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Archive for September 30th, 2014

The last few days have been filled with a lot of ministry events which delayed my time blogging the reminder of our series on “Missions, Culture and Being Biblical.”  So I’m glad to be back with this short post (unrelated to our series however) that was prompted by someone asking me about this New York Times’ Opinion piece about how Darwinism supposedly destroy God.  This is my email back to the young college student in our church.

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Sister in Christ,

1.) “Teaching biology without evolution would be like teaching chemistry without molecules, or physics without mass and energy.”
Response: I do think this presupposes evolution is true and again I think the essay never argues for the evolution but assume it. In basic reasoning class rememebr that just because you assert something it does not mean you proved it.

2.) “The twofold demolition begins by defeating what modern creationists call the argument from complexity. This once seemed persuasive, best known from William Paley’s 19th-century claim that, just as the existence of a complex structure like a watch demands the existence of a watchmaker, the existence of complex organisms requires a supernatural creator.”
Response: To begin with I want to make clear that I’m not a fan of a bare argument from design and complexity (that is, when one present the argument without being conscious of the audeince’s presupposition and philosophy of evidence) nevertheless I think it is unfortunate that the writer talks about modern creationists’ argument from complexity but then failed to present the current form of the argument but instead present the older form by William Paley (what I call the simple design argument). By the way, Paley’s argument from 1802. The current form is actually argument from IRREDUCIBLE COMPLEXITY and is not the same as the simple design argument in that it focuses on the variable for all the mechanism and it’s configuartion together for any design to work and what the probability of that would be (which by the way would be very unlikely that certain order in nature is the result of mere randomness).

3.) “Since Darwin, however, we have come to understand that an entirely natural and undirected process, namely random variation plus natural selection, contains all that is needed to generate extraordinary levels of non-randomness. Living things are indeed wonderfully complex, but altogether within the range of a statistically powerful, entirely mechanical phenomenon.”
Response: Again I think this is just waving the hand when the writer mentioned this to dismiss the argument from irreducible complexity.

4.) “Moreover, no literally supernatural trait has ever been found in Homo sapiens; we are perfectly good animals, natural as can be and indistinguishable from the rest of the living world at the level of structure as well as physiological mechanism.”
Response: First off, while I think this might be a bit beyond your scope at this time but there’s a philosophical problem of naturalism (as opposed to the belief of the supernatural) that the writer does not take into account that is a vast subject in the area of philosophy, to include philosophy of science. I think any work by Alvin Plantinga might be a good place to go for further reading. Secondly he presents us a problem when he laments that humans have no supernatural structures within us (whatever that is, he does not identify). I think to expect supernatural structures within us at the biological level (which by a secular paradigm is the sphere of the natural) is to commit a categorical fallacy (an example of such a fallacy is when we ask if the musical note c exist, how come we don’t see the color of it).

5.) “Adding to religion’s current intellectual instability is a third consequence of evolutionary insights: a powerful critique of theodicy, the scholarly effort to reconcile belief in an omnipresent, omni-benevolent God with the fact of unmerited suffering.”
Response: Here the author is no longer doing science but dabbling with amateur philosophy when he starts invoking the problem of evil (what in philosophical parlance is called theodicy). I don’t think he realize that an atheistic darwinian worldview brings more problem than it solves with the question about evil. Remember his conclusion: “The more we know of evolution, the more unavoidable is the conclusion that living things, including human beings, are produced by a natural, totally amoral process, with no indication of a benevolent, controlling creator.” If the world is an amoral universe, then we cannot even say evil exists; and if evil does not exists in the first place, then we have no problem of evil against God at all to employ against theism. I don’t have time to flesh this out in details at three in the morning, but I would even add that good and evil presupposes a standard that can only be explained by God.

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