Methodological Naturalism & Evolution: Signs of Man's Fall into Idolatry and Paganism

"Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18

In "Against the Heathen," early Church Father Athanasius reveals that pride and haughtiness preceded man's fall into idolatry and paganism. A haughty spirit led them to make light of the higher order knowledge of God, and deliberately disregarding what they knew to be true they began to seek in preference knowledge and other things in the lower or natural dimension. Thus they fell into worship of self, sexual pleasures and acquisition of status and things to the living God and higher knowledge.

The truth as to evil said Athanasius,

" that it originates, and resides, in the perverted choice of the darkened soul" which, "materialized by forgetting God" and engrossed in lower things, "makes them into gods," and thereby "descends into a hopeless depth of delusion and superstition," whereby "they ceased to think that anything existed beyond what is seen, or that anything was good save things temporal and bodily; so turning away and forgetting that she was in the image of the good God, she no longer... sees God the Word after whose likeness she is made; but having departed from herself, imagines and feigns what is not (and then) advancing further in evil, they came to celebrate as gods the elements and the principles of which bodies are composed...." (Against the Heathen, New Advent)

Having descended into self-deception and superstition they imagined that "all that exists" is the natural dimension; void, primordial matter, animated natural powers, forces, energies and deterministic laws, all of which they celebrated and attributed miraculous powers to.  This lower order knowledge became the basis of both natural science and natural religion. So for example, with the Egyptians' self-created Sun-God Ra, the divine abyss or One Substance out of which he evolved is Nu — primordial matter:

"I came into being from primordial matter...I made all the forms under which I appeared by means of (or out of) the god-soul which I raised up out of Nu (i.e., the primeval abyss of water.) (The Long War Against God, Dr. Henry Morris, p. 243)

This is pagan naturalism, or in modern terminology, scientific materialism and/or methodological naturalism. Like the ancient pagan seedbed out of which it emerged, naturalism teaches a one-dimensional view of reality that excludes the supernatural dimension: the living Holy God, soul/spirit; angels, heaven and hell.   Only the natural dimension exists, thus evolutionary materialist Dr. Scott Todd wrote in the science journal 'Nature:'

"Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic." (Naturalism in the Light of Reality, Robert Gurney,, June 14, 2012)

Early last century, Hugh Elliot triumphantly described our age of natural science as an age of materialism:

Ours is a scientific age, and it may be said with truth that we are all materialists now.” (Darwin Day in America, John G. West, xiv)

Materialism is of the pagan worldview of monism held in common by pantheism and spiritualism and dates back to pagan antiquity and was or is taught by all non-biblical thought systems including Baha’i, Scientology, Eastern Hinduism, Buddhism and Mormonism. 

Joseph Smith taught that matter is eternal and the Mormon God, having no power to create ex nihilo, merely reorganizes eternally existing elements:

 “Since Mormons believe that the elements are eternal, it follows that they deny the ex nihilo creation.” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism 1:400) 

As the constant companion of materialist systems is evolution, it is no surprise that Smith espoused evolutionary thinking:

 “…you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves…the same as all Gods have done before you, namely by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one…” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-47)

Greek Stoics and Epicureans were materialist monists and these two schools of natural science and evolution held the ancient world of thought well into the Roman Empire.  Epicureanism reigns supreme in our own ‘age of science’ through methodological naturalism and/or scientific materialism.

The pagan philosopher Epicurus (342-270 B.C.) believed in an infinite number of parallel universes or multiverse theories in the words of contemporary pagan materialists such as Royal Astronomer Lord Martin Rees.

Neo-pagan materialism is an ancient superstition revised and revamped for our “age of science.”  Its’ nihilistic view holds that everything is a property of matter in motion, thus it teaches that life and even rational life must have evolved from eternally existing matter or non-life bearing chemicals. Not only is mind (spirit) a property of matter but earth is one entire organism whose organs are the various races and nations of men.  (Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics, Chapter II: The Constitution of Man as a Political Organism)

Not only is the earth alive and evolving upward on evolution’s magical escalator to the mystical, magical Omega, but so too are the Bible, Christianity, history and society, for they also are living entities in a continuous state of change. And man? In a modified conception of ancient Greek Atomism’s dehumanizing view of man, dialectical materialism states that man is nothing but:

“…a colonial aggregation of cells,” and to “consider him an individual would be an error.”

Man--the aggregate of cells-- is nothing but an extension of society, history, and earth. (ibid, Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics)

 Scientific materialists from Julien de la Mettrie (1709-51) and Paul Henri Thiery to Baron D’Holbach (1723-89) all agreed that mind (soul/spirit) is the property of matter in motion and man nothing but a machine. La Mettrie speculated that the rational life of machine-man is entirely determined by physical causes that run the gamut from raw meat, to climate, blood circulation, and gender. Genetic inheritance, posits la Mettrie, causes machine-man to think bad thoughts and commit crime. (Darwin Day in America, John G. West, pp. 16-18)

This view casts parents, skin color, gender, political affiliation, and even ‘thoughts’ into the role of “first cause” and would later manifest in the belief that State ‘experts,’ or Hillary’s “village” experts should have the ‘scientific’ control over and the politically correct programming of the minds of children lest they think wrong thoughts and commit genetically-caused hate crime such as homophobia, racism, xenophobia and conservatism.

Even worse: they may commit the blasphemy of being anti-scientific and evolution.

Pierre Simon Laplace (1749-1827) viewed scientific materialism as not only the pursuit of God-like omniscience but of the Holy Grail itself-—power to create a New Man.

If an intelligence could grasp,

 “…at a given instant...all the forces by which nature is animated” proclaimed Laplace, it could devise a mathematical formula that would predict everything that would ever happen, and “nothing would be uncertain, and the future, like the past, would be open to its eyes.”

Scientists should reduce everything in the universe to mechanical laws that could be expressed in terms of mathematics, advised Laplace, for the promise of such knowledge was incredible power...even over life and mind itself. (ibid, p. 20)

Herbert Spencer, Fechner, Lotze, Wundt, and pantheist Ernst Haeckel, inventor of the scientism dictum-—ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny-—all agreed that life and mind are properties of matter. Haeckel moreover imagined ether to be the primitive life-making substance which, as was the case with the primitive fire of the Stoics, changed one part of itself into inert mass while the other part became the active evolutionary principle. Today, many scientists routinely resort to Haeckel’s postulate without ever inquiring into its mystical pantheist implications.

Haeckel would later write,

Pantheism teaches that God and the world are one...pantheism advanced conception of nature (and) a polite form of atheism.” The truth of pantheism, confessed Haeckel, “lies in its destruction of the dualist antithesis of God...” The godless world system being constructed, said Haeckel, “substantially agrees with the monism or pantheism of the modern scientist.” (Monism, Ernst Haeckel,

During the century to follow, Charles Darwin (1809-82) helped spread new pagan materialism/methodological naturalism to the masses. As Stephen Jay Gould argues,

Darwin applied a consistent philosophy of materialism to his interpretation of nature, “and “the ground of all existence; mind, spirit, and God (are reduced to) neural complexity.” (ibid, Darwin Day, p. 41)

Darwin received the idea of evolution from his pantheist grandfather Erasmus Darwin. However, neither man is the originator of evolution.  Ancient pagans are.  This is the conclusion reached by Henry Fairfield Osborn, longtime director of the American Museum of Natural History.  In the introduction to his history of evolutionism Osborn wrote:   

When I began the search for anticipations of the evolutionary theory…I was led back to the Greek natural philosophers and I was astonished to find how many of the pronounced and basic features of the Darwinian theory were anticipated even as far back as the seventh century B.C.” (From the Greeks to Darwin, p. xi)

In his updated version of ancient pagan nature science and evolutionary thinking, Darwin argues that natural selection and the laws of heredity (mystical energies and deterministic fates) acting on matter produced mind, morality, and civilization. By describing how (mystical) natural mechanisms caused the complexity of life to emerge from matter, Darwin helped transform neo-pagan materialism from a fantastically bizarre tale told by power-mad Prometheans on the fringe of society to a hallowed scientism principle enshrined and worshipped by modern methodological materialists, like-minded ‘scientifically enlightened’ Westerners and evolutionary theists such as John Polkinghorne. 

Having discarded the supernatural dimension (higher things of God), Polkinghorne has recast supernatural Christianity as a natural theology grounded in evolution and a sophisticated conception of dual-aspect monism that reduces God to the role of engine starter, meaning God lit the fuse of the Big Bang.  

 Social Darwinism, Progressivism, Socialism, Marxist Communism, Nazism, Secular Humanism, Transhumanism and today’s holistic green pantheism and New Age conceptions of spiritual communism are developed out of scientific materialism.

Of these, Marxist Communism (dialectical materialism) is considered to be the most highly developed philosophy of materialism. It rests on three fundamental metaphysical presuppositions:

1. Dialectical Matter: The Ultimate One Substance which, though non-living, non-intelligent, and non-conscious, nevertheless somehow possesses the emergent properties of life, mind, consciousness, and soul.  Dialectical matter is ‘divine’ ‘thinks’ ‘chooses,’ and ‘acts.’

2. Evolution: Since Marxist dialectic requires a theory with clashes (thesis and antithesis) and leaps (synthesis), Marxist oriented scientists and like-minded thinkers have all but abandoned vulgar Darwinism and instead embraced punctuated equilibrium:

Many people confound dialectic with the theory of evolution,” noted G. Plekhanov. “Dialectic is, in fact, a theory of evolution. But it differs profoundly from the vulgar (Darwinian) theory of evolution.” (Fundamental Problems of Marxism, 1929, p. 145)

3. Big Bang/Spontaneous Generation: An offshoot of specifically Darwinian thought accepted unreservedly by Marxists as their dialectic requires a strictly materialist explanation for the origin of life from non-living matter. In the words of M.A. Leonov:

Marxist philosophical materialism remains beyond all doubt that at some time or other in the remote past, life must have arisen from non-living matter.” (Outline of Dialectical Materialism, 1948, p. 494) 

The Unresolvable Problem: the Origin of Life

In modern ‘scientific’ terms, the idea that life emerged from spontaneously generated brute matter in much the same way as Ra spontaneously created himself from primordial matter is called abiogenesis.   

However, abiogenesis is such an embarrassment that today some methodological naturalists such as SETI researcher Paul Davies and Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the DNA molecule, have abandoned it in favor of panspermia.  Panspermia is the ridiculous notion that life on earth was accidentally seeded by meteorites or perhaps by highly evolved space brothers who for billions of years have been guiding the evolution of men.  This notion was favored by Arthur C. Clarke in his science fiction novel, “Childhood’s End.”  A variation on this theme was advanced recently by Davies who has written seriously about the possibility of “alien bioengineering.”  (An Alien Code Close to Home: Seeking ET Beyond the Radio Silence, Astrobiology Magazine, Jeremy Hsu, 10/27/2011) 

Equally silly is Francis Crick’s theory called “directed panspermia,” the notion that life on earth began when space brothers sent a rocket ship containing spores to seed the earth.  Crick admits however that his theory only pushes the unresolvable problem of the origin of life out into deep space: 

This scenario still leaves open the question of who designed the designers (aliens) ---how did life originally originate?” (Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature, Crick, 1981) 

Methodological naturalism (materialist monism) and evolutionary conceptions are not signs of higher order thinking lending itself to greater heights of development but rather of the fall of Western and American civilization into the lower order knowledge of paganism that reappeared in the heart of Christendom during the Renaissance. 

In “The Abolition of Man” (1974) C.S. Lewis points out that the Renaissance reawakened a magical view of the world closely connected with pagan Gnostic sectarianism, Hermetic magic, astrology, Eastern pantheism and alchemical scientism.  Accompanying all of this was evolution, occultism, Epicureanism, reincarnation and karma.

Evolution is both the antithesis of the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo and the primary doctrine of both Eastern pantheism and Western scientific materialism, and early on Lewis understood that both movements were merely two sides of the same pagan revival.  Thus he argued that pantheism and materialism are not enemies in principle but rather cooperating philosophies united against the supernatural Holy God, His Revelation, creation ex nihilo, unchanging truth and moral law, and Christian-based civilization. 

What this means is that methodological naturalism, evolution, abiogenesis, chance, natural selection, multiverse and panspermia theories are but seven contemporary adaptations of the ancient pagan idolatry into which our ancestors fell.  These seven are just a few examples of a whole host of fallacies derived from modern natural science and evolutionary thinking that have permeated the post-Christian West and American society giving birth to a ‘new’ pagan religion of evolutionary science and natural theology dressed in Christian terminology.

Pride goes before a fall, thus like our pagan ancestors proud naturalists have forgotten that this world, the entire cosmos-—its elements, dark matter, quarks and all else-—is passing away and will ultimately be subjected to a cleansing fire just prior to its renewal. In this light methodological naturalism and its primary doctrine evolution is but fallacious lower order knowledge of this world and cosmos in its present but passing state and brings no comfort to the soul. It cannot save and deliver the soul.

It is a tragic sign of our inverted age that lower order knowledge is elevated over ‘higher order knowledge that saves’----Christian theology in general and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in particular.

Our Savior warned us to strive to enter in at the strait gate (Luke 13: 24) and only the higher order knowledge of our Lord will allow us to enter in at that gate.

@Linda Kimball