Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Bower Birds

Psalm 104:1-28 (New Living Translation)

Psalm 104

1 “Praise the LORD, I tell myself; O LORD my God, how great you are! You are robed with honor and with majesty;
2 you are dressed in a robe of light. You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens;
3 you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds. You make the clouds your chariots; you ride upon the wings of the wind.
4 The winds are your messengers; flames of fire are your servants.
5 You placed the world on its foundation so it would never be moved.
6 You clothed the earth with floods of water, water that covered even the mountains.
7 At the sound of your rebuke, the water fled; at the sound of your thunder, it fled away.
8 Mountains rose and valleys sank to the levels you decreed.
9 Then you set a firm boundary for the seas, so they would never again cover the earth.
10 You make the springs pour water into ravines, so streams gush down from the mountains.
11 They provide water for all the animals, and the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds nest beside the streams and sing among the branches of the trees.
13 You send rain on the mountains from your heavenly home, and you fill the earth with the fruit of your labor.
14 You cause grass to grow for the cattle. You cause plants to grow for people to use. You allow them to produce food from the earth--
15 wine to make them glad, olive oil as lotion for their skin, and bread to give them strength.
16 The trees of the LORD are well cared for-- the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests, and the storks make their homes in the firs.
18 High in the mountains are pastures for the wild goats, and the rocks form a refuge for rock badgers.[
19 You made the moon to mark the seasons and the sun that knows when to set.
20 You send the darkness, and it becomes night, when all the forest animals prowl about.
21 Then the young lions roar for their food, but they are dependent on God.
22 At dawn they slink back into their dens to rest.
23 Then people go off to their work; they labor until the evening shadows fall again.
24 O LORD, what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures.
25 Here is the ocean, vast and wide, teeming with life of every kind, both great and small.
26 See the ships sailing along, and Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea.
27 Every one of these depends on you to give them their food as they need it.
28 When you supply it, they gather it. You open your hand to feed them, and they are satisfied.”

Nancy and I tuned in to PBS last night. At seven there was a Nature documentary about Australia and its unusual wildlife. Top billing of the show was supposed to go to narrator David Attenborough, but it was actually an incredible family of birds that stole the show.

They’re the bower birds, and outside Australia there’s nothing like them. After describing Australia as a tectonic plate leftover, PBS described these wonderful critters this way:

“The star of this unusual menagerie, however, is the male bower bird, an accomplished avian architect that has long fascinated scientists with its remarkably complex courting behavior. Instead of using just showy plumes or a romantic melody to attract a mate, the pigeon-sized bower bird constructs an elaborate structure -- a bower -- on the forest floor from twigs, leaves, and moss. It then decorates the bower with colorful baubles, from feathers and pebbles to berries and shells.”

“The bowers aren't nests for raising kids; they are bachelor pads designed to attract and seduce one or more mates.”

I sat amazed as I watched the manner in which the male bower conducted himself. PBS described them as decorating with “colorful baubles,” but their language didn’t do these wonderful creatures justice. They not only attempt to attract the girls with colorful baubles, but with particular colors of baubles. Some use blue baubles, some use white, and others still use green. And, interestingly, they stubbornly refuse to allow other colors to interrupt the schemes they build. About half way through the show Attenborough demonstrated this by placing an old shell casing in the midst of a neatly arranged collection of white rocks, bone fragments, and shells that had been placed on the forest floor by a male bower. As soon as Attenborough left, the bower flew in and removed the offending object. It was absolutely amazing to watch.

At some point in the show Attenborough gave us all the obligatory salutation to Charles Darwin. I think you know the drill by now. The bower bird, by some happenstance, some chance, developed this amazing skill, magically, through evolution.

Try as I might, I remained unconvinced. Not even Attenborough’s smooth voice and melodic British accent could convince me. This did not “just happen.”

I’m just as unconvinced today as well. The mailman came at about ten thirty this morning with a little something from Amazon dot com, a book titled “Moral Darwinism” by Dr. Benjamin Wiker. I ordered it last week, based on a recommendation by a fella’ named Mustafa Akyol. In the book Dr. Wiker, a theologian, looked at Darwinism as a philosophy that has its roots in ancient Greece:

“Yes, Paley was also arguing for design, but what of it? Non-design is "old ground," too. It dates back to Ancient Greece. As theologian Benjamin Wiker unveils in his book, Moral Darwinism, the first theory of an un-designed and evolving world was developed by Epicurus, the founder hedonism. And his point of reference was not scientific evidence; he simply wanted to get rid of the idea of the divine, which he found disturbing. Epicurus' ideas about nature were later developed by Lucretius and much later by the modern forerunners of Darwin.”

I’ve only read the introduction, but I’ve found some great food for thought already. On page twenty, for example, there was a real gem:

“The argument of this book, then, is that the ancient materialist Epicurus provided an approach to the study of nature – a paradigm, as the historian of science Thomas Kuhn called it – which purposely and systematically excluded the divine from nature, not only in regard to the creation and design of nature, but also in regard to divine control of, and intervention in, nature. This approach was not discovered in nature; it was not read from nature. It was, instead, purposely imposed on nature as a filter to screen out the divine.”

“How did the views of an ancient Greek form the materialist paradigm of modern science? To be brief, Epicurus’s approach to nature was revived in the Renaissance, and became the foundation of modern materialist science. The Western view of science was secularized, not (I shall argue) out of some inner historical necessity, but because it accepted the view of nature designed by Epicurus to exclude the divine.”

I’m interested in how Dr. Wiker is going to thread his argument. I’ll let you know as it all progresses.

I haven’t read any of Epicurus, so I’ll leave the details to Dr. Wiker. But the one thing I know about him was that he espoused a philosophy of hedonism, pleasure seeking. The aim of life, he posited, was to live guilt-free. And, how would someone best do something like that? Just get rid of God. No, God; no guilt.

Now I’m sure that any Darwinist worth his or her salt will call me a fool for saying it, but I can see why they object to having the notion of God mentioned in their presence. They want guilt free science, the type of science that places them at the pinnacle of existence. If they’re successful, they’ll be free to anesthetize us with their “science,” then skewer us while we’re sleeping.

Lest they further accuse me of concocting a wild conspiracy theory, I’ll say it plainly. In figurative terms, the Darwinist dream is to control and direct the reality around us. They’ve already given us euthanasia and cloning. And, they won’t stop till the very last rung of their “scientific” ladder climbing up their tower of Babel is built.

My bottom line here is this – I don’t trust ‘em. Forgive the glittering generality. I know there are more than a few scientists out there who aren’t so dedicated to materialism that they’d forget they’re human, clay made in the image of God. There are more than a few who understand that they are morally accountable for what they do here on earth just like the rest of us. But, generality aside, I’ll say it again – I don’t trust ‘em.

A while ago I told Nancy that I’d come to a conclusion of sorts about myself. I think I’m a bit like those bower birds I saw last night. I’m a man with a mission, like a wild Old Testament prophet, casting stones from the highway of Truth. It’s heavy, necessary work, but Nancy says its one of the things that she’s always found attractive in me. So, like the bower birds of Australia, I’ll keep throwing stones off the highway as fast as the Darwinists throw them on. They can watch, amused, if they like, and believe what they want. But, just like those birds, I know what I’m doing and I'll keep doing it:

Isaiah 62:10 (New Living Translation)

10 “Go out! Prepare the highway for my people to return! Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders; raise a flag for all the nations to see.”

Right now I’m trying to find the best theological language to describe how I feel about Darwinism and its disciples. The best, most appropriate word, I can come up with, in closing, is “Horseshit.” That’s it! That says it perfectly! Do you Darwinists hear me? “Horseshit,” I say. “Horseshit.”


Jim Baxter said...

"Good boy, Dillon."

The only thing missing from your accurate strident and thoughtful analysis is capital letters to match their hedonistic gland-driven oxy-moron:


Allan said...

Well, Phil! Now you've done it. You have alienated the 49% of America that voted for Kerry. Good for you!

One minor addition...small birds have often been witnessed picking undigested seeds out of 'street apples' as we used to call 'em, so it would seem there may be something useful to be obtained from it if you're willing to wade through it.

Pastor Phil Morgan said...

Good post Phil. Evolutionary theory bears no resemblance to reputable science ... it is merely the dogma of the religion of humanism. You're exactly right - the old nonsense was bankrupt from the start (which was neither in Darwin's time, nor ancient Greece, but in the lie of Eden), it's now dead, but the peddlers CANNOT bury the corpse because the alternative is unthinkable to them ... moral accountability.