Theism or Naturalism – which is it? Below are a few snippets to consider.
When it comes to apologetics and talking about religious and philosophical issues with “ordinary” people we may meet in the course of our lives, I think a good place to begin such a conversation is with what I think of as the “God in your face” kind of phenomenon. You know – those “coincidences” which speak loudly and clearly of intelligent creation and/or design and which, if honesty prevails, must be admitted to strongly support intelligent creation of the universe versus random processes.
We live in a “dumbed down” era of “public” education (i.e., government education) in the midst of a population which, for the most part, has never been introduced to the niceties of religious and philosophical debate. Probably around 99% of the population would stare at you blankly if you asked them “Who has the better argument, William Paley or David Hume?” You simply can’t start a conversation about Theism vs. Naturalism with a question like that. Johnny can barely read these days to say nothing of analyze an issue with rigorous logic. It does not mean that people are stupid, it simply means they have been trained and conditioned by our government education system to suppress the rational, and “think” with their emotions. (BTW, I read both Hume and Paley when I was in college, and Paley has the better argument. )
Our Socialist masters have taken their cues from the pagan Romans and erected a rather effective “bread and circuses” approach to population control, as well as a rather thorough system of control of the flow of knowledge and information in academia and the media and publishing outlets which it indirectly controls.
So, I like to begin these types of conversations with non-believers (or nominal believers) with the “God in your face” stuff. This is very autobiographical in nature, and constitutes a few of the things that bewildered me when I was a young atheist and which simply did not “fit” into my chosen philosophical preference of atheism.
TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSES
Have you ever pondered the extreme unlikeliness of a perfect total eclipse of the sun by the moon? The sun is approximately 93 million miles away and 865,000 miles in diameter. The moon is approximately 240 thousand miles away and only 2160 miles in diameter. And yet the apparent diameter of the sun and the moon from the perspective of a viewer on the surface of the earth is virtually identical. What are the odds of that? Well…astronomical. This amazing correlation of distance and size is what makes a perfect solar eclipse possible. On occasion the moon perfectly covers the sun leaving only the corona visible for analysis. If either the sun or the moon were just a little larger or a little smaller, this would not be possible. Phobos and Deimos, the moons of Mars, for example, transit the sun, but they are too small to create a total solar eclipse as viewed from the surface of Mars.
When I was a young atheist pondering things like this, I had to admit in all honesty that this phenomenon fell squarely on the side of theism. Total solar eclipses are a “God in your face” phenomenon. The likelihood of design here is immensely greater than the likelihood of randomness.
THE UNIQUENESS OF MAN
Question: how many animals can you name which manufacture musical instruments? and play them? What chimpanzee ever manufactured a harp or saxophone or piano? How many animals have built ships and sailed across the oceans? Or created a monetary currency? We could go on and on endlessly with additional examples like this. Why are there not 6,371 other species with such capacities? Or 214? Or even 18? There is clearly something unique about man, not merely quantitatively but qualitatively.
Man is clearly unique among the vast multitude of living creatures on this planet; and not only unique but unique in a manner which speaks of partaking in a higher dimension of existence which the animals lack. This reality stares us in the face. This uniqueness speaks loudly of a Creator and of Man as like (“in the image of”) his Creator. This empirical reality falls solidly on the creationist’s side, whether the devotees of the religion of Naturalism like to admit it or not. The uniqueness of man is manifest and a “God in your face” phenomenon. The likelihood of divine creation and design here is immensely greater than the likelihood of being the production of random processes.
THE RECENTNESS OF WRITTEN HUMAN HISTORY
When I was a young atheist the evolutionary party line was that humans such as ourselves had inhabited the earth for about 200,000 years. Now that’s not a lot of time if you believe the earth is 4 ½ billion years old. Conversely, that is a lot of time compared to the length of recorded, written history. Secular historians claim the first civilization having written history goes back to Sumer to roughly 4000 years before Christ. I don’t buy into the secularists’ chronology, but let’s play the game by their timeline for a moment for argument’s sake and see where this leads us. This would mean that roughly simultaneously (compared to the antiquity of man), written language sprung up independently in Sumer, India, China, etc. What are the odds of this? Well…again, astronomical.
Even as a young atheist, I felt there was “something wrong with this picture.” It seemed self-evident to me (and still does), even if it was not to the academicians, that any settled population (i.e., not nomadic) of human beings would develop, out of necessity, a system of written language. Where is all the written history for the previous 200,000 years? Let’s be generous and shorten the timeline to 50,000 years: the same question remains. Even if it failed in continuity, would there not be at the very least, sporadic examples of very ancient peoples communicating amongst themselves in writing? Would there not be some here, some there? Where is the written communication, say, from 40,000 years ago? Or 15,000 years ago? Or even 10,000 years ago?
This total blackout of previous written history is inexplicable given the evolutionists assumptions and is, hands down, consistent with the biblical version of man’s history rather than the evolutionary one.
Conclusion: there is no previous written history because there was no 20,000-years-ago. What are the odds for the complete lack of such written communication? Atheists will surely dispute my conclusion here, but I say the odds here are, again, astronomical. This historical reality is not only God in your face but more specifically the Bible in your face.
Martian moons transit image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
In my next article, “THE COLLAPSE OF HOMOLOGY AS SUPPORT FOR EVOLUTION,” we will discuss what may very well be the most devastating proof of all against evolutionary speculation, the failure of embryology and genetics to provide a basis for homology consistent with common descent of living organisms.