By Rich Kozlovich
Updated on 11/5/2012
There was an article that I came across today that states, “Many atheist scientists take their kids to church”! The article went on to say that; “about one in five atheist scientists with children involve their families with religious institutions even if they do not agree with the teachings, according to a study done by Rice University and the University at Buffalo.” The article pointed out that “The findings surrounding atheists shouldn't be too surprising, since the Pew Forum Religious Survey taken back in 2008 that showed 21 percent of self-described atheists responded that they believe in God.”
Does everyone really find this to be extraordinary? Anthropologists have noted that in every culture in the world, and in all of human history, religion has played an important role in people’s lives. There was one prominent atheist, Antony Flew who claimed at the end of his life that he was now a believer. Why? Is it true ‘there are no atheists in foxholes’? Of course the explanation was the he had lost his mind. Even Albert Einstein, who was not a religious person in any sense and absolutely rejected the idea of a personal God, rejected the idea of atheism.
For the believers among my readers the explanation is simple; we are designed to believe. For the unbelievers among my readers the explanation is simple also. There is no other logical explanation!
Believing takes on many forms. For some it has to do with a higher power. For others it can take on the worship of oneself and for others it can take on the worship of some philosophy or other; but we all seem to have the desire to look to some higher explanation for existence and human existence in particular. But one thing seems clear; ‘believing’ is inherent to our genetic code. Otherwise how can anyone explain why so many have believed so much over so long a time of human history in so many different cultures? Of course, the problem for the unbelievers among my readers with this explanation is that they would then have to explain how that genetic code was designed in that manner…or designed at all for that matter…. if there is no higher power.
I do find it fascinating how some can believe that Intelligent Design is “a pig that won’t fly”! The design is so complicated that it defies explanation how infinitely small mutations over millions or billions of years could bring us to what we are now. Whether one disagrees or agrees with evolution, I question how anyone can say that there is no designer. Some feel that an intelligent designer used evolution. Some feel evolution is a mistake constantly making more mistakes and changing everything all the time all by accident. I wonder how anyone can explain how this can happen by accident and develop successful organisms since "geneticists estimate that 99 out of 100 mutations are harmful, and about 20 out of the 99 are lethal."
I also have to wonder how any organism could “know” which mutations were beneficial over a million years or so since the complexity of the design would require some kind of organizational planning. Take a woman’s monthly cycle. It is amazingly complex! The right amount of chemicals, hormones and enzymes would have to come into play in exactly the right sequence of time in order to finish the cycle. However, if a woman becomes pregnant during the cycle another whole set of chemical conditions would come into play. How could any organism "know" how to plan for two diametrically opposing end results? Remembering that there are untold species in the world that have cycles unique to themselves. That means that this would have to be done an incalculable number of times in an incalculable number of organisms. We are to believe that this happens through a series of positive accidents that would overcome all of these deadly accidents! Isn't that a form of belief, i.e. faith? It does seem to defy logic...or science as it were!
How would an organism know what chemicals to develop over millions of years; and more importantly; how would these organisms know how to make them? How did the organism know that hormones and enzymes were needed along with other chemicals? How would the organism know how to organize them? How did the organism know which chemicals would work harmoniously together and in conjunction with enzymes and hormones, and how did the organism know what the conclusion would be afterward without some sort of plan?
Which brings me back to the beginning!
If life started in the ocean in some chemical rich soup, through some accidental electrical discharge how did that cell, or group of cells, replicate themselves? Evolutionally thought would require millions of years of mutations before the next step to propagation would come into being. If that is so; how did they replicate? Wouldn’t the presumption be that these cells already had an amazingly complex chemical make-up that would create an end result? If so; doesn’t that imply planning and design? Doesn’t planning and design require intelligence?
Actually, when you think this out correctly the very foundation for the explanation propounded by scientists gets even more complicated and incomprehensible. If such an event really did take place the first order of business would be survival, not propagation. That means this cell or cells would have to have a system that allowed them to recognize the need for nutrition; to recognize what was nutritional and what was not; a means of absorbing this material; a system for digestion and a system for the elimination of waste; then and only then would propagation come into play; and each would absolutely be dependent on the other for this whole scheme presented by atheist scientists to work. How could so many complex systems come into being all at once without some sort of design and an application of the design? And if these events actually did happen, and cells came into existence with all these complicated biological systems in place; what would you call it? Creation?
However, even with a design; how could incredibly small mutations be of value during the whole process of millions of years, and in point of fact it seems reasonable that these mutations would hinder continued existence; not enhance it. But even if you accept the idea of small changes over millions of years the question still remains; how could all of that come into being without intelligence behind it?
I find it interesting that many of the people I respect, communicate with and read regularly are atheists. Funny thing is that I find I enjoy their commentaries. They have a keen understanding of science, are only interested in the truth and are willing to follow it wherever it leads. Why is it that so many of these really bright and courageous people are unwilling to believe?
I can understand anyone’s reason for not subscribing to any religious group. The sanguinary history of the world’s religions has not done much to inspire confidence over human history. So I can understand someone being un-religious, and I can understand why someone would believe that there may be a higher power that doesn’t interfere in the lives of humanity. I can understand why people might not be sure and proclaim to be agnostic…although I consider that to be pragmatic atheism. What I can’t understand is how anyone cannot believe that there must be a planner behind this phenomenally complex reality we call....existence!