Secular Humanism’s Inadequate Creation Myth (part II)

The secular humanist’s insistence on naturalism also poses a problem when it comes to cosmology. That the natural world had an ultimate beginning has now been firmly established by the big bang cosmology. Yet for naturalism to be coherent, the universe should be static and eternal.[1] Because our space time reality is contingent, the principle of sufficient reason or the scientific method would lead one to look for a sufficient cause. An infinite regress is irrational. Thus, a self-existent necessary first cause is clearly the best explanation. The only possible alternatives are irrational appeals to self-creation or that something comes into being without a cause. Unfortunately, this is exactly where secular humanism arrives. The famously brilliant physicist, Stephen Hawking, has recently argued, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.”[2] In other words, to create itself, the universe had to exist, before it existed. This is nonsense. Fortunately for theists, the law of non-contradiction is still a necessary corollary for real science. It seems far more reasonable to assert that that which caused nature is indeed supernatural.

Secular humanists are particularly entrenched when it comes to the sacred cow of Darwinism. There are very good scientific reasons to doubt Darwinian orthodoxy but the majority of humanists are practiced in this debate.  It might be wise to address a more ultimate question like the origin of life. Evolution cannot explain the origin of life and Darwin never really tried. There can be no Darwinian evolution without reproducing life and to date there are no feasible theories as to how this occurred. But even if we grant evolution, it does not equate to naturalism. There are many theistic evolutionists like human genome project director, Francis Collins, who argue that the evolutionary process itself is evidence of God’s design. For instance, William Paley’s classic argument from a watch to watchmaker still holds. Far from being a defeater, evolutionary theory leads one to believe that we have found a self-replicating watch that makes improvements on itself in response to its environment.[3] That demands not only a skillful design but one with foresight. When viewed through this lens, evolution actually refutes naturalism. This effectively demonstrates that naturalism and scientism are inadequate.

[1]Geisler and Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2004,72.

[2] Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design. (New York: Bantam  Books, 2010), 14.

[3] Dinesh D’Souza. What’s So Great About Christianity. (Washington DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2007), 98 .

About Cris Putnam
Logos Apologia is the ministry of Cris D. Putnam. The mission of Logos Apologia is to show that logic, science, history and faith are complementary, not contradictory and to bring that life-changing truth to everybody who wants to know.


  1. Nathan says:

    You refute Stephen Hawking with one sentence, and manage to dethrone the “sacred cow” of evolutionary theory using only two other sources, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” and “What’s so great about Christianity.” I promise you, it’s not that easy. Even Francis Collins, the Christian biologist who headed up the Human Genome Project, argues against the so called “God of the Gaps,” and asserts that the biological evidence for evolution is incontrovertible. I accuse you of intellectual laziness.

    • Cris Putnam says:

      You really proved my point that “secular humanists are particularly entrenched when it comes to the sacred cow of Darwinism” with your knee jerk reaction. I suggest you read it again because you missed the point. I never claimed to dethrone evolutionary theory I said it was inadequate to explain origins. Collins was used in my argument, did you really even read it? Additionally I said was there are good “scientific reasons” (which was a hyperlink to an article listing many of those) to doubt Darwinian orthodoxy and then I argued that even if we grant evolution it does not justify naturalism. I wrote an entire post refuting Hawking, you can find it here.

  2. Nathan says:

    That’s enough sophism. Your tone throughout the post shows a clear intent to cast doubt on evolutionary theory. You posted the Collins bit as a safety net. And yes, your use of Collins in your argument undermines your anti-evolutionary stance, which is why I brought him up. I really did read the entire article before I responded. Perhaps I am a little obtuse and I’m still misunderstanding, and you do support evolutionary theory. In that case, I suggest you stop posting links to an ill-informed mechanical engineer’s anti-evolution article. I suggest you take his ten “objections” to any qualified biologist. If you are unsure whether or not you accept evolutionary theory, or perhaps to what extent you accept it, then survey the popular literature written for scientific laypeople. Stop throwing out half-baked arguments against “Darwinism” (hint, by using that term you demonstrate that you’re decades behind in the debate).

    I admire your tenacity in attacking Hawking, but you’re out of your intellectual water (this is not an insult, he is Stephen Hawking). Scientists are in the business of making hypotheses, and quantum mechanics certainly inspires some counter intuitive ones. I happen to think quote miners like yourself forced Hawking’s hand in this, as he has been constantly badgered by oversimplifications and misinterpretations of his comments in “A Brief History of Time.”

    You’re a bit premature in attaching the secular humanist label to me as well. I have no particularly loyalty to Darwin or “Darwinism,” whatever that is. I am simply seeking the truth, and science has demonstrated a lot of explanatory power.

  3. Cris Putnam says:

    You still are really missing the point which was that even if we grant evolutionary theory it doesn’t justify naturalism. Mainly because it doesn’t even try to address the main issue which is the origin of life. I’m sorry but Hawking’s hypothesis is an embarrassment and the intellectual waters amount to a kiddie pool in this case.

  4. Nathan says:

    Fair enough. I challenge you to hear my point as well. Explain (or decide) your beliefs about evolution. It won’t do to hyperlink to a refutation website and then hide behind Francis Collins as a backup plan. What do YOU actually believe about evolution, and why are you more correct than the vast majority of the scientific community, or alternatively, why do you agree with them?

    And on the Hawking front, honestly, I envy you. It must be wonderful to have enough metaphysical certainty to say those kinds of things about one of the preeminent scientific thinkers of our time. Or all time, perhaps. I don’t think you’re a bad guy, or an unintelligent guy. I just think that starting from a standpoint of believing you have the absolute truth makes it way too easy to take your own views too seriously. It also takes away the adventure of exploring new ideas, because you’re always approaching them from a standpoint of defense. Sorry if my tone betrays my frustration.

    • Cris Putnam says:

      I am what is called a progressive creationist. I accept an old earth and I believe evolutionary theory to a point. I think it is utter nonsense to think that life could spontaneously appear from matter by accident. We really don’t even fully understand what life is. When we look at the fossil record we see brief periods of geologic time where life appears like the Cambrian explosion. There’s no evidence at all of slow transitions to that point just blam nearly all phenotypes show up in an instant of geologic time. This is not really disputed. Stephen J Gould tried to address it with his punctuated equilibrium but it really isn’t satisfying given naturalism. So basically I think God seeded various kinds of life and used microevolutionary processes to produce the variety we see today.

      I do not believe man is a product of this purely based on my faith presuppositions.

      On the Hawking thing it is simply a matter of the rules of logic, it has little to do with my metaphysical certainty. If your argument blatantly violates the law of non contradiction it fails. His does, its that simple.

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