Tag Archives: Intelligent Design

Science and Religion in Competition?

Several atheistic blogs I read are guilty of “scientism.”  Scientism is not science but rather deductions and speculations arising out of scientific observations.  Truth is truth no matter the source.  Scientism, however, sees science and empirical observation as the only source of truth.  Consider this definition:

Scientism sees it necessary to do away with most, if not all, metaphysical, philosophical, and religious claims, as the truths they proclaim cannot be apprehended by the scientific method. In essence, scientism sees science as the absolute and only justifiable access to the truth.

Here’s an example from a blog called, Unreasonable Faith

Belief never invented a laser, or pressed a CD, or kept a ‘plane in the air, or restarted a heart – Science has done all of that and more, a whole bunch of times.” And, “Against this staggering work and monumental achievement (the proof that one of Einstein’s theories is correct – DW) on one single scientific project out of hundreds of thousands, there stand some old men in robes, telling us that God did it, because it says so in the nth translation in the chain of some bronze-aged myths written by some camel-herders.

For the moment let’s ignore the ridicule and the reality that many respected scientists believe that “God did it.”  More to the point: science and faith are two different things and, thus, not in competition. Faith is defined as, “…the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). On the other hand, science is totally based on what can be seen. When interpretation of scientific observations moves beyond the observable, it becomes speculation. Speculation is fine and useful for building hypotheses but it is still speculation.  And there’s nothing wrong with speculations as long as they are recognized as such.  Just don’t ask me to accept them as incontrovertible truth.

Many religious people have rightly been resistant to speculations contradicting the concept of a Creator. Others have stubbornly held to their own religious speculations that are in obvious contradiction to observable and undeniable facts. This is foolish in light of the reality that observable facts (sans speculations) do not contradict the concept of a Creator God.  In truth, some of those facts call loudly for a first cause and a designer.

Science and faith operate in two separate realms. Faith presupposes the existence of a supernatural realm (things not seen). Science can only operate in the natural realm. To place them in competition is ridiculous.


29 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Atheism/Theism, Creation, Culture Wars, Discussion, Faith, Philosophy, Religion, Ridicule, Science, Scripture, Skepticism, Supernatural, Theism

The Universe: Two Perspectives

My wife and I enjoy reading and watching mysteries – you know, Agatha Christie, etc.  I like to watch the television versions with her because I often get lost in the details and she doesn’t.  I have to have things spelled-out in simple terms. “Okay, was it the long-lost cousin who showed up from Kenya who took the papers from the study in the dark of night or was it the daughter who stood to lose her inheritance?”  “Who done it,” is easy for her (and Miss Marple), difficult for me.  I have noticed I have to do this with most things.

I can’t claim to have always been a solid theist.  In my university days, I followed in the footsteps of my father and began my studies as an agnostic.  My professors reinforced that position since most of them were either atheist, agnostic or ambivalent on the matter of belief.  Thanks to a teacher who helped me to see there are two sides to the question of belief, I came down on the side of faith in a Creator.  It just seemed much more reasonable.  Still does.

In my life-long attempt to get things straight, I have looked long and hard at the ongoing debate between theists and atheists. I have begun to see that whether to believe or not believe is largely a matter of perspective. We are part of an amazing, spectacular, unfathomable, intricate universe.  Before we even consider our microscopic little blue planet, there are the stars orbited by uncountable planets, gathered into galaxies numbering in the multiplied millions.  Then there is our tiny island with the only life we are presently aware of.  Intricate complexity and design is increasingly evident as we delve into the subatomic realms. Are the complexity, intricacy, design and order we see the results of accidental, random yet unobservable processes?  Is life the outcome of chemical processes that we don’t yet understand? How do we account for all this?

As for me, this is how it all boils down: The theist looks at the universe and concludes there is no way this complexity, intricacy, design and order could happen by itself.  The atheist looks at all the complexity, intricacy, design and order and concludes that it did indeed happen by itself. Two perspectives – which one makes more sense to you?

My blogs:
Whitticisms: dwhitsett.wordpress.com
In the Charamon Garden: charamongarden.wordpress.com
Whitsett Carving: whitcarv.wordpress.com
Mission South Pacific: missionsouthpacific.wordpress.com

5 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Atheism/Theism, Attributes of God, Culture Wars, Discussion, Faith, Persuasion, Religion, Science, Skepticism, Supernatural, Theism

Sir John Carew Eccles, Believer

“People who believe in God are ignorant and superstitious.  Intelligent, educated people do not believe in God.” Perhaps you have read or heard such nonsense spouted by the so-called “new atheists.”  This is an ignorant and arrogant falsehood.  From time to time in this blog, I will feature quotations from highly respected scientists (many Nobel Prize winners) who are solid theists.  Hopefully, such information will put to rest such misinformed arguments among open-minded readers.

Consider Nobel Prize winner Sir John Eccles.  Sir John was an Aussie, born in Melbourne in 1903 and died in 1997.  More information can be found in Wickipedia and at Nobelprize.org.

Science and religion are very much alike. Both are imaginative and creative aspects of the human mind. The appearance of conflict is a result of ignorance.

We come to exist through a divine act. That divine guidance is a theme throughout our life; at our death the brain goes, but that divine guidance and love continues. Each of us is a unique, conscious being, a divine creation. It is the religious view. It is the only view consistent with all the evidence.

There has been a regrettable tendency of many scientists to claim that science is so powerful and all pervasive that in the not too distant future it will provide an explanation in principle for all phenomena in the world of nature, including man, even of human consciousness in all of its manifestations. [Karl] Popper has labeled this claim as promissory materialism, which is extravagant and unfulfillable.

Yet on account of the high regard for science, it has great persuasive power with the intelligent laity because it is advocated by the great mass of scientists who have not critically evaluated the dangers of this false and arrogant claim.

I regard this theory as being without foundation. The more we discover scientifically about the brain, the more clearly do we distinguish between the brain events and the mental phenomena, and the more wonderful do the mental phenomena become. Promissory materialism is simply a superstition held by dogmatic materialists. It has all the features of a Messianic prophecy, with the promise of a future freed of all problems—a kind of Nirvana for our unfortunate successors.

We have to recognize that we are spiritual beings with souls existing in a spiritual world as well as material beings with bodies and brains existing in a material world.

The amazing success of the theory of evolution has protected it from significant critical evaluation in recent times. However, it fails in a most important respect. It cannot account for the existence of each one of us as unique, self-conscious beings.

Thanks to John Clayton and Does God Exist? Quotes were downloaded from http://www.doesgodexist.org/MayJun10/Eccles-Nobel.html, 18 July 2010

2 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Atheism/Theism, Bigotry, Culture Wars, Faith, Ignorance, Intelligence, Philosophy, Quotations, Religion, Science, Supernatural, Theism, Thinking

Intelligent Design

MaynardSmithI would really like to know who gathered the following information but it is really by our old friend “Anonymous.”  According to atheists, life is the result of a series of propitious accidents and random mutations that just happen to be beneficial.  If they take the time to read this, they will attribute each example of intelligent design to unintelligent processes.  Whatever your belief or lack of it, this is pretty good food for thought.

God’s accuracy may be observed in the hatching of eggs.  For example,

  • The eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days;
  • Those of the canary in 14 days;
  • Those of the barnyard hen in 21 days.
  • The eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days;
  • Those of the mallard in 35 days.
  • The eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days.

(Notice, they are all divisible by seven).

God’s design is seen in the making of an elephant. The four legs of this great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other Quadruped is so made.  God planned that this animal would have a huge body, too large to live on two legs.

  • For this reason He gave it four fulcrums so that it can rise from the ground easily.
  • The horse rises from the ground on its two front legs first.
  • A cow rises from the ground with its two hind legs first.

God’s wisdom is revealed in His arrangement of sections and segments, as well as in the number of grains. How wise the Lord is in all His works of creation!

  • Each watermelon has an even number of strips on the rind.
  • Each orange has an even number of segments.
  • Each ear of corn has an even number of rows.
  • Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains.
  • Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of bananas, and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even number and the next row an odd number.
  • All grains are found in even numbers on the stalks

The waves of the sea roll in on shore twenty-six to the minute in all kinds of weather.

God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain specified  times during the day, so that Linneus, the great botanist, once  said that if he had a conservatory containing the right kind of soil,  moisture and temperature, he could tell the time of day or night  by the flowers that were open and those that were closed!

Design is evident.  Design requires a designer.

Many have decided not to believe and that is certainly their prerogative.  For myself, I choose to believe in a Creator.  Too much of what I see is inexplicable without Him.

In Romans 1 Paul writes, “…that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made…”

3 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Atheism/Theism, Attributes of God, Religion, Science, Supernatural, Theism

Intelligent Design Websites

yorigins_banner.jpg For those who are interested in seeking alternative scientific views regarding the universe, you can find a list of Intelligent Design links by going to the website below and clicking “Websites”. Thanks to John Staiger in Auckland, New Zealand for the tip. In fact the whole website looks good. Have a look.

1 Comment

Filed under Apologetics, Atheism/Theism, Culture Wars, Current Events, morality, Religion, Science, Supernatural, Theism

HERE I STAND

moses-and-dawkins.jpg The attacks on theists from atheists are increasing in intensity. A favorite ploy is to question the intelligence of anyone who believes in God. Recently, one blogger following the lead of Dawkins, even accused parents who taught religion to their children of “child abuse.”

Theists are characterized through amazing generalizations as ignorant, superstitious, and deceived. The arrogance and elitist attitudes of these godless jokers knows no bounds. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Atheism/Theism, Culture Wars, Good & Evil, Jesus Christ, morality, Politics, Religion