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Evolution, Creation, Philosophy and Religion

Evolution, Creation, Philosophy and Religion

“God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good… Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind‘; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good'” (Gen. 1:21, 24, 25).

To understand the teaching of evolution we must first define microevolution and macroevolution. Microevolution is small variations within the species (kinds). This is feasible within the species. Today, we have selected breeding within defined limitation. Macroevolution is evolution from one specie to another specie – this is the theory of evolution taught by all the schools. There is no support for this within the fossil records.

The Bible says that God created all the animals within their kinds (or specie). We know that there are all kinds of dogs and all kinds of cats. They come in different colors, sizes and breeds. The same is true with all the other animals. In all probability, God did not create all the different animals within a specie at the beginning. Noah did not need to take all the different breeds of animals within a certain specie into the ark. We know that there are many breeds of animals today that did not exist a few years ago. Within the bounders of the specie or “kind” as the Bible refers to it, the animals and plants can cross breed. The DNA structure does not allow cross breeding across species. God has placed bounders within the species.

The problem with the teaching of evolution, which we have been indoctrinated in, is that evolution takes place across these boundaries. Evolutionists try to transition from microevolution to macroevolution. There is no proof of macroevolution; it is only a theory that is now taught, as a fact, in every phase of our life. Today our public school systems teach macroevolution as science, which they claim has been proven scientifically to be true. When it is taught in graduate schools, the students begin to do research that often disclaims their theories.

Most of us have a misconception of the field of science. We usually think of science as biology, chemistry, physics and geology. These are the basic courses which are taught in school and presumes that the theory of science follows natural laws of the universe and can be proven. Science is usually defined as the study of laws of nature that can be observed, tested, proven and repeated by other. We know that gravity is true because it can be observed and tested. This is not true with the study of origins, as we cannot relive them. There is no way they can be tested. It is at this point that assumptions are made about some theory that has been proposed. As the assumptions change so does the theory. We cannot say with absolute certainty that the theory has been proven.

Before Charles Darwin published his book, “On the Origin of Species” in 1859, most scientists made their studies based upon the teaching of creation in the Bible. Their assumption was that the Bible was true. Most geologists’ interpretations were based on repercussions of the Flood which occurred during the time of Noah. However, after Darwin’s book was released many changed their assumptions that the universe, slowing over billions of years, evolved without a creator. Now with these assumptions man is free of the authoritative and accountability issues of the Bible. Sin is not an issue as there is no Creator who holds us accountable.

Phillip Johnson, a law professor who was a clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren and is one of the founders of the “Intelligent Design” movement is the author of the book, “Darwin on Trial“. In the book, he defines macroevolution as follows: “Evolution really means a naturalist and completed materialist process that accounts for the entire history of life and excludes design or ultimate purpose from the entire field of nature. That is, it states that we are the product of purposeless natural materialist processes and that all of life from its origin up to the present time and all of its vast complexity and diversities can be explained on that basis and therefore should be explained on that basis and that is how we get rid of the creator and we go on to propagate the new religion.”

Science has always been closely identified with philosophy. Wikipedia, the web encyclopedia, defines philosophy “as the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. It is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.” Therefore, what is taught about evolution as science is in reality philosophy. Darwin was not the first to teach that the universe evolved. Some of the early philosophers had the same idea. However, they were in the minority.

It is also very easy to transition from philosophy to religion. Many times, they are taught in the same class in school. Wikipedia defines religion as “a cultural system that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature.” Religious systems are organized groups who strive to place their philosophical beliefs into practice.

Stephen C. Meyer of the Discovery Institute, in his book “Signature in the Cell, DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design” presents a very good summary on the views of origins. The following is quoted from his book.

“Since the time of the ancient Greeks, there have been two basic pictures of ultimate reality among Western intellectuals, what the Germans call a Weltanschauung, or worldview. According to one worldview, mind is the primary or ultimate reality. On this view, material reality either issues from a preexisting mind, or it is shaped by a preexistent intelligence, or both. Mind, not matter, is, therefore, the prime of ultimate reality—the entity from which everything else comes, or at least the entity with the capacity to shape the material world. Plato, Aristotle, the Roman Stoics, Jewish philosophers such as Moses Maimonides, and Christian philosophers such as St. Thomas Aquinas each held some version of this perspective. Most of the founders of modern science during the period historians of science call the scientific revolution (1300-1700) also held this mind-first view of reality. Many of these early modern scientists thought that their studies of nature confirmed this view by providing evidence, in Sir Isaac Newton’s words, of ‘an intelligent and powerful Being’ behind it all. This view of reality is often called idealism to indicate that ideas come first and matter comes later. Theism is the version of idealism that holds that God is the source of the ideas that gave rise to and shaped the material world.”

The opposite view holds that the physical universe or nature is the ultimate reality. In this view, either matter or energy (or both) are the things from which everything else comes. They are self-existent and do not need to be created or shaped by a mind. Natural interactions between simple material entities governed by natural laws eventually produce chemical elements from elementary particles, then complex molecules from simple chemical elements, then simple life from complex molecules , then more complex life from simpler life, and finally conscious living beings such as ourselves.

In this view matter comes first, and conscious mind arrives on the scene much later and only then as a byproduct of material processes and undirected evolutionary change. The Greek philosophers who were called atomists, such as Leucippus [first half of 5th century BC] and Democritus [student of Leucippus] were perhaps the first Western thinkers to articulate something like this view in writing. The Enlightenment philosophers Thomas Hobbies [political philosopher – 1588 – 1679], and David Hume [1711 -1776] also later espoused this matter first philosophy. Following the widespread acceptance of Darwin’s theory of evolution in the late nineteenth century, many modern scientists adopted this view. This world view is called either naturalism or materialism, or sometimes scientific materialism or scientific naturalism, in the later case because many of the scientists and philosophers who hold this perspective think that scientific evidence supports it.”

“The age old conflict between the mind-first and matter-first worldviews cuts right through the heart of the mystery of life’s origin” (pp 36-37).

As we can see, the assumptions that we make depends upon how we view the origin of the universe. The Bible says “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). “In general, theists attribute the origin of the universe to some sort of transcendent, intelligent Designer. Atheists envision a natural, undirected process by which universes spring into existence spontaneously.”

Throughout the years, many churches and their leaders have been inundated with the indoctrination of evolutionists and have recanted the Biblical foundations which are taught in the first eleven chapters of Genesis. If there were no Adam and Eve then there was no original sin, therefore, we were not born with a sin nature. As a result of this evolutionary thinking, many theologians began to question the doctrine of the virgin birth, Christ’s payment for sin on the cross and the resurrection of Christ. As time passed, the Bible has become fallible and irrelevant to them. Since the Bible is open to most any interpretation, this theology has led to what is today called theist evolution.

Wikipedia defines theistic evolution or evolutionary creation as, “a concept that asserts that classical religious teachings about God are compatible with the modern scientific understanding about biological evolution. In short, theistic evolutionists believe that there is a God, that God is the creator of the material universe and (by consequence) all life within, and that biological evolution is simply a natural process within that creation. Evolution, according to this view, is simply a tool that God employed to develop human life. Theistic evolution is not a scientific theory, but a particular view about how the science of evolution relates to religious belief and interpretation. Theistic evolution supporters can be seen as one of the groups who reject the conflict thesis regarding the relationship between religion and science—that is, they hold that religious teachings about creation and scientific theories of evolution need not contradict. Proponents of this view are sometimes described as Christian Darwinists.”

In his article “Creator or Blind Watchmaker” Phillip Johnson comments about a Christian schoolteacher who indorsed the teaching of the claims of evolution. “There is no mystery about why atheists and agnostics welcome this kind of education. What is mysterious, however, is the relative lack of opposition to the establishment of naturalism from Christian intellectuals. There are, of course, theologians who have embraced naturalism with enthusiasm and proceeded to try to “save” Christianity by purging it of supernaturalism and mythology; one can be a Christian, or at least a professor at certain liberal Christian seminaries or divinity schools, and be as opposed to the existence of a supernatural Creator as any atheist. But Christians and other theists, who really believe in a personal God standing outside nature and ruling it— how can they accommodate the dictates of a scientific establishment that absolutely insists that all creation resulted from undirected evolution?”

He goes on to say, “And how can so much supernatural activity be reconciled with a naturalistic philosophy of creation? There are two schools of thought among theistic naturalists about how to deal with this problem. One approach, characteristic of the liberal theology that culminated in Tillich and Bultmann, is to interpret the miracles as mythology. This is at least consistently naturalistic, but it relegates Christianity to the role of a human ethical system or existential choice. The other approach is to treat the miracles as real events, but to restrict them to a “salvation history” that is walled off from the natural history over which science claims exclusive authority.”

Today, many liberal theologians interpret the miracles of the Bible as mythology and deny the supernatural. This has led theologians to redefine the authoritative and benevolent God of the Bible to only a benevolent loving God who does not judge sin. The Bible says that God is both good and just. When His rules are broken then justice must prevail. However, with a belief system in only a benevolent loving God, the transition is made to a belief system where man is the center of attention and that God will bless all his endeavors. There is no set code of morality and all of life is based upon situation ethics and moral relativism. Man is not evil and there is no evil in the world. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. The liberal mind set can condone both the practice of abortion and homosexuality. Man’s behavior is influenced by his education, his experience and his environment. The Bible says that as a man “thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). Liberal theology has now become a social religion. Many teach and preach that Jesus was not divine but only a man—a man who taught a social gospel as recorded in the Sermon of the Mount. A social religion quickly transitions into a social political system.

The Apostle Paul wrote these words to his assistant, Timothy. “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was” (2 Tim. 3:1-9).

The current liberal belief systems have led to what is today called humanism. When a creator is taken out of the assumptions of origins, we have what is today called secular humanism. Wikipedia defines humanism as “a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual’s dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason. It is an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters.” Man and/or the head of state is the ultimate authority. This philosophy affects every phase of our society as man strives to control and suppress man. In most cases, one’s accountability is answerable to the government.

“John Dewey described Humanism as our ‘common faith.’ The first Humanist Manifesto spoke openly of Humanism as a religion. It is also interesting to note that the Supreme Court of the United States in 1961, acknowledged that Secular Humanism was a religion”.

Today, based upon the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the word “God” and any reference to the Bible have been removed from our schools and many public places and public events. The amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The word “God” is not even mentioned in the amendment. However, courts allow the teaching of humanism while at the same time forbid the teaching of Christianity. Today, the teaching of secular humanism, which has its roots in the philosophy of evolution, prevails in all of our society. With a humanist mind-set, it is a small step to socialism and a Marxism political system.

Wikipedia states that “Since, a civilized society must have an authoritative figure, in the mind-first scenario, the creator is the final authority; whereas, in matter-first scenario, the state or head of state is the final authority. It has been said that Darwinism is to science as Marxism is to a society.”…”Marxism is an economic and socio-political worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and a critique of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th century by two German philosophers, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marxism encompasses Marxian economic theory, a sociological theory and a revolutionary view of social change that has greatly influenced socialist political movements worldwide” (See Wikipedia on Marxism.)

Karl Marx tried transitioning from the teaching of evolution by Darwin to his teaching on socialism. To some degree, he was successful. In the future, it may proven that in the end he was successful.

The Bible teaches that during the End-Times that there will be a one-world government ruled by the anti-Christ and Satan (See my article on Revelations).

The Humanist Manifesto I (1933)

“The Manifesto is a product of many minds. It was designed to represent a developing point of view, not a new creed. The individuals whose signatures appear would, had they been writing individual statements, have stated the propositions in differing terms. The importance of the document is that more than thirty men have come to general agreement on matters of final concern and that these men are undoubtedly representative of a large number who are forging a new philosophy out of the materials of the modern world.”

– Raymond B. Bragg (1933)

“The time has come for widespread recognition of the radical changes in religious beliefs throughout the modern world. The time is past for mere revision of traditional attitudes. Science and economic change have disrupted the old beliefs. Religions the world over are under the necessity of coming to terms with new conditions created by a vastly increased knowledge and experience. In every field of human activity, the vital movement is now in the direction of a candid and explicit humanism. In order that religious humanism may be better understood we, the undersigned, desire to make certain affirmations which we believe the facts of our contemporary life demonstrate.”

“There is great danger of a final, and we believe fatal, identification of the word religion with doctrines and methods which have lost their significance and which are powerless to solve the problem of human living in the Twentieth Century. Religions have always been means for realizing the highest values of life. Their end has been accomplished through the interpretation of the total environing situation (theology or world view), the sense of values resulting there from (goal or ideal), and the technique (cult), established for realizing the satisfactory life. A change in any of these factors results in alteration of the outward forms of religion. This fact explains the changefulness of religions through the centuries. But through all changes religion itself remains constant in its quest for abiding values, an inseparable feature of human life.”

“Today man’s larger understanding of the universe, his scientific achievements, and deeper appreciation of brotherhood, have created a situation which requires a new statement of the means and purposes of religion. Such a vital, fearless, and frank religion capable of furnishing adequate social goals and personal satisfactions may appear to many people as a complete break with the past. While this age does owe a vast debt to the traditional religions, it is none the less obvious that any religion that can hope to be a synthesizing and dynamic force for today must be shaped for the needs of this age. To establish such a religion is a major necessity of the present. It is a responsibility which rests upon this generation. We therefore affirm the following:

FIRST: Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.

SECOND: Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as a result of a continuous process.

THIRD: Holding an organic view of life, humanists find that the traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected.

FOURTH: Humanism recognizes that man’s religious culture and civilization, as clearly depicted by anthropology and history, are the product of a gradual development due to his interaction with his natural environment and with his social heritage. The individual born into a particular culture is largely molded by that culture.

FIFTH: Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values. Obviously humanism does not deny the possibility of realities as yet undiscovered, but it does insist that the way to determine the existence and value of any and all realities is by means of intelligent inquiry and by the assessment of their relations to human needs. Religion must formulate its hopes and plans in the light of the scientific spirit and method.

SIXTH: We are convinced that the time has passed for theism, deism, modernism, and the several varieties of “new thought”.

SEVENTH: Religion consists of those actions, purposes, and experiences which are humanly significant. Nothing human is alien to the religious. It includes labor, art, science, philosophy, love, friendship, recreation–all that is in its degree expressive of intelligently satisfying human living. The distinction between the sacred and the secular can no longer be maintained.

EIGHTH: Religious Humanism considers the complete realization of human personality to be the end of man’s life and seeks its development and fulfillment in the here and now. This is the explanation of the humanist’s social passion.

NINTH: In the place of the old attitudes involved in worship and prayer the humanist finds his religious emotions expressed in a heightened sense of personal life and in a cooperative effort to promote social well-being.

TENTH: It follows that there will be no uniquely religious emotions and attitudes of the kind hitherto associated with belief in the supernatural.

ELEVENTH: Man will learn to face the crises of life in terms of his knowledge of their naturalness and probability. Reasonable and manly attitudes will be fostered by education and supported by custom. We assume that humanism will take the path of social and mental hygiene and discourage sentimental and unreal hopes and wishful thinking.

TWELFTH: Believing that religion must work increasingly for joy in living, religious humanists aim to foster the creative in man and to encourage achievements that add to the satisfactions of life.

THIRTEENTH: Religious humanism maintains that all associations and institutions exist for the fulfillment of human life. The intelligent evaluation, transformation, control, and direction of such associations and institutions with a view to the enhancement of human life is the purpose and program of humanism. Certainly religious institutions, their ritualistic forms, ecclesiastical methods, and communal activities must be reconstituted as rapidly as experience allows, in order to function effectively in the modern world.

FOURTEENTH: The humanists are firmly convinced that existing acquisitive and profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and that a radical change in methods, controls, and motives must be instituted. A socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible. The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good. Humanists demand a shared life in a shared world.

FIFTEENTH AND LAST: We assert that humanism will: (a) affirm life rather than deny it; (b) seek to elicit the possibilities of life, not flee from them; and (c) endeavor to establish the conditions of a satisfactory life for all, not merely for the few. By this positive morale and intention humanism will be guided, and from this perspective and alignment the techniques and efforts of humanism will flow.”

“So stand the theses of religious humanism. Though we consider the religious forms and ideas of our fathers no longer adequate, the quest for the good life is still the central task for mankind. Man is at last becoming aware that he alone is responsible for the realization of the world of his dreams, that he has within himself the power for its achievement. He must set intelligence and will to the task.”

Note: Since 1933, two more humanist manifestos have been written and published.

Source: Humanist Manifesto 1.

Humanist Manifesto III, a successor to the Humanist Manifesto of 1933* (Written in 1980)

“Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.”

“The lifestance of Humanism—guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience—encourages us to live life well and fully. It evolved through the ages and continues to develop through the efforts of thoughtful people who recognize that values and ideals, however carefully wrought, are subject to change as our knowledge and understandings advance.”

“This document is part of an ongoing effort to manifest in clear and positive terms the conceptual boundaries of Humanism, not what we must believe but a consensus of what we do believe. It is in this sense that we affirm the following:

Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis. Humanists find that science is the best method for determining this knowledge as well as for solving problems and developing beneficial technologies. We also recognize the value of new departures in thought, the arts, and inner experience—each subject to analysis by critical intelligence.

Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change. Humanists recognize nature as self-existing. We accept our life as all and enough, distinguishing things as they are from things as we might wish or imagine them to be. We welcome the challenges of the future, and are drawn to and undaunted by the yet to be known.

Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience. Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond. We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.

Life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals. We aim for our fullest possible development and animate our lives with a deep sense of purpose, finding wonder and awe in the joys and beauties of human existence, its challenges and tragedies, and even in the inevitability and finality of death. Humanists rely on the rich heritage of human culture and the lifestance of Humanism to provide comfort in times of want and encouragement in times of plenty.

Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships. Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence. The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages us to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.

Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness. Progressive cultures have worked to free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop global community. We seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability, and we support a just distribution of nature’s resources and the fruits of human effort so that as many as possible can enjoy a good life.”

“Humanists are concerned for the well being of all, are committed to diversity, and respect those of differing yet humane views. We work to uphold the equal enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties in an open, secular society and maintain it is a civic duty to participate in the democratic process and a planetary duty to protect nature’s integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure, sustainable manner.”

“Thus engaged in the flow of life, we aspire to this vision with the informed conviction that humanity has the ability to progress toward its highest ideals. The responsibility for our lives and the kind of world in which we live is ours and ours alone.”

Source: Humanist Manifesto 3.

“For historical purposes, see preceding Humanist Manifesto 2