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SOUDER: Evading the obvious: Ideas and their consequences, Part 1

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The debate about evolution isn't simple unless you belive in the Bible.

By Chuck Souder

I have often used Thomas Sowell’s quote, “It takes a high IQ to evade the obvious,” as a commentary on all manner of things that are (or should be) intuitively obvious to reasonable people but that supposedly highly intelligent people try to explain away by using all sorts of sophisticated buffoonery.

A couple of recent events once again brought that quote to mind. The first was the president’s State of the Union speech last week, which proved once and for all that President Obama has a very high IQ (as defined above). The second was Tuesday night’s debate about human origins between Bill Nye, “the science guy,” and Ken Ham, president and founder of Answers in Genesis in Northern Kentucky, and the news coverage surrounding it.

You see, to me, the truth of Genesis 1:1 (“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”) and Romans 1:20 (“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”) is obvious.

But even though the majority of Americans still believe in a Creator-God (in spite of years of atheistic, evolutionary indoctrination in our schools), the media and those with a high IQ (as defined above) typically treat people who believe that God created the world as uneducated, backwoods, hillbilly morons who are trying to stifle the progress of science and take America back to the Dark Ages. This is certainly how Mr. Nye tried to characterize Bible-believing Christians like Mr. Ham throughout the debate.

Of course that isn’t the case, for, as Mr. Ham repeatedly pointed out, scientists who believe that God created the world have discovered and invented a great many things, and include such notables as Francis Bacon (who pioneered the scientific method), Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, and more recently Dr. Raymond Damadian (who invented MRI scanners) among many, many others.

The reality is that the continued argument about the origin of life and the beginning of our universe has almost nothing to do with facts. It is certainly not a battle of science vs. the Bible or of objective fact vs. religious faith.

Instead, the conflict is one of worldview vs. worldview, of philosophy vs. philosophy. Again, it is not about the facts. There aren’t two sets of facts – one for evolutionists and another for Christians.

Everyone has the same facts. The difference comes in the interpretation of those facts, and that is where one’s philosophy and worldview come in. This is crucial.

The battle over Creation vs. Evolution is about two competing worldviews. On the one hand is the worldview called Naturalism (or Materialism), which basically says that nature or the Cosmos is all that has ever been and that everything can be explained by natural processes, time and chance.

On the other hand is the Christian worldview, which says that there is such a thing as the supernatural; that God does exist and he, in fact, created the world.

As Mr. Ham tried repeatedly to point out, much confusion comes because what has become known as “science” today confuses the distinction between empirical, observational science (that which is observable, measurable, testable and repeatable) with naturalistic philosophy.

Naturalistic scientists like Mr. Nye try to give the impression that they are fair-minded and objective – while it is only religious people who are biased in favor of their personal beliefs.

Many people mistakenly assume that Darwin came up with his theory because that’s where the evidence led him, and that following the evidence wherever it goes was how scientists, in general, operate. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many scientists’ adherence to Naturalism as a worldview prohibits them from even considering the possibility of God – even if the evidence points that way.

Consider this quote by evolutionary professor D.M.S. Watson, who, in a moment of candor said, “Evolution is a theory universally accepted not because it can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.”           

And though this quote by evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Lewontin is a little long and a bit technical, I encourage you to wade through it: “We take the side of science [that is, Darwinism] in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that Materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

In other words, the implications of a Creator-God are so profound many people will believe nearly anything else, no matter how improbable. In short, the thing that one must understand is that the key issue in these arguments is not one of facts, but one of authority – namely, who has it?

If evolution is true, then man is the ultimate authority, and we get to define morality and standards of behavior as we wish. However, if there is a Creator-God who made the universe and everything in it, then He has a rightful claim of authority over his creation.

                                   

The ramifications of these two radically different worldviews are hard to over-emphasize. And although Mr. Nye recently said that teaching our children Creationism (that a loving God created them in his image) is a form of child-abuse, I believe it is the false-science of Darwin’s theory that endangers our kids.

To take just one example, if we insist upon teaching our children that they are nothing more than a cosmic accident, simply the latest creature in a line of animals that somehow crawled out of the primordial soup millions of years ago, why should we be surprised if they act like animals?

 If life has no ultimate purpose, why should we be surprised – or even care – if our kids are committing suicide in record number? Indeed, ideas have consequences.

Most of you no doubt remember what happened at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 12 students and a teacher before turning the guns on themselves. What you may not remember was that at the time of his death, 18-yr-old Eric Harris was wearing a t-shirt with the inscription "Natural Selection."

You see, Harris was a big fan of Darwin's theory of evolution, especially the concept of natural selection – survival of the fittest. Before that fateful day, he had written these words on his Web page:

"You know what I love? Natural Selection! It's the best thing that ever happened to the earth. Getting rid of all the stupid and weak organisms!"

In his mind, what he had been taught about Darwin’s theory gave him permission to slaughter his classmates; it was simply survival of the fittest.

Now, granted that is an extreme example, but he was only following the logical conclusion of what he had been taught. Truly, ideas have consequences!

Throughout the debate on Tuesday, I couldn’t help but notice that as Mr. Ham presented many facts in support of the Biblical position, it often seemed like he was playing defense and Mr. Nye was playing offense.

I kept wishing that he would point out some of the many, many problems that the theory of evolution has and how it continually fails to predict what we actually find in the real world. I will take up some of those in my next column.

 

Chuck Souder is on staff at Shelby Christian Church. He can be reached at csouder@shelbychristian.org. Find other columns by Souder at www.SentinelNews.com/columns.