Thursday, February 20, 2014

debate

In the wake of the Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham debate, I've been thinking.  The internet is full of disgust that Bill Nye would even dignify the ignorant Christians by debating something which is already proven.  This attitude is perpetuated by generations of teachers who have told their students that the game is over, science has proven that there is no God.  And of course many people do not see a reason to resist this proof by authority (which the scientist ostensibly despises).  On the contrary, they are quickly attracted to this view, we all are, because it vindicates our desire to believe the oldest lie: that we can reject God and have an identity beyond what creation would imply. 

Bill Nye says that we are cruel to teach what is inconsistent with the world we observe.  I agree.  The world we observe, which our students need to navigate, is a world full of people living as though human life is sacred.  It is a world full of people obsessed with eternity.  They live to worship something.  The people in this world that we observe have moral expectations of one another.  In their hearts they believe in sin.  They, like Mr. Nye, expect that others have an obligation to act on what they know is right, and they often think that people should agree with them about what is right.  People have a need for love, hope, justice, purity.  They are capable of selfless acts.  Anyone who has experienced grace, who has seen redemption and sacrifice that is not explained by what is seen, recognizes a theme throbbing through creation, a pervasive motivation and a plot that naturalism says should not be there.  So much of our observed world possesses a self-evident significance which is granted by some profound logic that is quite simply not explained by the evolution of a material world.  Rather, naturalism implies an emptiness, a screaming lack of purpose which is unpardonably incompatible with the world we observe. 

Certainly if we are products of a merely material cosmos, then only a chaos beyond our control can account for these constructs which we call beliefs, which are genetic relics and behavioral products we could not have avoided.  Why then all the ire directed toward creationists, and why all the congratulation toward the fellow evolutionists, if none of us can help believing as we do? 

Bill Nye, why is it so important to have productive members of society?  So we can conquer malaria and walk on mars and avoid wars and reduce suffering?  What is the significance of suffering and what law is in place to require us to see suffering as significant, and how did such a law come into being?  Why must we press forward in science to ensure the longevity of the human race?  Does science not predict that all life on earth will eventually cease?  Is that end not imminent, in the cosmic sense?  Do we have an obligation to preserve the species?  Obligation to whom?  Is anything of value derived from preserving the species?  And if so, how can something be of value in an existence without meaning?  For if evolution is the architect of reality, then surely any meaning attached to life is an illusory effect of chemical reactions.

It seems fitting that some of the creationists would be engaged with this debate because it acknowledges them, where they have been marginalized and kicked aside as archaic.  It brings creationism into contact with mainstream science.  Evolutionists meanwhile claim that there is no debate, all has been proven, science has triumphed over superstition.  They claim this in such numbers, and with such vehemence, that it really makes one wonder why they care so much.  I challenge that their claimed worldview does not explain why they care so much.  Why does a Christian care so much?  Because we are told to share Christ so that all people would glorify God with their lives.  But why does an atheist evangelize? 

I loved watching Bill Nye talk, he is such a passionate observer, you can feel the wonder he cultivates toward his surroundings.  He is worshipful in his enjoyment of science, contagious in his attitude of exploration.  But ultimately I do not find his model of the universe to be viable. 

1 comment:

  1. Still check in on you once in a while. Thanks for giving me some fodder to support the notion that this creation could not have just come out of nothing.

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