The Challenge

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, April 16, 2014 4 comments

I was ready. I needed to talk to Dr. Derkins about the topics in this book. The author of ID and Me, Stanley Robe, exposed many crucial problems with a godless existence from a scientific perspective. After the next class I had with Derkins, I approached him so that I may ask him for some time to speak with him.

“Hi Dr. Derkins, my name is Ryan Carpenter.”

“Hello Ryan, what can I help you with.” Derkins seemed pleasant enough when I approached him. He had a joyful smile on his face and a warm demeanor, although I could tell he was in a hurry.

“I hope this doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable, but I would like to have a discussion with you about God and science. I am a Christian and I have been studying the topic a little bit and would like to schedule a time with you where we could chat.”

Derkins demeanor slightly changed due to his confusion. “What is it specifically you want to talk about? Did I say something that offended you in class?”

“Actually, what I would really like to do is ask you some questions about evolution so that I could get some more thorough answers regarding why you believe what you believe.”

He seemed satisfied with my response. “Absolutely. What works best for you?”

“When’s the soonest you are free?”

“I don’t have anything going on right now. Want to come to my office? All I have going on right now are my regular office hours.”

“Sounds great.”

Derkins and I travelled up to his office. I was nervous because I did not know what to expect. He did not seem shaken by this challenge of mine at all. We entered the office and he offered me a seat.

“So, Ryan, you want to discuss God and science? What would you consider yourself, someone who believes in Intelligent Design, or a Creationist?”

I was slightly confused by the question. “I think a little bit of both.”

“Either way, I admire your willingness to discuss the topic with me. You seem like you must have an inquisitive mind. Are you preparing to be clergy, though?”

“No, I want to do something in the medical field.”

“Oh, fair enough. You said you have some questions? How about we get started? I know your time is valuable.”

“Certainly. First of all, I have read this book called ID and Me – “

“Oh yes, by Stanley Robe, right?”

“You’ve heard of it?”

“Well, I’ve heard of him.”

“Okay. One of the points he makes is that it seems as though the universe was designed to support life –

“The Anthropic Principle?”

“Exactly. Since you are familiar with the Anthropic principle, I’m going to summarize it and then ask my question. It basically states that the universe is so fine-tuned that if its variables were even slightly different from what they are right now, life would cease to exist. It appears as though the universe was designed to bring forth life and perhaps even humans to discover the mysteries of the universe. Are you aware of this and if so how can you explain this without God?”

“Yes, yes, I am definitely aware of this. In fact, I actually believe in the Anthropic principle to some extent. Except, you would say that the universe seems as though it was designed to accommodate our existence, but I see our existence as being the product of adaptation. I believe that life evolved to suit the conditions of the universe, not that the universe was designed to accommodate life. In other words, as life evolved it was molded to the conditions of the universe. This is how evolution works and it would not make sense for someone to say that life could not evolve due to harsh conditions. Evolution occurs in spite of these conditions. Does that make sense?”

I was not really expecting his answer. It actually did make sense to me. “Yes, that makes sense.”

“Good, next question.”

“You said that evolution occurs in spite of harsh conditions. However, can evolution occur in spite of the second law of thermodynamics?”

“There is a particular misconception about the second law of thermodynamics. That is the law of entropy - that all things in an orderly state decay into a less orderly state over time. It is true that this is universally acknowledged and is rightfully a scientific law. The misunderstanding comes when we consider the type of system that is the earth. It used to be thought that the earth was a closed system. A closed system is typically destroyed when energy is added. But earth is not a closed system. It is an open system. This means that the sun’s rays and other phenomena that exert energy upon it actually cause things to happen, to keep it simple. The energy is converted so that it can be used and that is why life emerged. The energy transferred to the earth somehow activated the necessary components that were necessary for life and, a few billion years later, here we are.”

My head was starting to hurt. This was not going the way that I planned. Derkins was apparently a very intelligent person who had thought these things out before we met.
“But what about the emergence of life itself? We know that life can only be created by life. This is called the law of biogenesis. Do you deny the reality of this law?”

“Personally, I would say that the law of biogenesis is more of a theory. The term law is only used because there is no known instance of it being contradicted. That does not mean that it has never been contradicted in the past. Besides, evolution is a slow moving process. It is possible that in earth’s existence, we may never see the evolution of non-life to life ever again. Since I believe that the earth and the universe are billions of years old, despite the fact that the likelihood of the emergence of life is low, life’s emergence would still be possible. Besides, I am left with one other known option to explain the origin of life and it does not even come close to registering on the radar of science. That of course is the special creation of life through a divine Creator.”

I was somewhat dumbfounded.

“You know Ryan, you might want to look up more information on Mr. Robe. You might find it surprising that despite the fact that he does not believe in what is known as Darwinian evolution, he still believes in evolution. Given that fact, I personally find it hard to take him seriously. He wants to argue against evolution when he knows as plain as day that it is real. I believe that people like him insert God into the equation when they cannot explain a scientific phenomenon. Instead of remaining patient so that the answers to their questions might emerge, they immediately retreat to the notion that ‘God did it and that is all I need to know.’”

I had to go. This was getting way too discouraging, especially after all of the work I had just put into reading my book. “Dr. Derkins, I would like to thank you for your time. You have given me a lot to think about. Maybe we can speak again sometime?”

“I would love to. I hope I answered your questions sufficiently.”

I looked up more information on Mr. Robe that night and surely enough, Derkins was correct. Thus far my efforts have been futile. Despite the fact that, to me, the arguments from both sides brought each other to a standstill, it troubled me that the ID position seemed to be accepting of the evolutionary theory. In that sense, what Derkins was saying seemed to be true that the ID crowd was inserting God when they were stumped on something. Regardless, I know that God is real. Even if I cannot find any solid evidence I know that God is real. I was missing something. I could feel it. There was a piece missing from the puzzle that would transform this debate that I was having with Derkins. Soon, I would find the missing piece.


Anonymous said...

This is the most encouraging blog entry I've read on this site. Keep and open mind, and be willing to amend your worldview based on the evidence.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1, this is a retelling of a story that happened mome time ago. They wouldn't actually allow questioning to be published to this blog.

Anonymous said...

oops, that should be "some time ago," not "mome time ago."

JD70 said...

Anonymous 2
Please help me understand what you are trying to say. Thank you.