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37 Pragmatism

“But I have heard that you can give interpretations and solve problems. Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” Dan 5:16 (ESV)

Problem solving skills are among the most sought after by any employer. As individuals we higher plumbers to solve plumbing problems. Corporations hire consultants to solve difficult business problems. Engineers and technicians do almost nothing but solve problems. We seek out doctors to solve problems. Pragmatism the acid test for the Evolution and Creation models. If either is impractical and counterproductive it should be discarded. If one solves problems, it has merit.

Engineers use various design principles to solve problems. Good engineering accounts for all the variables and leaves nothing to chance. Creation credits the order of the universe to an intelligent designer who took all the variables into account. Evolution credits the order of the universe to chance and good fortune. Hope is placed in the unlikely notion that chaos spontaneously produces order. What we actually observe in nature is entropy. Left alone, any natural system will produce entropy until eventually all order moves to disorder. Evolutionary engineering is at best an oxymoron. Creative engineering is much more useful.

How we value life determines how we care for our fellow man. Evolution’s approach seeks to continually strengthen the race. This philosophy leads to a culture of death. Weak, handicapped, or otherwise unproductive or undesirable people do not strengthen the race. Euthanasia becomes the most efficient way to purify society and eliminate genetic flaws. This philosophy brought about the eugenics experiments of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Eugenics is the term for self-directed human evolution. Hitler’s ideal of a superior race led to the most horrible racial genocide of all time as part of Nazi eugenics. Margaret Sanger’s goal of aborting African American and other undesirable children though Planned Parenthood is an example of American eugenics. Ironically, the people who cry the loudest in public about racism are often the same ones promoting legalized euthanasia of the aged and infirmed, abortion, and other forms of medical treatment which values the state above the individual. From the biblical perspective all human life is intrinsically valuable. Humans are all created in the likeness of our Creator. We are to care for those who cannot care for themselves. We are to be generous and loving. Care for the individual is more important than satisfying an impersonal bureaucracy. The medical establishment should exist to improve the quality of life of individual people. When the medical establishment is forced to serve the state rather than the people, the caregivers are forced to care about the state’s wishes above those of the patients. The philosophy of eugenics requires that needs of the group, which in practical terms means the state, come before the needs of individuals. The biblical perspective protects individuals.

Biological research is conducted for one of two ultimate purposes. One ultimate purpose is to make human biology “better”—a form of eugenics. The other is to restore biology to “normal”—corrective medicine. Eugenics supposes Evolution because it supposes improvement is not only possible but also the highest possible objective of biological research. Corrective medical research focuses on overcoming diseases and disorders. Assuming normal biology is already ideal allows researchers to approach cures as engineering problems where the goal is to restore the normal. This assumption presupposes that normal is the designed condition. All sorts of maladies have been cured through this approach. Very little useful knowledge has been gained from the eugenics approach.

Psychiatry and Psychology are closely related branches of medicine used to cure mental illness. Looking at the mind as if it were purely biological almost always leads to a pharmacological approach to curing mental illness. There certainly are some very real biological problems with the brain that can be addressed with medications. However, there are many more mental conditions that require a non-material approach. Laughter, placeboes, and mental training to overcome phobias are just a few examples of non-material solutions. Refer back to Chapter 7 for more information about the mind and brain.

Anthropology is the study of man. It generally involves examination of the remains of previous civilizations. Studying ancient artifacts alone provides us with only a very limited understanding of history. The evolutionary approach allows all sorts of wild speculation and little meaningful explanation. Evolutionary anthropology fails to explain strikingly similar flood mythologies or pyramid construction among seemingly unrelated people groups of diverse language and distant location. The revelation of Genesis, on the other hand, provides startlingly clear, cogent, and accurate descriptions of history and historical context that explain many such mysteries in anthropology.

Geology is a very broad natural science that deals with nearly anything non-living in or on the earth. The Evolutionary uniformitarian model predicts conditions that simply do not fit the facts. A planetary flood far better explains the break up of Pangea as well as the formation of vast oil, coal, and fossil rich sedimentary rock. Geologic phenomena from the motion of tectonic plates to ocean chemical content to earth’s immense yet collapsing magnetic field fit far better the Creation model than the Evolution model. Dogmatically accepting Evolution requires untenable explanations.

People have looked at the sky in awe and wonder for as long as they have walked the earth. Our understanding of how celestial bodies interact depends on the model we use to try and grasp what we observe. As with any branch of science, erroneous theories lead to impossible experiments which in turn result in unexpected or meaningless results. Relativity experiments prove beyond reasonable doubt that the universe is or has expanded. By essentially disproving the steady state theory, the notion of an infinite past must be dismissed. The universe had a beginning. Evolution’s associate, the Big Bang Theory, fails to explain the prime cause of material reality. Creationists and Evolutionists alike have put forward a host of competing and often poorly founded theories. There is simply too much we do not know about our universe. What we do know is that sifting through the theories that rise up requires great skill and objectivity. We must not stifle theories simply because they do not fit a certain predisposition and we must not hold fast to those theories that fail under scrutiny even when the failed theory supports whichever position you hold.

Classical physics, like chemistry, provides us with very practical understanding of our world. Classical physics and chemistry are sciences that allow us to engineer things from the internal combustion engine to bridges to airplanes. While this level of physics is very practical to our day to day world, when we begin to look at nuclear and sub-nuclear matter we begin to reveal qualities far more curious and miraculous. The old law that two things cannot exist in the same place at the same time is false at the subatomic level. We now know that light is both energy and matter. The more we learn, the more amazingly designed the universe seems to be. To assume Evolution is to suspend belief in hard observation because Evolution necessarily denies Entropy. Few laws of science are as well established as Entropy. Evolution predicts simplicity. Creation predicts far greater complexity than meets the eye.

The useful outcome of science is technology. We study the material universe and what we learn allows us to construct more useful products. Could anyone have designed an MRI to find and treat cancer without several sciences working in concert? Technology resulting from science can help us to save lives, but it cannot answer the question: why should life be preserved? For that we must go beyond science and materialism to seek the divine.

Physical laws are absolute. Gravity, electrical charge, motion, magnetism and so forth have known characteristics that simply do not change. We call those characteristics physical laws. To suppose these physical laws arose from nothing is absurd, yet that is exactly what Materialism supposes. If caused, there must be an all-powerful self-existent eternal mind behind the design and implementation of the universe. That mind is called God. Morality is a sort of non-material code of law that governs human behavior. This code is based on the knowledge of good and evil. If God does not exist then good does not exist so evil cannot exist either. If there is no good and evil then there is no right and wrong. Morality is then at best an illusion that keeps the general population from destroying itself and at worst a hindrance to personal desires. If there is no God then there are certainly no absolutes when it comes to morality. If there is a God who established absolute physical laws there might also be absolute moral laws. If that is true then it stands to reason we should seek that God and learn His moral law with as much zeal as we seek to learn His physical laws. As a practical matter, without some sense of moral law, civil law becomes pointless and behavioral boundaries are not necessary. If there is moral law, then it stands to reason there must be some sort of objective standard. If that is true, it then makes sense to establish civil laws, civil rights, and mechanisms to administer justice. The very existence of government, whether personal or national, is predicted by Creation, however the absence of government is predicted by Evolution.

Related Topics: Creation