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

Science and the Paradox of the Unbelievable

Artist's depiction of Earth curving space according to Einstein's theory of General Relativity while satellite GPB orbits
Artist’s depiction of Earth curving space according to Einstein’s theory of General Relativity while satellite GPB orbits
Christians are often accused of believing the unbelievable. But are they the only ones?

Christians are often accused of believing the unbelievable. One of those “unbelievables” is the claim that the universe was created in 6 days. But is that really unbelievable? Even if it were, are Christians the only ones who believe something that’s unbelievable? Consider this: physicists also believe something once considered unbelievable. If that is true, perhaps the belief of Christians is not as wild and crazy as some think.

Physics and the Unbelievable

Consider the well known phenomenon of gravity. Since Newton published his theory of gravity in the seventeenth century, people have believed in the pull exerted by the force of gravity. Newton is widely credited with being the founder of modern science based on his law of gravity and laws of motion.  Newton’s understanding of gravity seems intuitive – of course things are pulled by the force of gravity. Yet scientists today don’t believe his model of gravity.  They say that force is not real; it’s something Newton just made up. There is no pull of gravity.

Which leaves those of us who were taught Newton’s theory of gravity as an unchanging “law” of science in a bit of a quandary. We are now told not to believe in a foundational theory of science given to us by the father of modern science.  Saying Newton was wrong was once considered unthinkable, much less believable. Yet that is precisely what scientists today are asking us to do. Do you believe them? If you do, you too believe a number of things once considered nonsense by modern scientists as demonstrated below. And if you don’t you’re at odds with modern science. 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

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

Creating Confusion: Theistic Evolution and Progressive Creation

The Expulsion of Adam and Eve, Benjamin West 1731

The Expulsion of Adam and Eve, Benjamin West 1731

 

The compromises of  theistic evolution and  progressive creationism has caused  confusion and is undermining faith in scriptural accounts.

If you saw the Ken Ham, Bill Nye debate last year you saw proponents of the two major views of Origins: Creation (defended by Ken Ham), and Evolution (defended by Bill Nye). Those two positions – Creation and Evolution – are diametrically opposed worldview positions as you can see from the chart below.

Unfortunately many Christians – including some well known, well regarded apologists and leaders- have elected to undermine the biblical account of origins by taking one of the two compromise positions below.  In their desire to reconcile science and the Biblical  account of the beginnings of all created things (the universe, earth, life), they are attempting to do what cannot be done: have their cake and eat it too. To appease a scientific community that has misinterpreted the data they’ve turned to either Theistic Evolution of Progressive Creationism – both of which are in compatible with the biblical account.

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

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

Is Faith Rational?

The Declaration of IndependenceThe Declaration of Independence – a permanent testimony to the establishment of the United States of America
Rejecting the Bible because it’s an “ancient” document and we didn’t witness any of it is as foolish as rejecting the Declaration of Independence because it’s ancient and we didn’t witness the signing.


Is faith rational? If one took this question at face value,  the answer is quite simple: yes, faith is rational. How do we know that?  We merely need to understand the terms and see if “faith” fits within the bounds of “rational.”  That’s a simple academic exercise handled in the sidebar below. Of greater interest is what people usually mean when asking the question. What’s commonly being asked is either:

1.  How can faith be rational, when faith means believing in something with no evidence?

Or:

2. Is Faith/belief in God/belief in miracles  compatible with science?

 

Starting with the second  question – Faith in God and belief in miracles are compatible with science because faith and science are complimentary; not contradictory. There are questions that science is not equipped to handle. In such cases it doesn’t mean the item the question isn’t real; it simply means that science is incapable of answering the question.  One such item, as author, scientist and theologian Alistair McGrath points out is this:

 “What is the meaning of life?” This is clearly an important question. But can science answer it?1

The answer clearly is no, science can’t answer it. And why not? Famous evolutionary biologist and historian of science Stephen Jay Gould suggests it’s because science and religion deal with different spheres of knowledge – “magisteria” as he called them – and they do not overlap. Science and religion are thus Non-Overlapping Magisteria (NOMA)2 – so the one can not comment on the other. This formulation is close. Science can not see or measure the spiritual world, so it can not comment on it; but God, who is spirit (John 4.24) sees both the spiritual and material world, and thus can comment on both as an eye witness. Thus regarding the creation of the world, what you have in Genesis 1 is an eye witness account of the creation of the heavens and the earth in 6 days, and recorded as evidence – a testimony for all time.

In passing, God as an eye witness to the creation is something science can not disprove. They can disagree with his testimony,  (which they do) and disbelieve he even exists (which they do), but they can not prove he does not exist. Neither can they provide an eye witness to their version of creation – the big bang.  They say believing God’s testimony can only be done by faith. Okay, so what is it when you believe George Washington was the first president? No one alive today was there to see it. All we have are testimonies. Is that not then, also faith?  Yet no one asks scientists to prove George Washington was the first president, or prove that he existed. They take both to be true on the word of historians. Biblical testimony is no different. So why is faith in God’s written testimony any less rational than believing written testimonies that George Washington was the first president?


If doubters of the Biblical account still want “proof” one can say creationists have higher quality “proof” than scientists – since in addition to scientific evidence,  creationists have an eye witness account by a perfect witness while science merely has a of highly disputed theory – the big bang3 which is backed by highly disputed evidence. Indeed the more we learn, the more the big bang is discredited.  The universe is both too young for the theory to be true (for more on that see  Saturn’s Rings are Young!)  and recent discoveries like the Higgs Boson (the so called “god particle”)  contradict the Big Bang theory. (For more on that see Testimony of the Higgs Boson.)

So faith expressed as belief that God exists is rational; it is consistent with how we use “faith” in other spheres, and it is consistent with science. But some people don’t agree with that assessment for reasons that take us back to the first question:

“How can faith be rational?” (implied: when science can’t see the evidence to prove it). This is perpetuated by a chorus of acolytes echoing the refrain:

“Faith is believing something for which you have no good, objective, rational reason to think is actually true.”4

What’s always amusing about these statements is the claim there is no evidence. Because the first thing they typically do is list the evidences then explain why they refuse to believe it. First off they want to eliminate the Bible as evidence because it’s well – the bible – a holy book.  They never seem to realize they are committing the fallacy of a false analogy when they compare the Bible to a book of mythology or even other holy books. Unlike mythology and other “holy” books the Bible is full of verified history, fulfilled prophecy (we’ll note one below), known, verified historical people, and geographical locations that exist to this day that you can visit. That makes it a reliable source of information. In fact regarding reliability of  the key section of the Bible that records the life, death and resurrection of Jesus – the New Testament – author and apologist Josh McDowell states:

“There is more evidence for the historical reliability of the new testament than any 10 pieces of classic literature combined.”5


Objective scholars regard the Bible as a reliable historical record, it’s people with an atheistic agenda who object to using the testimony of the Bible. But let’s look at a few of these objections. Typical of those stating faith is not rational, is the blogger above6 who states faith is believing something which you have no good reason to believe is true. He has 3 main objections:
Continue Reading

Detecting the Doctrines of Demons


A member of an alien species transfigured on Star Trek: The Next Generation
An impossible lie disguised as entertainment is still an impossible lie. This one is from the father of lies.

Honest atheists will tell you there is no purpose or meaning to life, no hope of an after life and all your thoughts, feelings and desires are merely the result of the electro-chemical reactions in your brain and thus are ultimately meaningless. As one such honest atheist put it:

But make no mistake: all our dreams, loves, opinions, and desires are figments of our primordial imagination1

Or as Cornell University atheist William Provine famously stated:

Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically  Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely
certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will  for humans, either.2


Yet in spite of their profession that everything is meaningless (including they themselves), and that there is no hope of an afterlife;  yet still you see their glimmers of hope poking out from behind their denials like Kilroy’s head poking over the fence.

Knowing that the atheistic worldview can not support any sort of future meaning, hope or purpose does not stop some of  them from trying to inject these into atheistic life and thought through any number of means. One such means is entertainment. Case in point – an episode of Star Trek: the Next Generation, titled “Transfigurations” which posits that man may be able to evolve into a higher spiritual state. Here’s how the guest character explains it:

“Captain, my species is on the verge of a wonderful evolutionary change. A transmutation beyond our physical being. I am the first of my kind to approach this metamorphosis.  They tried to convince us that it was a sickness we’d never survive.  They destroyed anyone who exhibited the signs of the transfiguration.”3

Thus the decidedly atheistic Star Trek series displays a curiously messianic figure who has been exhibiting messianic attributes (like healing) just before he is seen completing another messianic miracle: the transfiguration.

For those not familiar with the biblical account from which this is clearly drawn, here is the salient portion:

17:1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.  3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
Matthew 17.1-3

One is left to ponder – what is an atheistic series like Star Trek: the Next Generation doing displaying an episode with Christian themes? The answer lies in the explanation given – “a wonderful evolutionary change.” There it is – the atheistic hope. So once again, it is the theory of evolution that comes to the rescue. Just as it has rescued atheists from having absolutely no explanation for the origin of  life, now they are hoping it will provide them with hope for a spiritual future for mankind; a hope that professor Provine has explained and clearly stated that atheists have no business expecting or hoping for.

And while it may seem curious for an atheistic series like Star Trek  to focus on such overtly Christian themes, once you hear the explanation, it’s supposed to all make sense. But there’s still a problem – a problem that becomes obvious – once you understand the recurring lie of the enemy. Before going there, a word on the historical account.
Continue Reading

Denying the Obvious

Boeing 747 Intercontinental

Boeing 747 Intercontinental

Those who can’t see the design behind clearly designed things such as a 747 or a human cell are denying the obvious.

In his critique of Stephen Hawking’s “Grand Design”, John Lennox writes:

“…after disparaging philosophy, he then proceeds to engage in it. For, insofar as he is interpreting and applying science to ultimate questions  like the existence of God, Hawking is doing metaphysics. Now, let us be clear, I do not fault him for doing that; I shall be engaging in metaphysics  all through this book. My concern is that he does not seem to recognize this.”1

Stephen Hawking is not the only atheist who doesn’t realize he’s engaging in metaphysics by dealing with questions of God. And  that is not the only truth atheists fail to recognize. As I demonstrate below, many have a problem acknowledging that they are working not from scientific  fact, but from deeply held belief. Lennox is not the first to point out obvious errors to someone who refuses to acknowledge it.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Mat 7:3 NIV)    

With these words Jesus advises careful and close self examination to avoid not only the charge of  hypocrisy, but this current  issue of self denial. After all one can hardly miss a “plank” or “beam” in the eye unless one is  intentionally refusing to acknowledge it. That’s denial. And while some may find it questionable to poke the bear by  appealing to a historical figure that some atheists deny, what is undeniable is the logic and wisdom of the advice.  I mention it because one of the  reasons for this blog is to point out errors, blind spots and logical inconsistencies that atheists tend to be either unaware of, or attempt to avoid by refusing to address. As a creationist attempting to point out such errors and inconsistencies,  I find I keep running into the same kinds of  invalid (and often irrational) arguments from atheists, such as:

  • – Intentionally missing the point, or avoidance of the point being made
  • – Factual errors in their arguments which they refuse to acknowledge or address
  • – Engaging in illicit arguments – based on their beliefs

Often, when you point out these errors, they are not addressed, not because the objection is not understood, but because there  simply is no  reasonable answer to the objection. So instead of acknowledging a problem with their world view, typically the response from atheists or agnostics will be show their inability to address the issue by to changing the subject and/or  launching ad hominem attacks. But in refusing to address a glaring problem in their argument or logic by attempting to side step it, it leads one to an inescapable conclusion:

Many who hold to an atheistic world view and belief system are in denial about the fact that what they consider a “scientific” rational for supporting a “scientific theory” is  actually nothing more than a deeply held, but irrational belief.

By irrational I mean untrue, or in the case of an argument, invalid for any of a number of reasons. By refusing to acknowledge or address such blatant errors what they are actually communicating is – Continue Reading