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Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V


Part I: Evolution or Creation?

Chapter Two

Two World Views: The Christian and the Naturalist

     THE fundamental difference between the Christian and the purely naturalistic view of the world in which we live is simply that the former sees the world as having been deliberately planned as a habitation for man, whereas the naturalistic view sees man only as an accidental by-product of an entirely purposeless process. These two diametrically opposed views are epitomized by juxtaposing two quotations, one from the Word of God and one from man. The Word of God reads:

For thus saith the Lord God that created the heavens,
God Himself that formed the earth and made it;
He hath established it, He created it not in vain,
He formed it to be inhabited.                             (Isaiah 45:18).

     According to man, in this instance G. G. Simpson: (2)

     There was no anticipation of man' s coming. He responds to no plan and fulfills no supernal purpose. He stands alone in the universe, a unique product of a long unconscious, impersonal material process, with unique understandings and potentialities. These he owes to no one but himself, and it is to himself that he is responsible. He is not the creature of uncontrollable and indeterminate forces but is his own master.

     Now, why is there such violent opposition between these two views? I think it exists for several reasons. To begin with, the first world view clearly introduces plan and purpose (what is technically known as the concept of teleology), and plan and purpose involve a Planner and a Purposer who stands above and outside of the programme. And the existence of such a creative agency inevitably introduces the probability of supernatural intervention. Supernatural intervention, no matter how infrequent it may be, if it occurs at all, electively removes the possibility of any complete scientific

2. Simpson, G. G.: quoted by John Pfeiffer, "Some Comments on Popular Science Books," Science, vol.117, 1953, p.403.

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understanding by pure intellect alone. Such intervention will inevitably involve events which can only be explained by reference to forces beyond experimental control because they are outside the system. In addition to this, the introduction of a personal Planner at once brings up the question of human responsibility in cooperation or opposition to the plan, since man clearly has the ability to perceive the purpose and therefore to advance or retard it. Both G. G. Simpson and Sir Julian Huxley, the great prophets of the naturalistic world view, have openly acknowledged this fact. For example, Sir Julian speaks of the "glorious paradox" of a process which through eons of time, though quite without direction, finally produced a creature, man, who by reason of his possession of self-consciousness and the ability to make delayed decisions is freed from the previous all-pervasive determinism of the natural order and can therefore undertake that which no creature before him had been able to undertake, namely, the directing of his own future. Indeed, he sees man as the introducer of purpose into a hitherto purposeless universe. (3) Henceforth man will direct evolution.
     So these two views are indeed diametrically opposed. The second has really rejected the first for two stated reasons: supernatural intervention is a scientifically unmanageable concept, and moral responsibility to some Agency other than man is psychologically unacceptable. Scripture is clear in saying that man is both spiritually and intellectually in need of redemption, and so long as he is unredeemed, his spiritual and intellectual perceptions and tendencies are distorted.
     The very existence of a Purposer introduces a whole "other world," interacting with this world to place either complete understanding or complete control out of man's reach unless he cooperates with God. And it calls man to humble himself, to place his will and his intellect at the service of the Lord instead of attempting to act as an entirely autonomous and self-sufficient creature. Unless he will accept the lordship of Christ in his life, a bondage which is really a freedom, he is forced to accept bondage to himself with his fallen nature, a bondage which is fatal. The naturalistic world view parades as an objective exercise of the intellect but is really the display of a rebellious spirit pretending to be self-sufficient and omnicompetent, cloaking itself in the garb of an unselfish humanitarianism that is entirely deceiving and self-deceived. Naturalism or scientific materialism is, in fact, a false religion, based on a

3. Huxley, Sir Julian, Rationalist Annual, 1946, p.87.

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faith which, like the Christian faith, is supported by a creed and a hierarchy (evolution and the contemporary evolutionary authorities), and is every bit as dogmatic and narrowminded as it rightly accuses the Medieval Church of having been. As H. J. Eysenck said, "The mantle of the Inquisition sits uneasily upon the shoulders of the scientific establishment." (4) Or as R. E. Gibson put it, "The present tendency is for the scientific community, now grown powerful, to behave much as the Church did in Galileo's time." (5)
     It, too, has its "scriptures," the pronouncements of its recognized authorities. It believes in miracles and has its shrines (and its sacred bones): and it has its prophets and its martyrs. In short, it is simply another religious world view, for man is indeed incurably religious. Only, it is pretending not to be religious and has so far been highly successful in maintaining the pretense.
     Now the question is, Which religious world view is the most reasonable one? An examination of the evidence shows increasingly that the truth lies clearly in the Christian world view, in the view reflected in Isaiah 45:18. The world was indeed formed as a habitation for man, though it is to be gratefully acknowledged that we owe to science much of our understanding today of how this fitness for habitability by man has come about. If we once allow that the whole process of preparation was teleological, did have an end in view from the beginning, did involve divine intervention often creatively and sometimes in judgment, and that the world was prepared as a stage for the acting out of a drama specifically involving the confrontation of man and God under unique circumstances, then many striking phenomena in the preparation of the earth are wonderfully illuminated.
     These phenomena can be usefully reviewed even within the confines of such a short Paper as this. The phenomena to be considered are three. First, very briefly, the evidence that our world was specifically prepared to sustain life. Secondly, that creative activity was clearly demanded at many stages along the way, because there are an enormous number of critical missing links between groups of animals which evolutionists hold must have been related to one another by intermediate forms but which are nowhere to be found. Thirdly, that there has been a direction of the course of events, which supports the view that the earth was being furnished specifically for the coming of man. In short, the impression of plan and purpose pervades the whole programme to such an extent that it becomes virtually unintelligible

4. Eysenck, H. J., in a letter in New Scientist, May 29, 1969, p.490.
5. Gibson, R. E., "Our Heritage from Galileo Galilei," Science, vol.145, 1964, p.1275.

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unless they are admitted, and all explanations which exclude them become stilted and artificial. The evolutionist must really commit a kind of intellectual suicide in order to maintain his position that the whole drama has been the result of a freak accident. Scientific materialism constitutes a darkening of the intellect, so that its proponents, though professing to be wise, really become foolish, degrading their spiritual nature by worshipping the human intellect of the creature rather than the wisdom and greatness of the Creator.
     So we have these three matters to consider in order to make a reasonable assessment of the relative merits of the two world views.

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Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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