Is Faith The Absence Of Evidence?

In the arena of philosophical and scientific discussion the word faith is often used to describe a belief that is unsubstantiated. In other words faith is employed to fill gaps in knowledge, thus the more faith I have the further I travel outside the scope of empirical evidence.

But what exactly is it that constitutes faith? Derived from the Greek word pistis, faith is simply translated “to be persuaded.” So what is it that persuades someone like myself to believe in God? Is it evidence in that which is evident? or is it blind unsubstantiated claims completely void of reason?

I am frequently told that it is the latter of the two, that to profess the notion that God created the world is to place some abstract wibble wobble like widget in place of science. Such ideas falsely assume that creationist such as myself are inserting God as a mechanism in place of science. On the contrary, I hold God as an agent who has established the laws of nature.

In the words of John Lennox -“Suppose we have a Rolls Royce turbo jet engine, and I offer two explanations of it, first is aeronautical engineering and the basic laws of thermodynamics. Another explanations is Rolls and Royce, Choose one! Well anyone can see that’s an absurdity, their two different kinds of explanations, the first is in terms of law and mechanism, that is the scientific one, and the second is in terms of agency”

The conflict between theism and atheism is not whether God and science contradict each other, what it really boils down to for me is the question of origins – How did life begin? There are only two possible explanations

a) life was created

b) life evolved naturally through non-living particles

Both have some rather supernatural implications. On one hand you have to either accept that an all powerful and eternal God created the universe, or that – despite it being mathematically impossible and scientifically implausible – life evolved naturally through an unguided process – take your pick!

I recently had a conversation with a blogger in which he explained to me how “New Atheists [such as himself] clearly self identify as agnostic atheists.” which simply means that while they don’t claim to have sufficient knowledge to make a conclusion on how life began, they are persuaded that God doesn’t exist.

When confronted with the question of origins most atheist like the blogger I mentioned will try to conveniently play the agnostic card and say they don’t presume to know how life began and that they would never pretend to know something so silly. We are often led to believe that atheist make no claims of belief, that they simply assert the “lack of a belief” in a intelligent designer. Albeit to deny the existence of God is to directly infer the only other alternative whether they care to admit it or not. The agnostic card hidden up the sleeve is just an attempt to save face and not commit intellectual suicide by saying that they believe life evolved naturally.

The English astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle’s explained why life could not have arisen by a purely natural unguided process:

“life could not have had a random beginning.. the trouble is that there is about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in 10 to the 40,000 power, an outrageous small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup. If one is not prejudiced either by social beliefs or by a scientific training into the conviction that life originated on the Earth, this simple calculation wipes the idea entirely out of court….The enormous information content of even the simplest living systems…cannot in our view be generated by what are often called “natural” processes…For life to have originated on the Earth it would be necessary that quite explicit instruction should have been provided for its assembly…There is no way in which we can expect to avoid the need for information, no way in which we can simply get by with a bigger and better organic soup, as we ourselves hoped might be possible a year or two ago.”

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What do Evolutionist have against the Judeo-Christian God??

monkeybible

The basic definition of evolution is “the process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth.” In society today we naturally assume that evolution and atheism are inherently woven into the fabric of one another, that if the theory of evolution could be scientifically ascertained, then ultimately the idea of a divine creator comes tumbling down. Sure it would do wonders in debunking the Judeo-Christian God of the bible, but what if I don’t believe in the Judeo-Christian God of the bible? What if I believe in  evolutionary creationism? Whose to say there’s not some divine agent that set in motion this evolutionary cycle?

As a believer I often find my self in the time-honored debate of Christianity vs. evolution, the all to familiar interchange seeking to debunk my adversaries beliefs. Likewise my challengers insist the bible is nonsensical rubbish, and therefore vehemently opposes the existence of the Judeo-Christian God, but what does debunking the God of the bible really prove for the evolutionist? Does evolution really do anything in attesting to atheism or debunking the idea of intelligent design? The reasoning of evolutionist commonly stops somewhere around the argument of descent with modification. Well sure we all could have come from a common ancestor billions of years ago, but whose to say a “god” or “gods” didn’t create it!?

In order to even begin to enter the realm of atheism one would need to formulate a hypothesis on how living organisms formed by natural processes, say perhaps, oh I don’t know, maybe chemical evolution?  Ahh and therein lies the proverbial black sheep of the scientific community, the bane of reason for all evolutionist. Origins of life is a rather dark and sticky corridor that most would rather not go down if needn’t be. Dean Kenyon, author of the best seller biochemical predestination, and one of the leading chemical evolutionary theorist in the 60’s and early 70’s, famously converted to creationism and is now a devout Christian after coming to what he described as:

“An intellectual road block”

He described how self-organization through chemical evolution is impossible, that amino acids can’t organize themselves in a meaningful biological sequence (proteins) without a PRE-EXISTING set of genetic instructions. He says:

 “We have not the slightest chance of chemical evolutionary origins for the simplest cell”

Kenyon explains how the enormous problem that is neglected is the origins of genetic information itself. The point that I’m trying to make in all this is that speciation and the descent with modification are not intellectual alternatives to the childish notions of a supreme being in the sky. These evolutionary tenets have nothing to do with the origins of life. Why then do we hear them brought up so much in disputing the existence of a supreme agent? I think it’s not a coincidence that such arguments are almost always followed (or preceded) by bible thumping, In a recent post I stated how evolution is merely an alternative response to Christianity. If evolution is true, then the bible is false and that’s all that really matters folks! Evolution only takes aim at disproving the God of the bible, and while I believe it falls miserably short in doing so, likewise it really does absolutely nothing in disproving intelligent design or the existence of an agent in general.

Is the idea of a creator superfluous in explaining how the world began like Richard Dawkins asserts? If so, I’ve yet to hear any compelling alternative which would lead me to believe such. Technically speaking, life beginning from non-living matter (Abiogenesis) is mathematically impossible, thus intelligent design is in inference to the best explanation – never mind your incredulity.

Why don’t we hear more discussion on the actual origins of life? perhaps its a topic which doesn’t quite lend itself to the “lofty” explanations which the evolutionist take pride in publishing.

Evolution and the Fossil Record

The fossil record is probably one of the biggest problems for evolutionist, the theory of evolution predicts certain results to be found in the fossil record. When the evolutionist are looking at the fossil record they would expect to find a slow and simple progressive evolution. However, we actually find a complex and abrupt beginning as one would expect to find if they were a creationist. Many renown evolutionist acknowledge that this is a serious hole in the theory of evolution, Richard Dawkins says this of the fossils:

“And we find many of them already in advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear”

Furthermore, Charles Darwin says:

“innumerable transitional forms must have existed but why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?.. Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain and this perhaps is the greatest objection which can be urged against my theory.”

It’s refreshing that men such as Darwin were at least genuine enough to be objective with the facts. Today our textbooks are littered with graphs depicting the slow harmonious progression of the fossil record, yet this is the furthest thing from the truth. Shouldn’t we just be focused on providing the evidence and letting people make their own decisions? why is the school system so set on pushing their liberal agenda? Stephen J. Gould, an American paleontologist and evolutionary biologist actually acknowledges this misrepresentation in the textbooks.

“the evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of the fossils.

The fossil record is the only compelling and tangible source of evidence that we will ever have in studying the evolution of our species, why then do we as a society claim that evolution is a sound explanation when it is in direct conflict with the fossil record? perhaps blind faith? perhaps people just don’t know the facts and they have been brainwashed into believing these delusional theories. S.M. Stanley from Johns Hopkins University says:

“In fact, the fossil record does not convincingly document a single transition from one species to another.”

The reality is that the fossil record supports the creationist view. Interesting fact to end with is that about 95% of the fossil record is actually marine deposit. Nicholas Steno a historical creationist, held by even the secular world to be the father of geology, and a pioneer in paleontology and stratigraphy, asserted that this was undeniable evidence for a universal flood, while Steno never appealed to the story of Noah, I think we all know the implications, just a parting thought!


Source for quotes

Charles Dawkins – The Blind Watchmaker. pg 229

Charles Darwin – Origin of the Species

Stephen J. Gould – Natural History. V 86, pg 13

S.M Stanley – New Evolutionary Timetable. pg 95