RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Pausing to take a look at the life of HARRY KROTO Part G (Kroto agreed with his good friend Sam Harris that liberals are still getting “agitated over the abortion clinic bombings that happened in 1984” but they are not upset at what is happening in the Muslim world right now!)

Dr. Kroto drew a distinction between the violence we see coming from Islam and the other peaceful religions and I wanted to discuss that today. Harry Kroto’s good friend Sam Harris rightly noted  on Bill Maher’s show that liberals are still getting “agitated over the abortion clinic bombings that happened in 1984” but they are not upset at what is happening in the Muslim world right now!!!! There is really no comparison at all between Christianity and Islam concerning the areas of freedom of religion, freedom of press and political freedom.

Real Time with Bill Maher: Ben Affleck, Sam Harris and Bill Maher Debate Radical Islam (HBO)

Kroto’s 2nd email response on 9-18-14 with comment on ISIS:

Thank you
great story

I think we may see the good things the same way
but I do not gloss over the bad aspects of religiosity
but …some of the bad…cf ISIS

“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
― Steven Weinberg
“Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.
But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
― Steven Weinberg

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/86758.Steven_Weinberg

______ (End of Harry Kroto’s email on 9-18-14)

It is with sadness that I write this post having learned of the death of Sir Harold Kroto on April 30, 2016 at the age of 76. He was a scientist of remarkable abilities and a man of great humor too. In this series  I posted the Memorial by Richard Dawkins for Dr. Kroto and I also looked at Kroto’s membership in CSICOP and his admiration for Bertrand Russell and his 2 emails he sent to me on 9-18-14.  Peter Coles, Head of the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Sussex gave an excellent tribute Dr. Kroto which I posted too.

I did not know Harry Kroto personally but I did have the opportunity to correspond with him in 2014. I sent him a letter in the spring and two in the summer and he responded with an email on 9-18-14 and I thanked him for responding in an email and then he emailed me again and even sent me a letter on 11-21-14. In that 11-21-14 letter he referred me to the You Tube film series Renowned Academics Speaking About God which has over 300,000 views on You Tube and that prompted me on 11-29-14 to start my blog series RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Below are the links to the posts I have already done on previous Tuesdays in this series:

Arif AhmedHaroon Ahmed,Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BateSir Patrick Bateson,Patricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin ReesAlison Richard,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerJohn SulstonBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  C.J. van RijsbergenAlexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

_____

Divine (f)law? (ft. Nobel Prize laureate Sir Harold Kroto)

 

___

 

In the You Tube video Divine (f)law? (ft. Nobel Prize laureate Sir Harold Kroto) Kroto draws a distinction between Radical Muslims and those from other religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and other peaceful religions that don’t seem to have violent segments. Kroto noted:

Christianity has evolved. The New Testament is not brutal as the Old Testament. In Buddhism this doesn’t occur. This extreme attitude does not seem to appear or in Judaism either. You see this in religions that want  expand. The west should support the Arab countries and help them to solve this problem, but I don’t think they can. The separation of church and state is very difficult in Muslim countries if not impossible. It is blasphemous to change the Koran.  

I agree with some of the points that Kroto makes here and I actually included some of these points in my letter to Dr.  Ivar Giaever.

In the last correspondence I had with Harry Koto was on November 21, 2014  and 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

In that video series which features 150 academics in three consecutive videos I found this quote from Ivar Giaever in the first video in the 28th clip:

 

Quote from Ivar Giaever in the popular You Tube video “Renowned Acaemics Speaking About God:

Are you a religious person?
“Absolutely not.”
…Can you say more about that?
“Well, you could say all sorts things about that and offend people maybe but the fact is I’m not religious and I don’t like religion and I think religion is to blame for a lot of the ills in this world.”

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

My response to that assertion is below:

October 15, 2015

Professor Ivar Giaever, c/o Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Dear Dr. Giaever,

Recently I read the article, “Deniers” in their midst – All is not well in Nobel Prize Land, by  (dated ) and here is portion of it:

Dr. Ivar Giaever, a Nobel Prize-Winner for physics in 1973, declared his dissent on man-made global warming claims at a Nobel forum on July 1, 2015.

“I would say that basically global warming is a non-problem,” Dr. Giaever announced during his speech titled “Global Warming Revisited.

Image result for ivar giaever

Giaever, a former professor at the School of Engineering and School of Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, received the 1973 physics Nobel for his work on quantum tunneling. Giaever delivered his remarks at the 65th Nobel Laureate Conference in Lindau, Germany, which drew 65 recipients of the prize. Giaever is also featured in thenew documentary “Climate Hustle”, set for release in Fall 2015.

Giaever was one of President Obama’s key scientific supporters in 2008 when he joinedover 70 Nobel Science Laureates in endorsing Obama in an October 29, 2008 open letter. Giaever signed his name to the letter which read in part: “The country urgently needs a visionary leader…We are convinced that Senator Barack Obama is such a leader, and we urge you to join us in supporting him.”

But seven years after signing the letter, Giaever now mocks President Obama for warning that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change”. Giaever called it a “ridiculous statement.”

“That is what he said. That is a ridiculous statement,” Giaever explained.

_________________

I am glad that you don’t bow to peer pressure!!!!

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

Are you a religious person?
“Absolutely not.”
…Can you say more about that?
“Well, you could say all sorts things about that and offend people maybe but the fact is I’m not religious and I don’t like religion and I think religion is to blame for a lot of the ills in this world.”

I would agree with you that many people have done evil things in the name of religion, and let me make a few points about that. My view is that of evangelical Christianity. The crusades were done by Catholics. However, the point could be made that atheists and those who hold their views have killed far more in the last 100 years than all the Catholics through all the centuries. Take a look at this article by Ravi Zacharias below. 

Atheists Charge: “What about the thousands who have been killed in the name of religion?”

by Ravi Zacharias (from his book “Can Man Live Without God”)

One of the great blind spots of a philosophy that attempts to disavow God is its unwillingness to look into the face of the monster it has begotten and own up to being its creator. It is here that living without God meets its first insurmountable obstacle, the inability to escape the infinite reach of a moral law. Across scores of campuses in our world I have seen outraged students or faculty members waiting with predatorial glee to pounce upon religion, eager to make the oft-repeated but ill-understood charge: What about the thousands who have been killed in the name of religion?

The emotion-laden question is not nearly as troublesome to answer if the questioner first explains all the killing that has resulted from those who have lived without God, such as Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, et al. The antitheist is quick to excoriate all religious belief by generically laying the blame at the door of all who claim to be religious, without distinction. By the same measure, why is there not an equal enthusiasm to distribute blame for violence engendered by some of the irreligious?

But the rub goes even deeper than that. The attackers of religion have forgotten that these large-scale slaughters at the hands of antitheists were the logical outworking of their God-denying philosophy. Contrastingly, the violence spawned by those who killed in the name of Christ would never have been sanctioned by the Christ of the Scriptures. Those who killed in the name of God were clearly self-serving politicizers of religion, an amalgam Christ ever resisted in His life and teaching. Their means and their message were in contradiction to the gospel. Atheism, on the other hand provides the logical basis for an autonomous, domineering will, expelling morality. Darwin himself predicted this slippery slope of violence if evolutionary theory were translated into a philosophy of life. Nietzche talked of the enshrouding darkness that had fallen over mankind–he saw its ramifications. The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevski repeatedly wrote of the hell that is let loose when man comes adrift from his Creators moorings and himself becomes god–he understood the consequences. Now, asproof positive, we witness our culture as a whole in a mindless drift toward lawlessness–we live with the inexorable result of autonomies in collision.

In case you fear that I am carrying this too far, I present the following for your consideration. It is not always easy in life to pinpoint moments that dramatically change you for the future. Sometimes, however, in retrospect we are able to look back upon such a moment and say, “For me, that was it.” Let me introduce you to one such experience for me.

A few years ago when I was speaking in Poland I was taken to the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau. I shall never be the same. Many, many times in silence I have reflected upon my first visit there, where the words of Hitler envisioning a generation of young people without a conscience are aptly hung on a wall, grimly reminding the visitor of the hell unleashed when his goal was realized.

I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality…. We will train young people before whom the world will tremble. I want young people capable of violence–imperious, relentless and cruel.

On display for all to behold are thousands of pounds of women’s hair, retrieved and marketed as a commodity by the Nazi exterminators, architects of the final solution that sent multitudes to the gas ovens. The incredible reminders–from rooms filled with pictures of abused and castrated children to the toiletries and clothing that are stacked to the ceiling–cast an overwhelming pall of somberness upon the visitor.

That this was conceived and nurtured in the mind of the most educated nation at that time in history and brought forth on the soil that had also given birth to the Enlightenment almost defies belief. But it was atheism’s legitimate offspring. Man was beginning to live without God.

________

As a scientist you don’t accept anything on “blind faith” and I don’t blame you at all. Let me further respond 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

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

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 #96)

Now we should Now we should turn to one of the most spectacular of modern archaeological discoveries, Ebla. While digging on an extensive mound forty-four miles south of Aleppo in Syria in 1974/75, an Italian archaeological expedition came across another of the vast libraries to which we referred earlier. A small room within the palace suddenly yielded up a thousand tablets and fragments, while another not far away a further fourteen thousand. There lay row upon row, just where they had fallen from the burning wooden shelves when the palace was destroyed about 2250 B.C.

What secrets did these tablets reveal? Without wishing to seem unnecessarily repetitive, we can say immediately that Ebla represents yet another discovery from the ancient past which does not make it harder for us to believe the Bible, but quite the opposite. And remember, these tablets date from well before the time of Abraham. The implications of this discovery will not be exhausted by even the turn of this century. The translation and publication of such a vast number of tablets will take years and years. It is important to understand that the information we now have from Ebla does not bear directly upon the Bible. As far as has been discovered, there is no certain reference to individuals mentioned in the Bible, though many names are similar, for example, Ishmael, Israel, and so forth. Biblical place names like Megiddo, Hazor, Lachish are also referred to. What is clear, however, is that certain individuals outside the Bible who previously had been considered fictitious by the critical scholars, simply because of their antiquity, are now quite definitely historic characters.

For example, the Assyrian King Tudiya (approximately 2500 B.C.) had already been known from the Assyrian king list composed about 1000 B.C. His name appeared at the head of the list, but his reality was dismissed by many scholars as “free invention, or a corruption.”  In fact, he was very much a real king of Ebla. Thus, the genealogical tradition of the earlier parts of the Assyrian king list has been vindicated. It preserves faithfully, over a period of 1,500 years, the memory of real, early people who were Assyrian rulers. What we must learn from this is that when we find similar material in the Old Testament, such as the genealogical list in Genesis 7 or the patriarchal stories, we should be careful not to reject them out of hand, as the scholars have so often done. We must remember that these ancient cultures were just as capable of recording their histories as we are.

The most important aspect of the Ebla discoveries is undoubtedly their language. This has been found to be ancient West-Semitic language to which such languages as Hebrew, Canaanite, Ugaritic, Aramaic, and Moabite are related. Thus we have now, for the first time, the whole “tradition” of West-Semitic language stretching over 2,500 years–something which was previously true only of Egyptian and Akkadian, to which Babylonian and Assyrian belong.

Up until quite recently, therefore, this meant that scholars could argue that many words which appeared in the Hebrew Old Testament were what they called “late.” What they meant by this was that these words indicated a much later authorship than the time stated by the text itself. It would be as if one of us pretended to write a sixteenth-century  book using such modern words as AUTOMOBILE and COMPUTER. In the case of the Pentateuch, for example, this was one of the arguments which led some scholars to suggest that it was not Moses who wrote these books, as the Bible says, but anonymous scribes from approximately 1,000 years later. The discoveries at Ebla have shown that many of these words were not late, but very early. Here is yet another example of a claimed “scientific” approach that merely reflects the philosophical prejudices of the scholars involved.

 
Archaeology Confirms The Biblical Account

        Oftentimes people are not told about the archaeological discoveries that document the truths written in the Bible. We are told that science and the Bible disagree. But as is really the case: True science and the Bible do not contradict each other. We supply many short articles which show that archaeology confirms God’s Written Word, The Bible.

        The below articles are excerpted from various Archaeological trade journals and publications including Light on Archaeology magazine, and Associates for Biblical Research.

Archaeology: The study of human antiquities – usually as
discovered by excavation.  (Chambers English Dictionary)

Below we supply articles from the Associates for Biblical Research and Light on Archaeology to point the reader to the wealth of information that has literally been unearthed by the spades of patient, dedicated people which helps to confirm the historical accuracy of the Bible – God’s Word. Many sights exist in the lands mentioned in the Bible where artifacts of many kinds reveal the life and customs of the people who lived there many centuries earlier.

The Bible has been ridiculed and dismissed in recent times as inaccurate and unreliable. However, students of Biblical Archaeology have found that as the science of archaeology becomes more sophisticated, much more evidence is coming to light regularly that says just the opposite! Finds have been made that show us how historically accurate God’s Word really is.

For those of us who have been privileged to visit Israel – God’s Land, it is thrilling to look down and examine the shaft that Joab climbed up to take the city of Jebus (later Jerusalem) for King David.[2 Sam 5.7-9 : 1 Chron 11.5-7] It is exciting to wade through King Hezekiah’s tunnel, from the spring of Gihon to the pool of Siloam (Silwan). [2 Kings 20.20] It is fascinating to examine the actual scrolls found at Qumram by the Dead Sea and to walk around the Citadel of Jerusalem; the remains of Herod’s fortress palace where Christ was paraded, mocked and then condemned by Pilate.[ Luke 23.1-25] All of these places give us visible evidence of the accuracy of the Biblical record.

The following series of articles are only a small sample of the information available, but, hopefully, the object will be achieved to direct the reader to further studies of the deeper truths revealed in the Bible.

So with your Bible in hand, you are invited to examine the evidence to see whether the work of the archaeologist confirms or denies God’s Word.

NOTE:  We supply the below articles with the gracious permission of Bible Archeology.  They also provide a free magazine as well, the address for signing up for that is supplied at the end of this study. 

TEL MARDIKH: Have you heard of the Empire of Ebla? It is not surprising if you have not – for modern history text books make no references to this kingdom, which existed from approximately 2,300 B.C. to 1,700 B.C.

In fact, only students of ancient Middle East history are likely to have come across the name of Ebla, and even then, only in passing – not realizing the extent and power of this empire which stretched around the shores of the eastern Mediterranean for nearly 600 years. Now the re-writing of our history books will again be necessary to fill the gaps in our knowledge of the past; for there has been a remarkable archaeological discovery in Syria between Aleppo and Damascus, on the site of Tel Mardikh.

On this site of a 4,000 year old fortification, perhaps the most remarkable ‘find’ of the century has been uncovered – 18,000 fired clay and rock tablets relating to the economy, administration and international dealings of this once great empire of Ebla.

Popular history of the third millennium B.C. is taught with little regard for the Biblical account of the customs, manners, social behavior and level of education of the people of this period.

Now for the first time it appears that there exists a record contemporary with the Biblical account of the times, and so different is the picture it reveals from that of accepted historical suppositions, that the linguist in charge of the tablets, Dr Pettinato, has claimed that this discovery calls for a fundamental revision of third millennium B.C. culture and history.

The tablets were discovered in some out-buildings of a palace situated within the vast fortifications around the top of the tel. Many of the buildings, due to their solid roofs of some two feet in thickness, are intact and free of debris. Most of the walls are plastered a gray-green color, with murals in good condition. The two rooms in which the tablets were discovered had been shelved with wood but, due to time and the weight of the tablets, this shelving had collapsed with some breakages; but the tablets, many containing 3,000 lines of cuneiform writing, are in readable condition.

The tablets tell of an ’empire’ and names many areas under the control of Ebla, such as Sinai, Assyria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Carchemish, Lachish, Gaza, Hazor and others. Bible students will readily recognize that many of these names appear in the Old Testament record and it is interesting to note that of the three languages of the tablets, an hitherto unknown tongue, closely resembling Hebrew is prevalent and many common names recorded by the people of Ebla are easily recognizable to Bible readers.

  • AB-RA-MU – (ABRAM)
  • E-SA-UM – (ESAU)
  • IS-MA-EL – (ISHMAEL)
  • IS-RA-EL – (ISRAEL)
  • MI-KA-EL – (MICHAEL)
  • MI-KA-YAH – (MICAIAH)
  • YE-RU-SA-LU-UM – (JERUSALEM)

Further, many common Ebla words are the same as Hebrew, such as ‘and’ (WA), ‘perfect’ (TAMMIN), ‘fall’ (NAPAL) and ‘good’ (TOB).

But perhaps most interesting of all are the quite extensive descriptions of the Creation and of the Flood, so often derided by modern historians.

The tablets are being translated and published and their contents will be invaluable in enlarging our understanding of the world of 2,000 BC; for they reveal a sophisticated system of international and civil law, including treaties of trade between Ebla and her neighbors within the framework of political agreements. These have been likened to the present-day Treaty of Rome between the EC members.

In addition, long lists of zoological, geographic and mathematical material have been found and there are weather forecasts in some meteorological texts. Records were made of visiting Mesopotamian scribes and mathematicians.

Proverbs and literary works are also preserved, including a set of bilingual tablets for the purpose of teaching translation, besides thousands of matching words. There seems no doubt that the tablets of Tel Mardikh contain the worlds oldest vocabulary lists – a source of no little consternation to students of ancient languages; for it is widely held that Biblical Hebrew is an evolved language, used during the first millennium BC Isaiah, the Hebrew prophet however, had indicated that his language was ‘the language of Canaan’, [Isaiah 19v18] and the Tel Mardikh tablets now support the Biblical reference – Hebrew has now to be recognized as one of the world’s oldest languages (and perhaps the language spoken by Noah, Canaan being the grandson of Noah through Ham). [ Genesis 10v6]

Interesting for Bible students is the fact that the Bible records that Abram, together with his father Terah, left the city of Ur in southern Mesopotamia to go into Canaan. They traveled as far as Haran and dwelt there. [Genesis 11v31,32] Haran was some 300 miles north east from the site at Tell Mardikh and appears to be named after Haran, Abram’s brother. [ Genesis 11v27 ] On his journey to Canaan, Abram in all probability, passed through Tel Mardikh, the then centre of trade and commerce, and of course, the language of Abram would be that of Ebla and of Canaan.

The other two languages written in cuneiform and discovered at Tel Mardikh are Sumerian and Akkadian. It had previously been assumed that the earliest cuneiform languages, were these two languages, developed in east and south Mesopotamia and the possibility that Syrian and Canaanite communications existed in cuneiform had been ruled out (with the exception of Ugaritic texts). But the Tel Mardikh tablets now reveal Sumerian scripts pre-dating those found in eastern Mesopotamia – throwing accepted theories of language origins to the winds. The Akkadian scripts found at Tel Mardikh refer mainly to the later period of the history of Ebla. One of the deities worshipped at Mardikh was Marduk or the Merodak of the Bible. It appears to be basically the same name as Nimrod, the ‘mighty hunter before the Lord’ mentioned in Genesis 10v9 Nimrod, who founded the city of Babel, appears to have been deified and the cult continued long after Ebla had ceased. The main consonants of Nimrod are M R D, hence:

  • N i M R o D
  • M a R D ikh
  • M e R o D ak

Tel Mardikh was then the place of worship for Mardikh.

The finds of Tel Mardikh and the Empire of Ebla, so far have only revealed confirmation of the scriptural narrative.

Real Time with Bill Maher: Ben Affleck, Sam Harris and Bill Maher Debate Radical Islam (HBO)

Sam Harris rightly noted on Bill Maher’s show that liberals are still getting “agitated over the abortion clinic bombings that happened in 1984” but they are not upset at what is happening in the Muslim world right now!!!! There is really no comparison at all between Christianity and Islam concerning the areas of freedom of religion, freedom of press and political freedom.

Bill Maher, Ben Affleck and Islam

Dennis Prager | Oct 07, 2014

Last Friday night a rare dialogue/debate took place on American television. It was rare because it involved criticism of Islam, one of the many taboo subjects that are labeled “politically incorrect.” And it took place on the program “Real Time with Bill Maher,” a show not generally known for taking politically incorrect positions.

But on this night the host, Bill Maher, along with atheism-advocate Sam Harris, had a vigorous debate with Actor Ben Affleck, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

Bill Maher, a man of the left on virtually every issue, began by defending liberalism’s honor against liberal hypocrisy on the subject of Islam:

“Liberals need to stand up for liberal principles. … Liberal principles like freedom of speech, freedom to practice any religion you want without fear of violence, freedom to leave a religion, equality for women, equality for minorities including homosexuals — these are liberal principles that liberals applaud for [pointing to his audience], but then when you say in the Muslim world this is what’s lacking, then they get upset.”

Sam Harris then added:

“Liberals have really failed on the topic of theocracy. They’ll criticize … Christians; they’ll still get agitated over the abortion clinic bombing that happened in 1984, but when you talk about the treatment of women and homosexuals and free thinkers and public intellectuals in the Muslim world, I would argue that liberals have failed us. And the crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of ‘Islamophobia,’ where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry toward Muslims as people. That’s intellectually ridiculous.”

Ben Affleck and Nicholas Kristof — along with, sad to say, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee — would have none of that.

Affleck’s first response to the indictment of the liberal double standard was to ask Sam Harris: “Are you the person that understands the officially codified doctrine of Islam?”

To which Harris responded: “I’m actually well-educated on this topic.”

Affleck, presumably not desirous of comparing his knowledge of Islam with that of Harris, moved on: “You’re saying that Islamophobia is not a real thing?”

“It’s gross! It’s racist!” Affleck continued, in answer to his own question.

“It’s like saying, ‘I’m not your shifty Jew,'” comparing an antisemitic epithet to what Maher and Harris were saying.

To which Harris pointed out that there is no comparison between attacks on all members of a group and attacks on ideas: “We have to be able to criticize bad ideas. And Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas.”

That really set Affleck off.

“Jesus! It’s an ugly thing to say.”

This was classic leftist thinking. The question of whether an assertion is true is of little or no interest to the left. The question of concern to the left is whether something is politically incorrect.

Then the New York Times columnist, Kristof, offered his take:

“The picture you’re painting is to some extent true, but it is hugely incomplete. It is certain that plenty of fanatics and jihadis are Muslim, but [so are] the people who are standing up to them — Malala [the Pakistani 12-year-old shot and critically wounded by Islamists for attending school and advocating that other girls do so], Muhammad Ali Dadkhah in Iran, in prison for nine years for speaking up for Christians, [and] a friend that I had in Pakistan [who] was shot this year, Rashid Rahman, for defending people accused of apostasy.”

Kristof’s response is a frequent one. So it is worth responding to.

It is quite true that there are heroic Muslims who are fighting the Islamists throughout the Muslim world — and that some of them have been murdered for doing so. These people are moral giants. But their existence has nothing to do with the criticisms leveled by Maher and Harris, since they never said or implied that all Muslims are bad. There were heroic Germans who fought Hitler and the Nazis. Therefore what? If Kristof had been present when people criticized Germany’s values, would he have labeled them “Germanophobes?”

But it was later in the dialogue that Kristof expressed the most dishonest of the left’s arguments on this issue: “The great divide is not between Islam and the rest. It’s rather between the fundamentalists and the moderates in each faith.”

“In each faith,” Kristof?

Where, sir, are the Christian and Jewish jihadists? The only Jewish state in the world is one of the freest countries on earth, with protections for minority religions and women and homosexuals unknown anywhere in the Muslim world. And virtually every free country in the world is in the Christian world.

Presumably, these are just “ugly” facts.

This debate was valuable. Even more valuable would be if Maher and Harris came to realize that the death of Judeo-Christian values and their being supplanted by leftism is producing hundreds of millions of people who think like Ben Affleck and Nicholas Kristof.

Lessons Learned From Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto

The scientist who passed away earlier this week was more than a chemist—he was an advocate and a mentor, too.

Harry Kroto, at the Nobel Laureate Global Symposium 2011 in Stockholm, discussing climate change.
Harry Kroto discussing climate change in 2011 in Stockholm.

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Harry Kroto, Nobel laureate chemist, discoverer of the “bucky-ball” carbon molecule, and passionate defender of young science students, died on Saturday.*

Kroto was my champion. When I was 17 years old, I found his email online and asked him for help. I wanted to fight Louisiana’s creationism law, a law that allows public school science teachers to attack evolution. Kroto knew nothing about me, a high school student in Louisiana. “What’s your phone number?” he answered.

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An hour later, he had called me to discuss creationist tactics, warning me they would lie about me and try to force me into fake compromises that would still weaken evolution and undo everything we were working for. “Never, ever, compromise on science,” he said. The next day, he circulated a letter that I’d written to dozens of other Nobel laureates, getting them to sign onto the cause too. Then Harry got in touch with Louisiana media and told them that “the lawmakers of Louisiana are a laughingstock as far as the scientific community is concerned.”

Kroto was never content to only change the world through his research. He understood that his success had given him an outsized megaphone, so he used it. He was a relentless fighter for the causes he believed in, from helping defend science to organizing a protest of Russia’s “gay propaganda” ban (which criminalized even acknowledging homosexuality in Russia) with his friend, actor Sir Ian McKellen. He consistently opposed anything, and everything, done by Rupert Murdoch, the conservative media magnate, summing up his problems with Murdoch to the New Zealand Herald: “He has no ethics whatsoever,” he said. “He’s politically influential and he has no real social responsibility.” Harry, on the other hand, knew his responsibilities deeply.

There was “just too much to do,” Harry said, the last time we spoke.

He had the world on his shoulders, especially when it came to science. He fought for increased funding for basic scientific research, and also against creationism—not just in Louisiana but also in his adopted state of Florida, where he was a professor at Florida State University in Tallahassee. He was always trying to teach young people how to better communicate science, from helping them internalize the basic facts to giving them tips on how to keep an audience.

And he was constantly bouncing ideas off the wall to find more compelling ways to show people evidence that would help them understand evolution and global warming rather than being a “smart-arse scientist” lecturing them. “I have been thinking about your tack as I give a lot of lectures and often address contentious issues,” he wrote me. “We must not be dictatorial … because U-turns are almost impossible for politicians.”

Who will be our champion, now?

A few weeks ago, my dad called me outside and pointed to a car with Florida plates parked outside our house. “That’s your sticker,” he said. There was a small blue computer-printed bumper sticker with a white Darwin Tree in the center. (The Darwin Tree comes from a sketch Darwin made in his notebooks of a tree as a metaphor that shows twists and turns as different species diverged and evolved from ancestral species throughout history. It’s an early phylogeny.)

But, really, it was Harry’s sticker. After the first time we spoke, he mailed me a box of books and several hundred of these stickers to pass out to Louisiana politicians. He’d designed them himself. (Graphic design was one of his hobbies.) Ever since, they’d decorated my cars, computers, and walls.

A Florida State University professor was visiting our neighbor. I ran outside with one of my own stickers. “How did you get that sticker?” I asked. “Do you know Harry Kroto?”

She was one of his friends, and she let me know that he had been on leave from Florida State—and that he had Lou Gehrig’s disease. “He’s doing well, though,” she said, “I’ll let him know I met you.”

I was going to email Kroto, too. I just wanted to tell him that people were still getting his message, and still proudly waving the flag of science, even in Louisiana. That we were still fighting for social responsibility and science. But, I didn’t. It got lost in the stack of other messages that needed to be sent. I thought there was more time.

Kroto wasn’t religious. He’s not out there watching over us. But, his life’s work is still with us, the science, and everything else. I wish there was one more chance to tell him how he inspired us.

We’re keeping the faith, Harry. For lack of any better words, we’re keeping the faith.

*Correction, May 5, 2016: An earlier version of this article misstated the date of Harry Kroto’s death as Monday. He died on Saturday. (Return.)

Nobel Laureates, campaigners, peers, philosophers, broadcasters and authors write open letter to challenge Prime Minister’s ‘Christian country’ claim

Over 50 public figures, including novelists, scientists, broadcasters, campaigners, authors and comedians have written to the Prime Minister challenging his statement on Britain as a Christian country. The letter was organised by the President of the British Humanist Association (BHA) Professor Jim Al-Khalili, theoretical physicist and science broadcaster.

Among those who have signed the letter are Philip Pullman, Ken Follett, Professor Alice Roberts and Sir Terry Pratchett.

The letter, published in the Telegraph, reads,

‘We respect the Prime Minister’s right to his religious beliefs and the fact that they affect his own life as a politician. However, we wish to object to his repeated mischaracterising of our country as a ‘Christian country’ and the negative consequences for our politics and society that this view engenders.

‘Apart from in the narrow constitutional sense that we continue to have an established church, we are not a ‘Christian country’. Repeated surveys, polls, and studies show most of us as individuals are not Christian in our beliefs or our religious identities and at a social level, Britain has been shaped for the better by many pre-Christian, non-Christian, and post-Christian forces. We are a plural society with citizens with a range of perspectives and a largely non-religious society. To constantly claim otherwise fosters alienation and division in our society.

‘Although it is right to recognise the contribution made by many Christians to social action, it is wrong to try to exceptionalise their contribution when it is equalled by British people of different beliefs. It needlessly fuels enervating sectarian debates that are by and large absent from the lives of most British people, who – as polls show – do not want religions or religious identities to be actively prioritised by their elected government.’

Jim Al-Khalili, President of the British Humanist Association, commented, ‘As people who value reason and evidence in public policy and fairness and secularism in our political life we wrote this letter as a result not just of one recent speech and article but of a disturbing trend. Politicians have been speaking of our country as “a Christian country” with increasing frequency in the last few years. Not only is this inaccurate, I think it’s a wrong thing to do in a time when we need to be building a strong shared identity in an increasingly plural and non-religious society.’

Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of the BHA commented ‘Any politician or government that tried to make Christianity and Christian beliefs the foundation of British values or social morality would be building on seriously unstable foundations. Only a minority of people in Britain are practising Christians and over half of the population sees itself as non-religious according to repeated surveys. British people certainly don’t want to see religion have more influence in government – in a 2006 Ipsos MORI poll, “religious groups and leaders” actually topped the list of domestic groups that people said had too much influence on government.’

Commenting on the statistical case for claiming Britain is Christian, Mr Copson continued, ‘Most people in Britain do not have Christian beliefs, do not attend any sort of church, and do not describe themselves as Christians when asked if they have a religion and if so what it is. Reliable studies like the British Social Attitudes Survey show over 60% of people in Britain never attend a religious service, 57% say they are not Christian. Other polls and surveys show over 60% don’t share core Christian beliefs like the divinity and resurrection of Jesus.

‘Even the census, (which because it asks the flawed closed question, ‘What is your religion?’, gives an inflated figure and measures cultural attachment rather than religiosity) recorded a drop in the percentage of Christians in England and Wales between 2001 and 2011 from 72% to 59% of the population. The percentage saying they had no religion, even in the face of the biased question, went up from 15% to 25%.’

Notes

For further comment or information, please contact Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Public Affairs at pavan@humanism.org.uk or on 0773 843 5059 or Andrew Copson, Chief Executive at andrew@humanism.org.uk or on 07855 380 633

Full list of signatories;
Professor Jim Al-Khalili, President of the BHA
Phillip Pullman, author
Dan Snow, historian and broadcaster
Tim Minchin, musician and writer
Dr Simon Singh, science writer
Ken Follett, novelist
Dr Adam Rutherford, broadcaster and science writer
Sir John Sulston FRS, Nobel Prize-winning scientist
Sir David Smith FRS FRSE, eminent botanist
Professor Jonathan Glover, philosopher
Professor Anthony Grayling, philosopher
Nick Ross, broadcaster
CJ De Mooi, actor and professional quizzer
Virginia Ironside, writer
Professor Steven Rose, scientist and writer
Natalie Haynes, comedian and writer
Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner
Professor Raymond Tallis FMedSci, physician, philosopher and author
Dr Iolo ap Gwynn FRMS, scientist and mountaineer
Stephen Volk, screenwriter and author
Professor Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics, science writer and broadcaster
Sir Terry Pratchett OBE, fantasy fiction author, satirist
Dr Evan Harris, former Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament and Vice President of the BHA
Dr Richard Bartle, Professor of Computer Game Design
Sian Berry, Green campaigner, politician and author
Professor John A Lee, consultant histopathologist and Professor of Pathology
Professor Richard Norman, philosopher
Zoe Margolis, author
Joan Smith, journalist and author
Michael Gore, CVO CBE
Derek McAuley, General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches
Lorraine Barratt, former member of the Welsh Assembly
Dr Susan Blackmore, writer and broadcaster
Dr Harry Stopes-Roe, Vice President of the BHA
Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC (Hon), human rights lawyer
Adele Anderson, actor and singer
Dr Helena Cronin, co-director, Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science
Professor Alice Roberts, Professor of Public Engagement in Science, anatomist, author and broadcaster
Professor Chris French, Professor of Psychology, editor of The Skeptic
Sir Tom Blundell, scientist
Maureen Duffy, poet, playwright and novelist
Baroness Whitaker, Labour peer
Lord Avebury, Liberal Democrat peer
Richard Herring, writer and comedian
Martin Rowson, writer and cartoonist
Tony Hawks, comedian, writer, musician and philanthropist
Peter Cave, philosopher and author
Diane Munday, campaigner
Professor Norman MacLean, Emeritus Professor of Genetics, biologist
Sir Harold Kroto FRS, Nobel Prize winner, Professor of Chemistry
Sir Richard Dalton, former diplomat
Sir David Blatherwick, KCMG, OBE, diplomat and writer
Michael Rubenstein, writer and legal expert
Polly Toynbee, columnist and broadcaster
Lord O’Neill, Labour peer
Warren Lakin, entertainment producer and writer
Sir Jonathan Miller CBE, theatre and opera director, broadcaster and sculptor
Nicci Gerrard, novelist
David Nobbs, comedy writer and novelist
Robin Ince, stand-up comedian, writer and actor
Professor Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist and writer

Read the Prime Minister’s full statement here http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2014/17-april/comment/opinion/my-faith-in-the-church-of-england

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.

Zack Kopplin is a science education activist who has fought against creationism being taught with public money.

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___ 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: ______________ I […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 64 Arif Ahmed Cambridge, “There are other examples in life where committing oneself means staking your life like flying on a plane to France tomorrow…These are precisely not cases where you should make a leap in the absence of evidence!”

__ 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: I have […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 63 Robert M. Price “The burden of proof is on the person who says that there was [a historical Jesus]”

  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: ______________ I […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 62 Dr.Yujin Nagasawa of Birmingham “…why we don’t live in this kind of environment where we are not tempted to perform morally wrong?”

  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: ______________ Yujin […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Riccardo Giacconi, Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist, Johns Hopkins University. ” Irrational thinking of any kind is very dangerous”

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: ______________ I have […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! David Friend, Physics Dept, Cambridge, “If you believe that the truth lies in strange scrolls dug up from somewhere or another written by someone then there is no logical counter to that”

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: ______________ I have […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! John Searle, Phil Dept, Berkeley, “I think religion is here to stay because it does satisfy [our] needs, but intellectually I don’t think you can justify it!”

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: ______________ I have […]

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