Creation and Science

I’m sure the posters and readers on Planet Augsburg have encountered bumper-sticker theology before. In my experience, it is usually simplistic at best and snarky at worst. For example, a line such as “My God is too big to fit inside of your God’s box” might be brought out as a supposed “trump card” to win an argument for a universalist interpretation of what/who God is. However, such little quips are more harmful than helpful in rational arguments–no matter which side makes them. They are more for shock value than anything, and in many cases it seems as though their sole purpose isn’t to enlighten the discussion but to silence the opposition.

The specific bumper-sticker theology line that I’m thinking of is the question “Is God so powerful that He can make a rock that even He can’t lift?” There are many atheists who believe that they have the Christian by the short hairs when they ask this seemingly omnipotence-refuting question. The Christian’s answer of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will undoubtedly be met with the “haha gotcha!” response: “But I thought you said God was omnipotent!” Many Christians might be at a loss for an explaination to this seemingly paradoxical point in the existance of an all-powerful Deity. I believe, however, that even responding to the question with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ in the first place is futile because it gives validity to what is otherwise a ridiculous question. In his book The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis addresses briefly how such arguments against an all-powerful God are not quite as solid as your average bear might think:

The absolutely impossible may also be called the intrinsically impossible because it carries its impossibility within itself, instead of borrowing it from other impossibilities which in their turn depend upon others. It has no unless clause attached to it. It is impossible under all conditions and in all world and for all agents. ‘All agents’ here includes God Himself. His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to Him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to His power. If you choose to say ‘God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it’, you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words ‘God can’. It remains true that all things are possible with God: the intrinsic impossibilities are not things but nonentities. It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of His creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because His power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God. [emphasis author’s]

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, Chapter 2: “Divine Omnipotence”

I was going to write my own summary of Lewis’ quote here, but the last sentence of the paragraph does that better than I could. Nonsense spoken about God is just that: nonsense. It would do most Christians well to realize this point and not to lose any sleep over weak, illogical arguments against the faith.

We previewed Ben Stein’s upcoming documentary last year. However, it is worth another post. Ben Stein has made a documentary about the bunker mentality of Darwinism and the persecution that is the reward for any scientist willing to question its assumptions.

The movie has a blog and its latest post provides some sneak peeks for viewers.

One highlight among many is Stein’s one-on-one interview with Richard Dawkins, the dashing Brit who has made a small fortune as the world’s most visible neo-Darwinist.
To his credit, and to the utter discomfort of the public education establishment, Dawkins does not shy from discussing the atheistic implications of Darwinism.
Indeed, Dawkin’s anti-deity call to arms, The God Delusion, has sold more than a million copies worldwide. Where Dawkins wanders into a black hole of his own making is in his discussion of the origins of life on earth.
To Stein’s astonishment, Dawkins concedes that life might indeed have a designer but that designer almost assuredly was a more highly evolved being from another planet, not “God.”
Stein does not respond. He does not need to. For the past hour of the film, the audience has met one scientist after another whose academic careers have been derailed for daring to suggest the possibility of intelligent design.
If only they had thought to put the designer on another planet!

So, if little green men deciding to cultivate the Earth with life is a possibility for Dawkins, why not the Logos?

Check out this poll.  18% of those surveyed believed evolution was “definitely true.”  39% believed creationism was “definitely true.”  This must be really irritating to all those materialist-types whose eyes start to bulge and turn red-faced when one speaks of Adam, Eve, Noah, etc. as historical people.  BTW, 66% believe creationism is definitely or probably true.  Very irritating, indeed.

Gene Veith links to an interesting Washington Post story about language written in our DNA. Veith points out with interest how the scientists interviewed in the piece use terms like “translation,” “read,” “instruction,” “message” and references to genetic punctuation marks. That language implies a Speaker, i.e., a Creator. Of course, don’t tell the Washington Post or the scientists that.

What’s more, the story constantly refers to evolution as having done these things, as if a random process had some sort of decision-making or goal-seeking capacity. You can take out the word “evolution” and insert “God” with very little confusion or disruption. Indeed, that is what evolution is “designed” (by its creators-note the small”c”) to do. It is simply a substitute for God and just as faith-based.