Mars Hill Forum #125: “How Can the Environment Best Be Protected? An Evolutionary View and a Biblical View”, Eastern Connecticut State University, April 24, 2006, Guest: Dr. Elizabeth Cowles

Outline Prepared by John C. Rankin

The biblical worldview rests in teleology and has ten positive assumptions in the biblical order of creation which address any subject.

  1. God’s nature is the power to give: a) two choices in life – give and it shall be given versus take before you are taken; b) impact on how we view stewardship of the environment; c) contrast pagan deities and a godless cosmos.
  2. Communication which equals the power to live in the light: a) physics, ethics and spiritual domains; b) integrity and transparency at all times.
  3. Human nature: a) the image of God and stewardship over the good creation.
  4. Human freedom which equals the power of informed choice: a) metaphor of the banquet – no such things in pagan religion or secular constructs; b) informed choice first requires true definition of terms.
  5. Hard questions: a) first, to embrace hard questions – nature of my study of Darwin in 1983 and the nature of the Mars Hill Forum series. Then, second, comes the freedom to pose hard questions of others; b) Darwin’s intellectual dishonesty in critiquing a “Common Designer”; c) Darwinian evolution has no teleology, and hence no ability to distinguish good from evil apart from “the struggle for survival” where “only the fittest survive” consistent with war in nature; d) is it a coming ice age or a coming meltdown? Is it global cooling or global warming?; e) is climate change normal or exceptional? What are the historical fluctuations?; f) how much of climate change is due to human influence? What is our responsibility regardless?; g) who are the catastrophists, and why?
  6. Human sexuality – equality and complementarity of male and female: a) the metaphor of raping the planet; b) male chauvinism and goddess religion reaction – Gaia and Mother Earth.
  7. Science and the scientific method: a) sun, moon and stars in biblical versus Babylonian worldviews; (b) the need to do good science, and follow facts as they establish themselves; c) the definition of pollution, from dirty water on outward. “Recycling recycles pollution.”
  8. Verifiable history: a) All 42 branches of modern science are founded by Christians; b) the little ice age that affected Greenland and Iceland in 1400ff; c) most global warming occurred prior to the Industrial Revolution; d) global warming, in its most recent mini-cycle, peaked in 1997, down since.
  9. Covenantal law: a) rooted in the consent of the governed, predicated on the power of informed choice, there is accountability for those in places of political power; b) Religious and political liberty versus totalitarian regimes;  c) united States versus Russia and China (world co² emissions leader later this year, but since when is co² a pollution? We need it to breathe and live – a question of balance. And China is exempted from it …
  10. Unalienable rights: a) there is only one Source; and not pagan religion or Darwinian evolution; b) the predicate for all we do in a free society.

Finally, in the politics of reducing worldwide oil use, are we creating a greater monster by the switch to ethanol, which is driving up food prices for the poor in third world nations, and is more polluting and more expensive?

Even yet, worldwide oil consumption could be dropped significantly if we all drove diesel engines, allowed a morally attuned free market economy to determine energy sources and uses, and say a resounding no to totalitarian political regimes.