Skeptics of the Bible wrongly assume that as scientific knowledge grows, the God delusions diminishes. However, the wager could easily be made that there are just as many Christians in the scientific community as there are atheists. Journalist, Lee Strobel, writes, “My road to atheism was paved by science… but, ironically, so was my later journey to God” (Strobel, The Case for the Creator, 2004). Likewise, David asserts, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Ps. 19:1). The world testifies to its Creator more often than not. Science is not the Christians’ enemy. In fact, scientific facts and laws reinforce what the Bible teaches, the problem arises when scientists create their own scientific theories based on assumptions rather than proven facts.
In this study of God’s existence, one branch of science, anthropology, has presented several interesting concepts in defending the existence of God. In past discussions, the study reviewed the cosmological argument (every creation must have a creator) and the teleological argument (the design argument). Now, this article will explore the Anthropological Argument.
Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present, that draws and builds upon knowledge from the social sciences and biological sciences, as well as the humanities and the natural sciences. The Anthropological Argument bases its defense for God around the idea that humanity’s attributes go well beyond evolutionary needs. Human beings have within their function and thought process many characteristics that are not necessary for living in this world, so where did such characteristics derive? If evolution is based on adaptation and survival, then how does one explain such characteristics?
Mankind, unlike the animals, has a moral code. Where did it come from? Animals function in their environment just fine without a moral code. No animal in the world sets around contemplating the moral consequences to hunting their prey, and yet, these animals thrive in their environment perfectly, some might even argue better than humans. So why do humans have this aspect of thought if it is not needed for adapting to the environment? Imagine visiting more than ten different island populations who were completely isolated from one another and learning that they all possess laws against murder and stealing. Anthropologists have found that such behaviors such as lying, stealing, rape, assault, cheating, murder, and bestiality are taboo and culturally unacceptable in most societies throughout the past and present. The implications indicate that humans have a consistent thought pattern. It is impossible for inorganic matter, on its own, to evolve a system of moral ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ For moral evolution to be fact, there must be proof that can be consistently tested in labs, but there is no such data; it is all theory! In 1951, the most influential paleontologist of the twentieth century, George Gaylord Simpson, admitted, “Morals arise only in man” (Simpson. The Meaning of Evolution. New York: Mentor, 1951. p. 179). The question then becomes why and how.
There are really only two options that could adequately explain the origin of morals, they really don’t exist or they originated from God. Post-modernism popularized in the academic system that truth is subjective, everyone has a different standard of truth. This would also imply that everyone has a different standard of right and wrong. Under this thought, there is no right and wrong, there is only perspective. For instance, Hitler felt annihilating Jews was right. Isn’t evolution all about the survival of the fittest? If morality doesn’t exist and everyone has their own truth, how can one say Hitler was wrong? If one decides a certain behavior will allow him/her to survive better, shouldn’t the person participate in it, even if it hurts others? If morals are subjective, what would be the problem with slicing a coworker’s tires before an interview if both individuals were applying for the same job? Despite what people argue, patterns of universal rights and wrongs can be seen in the study of humanity. While exceptions exist in any group, one’s observations in humanity as a whole will find inescapable patterns as what is thought right and wrong. The concept of right and wrong clearly exist.
Mankind, unlike other living creatures, has concepts of beauty and art. Humans thrive in expression through clothes, paintings, hats, pretty much anything they make. Why is this necessary for survival and adapting to the environment? Do birds use flowers and pretty colors to make their nests? They use what is convenient because it works; they don’t care if their nests look pretty. Are crocodiles concerned about looking good while they swim around looking for prey? No! Other creatures in the world use what works and what allows them to get what they want; they don’t have the human drive to express themselves through beauty and art. Animals don’t even understand the concept of beauty. Animals don’t collect things because they think it is so beautiful, and they want to hang it up on the wall of their burrows. The concept of beauty is foreign to every creature but humans. Why? Humans don’t really need this mental concept, yet they have it. If such a concept cannot be found in the world, it must have been given to mankind from outside the known world. Bestowed to humanity by a higher power living beyond this world!
Furthermore, mankind, unlike anything else, has higher-order thinking skills. Humans contemplate the meaning of life, the beginning of all things, personal ambitions, how to create order and be popular. Such concepts are not needed to survive. Plants and animals don’t contemplate the meaning of life, the need to understand their beginning, they don’t keep track of their parents’ lineage and personal possessions for sentimentality. Such concepts just don’t exist except in humans, and humans don’t need these thoughts to survive and adapt to their environments. The fact that no creature in the world has evidence of these thoughts yet survive and adapt simply fine are proof that humans don’t need them. Again, if such a concept has no evidence for existence in this world or need in this world where did humans get it? It could only have come from an outer earthly source. A source beyond the known world.
The attributes list could go on and on with concepts like love, justice, eternal life, but this is an article not a book. Truthfully, the anthropological argument shows a deep well of unanswered questions by evolutionists, but not for Christians. God said that He created man in His own image (Gen. 1:26). God gave to mankind pieces of Himself that He did not give to animals or other living creatures. Such pieces of God are unique to this world and can only be seen in humans. The evidence for God was put inside humanity, not just in the world around them. – What a beautiful thought!