I am reminded of a Farside cartoon when I think of primordial soup. For instance, the amoeba reading a book titled, Primordial Soup for the Soul. The concept of primordial soup isn’t a joke, of course. It is the idea that life began many millions of years ago as chaotic elements churned in the boiling atmosphere and electric charges of a primitive earth – a kind of Frankenstein-like beginning to be sure, but a serious scientific concoction.
The ramifications of the quintessential primordial soup are far reaching. They imply that nothing but natural forces were necessary for the creation of life. For many, the ultimate implication is that God doesn’t exist or we don’t need God (which isn’t quite the same thing). We don’t need God to explain the origins of life because there is a plausible natural explanation.
But is that the case?
For several centuries, people have sought alternative explanations for the origins of the universe and of life as a way of chasing off the specter of God. Richard Dawkins, for instance, asserts that the “greatest achievement” of mankind is the theory of evolution, giving man the power to cast off the shackles of faith in God and allowing man to stand unfettered on his own two feet firmly planted in terra firma against all odds.
Whether God exists, or doesn’t, what is in the primordial soup that seems to explain how life can rise from non-life, without need of a God, without anything other than the basic stuff of an infantile universe? Continue reading “What’s In Your Primordial Soup?”→
I am a great fan of C.S. Lewis. Not that I agree with everything he has written, I love his genius and insight that is marked by a truly Renaissance journey through all of the great classical literature, philosophy and rational, scientific discourse. He approaches Christianity from the opposite shore and provides a view that most churchgoers would never otherwise get.
I recently read his short essay (Is Theology Poetry?) that is published with the Weight of Glory and other addresses by Harper One. In classic Lewis style, he starts off with a very obscure, nuanced question (that few, if anyone, would even think to explore) and, from the seeming pedantry and narrow beginning, he opens up the discourse about half way through into a sweeping view of an eternal truth that is absolutely breathtaking. Continue reading “Theology, Science, Dreaming and Waking”→
From early on his observations that nature is cruel was counter balanced by the longings nature stirred within him. For Lewis, the experience of beauty in nature pointed to the reality of something beyond nature. “Atoms ever dead could never stir the heart of us lest the beauty that we see the endless beauty be.”
C.S. Lewis had a profound influence on me as a thinker and as a man of faith. In this piece, I trace the evolution of C.S. Lewis in his thinking from materialist to theist.
We begin looking at Lewis a few months after his honorable discharge from the British Army following service in World War I at age 20. Lewis say fighting and was injured during the War. He published a book of poems, Spirits in Bondage, influenced by his experiences. The opening poem, Satan Speaks, paints a grim portrait of nature and the way that young Lewis had come to view the world. Continue reading “The Evolution of C.S. Lewis”→
I am fascinated by the Theory of Evolution, but it is more of a curiosity than anything else. How can so many scientific people be so religiously attached to one principle?
I am no scientist. I will admit that; at the same time, I note that many rational people are downright dogmatic on this topic. Questioning the theory of evolution as an explanation of for the origin of life is sacrilege in these modern times – so much so that we have laws in the United States that forbid competing theories (like intelligent design or creationism, which are very different models) from even being mentioned in a public school.
When I mention evolutionary theory in this blog piece, I am not talking about the adaptation of species over relatively short periods of time. I think there is sufficient proof of evolution in that sense. I am talking about the big picture, the forest, not the trees. When talking about the evolutionary paradigm as an explanation of the origin of life, it does not satisfactorily explain the big picture, not even close, and it seems to me that the forest gets lost in the trees. Continue reading “Random Thoughts on Evolution”→
I have had some time to think about the debate last week in a little more detail, and I have some additional observations. (Disclaimer: I am not a science guy.)
One place where I think Ham made a legitimate point is where Ham drew a distinction between observable science and historical science. He said that creationists do not disagree with evolutionists on the observable science; they come to different conclusions on the same evidencce. Nye kept stating that only science that is “reproducible” is real science, but how can scientists reproduce the Big Bang? How do we observe primordial goo turning into a life form (any life form)?
We don’t. Clearly Bill Nye overstated or misstated the scientific method when it comes to determining what happened in the past. We must necessarily engage different scientific tools than the tools of the laboratory. We need to employ a different tool kit.
Nye’s point that creationists cannot test and reproduce the theory of creationism is not well-taken because evolutionists cannot test and reproduce the ultimate conclusions they reach either. In fact, both conclusions of the origins of man and origins of the earth require scientists to go beyond laboratory science because we can’t reproduce either a 6000 year old earth or a 4.3 Billion year old earth. We must use historical evidence at hand and reason to the best conclusion, and we have to understand that those conclusions will be impacted by our initial assumptions, which are often more philosophical than scientific.
To reach those conclusions requires something more than “pure science”. It requires logic, philosophy and even faith – because we don’t know what we don’t know.
To reach those ultimate conclusions requires us to start with a premise that is not based on “pure science”. That initial premise is often driven by worldview. Worldview has more of an impact on science than the scientific community cares to admit.
In this 30 minute piece called Evolution vs. God, fundamental holes in the evolutionary theory of the origin of the earth and man are exposed. The gaps come out of the mouths of evolutionary theorists themselves in response to questions asked of them. It is well worth the time to watch it.
This is not say that Ken Ham is right about the age of the earth, mind you.
How many people watched the Bill Nye v. Ken Ham, young earth/old earth debate the other night? Apparently, Pat Robertson did, and he thinks that Ken Ham is full of water (as reported by many, including Patheos).
I have to say that I wanted to believe Ham, but it was hard to do. Of course, I do not buy Nye either. Just because one person of faith may not have it right, does not mean the baby should be thrown out with the bathwater (or Noah for that matter).
What is it about people that we want to know everything? We want everything to be tied up in neat bows and make perfect sense. But life is not like that. It just isn’t.
It seems to me, in my imperfect opinion, that we tend to get ourselves in trouble when we insist on knowing. Not that there is anything wrong with knowledge or with wanting to know things. But wanting to know everything and for all of it to make perfect sense is just asking too much this side of heaven. It also plays in to pride that is the root of all sin.
We are finite, limited beings. That we know as much as we do is, indeed, remarkable. That we should expect to know it all is something else altogether. (Interestingly, it was the temptation of knowledge, the knowledge of good and evil, that led Adam and Eve into sin.) Not that either Bill Nye or Ken Ham professed to know it all in the debate; they did not.
Let me say this though: I get Ken Ham: he takes the Bible for what it says, and he stands on faith that it is true. I get Ken Ham more than I get Bill Nye. Without faith, we can’t please God.
But the Bible does not say “the earth is 6000 years old”. It could be 10,000. It could be 10,000,000. I, personally, do not think that any of those scenarios matter much in the big scheme of things. The exercise of considering what if the world is only 6000 years old is interesting. It’s kind of fun, but only in a “what if” kind of way. My faith surely does not depend on it.Continue reading “Debriefing the Nye v. Ham Debate”→