Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Double standards?

I have written before on the God of the gaps accusation, and how the atheist frequently falls back on an atheism of the gaps.  I just want to enlarge on that a wee bit in light of some things I have heard recently.

The atheist will often accuse the Christian of being lazy and just settling for God as an explanation instead of doing some hard work and seeking a naturalistic explanation. 

Now there are a couple of things to say here: firstly, it's not the case that Christians posit God as some kind of labour-saving, thought-preventing, science-stopping answer, but rather when science has done its work and yielded its results, and the scientist has uncovered how things are, then the scientist has to take off his lab coat and stand with everyone else and ask why things are the way they are.  We know that the universe came into existence out of nothing, that the universe is incomprehensibly finely tuned, that the simple cell is far from simple, and that the DNA carries immense amounts of information.  That is what science has told us, but the question that science can't answer is why it should be that way. 

In regard to the origin of the universe you can't run experiments on "nothing" so science isn't going to show you how everything came out of it.  In regard to the fine-tuning, atheists will say it's chance, but why is that not as much of a science-stopper as God?  You see, the atheistic scientist recognises that science can do no more than show you the fine-tuning, it can't explain why it is that way, so it's not stopping science to seek to account for it - science has reached the terminus, the problem is that atheists don't like the destination, because it has brought them to the Designer.

Another thing to say is that atheists have often exhibited scientific laziness - they point to examples of bad design, vestigial organs, junk DNA, and say it shows we were not created.  I will amend Richard Dawkins' words to suit my purpose here: When Christians come up against a problem we don't just throw our hands up and say, "Oh, evolution did it!"  We roll up our sleeves and we work on it!  And Christians have been doing that, and have shown that the bad design is not bad, the vestigial organs are not vestigial and the junk DNA is not junk (e.g. herehere and here).

People like Dawkins and Atkins have frequently said that we should give them a chance, and they will come up with explanations, and even if they don't explain everything naturalistically they will never throw in the towel and say that God must have done it.  But would they be so patient with the Christian who says, "Give us a chance, we will explain everything theistically, and we will never throw in the towel and say that natural selection acting on random mutations did it"?  I trow not!  They would decry their blind faith, but in light of what the facts say and where the evidence points, maybe atheists are the ones exercising blind faith.