Do Humans Have an Intrinsic Theo-Meter Within Our Cognitive Reasoning Capacity?

The atheism within materialism extended to its logical end-point dissolves all confidence in human rational thought using our mind/brain, including science and atheism itself.

A worldview based upon pure materialism that destroys sure confidence in the findings of science based upon rational thought, cannot be an integral part of science.

A human mind/brain that is reduced to the materialistic components of the electrical circuitry of matter and energy alone is undependable as to its sure ability to rise to the level of reliable truth-seeking.

For a human mind/brain to transcend above the unreliable relativity logically generated by the random and undirected developmental processes of materialism, the only option to restore reliability is to recognize a correspondence of the human mind/brain to the divine Mind/Being of an intelligent designing agent.

The radical reductionism in materialism places scientists in the illogical position of undermining their own reliable credibility.

In the Dover case, also arguing as an expert witness against Intelligent Design, Dr. Eugenie Scott, an anthropologist who then headed the National Center for Science Education, stated: “You can’t put an omnipotent deity in a test tube,” and “As soon as creationists invent a ‘theo-meter,’ maybe then we can test for miraculous intervention.  You can’t (scientifically) study variables you can’t test, directly or indirectly.”[1] 

It is hard to understand how otherwise brilliant people can be so influenced by viewpoint bias as to be unable to see the weakness of their own arguments.

The philosophical worldview of naturalistic materialism argued for here by Eugenie Scott cannot similarly be placed in a test tube for hard, bench-top validation any more than an omnipotent deity can be placed in a test tube. 

Putting a finer point on it, the research protocol of methodological materialism itself cannot be placed in a test tube for validation.

Yet methodological materialism works beautifully as long as it stays within empiricism, without venturing outside of its factual authority to overlap into the conceptualization and theorizing function that looks for plausible conclusions to explain the empirical facts.

Historians and philosophers of science generally agree that the reason behind the rise of the Scientific Revolution in western Europe and not in eastern Asia can be attributed to the “theo-meter” exhibited in the God of the Bible that did not exist in the eastern religions.

Scientists such as Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Maxwell, and Boyle to name a few, saw in the orderliness and intelligibility of the natural world an open door to conduct scientific research, based upon the nature of an organized and rational Creator God as depicted in the Bible.

These early pioneers of the Scientific Revolution recognized the existence of laws in nature worth researching because they saw in the God of the Bible the stability of a law-giver.[2]

A theistic-meter discernable in the natural world and in the Creator God of the Bible has equal standing with an atheistic-meter imposed upon reality by scientific materialists, both being philosophical conclusions drawn from the empirical, physically material-world facts.

The assertion that these early scientists were all Christians because culturally everyone in the west were Christian believers during those centuries, is an example of lazy thinking and shallow research.

During the last two thousand years, there has never been a time when there was a majority of people picking-up their crosses as genuine Christian disciples to follow Jesus into an adventure of faith.

The vast majority of people in every past century have chosen worldly conventional life-scripts that primarily look after “number one,” of the self-sovereignty of first taking care of me, myself, and I (Mt. 7:13-14).

The giants of the Scientific Revolution who were self-professing Christians were part of a group of people who have always been a small percentage of the overall population, even as it is today.

One theme of this essay is that the theo-meter articulated by Eugenie Scott is part of the larger skeletal explanatory framework we intuitively either see or don’t see in the natural world, but it is in no way found within the secular, sequential steps of scientific research itself.

The sequential steps in human scientific research programs will not pinpoint the precise zip-code address where a physical God of the Bible can be found in the universe.

This is a misdirected argument that scientific materialists are trying to make, that true science can only be done within the limited definition of the scientific method that produces accessible empirical data.

The key word here is “limited.”

This is a massive confusion that incorrectly disconnects the pinpoint accuracy of scientific investigations that produce empirical, fact-based evidence limited to natural explanations only, from the equally insightful and legitimate capacity of every human being to recognize the existence of design everywhere we look in the living and non-living world.

If Dr. Scott is implying here that we should be able to empirically find the physical identification of God through hard, bench-top science in a laboratory, then we are looking here at a “straw man” argument that misses the basic dichotomy between the hard-boiled, fact-based evidence produced through the scientific method, contrasted with the conceptually theoretical hypotheses that can logically include the presence of easily recognizable design in the natural world.

Finally, the statement: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” is not a statement of science presenting factual evidence of how God empirically created a physically material universe.

This is a profound statement of the greatest importance regarding ultimate reality, that the existence of intelligence is behind the universe we observe and study.

This non-material, intelligence-identifying part of the two-part dichotomy of Genesis 1:1 predates modern science by roughly 3,500 years, and may be more profound than being a statement asserting a beginning point in time for the creation of the universe.

The reason that we can gain an intelligent understanding of the natural world runs much deeper than merely identifying the existence of a designing agent called God, brilliantly articulated in the first verse of the Bible that asserts a two-part separation within the non-material character of information.

This hard demarcation line between empirical facts and abstract understanding is exemplified in the unbridgeable gap between the physics and chemistry of how ink bonds to paper, and the opinionated, variable, and changing information conveyed through the English language in the daily headlines of the New York Times newspaper.

The laws of the physics and chemistry of ink bonding to paper remain the same, but the information conveyed does not.

This two-part dichotomy separating the empirical nature of fact-based evidence from the conceptual understanding of what a particular ensemble of facts means, cannot logically have this demarcation line blurred by mixing facts with provisional conclusions within the single misleading category of calling both parts equally empirical science.

The one part is scientific, fact-based evidence.  The other part is our conceptual understanding.

This abstract conceptual part can involve an inference to the best explanation that includes a non-material, intelligent designing agent God without overlapping into, disrupting, or replacing the raw database of scientific facts.

I hope readers of this book see that I subscribe to the facts of modern science. 

I just draw a different conclusion when it comes to the choice between Darwinian macroevolution in biological development, and the God of the Bible as the creator of the natural living and non-living world.  

This is an excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.

[1] Stephen C. Meyer, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (New York: HarperCollins, 2009), 426.

[2] John Lennox: Socrates in the City in Labastide, France, parts 1 and 2, Jan. 12 and 23, 2018, on YouTube.

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.

One thought on “Do Humans Have an Intrinsic Theo-Meter Within Our Cognitive Reasoning Capacity?”

  1. “Historians and philosophers of science generally agree that the reason behind the rise of the Scientific Revolution in western Europe and not in eastern Asia can be attributed to the “theo-meter” exhibited in the God of the Bible that did not exist in the eastern religions.”

    a completely false claim. Why do christians choose to lie against the wishes of their supposed god?


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