AFDave’s Creator God Hypothesis
The God Hypothesis is respectable again! And it’s return to respectability is long overdue. I presented evidence for my version of The God Hypothesis recently at the Panda’s Thumb Forum known as “ATBC” under the name “afdave.” I have added to it and updated it in response to comments there and here and will continue to do so as necessary. On Jan 17, 2007, I began presenting this Hypothesis again at Richard Dawkins’ Forum and will post links to different sections under each point below as we make progress.
WARNING: Oxford Professor Richard Dawkins is one of the world’s leading atheists and he actively campaigns against religion with books like his latest “The God Delusion.” If you read my debate threads at the Dawkins Forum, you will encounter some abusive behavior (click here), some of it even from very well educated people.
It has long been obvious to me that many non-Christians do not understand that Christianity is a “reasonable faith,” a faith which actually requires very little faith at all. There are so many evidences from nature, from observation of humanity, and from a rigorous examination of the Bible that to place one’s confidence in the Bible as the authoritative Word of God to mankind is to make only a small leap of faith. To be sure, there are many things that cannot be proven. But there are so many confirmations of so many things that we can be quite comfortable in agreeing with the Apostle Paul when he says “For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made …” (Romans 1:20). It seems to me that it takes far more faith to be an atheist or to be a naturalistic biologist committed to evolutionary theory (not necessarily the same thing), than to be a Bible believing, Young Earth Creationist Christian.
Here is an overview of my approach:
(1) UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF THE INVESTIGATION. (Click linked title above for the Dawkins Forum debate on this topic.) First, we must understand that we are not able to investigate the question of the Origin of Life using the normal tools of the scientific method. In other words we cannot observe a single-celled organism gradually transforming itself into some higher organism. And we cannot observe God speaking organisms into existence. Neither is possible for humans to observe. So we must understand at the outset of this investigation that all we can do is try to determine the truth about what actually took place using the tools we have available to us.
What tools do we have? Proponents of Evolution point to comparative genetics, the fact of micro-evolution and speciation, the sedimentary rock layer, radiometric dating and other things and say, “See? The universe is billions of years old and life developed from non-life spontaneously. No need to invoke the Supernatural.” But what they don’t talk about is that micro-evolution cannot be extrapolated to support macro-evolution. They don’t talk about the fact that all the fruit fly experiments to “speed up evolution” has produced nothing but dead and mangled fruit flies. They don’t talk about the fact that the fossil record does not support gradual evolution and that in geology, the present is most definitely not the key to the past as once thought. They don’t talk about the unproven assumptions of radiometric dating, or the total lack of experimental observation of specific new biological structures and specific functions. And, while they say that mutations are the ultimate source of variability, they contradict themselves with their own studies that show that the higher genomes are deteriorating.
Now it is also true that proponents of creationism cannot experimentally verify that “Goddidit.” So neither view is strictly scientific in the sense that they can be repeated and verified experimentally.
So why do I call it a “Hypothesis”? Isn’t that unscientific? No more so that the “Evolution Hypothesis” (for lack of a better term.) Both are either scientific or unscientific. Neither can be verified in the same way as say, the Law of Gravity–by repeatable testing. So is my “God Hypothesis” scientific or not? Yes. Why? Because it is of the same nature as the “Evolution Hypothesis.” It is a historical inquiry which involves the sciences.
OK. So call it science or not. I don’t care, as long as categorize the “Evolution Hypothesis” the same way. The important question is “Is it true?” How do we determine if my Creator God Hypothesis is true or not? Well … how do we determine ANY purported historical occurrence? This is truly the question we must answer and it involves a study of both science and history.
To answer this question, we must study history. We must also study geology, biology, cosmology and human psychology. And when we do study these diverse fields, what we find is overwhelming support for the “Creator God Hypothesis” found in the Biblical Book of Genesis.
My title was based upon Dr. Stephen Meyer’s paper The Return of the God Hypothesis found HERE . Meyer also discusses Popper’s falsifiability criteria and shows the methodological equivalence of Common Design Theory and Common Descent Theory HERE .
(2) OBSERVE NATURE AND DRAW INFERENCES. (Click linked title above for the Dawkins Forum debate on this topic.) Based on the above discussion, we must observe nature and draw inferences to determine the truth about the real world. In particular, we observe Biological Machines, the Cosmic Fine Tuning of the Universe, the Laws of Relativity and the Universal Moral Code. This only gets us so far, i.e. we conclude that there is a Super-Intelligent Engineer, who possibly lives outside of space and time, and who might be the originator of this strange, universal “moral code” which we observe, and who might explain the apparent supernatural nature of the collection of documents known as the Christian Scriptures. So we hold these thoughts and move through the rest of the process. [NOTE: The ID movement stops here.]
(3) STUDY HISTORICAL RECORDS. [NOTE: The ID folks may stop here, but I don't. If there is an Intelligent Designer out there, I want to know all I can about Him.] Note that if we accept the possibility of an Intelligent Designer, then we can make the prediction that this Intelligent Designer might have communicated with humans in some way. As expected, there are many claims that this has taken place, but often the claims are conflicting. How to resolve them? When surveying books which claim to be messages from God, one Book stands out–the Christian Bible. Former agnostic Josh McDowell details this in his book Evidence That Demands a Verdict and I will show many evidences on this website that the Bible is actually a supernatural book, inexplicable by natural, “human-only” means.
(4) INVESTIGATE THE HISTORICAL RECORD KNOWN AS THE BIBLE. We begin investigating the Bible and we find many strange things. But we know from experience that often times truth is stranger than fiction, so we keep investigating. One by one, the supposed “difficulties” in the Bible keep falling as we learn more. By the time we are done investigating the historicity of the Bible, its amazing predictions and fulfillments, the evidence in favor of Genesis 1-11 as actual history, its accurate description of the human condition, and other factors, we are compelled to admit that some Unseen, Incredible Mind somewhere caused this book–the Bible–to be written.
(5) REALIZE WHAT A SMALL LEAP OF FAITH IS REQUIRED. This is the end of the evidence that I can detect with my senses. From this point forward, I have no choice but to make a “leap of faith” in some direction. My choices are to A) do nothing B) reject the evidence I have just discovered or C) put 2 and 2 together and make what appears to me to be only a small “leap of faith” and conclude that the “Mind” that superintended the writing of the Bible is the same “Mind” that created the wonders of Nature. Is this so unreasonable? Having walked through this entire process, I now am faced squarely with the claim from the Bible: “Believe me and spend eternity with me when you die.” (God speaking) or “Don’t believe me and spend eternity separated from me. It’s your choice, Dave. I won’t force you. I have given you abundant evidence for My existence. If this evidence is not enough, what evidence WOULD be enough?” I have to choose. No one can simply not choose. By not choosing, you are, in fact, making a choice.
(6) MAKE THE LEAP. And so I did choose. I chose to believe the Bible based on what I considered to be overwhelming evidence in favor of believing it. To me, it appears to be sheer folly to go against such evidence as I have seen. For a very simple explanation of how you too can make that small leap, read the Biblical book of John, chapter 3. You can click THIS LINK and read it online in several different versions. After you read that, I would recommend reading the entire Book of John. Then read the Book of Romans next. Then the whole New Testament. Then the Old Testament. And study many of the resources I have pointed out on this website.
(7) ANALYZE THE RESULT OF THE LEAP. Now that I have made that choice, all I can tell you is that I am a changed man. Ask my wife. I know this is not scientific evidence. That stopped after Point 3. I can only tell you that I used to be interested in myself only. I have not become perfect–far from it (some AtBCers would say hear hear! :-) –I still say things I shouldn’t say, have attitudes I shouldn’t have, etc, but there is now a new force for good within me which many times overcomes my selfish desires–the Bible tells me that this is the Spirit of God which apparently comes and somehow “dwells within” believers. Now I genuinely care for others as well as for myself and it really doesn’t bother me much if people make fun of me. I have a very single minded goal in life — to be used by my Creator for His purposes during my brief stay here on this earth. I don’t know what those purposes will be during the next 40 or so years that I may have left. But right now I have a (God given?) desire to share with others the truth that I have found. They may reject it and I understand that. It’s OK. Everyone has to make their own choice. But I would be remiss if I held this information to myself.
Not only am I a changed man because of God and the Bible, but I can also tell you that the native people my dad worked with in Brazil are changed people for the same reason. When he went there in 1950, they numbered less than 400. They were killing each other and their own babies and openly spoke about the time when they would all be gone. They asked my dad who he would preach to when they were all gone. But my dad persisted in showing them the truths in the Bible in spite of unspeakable personal difficulties. After 5 years, the chief made THE CHOICE that I speak of and the whole group turned around. Today they are a happy, productive people. Their population has blown through 3000 and is growing rapidly. They now know how to read and write, give medical care, speak Portuguese and many other productive things. They are even traveling to other villages who used to be in the same predicament as them and helping them. It is truly amazing! You can get the two books which tell the story of my dad on Amazon.com: Christ’s Witchdoctor and Christ’s Jungle both by Homer Dowdy.
So the steps above are my approach to Ultimate Truth.
Following are the points of my God Hypothesis.
A. THE REALITY OF AN INTELLIGENT DESIGNER. (Click link above for discussion of this point) There is a God — My hypothesis proposes that there is an Uncreated Intelligent Designer — I choose to call him God — who created the universe and all life in it. This Being is outside of His creation (outside of space and time) yet He interacts with His creation from time to time.
B. APPROXIMATE DATES OF MAJOR EVENTS. (Click link above for discussion of this point) Creation occurred less than 10,000 years ago, probably around 6500 years ago. Approximate dates for subsequent major events are as follows: The Great Flood of Noah ~ 2750 BC, the Tower of Babel and the founding of the Original Nations ~ 2528 BC, Building of the Great Pyramid ~ 2170 BC. Written history and oral traditions from various cultures support the reality of these events
C. THE COSMOS IS DESIGNED FOR LIFE, WITH MANKIND AS LIFE’S HIGHEST FORM. (Click link above for discussion of this point) This God created the Cosmos as a specially designed whole, with life and mankind as its fundamental goal and purpose, less than 10,000 years ago.
D. EVIL IS THE NATURAL RESULT OF CHOICE AND FREE WILL. (Click link above for discussion of this point) This God created mankind with a choice of either doing his will or not doing his will, in a similar way as parents “create” babies knowing full well that their child will either do their will or not do their will. Christian Theologians commonly call the choice of NOT doing God’s will “sin.”
E. HUMANS ARE DESCENDED FROM TWO SPECIALLY CREATED PARENTS. All of human kind descended from two original parents, Adam and Eve, but did not diversify significantly due to minimal geographic isolation. My hypothesis proposes that there was only one large “super-continent” prior to the Great Flood of Noah, thus minimizing geographic isolation and resultant natural selection and specialization/diversification. The two original parents were created with enough allelic diversity in just two individuals to generate the wide range of phenotypic diversity we see today. The same applies to animals except that I make no proposal as to how many animals there were initially. Obviously, there would have to be at least one pair of each ‘kind,’ the term ‘kind’ being defined as roughly equivalent to the modern taxonomic rank of ‘family.’
F. THE FALL AND THE CURSE. Mankind chose NOT to do God’s will very early on (just as all young children choose not to do parents’ will), thus prompting God to institute a system for persuading humans to admit their folly and begin doing His will, for “redeeming” humans who choose this path, and for reminding humans that the present physical world is only a “proving ground” or “training camp” for the next world which will be created at a definite point in the future. These events are commonly called the Fall and the Curse by Christian Theologians.
G. MUTATIONS CAUSE GENOMIC DETERIORATION, NOT BIOLOGICAL INNOVATION. (Click link above for discussion of this point) Early man was created perfectly, i.e. no deleterious genetic mutations. It is proposed that early man was vigorous, healthy and possibly taller than modern humans. Early families were very large–some traditions report 30 to 50 kids per couple and lives were long, many over 900 years. Sons routinely married their sisters in the ante-diluvian world with no worries of genetic defects. The first laws prohibiting close marriages did not occur until the time of Moses by which time we assume that accumulated harmful genetic mutations would have been a significant consideration.
H. THE ANTEDILUVIAN (PRE-FLOOD) SOCIETY. God allowed the choices of mankind to take their natural course for the most part, intervening in the affairs of men sporadically and briefly. Most of the “day-to-day management” of Planet Earth was delegated to mankind himself, similar to how modern parents delegate the day-to-day management of their children to a school or a day care center. The natural result of collective disobedience to the revealed will of God was an extremely corrupt, though technologically advanced society–i.e. rampant dishonesty, injustice, murder, theft, etc.–which was terminated by God through the agency of a global, life-destroying flood–the Flood of Noah described in Genesis.
I. THE GLOBAL FLOOD OF NOAH. (Click linked title at left for the Dawkins Forum debate on this topic.) The Global Flood of Noah was an immense cataclysm of enormous tectonic, volcanic and hydraulic upheaval, consisting of an Rupture Phase, Inundation Phase, Continental Drift Phase, Recovery Phase. It completely reshaped the ante-diluvian world and resulted in massive, worldwide sedimentation and fossilization, mountain range uplift, sea basin lowering, continent separation, and climate change. The Flood was survived in a floating ark by 8 humans (four couples) and one or more pairs of terrestrial, air-breathing, animals and birds. Mammals, birds and reptiles would have been required to be on the ark and would have been selected so as to preserve a large percentage of common alleles for each ‘kind.’ The diversity we see in the living world today is the result of subsequent geographic separation, speciation, isolation of species and natural selection.
J. THE ICE AGE. Following the Global Flood, we hypothesize an Ice Age of several hundred years brought on by the massive climate changes induced by the Flood. It was during this time that the dinosaurs and many other species died out. Since the time of the Ice Age, the structure of the earth’s crust and the climate which followed, has not changed appreciably, and uniformitarian principles may now be applied to geological studies.
K. THE TOWER OF BABEL AND THE FOUNDING OF THE NATIONS. We hypothesize a supernatural intervention by God at the Tower of Babel which instantly and miraculously created several new languages, whereas prior to this event, there was only one language.
L. THE BOOK OF GENESIS IS A COMPILATION OF WRITTEN RECORDS. (Click link above for discussion of this point.) The record of these events (except the Ice Age) was dictated to selected individuals such as Adam and Seth and their descendants and carefully recorded on stone tablets, then passed down to successive generations. Moses eventually received these stone tablets (or copies of them) and composed the book we now call Genesis by compiling these records into one written document. He then composed his own written record of the events of his own lifetime, resulting in the complete Pentateuch. The modern view know as the Graf-Wellhausen Theory has been discredited.
M. THE BIBLE – A SUPERNATURAL BOOK. Not only do the high-tech innovations in biology smack of Supernatural origin, so does the Bible. The collection of documents collectively known as the Bible smacks strongly of Supernatural Origin because of its amazing historical accuracy, its predictive prophecy, its notable unity, its profound influence on human civilization, and its accurate portrayal of the human condition, among other things.
N. JESUS, THE CENTRAL FIGURE OF WORLD HISTORY. Jesus of Nazareth is the single most influential human being to ever walk Planet Earth. Also, there are over 300 specific prophecies concerning a supposed “Messiah” figure throughout the Jewish Scriptures — what Christians call the Old Testament. These prophecies “just happen” to all converge in the life of one man of history–Jesus of Nazareth. We hypothesize that this Jesus of Nazareth was (and is) the Creator God in human form, just as he claimed to be.
O. BIBLICAL CHRISTIAN THEISM AS A PLAN FOR MANKIND. The Christian Scriptures consisting of the Jewish Scriptures plus what is commonly called the New Testament are the most basic and foundational collection of documents for all of mankind’s activities on Planet Earth–from scientific endeavor to family activities to government structure. They also are the only reliable source documents for knowing the future of Planet Earth and Mankind in relation to it. As such, these Scriptures should be the basis and starting point for all human activities from individual behavior to family operation to nation building and governance of human affairs to scientific endeavors and the arts.
P. CHRISTIANITY AND WESTERN CIVILIZATION. The life of Jesus Christ and the Christian Scriptures have had a profoundly net good effect upon Western Civilization in the last 2000 years. While there have been many abuses, the net result of the Teachings of Christ and the propagation of the Christian Scriptures has been incomparable blessing and prosperity to those nations where true Biblical Christianity has flourished.
Q. THE COMING NEW CREATON. Having established the supernatural origin of the cosmos, life within the cosmos, and the Christian Scriptures, we can now be confident that the events predicted in Scripture which are yet unfulfilled, will at some point in the future be fulfilled. This includes the RE-creation of the present cosmos, which the Bible refers to as the New Heaven and the New Earth. All who subject themselves to the Creator will be a part of this New Creation. All who do not will not.