Please don’t confuse Science with Naturalism.
Metaphysical Naturalism is a philosophy which asserts that the material world is all that really exists, while methodological naturalism hypothesizes that the only explanations which are really useful are those which postulate natural causes. For the metaphysical naturalist then, there is no spiritual realm, no such thing as spirits, or God, or demons. While for the methodological naturalists, if God, angels or demons do exist they never do anything that is useful to talk about. Both of these philosophies then amount to practical atheism. For all naturalists, even the TALK of GOD doing anything, like creating the world, or healing the sick is nothing but foolishness and ignorance. Fine, everyone can indulge in their favourite philosophy or pastime, until reality runs them over like a Mack truck. For Christians, the philosophy of naturalism is in the truest sense both FOOLISHNESS AND IGNORANCE.
Science grew up in a Christian context, and many of the pioneering scientists like Isaac Newton and Michael Faraday WERE CHRISTIANS. Christianity believes that there is a God of Order behind the phenomena of the Universe, and for this reason it makes sense to even LOOK FOR patterns of order and try to understand how God did it, and how God does it. Other religions don’t have the same view of God generally. The lines of thinking that led to scientific enquiry bore good results. However, at this stage in history (the eighteenth century) various philosophers came onto the scene and began to deny the existence or relevance of God, thinking that Nature itself could explain its own origin. Science continued to give us knowledge, and technological innovation built on the foundation of scientific discovery, but at the same time many scientists became philosophical NATURALISTS. This is because academics have a tendency to look at their particular domain as the domain of knowledge which “gives us all the answers” whether this is true or not. Such thinking is in fact rooted in the human tendency to PRIDE and HUBRIS. And we know that pride leads to deception. This is what has happened to many scientists over the years.
Once you accept the philosophy of naturalism, some form of Darwinistic evolution becomes the only option when thinking about origins. For either 1. “God created the Universe” or 2. “Nothing created the Universe” or 3. “The Universe has eternally existed”. Option 3 is quite appealing to the carnal mind but unfortunately for proponents of option 3, modern astrophysics has pretty much established that the Universe and in fact even the dimensions of space and time HAD A BEGINNING. So naturalists have been left pretty much with Option 2. They believe, that “Nothing Created Everything”.
Naturalists are like ostriches, who put their head in the sand at the prospect of danger. Perhaps ostriches do this because they think that because they can’t see you, then you can’t see them! Likewise, because they (the naturalists) put their head in the proverbial sand and therefore can’t see God, they feel safe in assuming that God cannot see them. This makes about as much sense as thinking that because the images of people on the TV screen cannot see you, then you (who live in three dimensions) cannot see them. In other words, it makes no sense at all. It is a dangerous assumption.
Why dangerous? Listen folks, God is not a pussy cat. God is not a doddering old grandfather in the Sky. The Bible says that our God is a consuming fire. And if you think the stars are hot, remember, God made them, and God is hotter still.
I would liken naturalists to beings that live in a two dimensional world (such as the surface of a TV screen) and postulate that a three dimensional world is impossible. Of course we know that a 3D solid object can impact on a 2D surface and from the point of view of that surface can spontaneously appear and disappear. Likewise, angels, demons and Jesus Christ himself can touch our narrow three dimensional world at any time or place and also leave. Things that are impossible in three dimensions are most certainly possible in 5, 6, 7 or even 11 dimensions.
Naturalism and the related philosophy of “scientific materialism” have made great inroads into our modern educational institutions of higher learning. Many scientists carry on as if science unequivocally supports their naturalistic philophies. But the situation is really not as clear cut as they would like to make out. Presuppositions can blind us, providing a filter which limits our perception. And mankind has a herding instinct. Humans tend to follow certain things their peers do, without necessarily having a good reason to do so. Scientists are people too, and like politicians, they can be influenced by what is socially acceptable, popular, what brings in the money (funding) and things like that. Scientists as a group of people are not more inherently honest than others. You will find scientists disagreeing about all sorts of things. Scientists, like most people are willing to tell a lie when they believe that it will benefit them, that they are unlikely to be caught out, and that their peers will defend them. I contend that this is what has happened in the case of the teaching of Darwinistic evolution, one of the most FAITH DESTROYING concepts to come out in the last 200 years. This teaching is something that has caused more ETERNAL LOSS than it WILL EVER BE POSSIBLE TO CALCULATE. That is why it is worth talking about the issue.
Dr Hugh Ross has written a number of interesting books on these subjects. In his books, “The Creator and the Cosmos”, and “Creation and Time” plus another short article, he defends the following assertions against the theories of naturalistic, Darwinistic evolution:
1. Severe limits have been established on what changes and rates of change are possible via natural selection and evolution.
2. Natural selection leads much more often to stasis than to divergence.
3. Some species’ populations are limited much less by starvation and predation than by instinctively controlled breeding or other behavior.
4. Only species with extremely large populations and short generation times can change significantly through mutations and natural selection. Only a few such species exist.
5. Speciation of animals since the appearance of humans (when God ceased creating) has dropped to a virtual zero by contrast with the abundant speciation before that time.
6. For the vast majority of animal species, changes in the chemical makeup of the genes is so slow that, if it does occur, it cannot be observed.
7. While the fossil record indicated that certain genes must have changed very rapidly, chemical experiments document the impossibility of such rapid changes occuring under natural conditions.
8. Chemical differences within specific modern species are too small and between species too great for such species to be descended from a common ancestor by natural processes.
9. Regardless of their theological or philosophical preferences, most researcher admit that the universe’s maximum age, even if it were 20 billion years, is insufficient by countless orders of magnitude to account for life’s origin by any strictly natural explanation.
10. The geophysical record establishes that life arose on Earth in a time span briefer than ten million years under chemical conditions impossible for the assembly of life molecules by natural processes.
11. In a five-million-year window about 540 million years ago, a hundred new phyla appeared. no new phyla have appeared since. In fact, only 30 remain.
12. RNA and DNA molecules and all their nucleotiide building block are chemically unstable outside of the protective environment of living cells. That is, these molecules cannot survive under inorganic conditions.
13. Transitional forms in the fossil record are most evident for those species like horses and whales that have the least probability for natural evolution and the highest probability for natural extinction. Transitional forms, then, are powerful evidence for divine replacement of extinct species.
14. For some mass extinction events in the fossil recordm the replacement of exterminated species by new and different species occurs far to rapidly for any kind of naturalistic explanation.
15. Comparing DNA of living humans with living primates and DNA recovered from bipedal primate fossils falsifies the natural-descent-of-man theory.
16. Blue-green unicellular algae fossils that are 2.5 billion years old are identical in their size, shape, structure and the way they assemble themselves into colonies as blue-green unicellular algae alive today, indicating that the evolution of such species has been static for billions of years.
17. The minimum genome to support cell function and reproduction has been calculated to be 256 genes. This establishes that the complexity necessary for the simplest possible life is far higher than previously thought.
18. The nucleotide building blocks of RNA molecules require such radically different chemical conditions (two need freezing environments, while the other two require boiling conditions) that it would be impossible for all of them to form in the same location.