Science & Faith
10/25/12 at 10:30 PM 4 Comments

Science and Faith: Near-Death Experiences and Darwin's God

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Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander

Dr. Egnor, professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, has written perceptively about Darwinian "just so stories" about the animal origins of humans in comparision to the sceptical response of materialists to the Amazon bestseller Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife by neurosurgeon Eben Alexander. Egnor writes:

Paleoanthropology, for example, is notorious for inventing stories of human origins from pathetically little in the way of physical remains. Evolutionary psychology is even worse, offering ludicrous speculations on the basis of no evidence at all.

Contrast this for a moment with Darwinists' contemptuous dismissal of the life-changing experiences of millions of people.

After Egnor quotes a long section of distinguished neurosurgeon Eben Alexander's near-death experience (NDE), Dr. Egnor writes:

Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE's are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception -- such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE's have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.

From a scientific standpoint, I think that we need to consider these personal reports as real evidence, of varying credibility.

At the end Egnor concludes (after reviewing one Darwinist, Jerry Coyne, who dismisses NDEs entirely):

The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE's show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it's earth-shaking evidence. [See this book on human origins to grasp how pitful the evidence for human evolution is]. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it's all a big yawn.

Compare this with Darwin's own personal materialistic faith expressed in his Autobiography, p. 87 (if you wish to examine the context of this excerpt, go here and do a text search for “about religion” to find page 85).

Although I did not think much about the existence of a personal God until a considerably later period of my life, I will here give the vague [anti-theistic] conclusions to which I have been driven. The old argument of design in nature, as given by Paley, which formerly seemed to me so conclusive, fails, now that the law of natural selection has been discovered. We can no longer argue that, for instance, the beautiful hinge of a bivalve shell must have been made by an intelligent being, like the hinge of a door by man. There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows. Everything in nature is the result of fixed laws.

In the earlier paragraphs of his Autobiography he explains why he rejected the Christian God. Yet, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881, he admitted:

You have expressed my inward conviction . . . that the Universe is not the result of chance. But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?

In his article Finding Darwin's Real God Michael Flannery explains the significance of this comment from Darwin in the following way:

But then why trust the theory that emanated from Darwin's mind any more than those of a monkey's? Whether it's his theory of evolution or his ideas about god that emanate from it, the monkey is still on Darwin's back.

While Darwinists like Jerry Coyne may sneer at near-death experience stories like Eben Alexander's, one must remember that Darwin's god of materialism undermines all rationality as Darwin feared above. How so? Darwin's blind watchmaker thesis is the idea that all organisms on earth have descended from a common ancestor through unguided, purposeless, material processes such as natural selection acting on random variations. Evolution in this sense entails the belief that unintelligent causes completely suffice to explain the origin of novel biological forms and the appearance of design in complex organisms. But as Alvin Plantinga explains in his new book about Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism if naturalistic Darwinism were true, it would undermine any good reasons we have for trusting our cognitive abilities, and thus destroy the only good reasons we have to trust science itself. As Darwin himself mused: "Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind?"

Are you curious now? Read more of Finding Darwin's Real God and Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist's Evidentiary Standards to the Test and compare these two articles as I have done so above.

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