Just looking at the comments section of most articles on News24 it appears that social media appears to have the potential to generate dialogue between parties of different viewpoints. However, this potential is not realised, instead we have skirmishes of monologues which really do not attempt to engage in meaningful conversation but instead thrusts ones point of view upon others, often at the expense of personal snipes and humour aimed to break down the messengers rather than make a salient point.
It really doesn’t matter what the subject is…you just have to mention something religious (you can stop reading now because that is the purpose of this posting) or political and the comments section turns into a white vs black, an ANC vs DA, or an atheist against religious diatribe which will rarely convince either party and usually just irritates onlookers.
I really have some genuine questions for people who do not hold the same worldview as I do. I would really like sensible answers to these as I cannot think of any myself and I wonder if they exist.
Before I ask these questions I think it would be fair to tell a little about me. I am a Christian. I am a scientist, or at least scientific (my honours degree is based on chemistry), I don’t consider myself a stupid as most Christians are called in the comments section and perhaps my academic record of holding three degrees in will testy to that (and no, none of them are in theology) and before you asked, my conversion to Christianity was fairly late in life and after my education.
Was I brainwashed? I don’t think so, although most people who are brainwashed would also claim that. My conversion was a careful study of two world views, one of hard scientific facts, the other of biblical Christianity and I was not pressurised in any way.
Let me get to my point. There are many blogs which ask Christians to explain parts of the bible that are not immediately understandable or against the common wisdom of the day (I’m sure this article will get some although it is generally considered rude to answer questions with questions).
So here are my 3 questions, questions that as a scientist I could not be happy that they could be answered by physics, chemistry or biology. When answering them, a true, honest scientist must ask whether his answer is scientific; that means is the mechanism repeatable or at least observable.
Creation of the universe: I really don’t see how the big bang can be claimed as scientific. Granted, the biblical account also cannot be called scientific but it is the scientific explanation that must be backed up by the scientific method, not the religious one. Unless people who call themselves A-theists must also, at least in this instance call themselves A-scientists. I did investigate this issue thoroughly and could not come to an acceptable scientific explanation that does not involve faith (if you use faith in its larger context; the evidence of things not seen). Some of the principles such as imploding bubble mats should be nothing short of embarrassing to a serious scientist. Instead, most serious scientists ignore the problem that this question rises; how can something come from nothing? It directly conflicts with the concept of conservation of matter and energy.
Creation of Life: The first living cell is claimed to have come out of a chance combination of chemicals. Even simple life-form capable of reproduction has not been reproduced in the laboratory, please don’t tell me that amino acids have been created; amino acids are about as far away from creating life as the discovery of cement is from building hotels. In order to life to be created you will need it to be able to reproduce or it will immediately die out. To do that from an amino acid you will need to build proteins and then assemble them, and to do that you will need DNA. All this needs to come from a chance chemical reaction and if life is generated that cannot reproduce, then natural selection cannot ‘improve life’. Without reproduction, Darwin’s theory cannot work. His own words say this.
The third question is about evolution. Darwin was a lot more honest than many of his proponents today and he himself says that if it could ever been proven that there was an evolutional step that could not be made in a series of small advantageous mutations then his theory would fall apart (his words were ‘my theory would absolutely break down). In other words, if a beneficial trait relied on two things that on their own gave no advantage, then natural selection could not work and Darwinian evolution would be disproved. I found many, many things in my search that met this criterion and therefore came to the conclusion that Darwinian evolution must remain a theory, and not be treated as science. I found the most convincing example to be the bacteria flagellum although also the bombardier beetle defence mechanism and the blood clotting mechanisms in humans all are good examples of something that, until it was assembled as a whole, would not result in a benefit that would be preserved by natural selection.
What does Sherlock Homes and Captain Spock have in common? They both used the following quote:
Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
Of course, this is an over simplification but I would really like to hear if there are any scientific atheists who can provide me with answers for the above which I have not heard yet?