Mt. Improbable and other impossible evolutionary dreams

A peak in Daedunsan Provincial Park, South Korea in the role of “Mt. Improbable”

Evolution’s Mr. Improbable is really Mt. Impossible

I’ve exposed many of the tricks, logical fallacies and games that evolutionists play and use to try to convince themselves and others that the patently false theory of Darwinian evolution is what they claim: the “factual” account of the origin of man and all life.  But when I came across these outrageous claims that are so clearly false, yet  delivered with such arrogance and a deep belief in absurd statistical claims, I couldn’t help but wonder if these evolutionary evangelists intentionally  ignore the obvious problems in order to convince themselves and others; or if they are so blinded by evolutionary dogma that they really can’t see the problems with what they’re saying.

Whichever the case, evolutionists tend to disbelieve any evidence that contradicts their theory, but a failure to believe valid evidence doesn’t make the evidence wrong. What it actually does, is place a burden of proof on the disbeliever to demonstrate why their interpretation of the data is better than another. Here is where evolutionists tend to leave the bounds of reality for flights of fancy into the world of Wonderland logic – where you can make any irrational claim you’d like, and believe it’s true. Because in the looking glass world of evolutionary theory – stories of how things happen don’t actually have to work in the real world. Since everything requires millions of years and can never be proved anyway; it just has to look true and sound true to like minded believers when they look at through the evolutionary looking glass. Unfortunately for evolutionists, not everyone looks at evolution through the looking glass. For those who prefer to stay grounded in reality and not follow the evolutionists down their rabbit hole, it’s not hard to spot the many problems and fallacies and point them out, as I will do here. Continue Reading

Misguided attacks by evolutionists

 Those who deny God’s activity in the creation routinely try to kill any evidence that originates from the Bible.

In their zeal to defend evolutionary theory evolutionists often make unfounded and fallacious charges and accusations. Following is the problem with three of those attacks.

1. A Misguided attack on reason: “There’s no evidence of God”

The only alternative to life arising via some form of evolution, is that all life originated from God. There is no other alternative. Thus, in support of the godless theory of evolution, atheists and evolutionists alike tend to use the argument “there’s no evidence of God”, and its variant “there’s no evidence for x” – for any “x” they don’t believe. They don’t believe in God, so they say there’s no evidence of God. They don’t believe in an intelligent designer, so they say there’s no evidence for intelligent design. They don’t believe in miracles, so they say there’s no evidence of miracles, and some will foolishly go so far as to say there’s no evidence of the miracle worker Jesus.  What are we to make of such allegations? Continue Reading

Age of the universe: 13.75 Billion years- Fact or Faith statement?

Scientists don’t actually measure time to determine the age of the universe. One method attempts to correlate passage of time given a certain amount of redshift in the light from a given star.


Do scientists accurately represent their ability to estimate the age of the universe?

Ever since the rebellion in the garden of Eden that sowed seeds of distrust against God and his word, there have been two groups of people: those who believe and obey the word of God and those who don’t. Among those who don’t believe it has become quite fashionable to smirk and be amused at the quaint beliefs of those bible believing unsophisticates – until of course  – evidence for those beliefs are found and confirmed. Here is the typical sequence:

1. A pronouncement is made that directly contradicts the bible – such as “King David didn’t exist because no archeological evidence can be found confirming his existence.”
2. Bible doubters jump on the band wagon and poke fun at those quaint bible believers – until evidence is found that confirms the Bible. In the case of King David, it was the Tel Dan Stele, a monument erected in the 8th or 9th century BC by one of the kings of Aram (ancient Syria) which bore the inscription “…of the House of David…”
3. An acknowledgement is made that the Bible was right (again) and off they go looking for some other part of the Bible to doubt.

In the case of King David,  all but the most obstinate doubters will agree with the myth hunters:

“When the inscription at Tel-dan was found, that put the debate to rest. It was clear that David did exist.”[1]

Today, one of the Bible truths most attacked by scientists in every field is the Bible’s proclamation that the entire universe was created in 6 days. This proclamation is strongly denied because if true, it means that neither the Big Bang nor Darwinian evolution can be true, because both of those require billions of years.  Therefore atheistic and materialistic scientists have a vested interest in keeping belief in a billions year old universe alive – it’s required for their worldview. And thus they take every opportunity to promote that godless belief. And so we regularly see such scientists either outright mocking Christian belief, or attempting to show why, according to their calculations, it cannot be correct. Here is one of those attempts made during the reboot of Cosmos, as narrated by the show’s host, Neil deGrasse Tyson:

“The crab nebula is about 6,500 light years from earth. According to some beliefs that’s the age of the whole universe. But if the universe were only 6,500 years old, how could we see the light from anything more distant than the crab nebula? We couldn’t. There wouldn’t have been enough time for the light to get to earth from anywhere farther away than 6,500 light years in any direction. That’s just enough time for light to travel through a tiny portion of our milky way galaxy.” 

“To believe in a universe as young as only 6 or 7,000 years old is to extinguish the light from most of the galaxy. Not to mention the light from all the hundred billion other galaxies in the observable universe.”[2]

This actually points to a bigger problem – the problem of distant starlight. And what the Big Bangers won’t tell you is that the Big Bang has its own distant starlight problem. I dealt with the distant starlight problem in the article “Which theory has the fatal flaw, Big Bang or Creation“, so I won’t cover that ground again here. In this article we’ll focus instead on the problems with the big bang proclamation of a 13.75 billion year old universe.[3]

As far as such scientists are concerned, people who believe in a 6,000 year old earth are like believers in a flat earth – hopelessly backwards and foolishly ignorant. But there is an important distinction to be made here. Believers in the Bible are not like believers in a flat earth. Besides the fact that the bible proclaimed the earth is round thousands of years before 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue,[4] there is direct, clear evidence that the earth is round: photographs of the earth from space being one of them. This site is about rational reasons to believe, so for those really seeking the truth, that should be the end of the matter.

Now that we’ve established Christians believe because of strong, direct, evidence supported reasons, let’s apply the same standard to the age of the earth. Let’s have the scientists present direct, clear evidence that the universe is 13.75 billion years old as they claim. Direct evidence would be something like a clock that has been running since the beginning that we could consult, or an eye witness that existed for the duration that can give testimony as to the passage of time or the time frame.

Scientists will say something to the effect “a clock running since the beginning – that’s absurd. That would require the clock to exist in the beginning before anything existed which is clearly impossible. Likewise, a testimony would require an immortal being outside of time and space – which is also impossible.”  So  scientists have no direct, conclusive evidence of a 13.75 billion year old universe. What evidence do they have? Let’s come back to that question. First, let me point out that we do have an eye witness testimony of an immortal being outside of time of space  – that of God who said:

“For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.”
Ex 20.11

Scientists of course do not accept that testimony- it’s not scientific. But please note that the Bible describes God as having the needed qualities: scripture testifies that God is both immortal (1 Tim 1.17,) and existed before any created thing, and thus is outside of space and time (Gen 1.1, John 1.1-3). (Note – scientist agree that space and time were both created – though they believe they were created in the Big Bang).

So Christians have the direct evidence of the God of Creation who testifies as to how long it took him to create the universe: 6 days.  Scientists have no direct evidence of a 13.75 billion year old galaxy.  So let’s return to the question above: exactly what evidence do they have as to the age of  the universe?

How Scientists Calculate the Age of the Universe

Since scientists cannot consult clocks to determine the age of the earth, and they can’t use tools like the much abused and misused radiometric dating process as they do for materials on earth.  Since the stars they want to measure are light years away, they have no physical samples to work with. What then, do they have to work with? Continue Reading

The coming Big Bang fairy tale


Like the above depiction of the Unisphere inside a ring of stars, the earth may be at a near the center of a concentric ring of galaxies.
New evidence suggests the earth may be at the center of a huge structure in space. That contradicts the Big bang, so prepare for a new big bang fairy tale to explain it.

 

New discoveries about the organization of the galaxies in space are challenging what big bang theorists have always believed about the the structure of the universe. The new evidence challenges the tenets of the popular but disputed  big bang theory down to its core. Even though the big bang was first proposed by a belgian priest named Georges Lemaitre, it is essentially a secular theory stating only naturalistic causes are responsible for the creation of the universe. That being the case there are two essential assumptions key to the theory which are required to maintain the appearance of the creation of the universe being an entirely natural event.

Those two key assumptions are that the universe is both homogenous and isotropic. “Homogenous” refers to the supposition that the matter in the universe is evenly distributed. “Isotropic” assumes that where ever you look and from whatever vantage point you look, the universe would look the same. Or as NASA puts it:

” …if you viewed the contents of the universe with sufficiently poor vision, it would appear roughly the same everywhere and in every direction. That is, the matter in the universe is homogeneous and isotropic when averaged over very large scales. This is called the Cosmological Principle.”1

These two principles are necessary to prevent the conclusion of special creation particularly in light of Hubble’s discovery in 1929 that resulted in the law that bears his name. That discovery – based on observing the red shift of galaxies2 – is that all galaxies are moving away from us. And the further away the galaxy is, the faster it’s moving. This is true in whatever direction you look – everything is moving away from us, and the most distant ones are moving fastest. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that fact appears to put us at the center of the universe. Hubble, an atheist, abhorred that thought. Putting our planet at the center of the universe is not the expected outcome of a lifeless, careless explosion. That is more like something a loving God who wanted us to have a good vantage point would do. How to over come that and keep the appearance of a naturalistic process?

Typical depiction of expansion of the universe – as an expanding balloon.

 

By assuming that the universe is both  homogenous and isotropic. Then the expansion of space can be described with the common balloon illustration.
Picture the universe as an expanding balloon (opposite). Like the galaxies visible on the surface – as the balloon grows larger everything on the surface moves away from each other – regardless of where you look, or where you are. 

Thus the big bang requires that the universe is both homogenous and isotropic.3

But the latest discovery by scientists indicates that the universe is neither homogenous nor isotropic. Instead of being the equivalent of an amorphous blob, scientists are discovering there is a distinct structure to the universe, and the earth appears to be in the center of it.

Regarding the structure of space, space.com reports: Continue Reading

Earth 2.0 and ETs: another scientific pipe dream

Some scientists need to be reminded that it’s ill-advised to count your aliens before they’re discovered.
 Artist conception of Kepler-452b with Earth for size comparison.
 Clouds, continents and oceans depicted on Kepler-452b are included though there is no evidence for them.

 

With the discovery of the earth like planet Kepler-452b, we have the opportunity for a valuable object lesson. Contrary to what scientists are hoping for – this will not be a lesson to Creationists that evolution is true and extra-terrestrial life has been found, thus validating evolution. No, the lesson this discovery affords is a demonstration of the foolishness of trying to disprove anything (much less the Bible) when:
1. Your primary evidence has yet to be discovered; and
2. You’re arguing from a scientific theory that flies in the face of the established laws of science.

The object for today’s lesson will be Jeff Schweitzer’s article in the Huffington Post, “Earth 2.0: Bad News for God“.  Schweitzer makes a number of mistakes common to scientists and others trying to debunk the Genesis account of origins. We’ll use his mistakes to identify these common errors so 1. You’re aware these are not unique earth shattering questions, they’ve all been handled before, and 2.  You can more easily identify them, and respond appropriately when next you see them. We’ll look first at the problem with his whole approach and in the process answer his objections. Schweitzer believes he has mounted a serious challenge to the Genesis account. He’s seriously mistaken.

 

1. Lack of Objectivity
Most people believe scientists are objective, impartial promoters of the truth –  whatever the truth turns out to be – because that is the image scientists have projected since the dawn of the modern scientific age. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Exhibit one: an example of a scientists who is biased and has obvious preferences as to what the truth is: Schweitzer himself.  Schweitzer can’t hide his obvious glee at the mere prospect of proving Bible believers wrong.

I would like here to preempt what will certainly be a re-write of history on the part of the world’s major religions. I predict with great confidence that all will come out and say such a discovery is completely consistent with religious teachings.1

“Preempt” the world’s religions? In other words he anticipates the world’s religions being wrong, and he wants to afford them no wiggle room to claim they were not, and thus this “preemptive” strike. An attempt to box them in; and to create the strongest case to say “see you’re wrong, and I told you so.” Hardly an objective position for a scientist. But Creationists and Intelligent Design theorists have been saying that the average scientist is neither objective nor unbiased for a long time. Creationist Ken Ham has been making this point for over a quarter century:

Many think of scientists as unbiased people in white laboratory coats objectively searching for truth. However scientists come in two basic forms, male and female, and they are just like you and me. They have beliefs and biases. A bias determines what you do with the evidence, especially the way in which you decide that certain evidence is more relevant or important than other evidence.2

One’s bias is of critical importance because it determines not only what evidence will be accepted3  but also the a-priori assumptions use in interpreting the evidence. For instance some look at the Grand Canyon and see a little bit of water acting over a long period of time (millions of years). Others see a lot of water (as in a world wide flood) acting over a short period of time. Same evidence, but a-priori assumptions determine how the evidence is interpreted. Clearly such assumptions are critical to one’s approach to both science and life.

2. Incorrect a-priori assumptions

Schweitzer is convinced that life exists out there in the universe, and one day we’ll discover it:

As I stated at the beginning, none of this will matter upon life’s discovery elsewhere.4

I make the case in the Waning, Great Scientific Hope  that the search for life on other planets is a hopeless one, with no chance of success. Why does Schweitzer consider it a certainty, and one day we’ll discover it? It’s based on his a-priori assumptions. Most scientists are naturalists – meaning they will allow only natural causes as scientific explanation. This forces them to adopt an anti-God, pro-Big Bang, pro-evolutionary world view which assumes: Continue Reading

The multiverse and other fairy tales


A picture supposedly of a fairies dancing before a young girl is examined for authenticity in a scene from “FairyTale: A True Story
Cosmologists faced with the difficult problems of the fine tuning of the universe and the origin of the singularity have resorted to the fairy tale of a “multiverse” to save a materialistic worldview.

In 1917 in Cottingley, England, 16 and 9 year old cousins Elsie Write and Frances Griffiths believed in fairies and wanted others to believe too. As evidence they produced pictures (viewable here) of what they purported to be real live fairies.  By today’s photoshop and CGI standards, the fairies in the pictures appear to be  simplistic two dimensional hand colored drawings. But a photo expert of the day declared the negatives had not been tampered with, and the pictures caught the eye of writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of famed fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Less widely known is Doyle was a believer in the paranormal1, and his beliefs included the existence of fairies. Doyle took the photographs as authentic.

Years later, the girls, now women, confessed the photos had been faked. The question is why had so many, including one so obviously intelligent as the creator of Sherlock Holmes been so quick to believe a fanciful story with little or no evidence? Frances, nailed it on the head in a 1985 interview when she said, “I never even thought of it as being a fraud – it was just Elsie and I having a bit of fun and I can’t understand to this day why they were taken in – they wanted to be taken in.”2

“They wanted to be taken in.” In other words, they wanted to believe. I don’t fault them or anyone for that. Humans are designed to live by faith, and thus it’s natural to want to believe in something. (This includes atheists, evolutionists and scientists who claim to have no faith.3) The problem comes when you believe based on flimsy or no evidence. That’s always the problem with a fairytale – there is little or no evidence. This also distinguishes the Christian faith – for which there is a plethora of  evidences from a variety of fields of study –  from fairytales.  Furthermore, there are a number of sites dedicated to documenting the evidence.4

Segue to the 1980’s. The field of cosmology is in crisis. Scientists realize there are a number of problems with the Big Bang theory. (For a few details see my previous article here.)  Einstein had died in 1955 without completing what he had hoped would be his magnus opus: a completed Theory of Everything (TOE) – a single, elegant, unified theory that explained everything about the universe, including the current holy grail in cosmology: the unexplainable (in scientific terms) origin of the universe. The current explanation – the singularity that is itself the big bang – has been recognized as totally inadequate, contradicting the laws of physics. As physicist Michio Kaku put it:

“The fundamental problem of cosmology, is that the laws of physics as we know them break down at the instant of the big bang. Well people say what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with having the laws of physics collapse? Well for physicists this is a disaster. All our lives we’ve dedicated to the proposition that the universe obeys knowable laws. Laws that can be written down in the language of mathematics. And here we have the centerpiece of  the universe itself, a missing piece beyond physical law.” 5

To make matters worse, science had discovered that the universe is finely tuned. In an article for the Discovery Center Institute for science and culture, distinguished follow and author Jay Richards explains what fine tuning is:

“Fine-tuning” refers to various features of the universe that are necessary conditions for the existence of complex life. Such features include the initial conditions and “brute facts” of the universe as a whole, the laws of nature or the numerical constants present in those laws (such as the gravitational force constant), and local features of habitable planets (such as a planet’s distance from its host star).

The basic idea is that these features must fall within a very narrow range of possible values for chemical-based life to be possible.”6

In that article Richards, who prefers to take a conservative approach to fine tuning parameters, lists 21 features of the cosmos that are fine tuned. (As opposed to 200 as the number of parameters that Metaxas cites as finely tuned in his popular article.7)  Richard’s  conclusion: the universe is fine tuned and thus designed.

On the other hand, British cosmologist and astronomer royal Martin Rees examines in depth 6 of those finely tuned parameters in his book “Just Six Numbers.” Though the evidence for fine tuning that results in a world like ours is quite apparent, he refuses to believe that means it points to a designer who fine tuned it. Instead he chooses to believe in an solution as fanciful as fairies, and having the same amount of evidence (none): the multiverse: Continue Reading

Which theory has the fatal flaw – Big Bang or Creation?

Both the big bang theory and the creation model of origins have what appear to be fatal flaws.  Both issues relate to the speed of light.  Are they both fatal? Or is one an actual flaw and the other just an apparent one?
 A map from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) shows temperatures in the universe vary on average by less than 1/50,000 of a degree


Nobody likes double standards. There have been long, sometimes bloody, and in some cases – ongoing – battles to make the same rules apply to everyone.  This is true in the work place – most want equal pay for equal work. This is true in race relations – no one in this day and age will abide Jim Crow laws or making African Americans sit at the back of the bus. It’s true in sports – no one like cheaters – however they choose to break the rules thus applying a double standard. Why then does it not apply to the sciences of cosmology and evolution?  Since the focus of this article is on distant starlight, I will focus in on the double standards used in cosmology, but understand the same points apply equally to evolutionary “scientists” who give  explanations which are no more than smoke and mirrors.1

Naturalistic Cosmologists regularly breaks the laws of physics

  Why is it that naturalist cosmologists can break the laws of physics at will and with impunity; and still have it be called “science” (not pseudo-science), but creationist scientists, following the laws of physics are not scientists, and are told they’re not practicing science?  No such thing happens you say? Let’s dismiss the notion that creation scientists are treated fairly, and with respect. If they were, there would be no need for the recent article by Creation Ministries titled:  Fallacy: creationists can’t be scientists;2  or Ben Stein’s recent movie on the censure faced by scientists who don’t toe the evolutionary line and instead support intelligent design.3

The fact that creation scientists are not given the respect they deserve is already well documented. What is not as well documented is the ability for materialist scientists to play fast and loose with the laws of physics and still be considered “scientists” contributing “valid” theories. Consider the following conversation:

Big Bang Theorist:  The universe began 13.7 billion years ago when a singularity which consisted of all the energy that will ever exist, which did not exist previously, suddenly exploded into existence out of nowhere (and nowhen4) creating time and space in an event commonly known as the big bang. The universe has been rapidly expanding ever since.

Creationist: No, the universe began about 6,000 years by an act of God as recorded in Genesis 1.1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Big Bang Theorist: If the universe is only 6,000 years old, how do you explain distant stars whose light has taken million of years to reach earth?

Creationist: There are a number of theories that explain that. How do you explain the big bang’s Horizon problem?

Big Bang Theorist: That’s easy: Inflation.

Creationist: Inflation is not the answer – many scientists don’t believe it, and simply put: the whole theory is impossible. As for distant starlight, there are theories on how to resolve that apparent problem.

For those defending a young earth, creationist world view, this conversation is likely a familiar one. But before I point to some of the answers regarding how distant star light can be seen in a young creation, let’s first look at the many problems for big bang cosmology. Let me start with an overview of the big big as provided by Morgan Freeman from his series, Through the Wormhole

“With the addition of inflation, the big bang became a cohesive three act play.

Act one – a singularity pops into existence out of nowhere and nowhen and containing in one single dot all the energy that will ever be in our universe.

Act two – Inflation suddenly takes hold. An  unimaginably rapid expansion of space smooths the spreading out of that energy bringing order to the universe. It’s now a massive soup of evenly expanding plasma.

Act three – the universe cools. Matter begins to clump together under the force of gravity.
Eventually forming stars, galaxies and planets.5

Inflation has been mentioned a couple of times now. If you think it has something to do with your money, the economy or the amount of air in your car’s tire,  you clearly need this overview.

The Big Bang theory: Playing fast and loose with the laws of physics

You don’t have to get deep into the big bang theory before scientists have to start playing fast and loose with the recognized laws of physics.

Problem 1: The Singularity

The first one – in act one –  is a familiar one. “A singularity pops into existence out of nowhere and nowhen.” Stop.  This is impossible. Nothing exists. From nothing comes nothing. How can a “singularity” which consists of “all the energy that will ever exist” be created? It defies the law of conservation of energy which states in a closed system, energy can be neither created nor destroyed. 

Problem 2: “Popping into Existence”

Just as importantly how can it “pop into existence” when nothing exists? What is there to pop into? Neither space nor time exists at this point. As our narrator Morgan Freeman points out,  there is no “where” for it to pop into, and there is no “when” to pop into since time does not yet exist. Thus there is no “existence” for it to pop into. This breaks the law of causality  which states in the cause-effect chain of events – effects follow causes (not the other way around) and those causes are separate from the effects. This is essentially the argument made by the Kalam Cosmological argument for the existence of God. Yet big bang cosmologists essentially want  you to believe that the singularity is self caused – because again there is nothing in existence, according to the big bang theorists, so nothing could have caused it but itself.

So here were are in the “first act” of the big bang, we haven’t even gotten to the difficult problems, and already 2 fundamental laws of physics have been broken.

Paul Steinhardt, the Albert Einstein professor of physics at Princeton University explains how physicists allow themselves to get away with this nonsense:

“This is normally referred to as the cosmic singularity, some sort of breakdown in the laws of physics, which in the standard big bang theory you simply ignore.”6

They simply ignore it. Pretend it isn’t a problem or it doesn’t matter. And they call that science, and themselves scientists?

Problem 3: The Horizon problem

The Horizon problem is yet another show stopping issue for the big bang.  Big bang theorists will tell you it has been “resolved” by sleight of hand tricks involving the laws of physics with the aforementioned theory of inflation. But before delving into the problems with inflation, you need to understand the problem7 that inflation “solves” for the big bang. Continue Reading

Everyone should have one

The Watchmaker Analogy –
Only those with an agenda to deny design would deny the design clearly apparent in a mechanical watch.
A mechanical watch such as this see through one aptly illustrates the principle of clearly apparent design.

I tend to be hard on watches. The bands break, the crystals crack, they get scratched up – something usually befalls them. So I tend to ask for watches as gifts – especially around Christmas time. This past year was no different. My family gave me an extraordinary gift – two watches – one digital, one mechanical. What’s extraordinary is not that I received two watches (though that was very nice), it’s the type of watch I received.

The one watch – a mechanical one featured above – is an amazing sight to behold. It has a see through design, so you can see the inner mechanisms from both the front and the back. I’m not a watch maker, so bear with me as I try to describe just a few of the marvelous mechanisms in this mechanical wonder with terms borrowed from Wikipedia. As I said, it’s mechanical – not battery operated, so it has a  mainspring; but it is also self winding, so it has an “eccentric weight” which you can see from the back moving back and forth with the motion of the watch, attached to a mechanism that winds the mainspring. From the front, in addition to the regular motion of the sweeping second hand, you can see the oscillating motion of the balance wheel marking out regular intervals of time. You can see the mainspring and the various gears which make up the gear train, and particularly the escapement mechanism and its back and forth motion moving the gears at a set rate and producing the familiar ticking sound mechanical watching are known for.

When I saw it, I couldn’t help but marvel at the ingenuity of the device. The design elements which are clearly present have made this made favorite watch – so much so that I don’t even allow myself to wear it – lest I break it like all my other watches. And of course, seeing the inner mechanism, I couldn’t help but be reminded of William Paley’s argument for the existence of God from his watchmaker analogy. All the carefully designed, produced and assembled parts noted above, Paley calls “contrivances” – an appropriate word he uses in his Natural Theology to describe the clear elements of design evident in such a watch.  His watchmaker’s argument for the existence of God is a classic argument. If you’ve never read it, or haven’t read it recently, I encourage you to read it.  From his 18th century vantage point he anticipates and counters objections still used by 21st century atheists and other objectors to the argument from design. That argument is also known as the Teleological argument (from the Greek Telos – meaning end or goal). Teleological arguments focus on an intended outcome, a goal which is clearly manifest in the item under consideration. Of course intentions are only possible by a being who intends them, thus if a goal or intention is apparent, there was obviously a being who initially had that goal or intention.

Paley isn’t the first to use the argument. A version of the argument was used by Socrates, and a well developed version was presented by Thomas Aquinas. In his Summa Theologiae, Aquinas presents five proofs for the existence of God. His fifth proof is a Teleological one – based on the “guidedness of nature.”  He considers inanimate, unaware objects – like an arrow – which tend toward a goal and notes “Nothing that lacks awareness tends to a goal, except under the direction of someone with awareness and understanding; the arrow, for example, requires an archer.”1

This is a perfect description of the watch and its “contrivances”; you can see the watch clearly and very effectively tends toward the goal of marking the passage of time. It marks of the passage of not just one unit of time but multiple units of time: marking off the passage of seconds, minutes and hours as does the one depicted above. Other watches also include days, months and years.  This is clearly not by accident, and the mechanisms are clearly designed and obviously point to an intelligent designer. In my opinion this watch is so clearly and obviously designed, the conclusion that it was designed by a watchmaker is inescapable. 

A mere cursory examination of the watch, combined with a consideration of the goal or purpose that it achieves, when considered along with the fact that inanimate objects have no goals or intentions  (as atheists readily admit2), can lead you to no other conclusion. And thus the title: everyone should have one of these see through mechanical watches. Just as the tefillin of the old testament reminded you of God’s commands3; such a watch  cannot help but remind you of the designer, and in so doing allude to the designer of the universe and all life.

You’ll note that those who claim to refute the analogy from the design in a watch never offer to demonstrate how non-guided, random forces can produce such a watch. Which is why Dawkins’ “Blind Watchmaker” thesis – that complex creatures can come about by purposeless processes is so utterly ridiculous, and lays bare his intention to deny design at all costs. Without an intelligence to guide the process,  unguided forces would not tend toward any goal as Aquinas notes, and thus you could not get any of the required components of living organisms that are complex and fulfill a goal – such as proteins, cellular structures, and entire organs like hearts, lungs and eyes. Continue Reading

AD Apologetics – Part 2: Jesus’ Triumphant Resurrection

A light shines during the resurrection of Jesus while Guards at the tomb are unaware.

A light shines during the resurrection of Jesus while Guards at the tomb are unaware. (AD The Bible Continues)

The series “AD – The Bible Continues” presents a strong case for the resurrection of Jesus.

In  part 1, Jesus’ death and the empty Tomb, the uniqueness of Christianity was examined through  a consideration of the following questions:

Why believe in Christianity?
What makes Christianity different from any other religion?
Why not believe in other religions?
What makes Jesus different from the founder of other religions?
How do you know Christianity is true?
Why should I believe in Jesus?

The answer to all those questions is resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead – it is the answer to each question, and what makes Christianity unique. Furthermore, Christianity is the only religion which provides hope for us mortal men and women through a savior who has demonstrated mastery over death by himself rising from the dead. And that savior offers the same resurrection to all who believe in him.

That claim – resurrection from the dead –  is so startling, so bold, so beyond common experience that some people refuse to even consider it as a possibility. Such doubt has been expressed by the well known liberal scholar,  the late Rudolph Bultmann who in his disbelief writes,

Continue Reading

“Finding Jesus” – the Shroud of Turin – A Review

The first episode of the new CNN Series “Finding Jesus – Faith Fact Forgery” uses selective evidence to support the unwarranted conclusion that the Shroud of Turin is a forgery.

Sunday night CNN launched a new documentary series on the Christian faith titled “Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery”.  The first episode, “The Shroud of Turin” was, as the title implies, a re-examination of the highly venerated, highly questioned burial cloth of Jesus. The question is, of course, is the cloth authentic? Is it really the cloth of which the gospel writer Mark records:

“So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.”
Mark 15.46

… or is it a forgery? Based on the title, the producers want to draw a sharp line of demarcation between what is faith (that which science can neither affirm nor deny); what is fact, and what is unwarranted faith (that which science can attempt to either affirm or deny and if denied, declare a “forgery” or false). Based on the first episode, the producers want to remove any scientific basis for faith – even when such evidence is overwhelming. This is clearly the case because of the wealth of evidence that exists concerning the authenticity of the well studied, well researched Shroud that the producers chose to ignore. I say chose to ignore, because as producers of a documentary on the well known relic, they are responsible for being aware of such public domain information and should surely  know about these evidences which contradict their theories. And if they don’t know, they are not qualified to be doing a documentary on it. This first episode (and thus presumably the rest of the series) is clearly biased against evidence that confirms the veracity of Christian claims.

In an apparent effort to cover their bias, the documentary is overall respectful of the faith – providing a traditional retelling of the events leading up to the burial of Jesus.  In my previous article Physical Evidence Jesus Existed I list 6 evidences of authenticity for the Shroud; 3 of which are not mentioned in the documentary, the others are either ignored or outright denied. Below is further exposition and clarification on some of those evidences, and the addition of new evidence from an effort to date the Shroud apart from Carbon dating. Obviously a documentary cannot be expected to present every piece of evidence, but certainly some of the well established evidences – especially those which contradicts your proposed theory – should be presented – if the goal is to present a fair and balanced piece of journalism. Of course if you’re not interested in fair and balanced reporting, then liberal usage of the fallacy of suppressed evidence is a viable course, and the route which they have obviously chosen for this episode, and presumably the series. 

So what is the theory that they resort to suppressing evidence to protect? Continue Reading