“Why think about God? After all, no one knows whether there is a God, much less which God is real. Well, I am not as sure as you that no one knows. If God exists, then he knows, to be sure. He would have no identity crisis. Besides, we ought not claim that no one knows that there is a God until after we have done our thinking about God. So one reason to bother thinking about God is to see if you can find good reasons to think that there is a God. Another reason is to see if you can find good reasons to think there is no such person as God.”
Archive for 2014
Since the genetic code was deciphered in the 1960s, scientists have assumed that it was used exclusively to write information about proteins. UW scientists were stunned to discover that genomes use the genetic code to write two separate languages. One describes how proteins are made, and the other instructs the cell on how genes are controlled. One language is written on top of the other, which is why the second language remained hidden for so long.
“For over 40 years we have assumed that DNA changes affecting the genetic code solely impact how proteins are made,” said Stamatoyannopoulos. “Now we know that this basic assumption about reading the human genome missed half of the picture. These new findings highlight that DNA is an incredibly powerful information storage device, which nature has fully exploited in unexpected ways.”
“One of Western University’s strengths is X-ray CT scanning technology, specifically of objects up to 40 cm in size. This is perfect for digitizing artifacts the size of clay tablets. With the university’s microCT scanner, researchers such as Andrew Nelson can render the exterior — and interior — of any object.
With the touch of a button, the object was scanned, reconstructed and fully rendered using more than 3,000 individual images, allowing for high-quality visualization and inspection.
A digital database of archaeological artifacts can thus be made available to researchers around the world — a huge improvement over storage in warehouses. Speaking of warehouses, the university has intelligently designed that, too. In association with McMaster University and the Canadian government, Western’s “Sustainable Archaeological Repository” (SAR) can store 90,000 boxes of artifacts in its 18,000 square foot facility. Digitizing some of the millions of objects catalogued thus far will open these boxes to the world, allowing “anyone at home … access” to the history of civilization.”
Newsweek did an extremely dishonest and incompetent hit piece on the Bible for Christmas (probably the worst I’ve ever read), written by Twitter plaything Kurt Eichenwald. This is part 1 of Albert McIlhenny’s response:
Is it Stupid to Believe in Miracles? A comparison of various theories..by Allen Hainline.
Good points by J. Warner Wallace here. It would be rude, for example, to insist on Nativity scenes being thrust into the middle of Ramadan, but why then is it OK for non-Christian traditions to be thrust into Christmas?
Religious Expression Ought to Be Timely | Cold Case Christianity.
How Does God Foreknow Free Choices?
I have been listening to and reading a lot of your material over the last year, and have been learning a lot – not least from the Defenders podcast. I’ve been searching in your material for the answer to a specific question, but haven’t found it – and therefore I write you now.
I’m trying to sort out the matter of free will and God’s foreknowledge, and I’ve come to understand that there is no contradiction between God’s foreknowing a free choice, and that choice being truly free. Foreknowing doesn’t equal determining.
But – here is my question: How? How does God foreknow what I would freely choose? I can see how he could foresee my choices if I was determined to make a specific choice, based on my genetics/upbringing/situation. But then the will isn’t free – is it?
If God knows the position and speed of every particle in the universe – then he could foresee every future event, where the cause/effect is within the realm of materia. But our free choice isn’t.
So – in short: By what means can God know what I would freely choose?
Thanks for your time, and for your great work in the Lord.
How do we answer supposed Bible contradictions and difficulties? Below are all solutions from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). This covers every major Bible difficulty from Genesis to Revelation. This material is copyright © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. Used by permission.
This is a great resource, even if you don’t agree with every solution.
Piece of garbage — save your $.
Dr. Ann Gauger: “In fact, the cell is like the most antic, madcap, crowded (yet fantastically efficient) city you can picture.”
Some important observations about AI and its limitations from New Scientist.
Chomsky and Lewontin are among the authors. Hmmmm….
Marcelo Gleiser is a theoretical physicist at Dartmouth College who treads dangerous ground from time to time. He writes a regular commentary for NPR in which, in the past, he has admitted that even taking the origin of simple life on Earth as a given, the development of complex life poses an additional, extraordinary riddle. With only Darwinian evolution as a resource, to assume that complex biology is out there among the stars as well as on our planet is a tough one to swallow.
Now he provocatively acknowledges that science can shade over into the faith, when scientists cling to ideas beyond the point where the evidence has turned against them:
Courtesy science museum curator and sometime journalist Roger Highfield: “the dogmatic declaration of its ‘truth’ lures a thinker into a close-minded confidence, unjustified by even the best current science of evolution.”
Breaking: Article in Nature defends integrity of physics against multiverse, string theory
“Scientific method: Defend the integrity of physics” by George Ellis and Joe Silk,” Nature, open access:
H/t: Nick Peters
“At some future period not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes…will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest Allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla” (Charles Darwin,”The Descent of Man”, 1874, p. 178).
MSU department announces major archaeological find (Mississippi State University).
This is so much like my book that it’s ridiculous!
When people claim that their “starting point is Theology; not Philosophy”, it reveals that they don’t know what “Philosophy” (love of wisdom) means. In order to determine which Theology is valid, one must use reason…and therefore is engaging in Philosophy:
Shabir Ally VS Mike Licona – Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? Re-sync.mp4 – YouTube.
H/t: David Rhoads
This one in 1993 put WLC on the maps of many Theists and Atheists.
Are Creationists Stupid?.
Another solid article by Lenny Esposito.
Good, because The Bible doesn’t require it, and it hinders The Gospel!
Sean Carroll contradicts himself:
“Accidentally”, heh, heh ;^).
Good article, including the quote: “That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.” Agnostic Astronomer Robert Jastrow.
Btw, please subscribe!
This is a good thing (I think).
This video is short, but when Nabeel challenged David, it turned out David had done his homework. Nabeel is now a Christian.
But nobody gets saved through arguments, right?
▶ Why I Am a Christian (David Wood) – YouTube.
“‘Through RTB’s Visiting Scholar Program, we often have the pleasure of hosting and working with experts in various fields of study. Earlier this year, RTB welcomed Dr. Russ Carlson, a biochemist who has contributed to important research on complex carbohydrates and taught at the University of Georgia for 26 years. Russ received his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Colorado in 1976, and currently serves as an emeritus professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.”
Is Evolution True? Laying Out the Logic – Evolution News & Views.
How can chance build a code with more than one layer of information? Physicist Rob Sheldon is reminded of a Bach fugue that can be played by flipping the music upside-down on the music stand. That’s a highly designed, incredible piece of music.”
Layers of information in DNA evidence of design | Counting to God.
Christianity is true whether or not Biblical inerrancy is true, but I’ve found that most people claiming “errancy” are applying 21st century legalistic rules to writing which is not of that genre.
H/t: Truthbomb Apologetics
The ancient Anitkythera Machine is a mind-blower! If you don’t know about it, take a look.
“According to the researchers, mutations of genes are not randomly distributed between the parental chromosomes. They found that 60 percent of mutations affect the same chromosome set and 40 percent both sets. Scientists refer to these as cis and trans mutations, respectively. Evidently, an organism must have more cis mutations, where the second gene form remains intact. “It’s amazing how precisely the 60:40 ratio is maintained. It occurs in the genome of every individual – almost like a magic formula,” says Hoehe. The 60:40 distribution ratio appears to be essential for survival. “This formula may help us to understand how gene variability occurs and how it affects gene function.”
Duality in the human genome.
This system too often blocks excellent insights, and needs to change.
Wintery Knight’s snarky comments in this one are priceless!
I’m in the middle of an incredible amount of hostile radiation, yet somehow I find that three different “force fields” are protecting me. Can I infer that “the fix is in”, or must I keep inferring that I’m just really lucky? Hmmm….
NASA’s Van Allen Probes Spot Impenetrable Radiation Barrier in Space.
Latest big peer review scandal: Fake reviewers | Uncommon Descent.
Happy Thanksgiving! One thing I’m thankful for is brothers with a sense of humor!
Very important observations by Dr. Ann Gauger, reflecting on mutation rates calculations by Durrett and Schmidt. Tens of thousands of mutations (minimally) are required for the transition from a chimp-like creature to a human. Yet:
“They calculated it would take six million years for a single base change to match the target and spread throughout the population, and 216 million years to get both base changes necessary to complete the eight base binding site. Note that the entire time span for our evolution from last common ancestor with chimps to estimated to be about six million years. Time enough for one mutation to occur and be fixed, by their account.”
So we need tens of thousands of mutations, and the time available allows for ONE! What does this tell us?
Interesting article by Allen Hainline. Some might argue that these illustrations (by Philosophers Robert Koons and Alexander Pruss) are merely variations on ancient arguments, but even if that’s the case, new illustrations can often be very valuable.
Alvin Plantinga | Closer to Truth.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Plantinga, he’s WLC’s favorite philosopher.
Studying time’s arrow with philosophers | Uncommon Descent.
It was not intended as a compliment!
Timelapse Video Reveals Electric Face in Embryonic Tadpole.
Access Research Network.