The Phantasmagoria of the Atheist Immagination

Modern “New” Atheists (there is nothing “new” about them) are fond of painting Christians as wishful thinking Neanderthals who may as well believe in Unicorns and leprechauns. A Creator God, parted seas, resurrection, and various and sundry other miracles are no different, they confidently assert. I would say this is a prime example of the pot calling the kettle black, but I don’t want to insult kettles.

I came across a version of an atheist creation story at Evolution News that is typical of the illogical leaps atheists have to make to imagine a universe and life springing up without a Creator God. The guilty part in this case is famous atheist and “materialist philosopher” Daniel Dennett. These paragraphs come from a New Yorker profile on the man and his thought, and specifically how life evolved:

Four billion years ago, Earth was a lifeless place. Nothing struggled, thought, or wanted. Slowly, that changed. Seawater leached chemicals from rocks; near thermal vents, those chemicals jostled and combined. Some hit upon the trick of making copies of themselves that, in turn, made more copies. The replicating chains were caught in oily bubbles, which protected them and made replication easier; eventually, they began to venture out into the open sea. A new level of order had been achieved on Earth. Life had begun.

The tree of life grew, its branches stretching toward complexity. Organisms developed systems, subsystems, and sub-subsystems, layered in ever-deepening regression. They used these systems to anticipate their future and to change it. When they looked within, some found that they had selves—constellations of memories, ideas, and purposes that emerged from the systems inside. They experienced being alive and had thoughts about that experience. They developed language and used it to know themselves; they began to ask how they had been made.

It astounds me that anyone could say such things with a straight face. But alas, atheists are dead serious when they make such vacuous assertions. Let’s break this down.

  • Since earth was lifeless, we are expected to believe that life can come from non-life without any proof at all. Such an assumption has no basis in the realm of the empirical atheists are so fond of citing.
  • Then, “Slowly, that changed.” Really? How? Why? We’re not told. We just have to take his word for it because, well, in order to get from non-life to life change has to happen.
  • Notice the change that happens does so without any reason whatsoever. It just does. Then Dennett conveniently attaches verbs to matter: seawater leaches, chemicals jostle and combine. Oh, so that’s how it happened. Life springs from changes of leaching, jostling, and combining. I wish someone had told me this before.
  • But that’s not all. These jostled and combined chemicals, “hit upon a trick.” Such rigorous science! It’s difficult not to laugh when reading such fatuousness. And what was this “trick”? Why, the making of copies! How convenient. But remember, no purpose, no telos, they just . . . . did!
  • Somehow, abracadabra, we next find “replicating chains.” So not only do these chemicals make copies of themselves, they somehow form chains. Again for no reason at all. Amazing!
  • Then somehow from out of nowhere there appear “oily bubbles” that “protect” these chains so they can replicate easier. Don’t you love it when that happens!
  • Then for some non-reason these oily bubbles  begin, where not told how or why, to go on a voyage out to sea. How the sea got there, we’re not told that either.
  • Then somehow we’re to believe, “Life had begun.”

I could go on, but I’ll let you try the exercise with the second paragraph, and see if you can identify all the facile assertions and assumptions based on nothing more than Mr. Dennet’s wishful thinking.

That anyone would take such drivel seriously shows you just how deep and wide is the sinful depravity of the human heart and mind. And it shows you that people don’t reject God for intellectual reasons, but for spiritual ones. That anyone can find any of this the least bit plausible, proves it.