Thursday, February 23, 2006

Re: Concerning Your Testimony


----- Original Message -----
From: AN
To: Stephen E. Jones
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2006 3:13 AM
Subject: Concerning Your Testimony

>My name is AN and I am 18 years old and currently researching the topic of Evolution vrs. Creationism. I ran accross your site a few moments ago and I read your testamony. I wanted to let you know that I found it very intriguing and encouraging. I am a born again believer in Jesus Christ and I believe the Bible is 100% true.

Thanks for your message and apologies for the delay in replying. As is my normal practice when I receive a message on a creation/evolution topic that might be of interest to others, I copy my reply to my blog, CreationEvolutionDesign, minus the sender's personal identifying information and other minor changes.

AN>I have a friend who claims to be athiest (Though from what I gather , he really doesn't know what he believes. Honestly, he doesn't seem too interested to find out...) and I recently picked his mind concerning what he believes. He is open to there being a God...But for now he believes that evolution is the most accurate theory of how we came to be. It breaks my heart...If only he could see that we only have true life in God.

You might ask him what he means by "evolution"? And how he knows it is the most accurate theory of how we came to be? Has he investigated the evidence for and against evolution himself?

You might also ask him what about the origin of life? That is, the origin of the first self-replicating organism, which by definition did not arise from a previous self-replicating organism, and so had to arise from non-living chemicals in one jump, but which is an enormous level of complexity (see my two posts on The Minimal Cell 1/2 and 2/2).

You can let him know that this is such a major problem for evolution that one of the world's leading atheists, philosophy professor Antony Flew, author of a book called "Darwinian Evolution," concluded that God must have created the first living cell:

"A British philosophy professor who has been a leading champion of atheism for more than a half-century has changed his mind. He now believes in God -- more or less -- based on scientific evidence, and says so on a video released Thursday. At age 81, after decades of insisting belief is a mistake, Antony Flew has concluded that some sort of intelligence or first cause must have created the universe. A super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature, Flew said in a telephone interview from England. Flew said he's best labeled a deist like Thomas Jefferson, whose God was not actively involved in people's lives. ... Over the years, Flew proclaimed the lack of evidence for God while teaching at Oxford, Aberdeen, Keele, and Reading universities in Britain, in visits to numerous U.S. and Canadian campuses and in books, articles, lectures and debates. ... Yet biologists' investigation of DNA "has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved," Flew says in the new video, `Has Science Discovered God?' ... The first hint of Flew's turn was a letter to the August-September issue of Britain's Philosophy Now magazine. `It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism,' he wrote. ... if his belief upsets people, well `that's too bad,' Flew said.`My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato's Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads.' ... Flew told The Associated Press his current ideas have some similarity with American `intelligent design' theorists, who see evidence for a guiding force in the construction of the universe. He accepts Darwinian evolution but doubts it can explain the ultimate origins of life. (Ostling R.N., "One of the world's leading atheists now believes in God, more or less," San Francisco Chronicle/AP, December 9, 2004)

But then the problem for evolution is that if an Intelligent Designer/God intervened at one stage in natural history to create the first living cell, then there is no reason in principle why that Intelligent Designer/God could not have intervened at further stages in natural history.

AN>I am by no means bright when it comes to science, and my friend (His name is ...) is a very intelligent guy... He claims to be open-minded, but sometimes I wonder. I plan to read more on your site to gain more knowledge concerning this matter, and perhaps I will show it to ....

If he is truly an atheist (i.e. he denies there is a God) then he cannot (by definition) be open-minded about evolution. If there is no God, then some form of evolution is the only option. As Christian geneticist David Wilcox pointed out, "One can be a theistic `Darwinian,' but no one can be an atheistic `Creationist'":

"I conclude that the easy acceptance of neo-Darwinism as a complete and adequate explanation for all biological reality has indeed been based in the metaphysical needs of a dominant materialistic consensus. One can be a theistic `Darwinian,' but no one can be an atheistic `Creationist.'" (Wilcox D.L., "Tamed Tornadoes," in Buell J. & Hearn V., eds., "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?" Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, 1994, p.215)

AN>Thank you so much for taking a stand and taking the time to research the scientific side of things. God is using you in amazing ways.

Thank you for your encouragement, which is much appreciated.


Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
"Problems of Evolution"

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