Atheist is both appreciative, but perplexed over CMI’s use of science

Sam B. emailed us, having spent some hours reading articles on, after being alerted to CMI’s Question Evolution campaign by an atheist blog site. Sam’s email is presented in its entirety and then Philip Bell responds.

After spending the better part of 4 hours reading through mounds of information that is presented on your website, I stand extremely confused. I am a member of Reddit, another online community and an atheist. From one of the sub-threads, I came here to read about the ‘Question Evolution’ campaign that you are running. As well as an atheist, I am also an evolutionist and a neuroscientist and viewing the qualifications of your main contributors as fellow scientists is personally quite alarming to me that they hold such staunch creationist viewpoints in spite of their scientific backgrounds. In my opinion, creation belief and science are two completely incompatible things. And before you say, ‘of course they aren’t!’ let me explain why I think they are. I understand how many different people from all walks of life indulge in their own ideas about the origins of life. I think it is completely acceptable for someone to say that they do not know how life or the universe originated, but they believe some form of higher being may have got everything started. Although I do not share this particular view, I will accept this view from others as a natural human response to wanting answers per se. What I do not believe is acceptable however, is refuting evolution in favour of what is said in the bible. The bible was written more than 2 millennia ago, by men. It was not physically written by God, but by men. From your own statement of faith you admit that men (or women!) are fallible and subject to mistake making (in my personal view contributors of the writings in the bible were fulfilling prophecies made earlier on). Another flaw I seem to keep thinking of is that of-who was there to witness Noah building his ark and a great flood? I would assume it to be highly improbable that there were several scribes present at the time taking notes. Again, even if these happenings were described to someone by God in a dream etc, who is this man to say this? We have no proof whatsoever that what this man is saying is true. He could be making the entire thing up, and it is extremely scary that Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists any other religion you wish to name (but namely for the sake of argument here on a Christian website the Judao-Christian bible) would base their entire life, way of life, views, behaviours-on what you have heard from nothing more than fellow man. I do not wish to come here to bowl you over with my egotistical atheistic views, but more to engage your logical and reasonable side. You are all (mostly) scientists. You understand the vast complexities in the universe. You understand that science is based on experimental observable facts, painstakingly peer reviewed. Why oh why, would you after receiving Masters degrees and other things, then refer to an archaic text for scientific fact? You must know deep down that it is not true. I fear for the future of evolution. I believe that it does not in any way contradict a belief in God. Or even as I have stated before the start of the universe. Please, more than anything, just reconsider basing so much of your belief system on a book for which there is not a shred of proof for the contents. Again-not saying not for the existence of God-but for events and anti-evolutionary standpoints. Evolution is an innately beautiful mechanism that has lead to the existence of every single species on the planet. The complexity of the human brain is owed to millions-not thousands-of year of evolutionary processes and it would be a complete waste to think your complexity just appeared out of thin air. It saddens me deeply….

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