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

Can you be A Christian and Believe in Evolution?


Is Evolutions a Fact?
What atheists have noticed that many Happy Thinking Christians have not


Christian Evangelist and defender of the Gospel Ravi Zacharias talks about how to reach the “Happy  Thinking Pagan.” He describes their thought process this way:

“I don’t believe anything but I’m very happy. What does it matter?” And of course, it was also along the time of slogans such as “If it feels good, do it” and “Don’t worry, be happy.”1

I mention it because it is becoming increasing clear to me that when it comes to the creation /  evolution debate, there is a large number of Christians who are walking in the thought process of the happy thinking pagan – namely
“What does it matter?” and “Aren’t they compatible, so why worry about it? Be happy.”  It seems that many Christians are as ignorant of the harm to the faith caused by evolutionary thought as happy thinking pagans are to the reality of God.

Interestingly enough, thoughtful atheists have noticed the incompatibility between evolution and the Christian faith.  Evolutionary evangelist Richard Dawkins has commented:

“I think the evangelical Christians have really sort of got it right in a way, in seeing  evolution as the enemy. Whereas the more, what shall we say, sophisticated theologians are quite happy to live with evolution, I  think they are deluded. I think the evangelicals have got it right, in that there is a deep incompatibility between evolution
and Christianity…”2

In fact, so many atheists have begun proclaiming the incompatibility between Christianity and  Evolution that one blogger Continue Reading

Evolution – A Faith Commitment

Trilobite fossil from Chengjiang, ChinaThough they’ll never admit it, most evolutionists adhere to evolution as followers in any other religion adhere to their faith.

 

In what was intended to be the first article I posted on this site –
What is Rational Faith, Part 1
1 – I
mentioned that those who believe in the godless theory of Evolution (which includes most atheists and materialistic scientists)  – adhere to it as one adheres to and follows a religious faith. In other words it has taken on the significance of religion in their lives. Most evolutionists would deny this, as would atheists who think that because they define their atheism as a lack of faith/belief in God, they therefore think themselves immune to the common banalities (as they might describe it) of being a follower of a faith. Yet when you look at the impact of evolution on their lives, and how it changes their thoughts and behaviors, one can only conclude that for those who thoroughly understand the theory, it has taken the place of God in their lives2. Now you’ll note I’ve qualified the statement by the phrase “those who thoroughly understand the theory.”  I do so to distinguish the true adherents from those who follow it without thinking because it’s the “in” thing to do; it’s the majority belief, and they don’t want to be out of the main stream or worse – appear ignorant, or as John C. Lennox puts it, they

“…don’t wish to appear scientifically illiterate…”3

Those who know little about evolution apart from the fact that it supposedly tells us where we came from and it’s what scientists believe, should read articles like Reclaiming The Intellectual and Moral High Ground – which will inform them both on claims made regarding evolution – and why they’re incorrect. If they  still believe in evolution, then they appear to have a faith commitment as do other adherents to the Evolutionary faith.

So now that we understand about whom I’m speaking the question becomes how can I defend such a claim? Simply – by the fact that those believe in evolution exhibit the same signs and behaviors as those who follow any other religious faith. As the saying goes, if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, a quacks like a duck – it’s probably a duck.  There are a number of such tell tale signs, let me just give you a few off the top of my head: Continue Reading

Theism – Perfectly Rational

William Lane Craig vs. Klems Kappel - Debate: Does God Exist?
In the debate between Craig vs. Kappel on the topic “Does God Exist” the question  “Why should we believe atheism is true?” comes up.
Kappel is unable to explain why anyone should believe in atheism while Craig provides 6 reasons right off the bat while theism is true.

In a debate held April 18, 2012 in Copenhagen, Christian apologist and philosopher William Lane Craig debated atheist philosopher Klemens Kappel on the topic: “Does God Exist?” I couldn’t resist posting this clip  – for a number of reasons, namely:


A. Dr. Craig concludes Theism or “the God hypothesis” as he put it earlier – is “perfectly rational to hold to” – which is of course the theme of this site.

B. Dr. Craig Lists the explanatory power of Theism over atheism, Theism can explain things such as:

1. The existence of Moral Value
2. The existence of Consciousness
3 The Origin of the Universe
4 Why something exists rather than nothing
5 The Fine Tuning of the Universe
6 The historical facts about Jesus

(All good topics I should discuss one day.)

C. In challenging Dr. Kappel to prove atheism is true, Dr. Craig points out a number of ways one can logically or rationally establish an argument, namely by:

1. Philosophical Argument
2. Inference to the best explanation
3. Testimonial Evidence

When you watch, notice two things:

1) Kappel is unable to use any of these methods to prove the hypothesis atheism is true (indeed he claims both theism and atheism are un-provable – which Gives Dr. Craig an opportunity to show the explanatory power of Christianity as listed above.)

2) You’ll note I’ve had occasion to discuss item number 2 in a couple of posts1 since a number of those who claim Christians argue “illogically” seem to be unaware of this concept. Here is yet another confirmation that this is a standard logical concept accepted by atheists and theists alike.

 

Now without further ado, the video:

 

Duane Caldwell | posted 4-30-2014 | print format


1 The posts mentioning an inference to the best explanation are:The Poor Marksmenship of Evolutionists andReclaiming the Intellectual and Moral High Ground

Time to End the In House Debate

 

Among Christians there should be no questions or debates about the origins of life, the earth or the universe.


At the end of the Up  for Debate Episode titled “Should Christians Embrace the Big Bang? Host Julie Roys wrapped it up with the following two questions:

 – How important is this for Christians to deal with?
– Why do you think it’s important?

Dr. Danny Faulkner, Author,  Distinguished Professor Emeritus, retired and now on staff with Answers in Genesis and its Creation Museum responded:

“I believe it’s important because it’s a Foundation of scripture integrity. What does the Bible say, what does God say, what does it mean to us?

True, but Dr. Faulkner misses the elephant in the room. Dr. Hugh Ross, Astronomer and best-selling author responded:

“Well notice that the time of creation is not in any of the biblical creeds. What’s important is who creates and how he creates. And this is what’s exciting about big bang cosmology. It identifies the who as the God of the Bible, it identifies  his creation intervention just like the Bible says.  I don’t think we should get hung up on the when.”1

Dr. Ross’ answer not only misses the elephant in the room, but it is also very misleading.  Why do the biblical creeds not mention the time of creation? (More importantly the duration.) Because that is not one of the issues they were dealing with at the time. In the first few centuries after Christ’s resurrection, the church was besieged with Christological issues – docetism (Christ only seemed to have a body but was really just spiritual), gnosticism (a whole range of errors regarding God from which we get the phrase “children of a lesser god”; errors regarding Christ;  and the nature of good and evil), monophysitism (Christ had only one nature), and so on. So they were concerned with clearly and correctly defining who Christ was – that he was “very God from very God” (from the Nicene Creed) and “one person with two natures” (From the Definition of Chalcedon). The Nicene Creed was written in 325 AD; the definition of Chalcedon was written in 451. The issue of the length of creation didn’t come up until needed for evolution, and Darwin didn’t publish “Origin of Species” until 1859.  So of course the creeds don’t deal with that.

Dr. Ross also states big bang cosmology identifies the who of creation as the God of the Bible. Really? Perhaps he should tell that to Continue Reading

A Resurrection Day Response

 The Holy Bible

I was asked by multiple atheists – what if some other religious book were true? Here is the response.

In the song “Nada One” Heart’s Nancy Wilson sings about an ephemeral,  nocturnal  love who has glowing, night creature eyes that frequents her dreams. This mysterious love seems to appear only in dreams where no one can see him. For even when wandering through streets, she describes this scene:

“Nobody seein’ where I’ve been
Nobody feels what I’ve done
Nada One”

With such descriptions, one questions the reality of his existence. Indeed she herself seems to harbor a doubt or two since she must  reminder herself “you are as real as I feel.” The one thing that’s not mysterious in this song,  is what she means by “nada one.”  Clearly “nada one” is a play on the  sound of the phrase “not a one,”  yet still, one must  wonder – since it is always  capitalized –  if she’s using it as a proper noun – speaking or referring to a being named “Nada One.” The Wilson sisters were purposefully ambiguous for artistic purposes. But as we’ll see God is purposefully clear and unambiguous to eliminate doubt and nurture faith.

I was reminded of this song as I awaited responses to a question I had posed.  Let me step back  and explain.  I saw the below tweet that informed people that last Thursday was “National Ask an Atheist Day.”

 

This seemed like  a perfect opportunity to re-query the unbelieving regarding a  question I had asked in a  Continue Reading

Atheists – too afraid to answer

 Fear, afraid
Some Atheists are too afraid to answer the difficult questions.

 There’s a very good article by Peter Saunders titled Twenty questions Atheists struggle to Answer: How Theism does better on the first six.  Before  presenting the first six issues which atheists struggle to answer (actually he’s being kind – he uses “struggle” as if they have an  answer when actually atheism has no reasonable answer to the first 6.),  he makes some preliminary comments.  The third comment  he makes  – actually a challenge –  is particularly apropos to a recent discussion I had.  Speaking to Atheists and agnostics,  Saunders says:

Third, I challenge atheists (and agnostics) reading this blog not to adopt the view, as a matter of faith, that the atheistic world view is some sort of neutral default position and that the burden of proof
lies solely with theists to prove their case. Let’s not have any of the usual allegations of ‘meaningless questions’, ‘God of
the gaps’, ‘appeals to authority’ or the mockery, ridicule and ‘face-palming’ that often accompanies any attempt by theists to
advance their case.

Of particular interest is the second sentence, a description of the toxic environment  often created by atheists in their so called “discussions” with Christians or theists – discussions which are for the atheist often  little more than opportunities to mock. To the list of the usual allegations I would add the allegation of “fallacious argument” a  claim atheists wield as a shield against anyone who doesn’t agree with them – apparently before even reading the argument because they use it even when it doesn’t apply.

Case in point, my last article – an article which ended with a hypothetical question along the lines of  Pascal’s wager: Continue Reading

Reclaiming the Intellectual and Moral high ground

Don’t fall prey to logical traps, old arguments, or the emotional baiting of evolutionists.

Obi-wan to Anakin:

“It’s over Anakin, I have the high ground.”

 In my previous post I referenced an article titled “The Top 10 Signs that You Don’t Understand Evolution at All” which is really a  restatement of objections that evolutionists believe they have adequately answered, while at the same time lightly(?) mocking creationists – as evolutionists are wont to do. (Whether lightly or not I’ll leave to you.) As is typical in a list like this, the more important questions (for which they have no answer) are  not even mentioned much less given adequate answers to.  But since I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving you hanging without the answers having myself referenced the article, here are responses to show none of these issues are problems for rational thinking Christians. A word of warning before we begin: Since he couches many of these statements in broad universals (“never,” “always,”  etc. –  which is a dead give away that the statement is almost certainly untrue and a good candidate for the  “all or nothing” logical fallacy);  it follows that the position he’s trying to ridicule may be technically untrue, but the point beneath the ridicule that he’s trying to make  has been thoroughly refuted as I note below. Below in bold is Tyler Francke’s  list of “The top 10 signs that you don’t understand evolution at all”  with my explanations following immediately;  and so there is no mistake on who’s saying what, my comments are indicated by my initials.

 


1. You Think “it hasn’t been observed” is a good argument against it.”

DC>He makes a number of questionable statements here, I’ll just point out a couple. First he notes:

“Interestingly, evolution is observable “

DC>Evolution of the type we’re talking about – molecules to man is not observable. Like many evolutionists he is committing the logical error of equivocation – using the term evolution in more than one sense (which is commonly done to win arguments, though it’s logically fallacious). Natural selection (which is not evolution) is observable; molecules to man evolution is not. 

Second, he goes on to talk about an inference to the best explanation (which I drew upon in my last article) but intelligent design theorists and creationists alike, (not to mention scientists who dissent from evolutionary theory) would say given the evidence, such as the fossil evidence below, he has not drawn an inference to the best explanation by believing it points to evolution. He states:

Making viable conclusions based on inferences from the available evidence is not at all unscientific, and it is this reasoning that has compelled us toward the theory of evolution.

DC>I would challenge him that it is not the evidence that points him to evolution, it’s his a priori beliefs (science is authoritative over scripture) that lead him to the conclusion that evolution is true because judging by evidence alone, (such as the evidence from DNA, the young solar system, etc.)  the correct conclusion is that there was an intelligent designer.

2. You think we’ve never found a transitional fossil.

DC>This is frankly very misleading. A more precise statement would be Continue Reading

The Best Reason for Apologetics

Dr. Del Tackett on why Jesus Came: To Testify to the Truth John 18.37
As you might imagine of one hosting a website that deals with apologetic issues, I listened with interest to the debate last  Saturday on Moody’s Up For Debate entitled  “Do Apologetics Help or Hurt our Christian Witness?”  As always the host, Julie Roys welcomed well qualified guests for the  discussion: author and professor David Fitch and  author and professor Nancy Pearcey. Dr. Fitch offered the concern that  apologetics train us in a posture of defensiveness;   and that we don’t listen as  well, having  answers ready before we hear the question. His main objection is summarized in this tweet:

Professor Pearcey had a number of good responses, in addition to her own testimony of how apologetics helped her come to the  faith, some of her reminders include:

– We need to be inclusive in our approaches
– We should use all the tools available to us
– It is possible to do apologetics wrong (implied: therefore learn to do it right!)
– Apologetics can descend into a game of “gotcha”
– And as she reminded us in this tweet:

But the answer I was expecting, Continue Reading

What is Rational Faith? Part 2

Rational Faith does not involve a leap of faithThe 19th  century classic “Flatland” by Edwin A. Abbott is an allegory of  the resulting social problems and intellectual impasse that results when a person  who has been enlightened (and sees a truth beyond what’s normally possible in the physical realm) tries to present that truth to the unenlightened.  Flatland is so named because it, and all its inhabitants live in a two dimensional world.  When a 3 dimensional object – a being in the shape of a sphere – is introduced  to a 2 dimensional Flatlander – a mathematician – the response of humans  to revelations (by way of analogy) is on display.

As you might expect, the mathematician has the  all the concepts and mathematical knowledge to understand the description of a sphere, but while he understands technically what the sphere is  saying, since a 3 dimensional object is outside of the realm of the possible within a 2 dimension world, he has a hard time believing what the  sphere is saying is true – until the sphere performs miracles – that is to say feats that are miraculous to the two dimensional characters of the story,  yet totally understandable to a 3 dimensional person (such as the reader). The main conflict of story centers around the beliefs of most flatlanders:  since – as far as they are concerned – 3 dimensional objects are impossible and don’t exist, anyone who claims they are possible (or has seen one)  is  either insane or dangerous or both, and thus must be placed permanently in a mental institution or must be put to death. Without delving any further into the story, let me point out what Abbott so masterfully illustrates using concepts that we, as 3 dimensional beings,  readily understand by his analogy: Continue Reading