Masking the Issue

“It’s for others!” “It is the Christian thing to do.”

           If we could have earned a nickel for every time someone said these phrases about the use of masks during the spread of the novel coronavirus, we would have put an end to this coin shortage within a week. The phrases come from the pulpit; they come from Christian friends and coworkers; they even come from random people on the internet trying to hold the moral high ground. No matter where they come from, these phrases are sometimes veiled accusations used to encourage submission to the frequently mandated use of masks. This author has experienced people implying that the salvation of a Christian is in doubt if they do not wear a thin cloth over their face. This is a misunderstanding of the science on face coverings, and of what Christians should be doing with topics considered non-essential to the faith. What if we can demonstrate that masks actually are not efficacious in the first place? Would that not shift the mask debate, and our response, to its proper place as something of lesser importance for the Christian?

            Early on in this pandemic, the use of masks was very strongly discouraged by many of those deemed leaders in the areas of global medicine. These leaders included the World Health Organization (WHO),[1] the CDC,[2]  the US Surgeon General Jerome Adams,[3] as well as NIAID scientist and Trump coronavirus task force expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.[4] This unified front against mask usage devolved chaotically in the months that followed, with these and other sources flip-flopping on the usefulness of masks and many organizations contradicting the others. Dr. Fauci even claims he, among other medical experts, was lying when he said that masks shouldn’t be used by the public, since he didn’t want the public to use up the N95 masks needed in the medical field.[5] It is reasonable to expect the science to change slowly as we learn more, but we have seen decades of scientific practice suddenly flip 180 degrees. Compound that with Dr. Fauci’s obviously low view of the American public, and it becomes completely understandable why there is reticence to trust these experts.

           Now, months later, there is finally a seemingly reunited front presented by all these medical research organizations. They seem to agree that face coverings slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. This unity is fragile at best, as we start to hear from front line medical doctors (the ones in the trenches against this virus) that disagree with the current thought. These organizations keep claiming that this virus is slowed by the use of cloth masks, though this assumption is still being debated. As early as the beginning of April, an ER doctor in the trenches at a COVID-19 hospital in New York, Dr. David Price, has claimed that masks do not help stop the spread of the virus. He said that the “…transmission [is] almost exclusively from your hands to your face” from someone with symptoms or someone who will show symptoms within the next one or two days.[6] He continued, saying that you would need 15-30 minutes of close contact with an infected person to contract the virus through aerosolized form. However, (here is the critical point) when it came to mask usage, Dr. Price said he hoped they were useful, not for the prevention of the disease, but rather to help train people to stop touching their faces.[7]

           His last comment is critical: This experienced doctor who has firsthand experience with treating the novel coronavirus has said that masks do not stop the spread directly. While his claim that they could be used to train oneself to avoid touching the face was an honest opinion, it has not been backed by general practice. All one needs to do is visit the local grocery store to see how often people touch their faces. With uncomfortable masks on our faces (or, more often than not, falling down), we are constantly touching our faces. Even the simple reminder to not touch our face makes us unconsciously more likely to do it. Because the virus not only enters through the mouth and nose, but the eyes as well, the constant handling of our masks to pull it back up our noses puts whatever is on our hands right up beside our eyes, increasing the likelihood of infection from the virus. For example, in California, one month after Governor Newsom mandated masks, the coronavirus case count in the state had increased 162%, a head scratching number if one assumes that masks slow the spread.[8] The quantity of testing has increased, which of course increases the percentage, but it is still not clear if all of that rise was purely from testing alone. We also see a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases on military bases, despite the strict masking and distancing policies enforced with military precision.[9] If masks were the virus stopper their proponents claim they are, military bases that enforce them so strictly should be the easiest place to prove it; however, just the opposite is being shown. To make matters worse, we saw an attempt to manipulate data in Kansas to fit the narrative on masks. The Secretary of Health in Kansas, Dr. Norman, skewed data in an attempt to hide the 77% more daily cases per capita in counties with mask mandates than those without.[10] Let that sink in: the secretary of health—an esteemed “expert”— skewed the data and knowingly deceived the public to promote the particular narrative that mask mandates are effective in reducing COVID-19 spread.

           Another critical piece of the puzzle is in the surprisingly low coronavirus mortality rate in the homeless in major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Even while living in cramped conditions with others while unmasked, and often having other major health issues, these homeless people are shattering predictions for mass casualties amidst their populations.[11] If masks and distancing were so vital, why is such a vulnerable group comparatively unharmed? 

           There is very little evidence out there that can resolutely support the notion that cloth masks are even somewhat effective. Anders Tegnell, chief epidemiologist at Sweden’s Public Health Agency —the equivalent of our Dr. Anthony Fauci— says there is no proof that masks actually limit the spread of the virus. Tegnell went on to say that “It is very dangerous to believe face masks would change the game when it comes to COVID-19.“[12] The spokesman of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Holland echoes this, saying “Face masks in public places are not necessary, based on all the current evidence…There is no benefit and there may even be negative impact.”[13] Many of these experts suggest that masks give a false sense of security. If the masks could filter out small particulates, then then maybe they could be useful, but are cloth masks even capable of doing that?

           Actually, we know that the virus is easily small enough to permeate these simple cloth masks, and the force of a cough or sneeze has little problem propelling the virus through those gaps.[14] Not only do we know that masks commonly used to filter out dust particles will not stop the virus, but that the popular neck gators actually cause an increase in particulates, though smaller in individual size.[15] Now, even if the masks reduce the spread, they in no way can stop it. As was already said, states and military bases with stricter mask mandates have shown no real decrease in infection rates. While we are seeing numerous laboratory studies appearing that suggest that the use of any face covering is effective in slowing the spread of this novel coronavirus, what we see in the real world does not agree with such conclusions.

           If the masks were nothing but an annoyance, many would be more inclined to accept them, even if just to appease their peers; however, contrary to what is commonly shown in the media, there is data that warns against the long-term usage of cloth masks. Multiple studies suggest that the moisture retention and poor filtration of these cloth masks may increase infection rates.[16] Dr. Osterholm, director of the center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy said that, due to the months of viral transmission, cloth masks “…will do little, if anything, to limit the spread of the disease.”[17] Some experts have suggested that the use of masks on a regular basis could be causing more coronavirus infections![18],[19] Even the WHO admits potential risks from prolonged mask wearing include self-contamination, facial skin lesions, irritant dermatitis, a false sense of security, disadvantages or difficulties for those in the population with mental health disorders, developmental disabilities, children, and even wearing them in hot or humid environments, among other risks.[20] They even went on to admit

There is limited evidence that wearing a medical mask by healthy individuals in the households or among contacts of a sick patient, or among attendees of mass gatherings may be beneficial as a preventive measure. However, there is currently no evidence that wearing a mask (whether medical or other types) by healthy persons in the wider community setting, including universal community masking [emphasis added], can prevent them from infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.[21]

To clarify that point, the World Health Organization says that if everyone in a community were to wear masks, there is no evidence that such actions would stop the spread of respiratory viruses like COVID-19. This flies in the face of the argument that healthy people have an obligation to wear masks for the sake of others. One should take note, since they do not make such claims as publicly as they should.

           Other studies suggest that the prolonged wearing of surgical masks, especially the better filtering N95 masks, could, in some people, cause loss of intellectual potential and cognitive performance due to decreases in blood oxygen and subsequent brain hypoxia. Symptoms like dizziness, headache, and shortness of breath are commonly experienced by the medical staff wearing N95 masks. The ability to make correct decisions may be hampered, too. All around, the choice to use masks long term is at best questionable, at worst, harmful, especially to vulnerable individuals.[22], [23], [24], [25], [26], [27], [28]

            Beyond that, facial coverings can be difficult for people with preexisting conditions. For example, asthmatics and those with other respiratory issues sometimes struggle with the limited flow of air. Others, such as most with autism, depression, claustrophobia and other mental conditions, also struggle to even keep a mask on, because they either cannot understand why they should, or they have panic attacks from the closeness of objects to their face. Even the CDC makes some exceptions for such people. Many states have their own specific regulations to include these people as well; however, these people face constant scrutiny in public. Many are kicked out or banned from stores, others might even be assaulted verbally or physically simply because they did not wear a mask. Is this really what we should be encouraging? Clearly, healthy concern has ramped up into full-on paranoia with many people reaching the extremes of either completely locking themselves away at home or snapping with aggression and outright violence towards anyone they see who isn’t wearing a mask.

            Where does this end? Will we eventually take off our masks for good? Not if we continue to listen to the same “experts” that claim the science is settled (after contradicting each other for months). One scientist thinks that we should continue to wear masks for several years! As he claims, “It’s actually pretty straightforward. If we cover our faces, and both you and anyone you’re interacting with are wearing a mask, the risk of transmission goes way down.”[29] This, of course, is ludicrous, knowing how this issue is anything but straightforward. Dragging himself back into the spotlight after being pushed aside, Dr. Fauci not only has recommended we continue masks for COVID-19, but for each flu season as well, along with the addition of goggles or face shields![30] Instead of this being a temporary precaution, they are trying to turn it into a permanent practice, as if we can somehow stop death and disease by wearing masks routinely. One might wonder if such a task is simply vain from the start.

           But what if this well-meaning stopgap of mask usage is a slippery slope? If we argue that we should wear masks for the sake of others, especially to be “good Christians,” then what else will that logically make us do? Some employers go as far as mandating masks during web conferences, with the only real reason being that masks serve as a reminder that they care for others.[31] Instead of masks being a health practice, they are trying to use them as part of their public image: in other words, they are virtue signaling. If we can be told we are morally obligated to wear masks for the sake of others, what is to stop them from saying the same about receiving a vaccine? It is not very hard at all to see that many in power want to mandate not only the coronavirus vaccine, but all vaccines. Yet when we see that even the adamantly pro-vaccine advocates are hesitant to accept the highly rushed coronavirus vaccines; we must really stop and wonder at their safety and efficacy. After all, never have we seen a vaccine rushed from beginning to end so recklessly as with these “Project Warp Speed” trials, skipping numerous safety tests, jumping to human testing very early on with untested vaccine technology. One of the leading candidates, the Moderna mRNA coronavirus vaccine, uses technology that has never been successfully used before, yet they still rush to completion. If the vaccine provides even 50% immune response yet causes adverse reactions in a high number of patients, wouldn’t we still need to take the suffering upon ourselves for the sake of others? Not at all! We are not called to knowingly bring harm upon ourselves in such ways, especially when the benefits are questionable at best. What of the other costs? Few seem to realize that most of the leading coronavirus vaccine candidates contain tissue and DNA from aborted human babies, which was used to propagate the virus. Can we as Christians morally accept a vaccine that is built upon the lives of innocent children?[32] [33] Where do we draw the line on this ”it’s for others” argument? If our actions in pushing such things cause harm to others, we definitely must second guess the moral foundations of such arguments.

           Through all of this, our trust in the guidance of political leaders and “experts” has not helped the situation. It is not difficult to find governors and mayors have displayed blatant hypocrisy in their treatment of this pandemic. They have directly or indirectly implied that gatherings at church and parties are dangerous for the spread of this virus, yet hundreds, sometimes thousands, of yelling (and often violent) protestors are not condemned and pushed to lockdown.[34] Even Dr. Fauci refused to condemn the protests directly.[35] Such a clear infusion of politics into the public policies on virus spread simply negates any trustworthiness of these leaders. To make matters worse, politicians and government officials in Washington DC have voted to make themselves exempt from mask wearing while they are working![36] This virus must be incredibly intelligent if it can differentiate between politicians rubbing shoulders in DC and a teacher in a room with students or a birthday party with more than ten guests. We also see the first things that presidential candidate Joe Biden and Vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris promise to accomplish together is a three-month, nationwide mask mandate. “Let’s institute a mask mandate nationwide starting immediately, and we will save lives… Protect your fellow citizens. Step up. Do the right thing. It’s not about your rights. It’s about your responsibilities as an American.”[37] In addition to that, they are pushing for even more contact tracing of citizens, which gives government officials the ability to see wherever you go. This is a serious breach of privacy thinly veiled in the illusion of public health. Leave it to a politician to try to take away your rights to decide what is in your best interest by saying “it’s not about your rights.” It comes down to this: if their partisan politics have infected their ability to properly identify which groups are risks to public health, how can we be so sure that they are being rational and scientific when discussing mask usage?

           Is it clear yet? At a minimum, it must be clear that the science is nowhere near settled on the benefits of mask usage during this pandemic. Meanwhile, there is research which should not be ignored that indicates that masks might do more harm than good. If masks fail in real world trials when trying to slow the spread of viral infections, and possibly cause physical or emotional harm to those wearing them, how could one legitimately suggest that those deciding against mask usage are being uncaring or unchristian? This is not a theological issue, as many try to make it: we are never called to blindly follow the masses to present an illusion of safety when such safety does not exist. Is it really a case of selfishness to want to avoid wearing masks with all this information in mind? In essential beliefs, Christians must be unified[38]; however, mask wearing is not an essential of the Christian faith. As a non-essential, we are called to approach such a topic with both liberty[39] and charity,[40] not attacking each other for what we believe on such issues. Moreover, we are not given a spirit of fear or timidity, but one of power, love, and a sound mind.[41] If we are actually just feeding fear, we are not helping those who are terrified of sickness and death. We should be giving them hope, and offering them peace, a peace that surpasses understanding and cannot be shaken by physical ailments.





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[7] ibid









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[21] ibid

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Fauci’s Philosophical Failure

The Dangers of Blind Faith in Scientists

            We have a major problem. Is it wildfires? No. How about coronavirus? Closer, but not quite. Economic collapse? Nope. Is an invasion of murder hornets immanent? Not in the slightest. The list of potential disasters in the year 2020 will likely fill history textbooks of their own, but one that is a critical issue is not even on the radar of most people. Our problem here in the western world is that far too many have been easily lured into the snares of scientism, a worldview that claims science as the only reliable source of truth. Those living through 2020 may scratch their heads quizzically at this claim. How could such a worldview be worse than all the deaths and lockdowns the novel coronavirus caused? It could be seen in this way: if we rely on scientists to tell us what truth is, they could lead us unchallenged down any road they want.

            Dr. Anthony Fauci, scientist at the NIH, said in an interview on the podcast “Learning Curve” with Michael Caputo that “…science is truth… And if you go by the evidence and by the data, you’re speaking the truth.”[1] He went on to agree that science is a process that when used, will eventually arrive at the absolute truth, one that is “immutable.”[2] Such outlandish claims should shock us all. This scientist who has spent 50 years working diligently in the field of diseases has made some major philosophical claims here, claims that have absolutely no foundation to stand upon. If the leading scientists can so easily make such illogical claims and get away with it, how far will they lead us down the rabbit hole until we realize we have been duped?

            Logic and philosophy may seem like difficult (and sometimes unnecessary) topics for the general layman, but without them, it is easy for those in power to spread falsehoods. A basic survey of philosophy and logic is all that is needed to pull the rug out from under this expert.

            To begin, we must first understand what this word “truth” actually means. Our postmodern culture has tarnished truth’s sparkling reputation. It has become the “cuttlefish” of concepts, constantly changing its colors and textures to adapt to the environment around it. It is all too frequently referred to as “my truth” or “your truth.” Such statements assume that our personal experiences and personal feelings can decide the truthfulness of something. For example, one moral truth could supposedly be right for me, but I cannot assume it is right for others in the same way. Dr. Fauci seems to think that calling it science makes it a type of truth, even if it can change. Truth does not dwell on a spectrum, but in absolutes only. There is no such thing as a non-absolute truth. To believe in such shows naiveté that is palpable.

           The truth simply cannot be relative like the postmodernists claim. Logically, such an interpretation is a blatant contradiction. The Oxford Dictionary defines truth as “that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.”[3] The claim that truth is relative is in itself a contradiction, owing to the fact that such a statement is an assertion of absolute truth.

           As Dr. Fauci claimed, science was not just a source of truth, but one of absolute truth. This is a blatant misunderstanding of the nature of science itself. Science, by nature, is limited in scope. It is constantly discovering new things and building our knowledge of the universe, but we cannot call its discoveries truths since truth is absolute. Scientific discoveries do indeed point us towards the best possible explanations, but claiming that those explanations are truth means that it is absolute and unchallengeable. This is the critical point: if any aspect of scientific discovery is not open to challenge or refutation, then it is, by definition, no longer science. Science, by design, must be open to critique and the addition of new knowledge. Until we have gleaned all knowledge from the universe, we cannot make absolute truth statements about things discovered empirically. After all, new data can change what we understood to be correct.

           When early scientists claimed that the geocentric model of the solar system was correct, they assumed that it was true that the Earth was the center of the universe and all the stars and planets all orbited us; however, when new evidence built up over time, culminating with Galileo’s discoveries, scientists were forced to switch to the now held heliocentric (sun centered) model. Was the science here a source of truth? If it were, then the geocentric model would not be wrong, since truth cannot be false. It cannot be true and false at the same time according to the law of noncontradiction; therefore, the science was not truth to begin with. Do we assume that our model of the solar system is indeed correct now? Pretty much, yes, but we must be wary to avoid assuming it is truth, because, as was said before, we turn it into an absolute and are then unable to challenge such conclusions. This unchallengeable conclusion is that final step outside the limits of science itself. Dr. Fauci falls into the same trap when he claims that science leads to absolute truth. Even he seems to admit that we are not to the point of absolute truth, yet he suggests that the steps leading up to that absolute truth are true, which is a misnomer since there is no such thing as something that is partial truth. It is or is not truth. Clearly, history is rife with examples of scientific ideas assumed to be true that were undermined and often completely replaced at a later point.

The Heliocentric Model of the Solar System

           Dr. Fauci is a prime example that many leading scientists of our day are ill-trained in philosophy, logic, and the limitations of science. One key issue is revealed when we realize that science is never complete. We are always gathering new data. Many times, that data will undermine a current theory or hypothesis, forcing us to go right back to the drawing board to reimagine a way to explain the phenomena around us. If we are not continuously learning new things and investigating the old data in light of the new, then science is brought to a standstill. Conversely, we see that, because of the constant fluctuations of understanding in science, we can never legitimately conclude about something as being absolute or factual. Science in no way is immutable except that it cannot be a source of absolute truth. When Dr. Fauci claims that science is immutable and is absolute truth, not only is he lacking in that humility we need as scientists, but he is also falling under the spell of scientism, a logically errant view, and bringing the slow turning wheels of science to a grinding halt. After all, once we view science as inerrant, it is no longer science, but dogmatic faith.

           While you may have followed all those philosophical musings, you might still be puzzled as to why this is a much worse issue than all else 2020 has thrown at us. It is an understandable confusion, since it takes a look at a bit broader of a scale to comprehend than just the months that have dragged us through what seems to be the longest year in history. Zoom out with me to check out what I mean.

           While COVID19 and the economic crisis it created have gone on for months, this issue with scientism has been brewing for decades. In most schools across the west, the previously valued skills in logic and rhetoric have been removed from the curriculum, leading to multiple generations of students that have been stripped of the skills to be proper critical thinkers. As many might notice, our culture has shifted drastically away from rational logic driven thought towards knee-jerk emotional reactions. This, is one product of such a removal of critical thinking from education. The goal of education is to prepare students to stand on their own in the world, yet it is rapidly changing direction towards a more indoctrination-style approach that tells students what they should believe, rather than providing them the tools to weigh the evidence for themselves. Because of this, students and adults alike are now generally unprepared to challenge those deemed “experts” in their field. When someone like Dr. Fauci claims that science is truth, he is raising himself up to be one of the most reliable sources of reality that we have, yet this is nothing but an abuse of his position, since science simply cannot be considered truth. Why? Because it is always changing and must remain open to change at all points.

           Once we give up our ability to think critically about scientific topics, we are throwing away our right to disagree. Far too many people view the “experts” in science as so far beyond themselves in education and wisdom that they fear to challenge anything they say. Their vaunted degrees and years of training puts them so far beyond everyone else, we think, yet is this true? Clearly Dr. Fauci is so narrowly educated that he himself cannot even accurately educate on the fundamental nature of science! Why then are we laying our ability to think, down at the feet of such a man? Does this not show that we could easily be duped by his big words and impressive degrees? Indeed, the very nature of science itself demands that we constantly be critical of all he says! If we are not, then it becomes the blind leading the blind; or worse, the devious leading the blind.

           This should really make us question the experts. Anthony Fauci is far from perfect once one delves past the veneer of expertise. If we view Fauci himself with the same critical eye of a properly trained scientist, we can easily undermine his claims of being a source of truth. Let us analyze some of his past claims and see how they have stood up over time.

           At the beginning of 2020, while the novel coronavirus was beginning to spread from China, Dr. Fauci openly downplayed the danger, claiming “It isn’t something the American public needs to worry about or be frightened about…”[4] A month later, Fauci claimed there was no need for Americans to “change anything what you’re doing on a day-by-day basis.”[5] In April, Fauci attempted to alter the record by claiming that it was as far back as January when he believed the virus’ spread was a problem Americans needed to worry about, contradicting his own on-record comments.[6] If science is immutable, and his word as a leading scientist should be taken as absolute truth, why did it change so drastically?

           What about Fauci’s opinion on the use of masks to help stop the spread of this coronavirus? In March, he quite resolutely claimed that masks were unnecessary in our fight against the spreading virus and discouraged their use by the public.[7] When May rolled around, his public opinions changed, yet he claims he had known they were useful from the beginning, but intentionally lied to the public about them.[8] How can we trust him now if he purposefully lied to us about the scientific data? Are we sure the second admission wasn’t the actual lie? Remember, truth doesn’t ever change, only our perceptions of it do. As the data rolled in, the science continued to change, as it always has, which is why we clearly cannot assume that science is truth.

           If this wasn’t good enough to show the sandy foundation scientism is built on, look towards an even more controversial topic: vaccines. In the interview we originally heard Fauci claim that science is truth, he went on to claim that it was amazing how there were anti-vaxxers “who didn’t want people to get vaccinated, even though the data clearly indicate the safety of vaccines.”[9] He continued to pour on his incredulity at such people who doubted him even with all his decades of experience, reinforcing his role as a supposed source of truth. But does the data agree with his claims? When one glances past the curtain raised by the pharmaceutical industry, we find a much more harmful product than we have been led to believe.[10] Many of the vaccines on the market today haven’t even received the medical industry standard double blind inert placebo testing.[11] In fact, those that produce vaccines are not held liable for causing any harm or death to those who used their products, making it even harder to trust the truth of this claim since the laws defend them against lawsuits, the typical method of uncovering fraud and harm in the legal system.[12],[13] If we analyze the data in an unbiased fashion, we will find that their bold claims of safety and effectiveness are not as tangible as portrayed. How are we to now support such scientists when they decide to rush through vaccine production at “warp speed” for this coronavirus, skipping even more safety checkpoints than normal?[14]

           To top it all off, there are reports that Dr. Fauci supported the funding of the Wuhan Laboratory of Virology with millions of dollars. This lab is now known to experiment on viruses, especially coronaviruses, and is located right near the animal market that was originally blamed for the outbreak. While the part this laboratory played in this is still somewhat unclear, we know that Fauci’s organization gave them millions of US dollars to help fund research.[15] So far, Dr. Fauci has not been openly questioned on his support for the ethically questionable funding of viral manipulation.

            Not only has this renown expert not been accurate on many occasions, but he has even been manipulative and misleading. Clearly his vaunted scientific experience does not at all equate to absolute truth. It should also be obvious now that even just a little glance into the nature of science demonstrates that science is not immutable either. This begs the question: why do we keep falling into these positions as blind followers of people like Fauci? We wander into dangerous territory when we blindly give away our freedoms to people without having the skills to critically analyze their claims. If we lose our precious freedom to choose our own medical care, we are likely to wind up willfully giving away all that we hold dear as we begin to swallow harmful ideologies, many of which have been done in the name of science. Mandatory vaccinations, criminal charges for not wearing masks, or even the inability to travel without proof of specific medical treatments could very easily be the next steps if we continue to rely this heavily on experts like Fauci. Is this the road on which we really want to travel? Are we willing to trade freedoms for the illusion of security? The novel coronavirus has been no joke, but its impact is far less critical than giving away our rights to those we cannot keep in check. If the individuals do not take the initiative to hold tightly to their freedoms, we will see abuses far beyond what coronavirus could cause.



[3] Oxford Dictionary,



[6] Ibid





[11], pg. 4





The Decay of Truth

A Case for Christian Education

            A foul stench fills the air: something is rotting. On the grand fields of our western culture, a predator lurks, envenoming its prey slowly, weakening it bit by bit until it posed no threat. Before us, we see this poor victim. It was once strong, but the constant bombardment over the centuries has brought it low. It lies in the dust, bloodied from the constant attacks. This once mighty creature has begun to decay. Who is this beast? It was once called Truth. What has become of Truth and can he be saved?

            Truth once stood at the foundation of time, firmly planted and unshakeable; however, the predator, although weaker, was devious. Instead of facing Truth straight on, he poisoned him slowly, biding his time as the mighty opponent gradually sank into disadvantage. In his meager state, Truth has been overwhelmed.  By the cunning of his adversary, Truth has been replaced by a twisted imitation called Relativism.

            The pillar of society has now been replaced with a replica. This cheap copy has convinced our modern culture that Truth is not our foundation as once thought, but that he was flexible, and did not always apply to everyone the same. The standards could be changed to fit the needs or desires of the beholder. Sadly, mankind fell all too easily to this deception.

            It began as early as Eden, the first and last scene of perfection on Earth, and the place where Truth dwelt before he was weakened. The Creator had clearly spoken Truth when He said, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”[1] Now, the predator took the form of a serpent in that garden, and after the Creator had said these things, he slyly dug his fangs into the heel of Truth. To do this, he replaced Truth with this little deviation: “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”[2] With one slight of word, the cunning assailant smeared the character of Truth in the eyes of all mankind for all of time. As was said in Foundations of Christian School Education, “Our minds are affected by the Fall, so we tend to serve our own interests, limiting and interpreting what is found in nature by what we want or expect, by what supports our thesis and furthers our case.”[3] No longer does Truth hold precedence over our understanding. Instead, our vision of real Truth is clouded by the interpretations of our individual desires.

            Over the ages, philosophers debated the identity of Truth. His original physicality has been blurred. Our modern society has turned from Metaphysical thought and focused on one specific aspect of knowledge: the empirical world of science. Truth was judged by the senses alone, rather than drawing from multiple sources of thought.  While much can be learned through empirical investigation, it is not enough to stand on its own.  “Empirical data gave access to knowledge and understanding, but both metaphysical and empirical investigation were considered necessary if one was to have adequate information about existence.”[4]

            Empirical men have risen through the ranks of humanity as the new “philosophers” of reality. They often stress the absolute necessity of science, and how it is the real Truth. Modern science enthusiast and TV personality Bill Nye once said, “Science is the key to our future, and if you don’t believe in science, then you’re holding everybody back.”[5] Nye also said, “You can believe what you want religiously. Religion is one thing, but science, provable science, is something else.”5 Another intelligent empiricist of the day, Stephen Hawking, said “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”5 Others, like the slightly more aggressive Richard Dawkins, go so far that they attack any other source other than science. Dawkins once said, “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.”5 By claiming this, Dawkins makes the assumption that science is the exclusive source of truth. In this, all these well-educated men agree: Truth is found through empirical means alone. They are leaders in the dominant worldview of scientism, where science is deemed the leading authority on who Truth is.

            This pervasive scientism has lead to materialism. Materialism, very closely related to naturalism, suggests that there is nothing outside of the physical realm. If it cannot be explained through empirical methods or natural causes, it does not exist. This banishes all metaphysical ideas, such as heaven, hell, and even the possibility of the supernatural.  In these newer, aggressive worldviews, science is king. Not only king, but also the dominant and unchallengeable ruler of knowledge, portrayed as a benevolent dictator, taking over for our well-being. Scientists like Dawkins belligerently push this “benevolence” of science. He longs for a world of knowledgeable people to advance our civilizations. He said, “The enlightenment is under threat. So is reason. So is truth. So is science, especially in the schools of America,”[6] all because he assumes that any advances in religious or metaphysical thought is harmful to understanding Truth. While not all people have gone as far as Richard Dawkins in their hunt of Truth through naturalism, many are being influenced that way. The common layperson has been distanced so much from the inner workings and complexities of science that they have to put faith in those who have dedicated their lives to that study. This has lead to the acceptance of materialism and naturalism by the western cultures.

            Since the mid 1800’s, naturalism has had a face. Charles Darwin’s journey on H.M.S. Beagle is known by many, but it is the resulting conclusions by the scientist that have shaken the entire world. In his groundbreaking publication On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Darwin explained a scientific mechanism, known as Natural Selection, that he claimed could explain the origins of all organisms in a fully natural manner. No supernatural causation was required. Using many years of data that he had accumulated from the Galapagos Islands and all around the world, Darwin attempted to show that all life could gradually change over eons into new life forms. A single cell could become a multicellular colony. A multicellular colony could unite into an organism. The simple organism could, after millions of years, become what we now call plants and animals. Further diversification happened, and thus we get to us, billions of years later. The arrival of a formal naturalistic theory like Darwin’s Evolution had been long desired by many. As Richard Dawkins said, “…although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”[7] With the advancement of evolutionary theory, mankind had found a way to run away from an intelligent Creator. Now, mankind was considered the highest being that existed. We were the lords of our own existence.

            Naturalistic Evolution now holds sway on many aspects of our culture. Academia, for one, tends to favor Neo-Darwinian thinking (an updated, but generally similar model of evolution as Darwin’s). The media and many politicians also serve under the banner of naturalism, touting the legitimacy of evolutionary science as the pillar of fact on which they stood strong. Popular TV host and educator Neil deGrasse Tyson was apparently confident when he said, “The theory of evolution, like the theory of gravity, is a scientific fact.”7 Richard Dawkins agreed when he suggested that “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that.)”[8]  Statements like these are carefully formulated to lift naturalism and simultaneously, slam down any who would doubt their accuracy. They say science supports evolution, and imply that science is fact; yet are they correct? Can Truth be identified through the scientific method?

            Apparently unbeknownst to many leading scientists of our day, science has limitations. One issue is noted in Foundations of Christian Education when it was said, “… human beings are finite and fallible. They understand the secrets of nature slowly and partially, so that what appears at one point to be true may later prove to be incomplete, misleading, or just wrong. Humility is essential in the study of nature, especially when one is drawing conclusions from scientific evidence.”[9] Science, as the author suggested, is never complete. We are always gathering new data. Many times, that data will undermine a current theory or hypothesis, forcing us to go right back to the drawing board to reimagine a way to explain the phenomena around us. If we are not continuously learning new things, then science is brought to a stand still. Conversely, we see that, because of the constant fluctuations of understanding in science, we can never legitimately conclude about something as being absolute or factual. When people like Dawkins, Nye or Tyson claim that a particular aspect of science—such as evolution—is fact, then they show a blatant misunderstanding of the limitations of science.  Until mankind knows all things, science cannot deal in unconditional truth. 

            Why the legitimacy of the phrase “evolution is fact” is technically erroneous, can we at least assume that the evidence science has gathered has been conclusive in support of evolution? Is it reinforced by enough data that we can rely on it safely? A large portion of the academic world would claim it is, at least to the general public. Behind closed doors, many will be unable to support the evolutionary theory from a detailed scientific standpoint. Renowned chemist and engineer Dr. James Tour, a man named among “The 50 Most Influential Scientists in the World Today” by in 2014, has constantly challenged evolution’s defenses. For over ten years, a challenge to chemical evolution has been posted on his website. He asks any evolutionist to explain to him how macroevolution can chemically occur. He has never once had a response. He has even directly asked Nobel Prize winners; yet even such distinguished scientists respond with silence. After describing his study on parts of our inner ear’s ability to pick up different tones, a biophysicist was asked the same question: how could it have chemically evolved? His response to Dr. Tour was “We all believe in evolution, but we have no idea how it happened!”[10] It may sound offensive to many naturalistic evolutionists, but it seems that this worldview requires blind faith. These cover-ups belie the common adage that science is unbiased. For accuracy, we should reword it to say that science is unbiased, but scientists are not.

            So why does all this matter? Why do the new views of materialism, scientism and naturalistic evolution relate to the story of Truth? Clearly, we see that a mere shadow of the real Truth is visible now through these worldviews. Truth originally displayed the Creator for all to see, but now through these degrading mentalities, mankind has “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”[11] Instead of the wisdom and power of an infinite and holy God, our western civilization looks to the created things, trying to use them to explain our existence in place of God. Instead of God being the center of our lives, man has raised himself up as a god of his own world. Naturalism puts mankind at the center, and more specifically, the individual. Each person tries to lord over their own life now, and there are none who can correct them. “What is right to you isn’t right for me” is an all too common phrase since truth is now defined by each individual’s wishes.  

            An inconvenient, and quite dangerous fallout from this trend is that people roam purposeless through their lives.  When mankind becomes the ultimate entity in our perceptions of the universe, we lose divine purpose. Our destiny is to survive and pass on our genes, and our worth is the same as the slime from whence we came. What a terrible existence that must be! In an attempt to rise to godhood, mankind has instead lowered himself to one of no worth. This view leads down a slippery slope. Once a human is no longer built in the image of God, he has little or no value. An unborn child becomes an inconvenience to be swept away; the elderly and ill become a burden to society; the strong trample the weak. Atheism is a direct descendant of materialism, and the practices of racism, abortion, eugenics, and even Nazism and genocide—while not required outcomes of atheism—definitely require such a view to exist. How did we get so far away from whom Truth really was? The predator was wickedly cunning and mankind is easily swayed by desires of the flesh.

            How can we escape the mire of immorality and false truths? How do we find the real Truth? Is it even attainable? Clearly empirical science is not up to the task.  “All an empiricist can do is describe information received through the senses. Humans then become property, or things—nothing more than a group of parts that function together in a machinelike manner with no unifying essence.”[12] Alone, empirical methods are unable to isolate the fundamental characters of Truth, but as simply one of multiple tools, we can get a better picture. Technically, science cannot answer questions of morality, questions of opinion, or even answer questions with supernatural implications. These are often questions we must ask in the field of metaphysics, rather than empirical science. Still, even with both at hand, to identify Truth, we have basically two options: Truth is not absolute and can be defined individually, leaving no ability for us to decide if something is real or not or good or not; or, we can see Truth as an absolute that acts as a standard against which all things area measured.

           Those blinded by materialism cannot select the later; logic, however, demands that there be absolutes. To say that Truth is relative to each person is itself an absolute, forming a contradiction that fails to satisfy.

            It is critical that people are equipped to discover who Truth really is. These doctrines of purposelessness have seeped into public schools and have bogged down our nation’s future. Is it not the target of education to prepare our youth for life? Gathering knowledge is valuable, but it is not the end goal. As said in the book of Proverbs, “By wisdom a house is built and by understanding it is established;by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”[13] Wisdom is the structure of the house, and knowledge is what fills it. Are not the foundations, walls, and roof more important to the house’s integrity than decorations and furniture? To put this in perspective for how we teach, we need to know that “Education is not an end in itself; it is a means to develop a response to our calling in life. Consequently, when we discuss a purpose for education, it must be related to an adequate purpose for living.”[14] Without a purpose for life, our students will find no use for education. To find their purpose, students must be able to find Truth, and there is no better source than the Bible.

           So now, the question arises, “How is biblical Truth applied in the classroom?” Clearly, Christian education must emphasize the ultimate purpose we all have: to reflect the glory of God and to worship Him. (Teaching Redemptively pg 50) This mentality must unify all aspects of Christian education, no matter the subject being taught.

           In organizing teaching methodologies and curriculum, a core strategy that should be employed in the Christian school is to “weave themes such as stewardship, community, environment, worship, and the purpose of life into the study of academic subjects.” Teachers should draw the student towards ethical considerations whenever appropriate, and not in just Bible or philosophy classes, but all topics in the school.[15] Science class should not be limited to discoveries of empirical study, but also what we should be doing with such discoveries.

           Truth can definitely influence the natural behavior of individuals. When the fundamental goal of reflecting God’s glory and worshiping Him is lost, the purpose of the individual is also lost. This leaves students with noticeable changes in how they act. When they cannot see their purpose, things around them, such as their studies, lose interest. Once interest is lost, doubt and loss of respect often follow. If the individual is not focused on mirroring the Creator, then their actions will eventually become selfish, focusing inwards. Work becomes a monotonous routine.

How do we counter such a mentality?

           The Truth required for this situation is again revealed in scripture: work itself must be seen as a tool used to learn more of and become more like our Maker. “Work is valuable to the Christian because stewardly exploration and management of the creation leads to growth in the likeness of God. It is thus a form of praise and worship of the highest order.”[16] Work in itself can become a joy if the individual embraces it as an act of praise to God. As it says in Colossians 3:17, we are to do everything—every action or word—as if we were doing it for our heavenly Father. A truly thankful heart is a motivated one. “The students’ work of praising God in their studies will turn those studies from drudgery into delight. This is an important part of the vision we need for genuine Christian Schools.”[17] Without this focus, purpose is lost, selfishness is central, and behavioral problems arise.

           Even effective classroom discipline has its footing firmly planted in biblical Truth. A student grumbling about the unfairness of the rules could be compared to the grumblings of the Israelites under the Law. The Old Testament Law was given to us as our tutor to make us aware that there indeed is right and wrong. It signals the holiness of our Creator and demonstrates the consequences of our sin. Our school rules do more than just keep order and maintain an environment conducive for learning (though that is important.) They reflect significant truths that lay the foundation for students to understand and embrace their need for the Lamb of God. Another benefit to providing and enforcing school rules is that they help children feel secure and like they know what to expect. “Boundaries exist because the students need them for security.”[18]

            So here he lies. Truth has begun to rot on the fields of western culture. The predator’s grip on our future is suffocatingly tight and he keeps pulling the noose tauter. The hunter has led us away from Truth, promising us power and bliss; instead, we have fallen into darkness and doubt, unsure of our purpose anymore. We must rise above this. No matter how hard he tries, the enemy cannot fully overthrow Truth. Truth is still alive. It is an uphill battle, but education must furnish students with the tools to delve past the illusions and find their ultimate purpose in Christ. As Shakespeare said in The Merchant of Venice, “The truth will out.”


  1. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Wheaton: Crossway Bibles, 2011.
  2. Braley, James, Jack Layman, and Ray White, eds. Foundations of Christian School Education. Colorado Springs: Purposeful Design, 2003. Print. 
  3. “BrainyQuote.” BrainyQuote. Xplore Inc, n.d. Web. 4 July 2015. 
  4. Dawkins, Richard. The Blind Watchmaker. Page 6. New York: Norton & Company, Inc. 1986.
  5. Dawkins, Richard. “Put Your Money on Evolution.” The New York Times  April 9, 1989: sec VII  p.35
  6. Tour, James. “Does Science Dispel Faith?” Issues 2015: 4+. Print. 
  7. Graham, Donovan L. Teaching Redemptively: Bringing Grace and Truth into Your Classroom. 2nd ed. Colorado Springs: Purposeful Design, 2009. Print. 
  8. Moreland, J.P. Love Your God With All Your Mind. Colorado Springs: Navpress, 1997. Print. 
  9. Greene, Albert E. Reclaiming the Future of Christian Education. 2nd ed. Colorado Springs: Purposeful Design, 2003. Print. 

[1] Genesis 2:16b-17

[2] Genesis 3: 4-5

[3] Foundations of Christian School Education, pg. 28

[4] Foundations of Christian School Education, pg. 7


[6] The Blind Watchmaker. Pg. 6. 


[8] Dawkins, R. April 9, 1989. Book Review of Donald Johanson and Maitland Edey’s BlueprintThe New York Times. Section 7, 34.

[9] Foundations of Christian School Education, pg. 27

[10] Tour, James. “Does Science Dispel Faith?” Issues 2015: 4+. Print. 

[11] Romans 1:23 ESV

[12]  Foundations of Christian School Education, pg. 9

[13] Proverbs 24:3-4 ESV

[14] Teaching Redemptively pg. 49

[15] Teaching Redemptively pg. 203-204

[16] Reclaiming the Future of Christian Education pg. 55

[17] Reclaiming the Future of Christian Education pg. 61

[18] Teaching Redemptively pg. 245

The Shadow Proves the Sunshine

Does the existence of terrible evil in the world mean a perfectly good and infinitely powerful creator cannot exist?

           Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb bludgeoned a young boy to death for the thrill of it. Bobby Franks, the 14-year-old cousin of Loeb, was killed by the two young men for nothing more than to know what it felt like. While they originally had hoped to hold him for ransom in their attempt to produce the perfect crime, neither young man needed the money, coming from wealthy families themselves. After being caught and admitting to his crime, Leopold said “A thirst for knowledge is highly commendable, no matter what extreme pain or injury it may inflict upon others.”[1] How can humans be capable of such evil?

           Their legal defender in court was none other than Clarence Darrow, a man known today for his involvement in the famous Scopes trial.[2] In that later Scopes trial, Darrow would defend the teaching of evolution by John Scopes, a man placed in that role deliberately to challenge the laws banning evolution in the classroom. Darrow himself was known as a driven opponent of fundamentalist Christianity, with the goal of debunking it and the literalist interpretation of the Bible.[3]

Leopold, Loeb and Darrow

           Of course, Darrow’s position was already public knowledge prior to the Scopes trial. His defense of Leopold and Loeb prior to defending Scopes was also sensationalized. With a foundational reasoning based upon an evolutionary worldview, Darrow was strongly against the death penalty, even for murderers like these two young men. How did he come to such a conclusion?

“Science and evolution teach us that man is an animal, a little higher than the other orders of animals; that he is governed by the same natural laws that govern the rest of the universe,” he [Darrow] wrote in the magazine Everyman in 1915. Darrow saw confirmation of these views in the field of dynamic psychiatry, which emphasized infantile sexuality and unconscious impulses and denied that human actions were freely chosen and rationally arranged. Individuals acted less on the basis of free will and more as a consequence of childhood experiences that found their expression in adult life.[4]

Through his beliefs in evolutionary origins, Darrow presumed that a person’s actions were not done by the free will of the individual, but by the predeterminate outcome decided by one’s physical nature or hormonal compositions. Instead of seeing crime as an act of will, Darrow saw it as a medical problem, and thus not something the courts could properly punish with the death penalty. Rather, he suggested that medical treatment could take its place and possibly rehabilitate the criminals.

            This was Clarence Darrow’s defense of the child killers Leopold and Loeb: as the products of evolutionary processes and acting on animal instincts, the young men were not responsible for their actions that were predetermined by their inherited dispositions. Such a defense shocked the nation, as it should. If this defense had been successful, the entire justice system would have been toppled. Who can be held responsible for their own actions if all their actions are predetermined hormonal responses of a being that cannot surpass their genes?

            This does make one wonder: can a materialistic worldview like evolution allow for something like free will? If we are the product of blind natural processes, can we be more than the workings of our genetics? How could the sum be greater than the parts?

If life has arisen by unguided, materialistic processes, then we as living beings are nothing more than matter and energy. The energy moves through us and causes the matter to change shape or form, etc. Over billions of years, the energy fluctuations through matter gave rise to stars, which birthed planets, comets, and all sorts of space debris, which eventually coalesced just right to make this beautiful planet Earth. On it, all the matter and energy cleaved together to form the first life somehow, a mystery still completely unsolvable by materialistic means. That first life then changed into other life forms, branching out, gaining abilities via natural selection, and always following evolution’s main goal: survival of the fittest. Why do they strive to continue and overcome obstacles? Their “selfish genes,” as evolutionist Richard Dawkins calls them, drives them forward.[5] These selfish genes drive their temporary host on to survive and reproduce, passing themselves on further into immortality. Such a view only further draws us to this: what else could evolution produce except creatures that were bound to their genetic instructions? Free will cannot truly come about through materialistic means because matter and energy cannot really choose anything. Action and reactions are possible, but there is no freedom to choose one’s own actions.

If evolution is true, Clarence Darrow’s conclusions must also be as well: mankind, as the product of matter in motion and animal instincts driven by their genes, cannot be held accountable for any for their actions. Not only would murder most foul like that of Leopold and Loeb’s heinous acts be unpunishable, but neither would any other action mankind would take. Rape would be the animal instinct to spread one’s genes. Murder could be to advance one’s fitness levels. Theft obviously would be greatly advantageous to those skilled at it and those stolen from are just out of luck. We aren’t talking about just a few changes to how we look at murder. From a materialistic worldview, the entire moral framework is without foundation because nobody is greater than their genes. Matter and energy cannot think, so who are we to punish people for their actions? Within the evolutionary worldview, there can be no free will.

           Even modern atheist Sam Harris agrees with Darrow. He writes about the actions of two criminals, Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, and how they broke into the home of Dr. William and Jennifer Petit in 2007. After knocking William senseless, they tied the doctor’s wife and daughters to their beds. While one of the men forced the wife to withdraw money from their bank for him, the other sexually abused the youngest daughter. When the two returned from the bank, they raped Jennifer and strangled her. When they noticed that William had slipped his restraints and gotten away to seek help, they panicked. After dosing the house with gasoline, they lit it on fire, burning it down with the daughters still tied to their beds. Only William survived the incident. The two perpetrators of this ghastly crime were eventually captured and brought to justice; however, even after all this horror, Sam Harris can do nothing but conclude that these men were not responsible for their actions. “How can we make sense of our lives, and hold people accountable for their choices, given the unconscious origins of our conscious minds?”[6]  

           Do these stories shock you? They should. Humans naturally see the horror in such actions. Murdering for the fun of it or brutally raping and killing are things that we naturally know are wrong. Yes, some repress this moral realization, killing their own conscience, but even they know it is wrong. It is because of this innate knowledge of moral absolutes that this matter-over-mind materialistic view must be wrong. Not only do we naturally know that such things are wrong, humans frequently act opposite to them, which hinders any conclusions that we do not have free will. We can choose to abide by these moral absolutes, or we can choose to ignore them. That is the nature if free will.

           But why would God grant humans such an ability that allows for such heinous abuses? How could a loving God give mankind the ability to murder, rape, steal, or any other form of sin? The book of Galatians tells us to walk by the Spirit, not the desires of the flesh, since they are in conflict.[7] Why would we be given these desires of the flesh if they can produce so much pain and suffering? Many an atheist has used this problem of evil as their excuse to disregard God’s existence. After all, if evil exists in the world and God has not stopped it, does that mean he is not truly good or powerful enough to do so? No, the existence of evil is actually proof of God’s perfect existence and of our own free will.

           How could the existence of evil prove that God is absolutely good? Think about the two stories we have covered thus far. How do we know that Leopold, Loeb, Hayes and Komisarjevsky committed evil acts? Why are we absolutely sure they did wrong? The only way to assume that something is absolutely wrong for there to be a measure of what is absolutely good. Without the ability to measure what is good against an absolute source, we would never know what is evil. Without the existence of God, murder, rape, theft, and all the worst actions you can think of are merely actions of equal value as love, self-sacrifice, and giving gifts. Murdering someone would be of equal merit to saving them if there was no absolute source to tell us what is good. As Greg Koukl says,

This is a profound realization. We have, with a high degree of certainty, stumbled upon something real. Yet it’s something that can’t be proven empirically or described in terms of natural laws. This teaches us there’s more to the world than just the physical universe. If non-physical things—like moral rules—truly exist, then materialism as a world view is false.[8]

Thought itself is an immaterial entity, just like morality. This must mean that materialism is false since immaterial things do indeed exist. Based off of that and the conclusion that morals exist, we can conclude that if evil exists, good exists. You cannot have shadows without light. This argument from morals, as Koukl says, demolishes the materialistic views of Clarence Darrow and Sam Harris. Materials cannot produce morality, and therefore must come from an immaterial source, like God himself.

            So how about the other claim? How does this prove free will? Think of it this way: if there are absolute morals, how can we break them? Isn’t our own ability to choose the most reliable explanation? Let’s look back at the problem of evil again. If God is purely good and absolutely powerful, why does he not end suffering? If God had stepped in, would Bobby Franks be dead? Would Dr. William’s family have suffered such brutal deaths? Of course not! So why didn’t God do it? As the antitheist argument goes, the logical conclusion is that God is ether not powerful enough to stop the actions, or he is not truly good because he allows evil. The question should actually be how would God stop such actions? Clearly, he would have to stop the perpetrators of course. If God created us with free will to choose our own actions and futures, wouldn’t he have to remove that free will to stop us?

            Why then would God even create us with free will if suffering were the result? Maybe it was because he values relationship! It is a humbling thought that the creator of the universe desires relationship with us, but that is what the Bible implies throughout. Can an intelligent being have meaningful relationships with automatons? If you program a computer to say “I love you” on repeat, will you feel loved by it? Of course not! A computer programed to automatically echo those sentiments is not only unable to truly love, but it is being forced to do it! Love cannot exist unless it is an action chosen willingly. The same exists here with our relationship with God: he wants a real, willing relationship. Just as a husband wants his wife to willingly love him, so does God want us to have the ability to truly mean it when we love him. Otherwise, love does not exist. If God were to stop these criminals, he would have to remove their free will, just as he would have had to do to stop Hitler or any other major evil the world has seen. Humans would be reduced to nothing more than a hollow echo if they weren’t given the ability to choose to love God or not, or to do good or not. Since God loved us long before we loved him, he clearly desires us to seek him willingly, and to remove that freedom to choose our path to or away from him would be the antithesis of this powerful love.

            Neither Darrow nor Harris can see the logical flaws in their positions. Not only do these instances of evil not prove the lack of a creator, but they actually do the opposite. Shadow cannot prove that light doesn’t exist. Cold doesn’t prove that heat doesn’t exist. In fact, both only exist because there is a lack of their counterparts present. You only know what is dark and what is cold because you know there is light and heat. In the same way, evil is simply a shadow that proves the existence of God. The creator, in his wisdom, knew that the relationship he wanted was that of father and children, and that love can never be forced. The evil that exists is not because of God’s lack of empathy or insufficient power, but because his great love and desire for us grants us this freedom to choose to love him back or not. No matter the darkness that humans are capable of, the light of God’s love is brighter.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8



[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid



[7] Galatians 5:16-17


Future Tech of the Past

Why our best technology is still far behind living systems

            What if nanotechnology could design microscopic machines? That is the goal of many engineers in this burgeoning field. Need to deliver molecules to specific locations within your cells? Sure. Need to create microscopic engines to propel miniature machines around in the body? Of course. What about producing energy using turbine motors? Why not? These machines seem like the future straight out of science fiction, but we may someday reach these lofty goals.

            Why do I think that these grand schemes may be within our reach? With the increase in our technology and knowledge of the world at the cellular level, we not only have growing confidence in our capabilities; we actually know it has been done before. That’s right, these things already exist!

            Within each of your cells, we can already see such engineering marvels. The first molecule is an enzyme called kinesin. In a literal step by step walking motion, this molecular machine walks along the microtubules of the inside of your cells, hauling shipping containers or messages behind them from one spot to the other. These machines can definitely do the fast step, seeing that they can often hit 100 steps per second.[1] With every molecule of ATP (the energy rich “battery” of the cell), kinesin takes another step. Such walking wonders have numerous roles within the cell, and as such are likely numbered in the thousands in a single cell.

Kinesin enzyme hauling a vesicle of cargo

            What about the microscopic motor mentioned before? We can find that in the cellular flagellum. This whip-like appendage acts as an outboard motor, sharing uncanny similarities to the motor on a speedboat. With a rotor, stator, hook, and propeller, the flagellum lines up with boat motors incredibly well. The long whip like tail spins at speeds passing 100,000 rotations per minute, handling the extreme torque with ease.[2] It could be said that this motor is actually superior in many ways to those made by mankind’s best engineers.

The flagellar motor and propeller shaft

            The third nano-machine seems like more of a stretch compared to the others. Is a microscopic turbine that produces energy really within the realm of possibilities for us to create? Well, we already have the designs laid out for us within the cell. As pretty much every high school student in biology remembers, the mitochondrion is the powerhouse of the cell. Using a process called the electron transport chain on the inner membrane of the mitochondria, your sugars, fats, and proteins from your last meal are broken down and used to fuel a process that allows for the flow of ions through a turbine machine called ATP Synthase. The ions flow naturally through an opening in this enzyme apparatus, giving it the momentum to spin. Like a waterwheel at an old sawmill, the flow of these ions through the turbine is harnessed to do work. It is at these ATP Synthases that ATP, the battery molecule, is energized, being revitalized like a rechargeable battery. With relative ease, such molecules produce the vital ATP that runs the majority of functions with the cell, even the functions of the previously mentioned kinesin and flagella motors. Dr. Bowman, emeritus professor of biology at UC Santa Cruz estimated that each mitochondrion contains approximately 320,000 ATP Synthase turbines! This produces millions of ATP molecules per second in every body cell.[3]

           Any description of molecular machinery would be incomplete without the DNA polymerase machine. In each of most of our cells, we have an entire copy of the human genome (all 3.2 BILLION base pairs of it!). To put it in perspective, the DNA that fits within the microscopic nucleus of each of our body cells (excluding red blood cells), when unwound, would stretch about 6 feet in length![4] Every time a cell needs to divide, it must first duplicate all this DNA. This is where our friendly neighborhood polymerase comes in. This enzyme machine, with the help of other enzyme machines that prepare its path, comes in and starts to read the two open sides of the DNA. Not only does it read the base pairs of both sides, it puts down a complimentary copy of each individual base pair for each side as it goes! You could say that DNA polymerase is a nanoscale copy machine. Some of the fastest polymerases can lay as many as 1,000 base pairs per second![5] If a human tried to type that fast, you could expect the majority of the page to be riddled with errors. Not so here! DNA polymerase only makes about 1 error in 10,000 base pairs! But it gets better: DNA polymerase also comes equipped with its own spell checker! With this added proofreading capability, it improves its replication fidelity about 100-fold![6] Without such a function, harmful (and often fatal) mutations would be far more prevalent within our genomes. After all, what has been described is only one of the 30 trillion cells within a human body! Polymerase must be fine-tuned for optimal efficiency to tackle such tasks.

DNA polymerase (along with other enzymes like Helicase, Primase, Ligase, etc.) during DNA replication

            So, can our engineers build such machines at such tiny scales? So far, we have not, but we have great templates to copy from. But shouldn’t this make us wonder how such machines came about in the first place? If our greatest minds in the world cannot easily replicate such intricate and efficient machines, could a blind and unguided process be the cause of their entry onto the world stage? Many evolutionists must assume that natural processes, given enough time, could produce such a list of incredible engineering feats; however, such belief requires tremendous faith since no such process has ever been discovered that could produce such machines. Engineering in principle requires foresight, the ability to look ahead and plan out the best possible configuration. After that, the parts are put in place all at once for functionality to begin. If you’re missing a part here or there, or they are in the wrong places, you will not have a functional machine.

            When you think about it, anything that a random process can produce should be easily replicated by an intelligent agent in a fraction of the time. For example, if a random process can scatter scrabble tiles into the sentence “What does the fox say?” with enough time, shouldn’t a person be able to purposefully place such tiles in the same configuration in a miniscule fraction of the time it took the natural processes? The same goes for our molecular motors. After thousands of years of technological development and incredible leaps in understanding of the natural world, we as a species have come to realize that we are still well behind the level of engineering we have already had within us since we first stood up on this planet.

            When we study these molecular machines (which our four mentioned here are but a meager sampling of) without the preconceived notions of naturalism, we are inevitably drawn towards the conclusion that such machines are the products of an intelligent agent, just as our various motors and turbine machines are. It would be laughable to conclude that the engine of my Honda was the product of blind chance and natural processes because we as humans can naturally detect design in such things. If such a vehicle’s motor is so obviously designed, why must we ignore such logical thoughts when it comes to the origins of cellular equipment?  If kinesin, the flagellum, ATP Synthase and DNA Polymerase are all so efficient to be still beyond our current level of engineering in 2020, why not conclude that an even greater engineer designed them before us?







The Lurking Monster

How Naturalism has Crept into Science

            Unbeknownst to many, the monster of Doctor Frankenstein is actually alive. While it may not be an amalgamation of flesh and blood, it still claws for existence against the odds.  Born out of desperation, it clings to its power by changing history, hiding its dark past, and silencing any who oppose it. Its sinewy arms stretch across the globe, aggressively defending itself against those that would rise up against it; to its advantage, however, few people even believe the creature exists. Cobbled together throughout the ages in the shadows, this monster may have finally been revealed.  Methodological naturalism is its name, and the submission of all those around it is its game.

            Few realize the influence this has had on history. Quite literally, it has twisted our outlook on the past. Seemingly harmless history texts now portray a very different path in history than actually happened. One such occurrence is what is commonly known as the “Dark Ages.”  It is assumed that during this period of the middle ages, very little new knowledge or technology arose due to the suppression of religious dogmatism. Many have been lead to believe that, after the fall of Rome, there was a period of intellectual darkness[1].  The ancient people of that time are assumed by many to ignorantly believe that the world is flat. This has become a weapon for supporters of naturalism because they can now attempt to equate those who doubt Darwinism as flat-earthers; however, this postulation is founded on sand.  For many centuries, even in and before the so-called “Dark ages,” people were bright enough to understand that the world was actually round.  As early as 240 BC, a Greek mathematician by the name of Eratosthenes made calculations based on the assumptions that the Earth was indeed round. Eratosthenes was the librarian of Alexandria, a vast storehouse of knowledge. Without leaving the city, he accurately calculated the circumference of the Earth![2]  This happened well before 500-1500 AD, when the dark ages are said to have happened. Very few held the flat Earth view. Even the Bible in Isaiah 40:22 mentions the “circle” of the Earth, so it is silly to claim that the rise of the Christian church forced the flat earth view; instead, it was perfectly fine with the evidence suggesting that the Earth was indeed round.  This claim that people of the Dark Ages were dim-witted falls flat.

            Instead of being anti-intellectual, the Dark Ages were actually a time of fantastic growth in the formulation of the sciences. Author Rodney Stark makes a strong case that the rise of Christianity was actually necessary to the growth of what we can label as true sciences.[3] Stark explains that “…earlier technical innovations of Greco-Roman times, Islam, of Imperial China, let alone those achieved in prehistoric times, do not constitute science and are better described as lore, skills, wisdom, techniques, crafts, technologies, engineering, learning, or simply knowledge.”[4] Studies like geometry do not qualify as purely scientific simply because they only describe reality without attempting to explain it.  “Science is a method utilized in organized efforts to formulate explanations of nature, always subject to modifications and corrections through systematic observations.”[5]  Many civilizations had many great technological advancements, but none of it was, strictly speaking, science. Even China, which had existed in isolation for centuries and had made many advancements in that time, had never found the footing to allow science to stand. What was different in Europe?  What actually caused the rise of the scientific method? Again, Stark has an answer. “…the rise of science was not an extension of classical learning. It was the natural outgrowth of Christian doctrine: Nature exists because it was created by God. To love and honor God, one must fully appreciate the wonders of his handiwork. Moreover, because God is perfect, his handiwork functions in accord with immutable principles. By the full use of our God-given powers of reason and observation, we ought to be able to discover these principles.”[6] It was because of the rise of Christianity that science was founded, not despite it. The entire idea of the Dark Ages is bogus history that attempts to cover up the contributions that came from Christianity. Even the historical accounts of the ages following 1500 A.D. are tainted.  The “Enlightenment” and the “Scientific Revolution” are farce names developed to further entrench the separation between the rise of science from Christianity by implying that the people lived in intellectual rejection to begin with. The idea that God was wise and logical lead to the understanding that his creation was also logically made, and thus understandable, is truly painful to the materialist. 

            This deception sails further into history. In some accounts, Christopher Columbus wanted to set sail to prove that the Earth was round, not flat like the Church is again portrayed to assume. This is a misnomer since Columbus’s goal was to reach Asia, not prove the shape of our planet. Even though many refused to back him financially, it was not because of their refusal to accept that the Earth was round. It was actually because many of them disagreed with his calculations on how far Asia would actually be. Some suggest that, had North America not been there, Columbus would have run short on supplies before ever reaching Asia. Still, it is often claimed that this entire event was practically a fight between religious dogma and scientific truths, which surely warps the actual historical events in favor of the materialistic view of science. Why would anyone do this? “The reason we didn’t know the truth concerning these matters [Columbus and the bogus flat-earth argument] is that the claim if an inevitable and bitter warfare between religion and science has, for more than three centuries, been the primary polemical device used in the atheist attack on faith. From Thomas Hobbes through Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins, false claims about religion and science have been used as weapons in the battle to “Free” the human mind from the “fetters of faith.”[7] It seems that those under the sway of materialist doctrine will even attempt to alter history in order to distance themselves from anything tied to a creator they cannot control.

            Fast-forwarding back to present day, we see that some of our infamous materialistic monster’s tampering has had some influence. In academia, especially in the biological sciences, Neo-Darwinism holds sway. Atheists and agnostics are in the vast majority in many key roles. For example, 65% of the biologists in the National Academy of Sciences were atheists, 29% were agnostic, and a mere 6% were theists.[8]  “According to a national survey of faculty at both four-year and two-year colleges and universities published in 2007, more than 60% of all college biologists consider themselves atheists or agnostics.”[9] Even outside of the field of biology, atheism and agnosticism are strangely high, with them being 34% and 30% respectively in academia.[10]  Clearly, they hold the high ground in the United States when it comes to science and research positions. With the power of their positions, they have been able to filter out who comes into their inner circle and what topics can be published. Effectively, they have redefined science as only being materialistic. Famous scientist Carl Sagan summed up this mutated view of science when he said, “The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be.”[11]

            But why does this matter for us? What does Frankenstein’s eyesore have to do with us? To be blunt, it has far more impact on our nation than many seem to know.  Only recently were the efforts made to reach the public’s attention starting to show signs of success. In 2008, a documentary called “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” helmed by activist Ben Stein, hit theaters. The focus of the film was how the freedom of speech and inquiry are becoming restricted. One example presented in the film was the story of Dr. Richard Sternberg, a highly accomplished scientist. He was the managing editor of The Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, when he allowed the publication of Dr. Stephen Meyer’s article “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories” after it had passed peer review. Even though the peer review process did not see fit to weed out the very short blurb in the conclusion about Intelligent Design, Dr. Sternberg was targeted and blamed for what some thought was a traitorous act. Many took it upon themselves to make sure he was punished. Sternberg “…faced retaliation, defamation, harassment, and a hostile work environment…” that attempted to force him to resign from his prestigious positions.[12] Despite two federal investigations that found clear evidence of abuses against him, the smear campaign has done major damage.  But why was Dr. Sternberg targeted so venomously? He was actually a supporter of evolutionary theory at the time. What strategy is there that would cause the neo-Darwinian establishment attack one of its own? Clearly, they have something to hide.

           In fact, hiding the evidence is one of the most common methods of dominating the Intelligent Design debate.  Silencing any criticism is one method, and many more examples of it are presented in the “Expelled” documentary and on the Discovery Institute’s website[13]; however, shrugging it all off as unscientific is another way to push critics under the rug.  Self proclaimed skeptic Michael Shermer claimed “Intelligent Design is a remarkably uncreative theory that abandons the search for understanding at the very point where it is most needed.”[14] The Union of Concerned Scientists says, “A scientific theory is supported by extensive research and repeated experimentation and observation in the natural world. Unlike a true scientific theory, the existence of an “intelligent” agent can not be tested, nor is it falsifiable.”[15] Both of these sources have cleverly explained away any reason why they should ever recognize Intelligent Design without even addressing the evidence within the argument itself.  Straw man arguments are abundant when it comes to critiquing Intelligent Design. For many, this has been an escape from what some claim to be microwaved creationism; however, it is quite the cop-out.

           Philip Kitcher wrote a book called Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith. As a proponent of Neo-Darwinism himself, it was rather surprising to read how he approached the issue of Intelligent Design.  Instead of the typical “bash” or “ignore” methods, he said “It is easy to understand why many scientists … find the “not science” strategy attractive. After all, it is a quick way of dismissing the opposition, one that shortcuts the tedious work of analyzing the proliferating texts the opponents produce.”[16] Still, he didn’t think that approach was viable, also seeing it as simply an escape from the debate. Instead, he called Intelligent Design a ““dead science,” a doctrine that once had its day in the scientific inquiry and discussion, but has rightly been discarded.”15 Kitcher starts out with an almost agreeable view of the claims of intelligent Design advocates, agreeing that it is scientific even without experiments, just like the studies of astronomers, theoretical physicists, oceanographers, or even those who study animal behavior.[17] But the hopes for a quality argument against Intelligent Design soon deflated when Kitcher started holding up many of the flimsy proofs for evolution that have already been soundly debunked. His arguments included anatomical and genetic homology,[18] archaeopteryx,[19] and his biggest argument was the presence of junk DNA. [20] Junk DNA refers to the nearly ninety percent of the human genome that does not code for proteins. It has long been assumed that the way life works was that DNA produced RNA, which in turn produced the proteins that build up and help our body run. This process has even been called the “central dogma of molecular biology,” even at the textbook level[21]. With that foundational postulation, finding that only about nine percent of the human genome produces proteins made it easy to explain all the excess by claiming it was leftovers from previous evolutionary stages that no longer have use. Kitcher seems to think this is the nail in the coffin of those who doubt evolution’s validity; this common conclusion, however, has now turned to junk itself. A recent study called ENCODE[22] has not only undermined the junk DNA conclusion, but made it look quite foolish. Studies through ENCODE have found that there is vastly more specified complexity to the parts of the DNA that do not code for protein than ever imagined. New types of RNAs are being discovered, along with the realization that a single stretch of DNA can be deciphered into multiple products, depending on which introns and exons are removed or combined after transcription. To claim that this ninety percent of the genome is simply evolutionary leftovers is the simple assumption from those who are desperate to cling to their failing theories. The new findings, interestingly enough, have come from an Intelligent Design perspective. After all, to even desire to check those regions of DNA for function is to assume it is not in fact junk, otherwise it would be a waste of many years. If it isn’t junk, then it must have a function. If it all has an important function, then we see little evidence for the random mutational method of new traits being added through evolution.

           Even Kitcher, in his valiant attempt to defend neo-Darwinian evolution against doubters, has fallen short. He will not be the last to do so.  Many more will follow by smearing, oversimplifying, and redefining terms in their attempts to subdue any dissent from their canon.  Through a blurring of lines, many scientists have swayed politicians and laymen to them. They claim science is key, yet use shoddy philosophy, theology and improper debating tactics to undermine the science of those who see the cracks in the foundational theories of evolution by natural selection. It is rare now for science to be met with science. Why would that be? Apparently, the neo-Darwinian establishment has been exposed. The haphazardly stitched together sets of circumstances that are only held together by zealous dedication have been revealed. It turns out that Frankenstein’s monster is the emperor with no clothes. He is desperate to hold onto his composure, prestige and power in the face of the growing opposition. The monster cannot hide in the shadows any longer. His hold on the fundamentals of science, philosophy, and even religion, are tightening; but there are many thinkers who are breaking free of his influence. At first it was one by one, but now, the people are being awakened in droves, their minds opened to the sly influences of materialistic naturalism. The truth may still be hidden from the masses, but any who seek it out earnestly will be able to rediscover it. 

[1] Theodore Mommsen, Petrarch’s Conception of the ‘Dark Ages’ (Cambridge MA: Medieval Academy of America, 1942)

[2] Doug Steward, “Erathosthenese,”

[3] Rodney Stark, For the Glory Of God (Princeton University Press, 2004)

[4] Stark, For the Glory Of God, 125.

[5] Stark, For the Glory Of God, 124.

[6] Stark, For the Glory Of God, 157.

[7]  Stark, For the Glory Of God, 123.

[8] John G. West, What are the religious views of leading scientists who support evolution? (Discovery Institute, 2009)

[9] West, What are the religious views of leading scientists who support evolution?

[10] West, What are the religious views of leading scientists who support evolution?

[11] Carl Sagan, Cosmos  (Random House, 1980)

[12] Richard Sternberg, Smithsonian Controversy


[14] Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters; The Case Against Intelligent Design (Times Books 2006)

[15] Union of Concerned Scientists, Science, Evolution, and Intelligent Design

[16] Philip Kitcher, Living With Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith (Oxford University Press 2007), 8

[17] Kitcher, Living With Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith, 9

[18] Kitcher, Living With Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith, 48-57

[19] Kitcher, Living With Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith, 67

[20] Kitcher, Living With Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith, 57-60

[21] Miller and Levine, Biology, Prentice Hall, 2014


Book Review: Traipsing Into Evolution

Traipsing Into Evolution is a succinct summarization and critique of the Kitzmiller vs. Dover court case on the teaching of intelligent design in the schools in Dover. This case is summarized and analyzed by multiple sources of incredible qualifications. Leading the charge is David Dewolf, Professor of Law at the Gonzaga Laws School in Washington. He is an accomplished author, focusing on law and legal practice, with one book on the topic of origins and free speech called Teaching the Origins Controversy: Science, or Religion, or Speech.

Dewolf is joined by the associate director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, Dr. John West. Dr. West is also well versed in the legal system, with a Ph.D. in government. He is the chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, and an author or editor of many books, many focusing on Darwinian biology’s impact on public policy.

Casey Luskin also joins the author team for this manuscript. He has a strong combination of science and law under his belt with a B.S. and M.S. in Earth Sciences as well as a law degree From University of San Diego. He has published many articles in various scientific journals, including some focusing on intelligent design.

Last but not least is Dr. Jonathan Witt, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute. He holds his Ph.D. in English from the University of Kansas. Besides his significant written contribution to the design movement, he was present at the Dover trial, covering the proceedings for

Even an amateur can see the legal and scientific qualifications this team brought into this manuscript. Their expertise on both law and the underlying concepts of science are crystal clear, and their obvious goal was to set the record straight on the multitude of erroneous and superfluous conclusions drawn by Judge Jones in this case.

  In the Kitzmiller vs Dover court case on the forced entry (even though minor in scope) of Intelligent Design into school curriculum, the presiding judge, John E. Jones III went beyond the necessary jurisdiction of his position. His decision did not simply stop the school from mandating Intelligent Design theory (ID), but went beyond his role as a judge to label ID as unscientific. This ruling legally defined ID as a religious belief and attempted to remove it from ever possibly being taught in a public school classroom.

         Traipsing Into Evolution is a succinct analysis of the legal overreaches, scientific flaws, and blatant biases found in Judge Jones’ rulings. Jones is shown to have had clearly preconceived notions on how he would conclude against ID. Traipsing Into Evolution also corrects definitions, reinforces the scientific legitimacy of ID, and cites clear examples that were presented in testimony that counter the judge’s bold claims. From the straw man arguments against ID that labels it “creationism,” to the false claims that no qualified scientists support the theory, this book sets the record straight. Judge Jones has very clearly stretched into territory he is nowhere near qualified to make verdicts on.

Traipsing into Evolution plays its part well. While short in length, the authors have poured in an incredible amount of concise data into the book. It takes accurate shots at Judge Jones’ conclusion on the Dover case, hitting some of the vital points and exposing the great weaknesses in the legal precedent set up by Jones. The authors are unmistakably specialists in law and science, making this text a juggernaut of power to knock down Judge Jones’ prejudiced judicial overreach into science.

While definitely on the short side, this book accomplishes its goal clearly. To the reader, it is clear where Judge Jones succeeded and where he went out of the boundaries of his position. Activist judges like him cannot be left alone with this power to define what is and isn’t science; instead, they must be restricted to the role they were designed to have, which is to make rulings on what the law says, not make laws based upon his biased opinions.

Often critics of Intelligent Design will claim that the rulings in cases like this one in Dover were proof of the less than scientific nature of ID. The authors of Traipsing into Evolution make it clear that scientific concepts cannot be decided in the courtroom, but rather must be decided by evidence. I would most definitely recommend this to such critics (as well as those needing an answer to such criticisms), since the legal prominence and scientific expertise poured into the book leave little room for doubt that science cannot be demarcated by the unqualified judicial system.

Bioethics of Euthanasia

A case study of AIDS and the end of life

I. Introduction

            Fatal diseases are dropping in numbers with modern medical technology, but mankind has yet to find a cure for AIDS. We have medicines that can slow the advancement of the viral disease, but none that can halt it altogether. This leaves the unfortunate persons infected with not only the disease, but also the knowledge that it will eventually lead to a difficult death. As such, many desire the ability to put an end to their suffering before it takes them too far down that road of agony. Many places have even legalized a patient’s right to die, but it often puts doctors in a morally difficult place: is ridding a patient of terrible pain more important than their life?

II. Definitions

            It is key to define terms before we delve into the rest of the issue. First term to define is euthanasia. Euthanasia, also known as “mercy killing,” is the intentional and direct efforts of a physician or medical professional to help a dying patient die. [1] This typically entails the injection or administering of some sort of lethal dose of drugs by the medical professional with the intention of ending the patient’s life.

            This is slightly different from physician-assisted suicide, in which the medical professional does not directly cause the death. That said, they are still participating in the death of the patient by providing and instructing the patient with the means to end their own life. While not directly responsible, the medical professional still remains culpable, even with only indirect causality; however, this is not seen as such under most right to die laws, since the final decision rests upon the patient in this circumstance.


            In this instance, it is important to know what this disease is and why it is fatal. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This virus is especially dangerous due to its abilities to not only avoid detection from the immune cells (specifically the T-cells), but because it uses that stealth to attack the immune system itself. The virus sneaks in and incapacitates the immune defenses of the body by taking over the functionality of its target cell. As a retrovirus, it contains RNA as its genetic carrier, but once the RNA is in the target cell, specialized enzymes translate that RNA into DNA, and other enzymes splice that new DNA strand into the host cell’s genome, officially taking over its functionality by forcing it to slowly build new viruses.

Once infected, the number of immune cells in the patient will slowly but inevitably decline in number. This leaves the person vulnerable, like a castle with no defenders. Normally weak pathogens like common fungi, weaker viruses, and even parasites find no resistance to their entry and begin infection their unresponsive host, spreading in the absence of strong immune response. When the immune cell’s defenders drop to a specific level, namely one sixth that of a healthy person’s level, that person is diagnosed with AIDS.

It is no wonder that many AIDS patients ask for physicians to provide life-ending treatment when their body becomes too overrun to recover. The fear of this painful end must be constantly on the minds of those infected. The psychological and emotional strain that builds up as time goes on could become debilitating, even just in dreaded anticipation of their fate.  To many doctors, such life-ending treatment is deemed merciful, while others see it as a breach of medical ethics. Who is right?

IV. Ethical Issues

            Key to this discussion is the morality of suicide. Is it morally acceptable for someone to decide to end his or her own life? From a naturalistic evolutionary perspective, death is an inevitable conclusion to every life. Not only that, the fundamental goal of all living things is to avoid death. That said, a naturalistic evolutionary origin does not give a person an actual reason to live in the first place. If we are here during life, but are gone when we die, then there is no reason to fight through pain. Suicide is very commonly used as an escape because of this.

            Without a belief in a higher power, it is nearly impossible to formulate a strong case against suicide. Even with time invested in searching, as this author has done, does not reveal any strong secular arguments against suicide. Some argue that suicide and euthanasia are a slippery slope, or that suicide effects others around the one that dies, yet even these have no real strength behind them if there is no ultimate meaning to life besides enjoying it while you can before you cease to exist.

            Of course, is this the only view on suicide? Of course not! Human exceptionalism can also stem back to worldviews such as the Judeo-Christian stance that mankind was created in the image of the creator. As such, our value does not stem from ourselves, but from our relationship to God who made us. As one could likely imagine, being made in the image of the perfect Creator instills an immeasurable value into each human life. To end it flippantly is in a way blaspheming against the maker himself.

V. Pain as a virtue

            One argument against life ending treatments is that pain produces endurance. While not all pain can or should be seen as a chance to grow by “toughing it out,” trials like injury and disease can indeed build character in tremendous ways. This author’s own experience with a badly broken leg, followed by surgery and years of therapy were not something ever desired, yet it was tremendous in shaping the character from that point on.

            As some may say, suicide is the “easy way out.” Instead of facing the pain and holding on to hope even in dark times, suicide is an escape. It is not even surrender to the disease; rather, it is giving up before the disease even runs its course. It is not difficult to see why such a course is so easily longed for by those inflicted with a fatal diagnosis, but to give up is to profess that life is not worth living. From a naturalistic view, it would not be worth living, yet from the view of those in the faith, every second is a gift from God and we are given our times for a purpose. From the view of a believer, such trials test our faith and refine us, like fire purifies gold.

VI. Alternatives

            When disease and despair set in, suicide is not the only answer. Current medical technologies may not be able to cure diseases like AIDS as of yet, but our pain management capabilities are getting much better.  Our knowledge on what pain is and how to block such neurological signals has improved, allowing us to keep people comfortable even as death approaches.

            Of course, death itself may be the real terror, not the pain. Instead of waiting for death to come naturally, the inflicted person often suffers psychologically from the anticipation and fear of what is to come. In such instances, a trained counselor can help the person to find peace and hope.  Even in such dire situations, hope can lead to opportunities to serve and be served even in those last days.

VII. Ultimate Consequences

            All of this deliberation leads up to a fork in the road. To one side, the patient is lead to their death at the hands of the physician, be it directly or simply through facilitation of the act; on the other side we see the glimmer of hope. On the side of self-inflicted death, we see despair and lack of hope at what remains of their lives. Often this stems from an atheistic or agnostic worldview where life after death is seen as little more than fantasy and wishful thinking. Death is the end to such a person, where they simply cease to exist; however, the other path holds out that hope for something greater.

            If we are indeed created by a loving God and what he has made known to us is true, then we are given much reason to hope for the future after our physical death. After that, we shall shed all pain and disease. When one sees such a future, the present darkness is but a shadow to be destroyed by the brilliant light coming on the other side. Truly, hope is a powerful thing. In some cases, hope was all that helped people survive. Despair easily leads to a person giving up, while hope gives them strength.

            If the first worldview is true, then both people of faith and those without it will cease to exist. The problem comes if the creator is real and his words are true, for then only those that find hope in him will find peace. Those that rejected him in life would find no solace in death. It is that fate that could give a physician pause in proceeding with life-ending treatments.

VIII. Conclusion

            In this case of an AIDS patient requesting life-ending treatment once the time comes, this author, in the shoes of the physician would have to decline. When one’s soul is on the line, ending their life before their natural time has come puts their eternity at risk. Legal or not, physician-assisted suicide, when seen in the light of the Christian faith, is wrong. We do the patient no good by hastening their death and robbing them of their last chances at eternity. Pain management and recommendations of good counselors would be advised, but as the physician, assisting in suicide simply cannot be acceptable. They Hippocratic oath should have held all physicians away from dealing in death, but when we cannot see the ultimate end of things, it seems merciful to put an end to a person’s sufferings. Mankind is not like an injured horse, however. We are created in the image of God, and as such, we should never have the right to take away what God has given.

[1] Rae, Scott B. Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2018.

The Bioethics of Stem Cells

Is it morally acceptable to use embryonic tissues to cure diseases?

I. Introduction

            The use of embryonic stem cells in medicine has quite often promised incredible breakthroughs and nearly miraculous cures of numerous diseases like diabetes, MS, and many others. The industry has drawn billions of dollars in support of this research with the hopes of one day solving a myriad of diseases. Such a tremendous flow of funding makes this avenue of research incredibly lucrative. It isn’t difficult to see why many companies would push for their staff to work with these lines of stem cells. The problem comes with the weight of significant moral baggage.

II. The data

            Stem cells were an incredible discovery. These cells are quite special due to their ability to differentiate into other types of cells. As is quite obvious from even such a basic description, the possibilities of healing injures or curing diseases seems without limit.

            Embryonic stem cells are considered pluripotent.[1] This means they have the capabilities to transform into any type of tissue. These types of cells quite literally have the capacity to become any tissue in the human body. The mystery that researchers are trying to crack is, of course, the methods of how to control the transformations. You wouldn’t want a stomach cell to form where you are trying to produce neurons or, even worse, accidentally causing a cell to keep dividing unchecked as a cancerous growth. Still, if such manipulations of these cells become feasible, there are indeed great possibilities for medical breakthroughs.

            Stem cells have also been discovered within the bodies of adults. These stem cells, however, lack the naturally occurring full pluripotency of the embryonic cells. These cells typically only differentiate into cells from the tissue it was found in. For example, stem cells found in the liver are limited to becoming part of the liver. This limited diversification is known as multipotency.[2] For this reason, many have passed over these stem cells as a viable option, choosing instead to chase after the possibilities in the pluripotent embryonic stem cells.

II. The Ethical Issues

            While there seems to be so much hope tied to embryonic stem cell research, it is bogged down with tremendous ethical baggage. Due to the cultural shift in the views on the value of a human zygote or fetus, few are even conflicted on taking embryonic stem cells even with the knowledge that it unavoidably destroys the zygote. This begs the question: is a zygote a human person?

            One must also wonder of the effectiveness of this treatment thus far. As we typically have seen in the research, there have been too many hurdles to the control of embryonic stem cells. To date, embryonic stem cells have not been able to cure anything.[3] With over 10 years and hundreds of millions of dollars poured into research, we have little to show for it; however, adult stem cells have not only overcome many of these shortcomings, but have already successfully cured many people of an impressive range of disorders.[4]

            For now, a last ethical dilemma is the necessity of human cloning for the use of embryonic stem cells. While often called “somatic nuclear transfer,” the process is the same as cloning. It removes the nucleus of an ovum cell, replacing it with the nucleus of another cell, and causing it to begin embryonic development using DNA from some other original host.  This is exactly what human cloning is, which is banned around the world.

IV. Conclusions

            Biology makes it quite clear that a new, unique human person is created at the point of conception.  From that point onward, it has everything it needs to develop in a continuous fashion from zygote to embryo to newborn to child to teen to adult to senior, and eventually ending in death. Each stage is different than the last, yet nonetheless human at each stage. Of course, many modern arguments suggest that, while the embryo is indeed human, it is not a person. This distinction is shallow, since their answer to when personhood is imbibed cannot be set in stone. Some say birth grants personhood, while others go even further to claim that sentient though is necessary. Birth does not grant personhood. There is no magical process that the birth canal grants upon a person. The embryo is the same inside the womb and outside. The other argument has led us down dark paths, proving the slippery slope nature of this debate. If sentience or conscious thought is the measures for personhood, then anyone who lacks these things is not a person and thus not guaranteed a right to life. This includes the embryos, newborn children, those in comas, or even those that are mentally damaged or limited. If we move the goal posts of when a human is a person, we will never again find a firm place to set it. History shows us many examples of some people claiming another group of persons is less than human, which attempts to free them fro the moral constraints of doing as they please to those they deem sub human. Thus, the zygote used was a human person deserving of protection, not some “almost” human animal.

            The lack of effectiveness of embryonic stem cell treatments is drastically overshadowed by the successes of adult stem cells, which have been reprogramed to be pluripotent like embryonic cells. As such, we can have all the benefits of curing diseases using the patient’s own cells, which avoids rejection and the moral pitfalls of killing a human to attempt to cure another. The promises of embryonic stem cells are hollow compared to the success of adult stem cell therapies.

            Human cloning should be obviously wrong. It is even banned by the majority of the world’s governments. This is why modern researchers have had to use underhanded tactics like redefining human cloning. This “somatic nuclear transfer” is when an egg cell has its nucleus replaced by the nucleus of another cell, such as a skin cell. This triggers the growth of the egg just as a fertilized egg would. If left to grow, it will do so just like an embryo in the same situation. The genetic information used, like from a skin cell, would effectively cause this new zygote to develop as an exact genetic clone to the donor of the nucleus. This was the same exact method that cloned the first mammal, Dolly the sheep.  There is no functional difference between somatic nuclear transfer and human cloning besides the redefining of terms to hide the implications.

V. Consider the Consequences

            When we delve into this complex topic, we discover that the science is actually pointing in one clear direction; however, what would happen if we remained open to the possibilities of embryonic stem cells being even better than adult stem cells? Could these embryonic stem cells one day deliver the miraculous cures that were promised? It is indeed possible, but at what cost? To actively participate in the use of embryonic stem cells is to overlook the ethical issues of ending the life of an unborn human person, as well as opening up Pandora’s box of human cloning. Both issues are the result of the dehumanization of persons for the profit, be it monetarily or for the physical use of another person. We could even point out the ethical pitfalls of taking the life of one person to save another is dubious at best, but best saved for another day.

VI. Decision

            The science itself speaks volumes. When we seek out the scriptures for answers, they say the same thing. Psalm 139:13 and Galatians 1:15 both speak of God’s work on a person even within their mothers’ wombs. Even John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit well before he was born! The unborn are scientifically and scripturally as human and as valuable as each of us, so the destruction and use of their bodies is an action to avoid. I would advise any researcher to stick with adult stem cell research, which has moved beyond promises into real life cures, all the while avoiding all ethical issues.

[1] New York State Department of Health, Accessed on 3/9/19.

[2] New York State Department of Health, Accessed on 3/9/19.

[3] Boston Children’s Hospital, Accessed 3/9/19.

[4] Charlotte Lozier Institute, Accessed on 3/9/19

Book Review: The Design Revolution

                  Dr. William “Bill” Dembski is a man of many credentials. He has earned quite a few degrees including a B.A. in psychology and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in mathematics from the university of Chicago, which focused on chaos and uniform probability. He was even awarded an honorary doctorate from Southern Evangelical seminary, where he helped lead the Institute of Scientific Apologetics. He further received Texas A&M’s Trotter Prize, a prestigious award given to the likes of Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA’s double helical structure.

                  Dr. Dembski was a leading figure in the booming Intelligent Design movement. He headed the first intelligent design think-tank at a major university called the Michael Polanyi Center. His books Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology and this one being reviewed are both recipients of Christianity Today’s Book of the Year Award. Dembski has appeared on many television shows on major channels like the BBC, NPR, PBS, CNN, Fox News, ABC, and many others. He was also a full-time research fellow with the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture and a Senior Research Scientist with the Evolutionary Informatics Lab. Clearly Dr. Dembski is one of the best possible candidates to summarize Intelligent Design clearly and accurately, which seems to be his main goal here in The Design Revolution.

                  The book’s main thesis is succinctly stated in the sub title: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design. Dr. Dembski has produced a large collection of miniature essays focused on clarifying the rampant confusion and incorrect assumptions that have bogged down the acceptance of Intelligent Design in what are sometimes antagonistic misunderstandings. Each individual chapter (of which there are an incredible forty four) touches on a key topic, question, or even challenge to the truthful understanding of what Intelligent Design is. To hear what each of those numerous miniature chapters has to say, one should pick up the book themselves, since there is only room to touch on a few in this review.

                  These forty four chapters are broken down into groups. Part one is called Basic Distinctions and includes key definitions that lay a foundation for Intelligent Design. An all too common accusation aimed at Intelligent Design is that it is undercover creationism. Creationism, with its biblical foundation, is far more religiously motivated. Such foundations are repugnant to most materialists and almost always rejected outright by evolutionists. The problem then is that Intelligent Design is all too frequently tied in with Creationism. One can understand some of the basic confusion, since both Creationism and Intelligent Design conclude that design is present and evident in nature; that said, there is very little else in common.

Creation asks for an ultimate resting place of explanation: the source of being of the world. Intelligent design, by contrast, inquires not into the ultimate source of matter and energy, but into the cause of their present arrangements, particularly those entities, large and small, that exhibit- specified complexity.[1]

Clearly, these ideas are starting from drastically different points. Intelligent Design is a purely scientific endeavor, starting and ending within the boundaries of modern science. Creationism, on the other hand, extends into theological territory from the starting gate. The theological implications of Intelligent Design do not negate the scientific foundation of the argument.

                  The next major section moves into the science of design detection. In this section, the basics of the inference of design, chance and necessity, and even specified complexity are explained. Much of evolutionary theory relies on the capabilities of chance or scientific law (aka necessity) to cause the changes needed to produce improvements in living organisms. Dembski fights against these assumptions by once again clarifying the scientific methods of design detection and the weaknesses of chance and necessity.

                  Part three zooms in on information theory. What is information? How is it different from matter? It may seem strange to some to be discussing such a thing in a biology field, but life is rife with information! DNA itself is the most efficient information storage method known to mankind! One of the most vital arguments presented in this section is on the Law of Conservation of Information. Simply put, “Deterministic processes cannot generate information.”[2] Where else then could specified complex information come from except an intelligent source?

                  The other sections are just as potent as those that came before. Part four tackles the issues arising from naturalism and challenges that come from within it. Part five collides head on with the theoretical challenges to Intelligent Design, including the claims that it is nothing but an argument from ignorance, and arguments from well known proponents of evolutionary theory, Hume and Reid. Section six, the grand finale of this book describes the benefits that could rise in modern science if Intelligent Design were pursued, the scientific nature of the argument along with its testability, and even the cliché argument which insinuates the inability of Intelligent Design theorists to publish in peer reviewed journals proves its inability to be “real” science. All around, this last section is the knockout punch that KO’s the remaining fighters in the naturalistic corner.

                  This book is an incredibly strong foundation for the furthering of Intelligent Design in the sciences. The succinct, yet powerful summarizations of Dr. Dembski help to clear up qualms any true skeptics will have, leaving only those that are closed minded to continue to bash against the theory.  While The Design Revolution may not be an exhaustive coverage of the entire theory, it is one of the best summaries I have seen. Dr. Dembski’s main thesis is clear and each chapter is part of a strong fortress that defends Intelligent Design against the underhanded sabotage of the naturalistic evolutionary dogmatism.

                  Any who seek understanding on this conflict-ridden topic of Intelligent Design should read this book. Much of it is simplified enough for the general interested layman, but specific enough to appease those of academic persuasions. All who are interested in this crucial topic of the origins of life should have The Design Revolution in their collection, because very few others have such power condensed into such a little package. Many other similar texts could range well over 700 pages, easily intimidating the laymen, so the concise nature of Dr. Dembski’s summarization is a boon to all.

[1] Dembski, 38-39

[2] Dembski, 159

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