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ANTHROPOLOGY AND MAN'S RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

As anthropology embraces the study of man, man's spiritual capacity reflects his commitment to a system of thought or conduct which places him in harmony with his universal experience. The religious experience of this commitment involves the devotee in an ever-increasing orientation, and an ever-deepening conviction, relating to the Object of his devotion. As his preoccupied commitment to his Object wanes, there is of necessity a preoccupation with the alternative commitment.

This is true in experience, because the commitment in question is an all-embracing reflection on what makes man. Man is a functioning entity conscious of himself, conscious of the world around himself, and conscious that he arrived at these states of consciousness from a Cause which he must acknowledge. Just as man cannot deny his self-existence, he also cannot deny that he is responsible to the Entity which brought him here. His first reflection is to find a religious experience with the Cause which transcends his physical universe, namely a sovereign God. His alternative is to reject or deny the existence of this sovereign Cause, and embrace causation within natural forces of his universe - in which case he finds himself as the ultimate expression of these natural causes, and finds his sufficiency within Himself. In this case, since he is the ultimate expressign of his own material universe, he is in reality his own Cause. Choosing this alternative, he is responsible to no one but himself.

There are degrees of religious experience within the framework of these two mutually exclusive poles, such as adopting local gods or an accumulation of regional gods; but ultimately all explanations and experiences must gravitate to one pole or the other. Local or regional gods are found to be in subjection to universal forces which, in turn, are subject to the universe. This position arrives at a natural umversal experience, which ultimately deifies man as the supreme expression of that universe.

That there are but these two alternatives possible, either special creation or naturalistic evolution, is beyond dispute. Sir Julian Huxley announced: "There are only ... possible alternatives as regards the origin of living substance on this earth.

Either it was ... created, or it was brought to the earth from some other place in the universe ... or it was produced naturally...." Then he proceeded to reduce the possibilities to but two: "If it was brought to the earth from some other place in the universe, it only removes the problem one step further back: we still have to face the question of how this supposed extraterrestrial life originated.'?

In a popular biology textbook, Davis and Solomon gave specific credence to these two views: "Such explanations tend to fall into one or the other of two broad categories: special creation or evolution. Various admixtures and modifications of those two concepts exist, but it seems impossible to imagine an explanation of origins that lies completely outside the two ideas."

Both views inherently envision exclusive universal dominance. The "mission' of naturalism involves the insatiable envelopment of dissent until Mankind admits harmony with a discordant universe. The "mission" of creationism is the conversion of discordant man so that he may be in harmony with his Creator. Both views inherently envision the elimination of the opposing faction. Naturalism expects a world exploited without moral or religious restraint, where constricting voices are non-existent. Creationism forecasts a state in which the converted are in harmonious fellowship with their Creator, where nonrespondents are eternally assigned to their own disharmonious state without their Creator.

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Universal Evolutionary Influence

The missionary characteristics of naturalistic thought will be explored. Its influences could hardly be overestimated. Author Michael Denton views the issues with insightful analysis: "The twentieth century would be incomprehensible without the Darwinian revolution. The social and political currents which have swept the world in the past eighty years would have been impossible without its intellectual sanction. It is ironic to recall that it was the increasingly secular outlook in the nineteenth century which initially eased the way for acceptance of evolution, while today it is perhaps the Darwinian view of nature more than any other that is responsible for the agnostic and skeptical outlook of the twentieth century. What was once a deduction from materialism has today become its foundation.

The influence of evolutionary theory on fields far removed from biology is one of the most spectacular examples in history of how a highly speculative idea for which there is no really hard scientific evidence can come to fashion the thinking of a whole society and dominate the outlook of an age....Ultimately the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more or less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century. Like the Genesis based cosmology which it replaced, ...it satisfies the same deep psychological need for an all embracing explanation for the origin of the world...'1

Sir Julian Huxley spoke of the "gospel of evolutionary humanism." British philosopher Mary Midgley, an evolutionist, wrote the book Evolution As A Religion as a concern about the presence of myth and superstition in science. She writes that "evolution is the creation myth of our age." Her book is an expose into what she considers to be illegitimate expansions of evolution into a complete world view. But that expansion has occurred, and with missionary fervor.


Evolutionary Missionary Practice

In addition to its influence requiring faith, naturalism has taken on the missionary characteristic of revering a book as being unique and singular in providing the answer to understanding the natural world, human origins, and human consciousness. Professor Bernard Cambell offers students this written universal solution: "Darwin and Wallace had provided a rational and convincing explanation of the diversity and changing nature of species. If humans, too, were products of this process, humankind had to develop a completely new attitude toward the natural world and face an entirely novel view of human origins. This agonizing reappraisal was possible only for those who were capable of rational thought, free from earlier ideas and prejudices. It would not be unreasonable to claim that Darwin's book is the most important book ever published, and the changes that it has brought about in our view of ourselves are only a part of its revolutionary impact. From it derives our modern and extraordinarily fruitful perspective on humankind - evolutionary biology."2

An additional missionary characteristic is seen in that naturalism specifically opposes an alternate religion from a "superior" vantage. Charles Darwin boldly waged that opposition in person: "I can hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends" will be everlastingly punished....And this is a damnable doctrine."3

As a natural corollary it follows that devotees would present "new truth" superior to old dogmas. Darwin wrote: "The old argument of design in nature, as given by Paley, which formerly seemed to me so conclusive fails, now that the law of natural selection has been discovered."4

Of singular importance is the religious missionary characteristic of assigning messianic stature to a person who is conscious that he has made a contribution which affects all mankind. Darwin announced that he had "discovered" the law of natural selection which applied as a naturalistic explanation affecting all of life. He wrote that the First Cause as a naturalistic universe had an intelligence equated to that of man and had manifest itself in the mind of man. In this connection Darwin called himself a Theist.5 This is the first time in history that a man gave an explanation (however plausible it may or may not have been) encompassing all of the natural universe and equated himself as being the ultimate intelligence in that universe.

Of corresponding importance is the missionary characteristic of disappointment in the alternate God for not having performed as was expected. In his Autobiography Darwin discussed happiness versus suffering and then argued that an omnipotent God could not permit suffering.

The missionary characteristic which naturally follows is to offer a better hope for mankind. Darwin did this by writing: "believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he is now..."6

Missionary expression offers a specific plan of salvation. The Humanist Manifestos I & II both state: "No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.''7

Missionary conviction alleges that its power is in constant universal operation. In The Origin Of Species (p.67) Darwin alleged that "It may metaphorically be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, the slightest variations; rejecting those that are bad, preserving and adding up all that are good...."

Missionary intention is to exercise a controlling influence in moral conduct. Darwin was concerned about the creationistic influence (which inferred a code of conduct in contradistinction to that of his "college days") impressed upon young minds: "Nor must we overlook the probability of the constant inculcation in a belief in God on the minds of children producing so strong and perhaps an inherited effect on their brains not yet fully developed, that it would be as difficult for them to throw off their belief in God, as for a monkey to throw off its instinctive fear and hatred of a snake."8 It is then in keeping with this sentiment that both Humanist Manifestos reiterate: "...the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values."9

Missionary practice often centers its primary despite toward a specific religion or sect. Darwin's own wife, Emma, was a devoted Christian, yet his reoccurring scorn was directed toward Christianity: "...the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported....

[T]he more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become....[T]he men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible by us.... [T]he Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneous with the events....I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation.''10

A modern expositor of this evolutionary missionary zeal (along with others) is Carl Sagon. It is not surprising that he continues the pattern of naturalistic commitment: "We are, in the most profound sense, children of the Cosmos....we are the children equally of the sky and the Earth....Something in us recognizes the Cosmos as home....Some part of our being knows this is from where we came....our matter, our form, and much of our character is determined by the deep connection between life and the Cosmos.... Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us....We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries."11

Attention is now directed toward the alternate missionary influence which gives comprehensive analysis of man, his origin and his destiny. Serious anthropological inquiry into defendable academic missionary candidates which represent a contradistinctive view (to that of naturalism or Darwinism) narrowly restricts the field. As has been previously mentioned, the vast majority of the world's religions are naturalistic in origin or appeal. This limits the candidates which are distinctively creationistic to the monotheistic religions of orthodox Judaism, orthodox Islam, and orthodox Christianity.

Islam finds extensive reference in its early historical allegiance to the patriarchs of Judaism. Beyond its Judaic references, current academic inquiry finds its claims unverifiable. Judaism, in turn, finds its sacred scriptures enfolded in the canon of Christian scripture. This brings Christianity, then, to the enviable position of being the repository of the complete sacred scriptures of monotheistic creationism. With his brilliant insight and comprehensive survey, it comes as no surprise that Darwin gave his incessant vindictiveness to Christianity. The two tenets are mutually opposed. In these two opposing positions we find the classic and comprehensive battle for the mind, and the soul, of man. For academic purposes, then, our alternate missionary influence is Christianity.

Christianity anticipates the frustrations of Charles Darwin, and it sympathizes with them. Darwin's fears and phobias have been discussed extensively in medical literature.12 The great Christian missionary, Paul of Tarsus, addressed the disharmonious realizations within sinsitive mankind with sympathy: "...and deliver them who through of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.''13 The same writer admitted the universal note of discord "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."14

While no attempt is herein made to excuse inconsistent behavior on the part of any Christian advocate, the basic characteristics and tenets of Christianity serve to illustrate our inquiry in the field of anthropology. Human practice is motivated by human mind-set. Inculcated phobias have been observed to motivate entire cultural populations. Christian intellectuals attempt to find such associations within both religious bodies and individual practices.

Creation intellectual inquiry does not ignore Darwin's phobias and their association with his mind-set. It has been observed that phobias are self-serving. 85 The individual may incorporate factual experience, but tends to exaggerate insecurity and deterioration often to the point of excluding contradictory data. The phobic individual tends to expand life views in keeping with his aversions. It may be pointed out that Darwin enthusiastically shot birds as a young man (while at the same time refused to harm a worm by baiting a hook) and used variations within finches to annihilate God (to his satisfaction) from the skies.

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Creationist Academic Explanation

Creation intellectual inquiry separates scientific creationism from biblical creationism. It is commonly held that biblical creationism represents the view available to individual conviction, and scientific creationism is the view which rests on observed scientific data. It is also commonly held that scientific creationism (not biblical creationism) should be compared with the evolutionary data in the public classroom.

John Baumgardner has written a usable definition: "When the term 'creation model' is used, it will be referring to the hypothesis that (1) all life forms came into existence by direct creative actions of a supernatural Creator, (2) the various plant and animal kinds were separate and distinct creations, and (3) the earth has suffered a massive, world-wide flood which accounts for most of its geological formations." He continues: "It is crucial to realize that both models - evolution and creation - require faith or confidence in higher principles. Evolution requires faith that matter can organize itself into complex ordered structures. Creation involves faith that an Intellect is behind such order.''15

Creation academics point out: "...the historical fact that most of the great scientists of the past who founded and developed the key disciplines of science were creationists. Note the following sampling:

Physics (Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, Kelvin)

Chemistry (Boyle, Dalton, Pascal, Ramsay)

Geology (Steno, Woodward, Brewster, Agassiz)

Astronomy (Kepler, Galileo, Herschel, Maunder)''16

They also point out that many evolutionary scientists admit that their theory is not based on empirical data: "The idea that the rates or intensities of geological process have been constant is so obviously contrary to the evidence that one can only wonder at its persistence.... Modern uniformitarianism...asserts nothing about the age of Earth or about anything else (James H. Shea, 1982).''17 "It is obvious that radiometric techniques may not be the absolute dating methods that they are claimed to be. Age estimates on a given geological stratum by different radiometric methods are often quite different (sometimes by hundreds of millions of years). There is no absolutely reliable long-term radiological 'clock' (William Stansfield, 1977)''18

Creation academics continue to point out that the entire geologic column is essentially fabricated. Evolutionist A.E.J. Engel provided the following admission: "Earliest man was aware that the earth's history was catastrophically eventful. Some were forcefully laid to rest in a rain of volcanic ash....No more than one percent or so of the history of the earth is decipherable.... By imaginative manipulation of the evolving data we can reconstruct a magnificent and awesome history of the earth and its life...''19 [Emphasis added]. Evolutionist Alan V. Jopling of the Harvard University Department of Geological Science assured that the time involved in depositing the individual layers of rock history of the earth was very brief: "It is reasonable to postulate a very rapid rate of deposition: that is, a single laminae would probably be deposited in a period of seconds or minutes rather than in a period of hours....There is factual evidence from both field observation and experiment that laminate composed of bed material are commonly deposited by current action within a period of seconds or minutes....It may be concluded therefore that the time required for the deposition of the entire delta deposit amounted to several days...based on the computed rate of delta advance and the thickness of individual laminae, the average time for the deposition of the laminae must have been several minutes."20

Creationists use this rapid sequence of events in explaining that the history of the earth is actually rather brief. Edward F. Blick, University of Oklahoma aerospace engineering professor, uses the calculations of Cook21 to show that the helium-4 in our atmosphere (generated by the decay of uranium) actually gives a date for the entire history of the earth within 10,000 years. Robert Gentry has used the study of polonium halos in granite to demonstrate that the formation of the very basement rock of the earth took only minutes.22

Creationists make use of research calculations which demonstrate the entire inorganic universe to hold a maximum of 235 bits of information, yet the organic structure of the human cell contains 20 billion bits of information.23 It would thus appear that it is impossible for the inorganic universe to produce man. The smallest unit of living matter is a protein molecule which contains 1500 bits of information. Evolution of living matter in any form is thus ruled out on a scientific basis.24

Creationist academic Robert Gange emphasizes the uniqueness of man in all universal observation: "The organizational complexity continues to grow from insects and into the simple animals, and from them through the more and more complex life forms until it abruptly terminates with man himself. It ends with human life. Man is at the top of the ladder. Human life depends for its existence upon the organizational properties of everything below it, but no known thing depends for its existence upon man....Out of the 11 million species of life on earth, only man has the capacity of the "word", the ability to crystallize coherence out of chaos by creating within the mind ordered composites of mentally synthesized abstract elements which he then translates into various physical forms suitable for communication to other human life....Of all God's creatures, man alone has the capacity to receive, supply and transmit information through time. This is significant because it provides a basis for human accountability beyond the time and space of any one generation of human life."25

Gange continues to explain man's uniqueness and accountability - and his misuse of these - as the platform from which man has created his own misery in a world of beneficent design: "...disorders such as plunder" injustice, poverty, fear, wars, and famine are explained in terms of the misuse of man's free will. For example, consider famine. There are about 500 thousand species of known plant life on earth, of which at least 10 percent (50,000) are edible. Of these, only three hundred have been commercially cultivated; a mere thirty provide 95 percent of all human calories and protein....Biological disorders include cystic fibrosis, enzyme disorders, brain 88 malfunctions, heart disease, allergies, muscular dystrophy and sclerosis, various kinds of cancer, diabetes, and so forth. More than two thousand five hundred diseases have been traced to flaws in our DNA....They originated in the degenerate flesh that materialized through the misuse of free will."26

Creationists reveal that Darwin, in spite of his incessant writings against special creation, was far from comfortable with his theory. He wrote to Asa Gray: "The eye to this day gives me a cold shudder."27 Well might he shudder, for it has now been learned that "each second, each and every cell of your retina performs 10 billion calculations." 28

Creationists, such as Henry Morris of the Institute For Creation Research, deduct specific conclusions from observations in the universe:

Consider, then, some of the effects observable in the universe. The vastness of the physical universe is inconceivably great, and its Cause must be at least co-extensive with space and co-terminus with time. Therefore, the First Cause is infinite and eternal...

Everywhere and always in space and time occur phenomena of energy and matter and motion. To cause and maintain such an infinite array and variety of power-producing systems (e,g., the galaxies) and power-converting processes (e,g., all of earth's phenomena), the First Cause must be omnipotent and omnipresent....

In like manner, the existence of moral and spiritual realities in the universe proves the First Cause to be essentially moral and spiritual....

The material discussed can perhaps be summarized in some such tabulation as below:
 
 


REFERENCES...

Denton, Michael. op. cit., p.358

Campbell, Bernard G. Humankind Emerging, p.19

Darwin, Charles. op. cit., p.87

Ibid.

Darwin, Charles. op. cit.

Ibid., p.92

Humanist Manifestos I & II, op. cit.

Op. cit.

Op. cit., also Chawla, S.S. 1964. A Philosophical Journey To The West, The Humanist,(September - October) p.151

Autobiography, p.86

Sagon, Carl. op. cit.

Colp, Ralph, Jr. 1977. To Be An Invalid, University of Chicago Press

Paul, circa 65 A.D. The Book Of Hebrews, The Visualized Bible, Tyndale House Publishers (Wheaton, Illinois) 2:15, p.283

Ibid., The Book Of Romans, 8:22, p.198

Baumgardner, John. op. cit.

Morris, Henry and Parker, Gary. 1982. What Is Creation Science? (El Cajon, CA) Master Books, n.20

Ibid., p.15

Ibid., p.15

Engel, A.E.J. 1969. Time And The Earth, American Scientist, Vol. 57, No.4, pp.458,462

Jopling, Alan V. 1960. Journal Of Sedimentary Petrology, Vol.3, No.4, p.34

Cook, M.A. 1957. Where Is The Earth's Radiogenic Helium?. Nature. Vol.179, January 26. p.213

Gentry, Robert. 1986. Creation's Tiny Mystery, Earth Science Associates

Gange, Robert. op. cit.

Ibid.

lbid., pp.113,135

Ibid., pp.153,154

Denton, Michael. op. cit. p.326

Bartz, Paul. Bible-Science Newsletter

Morris, Henry. 1986. Many Infallible Proofs, Master Books (El Cajon, CA) p.103


CONCLUSION TO PART I-

The two towering influences of rational man, Jesus of Nazareth and Charles Darwin, offer the ultimate embodiment of conceptual antithesis, whether we view their academic concepts or their religious commitments. Their concepts are mutually opposing, and between the two is covered the sum total of what man experiences and what man expects. His view of the entire universe and his relationship to it are embraced with full orchestration. Darwin represents discordant harmony with universal death, and Christ represents harmonious reconciliation to universal life. From the standpoint of public education, any comprehensive survey of the principles of life origins purporting any measure of academic inquiry should outline the basic positions and evidences relating to the two schools of thought.

It could be that the central perspective of both men is correct. Jesus, from personal experience, views his universe and its human inhabitants as being designed, and He offers reconciliation with its Creator. Charles Darwin, on the other hand, from personal experience, views his universe in convulsive experimenting discord. This view offers discordant harmony with universal despair.

Since Darwinian evolution is held in near exclusive disclosure as a viable explanation for life origins, is it possible to falsify it as a theory predicated on an academic, scientific basis? The referenced data submitted in this paper are offered to illustrate the falsification of the scientific basis claimed by the theory of evolution.

Educational procedure cannot overlook the importance of falsifying a scientific theory. Professor Stephen Jay Gould wrote that "Philosopher Karl Popper has agreed for decades that the primary criterion of science is the falsifiability of its theories. We can never prove absolutely, but we can falsify. A set of ideas that cannot, in principle, be falsified is not science.''1 Charles Darwin wrote that "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed that could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."2 The weight of data submitted in Part I of this paper does in fact falsify the very nature of the evolutionary concept, and additionally, provides an academic basis for the voluntary inclusion of scientific creationism in public classroom curricula.

Scholastic inquiry admits to only two theories regarding life origins. Paleontologist Colin Patterson of the British Museum of Natural History wrote: "This theory [evolution] has only one main competitor, creation theory, though there are different stories of how the Creator went about His work."3 Professor Niles Eldridge wrote: "Indeed, the only competing explanation for the order we all see in the biological world - is the notion of Special Creation."4 If the academic data reveal that the evolutionary theory is falsified by Darwin's own written conditions, then the only alternative (special creation) holds as a valid scientific model. In fact, in a recently published textbook on Fundamentals Of Classical Thermodynamics authors Gordon J. Van Wylen and Richard Sonntag state that "....we see the second law of thermodynamics as a description of the Prior and continuing work of a creator, who also holds the answer to our future destiny and that of the universe."5

As we proceed to Part II we consider an important aspect which is relevant to the tenets of academic creation. Most evolutionists today continue to insist that the geologic column" points to development of life forms over hundreds of millions of years. Academic evolutionists admit that a serious variance from this scenario would falsify the evolutionary concept itself. That is made clear by Richard Dawkins in his widely acclaimed The Blind Watchmaker. Dawkins wrote, "Nevertheless, however small the proportion fossilized, there are certain things about the fossil record that any evolutionist should expect to be true. We should be very surprised, for example, to find fossil humans appearing in the record before mammals are supposed to have evolved! If a single, well-verified mammal skull were to turn up in 500 million year-old rocks, our whole modern theory of evolution would be utterly destroyed."6

Dawkins is not alone in his appraisal of the academic situation. Steven M. Stanley wrote, "There is an infinite variety of ways in which, since 1859, the general concept of evolution might have been demolished. Consider the fossil record - a little known resource in Darwin's day. The unequivocal discovery of a fossil population of horses in the Pre-cambrian rocks would disprove evolution. More generally, any topsy-turvy sequence of fossils would force us to rethink our theory, yet not a single one has come to light. As Darwin recognized, a single geographic inconsistency would have nearly the same power of destruction."7 Such "topsy- turvy" sequence of fossils has been credibly excavated and documented in original excavations near Glen Rose, Texas.

In the original excavations directed and documented by this researcher we have produced fossilized evidence verifying human contemporaneous habitation with dinosaurs in relatively recent times. To that evidence we now turn.

REFERENCES...

Gould, Stephen Jay. 1981. Discover, May

Darwin, Charles. Orivin Of Species, p.183

Patterson, Colin. Evolution, British Museum: England, p.148

Eldridge, Niles. 1985. Time Frames, p.240

Van Wylen, Gordon J. and Sonntag, Richard.1985. Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics, John Wiley and Sons: New York, pp.232,233

Dawkins, Richard. 1986. The Blind Watchmaker, W.W. Norton and Co.: New York and London, p.255

Stanley, Steven M. 1981. The New Evolutionary Timetable, Basic Books, Inc: New York, p.171


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Copyright by Carl E. Baugh, 1989
 
 
Last Modified: 03:10pm , March 03, 1996