The late William Provine, a biologist at Cornell University, made the following statement about evolutionary theory:
“Let me summarize my theory on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear.
There are no gods, there are no purposes, there are no goal directed purposes of any kind.
There’s no life after death.
When I die, I’m absolutely certain that I’ll be dead.
That’s the end of me.
There’s no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and there’s no free will for human beings either.” (1)
It is mind-numbing to see the level of truth suppression in these statements made by what society considers a brilliant man. I sat through an eight year college and medical education and took some of the same courses as this biologist, yet I hold to a different standard, an absolute standard for the purpose of life, ethics, and morality.
I cannot even begin to categorize the philosophical belief expressed in this quote. Blind fatalism may apply, but that would imply fate as a driving factor. Even atheists may want to depart from Provine’s position of no “meaning in life.”
So depressing to apply such philosophy to one’s life… No goal directed purpose to anything…
But more importantly, such godless worldview is contradictory in its premises.
If there is no foundation for ethics and therefore no absolute morality, then moral relativism is the moral law of the land. Everyone sets up their own system of right and wrong with respect to morality. That implies free will in action, the volition and ability to do what everyone feels good and right for themselves.
That would appear to make sense in a land without ethics. But… Provine says that there is no free will for human beings, contradicting his previous statements…
Provine is correct in one sense. There is no absolute free will because human beings do not posses the ability (without divine redemption) to lead a sinless life even if we want to. We are chained to this fallen creation until the finalization of our redemption (Rom 8:20-21).
Delight in Truth readers, with respect to Dr Provine, we are dealing with a case of 1 Corinthians 1 wisdom of the world gone bad. Paul tells us that the wisdom of the world cannot be applied in knowing God ( 1 Cor 1:21). He will not reveal Himself via the wisdom of the world, but by the Word of God through the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit.
That is the folly of the cross! The world considers it foolishness… the whole idea of absolute morality, total depravity, and the need for our sins to be imputed onto Christ crucified in order that we may attain righteousness.
When the sinner realizes this, they will never be the same again.
(1) quote from Rodi – Agnus Dei
Enjoyed your article. It reminds me of the theme in the book of Judges: “Everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes.” I believe we live in a critical time and need to stand up for absolute truth in a morally relativistic society. I believe it’s our duty as the church to be salt in the world and light on top of the city so that unbelievers can come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved from the judgment that is to come. Thanks again.
Thanks for the visit, and welcome to Delight in Truth. I too believe that moral relativism is one the greatest methods used by Satan to suppress truth.