Justin L. Barret’s bookBorn Believersreveals some extraordinary facts about the ability and the capacity for very young children to believe and have faith. His work as a noted developmental psychologist and anthropologist at Oxford University, about the value of religious faith, has found that we are all predisposed to believe in God from birth. This is consistent with Scripture.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart… “ Ecclesiastes 3:11
Belief begins in the brain. Under the sway of powerful internal and external influences, children understand their environments by imagining at least one creative and intelligent agent, a grand creator and controller that brings order and purpose to the world. Further, these beliefs in unseen super beings help organize children’s intuitions about morality and surprising life events, making life meaningful.
Summarizing scientific experiments conducted with children across the globe, Professor Barrett illustrates the ways human beings have come to develop complex belief systems about God’s omniscience, the afterlife, and the immortality of deities. He shows how the science of childhood religiosity reveals, across humanity, a “natural religion,” the organization of those beliefs that humans gravitate to organically, and how it underlies all of the world’s major religions, uniting them under one common source.
For believers and nonbelievers alike, Barrett offers a compelling argument for the human instinct for religion, as he guides all parents in how to effectively encourage children in developing a healthy constellation of beliefs about the world around them.
Surely, this is compelling evidence for creation and that evolution is a failed theory.
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...” Genesis 1″26a
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
The origin of our universe has never been about facts and evidence as such—we all have the same world, the same evidence, the same facts. It is the philosophical framework within which facts are interpreted which differs and philosophical frameworks are based on axioms (presuppositions, or starting beliefs). The scientific conclusions of Darwinism are squarely based on anti-biblical (naturalistic) axioms, while those of creation are based on biblicalaxioms. In any discussion on origins, the axioms need to be openly ‘on the table’, and it should be realized that one can discuss them in a secular setting without teaching religious doctrine as such, but without hiding or running away from the implications. The evidence concerning origins can be discussed through a critical comparison of axiom-based models (see below) without fostering the secular myth of ‘neutrality,’ i.e., that evidence ‘speaks for itself’ in some mysterious way.
There are creation and flood stories in most cultures that bear strong similarity to the Biblical accounts: ‘Why not then teach e.g. Australian Aboriginal creation and flood stories in science lessons?’ One could ask such objectors whether they are aware of any origins or flood teaching outside of the Biblical narrative which:
Claims to be absolute revelational truth from the Creator in documentary form
Has been held and believed consistently for many centuries in essentially its modern form.
Has been held to offer a serious historical explanation for all of reality including the origins of man and the universe and the reason why there are millions of dead things buried all around the world.
Is supported by a significant group of qualified scientists and other intellectuals who are convinced that it does indeed explain the data at least as well as evolution/long ages.
Three important contributions in major scientific publications over the past three years supporting Intelligent Design indicate it is growing in support. The four general areas where ID is forging ahead are : (1) scientific advancements and peer-reviewed papers, (2) failed attempts by critics to suppress ID, (3) ID’s performance in high-level debates against top critics, and (4) a growing community of ID-friendly graduate students and scientists.
In 2018, a paper was published in BIO-Complexity by computer scientist Winston Ewert. He applied the concept of “common design” to produce a “dependency graph” model of organismal relationships based upon the principle that software designers frequently re-use the same coding modules in different programs. Ewert tested his model by comparing the distribution of gene families in nine diverse organisms to a treelike pattern predicted by Neo-Darwinism versus a dependency graph distribution used by computer programmers. His preliminary analysis showed that a common design-based “dependency graph” fit the genetic data 103000 times better than a Darwinian evolutionary tree!
In 2019, a paper on human origins published in BIO-Complexity. This paper used population genetics to refute those who cite evolutionary models to claim that human genetic diversity indicates we could not have originated from an initial couple.
In 2020 a major article came out in the Journal of Theoretical Biologywhich supported “intelligent design” by name, noting that “ID aims to adhere to the same standards of rational investigation as other scientific and philosophical enterprises, and it is subject to the same methods of evaluation and critique.” The authors predicted that we will “establish fine-tuning as a sustainable and fully testable scientific hypothesis, and ultimately a Design Science.”
There’s no better tribute to the power of ideas than a changed mind. Erik Strandness is a physician in Spokane, WA, practicing neonatal medicine. He watched a new exchange between biochemist Michael Behe and computational biologist Joshua Swamidass on the excellent and always thoughtful series Unbelievable? with Justin Brierley. He writes to differ with Swamidass and to describe his own change of ideas, from theistic evolution to intelligent design.
Joshua Swamidass is a biologist and Christian who is strongly critical of ID. He engages with Behe on the Kitzmiller-Dover case and the ID proponent’s most recent book ‘Darwin Devolves’ which critiques evolutionary theory.
The timing and circumstances of Erik Strandness intellectual evolution aren’t totally clear from the article. It preceded the Behe/Swamidass discussion. But his account is a valuable read nevertheless. As Dr. Strandness points out, Professor Swamidass doesn’t call himself a theistic evolutionist, but “he seems to share its favorable stance towards evolution and its opposition to intelligent design.”
God in a Box
Strandness reflects on his Lutheran upbringing. He “always had a place for God in my life, but that was exactly my problem: I had a place for God in my life….Part of the reason I compartmentalized my faith was because I was a science guy and science told me I was just an evolved chemical.” The compartmentalization, characteristic of theistic evolution, was unsatisfying to him. “While Swamidass’ goal is admirably to harmonize Christianity and science, I feel like all he has really done is say it’s OK to live with the tension.”
The theme of disappointment with a theistic evolutionary approach runs throughout his essay:
Interestingly, many theistic evolutionists don’t find God under the microscope but do in the courtroom. It appears they are more convinced of God’s existence by the moral argument than the scientific argument.
I’m glad that they find assurance for their faith in this minimalist approach, but it leaves a huge chasm between an awe-inspiring Big Bang and the appearance of morality and consciousness in human beings. A gap which they fill with a rather bland series of naturally selected mutations.
They give God credit for the big-ticket items, but don’t want to bother Him with the mundane task of speciation. Sadly, they reduce the book of nature to a Rorschach ink blot that offers us a vague psychological rendering of God’s subconscious rather than fine biological literature that reveals the sharpness of His mind.
Common Ground with Intelligent Design
On the other hand, Strandness, as a physician, finds common ground with Professor Behe and his arguments for the irreducible complexity of certain biological structures. Swamidass in the discussion on Brierley’s show says he believes “God was involved in the rise of humans but I don’t actually see any biochemical evidence of God’s design there.” Dr. Strandness does see that evidence, however.
I have to respectfully disagree with him because I treat my patients based on an irreducibly complex physiological template that I didn’t create, but which I dismiss at my own peril. I’m able to successfully practice medicine because my patients are fearfully and wonderfully made, not because they were naturally selected to survive.
Interestingly, a whole field of science called biomimetics has emerged that takes the superior design of irreducibly complex biological machines and tries to replicate them at the macro level. It appears that rather than dismissing design, science is beginning to imitate it as the sincerest form of divine flattery.
Swamidass made the case that biological machines are not machines in the traditional sense. However, I think he would get some push back from the biomimeticists who know that nature has given them a template for a better mousetrap, which, if successfully replicated, will inspire the world to beat a path to their door.
Richard Dawkins famously said that Charles Darwin made it possible for him to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist, but I found that [intelligent design] made it possible for me to be an intellectually fulfilled Christian.
For me, it was sad to observe that both Behe and Swamidass were comfortable with man evolving from some apelike creature, and yet both claim to be Christians. It is obvious from this belief that both do not believe in the inerrancy of God’s Word nor do they spend much time reading God’s Word. It is difficult to comprehend how Swamidass believes that man is made in God’s image and at the same time could have evolved from an ape.
In its September 21 issue, the Journal of Theoretical Biology published a major peer-reviewed article on fine-tuning in biology that favorably discusses intelligent design.
The article explicitly cites work by Discovery Institute (DI) Fellows such as Stephen Meyer, Günter Bechly, Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe, and Robert J. Marks. The article is co-authored by Steinar Thorvaldsen and Ola Hössjer. Hössjer is a professor of mathematical statistics at Stockholm University who is favorable to intelligent design.
Fine-tuning has received much attention in physics, and it states that the fundamental constants of physics are finely tuned to precise values for a rich chemistry and life permittance. It has not yet been applied in a broad manner to molecular biology. However, in this paper, the distinguished authors argue that biological systems present fine-tuning at different levels, e.g. functional proteins, complex biochemical machines in living cells, and cellular networks. This paper describes molecular fine-tuning, how it can be used in biology, and how it challenges conventional Darwinian thinking. It also, discuss the statistical methods underpinning fine-tuning and present a framework for such an analysis.
This is a big deal for the mainstreaming of Intelligent Design.
The Journal of Theoretical Biology is a top peer-reviewed science journal. According to CiteScore, it is the 25th most cited journal in the area of general agriculture and biological sciences, and it is in the top 12 percent of all journals in that field.
The article by Thorvaldsen and Hössjer appeared online in June. But DI didn’t want to speak about it publicly until after its “official” publication date, because they knew that once Darwinists found out, they would try to have the article cancelled.
Sure enough, after Darwinists discovered the article, they succeeded in obtaining a “disclaimer” from the journal’s editors, who proclaimed their bias against ID. But the disclaimer actually made publication of the article all the more significant. It meant that the article survived peer-review and was accepted for publication despite the open hostility of the journal’s top editors!
Familiar with Cancel Culture
Intelligent design isn’t loved by the establishment media, or elite professors, or social media giants. In fact, ID proponents face censorship and discrimination on all fronts in getting their message out. Intelligent design supporters are well acquainted with the “cancel culture,” because creationists have faced it for a long time.
Nevertheless, we are succeeding because the evidence is so compelling — and because readers like you have been willing to go around the censorship by sharing our materials with your family, colleagues, and friends. Please circulate this article as it is a major step forward in the creation/evolution debate.
Last November, Philip E Johnson, author of the best-selling book, Darwin on Trial, and other anti-evolution works, died at age 79. The Christian Post has since interviewed Intelligent Design proponents, as well as critics, to discuss Johnson’s legacy and the current direction of the movement.
A longtime law professor at the University of California-Berkeley, Johnson was credited with helping to ignite the modern Intelligent Design movement through his books and debates.
Douglas Axe, a professor of Molecular Biology at Biola University’s School of Science, Technology and Health, told The Christian Post that Philip Johnson influenced his decision to join the movement.
“I’ve been suspicious of Darwinism as far back as I can remember, but it wasn’t until I started connecting with other Darwin-skeptics that I was able to place my own thinking within the larger body of thought that became known as Intelligent Design,” Axe recalled.
“Phillip Johnson was instrumental in this. I met Steve Meyer in 1990 and Bill Dembski in 1992 and then many others, including Mike Behe, at a meeting organized by Phil in 1993. It was at that point that I realized a movement was in the making.”
Axe believed that the “first phase of research” within Intelligent Design was centered on “settling the question of whether life really is designed.”
Considering that question basically resolved, Axe told CP that the “current phase of research is focused on developing a new design-centred way of thinking about biology.”
“For example, former Google coderDr. Winston Ewert recently published a peer-reviewed paper that provides striking evidence that genomes have been designed in a way that resembles how humans design software,” he continued.
“Dr. Michael Egnor, Professor of Neurosurgery at State University of New York in Stony Brook, has just described with mathematical precision how engineering principles are used masterfully to smooth out the heartbeat pulse in order for the capillary flow in our brains to be smooth.”
In an interview with CP, Egnor said he believes there is “abundant evidence for intelligent agency,” labeling Intelligent Design “a valid inference.”
“There is in nature very clear evidence for intelligent agency in some aspects of biology,” he said. “The intricate nano-technology that exists inside cells, the clear evidence for purpose in cellular metabolism, in physiology, in multi-cellular organisms.”
Egnor believed that, regardless of whether one believed in evolution, it was a challenge to do scientific research without presuming that there is design in nature.
“If you look for example at the genome, at the DNA inside a cell. You think of it as a computer program, as software. That helps you quite a bit in understanding how it works. If you didn’t have that inference, it would be much harder to understand what the DNA is doing,” Egnor continued.
“We really can’t study the human heart unless you begin with the premise that it’s a pump. If you begin with the premise that it’s a pump, then the whole thing makes sense. The muscle in the heart and the valves, the chambers, all of it adds up. But the idea that it’s a pump is a design inference.”
Dr. Brian Thomas, research associate with the Institute for Creation Research, an organization that supports biblical creationism, told CP that he believes current scientific finds “bolster” Intelligent Design and creationism claims.
“Despite claims that the human genome is littered with useless evolutionary leftovers, geneticists keep confirming that almost all human DNA is used in one tissue or another at some point during growth and development,” said Thomas.
“Genome usage and sophistication continue to boggle investigators’ minds and baffle non-intelligent origins options. Even fossil discoveries keep confirming fully formed creatures at their lowest appearance.”
Astrophysicist Hugh Ross of the Christian apologetics group Reasons to Believe explained in comments emailed to CP that he believes the movement is taking a “two-pronged approach.”
One prong involved groups like Reasons to Believe developing an alternative creation model that could be tested while Johnson and groups like the Discovery Institute were devoted more to rebutting evolutionary claims and attempting to be inserted into public education.
“I’d have to say the ID prong is working well among Christians, though not especially well among skeptics, those within or influenced by secular academia,” wrote Ross.
“The RTB prong has met with receptivity in the opposite areas. Despite some resistance within the evangelical community, our creation model and presentation of evidence for our Christian faith have opened doors in universities and beyond, especially among skeptics and doubters influenced by secular academia and media.”
Ross added that he believes each of the prongs pursues “its mission wholeheartedly, and each is sustained by the generosity of those who care about their cause.”
Dr Deweese says, the divide in science between creation and evolution is over the interpretation of the same data. However, for Joe it is all about the fact, we can see God’s design and power evident in what He has made. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:20. This Scripture is what impacted Dr Joe Deweese the most. Listen to his short testimony. You can go to genesisishistory.com for many more testimonies from PhD scientists.
There is physical order in the cosmos; there is also social order, and spiritual order. In the beginning, Genesis teaches us, God not only made matter, he made order. In creating the cosmos ex nihilo, He ordered it–that is, He gave it form, structure, coherence, beauty and symmetry.
Order is not incidental to Christian doctrine; order is central. God is the maker and ruler of all things; the creation is distinct from him, yet exists by the super-sustenance of his Son (Colossians 1:17); the world in which we dwell is not characterized in fundamental terms by randomness and disorder, but by divine design.
All this matters greatly for our understanding of men and women, those who are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). The man is created first in the Old Testament, and possesses what the New Testament will call headship over his wife. Adam is constituted the leader of his home; he is given authority in it, authority that is shaped in a Christlike way as the biblical story unfolds. According to the apostle Paul, a godly husband does not lord his role over his wife, but rather sees his headship in cruciform terms. He dies to himself over and over in order to love his wife and children well (Ephesians 5:22-33). This does not mean that he fails to exercise actual on-the-ground leadership or make decisions; it means that he constantly seeks to shepherd his wife and family so that they will flourish in Christ. On the basis of a man’s domestic leadership, men are called to provide spiritual leadership and protection of the church (1 Timothy 2:9-15). Elders preach, teach, and shepherd the flock of God; only men are called to the office of elder, and only men who excel as heads of their wives and children are to be considered as possible candidates for eldership (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).
It is right for men to lead their homes, and put their lives on the line when their family members are endangered, and work hard to be the financial pillar of their loved ones. It is right for women to be distinctively feminine, bear and raise children as God allows, submit to and support their husbands per 1 Peter 3, and serve their churches in ways that use their gifts. Living out these realities is good and glorious, and shows us the beauty of the Christian worldview over against secular conceptions of the sexes.
The teaching of evolution in our schools and universities as fact has totally undermined the Biblical view of the history of our planet. A planet created by a loving God, initially perfect, without sin and death. It had the potential for sin and death but only if man disobeyed God. Sadly, Adam and Eve who were made in the image of God were deceived by Satan, a created angelic being that had already rebelled against our Creator God. Satan had wanted to be God. He convinced Eve that she could be like God, knowing good and evil, if she ate of the fruit God had commanded Adam not to eat on pain of death. As a result, God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden so they could no longer eat of the Tree of Life and live forever.
Only from the Bible do we know that the origin of sin, pain, suffering and death in the world is a result of man’s disobedience. Fortunately, it reveals a loving God has provided a way back into a right relationship with Him. The penalty for our disobedience was death and it has been paid for by God’s own son, the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ. If we repent, are baptised (die to self, alive in Christ) God the Father sends the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, to indwell every believer, to do what we can’t do for ourselves, He will start the sanctification process to make us like Christ. As we allow Him to direct our will, He produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives; love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control. He also provides the gifts of the spirit for ministry to believers and unbelievers.
God’s Word, The Bible, reveals the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end of the story for this world. Its many prophecies reveal the future of nations, particularly the nation God established for His purposes, Israel. It reveals the time we are in right now, with a great falling away from God and Biblical truth (apostasy), a time of tribulation for Christians leading up to even great tribulation before Jesus returns to conquer the nations and rule and reign for one thousand years from Jerusalem.
Eric Metaxas and Oxford professor John Lennox explore the question, “Has science buried God?” — discussing the fine-tuned universe, evolution, logic, history, and more!
This humble man is brilliant: John Lennox was a Professor of Mathematics at Oxford. His ability to communicate the truth about God and faith is amazing.
For example hear him out on the myth that “Science is the only way to truth” and yet it is pushed by high level intellectuals such as Hawkins, Dawkins, Hitchens and others. It is taught in our universities and schools and yet it is logically incoherent. Science cannot answer the basic and important questions such as: Why are we here? What is the purpose of life?
Lennox argues that “Science can bury atheism”. All of the original and key scientists such as Newton, Faraday, Kepler, Curey believed in God .They understood that God had designed and created the universe therefore they sought to uncover that design which is so evident in God’s creation. If the universe arose by unguided mindless processes, then why should scientists believe that their evolved brain can discover anything?
DNA is the largest “word” on the planet – billions of characters. Knowing that the basic building block of creation is a “word: gives the following Scripture new meaning: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” John 1:1
Make sure you get this message out to as many people as you can, believers and unbelievers. Go to the following website.
It is unfortunate that despite the revealed truth of the Word of God, some still foolishly believe in the lie called evolution; that man came into being as a result of random acts of nature and evolved from a monkey into a human being. If that were the case, why is it that monkeys no longer turn into humans? Also, how do evolved monkeys act in today’s world? Why should you love your neighbour as yourself and why not steal? If there is no God, and this is all there is, then make the most of it? Why care about anyone else? Perhaps, it is fair to say, that Man become as a monkey, when he rejects the truth of scripture, and does not reflect the image of God, His creator.
“The fool has said in his heart, there is no God…” Psalm 14:1
When Satan causes us to reject who we are in Christ, we face the threat of being destroyed in spiritual warfare. We are at war and the only way Satan can defeat us is to get us to forget who we are in Christ and identify with how we feel, what we do, and how others perceive us. Rather than who God created us to be and how He views us. Walking in the image of God, which was our original nature before sin, is only made possible by Jesus. He made it possible for or Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell believers in Him as Saviour and Lord. The Holy Spirit is our Counsellor, Comforter and Teacher. He produces the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives: love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness, patience and self control and provides the nine Gifts of the Spirit for ministry. He is sanctifying us, making us more like Jesus everyday, preparing us to receive our new bodies when Jesus returns.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
The Holy Spirit is essential to living a successful life, knowing God’s best for us, and overcoming the spiritual warfare we face each day. There are seven characteristics to God’s image:
Spirit – God is not a physical being but an existing Spirit. The mistake we tend to make is to limit our existence to our physics, when that isn’t who we really are. Like God, the ‘real us’ is spirit and as mentioned, Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit toindwell believers forever. We must allow our spirit to be activated by the Holy Spirit and let Him take full control over our physical being. The physical is limited, while the spirit is unlimited.
Eternal – God has no beginning or end. He is, was, and is to come. Like God, our spirit is eternal; not that we are immortal, but death is the doorway to eternity. What is important is where we spend eternity.
Holy – God is pure. There is no imperfection in Him. He calls us to be holy as He is holy. Holiness for us is not the absence of sin, but rather, it is the presence of the Holy Spirit, evidence of a dynamic relationship with a loving Saviour whose blood has cleansed us of all transgressions.
Creator – God is an innovator and is industrious. He has the ability to create. Of all His characteristics, entrepreneurs can best relate to this one because they understand the process of creating. Like God, whatever we imagine, we can produce. There are no limitations to our creative abilities.
Loving – “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16.) God’s love is what led Him to send His only Son to die on the Cross. Like God, we must be love, and demonstrate our compassion for others. We must be willing to lay down our lives for others.
Just – God’s justice causes Him to judge wickedness and chastise those whom He loves. We must not cooperate with wickedness but take every opportunity to challenge it. We must resist the temptation to adopt “fairness” as a value. This is a dangerous attempt to play God, perhaps thinking that we’re going to make good decisions apart from submitting to God’s perfect righteousness and wisdom. God uses his perfect justice to ultimately yield redemption.
Ultimately, God is an eternal Holy Being who created everything that exists. Although sin brought destruction to His creation, His love for us compelled Him to come as a Saviour to redeem His creation and ultimately bring judgement upon the wicked. Walking in the image of God is essential to our success in life. We need to be good stewards since that is God’s original and divine order. For us to conform to our original nature, we must make sure we have accepted His Son as our Lord and Saviour. We must have an active prayer and devotional life and submit to the Holy Spirit’s leading each day. This is essential in overcoming spiritual warfare.
My prayer for you today, is that God will give you the grace to recognise His presence and submit to His will, His guidance, so that you will be an overcomer and realise His plan and purpose for your life.