Posts Tagged ‘atheism

18
May
09

Eternal Evolution?

Irreducible complexity is the notion that a mechanism is so complicated and complete, that if any part of its whole were missing, it would not be able to function (The God Delusion, 122). Two common examples for this argument are the eye and the wing. Many creationists would claim that a partial eye or a fraction of a wing would be useless (123-124).

Dawkins disagrees with these two examples, bringing to attention the flatworm, whose eye is apparently less evolved than the human eye and can only detect shadows and light (124). While giving no real examples of creatures with partial wings, Dawkins rationalizes that a fraction of a wing—though not as good as a whole wing—is still functional.  There is always a height from which a winglet can save you from a fall (123). (I find this logic somewhat silly.)

I am not going to pretend to know the anatomy and complexity of these or other organs. I couldn’t tell you one way or another whether an organ is irreducibly complex.

Dawkins admits that irreducible complexity would destroy Darwin’s theory of evolution:

The creationists are right that, if genuinely irreducible complexity could be properly demonstrated, it would wreck Darwin’s theory. Darwin himself said as much: ‘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. But I can find no such case.’ (Dawkins, 125)

For some reason Dawkins believes irreducible complexity would be likewise as lethal to the intelligent design theory (125). I can’t figure out why. I should think irreducible complexity is absolutely necessary!

Complexity must either be infinitely reducible, so that we never reach a beginning in which case natural selection becomes an on-going (everlasting?) series of effects, with no definite initial cause. (And this would seriously contradict science in the law of causality.) OR there must ultimately be an actual eternal existence that has no beginning and has no end—whose complexity indeed is irreducible. Neither option is very accommodating to the theory of evolution.

Evolution only works within the construct of time. Dawkins already explained the cumulative process of natural selection. Over so many ‘billions’ or ‘trillions’ of years (far, far less than forever), we’ve supposedly evolved from the same primary life form. Wouldn’t that very first building block have to be irreducibly complex? If there is no end to the reducibility of complexity, then how do we dare frame the process of evolution within a supposed span of time?—(and so short a time at that.) The process of natural selection would go back forever. It would be eternal. This theory doesn’t make sense.

The origin of life must be BOTH eternal AND irreducibly complex if it is to initiate the whole process of natural selection. If neither of these attributes are present in the origin of life, then it remains nothing more than an effect. And we know that an effect cannot exist without a cause. There MUST be an ultimate cause.

We may not agree about who or what the ultimate cause actually is, but we certainly need to recognize the necessity of irreducible complexity and eternal existence.

I believe the ultimate cause is the eternal God, Creator of all things–including time. He is the source of life and is certainly irreducibly complex. Regardless of whether we acknowledge him as our Lord and Maker, we cannot exist without of him. Remove the cause and you remove the effect.

The creationist’s determination to hunt for irreducible complexity and other such “gaps” between stages of evolution seems to really annoy Dawkins. I guess this determination is not so different than the atheist’s obsession to spotlight holes in Scripture in order to find it unreliable. (Dawkins demonstrated this obsession himself in just the previous chapter.) This is NOT annoying. This is good! If there are holes in the ship wouldn’t we sure want to know about them? It is GOOD to critique and examine an argument, to be sure it is solid. Otherwise, you might find yourself on a sinking vessel.

Advertisements
03
May
09

The Faith Award

Why should God be so interested in belief—Dawkins wants to know. Why shouldn’t he reward kindness, generosity, humility, or sincerity? (The God Delusion, 104) It’s a very good question.

Dawkins is asking a question that pertains to an entity he believes (almost) certainly does not exist. Indeed it will be difficult for him to hear any kind of answer. He (and any atheist) is going to have to yield to the notion that God does indeed exist. Not just any god–for there are thousands who require good virtues and works of righteousness in addition to belief. But only one God–the God of the Bible–requires FAITH alone. If Dawkins (or any atheist) wants an answer to this question, he will have to tolerate for once, the God of the Bible…

In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth and gave order to it. He created man and woman in his own image. He blessed them and charged them to be fruitful and multiply, and to rule over his creation. God provided them with seed-bearing plants and fruit-bearing trees to eat for food. God saw all that he had made and saw that it was very good (Genesis 1).

Adam and Eve had perfect communion with God in the Garden of Eden. God had only one restriction–do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or you will surely die (Genesis 2:16-17). It is not too much to ask. There were plenty of trees from which Adam and Eve could eat. Only one single tree in the whole garden was forbidden. God gave us freedom to choose to obey him, or to forsake him. He permitted us to act on our will. And so we did. You and I were not there in the Garden of Eden. But we all fell with Adam’s sin. Sin infected the entire human race. We ALL are guilty of sin. We all harbor ill thoughts, we all lie, we all cheat, we all offend, we all shrink in our pride. And therefore we all die, just as God warned would surely happen.

God is not obliged to reverse our decision. We made our choice. We are not entitled to reconciliation. We all deserve eternal damnation.Yet God is gracious. He cursed the serpent for instigating this evil, but in the middle of the curse, he promised redemption for man (Genesis 3:15). And so he established his covenant.

As sinners, we are born into death. The dead and the living cannot have fellowship together. The pure will not tolerate the perverse. And the perverse will not tolerate the pure. God is perfect and holy. We are imperfect and unholy. We can do NOTHING to save ourselves. NOTHING! No amount of good works will ever redeem us from the grave. We will always contend with sin. We made our decision–we CHOSE death.

The only one who CAN save us from death is the One who is perfect and holy, without blemish, without sin—Jesus Christ the Son of God. He took our sin upon himself and died our death so that we may live.

Romans 10:9 tells us that that if we confess with our lips, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead, we will be saved. It is easy to read this verse to mean that we are saved as a result of our believing in God. But this would contradict with the rest of Scripture and nullify the work of Christ. We are saved by GRACE, not by works. Galatians 2:21. Belief in God does NOT merit salvation. Faith is NOT an activating agent that somehow makes the cross effective in our lives. We are not saved because we believe in Jesus. We believe in Jesus, because we are saved. Belief is a result (not a cause) of salvation. We will have restored communion with God, not because of anything we have done, but because of what Christ alone has done.

Dawkins is therefore mistaken. God does NOT reward our belief. Salvation—from beginning to end—is entirely the work of God ALONE. We are DEAD in our sin. As long as we are in the grave, we will only ever choose death. But the Holy Spirit gives life. Romans 8:1-17. The Spirit is the one who reveals God’s truth and leads us to true faith and repentance. We can NEVER choose to believe in God without the intervention of his Spirit. True faith can only come from God, not from ourselves. Ephesians 2:8-9. If true faith originates from ourselves, than belief in God is a work of self-righteousness.

Salvation is by God’s grace ALONE, through faith ALONE, in Jesus Christ ALONE, for His glory ALONE.

(I just breezed through an immense amount of doctrine.)

22
Jun
08

Worthwhile or Futile?

Why does the atheist (in his own words) believe God does not exist?

Professor Dawkins presents his reasoning in his book The God Delusion, which I am currently reading. I understand, however, (according to a couple of my readers) that this work may not render the agnostic position very well. I should’ve known. Dawkins himself is an athiest, and the purpose of the book (addressed particularly to agnostics) is to convince his readers that God does not exist and that it is okay to be a full-blown atheist.

I know it is impossible for anyone to PROVE the existence or non-existence of God. Both the Christian and the atheist must proceed in FAITH. No matter if you believe God exists or you believe he does not exists…BOTH opposing views are held in faith.

Only one can be right.

The agnostic might say it doesn’t matter. But for the atheist and the Christian it DOES matter. Dawkins wouldn’t write 374 pages on the non-existence of God unless it mattered to him (even if he does think it is ridiculous). And his colleague Alister McGrath wouldn’t write his works if he was indifferent on the subject.

It doesn’t matter who is right. This is about what is true. I want to believe the TRUTH. Who doesn’t? If I were convinced that what I believe is a lie, than certainly I would change my mind. Wouldn’t you?

I am curious about what agnostics believe (or don’t believe), but I understand they are essentially indifferent about whether or not God exists. Assuming the atheist cares enough about the subject to define his opinion about God, I am more interested in what he has to say than what the agnostic might offer. At least to the atheist I know the subject matters. And on that we both agree.

03
May
08

World without God?

If chance be the father of all flesh, disaster is his rainbow in the sky. And when you hear state of emergency–sniper kills ten, youths go looting, bombs blast school–it’s but the sound of man worshiping his maker. -Steve Turner, English Journalist

I am reading Richard Dawkins’ book, The God Delusion. Dawkins, if you do not know, is an athiest. He does not believe there is a God, any god, or supernatural being of any kind. He is so certain about this that he devoted hours of his time to build a case for it and write a whole book on the subject. (I will write more on his writing in a later blog.)

What does a world without God look like? I don’t know whether Dawkins will answer that in his book or not, I haven’t read that far yet. Although I would guess for him, he would consider it redundant to even give such an answer, because as far as he is concerned we live in one.

Without a Creator I suppose we are here by accident? What a depressing world view. If we are here by chance, then what purpose do we have? Any? None more, perhaps, than to defeat the weaker species. Sounds awfully close to Hitler’s mission. In the words of Ravi Zacharias, “If life is by accident than I can remove you by incident.” Is this what Dawkins and atheists like him desire?

Is that not Hell? Eternal separation from the Sovereign Lord and Maker. The cursed will receive just that what they desire, even if it is met with severe disappointment. The irony.

MY desire too…save for the grace of God! This I find incredibly humbling. My faith is not my own. Soli deo Gloria.

Note: I know the use of male pronouns to represent both sexes is not “politically correct” in this day. For now, just understand that (in context) I am referring to the entire human race. I refuse to employ “gender inclusive” language, I will explain this in a later blog as well…




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3 other followers

Categories

Recent Comments