Blind Faith in a Popular Theory (Excerpt from One of the Few)
An excerpt from One of the Few.
Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins speaks of a dissatisfaction with atheism in the The Blind Watchmaker resulting from “inadequate explanations for the complexity of life prior to 1859 when Darwin’s Origin of Species was first published.” He states, “Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” But not everyone finds Darwin’s theory of evolution so all-encompassing. Christian apologist and author of What’s So Great About Christianity Dinesh D’Souza suggests that the design evident in both life and the universe is not an illusion, as Dawkins suggests, but the work of a Designer.
Evolution, whose primary mechanism is death, cannot explain the origins of life. As D’Souza puts it, “Evolution seems right as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go very far.” Writer, physicist, and Arizona State University professor Paul Davies displays a common precommitment to naturalism as he investigates the origins of life: “Even the simplest bacterium is so immensely complex it strains credulity to imagine such an entity popping into existence wholly as a result of the random shuffling of molecules. Yet clearly there must exist a pathway of physical processes that leads from simple chemicals to complex life” (Italics added). Though he is overwhelmed by the complexity of biology (implying possible evidence of design), he forces himself to accept the credulity-straining position that somehow life can arise from non-life. No scientist can truly “follow the evidence wherever it leads” if they ignore the metaphysical path that must be taken to explain the origins of first life and the universe.
Neither can evolution explain the apparent “fine tuning” of the universe. Science has shown us that certain forces in our universe must have their current values in order for the universe to continue its expansion and keep from collapsing. Physicist and atheist Stephen Hawking gives an example using the expansion rate of the universe: “If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it even reached its present size.” These special values define the physical properties of the universe and must be exactly what they are in order for life to exist. This fine tuning to support human life is known as the anthropic principle.
You might suggest that if the numbers had different values, then human beings would have evolved anyway. Here is the problem: if the numbers were different, it would mean more than no life—there would be no universe to begin with. If a universe with different properties had formed then some other species might have flourished within its bounds. Unfortunately, it is impossible to gain knowledge about other universes with different laws of physics—a limitation which places their conjecture beyond the bounds of science (a method of making predictions based on natural, repeatable events).
Some things are important enough for you to have a cow, and determining how to live a life consistent with beliefs based on truth can be tough cud to chew. After examining the issues, I discovered there was really no bite to the bullying bark of the New Atheists and their claims that Christianity was not only false, but harmful.
I once thought you had to check your brain at the door to believe in Christianity. On the contrary, Christians seeking to understand their faith are using its full potential.
*UPDATE: My initial pre-order campaign was a success with over 400 copies ordered! Thanks to everyone who helped support the campaign. Don’t worry, you’ll have another chance to order One of the Few as the publication date gets closer, currently set for November 2015.
**UPDATE: #1 Bestseller on Amazon One of the Few is now available!
About Jason B. Ladd
Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.