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April 19, 2007

Faith, God, Bible, and Science

It's been said that whoever frames the debate wins the argument. It is also true that whoever defines the terms wins the argument. Whoever wins the argument wins the right to be heard.

But some arguments are trivial and not worth the trouble to decide, while the outcome of other arguments can end in loosing lives. For example, redefining unborn babies as "products of conception" hastens a trip to the abortionist. And rephrasing "global warming" to the mores generic "climate change" brings the argument to a screeching halt since "climate change" can refer to both global warming and global cooling.

In this article, I will look at two arguments used by liberals and secularists that have gained widespread popularity and are causing much confusion for the Christian community in general and Christian young people in particular.

The first is that liberals and secularists are generous and have great compassion for their fellow human beings, while conservatives, and particularly Christians, are selfish and do not really care for the poor or downtrodden. The second is that secularists claim to know what is true in all areas of life based on the scientific method while Christians are uneducated, anti-science, and ignorant.

The answer to the argument that liberals are generous while conservatives are selfish does not stand under close scrutiny. Indeed, one need only consult Arthur C. Brooks' Who Really Cares: America's Charity Divide — Who Gives, Who Doesn't, and Why It Matters. Brooks, a former liberal, accepted the conventional wisdom that liberals by definition are charitable and conservatives are selfish. "The data," says Brooks, "tell us that the conventional wisdom is dead wrong."

In category after category, conservatives turned out to be more generous and compassionate than liberals. Conservatives give more of their money, time, talent, and themselves to charity than do liberals. "Take blood donations, for example," says Brooks. "In 2002 conservative Americans were more likely to donate blood each year, and did so more often, than liberals. If liberals and moderates gave blood at the same rate as conservatives, the blood supply in the United States would jump by about 45 percent."

Brooks, a Syracuse University professor, also finds that "religious people are far more charitable with their time and money than secularists. Religious people are more generous in informal ways as well, such as giving blood, giving money to family members, and behaving honestly."

We must remember that an atheist wrote The Selfish Gene, not a Christian conservative. Richard Dawkins, its author, states, "Much as we might wish to believe otherwise, universal love and the welfare of the species . . . are concepts that simply do not make evolutionary sense." Natural selection is in the business of weeding out the unfit in its eternal war against the weak. (See also the last few pages of Charles Darwin's On Origin of Species.)

Brooks says "that one of the greatest political hypocrisies of our time is the pious sloganeering about liberals in America being more compassionate than conservatives. This stereotype is false, and it is a disservice to our country."

When it comes to charitable giving habits grouped by individual states, the northeastern states in the United States are the least generous. All are predominately liberal strongholds! In contrast, the most generous state in the United States is also the poorest — Mississippi. In fact, the five most generous states are all located in the Bible belt. There seems to be a connection between faith in God and the Bible and charity. Could it be that people in these states follow Christ's admonition to be kind to the poor, the hopeless, and the down-and-out?

Moving to the second popular myth, we find that secular atheists' claim that science is the sole source of truth and enlightenment also does not stand up to the facts.

The stark truth is that science, defined as observation, hypothesis formulation, prediction, and testing of predictions of the physical universe, is not able to answer the most important questions of humanity. Why a universe? Why life? Why me? Max Planck, father of quantum physics, admits, "Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature." Schrodinger, another quantum physicist, likewise admits, "The scientific picture of the real world around me is . . . ghastly silent about all that . . . really matters to us . . . It knows nothing of the beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity . . . Whence came I and whither go I? That is the great unfathomable question . . . for every one of us. Science has no answer to it."

Yet, for the most part, those who control public education and the major media outlets have decided to follow Harvard's Richard Lewontin who declares, "We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs . . . for we cannot allow a Divine foot in the door." This is because their belief in a naturalistic philosophy will not allow them to entertain the possibility of a Creator. Therefore, they must deny evidence for design in the universe or life.

Not even well known evolutionist and author Paul Amos Moody can get the atheists' attention when it comes to obvious design in nature. Moody says that the more he studies science, the more he is impressed with the belief that the world and universe "have a definite design — and a design suggests a designer." He also says that evidences of design are everywhere, "from the starry heavens to the electrons swirling in orbit around the atomic nuclei. What happens when we seek the natural laws that perfect such design? There we find the Creator."

But with over 90 percent of the hierarchy of the National Academy of Sciences (N.A.S.) defending atheism, their particular brand of science will never find God. In fact, these men and women frame the argument in order to exclude God. They want only "naturalistic" answers and therefore define science as the pursuit of only naturalist phenomena.

They claim there is no intelligent designer who designed the cell or the chemical communications of ants. Only chance mutations and natural (read naturalistic) selection are allowed to play any role in generating the vast and intricate systems found in every living cell. Only someone of a very closed mind could believe that the cell, for example, could arrive and prosper by chance and tiny incremental steps (see Behe's Darwin's Black Box), but this is the only theory allowed in America's public schools, thanks to the dictates of the watchdogs of the N.A.S.

On the other hand, some of the social sciences are finding it easier than are the hard sciences to accept the reality of faith, God and religion. In an important publication of The Heritage Foundation, "Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability," Patrick F. Fagan writes, "Over the past decade, considerable research has emerged that demonstrates the benefits of religious practice within society. Religious practice promotes the well-being of individuals, families, and the community." Thus, scientific data show that God, the Bible, and faith play a larger part in society than any atheist would be willing to admit.

Hear the conclusion of The Heritage Foundation report as researched and gathered from the leading professional journals of the social sciences (American Sociological Review, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Journal of Marriage and Family, Behavior and Medicine, American Journal of Sociology): "A steadily growing body of evidence from the social sciences demonstrates that regular religious practice benefits individuals, families, and communities, and thus the nation as a whole. The practice of religion improves health, academic achievement, and economic well-being and fosters self-control, self-esteem, empathy and compassion."

George Washington was right when he said, "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political [societal] prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports."

In every aspect of society (e.g., marriage, divorce, marital satisfaction, cohabitation, children, domestic violence, adultery, out of wed-lock births, drugs, alcohol, mental health, happiness and well-being, stress, self-esteem, depression, suicide, physical health, educational attainment, compassion, charity, juvenile delinquency, etc.) — Religion and faith in God have a positive impact.

Marriages, for example, are better and marital satisfaction highest with those who put into practice their faith in God. "In general," says Fagan, "religious participation appears to foster an authoritative, warm, active, and expressive style of parenting. In addition, parents who attend religious services are more likely to enjoy a better relationship with their children." Fagan says in closing, "Research has linked the practice of religion to reductions in the incidence of divorce, crime, delinquency, drug and alcohol addiction, out of wed-lock births, health problems, anxiety, and prejudice."

A proven uplifting relationship exists between, faith, God, the Bible, and science. However, these findings are seldom, if ever, acknowledged in most areas of American higher education. Shame on educators who march to the atheistic, naturalistic, evolutionistic beat and who deny students such truth, knowledge, and wisdom. And shame on us who fear exposing it!


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