THE POINT OF THIS ARTICLE IS TO ARGUE THAT NATURAL EVIDENCE POINTS TO A SUPERNATURAL EXPLANATION FOR THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE.
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. (Romans 1:19-20)
I want to thank my fellow blogger, Ferlans, for sharing Wintery Knight’s post, The importance of having a narrative when confronting the assumption of naturalism. I think it conciseley responds to some of the frustration theists feel when they try to express the scientific problems with naturalistic origins. Here is part of Wintery Knight’s post:
Now I want to make a very, very important point about Christianity and the progress of science. And that point is that it is very important that Christians present the evidence in exactly the way that Denyse presented it in that article – in its historical context, featuring the conflict between naturalists and the experimental evidence. [Denyse was explaining the problem many cosmologists had with the Big Bang Theory.]
All Christians should be familiar with the following basic pieces of evidence which fit the war between science and naturalism narrative:
- The origin of the universe
- The cosmic fine-tuning
- The origin of life (biological information)
- The sudden origin of the Cambrian phyla
- The habitability/observability correlation
When you talk about these evidences as a Christian theist to non-Christians, you have to have cultivated a genuine interest in reconciling your beliefs with science. You have to accept that there are two books that reveal God’s character and attributes. The book of nature, and the book of Scripture. And you need to be flexible about getting these two books to fit together. The book of nature gives us natural theology (see Romans 1). It tells us that God is Creator and Designer. The book of Scripture tells us that God stepped into history as a man to save us by taking the punishment for our headlong rush away from God, which the Bible calls sin. Science is one way that humans can recover some of basic knowledge about God. Knowledge that is only possible because God created and designed the universe (and us) in such a way that we are capable of making discoveries, and that the universe is capable of being explored and understood.
It’s very important to present these five basic evidences to non-Christians in the historical context. And here is the story you must tell: “In the beginning, there was the naturalism, and the naturalism tried to argue from ignorance that God was not Creator and God was not Designer. And then came the science, and now people have to give up their naturalism in order to not be crazy and irrational.” That’s the narrative you use when talking to non-Christians about science.
In the beginning there was the naturalism:
- In pre-scientific times, atheists maintained that the universe was eternal
- In pre-scientific times, atheists maintained that a life-permitting universe was as likely as a life-prohibiting universe
- In pre-scientific times, atheists maintained that the cell was a simple blob of jello that could spontaneously emerge in some warm pond
- In pre-scientific times, atheists maintained that the sudden origin of the Cambrian phyla would be explained by subsequent fossil discoveries
- In pre-scientific times, atheists maintained that there was nothing special about our galaxy, solar system, planet or moon
But then science progressed by doing experiments and making observations:
- Scientists discovered redshift and the cosmic microwave background radiation (evidence for a cosmic beginning) and more!
- Scientists discovered the fine-tuning of gravity and of the cosmological constant and more!
- Scientists discovered protein sequencing and exposed the myth of “junk DNA” and more!
- Scientists discovered an even shorter Cambrian explosion period and the absence of precursor fossils and more!
- Scientists discovered galactic habitable zones and circumstellar habitable zones and more!
And now rational people – people who want to have true beliefs about reality – need to abandon a false religion (naturalism).
Now naturally, science is in a state of flux and things change. But you have to look at the trend of discoveries, and those trends are clearly going against naturalism, and in favor of Christian theism. No one is arguing for a deductive proof here, we are simply looking at the evidence we have todayand proportioning our belief to the concrete evidence we have today. People who are guided by reason should not seek to construct a worldview by leveraging speculations about future discoveries and mere possibilities. We should instead believe what is more probable than not. That’s what a rational seeker of truth ought to do. Proportion belief to probabilities based on current, concrete knowledge.
It is very important that Christians keep abreast of the progress of science, and give proper respect to science when forming our worldviews, and keep in mind what is really going on with atheism. There is a lot of loud worshiping of science by people like Dawkins and Atkins and Krauss, but if you dig into things a little, you’ll find that they are actually filled with rage and enmity against what science has revealed about nature. And not just in one area, but in many, many areas.
Atheism, as a worldview, is not rooted in an honest assessment about what science tells us about reality. Atheism is rooted in a religion: naturalism. And the troubling thing we learn from looking at the history of science is that this religion of naturalism is insulated from correction from the progress of science. Nothing that science reveals about nature seems to be able to put a dent in the religion of naturalism, at least for most atheists. Their belief in naturalism is so strong that it repels all scientific evidence that falsifies it. Atheists simply don’t let science inform and correct their worldview.
It falls to us Christian theists, then, to hold them accountable for their abuse and misrepresentation of science. And that means telling the story of the progress of science accurately, and accurately calling out the religion of naturalism for what it is – a religion rooted in blind faith and ignorance that has been repeatedly and convincingly falsified by the progress of science in the modern era.
“In the beginning there was the naturalism:
1.In pre-scientific times, atheists maintained that the universe was eternal
2.In pre-scientific times, atheists maintained that a life-permitting universe was as likely as a life-prohibiting universe
3.In pre-scientific times, atheists maintained that the cell was a simple blob of jello that could spontaneously emerge in some warm pond
4.In pre-scientific times, atheists maintained that the sudden origin of the Cambrian phyla would be explained by subsequent fossil discoveries
5.In pre-scientific times, atheists maintained that there was nothing special about our galaxy, solar system, planet or moon”
Again, more claims made with a lot of ignorance of the actual science. Please do support these with evidence. And please define what you mean by “pre-scientific times” especially when you mention it in regards to the “Cambrian explosion” and your claims about the “warm pond”.
Diana, your post did a great job of explaining why conservative Christians believe as they do. I used your post as a basis for one of my own: http://clubschadenfreude.com/2014/11/17/not-so-polite-dinner-conversation-science-proves-chrisitanity-is-true-oh-do-tell/
What do you mean by ‘pre-scientific’ times? Can you give a precise date for when ‘scientific times’ begun, as opposed to ‘pre-scientific’ times? Which atheists maintained that the universe was eternal? How do you understand / justify your claim that they were ‘atheists’? Are you referring to ancient Greek philosophers? If yes, then accusing them of being atheists is rather convenient, and more importantly you will find that there were proponents of both an eternal and a created beginning for the universe among them.
Likewise, which atheists ‘in pre-scientific’ times postulated that a cell is a blob of jello that spontaneously emerges in warm ponds? Cells were postulated before being observed in a microscope, but they were ‘seen’ before they entered the discussion. No scientist has understood them as a blob of jello spontaneously emerging in warm ponds, and to my knowledge there is no ‘pre-scientific’ equivalent either. Finally, why and how is (5) [about whether the galaxy, solar system, our planet and moon] is important or relevant? For your information, the debate on whether our galaxy or solar system are unique falls well within the scientific realm, and for the most part the answer is that:
1. Our galaxy is fairly typical.
2. Our sun is fairly typical.
3. Our solar system (aka the planets and other formations revolving around the sun) is not typical, and exoplanet study has shown that we are very lucky to have a rocky planet in the Goldilocks zone.
4. Our planet is definitely not typical (see: life, water, etc)
I would appreciate clarification on these points.
I argue from miracles. There is one miracle that simply cannot be dismissed by those trying to understand it. https://disprovenaturalism.blogspot.com