In part 1 of this series, I pointed out that God will not allow liars into heaven (Rev 21.8), and then pointed out some of the lies that will keep you from heaven. Some wanted to make a distinction between those actively lying by trying to deceive, and those duped by the lies. But those who read closely understood that objection was answered implicitly with the analogy of poison: It doesn’t matter if you drink poison because someone lied to you and told you it was a harmless soft drink; Or because you’ve deceived yourself and are now convinced that the poison – say arsenic – is not really poison at all, and it won’t harm you, in fact it’s good for you so you consume lots of it. (Think “did God really say…” Gen 3.1) – regardless of what causes you to drink the poison whether you’re actively deceiving (yourself) or are merely deceived and believe the lie, if you drink it, you will die. Continue Reading
Consciousness poses a serious, and in fact insurmountable problem for materialist scientists – which includes of course materialist evolutionists. 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.” 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.”
Robert Lawrence Kuhn
Which is probably the easiest way to view consciousness. 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
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
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
|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.
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
|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.
Darwinian evolution has been falsified many times. With the recent bacterial find, it’s been falsified again.
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
1. How can faith be rational, when faith means believing in something with no evidence?
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:
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) – 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 bang 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:
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:
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:
Or as Cornell University atheist William Provine famously stated:
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:
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:
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.