In "Against the Heathen," early Church Father Athanasius writes that pride and haughtiness preceded man's fall into idolatry and paganism, or naturalism, as humanists call it today. Athanasius notes that a prideful haughty spirit led them to make light of the Holy God and higher things, and deliberately disregarding what they knew to be true they began to seek in preference 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 things and thereby descended: "...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)
Modern humanists likewise celebrate chemical-elements (matter) and forces of nature, and this being the case, hardly any book in the Bible has been attacked as much as the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo.
In his article, "Noah's Flood and the Gilgamesh Epic," Jonathan Sarfati observes that the attacks started with a Scottish physician called James Hutton (1726â€“97), who decreed in 1785, before examining the evidence:
"...the past history of our globe must be explained by what can be seen to be happening now â€¦ No powers are to be employed that are not natural to the globe, no action to be admitted except those of which we know the principle."
In other words, Hutton requires that the origins of our planet and of all life forms be explained within the context of the lower or natural dimension because he had "ceased to think that anything existed beyond what is seen, or that anything was good save things temporal and bodily."
Two of the big weapons used by humanists against the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo are the Enuma Elish and the Gilgamesh Epic.
The Enuma Elish is an ancient Babylonian cosmogony, or account of origins discovered in 1845 by archaeologists in the ruins of Ninevah. Though several ancient cosmogonies have thus far been discovered, Enuma Elish is by far the most important. Inscribed upon cuneiform tablets in Akkadian language, evidence suggests that it dates back to the Sumerians. Though most of it deals with the exploits of Marduk it begins with an evolutionary account of origins said Thorkild Jacobsen in "Enuma Elish---the Babylonian Genesis." Jacobsen pointedly observes that Enuma Elish:
"...assumes that all things have evolved out of water. This description presents the earliest stage of the universe as one of watery chaos." (The Long War Against God: The History and Impact of the Creation/Evolution Conflict, Dr. Henry Morris)
The Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh was also discovered at Nineveh at the library of the last great Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal, who reigned in the 7th century bce. Written in Akkadian on cuneiform clay tablets, the Epic was deciphered by George Smith at the British Museum. On December 3, 1872, he announced to the newly-formed Society of Biblical Archaeology that he had "discovered among the Assyrian tablets . . . an account of the Flood" in one of the story's later episodes.
Though the Epic is mainly concerned with the exploits of Gilgamesh, who claims to be 2 parts god- one part man, it briefly speaks of the gods and goddesses evolving from the primeval sea, or the waters of space.
Both accounts assume the pre-existence of primordial matter, that is, watery chaos and primeval sea. In response to where this matter came from, no answer is given but that it has always just existed.
Modern scientific naturalism has tried to answer the question with the theory of spontaneous generation. This theory, called abiogenesis, posits that brute matter spontaneously generated itself from nothing (void) in much the same way as the gods and goddesses spontaneously generated themselves from watery chaos. On the basis of this ancient mythological superstition, new-pagan evolutionary humanists assert that the living supernatural God, souls, spirits, angels, demons, heaven, hell and metaphysics do not exist.
Abiogenesis is such an obvious embarrassment that today some 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 idea that life on earth was accidentally seeded by meteorites containing the essential building blocks of life or perhaps by highly evolved extraterrestrials who for billions of years have been guiding the evolution of man. The extraterrestrial idea was favored by Arthur C. Clarke in his book, "Childhood's End" and a variation on this theme has recently been advanced by Davies, Crick, and Ralph Pudritz of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
Crick proposes a theory called "directed panspermia," the idea that,
"...life on earth may have begun when aliens from another planet sent a rocket ship containing spores to seed the earth."
He admits however that his theory only pushes the unresolvable problems of the origin of matter and life out into deep space:
"This scenario still leaves open the question of who designed the designer [aliens] â€” how did life originally originate?" (Crick, Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature, 1981)
Though it does not seem to have occurred to Crick, panspermia is actually a revamped version of the Enuma Elish and Gilgamesh Epic. As with the ancients, it not only leaves unanswered the origin of primordial matter but merely replaces the evolved gods and goddesses with evolved extraterrestrials.
In general, evolutionary naturalism and/or materialism is not particularly scientific. It is rather a regression to the mystical pagan origins of modern science 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, reincarnation and karma.
Evolution is both the antithesis of creation ex nihilo and the primary doctrine of both Eastern pantheism and Western scientific materialism, and so 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 Creator, His Revelation, creation ex nihilo, all higher things, the linear view of history and Christian-based civilization.
The over-whelming success of the long war against the living God waged by modern pagan revivalists is evident everywhere throughout the once Christian West and America, which today is in worse shape than the ancient Jews in the days of Jeremiah.
In his book, Death in the City,â€ Francis Schaeffer writes that though the Jews turned to false gods at least they still thought something was there. But our foolish â€œevolution and scientism infatuatedâ€ generation,
â€œâ€¦.lives in a universe which is purely material, everything being reduced to mass, energy, and motion.â€ (p. 43)
And now, following a campaign by the British Humanist Association, the UKâ€™s Department for Education has banned all evidence for creation even from religious education classes:
"[the school] shall not make provision in the context of any subject for the teaching, as an evidence-based view or theory, of any view or theory that is contrary to established scientific and/or historical evidence and explanations." (Evidence for Creation now banned from UK religious education classes, Dominic Statham,
Advancing further in evil, pagan revivalists have successfully established their evolutionary cosmogony even in religious classes. What next? Churches themselves? Will they insist on burning all Bibles?