Tag Archives: creationism

There IS Purpose!

To Begin With…

The world is in a state of turmoil. Pain and suffering are everywhere. Worry and fear are some of the more common emotions among men and women these days. In the midst of all this unforgiving stress, the hurting need comfort; yet, where are they to find it?  I believe that comfort can be found in the belief that this world is not the result of an accident, but design. I believe that there is more to life than what we can see. I believe in a Creator. I believe in God. This belief gives me comfort in the midst of pain and suffering.

But…

Many (but not all) scientists, however, do not believe in a Creator, so they pursue meaning and purpose through the discovery of new things, improving mankind’s situation, and better anticipating the future of the universe. Even though great scientists of the past viewed science as a means to further understand God’s creation, leading them to give God praise for His magnificent design, many modern scientists see the universe through a naturalistic worldview. They tend to comfort themselves in the supposed fact that this universe, made of matter, is all that there is – nothing more. They reason that since life is just a natural process and that matter is all that there is, what does it matter (pun intended) if there is no purpose to life? To the naturalist (the typical scientist), it is all about the here-and-now, occasionally sprinkled with purposeless wonder and meaningless awe.

Science?

A recent “scientific” study was conducted that shed some interesting light on the reasons why people choose to believe that there is a Designer of the universe, rather than purposeless existence after death. Just consider the title of the study: “Death and Science: The Existential Underpinnings of Belief in Intelligent Design and Discomfort with Evolution.” (Tracy, Hart, Martens) This study showed that when faced with the ultimate reality of death, most choose to find comfort in the belief that there is a design to everything, which would suggest purpose, rather than hold to Darwin’s theory of evolution. When faced with what was called “mortality salience,” even the unreligious tended to be “uncomfortable” with the theory of evolution. The conductors of the experiment were amazed (I found it perfectly logical), even indignant at times (which I thought was funny). Sadly, the researchers who conducted the study were obviously predisposed to atheism and the idea that the universe is un-designed. Surely they included themselves in the category of “certain individuals who are more deeply invested in the scientific worldview (e.g., scientists),” and, like Carl Sagan, viewed “naturalism as providing human life with meaning and purpose.” (Tracy, Hart and Martens 10)

Only a fool could look at a working machine that had every feature capable of performing a particular task and call that machine a random collection of atoms without purpose or meaning. Even the Psalmist said, “the fool hath said in his heart, [there is] no God.” On the other hand, the logical person would conclude, at some point, that the universe machine must have been designed by a Designer. To illustrate this, William Paley (1743-1805) used a pocket watch as an analogy to describe what one should conclude when he looks at the universe. Like a lone watch found on a beach, the universe should be to the observer an intricate work of art made for a purpose. People that are logical also see themselves as instruments of purpose, because they can recognize things that bear the marks of design. Why should it be a surprise to anyone, that when faced with death, the need for meaning would be important to the same, thoughtful, logical observer? “When we see evidence of intelligent design…we naturally assume that an intelligent designer was responsible for constructing the object.” (Phillips, Brown and Stonestreet 78)

Ten Words

The Christian can find his whole sense of purpose in the ten words that make up Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The Christian scientist can also read these words and find confirmation to his observations. It is the naturalistic scientist that looks at William Paley’s watch analogy (teleological argument) and comes to the illogical conclusion that “chance plus time” created a beautifully intricate machine out of nothing.

If the universe is Godless, and it was not designed for a purpose, then meaning is irrelevant. The thing that is designed for a purpose, even if only to amuse, has a purpose, which gives meaning to every aspect of its being. Something that was not designed, created, or brought about either in reality or in the abstract, exists, at best, by accident. There is no purpose inherent within an accident (accidents are by definition unplanned), unless, of course, the accident was caused. If an accident is caused, even if it was not purposeful, then it was at least caused, was it not? So, either way, it could be argued that whether the universe was designed or came about by accident, there was a Something that brought it about, for both are objects of a Creator, else neither would have existed.

Waxing Philosophical

In conclusion, I would now argue that if the universe was either designed or the result of an accident, and if both design and accident have to have a cause; and, since accidents usually don’t result in the promotion of life-sustaining details, but rather carnage; and, since the universe mirrors best an intricate machine full of life; therefore, it must be designed, not an accident. If, then, the universe was the product of a Designer, then there must be a purpose inherent in the design. In other words, there is a reason for everything we see. It may be hidden somewhere in the workings of this great machine. Or, it could be found in the revelation of the Designer – the Bible.

There is, according to Scripture, a purpose for everything. Even amidst all the turmoil of the Vietnam War era a song came out by a group call The Byrds entitled, “Turn, Turn, Turn.” The lyrics included a line from Ecclesiastes 3:1 which said, “a time to every PURPOSE (emphasis mine) under heaven.” To everything there is a purpose, even though it may not be plain to the observer. For example, unless they are meant to be a prank, buttons and levers on a machine usually have a purpose. Even if they don’t do anything, they had the purpose to illicit a response of some kind from the observer. That being understood, if there seems to be any design to the universe, wouldn’t it make the most sense to assume there was a Designer? If there was a Designer, then there was a purpose for the design. And the Bible says that the purpose, if for no other reason, was to cause “…all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him [the LORD]. For he spake, and it was [done]; he commanded, and it stood fast.” – Psa 33: 8-9 KJV

God made everything for a reason. You have a purpose. There IS hope in Jesus Christ.

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. – Psalm 31:24 KJV


Works Cited

Tracy, J. L., J. Hart and J. P. Martens. 2011. Death and Science: The Existential Underpinnings of Belief in Intelligent Design and Discomfort with Evolution. PLoS ONE. 6 (3): e17349.

Phillips, W. Gary, William E. Brown and John Stonestreet. Making Sense of Your World, A Biblical Worldview. Salem, Wisconsin: Sheffield Publishing Company, 2008.

Here is a link to the Institute for Creation Research article addressing the study mentioned above: http://www.icr.org/article/6039/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+icrscienceupdate+%28Science+Update+from+ICR%29&utm_content=FaceBook

 

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Debates and Doubt

Reflections On the Debate

Last night we watched the highly-anticipated debate between Bill Nye (The Science Guy) and Ken Ham (Answers In Genesis / Creation Museum). But I must admit, one of the funniest things about it was watching the people in the audience, both on video and where we were. Some were getting it, while others had a strange, confused, glassed-over look.

promo-slideOthers have already posted reviews of the debate, so I’m sure you will be able to find a host of opinions supporting your own conclusions (Here’s a good one).  The evolutionists will probably claim a victory, as well with most creationist. However, my opinion is that there were no clear winners at all. As a matter of fact, what is most disturbing is that the debate may have done more harm than good for many young Christians. Last night one of my daughters left the debate much more solemn than she arrived. To state it simply, her faith was challenged. She said, “The only thing I got out of that debate was doubt.”

Why did my daughter leave with feelings of doubt? Well, one reason, I believe, was the evidence Bill Nye presented for the age of the earth, such as star light, ice samples, the ages of trees, etc. Ham stuck to a “young earth” creation model that, at least in the debate, never adequately addressed, from a “reasonable” perspective, these evidences. So, when the evolutionist threw out all of these seemingly undeniable proofs, and since the debate format really didn’t allow for any back-and-forth questioning, the proofs were allowed to stand unchallenged. As Ken Ham dutifully stuck to the main point of the debate, Nye flanked Ham and fired rounds which could not be deflected.

On a positive note, I was able to reassure my daughter as we drove home. I reminded her of two things, one of which was brought up in the debate, and another which was not. First, there was the ultimate issue of where did everything come from. Even though the age of the earth could be debated based on how one interpreted the evidence, when Bill Nye was asked the ultimate question of where did matter come from in the first place, he didn’t have the faintest idea. All he could say was, “I don’t know.” But as Ken Ham said, “There’s a Book out there” with the answer.  No matter what the evolutionist claim, they have no clue how to account for something coming from nothing, unless they creatively attempt to redefine “nothing” as “something” – which then means something came from something, not nothing.

The second thing I reminded her of was the hinge on what the whole Christian world view rests: Jesus. Nye and Ham completely disagreed on the definition of “science.” Ham argued that there is “observational science” and “historical science,” while Nye maintained that there is no difference. At times, Nye even questioned Christian dogma as a way to belittle the viability of Ham’s worldview. According to the evolutionist, there is nothing “testable and verifiable” about faith. But that’s where we disagree, at least on one critical point: Jesus.

In my opinion, although I believe in a “young-earth” creation model, I believe there is room for a larger span of time than 6,000 years for age of the earth. I certainly don’t accept the billions of years idea, but I am perfectly open to 10’s of thousands. Most importantly, I am open to the miraculous, where Bill Nye is not. But had Nye been debating an “old-earth” creationist, I definitely believe Nye would have lost 90% of his wind.

But whether or not creation is young or old, the history of Jesus Christ IS testable and verifiable. Was Jesus who He said He was? Did Jesus come to earth, go to the cross, and rise again from the dead? If Jesus was who He said He was (not a liar or a lunatic), then He is Lord (C.S. Lewis). If Jesus is who He said He is, then we can trust the Bible, despite all of the “evidences” and statistics Bill Nye offers. If Jesus is the Christ, then our worldview begins with the opening statement of Genesis, thereby proving this world, and we, have meaning and purpose, as opposed to being the product of random chance.

I believe Jesus was and is who He said He was. I believe He came into the world that He, the Word of God, first spoke into existence and became flesh. I believe Jesus walked the paths of this world as man, showing that a transcendent God could know our pain, and then went to the cross in order to reconcile fallen man to God. I believe, too, that Jesus, as He promised, rose again, thereby becoming the “firstfruits” of those who put their trust in Him. And I believe that the observable world testifies to the account of Genesis, that it is a fallen world, a broken version of the original, waiting for the day it, too, will be made new. Jesus, not “discovery,” brings me hope…brings me joy…and gives meaning to what otherwise would be meaningless, or as the writer of Ecclesiastes would say, “vanity.”

So, my dear daughter, be strong in your faith! “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” – 1 Corinthians 15:19-22 KJV

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Monday Monkey “What if You Cross a Monkey With Time?” (Episode 28)

A Little Late

I am sorry that this edition of Monday Monkey did not make it out on Monday, but life is not a picnic – or is it? Life is not a bed of roses – or is it?

Picnics have scavenging insects and flying blood-suckers, while roses are covered with thorns. If you were to lay on a bed of roses while out on a picnic without insect repellent, you could die from blood loss and starvation.

Yesterday was not a good day. Let’s just say my family and myself would appreciate your prayers.

A Little Different

This edition of Monday Monkey was done in black and white. Believe it or not, I had to take multiple videos with my Socialcam app in order to achieve the effect. I could not find a single app for my phone that would record in black and white the way that I wanted, especially for free.

It is also a little different because I made up an accent. I don’t know what it really is. Maybe it is a combination of French, Russian, and Romanian. I don’t know.

And believe it or not, I did everything by myself this time. I had no help in the “camera girl” department. I even did the music on an old Yamaha Clavinova.

A Little Controversy

Where’s the controversy? Well, one could say that it is the fact that I call a certain kind of bread “monkey bread,” when it isn’t. But the real controversy can be found in the fact that I make it perfectly clear where I stand with the issue of Creation and Evolution. It’s quick, but it’s in there.

I’m sure, based on previous experience, that some will come on this blog and challenge my beliefs. That’s OK. The last thing I want to be known for is cowering from expressing my beliefs.

A Little Encouragement

That brings me to a final thought. There is no reason for Christians (or those who just believe that the world did not just appear out of nothing or by accident) to cower under the attacks from evolutionists. Sure, a lot of those guys are smart, but that doesn’t mean they are right (I’m sure that won’t set well, either). If you have the truth, don’t be afraid to stand up for it. Just be sure you are able to defend your beliefs with something solid, not just tradition or feeling.

One well-known “scientist” was recently shown telling parents to stop teaching their kids about creation. He said, “We need them [to be engineers, scientists, etc.].” Immediately my mind recalled one of the greatest scientist this country has known, George Washington Carver (1864-1943). Carver said, “I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”  – Brainyquote.com

“What if You Cross a Monkey With Time?”

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