We are fortunate to have a guest post from my colleague and fellow member of the facebook group, Celebrating Creation by Natural Selection, Dean Ohlman. Dean is retired from Our Daily Bread Ministries (formerly RBC Ministries) where he was a Christian nature writer, website host, editor, and associate TV producer. This is his second guest blog on the Book of Works.
As I understand it, the naturalistic theory of origins says that for billions of years after the unknown and unknowable beginning there was nobody. There was something, but it wasn’t somebody. As the universe was developing and organizing without order or purpose, nobody knew or observed it. Throughout time and space there was no person, no intelligence, no will, no consciousness, no sensory awareness, no knowledge, no thought, no reason, no word—nowhere! For millions of eons something was here, but no conscious mind was aware that something was here. There was no purpose or intent, yet without anybody or anything here to direct it, this something followed an orderly progression from a simplicity that’s never been observed to a complexity we can’t understand.
How do we understand ultimate cosmic origins? Naturalism gives credit to a big, unimaginable “explosion” that caused immateriality to take on materiality. Purposelessness then created a cosmos. Chaos organized itself. Unconsciousness awoke. Deadness begot life. Asexuality engendered sexuality. No one became someone. Impersonality gained personhood. Irrationality became rational. Non-entity became a self. And this material self functioned for millions of years according to the principle of self-preservation to evolve into a being who, oddly, could even purposely will to give up his life for the belief that everybody and everything have a spiritual (super-cosmic/super-natural) cause, purpose, and destiny. So godlessness created God. And because of that belief, amorality produced morality, which in turn developed into complex moral and ethical systems based on apparently irrational beliefs about deity, spirituality, goodness, love, and immortality.
To summarize: For all but the last tiny eon of existence, nothing had knowledge of anything else; yet something lifeless and unconscious cooperated with something else lifeless and unconscious to bring into existence the living, knowing, conscious, intelligent, rational creature called man who survives by deliberate cooperative relationships. This accidental—and oddly naked—ape communicating in symbols invented language and made poetry. The uncreated thing created music and art, and its evolved and embarrassingly illogical emotions cause it to weep in wonder over the stunning beauty, grandeur, and mathematical perfection of its apparent purposeless and meaningless environment. This reasoning, decision-making, sensory somebody who came into existence by the will of nobody can yet will to love or hate, kill or allow itself to be killed, and even develop the capacity to senselessly alter or destroy the natural systems that created it—threatening to send everything back into unconsciousness.
So according to naturalism, man is nothing but a cosmic orphan overwhelmed by the knowledge that he has no ultimate purpose and no ultimate hope. Shakespeare’s Macbeth articulated it well:
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Man is the orphan of the universe.”
Well summarized. And the adopted orphan of a very different plan.