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Rob Lockett's picture

The best argument for design...

I wanted to share what, in my opinion, is the most compelling argument for design bar none, and the one I think must be thouroughly discussed and debated.

C.S. Lewis nails the point when he exhorts us that no science is true unless our thinking about it is first true. That puts philosophy (or logic) ahead of the emperical world in terms authority. Do not misunderstand, I am not a rationalist. The internal and external world must both cohere in order to have a trustworthy truth claim. We should place our faith in nothing less, and as Lewis said elsewhere, reason herself tells us to look beyond her for confirmation. The natural sciences provide quite nicely as confirmation or rebuke for our various 'theo'.

There is no such thing as ‘natural science’ apart from the thinking that founds it. That is it’s foundation. What we can say… is that nature is, from all we can tell, a neutral medium by which to test our philosophical constructs. If that were not so, then neither the naturalist or the theist could say that ’such and such doesn’t fit the evidence.’

We all seem to agree (putting aside the agregiously imaginative New-Agers anyway) that the material world is objective with regard to our theories about it. It is the objective test of our ideas.

We can say that science is the ‘inference to the best explaination’. That is the hallmark of scientific theory, and a founding philosophical principle of the possible accuracy of any science to begin with. There is no escaping philosophical coherence no matter how hard the naturalist tries.

We all know, there was a time when we could not say with any certainty that the universe is ordered in an intelligeable way. Some still hold to that, since we do not understand everything (ie. the quantum realm). But as has been noted by none other than Albert Einstein, ‘God doesn’t play dice’. And I understood he made that remark in the same context...

Logic is the law. We must assume that that is so irrespective of God’s nature (be He/it, an eternal and impersonal material force, or a personal and loving creator). If we do not, then there is no such thing as knowledge since none of us is prepaired to accept incoherence as a legitiamte argument.

Quoting C.S. Lewis again, “If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

No logic = no comprehensibility = no science.

All of this being considered, it is logic that is the foundation of all ‘knowledge’. All meanignful language uses logic, be it mathematics, English, Swahili, or ancient Hebrew.

So language itself is really just logic. We can express it with whatever digital components we like; from whistles, pops, and clicks, to the quaternary digital code of DNA, information is being expressed and delivered from one entity to another in an orderly fashion. And logic comes from intelligence as a matter of empirical observation.

If our thinking is true, then and only then, is empericism true. It then follows that when the two are in agreement, we have the only thing that can be considered scientific. Yet again, the philsophical presupposition is always the dominant force.

This trumpet must be sounded as we march around the city until the walls of honest individuals come down. It is simple… It is irrefutable… And puts us in the ‘actual’ scientific seat.

Internal philosophical coherence + external material coherence = systemic coherence = empirical fact. Call it a triune harmony of two dimensions, creating a third and indivisible spirit of truth between the two...

There is no emperical evidence that methodological naturalism should be the definition of science because it is itself, not an emperical or scientific fact but a philosophical proposition. And it is in this sense self defeating. If, as the current definition goes, the only thing that is scientific, is that which has a material explanation, then by what material explanation is there for that assertion being true?

As I have noted, it is a philosophical belief as is any religion be it theistic, atheistic, polytheistic pantheistic or what have you... All science is philsophical, because all science is assumed to be logical.

Am I beating a dead horse?

Good!

It should therefore be absolutely remarkable to any honest thinker that in the first lines of His gospel, John says, “In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God. Without Him, nothing that has been made was made… The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”

It is the Logos (Word or logic) that ordered the universe.

The only thing that is ultimately even definable as ’scientific’ is ‘The Word’ (which is ultimately just logic). As Lewis so simply and clearly reminds us, if our thoughts (expressed by words) are not valid, then no scientific observation is either.

I am one who agrees that the battle will ultimately be won or lost by the ability for people to communicate this message of philosophical coherence as the ‘real definition of science’. But that assumes people will want to hear it. Many do not, and the political pressures upon those considering it must be emmense.

I firmly believe the proponents of naturalism will pull the rug out from all of us before they allow a design paradigm to once again rule the day. That is a prophecy that I do not personally like, but it has authority greater than my own will to support it. Individual walls will fall… converts will be made. Just not all.

The materialists will, in the end, exalt themselves if the Bible is true.

Science is simply logic (philosophy). The material world can only confirm it’s authority. The material dimension cannot speak… I repeat… it cannot speak… for itself. It needs ‘logic’ (Logos / The Word) to speak for it. It is therefore doomed in any attempt to exalt itself coherently. It will need magicians and mystics to perform such a ritual. As I hinted in the last post, this will not stop many from 'giving appearent life and breath to it’s image' as John wrote in Revelation.

To really overstate my case, the material universe did not create the laws of physics. The laws of physics enable the material universe to be. And the laws themselves are not material entities. The material universe simply obeys them and gives them material legitimacy.

Sir Isaac Newton understood this when he said, “Though these bodies may, indeed, persevere in their orbits by the mere laws of gravity, yet they could by no means have at first derived the regular positions of the orbits themselves from those laws….
This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the council and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being.” (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy)

Let’s face it… from a childlike sheppard boy named David observing the glory of the heavens, to John polkinhorne the quantum physicist at Cambridge, the appearence of design is base, simple, and logical and yet marvelously complex.

I used to believe the naturalists. And though for me the walls came down slowly, their continued audacity and imposition compels me to vehemently contend for the truth. How can we be so resistent to understand this?

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