Scientific Atheism: a Frivolous Exercise in Intellectual Contempt

Last week I reviewed The Kingdom of Speech, by Tom Wolfe. Wolfe is not religious (the New York Times calls him an atheist, for whatever that’s worth), but he delivers a stunning critique of modern evolutionary theory as being entirely devoid of substantial evidence.

Which in turn reminded me of David Berlinski’s book The Devils Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions. Berlinski, despite himself being an atheist, cannot tolerate the intellectual arrogance demonstrated by today’s atheistic evolutionists. While I don’t want to review the whole book, I will pass on its main point: a scientific theory should only claim what it can prove. The problem with evolution is that it claims to explain everything, while it actually is able to prove nothing.  

But this gulf doesn’t slow atheistic evolutionists down at all. Its not even a speed-bump for them. They write and act as if the entire burden of proof were on the Christian. That’s why I like these books (The Devil’s Delusion and The Kingdom of Speech). They serve as reminders that when it comes to evolution, it is not the Christians who have to prove or disprove anything, because we are not the ones making substantive claims. Rather the burden of proof is on those postulating with certainty that they know the scientific secrets of life.

The result is a modern scientific community that has been snookered by something as obvious as a Nigerian email scam. I’m thankful that there are even atheists who have sufficient vestiges of common sense through common grace to see through the charade of so-called evolutionary theory.

The reason I’m not going to review the entire book by Berlinski is because the inside cover of The Devil’s Delusion sums it up well:

  • Has anyone provided a proof of God’s inexistence? Not even close.
  • Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here? Not even close.
  • Have the sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life? Not even close.
  • Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough.
  • Has rationalism in moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral? Not close enough.
  • Has secularism in the terrible twentieth century been a force for good? Not even close to being close.
  • Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy of thought and opinion within the sciences? Close enough.
  • Does anything in the sciences or in their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational? Not even in the ballpark.
  • Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? Dead on.

In contrast with “scientific atheism,” Christianity offers truth from the truth source. Wolfe is right—evolution cannot begin to explain speech, much less the evolution of all creatures. And Berlinski is right—scientific atheism has been used to harm the world, not to help it (and certainly not to enlighten it).


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