The complex science that explains consciousness: Faith

Consciousness poses a serious, and in fact insurmountable problem for  materialist scientists – which includes of course materialist evolutionists.[1]  Brain researcher Robert Lawrence Kuhn captures the problem succinctly: “Try as I have for decades, I cannot remotely imagine how physical matter can become mentally aware.”[2] By “mentally aware” he is referring to consciousness, which he defines as:

“Consciousness is what mental activity feels like inside. The private inner experience of sensation, emotion and thought.”[3]
Robert Lawrence Kuhn

Which is probably the easiest way to view consciousness.[4] But this easy to understand concept of consciousness masks a fundamental conundrum: matter is not conscious. If matter is all that exists, and thus people are no more than intricately structured matter, why are we conscious?

The problem is akin to the origin of life for such materialists. The origin of life problem, briefly stated, is  how did non-living matter – an arrangement of molecules – become a living creature? The problem of consciousness is very similar:  How does an arrangement of non-consciousness matter become conscious? For  the record, materialists have no answer to either question.

Before looking further into the problem, we need to be clear on how  insurmountable a problem consciousness is for those who believe there is nothing beyond the material world. Famed former atheist turned theist Anthony Flew highlighted the problem through the means of  a thought experiment: Continue Reading

Refining the Questions for Question Evolution Day


Above: Redirecting the questions answered by Phil Plait
Refining the questions to evolutionists for Question Evolution Day

Evolutionists claim that evolution is not a religion. That becomes increasingly difficult to believe as they act more and more like devout followers of a faith based religion. In addition to having doctrine, discipline for those who disagree with the faith, preachers and teachers, they now also have a holy day. Perhaps you’ve heard of it: Darwin Day, a celebration held on the anniversary of Darwin’s birthday, February 12. If the practice of evolution wasn’t looking like a religion before, it certainly is now. I wouldn’t even be surprised if they begin to exchange gifts on Darwin’s day.

For the Darwin’s day just past, astronomer Phil Plait who appears on science programs such as How the Universe Works, tweeted a link to an article he wrote in response to questions from Creationists pointing out problems with evolutionary theory. (The questions are appropriate for Question Evolution Day, which is held on the same day as Darwin Day,  but were in fact asked at the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate.) In his article “Answers for Creationists” Phil addresses the questions from the secular consensus view – that is to say from the “evolution is true/fact” perspective.

He sets it up like this:

On BuzzFeed, there is a clever listicle that is a collection of 22 photos showing creationists holding up questions they have for people who “believe” in evolution. These questions are fairly typically asked when evolution is questioned by creationists. Some are philosophical, and fun to think about, while others show a profound misunderstanding of how science works, and specifically what evolution is.

He goes about answering the 22 questions from creationists. Given his answers (when he has them – for some he doesn’t and never will), I’d like to look at how we as creationists can better formulate the questions to minimize wiggle room. The problem is many of the questions are imprecise, or mix theories, thus giving him (and all evolutionists) plenty of wiggle room through which they drive a truckload of nonsense. The result being, evolutionists continue in the belief that creationists are wrong about origins and don’t understand science; while evolutionists are correct and properly understand science.

So while I’ll comment on Phil’s answers, it’s primary to lay the foundation for better questions. The goal being to refine them so what we creationists ask the evolutionists leaves as little wriggle room as possible (none at all preferably) to squirm out and thus avoid the serious problems with Darwinian theory. So what follows are the original questions, part or all of Phil’s answer, followed by my remarks, and if appropriate a refined or redirected question.  So here we go: (the question is in bold, Phil’s answer in italics.) Continue Reading

Weapons of warfare against atheist propaganda

atheist propaganda - do you recognize the lies?

Do you recognize false materialist propaganda when you see it?

Christians must expose the deceit of materialist atheist propaganda 

 

 

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
The weapons we fight with1 are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Cor 10.3-5

As the above scripture illustrates, the spiritual walk of a Christian living in a secular world is often compared to warfare. Correction – it is not compared to warfare, scripture states Christians are in fact engaged in a protracted, ongoing war. We are locked in battle with an enemy intent on killing us. Failing that,  the enemy wants to cause as much damage as possible to his foe – the creator of  the heavens and the earth. Since the enemy – Satan – is powerless to harm God, he has turned his attacks on all that God loves and has created.  Thus his targets have become – first and foremost – the pinnacle of God’s creation: mankind – those created in the image of God.

It is that image the enemy tries to mar and efface by incessant attempts to get individuals to sin, and thus bring upon him or herself the soiling or preferably effacing of God’s image.  The war on mankind extends to attacks on the family (which in these days have become obvious).  The numerous attempts to redefine what “family” is, the attacks to redefine what “male” and “female” consists of, are all part of the battle. Also in the cross hairs: attacks on worship of the one true God. Judging by the many religions; that is one target with which he’s had much success at attacking.

But these targets are just means to an end, for the real goal is to deny God the glory he so richly deserves, by stealing that glory and appropriating it to himself.  Though he tried to hide his plans, Satan could not keep them secret from the Lord God who knows the thoughts of every heart:

You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
Isaiah 14. 13-14

With that in his heart it’s easy to see why Satan hates the antiphonal calling of the angels in heaven:

Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
Isaiah 6.3

Yet being powerless to change anything that happens in heaven, the enemy has instead  put a target on the back of every Christian. The question to Christians is, do we behave like we’re in a war zone? Or do we blithely go through our existence acting as if our life is a stroll through the park; seemingly either ignorant or unconcerned about the battle raging all around us?  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

What is Religion? Does evolution qualify? Atheism?

 

A Torah scroll containing the first five books of the Bible Text highlighted: The first words of Deuteronomy 6.5 Atheists and evolutionists claim they have no religion. But is that true?
A Torah scroll containing the first five books of the Bible
 Text highlighted: The first words of Deuteronomy 6.5

Atheists are fond of saying that they have no religion, because atheism is not a religion. Here’s an example from Twitter.

Likewise, evolutionists claim that evolution is science, a  fact, and certainly not religion. Here, for example, is a video of Richard Dawkins at big think claiming evolution is a fact. But are atheists and evolutionists correct in asserting that their respective beliefs are not religions? That of course depends on the definitions.

Evolutionists are notorious for redefining evolution to suit their needs for the occasion. In other words to keep evolution from being exposed as the total fraud it is, they keep changing the meaning of the word “evolution”; so they wind up claiming you’re not speaking about the same thing; though you’re speaking of the same evolution the discussion started with.  For instance, you may start out with a statement like “molecules to man evolution has never been observed.” They’ll return something like, “Do you know what evolution is? It’s a change in the allele frequency of a gene pool.” These are two different things; two different discussions, and thus  you can never convince them of anything.   Steven Meyer and Mike Keas have documented 6 of the common uses of the term “evolution” that evolutionists switch between.1  There’s a term for that tactic.  It’s the logical fallacy known as equivocation.

Religion is the basic belief system of the person
Atheism likewise comes in various flavors. The strong position, those who categorically state there is no God, (or as they would say gods); the weaker position, those who simply do not believe God exists; and finally those who try to be a little less arrogant and more rational (knowing that  proving a universal negative like “there is no God” is impossible.

Therefore to say there is no God is arrogant), and thus they simply say “I don’t know if God exists” – the agnostic position.

And with Bill O’Reilly out there confusing people with his repeated claims that Christianity is a “philosophy” not a religion,2 Christianity is not without those who are muddying the waters. So can we claim any of these are religions?  Yes, these are all religions and that can be clearly seen once we understand the difference between how a religion is recognized, and how it is expressed by adherents.

Religion and the Establishment Clause

The courts have been a favored weapon of atheists and to a lesser degree evolutionists in the battle to silence Christians while simultaneously getting their Godless theories to be accepted and promoted in government sponsored venues like schools. The typical approach is to use the first amendment’s “establishment clause” against anything that even sounds Christian.

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

The clause reads as follows: Continue Reading

Evolution Falsified-Again; Follow-up

Dr. Colin Menter traces out a simplified human evolutionary tree in the sand

Dr. Colin Menter traces out a simplified human evolutionary tree in the sand

Evolutionists attempting to defend evolutionary theories further highlight fatal flaws

Apparently my previous article –Evolution falsified – again struck a nerve among evolutionists.  They took issue with me pointing out that evolution has been falsified because a bacteria has been found that has not evolved in 2 billion years. Aside from the ad hominem attacks, a number of Twitter commenters (like this one) stated that no change (in form) is expected if there are no (natural) selection pressures. Since the cited article indicated there was no change in the environment, many evolutionists quickly and conveniently jumped to the conclusion that no environmental changes means there were no selection pressures. But is that a valid conclusion given evolutionary assumptions? Continue Reading

Evolution falsified – Again

The irreducibly complex bacterial flagellum

The irreducibly complex bacterial flagellum


Darwinian evolution has been falsified many times. With the recent bacterial find, it’s been falsified again.
A recent bacterial discovery once again demonstrates that evolution is false, and that adherents believe it on a faith basis, not an evidentiary, scientific basis. To fully appreciate that point one must understand how faith is expressed. As a Christian, there are certain things that I believe that you will not change my mind on. For instance, I hold the following as true:

  • God exists
  • God is good
  • God is love
  • Jesus is the image of the invisible God

I have good reasons to believe all these things1, which makes my belief a rational one. (More on that here.) But the fact that regardless of what you show me, I will still believe them indicates that they are un-falsifiable statements, which make them statements of faith, not of science.

That is precisely how faith is supposed to work. Care must be taken that you place your faith in an object worthy of faith. Such as Jesus and the Bible.  Once that requirement is met, you continue to have faith in revealed truth because your object of faith (God) has presented evidence of the truthfulness of what you believe.  More importantly he knows more than you do about things you now question, like why or how did __x___ (fill in the blank) happen.  God will at some future date resolve your questions and make sense of apparent contradictions, but that which he has made clear – like the fact of his existence2
– he expects us to continue to believe regardless of the nonsense and lies unbelievers present.

On the other hand, science is not supposed to work that way. Continue Reading

Does ancient art prove dinosaurs lived with humans?

 

This brontosaurus was drawn 800-2150 years ago by Anasazi Indians in Utah. How did they know what a brontosaurus looked like?


Does Ancient Art Prove Dinosaurs lived with Humans?

Evolutionists and materialist scientists believe that dinosaurs were killed off in a mass extinction event – an asteroid striking the  earth – that happened (so they say) 65 million years ago. (A time frame based on circular reasoning. See GULO and Other Irrational Atheist Arguments, Part 2.) They also believe that man did not evolve to the current, recognizable form of homo sapiens until 200,000 years ago. Thus according to their timeline, it is impossible for dinosaurs and man to have lived together because dinosaurs went extinct some 64.8 million years before the first human existed. This gap is depicted in the evolutionary diagram1 below: (Between the green dinosaur and the white human skull.)


Evolutionary Time line

 

What then are we to make of all the depictions of dinosaurs in ancient art, as the one above of the brontosaurus? To see a good number of these depictions, visit Genesis Park Ancient Dinosaur Depictions.2  One of my favorites is this one from a temple in Angkor, Cambodia:

Stegosaurus carved on a temple in Angkor, Cambodia

The implication from such art – humans saw living dinosaurs – invalidates the evolutionary timeline above. It also questions the validity of the entire evolutionary story. So evolutionists and materialists object strongly to the conclusion that such art depicts what it appears to: dinosaurs living in full view of humans who saw them and captured them in art. Since dinosaurs living with man is denied by evolutionists, atheists and others, they must come up with an explanation of how these depictions came about.  Time now for evolutionist story-time, because as we’ll see none of their explanations make sense and are fit only for young children who don’t know better, and the gullible. Let’s run down the common explanations for the stegosaurus carving above:

Objection: “It doesn’t look like a stegosaurus”

This is a common objection on the ‘net regarding the Angkor stegosaurus depiction. I would then ask what is this next picture a depiction of?
Legend has it this is a depiction of the dragon slain by England's patron saint, St. George

Here’s a description:

“Carved into the white chalk hills of southern England is a giant figure. This astonishingly graphic outline is said by some to go back 3000 years. Other theories date it to King Alfred’s victory over the Danes 1200 years ago. What is it? Who carved it into this chalk hillside and why? It looks like a  horse but legend tells us it may be the dragon slain by St. George, patron saint of England.”3

What do you think it is? Continue Reading

Scientific creeds reveal hidden scientific faith

 Artist’s depiction of the invisible Higgs field which fills the entire universe according to  the standard model of particle physics Scientists claim to base theories only on science but the fact is they are as faith driven as any fundamental Christian

 

There have been many famous creeds offered about science by scientists. And I use creed in the normal sense, which as Google defines it is:

“a system of Christian or other religious belief; a faith.”

So to be precise I’m using it in the sense of the faith of scientists.  While they don’t like to admit it, materialists scientists do indeed have faith in a belief that underlies all their theories – the physical world is all there is. This faith is typically encapsulated and expressed in what often becomes a well-known adage. Here’s a couple:

“The COSMOS  is all that is or ever was or ever will be.”1

Carl Sagan starts “Cosmos” – both his book and TV Series – with this statement of faith. Here’s another from evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky:

“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”2

In case you didn’t notice, both of these are statements of faith. How can we tell? Easy. These are not testable hypotheses based on specific evidence(s). They are general statements which support a specific worldview (a materialist one)  clearly intended to discredit other approaches to science.  Another dead give away – when other scientists point out serious problems with the associated theory, instead of re-examining the theory, they get angry with the questioner for daring to question them.

Consider the Cosmos statement. Most materialist scientists are firmly in the big bang camp.  Yet such scientists can not say the cosmos always was because according to the big bang, there was a time when the cosmos wasn’t. (For Christian apologists, this leads naturally to the Kalam cosmological argument which I discuss in  Enraging the Dragon.) Thus for Sagan, since neither he nor anyone else has any evidence the Cosmos always “was”,  (in fact the evidence is to the contrary) that is a statement of faith. As for Dobzhansky, who tries to at once both affirm evolution and discredit creationism, the faith based nature of his statement has become apparent as many biologists, and other scientists have reached the conclusion that evolutionary theory is quite unnecessary for true science to progress.3

Man, being a creature of faith, can’t help but espouse some type of faith, so I don’t begrudge scientists their faith. No, the issue I have is with the various pretenses they don as a masquerade, in efforts to mislead the public. In disguising their faith they also disguise the motivations  of the resulting behaviors – such as what to research. What pretenses are donned, you ask?  Glad you asked: Continue Reading

The Waning, Great Scientific Hope

  New data from remote
telescope Kepler and a yet to be deployed star shade has put blinders on scientists so they can’t see that the great scientific hope – the discovery of life on other planets – is quickly fading.
 
Depicted: a star shade deployed in front of a remote robotic telescope to provide a man made eclipse to make viewing exoplanets possible.

 

With a new year comes renewed hope in many endeavors. 2015 is no different.  Among materialist scientists (those adhering to philosophical materialism – thus  rejecting anything exists beyond the material world), hopes are high that researchers will find an  earth like “exoplanet” – a planet that orbits a sun other than our own. As space.com’s Mike Wall1 reports:

This week, astronomers announced that NASA’s Kepler space telescope had discovered eight more relatively small planets that may be capable of hosting life as we know it, describing two of the new finds as the most Earth-like alien worlds known.

Mission scientists also announced 554 new unconfirmed Kepler “planet candidates” on Tuesday (Jan. 6); six of these potential worlds orbit sunlike stars, are close to Earth-size and are possibly habitable. [10 Exoplanets That Could Host Alien Life]

The excitement is heightened as researchers prepare to launch a sun shade – a man made device to eclipse a star in front of a remote telescope like Kepler in the next decade – allowing it, and them, to see faint planets that would otherwise be invisible due to the glare coming from the star. But why the excitement? And why the insatiable desire to find earth like planets? Simply put, scientists are rushing head long to find the Great Scientific Hope.

The Great Scientific Hope

For materialist scientists, there is no greater hope than Continue Reading