Is it True Science uses Reason and Christianity only has Blind Faith?

Is it True Science uses Reason and Christianity only has Blind Faith?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Above image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

One thing I am never short of is Facebook posts that denounce Christianity for various reasons. Some posts slam the Christian God, calling Him an unforgiving, genocidal, jealous, racist bully, echoing Richard Dawkins book, The God Delusion.((Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006, Print.))

Others target scripture suggesting it was written hundreds of years after the life of Christ and is full of errors and contradictions. Again quoting Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, “To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and ‘improved’ by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries.”1

Some even question if Christ was a real person, and many believe He was not an authentic historical figure. Frank Zindler, former director of the American Atheists gives us a glimpse at this, “So much for the evidence purporting to prove that Jesus was a historical figure. We have not, of course, proved that Jesus did not exist. We have only showed that all evidence alleged to support such a claim is without substance…”((Zindler, Frank. “Did Jesus Exist?” American Atheists, ND, https://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/did-jesus-exist/))

Then you have those who target the hypocritical behavior of Christians. For example, some who think they are quoting Gandhi write, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” which is not an actual quote from Gandi, but it was taken from another Indian philosopher. Nevertheless, the point is well made, Christians often don’t act like Christ despite wanting to and being told to be imitators of Him in scripture. 1 Corinthians 11:1 I certainly can relate to that, and most believers, if they are honest, will say the same.

Finally, others take a much broader path and paint most, if not all religions as foolishness and the cause of countless wars and misery.

These claims can be addressed and have been, but my focus in this post is the claim that science depends on reason and evidence while Christianity doesn’t.

Is the assertion true that Christianity is void or reason and evidence? Are Christians wishing on a star, following their heart, taking leaps of faith, or is their faith simply blind?

Let’s take a look at some examples in scripture. Luke states that his sources were ‘eye-witnesses,’ and he claims to have carefully investigated everything and is sharing them with Theophilus so he would be certain of the claims of the new Christians. Luke 1:1-4

In 1 Cor. 15:6, Paul practically dares anyone to check out his story. In I Corinthians 15, Paul lists six groups or specific individuals who were eyewitnesses of the resurrected Christ. Peter, The twelve, the 500, James (younger brother of Jesus), all the apostles, and finally Paul himself.

Most of these eyewitnesses endured persecution, imprisonment, torture, and finally, death. Persecution was the norm, and it certainly was not something that would compel others to sacrifice their livelihood or life for what they profess. Yet, despite their willingness to lose everything, that does not validate their belief. I think of the 911 terrorists and their belief that 72 virgins awaited them in the afterlife. Yet what is so remarkable about the early Christian martyrs is not what they believed, but what they saw; the risen Christ. The early Christian martyrs died not for what they thought to be true but what they saw to be true. 

A story shared by Lee Strobel may help illustrate my point. In 1963 Addie Mae Collins was one of four African-American girls murdered in a church bombing by racists. She was buried in Birmingham, Alabama, and for years her family returned to visit her gravesite and leave flowers. Finally, in 1998 they made the decision to exhume Addie Mae so she could be reburied at another cemetery. However, when the workers began to dig, they discovered the grave was empty. The family was understandably shocked, and several possible explanations were considered as officials started to investigate what happened, but no one ever suggested was that Addie Mae was resurrected. Why? Because an empty grave does not constitute a resurrection. Eyewitnesses do that.

Other religions begin with someone having a private encounter or vision they share with others, not Christianity. We find another example in 2 Peter 1:16, where Peter explains they were eyewitnesses to Jesus Christ and His majesty. In addition, at the end of John, he explains the signs done by Christ in front of witnesses was so they might believe that he was the Son of God. John 20:30-31. Scripture is full of examples that rule out the impression that our faith requires giant leaps or blind loyalty. Neither does Christ Himself expect that of us.

For example, when John the Baptist was in prison and struggling with doubts, so he sent his disciples to Jesus to ask Him if He was the one they were waiting for. How did Jesus respond? He promptly healed the lame and cured the blind. He then told them to return to John and report what they witnessed. Luke 7:19-22 In fact, you will find that the Gospel of Luke holds most of the eyewitness details found in the New Testament.

Classical scholar Colin Hemer fact-checked the book of Acts (written by Luke) and found 84 facts confirmed by historical and archaeological research.((Geisler, Norman. Turek, Frank. I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist. Wheaton: Crossway, 2004, Print.)) Believing without evidence is what we call blind faith and nowhere in scripture are believers called to that kind of faith. John 14:9-11

The above examples are from scripture, but Christians are not limited to those examples to build their faith. Believers can find substantial evidence within the sciences. Just don’t expect science to answer all your questions. The fact is, science cannot answer all our questions and never will be able to.

Suppose my daughter-in-law Annie baked a cake. If we were to ship it to a lab for analysis, we would learn much about the cake. The biochemists could tell us what elements are within the cake. Mathematicians will spell out the weight, volume, and detailed dimensions of the cake. Physicists can break down the fundamental particles and explain what temperatures she baked it. But not one of them, or anyone in the scientific community could tell us why the cake was made; only Annie could answer that question. Natural sciences will answer questions about the structure and elements of the cake, but they could never answer any ‘why’ questions.

When you think about it, the laws of nature help us describe the universe, but they explain nothing. The fact that we have laws that govern our universe is one of those why questions that can’t be answered except by the one who made the laws. One of the first questions of the year I would ask my algebra students in Jr. High was, “Is mathematics invented or discovered?” I would leave them to ponder that throughout the year.

Richard Feynman, a Nobel Laureate in physics, wrote, “…the fact that there are rules at all to be checked is a kind of miracle; that it is possible to find a rule, like the inverse-square law of gravitation, is some sort of miracle.”((Lennox, John. Can Science Explain Everything? Oxford: The Good Book Company, 2019, Print.))

Those most critical of the Christian faith often don’t ever set foot in a church, let alone read or examine scripture. They don’t study the words of Jesus and try to apply the teaching to themselves, or how His words could apply to neighbors, friends, family, etc. It is so much easier to point out the faults and shortcomings of others than to take a hard look at ourselves and compare how we live our life to the commands of Jesus. The operative word is ‘try’ because we all fall short. Someone once said the church is a hospital for sinners, not a sanctuary for saints. We are all more comfortable playing the armchair general, pointing out the mistakes of those in the trenches and how they are delinquent in living a life like Jesus than applying His teachings to our own conduct.

Anthony Flew was a lifetime philosopher and atheist. Then in 2003, late in his life, he converted to a belief in God. He said he had to go where the evidence leads, and it was the complexity of DNA that was the deciding factor for Flew. John Lennox wrote concerning the idea of following evidence where it leads, “…there are situations where we shouldn’t just give up if explanations in terms of natural processes don’t work; we should be prepared to follow the evidence where it leads, even if that involves a supernatural dimension.”((Lennox, John. Can Science Explain Everything? Oxford: The Good Book Company, 2019, Print.)) But not all scientists adhere to that because of their prejudice to a concept of a being beyond the natural.

Richard Lewontin, who is a geneticist from Harvard, displays this attitude perfectly when he wrote, “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs…in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment…to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute for we cannot allow a Divine foot in the door.”((Lennox, John. Can Science Explain Everything? Oxford: The Good Book Company, 2019, Print.))

Christians should never be afraid of science and what we can learn from it. The things that we learn about our universe, from the microscopic to the telescope, are often confirmed by the Bible when researched carefully. Science cannot answer all the questions we might have, but neither should the Bible be used as a science book. As we investigate our world, both science and theology should be used to complement and confirm how best we should live.

The Bible tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go. – Galileo

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Is it True Science uses Reason and Christianity only has Blind Faith by James W Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006, Print. []
Why I Am Not an Evolutionist – Part III

Why I Am Not an Evolutionist – Part III

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Part I   Part II

I addressed the first pillar necessary for Darwinian evolution, abiogenesis in Part II. Here in Part III, we will look at the second pillar essential for Macro-evolution, the fossil record. In the last hundred years since Darwin published ‘On the Origin of Species,’ paleontologists (people who study fossils) have universally discovered that new animal forms in the fossil record appear abruptly, not gradually as Darwin predicted. Not only are the appearances abrupt, but with little connection to the life that came before.

Because this appearance is so sudden, paleontologists refer to the appearance of more than half of the major animal groups some 530 million years ago as the Cambrian explosion.((Valentine, James W. On the Origin of PhylaChicago, University of Chicago Press, 2004, pg 35)) To put this in perspective, if our planet’s history or timeline was stretched to the length of a football field, the Cambrian explosion would use up about 4 inches.

Turtles are a fine example of a group of animals that appear suddenly in the fossil record. Some 200 million years ago, they entered the stage fully developed and did not have any intermediate forms. Their top shell, called the carapace, is made up of about 50 bones covered with scutes (plates of armor) that have a layer of keratin (like our fingernails) that help protect the shell.((Meyer, Stephen C. “Fossil Succession.” Explore Evolution, Melbourne & London, Hillhouse Publishers, 2007, p 24))

How can evolution explain this? Evolutionary biologist Scott Gilbert wrote, “The turtle shell represents a classic evolutionary problem: the appearance of a major structural adaptation…[evolution] needs to explain the rapid origin of the turtle carapace.”((Meyer, Stephen C. “Fossil Succession.” Explore Evolution, Melbourne & London, Hillhouse Publishers, 2007, p 24))

On the flip side, we have examples of organisms that have remained unchanged for hundreds of millions of years. If you compare fossils of the Ginko leaf to modern Ginko leaves you will see they are unchanged in 130 million years.

Image by wal_172619 from Pixabay

You can also research fossilized nautilus shells and see they are also unchanged in over 400 million years of evolutionary opportunity. Finally, you can find fossilized comb jelly (similar to jellyfish) from the Cambrian period, identical in form to the modern comb jelly. Paleontologists have a name for this kind of stability in the fossil record, ‘stasis.

These examples certainly challenge the evolutionary picture that is widely accepted and promoted in our culture. David Raup, who was a paleontologist at the University of Chicago wrote, “What geologists of Darwin’s time and geologists of the present-day actually find is a highly uneven or jerky record; that is, species appear in the sequence very suddenly, show little or no change during their existence in the record, then abruptly go out of the record.”((Raup, David M. “Conflicts between Darwin and paleontology,” Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin 50, 1979 pgs 22-29.))

Few paleontologists will admit the fossil record does not show the transitional forms predicted by Darwinian evolution. Why is that? Many in the field of science have a philosophical bias against a creator. Facts and evidence are irrelevant because they don’t want to be answerable to anyone or anything.

Richard Lewontin, an evolutionary geneticist, and a Marxist wrote, “It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”((Lewontin, Richard. “Billions and billions of demons,” The New York Review of Books, 9 January 1997, p31)) Uncommon clarity and transparency coming from a Darwinian evolutionary believer. 

Former atheist Lee Strobel shared the same bias as Lewontin and wrote, “I was more than happy to latch onto Darwinism as an excuse to jettison the idea of God so I could unabashedly pursue my own agenda in life without moral constraints.”((Strobel, Lee. “Since Miracles Contradict Science, They Cannot Be True.” Case for Faith, Zondervan, 2000, pg91.))

I have addressed the Miller experiment in previous posts, but one of the most well-known and popular ‘missing links’ is Archaeopteryx (meaning ancient wing). This specimen was first found a year after Darwin published The Origin of Species, and within a few years, a total of 8 specimens were found in the Solnhofen limestone quarry in Germany.

According to Kenneth Mason and Jonathan Losos, “Undoubtedly the most famous of these is the oldest known bird, Archaeopteryx, which lived around 165 million years ago. This species is clearly intermediate between birds and dinosaurs. Its feathers, similar in many respects to those of birds today, clearly reveal that it is a bird. Nonetheless, in many other respects – for example, possession of teeth, a bony tail, and other anatomical characteristics – it is indistinguishable from carnivorous dinosaurs.”((Losos, Jonathan B., and Susan R. Singer. “21 The Evidence for Evolution.” Biology, by Kenneth A. Mason, 11th ed., McGraw Hill, 2017, pp. 428–429.)) You don’t hear how much the role of Archaeopteryx is in dispute, that is if it is actually a link between reptiles and birds. The evolution of birds from non-flying reptiles is not a simple matter.

Just how this could have happened falls into two camps, the trees down theory and the ground-up theory. The tree’s down theory seems to make more sense because we can envision animals already in the trees over millions of years having small variations and adaptations that would allow them to stay in the air longer. While the ground up theory would mean birds evolved from an animal that ran on the ground and used their hind legs for running and their forelimbs for catching prey, and those forelimbs evolved into wings.((Wells, Jonathan. “Archaeopteryx: The Missing Link.” Icons of Evolution, Regnery Publishing, Inc. 2000, pgs 116-117))

The role of Archaeopteryx causes a division between evolutionists and paleontologists. Until recent years, Darwinists classified and grouped organisms by sharing a common ancestor’s. Then in the 1950s, a second camp began and relied entirely on homology (having the same or similar relation, relative position, or structure). This new perspective is called ‘cladistics’ and simply assumes common descent or a common ancestor without evidence.

Jonathan Wells wrote concerning cladistics, “The order in which animals appear in the fossil record also becomes secondary or irrelevant. If evolutionary relationships are inferred solely on the basis of character comparisons, an animal can be the descendant of another even if the supposed ancestry doesn’t appear until millions of years later. The fossil record is simply re-arranged to fit the results of cladistic analysis.”((Wells, Jonathan. “Archaeopteryx: The Missing Link.” Icons of Evolution, Regnery Publishing, Inc. 2000, pg 119)) All other lines of evidence or considerations take a back seat. Problems in the ground-up theory, such as having animals older in the fossil record than their ancestors, is dismissed and assume the dating of the fossil records are in error.

Is Archaeopteryx a missing link or not? According to cladistics, it was a two-legged dinosaur with feathers. However, many textbooks still claim that it is the missing link but fail to point out the in-house argument as to its origins and, if anything, modern birds, for example, did evolve from it.

Cladistics does not even try to explain the Cambrian explosion. It is simply a tool to classify organisms. Stephen Myer wrote in Darwin’s Doubt, “Cladistics does not, and cannot, offer any explanation of what caused the Cambrian animals to come into existence. Nor can it account for the origin of genetic and epigenetic information necessary to produce them.”((Meyer, Stephen C.”Epilogue: Responses to Critics of the First Edition.” Darwin’s Doubt, Harper One, 2013, pgs 436-437))

In the spring of 2000, Chinese paleontologist J.Y. Chen gave a lecture at the University of Washington. Chen discovered some Cambrian-era fossils in southern China, and after TIME magazine ran a story on the Cambrian explosion and mentioned Chen’s findings, he became a notable expert in the field.

His findings displayed an even greater variety of body plans than many paleontologists expected. The Chinese fossils supported the contradiction that life seemed to appear suddenly and spontaneously without gradations, not what Darwinists would have everyone believe. During the lecture, one professor questioned Chen about his criticism of Darwinian evolution, as if reminding him to be careful. Stephen Meyer, who was at the lecture, wrote, “As a result, one professor in the audience asked Chen, almost as if in warning, if he wasn’t nervous about expressing his doubts about Darwinism so freely – especially given China’s reputation for suppressing dissenting opinion. I remember Chen’s wry smile as he answered. ‘In China,’ he said, ‘we can criticize Darwin, but not the government. In America, you can criticize the government, but not Darwin.'”((Meyer, Stephen C.”Soft Bodies and Hard Facts.” Darwin’s Doubt, Harper One, 2013, pgs 50-52.))

Why are the conclusions of creationists immediately dismissed as biased but not atheists? Indeed, atheists have a worldview they want to protect, and like that of a creationist, they are anything but neutral; it is a double-edged razor. Both have worldviews and beliefs that may sway their findings, but having opinions consistent with the Bible does not mean it is based on the Bible.

The truth of any view is not based on the worldview of a particular person but based on the quality of evidence. There is no evidence for abiogenesis, only speculation that would make the most addicted of gamblers hesitate to place a bet. As for the fossil record, it is very much in question, even among Darwinists themselves and far from the slam dunk many evolutionists would have us believe.

For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries. ― Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers

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Why I Am Not an Evolutionist – Part III by James W Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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