Think About IT: What if a Christian said…

The Bible speaks of an existence prior to the creation of time and matter in which God alone existed.  Then, Genesis records God creating time and matter, in the words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).  That singularity was the beginning of time and matter.  As Christians, we believe that by faith, which is not the same as saying there is no scientific or philosophical evidence for our belief that God created time and space; however, it is to say that since no one was there, regardless of one’s view of origins, it is a faith act.

Scientists speak of this event as a “singularity.”  The Big Bang would be a theory involving the beginning—singularity—before which there was nothing.  Now, when scientists speak of singularity, absolute beginning, they realize that this grants enormous credence to the idea of a creator. Continue reading →

Think About IT: Is Science a Truth Seeker or…?

The dilemma for science is this.  If science claims or presents itself to be the pursuer of truth, following the evidence wherever it may lead, then all plausible answers regarding questions and observations of the empirical data must be weighed and debated based upon their own merit and ability to explain a particular phenomenon or set of phenomena.

For example, if the plausibility of the universe coming into existence by an immaterial cause is either the or one of the most plausible answers, then it, as well as purely natural cosmogonies, must be evaluated based upon its own merit.  It cannot, under this definition of science, be a priori excluded from consideration merely because it is an immaterial answer, one held by religion/s, or seems to support the probable existence of God since science is seeking truth by following the empirical evidence regardless where it leads. ((Another consideration regarding rejecting immaterial answers because they happen to be religious beliefs as well is that would cause all material answers to be rejected since some religions believe in the eternality of matter.))

On the other hand, if science is defined as the study of empirical data, which allows only natural or material antecedents thereby a priori excluding any answer involving immaterial or other than natural antecedents, it may do so.  However, it cannot be defined as such and simultaneously be presented as a pursuer of the truth following the evidence since possible answers are a priori and definitionally excluded from consideration regardless of their plausibility or cogency.  Scientists cannot have it both ways, and scientists need to be precise and honest about what science is and is not.  Moreover, the public needs to demand that science do so and operate accordingly, thereby dispelling the illegitimate hegemony of science in pronouncements and areas that it has no real domanial supremacy.

Unfortunately, and I think rather deceptively, many scientists intentionally present science as the foremost objective pursuer of the truth, and therefore the best basis for public education, and what is and is not suitable knowledge for public policy, while simultaneously dogmatically defining science to exclude any rival non-natural answers.  The result is that religious knowledge becomes unsuitable for public debate or education because it is automatically classified as innately inferior albeit artificially so.  The two areas of public policy debate and education necessarily explore and impact every consequential area of human life, and if science is the sufficient guide, then by definition life and all knowable and publically meaningful knowledge is knowable empirically, which ipso facto reduces life to nothing more than nature.  This is not only naturalism; it is a tyrannical, stealth, religious naturalism sanctioned by the state masquerading as a truth seeker.

Tragically, most Americans and the vast majority of the church seem to not understand this subterfuge, and therefore they grant science far too much authority and influence without requiring science to be accountable or to clearly define it.   Unfortunately, most people think if science says it, it is true because science is the unbiased, noble pursuer of truth, and religious beliefs are just that, beliefs. In reality, when one pulls back the cloak of objectivity draped around many of the most significant scientific claims, one often finds philosophical and religious commitments, rather than unsullied scientific evidence, driving scientists to embrace one conclusion over alternates. For example, Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg said that the “steady state theory is philosophically the most attractive theory because it least resembles the account given in Genesis.” ((Cited in John D. Barrow, The World Within the World (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), 226))

Think About IT: No Bias?

Science claims to be the unbiased evaluation of the empirical facts, but anyone who looks at the facts, realizes that far too often, philosophical commitments drive them more than just the facts.

For example, Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg said that the “steady state theory is philosophically the most attractive theory because it least resembles the account given in Genesis.”  ((Cited in John D. Barrow, The World within the World (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), 226))

Science, Evolution, and Intelligent Design

Recently, Richard Carpenter ((Dr. Carpenter holds a Ph. D. in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma and is currently Vice President for Numerical Weather Prediction at Weather Decision Technologies, Inc.)) presented a superb paper to The Roundtable in Ideology at Trinity Baptist Church.  His précis, which he derived from the full paper, was read to and discussed with the group over a period of three weeks.

With his permission, I have posted his three précis.  They briefly and superbly elucidate several critical elements of the present debate regarding Evolution, Intelligent Design, and Creationism.

I encourage you to read all three in order to familiarize yourself with the important clarifications Richard makes regarding these key concepts; however, if you desire to read only one, here is the general content of each:

Part I – The Philosophy of Science, Cosmology, and Cosmogony
Part II – The Origin of Life and Species
Part III – Intelligent Design and Public Education

Think About IT: Naturalism is Extraordinarily Unnatural

Some scientists claim that what one can experience with the five senses is all there is; hence there is nothing outside of the material universe.

But wait a moment. If scientific naturalism is true, nature is all there is, religion is merely an expression of need, want, or a quest for power, and only what can be measured is real, then one needs to ask, why trust the scientist? In order for scientists to practice science, which is not a physical thing, they must be outside the prison of nature with its domineering and unstoppable determinism. Continue reading →

Think about IT: The monkey has left his cage.

Those of you who know me, know that I am deeply concerned about the pervasiveness of viewing all of life through the lenses of evolution. Thus man is only different in degree from animals rather than created in the image of God and therefore categorically different. Lest you think I am overstating the case when I argue that the most prominent evolutionist see everything through the lenses of “survival of the fittest” and therefore rules that apply to understanding animals apply to man, please note the following.

Peter Atkins, a very prominent evolutionist, professor of physical chemistry and a fellow of Lincoln College at Oxford University, participated in “The Future of Science conference that was held in Venice, Italy in September of 2006. The theme was evolution and as the organizers themselves state: “Evolution is a central concept in many spheres of human endeavour, ranging from astrophysics and genetics to philosophy and psychology. Reflection about evolution is reflection about ourselves, our future and our place in the universe.”

Consequently, the fundamental difference in the monkey at the zoo and you is that you are out of your cage.

A Day Is a Day Is a Day – Why of Course: Unless That Day Challenges Darwinism!

Genesis has been a battleground for some time, and today is no different. This is particularly true of Genesis 1-3, which is the account of the creation and the fall. When I first began studying the Scripture, I recognized the importance of the first eleven chapters of Genesis, but in retrospect I did not fully appreciate the magnitude of their significance. As I studied other areas of the Scripture and began learning the breadth and depth of God’s revelation, I saw that without the truthfulness and perspicuity of the first eleven chapters of Genesis, every major theme of Scripture lay in jeopardy.

Probably the most hotly debated issue is whether or not the days of Genesis 1 are lunar days or indefinite periods of time or even actual days that are representative of longer periods of time. In other words, did God create the world in six days (closely approximating our days) or is the simple language of Genesis concealing a deeper esoteric meaning only fully revealed to scientists quite apart from the Scripture? Even some evangelical scientists like Hugh Ross, who describes himself as a “progressive creationist,” still accept certain cosmological theories as fact and seek to interpret Genesis through that prism. In doing so, they seem to undermine what is otherwise the clear teaching of Scripture. In this article, I am only addressing the two perspectives mentioned, and I use the term “evolution” to encompass such approaches that undermine interpreting the days in Genesis as a normal day.[1]

The place to start is always the Scripture rather than psychology, sociology, evolution, etc. We should evaluate the teachings of man in light of the unadorned teachings of Scripture rather than seeking to harmonize the Scripture with modern theories about man, God, and His world. I am not against learning from science or other disciplines, but I am against seeking to interpret Scripture in order to harmonize them at the expense of consistent and sound hermeneutics. That is to subjugate the Scripture irreverently to the speculations of man.

Consequently, this article looks at the strengths of interpreting the word “day” in Genesis chapter 1 as a normal lunar day and answers objections to this normal reading of the text.

[1] Evolution vs. Darwinism: Biologist Jonathan Wells, Ph. D., offers some vital clarifications concerning evolution and Darwinism. He notes, “Evolution means change over time,” “cumulative change through time,” “a change in gene frequencies over generations”….Darwin’s’ phrase “descent with modification” is ok in a limited sense, (from his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2006, 1-2); “Even hypotheses that some closely related species (such as finches on the Galapagos Islands) are descended with modification from a common ancestor are not particularly controversial” (Ibid., 3) and of course no one doubts that. “But Charles Darwin claimed far more than any of these things. In the Origin of Species he set out to explain the origin of not just one or a few species, but all species after the first—in short, all the diversity of life on earth. The correct word for this is not evolution, but Darwinism.” (Ibid.)
He then gives three distinguishing characteristics of Darwinism:“(1) All living things are modified descendants of a common ancestor; (2) The principal mechanism of modification has been natural selection acting on undirected variations that originate in DNA mutations; and (3) unguided processes are sufficient to explain all features of living things—so whatever may appear to be design is just an illusion.” (Ibid.) Darwin’s theory specifically “applies only to living things….[even though he] speculated that life may have started in ‘some warm little pond’ but beyond that he had little to say on the subject.” (Ibid., 4; Also see in my book, The Death of Man as Man, under Darwin, where I give examples of statements by him, which either explicitly or implicitly have bearing on the beginning and/or the creator.)

Continue reading →

The Environment: A Christian Perspective

Recently, Page Lynn presented a paper on the environment in The Ethics Round Table. From which, I suggested four guidelines to The Round Table to assist us in thinking and acting christianly about environmental issues and our involvement. Following are those four suggestions. For a fuller discussion of this issue I recommend Cornwall Alliance web site, or sign up for the Round Table next year. Continue reading →

Science, The unbiased and final arbitrator of truth: Really?

Science is often presented as, or understood to be, so objective that there is very little if any bias, and if there is any it will soon be found out and decisively dealt with.  The objectivity of science is portrayed as towering above other means of knowing.  Frequently, in one form or another, I have heard the argument that, “science is the best or only real source or test of truth”.  I have heard this mantra taught in university classrooms, articulated via the airwaves, and mentioned countless times by college students that I come in contact with.  Science as the final arbitrator of truth is based in large measure on its supposed unbiased objectivity. 

However, while science, particularly the scientific method, is an excellent way of studying and hypothesizing about empirical data within its legitimate domain, it does have domanial limitations, and it is not without inherent limitations and biases that can and do result in breaches of ethics, distortions of facts, and hyper-claims. Consider the following: Continue reading →

See Chimpanzee: See Man

So we have been told by the Evolutionary establishment for the last thirty years.  They have taught us and our children that there is only a 1% difference in the genome of a chimpanzee and a human.  Thus, the only sequacious inference to be drawn from such an incontrovertible scientific fact is that humans are evolved from chimps; moreover, implicit in the 1% is that humans have not actually evolved very far from them either—the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree as the old saying goes.  Consequently, quite contrary to the teaching of Scripture, that man is created in the image of God, and therefore categorically different from animals, man is really just a chimpanzee on steroids, an overachiever of sorts.

The “antitheist” ((this is his self-designation)) Christopher Hitchens recently used this scientific “fact” in a debate with Dinesh D’Souza, when he said “humans are one-half chromosome from a chimpanzee.”  This was his attempt to explain why man has a tendency or proclivity to do wrong—what Christians call sin.  ((the debate with Dinesh D’Souza was held at King’s college 10/22/07))  Later in the debate he said, in reference to man, “we are primates”.

I offer two considerations that display this evolutionary hypothesis as merely another attempt to advance the evolutionary fantasy far beyond what facts and logic warrant. Continue reading →