Patrick Henry College
Dr. John Lennox
Monday afternoon at PHC saw more than 200 attendees from the campus and surrounding community, as well as via live webcast, participate in the Pensmore Dialogue on Science and Faith at the Hodel Center gymnasium. Rapt listeners stayed throughout the six-hour conference as Dr. John Lennox, Dr. Vern Poythress, and Dr. Paul Nelson spoke eloquently and at length on the origins of life and the universe, of both the obvious and subtle flaws inherent in Darwin’s theories of evolution, and of the incredible genius behind Creation’s design.
“Our past determines our identity,” said Dr. John Lennox, speaking of the importance of understanding one’s essential beginnings. “An individual and a nation without a past has lost its identity. What we think about our past determines our concept of who we are.”
Lennox identified Biblical responses to assaults on creationism, noting that when God created the world, He purposefully created animals and humans on different days, therefore distinguishing between the two. Noting that, “curiously,” the Author of Genesis anticipated future arguments about the essential nature of mankind’s origin, Lennox reiterated that God created animals on the fifth day and humans on the sixth.
“Scripture says very little about Creation, but it does say this: ‘In the beginning was the Word,’” Lennox said. “The Word that never came to exist, but eternally was. This tells us that, in spite of what science—or, more accurately, scientists—would want you to believe, the universe we live in and observe had a distinct beginning.”
Dr. Vern Poythress
Arguing that a secularist “worldview” agenda, rather than sound scientific evidence is today informing much of what is being touted as “truth” in scientific circles, he added, “The many detailed and seemingly deft arguments that some of our top scientists have employed to discredit this inarguable reality (of a distinct beginning to our universe) amounts to… absolute nonsense. Refusing to follow the trail of where the evidence seems to be leading, they have painted themselves into a small corner from which they won’t be able to escape.”
Dr. Vern Poythress carefully illustrated for the audience how human laws parallel God’s laws. He identified characteristics of laws—truthfulness, immanence, transcendence—and observed that they are all characteristics of God.
“Laws intrinsically imply that there is a law-giver,” said Poythress. “Laws are rational. If they are rational and utilize language, only people reason and use language.”
Dr. Paul Nelson
Dr. Paul Nelson discussed the sometimes subtle yet distinct—and often profound—differences between the “intelligent” vs. “material” or naturalistic design of objects and creatures found in nature. Using slides and graphs, he demonstrated that, in the case of the mysteriously elegant biology of living things, their function and composition are so irreducibly complex that random chance couldn’t possibly be the source.
Nelson concluded that the universe is impossibly complex, comprised of incalculably intricate and mathematical relations. Yet he clarified that the universe—and everything contained within it—existed above all and before all of the laws that scientists today use to describe it and, in many cases, cite as conclusive evidence that a Creator was neither necessary nor responsible.
“Mathematical objects are produced by intellects,” he said. “The Creator of the world not only grasps mathematical relationships but, more importantly, manipulates the electro-magnetic universe.”
Each speaker drew from an inspiring range of Bible verses, each of which uniquely spoke to the afternoon’s overriding theme: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.” (Psalm 33:6)