Thursday, October 15, 2009

Evolution vs. Creation: The Wrong Battle Waged

Someone notified me recently I was being cited as a source against the claims of an atheistic individual who holds to Evolution and rejects Creationism.  While I am flattered that someone considers me authoritative, I think it is important to spell out what I do hold, lest someone think I am championing a cause I do not.

As I have stated in the title, I do believe the laying out of battle grounds between evolution and creation is the wrong battle for Christians to fight, putting some allies on the "enemy" side of the fence.  The issue is not whether to take the account of creation in Genesis literally or figuratively.  The issue is whether the creation of the universe is on account of an uncontrolled undirected cause or on account of God.

Unfortunately I think some Christians choose to fight the wrong battle on account of believing that science (as opposed to some erring scientists) must teach in opposition to the Christian faith.  The problem is the confusing a belief that God could work through evolution as His means of creation with the atheistic belief that claims of science means God does not exist.  The Christian who fights the "evolution vs. creation" battle when they think they are fighting the "God vs. atheism" battle do not assist in the battle against atheism.

The result of this wrong battle being fought is we see certain groups of Christians accusing other Christians who accept the possibility of evolution as the means God used to create as being heretical or being secret atheists or being deceived by atheists.

This is the fallacy of bifurcation.  Arguing that unless a man believes in creationism, the man is not a believer ignores the possibility of a faithful Christian who does not hold a fundamentalist view of Scripture.  The argument in this case is missing the point.

The point is whether or not God created the universe or whether the universe came together by chance.  If it was created by God, there is indeed purpose in the universe, and life has meaning.  If it was created by chance, there is no meaning to the universe and it is a matter of indifference whether we live in a manner called evil or a manner called good.

The issue of evolution is misused by the atheist to argue that because evolution happened, God is not necessary and therefore does not exist.

The problem is, the evidence pointed at to claim evolution is true does not prove the non-existence of God.  The other side of this coin is to show that the cell or the embryo is complex beyond imagining does not mean it could be done by God only through directly acting.

Now the problem with relying on the physical explanation of evolution alone and denying the existence of a creator is it cannot provide proof to explain certain steps (which is Begging the Question):

  • From no life to life
  • From single cell creatures to multi cell creatures
  • from creatures without organs to creatures with organs they did not need before but now cannot exist without
  • From non-sentience to sentience

The law of casualty holds that we cannot get a result which is greater than the sum of causes.  For example, we do not simply go from Acorn –> Tree.  We have acorn + water + soil + nutrients + sunlight –> Tree.  The believer tells us God –> Universe (with the "—>" being whatever means of creation used).  The atheist needs to explain: no life –> Life, Single Cell –> multi cell and so on, and why the law of casualty does not apply (or how it does apply).

Thus going from the so-called "primordial soup" to a single cell animal cannot be explained.  (The amino acid experiment was based on a false idea on what the primordial atmosphere was based on).  The evolution theory can say it did happen, but the atheistic view does not say how it happened.

Really this is the issue here.  If the atheist wishes to assert evolution sans God is true, the question is how do we know it is true, given the practical impossibility of proving a universal negative and the lack of scientific evidence showing these transitions taking place?

The syllogism of the atheist is:

  1. God does not exist
  2. The Universe exists
  3. Therefore the Universe was not created by God.

This is where I come in to the dispute.  Science is claimed to be logical and reasonable.  Religion is accused of being irrational and illogical.  Yet the claims of scientists who argue science proves there is no God cannot put together a logical and rational argument to establish their claim.

The argument that since God cannot be studied scientifically means there is no God is in fact a bad logical argument.  It is based on the unproven assumption that only that which is observable exists.  (All A is B).  The problem of course is that no matter how much we know about A (things that are observable), it does not prove there is not B (something that exists) which is not in B.

As a syllogism:

  1. All things which are observable exists (all A is B)
  2. God is not observable (Not A)
  3. Therefore God does not exist (Therefore not B)

We can show the error of this argument by replacing what A and B stand for:

  1. All people in Los Angeles are in California (All A is B)
  2. Bill is not in Los Angeles (Not A)
  3. Therefore Bill is not in California (therefore not B)

(If Bill lives in San Francisco, the argument is false)

In this case "All A is B" does not mean "All B is A." (All people in Los Angeles are in California does not mean all people in California are in Los Angeles).  In fact (going back to the syllogism of existence and observation), since we do not know what we will be able to observe in the future, we cannot even say we know everything currently in A (things observable) is all that will ever be in A

To challenge this is the "Emperor has no clothes" comment we should be presenting to the world against atheism.  In contrast, to argue the "Creationism vs. Evolution" is a distraction from the truth to be evaluated at this time.  Whether one believes in Creationism or Evolution as a Christian, the individual is still saying "God did this."  (Not as a way to avoid complex explanations as Dawkins so ludicrously put it, but because if the existence of God is true, we will eventually wind up with the "Uncaused cause" of Thomas Aquinas). In contrast atheism says "All this was set into motion by purely physical causes," with no basis but a faith that someday science will find the answer.

Science can validly look at evolution from a purely physical point, without being wrong per se, when it asks "how it works."  However when it looks at the purely physical and says "this is all there is," it goes beyond what Science can say and the proponents of such a view are in fact leaving reason and logic behind.

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