Dr. Steven Weinberg pictured below:
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.
Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto:
There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 scientists and I hope to respond to all of them. Wikipedia notes Steven Weinberg (born May 3, 1933) is an American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics for his contributions with Abdus Salam and Sheldon Glashow to the unification of the weak force and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles.
He holds the Josey Regental Chair in Science at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is a member of the Physics and Astronomy Departments. His research on elementary particles and cosmology has been honored with numerous prizes and awards, including in 1979 the Nobel Prize in Physics and in 1991 the National Medal of Science. In 2004 he received the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the American Philosophical Society, with a citation that said he is “considered by many to be the preeminent theoretical physicist alive in the world today.” He has been elected to the US National Academy of Sciences and Britain’s Royal Society, as well as to the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Weinberg is found in the 50th clip in the first video below and his quote is found below in this post and my response is after that.
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-).
QUOTE FROM DR. STEVEN WEINBERG:
“I have a friend — or had a friend, now dead — Abdus Salam, a very devout Muslim, who was trying to bring science into the universities in the Gulf states and he told me that he had a terrible time because, although they were very receptive to technology, they felt that science would be a corrosive to religious belief, and they were worried about it… and damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too.”
― Steven Weinberg
My first response is to recount my correspondence with the famous evolutionist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) of Harvard. In his letter to me he basically said that there are many chemists and molecular biologists who find the story of gradual evolution of life totally convincing and that he is sticking with them. This is very similar to the approach by Dr. Weinberg and it is an appeal to authority in that they are suggesting that we just accept the brilliant scientists’ point of view because they are brilliant scientists and they are smarter than the rest of us.THERE IS A SIMPLE ANSWER THAT I COULD GIVE to both Dr. Mayr and Dr. Weinberg which is a quote from Adrian Rogers:
Did you know that all atheists are not atheists because of intellectual problems? They’re atheists because of moral problems. You say, “But I know some brilliant people who are atheists.” Well, that may be so, but I know some brilliant people who are not. You say, “I know some foolish people who believe in God.” Well, I know everyone who doesn’t believe in God is foolish.
In other words there are brilliant and stupid people on both sides of the fence and it is not an intellectual issue but a moral one. Let’s take a look at the history of science that was handled down to us from Western Europe and take a closer examination of those great men’s religious views and if their religious views were corrosive to their scientific pursuits? This is the accusation of many modern day evolutionists.
Ernst Mayr (pictured below with the beard)
Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas…
Published on May 19, 2012
Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas, James Cameron, Larry King, Ian Wilmut, Jane Goodall, Stephen Jay Gould, Tim D. White, Leon Lederman, Timothy Berners-Lee and Bill Gates. Complete and more interview go to websites “www.achievement.org”.
Mais entrevistas e completas no site “www.achievement.org”.
In 1994 and 1995 I had the opportunity to correspond with the famous evolutionist Dr. Ernst Mayr of Harvard. He stated in his letter of 10-3-94, “Owing to your ideological commitments, it is only natural that you cannot accept the cogency of the scientific evidence. However, to a person such as myself without such commitments, the story of the gradual evolution of life as reconstructed by chemists and molecular biologists is totally convincing.”
I responded by pointing out three points. First, Scientific Naturalism is atheistic by definition. Second, many great scientists of the past were Christians, and that did not disqualify their observations and discoveries. Third, the fact that evolution is true does not rule out God’s existence (Harvard’s own Owen Gingerich and many others such as Francis Collins hold to a Creator and evolution).
Let me just spend some time on my second point. Francis Schaeffer in his book “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?” stated that according to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God. In the article, “Christianity and Technological Advance – The Astonishing Connection,” by T. V. Varughese, Ph.D, he observed:
Without question, “technology” has now become the new magic word in place of the word “science.” Since technology represents the practical applications of science, it is clearly consumer-oriented. Herein is bright economic promise to all who can provide technology.
In terms of technology, our present world can be divided into at least three groups: countries that are strong providers of technology, both original and improved; countries that are mass producers because of cheaper labor; and countries that are mostly consumers. Without a doubt, being in the position of “originating” superior technology should be a goal for any major country. The difficult question, however, is “how.”
An obvious place to start suggests itself. Why not begin with the countries that have established themselves as strong originators of technology and see if there is a common thread between them? The western nations, after the Renaissance and the Reformation of the 16th century, offer a ready example. Any book on the history of inventions, such as the Guinness Book of Answers, will reveal that the vast majority of scientific inventions have originated in Europe (including Britain) and the USA since the dawn of the 17th century. What led to the fast technological advances in the European countries and North America around that time?
The answer is that something happened which set the stage for science and technology to emerge with full force. Strange as it may seem, that event was the return to Biblical Christianity in these countries.
According to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God. Entomologist Stanley Beck,though not a Christian himself, acknowledged the corner-stone premises of science which the Judeo-Christian world view offers: “The first of the unprovable premises on which science has been based is the belief that the world is real and the human mind is capable of knowing its real nature. The second and best-known postulate underlying the structure of scientific knowledge is that of cause and effect. The third basic scientific premise is that nature is unified.” In other words, the epistemological foundation of technology has been the Judeo-Christian world view presented in the Bible…
Perhaps the most obvious affirmation that Biblical Christianity and science are friends and not foes comes from the fact that most of the early scientists after the Renaissance were also strong believers in the Bible as the authoritative source of knowledge concerning the origin of the universe and man’s place in it. The book of Genesis, the opening book of the Bible, presents the distinctly Judeo-Christian world view of a personal Creator God behind the origin and sustenance of the universe (Genesis 1:1; Colossians 1:17; etc.).
Among the early scientists of note who held the Biblical creationist world view are Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), and Samuel Morse (1791-1872) – what motivated them was a confidence in the “rationality” behind the universe and the “goodness” of the material world. The creation account in Genesis presents an intelligent, purposeful Creator, who, after completing the creation work, declared it to be very good (Genesis 1:31). That assures us that the physical universe operates under reliable laws which may be discovered by the intelligent mind and used in practical applications. The confidence in the divinely pronounced goodness of the material world removed any reluctance concerning the development of material things for the betterment of life in this world. The spiritual world and the material world can work together in harmony.
- Francis A. Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live (Revell, 1976), p. 132.
- Henry M. Morris, Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Baker, 1991), p. 30.
- Schaeffer, p. 131.
- Henry M. Morris, Men of Science, Men of God (Master Books, CA, 1988), 107 pp.
Henry Morris pointed out:
Many of these great scientists of the past were before Darwin, but not all of them. However, all of them were acquainted with secular philosophies and some were in fact opponents of Darwinism (Agassiz, Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Dawson, Virchow, Fabre, Fleming, etc). Many of them believed in the inspiration and authority of the Bible, as well as in the deity and saving work of Jesus Christ. They believed that God had supernaturally created all things, each with its own complex structure for its own unique purpose. They believed that, as scientists, they were “thinking God’s thoughts after Him,” learning to understand and control the laws and processes of nature for God’s glory and man’s good. They believed and practiced science in exactly the same way that modern creationist scientists do.
And somehow this attitude did not hinder them in their commitment to the “scientific method.” In fact one of them, Sir Francis Bacon, is credited with formulating and establishing the scientific method! They seem also to have been able to maintain a proper “scientific attitude,” for it was these men (Newton, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pascal, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Kepler, etc.) whose researches and analyses led to the very laws and concepts of science which brought about our modern scientific age….
To illustrate the caliber and significance of these great scientists of the past, Tables I and II have been prepared. These tabulations are not complete lists, of course, but at least are representative and they do point up the absurdity of modern assertions that no true scientist can be a creationist and Bible-believing Christian.
Table I lists the creationist “fathers” of many significant branches of modern science. Table II lists the creationist scientists responsible for various vital inventions, discoveries, and other contributions to mankind. These identifications are to some degree oversimplified, of course, for even in the early days of science every new development involved a number of other scientists, before and after. Nevertheless, in each instance, a strong case can be made for attributing the chief responsibility to the creationist scientist indicated. At the very least, his contribution was critically important and thus supports our contention that belief in creation and the Bible helps, rather than hinders, scientific discovery.
My relatives live 3 miles from Spring Hill, Tennessee. When the new General Motors plant opened there I got to go see it. What if I had said, “The assembly line created a beautiful Saturn automobile!” Hopefully, some would have corected me by responding, “The assembly line did not create the automobile. It was first designed by the General Motors engineers in Detroit.” ASSUMING EVOLUTION IS TRUE, IT WOULD STILL ONLY BE THE MECHANISM. DOES EVOLUTION ACCOUNT FOR THE DESIGNER?
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES ESTABLISHED
|ANTISEPTIC SURGERY||JOSEPH LISTER (1827-1912)|
|BACTERIOLOGY||LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)|
|CALCULUS||ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)|
|CELESTIAL MECHANICS||JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)|
|CHEMISTRY||ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)|
|COMPARATIVE ANATOMY||GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)|
|COMPUTER SCIENCE||CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)|
|DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS||LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)|
|DYNAMICS||ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)|
|ELECTRONICS||JOHN AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)|
|ELECTRODYNAMICS||JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)|
|ELECTRO-MAGNETICS||MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)|
|ENERGETICS||LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)|
|ENTOMOLOGY OF LIVING INSECTS||HENRI FABRE (1823-1915)|
|FIELD THEORY||MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)|
|FLUID MECHANICS||GEORGE STOKES (1819-1903)|
|GALACTIC ASTRONOMY||WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)|
|GAS DYNAMICS||ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)|
|GENETICS||GREGOR MENDEL (1822-1884)|
|GLACIAL GEOLOGY||LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)|
|GYNECOLOGY||JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)|
|HYDRAULICS||LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452-1519)|
|HYDROGRAPHY||MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)|
|HYDROSTATICS||BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)|
|ICHTHYOLOGY||LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)|
|ISOTOPIC CHEMISTRY||WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)|
|MODEL ANALYSIS||LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)|
|NATURAL HISTORY||JOHN RAY (1627-1705)|
|NON-EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY||BERNHARD RIEMANN (1826- 1866)|
|OCEANOGRAPHY||MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)|
|OPTICAL MINERALOGY||DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)|
|PALEONTOLOGY||JOHN WOODWARD (1665-1728)|
|PATHOLOGY||RUDOLPH VIRCHOW (1821-1902)|
|PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY||JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)|
|REVERSIBLE THERMODYNAMICS||JAMES JOULE (1818-1889)|
|STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS||JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)|
|STRATIGRAPHY||NICHOLAS STENO (1631-1686)|
|SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY||CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)|
|THERMODYNAMICS||LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)|
|THERMOKINETICS||HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)|
|VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY||GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)|
NOTABLE INVENTIONS, DISCOVERIES
|ABSOLUTE TEMPERATURE SCALE||LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)|
|ACTUARIAL TABLES||CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)|
|BAROMETER||BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)|
|BIOGENESIS LAW||LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)|
|CALCULATING MACHINE||CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)|
|CHLOROFORM||JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)|
|CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM||CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)|
|DOUBLE STARS||WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)|
|ELECTRIC GENERATOR||MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)|
|ELECTRIC MOTOR||JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)|
|EPHEMERIS TABLES||JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)|
|FERMENTATION CONTROL||LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)|
|GALVANOMETER||JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)|
|GLOBAL STAR CATALOG||JOHN HERSCHEL (1792-1871)|
|INERT GASES||WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)|
|KALEIDOSCOPE||DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)|
|LAW OF GRAVITY||ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)|
|MINE SAFETY LAMP||HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)|
|PASTEURIZATION||LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)|
|REFLECTING TELESCOPE||ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)|
|SCIENTIFIC METHOD||FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626)|
|SELF-INDUCTION||JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)|
|TELEGRAPH||SAMUEL F.B. MORSE (1791-1872)|
|THERMIONIC VALVE||AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)|
|TRANS-ATLANTIC CABLE||LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)|
|VACCINATION & IMMUNIZATION||LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)|
2000 Interview with Ernst Mayr, Harvard University
Uploaded on Jul 13, 2008
Interviews conducted in March 2000 at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences on the topic of Challenges for the New Millennium. Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. See http://www.aibs.org/media-library/ for additional AIBS conference recordings.
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
With the passing in recent years of the three most revered scientific spokesmen for evolution—Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, and now Stephen Jay Gould—Professor Ernst Mayr is left as the unquestioned dean of the modern evolutionary establishment.
Gould, Asimov, and Sagan were all three extremely prolific and brilliant writers. All three were atheistic professors at prestigious eastern universities (Gould at Harvard, Asimov at Boston University, Sagan at Cornell), and all three were effusive and vigorous anti-creationists. They were formidable opponents (but eminently quotable), and we miss them. All three died at relatively young ages.
But that leaves Ernst Mayr, long-time professor of biology at Harvard. Dr. Mayr was born in 1904 and is (at this writing) still very much alive, and nearing the century mark. Dr. Gould recently called him “the greatest living evolutionary biologist and a writer of extraordinary insight and clarity” (in a jacket blurb on Mayr’s latest book).
Mayr’s New Book
And that book is the subject of this article. Its title is intriguing—What Evolution Is (Basic Books, 2001, 318 pages),—for if anyone could speak authoritatively on such a subject, it should be Professor Mayr. In his adulatory foreword, Jared Diamond, another leading modern evolutionist, concludes: “There is no better book on evolution. There will never be another book like it” (p. xii).
That evaluation should give any reader very high expectations. Unfortunately, however, Dr. Mayr first shows his disdain for creationism, not even considering its arguments. He simply says:
It is now actually misleading to refer to evolution as a theory, considering the massive evidence that has been discovered over the last 140 years documenting its existence. Evolution is no longer a theory, it is simply a fact (p. 275).
He dismissed the evidence for creation as unworthy of further discussion. “The claims of the creationists” he says, “have been refuted so frequently and so thoroughly that there is no need to cover this subject once more” (p. 269).
Ignoring Creation Evidence
He himself, however, has apparently not bothered to read any creationist or secular anti-evolutionist scientific books or articles. Or at least that is what one would infer from the fact that none of them or their arguments and evidence are even mentioned in his book.
No mention is made by Mayr, for example, of creationist expositions of the amazing created designs in living systems, nor of the effects of God’s curse on the creation, or of the significance of the great flood in understanding the geologic record. He does not even acknowledge the significance of naturalistic catastrophism or of such scientific concepts as complexity or probability. Current ideas about “intelligent design” are never mentioned. The origins of all things are due to time, chance, and natural selection, no matter how complex and interdependent they may be, according to Professor Mayr, who had been (along with Julian Huxley, George Simpson, and a few others) primarily responsible for the so-called modern evolutionary synthesis (or neo-Darwinism) back in the 1930s and 1940s.
Neither does Mayr seem aware that there are now thousands of credentialed and knowledgeable scientists (including a great many biologists) who reject evolution, giving not even a nod to the Creation Research Society, or to ICR, or any other creationist organization. He does occasionally refer to God or to Christianity, but only in passing, and always in a context that indicates that he does not believe in either one. He, like his three younger colleagues, is an atheist, and this naturally constrains him to ignore any possible theological implications of the origins issues.
The Alleged Evidence for Evolution
Mayr’s new book is beautifully written and does contain much good material, but it will not convert many to evolutionism, even though he does devote a chapter to what he thinks are the evidences for evolution. These evidences are essentially the same as those used 140 years ago by Darwin in the Origin (fossils, comparative morphology, embryological similarities and recapitulation, vestigial structures, and geographical distribution). Mayr adds nothing new to these arguments, ignoring the fact that creationists (and even a number of evolutionists) have long since refuted all of them. He does devote a brief section to the more recent “evidence” from molecular biology. But that also has been vigorously disputed by a number of specialists in this field, especially the supposed evolutionary relationships implied by the molecules. Even Mayr admits that “molecular clocks are not nearly as constant as often believed” (p. 37), but he does not mention any of the numerous contradictory relationships implied by these biochemical studies (e.g., the well-known genomic similarities of humans and bananas).
As do most evolutionists, Mayr spends much time in discussing micro-evolution, whereas modern creationists only reject macroevolution. He devotes five chapters to microevolution and only one to macroevolution. This particular chapter is quite long, discussing many speculative theories about how macroevolutionary changes might be produced, but there is one vital deficiency. He gives no example of any macroevolutionary change known to have happened. In other words, macroevolution seems never to have occurred within the several thousand years of recorded history. Thus, real evolution (as distinct from variation, recombination, hybridization, and other such “horizontal” changes) does not happen at present. Where, we would ask Professor Mayr, are there any living forms in the process of evolutionary change? He gives no examples, of course, because there are none.
As far as pre-human history is concerned, Dr. Mayr does insist that the fossil record documents past evolution. He cites the usual claims—horses, Archaeopteryx, mammal-like reptiles, walking whales, etc.—which are very equivocal, at best, and have all been shown by creationists to be invalid as transitional forms. Instead of a handful of highly doubtful examples, there ought to be thousands of obvious transitional forms in the fossils if evolution had really been occurring. Yet Mayr admits,
Wherever we look at the living biota, . . . discontinuities are overwhelmingly frequent. . . . The discontinuities are even more striking in the fossil record. New species usually appear in the fossil record suddenly, not connected with their ancestors by a series of intermediates (p. 189).
Professor Mayr still says that the fossils are “the most convincing evidence for the occurrence of evolution” (p. 13). Yet he also says that “the fossil record remains woefully inadequate” (p. 69). Thus, as creationists have often pointed out, there is no real evidence of either present or past evolution.
We have repeatedly noted also that the scientific reason why this is so is because real evolution to any higher level of complexity is impossible by the law of entropy, which states the proven fact that every system of any kind “tends” to go toward lower complexity, unless constrained otherwise by some pre-designed external program and mechanism.
Yet Ernst Mayr seems either to ignore or misunderstand this key argument of the creationists. Here is what he says:
Actually there is no conflict, because the law of entropy is valid only for closed systems, whereas the evolution of a species of organisms takes place in an open system in which organisms can reduce entropy at the expense of the environment and the sun supplies a continuing input of energy (p. 8).
And that’s all he says about one of the key arguments against evolution. This ubiquitous dodge of the evolutionists has been discredited again and again by creationists, and one would think that this “greatest living evolutionary biologist” in this “best book on evolution” would at least take notice of our arguments! At least half of America’s population, according to many polls, are creationists, apparently agreeing more with us than with Mayr.
An open system and external energy are, indeed, necessary conditions for a system to grow in complexity, but most definitely are not sufficient conditions. The question is just how does the sun’s energy produce complexity in an open system? The fact is that the application of external heat energy to an open system (such as from the sun to the earth) will increase the entropy (that is, decrease the organized complexity) in any open system, if that’s all there is. This is a basic principle of thermodynamics, and neither Mayr nor any other evolutionist has answered this problem. Evolution seems to be impossible by the known laws of science.
Professor Mayr does not deal with the theological or Biblical evidences, of course. For those who believe in God and the Bible, on the other hand, creation—not evolution—is, to appropriate Mayr’s words, “simply a fact.” Evolution is merely a belief held by many who “willingly are ignorant” (II Peter 3:5) of the strong evidences and arguments for creation, and who don’t even bother to consider them. In the words of the apostle Paul: “Where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (I Corinthians 1:20).
Cite this article: Henry Morris, Ph.D. 2002. The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book. Acts & Facts. 31 (8).
When I first began examining the claims of the Book of Mormon, I was an atheist who had just become interested in the person of Jesus. As a skeptic, I understood the importance of corroborative evidence when trying to determine if a witness statement is reliable. I began looking for corroboration related to both the Christian and Mormon scripture. I was immediately struck by the stark contrast between what has been discovered related to Old Testament history and what has been not been discovered related to the alleged history recorded in the Book of Mormon. There’s a reason for the absence of maps in the Mormon collection of scripture. There are no archaeological discoveries of any cities described in the book of Mormon. Worse yet, there aren’t any discoveries of any of the names of characters mentioned in the 1,000 year span of American continental history chronicled in the Book of Mormon (from 600BC to 400AD). I don’t expect archaeology to verify everything recorded in an ancient book, but I do expect it to verify something.
The archaeological evidence supporting the Old Testament demonstrates a striking contrast when compared to the Book of Mormon in both the generalities and specificities confirmed by archaeology:
Many of the Old Testament accounts bearing strong resemblances to other ancient accounts discovered through the efforts of historians and archaeologists. The Great Flood account in Genesis 6-9, for example, is very similar to Babylonian and Akkadian accounts discovered in the same region of the world. Some of these accounts may even pre-date the writings of Moses, but all describe a catastrophic flood event predating the generation of the authors. In addition, the Sumerian King List records kings who reigned for long periods of time. Following the great flood, this Babylonian document records much shorter reigns, mirroring the life expectancy patterns described in the Old Testament. The 11th tablet of the Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic speaks of an ark, animals taken on the ark, birds sent out during the course of the flood, the ark landing on a mountain, and a sacrifice offered after the ark landed.
In addition to the flood story, there are other non-Biblical accounts recording events found in the Old Testament. The Mesopotamian Story of Adapa tells of a test for immortality involving food, similar to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Sumerian tablets record the confusion of language as we have in the Biblical account of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). This Sumerian account records a golden age when all mankind spoke the same language. Speech was then confused by the god Enki, lord of wisdom. The Babylonians had a similar account in which the gods destroyed a temple tower and “scattered them abroad and made strange their speech” (Stephen L. Caiger, Bible and Spade, 1936, p. 29). There are many points of agreement in overarching narrative generalities between the Old Testament and the surrounding ancient cultures.
In addition to these generalities, many specific events and historical characters described in the Old Testament have now been confirmed by extra-Biblical sources. Consider the following examples (this list is abbreviated from the work of Dr. Bryant Wood):
The campaign into Israel by Pharaoh Shishak
(1 Kings 14:25-26) is recorded on the walls of the Temple of Amun in Thebes, Egypt.
The revolt of Moab against Israel
(2 Kings 1:1; 3:4-27) is recorded on the Mesha Inscription.
The fall of Samaria
(2 Kings 17:3-6, 24; 18:9-11) to Sargon II, king of Assyria, is recorded on his palace walls.
The defeat of Ashdod by Sargon II
(Isaiah 20:1) is recorded on his palace walls.
The campaign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib against Judah
(2 Kings 18:13-16) is recorded on the Taylor Prism.
The siege of Lachish by Sennacherib
(2 Kings 18:14, 17) is recorded on the Lachish reliefs.
The assassination of Sennacherib by his own son
(2 Kings 19:37) is recorded in the annals of his son Esarhaddon.
The fall of Nineveh as predicted by the prophets Nahum and Zephaniah
(2 Kings 2:13-15) is recorded on the Tablet of Nabopolasar.
The fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon
(2 Kings 24:10-14) is recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles.
The captivity of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, in Babylon
(2 Kings 24:15-16) is recorded on the Babylonian Ration Records.
The fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians
(Daniel 5:30-31) is recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.
The freeing of captives in Babylon by Cyrus the Great
(Ezra 1:1-4; 6:3-4) is recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.
The historical record of the Old Testament is not alone in the history it records. There are other ancient records affirming the overarching generalities and specific details of the Old Testament. There are no such corroborative ancient records providing similar verification for the history of the Book of Mormon. It is the singular lonely voice related to the historical narrative it describes. While archaeology continues to corroborate the Old and New Testament, archaeology only exposes the erroneous nature of the Mormon record.
Related Posts In This Series:
Establishing the Reliability of the Old Testament: A Trustworthy Process of Transmission
Establishing the Reliability of the Old Testament: A Timely Test of Transmission
Establishing the Reliability of the Old Testament: The Ardent Testimony of the Ancients
A Brief Sample of Old Testament Archaeological Corroboration
From Reliable to Divine: Fulfilled Prophecy in the Old Testament
Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR