The Great Unmasking

A Review of Science Uprising

Materialism, the philosophical belief that matter and energy and the laws by which they operate are the fundamental reality, is the assumed picture of reality in our culture, especially in academia and the natural sciences. But no one really lives as if materialism were true. Most people believe that non-material things like compassion, ideas, meaning, joy, and sorrow are also real, as much a part of reality as our physical bodies. If we believe these things are real, does that make us anti-science? According to some celebrity science popularizers, it does. 

But what if it’s actually materialism that is anti-science? That is the question at the heart of Science Uprising, an edgy series of short videos (each 6–8 minutes long) produced by the Discovery Institute. Episode 01: Realism vs. Materialism sets up the series by doing what scientific materialists doggedly resist doing: separating out materialist philosophy from the way science is often presented to the general public. Materialists are free to choose their philosophical beliefs, but to the extent that they tie them to science, they are bluffing, and the Science Uprising project calls their bluff and meets them toe-to-toe on the ground they claim to be standing on—the natural sciences. Here’s a rundown:

• Episode 02: No, You’re Not a Robot Made Out of Meat presents evidence from medicine and neuroscience for the existence of the mind, will, and sense of self, as distinct entities apart from the physical brain. 

• Episode 03: DNA Is Code: Who Coded It? Materialists agree that DNA is like software, but they maintain that it came about naturally, without a programmer. Episode 3 presents experimental data showing that this tenet isn’t just lacking in evidential support, but actually flies flagrantly against the accepted standards of reasoning in other fields of scientific inquiry. 

• Episode 04: Fine Tuning: You Don’t Suck! looks at the extremely improbable conditions necessary for the universe to even exist, much less for Earth to be a hospitable place for life, and sets them beside the weird and wild speculative explanations with which materialists brush these astonishing facts aside.

• Episode 05: Origin of Life: Intelligence Required. Whereas Stephen Hawking said life must have spontaneously generated itself, and headlines say scientists have (almost!) solved the mystery of life, synthetic organic chemist James Tour says the origin-of-life community, in conjunction with an overeager press, has not been honest with us. Tour explains the happenings behind the hype, and says the problem is becoming harder, not easier, as scientists continue to learn more about the complexity of the cell.

• Episode 06: Mutations: Failure to Invent. We have been told that genetic mutations are the building blocks of evolution, but when put to the test, mutations have shown no capacity to build or invent anything. They have been shown to degrade genetic information and biological function. And that is all.

• Episode 07: A final episode on human evolution will be released later in 2019. 

These videos are on YouTube and on, and the latter also contains a veritable cyber museum of additional background content for each episode. The upshot of the whole project is this: Materialism fails to adequately explain reality as we all know it and live it, and it fails, moreover, when put to empirical tests. 

Two great unmaskings are in order: (1) Materialism must be exposed for what it is—a philosophy that is itself anti-science but that has been granted undue privilege for way too long, and (2) non-materialists must join their voices together so that science may be freed from its coercive philosophical pretentions.  

 is Deputy Editor of Salvo and writes on apologetics and matters of faith.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #50, Fall 2019 Copyright © 2024 Salvo |


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