Science vs. Theology? - There Can't Be a God, Because Man Is So Bad
Robert L Kuhn
"There Can't Be a God, Because Man Is So Bad" by: Robert L Kuhn
So states Bertrand Russell, the renowned scientist and philosopher, in his classic and caustic 1935 treatise, Religion and Science. Only Sir Bertrand establishes his point with a bit more elegance: "If I were granted omnipotence, and millions of years to experiment in, I should not think Man much to boast of as the final result of all my efforts." And it sounds so blasphemous. But is it really any more blasphemous than the "Christianity" which Russell observed in the Western world? WHY DID Russell so vehemently reject religion? There were two primary reasons: 1) The irrational dogmas of an unscientific Christianity. 2) The inherent wickedness in human nature. And both factors are absolutely correct. Russell was on the right track. But he terminated his investigation too soon. He never came to realize that the Bible itself — the book which was supposedly the source of unscientific Christianity — had thousands of years before him pronounced precisely these same two statements of fact! 1) Russell felt that the irrational dogmas of an unscientific Christianity proved that the entire Bible — Old and New Testaments alike — were in total wrong. Little did he know that the Christianity which he was talking about was not only disassociated from the Bible in doctrine and diametrically the opposite in spirit, but furthermore that the Bible itself was all the while condemning this same false Christianity even more strongly than he was (Gal. 1:6-8; II Cor. 11:4, 13-15; etc)! 2) Russell decided that the inherent wickedness of human nature denied a Cosmic Purpose in man and denied an Omnipotent Being as his Creator. His deduction is perfectly understandable, since all traditional religions teach that man is basically good and that God is struggling to save his basically good "soul" out of its prison — the body! Both of which are obviously hard to swallow. And both of these ideas are vigorously denied by the whole Bible! Does that sound strange? Sure, strange to ears conditioned by the religions of this world. But not to ears attuned to the Bible. Read Jeremiah 17:9: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." So the problem with Russell's conclusion is neither his facts nor his reasoning. Because his conclusion is RIGHT. But remember, Russell is only dealing with the religious ideas of this present world — ideas which are almost always in direct contradiction to the Bible. So let's backtrack — and watch as these religious concoctions of men feel the cutting edge of Russell's incisive logic.
What respect and what confidence could a rational man like Sir Bertrand feel for a religious system which almost flippantly "transferred [to quote Russell] the seat of authority in religion, first from the Church and the Bible to the Bible alone, and then to the individual soul." In other words, our sharp-thinking friend saw a Christianity which is constantly shifting its foundation. And with respect to any "absolute truth," which is seemingly required for any religion to be a religion, well, just read the following: "It gradually came to be recognized that the [Christian] religious life does not depend upon pronouncements as to matters of fact, for instance the historical existence of Adam and Eve [was at first believed and then discarded]." Thus Russell sees a slippery Christianity squirm its way out of "inconvenient Bible texts" — which were quickly "interpreted allegorically or figuratively." And he also watches the historical process as Christianity surrendered many of its outward doctrines in a wistful attempt to protect its (pseudo-spiritual) "inward core." What faith could anybody put in such a sys- tem? Who could ever believe that this was the one true religion of the Creator of heaven and earth? As Russell puts it, "No real excellence can be inextricably bound up with unfounded beliefs; and if theological beliefs are unfounded, they cannot be necessary for the preservation of what is good in a religious outlook." In other words, if Christianity is based upon falsehoods — the changing doctrines — why bother dissecting out its "good points" just to preserve the traditionally comforting "religious approach" to life? How much better it would be to discard the whole error-laden package, and begin anew to generate a more perfect philosophical system of accurate knowledge and pure understanding — devoid of all religious foolishness! So how can we fault the man for choosing science over religion when all he knows is a medieval Christianity deciding such questions as "whether Jupiter has satellites, and whether bodies fall at a rate proportional to their mass... not by observation but by deduction from... the Bible [supposedly), the dogmas of the Catholic faith, and (almost equally) the teachings of Aristotle"? No, we must rather give Lord Russell all the credit he deserves for so accurately analyzing the present world in which we live. Let's face facts. If what we now see of religion and if what we now see of man is indeed all there is to see of both religion and man, then Russell is wholly correct: 1) religion should be totally preempted by science, and 2) man should indeed become more modest than thinking that he is an adequate motive for an Omniscient Being to create the entire universe. But Russell did not tell the whole story. And it is not his fault. He at least was intellectually honest with the facts at his disposal, no matter how pessimistic his conclusions might seem — this being in stark contradistinction to the twaddly platitudes and contradictory compromises which mark some religiously oriented scientists and all too many scientifically oriented theologians.
Evil Human Nature
Going further, common Christianity informed Russell that man is the great "Cosmic Purpose" which underlies "the good intentions of the universe." But when Russell candidly looks at the history of man — what we have done (wars) and what we are doing (more wars) — we just do not appear all that "good." Observe his penetrating reasoning in action: "They (theologians and philosophers) say that we think certain things good, and that since these things are good, we must be very good to think them so. But this is a circular argument. A being with other values might think ours so atrocious as to be proof that we were inspired by Satan. Is there not something a trifle absurd in the spectacle of human beings holding a mirror before themselves, and thinking what they behold so excellent as to prove that a Cosmic Purpose must have been aiming at it all along? Why, in any case, this glorification of Man? How about lions and tigers? They destroy fewer animal or human lives than we do, and they are much more beautiful than we are. How about ants? They manage the Corporate State much better than any Fascist. Would not a world of nightingales and larks and deer be better than our human world of cruelty and injustice and war?" Now back off from yourself. Look at the situation "coolly" and unimpassionately. This is Russell's rigorously logical point of view. And the man has a point. Because he reasons with what he sees. And all he sees is a CHRISTIANITY as it is in this world and a MANKIND as it is in this world — neither of which seems particularly representative of some "Ultimate Good" of the entire universe — the former disqualifying itself by its vicissitudes and contradictions, the latter by its inherent hatreds and evils.
What Russell has proven, then, is the secondary thesis of this "Science vs. Theology?" feature — that the religion of this world is completely contradicted by the science of this world. Insofar as our primary thesis is concerned — that true religion as defined by the Bible is totally confirmed and corroborated by true science — we must refer to other articles. Obviously an in-depth discussion of the doctrines of false Christianity, the wickedness of human nature, the facts about Creation, the historicity of Adam and Eve, the purpose of human life, God's hands-off policy to this present world, etc. , are all subjects well beyond the scope of this short report. Suffice it to say that the purpose of TOMORROW'S WORLD is to fully answer all of these questions. Some back articles of interest which are available upon request: "Why Must Men Suffer?" — "Why Does God Hide Himself?" — "Is This the Only Day of Salvation?" — "Why God Is Not Real to Most People."
Cosmogony — what's that? by: William Stenger
Many assume the Bible says that the universe is only six thousand years old. Others believe that the universe has always existed. This question is a fundamental problem of cosmogony — which is the study of the origin of the universe. Now consider this fact. Perhaps the clearest established fact about the universe is that it is running down. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that physical processes tend toward disorganization. To put it simply — it is easier to scramble the egg than to unscramble it! Energy — light, heat, matter, etc. — in the universe at large is being continually dissipated. The physical universe will ultimately "die" when all energy is uniformly distributed. And this is exactly what the Bible says (Heb. 1:10-12). Now consider the situation: Since the universe is running down — but has not yet run completely down — we can only conclude that the universe has not always existed. This is scientific proof that there had to be a BEGINNING! And the Bible says that there was a beginning (Gen. 1:1). However, the Bible does NOT say the beginning was only six thousand years ago. The age of the universe is not revealed in Scripture. It therefore is either knowledge man might discover for himself — and therefore did not have to be revealed — or it is knowledge unavailable to man and incomprehensible even if it had been revealed. By studying the "life spans" of stars, scientists have estimated their ages to be about a few billion years (1 billion = 1,000,000,000). The decay rates of radioactive elements are assumed to make it possible to estimate the age of the solar system in which we live. Radioactive elements occurring naturally on earth and those contained in meteorites both show a possible age of from one to several billion years. So all of the radioactive elements prove that time since the beginning is greater than 6000 years. The galaxies at the limits of the observable universe are believed to be moving away from us at tremendous speeds. Calculations based on these speeds lead to the likely conclusion that these galaxies could not have begun moving away more than a few billion years ago. So here is another proof of a universe that cannot always have existed. Now it is not merely a coincidence that the calculations of the ages of galaxies, stars, meteorites, and the earth itself all give ages much longer than 6000 years. Yet some, assuming the Bible says the universe is six thousand years old, reject these undeniable scientific measurements. On the other hand, others reject the Bible because this scientific evidence contradicts certain doctrines which are supposed to come from the Bible but which in fact do not. These contradictions arise out of a lack of understanding of either the Bible or science or, more often, both. As we have shown here, what the Bible actually says and what man has discovered are in harmony.
ANATOMY: The Appendix - Another Useless Organ? by: D Winneil
EVER SINCE the days of Darwin, vestigial organs have supposedly provided one of the strongest arguments for the theory of evolution. In man, these apparently "useless" structures are thought to represent "leftover scaffolding" that once performed an important function in man's "pre-human" ancestors but are no longer of any value. Some have even felt that "it is difficult to explain the presence of useless vestiges upon the basis of special creation without imputing to the Creator some lack of skill in planning or construction" (P. A. Moody, Introduction to Evolution, p. 42, 1962). The classical example of a vestigial organ in the human body is the appendix Darwin referred to this narrow, wormlike structure in the abdomen as not only "... useless, but it is sometimes the cause of death" (Darwin, Descent of Man, p. 263, Britannica Great Books). Some of his contemporaries waxed even more eloquent. One asserted "there are undoubtedly cases where we know that certain vestigial structures are not only useless to man but worse than useless. Coming under this category is perhaps the most striking of all the vestigial organs, the vermiform appendix of the caecum. Here is a structure which is not only of no use to man now, but is veritable death-trap. ... In the human subject, owing to its diminutive size, it can be of no use whatever…" (Henry' Drummond, The Ascent of Man, p. 121, 1896). Many modern textbooks still perpetuate the assumptions of these early evolutionists. The medical educator William Boyd in his authoritative Textbook of Pathology (1961) states the appendix "has no known function in man and must therefore be regarded as a vestigial organs, albeit a very troublesome one" (p. 758). Another physician suggests that "... this apparently useless structure can be the source of serious, or even fatal illness" (B. F. Miller, The Complete Medical Guide, p. 96, 1967). Other authorities have not been so willing to continue building on Darwin's original assumption. Many have been of the opinion that the appendix as well as other "vestigial" organs is not only functional but is of positive value. Even some evolutionists reject the idea that the appendix is the "remnant" of evolutionary change. Professor A. S. Romer, a leader in the field of vertebrate paleontology, charged that the appendix "is frequently cited as a vestigial organ supposedly proving something or other about evolution. This is ?tot the case: a terminal appendix is a fairly common feature in the cecum of mammals, and is present in a host of primates and a number of rodents. Its major importance would appear to be the financial support of the surgical profession" ( The Vertebrate Body, p. 344, 1970). The days when the function of the appendix was merely a matter of opinion now appear to be over. Current research has been turning up new evidence that this organ is anything but useless. As a recent report discloses, "The human appendix, that tiny anatomical curiosity whose importance has long been doubted and debated, may all along have been protecting organs of the body against attacks of cancer"' Medical Times, p. 263a, September, 1966). Several studies have pointed out that a significant number of persons developing cancer of the colon, lung, and breast had had their appendix removed some years before (see Cancer, 17:929, 1964; 21:109, 1968). While these findings indicate the appendix is f n y from useless, the exact mechanism of operation is still being investigated. It seems to be part of the body's natural defense mechanism. The appendix may actually be involved - along with the spleen, thymus, and tonsils (the latter two have also been considered vestigial organs) - in the production of antibodies that protect the body against cancer-causing viruses. Whatever exact function this wormlike organ performs, the recent studies certainly emphasize, "The vermiform appendix in man is not a functionless vestigial structure" (Cancer., 21:118, 1968). The concept of "vestigial" organs is the result of men groping for evidence to support the theory of evolution. The whole idea was based on a lack of knowledge about how the human body functions and how it came to be. For almost a hundred years men have been cutting out of the body an "apparently useless" organ that is now proving to be a valuable structure. This whole "comedy of errors" could have been avoided if men would have admitted what is now becoming quite obvious. The human body is not the result of haphazard evolutionary change but a unique creation of exquisite design, It is the product of a Master Designer who has placed each organ in the body as it pleased Him (I Cor. 12:18). Man was designed and created according to a definite plan (Gen. 1:26). Facts are now making obvious what man has been reluctant to admit.