The common assumption that science contradicts religion can be illustrated either from your own personal experience, if this is relevant, or by quoting the words of atheistic scientists, philosophers or journalists. Richard Dawkins, for example, has described the idea of God as “a very naïve, childish concept”, and similar comments have been made by many other Darwinian scientists.
Harvard geneticist, Richard Lewontin, for instance, stated in a 1997 book review: “The problem is to get [people] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations, and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth.” Another typical comment is that of Eugenie Scott, of the American National Centre for Science Education, who observed in 1994: “You can’t put an omnipotent deity in a test tube.” Such quotes drive home the charge that science is the only path to objective truth and is therefore in conflict with the subjective feelings and irrational dogmas supposedly characteristic of Christianity.
(1) If science contradicts religion, how do atheists explain the fact that most of the great scientists of the past believed in God and took the Bible seriously? The Institute of Creation Research (USA), for example, lists 31 such scientists together with the scientific disciplines they helped to establish. They include Kepler (astronomy), Pascal (hydrostatics), Boyle (chemistry), Newton (calculus), Linnaeus (systematic biology), Faraday (electromagnetics), Cuvier (comparative anatomy), Kelvin (thermodynamics), Lister (antiseptic surgery), Mendel (genetics), and many other equally famous names.
(2) If religion is an obstacle to science, how do atheists get round the fact that empirical science first arose in Christian Europe, three centuries before the rise of Darwinism? It did so precisely because of the almost universal belief in a Creator God. This gave the founders of modern science the confidence they needed that the natural world was orderly and therefore capable of systematic investigation. They expected to find ‘law’ in Nature because they believed in a Lawgiver. Or, to use another analogy, they assumed that the ‘Book of Nature’ had a readable ‘text’ because Nature had an Author.
(3) Why did the ‘founding fathers’ of modern science believe in God? For one very simple reason: the natural world bears all the hallmarks of intelligent design. To take only a few examples: hands seem designed for grasping objects and making tools; the human body is equipped with an immune system for combating disease; birds have an instinct to build nests for their young and escape winter through migration; eyes and ears have the precise structures required for seeing and hearing; living creatures have the digestive systems they need to process the particular foods their bodies depend on; sexual organs seem designed for reproduction.
Is this not powerful evidence for the existence of an Intelligent Designer who created the universe and is the Author of life? That has certainly been the view of most of the great philosophers and thinkers of the past, like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Aquinas, Bacon, Newton, etc. Even famous sceptics like David Hume (18th century) and John Stuart Mill (19th century) recognised the credibility of the ‘design’ argument (or ‘teleological proof’) for God’s existence – as did Immanuel Kant (18th century), despite his rejection of all the traditional arguments for God’s existence except the moral one.
(4) Atheists commonly reject the design argument for God’s existence because of the problem of evil, arguing that a world marred by death, disease, cruelty and suffering cannot be the creation of an infinitely good and powerful Being. This objection, however, though emotionally powerful, is not a logical one because the reality of evil does not cancel out the extensive evidence of intelligent and benevolent design in Nature. To use two analogies: the existence of badly constructed buildings in one particular area does not disprove the existence of competent architects elsewhere, anymore than the existence of hatred within some families disproves the reality of human love in others. What the problem of evil does is to raise challenging questions such as: why does God allow it? What is its origin? What, if anything, has God done about it? It does not obliterate the many traces of His goodness and creativity in the world around us. Furthermore, part of the evidence for God’s existence and goodness is that very moral standard which enables us to detect evil and complain about it! Atheism, by contrast, cannot make sense of the problem of evil because it cannot explain how we can attach any objective significance to our thoughts and values if we are merely accidental by-products of an ultimately random and purposeless universe.
(5) The advance of science over the last half-century has revealed powerful new evidence that life and the universe are the product of intelligent design, especially in the fields of astrophysics and microbiology. At the cosmological level, it has become increasingly apparent that the physical laws and parameters governing our universe (e.g. the force of gravity, the energy density of empty space, the difference in mass between neutrons and protons, etc.) are so exquisitely fine-tuned to permit the emergence of life, that even the tiniest alteration in any of these laws and parameters would have catastrophic consequences. Astrophysicist, Dr Hugh Ross, for instance, has identified 148 astrophysical parameters that must be ‘just so’ for a planet to exist that can support human life, yet the odds against this happening by chance are, he calculates, many times greater than the total number of stars in the entire universe! Given such facts, even so great an astronomer and former atheist as Fred Hoyle, has written: “I do not believe that any scientists who examined the evidence would fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce inside stars.” That and other such observations from Hoyle have prompted Harvard astronomy professor, Owen Gingerich, to comment: “Fred Hoyle and I differ on lots of questions, but on this we agree: a common sense and satisfying interpretation of our world suggests the designing hand of a super-intelligence.” Or to put it even more plainly, consider the verdict of Robin Collins, an American scientist with three degrees and two doctorates in mathematics, physics, and philosophy: “The extraordinary fine-tuning of the laws and constants of nature, their beauty, their discoverability, their intelligibility – all of this combines to make the God hypothesis the most reasonable choice we have. All other theories fall short.”
(6) The realms of microbiology and biochemistry provide equally compelling evidence that life in all its forms is the product of intelligent design rather than unguided natural forces. For example, how do atheists explain the origin and existence of complex biological information systems like DNA, whose chemical structure within every human cell contains the coded instructions for creating the proteins out of which our bodies are built? Each one of the thirty thousand genes embedded in our twenty-three pairs of chromosomes can yield as many as 20,500 different kinds of proteins! Is it likely that this extraordinary biological ‘software’ arose by chance? To quote science writer, George Sim Johnson’s article, ‘Did Darwin Get It Right?’ (Wall Street Journal, 15/10/99): “Human DNA contains more organized information than the Encyclopaedia Britannica. If the full text of the encyclopaedia were to arrive in computer code from outer space, most people would regard this as proof of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. But when seen in nature, it is explained as the workings of random forces.” And if this astounding fact were not sufficient in itself to indicate the presence of intelligent design in Nature, Australian geneticist, Michael Denton, points out that the biological information needed to build the proteins for all the species of organisms that have ever lived - a number estimated to be approximately one thousand million – “could be held in a teaspoon and there would still be room left for all the information in every book ever written.”
Illustra Media’s documentary video, Unlocking the Mystery of Life, shows how DNA serves as the information storehouse for a finely choreographed manufacturing process by which the right amino acids are linked together with the right bonds in the right sequence to produce the right kind of proteins that fold in the right way to build biological systems. Detailed study of this “absolutely mind-boggling” procedure helped to convince Dean Kenyon, America’s leading chemical evolutionist, that unguided naturalistic processes could not explain the origin of life, as he had once believed. On the contrary, he argues: “This new realm of molecular genetics [is] where we see the most compelling evidence of design on the Earth.”
(7) Atheism is not only challenged by the cumulative evidence for intelligent design uncovered by the progress of science; it cannot even answer the most fundamental of all questions: why does anything exist in the first place? Is the universe self-sufficient and self-explanatory or does it require an intelligent cause?
The cosmological argument for God’s existence addresses this vital question, and is based on the premise that something cannot come from nothing – a self-evident truth supported by logic and experience. To state the obvious: the absence of something not only cannot at the same time account for its presence; it is also a principle whose truthfulness is constantly confirmed in our daily lives. We never see meals appearing from nowhere, symphonies composing themselves, or babies materialising out of thin air. This means that for anything to exist, it must either be self-sufficient and therefore have always existed (i.e. be self-existent); or it must be the product or effect of something else that is self-existent. Furthermore, the concept of self-sufficiency implies that the self-existent Being supporting the existence of all other beings, must necessarily be an unchanging Being. It must be in full and constant possession of all its properties and attributes, because it cannot call into existence a quality, characteristic, or power, it does not already possess. In other words, we cannot explain the mystery of existence without acknowledging the ultimate necessity of grounding it in a self-sufficient Being whose own existence is necessary, unchanging, and therefore eternal.
Given these self-evident truths, does our knowledge of the universe suggest that it is self-existent? Obviously not, since all organic life has a beginning and an end (animals and humans are born, live, decay and die) and inorganic structures and processes are subject to constant alteration and change. Even if the universe had no beginning but is instead the product of the continuous creation of matter, it still lacks that attribute of self-sufficiency which is the essence of self-existence, since the question that still arises is ‘what accounts for the creation or appearance of matter?’ Where does the ‘stuff’ of the universe continually come from? Why does change occur at all? Who or what brings it about? If, on the other hand, the majority of scientists are right in their belief that space, time, and the universe suddenly sprang into existence through some ‘Big Bang’ cosmological explosion, its lack of self-sufficiency and its inability to account for itself is even more apparent! Either way, the evidence points in the same direction: the universe has an eternal self-existent Creator.
If, then, God is real, what can the cosmological argument tell us about His attributes and character? A great deal. All we have to do, as St. Paul reminds us in Romans 1:19-20, is look at His creation – at all that He has made. This tells us, first of all, that since the universe and all it contains is unimaginably vast and powerful in terms of its mass, extent, and energy, its Creator must be supremely powerful. Secondly, since the universe contains living, intelligent, and personal beings, and many other hallmarks of design, its Creator must be living, intelligent, and personal. Thirdly, since human beings possess moral awareness and feel guilty when they do wrong, their Creator must be Goodness personified, or ‘holy’, to use the language of the Bible. Finally, since the distance between non-existence and existence is an infinite one, a God who can create an entire universe out of nothing must be all-knowing and all-powerful. At the very least, God must be a Being to whose knowledge and power we can set no limits.
(8) The logical and scientific data pointing to God’s existence is so overwhelming, that an increasing number of scientists are publicly acknowledging the metaphysical implications of both the ‘Big Bang’ and the ‘fine-tuning’ characteristics of the universe. Here below is a sample of their views, beginning with one great name from the past:
Albert Einstein (Nobel Prize 1921): “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”
Paul Davies (former professor of theoretical physics at the University of Adelaide): “Through my scientific work I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with an ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it merely as a brute fact. I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a mere quirk of fate, an accident of history, an incidental blip in the great cosmic drama.”
Sir Fred Hoyle: “A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in Nature.”
Allan Rex Sandage (famous astronomer, dubbed the 'Grand Old Man of Cosmology' by the New York Times, and a former atheist): “It was my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science. It was only through the supernatural that I could understand the mystery of existence.”
Dr Arno Penzias(Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist): “I invite you to examine the snapshot provided by half a century’s worth of astrophysical data and see what the pieces of the universe actually look like…In order to achieve consistency with our observations we must…assume not only creation of matter and energy out of nothing, but creation of space and time as well. The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”
Professor Vera Kistiakowski (professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former president of the Association of Women in Science): “The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine.”
Dr Stephen Meyer (a geophysicist with a Cambridge doctorate in origin-of-life biology): “If it’s true there’s a beginning to the universe, as modern cosmologists now agree, then this implies a cause that transcends the universe. If the laws of physics are fine-tuned to permit life, as contemporary physicists are discovering, then perhaps there’s a designer who fine-tuned them. If there’s information in the cell, as molecular biology shows, then this suggests intelligent design. To get life going in the first place would have required biological information; the implications point beyond the material realm to a prior intelligent cause.”
(9) Atheists commonly argue that Darwinian evolution provides an adequate explanation of the appearance of design in Nature, without needing to invoke God as its intelligent cause. The action of natural selection on random genetic mutations supposedly provides a designer-substitute mechanism by which unguided natural forces bring about complex biological change. As a result, it is not only possible that all living creatures evolved from the same simple ancestral organisms, but – Darwinists insist – evolution is a fact in that it has actually taken place, and only religious fundamentalists deny this. These claims do not stand up to critical examination for the following reasons:
The case against Darwinism
(a) While no-one denies the reality of ‘micro-evolution’ (i.e. limited variation within species in response to environmental changes or selective breeding programmes), a growing number of scientists totally reject ‘macro-evolution’ – or, to put it in colloquial terms, large-scale ‘particles to people’ evolution. On October 1st 2001, for example, a hundred scientists published a two-page advertisement in the American magazine, The Weekly Standard, headed “A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism”. In this statement they declared: “We are sceptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” This list now includes over 800 anti-Darwinian scientists included biologists, chemists, zoologists, physicists, anthropologists, geologists, astrophysicists, and others, with doctorates from such prestigious universities as Cambridge, Stanford, Cornell, Yale, Princeton, Rutgers, Chicago, Berkeley, and other elite institutions. It also includes Nobel nominee, Henry F. Schaefer, a world-class chemist, and scientists from the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institute.
Nor is this list of scientific critics of Darwinism an exhaustive one. Over 1,000 scientists with post-graduate degrees have belonged to the Creation Research Society (USA) since its establishment in 1963, and by 1993, to take another example, the South Korean Association of Creation Research also had a membership of over 1,000 scientists, the majority with at least a Master’s degree or doctorate, and including 100 full-ranking university professors. There are many other openly-avowed creationist scientists in other parts of the world, particularly in Australia, as well as scientific critics of Darwinism who keep quiet about their dissident views for fear of blighting their professional careers. As American cosmologist, Allex Sandage put it in July 1998: “…there is a reluctance to reveal yourself as a believer, the opprobrium is so severe.”
(b) Darwinian evolution cannot even get off the ground as a non-theistic explanation of life because it cannot account for the existence of our ‘finely-tuned’ universe. It cannot answer the question addressed so convincingly by the cosmological argument for a Creator: why does anything exist at all if something cannot come from nothing?
(c) Darwinian evolution cannot explain the origin and existence of the incredibly complex biological information systems required for the construction of even the simplest living cells. Its designer-substitute mechanism of natural selection and random mutations cannot therefore effect biological change on its own. Living organisms must first exist before they can ‘evolve’ in response to environmental change! To quote Fred Hoyle: “Imagine a blindfolded person trying to solve the Rubik Cube. The chances against achieving perfect colour matching is about 50,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1. These odds are roughly the same as those against just one of our body’s 200,000 proteins having evolved randomly by chance.” (from his book, The Intelligent Universe, Michael Joseph, London, 1983). Equally devastating is the admission of the Nobel Prize-winning atheist scientist, Francis Crick, one of the joint discoverers of DNA: “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which had to have been satisfied to get it going.” (Life Itself, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1981, p.88).
(d) Much of the evidence supposedly supporting Darwinian evolution has either been challenged by the progress of science or else involves question-begging assumptions resulting from a prior philosophical bias in favour of atheism or agnosticism. Take, for example, the argument that homology (i.e. similarities of body structure or biochemistry between different species) proves evolutionary descent from a common ancestor. Could this not instead be evidence of common design by a common Creator? Different types of car also share similar features in terms of wheels and engines whilst still remaining the common product of human intelligence. Advances in microbiology, moreover, call into question the notion that genetic similarities between different species implies common ancestry. As molecular biologist and former atheist, Dr Jonathan Wells, points out, similar genes within different species often lead to different bodily features, while different genes sometimes lead to similar features, thus turning the supposed homological ‘proof’ of macro-evolution on its head. To quote his words: “We know some cases where you have similar features that come from different genes, but we have lots and lots of cases where we have similar genes that give rise to very different features. I’ll give you an example: eyes. There’s a gene that’s similar in mice, octopuses, and fruit flies. If you look at a mouse eye and an octopus eye, there’s a superficial similarity, which is odd because nobody thinks their common ancestor had an eye like that. What’s more striking is if you look at a fruit fly’s eye – a compound eye with multiple facets – it’s totally different. Yet all three of these eyes depend on the same or very similar gene.”
(e) In his book, Icons of Evolution, molecular biologist, Dr Jonathan Wells, exposes the weakness of some of the chief arguments and ‘evidence’ habitually trotted out in support of Darwinism in the standard biology textbooks used in colleges and universities. So too does Australian microbiologist, Dr Michael Denton, an agnostic scientist whose detailed, ground-breaking critique of Darwinism, Evolution: A Theory In Crisis, has opened up the scientific debate about origins since its publication in 1986. What these, and other authors, reveal in particular, is the embarrassing fact that paleontology (the study of the fossil record) does not support evolutionary theory, let alone the Darwinian claim that macro-evolution has occurred and is therefore a ‘fact’.
The first problem Darwinian evolution faces is the absence of intermediate forms in the fossil record, a fact which Darwin himself conceded was the gravest and most obvious objection to his theory. As he wrote in The Origin of Species (1859): “Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms?” The answer, he believed, lay in the incompleteness of the fossil record, a defect he assumed would be rectified by future discoveries. This has proved to be a false hope. Despite the accumulation of at least a quarter of a million fossil species over the past 150 years, the evolutionary ‘gaps’ have not been filled, as many Darwinian scientists themselves acknowledge. To quote Stephen Gould, professor of paleontology, biology, and geology at Harvard: “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.” (Natural History, Vol.86, 1977). In a similar fashion, Steve Jones, professor of genetics at London University, and like Gould, an evolutionist and atheist, admits: “The evidence for human evolution is, in fact, still extraordinarily weak…There are no more fossils than would cover a decent-sized table and we know almost nothing about what propelled a hairy and rather stupid ape into a bald and mildly intellectual human being.” (Daily Telegraph, 13/9/95). But in any case, even if there were an abundance of apparent ‘transitional’ fossils, why should this be conclusive evidence for macro-evolution? Could not an intelligent Creator have directly created unrelated creatures with certain shared or overlapping characteristics? After all, points out Dr Jonathan Wells, “…we see strange animals around today, like the duck-billed platypus, which nobody considers transitional but which has characteristics of different classes.”
The second embarrassing paleontological problem confronting Darwinian theory is what biologists call the ‘Cambrian explosion’ – the sudden and inexplicable appearance early in geological history of fossil remains of most of the major types of animal life alive today as well as various kinds that are now extinct. How can this biological ‘Big Bang’ be reconciled with the idea of macro-evolution? To quote geophysicist and origin-of-life biologist, Dr Stephen Meyer: “The Cambrian explosion represents an incredible quantum leap in biological complexity. Before then, life on Earth was pretty simple – one-celled bacteria, blue-green algae, and later some sponges and primitive worms or mollusks. Then without any ancestors in the fossil record, we have a stunning variety of complex creatures appear in the blink of an eye, geologically speaking…All of this totally contradicts Darwinism, which predicted the slow, gradual development in organisms over time…The big issue is where did the information come from to build all these new proteins, cells, and body plans?”
(f) Another powerful objection to Darwinian theory is its inability to offer a convincing solution to the problem of ‘irreducible complexity’ – i.e. the existence of biological organisms and systems comprised of multiple, co-ordinated parts, all of which must co-exist to ensure the proper functioning of that organism or system. As Darwin himself admitted in The Origin of Species: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Precisely such a demonstration has been made by American biochemist, Dr Michael Behe, in his award-winning best-seller, Darwin’s Black Box: the biochemical challenge to evolution. In this book, he argues that many biochemical structures within living organisms are ‘irreducibly complex’, like, for example, those involved in vision and blood-clotting. Behe shows that even the simplest form of vision requires a dazzling array of chemicals in the right places, as well as a system to transmit and process the information. The blood-clotting mechanism similarly needs many different chemicals to work together in order to prevent us bleeding to death from minor cuts. If a simple mousetrap cannot function if any of its component parts are missing, how could an evolutionary process produce infinitely more complex single-cell organisms? As one Darwinian scientist, Franklin M. Harold, has pointed out in his book, The Way of the Cell, (Oxford University Press, 2001, p.205), a single-cell organism is a biological high-tech factory complete with: “artificial languages and their decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control, assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction…[and] a capacity not equalled in any of our most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours.” Not surprisingly, he reluctantly concludes: “…we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical system, only a variety of wishful speculations.” (p.329).
(g) Even if we ignore the many difficulties facing Darwinian theory and the lack of convincing evidence for macro-evolution, one compelling reason exists for dismissing it completely: the accidental emergence of complex life-forms does not become more probable by being divided up into many little steps. Since the evolutionary process is ‘blind’ because it has no conscious purpose or ‘target’ at which it is aiming, there is no reason why all the little steps required for the development of the human eye, for instance, should occur at the right time and in the right order. To quote one agnostic scientific critic of Darwinism, Richard Milton, writing in his book, The Facts of Life (Corgi Books, 1992, p.180): “The improbability of step number 2 correctly following step number 1, correctly followed by step number 3 and so on for 100 mutations, is as great as leaping to the 100th step in one go…It does not become any easier for an eye to come into being just because the first of the 100 or 1,000 accidents needed has taken place, even if that first step is a very important general innovation such as light-sensitive tissue.” The next random mutation may be a wrong step, “such as providing eyelids before providing the muscles to move them, thus blinding their possessor.” Even if favourable mutations did accumulate within one species, their survival value could be counterbalanced by favourable mutations within some hostile predator, or else nullified by some harmful change in climate or physical environment. Since, in addition, most mutations are harmful, why should it be likely that enough favourable mutations would accumulate by accident to produce a progressive upward trend in organic evolution?
(h) The final reason for dismissing Darwinian evolution on both scientific and philosophical grounds is that its advocates simply miss the main point in the debate between atheists and theists. They are not only confronted by the extreme improbability that life in all its complexity ‘evolved’ by random and purposeless naturalistic processes; they face an even greater challenge: to explain why it is more probable that life in all its forms emerged on our planet by accident, rather than as the deliberately designed product of an intelligent Creator. Once the issue is seen in this light, the absurdity of denying God’s existence becomes fully apparent. To quote one great British scientist from the past, Lord Kelvin, who made important discoveries in thermodynamics and died in 1907: “Overwhelmingly strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us … the atheistic idea is so nonsensical that I cannot put it into words.” (Proceedings of the Victoria Institute, No.124, p.267).
(i) Many Darwinian scientists have admitted the weakness of the arguments and evidence for macro-evolution. The reason so many of them continue to believe in it is due to the fact that they have a prior philosophical commitment to atheism, agnosticism, or methodological naturalism – i.e. they either reject belief in God in principle, or else they cling to a narrow definition of ‘science’ which rules out intelligent design because it is not in itself a ‘natural’ process which can be put under a microscope or heated in a test-tube. Here below are just a few examples of this:
Dr Scott Todd (an immunologist at Kansas State University): “Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.” (Letter in ‘Nature’ journal 30/9/99).
Professor D.M.S. Watson (a leading 20th century biologist): “Evolution [is] a theory universally accepted not because it can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.” (Nature, 10 August 1929, p.233).
Professor Richard Lewontin (a Harvard geneticist and atheist): “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs … in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so-stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” (The New York Review of Books, p.31, 9/1/97, bold italics in original text.).
Professor George Wald (a Harvard biologist): “There are only two possibilities as to how life arose. One is spontaneous generation arising to evolution; the other is a supernatural creative act of God. There is no third possibility. Spontaneous generation, that life arose from non-living matter, was scientifically disproved 120 years ago by Louis Pasteur and others. That leaves us with the only possible conclusion that life arose as a supernatural creative act of God. I will not accept that philosophically because I do not want to believe in God. Therefore I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible: spontaneous generation arising to evolution.” (Scientific American 199, September 1958, p.100).
These quotes are just the tip of the iceberg. For a more comprehensive round-up, see The Revised Quote Book, an illuminating collection of 130 quotes (with original sources) – nearly all from Darwinist scientists – acknowledging the lack of evidence for naturalistic macro-evolution, and published by the Creation Science Foundation (Australia). It is also available from Answers In Genesis (U.K.).
(10) Another feature of life which points to God and cannot be explained by atheist philosophers and scientists, is the phenomenon of human consciousness. How can we explain our emotions, our ability to think and choose, and our capacity for self-awareness and introspection, if we are only material beings put together by random physical processes? By contrast, there are powerful philosophical and scientific reasons for believing in the reality of the soul and its connection with God. These are set out below.
The evidence for the soul and its link to God
(a) Even if there is no distinction between our ‘minds’ and our brains (as philosophical materialists believe), it does not prove the case for atheism since the human brain is far too complex a structure to have arisen by chance. As Dr Michael Denton points out in his critique of evolution (see above), the human brain, weighing just three pounds, has ten billion nerve cells, each sending out enough fibres to create a thousand million million connections. That is equal to the number of leaves in a dense forest covering a million square miles. Is it credible that this extraordinarily complex biological and electro-chemical apparatus emerged by accident rather than as a result of intelligent design?
(b) The very nature of consciousness suggests that there is a difference between the mind and the brain. To begin with, mental states are not identical with brain states since neuroscientists cannot identify the emotions or attitudes of their patients simply by examining the physical events going on in their brains. They can only discover whether these patients are happy or afraid, pessimistic or in love, by asking them what they are feeling. In other words, unlike physical phenomena, the world of thought and emotion can only be reached from the inside. Secondly, our thoughts have an immaterial and transcendent quality which suggests that they are not simply physical entities or events inside our heads. My knowledge that 2 plus 2 equals 4, for instance, or that murder is wrong, does not have any particular shape, weight, or colour. Similarly, my ability to imagine that I am in Devon, sixteenth century London, or some mythical world of my own creation, is not hindered by the fact that my brain actually inhabits my body which at that particular moment is stuck in a lecture room in 21st century Oxford. Consequently, since our thought-life is invisible and not limited by space and time, there is every reason to believe that our minds are independent of our brains.
(c) Another metaphysically significant fact about human consciousness is our consciousness of our own identity. Our thought-life has a unified focus in the sense that we are aware of ourselves as the subjects of our own internal mental experience. We see, hear, think, and feel. We are not simply a jumble of separate and unrelated thoughts, emotions, and perceptions. How then can our self-consciousness be simply the product of a mass of separate electro-chemical events in our brains? To quote American scientist and philosopher, Professor J.P. Moreland:
When you look around [a] room, you see many things at the same time. You see a table, a couch, a wall, a painting in a frame. Every individual thing has light waves bouncing off it and they’re striking a different location in your eyeball and sparking electrical activity in a different region of the brain. That means there is no single part of the brain that is activated by all these experiences. Consequently, if I were simply my physical brain, I would be a crowd of different parts, each having its own awareness of a different piece of my visual field. But that’s not what happens. I’m a unified ‘I’ that has all of these experiences at the same time. There is something that binds all of these experiences and unifies them into the experience of oneself – me – even though there is no region of the brain that has all these activation sites. That’s because my consciousness and my ‘self’ are separate entities from the brain.
(d) Philosophical and scientific materialists (or ‘physicalists’) typically argue that since death destroys and brain damage impairs mental function, our minds cannot be separate from our brains and therefore there is no reason to believe that we have souls. But this is a very question-begging argument. If human beings are a composite of body and soul, it is obvious that death or disease will dissolve or injure this union of matter and spirit, but that still does not prove the truth of materialism (or physicalism). To believe that it does, is like saying that newsreaders and the human voice don’t exist because our ability to receive televised news bulletins is inevitably disrupted if our television set breaks down. Furthermore, there is plenty of scientific evidence that there is a two-way ‘traffic’ between mind and brain. Our conscious attitudes and activities can alter our brain chemistry as well as being affected by it. As Professor J.P. Moreland points out:
For example, scientists have done studies of the brains of people who worried a lot, and found that this mental state of worry changed their brain chemistry. They’ve done studies of the brain patterns of little children who were not nurtured and loved, and their patterns are different from those of children who have warm experiences of love and nurture. So it’s not just the brain that causes things to happen in our conscious life; conscious states can also cause things to happen to the brain.
(e) Another powerful argument against the physicalist view that minds are reducible to brains, concerns our ability to think. When we do so, for example, we inhabit a mental world of truths and falsehoods, but no brain state can be ‘true’ or ‘false’ since our brain states are not about anything. They are merely physical phenomena. This in turn raises a further difficulty for atheists and physicalists. How can they explain our ability to reason and obtain knowledge, if our mental activity is solely determined by the physical structure of our brains? We do not, in ordinary conversation, accept the truth of any argument, if it can be shown to rely solely on whim, prejudice, self-interest, or any other non-rational factor. Similarly, we would not trust a print-out from a randomly programmed computer with no mind behind it. But if atheism and physicalism are true, human beings are merely biochemical machines that have emerged by accident within a purposeless and impersonal material universe. This means that all our beliefs and reasonings are simply the inevitable and accidental by-product of a long chain of random, non-rational physical and chemical events. How then can we attach any validity or significance to our thinking processes and values, including the arguments supporting atheism and physicalism? As Professor J.B.S. Haldane, a famous British atheist and scientist, admitted as long ago as 1927: “If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of the atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true…” A similar and more recent comment has been made by Darwinist philosopher, Michael Ruse: “Why should a bunch of atoms have thinking ability? Why should I, even as I write now, be able to reflect on what I am doing and why should you, even as you read now, be able to ponder my points, agreeing or disagreeing, with pleasure or pain, deciding to refute me or deciding that I am just not worth the effort? No one, certainly not the Darwinian as such, seems to have any answer to this…The point is that there is no scientific answer.” (Can a Darwinian be a Christian?Oxford University Press, 2001, p.73).
(f) Our ability to think and know is not the only feature of human consciousness which cannot be explained by atheists and physicalists. They are equally unable to account for our possession of free will. Although free will may be limited or influenced by heredity and environment, we obviously do possess it since it is self-contradictory to deny its existence. Just as we cannot ‘know’ that we know nothing, so we cannot be ‘free’ to decide that we are not free agents. In addition, our freedom to weigh options and choose between alternatives, whether we are job-hunting or selecting food in a supermarket, is constantly confirmed by our own internal experience. But if the reality of free will is undeniable, how can it be reconciled with the physical determinism implicit in the worldview of atheism and physicalism? How can we be free to shape our lives and be creative, if all our thoughts and choices are solely determined by our biochemistry and what C.S. Lewis described as “the meaningless flux of atoms” ?
The only adequate explanation of our ability to think, act, discover, and create, is that our minds are ultimately independent of our bodies and illuminated by the eternal and self-existent Intelligence which brought us into existence and gave us free will; namely, God the Creator.
(g) If the human mind is not reducible to the brain, and therefore has a spiritual origin, it is obviously not a product of evolution. There is, however, a wider reason for doubting the possibility that human consciousness could have arisen by some naturalistic Darwinian process of physical development. If something cannot come from nothing, which is the principle behind the cosmological argument for God, it follows as a corollary that the greater cannot arise from the lesser, since a lesser being or process cannot call into existence a superior power or attribute it does not already possess. This in turn has multiple ramifications. It means that existence cannot spring from non-existence; life cannot emerge from non-life; animal life cannot emerge from plant life; and, finally, self-conscious and rational human beings cannot emerge from unselfconscious animals. To believe otherwise, because oaks develop from acorns, and embryos grow into babies, is to be a victim of an evolutionist’s optical illusion. It is to forget that acorns are dropped by pre-existing oaks, and babies are conceived by pre-existing adult human beings. Above all, it is to forget that the whole natural order has a supernatural origin because it is the product of a Divine Intelligence.
The lack of any convincing Darwinian explanation for the existence of human consciousness is fully recognised by some atheist scientists and philosophers. To quote one of them, Colin McGinn: “How can mere matter originate consciousness? How did evolution convert the water of biological tissue into the wine of consciousness? Consciousness seems like a radical novelty in the universe, not prefigured by the after-effects of the Big Bang. So how did it contrive to spring into being from what preceded it?” Christian philosopher and scientist, J.P. Moreland, summarises the challenge facing atheists and physicalists even more starkly: “How, then, do you get something totally different – conscious, living, thinking, feeling, believing creatures – from materials that don’t have that? That’s getting something from nothing! And that’s the main problem.”
(h) The philosophical case for rejecting physicalism and accepting the reality of the human soul is exceedingly strong in itself, but it is also supported by recent scientific research which indicates that our minds are indeed independent of our brains. An example of this is the work of the father of modern neurosurgery, Wilder Penfield.
“Through my own scientific career, I, like other scientists, have struggled to prove that the brain accounts for the mind,” he writes, but he has had to change his mind after performing surgery on more than a thousand epileptic patients. In the course of this, he encountered concrete evidence that the brain and mind are actually distinct from each other, though they clearly interact. To quote another neuroscientist, Lee Edward Travis: “Penfield would stimulate electrically the proper motor cortex of conscious patients and challenge them to keep one hand from moving when the current was applied. The patient would seize this hand with the other hand and struggle to hold it still. Thus one hand under the control of the electric current and the other hand under the control of the patient’s mind fought against each other. Penfield risked the explanation that the patient had not only a physical brain that was stimulated to action but also a non-physical reality that interacted with the brain.” To quote Penfield’s own summary of his findings: “To expect the highest brain mechanism or any set of reflexes, however complicated, to carry out what the mind does, and thus perform all the functions of the mind, is quite absurd…What a thrill it is, then, to discover that the scientist, too, can legitimately believe in the existence of the spirit.” (The Mystery of the Mind, Princeton University Press, 1975, pp.79 & 85).
Penfield’s conviction that the mind is not reducible to the brain and points to the existence of the soul is shared by two Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientists. One of them, Sir Charles Sherrington, described by the British Medical Journal in 1952 as the “genius who laid the foundations of our knowledge of the functioning of the brain and spinal cord,” declared five days before his death: “For me now, the only reality is the human soul.” The other Nobel laureate, his former student, John C. Eccles, confessed: “I am constrained to believe that there is what we might call a supernatural origin of my unique self-conscious mind or my unique selfhood or soul.” (Both quotes are from The Self and Its Brain, by Karl R. Popper and John C. Eccles, New York: Springer-Verlag, 1977, pp.558 & 559-60).
A final summary
Philosophy and science both support the teaching of Christian theology that humans are spiritual as well as material beings, created by God. As American philosopher, Stuart C. Hackett, puts it: “Selfhood…is not explicable in material or physical terms. The essential spiritual selfhood of man has its only adequate ground in the transcendent spiritual Self-hood of God as Absolute Mind.” His conclusion is echoed by two other scholars who have explored the depths of the mind/body controversy: philosopher, Robert Augros, and physicist, George Stanciu: “…physics, neuroscience, and humanistic psychology all converge on the same principle: mind is not reducible to matter.”
An atheist’s startling confession
At the end of his life, France’s best-known existentialist and atheist philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre, confessed: “I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a king whom only a Creator could put here; the idea of a creating hand refers to God.” (From The Intellectuals Speak Out About God, edited by Roy Abraham Varghese, Lewis and Stanley, USA, 1984, p.136).
(11) Science does not and cannot rule out supernatural events like miracles. If human consciousness and the existence of an intelligently designed world points to the existence of God, it is obviously absurd to argue that God cannot suspend the ‘laws of nature’ or intervene in His creation at any time and in any way He chooses. That would be like arguing that Shakespeare couldn’t change the ending of any of his plays. In any case, from God’s perspective, there is no distinction between ‘natural’ and ‘supernatural’ events since they all have their origin in His creative and redemptive will. As C.S. Lewis points out in his book, Miracles, what is striking about Jesus’ miracles, is that they represent the ‘localisation’ and speeding-up of God’s normal activity in Nature. Just as water turns into wine each year through the combined action of sun and rain on the fruit of the vine, so Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding feast. Similarly, just as every year fields of wheat grow from tiny seedlings, so Jesus multiplies a few loaves and fish to feed the five thousand. The really ‘big’ miracles, like the raising of Lazarus from the dead, and the Resurrection of Jesus, underline God’s ability to conquer death since He is the eternal Creator who created the whole universe out of nothing.
Note about sources: Unless otherwise indicated, all the quotes used, with their original sources, are to be found in Lee Strobel’s book, The Case For A Creator, Zondervan, USA, 2004. The reference in paragraph (3) to the fact that even philosophical sceptics like Hume, Mill, and Kant, recognised the strength of the design argument for God, is fully documented (with original sources) in Understanding The Times, by David A. Noebel, Summit Press, USA, 1991, pp.168, 187-88.
God, then, is not dead. Instead of us being the unintended products of a random and chaotic universe in which life has no ultimate meaning, Christians can testify to the existence of a creative God who is the true and eternal source of life, order, beauty, purpose, and love, and who, moreover, created human beings in His image. Finding out more about this God, who brought us into existence so that we could share His life, and love, and joy, could be the most important and exciting journey of discovery of your entire life. Only in this way will you find the answers to the most important questions of life: why are we here? Why is there evil in the world and what is God’s solution to it? Is there hope for the future? Can I have a personal relationship with God? Are Christians correct in their belief that God once came to Earth and lived an exemplary human life as a first century Jewish carpenter called Jesus of Nazareth, giving hope to the poor, performing mighty miracles of healing and deliverance, and eventually dying a criminal’s death on our behalf in order to cancel the debt owed to His justice by our wrongdoing? In particular, is it true that Jesus Christ rose from the dead three days after his execution, proving by this event that He is God, and that if we accept Him into our lives, we will never again be separated from God in this life or the next?
If you want to explore these questions and test the truth claims of Christianity, follow Lee Strobel’s journeys of investigation in his two books, The Case For Christ, and The Case For Faith. In these two books, published by Zondervan, USA, Lee Strobel, formerly an award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, and a tough investigative journalist and former atheist, retraces his journey from scepticism to faith by cross-examining expert scientists, philosophers, historians, and theologians. He raises the toughest objections to Christianity. You may be surprised by some of the answers!
Difficult questions you may face
(1) You say that God exists because the universe must have a cause since it cannot have made itself. But if everything must have a cause, surely God too must have a cause, so who made God? If, on the other hand, God does not require a cause, why should the universe need a cause? Either way, your cosmological argument for God collapses!
(2) You say that the ‘Big Bang’ appearance of the universe from nothing points to the existence of God. Why shouldn’t something come from nothing? Just because we have never seen this happen in normal life doesn’t mean it could never happen!
(3) The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in modern physics suggests that sub-atomic events have no apparent cause. Why then does the universe need a cause?
(4) You say that God must be all-knowing and all-powerful to have created the universe from nothing. Does that mean that God can make 2 plus 2 equal 5, or make a round square? If the answer is no, He is not all-powerful, which weakens your claim that God is the Creator.
(5) If God is all-knowing, He must be able to predict all our future choices and actions. How then can you argue that we have free will, and that our possession of free will points to God’s existence and creativity as the ultimate source of human consciousness?
(6) You say that the evidence of intelligent design in Nature points to the existence of God as the Intelligent Creator. Does that not imply that God is also responsible for all the design flaws in the natural world, like deadly viruses, malaria-bearing mosquitoes, and earthquakes? If so, how can we believe God is really intelligent and good? Atheism makes more sense.
(7) You say that atheism can’t be true since it doesn’t explain our capacity to think and reason. Surely that is a fallacy. Even if our thoughts have an accidental physical origin, we can still use the rules of logic to examine arguments and determine whether they are valid or not, so we can still reason!
(8) You say that our minds are independent of our brains because machines don’t have consciousness. How then do you explain the fact that computers can process information, analyse data, and perform mathematical calculations, more accurately and rapidly than human beings? Does this not prove that computers can think and that therefore we too are machines – only biological ones? And is this not compatible with atheism?
(1) This objection misses the point. The cosmological argument does not say that everything must have a cause, only that everything that begins to exist must have a cause. Consequently, since the universe is not self-sufficient or self-existent (see paragraph (7) of ‘prosecution’ section), it must have an intelligent Creator who is self-sufficient and therefore self-existent.
(2) The fact that we have never seen something come from nothing is itself powerful evidence against its feasibility, even if we ignore the logical contradiction of believing that the absence of something could ever account for its presence. Do any of you, for example, seriously worry that a horse will materialise out of thin air and deposit a pile of droppings on your bedroom carpet while you are out with friends or attending a lecture? Of course not! Even if you could imagine such a possibility, is it more rational to believe that something can come from nothing rather than the opposite? Even the most famous of all philosophical sceptics, David Hume, declared in a letter to a friend in 1754: “I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without a cause.”
(3) The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that scientists cannot simultaneously measure, and therefore determine, both the movement and the location of a sub-atomic particle like an electron. This is because the very process of measurement disturbs the position of a sub-atomic particle. The ‘indeterminacy’ involved, however, relates to the position of the human observer rather than to the sub-atomic events in themselves. Consequently, many philosophers and scientists dispute the notion that sub-atomic events arise without cause. In any case, no physical investigation can prove the absence of causation, since causality is a metaphysical concept based on the self-evident truth that something cannot come from nothing, an assumption not only supported by daily experience, but one which also underlies all scientific research. To believe otherwise is equivalent to saying that Dickens’ novels appeared from nowhere because no-one saw Dickens, or anyone else, writing them!
(4) The reason God cannot make 2 plus 2 equal 5, or a round square, is because such actions would be logically contradictory and therefore meaningless. To point this out, consequently, is not to limit God’s power in any meaningful way, but simply to say that nonsense remains nonsense even when it is talked about God! Is your trust in airline pilots seriously shaken by the self-evident truth that they cannot simultaneously fly their planes and stay at home watching television?
(5) The supposed conflict between God’s all-knowingness (or omniscience) and human free will is an old philosophical issue, but the dilemma is more apparent than real. In the first place, it is simply not true that predictable behaviour is, for that reason, not free. Anyone who knows my taste in food, for instance, can predict with 100% accuracy that I will always prefer cream in my coffee rather than milk, but I would have no difficulty in switching to milk if my ability to choose freely between them were suddenly challenged by a stranger in a restaurant. Secondly, as the eternal and self-existent Creator of space, time, and the universe, God dwells in eternity and therefore doesn’t ‘foresee’ or ‘predict’ future events in the way we think. Instead, He sees all things and events in His eternal present. It is only when God communicates with time-governed human beings (for instance, in the Bible) that the language He has to use gives the impression that He too is imprisoned in time.
(6) The existence of viruses, mosquitoes, natural disasters, and other apparent ‘design flaws’ in Nature – including death and suffering in the animal kingdom generally – does not disprove the existence of a good and intelligent God for three reasons. First, the apparent ‘design flaws’ do not cancel out the evidence of intelligent and benevolent design elsewhere in Nature (e.g. the way in which parent animals feed and protect their young). This still requires explanation. Secondly, our possession of an internal moral standard by which we condemn the objectionable features of the natural world, itself points to the existence and goodness of God as the source and ground of our moral consciousness. Thirdly, God tells us in the Bible that His original creation has decayed and deteriorated because evil entered the world and spoiled His original design. To quote origin-of-life biologist and philosopher, Dr Stephen Meyer: “Based on the biblical account, we would expect to see both evidence of design in nature as well as evidence of deterioration and decay – which we do.” As for some of the other supposed ‘design flaws’ in the natural world ‘identified’ by evolutionist scientists like Richard Dawkins and Stephen Gould (e.g. in the structure of the eye and the panda’s thumb), these are not only emphatically disputed by many scientists, but are also based on faulty reasoning. To quote Dr Stephen Meyer again: “People make a lot of claims about bad biological design, but sometimes the entire picture is changed when you hear the rest of the story. For instance, people claim a design is bad because they look at only one parameter and claim it could have been better designed. However, engineers know all designs require optimizing a whole suite of parameters, and so trade-offs are inevitable to create the best overall result. [To use the illustration of a laptop computer]…the engineer isn’t supposed to be creating the best screen, the best memory, and the best keyboard – he’s supposed to be producing the best computer he can, given certain size, weight, price, and portability requirements. Could the screen be bigger? Yes, but then portability suffers. Could the computer have more memory? Sure, but then the cost goes too high.”
(7) The argument that atheism is compatible with our human capacity to reason because we can use the rules of logic to analyse people’s statements and beliefs regardless of their accidental biochemical origin, simply misses the point. It does so because it conveniently overlooks the fact that our discovery and use of these rules of logic is itself an inevitable and unintended by-product of a long chain of non-rational causes reaching back from our individual biochemistry to the accidental emergence of life on Earth, and before that, the ‘Big Bang’. In other words, the physical determinism implicit in atheism is just as destructive of the truth-claims of logic as it is of free will and moral judgement. Since, however, we cannot employ reason to discredit reason, we must instead reject the truth-claims of atheism.
(8) It is a fallacy to think computers are like human minds because they perform apparently ‘mental’ operations like information processing, logical analysis, and mathematical calculation. As Dr Raymond Tallis, professor of geriatric medicine at the University of Manchester, points out in his book, Psycho-Electronics, (Ferrington, U.K., 1994), it is the human beings who use the computers who are the ones really analysing, calculating, and processing information. To believe otherwise is equivalent to saying that electric kettles ‘boil’ water and scissors ‘cut’ paper. Without the initiative and intervention of willing, acting, and interpreting human agents, computers and kettles are just inert and purposeless bits of machinery. Secondly, the idea that computers are similar to human minds overlooks the true nature and complexity of human consciousness. When we think, process information, and calculate, we not only do these things; we are also aware of the fact that we are doing them. This self-awareness, moreover, gives us our sense of identity and our knowledge that we are persons capable of forming intentions and taking purposeful action. Do computers have this autonomy and self-awareness? Obviously not, since even the most sophisticated computer is merely a programmed and artificial extension of human intelligence with no inner life of its own. Its operations have no inherent meaning or purpose except to the human minds interpreting its data and determining their use. To be the true equivalents of human minds, computers would have to possess motives, emotions, free will, creativity, and the capacity for introspection.
Not surprisingly, Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist, John C. Eccles, has stated that he is “appalled by the naivety” of those who foresee computer sentience. In his opinion, “[There is] no evidence whatsoever for the statement made that, at an adequate level of complexity, computers also would achieve self-consciousness.”
Since computers are not minds, minds are not reducible to brains and are therefore not machines. But even if they were, that would still be incompatible with atheism since sophisticated machines like computers are clearly the product of intelligent design. God cannot be excluded from the picture either way!
Recommended reading (anti-Christian)
Atheism: The Case Against God, by George H. Smith, Prometheus Books, 1989.
The Blind Watchmaker, by Richard Dawkins, W.W. Norton, 1986.
Pro-God and pro-Christian books
The Case For A Creator: a journalist investigates scientific evidence that points towards God, by Lee Strobel, Zondervan (USA), 2004. An outstanding and readable collection of interviews with top scientists and philosophers setting out the evidence for God in every area of science.
Scaling the Secular City: A Defence of Christianity, by J.P. Moreland, Baker Books (USA), 2003.
Reasonable Faith, by William Lane Craig, Crossway, revised edition, Wheaton, Illinois, USA, 1994.
God? A Debate Between A Christian And An Atheist, by William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Oxford University Press, 2004.
The Essentials of Theism, by D.J.B. Hawkins, Sheed & Ward, 1949 (worth getting secondhand).
Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, (the first three chapters), by Archbishop Michael Sheehan, Saint Austin Press (revised edition), London, 2001 (A very readable and lucid exposition of the philosophical arguments for the existence of God and the soul).
The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions about Intelligent Design, by William Dembski, InterVarsity Press, USA, 2004.
Handbook of Christian Apologetics, by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli, InterVarsity Press, USA, 2003.
Miracles, by C.S. Lewis, Fount-Collins paperback, U.K.
Icons of Evolution, by Dr Jonathan Wells, Regnery, USA, 2000.
Refuting Evolution, by Dr Jonathan Sarfati, Answers In Genesis, Australia, 2002.
Darwin on Trial, by Phillip Johnson, InterVarsity Press, USA, 1993.
Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, by Dr Michael J. Behe, Touchstone, USA, 1996.