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Humans May Be Primed to Believe in Creation
Posted by Abu.Iyaad, Editor in Basics
Topics: Fitrah Innate Disposition Intuition

Humans May Be Primed to Believe in Creation

To the right is a New Scientist article published in March 2009 and is one of a series of articles that appeared regarding the belief in a creator being "hard-wired" or "innate" to humans. You have to read many of these articles very carefully to pick out things which are hidden or are between the lines, especially the subtle bias, assumption as fact, dismissal of fact and false arguments of appeal to authority to explain away or belittle what the uncomfortable findings indicate.

The article starts out by an observation from study leader Deborah Kelemen, "college-educated adults frequently agree with purpose-seeking yet false explanations of natural phenomena." So we are dealing here with reasonably educated and intelligent adults who despite having been previouly taught that Darwinian evolution explains life, they frequently agree with purpose-seeking explanations of natural phenomena. Notice her qualification "...yet false..." more on this later but for now note the fact that just because (in the design of the experiment) a false purpose is suggested for a particular phenomenon does not mean that there is no identifiable meaningful purpose at all for that phenomenon. To argue that adults agreed with purpose-seeking yet false explanations does not mean no valid purpose seeking explanations exist in reality, as this depends on the way you have designed the experiment in the first place.

Then we read,

Kelemen has documented the same kind of erroneous thinking - called promiscuous teleology - in young children. Seven and eight-year olds agree with teleological statements such as "Rocks are jagged so animals can scratch themselves" and "Birds exist to make nice music". These mistakes diminish as kids take more science classes and learn causal explanations for natural events.

Of course, you can see what is going on here. Plant deliberately false "purpose-seeking" explanations and then extrapolate from these results that test subjects agreed with false explanations and then label this as "promiscuous teleology." On the other hand if you asked them "bats have the ability to produce soundwaves so that they can navigate" and "some fish produce antifreeze proteins to prevent them from freezing" and so on where there are clearly identified purpose-sought explanations which are valid and true, then whether a person answered right or wrong would not change the fact that humans are ingrained to find purpose in things and that there are indeed purposes in things. Deborah Kelemen would not be engaging in her study unless she was after a purpose-seeking explanation. However, this causes a problem because it means that purposes have to be ascribed to something. A purpose implies knowledge, will and power and this cannot be ascribed to mere matter or to random mutations or to natural selection, because this simply reduces to making nature the creator and giving creation attributes that belong to a masterful creator.


Now here is where it gets a bit more interesting and where we can see blatant propaganda and falsification. The article author writes,

A first round of experiments suggested that adults make more teleological mistakes when pressed for time than when not. Yet Kelemen and Rosset also noticed that no matter how much time they had, test subjects tended to endorse false statements implying that the Earth is designed and maintained for life. "The earth has an ozone layer in order to protect it from UV rays", for instance.

By teleological mistakes they mean that you see design in something when it is not there or was not intended as such. So these subjects endorsed "false statements" implying that the Earth is designed and maintained for life. Stating this, the article writer (and study leaders) in turn imply that the Earth is not designed and maintained for life a proposition that is known to be false through all three human faculties of intuition, sensory perception and reason. The example they gave is "The earth has an ozone layer in order to protect it from UV rays" - now you can Google "purpose of ozone layer" and you will find that the Earth's layer does in fact have an identifiable "purpose", which is to protect life from being harmed by UV rays, according to a NASA resource:

Most ozone is concentrated in the stratosphere, at about 25 km in altitude, and is considered to be "good ozone."In this region, ozone acts as a shield to protect Earth's surface by absorbing harmful ultraviolet radiation. Without this shield, we would be more susceptible to skin cancer, cataracts, and impaired immune systems.A 1 % decrease in total column ozone causes the amount of transmitted UV radiation, in the spectral region that damages deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), to increase by about 2 %.

Now that there is clearly-identifiable purpose being served by the ozone layer, does it imply it was designed as such? This is where the battle lies. The innate disposition of humans leads them and forces them, as this study shows - even when indoctrinated with contrary ideas or doctrines - to find purpose and design in things. This is labeled as "teleological promiscuity" to tell us its wrong and "child-like."

Blame it on Education Failure

The author writes,

People continued to agree with false teleological statements, particularly those that endorsed an Earth intended for life. But non-believers were just as likely to make these errors as religious students, they found. Education goes only so far in extinguishing mistaken beliefs about the physical world, Keleman says. "It suggests that we're quite explicitly failing in science education, certainly with these undergraduates."

Now its revealed that even non-believers were just as likely to "make these errors" as religious students. So it has nothing to do with religious belief as such, but more to do with something hard-wired in the human psyche. Keleman laments and says education has explicitly failed. In other words even materialist indoctrination is not able to erase this natural tendency. Hence, despite indoctrination through the education system upon a Darwinian explanation for the origin of life, the natural tendency still comes through, even in non-religious people.

Then the author of the article writes:

"What her work suggests is that the creationist side has a huge leg up early on because it fits our natural tendencies," says Paul Bloom, a psychologist at Yale University. "It has implications for why most people on earth are creationists, I think."

In the Qur'an, this is referred to as (فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا), the innate disposition upon which humankind is created, (30:30) and in the Prophetic tradition this is further epxlained, "Every child is born upon a state of innate disposition [inclined to recognize a masterful creator to which devotion is due exclusive to what he created]." But Bloom admits:

For this reason, it's not surprising that non-religious, college-educated adults fall back on purpose-seeking explanations. Many people have little understanding of evolution and instead view it as a cultural belief, thinking: "'I'm a good secular liberal, I'm no yokel, I believe in darwin,'" Bloom says. He also wonders if extensive science education could blunt the tendency to fall back on teleological explanations. "It might turn out that if you put Richard Dawkins or Einstein or whomever [to the test], no matter how expert or educated they are, they might still make these mistakes."

In other words, "were not sure that extensive science education" meaning indoctrination with Darwinian evolution and atheistic, materialist world views, "could blunt the tendency to fall back on teleological explanations" meaning, could blunt (stop) the innate disposition of humankind to seek ultimate purpose in things and to fall back to belief in a creator through "design for purpose" explanations. Keleman and Booth,seem to be dismayed that despite extensive brainwashing and indoctrination in materialist philosophies and ideas of origins of life, the human psyche will always find design and purpose.

Closing Note

That there is design and purpose in what is observed is the most evident, apparent truth and this is evidenced by intuition, sensory perception and sound reason. The entire body of all scientific research, analysis, description of natural phenomena, when one analyzes the words and terms used, indicates design and purpose. This is a self-evident truth no matter how much it is ridiculed, vilified and mocked through the use of degrading labels. As an exercise, go to PubMed, pick out 1000 random abstracts (out of millions) and choose all the words and terms used by authors to describe what they see in the phenomena (or living things or processes) they are studying and then answer the question: Are they using language that implies design and purpose in what they are studying? And could they help but use any other language? It is very obvious to all people of reason and honesty that this is the case. In fact, to use such language is inescapable. Not even atheist scientists can avoid it. This is because of the rational intelligibility and investigability of the universe and life. The human psyche innately recognizes order and design. The issue now is, what is this design ascribed to? The innate disposition (what Keleman and Booth are commenting upon) predisposes humans to believe that it is an all-knowing, masterful unique creator. Not even extensive scientific education may be able to blunt or erase this tendency. In fact, according to the authors, even Dawkins and Einstein may not escape "teleological promiscuity." In fact take a look at Dawkins' statements on the cover and at the beginning of The Blind Watchmaker (emphasis added):

Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning. The purpose of this book is to resolve the paradox to the satisfaction of the reader, and the purpose of this chapter is further to impress the reader with the power of the illusion of design.

Note the words used, no foresight, no plan of consequences, no purpose, everything is an appearance and illusion of design (and purpose).

The objects and phenomena that a physics book describes are simpler than a single cell in the body of its author. And the author consists of trillions of those cells, many of them different from each other, organized with intricate architecture and precision-engineering into a working machine capable of writing a book.

Whilst trying to reject teleological explanations (evidence of design in things), even Dawkins cannot escape using language that is clearly indicative of evidence of design and purpose. So the issue comes back down to this: Dawkins believes that if a watch was found on the beach, it's arguable that it was made by a blind man (natural selection), not a seeing man, and since he has now proposed a theory for how the watch came to be (a blind man made it), there is no need to rely upon explanations through a seeing man who had design and purpose in mind. Because the purely blind forces of the blind man's actions (lacking intent, design, purpose, direction) can sufficiently explain the presence of the watch and the "apparent" and "illusion" of design in the watch and hence anyone who asserts that a knowing, willing, able, purpose-driven watchmaker made the watch is ignorant and possibly even "wicked." (ذَلِكَ مَبْلَغُهُم مِّنَ الْعِلْمِ), "That is their sum of knowledge" (53:30)!

Note: Prior to fifty years ago crude arguments from design (such as Paley's Watch) were considered to have been discredited by Philosophers like David Hume (d. 1776CE). However with the advancement in the fields of cosmology and molecular biology over the past fifty years, those arguments have now been shown to be premature and teleological arguments are becoming increasingly difficult to undermine. This is especially so with the issue of "prescriptive information" underlying life and present in DNA which cannot be explained through chance, necessity or self-organization arguments and even from the material element of DNA, since "information" is a level of abstraction that goes beyond mere matter. Life being driven by "information" is from the greatest of proofs (that cannot be invalidated in any way) that there is an all-Knower that is behind creation and this is indicated in the Qur'an in the saying of Allaah, (وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ خَلْقٍ عَلِيمٌ), "And He is of every created thing, all-knowing" (36:79), and we shall expand upon this affair in other articles.

Written by Abū ʿIyād on 05/12/1434H (10/10/2013CE)

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