Review of Outgrowing God by Richard Dawkins Random House, New York, NY, 2019

Atheist evangelist Richard Dawkins is on the crusade again with his latest book Outgrowing God1 to win more converts to his religion of atheism. His book was released in September, published by Random House Books.

CMI has produced an excellent review of this book. I suggest you go to their website http://www.creation.com to see it, in its entirety. The following is an abbreviated version.

As a teenager, Dawkins de-converted from (nominal) Christianity to atheism since he was unsure as to which god was the right god out of hundreds or even thousands of candidates.

book-cover

Dawkins does not understand that to know God one has to be born again and receive the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can lead you into all truth. He is our counsellor, teacher and comforter. It is the Holy Spirit that produces the fruit of the Spirit in a believers life: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness goodness, gentleness, kindness and self control. He is also the one that gives the gifts of the spirit for ministry.

In the first half of his book Dawkins raises eternal questions about good and evil. Is God really good? Is the Bible really true? Do we need the Bible and God to be good?

Dawkins obviously, like much of the world, does not like what God defines as sin and would much prefer to make up his own rules. Moreover, would like to change those rules as he sees fit.

Sin involves nothing less than flagrant rebellion against the will of Almighty God. Sin cuts us off from the living God entirely. This is no trifling matter. God, as our Creator, would be perfectly righteous in sending every one of us to death for our sins. It is only by God’s grace that He doesn’t do so. In fact, the problem of our eternal, sinful separation was so bad, that God sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins on the cross (see also Dawkins’ dilemma: how God forgives sin).

A key element in Dawkins’ de-conversion experience is his belief in evolution, which convinced him that seemingly designed elements really evolved over long periods of time.

The second half of Dawkins’ book deals with his attempt to undermine the concept of intelligent design, using natural selection and evolution as an alternative explanation. Not wanting to sound trite but as a scientist he should be aware of the Ockham’s Razor approach to science. For even Dawkins himself has previously stated “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose”.14 So, even as an evolutionist, Dawkins is forced to acknowledge how certain structures in the animal kingdom appear to be designed. His examples include the color pigments of the octopus, the tongue of the chameleon, and the legs of the cheetah, or the feathers of birds (p. 36).

Dawkins does not explain how legs can turn into wings or leaves into thorns. Neither does he name a single gene which would be responsible for such mutations as a practical example. In short, Dawkins misrepresents the way natural selection happens in nature. Natural selection is efficient in explaining how anatomically different structures in organisms lead to differential survival. But it does not explain how the structures themselves arise. People readily recognise cases of intelligent design in automobiles, buildings, books, statues, or hieroglyphs. Therefore, DNA serves as a plan for the whole entire body of an organism. DNA is the information that controls all the machinery of the cells to function successfully, to reproduce and adapt to their environment. Information comes only from intelligence and in the case of the information to control living cells, a level of intelligence beyond our understanding..

Dawkins understands that the Earth is fine-tuned for life to exist on its surface. If the Earth were just a little too close to the Sun, then it would be too hot for life to exist. On the other hand, if it was just a little too far, then it would be too cold for life. Furthermore, if the gravitational constant, G were even just a little different, then life could not exist on Earth. This is something called the anthropic principle, namely that Earth, and even the universe seems to have been designed especially for human life.

In response, Dawkins posits the multiverse concept. This concept states there are millions or even billions of universes, parallel with our own, each defined by its own laws and physical constants. Therefore, according to the law of big numbers, even though the great majority of these universes may all be devoid of life, a very small percent of them may still be finely tuned to allow life to appear.

What physical evidence is there for billions of other universes? Is it even possible for us to know of other universes? As such, this is not a scientific concept. Even if there happened to be other universes out there, how do we know that there are billions of them? Also, how do we know that they come into being independently from one another to have differing parameters and physical laws? Nonsense.

Lastly, Dawkins and other evolutionists attack design as unscientific. However, we see intuitively, that design is scientific. For example, if engineers designed sonar systems from bats, what kind of supernatural intelligence created bats? Design can easily be inferred from simple observation of nature. Dawkins needs to use extra, convoluted arguments to explain that biological structures evolved as opposed to being simply designed. By applying the principle of Ockham’s Razor, we can reject Dawkins’ evolutionary arguments and accept the principle of design. Dawkins should not reject intelligent design but acknowledge it as a viable scientific argument for the origin of life.

ESTEEMED YALE PROFESSOR REJECTS DARWINISM

Yale academic and professor, David Gelernter has openly rejected the theory of evolution, insisting that it contains many contradictions and flaws. He argues Intelligent Design is a serious theory.

Image source: YouTube/Hoover Institution

Professor Gelernter bravely stepped forward to take a shot at the popular theory and urged his fellow academics not to sweep over critical thought on the subject out of an anti-religious bias.

“Darwin’s theory predicts that new life forms evolve gradually from old ones in a constantly branching, spreading tree of life,” the professor explained in a paper titled, “Giving Up Darwin,” as cited by the Daily Wire.

“Those brave new Cambrian creatures must therefore have had Precambrian predecessors, similar but not quite as fancy and sophisticated. They could not have all blown out suddenly, like a bunch of geysers.”

One of the central issues Gelernter raises against the pre-eminent theory is that it is nearly impossible to create a stable and functioning protein. “Immense is so big, and tiny is so small, that neo-Darwinian evolution is — so far — a dead loss. Try to mutate your way from 150 links of gibberish to a working, useful protein and you are guaranteed to fail,” he noted. “Try it with ten mutations, a thousand, a million — you fail. The odds bury you. It can’t be done.”

In contrast to the strong scepticism he holds towards Darwinian theory, Professor Gelernter argued that intelligent design is now the “first, and obviously most intuitive [theory] that comes to mind.”

Intelligent Design deduces that God must be the primary force behind the creation of the universe because, well, something simply cannot come out of nothing. While the theory is widely accepted by many in the Christian scientific community, Gelernter insisted that, on the whole, academics who reject Darwinism and subscribe to a God-centred argument find themselves being viciously attacked.

In a discussion hosted by the Hoover Institute, the professor expanded on these concerns. “I have to distinguish between the way I’ve been treated personally, which has been a very courteous and collegial way by my colleagues at Yale, they’re nice guys and I like them, they’re my friends,” he explained at the round table, hosted in June of this year.“On the other hand, when I look at their intellectual behaviour, what they publish, and, much more important, what they tell their students, Darwinism has indeed passed beyond a scientific argument. As far as they are concerned, you take your life in your hands to challenge it intellectually. They will destroy you if you challenge it.”

Doubling down on his concerns, Gelernter warned that a majority of those in the wider academic community show “nothing approaching free speech on this topic.”“It’s a bitter rejection, not just — a sort of bitter, fundamental, angry, outraged, violent rejection, which comes nowhere near scientific of intellectual discussion,” he added. “I’ve seen that happen again and again. ‘I’m a Darwinist, don’t you say a word against it, or, I don’t wanna hear it, period.’”Far from engaging in a civil academic discussion, the professor noted that if you criticise Darwinism, academics often react as if you have been “attacking their religion.” “It is a big issue for them,” he said. 

Christians understand that this is a spiritual issue. The fight is not against flesh and blood but against principalities , against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age , against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

INCREDIBLE DESIGN OF THE HUMAN GENOME

Marine Biologist Rob Carter explains the four-dimensional genome and what this means for design.

The latest evidence on the four dimensional genome, which includes dynamic programming, makes intelligent design the only possible explanation for its existence. Evolution by random chance is nonsense. Listen to the excitement in Rob’s voice as he explains the amazing complexity of the four dimensional genome. The level of design is “mind blowing”. It can only make you think how amazing is our God. He is worthy of our praise and adoration.

Why does  academia, the establishment, reject intelligent design and all that entails? There is only one possible answer: they cannot countenance God, their creator and all that entails.

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1,043 SCIENTISTS PUBLICLY SIGN ‘A SCIENTIFIC DISSENT FROM DARWINISM’

“There are 1,043 scientists on the ‘A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism’ list. It passed the 1,000 mark this month,” said Sarah Chaffee, a program officer for the Discovery Institute, which maintains the list.

“A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism” is a simple, 32-word statement that reads: “We are sceptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

Launched in 2001, the list continues to collect support from scientists from universities across America and globally. Signers have earned their Ph.D.s at institutions that include Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania. Others on the list earned their doctorates at Clemson, UT Austin, Ohio State, UCLA, Duke, Stanford, Emory, UNC Chapel Hill and many others universities. Still other signers are currently employed as professors across the nation.

Those who sign it “must either hold a Ph.D. in a scientific field such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, computer science, or one of the other natural sciences; or they must hold an M.D. and serve as a professor of medicine,” according to the institute.

Image result for Flickr image evolution of man

The group points out that signing the statement does not mean these scholars endorse “alternative theories such as self-organisation, structuralism, or intelligent design,” but rather simply indicates “scepticism about modern Darwinian theories central claim that natural selection acting on random mutations is the driving force behind the complexity of life.”

According to Discovery Institute Senior Fellow David Klinghoffer, the signers “have all risked their careers or reputations in signing.”

“Such is the power of group-think,” he wrote. “The scientific mainstream will punish you if they can, and the media is wedded to its narrative that ‘the scientists’ are all in agreement and only ‘poets,’ ‘lawyers,’ and other ‘daft rubes’ doubt Darwinian theory. In fact, I’m currently seeking to place an awesome manuscript by a scientist at an Ivy League university with the guts to give his reasons for rejecting Darwinism. The problem is that, as yet, nobody has the guts to publish it.”

In interviews with The College Fix, some of the list’s signers explained why they were willing to go public with their scepticism.

“[Darwin’s theory] claimed to explain all major features of life and I think that’s very unlikely. Nonetheless, I think Darwinism has gotten to be kind of an orthodoxy, that is it’s accepted in the scientific community unthinkingly and it’s taught to kids unthinkingly,” said Michael Behe, a professor of biological sciences at Lehigh University.

“Getting a list of scientists who point out that they don’t believe the orthodoxy can kind of open up some minds hopefully,” he said.

“It is clearly a growing trend with biology to think that Darwin missed a whole lot of biology and cannot explain a good deal of evolution,” Behe added.

Regarding how his colleagues view the list, Behe said, “Most of my peers are unaware of it, but those who are aware of it don’t like it one bit. They think that anybody who would sign such a list has to have a dishonourable motive for doing so.”

Taking a stand comes with a risk. Scott Minnich, an associate professor of microbiology at the University of Idaho, said he has many times been accused of being “anti-science.”

“I signed this list when it first came out because of this intellectual deep scepticism I have that the random unintelligent forces of nature can produce systems that outstrip our own intellectual capacity,” he told The Fix.

Minnich went on to quote the writer C.S. Lewis: “Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Law Giver.”

David Dewitt, chair of the Department of Biology and Chemistry at Liberty University, told The College Fix in an email interview he signed the list because “I don’t believe that Darwinism accounts for all living things. Natural selection doesn’t produce new information and can’t.”

Dewitt said he’s not alone.

“I think more scientists are realising the limitations to Darwinism, specifically in regard to the origin of life and the complexity of the cell. So much of how cells actually work reveal how impossible it is that life arose from mutation and natural selection. As we have learned more and more about molecular and cellular biology, more scientists doubt Darwinism although they may not admit it for fear of repercussions,” Dewitt told The Fix in an email interview.

Shun Cheung, an associate professor of computer science at Emory University, referred The College Fix to his website to outline his concerns.

“When Darwin formulated his ‘evolution theory,’ [he] did not have good microscopes and the cell was a blob to him without any structure. Darwin thought that a cell was simple and without structure. We now know that a cell is like a complex factory consisting of many different components-each with a distinct function. Each part/component is necessary in the entire operation of the cell,” Cheung writes.

When will they give glory to their wonderful Creator God?

HOW BIOLOGY CONFIRMS LIFE BY DESIGN

I have abbreviated the review by Joel Tray, Creation Ministries International, of the book Undeniable: How biology confirms our intuition that life is designed by Douglas Axe. For the full review go to http://www.creation.com.

undeniable

The book is written for the non scientist. For this reason, much space has been devoted to the use of elaborate analogies in order to simplify complex technical details. Interwoven between these analogies are personal stories and an overall narrative approach to the book. At times, this causes the book to come across as slow, repetitive and unnecessarily drawn out.

By comparison Jonathan Sarfati’s By Design (2008) is far more concise and easy to understand.—both books discussing design—the feel is that one chapter of Undeniable would have the same amount of scientific content as two or three pages in Sarfati’s book. Apart from the excessive wordiness, the science contained in Undeniable is sound, though it falters when it comes to its philosophy of science. However, this book will prove to be a challenge for those who hold to naturalistic evolution.

Unfortunately, as it is with most ID books, Undeniable comes across as somewhat naive from an epistemological  viewpoint. Axe correctly draws a distinction between creationists and the ID movement. At times throughout the book, Axe even appears to hold to contradicting philosophical positions. For example, he rejects scientism on the basis that our intuition tells us that design requires a designer (p. 49) yet at the same time rejects the inference to God by creationists since “Intelligent Design takes a minimalist view”, and there is a jump from intelligent designer to God (p. 50) that goes beyond science.

But if one cannot infer beyond science, then how is one not stuck with scientism? Either we infer beyond science, or we are stuck in scientism (which Axe also rejects). A naturalistic intelligent designer is still a designer within naturalism. But if the designer is not naturalistic, then one must infer beyond the boundaries of mere science. Worse, towards the end of the book, Axe himself does what he says creationists ought not to do, by saying that the designer only makes sense if it is God.

DECONSTRUCTING DARWINISM: A THEORY GONE BAD, A WORLD GONE MAD

The author of the book Charles Darwin : Victorian myth-maker, A.N.Wilson was former professor of medieval literature at Oxford University and a highly acclaimed biographer.

Wilson was a Darwin believer when he started research for his book. His conclusions were unexpected, both to others and most surprisingly, to him. What may have begun the firestorm against his book was Wilson’s prelude, in which he said,

Darwin was wrong. That was the unlooked for conclusion to which I was inexorably led while writing this book

Charles Darwin : Victorian Mythmaker - A N Wilson

He added that this conclusion “certainly was not my intention when I began detailed reading for this book”. But the result of his historic research was “to part company from the mainstream of scientific opinion which still claims to believe, the central contentions of Darwin’s famous book, On the Origin of the Species.

Wilson’s conclusion was based on the fact that “there is no consensus among scientists about the theory of evolution”, even the central parts of the theory. He added that until he began his research he had assumed “scientific opinion accepted the truth of Darwin’s central theories, and that objections to it were motivated not by scientific doubts but…. most likely religious ones”

He then illustrates this contention by quoting the leading evolutionary scientists, including Harvard’s E.O. Wilson and Oxford’s Richard Dawkins. One familiar with the field will recognise most of the heated evolution controversies which Wilson accurately relates.

A major problem Darwin had which is still true of Darwinism today was coming up with evidence for his view that nature changes little by little. If this was true , all life would be ” in a state of infinitely slow evolution into something else”, and as Darwin taught, taxonomy classification would only be temporary – a condition the fossil record simply does not support. This problem is why some leading evolutionists argued for punctuated equilibrium, in which life forms, in geological terms , change rapidly while at other times they are in a state of stasis.

Wilson documents that the discovery of the laws of genetics were “lethal to Darwinism”. The reason it was a lethal nail in the coffin for Darwin was the problem that Mendelism created for Darwin’s gradualism. We now know that because nearly all mutations are near neutral or lethal, and variation is not unlimited as Darwin proposed his theory is without foundation.

Wilson also documents that Darwinism has become a religion. Evolution is the doorway to atheism. It was spoken of as a faith, and those that rejected the view that the origin of humans was purely natural, including the co-founder of the theory, Alfred Russel Wallace and St George Mivart were excommunicated from the tribe, the loyal circle of Darwin supporters.

Regardless, there is no doubt that it is Darwin, more than any other man, that persuaded much of the academic world that “special creation” was wrong and ‘evolution’ was right. Furthermore, “Darwinism as is shown by the current state of the debate, is resistant to argument because it is resistant to fact”.

ONE OF THE BEST ARGUMENTS FOR CREATION AGAINST EVOLUTION

SEX AND ALL IT ENTAILS IS ONE OF THE MOST TELLING ARGUMENTS FOR CREATION.

I’m referring to everything from that first moment of attraction between a man and a woman, to the complementary anatomical structures and organs that work so well together, to the millions of interactions that happen on the physical/hormonal/emotional levels, to the love and pleasure of two people becoming one flesh, to cells smaller than the head of a pin contributing 1.5 billion letters of DNA each in order to form a new 3 billion-letter blueprint, to the nonstop application of that genome as it rapidly develops into over 20 trillion cells and 200 types of tissue and hundreds of organs and meters of blood vessels all interacting together, to the final moment a fully-functioning, crying, squirming baby emerges from its mother 6,480 hours later. Surely, you would agree that’s mind-boggling.

Of course, it’s only a tiny fraction of what actually goes on with sexual reproduction. Just pick up an anatomy or biology textbook, or a book on pregnancy, and you quickly realise there are a crazy number of interconnections that are infinitely interdependent.

Sex is the perfect example of inconceivable irreducible complexity and design.

According to evolutionary theory, all of it ultimately happened by chance. Sex just came to be through a series of random processes, over long periods of time, without any overarching purpose. However, they just focus on the smaller questions such as the usefulness of splitting the genome between a male and a female, or how certain behaviours developed, or single-cell sexual reproduction.

What they don’t tackle is how sexual complexity originated step-by-step over hundreds of millions of years. In fact, when you actually consider the magnitude of the situation, 540 million years—the conventional date for the start of complex life—doesn’t seem like nearly enough time.

After all, it’s not just humans we’re talking about. It’s millions of species of extinct and living animals that have been, and still are, engaging in sexual reproduction. Each process is almost as complex as that between two humans, although each is also extremely different.

Insects, fish, reptiles, birds, mammals—there are hundreds of thousands of variations of sexual reproduction. From mating rituals to copulation to pregnancy to birth, the complexity just multiples as you examine the diversity of life.

Furthermore, it appears from the fossil record that sea-dwelling trilobites (now extinct) were also male and female. Trilobites are found at the lowest levels of the fossil record, occurring during the Cambrian explosion. In other words, male and female creatures just appear as male and female.

So how did the division of sexes come to be? The question of which came first during this long development, the male or the female, is an impossible question: don’t you have to have both to have offspring?

The truth is that sexual dimorphism—different, unique characteristics between males and females—is also a hard thing to explain from an evolutionary origins perspective. Sure, it’s easy to recognise the benefits of separating and recombining genomes, but how did all the trillions of uniquely integrated processes and parts and systems in all the different species first originate? And why do they all work so well?

Talking about sexual reproduction in cells doesn’t really address the problem. It’s like saying you’ve explained football by pointing to a few blades of grass; everyone knows there’s a lot more going on. If it’s impossible for us even to understand all the aspects of sex, it’s clearly impossible for it to have evolved in a slow, step wise fashion.

Instead, when you stop and think about it, Genesis provides a far better explanation. The immediate, fiat creation by God in a short span of time (just a few days) is a far better reason for all the incredibly complex aspects of sex.

But it’s not just that. Genesis also explains the purpose behind sex. And it’s a lot more amazing than most people realise.

A Divinely Human Experience

Ultimately, sex is about the joyful pleasure of personal relationships.

In this case, the sexual marital relationship between a man and a woman mirrors the spiritual marital relationship between Christ and the church. Paul explains it from Genesis, saying: “‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” (Eph 5:31-32)

Genesis explains why there is sexual dimorphism in people. We are made in God’s image to reflect His attributes and show forth the divine/human relationship as male and female: “in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Gen 1:27)

In other words, the man is to Christ as the woman is to the church. Paul explains: “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church” and “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Eph 5:23,25)

Genesis explains why sex is placed within the structure of marriage. The covenant bond between a man and a woman reflects the covenant bond between Christ and His bride. (Rev 21:2)

Genesis also explains why sex is considered a wonderful, spiritual experience by many people. Unlike evolutionary theory—which sees sex as just a higher animal function—the Bible sees sex as an incredible gift from God, uniquely given to man to show forth His image. In fact, there are numerous Christians who have had spiritual experiences that rival or surpass what they have felt having sex.

Genesis explains why sex has an essential moral nature to it that everyone intrinsically understands. It’s why adultery is considered wrong in almost all cultures, Christian or not. It’s also why those who have had adultery committed against them always feel betrayed. The prophet Jeremiah observes that adultery is the same as idolatry (Jer 3:9), and mirrors the emotions of God when man betrays Him on a spiritual level.

In fact, almost all the sexual sins of our society can be traced back to spiritual issues.

Homosexuality emerges in a society as the result of worshipping the creature instead of the Creator (Rom 1:25-27); it mirrors man worshipping himself rather than worshipping Christ. This looks more like ‘the wife is the head of the wife as the church is the head of the church.’ Created similarities replace created differences.

As well, attempts to change gender are ultimately doomed to failure. The essential sexual dimorphism embedded in every part of the creation points to the essential distinctions between God and man. Just as man cannot truly become God, so too, a woman cannot truly become a man, nor a man a woman. In each of us, our maleness or femaleness is unchangeably stamped on over 50 trillion of our cells.

It is not until we understand the nature of sex, with all its power and complexity and importance, that we can begin to understand its significance both to God and to ourselves.

Talking about Sex

I realise many Christians avoid talking about sex and even get uncomfortable when it comes up. Few have heard it discussed openly in their churches or families.

Considering what’s going on in our culture, that probably needs to change. Sex is one of the essential parts of God’s creation, something only He could create in order to show forth His glory. If He dedicated an entire book of the Bible to it (The Song of Songs), it’s something we should strive to understand from a Biblical perspective.

After all, God put a deep fascination within us toward sex because He wants us to get a sense of the complex relationship He has with us. It’s no coincidence that the Bible begins with a marriage and ends with a marriage.

So when evolution comes up next, start talking about sex, it will lead to a very interesting and unexpected conversation.

IS GENESIS HISTORY?

IS GENESIS HISTORY is an important resource for Christians. You need to get this series for you library to show to at least to your family and friends.

The complexity of the DNA is mind boggling, it’s amazing and if we are honest we must conclude that God (The Ultimate Designer) is necessary for the incredible complexity we see in just DNA. Listen to marine biologist Rob Carter explain how DNA works in four dimensions. You will repent as I did for taking God’s creation for granted. Can this all happen by chance? NO it can’t!

DNA PROOF OF CREATION

Paul Nelson and Del Tackett explore the complexity of languages and compare it to DNA

Proof indeed of the complex design in this universe that cannot be explained by any naturalistic method. Watch this four minute video and be astounded at the level of complexity in DNA as compared to complex computer software programmes.

DESIGN IS ALWAYS TOP DOWN IT DOES NOT EVOLVE

Taken from the new bible study for “Is Genesis History?” The full bible study is available here: http://bit.ly/ighbiblestudy

Dr. Stuart Burgess completed an engineering apprenticeship with Stothert and Pitt Cranes in Bath while completing a degree in mechanical engineering. After completing his PhD in the area of machine design he worked for the European Space Agency for five years mainly working on the ENVISAT earth observation satellite which is the largest earth observation civilian satellite in the world. He designed the solar array deployment mechanism including inventing a new type of gearbox – the double action worm gear set. He spent three years at Cambridge University as an Assistant Director of Research and Bye-Fellow of Selywn College. He led the design of the chain drive on the bicycles used by Team GB in the Rio Olympics where the cycling team won 6 gold medals and broke two world records. He has been at Bristol University since 1997 mainly working in the area of design optimisation of mechanical systems and bio-mechanical systems. I hope this in depth background on Stuart convinces you he has something worthwhile to say on a topic which determines where you will spend eternity.