Is Proof of Evolution Proof That God Does Not Exist?

The trouble with atheism is that it depends upon an unsafe premise. In order to establish its own belief system, it has only a single tenet: proof that God does not exist! Now as everyone knows, you can’t prove a negative.

Prof. Richard Dawkins, an outspoken atheist, would like you to think that you can. Supporting a campaign by The British Humanist Society (BHA), he funded 800 advertisements, which now adorn London’s bendy-buses, stating There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

I understand that much has been made of that ‘probably’. As Tony McNulty (the UK’s Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform at the Department for Work and Pensions) joked on the radio, that’s so wishy-washy a declaration, it can only have been made by the Lib-Dem party. But, apparently, the Advertising Standards Authority objected – presumably on the grounds of probability! – on an absolute statement such as: “There is no God”. 

DOES GOD EXIST OR NOT?

So what are the arguments for atheism and are they, as a recent TV programme claimed, intolerant?

At odds with the advertisement’s underwhelming statement, is the breathtakingly unsubstantiated declaration which the Professor is reported as having made: This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think – and thinking is anathema to religion. He seems to want it both ways. Because the campaign, itself, alleges to be in response to Christian posters – some of which advertise the Alpha Course – where ‘thinking’ is encouraged. The brain-child of Nicky Gumble, Alpha first began in Holy Trinity, Brompton, church to many of London’s professionals and intellectuals. Perhaps Professor Dawkins might do worse than think beyond his obsession with converting the rest of us to atheism, and open his mind to its current slogan “If God did exist, what would you ask?”

Actually, I have some sympathy for the poor old Professor. I mean how can you not? For one thing, atheism is such a negative concept. Your faith (and it is faith!) is entirely to do with denial. There’s nothing positive to put in its place.

Then again, he seems to be so obsessive in his desire to give the world proof that God does not exist. And first among his reasons why God does not exist is the absence of proof that he does. But as one of the audience remarked, on the BBC Radio 4 programme Any Questions, an absence of proof is not proof of absence. It’s a little like asking someone who is profoundly deaf to wax lyrical about a Mozart concerto. Or a person who’s been blind from birth to write a poem about a stunning sunset. The absence of faculties – sad, in the extreme – are not proof of the absence of beautiful music or scenery.

So in my view, if anyone needs to stop worrying and enjoy his life, it must surely be the Professor? I mean, how much money do you see the Archbishop of Canterbury spending on bendy-buses declaring: Charles Darwin might, possibly, have been right. Now go away and worry about ensuring that you’re a survivor.

WORLD OF PLEASURE

Personally, I don’t object to Prof. Dawkins – or any other atheist – having his own belief system. But I do take exception to the inferrence that people who believe in the existence of God – be they Christian, Jew, Muslim or any other theocracy – are worriers who are unable to enjoy life. Go to any Jewish wedding and I defy you to point to any lack of enjoyment. Or come along to my church on a Sunday, where the minister cracks jokes during his sermon, the congregation poke affection fun at him, and laughter, harmonious music and joyous singing are the norm.

And this evening – despite the credit crunch; the fact that our future pension is worth less today than it was this time last year; and our savings are providing practically nothing in the way of income – we’ll be be celebrating my other half’s birthday in style at a newly refurbished restaurant. Good food, good wine, good friends and what I know will be a raucous game of Mexican train double dominoes around our dining table on our return home will be ours to enjoy – without a moment’s worry.

CHRISTIAN AFTERLIFE

But I pity Prof. Dawkins, also, because his enjoyment is limited to this life. Whereas most believers would tell you that they have something to look forward to: an afterlife. A Paradise where old friends and loved ones may meet again. A place where God abides.

The Bible makes statements to the effect that the earth, and everything in it, were made for God’s pleasure. And looking at the joyous antics of lambs in a field, the humour of penguins waddling down a beach, or the gurgle of a baby sucking its toes, can anyone doubt the truth of that?

Secularists would have us believe that there is proof of evolution. And indeed, there is. But this is not evolution to the exclusion of creation. Animals do adapt to their environment. But try to show me evolutionary proof that somewhere there was a creature that was half-ape half-man – and you’ll find you can’t. As George Pitcher writes, quoting Clifford Longley, in The Daily Telegraph: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/george_pitcher/blog/2009/01/09/probably_the_best_advert_for_god_in_the_world

According to growing numbers of scientists, the laws and constants of nature are so “finely-tuned,” and so many “coincidences” have occurred to allow for the possibility of life, the universe must have come into existence through intentional planning and intelligence. In fact, this “fine-tuning” is so pronounced, and the “coincidences” are so numerous, many scientists have come to espouse “The Anthropic Principle,” which contends that the universe was brought into existence intentionally for the sake of producing mankind. Even those who do not accept The Anthropic Principle admit to the “fine-tuning” and conclude that the universe is “too contrived” to be a chance event.

Any chance that we might retaliate with bendy buses advertising: There is probably no Dawkins. Now stop worrying about him, and just enjoy the joke. Does God really exist? Hang on a minute. I’m sure I can hear Him laughing.

For Alpha courses see http://uk.alpha.org/