Professor Michael Bate
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 Christopher Michael Bate FRS (born 1943) is an Emeritus Professor of developmental biology at the Department of zoology and fellow at the King’s College, Cambridge.
His research is concerned with the way in which the machinery underlying coordinated movement is assembled during embryonic development. On the one hand this involves an analysis of the way in which muscles are assembled, specified and patterned and on the other an investigation of the way in which motor circuits are generated and begin to function.
His group works with the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster and brings a combination of genetic, molecular and cellular techniques to bear on the issues of neuromuscular development. At the moment Mike Bate is working on the genetic basis of myoblast recruitment and fusion and on an electrophysiological and structural analysis of the way in which functional properties are acquired by embryonic neurons. He is a noteworthy ski instructor.
His comments can be found on the 3rd video and the 145th 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-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-), Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn Branch, Geoff Harcourt (1931-) and Ray T. Cragun (1976-).
I acknowledge completely that there is a deep mystery and we fool ourselves completely if we think there is not; I feel that the mystery is less apparent to man in the 21st century, at least in the Western world, than once it was and I think that is a great pity; I don’t subscribe to a particular religion.
Below is a letter I wrote recently to Dr. Bate:
February 11, 2015
Dear Dr. Bate,
I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”
Here is a quote I ran across recently from you in your wonderful in depth interview with Alan Macfarlane :
I acknowledge completely that there is a deep mystery and we fool ourselves completely if we think there is not; I feel that the mystery is less apparent to man in the 21st century, at least in the Western world, than once it was and I think that is a great pity; I don’t subscribe to a particular religion. I am like my maternal grandmother who refused to say the Creed because she couldn’t bring herself to say things that she didn’t believe in; we were deeply shocked by that as children; on the other hand I can get very engaged and interested in conversations of how the sort of religion that I was brought up with could actually change to become something that one could feel at ease with; an instance of such a conversation was a man called Richard Acland who gave a series of broadcasts about religion which I found deeply inspiring; he is my grandmother’s cousin; it is a deeply unsatisfactory area of my life because I feel that I don’t make enough time for reflection.
I would agree with you that we should all take more time for reflection on the big issues of life. I noticed in your interview with Alan Macfarlane that you noted that you “saw ‘On the Beach’ with Robert Acland; a transforming moment as so outraged by the thought of nuclear annihilation that I became a rabid nuclear disarmer; went to RAF Wittering with the Cadet Corp to see what they claimed was an atom bomb; thus during the latter part of my school life I became extremely rebellious and formed a lot of good friendships among the nuclear disarmament community....I love cinema; in Australia I was offered a job as film critic for the Australian Broadcasting Commission; I had a weekly programme when I broadcast to Canberra about films and got free tickets to go to drive ins to see films like ‘Last Tango in Paris’ and comment on them; the film that made me realize this was something important was ‘The Seventh Seal’, shortly after which I saw ‘Last Year at Marienbad’ and I have never recovered.”
I love the cinema too and also have seen the movies ON THE BEACH, THE SEVENTH SEAL and LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD and have done blog posts on them.
I noted that you had seen the Bergman movie WINTER LIGHT. Recently I was watching the You Tube series BREAKING DOWN BERGMAN and Sonia Strimban said concerning that movie:
I think the movie is about what can human beings have faith in, and what can we hope for. The confusion of the minister Toma Ericsson (played by Gunnar Bjornstrand) is because he is supposed to be the shepherd of his flock and lead the people and show them the way and he is the one having the greatest crisis of faith. Can a belief in a greater being sustain people and if you don’t believe in the greater being then what is the meaning of your life? So what this minister is struggling with is this question, “Is God real or is God not real then what do I do?” His inability to relate to God translates into the barrenness of the rest of the film and this larger anxiety that everyone has about life and the meaning of life and can they survive.
When I read the book Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer and I wanted to both quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism. SINCE SCHAEFFER MENTIONED THE MOVIE “ON THE BEACH” IT MADE ME THINK OF YOU AND THAT IS WHY I AM WRITING YOU THIS LETTER TODAY.
In Darwin’s 1876 Autobiography he noted:
“…it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress. To those who fully admit the immortality of the human soul, the destruction of our world will not appear so dreadful.”
Francis Schaeffer commented:
Here you feel Marcel Proust and the dust of death is on everything today because the dust of death is on everything tomorrow. Here you have the dilemma of Nevil Shute’s ON THE BEACH. If it is true that all we have left is biological continuity and increased biological complexity, which is all we have left in Darwinism here, or with many of the modern philosophers, then you can’t stand Shute’s ON THE BEACH. Maybe tomorrow at noon human life may be wiped out. Darwin already feels the tension, because if human life is going to be wiped out tomorrow, what is it worth today? Darwin can’t stand the thought of death of all men. Charlie Chaplin when he heard there was no life on Mars said, “I’m lonely.”
You think of the Swedish Opera (ANIARA) that is pictured inside a spaceship. There was a group of men and women going into outer space and they had come to another planet and the singing inside the spaceship was normal opera music. Suddenly there was a big explosion and the world had blown up and these were the last people left, the only conscious people left, and the last scene is the spaceship is off course and it will never land, but will just sail out into outer space and that is the end of the plot. They say when it was shown in Stockholm the first time, the tough Swedes with all their modern mannishness, came out (after the opera was over) with hardly a word said, just complete silence.
Darwin already with his own position says he CAN’T STAND IT!! You can say, “Why can’t you stand it?” We would say to Darwin, “You were not made for this kind of thing. Man was made in the image of God. Your CAN’T- STAND- IT- NESS is screaming at you that your position is wrong. Why can’t you listen to yourself?”
You find all he is left here is biological continuity, and thus his feeling as well as his reason now is against his own theory, yet he holds it against the conclusions of his reason. Reason doesn’t make it hard to be a Christian. Darwin shows us the other way. He is holding his position against his reason.
These words of Darwin ring in my ear, “…it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress…” . Schaeffer rightly noted, “Maybe tomorrow at noon human life may be wiped out. Darwin already feels the tension, because if human life is going to be wiped out tomorrow, what is it worth today? Darwin can’t stand the thought of death of all men.” IN OTHER WORDS ALL WE ARE IS DUST IN THE WIND. I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”
Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life. FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.
Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same interview can be seen on You Tube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. DAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.
The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.
Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.
You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:
(part 1 ten minutes)
(part 2 ten minutes)
Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)
Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com
About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.
Adrian Rogers on Darwinism