Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Does Evolution Kill the Idea of Self?

Image courtesy of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR).

Joel Kontinen

Science, scientism and reason are popular words that many people understand precisely the way they want to.

Sceptics have re-defined science. It used to be a search for the best explanation, but somewhere along the way Darwinists hijacked the word, making it the search for the best naturalistic explanation.

This has had far-reaching consequences. Some have embraced thinking that hails from the teaching of Eastern philosophers and they question the very reality of our existence.

Elon Musk, for instance, believes we might be living in a computer simulation.

Many other sceptics think we are insignificant. This is what Bill Nye, the 2010 Humanist of the Year, believes about humans:

I'm insignificant. ... I am just another speck of sand. And the earth really in the cosmic scheme of things is another speck. And the sun an unremarkable star. ... And the galaxy is a speck. I'm a speck on a speck orbiting a speck among other specks among still other specks in the middle of specklessness. I suck.”

Consciousness and free will are hard dilemmas for Darwinists and so is the existence of the self.

Recently, Robert Lawrence Kuhn wrote an article on Live Science in which the difficulties brought by Alzheimer's to his 100-year old mother prompted him to take a critical look at selfhood.

He seems to think that while the self might be real, it is material, located in the brain.

While sceptics might invoke reason for this choice, ignoring all but the material dimension is not very reasonable.

As British writer G. K. Chesterton put it, atheists have a doctrine against the supernatural. This eventually leads to the destruction of reason.

The Bible takes an entirely different approach. We are made in God’s image and as such we are accountable to Him for all our deeds, choices and misdeeds.

And He freely offers us pardon, friendship and eternal life through faith in Jesus.


Kuhn, Robert Lawrence. 2016. Is Your 'Self' Just an Illusion? Live Science (7 September).