Science and God are Not in Conflict, revised Part 2

Our Brain is a Mind

            In the Socrates in the City interview “Has Science Buried God?” of scientist and author John Lennox by Eric Metaxas[1], the critical point is argued that modern science has not buried faith, but that modern science can bury atheism.

            Oxford professor of mathematics Dr. Lennox tells the story of some of his world-famous scientist friends and colleagues asking the question why he is not an atheist. 

            His telling response is to ask them that if the computer and equipment they use in their scientific research was produced, was designed and manufactured through a random and undirected process, could they have a reasonable and consistent confidence in the data the computer and lab-equipment generated. 

            Their answer every time is no.

            If, according to materialism, the human mind/brain is likewise the product of the random and undirected process of Darwinian evolution, this undermines our sure confidence in the accuracy of human rational thought. 

When extended-out to its logical end-point this radical materialism dissolves rationality, even dissolves the philosophical thinking of atheism itself.

            Atheism thought-out all the way through to its end-point dissolves the reliability and credibility of its own thought process, because the accuracy of a computer, lab-equipment, or a human brain that is the materialistic product of a random and undirected process cannot be absolutely trusted.

            Atheism based upon naturalistic materialism, when extended-out logically, destroys rationality in every field of science.  Materialism sweeps away our reasonable confidence in the human mental capacity to accurately take advantage of the fundamental assumptions underlying all scientific research, that the natural world is both orderly and intelligible. 

            But most importantly and insightfully recognized, the natural world is intelligible to human beings alone amongst all other living organisms, an extraordinary capacity I do not believe we want to give up so easily to misleading philosophy.

            The reliability of our mental capacity to differentiate truth from error, and our ability to place value upon trustworthy research methods, enables the pursuit of modern science.

            One of the ingeniously insightful apologetic arguments in recent times for the existence of God is the differentiation between matter and mind…the contrast between concrete, material things as opposed to the abstract, conceptual nature of information.

            The classic case is made that the information conveyed in the daily headlines of the New York Times newspaper is not explainable by means of the physics and chemistry of ink bonding to paper.

            The information conveyed in the newspaper headlines is the product of the intelligent arrangement of the ink on paper, in this instance in the English language.  This reality transcends above and is completely detached and independent from the mechanical explanation of how ink bonds to paper.

            Physics and chemistry alone are incapable of the abstract thought process of arranging ink on paper to convey intelligible information.  The arrangement of anything complex, specified, and coherently integrated like the intelligent design of the headlines of the New York Times newspaper requires a mind.

            In the Socrates in the City interview noted above, John Lennox makes another critical point by saying that informationis not a material thing. 

            Information is correctly defined to be an abstract, intangible entity that has a non-materialistic essence, quite apart from the material explanation of how ink bonds to paper.

            Dr. Lennox gives a beautiful illustration of this.  On a mountaintop in the state of Washington, he sends up a message using smoke signals, which are read by Native American Indians who telephone this information to someone in Oxford, England, who types-inputs this into a computer that can be emailed to friends and colleagues of John Lennox at Oxford University.

            In this illustration, the information/message remains the same, but the mediums used to convey the information in the form of smoke signals, smartphone, computer, and email are all different. 

            This means that the complex, specified, and coherently integrated systems of information discovered in the natural world by modern scientific investigation cannot be the sole product of naturalistic materialism. 

            The information cannot be the product of the smoke signals, the smartphone, or the computer, but instead first originate from an intelligent mind, because information correctly defined is not materialistic but abstract.

From Pondering Our Creation: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.


[1] Socrates in the City: “Has Science Buried God?” Aug. 21, 2019.

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.

2 thoughts on “Science and God are Not in Conflict, revised Part 2”

  1. ” His telling response is to ask them that if the computer and equipment they use in their scientific research was produced, was designed and manufactured through a random and undirected process, could they have a reasonable and consistent confidence in the data the computer and lab-equipment generated. ”

    and again Barton shows that he is ignorant of science and must continue to try to spread lies. There was no “random undirected process”. The laws of physics work quite well, and can be just as ‘eternal” as some silly god that can’t be shown to exist.

    Alas, we don’t only have brains, which can be fooled sometimes, but we have the scientific method which can’t, and gee, that shows that Barton’s god doesn’t exist.

    Like

  2. Again… you are misrepresenting atheism and atheists. Atheism isn’t a world view or a philosophy. It’s an answer that some give to the question of whether they Believe God or gods exist, to which their answer is No. They don’t believe. Very different from the question of whether they Know that to be the case or not. Stop attacking people who don’t believe. Start simply sharing the Life and Love of Jesus. Let the Holy Spirit do the Convicting and Convincing.

    Like

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