While I love the vintage Christmas movie “Miracle on 34th Street,” there is something that always bothered me about it. In the movie a proclamation is made that “faith is believing in something even though common sense tells you not to.” Unfortunately, while that may be adorable regarding fooling children about Santa Claus, that is not the definition of Christian faith. It is, however, the definition of superstition (“a belief not based on reason or knowledge”). The Bible does not command believers to abandon objectivity and ignore evidence, but to explore them both to the fullest in order to test that which is true and good. In fact, Romans 1:20 appeals to the universe of observable evidence. And, the opposite - to accept without study that which is clearly not true because it is more convenient than trying to find the truth - is unacceptable for anyone, especially the Christian. The very nature of pursuing God produces learning as a byproduct. Without learning more, we can’t know God more deeply. And, we should want to know God more deeply. But, this can’t be done by avoiding discipline that tests assertions that openly challenge our personal belief in the veracity of God’s word. And, such lack of zeal is precisely what so many Christians retreat to with regards to the propagandist claims of “science” today. These less industrious Christians give in to the mob and concede that the Biblical story must be inaccurate regarding our origins. But, through thorough and disciplined study, we learn that the evidence actually supports a universe as young as the Bible suggests. Isn’t that worth learning? Allow me to share one recent example, among many. This example ironically also uses the number “34” in revealing two opposing brands of faith (or dogma).
What would it suggest if we found several fossils of organisms in sediments dated “34 million years ago”? What if those fossils contained degenerative tissues still intact? What if the tissues that we found are known to decay spontaneously and entirely in only thousands of years? What would such facts suggest? Well, one might claim that it more than simply suggests that the dating of these sediments (34 million years) is dramatically wrong. It would also intellectually indict the true ignorers of this evidence as those employing a poor form of faith. This is unacceptable.
This example was precisely the case with a series of cuttlefish fossils found in Mississippi as initially reported in 2011 by a team of paleontologists (you can read the detailed study report HERE). The cuttlebone in cuttlefish is comprised of organic chitin, a protein. And, from modern day cuttlefish, we know fairly well how quickly such proteins decompose even in the most preserving of environments. In fact, what we should expect is that the chitin would have spontaneously degraded and been long gone only thousands of years after the organisms' deaths. These "34 million year old" cuttlefish fossils apparently died only thousands of years ago – how can this be? While this does not fit well with macro-evolutionary dogma, it does fit pretty well with the Bible’s account.
By the way, this would not be unique to cuttlefish as chitin can also be found in many other organisms that have also been fossilized "millions of years ago". However, chitin has rarely been reported in fossils. But it's unclear if the lack of reporting is because chitin is not actually present, or because it is not expected to be there—and as a result is hardly ever even investigated. It is the latter that is likely the case, if the undisciplined bias perpetuated by the prophets of Darwin is any indication.
While we are on the subject of not exploring available evidence to the contrary, the same goes for radioactive carbon-14. Few scientists have investigated its presence in the fossil record. That is because it is retained by living organisms, which they believe were fossilized millions of years ago, and carbon-14 does not last that long. Like chitin or protein, all the carbon-14 in organic material should have been eliminated after only thousands of years of spontaneous decay. However, if that is the case, then why is carbon-14 so abundant in coal, oil, and fossils throughout the geologic column? Could it be that the facts actually suggest that such fossils are much younger than we are led to superstitiously believe by “science”? Then again, is such superstition science, laziness or deceit?
There is a reason why available evidence is ignored and false dogma is hypocritically preached by those who claim to oppose dogma. Those who deny our God have erected their own god. 2 Corinthians 4:4 refers them: “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” But, for the Christian, in Matthew 10:16 Jesus commanded us to be “shrewd as snakes.” To be shrewd means to be astute and sharp, not idle and ignorant. Rather, Philippians 1:9-10 says, “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” And, finally 1 Thessalonians 5:21 implores us to “test everything.” Sitting back and accepting clearly false dogma that denies our dogma in the name of anti-dogma is never an option.
The problem with most Christians is that their negligence is comfortable while facing an intolerant culture. It feels better to conform to the mob rather than to do the hard work required to defend truth against the mob. But, then again isn’t that the essence of true science? Isn’t science at its best when it tries in every way to prove its own assertions to be false? If science never challenged itself, we would not have any of the predominant laws of science that help us understand and test the world around us today. Such laws were discovered only through robust challenge of the scientific conclusions that preceded them. But today macro-evolution is treated as the most sacred of dogmas, to which it is the cultural equivalent of sacrilege to reason against. It is forbidden to challenge evolutionary conclusions at risk of being proverbially burned at the stake. Therefore, true self-challenging science is rarely practiced when it comes to evolutionary dogma/superstition today. It will be boldly practiced here.
In conclusion, we Christians should be different. We should aspire to the healthy skepticism that science has long forgotten. Shouldn’t we Christians be the most zealous in our vigilance towards studying the truth? After all, we follow and are literally possessed by and with the one who is “The Truth”. Not studying evidence for and assertions against The Truth is not an option for those who claim to follow The Truth. However, it is an option for those settling for superstition.
You can purchase the book "Reason If You Will - How To Answer Questions Regarding Faith" by clicking HERE. You can also follow @ReasonIfYouWill on Twitter.