Imagine a world without religion.
That's what the writers of a recent commentary ask us to do. Then they point to several radical, negative examples, such as Osama bin Laden, in an attempt to write off all religion.
OK, let's imagine life with no religion. Most hospitals, many of the best universities in the world, many charities wouldn't exist. Perhaps even the United States itself. All these institutions and many more were founded in the name of religion, namely Christianity. If this kind of selective thinking is the basis of the so-called scientific research that the authors offer as evidence that man created God, then I put little credibility in their conclusions.
There's nothing wrong with their scientific methods and observations. It's the conclusions that are wrong, because they filter their results through the assumptions of the theory of evolution. For example, some of their research found that humans have an innate need for attachment and for protectors. Since the writers begin with the assumption of evolution, they interpret this as evidence that humans created "super parents" — gods — to help them cope. But if you begin with an assumption that the Bible is true, the same experiments would support the scriptures' truth that man was created in the image of God. God wants fellowship. That's why he created us. He wired us with the need to live in community and in families. And He built into each one of us a God-shaped vacuum that only He can fill.
Take another one of their findings: that even infants have a built-in sense of morality, an "evolved" trait, they assume. Yet the Bible tells us in Romans and other places that God built into each of us a sense of right and wrong — a conscience — that points us to God. It's one of the ways he has revealed Himself to us.
There's nothing wrong with their empirical evidence. It's their interpretation that's wrong. They come to erroneous conclusions because their presuppositions come from their authority: the unproven theory of evolution. Christians come to different conclusions because our presuppositions come from our authority: God's word.
Even their overarching proposition fails to pass the logic test. On one hand, they say faith is a bad thing for the human race. On the other hand, they argue: Evolved traits make creatures more fit to survive. Faith evolved. So the only logical conclusion is that faith is something that makes us more fit, a good thing for humans.
It's beyond the scope of this column to debate the shortcomings of the theory of evolution, but my point is that all science, properly interpreted, supports God's word.
There are limits to what knowledge can be obtained and proved using reason and empirical evidence. History can't be proved this way. And supernatural truth cannot be proved this way. Therefore, the man who says he will believe only what passes the judgment bar of human reason and empirical science is selling himself short. There is much more to God's universe than that.
Of course, I could rehearse all the classic philosophical arguments for the existence of God — the cosmological argument that says there must be a first cause: God. Evolution and science don't explain the existence of matter. Faith in God does.
There's the teleological argument: The world is highly complex and organized. Take the human eyeball, for example. Like a fine watch, something that intricate argues for a designer, not something that fell together in time as the result of a series of birth defects and mutations.
Again, there's not space to go through all the arguments for God. And there's really little point. God has revealed Himself clearly to us through the Bible, through creation, through our conscience, through history and supremely through his son, Jesus Christ.
In fact, no man can, with intellectual integrity, truly claim to be an absolute atheist. What man would claim to possess 100 percent of all possible knowledge? You would still have to admit that God might exist in the portion of knowledge you do not have. Therefore, there are no true atheists, only agnostics, who can truthfully only say, "I'm not sure if God exists."
If you're not sure, then you should look in places in which reason and empirical evidence do not shed light. That is faith. Science has limits.