God died in 1776?

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God died in 1776?

Letter received

My response

Congratulations on putting together an impressive site. However, it is the same tired argument heard over and over again from creationists. Manipulate, misquote, and mislead to promote your religious agenda. For example, no one ever has stated in the scientific community that the Miller / Urey apparatus created life. It simply showed, based on the Oparin / Haldane hypothesis, how organic compounds necessary for life were possibly generated on primordial Earth. To promote your views you first use a literal interpretation of Genesis, then creation science, and now intelligent design. Each time you've been stopped by common sense, logic, and rational thought. Here is a novel idea. Why don't you concentrate on presenting convincing evidence of a supreme deity or intelligent design through empirical tests of your own? Everything presented in your site has a natural explanation. Is it then more reasonable to assume that an "intelligent designer" did this instead? Forget your mythology so time can be spent solving problems that really effect society. Oh, David Hume, in 1776, effectively destroyed the notion of intelligent design. Hard as it may seem to believe, I once thought just as it seems that you do. I was proud of my intellect and rationalism and highly cynical towards anything related to God or spirituality. What I found, though, is that all it takes is one experience in life that you cannot explain as "natural" or "coincidence," one experience when you sense the presence of a wisdom far greater than your own, to open your heart and your mind to the awareness that God may indeed be there. If you haven't had that experience there is nothing anyone else can say to convince you otherwise. The only evidence of God that any of us will accept is having a personal experience that you know in your heart to be God's touch in your life.

On rationalism: Is it truly so rational to assume that life began on its own when Pasteur demonstrated in the 19th century that life only comes from existing life? Is it truly so rational to believe in the one chance in so, so, so many of life beginning on its own instead of the alternate hypothesis that there could be a cause that led to the effect? Isn't cause and effect how we observe the universe to work? Is it truly so rational to believe that matter created intelligence rather than that Intelligence created matter? The truth is that much of what I believed as an agnostic ran counter to both reason and evidence, but I held to my beliefs because I had no personal experience to give me reason to believe in God and because I had a strong bias against religion.

Is it reason or is it bias that leads you to believe that someone in 1776 could "destroy the notion of Intelligent design?" Hume lived in an era when science still believed in spontaneous generation, had little knowledge of the cell and not a clue as to the incredibly sophisticated code for life in DNA. I would think that critical thinking would lead one to conclude that Hume was himself driven by an agenda of what he desired to believe and not by any real knowledge of the truth.

You ask for evidence, but you probably won't accept the evidence that can be found all around you until you experience for yourself an answered prayer, an insight that comes from beyond your own understanding or an unexplained medical miracle. True, this may not be "empirical," but it's we who are in the test tube here, not God, and you won't find Him by treating Him like a bug in a jar.

You say everything on my site has a natural explanation. So how did the first cell come to life "naturally," when dozens of interdependent components and systems must become fully operational at once in order for life to exist? I'd really like to know. To my knowledge, we can't even offer a natural explanation for the formation of our own moon, let alone explain its perfect shape and precise positioning that create a total solar eclipse. Do you really have all the answers you say you do? Have you ever explored the other areas of human existence or have you just sat in the warmth and blinding light of an intellectual desert, dismissing accounts by others that there is a spiritual ocean beyond your horizons?

I understand having a disdain for religion. There is much wrong with it. But religion isn't God, it's just a human effort to institutionalize a personal spiritual experience that only holds real meaning for the individual. Only God can prove His existence to you. All I can do is to tell you that for years I thought all the same things that you do, but have had experiences that have lead me to believe that I was wrong. What are your beliefs really based on: reason or faith; experience or opinion? If you can step back from your beliefs, you'll find that atheists, evolutionists, scientists, creationists and everyone else all have beliefs that are based in faith and all of us want to rationalize what we can to feel assured that our beliefs are right. Call that an agenda, if you want, but no one is immune from this basic human need, so don't assume that one side knows it all and the other is simple and stupid.

I have no intention of misleading or manipulating and will correct anything on my site that can be demonstrated to be false. On the Miller-Urey experiment for instance, I refer to it as a common belief, not an official statement from the scientific community. If you search the Internet you will indeed find this experiment referred to as the "life in a test tube" experiment. I've even had atheists write me to explain how this experiment has shown life to have been created. They are wrong, but their perceptions have become their realities and this is a belief that some people are led to hold based on the presentation of this experiment, a presentation that I would consider very misleading.

You also challenged me to spend time on problems that really affect society. Based on my own life, there is no greater advancement in the human experience than making the connection to a greater power, wisdom and purpose than your own. It changes you in an incredible way. I love technology, but frankly all our technological advancements of the 20th century probably led to more lives murdered than lives saved. We have all the resources and tools we need right now to feed the starving and solve most of the world's other great ills. What we lack is the depth of love and compassion required to make us care about other's needs as much as we care about our own wants. Mankind could make greater strides in the quality of life by following the words found in Matthew Chapters 5 through 7 than by inventing a thousand new vaccines or genetically engineered foods. Put both together though and we'd really have something.

I am rationalist and a theist, looking for the best way I know to show that these work in concert. My "agenda" is thus to challenge people to think about all that we are taught and to open their hearts and minds just enough to explore the other side. You might be amazed at what, and Who, you find. If you like, I invite you to take a look at another site I have done to try to express the more personal side of this at
"Snapshots of God."  Let me know if I can ever help in any way.

Best regards,


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