Monthly Archives: February 2020

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 308 (Letter to Richard Dawkins about Kyle Butt quote “While it is the case that the Bible does not present itself as a scientific or medical textbook, it is only reasonable that if God truly did inspire the books that compose the Bible, they would be completely accurate in every scientific or medical detail found among their pages”) Featured Artist is Mark Rothko

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November 1, 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 enjoyed reading Outgrowing God which is your latest book, and I wanted to respond to something you said on page 36. You quote the gospel of Thomas where it says that Jesus made 12 sparrows from clay. Then you note: “A sparrow is made of more than 100 billion cells…Nobody knew those details in Jesus’s time.”

My first response is the Gospel of Thomas is not part of the Bible. Secondly, the Bible does have some amazing scientific and medical information in it that you need to check out!!!

Scientific Foreknowledge and Medical Acumen of the Bible

byKyle Butt, M.Div.

While it is the case that the Bible does not present itself as a scientific or medical textbook, it is only reasonable that if God truly did inspire the books that compose the Bible, they would be completely accurate in every scientific or medical detail found among their pages. Furthermore, if the omniscient Ruler of the Universe actually did inspire these books, scientific and medical errors that fill the pages of other ancient, non-inspired texts should be entirely absent from the biblical record. Is the Bible infallible when it speaks about scientific fields of discipline, or does it contain the errors that one would expect to find in the writings of fallible men in ancient times?

That the first five books of the Old Testament are a product of Moses is a matter of historical record (Lyons and Staff, 2003). Furthermore, the story of Moses’ education among the Egyptian culture was well understood. In fact, even those Jews who did not convert to Christianity were so familiar with the historic fact that Moses was educated in “all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22), that Stephen’s statement to that effect went completely undisputed. Moses had been trained under the most advanced Egyptian educational system of his day. With such training, it would have been only natural for Moses to include some of the Egyptian “wisdom” in his writings if he were composing the Pentateuch by using his own prowess and mental faculties.

A look into the medical practices from ancient Egypt and those found in the Pentateuch, however, reveals that Moses did not necessarily rely on “wisdom” of the Egyptians (which, in many cases, consisted of life-threatening malpractice). While some medical practices in the Pentateuch are similar to those found in ancient Egyptian documents, the Pentateuch exhibits a conspicuous absence of those harmful malpractices that plague the writings of the Egyptians. Moses penned the most advanced, flawless medical prescriptions that had ever been recorded. Furthermore, every statement that pertained to the health and medical well-being of the Israelite nation recorded by Moses could theoretically still be implemented and be completely in accord with every fact modern medicine has learned in regard to germ spreading, epidemic disease control, communal sanitation, and a host of other medical and scientific discoveries.

It is the case that the ancient Egyptians were renowned in the ancient world for their progress in the field of medicine. Dr. Massengill noted that “Egypt was the medical center of the ancient world” (1943, p. 13). During the days of in the Medo-Persian Empire, the ancient historian Herodotus recorded that it was king Darius’ practice “to keep in attendance certain Egyptian doctors, who had a reputation for the highest eminence in their profession” (3.129). Thus, while the medical practices of the Bible could be equally compared to those of other ancient cultures and found to be flawlessly superior, comparing them to that of the eminent Egyptian culture should suffice to manifest the Bible’s supernatural superiority in the field.

It Will Cure You—If It Doesn’t Kill You First

Among the ancient documents that detail much of the Egyptian medicinal knowledge, the Ebers Papyrus ranks as one of the foremost sources. This papyrus was discovered in 1872 by a German Egyptologist named Georg Ebers (the name from which the papyrus acquired its moniker) (Ancient Egyptian…, 1930, p. 1). It consists of a host of medical remedies purported to heal, enhance, and prevent. “Altogether 811 prescriptions are set forth in the Papyrus, and they take the form of salves, plasters, and poultices; snuffs, inhalations, and gargles; draughts, confections, and pills; fumigations, suppositories, and enemata” (p. 15). Among the hundreds of prescriptions, disgusting treatments that caused much more harm than good can be found. For instance, under a section titled “What to do to draw out splinters in the flesh,” a remedy is prescribed consisting of worm blood, mole, and donkey dung” (p. 73). [Doctors S.I. McMillen and David Stern note that dung “is loaded with tetanus spores” and “a simple splinter often resulted in a gruesome death from lockjaw (2000, p. 10).] Remedies to help heal skin diseases included such prescriptions as: “A hog’s tooth, cat’s dung, dog’s dung, aau-of-samu-oil, berries-of-the-xet-plant, pound and apply as poultice” (Ancient Egyptian…, 1930, p. 92). Various other ingredients for the plethora of remedies concocted included “dried excrement of a child” (p. 98), “hog dung” (p. 115), and “a farmer’s urine” (p. 131). One recipe to prevent hair growth included lizard dung and the blood from a cow, donkey, pig, dog, and stag (p. 102). While it must be noted that some of the Egyptian medicine actually did include prescriptions and remedies that could be helpful, the harmful remedies and ingredients cast a sickening shadow of untrustworthiness over the entire Egyptian endeavor as viewed by the modern reader.

As medical doctor S.E. Massengill stated:

The early Egyptian physicians made considerable use of drugs. Their drugs were of the kind usually found in early civilizations; a few effective remedies lost in a mass of substances of purely superstitious origin. They used opium, squill, and other vegetable substances, but also excrement and urine. It is said that the urine of a faithful wife was with them effective in the treatment of sore eyes (1943, p. 15).

In addition, it seems that the Egyptians were among the first to present the idea of “good and laudable pus” (McMillen and Stern, 2000, p. 10). Due to the idea that infection was good and the pus that resulted from it was a welcomed effect, “well-meaning doctors killed millions by deliberately infecting their wounds” (p. 10). Needless to say, the modern-day reader would not want to be a patient in an ancient Egyptian clinic!

PRESCRIPTIONS IN THE PENTATEUCH

The first five books of the Old Testament, admittedly, are not devoted entirely to the enumeration of medical prescriptions. They are not ancient medical textbooks. These books do, however, contain numerous regulations for sanitation, quarantine, and other medical procedures that were to govern the daily lives of the Israelite nation. Missing entirely from the pages of these writings are the harmful remedies and ingredients prescribed by other ancient civilizations. In fact, the Pentateuch exhibits an understanding of germs and disease that much “modern” medicine did not grasp for 3,500 years after the books were written.

Blood: The Liquid of Life

Blood always has been a curious substance whose vast mysteries and capabilities have yet to be fully explored. Doctors in the twenty-first century transfuse it, draw it, separate it, package it, store it, ship it, and sell it. And, although modern-day scientists have not uncovered completely all of the wonders of blood, they have discovered that it is the key to life. Without this “liquid of life,” humans and animals would have no way to circulate the necessary oxygen and proteins that their bodies need in order to survive and reproduce. Hemoglobin found in the red blood cells carries oxygen to the brain, which in turn uses that oxygen to control the entire body. A brain without oxygen is like a car without gas or a computer without electricity. Blood makes all of the functions in the body possible.

In the past, ignorance of blood’s value caused some “learned” men to do tragic things. For instance, during the middle ages, and even until the nineteenth century, doctors believed that harmful “vapors” entered the blood and caused sickness. For this reason, leeches were applied to victims of fever and other illnesses in an attempt to draw out blood containing these vapors. Also, the veins and arteries located just above the elbow were opened, and the patient’s arms were bled to expunge the contaminated blood. George Washington, the first President of the United States, died because of such misplaced medical zeal. An eyewitness account of Washington’s death relates that he came down with a chill, and in an effort to cure him, those who attended him resorted to bleeding; “a vein was opened, but no relief afforded” (“The Death of George Washington,” 2001).

Thousands of years before the lethal practice of bloodletting was conceived, mankind had been informed by God that blood was indeed the key to life. In Leviticus 17:11, Moses wrote: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.”

Today, we understand completely the truthfulness of Moses’ statement that “the life of the flesh is in the blood.” But how did an ancient shepherd like Moses come to know such information? Just a lucky guess? How could Moses have known almost 3,500 years ago that life was in the blood, while it took the rest of the scientific and medical community thousands of years (and thousands of lives!) to grasp this truth? The Old Testament’s conspicuous failure to institute improper medical procedures as they related to blood speaks loudly of its medical accuracy.

Germs, Labor Fever, and Biblical Sanitation

In their book, None of These Diseases, physicians S.I. McMillen and David Stern discussed how many of the hygienic rules established by God for the children of Israel still are applicable today. To illustrate their point, they recounted the story of Ignaz Semmelweis.

In 1847, an obstetrician named Ignaz Semmelweis was the director of a hospital ward in Vienna, Austria. Many pregnant women checked into his ward, but 18% of them never checked out. One out of every six that received treatment in Semmelweis’ ward died of labor fever (Nuland, 2003, p. 31). Autopsies revealed pus under their skin, in their chest cavities, in their eye sockets, etc. Semmelweis was distraught over the mortality rate in his ward, and other hospital wards like it all over Europe. Nuland noted that Australia, the Americas, Britain, Ireland, and practically every other nation that had established a hospital suffered a similar mortality rate (2003, pp. 41-43). If a woman delivered a baby using a midwife, then the death fell to only about 3%. Yet if she chose to use the most advanced medical knowledge and facilities of the day, her chance of dying skyrocketed immensely!

Semmelweis tried everything to curb the carnage. He turned all the women on their sides in hopes that the death rate would drop, but with no results. He thought maybe the bell that the priest rang late in the evenings scared the women, so he made the priest enter silently, yet without any drop in death rates.

As he contemplated his dilemma, he watched young medical students perform their routine tasks. Each day the students would perform autopsies on the dead mothers. Then they would rinse their hands in a bowl of bloody water, wipe them off on a common, shared towel, and immediately begin internal examinations of the still-living women. Nuland commented concerning the practice: “Because there seemed no reason for them to wash their hands, except superficially, or change their clothing before coming to the First Division, they did neither” (2003, p. 100). As a twenty-first-century observer, one is appalled to think that such practices actually took place in institutes of what was at the time “modern technology.” What doctor in his right mind would touch a dead person and then perform examinations on living patients—without first employing some sort of minimal hygienic practices intended to kill germs? But to Europeans in the middle-nineteenth-century, germs were virtually a foreign concept. They never had seen a germ, much less been able to predict its destructive potential. According to many of their most prevalent theories, disease was caused by “atmospheric conditions” or “cosmic telluric influences.”

Semmelweis ordered everyone in his ward to wash his or her hands thoroughly in a chlorine solution after every examination. In three months, the death rate fell from 18% to 1%. Semmelweis had made an amazing discovery. On the inside cover-flap of the book about Semmelweis, written by medical doctor and historian Sherwin Nuland, the text reads:

Ignác Semmelweis is remembered for the now-commonplace notion that doctors must wash their hands before examining patients. In mid-nineteenth-century Vienna, this was a subversive idea. With deaths from childbed fever exploding, Semmelweis discovered that doctors themselves were spreading the disease (2003, inside cover flap).

Had Semmeliweis made a groundbreaking discovery, or is it possible that he simply “rediscovered” what had been known in some circles for many years? Almost 3,300 years before Semmelweis lived, Moses had written: “He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days. He shall purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean.” Germs were no new discovery in 1847; the biblical text recorded measures to check their spread as far back as approximately 1500 B.C.

The Water of Purification

Also germane to this discussion is the composition of the “water of purification” listed in Numbers 19. When Old Testament instructions are compared to the New Testament explanations for those actions, it becomes clear that some of the ancient injunctions were primarily symbolic in nature. For instance, when the Passover Lamb was eaten, none of its bones was to be broken. This symbolized the sacrifice of Christ, Whose side was pierced, yet even in death escaped the usual practice of having His legs broken (John 19:31-37).

With the presence of such symbolism in the Old Testament, it is important that we do not overlook the Old Testament instructions that were pragmatic in value and that testify to a Master Mind behind the writing of the Law. One such directive is found in Numbers 19, where the Israelites were instructed to prepare the “water of purification” that was to be used to wash any person who had touched a dead body.

At first glance, the water of purification sounds like a hodge-podge of superstitious potion-making that included the ashes of a red heifer, hyssop, cedar wood, and scarlet. But this formula was the farthest thing from a symbolic potion intended to “ward off evil spirits.” On the contrary, the recipe for the water of purification stands today as a wonderful example of the Bible’s brilliance, since the recipe is nothing less than a procedure to produce an antibacterial soap.

When we look at the ingredients individually, we begin to see the value of each. First, consider the ashes of a red heifer and cedar. As most school children know, the pioneers in this country could not go to the nearest supermarket and buy their favorite personal hygiene products. If they needed soap or shampoo, they made it themselves. Under such situations, they concocted various recipes for soap. One of the most oft’-produced types of soap was lye soap. Practically anyone today can easily obtain a recipe for lye soap via a quick search of the Internet (see “Soapmaking,” n.d.). The various lye-soap recipes reveal that, to obtain lye, water often is poured through ashes. The water retrieved from pouring it through the ashes contains a concentration of lye. Lye, in high concentrations, is very caustic and irritating to the skin. It is, in fact, one of the main ingredients in many modern chemical mixtures used to unclog drains. In more diluted concentrations, it can be used as an excellent exfoliant and cleansing agent. Many companies today still produce lye soaps. Amazingly, Moses instructed the Israelites to prepare a mixture that would have included lye mixed in a diluted solution.

Furthermore, consider that hyssop was also added to the “water of purification.” Hyssop contains the antiseptic thymol, the same ingredient that we find today in some brands of mouthwash (McMillen and Stern, 2000, p. 24). Hyssop oil continues to be a popular “healing oil,” and actually is quite expensive. In listing the benefits of hyssop, one Web site noted: “Once used for purifying temples and cleansing lepers, the leaves contain an antiseptic, antiviral oil. A mold that produces penicillin grows on the leaves. An infusion is taken as a sedative expectorant for flue, bronchitis, and phlegm” (see “Hyssop”).

Other ingredients in the “water of purification” also stand out as having beneficial properties. The oil from the cedar wood in the mixture most likely maintained numerous salutary properties. A Web site dealing with various essential oils noted: “Cedar wood has long been used for storage cabinets because of its ability to repel insects and prevent decay. In oil form, applied to humans, it is an antiseptic, astringent, expectorant (removes mucus from respiratory system), anti-fungal, sedative and insecticide” (“Spa Essential Oils,” 2005). Another site, more specifically dealing with the beneficial properties of cedar, explained:

Cedar leaves and twigs are in fact rich in vitamin C, and it was their effectiveness in preventing or treating scurvy that led to the tree’s being called arbor vitae or tree of life. In addition, recent research has shown that extracts prepared from either Thujaoccidentalis or Thuja plicata [types of oriental cedar—KB] do in fact have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. A group of German researchers reported in 2002 that an extract prepared from cedar leaf, alcohol, and water inhibits the reproduction of influenza virus type A, while a team of researchers in Japan found that an extract of Western red cedar was effective in treating eczema (Frey, n.d).

It is interesting to note that this information about the beneficial properties of the ingredients such as cedar, hyssop, and lye in the water of purification is not coming from Bible-based sources. Most of it is simply coming from studies that have been done through cosmetic and therapeutic research.

Finally, the Israelites were instructed to toss into the mix “scarlet,” which most likely was scarlet wool (see Hebrews 9:19). Adding wool fibers to the concoction would have made the mixture the “ancient equivalent of Lava® soap” (McMillen and Stern, 2000, p. 25).

Thousands of years before any formal studies were done to see what type of cleaning methods were the most effective; millennia before American pioneers concocted their lye solutions; and ages before our most advanced medical students knew a thing about germ theory, Moses instructed the Israelites to concoct an amazingly effective recipe for soap, that, if used properly in medical facilities like hospitals in Vienna, would literally have saved thousands of lives.

Quarantine

Moses detailed measures to prevent the spread of germs from dead bodies to living humans long before such was understood and prescribed in modern medicine. But the Old Testament record added another extremely beneficial practice to the field of medicine in its detailed descriptions of maladies for which living individuals should be quarantined. The book of Leviticus lists a plethora of diseases and ways in which an Israelite would come in contact with germs. Those with such diseases as leprosy were instructed to “dwell alone” “outside the camp” (Leviticus 13:46). If and when a diseased individual did get close to those who were not diseased, he was instructed to “cover his mustache, and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!” (13:45). It is of interest that the covering of ones mustache would prevent spit and spray from the mouth of the individual to pass freely through the air, much like the covering of one’s mouth during a cough.

Concerning such quarantine practices, S.E. Massengill wrote in his book A Sketch of Medicine and Pharmacy:

In the prevention of disease, however, the ancient Hebrews made real progress. The teachings of Moses, as embodied in the Priestly Code of the Old Testament, contain two clear conceptions of modern sanitation—the importance of cleanliness and the possibility of controlling epidemic disease by isolation and quarantine (1943, p. 252).

In regard to the understanding of contagion implied in the quarantine rules in the Old Testament, McGrew noted in the Encyclopedia of Medical History: “The idea of contagion was foreign to the classic medical tradition and found no place in the voluminous Hippocratic writings. The Old Testament, however, is a rich source for contagionist sentiment, especially in regard to leprosy and venereal disease” (1985, pp.77-78). Here again, the Old Testament exhibits amazingly accurate medical knowledge that surpasses any known human ingenuity available at the time of its writing.

LAWS OF FOOD CONSUMPTION

Food regulations enumerated in the first five books of the Old Testament have been scrutinized by credentialed professionals in the fields of dietary and pathological research. The regulations have proven to coincide with modern science’s understanding of various aspects of health and disease prevention.

In 1953, an extensive study, performed by David I. Macht and published in the Bulletin of the History of Medicine (a publication of the American Association of the History of Medicine and of The Johns Hopkins Institute of the History of Medicine), tested the toxicity of the meat of animals listed in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. Macht’s technique was to place a certain seedling (Lupinus albus) in fresh muscle juices of the various animals noted as clean and unclean in the biblical text. This method was used at the time to study the blood of normal human patients as compared to the blood of cancerous patients (1953, p. 444). Macht noted that his results revealed “data which are of considerable interest not only to the medical investigator but also to the students of ancient Biblical literature” (p. 445).

Some of his results were indeed of interest. For instance, he would take a control group of seedlings that grew in normal solutions and compare that group to seedlings placed in the various meat juices. He would then record the percent of seeds that grew in the meat juices as compared to those that grew under normal circumstances. For example, when placing the seedlings in meat juices from the Ox, the seeds grew 91% as often as they would if placed in a regular growing solution. Seeds in sheep juices grew 94% as often as those in the control group in regular solution. Seedlings in meat juice from a calf—82%; from a goat—90%; and from a deer 90%. Since these animals chew the cud and have a divided hoof, they were listed as clean in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14:

Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘These are the animals which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth: Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud—that you may eat’” (Leviticus 11:1-3).

When several unclean animals were studied, however, they showed significantly higher levels of toxicity and much lower levels of seedling growth. Seedlings in meat juice from pigs grew only 54% as often as the control group under normal growing conditions; rabbit—49%; camel—41%; and horse—39%. These results for larger mammals suggested that the biblical division between clean and unclean could have been related to the toxicity of the juices of such animals.

Macht did similar research on birds, in which he found that extracts from biblical clean birds such as the pigeon and quail grew his seedlings 93% and 89%, while those from unclean birds such as the Red-tail hawk (36%) and owl (62%) were much more toxic. As Moses said: “And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, the kite, and the falcon after its kind; every raven after its kind, the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind” (Leviticus 11:13-19). Other studies included several different kinds of fish. The biblical regulation for eating fish was that the Israelites could eat any fish that had fins and scales (Deuteronomy 14:9). Those water-living creatures that did not possess fins and scales were not to be eaten (14:10). In regard to his study on the toxicity of fish, Macht wrote:

Of special interest were experiments made with muscle juices and also blood solutions obtained from many species of fishes. Fifty-four species of fishes were so far studied in regard to toxicity of meat extracts. It was found that the muscle extracts of those fishes which possess scales and fins were practically non-toxic [Herring—100%; Pike—98%; Shad—100%—KB], while muscle extracts from fishes without scales and fins were highly toxic for the growth of Lupinus albus seedlings (pp. 446-448).

Macht’s study, even after more than five decades, continues to remain of great interest. His rigorous research led him to conclude:

The observations described above corroborate the impression repeatedly made on the author in investigations as a physician (M.D. Johns Hopkins, 1906), as an experimental biologist (Member of Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine), and as Doctor of Hebrew Literature (Yeshiva University, 1928) that all allusions of the Book of Books, to nature, natural phenomena, and natural history, whether in the form of factual statements or in the form of metaphors, similes, parables, allegories, or other tropes are correct either literally or figuratively…. Such being the extraordinary concordance between the data of the Scriptures and many of the modern and even most recent discoveries in both the biological and physico-chemical sciences, every serious student of the Bible will, I believe, endorse the assertion of Sir Isaac Newton, that “The Scriptures of God are the most sublime philosophy. I find more such marks of authenticity in the Bible than in profane history anywhere” (p. 449).

Some, however, have questioned Macht’s results. Prior research done by Macht in 1936 and 1949 produced discordant results from his research in 1953. But there are several compelling reasons for accepting Macht’s 1953 research. First, it could be the case that Macht’s 1953 research simply was more refined and the procedure better understood. As one would expect in the scientific field, research generally tends to improve with time. Second, Macht was a high-profile doctor with copious credentials. His research in 1936 and 1949 had been published and was easily accessible. Yet even though his previous research was available, the Johns Hopkins Institute considered it acceptable to publish his 1953 research, which would suggest that the 1953 research included additional methods and/or information that would override the earlier research. Third, Macht’s procedure as described in the 1953 paper was fairly simple and easily reproducible. But those who question the work have failed to produce experimental data after 1953 that would negate Macht’s study. If his 1953 procedures were fraught with error, a few simple experiments could be done to prove that. No such experimental data refuting Macht has been produced.

For these reasons, the findings of Dr. Macht aid in the defense of the Bible’s inspiration and remarkably accurate medical procedures as far back as the time of Moses. But the validity of Old Testament food consumption laws certainly does not rely solely on Macht’s 1953 research. Additional confirmation of the beneficial, protective nature of Mosaic food consumption laws is readily available.

Fins and Scales

As was previously mentioned, the Mosaic criteria for eating water-living creatures was that the creatures have scales and fins (Leviticus 11:12). This injunction was extremely beneficial, since a multitude of problems surround many sea creatures that do not have scales and fins.

The Blowfish

The blowfish has fins but does not have scales. Thus, it would not have been edible under the Old Testament laws—fortunately for the Israelites. The blowfish can contain toxin in its ovaries, liver, and other organs that is highly potent and deadly. This toxin, called tetrodotoxin, is thought to be “1250 times more deadly than cyanide” and 160,000 times more potent than cocaine. A tiny amount of it can kill 30 grown adults (Dilion, 2005). As odd as it sounds, blowfish is served as a delicacy all over the world, especially in Japan and other far eastern countries. As a delicacy, it is called fugu, and is prepared by certified, licensed chefs. The toxins can be removed successfully, making the food edible, but the procedure often goes awry. Some who have researched fugu say that it is a food connoisseur’s version of Russian roulette. Due to the extreme danger involved in eating fugu, it is illegal to serve it to the Emperor of Japan! The Mosaic instructions concerning edible fish would have helped the Israelites avoid the dangerous blowfish, as well as danger posed by eating other toxic sea creatures such as certain jelly fish, sea anemones, and octopi.

Shellfish

Although shellfish are edible today, there are inherent dangers in eating ill-prepared types such as oysters. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has produced a twelve-page tract warning people about the dangers of eating raw or partially cooked oysters (“Carlos’ Tragic…,” 2003). In the tract, the FDA warns that some raw oysters contain the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus. In regard to this dangerous bacteria, the tract states:

Oysters are sometimes contaminated with the naturally occurring bacteria Vibriovulnificus. Oysters contaminated with Vibriovulnificus can’t be detected by smell or sight; they look like other oysters. Eating raw oysters containing Vibrio vulnificus is very dangerous for those with pre-existing medical conditions such as liver disease, diabetes, hepatitis, cancer and HIV…. 50 percent of people who are infected with Vibrio vulnificus as a result of eating raw contaminated oysters die (2003).

Eating oysters if they are not cooked properly can be potentially fatal, says the FDA. Thus, the wisdom of the Mosaic prohibition is evident to an honest observer. In a time when proper handling and preparation procedures were difficult to achieve, the best course of action simply would have been to avoid the risk of eating potentially contaminated foods, especially since the contamination cannot be detected by smell or sight.

Reptiles and Salmonella

In Leviticus 11, Moses included reptiles in the list of unclean animals. Obviously, they are not cud-chewers that walk on cloven hooves, so they would not classify as clean, edible animals according to Leviticus 11:3. But to make sure that the Israelites understood, Moses specifically mentioned reptiles such as the large lizard, gecko, monitor lizard, sand reptile, sand lizard, and chameleon (Leviticus 11:29-31). Immediately following this listing of reptiles, the text states: “Whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until evening” (11:31).

Interestingly, reptiles have a much higher rate of carrying Salmonella bacteria than do most mammals, especially those listed as clean in the Old Law. The Center for Disease Control has repeatedly warned people about the possibility of being infected with Salmonella passed through reptiles. In summarizing the CDC’s 2003 report, Lianne McLeod noted that the CDC estimates over 70,000 cases of human Salmonella infection a year are related to the handling of reptiles and amphibians (2007). The CDC recommends that homes with children under five should not have reptiles as pets. Furthermore, while other animals such as cats and dogs can pass Salmonella, McLeod noted:

As high as 90% of reptiles are natural carriers of Salmonella bacteria, harboring strains specific to reptiles without any symptoms of disease in the reptile. While it is true that many pets can carry Salmonella, the problem with reptiles (and apparently amphibians) is that they carry Salmonellawith such high frequency. It is prudent to assume that all reptiles and amphibians can be a potential source of Salmonella (2007, emp. added).

In light of such evidence, the prudence of the Mosaic prohibition to eat or handle reptile carcasses is clearly evident.

Of further interest is the fact that reptilian Salmonella contamination can occur without even touching a reptile. If a person touches something that has touched a reptile the bacteria can spread. The ARAV (Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians) made this statement: “Salmonella bacteria are easily spread from reptiles to humans. Humans may become infected when they place their hands on objects, including food items, that have been in contact with the stool of reptiles, in their mouths” (“Salmonella Bacteria…,” 2007).

When this statement by the ARAV is compared with the injunctions in Leviticus 11:32-47, the astounding accuracy of the Old Testament regulation is again confirmed.

Anything on which any of them falls, when they are dead shall be unclean, whether it is any item of wood or clothing or skin or sack, whatever item it is, in which any work is done, it must be put in water. And it shall be unclean until evening; then it shall be clean. Any earthen vessel into which any of them falls you shall break; and whatever is in it shall be unclean: in such a vessel, any edible food upon which water falls becomes unclean, and any drink that may be drunk from it becomes unclean (Leviticus 11:32-34).

After reading Leviticus 11:32-34, it seems as though a microbiologist was present with Moses to explain the perfect procedures to avoid spreading Salmonella and other bacteria from reptiles to humans. How could Moses have accurately laid down such precise regulations that belie a superior understanding of bacteria? An honest reader must conclude that he had divine assistance.

Bats and Rabies

Moses specifically forbade the Israelites to eat bats (Leviticus 11:19). The wisdom of this instruction is demonstrated by the fact that bats often carry rabies. While it is true that many animals are susceptible to rabies, bats are especially so. The American College of Emergency Physicians documented that between 1992 and 2002, rabies passed from bats caused 24 of the 26 human deaths from rabies in the United States (“Human Rabies…,” 2002). In the Science Daily article describing this research, “Robert V. Gibbons, MD, MPH, of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, MD, reviewed the 24 cases of humans with bat rabies.” From his research, he advised “the public to seek emergency care for preventive treatment for rabies if direct contact with a bat occurs” (“Human Rabies…,” 2002). Moses’ instruction to avoid bats coincides perfectly with modern research. Once again, the super-human wisdom imparted through Moses by God cannot be denied by the conscientious student of the Old Testament. As the eminent archaeologist, W.F. Albright, in comparing the list of clean and unclean animals detailed in the Pentateuch, noted that in other ancient civilizations, “we find no classifications as logical as this in any of the elaborate cuneiform list of fauna or ritual taboos” (1968, p. 180).

Case in Point: Pork Consumption

One of the most well-known Old Testament food regulations is the prohibition of pork consumption (Leviticus 11:7). Under close scrutiny, this prohibition exemplifies the value of the biblical laws regarding clean and unclean animals. During the days of Moses, proper food preparation and cooking conditions did not always exist. In fact, the general knowledge of the need to separate certain uncooked foods, especially meats, during preparation from other foods was virtually non-existent. Certain meats, if contacted raw or under-cooked, have greater potential to carry parasites and other harmful bacteria that can infect the end consumer (in this case, humans).

Due to the fact that pigs are scavengers, and will eat practically anything, they often consume parasites and bacteria when they eat the carcasses of other dead animals. These parasites and bacteria can, and often do, take up residence in the pigs’ muscle tissue. Fully cooking the meat can kill these harmful organisms, but failure to cook the meat completely can cause numerous detrimental effects. R.K. Harrison listed several diseases or other health maladies that can occur due to the ingestion of improperly cooked pork. He noted that pigs often are the host of the tapeworm Taenia solium. Infection by this parasite can cause small tumors to arise throughout the body, including on the skin, eyes, and muscles. Furthermore, these tumors can affect the brain and cause epileptic convulsions. Additionally, humans can develop trichaniasis (trichinosis) infestation from eating undercooked, as well as tape worm known as Echiococcus granulosusfrom water polluted by pigs. Further, pigs can pass on the microorganisms that cause toxoplamosis, a disease affecting the nervous system (Harrison, 1982, p. 644).

Due to a much more exhaustive body of knowledge concerning parasites and pathogens, modern readers are increasingly attune to the dangers of consuming raw or undercooked pork. In fact, most pork bought in grocery stores contains nitrates and nitrites that have been injected into the meat to hinder the growth of harmful microorganisms. But Moses and the Israelites did not have access to such modern knowledge. How is it that the food regulations recorded by Moses over 3,000 years ago contain such an accurate understanding of disease control? Albright noted along these lines, “thanks to the dietary and hygienic regulations of Mosaic law…subsequent history has been marked by a tremendous advantage in this respect held by Jews over all other comparable ethnic and religious groups” (1968, p. 181).

Circumcision

In the book of Genesis, the text relates that God chose Abraham and his descendants to be a “special” people who were set apart from all other nations. The covenant that God made with Abraham included a physical “sign” that was to be implemented in all future generations of Abraham’s descendants. According to the text, God said:

He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant (Genesis 17:12-14).

Thus, the covenant with Abraham and his offspring was to be indelibly marked in the flesh of every male child.

The inclusion of this medical, surgical practice provides another excellent example of the medical acumen of the biblical text. Two significant aspects of biblical circumcision need to be noted. First, from what modern medicine has been able to gather, circumcision can lessen the chances of getting certain diseases and infections. Pediatrician, Dorothy Greenbaum noted in regard to the health benefits of circumcision: “Medically, circumcision is healthful because it substantially reduces the incidence of urinary tract infection in boys, especially those under one year of age. Some studies cited in the pediatric policy statement report 10 to 20 times more urinary tract infection in uncircumcised compared with circumcised boys.” She further noted that sexually transmitted diseases are passed more readily among men who have not been circumcised (2006). In addition, circumcision virtually eliminates the chance of penile cancer. In an article titled “Benefits of Circumcision,” the text stated: “Neonatal circumcision virtually abolishes the risk [of penile cancer—KB]” and “penile cancer occurs almost entirely in uncircumcised men” (Morris, 2006). [NOTE: Morris’ work is of particular interest due to the fact that it has an evolutionary bias and was in no way written to buttress belief in the biblical record.]

Not only can a litany of health benefits be amassed to encourage the practice of infant circumcision, but the day on which the biblical record commands the practice to be implemented is of extreme importance as well. The encyclopedic work Holt Pediatrics remains today one of the most influential works ever written about child care, pediatric disease, and other health concerns as they relate to children. First written in 1896 by L. Emmet Holt, Jr. and going through several revisions until the year 1953, the nearly 1,500-page work is a master compilation of the “modern” medicine of its day. One section, starting on page 125 of the twelfth edition, is titled “Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn.” The information included in the section details the occurrence of occasional spontaneous bleeding among newborns that can sometimes cause severe damage to major organs such as the brain, and even death. In the discussion pertaining to the reasons for such bleeding, the authors note that the excessive bleeding is primarily caused by a decreased level of prothrombin, which in turn is caused by insufficient levels of vitamin K. The text also notes that children’s susceptibility is “peculiar” (meaning “higher”) “between the second and fifth days of life” (1953, p. 126).

In chart form, Holt Pediatrics illustrates that the percent of available prothrombin in a newborn dips from about 90% of normal on its day of birth to about 35% on its third day of life outside the womb. After the third day, the available prothrombin begins to climb. By the eighth day of the child’s life, the available prothrombin level is approximately 110% of normal, about 20% higher than it was on the first day, and about 10% more than it will be during of the child’s life. Such data prove that the eighth day is the perfect day on which to perform a major surgery such as circumcision.

How did Moses know such detailed data about newborn hemorrhaging? Some have suggested that the early Hebrews carried out extensive observations on newborns to determine the perfect day for surgery. But such an idea has little merit. McMillen and Stern noted:

Modern medical textbooks sometimes suggest that the Hebrews conducted careful observations of bleeding tendencies. Yet what is the evidence? Severe bleeding occurs at most in only 1 out of 200 babies. Determining the safest day for circumcision would have required careful experiments, observing thousands of circumcisions. Could Abraham (a primitive, desert-dwelling nomad) have done that (2000, p. 84)?

In fact, such amazing medical accuracy cannot be accounted for on the basis of human ingenuity in the ancient world. If circumcision was the only example of such accuracy, and the Hebrew writings were laced with incorrect, detrimental medical prescriptions, such an explanation might be plausible. But the fact that the entire Old Testament contains medical practices that would still be useful in third world countries, without a hint of error in regard to a single prescription; divine oversight remains the only reasonable answer.

CONCLUSION

In reality, entire books could be written on the Old Testament’s amazing medical accuracy. Medical doctors McMillen and Stern have done just that in their extremely interesting volume None of These Diseases. Many physicians who have compared Moses’ medical instructions to effective modern methods have come to realize the astonishing value and insight of the Old Testament text. As Dr. Macht once wrote: “Every word in the Hebrew Scriptures is well chosen and carries valuable knowledge and deep significance” (Macht, 1953, p. 450). Such is certainly the case in regard to the medical practices listed in its pages. Indeed, the accurate medical practices prescribed thousands of years before their significance was completely understood provide excellent evidence for the divine inspiration of the Bible.

REFERENCES

Albright, W.F. (1968), Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan (Garden City, NY: Doubleday).

Bryan, Cyril (1930), Ancient Egyptian Medicine:The Papyrus Ebers (Chicago, IL: Ares Publishers).

“Carlos’ Tragic and Mysterious Illness: How Carlos Almost Died by Eating Contaminated Raw Oysters” (2003), U.S. Food and Drug Administration, [On-line], URL: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~acrobat/vvfoto.pdf.

Collins, Anne (2002), “What is Saturated Fat?” [On-line], URL: http://www.annecollins.com/dieting/saturated-fat.htm.

“The Death of George Washington, 1799,” (2001), EyeWitness to History, [On-line], URL: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/washington.htm.

Dilion, Denise (2005), “Fugu: The Deadly Delicacy,” Welcome Magazine, [On-line], URL: http://www.welcome-moldova.com/articles/fugu.shtml.

Frey, Rebecca J. (no date), “Thuja,” [On-line], URL: http://health.enotes.com/alternative-medicine-encyclopedia/thuja.

Greenbaum, Dorothy (2006), “Say ‘Yes’ to Circumcision,” [On-line], URL: http://www.beliefnet.com/story/8/story_813_1.html.

Harrison, R.K. (1982), “Heal,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), revised edition.

Herodotus, (1972 reprint), The Histories, trans. Aubrey De Sẻlincourt (London: Penguin).

“Historical Chronology of Significant Medical and Sanitary Engineering Discoveries” (no date), from Gerald Friedland and Meyer Friedman (1998), Medicine’s Ten Greatest Discoveries (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press), [On-line], URL: http://bridge.ecn.purdue.edu/~piwc/w3-history/discoveries/med-env-eng-discoveries.html.

Holt, L.E. and R. McIntosh (1953), Holt Pediatrics(New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts), twelfth edition.

“Human Rabies Often Caused by Undetected, Tiny Bat Bites” (2002), Science Daily, [On-line], URL: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020506074445.htm.

“Hyssop” (no date), [On-line], URL: http://www.taoherbfarm.com/herbs/herbs/hyssop.htm.

Lyons, Eric and A.P. Staff (2003), “Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch—Tried and True” Reason & Revelation, 23:1-7, January.

Macht, David I. (1953), “An Experimental Pharmacological Appreciation of Leviticus XI and Deuteronomy XIV,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 27[5]:444-450, September-October.

Massengill, S.E. (1943), A Sketch of Medicine and Pharmacy (Bristol, TN: S.E. Massengill).

McGrew, Roderick (1985), Encyclopedia of Medical History (London: Macmillan).

McLeod, Lianne (2007), “Salmonella and Reptiles,” [On-line], URL: http://exoticpets.about.com/cs/reptiles/a/reptsalmonella.htm.

McMillen, S.I. and David Stern (2000), None of These Diseases (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell), third edition.

Morris, Brian (2006), “Benefits of Circumcision,” [On-line], URL: http://www.circinfo.net/#why.

“New Dietary Guidelines from the American Heart Association,” (2000), [On-line], URL: http://healthlink.mcw.edu/article/972602194.html.

Nuland, Sherwin B. (2003), The Doctor’s Plague(New York, NY: Atlas Books).

“Salmonella Bacteria and Reptiles” (2007), ARAV, [On-line], URL: http://www.arav.org/SalmonellaOwner.htm.

“Soapmaking” (no date), [On-line], URL: http://www.itdg.org/docs/technical_information_service/ soapmaking.pdf.

“Spa Essential Oils” (2005), [On-line], URL: http://www.mysticthai.com/spa/essential_oil.asp.

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

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Richard Dawkins and Ricky Gervais

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Francis Schaeffer below:

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Richard Dawkins vs John Lennox | The God Delusion Debate

Ben Stein vs. Richard Dawkins Interview


XXXX Peter Singer – The Genius of Darwin: The Uncut Interviews – Richard Dawkins

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Science Confirms the Bible with Ken Ham

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Schaeffer with his wife Edith in Switzerland.


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Richard Dawkins and John Lennox

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Francis and Edith Schaeffer seen below:

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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:

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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

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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Dark History of Evolution-Henry Morris, Ph.D.

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Featured artist is Mark Rothko

Rothko, Mark – by Nigel Halliday

Mark Rothko

Tate Modern, September 2008 – February 2009by Nigel Halliday  It is difficult to see these monumental, brooding images without being conscious that they are the product of a large, brooding personality who at the end of the decade would take his own life. And perhaps we should not try to see them in any other way. Walking through this exhibition, you know you are in the presence of something very serious: a profound pondering of the meaning of being and the enticements of not-being. Rothko described his works as being amenable to both sacred and profane readings: they seem to meditate on the mystery of human existence, but offer no metaphysical way out.   Monolithic forms hang in space. They are abstract shapes, so cannot be identified with specific objects in the physical world. And even their identity as forms is deliberately blurred by their rough edges, and they are often painted in a colour so close to the background that it is difficult to distinguish one from another. This is true of the red-on-maroon paintings of the late 1950s, and even more the wonderfully sombre black paintings of 1964.   The story at the heart of this exhibition is Rothko’s commission in 1958 for a series of paintings to decorate the Four Seasons restaurant on the ground-floor of the Seagram Building, New York’s latest modernist icon designed by Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson. The following year, however, before the paintings had been installed, he and his wife visited the restaurant and were appalled by its gaudiness. Rothko promptly withdrew from the commission and repaid the advance.   He had already created more than thirty paintings in the series, although the restaurant needed less than ten. These have never been exhibited together, although nine were given to the Tate shortly before the artist’s death and have hung together ever since in the Rothko Room. More have been added from across the world for this show, as well as examples of subsequent series of paintings that he produced.   It is easy to mock Rothko’s work, as if it is simple in its simplicity. But as parts of this exhibition helpfully demonstrate, the works are carefully planned in miniature, and are then built up in layers of mixed media. When you look at them close up, you can how one layer will bleed out under another, how rough the brushstrokes sometimes are, how splashy the paint.   Looking at the works in the subdued, but sadly reflective, lighting of the Tate, you can easily see how inappropriate they would be to a bustling New York restaurant, dedicated to the passing pleasures of the palate and social gossip. A room of Rothkos is quiet and meditative, partly because there is not much in them to talk about, but also because the images seem to direct you towards the silence of nothingness. The indistinctness of the separation between form and background seems to question the very idea of individuation: why do things exist separately from one another?   As with Kandinsky and Mondrian, you don’t have to agree with the theory and worldview to recognise that here are beautiful but weighty meditations on life and meaning. But to me this exhibition highlighted the deep significance of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Rothko seems to seek the essence of reality, and the answer to the questions of being, in an undifferentiated oneness, or the nothingness of Nirvana. But the Christian gospel celebrates individuation. In the Trinity, we know that at the heart of reality is plurality: not one person divided into three, but three persons, eternally distinct. In the same way, creation is marked by a series of separations, light from dark, water from land, one species from another species, which God calls ‘good’. Without separation, there is no existence, or at least no self-consciousness. And according to the Creator, individuality and the multiplicity of created things is intrinsically good.   But with the suffering of the world in rebellion against its Creator, we cannot but ache with pity for those who sense the enticements of not-being, grieve with Rothko as he pours out his wordless yearnings on these canvases, and feel the weight of the world in these beautiful, weighty abstract images.   Published in Third Waywww.nigelhalliday.org/rothko-at-tate-modern-2009

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Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

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This is the fourth part of the letter to Richard Dawkins, but the third part was posted last week on my blog.

The 5 Conclusions of Humanism according to King Solomon of Israel in the Book of Ecclesiastes!!!!!

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The Humanistic world view tells us there is no afterlife and all we have is this life “under the sun.” 

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SECTION 3 A Study in the Book of Ecclesiastes done by Francis Schaeffer (Christian Philosopher). Solomon limits himself to “under the sun” – In other words the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death. It is indeed the book of modern man. Solomon is the universal man with unlimited resources who says let us see where I go. Ravi Zacharias 

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“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 us (Matter)”

1st Conclusion: Nothing in life truly satisfies and that includes wisdom, great works and pleasure. A) Will wisdom satisfy someone under the sun? We know it is good in its proper place. Take a look at this quote by Mike Malone: “Knowing God is the deepest longing of the human heart. It is knowledge so high and lofty that it transcends language, which can never exhaust the glorious reality of God. The wise man would take you by the hand and lead you to the fountain, where you may drink to your heart’s content, never tasting enough, yet never failing to be satisfied.” But what did Solomon find out about wisdom “under the sun”? Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 (Living Bible): I said to myself, ‘Look, I am better educated than any of the kings before me in Jerusalem. I have greater wisdom and knowledge.’So I worked hard to be wise instead of foolish[c]—but now I realize that even this was like chasing the wind. For the more my wisdom, the more my grief; to increase knowledge only increases distress.”

B) Do great works of men bring satisfaction?Ecclesiastes 2:4-6, 18-20: Then I tried to find fulfillment by inaugurating a great public works program: homes, vineyards, gardens, parks, and orchards for myself, and reservoirs to hold the water to irrigate my plantations.And I am disgusted about this—that I must leave the fruits of all my hard work to others. 19 And who can tell whether my son will be a wise man or a fool? And yet all I have will be given to him—how discouraging!So I turned in despair from hard work as the answer to my search for satisfaction.C) Does pleasure give lasting satisfaction?

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KJV and Living Bible Ecclesiastes 2:1-3, 8, 10, 11: I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly,And then there were my many beautiful concubines.10 Anything I wanted I took and did not restrain myself from any joy…11 But as I looked at everything I had tried, it was all so useless, a chasing of the wind, and there was nothing really worthwhile anywhere…
2nd Conclusion: Power reigns in this life and the scales are not balanced!!!!!Ecclesiastes 4:1 (King James Version): So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
Ecclesiastes 7:15 (King James Version) All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.If you are a humanist you must admit that men like Hitler will not be punished in the afterlife because you deny there is an afterlife? Right?

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3rd Conclusion – Death is the great equalizer. Just as the beasts will not be remembered so ultimately brilliant men will not be remembered. Ecclesiastes 3:20 “All go unto one place; All are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” Here Solomon comes to the same point that Kerry Livgren came to in January of 1978 when he wrote the hit song DUST IN THE WIND. Can you refute the nihilistic claims of this song within the humanistic world view? Solomon couldn’t but maybe you can.

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4th Conclusion – Chance and time plus matter (us) has determined the past and it will determine the future.By the way, what are the ingredients that make evolution work? George Wald – “Time is the Hero.”

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 Jacques Monod – “Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, is at the root of the stupendous edifice of evolution.” 

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 I can not think of a better illustration of this in action than the movie ON THE BEACH by Nevil Shute. On May 4, 1994 I watched the movie for the first time and again I thought of the humanist who believes that history is not heading somewhere with a purpose but is guided by pure chance, absolutely free but blind. I thought of the passage Ecclesiastes 9:10-12 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.

5th Conclusion – Life is just a series ofcontinual and unending cycles and man is stuck in the middle of the cycle. Youth, old age, Death.
Does Solomon at this point embrace nihilism? Yes!!! He exclaims that the hates life (Ecclesiastes 2:17), he longs for death (4:2-3) Yet he stills has a fear of death (2:14-16). How do you want your life to go the next million years? The humanist world view has no answer (see H. J. Blackham earlier quote). Ecclesiastes2:15-16: 15 Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.16 For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.(Also refer to the lyrics of the song DUST IN THE WIND by the group KANSAS).Can you refute any of the conclusions of Solomon? Will you ridicule this material. In 1988 in the September-October of the HUMANIST MAGAZINE a 3 page article was devoted to cutting Schaeffer down to size, but even in that article which was called FRANCIS SCHAEFFER: A LOOK AT ONE OF THE FOREMOST FIGURES IN THE CRUSADE AGAINST HUMANISM the writer gave Schaeffer his due by saying “Schaeffer’s books are not the typical hodge-podge of newspaper headlines and obscure  Biblical prophecies, as in Hal Lindsey’s books. Schaeffer demonstrates a familiarity with the major theologians and some understanding of philosophy, art and literature. His books are clearly in a different league from the typical evangelical Christian reading matter…:” Why did I write about the meaning of life in this letter addressed to you?????? The answer is very simple: You have a spiritual need that must be met, and only Christ can meet it!!!! In the introduction of the book A SHATTERED VISAGE, Ravi Zacharias said this “The most telling aspect of the afternoon I spoke to a group of scientists at the Bell Lab in Holmdel, NJ was the nature of the questions that were raised following the address. None had to do with the technical or scientific expertise that the audience represented. They all had to do with the heart searching questions of men and women in pursuit of meaning of life. I have found these same questions asked time and time again in a variety of settings. After the intellectual that comes to the fore.” Ecclesiastes 3:11b “God has planted eternity in the hearts of men.” 

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Charles Spurgeon “The soul is insatiable till it finds the savoir.”I want to finish with a prediction: There is coming a time in your life that the most important thing to you will be to get your prayer answered by God. When I was ridden in a hospital many years ago I was told that I may not live. My thoughts turned to spiritual things. Does it take a tragic situation for you to wake up? I will pray that you see the humanistic worldview for what it is, and that you would honestly pursue the Bible. Thank you for your time 

Finally I have enclosed a copy of my letter published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Newspaper on April 22, 1994:

A BANKRUPT WORLDVIEW

Brian Bolton, the ordained humanist minister, asserted that humanism deserves out respect in his March 27 article. Does it really?

Humanism is the belief that we are limited to human life standing alone between birth and death. There is no belief in God and the afterlife. Three thousand years ago, Solomon took a look at this humanistic world view in the Book of Ecclesiastes when he limited himself to examining life “under the sun.”

Humanists will tell you that the world evolved, and just as time and chance have determined the human race’s past, it will also determine the human race’s future. Ecclesiastes says, “I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

Solomon saw that the humanistic world view was bankrupt because without God in the picture man’s future was left up to time and chance.

When I play with my two children, they constantly are saying, “Daddy, watch me!” Their hearts long for my personal attention just as my heart longs for a daily personal relationship with a God who cares about me.

Why respect a religion like humanism that hands your future over to time and chance instead of a God who created you for a purpose? Humanism tells you that you are just a face in the crowd, and 1 million years from now it will be as though you never existed. Is Bolton a naive humanist who has avoided this conclusion?

Everette Hatcher III

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On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

Image result for harry kroto richard dawkins

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, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert DreyfusBart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. HänschBrian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesSteve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry KrotoGeorge LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver SacksJohn SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de SousaVictor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard SusskindRaymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander VilenkinSir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the second video below in the 67th clip in this series are Richard Dawkins’ words that Harry Kroto wanted me to see. Since then I have read several of Richard Dawkins books and have attempted to respond to the contents of these books directly to Richard Dawkins by mail. In fact, I have been writing Richard Dawkins letters since May 15, 1994 which was the 10th anniversary of the passing of one of my heroes, Francis Schaeffer. Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time responding to many of Richard Dawkins’ heroes such as Carl Sagan, Jacques Monod, H.J. Blackham, Isaac Newton, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Max Planck, Johann Sebastian Bach, Francis Bacon, Samuel Beckett, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday, Gerald Horton, Edmund Leach, Louis Pasteur, George Wald, Jacob Bronowski, Steven Weinberg, Charles Darwin, Paul Kurtz, Peter Singer, Jonathan Miller, William B. Provine, Woody Allen, Noam Chomsky, James D. Watson, Francis Crick, Michael Polanyi, The Huxley family, Antony Flew, and Edward O. Wilson (Dawkins has since revised his opinion of Flew and Wilson, but he earlier regarded them very highly). 

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Francis Schaeffer 1911-1984

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Both Francis Schaeffer and Richard Dawkins have talked extensively about the life of Charles Darwin.

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Sir Harry Kroto with his high school friend Sir Ian McKellan at the FSU National High Field Magnetic Lab on Tuesday, October 27, 2009.

Image result for harry kroto richard dawkins

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

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Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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Edit Post ‹ The Daily Hatch — WordPress

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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Richard Dawkins Photos Photos – Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication – Zimbio

Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication

Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication In This Photo: Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Brian May, Harold Kroto, Alexi Leonov, Garik Israelian

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

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

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Bart Ehrman “Why should one think that God performed the miracle of inspiring the words in the first place if He didn’t perform the miracle of preserving the words?”

September 2, 2015 – 8:42 am

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“Music Monday” BEATLES, BREAKING DOWN THE SONG “BECAUSE” (Featured artist is Abraham Cruzvillegas)

____ John Lennon sings the lead on BECAUSE

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It is intriguing to me to compare Francis Schaeffer’s comments on Ecclesiastes chapter one to this song “Because,” and the comments in the song about the observations of the earth, sky and the wind. Schaeffer talks a lot about these following words of Solomon from Ecclesiastes:

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.

All things are full of weariness;
    a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done,
    and there is nothing new under the sun.

[Verse 1]
Because the world is round it turns me on
Because the world is round

[Verse 2]
Because the wind is high it blows my mind
Because the wind is high

[Bridge]
Love is old, love is new
Love is all, love is you

[Verse 3]
Because the sky is blue, it makes me cry
Because the sky is blue

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Francis Schaeffer said concerning Solomon:

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Solomon is the author of Ecclesiastes and he is truly an universal man like Leonardo da Vinci.

Two men of the Renaissance stand above all others – Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci and it is in them that one can perhaps grasp a view of the ultimate conclusion of humanism for man. Michelangelo was unequaled as a sculptor in the Renaissance and arguably no one has ever matched his talents.

(Leonardo da Vinci below)

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(Michelangelo’s David seen below)

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The other giant of the Renaissance period was Leonardo da Vinci – the perfect Renaissance Man, the man who could do almost anything and does it better than most anyone else. As an inventor, an engineer, an anatomist, an architect, an artist, a chemist, a mathematician, he was almost without equal. It was perhaps his mathematics that lead da Vinci to come to his understanding of the ultimate meaning of Humanism. Leonardo is generally accepted as the first modern mathematician. He not only knew mathematics abstractly but applied it in his Notebooks to all manner of engineering problems. He was one of the unique geniuses of history, and in his brilliance he perceived that beginning humanistically with mathematics one only had particulars. He understood that man beginning from himself would never be able to come to meaning on the basis of mathematics. And he knew that having only individual things, particulars, one never could come to universals or meaning and thus one only ends with mechanics. In this he saw ahead to where our generation has come: everything, including man, is the machine.

Leonardo da Vinci compares well to Solomon and they  both were universal men searching for the meaning in life. Solomon was searching for a meaning in the midst of the details of life. His struggle was to find the meaning of life. Not just plans in life. Anybody can find plans in life. A child can fill up his time with plans of building tomorrow’s sand castle when today’s has been washed away. There is  a difference between finding plans in life and purpose in life. Humanism since the Renaissance and onward has never found it and it has never found it since. Modern man has not found it and it has always got worse and darker in a very real way.

We have here the declaration of Solomon’s universality:

1 Kings 4:30-34

English Standard Version (ESV)

30 so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. 34 And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.

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Here is the universal man and his genius. Solomon is the universal man with a empire at his disposal. Solomon had it all.

Ecclesiastes 1:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?

 

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.” 

Man is caught in the cycle XXXXXXXXX

Ecclesiastes 1:1-7

English Standard Version (ESV)

All Is Vanity

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.

All things are full of weariness;
    a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done,
    and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
It has been already
    in the ages before us.

_____________

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.

Ecclesiastes 1:4

English Standard Version (ESV)

A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth remains forever.

___________________

Ecclesiastes 4:16

English Standard Version (ESV)

16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

__________________________

In verses 1:4 and 4:16 Solomon places man in the cycle. He doesn’t place man outside of the cycle. Man doesn’t escape the cycle. Man is only cycle. Birth and death and youth and old age. With this in mind Solomon makes this statement.

Ecclesiastes 6:12

12 For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?

____________________

There is no doubt in my mind that Solomon had the same experience in his life that I had as a younger man. 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 and I felt as man as God. 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.

THIS IS SOLOMON’S FEELING TOO. The universal man, Solomon, beyond our intelligence with an empire at his disposal with the opportunity of observation so he could recite these words here in Ecclesiastes 6:12, “For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?”

Because (Beatles song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Because”
Song by the Beatles from the album Abbey Road
Released 26 September 1969
Recorded 1–5 August 1969,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Psychedelic rock, progressive rock
Length 2:45
Label Apple Records
Writer Lennon–McCartney
Producer George Martin
Music sample
0:00

Because” is a song written by John Lennon[1] (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and recorded by the Beatles in 1969. It features a prominent three-part vocal harmony by Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, overdubbed twice to make nine voices in all. It first appeared on Abbey Road (1969), immediately preceding the extended medley on side two of the record.

Composition[edit]

An electric harpsichord similar to the one used for “Because”

The song begins with a distinctive electric harpsichord intro played by producer George Martin. The harpsichord is joined by Lennon’s guitar (mimicking the harpsichord line) played through aLeslie speaker. Then vocals and bass guitar enter.

“Because” was one of few Beatles recordings to feature a Moog synthesiser, played by George Harrison. It appears in what Alan Pollack refers to as the “mini-bridge”,[2] and then again at the end of the song.

According to Lennon, the song’s close musical resemblance to the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven‘s Moonlight Sonata was no coincidence: “Yoko was playing Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ on the piano … I said, ‘Can you play those chords backwards?’, and wrote ‘Because’ around them. The lyrics speak for themselves … No imagery, no obscure references.”[1][3]

Musical structure[edit]

With regard to the controversy Lennon initiated by citing Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” as an inspiration, musicologist Walter Everett notes that “both arpeggiate triads and seventh chords inC♯ minor in the baritone range of a keyboard instrument at a slow tempo, move through the submediant to ♭II and approach vii dim7/IV via a common tone.”[4] But while acknowledging the unusual shared harmonies, Dominic Pedler notes that the relationship is not the result of reversing the order of the chords as Lennon suggested.[5]

“Because” concludes with a vocal fade-out on D dim, which keeps listeners in suspense as they wait for the return to the home key of C♯ minor. Mellers states that: “causality is released and there is no before and no after: becausethat flat supertonic is a moment of revelation, it needs no resolution.”[6] The D dim chord (and its accompanying melodic F♮) lingers until they resolve into the opening Am7 chord of “You Never Give Me Your Money“.

Recording[edit]

George Martin on “Because”:[7]

Between us, we also created a backing track with John playing a riff on guitar, me duplicating every note on an electronic harpsichord, and Paul playing bass. Each note between the guitar and harpsichord had to be exactly together, and as I’m not the world’s greatest player in terms of timing, I would make more mistakes than John did, so we had Ringo playing a regular beat on hi-hat to us through our headphones.

The main recording session for “Because” was on 1 August 1969, with vocal overdubs on 4 August, and a double-tracked Moog synthesiser overdub by Harrison on 5 August.[8] As a result, this was the last song on the album to be committed to tape, although there were still overdubs for other incomplete songs. This approach took extensive rehearsal, and more than five hours of extremely focused recording, to capture correctly. McCartney and Harrison both said it was their favourite track on Abbey Road. “They knew they were doing something special,” said engineer Geoff Emerick, “and they were determined to get it right.” [9] Versions of the song without instrumentation can be found on 1996’s Anthology 3 and 2006’s Love. Both versions highlight the three-part harmony by Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, though the Love version is lengthened and includes overdubbed birdsong from “Across the Universe“.

Personnel[edit]

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[10]

Cover versions[edit]

Year Artist Release Notes
1969 Gary McFarland Today
1971 John Williams Changes
1976 Lynsey De Paul All This and World War II
1977 Devo The Truth About De-Evolution (soundtrack) The song is performed (and distorted highly) during the film’s closing credits.
1978 Alice Cooper & The Bee Gees Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (soundtrack)
1981 Shampoo In Naples 1980–81 Lyrics rewritten in Neapolitan.
1982 Pedro Aznar Pedro Aznar
1987 Mike Marshall Gator Strut
1994 The Nylons The Nylons
1998 Vanessa-Mae George Martin‘s In My Life She performed the song on a solo violin with a background choir singing the lyrics.
1999 Elliott Smith American Beauty (soundtrack)
2004 Alejandro Dolina Tangos del Bar del Infierno Also used as the opening theme for his radio show La Venganza Será Terrible.
2005 George Clinton How Late Do U Have 2BB4UR Absent?
2005 Negativland No Business A complete deconstruction of the song on “Old is New” and “New is Old”, adding voice effects and additional track overlaying
2005 Ná Ozzetti & André Mehmari Piano e Voz
2007 Solveig Slettahjell Domestic Songs
2007 Various artists Across the Universe The six main characters and three minor characters in the film combined to perform the nine vocal parts.
2009 Nyoy Volante
2009 Martin John Henry Abbey Road Now!
2009 Gerry Rafferty Life Goes On
2013 Al Di Meola All Your Life
2013 Rachel Zeffira

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b Sheff 2000, p. 191.
  2. Jump up^ Pollack.
  3. Jump up^ Snopes.com 2009, pp. 1.
  4. Jump up^ Walter Everett. The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver Through the Anthology Oxford University Press, Oxford 1999. pp. 259–260
  5. Jump up^ Dominic Pedler. The Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles. Music Sales Limited. Omnibus Press. NY. 2003. pp. 428–433
  6. Jump up^ Wilfred Mellers. Twilight of the Gods: The Music of the Beatles. Schirmer/Macmillan 1973. p. 118
  7. Jump up^ Buskin, Richard, insidetracks, p. 64-65
  8. Jump up^ Lewisohn 1988, pp. 184–185.
  9. Jump up^ “77 – ‘Because'”. 100 Greatest Beatles Songs. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  10. Jump up^ MacDonald 2005, p. 365.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

The Beatles are featured in this episode below and Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world.”

How Should We then Live Episode 7 

 

The Beatles:

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Abraham Cruzvillegas: Autoconstrucción | ART21 “Exclusive”

Published on Mar 4, 2016

SUBSCRIBE 65K
Episode #232: Abraham Cruzvillegas discusses his personal and artistic relationship to the concept of autoconstrucción from his childhood home in Mexico City. “Autoconstucción is about self-constructing or constructing your own house,” the artist explains, adding, “I like the term because it leads me to think about the construction of identity.” Cruzvillegas, who is shown assembling his large-scale installation “The Autoconstrucción Suites” at the Walker Art Center, is not illustrating autoconstrucción houses through his work, but instead is activating the method’s dynamic improvisation through the use of found materials. Inspired by the harsh landscape and living conditions of his childhood neighborhood, Abraham Cruzvillegas assembles sculptures and installations from found objects and disparate materials. Expanding on the intellectual investigation of his own paradoxical aesthetic concepts of “autoconstrucción” and “autodestrucción,” he likens his works to self-portraits of contradictory elements, exploring the effects of improvisation, transformation, and decay on his materials and work. In his experiments with video and performance, through the use of academic research and personal and family archives, he reveals the deep connection between his identity—born of the realities of his family’s life in Mexico—and his artistic practice. Learn more about the artist at: http://www.art21.org/artists/abraham-… ART21 “Exclusive” is supported, in part, by 21c Museum Hotel, and by individual contributors. CREDITS: Producer: Ian Forster. Interview: Susan Sollins. Editor: Morgan Riles. Camera: Mark Falstad, Kevin Galligan, David Howe & Joel Shapiro. Sound: Heidi Hesse & Mauricio Rodríguez. Artwork Courtesy: Abraham Cruzvillegas. Special Thanks: Walker Art Center

Featured artist is Abraham Cruzvillegas

Abraham Cruzvillegas

Abraham Cruzvillegas was born in Mexico City in 1968. Inspired by the harsh landscape and living conditions of Colonia Ajusco, his childhood neighborhood in Mexico City where houses were built on inhospitable land in ad hoc improvisations according to personal needs and economic resources, Cruzvillegas assembles sculptures and installations from found objects and disparate materials.

Expanding on the intellectual investigation of his own paradoxical aesthetic concepts of autoconstrucción and autodestrucción*, he likens his works to self-portraits of contradictory elements and explores the effects of improvisation, transformation, and decay on his materials and work. In his experiments with video, performance, personal and family archives, and academic research, he reveals the deep connection between his identity—born of the realities of his family’s life in Mexico—and his artistic practice.

Abraham Cruzvillegas studied at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). He has been awarded residencies at DAAD (2010); Capp Street (2009); the Smithsonian Institution (2008); Cove Park (2008); Civitella Ranieri Foundation (2007); and Atelier Calder (2005). Other honors include the Yanghyun Prize (2012) and the Prix Altadis d’arts plastiques (2006). His work has appeared in major exhibitions at Haus der Kunst, Munich (2014); Walker Art Center (2013); Tate Modern (2012); Documenta (2012); Modern Art Oxford (2011); Istanbul Biennial (2011); Seoul Biennial (2010); CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts (2009); Havana Biennial (2009); the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2008); New Museum (2007); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (2004); Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2003); Venice Biennale (2003); Bienal de São Paulo (2002); and Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Artes (MUCA), Mexico (2001). Abraham Cruzvillegas lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico.

*The terms autoconstrucción and autodestrucción (translated literally as self-construction and self-destruction) refer to methods of building and eventual destruction that arise from the constraints of poverty, which require scavenging, recycling, and adaptation of materials.

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

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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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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 307 Letter to Richard Dawkins about his comments on Ecclesiastes (“Richard, I read about your famous cousin John Raymond Smythies who helped administer drugs to Aldous Huxley and his warning to you to stay away from them! Solomon also talked about mind changing substances and the emptiness that follows!”) Featured Artist is Raphael

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Open Letter to Richard Dawkins

November 28, 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 have posted in the past showing the false claims made in “Outgrowing God,” and you can reference these by googling “Outgrowing God The Daily Hatch.” Some questions raised by you include “Did Jesus even exist?” One of my favorite posts was FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 292 In OUTGROWING GOD Richard Dawkins wrongly notes “Genesis says Abraham owned camels, but archaeological evidence shows that the camel was not domesticated until many centuries after Abraham” Featured Artist is Paul Pfeiffer

I enjoyed your latest book Outgrowing God which is one of my favorite books that you have written. However, there are some some weak parts of the book. For instance, on page 49:

There’s some beautiful English writing in the King James Bible. Ecclesiastes is at least as good as the Song of Songs, although it’s poetry is bleak and world-weary. If you read nothing else in the Bible, I recommend those two books, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs.

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Richard, I read about your famous cousin John Raymond Smythies who helped administer drugs to Aldous Huxley and his warning to you to stay away from them! Solomon also talked about mind changing substances and the emptiness that follows!

It reminded me of these words of yours that I recently read:

Graham Hancock: Dr Dawkins, many traditional hunter-gatherer cultures believe there are other realities, spirit worlds, and so-on and so-forth, and concrete techniques, such as the use of psychoactive plants, to access them. For example, the visionary brew ayahuasca, used for thousands of years by indigenous culture throughout the Amazon basin. As a scientist, have you ever seriously engaged such techniques to have first-hand experience of what they’re talking about [*audience laughter*], and perhaps even to challenge your own concept of what is real? If not, would you consider doing so, and when would you be ready to begin [*audience laughter*]? If you would not consider doing so, then please explain why not.

Richard Dawkins: I would be curious, I must confess. I mean I’ve read some of the accounts of drug-induced trances and things. There’s a lovely one in Redmond O’Hanlon’s book about going up the Amazon [In Trouble Again], which you may have read…and he visits the Yanomami tribe, who are sometimes described as ‘the fierce people’. They have a drug which they take by shooting it up the nostril with a great long blow-pipe, and I think he tries that. 

I would be very curious, I must say, to take, perhaps not that drug, but something like LSD or mescaline. As Aldous Huxley describes it in The Doors of Perception, he felt when taking mescaline that his eyes were opened, the doors of perception were cleansed, and he saw things that were, in some strange way, beyond reality. I would be prepared to do that under proper medical supervision, if I were absolutely convinced that it would do me no lasting harm. And I would actually like to do it.

I want to talk about a subject that is very sad indeed and it is the attempt by many today to find  their meaning in life through drugs and alcohol. Perhaps they are trying to escape the hard realities of life by taking this path. Like everyone around us, I too have many close friends and relatives who have fallen into this trap. I have a great deal of compassion for these individuals. In fact, several times this month I have taken time to drive individuals from a facility that my church sponsors to AA meetings. We want these individuals to overcome their addictions and live in victory.  I can’t do anything to go back and  save those who have passed on in the past, but I can do something to encourage those who have obstacles to overcome today!!!!

Our church FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH sponsors HIDDEN CREEK REENTRY CENTER,  Assisting incarcerated individuals with a successful transition to their community. I have had the joy of giving some of my time to help these gentlemen. Let me share some posts from their Facebook page:

Hidden Creek Reentry Center January 13 ·

So proud of these guys… They had the honor to go with Mr.Glover yesterday to a school to speak to some children.

August 7, 2016 · Little Rock, AR ·

Well its been a eye jerker today… great tears of joy!! I have watched these guys grow so much… I pray they continue to grow out there… next month they graduate the program!!_______Why do so many individuals today turn to drugs or liquor?  There are various reasons, but let us look at the reason Ernest Hemingway became a drunk.Ernest Hemingway turned to liquor as a device of escapism because he reached the conclusion that life has no lasting meaning.“Some lived in it and never felt it but he knew it all was nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada.” This quote from Hemingway’s short story A Clean Well Lighted Place shows that Ernest Hemingway embraced nihilism. The Spanish word NADA meaning NOTHING. The old man in the story tried the previous week to commit suicide but was saved by his niece, and he saw it as a temporary saving.Hemingway also wrote in his last book THE GARDEN OF EDEN,“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”A sensational bestseller when it appeared in 1986, The Garden of Eden is the last uncompleted novel of Ernest Hemingway, which he worked on intermittently from 1946 until his death in 1961.In you go to You Tube and watch the video Woody Allen talks ‘Midnight in Paris’ which was posted on January 27, 2017 and runs 43 minutes and 37 seconds, you will notice at the 27 minute mark that Woody Allen says:

I have never gotten to the point where I can give an optimistic view of anything. I have these ideas for stories that I hope are entertaining and I am always criticized for being pessimistic or nihilistic. To me this is just a realistic appraisal of life. What I have learned over the years is that there is no other solution to it. There is no satisfying answer. There is no optimistic answer I can give anybody.

Ernest Hemingway in one of his stories A FAREWELL TO ARMS)is looking at a burning log with ants running on it. This is the kind of thinking that has over powered me over the years and slips into my stories.

Drinking was a large part of Hemingway’s life. Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes also takes a long look at liquor and tries to see if it will bring any satisfaction UNDER THE SUN.

In fact, Solomon  filled his home with the best wine (Eccl 2:3).

Concerning the Book of Ecclesiastes Francis Schaeffer noted:

Solomon was searching for a meaning in the midst of the details of life. His struggle was to find the meaning of life.  Humanism since the Renaissance and onward has never found it. Modern man has not found it and it has always got worse and darker in a very real way.

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.

In Ecclesiastes 1:8 he drives this home when he states, “All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell it. THE EYE IS NOT SATISFIED WITH SEEING. NOR IS THE EAR FILLED WITH HEARING.”  Solomon is stating here the fact that there is no final satisfaction because you don’t get to the end of the thing.

What do you do and the answer is to get drunk and this was not thought of in the RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KAHAYYAM:

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaventhe few years of their lives.

The Daughter of the Vine (from the RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KAHAYYAM):

You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

A perfectly good philosophy coming out of Islam, but Solomon is not the first man that thought of it nor the last. In light of what has been presented by Solomon is the solution just to get intoxicated and black the think out? So many people have taken to alcohol and the dope which so often follows in our day. This approach is incomplete, temporary and immature. PAPA HEMINGWAY CAN FIND THE CHAMPAGNE OF PARIS SUFFICIENT FOR A TIME, BUT ONCE HE LEFT HIS YOUTH HE NEVER FOUND IT SUFFICIENT AGAIN. HE HAD A LIFETIME SPENT LOOKING BACK TO PARIS AND THAT CHAMPAGNE AND NEVER FINDING IT ENOUGH.  It is no solution and Solomon says so too.

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Both Woody Allen and Ernest Hemingway like Solomon looked for meaning UNDER THE SUN in what I call the 6 big L words in theBook of Ecclesiastes. These areas are  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies,luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11)and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). All three men agree with the conclusion of Ecclesiastes 2:17:

17So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me; for all is vanity and a striving after the wind

Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

Why not take a few minutes and just read the short chapter of Psalms 22 that was written hundreds of years before the Romans even invented the practice of Crucifixion. 1000 years BC the Jews had the practice of stoning people but we read in this chapter a graphic description of Christ dying on the cross. How do you explain that without looking ABOVE THE SUN to God. Ecclesiastes was written to those who wanted to examine life UNDER THE SUN without God in the picture and Solomon’s conclusion in the final chapter was found in Ecclesiastes 12 when he looked at life ABOVE THE SUN:

13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether 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.

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

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Richard Dawkins and Ricky Gervais

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Francis Schaeffer below:

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Richard Dawkins vs John Lennox | The God Delusion Debate

Ben Stein vs. Richard Dawkins Interview


XXXX Peter Singer – The Genius of Darwin: The Uncut Interviews – Richard Dawkins

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Science Confirms the Bible with Ken Ham

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Schaeffer with his wife Edith in Switzerland.


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Richard Dawkins and John Lennox

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DawkinsWard

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Francis and Edith Schaeffer seen below:

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Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris 

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Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

Image result for harry kroto richard dawkins

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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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

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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Dark History of Evolution-Henry Morris, Ph.D.

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Featured artist Raphael

Raphael

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to navigationJump to searchThis article is about the Italian Renaissance painter and architect. For other uses, see Raphael (disambiguation).

Raphael
Presumed portrait of Raphael[1]
BornRaffaello Santi (or Sanzio)
March 28 or April 6, 1483
UrbinoDuchy of Urbino
DiedApril 6, 1520 (aged 37)
RomePapal States
Resting placeThe PantheonRome
Known forPaintingArchitecture
Notable worklist
MovementHigh Renaissance

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino[2] (Italian: [raffaˈɛllo ˈsantsjo da urˈbiːno]; March 28 or April 6, 1483 – April 6, 1520),[3][a] known as Raphael (/ˈræfeɪəl/US/ˈræfiəl, ˈreɪf-, ˌrɑːfaɪˈɛl, ˌrɑːfiˈɛl/), was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, and visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur.[5] Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.[6]

Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop and, despite his early death at 37, leaving a large body of work. Many of his works are found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career. The best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome, much of his work was executed by his workshop from his drawings, with considerable loss of quality. He was extremely influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was mostly known from his collaborative printmaking.

After his death, the influence of his great rival Michelangelo was more widespread until the 18th and 19th centuries, when Raphael’s more serene and harmonious qualities were again regarded as the highest models. His career falls naturally into three phases and three styles, first described by Giorgio Vasari: his early years in Umbria, then a period of about four years (1504–1508) absorbing the artistic traditions of Florence, followed by his last hectic and triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes and their close associates.[7]

Contents

Urbino

Giovanni Santi, Raphael’s father; Christ supported by two angels, c.1490

Raphael was born in the small but artistically significant central Italian city of Urbino in the Marche region,[8] where his father Giovanni Santi was court painter to the Duke. The reputation of the court had been established by Federico da Montefeltro, a highly successful condottiere who had been created Duke of Urbino by Pope Sixtus IV – Urbino formed part of the Papal States – and who died the year before Raphael was born. The emphasis of Federico’s court was rather more literary than artistic, but Giovanni Santi was a poet of sorts as well as a painter, and had written a rhymed chronicle of the life of Federico, and both wrote the texts and produced the decor for masque-like court entertainments. His poem to Federico shows him as keen to show awareness of the most advanced North Italian painters, and Early Netherlandish artists as well. In the very small court of Urbino he was probably more integrated into the central circle of the ruling family than most court painters.[9]

Federico was succeeded by his son Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, who married Elisabetta Gonzaga, daughter of the ruler of Mantua, the most brilliant of the smaller Italian courts for both music and the visual arts. Under them, the court continued as a centre for literary culture. Growing up in the circle of this small court gave Raphael the excellent manners and social skills stressed by Vasari.[10] Court life in Urbino at just after this period was to become set as the model of the virtues of the Italian humanist court through Baldassare Castiglione‘s depiction of it in his classic work The Book of the Courtier, published in 1528. Castiglione moved to Urbino in 1504, when Raphael was no longer based there but frequently visited, and they became good friends. He became close to other regular visitors to the court: Pietro Bibbiena and Pietro Bembo, both later cardinals, were already becoming well known as writers, and would be in Rome during Raphael’s period there. Raphael mixed easily in the highest circles throughout his life, one of the factors that tended to give a misleading impression of effortlessness to his career. He did not receive a full humanistic education however; it is unclear how easily he read Latin.[11]

Early life and work

Portrait of Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino from 1482 to 1508, c.1507. (Uffizi Gallery)

His mother Màgia died in 1491 when Raphael was eight, followed on August 1, 1494 by his father, who had already remarried. Raphael was thus orphaned at eleven; his formal guardian became his only paternal uncle Bartolomeo, a priest, who subsequently engaged in litigation with his stepmother. He probably continued to live with his stepmother when not staying as an apprentice with a master. He had already shown talent, according to Vasari, who says that Raphael had been “a great help to his father”.[12] A self-portrait drawing from his teenage years shows his precocity.[13] His father’s workshop continued and, probably together with his stepmother, Raphael evidently played a part in managing it from a very early age. In Urbino, he came into contact with the works of Paolo Uccello, previously the court painter (d. 1475), and Luca Signorelli, who until 1498 was based in nearby Città di Castello.[14]

According to Vasari, his father placed him in the workshop of the Umbrian master Pietro Perugino as an apprentice “despite the tears of his mother”.[b] The evidence of an apprenticeship comes only from Vasari and another source,[16] and has been disputed; eight was very early for an apprenticeship to begin. An alternative theory is that he received at least some training from Timoteo Viti, who acted as court painter in Urbino from 1495.[17] Most modern historians agree that Raphael at least worked as an assistant to Perugino from around 1500; the influence of Perugino on Raphael’s early work is very clear: “probably no other pupil of genius has ever absorbed so much of his master’s teaching as Raphael did”, according to Wölfflin.[18] Vasari wrote that it was impossible to distinguish between their hands at this period, but many modern art historians claim to do better and detect his hand in specific areas of works by Perugino or his workshop. Apart from stylistic closeness, their techniques are very similar as well, for example having paint applied thickly, using an oil varnish medium, in shadows and darker garments, but very thinly on flesh areas. An excess of resin in the varnish often causes cracking of areas of paint in the works of both masters.[19] The Perugino workshop was active in both Perugia and Florence, perhaps maintaining two permanent branches.[20] Raphael is described as a “master”, that is to say fully trained, in December 1500.[21]

His first documented work was the Baronci altarpiece for the church of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino in Città di Castello, a town halfway between Perugia and Urbino.[22] Evangelista da Pian di Meleto, who had worked for his father, was also named in the commission. It was commissioned in 1500 and finished in 1501; now only some cut sections and a preparatory drawing remain.[23] In the following years he painted works for other churches there, including the Mond Crucifixion (about 1503) and the Brera Wedding of the Virgin (1504), and for Perugia, such as the Oddi Altarpiece. He very probably also visited Florence in this period. These are large works, some in fresco, where Raphael confidently marshals his compositions in the somewhat static style of Perugino. He also painted many small and exquisite cabinet paintings in these years, probably mostly for the connoisseurs in the Urbino court, like the Three Graces and St. Michael, and he began to paint Madonnas and portraits.[24] In 1502 he went to Siena at the invitation of another pupil of PeruginoPinturicchio, “being a friend of Raphael and knowing him to be a draughtsman of the highest quality” to help with the cartoons, and very likely the designs, for a fresco series in the Piccolomini Library in Siena Cathedral.[25] He was evidently already much in demand even at this early stage in his career.[26]

Influence of Florence

Madonna of the Pinks, c. 1506–7, National Gallery, London

Raphael led a “nomadic” life, working in various centres in Northern Italy, but spent a good deal of time in Florence, perhaps from about 1504. Although there is traditional reference to a “Florentine period” of about 1504–8, he was possibly never a continuous resident there.[27] He may have needed to visit the city to secure materials in any case. There is a letter of recommendation of Raphael, dated October 1504, from the mother of the next Duke of Urbino to the Gonfaloniere of Florence: “The bearer of this will be found to be Raphael, painter of Urbino, who, being greatly gifted in his profession has determined to spend some time in Florence to study. And because his father was most worthy and I was very attached to him, and the son is a sensible and well-mannered young man, on both accounts, I bear him great love…”[28]

As earlier with Perugino and others, Raphael was able to assimilate the influence of Florentine art, whilst keeping his own developing style. Frescos in Perugia of about 1505 show a new monumental quality in the figures which may represent the influence of Fra Bartolomeo, who Vasari says was a friend of Raphael. But the most striking influence in the work of these years is Leonardo da Vinci, who returned to the city from 1500 to 1506. Raphael’s figures begin to take more dynamic and complex positions, and though as yet his painted subjects are still mostly tranquil, he made drawn studies of fighting nude men, one of the obsessions of the period in Florence. Another drawing is a portrait of a young woman that uses the three-quarter length pyramidal composition of the just-completed Mona Lisa, but still looks completely Raphaelesque. Another of Leonardo’s compositional inventions, the pyramidal Holy Family, was repeated in a series of works that remain among his most famous easel paintings. There is a drawing by Raphael in the Royal Collection of Leonardo’s lost Leda and the Swan, from which he adapted the contrapposto pose of his own Saint Catherine of Alexandria.[29] He also perfects his own version of Leonardo’s sfumato modelling, to give subtlety to his painting of flesh, and develops the interplay of glances between his groups, which are much less enigmatic than those of Leonardo. But he keeps the soft clear light of Perugino in his paintings.[30]

Leonardo was more than thirty years older than Raphael, but Michelangelo, who was in Rome for this period, was just eight years his senior. Michelangelo already disliked Leonardo, and in Rome came to dislike Raphael even more, attributing conspiracies against him to the younger man.[31] Raphael would have been aware of his works in Florence, but in his most original work of these years, he strikes out in a different direction. His Deposition of Christ draws on classical sarcophagi to spread the figures across the front of the picture space in a complex and not wholly successful arrangement. Wöllflin detects in the kneeling figure on the right the influence of the Madonna in Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo, but the rest of the composition is far removed from his style, or that of Leonardo. Though highly regarded at the time, and much later forcibly removed from Perugia by the Borghese, it stands rather alone in Raphael’s work. His classicism would later take a less literal direction.[32]

Roman period

Vatican “Stanze”

In 1508, Raphael moved to Rome, where he resided for the rest of his life. He was invited by the new pope, Julius II, perhaps at the suggestion of his architect Donato Bramante, then engaged on St. Peter’s Basilica, who came from just outside Urbino and was distantly related to Raphael.[34] Unlike Michelangelo, who had been kept lingering in Rome for several months after his first summons,[35] Raphael was immediately commissioned by Julius to fresco what was intended to become the Pope’s private library at the Vatican Palace.[36] This was a much larger and more important commission than any he had received before; he had only painted one altarpiece in Florence itself. Several other artists and their teams of assistants were already at work on different rooms, many painting over recently completed paintings commissioned by Julius’s loathed predecessor, Alexander VI, whose contributions, and arms, Julius was determined to efface from the palace.[37] Michelangelo, meanwhile, had been commissioned to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

The Parnassus, 1511, Stanza della Segnatura

This first of the famous “Stanze” or “Raphael Rooms” to be painted, now known as the Stanza della Segnatura after its use in Vasari’s time, was to make a stunning impact on Roman art, and remains generally regarded as his greatest masterpiece, containing The School of AthensThe Parnassus and the Disputa. Raphael was then given further rooms to paint, displacing other artists including Perugino and Signorelli. He completed a sequence of three rooms, each with paintings on each wall and often the ceilings too, increasingly leaving the work of painting from his detailed drawings to the large and skilled workshop team he had acquired, who added a fourth room, probably only including some elements designed by Raphael, after his early death in 1520. The death of Julius in 1513 did not interrupt the work at all, as he was succeeded by Raphael’s last Pope, the Medici Pope Leo X, with whom Raphael formed an even closer relationship, and who continued to commission him.[38] Raphael’s friend Cardinal Bibbiena was also one of Leo’s old tutors, and a close friend and advisor.

Raphael was clearly influenced by Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling in the course of painting the room. Vasari said Bramante let him in secretly. The first section was completed in 1511 and the reaction of other artists to the daunting force of Michelangelo was the dominating question in Italian art for the following few decades. Raphael, who had already shown his gift for absorbing influences into his own personal style, rose to the challenge perhaps better than any other artist. One of the first and clearest instances was the portrait in The School of Athens of Michelangelo himself, as Heraclitus, which seems to draw clearly from the Sybils and ignudi of the Sistine ceiling. Other figures in that and later paintings in the room show the same influences, but as still cohesive with a development of Raphael’s own style.[39] Michelangelo accused Raphael of plagiarism and years after Raphael’s death, complained in a letter that “everything he knew about art he got from me”, although other quotations show more generous reactions.[40]

These very large and complex compositions have been regarded ever since as among the supreme works of the grand manner of the High Renaissance, and the “classic art” of the post-antique West. They give a highly idealised depiction of the forms represented, and the compositions, though very carefully conceived in drawings, achieve “sprezzatura”, a term invented by his friend Castiglione, who defined it as “a certain nonchalance which conceals all artistry and makes whatever one says or does seem uncontrived and effortless …”.[41] According to Michael Levey, “Raphael gives his [figures] a superhuman clarity and grace in a universe of Euclidian certainties”.[42] The painting is nearly all of the highest quality in the first two rooms, but the later compositions in the Stanze, especially those involving dramatic action, are not entirely as successful either in conception or their execution by the workshop.

Architecture

Palazzo Branconio dell’Aquila, now destroyed

After Bramante’s death in 1514, Raphael was named architect of the new St Peter’s. Most of his work there was altered or demolished after his death and the acceptance of Michelangelo’s design, but a few drawings have survived. It appears his designs would have made the church a good deal gloomier than the final design, with massive piers all the way down the nave, “like an alley” according to a critical posthumous analysis by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. It would perhaps have resembled the temple in the background of The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple.[43]

He designed several other buildings, and for a short time was the most important architect in Rome, working for a small circle around the Papacy. Julius had made changes to the street plan of Rome, creating several new thoroughfares, and he wanted them filled with splendid palaces.[44]

An important building, the Palazzo Branconio dell’Aquila for Leo’s Papal Chamberlain Giovanni Battista Branconio, was completely destroyed to make way for Bernini‘s piazza for St. Peter’s, but drawings of the façade and courtyard remain. The façade was an unusually richly decorated one for the period, including both painted panels on the top story (of three), and much sculpture on the middle one.[45]

The main designs for the Villa Farnesina were not by Raphael, but he did design, and decorate with mosaics, the Chigi Chapel for the same patron, Agostino Chigi, the Papal Treasurer. Another building, for Pope Leo’s doctor, the Palazzo di Jacobo da Brescia, was moved in the 1930s but survives; this was designed to complement a palace on the same street by Bramante, where Raphael himself lived for a time.[46]

View of the Chigi Chapel

The Villa Madama, a lavish hillside retreat for Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici, later Pope Clement VII, was never finished, and his full plans have to be reconstructed speculatively. He produced a design from which the final construction plans were completed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. Even incomplete, it was the most sophisticated villa design yet seen in Italy, and greatly influenced the later development of the genre; it appears to be the only modern building in Rome of which Palladio made a measured drawing.[47]

Only some floor-plans remain for a large palace planned for himself on the new via Giulia in the rione of Regola, for which he was accumulating the land in his last years. It was on an irregular island block near the river Tiber. It seems all façades were to have a giant order of pilasters rising at least two storeys to the full height of the piano nobile, “a gandiloquent feature unprecedented in private palace design”.[48]

Raphael asked Marco Fabio Calvo to translate Vitruvius‘s Four Books of Architecture into Italian; this he received around the end of August 1514. It is preserved at the Library in Munich with handwritten margin notes by Raphael.[49]

Antiquity

In about 1510, Raphael was asked by Bramante to judge contemporary copies of Laocoön and His Sons.[50] In 1515, he was given powers as Prefect over all antiquities unearthed within, or a mile outside the city.[51] Anyone excavating antiquities was required to inform Raphael within three days, and stonemasons were not allowed to destroy inscriptions without permission.[52] Raphael wrote a letter to Pope Leo suggesting ways of halting the destruction of ancient monuments, and proposed a visual survey of the city to record all antiquities in an organised fashion. The pope intended to continue to re-use ancient masonry in the building of St Peter’s, also wanting to ensure that all ancient inscriptions were recorded, and sculpture preserved, before allowing the stones to be reused.[51]

According to Marino Sanuto the Younger‘s diary, in 1519 Raphael offered to transport an obelisk from the Mausoleum of August to St. Peter’s Square for 90,000 ducats.[53] According to Marcantonio Michiel, Raphael’s “youthful death saddened men of letters because he was not able to furnish the description and the painting of ancient Rome that he was making, which was very beautiful”.[54] Raphael intended to make an archaeological map of ancient Rome but this was never executed.[55] Four archaeological drawings by the artist are preserved.[56]

Other painting projects

The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, 1515, one of the seven remaining Raphael Cartoons for tapestries for the Sistine Chapel (Victoria and Albert Museum)

The Vatican projects took most of his time, although he painted several portraits, including those of his two main patrons, the popes Julius II and his successor Leo X, the former considered one of his finest. Other portraits were of his own friends, like Castiglione, or the immediate Papal circle. Other rulers pressed for work, and King Francis I of France was sent two paintings as diplomatic gifts from the Pope.[57] For Agostino Chigi, the hugely rich banker and papal treasurer, he painted the Triumph of Galatea and designed further decorative frescoes for his Villa Farnesina, a chapel in the church of Santa Maria della Pace and mosaics in the funerary chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo. He also designed some of the decoration for the Villa Madama, the work in both villas being executed by his workshop.

One of his most important papal commissions was the Raphael Cartoons (now in the Victoria and Albert Museum), a series of 10 cartoons, of which seven survive, for tapestries with scenes of the lives of Saint Paul and Saint Peter, for the Sistine Chapel. The cartoons were sent to Brussels to be woven in the workshop of Pier van Aelst. It is possible that Raphael saw the finished series before his death—they were probably completed in 1520.[58] He also designed and painted the Loggie at the Vatican, a long thin gallery then open to a courtyard on one side, decorated with Roman-style grottesche.[59] He produced a number of significant altarpieces, including The Ecstasy of St. Cecilia and the Sistine Madonna. His last work, on which he was working up to his death, was a large Transfiguration, which together with Il Spasimo shows the direction his art was taking in his final years—more proto-Baroque than Mannerist.[60]

Painting materials

Raphael painted several of his works on wood support (Madonna of the Pinks) but he also used canvas (Sistine Madonna) and he was known to employ drying oils such as linseed or walnut oils. His palette was rich and he used almost all of the then available pigments such as ultramarinelead-tin-yellowcarminevermilionmadder lakeverdigris and ochres. In several of his paintings (Ansidei Madonna) he even employed the rare brazilwood lake, metallic powdered gold and even less known metallic powdered bismuth.[61][62]

Workshop

Vasari says that Raphael eventually had a workshop of fifty pupils and assistants, many of whom later became significant artists in their own right. This was arguably the largest workshop team assembled under any single old master painter, and much higher than the norm. They included established masters from other parts of Italy, probably working with their own teams as sub-contractors, as well as pupils and journeymen. We have very little evidence of the internal working arrangements of the workshop, apart from the works of art themselves, which are often very difficult to assign to a particular hand.[63]

The most important figures were Giulio Romano, a young pupil from Rome (only about twenty-one at Raphael’s death), and Gianfrancesco Penni, already a Florentine master. They were left many of Raphael’s drawings and other possessions, and to some extent continued the workshop after Raphael’s death. Penni did not achieve a personal reputation equal to Giulio’s, as after Raphael’s death he became Giulio’s less-than-equal collaborator in turn for much of his subsequent career. Perino del Vaga, already a master, and Polidoro da Caravaggio, who was supposedly promoted from a labourer carrying building materials on the site, also became notable painters in their own right. Polidoro’s partner, Maturino da Firenze, has, like Penni, been overshadowed in subsequent reputation by his partner. Giovanni da Udine had a more independent status, and was responsible for the decorative stucco work and grotesques surrounding the main frescoes.[64] Most of the artists were later scattered, and some killed, by the violent Sack of Rome in 1527.[65] This did however contribute to the diffusion of versions of Raphael’s style around Italy and beyond.

Vasari emphasises that Raphael ran a very harmonious and efficient workshop, and had extraordinary skill in smoothing over troubles and arguments with both patrons and his assistants—a contrast with the stormy pattern of Michelangelo’s relationships with both.[66] However though both Penni and Giulio were sufficiently skilled that distinguishing between their hands and that of Raphael himself is still sometimes difficult,[67] there is no doubt that many of Raphael’s later wall-paintings, and probably some of his easel paintings, are more notable for their design than their execution. Many of his portraits, if in good condition, show his brilliance in the detailed handling of paint right up to the end of his life.[68]

Other pupils or assistants include Raffaellino del ColleAndrea SabbatiniBartolommeo RamenghiPellegrino AretusiVincenzo TamagniBattista DossiTommaso VincidorTimoteo Viti (the Urbino painter), and the sculptor and architect Lorenzetto (Giulio’s brother-in-law).[69] The printmakers and architects in Raphael’s circle are discussed below. It has been claimed the Flemish Bernard van Orley worked for Raphael for a time, and Luca Penni, brother of Gianfrancesco and later a member of the First School of Fontainebleau, may have been a member of the team.[70]

Portraits

Drawings

Lucretia, engraved by Raimondi after a drawing by Raphael.[71]

Raphael was one of the finest draftsmen in the history of Western art, and used drawings extensively to plan his compositions. According to a near-contemporary, when beginning to plan a composition, he would lay out a large number of stock drawings of his on the floor, and begin to draw “rapidly”, borrowing figures from here and there.[72] Over forty sketches survive for the Disputa in the Stanze, and there may well have been many more originally; over four hundred sheets survive altogether.[73] He used different drawings to refine his poses and compositions, apparently to a greater extent than most other painters, to judge by the number of variants that survive: “… This is how Raphael himself, who was so rich in inventiveness, used to work, always coming up with four or six ways to show a narrative, each one different from the rest, and all of them full of grace and well done.” wrote another writer after his death.[74] For John Shearman, Raphael’s art marks “a shift of resources away from production to research and development”.[75]

When a final composition was achieved, scaled-up full-size cartoons were often made, which were then pricked with a pin and “pounced” with a bag of soot to leave dotted lines on the surface as a guide. He also made unusually extensive use, on both paper and plaster, of a “blind stylus”, scratching lines which leave only an indentation, but no mark. These can be seen on the wall in The School of Athens, and in the originals of many drawings.[76] The “Raphael Cartoons”, as tapestry designs, were fully coloured in a glue distemper medium, as they were sent to Brussels to be followed by the weavers.

In later works painted by the workshop, the drawings are often painfully more attractive than the paintings.[77] Most Raphael drawings are rather precise—even initial sketches with naked outline figures are carefully drawn, and later working drawings often have a high degree of finish, with shading and sometimes highlights in white. They lack the freedom and energy of some of Leonardo’s and Michelangelo’s sketches, but are nearly always aesthetically very satisfying. He was one of the last artists to use metalpoint (literally a sharp pointed piece of silver or another metal) extensively, although he also made superb use of the freer medium of red or black chalk.[78] In his final years he was one of the first artists to use female models for preparatory drawings—male pupils (“garzoni”) were normally used for studies of both sexes.[79]

Printmaking

Raphael made no prints himself, but entered into a collaboration with Marcantonio Raimondi to produce engravings to Raphael’s designs, which created many of the most famous Italian prints of the century, and was important in the rise of the reproductive print. His interest was unusual in such a major artist; from his contemporaries it was only shared by Titian, who had worked much less successfully with Raimondi.[80] A total of about fifty prints were made; some were copies of Raphael’s paintings, but other designs were apparently created by Raphael purely to be turned into prints. Raphael made preparatory drawings, many of which survive, for Raimondi to translate into engraving.[81]

The most famous original prints to result from the collaboration were Lucretia, the Judgement of Paris and The Massacre of the Innocents (of which two virtually identical versions were engraved). Among prints of the paintings The Parnassus (with considerable differences)[82] and Galatea were also especially well known. Outside Italy, reproductive prints by Raimondi and others were the main way that Raphael’s art was experienced until the twentieth century. Baviero Carocci, called “Il Baviera” by Vasari, an assistant who Raphael evidently trusted with his money,[83] ended up in control of most of the copper plates after Raphael’s death, and had a successful career in the new occupation of a publisher of prints.[84]

Private life and death

La Fornarina, Raphael’s mistress

From 1517 until his death, Raphael lived in the Palazzo Caprini in the Borgo, in rather grand style in a palace designed by Bramante. He never married, but in 1514 became engaged to Maria Bibbiena, Cardinal Medici Bibbiena’s niece; he seems to have been talked into this by his friend the cardinal, and his lack of enthusiasm seems to be shown by the marriage not having taken place before she died in 1520.[85] He is said to have had many affairs, but a permanent fixture in his life in Rome was “La Fornarina”, Margherita Luti, the daughter of a baker (fornaro) named Francesco Luti from Siena who lived at Via del Governo Vecchio.[86] He was made a “Groom of the Chamber” of the Pope, which gave him status at court and an additional income, and also a knight of the Papal Order of the Golden Spur. Vasari claims that he had toyed with the ambition of becoming a cardinal, perhaps after some encouragement from Leo, which also may account for his delaying his marriage.[85]

Raphael died on Good Friday (April 6, 1520), which was possibly his 37th birthday.[d] Vasari says that Raphael had also been born on a Good Friday, which in 1483 fell on March 28,[e] and that the artist died from exhuastion brought on by unceasing romantic interests while he was working on the Loggia.[88] Several other possibilities have been raised by later historians.[f] In his acute illness, which lasted fifteen days, Raphael was composed enough to confess his sins, receive the last rites, and put his affairs in order. He dictated his will, in which he left sufficient funds for his mistress’s care, entrusted to his loyal servant Baviera, and left most of his studio contents to Giulio Romano and Penni. At his request, Raphael was buried in the Pantheon.[89]

Raphael’s funeral was extremely grand, attended by large crowds. According to a journal by Paris de Grassis,[g] four cardinals dressed in purple carried his body, the hand of which was kissed by the Pope.[90] The inscription in Raphael’s marble sarcophagus, an elegiac distich written by Pietro Bembo, reads: “Here lies that famous Raphael by whom Nature feared to be conquered while he lived, and when he was dying, feared herself to die.”[h]

Critical reception

Sistine Madonna (1512)

Raphael was highly admired by his contemporaries, although his influence on artistic style in his own century was less than that of Michelangelo. Mannerism, beginning at the time of his death, and later the Baroque, took art “in a direction totally opposed” to Raphael’s qualities;[91] “with Raphael’s death, classic art – the High Renaissance – subsided”, as Walter Friedländer put it.[92] He was soon seen as the ideal model by those disliking the excesses of Mannerism:

the opinion …was generally held in the middle of the sixteenth century that Raphael was the ideal balanced painter, universal in his talent, satisfying all the absolute standards, and obeying all the rules which were supposed to govern the arts, whereas Michelangelo was the eccentric genius, more brilliant than any other artists in his particular field, the drawing of the male nude, but unbalanced and lacking in certain qualities, such as grace and restraint, essential to the great artist. Those, like Dolce and Aretino, who held this view were usually the survivors of Renaissance Humanism, unable to follow Michelangelo as he moved on into Mannerism.[93]

Vasari himself, despite his hero remaining Michelangelo, came to see his influence as harmful in some ways, and added passages to the second edition of the Lives expressing similar views.[94]

Raphael and Maria Bibbiena’s tomb in the Pantheon. The Madonna is by Lorenzetto.

Raphael’s sarcophagus

Raphael’s compositions were always admired and studied, and became the cornerstone of the training of the Academies of art. His period of greatest influence was from the late 17th to late 19th centuries, when his perfect decorum and balance were greatly admired. He was seen as the best model for the history painting, regarded as the highest in the hierarchy of genres. Sir Joshua Reynolds in his Discourses praised his “simple, grave, and majestic dignity” and said he “stands in general foremost of the first [i.e., best] painters”, especially for his frescoes (in which he included the “Raphael Cartoons”), whereas “Michael Angelo claims the next attention. He did not possess so many excellences as Raffaelle, but those he had were of the highest kind…” Echoing the sixteenth-century views above, Reynolds goes on to say of Raphael:

The excellency of this extraordinary man lay in the propriety, beauty, and majesty of his characters, his judicious contrivance of his composition, correctness of drawing, purity of taste, and the skilful accommodation of other men’s conceptions to his own purpose. Nobody excelled him in that judgment, with which he united to his own observations on nature the energy of Michael Angelo, and the beauty and simplicity of the antique. To the question, therefore, which ought to hold the first rank, Raffaelle or Michael Angelo, it must be answered, that if it is to be given to him who possessed a greater combination of the higher qualities of the art than any other man, there is no doubt but Raffaelle is the first. But if, according to Longinus, the sublime, being the highest excellence that human composition can attain to, abundantly compensates the absence of every other beauty, and atones for all other deficiencies, then Michael Angelo demands the preference.[95]

Reynolds was less enthusiastic about Raphael’s panel paintings, but the slight sentimentality of these made them enormously popular in the 19th century: “We have been familiar with them from childhood onwards, through a far greater mass of reproductions than any other artist in the world has ever had…” wrote Wölfflin, who was born in 1862, of Raphael’s Madonnas.[96]

In Germany, Raphael had an immense influence on religious art of the Nazarene movement and Düsseldorf school of painting in the 19th century. In contrast, in England the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood explicitly reacted against his influence (and that of his admirers such as Joshua Reynolds), seeking to return to styles that pre-dated what they saw as his baneful influence. According to a critic whose ideas greatly influenced them, John Ruskin:

The doom of the arts of Europe went forth from that chamber [the Stanza della Segnatura], and it was brought about in great part by the very excellencies of the man who had thus marked the commencement of decline. The perfection of execution and the beauty of feature which were attained in his works, and in those of his great contemporaries, rendered finish of execution and beauty of form the chief objects of all artists; and thenceforward execution was looked for rather than thought, and beauty rather than veracity.

And as I told you, these are the two secondary causes of the decline of art; the first being the loss of moral purpose. Pray note them clearly. In mediæval art, thought is the first thing, execution the second; in modern art execution is the first thing, and thought the second. And again, in mediæval art, truth is first, beauty second; in modern art, beauty is first, truth second. The mediæval principles led up to Raphael, and the modern principles lead down from him.[97]

By 1900, Raphael’s popularity was surpassed by Michelangelo and Leonardo, perhaps as a reaction against the etiolated Raphaelism of 19th-century academic artists such as Bouguereau.[98] Although art historian Bernard Berenson in 1952 termed Raphael the “most famous and most loved” master of the High Renaissance,[99] art historians Leopold and Helen Ettlinger say that the Raphael’s lesser popularity in the 20th century is made obvious by “the contents of art library shelves … In contrast to volume upon volume that reproduce yet again detailed photographs of the Sistine Ceiling or Leonardo’s drawings, the literature on Raphael, particularly in English, is limited to only a few books”.[100] They conclude, nonetheless, that “of all the great Renaissance masters, Raphael’s influence is the most continuous.”[101]

See also

William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1955. He attended the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (1973–76), Johannesburg Art Foundation (1976–78), and studied mime and theater at L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, Paris (1981–82). Having witnessed first-hand one of the twentieth century’s most contentious struggles—the dissolution of apartheid—Kentridge brings the ambiguity and subtlety of personal experience to public subjects that are most often framed in narrowly defined terms.

Using film, drawing, sculpture, animation, and performance, he transmutes sobering political events into powerful poetic allegories. In a now-signature technique, Kentridge photographs his charcoal drawings and paper collages over time, recording scenes as they evolve. Working without a script or storyboard, he plots out each animated film, preserving every addition and erasure. Aware of myriad ways in which we construct the world by looking, Kentridge uses stereoscopic viewers and creates optical illusions with anamorphic projection, to extend his drawings-in-time into three dimensions.

Kentridge has had major exhibitions at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2009); Philadelphia Museum of Art (2008); Moderna Museet, Stockholm, (2007); and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2004); among others. He has also participated in Prospect.1 New Orleans (2008); the Sydney Biennale (1996, 2008); and Documenta (1997, 2002). His opera and theater works, often produced in collaboration with Handspring Puppet Company, have appeared at Brooklyn Academy of Music (2007); Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa (1992, 1996, 1998); and Festival d’Avignon, France (1995, 1996).

His production of Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera, The Nose, premiered in 2010 at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, in conjunction with a retrospective organized by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. William Kentridge lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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SECTION #2 If there is no Afterlife, how can there be any lasting meaning to our lives? Should people be asking themselves these types of Questions???

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Albert Camus:The fundamental question about life is meaning, anything else is secondary and until that question of meaning is dealt with I really cannot for what the answers are for the other queries.George H. Smith – Religions are successful, not because they provide the correct answers, but because they ask important questions—Questions that concern every human being. What is the nature of the universe? Is there a purpose, or plan, to human existence? …PESSIMISM FROM AGNOSTICS?Nathaniel Brandon: But twentieth-century philosophy has almost totally backed off from the responsibility of offering such a vision or addressing itself to the kind of questions human beings struggle with in the course of their existence. Twentieth-century philosophy typically scorns system building. The problems to which it addresses itself grow smaller and smaller and more and more remote from human experience. At their philosophical conferences and conventions, philosophers explicitly acknowledge that they have nothing of practical value to offer anyone. This is not my accusation; they announce it themselves.During the same period of history, the twentieth century, orthodox religion has lost more and more of its hold over people’s minds and lives. It is perceived as more and more irrelevant. Its demise as a cultural force really began with the Renaissance and has been declining ever since.But the need for answers persists. The need for values by which to guide our lives remains unabated. The hunger for intelligibility is as strong as it ever was. The world around us is more and more confusing, more and more frightening; the need to understand it cries out in anguish.The ENCYCLPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY on page 471 “When Fred Hoyle in his book THE NATURE OF THE UNIVERSE turns to what he calls ‘the deeper issues’ and remarks that we find ourselves in a ‘dreadful situation’ in which there is ‘scarcely a clue as to whether our existence has ourselves in a ‘dreadful situation’ in which there is ‘scarcely a clue as to whether our existence has any real significance.’ He is using the word ‘significance’ in this comic sense.”

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On Sunday April 11, 1920 in Chicago there was a debate on this question: Has life any meaning? The following 3 quotes were taken from that meeting:Percy Ward -How can life have any meaning at all, when all living things, along with the world on which they live, are doomed to destruction? What meaning can there be to life, when its dominant law is age-long and world-wide struggle for existence? What possible meaning can there be to life, when the chief experience of living things is suffering and pain? Percy Ward – “To what end is comic evolution moving? All this life which rises, step by step, from moneron to main is impotent effort; the road to nowhere. Imagine an artist devoting his entire life to the painting of a wonderful picture; and then, when his picture is completed, tearing it to ribbons, what could be the meaning of such a painter’s behavior? Arthur J. Balfour – “Man, so far as natural science by itself is able to teach us, is no longer the final cause of the universe, the heaven-descended heir of all the ages. His very existence is an accident, history a brief and transitory episode in the life of one of the meanest of the planets…Man will go down into the pit, and all his thoughts will perish, the uneasy consciousness, which in this obscure corner has for a long space broken the contented silence of the universe, will be at rest. Matter will know itself no longer. Imperishable monuments and immortal deeds, death itself, will be as though they had never been.”SHOULD TRUE HUMANISTS BE OPTIMISTS OR NIHILISTS?????????Paul Kurtz – 

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“The universe is neutral, indifferent to man’s existential yearnings. But we instinctively discover life, experience its throb, its excitement, its attraction. Life is here to be lived, enjoyed, suffered, and endured…Again–one cannot ‘prove’ this normative principle to everyone’s satisfaction. Living beings tend instinctively to maintain themselves and to reproduce beyond ultimate justification. It is a brute fact of our contingent natures; It is an instinctive desire to live.”

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J.P. Moreland – “2 Objections to optimistic humanism: #1 There is no rational justification for choosing it over nihilism. As far as rationality is concerned, it has nothing to offer over nihilism. Therefore, optimistic humanism suffers from some of the same objections we raised against nihilism. Kurtz himself admits that the ultimate values of humanism are incapable of rational justification!!!!!!  #2 Optimistic Humanism really answers the question of the meaning of life in the negative, just as nihilism does. For the optimistic humanist life has no objective value or purpose; It offers only subjective satisfaction, one should think long and hard before embracing such a horrible view. If there is a decent case that life has objective value and purpose, then such a case should be given as good a hearing as possible.  

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R.C. Sproul:Nihilism has two traditional enemies–Theism and Naive Humanism. The theist contradicts the nihilist because the existence of God guarantees that ultimate meaning and significance of personal life and history. Naive Humanism is considered naive by the nihilist because it rhapsodizes–with no rational foundation–the dignity and significance of human life. The humanist declares that man is a cosmic accident whose origin was fortuitous and entrenched in meaningless insignificance. Yet in between the humanist mindlessly crusades for, defends, and celebrates the chimera of human dignity…Herein is the dilemma: Nihilism declares that nothing really matters ultimately…In my judgment, no philosophical treatise has ever surpassed or equaled the penetrating analysis of the ultimate question of meaning versus vanity that is found in the Book of Ecclesiastes

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J. Kerby Anderson– “The cynicism and skepticism in the arts, politics, commerce, and the media all testify to the futility of trying to find wisdom and meaning in a world without wisdom based on ‘the Fear of the Lord’ is folly. 

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Ravi Zacharias – “Having killed God, the atheist is left with no reason for being, no morality to espouse, no meaning to life and no hope beyond the grave.”Arthur Ashe – (born in 1943, won U.S.Open in 1968, and Wimbledon in 1975) “If I am just remembered as an exceptional tennis player then my life really was not much.”The next two quotes by Kai Nielson and the next quote by J.P. Moreland were taken from a debate held at Ole Miss on March 24, 1988. This debate was later published by Prometheus Books by the title DOES GOD EXIST?
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Clarence Darrow – “I love my friends, but they all must come to a tragic end. Death is more terrible the more one is attached to things in the world.” Do we need a lasting purpose to our lives?Kai Nielson – “There are all those intentions, purposes, goals, and the like that you can figure out and can have. They are what John Rawls called life plans. You can have all these purposes in life even though there is no purpose to life. So life doesn’t become meaningless and pointless if you were not made for a purpose.” 

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Francis Schaeffer – “The struggle for modern man is to begin with himself and find a meaning in life. Not just plans in life. It is nothing to have plans in life. Anybody can find plans in life. A child can fill up his time with plans of building tomorrow’s sand castle when today’s have been washed away. There is a difference between finding plans in life and purpose.”J.P.Moreland – “James Rachels says that we don’t need purpose in the sense of an over arching objective purpose to life, but we can have purpose in life, as Nielson says. And he means by that ‘subjective satisfaction,’ things that we find worthwhile to us. Now if this is true, what’s the difference, let’s say between becoming a doctor and feeding the poor and sitting around pinching heads off rats or being a Sisyphus and pushing a rock up and down a hill, or giving your time to flipping tiddlywinks? There is no difference since each of these options could be satisfying and worthwhile to someone.”Marvin Kohl – (Taken from an article in FREE INQUIRY, Spring 81 issue, article entitled, “The Meaning of Life and belief in God” ) “….Belief in beneficent providence is untrue. It is untrue because there is no evidence to warrant the claim that there is a benevolent force behind nature. Not only does the secular humanist deny that we have knowledge about a friend behind the universe; He also denies that we have knowledge about divine or cosmic purpose. The argument in its essential form is simple and, I believe, decisive. Purposes can only be correctly assigned to sentient beings; And since man does not have knowledge that God or other sentient beings govern the universe, He cannot on a cognitive level maintain that the universe has any purpose…The facts also indicate that many, like lady Katharine (Bertrand Russell’s Christian daughter who was quoted earlier in the article), are given insight about the meaning of life, about  the chief end of human living, when they believe God makes a disclosure about his own nature and purpose and gently embraces them in his absolute love. In short, it appears to be true that belief in God has had and still has the power to give comfort and consolation to millions of devout believers. Largely because of this, two important claims cannot be easily, if at all, dismissed. They are: (1) that in addition to other basic human needs, there is a need for psychological security, which includes the need to believe in God, or at least believe that the cosmos is guided by a loving purpose; and (2) that this need is often successfully met if a man genuinely recognizes that his goal for living is in, and given to him by, God.”Aldous Huxley – “Science does not retain the sovereignty over metaphysical pronouncements…Science does not have the right to give to me my reason for being and my definition for existence, but I am going to take science’s view because I want this world not to have meaning because it frees me to my own erotic and political desires.”

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On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

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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, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert DreyfusBart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. HänschBrian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesSteve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry KrotoGeorge LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver SacksJohn SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de SousaVictor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard SusskindRaymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander VilenkinSir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the second video below in the 67th clip in this series are Richard Dawkins’ words that Harry Kroto wanted me to see. Since then I have read several of Richard Dawkins books and have attempted to respond to the contents of these books directly to Richard Dawkins by mail. In fact, I have been writing Richard Dawkins letters since May 15, 1994 which was the 10th anniversary of the passing of one of my heroes, Francis Schaeffer. Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time responding to many of Richard Dawkins’ heroes such as Carl Sagan, Jacques Monod, H.J. Blackham, Isaac Newton, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Max Planck, Johann Sebastian Bach, Francis Bacon, Samuel Beckett, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday, Gerald Horton, Edmund Leach, Louis Pasteur, George Wald, Jacob Bronowski, Steven Weinberg, Charles Darwin, Paul Kurtz, Peter Singer, Jonathan Miller, William B. Provine, Woody Allen, Noam Chomsky, James D. Watson, Francis Crick, Michael Polanyi, The Huxley family, Antony Flew, and Edward O. Wilson (Dawkins has since revised his opinion of Flew and Wilson, but he earlier regarded them very highly). 

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Francis Schaeffer 1911-1984

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Both Francis Schaeffer and Richard Dawkins have talked extensively about the life of Charles Darwin.

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Sir Harry Kroto with his high school friend Sir Ian McKellan at the FSU National High Field Magnetic Lab on Tuesday, October 27, 2009.

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50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

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Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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Edit Post ‹ The Daily Hatch — WordPress

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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Richard Dawkins Photos Photos – Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication – Zimbio

Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication

Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication In This Photo: Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Brian May, Harold Kroto, Alexi Leonov, Garik Israelian

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

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

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Bart Ehrman “Why should one think that God performed the miracle of inspiring the words in the first place if He didn’t perform the miracle of preserving the words?”

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Music Monday Open Letter to Jimmy Page of LED ZEPPELIN about Francis Schaeffer’s book ESCAPE FROM REASON that was given to him by Eric Clapton!!!

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June 20, 2019

Jimmy Page
Guildford, Surrey,
England,

Dear Jimmy,

I read a story about you and I wanted to ask you if it is true. Francis Schaeffer talked about the views of the Beatles  and other 1960’s Rock Groups including CREAM.  His son Frank wrote recently about the impact of SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND:

“Sgt. Pepper’s” became my personal sound track of liberation back then…Genie, my wife of 44 years… grew up in the Bay Area and as a teen had the distinction of seeing the Beatles three times (!) live and the Rolling Stones four times (!) live.

Meanwhile, I was growing up in Switzerland in a mission (L’Abri Fellowship), and my “almost famous” rock-n-roll high point came when I got a job helping with the Led Zeppelin’s light show at the Montreux Jazz/rock festival. I met Jimmy Page and noticed he was reading one of my dad’s first books, ESCAPE FROM REASON. (No kidding.) Image result for francis schaeffer

This was back in the days when Dad was a sort of hippie guru for Jesus catering to Beats, hippies and dropouts hitching across Europe. Eric Clapton had given Page the book as it turned out. I was trying to be “cool” that day on the light show crew… and I wasn’t too pleased to find my brief escape into the rock world from the world of my Dad’s evangelical mission was no escape from my God-world at all. He’d been giving lectures on Bob Dylan, and drug guru Timothy Leary had been a guest at L’Abri. And now I got to briefly “hang out with the band” and Dad got there first, or at least one of his books did! Sheesh! It’s hard to be cool!

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…Anyway… Just before coming to my parent’s mission in 1969 – Genie was visiting a friend and knew nothing about the place — she was hanging out with the Santana drummer in California. My then teen bride-to-be Genie might as well have gone to another planet when she stumbled into Dad and Mom’s ministry. The only Billy Graham she’d ever heard of was the Fillmore West manager!

I wonder if my wife-to-be was in the Fillmore West rock palace when Dad and I were there one night in 1968 listening to the Jefferson Airplane together and some hippie handed Dad a joint? Dad passed it on down the row, not taking any himself but totally un-shocked and loving Grace Slick as much as I did… if only Jerry Falwell could have seen us then…

This was back in the days when Dad was a sort of hippie guru for Jesus catering to Beats, hippies and dropouts hitching across Europe. Eric Clapton had given Page the book as it turned out.

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Let me share with you a few parts of the book ESCAPE FROM REASON:

WHY FRANCIS SCHAEFFER MATTERS: Consequences of Pitting Rationality Against Faith – PART 4

The decisive result of falling below the line of despair is a pitting of rationality against faith.  Schaeffer sees this as an enormous problem and details four consequences in his book, Escape From Reason.

First, when rationality contends against faith, one is not able to establish a system of morality.  It is simply impossible to have an “upstairs morality” that is unrelated to matters of everyday living.

Second, when rationality and faith are dichotomized, there is no adequate basis for law.  “The whole Reformation system of law was built on the fact that God had revealed something real down into the common things of life” (Escape From Reason, 261).  But when rationality and faith are pitted against one another, all hope for law is obliterated.

The third consequence is that this scheme throws away the answer to the problem of evil.  Christianity’s answer rests in the historic, space-time, real and complete Fall of man who rebelled and made a choice against God.  “Once the historic Christian answer is put away, all we can do is to leap upstairs and say that against all reason God is good” (Escape From Reason, 262).

Finally, when one accepts this unbiblical dichotomy he loses the opportunity to evangelize people at their real point of despair.  Schaeffer makes it clear that modern man longs for answers.  “He did not accept the line of despair and the dichotomy because he wanted to.  He accepted it because, on the basis of the natural development of his rationalistic presuppositions, he had to.  He may talk bravely at times, but in the end it is despair” (Escape From Reason, 262).  It is at this point that Schaeffer believes the Christian apologist has a golden opportunity to make an impact.  “Christianity has the opportunity, therefore, to say clearly that its answer has the very thing modern man has despaired of – the unity of thought.  It  provides a unified answer for the whole of life.  True, man has to renounce his rationalism; but then, on the basis of what can be discussed, he has the possibility of recovering his rationality” (Escape From Reason, 262).

Schaeffer challenges us, “Let us Christians remember, then, that if we fall into the trap  against which I have been warning, what we have done, among other things, is to put ourselves in the position where in reality we are only saying with evangelical words what the unbeliever is saying with his words.  In order to confront modern man effectively, we must not have this dichotomy.  You must have the Scriptures speaking truth both about God Himself and about the area where the Bible touches history and the cosmos” (Escape From Reason, 263).

The Tension of Being a Man

Before proceeding to Dr. Schaeffer’s basic approach to apologetics one must understand the concept he calls “mannishness” or the tension of being a man.  The idea is essentially that no man can live at ease in the area of despair.  His significance, ability to love and be loved, and his capacity for rationality distinguish him from machines and animals and give evidence to this fact: Man is made in the image of God.  Modern man has been forced to accept the false dichotomy between nature and grace and consequently takes a leap of faith to the upper story and embraces some form of mysticism, which gives an illusion of unity to the whole.  But as Schaeffer points out, “The very ‘mannishness’ of man refuses to live in the logic of the position  to which his humanism and rationalism have brought him.  To say that I am only a machine is one thing; to live consistently  as if this were true is quite another” (The God Who Is There, 68).  Schaeffer continues, “Every truly modern man is forced to accept some sort of leap in theory or practice, because the pressure of his own humanity demands it.  He can say what he will concerning what he himself is; but no matter what he says he is, he is still a man” (The God Who Is There, 69).

Thus, the foundation for Francis Schaeffer’s basic approach to apologetics is simply to recognize that man is an image-bearer.  Man even in his sin has personality, significance, and worth.  Therefore, the apologist should approach him in those terms.  The apologist must not only recognize that man is made in the image of God;  he must also love him in word and deed.  Finally, the apologist must speak to the man as a unit; he must reach the whole man (for faith truly does involve the whole man) and refuse to buy into the popularized Platonic idea that man’s soul is more important than the body.

Francis Schaeffer in describing the 1960’s noted:

The younger people and the older ones tried drug taking but then turned to the eastern religions. Both drugs and the eastern religions seek truth inside one’s own head, a negation of reason. The central reason of the popularity of eastern religions in the west is a hope for a nonrational meaning to life and values. The reason the young people turn to eastern religion is simply the fact as we have said and that is that man having moved into the area of nonreason could put anything up there and the heart of the eastern religions  is a denial of reason just exactly as the idealistic drug taking was….The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

Here are some wise words of Francis Schaeffer from his book HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT (the chapter is entitled, “Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?”

Of course, if the infinite uncreated Personal communicated to the finite created personal, he would not exhaust himself in his communication; but two things are clear here:
 
1. Even communication between once created person and another is not exhaustive, but that does not mean that for that reason it is not true. 
 
2. If the uncreated Personal really cared for the created personal, it could not be thought unexpected for him to tell the created personal things of a propositional nature; otherwise as a finite being the created personal would have numerous things he could not know if he just began with himself as a limited, finite reference point. In such a case, there is no intrinsic reason why the uncreated Personal could communicate some vaguely true things, but could not communicate propositional truth concerning the world surrounding the created personal – for fun, let’s call that science. Or why he could not communicate propositional truth to the created personal concerning the sequence that followed the uncreated Personal making everything he made – let’s call that history. There is no reason we could think of why he could not tell these two types of propositional things truly. They would not be exhaustive; but could we think of any reason why they would not be true? The above is, of course, what the Bible claims for itself in regard to PROPOSITIONAL revelation.

Francis Schaeffer tells his story in his film series HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?:

Before you even come to the Bible and begin to read it one must realize there are 2 ways to read the Bible. One is just one more religious thing among thousands of other religious is nothing more than another form of a trip, not very, very different actually from a drug trip. The other way is to understand that the Bible is truth and as such what we are listening to is something that is completely contrary to what here about us on every side namely merely statistical averages, relativistic things. Now having said this then I would have to guard myself for the simple reason that it doesn’t mean a person has to believe all of this before he can begin to read the Bible and find truth in the Bible.

I would just say in just passing I was not raised in a Christian family and I was reading much philosophy when I was a young man and I didn’t read the Bible because I believed it was true. I read it simply out of an intellectual honesty, but I did do one thing. I read it exactly as it was written beginning with Genesis 1:1 and going right on, I read it just as I would read another book expecting what was being given was a straight forward statement of what was meant and it wasn’t supposed to be read on a different level than that I would read in another kind of book. As I read it, it answered the questions already at that time I realized that humanistic philosophy couldn’t answer and over a six month period I came to conclude it was truth. Nevertheless, we must keep in the back of our mind how are we reading the Bible, just as another religious trip or am I really wrestling with the question of what is given in all the areas in which it speaks. Is it truth in comparison to merely relativism?

IS THE BIBLE ACCURATE IN  THE AREAS OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY? The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription.13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible. 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? written by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop, under footnote #94):

Consider, too, the threat in the entire Middle East from the power of Assyria. In 853 B.C. King Shalmaneser III of Assyria came west from the region of the Euphrates River, only to be successfully repulsed by a determined alliance of all the states in that area of the Battle of Qarqar. Shalmaneser’s record gives details of the alliance. In these he includes Ahab, who he tells us put 2000 chariots and 10,000 infantry into the battle. However, after Ahab’s death, Samaria was no longer strong enough to retain control, and Moab under King Mesha declared its independence, as II Kings 3:4,5 makes clear:

Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder, and he had to deliver to the king of Israel 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams. But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.

The famous Moabite (Mesha) Stone, now in the Louvre, bears an inscription which testifies to Mesha’s reality and of his success in throwing off the yoke of Israel. This is an inscribed black basalt stela, about four feet high, two feet wide, and several inches thick.

In an earlier letter to you I quoted Psalms chapter 22. Why not take a few minutes and just read the short chapter of Psalms 22 that was written hundreds of years before the Romans even invented the practice of Crucifixion. 1000 years BC the Jews had the practice of stoning people but we read in this chapter a graphic description of Christ dying on the cross. How do you explain that without looking ABOVE THE SUN to God.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven Live (HD)

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Inductees: John “Bonzo” Bonham (drums; born May 31, 1948, died September 25, 1980), John Paul Jones (bass, keyboards; born January 3, 1946), Jimmy Page (guitar; born January 9, 1944), Robert Plant (vocals; born August 20, 1948)

Combining the visceral power and intensity of hard rock with the finesse and delicacy of British folk music, Led Zeppelin redefined rock in the Seventies and for all time. They were as influential in that decade as the Beatles were in the prior one. Their impact extends to classic and alternative rockers alike. Then and now, Led Zeppelin looms larger than life on the rock landscape as a band for the ages with an almost mystical power to evoke primal passions. The combination of Jimmy Page’s powerful, layered guitar work, Robert Plant’s keening, upper-timbre vocals, John Paul Jones’ melodic bass playing and keyboard work, and John Bonham’s thunderous drumming made for a band whose alchemy proved enchanting and irresistible. “The motto of the group is definitely, ‘Ever onward,’” Page said in 1977, perfectly summing up Led Zeppelin’s forward-thinking philosophy.

The group formed in 1968 from the ashes of the Yardbirds, for which guitarist Jimmy Page had served as lead guitarist after Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. Page’s stint in the Yardbirds (1966-1968) followed a period of years as one of Britain’s most in-demand session guitarists. As a generally anonymous hired gun, Page performed on mid-Sixties British Invasion records by the likes of Donovan (“Hurdy Gurdy Man”), Them (“Gloria”), the Who (“I Can’t Explain”) and hundreds of others. Page assembled a “New Yardbirds” in order to fulfill contractual obligations that, once served, allowed him to move on to his blues-based dream band, Led Zeppelin.

Bassist John Paul Jones also boasted a lofty session musician’s pedigree. His resume included work for the Rolling Stones, Donovan, Jeff Beck and Dusty Springfield. Singer Robert Plant and drummer John “Bonzo” Bonham came from Birmingham, England, where they’d previously played in the Band of Joy. Page described Led Zeppelin in a press release for their first album with these words: “I can’t put a tag to our music. Every one of us has been influenced by the blues, but it’s one’s interpretation of it and how you utilize it. I wish someone would invent an expression, but the closest I can get is contemporary blues.” Integrating Delta blues and U.K. folk influences with a modern rock approach, Led Zeppelin’s symbiosis gave rise to hard rock, which flourished in the Seventies under their expert tutelage. Such classics as “Whole Lotta Love” were built around Page’s heavyweight guitar riffs, Plant’s raw, half-screamed vocals, and the rhythm section’s deep, walloping assaults – all hallmarks of a new approach to rock that combined heaviness and delicacy.

In Jimmy Page’s words, the band aimed for “a kind of construction in light and shade.” The members of Led Zeppelin were musical sponges, often traveling the world –literally traipsing about foreign lands and figuratively exploring the cultural landscape via their record collections – in search of fresh input to trigger their muse. “The very thing Zeppelin was about was that there were absolutely no limits,” explained bassist Jones. “We all had ideas, and we’d use everything we came across, whether it was folk, country music, blues, Indian, Arabic.”

The group’s use of familiar blues-rock forms spiced with exotic flavors found favor among the rock audience that emerged in the Seventies. Led Zeppelin aimed itself at the album market, eschewing the AM-radio singles orientation of the previous decade. Their self-titled first album found them elongating blues forms with extended solos and psychedelic effects, most notably on the agonized “Dazed and Confused,” and launching pithy hard-rock rave-ups like “Good Times Bad Times” and “Communication Breakdown.” Led Zeppelin II found them further tightening up and modernizing their blues-rock approach on such tracks as “Whole Lotta Love,” “Heartbreaker” and “Ramble On.” Led Zeppelin III took a more acoustic, folk-oriented approach on such numbers as Leadbelly’s “Gallows Pole” and their own “Tangerine,” yet they also rocked furiously on “Immigrant Song” and offered a lengthy electric blues, “Since I’ve Been Loving You.”

The group’s untitled fourth album (a.k.a., Led Zeppelin IV, “The Runes Album” and ZOSO), which appeared in 1971, remains an enduring rock milestone and their defining work. The album was a fully realized hybrid of the folk and hard-rock directions they’d been pursuing, particularly on “When the Levee Breaks” and “The Battle of Evermore.” “Black Dog” was a piledriving hard-rock number cut from the same cloth as “Whole Lotta Love.” Most significant of the album’s eight tracks was the fable-like “Stairway to Heaven,” an eight-minute epic that, while never released as a single, remains radio’s all-time most-requested rock song. Houses of the Holy, Led Zeppelin’s fifth album, was another larger-than-life offering, from its startling artwork to the adventuresome music within. Even more taut, dynamic and groove-oriented, it included such Zeppelin staples as “Dancing Days,” “The Song Remains the Same” and “D’yer Mak’er.” They followed this with the Physical Graffiti, a double-album assertion of group strength that included the “Trampled Underfoot,” “Sick Again,” “Ten Years Gone” and the lengthy, Eastern-flavored “Kashmir.”

Led Zeppelin’s sold-out concert tours became rituals of high-energy rock and roll theater. The Song Remains the Same, a film documentary and double-album soundtrack from 1976, attests to the group’s powerful and somewhat saturnalian appeal at the height of their popularity. The darker side of Led Zeppelin – their reputation as one of the most hedonistic and indulgent of all rock bands– is an undeniable facet of the band’s history.

In the mid-to-late Seventies, a series of tragedies befell and ultimately broke up Led Zeppelin. A 1975 car crash on a Greek island nearly cost Plant his leg and sidelined him (and the band) for two years. In 1977, Plant’s six-year-old son Karac died of a viral infection. The group inevitably lost momentum, as three years passed between the release of the underrated Presence (1976) and In Through the Out Door, their final studio album (1979). On September 25, 1980, while in the midst of rehearsals for an upcoming American tour, Led Zeppelin suffered another debilitating blow. Drummer John Bonham was found dead due to asphyxiation following excessive alcohol consumption. Feeling that he was irreplaceable, Led Zeppelin disbanded.

Robert Plant launched a solo career, Jimmy Page formed The Firm with former Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers, and John Paul Jones returned to producing, arranging and scoring music. There were brief reunions at Live Aid and for Atlantic Records’ 40th anniversary celebration. Something of the old power was rekindled in 1994-1995, when Page and Plant reunited to record an album (No Quarter) and tour with a large and diverse ensemble of musicians.

On December 10, 2007, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited for a tribute concert in memory of the late founder of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun. With Jason Bonham, the son of John Bonham, on drums, the group performed at the O2 Arena in London. They played 16 songs, opening with “Good Times, Bad Times” and closing their set with “Kashmir.” The show was filmed and was finally released to theaters in October 2012. A commercial DVD and CD were released in November 2012. Even though the band members talked about possibly playing more shows, the London concert was the band’s final appearance.

Meanwhile, the Led Zeppelin legend endures and grows long after their demise, much like that of the Doors and Elvis Presley. The lingering appeal of Led Zeppelin is perhaps best summed up by guitarist Page: “Passion is the word….It was a very passionate band, and that’s really what comes through.” At the dawn of the new millennium, Led Zeppelin placed second only to the Beatles in terms of record sales, having sold 84 million units. Led Zeppelin IV is the fourth best-selling album in history, having sold more than 22 million copies, and four other albums by the band – Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin II, Houses of the Holy and Led Zeppelin – also rank among the all-time top 100 best-sellers. Fittingly, Led Zeppelin is tied with the Beatles (five apiece) for the most albums on that esteemed list – a mark of both bands’ impact. In their ceaseless determination to move music forward, Led Zeppelin carved out an indelible place in rock history.

– See more at: http://rockhall.com/inductees/led-zeppelin/bio/#sthash.IyslytVh.dpuf

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 306 Letter to Richard Dawkins concerning Darwin’s words “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” Featured Artist is Ray Holt

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Richard Dawkins and Ricky Gervais

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Francis Schaeffer below:

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Richard Dawkins vs John Lennox | The God Delusion Debate

Ben Stein vs. Richard Dawkins Interview


XXXX Peter Singer – The Genius of Darwin: The Uncut Interviews – Richard Dawkins

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Science Confirms the Bible with Ken Ham

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Schaeffer with his wife Edith in Switzerland.


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Richard Dawkins and John Lennox

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DawkinsWard

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August 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.

On August 28, 2019 you tweeted:

Beethoven’s heiliger Dankgesang: lunchtime listening inspired by Aldous Huxley’s Spandrell who tries to persuade Rampion (the DH Lawrence character) that the music proves God. Rampion demurs, but on spurious aesthetic grounds rather than because art can’t deliver such a proof

I tweeted in response:

Charles Darwin noted before he died that nature and music no longer testified of God “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.”

 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 lettersI 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. 

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.

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

Francis and Edith Schaeffer seen below:

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Image result for francis schaeffer c. everett koop whatever happened to human race?

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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:

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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

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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Dark History of Evolution-Henry Morris, Ph.D.

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Featured artist is Ray Holt 

Roy Holt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia    

Roy Holt (1942–2007) was a British contemporary artistspecialising in painting.

Born in Surrey and studied at the Royal Academy Schools and later at Goldsmiths College. His work has been exhibited widely in museums and galleries in the UK, Europe, the US and China; has been shown twice at the John Moores[disambiguation needed][1]and three times at the Young Contemporaries[2] (now called New Contemporaries).

As well as working in his London Studio he was also a Principal Lecturer and Reader in Contemporary Fine Art Practice at Liverpool College of Art[3] where he taught for four decades. He was a visiting lecturer at the Royal Academy Schools, the Royal College and on the Fine Art MA at Goldsmiths School of Art.

Holt’s formal specialism was colour and he was a passionate disciple of Josef Albers. His broader interest which informed his artwork and teaching, was based on the notion of ‘Art as Folly’.[4]His art works are mainly wall–based installations often reflecting DIY culture which he saw as a rich source reflecting some of the latent desires and hopes in society.

He considered art objects as ‘Objects of Speculation’ in which he saw the role of the viewer as pivotal, challenging our rationalism (and insecurities) thus allowing us to speculate on a more wonderful universe.

In addition to his art practice he also wrote many critical texts, including ‘Verbs Posing as Nouns’ in ‘Sigmar Polke: Back to Postmodernity’[5] published by Tate Liverpool and Liverpool University Press.[6]

He was also an original member of the Liverpool Art School band, Deaf School[7] in the mid 1970s, playing his much loved instrument the banjo.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ John Moores Biennial
  2. Jump up^ New Contemporaries
  3. Jump up^ John Moores Fine Art Degree show review
  4. Jump up^ Drive book
  5. Jump up^ Sigmar Polke: Back to Modernity ISBN 978-0-85323-911-6
  6. Jump up^ Liverpool University Press
  7. Jump up^ official Deaf School site

External links[edit]

Categories:

 
   Roy Holt was a British contemporary artist specialising in painting. He worked from his London based studio and was a principal Lecturer in Fine Art and Reader in Contemporary Fine Art Practice at Liverpool School of Art, John Moores University. He studied at the Royal Academy Schools and later at Goldsmiths College. His work has been exhibited widely in museums and galleries in the UK and internationally. Holt’s formal specialism was colour (he was a passionate disciple of Josef Albers) his broader interest which informed his own artwork and teaching, was based on the notion of ‘Art as Folly’. His art works are mainly wall–based installations often reflecting DIY culture which he saw as a rich source reflecting some of the latent desires and hopes in society. He considered art objects as ‘Objects of Speculation’ in which he saw the role of the viewer as pivotal, challenging our rationalism (and insecurities) allowing us to speculate on a more wonderful universe.  
 The majority of the work seen on this website is held together as a collection in Liverpool and can be viewed by appointment.

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Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

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This is the second portion of my 5-15-94 letter to Richard Dawkins and last week I posted the first portion and next week I will post the third portion.

SECTION #1 Evolution is discussed by these scholars: H.G.Wells, Antony Flew, Neal Gillespie, Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Joseph McCabe, Louis Russell, Leo Hickey, Francis Crick, Michael Ruse, Norman D. Newell, Robert C. Cowen, Jeremy Rifkin, Francis Schaeffer, H.J.Blackham, Paul Churchland, J.W.Burrow, Douglas Futuyma, William Provine, and Bertrand Russell!!!!______________________ I am trying in this letter to show that the following statements are true and can not be refuted logically.1. Theistic evolution is not rational.2. Evolution has been considered a fact by the vast majority of leading scholars worldwide for many years now.3. There  has been a drift from belief to agnosticism caused by science in recent years.4. The vast majority of leading scientists today do not consider creationism scientific.5. There are philosophical implications of Darwinism.——————
1. Theistic evolution is not rational.http://creation.mobi/hg-wells-evolution-and-the-gospelH G Wells

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‘If all the animals and man had been evolved in this ascendant manner, then there had been no first parents, no Eden, and no Fall. And if there had been no fall, then the entire historical fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin and the reason for an atonement, upon which the current teaching based Christian emotion and morality, collapsed like a house of cards.’—-Antony Flew

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It is obviously impossible to square any evolutionary account of the origin of the species with a substantially literal reading of the first chapters of Genesis.—-
2.Evolution has been considered a fact by the vast majority of leading scholars worldwide for many years now.—-
Humanist Manifesto II (1973): Science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces.—Neal Gillespie
Darwin’s rejection of special creation was part of the transformation of biology into a positive science, one committed to thoroughly naturalistic explanations based on material causes and the uniformity of nature…——Carl Sagan

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Evolution is fact, not a theory—-Lee Dembart of the Los Angeles Times commenting on the book by Richard Dawkins called “The Blind Watchmaker”:The book cuts through the nonsense about the origin of life and leaves it for dead….He demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that evolution is the only possible explanation for the world we see around us. In this work Dawkins refutes the argument that the complexity of life cannot be random, this implying a designer or creator.—-
Joseph McCabe in a debate with George Mccready Price:
Something over 50 years ago a great man of science launched the doctrine of evolution upon the world. Generation by generation , decade by decade, scientific men have fought out that issue. I say that there is not an university professor in the world today who does not emphatically endorse the doctrine of evolution ….100 years ago, in the days of Lamarck and Darwin, men looked across that broad river and there was nothing between (man and ape)….Now we men of the Stone Age carrying us nearer to the ape; the pilot down man, and one or two others, going as far again in the direction of the ape.—-Louis S Russell, director, Royal Ontario Museum, It’s completely false to say that there’s a lacking of transitional forms. We have plenty of them —-more than sometimes we can deal with.—-Leo Hickey, former director, Yale Peabody Museum, There are myriad transitional forms. There’s really no problem finding them.—-

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Francis Crick: The ultimate aim of the modern movement in biology is, in fact, to explain all biology in terms of physics and chemistry.—-
3. There has been a drift from belief to agnosticism caused by science in recent years———————-
Dr Huston Smith: One reason education undoes belief (in God) is it’s teaching of evolution; Darwin’s own drift from orthodoxy to agnosticism was symptomatic.—-Asa Gray (1810-1888), a Harvard professor of botony was a supporter of theistic evolution. He tried to persuade Darwin to adopt the  position of  theistic evolution. Darwin quickly struck down Gray’s  argument, “The view that each variation has been providentially arranged seems to me to make natural selection entirely superfluous, and indeed takes the whole case of the appearance of new species out of the range of science. ——Michael Denton “ today it is perhaps the Darwinian view of nature more than any other that is responsible for the agnostic and sceptical outlook of the twentieth century…(It is) a theory that literally changed the world.”

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Vincent Sarich in a debate with Mr Gish said, “As far as I am concerned it was not God that created man, but quite clearly and obviously man that in ultimate example of his overwhelming pride created an omnipotent God in his own idealized image of himself and in doing so thought to make himself all powerful and independent of any laws but those of his own making.”—-4. Leading scientists worldwide today do not believe creationism is scientific.Michael Ruse – “And, I learnt what a hollow sham modern day creationism really is : crude, dogmatic, biblical literal-ism masquerading as  genuine science.”
Norman D. Newell
 – “Finally I should like to define the word science, and explain why scientific creationism cannot be included in its definition. Science is characterized by the willingness of an investigator to follow evidence wherever it leads.”Robert C. Cowen – It is this many-faceted on-going science story that should be told in public school biology courses. Creationists want those courses to include the possibility of – and the “scientific” evidence for – a creator as well. There is no such “scientific” evidence. The concept of a supernatural creator is inherently religious. It has no place in a science class.

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Jeremy Rifkin – “Evolutionary theory has been enshrined as the centerpiece of our educational system, and elaborate walls have been erected around it to protect it from unnecessary abuse.”5.There are philosophical implications of Darwinism.Francis Schaeffer in his book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? co-authored by C. Everett Koop in 1979 said this, “Humanism: 1. Rejects the doctrine of creation. 2. Therefore rejects the idea that there is anything stable or ‘given’ about human nature. 3. Sees human nature as part of a long, unfolding process of development in which everything is changing. 4. Casts around for some solution to the problem of despair that this determinist-evolutionist vision induces…

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The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this with a dramatic illustration: On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967). Mr. Schaeffer comments, “One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has exited forever and in ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form.”Paul Churchland – “The important point about the standard evolutionary story is that the human species and all of its features are the wholly physical outcome of a purely physical process. If this is the correct account of our origin, then there seems neither need nor room to fit any nonphysical substances or properties into our theoretical accounts of ourselves. We are creatures of matter.”J.W.Burrow – “Nature, according to Darwin, was the product of blind chance and a blind struggle, and man a lonely, intelligent mutation, scrambling with the brutes for his sustenance. To some the sense of loss was irrevocable; It was as if an umbilical cord had been cut, and men found themselves part of a cold passionless universe.”

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Douglas Futuyma –  “Whether people are explicitly religious or not they tend to imagine that humans are in some sense the center of the universe. And what evolution does is to remove humans from the center of the universe. We are just one product of a very long historical process that has given rise to an enormous amount of organisms, and we are just one of them. So in one sense there is nothing special about us.”William B. Provine in “The End of Ethics?” article in HARD CHOICES (a magazine companion to the television series HARD CHOICES) wrote:Even though it is often asserted that science is fully compatible with our Judeo-Christian tradition, in fact it is not… To be sure, even in antiquity, the mechanistic view of life–that chance was responsible for the shape of the world– had a few adherents. But belief in overarching order was dominant; it can be seen as easily in such scientists as Newton, Harvey, and Einstein as in the theologians Augustine, Luther, and Tillich. But beginning with Darwin, biology has undermined that tradition. Darwin in effect asserted that all living organisms had been created by a combination of chance and necessity–natural selection.In the twentieth century, this view of life has been reinforced by a whole series of discoveries…Mind is the only remaining frontier, but it would be shortsighted to doubt that it can, one day, be duplicated in the form of thinking robots or analyzed in terms of the chemistry and electricity of the brain. The extreme mechanic view of life, which every new discovery in biology tends to confirm, has certain implications. First, God has no role in the physical world…Second, except for the laws of probability and cause and effect, there is no organizing principle in the world, and no purpose. 

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Bertrand Russell – “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the débris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

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

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

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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, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert DreyfusBart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. HänschBrian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesSteve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry KrotoGeorge LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver SacksJohn SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de SousaVictor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard SusskindRaymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander VilenkinSir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the second video below in the 67th clip in this series are Richard Dawkins’ words that Harry Kroto wanted me to see. Since then I have read several of Richard Dawkins books and have attempted to respond to the contents of these books directly to Richard Dawkins by mail. In fact, I have been writing Richard Dawkins letters since May 15, 1994 which was the 10th anniversary of the passing of one of my heroes, Francis Schaeffer. Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time responding to many of Richard Dawkins’ heroes such as Carl Sagan, Jacques Monod, H.J. Blackham, Isaac Newton, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Max Planck, Johann Sebastian Bach, Francis Bacon, Samuel Beckett, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday, Gerald Horton, Edmund Leach, Louis Pasteur, George Wald, Jacob Bronowski, Steven Weinberg, Charles Darwin, Paul Kurtz, Peter Singer, Jonathan Miller, William B. Provine, Woody Allen, Noam Chomsky, James D. Watson, Francis Crick, Michael Polanyi, The Huxley family, Antony Flew, and Edward O. Wilson (Dawkins has since revised his opinion of Flew and Wilson, but he earlier regarded them very highly). 

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Francis Schaeffer 1911-1984

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Both Francis Schaeffer and Richard Dawkins have talked extensively about the life of Charles Darwin.

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Sir Harry Kroto with his high school friend Sir Ian McKellan at the FSU National High Field Magnetic Lab on Tuesday, October 27, 2009.

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50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

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Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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Edit Post ‹ The Daily Hatch — WordPress

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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Richard Dawkins Photos Photos – Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication – Zimbio

Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication

Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication In This Photo: Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Brian May, Harold Kroto, Alexi Leonov, Garik Israelian

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

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

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Bart Ehrman “Why should one think that God performed the miracle of inspiring the words in the first place if He didn’t perform the miracle of preserving the words?”

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“Music Monday” THE BEATLES (breaking down the song “Revolution” ) Featured artist is William Cordova

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The Beatles are featured in this episode below and Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world.”

How Should We then Live Episode 7 

John Lennon- On Revolution & Native Americans

The Beatles:

 

Schaeffer talked about the young people of the 1960’s and their dissatisfaction with their parents values and he talked about also the proper reasons to confront the government. Unfortunately, John Lennon wrote some words in the song REVOLUTION that indicated that a revolution involving violence was a possible remedy.

The website Genius gives us some good insights into the song:

 

[Verse 1]
You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world

You tell me that it’s evolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know you can count me out

The version of this song that appears on The Beatles (The White Album) has a variant lyric indicating Lennon’s uncertainty about destructive change, with the phrase “count me out” recorded as “count me out, in”. “Revolution I” was recorded first, but released second. giving the false impression that he was becoming less sure of his pacifist views, when in it was in fact the opposite.

“Count me out if it’s for violence. Don’t expect me on the barricades unless it’s with flowers”
John Lennon in 1980 about how “Revolution” still stood as an expression of his politics.

[Chorus]
Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
Alright, alright

[Verse 2]
You say you got a real solution
Well you know
We’d all love to see the plan

According to wikipedia, John said he wrote this song around the time they had been advised to stop answering questions about the Vietnamese war. This was such a fraught period in American political life that he could have been referring to any number of issues here, but what is most clear is that the Beatles were unafraid to call on and question politics and government even as they were the biggest band in the world.
You ask me for a contribution
Well you know
We’re doing what we can
But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

[Chorus]

[Verse 3]
You say you’ll change the constitution
Well you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well you know
You better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

[Chorus]

[Outro]
Alright, alright
Alright, alright
Alright, alright
Alright, alright

12.07.2010
11:57 pmTopics:
Heroes
History
Music
PoliticsTags:
John Lennon
People’s Park

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Photograph by Ted Streshinsky, “People’s Park Riots, National Guard and Protester”

John Lennon and The Beatles were synchronous with most of the pivotal points of my life in the sixties. They weren’t leaders, they weren’t my gurus, they were my companions, my spiritual allies on a magical and very mysterious trip. And John was the one I felt closest to. I could relate to his peace and love approach, but I also deeply felt his angrier side, his revolutionary spirit.

(The following is an edited excerpt from a rough draft of my memoirs)

The People’s Park situation had gotten out of control. Reagan declared Martial Law.

On May 29, 1969 John Lennon called the People’s Park protest organizers (UCB students) twice to offer his support. It was the day before a major march was to be held and there was a lot of tension in the air. The calls were broadcast on KPFA radio. Lennon’s exhortations to stay cool could be heard from radios perched on window sills throughout the city:

“There’s no cause worth losing your life for, there isn’t any path worth getting shot for and you can do better by moving on to another city. Don’t move about if it aggravates the pigs, and don’t get hassled by the cops, and don’t play their games. I know it’s hard, Christ you know it ain’t easy, you know how hard it can be man, so
what? Everything’s hard. It’s better to have it hard than to not have it at all.

Entice them, entice them! Con them-you’ve got the brains, you can do it. You can make it, man! We can make it together. We can get it together!”

It was almost two weeks after Bloody Thursday, but the streets were still crawling with National Guard, cops in riot gear, and military tanks. It looked like Prague 1968. I was in the middle of it all. I decided to leave town. I was a peacenik and didn’t want anything to do with the violence that was erupting all around me, most of it instigated by jackbooted cops from Oakland.

My girlfriend Vicki and I were walking down University Ave. toward a freeway onramp when a cop car, sirens wailing, screeched up along side us and a bunch of bulls spilled out wildly waving their nightsticks and knocked us to the ground. They ripped the backpacks off our bodies and tore them open, scattering our stuff all over the sidewalk. Instead of bombs or guns or whatever the fuck they were looking for, they ended up with a few bags of granola, dried fruit and brown rice. As the cops were piling back into their car, a van pulled up to the curb and its longhair driver shouted for us to “get in, get in!”  We threw our backpacks and ourselves into the van and slammed the door shut.  This infuriated the cops. They leaped back out of their car and started slamming billy clubs upside the van as we sped off. The cops were out of their fucking minds, rabid Keystone Kops gone mad with the smell of hippie blood.

I decided not to leave Berkeley but to stay and join my neighbors in protest of the cop riot and the occupation of our city by Reagan’s goon squads. This was happening on my turf and I had to be involved. It wasn’t going away. And avoiding it was a chickenshit approach that I couldn’t live with.

On May 30th over 30,000 people (one third of Berkeley’s population) marched to People’s Park to save it from destruction. Vicki and I were among them. The National Guard and the cops were out in full force. But, they were outnumbered and overwhelmed. Young girls slid flowers down the muzzles of bayoneted rifles and a small airplane flew over the city trailing a banner that read, “Let A Thousand Parks Bloom.”

The park was surrounded by a fence. Inside the fence were hundreds of young Guardsmen. Outside the fence were thousands of peaceful protesters. Some of the Guardsmen looked terrified; others were smiling and flashing peace symbols. Community leaders and organizers were making speeches from a couple of flatbed trucks. Music played. At one point a bunch of us jumped up on one of the flatbeds, took off our clothes and started dancing. We were chanting to the soldiers inside the fence to “join us, join us”. Most of them looked like they were ready to leap the fence and do exactly that. Seeing a bunch of cute hippie chicks naked and offering their bodies to them was mighty tempting to those horny young guys, some of whom were actually UCB students who had joined the guard to avoid going to Vietnam. They knew they were on the wrong side of the fence. I later read that several of them did end up joining the protesters and were severely punished for having done so. The following week, a picture of me dancing nude on that flatbed truck appeared on the cover of the Berkeley Barb. Rocking out with my cock out!  Mao said “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”  I had a different approach.

Two years later, People’s Park was resurrected. It exists to this day. Power to the people and their parks.

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

Berkeley’s Campus Free Speech Movement at 50

The Free Speech Movement: civil disobedience in Berkeley 1964

Mario Savio, leader of the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley (1964) – from THE EDUCATION ARCHIVE

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 series we have looked at several areas in life where the Beatles looked for meaning and hope but also we have examined some of the lives of those  writers, artists, poets, painters, scientists, athletes, models, actors,  religious leaders, musicians, comedians, and philosophers  that were put on the cover of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. We have discovered that many of these individuals on the cover have even taken a Kierkegaardian leap into the area of nonreason in order to find meaning for their lives and that is the reason 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.”

 Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Album really did look at every potential answer to meaning in life and to as many people as the Beatles could imagine had the answers to life’s big questions. One of the persons on the cover did have access to those answers and I am saving that person for last in this series on the Beatles. 

During this long series on the Beatles it has become quite evident that there were reasons why certain writers, artists, poets, painters, scientists, athletes, models, actors,  religious leaders, musicians, comedians, and philosophers were put on the cover of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and that is the Beatles had made it to the top of the world but they were still searching for purpose and lasting meaning for their lives. They felt they were in the same boat as those pictured on the cover and so they called it appropriately Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  In his article “Philosophy and its Effect on Society  Robert A. Sungenis, notes that all these individuals “are all viewing the burial scene of the Beatles, which, in the framework we are using here, represents the passing of idealistic innocence and the failure to find a rational answer and meaning to life, an answer to love, purpose, significance and morals. They instead were leaping into the irrational, whether it was by drugs, the occult, suicide, or the bizarre.”

Communism catches the attention of the young at heart but it has always brought repression wherever it is tried. “True Communism has never been tried” is something I was told just a few months ago by a well meaning young person who was impressed with the ideas of Karl Marx. I responded that there are only 5 communist countries in the world today and they lack political, economic and religious freedom.
Tony Bartolucci noted that Schaeffer has correctly pointed out:
Hope in Marxism-Leninism is a leap in the area of nonreason. From the Russian Revolution until 1959 a total of 66 million prisoners died. This was deemed acceptable to the leaders because internal security was to be gained at any cost. The ends justified the means. The materialism of Marxism gives no basis for human dignity or rights. These hold to their philosophy against all reason and close their eyes to the oppression of the system.

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

WHY DOES COMMUNISM FAIL?
Communism has always failed because of its materialist base.  Francis Schaeffer does a great job of showing that in this clip below. Also Schaeffer shows that there were lots of similar things about the basis for both the French and Russia revolutions and he exposes the materialist and humanist basis of both revolutions.

Schaeffer compares communism with French Revolution and Napoleon.

1. Lenin took charge in Russia much as Napoleon took charge in France – when people get desperate enough, they’ll take a dictator.

Other examples: Hitler, Julius Caesar. It could happen again.

2. Communism is very repressive, stifling political and artistic freedom. Even allies have to be coerced. (Poland).

Communists say repression is temporary until utopia can be reached – yet there is no evidence of progress in that direction. Dictatorship appears to be permanent.

3. No ultimate basis for morality (right and wrong) – materialist base of communism is just as humanistic as French. Only have “arbitrary absolutes” no final basis for right and wrong.

How is Christianity different from both French Revolution and Communism?

Contrast N.T. Christianity – very positive government reform and great strides against injustice. (especially under Wesleyan revival).

Bible gives absolutes – standards of right and wrong. It shows the problems and why they exist (man’s fall and rebellion against God).

WHY DOES THE IDEA OF COMMUNISM CATCH THE ATTENTION OF SO MANY IDEALISTIC YOUNG PEOPLE? The reason is very simple. 

In HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, the late Francis A. Schaeffer wrote:

Materialism, the philosophic base for Marxist-Leninism, gives no basis for the dignity or rights of man.  Where Marxist-Leninism is not in power it attracts and converts by talking much of dignity and rights, but its materialistic base gives no basis for the dignity or rights of man.  Yet is attracts by its constant talk of idealism.

To understand this phenomenon we must understand that Marx reached over to that for which Christianity does give a base–the dignity of man–and took the words as words of his own.  The only understanding of idealistic sounding Marxist-Leninism is that it is (in this sense) a Christian heresy.  Not having the Christian base, until it comes to power it uses the words for which Christianity does give a base.  But wherever Marxist-Leninism has had power, it has at no place in history shown where it has not brought forth oppression.  As soon as they have had the power, the desire of the majority has become a concept without meaning.

Is Christianity at all like Communism?

Sometimes Communism sounds very “Christian” – desirable goals of equality, justice, etc but these terms are just borrowed from the New Testament. Schaeffer elsewhere explains by saying Marxism is a Christian heresy.

Below is a great article. Free-lance columnist Bradley R. Gitz, who lives and teaches in Batesville, received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois.

This article was published January 30, 2011 at 2:28 a.m. Here is a portion of that article below:
A final advantage is the mutation of socialism into so many variants over the past century or so. Precisely because Karl Marx was unclear as to how it would work in practice, socialism has always been something of an empty vessel into which would be revolutionaries seeking personal meaning and utopian causes to support can pour pretty much anything.
A desire to increase state power, soak the rich and expand the welfare state is about all that is left of the original vision. Socialism for young lefties these days means “social justice” and compassion for the poor, not the gulag and the NKVD.
In the end, the one argument that will never wash is that communismcan’t be said to have failed because it was never actually tried. This is a transparent intellectual dodge that ignores the fact that “people’s democracies” were established all over the place in the first three decades after World War II.
Such sophistry is resorted to only because communism in all of those places produced hell on earth rather than heaven.
That the attempts to build communism in a remarkable variety of different geographical regions led to only tyranny and mass bloodshed tells us only that it was never feasible in the first place, and that societies built on the socialist principle ironically suffer from the kind of “inner contradictions” that Marx mistakenly predicted would destroy capitalism.
Yes, all economies are mixed in nature, and one could plausibly argue that the socialist impulse took the rough edges off of capitalism by sponsoring the creation of welfare-state programs that command considerable public support.
But the fact remains that no society in history has been able to achieve sustained prosperity without respect for private property and market forces of supply and demand. Nations, therefore, retain their economic dynamism only to the extent that they resist the temptation to travel too far down the socialist road.

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer notes:

At Berkeley the Free Speech Movement arose simultaneously with the hippie world of drugs. At first it was politically neither left nor right, but rather a call for the freedom to express any political views on Sproul Plaza. Then soon the Free Speech Movement became the Dirty Speech Movement, in which freedom was seen as shouting four-letter words into a mike.  Soon after, it became the platform for the political New Left which followed the teaching of Herbert Marcuse. Marcuse was a German professor of philosophy related to the neo-Marxist teaching of the “Frankfurt School,” along with...Jurgen Habermas (1929-). 

Herbert Marcuse, “Liberation from the Affluent Society” (1967)

Brannon Howse talks some about the Frankfurt School in some of his publications too. 

During the 1960’s many young people were turning to the New Left fueled by Marcuse and Habermas but something happened to slow many young people’s enthusiasm for that movement.

1970 bombing took away righteous standing of Anti-War movement

Francis Schaeffer mentioned the 1970 bombing in his film series “How should we then live?” and I wanted to give some more history on it. Schaeffer asserted:

In the United States the New Left also slowly ground down,losing favor because of the excesses of the bombings, especially in the bombing of the University of Wisconsin lab in 1970, where a graduate student was killed. This was not the last bomb that was or will be planted in the United States. Hard-core groups of radicals still remain and are active, and could become more active, but the violence which the New Left produced as its natural heritage (as it also had in Europe) caused the majority of young people in the United States no longer to see it as a hope. So some young people began in 1964 to challenge the false values of personal peace and affluence, and we must admire them for this. Humanism, man beginning only from himself, had destroyed the old basis of values, and could find no way to generate with certainty any new values.  In the resulting vacuum the impoverished values of personal peace and affluence had comes to stand supreme. And now, for the majority of the young people, after the passing of the false hopes of drugs as an ideology and the fading of the New Left, what remained? Only apathy was left. In the United States by the beginning of the seventies, apathy was almost complete. In contrast to the political activists of the sixties, not many of the young even went to the polls to vote, even though the national voting age was lowered to eighteen. Hope was gone.

After the turmoil of the sixties, many people thought that it was so much the better when the universities quieted down in the early seventies. I could have wept. The young people had been right in their analysis, though wrong in their solutions. How much worse when many gave up hope and simply accepted the same values as their parents–personal peace and affluence. (How Should We Then Live, pp. 209-210

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Sunday, August 28th, 2011, 11:11pm

Aug. 24 marked the 41st anniversary of the Sterling Hall bombing on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Four men planned the bomb at the height of the student protests over the Vietnam War. Back then, current Madison Mayor Paul Soglin was one of the leaders of those student protests in the capitol city. This weekend, Soglin recalled the unrest felt by UW-Madison students.

“The anti-war movement adopted a lot of its tactics and strategies from the civil rights movement which was about ten years older,” said Soglin. “It was one of picketing, demonstration, and passive resistance.”

The four men who planned the bombing focused on the Army Mathematics Research Center housed in Sterling Hall because it was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and therefore, worked on weapons technology. Karl Armstrong was one of the four men and he recently spoke with CBS News in his first television interview detailing the moments right before the bomb was set off.

“He asked me, he says, ‘Should we go ahead? Are we gonna do this?’ I think I made a comment to him about something like, ‘Now, I know what war is about,'” remembered Armstrong. “And I told him to light it.”

The bomb killed one researcher and father of three, 33-year-old Robert Fassnacht, although Armstrong maintains they planned the attack thinking no one would get hurt. The four men heard about the death as they were in their getaway car after the bomb went off.

“I felt good about doing the bombing, the bombing per se, but not taking someone’s life,” recalled Armstrong.

The researcher’s wife told CBS News that she harbors no ill will toward Armstrong and the other bombers. Three of the four men were captured and served time in prison. Armstrong served eight years of a 23-year sentence.

The fourth man, Leo Burt, was last seen in the fall of 1970 in Ontario and is to this day, still wanted by the FBI, with a $150,000 reward for his capture.

“YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION?” – THE BEATLES

We need a revolution.

When I grew up in the 60’s, young people rebelled against materialism and morality.  We said “Enough!!” and fought back against the establishment – an establishment we regarded as corrupt and clueless.  When it came to a war we thought unjust we chanted, “Hell no, we won’t go!!”  When it came to materialism we said, “We don’t want it!!”, and walked about with no shoes and holes in our jeans.  And when it came to traditional morality, we rejected it and gave ourselves to free sex, drugs and rock and roll.  It had an enduring impact on our nation.  And while the rejection of materialism was a positive reminder that there are more important things to life than possessions, the plunge into immorality has been devastating.

Today, four decades later, as I look at the Evangelical Christian Church (now as a pastor, husband, father and grandfather) I can’t help but believe we are in need of another revolution.  This time, however, we need a revolution among Christian young people – those who will go against the narcissistic thinking of their unspiritual Christian parents, a thinking that only leads to selfishness, materialism and a high divorce rate.

Our Christian young people are being destroyed today by a culture of sexual impurity – a poisonous trend that is not taken seriously enough by their clueless parents.  Our daughters rarely lay claim to being virgins on their wedding night and we have helped to produce an entire generation of young men who are porn addicts.  Our divorce rates are skyrocketing and, as a result, our grandchildren are being traumatized.

Sadly, biblical illiteracy is at an all time high.  As a result, most Christians are unaware that the Bible’s solution to sexual immorality among our young people is to simply encourage marriage (1 Cor 7).  But rather than obey the Bible, we have been polluted by a pagan culture that has convinced us that young marriage is a terrible thing.  Despite the fact that studies show the single greatest contributor to divorce is sexual activity before marriage, we foolishly ignore the dangers of sexual promiscuity and ignorantly treat it as no big deal.  “Don’t worry, Jesus will forgive you later…”  Rather than encourage purity, Christian parents encourage – no, they threaten their young people that if they marry too young they will punish them with all their strength: refuse to pay for college, refuse to pay for any wedding or even refuse to attend any such weddings.  These corrupted guardians, having been sufficiently polluted by the poison of the lust of this world, deliberately insist that their children first obtain what the Bible clearly warns them against: money, things, and the cares of this life.

“Don’t you DARE marry too young!!  You need an education first!! You need an established career first!”  Despite what Jesus taught, “You need to secure the cares of this life first and at all costs!!”

Follow Biblical teachings?  Ridiculous.

Make purity our highest priority?  Foolishness.

Serve God??  No way!!  Unless, of course, one considers money their true god.  In which case we need our education first.  Our careers first.  Our insurance plans and 401Ks first.  Our big house and flat screen TVs and BMWs first.  After all, we don’t want to offend the god of money…

Many Christian parents today have virtually zero concept of encouraging their children to put God first in their lives.  Are you kidding?! Most Christian parents don’t even tithe to their church.  Good grief, if we can’t even give a decent percentage of our money to God, why would we encourage our kids to put any effort towards putting God first in any other area?

Mormons put Evangelical Christians to shame.  Right out of high school, they encourage their young people to spend 2 years in service to God before pursuing their dreams.  Can you imagine an Evangelical church doing that?  Can you imagine the hell a pastor would pay if he encouraged the young people in his congregation to delay their plans and serve in the mission field first?  Delay college?!  Delay gratification?!!  Actually put God first?!!!  Outrageous!!!!

I fear most Christian parents today have been so poisoned – by the love of money, by the pride of life, by the cares of this world – that there is little hope of getting them to do the right thing concerning their young adults.  Most, if they were to read this post, would dismiss these thoughts almost as quickly as they could read them.  No, our hope does not lie in their potential enlightenment and eventual repentance.  Our hope lies somewhere else.  We need another revolution.  We need a revolution from the young.  But this time, rather than rebelling against materialism and morality, we need them to rebel against materialism and IMMorality.

This is not to say that earning a good income is not important.  And a college education may be the right path for them.  But the thinking must be God first, morality first, service first.  Besides, if there is one lesson people should be learning in the present economy is that certain career, savings, investments, and 401Ks are an illusion.  Better our young people pursue those things that can never be taken away from them or lost in a bad economy.

We need young people who will have enough of God in them to say “Hell no, we won’t go!”  “We don’t need all this stuff!!”  “We are going to take time and put God first.”  “Instead of losing our virginity and becoming porn addicts, we are going to marry young.”  “If you won’t pay for college, fine.  You won’t pay for the wedding, so be it.”  We need young people who will rise up and as respectfully as possible, tell their clueless Christian parents to “stick it”!  (Again, as respectfully as possible.)

Jesus warned that on judgment day many would say “Lord, lord…”, but will be shocked when he responds, “Sorry, I don’t know you.”  (Matt 7)  I can’t help but think that at the very front of that line will be 21st Century, so-called Christian parents who are more concerned that their kids make money than stay pure and honor God.

Jesus asked the question, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18) He never answered the question.

Will there be faith when Jesus returns?  I am not sure the answer will be yes.  Unless our youth rebel against their spiritually cold, materialist and morally clueless parents, I fear the answer may well be ”no”.

We need a revolution.

September 19, 2011

By Elvis Costello

My absolute favorite albums are Rubber Soul and Revolver. On both records you can hear references to other music — R&B, Dylan, psychedelia — but it’s not done in a way that is obvious or dates the records. When you picked up Revolver, you knew it was something different. Heck, they are wearing sunglasses indoors in the picture on the back of the cover and not even looking at the camera . . . and the music was so strange and yet so vivid. If I had to pick a favorite song from those albums, it would be “And Your Bird Can Sing” . . . no, “Girl” . . . no, “For No One” . . . and so on, and so on. . . .

Their breakup album, Let It Be, contains songs both gorgeous and jagged. I suppose ambition and human frailty creeps into every group, but they delivered some incredible performances. I remember going to Leicester Square and seeing the film of Let It Be in 1970. I left with a melancholy feeling.

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‘Revolution’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
George Stroud/Express/Getty Images

Main Writer: Lennon
Recorded: July 10 and 11, 1968
Released: August 26, 1968
11 weeks; no. 12 (B side)

In the spring of 1968, the Vietnam War raged on, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and strikes and student protests in Paris brought the French government to its knees. When the Beatles — who had long been outspoken critics of the Vietnam War — hit Abbey Road Studios to make the White Album at the end of May, the first thing they recorded was “Revolution,” which was also the first explicitly political song the band ever released. “I wanted to put out what I felt about revolution,” Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1970. “I thought it was time we fuckin’ spoke about it. The same as we stopped not answering about the Vietnamese War [when we were] on tour with Brian [Epstein]. We had to tell him, ‘We’re going to talk about the war this time, and we’re not going to just waffle.'”

The first version of “Revolution” the Beatles recorded was a slow, bluesy shuffle that eventually became “Revolution 1.” (The last six minutes of the master take were a menacing jam that was sheared off and eventually became “Revolution 9.”) On July 10th, they returned to “Revolution” for a charged-up electric take — the best-known version of the song, which ended up as the B side of “Hey Jude.” It was the hardest-rocking performance the Beatles ever caught on tape, from Lennon’s scalding guitar introduction (a reference to Pee Wee Crayton’s 1954 blues single “Do Unto Others”) to the final howl. “John wanted a really distorted sound,” engineer Phil McDonald said. “The guitars were put through the recording console, which was technically not the thing to do. It completely overloaded the channel. Fortunately the technical people didn’t find out. They didn’t approve of ‘abuse of equipment.'”

The crucial lyric difference between the two versions was a single word. “Revolution 1” included the line “When you talk about destruction/Don’t you know that you can count me out . . . in.” (As McCartney noted, “John was just hedging his bets, covering all eventualities.”) But by the time the Beatles cut the single version, it was an unambiguous “count me out.” While the mainstream media praised Lennon’s stance — Time approved of the song’s criticism of “radical activists the world over” — the hard left was unimpressed. Ramparts magazine called its ambivalence a “betrayal.”

“The lyrics stand today,” Lennon said in 1980. “They’re still my feeling about politics: I want to see the plan. . . . I want to know what you’re going to do after you’ve knocked it all down. I mean, can’t we use some of it? What’s the point of bombing Wall Street? If you want to change the system, change the system. It’s no good shooting people.”

Appears On:Past Masters

Nasher Museum: “See it for yourself”- William Cordova

Featured artist is William Cordova

William Cordova

William Cordova was born 1971 in Lima, Peru, spent his childhood in Miami, and now lives and works in Lima, New York, and Miami. His multimedia practice includes installation, drawing, and sculpture, on which he has focused his attention in recent years.

Using found and discarded objects to examine ideas of transition and displacement, Cordova attributes this interest to his experiences growing up in both Lima and Miami and the complications of a bicultural childhood. With influences that range from architecture and Afro-Peruvian culture to Jean-Michel Basquiat and Robert Rauschenberg, Cordova’s expansive practice considers transformation, transcendence, time, and space. Cordova’s works at times integrate fragments of texts, creating coded political statements that expose often-invisible histories.

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Restrictionists Are Abusing Milton Friedman Shikha Dalmia | July 24, 2018

Restrictionists Are Abusing Milton Friedman

What the late, great libertarian economist really said about immigration and welfare

Shikha Dalmia | July 24, 2018

Milton Friedman

The late Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman was a free-market libertarian who believed that immigrants helped make AmericaEverett Collection via Newscom great. Yet he has become the restrictionist right’s weapon of choice to expunge the GOP’s pro-immigration faction. It’s working. The Jack Kemp-style immigration champions are in complete retreat in the GOP, and the ultra-retrictionists like Bob Goodlatte, Republican Congressman from Virginia, are on the march.

How have restrictionists accomplished this feat? Partly by taking Friedman’s vague and general observation that free immigration is not compatible with the welfare state out of context and repeating it like a mantra at everyopportunity. Not an hour goes by without some restrictionist somewhere—on blogs, social media, online comments sections—invoking Friedman’s comment to justify President Trump’s aggressive border enforcement and push to slash immigration.

But these anti-immigrant conservatives are abusing Friedman. If they paid attention to his full remarks instead of conveniently cherry picking what suits them, they’d realize that far from cheering Trump’s draconian immigration crackdown, the great economist would be denouncing Trump as a colossal fool.

Friedman is rightly venerated by conservatives for his path-breaking academic work and his popular PBS series Free to Choose, which extolled the virtues of markets over government. But he was always clearly in favor of immigration. In a 1984 survey of America’s top 75 economists on immigration, Friedman reportedly unambiguously stated: “Legal and illegal immigration has a very positive impact on the U.S. economy.”

Even Friedman’s 1978 University of Chicago speech, “What is America?,” from which nativists draw the notorious remark about the incompatibility of free immigration and a welfare state, begins by emphasizing how important it was for the country to maintain its tradition of welcoming foreigners. That’s what has “enabled the rest of us to get here” — no doubt a reference to the fact that he himself wouldn’t be standing there addressing that august group if America had slammed the door on his Jewish parents who immigrated from Hungary. He went on to observe that the millions of immigrants who had “flooded America before 1914” (when restrictionism first started gaining serious traction) were an unmitigated blessing for everyone — themselves and the Americans already in the country. “The new immigrants provided additional resources, provided additional possibilities for the people already here,” he declared.

But then he went on to say: “It is one thing to have free immigration to jobs, it is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. … [I]f you come under circumstances where each person is entitled to a prorated share of a pot … then the effect of that situation is that free immigration would mean a reduction for everybody.”

Now, if he had stopped at that, it would have been one thing. But he did not. He went on to declare that despite the welfare state, Mexican immigration was a “good thing” for America, particularly when it was of the illegal variety. Why? “Because as long as it’s illegal the people who come in do not qualify for welfare, they don’t qualify for Social Security, they don’t qualify for all the other myriads of benefits,” he pointed out. “They take jobs that most residents of this country are unwilling to take, they provide employers with workers of a kind they cannot get.”

In other words, as far as Friedman was concerned, free illegal immigration was perfectly compatible with the welfare state and slamming the door on it would be utter stupidity.

Friedman died in 2006. But had he been alive today, he would have been appalled by the prospect of spending billions of dollars of taxpayer money on Trump’s wall—not to mention the militarization of the America-Mexico border—all to prevent a good thing: foreign workers willing to bust their butts to put cheap food on the tables of Americans, especially when the economy is at full employment. He would also have been horrified by the senseless cruelty of ICE raids to hunt down and eject hardworking, undocumented workers in the name of interior enforcement.

It is possible that Friedman might have opposed “amnesty” for unauthorized folks because they would then one day become eligible for a “prorated share” of the “pot.” Or he might not have. After all, Friedman made his remarks before the 1996 welfare reform law that barred all temporary migrants from collecting means-tested federal welfare benefits. Even green-card holders aren’t eligible for five years. So it is by no means clear if he would have gone along with the anti-amnesty crowd, especially given that most amnesty proposals bar recipients from collecting welfare for long periods of time.

But, in general, was Friedman even right that more immigration means a “reduction for everyone” of the welfare pot? Not necessarily, according to his own son, David Friedman, who is himself a brilliant economist and a libertarian theorist. He points out that in a regime of “laissez faire” immigration, “immigrants may get things they don’t pay for, but they also pay for things they don’t get.”

For starters, immigrants tend to be young adults in their peak productive years. This means that another society invests in them while America reaps the dividends. As such, they represent a one-time windfall benefit for public coffers given that the government gets to collect taxes from them without having had to pay for their schools, health care, and other public services. (Incidentally, studies assessing the fiscal impact of immigration generally don’t take this windfall into account.) Given the cost of raising a child in America, it would clearly be much more expensive for Uncle Sam to generate its entire labor force indigenously.

Furthermore, Friedman’s implication that more poor immigration means less welfare for natives would make sense in a welfare system where the bulk of transfer payments were from the rich to the poor. But that is not the case in America. The vast bulk of transfers here are from the young (among whom immigrants are disproportionately represented) to the old (among whom natives are disproportionately represented).

Uncle Sam spends $2.3 trillion in welfare payments annually. However, a full $1.5 trillion of this goes toward elderly entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Only $800 billion goes toward the poor. Unauthorized immigrants in particular paid $100 billion in Social Security taxes over the last decade that they’ll never collect.

A study by Cato Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh and Robert Orr found that although an average immigrant consumes more in cash assistance, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and Medicaid benefits than an average native, the reverse is the case when it comes to Social Security and Medicare. Overall, this works out to an average native receiving nearly 40 percent more in total benefits ($6,081) than an average immigrant ($3,718).

Of course, states have their own welfare programs with their own eligibility rules for immigrants. This makes it notoriously difficult to tabulate the full costs and benefits of various immigrants. But many economists believe that more immigration is essential to extend the life of old age entitlement programs given that these are pay-as-you-go systems that will become much harder to sustain if America’s already plummeting worker-to-retiree ratio (due to declining fertility and aging populations) is allowed to drop any further.

Among them, incidentally, is the late University of Maryland economist Julian Simon, Friedman’s friend. Simon was no liberal. He was a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, which used to be pro-immigration once upon a time. Now it is an ardent restrictionist outfit that invokes Friedman to peddle “immigrants-are-welfare-moochers” line.

Of course, Heritage is entitled to repudiate its own work and restrictionists are entitled to advance their cause as they see fit. They are just not entitled to use Friedman. He would never have been on their side.

This column originally appeared in The Week

Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia is a columnist at The Week and a Bloomberg View contributor.

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