Thanks for your message.
[Graphic: Herbert Spencer]
As is my usual practice when I receive a private message on a creation/ evolution/ design topic, I am copying it to my blog CED, after removing your personal identifying information.
----- Original Message -----
To: Stephen E. Jones
Sent: Sunday, September 10, 2006 10:01 PM
Subject: why creation?
>You see Stephen, evolution is the only viable explanation because there is no realistic alternative.
Thanks for confirming a point that I make often, that atheists like yourself have "no realistic alternative" to evolution. That is why in my experience most evolutionists are Spencerians rather than Darwinists, i.e. like Darwin's contemporary, philosopher Herbert Spencer (1820–1903), it is their "belief in natural causation that led" them "to embrace the theory of evolution, not vice versa" for them "the belief in natural causation was primary, the theory of evolution derivative":
"Spencer's belief in the universality of natural causation was, together with his laissez-faire political creed, the bedrock of his thinking. It was this belief, more than anything else, that led him to reject Christianity, long before the great conflict of the eighteen-sixties. Moreover, it was his belief in natural causation that led him to embrace the theory of evolution, not vice versa. ... His faith was so strong that it did not wait on scientific proof. Spencer became an ardent evolutionist at a time when a cautious scientist would have been justified at least in suspending judgement. ... for him the belief in natural causation was primary, the theory of evolution derivative. His faith was so strong that it did not wait on scientific proof. Spencer became an ardent evolutionist at a time when a cautious scientist would have been justified at least in suspending judgement. ... for him the belief in natural causation was primary, the theory of evolution derivative" (Burrow, J.W., "Evolution and Society: A Study in Victorian Social Theory," , Cambridge University Press: London, 1968, reprint, pp.180-181, 205)
However, your very posts to me shows that deep down you don't really believe your own rhetoric. If you really thought that "creation" was not "a realistic alternative" to evolution you would not be bothered arguing `poor benighted creationists' like me out of their position. Your `body language' tells me that deep down you either know there is, or at least suspect that there may be, a God and you hope that by sending out emails to Christian creationists who are complete strangers like me, claiming that "evolution is the only viable explanation because there is no realistic alternative," you hope to convince yourself.
>The only reason you believe in creation is because of the Bible.
If that were the case, and if Christianity was true (which it is), then it would be a true "reason" for me to "believe in creation ... because of the Bible." But in fact for me this is not the case. As I have mentioned in my online testimony, I was raised in a non-Christian home, became an atheist in my early teens, and in my mid-teens I came to believe in creation from the evidence of design in nature. I did not become aware of what the Bible said about creation (or anything), until I became a Christian about two years later:
Stephen E. Jones
My testimony of how I became involved in the Creation/Evolution debate [...]
I was raised in a non-Christian home and in my early teens became an atheist. However, in my mid-teens I realised from reading Bertrand Russell 1 that the universe would inevitably grow too cold for life and it would one day be as though mankind had never existed, I became depressed about the meaninglessness of life and contemplated suicide. One night in my late teens I looked up at the Milky Way and the feeling came over me that with all this order and beauty, there must be a God. So from that moment I was no longer an atheist, but what I now recognise was a deist (God created the universe, but does not intervene in it). So I could not see how I could ever know anything more about God than that he was the Creator, so life still seemed meaningless. [...]
From deism to Christianity
About two years later I noticed a new typist at work named Jenny 2 who seemed to be very hard-working and happy. I asked her what she was so happy about and she said, "Because I believe in God"! I was taken aback and she explained that she was a Christian. I expressed my scepticism about Christianity, although I knew very little about it, so Jenny dared me to go to church and find out for myself. I began attending a Baptist Church (Jenny was a Baptist) and a few months later I responded to the gospel invitation, committed my life to Jesus Christ and became a Christian. The change in my life was dramatic and my former sense of despair and meaninglessness was replaced by a sense of joy and meaningfullness, which has continued to this day, thirty-plus years later. [...]
Continued in part #2
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol)
Genesis 1:12-13. 12The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13And there was evening, and there was morning-the third day.