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From our biological blueprint, to the fine-tuning of the universe, to the human experience of beauty, morality, and guilt, God is the best explanation for the way things are.
Lately I’ve been enjoying my nine-year-old Annabeth’s theological common sense. “Papa, why don’t atheists believe in God?” she asked. “Well, for a number of reasons,” I said. “Partly because they can’t see Him, so they don’t believe in Him.” “Can they see atoms?” she offered. “Good point. But I think they’d say that doesn’t count since they can still detect atoms with scientific instruments, something they can’t do with God. They won’t believe in anything they can’t measure scientifically.”
Read part 1 here Can There Be Good without God? In 1982, I lived in Thailand for seven months supervising a feeding program in a Cambodian refugee camp named Sakaeo. My charge: 18,250 Khmer refugees who had escaped the holocaust perpetrated on Kampuchea by the Khmer Rouge after the fall of Phnom Penh in 1975.
The billboards read: “No God? No Problem. Be Good for Goodness’ Sake,” and “Are You Good without God? Millions Are.” The point was clear: Morality in no way depends on belief in God. And why should it? Atheists can be good, too. New atheist Christopher Hitchens regularly challenged his religious opponents to suggest a single act of goodness they could perform that he, the atheist, could not accomplish with equal success.
It seems like every time I turn around I hear of another prominent Christian thinker or theologian who has embraced Darwinism. It’s deeply disconcerting. In light of the stature of these Evangelical leaders, some people are going to ask, “What do they know that I don’t know? I thought this was a done deal. It’s either Darwin or God.”
Quantum physics. Ugh. The term itself is enough to make grown men weep and send theologians scurrying. It can also send chills up the spine of the Christian marshalling evidence from science for the existence of God.
In May of this year, a scientific paper was released that fanned the flames of the evolution/intelligent design debate to new intensity. It documented the discovery of an elegantly structured, beautifully preserved fossil of a haplorrhine, an ancient primate thought to be ancestor to both modern-day lemurs and “higher” primates, including human beings.
Is there a conflict between faith and science? I think not. Rather, I think the current quarrel between the two has been contrived. A specific error—an arbitrary definition of science— is holding science hostage. I’d like to suggest a solution. One book serves as a helpful launching point for reflection on this error. Though published in 1988, it remains a useful foil for a discussion on the issue.
The embryonic stem cell research debate is remarkable because neither side—pro-life or pro-abortion—seems to understand the moral logic of its views. Presumably, people who are pro-life hold their views for a reason and are not just emoting. The same could be said of pro-choicers. I’ve long suspected that’s not always the case, though. The recent debate about embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) confirms my doubts.
When we justify killing of a fully developed human child through partial-birth abortion, we are not defending abortion. We’re promoting something much more chilling. Even the mothers involved know what’s going on.