Monday, December 3, 2012

Words of Comfort: The Issue of Faith


Ask most atheists if the theory of evolution has anything to do with faith, and they will tell you that it doesn’t. It is a “fact.” However, let’s look closely at Professor Richard Dawkin’s own words, and watch for his use of the word “believe” when it comes to the theory of evolution. 

He told The New York Times, “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked…).”[1] So, according to the professor, if you don’t “believe” in evolution, you are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. He would like everyone to believe in the theory. As far as he is concerned to believe it is to be on the side of true science. But according to The New Yorker magazine (in 2012), “The percentage of Americans that believe in biological evolution has only increased by four percentage points over the last twenty years.”[2]

A June 2012 Gallup poll found 46 percent of Americans believe God created man, 32 percent believe humans evolved with God's guidance and 15 percent believe in evolution alone.”[3]

So the amount of believers in evolution alone is 15 percent and has only increased by 4% in the last 20 years. I’m not one of those believers. I don’t have faith in the theory of evolution. Richard Dawkins does. He has great faith in it. He is a true believer to a point of never doubting. He said, “Evolution is a fact, beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact.”[4] His strong convictions about the theory rest on his beliefs about fossils, dating processes and theories.

When asked the question, “Is atheism the logical extension of believing in evolution?” he didn’t correct the questioner and say that it wasn’t a belief. Instead he answered,

“They clearly can't be irrevocably linked because a very large number of theologians believe in evolution. In fact, any respectable theologian[5] of the Catholic or Anglican or any other sensible church believes[6] in evolution. Similarly, a very large number of evolutionary scientists are also religious. My personal feeling is that understanding evolution led me to atheism.”[7]

Through his faith in evolution he gained his understanding, and that led him to believe that there was no God. If I want to understand the laws of physics I have to first believe what I read about physics. I have to have faith in what I read. Faith is the first step to understanding. An ancient bronze-age Hebrew book said the same thing:

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3, italics added).


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[1] http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/p88.htm
[2] http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/frontal-cortex/2012/06/brain-experiments-why-we-dont-believe-science.html
[3] Ibid
[5] This tactic is known as a logical fallacy, and is specifically called a “no true Scotsman fallacy.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman
[6] Ibid
[7] http://www.beliefnet.com/News/Science-Religion/2005/11/The-Problem-With-God-Interview-With-Richard-Dawkins.aspx?p=2