We always enjoy it when the Discoveroids try to impress us with their deep thoughts. They’ve done it again and posted the results at their creationist blog. To our great delight it’s written by Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist, who is also one of the Discovery Institute’s deepest thinkers.
Before we look at Casey’s post, keep in mind that the Discoveroids already emerged out of their closet, pranced around wearing ecclesiastical garb, and confessed that their “scientific” designer — blessed be he! — is transcendent. That means their designer exists beyond time and space, in that inaccessible and incomprehensible realm known only to the gods.
How much farther can they go before they officially abandon all pretense of being anything other than another pack of creationist — i.e., religiously motivated science-deniers? They never had too many people fooled in the first place, but if there were anyone left who thought that maybe — just maybe — they were thinking scientifically, that’s all over now.
Casey’s new article is Can We Escape the Need for a Transcendent First Cause? R.C. Sproul Argues “Not a Chance”! Ah, not only transcendent, but also the First Cause. That’s also known as the cosmological argument, a subject that can fill a small library all by itself.
If the “necessity” of a First Cause were a genuinely persuasive argument, we’d all be persuaded and theology would be more like math than what it is. The First Cause is an attractive argument for many, and it’s certainly an enduring one, but it’s pure apologetics. Nevertheless, it’s now being given central prominence by the Discoveroids, which means that their scientific charade is over.
Casey’s article is not what one would expect from an allegedly scientific think tank. It’s a gushingly favorable review of a book by two non-scientists, whom he describes as seminary professor and Christian author R.C. Sproul, and Keith Mathison, professor of systematic theology at Reformation Bible College. Their book is Not a Chance: God, Science, and the Revolt against Reason (Amazon listing). Casey says, with bold font added by us:
[T]he parts that will interest our readers the most explore the evidence that the universe arose due to purposeful intelligent design, and a First Cause, rather than unguided chance processes.
See what we mean? Their magical intelligent designer is now being identified as the First Cause. Casey then tells us:
Delving into physics and metaphysics, Sproul and Mathison argue that chance is not an explanation of anything. In fact, they argue, when we appeal to “chance,” that actually means we are ignorant of the true causes at work.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! No, not at all. For example, when we speak of mutations operating “by chance,” what we mean is that although we know what mutations are and how they occur according to the laws of chemistry, the variables are so numerous that we can’t predict what mutations will occur or when they will occur. But we understand their occurrence. Hang on, dear reader. It gets better:
As they write, “chance has no power to do anything” and “the chances of chance doing anything are nil.” Because chance can do nothing, and because it violates the law of non-contradiction to claim you “created yourself,” they conclude that it’s logically impossible that the universe simply popped into existence.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! No sane person thinks that “chance” is a force that does things, and certainly no one claims that “chance” created the universe. If Sproul and Mathison are arguing against such a wild idea, their entire book is a battle with a strawman. But Casey is impressed. We’ll skip several of his quotes from the book, after which he says:
So how did the universe come to be? In a passage that is very helpful for framing the issue, they note that there are only four options for explaining the origin of the cosmos:
Option 1: The cosmos is an illusion; it doesn’t exist.
Option 2: The cosmos is self-existent (and eternal).
Option 3: The cosmos is self-created.
Option 4: The cosmos is created by something else that is self-existent.
Casey and the theologians wisely reject Option 1. They also reject Option 3 because “it is formally false. It is contradictory and logically impossible.” That leaves Options 2 and 4 because, “if something exists then whatever exists is either ultimately self-existent or created by something that is self-existent.” For the meaning of “self-existent” we must refer to one of Casey’s quotes from the theologians, who (Casey claims) wrote:
A self-existent being, by its very nature, must be eternal. It has no antecedent cause, or else it would not be self-existent.
Ah, it must be self-existent because [*cough, cough*] otherwise it wouldn’t be self-existent. All clear? Right! Let’s move along. Casey then asks the Big Question:
So which is it: Is the cosmos self-existent, or was it created by something else that is self-existent?
We haven’t had this much intellectual excitement since … we can’t remember when. Casey then quotes Sproul and Mathison some more, after which he declares:
Thus, no matter how you answer this question, or what you call your answer, you can’t get away from the need for a first cause that sounds a lot like God.
But Casey, what if you’ve been calling your answer the “intelligent designer”? Haven’t you just given your whole game away? Yes, you have. Hey, he quotes the theologians again and then flat-out admits it:
This being has all of the attributes we normally ascribe to God. As Sproul and Mathison write, “From a scientific, metaphysical, or philosophical perspective it doesn’t matter what you call it. What matters is the concept or the reality, not the name or the word used to indicate it.” (p. 179) But if the being has all of the attributes we ascribe to God, who can protest if you use the name “God”?
Are we surprised? Not at the divine nature of the Discoveroids’ designer, but we are surprised at the open admission thereof, which contradicts all the Discoveroids’ earlier (litigation motivated) denials. Casey ends his essay with another quote from Sproul and Mathison, which begins:
Why is there something rather than nothing? “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth” (Gen. 1:1). This is the answer revealed by the Creator himself.
Casey, say hello to Ken Ham. Hambo, say hello to Casey and his buddies. You guys have a lot to discuss.
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