Imagine you’re a college student, and your professor claims that science has disproved the idea of God, of the soul, of ultimate meaning, and of truth. What do you say to that professor?
The best answer is that his claim itself is not scientific. It’s a claim of a worldview called materialism, which says that everything that exists is the product of matter, energy, and purposeless processes. New atheist authors like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris have spent years hawking materialism as science, and they’ve deceived a lot of people.
In response, a group of scientists, philosophers, and theologians have named the worldview mistake for what it is, and are now offering an exciting alternative: that the world is instead filled with meaning, mind, and design, and countless other things that cannot be reduced to raw physical materials.
The Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture has distilled the best arguments against materialism and for the God behind creation into a series of punchy, information-packed videos. They’re short—just a few minutes each—and were made to grab students’ attention, challenging them with thoughts materialists don’t want them thinking.
“Science Uprising” uses a fun, Internet “hacktivist” vibe complete with Guy Fawkes mask to show how deeply-entrenched materialism is, and how challenging this dogma could get you into academic trouble. But as the experts interviewed in each episode agree, we must challenge materialism, because it runs contrary to everything we know about ourselves and the world in which we live.
The first episode confronts the claim famously made by Carl Sagan—that “the cosmos is all that is, ever was, or ever will be.” We see clips of new atheists denying the existence of meaning and purpose and claiming that humanity is nothing but atoms. In response, experts in intelligent design like Jay Richards and Michael Egnor point to all the things we know are real that aren’t made of matter—things like joy, sorrow, right, wrong, truth, beauty, justice, and even our own sense of self.
What’s more, science itself isn’t made of matter. As Oxford mathematician John Lennox explained at our recent Wilberforce Weekend, the claim that ‘whatever science can’t study isn’t real’ is self-refuting. Science, after all, can’t study itself. It’s based on a set of non-material assumptions—like the reality of the material world, the accuracy of our five senses, the existence of math and logic, and the predictability of the laws of nature. None of these are made of matter; yet without them, science is impossible.
Episode two tackles the materialist claim that we’re nothing but machines made out of meat. Over and over, new atheists have told us that human consciousness is an illusion created by chemical reactions in our brains. But there are powerful arguments that we are more than our gray matter. My favorite is that if our thoughts are nothing but hydrogen and sodium reacting, then there’s no reason to trust the thoughts of materialists in the first place!
“Science Uprising” also catches up with Stephen Meyer, who covers the problem DNA poses to materialism—specifically to Neo-Darwinism. All life is based on information, and information not only transcends matter, it always comes from a mind.
Episode four covers the improbable fine-tuning of the universe and solar system. While atheists like Lawrence Krauss and Bill Nye claim we’re just “a speck orbiting another speck in the middle of specklessness,” a world-renowned physicist and engineer at NASA begs to differ, citing the near-miraculous coincidences that produced a world as hospitable for life as ours is—a world which—as one of them notes, looks as if it expected us.
This series is a must watch for students, especially, but really for anyone ready to unmask the worldview currently masquerading as “settled” science.
Come to BreakPoint.org for a link to watch “Science Uprising.” You can forward these free videos to friends, family, pastors, and even materialist professors.
BreakPoint is a program of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. BreakPoint commentaries offer incisive content people can't find anywhere else; content that cuts through the fog of relativism and the news cycle with truth and compassion. Founded by Chuck Colson (1931 – 2012) in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends. Today, you can get it in written and a variety of audio formats: on the web, the radio, or your favorite podcast app on the go.
John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.
Publication date: July 3, 2019
Photo courtesy: Hal Gatewood/Unsplash