The fatal difficulty of the “Scientific Outlook”

By the “scientific outlook”, I’m of course referring to the religion that is Naturalism, especially those within its largest denomination, Evolutionism.  A great many holes have been and continue to be punched in this erroneous view of things, but I came across a concise summary of the fatal flaw in this worldview, from the pen of one CS Lewis:

“If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees.”

If Reason came from non-reason as the Evolutionists claim then how can we take their arguments seriously when their origin is non-reason and chaos?  Someone please explain the consistency in this. 

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15 Responses to The fatal difficulty of the “Scientific Outlook”

  1. edarrell says:

    How can you take any idea seriously regardless its origin? It’s rather like asking how anyone can take seriously the thoughts of a man born to a young girl and a carpenter who is not the child’s father.

    If one cannot recognize the value of an idea, the source of the idea makes no difference.

  2. Lazaro says:

    Thank you for your comment. Who/what determines value?

  3. edarrell says:

    Whatever the criteria for value, argument from authority must be way, way down the list.

  4. Lazaro says:

    You still didn’t answer the question. You brought up value, more specifically the value of an idea, so I ask again, who/what determines value?

  5. edarrell says:

    I do. You do. The market does.

    Who determines the value of an idea is irrelevant to this point: Who comes up with the idea does not determine its value.

    Transistors were invented by a racist, William Shockley. Does that make you pause when you turn on the thousands of transistors in your computer? Does it affect their operation in any way?

    Is reason valuable? Yes, it gives us safe and efficacious pharmaceuticals. It gives us airplanes that fly, and petroleum to make the gas that powers our autos. What difference does it make whether reason evolved or was poofed by the Magic Unicorn?

  6. Lazaro says:

    Thanks for answering the question. So value is relative?

    Who’s to say that racism is bad? If Shockley’s view is racist who are you or I to tell him he’s wrong? I believe racism is evil but who am I to tell someone like Shockley anything about it? He didn’t think that people of other races had value and if value is determined by the individual then who are we to tell him that yes all human beings have value?

    I know what you’re trying to say. I have no problem with evolution as a biological theorem but when its adherents apply it to the question of origins they are going outside its purview. On the subject of origins it has nothing to say. Shockley might have invented the transistor but when it comes to race relations why should I take his view of things when it falls outside his area of expertise, such as race relations and civil rights?

    “Is reason valuable?” I don’t know is it? If it evolved then it arose from chaos and non-reason, you don’t see the problem with that? Re-read the Lewis quote

  7. edarrell says:

    No, you don’t understand what I’m saying. You’re trying to force me into a different argument.

    You claimed, without any support, that reason could not exist if it evolved. There’s not a shred of evidence to support such a claim. You said that in a diatribe against reason, suggesting that reason should be ignored. C. S. Lewis didn’t understand evolution, either, and on this point he’s simply in error. His logic is the same logic that says we shouldn’t listen to Jesus, since Jesus was, after all, just the illegitimate-but-adopted son of a small-town carpenter.

    The value of the idea is in the idea, not in its source.

    I was not saying anything about the origin of life. You were making an unevidenced claim against the origin of reason, and I noted that the philosophy behind your answer is rather threadbare.

    I noted several valuable things we get from reason. So far you’ve not disagreed, except to repeat the earlier argument that Lewis doesn’t understand evolution.

    Do you agree, then, that Jesus should not be listened to? That is a logical application of your argument.

    It is not I who is ducking here.

  8. Lazaro says:

    What is reason? Have we established that? Is evolution, as you believe in it, guided or random, or both?

    A diatribe against reason? After all does not the word ‘logic’ come from the Greek logos? The same word applied to Jesus in the Gospel of John? “In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, He was with God in the beginning (John 1:1)” I believe reason exists because there is a source of it, the triune God. You believe otherwise but you believe nonetheless you can’t know for sure. My point is that I don’t see how reason can be relied upon unless God exists.

    Lewis was referring to the fatal flaw in naturalism which assumes (and it is an assumption) that there is no God, no Being outside of Nature. If reason arose from unguided and completely random events what value is there in it?  By the way Lewis accepted evolution as the method God used to create us, on this I disagree with him.  He believed in evolution but in the type which has a Reason behind it and not merely chaos as the driving force.

    Yes you have noted several valuable things get from reason. Valuable in whose eyes? The Market? Yours? What determines the value of a thing? the usefulness of it? how it aids in the good of humanity? Why is the good of humanity a worthy goal? Who determined that?

    Whether or not you listen to Jesus is up to you. He will hold you personally accountable one way or the other when He returns or the moment after your death (whichever comes first).

  9. Lazaro says:

    I guess a better question to ask you is, do you believe in God?

  10. edarrell says:

    Logic isn’t necessarily reason, but that’s a minor quibble.

    Yes, a diatribe against reason. You didn’t say “the philosophy of naturalism.” Especially in your title, you went after science, which uses methodological naturalism, but which is unwedded to philsophical naturalism. It may be demanding a lot for anti-science advocates to distinguish, because most of them are completely incapable of such reason . . . oh, there’s the problem in a nutshell, no?

    My point still stands — if there is no value in reason that arose from unguided and completely random events, there is no value in reason that arises from any cause. Evolution, of course, isn’t random — “natural selection” being quite the opposite of random, but don’t let the facts get in the way of a rant, eh? The value of reason is in its application, not in its origin. As C. S. Lewis noted brilliantly in The Screwtape Letters and elsewhere, the error is in your assumption that great and noble things cannot arise from humble beginnings. That was Wormwood’s specific error in the book; C. S. Lewis was no slouch — it’s also the story of Jesus.

    You may reject it if you choose — but don’t you claim to be Christian? Who are you to tell God how to run the world?

    Do I believe in God? What does it matter to you? If I say yes, you’ll tell me my beliefs are somehow in error. You’ve already assumed once that I don’t, and so you scold me that I have to answer to Jesus anyway.

    And thereby lies the irony. You’d dismiss my arguments as unworthy, regardless the source. As I was arguing, the source is immaterial.

  11. Lazaro says:

    I’ll reply in different comments so bear with me:

    What is the difference between logic and reason?

    I did not mean to mislead with the title, I actually got the term “scientific outlook” from a Lewis paper and this is what he meant by it: the belief that we’re here (what/whereever here is we can leave to the nihlists) as a result of several millionth of a millionth chance all stacked up on top of each other with no Outside Being acting upon the Universe. So ok, the ‘philosophy of naturalism’ is what I meant, forgive me for the ambiguity…

    As far as I understand (and that’s probably not enough) this is what this philosophy is:

    1. Matter exists eternally and is all there is. God does not exist.
    2. The cosmos exists as a uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system.
    3. Human beings are complex machines; personality is an interrrelational of chemical and physical properties we do not yet fully understand.
    4. Death is the extinction of personality and individuality.
    5. History is a linear stream of events linked by cause and effect but w/o and overachieving purpose
    6. Ethics is related only to human beings.

  12. Lazaro says:

    Evolution isn’t random? Well I suppose it depends if you’re a theist evolutionist or an atheist evolutionist. I’ll stop making assumptions about you personally since I shouldn’t have done so at the outset, forgive me for this. If one is an atheist evolutionist how is natural selection not random? If it’s not random then does it have a purpose? If it has a purpose who gave it that purpose?

    According to Campbell’s Biology natural selection is differential success in the reproduction of different phenotypes resulting from the interaction of organisms with their environment. The text goes on to say that evolution occurs when natural selection causes changes in relative frequencies of alleles in the gene pool.

    So in theistic evolution God is behind these processes, right? but to an atheist evolutionist these processes are still guided? but by what? or is chance considered a driving force? what about a natual disaster? let’s say whatever happened to the dinos was a result of some cataclysmic event (or maybe not there a lot of theories), who was behind that event? to a theist it would be God but to an atheist, who was it? chance? the force of natural selection? curious am I…

  13. Lazaro says:

    the value of reason… ok what is reason? how do you define it? you still didn’t answer this question…

    great and noble things can’t arise from humble beginnings? I believe God created Adam out of the dust, if this is inconsistent with your statement so be it…

    Actually it’s half the story of Jesus… He existed from eternity so He did not have humble beginnings… As He tells the Father in John 17:4-5, “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, GLORIFY ME TOGETHER WITH YOURSELF, WITH THE GLORY WHICH I HAD WITH YOU BEFORE THE WORLD WAS.” The other half is the half you allude to, the Incarnation of which Paul speaks very eloquently of in Philippians 2…

    Yes I am a follower of Christ and know I don’t pretend to tell God (except in my worst moments) how to run His creation… It is He who tells us how He created it in Genesis 1, we choose to reject His Word or accept it, it’s quite simple on the face of it…

  14. Lazaro says:

    Yeah, I’ll repeat the question, do you believe in God? Are you now assuming what I’m going to say in response? I can’t say that I blame you since as you pointed out I assumed that you didn’t…

    did I say your arguments were unworthy? I actually find them to be well reasoned but then again reason isn’t everything, whatever reason is 🙂

    Thank you for the dialogue

  15. Pingback: Mohler on Darwinism « Last Row

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