Sam A. Smith
Below is a thought-provoking quiz. On a sheet of paper number 1-33 and mark each statement as either true or false (or you can just remember your answers). When you’ve completed the quiz you can read the answers and discussion for each proposition. If you are unfamiliar with some subjects just skip over them—unless you can’t stand a mystery. Whether you agree or disagree with the stated answers and discussion, hopefully this will prove to be a fun read!
If you would like to print this entire article you can access the PDF version by tapping or clicking here.
- Effects are produced by causes.
- In the purely natural realm, something can come from nothing.
- An infinite chain of cause and effect is logical.
- There must have been an original, uncaused cause from which all other causes and effects proceed.
- Something must be eternal.
- It is likely that universes other than our own exist.
- Alternate physical realities exist.
- Each self-aware person exists within his or her own reality.
- Self-awareness is a function of mental processing capacity.
- The chemistry of the Universe tends toward life, and life is likely wherever the chemistry is conducive and contravening circumstances are not present, i.e., too much heat, radiation, poisonous substances, etc.
- Some things are impossible, no matter how much time is allowed.
- There is no absolute truth.
- Both the past and the future exist in the same way that the present exists.
- Quantum theory is based on mathematical proof.
- Quantum theory predicts that something can come from nothing.
- Life is merely chemistry.
- The only valid truths are those which can be proven scientifically.
- Logic is absolute; no theorem that violates a fundamental law of logic, or reasonable conclusion drawn from such, can be correct.
- Philosophy and science will someday be able to prove that there is a purely natural (non-supernatural) explanation for all known phenomena.
- Postulating God as a first cause faces the same logical difficulties as an infinite chain of cause and effect (in other words, God is not a solution to the problem posed by an infinite regress of cause and effect).
- Based on purely logical reasoning it is far more likely that there is a God than that there is not a God.
- Given enough time anything is possible.
- All statements about God are merely religious statements and have no objective validity.
- All religions are equally valid.
- A proposition and its opposite can both be true, or both can be false under certain circumstances.
- Physical laws are causative (as in cause and effect).
- It is possible to know that God does not exist.
- Atheism is based on logic.
- Miracles are logically impossible.
- The illustration of “Schrodinger’s cat” proves, or at least supports, quantum theory.
- Physics is more fundamental than logic.
- Quantum theory is perfectly logical.
- The weight of scientific evidence strongly favors biological evolution over special creation (by God).
Answers and Discussion
Now that you’ve taken the quiz, perhaps you would enjoy some discussion.
Proposition #1: Effects are produced by causes.
The discussion on causation has taken a rather torturous path in the history of modern philosophy, much of which is in opposition to common sense, or what might be called “self-evident” truths. Almost every conceivable relationship between cause and effect, including no relationship, has been suggested. At one time the statement “For every effect there must be a thoroughly sufficient cause or causes” was considered self-evident; the alternative would be to suggest that something (i.e., some effect) proceeds from nothing. Since it is evident that nothing comes from nothing, effects do not come into existence without a cause. The general tact of those wishing to question the traditional understanding of cause and effect (principally atheists wishing to avoid the implications of the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God) has been to point out that it cannot be proven that a cause bears a direct connection to an effect, only that certain effects commonly follow certain causes, i.e., only a correlative relationship can be demonstrated (David Hume). Also, some philosophers have cited examples of effects with no identifiable cause, for example, an unsolved crime (R. Taylor). Of course there is a great difference in not being able to identify a cause and there not being one. Other philosophers point out that since it is impossible to determine a cause and effect relationship in every circumstance, we really don’t know but what some effects might be uncaused (to which it could be replied that no effect has ever been proven to be without a cause). Perhaps equally disturbing is the notion that the direction of necessitation could run in both directions, i.e., that effects might necessitate causes (D. Hume, M. Dummet, and A. Flew). Of course, the latter would require that something in the present create or alter something in the past, for which there is no sound philosophical or scientific basis. Equally disturbing is the fact that such ideas come not from simple-minded people, but from highly-educated philosophers and scientists. Generally speaking such thinkers share one proposition in common: that there is no absolute, eternal Creator. The existence of God is not an entirely religious question; it should be borne in mind that the existence or non-existence of an absolute, eternal Creator has extreme implications for every area of human knowledge, including physics, astronomy, theoretical cosmology, biology, and philosophy. The other issue in this discussion to which modern thinkers have neglected to give adequate attention is the nature of time. The traditional understanding of time is that the past no longer exists; only its effects exist. Is there, or could there ever be evidence that the past has or could change? The answer is “No.” Perhaps an even more fundamental question might be, “In such a reality as these individuals propose, would philosophy or science even be possible? The next question should be, “If we do indeed live in such a reality can philosophers or scientists make meaningful statements today that will still be meaningful tomorrow? Aside from the intellectual nihilism where modern atheistic philosophers and scientists have ventured, the following seem quite self-evident to rational people (those who view logic as fundamental to all knowledge):
- Causes precede effects.
- Any effect is the result of a thoroughly sufficient prior cause or causes.
- Effects are necessitated by causes, not the reverse.
- The past no longer exists, though its effects do; thus the past is unalterable (thank God!).
Proposition #2: In the purely natural realm, something can come from nothing.
If by “nothing” we actually mean “nothing,” as in the absence of anything (i.e., absolute nothing), then something, a thing, cannot come from nothing (not a thing). Some, like Stephen Hawking, have attempted to build the case that the Universe emerged out of nothing, but invariably they are forced to redefine “nothing” as “something”; for example, Hawking redefined “nothing” as quantum mechanics, imaginary time, and energy, which of course is not actually “nothing.” It is a logical dictum that something cannot come from nothing, and there can be no exceptions just as there can be no exception to the sum of 2 + 2 being equal to 4. It is sometimes objected that if something cannot come from nothing, then even God could not have created the Universe out of nothing. However, God being transcendent (outside of time) is not subject to the limitations of cause and effect.
Proposition #3: An infinite chain of cause and effect (i.e., cause and effect stretching back forever) is logical.
If the chain of cause and effect in the real world were infinite, it would have no beginning, and thus the chain itself would have no cause; which would require that an effect, the chain, be produced without a cause, which is to say that something could come from nothing. Another way of looking at this is to ask, “How long would it take to traverse infinite time?” The answer of course is that one could never traverse infinite time since one could never get to the end, if going forward, or the beginning if going backward. In the same way if the Universe were an infinite chain of cause and effect occurring in time (as would have to be the case since cause and effect occurs within time) then one could never arrive at the present from the infinite past, yet here we are! Thus, what we call the “natural world” could not have existed forever. This raises the question of how one could accept the notion that God has existed forever; wouldn’t the concept of an eternal God face the same objection? The answer is “No.” To see why, keep reading.
Proposition #4: There must have been an original, uncaused cause from which all other causes and effects proceed.
The logic presented in the answer to the third proposition above is applicable here. Since an infinite chain of cause and effect is illogical, the chain of cause and effect observed in the natural realm must have been caused, ultimately, by something uncaused, which is the only alternative to something coming from nothing. We can think of nothing in the natural realm that is uncaused; therefore, either something comes from nothing (illogical) or something uncaused, and thus beyond the natural realm (i.e., something supernatural), is responsible for creation. This raises several questions: What could possibly be “uncaused”? And in what realm would this “uncaused cause” be? Since cause and effect is a time-bound concept, and an uncaused cause would have to be timeless, i.e., existing outside of time, we might surmise that such an uncaused cause would also be outside of the physical realm. Anything existing in a parallel universe (an alternate physical realm), assuming such exists, would not qualify as an uncaused cause, since that universe must also be explained in terms of cause and effect. It has been suggested that perhaps there is an infinite number of universes interconnected in cause and effect in some way, but that is no solution since it leads us back into an infinite chain of cause and effect, which as has already been said is illogical. The only solution, no matter how empirically untestable it might seem, is that something timeless and uncaused i.e., something eternal, transcending creation, must be responsible for the physical cause and effect realm in which we exist. Finally, this uncaused cause would also have to be capable of creating time, matter, energy, and space (the basic components of the physical realm). Considering the logical possibilities, the concept of “God” doesn’t seem so farfetched.
Proposition #5: Something must be eternal.
This is self-evident. If something now exists, unless something in the past came from nothing, i.e., literally “nothing” (illogical), something must have always existed. Since an infinite chain of cause and effect is illogical, the originating cause must be eternal (i.e., uncaused and existing outside of time). No matter what one’s religious beliefs may be, as we have seen logic dictates that something must be eternal in order to account for the existence of anything physical.
Proposition #6: It is likely that universes other than our own exist.
While this has become a popular notion in modern science fiction, there is little scientific support outside of some rather odd speculation. [I recently saw an article that stated scientists had detected particles in the upper atmosphere of the earth that could only have been produced by an alternate universe with a different set of physical laws. Are we seriously to believe that science, which still does not know what lies ten miles below the earth’s surface, knows from sending a balloon into the upper atmosphere of the Earth that an alternate universe exits? This might, however, be good reason to suspect that some science news writers exist in an “alternate universe.”]
In modern times it has become commonplace for atheist scientists and philosophers to appeal to what could be termed “survival theories” to explain the fine tuning of the Universe for life. Such theories generally argue their case in this way: In a reality in which an infinite number of universes exist, it seems likely that life would have arisen in at least one of those universes, if not more—hence the name “survival theory.” By putting forth such a theory, they evidence their own belief that if there were but one universe, it would be almost infinitely unlikely that the very narrow physical and chemical parameters of life would be met by purely random processes, so by extending the number of statistical trials infinitely (in this case, the number of universes), the odds would be much better that the perfect physics and chemistry would exist by purely natural, unguided processes in at least one of those universes; accordingly, they say we just happen to be living in the one where conscious life evolved. Such theories seek to remove the statistical improbability associated with the extreme fine tuning of our Universe for life (sometimes referred to as the “anthropic principle”). However, proponents of such theories almost never deal with the problems such theories invoke. Is it more likely that an infinite number of universes exist, than just one? If science has been unable to explain the existence of our own universe, how much more difficult would it be to explain the existence of an infinite number of universes? Where would such universes exist? The answer generally given is, “in other dimensions.” How do we know that dimensions other than our own actually exist and could support life-sustaining physics and chemistry? Such a theory certainly lacks parsimony, the hallmark of any good scientific theory. In proposing such a theory non-theists have, quite literally, simply made the rock they’re attempting to lift infinitely more heavy. It is almost certainly the case that any theory that requires an infinite number of trials to reach the threshold of statistical possibility is infinitely unlikely to be the correct answer.
Proposition #7: Alternate physical realities exist.
The use of the term “alternate physical reality” is actually an exercise in semantics. By definition there can be but one reality, since “reality” encompasses all things that exist. The proposition that there could be alternate realities necessarily involves a redefinition of basic terminology, similar to the way that materialist cosmologists redefine the term “nothing” to mean “something.” In physics the idea of alternate realities arose from the notion that each possible state of a superposition might exist in separate parallel universes, each universe representing a separate “reality.” However, the concept of superposition itself is merely hypothetical and even the term “alternate reality” is a contradiction in terms. Think about it, if reality is “what is” how could there ever be an “alternate reality”
Proposition #8: Each self-aware person exists within his or her own reality.
While such an idea is popular, based on existential philosophy, it is not true that we each live in a different reality. It would be more accurate to say that while we all have varying and limited perceptions of reality, there can be but one reality, as long as we understand reality to be “what is.” To illustrate, if you were involved in an airplane crash and all passengers on board were killed, did it only happen in your reality? Of course not; you might have had unique thoughts and emotions as the plane plummeted to the ground, of which other passengers could not have been aware, but their unawareness of your thoughts and feelings does not constitute another reality, as evidenced by the fact that all the passengers died in the same crash in the same reality. I once had an atheist tell me that the idea of a God, as portrayed in the Bible, might be okay for me in my reality, but that it had no meaning for him in his reality. I replied to him, “I see a door just across the room, try getting into the other room without going through the door; he got the point—the door didn’t just exist in one’s individual reality. Reality encompasses all things; it is our job, with logic and the observational tools we have available, to figure out what that reality looks like, but there can be but one reality, regardless of our individual perceptions, and our lack of understanding that reality can have dire consequences.
Proposition #9: Self-awareness is a function of mental processing capacity.
If self-awareness were a function of mental processing capacity, the most intelligent people would be more self-aware than those with more limited intelligence or brain function, yet no scientific study to date has demonstrated that to be true. In fact, there seems to be no correlation between brain size or intelligence and self-awareness. There is no evidence that people who have had extensive portions of their brains removed show less self-awareness. Based on the false premise that brain-power is the key to self-awareness, many in the scientific and engineering communities have suggested that it might be possible to create computers with sufficient processing ability to become self-aware. In fact, this theme is deeply woven into modern science fiction, all the way from 2001 A Space Odyssey (1968) to Star Trek and its many spinoffs (1966-present) and Battlestar Galactica (1978-79, 2004-2009). However, there is no scientific evidence that brain capacity is the key to self-awareness.
Proposition #10: The chemistry of the Universe tends toward life, and life is likely wherever the chemistry is conducive and contravening circumstances are not present, i.e., too much heat, radiation, poisonous substances, etc.
While some simple organic compounds can occur naturally, with no connection to life, it is highly unlikely that the chemistry of life could have arisen from random processes interacting in some primal prebiotic environment. There are a number of factors that contravene the chemical evolution of life. Those factors include: The problem of necessary precursor molecules, the problem of protein synthesis, and the numerous problems posed by genetics or the lack thereof.
While much has been learned about the chemistry of life in the past seventy-five years, there is still a lot that is not known. Tens of thousands of biochemists, molecular biologists, biophysicists and other scientists working with highly advanced scientific equipment have still only scratched the surface of understanding the chemistry of life. I say that simply to make the point that the chemistry of life is incredibly complex. Even the simplest life forms like bacteria are incredibly complex. We’ll break this down into the three areas mentioned above:
1. The problem of necessary precursor molecules
There are many specialized chemical systems necessary for life. Two of these systems are: protein synthesis (how the structures of life are made at the molecular level), and cellular metabolism (how the energy necessary to sustain life is stored, transformed, and utilized within living cells). Both of these systems are incredibly complex and here we will only look at protein synthesis.
All life, from the smallest bacteria to large multicellular plants and animals are protein-based; that is to say that without proteins there would be no life. Proteins are made only in living cells. This raises a conundrum: If proteins are only made in living cells, how did the first proteins arise if there were no living cells to produce them? Scientists, mostly evolutionary biochemists, have been busy for the past seventy or so years trying to answer that question, and remarkably they are not much closer today to an answer than they were when they began.
To understand the problem we first have to understand the makeup of proteins. Proteins are made up of smaller units known as “amino acids.” In the chemistry of life there are twenty basic amino acids, each with a particular chemical composition and molecular shape. When sequenced in just the right order these chemical building blocks can be folded into solid structures to form some of the necessary structural components for a cell. Some specialized proteins are also used as enzymes to make or break chemical bonds, and are necessary for many of the chemical reactions that take place within cells. The number and types of amino acids needed to produce particular proteins varies, depending on the size and shape of the protein that is needed, which in turn is dictated by its function within the living organism. Often finished proteins are themselves chemically joined to other proteins by enzymes (also proteins) to make even larger structures, some of which are amazingly complex (like cellular pumps, or the flagellar motor which actually has a working transmission, or kinesins which are sub-cellular motor conveyors that are used to transport chemical substances from one part of the cell to another).
Proteins are typically anywhere from about a hundred to a thousand amino acids in length. Since each amino acid will fold differently to make the final shape of the protein, it is essential that the correct number and type of amino acids be sequenced in precise order to produce the finished product; only then can the protein be folded into the precise shape needed for its function within the cell.
Now that we know the basic structure of proteins, we will be able to see some of the imposing problems in the actual making of any specific protein. First, in order to even begin to make a protein the cell needs access to the twenty specific amino acids of which proteins are made. Due to the abundance of highly reactive oxygen in the environment, amino acids are not naturally occurring compounds today. However, biochemists have hypothesized that earth’s environment billions of years ago might not have contained so much free oxygen. Because of its strong reactivity, oxygen would have prevented the formation of amino acids in the early environment. Working from that premise they further hypothesized what substances might have been present and whether or not amino acids could have been formed in such an environment by purely random (unguided) processes.
In the early 1950s two biochemists, Stanley Miller and his doctoral mentor, Harold Urey, conducted laboratory experiments to determine if an environment rich in methane, ammonia, hydrogen, and water, in the absence of oxygen, could produce amino acids. They did, in fact, produce and identify some amino acids; and recent re-analysis of Miller’s chemical products has found even more amino acids that Miller was not able to detect at the time. While some evolutionists have hailed this experiment as proof that the basic building blocks of proteins, and consequently of life, could have arisen naturally, there were several fundamental problems with this type of experiment. First, the chemicals that were chosen were chosen specifically because they were already suspected to be the precursors to amino acids. In other words, Miller “stacked the deck” in choosing only chemicals he already strongly suspected would be capable of producing amino acids rather than chemicals known to be abundant in the early earth environment. The current scientific thinking is that the early earth would have had oxygen present and only trace amounts of methane and ammonia, if any. More recent repeats of the experiment using a readjusted formula, perhaps more realistic, have produced good results, but the fact remains that no one really knows what the chemical composition of the earth might have been billions of years ago. If the “just right” mix of chemicals did exist in the right proportions, and if the reactions were not interfered with by other substances present, then it is possible that amino acids could have been produced. This scenario is, of course, very “iffy.” That being said, let us proceed to the next part of the problem.
2. The problem of protein synthesis
Even allowing the natural presence of a sufficient variety of amino acids in the pre-life (pre-biotic) earth environment, we’re still not even close to producing a protein. There are a number of very serious problems to consider, not the least of which is that the type of mixed amino acids produced randomly in a pre-biotic environment could never have been used to make proteins suitable for life. The reason is simple: When amino acids are produced randomly, as in the Miller and subsequent experiments, they are stereostructually impure (composed of an equal number of amino acids and their racemates, or mirror-image counterparts designated as either “left-handed” or “right handed” molecules). It turns out that living things almost exclusively require left-handed, or L-amino acids. In fact, the presence of D-amino acids would prevent the formation of useful proteins. Since nature is incapable of randomly purifying a mixture of left and right-handed amino acids, even if they were to form naturally, they could not form useful proteins. (Amino acids produced randomly, such as in the Miller experiment, form in a 50/50 ratio of lefts and rights.) So the question isn’t simply, “Could amino acids have formed naturally in the pre-biotic earth environment, but could the right, or should we say only “left” amino acids have been produced, and the answer is, “No.” Unless biochemists can provide a plausible theory as to how mixed amino acids could have been purified randomly, the chemical evolution of life stops here.
3. The numerous problems posed by genetics, or the lack thereof
Now let’s consider a further problem: sequencing. Amino acids joined randomly are extremely unlikely to form a protein useful for life. Even a small protein like cytochrome-C, found in most living organisms, is over a hundred amino acids in length. So, if one had access to an inventory of all thirty-nine amino acids (all twenty L-amino acids and their nineteen D racemates) what would be the odds of producing one small protein of just 100 amino acids in length? We would need to select each amino acid (1-100) randomly from a pool of 39 unpurified possible types. While it is very unlikely that they would bond in the absence of specific enzymes (which are themselves proteins), for the purpose of this illustration we’ll just say the odds of bonding would be 50/50. So, the formula to calculate the odds of forming a specific protein of 100 amino acids in length is: (1/39)100 * (1/2)99 = 10190; that’s a 10 followed by 190 zeros. Evolutionists counter that this process could have been going on in a trillion worlds at the same time (parallel evolution) and could have taken a million possible biochemical routes, so allowing for that objection that would bring the odds down to 1 in 10172 (we just divided by 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 to make this estimate more palatable for the evolutionists). It has been estimated that there are about 1080 electrons in the entire known Universe, given a few trillion here and there. That would mean that the odds of randomly sequencing the amino acids for just one small specific protein would be about the same as randomly selecting one specific electron from a pool of 1092 universes the size of our own! And if that isn’t enough reason to be suspicious of a naturalistic origin of life, consider that one would have to do this hundreds of times in a row within a very short period of time and in the same microscopic location to produce all of the proteins necessary for even the simplest cell; and that’s to say nothing of the other highly complex chemical systems and structures that would need to be in place at the same instant! Now do you see why atheists feel the need to postulate an infinite number of universes, even though we can’t confirm the existence of even one alternate universe? [Lest we argue over numbers, I will concede that the odds of a protein being formed by purely random processes are impossible to accurately calculate (they are probably much higher), but whatever the final figure, whether bigger or smaller, the chemical evolution of life is the most unlikely scenario ever conceived.]
So, how do living cells make proteins? They make only the specific types of amino acids they need, with no need to purify them since they don’t make anything they can’t use, then the amino acids are sequenced, not randomly, but using the sequencing information already programed into the cell’s DNA. Of course, if biological evolution were true, the first life would have had no DNA. Even evolutionary scientists that claim life began with RNA have no explanation of how such a fragile single strand molecule could have persisted or where the original programing came from, or how the transition to DNA might have occurred.
In 1969 two eminent evolutionary biochemists, Dr. Gary Steinman and Dr. Dean Kenyon authored the book “Biochemical Evolution” (McGraw-Hill) The book quickly became the preeminent textbook on the subject of biochemical evolution and was used in many major universities worldwide. The thesis of the book was that the evolution of life was inevitable due to the nature of certain chemical affinities, especially interactions between amino acids to form proteins. Interestingly, within less than about five years after publication of the book, Dr. Kenyon, according to his own testimony, began to quietly doubt his and Dr. Steinman’s own conclusions. Dr. Kenyon later publically repudiated the theory of biochemical evolution stating that he could not see how amino acids could have arranged themselves into meaningful proteins apart from pre-programed genetic control.
To anyone who thinks about this deeply, the chemical evolution of life should be D.O.A. (Dead On Arrival).
Proposition #11: Some things are impossible, no matter how much time is allowed.
Of course some things are impossible. It is impossible for a human being unaided to jump from the Earth to the Moon. It is impossible to calculate the absolute value of pi. It is impossible that 2+2 would not be 4. Such impossibilities are fairly common. For some events we tend to rely on statistics, and here is where the scalded milk begins to stick to the bottom of the pot. What would the statistical odds have to be for an event to be declared impossible? Technically, the answer is that for an event to be impossible the odds of it happening would have to be zero, and even then there would be a small chance it could happen if the number of trials were infinite. Perhaps this will explain the popularity of the multiverse theory which proposes to explain the existence of intelligent life in the Universe by proposing an infinite number of universes. Scientists recognize the statistical improbability of a life-sustaining universe arising purely due to chance, so by extending the number of universes infinitely they seek to mitigate the statistical improbability. Unfortunately for them the very fact that they have to resort to such an extreme measure is an implicit admission of their belief in the extreme improbability of such an event. Also, consider the fact that they now have to account for the existence of not one universe (which they have failed to do), but an infinite number of universes! Of course this ought to be where common sense kicks in, but then modern science is truly headed “where no man has gone before” (to borrow a phrase) and is quickly becoming indistinguishable from science fiction. The real question is that given the extreme statistical improbability of a life-sustaining universe with conscious intelligent life with moral, religious, and ontological questions, is it more likely that such a universe was created by a conscious, personal, moral being, or that it just happened randomly? The only way to analyze that problem would be to compare both the options, a random origin versus an intelligent origin, to see which seems more likely. Needless to say, while modern science has been busy spinning science fiction, mostly in the “black box” of quantum theory and chemical abiogenesis (life from non-life), it has given virtually no consideration to the other side of the issue—that the world might have been created by an intelligent being. For that reason science is completely unprepared to speak to the issue of origins; it simply hasn’t done its homework in comparing both alternatives. The fact that many scientists and philosophers view the problems associated with a Creator as being essentially the same as those with an eternal universe illustrates how shallow their examination has been, since by definition an eternal being (God) is outside of creation (including cause and effect) and therefore requires no cause and has no beginning. A little reflection upon the matter points out the need even for scientists to give more consideration to certain aspects of theology and philosophy, else they can never make a proper assessment of an intelligent versus a random view of creation.
Proposition #12: There is no absolute truth.
If the statement were true it would be self-falsifying since the claim that there is no absolute truth is itself a claim of absolute truth. It is interesting that those who claim there is no absolute truth must state an absolute truth in their denial of absolute truth.
Proposition # 13: Both the past and the future exist in the same way that the present exists.
Many people have become acclimated, mostly through science fiction, to view time as somewhat like a radio wave; the idea being that if one could dial the right “frequency” they could access a different time, either past or future. In fact many sci-fi movies and TV episodes have been based on this completely unscientific view, mostly making some alteration to the past with the idea of altering the future. If there is one thing we know about time, it is that the essence of time is its directionality, which is sometimes referred to as “the arrow of time.” In other words, the directionality of time is part of the essence of time, just as the continued randomization of kinetic energy is the essence of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
The past no longer exists, only its effects exist, therefore, there is nothing of the past to go back to; and we should all be very glad, for if the past could be changed there would be no way of knowing that it had been altered, or how many times it had been altered. In fact, if the past could be changed, science, philosophy, and history, as well as a great many other things, would be meaningless. Sadly, what materialists have been unable to accomplish using science, they have sought to accomplish using science fiction.
Proposition #14: Quantum theory is based on mathematical proof.
Quantum theory, also called “quantum mechanics,” which seeks to describe the behavior of tiny subatomic particles, is neither a singular theory, nor as special relativity, expressed by a single equation; it is a loosely held together string of theories, somewhat analogous to a mud pie with rocks in it (some solid ideas and a lot of mud). Some of the ideas associated with quantum theory are: wave/particle duality, various notions, some contradictory, regarding Heisenberg’s “uncertainty” principle, the exclusion principle (that no two fermions [e.g., electrons] can have the same quantum state at the same time), superposition (that matter can have more than one quantum state and potentially be in two different places at the same time), quantum entanglement (particles interacting in a certain way can become permanently “entangled” such that their quantum states are dependent on each other), nonlocality (that entangled particles can have an immediate effect on each other at great distance, even billions of light-years, requiring that information be conveyed trillions of times faster than light); Most of these concepts are highly controversial, which reduces much of quantum theory to little more than a collection of rather odd hypotheses. About the only thing that can be said for certain about quantum theory is that nothing is certain—no pun intended. Some theorists like Stephen Hawking have tried and failed to put forth a completely natural explanation for the existence of the Universe based on quantum theory, but such explanations invariably fold logical flaws into their starting assumptions, often by redefining common terms like “nothing” to mean quantum theory and “imaginary time.” While individual quantum relationships are often expressed mathematically, in most cases those expressions are simply hypothetical. Suffice it to say that the more esoteric aspects of quantum theory (like nonlocality) remain unverified and possibly unverifiable, in spite of claims to the contrary. (No experiment has yet been devised that verifies particle entanglement at cosmic distances.)
A recent PBS broadcast on quantum theory seemed to suggest that recent experiments with entangled particles virtually proves nonlocality; however, not all physicists would sign onto that claim. The same program featured a physicist who seriously suggested that the Universe itself might be an illusion created by a sphere of quantum particles at an infinite distance from “us” (however “us” might be defined) that create the illusion of space; in other words, for those who might be Star Trek fans, the Universe could be simply a gigantic “holodeck.” Sadly, the departure of science from common sense will have implications for all other areas of knowledge. In such a Universe morality would be pointless, philosophy useless, and beauty only an illusion.
This might also be a good place to mention “quantum computing.” It should be borne in mind that at present quantum computing is still only theoretical, unless one wants to argue that all computing is quantum computing since it depends on the behavior of electrons, but that would not validate the more esoteric aspects of quantum theory.
Proposition #15: Quantum theory predicts that something can come from nothing.
While quantum theory has been used as cover for the problem of a purely materialistic (non-supernatural) theory of origins (S. Hawking), there is actually nothing in quantum theory that mitigates the dictum that “nothing comes from nothing.” That nothing comes from nothing is self-evident; it is a logical corollary to the Law of Identity (the first law of logic). Anyone attempting to show that quantum theory allows something to come from nothing is, perhaps without realizing it, implying that quantum theory is illogical, which would be to destroy one’s own argument. Not surprisingly, atheistic thinkers, under the guise of science have sought to tackle this problem in order to show that it is possible for something to come from nothing. In fact, a simple search of the Internet will reveal numerous discussions on this topic. Invariably such discussions end up questioning the meaning of “nothing.” The reason for this is it’s the only line of argument they have to pursue, and a poor argument it is, for if one cannot define “nothing,” then it also follows that they could not define “something.” This illustrates the intellectual nihilism into which many modern scientists and philosophers have descended in order to rid themselves of God.
Proposition #16: Life is merely chemistry.
For the materialist, life cannot be more than chemistry, since the physical is all there is. However, the materialist’s view of life cannot account for such things as beauty, fidelity, love, purpose, or meaning, except as mere physio-chemical brain functions. Atheists have quite literally spent the last one hundred and fifty years trying to explain how every aspect of human existence breaks down ultimately into nothing but chemistry. Of course, if that were true, why would the explanation even be of interest? Why would a bag of chemicals care a whit what another bag of chemicals thinks, and why would it matter? [This concept has even worked its way into social policy. If life is simply the product of chemical evolution, then there is no such thing as evil, there is only dysfunctional brain chemistry. Why would we punish someone for their unique brain chemistry that caused them to commit a crime? If you’ve ever wondered why our justice system no longer works, now you know; it traces back to a materialistic, evolutionary view of the origin of life. Ideas do have consequences.]
The very discussion of the subject poses ontological questions, i.e., questions about the nature of our own existence. If man is mere chemistry how do we account for the fact that mere chemicals have come to ponder the meaning of their own existence? We all have conversations with ourselves at times; in fact, we often debate with ourselves. Freud referred to the various mental functions as arising from the id, the ego, and the super-ego, but science has never been able to demonstrate a link between those functions and specific brain chemistry or regions. For all that science can now prove, the biblical model of mind, soul, and spirit is just as valid.
The Bible says that man has an eternal soul. There is absolutely no scientific proof that the biblical model is not correct. One might argue that there is also no proof that it is correct; however, that would not be true. Every normal human being knows the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, meaning and purpose, life and death, yet in an exclusively materialistic world these things should have no meaning. How do we account for the fact that not only are they not meaningless, they are essential to our nature as humans, so much so that a person who lacks these abilities would surely be considered to be severely disabled?
Proposition #17: The only valid truths are those which can be proven scientifically.
This proposition is self-falsifying since it cannot be proven scientifically; thus it fails to meet its own standard of truth.
Proposition #18: Logic is absolute; no theorem that violates a fundamental law of logic, or reasonable conclusion drawn from such, can be correct.
How would one go about “proving” that logic is not absolute, since one would have to use logic to do so?
Proposition #19: Philosophy and science will someday be able to prove that there is a purely natural (non-supernatural) explanation for all known phenomena.
There are many reasons why this proposition is false. First it assumes that man will become omniscient, understanding all phenomena and their causes. Second, it purports to know the future, which no one but an omniscient being could know. This statement is not a conclusion, it’s a premise; it’s actually the premise that underlies naturalistic philosophy, but in reality is little more than wishful thinking on the part of non-theists.
Proposition #20: Postulating God as a first cause faces the same logical difficulties as an infinite chain of cause and effect (in other words, God is not a solution to the problem posed by an infinite regress of cause and effect).
If one postulated that God was simply the first cause in a temporal chain of cause and effect this common objection would be valid. However, that is not what the Bible claims. The Bible claims that God is eternal, existing outside of time. The Bible also says that God made creation (time, matter, energy, and space) as a place where non-eternal things (stars, planets, trees, animals, man, etc.) could exist. Since God’s existence is not subject to time, and hence not subject to cause and effect, his existence is not dependent upon an infinite regress, nor does it require that something (God) came from nothing. In fact, the eternality of God is the only logical explanation to the problem of existence in light of the problems posed by an infinite regress or something coming from nothing. It should be obvious that if an infinite regress is impossible (see Proposition #3 above) any originating cause would have to be eternal.
Proposition #21: Based on purely logical reasoning it is far more likely that there is a God than that there is not a God.
Generally, theories are judged on how well they account for all the known facts of a case, and their simplicity (parsimony). In dealing with the question of origins, we have to account for a precisely tuned universe containing personal, conscious, intelligent beings capable of contemplating the origin of their own existence. Essentially we have two choices: either the universe was created by an conscious, intelligent, personal agent, or it was not; in which case its origin can only be attributed to unconscious, impersonal, random processes. The problem for naturalistic philosophers who would like to explain reality in purely non-supernatural terms is this: If every effect must have a sufficient cause or causes (logical, unless something comes from nothing), then how does one account for personal, conscious, intelligent beings arising from an insufficient cause (non-personal, unconscious, and thus non-intelligent chemistry)? Add to that the fact that any purely natural theory of origins would require either an infinite regress to account for the material reality that now exists, or that something came from nothing, both of which are illogical.
Naturalistic philosophers have never provided a solution to these problems. Generally their defense is simply to avoid the question, or to claim that the argument for the intelligent design of the universe and life faces the same criticism, i.e., how could we account for the existence of an eternal, personal, conscious, intelligent being to act as the agent of creation? However, the very question itself reflects the defect in such logic. One does not account for the existence of an eternal being, for by definition an eternal being had no beginning. In fact, an eternal, personal, conscious, intelligent being is the only logical explanation for the reality in which we find ourselves. For the reader who wants confirmation of this, consider the lengths to which naturalistic science and philosophy has had to go in order to provide a naturalistic explanation for the existence of a finely-tuned, life-sustaining universe. Currently the only naturalistic explanation is that there must be, or have been, an infinite number of universes in infinite combinations of physics and chemistry (and serendipity we might add) and thus one had to produce life as we know it. So, on the one hand, we have a theory that fully accounts for the universe and life as we know it, but requires an eternal being; on the other hand, we have another theory that requires not one universe to explain, but an infinite number of universes existing from the infinite past, which would require either an infinite regress of cause and effect, or that something came from nothing. If logic, explanatory value, and parsimony are the standards by which these two theories are to be evaluated, it seems far more reasonable to believe that God exists than the alternative. [Note: There is a general misunderstanding as to what is meant by the term “eternal.” It does not signify that something or someone’s existence stretches back into the infinite past; rather it refers to existence apart from, and outside of time, and thus outside of cause and effect which operates in time. The concept can be illustrated by the simple question: “How old is God?” The answer to which (assuming an eternal God exists) is that God has no age, because he has never passed through even one nanosecond of time. In Christian theology, God’s eternality is integral to all of his other essential attributes, such as holiness (metaphysical separateness from creation), and immutability (unchangeableness).]
Proposition #22: Given enough time anything is possible.
When dealing with things possible, the number of trials is a factor in calculating the likelihood of an event happening. However, that is only true if the event is possible in the first place. For events that are not possible (see proposition #11 above) extending the number of trials to infinity does not make them more likely. Again, coming back to the math analogy, we could add 2+2 an infinite number of times but it is not possible that the answer would ever equal anything other than 4. The real question is: For things possible, what odds should be considered “practically impossible” i.e., so unlikely as to be removed from consideration? The answer to that question would have to take into account whether the number of trials needed to make something occur could take place within the time available. For example, we don’t know, and likely will never be able to calculate the actual odds of life arising by random processes, but taking a much smaller number, say 1 in 10172 (the very conservative odds we calculated for the random production of one cytochrome-c molecule) and a trillion trillions of processes occurring every second, then a fourteen-billion-year-old universe would not be nearly old enough for this to be feasible. Of course the atheist could always fall back on the notion that perhaps our universe is only one of an infinite number of universes (again, we’re back to some sort of multiverse theory). Unfortunately, the multiverse theory is nothing more than a “lark,” as there is no evidence that even one other universe exists, much less an infinite number. Again, atheism is truly taking science where no man has gone before—where science and science fiction are virtually indistinguishable. The really odd thing about this is that they don’t seem to notice (or care) that science has crossed over to fiction. Sadly, today many students, from high school all the way to graduate school, are being taught fiction as if it were science.
Proposition #23: All statements about God are merely religious statements and have no objective validity.
Of course, all statements about God are in some way or other religious statements; however, that does not mean that they are only religious statements. A statement about God can be both religious and historical, or religious and scientific, or religious and philosophical (logical or illogical). For example: the statement that God created the first two humans, Adam and Eve, is both a religious statement and a historical statement, and to some degree, a scientific statement. If Adam and Eve never actually existed, then the statement would be historically untrue; also the biblical view of the origin of man as non-evolutionary would be unscientific. One the other hand, if the first two humans were a direct creation of God as recorded in the Bible, then the statement would be historically and scientifically true, even though it is also religious, involving the divine attributes and activities, and the duty of man to render worship to his Creator.
The assertion that all statements about God are merely religious statements is simply an attempt to trivialize religion into nothing more than unsubstantiated personal opinion. Interestingly, the very assertion itself is unsubstantiated. The Bible makes many assertions about history and the nature of the physical/material reality. To assert that such statements are only religious in nature is essentially to assert that they are neither true nor false, yet if they are testable, which many are, how can they not be either true or false?
Proposition #24: All religions are equally valid.
Most religious belief systems explicitly or implicitly contradict other belief systems. Since two or more belief systems that contradict each other cannot all be correct, either all are wrong, or some are right and others are wrong. Since Christianity stands in opposition to all other religious systems in that it professes an exclusive path for sinful men to be reconciled to a holy God, either all other religions are wrong and Christianity is right, or Christianity is wrong and some other religion is right, unless all religions are wrong. In any case, they cannot all be equally valid.
Proposition #25: A proposition and its opposite can both be true, or both can be false under certain circumstances.
The Law of the Excluded Middle, along with the Laws of Identity and Non-contradiction are three of the fundamental laws of logic. The Law of the Excluded Middle states that a proposition and its opposite (or negation) cannot both be true, one proposition must be true and the other false; there is no third option and no middle ground. For example: I exist; I do not exist. One of these must be true and the other false.
Proposition #26: Physical laws are causative (as in cause and effect).
Physical laws are merely descriptions of physical behaviors. In some cases we have theories as to why or how these behaviors work; in others we do not. David Hume attacked the existence of miracles, and hence the validity of the Bible, on the basis that physical laws by definition have no exceptions (that’s why they’re called “laws” rather than suggestions), yet a miracle, if one occurred, would be an exception, hence contradictory to the concept of physical law.
Perhaps the question we ought to ask is this: Did Hume provide an argument against miracles, or did he provide an argument against physical laws? Hume’s logic simply demonstrated miracles and physical laws to be incompatible; he did not prove that physical laws actually exist in nature.
According to the Bible the physical universe behaves the way it does not because of immutable physical laws built into nature, but because God wills it so, and if on a particular occasion he wills differently he has contradicted nothing other than our perception of his ordinary working. In essence Hume did a very clever job of assuming naturalism in order to prove naturalism, by simply assuming the concept of physical laws to be correct—a naturalistic assumption.
Proposition #27: It is possible to know that God does not exist.
The proposition that no God exists is a universal negative. How could one be certain that God does not exist? Only someone who is omniscience (all knowing) could possess such knowledge. In essence, the one claiming to know that there is no God is claiming to be God!
The most common argument offered for the non-existence of God is that if there were an all-good God such as described in the Bible, he would want to do something about evil and the suffering associated with it, and if he were all powerful he would be able to do whatever he willed. Thus according to this argument the fact that evil exists in the world demonstrates that the idea of an all-good all-powerful God such as described in the Bible does not exist. There are several reasons why this argument is not logical. If there were no God, there would be no standard for determining what is good or evil; there would simply be the stark reality of what is (the law of the jungle). Actually, one cannot talk about good and evil without borrowing from religious moral concepts. If there is no God, there is no good or evil, just what one prefers or does not prefer. (It is interesting to observe how atheists borrow from theistic moral concepts to frame their arguments.) Second, how does one know that God isn’t doing something about evil? Is the world as bad as it possibly could be? The Bible says that God has done something about evil, that he is now doing something about evil, and that he will do more about evil in the future. How can the atheist be certain that what the Bible says God has done, is doing, and will do, isn’t true? Third, this argument is built on the false assumption that an all-good all-powerful God would deal with evil immediately. However, the atheist gives no rationale for that assumption. In fact, if God dealt with evil immediately as it occurred, he would have had to destroy mankind rather than redeem it. Redemption requires time, so when God chose to redeem his creation he necessarily chose to tolerate the existence of evil for a time. The argument from the existence of evil assumes that it would be more in the character of divine goodness for God to have destroyed his creation rather than to redeem it, which is completely irrational.
Proposition # 28: Atheism is based on logic.
It would be more accurate to say that atheism makes use of logic, as do all religious and philosophical systems. Without logic it is impossible to support propositional statements or to even state beliefs. The real question is whether atheism is a conclusion of well-reasoned arguments, or whether atheists merely use logic to support prior religious or philosophical convictions. The person who looks for reasons to deny the existence of God is likely fooling himself or herself about their own objectivity. Generally, we go looking for proof of something we already believe for entirely different reasons. Suffice it to say that there is no line of logical argumentation that has ever been offered that proves the non-existence of God. The main arguments offered against the existence of God are: the problem of evil (can we even talk about evil if there is no absolute good?); the failure of theists to prove the existence of God (what about the cosmological and teleological arguments?); the problem of defining the term “God” (let’s turn this around: How can atheists deny the existence of something they cannot define?); and the non-necessity of God as an explanation of the Universe and life in light of modern science (an exercise in clairvoyance on the part of materialists that eventually everything will be found to have a natural explanation).
Proposition #29: Miracles are logically impossible.
Philosopher David Hume championed the idea that miracles are logically inconsistent with our understanding of the fundamental laws of science. His arguments are still widely used (see proposition #26 above). However, Hume’s argument contains a serious logical defect. He failed to recognize, or at least to acknowledge, that his understanding of the nature of physical laws is biased in the direction of materialism. In essence, he assumed materialism (anti-supernaturalism) in order to prove that miracles can’t happen. That of course is a circular error. How could he know that physical laws are inviolable simply because they are called “laws”? His arguments could just as well be used as support that what we call physical laws are not really laws at all, in the strict sense of the word, but merely generalizations.
One interesting question in this regard involves whether physical laws even exist outside of physics books. Atoms and subatomic particles for example, are completely unaware of what we term “physical laws.” Matter and energy do what they do mostly for reasons unknown to us and to them, but they don’t do it because of physical laws because physical laws are merely descriptions of ordinary (general) physical behavior. In fact, the very concept of physical laws as inviolable laws a priorily excludes the possibility of miracles. So, is it that miracles can’t happen, or that we have framed normal physical behaviors as laws that are not really laws at all, but merely general observations. Hume’s argument could be used to support either proposition.
From a biblical standpoint the Universe does not operate according to a predetermined set of physical laws as modern thought has almost universally accepted. Rather, according to the Bible God sustains and maintains all things directly by his power (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3). In other words, it is not physical laws that direct the course of physical behaviors, but the power of the Creator acting continuously to maintain and sustain all things. Accordingly, from a biblical perspective, God’s ordinary works are what we perceive as being described by physical laws, whereas God’s extra-ordinary works are what we perceive as miracles, but there is no contradiction between the two since they both proceed from the same source, unto the same ultimate purpose.
Proposition #30: The illustration of Schrodinger’s cat” proves, or at least supports, quantum theory.
The illustration of “Schrodinger’s cat was not intended to illustrate quantum mechanics as is sometimes assumed, but to point out the absurdity of the then prevailing interpretation of quantum mechanics, the Copenhagen Interpretation, which posited that a quantum object exists in an indeterminate state until observed. Both Schrodinger and Einstein thought the idea of reality being determined by observation was ridiculous, and Bohr never viewed the wave function as anything but a statistical description; thus, he also would have viewed the cat as alive or dead before the box was opened. Maybe it’s time to let the cat out of the box and do a postmortem!
Proposition 31: Physics is more fundamental than logic.
Logic is fundamental to all science since it allows us to distinguish between true and false statements and to articulate conclusions, without which there could be no science.
Proposition #32: Quantum theory is perfectly logical
Many concepts in quantum theory defy common-sense logic. What is even more disturbing is that the statement of these hypotheses and their logic-defying phenomena are invariably based upon the same common-sense logic they seem to defy. Clearly modern physics is treading a perilous path. Generally such a disconnect would lead scientists to re-evaluate a theory, but modern physicists are beyond abandoning quantum theory because it is their best shot at explaining the Universe in purely naturalistic (non-theistic) terms. The really big question that should be asked is this: If science is willing to jettison common sense, how can one trust their use of the same logic in the formulation of these theories, e.g. superposition, and long distance particle entanglement? Asked another way: How can one use logic to prove that what violates logic is true?
Statement #33: The weight of scientific evidence strongly favors biological evolution over special creation (by God).
Modern science and science education are totally dominated by materialistic thought, which is based not on science, but on naturalistic (anti-supernatural) philosophy. Have you ever wondered why universities grant a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree as the highest degree in the sciences? That’s not to knock a Ph.D. degree, only to point out that higher education has long recognized that all fields of knowledge, including science, are outgrowths of philosophy. As an undergraduate student in the sciences, I cannot recall a single instance where any serious problem with the evidence for evolution was pointed out in my educational experience, or where any contravening information was ever offered. Of course apologists for evolution will respond that this is because the people in the know are absolutely convinced that evolution is the only possible correct view. No doubt the overwhelming majority of biological scientists do subscribe to macro-evolution, but it is unlikely that they arrived at that conclusion from having compared the two views and found evolution to be superior; it is far more likely that their education was simply limited to just one view, the view based on naturalistic philosophy. [Have you ever noticed that universities in the former Soviet Union, mainland China, and North Korea don’t turn out many capitalists? It’s not because communism is a better economic theory, but because communism is the dominate point of view, and the official line. In the western world naturalistic philosophy become well entrenched in the first half of the Twentieth Century, and it has now become the “official line,” and those that cross the official line may find themselves on the outside looking in.]
Below are a number of serious problems relative to biological evolution to which evolutionists have never offered a cogent answer. If you’re a college graduate, especially in the sciences, and you’ve never seen this information before, perhaps you should ask yourself “why?” Maybe you’ve only been given the “official line.”
- Purely naturalistic theories of biological evolution almost exclusively presume a purely naturalistic origin of the Universe (no Universe, no evolution). Yet, no purely naturalistic theory of the origin of the Universe has ever been offered that does not require either an infinite regress or something coming from nothing, both of which are illogical.
- No well-developed theory of abiogenesis (life from non-life) has ever been postulated. The Miller/Urey experiment and its many clones are not a well-developed theory of abiogenesis since they do not account for how naturally occurring amino acids could have been purified and sequenced to form proteins useful to life. Also, there has been no credible theory as to how the many proteins required for even the most basic form of life would have occurred in the same place at the same time to be organized into the right relationships to form a living cell, or how such a proto-cell could have persisted without any of the elaborate survival mechanisms typically employed by cells.
- No plausible theory has yet been offered for how a proto-cell, if such could have formed spontaneously, could have reproduced the information necessary to reproduce itself without genetic involvement, and without the many complex mechanisms that all known cells rely upon for nuclear and cytoplasmic division.
- No plausible theory has been proposed for how genetic material would have been produced and programed randomly.
- One thing that virtually all evolutionary biologists agree upon is that the first cell would have had no genetic control mechanism, yet genetic control is essential for evolution—no DNA/RNA, no mutations, no evolution.
- No plausible theory of proto-cell metabolism has been offered. Living things require a constant stream of energy and even the simplest cells have extremely complex chemical and physical systems to produce, store, and regulate energy. This raises the question, “What is the minimum level of complexity that a living organism could have?” The answer is that even the simplest life (i.e., “simple” compared to more complex life forms) would have to be incredibly complex. In fact, it would not be a stretch to suggest that even the simplest form of life would likely be more complex than any non-living thing in the Universe.
- It has been suggested that since the Universe is billions of years old there has been plenty of time for life to have evolved. However, that is far from true. Evolutionists believe that only tiny, mostly microscopic life existed in the Pre-Cambrian era, yet in the very next era, the Cambrian, we find examples of virtually every extant phylum. According to evolutionary biologists and geologists there is only about a 10 million year gap between these two fossil layers. Thus, assuming their own calculations to be correct, there was only about 10 million years to go from microscopic, mostly unicellular life to all of the extant phyla, which is not nearly enough time given that current research suggests that only about a 1 percent change in DNA would have occurred over that much time. (Even if the rate of genetic change were disputed, no evolutionist actually believes that life could have evolved that fast, thus they have no explanation for the fossil evidence.)
- Evolutionists often appeal to the fossil record for support, but the fossil record is highly problematic for evolution. First, when we look at the fossil record the most prominent feature is speciation (fossils occurring in distinct species). If macro-evolution occurred in the past, there should be innumerable species intermediates in the fossil record, yet paleobiologists have been hard pressed to point to even a handful of examples when there should be untold billions. (Species intermediates would be transitional forms falling between species.) In fact, if it takes a hundred jumps to go from one kind to another kind (likely the number of jumps would be many thousands) there should be far more species intermediates than actual species in the fossil record. Where have the multiplied trillions of missing fossils gone? The only logical answer is that they never existed. Here is where biological evolutionists have gotten creative (kind of like physicists in redefined “nothing,” see above); they claim that every species is an intermediate; therefore, every fossil is an intermediate! But this answer only avoids the real problem: where are the fossils that would have to be present in the fossil record to represent the transitional forms? Put another way, there are no two species in the fossil record that evolutionists believe could have been transitioned in one jump; therefore, where are the in-between jumps? Not “intermediate species,” but “species intermediates”—those transitional forms that would have to have occurred in the transition between two supposed evolutionarily adjacent species? For evolutionists to point to a half-dozen examples, all of which are disputed by other evolutionists, is laughable when there should be literally billions of examples throughout all parts of the fossil record. These “gaps” in the fossil record are real, and they have been recognized for many years. For evolutionists to play word games to re-define all species as intermediates to cover up these gaps is prima facie evidence that they are completely at a loss to even suggest a reasonable explanation.
- Not only are species intermediates not to be found in the fossil record, at least not in the numbers necessary to support any type of Darwinian evolution, but they are also completely absent from nature (i.e., living organisms). If macro-evolution were happening there should be abundant examples to be found in nature, after all there has been more time than ever in the past for divergence to occur, yet there isn’t one clear example of an intermediate between kinds in nature. You don’t need a scientist to tell you this; take a walk in the woods, or a hike through the jungle; you won’t find one. Some evolutionists have suggested that the reason we don’t see transitional forms in nature is because evolution proceeds too slowly to be observed. However, the accumulated remains of past evolutionary change would certainly be evident; there should be transitional forms everywhere in nature.
- Perhaps one of the most perplexing problems with evolutionary theory is the teleological problem. The teleological problem describes the necessity of understanding the use and specifications of an entire complex system before making the individual parts. Let me illustrate: If one wanted to make a very complex piece of machinery, like a modern four-color printing machine, or a passenger jet, one would not begin by making huge numbers of random parts with random shapes and sizes out of random materials and allowing them to randomly connect in some way. (Do you see why evolutionists always fall back on “survival theories” involving an infinite number of trials?) In order to produce a highly complex machine like a printing press or a passenger jet, one must first know all of the specifications of the machine, as well as the specifications for each individual part, i.e., what every part will look like and how it will function in relation to the whole as determined by the purpose of the system as a whole. Only when all of the parts are specified can they be manufactured and assembled. In other words, to produce a complex product such as we have described requires that we know the end (the ultimate specifications) from the beginning. Biology is replete with innumerable systems that could not have been produced piecemeal and assembled by dumb luck as evolutionists claim. Take one very simple example: vision. There are three basic components to vision: the eye, the brain (or whatever functions as the visual processor in simpler creatures), and a specialized nerve to link the eye and visual processor. Why would a developing eye that has not yet reached a functional level continue to evolve, perhaps for many thousands of years, since a non-functional eye not only conveys no survival benefit to the organism, but saps resources? Also, why would a nerve and visual processor co-evolve prior to the eye becoming functional? Of course the eye never would become functional without all three of these critical components. Remember, one cannot invoke necessity to explain co-evolution since evolution is a blind and random process. Problems such as this illustrate why complex systems, such as vision, or even cell metabolism or protein synthesis could not have come together based on random mutations and luck. Suffice it to say that evolutionary biologists have failed to account for how such complex systems could have been produced gradually by blind luck.
These are not all of the faults of biological evolution, just some of the more obvious terminal flaws. Given the fact that only special creation adequately addresses the problems associated with the ultimate origin of the Universe, and that special creation alone provides a thoroughly sufficient cause for the existence of personal, conscious, self-aware, intelligent beings, it seems reasonable to say that special creation is a vastly superior view to biological evolution, which offers little more than an unexplained Universe with trillions of fortuitous accidents just waiting to happen, which quite incidentally happened without leaving a trace of evidence.
It is indeed interesting that a significant amount of effort and money has been spent searching for extra-terrestrial life. Much of this research revolves around identifying some non-random radio signal from space that could not be accounted for by any natural process. Undoubtedly, if these scientists were to receive the first fifteen digits of the value of pi they would triumphantly declare that we are not alone in the Universe. Yet those same scientists have within every cell of their bodies exactly that, a non-random set of information, on an encyclopedic scale of about three billion bits of information, specifying the construction, operation, repair, and reproduction of a living being capable of an incredibly wide range of activity, from philosophizing about his own existence to space travel, yet they acknowledge no intelligence behind that information. That being the case, on what basis could they possibly hope to determine with far less information that intelligent life exists on other planets? If the recipe book of life with its vast reserve of knowledge could be the product of mere random chemical interactions, there is literally nothing we could receive from space that would prove the existence of intelligent life elsewhere. It has to make one wonder how smart these scientists really are.
Hopefully, whether you agree or disagree with the conclusions presented here, you have enjoyed the discussion. Many of the propositions relate in one way or another to the question of the existence of God and the efforts of modern science and philosophy to interpret reality in a purely naturalistic (atheistic) way. For those of us who have been educated in the mainstream of secular thought, unlearning some of the intellectual gobbledygook we have absorbed from materialists will not be easy. But it is important for students, young and old alike, to realize that theism is alive and well and has nothing to fear from modern science and philosophy.
Sam A. Smith
August 19, 2020
Updated December 27, 2020