10/13/12 post on “Global Warming and Evolution Conjoined” (particularly anthropogenic global warming) details a recent movement to link two controversial scientific theories. We characterize our reference to global warming theory as an alarmist view of significant temperature rise, unprecedented weather disasters, disastrous sea level rise, and fatal consequences for many of earth’s life forms. Both theories generate significant disagreement among professional scientists. The disagreement spills over to the public who are forced to take sides.
Non-scientists are often confused by the disagreement. Adherents of both theories sometimes accuse deniers and skeptics of disrespect for science itself. In reality, the disagreement among scientists is a symptom of science working in a healthy manner. Among both the science profession and the public, this accusation amounts to intimidation. If we oppose evolution or anthropogenic global warming theories, do we betray or oppose science? Most emphatically, we do not. There are many areas of investigation in science about which the answers to questions posed are not clearly evident. Evolution and climate science are unmistakably in this category for many different reasons.
Cause and effect relationships are difficult to pin down. In the case of evolution the genetic relationship between living things is obvious, but the reality of the genetic similarity does not necessarily signal common ancestry driven by a dubious naturalistic process. The biological community has been programmed to accept a naturalistic scenario and to reject the likely possibility that living creatures, including man, were front-loaded miraculously by an incredible infusion of coded genetic information. Elaborate evolutionary theory is highly saturated with the current science philosophy that science deals only with natural causations. Embrace of this philosophy leaves no room for any view but one: “Evolution is good science. In fact, evolution is the only science to explain origins.”
Climate science, with its prominent appendage of global warming theory, is driven by a somewhat different philosophy. The community of climate scientists is motivated strongly by environmental concerns. Of course, concern for the earth’s environment is a noble thing. Research demonstrates that many climatologists tend to ignore or understate alternate hypotheses of the dozens of complex factors impacting our climate, including the exceedingly well-known climate oscillations during and prior to human history. Carbon dioxide has been labeled a pollutant and receives the lion’s share of blame for projected damage to our earth, a fragile proposal in the view of many brilliant climate scholars opposed to global warming theory.
This blog has focused on the connection between science and faith. We trust our science conclusions are driven by the best historic traditions of science and motivated by knowledge that scientific method has its roots in principles of scripture. In like manner, we are confident our theology is sound and orthodox. In this spirit we have proposed that the theory of evolution as proposed both by naturalistic and theistic evolutionists fails to conform with the traditional rendering of sudden sequential creation events over time according to the Hebrew term bara--something created, but not existing before. In particular, the term relates to the creation of humans.
Earth’s climate system and weather phenomena are a source of human blessing and awe. It is man’s responsibility to care for and subdue (bring under control) the earth, including making use of its many fossil resources to benefit humanity. Abuse of earth’s resources is not sanctioned. The Cornwall Alliance has issued a vibrant statement of belief about our God-created planet: “We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence—are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.” Enlightened knowledge of our earth system powerfully affirms this truth.
The campaign to aggressively promote the theory of evolution, together with the theory of anthropogenic global warming, is of questionable value for the Christian. Our campaign should be to aggressively discover the truth about human origins and climate science. Truth is significantly more difficult to discover than promotion of an agenda-driven, naturalistic philosophy. When genuine discoveries are made to augment our knowledge of the truth, we must humbly accept them as God-ordained.