Written by Paul J. Bucknell on April, 01, 2020
Pain & Pleasure: Pain and pleasure prove the impossibility of the evolutionary framework
While plenty of evolutionists belittle the Bible, those very things that they research day and night ridicule their atheistic stance. The old Designer argument still holds: “A design mandates a designer”—in this case, Designer. The software engineer’s written code—needing to be perfect or it doesn’t work—daily testifies to this truth. Science is accelerating our discoveries in nature that suggest the presence of its excellent Designer. Scientific research, then, requires them to put up more resistance as knowledge exponentially advances.
So, when God’s design is more closely analyzed and acquired, those who fear the facts must further cover up the truth, lest their discoveries expose the bias of evolution. For instance, scientific papers and articles must tote their allegiance to evolutionary theory for approval. I suggest that this counters the persuasive, powerful facts that demand a Designer God. They are suppressors of the truth.
“…Those who suppress the truth by their wickedness. For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them.” (Rom 1:18-19)
The truth doesn’t need anyone’s shielding. Science took great strides only due to its demand for openness to the facts. The clouds can hide the sun but only for a while, but then, the sun, in its brilliance, breaks through with its piercing brilliance. Evolutionists should be aware that Christians build their beliefs on truth—the facts. Despite the way others, such as the new atheists, allege that believers follow fairy tales, Christians are serious about discovering and accommodating the facts and figures. God has, in our age, so to speak, pulled back the curtains to reveal more about His ingenious design. He has wonderfully granted our generation the opportunity to peer further at His created world.
Spiritual truths are not significantly different from other truths and facts gleaned from the world. We admit our knowledge is limited and scattered, whether in the spiritual or physical realm. That is the exciting fact of our age of discovery. We get to explore unknown ‘worlds.’ I know some people would argue with me, but the Bible has proven its reliability by helping us to project what kind of spiritual and material worlds are about us. I remember how the electron microscope unveiled a whole new world, ready to be explored. A new appreciation of the microscopic world’s design came with it. With the scriptures, we can gain a head start into our exploration. Yes, we all hold bias, but we respect the facts and are willing (should be willing) to examine our presumptions behind the bias, for we fit our observations into our basic ungirding viewpoints.
In summary, the truth is the consistent and reliable expression of that which exists. Join me in this never-ending search. Below, I briefly explore how pain and pleasure “prove” the existence of the immaterial world and the very unlikelihood of macro-evolution.
Pain and Pleasure
Having introduced our belief in truth, as well as its importance to us, I want now to show now how pain and pleasure testify to the existence of God the Creator against the anti-perfect-design scheme of evolution, often including the denial of God’s existence and creation. I propose that the very existence of pain and pleasure contradicts the premise of evolution.
From our advanced studies of the human body, we now know pain and pleasure are thoroughly fused into our entire physical bodies and wired to our brains, which are somehow connected to our minds. They work together as a brilliant declaration of God’s genius. Before modern research, we might simply accept their presence, but now, we know they are fully developed systems indispensable to the existence of the human body.
The Presence and Purpose of Pain
The evolutionary theory insists on an unbearably slow, piece by piece, development process for the nervous system to develop. This perspective requires the admission that the animal and person can fully function without its presence—since it came in incomplete increments over much time. To be particular, they need to assert that, at some previous point of viability, the body had no sensory nerves or mind to interpret pain’s messages. We have no other such fully coordinated system that, in one instance, or even in many parts, came into spontaneous existence and worked so perfectly. For such a system to be so complete and helpful, we would anticipate some plausible path of development. Recent research, however, unveils a yet more complicated and integrated nervous system making it biologically impossible to develop gradually, let alone to be able to be perfectly replicated. However, I want to move beyond this biological perspective and step into the philosophic understanding of pain.
The evolutionary theory purports the survival of the fittest. Only that which is immediately needed and helpful is accommodated in small cell adjustments. But pain is not friendly. People don’t like pain. Pain, by its nature, is not immediately rewarding. Our minds collect the facts and determine an alternative activity to lessen pain’s intensity. We do this naturally—almost without thinking about it. When my foot numbness began to accompany my hip pain, I decided only to walk half the path. I also figured out that I could bypass this numbing sensation by combining sprinting along with walking. I didn’t want the pain nor will the body willingly accommodate it—if it could foresee the pain it would bring.
The important place of pain is obvious, but pain and its accompanying warning system require foresight—exactly what experiential evolutionary moments do not afford. And so, evolutionary theory cannot account for the pain. The gradual development of the nervous system is laughable as it can only function as a whole.
In evolutionary theory, it is the strong and helpful processes that are welcomed and somehow integrated into the whole system. Pain, however, is unliked—even detested. Besides, a nervous system could not develop in pieces and parts over time until the fully developed system functioned normally. Until fully operating, it would all be considered unwanted trash.
But even if we accepted the unguided development of the nervous system, there remains no explanation for pain’s accompanying interpretive system. The nerve system can only develop as much as the brain and mind are fully functioning. We necessarily jump between the worlds of biology and spirituality with the mind, for that is what pain daily does. Can pain exist without the nervous system or the mind? Of course not.
Where are the charts that display how the fully integrated nerve system developed step by step with the brain and mind? Without an ingenious plan behind it, there is no way for such perfectly balancing sets of functions to develop mutually.
In the end, pain hurts. There is no immediate reward, and any organ, if permitted, would deny its entry. Only a wise Designer could overrule this objection because He insightfully saw the need for pain to care for and censor one’s body properly. Without pain, when rubbing my eyes or stubbing my toes, great damage would come to my body.
Evolutionists must be held accountable to the new knowledge that we possess by providing proof for their claims—a gradually, piece by piece, developing nervous system that works perfectly in harmony with the mind. Why do evolutionists speak so arrogantly if their theory is fully explainable or repeatable? Just show us some facts.
What about the God-believers? I include myself here. We might not understand the intricacies of how pain and the mind work together either but can be satisfied by admitting to an all-wise God who can assemble and maintain with life such a being from scratch. The fact of pain and the nervous system, then, gives evidence that begs for a wise Creator God. Some evolutionists walk around like the emperor with no clothes, having no explanation of how a fully functioning biological system can come about, lacking proof or theory of development. To exasperate the thinker, they are unwilling to defend or otherwise explore how the mind could function together with the biological system.
The Presence and Purpose of Pleasure
Pleasure, in my mind, likewise has no room for existence in an evolutionary world. Have you ever thought of it? Pleasure leaps beyond the tests for survival. By this, I mean, pleasure is not needed. Pleasure, in its many forms, is not required for survival. People desire pleasure and even take dangerous drugs to experience increased pleasure. But who can begin to understand, measure, or analyze the unlimited ways people experience pleasure?
Pleasures are luxuries, having nothing to do with survival but delight and happiness. Evolution has not, at least from my understanding, in any way, explained pleasure. Due to the severely limited theory of survival of the fittest, pleasure doesn’t fit. Do we need the pleasure of someone stroking our skin or the delight gained from gazing at the ocean?
As with pain, we are forced to delve back into how the nervous system works with the mind. I have a friend who fell and lost all sense of taste. Everything tasted like chalk, so he did not want to eat at all. His physical body worked well, but somehow his mind could not properly interpret the codes his sensory nerves passed to his brain.
So how does the evolutionist explain delight, pleasure, and happiness? A nice dinner surpasses any notion of survival.
The facts, again, point to a Creator who desires people to be able to appreciate the world He had made. From these repeatable pleasurable engagements, they are to deduce that God is good. In contrast to the bland teaching of evolution, a wise Designer certainly could have integrated sight, sound, smell, and touch senses with the mind and pleasures. He stirs up appreciation in us for the pleasures at hand—for our good and His glory.
The pain and pleasure that forms a part of our everyday experiences repeatedly retell the wise ways of a Creator. Evolutionary theory, however, has not passed its survival test. Even with our advance research, the evolutionists must scramble for cover against the complex designs being observed regularly. Even such a foundational DNA molecule mocks the non-purposeful and accidental approach. The demands from an evolutionary perspective, whether biologically or philosophically, require the shelving of one’s theory in light of the evidence. Evolution requires much more faith than the existence of a wise Designer and Creator. Think, if you dare. Who is being more objective? What facts better substantiate each theory? Was the resulting fully functioning pain and pleasure acting in harmony with the biological and nervous systems and the mind by accident or by design?
A Greater Plan
In God’s boundless plan, pain and pleasure serve as warning and promise. Pain largely reminds us of unhappy consequences and so serves as a warning system. People should be more careful to curse a God who designed pain as a warning of the more significant dangers of rejecting Him—an everlasting lake of fire.
Pleasure, in stark contrast, points out that God is good and desiring that all to come to know Him and participate in His good plan. Pleasure leads us on a path of a never-ending quest of renewed delight and adoration. Pleasure’s existence entices us to please God with hopes of securing ongoing rewards of pleasures and delights, not just in material things about us, but in a relationship with our Designer and with others about us.
Pain and pleasure have no place in the evolutionary scheme of things. They do, however, nicely empower every human being to serve God’s greater purposes by directing human beings to honor and follow Him. He warns the dangers of eternal death through pain, and yet, sends pleasure to entreat us to believe and find life in Him. If you doubt His scheme, consider that same grand Designer of pain and pleasure sent His Son to suffer the worst of pain on a cruel death. Jesus experienced the brunt of pain so that people like us could secure an eternal pleasurable life to love and worship Him forever.
The further from God, the greater the pain.
The closer to God, the greater the pleasure.
Discussion Questions on Pain and Pleasure
1. Provide your definition of pain and pleasure. How do they compare to each other?
2. Why do evolutionists need to resist the truth of God’s existence?
3. Why aren’t Christians afraid of truth and the possibility that it might uncover falsehood in their beliefs?
4. Why do the academy and media only accept those papers and articles that commit to an evolutionary stance?
5. Explain in your language how pain works in our lives.
6. Explain how pleasure works in human beings.
7. Why does the author state that pain and pleasure could not gradually develop?
8. Why are evolutionists so adamant about evolution when they themselves cannot explain how the body and mind work together?
9. What does physical pain help us spiritually understand and avoid?
10. What does physical pleasure help us spiritually understand and seek?
11. How does the pain that Jesus felt on the cross help us realize God’s great desire for us to seek Him?