|Q173 : Have Modern Scientific Theories Rendered Psalm 19 Irrelevant?|
A self-described atheist writes:
[In your Q&A article on Accepting Christ after His Returna you state], ‘Paul makes it clear that those who reject God do not lack evidence - in their heart-of-hearts they know God exists, but they choose to reject and pervert the truth.’ Here Rom.1:20-21 and Psalm 19 are referenced. Rom. 1:20-21 speaks of the power of God apparent in nature. But, there is nothing on this planet, organic or inorganic that truly speaks of the power of God.
Before the Theory of Evolution and scientific evidence to back it up existed it was completely natural for a person to see the structure evident in nature and believe that it was the result of ‘intelligent design.’ However, now that the theory and the evidence do both exist, intelligent design is not the only solution. Any species of life that might have developed without this apparent ‘design’ would not have been able to survive. It would have quickly become extinct. The evidence shows many forms of life have become extinct, so the extinction of mutations that were not feasible is not at all hard to believe. The only ones that would survive are those that do have the structure necessary to survive. This does not mean that God exists; it only means that evolution exists.
Psalm 19 speaks of the heavens proclaiming the glory of God. Current theories of black holes, dark matter and superstrings seem to take all the divine glory out of the heavens by making us realize that the universe may be the way it is because of completely natural phenomena. In David’s day the heavens may have had a voice that cried out to all the earth about God’s glory, but today that message has changed completely.
|A173 : by Tony Garland |
Your comments only serve to confirm the timeless Biblical truth of Romans 1 that people 'choose to reject and pervert the truth.' You refer to unbiblical ideas concerning the origin and development of life and the cosmos as if they were uncontested, proven - indeed almost self-evident facts. You seen to be unaware or, more likely, choose to ignore, the many well-documented and serious flaws which attend the theory of Evolution which you prefer to trust in over God. These supposed facts which you uncritically accept as true are much less certain then you suppose. This applies to the so-called evidence for evolution as much as the speculative idea about what 'must have transpired' within the cosmic egg which supposedly hatched the universe in the place of Jehovah. There are many intelligent thinkersa who part company from your assurance.
The actual situation is much different than you paint: there is a plethora of evidence suggesting that both evolution and modern cosmological ideas rest on speculative foundations. Yet you choose to ignore or reject the unfavorable evidence and only look to the ideas which support your desire to live in a world where God is deemed unnecessary.
Being an atheist, you would not accept the Biblical teaching of original sin: the idea that we are all born with a built-in bias toward rebellion resulting in the rejection of God. Therefore, we are not the unbiased factual observers and interpreters of evidence that many suppose. This is born out by your choosing to reject the considerable evidence pointing to God which has remained available to all throughout history and continues to multiply for those with technological access, as in our own day, to evidence at both the macroscopicb and microscopicc levels. You assert that intelligent design is no longer relevant, yet our understanding of the nature and origin of information during this age of technology has shown just the opposite. There is still no known source of information apart from an intelligent agent. Complex, specified information of the type we find in living systems (and much more rudimentary examples in software) has never been shown to arise by chance. Yet you place your full faith in the 'fact' that such must be true. Evolution + chance + natural selection cannot create new information. The best mutation and selection can do is tear it down - a net reduction in information. Of course many who would like to reject the handiwork of God assert that adaptation is a real-world demonstration of evolution-in-motion. But adaptation results in a net reduction in information—the adapted creature is poorer genetically as a result and has fewer degrees of adaptation which remain when faced with further changes in the environment.
As but one example, you cite the theory of superstrings as if it provides an explanation for cosmology and the origin of the universe. But this theory, at present, has no actual evidence to support it. It also lacks an accepted mathematics - as many of those fluent with it's ideas admit. At best, it is something at the level of speculation, even fiction - with otherwise intelligent people proposing numerous dimensions and parallel multiverses, for neither of which there exists a shred of evidence. The main motivation for many of these ideas is to escape the information box canyon evolution finds itself in: for the application of statistics shows that there is neither the available material within the universe nor the available time (assuming an old universe which I reject) for complex information such as that within DNA to have arisen by chance. In an attempt to circumvent this evidence for a Super Intelligence behind observable life forms, otherwise smart minds seek to escape to an infinite number of parallel universes in order to add material and time in an attempted end-around the insurmountable probabalistic odds against abiogenesis. If the success of today’s superstring theories were equated to the financial security of some company, the smart investor would steer clear of all it's stock. Yet you blithely assert that such speculation renders Psalm 19 obsolete! Surely considerable bias is at work behind such an assertion.
The objective observer would wonder at the trust you place in such questionable theories - how could someone so 'logical' appeal to such phantom concepts as if they were reliable and a basis for explaining life, our part in it, not to mention suitable for investing or eternal destiny in? The answer is found in what God has revealed: as an offspring of Adam, you are 'bent' against God. You are 'totally depraved' - not that every impulse you have is continually evil, but that every aspect of your person has been tainted by this bias, which you refuse to see or admit. Your trust in the latest cosmological fancies for a 'factual' explanation of the world around you is evidence that even your most precious personal possession is tainted: your ability to reason.
The Bible likens the wisdom of an atheist to that of a fool (Ps. 14:1; Ps. 53:1). Having rejected God, your ability to reason will only lead you further into deception:
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.1