That is to say, in acquiring knowledge, we not only assimilate information; we also experience an intuitive feeling that the information is true, or in some cases, not true. An article from LiveScience.com underscores the point, “...the human brain doesn’t judge the merits of an idea solely on logic, but also on how intrinsically true the idea feels.”7 In fact, according to the researchers, this intuitive feeling “may have a greater influence on final decisions, dispositions, or actions than conclusions arrived at through principled reasoning.”8
Dr. Rana also pointed out that intuitive knowledge can be valuable in certain situations, such as with firefighters who, in the midst of a blaze, have “gut instincts” that guide them and enable them to survive. He remarked, “People can make sound decisions using their intuition... it’s a valuable component of our ability to understand... to think through circumstances and determine the course of action.”9
On the other hand, the researchers viewed intuitive knowledge as distinctly inferior to reflective or intellectually apprehended knowledge. They implied that reflective knowledge is trustworthy, whereas intuitive knowledge is suspect and unreliable, especially when it resists evolutionary theory!10 The researchers came to believe that strategies should be developed as to how to teach these concepts (regarding intuitive knowledge) to the students, in an effort to help them consciously overcome intuitive resistance.11
Nevertheless, I believe that an entirely different paradigm should be considered in regards to the value of these intuitions. Based on Scripture and on the insights of theologians, I submit that these intuitive feelings against Darwinism arise from God’s image in man (Genesis 1:26–27). His image or likeness in man enables us to be receptive to the “testimony” of His existence through creation, which we see in Psalm 19:1–4, Isaiah 40:26, Romans 1:18–20, and in a number of other verses as well.12
To those who are willing to see it, the Creator’s handiwork13 is quite apparent—a concept inadvertently supported by the researchers in their paper, as they referenced a study which held that children “generate intuitive creationist beliefs about origins.”14Why don’t children generate intuitive evolutionary or at least naturalistic beliefs? I submit that they don’t because they (and all of us) possess the image of God and because they’ve not yet been taught to rationalize away creation’s testimony.15
We’ll delve into specific features of the Creator’s “testimony” to His handiwork that His image enables us to discern, in part two of this four-part series.
This article has been reviewed by RTB biochemist Fazale Rana.
Roger Bennett is an apologist and former amateur astronomer. He has also studied chemistry, physics, theology, and biblical Greek.