RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 162H PAUSING to look at the life of John Raymond Smythies (Letter about BEYOND THE FRINGE comics Jonathan Miller, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett)

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. John Raymond Smythies on January 28, 2019 in La Jolla, CA,  and I wanted to spend time on several posts concentrating on him. I have several tributes, but the best I read can be found at this link.

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Photo of Larry Joe Speaks

Larry Joe Speaks, 69, of Cabot, passed Friday, April 7, 2017. He was born August 20, 1947 in Fort Smith, Arkansas to the late Joe and Doris Speaks. H

The sermon WHO IS JESUS? was preached by Adrian Rogers (pictured below)  and my good friend Larry Speaks (pictured above) gave out hundreds of CD copies of it before he died on April 7, 2017 at the age of 69.

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Dr Keith Krell and his family pictured below:

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Woody Allen  and Mariel Hemingway pictured below: 

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The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon’, oil on canvas painting by Edward Poynter, 1890

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On the left are David and Kelly Rogers and their sons Jonathan and Stephen Rogers. During the sermon illustration in WHO IS JESUS? Adrian Rogers told of calling little Jonathan when his family was missionaries in Madrid, Spain.

The band Big Daddy Weave pictured below:

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Your relative Richard Dawkins with comedian Ricky Gervais

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May 28, 2017

John Raymond Smythies, Center for Brain and Cognition,
La Jolla, CA 92093-0109

Dear Dr. Smythies,

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

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When I clicked on the link that Dr. Kroto gave me it led me to a video entitled, “Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2),” and in the 95th quote I heard these words from you:

I would like to describe how mescaline works. These hallucination drugs have a very specific action in two ways. Number 1 they produce fantastic visual hallucinations. These are described by the people who have them (most of them are down to earth scientists such as MacDonald Critchley) as being more beautiful than anything they have ever seen in normal art. Some of these people have the sort of experience as union with God, mystical experiences and so on.

I am in the process of posting on my blog a response to your statement and your life work as it relates to the existence of God. 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 Philipse,  Carolyn 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,

I have had some time to reflect on Larry Speaks’ funeral service and I wanted to share a few thoughts with you.
When I think of the 34 years I knew Larry it reminds me of all the laughs we had together. Larry’s funeral was a happy occasion as we laughed at the many stories about Larry’s life.
There was the occasion that Larry gave a  neighbor of his a chance to work at Larry’s SOUTHERN FRUIT AND GROCERY STORE  because his neighbor had nothing to do and that would keep him busy. We will call him Barry. Barry was a little strange but tried to be very helpful. There was the time Barry was trying to kill a fly with a fly swatter and accidentally busted the electric OPEN sign near the front window. Also Barry would ignore Larry’s instructions not  to talk politics with the customers and  get into arguments with the customers. Eventually Larry had to tell Barry that his help was no longer needed after a while. Larry said probably the first hint he got that Barry couldn’t handle the job was when Barry filled up his car tank with gas and he shook his car because Barry said that allowed more gas to get into the tank!!!
LAUGHTER is something you have been around. I have seen the YouTube videos of BEYOND THE FRINGE with your friends Jonathan Miller, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett. I have got a lot of laughs by watching those clips. Peter Cook once said, “Hitler was a very peculiar person wasn’t he? He was another dominator you know — Hitler. And he was a wonderful ballroom dancer. Not many people know that.”
Image result for david attenborough Jonathan miller
As you know I am writing you a series of letters on Solomon’s efforts to find a meaning and purpose to life. In the Book of Ecclesiastes what are all of the 6 “L” words that Solomon looked into? He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).
Probing the area of LAUGHTER was one of Solomon’s first places to start. In Ecclesiastes 2:2 he starts this quest but he concludes it is not productive to be laughing the whole time and not considering the serious issues of life. “I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” (2:2).   Then Solomon  asserted the nihilistic statement in Ecclesiastes 2:17: “So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
Keith Krell in his article, 3. Trivial Pursuits (Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:26), notes:

What would it take to make you happy? What if you had the wealth of Bill Gates or Donald Trump? Would this make you happy? What if you had the success of Oprahor Martha Stewart? Do you think you could be happy? What if you had the brains of Carl Sagan or Stephen Hawking? Do you think you could be happy? Let me guess. Your answer is, “I don’t know, but I’d sure like to give it a try.”

A few people have been able to possess wealth, success, and intelligence just as I described. Solomon, the third king of Israel, was one of them. In some ways he had everything. He had a thousand wives and concubines, enormous wealth, international respect, and unparalleled wisdom. What he didn’t always have, however, was a reason for living. He didn’t always have happiness. He fits the pattern of the highly gifted, extremely ambitious person who climbs the ladder of success—only to contemplate jumping off once he’s reached the top.39

In the first eleven verses of Ecclesiastes chapter one, Solomon examined three broad categories in his search for the key to life: human history, physical nature, and human nature. Now in 1:12-2:26, he narrows his search to his own personal experience.40 In a sense he takes us on his own spiritual sojourn as he searches for satisfaction in life. In the memoirs that follow Solomon informs us that he sought satisfaction in four broad categories, but wound up empty-handed.

  • Humor (2:2). Solomon writes, “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?’”57 Solomon mocks “laughter” as “madness.” I’m not surprised he labeled it “madness.” Do you really think the leading comedians of our day are sincerely satisfied with life? Has humor given them an inside track on human happiness? Hardly.58 It is easy to seek to lose ourselves in comedy and entertainment whether it is in a theater, in front of our TV, or on-line. Although it can seem like a great escape, it leaves us empty in the end.
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Francis Schaeffer quoted Woody Allen in his book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? (co-authored by Dr. C. Everett Koop):
One of the most striking developments in the last half-century is the growth of a profound pessimism among both the well-educated and less-educated people. The thinkers in our society have been admitting for a long time that they have no final answers at all.
Take Woody Allen, for example. Most people know his as a comedian, but he has thought through where mankind stands after the “religious answers” have been abandoned. In an article in Esquire (May 1977), he says that man is left with:
… alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness…. The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless.
Allen sums up his view in his film Annie Hall with these words: “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.”
Many would like to dismiss this sort of statement as coming from one who is merely a pessimist by temperament, one who sees life without the benefit of a sense of humor. Woody Allen does not allow us that luxury. He speaks as a human being who has simply looked life in the face and has the courage to say what he sees. If there is no personal God, nothing beyond what our eyes can see and our hands can touch, then Woody Allenis right: life is both meaningless and terrifying.
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Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he 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.”
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As you know the sermon WHO IS JESUS? was Larry’s favorite sermon and he gave hundreds of that CD copies away.  Let me share a little from that message but first let me give you some background information.

In 1979 I went  on a mission trip to Toronto and  then to Europe  with my good friend David Rogers. We were involved with the group  Operation Mobilization (OM). After the OM Mission Conference in Belgium,  David went to Austria and I went to England. In Manchester, England our group went to the homes of Muslims and Hindus and shared  the gospel.

Fast forward several years later, I  got involved in my family business, but David continued in  missions and  moved to Spain.

Now the illustration from the sermon WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers:

The other day we called our son David in Madrid, Spain.Momma Bear is burning up our telephone and our bill is going to be big, talking to David and Kelly and little Jonathan. It is an amazing thing that in Memphis,  Tennessee when she picks up a phone  she eliminates everyone that doesn’t have a phone. And then when she dials the first digit that deals with the country Spain she eliminates all other countries. And then when she dials a couple more digits she eliminates all the other cities in Spain except Madrid. And then when she dials a couple more digits she eliminates a lot of people in a particular city in Spain. And then when she dials that last digit it eliminates every home except the very last home which belongs to our son David. 

That is amazing that there are billions of people in the world and  with a phone you can start closing the focus. My friend that is what the Old Testament does.

In Genesis 3, we read about the One who will bruise the head of the serpent. In Genesis 12, He is going to come from the seed of Abraham. In Genesis 22, we read about the sacrifice of Isaac on the very mountain where Jesus was later crucified! The entire book of Leviticus is filled with pictures of blood-atoning sacrifices for sin. You’ll read about the prophetic crucifixion of Jesus in Psalm 22. In Micah 5:2, it is told clearly that Jesus will be born in Bethlehem. There is only one person on the end of the line and his name is Jesus.

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No wonder Larry chose the song YOURS WILL BE to be sung at his funeral. It blessed me tremendously today when I heard it sung. Look it up on You Tube “Yours will Be (The Only Name)”  by Big Daddy Weave:

Yours will be
The only name that matters to me
The only one whose favor I seek
The only name that matters to me

Yours will be
The friendship and affection I need
To feel my Father smiling on me
The only name that matters to me

And Yours is the name, the name that has saved me
Mercy and grace, the power that forgave me and Your love
Is all I’ve ever needed

When I wake up in the Land of Glory
With the saints I will tell my story
There will be one name that I proclaim, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, just that Name

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Just two days ago I attended a U2 concert in Dallas and I heard them sing the song I STILL HAVEN’T FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR. That  song was perplexing to me because in the song they claim to be believers in Christ, but they are still looking for satisfaction and meaning to their lives outside of Christ. This morning in his sermon, Brandon Barnard, one of our teaching pastors at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH noted concerning Hebrews 12:1-3:

We have to look to Jesus , the Founder and Perfecter of our faith. Jesus is the one who completes us. The problem is that many of us are looking to other things to give us joy, peace, hope, meaning and purpose in life. We are looking to relationships, leisure, hobbies and all these other places to fulfill us, but we should look to Jesus. 

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

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

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 Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the second video below in the 95th clip in this series are his words but today I just wanted to pause and look at this life. 

Quote from Dr. John Raymond Smythies

I would like to describe how mescaline works. These hallucination drugs have a very specific action in two ways. Number 1 they produce fantastic visual hallucinations. These are described by the people who have them (most of them are down to earth scientists such as MacDonald Critchley) as being more beautiful than anything they have ever seen in normal art. Some of these people have the sort of experience as union with God, mystical experiences and so on.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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