No More Than "Just Faith"?
Updated: Jun 27, 2020
Does the biblical worldview involve “…no more than just faith itself”? In other words, do Christians have an anti-scientific, blind faith? Moreover, since “science” has helped provide economic abundance and luxury, does that mean that we must trust the “science” of evolution? Humanist JC followed up from Part 2 of the Bird Evolution debate with those particular claims. Part 3 of 7 of the Bird Evolution Debate is presented in the transcript below, which includes JC’s aforementioned claims, as well as my responses.
Names are abbreviated for privacy and brevity.
Kevin, I do respect your right to believe what you do. Honestly. What I pay attention to isn't absolute, blind faith. Just because evolution is still considered a theory doesn't mean it's based in just faith as a religious belief. Science can't have a theory without having already a great deal of verifiable evidence to support it. Religious faith requires no more than just faith itself. No scientist will say we know all answers and I'm convinced we can never know everything. But to insert an explanation for the unknown with God is reckless and stops one from ever having even a chance to learn the truth. If it weren't for science, none of us would be enjoying the luxury and abundance we enjoy today. I don't see how anyone can deny this fact. Religion didn't do anything for this to exist.
JC, thank you for the kinder tone. I will respond to your message in segments for clarity.
“What I pay attention to isn't absolute, blind faith. Just because evolution is still considered a theory doesn't mean it's based in just faith as a religious belief. Science can't have a theory without having already a great deal of verifiable evidence to support it.”
I don’t agree with the presupposition that evolution is worthy of being considered a “theory” with verifiable evidence to support it. First, life has never been observed to come from non-life. Second, no organism has ever been observed to add brand new genetic information and functionality. Mutations do not add genetic information; they distort and destroy genetic information, even in the case of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Although the bacterial mutation causes a beneficial outcome in a specific environment, the mutation still causes a loss of information. Here’s a basic example: the protein of the antibiotic normally reacts with an enzyme produced by the bacteria, but the bacteria mutates and no longer produces that particular enzyme; genetic information is lost, even though it may create a beneficial outcome in a specific environment. Third, nobody has ever observed a change of biblical “kind,” which is equal to the biological classification of “family” in most cases, such as Canidae (dogs), Felidae (cats), Equidae (horses), and Camelidae (alpaca). For example, there are numerous different species and breeds of dogs, but dogs are still dogs…they did not become cats. Now, evolutionists will point to speciation within a family as evidence for evolution. However, there is no observable evidence that genetic information is gained during speciation. On the contrary, genetic information is either recombined or lost during speciation events. Biological evolution has a huge problem in that it is unable to eliminate competing scientific models on speciation, such as the Created Heterozygosity and Natural Processes (CHNP) model. In a nutshell, if each biblical “kind” or family of organisms were created with high genetic heterozygosity (large variety of genetic information), then that large variety of genetic information coupled with geographic isolation will lead to speciation within that created kind. The CHNP model makes very accurate retrodictions of the biological data. See the following technical paper to learn more about the CHNP scientific model: https://answersingenesis.org/natural-selection/speciation/on-the-origin-of-eukaryotic-species-genotypic-and-phenotypic-diversity/
“Religious faith requires no more than just faith itself.”
I don’t agree with that at all. What the biblical creationist sees in the physical world is perfectly consistent with what the Word of God has to say. For example, the CHNP model starts with the fact that God created organisms “according to their kind” in Genesis chapter 1. The implication from this text, and related biblical passages, is that organisms reproduce after their own kind. That is exactly what we observe, and the CHNP model provides a very strong explanation for speciation within created kinds. I can go on and on about many other successful creation science predictions and retrodictions, whether in regards to rock layers, fossils, radiometric dating, still-preserved soft tissue in dinosaur fossils, astronomy, and so forth, but this message is already long enough.
“No scientist will say we know all answers and I'm convinced we can never know everything. But to insert an explanation for the unknown with God is reckless and stops one from ever having even a chance to learn the truth.”
In your materialistic, evolutionary worldview, where our brains are just byproducts of random chemical processes, how can we ever trust our own conclusions to be accurate? On the contrary, God made us in His image (Gen 1:26) and gave us the ability to reason (Isaiah 1:18), with the caveat that we have a “debased mind” if we do not acknowledge God (Romans 1:28). Moreover, in your materialistic, evolutionary worldview, how do you account for an immaterial concept such as “truth”? What is “true” and “right” and “wrong” if we are nothing more than walking and talking chemical reactions? The concept of truth implies an absolute standard of right and wrong, which is consistent with an absolute authority as described in the Bible (Psalm 24:1, John 1:3).
“If it weren't for science, none of us would be enjoying the luxury and abundance we enjoy today. I don't see how anyone can deny this fact. Religion didn't do anything for this to exist.”
Observational/Operational science enables us to build and design cars, planes, rockets, smart phones, and so forth. As a mechanical engineer (B.S.) and aeronautical engineer (M.S.), this is the type of science that I and other engineers use in our day jobs. As engineers, we develop requirements, develop a design to meet those requirements, and verify through testing that those requirements are met. On the other hand, we do not use historical or origins science, and we most certainly do not use evolution. How does one build an airplane using evolution rather than intelligent design? Would they throw a multitude of airplane parts in a giant bucket and hope that they magically come together to form an airplane? I certainly would not trust flying on such an airplane…
Note that historical science looks at circumstantial evidence and makes inferences about what happened in the past, but nobody can test and verify such conclusions, unless you have an eyewitness account. The Christian has the ultimate eyewitness via God and His Word. Here’s a short video that explains the difference between observational and historical science, and how science is made possible because God established the laws of physics (Jeremiah 33:25): https://answersingenesis.org/media/video/science/nature-of-science/
This discussion continued with JC, but in the midst of this particular dialogue, three other humanists joined the thread. Part 4 of the Bird Evolution Debate will take a break from JC and introduce the dialogue with the other humanists. I will share that in my next blog post.