“OK, So Where is God in All of This?”

Subscriber Les asks: Perry, I did read your book. What is God’s role in the model of evolution that you propose?

Is he just the designer of the laws of nature according to which life originates by chance and then evolves in an unguided manner?

Do you believe that God interferes into his creation by e.g. originating the first life form?

Les,

If you read closely, you’ll see that “life originates by chance” is an anti-scientific position which I cannot embrace.

You’ll also see that evolution is in some sense guided – even if it’s by the cell itself.

Where precisely do we find God in this? I hesitate to say. On the face of it, based on what we know RIGHT NOW, the genetic code has every appearance of being designed. Especially to a communications engineer who used to work at a networking company, where very smart people developed their own networking languages on an almost daily basis.

DNA is not just a molecule. It’s a phenomenal digital programming language. My multi-million dollar Evolution 2.0 challenge can be used as a God-Of-Gaps argument par excellence.

Wanna conk atheists on the head? It stumps ’em every time. But experience and maturity have taught me that it’s a bad idea to pit theology against science. There is no conflict between good theology and sound science.

So I am wary of “God of Gaps” arguments. I discuss this in chapter 24. The prize is not a gaps argument, it’s a genuine search for an answer. A solution may someday be found.

There is ALWAYS a gap in science, and if you understand Godel’s incompleteness theorem, there ALWAYS will be. It is fundamentally impossible for science to ever answer all the questions it raises. (Which is why materialism and scientism are a fool’s errand.)

But increasingly I’m reluctant to point to any ONE single fact, or measurement, or phenomenon, and announce: “Here it is right here, I’ve found it! THIS is the finger of God!” Gary Fugle talks about this in his book Laying Down Arms to Heal the Creation-Evolution Divide.

Like Gary, I’m more inclined to say God’s handiwork found in the totality and grandeur of nature as a whole. I think this view is more respectful of scientists and their work. (Which is a very important reason for embracing it.) I also think the “where is God” question is informed by the fact that the details continue to raise more questions than they answer.

There has never been a time in history when science has faced more unanswered questions than it has right now. Tomorrow there’ll be even more.

A LOT of Christians are, whether they realize it or not, yearning and searching for that specific finger-of-God piece of data. Some people are walking around looking for the guy who’s going to assure them, “See this complex system in nature? God made that thing. You can believe in God now.”

It’s very comforting, even exhilarating when you find it… but then it’s also disquieting when someone later comes up with a natural explanation and pulls the rug out from under you.

Newton thought that proof of God was that the universe didn’t collapse from gravitational attraction. Now we know that deeper laws account for that. I find philosophically informed Christians are nervous about God of Gaps arguments.

One thing we don’t know is where the laws come from. That question always seems to point us back towards God. But I am even more comfortable saying is that at the highest level, belief in God gives us a foundation for believing that the universe is intelligible, discoverable, rational and mathematical. It assures us there’s always another layer of discovery.

You will consistently find that, at the edges of science, atheists often revert to “random chance;” “the universe is senseless and incomprehensible,” “we may never solve this,” “we have to simply take these laws as givens and not question them,” “there’s an infinite number of universes and this is just one of the lucky ones,” “the universe popped into existence for no reason at all,” “there is nothing but blind pitiless indifference” and other lazy, anti-scientific, non-testable, non-empirical forms of abdication.

Belief in God propels you through that muck. It worked for the early scientists 500 years ago, and it still works today.

Saying, “Here, THIS is the place where nature can’t take care of things and God has to take over” is historically prone to failure. Does not St. Paul tell us that God does not dwell in temples made of hands?

As for my own “Where is God in all this question” – I find meaningful answers more readily in my personal experiences with God and in miracles. I’ve witnessed quite a few first hand, visit http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/miracles to hear some of my stories.

It’s very curious that many conservative evangelicals who embrace Young Earth Creationism (a 6-day series of VERY LARGE miracles) as a group tend to overwhelmingly NOT believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Miracles 6,000 years ago – good. Miracles now – bad.

Where I grew up, if you stood up and actually tried to heal people in church, they would throw you out and brand you a heretic. Yet I’ve never heard anyone provide a coherent, scripture-based defense for this. All the arguments for “cessationism” I’ve ever heard are byzantine theological Rube Goldberg machines.

It strikes me that their rejection of the miraculous is a major reason why they cling so tightly to YEC. Everyone, after all, gropes to find the presence of God in their life somewhere. I have even found most atheists wanted that at one time – but then gave up. As my brother Bryan likes to say, “Hate is often code for Want but cannot have.”

Do I find God in nature? Absolutely. But the Spirit is the best place to go if you’re looking.

17 Responses

  1. Mike Kennedy says:

    Evolution.2.0
    Absolutely riviting don’t want to finish it want to read it forever

    • Peter A. LaChance says:

      God’s interference perhaps could be disasters changing the course
      man is taking toward his Penultimate evolutionary direction. A way of God saying TSK TSK. If Evolution 1 were viable, perhaps God Himself would find him in the Chain of Events that got us all here. I prefer the Later Version. It better agrees with my digestion without the taking of antacids.

  2. Beryl says:

    I’m not quite sure how it is that I receive e-mails from you, yet, when I try and reply, it doesn’t accept mine? OK, so where is God in all of this? Well, here’s something for you….. CREATION SPEAKS FOR GOD….
    http://www.thepathoftruth.com/falsehood-exposed/evolution/creation-speaks-for-god.htm

  3. Heather Angus-Lee says:

    For me personally Perry’s book does answer for me, “See this complex system in nature? God made that thing. You can believe in God now.”

  4. Winona Hughes says:

    There’s a vry good book called “charismatic chaos” — that could perhaps make sense for you of how a young earth, staunch creationist could believe the gifts of the spirit for for a specific time….(I am not saying I agree with everything in the book- but it does at least go deeper and (for me) makes that premise quite logical…. (IN A WAY- Personally, I believe there is the exception where charismatic”
    Spiritual gifts of healing and tongues may (are) still at work- in parts of this world where those gifts ARE still needed- when used FOR the same
    Purposes & in the same manner as it was with the desciples and early church)

  5. Jim Serafin says:

    Have a look at this Les:

    IDvolution – God “breathed” the super language of DNA into the “kinds” in the creative act.

    This accounts for the diversity of life we see. The core makeup shared by all living things have the necessary complex information built in that facilitates rapid and responsive adaptation of features and variation while being able to preserve the “kind” that they began as. Life has been created with the creativity built in ready to respond to triggering events.
    Since it has been demonstrated that all living organisms on Earth have the same core, it is virtually certain that living organisms have been thought of AT ONCE by the One and the same Creator endowed with the super language we know as DNA that switched on the formation of the various kinds, the cattle, the swimming creatures, the flying creatures, etc.. in a pristine harmonious state and superb adaptability and responsiveness to their environment for the purpose of populating the earth that became subject to the ravages of corruption by the sin of one man (deleterious mutations).

    Keep in mind IDvolution, the philosophy, is distinct from Intelligent Design, the science.

    IDvolution.org

    • Peter A. LaChance says:

      The Atheist and Language Professor Noam Chomsky puts forth the argument that language is imprinted in the DNA we are graced with at birth and will lose if not used. He points this out in the “Gazelle Boy” from WWII. At age 11 or 12 when found they could not teach him to speak any sort of language. In DNA all that is there is preparation for the needs in our division of the Kingdom. We know that even the ability to love is lost if never having a person to love or care for you in early childhood. Chimps included as recorded. We are born ready for all conditions of life. Physics, Math, Language, it’s all there waiting for it’s use unless in utero it’s been damaged. We are certainly Miracles of God and without Him, More so.

  6. Shawn says:

    Evolution is an ancient theory and used to be a part of Christianity/Judaism. Evolution principle was previously known as alchemy and tikkun among judaism. The principle of tikkun olam (eternal recombination/rectification) is evident in all aspects of our universe. The principle can be summerized as follows, take two things and combine them into one new higher thing. This is exactly how the elements of the periodic table formed. The first atom was one thing for a vast period of time, until under a stressful event, it fused into a new higher/more complex element. All the elements evolved over vast periods of time in this way. From the less complex to the more complex. This is true of life as well. At a most basic level we see the principle at work in human nature. A mother and father combine to form a new person who they long to elevate/make better than themselves. This is part of the mystical tradition dating back pre-Abraham. However, for whatever reasons Christianity found itself at odds with mysticism and science once Rome took over. I find this odd since Jesus was very much a mystic, but in any case, Christianity made research a taboo. Hopefully that tendency will go away.

  7. Beryl says:

    Hi Perry, here’s also something for us to wrap our heads around:
    THE VAIN IMAGINATIONS OF FOOLS: http://www.thepathoftruth.com/falsehood-exposed/evolution/theories-of-evolution.htm

    • This article addresses none of the new discoveries I raise in my book and does not contribute to this conversation. I expect comments on this blog to provide unique discussion, not just links to other websites.

  8. Milorad Milivojša says:

    Halo, Perry.
    You are believer (that God exists), it seems obvious. But you desperately works for find proof of it. Is it important for you, or you want to “enlighten” others (not-believer)? Or just want to make money with things many people break spears of?
    Your thoughts are very interesting and educational, BUT one thing I did not seen you are aware of is – how you even can talk about God and His creation and reasons of creation?
    God is out of this what we call creation. He must be absolutely free of laws that exists in creation. He creates laws. He is the source. He is out of cause-consequence rule. If He is subject of some laws, that laws are definitely different from laws in created universe. His nature understanding is out of possibilities of our mind. And so …
    We can try to achieve some truths, but can never achieve truths about God`s nature and His reasons for this and for that. There is only one place for hope – to be saved in a way Jesus Christ have said and showed with His life – in God’s nearness we could receive much more knowledge.

    Saying this, I do not say “science is not needed”. Science is needed, but ONLY science that make good to people. Science that make weapons, or economic “science”, or much others – are not needed and are not good.

    (sorry, my English is not perfect, I am coming from Eastern, Orthodox Christianity, which did not lost mystical connection to God. When you talk about Christianity, you are always talk about Roman catholic and maybe some protestants – I invoke you to meet real Church – only one Church – Orthodox Church)
    In Christ,
    Milorad

    • Milorad,

      I believe what you are asking me is, am I going to tell people about Jesus and all that? Well, my site http://www.coffeehousetheology.com does just that. There are lots of people doing that. There are not so many people healing the rift between science and religion, which means getting rid of some bad science and some bad theology. That is what I am doing here.

      Very nice to meet you.

      Perry

      • Milorad Milivojša says:

        Perry,
        I understand you. At one way – you are right, but at other side – only one thing is really important – Why God is here?
        But nevertheless, I appreciate your work. Go on and let God help you to give people better understanding of nature.

        with regards,
        Milorad

  9. Peter Venable says:

    God’s White Box

    By irreducibly complex, I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.
    —Michael J. Behe, Darwin’s Black Box

    Take away
    The baby out of Bethlehem
    The Beatitudes out of the mountain
    The Teacher out of Palestine
    The Healer of the blind, crippled, and possessed
    The Raiser of the dead
    The Calmer of the storm
    The Chastiser of pompous piety
    The Confounder of interrogations
    The Witness on the cross
    The empty tomb and resurrection
    The Proclaimer in Judea
    The Way of eternal life for all nations
    The Revelation of the sword of the spirit—

    The Kosmos, the world system of men unlinks:
    Stars darkening and sunlight eclipsing
    Glaciers and poles liquidating into blue currents
    Beasts mouthing bombast and blasphemies
    Babylon fornicating with idols and drinking blood
    Plagues, starvation, infernos and smoke metastasizing—

    Until one Faithful and True
    Returns to link heaven and earth once again.

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