Reading William Dembski’s Intelligent Design book left me realizing that it is very difficult for anyone to be completely neutral in their analysis of observable facts about human origins because we are, after all, mere humans who’ve been influenced by personal events and/or the culture around us.
In Darwin’s day, his bias stemmed from the death of his daughter. Greatly disillusioned by her passing, it had to leave him pondering the cause of pain and suffering. Those thoughts drifted into the natural world around him, where it became philosophically difficult for him to justify the creationist doctrine “because, if true, it made God responsible for the horrors, wastes, and irrationalities of nature.”¹
Perhaps, I had Darwin figured out wrongly. I assumed he was angry at God for not healing his daughter, and then became bent on proving there is no God. What if this event, instead, made him more bent on trying to show how God could not be involved in the natural world simply because he could not see why God would allow evil? This man was broken in the loss of his beloved daughter; that brokenness hardened his heart, and blinded him to the hand of God in design because he perceived it as a delusion and a mockery since natural evils occur.
The problem of evil in the natural world is a stumbling block for many. I am not sure anyone can claim 100% clarity on why these difficult events happen, but I know God is good, and we are finite in our understanding of how things work. I know God is not some “moral monster” as atheists have claimed He is since evil is allowed in our world.
Moral evil is better explained since God allows free will; humanity is the cause of this kind of evil. But natural evil, like disease, earthquake and strange creatures doing awful things? That is a tough one. Some natural evils may occur out of necessity to balance the planet. Tectonic plates, for example, are the ones that move in earthquakes and kill people randomly. These plates are needed to regulate surface temperatures and soils needed for mankind’s survival. If man did not build along fault lines, the number of causalities would be reduced. Yet, we still build in areas that are prone to these kinds of disasters – there is our free will at work.
God uses evil in our lives to bring us to Him, in some cases. It is not His first choice in doing so, however, because “He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone,” (Lam. 3:33). What I have personally seen is that God uses whatever it takes to wake people out of their spiritual slumber; sometimes the only thing that works is hardship. God use natural evils at times to bring about the supernatural. Darwin did not understand this, most likely, so he turned to science for answers.
Today, most scientists will not assume any supernatural cause because they “believe” everything is knowable through the scientific method (re: human origins). They will NOT look for anything outside their scientific models. Evolutionists won’t “evolve” since they have a priori assumption against any supernatural cause.
Now without scientific observation and testing, we might not have discovered “scientific laws”—things today which are accepted as fact, like gravity and thermodynamics. This implies there must be a “Law Maker,” doesn’t it? Could gravitational laws be self-created? I don’t think so.
Science itself sees a self-correcting nature, ruling out any kind of dogmatic statement. Yet if its laws continually change, or self-correct, then how can we be sure of anything? Darwin suggested change occurs over long periods of time. Recently, punctuated equilibrium contrasted that theory with one that says some change could occur rapidly among small isolated populations. Contrasting theories make me suspicious. Can both be true? Neutrality in science is simply a false assumption. We all bring biases in how we perceive the natural world and human origins. Keep this in mind next time some new scientific theory is announced (like the multi-verse theory).