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.
I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:
Arif Ahmed, Sir David Attenborough, Mark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael Bate, Patricia Churchland, Aaron Ciechanover, Noam Chomsky,Alan Dershowitz, Hubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan Feuchtwang, David Friend, Riccardo Giacconi, Ivar Giaever , Roy Glauber, Rebecca Goldstein, David J. Gross, Brian Greene, Susan Greenfield, Stephen F Gudeman, Alan Guth, Jonathan Haidt, Theodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison, Hermann Hauser, Roald Hoffmann, Bruce Hood, Herbert Huppert, Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve Jones, Shelly Kagan, Michio Kaku, Stuart Kauffman, Lawrence Krauss, Harry Kroto, George Lakoff, Elizabeth Loftus, Alan Macfarlane, Peter Millican, Marvin Minsky, Leonard Mlodinow, Yujin Nagasawa, Alva Noe, Douglas Osheroff, Jonathan Parry, Saul Perlmutter, Herman Philipse, Carolyn Porco, Robert M. Price, Lisa Randall, Lord Martin Rees, Oliver Sacks, John Searle, Marcus du Sautoy, Simon Schaffer, J. L. Schellenberg, Lee Silver, Peter Singer, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Ronald de Sousa, Victor Stenger, Barry Supple, Leonard Susskind, Raymond Tallis, Neil deGrasse Tyson, .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John Walker, Frank Wilczek, Steven Weinberg, and Lewis Wolpert,
|Sir John Sulston|
|Born||John Edward Sulston
27 March 1942 
|Institutions||Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
University of Cambridge
Laboratory of Molecular Biology
University of Manchester
|Notable awards||Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine (2002)
Gairdner Award (2002)
Knight Bachelor (2001)
Fellow of the Royal Society(1986)
George W. Beadle Award(2000)
|Spouse||Daphne Edith Bate|
The University of Manchester
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Sir John Edward Sulston FRS (born 27 March 1942) is a British biologist. For his work on the cell lineage and genome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, he was jointly awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sydney Brenner and H. Robert Horvitz. As of 2014 he is Chair of the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation at the University of Manchester.
John Sulston was educated at York House School, Redheath, Merchant Taylors’ School, Northwood and Pembroke College, Cambridge, graduating with BS in organic chemistry. He earned his doctorate from the University of Cambridge. Inspired by Leslie Orgel, Francis Crick and Sidney Brenner while working at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in US, he changed his research into biology. His works on the genome of C. elegans led to his active participation in the Human Genome Project. He, with Georgina Ferry, narrates his research career leading to the human genome sequence in The Common Thread: A Story of Science, Politics, Ethics, and the Human Genome (2002).
Early life and education
John Sulston was born in Cambridge to parents Theodore Sulston and Muriel Sulston. His father was an Anglican priest and administrator of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. An English teacher at Watford Grammar School, his mother quit her job to care for him and his sister Madeleine. His mother home-tutored them until he was five. At age five he entered the local preparatory school where he soon developed aversion to games. He instead developed an early interest in science, having fun with dissecting animals and sectioning plants to observe their structure and function. He won scholarship to Merchant Taylors’ School, Northwood and then to Pembroke College, Cambridge graduating in 1963 with BS in organic chemistry. He joined the department of chemistry in University of Cambridge, earning his Doctor of Philosophy in 1966 for research in nucleotide chemistry. Between 1966 and 1969 he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in US. His supervisor Colin Reese had arranged for him to work with Leslie Orgel, who would turn his scientific career in a different pathway. Orgel introduced him to Francis Crick and Sidney Brenner, who were themselves from Cambridge. He became inclined to biological research.
(Francis Crick pictured below)
Following completion of the ‘working draft’ of the human genome sequence in 2000, Sulston retired from his role as director at the Sanger Centre. In 2002 he won the Dan David Prize and the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award. Later, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sydney Brenner and H. Robert Horvitz, both of whom he had collaborated with at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), for their discoveries concerning ‘genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death’. One of Sulston’s most important contributions during his research years at the LMB was to elucidate the precise order in which cells in C. elegans divide. In fact, he and his team succeeded in tracing the nematode‘s entire embryonic cell lineage. Sulston is now a leading campaigner against the patenting of human genetic information.
In the second video below in the 61st 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)
Bertrand Russell below
Interview of Sir John Sulston – part one
An Interview on the life and work of Sir John Sulston, Nobel Prize winner, who organized the team which sequenced the human genome for the first time. For a higher quality, downloadable, version, with a detailed summary please see http://www.alanmacfarlane.com
Interview of Sir John Sulston – part two
An Interview on the life and work of Sir John Sulston, Nobel Prize winner, who organized the team which sequenced the human genome for the first time. For a higher quality, downloadable, version, with a detailed summary please see http://www.alanmacfarlane.com
I see that we have enormous amounts to discover as a strategy for going forward as human beings; I believe atheism makes coherent sense; all the religions are in conflict with each other; they have different stories, based on insubstantial records, but justify them with saying that there was some direct communication with a deity in the past which has led them to this belief; I find those unconvincing, particularly because of the conflict; this was my main argument in discussions with my father and he found it hard to answer that.
Simply put there is a simple explanation for why there are so many religions and it is because God has put inside everyone a knowledge of his existence. I go into this further in this letter below:
April 9, 2016
Professor John Sulston, Chair of the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation (iSEI)c/o The University of Manchester,
Dear Dr Sulston,
I was fascinated with your interview by Alan Macfarlane. I have corresponded with Macfarlane before and I told him how much I have enjoyed his series of You Tube extensive interviews. Thank you for taking part in one of those. I wanted to quote you from one of those interviews below and then respond to what you have said.
I see that we have enormous amounts to discover as a strategy for going forward as human beings; I believe atheism makes coherent sense; all the religions are in conflict with each other; they have different stories, based on insubstantial records, but justify them with saying that there was some direct communication with a deity in the past which has led them to this belief; I find those unconvincing, particularly because of the conflict; this was my main argument in discussions with my father and he found it hard to answer that….
My mother was my confidant and my rock as I was growing up; I could come home from school and talk; she had been a teacher of English at Watford Grammar School for Girls; throughout the time I was losing my links with my father over religion, my mother was always the neutral party; although she clearly was a believer and strongly supported my father she never indicated to me that she thought I was going off the rails as he did; she was the go-between; the most extraordinary event was that after her death, among her possessions was a letter to me saying how sad she was that I had lost my faith and her hope that one day I would regain it; it shocked me, it was a second bereavement, as here was this person who I had thought of as being at the unbelieving end of Anglicanism, and I had disappointed her…
The music in my life now comes from Daphne, my wife, who is quite a good pianist and plays the clarinet; my parents did listen to classical music and I listened to Radio Luxemburg,
Let me start responded by making a few quick observations:
First, there is a simple reason why there are so many people who believe in God and it is because according to Romans 1 there is no such thing as a true atheist because everyone knows in their heart that God exists and a lie-detector test can demonstrate this. I have included below comments from 7 scholars involved with The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). All of these individuals took time to correspond with me concerning the evidence I presented to them.
Actually I had the opportunity to correspond with Antony Flew (member of CSICOP) several times. I have more articles posted on my blog about the last few years of Antony Flew’s life than any other website in the world probably. The reason is very simple. I had the opportunity to correspond with Antony Flew back in the middle 90’s and he said that he had the opportunity to listen to several of the cassette tapes that I sent him with messages from Adrian Rogers and he also responded to several of the points I put in my letters that I got from Francis Schaeffer’s materials. The ironic thing was that I purchased the sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? originally from the Bellevue Baptist Church Bookstore in 1992 and in the same bookstore in 2008 I bought the book THERE IS A GOD by Antony Flew. Back in 1993 I decided to contact some of the top secular thinkers of our time and I got my initial list of individuals from those scholars that were mentioned in the works of both Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers. Schaeffer had quoted Flew in his book ESCAPE FROM REASON. It was my opinion after reviewing the evidence that Antony Flew was the most influential atheistic philosopher of the 20th century.
Dr. Sulston I thought of you when I thought back to my correspondence with Dr. Flew because Dr. Flew said that listening to the sermons I sent him reminded him of his father’s sermons. YOU ALSO HAD A FATHER THAT WAS A PREACHER. THEREFORE, I AM ENCLOSING A CD OF SOME OF THE SAME SERMONS THAT I SENT TO ANTONY FLEW.
Second, it is obvious that you like Charles Darwin lost your faith over time and it was quite difficult for you and your close family members during this process. Let me take your mother’s side in this regard and when I read your comments above about her it prompted me to write you today.
Third, since you are a lover of fine music I thought you would be interested to know what happened to Charles Darwin in the last few years of his life. Did you know that he blamed the lost of appreciation of music and poetry he attributed to his theory of evolution?
Now let us take a look at this first issue. 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 EVERYTIME 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.
Pastor Nelson Price pictured below
Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) pictured below
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 AM WRITING YOU TODAY BECAUSE YOU ARE ASSOCIATED WITH CSICOP.
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 had the joy of corresponding with Antony Flew (pictured below) several times in the 1990’s
SUSAN BLACKMORE pictured below
THOMAS GILOVICH pictured below
Dr. CHRISTOPHER C. FRENCH, University of London, pictured below
PAUL QUINCEY, Nathional Physical Laboratory pictured below
DO YOU HAVE ANY REACTIONS TO ADD TO THESE 7 OBSERVATIONS THAT I GOT 15 YEARS AGO?
Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) pictured below
Just like Darwin you lost your faith not overnight but it was over time. Also your love of music made me think of you when I read the book Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters because of what Darwin said about science causing him to lose his aesthetic tastes. I am going to quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words 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.
“I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Milton, Gray, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for pictures or music. Music generally sets me thinking too energetically on what I have been at work on, instead of giving me pleasure. I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did….My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive….The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.”
Francis Schaeffer commented:
This is the old man Darwin writing at the end of his life. What he is saying here is the further he has gone on with his studies the more he has seen himself reduced to a machine as far as aesthetic things are concerned. I think this is crucial because as we go through this we find that his struggles and my sincere conviction is that he never came to the logical conclusion of his own position, but he nevertheless in the death of the higher qualities as he calls them, art, music, poetry, and so on, what he had happen to him was his own theory was producing this in his own self just as his theories a hundred years later have produced this in our culture.
“I may state that my judgment often fluctuates . . . In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an Atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. I think that generally (and more and more as I grow older), but not always, that an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.”
Francis Schaeffer asserted:
What we find now is that he comes to the place in being agnostic, but as we read through this section on religion what we find is in reality his reason leads him against this position, which is interesting but his theory makes him accept the position of agnosticism….. I think what you have in Darwin is a magnificent example, although a sad one of what I lecture on in apologetics, and that is if a man takes a set of nonchristian presuppositions he is forced eventually to be in a place of tension. The more consistent he is with his own nonchristian presuppositions the more he is away from the real world. When he is closer to the real world then he is more illogical to his own presuppositions.
“But I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide.”
Francis Schaeffer observed:
So he sees here exactly the same that I would labor and what Paul gives in Romans chapter one, and that is first this tremendous universe [and it’s form] and the second thing, the mannishness of man and the concept of this arising from chance is very difficult for him to come to accept and he is forced to leap into this, his own kind of Kierkegaardian leap, but he is forced to leap into this because of his presuppositions but when in reality the real world troubles him. He sees there is no third alternative. If you do not have the existence of God then you only have chance. In my own lectures I am constantly pointing out there are only two possibilities, either a personal God or this concept of the impersonal plus time plus chance and Darwin understood this . You will notice that he divides it into the same exact two points that Paul does in Romans chapter one into and that Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) will in the problem of existence, the external universe, and man and his consciousness. Paul points out there are these two steps that man is confronted with…
Here below is the Romans passage that Schaeffer is referring to and verse 19 refers to what Schaeffer calls “the mannishness of man” and verse 20 refers to Schaeffer’s other point which is “the universe and it’s form.”Romans 1:18-22Amplified Bible (AMP) 18 For God’s [holy] 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. 19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. 20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification], 21 Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor andglorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile andgodless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]
“Mr. Darwin…considers that the theory of Evolution is quite compatible with the belief in a God; but that you must remember that different persons have different definitions of what they mean by God.”
Francis Schaeffer commented:
You find a great confusion in his writings although there is a general structure in them. Here he says the word “God” is alright but you find later what he doesn’t take is a personal God. Of course, what you open is the whole modern linguistics concerning the word “God.” is God a pantheistic God? What kind of God is God? Darwin says there is nothing incompatible with the word “God.”
” Science has nothing to do with Christ, except in so far as the habit of scientific research makes a man cautious in admitting evidence. For myself, I do not believe that there ever has been any revelation.”
Francis Schaeffer observed:
So he has come to the place as an old man that he doesn’t believe there has been any revelation. In his younger years he held a different position.
The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father gives the history of his religious views:—“During these two years* (ft note *October 1836 to January 1839.) I was led to think much about religion. Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality.
Francis Schaeffer noted:
So you find that as a younger man he did accept the Bible. As an older man he has given up revelation but he is not satisfied with his own answers. He is caught in the tension that modern man is caught in. He is a prefiguration of the modern man and he himself contributed to. Then Darwin goes on and tells us why he gave up the Bible.
I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come by this time, i.e. 1836 to 1836, to see that the Old Testament was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos. The question then continually rose before my mind and would not be banished,—is it credible that if God were now to make a revelation to the Hindoos, he would permit it to be connected with the belief in Vishnu, Siva, &c., as Christianity is connected with the Old Testament? This appeared to me utterly incredible.
Francis Schaeffer asserted:
Darwin is saying that he gave up the New Testament because it was connected to the Old Testament. He gave up the Old Testament because it conflicted with his own theory. Did he have a real answer himself and the answer is no. At the end of his life we see that he is dehumanized by his position and on the other side we see that he never comes to the place of intellectual satisfaction for himself that his answers were sufficient.
“BUT I WAS VERY UNWILLING TO GIVE UP MY BELIEF; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels.
Francis Schaeffer commented:
This is very sad. He lies on his bunk and the Beagle tosses and turns and he makes daydreams, and his dreams and hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii or some place like this, an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would put his stamp of authority on it, which would be able to show that Christ existed. This is undoubtedly what he is talking about. Darwin gave up this hope with great difficulty. I think he didn’t want to come to the position where his accepted presuppositions were driving him. He didn’t want to give it up, just as an older man he understood where it would lead…
The area of Biblical Archaeology has advanced so much since Darwin wrote these words in the 19th century!!!!! DR Sulston ASK YOURSELF THIS SIMPLE QUESTION BEFORE YOU PUT YOUR FAITH IN THE ACCURACY OF THE SCRIPTURES: Is the Bible historically accurate and have I taken the time to examine the evidence? 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 Chronicle, of Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism), 4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites, 6.Shishak Smiting His Captives, 7. Moabite Stone, 8. Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, 9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets. 10. Cyrus Cylinder, 11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E., 12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription, 13. The Pilate Inscription, 14. Caiaphas Ossuary, 14 B Pontius Pilate Part 2, 14c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,
“But I found it more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me. Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. THE RATE WAS SLOW that I felt no distress. Although I did not think much about the existence of a personal God until a considerably later period of my life,”
Francis Schaeffer commented:
So there is something deficient in his position from the beginning. The word of God if it is going to mean something, must mean a personal God. The word “God” is without much meaning otherwise.
Francis Schaeffer noted that in Darwin’s 1876 Autobiography that Darwin he is going to set forth two arguments for God in this and again you will find when he comes to the end of this that he is in tremendous tension. Darwin wrote,
“At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons.Formerly I was led by feelings such as those just referred to (although I do not think that the religious sentiment was ever strongly developed in me), to the firm conviction of the existence of God and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, ‘it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion which fill and elevate the mind.’ I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body; but now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become COLOUR-BLIND.”
Francis Schaeffer remarked:
Now Darwin says when I look back and when I look at nature I came to the conclusion that man can not be just a fly! But now Darwin has moved from being a younger man to an older man and he has allowed his presuppositions to enter in to block his logic, these things at the end of his life he had no intellectual answer for. To block them out in favor of his theory. Remember the letter of his that said he had lost all aesthetic senses when he had got older and he had become a clod himself. Now interesting he says just the same thing, but not in relation to the arts, namely music, pictures, etc, but to nature itself. Darwin said, “But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind…” So now you see that Darwin’s presuppositions have not only robbed him of the beauty of man’s creation in art, but now the universe. He can’t look at it now and see the beauty. The reason he can’t see the beauty is for a very, very , very simple reason: THE BEAUTY DRIVES HIM TO DISTRACTION. THIS IS WHERE MODERN MAN IS AND IT IS HELL. The art is hell because it reminds him of man and how great man is, and where does it fit in his system? It doesn’t. When he looks at nature and it’s beauty he is driven to the same distraction and so consequently you find what has built up inside him is a real death, not only the beauty of the artistic but the beauty of nature. He has no answer in his logic and he is left in tension. He dies and has become less than human because these two great things (such as any kind of art and the beauty of nature) that would make him human stand against his theory.
Darwin like you was consistent with his view of the UNIFORMITY OF NATURAL CAUSES in a closed system and it cost him the love of music, art and the beauty of nature. TWO OTHER ALSO HELD THIS SAME view of uniformity of natural causes in a closed system in 1978 when their hit song DUST IN THE WIND rose to the top 10 in the music charts.
IF WE ARE LEFT WITH JUST THE MACHINE THEN WHAT IS THE FINAL CONCLUSION IF THERE WAS NO PERSONAL GOD THAT CREATED US? 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.
PS: JOHN it was very moving what you said about your mother being grieved over your atheism. I spent 2 months in Manchester in 1979 going door to door telling people about Christ and I ran into many people who were involved in SPIRITUALISM and they thought they could talk to the dead. I totally reject that view. But one thing is for sure and that if your mother ever had discussed this issue with your personally before she died she would have urged you to take another look again at Christianity. I have attempted to do that in this letter, but now I just want to take a closer look at where your humanist view actually leads.
What does the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION have to offer in the area of meaning and values? Francis Schaeffer two months before he died said if he was talking to a gentleman he was sitting next to on an airplane about Christ he wouldn’t start off quoting Bible verses. Schaeffer asserted:
I would go back rather to their dilemma if they hold the modern worldview of the final reality only being energy, etc., I would start with that. I would begin as I stress in the book THE GOD WHO IS THERE about their own [humanist] prophets who really show where their view goes. For instance, Jacques Monod, Nobel Prize winner from France, in his book NECESSITY AND CHANCE said there is no way to tell the OUGHT from the IS. In other words, you live in a totally silent universe.
(Monad pictured above and Sartre below)
The men like Monod and Sartre or whoever the man might know that is his [humanist] prophet and they point out quite properly and conclusively what life is like, not just that there is no meaningfulness in life but everyone according to modern man is just living out some kind of game plan. It may be knocking 1/10th of a second off a downhill ski run or making one more million dollars. But all you are doing is making a game plan within the mix of a meaningless situation. WOODY ALLEN exploits this very strongly in his films. He really lives it. I feel for that man, and he has expressed it so thoroughly in ANNIE HALL and MANHATTAN and so on.
According to the Humanist worldview Jacques Monod the universe is silent about values and therefore his good friend Woody Allen demonstrated this very fact so well in his 1989 movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS. In other words, if we can’t get our values from the Bible then the answer is MIGHT MAKES RIGHT!!!!
I CHALLENGE YOU TO TAKE 90 MINUTES AND WATCH THE MOVIE “CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS” AND THEN ANSWER THE QUESTION: “What reason is there that Judah should not have his mistress eliminated if there is no God and afterlife of judgment and rewards?”
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
The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)
EMAILED TO DR. SULSTON:
From Everette Hatcher, My 3 responses to your assertions on RENOWNED ACADEMICS You Tube Interview, BTW I agree with your parents!!!
April 23, 2016
Dear Dr. Sulston,
I really enjoyed your interviews on You Tube with Alan MacFarlane. They were very informative.
John Fletcher Redman, M. D.:
Born about 1938, he resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. He graduated from the UAMS medical school there in 1963 & won the distinguished faculty award in 1993. He was the 2014 UAMS Hall of Fame inductee, HERE. Long before the 1990’s, Dr. John Redman had reached the pinnacle of success! By the age of 55, he had written every textbook but one in the field of Urology, and had received every national and international award that a medical professional in his field could receive. Dr. Redman was known and highly respected around the world, and had been serving for 25 years as the Chairman of the Department of Urology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas. His brilliance was renowned, reflected by his being asked in 1973 (at a younger age than ever before in the history of the school ) to take on the position of Urology Department Chairman. You didn’t get any higher up the professional ladder in the field of medicine than Dr. Redman had achieved!
Although his professional reputation was sterling, he also had a broad reputation for being foul-mouthed, a lady’s man, and a party specialist. His lifestyle outside of his professional career was fast and wild. Full of himself, John often bragged about his escapades, including being responsible for starting the Poker Club at the Medical School. He had several failed marriages behind him, and no relationship at all with his parents, who were devout Christians. Dr. Redman had been exposed to Christianity at an early age, but rejected it as a life plan for weaklings (see Ted Turner). And he viewed himself as anything but weak! He had a world to conquer, and no namby-pamby, goody-two-shoes religion was going to slow him down!
One day Dr. Redman was ‘speed walking’ around a track in Little Rock, and found himself cooling down next to one of Arkansas’s most famous joggers, then-Governor Bill Clinton! They chatted for a few moments, and that was that. Several years later, when Bill Clinton became the President of the United States, one of Dr. Redman’s friends made note of that encounter by commenting that John had formerly been talking with the most powerful man in the world. John considered that encounter to be no big deal, since he saw himself as having also reached the top of his field! There was no shortage of arrogance at the Redman household!
Dr. Redman had, many years previously, estranged himself from his parents as a result of their efforts to guide him toward the spiritual straight and narrow. He was determined to live life his way. And then his world was crushed when his mother died. Ironically, John’s mother died at about the same time as Bill Clinton’s mother died [Clinton’s mom’s grave] and her story, HERE). The two funerals were held on the same day, at approximately the same time. This ‘coincidence’ ultimately had a life-changing impact on John’s life.
(President Clinton in Hot Springs, Arkansas at his mother’s funeral service pictured below)
While Dr. Redman was sitting at the tiny graveside service, a scripture was quoted that he had heard as a small boy…”What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his own soul?” He began to consider the fact that both he and the most powerful man in the world were both doing the same thing at the same time, i.e., burying their mothers (Jan. 1994). At that point, he realized that no matter what level of success you achieve on this earth, you are still going to be put in the ground someday. All of your success and the adulation from others would one day end. And what then?
Dr. Redman soon came to realize that he was a lost soul with no hope of eternal life with his parents or with God. And that began to bring great turmoil into his life. His heart was under great conviction, but he didn’t know how to fix his problem. Knowing that this was a spiritual problem (but still incredibly full of pride), Dr. Redman wasn’t about to humble himself to go and talk with a preacher! So he spent several restless nights tossing and turning, unable to sleep. One Saturday, he went to his office to work because his heart was so burdened with the lostness of his soul’s condition.
AS HE WAS CLEANING OUT HIS DESK, HE CAME ACROSS A STACK OF UNOPENED LETTERS SENT TO HIM BY HIS FATHER BEFORE HE DIED FOUR YEARS PREVIOUSLY. When John had received them, because he knew that they would be full of religious comments, he simply threw them (unopened) into the bottom drawer of his desk.
But now he was more than eager to read the legacy left by his father! As he opened each letter, he discovered the pathway for his soul to eternal salvation! Privately in his office, he cried out to God and admitted his rebellion. He asked for forgiveness and expressed a willingness to turn his life around. He now understood that Jesus had already paid the penalty for his sins by sacrificing his life on a cross. So Dr. Redman humbled himself, asking Jesus to take up residence in his heart. He followed his father’s written advice to surrender his life totally to the leadership and guidance of Jesus Christ, the living son of God.
And his life began to change dramatically! Shortly thereafter, as a result of the difference she saw in John’s behavior, Anna (John’s live-in girlfriend) also gave her life to Christ, and they were married! They then followed the Lord’s leadership to outwardly demonstrate (1) their rejection of the old way of life and (2) their new commitment to follow the Spirit of the living God through the act of baptism! And there is no question in anyone’s mind (of those who know them) that these two physicians have experienced a radical life change!
Since that time, Dr. Redman has extensively exercised the gift of evangelism that the Lord blessed him with. He has become a powerful speaker for the Lord, and has allowed his new Spiritual Father to position him in many high-level positions to share his testimony of how the Lord can bring salvation to even the most hardened sinner. In similar fashion, Anna utilizes every opportunity to share the good news of life through Jesus Christ, even being blessed to lead some of her patients to Christ in her office!
This is truly a victory story of reaching the pinnacle of what the world has to offer, coming up empty, and finding the pathway that leads to real life [written for me 7 Jan. 2004 by my…and Dr. John Redman’s…friendD. O.].