Archive for February 2009

Atheists Only Use Science? Don’t Fool Yourself

February 24, 2009

Every Christian who is interested in argument should learn from this example. Atheists and other non-Christians argue in this way all the time, and if we want to be effective in answering them, we must be able to spot it in action.

What I’m talking about is the hypocritical and contradictory arguments used in defense of atheism, and in offense against Christianity.

I was talking with a commenter called “RJ”, and our conversation hit a few different topics from morality, to Bible, to science.  RJ is a cordial, intelligent fellow who recognized that we are at a fundamental impasse in our conversation due to how differently we view things.  However, what RJ doesn’t realize is how contradictory the very structure of his arguments are to his stated positions.

Remember, the point here isn’t that RJ is wrong (it’s obvious that I think he is) and that I’m right (again, obviously I think I am).  The point is that RJ’s arguments are contradictory and hypocritical in their very structure, and the proving of this has nothing to do with our mutually opposite opinions.

RJ’s Standard of Belief

It’s a popular position among atheists to claim that only they have science on their side.  Truly, they believe they are the only ones who use science, especially in comparison to us crazy Young Earth Creationists.

RJ makes this point very clearly.  We were discussing a particular passage of Scripture.  When I explained my view, RJ rejected my explanation based upon the fact that he could not empirically verify my explanation:

That’s interesting. Show me your evidence to support your assertion that “this is no broad commandment from god”? Can you produce falsifiable evidence to support this claim? You’re issuing a conclusion based on what?

The point RJ is making is that since I cannot provide scientific (observable and testable) evidence for my claim about what Scripture is and is not saying, therefore my statement holds no water.

RJ goes on:

The problem here is that you are claiming absolute knowledge of the meanings of scripture.

The implication is that since reading and interpreting Scripture is not a scientific endeavor, then it is inherently flawed and untrustworthy.  RJ is pointing out the inherently unscientific nature of my Christianity which stands in stark contrast to his scientific position.  In fact, RJ makes this point more blatantly:

Ignorance of science, and knowledge in general, is a tactic used by all religions. The less the flock knows, the easier it is to convince, convert and control.

and . . .

If you argue for creation, then we reach an impasse. You rely on “faith”, a rationalization, blind to fact, and posited from a “backed into a corner” mentality.

and . . .

The ONLY way that a creator can make sense to the believer is if they ignore evidence and embrace “faith”.

The part that RJ explicitly left out, but is no less obvious, is that RJ doesn’t rely on faith, and his “no faith needed” belief system is superior because it is supported by science.

The Atheistic Hypocrisy

RJ does us all a favor and defines what he means by faith for us. 

Faith: Belief that is not based on proof

By proof he means logical proof or scientific evidence.  In fact, that is how the American Heritage Dictionary defines “faith”.

RJ’s standard of belief is scientific evidence, and RJ’s reason for rejecting my argument is that it’s based on “belief that is not based on logical proof or scientific evidence”.  That means any theological or metaphysical position that I have is inferior to his scientific position.

This is where RJ’s hypocrisy comes in.  And the worst part is, he is blind to it. 

Regarding Christianity in general, RJ says:

“Which one of the 33,800+ denominations is the right one?” You fail to address this question, BECAUSE in your mind, YOUR VERSION is the right one.

RJ’s position here is that in order for God to be a viable option, there must a be a clear “right one”.  Right or wrong, this is a theological argument. 

More importantly, it is a theological argument in support of RJ’s atheism, an atheism that is supposed to be “all science” and “no faith”.  That there must be a single “right” version for Christianity to be viable certainly falls into the category of a belief unsupported by logical proof or scientific evidence.

The hypocrisy of RJ’s position is much greater than this, however.  He says:

The problem here is that you are claiming absolute knowledge of the meanings of scripture. . .you are doing EXACTLY what EVERY believer does to RATIONALIZE your position.

RJ’s powerful argument against Christianity, that since no interpretation of Scripture is right, therefore Christianity can’t be right, is a theological and metaphysical argument.  Certainly no scientific experiment told RJ that there is no correct interpretation of Scripture.  Ironically and hypocritically RJ doesn’t allow any metaphysical or theological rebuttals because he pretends and deludes himself that he only believes what can be empirically verified. 

Since science didn’t tell RJ that there isn’t a correct interpretation of Scripture, where did he get the idea?  The idea falls directly into the definition of something that RJ takes on faith.

This hypocrisy is no where more blatant than in this statement:

You apparently don’t follow science. This is where we can easily reach an impasse.

As I’ve shown, our impasse is not due to the fact that I don’t follow science, but from RJ’s willful self-delusion that he does. 

The Atheist Paints Himself into a Corner

Let’s revisit the standard that RJ sets before himself in order to believe.  Remember that “Belief without logical proof or scientific evidence” also known as “faith” is bad.  Since this is RJ’s standard, all of the statements made above must be thrown out of RJ’s belief system.  In fact, anything that doesn’t meet strict empirical standards (observation, testing, and falsifiability) can’t be included either. 

Don’t let the atheist switch between demanding empirical evidence and yet using theological and/or metaphysical arguments.  It’s hypocrisy and should be pointed out as such.

A Self-Reflective View of Science, Theology and Metaphysics

Throughout the entirety of our conversation, RJ never stopped using metaphysical and theological arguments.  Of course, doing so isn’t bad, as I do it all the time as well.  But holding your opponents to a standard of belief (only science!) that you don’t hold yourself to is hypocritical and contradictory.  Defining “faith” as something that is inherently negative and yet ignoring the plethora of beliefs you hold to that have no “logical proof or scientific evidence” is just plain blind. 

What RJ, and the rest of atheism, needs to realize is that they use negative theological and metaphysical arguments all the time, and it is only bad if you deny doing it.

Let me ask you a question atheist:  Which is more rational?  Those that recognize the metaphysical and theological structure/substance of their arguments, or those that make those same metaphysical and theological type arguments but are ignorant that they do so?

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Shame on you, Sean Penn

February 23, 2009

Sean Penn won the Oscar for Actor in a Leading Role last night. 

I knew this was coming.  I really did.  In fact, I was surprised that “Milk” didn’t win Best Picture.  But what I wasn’t expecting was Mr. Penn’s acceptance speech.  He said,

“For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone.”

Let’s forget for a second that Sean’s argument is flawed from the beginning because being married isn’t a basic human right

The point I want to make, and why Sean Penn should be ashamed of himself, is for attempting to make those who believe differently than him feel ashamed for those beliefs.  Isn’t this what he chides Christians for doing?  Doesn’t he chide Christians for forcing their beliefs on other people?  Isn’t this what Sean did last night?

Sean is attempting to tell me what my morality should be.  He says I should feel ashamed for where my morality comes from.  Isn’t this the exact behavior that all of us should shy away from?  Sure, Sean, make your argument and vote the way you want to vote.  But don’t make people feel ashamed for what they believe, because then you become exactly like the Christians you are arguing against.

Shame on you, Mr. Penn.  And shame on the Screen Actors Guild for cheering on this hypocrisy.

Morality

February 19, 2009

The other day, I posted a video that dramatized a moral question aimed at stumping the secularist.  The idea behind the video was that since behavior is dictated by DNA, how can we call behavior moral or immoral?  The video, called “Cruel Logic” puts the question in the context of a secularist sociology professor being kidnapped, tied up, tortured (with only a stun gun, and only twice, and quickly, it’s not that bad) and asked the question, “Why shouldn’t I kill you?”

So, that’s what I did, I asked the secularists why I shouldn’t kill them, give me one good reason to act morally if my DNA is the thing deciding my actions, honestly hoping to get a few answers.  I definitely got a few answers. 

Although the answer came from several different people, and were put in a few different ways, they all said the same basic thing.  That I shouldn’t kill them because I’ll be punished by the majority of society.  First of all . . .

That’s Not An Answer To the Question

That answer falls apart when you consider that no murderer plans on getting caught.  Consequences don’t matter if no one ever knows what you did.  So future consequences are not a present deterrent to someone who thinks they won’t get caught. 

However, there is a deeper problem with this answer.  The implicit suggestion, which was made explicit by some of the commenters, is that morality is given to us by other people.  Our morality is decided upon by the other people in the society that we live in, and given to us as we grow up.  Put another way, morality is a social construction.

We’ve decided, as a society, upon what is moral and what is immoral.  Similarly, as an American society, we’ve decided that capitalism is a good thing.  Sure, there are some dissenting opinions (*cough* Obama *cough*), but in general we’ve decided that capitalism is the best choice given the other options.  Within your own family, perhaps you’ve been taught that tattoos are “bad”, this is a social construction on a smaller scale. 

The problem is . . .

We Don’t Treat Morality this Way

Social constructions are up for debate.  In our capitalism example, capitalism has a very diverse spectrum.  There on many differing valid opinions regarding capitalism and it is being used in just as many different ways in 1st-2nd world countries.  It’s pros and cons are up for debate and neither side is considered irrational as long as their reasoning is sound.

Now, if the immorality of murder was just as socially constructed as capitalism, then there would be a debate about the merits of murder.  There would be many valid dissenting opinions.  After all, social construction is just the same as saying “many people have the same opinion” or “The majority of society has decided that ____”.  A strict capitalism opinion can be just as rationally valid as a more liberal capitalism opinion.  Is that how we treat murder?  Is there a dissenting, valid opinion about whether or not murder is wrong?  Or do we have discussions about how wrong murder is?  Of course not.

The point is, if the immorality of murder was socially constructed by the opinions of billions of people, then there would be many differing opinions on murder.  And yet, that’s not the case at all is it?  The universal consensus is that murder is just plain wrong, no matter what argument is put forth.  Murder is treated and explained as a universal, absolute evil.  The secularist can argue all they want that it’s a social construction, but that’s just not how human beings act.  It doesn’t explain the obvious universal consensus that murder is wrong; a consensus that is acted upon in every culture, in every part of the world on a daily basis. 

However, if there is a universal morality Giver, then that makes sense of our human experience.  The observation that every single culture in the history of the world believes that murder is wrong is not explainable as a social construct and is only explainable by a God who gave us “murder is wrong” at birth.

I Know What You’re Going to Say

Every secularist reading this is going to point out the cultures that act badly.

“Well, the Muslim extremists think that murder is OK”

See, that’s where you’re wrong.  We’re talking about the word “murder”, not the word “jihad”, “kill”, or “war”, we’re talking about murder.  Even amongst Muslim extremists killing their own is not OK.  Even among those who kill, murder is wrong.  Even among the cannibals of the African rain forest, killing their own, murder, is wrong. 

How can their be such differing opinions on the issues of social constructions like religion and economics, yet an absolute universal law on murder in another social construction, morality?  Such universality renders the social construction explanation of morality void of real world logic.  It becomes a “just so” story that secularists have no evidence for.

Why Shouldn’t I Kill You?

February 17, 2009

That is, if my actions are determined solely by the chemical interactions in my brain, which is in turn determined by DNA, then isn’t any action I perform completely a-moral?  It isn’t right or wrong, it’s just what my DNA has me do. 

This video is a great presentation of this argument in action, and it’s potential implications.

I first saw this video over on 4Simpsons, and Neil has some interesting points on the subject.

As for me, I want to stick to the question of the video and see if anyone can answer it.  I’m honestly curious to see if there is an answer that is consistent with the atheist worldview.

So, tell me, why shouldn’t I kill you?

The Ghost of Darwin

February 12, 2009

 Two hundred years ago, in Shrewsbury England, Charles Darwin was born.  Today is Darwin’s birthday. 

Ken Ham wrote a great article that he posted today on the Answers Magazine website. 

The article is in regards to Darwin’s legacy, the world that he left behind. 

The sad part is that his legacy, Darwin’s ghost, had permeated the Church. 

Hundreds of thousands of churches around the world have adopted Darwinian evolution and reinterpreted the history in Genesis to fit with Darwin’s anti-Christian beliefs. Theistic evolution (the belief that God used evolution) has become a dominant position in much of the church in England and has spread from there around the world.

Darwin’s evolution rejects the plain, literal truth of Genesis.  The compromise the church has made has led to subsequent generations rejecting the truth of the Bible.  And can we blame them?  If we can’t trust the Bible when it comes to Genesis, can we trust it with anything?

Observers note that whereas England’s church attendance before World War II was 40–50 percent, by 2003 “only 7.5 percent of the population went to church on Sundays and that, in the past 10 years—billed by the churches as the ‘Decade of Evangelism’—church attendance dropped by an alarming 22 percent.” (“Church will be dead in 40 years’ time,” The Independent, April 16, 2000.)

The Darwinian worldview can be seen in the textbooks of academia and in the humanist thinking of Western society in general.  As a result, Christian morality has disappeared from the Western mind. 

I can’t put in any better than Ken does:

Christians should pray that the Lord rebuilds the foundations of His house that shifted from the firm ground of His Word and compromised because of the works of a man.

As Christians, did we really think that the knowledge of man would “work better” than the knowledge of God?  If you are a Christian who believes in evolution, if you think that Darwinism is compatible with Christianity, read on.

The house where Darwin wrote his On the Origin of the Species, has become a museum of his life and work.  Above the final exhibit is mounted these words:

Many Christians believed that the world and everything in it, including mankind, had been created by God in the beginning and had remained unaltered ever since … . Darwin’s theory made nonsense of all of this. He said that the world was a constantly changing place and that all living creatures were changing too. Far from being created in God’s own image, Darwin suggested that human life had probably started out as something far more primitive—the story of Adam and Eve was a myth (emphasis added)

This is Darwin’s legacy.  As a church, should we really buy into it?

Darwin wrote, in his Autobiography:

I had gradually come, by this time, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow as a sign, etc., etc., from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian.

Faith vs. Science

February 11, 2009

This was sent to me by one of my friends.  This is conversation was reported to have actually taken place.  Whether that is true or not, I think it’s a great illustration of the epistemological and metaphysical problems atheists have.

A science professor begins his school year with a lecture to the students, ‘Let me explain the problem science has with religion.’

The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

‘You’re a Christian, aren’t you, son?’

‘Yes sir,’ the student says.

‘So you believe in God?’

‘Absolutely.’

‘Is God good?’

‘Sure! God’s good.’

‘Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?’

‘Yes.’

‘Are you good or evil?’

‘The Bible says I’m evil.’

The professor grins knowingly.  ‘Aha! The Bible!’   He considers for a moment.  ‘Here’s one for you. Let’s say there’s a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?’

‘Yes sir, I would.’ ‘So you’re good…!’

‘I wouldn’t say that.’

‘But why not say that? You’d help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn’t.’

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. ‘He doesn’t, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?’

The student remains silent.

‘No, you can’t, can you?’ the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

‘Let’s start again, young fella. Is God good?’

‘Er…yes,’ the student says.

‘Is Satan good?’

The student doesn’t hesitate on this one. ‘No.’

‘Then where does Satan come from?’

The student falters. ‘From God’

‘That’s right. God made Satan, didn’t he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Evil’s everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything, correct?’

‘Yes.’

‘So who created evil?’ The professor continued, ‘If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.’

Again, the student has no answer.

‘Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?’

The student squirms on his feet. ‘Yes.’

‘So who created them?’

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. ‘Who created them?’

There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. ‘Tell me,’ he continues onto another student. ‘Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?’

The student’s voice betrays him and cracks. ‘Yes, professor, I do.’

The old man stops pacing. ‘Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?’

‘No sir. I’ve never seen Him.’

‘Then tell us if you’ve ever heard your Jesus?’

‘No, sir, I have not.’

‘Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?’

‘No, sir, I’m afraid I haven’t.’

‘Yet you still believe in him?’

‘Yes.’

‘According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?’

‘Nothing,’ the student replies. ‘I only have my faith.’

‘Yes, faith,’ the professor repeats. ‘And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.’

At the back of the room another student stands quietly for a moment before asking a question of his own.

‘Professor, is there such thing as heat? ‘

‘Yes,’ the professor replies. ‘There’s heat.’

‘And is there such a thing as cold?’

‘Yes, son, there’s cold too.’

‘No sir, there isn’t.’

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.

‘You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don’t have anything called ‘cold’. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees.  Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.’

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

‘What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?’

‘Yes,’ the professor replies without hesitation. ‘What is night if it isn’t darkness?’

‘You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it’s called darkness, isn’t it? That’s the meaning we use to define the word.  In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?’

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester.

‘So what point are you making, young man?’

‘Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.’

The professor’s face cannot hide his surprise this time. ‘Flawed? Can you explain how?’

‘You are working on the premise of duality,’ the student explains. ‘You argue that there is life and then there’s death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought.’  Science uses electricity and magnetism, but we have never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.’

‘Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey??’

‘If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.’

‘Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?’

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

‘Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?’

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.

‘To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.’

The student looks around the room. ‘Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor’s brain?’

The class breaks out into laughter.

‘Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain, felt the professor’s brain, touched or smelt the professor’s brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.’

‘So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?’

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the professor answers. ‘I guess you’ll have to take them on faith.’

‘Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,’ the student continues. ‘Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?’

Now uncertain, the professor responds, ‘Of course, there is. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.’

To this the student replied, ‘Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.’

The professor sat down.

To that I say; amen brother.

The Rise of Evolution (Part 3): Evolutionary Metaphysics

February 9, 2009

This series of articles will consider how evolution got to the place of prominence that it now enjoys.  The story goes that Darwin “discovered” evolution on the isles of Galapagos.   While this is popular, it is also untrue.  Darwin’s path to evolution was not governed by scientific discovery, but by his own brand of theology; using the definition of God handed down to him by the modernists and Victorians to reconcile the problem of natural evil.

As expressed in the previous article, it isn’t whether or not Darwin was right or wrong, only that he used such presuppositions about God to formulate evolution.  Similarly, since Darwin, this definition of God has been used to further the metaphysical argument for evolution. 

These articles were inspired by Darwin’s God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil by Cornelius Hunter. 

The purpose of these articles will be to show that, “at it’s core, evolution is about God, not science” (Cornelius Hunter, Darwin’s God).

What is Metaphysics?

There are many different ways to describe metaphysics.  However, I find the simplest to be that metaphysics is merely a method of thought that ponders the state of being of certain things, be it the universe, the world, ourselves or God.  For instance, the modernist definition of God is a metaphysic because it ponders the state of being of God (what God does and does not do). 

For our purposes here, the main point is that since science is only concerned with giving empirical evidence and does not make statements about the state of being, metaphysics are outside the bounds of science.  Put another way, metaphysical ideas and arguments are unscientific. 

The Inherited Modern God

Again the point must be made that Darwin, and the evolutionary thinkers after him, inherited a certain definition of God. 

Goodness is more fundamental than power . . . There is nothing worthy of worship in power as such . . . After all, the object of religious worship is a perfect ideal rather than a perfect power (Edgar Sheffield Brightman).

A less domineering God is not only distanced from evil, but is also more worthy of worship. 

Robert Chamber wrote in Vestiges:

How can we suppose an immediate exertion of this creative power at one time to produce the zoophytes, another time to add a few marine mollusks, another to bring in one or two crustecea . . . This would surely be to take a very mean view of the Creative Power.

In other words, because God would have been forced to be involved in the dirty, mucky trenches of creation, He must not have acted this way.  When considering the issue of God’s divine intervention, the co-founder of evolution, Alfred Wallace, wrote:

As a matter of feeling and religion.  I hold this to be a fair higher conception of the Creator of the Universe, than that which may be called the ‘continual interference hypothesis’

This kind of thinking led to . . .

Religion and Science Are Separate

This is one of the most powerful metaphysical arguments for evolution out there.  Since God doesn’t dabble in nature, and science only studies nature, and religion only studies God, therefore religion and science are of two separate camps.  Though it may be pointless, it’s OK to consider God in religion, but it would never do to insert Him into science.

The Reverend Baden Powell wrote in 1838 (The Connexion of Natural and Divine Truth):

Scientific and revealed truth are of essentially different natures . . . The mistake consists in confounding these two distinct objects together, and imagining that we are persuing science when we introduce the authority of revelation.  They cannot be combined without losing the distinctive character of both

The famous evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould mirrored this sentiment in Rock of Ages:

I do not see, how science and religion could be unified, or even synthesized, under any common scheme of explanation or analysis.

Religion and science are to be kept separate.  Bruce Alberts, when writing for the National Academy of Sciences (Science and Creationism), says:

Scientists, like many others, are touched with awe at the order and complexity of nature.  Indeed, many scientists are deeply religious.  But science and religion occupy two separate realms of human experience.  Demanding that they be combined detracts from the glory of each.

The question becomes, where did Powell get the idea that combining science and religion would lose the distinctive character of both?  Where did Gould get that the combination of science and religion is not unifiable? And how does Alberts know that doing so detracts from the glory of each?  Certainly not from a scientific experiment as such an experiment would be impossible.

So where did they get it?  From their preconcieved idea that God and nature are separate.  Another metaphysical belief untestable by science.  And yet, this argument is used all the time in defense of evolution isn’t it?  Especially when attacking the likes of the Intelligent Design movement.

The Intellectual Necessity of Evolution

Since God was not actively controlling creation, and nature governed by predictable natural laws, scientific inquiry is possible.  If God was constantly changing His creation, how would we be able to tell the difference between the natural law and God’s actions? 

This uniformitarianism that science depends upon is just as presuppositional as religion, and yet, why is it preferred?  For William H. Harvey, it isn’t that evolutionary theory is more true, it’s just that it has more room for advancement.

but . . . they do give you room to reason and reflect at present, and hopes for the future, wheas the old stick-in-the-mud doctrines . . . are all used up.  They are so many stops to further inquiry; if they are admitted as truths, why there is an end of the whole matter, and it is no use hoping ever to get any rational explanation of origin or dispersion of species – so I hate them (quoted in Gillespie, Charles Darwin, emphasis added).

In other words, since evolutionary theory gives us room for further inquiry, it is preferred.  Darwin echoed this sentiment in Origin:

The hopelessness of the attempt has been expressly admitted by Owen in his most interesting work on the “Nature of Limbs.”  On the ordinary view of the independent creation of each being, we can only say that so it is; –that is has please the Creator to construct all the animals and plants in each great class on a uniform plan; but this is not a scientific explanation.

Darwin’s metaphysical extrapolation led him to his ultimate proof against creation.  His main point, that nature fails to show divine design, was now protected from any counter-argument, because any such arguments would be unscientific.  Here, Darwin is able to ignore that he also uses metaphysical arguments to prop-up evolution, just as the design argument does. 

Evolutionists today correctly observe that creation and it’s supporting arguments hinge on one’s concept of God, but conveniently forgot that arguments against creation equally hinge on one’s concept of God.  They find it fair to argue against creation, but not for it.

Since creation cannot be a scientific argument, evolution is the correct scientific theory.  Thus, evolution isn’t proved on it’s scientific merits alone, but by default.

For Niles Eldredge (The Monkey Business.  A Scientist Looks at Creationism) the key responsibility of science is to predict.  This cannot be possible with a capricious God:

But the Creator obviously could have fashioned each species in any way imaginable.  There is no basis for us to make predictions about what we should find when we study animals and plants if we accept the basic creationist position.

Paul Moody also expresses this idea:

Most modern biologists do not find this explanation [that God created the species] satisfying.  For one thing, it is not an explanation at all; it amounts to saying, “Things are this way because they are this way.”  Furthermore, it removes the subject from scientific inquiry (Introduction to Evolution).

Tim Berra (Evolution and the Myth of Creationism) is much more direct in his warning about creation:

Creationism has no explanatory powers, no application for future investigation, no way to advance knowledge, no way to lead to new discoveries.  As far as science is concerned, creationism is a sterile concept

What the evolutionists are saying here, is not so much that creationism is wrong, as it is improper.  Evolution is intellectually necessary because divine creation cannot be investigated and analyzed.  In contrast, Isaac Newton and many of the scientists of his day found the prospect that God created the universe a stimulus to scientific inquiry.  The opposite view it taken by today’s evolutionists.

An Uncritical View of Science

Since creation is seen as being the opposite of science, any attempt to explain phenomena with God is relegated to being a “God-of-the-gaps” type argument.  We are only inserting God where science has yet to find the answer.  The implication here, is that one day science will find the answer.

To hold to the position that one day scientists will find the natural explanation for what we are now filling God with, is to take an uncritical view of science.  The question becomes, how are scientific theories proved, especially to the exclusion of God?  How is such a thing possible?  Where perhaps previous naturalists have been cautious in subscribing to theories that may be true today, and wrong tomorrow, the modern evolutionist has unbridled optimism.

We are told that evolution is fact and this unguarded confidence has simply bolstered the rejection of the God-of-the-gaps argument.  We used to believe that God created life, but now we know that natural phenomena will suffice.  This conclusion hinges on the success of evolution, which in turn hinges on one’s concept of God.  A God who must be distanced from the world and it’s evils was assumed so now we conclude with a God who must not stand in the way of naturalistic explanation.  The original assumption feeds right through and becomes the final conclusion (Hunter, Darwin’s God). 

We may not have all the answers now, but if we just give science time, we will provide a naturalistic story.  Surely, if we look hard enough, we could find a plausible naturalistic explanation for anything.  But that doesn’t make it scientific.

Conclusion

Two powerful metaphysical beliefs are being used to support evolution:  That religion and science are separate and intellectual necessity.  God is properly distanced from creation, and humans are properly motivated to explore creation.  Evolution is true, not because of it’s science, but because the opposing view point isn’t scientific at all.

Evolutionists are blind to their own hypocrisy regarding this:  they are able to use metaphysics to argue against creation, but no one can argue for it.

The point isn’t wether they are right or wrong, the point is that they are using unscientific, metaphysical beliefs to support evolution.