Patrick Glynn is an author of various articles and is an “associate director of Communications Policy Studies” at George Washington University, but he appears to have no special training or data upon which to base his 100-plus page 1997 book, God The Evidence (GTE). GTE asserts, in brief, that the scientific community is finding, or conceding, evidence that God exists, although the preponderance of scientific books and scientists either hold to the contrary or are totally silent on the subject of God (to avoid alienating readers and losing government-funding-grants), but these scholars do not cite any “evidence” to support a belief in a Creator or even in intelligent design. Those scientists who choose to believe in intelligent design offer no “evidence”; they simply state their conclusions.
The rationale behind Glynn’s postulate (that evidence of God exists) is that “the overwhelming majority of Americans are believers”, suggesting that the majority rules or should rule and, therefore, is likely right. History, of course, suggests to the contrary. The majority has held that the world is flat,; that sailors who sailed too far would sail “off the earth”; that the Earth is the center of our solar system, that the Milky Way is the only galaxy in the universe; that Copernicus, Galileo and many others were wrong and are evil for their anti-Biblical views; that Adam and Eve were created in 4004 B.C. (as specifically recorded in many KJV Bibles as recently as 1900) and Noah captained his arc in 2900 B.C.; that Christians could and should be converted by torture, force or even murder, etc. The converse is of each has been proven true: the majority is more often wrong than right.
Glynn states that “Atheism does not bring happiness”, as if that is dispositive of (or even relevant to) its validity – any more than the unhappiness of many Christians disproves their faith. (Although irrelevant, this reader finds happiness just as prevalent among agnostics and atheists as among Christians.) The consensus among scientists today is that all life evolved as a monumental accident, rather than as a planned design. Glynn, untroubled by scientific evidence and the weight of the corresponding opinions and offering no rebuttal to either, concludes, “The entire universe from the very first moment of its existence has been orchestrated, fine-tuned.” The evidence suggests otherwise: The Big Bang is dated 15 billion years ago (BYA); our solar system and the Earth about 4.6BYA; the first life forms (single cell creatures) roughly 4BYA, the first dual-celled creatures some 3BYA; that’s billion, not million; anything remotely like a human (i.e., chimpanzee-like creatures) did not appear until about 8MYA (that’s million years); something more like man appeared about 2MYA, and homo sapiens about 100,000 YA. This is hardly a smooth, orderly, painless or speedy evolution. Moreover, along the way, through various episodic extinctions, some 95% of all life forms were extinguished. Today’s life-forms emanated from the Cambrian Explosion, about 600MYA. Since then, no new life forms have evolved, and many have been eliminated; those that survive can be traced to a careful evolutionary process from Cambrian forms. Glynn ignores this or is not a reader of scientific materials. Mankind and all life forms began as bacteria in the primordial ooze; that’s the consensus.
Humorously, Glynn then relies on “near-death experiences” as “evidence” that God exists. A large portion of his book deals with this, including quotations from believers who claim to have been “near-death”. He also relies heavily of visions of God or saints, much as Dickens’ Scrooge was visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. All of this is insults the intelligence of serious readers. Mercifully, he adds that no one “can reason themselves to a belief in God”. (GTE, p. 11) Glynn also argues that the order (crime control) of society is dependent upon a belief in God. This may be true, in part, but it is not evidence of a God. Fear of eternity in flames may diminish crimes, but it hardly proves the evidence of a god.
Glynn argues, that “…physicists quickly began to see…The vast, 15-billion-year evolution of the universe had apparently been directed toward one goal: the creation of human life.” (GTE, p. 25). That misrepresents what physicists saw or see. One must read their books, not Glynn’s. Moreover, if the entire 15 billion years of the universe had human life as it goal, WHY did it take God so long to put humans here? And why did he make them evolve from molecular ooze in swamps; and why has did God create an Earth that will be burned to toast within 200 million years, as gravity pulls it too close to the Sun, and why is no other planet in our solar system habitable by human life? And why are all other planets, not to mention galaxies, far too far away for mankind to ever migrate to them? Glynn unbelievably, without offering a shred of data or logic in support, he then concludes that 20th Century science is closer to the Book of Genesis than to anything offered by Copernicus. What is he smoking?
Fundamentally, Glynn position is that, since science does not have all the answers and that there are some disagreements among scientists (e.g., between the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics), and, therefore, science is defeated, and the world has no choice but to return to the Book of Genesis, etc. Medicine doesn’t have all of the answers either, but aren’t we grateful to know what we do. Absent science, minds like Glynn’s would still be believing in a flat Earth and that Adam and Eve were the first humans and were created in 4004 B.C.
Many of the books to which Glynn refers, the undersigned has read (e.g., Hawkings’, Gould’s, Darwin’s). Glynn labors hard to show disagreement, and there are disagreements, as to details, mechanics, timing, etc., but the preponderance of opinion and scientific evidence (fossils, DNA, etc.) still supports a random universe and evolution in random ways. Some of Darwin’s fossil linkages have indeed been broken, and replaced by others that he never found. Glynn cites Gould as a repudiator of Darwin; nothing could be farther from the truth; Gould was the King of the Random Universe, and Darwin was its progenitor. Glynn represents Gould as pro-anthropic- principal scientist, when, in fact, Gould is a raging atheist who has stated countless times that “All life is one and all life is random.” (See Wonderful Life.) Glynn is intellectually dishonest in his extractions of data. Distortion doesn’t serve him, or his God, well. Then, desperate to prove his point, he concludes that “Randomness alone cannot produce order on any appreciable scale,” but why not? And how is “appreciable” defined? Glynn’s alternative to random evolution is the Book of Genesis. In time, such minds will be as held as ludicrous as those who believed in a flat Earth.
Then, Glynn mocks the “many universes” assertions of many scientists. While they are speculative, so were galaxies that we could not see, before we had telescopes. If we learn to see the warping of time and space, perhaps we shall “see” other universes as well. No one can know, just as no one can “know” that there is or isn’t a Creator, no matter how heavily the data weighs against a providential force to render a universe and life in the form that we now see it. If a Creator put life forms though the past, brutal 15 billion-year-evolution and spawned the pain and suffering that dominate the lives of most on our planet, it would seem to have been either a monster or a creator that could not control what It created. Either way, It seems irrelevant to our lives and what we make of them.
In a final ploy, Glynn assures that reader that if he/she “bets against God”, he will “suffer eternal torment.” He offers no “evidence” in support of this either. Glynn is not a scholar of anything, and he surface-skates through the slivers of the views of many scientists, philosophers and scholars, distorting and misrepresenting their works. His efforts to show disagreement, on fine points, among scientific scholars, hardly disprove the body of their views or the data offered by fossils, DNA, mathematics, the Big Bang, etc. Showing different views among medics does not repudiate medicine. Glynn’s book is a waste of time.