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No doubt you have heard of the Intelligent Design movement. This is not a Christian movement but is made up of a group of scientists and other academics who are against naturalism and teach that there is some “designer” behind the universe and life. They don’t name the designer, however. Those within the movement have various beliefs about the origins issues—some believe in billions of years and even evolution. Some are Christians, but some are not. Some may be young earth creationists.
Dr. Michael Behe is one scientist from this movement with whom many would be familiar. His book Darwin’s Black Box is well-known. Although Behe is ardently against naturalism and teaches that there is a designer behind life, Behe does not take a stand on a literal Genesis. In fact, one could really call Behe a type of Theistic Evolutionist.
One of the points I have made over and over again through the years is that when one takes man’s fallible ideas of evolution and millions of years and adds those to Scripture, he reinterprets the clear words of the Bible and undermines biblical authority. I have also warned that when such compromise exists in one generation, it usually becomes much greater in the next, and then the next—until the foundation of God’s Word is lost from people’s thinking. Actually, this is what the Already Gone book research has illustrated in regard to why two thirds of young people are leaving the church by the time they reach college age.
I have also said many times over the years that just teaching about intelligent design is not enough. One needs to point people to the true Designer—to the Creator God of the Bible. It is also imperative to understand what God’s Word teaches us concerning salvation: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). We should never divorce design arguments from the Word of God. At the Creation Museum, I often clarify that we don’t want to just convert people to be creationists. Creationists will end up in hell separated from God forever just like an atheist, unless they have trusted Christ for Salvation. We want to see people converted to be Christians.
Recently, Michael Behe’s son was interviewed for an article for The Humanist Magazine. Think about what I have stated above as you read excerpts of this sad interview with Leo Behe as he shares how he became an atheist even though he grew up knowing the ID arguments.
The Humanist: You’ve previously written that the first critique of religion you came across was Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. From that, you realized “how questionable religion might sound to some who had not grown up around it.” Why did you originally read Dawkins and what particularly in that book made you question religion?Earlier in the interview, Leo Behe stated, “I was raised Roman Catholic, and I was always very comfortable with it. It was as natural to me as any other part of my education. I was always very active in my faith—I attended Mass every Sunday, sometimes more, and confessed my sins to a priest often. I was also very interested in apologetics; however, I generally focused on debating members of other faiths or denominations of Christianity. It did not occur to me until later in life to examine the reliability of the Bible, the infallibility of which my Christian opponents would always agree upon. Among my family, we would always hold to Catholic traditions such as nightly recitation of the rosary, and we always attended Mass together.”
Behe: There was a lot of buzz about The God Delusion back in 2008 when I read it, and it seemed to be having an impact on a lot of Christians’ faith. I had recently decided to turn my interest in apologetics toward atheism, and Dawkins’ bestseller seemed to be a good place to start. The God Delusion has been criticized for its allegedly infantile treatment of metaphysics, but that aspect of the book was not what originally challenged my faith. The point that hit me hardest while reading was the fallible origin of Scripture, which I had never considered (to my own surprise). That point in particular was what originally shook my specific faith—Catholicism—and planted seeds of skepticism, which continued to grow as I expanded my knowledge through other literary works on both sides of the issue. [Emphasis ours.]
The Humanist: How long was this transformation, and why didn’t your father’s ideas (or others) about intelligent design demonstrate proof of a “designer” or creator?
Behe: The journey from very devout Catholic to outspoken atheist took about six months total. Once my trust in the Bible was shaken, I still believed strongly in a theistic god, but I realized that I hadn’t sufficiently examined my beliefs. Over the next several months, my certainty of a sentient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent deity faded steadily. I believe that the loss of a specific creed was the tipping point for me. . . .
The Humanist: About your father, you previously blogged: “I believe that he does have doubts and does see conflicts between science and the Bible, and he therefore continues to reshape his faith so as to dodge those conflicts.” Why do you think he has doubts and why does he continue to reshape his faith?
Behe: I think that all scientists who hold to a particular religious creed must experience conflicts with their sacred texts and their scientific observations. I can’t speak for my father’s personal beliefs specifically, but I believe that the constant reinterpretation of sacred texts to correct conflicts between theological claims and scientific discoveries says something about the faith upon which those claims are based. For irreducible complexity particularly, the glaring inefficiencies apparent in life—along with a universe that appears more chaotic and indifferent the more we learn about it—will challenge the religious beliefs of any scientist and continue to force additional reinterpretations of sacred texts. It is my hope that eventually such texts will lose all credibility.
You can read the entire interview at The Humanist.
This serves as a reminder for parents (and fathers in particular as spiritual head of the house) not to compromise the Word of God. It further reminds us of the need for quality apologetics resources, such as what Answers in Genesis produces, so parents can teach their children how to defend the Christian faith, answer the skeptical questions of this age, and stand boldly and uncompromisingly on the authority of the Word of God.
Recently, Answers in Genesis produced a book entitled How do we know the Bible is true? This along with our Answers Books, Demolishing Contradictions, and other apologetics resources are important tools for parents today.
I would also remind all of you to read Already Gone and Already Compromised. Both of these books illustrate the consequences with the next generation of Christians and Christian leaders who compromise God’s Word with evolution and millions of years.
We need to pray for the Behe family. I hope they will consider a visit to our Creation Museum and meet with us.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,