Here at Cerebral Faith, I have written many articles about the scientific evidence for the existence of a Creator-Designer of the universe. “The Kalam Cosmological Argument” which I wrote back in 2013, argues for the existence of a transcendent Creator from The Big Bang and the second law of thermodynamics coupled with philosophical arguments for the law of causality. “The Fine Tuning Argument For God’s Existence (Updated Version)” is a revamped post arguing for the existence of an intelligent designer from the immense improbability that the laws of physics the strong nuclear force and gravity should take the narrow values they do to permit the existence of physical life. “G, A, T, C, God Arranged The Code” argues for a designer of the cell from the immense information content within known as DNA, and in “Why I’m Skeptical Of Darwinian Evolution”, I show why the theory of Darwinian Evolution is inadequate to produce the various forms of life that currently exist.
But one question that is frequently brought up when talking about these subjects is this: if the evidence for creation and intelligent design is so powerful, so persuasive, so compelling, then why does it seem like the vast majority of scientists reject it? Why are most scientists atheists? If it’s so strong, you would think it would have wider acceptance in the scientific community…even if it never reached universal acceptance like other theories do.
This is a good question, and I think there are several contributing factors for why more scientists don’t embrace creationism than the minority that does.
*Many Fear Alienation From Their Peers
Many scientists may secretly believe that intelligent design has a lot of merit to it, but hide their opinions from their peers for fear of crippling their scientific careers. Darwinism is very popular, and it is the sacred cow of the secularists. You don’t dare question the great and powerful Darwin lest you be an outcast among your peers. Some scientists have been denied tenure for no other reason than because they wrote an article arguing for intelligent design. Others have been fired from their universities. And if a theistic scientist hasn’t had the misfortune of being slandered by peers, denied tenure, or fired from their university, at the very least, they’re not taken seriously anymore. After all “No serious scientist believes in God.” Even though that's historically false, see here and here.
If you don’t believe me, just watch the documentary Expelled! No Intelligence Allowed! hosted by Ben Stein. At the time of this writing, it was available for viewing on YouTube. You can watch it by clicking here. ----> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HErmp5Pzqw
To question or deny Darwinism is the scientific equivalent of heresy! Many are afraid of being crucified by the scientific community for descending because of how they’ve seen others treated.
The reason Darwinism is so highly important to them is because if the theory is false, the only other alternative is special creation by a powerful Creator. Those are the only 2 options. Either everything came together by a random naturalistic process or God. If it’s not one, it has to be the other. This is why not even Theistic Evolution is acceptable to them. You can’t just say “Well, God did most of the work until we got to the first life, then naturalistic processes took over. Why can’t Moses and Darwin both be right?” They need to rule out God entirely. It’s not macro evolution they love so much, it’s naturalism they want to promote.
*They Don’t Want To Give Up Their Favorite Sin
The theologian Charles Spurgeon once said “I am persuaded that men think there is no God because they wish there were none. They find it hard to believe in God, and to go on in sin, so they try to get an easy conscience by denying his existence.”
I think he was absolutely right. In fact, this is what The Bible teaches and what many atheists themselves had candidly admitted!
"And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed." - John 3:19-20 (ESV)
The Bible teaches that men love darkness (their sins) more then the light (Jesus) and so they refuse to come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed (i.e they’ll come under conviction of their sins and the realization that they’ll have to repent from their sinful ways). They realize that if God exists and if The Bible is true, they’ll have to repent of their favorite sins (be it pornography, premarital sex, or something else), so they refuse to come to Christ. They find every way they can to talk themselves out of believing.
“ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” – Romans 1:18-20 (ESV)
Romans 1:18-20 teaches that the evidence for creation and design is abundantly clear in the created order. In other words, God’s fingerprints are all over His creation. This evidence is so strong that “they are without excuse”, that is to say without excuse for not believing. Paul said this at a time when not much scientific knowledge was available. Yet Paul says that the evidence for creation from nature (i.e “everything that has been made”) is so strong that people have “no excuse” in their disbelief in God’s existence. Now think of this; if people of the first century didn’t have any excuse in their disbelief in God’s existence, what excuse do 21st century people have? By now scientists have uncovered startling data which powerfully points towards the conclusion that our universe is created and designed by a supreme Being. We now know that the universe popped into being out of absolutely nothing, that the odds of the laws of physics are fine tuned to make any form of life possible betray a designing intelligence, our solar system also has such improbable characteristics. Plus you have evidence that our genetic make up is analogous to computer codes. We have scientific evidence that aquatic life sprung onto the scene in a geological instant. And, even secular historians have uncovered historical evidence for 5 facts which point to the Christian belief in Christ’s resurrection.
The interesting thing is, they “suppress the truth”. What does this mean? It means that they talk themselves out of the design inference! The evidence is there! It’s staring everyone in the face! But people rationalize it away. This isn’t psychologically unusual. People do this in non-religious contexts as well. A man who is so traumatized by the death of his daughter may convince himself into believing that she’s on a vacation with a family member and will come back some day, or a woman in a domestic abuse situation may rationalize her situation away by coming up with excuses for her husband, “I’m sure he had a good reason” or “He wouldn’t have hit me if I didn’t screw things up all the time.” She can’t except that her husband might really be a bad man, so she rationalizes his behavior away.
Moreover, scripture says they suppress the truth “in their unrighteousness”. In other words, their sinfulness is the reason they’re suppressing the truth.
An atheist reading this may think this is just theological nonsense that isn’t true of unbelievers in reality, but take a look at these quotes from self proclaimed atheists.
The late Julian Huxley, once a leader among Darwinists, admitted that sexual freedom is a powerful motivation behind evolutionary dogma. When he was asked by talk show host Merv Griffin, “Why do people believe in evolution?” Huxley honestly answered “The reason we accepted Darwinism even without proof is because we didn’t want God to interfere with our sexual mores.” Notice that he didn’t cite spontaneous generation or the fossil record. The motivation he observed to be prevalent among evolutionists was based on moral preferences, not scientific evidence.
Former atheist Lee Strobel admits that moral unrestriction was a powerful motivation for latching onto Darwinism since he believed his theory of macro-evolution disproved God. He writes “I was more than happy to latch onto Darwinism as an excuse to jettison the idea of God so I could unabashedly pursue my own agenda in life without moral constraints.”
"[A fear of religion] has large and often pernicious consequences for modern intellectual life. [...] I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact... that some of the most intelligent and well informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that." - Thomas Nagel [The Last Word (Oxford, 1997)], emphasis mine
Many atheistic scientists refuse to follow the evidence where it leads for the same reason lay atheists don't; they don’t want to have to change their lifestyles! They don’t want to pick up their crosses to follow Christ!
Now, this is not to belittle or dismiss people who struggle with doubt or have intellectual obstacles to the faith, but merely to point out that a lot of people are hardened against God, so no amount of evidence would persuade them. These people are in contrast to those who are sincere doubters, those who may have objections to theism, creation, intelligent design, but are honestly searching after truth to see whose view is correct. These latter people, I believe, will inevitably be convinced at some point during their lives. For God said “If you seek me, you will find me, if you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13).
A third factor, which ties into the previous 2 is restrictive methodology. Atheistic scientists simply will not allow a Creator to even be considered, much less acknowledged. Now, I don’t disagree with methodological naturalism entirely. But I think methodological naturalism should be modified so as to filter out supernatural explanations when they’re unnecessary, but still allow them through if they’re best explanation of the data. I call this “Soft Methodological Naturalism” and I explain my view in the blog post “Are Christians Anti-Science?”. Soft Methodological Naturalism allows us to see God’s handiwork when it’s there while preventing us from positing supernatural explanations willy nilly. It’s the middle ground approach between two extremes.
Hard Methodological Naturalism by contrast rules out supernatural causes altogether. Why they won’t let God be in the realm of possible options for the explanation for the big bang, the fine tuning of physics, and the origin of life stems from the previous 2 reasons.
Read what Robert Jastrow (an agnostic astronomer) said of the origin of the universe (The Big Bang). “There is a kind of religion in science . . . every effect must have its cause; there is no First Cause. . . . This religious faith of the scientist is violated by the discovery that the world had a beginning under conditions in which the known laws of physics are not valid, and as a product of forces or circumstances we cannot discover. When that happens, the scientist has lost control. If he really examined the implications, he would be traumatized. As usual when faced with trauma, the mind reacts by ignoring the implications—in science this is known as "refusing to speculate"—or trivializing the origin of the world by calling it the Big Bang, as if the Universe were a firecracker.”
Professor Richard Lewontin, a geneticist (and self-proclaimed Marxist) wrote this very revealing comment. “It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” (emphasis mine)
They don’t see God’s handiwork in nature because they won’t see God’s handiwork in nature! They refuse to accept any interpretation of the evidence that points in a theistic direction! Whenever atheists tell me that scientists are unbiased and only concerned with the facts, I just have to laugh. This is so not true. They’re only objective when their atheistic worldview is at stake. If they’re weighing 2 different naturalistic hypotheses (geocentrism VS. heleocentrism for example) no problem, but if they have to deal with 2 theories of origins, both of which have worldview implications, they'll always be biased towards the theory that promotes their worldview instead.
It reminds me of an illustration the biologist Michael Behe once gave. He wrote “Imagine a room in which a body lies crushed, flat as a pancake. A dozen detectives crawl around, examining the floor with magnifying glasses for any clue to the identity of the perpetrator. In the middle of the room, next to the body, stands a large, gray elephant. The detectives carefully avoid bumping into the pachyderm’s legs as they crawl, and never even glance at it. Over time the detectives get frustrated with their lack of progress but resolutely press on, looking even more closely at the floor. You see, textbooks say detectives must “get their man,” so they never even consider elephants.”
Given that the detectives ruled out the elephant a priori, they’ll never find out how the man’s corpse was crushed.
For these reasons, it’s not surprising that there's not a larger number scientists who embrace creation or intelligent design than the ones who do. They either know that it’s academic suicide or they’re unwilling to acknowledge God because of what that might say about what they should do with their lives, and they’ve rigged the game of science to where only theories of the origin of the world that are compatible with atheism are applicable.