Origin: Common Sense vs. NonSense
by Timothy Ho
After birth, we grow to be curious and thinking people facing great fundamental questions. One such question concerns the origin of the universe while another concerns the purpose and meaning of life.
The Bible tells us of God as our creator beginning in Genesis. Romans 1:20 states, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–His eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Hebrews 3:4 also speaks of God as Creator saying, “For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything” (Hebrews 3:4).
A house must have a builder while a book must have an author. Any living system is much more complex than any man-made system; therefore there must be a Creator for living systems. A house is sufficient evidence for a builder and a book is sufficient evidence for a writer. This is just common sense; there is no need to study quantum physics or to formulate complex mathematical models to explain this. A sensible person cannot deny such common sense. It is like an axiom in geometry, self-evident, with or without having to prove it.
Science is described as refined common sense, and common sense is the root of science. But materialists refined the root out of science. In many books about Nature, we are apt to find the word “design” used frequently to describe the forms, structures, and functions of living systems in the biosphere, even though the writers may be materialism-oriented atheists. Can there be designs without designers or books without authors?
Since the development of modern science in the 17th century, especially after publication of Darwin’s Origin of the Species in 1859, people have been led to believe that the push-pull of inanimate atoms by random chance was all that was needed to produce this wonderful world. No mind or purpose was postulated behind the formation of the universe with all her marvels, including human beings. This materialistic explanation is woefully inadequate to explain the origin of the world; it is sheer absurdity. Intelligence, will and emotion are personal attributes. Inanimate matter has none of these. Can lifeless matter produce life? Can impersonal matter produce personal attributes? Common sense denies that.
The materialists limit all human knowledge to that which is verified verifiable by sense-experiences. Therefore, the great physicist Werner Heisenberg confessed, “Existing scientific concepts cover a very limited part of reality.” Sense has its limitations. Even with an electron microscope we are still limited to what we can see. Materialists propose that neither the universe nor human life has inherent meaning.
Human beings have searched for the meaning of life for thousands of years. Some found it while others did not. For those who found it, God is the key to the mystery of existence. Atheism–or materialism, naturalism, scientism, or whatever the name may be–robs people of that very key. Without God, life has neither meaning nor hope. With God we have meaning, hope and much more.
Besides the material and visible world, there is another spiritual and invisible dimension to reality. Ignoring the latter is the result of rude reductionism, producing distorted versions of objective reality. Natural science is unable to determine moral, aesthetic, or spiritual values; they are outside of its domain. There is no more to science than scientific methods. Scientific methods of natural science are not applicable to the problem of Origin. We can neither observe nor create by experiment the beginning of the Universe. By rejecting other dimensions, materialists, including all evolutionists, are burying their heads in the sand. No dentist or ophthalmologist ever claimed that a person is only a set of teeth or a pair of eyes. American biologist, Herbert J. Muller once said, “To say that a man is made up of certain chemical elements is a satisfactory description only for those who intended to use him as a fertilizer.”
To the communists, evolutionists, and materialists, science has become a dogmatic religion. Science, a human enterprise, can become a religion only when common sense is denied. This writer could not persuade two of his grandchildren, 10 and 7, about their kitchen table being self-assembled without a carpenter. Though having never seen the carpenter, they have enough common sense to believe that there was someone who made it. Many graduate students and professors of evolution in colleges believe that complex living systems have been self-assembled without a Creator. Why are evolutionists so imprudent? It is because they had a prior commitment to a materialistic or naturalistic paradigm. The more they study under the paradigm, the more they believe there is no God. (Psalm 14:1a) Intelligent designs in works, both divine and human, can be detected by our intelligence. It seems sensible to acknowledge their Creator before studying nature and creatures.
Christian faith is historical faith that can relate to human sense-experience. Besides the works of God in nature, eyewitnesses in history verified Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension. Historical events are of course unrepeatable and invisible. If all invisible things were unrealistic, we would have to do away with all historical records.
It is a blessing to all those who believe in a loving Creator-God. We can show our gratitude for His wonderful works of creation and redemption. We can call on the merciful Almighty when we are in trouble or on our deathbed when that time comes. We have the hope of the kingdom of heaven to come where everything will be perfect. What can atheists and materialists look forward to, except total loss when they face their last moment on earth? Who can they call for help when they are in trouble–dumb atoms or microbe amebas?