Carl Sagan Took My Faith—and Gave Me Awe: A research coordinator for the new “Cosmos” Brandon Fibbs recounts his Sagan-inspired journey away from religion and Abandoning My Faith: A Personal Journey
“Once Genesis fell, the rest of the Bible fell with it,” says atheist.
Inspired by Carl Sagan, creator of Cosmos: A Personal Journey, Brandon Fibbs, a research coordinator for its reboot Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, wrote of his own personal journey away from Christianity and recently posted a fifteen-minute YouTube video recounting his “de-conversion.”1 Having abandoned his family’s Christian faith, atheist Fibbs’s testimony is a stern reminder of the importance of showing the world they can trust the secure foundation for truth found in the first eleven chapters of the Bible, in the book of Genesis.
If Genesis Falls . . .
Fibbs explains that his grandparents were missionaries, his family the founders of a Bible college, and himself the holder of a theology degree. Raised to believe evolution was untrue, Fibbs explains that he abandoned his profession of faith in his thirties:
When I investigated what scientists knew evolution to be, rather than what my pastors and Sunday school teachers claimed it to be, I quickly realized I had not been told the truth. My concept of evolution was a ridiculous straw man, an unrecognizable and malnourished shadow of an elegant, graceful, and sophisticated reality. The biblical account of creation was, quite simply, impossible; it did not square with reality. It flew in the face of everything humans had discovered. If the origins of the world and humans beings were wrong, what else was wrong? . . . Once Genesis fell, the rest of the Bible fell with it. Once I accepted that the Bible’s account of cosmic and human origins could not possibly be true, I began to realize it was just the first in a long line of things about which the Bible was wrong.2
Answers in Genesis exists for the purpose of equipping people to keep them from stumbling over fallible man’s claims as this man did. All the major doctrines of the Bible have their foundation in Genesis. Most importantly, our understanding of our own sinful natures, the suffering and death we see in the world, and the reason we each need a Savior are all rooted in the first three chapters of Genesis. Jesus Christ Himself emphasized the importance of this foundation when He warned the Pharisees, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:46–47).
Failing to see that the opening chapters of the Bible are scientifically trustworthy, many young people raised in churches walk away from the faith in which they were raised. Answers in Genesis desires to teach people that faith in the Bible from the very first verse is not only essential to a solid understanding of the gospel message but is also sensible and scientifically reasonable.
A God of Love and Grace
His video shows he clearly has many issues with God, or rather with his concept of God and God’s place in history.
While Fibbs says Sagan and “science” inspired him to “jettison” his “religious worldview,” his video shows he clearly has many issues with God, or rather with his concept of God and God’s place in history. He indicates faith in God leads to terrorism and wars with which we humans may ultimately destroy ourselves—illustrated with a mushroom cloud—a curious choice of illustration since Christianity and nuclear proliferation are quite unrelated. (These thoughts are echoed in the final episode of Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey.) Fibbs also says the God of the Bible is “malevolent” while depicting images of people carrying placards declaring “Jesus hates sin” (which is true) and “God hates you” (which is not true) and a variety of crude comments about homosexual people.
In its opening three chapters Genesis shows that our Creator rightly has authority over us, that we like Adam are sinners deserving death, and that God in His loving grace has prepared a way of salvation through His own work of sacrifice. Thus Genesis should answer this God-rejecting man’s chief complaint against God, the theological/philosophical reason he insists there can be no God. Fibbs rejects Genesis however, ostensibly due to his scientific concerns. Therefore, being under the impression that no real God could be so petty as to send people to an eternal fiery hell just for disobeying with His rules, he concludes that God does not exist (Psalm 14:1).
But Genesis shows that our holy God—our real and omnipotent Creator—does have genuine authority over us, now and for eternity. Though we are all sinners standing justly condemned and deserving God's wrath (John 3:36; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23), God as depicted in the Bible loves us despite our rebelliousness but is angry with the wicked (Psalm 7:11) and hates all the sins that enslave us—whether the sin of homosexual behavior or the sins of lying, theft, covetousness, adultery, murder, or sexual promiscuity of any kind. God declares in His Word that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11) and desires all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). God is holy and just but loves people. God demonstrated His love by sending His Son Jesus Christ into this world to die on the Cross for sinners (Romans 5:8; John 3:16–21), bearing our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 2:9–10; 1 Peter 2:24). He wishes all to repent of their sin, especially the sin of rejecting the offer of eternal salvation available through Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:9; Romans 6:23), and receive the free gift of grace with abundant and eternal life.
Miracles and the Laws of Nature
During the video, Fibbs lists a number of miraculous events recorded in the Bible—including the Virgin Birth and Christ’s Resurrection from the dead—and declares Christians are “foolish” for believing them:
It’s time to stop believing in something that regularly breaks laws of nature. It’s time to stop believing in prehistoric gardens with magic fruit trees and talking snakes. It’s time to stop believing in floating zoos, a flood that covered the entire earth, and people who lived to be nearly one thousand years old. It’s time to stop believing in towers built to reach heaven.3
Yet the Bible is clear that these miraculous events are just that—miracles—demonstrations of God’s power in order to accomplish a particular purpose and often to establish His credibility in the context described. For instance, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ demonstrated His deity (Romans 1:4). People who witnessed (1 Corinthians 15:12–21) miracles such as the Resurrection of Jesus Christ knew these were extraordinary events and not “regular” exceptions to the familiar laws of nature.
God’s Word describes not only the beginning of all life but also the beginning of the laws of nature. The laws of science were created by our wise and logical Creator to govern the physical universe He created. Fibbs would rather put his faith in the view of our unobservable origins provided by what he calls the “elegant, graceful, and sophisticated reality” of evolutionary science—despite the fact that evolutionary science has no viable way to explain the beginning of life or the laws of science.
Biblical History Squares with Reality
Fibbs asserts that the biblical account of Creation could not have happened—that it is “impossible; it did not square with reality. It flew in the face of everything humans had discovered.” Yet the biblical account in Genesis chapters one and two, summed up by God’s statement in Exodus 20:11—“For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them”—does square with observable reality. Natural processes have never been shown to produce life from nonliving elements, yet our supernatural Creator was able to speak life into existence. Living things He created do reproduce and vary only within their created kinds. Humans—despite evolutionary claims to the contrary—really do exist as a special creation distinct from the animals but are all related to our first parents Adam and Eve.
Dr. David DeWitt pointed out in his article “Does the Creation Model Make Predictions? Absolutely!” that the biblical truth that all humans descended from Adam and Eve enabled him to make correct predictions about Neanderthals while evolutionary scientists still thought Neanderthals were unrelated to modern humans. History is written in the human genome, wherein we see confirmation of the truth that all humans are related. And the diversity of humans, both ancient and modern, makes sense when considered in light of the biblical account of the dispersion of people from the Tower of Babel.
Science works because God created!
In fact, faith in God’s biblical creation account—the only eyewitness account available—is an excellent yardstick for evaluating scientific interpretations of data relevant to questions about our origins. Many of the laws of science were in fact discovered and elucidated by scientists in centuries past who, thanks to their biblical worldview, expected to find predictability and logic in God’s creation. Science works because God created! Many additional examples of biblical faith leading to scientific discoveries are discussed in “Can Bible-Based Predictions Lead to Scientific Discoveries?”
History is also written in the rocks, but the biblical record is the key to translating that history correctly. Bible-believing scientists understand the correct interpretation of accurate scientific data will never conflict with the correctly interpreted (2 Timothy 2:15) Word of God. The global Flood described in Genesis chapters 6–9 explains observable geology and much of the fossil record. Biological observations do not show us any way for organisms to acquire the genetic information to evolve into new and more complex living things, and the fossil record shows us not the evolution of increasingly complex life forms but rather the order in which organisms were buried during and after the global Flood.
Historical Versus Observational Science
Fibbs defines science as “an objective, methodological tool that uses reason and evidence to systematically study the world around us.”4 In fact, such observational science is fully consistent with the biblical history of Creation and the global Flood. No, it is not scientific “facts” but rather worldview-based Bible-rejecting uniformitarian philosophy that insists the earth took billions of years to form and that life took millions of years to evolve the diversity we see in nature.
Fibbs says in the video that he cannot prove there is no God, yet he has chosen to go forward in life rejecting any possibility that God and God’s truth could explain the unobservable past correctly. In jettisoning his “religious worldview,” Fibbs simply adopted the worldview of a different religion, a naturalistic materialistic worldview, through which he now views the claims of science and faith alike. And it is his chosen worldview, not verifiable truth, as he asserts in the video, that determines his conclusions.
Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey—though marketed as a tool to teach science literacy to the masses and to classrooms full of schoolchildren—so thoroughly integrated evolutionary philosophy with scientific facts that the final product amounts to a 13-hour infomercial for the religion of evolution. Brandon Fibbs chose to follow Carl Sagan’s lead and adopt his religion of materialistic atheism. His video describes the enormous satisfaction he derives from his God-rejecting faith (Psalm 14:1). Similarly, Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of the new Cosmos series, repeatedly describes in the series the spiritual satisfaction he gets from his humanistic evolutionary beliefs. This series, for which Fibbs was a research coordinator, was not so much about science as about preaching the religion of evolution with evangelistic zeal.
Sadly, Brandon Fibbs has rejected the foundation for belief in Jesus Christ—an understanding from Genesis that God created a perfect world; that Adam and Eve rebelled against God and brought sin, suffering, guilt, and death into that world; and that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was born into this world as a human being to pay the price for man’s sin. When this foundation for belief in Jesus Christ fell, so did any inclination Fibbs may have had toward a saving belief in the God that loved him enough to die on the Cross for him.
Like Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson, Fibbs preaches an invitation for others to join him in his evolutionary religion. His story is a stark reminder that we must work night and day to show the children and the adults of the world that the Bible is not in conflict with scientific truth and that they can trust what the Bible says from the very first verse. Then they can understand why they suffer, why they and all people are sinners, why Jesus Christ paid the price for sin on the Cross, and why they should trust their present lives and eternal futures to their Creator, the God of the Bible.
For more information:
- Cosmos Review: “Unafraid of the Dark”
- Secularists Can’t Handle AiG’s Cosmos Reviews
- Read all our Cosmos reviews
- Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey
- Can Bible-Based Predictions Lead to Scientific Discoveries?
- Does Religion Cripple Science Innovation?
- God & Natural Law
- Bill, There Is a Book Out There
- Can Bible-Based Predictions Lead to Scientific Discoveries?
- Deceitful or Distinguishable Terms—Historical and Observational Science
- Evolutionism—Is There Such a Word?