|The Question of Origin||| Print ||
Worldview is "a comprehensive conception or image of the universe and of humanity's relationship to it." I conclude that the most basic question, concerning our worldview, would be that of origins. Simply asked:"How did we get here?" Was everything created, as the Bible says, or did it all begin with the "Big Bang" and then evolution?
Consider a NEUTRAL worldview for a moment. Imagine that you have yet to choose a worldview, neither Creationism nor Evolutionism. The emphasis here is on CHOOSE because no one can prove either one. True scientists agree, based on the very definition of SCIENCE that it cannot be done. One article I read recently illustrated this quite well. He offered the hypothesis that the world came into being five minutes ago. He cannot be proven wrong. In fact, it can be neither proven nor disproven. The idea can be argued, discussed and fought over but it will never be settled as fact or fiction because it must be observable, repeatable, and demonstrable. This applies no matter what time frame you use, five minutes or 10³² years. Our worldview is not based on proof; we simply do not know. We cannot make a choice based on scientific reasoning.
So, what is next? We should consider the evidence. In a court of law, there are four types of evidence: Anecdotal, Testimonial, Statistical, and Analogical. Anecdotal Evidence is either a short unverifiable statement or a statement (verifiable or not) which does not apply to the question. Hearsay is anecdotal Evidence. Testimonial evidence is the statements of credible persons. Analogical Evidence is a comparison or a model of an already understood, or more easily understood, phenomenon. It shows the similarity in some respects between things that are otherwise dissimilar. Statistical evidence involves the collection, organization, and interpretation of data. Statistics are expressed in terms of probability. What type of evidence should be used in choosing our World View?
Anecdotal Evidence should not be a consideration because it is unverifiable. Testimonial Evidence requires a credible person. This is subjective. In order to consider a person credible, they must share our worldview and for the purpose of this discussion, we have a neutral worldview. I submit that a person with a neutral worldview could present no evidence in support of either side of the question. Analogical Evidence is for me difficult to imagine. It reminds me of a comedy test I read once where one of the exercises was: "Describe the universe; give three examples." The question being considered is so fundamental; I see no possible analogy.
That leaves us with Statistical Evidence. Statistical analysis uses sets of variables and units of measure with the purpose of establishing relationships. Statistics test whether there are relationships among variables. In order for the statistic to be valid, the amount of change must be greater than is likely from chance alone. New medications are evaluated in this way. A number of people are divided into two groups; one group is given the medication and the other a placebo. Later, they are asked to describe the effect they experienced. The raw data may show the placebo, to some, was a cure and that the medication, for others made the symptoms worse but after considering all of the data the researchers can state the results in terms of probability. They answer the question; "What are the chances of that happening? "
Nearly all of the serious discussions of the question of origin use Statistical Evidence. They can only suggest which of the options is more likely. Arguments concerning origins seem to have been compiled using Anecdotal Evidence as variables and time as the unit of measure. The problem then becomes a choice of time. On one side of the question are those who have concluded that given enough time anything is possible. On the other side are those who believe that it is more probable that all things came into existence at the moment of creation. Statistics are useful in discussion and debate, but statistics prove nothing.
If we honestly started this exercise with a neutral worldview, we are no closer to making a choice than we were in the beginning. There is no provable external evidence on which to make a decision. There is a tendency, at this point, to rely on Testimonial evidence (statements of credible persons) but this is simply allowing someone else to dictate your decision. Resist it.
The logical next step is to look for internal evidence. Internal Evidence, sometimes referred to as "gut feeling" was not mentioned earlier because it has no place in science or law. The bottom line is; we will believe what we want to believe. If in our heart, we feel that our existence is the result of a long sequence of random events without purpose or meaning, then our worldview is evolutionism. Creationism is our worldview if our heart tells us that all we see around us has a purpose. Reason dictates that if we are created, we have accountability to the creator. Our worldview, like it or not, is a conscious decision.
No decision is without consequence. Consequence in modern usage often has a negative connotation. I use it here in the sense of cause and effect. Our decision will have a result or an outcome. I have not mentioned faith until now because this decision is not based on faith. The dictionary definition of Faith is:"belief that is not based on proof" The Biblical definition is: "assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1) Faith is quantitative. One may have a lot, little or none at all. It is a measure of confidence in our decision and an indicator of our willingness to experience the consequence of that decision.
Now it is time to decide. Consider the external evidence (or lack of it). Consider the internal evidence and make an honest decision. Personally, I believe that the mere fact that we ponder the question of our origin is evidence of a creator. Consider Proverbs 2:1-6; "My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the Lord And discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding."