Eternalism and Darwinism (The Age of the Earth Part 5)

(For the discussion on Creation vs. Eternalism, see Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4)

During the 19th-century, while Christians were dealing with the notion of an ancient earth, non-Christians explored the ramifications of an eternal universe. Eternalism played a crucial role in the arguments made for Darwinism by its early advocates. Darwinists conceded that the odds of something as complex as living beings coming about by random chance were extremely low, even minuscule. However, if the cosmos is eternal, then it does not matter how unlikely an event may be. Given an infinite amount of time, if an event has any possibility of happening at all—no matter how remote—then inevitably it will happen. In an everlasting universe it does not matter how many multiplied trillions of years it might take. Eventually every possible scenario will get its day. We are here; so obviously our existence is possible. Therefore, concluded the Darwinists, as absurdly improbable as it is, an eternal and infinite universe renders our evolution inevitable.40 questions creation evolution

19th century Germany would see some of the most vociferous advocates of Darwinism take eternalism to its logical conclusion. In his The Riddle of the Universe, Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) would argue that an infinite and eternal world means that humanity must abandon the outmoded “ideals of God, freedom, and immortality.” Perhaps Fredrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) saw most clearly where eternalism led. He argued for what he called “the eternal recurrence theorem.” An infinite universe does not just render our improbable existence inevitable. It means that we have occurred again and again in the past, and we will recur in the future ad infinitum.

“In infinity, at some moment or other, every possible combination must once have been realized; not only this, but it must once have been realized an infinite number of times. . . .If all possible combinations and relations of forces had not already been exhausted, then an infinity would must lie behind us. Now since infinite time must be assumed, no fresh possibility can exist and everything must have appeared already, and moreover an infinite number of times.”

We are caught in an endless loop. Life has no purpose, nor can it have any. Nietzsche embraced nihilism, the view that “life leads to nothing” and that existence is “useless, empty, and absurd.” However, discoveries and advances in physics and astronomy at the beginning of the next century would overturn both steady-state cosmology and eternalism. The 20th-century would welcome the “Big-Bang” hypothesis. (Adapted from 40 Questions about Creation and Evolution)

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  1 Comment

  1. dr. james willingham   •  

    Eternalism (as to the universe) and Darwinism are the views that were planned and financed by a small coterie, a cabal, if you please, and, for those willing to do the research,, the facts can be ascertained. In any case, it is a fact that Haeckel was convicted of fraud in a court in his drawing of his illustrations for ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny and that by his own school where he taught. Since that time his understanding has been proven false, but his illustrations can still be found in some textbooks as evidence for evolution. Darwinism has been answered many times. However, the paradigm, backed by money and the groupthink of modern scientists, dominates science in practically all fields. Get out of line, and the establishment will come down on you – hard. Ben Stein’s documentary, Expelled, offers some examples of scientists who suffered the lost of jobs, funding, etc. I remember reading in the case of the Arkansas Creation Trial in which a scientist offered proof from his studies of the formation of haloes in basaltic rocks and calling on other scientists to seek to falsify what he had found in his experiments. At that time he was considered to be the expert on the issue – even by the scientists of the USSR. The silence, if we might use that term, was deafening. No response was made, and the funds for his experiments from the Atomic Energy Commission were cut off. He was reduced to doing experiments in his basement. I remember seeing him in the library of Liberty University during one of my required courses for the M.A. in Counseling on campus (I was in the first Distance Learning Graduating class in Jan.1988. In addition, I have a M.A. in American Social and Intellectual History which naturally includes a study of Social Darwinism and the development of Modern Science. Control of the scientific establishment through certain scientists, government funding, the media, etc. explain how the so-called evolutionary theory gained dominance and still holds it. It also explains the rise of Nazism in German and its genetic experiments along with sterilization and extermination under the guise of Eugenics (a science that was not at all scientific; it was a means of control by sinister forces as for example the funds being provided for the transfer of the knowledge of that non-science to Germany with all of its horros in the concentration camps. Even as recently as in the past few years a case was won in the courts of North Carolina over sterilization resulting from the approaches inculcated by Eugenics, but the legislature would not raise the funds to pay the indemnity ordered by the court.

    Now we are facing a rising animus, an increasing hostility, toward the Christian Faith, something that has been in the making for nearly two centuries, and most believers have their heads stuck in the sand like the proverbial ostrich (though I understand that that bird does no such thing). Having studied the History of the Inquisition along with the mistreatment of Bible believing Christians in Hitler’s empire and in the Communist countries, I am disturbed by our malaise in the face of a developing enmity, even an enmity that, for some, involves the idea of extermination of Christians in this country. We need to be reading outside the box, outside the narrow frames of our own specialties, if we hope to survive above the level of the concentration camps.

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