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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The key word here is “limited.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Constrained Optimization…Revised

            Our modern Age of Information tells us that the only thing capable of the engineering concept of the constrained optimization of a sequential series of decisional yes/no choices aimed specifically at reaching targeted end-point outcomes in the future, using foresight…is intelligent agency.

            As argued here, this is not fact-based evidence that supports the loosely termed “behavioral adaptation” used by Jerry B. Coyne to enlist the defense strategy of the native Asian honeybee into the doctrinal camp of Darwinian macroevolution.

            The concept of Asian honeybees immobilizing and taking-out the lone scout wasp mirrors the capture of an enemy spy in human warfare over the long course of human history.

            How would and could this intelligence-based military defense tactic of catching and taking-out a spy on reconnaissance for the enemy army, be functionally operative within the instinctual program of an insect like the Asian honeybee?

             The more plausible analysis of this remarkable reality in nature is that the balanced predator/prey relationship between the giant Asian hornet and their native honeybee counterpart cannot be explained through an incrementally escalating arms-race of competing features over time, using small-step improvements. 

            The trial-and-error approach of materialism produces an oscillating, back-and-forth battleground of colossal failure for one side or the other until they both reach the equally balanced, competing features we observe today between these two native, Asian insect combatants.

            To posit the purely materialistic explanation of gradual development for this mature predator/prey relationship in the insect world, requires the genetic make-up of these two insects to have a nearly self-conscious, lessons-learnable quality of ever-improving informational plateaus, subtly importing the intelligent decision-making choices of thoughtful agency into the otherwise mindless mutation/selection methodology of Darwinian evolution.

            The forward looking, intelligent foresight inherent in yes/no choice-making locking-in function in evermore complex plateaus to reach an optimum end-point of equilibrium between the giant Asian hornet and Asian honeybees, is not allowed in a mindless, purely materialistic universe of accidental trial-and-error.

            For a system of gradual development in the natural living world to be materialistic it must be mindless and undirected.

            For the Asian honeybees to reach defensive parity against the attacking giant Asian hornets, this involves a series of physically structural changes leading to improved function, over and over in reaction to structural changes and improved function in the giant Asian hornet.

            It is implausible to have two independent genetic tracks putting-out seemingly coordinated structural changes in the form of beneficial escalating traits, each acted upon in synchronized natural selection in the wild.

Yet without this feature of thoughtfully discerning choice-making stealthily smuggled-in, natural selection could not coordinate the forward-moving trajectories of newly added genetic information that displaces previously less advantageous iterations, that could reach the functionally balanced strategies of this predator/prey relationship for the giant Asian hornet and the Asian honeybee.    

            We do not have to uncritically swallow the idea that the European honeybees imported into the foreign environment of Japan will over time (thousands of years?) through the accidental method of trial-and-error likewise discover this singular, successful defensive strategy on their own in isolation, all the while suffering heavy losses in route to finding the very specific information that 115-117º F combined with CO² will defeat this otherwise unstoppable predator.

            This complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated information is intelligently designed upfront into the DNA and the gene regulatory networks of the native Asian honeybees, but is clearly absent in the European honeybees, evidenced when they are imported across the continent to Japan.

            This highlights an original intent found in the molecular biochemical information that must reside within the living cells of the Asian honeybee, being unnaturally overridden through the independent intervention of the agency of unknowing human beekeepers in Japan and Europe importing foreign, European honeybees into Asia.

            In this case of importing European honeybees into Asia, the playing-field of environment is not a factor.  The challenge for the European honeybees is not adaptation to a changed external environment, but adaptation to a lethally superior predator.

            The key question then in biology is how and when does the critical survival strategy get introduced at the genetic level, to produce in the living honeybees this distinctive lifestyle habit supported by their architectural body-plans, that can actualize into viable function a military defense strategy from abstract information to a winning outcome in the real world?

            Will the mutation/selection mechanism of Darwinian evolution in small-step, incremental gradualism be up to the job, or is it self-evident that upfront, instantaneous function and fit is the more plausible explanation?

            I would argue from the evidence that the input of this genetic information to produce function and fit occurs at the inception of the Asian honeybee.

I would argue that the materialistic program of an unbroken continuity of a small-step, incrementally progressive series of back-and-forth improvements in the arsenals of the Asian honeybees and the giant Asian hornet…is plausibly unworkable.

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