Wednesday, January 11, 2012

We don't know yet

In this day and age, we know a lot. I just tried to give a few examples, but I had no idea whatsoever where to start. We know how to make everything from virtual worlds to 100-story skyscrapers. We know the basic elements of all matter. We have cataloged over 1.2 million species. New discoveries seem to be made every day!

Nowhere is this information explosion more apparent than on the internet. All one has to do is type in their query into Google, and they'll get an answer. Who was the first man to sell chewing gum? John B. Curtis. How does the Venus Flytrap work? It attracts insects with nectar, and the hairs on the outsides of its mouth trigger the trap. It's a little more complicated than that, but you get my point. The internet allows the modern world to explore information like never before.

Now try this: Search "How many species are there on earth"? The first result should be from plosbiology.org, titled "How Many Species Are There on Earth and in the Ocean?". I recently was curious about that very question - the catalog statistic from earlier came from this website -  but one sentence caught my eye.

"In spite of 250 years of taxonomic classification and over 1.2 million species already catalogued in a central database, our results suggest that some 86% of existing species on Earth and 91% of species in the ocean still await description."

Despite all of our research, all of our knowledge, our understanding of the earth's creatures only scratches the surface. This got me thinking, what else don't we know? I searched that next, and came across an article on wired.com (if you are interested, click here). In a nutshell, this article goes through various big questions that we have no definitive answers to. These questions include the makeup of the earth's core, what time really is, and whether or not the universe is actually made up of information.  The article ends with a huge question: Why do we still have big questions?

We are led to a unique paradox, a paradox of science. It seems that whenever one question is answered, many more are raised. Knowledge seems to show us how much we still don't know. We have our theories about nearly everything, of course, but many are unprovable with the means currently available to us. Now, instead of repeating other peoples' questions, I'd like to posit one of my own:

Why do secular scientists think they know the answer to the biggest question of all?

This question I'm referring to is the origin of life as we know it. We're told by evolutionists the earth is 4.55 billion years old. We're told the Big Bang caused the universe's existence. We're told random chemical reactions caused life on earth. Finally, we're told that natural selection and random mutations caused these initial unicellular organisms to turn into bears, lizards, and us. We "know" this, despite the fact that we don't fully understand the brain, the atmosphere of the initial earth, or even what 96% of the universe is made of! It seems that when we discover more, the age of the earth is pushed back a few million years. Nothing is set in stone as a result of this lack of knowledge. We are told, however, one thing is absolutely true: God had no part in it.

In light of all we don't know, how on earth can we conclude that? Even with all the evidence to the contrary? Even with all the holes in our current theory? God cannot simply be dismissed from the equation. One common criticism of Christianity is that we simply say "God did it", and end the issue (talkorigins.org claims this). This simply isn't the case. "God did it" is the beginning, it allows us a starting point to then ask "How did God do it?" Now we are not only discovering our universe, but the nature of our Creator.

Related resources:

Rules of the game

Do creationists have to resort to secular ideas to explain geology and astronomy?

Philosophical naturalism and the age of the earth: are they related?

15 questions that evolutionists cannot satisfactorily answer

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