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, including human life. The Galapagos summit was hailed as the Woodstock of Evolution, and the attending scientists were hailed as a literal "Who's Who of evolutionary theory." Like excited kids around a campfire, all of them were gathered to retell their most favorite tale--- the tale of evolution.
A key figure at the conference was the world famous philosopher of mind, Daniel Dennett. Dennett is the favorite of all transhumanists who think that computers can simulate human mental processes and 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 origin of life (which it does not and cannot) without 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 materialist assumptions are in keeping with Darwin's own materialist 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 soul/spirit, no after life. Just Atoms and the void.
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 men such as Richard John Neuhaus, Seraphim Rose, Peter Jones, Kurt Koch, 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, Oprah Winfrey, evolutionary theists and certain Emergent Church leaders such as 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 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.
John 1:3 identifies Christ 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 modern wisdom holds:
"The first moment of time is the moment of God’s creative act and of creation’s simultaneous coming to be.” (Philosopher and New Testament scholar William Lane Craig quoted in "If God created the universe, then who created God?' by Jonathan Sarfati, Creation Ministries International)
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, including the soul of man, was brought into existence from non-existence (ex nihilo), not 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, p. 216)
Contemporary naturalism, whether Darwinian or Teilhardian, either completely rejects the Genesis account or allegorizes it together with Original Sin and the fall and teaches instead that man comes up from lower creatures. This 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 ape-like creature, then not only are we going to become something else--maybe a divine Superman or Super Robot?----but nothing can be said about transgender, 'gay,' and lesbianism since all life forms ascended from a genderless blob of matter.
With regard to his soul/spirit, if man evolved from genderless matter and lower lifeforms, then his rational nature, his soul, differs not qualitatively but only quantitatively from the beasts. Like the beasts, man is a creature only 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.
Without spirit there is no 'you.' When 'you' think you are thinking you are experiencing an epiphenomena, a delusion, caused by the firing of neurons and mixing of chemicals in your grey matter. Neo-pagan Naturalist Tom Wolfe, an American culture critic put the matter succinctly in an essay he published in 1996, 'Sorry, but your soul just died.' Wolfe writes,
"...consciousness and thought are entirely physical products of your brain and nervous system (which) arrived fully imprinted at birth (so) what makes you think you have free will? What 'ghost,' what 'mind,' what 'self,' what 'soul,' what anything...is going to bubble up your brain stem to give it to you?" (Beauregard, p. 4)
In the evolutionary naturalist view, brain disorders (mental illnesses) are manifestations of chemical imbalances justifying the use of psychotropic substances. Accordingly, mental illnesses such as ADHD are genetic and biochemical disorders that can only be treated by use of other chemical substances.
However, the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights, a global watchdog committed to investigating and exposing human rights violations in the field of mental health reveal that while posing as “authorities” on the mind and mental health, biological (naturalist) psychiatry has no scientific basis for any of its treatments or methods:
“….modern psychiatry has yet to convincingly prove the genetic/biological cause of any single mental illness.” —David Kaiser, psychiatrist
“In fourty years, ‘biological’ psychiatry has yet to validate a single psychiatric condition/diagnosis as an abnormality/disease, or as anything ‘neurological,’ ‘biological,’ ‘chemically-imbalanced’ or ‘genetic.’” —Dr. Fred Baughman Jr., child neurologist, Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology
Commenting on the link between certain widely prescribed psychotropic drugs, suicide and homicidal violence, Dr. David Healy, a British psychiatrist and author of “Pharmageddon,” (University of California Press, 2012) said in November of 2012:
“Violence and other potentially criminal behavior caused by prescription drugs are medicine’s best kept secret…” (Prescription-Drug-Induced Violence Medicine’s Best Kept Secret? Toronto, Canada (PRWEB) November 12, 2012)
Healy says this is a global issue, with medical, legal, ethical, and profound public policy dimensions,
“Never before in the fields of medicine and law have there been so many events with so much concealed data and so little focused expertise.” (ibid)
Though evolutionists prefer to keep it secret, they say in so many words that collective humanity will eventually evolve into some sort of cosmic Superman. 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, 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 and neo-pagan naturalism boils down to the answers to these questions: what or who are you and where will you spend eternity?