And the Truth Shall Set You Free
July 10, 2008
Pontius Pilate said, “what is the truth?” Chang, the grown up version of Grasshopper from Kung Fu, said, “Is not the truth the truth?” In the movies Jack Nicholson raged, “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” Everyone seems to think they have the truth. I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone proclaim “This is what I believe, and I’m wrong.” There are many truths in life, but which is of the utmost importance? I think that’s a no-brainer: eternal life, don’t leave Earth without it. Intelligent, rational people soon understand the concept of planning for tomorrow. High school kids start planning college. University students start planning a career. Working people plan to provide a secure economic future and fund their retirement. Wise people are always thinking a step ahead with that sure knowledge that someday they’re going to reach that timeframe they’re planning for. How many people plan beyond retirement? I’m not talking about buying a cemetery plot and a stone in advance but rather about continuing their existence to infinity and beyond. Before you plan for a future you have to believe in one. Many people don’t. And Darwin’s theory of evolution is the reason why many are in the category.
Turns out that the questions of the origins of life are somewhat like a math test for which we don’t have a definite answer key. Lots of people ignore the test, believing it to be of no consequence. Others fiercely debate those who have put in different answers on their score sheet. And a few earnestly seek meaningful and thoughtful dialogue with others to determine the correct answers. That select remnant I refer to as truth seekers. Finding the truth is the goal, not just attaining feelings of smugness and self-satisfaction. Truth seeking is a lifetime process. I like to think I’m one of those. Dr. Kenneth Miller also thinks he’s one.
I recently had the experience of exchanging emails with Dr. Miller, an esteemed professor of Biology at Brown University and a leading spokesman against the Intelligent Design movement. Talking about tests, I’d like to give a test to people, including Dr. Miller, on what the term Intelligent Design entails. I have a sneaking suspicion that most will fail miserably. Most of the people who are leading the charge against allowing Intelligent Design to be discussed in the classroom are motivated by their atheistic and secular humanistic cravings to keep religion out of the public eye, especially in the arena of public education where young minds can be swayed by propaganda. Despite the efforts of people like Judge Jones of Dover fame and other staunch evolutionists to muddy the waters with such claims, Intelligent Design does not even mention God. I understand their tactic of using religion as an argument because it seems to be the most effective way of combating this theory of mathematical and common sense. To point out the fallacy of Specified Complexity they’d actually have to study it a bit and understand what it entails. It’s much easier to dismiss it as non-science, religion dressed in a disguise, and worst of all, anti-science.
I always find it interesting how the word ‘propaganda’ is applied. Reminds me of the guy illustrating the difference between himself and another guy. He’s stubborn – I’m tenacious. He’s judgmental, but I’m wise. He’s cocky, whereas I’m confident. I think you get the picture. We always stack the deck in our own favor. So both sides of a debate accuse the other side of dispensing propaganda while they themselves dole out truth. And so it is with the great Evolution debate, which has been going back and forth for almost 150 years.
Now back to Dr. Miller. I wrote to him questioning how he could be a Catholic and argue against allowing Intelligent Design to be discussed in the classroom. This man not only speaks out against and writes in numerous publications but actually travels to hearings around the country to throw his weight into the struggle to keep science safe from the heresy known as ID. Evolutionists mustn’t allow any discussion about Darwinism that might cast doubts in children’s minds. I strongly felt that God was leading me to speak bluntly to this man and try to enable him to see what solace he was bringing to the atheists who spearhead this movement. I posed a fairly simple question to him concerning logic. As a Catholic he recites the Nicene Creed (which he acknowledges) which starts out ‘We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.’ With that fact in mind, I asked him to look at the illogic of the following.
A. God exists and created all things – which Miller believes
B. people, animals, and plants are things – which everybody knows
C. There is no design or designer for people, animals, or plants, and anyone who claims such a thing is endangering the soul of America (according to the hype
for Miller’s new book).
Does anyone else see the lack of logic? This seems pretty straight forward to me. Anyone who believes that God created everything yet argues against design must be saying that God created it, but he didn’t design it. That’s sounds like as slippery a slope as any I’ve ever seen. Perhaps I’d not heard that scientists were allowed to speak like politicians – out of both sides of their mouths.
Ken sidestepped the question of logic but he did reply with a long letter. He wrote ‘As I drove to Church this morning, I thanked God for the beautiful sunrise that appeared in New England today after a stormy evening. When I acknowledge God as the creator of all things, that gorgeous sunrise is included. However, it’s a fact that the cold front sweeping through the northeast pushed out last night’s moisture, and that natural causes were the direct cause of the sunrise. We could
go further, and explain the beautiful reds and blues in the sky as the product of refraction and light scattering…. In other words, that sunrise had a natural cause. It was not created directly by God. Nonetheless, God, who is the author of all things natural, is ultimately responsible for it.’
There is some validity to that argument, perhaps. However he acknowledges that God is responsible for it, which means that the Creator at least designed the laws which bring about the effects we see. An analogy I would use here is a computer program to generate the visual effects for Microsoft Windows Media player. You’ve seen the whirling colors and patterns. A programmer designed that. He didn’t sit down and say, I’m going to create the specific color combinations that are displayed but rather creates a looping, random generating mechanism that rolls the artistic dice, so the picture keeps changing. You can argue that he didn’t expressly write code to get one circle that is navy, and another that is white, etc. But it was designed. Who knows how much thought God put into designing the natural laws that keep our planet in a stable orbit around a sun that is just the right distance from us. He probably didn’t arrange for the particular colors displayed that morning, which were based on the amount of dust in the air, the angle of the sun, the amount of moisture, etcetera, which are all variables producing different effects using the same laws. But he’s playing games of semantics if he maintains that God created everything but designed nothing.
Here is more of Ken’s rebuttal to my letter. ‘Try reading the book, Mr. Parker. I did not write that the ID threatens our country’s scientific future. Rather, I explained that the approach that ID advocates have taken, which attempts to make science just another culturally-driven relativistic discipline, is what truly threatens America’s scientific soul.’
That describes exactly what evolutionists have done to science? In addition Darwinists want their pet theory to be the only game in town. ID people are not averse to allowing evolution to be taught. Why are evolutionists so paranoid about competition for their theories? Could it be that they can’t allow light to shine on their smoke and mirrors?
As soon as someone shows me that microbe-to-man evolution is scientific in nature, I’ll shut up. Unfortunately for Darwin devotees, that will never happen because they deal in historical science which can not be reproduced by experiment or falsified in a test tube. And even more unfortunate for them – that is what the scientific method consists of – meaning that evolutionary theory, beyond the variations within a species, is simply conjecture based on circumstantial evidence and what I refer to as wishless thinking. William Jennings Bryan had the solution to this dilemma back in 1925. He suggested that the science classes just shy away from discussion of origins. I’m sure there are more than enough facts about the millions of species on this planet to stuff kids’ heads without bringing up points of conjecture. I shudder to think how much time and money are squandered by people trying to prove that evolution is true. Our world is in need of excellent scientists and science to find cures for diseases, new fuel sources, and better ways for feeding the inhabitants of the planet.
Ironically, in his letter Miller made his pitch to me for the truth of evolution by citing geological evidence. He’s a biologist. Why is he standing on the discipline of geology (which was fathered by a lawyer) and not his own research? Could it possibly have anything to do with the fact that biologists have no clue how the cell, which is more complex than the space shuttle, could have spring out of existence due to the chance combination of some proteins, which in themselves are complex structures. I simply asked him to consider the possibility that he was being duped by Satan into participating in the fight on the side of the ACLU, NAS, and other groups. If God truly is offended by men teaching that his creation arrived at its status quo totally by non-directed changes within nature, how is Ken going to feel when he faces God and has to account for his actions on Earth? I remarked that if Darwinism is a plot of Satan to prevent mankind from believing in God, then he is just a pawn in the devil’s hands. And so is Richard Dawkins. I don’t know about them, but I can think of few things worse than being deceived into thinking you’re a king while you’re being used as a peon(the French word). I don’t want to see Ken or anyone else flunk this test and miss out on any of the joys of eternal life.
Also ironically Ken Miller was featured in the novel I wrote recently called All the Voices of the Wind. He and Phillip Johnson were the two main people discussed by my characters, though Richard Dawkins’ name also came up a few times. I’m grateful that Ken answered my email. I have respect for Ken, and I wish to see him in God’s perfect will. By the way, I suggested that Ken read my novel (I offered to send him one). He hasn’t responded. He thinks I am misguided, and I am of the same opinion in the other direction.
I’ll close with a little blurb from my novel. Perhaps this will be food for thought for some of you.
“OK, moving back into our main topic, I had a question about pastors and other Christians who not only believe in evolution but stand up for it. What’s up with that?”
Maria nodded. “Excellent question, Julie. I’ve been seeking an answer for that one myself. Any comments?”
Ronnie sat down. “I see so many evolutionists out to destroy religion, and then I see these pastors stand up and argue for evolution. It doesn’t make any sense. If God didn’t use evolution to do his creating for him, these people have some pretty big explaining on judgment day. I can see where maybe they believe in evolution, but where is the reason to fight for it against believers?”
Luke retied a shoe. “It’s like they’re straddling both sides of the fence. We all know what happens if you’re doing that and your foot slips.”
Jeremy stood up and got some relief from his aching rear-end. “I see the evolutionists using the church people as their buffer against the creationist/intelligent design attack. I found a seminar on the Internet with some of the leading scientists. They were discussing how to do away with religion. Evolutionists may put up with the religious fringe in their group for now, but if they ever destroy the anti-evolutionist movement, I think they will turn to their allies and start convincing them they need to renounce their religion or else.”
And now we’re right back at the starting point of this essay – what is the truth? The funny thing is that we all get to decide what we think the truth is, but our opinions never change reality.