We are justifiably impressed by the great strides being made in science, technology and medicine. However, at the same time, western cultures have succumbed to secular, humanistic influences in education, the arts and the media; those human accomplishments are misused to persuade people that traditional Christianity is irrelevant. The truth-speaker who would stand up for Bible-based absolutes soon discovers the tyranny of society’s so-called ‘tolerant’ academic and political elites.2 After all, this is the 21st Century; surely we have grown up and left all that religious stuff behind. Or have we?
Dig just beneath the surface and religion is alive and well. For sure, it is not the worship of the one true Creator God revealed in the Bible. No, modern people have ‘gone back’ to embracing gods of their own imagining. Ironically, many people with a strong secular evolutionary bent are now found embracing paganism. Pagans define their ideology as, “A polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion.”3 It is an ancient form of religion and is found in many guises but there is no doubt that it always makes the veneration of nature central. Some consider nature itself to be divine and worship it accordingly. However, many today are what we might call ‘naturalistic science pagans’; although they may protest themselves to be non-religious, their writings betray a different motive.
What can Nature do?
In recent years, I have observed this ‘naturalistic science pagan’ language creeping into both popular scientific writings and academic publications. Let us look at a few examples (the bold type is added for emphasis). In a Physics Today paper (2006), after detailing many important tasks accomplished by a living cell’s sophisticated molecular machines (e.g. here and here), the authors confess that scientists are ignorant about their origins. Nevertheless they confidently assert, “It is surely one of the triumphs of evolution that Nature discovered how to make highly accurate machines in such a noisy environment.”4 In a student proficiency book (2013), in a section entitled ‘The Miracle of Life’, the authors teach, “Somehow nature discovered how to build the intricate machine we call the living cell, using only the raw materials to hand, all jumbled up. Even more remarkable is that nature built the first cell from scratch.”5 The author of a book published by Princeton University Press (2015) had this to say in discussing the way in which certain cells are associated with sensory fibres of the vagus and other cranial nerves: “ … it’s simply not apparent how these two sources of small-diameter sensory fibers were combined during evolution. … nature learned how to combine these types to generate homeostatic sensory inputs, and we need to figure out how.”6
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