Creation Ex Nihilo vs Evolutionary Naturalism: The Single Most Critical Conflict Today

In June 2005 the prestigious World Summit on Evolution was held on the remote island of San Cristobal in the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador.  The location was chosen because it was the spot where Charles Darwin docked in 1835 to probe the ultimate question—the origin and nature of life.

The Galapagos summit was hailed as the Woodstock of Evolution, and attending scientists celebrated as a literal “Who’s Who of evolutionary theory.”

A key figure at the conference was the world famous philosopher of mind, Daniel Dennett.  Dennett is the favorite of all trans-humanists who believe that computers can not only simulate human mental processes but will eventually evolve conscious awareness.   Strangely, for a philosopher of mind Dennett seeks to convince the world that there really isn’t any such thing as a mind in the traditional Biblical sense.

As a neo-pagan materialist, Dennett enthusiastically embraces Darwin’s evolutionary theory because it supposedly provides an explanation for the emergence of life from non-life bearing chemicals, thereby negating the necessity of the living, supernatural God.   Hence Dennett’s insistence that there is no soul/spirit (mind, will) associated with the human brain or any supernatural God or life after death.   Thus the central concern of Dennett’s career has been to explain how,

“….meaning, function and purpose can come to exist in a world that is intrinsically meaningless and functionless.” (The Spiritual Brain, Beauregard & O’Leary, p. 2)

Dennett’s pagan materialist assumptions are in keeping with Darwin’s conceptions.  In thoroughly researching Darwin’s notebooks atheist evolutionists Stephen Jay Gould and Ernst Mayer have shown that Darwin identified himself as a philosophical materialist several months before he developed the idea of natural selection.

Contemporary materialism is a revamped version of the Atomism taught by ancient Greek nature philosophers such as Epicurus.  Epicurus held that all that exists are atoms (matter) bumping together in a void.  There is no God or gods; no origin for life and conscious life, thus no soul/spirit, and there is no life after death.  Just atoms, the void and annihilation.   This means that man is less than nothing.

Neo-pagan materialism (naturalism) began ascending to its’ current dominant philosophical and scientific position as far back as the 17th century.   The conflict between the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo and the naturalistic account is an ancient and vastly important conflict, one fought with asperity in the 17th century between such men as Donne and Milton on one side and Bacon and the Royal Society on the other.   In the 18th century men such as Swift, Pope and Johnson opposed the neo-pagan naturalism of Hume, Bentham and French philosophers.  By the 19th century it was being fought over the whole of Western culture with creation ministries and men such as Richard John Neuhaus, Seraphim Rose, Peter Jones,  Albert Mohler, Creation Ministries International and a host of other supernatural creationists staunchly opposing all neo-pagan naturalism (materialist and pantheist) as represented by, for example,  Darwin, Dennett, Edward O. Wilson, Steven Pinker, Tom Wolfe, Teilhard de Chardin, Michael Dowd, and Rob Bell.

Why is this conflict so important?  Among crucial issues is the answer to the question, ‘what is man?’   The answers provided by naturalism are entirely opposed to the answer provided by the Genesis account.

The Genesis account of creation ex nihilo reveals that man is a person because created in the spiritual image of the One God in three Persons.  Man was created directly by God with a superhuman intelligence and original nature from which Adam, hence all of us,  fell away and to which we are called back.

Vishal Mangalwadi, India's foremost Christian scholar observes that the unique concept of man as God's spiritual image-bearer gave birth to the "belief in the unique dignity of human beings," and this is,

"...the force that created Western civilization, where citizens do not exist for the state but the state exists for the individuals. Even kings, presidents, prime ministers, and army generals cannot be allowed to trample upon an individual and his or her rights." (Truth and Transformation: A Manifesto for Ailing Nations, pp. 12-13)

In affirmation, the brilliant French economist, statesman and author Frederic Bastiat said man is God's spiritual image-bearer, and this is the gift from God which includes the physical, intellectual and moral life:

"He has provided us with a collection of marvelous faculties. And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. By application of our faculties to these natural resources we convert them into products, and use them. Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man (and) these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place." (How Evil Works, David Kupelian, p. 8)

John 1:3 identifies our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ , the second Person of the Holy Trinity as the Creator:

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” “He was in the world, and the world was made by him” (v. 10). “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (v. 14).

Jesus Christ is the Creator.  Foremost of His miracles is creation out of nothing—six instantaneous acts or days of creation rather than the billions of years of evolutionary process as the wisdom of fallen man holds.

On the miraculous creation of the first man Church Father John Chrysostom writes:

“And God formed man of dust from the earth, and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul….the inbreathing communicated to the one created out of earth the power of life, and thus the nature of the soul was formed.  What does a living soul mean?  An active soul, which has the members of the body as the implements of its activities, submissive to its will.” (Genesis, Creation, and Early Man, Seraphim Rose, p.215)

Gregory of Nyssa adds:

The body and the soul were formed at the same time—not one before and the other afterwards…” (ibid, p. 218

Early Church Fathers make the point that the whole of creation---angels, time, matter, fire, wind, water, herbs, trees, all life and conscious life---was brought into existence from non-existence (ex nihilo), not from anything already in existence or from the Essence or Nature of God.  Therefore creation does not have the same essence as God and is not a part of God as most ancient and modern pagans believe.

Lest we be led away into the false opinion that the soul itself is Divine, or a part of God’s essence as pantheists and Gnostic’s teach, Chrysostom writes:

“Certain senseless ones, being drawn away by their own conceptions, without thinking of anything in a God-befitting manner…dare to say that the soul has proceeded from the Essence of God. O frenzy! O folly! How many paths of perdition has the devil opened up for those who will serve him!” (ibid, Rose,  p. 216)

Neo-pagan naturalist inventions like Darwin's materialist idea and Telhard de Chardin's Vedanta monist conception reject the Genesis account ex nihilo together with Original Sin and the fall and teach instead an inverted exegesis positing that man comes up from lower creatures.  This upside-down view leads to a philosophy of moral relativism (subjectivism) because if men were once something else, a genderless blob of matter and then later on lizards and even later still some kind of ape-like creature, then not only are we going to become something else–maybe a divine superman, god-man, or super robot—-but nothing can be said about transgender, ‘gay,’ and lesbianism since all life forms ascended from a genderless blob of matter that spontaneously generated itself from nothing.

With regard to soul/spirit, if man evolved from non-living, genderless matter or energy and lower life-forms, then his rational nature, his soul, differs not qualitatively but only quantitatively from the beasts.  Like beasts, man is not a person but a creature of the earth.  Like them he has no spirit—free will, higher mental faculties, and conscience.  He is a fleshy robot or hominid whose brain is organized by the genome and the genome shaped by natural selection.

Worse, as all naturalist conceptions are equally God-less, none have an ultimate source for life, consciousness, soul, and personhood, hence all are merely different expressions of anti-human nihilism which makes man equal to or lower than the nonhuman, thereby allowing for all manner of crimes against humanity, especially the weakest, hated, envied, despised and inconvenient.  Here in paganized America tens of millions of unborn humans have been liquidated while  during the 20th century in excess of 160,000,000 unevolved human weeds, useless eaters, and dinosaurs were brutally murdered in one way or another by two naturalist regimes: Marxist Communists and National Socialists.

Today, in the name of preventing climate change, ominous anti-human agendas are making astonishing inroads over and across America.

In "War On Humans," Wesley J. Smith reports that the "nature rights" movement seeks to grant flora and fauna,

"...the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles"—essentially a right to life that explicitly erases the moral distinction between humans and all other life forms. "  (tothesource, Feb. 27, 2014)

The putative rights of nature may also extend to inanimate matter:

"The Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Nature announces that the rights of nature are "inalienable . . . without distinction of any kind, such as may be made between organic and inorganic beings, origin, use to human beings, or any other state." 

Nature has already been granted "rights" by Ecuador and Bolivia, as well as in some thirty U.S. municipalities,

"...including Santa Monica, California. Ban ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations has thrown his support behind the movement, and nature rights has been proposed for inclusion in an eventual UN treaty to fight climate change."

Though pagan naturalists prefer to keep it secret, they say in so many words that the depersonalized collective human organism will eventually evolve into some sort of cosmic Super Organism.  Underlying this idea is a quasi-Buddhist concept expressed in the idea that a universal human organism is reaching a magnificently evolved state of exaltation.

This view leads directly to religious ideas like those of Teilhard de Chardin who said that for Communism to succeed science must become spiritualized and the democrat, communist and fascist must unite.   These three currents must merge in order to promote the spiritual future of the World:

“The function of man is to build and direct the whole of the Earth…We shall end by perceiving that the great object unconsciously pursued by science is nothing else than the discovery of God.” (ibid, Rose, 591)

Chardin theorized that after millions of years of evolution a Christ consciousness was finally emerging out of matter causing the whole world and everything in it to become spiritualized and divinized.  Everything is becoming Christ, said Teilhard.

Seraphim Rose observes that Teilhard’s pantheism is a frightful heresy:

People will think they are gods while actually having this animalistic philosophy (which) is exactly what Antichrist needs in order to come to reign.” (ibid, p. 282)

In the final analysis, the conflict between supernatural creation ex nihilo and anti-human neo-pagan naturalism boils down to the answers to these questions: what or who are you and where will you spend eternity?

@Linda Kimball