Most skeptics I talk to think they operate completely without bias in their skepticism and agnosticism. They often demonstrate a startling lack of self-awareness of their assumptions. One hundred years ago, the British essayist G. K. Chesterton noted the frustrating contradiction of the skeptics arguments:
“I remember once arguing with an honest young atheist, who was very much shocked at my disputing some of the assumptions which were absolute sanctities to him (such as the quite unproved proposition of the independence of matter and the quite improbable proposition of its power to originate mind), and he at length fell back upon this question, which he delivered with an honourable heat of defiance and indignation: “Well, can you tell me any man of intellect, great in science or philosophy, who accepted the miraculous?” I said, “With pleasure. Descartes, Dr. Johnson, Newton, Faraday, Newman, Gladstone, Pasteur, Browning, Brunetiere—as many more as you please.” To which that quite admirable and idealistic young man made this astonishing reply—’Oh, but of course they had to say that; they were Christians.’
“First he challenged me to find a black swan, and then he ruled out all my swans because they were black. The fact that all these great intellects had come to the Christian view was somehow or other a proof either that they were not great intellects or that they had not really come to that view. The argument thus stood in a charmingly convenient form: ‘All men that count have come to my conclusion; for if they come to your conclusion they do not count.’“
Every few months a major news story breaks about a new scientific discovery that will either change life as we know it, or that disproves once again something Christianity teaches. So, Christians live with the ever frustrating task of explaining once again how they are not against real science, but against “what is falsely called knowledge” (or science)-1 Tim. 6:20.
Truly, science is not the problem, but rather the interpretation and reporting of scientific data. As a Christian I believe that every fact in the universe reveals the glory of God and is to be interpreted in that light. So I recognize that any scientific “fact” that is reported must necessarily be interpreted, and I can only accept interpretations that square with biblical revelation.
Not only is scientific data quite often misinterpreted, but in getting the data to the public, media outlets often misreport, distort, spin, and strip it of its context. Here’s an illustration of how this happens:
Stephen Hawking’s new book The Grand Design was released last week, and it has already caused quite a stir. Hawking, a British theoretical physicist and cosmologist, is most well known as the genius in a wheelchair, having lived with neuro-muscular dystrophy for many years.
The Grand Design is oddly named since Hawking denies the need for a designer, at least an intelligent one. He trots out the same worn-out idea of a non-existent universe creating itself and designing change along the way:
Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.
Somewhere along the line, most evolutionary scientists missed the logic class in their college years, and therefore proceed to make nonsensical statements such as this. The “nothing” which he says sparked the universe is, logically and scientifically speaking, no-thing. And every good scientist knows that nothing can come from nothing. Everything only comes from a pre-existing something.
A number of theologians and Christian philosophers have already begun to respond to Hawkins. Here are a few links to good articles that demonstrate the foolishness, irrationality and illogic of a universe that created itself: