I want to start off by saying that these two long interviews below by Alan Macfarlane of Dr. Martin Rees reveal what a wonderful man he is. I enjoyed them thoroughly and have watched them several times. I also learned that Dr. Rees is a good friend of Owen Gingerich who is an evangelical Christian longtime professor at Harvard. I have read many of Gingerich’s articles with much interest over the years and I mentioned him in my letter to Professor Ernst Mayr back in the 1990’s. Dr. Mayr was kind enough to respond with a detailed letter on his views on evolution.
Interview of Lord Martin Rees – part one
Interview on the life and times of Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, Master of Trinity, Cambridge and cosmologist. For a higher quality (downloadable) version, and many video interviews of others, please see http://www.alanmacfarlane.com
All revenues to the World Oral Literature Project
Interview of Lord Martin Rees – part two
On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:
…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975
and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.
There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 academics and scientists and I hope to respond to all of them. Wikipedia notes Martin John Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, Kt., OM, FRS, HonFREng FMedSci (born 23 June 1942) is a British cosmologist and astrophysicist. He has been Astronomer Royal since 1995 and was Masterof Trinity College, Cambridge from 2004 to 2012 and President of the Royal Society between 2005 and 2010. Rees was born on 23 June 1942 in York, England. He was educated at Bedstone College, then from the age of 13 at Shrewsbury School, Shropshire. He studied for the Mathematics tripos at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating with first class. He then undertook post-graduate research at Cambridge and completed a PhD degree under Dennis Sciama in 1967.
The comments of Dr. Rees can be found on the 1st video and the 12th clip in this series. Below the videos you will find his words.
50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)
Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)
A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)
I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names included are Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996), Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-), Brian Charlesworth (1945-), Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010), Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-), Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-).Harry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), and Ray T. Cragun (1976-).
I suppose one thing I would say, from my BBC lectures, I think doing science makes me realize that even the simplest things are pretty hard to understand and that makes me suspicious of people who believe they’ve got anything more than an incomplete and metaphorical understanding of any deep aspect of reality. And also I see human beings as not the culmination, but only a stage in the marvelous unfolding of evolution, because the timeline ahead is as long as the time that has lapsed up to now. Those are respects in which my professional interests affect my response to dogmatic religion. But as I say, I participate in occasional religious services which are the customs of the society I grew up in. I’m not allergic to religion.
Dr. Rees says he can’t accept easy answers, but would he accept complicated ones? He makes a statement of agnosticism which is “the most we can hope for is an incomplete and metaphorical understanding.” This reminds me of the objection by Carl Sagan. He had taken a look at Christ’s life in the gospels, but said it was unrealistic for God to send a man to communicate for God. Instead, Sagan suggested that God could have written a mathematical formula in the Bible or put a cross in the sky. However, what happens at the conclusion of the movie CONTACT? This is Sagan’s last message to the world in the form of the movie that appeared shortly after his death. Dr Arroway (Jodie Foster) who is a young atheistic scientist who meets with an alien and this alien takes the form of Dr. Arroway’s father. The alien tells her that they thought this would make it easier for her. In fact, he meets her on a beach that resembles a beach that she grew up near so she would also be comfortable with the surroundings. Carl Sagan when writing this script chose to put the alien in human form so Dr. Arroway could relate to the alien. Christ chose to take our form and come into our world too and still many make up excuses for not believing.
Dr. Rees is a member of the Church of England but he says he does not believe any of their doctrines. In the above article, “Martin Rees: I’ve got no religious beliefs at all – interview,” Dr. Rees makes it clear that he sees no evidence to back up the religious beliefs of his fellow church members. Let me put forth some evidence that is hard for a person of science to explain.
HOW COULD A PROPHET IN THE OLD TESTAMENT PREDICT EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE HUNDREDS OF YEARS LATER?
I have been amazed at the prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled in history, and also many of the historical details in the Bible have been confirmed by archaeology too. One of the most amazing is the prediction that the Jews would be brought back and settle in Jerusalem again. Another prophecy in Psalms 22 describes messiah dying on a cross almost 1000 years before the Romans came up with this type of punishment.
Many times it has been alleged that the author of the Book of Daniel was from a later period but how did a later author know these 5 HISTORICAL FACTS? How did he know  that Belshazzar was ruling during the last few years of the Babylonian Empire when the name “Belshazzar” was lost to history until 1853 when it was uncovered in the monuments?  The author also knew that the Babylonians executed individuals by casting them into fire, and that the Persians threw the condemned to the lions.  He knew the practice in the 6th Century was to mention first the Medes, then the Persians and not the other way around.  Plus he knew the laws made by Persian kings could not be revoked and  he knew that in the sixth century B.C., Susa was in the province of Elam (Dan. 8:2).
One of the top 10 posts on my blog on this next subject concerning Tyre. John MacArthur went through every detail of the prophecy concerning Tyre and how history shows the Bible prophecy was correct. Sagan said he had taken a look at Old Testament prophecy and it did not impress him because it was too vague.
HOW CAN ANYONE SAY THAT THIS FOLLOWING PROPHECY CONCERNING TYRE IS “TOO VAGUE?”
Prophecy–The Biblical Prophesy About Tyre.mp4
Uploaded by TruthIsLife7 on Dec 5, 2010
A short summary of the prophecy about Tyre and it’s precise fulfillment. Go to this link and watch the whole series for the amazing fulfillment from secular sources.
John MacArthur on the amazing fulfilled prophecy on Tyre and how it was fulfilled by historical events.
A. The Forecast
1. The specifics
a) That King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon would destroy the mainland city of Tyre (26:7-8).
b) That many nations would rise up against Tyre. These nations would come like waves of the sea, one after another (26:3- 4).
c) That Tyre will be made like a flat rock (26:4, 14).
d) That fisherman will dry their nets there (26:5, 14).
e) That the rubble of the city would be cast into the sea (26:12).
f) That Tyre would never be rebuilt (26:14).
2. The setting
Tyre was a great city. It was one of the largest and most powerful cities of Phoenicia, which is modern day Lebanon.
It was well fortified. A great wall protected the city from land attacks while their world-renowned fleet protected them from attack by sea.
Tyre was a flourishing city during the time when Joshua led Israel into the Promised Land. King Hiram, who began his reign during the rule of David, offered David cedars from Tyre to build his palace. He also loaned David his artisans to craft parts of the great palace (1 Chron. 14:1). Hiram also helped Solomon build the Temple by floating cedars down the shoreline to be picked up and hauled to Jerusalem (2 Chron. 2:16). So Tyre was a great city, and both David and Solomon looked to it for aid.
B. The Fulfillment
1. The prophetic call
a) To Nebuchadnezzar
Not long after the prophecy given by Ezekiel, Nebuchadnezzar did exactly what had been predicted–he laid siege against the city in 585 B.C. For thirteen years Nebuchadnezzar cut off the flow of supplies into the city. In 537 B.C. he finally succeeded in breaking the gates down, but found the city almost empty.
During the thirteen-year siege, the people of Tyre moved all their possessions by ship to an island one-half mile offshore. So Nebuchadnezzar gained no plunder (Ezek. 29:17- 20). Although he destroyed the mainland city (Ezek. 26:8), the new city offshore continued to flourish for 250 years. The prophecy of Ezekiel 26:12–“they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water”–remained unfulfilled.
b) To Alexander the Great
At age twenty-two, Alexander the Great came east conquering the known world with an army of between thirty and forty thousand men. Having defeated the Persians under Darius III, Alexander was on the march toward Egypt.
(1) The dilemma
Alexander arrived in the Phoenician territory and demanded that the cities open their gates to him. The citizens of Tyre refused, feeling they were secure on their island with their superior fleet.
(2) The decision
Realizing he did not have a fleet that could match Tyre’s, Alexander decided to build a causeway to the island using the ruins from the mainland city. It was about two hundred feet wide. The prophet said that the city would be thrown into the water, and that’s exactly what happened.
(3) The details
Arrian, a Greek historian, wrote about the overthrow of Tyre and how it was accomplished (The Campaigns of Alexander [New York: Penquin, 1958], pp. 132-43). The fortification of Tyre resembled Alcatraz. The city sat offshore like a rock with walls that came down to the edge of the water. Alexander set out to build the only means to approach the city–a land peninsula. Soldiers started pitching rubble into the water, leveling it off as they went so they could march on it. The water got deeper as they approached the island, and to make their task even more difficult, the people of Tyre bombarded them with missiles.
Werner Keller in The Bible as History tells us that to safeguard the operation, Alexander built mobile shields called “tortoises” (New York: Bantam, 1956], p. 361). Knowing that when they reached the city they would have to scale the walls, Alexander built “Hele-poleis,” which were mobile siege towers 160 foot high. The idea was to roll these structures across the causeway and push them up against the walls. A drawbridge on the front of the towers enabled the soldiers to march across the top of the walls and into the city.
Alexander’s men were under constant attack from people within the city and from the Tyrian navy. Realizing that he needed ships to defend his flanks, Alexander returned to the cities he had conquered and demanded their assistance. That fulfilled the prophecy that God “will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth its waves to come up” (Ezek. 26:3).
(4) The destruction
Alexander’s plan succeeded. Eight thousand people were slain and thirty thousand were sold into slavery. It took Alexander seven months to conquer Tyre. The causeway he built can be seen to this day.
2. The prophetic result
How did Ezekiel know all those things would happen? The only explanation is he expressed the mind of God. Historian Philip Myers said, “Alexander the Great reduced it [Tyre] to ruins (332 B.C.). She recovered in a measure from this blow, but never regained the place she had previously held in the world. The larger part of the site … is now as bare as the top of a rock–a place where the fishermen that still frequent the spot spread their nets to dry” (General History for Colleges and High Schools [Boston: Ginn and Co., 1889], p. 55). That fulfills the prophecies of Ezekiel 26:4-5, 14. The island city was repopulated, later to be destroyed by the Moslems in A.D. 1281. However, God said the mainland city would never be rebuilt–and it never has. Jerusalem has been rebuilt many times but Tyre will never be rebuilt because a prophet in Babylon said twenty-five centuries ago, “Thou shalt be built no more” (Ezek. 26:14).
Prophecy–Alexander The Great Siege of Tyre 6of6.flv
Uploaded by TruthIsLife7 on Dec 5, 2010
This video by secular sources fulfills in amazing detail the prophecies made about Tyre by the Bible centuries in advance. Go here to see the Bible’s prophecies:
The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)
You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicle, of Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism), 4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites, 6.Shishak Smiting His Captives, 7. Moabite Stone, 8. Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, 9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets. 10. Cyrus Cylinder, 11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E., 12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription, 13. The Pilate Inscription, 14. Caiaphas Ossuary, 14 B Pontius Pilate Part 2, 14c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,
Interview with Owen Gingerich, part 1
Uploaded on Dec 15, 2008
An interview with Owen Gingerich, historian of science and astronomer, filmed by Alan Macfarlane on 31 August 2008.
An interview with Owen Gingerich, part 2
FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 35 Robert M. Pirsig (Feature on artist Kerry James Marshall)