The Theory of Everything

I’m not sure why, but it’s like pulling teeth to get me to update my blog.

Which reminds me… I had a bit of a dental drama last month, which finally resolved with my having a tooth extracted — a back molar, so I don’t have a visible gap. Whether I eventually get an implant, I haven’t decided. For now, the pain is gone, and I’m happy with the situation. But the best part is, I’ll spare you all the gory details — which I’m sure you appreciate!

Now I’ve gone and lost my train of thought… oh, yes. Updating my blog. I’ve been wanting to share this for a while now, but am just now sitting myself down and sternly commanding that I may not get up until I’ve written a post about it.

Okay, so, a couple of months ago, I read Who Made God? Searching For a Theory of Everything, a surprisingly readable book written by the very-brainy Dr. Edgar Andrews (whose biography on the back cover lists no less than six degrees following his name, some of which I’ve never heard of before: BSc, PhD, DSc, FinstP, FIMMM, CEng, and CPhys). He’s no dummy, in other words.

In terms that I could kind of mostly understand, almost, he told of scientists’ dream “to develop a ‘theory of everything’ — a scientific theory that will encompass all the workings of the physical universe in a single self-consistent formulation.” (His words, page 12.) Just when science seems to have found it, they discover something new that doesn’t fit, so then they have to come up with another theory of how all the scientific disciplines work together.

He also notes that there are a number of non-material entities as well, the existence of which we all accept despite lack of physical evidences (love, beauty, faith, justice, etc.); and it would be nice if these, too, could be included into this “theory of everything,” so we can see how all things that exist, in whatever form, have one origin and work together in perfect harmony.

I’m not sure how many scientists share that desire, because I don’t know that many scientists. Usually, I think they’re more concerned with how every material thing works; many might be content with merely enjoying love and friendship and beauty without worrying about how all that meshes with physics and biochemistry.

In any case, I read that book a while back — long before my tooth troubles. Then a couple of weeks ago, I read another one that also mentioned this Theory of Everything: a short nonfiction, The Kingdom of Speech, by novelist Tom Wolfe (author of more than a dozen books, including Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff, and A Man in Full).

It might seem odd that a successful novelist would suddenly write a nonfiction book, but as I understand it, he started out as a journalist, so I guess it’s not that much of a stretch. And, it makes sense that Wolfe’s wordsmithing career may have given him a fascination with words and language. What he’s turned out here is a snarky and enjoyable history of the theory of evolution in general and the evolution of language in particular.

Wolfe gives numerous reasons why language cannot possibly have evolved, Darwin-stylereasons I won’t list here, but if you’re interested, read the book. In sum, he quotes a scholarly, 10,000-word paper published in 2014 by eight brilliant scientists, led by renowned linguist and evolutionist Noam Chomsky, called “The Mystery of Language Evolution.” In that paper, these eminent scholars declared that, after extensive research, they were able to find “essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.” (Quoted on page 156.)

Wolfe states there is only one logical conclusion to which we can come on the subject: language is not an evolved trait, but is an artifact (something man created). Not only that, but it was mankind’s first artifact, and the one that has enabled all others thereafter.

Interesting theory. And who am I to argue with someone as educated and intelligent as Tom Wolfe? I won’t argue, but I will submit that there is another possibility that he’s overlooked — one that I, personally, find more likely, and one that fits not merely the physical evidence, but the scriptural as well.

Think about this:

  1. Man was created in God’s own image, Genesis 1:26-27.
  2. God created all things with words. (“Let there be light,” Genesis 1:3, and so on.)
  3. One Person of the triune God is “the Word,” John 1:1-3.

I firmly believe that each of those statements sheds light on far more than language development; there are depths to all three not touched on in this discussion. But, isn’t it possible —isn’t it probable — that language is neither a trait carried over from some supposed evolutionary ancestor, nor an artifact that early man came up with, but rather, one aspect of God’s “image” that He gave us from the beginning?

From God’s mouth to ours, Genesis 2:7

I think we should look at all the evidence, don’t you?

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Questions For Thought

Clicking links on Twitter a couple days ago, I ran across a random blog post that got my mind whirring. Its intent was to create controversy, and it succeeded. The post began with a list of what sort of people are destined for hell, and ended in an argument in the Comments section between two readers. One commenter declared that there’s no heaven or hell because God doesn’t exist, and another tried to persuade him otherwise. An ancient discussion, with no new ground covered nor points scored on either side.

Particularly in matters such as this, it’s hard to change someone’s mind. Unless both parties are willing to honestly and openly consider the other’s view, and unless both agree the other’s fact source is reliable, the discussion will go nowhere.

Those who believe the Bible use it as the arbiter of truth. But for a person who considers it just an old book, no scriptural argument will be convincing. It would be like someone trying to prove something by saying he got his evidence from an email forward.

Bible believers can, however, go to the scriptures for guidance in dealing with these situations. For instance, God tells us that though many people turn a deaf ear to His written word, He still speaks to them – to everyone — through the created world.

God has made Himself readily apparent to mankind, but we have a long track record of obtusely turning a blind eye and deaf ear to His revelations.

So instead of thumping the Bible when dealing with those who reject its authority, let’s direct them to what some call “the real world.” That is, what we can see with our mortal eyes.

Because of the evolutionary brainwashing going on in academia, it’s difficult to point to the Creation as demonstrating God’s existence. Never mind that the physical evidence overwhelmingly supports the scriptural account of Creation and the flood of Noah’s day. The unenlightened person doesn’t see that, in order to embrace the explanations modern science insists upon, we must lay aside the scientific process, deny physical laws, narrow the focus to consider only the data that tends to support a set of preconceived ideas, and throw logic and mathematical probabilities to the winds.

The argument against God doesn’t seem to attack the generic, impersonal idea of the kind of Force who might be with us in our lofty imaginations. That, apparently, is harmless, because it requires nothing from us. What people find offensive is the God of the Bible: the immortal, invisible, only wise Jehovah, Who is holy, merciful, and righteous.

And if a person attempts to use reason to disprove the existence of this God, it’s usually on a basis similar to this: if God is so good, then why is there evil? If God is so powerful, why does evil prevail? If God is so loving, why doesn’t He do something about the suffering of innocents?

Good questions. But here’s mine: if God is God, what gives me the right to judge Him?

If He is God, His understanding is infinite; mine is not. Do I see all? And even within my extremely limited vision, do I understand every nuance of what I see? Have I ever been mistaken? Have I ever misunderstood something? Have I ever overlooked something? Have I ever been confused? How then can I, with limited perception and comprehension, be in a position to say what’s right? Do I honestly think I’m qualified to pass judgment on the One who is truly perfect?

The bottom line, of course, is what a person chooses to believe. We can disbelieve God exists if we want to; we can refuse to change our minds about that, even when reason argues against us. It all boils down to what we choose to accept.

But if your mind isn’t too tightly closed to let a little light in, let’s take another look at the world.

If the biblical concept of God is wrong, why do we place a high value on justice, or honesty, or graciousness? Why do we define “good” the way we do?

If the presence of evil disproves God’s existence, what does the presence of mercy prove?

If there is no God, why is there beauty in the world? If there is no infinite God, why is the universe beyond our reckoning? If there is no God of redemption, why do we continually look for hope? If man merely created god in his own image, what compels every culture to do so?

To say there is no God is as logical as saying there’s no such thing as oxygen because we can’t see it, hear it, taste, smell, or feel it.

To say there is no God is as reasonable as insisting there is no sun because half the world is always  in darkness.

To say there is no God is the same as saying there is no order to the world, no organization of the elements, no infinite intricacies of genetic coding, no consistent natural processes or physical laws.

If you believe that oxygen is essential to human life – if you believe the sun will rise in the morning – if you believe in photosynthesis – if you believe that love exists – then you believe in the existence of God.

The real question: what will you do about it?

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