Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I WAS An Atheist



If one were to listen to the atheist rhetoric of authors such as Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, and the propaganda that fills the internet, one would think that all "thinking and rational" individuals are simply evolving into a condition of atheism or non theistic belief. After all most who don't believe in God, claim that non-belief is somehow a default system or normalcy of human existence. Many also believe that people are only trained to be believers by their culture, family or environment. Still others believe that theism or belief in God is only a product of birth, location and circumstance. To confirm this many point to the growth of religions such as Islam claiming that the only reason for its growth is the high birth rate within Islamic nations. Others apply the same rationale to Christianity. The metaphysical naturalist believes however that the more men learn the less religious they will be.

All of these assertions are simply weak postulations to explain away what is obvious; 1- man lives in a world that includes much more than the materialistic components and 2- what we see comes from a source that we do not see. In fact the bible being ages ahead of this type of argument, applies the eternal existence of that which is not seen (God) to the concept of faith as follows:

2 Corinthians 4:18 ~ "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal."

As I've discussed in 'Does Science Presuppose Atheism' a common thought of unbelievers is that science will somehow eventually answer all questions and that whatever can't be proven by science is somehow illusionary. Well, aside from that fact that science can't prove itself and that many theories of science begin with presumptions that remain unproven, the interpretations of science are said to only solidify natural laws and solidify materialism.

God Is

For many, the assertions I've outlined above were thought to be common. However all of those thoughts, previously said to be rational, have come under serious scrutiny from individuals that the materialists, and especially metaphysical naturalists don't like to talk about much. With the conversion of scientists like Dr. Francis Collins, Dr. Allister McGrath and Dr. Dean Kenyon the scientific community has been set on its ear for quite some time with quite some time more to come.

We were all aware of giants like the Triple earned Doctorate A.E. Wilder Smith, and how he asserted years ago what many scientists are dscovering currently. But in this there's a difference. You see, the scientists I mentioned WERE all previously atheists. However, a funny thing happened on the way back from the lab...The more they found, the more they examined scientifically, the more their atheistic worldview and presupposition of materialism was untenable. They all decided that 1- the evidence of science affirms the works of God and 2- the whole of the evidence points to the fact that the Christian God is the only God, and belief in Jesus was and is the method or path to that God and to that salvation. As you'll see this is something that no matter how much it's explained that the leaders of atheism can't seem to wrap their heads around.

The Scientist Who Sees The Language Of God

Dr. Francis Collins M.D., Ph.D., is the current head of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.and former director of the Human Genome Project. His most recent book is "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief." a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes, and his visionary leadership of the Human Genome Project (HGP), is the former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). Dr. Collins, served as NHGRI's director since April 1993. Beside leading the Human Genome Project to completion, he initiated a wide range of research projects that built upon the foundation laid by the sequencing of the human genetic blueprint.

As head of NHGRI, Collins oversaw the HGP, the multidisciplinary, multi-institutional, international effort to map and sequence the 3 billion letters in the human DNA instruction book. Many consider this project to have been the most significant scientific undertaking of our time. The ultimate goal is to improve human health.

With Collins at the helm, the HGP attained historic milestones, while consistently running ahead of schedule and under budget. A working draft of the human genome sequence was announced in June 2000, and an initial analysis was published in February 2001. HGP scientists finished the sequence in April 2003, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Watson and Crick's seminal publication describing the double helix structure of DNA.

But the exploration of the genome is really just beginning. Building upon the foundation laid by the HGP, researchers around the globe are now collaborating on a wide range of projects that are using genomic tools and technologies to expand understanding of human biology and combat human disease. (1)


"As the director of the Human Genome Project, I have led a consortium of scientists to read out the 3.1 billion letters of the human genome, our own DNA instruction book. As a believer, I see DNA, the information molecule of all living things, as God's language, and the elegance and complexity of our own bodies and the rest of nature as a reflection of God's plan.


I did not always embrace these perspectives. As a graduate student in physical chemistry in the 1970s, I was an atheist, finding no reason to postulate the existence of any truths outside of mathematics, physics and chemistry. But then I went to medical school, and encountered life and death issues at the bedsides of my patients. Challenged by one of those patients, who asked "What do you believe, doctor?", I began searching for answers.


I had to admit that the science I loved so much was powerless to answer questions such as "What is the meaning of life?" "Why am I here?" "Why does mathematics work, anyway?" "If the universe had a beginning, who created it?" "Why are the physical constants in the universe so finely tuned to allow the possibility of complex life forms?" "Why do humans have a moral sense?" "What happens after we die?""

 Dr. Collins further states:

"But reason alone cannot prove the existence of God. Faith is reason plus revelation, and the revelation part requires one to think with the spirit as well as with the mind. You have to hear the music, not just read the notes on the page. Ultimately, a leap of faith is required.


For me, that leap came in my 27th year, after a search to learn more about God's character led me to the person of Jesus Christ. Here was a person with remarkably strong historical evidence of his life, who made astounding statements about loving your neighbor, and whose claims about being God's son seemed to demand a decision about whether he was deluded or the real thing. After resisting for nearly two years, I found it impossible to go on living in such a state of uncertainty, and I became a follower of Jesus." (2)

The Scientist Turned Christian Apologist


Dr. Alister McGrath born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, holds the Chair in Theology, Ministry and Education at King’s College London. He was previously Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University and Director of the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics. (3)

Originally a student of science, in 1977 McGrath was awarded a PhD in Biochemistry from Oxford University for his work on molecular biophysics. Following his conversion from atheism to Christianity, he studied divinity at St. John's College at Cambridge (1978-80). It was during this time that he studied for ordination in the Church of England. McGrath was elected University Research Lecturer in Theology at Oxford University in 1993, and also served as research professor of theology at Regent College, Vancouver, from 1993-9. He earned an Oxford Doctorate of Divinity in 2001 for his research on historical and systematic theology.

Dr. McGrath wrote the book, 'The Dawkins Delusion' as a by point retort to Richard Dawkins, 'The God Delusion' and personally took Dr. Richard Dawkins to task, which was obviously a surprise to Dr. Dawkins who seemed to couldn't put his mind around the fact that a learned individual would choose faith and even more so choose Jesus and the Christian faith in particular. This is the interview that Dawkins couldn't air, but was yet so gracious to allow to exist uncut. One thing it proves is that Dawkins doesn't really even understand Christianity yet alone its criticisms. My favorite line from Dawkins "I don't understand why you are a Christian..." (about 23:40 mark) That was too funny



Then there are others scientist who also contributed to atheism and materialism through published books and works whereby they set forth theories that at the time they were convinced of.

The Scientist & Educator Who Found And Stood By His Convictions 

Dr. Dean Kenyon is Professor Emeritus of Biology at San Francisco State University. He received his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Stanford University. He was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemical Biodynamics at the University of California at Berkeley, a Research Associate at NASA-Ames Research Center, and a Visiting Scholar at Trinity College, Oxford University. He is also the co-author of 'Biochemical Predestination' which was a work certainly antithetical to the Christian worldview, produced before he scrapped many of the materialistic scientific views that he once espoused.

"The more I thought about the alternative that was being presented in the criticism, and the enormous problem that all of us who worked on this field had neglected to address the problem of the origin of genetic information itself, then I really had to reassess my whole position regarding origins...we have not the slightest chance of a chemical evolutionary origin for even the simplest of cells. So the concept of the intelligent design of life was immensely attractive to me and made a great deal of sense as it most closely matched the multiple discoveries of molecular biology"


Conclusion:

One thing we can be certain of, this trend is continuing and even catching on as the educated discover that life without God is a futile and hopeless proposition and is the ultimate in self torture. The materialist, may live, create their own relativistic meaning in life, die, rot in the grave and everything they do in between is virtually meaningless in the end. There is no ultimate purpose or connection with any universal principle. In other words, there is no hope, but what is had during these short years of existence.

For the Christian, we have hope both here and now. We have hope that we shall live again, all injustices will be rectified, all questions will be answered and that our existence no matter how small, is filled with purpose,  examined and ordered by a God who cares for all of his creation whether that creation realizes it or not.

The critic asserts that if God cared, he wouldn't destroy his creatures then...I only answer by saying that the unbeliever destroys themselves by their unbelief, God simply states the penalty, provides and alternative and upon human persistence, carries out the sentence. The good part is that the sentence could be waived or commuted forever if he right confession is made...I know that's right!

Blessed!

References:
 

 
3 ~ Dr. Alister McGrath Theopedia.com  

58 comments:

  1. This is an excellent post. In point of fact, the following books are great resources for understanding and responding to the New Atheists from a Christian worldview perspective. Please forgive me if this info was previously posted.

    1) God is Good, God is Great
    2) God and the New Atheism: A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens
    3) Contending with Christianity's Critics: Answering New Atheists and Other Objectors

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dude said "Faith unsupported by evidence".

    Romans 8:24-25 (New King James Version)
    24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.


    Jesus did not commend Thomas for wanting proof did he.

    Man has used religion as a means of evil from day one however this is not the teaching of Christ. People using religion to do evil has absolutley nothing to do with God, even if the culprits claim Christ as savior.

    The weird thing about this video is that Mr. Dawkins doesnt talk about evil in the world when people who have no religious belief committ it.

    He is a spititual atheist!?!? Is he not then saying there is a spiritual side to life, something that isnt tangible so it couldnt be a product of evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Paul,

    You noticed that too? That was a trip.

    No wonder Dawkins doesn't want to debate Craig...with garbage like that he's a done turkey for real. In addition all he does is rehash Hitchen's lame arguments. Most of the questions he asked Dr. McGrath were objections that Hitchens raises all the time. They sound like "man, what is he saying?" but when you get down to it, they're weak and based on western emotion.

    Dr. Craig said their books were a philosophical embarrassment and that he felt sorry for the lot, and after listening to each one, I see why.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes Pastor, pretty funny!

    He cannot say with a 100% confidence that God isnt real so he tries to find inconsistencies with God. His focus is on things that dont make sense to him, when the whole premise of evolution is senseless - everything comes from nothing! is there anything mores stupid than that? No sensible explanation for beginning of life and the existence of the universe of how it came about. Anyway the bible says the preaching of the gospel is foolishness and God was pleased to use this.

    Isnt it funny, that man tries to intellectualize and figure out everything and God says my methods will be looked upon as foolish? interesting. Who said God should make sense and why on earth do we need to be able to figure God out?

    He is so blinded by evolution that he wants God to be a God that evolved. God must fit into this evolutionary theory, ha ha!

    This guy is puzzled and looks bothered. Evolution is the trick of the devil and most people cant even see it. The further we move from the ways of Christ the worse it gets but yet they cant see it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Harvey wrote: The metaphysical naturalist believes however that the more men learn the less religious they will be.

    This doesn't require "belief." If you look at the scope in which religion is used to explain phenomenon over time, this is indeed a fact.

    For example, God's supposed influence has retreated in that he no longer hurtles lighting bolts, sends plagues or "opens" a woman's womb. This is specifically due to the fact that we've learned that these phenomenon are actually due to complex natural processes.

    1- man lives in a world that includes much more than the materialistic components and 2- what we see comes from a source that we do not see.

    While I'd agree with [2], to a degree, it's not "obvious" that [1] is accurate statement.

    2 Corinthians 4:18 ~ "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal."

    Just because something is unseen, it doesn't mean it's eternal. This does not follow. For example, we explain the energy emitted by our sun (the seen) by an internal process which is unseen. We've never actually looked inside of a star and seen how it works. Instead, we use the knowledge of a number of other processes to explain what is happening. This is why we know this unseen process is not eternal as our sun will eventually run out of fuel. Instead, you're referring to a kind of special pleading regarding a supposed specific category of the unseen: the supernatural.

    ...science will somehow eventually answer all questions and that whatever can't be proven by science is somehow illusionary.

    That you think this is my view is an "illusion" on your part, just as evolution supposedly claims human beings evolved from modern day monkeys, etc.

    I do not hold a view that each and every question will be answered by science. What's my favorite color? Where should I go to dinner this weekend? What is my purpose in life? These are examples of questions science does not answer. Furthermore, I'm of the opinion that there are questions we might never know the answer to, despite being factual in nature. However, this doesn't mean that we should default to God in either category, including one's purpose in life.

    ReplyDelete
  6. With the conversion of scientists like Dr. Francis Collins, Dr. Allister McGrath and Dr. Dean Kenyon the scientific community has been set on its ear for quite some time with quite some time more to come.

    These conversions reveal that human beings can compartmentalize their beliefs, which really isn't anything new. Other examples are terrorists which are well educated as architects and doctors, yet strap bombs to their bodies or fly planes into buildings.

    Examples? Mohamed Atta, who flew the first plane into the World Trade Center, received an advanced degree in architecture and worked for several months in the Urban Development Center in Cairo designing buildings and planing urban spaces. Apparently you can be a highly skilled architect and believe you will receive 72 virgins in heaven should you die a martyr to Islam.

    In regards to Dr. Francis Collins, the questions he brought up could at most point to a God of the philosophers or deism. Yet Collins is a Christian. Why is this the case?
    To quote Collins from The Language of God

    "A full year had passed since I decided to believe in some God, and now I was being called to account. On a beautiful fall day, as I was hiking in the Cascade Mountains during my first trip west of the Mississippi, the majesty and beauty of God’s creation overwhelmed my resistance. As I rounded a corner and saw a beautiful and unexpected frozen waterfall, hundreds of feet high, I knew the search was over. The next morning I knelt in the dewy grass as the sun rose and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ”

    Collins goes on to say that the waterfall was frozen in three streams, which he thought was a "sign" pointing to the Trinity. And this is the man running our National Institute of Heath?

    The strange case of Francis Collins.

    One thing it proves is that Dawkins doesn't really even understand Christianity yet alone its criticisms. My favorite line from Dawkins "I don't understand why you are a Christian..." (about 23:40 mark) That was too funny

    Yet McGrath responds by suggesting Dawkins brought up an important question, rather than laughing and claiming Dawkins is ignorant.

    Furthermore McGrath fails to respond in a consistent manner on Dawkins' question regarding God saving one child over thousands of others. On one hand, God supposedly cannot act capriciously to change the world, yet he affirms that God supposedly saves a single child. This seems to be an issue of magical or wishful thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  7. One thing we can be certain of, this trend is continuing and even catching on as the educated discover that life without God is a futile and hopeless proposition and is the ultimate in self torture. The materialist, may live, create their own relativistic meaning in life, die, rot in the grave and everything they do in between is virtually meaningless in the end. There is no ultimate purpose or connection with any universal principle. In other words, there is no hope, but what is had during these short years of existence.

    Wow. You've just presented one massive non-sequitur that spans lightyears.

    While you might think that life without God is futile, hopeless and torture, this is based on presuppositions and assumptions that eternal life and other promises of Christianity are the only meaningful ways one can live.

    Even if God does exist, why is God's plan any more meaningful than some other alternative?

    For example, how meaningful is it to eternally torture someone who dies thinking there isn't enough evidence that God exists? It's unclear how this eternal torture, which one cannot possibly learn from or improve their situation, is somehow more meaningful than ceasing to exist. Especially since said person would have met God, which resolved the reason for their non-belief. In regards to the "big picture" it appears to be completely and utterly meaningless.

    It's only when you look at the theology of eternal damnation and reward as a human invention to manipulate people's behavior that it remotely makes any sense.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What's up Scott?

    You said this:

    If you look at the scope in which religion is used to explain phenomenon over time, this is indeed a fact.

    The FACT is that religious belief is on the increase in major parts of the world. In fact good ole Europe is experiencing somewhat of a religious revival of sorts and Christianity growth in Africa in has really increased.

    There's this strange phenomena that I see that many overlook...that even in the age of science and technology, when people suffer, they almost always turn to God to relive their pain and suffering...in other words they don't care about rational self interest or the other materialist propositions when they are in pain. Only God heals that and it's not in the form of delusion, it's in the form of personal experience.

    So those that suffer tell materialists what to do with that slide rule...LOL!!!

    You said:Just because something is unseen, it doesn't mean it's eternal. This does not follow

    That's true but that's not the context of the passage nor the focus of the passage. It's drawing a contrast between faith and who that faith is placed in. That contrast suggest that God being unseen is eternal. I hit that point in the article

    You said:I do not hold a view that each and every question will be answered by science. What's my favorite color? Where should I go to dinner this weekend? What is my purpose in life? These are examples of questions science does not answer.

    But all of those things are real aren't they? They can't be measured, but they are certainly real. That was the point here. Science can't measure or prove everything and the things it can't prove are no less real. God is another one of those things that science simply can't prove, but that makes him no less real.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Scott,

    Concerning the scientists that converted from atheism, you said:"These conversions reveal that human beings can compartmentalize their beliefs, which really isn't anything new. Other examples are terrorists which are well educated as architects and doctors, yet strap bombs to their bodies or fly planes into buildings."

    COMON NOW...you're comparing the rejection of atheism to terrorist bombers and terrorism??? ARE YOU SERIOUS-LOL!-LOL! Scott be serious...are you for real???

    What If I did that to those who supposedly leave Christianity and become atheists? You'd think I was straight crazy wouldn't ya? I don't think that about you, but this has got to be the WORST argument you've ever made over here, and you have made some bad ones-LOL, but this is CHIEF! You can't be serious.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Scott,

    you said this too:"Collins goes on to say that the waterfall was frozen in three streams, which he thought was a "sign" pointing to the Trinity. And this is the man running our National Institute of Heath?"

    Dawkins says that he's a spiritual atheist? what the heck does that mean? Dawkins also says that everything "has the appearance of design" but takes a whole book to trys to explain it all away...who's unstable Scott? I think dawkins wins the crown my friend.

    You said:Yet McGrath responds by suggesting Dawkins brought up an important question, rather than laughing and claiming Dawkins is ignorant.

    Well to say it was a stupid question would have been a debate killer now wouldn't it? I mean this man only asked the question 3 to 4 times...he was in total shock...and it was funny.

    McGrath was very consistent and answered the question the first time, Dawkins simply didn't want that answer because it didn't fit his expectation. I deal with a similar argument in the newest post Haiti~ Did God Do This?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Scott,

    You said:Even if God does exist, why is God's plan any more meaningful than some other alternative?

    and then you said:For example, how meaningful is it to eternally torture someone who dies thinking there isn't enough evidence that God exists?

    You think that those questions are one in the same but that's the slopiest job of philosophical logic ever. These are two toally different categories of questions. One deals with God's plan being meaningful and the other deals with justice, judgement and punishment...these are two DIFFERENT things.

    Mixing them as you do gives rise to confusion that you consistently present. but that's no wonder, leading atheists do this all the time. They confuse and fuse together two totally different cross categorical items and make assertions and conclusions based on that. For the unlearned it sounds so "sexy", but for those of us in the know it's flat out confusion.

    To stay on topic, God's plan is more meaningful because he has ordered a purpose for all of his creatures and living outside of that purpose is less fulfilling both for you and others. It's like short changing the grocer. You get what you want, may get away with it, but what do you do with the aspects of the deeper questions of life...purpose, guilt, ultimate objective, place where you fit in,in this great big world?

    Whereas I create that purpose for myself, it doesn't mean that I can't function, I just can't function as well as I would otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Scott said "For example, God's supposed influence has retreated in that he no longer hurtles lighting bolts, sends plagues or "opens" a woman's womb. This is specifically due to the fact that we've learned that these phenomenon are actually due to complex natural processes."

    Seems to me that science has been trying to catch up with the Bible for thousands of years:

    Scientific Foreknowledge in the Bible
    http://tinyurl.com/yfp2ar6

    I found the third one most interesting and not even mentioned in the summation - "The sun is moving through space in a huge orbit". The author notes that this verse could have another interpretation. Reading the verse, something leaped off the page at me - the sun moves in a circular pattern - just like the verse says. Not ecliptically, like all the planets.

    I wonder how a shepherd boy-turned-King from 1000 years BC knew that the sun circled our galaxy every 250 million years?
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. The FACT is that religious belief is on the increase in major parts of the world. In fact good ole Europe is experiencing somewhat of a religious revival of sorts and Christianity growth in Africa in has really increased.

    First, both of these scientists think that human beings shared a common ancestor with great apes, which means, despite being well educated scientists, they have fallen for a theory which you claim is obviously false "garbage", which there is completely NO EVIDENCE FOR and is a evil lie perpetrated by Satan.

    So, it would seem that at some level you too think these scientist have compartmentalize between the "truth" (in your case, regarding the origins of humans and the universe as found in the Bible) and scientific discoveries. They have somehow locked the truth about God in a box which cannot expand.

    In regards to Europe, it's Islam that seems to be growing the fastest, especially in the UK. And let's not forget a number of Christians in Africa who have taken to killing people they suspect of being witches.

    As such, a large majority of these new believers people do not share your beliefs. And, the last time I checked, if your not explicitly with the Christian God, then you're against him.

    This doesn't seem to be the kind of "growth" your looking for.

    Second, these scientist are examples of how the role that God plays in the day to day explanation of what we observe is retreating drastically. They no longer think God created human beings in final form, etc.

    There's this strange phenomena that I see that many overlook...that even in the age of science and technology, when people suffer, they almost always turn to God to relive their pain and suffering...in other words they don't care about rational self interest or the other materialist propositions when they are in pain. t

    It's neither strange or overlooked by those who have an understanding of human nature.

    Only God heals that and it's not in the form of delusion, it's in the form of personal experience.

    Then I guess Buddhists who turn to Buddhism as a religion are delusional, as they do not believe in a personal creator God. And when I turn to my philosophical form of Buddhism, which doesn't include a supernatural element, to ease my suffering, then I'm delusional too?

    So those that suffer tell materialists what to do with that slide rule…LOL!!!

    Their actions do suggest they are indeed surfing. The question is what are they suffering from?

    I wrote: Just because something is unseen, it doesn't mean it's eternal. This does not follow.

    That contrast suggest that God being unseen is eternal. I hit that point in the article

    Actually, your preceding claim: things which are seen are explained by the supernatural, isn't supported by this verse either. So it seems to be a "miss" in both cases.

    But all of those things are real aren't they? They can't be measured, but they are certainly real.

    While that might be the case, you haven't shown why God IS the default answer. Just because something might not be measurable doesn't mean that God did it.

    God is another one of those things that science simply can't prove, but that makes him no less real.

    No less real that Zeus or any number of other supernatural casts of characters people can think of. So, it would seem this really isn't saying much.

    ReplyDelete
  14. COMON NOW...you're comparing the rejection of atheism to terrorist bombers and terrorism???

    I'm referring to the acceptance of divine revelation (that Christ was born of a virgin or receiving 72 virgins after blowing oneself up in the name of Islam), despite being scientists, architects, etc.

    Based on the video you posted, McGrath's problem with religion didn't appear to be a lack of evidence but evidence that religion was the cause of violence in his environment. Once this problem was resolved, he accepted theism.

    In regards to Collins, it seems he just hadn't thought about these subjectw until medical school. As such, I would seem that Collins really was a late blooming theist. Furthermore, as described in his book, it seems that Collins' "search" into possible religious beliefs wasn't very broad, as indicated in the link I provided.

    I wrote"Collins goes on to say that the waterfall was frozen in three streams, which he thought was a "sign" pointing to the Trinity. And this is the man running our National Institute of Heath?"

    Harvey wrote: Dawkins says that he's a spiritual atheist? what the heck does that mean? Dawkins also says that everything "has the appearance of design" but takes a whole book to trys to explain it all away...who's unstable Scott? I think dawkins wins the crown my friend.

    Ahh… when you change the subject, it's OK. But when I do, I'm being deceptive? Please address the question.

    Well to say it was a stupid question would have been a debate killer now wouldn't it?

    So, McGrath was lying or being dishonest about it being a good question? Or is this merely your opinion?

    I mean this man only asked the question 3 to 4 times...he was in total shock...and it was funny.

    If Dawkins was in shock it was because McGrath kept giving contradictory answers regarding his claim that God actually did take action save one specific child, but God couldn't act in a capricious way to change things. This is an example of compartmentalization, which I mentioned earlier.

    These are two toally different categories of questions. One deals with God's plan being meaningful and the other deals with justice, judgement and punishment...these are two DIFFERENT things.

    So, punishment has no meaning? It's just punishment?

    Whereas I create that purpose for myself, it doesn't mean that I can't function, I just can't function as well as I would otherwise.

    Harvey, how do you define "well"? That I suffer eternally without any chance to learn anything from it? Is this what you mean by well?

    Because it would seem that a "better" way would be that humans suffer and be given a chance to learn from their mistakes, rather than be eternally tortured. Especially, if they just came face to face with their entire reason for not believing (a lack of evidence).

    ReplyDelete
  15. Regardless of what the religion is, if some kind of faith in a god is growing it is a black eye for evolitionists. They are saying evolution is not true.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Scott,

    Thanks for the response and I won't do a point by point with you, I'll only pick out the arguments that are interesting or that have something to do with the post.

    So far as evolutionary beliefs of these scientists, that has nothing to do with the post or my position regarding their conversion and leaving the tenets of atheism. Collins was the founder of Bio-Logos which was neither evolutionary (as in materialistic Darwinian evolutionary theory) or ID. He is the theistic evolutionist which believes that God created and set forth an evolutionary path for his creation. He states it like this:

    "Proponents of ID only argue that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." This definition can be confusing because Theistic Evolutionists also believe an intelligent being created the world. Theistic Evolutionists, however, also believe evolution by natural selection is the process God used to create."

    This is a FAR CRY from anything that you and other materialists endorse, so this really adds no dimension to our conversation. As I said that's not a winner and has nothing to do with what's at hand...so please stick to the arguments as I don't want to go over and over the same ground with you in every post...it's unnecessary. Thanks.

    You also said:"As such, a large majority of these new believers people do not share your beliefs. And, the last time I checked, if your not explicitly with the Christian God, then you're against him."..."This doesn't seem to be the kind of "growth" your looking for."

    So I guess you agree that they also reject atheism as any sort of premise? So it would seem the more we learn the stronger religion gets and the more that there is a cry for spirituality, NOT the other way around as the atheist asserts and suggests. In fact the more that atheists such as you talk about it the more the renaissance study and advancement of religious belief. Alternate religions have NEVER bothered Christianity, that's our mission, to make disciples and once a person has been turned on to religion, they make an excellent target for Christians to share the difference to already seeking hearts (in many cases).

    I'm going to do a post on Buddhism because it's the ultimate self glorifying religion. There is no god of Buddhism other than self and the conscious is the highest order and the yin and yang are built in dichotomies. I think it's an interestingly anti-Christ religious system that needs to be exposed.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Scott,

    You said regarding the terrorism of the scientists:"I'm referring to the acceptance of divine revelation (that Christ was born of a virgin or receiving 72 virgins after blowing oneself up in the name of Islam), despite being scientists, architects, etc"

    Either way it was a bad analogy and over the top, shall we move on?

    So far as when Collins though about Christianity is irrelevant. You act as if he was brain dead until that day...well if he were an atheist he may have been-LOL, but that's unimportant.

    So far as McGrath's courtesy to Dawkins, he pretty much lays out the case that Dawkins is woefully ignorant in his book, 'The Dawkins Delusion' so he needed not rail on the fella any longer. It's called kindness, I guess that's not one of those relativistic atheistic values or virtues-LOL

    One of his reviewers said this of the book:

    "'Richard Dawkins' utopian vision of a world without religion is here deftly punctured by McGrath's informed discourse. His fellow Oxonian clearly demonstrates the gaps, inconsistencies, and surprising lack of depth in Dawkins' arguments'"Owen Gingerich, Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University

    Oops, there goes yet ANOTHER scientist who disagrees with Dawkins...wow!

    Anyway...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Harvey wrote: [Colins' beliefs are] a FAR CRY from anything that you and other materialists endorse.

    A far cry from anything?

    LIke professor Behe, it seems your not quite clear on where Dr. Collins stands on the issue of evolution.

    ID (Intelligent Design) suggests there are biological features that are too complex to have developed by the process of natural selection. This is why they make claim the bacterial flagellum couldn't have been created by evolution, etc.

    However, Collins thinks that evolution can and did create these biological structures via natural selection.

    To quote Collins fron a beliefnet interview...

    The evidence supporting the idea that all living things are descended from a common ancestor is truly overwhelming.

    I would not necessarily wish that to be so, as a Bible-believing Christian. But it is so. It does not serve faith well to try to deny that.


    To use an analogy, both Collins and I are talking about the exact same "factory" with the exact same capability and which played the exact same roles in biological development.

    Collins seems to think God intentionally caused the big bang to occur in precisely just the right way in that it caused the "factory" of evolution to appear, which gradually formed all life on the planet via natural selection. While I also think evolution was the eventual result of the big bang, I do not think there was some non-material intelligence that intentionally planed it that way billions of years ago.

    The key difference is whether the cause of this "factory" was or was not intelligent - not what it did or how it did went about doing it (in regards to biology). We agree on the how but not the why.

    On the other hand, creationists and ID proponents think this very same "factory" didn't create the biological structures we observe. They think It simply couldn't have done what Collins thinks it did because it supposedly lacks the capacity to do so. Instead, they claim God interceded with his creation via a number of miracles - either during the process of evolution, in the case of ID, or by creating all species that have ever existed at once, in the case of creationists.

    As such, Collins position is effectively the same as a deist for nearly the entire 13.72 billion years the universe has existed. God did not step in to make "course corrections" to his creation until he instilled his particular brand of morals into the hearts of human beings once they had sufficient evolved.

    ReplyDelete
  19. In addition, Collins doesn't think the evidence suggests there actually was a garden with a tree of knowledge, in which there was a "fall" which caused death to appear. Nor does he seem to think Adam and Eve were actual historical figures. The implication is that modern day humans are not born sinners due to one specific historical action our ancestors took a few thousand years ago, etc. It's a metaphor for the human condition.

    As such, It seems Collins' belief in regards to the very foundation of human beings (who were supposedly perfect before the fall, etc.) and the nature of "sin", is indeed a far cry from what you believe. In fact, I'd make an educated guess that in at least one of your sermons you've argued: unless these historical events actually occurred, there would be no need for God to have sent Jesus to die for humanity.

    Of course, I could be wrong on this point. However, I'd be surprised should you admit such a belief was anything but a gross misunderstanding of the very core of Christianity.

    Furthermore, based on your earlier posts on evolution, Collins is blind to the "truth" of human development.

    According to you, there is absolutely no evidence for evolution at all. He's been duped into believing an elaborate farce that couldn't possibly ever be true. This "fact" is supposedly as plain as the nose on one's face. Furthermore, his belief in evolution will be revealed as completely wrong within five years from now by the majority of the scientific community due to "new evidence." But If this is actually the case, as you claim, something in Collins' thinking MUST very, very wrong, as his betting on the wrong horse.

    So, it seems that, from each of our perspectives, Collin's position points the kind of compartmentalism between belief and scion I was referring to earlier.

    ..so this really adds no dimension to our conversation. As I said that's not a winner and has nothing to do with what's at hand

    What do you mean by "it's not a 'winner'"? It doesn't support your argument, so it's something you're rather avoid discussing?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Either way it was a bad analogy and over the top, shall we move on?

    It's a bad analogy because? I'm open to hearing why it's a bad analogy, but you seem to be asserting this is the case.

    For example, as an outsider to both Christianity and Islam, both of these claims sound just as outlandish. And the claim of virgin birth was common is many other religious narratives. Both cases represent well educated people who hold unsubstantiated beliefs about virgins and the supernatural.

    So far as when Collins though about Christianity is irrelevant. You act as if he was brain dead until that day...well if he were an atheist he may have been-LOL, but that's unimportant.

    Your putting words in my mouth. I'm suggesting that Collins wasn't faced with the situations that let questing this beliefs until medical school.

    Again, most of of the points of his argument for God's existence are NOT scientific. Collins is controversial because of his role in major genetic research and the formulation of BioLogos, which is far from orthodox.

    One of [McGrath's] reviewers said this of [his] book:

    Please see Deluding Who About What?

    I can't help but notice you repeated some of these misinterpretations, which I pointed out in my first comment.

    ReplyDelete
  21. So I guess you agree that they also reject atheism as any sort of premise? So it would seem the more we learn the stronger religion gets and the more that there is a cry for spirituality, NOT the other way around as the atheist asserts and suggests.

    Again, I'd suggest that Collins simply hadn't thought about the existential questions that led to his conversion until medical school. For example, his primary reason for believing in the Christian God in particular appears to be the observation of a waterfall that froze into three separate streams, rather than a number of scientific discoveries.

    At best, you could point to Collins' reference to the apparent fine tuning of the universe and a universe with an apparent "beginning" as scientific reasons he believes God exists. But, the more we know, the more these conclusions are being questioned (not that they conclusively pointed to God in the first place).

    Nor is Collins a neurobiologist, physicist or a cosmologist.

    See Francis Collins pollutes science with religion for more details.

    For example, part of Collins argument is that, without religion, the concepts of good and evil are meaningless and mathematics is "unreasonably effective". Again, these are NOT "new" scientific discoveries, but tired and unimaginative claims made by theists for thousands of years.

    So, no. I don't think you've presented a good argument for the claim that the more we learn the stronger religion gets and the more that there is a cry for spirituality.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Laura wrote: Seems to me that science has been trying to catch up with the Bible for thousands of years:

    Laura, the first one I looked at was: The universe is expanded from its original size.

    [It is] he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof [are] as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
    - Isaiah 40:22


    if you consider this foreknowledge that our universe is expanding, then what about those waters that exist ABOVE the firmament which is occasionally opened to allow rain on earth?

    If the firmament is the universe, anything that was ABOVE it has been moving at away from the center of the visible universe long before we appeared on earth. This means these waters couldn't have fallen as rain as they weren't even remotely near earth when we showed up. In fact, these "waters" couldn't even been seen with the most powerful telescope as they would be moving away from us faster than the speed of light.

    Paul wrote: Regardless of what the religion is, if some kind of faith in a god is growing it is a black eye for evolitionists. They are saying evolution is not true.

    So Francis Collins doesn't have faith in God? Because he certainly isn't saying evolution is false.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Scott,

    First, this post isn't about ID or evolution so it really doesn't matter what these scientists believe about it either way. Short of the long NONE of them NEITHER of them under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE affirm atheism. ALL of them believe in the existence of God and the Christian God in particular. It doesn't matter how they reconcile their beliefs. So as I said previously, that has nothing to do with the point and is silly for you to keep bringing up.

    You said:As such, Collins position is effectively the same as a deist for nearly the entire 13.72 billion years the universe has existed. God did not step in to make "course corrections" to his creation until he instilled his particular brand of morals into the hearts of human beings once they had sufficient evolved.

    As stated that's an argument that I don't care about in this piece I'm not arguing for theistic evolution so what does that have to do with anything here...I'll tell ya...NOTHING...so move on from it please.

    This is a classic Hitchens argument though. Except Hitchens is a little smarter. He only claims that God left man for 98,000 of his 100,000 year existence or 198,000 of his 200,000 year existence whichever you choose. William Lane Craig said to him "well what if man existed another 98,000 or 198,000 years, then that would make God come right in the middle of human history wouldn't it?"

    Hitchens dumbed down like always realizing that he had made a relativistic mistake and was assuming that the world was ending right away...That was funny. The fact is that BEFORE anything regarding man was put together God had already intervened (Rev. 13:8)

    You said:I'm suggesting that Collins wasn't faced with the situations that let questing this beliefs until medical school

    And I'm suggesting that it doesn't matter and your psychoanalysis is faulty and full of presupposition. The belief that there is a certain point in life which one has to question to be a successful atheist is silly! Just stick to the point, after being an atheist he REJECTED atheism as a worldview and ACCEPTED the evidence for God and Jesus Christ. Just say that and move along...really quite simple.

    Your humanist's critique of McGrath is itself hilarious and ridiculous. He really doesn't refute anything that McGrath says. Most of the time he only tries to redefine what Dawkins says and or means, like he has some secret Dawkins decoder in his pocket. All he wants to prove is that McGrath was wrong. (Sounds EXACTLY like Scott doesn't it?)In fact he doesn't even agree with Dawkins himself many times:

    "Thirdly, I don’t always agree with Dawkins. The God Delusion is not the book I hoped he would write. This is not, then, primarily a defence of Dawkins. My purpose here is simple: to document the scholarly failings of Alister McGrath."

    I gotta believe that he already knows that Dawkins is indefensible...can you say FARCE!

    Then there are plenty of others who note the stupid and failing arguments of God delusion. Here's another:

    "Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project said of it "In this remarkable book, Alister McGrath challenges Dawkins on the very ground he holds most sacred - rational argument - and disarms the master." It is a fine critique of Dawkins' approach, and should be read alongside The God Delusion as a reminder that science itself cannot decide questions about God. Christian faith - and Dawkins' atheism - both need to be justified on other grounds than science; with regard to the latter -in my view - Dawkins has signally failed to make his case.[The Rt Revd Dr David Atkinson is Bishop of Thetford in the Diocese of Norwich.]

    see 2

    ReplyDelete
  24. 2

    Scott,

    An even more abbreviated but powerful critique of the Dawkins lie and it's weak attempt to overthrow Christian belief can be found HERE

    William Lane Crag stated that all three of them, Dennett, Hitchens and Dawkins presented arguments that were "philosophically embarrassing" noting that they were totally out of their league from a philosophical standpoint.

    I'll be doing a podcast on that in a minute the sound bites are fantastic.

    Finally, as you display also, most atheists have no clue what to do about the fine tuning arguments that are being made nowadays. To deny the fine tuning evidence is a death blow to modern science causing the atheist to separate himself from what he previously thought he had sealed tight. In other words the EVIDENCE doesn't support their claim of no God, and they previously said that we should "follow the evidence where ever it leads". NOW that the evidence IS NOT leading toward their position they want to "rethink" everything. Talk about cowardly.

    Answer this Scott, how much more posturing can an atheist do to pretend that they are right when they are wrong? Certainly MUCH MUCH more than any Christian I know.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Harvey wrote: As stated that's an argument that I don't care about in this piece I'm not arguing for theistic evolution so what does that have to do with anything here...I'll tell ya...NOTHING...so move on from it please.

    Harvey, your argument appears to be twofold..

    FIrst, you seem to be claiming these scientists became theists because a belief in God and the supernatural is a more rational choice given discoveries by science. However, based on earlier posts you've made here, you've also make it quite clear the specific beliefs these scientists hold regarding the reality of biological development are NOT rational and point to a serious lack of observational skills and capacity.

    To quote a few paragraphs from one of your earlier posts….

    Harvey wrote: It is wishful fantasy to believe that complex information systems would somehow compose themselves from primordial soup and advance to what science agrees that are super highly complex information systems.

    Harvey wrote: There's a better possibility of chopping your computer up into a million pieces, throwing it into the air, and expecting it to come down and form a new fully functional PC or MAC with totally new and better configurations and operating system than before you destroyed it. [Evolution by natural selection] is a complete fantasy.

    Harvey wrote: [That transitional fossils exist] directly flies in the face of evidence for irreducible complexity and what we now know about DNA and it's viability and use. What it would take to make a fish a fish and a bird to fly are two different systems and to expect to find both systems fully functional in one is ludacriss. In addition for a fish coming from the water to live on land, there would have to be a very complex set of lungs and extremities developed and all functions would have to be present at the same time. Such notions are mindless.

    Yet these are the very things that Collins believes. How can someone who is mindless and believes complete fantasies be rational?

    You might suggest that this doesn't mean Collins is completely irrational because, as genetic biologist, he played an instrumental role in sequencing the human genome.

    However, you wrote: … do apes become human or do fish become birds or any other combination, the answer is an emphatic NO. There is no evidence to support any such statement and what evidence that does exist is either exaggerated or undermines the concept of evolutionary theory in this area.

    Despite being one of your many mischaracterizations of the theory itself, it's clear that you think there is absolutely no evidence for evolution by natural selection. Period. Furthermore, you've claimed that the majority of science will look back on evolutionary theory and see that it's completely wrong within five years from now.

    But if this is true, it would appear that Collins is fundamentally wrong about evolution despite it being his primary field of research. Why should we assume he would get anything else right?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Second, you seem to be claiming that The more they found, the more they examined scientifically, the more their atheistic worldview and presupposition of materialism was untenable.

    But, as I've shown this isn't necessarily the case.

    This is a classic Hitchens argument though. Except Hitchens is a little smarter.

    Huh? No. Actually, it's Collins' argument. I'm merely showing exactly where Collins and I agree and where you and Collins disagree.

    And I'm suggesting that it doesn't matter and your psychoanalysis is faulty and full of presupposition. The belief that there is a certain point in life which one has to question to be a successful atheist is silly!

    So, rather than actually explain why my hypothesis is wrong, which was based on the video that you yourself posed, your "response" is to say it's a faulty "psychoanalysis" and irrelevant, then go on to present a misrepresentation of my hypothesis to boot?

    Why you were asserting how silly I was, I actually looked into what these scientists actually had to say on the subject, in their own words.

    In regards to Collins, he did not did not grow up in a religious home and became an atheist in graduate school when studying quantum mechanics. However, Collins had a change in life plan and decided to apply scientific interests in the direction of humanity.

    To quote Collins from an Point of Inquiry interview, "In encountering death and dying, which one does rather starkly as a medical student, some of the questions that had been a bit hypothetical, lIke what is the meaning of life and is there a god. weren't so hypothetical anymore." In one instance when he was asked by a patient what he believed, Collins realized, he had "never looked seriously at that question and never considered the evidence." in fact Collins assumed there was no evidence for God's existence, so he never looked for any.

    Furthermore, a significant amount of Collins' belief is based on arguments by C.S. Lewis and what he sees as an inability of evolution to explain moral behavior.

    In regards to McGrath, his earliest exposure to religion was thought the violent conflict of The Troubles . It was only until he went to university and started "thinking for himself a bit more" that he started investigating theism.

    To quote McGrath from his On The Hour interview, he was, "buying into this sort of idea you know - look, science disproves God and that religion leads to violence. I just accepted it without thinking about it." After college, the entire subject became much more "complex and more interesting."

    So it's clear that, like Collins, McGrath's hadn't though about the subject very deeply before he became a theist.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Your humanist's critique of McGrath is itself hilarious and ridiculous. He really doesn't refute anything that McGrath says.

    Again, it seems you have no response other than to claim how "hilarious and ridiculous" the article is, which is a common deflection technique.

    Most of the time he only tries to redefine what Dawkins says and or means, like he has some secret Dawkins decoder in his pocket.

    No, he's pointing out where McGrath is misinterpreting Dawkins. Just like you misinterpreted non-theists, such as myself, in your original post when you said..

    a common thought of unbelievers is that science will somehow eventually answer all questions and that whatever can't be proven by science is somehow illusionary.

    Dawkins writes: “Perhaps there are some genuinely profound and meaningful questions that are forever beyond the reach of science. Maybe quantum theory is already knocking on the door of the unfathomable. But if science cannot answer some ultimate question, what makes anybody think that religion can?” (GD, p.56)

    Clearly, one doesn't need a "Dawkins decoding ring" to see how this is a mischaracterization of Dawkins' position by McGrath.

    Furthermore, while I thought it was clear regarding the context of the link, I guess I need to explicitly point out that the article is about McGrath's mistakes regarding Dawkins "woeful" ignorance. To quote the author…

    I am not particularly interested in fighting Richard Dawkins’ corner. Firstly, he can look after himself. Secondly, atheism does not stand or fall by Dawkins’ presentation of the issues. Thirdly, I don’t always agree with Dawkins. The God Delusion is not the book I hoped he would write. This is not, then, primarily a defense of Dawkins. My purpose here is simple: to document the scholarly failings of Alister McGrath.

    Finally, as you display also, most atheists have no clue what to do about the fine tuning arguments that are being made nowadays. To deny the fine tuning evidence is a death blow to modern science causing the atheist to separate himself from what he previously thought he had sealed tight. In other words the EVIDENCE doesn't support their claim of no God, and they previously said that we should "follow the evidence where ever it leads". NOW that the evidence IS NOT leading toward their position they want to "rethink" everything. Talk about cowardly.

    Harvey, unlike your position on evolution, I don't deny the universe appears fine tuned. However, this evidence doesn't explicitly point to God. Nor do we even know if non-material beings exist, have the ability to create universes or actually decided to create our universe. That God is an option to explain our universe isn't at all clear.

    This shows your flawed presumption that, in the absence of evidence for the positive, God should be the answer by default. It could be that our universe is one of many in a multi-verse. In fact, there are a number of flaws in this argument which show it's not the best explanation for what we observe. Instead, I'd suggest the fine tuning argument is merely the theist's "best" argument for God's existence. These goals do not necessarily overlap.

    Please see: Theistic Anthropic Principle Refuted

    Answer this Scott, how much more posturing can an atheist do to pretend that they are right when they are wrong? Certainly MUCH MUCH more than any Christian I know.

    Please see above.

    ReplyDelete
  28. An even more abbreviated but powerful critique of the Dawkins lie and it's weak attempt to overthrow Christian belief can be found HERE

    Arguments presented...

    - Dawkins explains belief using memes / evolutionary psychology to account for a belief in God. It's speculative.
    - Dawkins does not address the Kalam cosmological argument
    - Dawkins dismisses and botches Pascal's wager.
    - Dawkins mocks the ontological argument, which is another intellectual argument.
    - Dawkins dismisses ID
    - Dawkins "plays" the "who designed the designer" card. (What a joker!)
    - Dawkins gives the fine tuning argument "cavalier" treatment.

    Again, many of these complains are addressed in the link I provided.

    For example, Dawkins makes it clear the exact details of explanation he presents of why people believe in God is speculative. This is because [a] we know so little about the field and [b] the transmission of beliefs and culture is much more complex than genetics. The key here is that Dawkins lays a foundation for a naturalistic explanation for belief.

    In regards to a failure to address intellectual and philosophical arguments…

    Dawkins on McGrath's claim that Dawkins is ignorant about Christian Theology: “Yes, I have, of course, met this point before. It sounds superficially fair. But it presupposes that that there is something in Christian theology to be ignorant about. The entire thrust of my position is that Christian theology is a non-subject. It is empty. Vacuous. Devoid of coherence or content. I imagine that McGrath would join me in expressing disbelief in fairies, astrology and Thor’s hammer. How would he respond if a fairyologist, astrologer or Viking accused him of ignorance of their respective subjects?

    The only part of theology that could possibly demand my attention is the part that purports to demonstrate that God does exist. This part of theology I have, indeed, studied with considerable attention. And found it utterly wanting.

    As for McGrath’s book, I read it with genuine curiosity to discover whether he had any argument to offer in favor of his theistic belief. The nearest I could find was his statement that you cannot disprove it. Well, that may be true, but it isn’t very impressive, is it?”


    Complaining that Dawkins needs to understand every detail of Christian theology to refute it is like complaining that someone has to know every augment of Mormonism or scientology before concluding it's bunk.

    Harvey wrote: William Lane Crag stated that all three of them, Dennett, Hitchens and Dawkins presented arguments that were "philosophically embarrassing" noting that they were totally out of their league from a philosophical standpoint.

    Please see above. I'd suggest that Dawkins isn't interested in Craig's philosophical arguments. This is no surprise, given examples such as… Slaughter of the Canaanites.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Scott,

    Out of all that you post you really give nothing to rehash and I'll not allow you to continue. I don't know what you just can't stay on point. Well i guess when your whole faulty assumption of the world is proven RIDICULOUS by people that you would otherwise hold in esteem you feel compelled to defend your faith.

    You dis say this though Harvey, unlike your position on evolution, I don't deny the universe appears fine tuned. However, this evidence doesn't explicitly point to God.

    So "explicitly" is the operative word here? This is called denial.

    You said"Nor do we even know if non-material beings exist, have the ability to create universes or actually decided to create our universe. That God is an option to explain our universe isn't at all clear."

    But we do know that immaterial realities and entities exist such as mathematics (for example)morals, thoughts, which by the way, have all been used to prove or validate many scientific theories.

    Since we know that those things exist, it makes all REASONABLE sense to conclude that what existed prior to those things had at a minimum, those attributes or the control over those attributes.

    Since nothing is greater than itself and since material reality is pointing back to a specific point in time of it's very own existence, it's more than reasonable to assume a creator.

    Now which creator do we choose? Look at the merits of each. Christianity so happens to have a God that moved in real time. no other religion does. In Islam that's prohibited. Buddhism doesn't have that at all. Hinduism ...not there...All other religion say that they are myths...we don't have to search for that message, they record it themselves.

    So what do we do? Look at the one religion who affirms itself to be real and examine it. When we get to Jesus we see in him a character and nature totally different from ALL OTHERS. He exercises his ability and authority over nature, sickness, and death.

    we all acknowledge that if anything has that much power it should be hailed the world over. even James Randi says that if anything, even something religious can cure all the worlds ills, then it should be hailed and even praised.

    Well, what if the illness from which all illness flowed was sin? What if Jesus, who came in the volume of the book to deliver us from that primary illness and its effects and demonstrated such like no other in history, then you would be the biggest fool in the world to reject him even under your own rubric of scientific investigation and understanding.

    So this all states that there is a God and more specifically that the God of Christianity is that God. This in part is how the scientists came to their conclusions. They actually used their brains once their heart was touched.

    Now you spend a good deal of time turning your brain off and denying reality that there is no information without an information giver...chop your computer hard-drive up into a million pieces, throw it in the air and let it fall. all the information is there right? How is it ordered? It's not even useful, because there is no fine tuning of it.

    Yet you spend a great deal of time trying to convince me and us that these men were slothful about atheism and that millions of pieces of information can just order themselves without direction into meaningful sources of 411...

    IMPOSSIBLE and you are full of BLIND faith to believe so. I am full of faith in REASON. What I don't know is more than compensated for by what I do. You can't even come close.

    Once again, I'll not entertain any more evolutionary arguments here, told you that's not the post and you persist because you think that because these men endorse theistic evolution, my position is faulty...that's STUPID and has nothing to do with REJECTING ATHEISM...It's bankrupt as they state and I and we affirm.

    ReplyDelete
  30. It's funny that scott uses the same apologetic that many christians use when one rejects Christianity.

    I hear them saying that "they weren't really Christian anyway"...Scott says the same thing only replaces it with atheism...saying that "they really hadn't thought about their atheism deeply enough or at an early enough age"

    That is too funny Scott...the more you write the more ridiculous you sound and the more your position is exposed as the sham it is.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Also Scott seems to have never really gotten over the fact that I refuted evolution and obviously embarassed him in the process.

    In a post that's not about evolution he keeps bringing it up as if he's got new information to debate...well baaa-humbug on you Scott...not today.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I looked up the article that Scott presented regarding the Thesitic Anthropic Principle Rrefuted...only to find more wishful thinking and bad arguments....If these are scotts sources...Infidels, that's why he spouts off so much bad information...

    In the main body of the argument the writer gives the following reasons for denying fine tuning:

    1- It does not explain how God created the Universe,

    So What? That's not it's purpose.

    2- and it does not tell us how God fine-tuned the physical constants.

    So What? science doesn't either but it's not hailed as a bad argument.

    3- Creation out of nothing (which is certainly not the same as creation by quantum fluctuations) is an idea which is hard to understand.

    OK so it's hard to understand therefore it's not a good postulation...how ridiculous is this?

    4- G is both incomplete and incomprehensible.

    I mean this guy must be on drugs...So science is complete and fully comprehensible? Modern understanding of science are a recent invention aren't they? Some aspects of science such as quantum are incomprehensible aren't they. What about dark matter? Does it not exist because it is incomprehensible? This is the silliest supposed refutation I've ever read. This author is ridiculous.

    5- Then there are problems with the concept of 'God'. How can a supernatural entity 'exist'?

    OK...How do thought and other immaterial reality exist? how does math exist? Not abstractly, there are absolutes etc...right. Are they not real because we don't know how they exist?

    6- How can one be both all-powerful and all-knowing? What did an all-loving being do before there was anything to love? How could God have existed forever? How can God influence the Universe if he is outside of time?

    Sunday school questions don't reverse the fine tuning argument neither do they even approach it. So in order to defeat the argument get away from it all together??? These questions have nothing to do with TAP.

    7- Theists often claim that these are mysteries, but that is no good: we began with a mystery, and now we have a mystery again.

    OK....wow!

    8- Why, if God is interested in humanity, did he create a Universe that needed 10 thousand million years to produce us?

    Did it need that much time or did you simply think it needed that much time? either way it has nothing to do with TAP.

    9- Why isn't earth more hospitable to us?

    May you never stopped to say thank you???i thin it may be something about the effects of SIN?

    10-It seems unreasonable that an all-powerful God would not have created us right at the start.

    Reasonable to who? In other words he rejects God on a basis of what he believes that God should have done. Why is his requirement more important than God's? So now his thoughts are higher than everyone else's. So who's God in his eyes?

    11- Why didn't God fine-tune the Universe better, so genetic mutations would generally be less harmful and more useful?

    Are mutations a product of God or sin? The bible says sin so this isn't an argument against fine tuning.

    12-Why didn't he fine-tune it better so that there would be fewer natural disasters on earth?

    The TAP argument exists in context for the UNIVERSE not just the earth and it deals with conditions for life not quality of life. This guy is a nut!

    see 2

    ReplyDelete
  33. 2~ The supposed refutation of TAP...yea right!!!

    13- 'For all of these reasons, G can be seen to be a very poor explanation for the fact to be explained. It is incomplete, incomprehensible, obscure, unreasonable, anomalous, and counter-intuitive. It also appeals to still greater mysteries than the fact to be explained, so it hardly qualifies as an adequate explanation. It fails to illuminate anything or to enlarge our understanding.

    In short, because HE can't understand it he rejects it...why not just say that? I guess because it'll make him sound really stupid if he does especially since he rejecting an argument that HE CAN'T UNDERSTAND because HE CAN'T UNDERSTAND IT...Most of what he presented had nothign to do with the issue, only his understanding of God and why he thinks the issue should work according to his understanding...what a nut!

    That review was another funny and hilarious presentation of Scott..."the atheist watchdog"...Thanks Scott you're only making us better able to see through atheistic lies like the scientists I feature in the article did years ago!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Scott asked "if you consider this foreknowledge that our universe is expanding, then what about those waters that exist ABOVE the firmament which is occasionally opened to allow rain on earth?...If the firmament is the universe, anything that was ABOVE it has been moving at away from the center of the visible universe long before we appeared on earth."

    Not sure what you are asking, but in Gen. 2 it's told that the earth was watered by a mist that came up from the ground, and since the time is not spelled out, it's generally considered that the first rain was the Great Flood - one of the reasons people thought Noah to be insane.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Harvey wrote: Out of all that you post you really give nothing to rehash and I'll not allow you to continue.

    Rehash?

    I've pointed to interviews by the individuals in question which further supports my earlier hypothesis.

    I've provided additional information, rather than call your claims "silly" or "hilarious."

    You wrote: So "explicitly" is the operative word here? This is called denial.

    Harvey,

    Collins looks at the overwhelming evidence for evolution and accepts it. You do not. This is denial.

    But we do know that immaterial realities and entities exist such as mathematics (for example)morals, thoughts,...

    All of these things are of a different category, since they are not entities that are conscious, etc.

    Since nothing is greater than itself and since material reality is pointing back to a specific point in time of it's very own existence, it's more than reasonable to assume a creator.

    While I can see how you might reach this conclusion, we do not see anything that indicates these things exist in the form you describe outside the brains of living things with some form of nervous system.

    It was 'reasonable' to assume the sun orbited the earth before we had a better understanding of physics, astrology, etc. It was reasonable to think God was hurling lighting at us when we didn't know how lighting worked.

    But this time has passed. Myths might be soothing, but they also have consequences.

    Since nothing is greater than itself and since material reality is pointing back to a specific point in time of it's very own existence, it's more than reasonable to assume a creator.

    What definition of "material reality" are you using?

    Given what we've learned about the universe, I'd say you're presenting a straw man definition of "material reality" to suit your agenda. Your continued attempt to "refute" evolution is one such example of trying to construct a version of reality where such a conclusion is reasonable. Calling David Deutsch a homosexual, based on nothing more than a vague stereotypical knee jerk reaction, so you can ignore him is another.

    For example, the phenomenon of quantum entanglement / teleportation reveals a mechanism for instantly transferring quantum states at vast distances at faster than the speed of light. Given that we can repeat this in a lab, I don't think you'd say we've hacked into God's powers so we can use them for our own benefits. (Such things would be blasphemy). But if it's not supernatural, then is it material?

    So, to say that material reality came into existence seems to be a rather simplistic view designed to reach a particular conclusion (God must exist)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Harvey wrote: It's funny that scott uses the same apologetic that many christians use when one rejects Christianity.

    Again, an example of your tactic. Note how Scott's comments are "funny" rather than actually look at the clear statements these individuals have made.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Scott,

    Please move along...We're not arguing what others think or say or what they mean. You're done, and I'm tired of your lame equivocations on issues and just plain ole silly rambling...

    It's over and you can no more speak for Collins than anyone else. Be finished or "poof" be gone!

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Scott,

    You still don't get it do you...Collins belives in theistic evolution...this is a VAST difference from anything that you hold...YOUR BELIEF which is the only position that you can argue is TOTALLY devoid of God in any sense. HIS is not.

    YOUN CAN'T argue against my position by invoking his and besides THIS POST ISN'T ABOUT EVOLUTION!!!

    So for the LAST TIME...MOVE ON!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'll make an argument against theistic evolution against someone who believes it in the first place...not wioth some IDIOT who simply wants to disagree with a Christian under any cricumstance.

    Theistic evolution is failed not only for science, but if one appeals to the bible it's even more of a failure for multiple reasosns...

    We don't need to debate that issue with atheist buddhist pretenders who are so confused from jump that they don't know what they belive and or are talking about...as such is Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  40. That's what I get for giving IDIOTS a chance!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Scott,

    You not only an idiot, but you're a LIAR too! This post IS NOT about evolution so we're not debating the tenets of it here...only YOU want to do that because you FAILED MISERABLY in the other posts to disuade me or anyone else that evolution as related by darwin and proponents such as you was even scientific....

    This post is about those who see plainly that atheism as a world view is BANKRUPT and TURNED from it because of the knowledge they have gained and also because of personal convition they found.

    That's the ONLY thing that should be argued. You however want to set forth the LIE that I said that anyone believing in evolution is an idiot...YOU may be one, but there are a lot of smart and good people who believe in evolution ALTHOUGH it's not true nor is it supported by any scientific evidence or otherwise.

    You sir are incredulous and wrong and all you attemt to do is smear! So unless you want to debate why atheists shouldn't become Christians you have nothing further to add to the convo...So far the only attempts that you've made to refute what these gentlemen did is say they 'didn'ty think about things hard enough" or that "they really weren't atheists to begin with" then try to debate theistic evolution as if you even believe in God to begin with...

    That's why I say...YOU'RE AN IDIOT...My ears are open but your eyes and mind are as closed as the Federal Reserve on Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
  42. You however want to set forth the LIE that I said that anyone believing in evolution is an idiot...

    Harvey,

    it's obvious, you don't think Collins is an idiot. One only need to look at this post to see that. Furthermore I affirmed this was not the case in my last comment. (I'd quote it, but you deleted it.) So, it's clear I'm NOT saying this is the case.

    In fact, that you do NOT think Collins is an "idiot", despite your previous arguments regarding science and evolution, is the inconsistency I'm referring to.

    Given that my entire argument resolves around your inconstant depiction of Collins in this post, it's unclear why you'd claim I'm "setting forth a lie that you think anyone believing in evolution is an idiot." If you did, we wouldn't be having this discussion in the first place.

    As such, It seems that you do not understand my point, or presenting a misrepresentation of it.

    So, now that we've clearly established that you do not think Collins isn't an idiot, the question is why not? Because you inclusion of Collins in this post doesn't jive given your previous posts and arguments you've made here on your blog as a whole.

    Something doesn't add up.

    ReplyDelete
  43. To elaborate, I've said time and time again, science (including evolution) cannot prove or disprove that a non-material, all powerful and all knowing being who hides himself from us and takes no actions does not exist. This is impossible by definition.

    Despite this fact, you've continually made accusations that science is biased against God because it's conclusions and discoveries overlap with clams made by theists regarding God's supposed actions.

    For example, over at Does science presuppose Atheism, you indicate that, should any scientific theory provide a natural explanation for a phenomenon which conflicts with the specific actions that God supposedly took, such as the details of human development as defined in the Christian Bible, it is biased against God and example of atheistic 'dogma' - even if the claim that God does not exist is not explicitly mentioned.

    Furthermore, in a comment on your post Unnaturally Selected, 150 Years Of Deception on evolution, you wrote..

    I restate, as you agree, science cannot prove the existence of God, by virtue of that it cannot disprove the existence of God either. Therefore any attempt of science to make statements about God (pro or con) is philosophy not pure science. Now that's in the other thread and if anyone wants to go into greater detail go to Does Science Presuppose Atheism

    So, according to your position, by affirming the scientific theory of Darwinian evolution by natural selection, Collins is making a philosophical claim about God's non-existence, even if he doesn't say so explicitly. This is because his explanation contradicts your belief that God supposedly creation of human beings, and all life, at once and in final form.

    While I had brought up a number of examples to show how this was a flawed argument, you continued to assert any natural explanation presented by science that was mutually exclusive to God's supposed actions could only be interpreted as atheistic.

    For example, evolutionary theory does not make claims about the origin of life, the origin of the universe, etc. However, you continued to claim it was atheistic precisely because it claimed we shared a common ancestor with great apes.

    So, if science really is atheistic due to overlapping explanations of observed phenomenon as you claim, even without explicit claims of God's non-existence, then Collins is presenting atheistic 'dogma' in affirming Darwinian natural selection.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Harvey wrote:This post is about those who see plainly that atheism as a world view is BANKRUPT and TURNED from it because of the knowledge they have gained and also because of personal convition they found.

    Harvey,

    If evolution by natural selection is indeed false and completely without any evidence as you claim, but Collins as a genetic biologist affirms it, this would be an indication of gross scientific incompetence on a massive scale. It's unclear how Collins could be an "example" of an accomplished scientist given his utter failure in his field of specialization.

    In regards to evidence of evolution via transitional fossil, you wrote..

    I've never seen anybody that either has no clue or is simply living so far in denial [regarding transitional fossils] they can't stand it.

    In other words, in order to make things work transitional forms would have to lose certain characteristics before becoming a subsequent form or evolving into something else. This directly flies in the face of evidence for irreducible complexity and what we now know about DNA and it's viability and use. What it would take to make a fish a fish and a bird to fly are two different systems and to expect to find both systems fully functional in one is ludicrous. In addition for a fish coming from the water to live on land, there would have to be a very complex set of lungs and extremities developed and all functions would have to be present at the same time. Such notions are mindless.


    Obviously you trust much worse information for to believe in evolution, especially darwinian version of common descent, is about the most ill-informed thing anyone can do for the reasons I've outlined in the post and many more.

    Given that Collins also holds these views in regards to the theory of evolution, it seems that you're describing Collins as well. Yet you list Collins in your post as a shining example of a "rational" Christian who rejected atheism.

    So, to summarize, evolution is either a mindless, ludicrous, theory held by ill-informed, clueless people in denial, or it's not. It either occurred or it did not occur. The reality of the situation, and it's supposed implications of those who affirm them, is not contingent on whether they are theists or non theists.

    Again, something simply doesn't add up here.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Scott,

    You said:Something doesn't add up.

    Absolutely right! I will not debate tenets of theistic evolution with an atheist (YOU) or someone who doesn't believe in theism to begin with. Youm can and will only assert your interpretation of it and it's a horrible misrepresentation of the facts and arguments.

    Darwinian evolution is bankrupt. Theistic evolution is also bankrupt for a whole different set of reasons. You are NOT a theistic evolutionist and I won't debate your interpretations of Collins or anyone elses arguments. It's that simple.

    No matter what else they believe...The scientists ALL say that atheism is bankrupt and a horrible worldview. I totally and 100% agree with them on that.

    END OF CONVERSATION!

    ReplyDelete
  46. In ADDITION...THIS THREAD IS NOT ABOUT EVOLUTION AT ALL!!!

    Comprende????

    ReplyDelete
  47. In ADDITION...THIS THREAD IS NOT ABOUT EVOLUTION AT ALL!!!

    Harvey,

    I'm pointing out inconsistency in your position. That the position I"m referring to happens to be evolution is NOT critical here. I could make similar claims about death before the fall, Adam and Eve being historical figures, etc.

    For example, Imagine you had claimed "anyone who thought the ludicrous idea 2+2 = 5, was ill-informed, clueless and in denial." And then proceeded to show a number of people who agreed with you in the claim that , in REALITY, 2+2 actually = 4 instead.

    In other words, your claim was not a matter of faith, it was a fact about reality.

    Now, imagine that, instead of using Collins in this post, who is a well renowned geneticist, you used a well renowned mathematician who was once an atheist but became a theist while earning his degree in advanced mathematics.

    However, this particular mathematician claims that, instead of 2+2 = 4, 2+2 actually equals 5 instead.

    Clearly, if 2+2=4 in REALTY, this claim indicates gross mathematical incompetence on a massive scale. How could such an ill-informed person in denial of realty be a shining example of rational belief in God?

    ReplyDelete
  48. Scott,

    As you note I'll not even let you argue evolution using the Colombo...you said this which is the silliest thing ever:

    Clearly, if 2+2=4 in REALTY, this claim indicates gross mathematical incompetence on a massive scale. How could such an ill-informed person in denial of realty be a shining example of rational belief in God?

    Scott, denial of God is an irrational belief. Dr. Collins rejects atheism based on his own views and premises. If he and I disagree over any other point it doesn't matter...we TOTALLY agree that there is a God. And we totally REJECT atheism as a viable worldview.

    Your attempt to use an argument against his RATIONAL REJECTION of atheism is plainly silly...

    we can walk, talk, and chew gum all at the same time and don't have to do it all perfectly to be acceptable with and to God. You believe that all Christians must have a uniform understanding in order to be Christians...We all agree on the essentials of the faith which can readily be identified and we all agree that God exists which is something that you don't.

    Do you have anything better than this?

    Why not argue for atheism as a worldview to show how superior it is and why these men were wrong? Instead you try a Colombo and pretend that we're contradicting each other...sorry Scott we're not...Christianity IS NOT dependent upon understanding science and you argue no other position because you'll get smoked as usual.

    So spare us the pretense of your supposed rational thoughts!!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Scott, denial of God is an irrational belief. Dr. Collins rejects atheism based on his own views and premises.

    That may be true. However, you didn't showcase Collins merely because he believes in God. If that was your intention, you could have simply listed absolutely anyone who was an atheist but is now a theist for absolutely any reason.

    But, clearly, this wasn't your intention, was it?

    Instead, you specifically chose Collins because he was a well renowned scientist who was an atheist, but became a theist. The problem is, if your claims you yourself have made are true, then what Collin's scientific claims as a genetics is the equivalent of a mathematician claiming 2+2 = 5.

    And this goes far beyond just evolution.

    Collins thinks death had been occurring long before human beings even existed. Nor does Collins think there ever was a historical Adam and Eve. In fact, he thinks the entire garden / tree / talking snake story regarding "The Fall" is a metaphor, not historical fact.

    Why? Because the scientific evidence suggests otherwise.

    Again, if these things really did occur in REALTY, as you claim, this would represent a gross incompetent on Collin's part as a scientist on a massive scale. It seems your only qualification for rationalism is a belief that God exists for any reason at all.

    Apparently, you've redefined the term "rational" to suit your agenda.

    What if I said I became a theists because, while I was on a space ship being experimented on by aliens who had abducted me, God intervened with his supernatural powers and saved me? Surely, this would affirm God is all powerful and all knowing. Who else could have known I had been abducted and sent me back in bed as if nothing had happened?

    Would you consider this a "rational" reason to think God exists?

    Your attempt to use an argument against his RATIONAL REJECTION of atheism is plainly silly…

    Apparently, you have no response, because you're back to calling my arguments "silly" rather than actually address them. Do you see the pattern here?

    Harvey wrote: Why not argue for atheism as a worldview to show how superior it is and why these men were wrong?

    I'm sure you'd like that, wouldn't you?

    But, it's not necessary as you've clearly painted yourself into a corner with your previous claims regarding his views. I'm merely reminding you of what you've already claimed is indisputably false and the consequences if your right.

    Instead you try a Colombo and pretend that we're contradicting each other...sorry Scott we're not…

    Where have I claimed Collins is being inconsistent? You're the one who's contradicting yourself, not Collins.

    Christianity IS NOT dependent upon understanding science and you argue no other position because you'll get smoked as usual.

    So, apparently Collins doesn't even understand science - yet he's a model scientist who believes in God? You keep digging your self into a deeper hole.

    ReplyDelete
  50. As you note I'll not even let you argue evolution using the Colombo.

    Huh? What is the "Columbo"? Are you seriously tying to equate having a consistent position on science with a television character?

    Again, I'm NOT ASKING you to debate evolution. I make that clear in the comment which you deleted. Did you actually read it before you deleted it?

    In case you didn't...

    You wrote" Absolutely right! I will not debate tenets of theistic evolution with an atheist (YOU) or someone who doesn't believe in theism to begin with.

    Harvey, I'm not asking you to debate evolution. In fact, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you're past claims about evolution are correct and that evolution is indeed false in reality.

    Darwinian evolution is bankrupt. Theistic evolution is also bankrupt for a whole different set of reasons. You are NOT a theistic evolutionist and I won't debate your interpretations of Collins or anyone elses arguments. It's that simple.

    Again, I'm not asking you to do so here. Nor do I need to as you've already debated theistic evolution with me in regards to Ken Miller's testimony at the 2005 Dover trial regarding Intelligent Design. Despite being a theist, you presented no special argument regarding his position. That we did not share a common ancestor with great apes is supposedly utterly and completely false either way.

    No matter what else they believe...The scientists ALL say that atheism is bankrupt and a horrible worldview. I totally and 100% agree with them on that.

    You keep affirming my point!

    Over at Unnaturally Selected, 150 Years Of Deception I wrote….

    Again, if you were to simply say that, "Despite all the overwhelming evidence that suggests man shared a common ancestor with all living things, I have faith in a literal interpretation of Genesis and therefore hold it authoritative above any and all claims of science."

    While I disagree with this, this would be your prerogative. However, this is NOT what you've claimed.


    I clearly gave you a way out, but you refused to take it.

    Instead, you continue to claim that you know for a fact that, in REALITY, we do not share a common ancestor with great apes. It's absolutely impossible given the odds, physical laws, etc. And you know this because the there is supposedly scientific evidence that backs up your claim. When science is done "correctly", this is the only possible conclusion we could reach.

    But then you say.. No matter what else they believe...The scientists ALL say that atheism is bankrupt and a horrible worldview.

    So, apparently the only thing that really matters is if some claim ultimately affirms God's existence. The details are completely irrelevant. Someone could be completely clueless, incompetent and in denial, but if they believe God exist, then you could really care less.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Scott,

    You're a piece of work but I give you an A+ for effort. you said:

    "Instead, you specifically chose Collins because he was a well renowned scientist who was an atheist, but became a theist.

    Ahhh, that was the point of the article since atheists such as yourself that the "educated" aren't Christians or religious and that it's an anomaly in science to find a believer, especially in the biological fields ets... those are bold assertions of both you and other atheists and that's also a lie. I merely present some evidence to support what I say.

    You said:"The problem is, if your claims you yourself have made are true, then what Collin's scientific claims as a genetics is the equivalent of a mathematician claiming 2+2 = 5."

    You believe that my disagreement with Collins or anyone over scientific theory is the death of either Collins or my arguments...because you don't believe that both can be right...You're wrong and your argument doesn't hold...Collins can be dead wrong about evolution and dead right about God...even in Buddhism the yin and yang exists together doesn't it??? It's not as bad as that for sure but Collins interprets what he does based on what he sees from scripture and his profession...that's not problematic because he believe that Jesus is Lord and that he was also God in the flesh redeeming man to himself, through shedding his blood for the remission of sins...y'u-know all those things you reject and say science doesn't lead you to... Neither Collins nor McGrath buy your arguments so it doesn't matter how they interpret science. Science won't save them even if they knew all of it.

    Now you also say:"Collins thinks death had been occurring long before human beings even existed. Nor does Collins think there ever was a historical Adam and Eve. In fact, he thinks the entire garden / tree / talking snake story regarding "The Fall" is a metaphor, not historical fact."

    Since when were these things exalted to the level of a faith essential? There has been no council that I am aware of that says that one has to accept the snake in the garden of Eden before you can be saved...There is no discussion of which I am aware that says salvation is withheld unless you believe that Genesis is a literal account???

    Those are called in house debates along with the death on earth issue before sin. these beliefs do not save...What does he affirm?

    The virgin birth, Jesus as God/man, Jesus fulfillment of prophecy, Jesus bodily resurrection and ascension, Jesus bodily and physical return, judgement and eternity with the Lord and the heavenly host.

    Why not mention that these scientists accept and believe these things Scott? instead you obsess over their professional interpretation of the fossil record and quantum theory...as if any part of their salvation is based on it. What is that??? I think it's plain ole ignorance...

    Pressing an issue like you do so poorly really displays you lack of understanding of Christianity in General. I hope you learn more than how to criticize as you stay around here...hopefully you'll learn what Christianity really teaches and believes...even if not from me, we have some excellent contributors and will have some more shortly, ebcause you NEED the lesson.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Harvey wrote: You believe that my disagreement with Collins or anyone over scientific theory is the death of either Collins or my arguments...because you don't believe that both can be right..

    While I can see how you might conclude that is my argument, it's not the primary point I'm trying to make.

    Since when were these things exalted to the level of a faith essential? There has been no council that I am aware of that says that one has to accept the snake in the garden of Eden before you can be saved

    Claims about the fall, Adam and Eve, creation off all life in final form, etc. are claims about reality. They are either accurate descriptions of real world states or they are not. That they are not "essential" to anyone's particular religious beliefs doesn't change this.

    As a scientist, Collins claims they are false. However, you've make it perfectly clear it's utterly impossible for humans to have shared an ancestor with great apes. In fact, you've said evidence will appear that show the theory of evolution as false and the entire scientific community will reject in five years or less.

    So, It's not that you and collins disagree with each other. It's that at least one of you have views that are in fundamental disagreement with reality. This is because, the last time I checked, we all live in the same universe.

    Reality isn't different for a creationist vs an evolutionary theist. It doesn't change because something about nature is complex, often misunderstood, disrupts our lives or could lead people to think God might not exist. These things are important, to be sure, but reality and it's associated consequences are not contingent on these factors.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Harvey wrote: Pressing an issue like you do so poorly really displays you lack of understanding of Christianity in General.

    I'm pressing the issue because it seems you either do not understand my point or your trying to ignore it. You earlier wrote...

    No matter what else they believe...The scientists ALL say that atheism is bankrupt and a horrible worldview. I totally and 100% agree with them on that.

    But WHY is this the case? Why is a theistic world view actually better?

    For it to actually be better, not only must assume that God actually exists, in reality, but that he actually took specific actions, in reality, and these actions formed a causal chains of events that actually resulted in the specific claims of theism. Otherwise, theism really isn't better, as it's merely an argument from consequences. It's better to believe theism is true, even if such a belief is based on falsehoods.

    For example, you seem to think atheism doesn't present human beings as special creation of God. As such, it's "horrible." If God doesn't exist, then we can't say anything is wrong or right, etc. But the mere existence of God doesn't make any of these things possible. God must take actions, in reality, which causes theism to be true.

    In your case, the causal chain of events that make humans special is God having created us in final form. That is, human beings are special in REALITY because God took specific actions in REALITY. Otherwise, the idea that human beings are special is just an illusion, right? And that's just a horrible world view. In fact, in your previous post, you claimed that evolution was destroying your neighborhood because it suggested that, in REALITY, people shared a common ancestor with great apes.

    But, is the fact that humans beings share a common ancestor with great apes really to blame or is the real problem that people have been indoctrinated to believe the fragile myth that humans only have value because God created them in final form?

    Collins thinks that, in REALITY, humans are special but he also thinks, in REALITY, we share a common ancestor with great apes. But if this is the case, either Collins's belief that humans have value (as a theist) is just as much of an horrible "illusion" as my belief that humans have value (as an atheist), or human beings can be special without God having created us in final form.

    In REALITY, it can be either one or the other, not both.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Pastor, Does Dr. Collins believe that Adam came from the dust of the land and that God created Eve from Adam's rib?

    Just for clarity on what he believes?

    ReplyDelete
  55. Paul,

    Dr. Collins certainly believes in evolution and common ancestory. He said this regarding evidence for evolution:

    "The evidence is overwhelming. And it is becoming more so almost by the day, especially because we can now use DNA as a digital record of the way Darwin's theory has played out over the course of time...Darwin could hardly have imagined that there would turn out to be such strong proof of his theory—he didn't know about DNA. Evolution is now profoundly well-documented from multiple different perspectives, all of which give you a consistent view with enormous explanatory power that makes it the central core of biology. Trying to do biology without evolution would be like trying to do physics without mathematics."

    When asked about the common ancestor TIME reports that he responds say that "human-like creatures" had evolved to the point where they had the mental capacity to reason; God then endowed them to distinguish between good and evil, and in that way they became "in the image of God."

    He also said, "We cannot say that Adam and Eve were formed as acts of special creation,...That is a troubling conclusion for many people."

    Collins can't see a conflict between religion and science because he was a scientist first. The fact is however that rejects atheism:

    "But I couldn't take Genesis literally because I had come to the scientific worldview before I came to the spiritual worldview. I felt that, once I arrived at the sense that God was real and that God was the source of all truth, then, just by definition, there could not be a conflict."

    That complete interrview can be found HERE and the TIME article HERE

    Now what he does is a fault that Paul warned against. He esteems what he knew previously as a guide rather than submitting all to Christ. Christ should be the guide for all that is learned to be truth. Paul said it like this:

    Philippians 3:7-8~"7-But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.8-Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ,"

    So Dr. Collins is certainly in a fault. This is not an unusual circumstance and the bible has the instructions for the church in this:

    Galatians 6:1~"Brethren, IF A MAN BE OVERTAKEN in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."

    The critic asserts that there has to be 100% agreement before something can be authenticated as truth. In this case Scott is trying to represent that since we think Collins is wrong about evolution, how can we be sure he's right about the existence of God? That's a bogus argument but one that he persists in.

    It doesn't matter. Christians can debate the details and that's what we should do, but when it comes to the truth that God exists and that Jesus is Lord, that God dwelt amongst us, died, and rose again on the third day, and that he's coming back again to judge the quick and the dead, there is no compromise. Those are essentials of Christianity.

    We can help Collins better understand Genesis and the truth of God over time, IF he does what the bible says, remains humble and open to spiritual correction.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Thanks Pastor, obviously Dr. Collins need to come into the fulness of the truth that the bible is infallible. Truthfully without original sin we wouldl have no need for Christ but lets pray that he will come to understand exactly what his faith is about.

    I agree that it doesnt take away the fact that he rejects atheism and essentially he is still saying that God created everything but that He used evolution to do it.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Absolutely Paul,

    I think theistic evolution is bankrupt for its own set of reasons. I may do a post on that topic to point out some of the incongruities and problems with it.

    Now the critic says well "if we stick with biblical premises we'll reject all science" and I don't think that's true. First, the bible is not written to please or answer the critics and secondly science is inexact and open to change future discovery by nature. Since it's not religious in nature and doesn't rely on God for its insights, then it's certainly subject to deception based on appearance...I mean isn't that the whole temptation of Eve?

    Gen. 3:6 ~ "And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

    Making assertions of truth based on appearance can be reasonable at times but dead and sincerely wrong at others. I've known criminals who appear guilty, but were the exact opposite TOTALLY innocent.

    Seems to me people like Dr. Collins fail to detach themselves from a lower level of epistemology even though they receive and affirm a higher level of epistemology by expressing faith in God.

    We say it like this...what's good for the goose is good for the gander and God's got no big I's or little U's...no matter what one thinks they know it's all vanity when it comes to knowledge of the Lord and his ways!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Harvey wrote: In this case Scott is trying to represent that since we think Collins is wrong about evolution, how can we be sure he's right about the existence of God? That's a bogus argument but one that he persists in.

    This is a straw man of my argument.

    To summarize, Harvey didn't showcase just any atheist turned theist in his post, he showcased Collins because he is a well renowned geneticist. However, since Collins thinks we share a common ancestor with great apes, which Harvey claims this is actually wrong in reality, then Collins must be grossly incompetent as a geneticist.

    As such, Collins' position as an atheist turned theist has no more weight than any person who claims to have once been an atheist, but become a theists, which undermines Harvey's argument in this specific post.

    Note, I'm NOT saying that Collins' claim that God exists must be bogus because he's supposedly "wrong" about evolution. I'm saying that Collins' belief in God isn't any more "special" than anyone else who claims God exists, which disqualifies him as being a "special" case worth showcasing in this post.

    ReplyDelete

Please send me an email if you try to post a comment and cannot do so. Dunamis1@netzero.com. Thanks.