Stephen Meyer’s Address

The title of this address is “Rock of Ages and the Ages of Rocks.”

His purpose is to put his work on intelligent design into the larger perspective of theistic design.

The new atheists have been keen to put science at odds with Christianity. The biblical view is that the scientific study of nature directs us back to the Creator. The new atheists are opposed to the early modern scientists (Boyle, Kepler, Newton, and Galileo). Their position was that nature was intelligible because of the Designer. He quotes from the General Scholia to the Principium (the introduction to what Meyer says is quite probably the greatest work on physics ever written). The quotation is quite firmly intelligent design.

So how did we get from Newton to Dawkins? Pierre LaPlace said, defending his Nebula Hypothesis (to Napoleon) “Sire, I have no need of that hypothesis,” referring to LaPlace’s rejection of the idea of God.

Douglas Futuyma, in his book Evolutionary Biology, writes “by coupling the undirected purposeless variations to the blind, uncaring process of natural selection, Darwin made the theological or spiritual explanations of the life processes superfluous.”

Materialism has God in its system only as an illusion. What is fundamentally real is matter and energy. This worldview became very popular in the 19th century, and became the way in which people tried to explain the origin of the world without God. In materialism, there is no objective standard of morality. And there is no freedom of choice. Many things have happened in recent science that undermine the materialistic worldview.

Hubble, in addition to discovering how many more galaxies there are in the universe, also discovered red shift, an indication that galaxies are moving away from us. An expanding universe therefore implies a beginning, finite universe. Einstein believed that a force (which he called the cosmological constant) existed to counteract the expansion, such that the universe could be eternal. But this is “dry-lab,” a scientific term meaning “fudge.” Einstein later admitted (after Hubble gets him to look at the universe through his telescope) that this was the greatest mistake of his career. The expansion was thus later explained in a materialistic way by the big bang theory (Hawking and Penrose believed that not only did time have a beginning, but so did space). But how much stuff can you put into zero space? This puts the cosmological argument for the existence of God back on the table.

If the universe was expanding much slower, then gravity would collapse everything into nothing, and if it was anything faster, we would have universal heat death. This rate is extremely fine-tuned. There are many such finely tuned numbers.

In biology, with a new function in the cell, new code has to be inputted. Information is part of the cell. But where did this information originate? Explaining the origin of life means also that we must explain the origin of information in the cell. But the creation of new information is something that we associate with conscious activity. Even Darwin believed that we should use an explanation that involves processes that we currently know about. If we use Darwin’s own argument on the origin of information, we come to the conclusion that the most likely origin of information in the cell is conscious activity.

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4 Comments

  1. paigebritton said,

    March 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    So where does Stephen Meyer fall re. the Ages of Rocks?
    :) pb

  2. greenbaggins said,

    March 16, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    He’s an old earth guy, but that only came out in the Q and A session.

  3. Seth Stark said,

    March 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Intelligent Design is “agnostic” when it comes to questions of Age of the Universe. Dr. Paul Nelson, an advocate of ID, is young earth (though he doesn’t push for it much).

    While there is a lot of great info and work being done by ID advocates, it sharply contrasts with a presuppositional approach, since it by no means presupposes the truth of the Bible. You don’t even have to be a Christian to be an ID theorist.

    (PS- Got my M.A. in Science and Religion at Biola University, so I’ve had plenty of exposure to ID and Dr. Meyer’s work, among others.)

  4. Mark M. said,

    March 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    It is not a matter of being an OE “guy,” for example: the dirt that is in my backyard, in a hill, is 80,000 years old -it is the youngest section in my area. It gets much older, fast, as you travel south from where I am. The ID crowd is smart for being “agnostic,” or factual one should say, about the age of the earth.
    (I am a christian Geologist with degrees from secular universities.)


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