Lessons from Pluto

New Horizons approaches Pluto

New Horizons approaches Pluto

On January 19, 2006 the “fastest spacecraft ever launched”[1] – the New Horizons space probe –  lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida on a mission to Pluto.  In February of 2007  it collected data from Jupiter as it flew by for a gravity assist catapult as it continued on to Pluto. On July 14th, 2015, New Horizons made its closest approach to Pluto. Scientists have now had an opportunity to review the initial data and pictures from New Horizons about the dwarf planet[2] Pluto, and many have been forced into a stunning but unavoidable admission:  they’ve been wrong about Pluto for a long time.

What they found on Pluto was not at all what they were expecting to find. Scientists were expecting to find it heavily cratered,  “a flat, dead world similar to our moon.”[3]  Instead, what they actually found was:

  • Icy Volcanoes
  • The  heart shaped area (right side partially faded) visible in the picture above named sputnik planum, of which scientists note “…this Texas sized basin of ice appears to be boiling.” [4] Planetary scientist Jani Radebaugh likens it to “a lava lake in slow motion”[5] made of nearly frozen Nitrogen cooled until the texture is that of tooth paste.
  • Other areas feature a young looking surface, with no record of crater bombardment as expected. “These features are very, very young…Pluto is active today. That’s the headline.”[6] says Planetary scientist Dan Durda.
  • An active geology driven by heat
  • and “there’s pretty good circumstantial evidence that Pluto has a massive ocean in its interior”[7] says New Horizons mission principle investigator Alan Stern.

Secular Blindness

While scientists are willing to fess up to being wrong when confronted with objective data like that supplied to them from their own instruments aboard the New Horizons space probe, it is unlikely that they are willing to acknowledge error with regard to the below lessons, save the first, which they cannot deny without being accused of being science deniers. Continue Reading

Pulling Back the Veil – What Cosmologists are Hiding

The Hand of God (nebula) behind the Veil of Science

The Hand of God (nebula) behind the Veil of Science

(Or: Big Bang Magic Part 3:
Pulling Back the Veil on the five biggest questions about the universe)

Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, cosmology these days is not an objective science, devoted  strictly to the scientific explanation of the origin of the universe. There is an agenda that rules cosmology. An agenda that has nothing to do with science as confessed by Richard Lewontin: Continue Reading

A Modest Proposal for a Christmas Experiment

Sump'n Claus with helpers

Sump’n Claus with helpers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Christmas day meditation from a Santa iconoclast

Since I don’t expect non-Christians to understand my concern here, let me state up front this meditation is written specifically for Christians, for all who confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

It’s Christmas time again.  So once again churches, pastors and diligent Christian leaders try to get us to focus on the reason for the season and refresh our memories on what’s part of the original Christmas account and what isn’t. So you’ve probably been reminded and/or challenged on how many wise men there were (we don’t know, the Bible doesn’t say; three are depicted because of the three gifts of incense, gold and myrrh (Matt 2.1; 11)); whether Jesus’ Birth really happened on December 25th (unlikely, shepherds don’t keep their sheep in the fields at night during the cold months (Luke 2.8)), and that a manger isn’t a cute little wooden crib – it’s an animal feeding trough (Luke 2.16); etc. etc.

It’s in this vain of helping people focus on the real events and meaning of Christmas that I’m sure this article titled “Santa Claus and Christian Kids – What’s a Parent to Do?” was written. A perennial concern for Christians at Christmas time is what to do about Santa? That article is a good read, and I recommend it, but I will take a different tack on what parents should do about it. Continue Reading

Are Biblical accounts copied from pagan religions? Part 2. The Resurrection

Depiction of the empty tomb of Jesus

Depiction of the empty tomb of Jesus

Since the original sin in the garden of Eden, mankind has searched for reasons not to believe God so he could live a life independent of God. In the garden, the serpent convinced Eve not to trust God. Why? Supposedly because God was holding back the knowledge of good and evil to the detriment of Adam and Eve. The serpent suggested God was wrong f0r withholding that knowledge, but that if they were to discover the truth, they would be “like God”. (Gen 3.5) That was a big lie. God was indeed withholding the knowledge of evil, but he was not wrong in doing so because he knew that (experiential) knowledge of evil (like disobeying God) would lead to death.  And the biggest irony is – they were already like God (Gen 1.26),  there was nothing to be gained from what the serpent offered.

Today there is another lie circulating to destroy belief in God: The claim that the biblical accounts are not history, but rather stories borrowed or stolen and then adapted from the made up stories of pagan religions. If there’s no reason to believe the pagan religions, then there’s no reason to believe a made up story based on it either. Continue Reading

Are Biblical accounts copied from pagan religions? Part 1. The God of Creation


Recently while at work I overheard a discussion among some of my co-workers. They were agreeing among themselves that the Biblical accounts of things like the creation of the universe and the major events of Christianity – like the birth of Jesus and his resurrection – were all just stories borrowed (or copied or plagiarized – whatever you want to call it) from the stories of the religions of other cultures.

I’ve heard that charge before, and as a Christian, I find the entire idea repugnant. It’s not like they’re talking about something inconsequential like a comic book or the like. After all scripture reminds us the biblical accounts “are not just idle words for you–they are your life.”(Dt 32.47)  The fact that such discussions are still being entertained and the idea affirmed is proof that many people are still taking the bait and falling for the trap: being persuaded that this lie is true. Since people’s eternities are a stake the only question is how best to respond? Continue Reading

Radiometric dating: Science or Guesswork?

F14 in catapult with full afterburners

F14 in catapult with full afterburners


Is radiometric dating accurate? It’s science and many believe “science” to be synonymous with “always true” and therefore don’t question the data given, even when it contradicts the Bible – which also claims to be always true in  information that it affirms. So when the two contradict – as they do with the age of the universe and the earth – many abandon the faith and reject the Genesis account because current science tells them that the universe and the earth is billions of years old, and disregard the biblical account – which indicates an age of about 6,000 years. The evidence many find persuasive:  radiometric dating. But is radiometric dating really the objective hard science many believe it to be? By “objective, hard science” I mean science that is  measurable, repeatable, predictable, consistent and accurate.  For instance I would could consider the physics of flight a “hard science.”  Here’s how those terms apply to the performance of an aircraft:
Continue Reading

More Big Bang Magic Tricks – Shadows and Waves

What casts no shadows besides vampires? Apparently, the big bang.

In theory, scientists are objective seekers of the truth, handling the data that is discovered with honesty and integrity.  Unfortunately particularly in sciences that have worldview implications, that is not the case. One of those sciences is cosmology – the science that attempts to determine the origin and development of the universe. With the possible exception of Darwinian evolution,  there are no sciences  that have larger worldview implications that cosmology.   Even without knowing how the origin of the universe came about, the psalmist is correct in his declaration “the heavens declare the glory of God.” (Ps 19.1)  Atheist cosmologists know that and have tried to mute that testimony by attempting to come up with a story of the creation of the universe that doesn’t involve God.  Because even if you haven’t formally studied apologetics or cosmology, everyone implicitly understands the Kalam Cosmological argument for the existence of God: Everything that begins to exist has a creator. The universe began to exist, therefore the universe has a creator. The only one powerful enough to create the universe is of course God, therefore God created the universe.

Such a simple, intuitive, easy to understand proof of the existence of God is anathema to atheist cosmologists because their own preferred theory of origins – the Big Bang theory – though incorrect nevertheless points to the fact that the universe had a beginning. Continue Reading

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

Intelligent Design’s Blind Side

Intelligent Design’s Blind Side

William Dembski is a leader in the Intelligent Design (ID) community, so I read with initial interest a recent interview he did with Sean McDowell titled How is the Intelligent Design Movement Doing? Interview with William Dembski.  which is posted on McDowell’s blog. That initial interest turned to dismay as the adversarial attitude Dembski has toward revealed truth in general and Young Earth Creationism (YEC) in particular was made apparent. When asked how he assesses the reception of ID within the church, Dembski states:

“I would say that the church broadly and even the evangelical community has — on balance — been somewhere between useless and downright counterproductive to the success of ID.”

A most unfortunate assessment given the potential ID has to impact a culture that has largely fallen under the sway of the junk science put forth to support the materialist religion known as Darwinian Evolution. Even more unfortunate is Dembski’s  apparent blindness to how he (and other ID advocates with similar positions) has caused such a reaction from the God fearing, Bible believing faithful they’d like to gain support from. To unravel this mystery for them, let’s start with what both ID advocates and YEC advocates are trying to achieve. Continue Reading

Should Christians believe in a multiverse? 7 Reasons Against

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Cor 4.2

Non-believers will likely consider the above scripture irrelevant and unpersuasive and will ponder the wisdom of starting an article on the multiverse with a verse of scripture. In so doing they will have confirmed the scripture (blind to spiritual truths) while setting up my two points: First – this is not merely a discussion of physics – but of metaphysics. (Metaphysics being those things that lie beyond the realm of observable physical reality and so strictly speaking, are beyond the realm of the questions that physics can answer.) Second, not only is the multiverse “pure metaphysics”[1] as Christian apologist William Lane Craig puts it, but many scientists seem blind to the fact that they are engaging in metaphysics – not physics – when proposing the multiverse as a “scientific” answer to a number of the problems their theories have. They have fallen into the same error that  philosopher of science and apologist John Lennox chides theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking for: engaging in metaphysics while failing to recognize he is doing so.[2]

Truth in advertising

Having identified multiverse theories as claims that deal with the metaphysical, we can make the following observations: Continue Reading