Although none of its followers would call it a religion, evolution has become the religion of the university. Instead, they call it science, even though none of it can be verified in the laboratory. However, even a growing number of atheists are challenging this theory. The late theoretical physicist, Fred Hoyle, dismissed this theory:
“Darwinian theory is wrong because random variations tend to worsen performance as indeed common sense suggests.“(CRJ, Vol. 36, #02, 47)
“Biomaterials [the materials of the cell] with their amazing measure of order must be the outcome of intelligent design.”
This is Part 1 in a 3 part series on evolutionary theories of cognition. This part discusses C.S. Lewis’ Argument from Reason. Part 2 will examine Alvin Plantinga’s Argument from Proper Function and part 3 will cover Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism.
No matter how contentious an intellectual debate may appear, both parties agree on at least one thing. They both assume that rationality, if properly used, leads to true conclusions. The laws of identity, non-contradiction, and excluded middle, for example, accurately describe reality.1 If human perceptions about these basic truths were incorrect, then it would be impossible to reason to any conclusion.
Theists argue that this necessary presupposition is incompatible with a naturalistic worldview. If naturalism is true then rationality is not reliable, undercutting all beliefs including acceptance of naturalism itself. Arguments of this genre are coined “arguments from reason.”
Banquet at Delmonico’s
Great Minds, the Gilded Age, and the Triumph of Evolution in America
by Barry Werth
Reviewed by: Terrell Clemmons
Post Civil War America was looking for a new belief system, says social historian Barry Werth. Across the Atlantic Charles Darwin had proposed a new theory of biology, but had left the popularization of it to others. In Banquet at Delmonico’s, Werth chronicles the spread of Darwinian evolution in America, focusing on the works of English philosopher Herbert Spencer.
Reclusive, never married, and chronically dyspeptic, Spencer introduced the phrase “survival of the fittest” in 1851, eight years before Darwin. That Darwin’s name became associated with the concept, even though Spencer had beaten him to publication, seemed to embitter Spencer and fuel his drive to expand evolutionary theory beyond biology. In 1855 Spencer, an agnostic and former civil engineer, had written and self-published Principles of Psychology, applying evolutionary theory to the human mind and behavior, but by 1860, Spencer had undertaken a re-examination of the whole of human history and thought. Calling it, Synthetic Philosophy, he set out to unify virtually all academic disciplines – philosophy, psychology, sociology, ethics, and politics – under the rubric of evolution. Continue reading →
This is Part 1 of 3 Posts on C.S. Lewis’ view of Creation, Genesis 1, and Evolutionary Theory. It is the contention of this writer that one of Lewis’ most overlooked theological aspects was his view on how Genesis 1 operated on a theological and mythical level. This is an exploration of his views on the topic and will conclude that Lewis’ own views actually denounced reading Genesis 1 in a literal framework while, at the same time, holding the text up to a form of “true myth.” Lewis did not see evolutionary theory as such as being inimical to Christian truth or the truth of Genesis 1, though he certainly saw forms of it (namely, an anti-supernaturalist one) as theologically bankrupt.
It would be adamantly wrong to suggest that C.S. Lewis ever saw any tension between the findings and discoveries of the scientific world and the truth which Christian theology tells. The dichotomy which exists between the two areas in question is only present in terms of what they told us about the world, not in their ability to relay truth. Religion—specifically Christian religion—can tell us certain things about the world and our place in it that science cannot and vice-versa. Yet, Lewis would disagree with the sentiment that the two fields cannot complement each other in their pursuit of human understanding. Continue reading →
Since it began Christianity has been involved in debates. From Jesus’ encounter with the Sadducees to dealing with early heresies on down to the present day, Christians have encountered arguments against their worldview. Learning to deal with external arguments is a central task of the Christian apologist.
There are however many doctrinal issues that are arguably internal debates within orthodox Christianity. Two qualities typically set these issues apart from other doctrinal topics that confront today’s apologists. First, both side of the discussion are typically considered orthodox views. Second, these topics sometimes generate far more “heat” than “light.” Continue reading →
Darwinism: Descent with modification through unguided processes
Descent: “I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long ago.”
Modification: “The preservation of favorable individual differences of variations, and the destruction of those which are injurious (natural selection).”
Unguided processes: “There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings, and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows. So I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of chance.” Continue reading →
Peter Enns has recently written a very controversial book entitled The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say About Human Origins.As one might already guess, for a Christian to put the term “evolution” and “Adam” together in an implied affirmative manner will, no doubt, churn heated discussion, especially for popular audiences. And it has. While Rachel Held Evans has given it a “heartfelt, enthusiastic recommendation“, Ken Ham has labeled Dr. Enns as “willfully ignorant“ and implied that he has sought the favor of academics over being true to God’s Word. A number of others have just threw out a number of Bible verses to Dr. Enns, perhaps thinking that if he would read the Bible (it would be a good idea for a Bible scholar to do so!) he would realize the error of his ways. So, with talk like this, why would I not want to read this book!
Brazos graciously sent me a review copy of the book and I cannot say it let down my expectations. I approached this book with a genuine sense of intrigue and curiosity as the question of Adam seems to be the greatest looming question in my mind which often is left unanswered by many theistic evolutionists. It is not a question which determines whether or not I accept evolution, as I recently made clear, but it is a question to be seriously dealt with. Enns, in my opinion, has made a major and well deserved contribution to the discussion and though the book is not without its faults, it is a contribution to the discussion of Genesis which deserves a hearing. Continue reading →
Recently I saw the movie “Transformers: The Dark Side of the Moon“. I almost made it through the whole thing without a single thought about worldviews, philosophy, or apologetics. But, alas, near the end, something happened that my mind couldn’t ignore (I pulled out my phone and immediately started taking notes).
For those who are unfamiliar with the Transformers’ basic premise: there exists three species in the universe that are essentially battling for survival and a “leg up” on the others: humans, Autobots, and Decepticons. Typically, the Decepticons are trying to achieve something that would have the implication of destroying the humans and/or Autobots. The Autobots are the more “noble” of the two robotic species that join forces with the humans against the Decepticons. This particular installment had two characters that I will be focusing on here: Optimus Prime and Sential Prime (Primes are the leaders of the Autobots; they tend to be the wiser and more powerful individuals). SPOILER ALERT: the rest of this post contains storyline details that take place in the last minutes of the movie, so if you haven’t seen it and plan to (and don’t want it ruined), stop reading now. Continue reading →
This post is focused on two terms used in discussions about the history and origins of life. The terms “species” and “speciation” are used extensively to demonstrate that modern evolutionary theory, neo-Darwinism (a.k.a. “molecules to men” via natural processes alone) is a fact. Similar to the previous post I would like to inoculate the lay reader from being bullied by the usage of these terms. I can’t possibly give this a thorough treatment, but I hope to arm you with some questions and smidgeon of skepticism. Continue reading →
Ideas are powerful. Some ideas are so coercive that they can transform our entire worldview. The Galatians had been “running well” (Gal. 5:7). However, they fell under the influence of a powerful, coercive idea. Along with trusting Christ, the Galatians succumbed to the belief that they had to also become Jews and follow the law in order to be saved.
Rather than contributing to salvation, Paul argued that this one belief would undermine salvation (Gal. 5:2-4). It had the power of undermining their entire standing before their Savior. So Paul termed the belief “leaven” or “yeast”: Continue reading →