Facts are stubborn things. Those of us who are critical of the claim that nothing become something, and that something somehow organized itself into living organisms, and then gradually evolved over millions of years into what you and I see in the mirror each morning have always known that such a hypothesis is riddled with holes.
Biochemist Michael Behe’s book Darwin’s Black Box defended the premise “that some biochemical structures are too complex to be explained by known evolutionary mechanisms and are therefore probably the result of intelligent design.”
Behe’s book and the Intelligent Design (ID) movement was viciously attacked but never refuted. Anyway, why should we trust evolved brains? C.S. Lewis explained it like this:
“A strict materialism refutes itself for the reason given long ago by Professor Haldane: ‘If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true . . . and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on bio-chemistry, and bio-chemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any significance than the sound of the wind in the trees. Christian theology can fit in science, art, morality, and the sub-Christian religions. . . . The scientific point of view cannot fit in any of these things, not even science itself.’”1
There was a scientific paper published in the PLOS ONE journal that has gotten evolutionists even more upset than the ID movement. Instead of ID’s undefined “intelligence” being behind the function of cell structure and operation, the paper posits a Creator:
“The paper, titled: ‘Biomechanical characteristics of hand coordination in grasping activities of daily living’ was written by a team of four researchers, three from Huazhong University in China, and one from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.”
Evolutionists are apoplectic over the claims of a Creator in the article. They want the article suppressed. Because of all the pressure, the article was retracted. This is so-called science at work even though history shows that some of the world’s finest scientists were Christians and attributed the coherence and rationality of the cosmos to the belief in a Creator. Our own Declaration of Independence states that our rights are an endowment from the Creator. Even so, mention of a Creator has been declared unconstitutional even though the Constitution acknowledges the Declaration in words just above George Washington’s signature.
Some of the tweets from scientists who oppose any consideration of a Creator are spectacularly irrational as they type away on their designed and built computers with hands they claim evolved.
There is not a single example in the life of a scientist where anything they work with came into existence out of nothing or gradually evolved over time. The gradual evolution of the hand (or anything else) over time does not fit with what we all experience in the real world.
Where did the organic material that makes up the hand come from? There isn’t a scientist in the world who knows given the operating principles of science, logic, and biology. Where did the organized information come from that makes the movement of the hand and every other part of the human body work? Again, evolutionists don’t know and can’t offer a scientific alternative to a Creator. “Materialism is an absolute” that “can’t allow a Divine foot in the door.”2
There is a revolution going on with robotics, self-driving cars, and artificial intelligence. And who’s behind all of it? Intelligent creators who built the robots and programmed them.
Evolutionists want us to believe that while they are creators and programmers of robots that work like them, they deny that they were created and designed. It makes absolutely no sense.
There’s a price to pay for denying the obvious that some full-fledged materialist regimes have experienced.
Harvard Historian Richard Pipes writes the following in his book Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime:
“The Communists attacked religious beliefs and practices with a vehemence not seen since the days of the Roman Empire. Their aggressive atheism affected the mass of citizens far more painfully than the suppression of political dissent or the imposition of censorship.”3
It wasn’t only the Communists that had no concept of human rights or the value of the individual. A person only had value if he could add value to the State. Robby Kossmann, a German zoologist who later became a medical professor, expresses a proto-Nazi view in his 1880 essay “The Importance of the Life of an Individual in the Darwinian World View”:
“[T]he Darwinian world view must look upon the present sentimental conception of the value of the life of a human individual as an overestimate completely hindering the progress of humanity. The human state also, like every animal community of individuals, must reach an even higher level of perfection, if the possibility exists in it, through the destruction of the less well-endowed individual, for the more excellently endowed to win the space for the expansion of its progeny. . . . The state only has an interest in preserving the more excellent life at the expense of the less excellent.”4
What is man if there is no God? How did he come into being? Why are we here? To these questions, the atheists have no answer, and any answer they claim to have does not hold any ultimate moral value.
Marvin Minsky of MIT “believes that humans are nothing but meat machines that carry a computer in their head” also made of meat. Minsky, who is an atheist and works in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), “claimed that people should give their money to AI research rather than their churches, as only AI would truly give them eternal life.”5
But what is the source of intelligence in a matter-only world? These AI machines are not building themselves. Intelligent beings design and build them. What is the origin of the intelligence of the designers that can impute organized information in the form of complicated programs to a mechanical device? How does he know that his intelligence is intelligent and the decisions he makes have a moral basis? Anyway, who or what is there who could challenge his or anybody’s view of morality? Who’s to say that these transhuman AI machines won’t turn on their creators like they did in the Terminator films? Were these machines moral or immoral in their attempts to eliminate humans? If so, who says?
Even atheists like Minsky have recognized that human rights cannot be founded on materialistic, evolutionary, and atheistic assumptions given their beliefs about the nature of reality and the stuff that makes up that reality.
Committed atheist and evolutionist Richard Rorty (1931-2007) knew that the operating assumptions of his worldview could not account for human rights when the struggle for survival eliminates the weak with no regard for an overarching morality that can’t be found in the stuff of the cosmos. There is nothing outside of matter evaluating what happens with matter. So how then does the atheist account for human rights and human dignity when, according to Joni Mitchell, “we are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon”?
The interesting thing about Joni Mitchell’s song “Woodstock” is that she can’t escape religious imagery by using phrases like “child of God” and “get ourselves back to the garden,” presumably a reference to the Garden of Eden.
Nancy Pearcey writes that Rorty says the concept of human rights “came from ‘religious claims that human beings are made in the image of God.’ He cheerfully admits that he reaches over and borrows the concept of universal rights from Christianity. He even calls himself a ‘free-loading’ atheist: ‘This Jewish and Christian element in our tradition is gratefully invoked by free-loading atheists like myself.’”6
So here we have an atheist borrowing the necessary elements from a worldview he denies with his entire being because he knows that he can’t live consistently with the full implications of his atheism.
He’s not the only one. Rodney Brooks, also of MIT, shows in his book Flesh and Machines “that a person is nothing but an automaton — ‘a big bag of skin full of biomolecules’ interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. It is not easy to think this way, he admits. But ‘when I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, . . . see that they are machines.’”
And yet he goes on to say, contradicting the atheistic worldview he supports with all his being, but “‘[t]hat is not how I treat them. . . . They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.’ If this sounds incoherent, Brooks admits as much: ‘I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.’ In other words, he has to take a secular leap of faith” into a realm that he does not believe exists in order to give his world meaning.
Minsky also must leave behind the operating assumptions of his anti-God worldview in order to live a life where life matters and has meaning. “In The Society of Mind he writes, ‘The physical world provides no room for freedom of will.’ And yet ‘that concept is essential to our models of the mental realm. [And so] we are virtually forced to maintain that belief, even though we know it’s false.’”7
What happens when the next generation of atheists who are less connected to a Christian worldview from which Rorty, Minsky, and Brooks have been borrowing to maintain some sort of moral sanity become more consistent with their matter-only, meat machine, “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” worldview?
The day may come when the new-new atheists will drop any pretense of inconsistency and fully embrace the view that humans are nothing but organic machines, carbon units that have no more regard for the lives of other people than the graphite found in a pencil.
- C. S. Lewis, “Is Theology Poetry,” delivered at the Oxford Socratic Club, 1944, published in They Asked for a Paper (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1962), 164–165. [↩]
- Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons,” The New York Review (January 9, 1997), 31. [↩]
- Richard Pipes, Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime (New York: Alfred K. Knopf, 1994), 337. [↩]
- Quoted in Richard Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), 2. [↩]
- Anne Forest, God in the Machine: What Robots Teach us About Humanity and God (New York: Dutton/Penguine Group, 2004), 43. [↩]
- Nancy Pearcey, Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2015), 225-226. [↩]
- Nancy Pearcey, “Intelligent Design and the Defense of Reason,” Darwin’s Nemesis: Phillip Johnson and the Intelligent Design Movement, ed. William A. Dembski (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 237 [↩]