Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Why Should Atheists Have a Monopoly on Tax-Funded Schools? Part 2

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With the publication in 2007 of Antony Flew’s momentous book, There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, the debate among scientists on the issue of the existence or nonexistence of God reached a new level of excitement. The fact that Flew became a theist has added a great deal of support to the belief that the universe is governed by an Intelligent Design, and that with such design there must be a designer: God.

Intelligent Design answers questions about the universe that the atheists have been unable to answer. How could matter become living matter if not through the work of God? How could the incredibly complex code of the DNA come about without God? How could human beings experience language, dreams, and purpose unless God had breathed into their lives all these immaterial manifestations? 

How could a planet so beautifully conceived as ours be formed to accommodate human life without the creative power of God? Although astronomers have searched the galaxies to find a planet as hospitable as ours, nothing comparable has so far been found. 

It was at a symposium at New York University in May 2004 that Flew gave up his 50-year belief in atheism and announced that he now accepted the existence of a God. He writes:

What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinary diverse elements to work together....

I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite Intelligence.  I believe that this universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God.  I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source. . . .

Science spotlights three dimensions of nature that point to God.  The first is the fact that nature obeys laws.  The second is the dimension of life, of intelligently organized and purpose-driven beings, which arose from matter.  The third is the very existence of nature.

Flew’s migration from atheism to theism was not a sudden change of mind. It was the result of a long life of inquiry that simply led him to conclude that there had to be a God to explain all that exists. He writes (p. 89):

My departure from atheism was not occasioned by any new phenomenon or argument.  Over the last two decades, my whole framework of thought has been in a state of migration.  This was a consequence of my continuing assessment of the evidence of nature.  When I finally came to recognize the existence of God, it was not a paradigm shift, because my paradigm remains, as Plato in his Republic scripted his Socrates to insist: “We must follow the argument wherever it leads.” . . . In short, my discovery of the Divine has been a pilgrimage of reason and not of faith.

Flew also refers to similar beliefs among some of the world’s most eminent scientists. He quotes Einstein, who said (p. 102):

Certain it is that a conviction, akin to religious feeling, of the rationality or intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a higher order. . . . This firm belief, a belief bound up with deep feeling, in a superior mind that reveals itself in the world of experience, represents my conception of God.

Quantum scientists like Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, and Erwin Schrodinger have felt the same as Einstein in confronting the intelligence behind the universe’s natural order. Schrodinger described the experience in these words: “The most popular name for it in our time is God, with a capital ‘G’.” Scientist Paul Davies has said: “science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”

How did atheism gain its privileged status in the public schools? It goes back to a Supreme Court decision in June, 1987, when the Court’s 7-to-2 decision rejected a Louisiana Law mandating a balanced treatment for the theories of Evolution and Creation in the public schools. According to the Court, the intent of the 1981 law “was clearly to advance the religious viewpoint that a supernatural being created humankind,” and therefore the law violates the First Amendment’s prohibition on a government establishment of religion. Of course, the law violated no such thing. Belief in God, per se, is not an establishment of religion. A national church (e.g., the Church of England) is.

In speaking for the majority, Justice William J. Brennan wrote:

The legislative history documents that the act’s primary purpose was to change the science curriculum of public schools in order to provide an advantage to a particular religious doctrine that rejects the factual basis of evolution in its entirety. Out of the many possible science subjects taught in the public schools, the legislature chose to affect the teaching of the one scientific theory that historically has been opposed by certain religious sects.

How was it possible for Justice Brennan not to know that evolution is a theory, not a fact? His ignorance boggles the mind.

The majority also rejected Louisiana’s claim that the law was intended to enhance the secular purpose of academic freedom. Brennan continued:

While the court is normally deferential to a state’s articulation of a secular purpose, it is required that the statement of such purpose be sincere and not a sham.  It is clear from the legislative history that the purpose of the legislative sponsor, Senator Bill Keith, was to narrow the science curriculum.

Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, dissented, saying that to call the main intent of the law religious is to ignore what the legislators themselves said, thereby accusing them of lying and impugning their motives. Scalia wrote:

The Louisiana Legislature set forth its secular purpose (protecting academic freedom) in the very text of the act. . . . The act defines “creation science” as “scientific evidence.” We have no basis on the record to conclude that “creation science” need be anything other than a collection of scientific data supporting the theory that life abruptly appeared on earth.

Frederick Edwards, executive director of the American Humanist Association, said Scalia and Rehnquist did as their “right-wing supporters” might have hoped, but he expressed pleasure that the court as a whole did not move clearly in their direction.

“The creationists keep losing their legal battles,” Edwards said. “This decision gives them very little to crow about and sends a clear message to school districts around the country that creationism is religion and doesn’t belong in the schools.” The suit (Aguillard v. Edwards) was brought against Gov. Edwards in 1981 by Don Aguillard, assistant principal of Arcadiana High School in Lafayette, Louisiana.

This decision put the Supreme Court on a collision course with U.S. District Judge W. Brevard Hand, who had ruled in March 1987 that secular humanism is a religion. Evolution, of course, is at the very heart of secular humanism, which rejects the existence of God and regards “the universe as self-existing and not created,” and that “man is part of nature and that he has emerged as the result of a continuous process.” (Humanist Manifesto I)

In other words, the humanist “faith” is based on a belief that the theory of evolution is not a theory but truth. But the fact is that evolution is even less than a scientific theory. It’s a fairy tale. Yet, Justice Brennan spoke of “the factual basis of evolution.” There is no factual basis to evolution. First, there is no scientific evidence that the universe spontaneously came into existence out of nothing. Second, there is no scientific evidence that living matter arose spontaneously out of non-living matter. Third, no scientific evidence has been found indicating that higher organisms evolved from lower organisms, nor that one species evolves into another. But what about fossils, you might ask.

The fossil record is simply a series of still pictures of species that existed at one time. They do not show how one species evolves into another. Transitional fossils have not been found. The fossil record shows new species appearing suddenly without any ancestors.The late evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould called this phenomenon, “punctuated equilibrium.”

What scientific investigation indicates is that the species are immutable and that when mutations occur they do not become new species. For example, evolutionists have been experimenting with fruit flies for years in the hope of demonstrating evolution at work. But the fruit flies have stubbornly refused to develop into anything but more fruit flies, despite all sorts of stimuli, including radiation. Some mutations have occurred, but nothing to suggest the beginning of a new species. Why? Because a new species would require its own special DNA arrangement, which requires the hand of the Creator to be viable.

In other words, lions have remained lions, monkeys have remained monkeys, elephants have remained elephants, and cats have remained cats. Different breeds and varieties may exist within a species, but nature places built-in genetic obstacles to evolutionary change. (Of course, genetic engineers may create intra-species monsters by tampering with genes and chromosomes, but this could hardly be called a natural process.)

When you consider that our museums are now filled with over 100 million fossils of 250,000 different species and not a single series of transitional forms has been found among them, one begins to suspect that a gigantic hoax is being perpetrated by the evolutionists.  In fact, gaps between major groups of organisms have been growing wider and more undeniable.  And so it is hard to understand how scientists can assert that evolution is fact and still call themselves scientists.  Even Dr. Stephen Jay Gould was forced to write: “The fossil record with its abrupt transitions offers no support for gradual change.”

Considering how much more we now know about life and the universe, and how the scientific evidence has led a hard-core humanist atheist like Antony Flew to finally acknowledge that there is a God, is it not time now for us to confront the atheist schools and force them to let their students read Flew’s book and the books of many other scientists who are theists?  It is ridiculous to pretend that the public schools are neutral and scientific when the world’s greatest scientists believe that all of reality is the creation of an intelligent mind.

Related article: Why Should Atheists Have a Monopoly on Tax-Funded Schools?

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