Eva's second email (an introduction to her philosophy)

From evamarie Thu Apr 15 00:14:16 1999
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 11:51:44 -0500
From: eva
To: Reverend Jan
Subject: Re: your mail

Hi Jan,

I was very pleased to hear from you. In response to your questions, I would like to relate a bit about my "religious" orientation. I was raised Catholic, but have since affiliated myself with a Messianic congregation, that is, Jews who believe that Christ is the Messiah. Rather than encumber you with the details that led me to this choice, suffice to say for many years I investigated the customs, culture and beliefs of different religions, and felt that this particular one came the closest to the manner in which I personally desired to worship. Even though I was raised with the strong conviction that God existed, by my very nature (stubborn and curious), I had to be certain that what I had been taught, was, in fact the truth, at least for me to embrace it unreservedly.

Many people believe (or not) in a Higher Power, but a fair percentage are lukewarm in their convictions, and hardly give their beliefs, either way, much thought. They seem rather content to meander spiritually, and what I consider, to blindly follow, in cult fashion, what is being handed to them on the "religious" platter. Admittedly, at one time, I myself fell in this category. In fact, I gave little thought to God. I considered attending church, praying, etc. boring and that it interfered in my lifestyle, which, at the time, was partying and having a wild time.:)

There were, though, certain crises that occurred in my life that caused me to stop and ponder a bit on this whole "God" concept, the first being the sudden and tragic death of a boyfriend. At that time, I was confronted with the reality of death, and the shear brevity and uncertainty of life. Someone who I had known and loved was present and vital in my life, and gone in an instant. I just couldn't accept the existence of human life as being random and without meaning. I began to wonder, if the universe is not created or is in some manner accidental, then it has no objective meaning, and consequently, life, including human life, has no meaning. A mechanical chain of events determines everything. Morality and religion may be temporarily useful but are ultimately irrelevant.

This whole concept, the more I pondered it, especially as a scientist, did not sit well with me, not at all. Randomness of life, when we live in such an ordered universe, when even science attempts an explanation for all? If our lives consist merely of blocks of existence to end ultimately in death, then, what is the point? What is our motivation for anything? It just appears to be an exercise in futility.

Jan, as an atheist, have you ever wondered about this? Thus began my quest to scrutinize science to examine if I, in fact, had been misled as a child and that there was no reality beyond what exists in our brief life. To my utter frustration, though, the more I peered into facts as science presented them, the more I discovered how inadequate science was in acquitting my belief in God. In fact, as I delved further into my investigation, the more certain I was that God was the only explanation. It is human nature, when searching for answers, to tend to find those to support one's own personal belief. But, I tried to be unbiased, and merely examined and questioned what I was presented.

Jan, before I continue and present some of my scientific argument, I am curious as to how you came to the conclusion that there is no God. I have two good friends who are atheists, and on a few occasions have had the opportunity to discuss their beliefs with them. One, a male friend was working on his Ph.D. in astrophysics from Cambridge England. He shrugged his shoulders when unable to come up with a suitable answer to the scientific questions I proposed to him, and stated, I don't know, but I don't believe in God.(More a personal belief than one based in any fact). Both of his parents were atheists, so he was responding from a reference point of which he was familiar with. He wanted visible proof, which of course, by the very nature of God, I could not provide. By the same token I argued by asking him if he had ever been in love. "Yes" was his reply. Prove it, show it to me. "Don't be silly, it's not something you can see. You have to experience it." Exactly. Oh you may be able to scientifically show that certain chemicals in the brain respond favorably to outer stimulation of the senses which produces the feeling of "being in love", but then again, you would be hard pressed to show why we don't "fall in love" with everybody and everything (such as a favorite chair) just because our brain's chemicals are favorably stimulated. Similar to the experience of knowing God. One can only experience it to truly believe in its existence and know of its reality.

Having said this, I have no illusions that what I discuss with you will at all change your belief in atheism, but just by the fact that you have replied to my e-mail at all reveals to me that you are an open-minded individual, and will at least respect my views. As I have stated, since God is something one must experience (such as love) no amount of information can sway an individual. Maybe, though, you may just have an inkling of doubt, which is a good thing. If, on the premise, I may just be correct in my belief that God does exist, you may at some time ask God for this experience yourself. If you don't get it, well, there should be enough proof for you.

But I dallied long enough. Let me begin a point. We must begin with an assumption, that either God is the creator and author of history, or that there is no God and creation/history can be explained without him. The answer depends on which assumption one wishes to go with. So let's assume your viewpoint. Darwinism. The Darwinist mechanisms of natural selection and mutation are useless until the first life form is assembled.

In spite of decades of intense research, origin-of-life scientists have yet to demonstrate the feasibility of any mechanism for the assembly of a living organism from an inorganic materials by strictly natural processes. Scientists have experimented with prebiotic soups ( the warm ponds enriched with life-building molecules). Even under highly favorable conditions of a laboratory, these soups have failed to produce anything remotely resembling life. One problem is that the produce only a random distribution of left-and right-handed prebiotic molecules. (As you probably know Jan, many prebiotic molecules, notably all but one of the bioactive amino acids, occur in two mirror-image forms that are arbitrarily termed left and right-handed). Life chemistry demands that all the molecules be either right or left handed. With all our learning and technology, we cannot even come close to bringing life together in the lab.

Jumping ahead a bit to another point, let me define evolution. Evolution simply does not just mean change. I think this is important because that most writers cite the evidence in favor of evolution as fact by simply the evidence of change. True evolution in a certain kind of change. Sir Julian Huxley (a present day spokesman for evolution) stated that evolution is a one way process, irreversible in time, producing apparent novelties and greater variety, and leading to higher degrees of organization, more differentiated more complex but at the same time more integrated. In a nut shell, I take this to infer that everything in the universe has been developed by the process of evolution, which entails higher and higher levels of organization, right? Well, I began to ponder this, and so, I figured, if this is, in fact, the case, there should be some evidence of this process, if, it is indeed, ongoing. So where is it? Where is the evidence that the process of evolution in continuing to occur in nature? Ah, but you may cite the argument for mutation, which does occur in nature. Outside the lab (via radiation) mutations do occur in nature, but do they produce a permanent change in the species itself? And when this mutation occurs, does it result in a superior life form from which it originated? Most often, these mutations result in an inferior, diseased or malfunctioning organism. More importantly, the organism is of the SAME species, not a totally new one. I would argue that this process of mutation is not evolution--merely variation--but a horizontal change at the same level of organizational complexity, and it always seems to be confined within definite limits. There is no evidence that the limited horizontal changes ever become the unlimited vertical for real evolution to take place. Check the fossil record. Are there any species, at all, (and there should be, considering all the thousands of species there are ) of a species in transition? (There are not, by the way. ) What about the time required to complete these evolutions from one life form to another? As you know, mutations in nature are quite rare, and when they do occur, tend to disappear rather quickly, usually being pathologic or neutral, in a struggle for existence. If they survive at all, they build up a "genetic load" in the population, reducing its overall viability. The reason actual mutations are harmful is because they represent random restructuring of the complex replicating system of the cell. When any complex organism undergoes a random change, it will become LESS organized and therefore less functional. Mutations may bring about the demise of a species, but it is impossible for me to fathom how it could ever bring about the origin of a species.

So of course, there is the other assumption, that there is a God, a knowing, intellectual being which created the world. How else can all the laws of nature be defined, even to mathematical equations? Well, Jan, enough of this particular point for now. ( I do have others) Sorry this was so lengthy, but I could see no other way to accurately make my point. Hope to hear your reply soon. ...........Your new friend, Eva

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