Do we need to know how two things work together? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Yesterday, I saw again someone asking the question on how an immaterial mind, like God, can affect a material world? I am not at all saying that we shouldn’t ask the question, but I find it striking that these people act like saying “We don’t know, therefore it can’t happen.” These are also the same people who share the idea that religion is against finding answers to questions and science is the one that says, “I don’t know. Let’s find out.”
Apparently, that means in all questions except for those about religion.
I replied the same way that I always do. Right now, I am sitting at my desk typing, at this point, on this blog. I am willing myself to type. I do not know how that works, but yet I am doing it. Even if I held to a purely materialistic view of man, which I don’t, I would not know how to explain that.
When it comes to the world we live in, let’s suppose, as I do, that I have arguments for God, an immaterial being, that I find conclusive. Let’s also suppose that while they are not hills I am ready to die on and a debate I don’t really enter into that much, let’s suppose that I have reasons I find conclusive for believing in an immaterial aspect to me. One such reason even in scientific circles is Near-Death Experiences. True, some scientists do think they’re bunk, but some, and not just Christian ones, spend a great deal of study on these. My thinking on them is I think some of them are true, but they are not meant to give you the furniture of the afterdeath.
I do also take it as a given that there is such a thing as a material world. I’m not going to bother dealing with the thoughts of people like Bishop Berkeley or Eastern thought that can say the material world is an illusion at this point. That could be fascinating to do some time but now is not that time. For now, we’ll just say that there is something immaterial and there is a material world.
Let’s also suppose, as I do, that I have reasons I think justify me in believing in the reality of miracles, such as the resurrection of Jesus. Even if there had been no resurrection, that does not mean I would be unjustified in believing in miracles if I think I have good evidence of them. If this is the case, then I already have reason to believe the immaterial can act on the material.
In what might seem like a slight detour, let’s consider evolutionary biology. In this area, many creationists often say that there is no known mechanism on how life came about from non-life to get evolution started. There are many proposals, but none that are conclusive. Again, I am not a scientist, but let us suppose that this is still the case. This in no way means that there is no answer or that the answer cannot be found. It could be hypothetically the case that the answer is never found, but it will not disprove evolutionary biology. I would encourage those on the more creationist side of the debate to not go that route as it is just God of the gaps and if an answer is ever found, that seemingly puts God out of a job.
However, evolutionary biologists who would complain about that technique of creationists, and I think rightly so, need to make sure they’re not making the same mistake. This would be a sort of materialism-of-the-gaps. Now in both of these debates, it would be different if someone could give some sort of argument that could prove that either of these is impossible, but as far as I know, this has never been done.
This also means that you are not obligated to know every in and out of your worldview no matter what it is. I don’t expect an evolutionary biologist who is an atheist to tell me every aspect of the history of our species and of our cosmos and answer every question I have in order to hold his position. He should want to know as much as he can, but no one can know it all. At the same time, on the grounds given above, a Christian can say they do not know for sure, but why not be “scientific” and say “Let’s find out.”
Either way, this is a poor objection. I would like it that the side that keeps saying “Let’s find out” would want to actually study the subject they are arguing against and find out if they are misunderstanding.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)