Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Truth is Not Changed...

We are the product of intelligent design.
- or -
We are not the product of intelligent design.
** ** ** **
One of the above statements must be true.
- and -
Truth is not changed by your theory or mine.

Re-read and consider these statements carefully. These brief deductive statements open the book I’m currently reading, titled The Cave Painting: A Parable of Science, by Roddy M. Bullock. The first part of the book is a dramatic novel about a scientist who discovers a remarkable underground cave painting, and promotes it as an example of how unguided natural processes can give rise to beautiful and complex features, in the absence of any human role. The book follows the story of a young girl who remains unconvinced that this “apparent painting” has no painter—and sets out to prove that it was no mere accident. Of course the story is a parable for the modern debate over evolution and intelligent design. The latter half of the book gives the scientific references to quotes and points of discussion in the parable, and shows their parallel in the real scientific debate over the origin of life.

The statements above in italics (especially that “Truth is not changed by your theory or mine”) are particularly insightful today, where even the suggestion of knowing “the Truth” is openly ridiculed or “pooh-poohed.” “Truth is relative!”, we hear. “That’s your truth, this is my truth!”, people opine. Or people assume that “truth,” like beauty, “is in the eye of the beholder” (Bullock, 306). But all of these notions about truth are not only unsatisfactory, they are illogical.

Truth is not changed by your theory or mine. Bullock illustrates this simple “truth” by an example of a courtroom trial. The actual events of what happened on the scene of an automobile accident are a matter of real, historical occurrence. And no matter what versions of the event are argued by the prosecution or defense, and regardless of which side best persuades the jury—the underlying facts of the case remain unchanged.

Likewise, “the cause of our human origins is, of course, an actual, objective, historical happening. The happening was either a completely natural, chance process, or it was guided (at least in part) by intelligence. There is no other option, and the truth of our actual origin is unchanged by what anyone thinks about it.” (Bullock, 306). This is to say that you can’t have it both ways. Two contradicting and mutually exclusive ideas cannot be true at the same time.

When it comes to seeking after “the Truth,” we do well to remember that it is not changed by our theories or opinions. Sometimes the Truth may have uncomfortable implications, or require us to change tightly held ideas that cannot be reconciled with the Truth. And if it is true that Almighty God created this universe and all life, then we should expect to see “tell-tale” signs that life is no accident, but was intelligently designed! I can think of dozens of examples (observable by science) of God’s “fingerprints” in creation…have you considered them too? (Psalm 19)

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