Honolulu Chapter

Archive for 2013

Seems like Dr. Turek picked up a copy of my book! Or maybe the Holy Spirit steered us to the same truths (wouldn’t be the first time that happened).

Anyway, this is a pretty good article showing how Krauss’ entire argument depends on an equivocation. Pretty rich for a guy who (falsely) accused WLC of dishonesty!

One minor note: Quantum Mechanics isn’t limited to only the sub-atomic realm, but extends to some super-atomic matter (but which still is extremely tiny): 

A Universe from Nothing? Dr. Krauss Explains Nothing – Cross Examined – Christian Apologetics | Frank Turek.

Title: Meeting
Location: 2040 Nuuanu Ave. recreation room
Start Time: 7 pm
Date: 2013-10-07
End Time: 9-ish

MUST WATCH video, done with Dr. Don Johnson (two earned PhD’s; one  in Chemistry and one in Computer and Information Sciences). You won’t believe how complex the coding is in every cell…your body has literally hundreds of quadrillions of computers in it, some operating with triple layers of encryption!:

▶ Programming of Life – YouTube.

Inside

Geophysics: Earth: God’s Great Symphony
Earth Design: Earth’s Chlorine Abundance: Fine-Tuned for Life
Biochemistry: God’s Providence, Man’s Dominion, and Synthetic Biology
Two Books Revelation: Historic Christianity’s “Two Books” of Revelation
Physics: Fine-Tuning and the Speed of Light
Earth Design: Earth’s Fluctuating Oxygen Levels Support Biblical Creation
Biochemistry: Cars and Cells: How Trade-offs Make Good Designs
Systems Biology: Song of the Intestine: So Kill Me, Maybe
Triune God: The Triune God Is Love
Educator’s Help Desk: Saving Faith
Bible Bookend: Creation in Color


Online Publication
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Hat-tip to Dr. Wallace Marshall of RF Charleston:

Vilenkin vindicates Craig, exposes Krauss. Q&A 336: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/honesty-transparency-full-disclosure-and-bgv-theorem

This is dynamite, and will be so encouraging to those of you who watched Craig patiently endure Krauss’ barrage of belittling remarks throughout their three dialogues in Australia last month. Before reading it, get the context by clicking on this video of the Melbourne dialoguehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xcgjtps5ks and fast-forwarding to the 50:00 mark (watch until about 57:00). And boost and post this wherever you can.

“Honesty, Transparency, Full Disclosure” and the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem | Reasonable Faith.

Yet another example of a transcendent Near-Death-Experience which can’t be explained on a materialist worldview. However, if we consider the brain and sense to be like “fuses” in a “circuit”, in which the primary “current” is the soul, then we can imagine how a compromised circuit could be temporarily bypassed during NDE’s:

People born blind can see during a near-death experience.nb

XLNT book:
gallery.mailchimp.com/f5947e4b562a108abb11dc27e/files/On_Guard.pdf http://gallery.mailchimp.com/f5947e4b562a108abb11dc27e/files/On_Guard.pdf

Another excerpt from my new book What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should):

Just recently, a vastly more complex gear-driven, seven-engine, magnetic-guided flagellar bundle was discovered. Here is an piece on it fromwww.evolutionnews.org:

Souped-Up Hyperdrive Flagellum Discovered

Evolution News & Views December 3, 2012 5:05 AM | Permalink

Get a load of this — a bacterium that packs a gear-driven, seven-engine, magnetic-guided flagellar bundle that gets 0 to 300 micrometers in one second, ten times faster than E. coli.

If you thought the standard bacterial flagellum made the case for intelligent design, wait till you hear the specs on MO-1, a marine bacterium described by Japanese researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Edited by Howard Berg, Harvard’s mastermind of flagellum reverse engineering, this paper describes the Ferrari of flagella.

Instead of being a simple helically wound propeller driven by a rotary motor, it is a complex organelle consisting of 7 flagella and 24 fibrils that form a tight bundle enveloped by a glycoprotein sheath…. the flagella of MO-1 must rotate individually, and yet the entire bundle functions as a unit to comprise a motility organelle.

To feel the Wow! factor, jump ahead to Figure 6 in the paper. It shows seven engines in one, arranged in a hexagonal array, stylized by the authors in a cross-sectional model that shows them all as gears interacting with 24 smaller gears between them. The flagella rotate one way, and the smaller gears rotate the opposite way to maximize torque while minimizing friction. Download the movie from the Supplemental Information page to see the gears in action.

Electron micrographs included in the paper show that the model is not unrealistic. These flagella really are tightly packed in a sheath, suggesting that the bundle acts like a gear-driven hyperdrive.

Here we have used electron cryotomography to visualize the 3D architecture of the sheathed flagella. The seven filaments are enveloped with 24 fibrils in the sheath, and their basal bodies are arranged in an intertwined hexagonal array similar to the thick and thin filaments of vertebrate skeletal muscles. This complex and exquisite architecture strongly suggests that the fibrils counter-rotate between flagella in direct contact to minimize the friction of high-speed rotation of individual flagella in the tight bundle within the sheath to enable MO-1 cells to swim at about 300 µm/s. (Emphasis added.)

At microbial level, that’s more than 10 body lengths per second. The authors were clearly excited by this engine, sounding like young men checking out high-performance cars, talking thrust, gear ratios and torque.

MO-1 is a magnetotactic bacterium capable of orienting its cell body along the geomagnetic field lines by using magnetosomes. The MO-1 cell has a flagellar apparatus with two lophotrichous [containing numerous flagella in] bundles. In contrast to peritrichously [flagella all over the cell] flagellated bacteria, MO-1 cells swim constantly in a helical trajectory toward magnetic north, and the trajectory changes from right-handed to left-handed without changes in velocity or direction. The cells areable to swim as fast as 300 μm/s, which is nearly 10-fold faster than E. coli and Salmonella. Although the flagella of the other types of bacteria usually work individually or by forming a loose bundle to produce thrust, the flagellar apparatus of MO-1 is a tight bundle of seven flagella enveloped in a sheath made of glycoproteins. This unique architecture appears to be essential for the smooth and high-speed swimming of MO-1.

They can’t see actual gears, of course, but physics demands that the mechanism of rotation must have something like it:

We hypothesize that, whereas each of the seven flagella has its torque-generating motor, the 24 fibrils counter rotate between the flagellar filaments to minimize the friction that would be generated if the flagella were directly packed together in a tight bundle. A schematic diagram representing our hypothesis is presented in Fig. 6. The flagella are represented as large brown gears and the fibrils are represented as small blue-green gears. The flagella and fibrils rotate counterclockwise and clockwise, respectively, as indicated by the arrows, to minimize friction (Movie S1).

Although there is no direct evidence that the fibrils can rotate freely in the opposite direction as the flagellar filaments with which they are in direct contact, we think this is the simplest interpretation to explain the superior function afforded by the complex architecture of the MO-1 flagellar apparatus.

Considering the very tight packing of the 7 flagella and 24 fibrils that are in direct physical contactwithin the sheath, there appears to be no other way for the flagella to rotate at high speed without the counter rotation of the intervening fibrils. Although the fibrils and the surrounding sheath are in direct contact, the friction between them would be small because of the stocking-like flexibility of the sheath. This design must be playing an essential role in the fast, smooth rotation of the flagellar apparatus that allows the rapid swimming of MO-1.

With powerful evidence of design like this, did the researchers become converts to intelligent design? We can’t know, but would PNAS have printed such a paper without an obligatory tribute to unguided materialistic evolution? Evolution is not mentioned until the last paragraph:

Taken together, these features of the MO-1 flagellar apparatus represent an advanced level of evolution of a motility apparatus. It is also intriguing that the same pattern of an intertwined hexagonal array in two evolutionary distant systems: the basal bodies of flagella and fibrils of the MO-1 flagellar apparatus, and the thick and thin filaments in vertebrate skeletal muscle. Similar architectures of filamentous structures presumably evolved independently in prokaryotes and eukaryotes to fulfill the requirements for two very distinct mechanisms to generate motion: counter rotation and axial sliding.

 


Continue reading…

Good article; I especially like the distinction between innocent ignorance and culpable ignorance:

Enrichment Journal.

Hawaii Apologetics Conference 2013 Speakers

Hawaii Apologetics Conference

Science & Faith — Enemies or Allies?

Join us at the Hawaii Apologetics Conference from July12-14 2013. Our speakers are Dr. Fazale Rana, Dr. Paul Nelson and Dr. Patrick Zukeran.

Registration has been closed.

Location

 

One Love

Koinonia Hale 670 Auahi Street, Suite A-5 Honolulu, HI 96813

808-955-9335

 

Schedule

Friday Night at One Love Ministries

 

1.       Why I Believe in God – Patrick Zukeran (6:00 – 6:50)

2.       What Darwin did not know – Fuz Rana (7:00 – 7:50)

3.       How Unexpected Genetic Discoveries Are Chopping Down Darwin’s Tree – Paul Nelson (8:00 – 8:50)

4.       Q&A  (9-9:30 PM)

 

Sat. Night at One Love Ministries

 

1.       Cell Design – Fuz Rana (4 – 4:45 PM)

2.       Breakout sessions 1 (4:55 – 5:45 PM) – 3 Views on the Age of the Earth (PZ), Life on Other planets (Dave Beers)

3.       30 minutes to eat.

4.       Breakout Session 2 (6:15 – 7:00 PM) – 3 Views on the Age of the Earth (PZ), Life on Other planets (Dave Beers), Brain Power (Robert Sloan, M.D.)

5.       Could Evolution Build the Animals? – Paul Nelson (7PM – 7:45 PM)

6.       Q&A (8 – 8:30 PM)

 

Sunday Morning           

Fuz Rana – 1st Chinese Church, Honolulu, HI

Paul Nelson – South Shore Christian Fellowship, Hawaii Kai, HI

Sunday night at One Love Ministries

Evening Session (6-6:40 PM) – “Setting Science Free from Materialism — The Role of Intelligent Design” – Paul Nelson

Extended Q&A (6:40-7:30 PM)

This is a moving lecture by a very intellectual Messianic Jew. Jim Tour, Ph.D., a professor at Rice University, is ranked in the top ten most cited chemists in the world. He is known for creating nanocars, nanoelectronics, graphene nanostructures and carbon nanovectors in medicine.

Professor Tour revealed in this lecture that he had a long-standing offer to buy lunch for anyone who would sit down and explain evolution to him, but that no-one had taken him up on his challenge:

But about seven or eight years ago I posted on my Web site that I don’t understand. And I said, “I will buy lunch for anyone that will sit with me and explain to me evolutionand I won’t argue with you until I don’t understand something – I will ask you to clarify. But you can’t wave by and say, ‘This enzyme does that.’ You’ve got to get down in the details of where molecules are built, for me.” Nobody has come forward.

The Atheist Society contacted me. They said that they will buy the lunch, and they challenged the Atheist Society, “Go down to Houston and have lunch with this guy, and talk to him.” Nobody has come!


Nanotech and Jesus Christ – James Tour at Georgia Tech – YouTube
.

Probe Ministries Conference
WHEN Friday, July 12 – Saturday, July 13, 2013
WHERE One Love
Koinonia Hale
670 Auahi Street,
Suite A-5
Honolulu, HI 96813
TITLE Christianity & Science: Enemies or Allies?
SPEAKER Fazale Rana
NOTE

Dr. Fuz Rana is joined by Dr. Pat Zukeran and Dr. Paul Nelson for a 3-day conference on evolution and Creationism

The Red Rectangle Nebula
The Red Rectangle Nebula

Continuing on with another excerpt from my new book What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should);

It is instructive to note that one of the developers of the “Anthropic Principle” concept, Dr. Frank Tipler, has become a Christian since that time, due in large part to reflections on the overwhelming evidence for a Designer from nature.

One question that is often raised subsequent to hearing of the fine-tuning of the universe is “if the parameters were different, why couldn’t life have evolved within the different parameters?” The answer to that is that life cannot evolve even under the most ideal of conditions—the irreducible and specified complexity of life has disproven Darwinian evolution (we’ll discuss that in more detail later). Although micro-evolution (small changes within a species or “kind”) has been observed and does occur in nature, it always results in a loss or lateral drift in information. It never results in an increase in information. The media and many philosophically driven scientists ascribe tremendous flexibility to the idea of micro-evolution, many claiming or assuming that macro-evolution is simply a result of large quantities of micro-evolution, but this has been shown to be impossible under every kind of testing. Darwinian, or macro-evolution, has not been reproducible under even the most artificially ideal conditions in the laboratory. Moreover, changes in most of the aforementioned parameters of fine-tuning would result in no planetary habitat forming that could support life, which eliminates the possibility of life before we even get to the insurmountable problem of biological assembly.

 

Take a look at the assessments of some noted scientists regarding this fine-tuning, beginning with a pair of Albert Einstein quotes (as harmonized by Matt Barber):

Albert Einstein, who is often falsely characterized as having been an atheist, once said of non-believers:

“The fanatical atheists are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who – in their grudge against traditional religion as the ‘opium of the masses’ – cannot hear the music of the spheres.”

Indeed, Psalm 19:1 observes: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

Einstein addressed the inherent hubris associated with God-denial:

I’m not an atheist. I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. (11)

Sir Frederick Hoyle (British Astrophysicist): “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.” (12)

Dr. George Ellis (South African Astrophysicist, and collaborator on the Hawking-Penrose Singularity Theorems): “Amazing fine tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word ‘miraculous’ without taking a stand as to the ontological status of the word.” (13)

And on several other occasions: “God is the creator and sustainer of the universe and of humankind, transcending the universe but immanent in it.”

“God’s nature embodies justice and holiness, but is also a personal and loving God who cares for each creature (so the name “father” is indeed appropriate).”

“God’s nature is revealed most perfectly in the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as recorded in the New Testament of the Bible, who was sent by God to reveal the divine nature, summarized in “God is Love.”

“God has an active presence in the world that still touches the lives of the faithful today.” (14)

Dr. Paul Davies (British Astrophysicist, and Professor at Arizona State University): “There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all….It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe….The impression of design is overwhelming”. (15)

“The laws [of physics] … seem to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design… The universe must have a purpose”. (16)

Dr. Alan Sandage (Astronomer at Carnegie Observatories, winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy): “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.” (17)

Dr. John O’Keefe (Astronomer at NASA): “We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cosseted, cherished group of creatures.. .. If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.” (18)

Dr. Tony Rothman (Physicist, former editor of Scientific American): “When confronted with the order and beauty of the universe and the strange coincidences of nature, it’s very tempting to take the leap of faith from science into religion. I am sure many physicists want to. I only wish they would admit it.” (19)

Dr. Vera Kistiakowsky (MIT professor of Physics): “The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine.” (20)

Continue reading…

Saturn
Saturn
Credits:
NASA, public domain

Continuing on with another excerpt from my new book What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should);

Entropy

As we discussed in Chapter One, the term “entropy” describes the degree of thermodynamic “disorder” in a closed system like the universe. “Maximum entropy” describes the inevitable “heat death” of the universe (which is the state it is slowly gravitating towards). Amazingly, our universe was at its “minimum entropy” at the very beginning, which begs the question “how did it get so orderly?” Looking just at the initial entropy conditions, what is the likelihood of a universe supportive of life coming into existence by coincidence? One in billions of billions? Or trillions of trillions of trillions? Or more?

Roger Penrose, a famous British mathematician and a close friend of Stephen Hawking, wondered about this question and tried to calculate the probability of the initial entropy conditions of the Big Bang.

According to Penrose, the odds against such an occurrence were on the order of 1 in 10 to the power of 10 to the power of 123 (1 in 10 to the 10th power to the 123rd power).

It is so large that it’s hard even to imagine what this number means. We can use “superscript” in some programs to indicate the order of magnitude (the middle 10 in the above paragraph), but we’d need “super-superscript” to properly write the “123” following it (the program I’m using to write this can do neither, so I write it out the long way). In math, the value 10 to the 123rd power means 1 followed by 123 zeros. (This is, by the way, more than the total number of atoms [10 to the 79th power] believed to exist in the whole universe.) But Penrose’s answer is vastly more than this: It requires 1 followed by 10 to the 123rd power zeros!

Or consider it this way: 10 to the 3rd power means “1,000”. 10 to the 10 to the 3rd power is a number that has 1 followed by 1000 zeros. If there are six zeros, it’s called a million; if nine, a billion; if twelve, a trillion and so on. There is not even a name for a number that has 1 followed by 10 to the 123rd power zeros.

In practical terms, in probability theory, odds of less than 1 in 10 to the 50th power = “zero probability”. Penrose’s number is more than a trillion, trillion, trillion times less than that. In short, Penrose’s number tells us that the “accidental” or “coincidental” creation of our universe is an impossibility.

Concerning this mind-boggling number Roger Penrose comments:

This now tells how precise the Creator’s aim must have been, namely to an accuracy of one part in 10 to the power of 10 to the power of 123. This is an extraordinary figure. One could not possibly even write the number down in full in the ordinary denary notation: it would be 1 followed by 10 to the 123rd power successive 0’s. (10)

Even if we were to write a 0 on each separate proton and on each separate neutron in the entire universe – and we could throw in all the other particles for good measure – we would fall far short of writing down the figure needed.

It takes far more “faith” to believe that this happened by chance than to believe that it was instigated by an incredibly powerful mind. The latter inference does not require blind faith!

It’s important to recognize that we’re not talking about a single unlikely event here. We’re talking about hitting the jackpot over and over again, nailing extremely unlikely, mutually complementary parameters of constants and quantities, far past the point where chance could account for it.

Continue reading…

The Hourglass Nebula
The Hourglass Nebula
Credits: NASA

Continuing on with another excerpt from my new book What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should);

The Teleological (Design) Argument, resuming following a list of 247 parameters in the universe which are finely-tuned, given in the previous two articles:

Keep in mind that this list is always growing as new improbabilities are being discovered. According to Dr.’s Ross and Rana, the improbability increases by about a million times each month! There are really three possibilities that could have resulted in this incredible fine-tuning; law, chance or design. Scientists have puzzled over it for years and have found no natural laws that can account for it. The odds against such a theory ever being discovered seem insurmountable. Even Stephen Hawking, who was originally a believer in a “Theory of Everything” that could possibly explain the fine-tuning as necessary by law, after considering Gödel’s Theorem concluded that one was not obtainable. He states:

Some people will be very disappointed if there is not an ultimate theory which can be formulated as a finite number of principles. I used to belong to that camp, but I have changed my mind. (3)

Since the threshold of mathematical impossibility is 1 in 10 to the 50th power (ie: given a 13.78 billion year universe, there is not enough time for anything with this or smaller odds to occur by chance), and the odds of this fine-tuning coming into existence by chance are far, far beyond that, we can rule out chance. Only a transcendent Creator makes sense of this unbelievably complex order in the universe.

During the last 35 years or so, scientists have discovered that the existence of intelligent life absolutely depends upon this very delicate and complex balance of initial conditions. It appears that “the deck was stacked” in the substances, constants and quantities of the Big Bang itself, to provide a life-permitting universe. We now know through modern science that life-prohibiting universes are vastly more probable than any life-permitting universe like ours. How much more probable?

Well, the answer is that the chances that the universe should be life-permitting are so infinitesimally small as to be incomprehensible and incalculable. For example, Stephen Hawking has estimated that if the rate of the universe’s expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed into a hot fireball due to gravitational attraction. (4)

Continue reading…

In his new book “A Universe From Nothing”, Lawrence Krauss plays 3-card Monte with definitions of the word “nothing”. Repeating what has become a predictable pattern for atheist writers, he tries to hand-wave over the transition from non-being to being. William Lane Craig straightens him out here in 3 parts (audio):

http://reasonablefaith.org/a-universe-from-nothing

RIGHT HERE

One reason it took so long is because there has been several mind-blowing discoveries supporting Intelligent Design just in the past 6 mos. or so, and I kept editing them in. I’m not in this to get rich…I’m in it to spread the good news that logic, science, probability theory, history and archaeology are not just congruent with Christianity, but when properly understood. lead directly to Christ.

The more books I sell, the more I’m going to give away, so please buy a copy if you can afford it. I appreciate your kokua in helping me disseminate this information. And btw, if you know anybody who would like to debate any of these topics, please let me know. I’m not perfect, and it’s not that I’m anything special; just that I’ve done my homework and put in the time to understand what’s going on here. The Truth is what’s special; I’m just It’s happy servant.

Mahalo in advance,

Steve

Earth and Moon as photographed by The Galileo spacecraft
Earth and Moon as photographed by The Galileo spacecraft

Continuing on with another excerpt from my book What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should);

 

The Teleological (Design) Argument

 

Evidence for the Fine-Tuning of Our Local Galaxy-SunEarthMoon System for Life Support

Not only is the universe at large apparently fine-tuned to support life, there is an array of features in our more local region of the universe that are also necessary to allow life to survive. The features of a planet, its planetary companions, its moon, its star, and its galaxy must have values falling within narrowly defined ranges (infinitesimally small targets, and all precisely coordinated) for physical life of any kind to exist.

1. galaxy cluster type

• if too rich: galaxy collisions and mergers would disrupt solar orbit

• if too sparse: insufficient infusion of gas to sustain star formation for a long enough time

2. galaxy size

• if too large: infusion of gas and stars would disturb sun’s orbit and ignite too many galactic eruptions

• if too small: insufficient infusion of gas to sustain star formation for long enough time

3. galaxy type

• if too elliptical: star formation would cease before sufficient heavy element build-up for life chemistry

• if too irregular: radiation exposure on occasion would be too severe and heavy elements for life chemistry would not be available

4. galaxy mass distribution

• if too much in the central bulge: life-supportable planet will be exposed to too much radiation

• if too much in the spiral arms: life-supportable planet will be destabliized by the gravity and radiation from adjacent spiral arms

5. galaxy location

• if too close to a rich galaxy cluster: galaxy would be gravitationally disrupted

• if too close to very large galaxy(ies): galaxy would be gravitationally disrupted

• if too far away from dwarf galaxies: insufficient infall of gas and dust to sustain ongoing star formation

6. decay rate of cold dark matter particles

• if too small: too few dwarf spheroidal galaxies will form which prevents star formation from lasting long enough in large galaxies so that life-supportable planets become possible

• if too great: too many dwarf spheroidal galaxies will form which will make the orbits of solar-type stars unstable over long time periods and lead to the generation of deadly radiation episodes

7. hypernovae eruptions

• if too few not enough heavy element ashes present for the formation of rocky planets

• if too many: relative abundances of heavy elements on rocky planets would be inappropriate for life; too many collision events in planetary system

• if too soon: leads to a galaxy evolution history that would disturb the possibility of advanced life; not enough heavy element ashes present for the formation of rocky planets

• if too late: leads to a galaxy evolution history that would disturb the possibility of advanced life; relative abundances of heavy elements on rocky planets would be inappropriate for life; too many collision events in planetary system

8. supernovae eruptions

• if too close: life on the planet would be exterminated by radiation

• if too far: not enough heavy element ashes would exist for the formation of rocky planets

• if too infrequent: not enough heavy element ashes present for the formation of rocky planets

• if too frequent: life on the planet would be exterminated

• if too soon: heavy element ashes would be too dispersed for the formation of rocky planets at an early enough time in cosmic history

• if too late: life on the planet would be exterminated by radiation

9. white dwarf binaries

• if too few: insufficient flourine would be produced for life chemistry to proceed

• if too many: planetary orbits disrupted by stellar density; life on planet would be exterminated

• if too soon: not enough heavy elements would be made for efficient flourine production

• if too late: flourine would be made too late for incorporation in protoplanet

10. proximity of solar nebula to a supernova eruption

• if farther: insufficient heavy elements for life would be absorbed

• if closer: nebula would be blown apart

11. timing of solar nebula formation relative to supernova eruption

• if earlier: nebula would be blown apart

• if later: nebula would not absorb enough heavy elements

12. number of stars in parent star birth aggregate

• if too few: insufficient input of certain heavy elements into the solar nebula

• if too many: planetary orbits will be too radically disturbed

13. star formation history in parent star vicinity

• if too much too soon: planetary orbits will be too radically disturbed

14. birth date of the star-planetary system

• if too early: quantity of heavy elements will be too low for large rocky planets to form

• if too late: star would not yet have reached stable burning phase; ratio of potassium-40, uranium-235 & 238, and thorium-232 to iron will be too low for long-lived plate tectonics to be sustained on a rocky planet

15. parent star distance from center of galaxy

• if farther: quantity of heavy elements would be insufficient to make rocky planets; wrong abundances of silicon, sulfur, and magnesium relative to iron for appropriate planet core characteristics

• if closer: galactic radiation would be too great; stellar density would disturb planetary orbits; wrong abundances of silicon, sulfur, and magnesium relative to iron for appropriate planet core characteristics

16. parent star distance from closest spiral arm

• if too large: exposure to harmful radiation from galactic core would be too great

17. z-axis heights of star’s orbit

• if more than one: tidal interactions would disrupt planetary orbit of life support planet

• if less than one: heat produced would be insufficient for life

18. quantity of galactic dust

• if too small: star and planet formation rate is inadequate; star and planet formation occurs too late; too much exposure to stellar ultraviolet radiation

• if too large: blocked view of the Galaxy and of objects beyond the Galaxy; star and planet formation occurs too soon and at too high of a rate; too many collisions and orbit perturbations in the Galaxy and in the planetary system

19. number of stars in the planetary system

• if more than one: tidal interactions would disrupt planetary orbit of life support planet

• if less than one: heat produced would be insufficient for life

20. parent star age

• if older: luminosity of star would change too quickly

• if younger: luminosity of star would change too quickly

21. parent star mass

• if greater: luminosity of star would change too quickly; star would burn too rapidly

• if less: range of planet distances for life would be too narrow; tidal forces would disrupt the life planet’s rotational period; uv radiation would be inadequate for plants to make sugars and oxygen

22. parent star metallicity

• if too small: insufficient heavy elements for life chemistry would exist

• if too large: radioactivity would be too intense for life; life would be poisoned by heavy element concentrations

23. parent star color

• if redder: photosynthetic response would be insufficient

• if bluer: photosynthetic response would be insufficient

24. galactic tides

• if too weak: too low of a comet ejection rate from giant planet region

• if too strong too high of a comet ejection rate from giant planet region

25. H3+ production

• if too small: simple molecules essential to planet formation and life chemistry will not form

• if too large: planets will form at wrong time and place for life

26. flux of cosmic ray protons

• if too small: inadequate cloud formation in planet’s troposphere

• if too large: too much cloud formation in planet’s troposphere

27. solar wind

• if too weak: too many cosmic ray protons reach planet’s troposphere causing too much cloud formation

• if too strong: too few cosmic ray protons reach planet’s troposphere causing too little cloud formation

28. parent star luminosity relative to speciation

• if increases too soon: runaway green house effect would develop

• if increases too late: runaway glaciation would develop

29. surface gravity (escape velocity)

• if stronger: planet’s atmosphere would retain too much ammonia and methane

• if weaker: planet’s atmosphere would lose too much water

30. distance from parent star

• if farther: planet would be too cool for a stable water cycle

• if closer: planet would be too warm for a stable water cycle

31. inclination of orbit

• if too great: temperature differences on the planet would be too extreme

32. orbital eccentricity

• if too great: seasonal temperature differences would be too extreme

33. axial tilt

• if greater: surface temperature differences would be too great

• if less: surface temperature differences would be too great

34. rate of change of axial tilt

• if greater: climatic changes would be too extreme; surface temperature differences would become too extreme

35. rotation period

• if longer: diurnal temperature differences would be too great

• if shorter: atmospheric wind velocities would be too great

36. rate of change in rotation period

• if longer: surface temperature range necessary for life would not be sustained

• if shorter: surface temperature range necessary for life would not be sustained

37. planet age

• if too young: planet would rotate too rapidly

• if too old: planet would rotate too slowly

38. magnetic field

• if stronger: electromagnetic storms would be too severe; too few cosmic ray protons would reach planet’s troposphere which would inhibit adequate cloud formation

• if weaker: ozone shield would be inadequately protected from hard stellar and solar radiation

39. thickness of crust

• if thicker: too much oxygen would be transferred from the atmosphere to the crust

• if thinner: volcanic and tectonic activity would be too great

40. albedo (ratio of reflected light to total amount falling on surface)

• if greater: runaway glaciation would develop

• if less: runaway greenhouse effect would develop

41. asteroidal and cometary collision rate

• if greater: too many species would become extinct

• if less: crust would be too depleted of materials essential for life

42. mass of body colliding with primordial Earth

• if smaller: Earth’s atmosphere would be too thick; moon would be too small

• if greater: Earth’s orbit and form would be too greatly disturbed

43. timing of body colliding with primordial Earth

• if earlier: Earth’s atmosphere would be too thick; moon would be too small

• if later: sun would be too luminous at epoch for advanced life

44. collision location of body colliding with primordial Earth

• if too close to grazing: insufficient debris to form large moon; inadequate annihilation of Earth’s primordial atmosphere; inadequate transfer of heavy elements to Earth

• if too close to dead center: damage from collision would be too destructive for future life to survive

45. oxygen to nitrogen ratio in atmosphere

• if larger: advanced life functions would proceed too quickly

• if smaller: advanced life functions would proceed too slowly

46. carbon dioxide level in atmosphere

• if greater: runaway greenhouse effect would develop

• if less: plants would be unable to maintain efficient photosynthesis

47. water vapor level in atmosphere

• if greater: runaway greenhouse effect would develop

• if less: rainfall would be too meager for advanced life on the land

48. atmospheric electric discharge rate

• if greater: too much fire destruction would occur

• if less: too little nitrogen would be fixed in the atmosphere

49. ozone level in atmosphere

• if greater: surface temperatures would be too low

• if less: surface temperatures would be too high; there would be too much uv radiation at the surface

50. oxygen quantity in atmosphere

• if greater: plants and hydrocarbons would burn up too easily

• if less: advanced animals would have too little to breathe

51. nitrogen quantity in atmosphere

• if greater: too much buffering of oxygen for advanced animal respiration; too much nitrogen fixation for support of diverse plant species

• if less: too little buffering of oxygen for advanced animal respiration; too little nitrogen fixation for support of diverse plant species

52. ratio of 40K, 235,238U, 232Th to iron for the planet

• if too low: inadequate levels of plate tectonic and volcanic activity

• if too high: radiation, earthquakes, and volcanoes at levels too high for advanced life

53. rate of interior heat loss

• if too low: inadequate energy to drive the required levels of plate tectonic and volcanic activity

• if too high: plate tectonic and volcanic activity shuts down too quickly

54. seismic activity

• if greater: too many life-forms would be destroyed

• if less: nutrients on ocean floors from river runoff would not be recycled to continents through tectonics; not enough carbon dioxide would be released from carbonates

55. volcanic activity

• if lower: insufficient amounts of carbon dioxide and water vapor would be returned to the atmosphere; soil mineralization would become too degraded for life

• if higher: advanced life, at least, would be destroyed

56. rate of decline in tectonic activity

• if slower: advanced life can never survive on the planet

• if faster: advanced life can never survive on the planet

57. rate of decline in volcanic activity

• if slower: advanced life can never survive on the planet

• if faster: advanced life can never survive on the planet

58. timing of birth of continent formation

• if too early: silicate-carbonate cycle would be destabilized

• if too late: silicate-carbonate cycle would be destabilized

59. oceans-to-continents ratio

• if greater: diversity and complexity of life-forms would be limited

• if smaller: diversity and complexity of life-forms would be limited

60. rate of change in oceans-to-continents ratio

• if smaller: advanced life will lack the needed land mass area

• if greater: advanced life would be destroyed by the radical changes

61. global distribution of continents (for Earth)

• if too much in the southern hemisphere: seasonal differences would be too severe for advanced life

62. frequency and extent of ice ages

• if smaller: insufficient fertile, wide, and well-watered valleys produced for diverse and advanced life forms; insufficient mineral concentrations occur for diverse and advanced life

• if greater: planet inevitably experiences runaway freezing

63. soil mineralization

• if too nutrient poor: diversity and complexity of life-forms would be limited

• if too nutrient rich: diversity and complexity of life-forms would be limited

64. gravitational interaction with a moon

• if greater: tidal effects on the oceans, atmosphere, and rotational period would be too severe

• if less: orbital obliquity changes would cause climatic instabilities; movement of nutrients and life from the oceans to the continents and vice versa would be insufficent; magnetic field would be too weak

65. Jupiter distance

• if greater: too many asteroid and comet collisions would occur on Earth

• if less: Earth’s orbit would become unstable

66. Jupiter mass

• if greater: Earth’s orbit would become unstable

• if less: too many asteroid and comet collisions would occur on Earth

67. drift in major planet distances

• if greater: Earth’s orbit would become unstable

• if less: too many asteroid and comet collisions would occur on Earth

68. major planet eccentricities

• if greater: orbit of life supportable planet would be pulled out of life support zone

69. major planet orbital instabilities

• if greater: orbit of life supportable planet would be pulled out of life support zone

70. mass of Neptune

• if too small: not enough Kuiper Belt Objects (asteroids beyond Neptune) would be scattered out of the solar system

• if too large: chaotic resonances among the gas giant planets would occur

71. Kuiper Belt of asteroids (beyond Neptune)

• if not massive enough: Neptune’s orbit remains too eccentric which destabilizes the orbits of other solar system planets

• if too massive: too many chaotic resonances and collisions would occur in the solar system

72. separation distances among inner terrestrial planets

• if too small: orbits of all inner planets will become unstable in less than 100,000,000 million years

• if too large: orbits of the most distant from star inner planets will become chaotic

73. atmospheric pressure

• if too small: liquid water will evaporate too easily and condense too infrequently; weather and climate variation would be too extreme; lungs will not function

• if too large: liquid water will not evaporate easily enough for land life; insufficient sunlight reaches planetary surface; insufficient uv radiation reaches planetary surface; insufficient climate and weather variation; lungs will not function

74. atmospheric transparency

• if smaller: insufficient range of wavelengths of solar radiation reaches planetary surface

• if greater: too broad a range of wavelengths of solar radiation reaches planetary surface

75. magnitude and duration of sunspot cycle

• if smaller or shorter: insufficient variation in climate and weather

• if greater or longer: variation in climate and weather would be too much

76. continental relief

• if smaller: insufficient variation in climate and weather

• if greater: variation in climate and weather would be too much

77. chlorine quantity in atmosphere

• if smaller: erosion rates, acidity of rivers, lakes, and soils, and certain metabolic rates would be insufficient for most life forms

• if greater: erosion rates, acidity of rivers, lakes, and soils, and certain metabolic rates would be too high for most life forms

78. iron quantity in oceans and soils

• if smaller: quantity and diversity of life would be too limited for support of advanced life; if very small, no life would be possible

• if larger: iron poisoning of at least advanced life would result

79. tropospheric ozone quantity

• if smaller: insufficient cleansing of biochemical smogs would result

• if larger: respiratory failure of advanced animals, reduced crop yields, and destruction of ozone-sensitive species would result

80. stratospheric ozone quantity

• if smaller: too much uv radiation reaches planet’s surface causing skin cancers and reduced plant growth

• if larger: too little uv radiation reaches planet’s surface causing reduced plant growth and insufficient vitamin production for animals

81. mesospheric ozone quantity

• if smaller: circulation and chemistry of mesospheric gases so disturbed as to upset relative abundances of life essential gases in lowe atmosphere

• if greater: circulation and chemistry of mesospheric gases so disturbed as to upset relative abundances of life essential gases in lower atmosphere

82. quantity and extent of forest and grass fires

• if smaller: growth inhibitors in the soils would accumulate; soil nitrification would be insufficient; insufficient charcoal production for adequate soil water retention and absorption of certain growth inhibitors

• if greater: too many plant and animal life forms would be destroyed

83. quantity of soil sulfer

• if smaller: plants will become defieient in certain proteins and die

• if larger: plants will die from sulfur toxins; acidity of water and soil will become too great for life; nitrogen cycles will be disturbed

84. biomass to comet infall ratio

• if smaller: greenhouse gases accumulate, triggering runaway surface temperature increase

• if larger: greenhouse gases decline, triggering a runaway freezing

85. density of quasars

• if smaller: insufficient production and ejection of cosmic dust into the intergalactic medium; ongoing star formation impeded; deadly radiation unblocked

• if larger: too much cosmic dust forms; too many stars form too late disrupting the formation of a solar-type star at the right time and under the right conditions for life

86. density of giant galaxies in the early universe

• if smaller: insufficient metals ejected into the intergalactic medium depriving future generations of stars of the metal abundances necessary for a life-support planet at the right time in cosmic history

• if larger: too large a quantity of metals ejected into the intergalactic medium providing future stars with too high of a metallicity for a life-support planet at the right time in cosmic history

87. giant star density in galaxy

• if smaller: insufficient production of galactic dust; ongoing star formation impeded; deadly radiation unblocked

• if larger: too much galactic dust forms; too many stars form too early disrupting the formation of a solar-type star at the right time and under the right conditions for life

88. rate of sedimentary loading at crustal subduction zones

• if smaller: too few instabilities to trigger the movement of crustal plates into the mantle thereby disrupting carbonate-silicate cycle

• if larger: too many instabilities triggering too many crustal plates to move down into the mantle thereby disrupting carbonate-silicate cycle

89. poleward heat transport in planet’s atmosphere

• if smaller: disruption of climates and ecosystems; lowered biomass and species diversity; decreased storm activity and precipitation

• if larger: disruption of climates and ecosystems; lowered biomass and species diversity; increased storm activity

90. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon abundance in solar nebula

• if smaller: insufficient early production of asteroids which would prevent a planet like Earth from receiving adequate delivery of heavy elements and carbonaceous material for life, advanced life in particular

• if larger: early production of asteroids would be too great resulting in too many collision events striking a planet arising out of the nebula that could support life

91. phosphorus and iron absorption by banded iron formations

• if smaller: overproduction of cyanobacteria would have consumed too much carbon dioxide and released too much oxygen into Earth’s atmosphere thereby overcompensating for the increase in the Sun’s luminosity (too much reduction in atmospheric greenhouse efficiency)

• if larger: underproduction of cyanobacteria would have consumed too little carbon dioxide and released too little oxygen into Earth’s atmosphere thereby undercomsating for the increase in the Sun’s luminosity (too little reduction in atmospheric greenhouse efficiency)

92. silicate dust annealing by nebular shocks

• if too little: rocky planets with efficient plate tectonics cannot form

• if too much: too many collisions in planetary system.; too severe orbital instabilities in planetary system

93. size of galactic central bulge

• if smaller: inadequate infusion of gas and dust into the spiral arms preventing solar type stars from forming at the right locations late enough in the galaxy’s history

• if larger: radiation from the bulge region would kill life on the life-support planet

94. total mass of Kuiper Belt asteroids

• if smaller: Neptune’s orbit would not be adequately circularized

• if larger: too severe gravitational instabilities generated in outer solar system

95. solar magnetic activity level

• if greater: solar luminosity fluctuations will be too large

96. number of hypernovae

• if smaller: too little nitrogen is produced in the early universe, thus, cannot get the kinds of stars and planets later in the universe that are necessary for life

• if larger: too much nitrogen is produced in the early universe, thus, cannot get the kinds of stars and planets later in the universe that are necessary for life

97. timing of hypernovae production

• if too early: galaxies become too metal rich too quickly to make stars and planets suitable for life support at the right time

• if too late: insufficient metals available to make quickly enough stars and planets suitable for life support

98. masses of stars that become hypernovae

• if not massive enough: insufficient metals are ejected into the interstellar medium; that is, not enough metals are available for future star generations to make stars and planets suitable for the support of life

• if too massive: all the metals produced by the hypernova eruptions collapse into the black holes resulting from the eruptions; that is, none of the metals are available for future generations of stars

99. quantity of geobacteraceae

• if smaller or non-existent: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons accumulate in the surface environment thereby contaminating the environment for other life forms

100. density of brown dwarfs

• if too low: too many low mass stars are produced which will disrupt planetary orbits

• if too high: disruption of planetary orbits

101. quantity of aerobic photoheterotrophic bacteria

• if smaller: inadequate recycling of both organic and inorganic carbon in the oceans

102. average rainfall preciptiation

• if too small: inadequate water supplies for land-based life; inadequate erosion of land masses to sustain the carbonate-silicate cycle.; inadequate erosion to sustain certain species of ocean life that are vital for the existence of all life

• if too large: too much erosion of land masses which upsets the carbonate-silicate cycle and hastens the extinction of many species of life that are vital for the existence of all life

103. variation and timing of average rainfall precipitation

• if too small or at the wrong time: erosion rates that upset the carbonate-silicate cycle and fail to adjust adequately the planet’s atmosphere for the increase in the sun’s luminosity

• if too large or at the wrong time: erosion rates that upset the carbonate-silicate cycle and fail to adjust the planet’s atmosphere for the increase in the sun’s luminosity

104. average slope or relief of the continental land masses

• if too small: inadequate erosion

• if too large: too much erosion

105. distance from nearest black hole

• if too close: radiation will prove deadly for life

 

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NASA’s Kepler Mission Discovers A World Orbiting Two Stars
NASA’s Kepler Mission Discovers A World Orbiting Two Stars
Credits:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt via Getty Images

Continuing on with another excerpt from my book What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should);

The Teleological (Design) Argument

“I gaze into the doorway of temptation’s angry flame
And every time I pass that way I always hear my name.
Then onward in my journey I come to understand
That every hair is numbered, like every grain of sand.”
— from Every Grain of Sand, by Bob Dylan

The appearance that the universe was designed to support life on earth is overwhelming. Secular scientists have observed that for physical life to be possible in the universe, many characteristics must take on specific values, as referenced below. In the secular scientific world, this circumstance of apparent fine-tuning in the universe is not disputed, and is referred to as “The Anthropic Principle”.

Atheistic scientists have offered several unconvincing rationalizations for this having occurred without the involvement of a Divine Mind, but given the intricacy of the inter-relationships between various features in the universe, the indication of divine “fine tuning” seems incontrovertible. The list seems to be growing larger and larger as scientists discover more about the universe, but take a look at the list as it stands now. Feel free to skip ahead if you get the gist of it, but doubters asked for detailed evidence, and here it is:

1. Strong nuclear force constant
2. Weak nuclear force constant
3. Gravitational force constant
4. Electromagnetic force constant
5. Ratio of electromagnetic force constant to gravitational force constant
6. Ratio of proton to electron mass
7. Ratio of number of protons to number of electrons
8. Ratio of proton to electron charge
9. Expansion rate of the universe
10. Mass density of the universe
11. Baryon (proton and neutron) density of the universe
12. Space energy or dark energy density of the universe
13. Ratio of space energy density to mass density
14. Entropy level of the universe
15. Velocity of light
16. Age of the universe
17. Uniformity of radiation
18. Homogeneity of the universe
19. Average distance between galaxies
20. Average distance between galaxy clusters
21. Average distance between stars
22. Average size and distribution of galaxy clusters
23. Numbers, sizes, and locations of cosmic voids
24. Electromagnetic fine structure constant
25. Gravitational fine-structure constant
26. Decay rate of protons
27. Ground state energy level for helium-4
28. Carbon-12 to oxygen-16 nuclear energy level ratio
29. Decay rate for beryllium-8
30. Ratio of neutron mass to proton mass
31. Initial excess of nucleons over antinucleons
32. Polarity of the water molecule
33. Epoch for hypernova eruptions
34. Number and type of hypernova eruptions
35. Epoch for supernova eruptions
36. Number and types of supernova eruptions
37. Epoch for white dwarf binaries
38. Density of white dwarf binaries
39. Ratio of exotic matter to ordinary matter
40. Number of effective dimensions in the early universe
41. Number of effective dimensions in the present universe
42. Mass values for the active neutrinos
43. Number of different species of active neutrinos
44. Number of active neutrinos in the universe
45. Mass value for the sterile neutrino
46. Number of sterile neutrinos in the universe
47. Decay rates of exotic mass particles
48. Magnitude of the temperature ripples in cosmic background radiation
49. Size of the relativistic dilation factor
50. Magnitude of the Heisenberg uncertainty

 

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Catseye Nebula
Catseye Nebula

Continuing on with another excerpt from my book What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should); quotes from prominent thinkers regarding recently acquired evidence for the beginning of the universe:

Moreover, listen to what some very prominent scientists have said recently, reflecting on the latest discoveries in their fields:

Dr. George Smoot, Particle Physicist, Nobel Prize winner, and team leader from the Lawrence-Berkeley Laboratory, regarding the 1992 observations from COBE (the NASA satellite Cosmic Background Explorer): “It’s like looking at God.” (8)

A somewhat more “sober” assessment of the findings was given by Frederick Burnham, a science-historian. He said, “These findings, now available, make the idea that God created the universe a more respectable hypothesis today than at any time in the last 100 years.” (9)

Dr. Stephen Hawking (Theoretical Physicist) described the big bang ripples observations as “the scientific discovery of the century, if not all time.” (10)

Dr. George Greenstein (Professor of Astronomy at Amherst.): “As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency – or, rather, Agency – must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?” (11)

Sir Arthur Eddington (British Astrophysicist): “The idea of a universal mind or Logos would be, I think, a fairly plausible inference from the present state of scientific theory.” (12)

Dr. Arno Penzias (Nobel Prize winner in physics, co-discoverer of the microwave background radiation from the Big Bang): “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say ‘supernatural’) plan.” (13)

Sir Roger Penrose (Physicist, Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, and joint developer of the Hawking-Penrose Theorems): “I would say the universe has a purpose. It’s not there just somehow by chance.” (14)
Dr. Robert Jastrow (Founding director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies): “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” (15)

Dr. Frank Tipler (Professor of Math and Physics at Tulane University): “When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.” (16). Tipler since has actually converted to Christianity, resulting in his latest book The Physics Of Christianity.

 

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Study By: Daniel B. Wallace

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First, I want to affirm with all evangelical Christians that the Bible is the Word of God, inerrant, inspired, and our final authority for faith and life. However, nowhere in the Bible am I told that only one translation of it is the correct one. Nowhere am I told that the King James Bible is the best or only ‘holy’ Bible. There is no verse that tells me how God will preserve his word, so I can have no scriptural warrant for arguing that the King James has exclusive rights to the throne. The arguments must proceed on other bases.

Second, the Greek text which stands behind the King James Bible is demonstrably inferior in certain places. The man who edited the text was a Roman Catholic priest and humanist named Erasmus.1 He was under pressure to get it to the press as soon as possible since (a) no edition of the Greek New Testament had yet been published, and (b) he had heard that Cardinal Ximenes and his associates were just about to publish an edition of the Greek New Testament and he was in a race to beat them. Consequently, his edition has been called the most poorly edited volume in all of literature! It is filled with hundreds of typographical errors which even Erasmus would acknowledge. Two places deserve special mention. In the last six verses of Revelation, Erasmus had no Greek manuscript (=MS) (he only used half a dozen, very late MSS for the whole New Testament any way). He was therefore forced to ‘back-translate’ the Latin into Greek and by so doing he created seventeen variants which have never been found in any other Greek MS of Revelation! He merely guessed at what the Greek might have been. Secondly, for 1 John 5:7-8, Erasmus followed the majority of MSS in reading “there are three witnesses in heaven, the Spirit and the water and the blood.” However, there was an uproar in some Roman Catholic circles because his text did not read “there are three witnesses in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit.” Erasmus said that he did not put that in the text because he found no Greek MSS which had that reading. This implicit challenge—viz., that if he found such a reading in any Greek MS, he would put it in his text—did not go unnoticed. In 1520, a scribe at Oxford named Roy made such a Greek MS (codex 61, now in Dublin). Erasmus’ third edition had the second reading because such a Greek MS was ‘made to order’ to fill the challenge! To date, only a handful of Greek MSS have been discovered which have the Trinitarian formula in 1 John 5:7-8, though none of them is demonstrably earlier than the sixteenth century.

That is a very important point. It illustrates something quite significant with regard to the textual tradition which stands behind the King James. Probably most textual critics today fully embrace the doctrine of the Trinity (and, of course, all evangelical textual critics do). And most would like to see the Trinity explicitly taught in 1 John 5:7-8. But most reject this reading as an invention of some overly zealous scribe. The problem is that the King James Bible is filled with readings which have been created by overly zealous scribes! Very few of the distinctive King James readings are demonstrably ancient. And most textual critics just happen to embrace the reasonable proposition that the most ancient MSS tend to be more reliable since they stand closer to the date of the autographs. I myself would love to see many of the King James readings retained. The story of the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53-8:11) has always been a favorite of mine about the grace of our savior, Jesus Christ. That Jesus is called God in 1 Timothy 3:16 affirms my view of him. Cf. also John 3:131 John 5:7-8, etc. But when the textual evidence shows me both that scribes had a strong tendency to add, rather than subtract, and that most of these additions are found in the more recent MSS, rather than the more ancient, I find it difficult to accept intellectually the very passages which I have always embraced emotionally. In other words, those scholars who seem to be excising many of your favorite passages from the New Testament are not doing so out of spite, but because such passages are not found in the better and more ancient MSS. It must be emphatically stressed, however, that this does not mean that the doctrines contained in those verses have been jeopardized. My belief in the deity of Christ, for example, does not live or die with 1 Timothy 3:16. In fact, it has been repeatedly affirmed that no doctrine of Scripture has been affected by these textual differences. If that is true, then the ‘King James only’ advocates might be crying wolf where none exists, rather than occupying themselves with the more important aspects of advancing the gospel.2

Third, the King James Bible has undergone three revisions since its inception in 1611, incorporating more than 100,000 changes. Which King James Bible is inspired, therefore?

Fourth, 300 words found in the KJV no longer bear the same meaning—e.g., “Suffer little children…to come unto me” (Matt 19:14). “Study to shew thyself approved unto God” (2 Tim 2:15). Should we really embrace a Bible as the best translation when it uses language that not only is not clearly understood any more, but in fact has been at times perverted and twisted?3

Fifth, the KJV includes one very definite error in translation, which even KJV advocates would admit. InMatthew 23:24 the KJV has ‘strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.’ But the Greek has ‘strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.’ In the least, this illustrates not only that no translation is infallible but also that scribal corruptions can and do take place-even in a volume which has been worked over by so many different hands (for the KJV was the product of a very large committee of over 50 scholars).4

Sixth, when the KJV was first published, it was heavily resisted for being too easy to understand! Some people revere it today because it is difficult to understand. I fear that part of their response is due to pride: they feel as though they are able to discern something that other, less spiritual folks cannot. Often 1 Corinthians 2:13-16 is quoted with reference to the KJV (to the effect that ‘you would understand it if you were spiritual’). Such a use of that text, however, is a gross distortion of the Scriptures. The words in the New Testament, the grammar, the style, etc.—in short, the language—comprised the common language of the first century. We do God a great disservice when we make the gospel more difficult to understand than he intended it. The reason unspiritual people do not understand the scriptures is because they have a volitional problem, not an intellectual problem (cf. 1 Cor. 2:14 where ‘receive,’ ‘welcome’ shows clearly that the thing which blocks understanding is the sinful will of man).

Seventh, those who advocate that the KJV has exclusive rights to being called the Holy Bible are always, curiously, English-speaking people (normally isolated Americans). Yet, Martin Luther’s fine translation of the Bible into German predated the KJV by almost 100 years. Are we so arrogant to say that God has spoken only in English? And where there are substantial discrepancies between Luther’s Bible and the KJV (such as in 1 John 5:7-8), are we going to say that God has inspired both? Is he the author of lies? Our faith does not rest in a singular tradition, nor is it provincial. Vibrant, biblical Christianity must never unite itself with provincialism. Otherwise, missionary endeavor, among other things, would die.

Eighth, again, let me repeat an earlier point: Most evangelicals—who embrace all the cardinal doctrines of the faith—prefer a different translation and textual basis than that found in the KJV. In fact, even the editors of the New Scofield Reference Bible (which is based on the KJV) prefer a different text/translation!

Finally, though it is true that the modern translations ‘omit’ certain words and verses (or conversely, the KJV adds to the Word of God, depending on how you look at it), the issue is not black-or-white. In fact, the most recent edition of a Greek New Testament which is based on the majority of MSS, rather than the most ancient ones (and thus stands firmly behind the King James tradition), when compared to the standard Greek New Testament used in most modern translations, excises over six hundred and fifty words or phrases! Thus, it is not proper to suggest that only modern translations omit; the Greek text behind the KJV omits, too! The question, then, is not whether modern translations have deleted portions of the Word of God, but rather whether either the KJV or modern translations have altered the Word of God. I contend that the KJV has far more drastically altered the scriptures than have modern translations. Nevertheless, I repeat: most textual critics for the past two hundred and fifty years would say that no doctrine is affected by these changes. One can get saved reading the KJV and one can get saved reading the NIV, NASB, etc.

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Continuing on with another excerpt from my book What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should):

The First Law of Thermodynamics –Conservation of Energy

“Here lies Lester Moore, four slugs from a ’44,
no Les, no more”
— Epitath on a grave in Tombstone, Arizona

In the Laws of Thermodynamics, we have still more evidence for a transcendent origin of the cosmos. The First Law of Thermodynamics is often called the Law of Conservation of Energy. This law suggests that although energy can be transferred from one system to another in many forms, it cannot be created or destroyed. Thus, the total amount of energy available in the Universe since it came into existence is constant. Matter can be converted into energy, as Albert Einstein observed when he offered his grand equation E=MC2.

The Orion Nebula as photographed by The Hubble Telescope in 2006.
The Orion Nebula as photographed by The Hubble Telescope in 2006.
Photo credit:
Wikimedia Commons

 

Second Law of Thermodynamics – Increased Entropy Over Time

“We work our jobs, collect our pay, believe we’re glidin’ down the highway when in fact we’re slip-sliding away”
— From Slip-Sliding Away, by Paul Simon

The Second Law of Thermodynamics is commonly known as the Law of Increased Entropy. While the quantity of matter/energy remains the same (First Law), the quality or (“usability”) of matter/energy deteriorates gradually over time. How so? Usable energy is inevitably used for productivity, growth and repair. In the process, usable energy is converted into unusable energy. For example, heat from pouring a pot of boiling water into the ocean, although not truly “lost”, will soon dissipate so that it’s undetectable. Likewise “latent” energy, like a wound up spring, will tend toward unwinding (it goes through a “kinetic” stage) and will be dissipated toward “uselessness”. Thus, usable energy constantly tends to be irretrievably “lost” in the form of unusable energy. Eventually (absent any supernatural intervention) all matter/energy will reach “maximum entropy”—one might say, a state of maximum “equilibrium”.

“Entropy” is defined as a measure of unusable energy within a closed or isolated system (the universe for example). As usable energy decreases and unusable energy increases, “entropy” increases. Entropy is also a gauge of randomness or chaos within a closed system. As usable energy is irretrievably lost, disorganization, randomness and chaos increase.

Since the order in the universe was at its maximum at the beginning, and has been winding down into increasing disorder since then, the question “who organized it initially?” naturally arises. Another thing that we can deduce is that if the universe had existed eternally into the past, it would have long ago decayed into maximum entropy, or disorder. Since it has not, we know that the universe had a beginning.

 

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Another great gift from Apologetics 315:

Last week we featured the great resource, The Logic Classroom and mentioned the book by Elihu Carranza Logic Primer. Although you can purchase the paperback version online, the author has graciously offered this logic book as a free resource to Apologetics 315. Logic Primer is a 7-chapter book which will take you through a foundational study of logic.

Please fill out a quick form before downloading the PDF eBook.
Get the Logic Primer ebook by Elihu Carranza here.

Enjoy.

 

Continuing on with another excerpt from my book What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should):

So now we’ve established that we have a cause. Moreover, I think that necessarily, it must also be personal. How else could a timeless cause give rise to a temporal (in time) effect like the universe? If the cause were an impersonal set of sufficient conditions, then the cause could never exist without the effect. For example, imagine that all there is is a massive sea of hydrogen that existed eternally into the past, and the temperature is cold enough that it is liquid. The effect (the temperature being such that it is liquid) exists co-eternally into the past with the substance.

 
If the sufficient conditions were timelessly present, then the effect would be timelessly present as well. Yet if the sea of hydrogen suddenly froze 11 billion years ago, we’d have ample cause to wonder why. Likewise, if we grant (for the sake of discussion) the possibility of an eternal past, there is no good reason that the universe wouldn’t be co-eternal with its impersonal cause. We certainly shouldn’t be seeing evidence that it suddenly burst into existence 13.73 billion years ago for no apparent reason. The only way for the cause to be timeless but for the effect to begin in time is if the cause is a personal agent who freely chooses to create an effect in time without any prior determining conditions. And, thus, we are brought, not merely to the transcendent cause of the universe, but to its personal Creator.

 

28 million light years from Earth, and 50,000 light years across!
28 million light years from Earth, and 50,000 light years across!
Photo credit:
NASA

 

Regarding the age of the universe, many will wonder if this rules out the Biblical description of creation, as most Bible translations state in the book of Genesis that the universe was made in six days. Now, granted, it is possible that Godmade the universe in six literal days, and built the appearance of old age into it. But notice that the Hebrew word “yom”, which is typically translated as “day” in the book of Genesis, can actually also mean “long period of time”. In addition, the words “ereb” and “boqer”, which are commonly translated as “evening” and “morning”, can also mean “ending” and “beginning”. Additionally, according to the fourth chapter of the book of Hebrews in the Bible, we are still in the seventh “yom”, so obviously some days are much longer than 24 hours.

 

The primary focus in the Genesis account is on WHO did the creating, not on the time frame. There are actually 24 other references to creation in the Bible, and they all jibe with long periods of time and an expanding universe. Many interpreters of the Biblical account, including Hebrew scholars such as Onkelos (2nd century), Rashi (1040-1105AD), Maimonides (1135-1204 AD), and Nahmanides (1194-1270 AD), explicitly endorsed the view that the creation days were long periods of time. According to Professor Nathan Aviezer of Bar-Ilan University in Israel, this is consistent with the way early Talmud scholars approached Genesis 1. (7)

 

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Continuing on with another excerpt from the ebook What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should):

This brings us to Argument # 2:

The Kalam Cosmological Argument

“You see it’s all clear, you were meant to be here,
from the beginning.”
From “From the Beginning”, by E.L.P.

This argument is deceptively simple, and was used extensively by an 11th century Muslim theologian named Al Ghazali. The word “Kalam” means “speech” in Arabic. In its modern form (as developed by philosopher William Lane Craig) has never been successfully refuted:

Premise 1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

Premise 2: The universe began to exist.

Conclusion 1: Therefore, the universe must have a cause. (5)

Regarding premise 1, notice that the classical notion of God would not be included in this category, as He never began to exist within that understanding. From that viewpoint, He is the necessary “Uncaused Cause” of the universe who created time itself, and has always existed timelessly (“eternally”). The universe, on the other hand, is believed by the majority of both secular and Christian scientists to have begun to exist at a finite point in the past.

The Butterfly Nebula
The Butterfly Nebula
Photo credit:
NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team via Getty Images

“If the Universe Began to Exist, It Must Have a Cause.”

Isn’t it incredible that the Big Bang theory thus fits in with what the Christian theist has always believed: that in the beginning God created the universe? Now think honestly about this; which do you think makes more sense: that the Christian theist is right or that the universe just popped into being, uncaused, out of nothing? I personally don’t think this is a hard one.

 

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I was recently interviewed regarding my new book ‘What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should)’. Here it is:

 

Interview with Steve J. Williams for AuthorMePro

Home

Bio

APKY/AMP: Hello Steve. Good to have you with me at AuthorMeProfessionals interview. To set right off, please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer. What inspired you to write your first book?

 

First of all, aloha to your readers, and thanks for the interview. Regarding my first book, I’ve always been interested in the big What your Atheist  Professor Doesn't Kniw (But Should)questions in life, so since I was a teen, I’ve done lots of reading on metaphysical and spiritual things. Although I was not raised a Christian, the evidence for Christianity that I came across became so overwhelming that I became one in 1992. While I was attending U.H. Manoa a couple years later, I saw a leading atheist named Gordon Stein debate a man named William Lane Craig, and on even scientific points, Craig won hands down. That showed me that Christianity was conversant with the highest levels of philosophy and science, and super-charged my digging. I’ve since started a chapter of Dr. Craig’s group Reasonable Faith in Honolulu. My first book The Skeptics’ Guide to Eternal Bliss was a regurgitation of the key points proving Christianity that I had ingested over the years.

APKY/AMP: That’s sounds like a very moving journey you took, Steve. What other genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?

My “bread-and-butter” writing is on U.S. church and state issues for Examiner.com (http://www.examiner.com/church-and-state-in-honolulu/steve-williams), so I like political writing as well, but not better than metaphysics. I’ve written fiction before, and hope to work some more into my future at some point.

APKY/AMP: Well, I’m sure you’ll do great there too. Steve, is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes; “faith” is not wishing – there is rock-solid evidence for Christianity from science, history, archaeology, philosophy, etc.Steve J. Williams

APKY/AMP: Correct, faith is indeed a firm belief. What have you had published to-date?

The Skeptics’ Guide to Eternal Bliss (http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/steve-j-williams/sgeb-2nd-edition/paperback/product-5295443.html) and What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should) (http://www.amazon.com/Atheist-Professor-Doesnt-Should-ebook/dp/B0084Y3Q14).

APKY/AMP: Great. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write something you’ll be proud of whether or not you sell any copies. You might hit it big, or you might not – there’s satisfaction in making a good effort though, regardless!

 

APKY/AMP: An excellent advice. Steve, why should we buy your book?

1)      Because whether or not you agree to my central claim, you’ll be wiser after reading it, and 2) it’s only 99 cents!

APKY/AMP: Both very good arguments! How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?

I do the majority for both.

 

APKY/AMP: Perhaps you should also get out a book on self-marketing books, Steve. You certainly have enough experience. Now, have you won or been shortlisted in any competitions and do you think they help with a writer’s success?

I haven’t entered any yet, but that’s something I should look into!

APKY/AMP: You should indeed! Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?

Yes, the house I was living in when I wrote the majority of it has a spectacular view of the ocean between Diamond Head and Koko Head. For me, I’m extra-inspired when I’m writing with such a stunning example of God’s creation in front of me.

APKY/AMP: Lucky you. Sounds like paradise! Do you write under a pseudonym? If so why and do you think it makes a difference?

No – I haven’t seen a need for that yet.

APKY/AMP: Well, you have nice memorable names, Steve. Wait till you have a name like mine! So, do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?

No, and not necessarily. I was a realtor for 14 years, so I think I have enough clues to give self-promotion a go. I can always change my mind later, if necessary.

APKY/AMP: See? I just said it: write a marketing book! So what are you working on at the moment / next?

I’m taking a break right now. I may take a crack at fiction next; I have a very atypical WWIII idea kicking around in my head.

APKY/AMP: Wow. Well, way to go, Steve. Do you manage to write every day?

Almost every day.

APKY/AMP: Great. And what is your opinion of writer’s block? Do you ever suffer from it? If so, how do you ‘cure’ it?

I think that in many of our waking hours, we’re taking care of business; paying bills, taking out the trash, feeding the dog – stuff that is not really conducive to our creativity. Our minds are habitual, so we need to proactively detach ourselves from this contextual influence, and “psyche ourselves” into a creative mindset when we sit down to it. What tends to work for me is reading something with a strong and rich narrative voice, like Goldman, Salinger or Fitzgerald. Ideas beget ideas — it’s almost like starting a siphon from your own mind.

APKY/AMP: Wow, nobody in my hundreds of interviews ever described so poignantly, Steve. Tell me, do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and off you are with it?

That doesn’t really apply to me, but I did have an outline for my non-fiction approach.

APKY/AMP: Okay. Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?

Reverting back to my previous fiction-writing, I think believability is crucial, so I make plausible hybrids of real-life characters I have known. I try to make the names sound good rolling off the tongue.

APKY/AMP: Right. I wonder what name you’d invent for me as your character J. Anyway, who is your first reader – who do you first show your work to?

My pastor friend.

APKY/AMP: How original! Your best person, considering your topics. Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?

I’ve gotten better in recent years, but I still need some editing. I have not yet escaped that haunting phrase I heard from one of my professors: “Writing is RE-writing”.

APKY/AMP: Right. And do you write on paper or do you prefer a computer?

Always a computer these days.

APKY/AMP: Thank heavens! What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?

“Third-person omniscient” is the one I tend to go with. I can’t remember if I ever tried second-person, but it seems like it would be a pain (for me).

APKY/AMP: Steve, you’re not alone! And what do you like to read?

I think the world has been so interesting lately that I enjoy reading the news as much as anything.

APKY/AMP: You’re right. So, what do you do when you’re not writing? Or reading, for that matter? Any hobbies or party tricks?

I play guitar, play with my kids, and surf.

APKY/AMP: The best of things. Where can we find out about you and your work?

Here’s my Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Stephen-Joseph-Williams/e/B008C3U70A/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

APKY/AMP: Wonderful. Steve, is there anything else you’d like to mention?

I guarantee that my book will feel like it’s worth more than 99 cents!

APKY/AMP: Now there’s an argument! Thank you so much for this interview, Steve. I now invite you to include an extract of your writing: 

Isn’t it incredible that the Big Bang theory thus fits in with what the Christian theist has always believed: that in the beginning God created the universe? Now think honestly about this; which do you think makes more sense: that the Christian theist is right or that the universe just popped into being, uncaused, out of nothing? I personally don’t think this is a hard one.

Ever since indications began to surface early in the 20th century that the universe had a beginning, attempt after attempt has been made to hypothesize an eternal model to avoid the metaphysical implications of that. Some of these attempts are; the Oscillating Model, the Steady-State Model, and the Vacuum Fluctuation Model, and they have all failed. The “Big Bang” models, which all have a beginning in space and time, have grudgingly become accepted by well over 90% of scientists despite their inherent metaphysical implications, due to overwhelming evidential support.

In a series of papers culminating in 2003, Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin were able to prove that any universe which is, on average, in a state of cosmic expansion cannot be eternal in the past but must have an absolute beginning. This includes all universe models that honestly assess the available data. Regarding this, Vilenkin states:

“It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.” (6)

(6) Many Worlds in One (New York: Hill and Wang, 2006), p.176.

 

APKY/AMP: Wow, this is fascinating. Steve, thank you once again. I and my team at AuthorMeProfessionals with you every success and health in your future..

 

You’re welcome, and thank you.

 

http://www.authormepro.com/interviews/williams.html#

 

Continuing on with another excerpt from the ebook What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should):

In part 1 we saw philosophical evidence that a beginningless series of events is impossible. A past-eternal universe would be a beginningless series of events, and is hence, impossible.

As the eminent philosopher William Lane Craig has pointed out, this conclusion has been confirmed by remarkable discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics. From ancient times, many deep thinkers like Plato and Aristotle assumed that the universe had existed eternally into the past. Of course, the Hebrew and Christian cultures believed in the creation account represented in the Bible, and there were numerous non Judeo-Christian creation accounts as well, but there were always individuals and groups who thought of the universe as eternal. Subsequent to the so-called “Enlightenment” in Europe in the 18th century (when many in Western Civilization began to drift away from biblical thinking) and even more so subsequent to Charles Darwin’s proposal of the Theory of Evolution in 1859, it became very common among scientists and university professors in the West to presume that the universe had existed eternally into the past.

Latest NASA enhanced image of Cosmic Microwave Background radiation.
Latest NASA enhanced image of Cosmic Microwave Background radiation.
Photo credit:
Wikimedia Commons

This viewpoint was heavily shaken starting in 1913 when scientists Vesto Slipher, Albert Einstein, and Edwin Hubble discovered very compelling evidence that the universe was expanding. Discovery after discovery in the 20th century affirmed that not only was the universe expanding, but thattime, space, matter and energy appeared to have had a beginning in the finite past. In 1965, scientists Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered the remnants of background radiation from the Big Bang. In 1968 and 1970, Stephen Hawking, George Ellis and Roger Penrose published papers that Extended Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity to include measurements of time and space that demonstrated that both had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origins of matter and energy. Remarkably, their conclusion was that (causally) prior to that moment, space and time did not exist!

The astrophysical evidence indicates that the universe began to exist in a great explosion called the “Big Bang” about 14 billion years ago. Physical space and time were created in that event, as well as all the matter and energy in the universe. About 11 years of work by cosmologists Arvind Borde, Alan H. Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin culminating in 2003 established that this conclusion holds for all theories of cosmic origin for which there is observational evidence. This is the conclusion of modern science! Therefore, as Cambridge astronomer Fred Hoyle points out, the Big Bang Theory requires the creation of the universe from nothing! That is, from nothing that is physical. This is because, as you go back in time, you reach a point in time at which, in Hoyle’s words, the universe was “shrunk down to nothing at all.” (3) Thus, what the Big Bang model requires is that the universe began to exist and was created out of nothing physical.

Now this tends to be very awkward for the atheist. For as Anthony Kenny of Oxford University urges, “A proponent of the Big Bang theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that the universe came from nothing and by nothing.” (4)

But surely that doesn’t make sense! Out of nothing, nothing comes. So why does the universe exist instead of just nothing? Where did it come from? Many people think that “nothing” is an empty space, but that’s not correct. In “nothing” there’s not even space! The best description I’ve heard of “nothing” (which I think was from Aristotle) is that “nothing is what rocks dream about”. Nothing has no time, space, matter or energy whatsoever, because it doesn’t exist. We can form an abstract concept of what “nothing” is, but true “nothing” doesn’t even have that — it is truly nothing.

Therefore, there must have been a cause which brought the universe into being. And from the very nature of the case, this cause must be an uncaused, changeless, timeless, and immaterial being which created the universe. It must be uncaused because there cannot be an infinite regress of causes–that is to say, there cannot be a series of causes extending backwards in time to infinity past.

 

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