Because today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote her by using her full name. Her first name is Annagail. She’s described at the end as “a student.” Excerpts from her letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
Philosophy professor Larimore Nicholl’s guest column promoting atheism as the only worldview for intelligent people is interesting but flawed.
Annagail is talking about this: Life from an atheist’s perspective, written by Larimore Nicholl, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Colorado State University. We shall now observe how the student criticizes the professor, with what amounts to a catalog of creationist clunkers. It begins:
He asserts “science is eclipsing religion,” and “modern children and adults” don’t believe in “supernatural myth making.” I don’t know how many children Nicholl has talked to, but most young people I know find purposeful design in the science we study.
Where does Annagail find evidence of “purposeful design”? Let’s read on:
It is more reasonable to believe that an intelligent creator designed the universe rather than the world magically making itself. How illogical to claim the incredibly complex human body randomly evolved from pond scum. Nicholl may be correct that Hinduism, Islam and other religions are inconsistent with science; however, Christianity is not. Christianity is a worldview consistent with observable fact.
We’re not going to spend any time rebutting Annagail’s claims. There are far too many of them, and it really isn’t necessary. She continues:
Nicholl contends that the universe is “natural” and humans were made “by the natural force of genetics.” But if the Earth created you, who created the Earth? Every event that happens is an effect of a cause. The beginning of the universe must have had a cause. However, this thing or person that caused the universe to exist must be independent of the universe, or it could not have created the universe. The fact that there is something (the universe), rather than nothing, points to a creator. Isn’t all matter in the universe springing into existence for no reason an irrational “myth”?
The letter is solid, wall-to-wall assertions like that. Skimming through the next few paragraphs, here’s a bunch of them:
Furthermore, where did the information in the human genetic code come from? …. Information only comes from a mind. The complexity of DNA could not be a result of random-chance evolution, but it does point to the existence of an intelligent designer.
Atheists like Nicholl slam the Bible. However, years of rigorous textual criticism have proven the Bible to be historically reliable. It is internally consistent and collaborative of the writings of ancient historians, making it one of the most reliable collections of historical documents. The New Testament is more well-documented than any other religious or historical text, including the works of Aristotle, a philosopher Nicholl admires. …
History shows that Christianity has been the greatest force for freedom and human rights the world has seen. Christianity has promoted representative government, respect for women, helping the poor, education, medicine, and yes, scientific and technological advancement.
Oh yeah — especially for the 1,000 years before the Age of Enlightenment, when it was the dominant force in Europe. And here’s more:
If atheism is true, it would be acceptable for the strong to kill off the “inferior.” Why wouldn’t Darwinian “survival of the fittest” taking its “natural” course be human progress? … Without God, morality becomes a matter of personal preference. Objective morality cannot exist apart from universal, absolute truths given to us by the creator of the universe.
Great, huh? And now we come to the end:
A Christian worldview explains the origin of the universe, life and morality. It is intellectually honest and consistent with science. As the great Christian scientist Sir Isaac Newton said: “He who really thinks has to believe in God.”
Newton was certainly a believer, albeit an unconventional one, but he must have known of some good thinkers who didn’t believe in God. As for that particular quote, we see it repeated on several websites, but none of them gives a source, so we doubt its authenticity. Even if Newton actually said that, our response to Annagail is this: Maybe so, dear child, but your belief in God doesn’t mean that you know how to think.
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