Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Simplicity and the Failure of Naturalism
Occam, a medieval scholastic monk, determined that the simplest theory is the best one. His reasoning has famously become know as “Occam’s razor.” Why is the simplest theory preferred? Because it explains the most with the fewest, wild leaps of faith! In line with this reasoning, Keith Ward, God, Chance and Necessity, writes:
• “God is a very elegant, economical and fruitful explanation for the existence of the universe. It is economical because it attributes the existence and nature of absolutely everything in the universe to just one being, an ultimate cause…It is elegant because from one key idea—the idea of the most perfect possible being—the whole nature of God and the existence of the universe can be intelligibly explicated.”
God is sufficient to explain everything. No further cause is necessary. In contrast to this, myriads of natural explanations must be invoked in order to explain the physical phenomena of this universe. While Darwinism is invoked to explain the development of species, other naturalistic explanations must be sought out to explain the fine-tuning of the universe and the origin of DNA and life itself. With each additional force or explanation that the naturalist is compelled to pull out of his hat, naturalism becomes less likely. It’s like the womanizing husband who is forced to explain to his wife his extended “business trips,” mysterious phone calls, missing pay checks, and the bra found in his luggage. Although he has a “credible” explanation for all of these things, when put together, they become unbelievable.
Let’s just consider some phenomena that any theory must be able to account for, followed by naturalism’s desperate attempts at explanations.
1. THE ORIGIN OF THE BASIC BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE: Naturalism attempts to explain the origin of proteins and DNA in terms of self-organization. However, there is not a shred of evidence for this. These substances are produced in no other place than in living cells.
2. THE ORIGIN OF THE CELL OR OF LIFE: Panspermia (seeded from extra-terrestrial life) is no explanation at all. It just forces the explanation abroad. There seems to be no other “natural” contender.
3. CONSCIOUSNESS: Just a natural outgrowth of matter when it becomes complex enough?? Please notice that there is nothing simple or parsimonious about the desperate contortions of naturalism!”
4. FREEWILL: Naturalism can’t explain it, so naturalists often deny it exists! Now that’s putting one’s head in the sand.
5. THE ORIGIN OF THE LAWS OF PHYSICS: The Big Bang? Is that really an explanation? Since when do explosions create unchanging laws?
6. THE FINE-TUNIG OF THE UNIVERSE: If there are an infinite number of universes (something logically incoherent!) then it would be likely that one of them is this perfectly tuned universe! However, there is no evidence for even a second universe.
7. MORAL ABSOLUTES: Again, naturalism finds it more convenient to deny that such things exist. Consequently, injustice isn’t ABSOLUTELY wrong!
8. LOGIC AND REASON: Naturalists usually say, “Well, we might not have an explanation, but eventually we’ll have one!” Now that’s faith!
9. IRREDUCIBLE COMPLEXITY: Co-option and faith!
Please notice that in order to explain each phenomenon, naturalism must invoke an entirely different mechanism (if they can pull one out of the hat?). In contrast, the ID hypothesis need only posit our One all-powerful God. Now that’s simplicity and elegance!