This site is about the gospel. Yet Session 1 and several of my posts deal with origins, dissecting university textbooks and other books on evolution. Why bothering getting into this confusing and sometimes touchy subject?
It is a good question and someone challenged me on it a little while ago. After all, it can be such a polarizing topic – why go there? I thought I would address it with a five page pdf article which I have attached with this post. In it I show how what we think about our origins is foundational to everything we understand about ourselves. It affects all areas of human inquiry. This includes our understanding of ethics, as we will see in Session 2.
I hope you take the 5-10 minutes you will need to read this article. I do not argue for the correctness of any belief of system – evolutionary or otherwise. I only show that it is an important question. And important questions demand informed answers, not politically correct silence. As the article says, it is well worth the fuss.
I haven’t read the article yet, but I already have a comment about Creation science as a whole.
No matter how you slice it, Creationism always comes back to a magical God who knows everything, can do anything and has purposes for doing things that we don’t always understand. How can a Creationist ever be soundly refuted? If worse comes to worst, a Creationist can always say, “God foresaw everything, including this conflict between Bible-believers and evolutionists. He must have planted all the evidence for evolution as a means of testing us, to separate the truly faithful from those who rely too much on logic.” (The more I think about it, the more likely it seems to me that some people actually think around these lines.)
That’s why, I think, that it is often said that Creation science is an oxymoron.
You lost me on this comment. Correct me if I am wrong but nowhere in any post or in a video session have I ever said (either exactly or just along that line of meaning) that … “God foresaw everything, including this conflict between Bible-believers and evolutionists. He must have planted all the evidence for evolution as a means of testing us, to separate the truly faithful from those who rely too much on logic”. In evaluating the claims of soapberry bugs, stickleback fish, Aperts Syndrome as being faulty evidence of evolution where have I not used logic and where have I claimed that God ‘planted’ evidence to test our faith? One may disagree with the logic (and then one should show where it is wrong) but it is precisely my point that the claims made are illogically supported. And the point of the article was not to say ‘God is simply testing our faith’ but to argue (logically) that there are implications to this discussion that impact almost every part of human life and inquiry. And I certainly do not argue this on the basis of a religious faith. I mostly quote scholars (usually of a humanist perspective) that spell out the implications.
Now you may be stating this generally, and not specifically about my posts (this is where I am not sure). But neither you nor I can control what is ‘out there’ on the internet. Yes, I have met many creationists and IDers who believe based on incorrect facts or conclusions. Similarly, there are believers in evolution who believe based on incorrect facts or conclusions (you can imagine the variety of arguments I have heard in favor of evolution – some are wacky). Similarly I meet people who believe that the person of Jesus never existed. Now if I were not to believe, I would not use this reason because it is a bad reason – it is not well supported. So it is easy to find, in any discussion, ill-informed people on all sides. So I try to understand the informed reasons and logic used – in any discussion. I think that is really the only option if we hope to arrive at a robust and reasoned conclusion.
No, my comment was not meant specifically for you. Otherwise I’d be saying “This site is a waste of time and effort, and I’m not coming back.” In actuality, I think what you’re doing here is a really good idea — providing a forum where people with different perspectives can engage in meaningful discussion of questions without obvious answers.
My comment was actually inspired by a satirical book called “The Last Testament: A Memoir by God” (it’s funny at times but not overly deep, so I wouldn’t recommend it to you) in which the book’s version of God gives that exact explanation. Perhaps this wasn’t really the place to post such a comment — I should have realized it had the potential to be taken personally (though I’m glad to see that you recognized that it might not have been directed at you). It also has nearly nothing to do with the content of the article. I had just finished reading one of the weekly CMI infobytes when I stumbled upon this page and suddenly remembered that part from the book and felt the urge to share Javerbaum’s witticism.
It IS a plausible explanation, though, from a Creationist’s perspective. If faith can make Abraham believe that God will resurrect his son Isaac after Abraham murders him in God’s name, then faith will not be shaken no matter what evidence comes up. (You’re disputing the validity of evolutionists’ evidence, and that’s fine. I take more issue with CMI and other “Creation scientists,” because they claim to be but are not being scientists when they push Creation.) It’s not like God hasn’t tested the limits of faith before, just ask Job.
It’s one thing to look critically at the research and logic behind a theory and quite another to replace the theory with magic. Both are acceptable activities (to me, at least), but only the former qualifies as science. There is science, and there is faith; I can have both in my life, but when they conflict, I have to choose a side. I understand that CMI wants to show that there is no conflict, hence the name “Creation science,” but they cannot do so because at the heart of their thinking is something that supposedly transcends science.
If you and others like you are successful in debunking the theory of evolution as an origins explanation, and if nothing comes out of the scientific community to replace it, then science will not “fall back” onto Creation — rather, it will have NO explanation for origins. A scientist may choose to embrace the Genesis story as an alternative explanation, but it won’t be scientific. At least, not unless some of our other theories and hitherto-thought-universal laws are also debunked.
I recently stumbled upon the Wikipedia article on Pseudoscience. A very relevant read for anyone interested in this topic…you can tell from the writing style that it’s not unbiased, but the meat of the article is good.