Science and God: Human Development and Evolution

            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.

Science and God: Did God Leave Fingerprints?

            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[1] 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.[2]

            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.


[1] Grand Metaphysical Story of Science–Phillip E. Johnson, April 21, 2012 by Izzy Invasion, on You Tube.

[2] 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.

Science and God: Can Science Falsify Biblical Miracles?

            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[1]…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.[2]

            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.


[1] Can science explain everything?  An interview with John Lennox.  RZIM, Jan. 31, 2019.

[2] Patrick Glynn, God The Evidence (New York, Three Rivers Press, 1997), 7-9.

Science and God: The Copernican Principle

            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.

Science and God: The Survival of Fittest

            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.[1] 

            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.

Methodological materialism

            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.


[1] Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial, 3rd Edition (Downers Grove, InterVarsity Press, 2010), 39-43.

Science and God: The Search for Truth

            There is a practical reality that is popularly acknowledged within our modern culture that knowledge has become so vast that no one person can become a true expert in more than one or two fields.

            Specialization is a practical limitation realistically confronting every college student in choosing a major course of study.  The medical student at some point must decide upon a particular field of medicine to specialize in.  The gifted athlete in high school can excel in three or four sports, but if they eventually want to become a professional athlete as a career, they must choose a specific sport to focus on.

            There are a host of other go/no-go decisions in modern life today that were not as extensive a few centuries ago, when options were narrower in scope and fewer in number.

            But the stereotypical “Renaissance Man” exemplified by Leonardo DiVinci who could reach the top in several fields of knowledge…as now being beyond reach in our modern times…in my opinion is a proverbial half-truth.

            If exaggerated, this concept can create a polarized, black-and-white dichotomy between expert and layman…between the haves and have-nots in terms of higher education.

            If carried too far, this concept can create an artificial level of authority surrounding a group of facts that is exclusive.  This exclusivity around expertise is in actuality a fiction.

            If I am going to have open heart surgery, I certainly want a world-class heart surgeon performing the operation.

            But this does not preclude me from gaining some intermediate level of “expertise” through research on the Internet, discussions with my family doctor and with the heart surgeon, and discussions with friends and family members familiar with the subject through their own medical experiences.

            The information needed to make an informed decision as to which surgeon to choose based upon their specific medical approach to heart surgery and their reputation, resides at the popular level accessible to non-expert laymen.

            The vast quantity and breadth of knowledge acquired in so many varied fields today can foster the appearance of an unbridgeable “Renaissance Man” gap creating the expert and layman in terms of specialization.

            But the steady march forward of progress has also produced the Internet that makes access to information so broadly available as to close this gap of polarized extremes to within reasonable proportions.

            In several places in this book, I described the universal imperative that even the most technical concepts in science must be reduced to skeletal explanatory frameworks connecting the dots of evidentiary data…in order to provide hypothetically meaningful storylines.

            Raw facts are not enough.  Even the most technically complex facts in science when grouped within a research program, tell a story.

            Every scientist applying for a research grant of funds must arrange the hypothetical facts to be investigated into a preliminary storyline that has persuasive appeal and meaning…to the panel of people approving or rejecting the application for the research grant.

            This is an inescapable reality of the human psyche that connects the insatiable curiosity of our minds with both the orderliness and intelligibility of the phenomena in the natural world…always applying the solvent of organized meaning to unravel complexity.

            This renders existing facts amenable first to discovery, then to story-telling.  Our intellectual and moral capacity through human nature arranges these facts into meaningful descriptions of reality.

            World-class scientists must “dumb-down” their findings to the point of being communicable through the language of words and numbers in order to be understandable to other fellow scientists and to the general public.

            This incredibly reduces all of human scientific investigation into skeletal explanatory frameworks.

            This is what we find on the Internet in the form of 10-minute presentations, 60-minute speeches to various audiences, 90-minute panel discussions with follow-up questions from the audience, and 90-minute debates between world-class experts.

            This modern development of the Internet makes accessible to the general public the reduction of book-length topics condensed down to the key bullet points that can be covered in a short-length lecture.

            This highlights a fallacy that is immensely profound in the human search for truth.

            This fallacy is that there is an unbridgeable gap between expert and layman based upon the idea that information can be too technical and too vast for anyone other than specialized elites.

            A fundamental concept in the Bible is that God…the ultimate expert…is capable of composing life-scripts for people that will download some portion of His divine nature and knowledge actualized through guided experience.

            These guided life-scripts are exhibited in the biblical narrative stories of faith…the penultimate examples of skeletal explanatory frameworks that reduce divine expertise into experiential lessons-learned accessible to non-divine human beings.

            This concept has a fascinating correspondence to the orderliness and intelligibility of the phenomena in the natural world, logically inferring that the technical complexity therein is also reducible to being understandable to humans through the storyline frameworks of language.

            The language of words and numbers inherent in thoughts removes the barrier between expert and layman…even when it comes to God the Creator of the organized complexity we discover in the physical universe.   

            Skeletal explanatory frameworks are accessible to layman non-experts, simply by virtue of their technical complexity being translated into the story-telling language of understandable words and numbers. 

            This is what we find today on the Internet.

After-the-fact hindsight helps

            Explanatory storylines also become popularly accessible through the benefit of hindsight over time that makes revolutionary, cutting-edge scientific discoveries in the past understandable today, that were unheard of five or ten years prior to their historical discovery.

            For example, I cannot capably give a one-hour lecture to college physics students on Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity first proposed in 1916, but after reading a book or two on the subject or watching a 30-minute podcast on You Tube, I know more about the general concept of the relativity of time-travel than someone in 1910, for example. 

            Although I am not an astrophysicist, I know more about the Big Bang discovered by Edwin Hubble in 1929, than someone living in 1920.

            Although I am not a geneticist or microbiologist, I know more about the general outlines of DNA and the molecular machinery inside living cells, discovered by Francis Crick and James Watson in 1953, than someone living in 1945.

            Although I am not a PhD professor of biological evolution at a university, I know more about the pros and cons of macroevolution than a person living in 1850.

            In this book I am making generalized observations and conclusions that fall within the purview of skeletal explanatory frameworks…that given some degree of research at the popular level can reasonably inform our choice of worldview ideologies for living.

Discernment and critical-thinking are needed in the modern marketplace of ideas

            In today’s world, the essential human attributes are the exercise of discernment and critical-thinking, and not the accumulation of more data that widens the artificial perception of the gap between expert and layman.

            In my opinion, we have enough evidence to make an informed decision regarding the purpose and meaning of life.

            This gets down to the essence of pondering our creation, a question that cannot be relegated to the authority of human scientists to decide for us.

            One of the key points here is that both science and God-composed journey of faith life-scripts in the Bible are about discernment.

            Using an analogy given in an upcoming essay, a defense attorney and a prosecutor can argue both sides of the same identical facts in a criminal case.

            The search for the single point of truth starts with a continuum line having several options that can be “spun” into the different scenarios of guilt or innocence.  At the completion of the courtroom trial the case is then given to the jury to decide.

            This is an essence of reality.  Truth can be downgraded…corrupted…into falsehoods.

            Scientific materialists through their worldview ideology chop-off a large segment of the continuum line of options before the “both sides” of the argument can even begin.

            The galactic-scale irony in our modern times is that the empiricism of the fact-based evidence that scientists pursue, is the very thing that the God of the Bible deliberately intended by making the natural world orderly and intelligible.

            But the God of the Bible also gifted humans with the intellectual and moral capacity to correspond to this intelligibility.

            This is a reality that should go a long way towards highlighting the existence of purpose in human life.

            The realistic combination of mass/energy and agency provides the fullest spectrum for exploration in search of the various points of truth…in science and in the broad array of moral concepts.

            Truth is discerned through experience…in scientific investigation and in a God-composed journey of faith life-script.

            As a Christian, I can have both. 

            In fact, I must have both in operation to actualize an acceptable level of “sanity” in supervising multiple-unit housing construction jobsites…my chosen career…in the effort to minimize the daily routine of “putting-out fires” in the never-ending reactive mode of problem-solving.

            Debugging housing construction is all about pinpointing the one correct point on the continuum line of possible options.  It is about discovering through the lessons-learned of experience and observation the one, true, optimum design and construction for a particular activity, eliminating other possibilities that result in problems and mistakes.

            Whether it is doing the basic field research to discover and document mistakes in housing construction, or learning by the mistakes I make as a redeemed yet imperfect person inhabiting an “earthen vessel” as described by Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:7…both journeys require humility.

            The overall journey requires the initial recognition and acknowledgment of the humility of knowing I am imperfect in both of these realms of discovery…the technical and the moral.

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

The Big Take-Away from Modern Science

            The fundamental question is why would God create the natural world to be this open to human scientific investigation…being first orderly but second intelligible to humans alone amongst all other living organisms?

            Material things can be collected, broken-up into smaller pieces, measured, weighed, analyzed under a microscope, and quantified into groups and categories.

            Elements of personal relationships such as truth, friendship, love, integrity, honesty, faith, and trust cannot be numerically analyzed and quantified into empirical categories.

            It is puzzling to Christians that some scientists cannot see design in nature…but it shouldn’t be.

            Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life (Jn. 14:6)…but His ministry on earth can be so badly misunderstood and misinterpreted that He is rejected to the radical extent of ending-up on a Roman cross of execution.

            On a graduated scale of 1 to 100…the number 1 being worst and number 100 being the best…the ignominy of the cross and the glory of the resurrection spans the entire spectrum of possible decision-points regarding the life of Jesus Christ.

            If anything in science, philosophy, and theology calls for the deepest thought into the fundamental purpose of our world and our lives…this needs to be at or near the top of the list.

            If some religious elites in Jerusalem can devalue the life of Jesus as to be so worthless as to be disposable through crucifixion, yet God the Father thinks so highly of Jesus Christ the Son of God to qualify Him as the suitable Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for sin…this then illuminates the incredible range of possible points on the continuum line that can differentiate between absolute truth at number 100 and absolute falsity at number 1.

            Enumerable points of relative misinformation fall part-way between 1 and 100 on this graduated spectrum-line.

            If people can delve this deep into the workings of the phenomena in the natural living and non-living world through science…and still come away as skeptical unbelievers in the existence of God…what does this say about the difficulty inherent in identifying genuine truth when concepts like truth are spread-out over a range of possible option-points on spectrum-lines?

            What does this say about the data in scientific hypotheses that are in essence skeletal explanatory networks that start-out having numerous options for answers…awaiting the light obtained through scientific investigation?

            It should come as no surprise that Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation begins about the same time as the modern Scientific Revolution…producing the unintended consequences of divisions, factions, and schisms in Christendom[1] that are in clear contradiction to New Testament teaching (Jn. 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10-13)…but are a wealth of possible avenues to explore in search of genuine truth.

            The sophisticated issue in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:1-5) is not about having or not having the knowledge of good and evil…but at its root is about both the trustworthiness and the accuracy of God’s word that was called into question by Satan in the holographic spiritual form of a talking serpent.

            All of these things…theism or atheism in science, the doctrinal differences between the various denominations and factions within Christianity, the ideal virtues of self-government exemplified in the Preamble to the United States Constitution, and the enumerable cultural issues debated in modern societies…must be played-out to their fullest in every area of human life.

            The “new atheists” of recent times like to elevate science over faith…but faith in the biblical context is exponentially more important than anything science discovers…because faith/trust within personal relationships in the context of eternity is exponentially more important than the facts of science that currently can be interpreted to lead to the competing worldviews of naturalistic materialism or theistic intelligent agency.

            The life-script and ministry of Jesus spans the breadth of interpretation of ignominious rejection by men to the glorious acceptance of God the Father…encompassing all possible points along the spectrum-line…revealing our vulnerability as non-divine beings in attempting to discover absolute truth.

            This illuminates one of the fundamental purposes underlying the existence of this universe.

            If we as humans do not know everything, and God does…the only thing separating us from enlightened well-being is our stubborn insistence upon going our own way in autonomous rebellion.

            This is the primary issue under consideration and “at trial” in every aspect of human life, and that ironically raises faith/trust above science in relative importance for modern mankind.

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


[1] A Conversation about Martin Luther with Eric Metaxas and Pastor Chuck Swindoll, published Oct. 31, 2017 on You Tube.

Why Can’t Some Scientists See Design in Nature?

            Here lies one of the basic questions that must be addressed in a book subtitled Christian Essays on Science and Faith. 

            This questionis how is it that many professional scientists think that science and faith must be separated into different, incompatible categories of reality…science supposedly based solely on empirical facts and faith based upon unsupportable, subjective beliefs.

            Upon closer scrutiny, the fundamental differences of opinion are not about the empirical facts at all, but instead about the skeletal explanatory frameworks that attempt to connect-the-dots of data into meaningful storylines describing reality…storylines that by definition are themselves philosophical even though they contain the facts of hard “bench” science.

            An understanding of how purpose was removed from the skeletal explanatory frameworks of research into the workings of the natural world, early in the modern Scientific Revolution is given by Michael J. Behe from his 2019 book Darwin Devolves:

“How did science—the very discipline we use to understand the physical world—get to the bizarre point where some otherwise very smart people use it to deny the existence of mind?  Arguably it started innocently enough.  At the urging of the philosopher Francis Bacon, a contemporary of Shakespeare, four centuries ago science made a critical decision.  It would abandon the old idea of “final causes”—that is, the notion of the purpose of an object—which it had inherited from Aristotle.  Whether the true role of, say, a waterfall or a forest is to exhibit the glory of God, supply beauty to the world, or something else couldn’t be decided by an investigation of nature alone.  Henceforth science would leave all such questions to philosophy and theology, restricting itself to investigating just the mechanics of nature.  What a cow or mountain or star is “for” would trouble science no longer.”[1]    

            It is easy to see here, that by removing the purpose of an object…a waterfall, forest, cow, or mountain…in order to simplify the new scientific method going forward in the late 1500’s to the early 1600’s, that this also carries the danger to morph over time into the exceedingly damaging cultural mores of a similarly purpose-free human life.

            As the credibility and prestige of science has risen over the past two or three centuries, the purpose-free methodology of science has expanded beyond its original mandate to creep into our modern culture, removing the central question of what was I created for, of what is the purpose for me as an object in this world? 

            What is also easy to see here is that this departure from including the purpose of an object within its overall scientific investigation and subsequent explanation was not itself a scientific determination in terms of hard “bench” science.  It was a philosophical decision.  It was a pre-science issue in dispute dating back to the ancient Greek philosophers regarding the material or non-material nature of the universe, still unresolved to this day. 

            The obvious problem here is that in allowing scientific investigation to make a clean get-away from purpose, to simplify the research methods to focus on the empirical facts of matter-and-energy mechanisms that describe how phenomena work in the natural world, this does not permanently remove purpose altogether. 

            It merely sets aside the subjective aspects of purpose in pursuit of the empirical evidence of factual data.

            My contention here is that purpose cannot be surgically removed from scientific investigation.  The discovery of complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated systems of information invariably brings science back full-circle to the unmistakable evidence of objective purpose integral within natural phenomena.  This organized complexity of systems clearly delineates directional trajectories. 

            Purpose cannot be permanently divorced from science.

            The purpose of a cow’s utter is to produce milk.  The purpose of the eye is to provide visual sight.  The integrated relationships in the study of how ecosystems support biodiversity are entirely dependent upon recognizably linked purposes.

            One of the main themes of this book, discussed from a number of different angles, is that the scientific study of the matter-and-energy mechanisms of the natural world does not preclude the acknowledgement of the existence of an intelligent designing agent.  

            The explanation for the origin of the complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated systems of information we see and understand everywhere in the natural world are saturated with purpose, now clearly apparent four-hundred years after Francis Bacon.

            Simply acknowledging the intelligent agency behind the organized complexity of these systems of information in no way inhibits or displaces the ongoing scientific investigations of the matter-and-energy mechanisms in the material world.

            This acknowledgement takes place within skeletal explanatory frameworks, and not within the grouped set of scientific facts themselves.

            Theism or atheism takes place within skeletal explanatory frameworks that are philosophical…where worldviews are born.

            Philosophy is an inseparable part of science, but it is not science.

            The fundamental recognition here is that as ignorance travels towards truth, it is a journey and not a leap, casting off errors along the way…eliminating the range of possibilities that at the end of the journey narrows the remaining choices down to one or two true options.

            If we knew the right answer beforehand…the one truth…then we would not have any reason to begin a scientific research investigation into a particular mystery we do not yet understand in nature.

            Science is a journey starting out with a few or even many possible hypotheses to describe a particular phenomenon in nature that as a process of exploration is a range of open options.

            Science starts out as a line connecting possible points to investigate…that at the beginning of the journey is usually not confined to a single point.

            As ignorance travels towards truth, eliminating faulty hypotheses along the way, the length of the horizontal line connecting the dots that represent possible hypotheses in a particular research project…gets shorter and shorter as progress is made.  Investigation and analysis continues until it reaches the one single point of truth that correctly describes reality.

            This is the fundamental methodology of science.

            This process to identify the origin of reality in the workings of the natural world has now eliminated the option of naturalistic materialism as being too simplistic.

            The reality of the defense mechanism of the Asian honeybee against the giant Asian hornet, discussed in the previous essay, is too complex for naturalistic materialism as the explanation of its origin.

            This same argument is multiplied by 10-million when applied to the vast scope of the diversity of the architectural body-plans and lifestyle habits of the living species on earth.

            Again, the initial tentative hypotheses at the start of a science research program…traveling from ignorance to truth…enables a range of hypothetical “spins” that can be placed upon the factual evidence until the numerous skeletal explanatory frameworks whittle down to one or two options.

            Professional scientists and laymen who are Christian theists would ask the question at what point in the Bible do we justify limiting the supernatural…to exclude intelligent agency…in crafting these skeletal explanatory frameworks?

            If we start at the Big Bang introduction of physical mass/energy, abstract information, and the forward march of time out of nothing previously physical in literally the first split-seconds of time…this then creates a beginning skeletal explanatory framework that logically must include the element of some form of inarguably brilliant intelligent agency. 

            The overall enterprise of empirical scientific investigation (which must exclude the untestable and speculative multi-verse hypothesis) should begin with the recognition of the need for agency to get our universe up and running with the precision it exhibits.   

            Modern science has discovered several clear-cut candidates that can be categorized as singularities…sudden events seemingly without evidence of transitional precursors leading up to their occurrence…such as a beginning of the universe, the immergence of life on earth, the Cambrian Explosion, the immergence of human conscious thought, and the abrupt discontinuities in the fossil record.[2]

            When we look at the complex instinctual predator/prey relationships like that of the giant Asian hornet and Asian honeybees, repeated in literally millions of ingenious variations throughout the natural living world…we can reasonably ask the question where are the gradual, incrementally small steps of progressive transitional development that must be prolific in nature for the materialistic explanation to be valid? 

            Scientific materialists assert that they will solve the mystery of these singularities given more time for research.

            But the giant Asian hornet in mortal combat with the Asian honeybee, accentuated by the total mismatch between this hornet and the imported European honeybees, tells us today that these singularities will not be solved by more research. 

            These exquisite instinctual lifestyle habits are singularities precisely because there are no gradual, incrementally small steps of transitional intermediate progression…of major anatomical development…apparent anywhere in the living natural world.

            Everything in the living world appears to be functionally operative at their mature essences, except when human agency intervenes as in the case with the European honeybees imported into Japan.

            If instinctual lifestyle habits do not arise by gradually perfecting repetitive trial-and-error accidents, universally seen through the natural living world…then scientific materialism applied to biology does not hold up.   

            If the same quality of an inexplicable singularity of initial conditions arising at the Big Bang creation of the universe…requires the existence and action of an intelligent agent to introduce these initial conditions in their fully mature functionality, then this reality also logically applies to the instinctual lifestyle habits of the ten-million living species on earth.

            The ten-million varied species on earth currently display zero gradual transition in progression toward future outcomes. 

            It is then fair to say that the worldview of naturalistic materialism in the light of the empiricism of modern science…is illogically nonsensical.

            Scientific materialists cannot recognize agency in nature because they are operating in the erroneous hypothesis of a universe without purposeful design.  They cannot possibly broaden their worldview to accept as “supernatural” the creative artistic brilliance we take for granted all around us…from the rising of the sun, to the air we breathe, to the beauty and fragrance of springtime flowers…and ascribe this to purposeful intelligent agency.

            This is the dilemma that modern science has arrived at for some professional scientists…choosing either God or science…when the true reality is that it is both together.

            Scientific materialists want empirical proofs for the existence of God, but the complex, specified, and coherently integrated quality of the systems of information in the natural world, now better understood in this Age of Information…is evidentiary proof.

            What is incredibly misleading is to characterize the debate as a culture-war between science and faith, when it is really between theism and atheism. 

            The differences reside within the philosophically crafted skeletal explanatory frameworks that connect the empirical facts…amenable to being spread-out into numerous hypothetical “spins.”   

            Scientists place faith in their own mental capacity to discern and differentiate truth from error.  Scientists cannot do science without first placing faith in the orderliness and intelligibility of the natural world.

            The modern debate cannot be about faith…because science is saturated with faith in order to have any meaning.

            Faith involves philosophical assumptions about the reliability of factual truth that are not amenable to formal proofs through hard “bench” science.  This is discussed more fully in the scientism section in the upcoming essay Are Science and God in Conflict?

            The current reality is that scientific materialists find the supernatural in the Bible so philosophically abhorrent that they will go to any length to formulate secular hypotheses to explain the wonders of nature.  We see this in the vague and inadequate use of the term behavioral adaptation to describe the predator/prey relationship between the giant Asian hornet and the Asian honeybee.

            But the intelligent agent God who can create the universe, life, the architectural body-plans and lifestyle habits of ten-million varied species, and the advanced intellectual and moral reasoning capacity of human beings…can also part the Red Sea, walk on water, and raise Jesus Christ from being three days dead after Roman crucifixion.

            The complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated systems of information that permeate all of nature…preclude reasonable explanations of origin and causation using atheistic secular storylines.

            It can reasonably be said that modern science is now pointing towards the existence of an intelligent agent God.

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


[1] Michael J. Behe, Darwin Devolves (New York: Harper Collins, 2019), 258-259.

[2] Fossil Discontinuities: Refutation of Darwinism & Confirmation of Intelligent Design—Gunter Bechly, published Oct. 11, 2018 on You Tube by FOCLOnline.

One Purpose of Redemptive Salvation

            In redemptive salvation by grace through faith in Christ, God the Father sees believers through the rose-colored glasses of optimistic and supportive love, because He is the one who envisioned and instigated the concept of the 4-wheel drive vehicle of this fallen, imperfect yet redeemed human nature.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Cor. 4:7).

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jer. 29:11).

            We are saved by grace through faith and not by our own self-performed good works…to have the invaluable opportunity to discover the knowledge of good and evil through the “safe-conduct” of a God-sanctioned and authorized journey of faith research program.

            We learn by making mistakes, and if we are hungering and thirsting after righteousness (Mt. 5:6) and waling in the Spirit (Rom. 8:2), God is able to flip our mistakes into guided lesson-plans through His deliberate, positive intentions.

            A fallen yet redeemed nature enables believers to venture out into the rough and tumble, likewise fallen world and using the microscopic and telescopic lens of our imperfect moral nature…inhabiting earthen vessels…be able to comprehend the subtle nuances of the broad array of moral concepts within the knowledge of good and evil…while also having the critical element of the humility of recognizing that the security of our eternal salvation lies in the cross and resurrection of Jesus, and is not dependent upon our perfect moral performance.

            Only God could set all of this up to function within the reality of this broken world.

            Through the divine concept of redemptive salvation by grace through faith, God is able to flip our imperfect fallen nature into the very vehicle we would need to successfully explore the ups and downs within the knowledge of good and evil…exhibiting on God’s part the highest excellence of leadership in wisely pushing power downward for people to learn and grow through first-hand experience, guided within God-composed journey of faith life-scripts as patterned for us through the biblical narrative stories of faith from Enoch through Paul.

            Each of the positive characters in the Bible walked with God through their callings and mission-plans, while still inhabiting imperfect moral natures.

            When I became a Christian at age 18, God forgave my sins past, present, and future…so that I could with confidence enter into a risk-filled adventure of faith, knowing in advance that the many mistakes I would make along the way would not jeopardize the security of my eternal salvation…because this research program designed by God through redemptive salvation has the very intention that I can learn and benefit from my mistakes.

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” (Eph. 1:7).

“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.” (Heb. 13:20-21).

Human Beings Progress through Trial-and-Error

            When we watch the men’s final in the 100-meter running event in the Olympics, for example, we know that the runners were not selected at random from the general population and put forward in race gear to sprint for the gold medal.  The ten runners in the men’s Olympics 100-meter race finals are all world-class, elite runners who have each trained for years to be able to run this distance in under 10 seconds.

            The several years of individual training are done behind-the-scenes in advance preparation leading up to the race, and for each runner hopefully ends with the goal of a once-in-a-lifetime, gold-medal performance during this very short but marquee track and field event.

            A documentary film-maker may record the up-and-down training regime of the progression of the would-be sprinter to reach world-class speed, and put this into a short film as part of the color commentary for the televised summer Olympics, but generally we are not privy to the dedication, perseverance, and dogged determination of the elite athlete’s incremental upward progression over time from being merely fast at the collegiate level to becoming world-class fast…to be one of a very select few to make-it into the men’s final in the 100-meter race in the Olympics.

            On the African savanna plains, when we watch the high-speed, life-and-death chase between the cheetah and the Thompson’s gazelle, we know that there has been no behind-the-scenes training preparation leading-up to this exhibition of literally world-class running speed, other than the normal growth to adulthood.  We know that there is no behind-the-scenes training for each of these magnificent animals because the natural living world is open to observation and investigation.  The exquisite running speeds of the cheetah and the Thompson’s gazelle are a product of their instinctual lifestyle habits that match perfectly their unique architectural body-plans…that come fully functional and ready for use right “out of the box” with no tools or assembly instructions required.

            One aspect that makes the defining essence of human beings uniquely discontinuous with the rest of the natural living world is that mankind progresses through the trial-and-error process of lessons-learned by making mistakes.

            Over the course of the modern Scientific Revolution, the two Industrial Revolutions, the American political experiment that people could be self-governing through a representative democracy based upon individual virtue, and the fine-tuning of market systems of economy and trade, we should have known that mankind would eventually reach a point in time when some of the fundamental questions of reality would be within reach of solid answers.

            We have always been headed in the right direction through mistakes and blunders combined with an innate inner drive to discover the purposes behind the workings of the natural world, and to find the reality of our existence…which is entirely different from the automatic program of inherited instinctual lifestyle habits that come fully functional in the examples of the cheetah and the Thompson’s gazelle.

            The idea that a mindless and indifferent-to-outcomes Mother Nature working through matter-and-energy alone could produce this discontinuous dichotomy between the out-of-the-box functionality of instinctual lifestyle habits in the natural living world, in stark contrast to the cognitive reasoning capacity of human beings to progress through trial-and-error mistakes as their uniquely defining essence, should at this modern times be rejected as a “just-so” bed-time story because of its over-simplicity.   

            If we have learned anything over the course of human history, it is that our natural world, the interaction between human beings, and the nature of truth are not simplistic.

            Drilling down deeper into this concept that we progress through the process of lessons-learned by making mistakes, what makes Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet a tragedy is not that the principle characters are stupid, but rather that they make errors in judgement and reasoning that coalesce over the course of their short-lived romance into a catastrophic outcome.

            In the backyard garden scene where Juliet on the balcony declares her love for Romeo hiding unbeknownst below until he reveals himself and climbs up a tree to join her, embrace, kiss, and declare his love for her…at that point the right course of action is easy to see.

            Juliet should have said that she would speak to her father privately the next day and tell him that she was in love with Romeo the son of his enemy, and that their union would be the perfect solution to “bury their strife” between the two families.  Romeo should say that he would likewise talk to his father in private, and tell him that he was in love with Juliet the daughter of his enemy, that she loved him, and that their union in marriage would remove the enmity between the families and be heartily welcomed by the Prince of the city of Verona.

            If these two options failed, then Plan B would have Romeo requesting a private meeting with the Prince to explain the benefits of throwing his considerable support and influence behind a marriage between Romeo and Juliet, leading to the bad option of Romeo seeking the guidance of the friar who comes-up with his hair-brain scheme that eventually leads to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

            William Shakespeare can create this brilliantly tragic storyline because he is working with the reality of a human environment that is deliberately designed to be a research program of discovery through the trial-and-error process of lessons-learned by making mistakes.  The tragedy in Romeo and Juliet is that the progression of poor judgments and decisions within the context of their family’s relationships snow-balls downhill through a series of “hideous misadventures” to a deadly finale.

            This should tell us something vitally important about the reality of our existence, about the redemptive salvation feature of the Christian gospel message, about the uniquely biblical originality of God displacing our ways with His higher ways through God-composed journey of faith life-scripts, and about the 2 Corinthians 4:7 concept that we inhabit the “earthen vessels” of imperfect moral natures as the perfect 4-wheel drive research vehicles in order to traverse the rough terrain of this equally broken and fallen world…in discovery of the knowledge of good and evil with the God-sanctioned and approved intention for us to learn by our mistakes…all the while redeemed by grace through faith in Christ.

            The structure and organized complexity of the biblical narrative stories of faith, of God inserting His higher ways and thoughts into our life-scripts to be able to add His timeless foresight and brilliant pure light into this research program for us aided by the microscopic and telescopic lens of a fallen imperfect nature…to have the capacity to understand the subtle nuances of the broad array of moral concepts integral within the knowledge of good and evil…overturns the serendipitous tragedy of Romeo and Juliet stumbling through the dark of this same human environment without this participation of God within a God-composed journey of faith life-script that always achieves the optimum outcome of individual destiny.

            Modern science has discovered complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated systems of information everywhere we look in the natural world.  The micro-molecular machinery inside living cells coordinates an unimaginably diverse ensemble of parts to assemble proteins into different cell types that make living creatures from elephants to humans…to highlight just one example.

            Redemptive salvation by grace through faith in Christ to enable research programs into the knowledge of good and evil…through the safe-conduct of the impunity of not having our many mistakes jeopardize the security of our eternal salvation (Mt. 5:6; Rom. 7:15-8:4)…by the deliberate intention of the Creator God of this universe…is so originally brilliant that it could not possibly derive from this same trial-and-error process of lessons-learned by making mistakes…and is thus a self-existent, fundamental concept that could not have arisen through human invented mythology…could not be the product of human literary imaginative fiction.

            Shakespeare takes us a far as he can in Romeo and Juliet.  God takes us much farther into the depths of reality in the biblical narrative stories of faith.