Humanism as Religion: Testable Hypothesis
Updated: Jun 27, 2020
In Part 1 of the Humanism as Religion debate, I stated the case that the religion of humanism should be subject to the same limitations as other religions if it gets to enjoy the same perks. I pointed out the double standard that we currently experience in our culture: the Bible and its teachings, including biblical creation, are typically banned from public schools…yet, humanist beliefs are given a free pass, and the unverifiable evolutionary worldview is the standard teaching of origins.
Besides JD who posted the original comment, five other humanists joined the discussion. In a sense, the entire thread contained multiple debates. For clarity and blog post brevity, I will share this debate in segments that focus on subsets of the complete debate thread. By the time I get to Part 6 of 6, I will have shared the entire debate transcript, but not in exact order.
Part 2 of 6 of the debate below shows the initial discussion between me and humanist BM.
Kevin Hadsall Evolution =/= atheism. Atheism simply states that god or supernatural beings do not exist, or at least there is no verifiable proof either of them or of any interference with the natural world. Evolution is a scientific theory that states that over vast amounts of time, environmental pressure and genetic drift cause changes to the genetic code of a population resulting in speciation. A scientific theory is the result of decades of research and experimentation by hundreds of scientists. All this data, must also be able to be replicated in similar conditions, that means that if a team in Germany comes up with a result, a team in Japan doing the same experiment, should yield a similar result. That is why it is taught in public schools. Not a single part of biblical creation myth is falsifiable. There is NO TESTABLE HYPOTHESIS attached to it. It's just taking a collection of stories passed down from a group of barely literate goat herders in the bronze age and saying, "yes, I think this is definitely what happened"
BM, Yes, technically evolution and atheism are two different things, but they are closely related. Evolution is a foundational belief of atheism, since it offers an explanation for the universe apart from God or any supernatural entity. You mention “verifiable proof”…does evolution have “verifiable proof”? If so, can you provide observable, repeatable, and testable examples of the following? (1) Life evolving from non-life, and (2) “upward” changes in the genotype and phenotype of an organism, such as an originally-blind organism evolving eyesight, or an originally flight-less species developing the ability to fly? Also, your statement is conflating natural selection with evolution, which are two very different things. Natural selection and speciation is the result of genetic loss and recombination, and is ultimately a “downhill” process over time. Natural selection is observable, but the “uphill” process of evolution is not observable. You can learn more about that here: https://answersingenesis.org/natural-selection/. You say that “verifiable proof” is required for the existence of God. The concept of “proof” implies an immaterial concept: true versus false, or truth versus lie. This immaterial concept makes sense in a biblical worldview with an all-powerful God who set the laws of the universe (Jeremiah 33:25, Hebrews 1:3). This concept also implies that we are capable of studying the universe, which makes sense if we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). However, in a materialistic worldview such as the atheistic, evolutionary worldview, how do you account for immaterial concepts such as “truth”? Moreover, if your brain is the byproduct of unguided chemical reactions over millions of years, then how can you ever trust your own empirical observations to ever be accurate? “Not a single part of biblical creation myth is falsifiable. There is NO TESTABLE HYPOTHESIS attached to it. It's just taking a collection of stories passed down from a group of barely literate goat herders in the bronze age and saying, ‘yes, I think this is definitely what happened’” On the contrary, the Bible claims that God created plants and animals “according to their kind” as stated numerous times in Genesis 1. Although the initial act of creation is not observable, we can observe that animals continue to reproduce according to their “kind” (approximately equivalent to “Family” in our modern classification system). Dogs produce dogs, cats produce cats, and so forth. However, the evolutionary worldview claims that kinds have evolved into other kinds over millions of years. This has never been observed. Moreover, evolution claims that molecules evolved into Man over the process of millions of years. Nobody has ever observed such a thing, and it’s impossible to observe millions of years of supposed biological evolution anyways, because nobody has ever lived that long.
Can humanists like BM demonstrate that molecules-to-man evolution is an observable science? No, and the entire debate thread demonstrates the fact that they are relying on faith without evidence. For the Christian, we have faith as well, but it is not a blind faith. Our observations of the physical world are perfectly consistent with the Word of the Creator and Redeemer. On the contrary, our observations of the physical world are not consistent with the evolutionary worldview. In Part 3 of 6 of the debate, humanists JD and PK claim that evolution is a “secure fact” and a “fundamental science.” I will share that transcript in my next post.