One of the most difficult and challenging things in all of human experience is to place our faith in the God of the Bible to help us through a crisis.
The biblical narrative stories of faith have life-scripts that are filled with life-and-death challenges that are the direct opposite of the pursuit of a life-of-ease.
In God-composed journey of faith life-scripts in the Bible, there seems to be an equilibrium between the progress achieved in an adventure of faith and the spiritual opposition that pushes back, and/or the challenges inherent in simply choosing to do the right thing when this is hard.
Abraham and Sarah producing Ishmael, Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah, Joseph enduring the difficult training program in leadership in Egypt, Moses and the Israelites trapped at the shore of the Red Sea as the Egyptian chariot army approaches to destroy them, Joshua discouraged by the height and strength of the walled cities in Canaan like Jericho, Ruth’s leap of faith in following her mother-in-law to the foreign land of Israel, Hannah’s dilemma in not being able to provide her husband with children, David’s difficult walking through the valley of the shadow of death in preparation to become king…not o mention Elijah, Jeremiah, Esther and Mordecai, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Joseph and Mary, John the Baptist, Peter, James, John, and Paul to name only a few from the Bible.
But why does Jesus the perfect and sinless Son of God encounter resistance from the very time of His birth?
One reason is that His life must be a model for ours, in order to be real.
If the life-script for Jesus was a clear life-of-ease, then this reality would be an unattainable model for the vast majority of people.
But equally applicable, Jesus incarnate in a human body has the same adversary Satan that we do (Lk. 4:1-13).
I may be that resistance is the only way that strength is created…like lifting weights.
One thought is that life in this broken world cannot ever remove the counterforce of challenge, because this current environment is the perfect “boot camp” for discovering the genuine knowledge of good and evil when pursued through the redemptive salvation of grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
The parable of the rich fool (Lk. 12:16-21) describes the worldly unconventional approach of the biblical narrative stories of faith to pursue the higher ideal of a purposeful life that transcends above the mere pursuit of a life-of-ease.
The only resistance-free environment is the spiritual kingdom of God in heaven, that awaits believers in the upcoming eternity.
Trying to obtain it here and now is a fruitless endeavor (Mk. 8:34-38).
Rare metals like gold and silver are purified in the heat of a furnace.
Jesus did not need purifying or perfecting as He is the blemish-free Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for sin.
But He did have to model perfect faith and behavior in the face of opposition.
Jesus had to exemplify in action the divine character of God as the Passover Lamb of God in order to qualify as the substitutionary atonement for our sins so that we could with impunity venture-out into an adventure of faith without our many mistakes counting against us.
The brilliant program of redemptive salvation enables an adventure of faith following our God-composed journey of faith life-scripts amidst the resistance of the fiery furnace of spiritual opposition, but also the fundamental challenge of walking by faith and not be sight (2 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 11:1).
This reality is channeled and guided by God to produce lessons-learned that likewise qualify us through the blood shed by Jesus on the cross, and through His resurrection, to likewise be the children of God.
The original idea of a purely materialistic universe based upon processes that are mindless, indifferent, and undirected should have been dismissed out-of-hand as being nonsensically inconsistent with reality.
A reality founded upon trial-and-error, random, and unguided processes would not and could not be the basis for the challenges, confrontations, divisions, and revolutions that are an obvious part of the human experience.
People do not have to look for trouble.
Trouble finds us.
The obvious question fundamental to our worldview about reality is would a blind and indifferent Mother Nature, lacking purpose and upfront intention according to the materialistic mode, produce and environment that has continual chaos and challenge in human relations?
The reality of human history must have a rational connection with blind and mindless causation, if the purely materialistic worldview is to hold water…is to stack-up consistent with the evidence.
A world devoid of purpose and meaning would not and could not be saturated with purpose.
The spinning of the narrative of reality in human experience to be part of the survival of the fittest to fuel and energize small-step, incremental development is an incorrect half-truth.
It is a bad interpretation of the evidence. It I a false skeletal explanatory framework upon which to hang the individual facts.
The Bible starts (Gen. 3:1-6) with a malicious actor entering into the peaceful harmony of the Garden of Eden, introducing rebellion in its most profound form as autonomous individualism apart from God.
This initial event is exponentially too deep for a mindless, indifferent, and purposeless Mother Nature to be the explanation for its origin.
Yet there it is entering into the open marketplace of ideas at the dawn of contemplative analysis.
Soon thereafter Cain murders Abel because Cain wants to practice “religion” his own way.
The land of Egypt rewards the good service of Joseph leading them through a great famine, by having a future Pharaoh enslave the Hebrews living in the land for fear they will eventually outnumber the native Egyptians…an ancient version of the immigration debate in America today and the recurring theme of nationalism throughout human history that has been the rationale for countless wars and conquest.
It takes the divine intervention of God to deliver the Israelites from Egypt through Moses. The Jews must then militarily conquer their Promised Land by force and through the miraculous help of God.
This is already way beyond a blind, mindless, and purposeless Mother Nature, and this is only the events occurring in the first books of the Hebrew Bible, the Protestant Old Testament.
This sudden leap into the depths of the subtleties of the broad array of moral concepts contained within the knowledge of good and evil is as abrupt an entrance as the instantaneous creation of the universe at the Big Bang.
It is as sudden as the leap from zero DNA to 3-billion bits of genetic DNA coded language at the origin of single-cell bacterial life on earth.
The introduction in human recorded history of the concepts of good and evil, and right and wrong, is a sudden leap like the Cambrian Explosion of new complex life-forms, having no transitional intermediate precursors.
This reality of disruptive challenges and the universally experienced upheaval of confrontations through invading armies of “foreigners” bent upon geographical and political conquest, makes sense within the world of animal instinct, the biodiversity of predator/prey relationships, and balanced ecosystems.
But this makes no sense when extended into the human capacity for intellectual and moral reasoning.
Parsing and dividing good conduct from evil conduct, and the fundamental judgments of right versus wrong behaviors in human relations…has no correspondence to a blind, mindless, indifferent, material-only based universe.
When purpose and meaning are added to the equation, then the calculus eliminates naturalistic materialism as a viable worldview.
 See on You Tube: How Archaeology Supports the Bible: A conversation with Joel Kramer, streamed live on Jan. 21, 2021 on Dr. Sean McDowell, and 20161030 The Oldest Yahweh Inscription 2 Kings Joel Kramer published on Oct. 30, 2016 by Lighthouse Church-Twin Falls, at Joel Kramer Archaeologist.
Are the religious leaders partially correct when they bring the woman caught in adultery before Jesus (Jn. 8:1-11)?
Of course, they are…except that they aren’t.
The main problem with the religious leaders opposing Jesus throughout the gospels is that in directing these “hard” questions at Jesus, they have the wrong motivation of trying to trip-up Jesus, to “catch Him in His words.”
But that is not the issue here.
The real lesson from the replies of Jesus to the questions posed by the religious leaders is that Jesus Christ as the living Word of God has different answers to the conventionally accepted viewpoints of these religious leaders in Jerusalem, different answers that by definition must be absolutely correct to fit each individual circumstance.
The religious leaders certainly did not anticipate Jesus saying in John 8:7 “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
After each of these men left one-by-one as they were convicted by their conscience, Jesus stands up and says to the woman in John 8:11 “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
People can debate the rightness of this judgment made by Jesus.
In all moral issues there is a latitude of possible choices, there is a range of possible answers.
But the point here is that the answer of Jesus in this particular set of circumstances is different from the anticipated answer the religious leaders expected to hear, regardless of their corrupted and malicious motivations.
This reality can be graphed on a simple spectrum-line of possible answers and responses that Jesus could have expressed when suddenly confronted with this “hard” question put to Him by these men, of what was the right thing to do with the woman caught in adultery.
John 14:6 records Jesus as saying: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
Jesus gives the right answer to every issue presented to Him because He is brilliant pure light, absolute goodness, and has divine foresight.
In the New Testament gospels, people could have asked Jesus many more hard questions that He would have answered perfectly every time.
But the religious leaders finally stopped asking Jesus questions they thought they could trap Him with, because their underlying motivation was corrupt and insincere (Mt. 22:46).
Jesus is asked and He answers just enough hard questions to establish His credentials in claiming to be “the truth” as confirmed by the apostle John writing: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” (Jn. 1:14).
Slightly different circumstances in each case would have elicited different responses by Jesus, but each answer would be perfect in terms of truth and justice tempered by perfectly divine, unselfish love.
Were the religious leaders correct in saying that the Jews were supposed to honor the Sabbath and do no work on that holy day (Mt. 12:9-13)?
Of course, they are…but not entirely.
When they object to miracles of healing performed on the Sabbath day as work, Jesus responds by pointing-out that owners of livestock lead their horses, mules, sheep, and cattle to water on the Sabbath without violating the Sabbath (Lk. 13:15-16).
If a sheep falls into a pit on the Sabbath, we pull it out without this being considered doing work (Mt. 12:11-12).
Here again the specific answer given by Jesus to this issue is different from the conventionally accepted interpretation of the Law of Moses as asserted by the religious leaders, which can be depicted on a single line-graph spectrum of all of the possible answers Jesus could have expressed.
Another classic example of Jesus having the one right answer occupying a single point on a horizontal graph-line continuum of possible options is giving in Mark 2:23-28 of the Pharisees criticizing the apostles of plucking ears of “grain” to eat on the Sabbath, as if this should be classified as prohibited work: “And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?” (Mk. 2:24).
Jesus answers that David in need ate the priest’s “show bread,” and that the sabbath was made for man and not the other way around.
Some slightly different set of circumstances would have elicited from Jesus a slightly different response, but still perfect.
The religious leaders asked Jesus: Do we pay taxes to the Romans or not?
Surely here the Pharisees have Jesus backed into a corner in a no-win situation, there being no satisfactory answer that will not offend either the Jews or the Romans.
The impressive answer that has garnered the respect of friend and foe alike for its brilliant insight for the past twenty centuries of: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Mt. 22:21), could only come from the living Word of God instantly having the right answer every time.
Jesus did not cover every issue that would confront the early church down to our present day.
If Jesus had exhaustively covered every issue, then we could erroneously relapse into a paint-by-by-the-numbers self-performance of a detailed program by our own solitary efforts.
This would open the door for self-salvation by good works that precludes a personal relationship with God
Jesus did not address the question posed to Paul by the first-century churches of what to do when invited to a banquet when the “meat” being served has been blessed over by a pagan deity (1 Cor. 8:1-13).
Jesus did not address the problem recognized by Paul of believers suing other believers in secular courts of law (1 Cor. 6:1-8).
Jesus did not address the pivotal question of whether or not Gentile believers should be circumcised in order to be saved.
God did this by deliberate intention.
Redemptive salvation by grace through faith in Christ justifiably enables God to brilliantly flip our fallen natures into the precise research vehicles to capably explore the knowledge of good and evil with the impunity of knowing that our eternal salvation is not placed in jeopardy by our honest mistakes in guided lessons-learned (Rom. 7:15-8:4; 2 Cor. 4:7; Mt. 5:6; Jn. 8:36).
Because every person who has ever lived except for Jesus Christ occupies an imperfect moral nature, it follows then that every person called into a God-composed journey of faith life-script will be accomplishing their joint-venture mission through the lens of an imperfect yet redeemed “earthen vessel.”
This is not a new biblical doctrine but is an insight as orthodox as can be.
When I was born-again spiritually at the age of 18 many years ago now, God did not transform me instantly into a perfect moral person incapable from then-on for making any mistakes.
If perfect, how would I learn anything?
And how could I comprehend the subtle nuances of the moral concepts within the knowledge of good and evil, without being able to view this fallen and broken world through the microscopic and telescopic lens of an earthen vessel?
Jesus did not answer everything for us by deliberate intention, because we are supposed to discover first-hand the concepts of right and wrong through hearts and minds “hungering and thirsting after righteousness” (Mt. 5:6) coherently blended within an imperfect moral character…being the best and only way to conduct a credible investigation in the best traditions of empirical scientific research.
In the program of redemptive salvation, my sins are covered by the blood of Jesus past, present, and future so that I can with confidence enter into an authorized and sanctioned adventure of faith where it is guaranteed that I will stumble and fall many times as the path gets higher, narrower, and steeper.
Because the God of the Bible is brilliant pure light, absolute goodness, and possesses timeless foresight, this enables God to orchestrate and manage my unique adventure of faith within this 4th dimension of time from the vantage point of a timeless environment.
Finally, the perfection of the order, intelligibility, and organized complexity of the physical universe establishes the parallel capacity for God to be given the benefit-of-the-doubt to compose life-scripts for us that fully develop and perfect our individual destinies.
This is the common though-line theme that runs throughout all of the positive biblical narrative stories of faith.
A few other notable questions and issues addressed perfectly by Jesus Christ might be the woman at the well (Jn 4:5-42), who is my neighbor? (Lk. 10:29), and why do you associate with “publicans and sinners?” (Mt. 9:10-13).
The 2009 book Why Evolution Is True by Dr. Jerry A. Coyne…an emeritus professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, is a well-written, interesting, and up-to-date expose in support of Darwinian macroevolution.
But one of the colossal ironies of our modern times is that when I read this book by around page 80 and thereafter, his descriptions of the wonders of nature have put forth so much brilliant detail that I begin to sense that he is unwittingly making a cumulative case argument in favor of intelligent agency.
Yet as a Darwinian evolutionist, intelligent design in nature is the very thing he is trying to disprove.
So coordinated and integrated are the architectural body-plans and lifestyle habits of living organisms, so well “thought-out” are their instinctual programs for fitness that as our modern understanding of them increases, then the more implausible becomes the naturalistic explanations for their conceptual origin and design.
In other words, the more we learn about the natural world through science, the less plausible becomes the gradualistic, trial-and-error, self-organizing, secular story for the creation of the universe and all of its natural phenomena.
In this new Age of Information, increasing knowledge is narrowing the worldview choices down to intelligent agency as the only plausible explanation for the origin of the complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated systems of information we now see operative everywhere in the natural living and non-living world.
One example of the paradoxical dilemma for scientific materialists of having to harmonize the marvels of the living world with purely naturalistic causations, absent designing agency, is found in Dr. Coyne’s book of the description of the havoc that is created when the giant Asian hornet (wasp) on its home turf attacks a colony of European honeybees imported by humans into Japan.
The giant Asian hornet is the world’s largest hornet…about two inches long, having a three-inch wing-span that can fly 25 miles per hour and travel up to 60 miles a day…and is “a predatory wasp especially common in Japan.”
When a lone hornet scout finds a honeybee colony, it marks the nest with a drop of pheromone scent which then guides a group of 20 to 30 attacking hornets which can decimate in a couple of hours honeybees numbering up to 30,000.
The giant Asian hornet has large jaws that can bite the heads off the smaller honeybees at the rate of 40 per minute.
But the native honeybees in Japan have an incredible defense tactic that defies naturalistic explanation.
These native honeybees send-out an internal alarm within the nest when they first detect the hornet intruder. They then quickly form a group of around 100 honeybees at the entrance into the nest, and when the lone scout first enters through the beehive opening to begin its investigation these 100 honeybees form a tight cluster around the now immobilized giant Asian hornet.
In coordinated unison the honeybees in this cluster all flap their wings, before the giant Asian hornet can mark the beehive with a scented pheromone. This raises the temperature to around 115º F within this cluster, but also produces carbon dioxide (CO²) that further raises the temperature up to as high as 122º F…which is not lethal to the honeybees but kills the giant Asian hornet scout.
But the recently imported European honeybee colonies lack this initial defense strategy to kill the roving scout, and are quickly and completely overwhelmed by a marauding band of attacking giant Asian hornets, guided by a drop of liquid pheromone scent placed at the opening of the beehive by the hornet scout as the result of a successful reconnaissance.
The question then arises of how the native Asian honeybees could acquire this novel instinctual defense tactic of a brilliantly functional, coordinated approach of just the right high-temperature of 117-122º F and the accumulation of CO² gas that would kill its enemy.
Using the accidental trial-and-error approach of mindless and undirected materialistic mechanisms would have to produce catastrophic honeybee failures along the incremental, small-step transitional route of gradual progression at successive rises in temperature.
For argument’s sake, if we start with an ambient temperature inside the honeybee’s nest at 100º F, and go upward at 2º F increments over the 16-20 minutes needed to kill the giant Asian hornet scout, this results in 8 failed trials…catastrophic defeats…until the temperature in the honeybee cluster can reach the successful goal of 115-117º F (100º, 102º, 104º, 106º, 108º, 110º, 112º, 114º, 115º F).
This defense mechanism of the Asian honeybee is an all or nothing affair.
At the developmental, trial-and-error test phase thousands or millions of years ago, the Asian honeybees upon reaching the mid-point of 108º F in their group clustering, would have to “know” through foresight to keep going until they reached the deadly temperature of 115º F.
Our modern Age of Information tells us that the only thing capable of the engineering concept of constrained optimization of a sequential series of decisional yes/no choices aimed specifically at reaching targeted end-point outcomes in the future, using foresight…is intelligent agency.
This is not fact-based evidence that supports the loosely termed “behavior adaptation” used by Jerry B. Coyne to enlist the defense strategy of the native Asian honeybee into the doctrinal camp of Darwinian macroevolution.
The more plausible analysis of this remarkable reality in nature is that the balanced predator/prey relationship between the giant Asian hornet and their native honeybee counterpart cannot be explained through an incrementally escalating “arms war” of competing features over time.
The materialistic approach to explain developmental progress can only produce an oscillating back-and-forth battleground failure for one side or the other until they both reach the balanced stand-off we observe today between these two native, insect Asian combatants.
We therefore do not have to uncritically swallow the idea that the European honeybees imported into the foreign environment of Japan will over time (thousands of years?) through the accidental method of trial-and-error likewise discover this one successful defensive strategy on their own in isolation, all the while suffering heavy losses in route to finding the very specific information that 117º F combined with CO² will defeat this otherwise unstoppable predator.
This complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated information is intelligently designed upfront into the DNA and the gene regulatory networks of the native Asian honeybees, but is clearly absent in the European honeybees, evidenced when they are imported across the continent to Japan.
This highlights the original intent found in this molecular biochemical information that must reside within the living cells of the honeybee…being “unnaturally” overridden through the independent intervention of the agency of unknowing human beekeepers in Japan and Europe.
How exactly would a naturalistic Mother Nature provide the intentional foresight and directional determination to persist through the enumerable lethal failures of a hypothetical trial-and-error process…to reach a successful outcome for the honeybees defending themselves?
This information-based defensive strategy by the native Asian honeybee colonies is successfully functional and universally operative in Japan.
We do not currently see an experimental progressive transition part-way in development within the imported European honeybee colonies pointing towards the future perfected use of this defense tactic commonly utilized by their Asian cousins.
Word has not spread through the natural “gossip” of inter-breeding and genetic drift from the successful Asian honeybees to the unsuccessful newcomer European honeybees imported into Japan (if this is even possible). This vital genetic information for survival would then be actualized through the mechanisms of molecular biochemistry within the cell.
But behavioral adaptability, inter-breeding, and genetic drift do not take us back the necessary one-step to explain the introduction of this information-based, novel defense strategy of the Asian honeybee…in the first place.
At this point someone will logically impose the Darwinian mindset that given millions of years for development, would not a series of trial-and-error failures and successes eventually lead to the perfected defense strategy of the Asian honeybee?
The skeletal explanatory framework upon which to connect the various factual data-points used in the standard methodology for all scientific research…is in scientific jargon called a theoretical hypothesis.
This hypothetical framework says from a philosophically naturalistic viewpoint that the only acceptable route for the Asian honeybee to achieve function over time is through the small steps of gradualistic development.
The obvious problem that should shout-out to us here in this example is that given millions of years, the Asian honeybees in route towards a functional defense strategy this brilliantly original and well-conceived, would be annihilated in the naturalistic process of gradually incremental progressive steps before ever reaching successful function.
Time plus chance does not lead to function when the systems of information are as complex as the defense strategy of the Asian honeybee.
The fundamental problem in looking at the myriad of diverse instinctual lifestyle habits prolific in the natural living world is that from a materialist worldview it presumes on philosophical grounds that these end-point maturities can be arrived at through the gradualistic process of small incremental steps.
The skeletal explanatory framework connecting the factual data points is what is wrong here…when the philosophical worldview of scientific materialism is utilized.
The causal explanation of gradual, incremental, small-step, transitional progressive development does not fill-in this gap of how the Asian honeybee colony obtained this critical survival strategy…because we do not see gradualism universally in action as the mechanism of progressive development in the natural living world.
There is a reason why there is zero evidence of incremental progressive development in an “arms-race” between the Asian honeybees and the giant Asian hornet…in the past or today.
The reason is that it simply did not happen that way.
There is a reason why there is zero evidence of transitional intermediates between mammals, amphibians, fish, birds, reptiles, and insects…in the fossil record.
The reason is that the ever-increasing complexity of life from single-cell bacteria 3.8-billion years ago to human beings today, did not come about by the process of incremental progressive development.
It simply did not happen that way.
This is one of the key points of this book.
There is no factual evidence for behavioral adaptation for how the Asian honeybees and the giant Asian hornet reached the equilibrium of their advance lifestyle-habits, because this is entirely theoretical based upon the philosophical worldview of naturalistic materialism.
But there is clear empirical evidence for the functional coherence of the end-point performances of these two insect combatants, because we observe this in action today.
The facts are not on the side of theoretical behavioral adaptation, but the facts are on the side of creatures universally exhibiting full functionality at their end-points of development.
The fundamental question for modern science is where does the genetic information in living cells come from that produces the incredibly varied, instinctual predator/prey relationships that actualize though architectural body-plans of mind-boggling specificity and function…that produce a “fit” within biodiversity and ecosystems…in the first place.
Science is legitimately allowed to use “just so” stories…like Rudyard Kipling’s fanciful story of how the tiger acquired its stripes…to theoretically connect-the-dots between data-points in their initial working hypotheses, until further investigation fills-in more facts.
This is simply a part of the scientific method that encompasses the human psyche…the methodology of constructing a skeletal explanatory framework upon which to hang the varied pieces of data.
These “just so” stories theorized by professional scientists are sometimes given an uncritical pass in their simple-to-complex explanations characteristic of scientific materialism.
Just because Dr. Jerry Coyne explains the defense tactic of the native Asian honeybee colonies against the attack of the giant Asian hornet as behavioral adaptation…as Christians we do not have to buy into this based on the authority of a scientist’s word alone.
We have the intellectual license to think this through and to arrive at a different conclusion…regarding the skeletal explanatory framework that is being used.
The fields of the history of science and the philosophy of science have shown that no person is ideology-free…that no person conducting science is free of bias and prejudice. Every person enters into a science research program having preconceived ideas and some form of a directional agenda.
 Jerry A. Coyne, Faith Versus Fact: Why Science And Religion Are Incompatible (New York: Penguin Books, 2015).
 Jerry A. Coyne, Why Evolution Is True (New York: Penguin Books, 2009), 111-113.
 Wikipedia.org, Asian giant hornet, updated May 20, 2021.
Modern evolutionists adopt and incorporate the Latin axiom of Charles Darwin in his book The Origin of Species: “natura non facit saltum”…nature makes no sudden leaps.
A continuous chain linking together Australopithecus (4-7 million years ago), Homo habilis (2 million years ago), Homo erectus (1.8 million years ago), and Cro-Magnon man which are early Homo sapiens (200,000 years ago)…requires the logical consistency of a uniformly straight, gradually moderate, upward sloping, horizontal graph-line.
This should clearly illustrate historically recordable milestone events along this progression.
Darwinian macroevolution applied to human development requires incremental improvements chopped-up into small enough pieces in order to easily progress through the process of genetic mutations acted upon by natural selection.
This has to occur over a long, drawn-out period of time.
This evolutionary progression would reveal human transitional improvements as historically evident milestones spaced-out along the way, both in terms of recognizable physical characteristics and intellectual/lifestyle advancements.
We cannot adopt gradualism as the axiom that nature makes no sudden leaps over a long period of time in the advancing anatomical and intellectual development of human beings, without some tangible evidence in the intellectual/lifestyle arena to show for it.
This should be a non-negotiable presentation of evidentiary fact required of modern evolutionists in support of progressive development, especially as historical time ticks downward in the very recent past decades at 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, and 10 thousand years ago.
In plain words, we would expect to see a quarterly report-card…a historical audit report…of humanity’s physical and intellectual progress at mid-stride points in time in the distant past.
We cannot have sudden leaps forward and a progress report of gradually improving human attributes both at the same time.
In the hypothetical progression from ancient ancestors to modern humans, a mindless and undirected natural world can provide no preferential leaps forward for mankind.
Darwinian macroevolution allows only a slow-moving naturalistic gradualism.
Large advances of development in living organisms in biology are called saltations. They are considered outside the reach of random and undirected processes to bring into being within single creative events. Saltations require the combination and coordination of too many small genetic mutations to coalesce into one large, beneficially functional trait…to then successfully be chosen by natural selection.
If the historical development of human beings was in-fact gradual, this would apply not only to physical traits but also to lifestyle/intellectual advancements. These advancements must be in a relatively close one-to-one correspondence to the physical traits being put-out by the advancing complexity of new and different cell types introduced over time.
Otherwise, the only option left is to have a lump-sum addition of advanced intelligence to human beings at a late, singular point in time…which could only occur through divine creation.
The lump-sum addition of human intellectual acuity late in development would create a dichotomy between physical and mental advancements…a reality that becomes more difficult to explain through random and undirected processes.
Human writing as an indicator
The human invention of writing is a critical, date-stamp indicator of human intellectual progress.
The invention of writing is dated to as recent a time as 3,200 B.C. in the wedge-shaped cuneiform lettering of Egyptian hieroglyphs. The cuneiform alphabet in Syria is dated to around 2,000 B.C., and the invention of the 22-sign Phoenician alphabet is dated to around 1,000 B.C.
The writing of the first five books of the Old Testament…called the Pentateuch…is dated by conservative scholars at around 1,450 B.C.
The Greeks adopt the Phoenician writing script around 800 B.C.
The invention of human writing is therefore placed at only 5,200 years ago.
There is no evidence of sophisticated, written communication 15,000 years ago, 50,000 years ago, or 150,000 years ago in the very recent past…as a milestone event in human intellectual development.
The boundary-line between Homo erectus and Homo sapien is generally placed at around 200,000 years ago, which inaugurates the start of what is considered to be modern man.
It would follow then that the invention of writing, by some exceptionally gifted persons having forwardly progressing I.Q’s above and out in-front of the pack, would have occurred at least as far back as sometime around 200,000 B.C.
To have a smooth transition of beneficial, variant physical traits moving incrementally forward in a positive direction from the start of Homo erectus at 1.8 million years ago to the start of Homo sapiens at 200,000 years ago…yet have human writing start around 3,200 B.C., is illogically nonsensical.
For humans to invent writing in 3,200 B.C. and then be standing on the moon in 1969 A.D. is fact-based evidence that argues for the near instantaneous introduction of intellectual capacity.
This is in stark contrast with Darwin’s notion that nature makes no sudden leaps…in the one and only area where the developments of advancing physical traits and lifestyle habits can be compared side-by-side…in the common descent theory of human beings.
If Darwinian macroevolution encompasses human development, which it must for the overall theory to be true, we should expect to see the gradual progression of writing, the invention of paper and books, farming, villages, towns, politics, institutionalized civilizations, and other signs of creative intellectual advancements in technology, music, creative writing, and the arts…pioneered in the long ago.
We should expect to see milestone advancements pushed way back in time, actualized by exceptionally gifted people with higher IQ’s and innate talents according to genetic variation, in relatively small numbers yet producing great effects.
Charles Lyell, a contemporary and a friend of Darwin, posited the research methodology for the historical sciences such as geology of using the present phenomena to reconstruct events in the past.
I would suggest here that the wide range of intellectual acuities we observe in humans today, if extrapolated backwards in time according to Lyell’s dictum that the present explains the past, overrules Darwin’s materialistic requirement that nature makes no sudden leaps.
Intellectual development in human beings does not have to keep pace with physical development on a perfectly precise one-to-one correspondence, one or the other lagging behind slightly at times.
But if the macroevolutionary scenario put forward by Darwinists is true…which I do not think it is…then the recent time-crunch for the observably rapid intellectual development of human beings, must be spread-out backwards over a much longer period of time.
We should expect to see preview fore-glimpses of an Alexander the Great, Shakespeare, Stradivarius, Isaac Newton, Rembrandt, Mozart, Darwin, Edison, and Einstein, at repetitive intervals of time counting down the decades between 200,000 B.C. to around 5,000 B.C., for example.
This would reveal an unmistakable, upward sloping, gradual ascending progression to the high elevation of our modern era today.
Humans are unique
Homo sapiens are the only species on earth capable of producing history…of creating a record of the events of advancing civilization.
The one area where we can track the accuracy of the linkage procedure used in common descent…is in the intellectual progress of Homo sapiens.
This cannot be tracked in the same way looking at the lifestyle habits of ancient fossils of other creatures, because woolly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers are incapable of writing histories documenting their instinct-based, lifestyle progress.
We can easily tell whether or not the intellectual progress of human development keeps pace with the hypothesized linkages that could demonstrate advancing anatomical progress over vast periods of time.
Near-mature intelligent human beings getting close to full-development…would be the only living species capable of leaving behind a written history that would enable a parallel tracking of both advancing anatomy and intelligence…the critical comparative tracking of architectural body-plans to lifestyle habits.
Creating common descent linkages between Australopithecus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, and Homo sapiens on anatomical grounds, using the straight-line Darwinian formula of nature makes no sudden leaps, cannot then exclude and ignore the evidence of the exponential, upward spiking graph-line track of human intellectual progress.
The on/off switches of gene regulatory networks
Could the concept of developmental gene regulatory networks (DGRN’s) in pre-human living cells build and store-up the future capacity for modern human intellectual moral reasoning to explode on to the scene recently within a short time-span?
This is one research program currently underway in molecular biochemistry trying to explain the near instantaneous immergence of complex living creatures during the Cambrian Explosion between 535-515 million years ago. If answered, this could then apply to the apparent singularity of the near instant appearance of human intellectual and moral reasoning.
Researching the matter-and-energy mechanics of the sudden immergence of complex life-forms at the Cambrian Explosion still does not address the fundamental question of where did the genetic information come from in the first place…no matter how it was then translated into the reality of architectural body-plans.
Whether or not the supporting genetic information is built-up gradually over long periods of time, and then released into physical actuality through the on/off mechanism of a controlling regulatory switch, is a brilliant scientific inquiry.
But the answer to this question still does not address the fundamental questions of where would this information come from that guides DGRN’s, and how could it be so precisely timed and coordinated with specific geological eras of complimentary biodiversity and supportive ecosystems?
Answer this question definitively through DGRN matter-and-energy mechanisms or through some other system of epigenetic information (a controlling informational system outside of DNA)…and we only push the fundamental question of the creative origin of genetic information…back one step.
We have then only answered more deeply the physics and chemistry of how ink bonds to paper, but have gone nowhere near solving the mystery of the intelligent agency that arranges the ink to convey the specified information of the headlines in the New York Times newspaper.
The fact-based evidence of modern science does not support the traditional Darwinian process of small-step incremental gradualism as the causal explanation for human development, which must exhibit intellectual milestone improvements as well as anatomical advancements in an upward sloping linear progression.
The ideological divide between scientific materialists and Christian theists starts with the fact that the biblical God hasnot made His personal location amenable to scientific discovery…through a solely materialistic pursuit within the realm of matter and energy.
For Christians this ideological divide is by the deliberate intention of God…God being a Spirit Mind.
The God of the Bible has not allowed His personhood to be reduced down to the level of being merely one of the natural laws of physics, chemistry, or mathematics. He is not a part of the orderliness and intelligibility of the natural world that we can only make an impersonal connection with at best, intellectually with our minds but not personally with our hearts.
The God of the Bible is the brilliantly insightful composer of the biblical narrative stories of faith from Abraham through Paul. He is not the deistic god who created the universe then removed Himself to a safely detached and non-participative distance from His creation.
We can clearly see the awe, wonder, and beauty displayed in the natural world, which for Christian theists must be an accurate reflection of God’s character, intelligence, and personality. And we have the innate capacity to admire the organized complexity in nature phenomenally apparent to the ancient Greek philosophers…and even more so today through the discoveries of modern science in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
But all of these remarkable physical things cannot really tell us who God is as a person, a fact of reality which God understands better than we do.
Having instead bypassed a physical revelation of His personhood (other than the incarnation and life of Jesus Christ the Son of God for about 33 years in the first third of the first-century A.D. in Israel), God went straight to the heart-of-the-matter by inventing biblical-quality journeys of faith as the means by which we can enter into individualized mission-plans for our lives.
This approach has the elevated goals of highly specified purpose, meaning, and direction…but most importantly along the way also getting to know God personally (Gen. 12:1-3, 37:5-11; Ex. 3:2-12; Jud. 6:11-16; 1Sam. 16:12-13; Jer. 1:4-6; Lk. 1:28-33; Mk. 1:16-17; Acts 9:3-16).
In a few of my other Christian books I ask the question: Why didn’t God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit take full advantage of the most opportune time to have the risen Jesus walk down the center of Main Street in Jerusalem and straight into the Temple sanctuary, on Tuesday or Wednesday of the first week following His resurrection?
In clear view of everyone, God could have made the definitively empirical statement that Jesus is the Messiah and divine Son of God, and to worship only Him as settled fact and not of faith.
But upon reflection, the Creator God of the entire universe has the capacity to make His true identity empirically known at any time during human history…in any number of clearly obvious and indisputable ways, repeatable on a daily basis if He wanted to.
Also in some of my other Christians books, I introduce the related concept in the Bible of the delicate balance between belief and unbelief. This is a very subtle, fine-tuned, and long-standing reality that could only come from the mind of God, having no other plausible source of origin coming out of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
There is no conceivable motivation for imaginative inspiration for the delicate balance between belief and unbelief to be invented within the storylines of human fictional mythology.
Yet the faith element of biblical Judaism and Christianity that produces the unique religious context for the development of a personal relationship with God, creates this dynamic of the delicate balance between belief and unbelief, that has been set-up and fine-tuned to exist for over four thousand years.
This is a spiritual engineering feat that shouts-out for the most fundamental brilliance of the real living God who can differentiate between the high value of a personal relationship, contrasted with the lower counterfeit of a mere physically factual revelation. This feat of spiritual engineering leaves in-place our humanistic ability to push God away to the safe distance of being a detached, deistic god…of having no potential “interference” or impact upon the way we want to run our lives.
The humanism of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking would like to confine God to the category of an impersonal being that we acknowledge as existing through the hubris of our scientific investigation of matter and energy…and leave it there.
Relegated to being mere head-knowledge about a harmless God we can safely set-aside, this eliminates the risk of His performing the proper role and function as God, that He might insist upon radically altering the terms of our self-sovereign control over the course and direction of our lives.
But it would be the pinnacle of brilliant insight if the Creator God of the living and non-living natural world, in order to create the precise context within which to correctly introduce Himself to mankind, did this by initiating personal relationships.
In the Spirit…God introduces Himself to people through the biblical invention of God-composed journey of faith life-scripts (Gen. 12:1-3) made possible through redemptive salvation by grace through faith and not by “the works of the law” (Rom. 4:3, 16; Acts 15:11).
The God of the Bible is currently not physically present in a corporal body. He is not in a material form at a specific location on earth or in the universe. Hedoes not live at an address and does not have a zip code. God is therefore not findable by scientific materialists searching through the microscopic world of atoms, protons, and electrons all the way up to viewing through a telescope the vast expanse of the galactic cosmos.
This “negative” finding crosses over the ideological divide into fodder for atheistic unbelief…as the prime evidence that God is non-existent.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6)
Some professional scientists assert through their atheistic worldview that the universe is without ultimate purpose or meaning. The modern irony here is that their chosen career of science itself is saturated with purpose.
The mission-plan proposed by the philosopher Francis Bacon…a contemporary of Shakespeare…to simplify the scientific method by stripping away purpose from the study of matter and energy alone, is itself a mission-statement having a clearly delineated purpose.
In this new Age of Information, modern science has identified complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated systems of information everywhere we look in the living and non-living natural world. This has essentially overtaken and passed-up any reasonably believable explanation for the origin of these complex systems of information coming from a purely materialistic mechanism.
There is no such thing as “straight science” that is entirely divorced from the abstract and intangible nature of information.
The ground rules of scientific investigation are material, but they include the abstraction of immaterial information in order to produce meaning, in order to put meat on the bare bones of scientific discoveries and knowledge.
I am arguing here for the recognition of the immaterial transcendence of the mind…of abstract information…in the exercise of the analysis and judgment integral within scientific research.
The thing to comprehend here within the delicate balance between belief and unbelief is that when applied to the human scientific enterprise, the initial set-up of a research program, the collection of data, and the analysis and conclusions after the research is completed…is laced and infused with the abstract thinking of information. This is expressed through the communication mediums of words, drawings, photographs, and numerical equations.
These research programs are not confined exclusively to the discovery of raw data alone, but necessarily involve the scientifically undefinable essences of good faith, integrity, honesty, and trust guiding the accuracy of the research and the reporting of its findings.
This suite of additional moral and philosophical elements creates a much broader overall product than just the raw evidentiary facts alone.
From the perspective of the delicate balance between belief and unbelief, science is rife with faith and trust integral and inseparable from its initial logic in crafting a research program, making observations, and then inferring conclusions and theories from the data.
In this sense, information and evidence are inseparable in the scientific method.
Scientific materialists…atheists…want “evidence” for God…but information is evidence.
Scientific materialists want to insist on a faith-stopper by asserting that matter and energy are the only real means by which we can generate truth.
Phillip E. Johnson makes the salient point in his public talks that once the paradigm of materialism is established as the working model for scientific investigation, then critics of macroevolution are admonished to stay within the confines of the study of matter and energy only, to “pony up” with fact-based evidence that pushes only the materialistic database of information forward.
This insistence upon naturalistic materialism only…disallows taking stock of the current evidence and then drawing contrary conclusions as to the truth or falsity of the evidence for macroevolution…on the merits of the evidence.
The method of falsification of hypotheses is historically scientific for everything other than the atheistic materialism of macroevolution.
Insisting upon naturalistic materialism as the working model for scientific investigation is pure philosophical subterfuge.
As has been said in several places in this book, Intelligent Design is a skeletal explanatory framework on equal standing with scientific materialism…both viewpoints crafting explanatory storylines connecting the exact same data points of information.
Atheists Insist that professional scientists who are Christians “pony up” with more arguments in favor of naturalistic materialism in order to do acceptable science. This exhibits a prejudicial bias that is in the worst sense unscientific.
For scientific materialists…it is: “Play by our rules of materialism or don’t play at all. If you theists want to question macroevolution…do it solely through the means of matter and energy, and leave aside logic, argumentation, and reasoning. Take our word on the authority of scientism that God does not exist until we tell you otherwise.”
Scientific materialists say: “In science, we study matter and energy…and that’s the end of it.”
But this is not true.
Science is infused with abstract and conceptually intangible information, of raw factual data and beginning theoretical assumptions and philosophically derived conclusions, all of which are open to evaluation and analysis by any number of perspectives and viewpoints.
The vast amount of complex, specified, and coherently integrated systems of information in the natural world…as a whole taken as evidence…can reach the conclusion that these systems of information point to the need for intelligent agency to explain their origin.
But this is an inference from the data that is clearly a non-materialistic conclusion.
“I AM THAT I AM” (Ex. 3:14; Isa. 43:11-15; Jn.8:58)
One brilliant argument coming from Christian apologists in this area of discovering the identity of God as being a separate issue from the evidence for His existence is that the four faces of American Presidents accurately and unmistakably depicted on Mount Rushmore are easily and immediately attributed to a sculptor rather than the erosion of wind and rain.
Yet the question of who the sculptor is or was does not have any bearing upon the evidentiary impression of intelligent design in the creation of Mount Rushmore.
From the book Pondering Our Creation: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.
 Grand Metaphysical Story of Science–Phillip E. Johnson, April 21, 2012 by Izzy Invasion, on You Tube.
 20161030 The Oldest Yahweh Inscription 2 Kings Joel Kramer, published on Oct. 30, 2016, by Lighthouse Church-Twin Falls on You Tube…at Joel Kramer Archaeologist.
In this new Age of Information, the concept of the required perfection of information systems is now broadly understood thanks to the immergence and widespread use of the personal computer.
The common awareness that computer software programs from spreadsheets to games must be thoroughly debugged in order to function error-free before they are put-out into the marketplace, has entered into popular knowledge. This was not the case a few decades ago prior to the invention of the writing of computer software language code.
In this new Age of Information, everything has changed. Science has changed, and our cultural outlook has changed.
Arguments that were reasonably compelling 50, 100, or 200 years ago now no longer hold water, when viewed from the perspective of a universe that is information-based requiring intelligent agency. This is contrasted with the opposite perspective of a universe that is solely based upon mechanism…a wholly materialistic universe without intelligent agency.
There are three or four major concepts that come to mind, that have been simplified and clarified as a result of the prioritizing of information above matter-and-energy.
The first such centuries-old concept is that biblical miracles can and will be falsified through science.
This was a compelling argument historically made through the scientific investigation and description of matter-and-energy mechanisms in the natural world that produce empirical, fact-based evidence.
But when understood in terms of information, the God of the Bible performing a miracle is no more incredulous than the modern architect or a homebuilder changing the location of a large walk-in closet to become a bathroom…and vice-versa, part-way into the construction at the preliminary rough-framing phase, to improve the floor-plan layout at the request of the homebuyer.
This is an example of conceptual, creative information being translated into physical matter and energy, after the construction of the new house is already in progress.
The God of the Bible performing a miracle, is no more incredulous than this same buyer of a custom-built new home requesting the architect or the builder to reframe a particular door opening to be wider, or to install a larger window at a particular bedroom, or to move a non-bearing wall 12-inches this way or that way…being common events that occur somewhere in the world every day in new housing construction.
An information-based universe allows flexibility for the input of revisions, in the form of purposeful miracles recorded in the Bible, as long as the Architect/Builder possesses the means to bring this information into physical reality without violating structural engineering or the “local building codes.”
Jesus can change water into wine at the marriage at Cana because Jesus invented water (Jn. 1:3, 2:1-11).
This does not mean that the architect or the builder is required to explain to the new homebuyer precisely how they intend to accomplish these requested changes…in the detailed terms of the “means-and-methods” of building construction.
The complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated systems of information we see everywhere in the natural world, required not only an Intelligent Designer God who had perfectly exhaustive and comprehensive access to information, but a God who invented from scratch all of this information in the form of matter, energy, time, and the laws of physics and chemistry.
This is analogous to the same way that an architect starts with a blank sheet of paper or a blank computer screen, inventing the design information for a new building by using illustrated lines, spaces, and text/word notes.
Because we now popularly have a sense of the complexity component involved in debugging thousands of lines of computer software language code for a business application or a game…of getting these lines of code right so that their applications are operatively functional…we now also have a popular sense of the organized complexity of the architectural and engineering design of a physical new building.
This then easily translates into the concept of the requirement of intelligent agency in formulating the information in the design and construction of this physical, material universe that we study through scientific investigation.
The complex, specified, and coherently integrated mechanisms in the natural world are somewhat analogous and similar in character to the standardized technology of the physical construction “means and methods” building trades techniques utilized in assembling a new house.
Like the complexity of the writing of computer software language code, and the complexity of the architectural and engineering design of a new building, this now gives us a commonplace and popular sense of the inescapable role of agency in relation to the invention and organization of complex information systems.
The old-fashioned idea that the study of mechanism through science would automatically preclude the existence and function of agency, because agency is information-based, no longer holds water, does not stack-up.
The best refutation of the famous David Hume argument that biblical miracles violate natural laws, that I have heard, is given by John Lennox as an illustration in an interview entitled “Can science explain everything?” on You Tube…which I will paraphrase and Americanize below:
If while vacationing in California, I place in the top drawer of the dresser cabinet in my hotel room $100, and the next day I place another $100 in this same drawer, and the third day after sight-seeing I come back and open this dresser drawer and find that $150 is missing…then have the laws of nature been broken…or the laws of California?
We would immediately conclude that the laws of California had been broken…telling us that the laws of nature and the laws of the state of California are different.
But how are they different?
My hotel room is not a closed-system. Even though I lock the door when I leave…an outside agent can gain entrance into this room (pick the lock, climb through a window, have a master key, etc.), open the top drawer of the dresser, reach-in and take out $150.
The other explanation for the disappearance of the $150 would be a miracle that violates the laws of nature, according to the argument put forward by Hume.
But nothing in the laws of nature tell us scientifically that these laws are a closed-system, that an outside agent cannot come into the hotel room, reach into the dresser drawer, and alter the dollar amount, in this illustration.
The requirement that the laws of nature are somehow closed systems is an added philosophical assumption that is not evidenced within these laws themselves.
In other words, the laws of nature tell us in this illustration that according to what normally occurs money does not by itself disappear into thin-air in a puff of smoke. But these laws of nature do not and cannot tell us that an outside agent is absolutely barred from entering the room and taking money from the drawer.
The laws of nature that describe what normally occurs, and an agent who can act independently from what normally occurs are two different things, a reality that undermines Hume’s objection to biblical miracles.
David Hume has to first assume the non-existence of God as the capable, independent, outside agent who can enter into the hotel room of nature and “take the money”…to make his case that “thefts” in nature called biblical miracles are unscientific and therefore also non-existent.
This is a case that devolves into a circular argument… that because God cannot violate the closed-system of the laws of nature then the laws of nature are a closed-system, thereby concluding that biblical miracles are unscientific and therefore do not exist.
The correct starting assumption is that my hotel room is not an absolute closed-system…and that it is possible for an outside agent (thief) to gain entrance and alter the dollar amount in the dresser drawer.
The parallel analogy of God being absolutely barred from entering into the closed-system of the natural world as an outside agent to perform a miracle is erroneously based upon the circular argument that science tells us that the natural world is a closed-system.
Simple-to-complex is a mindset over-used to support gradualism and naturalistic materialism
To suggest that the Big Bang creation of the universe was a simple event is as unscientific as is imaginable.
The creative events involved in the beginning of this universe are open to scientific investigation, revealing organized complexity occurring in a split-second, of systems of information far in excess of the writing of any computer software language code, or the architectural and engineering design of the most complex building.
The identity of the Intelligent Designer God of the universe is a separate issue. The main point here is that the complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated systems of information in the natural world easily identify the presence of agency.
Agency can no longer be pushed aside by the focused study of mechanism in the name of science, no more than the role of the architect as designer can be set aside and displaced by the mechanism of the actual building construction in progress. The role of the computer software engineer as designer cannot be set aside and displaced from the functional application of the mechanism of the software program in use.
The existence of agency follows from the organized complexity observed.
Looking back in time, what have we learned through the scientific investigation of matter and energy…of concrete, physical mechanisms…in the twentieth century?
At the beginning of the twentieth century…in 1916…we learned through the General Theory of Relativity that the speed of light was a fixed quantity, and that time was therefore relative to motion in relation to a fixed point of reference.
In 1929, the scientific investigation of matter-and-energy mechanisms in the cosmos led to the discovery that the universe was expanding rapidly outward.
This was evidenced in the spectral red-shift of the light coming towards us from distant galaxies in the universe, viewed through the massive-sized telescope atop Mt. Wilson in Pasadena, California. This generated the revolutionary idea of a beginning point in time of our universe…popularly coined the Big Bang.
In 1953 and 1957, the discovery first of the double-helix structure of the molecule DNA in living organisms, and then the inconceivably vast and organized complexity of its specified information content, has to be one of the top three to five revelations in all of human history…this particular revelation coming from the investigation of matter-and-energy mechanisms through the scientific method.
In 1973, the submission of a technical paper at a scientific conference by the British cosmologist Brandon Carter, on the apparent fine-tuning of the mathematical constants in several key areas of the physics of the universe to support carbon-based life like ourselves, has grown into the field of study known as the Anthropic Principle.
But the entirely unexpected, counterintuitive conclusion that the scientific investigation of matter-and-energy mechanisms in the natural world has produced, is that the understanding of mechanisms does not lead to atheism.
Modern science does not rationally displace old-fashioned theism with a modern version of enlightened atheism…but instead unmistakably points towards the existence of a brilliantly ingenious God.
After centuries of the most intense investigation of the phenomena of the natural world it turns out that the fundamental conflict is not between God and science…but instead is between agency and mechanism.
This is at bottom an illogically nonsensical dichotomy, because the two realities of agency and mechanism fit smoothly together rather than being separate and apart.
Whatever and whoever we decide is the cause of the phenomena of the natural world, it should now be abundantly clear in our modern understanding of information that complex mechanism cannot create complex mechanism…cannot create itself. The chemistry and physics of how ink bonds to paper is not the explanation for how this ink gets arranged into the letters of the English language to convey the specified information in the headlines of the New York Times newspaper.
This is a good place to discuss the term “creation science.”
There is no such thing as creation science.
This has to be one of the worst abuses of the concept of creating a straw-man that is easy to knock down.
Intelligent design is a competing skeletal-explanatory-framework hypothesis utilizing the exact same set of empirical facts arranged by scientific materialists in their explanatory secular storylines.
Philosophical materialism has no more right to the empirical facts than does fiat creationism. These are two opposing constructions…spins…placed upon the same set of facts in a similar way to two opposing trial lawyers arguing for guilt or innocence in the same court of law.
When scientific materialists insist that proponents of intelligent design come up with an alternate program of “creation science,” they are making an incredibly short-sighted appeal based upon the idea that scientists who are Christian theists would have access to special information outside of the “standards of the industry” database that comprises modern science.
When understood as a skeletal explanatory framework competing on the same level playing field as naturalistic materialism, utilizing the same set of facts, the insistence that intelligent design should produce an alternate program of “creation science” again can be seen as being illogically nonsensical.
From the book Pondering Our Creation: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.
 Can science explain everything? An interview with John Lennox. RZIM, Jan. 31, 2019.
 Patrick Glynn, God The Evidence (New York, Three Rivers Press, 1997), 7-9.
A major concept that can be clarified through the critical analysis of equally competing skeletal explanatory frameworks, is the notion popularized by Carl Sagan in his book The Pale Blue Dot, coined as the Copernican Principle or the Principle of Mediocrity.
The Principle of Mediocrity says that because the earth is smaller in size compared to the vastness of the cosmos…that simply because our earth is inhabited by humans…it nonetheless merits no special significance in the universe.
To paraphrase, Carl Sagan said that our earth was a small speck in the great cosmic dark, enjoying no special or preferred place in the universe, the essence of the concept of the Principle of Mediocrity.
The arguments unwinding this concept begin by saying that the universe has to reach its current size in order to have a large enough “sample size” of rapidly receding galaxies to mathematically calculate in reverse-time going backwards, to precisely pinpoint an accurate average of 13.7 billion years ago for the Big Bang beginning of the universe.
The relative ratio between a hypothetically smaller universe and a larger earth would not improve the accuracy of these calculations, and are therefore seen as being irrelevant in determining the importance of the earth in terms of relative size.
The vast size of the universe appears not to be an impediment in calculating a beginning point in time for the universe…an extremely important scientific discovery.
This line of reasoning would be easily recognized by a cosmologist or physicist.
Having this starting point in time established, we can ask some questions relating to this issue of mediocrity.
After the first billion years of the existence of the universe…at 12.7 billion years ago…would our Milky Way galaxy exist and how developed would it be?
Could an early universe that had expanded to roughly 7% of its current size (using a linear expansion of 13.7/100 = 7%)…be able to produce our Milky Way galaxy to the point where our galaxy would then be able to produce and sustain our solar system and planet earth?
The beginning of the universe at 13.7 billion years ago minus the beginning of the earth at 4.5 billion years ago…equals roughly 9.2 billion years of the expanding universe before our local solar system and earth are formed. Another 4.5 billion years of expansion occurs before humans come along and begin to investigate the natural world through science.
If time and space were compressed to make the earth “more significant” in terms of relative size compared to the universe at large…would we still have an earth located within the dark space between two spiral arms within the comparatively safe “goldilocks zone” a little more than half-way out between the center and the outside edge of the Milky Way galaxy?
Would we have the clear atmosphere of the earth to explore the cosmos through telescopes and outer-space probing satellites?
Would an initial expansion rate of the universe that was less than it was at the Hot Big Bang produce the enormous universe compared to the seemingly insignificant planet earth, having all of the right proportions, sizes, and fine-tuned constants in the laws of physics?
The precisely accurate mathematical calculations fit together like a Swiss watch…including a definitive starting point in time for the beginning of the universe.
Carl Sagan saying that our earth is mediocre within the grand scheme of things, because the worldview of scientific materialism has no place for intelligent agency and thus no purpose or meaning in the universe, is a totally philosophical assumption. It has no empirical support coming from the fact-based evidence of science itself.
We could ask what alternative size and scope for the universe would provide an equal quantitative and qualitative sample size to produce the current accuracy of our determinations of the laws of physics and the characteristics of the elements of the Periodic Table.
There is a host of reasons why the Principle of Mediocrity is no longer valid, beyond the scope of this book (see the book Why the Universe Is The Way It Is, by Hug Ross, 2008).
The Principle of Mediocrity reveals the peril that occurs when scientists leave their specialty and from the elevated platform of scientific authority make assertions about worldviews that are entirely philosophical…which I am now doing in the statement in bold and italics directly below this paragraph.
Modern science today points towards intelligent agency, and not towards the insignificance of mediocrity
Modern scientific investigation was always going to arrive at a point in time when it reached the inescapable recognition of the need for a Designing Intelligent Agent.
The organized complexity of the information content now reveals scientifically an architectural and engineering artisan of incomparable precision at the highest standards of craftsmanship, having complete mastery of the database of information to create everything material and non-material in existence in the universe… because He Himself created all of this information.
Because the natural world was always this complex…starting at the Big Bang creation of the universe 13.7-billion years ago and the formation of our planet earth 4.5-billion years ago…this paradigm-changing epiphany was waiting all this time for human scientific discovery to catch up.
The functional coherence of organized complexity now points to intelligent design as the only remaining plausible option.
This returns full-circle from the theistic conceptual beginnings of the Scientific Revolution…of a rational Creator God of the Bible producing a natural world that is orderly, intelligible, and accessible to human scientific investigation…to discover the truth as to how all of this came into being.
Not everyone will become PhD scientists, able to navigate through the technical facts spanning several disciplines of research, now supporting design and thus agency in nature.
Not everyone has a college degree in philosophy…able to parse the subtle arguments for and against theism and atheism.
Winning a consensus that favors design in today’s scientific and philosophical communities, thereby rejecting the atheistic version of materialism, would be without question a monumental event in human history.
But the discovery by modern science of the inescapable presence of design in the natural world, based upon a fuller understanding and appreciation of information in this new Age of Information, and thus the existence of an intelligent designer God…expands a million-fold when filtered through the biblical narrative stories of faith.
Making a compelling argument to the general populace that a faith-journey following the perfectly precise and accurate God of the Bible as the one true worldview narrative excluding all others (Mt. 7:13-14; Jn. 11:25, 14:6)…is a bottom-line conclusion immerging from both science and Christian living today.
The final end-point purpose of the scientific research epiphany in nature of the existence of a designing agent, having the indescribable foresight to capably marshal all of the varied components needed to fashion this functional universe, must rightfully make the logical connection to validate this same high competence of the God of the Bible in composing journeys of faith life-scripts.
The mislabeled controversy between God and science then boils-down to the correctly identified contest between self-sovereignty versus God-sovereignty…which can only be fought-out within the confines of faith, trust, and personal relationships.
From the book Pondering Our Creation: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.
If we are to arrive at the truth regarding this natural world and our place in it, if we are to discover evidences that point toward ultimate purpose and meaning in life, then we will have to approach the current fact-based data produced through the modern scientific enterprise today…with an open mind.
But getting free of past biases and prejudices is difficult.
There are things in our worldviews that we take totally for granted, that we cannot even see as issues that we need to dig a little deeper into.
One such issue within the Darwinian story is the survival of the fittest.
Survival of the fittest is one of the important components in the argument for the mindless and undirected processes of macroevolution through mutation/selection…that Darwin postulated to produce the vast diversity of life on earth
But the concept of the survival of the fittest as articulated by evolutionists has been criticized as being merely only a tautology…of being a circular argument devoid of telling us anything useful.
The survival of the fittest concept within the Darwinian story says that the fittest is defined as those organisms that produce the most offspring…those organisms producing the most offspring being the fittest. This is a circular re-statement telling us nothing except X = X…a tautology.
The larger question is why did Charles Darwin enlist and integrate this obvious phenomenon of the survival of the fittest in the living world into his theory for macroevolution?
And why has countless philosophical materialists after Darwin adopted survival of the fittest as an argument in favor of macroevolution, when this concept is saturated with the directional trajectories of purpose aimed at definitive outcomes…in a materialistic universe supposedly devoid of purpose and meaning?
Darwin enlists this concept of the survival of the fittest into his theory for the origin of the vast biodiversity of life on earth, without first questioning how and where this incredibly innovative idea would originate from.
Darwin placed it in the column of random and undirected cause/effect explanations…seemingly without giving it much thought.
If Darwinian macroevolution uncritically adopts into its theory the notion of the survival of the fittest, which is universally apparent in the natural world…then how and why would a blind Mother Nature be the originator of this very strange reality?
In my opinion, this has to be one of the worst cases of taking things for granted, in the history of human thought.
This has to be one of the worst examples of critically unexamined evidences…in the marketplace of ideas.
In a random and undirected reality created by a blind and indifferent Mother Nature, produced solely through materialistic causations…how would the balanced predator/prey relationships in the natural living world arise by accident?
By a process of accidental happenstance, how would these relationships become so coherently integrated into an exceedingly complex biodiversity and an independent system of equally complex ecological niches?
How and why would some creatures eat plants, and other creatures eat each other…in a natural living world so coordinated that it shouts-out for intelligent design and not self-assembly through accidental chance?
After the publication in 1859 of The Origin of Species, the new Darwinists did not “bat an eye” over the idea that the survival of the fittest…the fight for survival…could be a reality originating solely from a naturalistic explanation instead of coming from intelligent agency.
But the clear question should hit us in the face…as to how matter-and-energy alone could invent such a reality?
Darwin enlisted this reality of the survival of the fittest as the motivating fuel behind the mutation/selection process to produce the vast diversity of life…but the fight for survival is overflowing with directional purpose…purpose supposedly being left-out of pure science.
The function of fighting for survival is nothing if not purpose-driven.
If we are looking for a blind, mindless, unguided, indifferent to outcomes, trial-and-error, and purpose-free program to fuel the naturalistic mechanism in support of the theory of macroevolution…the very last thing we should choose is the purpose-saturated concept of the survival of the fittest.
The argument here is that Darwin actually goes against the Francis Bacon imperative of leaving purpose out of the scientific method, in adopting the survival of the fittest as one of the central planks in his theory of macroevolution. The idea that survival pressures would naturally push organisms towards ever improving function is an idea saturated with directional purpose.
In 1859, the obvious go-to default choice would be to side with a program that fits within a naturalistic worldview, in conformity to the direction that all other scientific discoveries appeared to be heading through the research format of methodological materialism.
This is a lengthy term that merely describes the generally accepted methodology of science focusing upon matter-and-energy explanations of phenomena in the natural world.
The irony here is that science cannot divorce raw data from purpose. Methodological materialism cannot operate within a purpose-free zone.
Science requires skeletal explanatory frameworks to connect the dots of specific data, to formulate hypotheses that have meaning.
The concept of the survival of the fittest appears to be a critical piece of data that has been mistakenly placed within the wrong hypothesis of naturalistic materialism, when it should rightly be placed within the skeletal explanatory framework of theistic creative agency.
Darwin could not possibly peer into the future to see that modern science would eventually discover complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated systems of information everywhere in biological life.
One of the contentions of this book is that the intelligently designed mechanisms in living cells incorporate the on/off switches of gene regulatory networks that correctly explain the gradually increasing number of different cell types.
This then produces new architectural body-plans within a program of common descent over time.
The intelligently planned release of genetic information contained within living cells, more plausibly replaces the component of the survival of the fittest married to mutation/selection as the prime motivating force behind the vast diversity of life.
The concept of the survival of the fittest needs to be looked at a little more deeply, as something that does not fit smoothly within a naturalistic program, but rather is plausibly explainable only through the creative intelligence of a mind.
From the book Pondering Our Creation: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.
 Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial, 3rd Edition (Downers Grove, InterVarsity Press, 2010), 39-43.