Author Archives: Everette Hatcher III

My name is Everette Hatcher III. I am a businessman in Little Rock and have been living in Bryant since 1993. My wife Jill and I have four kids (Rett 24, Hunter 22, Murphey 16, and Wilson 14).

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS PART 161 Part E SUMMING UP MY CORRESPONDENCE from 2015-2020 with Darwin’s great grandson (Horace Barlow) about Francis Schaeffer’s 1968 critique of Darwinism! Part 5 (Darwin: “…Nor can I overlook the difficulty from the immense amount of suffering through the world”

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Horace Barlow at ECVP 2003 in Paris

15 AUG HORACE BARLOW (1921-2020)

Credit: Left: the Ratio Club in Cambridge, May 1952. Back row: Harold Shipton, John Bates, William Hick, John Pringle, Donald Sholl, John Westcott, Donald Mackay. Middle row: Giles Brindley, Turner McLardy, Ross Ashby, Tommy Gold, Albert Uttley. Front row: Alan Turing, Gurney Sutton, William Rushton, George Dawson, Horace Barlow. (Photo: Wellcome Collection, archive reference GC/179/B.25, used under CC BY / Cropped). Right: Horace Barlow at home in Cambridge, March 2016 (Photo: Ida Barlow).

In December of 2017, I received a two page typed letter from Dr. Barlow reacting to several of the points made in the previous letters and emails. From August of 2020 to June of 2021 I posted these 32 letters I wrote to Dr. Barlow from February 11, 2015 to April 18, 2020 and below is a list of those letters. Sadly Dr. Barlow passed away on July 5, 2020 at age 98. However, I want to summarize some the issues we discussed in a series of 10 posts. 

Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning moral motions in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

Here are the links to my letters to Dr. Barlow: 

first weeksecond week,

third week4th letterFifth Letter,

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20th letter21st letter22nd letter

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26th letter27th letter28th letter29th letter, and 30th letter.

TRIBUTE TO HORACE BARLOW:

Arpan @DrArpan100

Horace Barlow FRS was an extraordinary neuroscientist. His supervisions were always inspirational and he had a gift of being able to infuse curiosity in his students. He has had a massive impact on the field of visual neuroscience. He never stopped questioning and thinking. RIP.

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Horace seen below in 2017 

Below is a portion of a letter I wrote on 7-1-17 to Dr. Barlow which he responded to in the letter I received in December of 2017. Basically Darwin brings up several issues such as the difficulty of reconciling the existence of a loving God with evil and suffering in the world (this may stem from the loss of his beloved daughter Anne) and also he slips in this curious phrase “but Man can do his duty” which implies that he realizes without God in the picture we may be left with determinism or survival of the fittest as our moral guide which Darwin is disgusted by.

“My mother was very enthusiastic about her grandfather and in those days thought he was rather under-rated, though by the time she died she realized that public opinion had risen almost to the point of matching her own and she thought that [Charles Darwin] was perhaps overrated.”

Just like your mother, I too think that Darwin is not thought of highly enough by some people and he is too esteemed by others. I do respect him to laying his most inner thoughts out there for all to see in the letters he wrote to his friends. One thought he had was on the issue of DETERMINISM, and I read it in the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters.  

In that book he made the statement that MAN MUST DO HIS DUTY, and it is in light of DETERMINISM that had reared its ugly head. 

In this letterI am going to quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words.

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

I am sure you will excuse my writing at length, when I tell you that I have long been much out of health, and am now staying away from my home for rest.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, also, induced to defer to a certain extent to the judgment of the many able men who have fully believed in God; but here again I see how poor an argument this is. The safest conclusion seems to me that the whole subject is beyond the scope of man’s intellect;but man can do his duty.”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

What he is saying is that at this point I have no answer. You find Darwin already in a modern hell. On his own position ruling out an answer but yet not being able to live without an answer.  What he (Darwin) is saying is that at this point I have no answer, but the interesting thing is he puts a semicolon after that and then says, “but man can do his duty.” Darwin understands, he is a brilliant man,  what he has said undercuts all duty and all morals. So he adds as a faith sentence, “but man can do his duty.” It doesn’t fit really, but he adds it because he sees that he must say this because otherwise what happens to man? You can switch on further down the road and Darwin would be appalled to see where his own position has been taken, through Freud and Deterministic psychology. Modern Man has a dilemma because the word “duty” doesn’t have a meaning anymore. (Determinism: The doctrine that human action is not free, but results from such causes as psychological and chemical makeup which render free-will an illusion.)

You will remember the thing I have quoted to you about Richard Speck and the psychologists who would stand in the evolutionary stream of Freud. Let me read to you from Newsweek September 25, 1967, a review of the book by Marvin Ziporyn BORN TO RAISE HELL interestingly enough printed by Groth Press, which is this psychologist’s analysis of Richard Speck in Chicago who killed these nurses in Chicago. It runs like this:

Ziporyn who lost his post at Chicago for publishing his work with Speck, diagnosed his patient as a man unable to control himself as a result of his own medical and emotional past. You weren’t any more responsible for what you did than a man is responsible for sneezing. he said to Speck at one point.  That is Zoporyn’s biggest problem which is convincing Speck there is no difference in a sneeze and eight murders. Ziporyn admits he is a strict determinist and he is an adherent to Freud’s dictum that biology is destiny. He advocates rehabilitation. Determinists strive to change or regulate conditions rather than men but to avoid such tragedies as Richard Speck the scope of change it requires staggers the imagination.

The bigger dilemma is that man disappears. Who is hurt? The eight nurses are hurt, including their pain, terror and their sexual violation and it becomes nothing, zero in this type of analysis. Society has a terrible problem because there is no right and wrong in society, and that will deal with Darwin’s words “but man can do his duty” because those who take Darwin’s theory and extend it have eradicated the possibility of the word “duty.” …Darwin I think senses this but he doesn’t know how to handle it.

Richard Speck

Ladies Richard Speck murdered below:

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In Chapter 7, “THE MAN WITHOUT THE BIBLE,” of the book DEATH IN THE CITY, Schaeffer writes concerning Richard Speck and “Determinism”: 

This view raises three serious questions. First of all, what about the nurses who were killed, some of them in a very violent fashion? These must then be written off. With this kind of explanation they become zero. Second, what about society? Society and the problems of ordering it also are written off. In such a situation, order in society is merely like a big machine dealing on a machine level with little machines. Third, what about Speck himself? The psychologist’s explanation does the most harm to him, for as a man he disappears. He simply becomes a flow of consciousness. He, too, becomes a zero.

In our generation there is a constant tendency to explain sin lightly and think that such an explanation is more humanitarian. But it is not. It decreases the importance and significance of man. Consequently, we can be glad for the sake of man that the Bible’s explanation is so emphatic.
Paul repeats it in verse 25: “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature [that which has been created] rather than the Creator.” This is the second of the three repetitions.

Paul was thinking of the gods of silver and stone and also the worship of the universe or any part of it. He says men have made such gods rather than worshipping the living God. Even on the basis of what they know themselves to be, they should have known better. Isaiah said 700 years before, ‘Aren’t you silly to make gods that are less than yourself. You must carry them; they don’t carry you. Now isn’t it silly to make an integration point that is less than you yourself are.’ Paul used precisely the same argument on Mars Hill. Men who refuse to bow before God take the facts concerning the universe and man, push these facts through their own presuppositional grid, fail to carry their thinking to a reasonable conclusion, and so are faced with an overwhelming lie. Idols of stone are obvious lies because they are less than man, but so are non-Christian presuppositions such as the idea of the total uniformity of natural cause and effect in a closed system, the final explanation of the impersonal plus time plus chance, which ultimately makes man only a machine.

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Below is the larger biblical passage of scripture that Schaeffer was referring to in Chapter 7, “THE MAN WITHOUT THE BIBLE,” of the book DEATH IN THE CITY:

Romans 1:18-32New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Unbelief and Its Consequences

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 becausethat which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they aregossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

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Why is determinism dangerous? Francis Schaeffer in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? tells why it is dangerous:

Modern determinists have not presented only abstract theories.  Rather, there have been two practical results.  First, and most important, as their ideas about what people are have been increasingly accepted, people consciously or unconsciously have opened themselves to being treated as machines and treating other people as machines.  Second, each theory of determinism has carried with it a method of manipulation.  So even though many — even most — people may reject the concept that man is totally a product of psychological, sociological, or chemical conditioning, manipulation by these methods is still very much a live possibility.  In fact, these techniques are all at the disposal of of authoritation states, and they are in some degree already being used.

Paul Chopan has rightly noted:

Naturalism takes for granted the following tenets:

  • Nature is all there is.
  • All reality is comprised of or rooted in matter.
  • There is no supernatural—no Creator, no miracles, no souls,
    no angels, no life after death.
  • Science becomes the only (or best) means of knowledge.

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What is the answer to the problem of DETERMINISM? It is found in the Biblical view that the Bible is true and there was a place named THE GARDEN OF EDEN and the fact that God did create this world and it was not created by impersonal chance plus time. 

Francis A. Schaeffer on Human Free WillTHE GOD WHO IS THERE, (DOWNERS GROVE, IL: INTERVARSITY PRESS, 1968), P 131.

(James D. Watson and Francis Crick below)

The historic Christian position is that man’s dilemma has a moral cause. God, being nondetermined, created man as a nondetermined person. This is a difficult idea for anyone thinking in twentieth-century terms because most twentieth-century thinking sees man as determined. He is determined either by chemical factors, as the Marquis de Sade held and Francis Crick is trying to prove,or by psychological factors, as Freud and others have suggested, or by sociological factors, such as B.F. Skinner holds. In these cases, or as a result of a fusion of them, man is considered to be programmed. If this is the case, then man is not the tremendous thing the Bible says he is, made in the image of God as a personality who can make a free first choice. Because God created a true universe outside of himself (or as an extension of his essence), there is a true history which exists, man as created in God’s image is therefore a significant man in a significant history, who can choose to obey the commandments of God and love him, or revolt against him.

(B.F. Skinner)

THE CRUX OF THE ISSUE IS DID MAN HAVE A CHOICE AND IS MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS CHOICES?

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Francis Schaeffer

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Horace Barlow below

Morality has been undercut and that is why Darwin resorts to “Man can do his duty but Dr. Barlow has a different perspective when it comes to a secular morality in the letter I received in December of 2017:

Chance mutations increase the diversity present in the population under consideration, and evolutionists naturally think of this as a “good thing,” for without diversity there can be no evolution. This is not often true for religiously determined moral codes, for most Gods are jealous and demand conformity among their followers, often enforced by persecution and extreme cruelty. As an evolutionist, I regard diversity itself as a desirable asset, and I think this improves my judgment when I hear a proposal that I do not initially agree with.

:

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Here is response from Dr. Barlow on the letter I received in December of 2017 concerning evil in the world and he blames religious people for their part:

On the other hand, if I am pressed to say whether I think belief in God helps people to make wise and beneficial decisions I am bound to say (and I fear this will cause you pain) No, it is often very disastrous, leading to violence, death and vile behaviour, as with the current quarrel with Muslim terrorists, and as has been shown by inter-sectal violence within the Christian Church itself. 

Let me first take on Darwin’s question of evil and suffering and take on Dr. Barlow’s objection to religion next:


(C.S. Lewis pictured above)

How can a good God allow evil and suffering? Here is an explanation from the Evangelism Explosion leader’s guide: Their thinking is that either God is not powerful enough to prevent evil or else God is not good. He is often blamed for tragedy. “Where was God when I went through this, or when that happened.”  God is blamed for natural disasters, Even my insurance company describes them as “acts of God.” How to handle this one-  (O.N.E.)a. Origin of evil— man’s choice- God created a perfect world…b. Nature of God—He forgives, I John 1:9—He uses tragedy to bring us to Himself, C.S. Lewis, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains:  it is His megaphone to arouse a deaf world.”c. End of it all—Bible teaches that God will one day put an end to all evil, and pain and death. “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).As Christians we have this hope of Heaven and eternity. Share how it has made a tremendous difference in your life and that you know for sure that when you die you are going to spend eternity in Heaven. Ask the person, “May I ask you a question? Do you have this hope? Do you know for certain that when you die you are going to Heaven, or is that something you would say you’re still working on?”How could a loving God send people to Hell?(O.N.E.)a. Origin of hell—never intended for people. Created for Satan and his demons. Jesus said, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41). Man chooses to sin and ignore God. The penalty is death (eternal separation from God) and, yes, Hell. But God doesn’t send anyone to Hell, we choose it by refusing or ignoring God in attitude and action. b. Nature of God—“ God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). He is so loving that He sent His own Son to die and pay the penalty for our sin so that we could avoid Hell and have the assurance of Heaven. No one in Hell will be able to blame God. He doesn’t send people there, it’s our own choice. We must choose to repent, to stop ignoring God in attitude and action, accepting His salvation and yielding to His leadership.c. End of it all—Bible teaches that God will one day put an end to all evil, pain, death, and penalty of Hell. “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).As Christians , we need not worry about Hell. The Bible says, “these things have been written . . . so that you may know you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).  I have complete confidence that when I die, I’m going to Heaven.  May I ask you a question?___________________________-
(Horace Barlow below)

In response to Dr. Barlow’s letter was this letter below that I mailed to him on December 2, 2018:

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Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen of Harvard

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Hitler and Mussolini

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Ravi Zacharias

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Francis Schaeffer

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December2, 2018

December 2, 2018

Dr. Horace Barlow, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Physiological Laboratory, United Kingdom,

Dear Dr. Barlow,

It was a year ago today that I first responded to your letter of November 22, 2017. Every month since then I have written to you on the second of every month. Almost every letter has dealt with the legacy of Charles Darwin your great-grandfather in one way or another.

Let me share with you a correspondence I had with Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen of Harvard (where you earned your medical degree during WWII) and it is because he had some of the same reservations about Christianity that you have now.

He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1981 and was born in Dordrecht, the Netherlands on March 11, 1920. He spent the last two years of World War II hiding from the Nazis. I found his life story very interesting.

In his September 6, 1995 letter to me he wrote:

Less zealotry and more compassion for those who have different concepts of the world from yours would help make this world more livable.

I mention this to you because in your letter of November 22, 2017 you asserted something very similar:

If I am pressed to say whether I think belief in God helps people to make wise and beneficial decisions I am bound to say (and I fear this will cause you pain) “No, it is often very disastrous, leading to violence, death and vile behaviour…Muslim terrorists…violence within the Christian church itself” 

Back in 1995 when I responded to Dr. Bloembergen I quoted something I heard Ravi Zacharias say on an audio cassette tape and it went like this:

Atheists Charge: “What about the thousands who have been killed in the name of religion?”

The emotion-laden question is not nearly as troublesome to answer if the questioner first explains all the killing that has resulted from those who have lived without God, such as HITLER, STALIN, MUSSOLINI, et al. The antitheist is quick to excoriate all religious belief by generically laying the blame at the door of all who claim to be religious, without distinction. By the same measure, why is there not an equal enthusiasm to distribute blame for violence engendered by some of the irreligious?

But the rub goes even deeper than that. The attackers of religion have forgotten that these large-scale slaughters at the hands of antitheists were the logical outworking of their God-denying philosophy. Contrastingly, the violence spawned by those who killed in the name of Christ would never have been sanctioned by the Christ of the Scriptures. Those who killed in the name of God were clearly self-serving politicizers of religion, an amalgam Christ ever resisted in His life and teaching. Their means and their message were in contradiction to the gospel. Atheism, on the other hand, provides the logical basis for an autonomous, domineering will, expelling morality. CHARLES DARWIN himself predicted this slippery slope of violence if evolutionary theory were translated into a philosophy of life. Nietzsche talked of the enshrouding darkness that had fallen over mankind–he saw its ramifications. The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevski repeatedly wrote of the hell that is let loose when man comes adrift from his Creators moorings and himself becomes god–he understood the consequences.

On July 3, 2016, I got a call from 96-year-old Dr. Bloembergen who told me he hoped to make 100. You may wonder why the urgency on my part to discuss these matters with you? Dr. Bloembergen died on 9-5-17 at the age of 97.

When my son Wilson was 8 years old his great-grandfather, L.R. “Tom” Sawyer, died just three weeks shy of his 98th birthday. Wilson declared, “I will make it to 100!!” I told him that Mr. Sawyer was the oldest person who ever lived in our family and that it was HIGHLY UNLIKELY that Wilson would outlive Mr. Sawyer in terms of years. I am almost 57 years old myself and many people call that MIDDLE AGED, but who am I kidding because how many 114 year old people do you see walking around?

Let me close by sharing with you a portion of my LAST EMAIL to Dr. Bloembergen:

Dear Dr. Bloembergen,

It was such a privilege to get a telephone call from you on July 1, 2016 because I know your time is very valuable. Since you said writing letters and mailing them was difficult for you I have chosen to email you this time around….Christianity is different than every other religion for two reasons according to Francis Schaeffer:

In every other religion, we have to do something–everything from burning a joss stick to sacrificing our firstborn child to dropping a coin the collection plate–the whole spectrum. But with Christianity we do not do anything; God has done it all: He has created us and He has sent His Son; His Son died and because the Son is infinite, therefore He bears out total guilt. We do not need to bear our guilt, nor do we even have to merit the merit of Christ. He does it all. So in one way, it is the easiest religion in the world….

In the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, and especially in the extensive notes of fifth chapter [shows] the way the Bible measures up to history. Once we say that, this is very exciting. It is very exciting because other religions are not founded in history, they are “out there” somewhere, or you can think of them as inside your own head–whichever way you are looking at it. On the other hand, the Bible claims to rooted in history. 

Taking a look at the holy books of Islam and Mormonism and you find many historical inaccuracies.  For instance, the Book of Mormon was wrong about horses, cows, steel, the wheel,  honey bees and barley existing in North America 2000 years ago. Furthermore, in 2012 during the Presidential Race Harry Kroto also asked why no one seemed to ask Mitt Romney if he actually believed that Christ visited North America 2000 years ago as the Book of Mormon claimed.

Blaise Pascal asserted, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”  In other words, the spiritual answers your heart is seeking can be found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Let me close by talking to you about the ROMAN ROAD TO CHRIST.

  1. Rom. 3:10, “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one . . . “
  2. Rom. 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
  3. Rom. 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
  4. Rom. 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  5. Rom. 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
  6. Rom. 10:9-10, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
  7. Rom. 10:13, “For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Thanks for your time. Again it was such an honor to get to talk to you. I hope you enjoy the CDs on Michael Polanyi. He was a very wise man and his son John is a very outstanding man too.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 cottontail lane, Alexander, AR 72002

Nicolaas “Nico” Bloembergen (March 11, 1920 – September 5, 2017) was a Dutch-American physicist and Nobel laureate, recognized for his work in developing driving principles behind nonlinear optics for laser spectroscopy.[1] During his career, he was a professor at both Harvard University and later at the University of Arizona.

Debating from 2015-2020 Darwin’s great grandson (Horace Barlow) about Francis Schaeffer’s 1968 critique of Darwinism!

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The autobiography of Charles Darwin read by Francis Schaeffer in 1968 was not the same one originally released in 1892 because that one omitted the religious statements of Charles Darwin. 

pictured below with his eldest child William: 

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Notice this statement below from the Freedom from Religion Foundation: 

(Nora Barlow pictured below)

Charles Darwin wrote the Rev. J. Fordyce on July 7, 1879, that “an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind.” Darwin penned his memoirs between the ages of 67 and 73, finishing the main text in 1876. These memoirs were published posthumously in 1887 by his family under the title Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, with his hardest-hitting views on religion excised. Only in 1958 did Darwin’s granddaughter Nora Barlow publish his Autobiography with original omissions restored  D. 1882.
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Charles Robert Darwin  (1809 – 1882) had 10 children and 7 of them survived to adulthood.

Sir Horace DarwinKBEFRS (13 May 1851 – 22 September 1928), the fifth son and ninth child of the British naturalist Charles Darwin and his wife Emma, the youngest of their seven children who survived to adulthood.

(Horace Darwin pictured below)

Horace Darwin.jpg

Emma Nora Barlow, Lady Barlow (née Darwin; 22 December 1885 – 29 May 1989) Nora, as she was known, was the daughter of the civil engineer Sir Horace Darwin and his wife The Hon. Lady Ida Darwin (née Farrer),

Horace Basil Barlow FRS (1921-) Barlow is the son of the civil servant Sir Alan Barlow and his wife Lady Nora (née Darwin). Barlow is the great-grandson of Charles Darwin

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Horace Darwin married Emma Cecilia “Ida” Farrer (1854–1946) pictured below.

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Francis Schaeffer

Horace Barlow was the son of Nora Barlow. From February 11, 2015 to July 1, 2017, I wrote 7 letters to Dr. Horace Barlow because I wanted to discuss primarily the views of his grandfather Charles Darwin and Francis Schaeffer’s 1968 critique of Darwinism!

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Horace seen below in 2017 

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Franicis Schaeffer

If you wish to hear Francis Schaeffer’s 1968 talk on Darwin’s autobiography then you can access part 1 at this link and part 2 at this link.

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Horace Barlow pictured below:

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I found Dr. Barlow to be a true gentleman and he was very kind to take the time to answer the questions that I submitted to him. In the upcoming months I will take time once a week to pay tribute to his life and reveal our correspondence. In the first week I noted:

 Today I am posting my first letter to him in February of 2015 which discussed Charles Darwin lamenting his loss of aesthetic tastes which he blamed on Darwin’s own dedication to the study of evolution. In a later return letter, Dr. Barlow agreed that Darwin did in fact lose his aesthetic tastes at the end of his life.

In the second week I look at the views of Michael Polanyi and share the comments of Francis Schaeffer concerning Polanyi’s views.

In the third week, I look at the life of Brandon Burlsworth in the November 28, 2016 letter and the movie GREATER and the problem of evil which Charles Darwin definitely had a problem with once his daughter died.

On the 4th letter to Dr. Barlow looks at Darwin’s admission that he at times thinks that creation appears to look like the expression of a mind. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words in 1968 sermon at this link.

My Fifth Letter concerning Charles Darwin’s views on MORAL MOTIONS Which was mailed on March 1, 2017. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning moral motions in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

6th letter on May 1, 2017 in which Charles Darwin’s hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would show that Christ existed! Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning the possible manuscript finds in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

7th letter on Darwin discussing DETERMINISM  dated 7-1-17 . Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning determinism in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

Thanks 8th letter responds to Dr. Barlow’s letter to me concerning the Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning chance in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

Thanks 9th letter in response to 11-22-17 letter I received from Professor Horace Barlow was mailed on 1-2-18 and included Charles Darwin’s comments on William Paley. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning William Paley in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

10th letter in response to 11-22-17 letter I received from Professor Horace Barlow was mailed on 2-2-18 and includes Darwin’s comments asking for archaeological evidence for the Bible! Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning His desire to see archaeological evidence supporting the Bible’s accuracy  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

11th letter I mailed on 3-2-18  in response to 11-22-17 letter from Barlow that asserted: It is also sometimes asked whether chance, even together with selection, can define a “MORAL CODE,” which the religiously inclined say is defined by their God. I think the answer is “Yes, it certainly can…” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning A MORAL CODE in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

12th letter on March 26, 2018 breaks down song DUST IN THE WIND “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

In 13th letter I respond to Barlow’s November 22, 2017 letter and assertion “He {Darwin} clearly did not lose his sense of the VALUE of TRUTH, and of the importance of FOREVER SEARCHING it out.”

In 14th letter to Dr. Barlow on 10-2-18, I assert: “Let me demonstrate how the Bible’s view of the origin of life fits better with the evidence we have from archaeology than that of gradual evolution.”In 15th letter in November 2, 2018 to Dr. Barlow I quote his relative Randal Keynes Who in the Richard Dawkins special “The Genius of Darwin” makes this point concerning Darwin, “he was, at different times, enormously confident in it,and at other times, he was utterly uncertain.”In 16th Letter on 12-2-18 to Dr. Barlow I respond to his letter that stated, If I am pressed to say whether I think belief in God helps people to make wise and beneficial decisions I am bound to say (and I fear this will cause you pain) “No, it is often very disastrous, leading to violence, death and vile behaviour…Muslim terrorists…violence within the Christian church itself”17th letter sent on January 2, 2019 shows the great advantage we have over Charles Darwin when examining the archaeological record concerning the accuracy of the Bible!In the 18th letter I respond to the comment by Charles Darwin: “My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive….The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words on his loss of aesthetic tastes  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.In 19th letter on 2-2-19  I discuss Steven Weinberg’s words,  But if language is to be of any use to us, we ought to try to preserve the meanings of words, and “God” historically has not meant the laws of nature. It has meant an interested personality.

In the 20th letter on 3-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s comment, “At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep [#1] inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons...Formerly I was led by feelings such as those…to the firm conviction of the existence of God, and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that [#2] 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. [#3] 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 discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his former belief in God in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In the 21st letter on May 15, 2019 to Dr Barlow I discuss the writings of Francis Schaeffer who passed away the 35 years earlier on May 15, 1985. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words at length in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In the 22nd letter I respond to Charles Darwin’s words, “I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe…will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words about hell  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link

In 23rd postcard sent on 7-2-19 I asked Dr Barlow if he was a humanist. Sir Julian Huxley, founder of the American Humanist Association noted, “I use the word ‘humanist’ to mean someone who believes that man is just as much a natural phenomenon as an animal or plant; that his body, mind and soul were not supernaturally created but are products of evolution, and that he is not under the control or guidance of any supernatural being.”

In my 24th letter on 8-2-19 I quote Jerry  Bergman who noted Jean Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century. A founding father of the modern American scientific establishment, Agassiz was also a lifelong opponent of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Agassiz “ruled in professorial majesty at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology.”

In my 25th letter on 9-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s assertion,  “This argument would be a valid one if all men of ALL RACES had the SAME INWARD CONVICTION of the existence of one God; but we know that this is very far from being the case.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning MORAL MOTIONS in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 26th letter on 10-2-19 I quoted Bertrand Russell’s daughter’s statement, “I believe myself that his whole life was a search for God…. Indeed, he had first taken up philosophy in hope of finding proof of the evidence of the existence of God … Somewhere at the back of my father’s mind, at the bottom of his heart, in the depths of his soul  there was an empty space that had once been filled by God, and he never found anything else to put in it”

In my 27th letter on 11-2-19 I disproved Richard Dawkins’ assertion, “Genesis says Abraham owned camels, but archaeological evidence shows that the camel was not domesticated until many centuries after Abraham.” Furthermore, I gave more evidence indicating the Bible is historically accurate.

In my 28th letter on 12-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s statement, “I am glad you were at the Messiah, it is the one thing that I should like to hear again, but I dare say I should find my soul too dried up to appreciate it as in old days; and then I should feel very flat, for it is a horrid bore to feel as I constantly do, that I am a withered leaf for every subject except Science. It sometimes makes me hate Science.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning MORAL MOTIONS in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link. 

In my 29th letter on 12-25-19 I responded to Charles Darwin’s statement, “I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds…gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dullthat it nauseated me…. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive… The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness…” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his loss of aesthetic tastes in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 30th letter on 2-2-20 I quote Dustin Shramek who asserted, “Without God the universe is the result of a cosmic accident, a chance explosion. There is no reason for which it exist. As for man, he is a freak of nature–a blind product of matter plus time plus chance. Man is just a lump of slime that evolved into rationality. There is no more purpose in life for the human race than for a species of insect; for both are the result of the blind interaction of chance and necessity.”

In my 31st letter on 3-18-20 I quote Francis Schaeffer who noted, “Darwin is saying that he gave up the New Testament because it was connected to the Old Testament. He gave up the Old Testament because it conflicted with his own theory. Did he have a real answer himself and the answer is no. At the end of his life we see that he is dehumanized by his position and on the other side we see that he never comes to the place of intellectual satisfaction for himself that his answers were sufficient.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his loss of his Christian faith in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 32nd letter on 4-18-20 quoted H.J. Blackham on where humanism leads 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

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March 18, 2013 – 9:11 am

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May 24, 2012 – 1:47 am

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May 23, 2012 – 1:43 am

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Carl Sagan versus RC Sproul

January 9, 2012 – 2:44 pm

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Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution)jh68

November 8, 2011 – 12:01 am

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Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 3 of series on Evolution)

November 4, 2011 – 12:57 am

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May 19, 2011 – 10:30 am

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My correspondence with George Wald and Antony Flew!!!

May 12, 2014 – 1:14 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 41 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Featured artist is Marina Abramović)

January 8, 2015 – 5:23 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 40 Timothy Leary (Featured artist is Margaret Keane)

January 1, 2015 – 4:14 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 39 Tom Wolfe (Featured artist is Richard Serra)

December 25, 2014 – 5:04 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 38 Woody Allen and Albert Camus “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide” (Feature on artist Hamish Fulton Photographer )

December 18, 2014 – 4:30 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 37 Mahatma Gandhi and “Relieving the Tension in the East” (Feature on artist Luc Tuymans)

December 11, 2014 – 4:19 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 36 Julian Huxley:”God does not in fact exist, but act as if He does!” (Feature on artist Barry McGee)

December 4, 2014 – 4:10 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 35 Robert M. Pirsig (Feature on artist Kerry James Marshall)

November 27, 2014 – 4:43 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 34 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Feature on artist Shahzia Sikander)

November 20, 2014 – 4:28 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 33 Aldous Huxley (Feature on artist Matthew Barney )

November 13, 2014 – 4:39 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 32 Steven Weinberg and Woody Allen and “The Meaningless of All Things” (Feature on photographer Martin Karplus )

November 6, 2014 – 4:42 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 31 David Hume and “How do we know we know?” (Feature on artist William Pope L. )

October 30, 2014 – 5:34 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 30 Rene Descartes and “How do we know we know?” (Feature on artist Olafur Eliasson)

October 23, 2014 – 5:01 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 29 W.H. Thorpe and “The Search for an Adequate World-View: A Question of Method” (Feature on artist Jeff Koons)

October 16, 2014 – 5:06 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 28 Woody Allen and “The Mannishness of Man” (Feature on artist Ryan Gander)

October 9, 2014 – 5:10 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 27 Jurgen Habermas (Featured artist is Hiroshi Sugimoto)

September 25, 2014 – 1:01 pm

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 26 Bettina Aptheker (Featured artist is Krzysztof Wodiczko)

September 25, 2014 – 4:00 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 25 BOB DYLAN (Part C) Francis Schaeffer comments on Bob Dylan’s song “Ballad of a Thin Man” and the disconnect between the young generation of the 60’s and their parents’ generation (Feature on artist Fred Wilson)

September 18, 2014 – 3:57 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 24 BOB DYLAN (Part B) Francis Schaeffer comments on Bob Dylan’s words from HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED!! (Feature on artist Susan Rothenberg)

September 11, 2014 – 4:18 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 23 BOB DYLAN (Part A) (Feature on artist Josiah McElheny)Francis Schaeffer on the proper place of rebellion with comments by Bob Dylan and Samuel Rutherford

September 2, 2014 – 8:42 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 22 “The School of Athens by Raphael” (Feature on the artist Sally Mann)

August 11, 2014 – 2:19 pm

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 21 William B. Provine (Feature on artist Andrea Zittel)

June 12, 2014 – 2:52 pm

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 20 Woody Allen and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Ida Applebroog)

May 12, 2014 – 4:35 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 19 Movie Director Luis Bunuel (Feature on artist Oliver Herring)

May 1, 2014 – 11:53 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 18 “Michelangelo’s DAVID is the statement of what humanistic man saw himself as being tomorrow” (Feature on artist Paul McCarthy)

April 25, 2014 – 8:26 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 17 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part C (Feature on artist David Hockney plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

April 18, 2014 – 7:37 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 16 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part B (Feature on artist James Rosenquist plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

April 11, 2014 – 6:14 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 15 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part A (Feature on artist Robert Indiana plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

April 4, 2014 – 5:58 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 14 David Friedrich Strauss (Feature on artist Roni Horn )

March 28, 2014 – 2:50 pm

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 13 Jacob Bronowski and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Ellen Gallagher )

March 21, 2014 – 7:18 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 12 H.J.Blackham and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Arturo Herrera)

March 14, 2014 – 9:07 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 11 Thomas Aquinas and his Effect on Art and HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Episode 2: THE MIDDLES AGES (Feature on artist Tony Oursler )

March 4, 2014 – 9:04 pm

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 10 David Douglas Duncan (Feature on artist Georges Rouault )

February 28, 2014 – 5:16 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 9 Jasper Johns (Feature on artist Cai Guo-Qiang )

February 21, 2014 – 6:51 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 8 “The Last Year at Marienbad” by Alain Resnais (Feature on artist Richard Tuttle and his return to the faith of his youth)

February 13, 2014 – 7:59 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 7 Jean Paul Sartre (Feature on artist David Hooker )

February 4, 2014 – 2:00 pm

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 6 The Adoration of the Lamb by Jan Van Eyck which was saved by MONUMENT MEN IN WW2 (Feature on artist Makoto Fujimura)

January 31, 2014 – 5:43 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 5 John Cage (Feature on artist Gerhard Richter)

January 21, 2014 – 8:07 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 4 ( Schaeffer and H.R. Rookmaaker worked together well!!! (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part B )

January 14, 2014 – 8:52 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 3 PAUL GAUGUIN’S 3 QUESTIONS: “Where do we come from? What art we? Where are we going? and his conclusion was a suicide attempt” (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part A)

January 7, 2014 – 11:06 pm

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 2 “A look at how modern art was born by discussing Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, Sisley, Degas,Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, and Picasso” (Feature on artist Peter Howson)

January 1, 2014 – 4:27 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 1 HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? “The Roman Age” (Feature on artist Tracey Emin)

December 10, 2013 – 2:38 pm

(In tribute to the memory of Steven Weinberg who was a great thinker I am reposting my 1st post on him) FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 32 Steven Weinberg and Woody Allen and “The Meaningless of All Things” (Feature on photographer Martin Karplus )

I enjoyed reading Steven Weinberg’s books and my first was THE FIRST THREE MINUTES and my favorite was TO EXPLAIN THE WORLD. What a great supporter of Israel too!

Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg, celebrated scientific mind, dies, 88

Steven Weinberg at the 2010 Texas Book Festival, Austin, Texas, United States. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Steven Weinberg at the 2010 Texas Book Festival, Austin, Texas, United States.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Born to Jewish immigrants, Weinberg’s scientific accomplishments fueled his activism as a proud liberal and outspoken defender of Israel.

Nobel Prize-winning physicist and astronomer Prof. Steven Weinberg passed away Friday at the age of 88, according to a statement from the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin).

The cause of death has not yet been determined, though according to the Washington Post, he had been hospitalized for some time.

Born in 1933 in New York City to Jewish immigrants, Weinberg would go on to have a landmark career in academia. His most famous work was a paper he published in 1967 that discussed the interaction between electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force – two of the universe’s four fundamental forces, which work as part of a unified electroweak force.

Simply titled “A Model of Leptons,” the paper was barely even three pages long, published in the academic journal Physical Review Letters. However, the impact it has has on the field of physics is nothing short of immense, being one of the single most cited works ever in the field of high-energy physics.
The equation-filled article discussed and theorized concepts and properties that had never been observed before, but which played key roles in the progression of the field. His predictions were supported in later years, including by the discovery of the Higgs boson particle in 2012 at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.
This work later saw him awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979 along with fellow scientists Sheldon Glashow and Abdus Salam.

Despite the complexity behind his work, however, Weinberg was also known for trying to make science more accessible. In his 1977 work The First Three Minutes: A Modern View Of The Origin Of The Universe, he walked readers through the first minutes of the existence of the universe – itself a very complex topic – in a way that was easy to understand, as noted by Live Science.

But Weinberg wasn’t just known for his scientific fame and accomplishments. Rather, he was also a noted activist, working as a spokesman for science. He had spoken to Congress, lectured on the history and philosophy of science and made waves for taking a stand against concealed carry guns in UT classrooms.
But Weinberg was also an outspoken advocate of the State of Israel. This was especially noted in his 1997 essay, “Zionism and Its Adversaries.”
He had also been an outspoken advocate against antisemitism, something he considered boycotting Israel to constitute.
Back in the early 2000s, Weinbeg had called off trips to universities in the UK due to UK boycotts against Israel. In a letter explaining his reason for withdrawing, the physicist said he perceived “a widespread anti-Israel and antisemitic current in British opinion.”
According to the UK daily The Guardian,Weinberg wrote that “I know that some will say that these boycotts are directed only against Israel, rather than generally against Jews.
“But given the history of the attacks on Israel and the oppressiveness and aggressiveness of other countries in the Middle East and elsewhere, boycotting Israel indicated a moral blindness for which it is hard to find any explanation other than antisemitism.”
Weinberg is survived by his wife, UT Austin Law Prof. Louise Weinberg, and their daughter, Elizabeth.


The Atheism Tapes – Steven Weinberg [2/6]

Published on Sep 25, 2012

Jonathan Miller in conversation with American physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg

___________________________

I have posted many times in the past about Steven Weinberg on my blog and I have always found his works very engaging. It is true that he is a secular humanist and is friends with many of the new atheists and many of the top scientists of today hold his same secular views. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), (Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), and Michael Martin (1932-).

Many times in the past these secular humanists have suggested books for me to read and I have made it my practice to take them up on that and read the books they suggest and then I send my reviews back to them to consider.

One trend I have noticed among modern scholars and that have become more and more pessimistic. (No where is this demonstrated better than in the beginning of the episode THE AGE OF NONREASON shown below.  Also Francis Schaeffer in his book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? points out that Steven Weinberg has discussed the issue of the meaningless and pointlessness of life.

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

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

10 Worldview and Truth

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes.  Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has 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.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.

___________

Francis Schaeffer noted:

The Meaningless of All Things

An  overwhelming number of modern thinkers agree that seeing the universe and man from a humanist base leads to meaninglessness, both for the universe and for man – not just mankind in general but for each of us as individuals. Professor Steven Weinberg of Harvard University and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory has written a book entitled The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe (1976). Here he explains, as clearly as probably anyone has ever done, the modern materialistic view of the universe and its origin.
But when his explanation is finished and he is looking down at the earth from an airplane, as Weinberg writes, “It is very hard to realize that this all is just a tiny part of an overwhelmingly hostile universe … [which] has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”86
When Weinberg says that the universe seems more “comprehensible,” he is, of course, referring to our greater understanding of the physical universe through the advance of science. But it is an understanding, notice, within, a materialistic framework, which considers the universe solely in terms of physics and chemistry – simply machinery. Here lies the irony. It is comprehension of a sort, but it is like giving a blind person sight, only to remove anything seeable. As we heard Woody Allen saying earlier, such a view of reality is “absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless.”
So, to the person who wants to be left alone without explanations for the big questions, we must say very gently, “Look at what you are left alone with.” This is not merely rhetoric. As the decades of this century have slipped by, more and more have said the same thing as Steven Weinberg and Woody Allen. It has become an obvious thing to say. The tremendous optimism of the nineteenth century, which stemmed from the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, has gradually ebbed away.
If everything “faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat,” all things are meaningless. This is the first problem, the first form of pollution. The second is just as bad.

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Rice Broocks in his book GOD’S NOT DEAD quoted the American philosopher and theologian William Lane Craig:

My claim is that if there is no God then meaning, value, and purpose are ultimately human illusions. They’re just in our heads. If atheism is true, then life is really objectively meaningless, valueless, and purposeless, despite our subjective beliefs to the contrary,” (William Lane Craig, ON GUARD: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision [Colorodo Springs: David C. Cook, 2010], 30).

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Francis Schaeffer below pictured on cover of World Magazine:

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Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?)

Back in September of 2014 I had a chance to correspond with Nobel Prize Harold Kroto and he  used this quote from his friend Steven Weinberg,“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” I DO AGREE WITH A PORTION OF THAT ASSERTION BUT IT SEEMS THAT MUSLIMS KILL A LOT MORE PEOPLE TODAY THAN CHRISTIANS. (SAM HARRIS EVEN POINTED THAT OUT RECENTLY ON BILL MAHER’S SHOW.)Then he gave me a link that gave more quotes from Steven Weinberg and here are some of those quotes and my initial reaction to some of them (From Nobel Lectures, Physics 1971-1980, Editor Stig Lundqvist, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1992):

“One of the great achievements of science has been, if not to make it impossible for intelligent people to be religious, then at least to make it possible for them not to be religious. We should not retreat from this accomplishment.”  Steven Weinberg (Many of Weinberg and Kroto’s scientific heroes of the past were Bible believing Christians such as Isaac Newton and I pointed this out to Ernst Mayr during our correspondence in 1995.I have also pointed out that evolutionists must hope  like George Wald that   “Time is the Hero” because the law of bio-genesis seems to  disprove evolution altogether.)

“I don’t need to argue here that the evil in the world proves that the universe is not designed, but only that there are no signs of benevolence that might have shown the hand of a designer.” Steven Weinberg  (There are great problems for the agnostic on this subject too and my discussion with Lester Mondale in his home in Missouri in 1996 clearly shows the secular humanist’s glaring weakness.)

“I have a friend — or had a friend, now dead — Abdus Salam, a very devout Muslim, who was trying to bring science into the universities in the Gulf states and he told me that he had a terrible time because, although they were very receptive to technology, they felt that science would be a corrosive to religious belief, and they were worried about it… and damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too.”
Steven Weinberg
I would point out that many scientists of the past were Christians and many of them opposed Darwinism (Agassiz, Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Dawson, Virchow, Fabre, Fleming, etc). The list of Bible believing scientists boogle the mind and they believed the inspiration of the scriptures and put their faith in Christ for their salvation. Here is just a short list of some of them, Newton, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pascal, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Kepler, etc. 

“If there is no point in the universe that we discover by the methods of science, there is a point that we can give the universe by the way we live, by loving each other, by discovering things about nature, by creating works of art. And that—in a way, although we are not the stars in a cosmic drama, if the only drama we’re starring in is one that we are making up as we go along, it is not entirely ignoble that faced with this unloving, impersonal universe we make a little island of warmth and love and science and art for ourselves. That’s not an entirely despicable role for us to play.” Steven Weinberg (I was privileged to have the opportunity to correspond with Carl Sagan during the last year of his life and in that correspondence I answered back his letter with the assertion that mankind was put on this earth by God with a special purpose. We are precious, but even though Jodie Foster makes that claim in the movie CONTACT which Sagan wrote, the secular worldview does not in anywhere support that conclusion.)

One of the great achievements of science has been, if not to make it impossible for intelligent people to be religious, then at least to make it possible for them not to be religious. We should not retreat from this accomplishment. Steven Weinberg (Although Charles Darwin did lead science that direction,  Dr. H. Fritz Schaefer confronted the assertion that a scientist cannot believe in God in an excellent article. )

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/86758.Steven_Weinberg (This link led me to the following quotes.)

“All logical arguments can be defeated by the simple refusal to reason logically”
Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory
“The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy. ”
Steven Weinberg
“It does not matter whether you win or lose, what matters is whether I win or lose!”
Steven Weinberg

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1979
Sheldon Glashow, Abdus Salam, Steven Weinberg

Steven Weinberg – Biographical

I was born in 1933 in New York City to Frederick and Eva Weinberg. My early inclination toward science received encouragement from my father, and by the time I was 15 or 16 my interests had focused on theoretical physics.

I received my undergraduate degree from Cornell in 1954, and then went for a year of graduate study to the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen (now the Niels Bohr Institute). There, with the help of David Frisch and Gunnar Källén. I began to do research in physics. I then returned to the U.S. to complete my graduate studies at Princeton. My Ph.D thesis, with Sam Treiman as adviser, was on the application of renormalization theory to the effects of strong interactions in weak interaction processes.

After receiving my Ph.D. in 1957, I worked at Columbia and then from 1959 to 1966 at Berkeley. My research during this period was on a wide variety of topics – high energy behavior of Feynman graphs, second-class weak interaction currents, broken symmetries, scattering theory, muon physics, etc. – topics chosen in many cases because I was trying to teach myself some area of physics. My active interest in astrophysics dates from 1961-62; I wrote some papers on the cosmic population of neutrinos and then began to write a book, Gravitation and Cosmology, which was eventually completed in 1971. Late in 1965 I began my work on current algebra and the application to the strong interactions of the idea of spontaneous symmetry breaking.

From 1966 to 1969, on leave from Berkeley, I was Loeb Lecturer at Harvard and then visiting professor at M.I.T. In 1969 I accepted a professorship in the Physics Department at M.I.T., then chaired by Viki Weisskopf. It was while I was a visitor to M.I.T. in 1967 that my work on broken symmetries, current algebra, and renormalization theory turned in the direction of the unification of weak and electromagnetic interactions. In 1973, when Julian Schwinger left Harvard, I was offered and accepted his chair there as Higgins Professor of Physics, together with an appointment as Senior Scientist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

My work during the 1970’s has been mainly concerned with the implications of the unified theory of weak and electromagnetic interactions, with the development of the related theory of strong interactions known as quantum chromodynamics, and with steps toward the unification of all interactions.

In 1982 I moved to the physics and astronomy departments of the University of Texas at Austin, as Josey Regental Professor of Science. I met my wife Louise when we were undergraduates at Cornell, and we were married in 1954. She is now a professor of law. Our daughter Elizabeth was born in Berkeley in 1963.

Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” , episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted,Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not aphilosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplifiedintellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pillbecause Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art andculture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about thembecause they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not that of acautious academic who labors for exhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts andthey have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where ourwestern society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youthenthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decadesbecause of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true asSchaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? There is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This linkshows how to do that.

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.” 

Steven Weinberg here in this video below does come down more critical on the violence brought on by Muslim radicals versus the political correct view that Islam is an religion of peace while Christianity has all the problems. At the end of this video he says “I don’t like God.”

Steven Weinberg on Atheism

Uploaded on Jul 31, 2011

According to atheist physicist Steven Weinburg, most scientists don’t think much about religion — they don’t think it’s worth thinking about. But Steven Weinburg does think about it and in a 2003 interview with BBC’s Jonathan Miller he gave his view on a number of things. Why are people religious, is the U.S. too religious, do Americans equate religion with patriotism, is truth important in religion, does our moral sense come from religion, is religion a good thing and does religion conflict with science? This video is edited from the original 29 minutes and does not have the annoying text over.

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APOLOGETICS: ETHICS

The Practical Impossibility of Atheism

By William Lane Craig
Guest Contributor

0 Comment(s)

CBN.com – Excerpted with permission from On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision

About the only solution the atheist can offer is that we face the absurdity of life and live bravely. The British philosopher Bertrand Russell, for example, believed that we have no choice but to build our lives upon “the firm foundation of unyielding despair.” Only by recognizing that the world really is a terrible place can we successfully come to terms with life. Camus said that we should honestly recognize life’s absurdity and then live in love for one another.

The fundamental problem with this solution, however, is that it’s impossible to live consistently and happily within the framework of such a worldview. If you live consistently, you will not be happy; if you live happily, it is only because you are not consistent.

Francis Schaeffer has explained this point well. Modern man, says Schaeffer, resides in a two-story universe. In the lower story is the finite world without God; here life is absurd, as we have seen. In the upper story are meaning, value, and purpose. Now modern man lives in the lower story because he believes there is no God. But he cannot live happily in such an absurd world; therefore, he continually makes leaps of faith into the upper story to affirm meaning, value, and purpose, even though he has no right to, since he does not believe in God.

Let’s look again, then, at each of the three areas in which we saw that life was absurd without God, to see how difficult it is to live consistently and happily with an atheistic worldview.

First, the area of meaning. We saw that without God, life has no meaning. Yet philosophers continue to live as though life does have meaning. For example, Sartre argued that one may create meaning for his life by freely choosing to follow a certain course of action. Sartre himself chose Marxism.

Now this is totally inconsistent. It is inconsistent to say life is objectively absurd and then to say you may create meaning for your life. If life is really absurd, then you’re trapped in the lower story. To try to create meaning in life represents a leap to the upper story. But Sartre has no basis for this leap. Sartre’s program is actually an exercise in self-delusion. For the universe doesn’t really acquire a meaning just because I happen to give it one. This is easy to see: Suppose I give the universe one meaning, and you give it another. Who’s right? The answer, of course, is neither one. For the universe without God remains objectively meaningless, no matter how we happen to regard it. Sartre is really saying, “Let’s pretend the universe has meaning.” And this is just fooling yourself.

The point is this: If God does not exist, then life is objectively meaningless; but man cannot live consistently and happily knowing that life is meaningless; so in order to be happy he pretends life has meaning. But this is, of course, entirely inconsistent—for without God, man and the universe are without any real significance.

Turn now to the problem of value. Here is where the most blatant inconsistencies occur. First of all, atheistic humanists are totally inconsistent in affirming the traditional values of love and brotherhood. Camus has been rightly criticized for inconsistently holding both to the absurdity of life and the ethics of human love and brotherhood. The view that there are no values is logically incompatible with affirming the values of love and brotherhood. Bertrand Russell, too, was inconsistent. For though he was an atheist, he was an outspoken social critic, denouncing war and restrictions on sexual freedom. Russell admitted that he could not live as though ethical values were simply a matter of personal taste, and that he therefore found his own views “incredible.” “I do not know the solution,” he confessed.6

The point is that if there is no God, then objective right and wrong do not exist. As Dostoyevsky said, “All things are permitted.” But man cannot live this way. So he makes a leap of faith and affirms values anyway. And when he does so, he reveals the inadequacy of a world without God.

The horror of a world devoid of value was brought home to me with new intensity several years ago as I watched a BBC television documentary called The Gathering. It concerned the reunion of survivors of the Holocaust in Jerusalem, where they rediscovered lost friendships and shared their experiences. One former prisoner, a nurse, told of how she was made the gynecologist at Auschwitz. She observed that pregnant women were grouped together by the soldiers under the direction of Dr. Josef Mengele and housed in the same barracks. Some time passed, and she noted that she no longer saw any of these women. She made inquiries. “Where are the pregnant women who were housed in that barracks?” “Haven’t you heard?” came the reply. “Dr. Mengele used them for vivisection.”

Another woman told of how Mengele had bound up her breasts so that she could not suckle her infant. The doctor wanted to learn how long an infant could survive without nourishment. Desperately this poor woman tried to keep her baby alive by giving it pieces of bread soaked in coffee, but to no avail. Each day the baby lost weight, a fact that was eagerly monitored by Dr. Mengele. A nurse then came secretly to this woman and told her, “I have arranged a way for you to get out of here, but you cannot take your baby with you. I have brought a morphine injection that you can give to your child to end its life.” When the woman protested, the nurse was insistent: “Look, your baby is going to die anyway. At least save yourself.” And so this mother felt compelled to take the life of her own baby. Dr. Mengele was furious when he learned of it because he had lost his experimental specimen, and he searched among the dead to find the baby’s discarded corpse so that he could have one last weighing.

My heart was torn by these stories. One rabbi who survived the camp summed it up well when he said that at Auschwitz it was as though there existed a world in which all the Ten Commandments were reversed. Mankind had never seen such a hell.

And yet, if God does not exist, then in a sense, our world is Auschwitz: There is no right and wrong; all things are permitted.

But no atheist, no agnostic, can live consistently with such a view. Nietzsche himself, who proclaimed the necessity of living beyond good and evil, broke with his mentor Richard Wagner precisely over the issue of the composer’s anti-Semitism and strident German nationalism. Similarly, Sartre, writing in the aftermath of the Second World War, condemned anti-Semitism, declaring that a doctrine that leads to mass extermination is not merely an opinion or matter of personal taste of equal value with its opposite. In his important essay “Existentialism Is a Humanism,” Sartre struggles vainly to elude the contradiction between his denial of divinely pre-established values and his urgent desire to affirm the value of human persons. Like Russell, he could not live with the implications of his own denial of ethical absolutes.

Neither can the so-called New Atheists like Richard Dawkins. For although he says that there is no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference, he is an unabashed moralist. He vigorously condemns such actions as the harassment and abuse of homosexuals, religious indoctrination of children, the Incan practice of human sacrifice, and prizing cultural diversity over the interests of Amish children. He even goes so far as to offer his own amended Ten Commandments for guiding moral behavior, all the while marvelously oblivious to the contradiction with his ethical subjectivism.

Indeed, one will probably never find an atheist who lives consistently with his system. For a universe without moral accountability and devoid of value is unimaginably terrible.

Finally, let’s look at the problem of purpose in life. The only way most people who deny purpose in life live happily is either by making up some purpose—which amounts to self-delusion, as we saw with Sartre—or by not carrying their view to its logical conclusions. The temptation to invest one’s own petty plans and projects with objective significance and thereby to find some purpose to one’s life is almost irresistible.

For example, the outspoken atheist and Nobel Prize–winning physicist Steven Weinberg, at the close of his much-acclaimed book The First Three Minutes, writes,

It is almost irresistible for humans to believe that we have some special relation to the universe, that human life is not just a more-or-less farcical outcome of a chain of accidents reaching back to the first three minutes, but that somehow we were built in from the beginning.… It is very hard to realize that this all is just a tiny part of an overwhelmingly hostile universe. It is even harder to realize that this present universe has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.

But if there is no solace in the fruits of our research, there is at least some consolation in the research itself. Men and women are not content to comfort themselves with tales of gods and giants, or to confine their thoughts to the daily affairs of life; they also build telescopes and satellites and accelerators, and sit at their desks for endless hours working out the meaning of the data they gather. The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy.

There’s something strange about Weinberg’s moving description of the human predicament: Tragedy is not a neutral term. It expresses an evaluation of a situation. Weinberg evidently sees a life devoted to scientific pursuits as truly meaningful, and therefore it’s tragic that such a noble pursuit should be extinguished. But why, given atheism, should the pursuit of science be any different from slouching about doing nothing? Since there is no objective purpose to human life, none of our pursuits has any objective significance, however important and dear they may seem to us subjectively. They’re no more significant than shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

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Woody Allen’s view of life

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What’s the Meaning of Life?

Jerry Solomon

The Questions Around Us

As I was driving to my office one day I heard a dramatic radio advertisement for a book. It began something like this: “Would you like to find meaning in life?” As I listened to the remainder of the ad I realized that the book’s author was focusing on New Age concepts of purpose and meaning. But the striking thing about what was said was that the advertisers obviously believed that they could get the attention of the radio audience by asking about meaning in life. Some may think it is advertising suicide to open an ad with such a question. Or perhaps the author and her publicists are on to something that “strikes a chord” with many people in our culture.

Questions of meaning and purpose are a part of the mental landscape as we enter a new millenium. Some contend this has not always been the case, but that such questions are an unprecedented legacy of the upheavals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.{3} Others assert that such questions are a result of man’s rejection of God.{4}

Even though most of us don’t make such issues a part of our normal conversations, the questions tend to lurk around us. They can be heard in songs, movies, books, magazines, and many other media that permeate our lives. For example, Jackson Browne, an exceptionally reflective songwriter of the ’60s and ’70s, wrote these haunting lyrics in a song entitled For a Dancer:

Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go ahead and throw
Some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive….{5}

Russell Banks, the author of Affliction and The Sweet Hereafter, both of which became Oscar-nominated films, has this to say about his work: “I’m not a morbid man. In my writing, I’m just trying to describe the world as straightforwardly as I can. I think most lives are desperate and painful, despite surface appearances. If you consider anyone’s life for long, you find it’s without meaning.”{6}

Woody Allen, the film writer, director, and actor, has consistently populated his scripts with characters who exchange dialogue concerning meaning and purpose. In Hannah and Her Sisters a character named Mickey says, “Do you realize what a thread we’re all hanging by? Can you understand how meaningless everything is? Everything. I gotta get some answers.”{7}

Even television ads have focused on meaning, although in a flippant manner. A few years ago you could watch Michael Jordan running across hills and valleys in order to find a guru. When Jordan finds him he asks, “What is the meaning of life?” The guru answers with a maxim that leads to the product that is the real focus of Jordan’s quest.

Even though such illustrations can be ridiculous, maybe they serve to lead us beyond the surface of our subject. We often get nervous when we are encouraged to delve into subject matter that might stretch us. When we get involved in conversations that go beyond the more mundane things of everyday life we may tend to get tense and defensive. Actually, this can be a good thing. The Christian shouldn’t fear such conversations. Indeed, I’m confident that if we go beyond the surface, we can find peace and hope.

Beyond the Surface
Listen to the sober words of a famous writer of the twentieth century:

There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy…. I see many people die because they judge that life is not worth living. I see others paradoxically getting killed for the ideas or illusions that give them a reason for living (what is called a reason for living is an excellent reason for dying). I therefore conclude that the meaning of life is the most urgent of questions.{8}

These phrases indicate that Albert Camus, author of The Plague, The Stranger, and The Myth of Sisyphus, was not afraid to go beyond the surface. Camus was bold in exposing the thoughts many were having during his lifetime. In fact, his world view made it obligatory. He was struggling with questions of meaning in light of what some called the “death of God.” That is, if there is no God, can we find meaning? Many have concluded that the answer is a resounding “No!” If true, this means that one who believes there is no God is not living consistently with that belief.

William Lane Craig, one of the great Christian thinkers of our time, states that:

Man cannot live consistently and happily as though life were ultimately without meaning, value or purpose. If we try to live consistently within the atheistic world view, we shall find ourselves profoundly unhappy. If instead we manage to live happily, it is only by giving the lie to our world view.{9}

Francis Schaeffer agrees with Craig’s analysis, but makes even bolder assertions. He also maintains that the Christian can close the hopeless gap that is created in a person’s godless world view. Listen to what he wrote:

It is impossible for any non-Christian individual or group to be consistent to their system in logic or in practice. Thus, when you face twentieth-century man, whether he is brilliant or an ordinary man of the street, a man of the university or the docks, you are facing a man in tension; and it is this tension which works on your behalf as you speak to him.{10}

What happens when we go “beyond the surface” in order to find meaning? Can a Christian world view stand up to the challenge? I believe it can, but we must stop and think of whether we are willing to accept the challenge. David Henderson, a pastor and writer, gives us reason to pause and consider our response. He writes:

Our lives, like our Daytimers, are busy, busy, busy, full of things to do and places to go and people to see. Many of us, convinced that the opposite of an empty life is a full schedule, remain content to press on and ignore the deeper questions. Perhaps it is out of fear that we stuff our lives to the walls—fear that, were we to stop and ask the big questions, we would discover there are no satisfying answers after all.{11}

Let’s jettison any fear and continue our investigation. There are satisfying answers. It is not necessary to “stuff our lives to the walls” in order to escape questions of meaning and purpose. God has spoken to us. Let us begin to pursue His answers.

Eternity in Our Hearts

The book of Ecclesiastes contains numerous phrases that have entered our discourse. One of those phrases states that God “has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart. . .” (3:11). What a fascinating statement! Actually, the first part of the verse can be just as accurately translated “beautiful in its time.” Thus “a harmony of purpose and a beneficial supremacy of control pervade all issues of life to such an extent that they rightly challenge our admiration.”{12} The second part of the verse indicates that “man has a deep-seated ‘sense of eternity’, of purposes and destinies.”{13}But man can’t fathom the vastness of eternal things, even when he believes in the God of eternity. As a result, all people live with what some call a “God-shaped hole.” Stephen Evans believes this hole can be understood through “the desire for eternal life, the desire for eternal meaning, and the desire for eternal love:”{14}

The desire for eternal life is the most evident manifestation of the need for God. Deep in our hearts we feel death should not be, was not meant to be.

The second dimension of our craving for eternity is the desire for eternal meaning. We want lives that are eternally meaningful.

We crave eternity, and earthly loves resemble eternity enough to kindle our deepest love. Yet earthly loves are not eternal. Our sense that love is the clue to what it’s all about is right on target, but earthly love itself merely points us in the right direction.

What we want is an eternal love, a love that loves us unconditionally, accepts us as we are, while helping us to become all we can become.

In short, we want God, the God of Christian faith.{15}

We must trust God for what we cannot see and understand. Or, to put it another way, we continue to live knowing there is meaning, but we struggle to know exactly what it is at all times. We are striving for what the Bible refers to as our future glorification (Rom. 8:30). “There is something self-defeating about human desire, in that what is desired, when achieved, seems to leave the desire unsatisfied.”{16} For example, we attempt to find meaning while searching for what is beautiful. C.S. Lewis referred to this in a sermon entitled The Weight of Glory:

The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things–the beauty, the memory of our own past–are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have not visited.{17}

Lewis’ remarkable prose reminds us that meaning must be given to us. “Meaning is never intrinsic; it is always derivative. If my life itself is to have meaning (or a meaning), it thus must derive its meaning from some sort of purposive, intentional activity. It must be endowed with meaning.”{18} Thus we return to God, the giver of meaning.

Meaning: God’s Gift

Think of all the wonderful gifts that God has given you. No doubt you can come up with a lengthy record of God’s goodness. Does your list include meaning or purpose in life? Most people wouldn’t think of meaning as part of God’s goodness to us. But perhaps we should. This is because “only a being like God–a creator of all who could eventually, in the words of the New Testament, ‘work all things together for good’–only this sort of being could guarantee a completeness and permanency of meaning for human lives.”{19}So how did God accomplish this? The answer rests in His amazing love for us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Consider the profound words of Carl F.H. Henry: “the eternal and self-revealed Logos, incarnate in Jesus Christ, is the foundation of all meaning.”{20} Bruce Lockerbie puts it like this: “The divine nature manifesting itself in the physical form of Jesus of Nazareth is, in fact, the integrating principle to which all life adheres, the focal point from which all being takes its meaning, the source of all coherence in the universe. Around him and him alone all else may be said to radiate. He is the Cosmic Center.”{21}

Picture a bicycle. When you ride one you are putting your weight on a multitude of spokes that radiate from a hub. All the spokes meet at the center and rotate around it. The bicycle moves based upon the center. Thus it is with Christ. He is the center around whom we move and find meaning. Our focus is on Him.

When the apostle Paul reflected on meaning and purpose in his life in Phillipians 3, he came to this conclusion (emphases added):

7…whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ,

9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;

11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Did you notice how Christ was central to what Paul had to say about both his past and present? And did you notice that he used phrases such as “knowing Christ,” or “that I may gain Christ?” Such statements appear to be crucial to Paul’s sense of meaning and purpose. Paul wants “to know” Christ intimately, which means he wants to know by experience. “Paul wants to come to know the Lord Jesus in that fulness of experimental knowledge which is only wrought by being like Him.”{22}

Personally, Paul’s thoughts are important words of encouragement in my life. God through Christ gives meaning and purpose to me. And until I am glorified, I will strive to know Him and be like Him. Praise God for Jesus Christ, His gift of meaning!
Notes
1. James Dobson, Focus on the Family Newsletter (May 1996).
2. Ibid.
3. Gerhard Sauter, The Question of Meaning, trans. and ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982).
4. Charles R. Swindoll, Living on the Ragged Edge (Waco, TX: Word, 1985).
5. Jackson Browne, “For a Dancer,” in James F. Harris, Philosophy at 33 1/3 rpm: Themes of Classic Rock Music (Chicago: Open Court, 1993), 68.
6. Russell Banks, in Jerome Weeks, “Continental Divide,” The Dallas Morning News (2 March 1999), 2C.
7. Woody Allen, Hannah and Her Sisters, in Thomas V. Morris, Making Sense of It All: Pascal and the Meaning of Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1992), 54.
8. Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus, trans. Justin O’Brien (New York: Vintage, 1960), 3-4.
9. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1994), 71.
10. Francis A. Schaeffer, The God Who Is There (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1968), 122.
11. David W. Henderson, Culture Shift: Communicating God’s Truth to Our Changing World (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1998), 186.
12. H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Ecclesiastes (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1952), 90.
13. Ibid., 91.
14. C. Stephen Evans, Why Believe? Reason and Mystery as Pointers to God, revised ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1996), 58-60.
15. Ibid.
16. Alistair McGrath, A Cloud of Witnesses (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990), 127.
17. C.S. Lewis, in “The Weight of Glory,” quoted in Alistair McGrath, A Cloud of Witnesses, 127.
18. Morris, 57.
19. Ibid., 62.
20. Carl F.H. Henry, God Revelation and Authority, Vol. III (Waco, TX: Word, 1979), 195.
21. D. Bruce Lockerbie, The Cosmic Center: The Supremacy of Christ in a Secular Wasteland (Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1986),127-128.
22. Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies From the Greek New Testament, Volume Two (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1973), 93.
© 1999 Probe Ministries International

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Featured Photographer is Martin Karplus

Martin Karplus on his passions

Two passions are Photography and cooking in famous Paris restaurants.

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THURSDAY SEP 25 – FRIDAY NOV 28, 2014

Presented by the
Austrian Cultural Forum New York

>> OPEN DAILY, 10 AM – 6 PM. FREE ADMISSION.

Martin Karplus is a chemist, Professor emeritus at Harvard University, and Nobel laureate who has spent the past fifty years consumed by a passion for documenting humanity in thousands of photographs. Sourced from Europe, Asia, and the Americas, his photographs capture societies at pivotal moments in their cultural and economic development in rich Kodachrome color.

In 1953, the Austrian-born, American Karplus received his uncle’s Leica camera as a gift from his parents and headed to Oxford University on a fellowship. In the following years he would spend months exploring the globe, documenting what he describes a “vision of a world, much of which no longer exists”.

Images from the Netherlands, Denmark, Greece, Italy, France, Yugoslavia, and Germany present the closure of a bygone lifestyle as societies modernized and rebuilt in the wake of World War 2 and the dawning of the Cold War. Further travels throughout the 1950s took him to the Americas, where he photographed the exuberance of suburban Californian prosperity alongside Native and Latin Americans living a way of life uninterrupted for centuries, yet largely unheard of today. A more recent series from 2008-09 presents a look at China and India as each nation’s unfurling economy brings rapid modernization, as well as to Japan, where it has firmly taken root.

[Image: Martin Karplus, Portrait Martin Karplus, Marineland of the Pacific, California, 1956, ©Martin Karplus Photography]

images

MARTIN KARPLUS

Schönbrunn, Austria, 1954
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Rome, Italy, 1954
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Ferry along the Moselle, Germany, 1954
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Sarajevo, Bosnia, 1955
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Near Biograd, Croatia, 1955
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Copenhagen, Denmark, 1955
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Waiting for the ferry to Denmark, 1955
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Grand Canyon, Arizona, 1956
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Gallup, New Mexico, 1956
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Cuzco, Peru, 1960
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1960
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

credits

Exhibition Coordinator Natascha Boojar
Exhibition Assistants Lisa-Joanna Csanyi, Sophie Gogl

With generous support from The Office of Science and Technology Austria (OSTA)

Supporting Institutions of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York Air BerlinEsterházy WineryStiegl

Special thanks to Franklin Castanien, Taylor Hawkins, Stefan Hoza, Geraldine Lau

Jewish Trio Win Nobel Prize for Chemistry: Michael Levitt, Martin Karplus and Arieh Warshel awarded

Published on Oct 11, 2013

A three man team of professors has won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. And all three are Jewish, with two hailing from Israel. Michael Levitt, a British-US citizen of Stanford University; US-Austrian Martin Karplus of Strasbourg University and Harvard; and US-Israeli Arieh Warshel of the University of Southern California will share this year’s prize of around USD 1.25 million. Warshel said the work for which he and his colleagues received the prize is for developing a method that allowed them to understand how proteins work. The trio devised computer simulations to understand chemical processes. In so doing, they revolutionized research in areas ranging from pharmaceuticals to solar energy.

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Two Israeli scientists who emigrated to U.S. win Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Arieh Warshel, Michael Levitt, and Martin Karplus win prize for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems; all three scientists are Jewish, while Warshel and Levitt hold Israeli citizenship.

By and | Oct. 9, 2013 | 10:24 PM

Three Jewish scientists – two of them Israelis who had emigrated to the U.S. – won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday.

Arieh Warshel, Michael Levitt and Martin Karplus were awarded the top international prize for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Wednesday said, upon awarding the prize of 8 million crowns ($1.25 million), that their research in the 1970s has helped scientists develop programs that unveil chemical processes such as the purification of exhaust fumes or the photosynthesis in green leaves.

“The work of Karplus, Levitt and Warshel is ground-breaking in that they managed to make Newton’s classical physics work side-by-side with the fundamentally different quantum physics,” the academy said. “Previously, chemists had to choose to use either/or.”

All three winners are American citizens, but also hold dual citizenships. Warshel and Levitt are Israeli citizens, and both studied and worked at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, where Levitt also served as head of the Chemical Physics Department. Warshel was also educated at the Technion. Austrian-born Karplus had fled the Nazis to the U.S. as a child. The Nobel prize was awarded to them on the basis of their research at American universities.

Warshel is a U.S. and Israeli citizen affiliated with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Levitt is a U.S., Israeli and British citizen and a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Karplus is affiliated with the University of Strasbourg, France, and Harvard University.

Pretoria-born Levitt immigrated to Israel at the age of 35 in 1983. He married an Israeli, and worked a few years at the Weizmann Institute until he left for Stanford.

“I can’t say I moved there because the conditions in Israel were not satisfactory,” Levitt told Israel Army Radio. “In all honesty, to this day I can’t quite say why I left the country, my connection to it being very strong. […] My wife is Israeli, I have two sons living in Israel.”

When visiting Israel, Levitt resides in a Rehovot flat, but recently has been  considering a move to Tel Aviv, which he called “an amazing city.”

“I am being asked all the time what I plan to do with the winnings, but it isn’t enough to buy a flat in Tel Aviv with.”
‘I didn’t leave by choice’

Warshel completed his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in 1966.

The person who supervised Warshel in his final project, ‘his first scientific father,’ you could say, was Prof. Ruben Pauncz, who was the first in Israel who dealt with quantum chemistry and calculations of the molecular and atomic systems. Through him, Warshel entered the field of theoretical chemistry.

“I was very happy to hear of Arieh Warshel’s winning [the Nobel Prize]”, Pauncz, now 93 years old, told Haaretz. “There were very many students over the years and I remember him somewhat hazily. I remember at some point speaking with Prof. Shneior Lifson of the Weizmann Institute, who supervised his doctorate work, and I remember he was impressed by his intellectual abilities.”

From the Technion, Warshel continued on to the Weizmann Institute of Science, where, in 1970 he completed his Ph. D. degree after three years of work. He spent four years there as a researcher in the Molecular Biology Department, from 1972 to 1976, and then in the late 1970s left for the United States, after not being able to receive tenure at the Institute, according to Speiser.

“The primary reason I left [the Weitzmann Institute] was the difficulties I had in progressing [there],” said Warshel, interviewed Wednesday on Channel 2. “I didn’t leave by choice, so I am not a good example for the‘brain drain’ issue,” he added.

As to his relationship with Israel, Warshel said “I still define myself as an Israeli, but it isn’t a clear definition. I have two passports. I speak Hebrew, and sometimes pass to English.” But, he concluded his answer, “I act like an Israeli.”

“I was sleeping when I got the news,” he said. “My wife got a call, and after verifying a Swedish accent was on the other end I was very pleased.”

Warshel’s wife Tamar told Israel Radio on Wednesday that her husband “didn’t know how to sell himself well enough to Israeli academia,” when asked about his leaving Israel.

Benny Shalev, Warshel’s brother, spoke to  him after the announcement. “He was very excited – like someone who won the Nobel Prize. He may not have been completely surprised since he has been a candidate to receive the prize for a few years already, but it is still a very nice surprise,” Shalev told Haaretz.

Warshel visits Israel once a year and was last here three months ago, said his brother. “He came to lecture at Tel Aviv University and Weizmann Institute.” As to the reasons Warshel left Weizmann, Shalev said: “There are a lot of smart people in Israel and at the same time there was not a job – so he left.”

Warshel won the prize for his development of computer programs that describe the processes of complex chemical and biological systems using quantum mechanical and classical models, explained Prof. Alon Hoffman, the dean of the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry at the Technion.

“Today, in biological systems we are trying to understand how proteins work and how drugs work, for example, on proteins. With the aid of these [computer] programs we can predict the nature of the interaction between the protein and the drug, the responses of the active ingredients, etc. To predict the processes using computerized methods has great importance and it allows the development of new materials and drugs,” said Hoffman.

“In short, what we developed is a method which requires computers to look, to take the structure of the protein and then to eventually understand how exactly it does what it does,” Warshel said. When scientists wanted to simulate complex chemical processes on computers, they used to have to choose between software that was based on quantum physics, which applies on the scale of an atom, or classical Newtonian physics, which operates at larger scales. The academy said the three laureates developed computer models that “opened a gate between these two worlds.”

While quantum mechanics is more accurate, it is impossible to use on large molecules because the equations are too complex to solve. By using quantum mechanics only for key parts of molecules and classical physics for the rest, the blended approach delivers the accuracy of the quantum approach with manageable computations.

“They certainly deserve the prize. They are trailblazers and to a great extent they founded this field,” said Prof. Hanoch Senderowitz of the chemistry department at Bar-Ilan University, who also works in the area of computerized models of chemical and biological systems.

“The specific field which they specialize in is molecular dynamics and in their first simulation they ran on biological systems. To receive a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in a theoretical field is exceptional,” said Senderowitz.

“The great majority of Nobel Prize winners are experimentalists. I think that this is mostly because people have finally understood the importance of this field and the things it can bring. For people in this field, international recognition is important, because we are talking about a computing tool that always went hand in hand with the experimental work. When you develop a computer model you always validate it against experimental results, since only after you validate it a great number of times can you achieve results,” explained Senderowitz.

Chemistry was the third of this year’s Nobel prizes, medicine and physics were already awarded. The prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901 in accordance with the will of businessman and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel.

Israel’s history of Nobel Prizes

Israel has an impressive showing when it comes to Nobel winners, with 11 laureates in its 65-year history. Most recently, Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2011, just two years afterAda Yonath won the same award in 2009. Other Israelis to have won the prestigious prize in Chemistry were Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko in 2004. Three Israeli politicians have also won the Nobel Prize for peace – Menachem Begin in 1978, and Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin in 1994.

The other Israeli Nobel laureates are Robert Aumann and Daniel Kahneman, who won the prize in economic sciences in 2005 and 2002 respectively, and Shmuel Yosef Agnon, who won the prize in literature in 1966.

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MUSIC MONDAY John Lennon? Meh… Keith Green’s Revolution Was Far More Interesting

Keith Green passed away on July 28th, 1982 almost 39 years ago to the day!!! I want to remember him with a series of posts!!!

I am moving the MUSIC MONDAY to a monthly feature on http://www.thedailyhatch.org. My passion has been in the recent years to emphasize the works of Francis Schaeffer in my apologetic efforts and most of those posts are either on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

_

12/09/2010 03:32 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I know. I know. Baby-boomers are still in power so the rest of us have to endure an entire week of blathering about how great John Lennon was. Fortunately there’s TiVo. Certainly he deserves credit for, if nothing else, writing an amazing song likeWoman, but every time I hear an aging Boomer reminisce about world peace and anti-materialism I remember Paul’s words: “Somebody said to me, ‘But the Beatles were anti-materialistic.’ That’s a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down and say, ‘Now, let’s write a swimming pool.’”

When I think of the life and premature death of a musician who really rejected materialism and was for all practical purposes the Godfather of the Napster Generation I fast-forward a year and a half to July 28, 1982 to the also untimely death of another musical genius named Keith Green.

2010-12-09-gfdlyyuo.jpg

At around the time Lennon was trading religious correspondence with Televangelist Oral Roberts and calling into Pat Robertson’s 700 Club hotline to talk to a prayer counselor, Green, a child prodigy who was the youngest ASCAP writer in history and who signed to Decca Records at the age of 11, was also finding God, but Green’s spiritual odyssey produced a far more interesting brand of counter-culturalism: Green and his wife and friends so embraced their newfound faith that they left L.A. for Texas, set up a commune-type lifestyle, begged out of his record deal and did the unthinkable: began giving away his records to his fans in exchange for whatever they could afford to pay. Green’s album “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt,” which featured a harmonica solo by his pal Bob Dylan shipped 200,000 units, 61,000 of them for free.

Now there’s a revolution

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Dan Mitchell article Statism in Five Images


Statism in Five Images

It’s been almost three months since I shared some satiric images about government.

So let’s rectify that oversight with five new items.

We’ll start with some very wise words from Forest Gump (not the imposter).

The second item in today’s collection sort of reminds me of this “shovel” cartoon about Keynesian economics.

Both involve pointless gestures that will never produce results.

I don’t think I need to add any commentary to this next photo.

shared a cartoon many years ago suggesting that organized crime and government have a lot in common.

Here’s a different view.

Per tradition, I’ve saved my favorite example for the conclusion.

The lower-right frame may not be proof of a stroke, but it’s definitely evidence of brain damage of some kind.

Remember, you’ve asked a very strange question if government is the answer.

P.S. My full collection of amusing images (and cartoons) about government can be viewed here.

Communism Humor

I mostly mock socialism, but its authoritarian cousin also is a good target for satire.

So here are some additions to our collection of communism humor.

I’m among the small minority of people who have never watched Game of Thrones, so I don’t know the backstory on these characters, but this meme has a very appropriate message about the nuclear-level naivete needed to believe Marx’s nonsense.

Though maybe the first frame should say “Readers of Teen Vogue.”

Next, we have a contribution from Babylon Bee.

It’s bad news that we’re suffering from a coronavirus that has killed several million people globally, but there’s another virus that has butchered 100 million people.

This next image reminds me of the joke about communism and electricity.

Per my tradition, here’s my favorite item from today’s collection.

I’m always very impressed by the people who are clever enough to create these Venn diagrams, and this one is better than most.

Though I’m tempted to ask who is worse, the soulless Marxist who rambles and can’t be reasoned with, or the people who rationalizeglorify, and justify Marxism?

—-

November 24, 2020

Office of Barack and Michelle Obama
P.O. Box 91000
Washington, DC 20066

Dear President Obama,

I wrote you over 700 letters while you were President and I mailed them to the White House and also published them on my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org .I received several letters back from your staff and I wanted to thank you for those letters. 

I have been reading your autobiography A PROMISED LAND and I have been enjoying it. 

Let me make a few comments on it, and here is the first quote of yours I want to comment on: Looking back, it’s embarrassing to recognize the degree to which my intellectual curiosity those first two years of college paralleled the interests of various women I was attempting to get to know: Marx and Marcuse so I had something to say to the long-legged socialist who lived in my dorm,”

I noticed you mentioned Herbert Marcuse, and I have read of his influence in Francis Schaeffer’s book How should we then live?:

At Berkeley the Free Speech Movement arose simultaneously with the hippie world of drugs. … but rather a call for the freedom to express any political views on Sproul Plaza. … followed the teaching of Herbert Marcuse (1898-). Marcuse was a German professor of philosophy related to the neo-Marxist.

Bettina Aptheker and Herbert Marcuse  pictured below:

Moral Support: “One Dimensional Man” author Herbert Marcuse accompanies Bettina Aptheker, center, and Angela Davis’ mother, Sallye Davis, to Angela Davis’ 1972 trial in San Jose. Associated Press

_

______________Francis Schaeffer is a hero of mine and I have posted many times in the past using his material. This post below is a result of his material..Communism catches the attention of the young at heart but it has always brought repression wherever it is tried. TrueCommunism 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.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.

Let me share with you the story of Paul Robeson and it demonstrates that he had to lie about how cruel communism was and the killing of his friend Itzik Feffer.

Paul Leroy Robeson (/ˈroʊbsən/ROHB-sən;[2][3] April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976) was an American bass baritone concert artist and stage and film actor who became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism  

Robeson traveled to Moscow in June, and tried to find Itzik Feffer. He let Soviet authorities know that he wanted to see him.[207] Reluctant to lose Robeson as a propagandist for the Soviet Union,[208] the Soviets brought Feffer from prison to him. Feffer told him that Mikhoels had been murdered, and he would be summarily executed.[209] To protect the Soviet Union’s reputation,[210] and to keep the right wing of the United States from gaining the moral high ground, Robeson denied that any persecution existed in the Soviet Union,[211] and kept the meeting secret for the rest of his life, except from his son.[210]

Itzik Feffer (10 September 1900 – 12 August 1952), also Fefer (Yiddish איציק פֿעפֿער, Russian Ицик Фефер, Исаàк Соломòнович Фèфер) was a SovietYiddish poet executed on the Night of the Murdered Poets during Joseph Stalin‘s purges
The American concert singer and actor Paul Robeson met Feffer on 8 July 1943, in New York during a Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee event chaired by Albert Einstein, one of the largest pro-Soviet rallies ever held in the United States. After the rally, Paul Robeson and his wife Eslanda Robeson, befriended Feffer and Mikhoels.  

Itzik Feffer (left), Albert Einstein and Solomon Mikhoels in the United States in 1943.
https://spectator.org/espn-paul-robeson-stalinist-monday-night-football/

DANIEL J. FLYNN tells a few details in this sad story: 
Why Did ESPN Showcase a Stalinist on Monday NightFootball?Stalin Peace Prize laureate Paul Robeson lauded on America’s No. 1 sports network.
 In 1949, Robeson again traveled to the Soviet Union, where he had sent his namesake to school during the 1930s. Robeson had met poet Itzik Feffer and actor Solomon Mikhoels at a Polo Grounds rally of 50,000 people — the largest pro-Soviet event in the history of the United States — that welcomed their Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in 1943. But by 1949 Stalin wished to kill Jews rather than use them for propaganda purposes. He murdered Mikhoels and later Feffer — but not before Robeson could visit his old friend the poet one last time.  

David Horowitz describes this meeting in Radical Son:

In America, the question “What happened to Itzik Feffer?” entered the currency of political debate. There was talk in intellectual circles that Jews were being killed in a new Soviet purge and that Feffer was one of them. It was to quell such rumors that Robeson asked to see his old friend, but he was told by Soviet officials that he would have to wait. Eventually, he was informed that the poet was vacationing in the Crimea and would see him as soon as he returned. The reality was that Feffer had already been in prison for three years, and his Soviet captors did not want to bring him to Robeson immediately because he had become emaciated from lack of food. While Robeson waited in Moscow, Stalin’s police brought Feffer out of prison, put him the care of doctors, and began fattening him up for the interview. When he looked sufficiently healthy, he was brought to Moscow. The two men met in a room that was under secret surveillance. Feffer knew he could not speak freely. When Robeson asked how he was, he drew his finger nervously across his throat and motioned with his eyes and lips to his American comrade. “They’re going to kill us,” he said. “When you return to America you must speak out and save us.

Instead, Robeson, who later confessed what happened to his son, spoke out in praise of his friends’ murderer.

“Yes, through his deep humanity, by his wise understanding, he leaves us a rich and monumental heritage,” Robeson recalled of Stalin. “Most importantly — he has charted the direction of our present and future struggles. He has pointed the way to peace — to friendly co-existence — to the exchange of mutual scientific and cultural contributions — to the end of war and destruction. How consistently, how patiently, he labored for peace and ever increasing abundance, with what deep kindliness and wisdom. He leaves tens of millions all over the earth bowed in heart-aching grief.”

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733 everettehatcher@gmail.com

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 382 LETTER TO HUGH HEFNER “We do pick the girls on the basis of their attractiveness. Attractiveness does begin to change with age” Featured Artist is Eric Winkler

ailed on 7-17-16)

_____________________

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Mark Henry, teaching pastor Fellowship Bible Church, Little Rock, AR

Hugh and brother Keith with their parents

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July 10, 2016

Hugh Hefner
Playboy Mansion  
10236 Charing Cross Road
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1815

Dear Mr. Hefner,

Today at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH our teaching pastor Mark Henry taught on I Corinthians 13 which is known as the love chapter.

In your interview with R. Couri Hay which is on You Tube at the 10 min mark you asserted:

There is no correlation between age and being a bunny at all. There is however something called BUNNY IMAGE. We do pick the girls on the basis of their attractiveness. Attractiveness does begin to change with age.

Also in the last few years you asserted, “The best part of any relationship is the beginning.” You can see how I thought of you when I recently saw the movie UP on DVD. The beginning of the movie showed the 70 years that Carl and Ellie spent together in a 4 minute summary and it contrasted in my mind with your words. It is clear that their love GREW over the years and did not diminish. 

Then I thought of an article by Darryl Dash on Ecclesiastes called Living With Adversity (Ecclesiastes 6:10-7:14) March 06, 2011:

A couple of years ago I took my son to see the Pixar animated movie Up about the last adventure of a 78-year-old balloon salesman named Carl Fredricksen. I thought I was going to see a fun story. I wasn’t prepared for one poignant, four-minute scene.

The scene is wordless. The vignette starts with a brief glimpse of Carl and Ellie’s wedding day, and then moves to their first home and first jobs. The couple race up a grassy hill together, then look up at the sky and imagine pictures forming in the clouds. Then the clouds are all shaped like babies, and then Carl and Ellie are painting a nursery together. It’s an idyllic look at young love and marriage.

But this isn’t an idyllic life. The scene shifts to Carl and Ellie in a hospital room with pre-natal diagrams on the walls. A doctor is talking and gesturing. Ellie is weeping into her hands. Next, Carl comforts his wife by reminding her of an old dream they shared when they were children—traveling to a place called Paradise Falls together. Rejuvenated, Ellie creates a dream jar labeled “Paradise Falls,” and into the jar goes all of the young couple’s spare money.

Again, however, life happens. First their car pops a tire. Then Carl visits the hospital. Then a tree falls and damages the roof of their home. Each of these inconveniences necessitates the dream jar be smashed and the money spent. Soon, Carl and Ellie have gray in their hair. And in a flash they become elderly.

Near the end of the vignette, Carl remembers their dream of visiting Paradise Falls, and he purchases two tickets from a travel agency. But Ellie collapses on her way back up the grassy hill from their youth. We see her in a hospital bed, with Carl holding her hand and kissing her forehead. Then we see Carl sitting alone at the front of a church. He holds a solitary balloon in his hand. The vignette closes as Carl carries the balloon into his house, which has turned cold and gray. The balloon is a lone spot of color against the gloom, and then everything fades to black. In four minutes you see a lifetime come and go.

_________________

The main point that I wanted to make from the film UP is that Carl and Ellie’s love grew over the decades. I think you are really missing the point about love and what it means.

In his sermon LOVE IS GREATER Mark Henry used a married couple in our church as an example of true love. Lloyd Menning and his wife Dorothy have been married for 69 years. Dorothy had a stroke six years ago and Lloyd had to quit his job so he could take care of her, but she still comes to a weekly Bible Study at the church. Lloyd pushes her to the church every week and then he spends a couple of hours filling the vending machines in the church. Lloyd has demonstrated a love that “bears all things, hopes all things,  and endures all things.” A 4 minute video showing these events was shown at the close of the service today and in the background Lloyd was reading I Corinthians 13. (Lloyd actually reads the Bible to Dorothy everyday.) Below are the words:

1 Corinthians 13 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Way of Love

13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith,so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogantor rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

HUGH lets examine your words again:

There is no correlation between age and being a bunny at all. There is however something called BUNNY IMAGE. We do pick the girls on the basis of their attractiveness. Attractiveness does begin to change with age.

WHAT IS TRUE BEAUTY?  Proverbs shows what a beautiful wife looks like and it has nothing to do with the outward appearance and everything to do with the inward appearance of the heart!!!

Proverbs 31:10-31 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10 [a] An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself[b] with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[c]
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.

HUGH, grace is always available to anyone who asks. Your mother’s name was Grace and if she was here right now she would be thrilled if you took the time to see what the Bible says about salvation and forgiveness. It can be summed up in FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS.

The Four Spiritual Laws

by Matt Slick

They are:

  1. God loves you:
    1. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
  2. Man is sinful and separated from God.
    1. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Rom. 3:23). “For the wages of sin is death,” (Rom. 6:23). “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,” (Isaiah 59:2).
  3. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin.
    1. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me,” (John 14:6). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” (Rom. 5:8).
  4. We must individually receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.
    1. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” (John 1:12). “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved,” (Rom. 10:9). “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God,” (Eph. 2:8).

 The spiritual answers your heart is seeking can be  found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

PS: This is the 42nd letter I have written to you and again I have taken an aspect of your life and responded with what the Bible has to say on that subject.

Francis Schaeffer has rightly noted concerning Hugh Hefner that Hefner’s goal  with the “playboy mentality is just to smash the puritanical ethnic.” I have made the comparison throughout this series of blog posts between Hefner and King Solomon (the author of the BOOK of ECCLESIASTES).  I have noticed that many preachers who have delivered sermons on Ecclesiastes have also mentioned Hefner as a modern day example of King Solomon especially because they both tried to find sexual satisfaction through the volume of women you could slept with in a lifetime.

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10 The Message (MSG)

I piled up silver and gold,
        loot from kings and kingdoms.
I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song,
    and—most exquisite of all pleasures—
    voluptuous maidens for my bed.

9-10 Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!

1 Kings 11:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love.He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

Francis Schaeffer observed concerning Solomon, “You can not know woman by knowing 1000 women.”

Eric winkler

Featured artist is Eric Winkler

Eric Winkler was born in 1981 in Livingston, New Jersey, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. An illustrator and comic artist, Winkler often renders in drawings his friend and collaborator Bryan Zanisnik’s outlandish stories of the art world. Self-deprecating and playful, Winkler’s comics are hand-drawn in black ink and invite viewers to consider the sometimes bizarre nature of the real world.

Links:
Artist’s website
Artist on Facebook
@davidboring on Instagram
@IDreamofWinkler on Twitter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joLa6aqu1Us

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March 3, 2016 – 12:21 am

Dan Mitchell: “There’s no reason why taxpayers across the nation should be subsidizing the cost of railway, bus, and subway travel in a handful of cities”

There Should Be No Federal Funding for Mass Transit

As a matter of sensible public policy (and well as fealty to the Constitution), the federal government should not be involved in transportation.

But since I don’t expect the current crowd in Washington has any interest in getting rid of the Department of Transportation, perhaps we should have a more modest goal of eliminating subsidies for mass transit.

After all, there’s no reason why taxpayers across the nation should be subsidizing the cost of railway, bus, and subway travel in a handful of cities.

Getting rid of these handouts would save a decent chunk of money. Here’s a chart from Downsizing Government, which shows the history of pre-pandemic spending by the Federal Transit Administration.

But that chart is now out of date since politicians have used the pandemic as an excuse to dramatically increase the burden of federal spending. Including big handouts for mass transit.

And now they want to raid taxpayers for more transit money as part of a spending spree on infrastructure.

The Wall Street Journal editorialized about this topic a couple of days ago.

Democrats are accusing Republicans of holding up the Senate infrastructure deal over funding for mass transit. Here’s what’s really going on: Republicans have bowed to most Democratic demands. But now Democrats are also insisting that they acquiesce to spending ever more to rescue broken rail and bus systems in big liberal cities. Mass transit typically receives $13 billion in federal funds each year, and Congress provided an additional $70 billion for urban transit last year in the myriad pandemic spending bills. That’s more than six times the normal transit budget and more than the annual operating and capital spending of every transit agency in the U.S. combined. …But most mass transit systems face a larger structural budget problem that pre-dated the pandemic: Ballooning operating costs from generous labor contracts and pension payments, which are siphoning off money from system improvements and repairs. Many systems have also been losing riders due to lousy service… So Democrats want Republicans to bail out those cities and their public unions. Republicans have agreed to a $48.5 billion supplemental appropriation for mass transit in the deal. But in addition Democrats are demanding that 20% of transportation spending from the highway trust fund—financed by gas tax revenues—go toward transit.

This is throwing good money after bad.

In a column for the Foundation for Economic Education back in 2019, Hans Bader explained that mass transit in an inefficient money pit.

Mass transit is largely a failure and continues to decline despite growing subsidies to many mass transit systems. Light rail systems are white elephants. …South Korea is abolishing its celebrated high-speed rail line from its capital, Seoul, to a nearby major city because it can’t cover even the marginal costs of keeping the trains running. Most people who ride trains don’t need maximum possible speed,and most of those who do will still take the plane to reach distant destinations. …most Japanese don’t take the bullet train either; they take buses because the bullet train is too expensive. Bullet trains do interfere with freight lines, so Japanese freight lines carry much less cargo than in the United States, where railroads—rather than trucks—carry most freight, thereby reducing pollution… California’s so-called bullet train is vastly behind schedule and over budget, and will likely never come close to covering its operating costs once it is built. …Just the first leg of this $77 billion project will cost billions more than budgeted. And the project is already at least 11 years behind schedule.

Government is a big reason why transit is so inefficient and expensive.

Industry expert Randal O’Toole wrote about the harmful impact of socialized systems back in 2018.

Public ownership of transit has significantly increased the cost of transit, creating another disadvantage for the transit industry relative to other modes of travel. Before 1964, transit systems in most American cities were private and profitable, albeit declining. In 1964, Congress gave cities and states incentives to take over transit systems, and within a decade nearly all had been municipalized …followed by a staggering decline in transit productivity. In the decade before 1964, transit systems carried an average of about 59,000 riders per operating employee. This plunged after 1964 and today averages fewer than 27,000 riders per employee… It is doubtful that any American industry has suffered a 54 percent decline in worker productivity over 30 years unless it was another industry taken over by the government and inflicted with all the inefficiencies associated with government control and management.

We’ll close with this chart from O’Toole’s study, which shows total taxpayer subsidies over time.

The bottom line is that government transit systems are a lot like government schools. More and more money gets spent over time with worse and worse results.

Except maybe mass transit is even worse because of absurd cost overruns.

P.S. Click here and here to learn more about the boondoggle of government-funded rail.

P.P.S. Click here to learn more about the boondoggle of government-funded subways.

TRY BORROWING AT A BANK WITH A FINANCIAL CONDITION LIKE THE USA HAS:

The problem in Washington is not lack of revenue but our lack of spending restraint. This video below makes that point. WASHINGTON IS A SPENDING ADDICT!!!

I love reading this blog by Dan Mitchell. No two people agree on everything but I sure do agree with most everything Dan writes on this blog of his. However, I disagree silently with something he has written today. I think it is encouraging that the Republicans in the House have been able to accomplish some things in slowing down the growth in spending by Obama. I know Dan would agree that more needs to be done. For instance, why don’t they just vote no on the next increase to the debt ceiling limit. I have praised over and over and over the 66 House Republicans that voted no on that before. If they did not raise the debt ceiling then we would have a balanced budget instantly.  I agree that the Tea Party has made a difference and I have personally posted 49 posts on my blog on different Tea Party heroes of mine.

What would happen if the debt ceiling was not increased? Yes President Obama would probably cancel White House tours and he would try to stop mail service or something else to get on our nerves but that is what the Republicans need to do.

I have written hundreds of letters and emails to President Obama and I must say that I have been impressed that he has had the White House staff answer so many of my letters. However, his policies have not changed, and by the way the White House after answering over 50 of my letters before November of 2012 has not answered one since.  President Obama committed to cutting nothing from the budget that I can tell. Republicans must take the next step now and vote no on the debt ceiling increase!!!

In recent months, people have asked me why I’m acting all giddy and optimistic. Am I hooked on cocaine? Have I fallen in love? Did I inherit several million dollars?

These questions started after I said the fiscal cliff was a smaller loss than I expected. Then people wondered what was going on when I wrote that we should celebrate the sequester victory. The questions got more intense when I opined that the Tea Party had made a positive difference. And people were even more nonplussed when I wrote that we should enjoy a win over the IMF.

But I’m not the only person thinking that things may be heading in the right direction.

Conn Carroll explains his optimism in the Washington Examiner. He starts by noting how bad Congress was back in 2009 and 2010.

…its liberal predecessor passed a trillion-dollar stimulus, enacted a government takeover of health care and institutionalized the power of Wall Street’s Too Big To Fail banks by passing the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law.

Then he explains that the new Tea Party Congress has changed the fiscal outlook.

…if you look at the hard numbers — if you look at the tax-and-spending trajectory that the United States was on before the 112th Congress was sworn into office, and then look at the path the U.S. is on now — you’d see that Republicans in Congress have made tremendous progress in shrinking the size and scope of the federal government.

But is there any proof?

Conn points out that the CBO “baselines” from early 2011 showed government growing very rapidly.

…the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its annual Budget and Economic Outlook for fiscal years 2011 through 2021. That document showed the federal government was on track to spend…a total of almost $50 trillion ($49.8 trillion to be exact) through 2021. At the same time, tax revenues were set to rise from just 14.8 percent of GDP in 2011 to 20.8 percent in 2021.

The same estimates from early this year, by contrast, show government growing at a slower pace.

The CBO’s Budget and Economic Outlook for fiscal years 2013 through 2023 shows just how much House Republicans have actually accomplished. The federal government is now on track to spend just $46.2 trillion through 2021. That is a $3.6 trillion spending cut. And instead of taxes eating up 21 percent of the U.S. economy in 2021, now the government is set to take in just 18.9 percent.

Here are the respective baselines from those CBO publications. Let’s start by looking at how spending is projected to grow at a slower pace for the rest of the decade.

2011-2013 Spending Projections

That’s $3.5 trillion of savings. Not genuine spending cuts, of course, but it’s real progress if government doesn’t grow as fast.

Here are the revenue numbers.

2011-2013 Revenue Projections

This data basically shows that the tax burden will be much smaller than projected because about 98 percent of the Bush tax cuts were made permanent as part of the fiscal cliff deal.

And if you believe in the Starve-the-Beast theory (and you should), this will make it harder for politicians to increase the burden of government spending in the future.

Conn also notes that the unemployment rate has fallen.

Despite all of this supposedly economy-killing “austerity,” unemployment has steadily fallen, too. When Republicans took control of the House in 2011, the nation’s unemployment rate was 9 percent. Today, it has fallen to 7.7 percent.

If this seems like a familiar point, it’s because I share his assessment. I wrote back in February of last year that gridlock was a positive thing for the economy since it reduced the likelihood of new bad policies.

What’s remarkable about these developments, as Conn notes, is that folks were expecting Obama to have momentum as his second term began.

Just three months ago, many in Washington were predicting Obama would steamroll Republicans into accepting higher taxes for millions of earners, undoing the sequester and maybe even passing new stimulus spending. Instead, Republicans have stayed unified, outfoxed Obama, preserved and made permanent most of last decade’s tax cuts (including permanent indexing of the Alternative Minimum Tax) and let the sequester cuts occur on schedule. As a result, Obama’s approval ratings have tumbled, and his entire second-term agenda is in jeopardy.

The final sentence in that excerpt explains why I’m feeling semi-optimistic. Obama’s agenda of more taxes and more spending is being thwarted.

To be sure, that doesn’t mean we’re seeing good policies of tax reform and fiscal restraint. And we still face a very dour fiscal future unless entitlements are reformed.

But we’re going in the wrong direction at a slower pace, and that beats the alternative.

__________

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS PART 161 Part D SUMMING UP MY CORRESPONDENCE from 2015-2020 with Darwin’s great grandson (Horace Barlow) about Francis Schaeffer’s 1968 critique of Darwinism! Part 4 (Darwin: “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.”

—-

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Francis Schaeffer

Debating from 2015-2020 Darwin’s great grandson (Horace Barlow) about Francis Schaeffer’s 1968 critique of Darwinism!

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Jonathan Miller – Philosophy and neurology (10/48) Mentions HORACE BARLOW

In my February 11, 2015 Letter to Dr. Barlow I made the following points about Charles Darwin and the subject of CHANCE and Dr. Barlow responded to many of these points in his November 22, 2017 letter:

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.”


Francis Schaeffer observed:

So he sees here exactly the same that I would labor and what Paul gives in Romans chapter one, and that is first this tremendous universe [and it’s form] and the second thing, the mannishness of man and the concept of this arising from chance is very difficult for him to come to accept and he is forced to leap into this, his own kind of Kierkegaardian leap, but he is forced to leap into this because of his presuppositions but when in reality the real world troubles him. He sees there is no third alternative. If you do not have the existence of God then you only have chance. In my own lectures I am constantly pointing out there are only two possibilities, either a personal God or this concept of the impersonal plus time plus chance and Darwin understood this . You will notice that he divides it into the same exact two points that Paul does in Romans chapter one into and that Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) will in the problem of existence, the external universe, and man and his consciousness. Paul points out there are these two steps that man is confronted with, what I would call two things in the real world. The universe and it’s form and I usually quote Jean Paul Sartre here, and Sartre says the basic philosophic problem is that something is there rather than nothing is there and I then I add at the point the very thing that Darwin feels and that is it isn’t a bare universe that is out there, it is an universe in a specific form. I always bring in Einstein and the uniformity of the form of the universe and that it is constructed as a well formulated word puzzle or you have Carl Gustav Jung who says two things cut across a man’s will that he can not truly be autonomous, the external world and what Carl Gustav Jung would call his “collected unconsciousness.” It is the thing that churns up out of man, the mannishness of man. Darwin understood way back here this is a real problem. So he says “the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous  universe,” part one, the real world, the external universe, and part two “with our conscious selves arose through chance” and then he goes on and says this is not “an argument of real value.” This only thing he has to put in its place is his faith in his own theory.

______________

Here below is the Romans passage that Schaeffer is referring to and verse 19 refers to what Schaeffer calls “the mannishness of man” and verse 20 refers to Schaeffer’s other point which is  “the universe and it’s form.”Romans 1:18-22Amplified Bible (AMP) 18 For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth andmake it inoperative. 19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness,because God [Himself] has shown it to them. 20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification], 21 Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor andglorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile andgodless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].


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

My Fourth letter dated 2-1-17 was an Email on first cause! And if creation was done by expression of a mind?

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.”

Jan Constantijn Costerus and Nicolaas Dirk Doedes pictured below:

Image result for charles darwin Doedes, N. D., 2 Apr 1873


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…”

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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?”

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Francis Schaeffe


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.

Dr. Barlow responds to the points I made in earlier letters in his November 22, 2017 letter:

You may ask, “What is to take the place of Religious Belief in helping to understand the world around us? It has order and purpose, which cannot be explained by Blind chance as evolution teaches.” I agree it cannot be explained by Blind chance alone, but Darwin did not claim that this happens, and modern evolutionists agree. We say that chance variations (mutations) occur in the substances (called genes nowadays) that control development and cause son and daughter to resemble father and mother. These genes control the development of the offspring, and and influence their success in life, and in particular they influence the types of mutated genes that are passed on to the next generation. Chance, together with “Survival of the fittest,” thus causes the appearance of apparently purposeful adaptations of the population of genes in a species. 



These points made by Dr. Barlow seemed to be contradicted by the following quote from the Nobel Prize winner Jacques Monod:

It necessarily follows that chance alone is at the source of every innovation, and of all creation in the biosphere. Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution: this central concept of modern biology is no longer one among many other possible or even conceivable hypotheses. It is today the sole conceivable hypothesis, the only one that squares with observed and tested fact. And nothing warrants the supposition – or the hope – that on this score our position is ever likely to be revised. There is no scientific concept, in any of the sciences, more destructive of anthropocentrism than this one.

Jacques Monod, Chance and Necessity

In my letter to Dr. Barlow on November 2, 2018 I responded to some of Dr. Barlow’s points and I tried to make the point that Darwin never did get comfortable with the idea that chance was responsible for all of the creation and Randal Keynes actually makes the point that Darwin was at times despondent about the possibility that evidence would appear showing that a species had been designed:

Many thanks for your copious and charmingly expressed correspondence about Charles Darwin’s religious views, and about his descriptions of losing his sense of reverence, awe, and beauty in his old age. Notice, however, that he clearly did not lose his sense of the value of truth, and of the importance of forever searching it out.

Darwin may have been searching for truth, but he never did come to a complete satisfaction that he had found it with his theory of evolution. Notice that your relative Randal Keynes makes this very point on Richard Dawkins special “The Genius of Darwin”:

(Richard Dawkins words below)

Back in England at Down Housenow 20 years after his
voyage on the Beagle,Darwin had worked out the answers
to the biggest questions ever asked.But he was strangely reluctant
to go public with his idea.Darwin himself said that he’d
become a kind of machinefor grinding theories out of
huge assemblages of facts.I think that wasn’t really
what it was like at all.He was an extraordinarily
imaginative, deep thinker.He had a prodigiously
curious mind as well.He was drawn to facts
that didn’t fit.He once said,
“I cannot bear to be beaten.”Darwin’s theory explained how
the diversity of life from the planethad evolved spontaneously
without interference from any god.But he was acutely aware
of how upsettingthis flat contradiction of
the religious story would be.He hesitated to publish.Then, in June 1858,
Darwin received a letterfrom a naturalist travelling in the
Far East, Alfred Russel Wallace,which set our similar ideas.Darwin was in despair about
being scooped.He was even ready to drop
his life’s work.But he was persuaded by
Charles Lyell and othersto present his unpublished work
alongside Wallace’s notes,and then complete his masterpiece
for publication.

Dawkins interviews Darwin’s great-great-grandson below.

 I’ve come to meet Randal Keynes,
Darwin’s great-great-grandsonto try to understand
Darwin’s frame of mindas he finished his book.This is a book about
geology by Mr Greenough.It has this wonderful inscription –“Charles Darwin, Buenos Aires,
October 1832.”So he’s on the Beagle,really getting into
his stride as a geologist.This is a scrapbook,
a children’s scrapbookthat belonged to Darwin’s daughter
Annie. ‘Darwin was
no aggressive polemicist.‘He didn’t take to the stage
to publicize his work,‘but sought to influence leading
thinkers behind the scenes,‘by sending them proof copies of the
book with apologetic letters
attached.’He would write things like,
“This vile rag of a theory of mine.”Was that genuine modesty or was there
an element of false modesty about it? It was entirely real, um, and this is
a very strange point about him.Through the years when he was
steeling himself for publication,um, he was, at different times,
enormously confident in it,
and at other times,
he was utterly uncertain.
He had a deep fear, I think,that one species would be discoveredthat had some element of its make-upthat could only have been designed. Doubts may have lingered
in Darwin’s mind,but finally, 150 years ago,
he set out his ideas on evolutionand how it worked
in The Origin Of Species.   

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Charles Darwin (1809-1882) pictured above

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Francis Darwin (1848-1925) pictured above

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Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984)

A letter to Sir J. D. Hooker, June 17, 1868, which repeats to some extent what is given in the Autobiography:—

“I am glad you were at the Messiah, it is the one thing that I should like to hear again, but I dare say I should find my soul too dried up to appreciate it as in old days; and then I should feel very flat, for it is a horrid bore to feel as I constantly do, that I am a withered leaf for every subject except Science. It sometimes makes me hate Science, though God knows I ought to be thankful for such a perennial interest, which makes me forget for some hours every day my accursed stomach.’

Francis Schaeffer summarized Darwin’s statement:

So he is glad for science because his stomach bothers him, but on the other hand when I think of what it costs me I almost hate science. You can almost hear young Jean-Jacques Rousseau speaking here, he sees what the machine is going to do and he hates the machine and Darwin is constructing the machine and it leads as we have seen to his own loss of human values in the area of aesthetics, the area of art and also in the area of nature. This is what it has cost him. His theory has led him to this place. When you come to this then it seems to me that you understand man’s dilemma very, very well, to think of the origin of the theory of mechanical evolution bringing  Darwin himself to the place of this titanic tension.

 Schaeffer discusses further Darwin’s doubts about evolution:

Darwin in his autobiography ( Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray.  ) and in his letters Darwin showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem. Darwin never came to a place of satisfaction. You have philosophically only two possible beginnings. The first would be a personal beginning and the other would be an impersonal beginning plus time plus chance. There is no other possible alternative except the alternative that everything comes out of nothing and that has to be a total nothing and that has to be a total nothing without mass, energy or motion existing. No one holds this last view because it is unthinkable. Darwin understood this and therefore until his death he was uncomfortable with the idea of chance producing the biological variation.

On May 15, 1994, the 10th anniversary of the passing of Francis Schaeffer, I mailed a letter to about 250 of the world top skeptics and I have posted this letter on my blog (  [Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4] ). In that letter were these quotes:

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.”


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.


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)

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It is either a personal God who created it all or evolution by chance. Take a look at this statement by George Wald:

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George Wald in 1987


“When it comes to the origin of life, we have only two possibilities as to how life arose. One is spontaneous generation arising to evolution; the other is a supernatural creative act of God. There is NO THIRD possibility…Spontaneous generation was scientifically disproved one hundred years ago by Louis Pasteur, Spellanzani, Reddy and others. That leads us scientifically to only one possible conclusion — that life arose as a supernatural creative act of God…I will not accept that philosophically because I do not want to believe in God. Therefore, I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generationarising to evolution.” – Scientific American, August, 1954.

The Designed CreationBY HENRY M. MORRIS, PH.D.  | FRIDAY, AUGUST 08, 1997

“Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall He not hear? He that formed the eye, shall He not see?” (Psalm 94:8,9)

The concept of evolution, according to this verse, is nothing but brute-like foolishness. If an automobile presupposes an auto-maker, and a clock implies a clock-maker, surely the infinitely more intricate and complex eyes and ears of living creatures require an ear-maker and an eye-maker! “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them” (Proverbs 20:12).

The most basic of all scientific laws—the law of cause and effect (no effect greater than its cause)—becomes utmost nonsense if the cosmos is the product of chaos and the universe evolved by chance. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

Every creature, from the single-celled amoebae to the amazing human body, bears the impress of intricate planning and construction. The notion that such complex structures could evolve by random mutations and natural selection is simply a measure of the audacity of human rebellion and the absurdity of humanistic reasoning. Such things never happen in the real world, and there is no real scientific evidence whatever for “vertical” evolution from one kind to a higher kind. The only genuine evidence for evolution is the fact that the leaders of intellectualism believe it, and the only reason they believe it is their frantic desire to escape God. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).

The ear did not “evolve;” it was planted. The eye did not “happen by chance;” it was formed. Every wise man and woman will say with the psalmist, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:14). HMM

——

The autobiography of Charles Darwin read by Francis Schaeffer in 1968 was not the same one originally released in 1892 because that one omitted the religious statements of Charles Darwin. 

pictured below with his eldest child William: 

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Notice this statement below from the Freedom from Religion Foundation: 

(Nora Barlow pictured below)

Charles Darwin wrote the Rev. J. Fordyce on July 7, 1879, that “an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind.” Darwin penned his memoirs between the ages of 67 and 73, finishing the main text in 1876. These memoirs were published posthumously in 1887 by his family under the title Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, with his hardest-hitting views on religion excised. Only in 1958 did Darwin’s granddaughter Nora Barlow publish his Autobiography with original omissions restored  D. 1882.
——-

Charles Robert Darwin  (1809 – 1882) had 10 children and 7 of them survived to adulthood.

Sir Horace DarwinKBEFRS (13 May 1851 – 22 September 1928), the fifth son and ninth child of the British naturalist Charles Darwin and his wife Emma, the youngest of their seven children who survived to adulthood.

(Horace Darwin pictured below)

Horace Darwin.jpg

Emma Nora Barlow, Lady Barlow (née Darwin; 22 December 1885 – 29 May 1989) Nora, as she was known, was the daughter of the civil engineer Sir Horace Darwin and his wife The Hon. Lady Ida Darwin (née Farrer),

Horace Basil Barlow FRS (1921-) Barlow is the son of the civil servant Sir Alan Barlow and his wife Lady Nora (née Darwin). Barlow is the great-grandson of Charles Darwin

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Horace Darwin married Emma Cecilia “Ida” Farrer (1854–1946) pictured below.

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—-

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Francis Schaeffer

Horace Barlow was the son of Nora Barlow. From February 11, 2015 to July 1, 2017, I wrote 7 letters to Dr. Horace Barlow because I wanted to discuss primarily the views of his grandfather Charles Darwin and Francis Schaeffer’s 1968 critique of Darwinism!

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Horace Barlow at ECVP 2003 in Paris

15 AUG HORACE BARLOW (1921-2020)

Credit: Left: the Ratio Club in Cambridge, May 1952. Back row: Harold Shipton, John Bates, William Hick, John Pringle, Donald Sholl, John Westcott, Donald Mackay. Middle row: Giles Brindley, Turner McLardy, Ross Ashby, Tommy Gold, Albert Uttley. Front row: Alan Turing, Gurney Sutton, William Rushton, George Dawson, Horace Barlow. (Photo: Wellcome Collection, archive reference GC/179/B.25, used under CC BY / Cropped). Right: Horace Barlow at home in Cambridge, March 2016 (Photo: Ida Barlow).

In December of 2017, I received a two page typed letter from Dr. Barlow reacting to several of the points made in the previous letters and emails. From August of 2020 to June of 2021 I posted these 32 letters I wrote to Dr. Barlow from February 11, 2015 to April 18, 2020 and below is a list of those letters. Sadly Dr. Barlow passed away on July 5, 2020 at age 98. However, I want to summarize some the issues we discussed in a series of 10 posts. 

Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning moral motions in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

Here are the links to my letters to Dr. Barlow: 

first weeksecond week,

third week4th letterFifth Letter,

6th letter7th letter8th letter9th letter10th letter11th letter12th letter13th letter14th letter15th letter16th Letter17th letter18th letter19th letter

20th letter21st letter22nd letter

23rd postcard24th letter25th letter

26th letter27th letter28th letter29th letter, and 30th letter.

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Franicis Schaeffer

If you wish to hear Francis Schaeffer’s 1968 talk on Darwin’s autobiography then you can access part 1 at this link and part 2 at this link.

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—-

—-

Horace Barlow pictured below:

_____________

I found Dr. Barlow to be a true gentleman and he was very kind to take the time to answer the questions that I submitted to him. In the upcoming months I will take time once a week to pay tribute to his life and reveal our correspondence. In the first week I noted:

 Today I am posting my first letter to him in February of 2015 which discussed Charles Darwin lamenting his loss of aesthetic tastes which he blamed on Darwin’s own dedication to the study of evolution. In a later return letter, Dr. Barlow agreed that Darwin did in fact lose his aesthetic tastes at the end of his life.

In the second week I look at the views of Michael Polanyi and share the comments of Francis Schaeffer concerning Polanyi’s views.

In the third week, I look at the life of Brandon Burlsworth in the November 28, 2016 letter and the movie GREATER and the problem of evil which Charles Darwin definitely had a problem with once his daughter died.

On the 4th letter to Dr. Barlow looks at Darwin’s admission that he at times thinks that creation appears to look like the expression of a mind. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words in 1968 sermon at this link.

My Fifth Letter concerning Charles Darwin’s views on MORAL MOTIONS Which was mailed on March 1, 2017. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning moral motions in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

6th letter on May 1, 2017 in which Charles Darwin’s hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would show that Christ existed! Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning the possible manuscript finds in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

7th letter on Darwin discussing DETERMINISM  dated 7-1-17 . Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning determinism in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

Thanks 8th letter responds to Dr. Barlow’s letter to me concerning the Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning chance in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

Thanks 9th letter in response to 11-22-17 letter I received from Professor Horace Barlow was mailed on 1-2-18 and included Charles Darwin’s comments on William Paley. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning William Paley in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

10th letter in response to 11-22-17 letter I received from Professor Horace Barlow was mailed on 2-2-18 and includes Darwin’s comments asking for archaeological evidence for the Bible! Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning His desire to see archaeological evidence supporting the Bible’s accuracy  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

11th letter I mailed on 3-2-18  in response to 11-22-17 letter from Barlow that asserted: It is also sometimes asked whether chance, even together with selection, can define a “MORAL CODE,” which the religiously inclined say is defined by their God. I think the answer is “Yes, it certainly can…” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning A MORAL CODE in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

12th letter on March 26, 2018 breaks down song DUST IN THE WIND “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

In 13th letter I respond to Barlow’s November 22, 2017 letter and assertion “He {Darwin} clearly did not lose his sense of the VALUE of TRUTH, and of the importance of FOREVER SEARCHING it out.”

In 14th letter to Dr. Barlow on 10-2-18, I assert: “Let me demonstrate how the Bible’s view of the origin of life fits better with the evidence we have from archaeology than that of gradual evolution.”In 15th letter in November 2, 2018 to Dr. Barlow I quote his relative Randal Keynes Who in the Richard Dawkins special “The Genius of Darwin” makes this point concerning Darwin, “he was, at different times, enormously confident in it,and at other times, he was utterly uncertain.”In 16th Letter on 12-2-18 to Dr. Barlow I respond to his letter that stated, If I am pressed to say whether I think belief in God helps people to make wise and beneficial decisions I am bound to say (and I fear this will cause you pain) “No, it is often very disastrous, leading to violence, death and vile behaviour…Muslim terrorists…violence within the Christian church itself”17th letter sent on January 2, 2019 shows the great advantage we have over Charles Darwin when examining the archaeological record concerning the accuracy of the Bible!In the 18th letter I respond to the comment by Charles Darwin: “My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive….The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words on his loss of aesthetic tastes  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.In 19th letter on 2-2-19  I discuss Steven Weinberg’s words,  But if language is to be of any use to us, we ought to try to preserve the meanings of words, and “God” historically has not meant the laws of nature. It has meant an interested personality.

In the 20th letter on 3-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s comment, “At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep [#1] inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons...Formerly I was led by feelings such as those…to the firm conviction of the existence of God, and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that [#2] 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. [#3] 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 discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his former belief in God in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In the 21st letter on May 15, 2019 to Dr Barlow I discuss the writings of Francis Schaeffer who passed away the 35 years earlier on May 15, 1985. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words at length in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In the 22nd letter I respond to Charles Darwin’s words, “I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe…will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words about hell  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link

In 23rd postcard sent on 7-2-19 I asked Dr Barlow if he was a humanist. Sir Julian Huxley, founder of the American Humanist Association noted, “I use the word ‘humanist’ to mean someone who believes that man is just as much a natural phenomenon as an animal or plant; that his body, mind and soul were not supernaturally created but are products of evolution, and that he is not under the control or guidance of any supernatural being.”

In my 24th letter on 8-2-19 I quote Jerry  Bergman who noted Jean Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century. A founding father of the modern American scientific establishment, Agassiz was also a lifelong opponent of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Agassiz “ruled in professorial majesty at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology.”

In my 25th letter on 9-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s assertion,  “This argument would be a valid one if all men of ALL RACES had the SAME INWARD CONVICTION of the existence of one God; but we know that this is very far from being the case.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning MORAL MOTIONS in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 26th letter on 10-2-19 I quoted Bertrand Russell’s daughter’s statement, “I believe myself that his whole life was a search for God…. Indeed, he had first taken up philosophy in hope of finding proof of the evidence of the existence of God … Somewhere at the back of my father’s mind, at the bottom of his heart, in the depths of his soul  there was an empty space that had once been filled by God, and he never found anything else to put in it”

In my 27th letter on 11-2-19 I disproved Richard Dawkins’ assertion, “Genesis says Abraham owned camels, but archaeological evidence shows that the camel was not domesticated until many centuries after Abraham.” Furthermore, I gave more evidence indicating the Bible is historically accurate.

In my 28th letter on 12-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s statement, “I am glad you were at the Messiah, it is the one thing that I should like to hear again, but I dare say I should find my soul too dried up to appreciate it as in old days; and then I should feel very flat, for it is a horrid bore to feel as I constantly do, that I am a withered leaf for every subject except Science. It sometimes makes me hate Science.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning MORAL MOTIONS in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link. 

In my 29th letter on 12-25-19 I responded to Charles Darwin’s statement, “I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds…gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dullthat it nauseated me…. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive… The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness…” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his loss of aesthetic tastes in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 30th letter on 2-2-20 I quote Dustin Shramek who asserted, “Without God the universe is the result of a cosmic accident, a chance explosion. There is no reason for which it exist. As for man, he is a freak of nature–a blind product of matter plus time plus chance. Man is just a lump of slime that evolved into rationality. There is no more purpose in life for the human race than for a species of insect; for both are the result of the blind interaction of chance and necessity.”

In my 31st letter on 3-18-20 I quote Francis Schaeffer who noted, “Darwin is saying that he gave up the New Testament because it was connected to the Old Testament. He gave up the Old Testament because it conflicted with his own theory. Did he have a real answer himself and the answer is no. At the end of his life we see that he is dehumanized by his position and on the other side we see that he never comes to the place of intellectual satisfaction for himself that his answers were sufficient.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his loss of his Christian faith in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 32nd letter on 4-18-20 quoted H.J. Blackham on where humanism leads 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

TRIBUTE TO HORACE BARLOW:

Dan Ruderman @DLRuderman
Obituary of my postdoc advisor at Cambridge, Horace Barlow FRS. He was a kind and brilliant man.

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Horace Barlow.View Large ImageDownload Hi-res imageHorace Barlow was one of the truly great neuroscientists of his time, in the Cambridge tradition of quantitative neurophysiology and psychophysics. His fundamental theoretical and empirical contributions to our understanding of brain function have inspired and influenced generations of neurophysiologists, psychologists and computational neuroscientists and are certain to endure for generations to come.Horace Basil Barlow, FRS, was born in 1921 in Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire, son of Sir Alan Barlow and Lady Nora Barlow (née Darwin). He was educated at Winchester College and studied medicine during the war years, first at Cambridge and then at Harvard Medical School, which awarded him an MD in 1946. He completed medical training at University College Hospital, London, before commencing research in neurophysiology with E.D. Adrian at the Cambridge Physiology Laboratory. After various positions at Cambridge University, he became Professor of Physiological Optics and Physiology at UC Berkeley. In 1974, he returned to Trinity College and the Cambridge Physiology Department to take the Royal Society Research Chair of Physiology, where he continued to make important contributions to neuroscience well after his formal retirement. Horace was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1969 and won their Royal Medal in 1993. He was awarded the Australia Prize in the latter year and several others, including the Ferrier Medal in 1980 and the Ken Nakayama Prize from the Vision Sciences Society in 2016.Many interesting and charismatic people impacted on the young Horace. The first — and arguably most important — was his mother, granddaughter of Charles Darwin. She held no formal degree but worked as a biologist and later, as Darwin’s biographer, founded scholarly research into his life and achievements. Her example, together with his abilities and preference for maths over the humanities, veered Horace towards science. His contemporaries at Winchester College, Christopher Longuet-Higgins, Freeman Dyson and James Lighthill, all of whom became prominent scientists, played an influential role. During his university years there was no shortage of creative minds: his supervisor, the eminent Lord Adrian, and his tutor William Rushton, as well as Pat Merton and Tommy Gold. These latter three were part of the Ratio Club, a London-based club of about 20 carefully selected young neurobiologists, neurologists, psychologists, engineers, mathematicians and physicists, who periodically met in Queen’s Square to discuss cybernetics, information theory and brain function (see group photo). Cybernetics and information theory were central planks in Horace’s conceptual framework throughout his lifetime.Horace started his scientific career early, publishing three papers before he completed his MD: one (in Nature) with Rushton during his Cambridge undergraduate days and two with fellow students at Harvard. His next project, assigned to him by Adrian, was to investigate the proposal of Marshall and Talbot that small scanning eye-movements serve a fundamental role in vision. Horace devised a novel method for measuring eye position precisely (photographing a small spot of mercury placed on the cornea) and found that, between rapid gaze shifts, the eyes were essentially still. He concluded that the fixations rather than scanning eye-movements were fundamental to vision, dismissed Marshall and Talbot’s idea and moved on. However, the importance of the dynamics of perception, including ‘temporal interpolation’ of moving stimuli, remained central to his thinking, emerging clearly in his Ferrier lecture in 1980.Adrian’s supervision style was quite liberal, in the Cambridge tradition, described by Horace as “incisive, but economical, guidance”. Thus, Horace was free to pursue his own scientific curiosities, such as how neurons integrate information. He observed that Sherrington’s classic preparations used artificial stimuli, electric shocks applied to spinal roots, whereas applying light to the retina allows for behaviourally relevant natural stimuli. He developed a preparation for recording spikes from single ganglion cells in frog retina — no mean feat at the time — to study the most basic element of integration, signal summation. Inspired by Rushton, Horace took a quantitative approach and, by measuring thresholds as a function of stimulus area, discovered that integration was not uniform over the receptive field but that there were clear inhibitory surrounds forming separate ‘on’ and ‘off’ regions. More surprisingly, one type of ganglion cell could be a feature detector whose spike discharge anticipates the future position of a fly.This study initiated 30 years of ground-breaking collaborative work on retinal ganglion cells. Horace joined Stephen Kuffler, who had independently described the inhibitory surround in cat retina. Together with Fitzgerald, they discovered that ganglion cells adapt their receptive fields to cover the full range of light levels, switching from cones to rods at low light levels and losing the inhibitory surround. In 1963, Horace and Richard Hill discovered motion-sensitive cells in rabbit retina. Working with the most exacting of retinal physiologists, Bill Levick, Horace revealed further hidden complexities in retinal processing: a motion-sensitive ganglion cell is driven by an array of subunits. Then, in classic experiments, they established the first physiologically informed model of the underlying mechanism: the Barlow and Levick model of elementary motion detection.In 1964, Horace accepted a professorship at the Berkeley School of Optometry, where he continued his neurophysiological experiments, investigating integration by neurons in primary visual cortex (V1). One particularly influential study was conducted with former student Colin Blakemore (in Berkeley on a Harkness Fellowship) and the enthusiastic and charismatic young Australian Jack Pettigrew. Following leads from Jack’s undergraduate work in Sydney, they demonstrated that cells in cat primary visual cortex were selective to binocular disparity, the signals that support binocular depth perception. This was important and unexpected, as stereoscopic depth was thought to be a high-level perceptual property emerging late in processing. However, the results meshed well with Béla Julesz’s demonstrations in the early 1960s of ‘random-dot stereograms’, showing that depth can emerge from point-by-point disparities in otherwise random patterns. The discovery reinforced Horace’s conviction that single sensory neurons coded meaningful information.His work on retinal and cortical neurons brought home to Horace the fundamental realisation that physiological experiments could answer questions of psychological interest. Much of the sensory apparatus for complex behavioural patterns (like detecting and catching flies) may lie in the retina rather than ‘mysterious centres’ too difficult to study by physiological means. Furthermore, the lateral inhibition mechanism that he discovered in frog retina had been postulated by Ernst Mach and others to account for perceptual phenomena, such as simultaneous contrast and Mach Bands. This line of thought culminated in ‘A neural doctrine for perceptual psychology’, published in the fledgling journal Perception in 1972. The provocative formulation of ‘dogmas’ stimulated much important debate, theorising and experimental work, and the central idea of that paper, that perception corresponds to the activity of specific cells, has been hugely influential to physiologists and psychologists alike. Indeed, Horace’s doctrine is still relevant, as it goes far beyond ‘lock and key’ feature detectors. His doctrine incorporates the concepts of statistical inference, efficiency and redundancy that he formulated earlier in his career and suggests the far-reaching idea that he subsequently pursued: single neurons use synaptic plasticity to capture the redundancy that is knowledge.Horace started thinking about signals, noise and perceptual judgements when as an undergraduate he presented a new paper to a discussion group. The landmark study of Hecht, Shlaer and Pirenne demonstrated that the absolute threshold of human vision is limited by noise: quantal fluctuations whose effects can be determined psychophysically by testing the predictions of statistical models. Horace also discussed the problem of signal and noise in the Ratio Club (it was one of their chosen topics), especially with his Cambridge colleague Tommy Gold (later Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University). After his experiments on frog retina, Horace revisited Hecht et al. with a penetrating statistical analysis of published data. He found that the number of quantal events required to reach threshold is elevated by the presence of background noise that he attributed to the thermal activation of visual pigment molecules. This novel conclusion was confirmed a quarter of a century later by recording from rods. His theoretical findings prompted Horace to consider that “thresholds are efficient statistical judgements of constant fallibility”, and he quickly confirmed this more general principle with new psychophysical experiments.Figure thumbnail gr2The young Horace Barlow (bottom right) in May 1952, together with members and guests of the Ratio Club, outside Peterhouse College, Cambridge: Back row (partly obscured): H. Shipton, J. Bates, W.E. Hick, J. Pringle, D. Sholl, J. Westcott and D. Mackay. Middle row: G. Brindley, T. McLardy. W.R. Ashby, T. Gold and A. Uttley. Front row: A. Turing, G. Sutton, W. Rushton, G. Dawson and H. Barlow.View Large ImageDownload Hi-res imageHorace’s scientific approach, to try to understand the principles guiding brain function, was uncommon among physiologists. His 1961 paper on ‘Possible principles underlying the transmission of sensory messages’ (in Sensory Communication, W.D. Keidel, U.O. Keidel, M.E. Wigand and W.A. Rosenblith, eds) opens with, “a wing would be a most mystifying structure if one did not know that birds flew”. Horace argued that we need first to understand the goals of the system to avoid being buried in a mass of irrelevant neurophysiological and neuroanatomical details while missing crucial observations. He reasoned that, because neurons have limited representational capacity, they should economise on impulses by forming efficient representations. According to information theory, this can be achieved by eliminating redundancy using lateral inhibition and adaptation, and because both are observed in retina this must be a goal of early sensory processing. Two decades later, Barlow’s efficient coding hypothesis was validated. This prompted a new round of theory, measurements and experiments, which explained the function of mechanisms in the earlier stages of vision, olfaction and audition. Efficiency and ‘the economy of impulses’ continue to guide our understanding of neural codes at all levels.Horace’s approach was intrinsically interdisciplinary, a popular buzzword in modern grant writing but less usual in his day. He looked for guiding principles of brain function without undue concern whether his supporting data came from psychophysics or physiology, humans or animals, vertebrates or invertebrates. He was always trying — and usually succeeding — to merge detailed observations into the big picture of brain function, following the example of his famous great-grandfather. He was very much a ‘hands-on’ scientist, in the Cambridge mould: he never led a large research group nor took on many graduate students. That was not his style. He led by example, and his example was highly influential. There are very few sensory neuroscientists who would claim not to have been influenced by Horace’s work, one way or the other.Horace never stopped trying to understand the brain. During his own Festschrift in 1987 he gave the most interesting and original talk of the workshop. Following his major theme of how the brain maximises efficiency, he advanced a novel explanation for ‘adaptation’ (the fact that cells reduce firing rate after repeated excitation), suggesting that it is a complex phenomenon serving to ‘decorrelate’ sensory input, reducing inherent redundancy to take full advantage of the limited dynamic range of neurons. This changed the way many people thought about adaptation and again led to new lines of research.The ideas of redundancy and correlated activity of sensory pathways also underlie his highly influential paper on ‘Unsupervised learning’ (Neural Comput. (1989) 1, 295–311). This paper was one of the first to draw attention to the importance of unsupervised learning as opposed to supervised or reinforced learning. Unsupervised learning is about how a nervous system (or indeed artificial intelligence) recognises ‘statistical regularities’, or patterns in its inputs, and is of fundamental importance for understanding the cortex. Horace connected old ideas, such as Tolman’s ‘cognitive maps’ and Craik’s ‘working models’, with modern concepts of entropy, concluding that redundancy in sensory signals provides the knowledge incorporated in those maps. Such knowledge enables unexpected discrepancies to be immediately identified and dealt with. Horace’s information theory-based approach underlies many modern approaches to unsupervised learning in neural networks and Bayesian learning.In the 30-odd years after his formal ‘retirement’, Horace continued to make highly original and creative contributions to the field. He published 56 articles during this period, many as the single author. His interests were very varied, including information redundancy, predictive coding, Bayesian inference, unsupervised learning, development and many others, but all were motivated by the common themes of information theory and neural efficiency. A recent example of his creative thinking was his talk at the symposium on ‘Turing Enduring: Information Processing by Brains and Machines’ (Rockefeller University, December 2012), published in the journal Visual Neuroscience. There, Horace challenged the traditional (and still prevalent) wisdom that orientation-tuned simple and complex cells in primary visual cortex act as ‘edge-detectors’. Looking for more general guiding principles of brain function, he claimed that “the prime role of V1 is to search for regularity or redundancy in the input”, leading to the hypothesis that simple cells perform cross-correlations between the retinal input and internal templates, while complex cells calculate auto-correlations in the retinal input. Characteristically, he did not leave this as a simple hypothesis but provided solid quantitative psychophysical data in favour of his theory.Horace was renowned for his intelligence and quick-wittedness. Neuroscientists presented their research to the Cambridge ‘Craik Club’ with some trepidation. But this was unwarranted, for besides being smart Horace was kind, especially to young researchers. He quickly understood the message of the talk and gave many useful suggestions, absolutely on point, and never intended to humiliate. But his clever quips could also be fun. At a dinner that he gave for a bunch of graduate students, he invited his friend Francis Crick, who held forth on several topics throughout the evening. At one stage, Francis brought up his lineage, lamenting that he could trace it back only to Elizabethan times. With a disarming smile, Horace instantly retorted, “oh yes Francis, and which Elizabeth is that?”Most of Horace’s ideas have survived the test of time, stimulating and motivating generations of neuroscientists and leading to a cascade of advancements far too extensive to summarise here. But if we are to apply his cherished information theory, we know that there is more information in the rare and unexpected event: so did he get anything wrong? Probably not seriously. One idea that clearly evolved over time was his intuition about information redundancy in the image. Initially, he emphasised the role of reducing redundancy for efficient neural coding and economy of neuron numbers as well as impulses, but later he realised the importance of redundancy in identifying structure and statistical regularities in the environment, as sensory redundancy is the main source of knowledge. But this was not a mistake, merely a change of emphasis. If we go right back to the beginning, to his experiments that led him to dismiss the importance of eye drift, perhaps we might say that his assessment was premature, as recent work is showing how the small eye-movements serve an important functional role, conditioning the spatio-temporal frequency spectrum of the image. But while he did not exactly predict this, his intuitions about the importance of temporal dynamics and interpolations, prominent in his Ferrier lecture, were not too far off the mark.The last scientific gathering with Horace was for his 95th birthday, in December 2016. This was a fun occasion for his scientific family, some 100-odd people whose professional lives had been touched by Horace and who had passed the legacy down to their students and students’ students. The celebrations were followed by a workshop, which Horace concluded with a first-rate scientific talk, highlighting the role of information processing in the brain and urging us to consider the importance of information and entropy. His scientific curiosity never escaped him.Horace leaves his wife Miranda, 7 children and 13 grandchildren. His extended scientific family will miss him dearly.Article InfoPublication HistoryPublished online: July 31, 2020

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Carl Sagan versus RC Sproul

January 9, 2012 – 2:44 pm

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Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution)jh68

November 8, 2011 – 12:01 am

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Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 3 of series on Evolution)

November 4, 2011 – 12:57 am

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MUSIC MONDAY All of Keith Green’s songs

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Keith Green passed away on July 28th, 1982 almost 39 years ago to the day!!! I want to remember him with a series of posts!!!

I am moving the MUSIC MONDAY to a monthly feature on http://www.thedailyhatch.org. My passion has been in the recent years to emphasize the works of Francis Schaeffer in my apologetic efforts and most of those posts are either on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

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11 Keith Green Songs That Changed Worship Music

A look at his lasting legacy 33 years after his tragic death.

Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/11-keith-green-songs-helped-change-worship-music#64tBJqIjQg09LrY2.99

Thirty-three years ago today, the world lost one of its great songwriters. On July 28, 1982, Keith Green boarded a private plane with two of his young children and a family of church planters. It crashed shortly after take off, killing all 12 people on board.

Though he was only 28-years-old when he died, Green’s music and legacy as a songwriter, minister and artist continue to have an impact today.

Following his commitment to Christ, after spending his youth years searching for meaning, Green began to write songs at a prolific pace—releasing dozens over his relatively short career

Though Green was a respected musician—he was close friends with Bob Dylan—his legacy as recording artist transcends his songs. He implemented a then-unheard-of “whatever you can afford” pricing system for some of his music (even if it meant giving it away)—all the way back in 1979. And, long before TOMS, he embraced the “buy-one, give-one” model, requesting that Christian bookstores that sold his album give another to the customer for he or she to give to a friend.

Throughout his life, Green strived to be more than a singer. He was involved in missions, helping people recovering from addiction, prison outreach, evangelism and more. Despite his influence, he maintained a conflicted view of his own fame. He once explained, “I only want to build God’s Kingdom and see it increase, not my own. If someone writes a great poem no one praises the pencil they used, they praise the one who created the poem. Well, I’m just a pencil in the hands of the Lord. Don’t praise me, praise Him!”

Banning Liebscher, founder and director of Jesus Culture, explained to RELEVANT,

Keith Green gave the church more than just music; he gave us his life. His daily wholehearted devotion for the Lord has created a lasting impact on a generation. Keith was the message. His music was merely an extension of his life. Even today, he challenges us to live boldly for Jesus and to burn for the One who gave it all. My heart continues to be stirred by how Keith’s passion for Jesus showed up in his extravagant love for people. He would not allow the walls that can so quickly form in the church keep him from expressing his sincere love for believers. I am so grateful for the life of Keith Green and the impact he continues to have on us.

Here’s a look 11 Keith Green songs that helped change worship music and show how his legacy still matters:
Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/11-keith-green-songs-helped-change-worship-music#64tBJqIjQg09LrY2.99

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ADRIAN ROGERS “4 Miracle Prophecies Christians Should Know about Israel”

Adrian Rogers: Why I Love Israel [#2349]

Adrian Rogers: Is God Through with the Jews? [#2070] (Audio)

4 Miracle Prophecies Christians Should Know about Israel

city of Jerusalem

“Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion, for the time to favor her, yea, the set time is come. For Thy servants take pleasure in her stones and favor the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord and all of the kings of the earth Thy glory. When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory.” Psalm 102:13-16

People sometimes ask me, “Pastor, why do you keep going back to the land of Israel?” Because I love the land and I love her people.They are God’s chosen people, a people of destiny. I go to Israel for two reasons.

One, I love her past. I love to look back and see the land where my Savior lived and walked and talked. I love to study the Bible on location. It causes the Bible to burst aflame in your hands.

Two, I want help in understanding the present and the future, because there is Bible prophecy yet to be fulfilled. Keep your eyes on Zion, God’s holy land. As the Jew goes, so goes the world. The Jews are God’s yardstick, God’s outline, God’s blueprint, for what He’s up to in the rest of the world.

The land of Israel, I believe, is the most important spot on earth. The most important city is not Washington or Moscow, but Jerusalem. The most important land, believe it or not, is not America but tiny Israel, about the size of New Jersey.

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/silverjohn

Map of Israel

What Does the Bible Have to Say about Israel?

Israel: the geographic center. “See, I have set thee in the midst of the nations (Ezekiel 5:5). Israel, called “the navel of the earth,” is strategically located at the hub of three continents.

Israel: the revelation center. From this land, the land of Moses, the prophets and the apostles, came the Word of God.

Israel: the spiritual center. In Bethlehem Jesus was born. In Nazareth He grew to maturity. In Galilee He walked and taught on the mountainsides and beside the Sea. In Jerusalem our Lord was crucified, buried and rose from the dead. From the Mount of Olives He ascended. And to the Mount of Olives He will return; His feet will first touch down upon the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4).

Israel: the prophecy center. Prophecy is “pre-written history.” The land of Israel is the only land belonging to God’s people. The details of their future are minutely recorded in the Bible. If you want to know what God is doing, study Israel and her people.

Israel: the storm center. The Middle East, specifically Israel, is the world’s greatest trouble spot. The Bible says “Jerusalem will be a burdensome stone for all people” of the world[CAP1] [CA2] – (Zechariah 12:3), and indeed we see in the daily news the gathering storm clouds of Armageddon.

Israel: also the peace center. We’re told to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). There will never be peace on earth until there’s peace in Jerusalem, until Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, rules and reigns from Jerusalem. When we’re praying for the peace of Jerusalem, we’re praying, “Even so, come Lord Jesus.” We want our Lord to reign from Zion, to sit upon the throne of his father David.

Israel: one day will be the glory center. When our Lord returns, all nations of the world will come to Jerusalem to worship (Micah 2:3). Jerusalem will be the capital city not only of Israel but of the entire world, and the Word of the Lord shall go forth from Zion (Isaiah 2:3). Jesus will reign from Jerusalem (Luke 1:32). Israel is at the center of God’s plan.

As we look at Israel, I want you to see four miracle prophecies about this land.

The Prophecy of Israel’s Miraculous Generation (How Israel Came to Be a Nation)

In Genesis 18:18 God gave Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, the promise of a son—and descendants. He said, “Abraham, through your son all the nations of the world are going to be blessed” (Genesis 12:3, 22:18). When Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90, God gave them a miracle child. Every Jew alive today is the direct result of a miracle birth. Therefore, our precious Jewish friends should have no difficulty believing in the virgin birth because every one of them is here because of a miracle birth. That’s the miracle of the generation of the Jewish people.

Then God promised Abraham a land for His people. God Himself gave Abraham the land we call Israel. And He gave it irrevocably. (Genesis 12:1, 15:16, 15:18-21Deuteronomy 9:4)

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/Matthew Brosseau

Silhouette of man waving Israel flag on mountain top

The Prophecy of Israel’s Miraculous Preservation – Part 1

Not only did God bring Israel into being as a miracle nation, but God keeps Israel as a miracle nation. Psalm 89 shows God’s heart on this.

18 For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king…. 20 I have found David My servant; with My holy oil have I anointed him: 21 With whom My hand shall be established: Mine arm also shall strengthen him. 22 The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him. 23 And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. 24 But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him: and in My name shall his horn be exalted…. 27 “Also I will make him My first born, higher than the kings of the earth. 28 My mercy will I keep for him forevermore and My covenant [an unbreakable promise] shall stand fast with him. 29 His seed also will I make to endure forever and his throne as the days of heaven.”

God declares the descendants of David shall endure. Looking down through the tunnel of time, He foresaw (v. 30) that if David’s descendants 30 “forsake My law and walk not in My judgments [and by the way, they have forsaken God’s law and not walked in His judgments] 31”If they break My statutes and keep not My commandments,” [they have broken His statutes, they have not kept His commandments], then God says, “32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes. 33 Nevertheless,” [highlight the word “nevertheless] “My lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer My faithfulness to fail, 34 My covenant will I not break nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips, 35 Once have I sworn by My holiness that I will not lie unto David. 36 His seed shall endure forever and his throne as the sun before Me. 37 It shall be established forever as the moon, even like the faithful witness in the sky. Selah.” [Selah means “pause and think about that.”]

God has said:

the Jews would be disobedient—and they were,

the Jews would be dispersed—and they were,

the Jew would be discredited—and they were,

but you could no more destroy the Jewish race than you could destroy the sun, the moon and stars. They may be chastised, they may suffer, but God said, “I will keep My word to David, his seed shall endure” (v. 29).

Jeremiah 31:35-37 confirms this.

35 Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, And its waves roar (The Lord of hosts is His name): 36 “If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the Lord, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever.” 37 Thus says the Lord: “If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done,” says the Lord.

Moses holding tablets on mountain top

The Prophecy of Israel’s Miraculous Preservation – Part 2

If you want to get rid of the nation Israel, you will first have to get rid of the sun, moon, and stars. In other words, God is saying, “I’ll tell you when I’ll cast off Israel: the same day you can tell Me how high is ‘up.’ I’ll cast off Israel the same day you can show Me what this earth suspended in space is resting upon. You’ll have to pluck the sun, moon, stars from My heaven before you can annihilate this nation.”

They exist as a miracle nation. They stand beside the graves of their persecutors.  They live on. When they returned, the land was a rock-filled desert. Zion now is blooming as a rose.

Every Jew is here today because of God’s keeping, preserving power upon His chosen people.

Throughout history, Satan, Israel’s ancient foe, has tried to eradicate this nation and obliterate this promise, but he could not do it.

Egypt’s pharaoh could not diminish God’s chosen people.

The Red Sea could not drown them.

Jonah’s whale could not digest them.

Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace could not burn them.

The gallows of horrible Haman could not execute them.

The dictators of this world have not been able to annihilate them.

The nations of this world have not been able to assimilate them.

When other peoples have been taken from their homelands, when they have been scattered, soon they’ve been absorbed, assimilated—swallowed up, so to speak—into the culture of their new location and cannot be traced.

But for nineteen centuries the Jewish people, wherever they were found, kept themselves together, maintaining their traditions, laws, statutes and even language. God preserved them as a nation, an identifiable people.

God said He would “visit their iniquity with stripes” and indeed He has. They suffered unmentionable atrocities under Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great and the Greeks, Nero and the Romans, under the Turks, and Hitler. Under Russia they have and are now suffering. Under the Arab nations they have and are suffering. But they have endured because God’s Word prophesied they would endure.

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImagesfotofrankyat

Jerusalem city

The Prophecy of Israel’s Miraculous Restoration – Part 1

After centuries in exile, God once again brought His people back into their land. In my estimation the most amazing thing that has happened in recent history has not been the end of World War II or placing a man on the moon, but the day when Israel was reborn, reconstituted as a nation.

Through the prophet Amos, God said,

And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the way cities, and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; and they shall also make gardens and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” (Amos 9:14-15)

God says, “I’ll bring them back and plant them there, and no one will uproot them.” God has brought them back to stay, regardless of what anyone says about it.

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Xantana

Old Bible with sword next to it

The Prophecy of Israel’s Miraculous Restoration – Part 2

May 14, 1948, Israel’s declaration day of independence, I was playing high school football. Little did I realize the impact of that moment—God’s fulfillment of Bible prophecy. At that moment, 650,000 Jews were surrounded by six Arab states and 40 million enemies who had sworn by Allah that they would exterminate Israel, drench the soil with Israeli blood, and drive them into the sea. With a fury, immediately five Arab armies swept down from the east toward the west and on to Tel-Aviv.  But God miraculously preserved this little nation. Before that time, a Jew was subject to arrest for even carrying a gun. But by the time the UN called for an armistice, these people who were supposed to be “pushed off into the sea” were 150 miles into Egyptian territory. How did that happen?

The Israelis secretly took old automobiles and buses to sheds, where they welded boiler plates to the sides to make tanks. They took hoe handles and broomsticks and painted them to look like guns to appear better armed.

As Arab legions advanced through some groves, they encountered thousands of beehives.  The Israelis are beekeepers.  After all, you can’t have a land flowing with milk and honey without bees.  And it just so happened in the attack, these hives were overturned. Millions of bees swarmed out and began stinging. They dropped their modern weapons in consternation and fled. Later, when the bees went back into their hives, the Israelis went out and picked up the much-needed weapons.

At the same time, coming from the north, others from Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq attacked across the Jezreel Valley.  When they got to the middle of that valley, a strange sickness like dysentery disabled them.  They were so weak they couldn’t fight.  At that same moment, here came the Israelis with the weapons they had picked up from the battle of the bees.  An American newspaper ran this headline, “The Bees Fight for Israel.”  They captured those who were sick in the valley of Jezreel. The record reports that on one occasion, 20,000 Arabs were captured by 400 Israelis.

Don’t give Israel credit for that.  God said, “I will bring them again into their own land.”  I don’t think the Israeli cause has always been just.  I don’t think the American cause has always been just. I don’t think the Arab cause has always been just. I don’t think you can say any cause is always just if man has to do with it.  But God is over the affairs of men. God rules in the affairs of men. And God said, “I will bring them back.” God brought them back.

Similar things happened in the Six Day War in 1967. Again it seems God wasn’t neutral. Jordan, Egypt and Syria united with one stated goal: “Wipe Israel off the map.”  But it was over in six days. Outnumbered 80 to one, God gave His ancient people victory.

The same was true in 1973, the Yom Kippur War. Israel’s enemies invaded on Israel’s holiest day, when no one would expect it. God again seemed to intervene when both Israeli and Syrian forces reported strange events that caused Israel’s enemies to surrender.

The Bible predicts that in the last days the same will happen when Russia invades the Middle East. Russia will be brought to her knees on the mountains of Israel. Ezekiel 38 and 39 relate this amazing prophecy.

When the battle of Armageddon is fought, when the forces of anti-Christ gather once more against Jerusalem, God will again come to the rescue of His people in that great, final war for Israel and her survival. What we see today is a foretaste of that.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about when they shall be in siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. In that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people. All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”  Zechariah 12:2-3

When that battle comes, Zechariah says the LORD will fight for Israel.

In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. (12:8-9)

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages

city of Jerusalem

The Prophecy of Israel’s Miraculous Regeneration

Look what happens in their hearts after all this occurs.

And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications, and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only son and shall be in bitterness for Him as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10

What a day that will be! The eyes of God’s people will be opened. With deep mourning, they will recognize their Messiah as the one their forefathers pierced.

…there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.  (13:1)

God will remove the idols from Israel once and for all (v. 2). Then He will bring those remaining through the fire,

 …and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, “It is my people,” and they shall say, “The Lord is my God.” (13:9)

One of the signs that Jesus Christ is coming soon is the sign that Zion is being built up.

We long for this day! This is Israel’s glorious future—and you may be sure, God is going to bring it to pass.

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Jacek_sopotnicki

Map of Israel

How Israel and the Jews Have Shaped History

As you study history, you learn that the indestructible Jew has left his indelible mark upon history. The Jewish people are not great in number. Of the world’s population, they are only 0.2%. That’s not two percent.  That’s less than one-fourth of one percent. Yet did you know that 22% of Nobel Prize winners have been Jews? In 2013, six of the 12 laureates were Jewish. Think of that.

Abraham’s descendants consistently win high percentages not just of Nobel Prizes but other awards in medicine, health, music, and public life. What a mark they’ve made upon our world.

Did you know it was a Jew who financed Christopher Columbus when he set sail for the west? Of his crew members, the first to set foot on American soil was a Jew. Did you know that a Jew, Haym Salomon, financed General George Washington in our Revolutionary War?

Have you ever taken an aspirin? Friedrich Bayer, whose company developed aspirin, was a Jew. Were you vaccinated for polio as a child? The injectable and oral polio vaccines of Salk and Sabin were so effective, the disease has been all but eradicated.

Has the dentist ever deadened your tooth before he started to drill? Alfred Einhorn, who developed Novocain, was a Jew. If you’re an anti-Semite, the next time you go to the dentist, why don’t you say, “Just drill away, don’t deaden my pain.” Have you ever had local anesthesia? Its inventor, Carl Koller, was a Jew.

When you developed an infection, the doctor prescribed streptomycin, developed by Waksman, a Jew. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, was a Jew. Are you a student of philosophy? Spinoza was a Jew. Do you appreciate the Salvation Army? Its founder, William Booth, had a Jewish mother.

It’s amazing to study the mark God’s chosen people have made on the world. Jews can be thanked for the discovery of electromagnetic waves, the transistor, the first laser, oral contraceptives, antihistamines, anti-leukemia drugs, the electron microscope, vaccines against cholera and bubonic plague, the camera phone, nuclear fission reactor, sound-on-film technology, the discovery of neurotransmitters, the process by which we do MRIs, the Hepatitis-B vaccine, the first exact map of the moon—and do you like American music? Thank George and Ira Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Lerner and Lowe, and Stephen Sondheim, to name only a few.

All history has been dramatically impacted by six Jews:  Moses, Paul, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and above them all, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Photo courtesy: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/ Pontuse

Based on the articles Israel and Bible Prophecy What Does the Future Hold? Part 1 and Part 2, orginially published on OnePlace.com. Used with permission

Publication date: March 22, 2018

Francis Schaeffer

I remember like yesterday hearing my pastor Adrian Rogers in 1979 going through the amazing fulfilled prophecy of Ezekiel 26-28 and the story of the city of Tyre. In 1980 in my senior year (taught by Mark Brink) at Evangelical Christian High School, I watched the film series by Francis Schaeffer called WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? Later that same year I read the book by the same name and I was amazed at the historical accuracy of the Bible and the many examples from archaeology that Schaeffer gave and recently I have shared several of these in my current series on Schaeffer and the Beatles. The reason I did that was because many people in the 1960’s had taken non-rational leaps into such areas as communism, the occult, drugs, and eastern mysticism,  but sitting right there in front of them was the historical accurate Bible which contained sufficient evidence to warrant trust.

(Adrian Rogers met with Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.)

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(This was the average sanctuary crowd when I was growing up at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis)

______________________________________

Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that politically Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan were my heroes. Spiritually my heroes have been both Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers. An interesting fact about both of these two men and that is they both believed the Bible is the inspired and inerrant word of God. Both men defended the historical accuracy of the Bible even though both of the religious denominations they belonged to started to shift to the liberal view that the Bible contains errors in it.

H. L. Mencken
H l mencken.jpg

J. Gresham Machen

J. Gresham Machen

Francis Schaeffer’s battle on this issue came in the 1930’s when he got to know Dr. J. Gresham Machen was involved in a battle with  the Presbyterian Church USA over their leftward shift in theology. Francis Schaeffer observed:

H.L. Mencken died when I was a young man and I read some of the stuff he wrote and he came at just the point of the total collapse of the American consensus back in the 1930’s or a little before. H.L.Mencken was very destructive to the American consensus and he was way out. It is he who said the famous thing about Dr. J. Gresham Machen. Dr. Machen was the man who was fighting the battle for historic Christianity against the liberals in the big denominations and expressly the Presbyterian denomination and the liberals were trying to laugh Machen out of court. But H.L. Mencken said a remarkable thing, “Well, if you really want to be a Christian there is only one kind of Christian to be and that is the Machen kind.” This is wonderful. This is exactly where the battlefield is. When you take Christianity and chip away at it like the liberals wanted to do then you don’t have anything left. This is no halfway war. If you are going to be a Christian you have to be a biblical Christian. Machen and Mencken understood this and this is my position too.  

Adrian Rogers also was that type of Christian too. Recently a relative told me that his Bible Study Teacher at the church he started attended recently started a series on Genesis and he said on the front end that evolution is true. I encouraged my relative to ask the simple question: DO YOU BELIEVE IN A LITERAL “ADAM AND EVE?” I sent him the sermon on Evolution by Adrian Rogers and here is a portion of it below:

H.G. Wells

H. G. Wells, the brilliant historian who wrote The Outlines of History, said this—and I quote: “If all animals and man evolved, then there were no first parents, and no Paradise, and no Fall. If there had been no Fall, then the entire historic fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin, and the reason for the atonement, collapses like a house of cards.” H. G. Wells says—and, by the way, I don’t believe that he did believe in creation—but he said, “If there’s no creation, then you’ve ripped away the foundation of Christianity.”

Now, the Bible teaches that man was created by God and that he fell into sin. The evolutionist believes that he started in some primordial soup and has been coming up and up. And, these two ideas are diametrically opposed. What we call sin the evolutionist would just call a stumble up. And so, the evolutionist believes that all a man needs—he’s just going up and up, and better and better—he needs a boost from beneath. The Bible teaches he’s a sinner and needs a birth from above. And, these are both at heads, in collision.

What is evolution? Evolution is man’s way of hiding from God, because, if there’s no creation, there is no Creator. And, if you remove God from the equation, then sinful man has his biggest problem removed—and that is responsibility to a holy God. And, once you remove God from the equation, then man can think what he wants to think, do what he wants to do, be what he wants to be, and no holds barred, and he has no fear of future judgment.

Francis Schaeffer & the SBC

Actually Francis Schaeffer’s good friend Paige Patterson talked Adrian Rogers into running for President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979 and the liberal shift was halted. In the article “Francis Schaeffer ‘indispensable’ to SBC,” (Thursday, October 30, 2014,)  David Roach wrote:

The late Francis Schaeffer was known to pick up the phone during the early years of the Southern Baptist Convention’s conservative resurgence. Paige Patterson knew to expect a call from Schaeffer around Christmas with the question, “You’re not growing weary in well-doing are you?”

Patterson, a leader in the movement to return the SBC to a high view of Scripture, would reply, “No, Dr. Schaeffer. I’m under fire, but I’m doing fine. And I’m trusting the Lord and proceeding on.”

To some it may seem strange that an international Presbyterian apologist and analyst of pop culture would take such interest in a Baptist controversy over biblical inerrancy.

But to Schaeffer it made perfect sense.

He believed churches were acquiescing to the world, abandoning their belief that the Bible is without error in everything it said. A watered-down theology left the SBC with decreased power to battle cultural evils. To Schaeffer the convention was the last major American denomination with hope for reversing this “great evangelical disaster,” as he put it.

Thirty years after Schaeffer’s death, Baptist leaders still remember how he took time from his speaking, writing and filmmaking schedule to quietly encourage Patterson; Paul Pressler, a judge from Texas with whom Patterson worked closely during the conservative resurgence; Adrian Rogers, a Memphis pastor who served three terms SBC president; and others.

By the early 1990s, conservatives had elected an unbroken string of convention presidents and moved in position to shift the balance of power on all convention boards and committees from the theologically moderate establishment. But at the time of Schaeffer’s annual calls, the outcome of the controversy was still in doubt.

(Paige Patterson)

“I strongly suspect that he was afraid I would not hold strong,” Patterson, now president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas, told Baptist Press. “He had seen so many people fold up under pressure that he assumed we probably would too. So he would call and ask for a report.”

Schaeffer’s interest in engaging culture made him particularly appealing to Southern Baptist conservatives. He helped provide them with a “battle plan” to fight cultural evils and what they perceived as theological drift in their denomination, Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, told BP.

Along with theologian Carl F.H. Henry, Schaeffer was the key intellectual influence on leaders of the conservative resurgence, Land said. When conservatives started to be elected as the executives of Baptist institutions, Henry spoke at Land’s inauguration at the Christian Life Commission (the ERLC’s precursor), R. Albert Mohler Jr.’s at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky and Timothy George’s at Beeson Divinity School in Alabama.

“If Schaeffer had still been alive, we would have had him come,” Land said. He noted that Schaeffer was “close” to Rogers and “admired” by Bailey Smith, two conservative SBC presidents. Edith Schaeffer and Patterson’s wife Dorothy were close friends and traveled together in the early 1980s speaking on the importance of the home.

Clark Pinnock, a former New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary professor who mentored conservative resurgence leaders before taking a leftward theological turn in his own thinking, served on Schaeffer’s staff at L’Abri.

BP Photo
Paige Patterson and Adrian Rogers share a time of prayer in the early moments of the Conservative Resurgence movement within the Southern Baptist Convention.

Image result for ADRIAN ROGERS richard land

Ron Dunn with Adrian Rogers above

Dr. Francis Schaeffer: The Biblical Flow of History & Truth

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 5 | Truth and History (20…

Mount Sinai is one of the most important sites of the entire Bible. It was here that the Hebrew people came shortly after their flight from Egypt. Here God spoke to them through Moses, giving them directions for their life as newly formed nation and making a covenant with them.

The thing to notice about this epochal moment for Israel is the emphasis on history which the Bible itself makes. Time and time again Moses reminds the people of what has happened on Mount Sinai:

Deuteronomy 4:11-12New International Version (NIV)

11 You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fireto the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. 12 Then the Lordspoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form;there was only a voice.

Moses emphasized that those alive at the time had actually heard God’s voice. They had received God’s direct communication  in words. They were eyewitnesses of what had occurred–they saw the cloud and the mountain burning with fire. They saw and they heard. Moses says, on the basis of what they themselves have seen and heard in their own lifetime, they are not to be afraid of their present or future enemies.

On the same basis too, Moses urges them to obey God: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen…” (Deuteronomy 4:9)

Thus the people’s confidence and trust in God and their obedience to Him are alike rooted in truth that is historical and open to observation…The relationship between God and His people was not based on an upward experience inside their own heads, but upon a reality which was seen and heard. They were called to obey God not because of a leap of faith, but because of God’s real acts in history. For God is the LIVING GOD….”Religious Truth” according to the Bible involves the same sort of truth which people operate on in their everyday lives. If something is true, then its opposite cannot also be true.

From the Bible’s viewpoint, all truth finally rests upon the fact that the infinite-personal God exists in contrast to His not existing. This means that God exists objectively. He exists whether or not people say He does. The Bible also teaches that God is personal.
Much of the Bible is in the sphere of normal existence and is observable. God communicated himself in language. This is not surprising for He  was the creator of people who use language in communicating with other people.
In the Hebrew (and biblical) view, truth is grounded ultimately in the existence and character of God and what has been given us by God in creation and revelation. Because people are finite, reality cannot be exhausted by human reason.
It is within this Judeo-Christian view of truth that, by its own insistence, we must understand the Bible. Moses could appeal to real historical events as the basis for Israel’s confidence and obedience into the future. He could even pass down to subsequent generations physical reminders of what God had done, so that the people could see them and remember.

________________

The Story of Francis and Edith Schaeffer

John 21:1-14New International Version (NIV)

Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish

21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[a] It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[b]), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

__________

The resurrected Christ stood there on the beach of the Sea of Galilee. Before the disciples reached the shore, He had already prepared a fire with fish cooking on it for them to eat. It was a fire that could be seen and felt; the fire cooked the fish, and the fish and bread could be eaten for breakfast.

When the fire died down, it left ashes on the beach; the disciples were well fed with bread and fish and Christ’s footprints would have been visible on the beach…

Thomas, Christ tells us,  should have believed the ample evidence given to him of the physical evidence of the resurrection by the other apostles. Christ rebuked him for not accepting this evidence.He at that time and we today have the same sufficient witness of those who have seen and heard and were able to touch the resurrected Christ and were able to observe what He had done.

Because Thomas insisted on seeing and touching we have a more sure witness than we otherwise would have  had. In the testimony of those who saw and heard we have a sure witness and this includes Thomas’ doubt and his personal verification which removed that doubt. WE SHOULD BOW BEFORE THE TOTAL WITNESS OF THE RECORD WHICH WE HAVE  IN THE BIBLE, OF THE TESTIMONY OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE UNIVERSE AND IT’S FORM AND THE UNIQUENESS OF MAN. IT IS ENOUGH! BELIEVE HE HAS RISEN.

John 20:24-29New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

_______________

Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?

Tim Brister —  July 26, 2006 — 6 Comments

In the appendix of his book, He Is There and He Is Not Silent, Francis Schaeffer wrote a little piece called “Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?” Schaeffer explains that, “To modern man, and much modern theology, the concept of propositional revelation and the historic Christian view of infallibility is not so much mistaken as meaningless” (345). The 20th century came with many challenges to theological formulation, not the least of which was the assault on propositional truth and revelation. Such camps as existentialists and logical positivists attempted to remove religious truth from the reason and revelation while others sought to justify meaning, reality, and truth with other criterion of verification such as experience and perception. However, center to the Christian faith is the belief that God has spoken and revealed himself in the written Word of God. In this revelation, God used language as the medium to carry and convey biblical truths and realities. This is not to say that God has revealed himself exhaustively, but it does mean that he has revealed himself truly and definitively. Schaeffer makes two points which I would like to mention here:

  1. Even communication between one created person and another is not exhaustive; but that does not mean that for that reason it is not true.
  1. If the uncreated Personal really cared for the created personal, it could not be thought unthinkable 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.

Schaffer makes some salient points here that deserve to be brought up in the 21stcentury. While we do not disagree that revelation is also personal, we cannot flinch on the assault on propositional revelation. God has revealed himself to us, his nature and his acts, through propositional revelation (i.e. the Bible), and the implications of this truth is that we do not have the rights to reinvent or rename the God Who Is There. If we do not begin with God and his revelation, Schaeffer is correct to conclude that there are many things we could not know about God based on such a limited, finite reference point as ourselves. It is no coincidence that, at the time of Schaeffer’s publishing of this book (1972), John Hick was advancing his pluralistic hypothesis which argued for the ineffability of the “Real” which argued that one cannot know anything about God as he is (ding an sich).Adapting the Kantian model of the noumenal and phenomenal worlds, Hick argues that God (“Real”) has not and cannot reveal himself truly and definitely; furthermore, it is impossible to know anything at all about the Real (except that it is ineffable and that it exists which is something he claims to know). The result when God is not the beginning, the reference point, the apriori grounds of knowledge and revelation, then knowing and defining God is a free-for-all to anyone who wants to postulate their phenomenological interpretations as religious truth. Schaeffer concludes his little article with this important paragraph in which he said:

“The importance of all this is that most people today (including some who still call themselves evangelical) who have given up the historical and biblical concept of revelation and infallibility have not done so because of the consideration of detailed problems objectively approached, but because they have accepted, either in analyzed fashion or blindly, the other set of presuppositions. Often this has taken place by means of cultural injection, without their realizing what has happened to them” (349, emphasis added).

In the days ahead, I hope to share how propositional truth is foundational to personal truth and give a few examples of the redefinition of revelation in contemporary contexts.

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
Hebrews 1:1-2

_____________

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

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

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As ‘Devout Catholic,’ Having 5 Kids Was Great, Pelosi Says, but ‘Poor Women’ Need Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

As ‘Devout Catholic,’ Having 5 Kids Was Great, Pelosi Says, but ‘Poor Women’ Need Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

Mary Margaret Olohan  @MaryMargOlohan / July 22, 2021

Abortion

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Thursday that she feels “blessed” to have five children “as a devout Catholic,” but that “poor women” need taxpayer-funded abortion. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she was “blessed” to have five children “as a devout Catholic,” but “poor women” need taxpayer-funded abortion.

On Capitol Hill, Pelosi also said falsely that Democrats have not blocked Republicans’ attempts to ban taxpayer-funded abortions, before describing taxpayer-funded abortion as “an issue of health, as an issue of fairness.”dailycallerlogo

“It’s an issue of health of many women in America, especially those in lower-income situations, and different states, and it is something that has been a priority for many of us a long time,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said.

The House speaker then echoed a popular media description of President Joe Biden’s faith.

“As a devout Catholic and mother of five in six years, I feel that God blessed my husband and me with our beautiful family; five children in six years almost to the day,” she said. “But it’s not up to me to dictate that that’s what other people should [do], and it is an issue of fairness and justice for poor women in our country.”

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who is in charge the archdiocese to which Pelosi belongs, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in May that he has had “conversations” with her about abstaining from receiving Holy Communion at Mass because she is a pro-abortion Catholic. 

“Because we are dealing with public figures and public examples of cooperation in moral evil, this correction can also take the public form of exclusion from the reception of Holy Communion,” Cordileone wrote in the document called “Before I Formed You in the Womb, I Knew You,” adding:

When other avenues are exhausted, the only recourse a pastor has left is the public medicine of temporary exclusion from the Lord’s Table. This is a bitter medicine, but the gravity of the evil of abortion can sometimes warrant it.

“I have had such conversations with Speaker Pelosi, she knows that I stand by church teaching, and I know she’s respectful enough not to do anything so provocative,” the archbishop said in May.

“In the case of President Biden or any other prominent Catholic, I think what I would do is if I knew that they were coming into the area here and planned to attend Mass, I would try to have those conversations as well ahead of time,” Cordileone added.

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Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state. 

June 23, 2021

President Biden c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I wanted to reach out to you because of some of the troubling moral issues coming out of your administration.

Over and over on my blog I have written about your efforts as Vice President and President to attack legally the rights of our unborn babies in the USA. These views of yours are due to your allegiance to the humanist worldview which Francis Schaeffer and Tim LaHaye exposed in their books. Your vast support from humanist groups in the 2020 election proves my point. No wonder we have seen criminals let go and an effort by Democrats (namely VP Harris) to defund the police. The Bible recognizes the sinful nature of humans and calls for the authorities to have the power of the sword in Romans 13! However, there have been times when the IRS has been used against freedom of expression such as the past persecution of the Tea Party. The Founding Fathers did NOT think the King was above the law! Unfortunately many lawmakers today don’t care about the law very much it seems which is a result of loss of a Christian Consensus influence in our society!

I recently read this article below:

The Archbishop Who Fears for Joe Biden’s Soul

America’s second-ever Catholic president supports abortion rights, leaving the bishops unsure about how to move forward.By Emma Green

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, at a Mass held on the eve of the 2020 March for Life in Washington, D.C.Gregory A. Shemitz

MARCH 14, 2021 

Archbishop Joseph Naumann is anxious about President Joe Biden’s soul. The two men are in some ways similar: cradle Catholics born in the 1940s who witnessed John F. Kennedy become America’s first Catholic president. Both found a natural home in the Democratic Party—in Naumann’s midwestern family, asking Catholics if they were Democrats was a redundancy. Naumann became a priest and Biden became a politician, but their paths really diverged over the issue of abortion. Now in his 70s, Naumann watched Biden—America’s second Catholic president—transform into a vocal supporter of abortion rights while competing for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Naumann runs the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and also leads what the Catholic bishops describe as their pro-life activities. He has suggested that Biden should no longer call himself a devout Catholic. At the very least, Naumann says, Biden should stop receiving Communion, a holy sacrament in Catholic life.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recently convened a working group to discuss how the bishops should interact with Biden, and how they should deal with the challenge of having a visibly Catholic president who defies Church teachings on a central issue. Naumann was part of that group. Conflicts have already arisen: Naumann recently co-authored a statement expressing moral concerns about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was developed and tested using cell lines from aborted fetal tissue. He also joined a statement from a group of the country’s top bishops celebrating the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act, but called it “unconscionable that Congress has passed the bill without critical protections needed to ensure that billions of taxpayer dollars are used for life-affirming health care and not for abortion.”

John MacArthur gave a sermon in June of 2021 entitled “When Government Rewards Evil and Punishes Good” and in that sermon he makes the following points:

INTRODUCTION AND DISCUSSION OF ROMANS 13

GOVERNMENT CAN FORFEIT ITS AUTHORITY

THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF THE GOSPEL

ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY IS PROGRESSING TOWARD A GLOBAL KINGDOM UNDER THE POWER OF SATAN

ONE FALSE WORLD RELIGION IS FINAL PLAY BY SATAN

REAL PERSECUTION CAN ONLY BE DONE BY GOVERNMENT

PERSECUTION IN BOOK OF DANIEL

THE LAW IS KING AND NOT THE GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA

GOVERNMENT HAS BECOME PURVEYOR OF WICKEDNESS

THERE IS A PLACE FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

DOES GOVERNMENT WIN?

Let me just share a portion of that sermon with you and you can watch it on You Tube:

GOVERNMENT HAS BECOME PURVEYOR OF WICKEDNESS 

One New Testament writer says that Romans 13 has “caused more unhappiness and misery . . . than any other . . . verses in the New Testament by the license they have given to tyrants . . . used to justify a host of horrendous abuses of individual human rights.” Hitler’s Holocaust, racism in the apartheid of South Africa, Cantrell says, “Both the Jews in Germany and blacks in South Africa were viewed as a threat to public health and national security. . . . “‘Trust us,’ said government . . . ‘we truly have your best interests at heart. All we want to do is help . . . keep you safe.’”

Government has already become the purveyor of wickedness. Government is a murderer, slaughtering millions of infants in abortion; elevating the LGBTQ agenda, the bizarre transgender deception. The culture has become anti-truth, we all know that. The truth is the biggest threat to lies. William Pitt, well-known name in English history, said this: “Necessity (i.e., public health, common good) is the plea [of] every infringement of human freedom: it is the argument of tyrants. “Get people afraid, and they’ll do whatever you want. A fearful society will always comply; panicking people will believe anything” [(Cantrell)].

“During the gruesome and bloody days of the French Revolution, when 40,000 innocent [people] lost their heads,” you would be interested to know who was operating the guillotine: the Committee for Public Safety [(Cantrell)]. One writer says, “Governments now get voted into power by promising to oversee housing, education, medicine, the economy, [the] currency, a minimum income, food, water, land, and the list goes on. The government become a parent, and the citizens are dependents. The government in this role becomes a monstrous juggernaut of bureaucracy, devouring taxes and trying to regulate every detail of life.” And they definitely want to regulate the church and silence its proclamation.

In his book The Glorious Body of Christ, Kuiper wrote, “Our age is one of ecclesiastical passivism. . . . When a church ceases to be militant it also ceases to be a church of Jesus Christ. . . . A truly militant church stands opposed to the world both without its walls and within. . . . Time and again in its history the church has found it necessary to assert its sovereignty over against usurpations by the state.” And Kuiper gave some biblical examples, like when King Saul or King Uzziah usurped the priesthood, stating, “In both cases a representative of the state was severely punished for encroaching [on] the sovereignty of the church.”

“Lord Macaulay of England summed up the Puritan reputation this way” [(Cantrell)]. He said of the Puritans, “He bowed himself in the dust before his Maker; [as] he set his foot on the neck of his king.” Kuiper says, “Ours is an age of state totalitarianism. All over the world statism is [rising] . . . . In consequence, in many lands the church finds itself utterly at the mercy of the state whose mercy often proves cruelty, while in others the notion is rapidly gaining ground that the church exists and operates by the state’s permission.” We do not operate by the state’s permission; we operate by the Lord’s command.

—-

Francis Schaeffer discusses this more in his fine book CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO:

PAGE 437

CHAPTER 3 THE DESTRUCTION OF FAITH AND FREEDOM

And now it is all gone!

In most law schools today almost no one studies William Blackstone unless he or she is taking a course in the history of law. We live in a secularized society and in secularized, sociological law. By sociological law we mean law that has no fixed base but law in which a group of people decides what is sociologically good for society at the given moment; and wha they arbitrarily decide becomes law. Oliver Wendall Holmes (1841-1935) made totally clear that this was his position. Frederick Moore Vinson (1890-1953), former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, said, “Nothing is more certain in modern society than the principle that there are no absolutes.” Those who hold this position themselves call it sociological law. 

As the new sociological law has moved away from the original base of the Creator giving the “inalienable rights,” etc., it has been natural that this sociological law has then also moved away from the Constitution. William Bentley Ball, in his paper entitled “Religious Liberty: The Constitutional Frontier,” says: 

i propose that secularism militates against religious liberty, and indeed against personal freedoms generally, for two reasons: first, the familiar fact that secularism does not recognize the existence of the “higher law”; second, because, that being so, secularism tends toward decisions based on the pragmatic public policy of the moment and inevitably tends to resist the submitting of those policies to the “higher” criteria of a constitution. 

This moving away from the Constitution is not only by court rulings, for example the First Amendment rulings, which are the very reversal of the original purpose of the First Amendment (see pp. 433, 434), but in other ways as well. Quoting again from the same paper by William Bentley Ball:

Our problem consists also, as perhaps this paper has well enough indicated, of more general constitutional delegation of legislative power and ultra vires. The first is where the legislature hands over its powers to agents through the conferral of regulatory power unaccompanied by strict standards. The second is where the agents make up powers on their own–assume powers not given them by the legislature. Under the first, the government of laws largely disappears and the government of men largely replaces it. Under the second, agents’ personal “home-made law replaces the law of the elected representatives of the people. 

Naturally, this shift from the Judeo-Christian basis for law and the shift away from the restraints of the Constitution automatically militates against religious liberty. Mr. Ball closes his paper:

Fundamentally, in relation to personal liberty, the Constitution was aimed at restraint of the State. Today, in case after case relating to religious liberty, we encounter the bizarre presumption that it is the other way around; that the State is justified in whatever actions, and that religion bears a great burden of proof to overcome that presumption. 

It is our job, as Christian lawyers, to destroy that presumption at every turn. 

As lawyers discuss the changes in law in the United States, often they speak of the influence of the laws involved in the reentrance of the southern states into the national government after the Civil War. These indeed must be considered. But they were not the reason for the drastic change in law in our country. This reason was the takeover by the totally other world view which never have given the form and freedom in government we have had in Northern Europe (including the United States). That is the central factor in the change. 

PAGE 439

It is parallel to the difference between modern science beginning with Copernicus and Galileo and the materialistic science which took over the last century. Materialistic thought would never have produced modern science. Modern science was produced on the Christian base. That is, because an intelligent Creator had created the universe we can in some measure understand the universe and there is, therefore, a reason for observation and experimentation to be pursued. 

Then there was a shift into materialistic science based on a philosophic change to the materialistic concept of final reality. This shift was based on no addition to the facts known. It was a choice, in faith, to see things that way. No clearer expression of this could be given than Carl Sagan’s arrogant statement on public television–made without any scientific proof for the statement–to 140 million viewers: “The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever was or ever will be.” He opened the series, COSMOS, with this essentially creedal declaration and went on to build every subsequent conclusion upon it. 

There is exactly the same parallel in law. The materialistic-energy, chance concept of final reality never would have produced the form and freedom in government we have in this country and in other Reformation countries. But now it has arbitrarily and arrogantly supplanted the historic Judeo-Christian Consensus that provided the base for form and freedom in government. The Judeo-Christian consensus gave greater freedoms than the world has ever known, but it also contained the freedoms so that they did not pound society to pieces. The materialistic concept of reality would not have produced the form-freedom balance, and now that it has taken over it cannot maintain the balance. It has destroyed it. 

Will Durant and his wife Ariel together wrote The Story of Civilization. The Durants received the 1976 Humanist Pioneer Award. In The Humanist magazine of February 1977, Will Durant summed up the humanist problem with regard to personal ethics and social order: “Moreover, we shall find it no easy task to mold a natural ethic strong enough to maintain moral restraint and social order without the support of supernatural consolations, hopes, and fears.”

Poor Will Durant! It is not just difficult, it is impossible. He should have remembered the quotation he and Ariel Durant gave from the agnostic Renan in their book The Lessons of History. According to the Durants, Renan said in 1866: “If Rationalism wishes to govern the world without regard to the religious needs of the soul, the experience of the French Revolution is there to teach us the consequences of such a blunder.” And the Durants themselves say in the same context: “There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion.”

PAGE 440 

Along with the decline of the Judie-Christian consensus we have come to a new definition and connotation of “pluralism.” Until recently it meant that the Christianity flowing from the Reformation is not now as dominant in the country and in society as it was in the early days of the nation. After about 1848 the great viewpoints not shaped by Reformation Christianity. This, of course, is the situation which exists today. Thus as we stand for religious freedom today, we need to realize that this must include a general religious freedom from the control of the state for all religion. It will not mean just freedom for those who are Christians. It is then up to Christians to show that Christianityis the Truth of total reality in the open marketplace of freedom. 

This greater mixture in the United States, however, is now used as an excuse for the new meaning and connotation  of pluralism. It now is used to mean that all types of situations are spread out before us, and that it really is up to each individual to grab one or the other on the way past, according to the whim of personal preference. What you take is only a matter of personal choice, with one choice as valid as another. Pluralism has come to mean that everything is acceptable. This new concept of pluralism suddenly is everywhere. There is no right or wrong; it is just a matter of your personal preference. On a recent SIXTY MINUTES program on television, for example, the questions of euthanasia of the old and the growing of marijuana as California’s largest paying crop were presented this way. One choice is as valid as another. It is just a matter of personal preference. This new definition and connotation of pluralism is presented in many forms, not only in personal ethics, but in society’s ethics and in the choices concerning law, 

PAGE 440

Now I have a question. In these shifts that have come in law, where have the Christian lawyers been? I really ask you that. The shift has come gradually, but it has only come to its peak in the last 40 or 50 years. Where have the Christian lawyers been? Surely the Christian lawyers should have been the ones to have sounded the trumpet clear and loud, not just in bits and pieces but looking at the totality of what was occurring. Now, a nonlawyer like myself believes I have a right to feel let down because the Christian lawyers did not blow the trumpets clearly between, let us say, 1940 and 1970. 


PAGE 441

When I wrote HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? From 1974 to 1976 I worked out of a knowledge of secular philosophy. I moved from the results in secular philosophy, to the results in liberal theology, to the results in the arts, and then I turned to the courts, and especially the Supreme Court. I read Oliver Wendell Holmes and others, and I must say, I was totally appalled by what I read. It was an exact parallel to what i had already known so well from my years of study in philosophy, theology, and the other disciplines. 

In the book and film series HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? I used the Supreme Court abortion case as the clearest illustration of arbitrary sociiological law. But it was only the clearest illustration. The law is shot through with this kind of ruling. It is similar to choosing Fletcher’s situational ethics and point to it as the clearest illustration of how our society now functions with no fixed ethics. This is only the clearest illustration because in many ways our society functions on unfixed, situational ethics. The abortion case in law is exactly the same. It is only the clearest case. Law in this country has become situational law, using the term Fletcher used for his ethics. That is, a small group of people decide arbitrarily what, from their viewpoint, is for the good of society at that precise moment and they make it law, binding the whole society by their personal arbitrary decisions. 

But of course! What would we expect? These things are the natural, inevitable results of the material-energy, humanistic concept of the final basic reality. From the material-energy, chance concept of final reality, final reality is, and must be b it nature, silent as to values, principles, or any basis for law. There is no way to ascertain “the ought:” from “the is.” Not only should we have known what this would have produced, but on the basis of this viewpoint of reality, we should have recognized that there are no other conclusions that this view could produce. It is a natural result of really believing that the basic reality of all things is merely material-energy, shaped into its present form by impersonal chance. 

No, we must say that the Christians in the legal profession did not ring the bell, and we are indeed very, very far down the road toward a totally humanistic culture. At this moment we are in a humanistic culture, but we are happily not in a totally humanistic culture. But what we must realize is that the drift has been all in this direction. if it is not turned around we will move very rapidly into a totally humanistic culture. 

PAGE 442 

The law, and especially the courts, is the vehicle to force this total humanistic way of thinking upon the entire population.This is what has happened. The abortion law is a perfect example. The Supreme Court abortion ruling invalidated abortion lawsin all fifty states, even though it seems clear that in 1973 the majority of Americans were against abortion. It did not matter. The Supreme Court arbitrarily ruled that abortion was legal, and overnight they overthrew the state laws and forced their will on the majority, even though their ruling was arbitrary both legally and medically. Thus law and the courts became the vehicle for forcing a totally secular concept on the population.

—-

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband. I also respect you for putting your faith in Christ for your eternal life. I am pleading to you on the basis of the Bible to please review your religious views concerning abortion. It was the Bible that caused the abolition movement of the 1800’s and it also was the basis for Martin Luther King’s movement for civil rights and it also is the basis for recognizing the unborn children. I wanted to encourage you to investigate the work of Dr. Bernard Nathanson who like you used to be pro-abortion. I also want you to watch the You Tube series WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop. Also it makes me wonder what our the moral climate Of our nation is when we concentrate more on potential mistakes of the police and we let criminals back on the street so fast! Our national was founded of LEX REX and not REX LEX!

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733,

PS: In this series of letters John MacArthur covers several points. In the first letter, he quotes you saying that the greatest threat to America—he said on one occasion—is systemic racism, which doesn’t exist; he said white supremacy, which doesn’t exist with any power; and then he said global warming, which doesn’t exist either, and if it does, God’s in charge of it.

In reality the greatest threat to this nation is the government, the government. And I want to show you how we are to understand that. Turn to Romans 13

In the 2nd letter, Dr. MacArthur noted When government turns the divine design on its head and protects those who do evil and makes those who do good afraid, it forfeits its divine purpose

In the 3rd letter Dr. MacArthur noted The world is the enemy of the gospel. The world is the enemy of the church. I pointed out that this manifests itself today in the form of HUMANISM.

In the 4th letter Dr. MacArthur points out how much today the devil is having his way in our society and that the Bible predicts that these will get worse!

In the 5th letter Francis Schaeffer points out “The HUMANIST MANIFESTOS not only say that humanism is a religion, but the Supreme Court has declared it to be a religion. The 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins specifically defines secular humanism as a religion equivalent to theistic and other non theistic religions.”

In the 6th letter Dr. MacArthur noted God has given government the sword, the power; and when they prostitute that power and they begin to punish those who do good and protect those who do evil, they wield that power against the people of God.

In the 7th letter Dr. MacArthur asserted, Throughout history, even in the Western world, people lived under what was called the divine right of kings. Kings were believed to have had a divine right. This was absolute monarchy. What broke that was basically the Reformers. The Reformers—a little phrase was “the law is king,” not the man.

In the 8th letter Dr. MacArthur noted that today the United States “Government has already become the purveyor of wickedness. Government is a murderer, slaughtering millions of infants in abortion.”

In the 9th letter the article

Judge gives preliminary OK to $3.5M settlement of IRS case is discussed about the 2013 lawsuit during the Barack Obama administration over treatment of conservative groups who said they were singled out for extra IRS scrutiny on tax-exempt status applications. Then Dr. MacArthur talks about persecution in the Book of Daniel.

“These are groups of law-abiding citizens who should have never had their First Amendment rights infringed upon by the IRS,” Jenny Beth Martin, president of the Tea Party Patriots umbrella group, said Wednesday. “These are groups that want the government to be accountable.”

The government has been used to persecuting people they don’t like for centuries! Let me just share a portion of that sermon by John MacArthur with you and you can watch it on You Tube: 

PERSECUTION IN BOOK OF DANIEL

In the 10th letter Dr. MacArthur noted:

THERE IS A PLACE FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

Francis Schaeffer, who died in 1984, says, “If [there’s] no final place for civil disobedience, then the government has been made autonomous, anas such, it has been put in the place of the living God.” And that point is exactly when the early Christians performed their acts of civil disobedience, even when it cost them their lives. “Acts of State which contradict God’s [Laws] are illegitimate and acts of tyranny. Tyranny is ruling without the sanction of God. To resist tyranny is to honour God. . . . The bottom line is that at a certain point there is not only the right, but the duty to disobey the State.”

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 4 | The Basis for Human Dignity


Sunday Night Prime – Dr. Bernard Nathanson – Fr Groeschel, CFR with Fr …

——

Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer pictured above

Larry King had John MacArthur as a guest on his CNN program several times.

https://youtu.be/Tfq-maVMxiM

When Government Rewards Evil and Punishes Good

_________________________

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