Book Plunge: Improbable Issues With The God Hypothesis Part 2

What about Intelligent Design? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In this chapter, Brucker talks about what he calls unintelligent design. Now i have no desire to defend the Intelligent Design movement. I think it can make the mistake of thinking the main answer to the questions lies in science when God is a metaphysical question and you still end up with a universe that is more a machine than anything else. I have nothing to say to Brucker about the science. If you are a supporter of ID and want to jump in the comments and reply, feel free.

Sadly, almost 46% of the American population reject the theory of evolution and support the literal Biblical account described in Genesis. I can attest for the statistic as I’ve discussed the theory with many Christians. Throughout our discourse, their facial expressions seem perplexed – it appears that the truth of evolution is just as impossible to the believer as God may be to the atheist. Perhaps it is the nature of religious faith that is to blame, convincing those willing to believe that questioning and exploration is fruitless and unnecessary. It is quite the opposite actually, and if a monotheist does find the courage to question and explore, I can promise nothing but amazement.

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (p. 16). Kindle Edition.

One of the problems with this is something I wrote about recently. A Christian can say, rightly or wrongly, that God provides much meaning and love and grace to their lives. They can have profound experiences and consider themselves a much better person for being a Christian, and in many cases, they could be right. What do they get in exchange for this? To them, a meaningless universe where at least they have right ideas but no pragmatic benefit.

An atheist meanwhile can think that if they accept Christianity, they have to abandon all science. They have to think that they have to believe in a literal flood with kangaroos coming all the way from Australia, a literal six-day creation, and that Hell is literally a blazing furnace. Also, they have to abandon any interest in science, despite everything they see for evolution, rightly or wrongly, they have to think that that is the deceit of Satan!

I can’t imagine why any side isn’t convincing the other.

Yet here’s something else odd. Both of these people have the same opinions in many ways. They both think the Bible is to be read literalistically and if you don’t do that, you’re a liberal. They both think it’s either evolution or Christianity. They both think the exact worse of their ideological opponents.

Now as to how Brucker ends, I highly encourage Christians to question and seek answers. If it turns out evolution is true, well you have to work that into your worldview somehow. If you don’t believe in it and conclude it is false, you can say you’re more informed in what you think. If an atheist studies Christianity and finds it to be true, excellent. If they are convinced it’s false, a position I definitely disagree with, hopefully, they too can at least have more information than they did before.

He can do anything because he is all knowing. “God has his reasons for doing so” is often muttered by his adherents, either out of willful ignorance or because they’ve been so carelessly deluded about the process of the natural world. If that statement were true, his actions must be flawless and without error – for an all knowing and all powerful God can only produce the most favorable outcome. To evaluate his perfection, an objective position ought to be taken.

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (p. 16). Kindle Edition.

This claim is a theological claim with no support given. What does it mean for something to be perfect after all? How tall is a perfect man? How much does he weigh? What is his IQ? We could always ask all these questions and we could say “Couldn’t that be more?” In the end, we have a super giant who fixes his meals in the Big Dipper and has an IQ in the trillions.

Also, anything God makes will be necessarily limited not because He is not omnipotent but because there are things even omnipotence can’t do. Can God make a being that has no beginning? No. That’s a contradiction and nonsense and power cannot make contradictions true.

It can also be asked if God will make a world without any flaws. It depends on what a flaw is and what the purpose is. If God knows that people are going to fall in the world He made, then it’s understandable that God would not make a “perfect world”, whatever that would be. The term is too vague.

“Isn’t Heaven perfect?”

It’s good, but never said to be perfect. After all, could it be improved if one more person had freely chosen Christ? Perhaps. Again, perfect is too vague and yet Brucker uses it so easily.

Web sites such as Answers in Genesis propagate the creationist movement through evidence – evidence that has been manipulated in such a way that it confirms a personal agenda. Scientists operate without a predetermined outcome because it could often distort the testing results. Creationism is reinforced through erroneous scripture, followed by misinterpreted scientific understanding. If one wants to believe creationism to be true, they have to believe that a vast majority of all biologists are incoherent, impotent fools because evolution is a vital part of the biological studies.

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (p. 17). Kindle Edition.

If Brucker thinks scientists are always pure in how they act and have no agenda, then he is just simply deluded. Scientists are humans just like anyone else and they can want to fudge data just like anyone else, such as to get a grant or for political clout. Piltdown man was a fraud. Why? Someone wanted something. That doesn’t mean evolution is a fraud, but it does mean someone in the scientific world committed a fraud. Today, if you are a scientist who argues against the reigning orthodoxy, like on climate change, you are immediately scandalized.

1. An omnipotent creator would only produce an equally superlative organism

2. All life on Earth isn’t superlative

3. Either the creator is lazy and clumsy and not omnipotent, or God had no part in it

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (p. 18). Kindle Edition.

But as said before, these terms are vague. Brucker never defines them. Why should I put my trust in premises without clear terms to them? (Note to Brucker. This is where you do that thing called questioning.)

Monotheists, when confronted with such evidence in regards to our natural composition, claim that the “Fall of Man” is to blame and that our imperfection is a result of this. Of course, such a claim requires reinforcing evidence outside of the Bible, which is their ultimate point of reference while in a debate.

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (p. 23). Kindle Edition.

I don’t claim that. I claim our fall was more spiritual and while that has eventual physical consequences, the main consequence is spiritual. We fell away from God. I also have no problem with evidence outside the Bible.

Also, there are debates where the Bible should be our ultimate reference. What about the historical Jesus? There is great information outside the Bible, but even scholars like Bart Ehrman will tell you the best place to go is the biblical data. I would say if I was discussing Islamic doctrine with a Muslim, the Qur’an would be the best place to go.

In quoting the verses describing the consequences of the fall, Brucker says:

Because of this divine command, it is believed that we’ve become mortal beings – and also flawed and imperfect as well – now living within the confines of our cousin organisms. Mind you; this, however, hadn’t kept Adam from living 930 years or Moses from living 120 years, of course.

Brucker, J. D.. Improbable: Issues with the God Hypothesis (p. 23). Kindle Edition.

Hate to disappoint you Brucker, but I happen to think man was created mortal. If he was immortal, there would be no need for a tree of life. I also do understand there are different ways of reading the genealogies in Genesis 5. Some scholars think it goes from a base 6 instead of our base 10 which gives a quite different number. A book like this goes into that.

So what about all his critiques of ID that I didn’t cover?

Don’t care.

If you care, by all means answer them, but my arguments for theism don’t rely on that and looking at the statements that are in my area, I find Brucker following the exact same mindset. I don’t see evidence he has done the questioning in reading the best scholarship on the other side. He just holds to fundamentalism still.

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



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