Positive case not built for atheist-materialism

Bernie Hendricks

Bernie Hendricks

Several weeks ago, Brady Phelps leveled his charge that many college students have a “disdain for science ? here at SDSU, too.” When questioned on the matter of objective evidence to support his case, he punted.

In that column (the April 1st Collegian issue), Phelps defined his argument in the context of Darwinian evolution being the only acceptable starting point for scientific pursuits. His approach to science is guided by an atheist-materialist worldview, and he is commendably open about his atheist faith – declaring in past columns that, compared with the alternatives, he is “very content to be an atheist.”

Phelps had a golden opportunity to present objective support for his charge against students in his most recent rejoinder (the April 22nd Collegian issue) and to present a positive case for his embrace of Darwinian evolution (or some variation thereof). He presented neither. Instead of despairing over the alleged “disdain for science,” he could have enlightened students on some of the finer points of evolution and perhaps softened that “disdain.”

Several of the “evolution heavyweights” of the world have been more willing to shed additional light on this important issue in their public discourses.

One of the leading evolutionists of our time, Niles Eldridge, has observed, “We paleontologists have said that the history of life supports [the story of gradual adaptive change], all the while knowing that it does not.”

Roger Lewin, co-author of several books with renowned anthropologist Richard E. Leakey, has affirmed, “The theory that we can date the birth of a new species by charting the steady accumulation of mutations over evolutionary time is in serious trouble.”

The famous Harvard evolutionist, Stephen J. Gould, concluded that Darwinian synthesis “as a general proposition is effectively dead, despite its persistence as textbook orthodoxy.”

Eldridge and Gould supported the “saltation” hypothesis for evolution – that new species appeared out of nowhere from sudden, drastic genetic change. Legendary Darwinian evolutionist Richard Dawkins, however, calls saltation “rubbish.”

Richard Dawkins, revered as the atheist godfather of Darwinian evolution, when interviewed about the finer points of evolution, explained that the primal event in the origin of life was the “first self-replicating molecule.”

[Right, and how did that happen?] – “I’ve told you, we don’t know.”

[So you have no idea how it started?] – “No, no. Nor has anyone.”

SDSU students should hardly be chastened for reserving judgment on the atheist-materialist faith in random, purposeless mutations purportedly underlying the transmutation of species – especially in light of Phelps’s reluctance to build a positive case for it himself.

C.S. Lewis further questioned the problem of sentience within the realm of this “faith:”

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