Origins - God or Chance?

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Does no one plus nothing times blind chance equal everything? Or did God create the material world of cause and effect?

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Origins - God or Chance?

  1. 1. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 1 DevelopingDeveloping a Biblicala Biblical WorldviewWorldview Class 6Class 6 Origins: God or Chance?Origins: God or Chance? ByBy James C. Wright, J.D.James C. Wright, J.D. jcw@FulcrumMinistries.orgjcw@FulcrumMinistries.org
  2. 2. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 2 The Scientific MethodThe Scientific Method The scientific method is based on inductive reasoning (hypothesis, experimentation, observation, reproducibility and conclusion) Follow the evidence! It rejects deductive reasoning from “a priori” first principles and assumptions Sir Francis BaconSir Francis Bacon
  3. 3. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 3 The Fallacy ofThe Fallacy of ScientificScientific MaterialismMaterialism  Science can only know,Science can only know, and is limited to, theand is limited to, the material realm andmaterial realm and natural cause and effect.natural cause and effect.  Some therefore mistakenly conclude that thoseSome therefore mistakenly conclude that those limits define all of reality – there is no God,limits define all of reality – there is no God, supernatural realm or miracles.supernatural realm or miracles.
  4. 4. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 4 Scientific MaterialismScientific Materialism  Scientific materialismScientific materialism is not scientific!is not scientific!  It rejects theIt rejects the inductive scientificinductive scientific method because itmethod because it is a deductiveis a deductive philosophy thatphilosophy that defines reality baseddefines reality based on unprovenon unproven a prioria priori assumptions (assumptions (e.g.e.g., there is no God and all reality is, there is no God and all reality is material).material).  It does the very thing it falsely accuses Christians ofIt does the very thing it falsely accuses Christians of doing –doing – a prioria priori deductive reasoning!deductive reasoning!
  5. 5. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 5 God is NotGod is Not the Author ofthe Author of ConfusionConfusion Special revelationSpecial revelation (truth through Scripture)(truth through Scripture) and general revelation (truth through creation)and general revelation (truth through creation) ultimately should agree because the both ariseultimately should agree because the both arise from a God who is not author of confusion, andfrom a God who is not author of confusion, and because both reflect the consistent and orderlybecause both reflect the consistent and orderly nature of God.nature of God. ““For I am the Lord, I change not.”For I am the Lord, I change not.” Mal. 3:6Mal. 3:6
  6. 6. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 6  In the quest to know God and his creation, weIn the quest to know God and his creation, we need Scriptural as well as scientific humility.need Scriptural as well as scientific humility.  We must discern between true science based onWe must discern between true science based on the inductive method and scientific materialism,the inductive method and scientific materialism, which is an anti-scientific philosophy.which is an anti-scientific philosophy.  In humility, we need to be willing to re-evaluateIn humility, we need to be willing to re-evaluate not only scientific dogma, but also theologicalnot only scientific dogma, but also theological tradition on issues where Scripture is silent ortradition on issues where Scripture is silent or ambiguous.ambiguous.  Yet where Scripture – in context -- is clear andYet where Scripture – in context -- is clear and unambiguous, we should take it literally and asunambiguous, we should take it literally and as authoritative. Have confidence that true scienceauthoritative. Have confidence that true science eventually will catch up.eventually will catch up. Scripture and ScienceScripture and Science
  7. 7. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 7 God or Chance?God or Chance?  If the Biblical account of creation in Genesis isIf the Biblical account of creation in Genesis is not true, then we have no foundation for our faithnot true, then we have no foundation for our faith or worldview.or worldview.  We have no God who speaks to us authoritativelyWe have no God who speaks to us authoritatively through Scripture about what is objectively true,through Scripture about what is objectively true, good and real.good and real.  The pivotal issue for a Biblical worldview isThe pivotal issue for a Biblical worldview is Genesis and its account of origins:Genesis and its account of origins: • The origin of the universe, life, humanity and ourselves.
  8. 8. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 8 Fundamental Choice . . .Fundamental Choice . . .  Scientific Materialism:Scientific Materialism: • No one plus nothing times blind chance equals everything  Biblical Worldview:Biblical Worldview: • A transcendent, omnipotent God created all out of nothing and therefore is sovereign over all.  What takes more faith?What takes more faith?  What is more scientific (What is more scientific (i.e.i.e., supported by the, supported by the evidence)? Scientific materialism or a God whoevidence)? Scientific materialism or a God who created all?created all?
  9. 9. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 9 True Science is InductiveTrue Science is Inductive  The best evidence now indicates:The best evidence now indicates: • Darwinian evolution cannot account for the origins of life, the origin of species or the origin of humanity; • Intelligent design permeates the universe; and • The universe arose from a transcendent first cause.  Unless you make a deductive,Unless you make a deductive, a prioria priori assumption that there is no God, an inductiveassumption that there is no God, an inductive view of the evidence indicates that designview of the evidence indicates that design permeates all of nature.permeates all of nature.  The evidence leads to an Intelligent DesignerThe evidence leads to an Intelligent Designer (God) who created all.(God) who created all.
  10. 10. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org)) 10 Occam’s RazorOccam’s Razor Occam’s razor is a fundamental principle ofOccam’s razor is a fundamental principle of science, which states that you should alwaysscience, which states that you should always choose the simplest explanation of a phenomenonchoose the simplest explanation of a phenomenon ((i.e.i.e., the one that requires the fewest leaps of, the one that requires the fewest leaps of logic).logic). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Which conclusion, based on all the evidence, bestWhich conclusion, based on all the evidence, best fits Occam’s razor?fits Occam’s razor? (No One + Nothing) x Blind Chance = Everything(No One + Nothing) x Blind Chance = Everything oror Intelligent Design = EverythingIntelligent Design = Everything
  11. 11. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 11 Creation and the CreatorCreation and the Creator  ““The heavens declare the glory of God, the starsThe heavens declare the glory of God, the stars proclaim the work of his hand.” (proclaim the work of his hand.” (Psalm 19:1Psalm 19:1))  ““Through faith we understand that the worldsThrough faith we understand that the worlds were formed by the word of God, so that thingswere formed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things whichwhich are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (do appear.” (Heb. 11:3Heb. 11:3))  ““He (Jesus) is before all things, and in Him allHe (Jesus) is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (things hold together.” (Col. 1:17Col. 1:17))
  12. 12. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 12 God or Meaningless Chance?God or Meaningless Chance?  Without the Biblical account of creation, we haveWithout the Biblical account of creation, we have no answer to the questions of epistemology,no answer to the questions of epistemology, ethics or metaphysics.ethics or metaphysics. • We can have no certainty of what is objectively true, because we are finite and there is no God who created all, transcends all and therefore knows all. • We can have no certainty of what is objectively moral, because we are imperfect and there is no God who is sovereign and therefore defines morality by his very nature. • We can have no certainty of what is objectively real, because we are subjective and there is no God who created all out of nothing and therefore authoritatively defines reality.
  13. 13. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 13 General RevelationGeneral Revelation  The unwillingness to recognize God throughThe unwillingness to recognize God through creation is a condition of the heart: We decide tocreation is a condition of the heart: We decide to “suppress the truth” and close our eyes to the“suppress the truth” and close our eyes to the evidence. (evidence. (Rom. 1:18Rom. 1:18))  ““[K]eep that which is committed to thy trust,[K]eep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, andavoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called, whichoppositions of science falsely so called, which some professing have erred concerning thesome professing have erred concerning the faith.” (faith.” (I Tim. 6:20-21I Tim. 6:20-21)) • This is the error of scientific materialism. It is an unscientific attitude because it excludes the possibility of design in nature, despite overwhelming evidence, and therefore the possibility of an intelligent designer.
  14. 14. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 14 DarwinismDarwinism  MicroevolutionMicroevolution • Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859) was a major scientific advance because it showed that species had innate variability that allowed them, through natural selection, to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Evidence supports this aspect of Darwinism.  MacroevolutionMacroevolution • However, in the nearly 150 years since Darwinism emerged, the evidence does not demonstrate that species evolve from other species. ““The usual procedure is to forget the difficulties, never toThe usual procedure is to forget the difficulties, never to talk about them, and to proceed as if the theory weretalk about them, and to proceed as if the theory were without fault.” Paul Feyerabend,without fault.” Paul Feyerabend, Against MethodAgainst Method (1978)(1978)
  15. 15. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 15 Evolution on Its Own TermsEvolution on Its Own Terms ““The numbers of intermediateThe numbers of intermediate varieties, which have formerlyvarieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [must] be trulyexisted on the earth, [must] be truly enormous. Why then is not everyenormous. Why then is not every geological formation and everygeological formation and every stratum filled of such intermediatestratum filled of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does notlinks? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graded organicreveal any such finely graded organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the mostchain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection whichobvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.”can be urged against my theory.” -- Charles Darwin,-- Charles Darwin, The Origin of SpeciesThe Origin of Species (1859)(1859)
  16. 16. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 16 Where’s the Evidence?Where’s the Evidence?  The fossil record, nearly 150 years later, not onlyThe fossil record, nearly 150 years later, not only has failed to resolve Darwin’s problem, but nowhas failed to resolve Darwin’s problem, but now refutes macroevolution.refutes macroevolution.  There is no gradual change, but rather suddenThere is no gradual change, but rather sudden appearances of new species, stability of speciesappearances of new species, stability of species and massive extinctions.and massive extinctions.  Species, in fact, suddenly appear fully formedSpecies, in fact, suddenly appear fully formed with very little subsequent change.with very little subsequent change. • "New discoveries show that life as we know it began in an amazing biological frenzy that changed the planet almost overnight." Madeleine J. Nash, When Life Exploded (Time Magazine, Dec. 4, 1995)
  17. 17. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 17 The Cambrian ExplosionThe Cambrian Explosion  There is no evidence in theThere is no evidence in the fossil record of any gradualfossil record of any gradual change between basicchange between basic morphologies.morphologies.  The fossil record shows thatThe fossil record shows that 530 million years ago there530 million years ago there was an explosion of life formswas an explosion of life forms without any precursors.without any precursors.  Nearly every animal and plantNearly every animal and plant phylum suddenly appearedphylum suddenly appeared without any evidence in thewithout any evidence in the fossil record of any ancestors.fossil record of any ancestors.
  18. 18. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 18 Evolutionists are Stumped . . .Evolutionists are Stumped . . . ““Cambrian seas teemed with life preserved in anCambrian seas teemed with life preserved in an abundant fossil record. But when geologists . . .abundant fossil record. But when geologists . . . studied rocks of earlier, Precambrian times, theystudied rocks of earlier, Precambrian times, they found nothing organic – not a trace of anythingfound nothing organic – not a trace of anything potentially ancestral to the diverse assemblage ofpotentially ancestral to the diverse assemblage of trilobites, mollusks, brachiopods, and othertrilobites, mollusks, brachiopods, and other creatures in Cambrian strata. This geologicallycreatures in Cambrian strata. This geologically abrupt transition from blankness to a rich faunaabrupt transition from blankness to a rich fauna including representatives of almost every modernincluding representatives of almost every modern phylum has been called, in well-chosen metaphor,phylum has been called, in well-chosen metaphor, the ‘Cambrian explosion.’”the ‘Cambrian explosion.’” -- Stephen Jay Gould, Ph.D. (one of the most famous-- Stephen Jay Gould, Ph.D. (one of the most famous evolutionary paleontologists of the 20evolutionary paleontologists of the 20thth century),century), A Short WayA Short Way to Big Endsto Big Ends, Natural History Magazine (Jan. 1986), Natural History Magazine (Jan. 1986)
  19. 19. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 19 The Evidence Refutes DarwinismThe Evidence Refutes Darwinism ““Darwinism cannotDarwinism cannot explain the Cambrianexplain the Cambrian explosion any more. Weexplosion any more. We need a new theory.”need a new theory.” -- Jun-Yuan Chen, Ph.D. (one-- Jun-Yuan Chen, Ph.D. (one of the leading paleontologistsof the leading paleontologists on the Cambrian period), ason the Cambrian period), as quoted inquoted in Of CanadianOf Canadian Oddballs and ChineseOddballs and Chinese MonstersMonsters by Thomas E.by Thomas E. Woodward, Ph.D.Woodward, Ph.D.
  20. 20. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 20 Evolution on its Own TermsEvolution on its Own Terms ““If it could be demonstratedIf it could be demonstrated that any complex organthat any complex organ existed which could notexisted which could not possibly have been formed bypossibly have been formed by numerous, successive slightnumerous, successive slight modifications, my theorymodifications, my theory would absolutely breakwould absolutely break down.”down.” -- Charles Darwin,-- Charles Darwin, The Origin ofThe Origin of SpeciesSpecies (1859)(1859)
  21. 21. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 21 Intelligent DesignIntelligent Design After nearly 150After nearly 150 years, the bestyears, the best evidenceevidence demonstrates thatdemonstrates that even the simplesteven the simplest organisms possessorganisms possess “irreducibly“irreducibly complex” organs andcomplex” organs and systems.systems.
  22. 22. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 22 Irreducible ComplexityIrreducible Complexity ““A single system whichA single system which is composed of severalis composed of several well matched,well matched, interacting parts thatinteracting parts that contribute to the basiccontribute to the basic function, and where thefunction, and where the removal of any one ofremoval of any one of the parts causes thethe parts causes the system to effectivelysystem to effectively cease functioning.”cease functioning.” -- Michael J. Behe, Ph.D.-- Michael J. Behe, Ph.D. (Biochemist, Lehigh(Biochemist, Lehigh University)University)
  23. 23. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 23 Complexity in Simple OrganismsComplexity in Simple Organisms  Example:Example: FlagellumFlagellum in protozoain protozoa  RequireRequire around 50around 50 proteinsproteins  The absenceThe absence of any one ofof any one of the proteins renders the cell immobilethe proteins renders the cell immobile
  24. 24. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 24 So Where’s the Evidence?So Where’s the Evidence?  When Behe went to theWhen Behe went to the scientific literature, therescientific literature, there waswas not a single studynot a single study eveneven theorizing on howtheorizing on how irreducibly complex organsirreducibly complex organs and systems could evolveand systems could evolve from “numerous,from “numerous, successive, slightsuccessive, slight modifications” or by anymodifications” or by any other means.other means.  Nor could he find anyNor could he find any evidence for such evolutionevidence for such evolution in the fossil record.in the fossil record.
  25. 25. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 25 Not Possible by Chance . . .Not Possible by Chance . . . ““An irreducibly complex systemAn irreducibly complex system cannot be produced . . . by slight,cannot be produced . . . by slight, successive modifications of asuccessive modifications of a precursor system, because anyprecursor system, because any precursor to an irreduciblyprecursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing acomplex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctionalpart is by definition nonfunctional . . . Since natural selection can. . . Since natural selection can only choose systems that areonly choose systems that are already working, then if aalready working, then if a biological system cannot bebiological system cannot be produced gradually it would haveproduced gradually it would have to arise as an integrated unit, into arise as an integrated unit, in one fell swoop, for naturalone fell swoop, for natural selection to have anything to actselection to have anything to act on.” -- Behe,on.” -- Behe, Darwin’s Black BoxDarwin’s Black Box
  26. 26. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 26 At Minimum, Need a First CauseAt Minimum, Need a First Cause  All organic life is built from proteins.All organic life is built from proteins.  Without proteins, organic life is impossible.Without proteins, organic life is impossible.  In the 1950s, scientists tried to duplicate theIn the 1950s, scientists tried to duplicate the “primordial soup” from which they thought life“primordial soup” from which they thought life emerged, but based on erroneous assumptions.emerged, but based on erroneous assumptions.  The best evidence today indicates the odds ofThe best evidence today indicates the odds of even a simple protein molecule being assembledeven a simple protein molecule being assembled through chance alone, even in the presence ofthrough chance alone, even in the presence of its constituent amino acids, is one in 10its constituent amino acids, is one in 104040 ..  To put that in perspective, the universe is only anTo put that in perspective, the universe is only an estimated 10estimated 101818 seconds old (assuming 15 billionseconds old (assuming 15 billion years).years).
  27. 27. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 27 Follow the Evidence . . .Follow the Evidence . . . ““The wrath of God is beingThe wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against allrevealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickednessthe godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth byof men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what maytheir wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain tobe known about God is plain to them, because God has made itthem, because God has made it plain to them. For since theplain to them. For since the creation of the world God'screation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternalinvisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--havepower and divine nature--have been clearly seen, beingbeen clearly seen, being understood from what has beenunderstood from what has been made, so that men are withoutmade, so that men are without excuse.” (excuse.” (Rom 1:18-20Rom 1:18-20))
  28. 28. © 2010 by Fulcrum Ministries (www.FulcrumMinistries.org) 28 God or Chance?God or Chance? ““I am not ashamed toI am not ashamed to say that I believe insay that I believe in the first chapter ofthe first chapter of Genesis, but I shouldGenesis, but I should be ashamed to saybe ashamed to say that I believe in anythat I believe in any form of evolution.”form of evolution.” -- E.J. Young,-- E.J. Young, In theIn the BeginningBeginning

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