Can Evolution Account for Reason?

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There are many online claims about the power of evolution to create new biological traits. Some evolutionists have speculated that evolution can account for altruism, but I exposed the deficiency in the “explanations” here. And while evolutionists claim that “nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution”, they have swept under the rug evolution’s inability to explain biological software.

This week, I asked a God-denier to explain how “reasoning” could be explained via natural causes. This God-denier posted a link which was supposed to provide evidence and confirmation that evolution can explain the origins of reasoning. Bing the intrepid ApoloJedi that I am, I read through the contents of the article and have analyzed it to see if it could make good on its claims. Of note, I regard this article to be poorly formatted and absent of any explanatory power, so I expect there will be a future blog post entitled “Can Evolution Explain Reason – Part 2?” when a subsequent God-denier doubtlessly posts another wild assertion that naturalistic causes can explain the origins of reasoning.

The article in question has been cited 10 times and accessed over 1000 times and much of it is hidden behind a paywall (remaining unanalyzed). There are 30 notes organized in a list. In the analysis I quote the pertinent piece from the note above in Italics and my comment below each is in Bold. Without further delay, here’s the analysis

I conjecture that reasoning evolved primarily because it helped social hominins more readily and fully align their intentions
Conjecture indeed

The Primary Naturalist Assumptions include purposelessness and amorality
  1. “first article”
    Hidden (hidden like evidence for evolution) behind a pay wall
  2. “purpose of reasoning”
    Purpose/teleology is a concept that is incompatible with the primary naturalist assumptions AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  3. Nothing in this note explains the origin of reasoning from non-reasoning sources
  4. “argumentative posturing”
    Assumes that reasoning already exists AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  5. “moral emotions…loyalty, gratitude, sympathy”
    Morality is a concept that is incompatible with the primary naturalist assumptions AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  6. “Imagine…reasons”
    Imagine indeed AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  7. “likely”
    Not evidence AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  8. “those with a preference for going right will often capitulate by joining the majority”
    This very clearly shows the absence of reason AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  9. “The odds of surviving might be enhanced, for example, by keeping mum about a fruit tree discovered while scouting”
    While evolutionists crone about how empathy drive social advancements, this note is literally contrary to that assumption AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
    Also, in conflict with Note 14
  10. “team agency” & “team reasoning” & “gestational reasoning” & “group’s collective intent”
    Purpose/teleology is a concept that is incompatible with the primary naturalist assumptions AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  11. “giving of reasons counts as a kind of reasoning”
    Circular. Tautology. Assumes that reasoning already exists AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  12. “My claim here is that the faculty of reason played—and continues to play—a critical role”
    Assumes that reasoning already exists AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  13. “By calling manipulative reasoning…”
    Assumes that reasoning already exists AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  14. “collaborative reasoning” & “When reasoning together”
    Assumes that reasoning already exists AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
    Also, in conflict with Note 9
  15. Nothing in this note explains the origin of reasoning from non-reasoning sources
  16. “may have been made possible by the prior emergence of basic reasoning aptitudes. The claim is conjectural, but worth further exploration”
    Conjecture indeed AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  17. “it is not incorrect to speak of intention alignment as the primary utility or purpose of reasoning”
    Pragmatism is insufficient AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  18. “I take it up presently”
    It IS an important question AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  19. ” ‘mind writing’ involves intentional or deliberate alteration”
    Assumes that reasoning already exists AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  20. “The ethical implications of IAM are significant, and well worth exploring”
    Assumes that reasoning already exists AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  21. Another article behind a paywall, but the abstract does not explain the origins of reasoning from non-reasoning sources
  22. “if we could be sure that a bee’s nervous system supported something properly described as a mind”
    Humans did not evolve from bees AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  23. “complex social practice built atop basic reason-giving propensities”
    Difficulties with the naturalistic origins brought up AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  24. Another article behind a paywall, but the abstract does not explain the origins of reasoning from non-reasoning sources
  25. “my aim here is not to decide the question, but make a preliminary case that IAM belongs in the discussion”
    An introduction to a hypothesis AND does not explain the origin of reasoning
  26. Nothing in this note explains the origin of reasoning from non-reasoning sources
  27. Nothing in this note explains the origin of reasoning from non-reasoning sources
  28. Nothing in this note explains the origin of reasoning from non-reasoning sources
  29. Nothing in this note explains the origin of reasoning from non-reasoning sources
  30. Nothing in this note explains the origin of reasoning from non-reasoning sources

As you can clearly see, this linked article has given us no explanation for the naturalistic origin of reasoning via evolutionary forces. We did see some internal contradictions, and it was strong on assertions, but ended up be short on both evidence and justification

Disclaimer: Because God has revealed in his eternal Word that He has is the Source of reasoning, we know that the answer to the question “Can Evolution Explain Reason?” is most assuredly no. But as has been the case with other posts in this series, I have taken the claims of the naturalists and analyzed them within their own worldview, to see if their claims are valid. And just like the other posts, their claims are shown to be severely lacking.

Drink Up or Shutup!

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How do you answer the exvangelical or God-denier or self-proclaimed atheist who says,

Go read Mark 16:18 and then drink up or shutup!

Let’s look at the words of Jesus recorded in Mark 16 and see if we can provide an apologetic answer

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

This sounds like an example of an internal critique. If the Christian is truly convinced that they are a follower of Jesus (so the skeptic would challenge), then the signs spoken of above will be exhibited in their life. Should a Christian immediately go out, find some serpents and slurp up some venom? Mmmm – No. Here are a few tips for how to respond to our skeptic friends.

  1. When faced with a similar temptation from Satan, Our Lord responded with scripture. Flip over just a few pages to the right in your Bible, to find the history of Jesus’s temptation as recorded in Luke 4. Starting in verse 9 “And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” So, the first of our possible responses is that we are not to put God to the test. Jesus, in the face of the same temptation as our skeptic friend (although He also had the assurance of God’s protection), did not yield to the whims of Satan and his petty temptation. In like manner, let the skeptic know that as a follower of the Way, you will act as Jesus did in the same situation
  2. We see from Mark that remaining healthy after drinking deadly poison as a possible “sign”. But not every Christian is associated with every sign in the Bible. Acts 2:3, Acts 5:12, 2 Cor 12:12, I Cor 12:4, Acts 9:6 are all examples of signs that have accompanied some believers. Not every believer casts out demons. Not every believer has spoken in tongues. Not every believer has the gift of healing, so in logical progression, we can can say that not every believer will survive drinking serpent venom. From the context and from the rest of scripture, we see that this sign is not intended as some sort of entry exam or comprehensive conditional test. It was in fact recorded several times that not every disciple was exhibiting every sign but was still a faithful disciple of the Eternal Monarch (Mark 9:28, Mark 14:66-72). Not every Christian has every gift, so it’s a false expectation for someone to say that “if you don’t survive drinking venom, then you are not a Christian.” It’s a false expectation
  3. We have indisputable proof that the poison of a deadly serpent did not harm the Apostle Paul as recorded in Acts 28. So shocked were the onlookers that they recognized the divine protection afforded to Paul. So, God remained faithful to his Word in protecting Paul for the glory of God. It does not logically follow, however that EVERY instance of encounters with asps by Christians will be health in this life
  4. From Genesis to Revelation we see the serpent as the enemy of God and his people both literally and figuratively. Because of what Jesus has done, the works of the devil are both destroyed in this life and in eternity. Either way, the Christian need not fear the works of the devil (Matthew 10:26-31)
  5. Like the young men, who were exiled in Babylon, it may very well be that a Christian is called upon to stand for his faith in the face of persecution. Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego faced the dire choice of purposeful apostasy or death. They bravely faced their accuser and rather than obeying his unrighteous mandate, “drank the poison” of death by fire. Their testimony rings powerfully “If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” In that instance, God protected his people with power and effectiveness. God has proven Himself capable, but He is not obligated to go against his eternal plan (of which only the part of his plan recorded in scripture is known) for the sake of earthly comforts or long life for Christians
  6. Lastly, all modern translations note that Mark 16:9-20 is not found in the earliest or most reliable manuscripts from which the book of Mark has been translated. Scholars have debated the reasons as to why this segment of scripture does not have the same kinds of support as the rest of scripture. You can hear some of the information in this video.

We can see, that this challenge from the skeptic is not a proper internal critique. Whereas a proper internal critique would take into account the other assumptions of the Christian from above. So, there’s no need to wilt or despair should you encounter the “venom” of the skeptic. God is faithful and we can trust his eternal Word

If the Skeptic Annotated Bible think these are Bible contradictions then the Bible Contradiction list itself is a Contradiction

When applied against its own standard, the Skeptic Annotated Bible shows itself to be hypocritical. It cannot support the weight of its own claims

The Domain for Truth


Skeptic self contradiction

Yesterday’s post “What was Solomon’s payment to Hiram?” got me thinking about how ridiculous the Skeptic Annotated Bible’s claim was that there was a Bible contradiction with the two verses the website cited.  Two passages with overlapping truths in which one verse happen to mention additional details than the other verse is a far stretch from it being a Bible contradiction.  

This isn’t the first time the listing from the Skeptic Annotated Bible pull off a similar mistake.  When I surveyed my Collection of Posts Responding to Bible Contradictions) I noticed the skeptic did the same thing with “What did the sign over Jesus’s head say?”  

There’s a whole bunch of one with the skeptics attack on how many individuals there were for several events; see as examples (though not exhaustive): How many women came to the sepulchre?, How many men were possessed with demons at…

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Empathy is Arbitrary, Inconsistent, & Irrational for Atheists

You’ve likely heard it before, a self-identified secular humanist*, skeptic, and/or atheist tells you that their personal morality is based on whether an action is empathetic or provides maximum well-being. I’ve had these discussions before, but during a recent online conversation when I pressed back on an atheist making his case – I pointed out that it was arbitrary for the atheist to define “goodness as empathetic”. That atheist responded to me:

The definitions we attach to words are arbitrary…Why can’t “cat” mean “an energy drink.” It could…but it doesn’t. This doesn’t mean calling my house pet a cat is inconsistent or irrationaly

To answer this, some basic groundwork needs to be done in explanation…

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To be clear, atheism has no grounding for intelligibility at all, let alone the philosophical ability to make judgments or distinctions. To see why, you can view the reasons here.

But for purposes of this discussion, I will grant the God-denier the ability to make intelligent distinctions.

The definition they supplied for “good” was “helping others“. I’ve heard other God-deniers say that good is “empathy” or “whatever promotes well-being”. I consider all of those synonymous, so I’ll address them as one below.

There are at least 3 levels of arbitrariness from the atheist perspective in defining goodness as “helping others”.

Firstly, goodness could have been defined as any other ideal. Just saying that “helping others is good” is arbitrary. “Goodness” could just as easily have been defined as:

  • Whatever promotes fitness
  • Whatever preserves history
  • Whatever benefits frogs
  • Whatever helps Democrats
  • Whatever smells pleasant
  • Whatever Oprah says

Secondly, who are the others they are talking about? To whom should empathy be given? Should “helpfulness” be termed good if it is applied to a specific person, or a specific group of people, or to a particular cause (environmentalism, veganism, BLM…)? What if being helpful to 1 person is detrimental to another person? What if the 1 person to which helpfulness is offered is the 45th president? Might someone consider helping the originator of MAGA as bad instead of good? What if being helpful to one group is destructive of another group? What if being helpful to a particular cause/person/group leads to the extinction of a species? Why would goodness not be helping and promoting the well-being of the most fit creatures on earth: bacteria? Arbitrariness abounds for the skeptic, but there’s more…

The final reason that the atheist definition of goodness is arbitrary is that there are multiple metrics for measuring well-being. Which metric should be used to define good as well-being? Should we measure the well-being based on economic, hedonistic, pragmatic, physiological, psychological, spiritual or evolutionary metrics? “Helping others” in one of these categories will necessarily deprive help in at least one of the other categories. Besides that, who gets to decide what is TRULY helpful within each metric? For example, if I were going to help someone economically, I might give them all the money they would ever need and someone might call that good. But the recipient might spend the money on destructive things or waste the money by donating to the (insert evil political entity here) party, which might lead someone else to call my beneficence bad. Arbitrariness!

In contrast, defining a cat as a “4 legged pet” is not arbitrary in the same way. Sure, the initial word “cat” being applied to a 4 legged pet might have been chosen in place of any other word that was not in use to describe something else, but “cat” is not an abstract standard. Atheists cannot rationally conjure up an “ought” from an “is”.

Arbitrariness in defining “good” is not the only problem for the atheist. Defining good as empathetic, helping others, or promoting well-being is also inconsistent with their other assumptions and irrational based on their theory of knowledge.

Key assumptions for the skeptic is that unguided/impartial/purposeless forces (natural selection acting on random mutations) brought about the tree of life. Those creatures that produce the most offspring are said to be the most fit. Those creatures that are unfit are culled from the gene pool. Difficulties, harms and other selection pressures provide stimulus for creatures to produce/perpetuate novel traits. So it would necessarily be inconsistent to deem helpfulness/empathy as good, when protecting a creature from difficulty/SelectionPressure limits their ability to evolve.

Defining good as being empathetic, being helpful or promoting well-being for the atheist is also irrational on at least 2 levels. It is irrational firstly because the atheists teach that humans are the serendipitous product of stardust from a universe that is amoral, purposeless, undesigned, blind, pitiless, and indifferent – and if this is the case, why does it matter if one accidental aggregation of stardust interacts with another accidental aggregation of stardust? It is irrational to declare that one action by one collection of particles towards another collection of particles as good/evil. Secondly, it is irrational for anyone who does NOT have all knowledge of all time to declare some temporal action as good since a temporary negative could lead to tremendous positive or a short-term positive could lead to devastating negatives.


For the atheist/skeptic/SecularHumanist to define good as empathy, well-being, beneficial, or helping others is:


  • When they chose a specific ideal, any other ideal could have just as easily been chosen to represent goodness
  • In the midst of competing needs/wants, to whom should help/empathy be given?
  • Based on which metric should help/empathy/well-being be measured (economic, moral, spiritual, physiological, hedonistic, pragmatic….)?

Inconsistent – because if the natural forces of evolution produced all of life, then choosing well-being as the primary good would be contradictory. If the skeptic assumes that the same forces which promote advancement through reproductive fitness also requires that well-being be considered as of primary importance then they are blind to the contradictory assumptions. To be consistent with their assumptions of natural selection acting on random mutations to produce the most fit offspring, the skeptic would need to define goodness as whatever produced the highest fitness in creatures. Since stress/harm produces selective pressure that drives novel traits and culls the unfit, then well-being is literally the opposite of the process that brought them into existence.


  • If humans are just stardust, there’s no rationale for judging one action as good/bad
  • If justification for knowledge (let alone all knowledge) is not possible for the atheist, then picking 1 action as good/bad is unintelligible.

In stark contrast, Christians can make a coherent case that helping others and promoting well-being is coherent and consistent within our worldview

Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to “love the LORD your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength” when He references Deut 6:5. He followed up the greatest commandment with the second most important commandment when He says “The second commandment is like the first: love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus even went so far as to say “love your enemies.” With the first and greatest commandment in mind, we should love and promote well-being to people around us.

To be clear, the atheist/skeptic/humanist CAN be empathetic because they are made in the image of God. They do have the pre-programmed desire (Romans 2:15) to promote well-being to others, but as shown above, it is arbitrary, inconsistent and irrational for them when you consider their other worldview assumptions.

*It has been pointed out to me that secular humanists are not arbitrary in their choosing of limited harm (maximum well being, etc…) for their standard of goodness. This is a fair criticism as it is part of their worldview. However, because secular humanism is a godless religion without any transcendent measure AND is built upon a foundation of naturalism, there is an arbitrary and inconsistent nature to their belief that limiting hard is good. Were naturalism, the foundation of secular humanism, true, goodness nor evil could be known. Everything would just be.

Is TAG the same as Presup?

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In a friendly conversation this past week, J Brian Huffling asked me if I could articulate the Transcendental Argument for God (TAG). The conversation was on Twitter, so with the character limit, I decided to create a blog post for the benefit of verbosity

I do not know Dr. Huffling personally. We follow each other on Twitter, and I have appreciated his tweets/articles. I have no reason to doubt his regeneration in Christ. This is a friendly conversation on apologetic method only. I hope that when we get to interact on this post and future conversations, that we will both be able to discuss on a friendly level with greater knowledge of the other’s viewpoint – all for the glory of God. This discussion is a brotherly interaction with the disagreement being solely about apologetic method. I consider Dr. Huffling a brother in Christ and a faithful disciple (from what I have seen/read). So, there is no animosity or condemnation on my part towards him.

The discussion is primarily about whether presuppositional apologetics or classical apologetics is a better description of how Christians should defend the faith. It became interesting when there was disagreement over what is the ultimate source of knowledge. Huffling said there is knowledge of nature before there is knowledge of God. Let’s define the term knowledge.
What is knowledge? Justified true beliefs.
How can one justify their beliefs? The Christian can justify his beliefs by standing on the foundation of God’s revelation:

  • Prov 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge”
  • Proverbs 2:6 “For the LORD gives wisdom and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding”
  • Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”
  • Psalm 111:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”
  • Isaiah 33:6 “The LORD will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge. The fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.”
  • Colossians 2:2-3 “Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”
  • Romans 1:19 “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them”

The presuppositional apologist will stand firm on this principle: God’s revelation and the ability to justify this revelation through God’s Word

The skeptic has no such path to justification. For them all knowledge is provisional and the tools for justification are not compatible within a worldview that does not start with God.

Classical apologists (like Dr. Huffling) view reasoning as the standard for determining truth. Reasoning IS a valid tool for the Christian and it is not wrong to consider regenerated reasoning as glorifying to God, however, because of the curse of sin, the unbeliever cannot trust his reasoning and reasoning itself does not hold the power of ultimate justification. So, I would view the classical argumentation as deficient in properly communicating the defense of the faith.

Back to the conversation with Dr. Huffling. There was a misunderstanding on presuppositional apologetics and the transcendental argument for God (TAG). Dr. Huffling asked me to articulate TAG. I think what happened in the exchange was that he conflated presuppositional apologetics with TAG. Now TAG is a particular type/category of presuppositional apologetics, but the two are not synonymous. As described above, I would say that presuppositional apologetics has more to do with the analysis of both the Christian and non-Christian worldviews. The epistemology of the Christian is revelation from God. We can know things because God has revealed them. His revelation has three main manifestations (Hebrews 1:2-3)

  • Creation
  • The Bible
  • Jesus

The accusation from Dr. Huffling and others is that presuppositional apologetics is circular since it relies upon the Bible to prove the Bible. This is a mischaracterization of the claims of presuppositional apologists. The Bible is revelation from the One, who knows everything and is eternally faithful AND since it is only part of God’s revelation, it can be verified by the other parts of his revelation

  • Jesus is the Creator (John 1:3)
  • Creation is the manifestation of God’s power and divine nature (Rom1). The Heavens declare the glory of God (Ps 19:1). If people do not praise God, the rocks (creation) will cry out in praise (Luke 19:40)
  • The Bible records the details of God’s creative works (Gen 1)
  • Jesus fulfilled the prophecies recorded by the prophets in scripture (I Cor 15)
  • The whole purpose of scripture is to detail, who Jesus is and codify the covenant of God (Luke 24:27)
  • So creation, the Bible, and the incarnation are self-authenticating interdependent revelations from God, which gives the Christian a justified epistemology for certain knowledge. What God has revealed cannot be refuted or validated by any higher standard. As Hebrews 6:13 tells us “When God made His promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself”, so we know that there is no higher standard. Should we follow the logic of Dr. Huffling that circularity in logic is always fallacious, then God would be fallacious by swearing upon Himself. But we know that God has never been fallacious. Since He is the highest authority and his eternal Word carries the weight of his authority, the Bible can be used to virtuously authenticate itself as part of God’s revelation.

Dr. Jason Lisle says it more eloquently :

“In fact, all of God’s reasoning is necessarily circular. God is all-knowing. So, whenever God draws a conclusion from premises, the conclusion is something that God already knows. Truth is that which corresponds to the mind of God. And the justification for that truth is… that it corresponds to the mind of God. This is not arbitrary, but logically necessary since God’s mind determines all truth. Those people who argue that all forms of circular reasoning are fallacious are in the unenviable position of implying that God’s reasoning is fallacious.”

Rather than presupposing that the Bible is ultimately true but instead arguing that one’s senses/reasoning are the valid source for determining truth, this person must then attempt to validate their senses/reasoning by employing their senses/reasoning – which is viciously circular.

The skeptic (and even Dr. Huffling) might reply “But we need to use our senses/reasoning to read the Bible.” While this is true, using our senses/reasoning is not the same as justifying them.

Again from Dr. Lisle:

“Yet, this answer has a degree of circularity. Namely, we must use our senses in order to read in the Bible that our senses were designed by God. Does this mean that the reliability of sensory experience is more foundational than the Scriptures? Not at all. This is another example of a difference in the order of chronological discovery and logical primacy. That is, we believe in the reliability of our senses before we discover the logical justification for that belief (the biblical worldview). This is always the case with our most foundational presuppositions. They must be assumed before they are proved. Yet, after assuming that our senses are reliable, we discover that we have a good independent reason to believe this: the Bible. The circle is not vicious because our belief in reliable senses is not arbitrary; it is rationally necessary for us to discover that it has independent, self-consistent justification. Namely, we need reliable senses to discover what the Bible says about our senses. But when we read the Scriptures, we find that our belief was justified.”

Regarding the use of either presuppositional or classical apologetics in conversations with unbelievers, I would suggest that Christians should not trust the unregenerated reasoning of unbelievers to conclude rationally to trust God. Romans 1:21 tells us “…their (godless/wicked) thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” So, when the unbeliever attempts to use their reasoning/understanding of evidence to determine truth, their presuppositions are deficient. There are several problems with the approach that people can accurately view evidence by applying their reasoning to determine something as accurate:

  • Everyone interprets evidence according to their worldview. For instance, if we were to evaluate the evidence of a dinosaur bone, a Christian would say “This is great evidence that supports the historical global flood.” The non-Christian would say “This is great evidence that supports the idea of millions of years of natural selection acting on random mutations to produce all life from bacteria to Bach.” Same evidence – different conclusions
  • If the classical/evidential apologist presents evidence to the non-believer, he is putting the non-believer in the judge’s chair…God’s rightful place. God’s existence is never up for judgment as God has revealed Himself. As Romans 1 tells us, “what may be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them.”
  • Because creation bears the scars of the curse of sin (Romans 8, Genesis 3), it is an insufficient source of knowledge to bring one into a saving faith in the Triune God. Only with guidance by the special revelation of scripture can a person be knowledgeable of the necessity of repentance and humility before God for grace by faith

Colossians 2:8 goes even further in telling Christians to begin with the presupposition of Christ’s revelation: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” And before the Christian can defend the faith, we must (as Peter tells us) “set apart Christ as Lord in your heart”.

If our primary presupposition is NOT God and his revelation, then we (as Christians) are missing the proper biblical apologetic method.

Now, as some may be remembering, I still have not articulated the transcendental argument for God. It’s not that I have forgotten, but it was more important for me to clear up the misunderstanding above that Presup = TAG. The more important part of Presup for me is the identification and analysis of presuppositions for knowledge. As shown, the Christian bears witness to the necessary and exclusive preconditions for intelligibility because of God’s revelation. I believe that others, more knowledgeable/eloquent than I have done better at articulating the nuances of the transcendental argument, but I’ll give it a shot:

TAG – Because there are transcendentals (unchanging, abstract, absolutes) like logic, math, induction, morality. and information there must be a reasoning & upholding Source for these absolutes. God is unchanging, transcendental and absolute therefore He is (at minimum) consistent with the existence of unchanging, abstract, absolutes. Further, God has revealed that He is the source of logic (law of identity & law of non-contradiction) in Ex 3:14 “I AM who I AM”, Isa 45:19 “I YHWH, speak the truth. I declare what is right”, 2 Tim 2:13 “he remains faithful— for he cannot deny (contradict) Himself”. And when the skeptic asks “How do you know the Bible is revelation from God?” the presuppositional apologist can reply “By the impossibility of the contrary.”

The impossibility of the contrary can best be described as if what God has said is not true, then nothing can be known and only absurdities result from all events. Since we can know things, God’s revelation is corroborated. From Dr. Greg Bahnsen’s work – Always Ready, he describes the “impossibility of the contrary” thusly:

Always Ready – Greg Bahnsen
Always Ready – Greg Bahnsen p123

For a better (than my own) explanation of the transcendental argument for God, please see

If I misrepresented Dr. Huffling in any way, it was not my intention, and I would ask him (or someone knowledgeable of his views) to provide correction in Christian love, and I will humbly edit this post.

Presuppositionalists in the Dock

This is an excellent analysis of the deficient objections against reformed apologetics and the answers to those objections


Internet gadfly, Jacob Brunton, believes presuppositional apologetics is maddening idiocy and any sound-minded believer who thinks presuppositionally and utilizes the methodology is a fool. He has taken to both Facebook and Twitter to rail against presuppers like myself.

Before we begin with a response to his missives, let’s remind ourselves of the main presup distinctives.

– Presuppositionalism desires to reform apologetic methodology. An apologetic approach that honors the sovereignty of God in salvation and the self-attesting nature of Scripture. It also focuses in upon the antithesis between believing and unbelieving thinking and philosophical worldviews. It then structures the Christian engagement with unbelievers according to a biblical framework. Classicists, like Jacob, will say they hold to the sovereignty of God in salvation, but they typically reject the self-attesting nature of Scripture and operate from the notion that proofs and evidence can be self-authenticating, as well as reasonably considered by unbelievers.


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Stay In Your Lane!

In a recent online discussion, I was asked the question “What difference is there between a Christian brain and an atheist brain?

Some background would probably be in order to fully understand the source of the questions. The claim was made by someone, who has rejected God, that the universe is a vast, cold, sparse place. I pushed back a little with a paraphrase of a quote from Richard Dawkins: if the universe is amoral, purposeless, blind, pitiless and indifferent – what is the source of morality, purpose, sight, pity and love?

The discussion continued to include a quote from CS Lewis which exposed the absurdity of naturalism

Another claim was made that humans are the source of morality, purpose, sight, pity and love. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t get my group of interlocutors to understand that humanity’s ability to discern truth was the focus of Lewis’s quote – IF NATURALISM IS TRUE as all of them were claiming. So, if naturalism were true, and humans were the source, they could not trust their discernment of this knowledge, and they persisted with the conjecture that since there is morality, purpose, sight, pity and love today that nature must have done it (via humans) although no evidence or demonstrations were forthcoming…just wild assertions. Leaving alone the fact that they still just assumed the universe formerly had no morality, purpose, sight, pity and love but with the accidental emergence of humans, suddenly morality, purpose, sight, pity and love unexpectedly sprang into existence.

And then the question from the beginning of the article: “What difference is there between a Christian brain and an atheist brain?”

While incredibly friendly and incredibly tall, the Tall Friendly Atheist Dad does not understand the process of worldview analysis. Eli Ayala from Revealed Apologetics does a great job explaining the process in this debate although Eli’s interlocutor never does get it either. To properly critique another person’s worldview, you must assume their worldview to point out the internal contradictions. In this case there are two internal contradictions for those who reject God:

  • The universe is amoral, purposeless, blind, pitiless, & indifferent BUT part of the universe inexplicably exhibits morality, purpose, sight, pity and love
  • If the human brain is simply a product of chemical forces acting on accidentally accumulated particles, there’s no reason to trust thoughts, BUT thoughts are trusted

So, when the Tall Friendly Atheist Dad asks his question, we must ask that question from the Christian presupposition to see if there are contradictions, and then we must ask the question from the naturalist presupposition to see if naturalist presuppositions can rationally support the question. The following table is with Christian presuppositions:

Christian Brain(Professing) Atheist Brain
Knowledge of God is innate (Romans 1). Because God has revealed some of His knowledge, the Christian has a pathway to certaintyKnowledge of God is innate (Romans 1). While the atheist can know things (even though they reject the Source), they cannot justify knowledge
Brains created by God for his glory (Gen 1:27, Ps 100:1). Brains would be expected to generally function as intended. Brains created by God for his glory (Gen 1:27, Ps 100:1). Those who suppress the knowledge of God seek their own glory & are subject to futile thinking
Brains, while designed for knowledge of God & discovering the universe, have been affected by the fall & are in a suboptimal state until the restoration (Isa 11)Brains that suppress God’s truth are subject to futile and darkened thinking. If damaged, one could recognize it as broken since no objective standard exists by which to compare
Brains that begin with the fear of the Lord have a foundation for wisdom and knowledgeBrains that reject God have no sufficient justification for knowledge

You can see from the above table, that there is no internal contradiction for those who presuppose God. Rational thought is viable, and those who reject God will have no pathway to justified true beliefs. The following table takes into account the assumptions of the professing atheist and/or naturalist in attempting to answer the question from above:

Christian BrainNaturalist Brain
Over time particles coalesced & came alive. As selection pressures increased & complexity of neurons increased, brains formed. Brains developed the ability to reason, love, & comprehend Over time particles coalesced & came alive. As selection pressures increased & complexity of neurons increased, brains formed. Brains developed the ability to reason, love, & comprehend
Chemical reactions in the brain determined the belief that there is a God Chemical reactions in the brain determined the belief that there is no God
At BEST, only provisional knowledge possible since some future discovery could overturn current foundation of knowledge At BEST, only provisional knowledge possible since some future discovery could overturn current foundation of knowledge

The argument that Lewis made has been misconstrued as “Atheists can’t do things like know things, drive a car, do math, or love people because they believe their brain is just a collection of particles. But this is ridiculous because we atheists do all of that.” It’s not that Christians are smart and atheists are dumb. Lewis wasn’t saying that.

This is NOT the substance of the argument. The argument rather is that since we can know things, drive cars, do math, and love people – that it is incongruent to believe brains are just a collection of particles. Rather than questioning their assumptions about the unobserved past or the inability to recreate/observe consciousness emerging from particles, they instead just wildly assert that rationality MUST have simply appeared because we observe rationality today.

The key to remember in these discussions is: which worldview (collection of presuppositions) provides sufficient justification for knowledge, love, information, reasoning…everything? As shown above, the presuppositions that deny God are woefully deficient in justification. The only worldview that can sufficiently (and exclusively) do this is Christianity since the Creator, who knows everything and is eternally faithful, revealed Himself through what He made, through the Bible, and through his incarnation.

Can Evolution Explain Software? 2.0

The guys at Stuff You Should Know Podcast released a recent episode called Dragons: As Real as Mermaids. They always have interesting topics, and I thought this episode would be a good topic for listening during a lunchtime walk around the neighborhood with the family dog, Diego

Following is a near-quote from one of the hosts. If you don’t like that “near-quote” qualification, feel free to listen to the podcast, put in what you think I was missing, and quibble at the edges of this presentation rather than bringing an argument against the REAL substance of this article, but your protestations will be swept aside as nitpicking.

Humans evolved and primates evolved with the fear of 3 predators basically: snakes, big cats & eagles. It sorta makes sense that every culture sorta has a dragon myth because you might combine the 3 scariest things into 1 super scary thing: a dragon….David Jones: His premise is that we have these ancient fears of these things & as we evolved & became humans we told each other stories, these things combined into this 1 big mythological monster which is basically the sum of our most primal fears

Having recently completed a post entitled Can Evolution Explain Software? that quote above left me with even MORE questions about a process that is claimed to be able to explain all of biology and that nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution.

  • What evolutionary mechanism produces heritable code for “primal fears” and “learned behaviors”?
  • What is the proof of this mechanism?

A note about proof – Sufficient proof would be:

  1. DNA and/or epigenetic code in a creature that does not have fear of snakes, big cats, and eagles
  2. DNA and/or epigenetic code in a creature that is an immediate descendant of the creature above that does have fear of snakes, big cats, and eagles
  3. Comparison of the DNA/epigenetic code that is quantifiable
  4. Repeatable proof of the mechanism that produces the quantifiable changes to the heritable material
  5. Repeat for as many creatures as possible to avoid the idea of a one-time miracle. This will validate a patterned process in nature.

As always, the disclaimer: This site maintains the presupposition that God is the Creator and that revelation in creation, in the Bible, and through the incarnation are the only sufficient justifications for all of reality. Because God revealed in the Bible that animals (including the code for their behavior “software” was preprogrammed by the Almighty Engineer) are a product of his direct creation according to their kinds. God’s revelation is in direct conflict with the claims made by evolutionists that gradual and rare accumulation of information through a process of death and suffering (evolution) prior to the sin of mankind are false. But we (as Christian apologists) are encouraged to “Answer the fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.” Proverbs 26:5. Therefore, in the following paragraphs, I will do a very brief skeptical analysis of the claims of the evolutionist in conjuring up the answers to the questions above

As noted above, the podcast hosts got much of their opening thoughts from an author named David Jones. Following the sourced and linked materials to this wiki page only raises more questions and inconsistencies. Words & phrases like “claims”, “argues”, “hypothesis”, “proposes”, “suggests”, “lack of evidence” and “it cannot be demonstrated that the fears of ancestral hominids are coded in the human brain” litter the article. But perhaps the links included within the article will shed more light on the claims of the evolutionists…

In the wiki page for instinct, we find only hypotheses and post hoc fallacies attempted explanations. As we continue in the chain of sources to find the elusive mechanism and proof, I followed the link to Genetic Memory

This wiki page left us with this gem:

It is based on the idea that common experiences of a species become incorporated into its genetic code, not by a Lamarckian process that encodes specific memories but by a much vaguer tendency to encode a readiness to respond in certain ways to certain stimuli

No explanation. No mechanism. No proof. Just a big “vaguer” claim. Maybe the included link to Epigenetics would solve the mystery

Nothing here, except the realization that (at best) epigenetics has control over only physiological phenotypic traits. They also seem unaware the epigenetics eviscerated evolutionary theory when it was discovered a few years ago. Might the link to Behavioral Genetics answer our questions?

Here we find some correlations between some behaviors and epigenetic markers, but no mechanisms or proofs. Surely, THIS next one is the one!!!

Evolutionary Neuroscience! That sounds like a solution to most any problem. But…nothing to see here either except:

  • “the evolution & function of the human cerebral cortex is still shrouded in mystery”
  • “the organization of the brain cannot be ascertained only by analyzing fossilized skulls”
  • “Visual cues & motoric pathways developed millions of years earlier in our evolution”

They’ve inadvertently “hidden” their inability to answer with the vague and ambiguous terms: “developed” “millions of years ago” and “evolution”. Large on claims. Short on substance

Clearly, this exercise was a brief introduction into the murky waters of testing the claims of the evolutionists. But a pattern is emerging – Keep digging because SURELY SOMEONE has this whole thing figured out. SURELY someone has ironclad proof of the claims that at one point, there was no coded information for primal fears in creatures…and then there WAS coded information for primal fears within creatures. And this heritable information was produced by some naturalistic mechanism. Right?

I predict that one kind lazy evolutionist will post a reply to this article saying “You didn’t research deep enough, [insert relevant epithet]”

The other kind of lazy evolutionist will say, “just because evolution doesn’t have the answer to your questions today, doesn’t mean your preferred deity did it.”

To which I would reply, then why do you propose that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”? And I’ve already told you that my God did it…I’m just showing you why your naturalistic “deity” (evolution) is short on actual answers.

A more robust evolutionist will post a peer reviewed article behind a paywall and say “See, proof” without going into details or revealing the answers to the questions…and once actually read, that article will be devoid of the answers requested

A last brand of evolutionist might say, “but some Christians believe in evolution. Are they wrong too.”

To which I would reply, why would a Christian espouse a godless mechanism that invokes death & suffering for biology in place of the miracle that God ACTUALLY revealed?

God is worthy of praise because He is good. We can clearly see his eternal power and divine nature in what He has made, and because we can trust what He has revealed about the past – we can trust Him with our future!

Can Evolution Explain Software?

Photo by ThisIsEngineering on

Bear with me as I build the framework for my analogy in these 1st two short paragraphs.

You may or may not be familiar with the way computers work. Computers have both hardware and software. The part of the computer that you can touch (keyboard/mouse/printer), see (monitor), and hear (speakers) is referred to as the hardware. The hardware also includes the internal workings of the computer like the CPU, the memory/RAM, the motherboard, and power supply. Computers don’t work without software. Software is the code (the instructions) for making the computer work. Sometimes, the software is referred to as programs/drivers and/or applications (apps). Programs are written by software engineers with the purpose of controlling the hardware to do very specific tasks.

My daily job involves writing and working with software for computers. At my place of employment, there’s a pretty sharp distinction between the hardware and software departments. Those who work with hardware don’t do much with the software and visa-versa. There are some computer geniuses who are very skilled at working with both hardware and software.

All analogies eventually break down, but there’s a reasonable comparison in the biological realm with the hardware of living things being the part of the creature that is made of cells (skin, bones, organs, blood, hair, and muscles). The software of biology might be best described as the instructions that cause the organs, muscles, and systems to perform their specific purpose.

Evolutionists have proposed an explanation for the hardware of biological life. Now I strongly disagree with their explanation that natural selection has acted on random mutations to form all of life is a legitimate explanation, but for purposes of this article we’ll let the assumption that accidental accumulations of mutations could actually form a wing, flying muscles, attachment points for a wing, corresponding tendons, ligaments, bones (specifically wishbone) or symmetrical & corresponding wing.

How do evolutionists propose to solve the huge problem of the necessary software needed to control any newly evolved hardware traits like wings? As computer scientists are finding as they write software to control biomimetics hardware, it takes intelligent coding to control the hardware that will produce purposeful movements.

Take the human hand for instance; it has the sensitivity control to maneuver & insert a soft contact lens…

…and the human hand is also capable of gripping and lifting 500 pounds of steel

ApoloJedi lifting 500 pounds of steel with the force…of his back/hamstring muscles

So, can evolution explain the software of biology? As we reported in the article, Can Evolution Explain Altruism? evolution is described as:

The unguided process of natural selection acting on random mutations through numerous, slight, successive modifications intended to perpetuate genetic material in the competition for limited resources. And the process of evolution is taught has having been responsible for producing all of the various/complex species of ALL life for all time from a single common ancestor. Natural selection preserves functional traits that maintain/increase fitness and destroys creatures that are unfit in a particular environment. Simultaneous complimentary mutations of both the hardware (bones/muscle/organ/skin) and the software (control code for corresponding hardware) would be necessary for natural selection to preserve both the hardware and software. This is important because if just the hardware were to evolve without the software, then natural selection would not preserve it. And if the control code for non-existent hardware were to evolve, then natural selection could not preserve it since it had no purpose.

A hypothetical scenario might go something like this: a wingless insect has a mutation that produces a proto-wing appendage (hardware). To make the proto-wing appendage (PWA) useful for flying, it must produce (within the population) a reproductive advantage such that those with the mutation produce more offspring than those without the mutation. If the appendage does not have corresponding control code (software) that controls the PWA (for future flight), then the mutation that produces the PWA will not be preserved through natural selection. It has been proposed by evolutionists that a PWA might produce some other reproductive advantage (other than flight), so a PWA need not immediately provide flight in order to be preserved. Perhaps the PWA was useful for ground locomotion, digging, or sensing changes in barometric pressure (or some-such other fable). This only complicates the problem for the evolutionist. Because now, the PWA must have corresponding control code (software) that enables the PWA (hardware) to be useful for ground locomotion, digging, or sensing changes in barometric pressure – and then as the PWA gradually becomes an instrument for flying, the controlling code must simultaneously be COMPLETELY rewritten randomly re-aggregated to move the newly-evolved winged appendage as an instrument of flight.

For those who claim that evolution provides a sufficient explanation for biological software, they need to demonstrate (not assume) all of the following

  • An unguided process that can produce coded information through the accumulation of random mutations
  • Simultaneous complimentary mutations of controlling code (software) for biological traits (hardware).
  • Step by step preservation of controlling code (software) with step by step growth of biological traits (hardware). A sufficient demonstration of this process would be to take a species of beetle like Allomyrina dichotoma and reverse engineer…I mean track it’s evolution in reverse to it’s last common ancestor with the flightless Bristletail bug (Leposma saccharina). This reverse evolution should include the instruction set of both the hardware and software changes of this hypothetical common ancestor to show the numerous, small, successive modifications that allow the Rhinoceros Beetle to fly. Feel free to use a very amazing tool that shows assumed common ancestry. NOTE: While the onezoom tool is amazing, it is only good for the leaf nodes and is devoid of information on the common ancestors – therefore, it is just as much evidence of the common Designer.
  • For the intrepid evolutionist, demonstrating the evolution of software to control, not just a single trait, but an entire system like the digestive system would be an above average quest.
  • For the genius-level evolutionist, demonstrating the evolution of software to control, not just a single system, but an entire organism complete with interdependent systems (like how the digestive system provides energy for the circulatory system & muscular system while the respiratory system provides oxygen for the digestive system & muscular system to properly convert mass to energy and the muscular system provides locomotion to bring mass into the digestive system…) would go a long ways toward confirming the theory of evolution rather than just assuming it.

Doubtless, in their effort to answer the problems raised in this article, some evolutionists will link to articles thinking they have done everything to sufficiently demonstrate the ability of evolution to explain the software of biology. Inevitably, the headline of the article they link will over-commit, and the article itself will under-perform.

And to be clear, this blog regards presuppositional apologetics as the correct & biblical way to share the gospel of Jesus. So, since evolution is against God’s revealed word, there is NO sufficient evolutionary explanation for software. God is the author of both biological traits (hardware) and the corresponding control code (software). Because the Great Engineer put all life together for a purpose, there is a fascinating and God-glorifying science called biology. Human scientists can de-construct God’s amazing creatures with purpose and expectation of learning. Were the theory of evolution true, purpose would be meaningless and discovery fruitless. Therefore, this article is meant to expose the emptiness of the principle pillar of naturalistic worldviews.

Because we can trust God’s revelation about the past, we can trust Him with his revelation about the future.

NOTES: This blog post has its origin in a book titled Nature’s IQ by Hornyanszky/Tasi. In their book, they raise valid/irrefutable questions regarding the teaching of the Grand Theory of Evolution as having any real explanatory power for behaviors/instincts. I really enjoyed the book but was disappointed to get to the end and discover their conclusion to be Hinduism.

However, with a correct understanding that only the God of the Bible can sufficiently ground knowledge, logic, science, beauty, math, induction, and morality one cannot help but to cry out to God for the gift of repentance and abundant life

I’m an Anaturalist

How many of us have heard the claim from naturalists: “Science says that all of reality can be accounted for by natural explanations” ?

Besides the fact that their claim is the fallacy of reification, I’m skeptical. Actually, I’m more than skeptical; I’m an anaturalist

Photo by Pixabay on

An anaturalist doesn’t make any positive claims; we simply lack a believe that natural forces can account for purpose, space, time, matter, logic, math, beauty, truth, induction, information, magnetism, nuclear forces, reason, stars, planets, comets, water, life, DNA code, biological sex, biological reproduction, consciousness, minds, morality, justice, hope, love, altruism or the scientific method.

Less broadly, anaturalism is a rejection of the belief that “nature-done-it”. Those who have faith that nature can generate, produce, cause-to-emerge, and substantiate foundational elements of reality can do that if they want, but let’s be honest…don’t call it science. It’s the religion of naturalism and lacks evidence

An anaturalist simply recognizes the utter lack of evidence that nature produced everything. It’s been said that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence“, so if you’ve got an extraordinary demonstration that nature can produce:

…then feel free to present it. Until then, anaturalism is the only rational position. For those naturalists and God-deniers who claim that “nature has no need of the Christian God to explain all of reality”, then the burden of proof lies not on the anaturalist to disprove the power of nature but on the naturalist to provide a rationale for naturalism.

Even worse for the naturalist and God-denier, there is strong empirical support for anaturalism