Various creationists and ID proponents, myself included, have raved about the work of elite scholar and clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson who connected the rise of Christianity with concepts in evolutionary theory. His recent 2.5-hour interview was profound on many levels. I provide a link to the interview below.
Even though Peterson is an die-hard evolutionist, many ID proponents and creationists have said they were blessed to hear what he had to say. I know I was. Since I know VJ studied the topic of animal intelligence, I thought Peterson’s work might be of interest to him since Peterson ties the rise of Christianity to behavioral and neurological traits he sees deeply conserved in the mammalian kingdom.
As a creationist I interpret things a little differently than Peterson. I think the animal kingdom is an inexact picture of humanity. What he views as evolutionarily conserved behavioral traits I view as common design. He relates how a tyrannical chimpanzee patriarch in a community of chimpanzees cannot withstand the slightly more ethical semi-tyrant chimpanzees. He thus concludes ethics are a deeply ancient trait of mammalian behavior. What he says is somewhat consistent with Daniel Dennett who although is an opponent of Christianity, concluded natural selection must have favored humans with religious pre-dispositions since the behavioral trait is so abundant. Dennett views religion as a reproductively successful adaptation.
Peterson also offers a piercing critique of post modernism and neo-marxism and champions free market capitalism because free markets don’t have the waste created by government enforcement of policies. It was utterly amazing he could weave so many lines of thought together coherently. I listened to the interview a few times on a long long drive.
One amazing thing he said was the connection of evil in men’s hearts being tied to desire for revenge against God even if one is an atheist. He relates how some patients in his clinical practice found cures through developing a theology of good and evil. He pointed out how some war veterans suffering Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) wrote him to tell him they got cured of their PTSD while listening to his lectures about evil.
Peterson argues that Christianity articulated some of the most fundamental truths more successfully than other religions and philosophical systems. He points out pain is one of the ultimate undeniable truths, and that philosophies that don’t recognizes the tragedy of the human condition reject truth at some level. He claims post modernism fails because it does not recognize the existence of pain demolishes the central tenet of post modernism that there are infinitely many coherent interpretations of facts.
He shows why the truth of pain refutes post modern philosophy and Christianity is more coherent philosophically because of its treatment of the fact of pain. He points out the central figure in Christianity is Jesus Christ suffering on the cross. Because the central figure of Christianity is the suffering messiah, Christianity is therefore is aligned with a fundamental aspect of reality and thus truth. He argues the concept of Logos and truth were very well developed in Christianity as a religion and served also partly for Christianity’s decline after the so-called enlightenment.
Here is the link to Peterson’s 2017 interview: