RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 56 Psychologist Bruce Hood on mind body dualism

 

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.

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

____________

Dawkins and Bruce Hood – Vitalism in Children

Bruce M. Hood – Why We Believe in the Unbelievable | For Good Reason

Bruce Hood (psychologist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bruce Hood
BruceHoodAtQEDcon2015-1.jpg

Bruce Hood giving his Why We Fail to Reason & How to Speak Easily talk at QED 2015
Born Toronto, Canada
Citizenship British
Nationality British
Institutions University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, University of Dundee,Harvard University,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thesis Development of visual selective attention (1991)
Website
brucemhood.wordpress.com

Bruce MacFarlane Hood is a Canadian-born British experimental psychologist who specialises in developmental cognitive neuroscience. He is currently based at the University of Bristol and his major research interests include the cognitive processes behind adult magical thinking.

Biography[edit]

Bruce Hood completed undergraduate studies in psychology, then received a Master of Arts and a Master of Philosophy from the University of Dundee.[1] He received a PhD fromUniversity of Cambridge in 1991, studying the visual development of infants.[2] After moving to the USA he took a place as a visiting professor at MIT and faculty professor atHarvard University.[3] He is currently a professor at the University of Bristol, where he conducts research at the School of Experimental Psychology and teaches the Developmental Psychology modules.[4]

Work[edit]

Cognitive development in childhood[edit]

In his research, Hood investigates various aspects of cognitive development in children. He is most known for looking at the origins of superstitious beliefs in children. Most notably, his research showed that children inherently prefer ‘their’ individual objects over duplicated ones,[5] a behaviour which persists into adulthood.[6]

Further, he investigates how children use the gaze to infer about the mental states of humans they are interacting with.[7][8] Hood also studies how children form theories, for example about gravity[9] and spatial representations.[10]

Public engagement[edit]

Hood has been engaging in science outreach since the beginning of his career. In 2006, he appeared on the BBC Radio 4 show Material World[11] and also presented his research at the British Science Association Science Festival later in the same year.[12] Hood argues that humans evolved to “detect patterns in the world” and defines the supersense as the “inclination to infer that there are hidden forces that create the patterns that we think we detect”.[13]

He reappeared at the same event three years later in 2009[14] and published his popular science book SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable in the same year. The book tackles how the human brain generates superstitious beliefs.[15]

In 2011, Hood appeared on BBC Radio 4‘s The Infinite Monkey Cage show to talk about the science of superstition[16][17] and also participated in the live performance event Uncaged Monkeys in Bristol.[18] Later the same year, he held the prestigious Royal Institution Christmas Lectures titled ‘Meet Your Brain’.[19][20] Organized in three parts, they explored the structure of the brain, how the brain controls behaviours and thoughts and how brains allow humans to function in a social context.[21]

In 2012, Hood published his second popular science book The Self Illusion: Why there is no ‘you’ inside your head (published under the alternative title The Self Illusion: How the social brain creates identity in America). In this book, he argues that the human sense of self is a construct of the brain which facilitates experiencing and interacting with the world.[22] Later the same year, Hood devised the world’s largest simultaneous memory experiment for the Society of Biology involving 2000 participants to demonstrate the phenomenon of false memories.[23] This was officially recognised by the Guinness Book of Records in 2013.[24]

Hood’s third popular science book, The Domesticated Brain, was published in 2014 and explores the neuro-cognitive origins and consequences of social behaviour in humans. The book’s thesis is that “over the most recent evolution, the last 20,000 years”, humans have been “selecting each other for prosocial behaviour and that has changed our brains and the way we’ve become more codependent”.[25] He presented this topic at The Royal Society of Arts,[26] The Royal Society[27] and the 2014 Cheltenham Science Festival.[28]

Skepticism[edit]

Professor Bruce Hood at the QED conference in Manchester 2011

Hood played a key part in exposing the ADE 651 bogus bomb detector and similar devices in January 2010. He got involved in exposing the scam upon realising that the devices were produced locally in Somerset (UK) and challenged the creator of the devices, Jim McCormick, to demonstrate their validity. Even though McCormick initially agreed to this, the demonstration was then delayed and McCormick later required Hood to sign a non-disclosure statement concerning their meeting. Hood had also contacted the BBC about McCormick and his fraudulent products, which ultimately resulted in the production of a BBC Newsnight documentary about ADE 651 and a related device, the GT200.[29][30] In this documentary, Hood demonstrates that the perceived effect of the devices can be explained by the ideomotor phenomenon, which had fooled naive users.[31]

Contrary to prominent skeptics such as Richard Dawkins, Hood is convinced that superstitious beliefs are inevitable and even beneficial to humans. For instance, he argues thatessentialism is beneficial to social interactions, since it allows humans to overcome objectification and attribute uniqueness to other humans. However, Hood clearly differentiates between secular and religious beliefs, where secular supernatural beliefs are universally applicable across cultures and religious beliefs are culturally specific. He also argues that secular superstitious beliefs do predispose humans to religious beliefs.[32]

Speakezee[edit]

The home page of Speakezee.org

In 2015 Hood founded Speakezee,[33] an academic speaking platform which can be used by institutions and organisations to find speakers for their events and vice versa.

“I got the idea after being invited to give too many talks than I could possibly accept, so this system should make it easier to find others who are just as good”.[34]

Speakers are able to create profiles detailing their subject expertise and speaking experience. Organisers are then able to find and short list speakers and contact them directly to discuss speaking at their event.[33] It also allows academics to advertise their specialist talks to other academics who organise departmental seminars.[35]

“At its heart is the desire to help more academics engage with the public and to make it easier for organisers to find relevant experts to talk at their event, whatever the size.”[33]

A platform that is free to use, Speakezee is currently in its first phase and primarily focused in the UK. More functionality and new features are planned for the future, making it more useful for a wider audience and with a view to ultimately expanding the site’s use internationally.[33][34] Hood hopes “it will stimulate a café culture of intellectual exchange”.[25]

Awards and recognition[edit]

He was awarded a Sloan Fellowship in neuroscience in 1997,[36] a Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Infant Studies and the Robert L. Fantz prize in 1999.[37]He was also elected to fellow status by the American Psychological Association and is a fellow of The Society for Biology and The Royal Institution of Great Britain.[38][39]

He won the 2011/12 University of Bristol individual engagement award, specifically for his local science engagement activity with the group At-Bristol.[40] In 2013, Hood received the Public Engagement and Media Awards from The British Psychological Society for his commitment to public engagement through public lectures, media appearances, pub events and science festivals.[41]

Bruce Hood: think you don’t believe in the supernatural? Think again – Full WIRED2014 talk

Published on Nov 3, 2014

In  the second video below in the 68th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

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-), John R. Cole  (1942-),   Wolf Roder,  Susan Blackmore (1951-),  Christopher C. French (1956-)  Walter R. Rowe Thomas Gilovich (1954-), Paul QuinceyHarry 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 BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-), and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

QUOTE FROM Bruce Hood:

“The idea of the mind being separate from the body, technically we call this mind/body dualism and this is something that most people assume without ever questioning it. They assume the mind is somewhat independent of the body. They experience that everyday. We have a thought about having a cup of coffee, then we move our hand to pick it up. We never really question that idea of how somehow the mind can control a physical system. So mind/body dualism is a fascinating area both in science and in philosophy. This assumption that the mind is separate from the body is something that children at 4 or 5 years of age will spontaneously think about, but if you then make that assumption then that means the mind is not constrained by the same laws that constrain the physical body which then allows for the possibility of an afterlife, the mind somehow existing once the body is gone. So you can see very easily how that kind of notion could underpin notions of the afterlife, ghosts and spirits and so forth.”

 My response was in this letter below:

October 12, 2015

Dr. Bruce Hood, Professor of Developmental Psychology in Society, University of Bristol,

Dear Dr. Hood,

In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” you made the following statement:

“The idea of the mind being separate from the body, technically we call this mind/body dualism and this is something that most people assume without ever questioning it. They assume the mind is somewhat independent of the body. They experience that everyday. We have a thought about having a cup of coffee, then we move our hand to pick it up. We never really question that idea of how somehow the mind can control a physical system. So mind/body dualism is a fascinating area both in science and in philosophy. This assumption that the mind is separate from the body is something that children at 4 or 5 years of age will spontaneously think about, but if you then make that assumption then that means the mind is not constrained by the same laws that constrain the physical body which then allows for the possibility of an afterlife, the mind somehow existing once the body is gone. So you can see very easily how that kind of notion could underpin notions of the afterlife, ghosts and spirits and so forth.”

J.P. Moreland concludes that if you are right about physicalism then three things must follow:

First, if physicalism is true, then consciousness doesn’t really exist, because there would be no such thing as conscious states that must be described from a first-person point of view…The second implication is that there would be no free will….Third, if physicalism were true, there would be no disembodied intermediate state. According to Christianity, when we die, our souls leave our bodies and await the later resurrection of our bodies from the dead. We don’t cease to exist when we die.

Here is a portion of the article where I got that quote from, “Do We Have Souls? Lee Strobel interviews Dr. J.P. Moreland:”

Lee Strobel comments first on J.P. Moreland:

Moreland’s science training came at the University of Missouri, where he received a degree in chemistry. He was subsequently awarded the top fellowship for a doctorate in nuclear chemistry at the University of Colorado but declined the honor to pursue a different career path. He then earned a master’s degree in theology at Dallas Theological Seminary and a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Southern California. Moreland developed an early interest in issues relating to human consciousness, returning to that theme time after time in his various books….As we began our interview, I thought it would be a good idea to get straight on some key definitions—something that’s not always easy when discussing consciousness.

WHAT FOLLOWS IS A PORTION OF THE INTERVIEW:

 REGAINING CONSCIOUSNESS

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once said it may be difficult to define pornography, “but I know it when I see it” (Justice Potter Stewart [concurring], Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 198,1964). Similarly, consciousness can be a challenging concept to describe, even though our own conscious thoughts are quite tangible to ourselves. As J. R. Smythies of the University of Edinburgh put it: “The consciousness of other people may be for me an abstraction, but my own consciousness is for me a reality” (J. R. Smythies, “Some Aspects of Consciousness,” in Arthur Koestler and J. R. Smythies, editors, Beyond Reductionism. London: Hutchinson, 1969, 235, quoted in Arthur C. Custance, The Mysterious Matter of Mind, 35).

“What is consciousness?” Moreland said, echoing the opening question that I had just posed to him. “Well, a simple definition is that consciousness is what you’re aware of when you introspect. When you pay attention to what’s going on inside of you, that’s consciousness.” He looked at me and apparently could see from my expression that I needed a fuller description. “Think of it like this,” he continued. “Suppose you were having an operation on your leg, and suddenly you begin to be aware of people talking about you. Someone says, ‘I think he’s recovering.’ You start to feel an ache in your knee. You say to yourself, ‘Where am I? What’s going on?’ And you start to remember you were operated on. What you’re doing is regaining consciousness. In short, consciousness consists of sensations, thoughts, emotions, desires, beliefs, and free choices that make us alive and aware.”

“What if consciousness didn’t exist in the world?” I asked. “I’ll give you an example,” Moreland replied. “Apples would still be red, but there would be no awareness of red or any sensations of red.” “What about the soul?” I asked. “How would you define that?” “The soul is the ego, the ‘I,’ or the self, and it contains our consciousness. It also animates our body. That’s why when the soul leaves the body, the body becomes a corpse. The soul is immaterial and distinct from the body.” “At least,” I observed, “that’s what the Bible teaches.” “Yes, Christians have understood this for twenty centuries,” he said. “For example, when Jesus was on the cross, he told the thief being crucified next to him that he would be with Jesus immediately after his death and before the final resurrection of his body (Luke 23:43: “Today you will be with me in paradise”).

Jesus described the body and soul as being separate entities when he said, ‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul’ (Matthew 10:28). The apostle Paul says that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

I was curious about whether belief in the soul is a universal phenomenon. “What about beyond Christianity?” I asked. “Is this concept present in other cultures as well?” “We know that dualism was taught by the ancient Greeks, although, unlike Christians, they believed the body and soul were alien toward each other,” he explained. “In contemporary terms, I’d agree with physicalist Jaegwon Kim, who acknowledged that ‘something like this dualism of personhood, I believe, is common lore shared across most cultures and religious traditions’” (Jaegwon Kim, “Lonely Souls: Causality and Substance Dualism,” in Kevin Corcoran, editor, Soul, Body, and Survival. Ithica, NY: Cornell Univ. Press, 2001).

Still, there are those who deny dualism and instead believe we are solely physical beings who are, as geneticist Francis Crick said, “no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules” (Francis Crick, The Astonishing Hypothesis. New York: Scribner’s, 1994, 3). To explore this issue, I decided to take an unusual approach in my interview with Moreland by asking him to imagine—for just a few minutes—that these physicalists are right.

 WHAT IF PHYSICALISM IS TRUE?

“Let’s face it,” I said, “some people flatly deny that we have an immaterial soul. John Searle said, ‘In my worldview, consciousness is caused by brain processes’ (“What Is Consciousness?” in Closer to Truth).  In other words, they believe consciousness is purely a product of biology. As brain scientist Barry Beyerstein said, just as the kidneys produce urine, the brain produces consciousness” (“Do Brains Make Minds?” onCloser to Truth).

Moreland was listening carefully as I spoke, his head slightly cocked. I continued by saying, “Do me a favor, J. P. —assume for a moment that the physicalists are right. What are the logical implications if physicalism is true?” His eyes widened. “Oh, there would be several key ones,” he replied.

“Give me three,” I said. Moreland was more than willing. “First, if physicalism is true, then consciousness doesn’t really exist, because there would be no such thing as conscious states that must be described from a first-person point of view,” he said. “You see, if everything were matter, then you could capture the entire universe on a graph—you could locate each star, the moon, every mountain, Lee Strobel’s brain, Lee Strobel’s kidneys, and so forth. That’s because if everything is physical, it could be described entirely from a third-person point of view. And yet we know that we have first-person, subjective points of view—so physicalism can’t be true.” Clearly, Moreland was warming up to this exercise.

“The second implication,” he continued, “is that there would be no free will. That’s because matter is completely governed by the laws of nature. Take any physical object,” he said as he glanced out the window, where the fog was breaking up. “For instance, a cloud,” he said. “It’s just a material object, and its movement is completely governed by the laws of air pressure, wind movement, and the like. So if I’m a material object, all of the things I do are fixed by my environment, my genetics, and so forth. “That would mean I’m not really free to make choices. Whatever’s going to happen is already rigged by my makeup and environment. So how could you hold me responsible for my behavior if I wasn’t free to choose how I would act? This is one of the reasons we lost the Vietnam War.” I was following him until that last statement, which seemed oddly incongruous to me. “What has this got to do with Vietnam?” I asked. Moreland explained: “I heard a former advisor to the president say that B. F. Skinner’s behaviorism influenced the Pentagon’s strategy. Skinner believed that we’re just physical objects, so you can condition people, just like you can condition a laboratory animal by applying electric shocks. Keep doing certain things over and over, and you can change behavior. So in Vietnam, we bombed, we came back, we bombed, we came back, we bombed, and so forth. We assumed that after we gave the North Vietnamese shock after shock, pretty soon we could manipulate their behavior. After all, they’re just physical objects responding to stimuli. Eventually they had to give in.” “But they didn’t,” I said. “That’s right. It didn’t work.” “Why?” “Because there was more to the Vietnamese than their physical brains responding to stimuli. They have souls, desires, feelings, and beliefs, and they could make free choices to suffer and to stand firm for their convictions despite our attempt to condition them by our bombing.

“So if the materialists are right, kiss free will good-bye. In their view, we’re just very complicated computers that behave according to the laws of nature and the programming we receive. But, Lee, obviously they’re wrong—we do have free will. We all know that deep down inside. We’re more than just a physical brain.

“Third, if physicalism were true, there would be no disembodied intermediate state. According to Christianity, when we die, our souls leave our bodies and await the later resurrection of our bodies from the dead. We don’t cease to exist when we die. Our souls are living on. “This happens in near-death experiences. People are clinically dead, but sometimes they have a vantage point from above, where they look down at the operating table that their body is on. Sometimes they gain information they couldn’t have known if this were just an illusion happening in their brain. One woman died and she saw a tennis shoe that was on the roof of the hospital. How could she have known this? “If I am just my brain, then existing outside the body is utterly impossible. When people hear of near-death experiences, they don’t think that if they looked up at the hospital ceiling, they’d see a pulsating brain with a couple of eyeballs dangling down, right? When people hear near-death stories, Lee, they are intuitively attributing to that person a soul that could leave the body. And clearly these stories make sense, even if we’re not sure they’re true. We’ve got to be more than our bodies or else these stories would be ludicrous to us.” Moreland seemed to be sidestepping this issue a bit. “How about you personally?” I asked. “Do you think near-death experiences are true?” “We have to be careful with the data and not overstate things, but I do think they provide at least a minimalist case for consciousness surviving death,” he said. “In fact, as far back as 1965, psychologist John Beloff wrote in The Humanist that the evidence of near-death experiences already indicates ‘a dualistic world where mind or spirit has an existence separate from the world of material things.’ He conceded that this could ‘present a challenge to humanism as profound in its own way as that which Darwinian evolution did to Christianity a century ago.’ ” (Cited in David Winter, Hereafter: What Happens after Death? Wheaton, Ill.: Harold Shaw, 1972, 33–34).

Moreland paused before adding one other comment. “Regardless of what anyone thinks about near-death experiences, we do have confirmation that Jesus was put to death and was later seen alive by credible eyewitnesses,” he said. “Not only does this provide powerful historical corroboration that it’s possible to survive after the death of our physical body, but it also gives Jesus great credibility when he teaches that we have both a body and an immaterial spirit” (For a short description of the evidence for the Resurrection, see Gary R. Habermas and J. P. Moreland, Beyond Death, 111–54).

THE REALITY OF THE SOUL

For centuries, the human soul has enchanted poets, intrigued theologians, challenged philosophers, and dumbfounded scientists. Mystics, like Teresa of Åvila in the sixteenth century, have described it eloquently: “I began to think of the soul as if it were a castle made of a single diamond or of very clear crystal, in which there are many rooms, just as in heaven there are many mansions” (Mark Water, compiler, The New Encyclopedia of Christian Quotations.Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 2000), 972. Teresa’s reference to mansions is an allusion to John 14:2).

Moreland was understandably more precise in analyzing the soul, though unfortunately less poetic. He had already clarified that the soul contains our consciousness. Still, he hadn’t offered any reason to believe that the soul is an actual entity. It was time, I felt, to press him on this
issue. “What makes you think that the soul is real?” I asked….I remember the time when my daughter was in the fifth grade and we were having family prayers. She said, ‘Dad, if I could see God, it would help me believe in him.’ I said, ‘Well, honey, the problem isn’t that you’ve never seen God. The problem is that you’ve never seen your mother.’ And her mother was sitting right next to her! “My daughter said, ‘What do you mean, Dad?’ I said, ‘Suppose without hurting your mom, we were able to take her apart cell by cell and peek

inside each one of them. We would never come to a moment where we would say, ‘Look—here’s what Mommy’s thinking about doing the rest of the day.’ Or ‘Hey, this cell contains Mommy’s feelings.’ Or ‘So this is what Mom believes about pro football.’ We couldn’t find Mommy’s thoughts, beliefs, desires, or her feelings. “‘Guess what else we would never find? We’d never find Mommy’s ego or her self. We would never say, ‘Finally, in this particular brain cell, there’s Mommy. There’s her ego, or self.’ That’s because Mommy is a person, and persons are invisible. Mommy’s ego and her conscious life are invisible. Now, she’s small enough to have a body, while God is too big to have a body—so let’s pray!’ “The point is this, Lee: I am a soul, and I have a body. We don’t learn about people by studying their bodies. We learn about people by finding out how they feel, what they think, what they’re passionate about, what their worldview is, and so forth. Staring at their body might tell us whether they like exercise, but that’s not very helpful. That’s why we want to get ‘inside’ people to learn about them. “So my conclusion is that there’s more to me than my conscious life and my body. In fact, I am a ‘self,’ or an ‘I,’ that cannot be seen or touched unless I manifest myself through my behavior or my talk. I have free will because I’m a ‘self,’ or a soul, and I’m not just a brain.”

CONSCIOUSNESS AND EVOLUTION

Moreland had made a cogent case for consciousness and the soul being independent of our brain and body. “How does this present a problem for Darwinists?” I asked. Moreland glanced down at some notes he had brought along. “As philosopher Geoffrey Medell said, ‘The emergence of consciousness, then, is a mystery, and one to which materialism fails to provide an answer.’ Atheist Colin McGinn agrees. He asks, ‘How can mere matter originate consciousness? How did evolution convert the water of biological tissue into the wine of consciousness? Consciousness seems like a radical novelty in the universe, not prefigured by the aftereffects of the Big Bang. So how did it contrive to spring into being from what preceded it?’ ”

Moreland looked squarely at me. “Here’s the point: you can’t get something from nothing,” he declared. “It’s as simple as that. If there were no God, then the history of the entire universe, up until the appearance of living creatures, would be a history of dead matter with no consciousness. You would not have any thoughts, beliefs, feelings, sensations, free actions, choices, or purposes. There would be simply one physical event after another physical event, behaving according to the laws of physics and chemistry.”

Moreland stopped for a moment to make sure this picture was vivid in my mind. Then he leaned forward and asked pointedly: “How, then, do you get something totally different—conscious, living, thinking, feeling, believing creatures—from materials that don’t have that? That’s getting something from nothing! And that’s the main problem. “If you apply a physical process to physical matter, you’re going to get a different arrangement of physical materials. For example, if you apply the physical process of heating to a bowl of water, you’re going to get a new product—steam—which is just a more complicated form of water, but it’s still physical. And if the history of the universe is just a story of physical processes being applied to physical materials, you’d end up with increasingly complicated arrangements of physical materials, but you’re not going to get something that’s completely nonphysical. That is a jump of a totally different kind. “At the end of the day, as Phillip Johnson put it, you either have ‘In the beginning were the particles,’ or ‘In the beginning was the Logos,’ which means ‘divine mind.’ If you start with particles, and the history of the universe is just a story about the rearrangement of particles, you may end up with a more complicated arrangement of particles, but you’re still going to have particles. You’re not going to have minds or consciousness.

“However—and this is really important—if you begin with an infinite mind, then you can explain how finite minds could come into existence. That makes sense. What doesn’t make sense—and which many atheistic evolutionists are conceding—is the idea of getting a mind to squirt into existence by starting with brute, dead, mindless matter. That’s why some of them are trying to get rid of consciousness by saying it’s not real and that we’re just computers.” He smiled after that last statement, then added: “However, that’s a pretty difficult position to maintain while you’re conscious!”

___________________

Let me respond further with the words of Francis Schaeffer from his book HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT (the chapter is entitled, “Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?”

Of course, if the infinite uncreated Personal communicated to the finite created personal, he would not exhaust himself in his communication; but two things are clear here:
 
1. Even communication between once created person and another is not exhaustive, but that does not mean that for that reason it is not true. 
 
2. If the uncreated Personal really cared for the created personal, it could not be thought unexpected for him to tell the created personal things of a propositional nature; otherwise as a finite being the created personal would have numerous things he could not know if he just began with himself as a limited, finite reference point. In such a case, there is no intrinsic reason why the uncreated Personal could communicate some vaguely true things, but could not communicate propositional truth concerning the world surrounding the created personal – for fun, let’s call that science. Or why he could not communicate propositional truth to the created personal concerning the sequence that followed the uncreated Personal making everything he made – let’s call that history. There is no reason we could think of why he could not tell these two types of propositional things truly. They would not be exhaustive; but could we think of any reason why they would not be true? The above is, of course, what the Bible claims for itself in regard to propositional revelation.
DOES THE BIBLE ERR IN THE AREA OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY? The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. Charles Darwin himself longed for evidence to come forward from the area of  Biblical Archaeology  but so much has  advanced  since Darwin wrote these words in the 19th century! Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription.13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

Recently I had the opportunity to come across a very interesting article by Michael Polanyi,LIFE TRANSCENDING PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY, in the magazine CHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING NEWS, August 21, 1967, and I also got hold of a 1968 talk by Francis Schaeffer based on this article. Polanyi’s son John actually won the 1986 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. This article by Michael Polanyi concerns Francis Crick and James Watson and their discovery of DNA in 1953. Polanyi noted:

Mechanisms, whether man-made or morphological, are boundary conditions harnessing the laws of in
animate nature, being themselves irreducible to those laws. The pattern of organic bases in DNA which functions as a genetic code is a boundary condition irreducible to physics and chemistry. Further controlling principles of life may be represented as a hierarchy of boundary conditions extending, in the case of man, to consciousness and responsibility.

I would like to send you a CD copy of this talk because I thought you may find it very interesting. It includes references to not only James D. Watson, and Francis Crick but also  Maurice Wilkins, Erwin Schrodinger, J.S. Haldane (his son was the famous J.B.S. Haldane), Peter Medawar, and Barry Commoner. I WONDER IF YOU EVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO RUN ACROSS THESE MEN OR ANY OF THEIR FORMER STUDENTS?

Below is a portion of the transcript from the CD and Michael Polanyi’s words are in italics while Francis Schaeffer’s words are not:

During the past 15 years, I have worked on these questions, achieving gradually stages of the argument presented in this paper. These are:

  1. Machines are not formed by physical and chemical equilibration. 
  2. The functional terms needed for characterizing a machine cannot for defined in terms of physics and chemistry. 

Polanyi is talking about specific machines but I would include the great cause and effect machine of the external universe that functions on a cause and effect basis. So if this is true of the watch,  then you have to ask the same question about the total machine that Sartre points out that is there, and that is the cause and effect universe.Polanyi doesn’t touch on this and he doesn’t have an answer, and I know people who know him. Yet nevertheless he sees the situation exactly as it is. And I would point out what  Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) and J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904–1967) said and that it needed a Christian consensus to produce modern science because it was the Christian consensus that gave the concept that the world being created by a reasonable God and that it could be found out and discovered by reason. So the modern science when it began with Copernicus and Galileo and all these men conceived that the cause and effect system of the universe would be there on the basis that it was created by a reasonable God, and that is Einstein’s big dilemma and that is why he became a mystic at the end of life…What Polanyi says here can be extended to the watch, and the bridge and the automobile but also to the big cause and effect universe.You have to give some kind of answer to this too and I would say this to Michael Polanyi if Iever have a chance to talk to him.You need another explanation too Polanyi.

3. No physical chemical topography will tell us that we have a machine before us and what its functions are. 

In other words, if you only know the chemicals and the physics you don’t know if you have a machine. It may just be junk. So nobody in the world could tell if it was a machine from merely the “physical chemical-topography.” You have to look at the machineness of the machine to say it is a machine. You could take an automobile and smash it into a small piece of metal with a giant press and it would have the same properties of the automobile, but the automobile would have disappeared. The automobile-ness of the automobile is something else than the physical chemical-topography.

4. Such a topography can completely identify one particular specimen of a machine, but can tell us nothing about a class of machines. 

5. And if we are asked how the same solid system can be subject to control by two independent principles, the answer is: The boundary conditions of the system are free of control by physics and can be controlled therefore by nonphysical, purely technical, principles. 

In other words you have to explain the engineering by something other than merely physical principles and of course it is. You can’t explain the watchness of the watch merely by this. You can explain it on the basis of engineering principles in which the human mind conceives of a use for the machine and produces the machine. But notice where Polanyi is and that is in our argument of a need of personality in the universe though Polanyi doesn’t draw this final conclusion, though I thought that is the only explanation.

If you look at the watch a man has made it for the purpose of telling time. When you see the automobile a man has made it for the purpose of locomotion and the explanation of the difference is not in the chemical and physical properties but in the personality of a man to make these two different machines for two different purposes out of the same material. So what you are left here is the need of personality in the universe.

____

Thank you for your time. I know how busy you are and I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher,

P.O. Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221, United States, cell ph 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com

______

Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #94)

We looked earlier at the city of Lachish. Let us return to the same period in Israel’s history when Lachich was besieged and captured by the Assyrian King Sennacherib. The king of Judah at the time was Hezekiah.

Perhaps you remember the story of how Jesus healed a blind man and told him to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. It is the same place known by King Hezekiah, approximately 700 years earlier. One of the remarkable things about the flow of the Bible is that historical events separated by hundreds of years took place in the same geographic spots, and standing in these places today, we can feel that flow of history about us. The crucial archaeological discovery which relates the Pool of Siloam is the tunnel which lies behind it.

One day in 1880 a small Arab boy was playing with his friend and fell into the pool. When he clambered out, he found a small opening about two feet wide and five feet high. On examination, it turned out to be a tunnel reaching  back into the rock. But that was not all. On the side of the tunnel an inscribed stone (now kept in the museum in Istanbul) was discovered, which told how the tunnel had been built originally. The inscription in classical Hebrew reads as follows:

The boring through is completed. And this is the story of the boring: while yet they plied the pick, each toward his fellow, and while there were yet three cubits [4 14 feet] to be bored through, there was heard the voice of one calling to the other that there was a hole in the rock on the right hand and on the left hand. And on the day of the boring through the workers on the tunnel struck each to meet his fellow, pick upon pick. Then the water poured from the source to the Pool 1,200 cubits [about 600 yards] and a 100 cubits was the height of the rock above the heads of the workers in the tunnel. 

We know this as Hezekiah’s Tunnel. The Bible tells us how Hezekiah made provision for a better water supply to the city:Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and all his might, and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?(II Kings 20:20). We know here three things: the biblical account, the tunnel itself of which the Bible speaks, and the original stone with its inscription in classical Hebrew.

From the Assyrian side, there is additional confirmation of the incidents mentioned in the Bible. There is a clay prism in the British Museum called the Taylor Prism (British Museum, Ref. 91032). It is only fifteen inches high and was discovered in the Assyrian palace at Nineveh. This particular prism dates from about 691 B.C. and tells about Sennacherib’s exploits. A section from the prism reads, “As for Hezekiah,  the Jew, who did not submit to my yoke, forty-six of his strong walled cities, as well as small cities  in their neighborhood I have besieged and took…himself like a caged bird, I shut up in Jerusalem, his royal city. Earthworks I threw up against him,” Thus, there is a three-way confirmation concerning Hezekiah’s tunnel from the Hebrew side and this amazing confirmation from the Assyrian side.

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Gihon Spring

The Gihon Spring

The only spring in Jerusalem, the Gihon is a siphonic, karstic spring, and its name means “gushing”; it surges and the sound can be easily heard. It is estimated that the Gihon could have supported a population of about 2,500. The cave is a natural one, but it has been widened. Solomon was anointed at the Gihon Spring while his brother, Adonijah, was attempting to take the throne through a surreptitious coronation at En Rogel (1 Kgs 1).

The Tunnel

A 1750-foot (530m) tunnel carved during the reign of Hezekiah to bring water from one side of the city to the other, Hezekiah’s Tunnel together with the 6th c. tunnel of Euphalios in Greece are considered the greatest works of water engineering technology in the pre-Classical period.  Had it followed a straight line, the length would have been 1070 ft (335m) or 40% shorter.

Hezekiah's Tunnel

Hezekiah's Tunnel

The Construction

2 Kings 20:20 “As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city…”

2 Chr 32:30 “It was Hezekiah who blocked the upper outlet of the Gihon spring and channeled the water down to the west side of the City of David.”

The Meeting Point

Why is the tunnel S-shaped?

R. A. S. Macalister said the tunnel was a “pathetically helpless piece of engineering.”

Henry Sulley in 1929 first suggested that Hezekiah’s tunnel followed a natural crack in the rock.

Dan Gill argues that the two crews of diggers followed a natural karstic dissolution channel.

Hezekiah's Tunnel meeting point

Place of Siloam Inscription in Hezekiah's Tunnel

The Location of the Siloam Inscription

“[…when] (the tunnel) was driven through.  And this was the way in which it was cut through:  While […] (were) still […] axe(s), each man toward his fellow, and while there were still three cubits to be cut through, [there was heard] the voice of a man calling to his fellows, for there was an overlap in the rock on the right [and on the left].  And when the tunnel was driven through, the quarrymen hewed (the rock), each man toward his fellow, axe against axe; and the water flowed from the spring toward the reservoir for 1200 cubits, and the height of the rock above the head(s) of the quarrymen was 100 cubits.”

____

 

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