The Expository Files.

 "Scientific Chauvinism"

Well, my esteemed co-editor just sent me his part of the issue. My first reaction as I glanced at his Final Page editorial was "Warren stole my Front Page editorial!" There's the old saying, "Great minds work alike" but our friends would say, "Yes, but what does that have to do with Warren and you?"

There is plenty of information on Michael Behe's book "Darwin's Black Box" to go around, so I would like to look at one of the enlightening points I gained from reading the book. I just finished it a couple days ago, and things are still settling into place in my mind. But the point I am about to make is not a new one to me, but Behe's book reinforced something that was communicated to me years ago.

In the words of an agnostic friend of mine, a scientist who was doing research as a physicist at the University of Chicago before he moved away several years ago; "Jon, you know that we scientists, who pride ourselves in being so objective, are some of the most unobjective people on earth!" He went on to talk about developing a theory, devoting 15 to 20 years of ones life to proving it, living on research grants, and then finding that new data tends to work against your theory. What does one do? Too many times, he said, one simply sweeps unfavorable data under the rug so as not to jeopardize the work and hope for more favorable data in the future.

Behe quotes some scientists in chapter eleven, "Science, Philosophy, Religion" , and expresses the same idea. In short, he gives evidence that NOTHING will change the minds of some scientists who discount and ridicule the idea of an Intelligent Designer as being behind the origin of our universe.

For example, Behe quotes Robert Shapiro, who gives a "devastating critique to scientific studies of the origin of life." But then, Shapiro manifests his own lack of objectivity due to his prejudice against the intelligent origin of design:

"Some future day may yet arrive when all reasonable chemical experiments run to discover a probable origin for life have failed unequivocally. Further, new geological evidence may indicate a sudden appearance of life on the earth. Finally, we may have explored the universe and found no trace of life, or process leading to life, elsewhere. In such case, some scientists might choose to turn to religion for an answer. Others, however, myself included, would attempt to sort out the surviving less probable scientific explanations in hope of selecting one that is still more likely than the remainder."

Behe attributes such prejudice (he calls it "scientific chauvinism") to anger that has grown up through repeated clashes between scientists and theologians. Another scientist, Richard Dawkins, stated that if he were walking by a statue of Mary, and the statue waved at him, he would opt to believe that against astronomical odds, that all the atoms in her arm moving about randomly just happened to move in the same direction. Another scientist suggested that design did come from intelligence, but not God; that in alien laboratories DNA packets were created and the scattered among the stars to seed life. Of course, this just moves the ultimate origin back a step, for it does not explain where the aliens came from. This is not from your average scientist, but Nobel prize winner Francis Crick, who used experiments to deduce the double helical structure of DNA.

In short, don't consider your best argument from design for the existence of God to have much effect on those so set against it. With some people, it will take standing before Him at judgment to bring them to accept that He is the true and living God.

By Jon W. Quinn 
The Front Page
From Expository Files 4.6; June 1997