Monday, September 26, 2011

The Hubris and Religion of Evolution

Let’s take a closer look at the evolutionist’s assertion and “evidence” that our neural hard-wiring for a belief in God proves that we’ve created God. Psychiatrist Thomson and writer Aukofer have been making this claim for a while now:

• In recent years scientists specializing in the mind have begun to unravel religion’s “DNA.” They have produced robust theories, backed by empirical evidence…that support the conclusion that it was humans who created God, not the other way around…They [the God-circuitry] helped our ancestors work effectively in small groups and survive. (The Sunday Star-Ledger, 7/24/11)

A Christian has no argument with the assertion that God-circuitry is in our DNA. The Bible says as much (Romans 1:18-21; 2:14-15). We would also agree about the survival benefits of this circuitry. After all, God loves us and wants the best for us! However, we would never ascribe this to random mutation and natural selection, but instead to Design! So let’s take a look at the evidence that this circuitry just evolved:

• Scientists have so far identified about 20 hard-wired, evolved “adaptations” as building blocks of religion.

Nobody is arguing that incredibly complex, elegant, and beneficent circuitry is a central part of our makeup as humans. Instead, we would seek further to understand what evidence the evolutionist might have that these mechanisms “evolved.”

• Morality, which some see as imposed by gods or religion on savage humans, science sees as yet another adaptive strategy handed down to us by natural selection.

Although the authors claim science as their ally, they fail to show what scientific findings favor their contention. They merely continue to repeat the same assertions that our hard-wiring had survival benefits, something we gladly accept. In this regard, the authors quote Yale psychology professor Paul Bloom:

• It is often beneficial for humans to work together…means that it would have been adaptive…

Again, granted! They cite psychologist Michael Persinger who,

• Stimulates the brain’s temporal lobe, [and] notes that many of his …research subjects reported feeling the presence of “another.”

However, this too fails to prove Thomson’s thesis. He could conceivably stimulate my brain to taste a carrot. However, this doesn’t prove that the carrot is just a figment of my mind, anymore than it proves that God is just a figment of my mind. The two then happily conclude,

• We can be better as a species if we recognize religion as a man-made construct.

Such a conclusion has nothing to do with science, but instead their naturalistic religion. As such, it lacks even the slightest scientific support. Perhaps what’s even worse for the authors, this claim contradicts their original position. While at first they argued that a belief in God benefitted humankind, now they conclude that “We can be better as a species if we recognize religion as a man-made construct.”

This statement also represents the hubris of modernity. It suggests that our race has advanced so far from its early roots that it has outgrown what had once been adaptive. Again, no evidence!

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