I actually broke my own newly-established rule last post to stay within 500 words and inflicted nearly three times that much upon my poor readers (thank you for patiently making it to the end!). Moving forward, the goal is to dedicate each post to a single thought, not a single subject. (You can do this, Patrick!)
We took a close look at the idea that science has disproved God in our last post. Some of you may be thinking, “Who cares? No one believes in truth anymore, anyway.” Truth is all relative, right? Truth does not exist. Postmodernism and all that.
Now if you made it to the bitter end of our previous post, you may have noticed I gave reason to believe such a preposterous thing actually could be true. Not necessarily that truth is relative (what is true for me is not necessarily true for you), or even that truth does not exist, but that according to evolutionary theory, there is no rational reason to believe that if there is such a thing as truth, we would have access to it.
But let us revisit this idea again: Consider a rock. Does it know truth? Of course not. It is a material object. Now consider a very small rock, the size of an atom to be exact. Does it know truth? No. Now consider a complex arrangement of rocks. Do they know truth? No. Arranging rocks does not impart consciousness, much less knowledge, especially if the arrangement has occurred purely by chance.
Now consider an even greater arrangement of rocks in the form of complex life, even human life. Considering this has come about by chance alone (fundamentally speaking, even natural selection is caused by chance interactions between matter), does it know truth?
If you are like me, you may be tempted at this point to break away from the line of reasoning that evolutionary theory demands and inject into the discussion what is instead self-evident to you: Yes, it knows truth, for clearly you know truth.
But evolutionary theory does not allow for what is self-evident. In fact, given you are a product of chance and molecular interaction, what you call self-evident is suspect.
How, then, do we get from rocks to knowledge of truth according to evolutionary thought? We can’t. This is more than a question of difficulty: Matter simply cannot produce mind, let alone Mind that has access to truth.
Now the ardent advocate of Evolution* will shrug his shoulders and say, “There are many things about the world we simply do not understand.”
Fair enough. There are many things we do not understand. But here’s the problem: Evolution is a proposed theory for human origin whose explanatory power is purportedly so compelling, it renders extinct any need for an explanation beyond the natural world. But in doing so, it has apparently rendered us extinct as well — at least our minds, ones with access to truth.
Which is what we need, no less, to postulate an explanation for our origin in the first place.
*Technical Note: I mean here a commitment to Neo-Darwinism and Materialism, which is the common understanding of evolution, not merely the observable dynamics of natural selection within a species.