June 10, 2012

How We Approaching Things Makes All The Difference

I took it on myself to compare two websites. What started as a study in contrasts ends in sad irony.

Site #1: Answers In Genesis (as most Christian will know as an apologetic source)

Site #2: National Center for Science Education (a supposedly "unbiased" scientific source that critiques  evolution and creationism with an aim to disseminate the "truth")

Presuppositions…This is the first word that comes to mind when dealing with the two links above and their diametrically opposed topics. It is the idea that you can show the same exact set of data to two people and they will interpret it completely differently. One will see the complexity of God’s creation and the other will see a sum total of innumerable mutations and processes over an extremely long period of time. One will approach the data like Answers in Genesis (AIG) under the presupposition that God does indeed exist and all natural or supernatural processes are the product of or set in motion by a divine sovereign God. The other will see the data and will see only the natural or naturalistic and totally preclude the supernatural which is to deny it outright or purposely limit the scope of their investigation. Partial analysis produces partial results. To me it is intellectual bias (or arrogance). To acknowledge that there might be a plausible alternative by even mentioning it on your website National Center for Science Education (NCSE) and then completely dismiss it after making broad-sweeping comments labeling a Biblical worldview of Creationism as “anti” Evolution. To me this is a rather high handed approach. It condescends by assuming Evolution is the thing that has the higher authority and needs to be proved wrong by saying Creationism is anti-evolution. It should be that evolution is anti-Biblical thereby allowing Scripture to be the higher authority in the argument. The argument has been completely reframed and it is in favor of Science. Why? Because God is no longer humanity's Master, Science and the Self is. Humanity has become its own highest authority, pursuit of knowledge is its own idol…a god of their/our own creation. Sadly, I had no problem finding another theistic/Christian point of view site defending Creationism like: [http://www.creationism.org/]  but I found it quite difficult to find a site that was defending evolution like: [http://evolution.berkeley.edu/] .

Why? I believe it is because Creationism seems to be on the endangered species list of the world because most have bought the half-truths or outright lies of evolution hook, line and sinker without ever once questioning its validity. Science and the godless world has Creationists on the run. Evolution takes center-stage and snubs its nose at God while Creationism and theistic origin accounts float on the periphery soon to wink into the darkness of the world’s myopic vision.

This then brings up an interesting conundrum. In our culture and world nowadays, Science does have the upper hand in this polemic/debate. What was once something that could’ve been made in harmony with Christianity and religion in general is now antithetical to it. In a wish to preclude the supernatural, science and humanists have tried to preclude God. Regardless of whether or not they acknowledge God or not, He is still there/here. These people have sadly confused God’s grace, mercy and silence for the end result. At some point God’s mercy runs out and the silence to these people will end.

Try only to give what they believe is the truth and what they believe it. If they believe in something then I would have to say that this comes close to constituting a religion in and of itself. They want what they believe taught in classrooms and disseminated to the world but for all intents and purposes they want to shut up the propagation of creationism and keep it out of classrooms. This to me seems a little bit like a breach of the religious rights of some in favor of others. I thought the First Amendment rights in America (never mind the idea of separation of Church and State is not even in the Constitution). The sad fact is that the scientific side has clear acknowledged that they limit or pigeon-hole their scope of data. The exact quote of NCSE was, “For more than two decades, the National Center for Science Education has been opposing efforts by creationists to weaken or block the teaching of evolution.” Yet they cite no incidences of this. If they are opposing Creationists, then they are clearly limiting what is said and therefore not being open and honest about their sources of data or reality. What’s worse is that they appear to be actively resisting having Creationism taught in classrooms. It isn’t like the Creationists are not trying to meet them half the way either. Creationists are trying to convince and offer olive branches to evolutionists with their own words and science but most often this is met with a “talk to the hand” stand-offish attitude. Evolutionist (mostly the militant among them) cannot even find a place to meet the Creationists in the middle to discuss things because…they don’t want too. So the two sides grow farther apart, misrepresenting and stereotyping along the way further exacerbating the division.

What I will say in this NCSE defense is that they at least recognize and accurately represent the fact that there is a continuum of Creation/Evolution. They specifically state that:

One goal of this section of the website is to make the public aware that the dichotomous view represented by creationists and antireligious atheists leaves out a large range of more moderate religious views. We hope that you find these materials useful in considering these important issues.

The continuum starts with the hardcore on opposite ends of the Evolution/Creation debate and then goes towards the middle to the “not so sure”. It speaks of those that try to straddle the fence between Creationism (religious based) and Evolution (which tend to be, but not always materialists/methodological naturalists). Regardless of the pretense/subterfuge NCSE puts up of being somewhat impartial, the site still doesn’t speak too kindly of those of a theistic or religious persuasion. It is still humanism/humanistic based and therefore is not of the spiritual mind but rather of the natural man mentioned by Paul in Romans and 1 Corinthians.

If you are going to believe something, at least do so with conviction not half-heartedly. Figure out what you believe and think through things to their logical end and stop being force fed what others want you to believe. Both sites advocate this to some extent but I sense a disingenuous nature in the NCSE site since the anti-Christian/theistic posts are scathing and venomous at times.

The truth is Science doesn’t necessarily make you hardcore atheist and Christianity (Religion) does not necessarily make you a hardcore Young Earth Creationist either.  There is some breathing room. Science books are not the Bible but they have things to teach us, just as the Bible is not a science book but when it speaks of things scientific, science would have a hard time of proving it wrong. If we do not at least try to meet in the middle to talk about these things the sides can only grow farther apart and become more acrimonious towards one another. This doesn’t help evangelism and it keeps theists in the dark about things that could potentially help them. My assumption is that evangelism helps those on the fence or on the other side of the fence.

Proverbs 8:24-29 When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water; before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world. I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,  when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.

Christians approach God knowing they know very little and this is often the reason for the need to approach Him. True Christians by nature will be humble. We know that He has the answers we do not. Scientific types on the other had refuse to go to God for answers. Usually because they do not even believe He exists. More importantly, scientific empirical types approach reality with arrogance cock-sure of themselves that they will be able to determine and answer on their own. My nature they are not intellectually humble. They are usually pretentious and haughty. This arrogance stems from a support system or society that looks up to them and never tells them they are wrong. This is not support, it is enabling, just like a junkie enables an addict. They are addicted to themselves and wisdom of the world and the masses are the pushers of their egos.

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