How Do We Explain Our Story?

Collage 9

Would you ever expect to find the complete works of Shakespeare printed, collated, and bound by an accidental explosion?

But this is exactly what we have. An explosion that not only gave us the complete works of Shakespeare, but a bunch of bipedal units to act things out, crowds to weep and moan, and an industry of Shakespeare criticism that spans centuries. But the explosion didn’t stop there. It also gave us Kafka, Russian architecture, solar panels, Jeffersonian democracy, Christianity, and ivory poaching.

We are bits of the flying flotsam, spinning away from the eye of the Great Disaster. Anything we do is attributable to Chaos, for we are its children, carbon-based shrapnel with sensitive nerve endings, a problem with self-importance, and a taste for pizza.

I see your painting. It’s by Pollock. But where is your story? What is the plot? Who are the characters. What are the rules?

In this story, the Darwinian device that moves action is called (hail, the conquering hero) natural selection. But it has no purpose, no goal at all. Survival is the result for some and death for others, but there is nothing in this story to show that one is actually to be preferred over the other. Survival as good is just one of the axioms that’s been adopted by the faithful. The characters? What do you mean? There is only a strange impersonal trinity—Time, Chance, and Matter. Matter exists, and it is shaped by chemical reactions as Time and Chance act upon it. You have no soul. You are simply a combination of chemicals. What you call “death” is nothing more than a transition out of one combination and the beginning of another. Welcome to the leaf pile—you as mulch is no better or worse than you as man. When you begin and end is a pointless question…

The truth is that very few atheists will try to maintain that atheism is pleasant. It has been pitched as a hard truth, and those squinty-eyed atheists are the brave ones (the “brights,” according to Richard Dawkins), the ones willing to peer into the burning bosom of reality, see absolutely nothing, and write best-selling books about their experiences (and to convince us of our own soullessness). They preach this hard, chemically fatalistic doctrine like a bunch of Victorian Calvinists unable to understand why the populace won’t simply bow their heads and come along quietly.

Because it is nonsense. (And you can keep your tenure. I’d rather have a ping-pong table.)

― N. D. Wilson,
Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl

Doubting Darwin

Evolution

Skepticism About Darwinian Evolution Grows as Over 1000 Scientists From Around the World Declare Their Doubts About Darwinism

WASHINGTONFeb. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Over 1000 doctoral scientists from around the world have signed a statement publicly expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution, according to Discovery Institute. The statement, located online at www.dissentfromdarwin.orgreads: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

“Because no scientist can show how Darwin’s mechanism can produce the complexity of life, every scientist should be skeptical,” said biologist Douglas Axe, director of the Biologic Institute. “The fact that most won’t admit to this exposes the unhealthy effect of peer pressure on scientific discourse.”

Discovery Institute first published it’s a Scientific Dissent from Darwinism list in the New York Review of Books in 2001 to challenge false statements about Darwinian evolution made in promoting PBS’s “Evolution” series. At the time it was claimed that “virtually every scientist in the world believes the theory to be true.”

Discovery Institute founder Bruce Chapman found 100 PhD scientists to sign the initial dissent statement. Realizing that there were likely more scientists worldwide who shared some skepticism of Darwinian evolution and were willing to go on record, the Institute has continued to maintain and add to the list.

The list of signatories now includes 15 scientists from the National Academies of Science in countries including Russia, the Czech RepublicBrazil, and the United States, as well as from the Royal Society. Many of the signers are professors or researchers at major universities and international research institutions such as: the University of Cambridge, the British Museum of Natural History, Moscow State University, Hong Kong University, University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, Institut de Paléontologie Humaine in FranceBen-Gurion University in IsraelMIT, The Smithsonian, Yale and Princeton.

“As a biochemist I become most skeptical about Darwinism when I was confronted with the extreme intricacy of the genetic code and its many most intelligent strategies to code, decode and protect its information,” said Dr. Marcos Eberlin, founder of the Thomson Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences in Brazil.

SOURCE Discovery Institute

Artistry Without an Artist?

Collage beauty 4

Dear Darwinist friend,

You mean to say that the dazzling array of heart-stopping beauty all around us is the result of a huge cosmic accident? That sunsets, strawberries, butterflies, waterfalls, roses, and hummingbirds are simply the product of blind bits of stardust randomly bumping into each other? That all this astounding artistry has no artist, and is merely the result of fortuitous, unplanned, unsupervised collisions of inert matter?

Courageous faith, indeed.

You are aware of the fact that the mathematical probability of such a thing happening is so absurdly remote that it is practically nonexistent. To hang your belief on a thread so slender demonstrates an outrageously massive amount of faith. To replicate the Mona Lisa by dripping colors from cans of paint swinging randomly on strings would be child’s play in comparison. Your unshakeable confidence in Darwin’s theory is astonishing.

Many of us simply can’t muster up that much faith.

The religious fervor with which you cling to this most tenuous hypothesis is remarkable. How did you come up with such an intrepid, daring, gusty, devil may care faith? Your unflinching certainty in a theory that faces such absurdly preposterous odds is incredible.

How did you get there? Is there something other than science that bolsters your belief? Are there other factors giving traction to your conviction? A faith of such astronomic audacity is uncanny.

Could it be there is something out there you desperately want NOT to believe?

Or perhaps someone you desperately want to AVOID?

I have a hunch there is.

And I strongly suspect it is God.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:20,21 NIV).

-J. O. Schulz

No criticism allowed

Phillip E JohnsonA Chinese paleontologist lectures around the world saying that recent fossil finds in his country are inconsistent with the Darwinian theory of evolution. His reason: The major animal groups appear abruptly in the rocks over a relatively short time, rather than evolving gradually from a common ancestor as Darwin’s theory predicts. When this conclusion upsets American scientists, he wryly comments: “In China we can criticize Darwin but not the government. In America you can criticize the government but not Darwin.”

–Phillip E. Johnson
The Church of Darwin

Science’s inadequate view of reality

David BerlinskiIf moral statements are about something, then the universe is not quite as science suggests it is, since physical theories, having said nothing about God, say nothing about right or wrong, good or bad. To admit this would force philosophers to confront the possibility that the physical sciences offer a grossly inadequate view of reality. And since philosophers very much wish to think of themselves as scientists, this would offer them an unattractive choice between changing their allegiances or accepting their irrelevance.

― David Berlinski,
The Devil’s Delusion:
Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions

Confining critics to a stereotype

Phillip Johnson1One by one the great prophets of materialism have been shown to be false prophets and have fallen aside. Marx and Freud have lost their scientific standing. Now Darwin is on the block. Some of us saw a clip of Richard Dawkins being interviewed on public television about his reaction to Michael Behe’s book. You can see how insecure that man is behind his bluster, and how much he has to rely on not having Mike Behe on the program with him, or even a lesser figure like Phil Johnson. Darwinists have to rely on confining their critics in a stereotype. They have learned to keep their own philosophy on the stage with no rivals allowed, and now they have to rely almost exclusively on that cultural power.

–Phillip E. Johnson
How to Sink a Battleship: A call to separate
materialist philosophy from empirical science