The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

The Brights Have Gone Dim

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Two articles that appeared on American Vision’s website have caused quite a stir among some in the so-called Brights Movement (Putting on a "Bright" Face and A Bright Responds). Peter, “an ex-evangelical Christian,” writes to me that he is “disappointed that” I’ve been “less than honest and objective about this subject. Do you think that really honours your God?,” he asks. He goes on to chide me that “this isn’t how a christian should act.” Peter tells me that he only wants his worldview treated with “the same respect that Christians expect for theirs.” As I pointed out in my August 16, 2006 article, the up-front spokesmen for the Brights—Richard Dawkins and Daniel C. Dennett—have shown nothing but contempt for Christians and anyone who does not hold to their atheistic worldview. As Peter’s later emails show, he has a similar contempt for Christianity.

My numerous responses were designed to prove a single point: Atheists like Dawkins, Dennett, and my new email buddy Peter can’t account for non-material entities like honesty, honor, and respect given the basic assumptions of their materialistic, random, and accidental worldview. These atheists want the fruit of Christianity, but they reject the root.

In a later email, Peter writes, “We’re all people, we all have the same biology, we all have imagination and the capacity for love. God isn’t required for any of that. You may think that you need God, but it’s your personal belief, which I no longer share. I have no interest in God or religion, so I’m not even going to argue about religion.” If evolution is true, we are not “people”; we are animals, and animals don’t have the capacity to imagine, the right to demand rights, or the ability to love.

I asked Peter why we tolerate animals eating other animals, but we don’t tolerate it in humans. Here is his answer: “all of those things have already been accounted for in the various areas of evolutionary biology.” I asked him where the scientific experiments were that proved this. Of course there are no such experiments. There is no hard evidence for such a claim, no matter what a socio-biologist like E. O. Wilson might postulate or Dawkins tries to formulate with the mystical hocus pocus he calls “the selfish gene.” David Stove, a self-professed evolutionist, shows that Dawkins substitutes genes for God. That’s why Stove described “the selfish gene” theory as “A New Religion.”[1] The problem Dawkins has is that he can’t account for the genes that have become his new god or the programming that makes genes work the way they do.

Marc D. Hauser, an evolutionary psychologist and biologist, who teaches at Harvard, has written Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong. Dawkins gives purpose and personality to genes (they’re “selfish), and Hauser turns nature into a person who can design. Evolutionists have repeatedly beat the rhetorical drum that Intelligent Design is not science, but now we learn that “nature designed our universal sense of right and wrong.” Who is this “nature” person? Replace “nature” with “God,” and you get the idea that evolution is just another religion, and not a very good one at that. Now we get to ask, If this “Nature God” exists, then prove it. Where is it? Bring it out so we can ask why there are earthquakes, famines, death, and destruction. Is Hauser claiming that there is some force like electricity that emanates from matter? Does it have the ability to think? For all their rhetoric, atheists can’t live in an impersonal universe. They have to believe that there is something beyond the material, anything but the God of the Bible who holds us morally accountable.

Peter goes on to argue, “It means that life is what we make it—without either God, who doesn’t exist, or the universe, which most definitely does, [not] giving a s**t whether we succeed or not. I find that a very invigorating fact of life—we can make the best or the worst of things. Some of us want to make the best of it.” This was the philosophy of Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, and Pol Pot. They made the best and worst of things with no regard to any moral premise greater than themselves. They believed that they had our “best” interests in view. Hitler, for example, believed the world would be better off without the Jews. Who are Brights to argue with him given their naturalistic presuppositions?

The worldview of the Brights is bankrupt. They deny God and then borrow aspects of His moral worldview and claim them for themselves. Brights are like the Moon that claims it lights up the night sky while denying that the light is only a reflection of the Sun.


[1] David Stove, Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity, and Other Fables of Evolution (New York: Encounter Books, 2006), pages 248–257.

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