FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 291 “William Jennings Bryan on Evolution” (Schaeffer v. Richard Dawkins) Featured Artist is Raymond Pettibon

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Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins

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Francis and Edith Schaeffer at their home in Switzerland with some visiting friends

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Schaeffer with his wife Edith in Switzerland.


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Richard Dawkins and John Lennox

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Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris 

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Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

The Basis of Human Dignity by Francis Schaeffer

Richard Dawkins, founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Credit: Don Arnold Getty Images

Francis Schaeffer in 1984

January 29, 2019

Richard Dawkins c/o Richard Dawkins Foundation, 
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Mr. Dawkins,

i have enjoyed reading about a dozen of your books and some of the most intriguing were The God DelusionAn Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, and Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science.

I wanted to comment on something you wrote in your book Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist, and here is the quote on page 133:

Now, it has recently been widely and repeatedly publicized that some modern evolutionists reject ‘gradualism’,

One example that shows why scientists like Stephen Jay Gould rejected gradualism was because of the lack of transitional forms, and that reminds me of the silly evidence of Nebraska Man brought up at the Scopes Trial.

Mr. Bryan on Evolution

by William Jennings Bryan

Evidence for Creation


“He being dead, yet speaketh” (Hebrews 11:4). The “Great Commoner,” William Jennings Bryan, died over 65 years ago, but he was undoubtedly the most widely known creationist of his generation. The following article, first published in August 1925 soon after the famous Scopes Trial, was written by him shortly before his death, and we believe it should still be read today.


Are those who reject evolution as an unproved hypothesis unreasonable in refusing to accept, as conclusive, the evidence offered by evolutionists in support of a proposition that links every living thing in blood relationship to every other living thing–the rose to the onion, the eagle to the mosquito, the mockingbird to the rattlesnake, the royal palm to the scrub oak, and man to all? Surely, so astounding a proposition should be supported by facts before it becomes binding upon the judgment of a rational being.

It is not unusual for evolutionists to declare that their hypothesis is as clearly established as the law of gravitation or the roundness of the earth. Yet anyone can prove that anything heavier than air, when thrown up into the air, will fall to the ground; anyone can demonstrate the roundness of the earth by traveling around it.

But how about the doctrine that all of the species (Darwin estimated the number at from two to three million–the lowest estimate is one million, about a half million of which have been tabulated) by the operation of interior, resident forces came by slow and gradual development from one or a few germs of life, which appeared on this planet millions of years ago–the estimates varying according to the vigor of the guesser’s imagination and the number of ciphers he has left in his basket? Can that proposition be demonstrated by every one like the law of gravitation or the roundness of the earth? On the contrary, no one has ever been able to trace one single species to another. Darwin admitted that no species had ever been traced to another, but he thought his hypothesis should be accepted even though the “missing links” had not been found. He did not say link, as some seem to think, but links. If there is such a thing as evolution, it is not just one link–the link between man and the lower forms of life–that is missing, but all the millions of links between millions of species. Our case is even stronger; it has been pointed out that evolution, if there is such a force, would act so slowly that there would be an infinite number of links between each two species, or a million times a million links in all, every one of which is missing.

Thomas Huxley also asserted that no species had ever been traced to another; and, while a friend of Darwin, declared that until some species could be traced to another, Darwin’s hypothesis did not rise to the dignity of a theory. Prof. William Bateson, a London biologist, prominent enough to be invited to cross the Atlantic and speak to the members of the American Society for the Advancement of Science, at Toronto two years ago last December, in discussing evolution, took up every effort that had been made to discover the origin of species, and declared that every one had failed–every one! Yet he still asserted faith in evolution, showing how much easier it is for some scientists to have faith along their own line of work than along religious lines.

Why should we believe that all species come one from another when no evidence has yet been found to prove that any species came from another? If evolution were true, every square foot of the earth’s surface would teem with conclusive proof of change. The entire absence of proof is the strongest possible proof that evolution is a myth.

But those who reject evolution have another proof. Chemistry refutes all the claims of the evolutionists, and proves that there is no pushing power to be found anywhere in nature–no progressive force at work in the earth–no eternal urge lifting matter or life from any plane to a higher one. Chemistry has failed to find any trace of force active enough to raise life, step by step up, along the lines of the family tree imagined by Darwin, from “A group of marine animals, resembling the larvae of existing ascidians” to “Man, the wonder and glory of the universe.”

On the contrary, the only active force discovered on the planet as pointed out by Edwin Slosson, is deterioration, decay, death. All the formulae of chemistry are exact and permanent. They leave no room for the guesses upon which evolutionists build other guesses, ad infinitum. Take water, for instance; it must have been on earth before any living thing appeared, because it is the daily need of every living thing. And it has been H2O from the beginning. Every one of the millions of changes of species imagined by the evolutionists have taken place–if they have taken place at all–since water came upon the earth. But water has not changed; neither has anything else ever changed, so far as nature has revealed her processes to man.

When a few bones and a piece of skull are fashioned into a supposed likeness of a prehistoric animal, described as an ape-man, the evolutionists fall down before it and worship it, although it contains a smaller percentage of fact than the one-half percent alcohol permitted in a legal beverage…. Someone searching for fossils in a sand hill in Nebraska came upon a lonely tooth. The body of the animal had disappeared; not even a jaw bone survived. Professor Osborn summoned a few congenial spirits, nearly as credulous as himself, and they held a post mortem examination on this insignificant tooth. After due deliberation, they announced that the tooth was the long-looked-for missing link which the world awaited.

Give science a fact and it is invincible. But no one can guess more wildly than a scientist, when he has no compass but his imagination, and no purpose but to get away from God. Darwin uses the phrase “we may well suppose” 800 times and wins for himself a high place among the unconscious humorists by his efforts to explain things that are not true. For instance, he assumed that man has a brain superior to woman’s brain, and tried to explain it on the theory that our ancestors were brutes and that the males, fighting for female mates, increased their brain power. He also assumed that our ancestors were hairy animals, and tried to explain the disappearance of the hair on the theory that the females selected their companions and, because of a universal preference, selected the least hairy and thus, in the course of ages, bred the hair off. The two explanations would be funny enough, even if each did not make the other impossible–the two sexes could not do the selecting at the same time.

Evolutionists also explain to us that light, beating on the skin, brought out the eye, although the explanation does not tell us why the light waves did not continue to beat until they brought out eyes all over the body. They also tell us that the leg is a development from a wart that accidentally appeared on the belly of a legless animal; and that we dream of falling because our ancestors fell out of trees 50,000 years ago.

It is a calamity that highly educated men should while away their time in idle speculation instead of devoting themselves to the serious problems that demand solution.

Editor’s Addendum: The foregoing article was first published in The Reader’s Digest in August 1925 (Vol. 4, No. 40), less than three years after the Digest first began publication. At that time, the magazine was not as strongly committed to evolutionism as it is today (the editors have adamantly refused to publish creationist articles in recent years).

The article is of particular interest as a brief summary of some of the anti-evolution arguments of 65 years ago–arguments that, for the most part, are as cogent today as they were then.

It is interesting to note Mr. Bryan’s sarcastic critique of the famous tooth which Henry Fairfield Osborn, Director of the American Museum of Natural History, had publicized far and wide as the ancient “Nebraska Man.” Mr. Bryan died shortly before the discovery of a more complete skeleton of the creature, revealing it to have been not an ape-man (nor an ape, nor a man!) but an extinct pig!

Mr. Bryan also noted the significance of the universal law of deterioration. Modern creationists frequently use this same cogent evidence, although it is more accurately known as the law of entropy.

William Jennings Bryan, of course, was the most famous creationist of his day. Although he was not a scientist, his political eminence and oratorical ability impelled him into that role. He was born in 1860, so was 65 at the time of the Scopes Trial. He had been the Democratic candidate for president in 1896, 1900, and 1908, but was defeated each time, although known as one of the finest public speakers who ever lived. He was called “The Great Commoner.” He served as Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson from 1912 to 1915.

Spiritually, he was a Presbyterian, and became an opponent of evolution after realizing the great war (World War I) was a direct outgrowth of evolutionary teaching in Germany, and that evolutionary teaching in American public schools and colleges was contributing significantly to the decline of morals and Christianity in general.

On the other hand, he was not a young-earth creationist, even advocating progressive creationism while being questioned by the ACLU attorney, Clarence Darrow, on the witness stand at the Scopes Trial. This compromise, which is widespread today among evangelicals, earned him no sympathy, however, from either Darrow or the liberal press. The very fact that he believed in God and the Bible was sufficient, in their view, to subject him to ridicule.

Nevertheless, the points made in his Digest article, and in the much longer declamation he had prepared (but was maneuvered out of giving by Darrow and the trial judge) for his trial summary, constitute a strong case against evolution even today. Acts & Facts readers should find it interesting and illuminative.For Further Reading

The Last Message of William Jennings Bryan (Dayton, Tennessee: Bryan College, 1975), 32 pp.

“Their Stage Drew all the World: A New Look at the Scopes Trial,” by R.M. Cornelius, Tennessee Historical Quarterly (Vol. XL, Summer 1981), pp. 129-143

Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #95)

Two things should be mentioned about the time of Moses in Old Testament history.

First, consider the archaeological evidence that relates to the period. True, it is not of the same explicitness that we have found, say, in relation to the existence of Ahab or Jehu or Jehoiakim. We have no inscription from Egypt which refers to Moses being taken out of the bulrushes and removed from the waterproof basket his mother had made him. But this does not mean that the Book of Exodus is a fictitious account, as some critics has suggested. Some say it is simply an idealized reading-back into history by the Jews under the later monarchy. There is not a reason why these “books of Moses,” as they are called, should not be treated as history, just as we have been forced to treat the Books of Kings and Chronicles dating 500 years later.

There is ample evidence about the building projects of the Egyptian kings, and the evidence we have fits well with Exodus. There are scenes of brick-making (for example, Theban Tomb 100 of Rekhmire). Contemporary parchments and papyri tell of production targets which had to be met. One speaks of a satisfied official report of his men as “making their quota of bricks daily” (Papyrus Anastasi III vso, p.3, in the British Museum. Also Louvre Leather Roll in the Louvre, Paris, col ii, mentions quotes of bricks and “taskmasters”). Actual bricks found show signs of straw which had to be mixed in with the clay, just as Exodus says. This matter of bricks and straw is further affirmed by the record that one despairing official complained, “There are no men to make bricks nor straw in my area.”

We know from contemporary discoveries that Semites were found at all levels of Egypt’s cosmopolitan society. (Brooklyn Museum, New York, no. 35, 1446. Papyrus Brooklyn). There is nothing strange therefore about Joseph’s becoming so important in the pharaoh’s court.

The store cities of Pithom and Raamses (Rameses) mentioned in Exodus 1:11 are well known in Egyptian inscriptions. Raamses was actually in the east-Delta capital, Pi-Ramses (near Goshen), where the Israelites would have had ample experience of agriculture. Thus, the references to agriculture found in the law of Moses would not have been strange to the Israelites even though they were in the desert at the time the law was given. Certainly there is no reason to say, as some critics do, that these sections on agriculture were an indication of a reading-back from a latter period when the Jews were settled in Canaan.

The form of the covenant made at Sinai has remarkable parallels with the covenant forms of other people at that time. (On covenants and parties to a treaty, the Louvre; and Treaty Tablet from Boghaz Koi (i.e., Hittite) in Turkey, Museum of Archaeology in Istanbul.) The covenant form at Sinai resembles just as the forms of letter writings of the first century after Christ (the types of introductions and greetings) are reflected in the letters of the apostles in the New Testament, it is not surprising to find the covenant form of the second millennium before Christ reflected in what occurred at Mount Sinai. God has always spoken to people within the culture of their time, which does not mean that God’s communication is limited by that culture. It is God’s communication but within the forms appropriate to the time.

The Pentateuch tells us that Moses led the Israelites up the east side of the Dead Sea after their long stay in the desert. There they encountered the hostile kingdom of Moab. We have firsthand evidence for the existence of this kingdom of Moab–contrary to what has been said by critical scholars who have denied the existence of Moab at this time. It can be found in a war scene from a temple at Luxor (Al Uqsor). This commemorates a victory by Ramses II over the Moabite nation at Batora (Luxor Temple, Egypt).

Also the definite presence of the Israelites in west Palestine (Canaan) no later than the end of the thirteenth century B.C. is attested by a victory stela of Pharaoh Merenptah (son and successor of Ramses II) to commemorate his victory over Libya (Israel Stela, Cairo Museum, no. 34025). In it he mentions his previous success in Canaan against Aschalon, Gize, Yenom, and Israel; hence there can be no doubt the nation of Israel was in existence at the latest by this time of approximately 1220 B.C. This is not to say it could not have been earlier, but it cannot be later than this date.

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.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer in 1982

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Whatever Happened to the Human Race? Episode 1

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Garik Israelian, Stephen Hawking, Alexey Leonov, Brian May, Richard Dawkins and Harry Kroto

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Featured artist is Raymond Pettibon

Raymond Pettibon was born in Tucson, Arizona, in 1957. The fourth of five children, Pettibon earned a degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles. After graduating from college, Pettibon worked briefly as a high-school math teacher, but soon set out to launch a career as a professional artist.

A cult figure among underground music devotees for his early work associated with the Los Angeles punk rock scene, Pettibon has acquired an international reputation as one of the foremost contemporary American artists working with drawing, text, and artist’s books. Pettibon is as likely to explore the subject of surfing as he is typography; themes from art history and nineteenth-century literature appear in the same breath as 1960s American politics and contemporary pop culture.

In his 1998 anthology, Raymond Pettibon: A Reader, the viewer can read over Pettibon’s shoulder to discover a handful of the artist’s muses: Henry James, Mickey Spillane, Marcel Proust, William Blake, and Samuel Beckett, among others. In the 1990s, Pettibon extended his work beyond the printed page and onto the walls of the exhibition space, creating wall-size drawings and collages.

Retrospectives of his work have been held at Philadelphia Museum of Art, Santa Monica Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. In 2002, an exhibition of his drawings, “Plots Laid Thick,” was organized by the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain, and traveled to Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, and Haags Gemeentemuseum in the Netherlands. Pettibon’s work was also featured at Documenta XI in Kassel, Germany. Pettibon lives and works in Hermosa Beach, California.

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