On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:
…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975
and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.
I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:
Arif Ahmed, Sir David Attenborough, Mark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael Bate, Patricia Churchland, Aaron Ciechanover, Noam Chomsky,Alan Dershowitz, Hubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan Feuchtwang, David Friend, Riccardo Giacconi, Ivar Giaever , Roy Glauber, Rebecca Goldstein, David J. Gross, Brian Greene, Susan Greenfield, Stephen F Gudeman, Alan Guth, Jonathan Haidt, Theodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison, Hermann Hauser, Roald Hoffmann, Bruce Hood, Herbert Huppert, Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve Jones, Shelly Kagan, Michio Kaku, Stuart Kauffman, Lawrence Krauss, Harry Kroto, George Lakoff, Elizabeth Loftus, Alan Macfarlane, Peter Millican, Marvin Minsky, Leonard Mlodinow, Yujin Nagasawa, Alva Noe, Douglas Osheroff, Jonathan Parry, Saul Perlmutter, Herman Philipse, Carolyn Porco, Robert M. Price, Lisa Randall, Lord Martin Rees, Oliver Sacks, John Searle, Marcus du Sautoy, Simon Schaffer, J. L. Schellenberg, Lee Silver, Peter Singer, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Ronald de Sousa, Victor Stenger, Barry Supple, Leonard Susskind, Raymond Tallis, Neil deGrasse Tyson, .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John Walker, Frank Wilczek, Steven Weinberg, and Lewis Wolpert,
Michael Tooley is an American philosopher at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has a BA from the University of Toronto and earned his Ph.D. in philosophy atPrinceton University in 1968. He taught at Stanford University and the Australian National University and, since 1992, at the University of Colorado Boulder.
He has worked on philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, causality and metaphysical naturalism, and has debated the existence of God with William Lane Craig. His paper “Abortion and Infanticide” has been controversial.
- Abortion – Three Perspectives (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009)
- Knowledge of God (with Alvin Plantinga, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2008)
- Metaphysics, (New York: Garland Publishing, 1999) Edited, five volumes: Volume 1 – Laws of Nature, Causation, and Supervenience; Volume 2 – The Nature of Time; Volume 3 – Properties; Volume 4 – Particulars, Actuality, and Identity; Volume 5 – Necessity and Possibility.
- Time, Tense, and Causation, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997).
- Causation, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, Readings in Philosophy Series, 1993). Co-edited with Ernest Sosa.
- Causation: A Realist Approach, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987).
In the first video below in the 33rd 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 my letter to Dr. Tooley and my response to his quote is in the letter:
April 6, 2015
Dear Dr. Tooley,
I saw your interview on CLOSER TO TRUTH and that prompted me to write you today. Let me start off by saying that this is not the first time that I have written you. Earlier I shared several letters of correspondence I had with Carl Sagan, and Antony Flew. Both men were strong believers in evolution as you are today. Instead of talking to you about their views today I wanted to discuss the views of you and Charles Darwin. Previously I wrote you concerning Carl Sagan’s passion for the SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE (SETI) program.
TWO THINGS MADE ME THINK OF YOU RECENTLY. On April 5, 2015 at the Fellowship Bible Church Easter morning service in Little Rock, Arkansas our pastor Mark Henry described DOUBTING THOMAS and that description made me think of you. Moreover, your skeptical view towards Christianity reminds me of CHARLES DARWIN’S growing doubts throughout his life on these same theological issues such as skepticism in reaction to the claims of the Bible!!!
I’m an evangelical Christian and you are a secularist but I am sure we can both agree with the apostle Paul when he said in First Corinthians 15 that if Christ did not rise from the dead then Christians are to be most pited!!!! I attended Easter services this week and this issue came up and Mark Henry asserted that there is plenty of evidence that indicates that the Bible is historically accurate. Did you know that CHARLES DARWIN thought about this very subject quite a lot?
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 manufacturers years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”
Your QUOTE from the program CLOSER TO TRUTH:
If you are raised in India the probability you would have a vision of the Virgin Mary would not be very high where if you were raised in Spain it may be much higher. So what we know is that a person’s culture and the family in which he or she was raised has a real impact on the content of the experience. The question, given that is so, is it reasonable to believe that nonetheless there is a correspondence there.
You can see why I compare you to DOUBTING THOMAS when considering the accuracy of the Bible. YOU MAY FIND IT INTERESTING THAT CHARLES DARWIN WAS ALSO INTERESTED IN THE HISTORICAL ASPECT OF THE BIBLE. 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.
“But I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels.
Francis Schaeffer commented:
This is very sad. He lies on his bunk and the Beagle tosses and turns and he makes daydreams, and his dreams and hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii or some place like this, an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would put his stamp of authority on it, which would be able to show that Christ existed. This is undoubtedly what he is talking about. Darwin gave up this hope with great difficulty. I think he didn’t want to come to the position where his accepted presuppositions were driving him. He didn’t want to give it up, just as an older man he understood where it would lead and “man can do his duty.” Instinctively this of brains understood where this whole thing was going to eventually go…
SINCE CHARLES DARWIN’S DEATH WE NOW HAVE LOTS OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND MUCH EVIDENCE FROM THE FIELD OF ARCHAEOLOGY THAT SHOW THE BIBLE IS HISTORICALLY ACCURATE.
**************TAKE TIME TO CONSIDER THIS EVIDENCE BELOW********************
I have been amazed at the prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled in history, and also many of the historical details in the Bible have been confirmed by archaeology too. One of the most amazing is the prediction that the Jews would be brought back and settle in Jerusalem again. Another prophecy in Psalms 22 describes the Messiah dying on a cross almost 1000 years before the Romans came up with this type of punishment.
Many times it has been alleged that the author of the Book of Daniel was from a later period but how did a later author know these 5 HISTORICAL FACTS? How did he know  that Belshazzar was ruling during the last few years of the Babylonian Empire when the name “Belshazzar” was lost to history until 1853 when it was uncovered in the monuments?  The author also knew that the Babylonians executed individuals by casting them into fire, and that the Persians threw the condemned to the lions.  He knew the practice in the 6th Century was to mention first the Medes, then the Persians and not the other way around.  Plus he knew the laws made by Persian kings could not be revoked and  he knew that in the sixth century B.C., Susa was in the province of Elam (Dan. 8:2). Of course, the Book of Daniel (2:37-42) clearly predicted the rise of the 4 world empires in the correct order of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
One of the top 10 posts on my blog on this next subject concerning Tyre. John MacArthur went through every detail of the prophecy concerning Tyre and how history shows the Bible prophecy was correct. Sagan said he had taken a look at Old Testament prophecy and it did not impress him because it was too vague.
HOW CAN ANYONE SAY THAT THIS FOLLOWING PROPHECY CONCERNING TYRE IS “TOO VAGUE?”
Below is an outline from a sermon from Dr. John MacArthur
John MacArthur on the amazing fulfilled prophecy on Tyre and how it was fulfilled by historical events.
A. The Forecast
1. The specifics
a) That King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon would destroy the mainland city of Tyre (26:7-8).
b) That many nations would rise up against Tyre. These nations would come like waves of the sea, one after another (26:3- 4).
c) That Tyre will be made like a flat rock (26:4, 14).
d) That fisherman will dry their nets there (26:5, 14).
e) That the rubble of the city would be cast into the sea (26:12).
f) That Tyre would never be rebuilt (26:14).
2. The setting
Tyre was a great city. It was one of the largest and most powerful cities of Phoenicia, which is modern day Lebanon.
It was well fortified. A great wall protected the city from land attacks while their world-renowned fleet protected them from attack by sea.
Tyre was a flourishing city during the time when Joshua led Israel into the Promised Land. King Hiram, who began his reign during the rule of David, offered David cedars from Tyre to build his palace. He also loaned David his artisans to craft parts of the great palace (1 Chron. 14:1). Hiram also helped Solomon build the Temple by floating cedars down the shoreline to be picked up and hauled to Jerusalem (2 Chron. 2:16). So Tyre was a great city, and both David and Solomon looked to it for aid.
B. The Fulfillment
1. The prophetic call
a) To Nebuchadnezzar
Not long after the prophecy given by Ezekiel, Nebuchadnezzar did exactly what had been predicted–he laid siege against the city in 585 B.C. For thirteen years Nebuchadnezzar cut off the flow of supplies into the city. In 537 B.C. he finally succeeded in breaking the gates down, but found the city almost empty.
During the thirteen-year siege, the people of Tyre moved all their possessions by ship to an island one-half mile offshore. So Nebuchadnezzar gained no plunder (Ezek. 29:17- 20). Although he destroyed the mainland city (Ezek. 26:8), the new city offshore continued to flourish for 250 years. The prophecy of Ezekiel 26:12–“they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water”–remained unfulfilled.
b) To Alexander the Great
At age twenty-two, Alexander the Great came east conquering the known world with an army of between thirty and forty thousand men. Having defeated the Persians under Darius III, Alexander was on the march toward Egypt.
(1) The dilemma
Alexander arrived in the Phoenician territory and demanded that the cities open their gates to him. The citizens of Tyre refused, feeling they were secure on their island with their superior fleet.
(2) The decision
Realizing he did not have a fleet that could match Tyre’s, Alexander decided to build a causeway to the island using the ruins from the mainland city. It was about two hundred feet wide. The prophet said that the city would be thrown into the water, and that’s exactly what happened.
(3) The details
Arrian, a Greek historian, wrote about the overthrow of Tyre and how it was accomplished (The Campaigns of Alexander [New York: Penquin, 1958], pp. 132-43). The fortification of Tyre resembled Alcatraz. The city sat offshore like a rock with walls that came down to the edge of the water. Alexander set out to build the only means to approach the city–a land peninsula. Soldiers started pitching rubble into the water, leveling it off as they went so they could march on it. The water got deeper as they approached the island, and to make their task even more difficult, the people of Tyre bombarded them with missiles.
Werner Keller in The Bible as History tells us that to safeguard the operation, Alexander built mobile shields called “tortoises” (New York: Bantam, 1956], p. 361). Knowing that when they reached the city they would have to scale the walls, Alexander built “Hele-poleis,” which were mobile siege towers 160 foot high. The idea was to roll these structures across the causeway and push them up against the walls. A drawbridge on the front of the towers enabled the soldiers to march across the top of the walls and into the city.
Alexander’s men were under constant attack from people within the city and from the Tyrian navy. Realizing that he needed ships to defend his flanks, Alexander returned to the cities he had conquered and demanded their assistance. That fulfilled the prophecy that God “will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth its waves to come up” (Ezek. 26:3).
(4) The destruction
Alexander’s plan succeeded. Eight thousand people were slain and thirty thousand were sold into slavery. It took Alexander seven months to conquer Tyre. The causeway he built can be seen to this day.
2. The prophetic result
How did Ezekiel know all those things would happen? The only explanation is he expressed the mind of God. Historian Philip Myers said, “Alexander the Great reduced it [Tyre] to ruins (332 B.C.). She recovered in a measure from this blow, but never regained the place she had previously held in the world. The larger part of the site … is now as bare as the top of a rock–a place where the fishermen that still frequent the spot spread their nets to dry” (General History for Colleges and High Schools [Boston: Ginn and Co., 1889], p. 55). That fulfills the prophecies of Ezekiel 26:4-5, 14. The island city was repopulated, later to be destroyed by the Moslems in A.D. 1281. However, God said the mainland city would never be rebuilt–and it never has. Jerusalem has been rebuilt many times but Tyre will never be rebuilt because a prophet in Babylon said twenty-five centuries ago, “Thou shalt be built no more” (Ezek. 26:14).
ANY HISTORIAN CAN HAVE ACCESS TO ALL OF THESE RECORDS. WHY NOT TAKE A FEW MOMENTS AND CHECK OUT THESE FACTS YOURSELF? 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 Church. DAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.
The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.
Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.