Monthly Archives: December 2016

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Trump Administration’s Infrastructure Initiative should include more private-sector involvement!!!

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Trump Administration’s Infrastructure Initiative should include more private-sector involvement!!!

Milton Friedman – The role of government in a free society (Q&A)

During the election, Donald Trump promised a big package of infrastructure spending, twice as much new spending as Hillary Clinton was proposing.

During his victory speech the night of the election, he doubled down on this approach, promising that more infrastructure spending would be one his first priorities.

This sounds like bad news for advocates of limited government. And it may turn out to be bad news. Though if you look at what the Trump campaign actually proposed, there’s a lot of wiggle room.

I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration: …American Energy & Infrastructure Act. Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. It is revenue neutral.

In other words, it’s possible that President-Elect Trump might give us an Obama-style stimulus scheme. Or he may take a radically different approach by removing roadblocks that hinder more private-sector involvement.

And my colleague Chris Edwards points out that the private sector already does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to infrastructure spending.

Hillary Clinton says that “we are dramatically underinvesting” in infrastructure and she promises a large increase in federal spending. Donald Trump is promising to spend twice as much as Clinton. …But more federal spending is the wrong way to go.  …let’s look at some data. There is no hard definition of “infrastructure,” but one broad measure is gross fixed investment in the BEA national accounts. …The first thing to note is that private investment at about $3 trillion was six times larger than combined federal, state, and local government nondefense investment of $472 billion. Private investment in pipelines, broadband, refineries, factories, cell towers, and other items greatly exceeds government investment in schools, highways, prisons, and the like. …if policymakers want to boost infrastructure spending, they should reduce barriers to private investment.

This is very helpful and interesting data. And one of the obvious conclusions is that the types of infrastructure that historically are the responsibility of the private sector (pipelines, cell towers, etc) are handled much more efficiently than those (highways, mass transit, etc) that have been monopolized by governments.

Trump presumably intends his infrastructure plan to focus on the latter type of infrastructure, so let’s consider three simple rules to help guide an effective approach for transportation.

1. More private-sector involvement

A key principle for good infrastructure policy is to harness the efficiency of the private sector.

Why? Because, as Lawrence McQuillan of the Independent Institute argues, governments naturally are inefficient and incompetent at building and managing infrastructure.

Government authorities view maintenance solely as a cost, rather than as an investment that can increase future revenues. As a result, roads remain riddled with potholes, bridges crumble, airports are overcrowded, water is contaminated, and we have classrooms with mold and falling ceilings. Moreover, without a profit motive, repairs are seldom done in a timely manner or at lowest cost. Instead of assets being owned and controlled by people who understand the economics of the industry and have the technical knowledge to operate and repair them efficiently, politicians (the majority of whom appear to be lawyers these days) and bureaucrats control them. This guarantees waste, inefficiency and cronyism, such as the greenlighting of white-elephant projects that are driven by politics rather than economics.

But there is some good news.

Chris Edwards explains that the private sector is taking a larger role.

Before the 20th century, for example, more than 2,000 turnpike companies in America built more than 10,000 miles of toll roads. And up until the mid-20th century, most urban rail and bus services were private. With respect to railroads, the federal government subsidized some of the railroads to the West, but most U.S. rail mileage in the 19th century was in the East, and it was generally unsubsidized. The takeover of private infrastructure by governments here and abroad in the 20th century caused many problems. Fortunately, most governments have reversed course in recent decades and started to hand back infrastructure to the private sector. …Short of full privatization, many countries have partly privatized portions of their infrastructure through public-private partnerships (“PPPs” or “P3s”). PPPs differ from traditional government contracting by shifting various elements of financing, management, maintenance, operations, and project risks to the private sector. …Unfortunately, the United States “has lagged behind Australia and Europe in privatization of infrastructure such as roads, bridges and tunnels,” notes the OECD. More than one fifth of infrastructure spending in Britain and Portugal is now through the PPP process, so this has become a normal way of doing business in some countries. Canada is also a leader in using PPP for major infrastructure projects.

2. Less involvement from Washington

To the extent that government must be involved, another important principle is to let state and local governments handle infrastructure.

That’s what I argued back in 2014.

…the Department of Transportation should be dismantled for the simple reason that we’ll get better roads at lower cost with the federalist approach of returning responsibility to state and local governments. …Washington involvement is a recipe for pork and corruption. Lawmakers in Congress – including Republicans – get on the Transportation Committees precisely because they can buy votes and raise campaign cash by diverting taxpayer money to friends and cronies. …the federal budget is mostly a scam where endless streams of money are shifted back and forth in leaky buckets. This scam is great for insiders and bad news for taxpayers. Washington involvement necessarily means another layer of costly bureaucracy. And this is not a trivial issues since the Department of Transportation is infamous for overpaid bureaucrats.

For a more detailed explanation, Professor Edward Glaeser of Harvard has some devastating analysis in an article for City Journal.

The most pressing problem with federal infrastructure spending is that it is hard to keep it from going to the wrong places. We seem to have spent more in the places that already had short commutes and less in the places with the most need. Federal transportation spending follows highway-apportionment formulas that have long favored places with lots of land but not so many people. …Low-density areas are remarkably well-endowed with senators per capita, of course, and they unsurprisingly get a disproportionate share of spending from any nationwide program. Redirecting tax dollars across jurisdictions is rarely fair—and it isn’t right, either, that poorer, lower-density regions should subsidize New York’s subway and airports. Washington’s involvement also distorts infrastructure planning by favoring pet projects. The Recovery Act set aside $8 billion for high-speed rail, for instance, despite the fact that such projects would never be appropriate for most of moderate-density America. California was lured down the high-speed hole with Washington support… Detroit’s infamous People Mover Monorail would never have been built without federal aid. Alaska’s $400 million Gravina Island bridge to nowhere was a particularly notorious example of how Congress abuses transportation investment. As the Office of Management and Budget noted, during the Bush years, highway funding was “not based on need or performance and has been heavily earmarked.”

3. Sensible cost-benefit analysis

Our third principle is that infrastructure should only be built if it makes sense. In other words, do the benefits exceed the costs?

In the private sector, the profit motive automatically generates that type of calculation.

With government, that effort becomes much more challenging.

Professor Michael Boskin at Stanford explains the problem in a column for the Wall Street Journal.

…a huge pot of additional money earmarked for infrastructure, on top of the recently passed $305 billion five-year highway bill, is sure to unleash a mad scramble in Congress to secure funds for the home turf. The logrolling and pork will get ugly without far tighter cost-benefit tests and oversight. …Most federal infrastructure spending is done by sending funds to state and local governments. For highway programs, the ratio is usually 80% federal, 20% state and local. But that means every local district has an incentive to press the federal authorities to fund projects with poor national returns. We all remember Alaska’s infamous “bridge to nowhere.” In other words, if a local government is putting up only 20% of the funds, it needs the benefits to its own citizens to be only 21% of the total national cost. Yet every state and every locality has potential infrastructure needs that it would like the rest of the country to pay for. That leads to the misallocation of federal funds and infrastructure projects that benefit the few at the cost of the many. …taxpayers generally don’t notice all the fiscal cross-hauling, sending their money to Washington to be sent back in leaky buckets to local jurisdictions. Since we all reside in a state and locality, it’s an inefficient negative sum game with complex cross-subsidies. If these local projects are so good, why aren’t citizens willing to finance the projects locally?

And don’t forget government infrastructure always is more expensive – sometimes far more expensive – than politicians first promise. Chris Edwards has the details.

Federal infrastructure projects often suffer from large cost overruns. Highway projects, energy projects, airport projects, and air traffic control projects have ended up costing far more than promised. When both federal and state governments are involved in infrastructure, it reduces accountability. That was one of the problems with the federally backed Big Dig highway project in Boston, which exploded in cost to five times the original estimate. U.S. and foreign studies have found that privately financed infrastructure projects are less likely to have cost overruns.

The challenge, of course, is getting governments to produce honest cost-benefit analysis. Bureaucrats respond to the people who control their jobs and control their pay. So if politicians want to squander more money, it’s quite likely that bureaucrats will concoct the numbers needed to justify the expansion of government.

To cite a high-profile example, I caught the IMF making up numbers to justify infrastructure boondoggles, even though that politically driven analysis contradicted the work of the bureaucracy’s professional economists.

Let’s finish with two additional points.

First, advocates of more infrastructure spending act like there’s some national crisis.

But if this is true, why does the United States get relatively high scores from the World Economic Forum?

Second, let’s consider the example of Japan. That nation has been stuck in a multi-decade period of stagnation, with very little expectation of an economic turnaround. But if infrastructure spending was some sort of elixir, that economy should be booming.

…a look at ailing Japan, which has spent over $6.3 trillion since 1981 on truly impressive bridges and bullet trains, suggests infrastructure isn’t always a cure for economic woes.

The bottom line is that Donald Trump should not follow the business-as-usual approach of simply dumping more money into a system that almost always produces poor results.

P.S. Whoever does the “Redpanels” cartoons is very clever. I’ve already shared ones on the minimum wage, universal basic income, and Keynesian economics. Now, here’s one on federal infrastructure.

P.P.S. I wrote two years ago about the guy in England who built a private road to help drivers avoid lengthy delays caused by poor government planning. We have an even more…um…interesting example from Russia of how the private sector can take over when the government founders.

Gangs smuggling goods into Russia have secretly repaired a road on the Belarussian border in order to boost business, the TASS news agency reported Monday. Smugglers have transformed the gravel track in the Smolensk region in order to help their heavy goods vehicles traveling on the route, said Alexander Laznenko from the Smolensk region border agency. The criminal groups have widened and raised the road and added additional turning points, he said. The road, which connects Moscow to the Belarussian capital of Minsk, is known to be used by smugglers wishing to avoid official customs posts.

This is like a libertarian fantasy. The private sector builds a road to help entrepreneurs avoid trade taxes. What’s not to love? And unlike the libertarian sex fantasy or my 1992 debate fantasy, it’s actually true!

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 144 Martin Gardner (Featured artist is Bridget Riley)

I was sad to learn of the passing of Martin Gardner in 2010. I really enjoyed reading his articles in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. I did send him a letter but it was never answered.

Martin Gardner

Martin Gardner: 1914-2010
Chris French mourns the passing of Martin Gardner, a prolific writer and populariser of mathematics, and one of the most influential figures in scepticism
Martin Gardner
Martin Gardner’s uncompromising attacks on fringe science and New Age ideas delighted his admirers and enraged his detractors.

Photograph: Konrad Jacobs, Erlangen/Creative Commons
Chris French
Tuesday 25 May 2010 07.39 EDT Last modified on Wednesday 10 February 2016 10.38 EST
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I woke up on Sunday morning to some very sad news. Martin Gardner had died the previous day at the age of 95.

Gardner’s life was not only long but extraordinarily productive. He was a polymath and a gifted writer, publishing more than 70 books in his long career as well as innumerable magazine and newspaper articles. His wide range of interests included recreational mathematics, pseudoscience, scepticism, magic, religion, philosophy and literature. He will be mourned by many hundreds of thousands around the world.

It is no exaggeration to describe Gardner as one of the most influential figures in scepticism. In 1976 he was a founding member of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP; now known as the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, CSI).
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His sceptical credentials were already well established by that time. Back in 1952 he had published his seminal analysis of the nature of pseudoscience, Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science. In this classic work, which is still well worth reading, he demolished a wide range of pseudoscientific claims to the total satisfaction of any reader with an iota of critical intelligence. His targets covered a very wide range including UFOs, creationism, Atlantis, scientology, Rudolf Steiner, dowsing, reincarnation, and Wilhelm Reich – to name but a few. It is, of course, slightly depressing to realise just how contemporary this book still sounds.

Gardner’s uncompromising attacks on fringe science and New Age ideas delighted his admirers and enraged his detractors for many decades. From 1983 to 2002, he contributed a regular column to the Skeptical Inquirer magazine under the title “Notes of a fringe watcher” and published several more sceptical books including Science: Good, Bad and Bogus and Order and Surprise.

His interests were by no means limited to science and mathematics, however, and he found time to write many acclaimed books of literary criticism. The most successful of these is probably his annotated versions of the Alice stories (available in several versions including The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition). Gardner and Lewis Carroll had a huge amount in common: a passion for mathematics and logical puzzles, a love of conjuring, and a curious and playful intellect that delighted in wordplay and whimsy.

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Little wonder then that the Annotated Alice books are such a joy to read, as Gardner explains the literary references, solves the puzzles and unravels the clever puns in the most loved of Carroll’s offerings. I can still remember my delight at being presented with so many translations of the famous Jabberwocky nonsense poem, “‘Twas brillig and the slithy toves …”

He also produced annotated versions of several other classic works including G. K. Chesterton’s The Innocence of Father Brown and The Man Who Was Thursday and poems such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and The Night Before Christmas. He even wrote fictional works, including the semi-autobiographical novel The Flight of Peter Fromm.

He will probably be best remembered as the man who made maths fun in a way that no one else had ever quite managed before. This was no doubt partly because he never took a maths course beyond high school. Indeed, it is said that he struggled to learn calculus. But what he did have was a fascination with puzzles and magic tricks and a wonderful ability to communicate and share his enthusiasm, which eventually led to his writing a recreational mathematics column for Scientific American that ran for 25 years.

Many collections of his perplexing and intriguing brain-teasers were published under such titles as Mathematical Carnival and Mathematical Circus. For many people, including me, these books were a first introduction to the playful and creative mind of Mr Gardner.

In light of the above, his views on religion may come as a surprise. Unlike most sceptics, he was neither an atheist nor an agnostic. Instead he described himself as “a philosophical theist”. He was critical of organised religion but he believed in God. This belief, he felt, depended entirely upon faith and could never be proved or disproved by science and logic. He did not believe that God intervenes directly in the world to perform miracles or that God communicates directly with human beings, but he believed that human beings live happier lives through faith and prayer.

Like hundreds of thousands of other fans throughout the world, although I never met Gardner, I am sure I would have liked him if I had. By all accounts he was a shy man who did not enjoy appearing in public. I feel I know something of him through his books and I mourn his passing. However, his loss will obviously be felt so much more keenly by those who did have a close personal relationship with him. James Randi, himself a towering figure within scepticism, is one such person. I leave you with his words:

My world is a little darker…

Martin Gardner has died. I have dreaded to type those words, and Martin would not have wanted to know that I’m so devastated at what I knew – day to day – had to happen very soon. I’m glad to report that his passing was painless and quick. That man was one of my giants, a very long-time friend of some 50 years or so. He was a delight, a very bright spot in my firmament, one to whom I could always turn to with a question or an idea, with any strange notion I could invent, and with any complaint or comment I could come up with.

I never had an angry word with Martin. Never. It was all laughs and smiles, all the best of everything.

Forgive me for writing this without any editing. It’s just as it occurs to me. I can’t quite picture my world without him, and just yesterday I printed up a new set of mailing labels for him, plus stationery, which didn’t get mailed. For the last few years I supplied him with that small favor, assuring him that he should notify me when he ran out, but he never did, because he thought it was too much trouble for me. Only when I received a letter from him last week that was hand-addressed, did I know that it was time for another shipment to Oklahoma.

He was such a good man, a productive and useful member of our society, and I can anticipate the international reaction to his passing. His books – so many of them – remain to remind us of his contributions to us all. His last one was dedicated to me, and I am just so proud of that fact, so very proud…

It will take a while, but Martin would want me to get on with my life, so I will.

It’s tough…

Randi

Chris French (Twitter @chriscfrench) is a professor of psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he heads the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit. He edits the The Skeptic

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Martin Gardner Communications Award

 

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On May 15, 1994 on the 10th anniversary of the passing of Francis Schaeffer I sent a letter to Martin Gardner and here is a portion of that letter below:

I have enclosed a cassette tape by Adrian Rogers and it includes  a story about  Charles Darwin‘s journey from  the position of theistic evolution to agnosticism. Here are the four bridges that Adrian Rogers says evolutionists can’t cross in the CD  “Four Bridges that the Evolutionist Cannot Cross.” 1. The Origin of Life and the law of biogenesis. 2. The Fixity of the Species. 3.The Second Law of Thermodynamics. 4. The Non-Physical Properties Found in Creation.  

In the first 3 minutes of the cassette tape is the hit song “Dust in the Wind.” Below I have given you some key points  Francis Schaeffer makes about the experiment that Solomon undertakes in the book of Ecclesiastes to find satisfaction by  looking into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

Here the first 7 verses of Ecclesiastes followed by Schaeffer’s commentary on it:

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.  

Solomon is showing a high degree of comprehension of evaporation and the results of it.  Seeing also in reality nothing changes. There is change but always in a set framework and that is cycle. You can relate this to the concepts of modern man. Ecclesiastes is the only pessimistic book in the Bible and that is because of the place where Solomon limits himself. He limits himself to the question of human life, life under the sun between birth and death and the answers this would give.

Solomon doesn’t place man outside of the cycle. Man doesn’t escape the cycle. Man is in the cycle. Birth and death and youth and old age.

There is no doubt in my mind that Solomon had the same experience in his life that I had as a younger man (at the age of 18 in 1930). I remember standing by the sea and the moon arose and it was copper and beauty. Then the moon did not look like a flat dish but a globe or a sphere since it was close to the horizon. One could feel the global shape of the earth too. Then it occurred to me that I could contemplate the interplay of the spheres and I was exalted because I thought I can look upon them with all their power, might, and size, but they could contempt nothing. Then came upon me a horror of great darkness because it suddenly occurred to me that although I could contemplate them and they could contemplate nothing yet they would continue to turn in ongoing cycles when I saw no more forever and I was crushed.

Let me show you some inescapable conclusions if you choose to live without God in the picture. Schaeffer noted that Solomon came to these same conclusions when he looked at life “under the sun.”

  1. Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)
  2. Chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13 “I have seen something else under the sun:  The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant  or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.  Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times  that fall unexpectedly upon them.”)
  3. Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1; “Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed—
    and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors—  and they have no comforter.” 7:15 “In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness,  and the wicked living long in their wickedness. ).
  4. Nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), ladies and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20).
  5. There is no ultimate lasting meaning in life. (1:2)

By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. Solomon looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture in the final chapter of the book in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “ Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

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. In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had and that “all was meaningless UNDER THE SUN,” and looking ABOVE THE SUN was the only option.  I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that.

Livgren wrote, “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.”

Both Kerry Livgren and 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.  Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. Hope is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

Kerry Livgren/Dave Hope: 700 Club Interview (Kansas) Part 1

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Uploaded on May 16, 2008

This is part 1 of a 2 part interview featuring Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope of Kansas on the 700 Club discussing their faith.

Kerry Livgren/Dave Hope: 700 Club Interview (Kansas) Part 2

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Adrian Rogers is pictured below and Francis Schaeffer above.

Watching the film HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? in 1979 impacted my life greatly

Francis Schaeffer in the film WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

Francis and Edith Schaeffer

 

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Bridget Riley

born 1931

Bridget Riley, 'Nataraja' 1993
Nataraja 1993
© Bridget Riley 2015. All rights reserved, courtesy Karsten Schubert, London
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BIOGRAPHY

Riley was born at Norwood, London, the daughter of a businessman. Her childhood was spent in Cornwall and Lincolnshire. She studied at Goldsmiths’ College from 1949 to 1952, and at the Royal College of Art from 1952 to 1955. She began painting figure subjects in a semi-impressionist manner, then changed to pointillism around 1958, mainly producing landscapes. In 1960 she evolved a style in which she explored the dynamic potentialities of optical phenomena. These so-called ‘Op-art‘ pieces, such as Fall, 1963 (Tate Gallery T00616), produce a disorienting physical effect on the eye.

Riley taught children for two years before joining the Loughborough School of Art, where she initiated a basic design course in 1959. She then taught at Hornsey School of Art, and from 1962 at Croydon School of Art. She worked for the J. Walter Thompson Group advertising agency from 1960, but gave up teaching and advertising agency work in 1963-4.

Group shows include Young Contemporaries, London, 1955; Diversion, South London Art Gallery 1958; an Arts Council Touring Exhibition, 1962; Tooth’s Critics Choice Exhibition, selected by Edward Lucie-Smith, 1963; John Moores’ Exhibition, Liverpool, 1963; The New Generation, Whitechapel Gallery 1964; Movement, Hanover Gallery, London, 1964; Painting and Sculpture of a Decade 1954-1964, Tate Gallery, 1964; and Op Art, touring Ireland in 1967. Her numerous European and American exhibitions include The Sixties Collection Revisited, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut, 1978.

Riley was awarded the AICA Critics Prize in 1963 and also that year a John Moores’, Liverpool Open Section prize. In 1964 she was awarded a Peter Stuyvesant Foundation Travel bursary to the USA. In 1968 she won an International Painting Prize at the Venice Biennale.

Her first solo exhibition was held at Gallery One in 1962 with a second solo show the following year. Other solo shows were held at Nottingham University, 1963; Richard Feigen Gallery, New York and Feigen Palmer Gallery, Los Angeles, 1965; Museum of Modern Art, New York, with US tour, 1966; Venice Biennale, British Pavilion (with Phillip King), 1968; Hayward Gallery, London, 1971; National Gallery, Prague, 1971; Hayward Gallery and Kunsthalle Nuremberg, 1992; Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, 1995; and Waddington Galleries, London, 1996.

Further reading:
Robert Kudielka (ed.), Bridget Riley: Dialogues on Art, introduction by Richard Shone, London 1995

Terry Riggs
February 1998

Bridget Riley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the boxer, see Bridgett Riley.
Bridget Riley
Riley, Movement in Squares.jpg

Movement in Squares, 1961,
tempera on hardboard
Born Bridget Louise Riley
24 April 1931 (age 85)
Norwood London, England, UK
Nationality British
Education Goldsmiths College, Royal College of Art
Known for Painting and Drawing
Movement Op art

Bridget Louise Riley CH CBE (born 24 April 1931 in Norwood, London) is an English painter who is one of the foremost exponents of Op art.[1] She currently lives and works in London, Cornwall and the Vaucluse in France.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Riley was born in London in 1931. Her father, John Fisher Riley, originally from Yorkshire, was a printer. Her grandfather was an officer in the Army. In 1938 he relocated the printing business, together with his family, to Lincolnshire.[3]

At the beginning of World War II Riley’s father was mobilised from the Honourable Artillery Company and sent to the Far East. Bridget Riley, together with her mother and sister Sally, moved to a cottage in Cornwall.[4] The cottage, not far from the sea near Padstow, was shared with an aunt who was a former student at Goldsmiths’ College, London. Primary education came in the form of irregular talks and lectures by non-qualified or retired teachers.[5] She attended Cheltenham Ladies’ College (1946–1948) and then studied art at Goldsmiths College (1949–52), and later at the Royal College of Art (1952–55).[6] There her fellow students included artists Peter Blake, Geoffrey Harcourt (the retired painter, also noted for his many well known chair designs) and Frank Auerbach. In 1955 Riley graduated with a BA degree.

Between 1956 and 1958 she nursed her father, who had been involved in a serious car crash, and herself suffered a breakdown. After this she worked in a glassware shop and also, for a while, taught children. She eventually joined the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, as an illustrator, where she worked part-time until 1962. The large Whitechapel Gallery exhibition of Jackson Pollock, in the winter of 1958, was to have a major impact on her.[5]

Her early work was figurative with a semi-impressionist style. Between 1958 and 1959 her work at the advertising agency showed her adoption of a style of painting based on the pointillist technique.[7] Around 1960 she began to develop her signature Op Art style consisting of black and white geometric patterns that explore the dynamism of sight and produce a disorienting effect on the eye.[6] In the summer of 1960 she toured Italy with mentor Maurice de Sausmarez, and the two visited the Venice Biennale with its large exhibition of Futurist works.[5]

Early in her career, Riley worked as an art teacher from 1957–58 at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Harrow (now known as Sacred Heart Language College). Later she worked at the Loughborough School of Art (1959),Hornsey College of Art, and Croydon College of Art (1962–64).

In 1961, with partner Peter Sedgley, she visited the Vaucluse plateau in the South of France, and acquired a derelict farm which would eventually be transformed into a studio. Back in London, in the spring of 1962, Riley was given her first solo exhibition, by Victor Musgrave of Studio One.[5]

In 1968 Riley, with Peter Sedgley and the journalist Peter Townsend, created the artists’ organisation SPACE (Space Provision Artistic Cultural and Educational), with the goal of providing artists large and affordable studio space.[8][9]

Work[edit]

Riley’s mature style, developed during the 1960s, was influenced by a number of sources.[10][clarification needed]

Cataract 3, 1967, PVA on canvas

It was during this time that Riley began to paint the black and white works for which she is best known. They present a great variety of geometric forms that produce sensations of movement or colour. In the early 1960s, her works were said to induce sensation in viewers as varied as seasick and sky diving. From 1961 to 1964 she worked with the contrast of black and white, occasionally introducing tonal scales of grey. Works in this style comprised her first 1962 solo show at Musgrave’s Gallery One, as well as numerous subsequent shows. For example, in Fall, a single perpendiculars curve is repeated to create a field of varying optical frequencies.[11] Visually, these works relate to many concerns of the period: a perceived need for audience participation (this relates them to the Happenings, for which the period is famous), challenges to the notion of the mind-body duality which led Aldous Huxley to experiment with hallucinogenic drugs[citation needed]; concerns with a tension between a scientific future which might be very beneficial or might lead to a nuclear war; and fears about the loss of genuine individual experience in a Brave New World.[12] Her paintings have, since 1961, been executed by assistants from her own endlessly edited studies.[4]

Shadow Play, 1990, oil on canvas

Riley began investigating colour in 1967, the year in which she produced her first stripe painting.[13] Following a major retrospective in the early 1970s, Riley began travelling extensively. After a trip to Egypt in the early 1980s, where she was inspired by colourful hieroglyphicdecoration, Riley began to explore colour and contrast.[14] In some works, lines of colour are used to create a shimmering effect, while in others the canvas is filled with tessellating patterns. Typical of these later colourful works is Shadow Play.

In many works since this period, Riley has employed others to paint the pieces, while she concentrates on the actual design of her work[15]Some are titled after particular dates, others after specific locations (for instance, Les Bassacs, the village near Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt in the south of France where Riley has a studio).[16]

Following a visit to Egypt in 1980–81 Riley created colours in what she called her ‘Egyptian palette’[17] and produced works such as the Kaand Ra series, which capture the spirit of the country, ancient and modern, and reflect the colours of the Egyptian landscape.[7] Invoking the sensorial memory of her travels, the paintings produced between 1980 and 1985 exhibit Riley’s free reconstruction of the restricted chromatic palette discovered abroad. In 1983 for the first time in fifteen years, Riley returned to Venice to once again study the paintings that form the basis of European colourism. Towards the end of the 1980s Riley’s work underwent a dramatic change with the reintroduction of the diagonal in the form of a sequence of parallelograms used to disrupt and animate the vertical stripes that had characterised her previous paintings.[18] In Delos (1983), for example, blue, turquoise, and emerald hues alternate with rich yellows, reds and white.[19]

Murals[edit]

Over the course of her career, Riley has created murals for major art institutions, including the Tate, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the National Gallery, but none were permanent. In 2014, the Imperial College Healthcare Charity Art Collection commissioned the artist to make a permanent 56-meter mural, her first for 27 years, for St Mary’s Hospital, London; the work was installed on the 10th floor of the hospital’s Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Wing, joining two others for the 8th and 9th floors completed by Riley more than 20 years earlier.[20]

On the nature and role of the artist[edit]

Riley made the following comments regarding artistic work in her lecture Painting Now, 23rd William Townsend Memorial Lecture, Slade School of Fine Art, London, 26 November 1996:[21][22]

Beckett interprets Proust as being convinced that such a text cannot be created or invented but can only be discovered within the artist himself, and that it is, as it were, almost a law of his own nature. It is his most precious possession, and, as Proust explains, the source of his innermost happiness. However, as can be seen from the practice of the great artists, although the text may be strong and durable and able to support a lifetime’s work, it cannot be taken for granted and there is no guarantee of permanent possession. It may be mislaid or even lost, and retrieval is very difficult. It may lie dormant, and be discovered late in life after a long struggle, as with Mondrian or Proust himself. Why it should be that some people have this sort of text while others do not, and what ‘meaning’ it has, is not something which lends itself to argument. Nor is it up to the artist to decide how important it is, or what value it has for other people. To ascertain this is perhaps beyond even the capacities of an artist’s own time.

Writer and curator[edit]

Riley has written on artists from Nicolas Poussin to Bruce Nauman. She co-curated “Piet Mondrian: From Nature to Abstraction” (with Sean Rainbird) at the Tate Gallery in 1996.[23] Alongside art historian Robert Kudielka, Riley also served as curator of the 2002 exhibition “Paul Klee: The Nature of Creation”, an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London.[24] In 2010, she curated an artists choice show at the National Gallery in London, choosing large figure paintings by Titian, Veronese, El Greco, Rubens, Poussin, and Paul Cézanne.[25][26]

Exhibitions[edit]

The Courtauld Gallery‘s 2015–2016 exhibition “Bridget Riley: Learning from Seurat” showed how Riley’s style was influenced by George Seurat.

In 1965, Riley exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City show, The Responsive Eye (created by curator William C. Seitz); the exhibition which first drew worldwide attention to her work and the Op Art movement. Her painting Current, 1964, was reproduced on the cover of the show’s catalogue. Riley became increasingly disillusioned, however, with the exploitation of her art for commercial purposes, discovering that in the USA there was no copyright protection for artists. The first US copyright legislation was eventually passed, following an independent initiative by New York artists, in 1967.[5]

She participated in documentas IV (1968) and VI (1977). In 1968, Riley represented Great Britain in the Venice Biennale, where she was the first British contemporary painter, and the first woman, to be awarded the International Prize for painting.[13] Her disciplined work lost ground to the assertive gestures of the Neo-Expressionists in the 1980s, but a 1999 show at theSerpentine Gallery of her early paintings triggered a resurgence of interest in her optical experiments. “Bridget Riley: Reconnaissance”, an exhibition of paintings from the 1960s and 1970s, was presented at Dia:Chelsea in 2000. In 2001, she participated in Site Santa Fe,[27] and in 2003 the Tate Britain organised a major Riley retrospective. In 2005 her work was featured at Gallery Oldham.[28] Between November 2010 and May 2011 her exhibition “Paintings and Related Work” was presented at the National Gallery, London.

In June and July 2014 the retrospective show “Bridget Riley: The Stripe Paintings 1961–2014” was presented at the David Zwirner Gallery in London.[29][30] In July and August 2015 the retrospective show “Bridget Riley: The Curve Paintings 1961–2014” was presented at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea.[31] From September 2015 to January 2016, the Courtauld Gallery presented “Bridget Riley: Learning from Seurat” in London, illustrating how Georges Seurat‘s pointillist work The Bridge at Courbevoie influenced her towards abstract painting.[32] In November 2015, the exhibition Bridget Riley opened at David Zwirner in New York. The show features paintings and works on paper by the artist from 1981 to present; the fully illustrated catalogue features an essay by the art historian Richard Shiff and biographical notes compiled by Robert Kudielka.[33]

Public collections[edit]

Artists who have acknowledged Riley’s influence on their work include Ross Bleckner, Philip Taaffe, and Diana Thater.[citation needed] In 2013, Riley claimed that a wall-sized, black-and-white checkerboard work by Tobias Rehberger plagiarised her painting Movement of Squares and asked for it to be removed from display at the Berlin State Library‘s reading room.[36]

Recognition[edit]

Riley has been given honorary doctorates by Oxford (1993) and Cambridge (1995). In 2003, she was awarded the Praemium Imperiale,[37] and in 1998 she became one of only 65 Companions of Honour in Britain. As a board member of the National Gallery in the 1980s, she blocked Margaret Thatcher‘s plan to give an adjoining piece of property over to developers and thus helped ensure the eventual construction of the museum’s Sainsbury Wing.[4]Riley has also received the international prize for painting at the 1968 Venice Biennale, the Kaiserring of the city of Goslar in 2009 and the 12th Rubens Prize of Siegen in 2012.[38] Also in 2012, she became the first woman to receive the Sikkens Prize, the Dutch art prize recognising the use of colour.[39]

Art market[edit]

In 2006, her Untitled (Diagonal Curve) (1966), a black-and-white canvas of dizzying curves, was bought by Jeffrey Deitch at Sotheby’s for $2.1 million, nearly three times its $730,000 high estimate and also a record for the artist.[40] In February 2008, the artist’s dotted canvas Static 2 (1966) brought £1,476,500 ($2.9 million), far exceeding its £900,000 ($1.8 million) high estimate, at Christie’s in London.[41] Chant 2 (1967), part of the trio shown in the Venice Biennale, went to a private American collector for £2,561,250 ($5.1 million), in July 2008, at Sotheby’s.[42]

Riley is represented in London by Karsten Schubert who has been her main agent since 1990,[43] as well as by David Zwirner in London and New York, Max Hetzler in Paris and Berlin, and Green on Red Gallery in Dublin.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bridget Riley: The Stripe Paintings 1961–2014 (New York: David Zwirner Books, 2014). Texts by Robert Kudielka, Paul Moorhouse, and Richard Shiff. ISBN 9780989980975 [44]
  • Bridget Riley: The Stripe Paintings 1961–2012 (London: Ridinghouse; Berlin: Holzwarth Publications and Galerie Max Hetzler, 2013). Texts by John Elderfield, Robert Kudielka and Paul Moorhouse.[45]
  • Bridget Riley: Works 1960–1966 (London: Ridinghouse, 2012). Bridget Riley in conversation with David Sylvester (1967) and with Maurice de Sausmarez (1967).
  • Bridget Riley: Complete Prints 1962–2012 (London: Ridinghouse, 2012). Essays by Lynn MacRitchie and Craig Hartley; edited by Karsten Schubert.
  • The Eye’s Mind: Bridget Riley. Collected Writings 1965–1999 (London: Thames & Hudson, Serpentine Gallery and De Montfort University, 1999). Includes conversations with Alex Farquharson, Mel Gooding, Vanya Kewley, Robert Kudielka, and David Thompson. Edited by Robert Kudielka.
  • Bridget Riley: Paintings from the 60s and 70s (London: Serpentine Gallery, 1999). With texts by Lisa Corrin, Robert Kudielka, and Frances Spalding.
  • Bridget Riley: Selected Paintings 1961–1999 (Düsseldorf: Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen; Ostfildern: Cantz Publishers, 1999). With texts by Michael Krajewski, Robert Kudielka, Bridget Riley, Raimund Stecker, and conversations with Ernst H. Gombrich and Michael Craig-Martin.
  • Bridget Riley: Works 1961–1998 (Kendal, Cumbria: Abbot Hall Art Gallery and Museum, 1998). A conversation with Isabel Carlisle.
  • Bridget Riley: Dialogues on Art (London: Zwemmer, 1995). Conversations with Michael Craig-Martin, Andrew Graham Dixon, Ernst H. Gombrich, Neil MacGregor, and Bryan Robertson. Edited by Robert Kudielka and with an introduction by Richard Shone.
  • Bridget Riley: Paintings and Related Work (London: National Gallery Company Limited, 2010). Text by Colin Wiggins, Michael Bracewell, Marla Prather and Robert Kudielka. ISBN 978 1 85709 497 8.

External links[edit]

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‘Escape from Reason’ in 7 minutes Submitted by Henry Vyner-Brooks on Mon, 21/10/2013

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‘Escape from Reason’ in 7 minutes

Submitted by Henry Vyner-Brooks on Mon, 21/10/2013 – 22:14

Escape from Reason (in 7 minutes)

Summary of Francis Schaeffer’s classic book by Henry Vyner-Brooks

This book became something of a classic in its day, and students should be encouraged to dialogue it even now – or perhaps especially now. Some thought it was a reworking of Dutch Philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd’s ‘Twilight of Western Civilisation’, but Schaeffer said that it was not, that this was his own thesis, though no doubt he was influenced by his friend Hans Rookmaaker who taught with and admired Dooyeweerd and his work. I found this helped me a great deal, and though the scholarship may not be totally sound (see my footnote with R.C. Sproul’s comments), and probably not at all helped by my hatched job in this summary, it is nevertheless really very helpful, short book to buy and enjoy.

  1. Thomas Aquinas opened the discussion of, or perhaps we should say, the division between Grace over Nature. Grace is the collective word he used to describe all things of the spiritual realm; prayer, priesthood, preaching, heaven, angels etc. Nature was the word he used to sum up all that was physical, of this world; us, our work, our sex lives, our dinners, our bodies, things outside of ecclesiastical existence.
  2. This artificial division was first given by the Greeks, and later articulated greatly by Plato and Aristotle (who, incidentally passed it on through Islamic and Christian Sciencific writing).
  3. Aquinas theorised that there were links between Nature and Grace, but with what justification could his scholastic construct give to support the hunch?
  4. From here on in the centuries would see a great struggle between the supposedly upper realm of Grace (ie those things of heaven and spiritual nature) and the lower realm of Nature (those things of earth and flesh), forever trying to unite these two seemingly incompatible elements whose dividing lines we see even now ruuning through every society, every enterprise, and even our own souls.
  5. Aquinas’ blunder was that he believed that even though man’s will was fallen, that his intellect was left untouched by the fall. (*This might be too simplistic an analysis, see comments by R. C. Sproul in the footnotes.)
  6. This is why he believed that an autonomous science (what they called Natural theology) could be studied independent of the scriptures and independantly arrive at the truth. for when you separate elements of the Nature (and all its particulars, like work, washing up and science) from those unseen spiritual things labelled Grace, you make a de-sacralised Frankenstein of ordinary things. The supposedly lower things are cut off from the whole, they become ugly, unclean, without meaning. The great struggle then (as now with the modern evolutionist who has also bought into this dicotomy) is to escape the pointlessness of everyday life; as nihilism beckons at every corner.
  7. The Arts: When his contemporaries Cimabue and Giotto started to paint nature as nature and not just symbolic elements we can see similar understandings permeating the arts. It also influenced the writing of Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch. Petrarch started a neo-platonic school in Florence and a century later Platonism was the dominant philosophical force in that city.
  8. Women and freedom – In his 1860 book ‘The Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy,’ Jacob Burckhardt goes to great lengths to show that the type of freedom experienced by women was at the expense of morality. The Lyric Poets had given Renaissance man that romantic notion of ideal love but the novelists and comic poets of the day affirmed the sensuality of love, often opting for straight pornography. This duality (again of Nature and Grace where it affects relationships) is seen somewhat in Dante, who fell into an idealized love at first sight with one woman (whom he loved all his life thereafter,) but then married and fathered children with another.
  9. We can see two centuries later that Leonardo da Vinci was also victim of these false ‘Aquinas-Greek’ divisions within reality. The great 20th century Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile said that Leonardo died in despondency because he could not (through his art or mathematics) form a unity between Grace and Nature; the Universal and the Particulars, what is now called a unified field of knowledge.
  10. What the bible gives is not exhaustive truth per se but what Schaeffer began to call, ‘true truth’; that is, it gives statements about the nature of God, of man, of sin, and an account of what it calls creation. If these are true and accepted, then a man has a perfectly consistent understanding of both Grace and Nature. The God who actually exists just happens to be a God that even in himself perfectly demonstrates the bridge between Grace and Nature, between the universal and the particular, for this God is both personal and infinite. Without this unlikely combination there would be no answer. And so it is the biblically minded man, not the modern or post-modern man, who has found the link between these two realms and so has a unified field of knowledge. He did not get to this place on his own, by rationalism but by revelation.
  11. Aquinas and scholasticism established a tragectory of thought that would inadvertently unleash an autonomous and seductive humanism. But in reality there is, not was ever, any part of the world that was ever autonomous from God, indeed there was no part of fallen man that was not in some way fallen; that in him ‘that is his flesh there dwelleth no good thing’. But far from binding the hands of artists and scientists, this correct view gave them freedom to be channelled within set boundaries.
  12. Stagnation of autonomous humanism; For those who tried to set up their shop without a biblical unity, there was a different story. A river without banks becomes a swamp and so the familiar pattern of stagnation and meaninglessness permeated the history of art, literature and philosophy after this time. It would start by the triumphal realm of nature swallowing up the realm of grace (i.e. science trumping and demystifying theological suppositions), which we might see as the long march of modernity. One can remember the words of T.H. Huxley here as he says something like, ‘in any encounter you may mention between religion and science, I have never known anything but that religion has been defeated.’
  13. The enlightenment rephrased a secularised concept of grace to something more immediate; something they called (and we call) freedom. For now, in many of their minds at least, there was no definite God, for them nature had eaten up grace altogether. And yet, as histoy shows, no man can live without at least definition for that ‘eternity in their hearts’ talked of in the bible. Man’s great fear of ‘non-being’ is a tell tale sign of this, but in truth he can never be nothing, and therein is perhaps both his tragedy but also where we are apt to see his uniqueness and beauty – if we know how to read it. Zen Buddism says that‘man enters the water and causes no ripple’ but the bible says he causes ripples that never end.
  14. But back to this point of a change from Grace to freedom or Liberty. The 18th century is so shot through with this that the notion of freedom, whether from monarchy or tyranny or superstitions would be the watchword, even in biblical circles. The American patriot Henry Martin in his famous ‘give me liberty or give me death’ speech, called their quest, one of sacred liberty. In one sense we can see between the Renaissance and our own time, the clash between two versions of freedom, that of freedom from God or freedom from sin. If a man allowed God to free him from sin, he could have freedom elsewhere too. To acccept the infinite-yet-personal God as the the true God is to accept his definition of us and the world in which we lived. That we are not just part of the machine of nature, you were endowed with inalienable dignity and privilege over creation as stewards, as sons and daughters. It is in this spirit that Christianity gave the world the scientific revolution.
  15. J. Robert Oppenheimer was not a Christian but he said that Christianity was needed to birth modern science. Francis Bacon (1561-1626) in his book Novum Organum Scientiarum said, ‘man by the fall fell at the same time from his state of innocence and from his dominion over nature. Both of these losses, however, can even in this life be in some part repaired; the former by religion and faith, the latter by the arts and sciences.’
  16. But then having made the conquest and subsequently explored the supposed freedoms that the autonomy finally gave men, it became apparent that a Promethean fire that had been unleashed. The artists of the twentieth century like Picasso and Gauguin were not slow to despair as Leonardo had four centuries before. Could they ever escape what Timothy Leary called this ‘fake-prop-set world’? Bernstein tried to do something similar with his Kaddish symphony, that is help people access the now lost area we have called grace and liberty. If this sounds strange then do not forget that men will try almost anything to escape the despair and deadness of living with the worldview as modern men have made it, (what Pink floyd calls being ‘comfortably numb’). Some like writers Henry Martin and Terry Southern tried to even use Pornographic writing to shake men out of that deadness, in the hopes that they could get ‘toward the ethics of a golden age’.
  17. The Theatre of the Absurb was another contender, their method was to do anything in the first place to wake up the audience from their deadness, and then when they had your full attention they would shout it in anyway possible, ‘there is nothing their you bourgeois twit!’ After that you would be fed some mystic mumbo Jumbo; whether it was watered down Marcel Duchamp, or psychedelic music or similar.
  18. And so you can see the mess we are in, for modern man did not just kill God for themselves and their children, no, that would be too simple. For when we shut out God we also lost the basis for love (swallowed by modern psychology), morality (swallowed by evolution), freedom (swallowed by the social sciences), significance or any other dignity once assumed for man. Even the basis for establishing knowledge (what is called epistemology) was now eroded. How could we even know whether anything was true or false, and even if we did why would that matter now we were just meat computers, cosmic blips in a deterministic machine called planet earth?
  19. The Existentialists – These are the poets, philosophers and theologians who articulated a new way for men to escape the despair of modernity. Some would claim that it started with Kierdegard, a young Christian Dane who, while revolting against the state church of his day, emphasized the need for personal, existential, experiential religion, much like the pietist and holiness movements had done. Though his opening thrust would be taken on by theologians of the twentieth century like Karl Barth or Tillich, it is important to see that their pursuit of a unity of knowledge was not always a biblical one. Barth for example would say that the Bible was not true at various points but that did not matter for it was meant to be spiritual truth or religious truth (not necessarily historic or scientific truth). But this compromise with, what we have called ‘Nature’, was to operate within a flawed framework. (Schaeffer visited Barth in Lausanne, and carried on a correspondence with him, which was quite bitter from Barth’s final letter.) The Christian existentialist does not have a biblical unity based on revelation. It is a vegetarian substitute for biblical truth.. T.H. Huxley prophesied in 1890 that there would come a time when Christians would remove all content from their faith and that then, ‘no longer in contact with truth of any kind; faith stands now and forever proudly inaccessible from the attacks from the infidel.’
  20. The world of secular philosophers were also keen to grasp at these last straws too offered by the existentialist approach. Sartre admitted that all was meaningless and so the great object for a man must therefore be to, by an act of the will, to authenticate himself. By asserting your will in a meaningless world there was value for Sartre although he was not able to provide a reason why that act of will should not be wicked as well as good. Jaspers was a psychologist said that all that was really left for you authenticating your existence was, what he called, ‘the final experience’. This experience could not be predicted or planned, it just came. Some who tried suicide, others drugs. Aldous Huxley made a contribution here writing of the ‘first order experience’ where he said we could initiate the experience by using LSD, which many did.
  21. If God is dead, then man is dead too. The modern materialist has only achieved unity (if unity you can call it, which it is not) by allowing mere nature to swallow up everything that was once unique and noble in man. The half hearted rebellion of post-modernity against this bleak mindset was essentially a non-rational backing-away from the inevitable precipice offered to men by an autonomous rationality. This they did after seeing the end game in the early 20th century; the death camps, the gulag, the perfect scientific dictatorships, the new ethics in action – 100 million dead from Communism alone, another 60 million because of Nazism. Here was the cold reality of a world without God, without absolutes, where the fit survive, where might is right. After the wars, eugenics and the other ugly realities of rational science were played down, but the suppositions kept. In this way I think that the wars were a wake up call to examine the Enlightenment foundations of late modern civilization but few were prepared to listen. Some perhaps have backed away from the precipice all the way to God in repentance but the mass still hovered, their heads telling them to obey Nietzsche and their hearts irrationally clinging to an empty version of Christianity, or their drugs, dream catchers and crystals.

* Footnote The theologian R. C. Sproul comments on the above, ‘Thomas Aquinas responded to the Aristotelianism of the medieval Muslim philosophers by replacing double truths with the concept of mixed articles, distinguishing nature and grace (not dividing them, as many of his critics allege). Aquinas said that there are certain truths that can be known through special revelation that are not discerned from investigation of the natural world, while at the same time there are certain truths learned from the study of nature that are not found, for example, in the Bible. One does not find the circulatory system of the human body clearly set forth in Scripture. What Aquinas was saying was that there are certain truths that are mixed articles, truths that can be known either from the Bible or by a study of nature. Among those mixed articles, he included the knowledge of the existence of a Creator.

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____________

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody’s Cold Comforts Robert E. Lauder April 19, 2010

Top 10 Woody Allen Movies

 

Woody’s Cold Comforts

Friends have often asked me about my interest in the films of Woody Allen: Why is a Catholic priest such an ardent admirer of the work of an avowed atheist, an artist who time and again has insisted on the world’s absurdity? My answer is simple: Because of the themes he presents and the cinematic skill with which he presents them, Allen has no equal among contemporary filmmakers.

His very personal films deal with ultimate questions, and they often include a character who is a spokesperson for Allen’s own bleak outlook. That outlook has something in common with the existentialist thought of Albert Camus. I sometimes think of Allen as “Camus as Comedian.”

When an opportunity to interview Allen recently came my way, I leapt at it. As a long-time admirer of his work I was already familiar with his general outlook, but I was still surprised at the extreme language he used to describe the pointlessness of human existence. He told me, “Human experience is a brutal experience to me…an agonizing, meaningless experience, with some oases, delight, some charm and peace, but these are just small oases. Overall it’s a brutal, terrible experience.”

In recent years Allen’s absurdist vision has become more obvious in his films. In Whatever Works(2009), Allen’s alter ego, Boris (Larry David), periodically addresses the viewer to explain that when you look at the big picture you see clearly that human reason is inadequate, that life is meaningless, and that all we can do is rely on “whatever works”—whatever helps us survive. InMatch Point (2005), one of the most explicitly atheistic films ever made by an American, the protagonist murders his pregnant mistress and a bystander whose death he views as “collateral damage.” He explains to their ghosts that there is no justice in the universe because there is no Intelligence directing it. If there were no God, surely Allen’s extreme pessimism—and the extreme language in which he expresses it—would be right on target.

A few years ago my friend Antonio Monda put together a book of interviews (Do You Believe?) in which he asked eighteen celebrities two questions: Do you believe in God? Do you believe there is a life beyond the grave? Amazingly, some readers couldn’t understand why he was so interested in these two questions. But what two questions could be more important? One’s answer to them ought to influence one’s outlook on everything. Woody Allen sees that clearly.

Still, I was somewhat saddened by Allen’s lack of appreciation for his own creative output. I understand that in an absurd world, art, even great art, is little consolation. In talking about his work, Allen told me, “The only thing I can do is my little gift and do it the best I can…. [L]ife is horrible, but it’s not relentlessly black from wire to wire. You can sit down and hear a Mozart symphony, you can watch the Marx Brothers and this will give you a pleasant escape for a while and that is about the best that you can do.”

When I hear Woody trivialize his films as “small oases,” I think of another genius, Sigmund Freud, who spent his life trying to free people from their distress, even though, as a determinist, he didn’t believe that people were ever really free. Sometimes genius succeeds beyond the terms of its own ambition. Woody Allen’s films are much more than mere distractions on life’s journey: they are brilliant, often beautiful explorations of our fragile human condition. They are shot through with moments of grace, in spite of themselves.


Read Fr. Lauder’s whole interview with Woody Allen: Whatever Works

__________

In my opinion Woody Allen’s best movie is CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS!!!!

Crimes and Misdemeanors 1989 Woody Allen

Woody Allen Crimes and Misdemeanors Nihilism Nietzsche’s Death of God

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 110 John Dunn, political theorist, Cambridge, “I am interested in how religious belief works and what it has meant but it is not [my] belief”

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

 

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 AttenboroughMark Balaguer, 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 HaidtHermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman, George Lakoff,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, Elizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,   Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Robert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

Professor John Dunn FBA

Professor John Dunn

John Dunn (political theorist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people of the same name, see John Dunn (disambiguation).

John Montfort Dunn (born 9 September 1940) is emeritus Professor of Political Theory at King’s College, Cambridge, and Visiting Professor in the Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities at Chiba University, Japan.

Biography[edit]

The son of Colonel Henry George Montfort Dunn and Catherine Mary (née Kinloch), Dunn was educated at Winchester and Millfield. He read history at King’s College, Cambridge and was briefly (1965–1966) a fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. He was also Harkness Fellow at Harvard University [1], and since 1966 of King’s College, Cambridge. A lecturer in political science at Cambridge University 1972-77, Dunn became reader in politics 1977-87, and has been professor of political theory since 1987.

Dunn has been married four times: to Susan Deborah, née Fyvel (1965; divorced 1971); Judy, née Pace (1973; divorced 1987); Ruth Scurr (1997; divorced 2013); and Anastasia Piliavsky (2014—).

In  the third video below in the 140th 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 John Dunn, part 1, 2008

 

Below is my response to Dr. Dunn’s quote:

April 12, 2016

Professor John Dunn, University of Cambridge, The Department of Politics and International Studies,

Dear Dr. Dunn,

Thank you for agreeing to give Alan MacFarlane an interview. I think I have watched almost all of the interviews he has ever done and that is over 100 by now. I have even gone back and watched many of them over and over. I actually did a post on my blog about  Alan Macfarlane.

I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

Here is a quote I ran across recently from you in your wonderful in depth interview with Alan Macfarlane :

“If I wasn’t thinking about it then I would say that I am an atheist, but it might be better to say I am an extremely robustly agnostic agnostic. I like David Hume. If I think about it, it doesn’t make any sense. I am interested in how religious belief works and what it has meant and I take it very seriously. It is not a belief that I could conceive of sharing because it would have to remove my entire structure of which I believe things.”

 ——–

Let make 2 points here. First, the Bible teaches that everyone knows in their heart that God exists because of the beauty of God’s creation and the conscience that God has planted in everyone’s heart (Romans 1).

Second, all humans have moral motions.

 Francis Schaffer in his book THE GOD WHO IS THERE addresses these same issues:

“[in Christianity] there is a sufficient basis for morals. Nobody has ever discovered a way of having real “morals” without a moral absolute. If there is no moral absolute, we are left with hedonism (doing what I like) or some form of the social contract theory (what is best for society as a a hole is right). However, neither of these alternative corresponds to the moral motions that men have. Talk to people long enough and deeply enough, and you will find that they consider some things are really right and something are really wrong. Without absolutes, morals as morals cease to exist, and humanistic mean starting from himself is unable to find the absolute he needs. But because the God of the Bible is there, real morals exist. Within this framework I can say one action is right and another wrong, without talking nonsense.” 117

Now back to my first point, concerning ROMANS CHAPTER ONE. It has been found that when atheists are asked with a polygraph machine if they believe in God and  they so “NO” the polygraph indicates they are lying. Claude Brown actually tested this with over 15,000 job applicants over a long period of time in his trucking line during the 1970’s and most of the 1980’s.   

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). At the 37 minute mark on the CD that I sent you today Adrian Rogers noted, “”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.”

ROMANS CHAPTER ONE IS RIGHT WHEN IT SAYS THAT GOD PUT THAT CONSCIENCE IN EVERYONE’S HEART THAT BEARS WITNESS THAT HE CREATED THEM FOR A PURPOSE AND THAT IS WHY THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE ATTEMPTING TO SEEK OUT GOD!!!!

Instead of addressing the issue of which morality is right today, I just what to ask you why you think materialist anthropologists are not able to explain why humans always have a sense of moral motions? No tribe of people have ever been found without moral motions!!!!!

When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer and I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism. THESE COMMENTS BY SCHAEFFER ON THE MORAL MOTIONS PROMPTED ME TO WRITE YOU TODAY. 

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:—

CHARLES DARWIN’S WORDS:

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 and the universal belief by men of the existence of redness makes my present loss of perception of not the least value as evidence. This argument would be a valid one if all men of all races had the same inward conviction of the existence of one God; but we know that this is very far from being the case. Therefore I cannot see that such inward convictions and feelings are of any weight as evidence of what really exists. The state of mind which grand scenes formerly excited in me, and which was intimately connected with a belief in God, did not essentially differ from that which is often called the sense of sublimity; and however difficult it may be to explain the genesis of this sense, it can hardly be advanced as an argument for the existence of God, any more than the powerful though vague and similar feelings excited by music.

Francis Schaeffer observed:

You notice that Darwin had already said he had lost his sense of music [appreciation]. However, he brings forth what I think is a false argument. I usually use it in the area of morality. I mention that materialistic anthropologists point out that different people have different moral [systems]  and this is perfectly true, but what the materialist anthropologist can never point out is why man has a sense of moral motion and that is the problem here. Therefore, it is perfectly true that men have different concepts of God and different concepts of moral motion, but Darwin himself is not satisfied in his own position and WHERE DO THEY [MORAL MOTIONS] COME FROM AT ALL? So you are wrestling with the same dilemma here in this reference as you do in the area of all things human. For these men it is not the distinction that raises the problem, but it is the overwhelming factor of the existence of the humanness of man, the mannishness of man. The simple fact is he saw that you are shut up to either God or chance, and he said basically “I don’t see how it could be chance” and at the same time he looks at a mountain or listens to a piece of music it is a testimony that really chance isn’t sufficient enough. So gradually with the sensitivity of his own inborn self conscience he kills it. He deliberately  kills the beauty so it doesn’t argue with his theory. Maybe I am being false to Darwin here. Who can say about Darwin’s subconscious thoughts? It seems to me though this is exactly the case. What you find is a man who can’t stand the argument of the external beauty and the mannishness of man so he just gives it up in this particular place.

 

Charles Darwin

Francis Schaeffer

As a secularist you believe that it is sad indeed that millions of Christians are hoping for heaven but no heaven is waiting for them. Paul took a close look at this issue too:

I Corinthians 15 asserts:

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

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 ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

 

Kerry Livgren of the rock group KANSAS and writer of the song DUST IN THE WIND

Kansas in the 1970s, from left: Kerry Livgren, Phil Ehart, Rich Williams, Robby Steinhardt, Steve Walsh and Dave Hope.

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.

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and they can be googled: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

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)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

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

Interview of John Dunn, part 2, 2008

_________________________________________

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 53 THE BEATLES (Part E, Stg. Pepper’s and John Lennon’s search in 1967 for truth was through drugs, money, laughter, etc & similar to King Solomon’s, LOTS OF PICTURES OF JOHN AND CYNTHIA) (Feature on artist Yoko Ono)

The John Lennon and the Beatles really were on a long search for meaning and fulfillment in their lives  just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon looked into learning (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). He fount that without God in the picture all […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 52 THE BEATLES (Part D, There is evidence that the Beatles may have been exposed to Francis Schaeffer!!!) (Feature on artist Anna Margaret Rose Freeman )

______________   George Harrison Swears & Insults Paul and Yoko Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 51 THE BEATLES (Part C, List of those on cover of Stg.Pepper’s ) (Feature on artist Raqib Shaw )

  The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010 The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA. The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 50 THE BEATLES (Part B, The Psychedelic Music of the Beatles) (Feature on artist Peter Blake )

__________________   Beatles 1966 Last interview I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 49 THE BEATLES (Part A, The Meaning of Stg. Pepper’s Cover) (Feature on artist Mika Tajima)

_______________ The Beatles documentary || A Long and Winding Road || Episode 5 (This video discusses Stg. Pepper’s creation I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 48 “BLOW UP” by Michelangelo Antonioni makes Philosophic Statement (Feature on artist Nancy Holt)

_______________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _____________________ I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” How Should […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 47 Woody Allen and Professor Levy and the death of “Optimistic Humanism” from the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS Plus Charles Darwin’s comments too!!! (Feature on artist Rodney Graham)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 ___________________________________ Today I will answer the simple question: IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AN OPTIMISTIC SECULAR HUMANIST THAT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD OR AN AFTERLIFE? This question has been around for a long time and you can go back to the 19th century and read this same […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 46 Friedrich Nietzsche (Featured artist is Thomas Schütte)

____________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: __________ Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 45 Woody Allen “Reason is Dead” (Feature on artists Allora & Calzadilla )

Love and Death [Woody Allen] – What if there is no God? [PL] ___________ _______________ How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason) #02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer 10 Worldview and Truth Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100 Francis Schaeffer […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 44 The Book of Genesis (Featured artist is Trey McCarley )

___________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: ____________________________ Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?) Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro) Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1) Dr. Francis Schaeffer […]

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“Truth Tuesday” Debating Kermit Gosnell Trial, Abortion and infanticide with Ark Times Bloggers Part 13 Erik Kolliser: “we can easily lose sight of God’s compassion for sinners and His grace in the gospel when we sometimes fight against an abortion culture”

C. Everett Koop, 1980s.jpg
Surgeon General of the United States
In office
January 21, 1982 – October 1, 1989
President Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Francis Schaeffer
Francis Schaeffer.jpg

Founder of the L’Abri community
Born Francis August Schaeffer
January 30, 1912

Died May 15, 1984 (aged 72)

I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the video below. It is very valuable information for Christians to have.  Actually I have included a video below that includes comments from him on this subject.

 

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortionhuman rightswelfarepovertygun control  and issues dealing with popular culture . This time around I have discussed morality with the Ark Times Bloggers and particularly the trial of the abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell and through that we discuss infanticide, abortion and even partial birth abortion. Here are some of my favorite past posts on the subject of Gosnell: ,Abby Johnson comments on Dr. Gosnell’s guilty verdict, Does President Obama care about Kermit Gosnell verdict?Dr. Gosnell Trial mostly ignored by mediaKermit Gosnell is guilty of same crimes of abortion clinics are says Jennifer MasonDenny Burk: Is Dr. Gosnell the usual case or not?, Pro-life Groups thrilled with Kermit Gosnell guilty verdict,  Reactions to Dr. Gosnell guilty verdict from pro-life leaders,  Kermit Gosnell and Planned Parenthood supporting infanticide?, Owen Strachan on Dr. Gosnell Trial, Al Mohler on Kermit Gosnell’s abortion practice, Finally we get justice for Dr. Kermit Gosnell .

In July of 2013 I went back and forth with several bloggers from the Ark Times Blog concerning Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s abortion practice and his trial which had finished up in the middle of May:

Olphart you are right about casting out people like the Westboro Baptists. THOSE PEOPLE ARE JUST FILLED WITH HATE!!!!!

Erik Kolliser wrote:

As a former server in several restaurants, I had several conversations with co-workers who had abortions, many who would now admit they were wrong. As I shared the gospel with them and loved on them, they just couldn’t get past what other Christians had said and how they made them feel when going through with those abortions. In fact, it was only a month ago where I attended a pro-life breakfast where a great Christian organization that rallies churches in helping stop abortions from being done in their own community and a similar concern for the “worst of sinners” came up. After hearing the compelling call for action in churches to stand outside of the abortion clinic and try to stop women from walking in, and if possible, share the Gospel with them, a pastor in the room mentioned how he believed there was a fine line in telling these ladies truth about their decisions but also doing it in a way that will turn them off to anything Jesus has to say outside of conception and murder. He then told a story from his own congregation where a woman that’s been visiting his church for years and WON’T GIVE HER LIFE TO CHRIST BECAUSE OF HOW OTHER PRO-LIFE CHRISTIANS TREATED HER in the previous city that she lived in when they found out about her abortion. We all know that could be an excuse for this woman but I’m sure we’ve all seen our fair share of pro-life Christians who allowed their emotions to get the best of them when trying to fight for justice and end up looking unjust because of how they represented God’s grace and compassion in their words and actions.

I believe we can easily lose sight of God’s compassion for sinners and His grace in the gospel when we sometimes fight against an abortion culture. We brought awareness to the Kermit Gosnell trial and God’s desire for justice but have we magnified his heart for the worst of sinners as well? Right now, pro-lifers have the chance of a lifetime to show the atrocity of abortion. But will we error so far to the side of telling people “I told you it was murder” that we’ll forget to say that we love those who murder because Jesus loved them first.

1 Peter 4:7-8 says,

“7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

But we can’t love people enough for their sins to be covered because we’re so focused on exposing these sins.

http://theveritasnetwork.org/2013/04/17/wh…

Melissa Ohden: An Abortion Survivor – CBN.com

Melissa is the survivor of a failed saline infusion abortion in 1977 (copies of her medical records that document the abortion meant to end her life can be viewed on this website’s picture page).
2013Despite the initial concerns regarding Melissa’s future after surviving the attempt to end her life and being born alive at approximately seven months gestation, she has not only survived but thrived.  With a Master’s Degree in Social Work, she has worked in the fields of substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence/sexual assault counseling, and child welfare.  Melissa and her husband Ryan have a daughter, Olivia, whose birth at the same hospital where Melissa’s life was supposed to end, has significantly shaped Melissa’s ministry.

Melissa was formerly a College Outreach Speaker with Feminists for Life and former Patron of Real Choices Australia.  She is the Founder and Director of For Olivia’s Sake, an organization which seeks to raise awareness of the intergenerational impact of abortion on men, women, children, families, and communities. The birth of Olivia, her first child, in 2008,who never would have existed if Melissa’s birthmother’s abortion would have succeeded in ending her life, prompted Melissa to create this organization that would positively raise awareness of the ripple effect of abortion across generations.

In 2012, Melissa founded The Abortion Survivors Network, www.theabortionsurvivors.com, after recognizing the number of abortion survivors and how most felt alone in this role, and after recognizing the need for the public to be educated about the reality of failed abortions and abortion survivors.  Since ASN’s inception, Melissa has been in contact with over 130 survivors and she is working on a healing ministry curriculum and a retreat for survivors.

Melissa has been featured on television and radio programs including:  The 700 Club, EWTN’s Life on the Rock and Defending Life, Fox News, Facing Life Head On, Focus on the Family, and American Family Radio, the Mike Huckabee show, and the Teresa Tomeo show.  Her life and ministry is featured in the award winning pro-life documentary, A Voice for Life.

After years of searching for her biological family and offering them forgiveness for the decision that was made to end her life, Melissa’s story, and her life, is so much more than one of survival.  Melissa’s life story is about the beauty of God’s grace in our lives, about the power of love, about the hope for joy and healing in the midst of grief and loss, and  about the transformational power of forgiveness and in answering God’s call for your life.

Fulfilling the purpose that she believes God set out for her when He saved her from the certain death of the abortion attempt, Melissa is truly a voice for the voiceless.

For more information about hosting Melissa at an upcoming event, please see the “links” section on this site for more information on Ambassador Speaker’s Bureau, the oldest and most established faith-based talent agency in the United States, who Melissa is affiliated with, or visit the Ambassador Speaker’s Bureau website directly at ambassadorspeakers.com.

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Evangelical Blogger Lists Eight Reasons the Media Are Ignoring the Gosnell Murder Trial

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Cornerstone Executive Ashley Pratte on Gosnell Trial Verdict

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Dr. Gosnell Trial ignored for a while by mainstream media

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ANALYSIS: Will the Kermit Gosnell verdict change the abortion debate?

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What’s So Bad About Kermit Gosnell?

Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

Kermit Gosnell and the Gospel

Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

VIDEO: Kermit Gosnell killings like ‘weeding your garden’

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Implications of the Kermit Gosnell Verdict

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Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the […]

Dr. Gosnell Trial has prompted closer look at Albuquerque abortion clinic

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Why won’t President Obama comment on Dr. Gosnell Trial?

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Dr. Alveda King reacts to guilty verdict of Kermit Gosnell

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis ________________ What a great article below: Dr. Alveda King: Guilty Gosnell Verdict May Spark More Justice for Women and Babies Contact: Eugene Vigil, King for America, 470-244-3302 PHILADELPHIA, May 13, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ […]

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Do New York late term abortionists need more attention like Dr. Gosnell did?

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Dr. Gosnell Trial has prompted Texas authorities to take closer look a Houston abortionist

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Father Frank Pavone reacts to Kermit Gosnell guilty verdict

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The Selfishness of Chris Evert Part 5 (Includes videos and Pictures)

The Selfishness of Chris Evert Part 2 (Includes videos and Pictures) _________________________________ _____________________ _______________________ __________________________ Tennis – Wimbledon 1974 [ Official Film ] – 05/05 Published on May 1, 2012 John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall, Bjor Borg, Jimmy Connors, Cris Evert… ___________________ Jimmy Connors Reflects Published on May 13, 2013 Jimmy Connors visits “SportsCenter” to discuss his memoir, […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events, Francis Schaeffer, Prolife | Tagged , | Edit | Comments (0)

MUSIC MONDAY Rolling Stones New Album Part 4 Rolling Stones, ‘Blue & Lonesome’: Album Review By Michael Gallucci November 30, 2016 1:34 PM

MUSIC MONDAY Rolling Stones New Album Part 4

Rolling Stones – Little Rain

 

 

 

Rolling Stones, ‘Blue & Lonesome’: Album Review

Read More: Rolling Stones, ‘Blue & Lonesome’: Album Review | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/rolling-stones-blue-lonesome-review/?trackback=tsmclip
The Rolling Stones were never really a thinking band. A shrewd one, for sure, and one of the very best. But they earned their title as one of rock’s all-time greatest by following their guts and playing what came naturally, not by overthinking the process.

That self-conscious analyzation made so many of their records from the mid-’70s onward sound so labored, as they hammered out detail after detail. It’s also resulted in some huge gaps between releases. It’s been 11 years since their last album, A Bigger Bang — the longest period ever between Rolling Stones records.

The latest, Blue & Lonesome, was recorded in just three days, with little planning or overthinking. Granted, it’s a covers album filled with the type of blues songs the band cut its teeth on more than 50 years ago, but that doesn’t take away from its spitfire appeal. The Stones haven’t made an album this virile in decades.

It certainly helps that the core quartet (along with some help from friends like Eric Clapton and Chuck Leavell) sounds like its off the clock. You have to go all the way back to the mid-’60s for Stones performances this loose and friendly. From the opening blare of “Just Your Fool,” featuring the first of several howling harmonica solos by Mick Jagger, to the closing cover of Willie Dixon’s classic “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” Blue & Lonesome is the sound of a legendary band making the most of its autumn years by revisiting its past.

But this is not just a nostalgia trip. The blues, by now, are pretty much an antiquated music form played by suburban bar-band weekend warriors and a handful of old-school faithfuls. Artists like Clapton, Led Zeppelin and the Stones turned it over in the ’60s for a new generation; since then, it’s been stuck between eras. The Stones don’t do anything new here, but they find a sense of purpose — within the music, as well as within themselves — that’s rejuvenating all the same.

This is where they started, after all. Before “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” before Sticky Fingers and before the superstar bloat that came after all that, the Rolling Stones were an ace blues band. So the best songs here — Buddy Johnson’s “Just Your Fool,” Little Walter’s “I Gotta Go,” Eddie Taylor’s “Ride ‘Em on Down,” “Hate to See You Go,” another one originally written and recorded by Little Walter — percolate with their natural feel for the music.

Jagger and Keith Richards, working with Don Was, keep the production gritty and primal. Tape hiss can be heard at the start and close of each song, and a few tracks end with studio chatter among the musicians. They’re there to remind you of the informal setting that spurred Blue & Lonesome: The songs were recorded as warm-ups to the Stones’ next album, the proper follow-up to A Bigger Bang. We’re guessing whatever comes from those sessions, they won’t match what’s here.

How could it? With everyone but Ron Wood in his seventies, this return to the music of their youth often comes off like one last shot at recapturing what made the Stones so special in the first place. The stinging guitars that fire throughout “Commit a Crime” and “Ride ‘Em on Down,” not to mention Jagger’s expert slippery harmonica playing, haven’t been heard on a Rolling Stones record since the mid-’60s.

Of course, this is just a detour, a day (or three, as the case may be) at the playground. Blue & Lonesome doesn’t restore the Rolling Stones’ relevancy after too many years and too many Dirty Works and Bridges to Babylons. And some of it sounds a bit mannered. But it’s the closest they’ve gotten to reminding us of their legacy in a long time, and confirmation that they’re still among the best at what they do when they don’t think too hard about it.

Read More: Rolling Stones, ‘Blue & Lonesome’: Album Review | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/rolling-stones-blue-lonesome-review/?trackback=tsmclip

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________ Quinton Aaron of “The Blindside” talks “Greater” and the faith and character of Brandon Burlsworth Published on Oct 28, 2015 Quinton Aaron, star of “The Blindside”, discusses why he is so proud to be a part of “Greater”, and talks about the faith and character of Brandon Burlsworth, the greatest walk-on in college football […]

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_ Washed Out – Life Of Leisure (Full Album) | HD   Washed Out: ‘I wish I could have a 9 to 5 life’ Ernest Greene’s debut album confirms his place at the forefront of the chillwave scene. So why is he so worried? Ernest Greene, aka Washed Out: ‘At no point was I actively […]

_____

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS! Sean Carroll, cosmologist and physics professor at California Institute of Technology, “Darwin to a good extent undercut “DESIGN ARGUMENT]”

 

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

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 AhmedHaroon Ahmed,  Jim Al-Khalili, Louise Antony, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BateSir Patrick BatesonSimon Blackburn, Colin Blakemore, Ned BlockPascal BoyerPatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky, Brian CoxPartha Dasgupta,  Alan Dershowitz, Frank DrakeHubert Dreyfus, John Dunn, Ken EdwardsBart Ehrman, Mark ElvinRichard Ernst, Stephan Feuchtwang, Robert FoleyDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan Greenfield, Stephen Jay GouldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan Haidt, Chris Hann,  Theodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Stephen HawkingHermann Hauser, Peter HiggsRobert HindeRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodGerard ‘t HooftCaroline HumphreyNicholas Humphrey,  Herbert Huppert,  Sir Andrew Fielding HuxleyGareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart KauffmanMasatoshi Koshiba,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George Lakoff,  Rodolfo Llinas, Seth Lloyd,  Elizabeth Loftus,  Alan Macfarlane, Colin McGinnDan McKenzie,  Mahzarin Banaji, Michael MannPeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  P.Z.Myers,   Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff, David Parkin,  Jonathan Parry, Roger Penrose,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceVS RamachandranLisa RandallLord Martin ReesColin RenfrewAlison Richard,  C.J. van Rijsbergen,  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 TallisMax Tegmark, Michael Tooley,  Neil deGrasse Tyson,  Martinus J. G. Veltman, Craig Venter.Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John Walker, James D. WatsonFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

Sean M. Carroll

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the biologist, see Sean B. Carroll.
Sean M. Carroll
Seanmcarroll2.jpg

Sean Carroll
Born 5 October 1966 (age 50)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Residence Los Angeles, California
Citizenship United States
Nationality American
Fields Physics, cosmology, astrophysics, general relativity
Institutions California Institute of Technology
Alma mater
Thesis Cosmological Consequences of Topological and Geometric Phenomena in Field Theories (1993)
Doctoral advisor George B. Field
Doctoral students Ignacy Sawicki, Eugene Lim, Mark Hoffman, Jennifer Chen, Heywood Tam, Lotty Ackerman, Kimberly Boddy
Known for Dark electromagnetism
Influences Albert Einstein, Ludwig Boltzmann, Richard Feynman
Notable awards Andrew Gemant Award (2014)
Spouse Jennifer Ouellette
Website
www.preposterousuniverse.com

Sean Michael Carroll (/ˈkærəl/; born 5 October 1966) is a cosmologist and physics professor specializing in dark energy and general relativity. He is a research professor in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology.[1] He has been a contributor to the physics blog Cosmic Variance, and has published in scientific journals and magazines such as Nature, The New York Times, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist.

He has appeared on the History Channel’s The Universe, Science Channel’s Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, and Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. Carroll is the author of Spacetime And Geometry, a graduate-level textbook in general relativity, and has also recorded lectures for The Great Courses on cosmology, the physics of time, and the Higgs boson.[2] He is also the author of three popular books: one on the arrow of time entitled From Eternity to Here, one on the Higgs boson entitled The Particle at the End of the Universe, and one on science and philosophy entitled The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself.

Career

Carroll received his PhD in astronomy and astrophysics in 1993 from Harvard University, where his advisor was George B. Field. His dissertation‘s title is “Cosmological Consequences of Topological and Geometric Phenomena in Field Theories“. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and as an assistant professor at the University of Chicago until 2006 when he was denied tenure.[3] He is now a research professor at Caltech.

His most-cited work, “Is Cosmic Speed-Up Due To New Gravitational Physics?”, was written with Vikram Duvvuri, Mark Trodden, and Michael Turner. With over 1,000 citations, it helped pioneer the study of f(R) gravity in cosmology.[4]

In 2010, Carroll was elected as a fellow of the American Physical Society, for “contributions to a wide variety of subjects in cosmology, relativity, and quantum field theory, especially ideas for cosmic acceleration, as well as contributions to undergraduate, graduate, and public science education”.[5] In 2014 he was awarded the Andrew Gemant Award, a prize given by the American Institute of Physics for “significant contributions to the cultural, artistic or humanistic dimension of physics.”[6] In 2015 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.[7]

Personal life

Carroll is married to Jennifer Ouellette, a science writer and the former director of the Science & Entertainment Exchange.[8]

Research

Carroll has worked on a number of topics in theoretical cosmology, field theory, and gravitation theory. His research papers include models of, and experimental constraints on, violations of Lorentz invariance; the appearance of closed timelike curves in general relativity; varieties of topological defects in field theory; and cosmological dynamics of extra spacetime dimensions. In recent years he has written extensively on models of dark energy and its interactions with ordinary matter and dark matter, as well as modifications of general relativity in cosmology.

Carroll has also worked on the arrow of time problem. He and Jennifer Chen posit that the Big Bang is not a unique occurrence as a result of all of the matter and energy in the universe originating in a singularity at the beginning of time, but rather one of many cosmic inflation events resulting from quantum fluctuations of vacuum energy in a cold De Sitter space. Carroll and Chen claim that the universe is infinitely old, but never reaches thermodynamic equilibrium as entropy increases continuously without limit due to the decreasing matter and energy density attributable to recurrent cosmic inflation. They assert that the universe is “statistically time-symmetric” insofar as it contains equal progressions of time “both forward and backward”.[9][10][11] Some of his work has been on violations of fundamental symmetries, the physics of dark energy, modifications of general relativity, and the arrow of time. Recently he started focusing on issues at the foundations of cosmology, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and complexity.

Views on religion

Carroll is an atheist. He turned down an invitation to speak at a conference sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, on the grounds that he did not want to appear to be supporting a reconciliation between science and religion.[12] In 2004, he and Shadi Bartsch taught an undergraduate course title at the University of Chicago on the history of atheism. In 2012 he organized the workshop “Moving Naturalism Forward”, which brought together scientists and philosophers to discuss issues associated with a naturalistic worldview. His article, “Does the Universe Need God?” in The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity develops the claim that science no longer needs to posit a divine being to explain the existence of the universe. The article generated significant attention when it was discussed on The Huffington Post.[13] His 2016 book The big picture on the origins of life meaning and the universe itself develops the philosophy of poetic naturalism.

Carroll occasionally takes part in formal debates or discussions with theists. In 2012, Carroll teamed up with Michael Shermer to debate with Ian Hutchinson of MIT and author Dinesh D’Souza at Caltech in an event titled “The Great Debate: Has Science Refuted Religion?”[14] In 2014, Carroll debated with Christian apologist William Lane Craig as part of the Greer-Heard Forum in New Orleans. The topic for the debate was “The Existence of God in Light of Contemporary Cosmology”. Carroll received an “Emperor Has No Clothes” award at the Freedom From Religion Foundation Annual National Convention in October 2014.[15]

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In  the second video below in the 81st 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)

________

Below is the letter I wrote to Dr. Carroll with the quote from him and my response to it.

Image result for charles darwin
Darwin age 30
Image result for charles darwin
Darwin in midlife

_________

December 25, 2016

Dr. Sean M. Carroll, Pasadena ,

Dear Dr. Carroll,

I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

Recently I noticed this comment by you Dr Carroll from the popular You Tube video ANOTHER 50 RENOWNED ACADEMICS SPEAKING ABOUT GOD (Part 2): 

Aristotle would tell you things like if you have an object and you want it to be in motion. You have to keep pushing it because if you stop, it stops. And Aristotle was right. It stopped if I stopped pushing it.

Physicists like to make fun of Aristotle these days but he was right in the context he was talking about.  So if you believe about fundamental stuff in the world, motion only exists when something is pushing it, then you can imagine that these kinds of arguments make sense that the fact that we see things moving in the universe despite the fact the motion requires a mover makes you believe that there must be some prime mover out there behind the whole thing. Then comes along Galileo and Newton and they saw actually if you think about it carefully the natural status for objects is uniform motion. Its just because of friction dissipation and other annoying features of the world that we see things stop

At a fundamental level things want to keep moving and unless you act upon them they will remain in uniform motion.This notion conservation of momentum completely underminded the sort of metaphysical reasoning behind the arguments for the first cause and prime-mover and things like that , and you can actually see the impact on the theological literature,  once they invented Newtonian mechanics, arguments for the existence of God changed their focus from prime-movers, first cause arguments from contingency to the argument from design. They started inventing machines and they said, “It looks like a machine and maybe there is a machinist and so forth.” Then Darwin to a good extent undercut that argument and we are still living in the aftermath of that.

These words of yours made me think about Darwin’s own words which I want to discuss with you in this letter:

They started inventing machines and they said, “It looks like a machine and maybe there is a machinist and so forth.” Then Darwin to a good extent undercut that argument and we are still living in the aftermath of that.

I thought of you recently 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 on this same issue of intelligent design. I am going to quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. Earlier I had sent you  CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism. If you don’t have the CD let me know and I will be glad to send you another one.

Darwin, C. R. to Doedes, N. D.2 Apr 1873

“It is impossible to answer your question briefly; and I am not sure that I could do so, even if I wrote at some length. 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…Nor can I overlook the difficulty from the immense amount of suffering through the world. I am aware that if we admit a First Cause, the mind still craves to know whence it came, and how it arose.”

Francis Schaeffer noted:

What he is saying is if you say there is a first cause, then the mind says, “Where did this come from?” I think this is a bit old fashioned, with some of the modern thinkers, this would not have carry as much weight today as it did when Darwin expressed it. Jean Paul Sartre said it as well as anyone could possibly say it. The philosophic problem is that something is there and not nothing being there. No one has the luxury of beginning with nothing. Nobody I have ever read has put forth that everything came from nothing. I have never met such a person in all my reading,or all my discussion. If you are going to begin with nothing being there, it has to be nothing nothing, and it can’t be something nothing. When someone says they believe nothing is there, in reality they have already built in something there. The only question is do you begin with an impersonal something or a personal something. All human thought is shut up to these two possibilities. Either you begin with an impersonal and then have Darwin’s own dilemma which impersonal plus chance, now he didn’t bring in the amount of time that modern man would though. Modern man has brought in huge amounts of time into the equation as though that would make a difference because I have said many times that time can’t make a qualitative difference but only a quantitative difference. The dilemma is it is either God or chance. Now you find this intriguing thing in Darwin’s own situation, he can’t understand how chance could have produced these two great factors of the universe and its form and the mannishness of man.

From Charles Darwin, Autobiography (1876), in The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, ed. Francis Darwin, vol. 1 (London: John Murray, 1888), pp. 307 to 313.

“Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting, I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist. This conclusion was strong in my mind about the time, as far as I can remember, when I wrote the Origin of Species, and it is since that time that it has very gradually, with many fluctuations, become weaker. But then arises the doubt…”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

On the basis of his reason he has to say there must be an intelligent mind, someone analogous to man. You couldn’t describe the God of the Bible better. That is man is made in God’s image  and therefore, you know a great deal about God when you know something about man. What he is really saying here is that everything in my experience tells me it must be so, and my mind demands it is so. Not just these feelings he talked about earlier but his MIND demands it is so, but now how does he counter this? How does he escape this? Here is how he does it!!!

Charles Darwin went on to observe:  —can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animals, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?”

Francis Schaeffer asserted:

So he says my mind can only come to one conclusion, and that is there is a mind behind it all. However, the doubt comes because his mind has come from the lowest form of earthworm, so how can I trust my mind. But this is a joker isn’t it?  Then how can you trust his mind to support such a theory as this? He proved too much. The fact that Darwin found it necessary to take such an escape shows the tremendous weight of Romans 1, that the only escape he can make is to say how can I trust my mind when I come from the lowest animal the earthworm? Obviously think of the grandeur of his concept, I don’t think it is true, but the grandeur of his concept, so what you find is that Darwin is presenting something here that is wrong I feel, but it is not nothing. It is a tremendously grand concept that he has put forward. So he is accepting the dictates of his mind to put forth a grand concept which he later can’t accept in this basic area with his reason, but he rejects what he could accept with his reason on this escape. It really doesn’t make sense. This is a tremendous demonstration of the weakness of his own position.

Darwin also noted, “I cannot pretend to throw the least light on such abstruse problems. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us, and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic.”

Francis Schaeffer remarked:

What a stupid reply and I didn’t say wicked. It just seems to me that here is 2 plus 2 equals 36 at this particular place.

Darwin, C. R. to Graham, William 3 July 1881

Nevertheless you have expressed my inward conviction, though far more vividly and clearly than I could have done, that the Universe is not the result of chance.* But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?

Francis Schaeffer observed:

Can you feel this man? He is in real agony. You can feel the whole of modern man in this tension with Darwin. My mind can’t accept that ultimate of chance, that the universe is a result of chance. He has said 3 or 4 times now that he can’t accept that it all happened by chance and then he will write someone else and say something different. How does he say this (about the mind of a monkey) and then put forth this grand theory? Wrong theory I feel but great just the same. Grand in the same way as when I look at many of the paintings today and I differ with their message but you must say the mark of the mannishness of man are one those paintings titanic-ally even though the message is wrong and this is the same with Darwin.  But how can he say you can’t think, you come from a monkey’s mind, and you can’t trust a monkey’s mind, and you can’t trust a monkey’s conviction, so how can you trust me? Trust me here, but not there is what Darwin is saying. In other words it is very selective. 

Now we are down to the last year of Darwin’s life.

* The Duke of Argyll (Good Words, April 1885, p. 244) has recorded a few words on this subject, spoken by my father in the last year of his life. “. . . in the course of that conversation I said to Mr. Darwin, with reference to some of his own remarkable works on the Fertilisation of Orchids, and upon The Earthworms,and various other observations he made of the wonderful contrivances for certain purposes in nature—I said it was impossible to look at these without seeing that they were the effect and the expression of mind. I shall never forget Mr. Darwin’s answer. He looked at me very hard and said, ‘Well, that often comes over me with overwhelming force; but at other times,’ and he shook his head vaguely, adding, ‘it seems to go away.'”

Francis Schaeffer summarized :

And this is the great Darwin, and it makes you cry inside. This is the great Darwin and he ends as a man in total tension.

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.

Image result for charles darwin
Darwin close to the end of his life
Image result for francis schaeffer
Francis Schaeffer pictured above

________________________

Dr. Carroll can you still look at God’s beautiful creation and say that it just appears to be the work of an intellect? If so then you like Darwin  can say, “I am like a man who has become colour-blind.”

_______________________________________

IF WE ARE LEFT WITH JUST THE MACHINE THEN WHAT IS THE FINAL CONCLUSION IF THERE WAS NO PERSONAL GOD THAT CREATED US? The CD I sent you earlier 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.”

Image result for kerry livgren dave hope 700 club
Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope on 700 Club

Image result for kerry livgren

Kerry Livgren of Kansas is on left in picture and Dave Hope is on the right

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 ChurchDAVE 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.

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and you can google them: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

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)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

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

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Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmas Time

__

Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmas Time

 

Wonderful Christmastime

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Wonderful Christmastime”
62331wct.jpg
Single by Paul McCartney
B-side “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reggae”
Released 16 November 1979
Format 7-inch 45 rpm
Recorded 30 August 1979, Lower Gate Farm, Sussex
Genre
Length 3:45
Label
Writer(s) Paul McCartney
Producer(s) Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney singles chronology
Eat at Home
(1971)
Wonderful Christmastime
(1979)
Coming Up
(1980)

Wonderful Christmastime” is a 1979 Christmas song by Paul McCartney. It enjoys significant Christmas time popularity around the world.[1] The song was later added as a bonus track on the 1993 CD reissue of WingsBack to the Egg album.[2]

The track was subsequently added as a bonus track to the 2011 reissue of the McCartney II album, with both full and edited versions included. The track was also mixed in 5.1 surround sound for inclusion on the 2007 DVD release The McCartney Years.

Contents

Background and recording

McCartney recorded the song entirely on his own during the sessions for his solo project McCartney II. Although the members of Wings are not on the recording, they do appear in the promotional music video,[3] which was filmed at the Fountain Inn in Ashurst, West Sussex.[4]

“Wonderful Christmastime” can be heard in the 1998 animated film Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie during Santa’s takeoff on Christmas Eve. Wings performed the song during their 1979 tour of the UK.[5]

Reception and legacy

Following its release as a stand-alone single in the United Kingdom, “Wonderful Christmastime” peaked at No. 6 on the UK Singles Chart the week ending 5 January 1980.[6] In the United States the single peaked at No. 83 on the Cash Box Top 100 Singles chart and No. 94 on the Record World Singles Chart, but did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100.[7]

In December 1984, the single appeared at No. 10 for two weeks on Billboard‘s Christmas singles chart.[8] It also reached No. 29 on Billboard‘s weekly Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart in early January 1996.[8]

The song continues to receive substantial airplay every year, although some music critics consider it to be one of McCartney’s poorest compositions.[9][10][11] Beatles author Robert Rodriguez has written of “Wonderful Christmastime”: “Love it or hate it, few songs within the McCartney oeuvre have provoked such strong reactions.”[10]

Including royalties from cover versions, it is estimated that McCartney makes $400,000 a year from this song, which puts its cumulative earnings at near $15 million.[12]

Personnel

Cover versions

References

 

 

  1. Steve Oliver (2016-09-03). “Steve Oliver: Part Website, Part Blog”. Thesteveoliverblog.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-15.

External links

 

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman favored entitlement reform and Trump better too!!!

PRC Forum: Milton Friedman (U1060) – Full Video

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Published on Mar 18, 2016

Milton Friedman, 1976 Nobel Laureate in Economics and author of “Free To Choose,” urges alertness to the difference between false and real problems. The problem is not budget deficits, trade deficits, or the federal debt. The problem is government spending relative to income, protectionist policies, and unfunded debt resulting from entitlements. Dr. Friedman simplifies and explains these and other policy issues. ©1987/58 min.

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I’m a fiscal policy wonk, so I freely acknowledge that I sometimes look at the world through green-eyeshade-colored lenses. But I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that expanding entitlements,Demographic 2030 changing demographics, and increasing dependency are the main long-run threats to the American economy.

And this is why the concerns I had about a Hillary Clinton presidency aren’t that different from the concerns I have about a Donald Trump presidency.

Simply stated, he apparently doesn’t even think there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. Here’s what Trump said in an interview with the Daily Signal.

I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.

Some people have told me not to get too worried about this statement because candidates make so many speeches and give so many interviews that they’re bound to make mistakes and say things they don’t really mean.

I agree that we shouldn’t get too hung up on every slip of the tongue on the campaign trail (notwithstanding this clip, for instance, Obama surely doesn’t think there are 57 states).

But the Trump people actually re-posted the Daily Signal interview on the campaign’s website, which certainly suggests (to use legal terminology) malice and forethought on the issue of entitlements.

That being said, this doesn’t mean Trump is a lost cause and that genuine entitlement reform is an impossibility.

  • First, politicians oftentimes say things they don’t mean (remember Obama’s pledge that people could keep their doctors and their health plans if Obamacare was enacted?).
  • Second, the plans to fix Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid don’t involve any cuts. Instead, reformers are proposing changes that will slow the growth of outlays.
  • Third, if Trump is even slightly serious about pushing through his big tax cut, he’ll need to have some plan to restrain overall spending to make his agenda politically viable.

For what it’s worth, I’m particularly hopeful (or not un-hopeful, to be more accurate) that Trump will be willing to address Medicaid reform, ideally as part of an overall proposal to block-grant all means-tested programs.

One reason for my semi-optimism is that the programs is becoming even more of a mess thanks to Obamacare and plenty of governors and state legislators would gladly accept that kind of reform simply to have more control over state budget matters.

And every serious budget person in Washington understands the program must be reformed because of spiraling costs.

The Wall Street Journal has an editorial today about out-of-control Medicaid spending.

One immediate problem is ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid, which has seen enrollment at least twice as high as advertised. …Governors claimed not joining would leave “free money” on the table because the feds would pick up 100% of the costs of new beneficiaries. In a new report this week for the Foundation for Government Accountability, Jonathan Ingram and Nicholas Horton tracked down the original enrollment projections by actuaries in 24 states that expanded and have since disclosed at least a year of data on the results. Some 11.5 million people now belong to ObamaCare’s new class of able-bodied enrollees, or 110% higher than the projections. Analysts in California expected only 910,000 people to sign up, but instead 3.84 million have, 322% off the projections. The situation is nearly as dire in New York, where enrollment is 276% higher than expected, and Illinois, which is up 90%. This liberal state triumvirate is particularly notable because they already ran generous welfare states long before ObamaCare.

Of course, the “free money” for states is a fiscal burden for all taxpayers. It’s just that the money from taxpayers gets cycled through Washington before going to state capitals.

But it’s also worth noting that the money soon won’t be “free.”

The state spending share of new Medicaid enrollment will rise to 5% next year and then to 10% by 2020, up from 0% today. The enrollment overruns mean these states will have less to spend than they planned for every other priority, especially the least fortunate.

I suppose this is a good opportunity to recycle my video on Medicaid reform. It was filmed more than five years ago, so some of the numbers are outdated (they’re worse today!). But the policy analysis is still right on point.

Promote Federalism and Replicate the Success of Welfare Reform with Medicaid Block Grants

Who knows, maybe Trump actually will do the right thing and (in a phrase he took from Reagan) make America great again.

Remember, none of us expected that economic freedom would expand during Bill Clinton’s presidency, so a bit of optimism isn’t totally out-of-bounds.

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