that is why reason will take us to a something instead of a nothing. And it is science that gives us insight to what this something is like.

What do we know about the nothingness that is outside space-time? If we accept the law of causality, we also have to accept that whatever the universe came from, must be greater than the universe. This tell us something about the prime mover; It, He or She must be extremely powerful. So powerful that It is beyond a humans capacity to understand and articulate. This deduction is based on the fact that anything in which existence came out of, must have had its origin in the prime mover. This means that everything, to some degree, was somehow a part of this prime mover before space-time existed. Therefore everything that exists, existed in Him and came forth from Him in some way.

Therefore, whatever we see or experience in the creation was in some form a part of the prime movers consciousness before the beginning of time–space and this constitutes a part of his nature. The implications of this are staggering. Since we see in the creation a mind, or consciousness, this would necessitate, based on the law of causality, that the prime mover would possess consciousness far superior to everything in the creation, for the creation cannot be greater than the creator. We might refer to the consciousness of the prime mover as super consciousness. What would super consciousness encompass? For one thing, it would include super knowledge. We could say it was all knowing; for the essence of all things was designed, created and made by its consciousness.

On the other hand, nothingness is the void created when something is removed, or it is the absence of something. For example, darkness is the absence of light, darkness in itself is nothingness. In like manner, evil is the absence of good and it is equal to anarchy or chaos. Chaos is the absence of order or you could say the absence of law. The reason the universe is a cosmos and not a chaos is the fact that there are laws that govern it[1].

Because there are laws in the universe we can also know that this super consciousness is principled and creates laws to govern all things. These laws reflect the very nature of the uncreated one. There is no corner of the universe that is not controlled by his laws. This is the reason and the grounds or foundation on which we reason, do science and mathematics. Without the first principle of philosophy, which states that the world is an orderly place governed by principles or laws, there would be no reasoning, science or mathematics. It is unbelievable that some mindless force would create these laws. If there are laws then there must be an intelligent being that created them. It would follow that because there are principles and law, there has to be a something and not nothingness.

Some have responded by saying that they can believe in a super consciousness, but not in one that has a personality[2]. But why not? If that quality that we call personality exists, which we know it does for we each share in it, why would not a super consciousness have a super personality and even the emotions associated with personality. Emotions like super love which would be the complete negation of hate and fear. Of course, super personality and how it is integrated with super consciousness would be impossible for humans to understand seeing we cannot understand our own consciousness, personality and emotions.

Science tells us that there are four forces in nature; gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear forces. However, there is one that they have missed. That force is life. All life is a force that acts on the material world and can copy the prime mover by making decisions and acting on them. In the Greek language the word for this life force is called spirit. We know that all living things have a life force that animates them and gives them the unique thing that we call life. Because there is life we know that the prime mover must be in itself the giver and very essence of life. As the prime mover does not exist, for he is existence. He likewise does not have life, but rather he is life or spirit. It is interesting to note that Jesus said that God is spirit not a spirit[3]. We might interpret spirit as a life force that has personality.

From the above we can gather that super personality and super consciousness is beyond our understanding and beyond our languages ability to explain. It is beyond dispute that we cannot comprehend the Wholly Other but we can apprehend Him by studying the things revealed about him in His creation, this includes the study of nature. From a biblical perspective this would especially include man for the Scriptures say that man was created in the image and likeness of the super consciousness.

[1] The law of causation is being question by some scientists that are trying to justify their materialistic worldview.

[2] I do not believe in a personal God that does my personal bidding. However, I do believe in a super consciousness that knows how many hairs are on my head.

[3] John 4:24.

What Do Rocks on The Ground Prove?-Evolution and The Fossil Record

What Do Rocks on The Ground Prove?

Evolution and The Fossil Record

 

One huge problem with Darwinian evolution is not the theory itself but rather those evolutionists who believe it and who say the evidence for it is in the fossil record. However, when asked about the anomalies and other problems with the fossil record, they will say the problem is that the earth tends to erase its history and therefore the fossil record is not complete, which may be true. But if the fossil record is complete enough to say that Darwin’s evolution is a fact[1], it seems it should be complete enough to answer the anomalies and other problems that the fossil record presents. The truth is that evolutionists have made so many claims about the fossil record that it hard to know the truth from fiction. The truth is that fossils are just like rocks lying on the ground. The narrative that you give to explain them comes partially from preconceived ideas, one’s imagination, and one’s indoctrination. However, absolute knowledge of how they actually got there is unknowable unless you were there to witness it, and the only way you could get that kind of knowledge is to create a time machine to carry you back in time so you could witness those past events. The problem is that for many evolutionist the narrative has become the facts and the evidence in itself. In other words the map has become the territory.

The other day I saw a truck dumping a pile of rocks on the ground. I wonder what the explanation of this event would look like 10,000 years after a great ice age had erased human history, a time when there were no dump trucks. How do you think the rocks would be explained? Do you think mankind would just throw up their hands and say there are no answers to the rock pile, or would they come up with a convoluted story? What kind of story would they come up with if they were told they could not make any appeal to intelligence of any kind, and that they would have to explain it totally by citing natural causes?

Let’s take my illustration of stones on the ground and analyze it using the scientific method. The question would be: How did the stones get on the ground? For the fun of it, let’s use some real stones. Let’s look at the rocks at Stonehenge, which is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England. The fact is that these stones are sitting on the ground in an orderly fashion in Wiltshire, England. With this observation, we have the facts that there are rocks on the ground and they are arranged in an orderly fashion. Next comes the question: How did the rocks get there? Then we would have to come up with a hypothesis or a guess of how they got there. Well, because they are arranged in an orderly way, we would think it safe to infer that an intelligent creature was involved in placing them on the ground. Of course, that is an assumption, something which we had inferred from the order and design of Stonehenge. So this data that points to design would rule out any hypothesis that an act of nature alone placed them there, or at least it makes it highly improbable. Therefore, we could eliminate the theory that stones were placed by glaciers, volcanoes, or the shifting of the earth. Now, I have heard a few hypotheses about those stones and how they were placed on the ground. (1) They were placed by a deity. (2) An alien life form from space placed them on the ground. (3) Lastly, somehow ancient man placed them on the ground through some method as yet unknown. All these theories have one thing in common. They all have an element of intelligence built into them based on the intelligent order of the stones.[2].

Now, here is the problem. The Stonehenge stones are prehistoric. In other words, they were placed before recorded history began. There are no written records of how they got there and there are no witnesses left alive that were present at their placing. This means that if I put together a narrative or a story of how these stones came to sit on the earth the way they do; it would have to come from my imagination more than the facts, for the facts end with their existence and their orderly placement. They have no story to tell other than they exist in their order. If I am good at spinning a story with graphic details, one could write a textbook and even make a movie of how the stones were set on the earth. If I was really good, I could come up with a whole scientific scenario which would explain how they got where they are, but no matter how detailed or graphic the story was, it still would only be a story made up by my imagination. However, if the story was told enough times by people, others would begin to believe the story to be a fact. It still would be only a myth. You see, man is incorrigibly gullible and will fall for a good story every time. In fact, the more unbelievable the story, the more likely they will fall for it. The bigger the lie, the more believable it becomes. The reason for this is that people cannot believe that anyone would have the arrogance and audacity to tell such a story.

What about applying the scientific method[3] to discover the truth about the stones? The scientific method will not work for the question of how the stones got there for two reasons. Though the facts can be observed (the rocks on the ground), the way they got there cannot be observed, and the scientific method requires the observation of the thing being studied or questioned.[4] The question is how the rocks got on the ground. You can observe the rocks on the ground, but you cannot observe how they got there, for it was a onetime happening, which took place before recorded history and cannot be observed. Therefore, the scientific method cannot be applied. The scientific method also requires experimentation to verify one’s hypothesis. There is no experiment that could reproduce the erection of the stones. How could there be, seeing as we know nothing of how they were first erected? We could bring in equipment, e.g., bulldozers, excavators, and cranes and reproduce the site, but this would not be re-creating the original erection or construction method. The new model that we erect would prove nothing more than the original facts, i.e., that there are stones on the ground and that an intelligent being erected them. In view of this, we have to conclude that any hypothesis about how Stonehenge was constructed would be nothing more than a guess and would not be science and could never be called a fact of science.

To say that the knowledge we have of Stonehenge is not based on science is not earthshaking, but what if we apply the same logic to the fossil record? The truth is that fossils are like the stones of Stonehenge. They’re just there. In themselves, they have no story to tell other than the one we read into them. And what story do we read into them? It is a story that was popularized by Charles Darwin; one he created without any scientific evidence that natural selection had ever produced a new species.[5] Darwin had heard these stories of how evolution happened from his father and grandfather all of his life. When he sailed to the islands on the ship H.M.S. Beagle, he did not go as an unbiased bystander, but rather as man on a quest to prove a preconceived idea. He surely did not come to his conclusion by the scientific method nor did the scientific community of his day which accepted his theories without any evidence. Their beliefs in his story came out of a need to tie together or complete a naturalistic way of looking at everything. The result was that the scientific method was completely ignored when it came to the new science of evolution. It was given a pass because the only other explanation would be God, which the scientific community could not accept. Necessity is the mother of invention and we can add, it is the mother of some unbelievable stories.

Another example of a tall tale is the story of the caveman, which is used to support the evolution story or could it be that the evolution story is used to support the caveman story? Either way, it goes something like this: Once upon a time there were hairy ape-like creatures that lived in caves in Europe and elsewhere. The caveman creature was the ancient ancestor of modern man but quite primitive in his morals and mating practices. The caveman was less intelligent than we are and secured his food by hunting. He painted pictures on the walls of his caves, and we know that he knew how to use primitive tools because we have found them in caves with some of his remains. He was so different from us that he was not the same species and could not interbreed with us Homo sapiens.[6]

How much of the caveman lore is based on science and how much is based on the preconceived idea of progressive evolution read into the fossil evidence? The facts that are based on science, which can be proven, are very few. The actual facts tell us that there were some men in the past who sometimes inhabited caves. However, there are probably more living in caves today than there were then. At least some of these prehistoric men used tools and could draw pictures. That’s it for the science. The rest of what you have learned about cavemen is fiction and came from the fertile imagination of those who could spin a fine tale.

Here are a few things that are based on modern man’s assumptions, which in turn are based on our belief in progressive evolution. The caveman was less intelligent than we are. He had a lot of hair all over his body, a protruding jaw, huge eye sockets, a large sloping forehead, all of which is actually the description of one of my neighbors. Maybe my neighbor is the missing link. Back to the unscientific gibberish. He was a brute and forcibly mated with the females of his species. He carried around a club to subdue the females. He was a polygamist and had a herd of females with whom he mated. He lived permanently in caves. In actuality, this sounds like a want-to-be list for a lot of American males.

But did he really live in caves or were they just temporary shelters in severe weather, or were they places of worship? Could they have been safe places for woman and children? Could the picture on the walls of the caves have been done by children, like children write on the walls of their bedrooms as my children did? I know, for I had to clean the writing off. Could caves have been a burial ground like the Pyramids in Egypt, a stronghold in time of war, or maybe a nursery for the kids?

All this was said about cavemen to point out there are many things we assume to know, which in truth, we are actually quite ignorant of. It would seem that much of what we call science and history is nothing but speculations drawn from our imaginations and presented as facts.[7] We tend to blindly trust the system of authority which teaches these things without anyone questioning the source of its facts and its interpretation of the facts. These authorities propagate their assumptions by setting themselves up in privileged positions of authority in our universities and schools, leaving the impression that they have special access to the truth, which sounds a little like priest craft to me.

The answer is for us to start asking a similar question as the one which God asked Adam: “Who told you that?” We need to ask this question to ourselves and of other men we are listening to. This includes those in our universities. We also need to learn how to distinguish or discern the difference between the facts and people’s interpretation of the facts. You will find that this is very difficult for most people and involves a great deal of thought and practice.

[1] Evolution is a fact, you see it taking place everywhere in the creation. However, Darwinian evolution is not a fact but only a theory.

[2] What would you say of a discipline or men who told you to ignore the design and come up with a theory of how the stones got there without making any appeal to intelligent design? Is not design in this case a self-evident truth?

[3] The scientific method is a systematic system used by scientists to logically form their conclusions. (1) Frame a question. (2) Collect the data. (3) Create a hypothesis. (4) Do experiments. (4) Make observations. (5) Try to falsify the hypothesis. (6) Publish your findings to the community for review.

[4] Hypotheses without tests are no more than cocktail party chatter and are without value except perhaps as entertainment. They are not science. (My emphasis) Henry Gee, Deep Time Henry Gee is a senior editor at Nature. He holds a PhD in Zoology from Cambridge.

[5] The Road of Science and the Ways to God by Stanley L. Jaki Page 282, the University of Chicago Press.

[6] This has just been debunked by DNA studies at Harvard. Harvard Gazette, January 29, 2014.

[7] Henry Gee in his book Deep Time gives a realistic history of what we know and what we don’t know about the history of the earth.

I Believe (An essay on science and faith)

Author:  Skip Reith

Date:  9/26/2015

I Believe

I believe!  These two little words contain a lot of power.  These two little words are also misused, misunderstood, abused, and often ridiculed.  What do we mean when we say I believe?  That is what I will explore today.

Belief is that understanding a person has when they analyze and process all of the facts and information they have on a particular subject.  Belief can come from direct observation (I’ve been to New York so I believe it exists); or belief can come from indirect information – that is from an authority on the subject (I’ve never been to Tokyo, but I believe it exists because I have been told by maps and people who have been there that it exists).

One important note before I continue.  When I use the term authority here, I am not talking about some governmental organization.  I am talking about an expert on the subject whose knowledge, skill, and background gives them a special place in the hierarchy of understanding on the subject.  An authoritative source is one step up from an expert.  If the authoritative source is a person then that source not only is an expert, but that person also has a breadth and depth of knowledge around the main subject that allows them broad understanding on the subject.  If the source is not a person, then the source is complete and detailed.  For example, a professional astronomer with 30 years experience is an authority on astronomy.  The complete body of written papers and books on astronomy is an authoritative source on the subject.  In addition, an authority on the subject is one that other people agree and believe is an authority on the subject.  Is possible to think a person is an authority on a subject when they are actually not an expert and may have little knowledge in the subject.  (This technique is used all of the time by advertisers.  They get a famous person to promote their product.  Since people know the authority of the famous person’s specialty, they subconsciously assign authority to this other, advertised subject as well.)

Let’s look at belief in more detail.  Belief and knowledge are similar, but not identical.  Belief is your understanding of a situation, but you may not be able to prove that understanding to another.  Knowledge is a direct understanding of something that you can easily prove.  I know one plus one equals two and I can prove it in a number of ways, including demonstrating the summation with two pennies.  I know New York exists (or at least it did) because I was there.  I cannot prove its existence now because I am not there.  I can show evidence of my trip (pictures and souvenirs) but until I go back I can’t definitively prove its existence.  So, at the moment I believe that New York exists.  My belief in the existence of Tokyo is indirect.  My only proof is the maps and pictures I have seen of Tokyo.  If someone does not accept the authority of my proofs then they will not believe in Tokyo.

Science is the attempt to quantify beliefs and turn them into provable knowledge while authenticating the proofs.  The scientific method (described in my Observation – Applying the Scientific Method to Religion) is a disciplined approach to proving an understanding and turning belief into knowledge.  For example, I could apply the scientific method and fly to Tokyo and prove to myself that it exists, turning my belief into knowledge.

The problem with science is that it can only prove physical things.  It can prove the existence of matter and the existence of something called gravity, and so on.  It can dig out the understanding of how things function and explain the interactions of various objects.  Science also has beliefs, but to make it sound more important, scientists call those beliefs theories.  The scientific method attempts to prove that the theories are correct and to expand the understanding and details of those theories.

Science cannot prove strictly personal items.  It is not possible to weigh love, measure directly satisfaction, or count hate.  It is not even possible to directly analyze pain.  Scientists try to measure these strictly personal objects, but everything science does with these items is indirect.  For example, a doctor may ask you your pain level on a scale of 1 to 10, but that is a subjective measure and not an objective measure.  It is impossible for the doctor to measure directly your pain level.  The doctor cannot get a scale out and weigh your pain.  Even brain scans and EEG measurements do not measure pain they just measure physiological response to nerve stimulation.  Your awareness of pain is greater and more personal than the physiological response.

Consider, for example, love.  I know that I love my wife, son, step children, grandchild, dog, cats, and so on.  I cannot prove that love, except by my actions and that is just indirect.  No one could take out a ruler and measure my love.  Science cannot apply the scientific method to my love in such a way that others could know definitively my love.  Love is completely and utterly personal.

It is impossible for one person to know directly what another person feels.  Even if we could hook two people’s brains together, they still could not know each other’s feelings because our emotions, our response to external stimulations, our core being is determined by every experience we have had up to that point.  Since no two people follow the same path in life, no two people experience emotions the same way.  This puts love in the belief column.  Although I KNOW I love my family, I cannot prove it.  So ultimately, I can only say I believe in my love.

Others may believe that I do, in fact, love my family.  Others experience love themselves, and even though they do not have the same feelings towards my family as I do, they understand that those feelings exist.  Sometimes people may not understand why that particular feeling exists (“how is possible that people actually loved Hitler”), but they understand that there is such feelings.

What about stuff that many people may not experience directly?  What about, for example, spiritual experiences that many people may never encounter.  If something like love cannot be quantized or measured and therefore are not subject to the scientific method, something like spiritual experiences are even further removed from science.  If we cannot prove our love to another, when that other person also experiences love, how can we prove spirituality and religious belief to someone who has never undergone that experience?  It is at this point that ridicule and disbelief occur.

If a person cannot understand directly a spiritual belief of another and has no indirect proof, then that person is faced with a problem.  If the unbeliever (atheist) accepts that the other has had a spiritual experience, then that means the atheist is deficient in some manner.  Unless the atheist wants to admit this deficiency (which is rare) they then have to take the second path – trying to prove the other person’s beliefs are false.  Yet, spiritual experiences are not something you can measure.  It is not possible for the atheist to get out a scale and say “see your belief does not measure up!”  The attack on spiritual and religious knowledge must take different approaches.

One approach is the strawman approach.  In this approach, the atheist constructs a strawman; that is, they liken the religious belief to some other, more tangible belief, and then attack the strawman.  For example, someone could say that the belief in God is like the belief in Santa Claus.  Since we all know Santa Claus does not exist, it is obvious that God does not exist.  This argument fails on many dimensions.

Santa Claus is a belief children develop because they accepted their parents and adults as an authority on the subject.  The adults lied to the children (we hide that fact by calling it a fantasy or a story, but it is still a lie).  The children have no other source, so they accept the adult’s authority.  They believe in the existence of Santa Claus on authority of the lying adults.  Once the children grow old enough to perform an independent validation, they uncover the lie.  Their belief changes because they have new facts and data.

An atheist saying that belief in God is like a belief in Santa Claus is actually saying that belief in God is like a belief in a lie that some authority told you.  This may hold for children and extremely gullible people, but it does not hold for discerning, open minded adults who have directly experienced God.  In addition, the believer has additional proof of God that the believer in Santa Claus does not have.  There are corroborating historical documents that validate some of the religious writings.  There is the fact that millions of people have died for their belief – something that has not happened over the belief in Santa Claus.  More importantly, the belief in God is open to everyone, and everyone can run the religious experiment.  That is, each person has the opportunity to follow the authoritative sources on God and see the results for themselves.

The other approach an atheist can try to discredit a religious belief is to claim that science has never proved God exists and they only believe in science.  Before I get into what science can and cannot prove I have to address this belief in science.  Science has brought a lot of knowledge and understanding to the world.  Science has enabled a lot of engineering and technology that brings enhanced medicines, labor saving devices, and so on.  (It also enhanced war, pollution, oppression, and other ills, but we don’t need to go there for our current discussion.)  So, saying you believe in science seems reasonable.  The problem is most people have no idea what they are talking about or what they believe in when they say they believe in science.

First off, almost everything we call science these days is actually engineering.  Computers, cell phones, air planes, medicines, surgical procedures, cars, TVs, and on and on are all engineering feats.  For the most part, the science on these things is done behind closed doors and people never see the actual science.  Most people wouldn’t even know the scientific method if it hit them in the face.  So, what people are really saying when they say they believe in science is that they believe in the technology they have and they believe the authoritative sources that they are exposed to who proclaim the greatness of science.

Let’s look at those authoritative sources.  In most countries a major part of scientific research is funded by the government.  Research gets published in journals, but most people have never even seen a scientific journal, let alone read one.  Even though scientists publish, the publication is controlled by a review from scientific peers.  The government controls what scientists investigate through funding, and therefore control what scientists understand and believe.  I will point out that the government is controlled by politicians and bureaucrats not scientists or even people with a scientific background.

People’s exposure to science first comes about in school.  The classes are taught by the teachers, who are managed by administrators, and the whole thing is controlled and regulated by the government.  A lot or research and enhanced scientific advances come from universities.  Universities get a major part of their funding either directly (through grants) or indirectly (through tuition) that is paid by the government.  Other sources of scientific information and “discovery” comes from governmental agencies like NASA, national science foundation, food and drug administration, US department of agriculture, the atomic energy commission and its various follow on agencies, the department of defense, environmental protection agency, national weather service, US geological survey, and on and on.

Some people are exposed to science through things like public television.  Public TV gets a majority of their funding from the government.  If you perform a review of a lot of “scientific” articles on public media you will find that a lot comes from some governmental source (like NASA). Non-governmental entities, like the Discovery Channel may present “scientific documentaries” but these are often sensationalized stories.  Interestingly enough, many of the critics of these documentaries are government funded agencies and government supported public media.

So, when a person says they believe in science, they are really saying that they believe in the government.  The government is controlled and run by politicians, and we all know that politicians lie, cheat, twist the truth, hide information, and do whatever they can to remain in power.  Since most people have no direct experience with science, then when an atheist says they believe in science what they are saying is that their belief is just like the belief in Santa Claus – it’s based on a lie.

As I have shown, science cannot prove or disprove love.  Science cannot measure anything that is personal.  Scientists cannot measure thoughts, feelings, ideas, responses, or any of thousands of deeply personal experiences.  Yet, we all know these are real.  Science cannot answer basic questions like why does the universe exist or what is the meaning of life?  While modern science has discovered a huge amount about the physical reality, there is way more to our existence than just the physical.

Science (as people define science, which are the physical and social sciences) cannot, and never will, be able to scientifically prove personal, internal experiences of people.  Science is limited.  So, when an atheist says they only believe in science, they are also saying that they do not believe in emotions, thoughts, ideals, creativity, art, spirituality, honor, or God.  That’s kind of a limited point of view.

When I say I believe in God, I am not saying that I believe that someone once told me God exists and I accept their authority on the subject.  I say I believe because I have personal knowledge that I have tested using the scientific method.  I have investigated life with and without God.  I have researched God, the authoritative writings, and talked with people who I feel are experts on the subject (both for and against).  I have weighed all of the evidence and data and I have found that the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of believing that God exists.

I cannot prove God’s existence.  I cannot pull out a photograph of God or take out my telescope and show you God.  However, I have looked deep inside myself and have found God there, waiting for me.  I cannot force you to believe.  I can only say that if you run the experiment – that is, if you follow the teachings of an authoritative source on religion and God, then you too may experience God in a way similar to (but not exactly the same as) my experience.

I hope you do.  I hope that you run the experiment and prove to yourself the existence of God.  However, if you instead try to hide behind science and use science as a shield, you will find that the shield is very small indeed and not much protection against larger truths.

Searching For God

Searching For God

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.  And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.  From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, We are his offspring.’  “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone-an image made by man’s design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. Acts 17:24-30

In mans search for God, one of the big questions is, where do we start? Traditionally we start with God and our discussion would center on God or religion. But is God really where we should begin? Wouldn’t it  be more logical to look at the material which we know best? And is not that material, humanity?

If we start with God, we end up judging God by human standards and man’s reasoning, as though we ourselves were gods or as though we believe we have enough knowledge to make a sound judgment of Him. In this, we are saying that God’s existence depends on him  yielding to our criteria. Therefore, the biggest problem by starting with God is that as soon as we put him on trial, we have implied a number of  assumptions. We have assumed that we have the right to judge the creator, which infers that we have the authority, power and knowledge to do so.  We also assume that our reasoning is accurate enough to make a judgment on God. However, when human reason is put on trial, we will likely find her to be a sick lady; sick with finiteness and sin. So, what does she have to say of God that cannot be questioned?

Then again, if we start with man, there are two hypotheses that we can begin with. The first one is;  man is a creature that is purely an accident and the result of natural causes. Who over time has evolved into the creature that we know today. Then there is the theistic hypothesis; that man was somehow created by a deity, then something happened to the experiment and it went awry.

In this article, we are going to assume that the Christian or God hypothesis is correct, which would mean that man was created by a deity and something went awry. In tradition theology this is referred to as the fall of man. If this hypothesis is true, our attention should turn away from judging God, to cross-examining and judging mankind. In this view, humanity should be put on trial and be held accountable for its beliefs and its unbelief.

Now, if the Christian hypothesis is true, what should we expect to see? To begin with we should expect to see a creation (beginning) of all things, including man.  It also seems logical to think that we should see in a humanity created by God, an  intimate awareness of God, which would include a universal knowledge to some degree of good and evil.  It would mean that man as the image bearer of God would have a consciousness that was capable of choosing good or evil. It would also entail God creating a universe that is orderly and predictable based on laws, which a finite being like man could trust, in conducting and ordering his life.

Let us start with the latter quality, the habitat of man must be orderly, predictable and based on law in order for man to survive. When we look at the earth and universe that is exactly what we find. Now, if there were no God and the earth was an accident would we expect to find order or would we expect to find chaos?  However, when we look at the universe we do not find chaos or disorder. We find the laws of nature, which are immutable, giving man a perfect habitat to live in. These laws infer a law giver. The law and order of the universe is exactly what one would expect to find if a consciousness had created the universe.  It is this law and order in the universe that allows us to do science or philosophy. Without the consistency of the laws of nature reason would not work.

What about the hypothesis that mankind has an innate awareness of God? To begin with the Christian hypothesis proclaims beyond question that mankind as a whole has been given an awareness of the uncreated God. The apostle Paul says, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles” (Rom 1:19-23). The text infers that when men rejected this revelation of God’s existence that their reasoning and behavior become corrupted. The scripture does not reveal how their reasoning was corrupted, nor to what extent, it simply says that it happens when men reject God. However, it does seem that the text is pointing more to a corporate occurrence, rather than an individual one.

Is there secular evidence to support a universal revelation or consciousness of a higher power or cosmic order?  In actuality there is, however without any evidence it seems to be a self-evident truth that mankind in general is homo-religious, i.e. by his very nature he seems to be religious[1].  Religion is simply an outward symbol of a belief or an awareness of something that transcends this dimension[2]. The universal presence of religion is  strong evidence that God has revealed himself to all men, and that mankind has often neglected, rejected it or corrupted it. The scripture says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt. They do abominable deeds, there is none that does good.” (Psalms 14:1) In this passage the writer put everyone who does wicked deeds in the category of being an atheist.

In biblical times being an atheist had more to do with behavior than beliefs. Very few would have denied the existence of God or the gods in the ancient world. Modern atheism arose out of modern mans rebellion against the catholic Church and it misuse of power. It took its organized form in humanism and later in liberalism. Both philosophies are centered in rejecting any authority of man or God. The roots go deep into anarchy and rebellion against authority.

In addition, there is also a study done by Oxford University Psychologist Dr. Olivera Petrovich,  who demonstrates that children around the world are hardwired to believe in God as creator.  One of her conclusions is that “Atheism is definitely an acquired position.” Petrovich research is keeping with Steven Pinker’s study of human nature, in which he confirms that human beings are not born as a blank slate, but rather are hard wired in a number of ways[3].

Closely connected with an innate awareness of God, we should expect an innate sense of right and wrong if God created everything. What’s more, when we turn to the world that is exactly what we find. We find a sense of right and wrong everywhere. Of course, the naturalist will argue that morality is a creation of human reason and evolved over time.  However, in saying this they cannot produce one bit of evidence to prove their hypothesis, for they were not there to witness it.

What we have to work with today is our own experience that morality is universal and does not depend on reason alone.  Remember that Germany under the Nazis was the most intellectual culture of its day and yet it was the most barbaric.  Reason in itself does not lead to morality.   Reason needs a cornerstone from which it may lay its foundation on, to be able to reason from.

Our hypothesis infers that we should be able to pin point a beginning, or a creation where God made all things, including man in his image[4]. Well, when we turn to science it tells us that the universe had a beginning.  Scientists referred to this beginning as the ‘big bang’. The big-bang theory actually postulates that the universe came into existence out of nothing and this is exactly what you would expect if God created the heavens and earth as Genesis 1:1 teaches.  Prior to the Big-Bang theory, science taught us that the universe was steady and fixed i.e. eternal without beginning or end.

I admit that the above does not prove the existence of God, but it does show that the world in which we live is the kind of world, which we would expect to find if there was a God.

 

[1] Talcott Parsons, served on the faculty of Harvard University from 1927 to 1973. says “The view that belief in the supernatural is universal has been completely confirmed by modern anthropology. Religion is as much a human universal as language or an incest taboo, which is to say a kinship system. Any conception of ‘natural man’ who is not encumbered by such ‘cultural baggage’ belongs to fictional picture of prehistory, for which there is no solid evidence for the human, socially organized stage. The view that such ‘baggage’ ought to be dispensed with and that rational man should ‘face reality’ without any ‘superstition’ is a product of sophisticated culture, in no way true of the original human condition. Quoted in “An Interpretation of Religion by John Hick, page 21.

[2] William James speaks of this experience in his book “Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature”.

[3] The Blank Slate, The Modern Denial of Human Nature, by Steven Pinker.

[4] Here for are study, it does not matter how he did it, fast or slow.

Faith, Science And Human Knowledge

Faith, Science And Human Knowledge

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Heb 11:1-3

I often hear people say that science is based on reason and religion is based on faith. After reflecting on this for while I came to the conclusion that science and religion both have a faith component and a rational one.

First of all, let’s look at the thought process that goes on in science. The first thing we find in the making of any scientific theory is a hunch that something is true. This hunch may come from a number of sources. It may originate in the imagination of the scientist or a scientist may stumble on something by accident, which creates a curiosity. It may come through some tacit awareness, which is beyond explanation. We call this tacit awareness creativity or inspiration. Whatever it is, it is the motivation which moves the scientist to the next step of searching for evidence to  prove his hunch. When he obtains what he thinks is enough evidence; he is moved to publish his belief publicly. It is at this time that his hunch becomes a theory that the Bible calls faith. It is still a hunch, though, he now has somet evidence to support it. However, at this point the evidence is not enough to turn his hunch into fact.

In science, the hunch stage of an idea is called a hypothesis. In layman’s language, a hunch might be called an educated guess based on tacit knowledge, which would necessitate a strong element of faith. At this level of knowledge there may be  little, to no evidence to support the hunch or hypothesis, yet because of the scientists faith they continue on, looking for evidence. If they find enough evidence to support their hunch, then they will publish it for the scientific community to have their hypothesis tested. If the scientific community, through the scientific method, confirms  their belief, then the hypothesis is moved to the status of a theory.

What is a Theory? A theory is “a proposed explanation whose status is still conjecture and subject to experimentation in contrast to a well-established proposition that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact”. One of the problems with the idea of a theory is that it is hard sometimes for many people to determine the difference between a theory, and a fact. The main difference is that a fact has a large degree of certitude and the theory still has a faith element in it, though less than the hypothesis.

¶Over the course of time if a theory maintains its integrity, it will then be referred as a law; e.g. the law of gravity or the law of thermodynamics.  However, some theories may never reach the level of law because of the number of pieces missing in its explanation of the facts, or the failure of scientists to be able to apply the scientific method to the theory. There are a number of theories that the scientific method cannot be applied to, such as Darwinian evolution, which has elements that must be accepted by faith and can never be proven or disproven by empirical evidence. One of these elements is whether or not evolution is directed by a force in or outside of nature, or it is completely undirected and random.

I think it quite self-evident that science, as in all disciplines of human knowledge, has a faith element in it that is very similar to a faith in God. When a person has a real faith in God, which is not inherited from family or culture, you will basically find very similar steps as we saw in science. We see a hunch or hypothesis that there is something more than nature. The hunch may come from pondering one’s thoughts or the incredible sense of awe that comes through observing the wonders of nature, or a tacit revelation which cannot be explained.

¶The next step is for a person to begin to search for God. Now, it is important to note that at this point the hunch is not what the Bible calls faith; it is still only a hunch. However, as the person begins to look for God and the evidence begins to grow, his hunch starts to grow into faith.  His tacit hunch enables him to see more and more of the evidence for God. In this, his hunch becomes the instrument or tool which aids him in his search for God.

¶Sometimes you must believe something in order to see it. For example, scientists believed there were atoms hundreds of years before they could prove their existence. If they rejected everything because they could not see it, they would have never looked for atoms. If they had not believed, they would have never found the atom.

When does a person’s hunch, become faith?  Just like the scientist, a hunch becomes faith when it is confirmed by evidence and when it is publicly published.  In Biblical Christianity this happens when a person confesses Christ publicly by being baptize or immersed into Christ (Gal 3:26, 27)[i]. As the  evidence grows, faith continues to move through the phases of a hypothesis, a theory and then in the certitude of law, which the Bible calls the law of the Spirit of life. This is simpler to the phases of a scientific belief, which is first a hunch, then a theory and then law.

If this is all true why do people believe that science is objective and faith is subjective? First let me point out that the categories of objective and subjective are somewhat artificial. It can be established that all human thought, including science has some subjective elements. The hard and fast difference between science and theology actually came out of the struggle between the philosophers and the natural philosophers. Natural philosophers, whom we now call scientists, wanted to separate themselves from the philosophers who sought the truth by reason alone (in their minds only). The natural philosophers (scientists) believed that the search for truth needed to be proven by observation and experimentation (outside their minds in nature). So, the die was  cast for the different ways of approaching truth. In the course  of time and because of the great successes of science, science won the day and philosophy had to take second place.

But what about theology?  Where does that fit in? Well, on the surface, it appears to be more akin to philosophy than science.  However, Christian theology actually is more akin to science for it has an authority outside of the human mind. That outside authority and source of information is the Scriptures, which the faith community accepts as authoritative.  Furthermore, the faith community has a set of facts that it can observe and use to develop hypotheses and theories. In theology like science, there is a community where these theories can also be published; where they can be questioned and verified. The different between theology and science is the set of facts they are examining. Science looks at the facts of nature and gives a naturalist interpretation of the facts. The theologian looks at scripture and also gives an interpretation. Both science and theology have rules, or laws, to govern their interpretation of the facts.  Science uses the scientific method and theology uses the laws of hermeneutics. Both have laws or principles to limit arbitrary and personal interpretations.

It is self-evident that faith is a key element in the pursuit of all human knowledge. I had a friend tell me he could not even eat his wife’s stew without faith. Not only is faith the beginning of all pursuits of knowledge, it is also the thing that keeps people motivated in their quest for knowledge; once on the road faith turns into hope. It may be the hope of a religious faith or the hope of discovering a new scientific truth, but when analyzed it is simply faith.

[i]  In Gal 3:26, 27 the apostle Paul speaks of faith and baptism as synonymous with one another. In Paul faith is born in an outward action and is more than a subjective thought.

What, Why or How? On the Limits of Science

What, Why or How?

On the Limits of Science

 It seems that when you ask a naturalist a ‘what’ or ‘why’ question they usually respond  with a ‘how’ answer in return. Then they assume that they have answered your question.  An example of this practice is to propose the question; what is reason and why is there a concept we call reason? Now, the truth is that the naturalist cannot answer either of these questions. Therefore, they will respond with a lengthy and complex argument of how reason evolved through a process of natural selection[1], which they seem to think is a satisfactory answer.

Evolution in the form of a narrative seems to be the catchall explanation for all of the ‘what’ and ‘why’ questions. This seems to have replaced the ‘God of the gaps’ explanation used by some theist’s. In other words, if you cannot explain the ‘what’ or ‘why’ of something, the answer will be spun as an evolutionary tale; that will be the total explanation and nothing more needs to be said. Spin the tail and the gaps are filled.

However,  is answering any of the ‘what’ and ‘why’ questions with a ‘how’ explanation (or a narrative of its evolution), really an answer? Or is it simply begging the question by explaining how a thing developed. The truth is that evolution created nothing and therefore, it cannot ultimately explain the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of anything.

Some might  appeal to natural selection, however, for natural selection to work, something had to exist to be selected from. You say random mutations created the selections. But do mutations really create anything or do they simply change things. Did not something have to exist first, in order to be changed?  So we have entered the black hole of infinite regression where life came from nonlife and nonlife came from nothing. The theories of natural selection and random mutations is an attempt to answer a how question of how living things change and again it has nothing to do with the ‘what’ and ‘why’ questions.

This way of skirting or begging the questions of what and why is even true of some of the most basic questions of existence. What is man and why does he exist?  The Naturalist will answer invariably by answering the question with a narrative of the evolution of man, which is equal to changing the question from a ‘what’ and ‘why’ question to a ‘how’ question. By Using this method, everything is explained by the process of evolution. The story in itself becomes the evidence.  The truth is that science cannot give us a sufficient answer as to ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of man[2]. They can tell us how our bodies are formed and even what they are formed out of, but this does not answer the questions of what is man or why does he exist. The only way for the naturalist to answer these questions with science is to embrace total reductionism, which of course naturalists and atheists must do to stay consistent with their belief that there is nothing but matter.  Everything must be reduced to lifeless unconscious matter. The only alternative is for the naturalist is to quit asking the why and what question altogether, which is exactly what many of them have done.

The truth is that when it comes to ontological questions[3] science is mute and cannot speak. If its members speak, they must speak from another discipline than science.  Ontological questions are questions of philosophy and religion.

[1] If man needs reason to survive, how did he survive long enough to acquire it?

[2] Science is the study of nature as a closed system. It does not have the tools or language to study things outside of nature.     Therefore, it cannot ultimately answer the why questions without morphing into philosophy.

[3] Ontological questions are questions that deal with the origin and meaning of existence, the study of which belong to the discipline of metaphysics, which is made up of philosophers and theologians.