The Berean Call Febrary 2010
Cosmos, Creator, and Human Destiny (Part 2)
Last month we began with the vastness of space and the utter folly of man’s imagining that he could explore it in manned vehicles. Now we turn to the equal folly of man’s efforts to find an evolutionary link between himself and lower creatures. Evolutionists have been digging desperately to find a physical link but to no avail. There are no fossils to show such a link. Furthermore, even if there were, it would prove nothing.
Man’s body temporarily houses the soul and spirit that make up the real person.
A. S. Eddington was praised by Einstein for writing the best layman’s explanation of his general theory of relativity. Eddington firmly believed that the brain is not the mind. The real person is a nonphysical being who began existence when God “breathed into his [Adam’s] nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul” (Gn 2:7).
God distinguishes between the body, the soul, and the spirit. “A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Lk 12:15, also 1 Thes 5:23). Yet mankind ignores this wisdom and persists in pursuing the accumulation of wealth and the possessions and pleasures it will buy, none of which last beyond death. Man is an eternal being living temporarily in a physical body. Those who believe that the body is all that we consist of spend their entire lives trying to fulfill the desires of the flesh.
Jesus asked, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul” (Mt 16:26; Mk 8:36)? He shows the folly of a materialistic outlook in the parable of the rich farmer, whose crops were so abundant that he told himself, “I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Lk 12:16-21).
In the forthcoming book Cosmos, Creator, and Human Destiny, we deal with issues that one would not expect to find in a book about science and atheism, but they cannot be avoided if we are to face the matter of human destiny. For the atheist, human destiny is a hoped-for oblivion upon death, whereby one escapes God’s judgment. This is the vain hope of the godless. Will that hope be granted? Never! Death is not the end of man’s existence, for God has declared, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb 9:27).
Though the body decays when it dies, the soul and spirit are destined to exist forever. We are eternal beings. Killing the body offers no escape. After death, Christians stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ to receive rewards or to suffer loss. The damned will face Jesus at the Great White Throne judgment and from there will be cast into the Lake of Fire, which is called “the Second Death.”
As we show in Cosmos, although life is at best very short, most people give little thought to the eternity that lies beyond death’s door. This shortsighted outlook is rank folly. What a tragedy!
Atheists are fervent evangelists, determined to drag the whole of mankind into hell with them. They hate God with a passion. It seems rather odd to hate so fervently someone who doesn’t exist, yet Paul foretold that there would be “haters of God” (Rom 1:30). In Cosmos we quote numerous atheist scientists who vent this venom. Tragically, their numbers and influence seem to be growing.
Cosmos was written to rescue the multitudes caught in this net of evil and deceit. After God, there is nothing that Richard Dawkins and his colleagues hate more than the idea of purpose, plan, and design for the cosmos and all it comprises. Yet they cannot escape the fact that these ideas permeate our lives. That raises the question of how such ideas could have come out of the chaos of an alleged Big Bang?
Dawkins, one of the Four Horsemen of the New Atheists, pronounces with all the authority of a Papal Bull, “Most of what we strive for in our modern life uses the apparatus of goal seeking that was originally set up [by natural selection] to seek goals in the state of nature. But now the goal-seeking apparatus has been switched to different goals, like making money, or hedonistic pleasures of one sort or another.”1
Goal-seeking apparatus? How does Dawkins know that such an “apparatus” exists? What might that “apparatus” be? In what organ of the body or in what gene is it centered–in the ambitious part, perhaps? And where is that? And what letters in the DNA define it? Of course, he has no evidence that such an “apparatus” ever existed. This is wild speculation like most of what Dawkins pronounces so authoritatively. It is part of the shameless nonsense that has been the stock in trade of evolutionists from the very beginning: guesses garnished with endless “perhapses…maybes…” etc.
Does anyone experience life as a slave of selfish genes or as the victim of an illusion created by the molecules that make up one’s body? Such are the absurdities to which atheism leads. “What is my purpose in life?” is the logical question every reasonable person must face. This realization does not arise from an evolutionary development in the brain or DNA but from the reasoning of the nonphysical mind.
Genes don’t know what kind of body or what part of it they occupy, nor could they care. Carrots, garden slugs, and fungi have the same DNA that we have, but the genes don’t know the difference. The DNA alphabet is identical in all living things. The arrangement of the words in the DNA is what matters, but genes no more understand the meaning of the words they contain than do the paper and ink in a dictionary or encyclopedia understand the information they offer. One’s physical brain is no more capable of thinking than is a head of lettuce.
Yet matter is all that materialistic atheists claim exists. In fact, the brain is like a computer, very useful for a thinking person, but the computer no more thinks than do the fingers purposefully punching the keyboard. A theist, who believes that the mind is nonphysical like the ideas it conceives and uses, knows very well that he/she is the thinker who will be held responsible for every thought, word, and deed.
Has there been any verification by careful and extensive experimentation to show how and when natural selection developed a moral and spiritual nature in man? Such a development would be impossible because natural selection can only affect man’s physical being. Morality and spirituality are clearly not physical. Dawkins can’t acknowledge this widely accepted scientific fact without renouncing his atheism. Has there been any proof demonstrating that this spiritual side is unnecessary because ethics, morals, compassion, a love of beautiful music, reverence, and worship can all be described and explained in purely physical terms? Has any atheist demonstrated that the barrier that Mortimer J. Adler declared that evolution could never cross has, in fact, been, or could theoretically be, crossed?2 No one has tried because even atheists know there is a great gulf separating the physical, mental, and moral worlds.
Atheism and its corollary, materialism, are speechless when asked to account for the human qualities that we all value so highly and that distinguish us from all other creatures: the appreciation of music and poetry, the enjoyment of beauty in nature (in which even Dawkins exults), the ability to form conceptual ideas and express them in words, to understand mathematics in relation to the universe, to use the imagination as do architects and engineers, or to feel and express a love that is so clearly unique to humans. We all know that animals do not share these qualities and capabilities with us. Lesser creatures possess none of these purely human characteristics that we value so highly, nor can these capabilities be explained by natural selection or evolution. We owe nothing to these allegedly scientifically proven processes for our moral, ethical, and spiritual qualities.
Dawkins protests loudly, as we’ve heard him do in a number of debates, “Of course evolution couldn’t come about by chance! Natural selection is the very opposite of chance!” Dawkins is guilty of denying the problem of origins. When theists say evolution and natural selection could not come about by chance, they speak the truth. Atheists forget that these theories upon which they rely require the prior existence of a replicating organism. Where did this organism come from? It must have come about by chance, but the mathematics clearly proves that it is impossible. No matter how loudly Dawkins protests, it is irrefutable that evolution and natural selection cannot explain the origin of biological life.
What about the common moral conscience that all humans share? It cannot have evolved because it is not a physical quality that resides in the physical body. Atheists deny this unseen world of thoughts and ideas as well as the conscience and moral concepts. This attempt to deny what every person knows is true in daily life further reveals the desperate position in which atheists find themselves.
One of the many problems confronting atheists is the matter of information, without which there can be no life. Where does the information come from to begin with a single-cell bacterium and end up with the human brain? Dawkins never tells us. He makes a number of attempts in two of his books but fails. Information can only originate from a mind. What mind could that be? It could only be the infinite mind of the Creator.
What could possibly be the source of the new DNA required to change to a “higher” species? Without such a change, there is no evolution. The change, however, cannot occur without the introduction of new information, because it is the information in the DNA that defines and distinguishes between species. The information essential to define new species could only come from an infinite intelligence. Who could that be but God?
Johns Hopkins University Professor Steven Stanley of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences declared, “The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major morphologic transition [a structural change relating to descent] and hence offers no evidence that the gradualistic model can be valid.”3 In the same vein, Professor Heribert Nilsson, director of the Botanical Institute at Lund University, Sweden, declared after forty years of study:
Stephen Jay Gould admitted that “The eyes of early trilobites have never been exceeded for complexity or acuity by later anthropods.”5 Does that sound like “evolution” from the simple to the complex? Something is terribly wrong with that theory!
A starfish has been discovered with more than 1,000 eyes, each with an identical lens that surpasses today’s technology. Evolutionists date this creature millions of years prior to man in the evolutionary time scale. Yet its many eyes are in some ways superior to those possessed by humans. This is such a ridiculous number of eyes that they could hardly have been produced by natural selection as essential for survival. Is the Creator laughing at evolutionists? Does the following brief description sound at all like something that would have been developed by chance mutations so early in the alleged evolutionary process?
“Linked by networks of nerve fibers, the thousands of micro-lenses together appear to form a kind of single compound eye that covers the creature’s entire body in all-seeing armor,” said Aizenberg, an expert in biomaterials…. “The actual optical performance of these lenses is far beyond current technology.”6
Indeed, for microengineers trying to craft infinitesimal lenses for faster optical computers, sensors, and switches, the brittlestar’s (Ophiocoma wendti) eye is a living blueprint. It could lead to better-crafted and more efficient telecommunication systems and optical networks. Lobster eyes with their precise geometrical relationships of individual units, have been copied by NASA X-ray telescopes.
The human eye couldn’t possibly function for assistance in survival without the cornea, iris, pupil, macula, vitreous humor, the rods and cones, the 100 million light-sensitive cells that send information to the brain through the one million fibers of the optic nerve, the brain itself, and the 100 billion nerve cells joined by some 240,000 miles of nerve fibers and the 100 trillion connections between nerve cells in the brain. As has been pointed out, “Since the eye is obviously of no use at all except in its final, complete form, how could natural selection have functioned in those initial stages of its evolution when the variations had no possible survival value…? And there are other equally provoking examples of organs and processes which seem to defy natural selection….”7 To imagine that vision’s many essential parts could have developed over millions of years, while contributing nothing to survival until it all worked, is wishful thinking by those who will grasp at any idea to prop up a bankrupt theory.
We’ve already seen that there is something missing from all of the purely materialistic scientific inquiries and endeavors. Why are we interested in this pursuit? Why should the scientific facts about the universe leave such questions unanswered? There is a part of man that demands such answers, and they will never come from the examination of the physical universe itself.
Everything in the universe points to the Creator. How can we help but exclaim with the Psalmist, “As the hart pants after the water brook, so panteth my soul after thee O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God….” TBC
1. “Dawkins, Darwin’s Dangerous Disciple,” Interview with Frank Miele, http://scepsis.ru/eng/articles/id3.php.
2. Mortimer J. Adler, The Difference of Man and the Difference It Makes (New York: Fordham University Press, 1967).
3. Steven M. Stanley, Macroevolution: Pattern and Process (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1979), 39.
4. N. Heribert-Nilsson, Synthetische Artbildung (The Synthetic Origin of Species) (1953), 1212.
5. Stephen Jay Gould, “The Ediacaran Experiment,” Natural History, February 1984, 22-23.
6. Robert Lee Hotz, “A Lens into Nature’s Gifts: A Starfish Grows Tiny Crystals that far Outperform Synthetic Optics Yielding a Design Breakthrough,” http://www.rdrop.com/~cary/html/naontech.html.
7. Gertrude Himmelfarb, Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959) 320-21.
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