The church as split over the issue over whether the days in Genesis 1 are 24 hour periods or long but finite periods of time, or even complete metaphors. Of course, this split is unjustified, because this is wholly a secondary doctrinal issue. One can take any of these stances and be a true Christian.…
Archive for 2015
Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution.
“Saint Nicholas (270-343 AD) was a valiant man who fought prostitution, abortion, and poverty. He attended the council at Nicaea, from which we received the Nicene Creed. At that council, he defended vigorously the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. He was an exemplar of Christian teaching put into practice. Not only that, but the legend which has grown up around his life has inspired and enthralled untold numbers of people through the Christian era.”
“I don’t know about you, but there are times during the election season where I really fight feeling discouraged. Not only is the state of our nation in trouble, but it’s frustrating to feel like things are promised by politicians and then change never comes. If I’m honest, I sometimes fight feeling like a cynic …”
“Dr. William Lane Craig, in my humble opinion, is the smartest man on the face of the earth! He is the finest of logicians, his philosophy of science is unmatched, and there is no better systematic theologian. On top of that, I recently attended his lecture at the EPS conference in Atlanta where he systematically refuted Stephen Hawking’s cosmological model (let that sink in for a while). Dr. Craig is so scary smart that the popular atheist, Sam Harris, states that Craig puts the “fear of God into many of his fellow atheists!” This fear is obvious as Richard Dawkins is scared to debate him and Neil deGrasse Tyson seems to have backed out from a debate with Craig. I have learned more from Dr. Craig than any other person on the planet; be that as it may, today I make a case that he gets one thing wrong. This relatively minor disagreement is regarding a hypothetical theory of time that we both agree is false. In a sense, this is quite humorous as we both hold to the same “A-theory” of…”
“Dear Dr. Grayling:
I note with sadness your letter to the organizers of “The Metaphysics of the Trinity: New Directions.” Remarkably, you demand that the conference be cancelled. As best I can discern, your reason for demanding the cancellation is that you don’t like theology and you don’t like metaphysics when it deals with theological questions.If your attendance at the conference were mandatory, I would share your outrage.Of course your attendance is not mandatory, so you are at no risk of involuntary metaphysical inquiry. Your demand for the cancellation of a conference because the topic is not your cup of tea seems a bit — oh I don’t want to use the word for it, because it denotes a certain intolerance.”
“In regards to the origin of written language, a number of archaeologists point out that the precursors to written language were in place even before humans began to migrate around the world (around 60,000 years ago). Anthropologist Genevieve von Petzinger has argued that there are 32 geometric signs that appear in cave walls throughout Europe and Southeast Asia, dating between 40,000 and 10,000 years in age. (See the list of resources.) These geometric markings occur more frequently on cave walls than do artistic depictions of animals. They also remain largely unchanged over geography and time. Von Petzinger posits that this consistency indicates that these symbols were likely used as a form of graphic communication, a proto-writing. The fact that these symbols appear in cave sites in Europe and Southeast Asia means that the first modern humans possessed proto-writing prior to 60,000 years ago.”
Watch a color-coded representation of the spread of The Gospel, Islam, and a few other things over the past 2,000 years:
“Chalmers wants to insist, along with Descartes and Locke before him, on the primacy of subjective experience or, as the philosopher Bitbol puts it, ‘that consciousness is existentially primary’.”
“Any gene-edited baby would likely start life in an IVF clinic where doctors could oversee its creation. The problem is that rewriting a gene with CRISPR is still hit or miss — the edits only work about 20 percent of the time, and occasionally it introduces unwanted mistakes. That’s no obstacle for engineering flies or worms. Just try again. But it’s a huge problem for anyone who wants to repair an embryo in an IVF clinic and then make a baby.”
From J. Warner Wallace:
I hope these resources inspire you to make the case for what you believe as a Theist
Secular France now has one of the highest suicide rates on earth:
Source: Without God There Is No Hope
The name is Lewis, C.S. Lewis. It’s no secret that C.S. Lewis fought for the British Army in his early years of life. What pretty much no one knows—until now—is that the famous author of the Chronicles of Narnia was a secret government agent for the British Secret Intelligence Service—the for-real MI6. This is the part where you imagine the highly esteemed intellectual swinging from rusty pipes and punching bad guys all while keeping his tuxedo unwrinkled and fabulous. But, Lewis’ service to MI6 was much more in tune with the talents that he was best known for. According to writer Harry Lee Poe, the Charles Colson Professor of Faith and Culture at Union University, C.S. Lewis addressed the people of Iceland in a broadcast called “The Norse Spirit in English Literature” that was absolutely essential in warding off German invasion in Denmark and the rest of Europe. So, what in the world does the Iceland broadcast about the Norse spirit in English literature have to do with World War II? In a long-form article published at Christianity Today, Poe explains that Britain need to invade Iceland because it provided the ideal base for seaplanes to search for the German naval vessels. But, the Brits’ success in Iceland hinged on keeping the goodwill of the Icelandic people. That’s where C.S. Lewis came in. MI6 commissioned Lewis to broadcast to Iceland and win the hearts of the people. Poe writes: He said that he did not know why he had been asked to address the people of Iceland, but that he agreed to do it in order to repay a great debt. He explained that his imaginative life had been awakened by Norse mythology when he was 14. He went on to explain how his love of Norse mythology only deepened when he began to learn the Icelandic language at Oxford. Lewis made no mention and kept no record of these recording, but Poe, a major Lewis buff, found the recording on eBay being sold by a dealer in Iceland. The original radio talk involved four parts on two records. The first record contains part one and part three. The second record contained part two and part four. The records were probably meant to be stacked on the turntable and then flipped together. The second record with parts two and four is missing. Perhaps it will turn up in a flea market someday. Stranger things have happened. After all, this record turned up on eBay. So, there you have it. C.S. Lewis was a secret agent and is now officially the coolest novelist, lecturer and lay theologian the world has ever seen.
How do you explain the miracle of dawn? With heavenly clockwork, an immense fireball rises over one horizon and marches inexorably toward the other, bringing
Source: A New Dawn | Counting to God
“Those advocating for an external designer recognize the real and pervasive power entropy has to pervert design in nature. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is an inescapable reality, resulting in degradation from order to disorder. When we see an apparent example of imperfection, entropy may be the better explanation.”
“…the glue that has held Western civilization together over the centuries is the Judeo-Christian tradition. To the extent that the West loses its religious faith in favor of non-judgmental secularism, then to the same extent, it loses that which holds all else together.”
Apologetics lends itself to martial arts metaphors.
“…For example, materialists who think of human beings as “computers made of meat” have no rational explanation for consciousness, love, etc., yet they aren’t able to live as if these things don’t exist. Instead, they continue to act as if these things do exist, even though they have no reason within their own worldview to believe in them. Pearcey characterizes this move to act as if certain things exist—things they’re intellectually convinced do not exist—as a “secular leap of faith.” Ironically, this amounts to the very thing many atheists wrongly accuse Christians of doing.”
“While Copan’s first book, Moral Monster, did deal with the subject of genocide in the Old Testament, Copan felt the need to go into greater depth with the second book, since this one topic is a complex and controversial one. Copan says that the resulting book has received accolades from the likes of noted Old Testament scholar Christopher Wright, who praised it as being the most comprehensive treatment to violence in the Old Testament that he’s seen.”
500 pastors heed call to run for elective office
Source: View as a webpage
“I’ve talked with many people who in college lost their faith. It wasn’t because they thought the objections to Christianity were too difficult to overcome. Instead, they concluded that, since their parents and pastors told them to just ignore those “troublemakers” with tough questions that Christianity didn’t really care about the truth at all. Since they had never faced someone antagonistic to their beliefs before, they never knew that Christianity could handle to toughest shots thrown at it.”
“The truth of the matter is this; Krishna was not born of a virgin. Krishna was born according to that mythology to a mother who had seven previous sons, hardly a virgin. Mithras was born of a rock, well maybe the rock was a virgin, and we’ve got to give Maher the benefit of the doubt. In terms of Horus, Isis is said to have had intercourse with Osiris after he had been cut into fourteen pieces and his reproductive organs were swallowed by a fish; again, hardly a virgin birth account like the virgin birth account in Scripture.”
Sometimes for the oddest of reasons we allow rumour, misinformation and plain junk to pass as ‘proofs’ of the faith. Here are some examples…
“Are chimps persons? What defines personhood? Groups like Planned Parenthood have gone out of their way to make sure that unborn children are not defined as persons. They try to justify that claim by pointing to things like the ability to have complex thoughts or limited brain development. Those kinds of limitations are supposedly what keep unborn children from being seen as persons. Yet, the chimps at Stony Brook University will never have the capacity for abstract reasoning. They may feel pain, but they will never be able to internalize the concept of pain as an idea in and of itself. So, why should people petition for the recognition of chimps as legal persons when the argument can be made much more persuasively that human fetuses are human persons?”
This was known quite a while ago….somebody tell Google:
“All of these characteristics led inevitably to the conclusion that Lucy was simply a chimp-like creature. And yet, more than a decade earlier, Charles Oxnard, while at the University of Chicago, already had passed judgment on these creatures. His multivariate computer analyses indicated that the australopithecines were, in fact, nothing but knuckle-walking animals (1975).”
“We’ve dissected Sean “the cosmologist” Carroll before, who is willing to sacrifice cosmology to the altar of Darwin, promoting “evolution” of “multiverses”. In this article he is equivocating on the word “change” to suggest that if Einstein showed that spacetime was changeable, then evolution must be true.”
So much for “the quantum loophole” in cosmology.
Don’t believe the meme:
“The reason why most mutations must be bad is of course that random changes made to any complex structure lead to many more downward steps in the operating efficiency of the structure than to upward steps. How the occasional lucky improvement is to lead to positive evolution is a puzzle that has disturbed many mathematicians.”
I don’t necessarily agree with all that’s written in these, but that’s quite a pile of free books!
I’d like to call attention to a couple of excellent blogs by Luke Barnes correcting some historical blunders that Neil deGrasse Tyson made.
Sometimes when sharing your faith a great question can be more powerful than an argument. In this brief video Dr. Frank Turek shares what he believes to be the #1 question you should ask those who don’t believe.
Physicist Lawrence Krauss, who disparages philosophy, acted like a bad philosopher in a recent debate.
“It is not enough to say that design is a more likely scenario to explain a world full of well-designed things. It strikes me as urgent to insist that you not allow your mind to surrender the absolute clarity that all complex and magnificent things were made that way. Once you allow the intellect to consider that an elaborate organism with trillions of microscopic interactive components can be an accident… you have essentially “lost your mind.”
“A new study from Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet shows that the ‘grammar’ of the human genetic code is more complex than that of even the most intricately constructed spoken languages in the world.”
“The secular universities have been so effective in transferring their concepts to their students. What they never anticipated is the students would take those ideas out of the abstract and seek to apply them back to the universities and their faculty. Now you have students successfully lobbying to have university administration and faculty lose their jobs, such as has happened to the Dean at Claremont McKenna, the Chancellor and system president at the University of Missouri, and similar calls for faculty heads are happening at other campuses as well.”
“The truth is that the question of life’s origins is about as vexing a problem as science has ever faced. Ask a hundred random scientists to tell you how they think life originated and you will probably get a hundred slightly different answers. To compound matters, technology keeps opening new doors out of which new questions spill.”
“Princeton University philosopher Harry Frankfurt categorized desires and wants into a two part hierarchy, distinguishing between “first-order” desires and “second-order” desires. Suppose, for example, my partner and I, while working a patrol shift, have a strong desire to eat. Suppose we also wish we didn’t have this desire, so we could handle our calls without distraction. Our desire to eat is, according to Frankfurt, a “first-order” desire. Our desire to be rid of our desire to eat is a “second-order” desire. According to this view, “first-order” desires (or impulses) may simply be the result of material processes in our brains. If this is the case, we can’t be blamed for having these kind of desires. But humans have the unique ability to reflect on their desires and motivations, and this self-reflection is the foundation of free will, according to philosophers such as Frankfurt.”
“I am an electrical engineer who has been designing integrated circuits (IC) for 20 years, either personally or through managing other engineers. I am extremely familiar with IC design. Over the years, I have often heard young engineers, who did not design a particular IC, criticize the design of that IC by saying it is sub-optimal, that they could do a better job. I have then seen these same engineers eat crow when they finally talk to the original designer and discover the constraints that original engineer was under when he designed the IC and the purposes for which he designed the IC.”
Because metaphysical naturalism is just plain wrong. The situation is not even as rare as supposed; just not diagnosed in the past.
“This Explanation Still Doesn’t Give Us Any Control Even if our brain activity involved indeterminate quantum level activity, this still wouldn’t provide us with the free will we experience on a daily basis.”
“Last Friday, I watched in utter horror the news footage of the murderous attacks committed by Islamic terrorists in Paris, France. I was reminded of the attacks against America fourteen years ago and sickened by the pure evil that still exists in our world today. I had a hard time getting to sleep that night as I prayed for Paris. The next morning I awoke to new kind of horror, as I witnessed a different type of attack unfolding. However, these new attacks were not from Muslims, they were being perpetrated by atheists! To be sure, these attacks were not physically violent as the Islamic attacks in Paris were; atheists were assaulting the worldview of most Americans today — Christianity. Joann Sfar, a cartoonist for Charlie Hebdo, responded to the “Pray for Paris” refrain that became popular on social media in the wake of Friday’s Islamic terror attacks: “Friends from the whole world, thank you for #prayforparis, but we don’t need more religion.” I saw many other atheists railing…”
“In this post I would like to go a little further with these laws by providing definitions as well as some practical examples of how they work.These laws, originally presented in Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics, are as follows:”
More evidence for Intelligent Design:
“Whenever you find papers and articles dealing with the Cambrian fossil record in the usual science journals, there are commonalities: more evidence of exceptional preservation without fossil ancestors, and complete silence on the doubts this naturally prompts. Here are three more that follow that template.”
“The idea that individuals are constituted by their communities is a common theme in a philosophical tradition called continental philosophy. The theme can be traced back to the German philosopher Hegel, who taught that the real actor in history is not the individual but a Universal Mind, a kind of collective consciousness. As philosopher Robert Solomon explains, the Universal Mind creates the world “through the shared aspects of a culture, a society, and above all through a shared language.” Individuals are constituted by the customs, values, and habits of the groups to which they belong.
Over time, Hegel’s Universal Mind was dropped, but what remained was the idea that individuals are shaped by communal forces. They are not producers of culture so much as products of a particular culture with its forms of life.”
“I need to make sure you know all the good reasons for trusting in Jesus so you can make that decision yourself. Don’t believe just because I do.”
“Intelligent design, habitually demonized in the media as “science denial” or “creationism,” may be the most misunderstood scientific idea ever. The phrase itself is certainly well known. Stephen King, ultra-bestselling novelist, has spoken out to endorse intelligent design (or ID) by name (see here and here). Another mega-popular writer, Dean Koontz, wrote a recent novel with ID as a theme.
Still another fantastically popular author, Tom Wolfe, told the The New Yorker that persecution of ID scientists is comparable to the Spanish Inquisition.”
“During our own lifetime, many Darwinian biologists wrote off more than 90 percent of the genome as “junk DNA” because it did not code for proteins, and thus had no value for Darwinian evolution, which depends on random mutations in DNA. It was mathematician William Dembski — writing in First Things some 17 years ago — who predicted on the basis of intelligent design that so-called junk DNA may not be junk at all. In his words, “If… organisms are designed, we expect DNA, as much as possible, to exhibit function.” (Dembski, “Science and Design,” First Things, October 1998) As documented by Jonathan Wells’s short book The Myth of Junk DNA, it was Dembski’s prediction, not the Darwinian conventional wisdom, that provided a more accurate view of biological reality.”
“Life didn’t just happen, most Americans say—and a surprising number of nonreligious people agree.More than 4 in 10 of the nonreligious believe physics and humanity point to a creator, LifeWay Research finds. A third say human morality indicates a creator who defines right and wrong.”
William Lane Craig is one of Christendom’s most effective spokesmen arguing for God’s existence. One of his famed “five arguments for God’s existence” is the fine tuning of the universe for intelligent life. But the term “fine-tuning” really falls very short of just how precise the initial conditions and the universal constants are that allow us to live. They are infinitesimally fine numbers.
These days, many people share to many social media services by way of a single post effort via tools like Sharethis and Addthis. Why take all the time and effort to post individually to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, G+, Pinterest, etc. when you can do it all in “one nimble stroke”? Yet some websites/blogs are incompatible with these services (I’m not a techy, so I don’t know exactly why).
In this modern world of time-management and multi-tasking, I’m sure many people are like me and simply don’t bother with sharing articles/posts/pages to more than one site if I have to manually share to each individual service rather than multi-share it with one effort.
I’m sure this is a relatively easy fix for the technologically savvy.
This title should be: “Consciousness Undermines Darwinism”, but you get the point.
“What has to be explained is not just the lacing of organic life with a tincture of qualia but the coming into existence of subjective individual points of view—a type of existence logically distinct from anything describable by the physical sciences alone.”
Egnor: Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation.
“[O]ur concern about humanity’s social ills and our planet’s environmental catastrophes—and our motivation to act—are deeply connected to what we think about human origins.”
It seems the new Starbucks holiday cups are causing a bunch of Christians to see red. Perhaps asking them why Christmas is such an important holiday would be a better approach than railing against them not having decorated enough.
“My introduction to the role of intelligent design (ID) detection in science was a student job in the summer of 1978 working for National Defense Research. My assignment was to write software that could detect Soviet submarines amid the natural background noise of the ocean. I successfully completed the project by utilizing, among other things, a fast Fourier transform applied to the signals from underwater acoustic microphones. The otherwise hidden target signal stood out like a sore thumb.”
Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution.
The best explanation for these kinds of moral truths (and obligations) is the existence of a transcendent, objective, personal moral law giver.
“It turned out that not only was Giberson’s scientific claim bogus — so was his photo. The picture was a Photoshopped concoction he downloaded from a humor website, apparently thinking it was real.”
Physicist and Nobel laureate Charles Townes put it this way: “Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all. The sun couldn’t be there, the laws of gravity and nuclear laws and magnetic theory, quantum mechanics, and so on have to be just the way they are for us to be here.”
“A telling moment? Markum reasonably asks Jonathan if he is concerned to find himself in a small minority in the science world. Jonathan answers that being in a minority doesn’t make you wrong, that’s how scientific revolutions always begin, and in fact he (and we) are aware of ID supporters in science who keep their views secret for fear of suffering career consequences.”
Wired magazine declares that science doesn’t know when life begins. It does, but pro-choicers have a trick for hiding the truth from the rest of us.
“The passage continues: Matthew 18:16 “But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.”
By sounding these false alarms and calling people to mobilize friends and family, Strauss reveals herself as a partisan and an activist. No, evolution isn’t “under siege” in Utah. But the ideal of objective reporting sure is.
“You knew the octopus is strange. Now science says it’s even stranger, and the evidence is not good for Darwin’s theory.Octopuses have eight arms with suction cups, and taste through their suckers. They have three hearts. They are extremely intelligent; they can solve complex mazes, open jars filled with tasty crabs, and build structures. They camouflage themselves by altering the way light reflects from their skin, and they can change the texture, pattern, and brightness of their skin. Parts of their brains are in their arms, and the arms “can execute cognitive tasks even when dismembered.”
“2. Relativists Can’t Complain About the Problem of Evil”
On a recent ID the Future podcast, Jonathan Wells listed six codes used by cells: the genetic code, the epigenetic code, the membrane code, the sugar code, the RNA splicing code, and the bioelectric code.
“Areas where Protestant missionaries had a significant presence in the past are on average more economically developed today, with comparatively better health, lower infant mortality, lower corruption, greater literacy, higher educational attainment (especially for women), and more robust membership in nongovernmental associations.
In short: Want a blossoming democracy today? The solution is simple—if you have a time machine: Send a 19th-century missionary.5”