- "'Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens,' said Gimli. 'Maybe,' said Elrond, 'but let him not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall.'"
- – The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Ring Goes South" from Tolkien Gateway
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken:
The crownless again shall be king.
How many hours I spent with a Tolkien book hidden behind a textbook while a boring lecture was being presented in class? I probably read the LOTR a half-dozen times before entering college. I doubt if I read any other book more than twice in my young years with the possible exception of Robinson Crusoe or one of the shorter Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Tolkien was my favorite because he invented a cohesive and magical WORLD. More on the illustrious Tolkien later.
To summarize, an excerpt of just a bit of this linked article from Answers in Genesis and then back to Tolkien and the subject at hand:
Over time, if a hypothesis continues to stand up to scrutiny and many different experiments, the scientific community may begin referring to it as a “theory.” In essence, this means that because the hypothesis has not been disproved over many years and no other known hypothesis works, then we can be reasonably sure that it’s accurate.
Theories, however, are not imperishable. If new technology allows better experimentation, for example, a theory may need to be discarded. (See Louis Pasteur’s Views on Creation, Evolution, and the Genesis of Germs).
Where Evolution Falls ShortTwo problems prevent anyone from legitimately calling evolution a theory. First, there’s no direct, observable experiment that can ever be performed. Scientists can measure bones, study mutations, decode DNA, and notice similarities in morphology (the form and structure of animals and plants), but they can never test evolutionary events in the past.
Some point to natural selection as a form of “evolution in action,” but natural selection can only act upon the genetic potential that already exists. What we do observe from natural selection fits perfectly with a recent creation and does not point to common descent.
Secondly, and related to the above, evolution misses the mark as a theory because all the supposed “tests” to confirm Darwinism do not necessarily and distinctively correspond to the idea. In other words, each has an alternate and equally viable explanation. A theory requires that the confirming experiments correspond to one specific hypothesis. Otherwise, the experiment cannot establish legitimacy. Evolution has no such legitimacy.
So What Is It?requirement of naturalism. Since naturalists cannot allow a higher power, they must rely on a form of spontaneous generation and the unguided development of life. Either someone or something created, or nature created itself.
Because naturalism depends on this assumption, evolution artificially carries the weight of a theory for naturalists—without meeting the requirements. Evolution has been grafted in simply out of the desire to deny the Creator or to deny His power and authority..."
Evolution is generally referred to as Darwinism in these parts to cover the entire philosophy in one succinct word. Darwinism is about religion rather than science.
Now, Lewis and Tolkien had both served in WWI and had wound up in the hospital because of it. Both were brilliant students who formed a tea club in their younger years with other like-minded young men and later this club would be the basis for the "Inklings" at Oxford, where their friendship grew. Lewis was an Irishman who had been born into a Protestant household and later taken on atheism. Tolkien had been born in South Africa as a Britiish citizen to Baptist parents and would later join the Roman Catholic Church. Although Lewis was the writer who would become best known as a Christian apologist, it was Tolkien and another friend, Hugo Dyson, who actually led Lewis to become a Christian a few years after the writings of George MacDonald had brought him to the theism brink. Both men were students of Norse genealogy and mythology and both were students of Beowulf. Both were considered great scholars and outstanding professors.
"...The two soon became fast friends --- even though Lewis had established himself in the literature faction of the English faculty, while Tolkien placed himself firmly on the linguistics and history of languages side. (Tolkien disliked most literature and found little use for any work penned after the medieval era). Together they helped revise the English syllabus, and for the first time, the Oxford English School created a dialogue between the philology and literature camps.
Intellectually, they craved each other's companionship. But their relationship had emotional depth as well. They bonded over their harrowing experiences in the trenches of World War I. They shared the loss of their parents, which they had both endured as children. Sorrow over their pasts and their retreat from modernity gave them no where to go but their imaginations. They lost themselves in anachronistic tales and created make-believe places --- engaging in what today we might disparagingly call "escapism." Of course, the realms of Lewis' Narnia and Tolkien's Middle-earth are fraught with troubles, wars, and imperfections, at least as much as our so-called real world. "
Lewis actually was the man who sought to write works other than academic from the beginning while Tolkien wrote for his students and largely on topics such as Beowulf and seemed to be content with his studies, his lectures and his students along with a full family life with his beloved Edith and four children.
Tolkien's The Hobbit was meant to amuse his children and frankly fantasy writing was only a hobby and private pleasure for Tolkien. The story goes that Tolkien wrote the book for his children but The Hobbit was a discovered by a publisher and Tolkien allowed them to publish it. The Hobbit was such big success that a request from the publisher for a sequel prompted Tolkien to take some of his personal research and musings and writings (including the first two books already largely written for his own pleasure) to become the basis of the trilogy known as the exquisite Lord of the Rings trilogy and present it to the public. One suspects he might have planned to eventually try to publish his writings one day in any event but it makes for a good story.
The odd pairing of friends were both named as among the most outstanding English writers post-1945 and both were horrified at the idea of their fantasy novels being translated to the screen, although eventually it did happen and certainly Peter Jackson's treatment of Tolkien's classic trilogy was a wonderful attempt at presenting the entire story without making 36 hours of film. Thus far I cannot complain too much of the treatment of Narnia at Hollywood's hands, either.
Both men chose fantasy as their favorite mode of writing and with their experiences in battle and their thorough knowledge of Northern and European history and mythology plus experiences in travel they could create and portray intricate fantasy worlds with all the conviction of historians and fortunately with the skill of a master storyteller. Fantasy is quite easy to write but it is quite difficult to write well. The entire literary world has proclaimed both Lewis and Tolkien as masters of the craft, now sadly passed from this earth to enjoy the wonders of the other side.
Stay tuned for part three. In part three I intend to tell you why there is no possible way Darwin and Christ can share the same brain without insulting logic and intellect. But first, Christian, why do you even bother? Why are you willing to let these Darwinists tell you their science fiction stories and take them as fact?
- The Universe magically appeared with no cause, having created itself.
- The Solar System had no designer but simply was a coincidentally accumulated by chance.
- The Earth is perfect for habitation by carbon-based life forms.
- Life just created itself.
- Information magically appeared and stuffed great quantities of itself into organisms
- Intricate processes and forms are "adapted" by organisms because they want them. (I sure wish that worked for my bank account. I would love to "adapt" a few more zeroes behind the balance sum.)
- Amazing and inexplicable behaviors by many thousands of types of organisms that no one would imagine could work do happen because of wonderful design features and/or brilliant processes.
- Wonderfully efficient micro-machines have been great teachers for human designers
- Organisms also have taught us great lessons about flight and moving through water and many other things, how marvelous that statistically impossible accidents have simply happened untold billions of times to help billions of blobs of mud to become sharks and giraffes and people and redwoods and ferns and plankton.
- Best of all, the billions upon billions of miracles have been by no causal agent and are entirely without meaning, thus, we have no reason to live and no purpose in life and are not bound by any rules we can get away with breaking. We are all random accidents.