Does Science Ever Point to God?

Does Science Ever Point to God?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Radio Frequency IDentification, (RFID) tech has been around for years and has many advantages over commonly used UPC (Bar Codes) we see on just about everything we purchase at the store. RFID uses a microchip with an antenna and can identify objects, or people for that matter, without having to be line-of-sight. In addition, the chips can store more data than a barcode and send a signal from several feet away.

One day RFID tech will replace barcodes, but not until the price drops, and the price will not drop until more companies begin using RFID. A catch 22, if there ever was one. Or which will come first, the chicken or the egg? What would it take to solve this dilemma? Simultaneous implementation and cooperation. Everyone would have to agree and start using the tech simultaneously and have an industrial and economic system ready to embrace the change. So there must be coordination, communication, planning, timing, and implementation for this to happen. The intelligence behind the process is essential. We also see this in biochemical systems concerning DNA and proteins.

One of my former students who reads my blog sent me a message asking me if I have any posts on science and God. I pointed out a few to him, most recently the three-part series on why ‘I Don’t Believe In Evolution’.

http://www.knowingforsure.com/2018/04/11/why-i-dont-believe-in-evolution-part-i/ Not two weeks later, I took my daughter and a couple of her friends to an Apologetic conference in Rockland. One of the speakers was Professor Douglas Axe, who wrote “Undeniable – How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed.” Then, after some reflection, I decided to write another post on science and God.

The big question Axe has is to what we owe our existence? Are we simply a product of material evolution, and those who believe in God have an overactive imagination or rather a blind faith in the hopes of a better afterlife? Is our faith simply a crutch that rests on centuries of theologians’ evolutionary desires to explain what we don’t understand?

Many researchers have concluded our belief as Christians or theists is a by-product of evolution. If that is the case, we can’t expect this belief to depart from the human psyche any time soon. Justin Barrett, a professor at Fuller University, says, “It’s the way that human minds seem to develop naturally.”((Zukerman, Wendy. “The evolutionary psychology of believing in God.” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC.net, June 10, 2014, https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/the-evolutionary-psychology-of-believing-in-god/5512982)) Barrett believes, “The concept of God begins to emerge when children start searching for reasons to explain the world around them.”((Zukerman, Wendy. “The evolutionary psychology of believing in God.” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC.net, June 10, 2014, https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/the-evolutionary-psychology-of-believing-in-god/5512982))

Professor Robert Geraci also believes that evolution is responsible for our belief in something beyond the material. He teaches at Manhatten College in New York and explains we need an agency or a cause for everything. Intuitively, we all know this. The oak tree was caused by the seed of a previous oak tree, and that oak tree was caused by the seed of another, ad infinitum, but when we encounter things that don’t seem to have a cause or is beyond our understanding, then we inject a diety. In other words, everything should have a cause, and if we don’t see a cause, we make one up.

Geraci says, “Once humans became accustomed to seeing agency, [an action or intervention that produces an effect] around their world, it became an easy intellectual sidestep to say that something was causing events with no clear explanation, such as thunderstorms or sickness. In this way, believing in God may be kind of an accident of our evolutionary heritage.”1

If this is true and our belief is embedded in our evolutionary process, it should come as no surprise that breaking the chains of bondage from this line of thinking will be difficult. Barrett says, “If our belief in the divine is part of our evolution as a species, it explains why it is very difficult to shake.” According to Barrett, “It takes discipline, formal education, and cultural resources to ‘completely divorce oneself’ from these religious inclinations. It is difficult to consistently be a good atheist because our mind seems to be working against us.”1

Is our intuition in seeing design in the biological realm really an aberration of the truth? Has life risen from chance, and we are nothing more than moist robots, as Frank Turek calls it? Francis Crick, one of the co-founders of the DNA structure wrote, “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”2 I would ask, why assume our minds are working against us? What if our minds are working for us? Why do atheists conclude our minds are working against us? It is obvious some have a priori about human biology. I think most of us would agree that our intuition would better serve our survival if it is in line with truth and reality; to me, that is common sense.

Thankfully not all materialists believe that evolution is tricking us into believing in things that are not true. They admit how comfortable they are with a Godless worldview and even desire it to be true so they can live as they please without a God looking over their shoulder. They admit their own bias for a god-less worldview and openly admit they don’t want to answer to anyone for their decisions in this life.

Thomas Nagel, a professor at the New York University, wrote, “I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is not God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that. My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time. One of the tendencies it supports is the ludicrous overuse of evolutionary biology to explain everything about life, including everything about the human mind.”3 

That kind of open honesty about oneself and the scientific community at large is rare, and it is a left hook to the conclusions of Geraci and Barrett who blame evolution for our beliefs in God.

Let’s face it, if the evolutionary process is valid, the truth is irrelevant; all that matters is survival of the fittest and natural selection. Yet being a Christian missionary is contrary to natural selection. Selling all you have, traveling to a foreign country, encountering all kinds of dangers, and probably sacrificing your health, well-being, and possibly your life to share the Gospel does not lend itself to passing your genes into the next generation. So maybe in a few millennia, those pesky religious zealots will be weeded out.

In his book, Douglas Axe addresses the bias of many in the scientific community and has experienced it first hand as his research points to Intelligent Design. The focus of his research revolves around the proteins in our body. He points out what every biologist knows, that the proteins make up the cellular activity in our bodies. He likens them to the various parts of a car, and the vehicle is the cell. Without the components (carburetor, breaks, radiator, pistons, tires, etc.), the car would not function. The pieces would just lay on the roadway, inactive and non-functioning.

Each protein is made up of a strand or chain of amino acids, and these chains, when in the correct sequence fold up and create a three-dimensional structure. The genetic code and genes tell the amino acids how to connect and fold. In turn, DNA needs proteins to replicate, but proteins need DNA instructions to know what to form. So which came first, the chicken or the egg?

But the problem goes much deeper than that. Whether proteins or DNA came first is just one of several million-dollar questions, but we also need to know how DNA became a carrier of information to build proteins. DNA and proteins depend on each other for their existence, and researchers know it must be solved, or Darwin’s evolutionary theory is dead in the water.

Stephen Meyer, the author of Signature in the Cell, wrote, “At some point, DNA must have arisen as a carrier of the information for building proteins and then come into association with functional proteins. One way or another, the origin of genetic information still needed to be explained.”4 In other words, we can concede for a moment that functional proteins came about by an evolutionary process, (I don’t believe that) but who came up with the blueprint of instructions to assemble them? We can ask who made the various car parts on the street, (yes it would be nice to know), but we can also ask who wrote the directions on the assembly?

As far as Darwin’s theory of natural selection, we have to ask when did natural selection take place in the process? Obviously, we have to have an initial functioning cell arranged so that it survives. Natural selection does not explain the arrangement or assembly but rather after it has been living.

Jim Tour, a brilliant chemistry professor who has been listed as one of the top ten chemists globally and one of the top 50 most influential scientists in the world today, has some thoughts on natural selection. “If one asks the molecularly uninformed how nature devises reaction with such high purity, the answer is often, ‘Nature selects for that.’ But what does that mean to a synthetic chemist? What does selection mean? To select, it must still rid itself of all the material that it did not select. And from where did all the needed starting material come? And how does it know what to select when the utility is not assessed until many steps later? The details are stupefying, and the petty comments demonstrate that sophomoric understanding of the untrained.”5

We can conclude that RDIF technology came about by random, unguided natural processes over a period of millions of years. We can say the tiny, various microchip components came together and began to function despite what our intuition tells us. We can see that it has significant advantages over the commonly used barcodes, including more information. We understand that it would be a superior method to process data and move merchandise. We can concede it was random processes over eons of time that created this technology, but the question remains who wrote the directions for the arrangement?

“No matter what form the message takes the information being conveyed always originates in a mind. Information can’t be separated from the activity of an intelligent agent. And this connection makes this property a potent marker for intelligent design.”6 Atheists or theists all know that the process that controls our body, starting at the molecular level, contains massive amounts of information. There is no known example of information arising from arbitrary input.

Sources:

  1. Zukerman, Wendy. “The evolutionary psychology of believing in God.” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC.net, June 10, 2014, https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/the-evolutionary-psychology-of-believing-in-god/5512982 [] []
  2. Crick, Francis. “Conclusions”, What Mad Pursuit, New York, Basic Books, 1988, pg 138 []
  3. Nagel, Thomas. “Logic”, The Last Word, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997, 130-131 []
  4. Meyer, Stephen C. “Self-Organization and Biochemical Predestination.” Signature In The Cell, Harper One, 2009, pg 235 []
  5. Axe, Douglas. “Seeing And Believing.” Undeniable – How Biology Confirms Our intuition That Life Is Designed, Harper One, 2016, pg 195 []
  6. Rana, Fazale. “The Artist’s Handwriting.” The Cell’s Design-How Chemistry Reveals The Creator’s Artistry, Baker Books, 2008, pg142 []
Why hasn’t God intervened…

Why hasn’t God intervened…

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Why hasn’t God intervened on the tyrants throughout history to prevent far worse atrocities than in the Old Testament days in which he did intervene?

An atheist blogger posted this question from a book titled Divinity of Doubt. He added a few of his own and then said they were impossible for a Christian to answer and that every Christian would ignore them. I enjoy looking for those kinds of challenges, not because I have an answer to all the questions I come across, but because it only sharpens my own faith when I work on a response. Let’s face it, no one, not even the most brilliant apologists or theologians, can answer every question that may be raised by skeptics. But if you take the time to consider what’s asked, it can only add to the tools you have at your disposal. 1 Peter 3:15 I choose the first three he listed and have addressed them in this post.

When I am around skeptics or atheists and they make a bold claim or a question that is based on an assumption, I often ask questions. The first question I ask maybe to clarify part of their statement. The second question has more to do with how they came to believe what they stated.

So, for example, with this first statement, I might ask, “What do you mean by ‘far worse atrocities’?” Or What do you mean by ‘intervened’? I would want to know what far worse atrocities she was referring to. Would the Holocaust, the Cambodian genocide, or the Rwandan genocide be examples? And by ‘interveined’ do they mean a complete and absolute interruption of some evil, or would a partial intervention be in the running?

Once I have a clearer understanding I might ask another question to seek further insight and reasons for their belief. For example, I might ask, “How do you know that God has not intervened?”

This question assumes there is a God and implies He has not done any intervening. Consider for a moment the underlying assumption. How could anyone possibly know that God has not interceded? If a terrible atrocity was averted by God and did not take place, how would anyone know that? It would be impossible to see if He has intervened because the tragedy would never take place to question His lack of interceding. Just a moment of reflection makes this first claim comical.

Of course, this does not prove He has intervened, but don’t let someone get away with an assumption that cannot be supported.

2. If God were all-powerful, why wouldn’t he create humans who could appreciate good without having evil to compare it with?

There are several directions I could go with a question like this. What do they mean by all-powerful? I would want to flesh out exactly what they mean by that. For starters, all-powerful does not mean God can do the logically impossible. Can he put a round peg in a square hole? Can he create a married bachelor? Of course not.

C.S. Lewis touches on this in his book Mere Christianity. “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?1

We can appreciate the goodness of God without having experienced evil. God’s goodness is objectively beautiful. A child can enjoy a lovely garden without having experienced a garden full of withered and dry flowers void of color. A child can also appreciate loving and kind parents without having experienced cruel and abusive parents.

The above question pre-supposes that we can’t appreciate good without evil. God’s love, kindness, wisdom, and much more can be appreciated without experiencing corruption of some sort. The second question implies that we can’t enjoy good without evil, which is patently false.

Are there parts of God’s character we wouldn’t understand without evil? Oh yes! How could we experience his mercy, forgiveness, grace, and justice without evil? Yes, we can experience His goodness without evil, but we experience more of Him because of evil.2

3. If God were all-perfect and all-powerful, why would he do such a poor job and create such an imperfect world with its deadly earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, etc.?

The brilliant Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias would often respond by asking a question, “Who is asking?” In other words, what steers your world view? He would address the questioner and point out the following:

  • If you are a scientific naturalist, then natural disasters are part of the evolutionary process. For example, without plate tectonics, we would not have mountains. Without degrees of elevation, we would not have rivers, lakes, canyons, flood plains, etc. Those who lose their lives from natural disasters just become part of the natural selection equation. So why are you complaining?
  • If you are a philosophical naturalist, then our chemistry rules the day. What could be wrong with natural disasters? It is just the way things are, and you have no basis to complain. Natural disasters are just normal, regular, and expected common occurrence of our world. How could that be wrong? There would be no such thing as a ‘poor job’ because that suggests something is wrong with our natural world.
  • If you are a follower of an eastern religion such as Buddhism or Hinduism, then it is just ‘karma.’ You are getting what you deserve. What goes around, comes around. If you had done evil in your former life, then you are receiving what you earned.
  • If you are a Muslim, then the term ‘inshallah’ or Allah’s will, applies to the question. Everything is the will of Allah and cannot be questioned.

Our world view is what we believe to be true about reality. We can ask questions all day long, but some answers (depending on your world view) are not allowed, not even an option to consider. I will quote Thomas Nagal to make this point clear. Nagel is an atheist philosopher who was refreshingly honest in his personal assessment of God. Nagel wrote, “I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.“((Nagel, Thomas. “Logic,” The Last Word, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997, 130-131))

If you talk to people outside the circle of your world view, opportunities are inevitable. Opportunities to do some gardening, maybe pull some weeds. If nothing else, seek to understand their view and the reasons behind it. If you have something to offer, great. If not, then let it go and consider what they had to say.

Not long ago, I went shooting with a friend from work who shoots regularly. I had mentioned my Smith & Wesson Shield .40 had jammed for the first time about a week prior. As we chatted about it, she brought up ‘limp wristing,’ a term I had never heard of before. After watching some Youtube experts, which she shared with me (got to love Youtube), I believe that could have been the problem. All that to say, if I had had the attitude that a woman could not teach me anything about firearms, I might still have an occasional jam in an excellent handgun, mistakenly thinking it is the weapon, not the operator.

Having a little humility is a good thing. If you are wrong, don’t you want to know? Understanding world views outside of Christianity is an asset. I have lost track of the number of atheists or skeptics I have chatted with whose goal is not to understand, let alone even consider what I might be sharing, but to smugly ask questions many Christians can’t answer. Their arrogance is sometimes palatable, but I keep reminding myself His desire is for all to be saved and I am not ahead of them in line for the pearly gates. 1 Timothy 2:4

Like a bulletproof vest, take your faith to the range and fire some rounds at it to see if it holds up. If it doesn’t, then maybe something your world view needs to change.


Why hasn’t God intervened by James W Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Lewis, C.S. “The Rival Conception of God.” Mere Christianity, Harper One, 1952, p.38 []
  2. Hall, Amy. Would We Know God without Evil? Stand to Reason, str.org, Aug. 7, 2020, https://www.str.org/w/would-we-know-good-without-evil- []

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