Letter to the Editor



On Bullock's "The Origin of Species and the Origins of Disease"...

James G. Osborn

8911 Second Street
    Lanham, MD 20706    



From: PSCF 44 (September 1992): 216.                                                               Bullock: Responds

I appreciate Dr. Wilbur Bullock's valiant attempt, in "The Origin of Species and the Origins of Disease" (March 1992), to address atheists' strongest argument against the existence of God. Only after I became acquainted with David Hume's works did I finally appreciate the difficulties of biologists have in believing in God. "If God is so powerful and so good, why does disease exist?"

I was led to believe that Dr. Bullock was going to propose a new solution to the dilemma that did not compromise the goodness of God. But alas! my expectations were unfounded. Dr. Bullock's solution is merely that "We need to reaffirm that our Creator and Sustainer controls the disease processes, whether personal or community." But if God is good, why does God permit disease to cause such suffering among His children? Or, what is the relationship between God's creative and sustaining role and our responsibility?

The New Testament only hints at why disease exists, from God's viewpoint. Jesus healed the sick, which testifies both to a) the role of disease in pointing to the saving power of God, and b) the fact that disease is not part of God's original world of goodness, but part of the sinful world that is to be purified.

But we are also personally responsible to maintain healthy bodies. When God created humanity, he told the first man and woman, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and have dominion" (Gen. 1:28). When we treat our bodies with the love and respect they deserve (as the image of God), by eating properly and not engaging in unhealthy behavior (such as promiscuity), we are more likely to maintain "the intricate balances (homeostasis)" that Dr. Bullock mentions.