‘Creation magazine is purposely inaccurate and distorts the truth,’ claims evolutionist
Published: 1 January 2011 (GMT+10)
A skeptic, “J”, wrote a response to “S” who had given him a copy of Creation magazine. He first makes an attack on the issue in general, then specifically on Dr Jonathan Sarfati’s article, Why does science work at all?. As the critic is from the UK, Dominic Statham of CMI UK/Europe responds to J’s claims.
Thanks for passing on your copy of Creation magazine. I know that you did so with good intentions.
Thanks to you for taking the time to read it.
Unfortunately reading it has made me quite angry. I always welcome open, honest, intellectual debate. That is why I consider myself to be a “scientist”, even if I am a totally amateur one. This magazine represents none of those things. It is purposefully inaccurate, both distorting the truth and telling outright lies, at least some of which I have no doubt the authors were aware of.
Having studied the creation/evolution debate now for a number of years, I have similar concerns about some evolutionists. While many evolutionists believe that science supports their beliefs because they have been so effectively brainwashed, others know very well that the best theories of evolution fail dismally in their attempts to explain the complexity of life. I believe that an honest enquirer, if they peruse our website in an open-minded way, will see that there is no truth whatever in your accusations against us.
It makes repeated use of ad-hominem attacks. It uses highly propagandarized language. Almost every article contains gaping logical flaws. In short, I think its only purpose is a tool to indoctrinate poorly educated individuals incapable of critical thought and sound reasoning into the Christian faith, and to muddy the debate on creationism and its opposing scientific theories by spreading disinformation.
By critiquing your rebuttal of one of our magazine articles below, I believe I shall demonstrate how wrong you are. Moreover, we have received many testimonies over the years of thinking people converted from outright atheism by reading Creation magazine and having their barriers to belief progressively demolished; see for example this testimony from “Sonia”, Creation magazine opened my eyes to the Gospel!
Christianity has brought enormous benefits to society … the founding of many schools, hospitals and other charitable organisations. It taught people to be honest and trustworthy, thus promoting industry, commerce and the growth of economies. … In contrast, atheism and evolutionary beliefs have led to some of the worst atrocities in human history.
So vast is the wrongness that I believe I could easily dedicate many weeks to de-constructing it. I don’t have the time or the patience to do so, and even if I did, I lack the resources of the Christian lobby to reach the numbers of people necessary for that to be a worthwhile endeavour. This is part of the frustration regularly encountered by the scientific community—spreading nonsense is easy and quick to do. Rebutting nonsense in an intellectually rigorous way is, by comparison, a time consuming and difficult task.
I feel exactly the same about rebutting evolutionist nonsense. It takes a great deal of time, which I would far rather spend in other ways. However, such is the importance of the issue of origins and biblical authority, I feel compelled to give myself to it. Moreover, you are wrong in saying that Christians have significant resources to make their case. It is quite the opposite. Evolutionary propaganda is continuously thrown at the general public through the media, schools and universities, and generously funded by the tax payer.
I do wish that I could dedicate more of my life to doing so. I think that the end of dogmatic belief in incorrect and dangerous ideas like Christianity would be a huge step forward for the human race, and could end huge amounts of unnecessary suffering and pain. Sadly I don’t think I personally can achieve this.
Again, you are seriously in error. Christianity has brought enormous benefits to society, as even some of your fellow atheists admit. It gave rise to the founding of many schools, hospitals and other charitable organisations. It taught people to be honest and trustworthy, thus promoting industry, commerce and the growth of economies. It brought about many reforms in society and motivated politicians such as William Wilberforce to campaign so effectively on issues such as the slave trade. In contrast, atheism and evolutionary beliefs have led to some of the worst atrocities in human history. These include the tyrannical dictatorships of Mao Tse-tung and Stalin, two World Wars and the Holocaust. As we have pointed out before in Do creationists hate science?:
But atheistic communist regimes killed more in the last century than all the wars in all the previous centuries combined, and many of those wars were not even “religious”! For example, 77 million in Communist China, 62 million in the Soviet Gulag State, 21 million non-battle killings by the Nazis, 2 million murdered in the Khmer Rouge killing fields (see also Rummel, R.J., Death by Government, New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1994).
I have no doubt that the rejection of Christianity in the UK and other western nations will lead to increasing selfishness, brokenness, corruption, violence, exploitation and hatred. See also my recent review of World Turned Upside Down by Melanie Philips, an agnostic Jewish writer who laments the decline of Christianity. In fact, the leading atheist Richard Dawkins recently admitted:
“There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings. I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death. I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse.”
I would also encourage you to ask yourself why, as a non-believer, you should want to dedicate your life to refuting Christian beliefs? If we are nothing more than evolved pond scum, why does it matter how people behave or what they believe?
I’ve picked a couple of articles pretty much as random from the magazine and spent some time rebutting the more obvious inaccuracies. I hope that this will inspire you to more critically analyse the ideas you are promoting. This is the difference between science and religion. Science attacks all ideas, including its own, whereas religion only attacks opposing ideas, and does so in an intellectually dishonest way. During my own time as a Christian, this is what I struggled with most. Christianity has no hope of finding out the truth, because it thinks it’s found it already.
On the contrary, it is the new apostles of atheism and evolution who refuse to allow criticism of their ideas. Knowing the vulnerability of their arguments, they engage in every strategy they can think of to prevent discussion and muddy the waters. Alternative views are misrepresented, deliberately confused and often excluded by ridicule. Richard Dawkins’ latest book, for example, deliberately ignores the best creationist material and is little more than a series of straw men and bait and switch arguments. Frequently, the evolutionary view is maintained by the intimidation of dissent. A recent example is the firing of Israel’s chief scientist for daring to question evolution (and man-caused global warming alarmism).
Your contention that [evolutionary] scientists attack their own ideas is demonstrably false where it applies to this issue.1 One of the greatest errors of the secular, scientific community is their claim that the only means of appropriating truth is through scientific enquiry and that this is a ‘scientific position’. However, as Melanie Phillips points out, their arguments are circular and self-serving:
“The fact that science cannot answer questions of ultimate purpose proves to them that there is no such thing as ultimate purpose. The fact that science cannot prove the existence of God proves to them that God does not exist.”
In reality, as the Oxford University mathematician and philosopher of science Professor John Lennox points out, the assertion that science provides the only means of discovering truth is not itself deduced from science—it is a statement about science for which there is no evidence.2
J [name withheld]
Dominic Statham, Speaker/Writer,
Creation Ministries International (UK/Europe)
Why does science work at all—A rebuttal
Paragraph 1: “modern science first flourished under a Christian world view” Correlation does not imply causation. It is unjustified to imply that, simply because science first flourished during a time in which Christians were prevalent that Christianity was the cause.
We do not argue for a causal link between Christianity and the rise of science because they coincided in time, but because biblical beliefs demonstrably laid the foundations for scientific thinking.3,4 The leading anthropologist and historian of science Loren Eiseley comments,
“… the philosophy of experimental science … began its discoveries and made use of its method in the faith, not the knowledge, that it was dealing with a rational universe controlled by a creator who did not act upon whim nor interfere with the forces He had set in operation … It is surely one of the curious paradoxes of history that science, which professionally has little to with faith, owes it origins to an act of faith that the universe can be rationally interpreted, and that science today is sustained by that assumption.”5
Arguing in a similar fashion, Nobel Prizewinner, Melvin Calvin remarks,
“As I try to discern the origin of that conviction [that the universe is orderly], I seem to find it in a basic notion discovered 2,000 or 3,000 years ago, and enunciated first in the Western world by the ancient Hebrews: namely that the universe is governed by a single God and is not the product of the whims of many gods, each governing his own province according to his own laws. This monotheistic view seems to be the historical foundation for modern science.”6
See also The biblical origins of science.
Paragraph 3: “there is such a thing as objective truth”
This is a curious thing to raise in this article. Christianity denies objective truth, by declaring the Bible to be an unquestionable declaration of God’s word, which overrides all evidence to the contrary.
No, Christians claim to have found objective truth. Moreover, because Christianity emphasizes the reality and importance of truth—material and spiritual—a mindset arose that encouraged people to seek truth in both the spiritual (theological) and material (scientific) realms.
Due to the lack of supporting evidence for many of the incredible claims in the Bible, and the huge differences in the interpretation of the Bible by different individuals, it is clearly subjective.
The huge differences in the way the Bible is interpreted arise from the failure of many to accept the plain meaning of the texts according to an objective, grammatical-historical hermeneutic … When the Bible is read in a straightforward way … then it correlates amazingly well with the data.
The huge differences in the way the Bible is interpreted arise from the failure of many to accept the plain meaning of the texts according to an objective, grammatical-historical hermeneutic (see for example The Bible and hermeneutics). When the Bible is read in a straightforward way (as Christ and the apostles clearly did) then it correlates amazingly well with the data. The Old Testament, for example, is astonishingly consistent with archaeological finds and, as the many articles on our website show, is supported by many scientific facts.
“postmodernism, for example, denies objective truth”
This is a straw man argument. Post-modernism is a concept in literature and critic theory, it has nothing to do with science!
Nothing could be further from the truth. ‘Worldview’ and the dominant philosophy of the time greatly affect how people think in all areas of life and work. As pointed out above, it was because pre-Christian societies held to erroneous belief systems that science failed to develop in their cultures. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, postmodernism is characterized by “broad scepticism, subjectivism or relativism” and “a general suspicion of reason”.7 Similarly, Wikipedia states, “Postmodernism is a tendency in contemporary culture characterized by the rejection of objective truth.”8 What a good thing it is that the founders of modern science (most of whom were creationists) did not adopt this mindset.
Paragraph 4: “The universe is real, because God created the heavens and earth”
This statement is unsupported by scientific evidence.
Dr Sarfati’s point, here, is that the Christian view that the universe is real (rather than an illusion) was one of the foundational beliefs that was necessary for scientific progress. One of the many reasons why people have come to regard the Bible as truth is its unrivalled positive impact upon people and society.
The Bible cannot be counted as evidence: many other religions also have books which claim to be the word of God, which supply alternative creation stories. There is no rigorous way of selecting one holy book to believe over another, and therefore no reason to favour the creation story of Genesis over the creation story of other religions.
Another assertion, refuted in such articles as Holy books? Which one are you going to trust?
By contrast, Big Bang Theory—which is currently the prevailing theory in the scientific community,
Yet it is under ferocious attack from many secular cosmologists, including an Open Letter which pointed out that the Big Bang theory “can’t survive” without “fudge factors” “that we have never observed—inflation, dark matter and dark energy”. See Secular scientists blast the big bang: What now for naïve apologetics?
… is supported by multiple, independent measurements, of a variety of aspects of the universe. Despite many years of research, scientists have been unable to falsify Big Bang Theory. Due to the large amount of evidence in favour of Big Bang Theory, and the extreme paucity of evidence in favour Genesis, it is my belief that Big Bang Theory is far more likely to be correct.
The problem for evolutionists is not that they can’t fully explain the universe and life; it is that they cannot begin to explain them. … the Christian faith is backed by evidence; … Furthermore, creationist arguments are not based on gaps in our knowledge, but precisely on what we do know about science.
Like the apostles of the theory of evolution, Big Bang proponents make it very difficult to falsify their claims. Every time a problem with the theory is highlighted, they come up with another ‘just so’ story to rescue it. For example, Big Bang theory has great difficulty explaining the essentially uniform distribution of the cosmic microwave background radiation. This is because, even if the universe were 14 billion years old, there would not have been enough time for the originally uneven distribution of temperatures to even out across the universe. (This is associated with the speed of light and is known by cosmologists as the horizon problem.) In order to overcome this, some invoke an idea known as inflation, but this has very little scientific support (as the secular critics noted above). Similarly, as these secular critics noted, believers in Big Bang theory have to invoke ideas like ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’ to make other aspects of their theory work. Of course, they are ‘dark’ because they have never been observed! See also The Big Bang fails another test: The ‘background echo of the big bang’ was supposed to cast a shadow—but only if it is really true that this radiation is coming from far away.
Atheist cosmologists, such as Stephen Hawking, know that if their Big Bang had produced a very slightly different universe, then stars and life could not have existed. If the ratio of the nuclear strong force to the electromagnetic force had been different by 1 part in 1016, no stars could have formed. The ratio of the electromagnetic force-constant to the gravitational force-constant is even more critical—in this case to 1 part in 1040. Again, for Big Bang theory to produce and sustain galaxies, the expansion and contraction forces at the beginning of the ‘bang’ (actually 10-43 second afterwards) would have had to have been just right to within 1 part in 1055.9 To deal with the overwhelming odds against such fine-tuning arising by chance, atheists turn to the idea of a ‘multiverse’. As explained by Dr Hawking, if there were 10500 universes (as he proposes) it is not surprising that one has the necessary constants to give rise to a universe with galaxies, stars and planets. The problem, here, is that there is no observational evidence for there being even two universes, let alone 10500. Moreover, such thinking flies in the face of the generally accepted principle of parsimony, which (usually!) causes scientists to prefer the simplest explanation for a set of data. However, in this case this would be unthinkable for them, because the most parsimonious explanation would be a designer. See also Hawking atheopathy: Famous physicist goes beyond the evidence.
Paragraph 5: “if there is no creator … why should there be any order at all” The spontaneous emergence of order from seemingly random processes is well studied. The emergence of order does not imply intelligent design, and even if it did, it would not imply that the designer was the Christian God. To demonstrate this for yourself, take two dice and repeatedly roll them together, recording the total shown by each pair. After 100 repetitions, you will see that 7 is the most common outcome—order has been created from randomness! This order does not imply an intelligence is influencing the results of the dice. This order arises from the underlying mathematics of probability.
Again, you have misunderstood Dr Sarfati’s point. One of the reasons science failed to develop in Ancient Greece was that they had no reason to believe that nature behaved in a consistent way. Their belief in many, fickle gods implied an unpredictable world; but, in Christian thinking, the belief in one, unchanging God implied a world with immutable laws which could be discovered through experimentation. This is what Dr Sarfati meant by the world being orderly.
Your point about order arising from randomness also misses the mark. The really intractable problem for evolutionists is not the origin of order, but the origin of information in DNA, which is ubiquitous throughout the living world. Professor Paul Davies of Arizona State University is a committed evolutionist and a leading researcher into the origin of life. He comments,
“Life is actually not an example of self-organization… The theory of self-organization as yet gives no clue how the transition is to be made between spontaneous, or self-induced organization … and the highly complex information based, genetic organization of living things.”10
Biological cells are highly sophisticated, automated factories controlled by highly complex software encoded in the DNA. Again, Professor Davies comments,
“ … where did the very peculiar form of information needed to get the first living cell up and running come from? Nobody
“No known law of nature could achieve this … ”12
Though we do not yet fully understand the universe, and most likely never will, the gaps in our understanding do not imply the existence of the Christian God.
The problem for evolutionists is not that they can’t fully explain the universe and life; it is that they cannot begin to explain them. They believe that, if they continue their research, they will find the answers. But this is a faith, just as biblical creation is a faith. Moreover, the Christian faith is backed by evidence; Holding argues that there are at least 17 factors that meant Christianity could not have succeeded in the ancient world, unless it were backed up with irrefutable proof of the Resurrection.13 Furthermore, creationist arguments are not based on gaps in our knowledge, but precisely on what we do know about science. See also, Whose god? The theological response to the god-of-the-gaps.
Paragraph 8: “the only way to find out how His creation works is to investigate and experiment not to rely on man-made philosophies”
Why then should we rely on the man-made philosophy of Christianity? One cannot claim that it isn’t man-made without reliable supporting evidence that it was created by a supernatural being. Just because a book claims to be the word of God does not make it the word of God.
The Greek philosophies to which Dr Sarfati refers were clearly man-made as they were wrong! Conversely, the philosophy arising from the biblical view led to the practice of experimentation and the growth of scientific knowledge.2 Christians of many years’ standing have grown in their conviction that the Bible is true because they have proven its teaching in their personal lives again and again and again.
Galileo’s views were declared to be “false and contrary to Scripture”, and he spent much of his life under house arrest because of this. I find it bizarre that the article fails to mention this. It is one of the many examples in which the allegedly unquestionable word of God has been promoted above clear evidence to the contrary. So overwhelming was the evidence to the contrary that Christianity was eventually forced to change mind. Christians are eager to forget this, and the many other examples, as this article clearly demonstrates.
We have dealt with the Galileo affair thoroughly in our literature. Galileo did not fall foul of the Roman Catholic Church because he argued for heliocentricism, but because of his arrogant conduct. He was not accused of criticizing the Bible, but disobeying a papal decree. In fact, the church was quite open to discussion in this matter and the Copernican system was well regarded by church officials. See also Dr Sarfati’s articles Galileo Quadricentennial: Myth vs fact and Answering another uninformed atheist: Galileo, Miller—Urey, probability.
Do you accept that Christian philosophy was wrong in this case?
The belief in geocentricism arose from Greek philosophy (from Ptolemy) not Christian philosophy. It is very tenuous to argue that the Bible teaches geocentricism. Do you, yourself, not refer to ‘sun rise’ and ‘sun set’, and obey speed limit signs which also use the earth as a reference frame?
If so, do you accept that it may also be wrong in other cases? If so, what evidence would convince you that creationism is wrong and evolution is correct?
Your question is hypothetical and does not require an answer. It is like asking, “what evidence would convince you that Barack Obama is an alien?” There is no evidence that Barack Obama is an alien and I have got better things to do than spend time thinking about this. Similarly, the evidence for evolution is so weak, I have more important things to do than worry about what I would do if, one day, someone demonstrated it to be strong. I have spent much time learning about the theory of evolution, and have been astonished at the weakness of the arguments presented in its support. (See for example Refuting Evolution and Refuting Evolution 2.)
Paragraph 11: “God has revealed that He created about 6,000 years ago over 6 normal length days”
This statement is demonstrably false. The age of the earth is known to within 1%, and the age of the universe to within 10%, and both of these ages are many orders of magnitude in excess of 6,000 years. These figures have been measured in many different ways, using totally independent scientific theories.
It is impossible to ‘measure’ the age of the universe or the Earth. All that can be done is to infer ages based on assumptions. For example, radioactive dating always makes the assumption that rates of decay have been constant, something which is increasingly coming into question.14 Properly understood, radiometric dating is no problem for the Bible.
There is no peer reviewed science which supports a figure of 6,000 years.
Actually, there is (see here).
I don’t feel that I need to regurgitate the science here—anyone except the wilfully ignorant need only do the briefest search online to find many hours of reading on this matter. If the earth is 6,000 years old, then God has gone to huge lengths to trick us into thinking it is much older. Why has he done so?
Rather, if the Earth was billions of years old and we came from pond scum, why did He tell us something diametrically opposed in the Bible? God is not tricking anyone; people deceive themselves when they ignore His propositional revelation and swallow weak circumstantial evidence instead. See the Parable of the Candle.
This related strongly to my earlier point about “objective truth”. On the one hand, there are thousands of pages of scientific literature claiming the age of the earth is around 4.5 billion years. On the other hand, a very old book of questionable authorship and history claims 6,000 and provides no supporting evidence. Anyone who chooses to believe the latter cannot claim to be seeking objective truth.
Science has only proven the earth to be millions of years old if we are selective about which data we accept and which we reject. The balance of science has not disproved the Bible, as there is much evidence for a young Earth.
Paragraph 12: “Man can and should investigate the world”
Man has done so. Creationists choose to ignore the results of these investigations!
On the contrary, it is the evolutionists and atheists who are blind to the clear facts of science. By reading the articles on our website, you will see that we tackle the scientific issues and data head on.
Paragraph 16: “Man can initiate thoughts that are not merely the results of deterministic laws of brain chemistry”
The scientific community would be most interested in evidence of this. There is strong evidence that thought is linked to brain chemistry—we can in fact see the process now in, using for example, functional MRI scanners.
I’m glad you mentioned the MRI scanner, and presume you would consider its inventor a member of the scientific community. He was the creationist, Raymond Damadian. See also The “God spot”: Does it prove that God is all in our heads?
How do Christians propose that the non-material part of a human influences the material part that is clearly the driver of these thought processes? Does the soul influence the movement of atoms and other fundamental particles or forces within the brain? If so, why has science consistently failed to observe such effects?
Given how little is known about the brain—indeed, it has been described as “the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the universe’—I cannot see how anyone can claim that known science has contradicted the belief that it is influenced by non-material factors. Granted, this is accepted by Christians by faith—but as Dr Sarfati points out, it makes much more sense than the atheistic/materialistic view.
“This is a deduction from Biblical teaching”
Indeed. It is therefore worthless unless the Biblical teachings can be shown to be true. It is possible to deduce anything—including contradictory statements—from false premises.
Much of what we believe is a deduction from Biblical teaching. Similarly, much of what atheists believe is a deduction from their belief that nothing exists except matter. Neither can be proven by science.
“Why should [materialists’ conclusions] be trusted over mine, since they both obey the same infallible laws of chemistry”
This is not a question of brain chemistry. I trust their conclusions because they are supported by experimentation and observation, which can be repeated by anyone.
But if your thoughts are just the result of brain chemistry, then you couldn’t help what you wrote! So why should anyone trust your thoughts over ours, given that our brains obey the same infallible laws of chemistry? C.S. Lewis made an interesting point here:
“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.”15
The conclusions of the Christians are supported only by the Bible and personal belief, often in stark contradiction to the evidence produced by science.
Tragically, the view you have expressed has been accepted by many. However, as we demonstrate in many articles on this website, evolutionary ideas are not well supported by science. The vast majority of those who believe that science supports evolutionary beliefs have never seriously studied the opposing view.
There are many other religious texts offering different contradictory explanations. Why should the Bible be trusted over those?
The primary reason why I accept the biblical account of origins is that it is clear that Christ did. I would encourage you to read again the words of Christ, as recorded in the New Testament. I agree with C.S. Lewis—Jesus Christ was either a liar, a lunatic or the Lord he claimed to be.16
“Thus, given their own presuppositions, materialists have not freely arrived at their conclusion that materialism is true”
This does not imply the conclusions are false. A computer can add two numbers (and now independently prove mathematical theorems)—will they get the wrong answer simply because they obey the laws of physics, and lack a soul?
A good reason to suppose that they didn’t arise by time, chance and natural selection. This would favour only survival value, not truth or logic.
Christians need to demonstrate the truth of the Bible before any logical deductions can be made from it.
Why should the evolutionary process give rise to a mind that is capable of thinking ‘morally’? Moreover, if the Bible is true, Christians have the only sound basis for morality—the word of their omniscient creator. … Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth … ’ (John 8:31,32).
I might argue in a similar fashion. Atheists need to demonstrate the validity of their materialistic beliefs before any logical deductions can be made from them. Neither can be demonstrated in the way you demand. If truth is ever to be found it will not be through this kind of logic. Atheists argue, and without any justification, that mental processes (and particularly ‘science’) provide the only valid means of discerning truth. This is a great mistake. If we are spiritual beings, then truth may also be spiritually discerned.
All philosophical systems start from axioms, which by definition are accepted as true without proof. It is legitimate for Christians to treat the propositions of Scripture as axioms or presuppositions, and use them to deduce truths about the world. As shown, these presuppositions have been most useful for the development of modern science.
Paragraph 19: “But if evolution were true, then why not lie? It is not surprising that scientific fraud is a problem.”
This is a very muddled argument. This statement seems to imply that scientific fraud is evidence that evolution is true!
Dr Sarfati’s point is that there is no reason to believe that the evolutionary process would give rise to either honesty or rationality—rather the opposite as evolutionists have argued openly.
“atheists have no objective basis for morality”
This is such an incredibly vain statement I actually find it quite offensive.
It concerns me that you are offended by this, as it is imperative that we support the principle of free speech. You have hardly minced your words in what you have said about us, but I am not offended. Open discussion is essential if we are to think rightly, as we all need to hear what others have to say.
Christians have no objective basis for morality—their morality is based on a highly subjective interpretation of a book which makes unsupported claims about an imaginary being who will punish those who do not adhere to his own inexplicable code of morals. Christians are not moral beings—they follow a moral code set out for them by another, without question, because they believe that authority is capable of delivering the ultimate punishment if they do not.
How do you know that the God of the Bible is imaginary? Why should the evolutionary process give rise to a mind that is capable of thinking ‘morally’? Moreover, if the Bible is true, Christians have the only sound basis for morality—the word of their omniscient creator. I hardly think that ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ is a wishy-washy basis for relationships and behaviour. Many atheists have grudgingly acknowledged that Christ was a great moral teacher.
Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth…” (John 8:31,32). My testimony is that the longer I live, the clearer it becomes to me that Christian morality is correct. Particularly, the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew ch. 5, 6 and 7) is absolutely unrivalled in its perception of the human condition and the answers it provides.
This careless, unthinking delegation of morality to an imaginary being leads to immense suffering in this world—directly caused by Christianity. The persecution of homosexuals and the AIDS epidemic are two obvious examples.
Actually, if people lived according to Christian sexual ethics, then there wouldn’t be an AIDS epidemic. See for example, Monogamy ‘highly effective’ against AIDS [in Uganda]. Christians do not advocate the persecution of homosexuals. Even if I regarded homosexuals as my enemies (which I do not), then Christ commands me to love them, not persecute them. Disagreement is not the same as hatred. Moreover, if anyone claims to be a Christian and hates people, they are simply showing that their Christian profession is false.
I personally base my morality on the minimisation of suffering. Though we cannot measure suffering as accurately as we can measure length or weight, it still can be measured. It can be measured far more accurately than the number of people who have gone to heaven or hell for committing various acts. It is clearly far more objective than any Christian theory of morality.
The tragic tale of the rejection of Christianity in the UK is enough to bring one to tears, and it has given rise to great suffering. Thousands upon thousands of children are entering adulthood blighted by spiritual and emotional brokenness, due to marriage breakdown and single parenthood. Addictions to alcohol, drugs and pornography are becoming rampant. Trust has all but been destroyed, as honesty in business and politics is increasingly associated with folly. Free speech is rapidly becoming something of the past. The doctrine of ‘human rights’ (as distinct from responsibilities) is turning our society into a demanding, selfish and self-centred monster. What we still enjoy today (and I suspect not for much longer) is the legacy of our Christian heritage. Without this, people have nothing to look forward to but the inexorable disintegration of the political and economic systems from which so many have benefitted for so long. Be warned.
People do not go to heaven or hell “for committing various acts”. Our eternal destiny is determined by whether or not we accept God’s salvation in Christ which is by grace through faith not by works (Ephesians 2:8,9).
- As a generalisation applied to the scientific community as a whole, of course, it is correct: evolutionary scientist A will attack the ideas of evolutionary scientist B. But the underlying ideology is sacrosanct. I.e. they will not question whether evolution has occurred, but only ideas on how it did so. And of course the same is true in Christianity and creationism; creationist scientists will criticize each other’s theories and models, while assenting to the underlying proposition regarding the truth and authority of the Bible. Even theologians who agree to that same truth and authority are continually critiquing each other’s ideas. Return to text.
- Phillips, M., The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth and Power, Encounter Books, New York, 2010, pp. 78, 79. Return to text.
- Hooykass, R., Religion and the rise of modern science, Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh, 1977. Return to text.
- Jaki, S., Science and Creation, Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh, 1986. Return to text.
- Eiseley, L., Darwin’s Century: Evolution and the Men who Discovered It, Anchor Books, New York, USA, 1961, p. 62. Return to text.
- Lennox, J.C., God’s Undertaker—has science buried God?, Lion Hudson, Oxford, 2007, p. 19. Return to text.
- Postmodernism and modern philosophy. Return to text.
- Postmodernism. Return to text.
- Ref. 6, pp. 68–70. Return to text.
- Davies, P., The Fifth Miracle, Penguin Books, London, UK, 1999, p. 122. Return to text.
- Davies, P., Life Force, New Scientist, 1:27–30, 18 September 1999. Return to text.
- Ref. 10, p. 100. Return to text.
- Holding, J.P., The Impossible Faith, Xulon Press, Florida, USA, 2007. Return to text.
- Chapter 4: What about carbon dating? Return to text.
- C.S. Lewis (1898–1963), The Business of Heaven, Fount Paperbacks, U.K., 1984, p. 97. Return to text.
- The Trilemma: Lord, Liar, or Lunatic? Return to text.