Book Plunge: Atheist Universe Part 14

Is ID a cult? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

It’s time to wrap up this book. The last and longest chapter is on ID. I am not a fan of ID. I don’t use ID. My arguments are metaphysical, but that doesn’t mean that Mills gets a free pass. A lot of it is still the same kind of stuff.

For 2000 years, Christians of all persuasions—both Catholic and Protestant—believed in the Genesis account of Creation. Even Jews and many non-Christians affirmed the teachings of Genesis 1:1—“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.” Historically, this verse was universally accepted to mean that God literally created the heavens (i.e., the planets, moons, stars and galaxies) and the Earth at the beginning of time. The truth and meaning of this doctrine were unambiguous and undisputed for twenty centuries.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 214). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

As has been pointed out before, Mills gives no sources on this. I have pointed out Kyle Greenwood’s book Since The Beginning. Mills has never read church history at all and has no idea on the history of the interpretation of the doctrine.

While I certainly applaud ID for moving into the 21st century on the study of astronomy,

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 214). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

This has actually been the historical Christian position. The Roman Catholic Church was heavily invested in astronomical studies at the time of Galileo. Christianity historically has encouraged scientific research.

If, as science tells us, the cosmos is roughly 14 billion years old and Earth is 5 billion years old, then Earth is only about one-third the age of the universe as a whole (generally speaking). By analogy, a football game is 60 minutes of playing time. Two-thirds of that time—or the game’s first 40 minutes—would represent the time the cosmos existed before Earth formed. Would it be fair to claim that a touchdown scored during the game’s fortieth minute—or five minutes before the start of the fourth quarter—was scored “in the beginning” of the game? I don’t think that any reasonable person could truthfully answer yes to this question. Neither can anyone honestly assert that the 14-billion-year-old heavens and a 5-billion-year-old Earth were both created together “in the beginning,” as Genesis 1:1 declares.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 215). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

Saying Heaven and Earth is not a way of speaking of them as individual entities, but a Hebrew merism to say that everything was created in the beginning.

While disdainfully blaming “liberals” and “liberal theology” for every imaginable evil, ID leaders hypocritically embrace the core tenet of liberal theology—i.e., the belief that Genesis is not to be taken literally.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 215). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

Some YECs might agree, though I hope not all would or even most would, but this is not the case at all. Mills, like all fundamentalists, has a hang-up on literalism.

Since I am apparently copying too much from the book as Kindle has informed me, he does state that IDists are embarrassed about their book since they don’t answer questions on Hell. For one thing, not everyone in the ID movement is a Christian. For a second, depending on what the question is, saying “It’s not for us to judge” is not embarrassment, but humility.

The Anthropic Principle is a supremely egotistical manifestation of human self-centeredness, self-delusion and self-importance gone into orbit. ID’s man-centered universe is hauntingly reminiscent of Christianity’s medieval belief in an Earth-centered universe.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 223). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

Except the priniciple didn’t come from them. It came long before the ID movement came about. Also, the Earth-centered universe was not an egotistical belief. It was in the outer realms where God was that one wanted to be.

As for talking about irreducible complexity, Mills says that this would also mean divine complexity. Mills, who seems to know so much about historical interpretations, misses that historically, the church has also held to divine simplicity. It’s only been within fairly recent history that that has been seriously questioned.

He says that IDists have glee pointing out errors in historical sketches of human evolution. He responds saying:

We could of course play the same childish game by pointing out that Thomas Aquinas—13th-century architect of ID’s “First Cause” argument— believed that the eyes of a menstruating woman affected a mirror.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (pp. 228-229). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

I tried to find where Aquinas says this. I could not. Mills gives no citations again.

Now a lengthy section:

Intelligent Design proponents knew that their original First Cause argument was flawed so they contrived a “patch” in an attempt to salvage the necessity of Jehovah’s existence. They changed their starting premise from “Everything needs a cause” to “Everything that begins to exist needs a cause.” Since God didn’t begin to exist (according to the Bible) and since the universe did begin to exist (according to ID’s total lie about what cosmologists “agree”), ID leaders claim they have delivered scientific proof of God’s existence. There are three transparent blunders with this so-called Kalam argument. First, the argument that God exists and has always existed is a Biblical doctrine. So ID is “proving” God’s eternal existence by constructing an argument that assumes God’s eternal existence based on Scripture. And ID knows that the Bible is true because it’s the Bible. The second problem with the Kalam argument, as we discussed above, is the utterly dishonest claim that “cosmologists agree that the universe arose suddenly out of absolute nothingness.” We can easily see here how one flawed premise quickly requires other flawed and dishonest arguments as supporting props. The third fallacy involves the identity of the god whose existence is allegedly “proven” by the Kalam argument. Why couldn’t the Intelligent Designer be Zeus, or Allah, or Apollo? There is nothing in the Kalam argument that even addresses this question. Yet, without rational explanation, ID worshippers know in their hearts that the intelligent Creator is Jesus’ Father.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 234). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

First off, the Kalam argument opening premise was never changed. Mills is just ignorant of what it was. Second, God’s eternal existing was not assumed based on Scripture but actually argued for by Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Finally, the Kalam argument never by itself attempts to show who the first cause was. It is just pointing out that there is one.

It is both meaningless and slippery to feign that “God is beyond time.” What does this cliché actually mean in a scientific context? I don’t know. Before His Creation of our universe, did God have no mental deliberations, no acts of love to bestow upon His heavenly host, no heavenly chores to discharge, no actions or thoughts of any kind? If God did engage in such thoughts or actions prior to His Creation of our universe, then, theoretically, these thoughts and actions could be enumerated or itemized, at least partially. Even though Craig would self-servingly define these pre-Creation activities as “before time” or “beyond time,” couldn’t these prior events be added to a tallied list of God’s other praiseworthy attributes and actions? Wouldn’t this list of God’s pre-Creation activities—however incomplete it may be—show that an infinite regress of specific events is not only possible but indispensable if God is assumed to be infinitely old as Craig believes? In plain English, Craig claims that something can be infinitely old when it suits his purpose, but something can’t be infinitely old when it doesn’t suit his purpose.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (pp. 238-239). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

It’s always amusing when someone says they don’t know what X means, and then go on to tell you what they think the position means. Well, Mr. Mills. Let me explain this. God being eternal means that God is not moving on a timeline. There is no such thing as before or after in the actions of God. We see them that way, but that is because we are in the timeline. God is always eternally doing them. The infinite regress doesn’t apply.

Also, Mills includes Hugh Ross in the ID camp. I reached out to Fazale Rana at Reasons to Believe who did tell me that he would not see himself as an “ID lecturer” as Mills says.

While there was more I had highlighted, most of it I have already dealt with. Mills is sadly the person who thinks he is educated when he instead reveals himself to be a fool in all that he says about Christianity. It’s sad atheists read books like this thinking the author knows what he’s talking about.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)





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