An open letter to the editors of Nature
Published: 4 July 2007 (GMT+10)
Congratulations on your continued position as surely the world’s number one science journal.
Don’t you think it odd, though, that you are now using your scientific reputation to push a religious agenda? In the past Nature has not been so overt, but in recent years you seem far more blatant.
I’m curious especially about your editorial for 14 June 2007.1
‘With all deference to the sensibilities of religious people, the idea that man was created in the image of God can surely be put aside.’
Put aside! ‘Hi everyone, you need to reject the teaching of the Bible, like we have.’
I think the founders of modern science would be astounded. Bible-believers like Newton, Kepler and Steno would shake their heads. How can you justify belief in an orderly universe without a God of order? How can you imagine you can understand nature if your brains are the result, ultimately, of mere chance chemical reactions?
I suspect though that you are each still working from a Christian heritage. I wouldn’t be surprised if your family once honoured and revered the Bible. Was it your mother, or a grandmother? You give it away because you allude to the Bible so often in your articles and editorials. You are clearly familiar with the Word of God. Can I ask you what went wrong? Why did you reject your heritage?
And can I ask why you bother with science, and with Nature? Is it just a way of earning a living until your brain cells turn to dust again?
After all, if what you say is true, that humans evolved by natural processes from lifeless chemicals by random accidents over billions of years, then what motivates you? A million years from now the universe will not remember you, let alone anything you did or how well you did it.
Remember what Dawkins said, ‘We live in a universe which has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.’
If the universe is indifferent why should you care?
And why are you concerned about what other people believe? Why do you try to change their minds? Why does it matter in the long term?
And further, have you ever considered the cruelty of your behaviour? Even if you were right, why should you seek to destroy the beliefs of others—beliefs which give them comfort and meaning? How heartless! In Dawkins’s indifferent world, who gave you the right to interfere in the lives of others?
You make such bold statements as, ‘Humans evolved, body and mind, from earlier primates.’ But I suspect you are really saying this for your own benefit. You really hope that what you say is true, but deep down you suspect it is not—and you’d be right!
For those who trust in the God of the Bible it’s win-win. If we are right we win. We have eternity to live with our Creator and Saviour. But if we are wrong we still win. We have a lifetime filled with purpose, peace and stability.
But for those who reject God it’s lose-lose. If they are right they lose. Their philosophy gives them no basis for meaning, purpose or hope in life. If they are wrong they lose too. They face a terrible eternal destiny.
Perhaps it is this insecurity that is driving you. Otherwise, why do you act so inconsistently with your philosophy? And why are you so hostile toward creation scientists who start with the Bible and show how the evidence fits? Why are you increasingly targeting creationists, openly disparaging them in your journal?
You say ‘Scientific theories of human nature … reflect the origins of the human mind in biological and cultural evolution, without reference to a divine creation’. Yes, your theories are clearly designed to exclude any reference to the Creator, but it is not too late to change your mind.
Recall this message from the Bible: ‘Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).’
You are still young. You still have life; you still have health; you still have your mind. Remember your Creator now, while you have these things and are able to make the change.
You can contact me here.
- Evolution and the brain, Nature 447:753, 14 June 2007. Return to Text.