Why I Wrote this Book 4

These are the two basic choices we have…self-assemblage by accident through the means of naturalistic materialism…or premeditated intelligent design through the special creative actions of a divine God.

Scientifically qualified or not…like many other people…I see large holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions in the macroevolutionary program that should disqualify it as a viable explanation for the origin and diversity of biological life.

As a Christian, I can concede to the Darwinists all of the scientific fact-based evidence regarding the material aspects of living organisms…because this evidence belongs to me every bit as much as to the person who accepts Darwinian macroevolution as the explanation for the diversity of life and the origin species.

The scientific fact-based evidence produced by research into the material aspects of the living and non-living world…are entirely neutral…are not conclusive for common descent or design…a topic for a later essay in this book on the delicate balance between belief and unbelief…a huge apologetic argument in favor of the existence and the brilliance of the God of the Bible.

What I cannot concede…as a Christian…to the Darwinists…that is an issue worth fighting for…is the philosophical extrapolation from the scientific fact-based evidence generated through the investigation of the material aspects of the living and non-living natural world…what can be observed, measured, quantified, categorized into groups, and formulated into natural laws…to artificially and unjustifiably extend as if by good logic…into the atheistic worldview of naturalistic materialism…the adopted mechanism and methodology of Darwinian macroevolution.

The facts that we discover through the scientific investigation of the phenomenon we observe in the natural world…does not overwhelmingly point to either common descent or to intelligent design.[1]

This ambiguity…after hundreds of years of modern science and the uncovering of the answers to myriads of questions into the mysteries of the natural world…in one of the top-level, fundamental questions underlying the source of the origin of this magnificent existence we see all around and inside us…requires some explanation as to why the outcome of this question is still in doubt.

From the atheistic perspective…why would the Creator God hold back some of the clear evidence for His existence…allowing space for the alternate view of a purely naturalistic explanation for the phenomenon of the natural world to operate…fully developed within the atheistic worldview of Darwinian macroevolution?

From the Christian perspective…why doesn’t God write across the sky in flaming, fiery red letters that He is the true God…and to worship only Him.  Why didn’t Jesus a few days after His resurrection…walk down the middle of Main Street in Jerusalem and straight into the temple…showing Himself that He is the Son of God and the Messiah of Israel?

Why doesn’t God instantly create one new species on earth today…popping-up in the clear and unquestioned view of everyone…that would resolve the evolution/creation debate once and for all?

Why doesn’t the God of the Bible…translate the immeasurable and unquantifiable elements of faith and trust…central to all personal relationships of friendship and love…into the empirical certainty equal to the existence of the noonday sun or the fact that two-plus-two equals four…through a natural miraculous demonstration…changing faith and trust into the commonplace and unremarkable observation of an obvious fact?

The observation that after intensive research for hundreds of years into the workings of our natural world…that this yields no conclusive answer as to the question of its origin and source…is itself a window into the purpose and meaning of our existence.

Some scientists argue that belief in God limits scientific research.  This is both accurate and inaccurate.

The orderliness and intelligibility of the natural world has enabled enormous progress into the deepest understanding of the living and non-living world.

The Creator God cannot be faulted on this score…in the openness of the natural world to scientific investigation…in our mental capacity to formulate programs of inquiry…and to be able to analyze the results.

But a materialistic approach will probably never unravel what life is…any more than musical theory will explain how Chopin artistically created his Opus 10 Number 3 Etude…or how Jane Austin thought-up her brilliant book Pride and Prejudice.

There seems to be within reality a definite demarcation-line between the material and the immaterial.

Should God prove His existence by telling us in the Bible how He created life…in terms of the physics, chemistry, and mathematics?

Might this rather be proprietary information that is best kept to Himself?

Using the material aspects of the natural world…human beings have already created the atomic bomb…that is capable of destroying all life on the planet.

In the critical area of biological life and the origin of species…the God of the Bible has limited His revelation of how He created life to the simple words of: “And God said.”

Why would God want to tell us more than this in the area of the biology of life…when today a tyrant like Hitler or Stalin could use this information to create the science-fictional, clone-soldier armies in books and movies…like Star Wars…to dominant the world?

The orderliness and intelligibility of the natural world has already enabled human beings to create weapons of mass-destruction that can wipe-out all life on the earth.

As previously argued…a complete knowledge of the material aspects of living organisms will only take us so far.

Scientific investigation will not answer the question as to whom or what is the source and origin of the universe.  It will not answer the fundamental questions as to the purpose and meaning of human life.

[1] Stephen C. Meyer, “The Methodological Equivalence of Design & Descent”, 67-102, in The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence of an Intelligent Designer, J. P. Moreland, ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1994).

Why I Wrote this Book 3

Material atomic particles and energy could never produce this massive quantity and quality of complex, highly specified, and coordinated systems of information that creates the functionally diverse body plans and their accompanying lifestyle habits…of this vast number of distinct and discontinuous living animals and plants in the natural world today.

The sooner we accept the limitations of the purely materialistic worldview…of a ceiling beyond which naturalistic materialism cannot take us…the sooner we allow this concept to enter into our worldview…that the origin of life…and the development of complex living organisms…contain too much information to be the product of a purely naturalistic explanation for the diversity of life…then the more realistic and clear will become the picture…the more complete will become the jigsaw puzzle.

What I am saying here…in my opinion…is that 95% of what is presented in Jerry A. Coyne’s book Why Evolution Is True is spot-on correct…simply because it describes empirical facts about the physical characteristics and the lifestyle habits of living things that are irrefutable and clearly observable in the natural world…that are material aspects amenable to being observed, measured, quantified, and categorized…according to human scientific investigation.

The point here is that the compelling nature of the scientific fact-based evidence for micro evolution is sound.  This is the evidence that was observable and uncontroversial long before Darwin…and is still sound evidence when skillfully presented in a 2009 book on the marvels of biological life.

The 5% part that is grossly inaccurate is the theoretical extrapolation to macro evolution…a factually unsubstantiated, hypothetical leap that was empirically unsupported in Darwin’s The Origin of Species in 1859…and is still unsupported and controversial today…but that must be the accepted working hypothesis as the main ingredient…for the worldview philosophy of naturalistic materialism to be valid…for atheism to have its own creation story.

Macro evolution is the lynch-pin mechanism that must be in place for a purely naturalistic explanation for the diversity of life…and the brilliance of the natural world…to be valid in the scientific research field of biology.

Without the common descent linkage of macro evolution…enabling ancestral living forms to naturally evolve over time into future variations…then the only remaining plausible explanation for the brilliance of the natural living and non-living world is a divine, intelligent designer God…which some people vehemently reject because they think this inserts limitations around scientific investigation because we would presumably…at some point…hit the demarcation line of the natural/supernatural boundary…beyond which scientific investigation can no longer go…the line beyond which we cannot observe, measure,  quantify, categorizes into groups, and systemize into physical laws.

The obvious problem for a purely naturalistic explanation for the origin and diversity of life…along with all of the complex relationships in the non-living phenomenon…micro and macro that support life on earth…is that it optimistically bites off more than it can chew and swallow…is that it needs to explain everything from A to Z…that it must have a consistently naturalistic explanation to cover the entire seven-course meal from soup-to-nuts.

This is a hopelessly ambitious scope, an unrealistically broad, empirically unreachable journey’s end for purely naturalistic explanations in the 21st century…applied to the physical phenomenon we investigate in the natural world…which is becoming more out of reach every day as our database of detailed knowledge about the natural world expands exponentially.

Naturalistic materialism has to explain the origin of the Big Bang of 13.7 billion years ago…in which all of the material particles and energy are created in just the right quantities and proportions to form this rapidly expanding universe…along with the accompanying laws and coordinated relationships between mathematics, physics, and chemistry…many of which are balanced on a knife’s edge of precision to be able to support complex life like ourselves…coming billions of years later…13.7 billion years to be more precise…all without using the foresight of premediated, thoughtfully guided intelligent design.

Naturalistic materialism has to explain the origin of the 40-plus, fine-tuned mathematical constants in what is called the Anthropic Principle…such as the force of gravity, the cosmological constant that describes the expansion speed of the universe, the relative strengths of the strong and the weak nuclear forces, and the constant speed of light c throughout the universe…in Einstein’s equation e = mc²…to name only a few…without which the universe could not support life.

Naturalistic materialism has to explain the architectural design of the universe with its hundreds of billions of galaxies and trillions of stars and planets…arranged in the same orderly and intelligible way in the vast expanse of outer space…that we also detect in the microscopic world of living cells, proteins, amino acids, RNA, and DNA genetic sequences.

Naturalistic materialism has to explain the 20-plus conditions in our solar system…such as the distance of the earth from the sun, the size and type of our sun, the size and effect of the moon to our earth, the make-up of our atmosphere, and the properties of liquid water…to again name only a few…that are required for complex life to exist on earth.

Naturalistic materialism has to explain the inconceivably artistic imagination behind the vast diversity of life on the earth…numbering in the tens of millions of unique and discrete life-form species…each having unimaginably complex systems of information…that near-perfectly fit into living and non-living ecological niches on an equally diverse planet earth…like gears in a wrist watch.

Naturalistic materialism has to explain the massive, “Grand Canyon” sized leap across the gulf from non-living matter to living organisms.

Naturalistic materialism has to explain the gargantuan-sized, innovative first-step from single-cell bacteria to multi-cellular organisms…requiring huge infusions of new genetic information combined with the creative novelty of someone or something initiating this actuality.

Naturalistic materialism must explain not only the inconceivably complex folding of amino acids into functionally shaped cells of varied types and job descriptions…but also the unimaginable placement of hundreds of trillions of individual cells in the uniquely precise xyz-coordinates that make up the African bush elephant…if placed within a three-dimensional rectangular box…with the xyz-lines identifying each individual cell…for example.

The African elephant is not the meat-eating terror of the African savanna plains…chasing down its prey of zebras, water buffalo, and wildebeest with short bursts of speed up to 50 mph…but instead feeds on tree leaves and the grasses found in the subtropical and temperate forests, the dry and seasonally flooded grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, and agricultural lands…within narrowly defined ecological niches brilliantly and near-perfectly tailored to the survival of the elephant.

The African bush elephant is not only the sum of the microscopic cellular parts that are so acutely specified as to location within a three-dimensional arrangement…but also exhibits a unique lifestyle-habit program that belongs exclusively to the elephant…that defines the essence of what it means to be an elephant.

This same amazing reality of uniquely defining essence…of lifestyle habits matched with architectural body-plans precisely fitting within tight ecological niches…applies to the tens of millions of other living species on the earth…including human beings.

All of these inconceivably coordinated and integrated conditions and realities…according to a purely naturalistic materialism…must rely upon the idea that complex things can self-assemble on their own to reach their end-points of brilliant functionality…according to a model of accidental genetic occurrences having no intelligently guided design.

But the scientific fact-based evidence…obvious and observable to everyone…is that we do not see anything in the living or non-living world that can self-assemble into something that is a complex, specified, and coherently integrated system.

That the complex information of living and non-living systems would all just fall into place on their own…to self-assemble without foresight, pre-planning, and the most expert guidance to reach a functional end-point…without this self-automated assembly being the observed, recognized, and obvious reality of the phenomenon we see in the natural world today…renders the philosophy of naturalistic materialism…plausibly reasonable as a working hypothesis up until a few decades ago…to be currently inadequate as a universal, overall explanatory mechanism.

The only new things we see coming into being…for better or for worse in terms of the ecosystem of our planet…are the mechanical inventions created by human beings…who are by nature incurable intelligent designers.

The real source of this active, creative input of the information behind the origin of life and of the universe…can only be an incredibly intelligent designer like ourselves…having at His disposal a timeless reality…the sheer quantity of imaginative information exhibited overwhelming any blind, mindless, unguided, random-chance, trial-and-error alternate explanation…no matter how much time we give for its development, functional integration, and ecological balance.

Why I Wrote this Book 2

Declaring with all of the small amount of humility I possess…by default I am the world’s leading expert on avoiding mistakes in the design and construction of new houses…simply because no one else…to my knowledge…has taken-on this difficult research project.

If a person goes-out at 4 A.M. at sunrise to their local wetlands, lake, or river…to observe the morning habits of the ring-necked, spotted warbler bird (my hypothetically invented bird)…publishes their findings in a scientific journal on nature…and no one else has conducted this specific study…then that person “owns” that particular topic…that specialized knowledge.

By virtue of the 42 years I spent on jobsites working in several building trades in my twenties, an assistant superintendent and superintendent in production tract housing, as a customer service repair-person in new housing construction, a bank field inspector, a project engineer, project manager, and vice-president of construction building four luxury mansions…working in both residential and commercial construction…I would place the basic field research I did to observe and record mistakes in the design and construction of new buildings…published in four books by McGraw-Hill (1995-98 under Bart Jahn) and four books currently self-published (under Barton Jahn)…favorably alongside the basic field research of any paleontologist, biologist, archaeologist, or anthropologist researching the natural living and non-living world.

The information in my roughly 2,000-topic database does not contain any mathematics, physics, or chemistry…but is difficult to research because it requires an investment of time with the observer having both feet planted on the ground…on a variety of new housing construction jobsites observing and recording scheduling coordination problems, proper sequencing of activities issues, and a plethora of crashes and collisions between two or more building elements competing for the same space…which were not anticipated on the building plans.

Does this scientific research program of observing and recording phenomenon on new building constructions sites…qualify me to opine on the creation/evolution debate?

The popular axiom that a specialist who ventures outside of their area of expertise becomes a layman…applies to everyone …including me.

But the Darwinists who write books aimed at a popular reading audience…purposely simplify the technical arguments to be understandable and accessible to people who are outside of their area of expertise…in order to convince us of the truth of their worldview narrative.

The second answer to this legitimate question of qualifications to write this Part Two series of essays…is therefore also straight-forward.

I am precisely the person Darwinism wants to win-over and convert.

I care enough about the debate to read both sides…to take my research beyond mere cultural osmosis and acquiescence to the authority of the accepted standard wisdom…to thoughtfully take-apart each of the arguments and to carefully weigh the evidence.

The rest of the general population…that understandably thinks the technical issues are too complex or do not directly apply to their own lives…nonetheless get indirectly and unconsciously influenced toward Darwinism by nature programs on the television that parrot the general scientific consensus in favor of common descent…while these programs give no supporting evidence for this naturalistic viewpoint.

I recently read the 2009 book Why Evolution Is True by Jerry A. Coyne…a PhD professor of biology at the University of Chicago.

The book is well-written…presenting a thorough and up-to-date case in support for the brilliance of evolution…persuasively and elegantly…in great detail…as one might expect from a college professor who has taught this subject for over 30 years.

But what is curiously counter-intuitive from the viewpoint of this reader…in so thoroughly and capably laying-out his arguments…is that Dr. Coyne actually makes the case in the opposite direction than intended…for special creation having intelligent design…rather than for blind, unguided, naturalistic macro evolution.

The unbiased and open-minded reader…not initially onboard for Darwinian macro evolution at the outset…gets to about pages 75-85 in Dr. Coyne’s book and realizes there is simply too much brilliantly complex and artistically arranged information in living creatures…to ever become the mature and fully developed living productions they are…through the supposed creative methodology of accidental genetic mutations acted upon by natural selection.

Dr. Coyne’s detailed descriptions of the exquisite lifestyle habits that are attached to the brilliantly functional, diverse physical characteristics of every living thing…described throughout his book…outpace by a mile the simplistic explanations for origin and development…coming from the working model of naturalistic materialism.

For a purely naturalistic explanation for the marvels of the living and non-living natural world to pass the commonsense test…to be believable…the natural world today would have to be a much simpler reality.

The natural world today would also have to exhibit a more chaotic appearance…with a myriad of living organisms in transitional flux…caught in the middle of development toward some future end-point.

The irony…in this search for truth regarding the origin of the diversity we see and study in the natural world all around us…is that the more complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated the description of each complete and fully mature living thing comes across in Dr. Coyne’s book…the more precise the  detailed evidence becomes to accurately describe the unique qualities of each living organism…then the stronger becomes the unavoidably air-tight case for special creation…for intelligent design…and the worse becomes the vague and fuzzy case for the huge leaps across massive voids of incredulity…in proposing the Darwinian macro evolution half of the argument…of blind, mindless, unguided, accidental, and indifferent natural selection…as the explanation for this brilliant diversity of life.

Why I Wrote this Book 1

Biological science does not belong exclusively to the group of scientists who are atheists…who sprang-up in the study of the natural living world…during the time-period after the publication of Darwin’s book The Origin of Species.

The evidentiary facts of biological science belong to everyone to ponder and to evaluate…regardless of philosophical worldviews…regardless of whether we are theists, atheists, agnostic, or simply undecided regarding our outlook on the investigative reach of  science as it relates to  ultimate purpose and meaning in human life.

The facts that the universe came into being around 13.7 billion years ago…our earth around 4.5 billion years ago…and that primitive life in the form of single-cell bacteria first appeared on earth about 3.8 billion years ago…belong to me as evidence to contemplate and incorporate within my worldview as a Christian…adopting the reasonably informed and scripturally accurate “old earth” biblical interpretation of Genesis chapters 1 and 2…as much as it belongs to a Harvard trained paleontologist…steeped in the philosophy of materialism.

The fact that in 1929 Edwin Hubble discovered an expanding universe evidenced by the red-shift on the wave-length spectrum of light…while looking through the massive Mt. Wilson Observatory telescope into the deepest regions of outer space…and that this confirmed Albert Einstein’s previous mathematics calculations of either an expanding or a contracting universe in his 1916 theory of general relativity…belongs to my next-door neighbor to consider as part of her outlook on life…as much as it belongs to a PhD astrophysicist working at the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

The fact that within living cells the micro-molecule DNA contains 3.1 to 3.5 billion bits of information…unimaginably complex in its logically sequenced arrangement to produce coherently coordinated function in the replication process within the living cell…be it a cell that is bone, muscle, tendon, skin, blood, hair, brain tissue, or internal organ in a human body…belongs as scientific fact-based evidence to a common person “walking down the street”…to own and to evaluate…to inform our judgment as to the reality of the natural world and of truth in general…as much as it does to a professor of microbiology or genetics…a proponent of Darwinian macroevolution…at any major university.

The worldview of scientism…that says that the only reliable guide to truth is science…is inadequate as a universal explanation that covers all reality…because human scientific investigation utilizing the philosophy of materialism will only take us so far.

Art can describe how romantic love expresses itself through human actions…but materialism cannot tell us what romantic love is.

Physics and chemistry can tell us how ink bonds to paper…but materialism as far as it goes cannot tell us how intelligence arranges the ink on paper to create the information conveyed through the headlines of the New York Times front page.

Neither the physics and chemistry of ink bonding to paper, or musical theory, or the magnificent mechanics of the concert grand piano…can explain the creative genius of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, Debussy’s Clare de Lune, or Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto.

Materialism can hardly be the mode of explanation for the incredible dexterity, virtuosic attention to detail, and brilliantly artistic performance of Hillary Hahn playing Mendelsohn’s Violin Concerto…or the virtuoso violinist Jascha Heifetz playing Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy.

For most people living in the twenty-first century…there is simply too much information content observably at work and in action in the living and non-living natural world…highly specified and coherently coordinated and integrated…to be the sole product of a mindless, accidental, random-chance, trial-and-error, unguided mechanism.

Darwinists complain that macroevolution has not been accepted by the majority of people in modern cultures…and blame in- part religious faith as being antagonistic toward their theory.

The reason that most modern people do not accept macroevolution…do not ascribe to the philosophy of naturalistic materialism…as the explanation for the vast diversity of life and the origin of species…is not religious faith…but the simple reality is that at the upper, fundamental level of being a general, universal explanation… macroevolution does not hold water…does not stack-up…does not make total and complete sense as the overarching, explanatory origin for the brilliant diversity of living organisms…including ourselves.

The reader of this Part Two series of essays…may reasonably ask why its author is not a professional scientist…a paleontologist, biologist, geologist, or some other closely related science that would afford being able to claim expert status on this subject.

The first answer to this legitimate question is straight-forward.

Much of the literature that has been written by Darwinian evolutionists…beginning in 1859 with Darwin’s book The Origin of Species itself…is written in non-technical language intended for a popular audience.

Whether it is Ernst Mayr, Richard Leakey, Edward O. Wilson, Stephen Jay Gould, Niles Eldridge, Richard Dawkins, Janet Browne, Donald Johanson, or any of the other prolific writers on Darwinian evolution…many if not most of their books are non-technical and understandable to the general public.

Although it is true in nearly every scientific field that the “devil is in the details”…in support of one or another scientific theory …in the field of Darwinian evolution there are several generalized assertions and conclusions, that can be taken apart and analyzed for truth-value by laymen non-scientists…without having to possess doctoral degrees in biology, biochemistry, history of science, philosophy of science, or paleontology.

The arguments made for the general truth-claims for macro evolution are open to the general public through the large volume of literature on the subject…to access and to evaluate.

This renders Darwinian evolution open to refutation by layman or expert…which should be and is the case for all genuine scientific theories.

The simple answer therefore is that all of us…scientists and laymen alike…can study, think, and write about Darwinian evolution …and its broader social, cultural, and yes…theological implications…in the form of questions, comments, and discussions on website blogs on evolution on the Internet…and if we have enough material and enough to say…in a book.

The Vertical Spectrum-Line of Good and Evil 3

My point in this essay is not to adjudicate the relative light and darkness…the good or evil of these historical events…a worthy endeavor but outside the scope of this book…but rather to make the claim that these distinctive events in human history reveal a reality that does not support the worldview philosophy of naturalistic materialism…does not support the atheistic viewpoint that the natural world is all that there is.

The natural living world clearly displays the unmistakable program of animal instinct…universal amongst all living organisms…except human beings.

Elephants do not contemplate the rightness or wrongness of their life-scripts as they put-into-action lifestyle habits that are unique to elephants…defining their distinct and exclusive essence apart from all other animals.

Lions do not pause in mid-pursuit while chasing their prey of zebras, water buffalo, or wildebeest…in carefully measured contemplation over the light or darkness…the good or evil…of their natural instinct to catch and eat these very specific large mammals on the African plains…as their unique food source in order to survive…by instinct selecting mammals that are not hunted by other predators…being too large in size to be taken down and killed…other than by lions hunting as a group.

The human capacity for intellectual and moral reasoning…totally absent in the natural living world…is instead in nature occupied by the highly developed and brilliantly functional program of instinct…for all other living organisms.

Certainly there is an overlap between intelligence and instinct…in animals and people.  Humans do have instinctual qualities…and domesticated animals of many types exhibit the ability to understand right and wrong behaviors as trained by humans…as guided by human concepts of right and wrong in their interactions with humans.

But animals in the wild are guided solely by instinct…as different and as discontinuous from human intellectual and moral reasoning…as is imaginable.

The gulf between instinct and independent moral reasoning…might as well be as wide apart as the gulf between the two sides of the Grand Canyon.

Therefore the logical and obvious question presents itself: the question of how and why we can rationally and reasonably accept the false narrative of common descent…the concept that there is a continuous and unbroken, biological chain of sequences that connects all living organisms in a progression of development over time…including humans…the keystone concept of Darwinian macroevolution?

The three to four decades old discovery of the complex, specified, and coherently integrated systems of information in the natural world…as a result of the new Age of Information…strongly refutes the notion of the unguided, naturalistic process needed to support common descent.

 

This concept of the differentiation between light and darkness…between goodness and evil…that can be visually represented in our mind’s-eye to create a vertical spectrum-line…a graduated continuum…of absolute goodness and brilliant pure light at the top of this scale…and diminishing quantities of light as we go down this spectrum-line…enables us to separate good from evil in a comparative way…this concept being too complex and sophisticated for Mother Nature to produce…making the huge leap across from animal instinct to the independent freedom of human intellectual and moral reasoning.

In Part Two of this book, I will briefly touch upon the factual history of the modern Scientific Revolution…that the addition of new information arising over the span of decades and even centuries…revises and often overturns previously held theories that were based on incomplete information…regarding the more correct understanding of the phenomenon of the natural world…added to our knowledge-base through the scientific advance of investigative research and technological inventions…going forward in tandem over the previous four to five centuries.

When someone objects today that the biblical narrative stories of faith are “fairy tales” because they contain miracles…because they now live in the Age of Science when we have moved past the religious mythologies of the past…I would counter by saying that the complex, specified, and coherently integrated systems of information…that human scientific investigation has identified everywhere we look in the living and non-living natural world…has added a profoundly sophisticated element to our understanding of the natural world…that leaves miles behind in the dust of history any naturalistic explanation for the vast diversity of life…the initial origin of life…and the exquisitely coordinated non-living conditions in the universe that make the existence of complex life like ourselves…possible.

If the origin and existence of complex systems of information has displaced naturalistic materialism as a viable explanation for the workings of the phenomenon in the natural world…then the objection to miracles in the Bible…coming from the atheistic philosophy of scientism…now dissolves as a modern excuse for rejecting the Bible.

There is now no longer anything modern about rejecting the Biblical Narrative…based upon the discoveries of science…and everything modern about entering into our God-composed journeys of faith life-scripts…the only thing in all of human reality that postulates the direct participation of our Creator God in fashioning and crafting life-plans for the optimum human life.

These life-scripts are composed and directed by a Person located at the top-most point of the vertical spectrum-line of absolute goodness and the pure brilliant light of perfection…the two elements that are missing from our capacity of the knowledge of good and evil…that is inexplicable coming from the purely naturalistic origin of animal instinct.

Finally, Christianity today is not just forward-looking toward heaven.  God-composed journey of faith life-scripts are designed to actualize into human lives some portion of God’s character and divine love in service to other people…and to our planet earth…as God-appointed caretakers (Gen. 1:26-31).

This is what we see in the biblical narrative in the modern world.

The depth, complexity, and timeless relevance of the biblical narrative are encapsulated in Paul’s letter to the Colossian church in the New Testament in chapter one verses 9-14…transcending far above human invented mythology (italics mine):

9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord into all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sin.

The Vertical Spectrum-Line of Good and Evil 2

A classic example from the Bible reveals a more difficult determination and separation of light from darkness…of good from evil.

The revolt of Absalom against his father David the king (2 Sam. 15:1-6)…did not have a motivation coming from the top of the vertical spectrum-line of goodness and light…but rather was an attempted theft of the kingship of Israel (2 Sam. 15:6)…having an entirely false narrative that had the deceptive appearance of goodness and light…of Absalom claiming to potentially be a better ruler than his father David…when in fact this revolt was not based in the slightest upon the best of intentions of good governance for Israel…but instead was based upon Absalom’s self-centered ambition for power.

If Absalom had the good of the nation of Israel at heart…he would have followed in the biblical footsteps of his father David…of the Jewish heritage of walking in a journey of faith inaugurated for Abraham…by submitting himself to the unique God-composed journey of faith life-script destiny that God had envisioned specifically for Absalom…whatever that might have been…but which certainly would not have included an unjustified political revolt against the kingship of David…a kingship that God invested a lot of upfront time and effort into the preparation of David…to be the warrior/king of the nation during a critically perilous time in the history of Israel.

King David militarily subdued the threat of the surrounding enemy nations…bringing in a period of political stability and peace for Israel.

But evil…in this case…of Absalom coveting the throne of his father David the king…is not an example of pure, absolute evil for the sake of evil alone…located at the bottom of the vertical spectrum-line of goodness and light.

Absalom’s nearly successful revolt is an example of the putting forward of a cleverly crafted, false narrative…that would not have achieved the required objective of the need for a warrior/king on the throne and in power in Israel…instead placing an unqualified and untested…good looking smooth-talker…a non-military, wannabe ruler in charge as king…which would have been a disaster for Israel.

Unlike the clear-cut case of bank-robbery being morally evil…here in the political realm we can easily be deceived…today as then…because we are inclined to give the benefit-of-the-doubt to the candidate being the better talker…verbally presenting a more appealing package…being difficult to judge the relative light and darkness of the truth or falsity of the narrative being put forward for the populace to choose from…because the wrongly motivated appeal to obtain power is always wrapped in the deceptive clothing of promised and assumed good intentions.

This is one explanation for why we have this scenario of revolt and chaos repeated so often in human history…because the mixed motives of the use of power do not consist of the absolute goodness and brilliant pure light…located at the top of the vertical spectrum-line of goodness and light…that would produce the good governance we would like to conduct our lives within.

 

In hindsight…the Protestant Reformation is an easy determination between light and darkness…between good and evil…because selling salvation to raise money through indulgences…and the equally wrong doctrines of venerating religious relics and making pilgrimages to supposed “holy” sites…again for the purpose of raising money from the unwitting populace…were then and are now unbiblical, and have no support in scripture…and for that reason are no longer a part of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic church.

Yet at the time…indeed for nearly a century…this was a life-and-death struggle over light and darkness…a struggle over whether the Bible should be translated into the popular languages in Europe…enabling the common people to read and judge for themselves whether these doctrines of the Roman Catholic church were correct or not…giving ordinary people the worth and value to be able to exercise their God-given capacity for intellectual and moral reasoning…to courageously reject the false narrative being put forward by the established authority of the institution of Catholicism…in the 1500’s to the early 1600’s.

The American Revolution of breaking away from King George the third in England…can in hindsight be judged to be a good and justified move by the American colonies in terms of light and darkness…achieving political and economic independence from the despotic rule of a tyrant king.

But at the time…some colonists could not see the rightness of this war of independence from England…instead accepting the false narrative that staying connected to England was the right approach…no matter how misguided were the policies towards the American colonies at that time.

In the 1860’s…during the American Civil War…in hindsight the abolition of slavery is a clear-cut victory of light over darkness…of good triumphing over evil…but at the time many people did not see it that way…fighting and dying in large numbers for the cause of a false narrative of the state’s rights to perpetuate human slavery.

My own father fought in World War II aboard a B-17 bomber…as part of the 8th Air Force stationed in England.

The Allied Forces at the time fought against what they considered to be a great evil…but large numbers of men and women on the opposing side instead fiercely fought for the cause of fascism, racial prejudice, and the tribalism of national pride…all of which in hindsight we now judge to be a false narrative…based upon false and misleading information…having an enormously destructive outcome…basically started through the appeal of one smooth-talking man…Adolf Hitler…making worldly promises clothed in the deceptive appearance of light…yet in reality having the darkest of hidden intentions.

The Vertical Spectrum-Line of Good and Evil 1

Once we admit into reality the existence of good and evil…of light and darkness…then we create the opportunity to graphically illustrate this relative relationship…placing perfect light at the top of a vertical, graduated spectrum-line representing absolute goodness…with a decreasing, incremental absence of light…or increasing darkness…going down this vertical line…illustrating evil.

Evil is therefore not a stand-alone entity that is self-existent…that has its own independent beginning…that belongs on its own separate, vertical spectrum-line.

Evil is best defined as an absence of good…like darkness is the absence of light.

Evil derives its origin from goodness…and can never escape or leave its relationship with goodness.

Evil cannot break-away from goodness…it cannot rebel from goodness in an absolute sense…in pursuit of its own separateness.

Like we cannot produce a perfect vacuum…or reach an absolute zero Celsius temperature…or create a machine having zero friction…there is no such thing in reality as pure, absolute evil.

As difficult as this is to conceptually wrap our heads around…the darkness of nighttime is not something that can claim independent autonomy apart from sunlight…or apart from the light of a campfire…or the light of a flashlight…or the light of a street light.  The darkness of nighttime does not possess its own identify…but is simply and purely the absence of its opposite counterpart…light.

Darkness can never escape this relationship with light…because darkness is defined by…owes its existence solely and exclusively to…the presence or absence of light…and not by its own stand-alone essence.

The question posed in this essay…having the greatest importance for the modern world…is would and could Mother Nature “create” the natural living world with animal instinct perfectly articulated in the varied lifestyle habits of the tens of millions of living species…yet “create” human beings having the transcendent “operating system” of intellectual and moral reasoning…being stuck somewhere in the middle zone of the vertical spectrum-line of goodness and light…and not at all operating at the top-most point of this spectrum-line…to equally match the perfect articulation of animal instinct?

How and why would Mother Nature be so spot-on accurate and correct in assigning and achieving perfect performance of lifestyle habits utilizing instinct…yet come-up so short in not being able to actualize perfect goodness and pure light in her one “creation” of human beings desperately needing perfect goodness and pure light…in their free-will application of choice…transcendent and independent above instinct…exercising intellectual and moral reasoning?

The atheistic worldview of naturalistic materialism is a false narrative because it puts-out either the wrong information…that God does not exist…or incomplete and insufficient information that excludes serious consideration of the biblical narrative stories of faith in the calculus of human life.

Atheists and skeptics of the Bible question how an all-powerful and all-loving God would create a world that contained so much evil and suffering…but this same question turns back upon themselves…in how would or could a purely materialistic Mother Nature “create” a world that was not safely amoral…empty of goodness or evil…but instead was and is fixated upon morality as its central issue for human beings.

If the grand scheme of the purpose of this world is to have imperfect people who freely choose light over darkness…and good instead of evil…then this is the only possible world God could have created.

If love is the supreme ethic…as brilliantly articulated by Ravi Zacharias to audiences around the world…then once free-will choice is introduced within the capacity of human beings possessing intellectual and moral reasoning…this automatically sets-up the graphically illustrated relationship on a graduated vertical spectrum-line…that portrays and exhibits the extent…or lack thereof…of light and goodness in the actions and thoughts of people.

In the middle of the spectrum-line is where the ideas and actions are experimentally tested.

This is the empiricism of the biblical narrative in action in the modern world…that scientists demand as qualifying evidence for biblical faith…acted-out on a massive scale over the entirety of human experience…yet rejected by most people because of the initial impediment of skeptical unbelief…or rejected by our hearts desire to go our own way apart from God.

The God of the Bible…living at the top-most point of the spectrum-line of absolute goodness and brilliant pure light…also possessing timeless foresight…already knows the realities of darkness and evil located down the spectrum-line.

This is the reason for God-composed journey of faith life-scripts…demonstrated in the biblical narrative stories of faith…designed to impart some of His goodness and light into the lives of human beings…entered into by free-will choice…giving God the benefit-of-the-doubt regarding the quality of His word (Heb. 11:6).

Walking within our God-composed journey of faith life-script enables God to craft events and circumstances in life that will lift us up to a higher place on the vertical spectrum-line of light.

Becoming spiritually born-again through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ…having the Holy Spirit within us…enables us to hear God’s voice and respond to His calling to enter into this journey of faith…gives believers the added light to be able to correctly choose the biblical narrative…and to reject the sea of multiple competing narratives out there in the modern world.

 

People who rob a bank…breaking the law and taking the risk of being caught…do so with the intention of living “the good life” by successfully stealing and possessing other people’s money.  They plan-out and commit robberies with the positive outlook of obtaining wealth…by getting away with their bank heists.

The ancient profession of thievery as a “highwayman robber”…a stagecoach robber…and a modern-day bank robber…is not an example of pure, absolute evil for the sake of evil…but has the underlying motivation of procuring the good outcome of possessing and enjoying wealth…but obtained in the wrong way.

Being a thief is a social and cultural aberration…a morally bad mixture of good and evil…of light mixed with darkness…or more accurately a mindset put into action…that falls far below absolute goodness and brilliant pure light located at the top of the vertical spectrum-line of goodness and light…absolute goodness and brilliant pure light that contains no darkness (Jn. 1:9; Jas. 1:17; 1 Jn. 1:5).

But on what basis do we judge that stealing is wrong?  This requires an appeal to an independent standard for right and wrong…that people generally accept whether they know it consciously or not.

This independent standard for judging right and wrong…C. S. Lewis called the natural law.

One way, that we can easily determine…in this one particular case that being a thief is wrong…is that stealing other people’s money reveals a criminally self-centered, near-total lack of empathy for other people…that when placed lower down on the vertical spectrum-line of goodness and light…describes not pure evil for the sake of evil…not the evil of causing deliberate harm to other people for the sheer pleasure of it…an expression of evil that would place it at the extreme bottom end of the spectrum-line…but rather the absence of some quantitative amount of morally unselfish love…the absence of the quality of moral light that cares for others…more than for ourselves.

This is the grounds upon which we catch and put bank-robbers in jail…because the chaos caused by continued and unabated bank robberies threatens the economic and social structures of human society.

Good moral order cannot allow bank robbers…or thieves of any kind…to operate freely.

From this we can deduce that absolute moral goodness and the brilliant pure light of flawless character…would never take something away…that belonged to another person.

Absolute goodness and pure brilliant light extends value and worth to others…and therefore has a natural inclination…a bend of the heart…to give away what we have in surplus to others in need…rather than take from others the little that they may have…to wrongly and unjustly benefit ourselves.

The vast majority of people would agree that stealing is wrong…based upon an assent and an agreement with this independent standard for judging good and evil…for judging right and wrong.

Both Unbelief and Atheism are Simplistic

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”                                        (1 Cor. 1:25)

The religious leaders in Jerusalem in the first-century were partly right in their expectation for the coming Messiah.

The Messiah would be all that Isaiah 9:6 prophesied…”For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Jesus Christ of Nazareth was and is all of those things, but not in the way these religious leaders expected.  Their limited worldview was narrowly focused upon a coming Messiah who would be similar to how they viewed themselves in their passionate desire to be free from the current Roman political and military occupation of Israel.

Unbelief…like its sister atheism…is narrowly simplistic.

We have to dig deeper to discover real truth, and not just settle for worldly conventional thinking.

If we are worldly-minded like the religious leaders in Jerusalem in the first-century, then our vision cannot expand into the realm where the truth will set us free (Jn. 8:32).

The maliciously intentioned temptation put forward by Lucifer in Genesis 3:5…“your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” is purposely simplistic.

Simply eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is not enough.

It takes a full-blown, mature, God-composed journey of faith containing well-orchestrated challenge, struggle, and yes…suffering…to unearth and expose the real issues underlying good and evil.

In their journey with Jesus towards Jerusalem on one occasion, the disciples argued amongst themselves who should be the greatest in the expected upcoming new kingdom of Jesus in the capital city.

They were each in their own minds measuring window curtains for their large corner offices in the Temple.

Jesus, knowing their thoughts, places a small child in their midst and says: “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Yes, faith is childlike.

The gospel message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is simple enough for a child to understand and believe.

But what the disciples would face in the coming days ahead…leading to Calvary and beyond… was not simplistic.

Genuine Christian discipleship…a walk of faith with God…is not simplistic.  The true Christian life is intellectually thoughtful and morally demanding…at a level of depth and challenge that will take the measure of our very souls.

Isn’t this what we see in the biblical narrative stories of faith?

Atheists come across something in the Bible they don’t like, and they stop there.  They do not bother to dig any deeper.  This approach is simplistically shallow.  Unbelief is similarly simplistic.

A biblical-quality walk of faith is at the pinnacle…the peak…the height of character challenging lessons.

A God-composed journey of faith life-script is at the apex of the highest of human experience, because real truth about good and evil…is not simplistic.

Learned Values Worthy of Heaven 2

Human beings are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26)…but for whatever reason…God did not…chose not to…or could not…create human beings having the capacity of divine foresight and foreknowledge.

This leads to one of the most important concepts in all of existence.

This explains why the central component within God-composed journey of faith life-scripts…in the Bible…is faith…and not an entirely opposite program of self-realization based upon self-performed good-works…using foresight we do not possess.

Human beings created in the image of God…lacking divine foresight…nonetheless have the capacity to successfully navigate through a God-composed journey of faith to fulfill our created destinies and to accomplish great things…but we were not created to be able to achieve self-salvation through a self-performed program of good-works…going our own way (Isa. 53:6)…precisely because we do not or cannot operate with divine foresight…combining hope and sight within individualistic autonomy…independent of God.

If humans currently live in a time-limited environment that enables the exercise of free-will choice tempered and informed by time-considered experiences…and a timeless God has pre-written, premeditated life-scripts already composed for every person…ready to step into by faith…this then explains on a very basic and fundamental level the concepts of election and predestination in all of the biblical narrative stories of faith…and also explains John 3:16 that says: “whosoever believeth in him should not perish,” 2 Peter 3:9 that says that God is “not willing that any should perish,” and the Hebrews 11:6 verse that says that it is impossible to please God…outside of faith.

It would be the narrow-gate faith of Matthew 7:13-14…not self-performed good-works…that willingly enters into our God-composed life-scripts…according to free-will choice…that makes the connection between the two dichotomies of a divine God having timeless foresight…and non-divine human beings living within the dimensions of time and space.

This is why earning our own way to heaven through good-works is nonsensical from the biblical perspective.

This explains why the life-scripts for Abraham through Paul are journeys of faith…rather than journeys of self.

Journeys of faith…come out of the timeless, eternally far-sighted wisdom of the creative mind of God.

Journeys of self…come out of the short-sighted vision of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.

God created time so that we could have the opportunity to exercise faith in Him…a quality of perfect faith and far-sighted hope that already operates within the divine character of God for an eternity past and for an eternity to come.

This not only reveals the real truth about God…but within the actualizing of a journey of faith played-out over some interval of time…also creates the context to develop a personal relationship between people and God (Jer. 31:31-34)…and most important of all from an eternal viewpoint…this creates the joint-venture context within which to develop shared values.

If God cannot…or for good reasons would not…create human beings in His image that also possessed divine foresight…to be able to go-out on our own to become enumerable competing junior-gods…complicating reality through our own eternal, centrally un-coordinated life-plans…then the next best thing is to set-up an apprenticeship environment on this earth and through this temporary earthly life…that enables people to choose a higher-level journey of faith…rather than remain in the default mode of a substandard and defective journey of self.

If the key purpose and meaning in human life is to experience faith in God within a God-composed journey of faith written individually and specifically for each one of us…just waiting “ready-made” for us to respond to God’s universal call to accept Him into our lives…this then explains the “righteousness” of Abraham by faith accepting his calling of God to go to Canaan…the Promised Land (Heb. 11:8)…rather than earning his way to being called “righteous” …through good-works.

This explains biblical narrative stories of faith life-scripts that hold back…in-the-moment…some of the critical details in these life-scripts…setting-up the “walk by faith, not by sight” contexts for faith to actualize…to create the unique environments, the worldly unconventional milieu of events and circumstances for biblical-quality faith in God to operate.

This concept that God and people are not both equally operating in ever-growing and unfolding faith…is one of the most important explanations of the reality of human life.

If God is trying to give to us…to impart to us some measure of Himself…of His already perfected nature of all-knowing faith and timeless hope…exhibited through divine love…at the peak and pinnacle of the vertical spectrum-line of absolute goodness…it is by entering into our God-composed journeys of faith life-scripts that this can occur…and not through a self-realization program of self-performed good-works…lacking the perspective of divine foresight.

If God’s goal is to set-up the commonality of shared values…for future citizens of heaven (Heb. 11:12-16)…through the experiential vehicle of journeys of faith…this is simply above and outside of any plausible origin coming from human literary imagination…of human literary fiction-writing.

It is totally inconsistent with worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…the widely and popularly held notion of creating our own reality through autonomous individualism.

This is the simplicity of the biblical message that breaks down into two clear-cut choices…having enormous eternal consequences.

God living in a timeless reality…has pre-written life-scripts that are perfect in their scope and outreach…to match to each of our individual, created talents, abilities, and time-periods we live in…designed for the purpose of developing faith and trust in Jesus Christ as King and Ruler…in heaven and on earth…and to experience unselfish service to other people on a divine level…all contained within unique, one-of-a-kind, God-composed journeys of faith that we could not invent in our wildest imagination.

These journey of faith life-scripts are “all-ready” and waiting for contemporary Christian believers to step-into…listening to God’s voice and responding in faith.

This is an alternative worldview approach to the broad road of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…described by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:13-14.

This alternative lifestyle argues for a divine origin of the Bible…above and outside of the capacity of human literary imagination to invent as a new speculative religion…starting around 1,450 B.C. with the writing of the first five books of the Old Testament…recording the first God-composed journeys of faith in human history.

Within the marketplace of ideas and the broad array of moral concepts…this reality of God-composed journey of faith life-scripts unique to the Bible…reveals an important part of the real Christian life.