Sunday, April 27, 2008

Creationism, Intelligent Design and An Intelligent Worldview

Worldview. There’s a term you probably don’t encounter very often, though it has been getting a fair share of publicity lately. Simply stated, a worldview is a person’s way of viewing reality. You could call it our philosophy of life or our way of explaining life as we know it. Everyone needs a framework, some way to explain his or her core belief system.

Understanding what a worldview is and how it works helps us make sense of all the ideas going on around us. Every worldview can be analyzed by the way it addresses three basic tenets: 1) Where did we come from? 2) What has gone wrong? 3) What can we do to fix the problem?

Everything we encounter in our lives can be tested against these criteria. The Christian worldview states that we came from God. He is our Creator. What went wrong? Sin. The Fall. The curse. What can we do to fix the problem? Nothing. Jesus did it all for us. His death on the cross allows our Righteous Creator to forgive our sins and restore our relationship.

If we zero in on that first plank of evaluating a worldview—origin—there are, of course, two major answers: creation and evolution. Every major worldview now in existence will start with one of these two premises. Creationism says that humanity has come about by intent. It goes by many names. The world’s theistic religions (like Judaism, Islam and Christianity) would fall under this category. “Intelligent Design” is a currently popular term (consider, for example, Ben Stein’s movie Expelled) that could encompass secularists who may not necessarily believe in God, but reject naturalism. Christians, specifically believe that God brought us forth and created us in His image. Evolutionists have another idea. They believe we came about by accident, by some chance occurrence and can be religiously zealous in protecting that radical dogma.

There are a plethora of responses to the issue of origins, and the faithful Christian would be wise to know several “evidences” of a Creator. Some people we talk to are rather open to receiving our input; others are quite hostile. In some cases, we can give simple answers; in other instances, we need to be more detailed and scientific.

Thomas Aquinas lived in the 13th century and wrote a major work for Christianity called Summa Theologica. It was a systematic presentation of Christian doctrine in philosophical terms. One of the arguments Aquinas advanced concerning creation was called First Cause. Simply put, if you walked into your kitchen and saw a top spinning on your kitchen table, you would immediately believe one of your children, grandchildren, or a brother or sister had been there right before you to set it in motion. You would never imagine the top inverted itself, started wobbling on its own, building momentum until it was at such a speed it could balance itself properly.

Applied to our world, everything around us causes us to believe there was a First Cause. Christians call Him God. He spoke the world into existence and set everything in motion. Evolutionists, while they would never believe something as simple as a spinning top could start up on its own, advocate that our complex universe started spinning on its own. I find this argument an easy one to remember and an easy one to communicate. Most people follow logic. First Cause is the only logical explanation of how the world as we know it came to be.

Or consider other aspects of our universe. The earth is at the perfect distance from the sun. Any closer and we would boil; any farther and we would freeze. And our planet must remain about the same distance from the sun in its orbit, which means its orbit must be nearly circular (which it is). This is very interesting because most of the other planets have an elliptical orbit. Coincidence? The force of gravity is perfect, allowing the universe to expand at just the right speed. And water is the only known substance in which the solid phase is less dense than the liquid phase. This allows ice to form on the tops of lakes and oceans instead of sinking to bottom—allowing fish and marine life continued existence during cold seasons.

And did you know that the atom itself bears witness to a Designer? The neutron is slightly more massive than the proton, which means that free neutrons can decay and become protons. But if things were reversed and the protons tended to decay, then everything composed of hydrogen would decay. Can you remember back to your science class and name two important things composed of hydrogen? Both the sun and water would decay, along with our observed universe which is estimated to be about 74% hydrogen.

Perhaps one could believe some of these things occurred by random chance. But could any remotely logical person truly believe they ALL occurred by random chance? The evolutionist says yes. That person believes there is no Intelligent Creator who has guided the creation process. I say otherwise. “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).

BTW...Here's my favorite site on this subject: Answers in Genesis

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