Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, March 02, 2009

When Atheists Sort of Get It

This past year, the one post bringing the most traffic to my blog has been the critique I wrote about evangelist Louie Giglio and his use of the Laminin molecule as Christian evidence. Sometimes there can be up to at least 5 to 6 views a day of the posts, and folks stay around on average 2 minutes reading it.

The post was my expressed concerns about what I believe is a misappropriation of so-called evidence and its use in apologetics and evangelism. Louie had given a talk in which he read Colossians 1:15 - 17 and explains how Christ's power upholds all things even down to the tiny details of the microscopic world. He then shifts his talk to a discussion about the Laminin molecule, one of the basic building blocks of the human cell. Flashing an illustration of the molecule on a screen, he points out the cross pattern of the molecule and concludes how it shows Christ's signature imprinted on every cell of our body like a divine UPC symbol.

Granted, we can certainly marvel at the vast complexity of DNA and Laminin molecules as evidence of God's handiwork. Atheists struggle to provide a sensible explanation of such complexity, especially the informational aspect of DNA and Laminin, given their naturalistic world view. Still, I believe Christians are engaged in unnecessary exaggeration to read into this evidence much more than what is meant to be conveyed. In his eagerness to present the skeptical world with proof of God's existence and to solidify the faith of young Christians in his audience, Louie's misuse of Laminin as a natural picture of Christ's cross is problematic in the long run. For example, I noted how the illustration was only just a man-made medical diagram representing the essential components of Laminin, and rarely if ever does the real molecule look like a cross.

With that brief review in mind, I received a "Google alert" informing me someone had linked to this article. I followed the backlink to the source and found a blog post written by an atheist who claims to be a former Christian. (A commenter left the blogger a link to my initial article critical of Louie seeing cross shapes in molecules). The post independently conveys the same criticism as mine: Louie is reading way too much into the shape of a Laminin molecule, and his "proof of God" is another avenue for scoffers to mock.

Along those same lines...

One of the more amusing scenes I love to watch is when individuals hostile to the Christian faith who believe they have no biases are shown how they do indeed have biases when they interpret their world.

Recently, Skeptic magazine editor, Michael Shermer (whose cousins attend my church, by the way), paid a visit to the Creation Museum with a group of atheists who pretend to be neutral, unbiased defenders of science. They video taped an impromptu mini-inquisition with Answers in Genesis staffer, Dr. Georgia Purdom, during which Shermer peppered her with questions pertaining to philosophy and theology. The video was put on the web and presented as an illustration of how dumb creationists are. Another atheist website pretending to be unbiased defenders of science, The Panda's Thumb, wrote up a brief critique of Shermer's questions of Purdom and expressed great umbrage that Purdom would even suggest there is no neutral evidence telling us how the world is, but instead individual presuppositions interpret evidence according to a particular philosophical worldview to tell us how the world is.

The author of the post mockingly states how he wants creationists on his jury if he ever goes to court, because the "presupposition" of the U.S. justice system is a person is innocent until proven guilty. Thus, a creationist will do anything to defend the presupposition of the justice system in spite of any evidence to the contrary.

The main flaw with his objection is that prosecution and defense lawyers most certainly bring their interpretation to any evidence presented in the case in an attempt to demonstrate how the evidence supports their position. Hence, Dr. Purdom is vindicated when she suggested evidence is not neutral and those handling the evidence are biased toward particular presuppositions.

The point Purdom was making exposes the errant thinking of atheist evolutionists. The blog writer assumes (presupposes) all "scientific" evidence is neutral; basically self-defining and independently sufficient within itself to describe our world. Most importantly, he believes all evidence undoubtedly supports his anti-creationist, evolutionary beliefs and anyone who denies those beliefs is delusional and not clued into reality. In a manner of speaking, he is an evidentialist in his apologetic approach. This is exactly how popular Christian apologist Greg Koukl argues, as well as Frank Turek.

But in honesty, no "neutral" un-interpreted facts exist anywhere. All evidence must be interpreted. The existence of the Panda's Thumb website demonstrates this truth, because its sole purpose as a website is to counter any so-called evidence presented against Darwinian evolution and explained by their ID-creationist enemies, and re-interpret it through Darwinian evolutionary filters.



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