Answering yet more objections from the village atheist
Published: 16 October 2021 (GMT+10)
Our article Genetic entropy and human lifespans was recently re-released on the front page of creation.com. This was a two-part ‘weekend feedback’ article written by Drs Robert Carter and Don Batten. Carter was answering a question about genetic entropy. Batten was answering a question about our 15 Questions for Evolutionists campaign. A sceptic named Pedro J. wrote in, four times! He sounded very much like the proverbial ‘village atheist’,1 so his criticisms might sound familiar to many of our readers. We received so many positive comments about our responses that we decided to turn them into a stand-alone feedback article, with the hope that this exchange might encourage some of our readers who might be dealing with similar people. We reproduce Pedro J.’s original comments in red, interspersed with Dr Carter’s responses below.
PJ: “I have read the answers to your 15 questions and your objections and I found the atheists answers to be more rational and logical than your objections. Our knowledge of the universe and life in general is still incomplete so it is hasty to declare evolution is false and become a creationist when we dont have full knowledge of everything. The fossil record is the best proof for evolution when you look at it you can see a clear evolutionary history from ape to man even a child could see that. Just because scientists dont know how life came to be doesnt mean god did it so using the god of the gaps argument wont take you nowhere. Science changes with every discovery made as the history of science has shown. I dont understand why people reject evolution when its staring you in the eye, if god created man then why did he created man using body parts from other animals? we are not special and unique we have evolved past animal stage into a higher stage.”
And yet, when we argue what we DO know, it is clear that an unguided origin of life runs counter to entire fields of knowledge, including huge swaths of chemistry, physics, statistics and probability, and even information theory. The creationists are not the ones using a god-of-the-gaps argument when it comes to the origin of life. Consider that the big bang requires that something on the order of the diameter of an atom to become 10 light years in diameter in one quintillionth of a femtosecond during the inflationary period of the general big bang expansion. Not only is that amount of time not measurable with any clock ever made, but there is also nothing in physics to suggest something like this could happen, nor when it would happen, nor how fast it would expand, and what was the physical reason for it to suddenly stop? In the end, the big bang is nothing short of magic. It is not based on physics but is a desperate attempt to explain a subset of the observational data using a mathematical trick.
Thus, there is every reason to seek an intellectually fulfilling alternative to the secular mantra of naturalism. Yet, you appeal to the fossil record of ape to man. I submit to you that this field is in disarray. Back in the 70s, when I was first learning about it, everything seemed so neat and tidy. This is no longer true. Even the out-of-Africa expansion has been set on its back foot with the discovery of multiple modern human skeletons, tools, footprints, etc. at the ‘wrong’ time. And then there are Neanderthals and Denisovans, who were not even part of the supposed rise of Homo sapiens in Africa, yet they were still able to mate with H. sapiens, to the point where the genomes of certain people living on different islands off Southeast Asia are more than 10% “non-modern”.2
As to why God may have used similar body plans among the various things He created, this is unanswerable because we cannot be in the mind of any creator, artist, or engineer (and He was all three) as they work. However, if there was no similarity among living things, I know what people in your shoes would be saying: “Where the evidence of your ‘god’ now? Everything looks chaotic and random. Nothing looks like it came from the mind of a ‘creator’. ”Your question, then, is a poor one. It is designed to invoke emotion (e.g., fear and doubt) but it has no actual substance.
FYI, God is a proper name. If you wish to have a civil conversation, you would do well to not deliberately insult the person to whom you are communicating by refusing to capitalize the name of someone they hold dear. You are not a neutral party seeking an honest answer to an honest question, as evidenced by your choice of capitalization.
PJ: “Response to Robert Carter, It doesnt matter what you say. If what you write is not peer reviewed in journals like Nature and Scientific American its all rumblings of an old man it has no value. And I dont consider your self served journal of creation scientific its just fantasies and wishfull thinking. If the majority of scientists accept evolution who am I to go against it. Its because of them we live comfortable lives, where is God in the equation? What if in the future, scientists discover the solution to what you guys consider “problems for evolution” what then ? Will you accept evolution. I doubt it you are too close minded to even consider the alternative to God”
Wow. Rarely has someone shown their personal biases so strongly in a comment to one of our articles. I’ll break down your statement and answer each section in turn.
1. “It doesnt matter what you say.”
So you admit to being close minded.
2. “If what you write is not peer reviewed in journals like Nature and Scientific American…”
First, Scientific American is not peer reviewed. It is a magazine. Second, you really need to look at the many publications our people have in peer reviewed journals (e.g., we have made significant contributions to the cultivation of important crops (Dr Don Batten), made improvements to theoretical evolutionary biology (Dr John Sanford), helped design telecommunication satellites (Dr Mark Harwood), discovered things that led to major scientific breakthroughs (e.g., the MRI machine; Dr Raymond Damadian), and addressed concerns about mutation accumulation in pandemic viruses (me!), to name just a few contributions scientists who believe in creation have made over the past several decades. Third, what if there is an automatic filter that the gatekeepers apply to deliberately keep creation out of naturalistic journals? Then your test is false, for you will not accept our work unless it is in a journal that rejects our work, based on philosophical considerations.
3. “its all rumblings of an old man…”
Yeah, I’m not that old. And what has age got to do with it? Biased much?
4. “it has no value…”
Value is in the eye of the beholder.
5. “And I dont consider your self served journal of creation scientific its just fantasies and wishfull thinking.”
You don’t have to accept anything. However, by claiming it is not “scientific” you are equating the philosophy of naturalism with science. This is a tactic that the evolutionists have used since day 1. It is false.
6. “If the majority of scientists accept evolution who am I to go against it.”
7. “Its because of them we live comfortable lives, where is God in the equation ?”
No, our lives have been improved due to operational science, which has nothing to do with evolution or deep time. Operational science was pioneered by people with a Christian worldview. We can see that in the way that so many branches of modern science were laid down by people who believed the Bible. You can thank Christianity for pushing Western societies to reject the fickleness of the ‘gods’, the chaos of paganism, and the non-linearity of the Greek (for example) worldview.
8. “What if in the future, scientists discover the solution to what you guys consider “problems for evolution” what then ? Will you accept evolution? I doubt it you are too close minded to even consider the alternative to God”
I’ll wait. Everything we have learned about operational science is screaming that the origin of life, the origin of complexity, and the origin of coded information is not going to happen without an outside intelligent agent imparting order onto the system. Thus, evolution cannot even get off the ground. After that, much of the so-called evidence for evolution fits neatly and comfortably into the creationist model, including natural selection, adaptation, and ‘change over time’.
What if science tells you loud and clear that evolution is impossible, according to the tenets of science itself? Will you reject it in favor of a biblical worldview? Others before you have done so, including many of our current speakers. You can, too. In fact, multiple people I know first rejected evolution, then became creationists, then became Christians. Jesus is at your door. There is a large Christian community that would love to welcome you to the other side.
PJ: “Robert Carter, Like I said if its not peer reviewed then I will not take your guys so called science seriously. That also applies to Christian apologetics like Jesus historicity, resurrection and the existence of the biblical God. As long as there are scholars who say Jesus never existed and if he did, his body was stolen by the apostles or it was all made up by the church fathers, I will be skeptical towards christian arguments. I believe there is life in other planets waiting to be discovered and I also believe that religion started because of alien visitations and the ancients saw them as their gods and started worshipping them thus giving rise to religion. Jesus and the biblical God were part of the sumerian pantheon or Annunaki also including Satan”
The Journal of Creation is peer reviewed, so by your own admission you have to take it seriously. If you are going to be skeptical about anything if there exist scholars who disagree with that thing, you run the risk of being taken in by every wrong idea out there. Thus, again by your own admission, you will now have to be skeptical about evolution, the big bang, the origin of life, etc. That is, unless you are appealing to the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. Yet, after asserting the conclusions of naturalistic science, you then jump off the cliff into la-la land and immediately deny the very things you claim to support. Aliens? Jesus was part of the Sumerian pantheon? And you want to be taken seriously? On the one hand, you reject thousands of years of Christian thought, scholarship, debate, philosophy, and solid reasoning but on the other hand you fall into the trap of pseudoscholarship. My friend, you are lacking in discernment. I implore you to take a deep dive into the precepts of Christianity. You are missing much.
PJ: “Robert Carter, You can ignore everything that I said but know that people dont believe in God not just because of evolution but also because philosophically the idea of God is childish and nonsensical even philosophers dont bother debating it. The only people who still debate the existence of God are people still living in the middle ages and psychologists know why people believe in God its not because of evidence its because of wishfull thinking. If you cant use the scientific method to prove God exists then he/she doesnt exist of course. I was an agnostic but when I watched your youtube video titled “What is atheism” and read the comments I am now 100% atheist. I also believe the simulation theory best explains what I experience in life its all an illusion. I wouldnt be surprised when after I die, I see the “Architect” from Matrix movies.”
Ignore you? Hardly. I have answered everything you have said. The reason people don’t believe in God is that they do not want to. It has nothing to do with modern scholarship or philosophy, for throughout time the majority of people have been rejecting Him. Regarding using the scientific method to prove God: which definition of the scientific method are you suggesting? In the Popperian sense, one cannot prove anything in science. I can also turn that statement around and challenge you to disprove the existence of God. This, of course you cannot do. See Can Science Prove God Exists? You flipped to atheism after watching one single video? This is hard to believe. Perhaps this was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but certainly you were dealing with many other doubts before this? See An open letter to Rhett McLaughlin. Finally, can you not see that you shot yourself in the rhetorical foot when you appealed to simulation theory? In such a scenario, you cannot know anything is true, for the world around you would be an artificial construct. One more time: I appeal to you to come to the other side. Christianity offers something more sure, more tangible, and more foundational than anything you have discussed thus far. Sadly, after four tries I am going to have to cut you off from further comments. We can go around in circles forever and we will continue to do so if you are not going to seriously take a look at what you are saying.
Addendum: Not being dissuaded, Pedro has continued to comment on other articles. Gary Bates’ review of the new movie The 7 Churches of Revelation, Times of Fire brought out yet another attempted diatribe. His answer is worth reading.
PJ: “I am an atheist and of course I dont see the old and new testaments to be historical records more like folklore and mythology. Since you mentioned the Patterns of evidence movies, in your “Patterns of evidence: Exodus. A review” article [link], there is a comment from Sandra H. where she perfectly shows why we cant trust what historians whether ancient or modern tells us about what happened in the past and I will add why you cant use history to prove the resurrection happened and Jesus existed or any other biblical character and event. I invite you to read Sandra H. comment and reflect on it. Actually, archaeology is the biggest enemy not a friend of the bible trying to find evidence for the exodus or David and Solomon is like trying to find a needle on a haystack”
Well of course you won’t believe the OT or NT to be historically accurate because you’ve already declared your apriori position. Christians do not believe because of evidence. They have a faith position which is then used to interpret data, facts and generally the world around them. But atheists do exactly the same thing often without truly understanding that they do so in the mistaken belief that atheism is somehow neutral. The comment that one cannot trust even ancient historians or that archaeology is an enemy of the Bible, is really an elephant hurl of gross proportions as it is demonstrably a false assertion. This reveals quite a bit of ignorance about the subject.
Yes, while some historians in the archaeological record may have played fast and loose with the truth, good researchers will also look for other lines of evidence to corroborate or dismiss what has been written. This is what all historians do, Christian or otherwise. While some might not also believe the Bible’s spiritual themes, miracles etc., most archaeologists (atheist or otherwise) don’t seem to be so keen to dismiss the Bible as a valid historical record as you do. Clearly the Bible is extremely accurate when it comes to archaeology and history, as this movie demonstrates. I have personally visited dozens of sites in Turkey, Italy, Greece and Egypt that the Bible refers to. If it is historically accurate in its reporting, then there might be good reason to also believe the stories of the events and people associated with those times.
While you might feel uncomfortable when the weight of archaeological evidence indicates that the biblical authors were writing about real places and real people, making invalid ‘fact-free’ assertions in an effort to discount them does not make your assertions true (except in your own mind as they might act as a salve to your atheist faith). We also note that you have seemingly taken a great interest in our site of late by posting lots of comments. That’s great, so we invite you to thoroughly research the 40+ years of information provided on this site, and much of it by Ph.D. scientists who earned their stripes in the very same universities as their evolutionary believing counterparts (indicating the facts do not speak for themselves). See It’s not science! for example. But please note that that these comments sections are just for comments, single responses, and not long exchanges. So understand that further comments may not be posted in keeping with our policy in this regard. BTW keep an eye out for a feedback article/response to several of your recent comments. It will appear on the front page of creation.com in due course [this, of course, is the article you are now reading]. In the meantime, this article about Atheism might help you understand why you draw the conclusions you do.
References and notes
- A “village atheist” can be defined as “A solitary vocal atheist in a community made up of devoted and religious believers” or “(More generally) a person who is aggressive and unwavering in their opinions, in the face of any possible opposition”, urbandictionary.com. Return to text.
- Larena, M. et al., Philippine Ayta possess the highest level of Denisovan ancestry in the world, Current Biology 31:1–12, 2021 | doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.07.022. Return to text.