Political views are ultimately derived from philosophical views, and political revolutions are usually preceded by philosophical revolutions. Currently, a revolution with philosophical implications is taking place in the scientific world. The revolutionaries are still a minority, and they are largely ignored by mainstream science, but the uprising is real.
In the picture of origins science painted by our mainstream media, science has solved, or is close to solving, the deepest mysteries of life — how the universe began, how life began and evolved, and how human intelligence developed — from an entirely materialist framework. In other words, their explanation of the universe doesn’t appeal to anything more than matter in motion.
Discovery Institute, a public policy institute dedicated to the “reinvigoration of traditional Western principles and institutions and the worldview from which they issued,” is producing a series of short videos that attempt to counter this inaccurate picture with good science and paint an entirely different picture. The series, which has six videos so far, is called Science Uprising, and it not only shows why the dominant materialist worldview has been toxic for our culture, but also why it is wrong scientifically. Unlike some earlier “science uprisings,” which attempted to twist science to fit Genesis, this science uprising is based on good science and is led by good scientists, such as Brazilian chemist Marcos Eberlin, whose new intelligent design-promoting book Foresight carries endorsements from three Nobel Prize winners. The videos feature interviews with prominent scientists, including synthetic chemist James Tour of Rice University, cosmological physicist Frank Tipler of Tulane University, and biochemist Michael Behe of Lehigh University.
The videos focus on the following topics:
- Reality (Real Versus Material): “The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be,” says Carl Sagan. “I have a materialist view of the world. And so that commits me to the view that when I think I have free will … I am deluding myself,” says Richard Dawkins. The video’s narrator counters: “Isn’t our reality more than just matter? Most people and cultures around the world have a profound belief that life extends beyond the physical. That compassion, ideas, joy, and sorrow aren’t made of matter, but are as real to us as our arms and legs. If we believe this, are we anti-science?”
- Mind (The Inescapable “I”): “You are robots made out of meat,” declares Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago. But Michael Egnor, neurosurgeon and professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook counters with a description of experiments that imply that, in his words, “the human mind is not purely generated by the matter of the brain.”
- DNA (The Programmer): “DNA is more advanced than any software ever created,” says Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. And yet we are asked to believe that this code was programmed without a programmer.
- Fine Tuning (You Don’t Suck): “There is no evidence of design or purpose to our universe,” says physicist Lawrence Krauss. “Fine tuning in physics refers to the fact, the observed fact, that were we to modify the constants of nature just slightly, life would never appear in this universe,” counters cosmological physicist Frank Tipler of Tulane University. This is followed by a discussion of how these fundamental constants of our universe are “fine-tuned” for life. There is indeed abundant evidence for design in our universe, and the only response materialists have is that there must be many other universes with different values for the fundamental constants and ours is the lucky one.
- Origin of Life (Intelligence Required): We are constantly told that science is getting closer and closer to a chemical explanation for the origin of life. Renowned synthetic chemist James Tour of Rice University says, “We haven’t created life — nowhere close.” Actually, even with all our technology, we aren’t close to creating any self-replicating machine. That is still science fiction, so how are we to believe that such a machine could have resulted from a pure chance configuration of atoms? “To get an idea of the complexity of a living cell, think of a factory,” says molecular biologist Douglas Axe. “A cell is actually far more complicated than that factory, because factories don’t maintain themselves. People have to maintain factories, and factories certainly don’t make new factories.”
- Mutations (Failure to Invent): Despite all the claims for the creative powers of natural selection of random mutations, it has never actually been observed to create anything new and complex. In his 2019 book Darwin Devolves, Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe writes, “Darwinian evolution proceeds mainly by damaging or breaking genes, which, counterintuitively, sometimes helps survival. In other words, the mechanism is powerfully devolutionary. It promotes the rapid loss of genetic information.” This video includes an interview with Behe in which he discusses experiments that support his thesis that natural selection of random mutations never builds things, only breaks things. In other words, it is like every other unintelligent cause in the universe, after all, and tends to turn order into disorder and not vice versa.
The bottom line is that materialists have to believe, as discussed in my 2000 Mathematical Intelligencer article, that four fundamental, unintelligent, forces of physics alone could have rearranged the fundamental particles of physics on Earth into computers and airplanes and science libraries and Apple iPhones. The Science Uprising videos show why they couldn’t have.
Granville Sewell is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Texas El Paso.