Not Out of Africa – Human Origins Updated

BTW, LANGUAGE WARNING for the following video (he is an atheist):

One must take note I am a creationist (in fact, a young earth creationist) and reject many of the artistic representations of entire clans and family units from a couple of teeth. I will merely assume “evolutionary” thinking to make my point[s]. Also note that the “out of Africa” and now, “out of Europe” theories have racial overtones and consequences if evolutionary naturalism is true.

If one throws all-in-to naturalistic evolution, you get an “ethnicity” [some call race] evolving before or after others ~ or ~ devolving from an ethnicity [or, species].

  • Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1850, but they have increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory

Stephen Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Press, 1977), 127.

Several skeletons up end the sparse evidence for the human evolutionary tree (via TELEGRAPH).

  • “The history of human evolution has been rewritten after scientists discovered that Europe was the birthplace of mankind, not Africa… two fossils of an ape-like creature which had human-like teeth have been found in Bulgaria and Greece, dating to 7.2 million years ago.”

“The Races Of Man – At the present time there exists upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent in structure.  These are the Ethiopian or Negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the Islands of the Pacific; the American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan, and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America”

George William Hunter, A Civic Biology Presented in Problems (New York, NY: The American Book Company,  1914) 196. (For those that do not know, this was a textbook used in classrooms in public schools.)

One comment from the UNCOMMON DESCENT post noted:

7.2 million BC is a HUGE jump back in time that negates MOST of the African fossils. If proto-humans were already living in Bulgaria, or in sites now sunk under the Mediterranean Sea, the ENTIRE collection of African fossils is meaningless.

That is, some Europeans wandered SOUTH around 1 million years ago instead of some Africans wandering NORTH. It would also explain why negroid features exist only in Africa: they’re mutations from the common European stock from which the rest of the world descends.

It should be interesting to see what else turns up in Europe.

Sorry Black Lives Matter, so sad that you are not the cradle of civilization (assuming naturalistic evolution). Two books that just got a boost:

An earlier story has thrown a monkey wrench into the old story of human ancestry:

The thighbone of the 400,000-year-old hominid from Sima de los Huesos, Spain.

Scientists have found the oldest DNA evidence yet of humans’ biological history. But instead of neatly clarifying human evolution, the finding is adding new mysteries.

In a paper in the journal Nature, scientists reported Wednesday that they had retrieved ancient human DNA from a fossil dating back about 400,000 years, shattering the previous record of 100,000 years.

The fossil, a thigh bone found in Spain, had previously seemed to many experts to belong to a forerunner of Neanderthals. But its DNA tells a very different story. It most closely resembles DNA from an enigmatic lineage of humans known as Denisovans. Until now, Denisovans were known only from DNA retrieved from 80,000-year-old remains in Siberia, 4,000 miles east of where the new DNA was found.

The mismatch between the anatomical and genetic evidence surprised the scientists, who are now rethinking human evolution over the past few hundred thousand years….

(NEW YORK TIMES)


Racism and Evolutionary Thought


Consider the following excerpt from a letter written by Charles Darwin in 1881:

“I could show fight on natural selection having done and doing more for the progress of civilization than you seem inclined to admit…. The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.”[1]

Lest this be considered merely an aberration, note that Darwin repeated this sentiment in his book The Descent of Man, he speculated,

“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes … will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”[2]   

In addition, he subtitled his magnum opus, The Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.

And Darwin was not alone in his racist ideology. Thomas Huxley, who coined the term agnostic and was the man most responsible for advancing Darwinian doctrine, he argued that:

“No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man. And if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathous relative has a fair field and no favour, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller-jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites. The highest places in the hierarchy of civilization will assuredly not be within the reach of our dusky cousins, though it is by no means necessary that they should be restricted to the lowest. But whatever the position of stable equilibrium into which the laws of social gravitation may bring the negro, all responsibility for the result will henceforward lie between Nature and him. The white man may wash his hands of it, and the Caucasian conscience be void of reproach for evermore. And this, if we look to the bottom of the matter, is the real justification for the abolition policy.”[3]

Huxley was not only militantly racist but also lectured frequently against the resurrection of Christ, in whom “[we] are all one” (Galatians 3:28). In sharp distinction to the writings of such noted evolutionists as Hrdlicka, Haeckel, and Hooton, biblical Christianity makes it crystal clear that in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female” (Galatians 3:28).  In Christianity we sing, “Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.” In the evolutionary hierarchy blacks are placed at the bottom, yellows and reds somewhere in the middle, and whites on top. As H. F. Osborn, director of the American Museum of National History and one of the most prominent American anthropologists of the first half of the twentieth century, put it.

“If an unbiased zoölogist were to descend upon the earth from Mars and study the races of man with the same impartiality as the races of fishes, birds and mammals, he would undoubtedly divide the existing races of man into several genera and into a very large number of species and subspecies.

“ … This is the recognition that the genus Homo is subdivided into three absolutely distinct stocks, which in zoölogy would be given the rank of species, if not of genera, stocks popularly known as the Caucasian, the Mongolian and the Negroid.

“The spiritual, intellectual, moral, and physical characters which separate these three great human stocks are far more profound and ancient than those which divide the Nordic, Alpine and Mediterranean races. In my opinion these three primary stocks diverged from each other before the beginning of the Pleistocene or Ice Age. The Negroid stock is even more ancient than the Caucasian and Mongolian, as may be proved by an examination not only of the brain, of the hair, of the bodily characters, such as the teeth, the genitalia, the sense organs, but of the instincts, the intelligence. The standard of intelligence of the average adult Negro is similar to that of the eleven-year-old youth of the species Homo sapiens.”[4]

Think of the historical consequences that are the direct and logical results of the naturalist worldview.  For instance, Adolf Hitler, appealed to the people of his country to have a backbone to advance the logical outworking of their worldview.  Now mind you, not all naturalists are racists or killers of the less fortunate… however, this is a logical outworking of philosophical [or, metaphysical] naturalism.

“The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature.  Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law [natural selection] did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all….  If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.”[5]

Hitler referred to this dispensation of nature as “quite logical.”  In fact, it was so logical to the Nazis that they built concentration camps to carry out their convictions about the human race as being “nothing but the product of heredity and environment” or as the Nazis liked to say, “of blood and soil.”[6]

It is significant to note that some of the Crusaders and others who used force to further their creeds in the name of God were acting in direct opposition to the teachings of Christ.[7]

The teachings of Osborn, Huxley, Hitler and others like them, however, are completely consistent with the teachings of Darwinian evolution. Indeed, social Darwinism has provided the scientific substructure for some of the most significant atrocities in human history. For evolution to succeed, it is as crucial that the unfit die as the fittest survive. Marvin Lubenow graphically portrays the ghastly consequences of such beliefs in his book Bones of Contention:

“If the unfit survived indefinitely, they would continue to ‘infect’ the fit with their less fit genes. The result is that the more fit genes would be diluted and compromised by the less fit genes, and evolution could not take place. The concept of evolution demands death. Death is thus as natural to evolution as it is foreign to biblical creation. The Bible teaches that death is a ‘foreigner,’ a condition superimposed upon humans and nature after creation.  Death is an enemy, Christ has conquered it, and he will eventually destroy it.  Their respective attitudes toward death reveal how many light years separate the concept of evolution from Biblical creation.”[8]

Adolph Hitler’s philosophy that Jews were subhuman and that Aryans were supermen (mirroring the beliefs Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood) led to the extermination of about six million Jews. In the words of Sir Arthur Keith, a militant anti-Christian physical anthropologist: “The German Fuhrer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consistently sought to make the practices of Germany conform to the theory of evolution.”[9]

Karl Marx, the father of communism, saw in Darwinism the scientific and sociological support for an economic experiment that eclipsed even the carnage of Hitler’s Germany. His hatred of Christ and Christianity led to the mass murder of multiplied millions worldwide. Karl Marx so revered Darwin that his desire was to dedicate a portion of Das Kapital to him.  In 1983, the dissident Soviet author Alexander Solzhenitsyn had been awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize for religious progress.  In accepting the award, he gave a clear assessment of the tragedy that had been so devastating to his homeland:

“I have spent well-nigh fifty tears working on the history of our Revolution.  In the process, I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own towards the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval.  But if I were to asked today the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that has swallowed up some sixty-million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened’.”

It should be noted as well that Darwinian evolution (man evolving from lower creatures) is sexist as well. Under the subheading “Difference in the Mental Powers of the Two Sexes,” Darwin attempted to persuade followers that…

“The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by mans attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can women – whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands…We may also infer…[that] the average of mental power in man must be above that of women.”

In sharp contrast to the evolutionary dogma, Scripture makes it clear that all humanity is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27; Acts 17:29); that there is essential equality between the sexes (Galatians 3:28); and that slavery is as repugnant to God as murder and adultery (1 Timothy 1:10).


Appendix


Sir Arthur Keith, Evolution and Ethics (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1947):

p 15 – “Meantime let me say that the conclusion I have come to is this: the law of Christ is incompatible with the law of evolution … as far as the law of evolution has worked hitherto. Nay, the two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.”

p 28 – “To see evolutionary measures and tribal morality being applied rigorously to the affairs of a great modern nation we must turn again to Germany of 1942. We see Hitler devoutly convinced that evolution produces the only real basis for a national policy.”

p 72 – “Christianity makes no distinction of race or of color; it seeks to break down all racial barriers. In this respect, the hand of Christianity is against that of Nature, for are not the races of mankind the evolutionary harvest which Nature has toiled through long ages to produce? May we not say, then, that Christianity is anti-evolutionary in its aim? This may be a merit, but if so it is one which has not been openly acknowledged by Christian philosophers.”

p 150 – “The law of evolution, as formulated by Darwin, provides an explanation of wars between nations, the only reasonable explanation known to us. The law was in existence, and wars were waged, for aeons of time before Darwin was born; he did not invent the law, he only made it known to his fellow men.”

Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, last paragraph.

  • “Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely the production of the higher animals, directly follows.”

Footnotes

[1] Charles Darwin, Life and Letters, I, Letter to W. Graham, July 3, 1881, p. 316; cited in Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution, by Gertrude Himmelfarb (London: Chatto & Windus, 1959), p. 343.

[2] Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 2nd ed. (New York: A. L. Burt Co., 1874), p.178.

[3] Thomas Huxley, Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews (New York: Appleton, 1871), pp 20-1.

[4] Henry Fairfield Osborn, “The Evolution of Human Races,”  Natural History (January/February 1926), reprinted in Natural History, vol. 89 (April 1980), p. 129.

[5] Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translator/annotator, James Murphy (New York: Hurst and Blackett, 1942), pp. 161-162.

[6] “The SS Blood and Soul,” one of four videos in a video series entitled, The Occult History of the Third Reich (St. Lauret, Quebec: Madacy Entertainment Group, 1998); Now in DVD – ISBN: 0974319465).

[7] This is a side note for those who are of the Christian faith: The Bible does not teach the horrible practices that some have committed in its name. It is true that it’s possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the details it produces evil because the individual people [“Christians”] are actually living in rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it [religion] can produce evil, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism (non-religious practices) actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We’re talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of à God.  For example: the Inquisitions (2), Crusades (7), and the Salem Witch Trials killed about 40,000 persons combined (World Book Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Americana).  A blight on Christianity? Certainty. Something wrong? Dismally wrong. A tragedy? Of course. Millions and millions of people killed? No. The numbers are tragic, but pale in comparison to the statistics of what non-religious criminals have committed; the Chinese regime of Mao Tse Tung, 60 million [+] dead (1945-1965), Stalin and Khrushchev, 66 million dead (USSR 1917-1959), Khmer Rouge (Cambodia 1975-1979) and Pol Pot, one-third of their respective populations dead; etc, etc.  The difference here is that these non-God movements are merely living out their worldview, the struggle for power, survival of the fittest and all that, no natural law is being violated in other words (as atheists reduce everything to natural law – materialism).  However, when people have misused the Christian religion for personal gain, they are in direct violation to what Christ taught, as well as to Natural Law.

[8] Marvin L. Lubenow, Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of Human Fossils (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1992), p. 47.

[9] Sir Arthur Keith, Evolution and Ethics (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1947), p. 230.  See appendix for more quotes by Keith.

Co-Founder of “Darwinism” Embraced Intelligent Design (Updated)

One of the most renowned biologists of the nineteenth century, Alfred Russel Wallace shares credit with Charles Darwin for developing the theory of evolution by natural selection. Yet one part of Wallace’s remarkable life and career has been completely ignored: His embrace of intelligent design. “Darwin’s Heretic” is a 21-minute documentary that explores Wallace’s fascinating intellectual journey and how it sheds light on current debates. The documentary features University of Alabama at Birmingham Professor Michael Flannery, author of the acclaimed biography, “Alfred Russel Wallace: A Rediscovered Life.” You can purchase a DVD of this video plus more than 30 minutes of bonus material at http://www.darwinsheretic.com.

Here is an excellent article by David Klinghoffer at Evolution News noting that in today’s vernacular, Wallace would be considered a creationist:

At the inception of the theory of evolution, Darwin and co-discoverer Alfred Russel Wallace represented two paths forward, one headed in the end to nihilism, atheism, and despair — basically, today’s ascendant culture — the other to a wondrous and hope-giving recognition that material stuff is not all there is in the universe. As Wallace argued, a source of intelligent agency lies behind the changing façade of nature:

Wallace expounded his views at length in two scientific books near the end of his life: Man’s Place in the Universe (1903) and The World of Life (1910). He saw evidence of purpose in the functional complexity of the cell, the exquisite design of biological structures, and the rare constellation of physical factors that allows life to exist on the earth in the first place. “Everywhere, not here and there, but everywhere, and in the very smallest operations of nature to which human observation has penetrated, there is Purpose and a continual Guidance and Control.”

In our own day, Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe and geneticist Michael Denton are prime examples of scientists who, like Wallace, see evolution as a fundamentally purposeful process. That they are regarded as beyond the pale by most current evolutionary biologists reflects the triumph of the metaphysics of Darwinism enforced by academic pressures of conformity that oppress dissent rather than consider evidence. The Church of Darwin is so narrow today that even the cofounder of the theory would have to be declared a heretic.

Let that sink in. If the co-discoverer of evolutionary theory were alive today, he would be attacked by the National Center for Science Education as a “creationist.”

[….]

It’s a sign of the times, an indication of the intellectual impoverishment of journalism and academia, that Darwin advocates are currently triumphant in convincing so many thoughtful people that evolution means Darwin, period, that Darwin is the only alternative to that ill-defined scare word, “creationism.” First Things deserves applause and thanks for reminding its readers that there is another way.

(Read it all)

As an aside,

  • First Things ran an article that was God Awful… apparently trying to give the other side of the issue a chance. The other side showed it’s true colors for believing in evolution: straw-men, red herrings, and supposition.

See more resources at Evolution News & Views, as well as the books, “The Heretic in Darwin’s Court: The Life of Alfred Russel Wallace” and “Alfred Russel Wallace: A Rediscovered Life,” ~ and especially the site, Alfred Russel Wallace.

I will end with this quote from a non-creationist/non-ID’er that deals with the history of the background of the suppositions involved in modern evolutionary theory that still cause “brooding” to this day:

The third reason why most naturalists around 1835 were slow to admit the fact of evolution was neither a religious nor a moral ob­jection. It was a purely intellectual one. By now it has been almost completely forgotten, no doubt because we labor under the hand­icap of hindsight. But it was a well-founded objection at the time.

If someone says a certain thing has happened, and it is of a kind which has never been actually witnessed by anyone, it is reasonable to doubt what he says, if no one can think of any ex­planation of what he says has happened. It is on this principle that you would doubt my word, if I were to tell you (for ex­ample) that electrical storms follow me wherever I go. Now this was exactly how matters stood with evolutionism around i835.

No naturalist claimed, of course, to have ever seen a new species evolve out of an older one. Yet the evolutionists said that, whenever new species do come into existence, that is the way they do it. But what could be the explanation of one species’ giving rise to another? What causes or forces are there, already known to exist in nature, which would make one kind of grass or fish or mammal evolve into a different kind? Where is the vera causa, as they used to say, or (as we would say), where is the mechanism, which could drive this alleged process of evolution?

It should go without saying that this was not only a purely in­tellectual objection, but a good objection, to evolutionism. The main evidence for evolution was the fossil record, which reveals in countless instances the arrival of a new species which is closely re­lated to an earlier one. In 1835 most naturalists regarded these new species as brought about by exercises of God’s creative power; whereas the evolutionists regarded them as developments or evolutions of the older species in question. No one had ever wit­nessed any of these exercises of Divine power, of course, but then exactly the same was true of evolutions of one species into another; no one had ever witnessed an instance of that, either. And then, to ascribe new species to God’s creative power is at least an explanation of a kind, though doubtless not of a very satisfactory kind. But the evolutionists, for their part, had no explanation of any kind to suggest for their alleged process of evolution.

Darwin, being a rational man, naturally felt the force of this objection, just as strongly as did his fellow naturalists who were not evolutionists. For several years around 1836, it weighed heavily on his mind. These were the very same years when the reality of evolution was being constantly impressed upon him, by the multitude of facts which would be explained if it were true. But the trouble, and a very big trouble, was that he could not think of anything which would explain evolution. That was the rub, and it seemed to Darwin that he was staring at a blank wall.

Given the intellectual circumstances of the time, it is not surprising that, just a few years later, another young naturalist found himself brought to a standstill by exactly the same blank wall. This was Alfred Wallace. Though neither of them knew it, his early intellectual career had been exactly the same as Dar­win’s. On the one hand, he had become convinced of the reality of evolution; but on the other, he was altogether at a loss as to how to explain it.

Why should there be any evolution at all? Why should not the species which exist at a given time exist forever, without any new ones ever being added, or old ones subtracted? But it is not the subtractions which are the problem: presumably climatic or topographical changes, and general wear and tear, will sometimes bring about the extinction of a species. The problem is the new additions. Why should any new species ever come into existence at all? That is the mystery of the origin of species, which both Darwin and Wallace long brooded over in vain.

To ordinary observation, of course, it does not look as though new species ever do come into existence. But it is clear from the fossil record that the reality is very different. In countless thousands of instances, new species of organisms have appeared on earth. Organic nature is in fact, whatever else it is, a gigantic species-generating engine. Now, why in the world would it be that? What force can it possibly be, which drives this gigantic engine? It might reasonably be thought to be some Divine force, in view of the irresistibility of its operations, and the length of time that those operations have been going on all over the earth. But if it is not a Divine force, what force is it?

David Stove, Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity, and Other Fables of Evolution (New York, NY: Encounter Books, 1995), 24-26. (Emphasis Added)

ESPN Broadcaster Dave Pasch Doesn’t Believe In Evolution (*Awesome*)

The Blaze reports the following:

When sportscaster Bill Walton gave fellow ESPN broadcaster Dave Pasch a cake along with a copy of Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” on the air this week to celebrate Pasch’s recent Arizona Sportscaster of the Year award, the recipient offered up a pointed response to the gift: he doesn’t believe in evolution.

“Here we’ve got ‘The Origin of Species’ by Charles Darwin,” Walton said, handing Pasch the book. “We want to make sure that you believe in evolution.”

Pasch was quick to respond, “I don’t, but I’ll set this over here,” telling Walton that he has a book that counters the arguments presented in “The Origin of Species” and that he would be happy to bring it along with him to the next basketball game.

After some additional banter, Pasch added that perhaps the two could discuss “irreducible complexity” so that he could “straighten [Walton] out.”…

The Cultural Impact of Darwinian Evolution ~ John West, PhD

One of the philosophical implications mentioned (via Darwin) of “Beehive Ethics”

….Darwin thought that, had the circumstances for reproductive fitness been different, then the deliverances of conscience might have been radically different. “If . . . men were reared under precisely the same conditions as hive-bees, there can hardly be a doubt that our unmarried females would, like the worker-bees, think it a sacred duty to kill their brothers, and mothers would strive to kill their fertile daughters, and no one would think of interfering” (Darwin, Descent, 82). As it happens, we weren’t “reared” after the manner of hive bees, and so we have widespread and strong beliefs about the sanctity of human life and its implications for how we should treat our siblings and our offspring.

But this strongly suggests that we would have had whatever beliefs were ultimately fitness producing given the circumstances of survival. Given the background belief of naturalism, there appears to be no plausible Darwinian reason for thinking that the fitness-producing predispositions that set the parameters for moral reflection have anything whatsoever to do with the truth of the resulting moral beliefs. One might be able to make a case for thinking that having true beliefs about, say, the predatory behaviors of tigers would, when combined with the understandable desire not to be eaten, be fitness producing. But the account would be far from straightforward in the case of moral beliefs.” And so the Darwinian explanation undercuts whatever reason the naturalist might have had for thinking that any of our moral beliefs is true. The result is moral skepticism.

If our pretheoretical moral convictions are largely the product of natural selection, as Darwin’s theory implies, then the moral theories we find plausible are an indirect result of that same evolutionary process. How, after all, do we come to settle upon a proposed moral theory and its principles as being true? What methodology is available to us?

Paul Copan and William Lane Craig, eds., Contending With Christianity’s Critics: Answering the New Atheists & Other Objections (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2009), 70.

Read more in these posts:

Another concept often lost on the avergae person:

Let’s consider a basic question: Why does the natural world make any sense to begin with? Albert Einstein once remarked that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. Why should we be able to grasp the beauty, elegance, and complexity of our universe?

Einstein understood a basic truth about science, namely, that it relies upon certain philosophical assumptions about the natural world. These assumptions include the existence of an external world that is orderly and rational, and the trustworthiness of our minds to grasp that world. Science cannot proceed apart from these assumptions, even though they cannot be independently proven. Oxford professor John C. Lennox asks a penetrating question, “At the heart of all science lies the conviction that the universe is orderly. Without this deep conviction science would not be possible. So we are entitled to ask: Where does the conviction come from?”” Why is the world orderly? And why do our minds comprehend this order?

Toward the end of The God Delusion, Dawkins admits that since we are the product of natural selection, our senses cannot be fully trusted. After all, according to Darwinian evolution, our senses have been formed to aid survival, not necessarily to deliver true belief. Since a human being has been cobbled together through the blind process of natural selection acting on random mutation, says Dawkins, it’s unlikely that our views of the world are completely true. Outspoken philosopher of neuro-science Patricia Churchland agrees:

  • The principle chore of brains is to get the body parts where they should be in order that the organism may survive. Improvements in sensorimotor control confer an evolutionary advantage: a fancier style of representing [the world] is advantageous so long as it… enhances the organism’s chances for survival. Truth, whatever that is, takes the hindmost.

Dawkins is on the right track to suggest that naturalism should lead people to be skeptical about trusting their senses. Dawkins just doesn’t take his skepticism far enough. In Miracles, C. S. Lewis points out that knowledge depends upon the reliability of our mental faculties. If human reasoning is not trustworthy, then no scientific conclusions can be considered true or false. In fact, we couldn’t have any knowledge about the world, period. Our senses must be reliable to acquire knowledge of the world, and our reasoning faculties must be reliable to process the acquired knowledge. But this raises a particularly thorny dilemma for atheism. If the mind has developed through the blind, irrational, and material process of Darwinian evolution, then why should we trust it at all? Why should we believe that the human brain—the outcome of an accidental process—actually puts us in touch with reality? Science cannot be used as an answer to this question, because science itself relies upon these very assumptions.

Even Charles Darwin was aware of this problem: “The horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would anyone trust the conviction of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” If Darwinian evolution is true, we should distrust the cognitive faculties that make science possible.

Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow, Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2010), 37-38.