Why the Cross in a Journey of Faith is Important Today 3

Empirical Evidence for Intelligent Design

The charge by liberal skeptics that conservative Christians are gullible, credulous, and out-of-sinc with reality because we accept the miraculous accounts in the Bible, in contrast to the current modern social paradigm of cynical skepticism, on the surface seems formidable.

The irony in this charge against believing Christians accepting the supernatural in the Bible…is that the philosophy of naturalism that forms the basis of this attack upon the miraculous in the Bible…is itself under attack.

This attack is coming from the entirely secular arena of empirical scientific evidence supporting the existence of intelligent design in our living and non-living world…of the naturalistically inexplicable presence of complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated systems of information…in our natural world.

Einstein’s equations in 1915 predicting either an expanding or a contracting universe, and the 1929 discovery by Edwin Hubble at the Mount Wilson Observatory of the red-shift in light confirming that our universe is indeed expanding, were the first beginnings of a paradigm shift away from the philosophy of naturalism.

This slow-moving paradigm shift away from blind random chance and undirected causes as the sole explanations behind our otherwise observably ordered and organized natural world…yet always having the outward appearances of intricate design…is accelerating in speed and momentum.

The Big-Bang explanation for the beginning of the universe (I believe a 13.7 billion-year old universe is consistent with the Genesis chapters one and two, creation account according to a more accurate interpretation of the word “day” or “days” as used in ordinary, commonplace, every-”day” speech), the unaccountably huge amount of information contained within DNA, the previously unimagined complexity we now observe within microscopic living cells, the inexplicable fine-tuning of the laws of physics and chemistry to support complex life, the interrelated and balanced factors in our solar system that make the earth uniquely habitable, and the sheer mathematical improbability of  random search strategies to arrange by blind chance the functional components for complex systems of any sort…all argue persuasively for the existence of a brilliantly creative intelligent designer. 

             Even something as basic as the reality of the symmetry of our human exterior body plan for enhanced locomotion…and the asymmetrical plan of our interior organs having no relationship to locomotion…reveals two different design functions intelligently integrated, similar to the intelligently engineered design of a modern automobile having required exterior symmetry for locomotion yet unrequired interior asymmetry “under the hood.”

This intelligent designer of our natural world possesses very similar but eminently superior attributes to us.  The recent discoveries in the last three to four decades of empirical scientific evidence for a transcendent intelligence behind the physical workings of our natural world, unhooks the philosophy of naturalism from its dubious and unfounded connection to empirical scientific investigation, which it never deserved.

The foundation for a radically skeptical approach to the interpretation of the Bible based upon the philosophy of naturalism…has itself been undermined by the recent emergence in the physical sciences of empirical evidence for vast amounts of brilliantly ordered, complex information to achieve functional programs…the unmistakable signature of a supernatural intelligent designer of unimaginably creative capacity.

The point of this essay is to suggest that Christians today do not have to accept the premise of our modern culture that a supernatural walk of faith following Jesus Christ…is not rational…because the supernatural is inconsistent with the worldview of philosophical materialism.

We do not have to accept the negative pronouncements of radically liberal biblical scholars regarding the factual historicity of the supernatural elements in the lives of faith in the Bible, according to their revised, humanistically biased historical re-constructions.

Theological liberalism based upon naturalism is purely philosophical and not at all empirical.

Assigning absolute authority to scholarly unbelief in interpreting the Bible, based solely upon academic PhD credentials, is like assigning spiritual credibility to the Pharisees and scribes immediately after instigating the crucifixion of Jesus.

In John 8:43 Jesus said: “Why do ye not understand my speech?  Even because ye cannot hear my word.”

In John 10:25-27 Jesus said: “I told you, and ye believed not; the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

The Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, and lawyers in first-century Jerusalem saw the miracles and heard the teaching of Jesus, but they were blind and deaf as to the nature of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and promised Messiah.

In popular speech, they failed to connect all of the dots.  In the language of modern social science, they failed to account for all of the data…data that was taking place right before their eyes.

They forfeited their authority and credibility to speak on spiritual matters when their supposed “faith” in God was openly exposed through the cross of Jesus Christ…to be nothing more than white-washed, hypocritical unbelief (Mt. 23:27).

The commendable goal of modern scientific investigation was to scrub away superstition, myth, folklore, old-wives tales, magic, and error from our understanding of the causes behind the workings of our natural world.

This approach, upon completion, can leave in place a supernatural, invisible Creator God who is transcendent above…yet still active…in our natural world.

The search for purely naturalistic explanations behind the phenomenon of our physical world does not lead directly to the extreme philosophy that all such information must be understood only through the lens of naturalistic causes.

Scientific investigation utilizing the experimental methods of empirical research into the workings of the natural world does not and never has required the prerequisite of an accompanying, radically exclusive materialistic philosophy.

The notion that one-time, non-repeating, supernatural events are not accessible to repetitive experimental testing is acknowledged by everyone.

The extension of this reality…that is unjustified…is the suggestion that the philosophy of naturalism is indispensable as a sort of protective secular shell around the empirical scientific method, to ward off supernaturalism.

This has been the subject of intense, rational, and balanced debate for centuries.

One of the potential, worldview overturning ironies of the last few decades of the twentieth century…is that after 450 years of scientific research into our natural world…science is coming full-circle in identifying a growing body of hard empirical evidence for the existence of inexplicably ordered, complex information, well beyond the reach of blind, indifferent chance as a reasonable explanation.

The ancient but scientifically difficult to prove gut-feeling sense of intelligent design observed in our world, is now being supported by a growing body of empirical evidence as the best explanation for the causation behind natural phenomenon.

The scale is slowly beginning to tip in favor of exposing that the elaborate theories currently hypothesized to explain away the obvious appearance of design in our natural world, are more irrational in terms of empirical science than the opposing idea of the existence of a supernatural Creator.

The “god-of-the-gaps” notion that the jigsaw puzzle pieces of scientific investigation into the workings of the natural world…replacing blank unknowns with verifiably empirical facts…would reveal a godless naturalistic world is turning out to be false.

The portrait of the nearly completed picture, after enough of the puzzle pieces are fit into place, reveals an intelligent designer remarkably similar to human beings…having the innate intellectual and artistic capacity to imagine and to create.

The ability to get far enough outside of ourselves and thus contemplate a subject like the study of the history of science…reveals an autonomous transcendent quality separate from nature itself.

We do not see the same high quality of analytical contemplation anywhere else in the natural world.  The narrow range of innate instincts in the natural world is not the same as the elevated human ability to freely analyze the reasons explaining the rise of the modern Scientific Revolution and the culture-shaping “doctrine of progress,” for example.

There is a large gap between humans and the rest of the living world… that is discontinuous and unbridgeable by incrementally gradual, small steps, in this area of intellectual reasoning.

The scientific pursuit…the ability to comprehend the workings of an orderly and intelligible universe…is itself an indirectly subtle refutation of the notion that everything derives from purely naturalistic causes produced through blind chance.

How could purely naturalistic causes produce people who have the ability to get far enough outside of nature to conduct detached, analytical investigations looking back into the workings of nature?

The independent feature of our cognitive powers is a real-world test-tube demonstration of our transcendence above and apart from nature.

Author: Barton Jahn

I worked in building construction as a field superintendent and project manager. I have four books published by McGraw-Hill on housing construction (1995-98) under Bart Jahn, and have eight Christian books self-published through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). I have a bachelor of science degree in construction management from California State University Long Beach. I grew up in Southern California, was an avid surfer, and am fortunate enough to have always lived within one mile of the ocean. I discovered writing at the age of 30, and it is now one of my favorite activities. I am currently working on more books on building construction.

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