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Free-Thinking Dragons
In Defense of the Faith
Friday, November 14, 2014
Alf Cengia

The only sovereign you can allow to rule you is reason ~ Wizard's Sixth Rule (Terry Goodkind "Sword of Truth")

A few years ago an atheist objected to a friend's blog post on Christian Presuppositional Apologetics. Part of the pseudonym she used was the name "dragon." I figured she was a science-fantasy fan.

Much later, my friend posted an article on the same subject which prompted another atheist to respond. The second part of this atheist's pseudonym was "Freethinker." The first part was an odd name I'd never heard before. I discovered it was the name given to a type of dragon in the fantasy novel series by agnostic naturalist Christopher Paolini.   

I've since discovered that it's common for Young Activist Atheists to adopt nom de plumes which include free-thought and free-thinker. They often add "dragon" at the end. I can hazard a guess why.

Terry Goodkind's books are likely popular among young atheists because he subscribes to Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy. While Objectivists are popular with both liberals and conservatives, they argue against faith-based initiatives, the displaying of religious symbols in government facilities and public places, and the teaching of Intelligent Design or Creationism in public schools.

Goodkind has been cited asking a familiar question: "If God is so powerful, can he create a rock which he cannot lift?"

The question appears on the "BrainyQuote" website, and it breaks the Wizard's Sixth Rule on reason. It's a bit like asking whether God can make a square circle. It has nothing to do with His omnipotence and everything to do with logic.

As Jonathan Sarfati writes:

"An all powerful God can do or make anything, but it's meaningless to say that he can do or make a nothing. A logically contradictory state of affairs is not a thing at all, but NOTHING. The point is, ‘a rock too heavy for God to lift’ is really ‘a rock too heavy for a being who can lift anything’, so it is a self-contradiction."

Interestingly, in the fantasy series Inheritance, one of Christopher Paolini's elf characters tells another character that the world behaves according to inviolable rules and that elves do not worship anything at all. The dwarves have a religion but others can see problems with it. While I can guess what Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings) might say, it's easy to see the appeal of these books to young atheists.

But in what sense are some atheists "freethinkers"?

In my (albeit limited) experience, that moniker assumes that they've broken free from the dogmas of God and creation. In some senses of behavior, activist atheists promote anything but free thinking.

We've seen a numerous cases where atheists have sought legal intervention to remove crosses from the public square. Perhaps the Ground Zero fiasco is the most prominent example. As the atheists opined:

"....the cross is a part of religious history and its presence on public property violates the separation of church and state."

Then there's the more personal type of bullying. One can go to the Amazon Books Forums and read the reviews of Stephen Meyer's two books Signature in the Cell and Darwin's Doubt. It's almost impossible to write a favorable review without attracting a plethora of disparaging remarks from activists.

Evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala presumably even critiqued Meyer's Signature without actually reading it. Meyer responded by noting:

"Francisco Ayala does not appear to have even made a search for the crib notes online. Indeed, from reading his review it appears that he did little more than crack the title page and table of contents - if that. As a result, his review misrepresents the thesis and topic of the book and even misstates its title."

Free-Thinking isn't necessarily synonymous with truth either. The evolutionary Free-Thinker assumes truth and, therefore, sometimes seeks to suppress or resist data which he or she feels compromises the evolutionary narrative.

That's what happened in Dr. Mary Schweitzer's dinosaur soft tissue case. When Schweitzer found soft tissue in a T.rex thigh bone, she was at a loss how to explain it from her long-age evolutionary view. While she lamented some creationists' accusations that she was suppressing data, that's exactly what evolutionists have tried to do. According to Schweitzer:

'“I had one reviewer tell me that he didn’t care what the data said, he knew that what I was finding wasn’t possible. I wrote back and said, ‘Well, what data would convince you?’ And he said, ‘None.’”

Of course, when scientists finally came up with a solution which they felt would explain the soft tissue while still retaining the long age narrative; they were only too willing to release their findings. Yet, as C.M.I. has shown - what occurs in a controlled laboratory situation, arranged to arrive at a predetermined result, and what occurs under natural conditions are vastly different circumstances.

Another example of this mindset is a comment I came across in an atheist forum discussing Creation Ministries International's new production Evolution's Achilles' Heel. None of the participants had read the book or seen the video but one fellow asked whether anyone had debunked it.

It superficially sounds like a fair question but it reveals the presuppositional bias of some atheists. Given the complexity and length of the subjects covered by the production, it's either naive or optimistic that one could read a simple yet fair rebuttal.

It's a shame that some church leaders (Catholic and Protestant) have drunk from the free-thinking fountain. Pope Francis recently stated that:

"When we read in Genesis the account of Creation, we risk imagining God as a magus, with a magic wand able to make everything. But that is not so....The Big Bang, which nowadays is posited as the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine act of creating, but rather requires it. The evolution of nature does not contrast with the notion of Creation, as evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve."

It might have been helpful had the pope been clearer regarding the ramifications of his evolutionary compromise on Genesis, Adam and Eve's fall, and the Cross. And one wonders what the pope means by "magus" and "magic wand." Is he placing limitations on a God who created the universe ex nihilo?

In refreshing contrast, scientist and priest, Fr. Victor P. Warkulwiz, has no problems defending a six-day, young-earth creation as outlined in Genesis. In fact he's written a book about it. Perhaps the pope should have consulted him first.

The logical course of accepting evolution is a slow progression to questioning all biblical truth and ultimately the necessity of a God and need of the Cross. I can personally attest to that. The irony is that evolution is a "sacred cow" built upon shifting sands.

Earlier I spoke of fictional dragons. There is one Dragon who is quite real. This Dragon has also presented himself as a Free-Thinker from the beginning. He was a liar.

One might even say that he was the first fantasy storyteller:

Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Gen 3:4-5 (Rev 20:2)

About Alf Cengia

Last week: Unfairly Pressuring Israel

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