Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Creation vs. Evolution Part 3

This is my personal summary of the preaching of Rev.Dr.Stephen Tong on his apologetics series on Creation vs Evolution Part 3 on 16 July 2006

Christianity holds that God is unchanging in the changing history of mankind. Evolution vs. creationism is the view of the natural vs. the supernatural. Metaphysics refer to things beyond the physical world. From the 18th century onwards, the rise of rationalism and empiricism caused changes in people's minds and metaphysics were no longer considered very important.

Kant believed that human beings could not understand the absolutes so he denied the absolutes and this paved way for agnosticism. According to Kant, no matter how we think we can never understand the essence. The essence is in the neumonal world. But the way we reason is based on physical phenomena. This is similar to the view of Buddhism and Plato.

Plato said that although every tree is different, we still call it a tree. So there must be the essence of a tree that enables us to recognize something as a tree. Another example is the circle. Does true circle really exist? If it exists, why can't I draw it? Perfect circle is in the world of ideas (neumonal) while imperfect circles are in the world of phenomena. So Plato believed that perfection cannot exist in the physical world but it exists in our heart. Deep inside of us there is a real existence, IDOS, i.e. the ideal. All else are images.

We often say, “A human being should not be like this.” So we use IDOS within us to check and judge how things ought to be like. We live imperfect lives in imperfect world. But if we have no idea of the ideal, there is no way we can communicate with others.

The German idea of the ideal comes from Kant. Kant called it the “thing in itself.” Kant divided knowledge into two parts, i.e. physical phenomena where we can understand with our reason and the neumonal world where reason cannot understand though reason knows that it exists. Kant believed that 3 things belong to the neumonal world: God, incorruptibility and freedom.

Everything infinite is in the neumonal. Reasoning power is limited. We need to admit in humility that we do not know. So we need not investigate beyond phenomena. This becomes the foundation for the agnostics.

Christianity, however, has a special reformed thought.

The things that we can know and understand with our reason, God allows us to seek. These belong to the general revelation and we are all responsible to discover and understand.

The things that we cannot know and understand, God reveals through His special revelation, that is, His salvation for humanity.

Therefore, Christians need not become agnostics just because they cannot understand the infinite. In the realm of knowledge then, Christians are the most blessed. Darwin also did not have such concept so he was confused. He did not know the source so while studying nature he ended up with theory that could not be considered as pure science as he used over 1100 sentences containing words like “If”, “Assuming”, “Suppose”, etc. Without reformed theology, in our pursuit of knowledge we will be deceived.

Evolution became a system of thought and Christian leaders were not prepared. At that time the church could not respond properly but only knew how to hold on to their tradition and challenged the theory in a very immature way. As a result, there was a movement against the church to defend the scientists who were being despised.

One year after the publication of the Origin of Species, Karl Marx wrote to Darwin and used his theory as a support for communism. Marx is one of the most brilliant thinkers in economics. He was not only good in economic theory but also wanted to understand how humanity progresses. He believed in purely materialistic world and dialectical method of analyzing history. This idea first came from Ancient Greek. It was developed by Kant and later on Hegel formulated the history of change which comprises of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. So human history swings like a pendulum. A thesis is challenged by an antithesis, and later on synthesis will bring both together to become a new thesis. Marx is a student of Hegel who later proposed this idea to explain history and dialectical materialism then becomes the foundation of communism. Marx saw the process of change from system of slavery all the way to communism. Marx is a genius who combined great systems of thought together. One of his greatest quotations is that philosophy is not a lesson taught in the classroom, but it is the power to change history.

In 1860, Marx wrote to Darwin to thank him as he thought that his theory of economics finally had found support in biology. He deeply appreciated Darwin and felt that Darwin had given him the last key needed to conclude his theory. However, Darwin would not accept Marx's appreciation and theory of communism.

Something important we can observe from history is that frequently the side effects overwhelm the positive effects. This could probably be written as a new theory called “side effectology” (Reverend Tong’s original words). A lot of people work so hard all their lives only to find out before they die that people use their work to promote a lot of bad things which they never imagine. On one hand, they feel that they have not accomplished what they want and on the other hand their hard work is being misused greatly for causes they personally would never support.

Although Mao Zedong wanted to accomplish great things for China, the result was that more than 70 million people died under his reign. This is an example of side effect overpowering the positive effect. Hegel said that the greatest lesson we learn from history is that human does not accept the lesson from history.

Within 70 years, communism conquered one third of humanity (1917 – 1989). Darwin would not have imagined that his theory would be used as support for communism but today all communist government uses evolution. We need the wisdom of God to evaluate history.

There are accounts that at the end of his life, Darwin read the Bible and told lady Hobbe (a missionary) that when he was a young man with unformed ideas he threw away miracles, but he was astonished that people make his theory a religion that burnt everywhere. He also wrote a letter to Oxford to express his doubt in his own theory, saying that there is no sufficient evidence for the theory of evolution and it must need greater grounding.

Hence, evolutionists are always looking for the missing link between apes and human beings. But many fossils that have been discovered such as the Javanese man, the Peking man, the Neander man, etc. only tells that there is such creature at a certain time of history and it would take a leap of faith to believe that these are human ancestors. One main problem with these fossils is that they do not have the cavity for human voice.

Human voice is a very integral part of human body as it is the organ that enables us to express language which is a medium of meaning. Human beings are different from all other animals in that we have reason, morality and the concept of eternity. We should not look down on ourselves by linking humanity to non-human beings and denying our creation. It is our glory that we are made in the image of God.


At 7:12 PM, Blogger daas said...

You are arguing from incredulity. Just like ppl who see a magician's act will say "I cant see how the magician did it, therefore it must be magic!"

This is all the evidence for evolution:
For evolution of language, scientists have linked it to the evolution of the FoxP2 gene which is present in other animals like birds, dolphins.

What is morality? Animals exhibit a basic sense of alturism. They can feel grief, jealousy, etc. To find out more, please read "The Science of Good and Evil" by Michael Shermer.

To learn about evolution, it takes a lot of effort to learn about modern genetics and molecular biology as well as paleotonology so perhaps a business student may not fully understand the scientific terms used. Contrary to creationist claims, we are still in the process of discovering more and more fossils. One of which is the intermediate forms of flatfish evolution which have eyes in the middle of the head and could answer Darwin's question on how the flatfish evolved.

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hitler was a christian and used his Christian beliefs to justify the killing of Jews. Therefore, can we say that Christianity is evil? Ideas can be distorted by dictators and tyrants for their own good.

At 4:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to: daas
if you say it like that,then people who beliefs in evolution will never be able to marry
can you guess why??
well because when you lovers tells you "i love you" you will say prove it. then how will they prove it? kisses you? no, if kiss is a prove of love then judas is the one who loves jesus most because he kissed jesus(he sells jesus by kissed jesus as a confirmation)
and none of the othe students did that. secondly, is to be kind to
he/she is an expression to love? no, it might as well an expression of pity right.
so,why do evolutionist can marry?
well, because they are believer as well(they belive in what so called as "evolution" and love).
the question is why cant you belief in god? you can feels the presence of god as you feel the presence of love and wind even if you cant see it.


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