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Don McLeroy Science, Evolution and 'Intelligent Design'

 


McLeroy
Don McLeroy, R-Bryan, is chairman of the Texas State Board of Education. McLeroy has written and lectured against the science of evolution and in support of "intelligent design"/creationism.

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Following is the transcript of a presentation he delivered in 2005 at Grace Bible Church in Bryan, Texas, on the debate over teaching evolution and "intelligent design."

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"Intelligent Design Theory Primer"
Transcribed by Texas Freedom Network

Introducer
Our speaker of the day is Dr. Don McLeroy … He is a dentist, but he is also a member of the Texas State Board of Education, so he has a unique perspective on the battle I guess that is going on between evolution and other worldviews.

Don McLeroy
Well, thank you. I have been part of this group, it’s been very exciting being a part of this group. I am the only nonacademic in this group that has been meeting and I have gotten to really appreciate what academ, academicians do. It’s, it’s very interesting work. It’s totally different job that you have being, um, away from the university. I really have a lot of respect for them and I am really glad that they put up with a nonacademic being with them in their group.

Second thing I would like to clarify for a talk is, now we are going to be using the word “evolution,” and that brings up all sorts of definitions. We will give you a handout but not today, but let me explain some of the use of the words that I will be using today. Intelligent design I will define in the talk, but evolution itself people will say Darwinism or evolution. A lot of the quotes I will be using are going to be from Phillip Johnson, who, Phillip Johnson is one of the leaders in the intelligent design movement. He uses the word Darwinism and I will be giving quotes from him, so when you hear the word Darwinism or if I accidentally refer to the word Darwinism, it means the theory of common descent. That we share common ancestor with that tree out there. I mean that is basically what we have in our high school textbooks. If you open a high school textbook, they basically state as a fact that we share common ancestry with life that first got started and some went to be plants and eventually trees and some became us. And that is what I mean by Darwinism. Yes, there is macro-evolution and micro-evolution, we’d prefer the term adaptive variation for micro-evolution. We know that no one argues against what is considered micro-evolution, but if you hear the term evolution in this talk, today, you’ll also realize that it’s mainly referring to the common descent. That the theory that all life has descended from a common ancestor.

Well, I thought I would start of my, uh, talk by giving you some of my favorite quotes, and this is one that I really enjoy. This is Jonathan Edwards when he was 17-years-old, and, uh, he said “nothing is what sleeping rocks think of.” So it’s interesting to think about it. Let’s see, 1996 New York Times editorial, guest editorial, this is in response to a comment by someone believing in evolution, and so the guy has made this statement, “This whole issue might make for an amusing debate were it not for the potentially grave consequences for society at-large. If we’re unwilling to unilaterally brand scientific nonsense as just that regardless of the sensibilities that might be offended, religious or otherwise, then the whole notion of truth becomes itself blurred and our democratic society is in peril as much by this as any other single threat.” Of course, the guy’s threat that this guy was responding to was not the threat of Darwinism, the threat of God as the creator, and it is just amazing that they can describe my feelings exactly. This is exactly how I see this. It is such an important issue. By the way, it is my first time with PowerPoint. Daniel is making it pretty easy. This is great.

Uh, G.K. Chesterton, 100 years ago, 1908 basically, uh, made an interesting observation that is really interesting: “The Christian is quite free to believe that there’s a considerable amount of settled order and an inevitable development in the universe. But the materialist is not allowed to admit into his spotless machine the slightest speck of spiritualism or miracle.” And I think that really describes it exactly, when you want to see, these people can’t stand anything getting into their spotless machine. They can’t tolerate anything. We can tolerate a lot, but they can’t tolerate anything. And I can tell you also that the topic for today’s session about naturalism is very important. If you grasp the message of this, I think you will, uh, save yourself a lot of frustration and in this whole series of lessons we’re teaching it’s about the theory of intelligent design, about intelligent design. And William Dembski is, uh, very influential in this. He’s at Baylor, and here is our definition of what intelligent design is: it’s the biological theory, or you maybe leave off biological, theory that holds that a deciding influence was required to account for the complex information, rich structures, and living systems. And one other thing about these lessons, big tent, and this is, uh, in the big tent of evolution we all have disagreements, but we’re united in one thing, and we’re united in what we oppose. And you’ll see this later. This is the power of the deductive argument, but nature is all there is. We’re united against the fact that that’s a true statement.

But what is the main target of intelligent design? What’s the main target? Is it the chemical origin of life? Research? Well, it’s not, certainly, origin of life spontaneously arose chemically is not supported by the Bible. It’s not supported by the evidence, so maybe that is the target. But, in fact, it’s the lack of evidence of, uh, chemical origin of life and the incredible complexity of life itself that played the major role in Antony Flew, that famous British philosopher that just said that he had to abandon his atheism. So it’s very powerful, the origin of life, but that is not the main target of the intelligent design movement. Oh, it’s neo-Darwinism. Neo-Darwinism is another description term for just evolution, common descent that talks about genetic variability so it gets it more precise. And is that the target? It’s not supported by evidence, it’s not Biblical, so that must be the target of intelligent design, but really it’s not the main target either. Actually, in intelligent design we are focused on a on a bigger target, and in the words of Phillip Johnson “the target is metaphysical naturalism, materialism or just plain old naturalism. The idea that nature is all there is.” Modern science today is totally based on naturalism, and all of intelligent design’s arguments against evolution and chemical origin of life it is the naturalistic base that is the target. And this is a quote from Phillip Johnson: “The important aspect of Darwinian evolution is it’s naturalistic claim that life is the result of purposeless, unintelligent material causes. When Darwinian evolution and intelligent design stand in a complete antithesis. Intelligent design requires the designing influence to account for the complexity of life where Darwinian theory of common descent claims that life spontaneously arose.”

Now I would like to talk a little bit about the big tent. Why is intelligent design the big tent? It’s because we’re all lined up against the fact that naturalism, that nature is all there is. Whether you’re a progressive creationist, recent creationist, young earth, old earth, it’s all in the tent of intelligent design. And intelligent design here at Grace Bible Church actually is a smaller, uh, tent than you would have in the intelligent design movement as a whole. Because we are all Biblical literalists, we all believe the Bible to be inerrant, and it’s good to remember, though, that the entire intelligent design movement as a whole is a bigger tent. So because it’s a bigger tent, just don’t waste our time arguing with each other about some of the, all of the side issues. And that’s one thing that I really enjoyed about our group is that we’ve put that all in the big tent, we’re all working together.

It’s also very important to realize how people understand us when you get out to talk about this. That they’re filtering everything that we say through a naturalistic grid. They totally, totally misread what we have to say. We can assert empirical evidence that all they hear us expressing is subjective bias. We can say there is scientific evidence for design and they say, “Oh, there goes that religious right on another power grab.” Well, even when we marshal all the facts, get all the evidence and go into the debate, I could witness and tell you for truth that it never goes anywhere.

Back in November 2003, we finished about four or five months of adoption process for the high school biology textbooks in Texas. I was there for all the public testimony and our good friend Walter Bradley, he testified at 11 o’clock one Thursday night. He has actually been in College Station and drove to Waco. I called him about 9 and said, “Oh, we’re going to be here until 1 o’clock.” So he came on down and got there at about 11 and testified. Because he had signed up to testify earlier.

But I want to tell you all the arguments made by all the intelligent design group, all the creationist intelligent design people, I can guarantee the other side heard exactly nothing. They did not hear one single fact, they were not swayed by one argument. It was just amazing. I mean all the, my fellow board members who were really not even the scientists in the group, they were not impressed by any of this. They said, "Oh well, it’s just two opinions." And there were only the four really conservative, orthodox Christians on the board were the only ones who were willing to stand up to the textbooks and say that they don’t present the weaknesses of evolution. Amazing. And then if you check out the last week’s issue of, uh, Time magazine, you’ll see an article that was entitled “The Stealth Attack on Evolution.” You can, uh, it was just in Time, and I mean, January 31st issue. And this debate just keeps going on and on and on, and legitimate scientific evidence being presented in all these cases and all the arguments are dismissed like this here is a subversive, secret attempt to force religion into science.

So what is naturalism? It’s the idea that nature is all there is. Philosopher William Halverson states that “naturalism asserts first of all that the primary constituents of reality are material entities. By this I do not mean that only material entities exist. I am not denying the reality of the real existence of such things as hopes and plans, behavior, language, logical inferences and so on. What I am asserting, however, is that anything that is real is in the last analysis explicable as material entity or as a form or function of action of a material entity.” Theism says in the beginning, God, naturalism says in the beginning matter. I was over at Dr. Romo’s office yesterday and we got to hear that astronomer Carl Drastro, was that the one? Wasn’t he the one? Robert Drastro basically stated exactly this. I said, “My gosh that’s my quote. He’s just giving my quote right now.” Because he was making the same argument. He said, “I’m a materialist. I don’t know how to explain a lot of things, but that’s the way I’m going to stand.” And so, it’s, it’s, that’s the enemy, it’s naturalism.

I’d like to make a quick comment about the option of theistic evolution, and it’s a very poor option. There’s not anybody in our group that’s advocating this. Because Darwinism doesn’t allow God to do anything. Consider natural selection of random mutations. If they’re random mutations, they can’t be God-directed, and if they’re naturally selected, you can’t hav, quote, “God-selecteds.” And so no one in our group represents theistic evolution, and the big tent of intelligent design does not include theistic evolutionists. Because intelligent design is opposed to evolution. Theistic evolutionists embrace it. So, you know, there are some in the Christian camp that just say, “Well, I am a theistic evolutionist.” And there are some bright minds that are that way, but they aren’t part really of the intelligent design group. It just doesn’t fit.

Well, naturalism dominates our culture. Francis Schaeffer in the book “The God Who was There” if you’ve never read a Francis Schaeffer book, that is the one you must read, “The God Who was There,” written in 1968. He says at the very first paragraph of his book, he said, talks about the naturalistic worldview “is like a suffocating and a particularly bad London fog and just as fog can’t be kept out of the walls or doors so this consensus comes in around us until the room we live in is no longer distinct. And yet we hardly realize what has happened.” And A. J. Machen[sic], he’s one of my favorite, uh, he was one of the leaders of the fundamentalist fight back in the twenties, 1920s, when they were fighting modernism; it was coming into the church. He wrote a really great clip, “Christianity and Liberalism,” but he also identifies naturalism as the enemy. Ok. But naturalism has enslaved our society’s mind. David Kupelian in a WorldNet article, it’s a fascinating article, on October 24, 2004, makes an interesting comparison. He observes that naturalism evolution is very much like the movie The Matrix. So you’re in for a little treat here, let’s see if this works,


[McLeroy shows clips from the movie, The Matrix.]


Gotta get that sigh in.

Well, everyone’s heard a lot about manipulation, mind control and things like that. Nevertheless, we’re really not sure about how much mind control stuff really works. But um, this is what David Kupelian makes in his argument. He says:

“Let me help you out here. It’s not only real, it’s the fabric of our lives. To demonstrate the real life matrix programming. Let’s consider one of the most stunning” (this is his words) “and audacious real life matrix programs currently running. I’m referring to what we call evolution. In the days prior to evolution, the evolution matrix program, that is from the beginning of human life until Darwin came along in the mid-19th century, human beings would step outside their homes and survey their eyes and their minds the wonders of nature. They’d see majestic 400-year-old redwood trees, hummingbirds that were able to hover, and honeybees that somehow knew how to do a special figure-eight dance. Looking in every direction, we humans beheld not only fantastic complexity and diversity and order, but also the supreme intelligence behind creation as brashly evident as the noonday sun. This ubiquitous natural wonderland caused man to acknowledge and honor the creator of creation. Issac Newton, quote, ‘When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amount of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.’ Did not happen by chance? Well, ever since Darwin and his successors succeeded in loading the evolution matrix program on mankind, a fantastic theory on which there is no proof and many serious problems. Now, when we walk outside and look at the created universe, what do many of us see? Chance. Although our eyes survey the same wonders of God’s creation that inspired faith in our predecessors, in our minds today we see only the meaningless result of million years of random chance mutation, That’s what our minds see. The eternal dance of purposelessness, recombination of ever more complex form, but all without meaning, without spirit, without love. And by direct implication, we also see that man is not a fallen being needful of God’s saving grace, but merely the cleverest, most evolved animal of all. Since evolution by definition always results in improvement and advancement, man in all his violent, and lustful and selfish desires, drives, are perfectly normal and natural in advance. There’s no good and evil, no heaven and hell, and man as a highly evolved monkey has no sin and no guilt. As these are logical impossibilities from the evolutionary point of view.”

Well, I think Mr. Kupelian makes a very valid comparison. The analogy of evolution as the matrix, it’s, it’s really amazing that we do live, seems to me, in a matrix-type world. I mean, we have been programmed, our society has been programmed, in the way we look at things outside. It’s very interesting. But what do the Scriptures say? I love Psalm 100, I memorized it when I was a little kid, and it says “Make a joyful noise onto the Lord, all ye lambs. Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing, know ye that the Lord, he is God. It is he that hath made us and not we ourselves. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture.”

I’d like to make a few observations. First of all, notice that this, uh, Psalm is addressed to “all ye lambs.” It’s not addressed to the Israelites, to the Jewish people. It’s addressed to everybody. It’s addressed to the whole world, that whole world, that university sitting over there. It’s addressed to all our friends, people that are not going to church. It says, “Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing.” And then it, the other thing to notice about it, it says, “Know ye that the Lord,” that’s Yahweh, that’s it’s name, that’s God’s name, “know that he is God.” And then, “it is he that hath made us and not we ourselves.” That phrase has always been a light to me. I’ve been reading about this stuff for 25 years. And to me the fact to know that evolution is almost a claim that’s made ourselves. But here’s, directly here in scripture it says, “It is he that hath made us and not we ourselves.” And it’s written to all the people, and what’s their response supposed to be? Their response was supposed to be that “know ye that the Lord he is God.”

One other place that you might turn to, we’re not going to take time today, but if you haven’t read Job chapter 38 to 41, you need to read it because it’s a speech by God Himself. I read it to my fourth-grade Sunday School class that’s what I usually teach, I’m in my second adult Sunday School class to teach since I’ve been at this church. But I’ve taught fourth graders for 18 straight years so... But one of the things that I really have read to my fourth-grade class, I’ve read them the entire Job: 38-41 at one time. It’s a speech by God, and it’s where he tells them that he is the Creator. It’s, you should read it sometime.

Well, pretty soon we are going to be entering back into our Matrix-type world. We’ll be watching the Super Bowl, we’ll be going back to where naturalism has blinded all ye lambs from the truth. You’ll be back in a world where people don’t care about the Lord. He is God, and to effectively get this truth out to a world that has been blinded from the truth, we must prepare ourselves and we must train our minds.

And so how can we do this? Well, I’m going to give you a quick, just a little rabbit-trail excursion from Dr. Bruce Waltke, he’s an Old Testament scholar, but he has said that in Proverbs is the book of the Bible given to train our minds. If you look, the summary of the book is, it’s in the second verse, “to know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding.” The first part of the verse, “to know wisdom and instruction,” tells us how to live our lives and to have moral wisdom, but also the purpose of the book is to “perceive the words of understanding” that means to train your mind and to develop you to think.

This is the book of the Bible to develop your mental skills. That’s why they’re put into maxims, they’re very symbolic, you have to wrestle with them. They’re very challenging to a mental discipline. They’re to develop a way of thinking and to develop your mind to think clearly. That’s what it means to perceive the words of understanding. And I believe a well-trained mind, a well-disciplined mind, is the first step we must take if we’re going to confront naturalism.

Phillip Johnson sees the great hope of the future in this room today, all you young people. I’m so thankful that y’all are all here, especially you young folks, us older guys we’re going to be passing off the scene. But it’s the young people, talented young people, that be able to rise to the intellectual level it takes to take on the future talented naturalists that will be on the scene. Johnson says, “To get the intellectual world discussing a new and possibly unwelcome question, it’s not enough just to write a book. To make an argument, we have to inspire lots of people to start doing the intellectual work based on the right questions, work of such high quality and persuasive force that the world cannot avoid discussing it. These thinkers have to produce books and articles that explore in detail what happens when you call materialism into question rather than to take it for granted. As the discussion proceeds, the intellectual world will become gradually accustomed to treating materialism and naturalism as subjects to be analyzed and debated, rather than as tacit foundational assumptions that never can be criticized. Eventually the answer to our prime question becomes too obvious to be in doubt. When philosophy conflicts with evidence, real scientists will follow the evidence.”

So that takes us to the power of the deductive argument. I wrote that up on the board. I practiced with my fourth-graders today, and the one part that I could really hammer home to my fourth-grade students this morning was the power of the deductive argument. I put that up on the board. It says nature is all there is; life exists, therefore natural processes brought forth life. A deductive argument is not like induction; it has to be true. If the premises are true, if the logic is written correctly, it has to be true. It’s written correctly. But there’s a problem in the premise. Is nature all there is? And that is what makes it the big target. So to the evolutionist, the Darwinist, no matter what the evidence shows, no matter what the argument you present, no matter how weak their arguments and evidences are, Darwinism must be true there must be an explanation somewhere, we just haven’t found it.

So, remember, probably the most important thing I can tell you right now is the only, uh, no arguments on behalf of intelligent design can succeed against naturalism on it’s own terms. If we concede nature is all there is, you have, you can never win, they won’t listen to a word you have to say. So how do we confront it? And this is from Phillip Johnson and uh, in the book we’ve all studied together. He says, “First thing, you point out the dependency of evolution on naturalism. The only proper way to address the naturalist is to challenge the elements of their naturalism.” And this has been the goal of the intelligent design movement.

Phillip Johnson describes the public debut of intelligent design movement, and by the way, it’s in March 1992, at SMU, Southern Methodist, they had a conference, but this is in no way to assert that creationists haven’t been making these arguments for all times, especially in the last thirty, forty years. Creationists have been making these design arguments, but the birth of the intelligent design movement probably did start at SMU, 1992. It was here that he and Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer, and William Dembski, debated with Michael Ruse and other influential Darwinists the proposition that neo-Darwinism depending on a prior commitment to naturalism. Johnson believes that in the long run discussions of this sort would be fatal for Darwinism. And that’s when he states, “Once it becomes clear that Darwinism rests on a dogmatic philosophy rather than on the weight of the evidence, the way will be opened for dissenting opinions to get a fair hearing.” They hadn’t got here yet. We don’t have a fair hearing yet. But, we gotta keep working on it. This is not something that happens overnight.

In a nutshell, that’s the strategy. So what do we do about our Bible in the intelligent design movement? According to Johnson, the first thing to do is to get the Bible out of the discussion. Remember, even if you don’t bring the Bible into the discussion, the naturalist has already put it into the discussion. And Johnson states “it’s vital not to give any encouragement to this prejudice and to keep the discussion strictly on the scientific evidence and the philosophical assumptions. This is not to say that the Biblical issues aren’t important, the point is the time to address them will be after we have separated materialistic prejudice from scientific fact.”

And let me say it again: in the 2003 biology book adoption in Texas this principle was followed strictly. There wasn’t a board member that wasn’t trying to get the weakness of evolution into the debate. We never brought up religion. We never brought up intelligent design. All we brought up was evidence. We didn’t go to naturalism. We didn’t go there at all. We didn’t sit there are go, oh well, yours is based on naturalism. No, we didn’t say that! All we said, look at the evidence! And they didn’t hear a single word! We had to say, the, uh, other side however, railed against religion! They railed against. They brought in, uh, intelligent design. Oh they put it down! They made Michael Behe, we had Michael Behe, we had a bunch of the leaders: Dembski, and all these people had come down to help us in the debate. They didn’t listen to a word they had to say, but they brought in liberal theologians, liberal pastors. They brought religion into the debate. We didn’t do it at all.

So we followed the philosophy right here, and so that gets us to, uh, let me get, ah, here’s a question: this is going to be when you divide up into little groups today. This is going to be one of the questions you start thinkin’ about it right now. If you can think and listen to me at the same time, which you probably can. How can the materialistic philosophic naturalistic base dependency of Darwinism be brought into the discussion and used for our benefit? We didn’t use it. All we did was stay with evidence and we got run over. And that is strategy number two, though, demonstrate the way to the evidence. Remember that’s what got Anthony Flew on the origin of life. He finally converted because of the weight of the evidence.

Well Johnson says, “The question for now is not whether the vast claims of Darwinism conflict with Genesis, but whether they conflict with the evidence of biology. And to make this question visible, it is necessary to distinguish between the dictates of a materialist philosophy and the inferences one might legitimately draw from the evidence in absence of a materialist bias. So I put a simple question to the Darwinian establishment what should we do if empirical evidence and material philosophy are going in different directions? Should we follow the evidence or should we follow the philosophy?”

Ok, there’s one you can put in your notes. If you’re going to ask someone what happens when they diverge? Therefore we must know our subject. Facts and evidence are crucial. I was reading Richard Dawkins if y’all don’t know who he is, he is probably one of the most influential Darwinist spokesman in the world today. He’s an English professor. And I read one of his articles essays. It’s on his Web site. And he insisted all his reason for believing in evolution was not based on any naturalistic assumptions. He listed evidence, evidence, evidence as why he supports Darwinism. In fact, my question is you can think about later, this is not a discussion question why do they hold it so strongly? What evidence do they hold on so strong that makes them so dogmatic? And they are dogmatic. You need to know what, why they believe what they believe because, and you need to be able to give arguments to them. That’s why you need to keep coming to this class because that’s what these guys are going to be presenting are academicians. But to be successful in debate you must know what the evolutionists hold so dearly. In Dawkins’ mind the greatest evil in the world is religious faith. So he firmly has, so firmly established in his naturalistic belief that any argument that makes the case for a native designer must be arguing for faith, and in that case it must be evil. And that’s so funny because there’s no such evil in the world unless there’s a righteous God that the evil’s against. So he’s really making an argument for us! But he argues that it’s evil. He’s the one that said anyone who believes against evolution must be either dumb, stupid or evil. You know, he made a famous quote. I didn’t look it up to bring it here.

Well anyway, the next few weeks of the class we’ll get more specifics about the facts, the evidence. The intelligent design movement sees itself as the true scientific empiricists. Phillip Johnson uses the metaphor of a wedge splitting a huge log as the way to win this fight. And next week the class will be about irreducible complexity, perfectly in time because Michael Behe is going to be here the week following. And the man that is most closely associated with this argument will be here. So it will be very interesting to hear what we have to say.

In conclusion, we have a worldview clash. That’s what this is. All I got to hear of Nancy Percy was on campus with you. I’m talking about the worldview. The up-story and the lower-story. But we need to chip away at the foundation of the worldview by first demonstrating their dependence on a naturalistic philosophy, second by demonstrating the weight of the evidence stands against Darwinism. Remember keep chipping away at the objective empirical evidence. Keep pointing out that their deductive reasoning depends on the premise nature is all there is to be true. Remind them that they may be wrong.

Ok. That’s my comments. What we need to do next is, uh, Jaime, you want to handle, well, I’ll handle this. Um, y’all pair off three, four, two, three, four, don’t get more than four ‘cause you won’t have a chance to talk and come up with some answers to these questions. We’re gonna take about ten minutes, and what y’all need to do is to, uh, just look at the questions. The first one is how can you demonstrate macro-evolution depends on a naturalistic philosophical assumption and bring it into the debate. That’s what we didn’t do in the debate. Well since our topic today is on naturalism, how can it be brought into the debate? And if it does brought into the debate, can you do it without bringing religion into it? In other words, if you look at what’s happening, there’s different states or school boards that are passing this and this, and naturalism’s not in the debate.

And also, just a simple one that should be your primary discussion question. The second one: can science be defined without a naturalistic assumption? If so, define it. And the last one: is science defined as naturalism able to say intelligent design is false? OK, so there you go. You’ve got to organize yourselves into three or four groups and go after it.

OK, thank you. Everybody has made some really good comments. I’d like to make one final observation just from my experience and the Texas State Board of Education. Is, we weren’t about to convince any scientists, but we couldn’t convince fellow board members that these books should have evidence. And the more I look back on it, I believe if we would have challenged the naturalistic assumptions that nature is all there is with our fellow board members and challenged these people that were talking about it a little bit that brought up testimony, possibly we would have gotten a few more votes because a lot of these dear friends of mine on the State Board of Education are good, strong Christians that are active in Young Life and other activities. But they were able to totally not even worry about the fact that evolution’s assumption that nature is all there is is in total conflict with the way they live there life. So in that respect, it might also be effective. But one reason I brought this up is because in all the contemporary skirmishes today it is not even mentioned. It’s just not brought up. And I think you will bring religion and I like the statement that it brings in their religion. You know, so I said, well let’s bring it in there. They bring it in. They bring in all these pastors. It’s amazing. All these people who get up here and talk about it.

My summary is, uh, here are my points. We are not opposing un-intelligent people. They’re very smart, highly intellectual and very fine people. But they’ve been blinded from the truth. They’re living in this Matrix world. They do not claim Yahweh is God. They basically think they have made themselves. So we need to be prepared. We need to be smart. We need to train our minds.

To me engaging naturalism does bring religion into the equation, though I think by bringing in scientific method some of the points I hadn’t thought about that, so I really gotten a lot out of this discussion. That you can do it without bringing religion into it, so I think you can go both ways. But their claims are fostered and dependent upon an assumption that may not be true. And they do not allow for that possibility. How about us? Our claims, our thoughts are also dependent upon assumption that may not be true. Are we willing to allow for that possibility? Are we gonna make ourselves as vulnerable as they are? And I think we have to. So the bottom line is going to be, though, what fits the evidence? And that’s where we go to proceed in the class. Now Jamie is going to talk about what we’ll be talking about down the road.