How Do We Explain Our Story?

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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

How Do We Explain Dragonflies and Llamas?

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The world is seen in many different ways, but those who see Chaos as their father are the most confusing to me. I stare into their eyes . . . and try to sense any real difference in what they’re seeing.

Have you noticed the dragonflies?

They’ve noticed the dragonflies.

They can’t really have noticed…

It is strange that an impersonal accident should start talking about itself, that shards of matter rocketing through space/time would start making burbling noises and pretend that they’re communicating with other shards, and that their burbling truthfully explained the accident? Is it strange to you that an accident could invent baseball and walruses and Englishmen?

If a hypothetical neutral observer had watched the birth of an ever-expanding universe from the womb of an accidental fireball, was he (or she or it) surprised when the explosion invented llamas?

You see, for me, llamas are entirely consistent with the personality of an easily amused God. A prank on the Andes and everyone who ever needed to use the long-necked, pack sweaters. Surly, pompous, comically unaware of their own looks, spitters. Perfect. Tell me a story of the great god Boom. Tell me how he accidentally made llamas from hydrogen.

–N. D. Wilson,
Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl

How Do We Explain Beauty?

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by Ken Samples

Beauty fits better in a world with God than in a world without God… The secular worldview of naturalism says that God does not exist and that life in this world is the product of mindless, unguided natural evolutionary processes. But according to naturalism, evolution runs exclusively on the track of survivability. So how does the mechanism of naturalistic evolution driven by survivability produce artistic beauty when aesthetics doesn’t seem to contribute to survivability? Put another way, why so much beauty and creatures that can appreciate beauty when beauty doesn’t contribute to human survival? This is known as the problem of nonutilitarian or nonuseful values: beauty does not seem to be survival-conducive.

In evaluating this argument, consider the words of Christian philosopher William C. Davis: “If everything (including humanity) is the result of random, impersonal forces which encouraged only survival, then it seems highly unlikely that the process would yield organisms (humans) which recognized values like these [artistic beauty] which aren’t survival-conducive… But values like these [artistic beauty] are what we would expect if humans (and the human environment) were created by a personal, loving, and beauty-valuing God. God’s existence is a much better explanation for the existence of nonutilitarian value than any explanation without God.” [Reason for the Hope Within]

To read the rest of this article go to:
https://reflectionsbyken.wordpress.com/2019/11/19/god-as-the-best-explanation-of-beauty/

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

If God Is A Mathematician

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If God is a mathematician, man will also be a mathematician. But if there is no God, and man is an accident of evolution, there is not the slightest reason why we should be able to make sense of, or even recognize, the mathematical structure of the universe.

― Dr. Edgar Andrews,
Who Made God?: Searching for a Theory of Everything

It’s All in the Genes

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Richard Dawkins and his followers have recycled the theory of evolution not as a biological theory but as a theory of everything – of what the human being is, what human communities are, what our problems are and how they’re not really our problems, but the problems of our genes: we’re simply answers that our genes have come up with, and it’s rather awful to be the answer to someone else’s question, especially when that thing is not a person at all. Nevertheless, people swallow that.

― Roger Scruton,
The Soul of the World

I shall bet my life on the assumption…

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At least once every day I shall look steadily up at the sky and remember that I, a consciousness with a conscience, am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above and about me.

Instead of the accustomed idea of a mindless and endless evolutionary change to which we can neither add nor subtract, I shall suppose the universe guided by an Intelligence which, as Aristotle said of Greek drama, requires a beginning, a middle, and an end. I think this will save me from the cynicism expressed by Bertrand Russell before his death when he said: “There is darkness without, and when I die there will be darkness within. There is no splendor, no vastness anywhere, only triviality for a moment, and then nothing.”

…Even if I turn out to be wrong, I shall bet my life on the assumption that this world is not idiotic, neither run by an absentee landlord, but that today, this very day, some stroke is being added to the cosmic canvas that in due course I shall understand with joy as a stroke made by the architect who calls himself Alpha and Omega.

–Clyde Kilby
American author and English professor