How many of these misconceptions have you heard from mainstraim intellectuals?
1. “How you view creation is a litmus test for spirituality and faithfulness.”
It is not. The web of scientific debate often distracts from the main point of Christianity – that God has created all things for his glory and offers forgiveness and eternal life for whoever believes in His Son. The specifics of creation are of secondary importance to one’s salvation, as long as you believe God created us.
2. “Understanding science and having faith are mutually exclusive.”
This could not be further from the truth! Christians believe in a God capable of creating all things through any observable means. You do not “believe” in science – it is not a belief system or religion, although people have made it one. Science is “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.” The Christian religion is not a study or tradition, but rather an immaterial relationship. I love science, but there is danger in letting our limited physical observations govern our metaphysical beliefs. However atheists use science, or more often scientific theory, as the foundation for their metaphysical belief system, therefore we should study and employ science to show support for our metaphysical belief in theism.
3. “Evolution and modern biochemical and paleontological data are the proof.”
First, the origin of species does not equal the origin of life. Those are two different arguments. During the Victorian time when Darwin formed his theories, “cells were viewed as ‘homogeneous and structure-less globules of protoplasm,’ amorphous sacs of chemical jelly, not intricate structures manifesting the appearance of design.” (from Steve Meyer’s book “Signature in the Cell,” which employs arguments against materialism mostly focused around the complexities and realities of DNA. Meyer is a total genius – read his book if you’re stuck on evolution/creation in general as a reason to not believe).
To summarize: Many 19th century scientists had little trouble accepting the simple cell coming into existence from random chemicals combined in just the right way because they thought a cell WAS a glob of chemicals. We know today that the simple cell is more complex than any machine or computer that humans are capable of designing. To believe a simple cell with DNA could have come into existence without a Creator is a stretch to say the least, so the other option some leading atheist thinkers are turning to is that the earth is the result of advanced alien engineering. (See Richard Dawkins interview with Ben Stein in the documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed) If you’re willing to believe in aliens against the evidence supporting the Bible, then science is not the true reason behind your disbelief.
Second, the question of evolution is not decided. It is not even close. The fine tuning of our universe for life to exist is not explained, and there are big gaps to jump from non-living, to living, to consciousness. Proponents of evolution contend it is above reproach and has no flaws, but what they say is actually very different than what is going on.
4. “All things can be explained by material means (definition of philosophical materialism).”
‘If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents—the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts—i.e. of materialism and astronomy—are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milkjug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.’ – C.S Lewis, The Business of Heaven, p. 97.
Some thoughts adapted from John Lennox, Steve Meyer, Kerby Anderson, C.S. Lewis
Lincoln Neely is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and current student at the Kanakuk Institute.