Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Meditating on God’s Word and Effective Prayer

Hard as it is to believe, we are already in the spring of the second decade of the 21st century! If you are with me following the Legacy Reading Plan, you are already reading the Book of Joshua. This is a fascinating book. It is the first of the twelve historical books—Joshua through Esther—that forges a link between the Five books of Moses and the remainder of Israel’s history.

God’s plan for redemption becomes a tangible reality in the Book of Joshua. We see that Joshua is chosen by the Lord to lead the children of Israel into the land of promise. The wanderings of Adam, Abraham, and Moses finally give way to rest on every side.

The intrigue this month that will become palpable before spring gives way to summer is that we will encounter the people of the promise living in servitude inside the Persian Empire. Why? How could God’s promises, which reach their zenith under Solomon, have ended in exile and humiliation? Well, the answer is that they forgot the Word of God: They began to do what is right in their own eyes. This of course is precisely why I have purposed to tackle the problem of biblical illiteracy during our jubilee year—our fiftieth year of ministry—for without the Word, we too will surely lose our way, and without the Word, we have no road map for the journey of life.

The Word of God is not only a light to our path; I believe that meditating on the Word of God is the missing link between the intake of Scripture and an effective prayer life. As I have sought the Lord’s face in prayer, I have become absolutely convinced that we need to see the connection between prayer and reading the Bible. Our devotion to the Word of God drives us into the presence of God through the practice of earnest meditative prayer.

If you’re like me, you probably pray backwards. You hurry into God’s presence with a laundry list of prayer requests, and before your knees ever touch the ground, you’re already thinking about getting back into your frenzied lifestyle. Often we treat God no better than we treat our families. We want relationship but without the discipline of investing quality time. So the first step toward intimacy with God is to make prayer a priority.

Intimacy: That is precisely what prayer is. Once we grasp the significance of a dialogue with God, prayer will no longer be a mere duty or discipline, it will become a delight. For prayer is the very means of bringing us into the presence of the one who saved us by His grace.

21 comments:

INSIDE THE SHRINK said...

We're much too busy. Time seems to fly by and before we know it a week or two has gone by and we have not prayed. People ask us to pray for them or a need they have. We tell them, yes we will pray for you. But how many of us do?

In these last days we better get our priorities straight. If we don't have constant, daily communion with the Lord and busy ourselves with the Word of God, we will not be able to stand against the waves of evil that are coming.

Thank you Hank, for bringing this issue to attention, while there is still time.

Boris said...

INSIDE THE SHRINK,
How come every generation of Christians for the last 2000 years has fervently believed that they too were in the last days? How come the Muslims believe and always have believed they were in the last days too? What makes you think you're any different than them? When the last days for humans comes on Earth it won't be because of any God. It's very likely though that the Christians and Muslims will kill us all fighting over which God we all must believe in. Those evil and false religions are the waves of evil that we all must stand against if we are to survive as a race. Just thought I'd bring that to your attention while there's still time.

Boris said...

Anonymous,
Did you see the link to the other video that showed that Hank's Memory Dynamics book was plagiarized from an earlier book written by another author in 1978? The video about Hank's house in California was hilarious especially when they overdubbed Hank talking about people who lie right after he told a series of whoppers as the deed to the house and the foreclosure notice clearly showed. Of course cult leaders like Hank are rarely damaged by their indiscretions. Their dedicated followers can look right at something like a deed or public notice that proves their cult leader is a liar and ignore it. This is because the definition of a liar isn't someone who gives false information. A liar is someone who denies Christ and the supposed "truth" of the Bible. To Hank's faithful flock, his critics, whether they be atheists or believers are liars not because we're lying about Hank. We aren't and they know that. We're liars because we deny Christ and the "truth" of the Bible. Christians distort the language to the point that they distort reality. It's the only way they can retain their absurd belief system.

Anonymous said...

Well, he is clearly not my cult leader and i can choose to listen or not listen to him or anyone else for that matter. The fact is weather he had made major mistakes or not, no matter how bad they may be, know this. No human is perfect weather it is a soldier in war who underwent friendly fire or a world class chef who burned there recipe. Say it is true, well, my beliefs as a Christian do not change. It is still the same God even though man can be corrupted or a church can make some mistakes. I still know the Bible is flawless, that does not change. I find no amusement is a person's sinful nature just because he represents a particular church. I can easily move past that and still hold fast to scripture using discernment. Everyone is guilty of being hypocritical in there life and they must ask for forgiveness. it is still the same God, but a different administration. Don't attack the religion based on what one of its subsets is doing. I can tell you this much, it's no Cult. Look up the definition of a Cult and study it's behavior. I personally know several Jehovah's Witnesses and attended there meetings for information gathering, that sir is a Cult.

Anonymous said...

We are in last days, it's just a matter of when. I mean it could be a thousand years from now or tomorrow. I don't worry about though. There is huge difference between Christians and Muslims. Look it up man. I don't read the Koran, i do not worship Allah nor do i suppress women or seek Mecca. If you are unaware of the major differences, then you choose to be ignorant. You can be rest assured no Christians will kill all of us fighting over which God to worship. Most Muslims are peacful, just the extremists like the Taliban or Hamas would wage war. Breaking news, There are 40 million Christians in China and growing. I will not fight a Muslim nor will many more like me. Where do you get your information from? The Young Turks or MSNBC? I never thought of myself or anything i follow to be evil. Are you to compare Christianity to Hitler's Third Reich? I do not wish pain nor death upon anyone, not even atheists. You assume way too much.

Anonymous said...

Please watch all of this Boris.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsrqFmEPUnw

James said...

Anybody seen Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed?

Great documentary that can be watched on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj8xyMsbkO4

Just saw it for the first time the other day!

-James

Boris said...

Anonymous,
You do not know that the Bible is flawless. That's what your religious cult has brainwashed you into believing through the use of sophistry and fear. Your claim that the Bible is flawless is the most indefensible and ludicrous lie ever told on this planet. The Bible is very flawed and contradicts many scientific facts. The Genesis creation account conflicts with the order of events that are known to science. In Genesis the earth is created before light and stars, birds and whales before reptiles and insects, and flowering plants before any animals. From science, we know that the true order of events was just the opposite. The reason I'm so against Christian fundamentalism is that you Bible thumpers would have us teach your retarded version of creation in our public school science classes if you could get away with it. The hypocrisy of that is in the fact that there isn't one CHRISTIAN college or university in the world with a science department that teaches creationism or Intelligent Design magic. Every CHRISTIAN college and university that teaches science teaches evolution, common descent, Big Bang cosmology and the rest of the science you Bible thumnpers deny and fight against because it refutes your particular absurd interpretation of the Bible.

I have a question for you. The Bible says that Gideon fought the Midianites. How did Gideon fight the Midianites when all the Midianites had been annihilated, even women and children in a genocidal, infanticidal attack ordered by God and carried out by Moses and the Israelites just a few generations earlier? The Bible says that the Israelites killed King Jabin of Hazor while Deborah was the Judge of Israel. Yet earlier in Joshua 12 we read how Joshua had already killed King Jabin of Hazor. How is that possible may I ask? Answer my questions and respond to the points I made about the major scientific blunders in the Bible before you make any more claims that the Bible is flawless or base any arguments on that absurd claim.

The Bible is not so much flawed as it is fiction. What's flawed is a literal interpretation of the Bible. No one actually sat down and wrote any of the books of the Bible like the way writers do today. All the stories in the Bible existed as oral traditions before people could even write them down on papyrus. What we have in each book of the OT and in the gospel narratives and Acts is some scribe's version of a story he heard from an older relative, a teacher, a wondering sage or preacher. There's no such thing as a historical narrative that contains word for word dialog with people speaking in complete sentences. Only fictive narratives, stories, contain dialog such as we find in the Bible. You have to twist your brain into a worthless 2000 year old pretzel to not be able to see that.

Anonymous said...

Now to the Anonymous who posted the link to the Gary Habermas video:

Try to understand this. I say that the Bible is fiction. So I need evidence for the EXISTENCE of Jesus Christ BEFORE we can even discuss any resurrection. I have already proved on this blog that there are no secular accounts written by ANYONE who was alive when Jesus supposedly was about Jesus Christ, anything he supposedly did, any of his disciples, trial, crucifixion or anything else mentioned in the gospels. What Habermas does is a classic example of circular reasoning. His whole case is the same old nonsense we've heard from Christian preaches and apologists ever since the Bible has existed. Habermas uses the Bible to prove the Bible is true. That just isn't good enough. Especially since no one ever even heard of the gospels until 190 CE when Iraneus first mentioned them. So the gospels themselves were first written down at least 150 years after the time of which they supposedly speak.

What you people need to learn is that appeals to authority are a logical fallacy. You can't defend the claims you make so you post a link to one of your cult leaders who you think can. The problem Habrmas' arguments are only good enough to convince people who want very much to believe him anyway. Present his or your best arguments right here and I'll knock them over like bowling pins. But you already know that don't you? Either make your on arguments, present your own evidence because I've already seen every Christian apologetic argument there is hundreds if not thousands of times. Obviously I know how to refute them. Most fifth graders could.

Boris said...

James,
Here are some things Ben Stein doesn't want you to know:
1) Expelled quotes Charles Darwin selectively to connect his ideas to eugenics and the Holocaust.
When the film is building its case that Darwin and the theory of evolution bear some responsibility for the Holocaust, Ben Stein's narration quotes from Darwin's The Descent of Man thusly:

With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. Hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

This is how the original passage in The Descent of Man reads (unquoted sections emphasized in italics):

With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

The producers of the film did not mention the very next sentences in the book (emphasis added in italics):

The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil.

Darwin explicitly rejected the idea of eliminating the "weak" as dehumanizing and evil. Those words falsify Expelled's argument. The filmmakers had to be aware of the full Darwin passage, but they chose to quote only the sections that suited their purposes.

Boris said...

2) Ben Stein's speech to a crowded auditorium in the film was a setup.
"Viewers of Expelled might think that Ben Stein has been giving speeches on college campuses and at other public venues in support of ID and against "big science." But if he has, the producers did not include one. The speech shown at the beginning and end was staged solely for the sake of the movie. Michael Shermer learned as much by speaking to officials at Pepperdine University, where those scenes were filmed. Only a few of the audience members were students; most were extras brought in by the producers. Judge the ovation Ben Stein receives accordingly.

3) Scientists in the film thought they were being interviewed for a different movie.
As Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, Eugenie Scott, Michael Shermer and other proponents of evolution appearing in Expelled have publicly remarked, the producers first arranged to interview them for a film that was to be called Crossroads, which was allegedly a documentary on "the intersection of science and religion." They were subsequently surprised to learn that they were appearing in Expelled, which "exposes the widespread persecution of scientists and educators who are pursuing legitimate, opposing scientific views to the reigning orthodoxy," to quote from the film's press kit.When exactly did Crossroads become Expelled? The producers have said that the shift in the film's title and message occurred after the interviews with the scientists, as the accumulating evidence gradually persuaded them that ID believers were oppressed. Yet as blogger Wesley Elsberry discovered when he searched domain registrations, the producers registered the URL "expelledthemovie.com" on March 1, 2007—more than a month (and in some cases, several months) before the scientists were interviewed. The producers never registered the URL "crossroadsthemovie.com". Those facts raise doubt that Crossroads was still the working title for the movie when the scientists were interviewed.

Boris said...

4) The ID-sympathetic researcher whom the film paints as having lost his job at the Smithsonian Institution was never an employee there.

One section of Expelled relates the case of Richard Sternberg, who was a researcher at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History and editor of the journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. According to the film, after Sternberg approved the publication of a pro-ID paper by Stephen C. Meyer of the Discovery Institute, he lost his editorship, was demoted at the Smithsonian, was moved to a more remote office, and suffered other professional setbacks. The film mentions a 2006 House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform report prepared for Rep. Mark Souder (R–Ind.), "Intolerance and the Politicization of Science at the Smithsonian," that denounced Sternberg's mistreatment.This selective retelling of the Sternberg affair omits details that are awkward for the movie's case, however. Sternberg was never an employee of the Smithsonian: his term as a research associate always had a limited duration, and when it ended he was offered a new position as a research collaborator. As editor, Sternberg's decision to "peer-review" and approve Meyer's paper by himself was highly questionable on several grounds, which was why the scientific society that published the journal later repudiated it. Sternberg had always been planning to step down as the journal's editor—the issue in which he published the paper was already scheduled to be his last.The report prepared by Rep. Souder, who had previously expressed pro-ID views, was never officially accepted into the Congressional Record. Notwithstanding the report's conclusions, its appendix contains copies of e-mails and other documents in which Sternberg's superiors and others specifically argued against penalizing him for his ID views. (More detailed descriptions of the Sternberg case can be found on Ed Brayton's blog Dispatches from the Culture Wars and on Wikipedia.)

5) Science does not reject religious or "design-based" explanations because of dogmatic atheism.
Expelled frequently repeats that design-based explanations (not to mention religious ones) are "forbidden" by "big science." It never explains why, however. Evolution and the rest of "big science" are just described as having an atheistic preference.Actually, science avoids design explanations for natural phenomena out of logical necessity. The scientific method involves rigorously observing and experimenting on the material world. It accepts as evidence only what can be measured or otherwise empirically validated (a requirement called methodological naturalism). That requirement prevents scientific theories from becoming untestable and overcomplicated.By those standards, design-based explanations rapidly lose their rigor without independent scientific proof that validates and defines the nature of the designer. Without it, design-based explanations rapidly become unhelpful and tautological: "This looks like it was designed, so there must be a designer; we know there is a designer because this looks designed."A major scientific problem with proposed ID explanations for life is that their proponents cannot suggest any good way to disprove them. ID "theories" are so vague that even if specific explanations are disproved, believers can simply search for new signs of design. Consequently, investigators do not generally consider ID to be a productive or useful approach to science.

Boris said...

The Star Tribune gives it one-half out of four stars:

According to “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” the source of all evil in the modern world is Darwinism, a philosophy that, the film posits, is responsible for everything from atheism to abortion, euthanasia to the Holocaust.

The New York Times leads with:

One of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry.

Mixing physical apples and metaphysical oranges at every turn “Expelled” is an unprincipled propaganda piece that insults believers and nonbelievers alike. In its fudging, eliding and refusal to define terms, the movie proves that the only expulsion here is of reason itself.

From Time:
It’s in the film’s final third that it runs entirely off the rails as Stein argues that there is a clear line from Darwinism to euthanasia, abortion, eugenics and–wait for it–Nazism. Theories of natural selection, it’s claimed, were a necessary if not sufficient condition for Hitler’s killing machine to get started. The truth, of course, is that the only necessary and sufficient condition for human beings to murder one another is the simple fact of being human. We’ve always been a lustily fratricidal species, one that needed no Charles Darwin to goad us into millenniums of self-slaughter.

From the Colorado Springs Independent:
Nazis? It’s all about Nazis?

In a parallel universe even crazier than our own, Ben Stein, former Nixon speechwriter turned ironic symbol of the anti-hip, may be making a documentary about how the Nazis used the “controversial” theory of gravity to make bombs fall to earth — so, of course, the theory of gravity must be wrong. But we are here, and in this universe Ben Stein is actually telling us that because the Nazis thought it would be a good idea to breed people like animals, the theory of evolution must be wrong.

It’s nuttiness right from the opening moments of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Images of Nazi atrocities and the terrors of life behind the Berlin Wall are smugly deployed in an attempt to editorialize away basic scientific fact.

Expelled isn’t about “intelligent design,” about an alternative scientific theory, or even about academic freedom. It’s about Stein believing he has proven that acceptance of evolution leads to atheism (and also, we’re told, to such horrors as birth control). Hence, evolution cannot be allowed to be true. Even if it is.

Boris said...

The things Ben Stein doesn't want you to know is from a link in the Scientific American.

Boris said...

Here's an article that proves that theologians who accept evolution will be fired from their jobs by angry Christians:

If, as Francisco Ayala, the National Center for Science Education, and many accommodationists insist, there isn ‘t a conflict between science and faith, then they need to explain why Bruce Waltke, a professor at Florida’s Reformed Theological Seminary, was forced to resign after appearing in a BioLogos video that not only espoused harmony between faith and science, but also criticized those Christians who deny evolution.

According to Inside Higher Ed:

Michael Milton, president of the seminary’s Charlotte campus and interim president of its Orlando campus, where Waltke taught, confirmed that the scholar had lost his job over the video. Milton said that Waltke would “undoubtedly” be considered one of the world’s great Christian scholars of the Old Testament and that he was “much beloved here,” with his departure causing “heartache.” But he said that there was no choice.

Milton said that the seminary allows “views to vary” about creation, describing the faculty members there as having “an eight-lane highway” on which to explore various routes to understanding. Giving an example, he said that some faculty members believe that the Hebrew word yom (day) should be seen in Genesis as a literal 24-hour day. Others believe that yom may be providing “a framework” for some period of time longer than a day. Both of those views, and various others, are allowed, Milton said.

But while Milton insisted that this provides for “a diversity” of views, he acknowledged that others are not permitted. Darwinian views, and any suggestion that humans didn’t arrive on earth directly from being created by God (as opposed to having evolved from other forms of life), are not allowed, he said, and faculty members know this.

Asked if this limits academic freedom, Milton said: “We are a confessional seminary. I’m a professor myself, but I do not have a freedom that would go past the boundaries of the confession. Nor do I have a freedom that would allow me to express my views in such a way to hurt or impugn someone who holds another view.” Indeed he added that the problem with what Waltke said was as much his suggestion that religion will lose support over these issues as his statements about evolution itself. (The statement of faith at the seminary states: “Since the Bible is absolutely and finally authoritative as the inerrant Word of God, it is the basis for the total curriculum.”)

I guess we can resolve this conundrum by telling the Reformed Theological Seminary that their faith isn’t “proper.” Sounds like a job for Peter Hess.

More proof of what a liar Ben Stein really is. Ben Stein converted to Christianity in 1972 when he worked for Richard Nixon. So there we have his motivation for his stupid propaganda piece. ROFL!

Boris said...

What a great day for freedom! The National Day of Prayer has been found to be unconstitutional. Last week the Board of Education in Tennessee, of all places, approved a biology textbook that says creationism is a biblical myth. What a great week for science! Not a good time for the evil and false religion of Christianity though is it?

Anonymous said...

The theory of evolution, an infinate number of monkeys with an infinate number of typewriters given an infinate amount of time will eventually produce a shakespearian play, has been disproved by modern science. Science has discovered that time and space do have a beginning(the big bang), so the theory does not agree with the facts as we know them. Science indicates that the universe came into existence sixteen billion years ago. Now that is indeed a long time, however it is not infinity. In order to salvage this theory, you have to resort to some science of the gaps: 1)we live in a universe that is constantly expanding and then contracting allowing an infinate number of attempts at life. Unfortunately, science indicates that we live in a universe whose expansion is accelerating rather slowing down, so it's hard to make an arguement that it's going to stop and then begin to contract. 2)There are multiple parallel universes occupying the same space or multiple universes outside of our own. Unfortunately, these theories are outside our field of observation so they can't be proven one way or another. This is mere fantasy. 3)There is a "life force" of some kind that favors the formation of complex biology from inanimate material. This seems to be the theory with the most adherants, but there is no science to support this claim which is mere science fiction, the force be with you (Star Wars), life will find a way (Jurassic Park). To say that life formed on this planet and therefor it had to have occured by a totally independent and natural mechanism which we have not yet discovered is a little condescending don't you think.

Boris said...

The theory of evolution, an infinate number of monkeys with an infinate number of typewriters given an infinate amount of time will eventually produce a shakespearian play, has been disproved by modern science.

Boris says: First of all your monkey analogy is not an accurate description of evolution. It’s a desperate attempt to make evolution seem absurd to uneducated and badly misinformed people, which is why YOU bought it. Second of all of modern biology is based on evolutionary theory and this theory is completely supported by science. Science has in fact disproved biblical creationism and the existence of the Christian God and you KNOW it too. Third a person who misspells four words in one sentence is hardly intelligent or educated enough to criticize long-standing and well-supported scientific explanations. Fourth every CHRISTIAN college and university in the world that teaches science teaches evolution, common descent, Big Bang cosmology and all the rest of the science you Bible thumpers, deny, fear, hate, fight against and constantly lie about. You Bible thumpers have been wrong about EVERY scientific discovery and theory ever made ever since the Bible has existed, even the ones made by other Christians. When have scientists EVER had to revise one of their theories in the face of the constant, never-ending complaints about them from Bible believers? Fifth, random chance means that the possibility exists for either side. You can pray until you are blue in the face, get together in large groups and pray until you are all blue in the face, even invoke the assistance of a computer to pray until it gets locked up from malfunction. Yet, your odds of getting what you prayed for are still the same as random chance. Where is the complex object changing the odds?

Science has discovered that time and space do have a beginning(the big bang), so the theory does not agree with the facts as we know them.

Boris says: Your ignorance of science is just off the charts! The mass-energy that comprises the universe always existed. Did you complete the sixth grade? Wow! This does not in any way violate the mass-energy conservation laws. We know that universe as we observe it today had a beginning but the eventual building blocks of our universe did always exist. If God could have always existed so could the mass-energy that comprises the universe. It’s biblical creationism that doesn’t agree with the facts which is why you creationists constantly distort and lie about known facts. Your argument fails.

Science indicates that the universe came into existence sixteen billion years ago. Now that is indeed a long time, however it is not infinity. In order to salvage this theory, you have to resort to some science of the gaps:

Boris says: Nonsense. There are several independent methods for measuring the age of the universe and they all give the same results. The creationists have to resort to absurd fantasies like light doesn’t travel at the speed of light but traveled much faster several a few thousand years ago. Experiments have proved that the speed of light has remained constant since the Big Bang. You’re trying to salvage the Bible by denying scientific facts. This hasn’t worked for you people yet and it isn’t going to.

1)we live in a universe that is constantly expanding and then contracting allowing an infinate number of attempts at life. Unfortunately, science indicates that we live in a universe whose expansion is accelerating rather slowing down, so it's hard to make an arguement that it's going to stop and then begin to contract.

Boris says: Why?

Boris said...

2)There are multiple parallel universes occupying the same space or multiple universes outside of our own. Unfortunately, these theories are outside our field of observation so they can't be proven one way or another. This is mere fantasy.

Boris says: Hardly. This idea that ours is only one universe of many can’t be proven, of course, but because of its obvious logicality it has actually been the subject of a lot of scientific thought. (And in fact, it turns out to be remarkably consistent with what we do understand about the cosmos.)

3)There is a "life force" of some kind that favors the formation of complex biology from inanimate material.

Boris says: That is a typical straw man argument. Biochemistry is not chance. It inevitably produces complex products. Amino acids and other complex molecules are even known to form in space.

This seems to be the theory with the most adherants, but there is no science to support this claim which is mere science fiction, the force be with you (Star Wars), life will find a way (Jurassic Park). To say that life formed on this planet and therefor it had to have occured by a totally independent and natural mechanism which we have not yet discovered is a little condescending don't you think.

Boris says: No it’s condescending for you to claim, without any evidence whatsoever, that the God of your religion just spoke everything into existence and that we shouldn’t question this hypothesis. Not only that, you believe questioning this idea is sinful and morally wrong. What you creationists want is to shut down the entire enterprise of science because every fact that is discovered about the natural universe argues against the supernatural.

“The war between Christianity and science has raged so long and bitterly that even 100 years ago, Andrew White, a former president of Cornell University, was able to write a huge two-volume history of the conflict entitled The Warfare Of Science With Theology. (1) Exhaustively covering hundreds of historical cases, he was able to demonstrate that the Church generally repeats the same three-step process whenever confronted by a threatening scientific discovery: First, the Church tries to crush the "heretical" view, often through censorship and persecution of the scientist. But as the evidence supporting the scientific viewpoint inevitably grows, the Church struggles to find a compromise position that incorporates both viewpoints. Eventually, the scientific victory is complete, and the Church is left to indulge in apologetics, a field of study that explains away and defends the Church's actions. In this stage, it is common for apologists to claim that there is not, and never was, any conflict between the Church and science.” - From Myth: There is no war between science and Christianity.

Anonymous said...

Boris I don't think you understand the science of evolution. I think everyone who has given this serious thought comes to the same conclusion: in order for life to evolve from inanimate matter by random chance, infinity has to be part of the equation, infinate time, infinate matter, or both. The discovery of the big bang turned the world of science on its head. In fact the term big bang was coined by Hoyle who was philosophically opposed to the idea of a young universe; it was intended to be a derogatory description of the moment of creation.

Suffice it to say that since the big bang is the model that most closely fits the science, it has become generally accepted in the science community. Sixteen billion years is the accepted age of the universe, which is young compared to the average expected life of a star, which is eighty billion years. The earth appears to be no older than six billion years. Now this creates a problem for the idea that life has evolved as a result of the random accumulation of molecules into an entity that desires survival and reproduction of itself.

In order to deal with the inconvenient fact that the universe is only sixteen billion years old and space is not infinate, philosophers have had to come up with other possibilities to give life an infinate amount of time and space to evolve by random accumalation. I will point out that an idea proposed by a scientist is not science unless it is backed up by either observational or experimental evidence; it is merely philosophy.

One of the first proposals was the idea that the universe expands due to the energy of the big bang, then contracts due to gravity as that dissipates, setting up an infinate cycle of expansion and contraction. The problem with this idea is that the critical mass of the universe(the mass required to halt the expansion of the universe such that it will begin to collapse on itself due to gravity) is several times greater than the observed mass of the universe. Secondly, the expansion of the universe has been observed to be accelerating. So energy other than the big bang continues to be applied to the universe so that it will continue to expand. Scientists call this dark energy, but have yet to explain it.

More recently scientists have proposed the idea that we live in a multiverse. After all at one time we thought we lived in the only galaxy until we developed the technology of modern telescopes. So why not multiple universes? There only two possibilities, multiple universes outside our own or multiple universes occupying the same space but on different dimensional levels. It seems doubtful that science will ever support either of these proposals as we are unable to observe or experiment on anything outside of our own space-time continuum. There is no scientific evidence that other space-time dimensions exist. This will have to remain philosophy. The philosophy of a scientist is not scientific evidence.

The third idea that you hear every now and then is that there is some natural force that favors the random creation of life. The random occurence of simple amino acids and polypeptides is hardly evidence for the random creation of life. If one found the random occurence of a molecule similar to one found in an automobile, that would not be considered evidence that a toyota could occur by random chance, and certainly life is more complex than a car. This idea is not science, but rather borders on theology and requires a certain belief in the supernatural.

Anonymous said...

Evolution is change that takes place with respect to time and is theologically neutral. I had not previously mentioned the Bible or the God of the Bible, however since that seems to be your focus, I will point out that the account of creation in the book of Genesis is an evolutionary tale, beginning with the creation of the cosmos followed by separate creation events that culminate with the creation of man. The thing that I can't figure out is that light is created before the sun. Now it is true that the big bang released a lot of electromagnetic energy, some of which must have fallen into the spectrum of visible light. But how did the author know that? After all his observation is that light comes from the sun. And this idea about life begining in the sea, and the creation of simple life forms prior to the more complex seems antithetical to what he should have been able to observe. After all, if a cow dies in the field it is soon covered with lower life forms digesting its carcass. It seems to me that observation should have told him that complex precedes the simple because that is what we observe in nature. And finally this idea that all mankind can be traced back to a common ancestor certainly doesn't fit my observation. When I look around me I see different races of people, most of whom are inferior to me. In fact I find only two philosophies that propose this model. One is the current hypersensitive political climate promoting one-worldism, and the other is the Jewish Bible. Of course the science tends to support this view, but how the author of Genesis got this one right is beyond me.

So tell me what you believe as regards the origin of life on planet Earth. If it is only philosophy that is okay.