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Ray was a very easygoing guy; he never started any trouble, never disrespected anyone, and never quit. He always excelled in everything he did, he never let himself quit any activity no matter how hard it was, and if he got a low grade he would practice the material until he got it down pact. I remember one time -when he and I were taking the same English 101 in high school- when he got back a three page essay and the teacher gave him a B-. Ray almost immediately asked if he could re-do it and the teacher allowed him and anyone else who wanted to re-do it. If it had been me, I would have settled for the B- but no not Ray, he took it back re- wrote it and got himself and A+. I remember him saying after getting back the paper:
"That's the way I like it!"
We all laughed and congratulated him. Though the class was boring we all did pretty good.
I am a strong believer in God and am very active in my church. Whereas Ray believes there is no God and that the church is all a bunch of "Bullcrap." He is a Darwinist, and a stubborn one at that. The ironic part about this whole situation is that Ray's mother is an extremely dedicated Christian. I have only met her once so I will refrain from going any further with the mentioning of Ray's mother. Ray and I have had many debates on whether God exists or not. I recall one evening when Ray came over my house-I had a couple of Christian friends who were already there, it almost seemed as if we were going to verbally ambush him- and almost immediately a debate sparked up amongst the one Darwinist and the other four Christians. That was one of our best debates, we must have spent two or three hours babbling on about God and Dawin's theory of evolution. Unfortunately he had to leave so we could not finish our debate, but I believe there will be a time when we will meet to finish our little event.
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From the moment we enter this world our mind is bombarded with new information. The information could be our first experiences with the cold, or being touched by another human being, simple things like that. As we grow older we begin to ask more and more questions like: why does my chest move up and down when I breathe, or why do I have to brush my teeth. These questions get harder and harder as the years go by; until finally the big question comes, "does God really exist?" Some people feel very overwhelmed by this question, some are not and others have nothing to say. I don't blame them it is a very difficult question to answer, but I think I'll be the "ballsy" one and take my chance in trying to prove that God does exist.
I think St. Anselm said it best when he referred to God as "that than which nothing greater can be conceived." These words were difficult for me to understand at first but I eventually began to comprehend them. I don't think there is a better phrase that could be used to describe God's essence. God is greater than anything mankind can think of. Mankind-during that the human species has been on this earth-have thought up some awesome ideas, some have even made those ideas a reality. For instance: Henry Ford invented the automobile, and the Chinese constructed the Great Wall of China in order to protect themselves from foreign invaders. All of these great things that we see even today still would not be able to measure up to God's greatness. Sometimes we get caught in the glory of our own achievements that we don't take the time out to thank the one for whom we do all of these great and honorable things. St. Thomas Aquinas' fifth way says that God is what every natural body acts toward end. In other words subconsciously God is the reason why all living things try to do things the best that they can in order to "be right" with God.
There is a passage in the bible that paints a picture of God's greatness-I believe it to be in the book of Job-by saying that the earth is God's footstool. Well, I don't know about you but the earth seems to be a pretty big place, and if God can put His foot on it with no problem what so ever; I don't think I would like to mess with a big guy like him. (J/k) Let us take two examples that one way or another has something to do with our everyday lives.
1. The Universe: The universe according to science is infinite and has no end. Could one honestly believe that this great make up of stars, planets, solar systems, and the like would have been created accidentally or on it's own. Many scientist believe that the universe was created because of a theory that they like to call the "Big Bang." The theory in a nutshell is that all the components of the universe were contained in this Big Bang, and through this Big Bang the universe was able to expand. Christians hold a different position; we as Christians-when I say we I include my self-believe in the biblical account of creation. The Christian Big Bang theory isn't all that complicated "God said it and Bang! It happened." Our theory is pretty raw but it gets us through the day. Michael Behe, the author of Darwin's Black Box, believes that God could have used the "Big Bang" and evolution to create what we all see today.
One of Behe's major discoveries is called "Irreducible Complexity." He stumbled upon this while examining the simplest form of life; Behe says that even at this level the living system he was studying seemed very complex.
"If living systems are indeed irreducibly complex, it seems hard to explain their existence through gradual development, with each stage being moved forward through natural selection." (Koukl page 2)
"Behe cites things in the Biological sphere that are so complex they can never be explained by some scheme of mutation and natural selection. Instead, they are the kinds of things that must be assembled as a whole at the microbiological level. This, he argues, requires God, at least at this level." (Koukl page 2). The Universe is one of the ways the examples that I chose to show God's involvement in creation, but here is one that is a bit more personal than the universe.
2. Human Beings: We as people are always on the go. Since we are always on the go there has to be movement and someone who causes the movement. There was a philosopher named St. Thomas Aquinas who believed God to be the first mover [or creator] of all things. He states this in his philosophical writing known as "The Five Ways." For this example I will only use the first way which is based on motion. Whatever moves in this world is moved by another, nothing in this world can move itself, but everything is potentially in motion. For example: something which is actually hot, like fire, makes something which is potentially hot-say wood-to be actually hot: and in this way it moves and alters it. And so we must reach a first mover who is not moved by anything: and this all men think of as God.(Kenny page 6)
Darwin's theory of evolution is not as people think it is. Some people believe that Darwinism is the belief that God didn't create the earth. That's only part of what Darwinism is. In fact Darwinism is a whole "bunch" of ideas that help support each other as much as they can. I am going to use only the part of Darwinism called "Natural Selection", and "Gradualism."
Gradualism: is basically self-explanatory. It's name gives it's definition away. Gradualism is the darwinistic theory all animals have evolved or mutated gradually through out earth's history. "The change took place in a series of intermediate, perhaps nearly insensible, steps in successive generations." (Hanes page 2)
Natural Selection: Is an explanation to some of the adaptive changes in organisms. Meaning that sometimes in order to survive some organisms will go with the mate who is stronger or who will benefit them in the long run. (Hanes page 2)
While going over these darwinistic ideas "the principle of preservation" comes to mind. If all these organisms evolved, they evolved in order to survive in their habitat, right? So, this would be a perfect example for the principle of preservation, which is the idea that God creates and preserves His creations. So in a way God used evolution to help keep us all alive. Come to think of it, don't all prior forms of a species become obsolete or extinct once the new form arrives? It makes sense; if the organism evolved in order to survive then its old form would not be able to make it in its habitat. If this is true then are we really descendants of the ape? All these questions and so little answers, and if we are descendants of apes: then is God a Monkey? ("Let us make man in our image and likeness." Genesis) I don't think that the creator of all things would take the form of a monkey.
The view, that life must come from non-life with out any help from God, for some people it is an easy view to accept. I don't really understand why, because if you agree then you are alone. You might as well believe in God you haven't got that much to lose.
According to St. Thomas Aquinas God is the cause of life for all mankind and He is that which all natural bodies act for the sake of an end. So if we say that God doesn't really exist then we must say that we don't exist, because God is existence itself. And if we don't exist then how have all the wonders that mankind has created come about; or was it just a figment of our imagination?
As For Ray… He's doing very well. He attends La Guardia College, and studies Physical Therapy. Today he says that he is no longer a Darwinist, but I still think that he retains some of those beliefs in his heart.
Bible, Holy. Genesis, chapter 1:26.
Hanes, Joel. "What is Darwinism?" www.What%20is%20Darwinism.htm
Kenny, Anthony. The Five Ways. Notre Dame, Ind. University of Notre Dame Press, 1980, c 1969.
Korthof, Gert. "Does Irreducible Complexity Refute Neo-Darwinism?" wysiwg://16/http://home.planet.nl/~gkorthof/korthof8.htm (3/25/2001 7:30PM)
Koukl, Gregory. "Stand to Reason Commentary-Michael Behe's Theistic Evolution." http://www.str.org/free/commentaries/evolution/michaelb.htm (4/23/2001 8:56 PM)