UC Berkeley College of Letters and Science
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 Dr. Harry Kroto:
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
His main interests include phenomenology, existentialism and the philosophy of both psychology and literature, as well as the philosophical implications of artificial intelligence. Dreyfus is known for his exegesis of Martin Heidegger, which critics labeled “Dreydegger”. (I wish Dr. Dreyfus would take the time to read some of the works of Francis Schaeffer on Martin Heidegger.)
His comments can be found on the 1st video and the 43rd 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-).
QUOTE OF DR. DREYFUS FROM THE VIDEO ABOVE:
“…talk about religious experience and we don’t need as you will see in a minute, so we don’t need God so we can go along with Nietzsche God is dead as far as culture is concerned. There is no longer a religious culture. It is a secular culture, yet there is religious experience and lots of need for religion in our culture taking weird forms, fanatical forms and phenomenology may be able to help with that and bring religion back into the form where it gave meaning to people’s lives and didn’t need an all powerful creator kind of God.”
CSICOP experts commented 15 years ago on a lie-detector’s ability to detect one’s repressed belief in God!!!!
In the book, THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan. Sagan writes:
The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal is an organization of scientists, academics, magicians, and others dedicated to skeptical scrutiny of emerging or full-blown pseudo-sciences. It was founded by the University of Buffalo philosopher Paul Kurtz in 1976. I’ve been affiliated with it since its beginning. Its acronym, CSICOP, is pronounced sci-cop C as if it’s an organization of scientists performing a police function CSICOP publishes a bimonthly periodical called The Skeptical Inquirer. On the day it arrives, I take it home from the office and pore through its pages, wondering what new misunderstandings will be revealed (p. 299).
Back in the late 1990’s I corresponded with many scholars from CSICOP concerning the lie-detector’s ability to detect one’s repressed belief in God. I have a good friend who is a street preacher who preaches on the Santa Monica Promenade in California and during the Q/A sessions he does have lots of atheists that enjoy their time at the mic. When this happens he always quotes Romans 1:18-19 (Amplified Bible) ” For God’s wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness REPRESS and HINDER the truth and make it inoperative. For that which is KNOWN about God is EVIDENT to them and MADE PLAIN IN THEIR INNER CONSCIOUSNESS, because God has SHOWN IT TO THEM,”(emphasis mine). Then he tells the atheist that the atheist already knows that God exists but he has been suppressing that knowledge in unrighteousness. This usually infuriates the atheist.
My friend draws some large crowds at times and was thinking about setting up a lie detector test and see if atheists actually secretly believe in God. He discussed this project with me since he knew that I had done a lot of research on the idea about 20 years ago.
Nelson Price in THE EMMANUEL FACTOR (1987) tells the story about Brown Trucking Company in Georgia who used to give polygraph tests to their job applicants. However, in part of the test the operator asked, “Do you believe in God?” In every instance when a professing atheist answered “No,” the test showed the person to be lying. My pastor Adrian Rogers used to tell this same story to illustrate Romans 1:19 and it was his conclusion that “there is no such thing anywhere on earth as a true atheist. If a man says he doesn’t believe in God, then he is lying. God has put his moral consciousness into every man’s heart, and a man has to try to kick his conscience to death to say he doesn’t believe in God.”
It is true that polygraph tests for use in hiring were banned by Congress in 1988. Mr and Mrs Claude Brown on Aug 25, 1994 wrote me a letter confirming that over 15,000 applicants previous to 1988 had taken the polygraph test and EVERY TIME SOMEONE SAID THEY DID NOT BELIEVE IN GOD, THE MACHINE SAID THEY WERE LYING.
It had been difficult to catch up to the Browns. I had heard about them from Dr. Rogers’ sermon but I did not have enough information to locate them. Dr. Rogers referred me to Dr. Nelson Price and Dr. Price’s office told me that Claude Brown lived in Atlanta. After writing letters to all 9 of the entries for Claude Brown in the Atlanta telephone book, I finally got in touch with the Browns.
Adrian Rogers also pointed out that the Bible does not recognize the theoretical atheist. Psalms 14:1: The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” Dr Rogers notes, “The fool is treating God like he would treat food he did not desire in a cafeteria line. ‘No broccoli for me!’ ” In other words, the fool just doesn’t want God in his life and is a practical atheist, but not a theoretical atheist. Charles Ryrie in the The Ryrie Study Bible came to the same conclusion on this verse.
Here are the conclusions of the experts I wrote in the secular world concerning the lie detector test and it’s ability to get at the truth:
Professor Frank Horvath of the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University has testified before Congress concerning the validity of the polygraph machine. He has stated on numerous occasions that “the evidence from those who have actually been affected by polygraph testing in the workplace is quite contrary to what has been expressed by critics. I give this evidence greater weight than I give to the most of the comments of critics” (letter to me dated October 6, 1994).
There was no better organization suited to investigate this claim concerning the lie detector test than the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). This organization changed their name to the Committe for Skeptical Inquiry in 2006. This organization includes anyone who wants to help debunk the whole ever-expanding gamut of misleading, outlandish, and fraudulent claims made in the name of science.
I read The Skeptical Review(publication of CSICOP) for several years during the 90’s and I would write letters to these scientists about taking this project on and putting it to the test. Below are some of their responses (15 to 20 years old now):
1st Observation: Religious culture of USA could have influenced polygraph test results.
ANTONY FLEW (formerly of Reading University in England, now deceased, in a letter to me dated 8-11-96) noted, “For all the evidence so far available seems to be of people from a culture in which people are either directly brought up to believe in the existence of God or at least are strongly even if only unconsciously influenced by those who do. Even if everyone from such a culture revealed unconscious belief, it would not really begin to show that — as Descartes maintained— the idea of God is so to speak the Creator’s trademark, stamped on human souls by their Creator at their creation.”
2nd Observation: Polygraph Machines do not work. JOHN R. COLE, anthropologist, editor, National Center for Science Education, Dr. WOLF RODER, professor of Geography, University of Cincinnati, Dr. SUSAN BLACKMORE,Dept of Psychology, University of the West of England, Dr. CHRISTOPHER C. FRENCH, Psychology Dept, Goldsmith’s College, University of London, Dr.WALTER F. ROWE, The George Washington University, Dept of Forensic Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
3rd Observation: The sample size probably was not large enough to apply statistical inference. (These gentlemen made the following assertion before I received the letter back from Claude Brown that revealed that the sample size was over 15,000.) JOHN GEOHEGAN, Chairman of New Mexicans for Science and Reason, Dr. WOLF RODER, and Dr WALTER F. ROWE (in a letter dated July 12, 1994) stated, “The polygraph operator for Brown Trucking Company has probably examined only a few hundred or a few thousand job applicants. I would surmise that only a very small number of these were actually atheists. It seems a statistically insignificant (and distinctly nonrandom) sampling of the 5 billion human beings currently inhabiting the earth. Dr. Nelson Price also seems to be impugning the integrity of anyone who claims to be an atheist in a rather underhanded fashion.”
I grew up as an atheist. I thought that the reason I didn’t believe was the lack of evidence that I could see or touch. I kept asking God to show me a sign if He was really there. He didn’t. Despite nine months of searching, I was just as alienated from God as I had ever been.
I remember the shock it was when God revealed to me that what I thought was the obstacle wasn’t the obstacle at all! The obstacle was pride and hardness of heart. It wasn’t a head problem; it was a heart problem. I had to come to the place where I was willing to let God be God over my life. Was I willing to confess (i.e. admit) that Jesus is Lord?
Years ago Adrian Rogers counseled with a NASA scientist and his severely depressed wife. The wife pointed to her husband and said, “My problem is him.” She went on to explain that her husband was a drinker, a liar, and an adulterer. Dr. Rogers asked the man if he were a Christian. “No!” the man laughed. “I’m an atheist.”
“Really?” Dr. Rogers replied. “That means you’re someone who knows that God does not exist.”
“That’s right,” said the man.
“Would it be fair to say that you don’t know all there is to know in the universe?”
“Would it be generous to say you know half of all there is to know?”
“Wouldn’t it be possible that God’s existence might be in the half you don’t know?”
“Okay, but I don’t think He exists.”
“Well then, you’re not an atheist; you’re an agnostic. You’re a doubter.”
“Yes, and I’m a big one.”
“It doesn’t matter what size you are. I want to know what kind you are.”
“What kinds are there?”
“There are honest doubters and dishonest doubters. An honest doubter is willing to search out the truth and live by the results; a dishonest doubter doesn’t want to know the truth. He can’t find God for the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman.”
“I want to know the truth.”
“Would you like to prove that God exists?”
“It can’t be done.”
“It can be done. You’ve just been in the wrong laboratory. Jesus said, ‘If any man’s will is to do His will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority’ (John 7:17). I suggest you read one chapter of the book of John each day, but before you do, pray something like this, ‘God, I don’t know if You’re there, I don’t know if the Bible is true, I don’t know if Jesus is Your Son. But if You show me that You are there, that the Bible is true, and that Jesus is Your Son, then I will follow You. My will is to do your will.”
The man agreed. About three weeks later he returned to Dr. Rogers’s office and invited Jesus Christ to be his Savior and Lord.
A man might be convinced that he’s being very sincere in his search for God, but until he humbles himself, he will never find Him.
— Jamie Lash
I’ve learned to test witnesses in my criminal investigations before trusting their testimony, and I evaluate them with the template we typically use in jury trials. One dimension of this template is corroboration: Is there any verifying evidence supporting the claims of the eyewitness? Corroborative evidence is what I refer to as “touch point” evidence. I don’t expect a surveillance video confirming every statement made by a witness, but I do expect small “touch point” corroborations. The authors of the Bible make a variety of historical claims, and many of these claims are corroborated by archaeological evidence. Archaeology is notoriously partial and incomplete, but it does offer us “touch point” verification of many Biblical claims. Here are just a few of the more impressive findings related to the Old Testament:
Related to the Customs of the Patriarchs
Critics of the Old Testament have argued against the historicity of the books of Moses, doubting the authenticity of many of the stories found in Genesis (and sometimes rejecting the authorship of Moses along the way). Skeptics doubted primitive people groups were capable of recording history with any significant detail, and they questioned the existence of many of the people and cities mentioned in the oldest of Biblical accounts. When the Ebla archive was discovered in Syria (modern Tell Mardikh) in the 1970′s, many of these criticisms became less reasonable. During the excavations of the Ebla palace in 1975, the excavators found a large library filled with tablets dating from 2400 -2300 BC. These tablets confirmed many of the personal titles and locations described in the patriarchal Old Testament accounts.
For years, critics also believed the name “Canaan” was used incorrectly in the early books of the Bible, doubting the term was used at this time in history and suspecting it was a late insertion (or evidence of late authorship). But “Canaan” appears in the Ebla tablets. The term was used in ancient Syria during the time in which the Old Testament was written. Critics were also skeptical of the word, “Tehom” (“the deep” in Genesis 1:2), believing it was also a late addition or evidence again of late authorship. But “Tehom” was also part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use 800 years before Moses. In fact, there is a creation record in the Ebla Tablets remarkably similar to the Genesis account. In addition, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (once thought to be fictional) are also identified in the Ebla tablets, as well as the city of Haran. This latter city is described in Genesis as the city of Abram’s father, Terah. Prior to this discovery, critics doubted the existence of this ancient city. The Ebla discovery confirmed the locations of several ancient cities, corroborated the use of several terms and titles, and confirmed ancient people were capable of being eloquent and conscientious historians.
Related to the Hittites
The historicity and cultural customs of the Patriarchs have also been corroborated in clay tablets uncovered in the cities of Nuzi, Mari and Bogazkoy. Archaeological discoveries in these three cities have confirmed the existence of the Hittites. These findings also revealed an example of an ancient king with an incredible concentration of wealth. Prior to this discovery, skeptics doubted such ancient affluence was possible and considered the story of Solomon to be greatly exaggerated. This discovery provided an example of such a situation, however. Solomon’s prosperity is now considered to be entirely feasible.
Related to Sargon
The historicity of the Assyrian king, Sargon (recorded in Isaiah 20:1) has also been confirmed, in spite of the fact his name was not seen in any non-Biblical record. Archeology again proved the Biblical account to be true when Sargon’s palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. More importantly, the event mentioned in Isaiah 20, Sargon’s capture of Ashdod, was recorded on the palace walls, confirming the history recorded in Old Testament Scripture. Fragments of a stela (an inscribed stone pillar) were also found at Ashdod. This stela was originally carved to memorialize the victory of Sargon.
Related to Belshazzar
Belshazzar, king of Babylon, was another historic king doubted by critics. Belshazzar is named in Daniel 5, but according to the non-Biblical historic record, the last king of Babylon was Nabonidus. Tablets have been discovered, however, describing Belshazzar as Nabonidus’ son and documenting his service as coregent in Babylon. If this is the case, Belshazzar would have been able to appoint Daniel “third highest ruler in the kingdom” for reading the handwriting on the wall (as recorded in Daniel 5:16). This would have been the highest available position for Daniel. Here, once again, we see the historicity of the Biblical record has been confirmed by archaeology.
Related to Nebo-Sarsekim
It’s not just kings and well-known figures who have been verified by archeology over the years. There are thousands of “lesser known,” relatively unimportant characters in the Bible who would easily be overlooked if archeology did not continue to verify them. One such person is Nebo-Sarsekim. Nebo-Sarsekim is mentioned in the Bible in Chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah. According to Jeremiah, this man was Nebuchadnezzar II’s “chief officer” and was with him at the siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC, when the Babylonians overran the city. Many skeptics have doubted this claim, but in July of 2007, Michael Jursa, a visiting professor from Vienna, discovered Nebo-Sarsekim’s name (Nabu-sharrussu-ukin) written on an Assyrian cuneiform tablet. This tablet was used as a receipt acknowledging Nabu-sharrussu-ukin’s payment of 0.75 kg of gold to a temple in Babylon, and it described Nebo-Sarsekim as “the chief eunuch” of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon. The tablet is dated to the 10th year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, 595BC, 12 years before the siege of Jerusalem, once again verifying the dating and record of the Old Testament.
Related to Nehemiah’s Wall
Skeptical historians once doubted the historicity of Nehemiah’s account of the restoration of Jerusalem that is found in the Bible. Nehemiah lived during the period when Judah was a province of the Persian Empire, and he arrived in Jerusalem as governor in 445 BC. With the permission of the Persian king, he decided to rebuild and restore the city after the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians (which occurred a century earlier, in 586 BC). The Book of Nehemiah records the completion of this wall in just 52 days, and many historians did not believe this to be true, since the wall itself was never discovered. But in November of 2007, the remnants of the wall were uncovered in an archaeological excavation in Jerusalem’s ancient City of David, strengthening concurrent claims King David’s palace was also found at the site. Experts now agree that the wall has been discovered along with the palace. Once again the Old Testament has been corroborated.
Archaeology is an ever-developing discipline, providing new insight into the past with every new discovery. Many of these findings are featured at the Biblical Archaeology Society and at other similar sources. The claims of Judaism and Christianity are more than proverbial insights; they are claims about the historic past. As such, they can be verified or falsified. Archeology is one way we can test the claims of the Old and New Testament, and this discipline continues to provide “touch point” corroborative evidence affirming the claims of the Bible.
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
The Comparatively Rich Archaeological Corroboration of the Old Testament
From Reliable to Divine: Fulfilled Prophecy in the Old Testament
FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 35 Robert M. Pirsig (Feature on artist Kerry James Marshall)