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Wednesday, December 28

The Being of God

“Nor do I seek to understand so that I can believe, but rather I believe so that I can understand.” (Anselm, Proslogion, Chapter 1)

I have already shared Anslem’s argument for the existence of God in Proslogion here . However, this is only one version of the proof for God’s existence. Many people will argue that Christians a foolish lot because they believe. People scoff at the quote above and say, “See, there is no rationale to Christian belief.” They miss the point of the quote altogether.

When we discuss the existence of God we had better do it with a humble heart and not with a “when-pigs-fly” attitude. So many people who write off the existence of God, do so from pride. They claim that there is not sufficient evidence for something you can’t see. Like the wind, the eye cannot see, but oh does it feel the effects of a hurricane!

If you do not believe that God does not exist, you had better read these posts with a desire to believe. As Anselm said above, we need to have the disposition to believe rather than thinking that God’s existence is on the same level as believing a kangaroo has a pouch.

I say all this as prologue because the existence of God is not the same as the existence of anything that is seen with the eye. First and foremost, by definition God must exist. He is eternal in being. Humans are not. Nor is the Easter Bunny.

The answer to my dangling question: Where did the molecules come from that “produced” the Big Bang? Now I do not seek to deny a Big Bang. Rather, I want to show that God must exist. As has been said in the “Comments” section, something never comes from nothing. That is, being comes from Being. In order for something to exist, it must derive its existence from something that is not dependent.

In other words, if you go back infinitely before any Big Bang happened, there had to have been something before even the beginning of this Creation. One would not find nothing as they look back into eternity. Otherwise, where did all this come from? Therefore, there must be something that has existed from eternity past. This is what English calls “God” and Spaniards call “Deos” and Greeks “Theos” and others another name. Something must always come from something else. Therefore, all things belong to and exist because God exists and created all things. If he does not exist, we cannot exist.

This is the difference in speaking of whether there is soup in the fridge or not. All you would have to do is open the fridge. But with the existence of God, he must exist. We are dealing with apples and apples when we try to compare creation to the Infinite, Foundation of Existence. God must exist for there to be anything at all.

Some Other Links:
Tisthammerw Explanation
Bibliography of the Argument
Wikipedia Article
Stanford's Philosophy Site
Various Ontological Arguments

Thursday, December 22

Religion in School?

Yesterday’s ruling in Dover is pretty interesting. The whole separation of Church and State thing keeps bogging people down with a poor understanding of the US Constitution. Before you go assuming you think you know what I believe, let me say that I do not and will not want a state-run church. The goal of the Christian life is not to rule top-down in matters of faith, but to work in and through structures to make plain what is true.

Anyway, as found on Kantor.com the ruling contains this phrase: [W]e conclude that the religious nature of ID would be readily apparent to an objective observer, adult or child.

What is interesting about this whole mess is that opponents of Intelligent Design are asserting that it is a religious system that explains Creation. First of all, by saying Creation, it is implied that there is a Creator. So the opponents mustn’t argue with these words! So (modified complaint): ID is a religious explanation as to how matter and the world came to be.

A desire to separate Church and State is going to force people to re-define “religion”. Random House Webster’s College Dictionary defines religion this way: 1) a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe...2) a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a numbers of persons or sects...3) the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices...6) something someone believes in and follows devotedly.

Call me naive, but where exactly does Darwinism not fit? Could it be that “religion” is merely whether someone wants to attribute something to a Creator? By the way Darwinists argue from lack of evidence, it seems like a religion to me. It has its preachers and prophets. It has its curriculum pushing everyone into a single-file line. It catechizes people into a certain way of speech and belief.

ID is not considered science. Webster’s again: 1) a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws...5) knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.

My contention is not that we make everyone Christian. That’s ridiculous...God must do this. What I am aiming to show is that there is plenty of facts and truths that have been systematically arranged so as to show a coherent and meaningful interpretation of general laws we observe in nature. ID is not closing one’s eyes and saying, “Go away. I believe in God and you Darwinists can’t make me think otherwise.” Rather, with eyes wide open, we declare that it is folly to deny God’s existence. And we plead with people that they open theirs as well. We ask people to quit being closed-minded and begin vocalizing the questions they have, without sarcasm and spite.

Still my question stands: Where did the molecules come from? If you tell me that we just haven’t figured that one out, then how are you any different than the naive theist who closes their eyes and says they just believe?

Tuesday, December 20

Tom Bethell Puts Darwinism on Defense

Here is a snippet from this insightful article:

No one denies "micro-evolution" -- i.e., species adapting to their environment. It is macro-evolution that is in trouble.

The Darwinian thesis of "survival of the fittest" turns out to be nothing but a tautology. How do we know existing species were the fittest? Because they survived. Why did they survive? Because they were the fittest.

While clever, this tells us zip about why we have tigers. It is less a scientific theory than a notion masquerading as a fact...

There are other questions Darwinists need to answer. If believing that Christ raised people from the dead is a matter of faith -- and it is -- is not the Darwinist claim that nature created life out of non-life a matter of faith? If it is science, why can't scientists replicate it in microcosm in a laboratory?

If scientists know life came from matter and matter from non-matter, why don't they show us how this was done, instead of asserting it was done, and calling us names for not taking their claims on faith?

Clearly, a continued belief in the absolute truth of Darwinist evolution is but an act of faith that fulfills a psychological need of folks who have rejected God. That picture on the wall of the science class of apes on four legs, then apes on two legs, then homo erectus walking upright is as much an expression of faith as the picture of Adam and Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Hence, if religion cannot prove its claim and Darwinists can't prove their claims, we must fall back upon reason, which some of us believe is God's gift to mankind.

And when you consider the clocklike precision of the planets in their orbits about the sun and the extraordinary complexity of the human eye, does that seem to you like the result of random selection or the product of intelligent design?

Full Article

[HT: Espresso Roast]

Monday, December 19

A Little Levity

As a bit of humor in the midst of a heavy discussion, I thought I would share my new favorite commercial. I have had to watch it 7-8 times. It is hilarious!


[HT: CawleyBlog]

Friday, December 16

Trapping Evolution

“Imagine that you are walking with a friend in the woods. Suddenly your friend is pulled up by the ankle by a vine and left dangling in the air. After you cut him down, you reconstruct the situation. You see that the vine was tied to a tree limb that was bent down and held by a stake in the ground. The vine was covered by leaves so that you would not notice it and so on. From the way the parts were arranged, you would quickly conclude that this was no accident - this was a designed trap. Your conclusion is not based on religious beliefs; it is based firmly in the physical evidence...The bottom line is that we need additional information to answer questions such as who, what, where, when, why, and how the trap was designed. But the fact that the trap was designed is apprehended directly from observing the system” (Michael Behe, Science and Evidence for Design in the Universe, 127-128).

Thursday, December 15

Irreducible Complexity

One of the storms raging in the sciences right now is the confrontation of evolution with the growing popularity of what has been dubbed the “Intelligent Design” movement. Headed by such men as William Dembski, Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, and Stephen Meyer, the ID movement is gaining steam as long-time followers of evolution are beginning to ask the questions that were in the back of all our brains.

That is, there are many things that are wrong with Darwinian theory, yet it is touted as being the savior of all our questions for the origins of life. The problem is, as mentioned in my last post, there is no answer to where did all the matter come from. The Darwinian does not seem to care about this question. The theory fails to answer the deepest longings of the human psyche.

Michael Behe has written a book that has received critical acclaim, Darwin's Black Box. Rather than reading the book, I found it beneficial to read his essay in Science and Evidence for Design in the Universe entitled “Evidence for Design at the Foundation of Life”.

Behe’s argument boils down to this: Darwin said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down” (Behe, Science and Evidence, San Francisco: Ignatius, 2000, 119).

Behe believes he has found the daddy to do the job. He says that if there could be shown an organ that is “irreducibly complex” then Darwin’s theory would utterly be destroyed. An “irreducibly complex” structure would be like a mousetrap. You need the spring, the hammer, the trip, and hold for the hammer. If any single one of these elements were missing from the trap it would cease to work as it was designed. Without a hold, the hammer would not stay up. Without the trip, the mouse would be able to eat all day. Without the hammer, no dead mouse.

The same can be seen in the flagellum of bacteria as well as cilium in the lungs. They are irreducibly complex. More specifically, the human eye is irreducibly complex. You can see this when someone loses a cornea. The eye ceases to be useful. When there is no retina, no light, no sight. There is no way that the eye could have just evolved.

Although Darwin claims there were successive movements from photo-sensitive cells evolving into a depression then into a cup shape and so on. However, he never answers where the light-sensitive cells came from. He knew the question was lingering in the dark, but dodged it by saying: “How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light hardly concerns us more than how life itself originated” (Behe, Science and Evidence, 116). This is ridiculous. The whole theory rests on the haunches of this question. He is trying to explain the origins of life but is incapable of reaching back any further than the fact that matter just exists...shouldn’t he be concerned with where this matter came from? Even more, how does this matter is structured in such a way as to point to a designer?

So if you’re taking a Biology class now or have taken one or will take one in the future. Don’t let evolution win the day with its tautology. It is nothing more than a question-dodging theory. It cannot answer how matter came into being? This should be the starting point, but it is avoided totally! The innate sense in mankind to ask the question “Why?” exudes with this fact. People want to know the purpose of life...Darwinian theory cannot and will never answer this question.

If you have 30 minutes and want to get a good feel for the idea of “irreducible complexity” read Behe’s essay. If you want to go deeper, buy the book, Signs of Intelligence .

Some other resources:
Web Sites
Dembski’s Web Site - Design Inference
Intelligent Design the Future
Access Research Network
Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center

Dembski’s Blog - Uncommon Descent
Telic Thoughts
ID in the UK
Discovery Institute
Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture
International Society for Complexity Information and Design
Intelligent Design Network
Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center

Jonathan Wells' Articles
Behe Articles
More Behe Articles
Evolution, Neutrality, and Antecedent Probability

Thursday, December 8

Where'd That Come From

My Freshman year in biology in university found me sitting in a lecture on the wonders and complexities of the universe. Dr. So-and-So was lecturing on how amazing the smallest microbes were and how beautifully complex the human body was. The climax of his sermon (yes, I said sermon) came to a halt when he said, “Evolution truly is amazing!”

Perplexed, I went to him after class and asked him where the protoplasmic molecules that cohered together at just the right time and in just the right way...I asked him where these amazing little things came from. Quickly, he answered me, “Why, from the dirt and molecules in the air!” As if to point out the absurdity of the question by his scoffing.

I then asked, “Where did that dirt and such come from?” He retorted, “From the meteorites and the large explosion of matter.” Did you catch it? He totally dodged the question. He essentially told me that the matter that made up the organisms came from......matter. How does that work? The question remained unanswered and I continued to press.

“Where did those meteorites come from?” He paused. Silence. Longer pause. Clearing of throat. Furrowed brow. “Well, if there is a God that does not matter to this class.” I left stunned that a doctor of biology just showed his purposeful ignorance and rebellion by showing that the existence of God does, in fact, greatly affect how we study Biology 101.

This is the issue with evolution. It begs the question, “Where did we come from?” Moreover, it sweeps it aside as though only the weak person needs a reason why they exist. That is, they say, only the weak person needs the crutch of religion to give them meaning in life. Pardon my bluntness, kinda...But apart from God you have no meaning!

Biology has no meaning. Social theory has no meaning. Education has no meaning. Math has no meaning. And the list goes on ad infinitum. Evolution does not answer the fundamental question of life...Why? It asserts, as though condescension, that it just is and we should deal with it. Its worshippers clamor in rhetoric to confuse and evade simple questions a child asks - and the graduate student longs to ask without seeming like a fool.

The burden of proof lies on the atheist’s shoulder to explain away God. It if known by the simplest of people, and yet through cunning people have tried to find comfort in the hypothesis that God does not exist. It is like a child pulling a blanket over their eyes and thinking that the world ceases to be. Foolish. So the question remains...Where’d That Come From?

Friday, December 2


That’s a mouthful! This is Anselm’s main point in his book, Proslogion. His defense for the existence of God has been a debated one since introduced in the 11th century. He was born in 1033 and forced to accept the position of Archbishop of Canterbury in 1093 (though reluctantly).

Anselm was a Realist in the Scholastic schools of the Roman Catholic Church - which is a school that aimed to show universal principles from the world that we live in. For example, one can see that God is intelligent from the order of Creation. God has purpose in Creation from the fact there is a food-chain, etc.

Proslogion is the sequel to his book, Monologion. In Monologion he attempted to show that God is ‘the best and greatest and highest of all things’. In Proslogion he attempts to show that God is 'something-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought’.

What does this mean? Think of a being that encapsulates the best of everything you can think of - justice, mercy, beauty, power, splendor, majesty. That which you think of is not God. Sorry. God is better than what you just thought of.

It might be argued that merely because you can think of something does not mean that it has to exist. For example, I can think of an beautiful island with white sandy beaches etc. That does not mean it has to exist. Response: This is true, it does not have to exist. However, to exist is greater than not to exist. Therefore, this island is not the greatest island because it does not exist.

In the same way, because existence is better than non-existence, God exists. Thinking of a being that is perfectly just, merciful, powerful, loving, etc. and for him to not exist means that this being is not 'something-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought’. Make sense?

Further, we know that there is such a being that exists because we have in our mind’s eye an understanding of what right and wrong is. That is, we have a sense of morality. The impossibility for morality to find its way through evolutionary processes of trial and error do not solve the problem of evil. We will get into this later in another discussion of God’s existence and the existence of morality - good and evil.

So before you leave this discussion, try this. Close your eyes and think of 'something-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought’. When you get to your highest thoughts, realize that God is more than this. And take comfort in the fact that existence is better than non-existence.

You can read more on this argument here .And I will also make it possible to download a three-page summary I wrote of the book that might be helpful.
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