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.
Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto
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,
Ahmed was educated at St Patrick’s High School, Karachi, followed by an undergraduate degree at Imperial College London. He went on to obtain his PhD in 1963 and his Doctor of Sciencedegrees in 1996 from the University of Cambridge.
Ahmed was appointed a faculty member of the Engineering Department, Cambridge in 1963 and worked there for 20 years before moving to the Physics Department where he was promoted to Professor of Microelectronics and was the Head of the Microelectronics Research Centre until his retirement in 2003. He is a former Fellow, Director of Studies in Engineering, and Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and is now an Honorary Fellow.
Ahmed has published a large number of papers in scientific and engineering research journals on microelectronics, micro and nanofabrication, electron and ion beam lithography, semiconductor single electron devices and related topics.
He established a number of major collaborations between industry and the University including the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory in the Microelectronics Research Centre. He is the author with P.J. Spreadbury of Electronics for Engineers (CUP 1973) and An Introduction to Physical Electronics with A.H.W. Beck (Elsevier, 1968, out of print). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1990.
He has served as a Syndic of Cambridge University Press, as Non-Executive Director of the Addenbrooke’s Hospital NHS Trust, as President of the Philosophical Society, as a member of the MacRobert Committee which awards a prize annually to the most innovative engineering company in the UK and is currently a member of the Development Board of Imperial College. He has also worked as a consultant to several major electronics industrial companies. He was elected a Fellow of Corpus Christi College in 1967, became Warden of Leckhampton (the College’s Graduate Campus) in 1993 and Master in 2000, succeeding Professor Sir Tony Wrigley and resigned in 2006 to advise the Government of Pakistan on Higher Education matters.
He was the College’s 48th Master since its foundation in 1352. In his time as Master the College celebrated its 650th anniversary, the Taylor Library project was implemented, the Conservation Centre for manuscripts was built and the project on the digital imaging of the College’s Parker collection was started.
Awards and nominations
Among his other interests are golf and cricket.
In the second video below in the 84th 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)
Interview of Haroon Ahmed, Part 1
Haroon Ahmed interviewed by Alan Macfarlane 8th December 2009 on his life and work
All revenues to World Oral Literature Project
Interview of Haroon Ahmed, Part 2
Below is a letter I wrote to Dr. Ahmed and in this letter I respond to his quote from You Tube:
March 27, 2016
Professor Haroon Ahmed, The Old Schools,
Dear Dr. Ahmed,
Since you an avid golfer I wanted to tell you a couple of my golf stories that I thought you would find interesting.
In 1977, two huge events made national news at the now titled “Danny Thomas Memphis Classic.” First, President Gerald Ford made a hole-in-one during Wednesday’s Celebrity Pro-Am. That event is now referred to as the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World.” Two days later, Al Geiberger shocked the golf world with his record low round of 59 on Friday of the tournament. The 13-under-par round still stands as a PGA TOUR record. (Chip Beck and David Duval have since tied the mark.)
Entertainer Danny Thomas cheers former President Gerald Ford’s hole-in-one at the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic at Colonial Country Club’s fifth hole on June 9, 1977.
I had the chance to hear the roar that came from the crowd that day that President Ford hit the hole in one (on hole #5 at Colonial Country Club in Cordova, TN). Just a few holes later I saw Danny Thomas walking around saying with slurred speech, :”This is the ball, this is the ball” while he held up a golf ball. I thought he was going to fall on me as he passed by.
Al Geiberger’s 59 in 1977
Danny Thomas Hugs Al Geiberger after famous 59 in 1979
Then just two days later I saw the last 5 holes of Al Geiberger’s 59. He was walking around with this silly grin on his face because almost every putt was going in.
I learned much from your in-depth interview with Dr. Alan MacFarlane. Since you have studied science all your life I thought you would be interested in the subject of this letter today and when I heard your interview with Dr. MacFarlane that that prompted me to send you two CD’s today. 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.
James Watson (1928-) and Francis Crick (8 June 1916 – 28 July 2004)
John Charles Polanyi, (born 23 January 1929)
I am sending you this two CD’s 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.
John Scott Haldane (2 May 1860 – 14/15 March 1936)
|J. B. S. Haldane|
Haldane in 1914
(5 November 1892 – 1 December 1964)
Maurice Wilkins (15 December 1916 – 5 October 2004)
Erwin Schrödinger (12 August 1887 – 4 January 1961)
Sir Peter Medawar ( 28 February 1915 – 2 October 1987)
Barry Commoner (May 28, 1917 – September 30, 2012)
In the You Tube video “A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1),” you asserted at the 32 min mark in the interview:
32:54:00 When I was in the refugee camp I asked my father why we were there and why were they trying to kill us; he told me these were riots between people of the Hindu religion and people of the Muslim religion, so the conflict was religious; I decided then as a thinking child that religion was not good for one; I abandoned it then; my mother was aware and scolded me sometimes, but my father had been completely honest with me and accepted that I would not have any religious belief after that; that has remained the case, although I have sat through many religious services; before becoming Master of Corpus Christi College I went to see the clerics in the College and talked about my lack of religious belief although strongly supported the right of others to hold them; one of them said, “Well, Master-Elect, if you are prepared to do your duty we will not hold that against you”; I was rather moved and thought that if they had that sort of trust in me I would go to Evensong; I was fortunate that I was married to a Vicar’s daughter; long before I went to Corpus I had learned a great deal about the Anglican faith; her father was at Christ’s and grandfather at Corpus Christi, and her great-grandfather, all became vicars, so I was very supportive of other people’s religious beliefs; when I went to Evensong I didn’t know the hymns but my wife knows them without even looking at the hymn book; so we went into Chapel and I read the lesson when asked to; I did it as my duty and some were constrained to say that I did it well; I was President of the Philosophical Society; I certainly don’t think that religion has been destroyed by science, and I wouldn’t dream of being critical about people’s religious beliefs; I have a great interest in cathedrals and I look with awe at them; they started to build them in the eleventh century, and what powerful forces had moved the people who then built these marvellous buildings; if you look at their history, they were built, torn down, built again, destroyed by fire or invaders, and yet there they rise above the sky; look at the mosques in Islamic countries; what wonderful buildings are created for the love of God; I just have a strong personal view that religion is not for me, and that religion taken to any extreme is very dangerous; however, my religious beliefs were coloured by the effect of Partition and have remained with me ever since; I have brought my children up to believe that they have to be extremely tolerant, to have strong principles.
I am going to answer you in an indirect way. Today is Easter and sometimes a song will just minister to a person in a special way and I heard this song at church today and I wanted to share it with you. It is called MAN OF SORROWS and it can be found on You Tube Man Of Sorrows – Hillsong Live (2013 Album Glorious Ruins) Worship Song with Lyrics and here are the lyrics:
“Man Of Sorrows”
By His own betrayed
The sin of man and wrath of God
Has been on Jesus laid
Silent as He stood accused
Beaten mocked and scorned
Bowing to the Father’s will
He took a crown of thorns
Oh that rugged cross
Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out
Praise and honour unto Thee
Sent of heaven God’s own Son
To purchase and redeem
And reconcile the very ones
Who nailed Him to that tree
Now my debt is paid
It is paid in full
By the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled
Now the curse of sin
Has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
See the stone is rolled away
Behold the empty tomb
Hallelujah God be praised
He’s risen from the grave
We sang that song at our Easter service.
On Easter morning March 27, 2016 at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH our teaching pastor Brandon Barnard delivered the message THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING based on I Corinthians chapter 15 and I wanted to share a portion of that sermon with you today.
This day is the day that changes everything. The resurrection changes everything and that is why we are gathered here today to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ because it changes everything.
Some of you are going to be blown away by the opportunity before you this Easter morning because the resurrection of Jesus Christ stands at the very heart of Christianity. If what we we are gathered here to celebrate did not happen then people need to pity us as believers. They need to feel sorry for you and me more than anyone on earth because we have set our hopes firmly on a lie.
But if the resurrection really did happen, then we need to repent and we need to believe in Jesus and we need to rejoice that we have hope in this life and the life to come.
Paul wrote this to the believers in Corinth.
1 Corinthians 15:3-6, 13-21 English Standard Version (ESV)
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.19 If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
If Christ hasn’t been raised then these facts are true:
- PREACHING AND FAITH ARE IN VAIN.
- WE ARE FALSE WITNESSES
- WE ARE STILL IN OUR SINS.
- THOSE WHO DIED IN FAITH ARE STILL DEAD
- WE ARE TO BE PITIED MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD.
Verse 20 says, “but Christ has been raised!!! Therefore, these things are true:
- Our faith is significant, valuable and eternal.
- we are truth tellers!!
- we are forgiven of our sins.
- death is not our final stop.
- don’t pity us but join us in believing in Jesus Christ.
You said above that you are an agnostic. However, would you agree that if the Bible is correct in regards to history then Jesus did rise from the grave? Let’s take a closer look at evidence concerning the accuracy of the Bible.
I know that you highly respected Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and he co-authored with Francis Schaeffer the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? Below is a piece of evidence from that book.
Francis Schaeffer (30 January 1912 – 15 May 1984) and his wife Edith (November 3, 1914 – March 30, 2013)
Two things should be mentioned about the time of Moses in Old Testament history.
First, consider the archaeological evidence that relates to the period. True, it is not of the same explicitness that we have found, say, in relation to the existence of Ahab or Jehu or Jehoiakim. We have no inscription from Egypt which refers to Moses being taken out of the bulrushes and removed from the waterproof basket his mother had made him. But this does not mean that the Book of Exodus is a fictitious account, as some critics has suggested. Some say it is simply an idealized reading-back into history by the Jews under the later monarchy. There is not a reason why these “books of Moses,” as they are called, should not be treated as history, just as we have been forced to treat the Books of Kings and Chronicles dating 500 years later.
There is ample evidence about the building projects of the Egyptian kings, and the evidence we have fits well with Exodus. There are scenes of brick-making (for example, Theban Tomb 100 of Rekhmire). Contemporary parchments and papyri tell of production targets which had to be met. One speaks of a satisfied official report of his men as “making their quota of bricks daily” (Papyrus Anastasi III vso, p.3, in the British Museum. Also Louvre Leather Roll in the Louvre, Paris, col ii, mentions quotes of bricks and “taskmasters”). Actual bricks found show signs of straw which had to be mixed in with the clay, just as Exodus says. This matter of bricks and straw is further affirmed by the record that one despairing official complained, “There are no men to make bricks nor straw in my area.”
We know from contemporary discoveries that Semites were found at all levels of Egypt’s cosmopolitan society. (Brooklyn Museum, New York, no. 35, 1446. Papyrus Brooklyn). There is nothing strange therefore about Joseph’s becoming so important in the pharaoh’s court.
The store cities of Pithom and Raamses (Rameses) mentioned in Exodus 1:11 are well known in Egyptian inscriptions. Raamses was actually in the east-Delta capital, Pi-Ramses (near Goshen), where the Israelites would have had ample experience of agriculture. Thus, the references to agriculture found in the law of Moses would not have been strange to the Israelites even though they were in the desert at the time the law was given. Certainly there is no reason to say, as some critics do, that these sections on agriculture were an indication of a reading-back from a latter period when the Jews were settled in Canaan.
The form of the covenant made at Sinai has remarkable parallels with the covenant forms of other people at that time. (On covenants and parties to a treaty, the Louvre; and Treaty Tablet from Boghaz Koi (i.e., Hittite) in Turkey, Museum of Archaeology in Istanbul.) The covenant form at Sinai resembles just as the forms of letter writings of the first century after Christ (the types of introductions and greetings) are reflected in the letters of the apostles in the New Testament, it is not surprising to find the covenant form of the second millennium before Christ reflected in what occurred at Mount Sinai. God has always spoken to people within the culture of their time, which does not mean that God’s communication is limited by that culture. It is God’s communication but within the forms appropriate to the time.
The Pentateuch tells us that Moses led the Israelites up the east side of the Dead Sea after their long stay in the desert. There they encountered the hostile kingdom of Moab. We have firsthand evidence for the existence of this kingdom of Moab–contrary to what has been said by critical scholars who have denied the existence of Moab at this time. It can be found in a war scene from a temple at Luxor (Al Uqsor). This commemorates a victory by Ramses II over the Moabite nation at Batora (Luxor Temple, Egypt).
Also the definite presence of the Israelites in west Palestine (Canaan) no later than the end of the thirteenth century B.C. is attested by a victory stela of Pharaoh Merenptah (son and successor of Ramses II) to commemorate his victory over Libya (Israel Stela, Cairo Museum, no. 34025). In it he mentions his previous success in Canaan against Aschalon, Gize, Yenom, and Israel; hence there can be no doubt the nation of Israel was in existence at the latest by this time of approximately 1220 B.C. This is not to say it could not have been earlier, but it cannot be later than this date.
Christ came and laid his life down to die for our sins and there is evidence that indicates the Bible is true!!!!! Some 400 years before crucifixion was invented, both Israel’s King David and the prophet Zechariah described the Messiah’s death in words that perfectly depict that mode of execution. Further, they said that the body would be pierced and that none of the bones would be broken, contrary to customary procedure in cases of crucifixion (Psalm 22 and 34:20; Zechariah 12:10). Again, historians and New Testament writers confirm the fulfillment: Jesus of Nazareth died on a Roman cross, and his extraordinarily quick death eliminated the need for the usual breaking of bones. A spear was thrust into his side to verify that he was, indeed, dead.
Psalm 22 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
A Cry of Anguish and a Song of Praise.
For the choir director; upon [a]Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David.
22 My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
[b]Far from my deliverance are the words of my [c]groaning.
2 O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
And by night, but [d]I have no rest.
6 But I am a worm and not a man,
A reproach of men and despised by the people.
7 All who see me [g]sneer at me;
They [h]separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,
8 “[i]Commit yourself to the Lord; let Him deliver him;
Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”
12 Many bulls have surrounded me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.
13 They open wide their mouth at me,
As a ravening and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water,
And all my bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It is melted within [l]me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
And You lay me [m]in the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded me;
[n]A band of evildoers has encompassed me;
[o]They pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones.
They look, they stare at me;
18 They divide my garments among them,
And for my clothing they cast lots.
Francis Schaeffer ended HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Episode 7 with these words:
When we think of Christ of course we think of his substitutionary death upon the cross when he who claimed to be God died in a substitutionary way and as such his death had infinite value and as we accept that gift raising the empty hands of faith with no humanistic elements we have that which is real life and that is being in relationship to the infinite personal God who is there and being in a personal relationship to Him. But Christ brings life in another way that is not as often clearly thought about perhaps. He connects himself with what the Bible teaches in his teaching and as such he is a prophet as well as a savior. It is upon the basis of what he taught and the Bible teaches because he himself wraps these together that we have life instead of death in the sense of having some knowledge that is more than men can have from himself, beginning from himself alone. Both of these elements are the place where Christ gives us life.
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.