Oftentimes when I’m debating or discussing evolution and creation, it doesn’t take long before definitions and terms are laid out, and then we delve into semantics. During a recent dialogue with several evolutionists we discussed what role belief has to do with science, and I found it to be an intriguing, learning experience.
Actually, this topic comes up on a routine basis when discussing creation and evolution, so I thought it deserved a blog post of its own. Here I’ll provide a critique and outline some criticisms.
One evolutionist claimed that young earth creationists (YEC) have a problem with distant starlight. As a YEC myself, I pointed out that it’s actually not a problem based on current cosmological models, but, instead, evolutionists have scientific problems of their own- like abiogenesis, which is an insurmountable hurdle. Another evolutionist asked me a curious question… he asked why abiogenesis would be an insurmountable hurdle…
I can’t say that I was surprised by his apparent confusion. I’ve been around evolutionists long enough to understand their techniques, having heard the same old arguments over and over. But still, I was disappointed that I would have to explain something so fundamental. After all, evolutionists consider themselves scientifically and intellectually superior to those who don’t believe in evolution or long ages. Yet they truly don’t understand when they’re using bad arguments. Nonetheless, I happily explained the fact that abiogenesis has never been observed to occur naturally, and, therefore, must be believed by faith alone rather than on scientific merit.
Of course a statement like that doesn’t sit well with evolutionists. For one, they’d like us to believe that the origin of life isn’t problematic. They simply assume it must have happened. Why? Because we exist, right? In their minds, there is no other possibility. They believe that our existence is proof that life came about via naturalistic processes… they may not understand how it happened yet, but with a little more time, they will. Voila! Not a problem. After all, they’ll argue, scientists didn’t understand diseases at one time, but eventually they figured out how medicine works. And while that rationale may seem reasonable at first glance, it’s based purely on blind faith and assumes that life was not created, which is the point of the discussion being argued against! Of course the supernatural origin of life vs. naturalism isn’t even comparable to curing diseases, but it’s good enough for them. Doctors may be able to explain how diseases work and provide treatment or medicine, but it’s another thing entirely to explain how complex coding instructions ended up in every cell without any intelligent input. It’s like walking into a library and wondering how all that writing got into all those books via naturalistic processes, and then claiming that our understanding of medicine is proof that it could happen! The argument is nonsense.
Second, evolutionists do not like being accused of having faith, particularly if they’re atheist. Faith is the antithesis of science. Faith implies religion. So they must find a way to separate faith from science, even if it cannot be done. They will deny having faith and explain it away. In their mind, they “follow the science”, so there is no faith.
The evolutionist went on to lecture me: “we don’t believe in abiogenesis,” he said. “Scientists are investigating the various hypotheses of abiogenesis, but at this stage, we do not know exactly how life occurred. It is reasonable to assume that life began by some natural process, simply because magic and the supernatural have never been shown to exist by any scientific means.”
Notice the semantics. In order to shield himself from faith, this evolutionist had to deny his own belief in abiogenesis, all the while admitting that scientists are clueless as to how life began. Instead, he wants to convince us that it is “reasonable” to “assume” life began by natural processes. But who gets to decide what is reasonable vs. unreasonable? Those who reject God’s existence or espouse evolution? And why are these same scientists entitled to assuming that which they wish to prove and considering their assumption to be proof? Yeah, nothing to see here.
On the contrary, many scientifically literate people completely disagree with this line of reasoning and contend that it is unreasonable to assume life began by natural processes. In fact, it is more reasonable to assume life began by special creation. And this is a truth that should be promoted to anyone who values science.
I do believe that creation by God remains the best explanation of the scientific data- even though evolutionists refuse to consider this viewpoint. Despite the preponderance of evidence, they’ll never admit that the improbability of life arising from natural processes is evidence for supernatural creation. If secular scientists were objective enough to admit that life is far too complicated to arise naturally, then the only alternative is supernatural creation. And God remains the best candidate to be the creator (not Zeus, the flying spaghetti monster or aliens).
Of course secular scientists will never admit that God is a better explanation for the origin of life than naturalism because God’s existence and involvement is at odds with their worldview, so they must oppose it any way possible.
Something else I’ve learned is that evolutionists like to play by two different sets of rules and on different playing fields. One time they will claim that they don’t believe in supernatural creation because it has never been shown to exist by any scientific means. Yet, even though a naturalistic origin of life has never been shown to exist by any scientific means, they embrace it. One might think that, if evolutionists were consistent and honest, they’d refuse to accept anything that has not been substantiated by science. But that isn’t the case. They’re quite willing to assume whatever is consistent with their worldview- even if their worldview is demonstrably wrong. They won’t question it, but, instead, will argue against alternative worldviews. This demonstrates the strength of their own faith.
Another evolutionist told me, “We do not believe in abiogenesis, just like we don’t believe in evolution, gravity, etc. We accept or we do not accept.”
When an evolutionist makes this argument, they’re grasping at straws. They have delved into semantics. They want to convince us that they don’t “believe” that which they espouse. Instead of believing in abiogenesis, evolution, gravity, etc. they “accept” them. What does that even mean?
What they’re trying to do is speak and sound ‘sciency’. They want others to think they’re simply being rational and following the evidence, regardless of what they believe. In fact, belief, in their mind, has nothing to do with it.
I attempted to find out if any of these atheists actually believed anything they accept to be true, but- surprise!- they wouldn’t admit to any belief. So I’m left to assume they don’t believe in evolution any more than I do. I don’t believe in evolution because I believe in God and his word, which says he created animals to reproduce after their kind, and that’s good enough for me. I have also accepted Jesus Christ to be my savior. So my belief is strongly tied to what I accept to be true.
These evolutionists, however, don’t want their beliefs to be tied to what they accept. However, they will accept whatever mainstream science espouses.
But if they don’t believe it to be true, then why do they accept it? Because that’s what the consensus is. That’s what the majority of the scientific community has concluded, and anyone who want to be accepted by that scientific community must conform. At least to naturalism. It’s okay if they question gravity and the Big Bang theory as long as they don’t bring God into the discussion, because then we get into religion, and that is off limits, even if it is true.
Personally, I think it’s silly for an atheist or evolutionist to deny their belief in evolution. If they don’t believe it, then why are they fighting so hard to get others to accept something they don’t even believe in? If they truly don’t believe in evolution, then stop arguing for it. If they did believe in evolution, then I could understand their desire to convert unbelievers into believers, but, instead, they’re trying to convert unaccepters into accepters, as if that makes any sense.
The truth is, there have been many conclusions accepted in the name of science that have been falsified over time, so part of the idea of ‘acceptance’ in science is to acknowledge that future science could invalidate or falsify current science. For instance, a flat earth has been invalidated by modern science because anyone can sail or fly around the world at any time (if one has the funds to do so). But if you’re unwilling to believe in that which you accept, then you shouldn’t be fighting so hard for its acceptance, especially if you realize that future scientific discoveries could falsify your current acceptance.
The bottom line is that I don’t accept this line of rationale from evolutionists. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, belief is part of the definition of “accept”. Therefore, I think they really do believe in evolution, a natural origin of life and a universe that’s billions of years old. They may claim otherwise, but if they do, I think they’re being dishonest. If they were honest, I’d expect them to be open to evidence that is counter to their worldview. But in my experience, evolutionists are closed to such evidence. Why? Because they’re really holding onto a strong religious belief and they don’t know it or won’t acknowledge it.