Category Archives: Adrian Rogers

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 150 My May 15, 1994 letter to Stephen Jay Gould (Part D) Sean Carroll “Non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA) might be the worst idea Stephen Jay Gould ever had” (It appears that atheists and theists do agree with Carroll on NOMA)

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Daniel Dennett and Stephen Jay Gould pictured together above

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Paul Kurtz who I had the pleasure of corresponding with discusses the life of Stephen Jay Gould below.

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Stephen Jay Gould, 1942-2002

By Paul Kurtz
Chairman, CSICOP

Skeptical inquirers deeply regret the passing of Stephen Jay Gould. He played a unique role in the public square, for he was an eloquent exponent of the scientific outlook. His prolific writings and brilliant lectures at Harvard and universities far and wide on evolutionary paleontology and biology and his forthright criticisms of creationism cast him as a powerful defender of science. At a time when pseudoscientific and fringe claims continue to grow, there are all too few scientists willing to enter into the fray.

Gould’s death leaves a void; and it dramatizes anew how important it is to have popularizers of science. This role was played by Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov, CSICOP Fellows of the past. We need to encourage today new and daring defenders of science, gadflies in the name of critical inquiry; interpreters able to extend the public’s understanding of science and its methods. All too few scientists and scholars today are willing to venture beyond their specialties in order to communicate with a wider audience.

Gould offered his own often controversial theories on how evolution occurred—such as his punctuated equilibrium hypothesis—and he suffered criticisms as a result. A veteran polemicist, he stood his ground in many debates with scientific colleagues. Throughout, he demonstrated that science grows by constant questioning, and peer review.

Stephen Jay Gould was a Fellow of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal and a recipient of its highest “In Praise of Reason” award. He was a frequent speaker at our conferences. He will be sorely missed.

The Darwin Day Program 

The Big Bad Wolf, Theism and the Foundations of Intelligent Design – Page 2

No More NOMA

“I do have one thing in common with the creationists. Like me… they will have no truck with NOMA and its separate magisteria.” – Richard Dawkins 18

Dawkins asserts in the Preface of The God Delusion that: “‘the God Hypothesis’ is a scientific hypothesis about the universe, which should be analysed as sceptically as any other” 19 (including, presumably, Darwinian macro-evolution). He later affirms, in broader terms, that:

The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question, even if it is not in practice – or not yet – a decided one… The methods we should use to settle the matter, in the unlikely event that relevant evidence ever became available, would be purely and entirely scientific methods. 20

Dawkins and intelligent design theorists are in full agreement upon this latter point.

Dawkins defines science as simply: “the honest and systematic endeavour to find out the truth about the real world.” 21 As design theorist Jay W. Richards states: “Methodological naturalism… contradicts the true spirit of science, which is to seek the truth about the natural world, no holds barred.” 22 Dawkins appears to use “science” as a term of endearment extending to any critical investigation of the “real world” to which empirical data has relevance, although as a metaphysical naturalist he assumes that the “real world” is describable in exclusively naturalistic terms. While ID theorists are careful not to allow a priori assumptions to pre-determine the conclusions science reaches, and have followed the lead of David Hume in distinguishing between conclusions that scientific arguments can and cannot support without philosophical extension, Dawkins is not so careful. Bearing these qualifications in mind, the design theorist (especially the theistic design theorist) can welcome Dawkins’ affirmation that: “the existence of God is a scientific hypothesis like any other… God’s existence or non-existence is a scientific fact about the universe, discoverable in principle if not in practice.” 23

In claiming that ID is a scientific theory Dawkins flatly contradicts many critics – including physicist Lawrence Krauss, microbiologist Carl Woese and philosopher Robert Pennock – who argue that intelligent design theory is not a scientific hypothesis. In his Kitmiller v. Doveropinion, Judge John E. Jones III wrote of “the inescapable conclusion that ID is an interesting theological argument, but that it is not science.” 24 Dawkins disagrees. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): “Intelligent design… falls outside the realm of science.” 25 Dawkins disagrees. Austin Cline argues that: “Intelligent Design isn’t a part of science.” 26 Dawkins disagrees.

A basic assumption of ID is that an intelligent agent is capable of acting in such a way as to impress empirically detectable evidence of design upon physical reality (this assumption underlies the day-to-day work of many scientists, including archaeologists, cryptographers, forensic scientists, paranormal researchers, conductors of double-blind prayer studies and those engaged in the search for extra-terrestrial life). A world in which God both exists and acts in such an empirically detectable way is therefore empirically distinguishable from a world in which he does not. Dawkins has no truck with: “the erroneous notion that the existence or non-existence of God is an untouchable question, forever beyond the reach of science… Either he exists or he doesn’t. It is a scientific question; one day we may know the answer, and meanwhile we can say something pretty strong about the probability.”27

Dawkins rejects Stephen Jay Gould’s theory of “non-overlapping magesteria” (or NOMA) that:

The net, or magisterium of science covers the empirical realm… The magisterium of religion extends over questions of ultimate meaning and moral value. These two magisteria do not overlap… To cite the old clichés, science gets the age of rocks, and religion the rock of ages; science studies how the heavens go, religion how to go to heaven. 28

Dawkins considers this an act of “bending over backwards to positively supine lengths” 29 to avoid any possibility of conflict (or dialogue) between science and religion. In order to stand any chance of mounting an attack on religion with the sword of science, Dawkins first has to cut through the shield of NOMA. The dialogue negating suggestion that science is about “how” while religion is about “why” actually contains a grain of truth (religion does deal with questions of meaning with which science does not and cannot deal), but is too simplistic. As Dawkins says of NOMA: “This sounds terrific – right up until you give it a moment’s thought.” 30 He dramatizes the point by imagining:

that forensic archaeologists unearthed DNA evidence to show that Jesus really did lack a biological father. Can you imagine religious apologists shrugging their shoulders and saying anything remotely like the following? “Who cares? Scientific evidence is completely irrelevant to theological questions. Wrong magisterium! We”re concerned only with ultimate questions and with moral values. Neither DNA nor any other scientific evidence could ever have any bearing on the matter, one way or the other.” The very idea is a joke. 31

Real world religions make real world claims that therefore intersect with the fields of inquiry handled by science. 32 As philosopher of science Stephen C. Meyer argues:

it’s inherent in the Christian faith to make claims about the real world. According to the Bible, God has revealed himself in time and space, and so Christianity – for good or ill – is going to intersect some of the factual claims of history and science. There’s either going to be conflict or agreement. To make NOMA work, its advocates have to water down science or faith, or both. Certainly Gould did – he said religion was just a matter of ethical teaching, comfort, or metaphysical beliefs about meaning. But Christianity certainly claims to be more than that. 33   

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Lawrence Krauss pictured above and Sean Carroll below

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Lawrence Krauss pictured above with Richard Dawkins and below with Noam Chomsky

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Chomsky, Krauss, and me

Posted on March 15, 2006 by Sean Carroll

Science & Theology News was looking for some famous and charismatic scientists to respond to an interview with Noam Chomsky on various issues touching on science and religion. They were able to get Lawrence Krauss to agree, but then they ran out of ideas and ended up asking me. So you have some of the deepest questions we face about meaning and the universe, addressed by someone recently voted the world’s top intellectual, with responses by the author of The Physics of Star Trek and an assistant professor with a blog. What a great world!

You will notice that most of my answering comments are short and sweet. You can take this as evidence that I know how to pack a tremendous rhetorical punch into just a handful of words, or that I was in a hurry as the deadline was approaching. But sometimes I do go on a bit when a nerve is struck, such as this discussion on whether science and religion ever overlap in their respective spheres of interest.

ON STEVEN JAY GOULD AND “NON-OVERLAPPING MAGISTERIA”

CHOMSKY: Steve Gould [was] a friend. But I don’t quite agree with him [that science-and-religion are “Non-Overlapping Magisteria”]. Science and religion are just incommensurable. I mean, religion tells you, ‘Here’s what you ought to believe.’ Judaism’s a little different, because it’s not really a religion of belief, it’s a religion of practice. If I’d asked my grandfather, who was an ultra-orthodox Jew from Eastern Europe. ‘Do you believe in God?’ he would have looked at me with a blank stare, wouldn’t know what I’m talking about. And what you do is you carry out the practices. Of course, you say ‘I believe in this and that,’ but that’s not the core of the religion. The core of the religion is just the practices you carry out. And yes, there is a system of belief behind it somewhere, but it’s not intended to be a picture of the world. It’s just a framework in which you carry out practices that are supposed to be appropriate.

KRAUSS: Science and religion are incommensurate, and religion is largely about practice rather than explanation. But religion is different than theology, and as the Catholic Church has learned over the years, any sensible theology must be in accord with the results of science.

CARROLL: Non-overlapping magisteria might be the worst idea Stephen Jay Gould ever had. It’s certainly a surprising claim at first glance: religion has many different aspects to it, but one of them is indisputably a set of statements about how the universe works at a deep level, typically featuring the existence of a powerful supernatural Creator. “How the universe works” is something squarely in the domain of science. There is, therefore, quite a bit of overlap: science is quite capable of making judgments about whether our world follows a rigid set of laws or is occasionally influenced by supernatural forces. Gould’s idea only makes sense because what he really means by “religion” is “moral philosophy.” While that’s an important aspect of religion, it’s not the only one; I would argue that the warrant for religion’s ethical claims are based on its view of the universe, without which we wouldn’t recognize it as religion.

I was going to say that these guys might be famous, but do they have their own blogs? No! Except, of course, Lawrence was our very first guest-blogger, so that counts for something. And, I remembered, Noam Chomsky actually does have a blog. A funny one that consists of answers to occasional interview questions asked by someone from Z magazine, but I suppose it counts. Man, everybody has a blog these days.

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

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(Harry Kroto pictured below)

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Stephen Jay Gould is the scholar I will look at today. In  the third video below in the 147th clip in this series are his words “If I were  a bacteria I would be quite satisfied that I was dominating the planet…I don’t know why consciousness should be seen as any state of higher being especially if you use the evolutionist primary criterion of success measured by duration” and I have responded directly to this quote in any earlier post.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

This is the fourth part of the letter to Stephen Jay Gould, but the third part was posted last week on my blog.

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

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

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

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“The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus us (Matter)”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A BANKRUPT WORLDVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everette Hatcher III

Related posts:

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 51 THE BEATLES (Part C, List of those on cover of Stg.Pepper’s ) (Feature on artist Raqib Shaw )

March 19, 2015 – 12:21 am

  The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010 The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA. The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged George HarrisonJohn LennonPaul MacCartneyRaqib ShawRingo Starr | Edit | Comments (0)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 50 THE BEATLES (Part B, The Psychedelic Music of the Beatles) (Feature on artist Peter Blake )

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 150 My May 15, 1994 letter to Stephen Jay Gould (Part B)

World-renowned, popularising palaeontologist who, controversially, revised Darwin’s theories and took a political stand on science
 

Profesor Stephen Jay Gould, who has died of cancer aged 60, was an unlikely figure to have been canonised in his lifetime by the US Congress, which named him as one of America’s “living legends”.

A palaeontologist, he was based for most of his life at the museum of comparative zoology (MCZ) at Harvard, where, since 1982, he had been Alexander Agassiz professor of zoology. But he was best known to the public through his unbroken sequence of 300 monthly essays in Natural History magazine, which began in 1974 and ended only last year; they were republished in a seemingly unending stream of books, translated into dozens of languages and bought by their hundreds of thousands.

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A stylish writer, Gould characterised each essay by deriving a seemingly abstruse point in natural history or palaeontology via a sideways look at a novel, a building, or, often, a reference to his lifelong enthusiasm for baseball. He once illuminated the peculiar evolutionary phenomenon in which more recently evolved species within a family group steadily decrease in size by comparing it to how the manufacturers of Hershey bars avoided price rises by making the bars smaller while keeping the costs the same.

As a scientific essayist, Gould’s only peers were “Darwin’s bulldog”, Thomas Huxley, in the 19th century and JBS Haldane in the 1930s and 40s. The comparison with Haldane is apt in two further ways; both made fundamental contributions to evolutionary theory, and both were politically engaged both within science and in the broader political arena. Gould’s critique of the pseudoscience of claims concerning the inheritance of intelligence, developed in one of his best-known books, The Mismeasure Of Man (1981), became a major source for anti-racist campaigners.

But Gould was no mere word-spinner; as a major public intellectual and powerful public speaker, he could be seen at demonstrations and on picket lines, especially during the 1960s and 70s. This was the birth of what became known as the radical science movement (Science for the People), initially in response to the Vietnam war. The movement, and Gould along with it, later became embroiled in the cultural fights that raged around the publication, in 1975, of EO Wilson’s Sociobiology, the forerunner to today’s evolutionary psychology, and seen by many as offering a scientific validation for social inequalities in class, gender and race.

Some saw this as a specifically Harvard-based battle, as Gould occupied the MCZ basement and his colleague, and sometimes co-author, Richard Lewontin, the first floor – with Wilson sandwiched between them on the ground floor. Wilson became distinctly uneasy when entering the elevator in case he might have to confront Gould, Lewontin or any of their student supporters.

However, for Gould the issues were never just about politics, but also about a different view of the mechanisms and processes of evolution, a view that reached its clearest expression in his last and greatest book, The Structure Of Evolutionary Theory – at more than 1,400 pages, the greatest in every sense – which was published only last month.

This is the most comprehensive statement of Gould’s Darwinian revisionism, a revisionism that began in graduate school when he and fellow student Niles Eldredge developed their critique of one of Darwin’s central theses, that of gradual evolutionary change. To the concern of his many friends and supporters, who had argued that speciation was likely to occur by abrupt transitions, Darwin had insisted that “nature does not make leaps”.

Gould and Eldredge re-addressed this question, pointing out that the fossil record was one of millions of years of stasis, punctuated by relatively brief periods of rapid change – hence punctuated equilibrium. To Gould’s fury, as a loyal child of Darwin, the theory was misappropriated by creationists, whom he attacked with characteristic vigour. However, in one of his most recent books, Rocks Of Ages (1999), he attempted to come to terms with a religion more reconciled to science, reversing the proposition of rendering unto Caesar by allowing religion its independent domain.

But punctuated equilibrium made many traditional evolutionists unhappy too; they saw it as evidence of Gould’s alleged Marxism – revolution rather than evolution.

Orthodox biologists also tended to resent the insouciance with which Gould upstaged them. Lecturing at the Royal Society, in London in the 1970s, he treated the assembled grandees to an account of the architecture of the San Marco cathedral, in Venice, in order to make the point that many seemingly adaptive features of an organism are, in fact, the byproducts of more fundamental structural constraints. The mosaic-filled spaces (spandrels) between the arches on which the dome stands may look as if they were planned, but they are merely space-fillers, albeit ones put to artistic and religious use.

Many features of an organism (its phenotype) may also be structural spandrels, others may be “exaptations” – another term coined by Gould, with Elizabeth Vrba, to describe features arising in one context but subsequently put to a different use. Feathers, originally evolved as a heat regulatory device among the reptilian ancestors of today’s birds, are a good example. But to evolutionists, who believed every feature of an organism was honed by what Darwin called “nature’s continuous scrutiny”, this claim, and the style in which it was delivered, was heretical.

The intellectual’s development from radical young Turk to mature senior academic is traditionally that from iconoclasm to conventional wisdom. Not so Steve Gould. The Structure Of Evolutionary Theory is a robust and formidable defence of his key contributions to Darwinian revisionism. Evolution is not a la carte, but structurally constrained; not all phenotypic features are adaptive, but may instead be spandrels or exaptations – or even contingent accidents, like the asteroid collision believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs, thus making space for mammals and ultimately humans.

Wind the tape of history back, Gould insists, allow it to free-run forward again, and it is, in the highest degree, unlikely that the same species will evolve. Chance is crucial, and there is nothing inherently progressive about evolution – no drive to perfection, complexity or intelligent life.

Above all, he argues, natural selection works at many levels. Because genetics has come to dominate much of the life sciences, for many biologists organisms have become almost irrelevant, save as instruments serving the purposes of their genes – splendidly encapsulated in Richard Dawkins’ famous description of humans as “lumbering robots” – the gene’s way of making copies of itself. Evolution itself has come to be defined as a change in gene frequency in a population.

By contrast, Gould argues for a hierarchical view; that evolution works on genes, genomes, cell lineages and, especially, on species. Ignoring speciation, he says, is like playing Hamlet without the prince. This is the central theoretical issue underlying all the polemics that characterise what have come to be known as the “Darwin wars”, pitting Gould against Dawkins as his principal adversary, although in reality – and to the chagrin of creationists – both are children of Darwin, and agree on far more than they disagree.

Cutting-edge researchers are often ignorant of their own science’s history. Perhaps it was because he was a palaeontologist that Gould returned so often in his writing to the history of his own subject. His was not the sort of whiggish, anecdotal approach by which senior scientists tend to ossify the progression from past obscurity to present clarity, but a deeper attempt to understand the twists and turns of theory and evidence, which ensure that even our present-day knowledge is provisional, and like life itself, historically constrained.

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Born in Queens, New York, and educated through the city’s superb public school system, Gould trained as a geologist at Antioch College, Ohio, took a doctorate in palaeontology at Columbia University, New York, in 1967, and spent a brief period at Leeds University before moving to Harvard.

In 1982, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, rumoured to have been precipitated by the asbestos lining of the specimen cabinets in the MCZ basement. The disease has a median survival time of eight months; as Gould later wrote, he was committed to being one of those who survived long enough to help show that statistic medians are not means, after all. The 20 years before cancer finally caught up with him were packed with more than most public intellectuals and scientists can hope to achieve in a lifetime, and a small galaxy of prizes.

He was married twice, and is survived by his former wife Deborah, their sons Jesse and Ethan, his second wife Rhonda, and his stepchildren, Jade and London.

Steve Jones writes: The world of snail genetics has lost its leading light. Not, perhaps, how most obituarists will celebrate him, but true nevertheless. Gould was, like Darwin, a working scientist; an accumulator of facts, in his case about the snails, live or fossilised, of the Bahamas. However, and again like Darwin, he became most celebrated not for his own research, but for his interpretation of the facts gathered by others.

Evolutionists have the bitter feeling that theirs is the only science left in which it is possible to become famous just for having an opinion. Their field (or at least the public’s image of it) is filled with people with strongly-held views who have never done an honest day’s work in their lives, whether in a rainforest or a laboratory. Gould was not like that. He may not have spent five years on the Beagle, but he passed many uncomfortable summers kicking through bushes or scraping away at lumps of rock.

Whatever its merits, his famous theory of punctuated equilibrium – evolution by jerks, as its critics called it; Gould responded with taunts about evolution by creeps – gave the then slothful post-Darwinian giant a kick, just when and where it needed it. Biology was forced to remind itself that many evolutionary questions had been forgotten, and entered an era of intense debate.

In the view of most (but not all) in the field, the answer was refreshingly conventional: Darwin was, in the end, right, and the problems raised by Gould could be solved without toppling the great Victorian from his ped- estal. Gould, needless to say, did not agree.

Scientifically, he was – in the eyes of us “creeps” at least – a failure, but a heroic one, in the sense that Columbus failed to find India. In science, failures can be heroes, too – think of Newton after relativity; and to the public, Gould was the hero. He fought the creationists, joked about baseball, and wrote some of the finest of all science essays. Although sometimes visited by the curse of orotundity, he kept it up to the end.

The last time I met him, we talked snails, and now that the chance to do so again has gone, it is time to summarise his life. To most people, he was punctuationist, populariser or polemicist; to biologists, he earned that most rare and coveted title, that of his great predecessor, Darwin: naturalist.

· Stephen Jay Gould, palaeontologist, born September 10 1941; died May 20 2002

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

__

(Harry Kroto pictured below)

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Stephen Jay Gould is the scholar I will look at today. In  the third video below in the 147th clip in this series are his words “If I were  a bacteria I would be quite satisfied that I was dominating the planet…I don’t know why consciousness should be seen as any state of higher being especially if you use the evolutionist primary criterion of success measured by duration” and I have responded directly to this quote in any earlier post.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 150 My May 15, 1994 letter to Stephen Jay Gould (Part A)

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

__

(Harry Kroto pictured below)

Image result for harry kroto nobel prize

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

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

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Love Him or Hate Him, Stephen Jay Gould Made a Difference

I never met Stephen Jay Gould, though I did attend a lecture he gave two years ago. Still, that hour explained many of the opinions I’d heard of him: love, hate, joy, envy, and respect. Like a lot of people who make a difference, Gould was a study in contrasts. You also had to wonder whether he ran according to a different clock than the rest of us. The campy cliché 24/7 didn’t apply to Gould—he could not have fit so much in a 24-hour day and a 60-year life. Gould was first and forem

Jun 10, 2002
BARRY PALEVITZ

1I never met Stephen Jay Gould, though I did attend a lecture he gave two years ago. Still, that hour explained many of the opinions I’d heard of him: love, hate, joy, envy, and respect. Like a lot of people who make a difference, Gould was a study in contrasts. You also had to wonder whether he ran according to a different clock than the rest of us. The campy cliché 24/7 didn’t apply to Gould—he could not have fit so much in a 24-hour day and a 60-year life.

Gould was first and foremost a scientist. His immediate research area, the evolution of land snails, might seem quaint to some, but his impact transcended those bounds. Most scientists, and others as well, knew him as a bold thinker and synthesizer unafraid to ruffle feathers, particularly with his Punctuated Equilibrium hypothesis. Together with Niles Eldredge of the American Museum of Natural History, Gould tried to explain why species suddenly change in the fossil record. The jumps were real rather than illusory, they argued, and not the product of poor preservation of intermediate forms. Searching for such forms was pointless because they don’t exist. Instead, much of evolution is characterized by static periods in which organisms don’t change, interspersed with rapid speciation events.

Published in 1972, the hypothesis pitted Gould against gradualists adhering to traditional Darwinian explanations. It may seem more like a molehill than a mountain now, but at the time debate over the idea was pretty heated. “It was shocking in ’72,” says evolutionary ecologist Massimo Pigliucci of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. “It sparked a lot of papers,” and that’s why “it was one of the most important papers of the 20th century,” he concludes.

Whether change happens gradually or in fits depends on what you define as fast in geological terms. We now know that species can dramatically adapt to environmental changes in just a few years. Male guppies rapidly resume bright coloration for sexual display once predation pressure disappears and standing out is advantageous. By virtue of molecular genetics and developmental biology, we also know that one or a few mutations in major regulatory genes generate major changes in body form. It works in plants as well as animals—just one inactivated gene changes a bilaterally symmetrical flower into a radial one.

In a way, Gould prefaced such advances. You also see Gould’s insight on evolution and development in his books, The Panda’s Thumb and Ontogeny and Phylogeny. Pigliucci considers the latter Gould’s “most important contribution. It was one of those books that changes a field.” With Elizabeth Vrba, Gould coined the term exaptation to explain how evolution reuses parts and processes to invent new ones.

Like a lot of people who shake things up, Gould had his detractors, including evolutionary adaptationists and gradualists. Still, while “there are good reasons to question some of his contributions, several of my colleagues went overboard,” admits Pigliucci.

Just last March, Gould summed up what he’d learned about evolution—and synthesized still more—in The Structure of Evolutionary Theory. Despite flaws, Gould’s 1,433-page tome is “a magnificent summary of a quarter century of influential thinking and a major publishing event in evolutionary biology,” concluded Mark Ridley in a New York Times review.

Science Popularizer

Gould had another, very public side. Along with Carl Sagan, he was one of the 20th century’s leading spokespeople and popularizers of science. While Sagan often made The Johnny Carson Show his venue, Gould reached young people in cartoon form on The Simpsons. Over the course of 28 years, he authored 300 essays in Natural History, with assorted forays into Discover and elsewhere. Unlike Sagan, Gould made it into the National Academy of Sciences despite his public persona. “I was inspired by his popular writings,” says Pigliucci, who does his own share of communicating with the public about evolution. “How many scientists bother to do that stuff?”

Gould had many strengths as a writer, but what garnered so many fans was his impeccable prose and incredible mix of metaphor, baseball, art, and literature. In a forthcoming analysis of Gould’s 300 Natural History essays in the journal Social Studies of Science, Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic Magazine, documented 53 mentions of the Bible, 21 of Gilbert and Sullivan (a Gould favorite), 19 of Shakespeare, and eight of Alexander Pope. He also found 16 Latin phrases, nine in French, six in German, and one in Italian. Adds Shermer, “73% contain a significant historical element.” It’s no surprise that Gould was as much a favorite on the humanities side of American campuses as in science labs.

Gould’s writing was anthologized for freshmen English courses, notes Hugh Ruppersburg, professor of English and associate dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia in Athens. “His essays … were excellent examples of nonfiction prose.” Ruppersburg thinks Gould was better than science writers who aren’t professional scientists. “There was something about the way he expressed concepts that made it clear he learned them himself,” he says.

One of the people who anthologized Gould’s work is Penn State English professor John Selzer. “He was a very gifted individual, cosmopolitan in his allusions and metaphors—a lot of fun to read,” he says. Selzer picked Spandrels of San Marco, coauthored by Gould and Harvard colleague Richard Lewontin, as a prime example. Another reason Selzer thinks Gould was a hit in the humanities was his “strong argumentative edge and a real sense of voice” in taking sides on issues such as sociobiology.

Opinions are split, however, on how good a writer Gould really was, at least later in life. Pigliucci won’t argue about Gould’s early work, but thinks his writing style became “baroque.” There were so many metaphors and diversions, it was hard to follow where he was going. At one point in Gould’s Rocks of Ages, which elaborated on his nonoverlapping magisteria argument for distinguishing science and religion, I almost screamed, “No!” after reading what seemed like the hundredth use of the word exegesis.

From my point of view, Gould was at his best in explaining the history, philosophy, and methods of science to a public that, despite his best efforts, is still woefully ignorant of the subjects. “Half the book was history,” marvels Pigliucci of Ontogeny and Phylogeny. “Scientists have a stupid tendency to ignore history,” he says, but not Gould. Maybe his training in paleontology made history an obvious tool. Opines Shermer, “As a historian and philosopher of science, Gould was intensely interested in the interaction between individual scientists and their cultures.”

Creationism Wars

Perhaps nowhere save human cloning does science conflict with culture as does evolution with fundamentalist religion. Gould “was a public scientist,” says Barbara Forrest, a historian at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond who studies creationism. Forrest appreciated Gould’s willingness to stand up for evolution in public school science curricula. Unlike many of his evolutionist colleagues, Gould thought the battle worth fighting. He even testified in the famous McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education case. Federal judge William Overton in part used Gould’s testimony in 1982 to outlaw equal time for so-called scientific creationism in Arkansas schools. It wasn’t easy for Gould, whose words and ideas were often misrepresented by creationists. “He was prone to comments that can easily be extracted from text and taken to mean exactly the opposite of what he meant,” says Elizabeth Craig of Kansas Citizens for Science.

When creationism mutated into its latest incarnation, ‘intelligent design theory,’ about 10 years ago, Gould again pitched in, for example, with his book Rocks of Ages and a Time magazine commentary on the Kansas School Board decision to remove evolution from state science standards. Michigan State University philosopher Robert Pennock used two of Gould’s essays in a recent, mammoth point-counterpoint analysis of intelligent design. Says Forrest, “A person as important in science as he was thought it worthwhile to get involved. He lent his reputation to get the attention of the media. He did what I wish more scientists would do.”

Pugnacious, or Obnoxious?

Gould was a fascinating, complex character who had weaknesses as well as strengths, including a reputation for arrogance. Many scientists still resent the rough treatment Gould and Lewontin gave soft-spoken biologist E.O. Wilson, father of the sociobiology field, back in the 1970s. The word around Harvard Yard, at least among some students, was that Gould was arrogant. Still, his classes filled. In a touching letter to the New York Times on May 22, a student in Gould’s history of life class paid tribute, calling Gould’s teaching: “a tour de force that Harvard students may not see the likes of any time soon.”

My Two Cents

Will Rogers once said of an American president, “He puts his pants on one leg at a time,” meaning he’s only human. The question is, do we hold Gould’s personal failings so important that they distort the sum of his life in science and society? The answer is no. When all is said and done, Gould made a big difference. With the death of Carl Sagan in 1996, and now Stephen Jay Gould, science is much the poorer, given that so many of its practitioners shy away from making their work accessible to the public.

On the bright side, for the first time, more than 50% of Americans agree that humans evolved from simpler animals, according to a recent National Science Board survey. We still have great science popularizers, such as E.O. Wilson and Jared Diamond. And more have come out of the ivory closet, witness testimony and articles about biotechnology and cloning. Still, we’ll miss YOU, Steve.Barry A. Palevitz (palevitz@dogwood.botany.uga.edu) is a contributing editor.

1986: The internationally-acclaimed artist, Robert Rauschenberg, with paleontologist and evolutionary biologist, Stephen Jay Gould during the American Academy of Achievement’s 25th-anniversary Summit at historic Mount Vernon, Virginia; 1987: Awards Council member Dr. Stephen Jay Gould presents the Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award to Dr. Jane Goodall at the Banquet of the Golden Plate gala ceremonies in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Stephen Jay Gould is the scholar I will look at today. In  the third video below in the 147th clip in this series are his words “If I were  a bacteria I would be quite satisfied that I was dominating the planet…I don’t know why consciousness should be seen as any state of higher being especially if you use the evolutionist primary criterion of success measured by duration” and I have responded directly to this quote in any earlier post.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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Stephen Jay Gould (/ɡuːld/; September 10, 1941 – May 20, 2002) was an American paleontologistevolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read authors of popular science of his generation.[1] Gould spent most of his career teaching at Harvard University and working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 1996, Gould was hired as the Vincent Astor Visiting Research Professor of Biology at New York University, where he divided his time teaching there and at Harvard.

In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more.

(This is the reason I put the 3 minute song DUST IN THE WIND at the beginning of the audio cassette tape I sent to these atheists on May 15, 1994!!!)

Livgren wrote:

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.”

Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren’s words to that of the late British humanist H.J. Blackham:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

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Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player DAVE HOPE of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and DAVE HOPE had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

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The first portion of my 5-15-94 letter to Stephen Jay Gould and next week I will have the second part.

On May 15, 1994 on the 10th anniversary of the passing of Francis Schaeffer I mailed the following letter to Stephen Jay Gould.

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Could you take 3 minutes and attempt to refute the nihilistic message of the song (DUST IN THE WIND) which appears at the beginning of the enclosed tape? Back in 1980 I watched the series COSMOS and on May 5, 1994 I again sat down to watch it again. In this letter today I will tell you of 3 GENTLEMEN who contemplated the world around them. The first one is an evolutionist by the name of Carl Sagan. Mr. Sagan is what I would call a humanist full of optimism.

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The second man also sought to contemplate the world around him and this man was King Solomon of Israel. In the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon limits himself to the question of human life lived “under the sun” between birth and death and what answers this would give (that is exactly what Mr. Sagan has done in COSMOS).It is this belief that life is only between birth and death that eventually causes Solomon to embrace nihilism. In the first few words of Ecclesiastes he observes the continual cycles of the earth and makes some very interesting conclusions”…to search for understanding about everything in the universe.”

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The third man I want to mention is Francis Schaeffer who I believe was the greatest Christian philosopher of the 20th century. However, when he was a young agnostic many years ago he also had an experience similar to King Solomon’s when he contemplated the world and universe around him.contemplated the world and the universe around him.CARL SAGAN:”Our contemplations of the Cosmos stir us. There is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation as if a distant memory of falling from a great height. We know we are approaching the grandest of mysteries.”KING SOLOMON: Ecclesiastes 1:2-11;3:18-19 (Living Bible): 2 In my opinion, nothing is worthwhile; everything is futile. 3-7 For what does a man get for all his hard work?Generations come and go, but it makes no difference.[b] The sun rises and sets and hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south and north, here and there, twisting back and forth, getting nowhere.* The rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full, and the water returns again to the rivers and flows again to the sea . .everything is unutterably weary and tiresome. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied; no matter how much we hear, we are not content. History merely repeats itself…For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over the beasts; what an absurdity!—-What Solomon said ties into this following statement by evolutionist Douglas Futuyma – “Whether people are explicitly religious or not they tend to imagine that humans are in some sense the center of the universe. And what evolution does is to remove humans from the center of the universe. We are just one product of a very long historical process that has given rise to an enormous amount of organisms, and we are just one of them. So in one sense there is nothing special about us.”

Image result for douglas futuyma

———-FRANCIS SCHAEFFER: There is no doubt in my mind that Solomon had the same experience in his life that I had as a younger man (at the age of 18 in 1930). I remember standing by the sea and the moon arose and it was copper and beauty. Then the moon did not look like a flat dish but a globe or a sphere since it was close to the horizon. One could feel the global shape of the earth too. Then it occurred to me that I could contemplate the interplay of the spheres and I was exalted because I thought I can look upon them with all their power, might, and size, but they could contempt nothing. Then came upon me a horror of great darkness because it suddenly occurred to me that although I could contemplate them and they could contemplate nothing yet they would continue to turn in ongoing cycles when I saw no more forever and I was crushed.

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Solomon died 3000 years ago and Francis Schaeffer passed away on May 15, 1984  exactly 10 years ago.I firmly believe Solomon was correct when he said in Ecclesiastes 7:2 “It is better to spend your time at funerals than at festivals. For you are going to die, and it is a good thing to think about it while there is time.”Suppose that you to learn that you only had just one year to live—the number of your days would be 365. What would you do with the precious few days that remained to you? With death stalking you, you would have little interest in trivial subjects and would instead be concerned with essentials. I know that is what I did when I was bed ridden in a hospital in Memphis at age 15. I was told that I may not live. My thoughts turned to spiritual things. Thank you for your time.Sincerely,Everette Hatcher III, P.O. Box 23426, Little Rock, AR 72221TIME MAGAZINE May 28, 1984:DIED, Francis Schaeffer, 72. Christian theologian and a leading scholar of evangelical Protestantism; of cancer; in Rochester, Minn. Schaeffer, a Philadelphia-born Presbyterian, and his wife in 1955 founded L’Abri (French for ‘the shelter’), a chalet in the Swiss Alps known among students and intellectuals for a reasoned rather than emotional approach to religious counseling. His 23 philosophical books include the bestseller How Should We Then Live? (1976).” (January 30, 1912-May 15, 1985)

Adrian Rogers is pictured below and Francis Schaeffer above.

Watching the film HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? in 1979 impacted my life greatly

Francis Schaeffer in the film WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

Francis and Edith Schaeffer

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Kerry Livgren/Dave Hope: 700 Club Interview (Kansas) Part 2

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March 22, 2015 – 12:30 am

______________   George Harrison Swears & Insults Paul and Yoko Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged Anna Margaret Rose FreemanGeorge HarrisonJohn LennonPaul MacCartneyRingo StarrStg. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band | EditComments (0)

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March 5, 2015 – 4:47 am

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 48 “BLOW UP” by Michelangelo Antonioni makes Philosophic Statement (Feature on artist Nancy Holt)

February 26, 2015 – 4:57 am

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February 19, 2015 – 5:33 am

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 46 Friedrich Nietzsche (Featured artist is Thomas Schütte)

February 12, 2015 – 5:00 am

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January 29, 2015 – 5:01 am

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 234 3rd letter I wrote to Burt Reynolds, Featured artist is Mark Dion

Reynolds obviously likes people. While he admitted that sometimes the loss of privacy was upsetting, he said he would be ungrateful if he didn’t respond to the attention of his fans. He said he loves talking to people and appreciates the general attitude of people in Arkansas, which he described as “people trying to make friends.”
He said his formula for living the life of a star was to give up his privacy for six weeks, then hide for six weeks.

Featured artist is  Mark Dion

Mark Dion

Mark Dion was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1961. He received a BFA (1986) and an honorary doctorate (2003) from the University of Hartford, School of Art, Connecticut. Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. “The job of the artist,” he says, “is to go against the grain of dominant culture, to challenge perception and convention.” Appropriating archaeological and other scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects, Dion creates works that question the distinctions between “objective” (“rational”) scientific methods and “subjective” (“irrational”) influences.

The artist’s spectacular and often fantastical curiosity cabinets, modeled on Wunderkabinetts of the sixteenth century, exalt atypical orderings of objects and specimens. By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Mark Dion questions the authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society.

He has received numerous awards, including the ninth annual Larry Aldrich Foundation Award (2001). He has had major exhibitions at Miami Art Museum (2006); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2004); the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2003); and Tate Gallery, London (1999). Neukom Vivarium (2006), a permanent outdoor installation and learning lab for the Olympic Sculpture Park, was commissioned by the Seattle Art Museum. Dion lives and works in Pennsylvania.

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 52 THE BEATLES (Part D, There is evidence that the Beatles may have been exposed to Francis Schaeffer!!!) (Feature on artist Anna Margaret Rose Freeman )

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 51 THE BEATLES (Part C, List of those on cover of Stg.Pepper’s ) (Feature on artist Raqib Shaw )

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 233 Letters to Burt Reynolds 2nd installment (Featured artist is Abigail DeVille )

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Lynda Hollenbeck of the Saline Courier conducted an interview with Burt Reynolds in Benton, Arkansas during the filming of “White Lightning” in 1972 and it was republished in the September 7, 2018 edition of the newspaper. Here is an excerpt:

Reynolds said, “People in the south have a sense of humor. I have been pleasantly surprised that their reactions have all been warm and friendly.”

He mentioned the fact that he liked this area so well that he had purchased some property near Bull Shoals, with the intention of building a cabin there some time.

I was real sad to read about the passing of Burt Reynolds. I grew up watching his movies and I attended a 2 hour show in Little Rock when he told his life story back in the mid 1990’s and I read his autobiography in 2015. I wrote Mr. Reynolds three letters and below is the second one.

Adrian Rogers pictured below:

Image result for adrian rogers football

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Image result for harry thomason burt reynolds

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LOS ANGELES – AUGUST 24 : Producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason sitting on the set of her TV show “Evening Shade” on August 24, 1990 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Grecco)
Image result for linda bloodworth thomason burt reynolds
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________________

December 1, 2016

Burt Reynolds, c/o G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 345 Hudson Street, New York, NY, 10014,

Dear Burt,

I really enjoyed the book BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME by you and it is a very good book.

I remember going down to the Robinson Center in Little Rock back around 1993 to see “An evening with Burt Reynolds.” It was very enjoyable as you  told stories about your life.

Before you appeared that evening in Little Rock I was told that you had an afternoon free and Harry Thomason arranged for his brother Danny who is a friend of mine to show you around town. My friend  told me that you were very impressed with the neighborhood in the Heights on Edge Hill Road. You were told the prices of several of the homes back in 1993 and you were amazed the prices were all under 10 million and you said the homes in Beverly Hills were 5 times as much.
During that afternoon Danny asked you if you knew the name Adrian Rogers? I was told that you  replied that Adrian Rogers was your hero when you were was in the 7th grade because that year Adrian Rogers was the starting quarterback at  Palm Beach High School and Rogers led the team to a State Title in Football.
(Palm Beach High School pictured below)
Image result for Palm Beach High School
I later told Dr. Rogers that story myself and he told me that had heard later that Reynolds was in the student body back then. I don’t know what exact year that was, but I do remember when I was in high school one time Dr. Rogers asked what event I ran for the track team. When I told him he replied, “I ran the 440 yard dash in 49!!!” I was very impressed by that until he said, “Yes , that is right, 1949!”
Image result for Palm Beach High School football burt reynolds

In the sermon ‘THE PLAYBOY’S PAYDAY” in 1984 Adrian Rogers discussed Proverbs 5. In that message he gave an example about a man who loved oranges and he compared that love of oranges to the way some men treat women sexually.

I remember a visit in 1976 that Adrian Rogers made to our Junior High Chapel service at EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL. He gave a message on Solomon’s search for satisfaction

He was searching for meaning and satisfaction in life in what I call the 6 big L words in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He looked into  Learning (1:16-18), Laughter, Ladies, Luxuriesand Liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and Labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

When he got to the issue of LADIES he gave the same example concerning oranges and here it is:

Solomon happens to be talking to his son; that’s why he’s talking to his son about the girls. But I just want to say a word to some of you girls, also, about some of these guys.  You know what a man will do? He’ll come to a girl and date a girl and take her out and wine her and dine her and then he’ll begin to say to her, I love you.  I really love you. He’ll tell her that several times.  He’ll just pour the sugar in her ear, and then he’ll say to her, Do you love me?  And if she says, Yes, then he’ll say, Prove it.   And what he means by that is he wants her to show her love, to prove her love by sexual immorality.  If there’s one thing that doesn’t prove love, it’s that.   

Do you know what proves love? Do you know what really proves love? You are able to  appreciate and enjoy a person and that person’s character without having to sully their purity by doing it.  

This guy says to this gal, Oh, I just can’t wait.  I just can’t wait! I just can’t wait! The Bible says Jacob waited for Rachel seven years because of the love that he had for her, and it seemed as a few days.  You see, lust can’t wait.  Love can wait.  Lust wants to get.  Love wants to give.  And when that guy says, I love you, I love you, I love you, what he really means is I love me, I love me, I love me.   Oh, he loves you, but not with Bible love. 

A man goes out here in an orange grove.  He gets one of those big succulent oranges.  He takes his pin knife and cuts a plug out of it, puts it up to his mouth, and squeezes all of the juice out of it.  Then he throws it on the ground like a piece of garbage, wipes his mouth and says, Man, I just love oranges. Young lady, that’s the way he loves you! And when you’re left like a piece of garbage, he says, Boy, that was wonderful.  Aren’t oranges good! But what he really means is, I love me.

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Ecclesiastes 2:8-10The 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!

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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.

 Image result for francis schaeffer

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

King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2:11 sums up his search for meaning in the area of the Sexual Revolution with these words, “…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

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150 × 213Images may be subject to copyright.

After hearing the sermon by Adrian Rogers in 1976 I took a special interest in the Book of Ecclesiastes and then the next year I bought the album POINT OF KNOW RETURN by the group rock group KANSAS.  On that album was the  song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas and it rose to #6 on the charts in 1978. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more.

Livgren wrote:

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.”

Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren’s words to that of the late British humanist H.J. Blackham:

Image result for H.J. Blackham

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

Image result for kerry livgren kansas
601 × 485Images may be subject to copyrightLearn More

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Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player DAVE HOPE of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and DAVE HOPE had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. DAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

Those who reject God must accept three realities of their life UNDER THE SUN.  FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. In contrast, Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren believe death is not the end and the Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

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

Image result for kansas rock band

 

Kansas, circa 1973 (Phil Ehart, Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh, Rich Williams, Robby Steinhardt, Dave Hope) (photo credit: DON HUNSTEIN)

Kansas, circa 1973 (Phil Ehart, Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh, Rich Williams, Robby Steinhardt, Dave Hope) (photo credit: DON HUNSTEIN)

____________

Sincerely,

 

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, P.O. Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221, cell ph 501-920-5733

 

 

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

Kerry Livgren

(part 2 ten minutes)

Dave Hope

Featured artist

Abigail DeVille Listens to History | Art21 “New York Close Up”

Published on Mar 7, 2018

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How does an artist express both the joy and pain in harrowing histories? Through her immersive performances and installation works, Abigail DeVille celebrates the bravery and optimism—while also memorializing the suffering—embedded within the African American experience. Calling out official American history as “garbage,” Deville uses discarded materials herself, like old furniture and tattered flags, to construct complex room-sized installations evoking the overlooked histories of Black Americans in all its messiness and grandeur. “There’s something, that if you’re quiet enough and you listen,” says the artist, “you’re being guided or directed to uncover specific bits of information.” DeVille’s “The New Migration,” presented by the Studio Museum and staged on the streets of Harlem in 2014, was inspired by the women and men of the Great Migration—the millions of African Americans who escaped the systemic racism and state violence of the Jim Crow South in the twentieth century. Directed by collaborator Charlotte Brathwaite and also performed in Anacostia and Baltimore, “The New Migration” is a grand on-the-street procession of musicians, dancers, marching bands, and community members of all ages donning DeVille’s wearable sculptures, which for the artist signify the weight of history. The project also references the current gentrification of American cities like Harlem and Chicago as the next migration forcing communities of color from their homes. A reckoning facilitated through festivity, DeVille’s collaborative community performance honors the agency and hope of Black communities today. “It’s something for me to constantly be reminded of,” says DeVille, “that we as a people, we’re going to get there.” Featuring the artist’s installation “Only When It’s Dark Enough Can You See the Stars” at The Contemporary, Baltimore; and the artist’s 2014 Anacostia performance hosted by the Anacostia Arts Center. Locations include The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum. Also featuring music by Artem Bemba, Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, Cloudjumper, Jade Hicks, Justin Hicks, Kenita Miller-Hicks, New Edition Legacy Marching Band, and Pedro Santiago. Abigail DeVille (b. 1981, New York, New York, USA) lives and works in the Bronx, New York. Learn more about the artist at: https://art21.org/artist/abigail-devi… CREDITS | “New York Close Up” Series Producer: Nick Ravich. Director & Producer: Wesley Miller. Editor: Anna Gustavi. Cinematography & Sound: Amitabh Joshi, Paul Lieber, John Marton, Michael T. Miller, Wesley Miller, Cauleen Smith, Think Out Loud Productions. Music: Artem Bemba, Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, Cloudjumper, Jade Hicks, Justin Hicks, Kenita Miller-Hicks, New Edition Legacy Marching Band, Pedro Santiago. Design & Graphics: Open, Uros Perisic. Archival Photography: Library of Congress, Prelinger Archives. Artwork Courtesy: Abigail DeVille. Performance Co-Creator & Director: Charlotte Brathwaite. Performers: M. Liz Andrews, Mikel Banks, Asim Barnes, Flip Barnes, JM Denson, Avram Fefer, Asma Feyijinmi, Daniela Fifi, Paula Henderson, Ayesha Jordan, Ifasen Kwame, Shango Kwame, André Lassalle, Hiroyuki Matsuura, Nina Angela Mercer, Candace Mickens, Paul Pryce, Sheldon Scott, Jessica Silva, André D. Singleton, Greg Tate, Ibrahim Turay, LaFrae Sci, Ayinde Utsey. Thanks: Rushern Baker IV, Kent Barrett, Holly Bass, Asha Elana Casey, The Contemporary, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, Oscar Cornejo, Sandra Cornejo, DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Stephen Crouch, Jessica Denson, The DeVille Family, David O. Fakunle, Catherine Feliz, Arianne Gelardin, Jackson Gilman-Forlini, Angela Goerner, Deana Haggag, Jennifer Harrison Newman, Lauren Haynes, Lee Heinemann, Ariel Jackson, Amanda Jiron-Murphy, Anthony Joshua, Nathan Lewis, The Loading Dock, Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams, Samuel Margai, Dr. Joanne Martin, Michael Metcalf, MICA, Kenita Miller, Morris-Jumel Mansion, National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Jared M. Nickerson, Mary Olin Geiger , The Peale Center for Baltimore History & Architecture, Philip A. Robinson, Terry Scott, Jazmin Smith, Ginevra Shay, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Monica Utsey, Kimberly J. Wade, Nico Wheadon. “New York Close Up” is supported, in part, by The Lambent Foundation; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and by individual contributors.

 

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 232 Letters to Burt Reynolds (Feature on artist Louise Despont )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deLUKWp1d7E

Lynda Hollenbeck of the Saline Courier conducted an interview with Burt Reynolds in Benton, Arkansas during the filming of “White Lightning” in 1972 and it was republished in the September 7, 2018 edition of the newspaper. Here is an excerpt:

As fate would have it, I met a man named Bill Waits from Little Rock who had appeared as an extra for several scenes in the film. He introduced to members of the crew and eventually to Arthur Wilde, who handled publicity for the production…While Wilde couldn’t arrange a formal interview, he suggested that I hang around and spot a time when Reynolds was relaxing between scenes. The moment finally arrived when the crew took a lunch break…My courage in tow, I walked up to Reynolds, stated my name and purpose and almost fainted when he smiled and said he’d be delighted to talk to me while he ate lunch. He said, “While it probably won’t be an Oscar contender, it’s a film that doesn’t put the south down. It’s strictly southern—the bad guys are southern, the good guys are southern, they aren’t any Yankees at all! all the cast members are southern people, so there aren’t faked accents.”

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I was real sad to read about the passing of Burt Reynolds. I grew up watching his movies and I attended a 2 hour show in Little Rock when he told his life story back in the mid 1990’s and I read his autobiography in 2015.
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Burt Reynolds grew up and went to the high school where my pastor Adrian Rogers led the team to a state title as quarterback (while Burt was in the 7th grade.) Burt actually told a friend of mine that Adrian Rogers was a hero to him. Another good friend of  his was the pastor Jess Moody.
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Jess Moody, a pastor, tells a joke about Burt Reynolds. Burt wanted to hunt, but they could only go to one land. The landowner doesn’t like Jess, but when he got there he was excited to see him and asked him to kill his mule since it was ill. He plays a trick on Burt and tells him it went bad and kills the mule in front of him. Burt kills two of his cows and they run. (This joke can be seen on You Tube as told by Moody.)
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I actually wrote three letters to Burt and here is the first one below.

Pablo Picasso: Midnight in Paris

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Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) and Marical e Fonzo Bo (Picasso) in ‘Midnight in Paris’.

(In the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS you have the may character Gil Pender very interested in Picasso’s mistress Adriana,  played by Marion Cotillard. PICTURED ABOVE.)

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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January 1, 2016

Burt Reynolds, c/o G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 345 Hudson Street, New York, NY, 10014,

Dear Burt,

I really enjoyed your book BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME and in it I took special notice of this from the first chapter:

The FSU football coach, Tom Nugent, called me into his office.

“What’s Miami giving you?” he said.

“A lot, coach,” I said.

“Can they give you this?” he asked, pointing to a chart on the wall showing a seven-to-one ratio of women to men on campus. The number was so high because FSU had been a girls’ school until only a few years before. He let that sink in for a while and then he pulled down a blackboard and drew a chalk figure 7 and then a 1. He pointed to the 7 and said, “This represents the girls. Then he pointed to the 1 and said, “This is you. Think about that!”

I thought about it. And about the fact that if I went to FSU, Peanut and I would still be together.

“Coach,” I said, “I think I know where I can get a hell of an education.”

_________

It is obvious throughout your book that you have tried to get as much sex  as you can during your life. In fact, at one  point you mention  that Rev Jess Moody would look  out over  the congregation  many times and  see you with a different  lady every week. With this in mind I want  to recommend (your friend) Woody Allen’s movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS to you  because I think you would find Picasso’s character in the story very intriguing, and I wanted to compare Picasso to King Solomon and to you in this letter since they both tried to get sexual satisfaction by the sheer volume of their sexual conquests.  According to the Bible Solomon actually slept with  over 1000 women ( Eccl 2:8, I Kings 11:3).

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The Woody Allen movie Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)

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Painting of King Solomon below

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Woody Allen made it known that his pessimistic view on life started at a young age when he learned about man’s mortality. But in the Bible Solomon’s first book was the SONG OF SOLOMON which was written in his early 20’s and is very upbeat. The Book of PROVERBS was written probably when he was in the middle of his life. Finally,  the Book of ECCLESIASTES was written at the end of his life and is extremely pessimistic!

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Concerning the Book of Ecclesiastes Francis Schaeffer noted: 

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

Ecclesiastes is the only pessimistic book in the Bible and that is because of the place where Solomon limits himself. He limits himself to the question of human life, life under the sun between birth and death and the answers this would give.

Ecclesiastes 2:4-11

I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself MALE AND  FEMALE SINGERS AND THE PLEASURES OF MEN–MANY CONCUBINES.

Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. 10 All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure…

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If one would flee to alcohol, then surely one may choose sexual pursuits to flee to. Solomon looks in this area too.

Ecclesiastes 7:25-28

25 I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. 26 And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.

27 “Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 28 I have looked for other answers but have found none. I found one man in a thousand that I could respect, but not one woman. (Good News Translation on verse 28)

One can understand both Solomon’s expertness in this field and his bitterness.

(Jennifer Billingsley sits on the dock with Burt Reynolds in a scene from the United Artist)

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I Kings 11:1-3 (New American Standard Bible) 

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 sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away.

An expert but also the reason for his bitterness. Certainly there have been many men over the centuries who have daydreamed of Solomon’s wealth in this area [of women], but at the end it was sorry, not only sorry but nothing and less than nothing. The simple fact is that one can not know woman in the real sense by pursuing 1000 women. It is not possible. Woman is not found this way. All that is left in this setting if one were to pursue the meaning of life in this direction is this most bitter word found in Ecclesiastes 7:28, “I have looked for other answers but have found none. I FOUND ONE MAN IN A THOUSAND THAT I COULD RESPECT, BUT NOT ONE WOMAN.” (Good News Translation on verse 28) He was searching in the wrong way. He was searching for the answer to life in the limited circle of that which is beautiful in itself but not an answer finally in sexual life. More than that he finally tried to find it in variety and HE DIDN’T EVEN TOUCH ONE WOMAN AT THE END.

______________

BURT, may I be bold enough to ask you this same question? Through your whole life you have bedded many women but have you even touched one women the way that God designed man to do?

In the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20) and he concluded that his search UNDER THE SUN was just a striving after the wind!!Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”
I have enclosed a gospel tract called HAPPY HOUR and I hope you have time to read it.
Sincerely,
Everette Hatcher, cell ph 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com, P.O.Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221,

Louise Despont Draws Deep | ART21 “New York Close Up”

Featured artist is Louise Despont

Louise Despont

Louise Despont was born in 1983 in New York; she lives and works in New York and in Bali, Indonesia. Since discovering the potential of working with pencil and architectural stencils on paper, Despont has adopted an intuitive process in which she allows her drawings to develop as she creates them, resulting in an almost devotional object comprised of dense colors and shapes.

Preferring to draw on ledger paper with preexisting lines, Despont sees a parallel between the mathematical accounting the paper was designed to organize and the way that her practice is an accounting of her time spent. Even when Despont creates large-scale installations—such as for her 2016 solo exhibition at the Drawing Center, New York—her practice remains personally labor intensive. Having collected images for many years, Despont complements her broad visual references with her interest in energy and spirituality.

Links:
Artist’s website
@louisedespont on Instagram

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Related posts:

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The John Lennon and the Beatles really were on a long search for meaning and fulfillment in their lives  just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon looked into learning (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). He fount that without God in the picture all […]

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__________________   Beatles 1966 Last interview I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this […]

 

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 222 Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (FEATURED ARTIST IS John Feodorov)

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I recently read a book by Lawrence Krauss and another book by Richard Dawkins and they both quoted Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar who died in 1995. Back in 1994 on the tenth anniversary of Francis Schaeffer’s death, I wrote Dr. Chandrasekhar a letter but never heard back from him. (A portion of that letter is below).

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Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
ChandraNobel.png

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
Native name சுப்பிரமணியன் சந்திரசேகர்
Born 19 October 1910
Lahore, Punjab, British India (now in Pakistan)
Died 21 August 1995 (aged 84)
Chicago, United States
Residence United States, India
Citizenship United States, India
Fields Astrophysics
Institutions University of Chicago
Ballistic Research Laboratory
University of Cambridge
Alma mater
Thesis Polytropic distributions (1933)
Doctoral advisor Ralph H. Fowler
Arthur Eddington
Doctoral students
Known for
Notable awards
Signature

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, FRS[1] (Listeni/ˌʌndrəˈʃkər/; 19 October 1910 – 21 August 1995),[2] was an Indian American astrophysicist who was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics with William A. Fowler “for his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars”. His mathematical treatment of stellar evolution yielded many of the best current theoretical models of the later evolutionary stages of massive stars and black holes.[3][4] The Chandrasekhar limit is named after him.

Chandrasekhar worked on a wide variety of astrophysical problems in his lifetime, contributing to the contemporary understanding of stellar structure, white dwarves, stellar dynamics, radiative transfer, the quantum theory of the hydrogen anion, hydrodynamic and hydromagnetic stability, turbulence, equilibrium and the stability of ellipsoidal figures of equilibrium, general relativity, mathematical theory of black holes and theory of colliding gravitational waves.[5] At the University of Cambridge, he developed a theoretical model explaining the structure of white dwarf stars that took into account the relativistic variation of mass with the velocities of electrons that comprise their degenerate matter. He showed that the mass of a white dwarf could not exceed 1.44 times that of the Sun – the Chandrasekhar limit. Chandrasekhar revised the models of stellar dynamics first outlined by Jan Oort and others by considering the effects of fluctuating gravitational fields within the Milky Way on stars rotating about the galactic centre. His solution to this complex dynamical problem involved a set of twenty partial differential equations, describing a new quantity he termed ‘dynamical friction’, which has the dual effects of decelerating the star and helping to stabilize clusters of stars. Chandrasekhar extended this analysis to the interstellar medium, showing that clouds of galactic gas and dust are distributed very unevenly.

Chandrasekhar studied at Presidency College, Madras (now Chennai) and the University of Cambridge. He spent most of his career at the University of Chicago, spending some time in its Yerkes Observatory, and serving as editor of The Astrophysical Journal from 1952 to 1971. He served on the University of Chicago faculty from 1937 until his death in 1995 at the age of 84.

Chandrasekhar married Lalitha Doraiswamy in September 1936. He had met her as a fellow student at Presidency College, Madras.

Chandrasekhar was the nephew of Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930.

He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1953.

Early life and education[edit]

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Chandrasekhar was born on 19 October 1910 in Lahore, Punjab, British India in a Tamil family, to Sitalakshmi (1891–1931) and Chandrasekhara Subrahmanya (1885–1960)[6] who was posted in Lahore as Deputy Auditor General of the Northwestern Railways at the time of Chandrasekhar’s birth. He was the eldest of their four sons and the third of their ten children. His paternal uncle was the Indian physicist and Nobel laureate C. V. Raman. His mother was devoted to intellectual pursuits, had translated Henrik Ibsen‘s A Doll’s House into Tamil and is credited with arousing Chandra’s intellectual curiosity at an early age.

Chandrasekhar was tutored at home initially through middle school and later attended the Hindu High School, Triplicane, Madras during the years 1922–25. Subsequently, he studied at Presidency College, Madras from 1925 to 1930, writing his first paper, “The Compton Scattering and the New Statistics“, in 1929 upon inspiration from a lecture by Arnold Sommerfeld and obtaining his bachelor’s degree, B.Sc. (Hon.), in physics in June 1930. In July 1930, Chandrasekhar was awarded a Government of India scholarship to pursue graduate studies at the University of Cambridge, where he was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, secured by Professor R. H. Fowler with whom he communicated his first paper. During his travels to England, Chandrasekhar spent his time working out the statistical mechanics of the degenerate electron gas in white dwarf stars, providing relativistic corrections to Fowler’s previous work (see Legacy below).

In his first year at Cambridge, as a research student of Fowler, Chandrasekhar spent his time calculating mean opacities and applying his results to the construction of an improved model for the limiting mass of the degenerate star. At the meetings of the Royal Astronomical Society, he met Professor E. A. Milne. At the invitation of Max Born he spent the summer of 1931, his second year of post-graduate studies, at Born’s institute at Göttingen, working on opacities, atomic absorption coefficients, and model stellar photospheres. On the advice of Prof. P. A. M. Dirac, he spent his final year of graduate studies at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen, where he met Prof. Niels Bohr.

After receiving a bronze medal for his work on degenerate stars, in the summer of 1933, Chandrasekhar was awarded his PhD degree at Cambridge with a thesis among his four papers on rotating self-gravitating polytropes, and the following October, he was elected to a Prize Fellowship at Trinity College for the period 1933–1937.

During this time, Chandrasekhar made acquaintance with British physicist Sir Arthur Eddington. In an infamous encounter in 1935, Eddington publicly ridiculed the concept of the Chandrasekhar limit. Although Eddington would later be proved wrong, this encounter caused Chandra to contemplate employment outside the UK. Later in life, on multiple occasions, Chandra expressed the view that Eddington’s behavior was in part racially motivated.[7]

Career and research[edit]

Early career[edit]

In January 1937, Chandrasekhar was recruited to the University of Chicago faculty as Assistant Professor by Dr. Otto Struve and President Robert Maynard Hutchins. He was to remain at the university for his entire career, becoming Morton D. Hull Distinguished Service Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics in 1952 and attaining emeritus status in 1985. Famously, Chandrasekhar declined many offers from other universities, including one to succeed Henry Norris Russell, the preeminent American astronomer, as director of the Princeton University Observatory.

Chandrasekhar did some work at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, which was run by the University of Chicago. After the Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research (LASR) was built by NASA in 1966 at the University, Chandrasekhar occupied one of the four corner offices on the second floor. (The other corners housed John A. Simpson, Peter Meyer, and Eugene N. Parker.) Chandrasekhar lived at 4800 Lake Shore Drive after the high-rise apartment complex was built in the late 1960s, and later at 5550 Dorchester Building.

During World War II, Chandrasekhar worked at the Ballistic Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. While there, he worked on problems of ballistics; for example, two reports from 1943 were titled, On the decay of plane shock waves and The normal reflection of a blast wave.[5] Chandrasekhar’s expertise in hydrodynamics led Robert Oppenheimer to invite him to join the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, but delays in the processing of his security clearance prevented him from contributing to the project. It has been rumored however that he was called to discuss and visit the Calutron project and was the individual responsible for suggesting that young women be used to operate the calutrons as they would do so more efficiently than the male scientists assigned to the task. Chandraskhar had used top performing female high school students from Williams Bay, Lake Geneva, Elkhorn and Burlington, Wisconsin to calculate immensely difficult mathematical equations entirely by long hand, and found that their abilities and vigilance were unparalleled. He then applied this first-hand knowledge with the talents of local “hillbilly high school girls” to speed up the slow-moving centrifugal Calutron project. This in turn allowed the enriched radioactive materials to be completed on time, in order to fashion the atomic weapons ultimately used to end the war. Without these raw materials, developed at the Y-12 National Security Complex these weapons never would have been tested or dropped on Japan.

Philosophy of systematization[edit]

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

He wrote that his scientific research was motivated by his desire to participate in the progress of different subjects in science to the best of his ability, and that the prime motive underlying his work was systematization. “What a scientist tries to do essentially is to select a certain domain, a certain aspect, or a certain detail, and see if that takes its appropriate place in a general scheme which has form and coherence; and, if not, to seek further information which would help him to do that.” [8] Chandrasekhar developed a unique style of mastering several fields of physics and astrophysics; consequently, his working life can be divided into distinct periods. He would exhaustively study a specific area, publish several papers in it and then write a book summarizing the major concepts in the field. He would then move on to another field for the next decade and repeat the pattern. Thus he studied stellar structure, including the theory of white dwarfs, during the years 1929 to 1939, and subsequently focused on stellar dynamics, theory of Brownian motion from 1939 to 1943. Next, he concentrated on the theory of radiative transfer and the quantum theory of the negative ion of hydrogen from 1943 to 1950. This was followed by sustained work on hydrodynamic and hydromagnetic stability from 1950 to 1961. In the 1960s, he studied the equilibrium and the stability of ellipsoidal figures of equilibrium, and also general relativity. During the period, 1971 to 1983 he studied the mathematical theory of black holes, and, finally, during the late 80s, he worked on the theory of colliding gravitational waves.[5]

Work with students[edit]

Chandra worked closely with his students and expressed pride in the fact that over a 50-year period (from roughly 1930 to 1980), the average age of his co-author collaborators had remained the same, at around 30. He insisted that students address him as “Chandrasekhar” until they received their Ph.D. degree, after which time they (as other colleagues) were encouraged to address him as “Chandra”.

Other activities[edit]

From 1952 to 1971 Chandrasekhar was editor of The Astrophysical Journal.[9] During the years 1990 to 1995, Chandrasekhar worked on a project devoted to explaining the detailed geometric arguments in Sir Isaac Newton‘s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica using the language and methods of ordinary calculus. The effort resulted in the book Newton’s Principia for the Common Reader, published in 1995. Chandrasekhar was an honorary member of the International Academy of Science.[citation needed]

Publications[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1958) [1939]. An Introduction to the Study of Stellar Structure. New York: Dover. ISBN 0-486-60413-6.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (2005) [1942]. Principles of Stellar Dynamics. New York: Dover. ISBN 0-486-44273-X.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1947). Heywood, Robert B., ed. The Works of the Mind:The Scientist. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 159–179. OCLC 752682744.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1960) [1950]. Radiative Transfer. New York: Dover. ISBN 0-486-60590-6.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1975) [1960]. Plasma Physics. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-10084-7.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1981) [1961]. Hydrodynamic and Hydromagnetic Stability. New York: Dover. ISBN 0-486-64071-X.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1987) [1969]. Ellipsoidal Figures of Equilibrium. New York: Dover. ISBN 0-486-65258-0.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1998) [1983]. The Mathematical Theory of Black Holes. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-850370-9.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1983) [1983]. Eddington: The Most Distinguished Astrophysicist of His Time. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521257466.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1990) [1987]. Truth and Beauty. Aesthetics and Motivations in Science. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-10087-1.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1995). Newton’s Principia for the Common Reader. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-851744-0.

Notes[edit]

  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1943). Stochastic Problems in Physics and Astronomy. Reviews of modern physics.
  • Spiegel, E.A. (2011) [1954]. The Theory of Turbulence : Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar’s 1954 Lectures. Netherlands: Springer. ISBN 978-94-007-0117-5.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1983). On Stars, their evolution and their stability, Noble lecture. Stockholm: Noble Foundation.

Journals[edit]

Chandrasekhar had published around 380 papers[10] in his life time. He wrote his first paper in 1928 when he was still an undergraduate student and last paper was in 1995. The University of Chicago Press published the papers of Chandrasekhar in six volumes.

  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1989). Selected Papers, Vol 1, Stellar structure and stellar atmospheres. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226100890.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1989). Selected Papers, Vol 2, Radiative transfer and negative ion of hydrogen. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226100920.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1989). Selected Papers, Vol 3, Stochastic, statistical and hydromagnetic problems in Physics and Astronomy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226100944.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1989). Selected Papers, Vol 4, Plasma Physics, Hydrodynamic and Hydromagnetic stability, and applications of the Tensor-Virial theorem. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226100975.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1990). Selected Papers, Vol 5, Relativistic Astrophysics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226100982.
  • Chandrasekhar, S. (1991). Selected Papers, Vol 6, The Mathematical Theory of Black Holes and of Colliding Plane Waves. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226101019.

Awards, honours and legacy[edit]

Chandra receiving Nobel Prize(1983)

Chandra receiving National Medal of Science from President Lyndon B. Johnson(1966)

Nobel prize[edit]

Professor Chandrasekhar was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983 for his studies on the physical processes important to the structure and evolution of stars. Chandrasekhar accepted this honor, but was upset the citation mentioned only his earliest work, seeing it as a denigration of a lifetime’s achievement. He shared it with William A. Fowler.

Other awards[edit]

An exhibition on life and works of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was held at Science City, Kolkata, on January, 2011.

Legacy[edit]

Chandrasekhar’s most notable work was the astrophysical Chandrasekhar limit. The limit describes the maximum mass of a white dwarf star, ~1.44 solar masses, or equivalently, the minimum mass which must be exceeded for a star to ultimately collapse into a neutron star or black hole (following a supernova). The limit was first calculated by Chandrasekhar in 1930 during his maiden voyage from India to Cambridge, England for his graduate studies. In 1999, NASA named the third of its four “Great Observatories” after Chandrasekhar. This followed a naming contest which attracted 6,000 entries from fifty states and sixty-one countries. The Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on 23 July 1999. The Chandrasekhar number, an important dimensionless number of magnetohydrodynamics, is named after him. The asteroid 1958 Chandra is also named after Chandrasekhar. American astronomer Carl Sagan, who studied Mathematics under Chandrasekhar, at the University of Chicago, praised him in the book The Demon-Haunted World: “I discovered what true mathematical elegance is from Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.”

Chandrasekhar guided 50 students to their PhDs.[citation needed].

After his death, his widow Mrs. Lalitha Chandrasekhar made a gift of his Nobel Prize money to the University of Chicago towards the establishment of the Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar Memorial Fellowship. First awarded in the year 2000, each year, this fellowship is given to an outstanding applicant to graduate school in the Ph.D. programs of the Department of Physics or the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Chandrasekhar died of a sudden heart attack at the University of Chicago Hospital in 1995, and was survived by his wife, Lalitha Chandrasekhar, who died on 2 September 2013 at the age of 102.[18] In the Biographical Memoirs of the Fellows of the Royal Society of London, R. J. Tayler wrote: “Chandrasekhar was a classical applied mathematician whose research was primarily applied in astronomy and whose like will probably never be seen again.”[1]

Atheism[edit]

Once when involved in a discussion about the Gita, Chandrashekhar said, “I should like to preface my remarks with a personal statement in order that my later remarks will not be misunderstood. I consider myself an atheist.”[19]

This was also confirmed many times in his other talks.[20]

In an interview with Kevin Krisciunas at the University of Chicago, on 6 October 1987, Chandrasekhar commented: “Of course, he (Otto Struve) knew I was an atheist, and he never brought up the subject with me”.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Tayler, R. J. (1996). “Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. 19 October 1910 – 21 August 1995”. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 42: 80–26. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1996.0006.
  2. Jump up^ Bio-Chandrasekhar
  3. Jump up^ Vishveshwara, C.V. (25 April 2000). “Leaves from an unwritten diary: S. Chandrasekhar, Reminiscences and Reflections” (PDF). Current Science. 78 (8): 1025–1033. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
  4. Jump up^ Horgan, J. (1994) Profile: Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar—Confronting the Final Limit, Scientific American 270(3), 32–33.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c O’Connor, J. J.; Robertson, E. F. “Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar”. Biographies. School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  6. Jump up^ Chandrasekhar, S. 1983. Autobiography Nobel Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden.
  7. Jump up^ K.C. Wali, “Chandrasekhar vs. Eddington: An Unanticipated Confrontation”, Physics Today, vol. 35, no. 10, pp. 33–40 (October, 1982)
  8. Jump up^ The Works of the Mind, p.176, edited by Robert B. Heywood, University of Chicago Press, 1947.
  9. Jump up^ Helmut A. Abt (1 December 1995). “Obituary – Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan”. Astrophysical Journal. 454: 551. Bibcode:1995ApJ…454..551A. doi:10.1086/176507.
  10. Jump up^ “Publications by S. Chandrasekhar” (PDF). Indian Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  11. Jump up^ “Grants, Prizes and Awards”. American Astronomical Society. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  12. Jump up^ “Past Winners of the Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal”. Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  13. Jump up^ “Winners of the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society”. Royal Astronomical Society. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  14. Jump up^ “Past Recipients of the Rumford Prize”. American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  15. Jump up^ National Science Foundation – The President’s National Medal of Science
  16. Jump up^ “Henry Draper Medal”. National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  17. Jump up^ “Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar Memorial Fellowship”.
  18. Jump up^ “Nobel laureate’s wife Lalitha Chandrasekhar dies at 102”. The Hindu. 2013-09-07. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  19. Jump up^ S. Chandrasekhar: the man behind the legend, Kameshwar C. Wali. Imperial College Press (1 January 1997) ISBN 978-1860940385
  20. Jump up^ Kameshwar C. Wali (1991). Chandra: A Biography of Chandrasekhar. University of Chicago Press. p. 304. ISBN 9780226870557. SC: I am not religious in any sense; in fact, I consider myself an atheist.
  21. Jump up^ “Interview with Dr. S. Chandrasekhar”. American Institute of Physics.

Further reading[edit]

  • Miller, Arthur I. (2005). Empire of the Stars: Friendship, Obsession, and Betrayal in the Quest for Black Holes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-618-34151-X.
  • Srinivasan, G., ed. (1997). From White Dwarfs to Black Holes: The Legacy of S. Chandrasekhar. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-76996-8.
  • Wali, Kameshwar C. (1991). Chandra: A Biography of S. Chandrasekhar. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-87054-5.
  • Wali, Kameshwar C., ed. (1997). Chandrasekhar: The Man Behind the Legend – Chandra Remembered. London: imperial College Press. ISBN 1-86094-038-2.
  • Wignesan, T., ed. (2004). The Man who Dwarfed the Stars. The Asianists’ Asia. ISSN 1298-0358.
  • Venkataraman, G. (1992). Chandrasekhar and His Limit. Hyderabad,India: Universities Press. ISBN 81-7371-035-X.
  • Saikia, D J.; et al., eds. (2011). Fluid flows to Black Holes. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Ptd Ltd. ISBN 981-4299-57-X.
  • Kameshwar, C Wali, ed. (2001). A Quest For Perspectives. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Ptd Ltd. ISBN 1-86094-201-6.
  • Kameshwar, C Wali, ed. (1997). A Man Behind the Legend. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Ptd Ltd. ISBN 1-86094-038-2.
  • Kameshwar, C Wali, ed. (2011). A Scientific Autobiography: S Chandrasekhar. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Ptd Ltd. ISBN 981-4299-57-X.

External links[edit]

Obituaries

 

Portion of my 5-15-94 letter to Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

On May 15, 1994 on the 10th anniversary of the passing of Francis Schaeffer I attempted to send a letter to almost every living Nobel Prize winner and I believe  Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was probably among that group and here is a portion of that letter below:

I have enclosed a cassette tape by Adrian Rogers and it includes  a story about  Charles Darwin‘s journey from  the position of theistic evolution to agnosticism. Here are the four bridges that Adrian Rogers says evolutionists can’t cross in the CD  “Four Bridges that the Evolutionist Cannot Cross.” 1. The Origin of Life and the law of biogenesis. 2. The Fixity of the Species. 3.The Second Law of Thermodynamics. 4. The Non-Physical Properties Found in Creation.  

Evolution Fact of Fiction Adrian Rogers (same message I put on cassette tape back in 1994)

Uploaded on Nov 13, 2011

The Theory of Evolution Destroyed!!

 

Adrian Rogers is pictured below and Francis Schaeffer above.

In the first 3 minutes of the cassette tape is the hit song “Dust in the Wind.” Below I have given you some key points  Francis Schaeffer makes about the experiment that Solomon undertakes in the book of Ecclesiastes to find satisfaction by  looking into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

Here the first 7 verses of Ecclesiastes followed by Schaeffer’s commentary on it:

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.  

Solomon is showing a high degree of comprehension of evaporation and the results of it.  Seeing also in reality nothing changes. There is change but always in a set framework and that is cycle. You can relate this to the concepts of modern man. Ecclesiastes is the only pessimistic book in the Bible and that is because of the place where Solomon limits himself. He limits himself to the question of human life, life under the sun between birth and death and the answers this would give.

Solomon doesn’t place man outside of the cycle. Man doesn’t escape the cycle. Man is in the cycle. Birth and death and youth and old age.

There is no doubt in my mind that Solomon had the same experience in his life that I had as a younger man (at the age of 18 in 1930). I remember standing by the sea and the moon arose and it was copper and beauty. Then the moon did not look like a flat dish but a globe or a sphere since it was close to the horizon. One could feel the global shape of the earth too. Then it occurred to me that I could contemplate the interplay of the spheres and I was exalted because I thought I can look upon them with all their power, might, and size, but they could contempt nothing. Then came upon me a horror of great darkness because it suddenly occurred to me that although I could contemplate them and they could contemplate nothing yet they would continue to turn in ongoing cycles when I saw no more forever and I was crushed.

Watching the film HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? in 1979 impacted my life greatly

Francis Schaeffer in the film WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

Francis and Edith Schaeffer

 

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Let me show you some inescapable conclusions if you choose to live without God in the picture. Schaeffer noted that Solomon came to these same conclusions when he looked at life “under the sun.”

  1. Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)
  2. Chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13 “I have seen something else under the sun:  The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant  or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.  Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times  that fall unexpectedly upon them.”)
  3. Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1; “Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed—
    and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors—  and they have no comforter.” 7:15 “In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness,  and the wicked living long in their wickedness. ).
  4. Nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), ladies and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20).
  5. There is no ultimate lasting meaning in life. (1:2)

By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. Solomon looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture in the final chapter of the book in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “ Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had and that “all was meaningless UNDER THE SUN,” and looking ABOVE THE SUN was the only option.  I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that.

Livgren wrote, “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.”

Both Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981.  Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. Hope is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

Featured artist is John Feodorov

John Feodorov

John Feodorov was born in 1960 in Los Angeles, of mixed Native-American and Euro-American descent. Brought up both in the suburbs of Los Angeles and on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico, Feodorov early experienced the cultural differences between his dual heritages. He also observed the stereotypes present in American culture at large, where Native Americans were idealized as the living embodiment of spirituality by New Age consumerists. His work addresses this clichéd modern archetype through a humorous interjection of “sacred” items into recognizable consumer products.

His kitschy Totem Teddy series, for instance, added masks and totemic markings to stuffed toy bears accompanied by booklets declaring the bears to “meet the spiritual needs of consumers of all ages!” He has said: “A major theme in my work is the way Native Americans are still being portrayed, stereotyped, and studied in contemporary America. I’ve read that the Navajo Nation is the most-studied group of people on Earth. I don’t know whether to be proud or disgusted.”

Feodorov mixes this analytical critique with installations and sculptural objects that are often whimsical, fantastic, and mythical, creating a new and sometimes genuine sense of the sacred—a sacredness for modern, fractured times. Feodorov holds a BFA in drawing and painting from California State University at Long Beach. He is also a musician and headlines the band Skinwalkers. He lives in Seattle.

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THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES OF THE 20TH CENTURY PART 1, ANIMAL RIGHTS AND AN EVANGELICAL RESPONSE BY ADRIAN ROGERS

_ Francis Schaeffer

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Ronald Reagan meeting with Adrian Rogers at White House

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When I was growing up two Christian leaders had a major impact on my life. Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer through their audio messages and books talked a lot about issues in the modern culture and how the Bible related to that culture. I found that they discussed many of the same thinkers that shaped the 20th century such as George Wald, Bertrand Russell, Hugh Hefner, Antony Flew, Peter Singer, and Edward O. Wilson. Below is a lengthy message on Animal Rights.  Adrian Rogers rightly notes that Eastern Religion and Secular Humanism have both aided the Animal Rights movement. However, the Bible clearly teaches that man is created by God.

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Hugh Hefner pictured below and Edward O. Wilson above

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Nobel Prize Winner George Wald

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Peter Singer is an animal rights activist and he is discussed by both Rogers and Schaeffer several times. Furthermore, Rogers and Schaeffer spent even more time looking at the work of another animal rights sympathizer  named Carl Sagan. I actually had the chance to correspond with Sagan and in my January 10, 1996 letter (which was in response to Sagan’s December 5, 1995 letter to me). In that letter I started off my letter with two paragraphs under the subtitle, “Are we so different from Animals? Or are we?”

I pointed out to Sagan that I had read his book SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS and in that book Sagan had asserted, “Why are we so different from animals? Or are we? Most of the philosophers conventionally judged great thought that humans are fundamentally different from other animals because of an immaterial ‘something’ for which no scientific evidence has been produced, that resides somewhere in the body of humans and in one else on earth. Only a few argue, as Charles Darwin did, that the differences between our species and others are only difference of degree.”

Basically I made some of the same type of points that Rogers makes in his sermon below:

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Adrian Rogers: The Bible and Animal Rights [#1513] (Audio)

Published on Mar 23, 2017

Are animals equal in value to a human being? What is the Christian view? We have a God-given charge to be faithful caretakers of His world and the animals

__________________

The Bible And Animal Rights

Adrian Rogers

Genesis 1: 26

 

WOULD YOU TAKE GOD’S WORD AND OPEN, PLEASE, TO THE VERY FIRST BOOK OF THE BIBLE, AND THE VERY FIRST CHAPTER. GENESIS, CHAPTER 1, AND VERSE 26, WE’RE GOING TO READ IN JUST A MOMENT. BUT AS SOON AS YOU’VE FOUND IT, AND IT OUGHT TO BE VERY EASY FOR YOU TO FIND, AS SOON AS YOU’VE FOUND IT, WOULD YOU JUST PAUSE FOR A MOMENT AND LOOK UP HERE AND LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING? LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE DECEPTIONS OF THE NEW AGE ARE UPON US. WE’RE LIVING IN A TIME THAT MANY ARE CALLING “THE NEW AGE.” SOME ARE CALLING IT “THE AGE OF AQUARIUS.” OTHERS ARE CALLING IT “GLOBALISM,” OR, “NEW GLOBALISM.” SOME ARE CALLING IT “COSMIC HUMANISM.” AND THEY’RE ALL KINDS OF NAMES FOR THIS ESOTERIC MOVEMENT. IT’S A SYNCHRONISM OF SO MANY THINGS; IT’S LIKE A SPONGE, THAT SOAKS IN MANY KINDS OF WEIRD OCCULT, OFF BEAT, SOMETIMES SEEMINGLY NONSENSICAL IDEAS. AND YET IT IS INCREDIBLE HOW MANY ARE BUYING INTO IT. NOW, MAY I SAY TO YOU THAT THE NEW AGE IS NOT NEW. IT GOES ALL THE WAY BACK TO ANCIENT BABYLON. IT’S ONE OF THE MUSTIEST THINGS AROUND. AND IT IS ROOTED PRIMARILY, HOWEVER, IN EASTERN RELIGIONS, AND WHAT WE WOULD CALL TODAY HINDUISM. AND, UH, GOD, IN THE NEW AGE, IS IMPERSONAL. THEY BELIEVE IN GOD, BUT NOT THE GOD THAT YOU BELIEVE IN, NOT THE GOD THAT 1 BELIEVE IN, NOT JEHOVAH GOD, ELOHIM, THE LORD AND GOD AND FATHER OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. THAT’S NOT THE GOD THAT THEY BELIEVE IN. THEIR GOD IS AN IMPERSONAL GOD, KNOWN AS THE, “THE FORCE,” OR THEY THINK OF GOD AS ENERGY, OR THE ALL-PERVADING REALITY.

 

IT’S A FORM OF PANTHEISM. EVERYTHING IS GOD. AND GOD IS EVERYTHING. AS A MATTER OF FACT, YOU ARE GOD. BUT NOT ONLY DO THEY BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE GOD, THEY ALSO BELIEVE THAT THE ANIMALS ARE GOD. EVERYTHING IS GOD! IT DOESN’T ELEVATE, UH, MAN ABOVE THE ANIMALS; IT BRINGS MAN DOWN TO THE LEVEL OF THE ANIMALS. I’VE SAID ALL THAT TO SAY THIS. I WANNA SPEAK TO YOU TODAY ON A SUBJECT I NEVER IN MY WILDEST DREAMS, AS A YOUNG PREACHER, BELIEVE THAT I WOULD BE PREACHING ON. AND IT IS THIS: “THE BIBLE AND ANIMAL RIGHTS.” I NEVER THOUGHT I’D EVER BE PREACHING ON THAT. NEVER IN MY LIFE! AND WHEN I FIRST HEARD ABOUT ANIMAL RIGHTS, AND SAW A FEW PEOPLE WITH PLACARDS, AND SO FORTH, I DISMISSED IT LIGHTLY, AS SOME PEOPLE FROM SOMEWHERE, SOME FRIEND SOMEHOW, AND SOMETHING SILLY, AND SOMETHING ABSURD.

 

BUT I CHANGED MY MIND. AND I SEE NOW THAT WHAT WE ARE UP AGAINST IS A PART OF A TOTAL CONSPIRACY AGAINST OUR LORD AND HIS CHRIST, AND HIS WORD. NOW, I SAY THAT A LOT OF THIS IS ROOTED IN EASTERN RELIGION-HINDUISM- WHICH HAS AS IT’S BACKBONE PANTHEISM AND REINCARNATION. REINCARNATION IS THAT, UH, MAN AND THE ANIMALS ARE INTERRELATED, AND AT ONE TIME, YOU MAY HAVE BEEN AN ANIMAL. AND NOW YOU’RE A HUMAN BEING. AHHHH! BUT IF YOU’RE KARMA IS BAD, YOU MAY AGAIN BE AN ANIMAL, YOU MAY WAKE UP IN THE NEXT WORLD AS A TOAD OR A SPIDER. UH, THEY LITERALLY BELIEVE THIS! I WAS AMAZED HOW MANY THAT WE MET OVERSEAS IN OUR LAST MISSION TRIP–BELIEVED IN AND ESPOUSED THE IDEA OF REINCARNATION. THAT IS, AS YOU GO THROUGH LIFE, YOU MAY PROGRESS, OR YOU MAY REGRESS. AND YOU SAY, “WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ANIMAL RIGHTS?” WELL, BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU GO TO MCDONALD’S, YOU MAY BE EATING YOUR GREAT-GRANDMOTHER! HUH, HUH, IT SOUNDS SILLY. BUT, DEAR FRIEND, THESE PEOPLE ARE DEADLY SERIOUS ABOUT THIS ENTIRE MATTER! IT’S INCREDIBLE, NOT THAT PEOPLE WILL NOT BELIEVE THE BIBLE. WHAT IS REALLY INCREDIBLE IS WHAT PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE! WHAT THEY WILL BELIEVE! NOW, REMEMBER THAT IF YOU ARE PANTHEIST, THAT IS PAN, MEANING ALL, AND THEIST, MEANING GOD, THAT MEANS THAT ALL IS GOD AND GOD IS ALL. THAT DOESN’T ELEVATE YOU. YOU SAY, “WELL, IF GOD IS EVERYTHING, THEN I AM GOD!” YES, BUT DIRT IS GOD, ALSO, AND YOU’RE EQUAL WITH DIRT. IT DOESN’T ELEVATE YOU. WHAT IT DOES IS TO BRING YOU DOWN TO THE LEVEL OF THE ANIMALS AND THINGS. NOW, THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT IS A SYNTHESIS, OF A NUMBER OF THINGS: SECULAR HUMANISM, HINDUISM, NEW AGEISM, EVOLUTIONARY THOUGHT–ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE TOGETHER. AND SO, UH, WHAT, WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THOSE WHO ARE CAMPAIGNING FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS? WELL, NUMBER ONE, THEY REJECT–LISTEN TO ME–THEY REJECT THE IDEA THAT MAN IS ESSENTIALLY, INTRINSICALLY, BASICALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE ANIMALS. AND THEIR GOALS, THEREFORE, ARE TO SET THE ANIMALS FREE. NOT JUST SIMPLY FROM INHUMANE TREATMENT, NOT A ONE OF US, I HOPE, WOULD ARGUE AGAINST INHUMANE TREATMENT FOR ANY ANIMAL. BUT THEY’RE NOT WANTING TO SET THE ANIMALS FREE FROM INHUMANE TREATMENT. THEY ARE WANTING TO SET THE ANIMALS FREE FROM THE DOMINION OF MANKIND. WHAT THEY’RE TRYING TO SAY IS THIS: THAT THERE IS BASICALLY NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAN AND ANIMAL YOU SAY, “WELL, WHAT, WHAT IS THE IMPACT?” HUH, WELL, THE IMPACT, MY DEAR FRIEND, IS INCREDIBLE. NOW, LET ME JUST READ, UH, SOME OF WHAT THESE ARE SAYING. FOR EXAMPLE, UH, WE SAY, “WELL, LET’S BE HUMANE TO THE ANIMALS.”

 

BUT, MICHAEL, UH, FOX, A VETERINARIAN, WHO DIRECTS THE CENTER FOR THE RESPECT OF LIFE AND ENVIRONMENT AT THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES SAYS, QUOTE, “HUMANE TREATMENT IS SIMPLY SENTIMENTAL, SYMPATHETIC PATRONAGE.” THAT IS, “WE’RE NOT JUST LOOKING FOR HUMANE TREATMENT.”

Gary L. Francione

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GARY FRANCIONE, A LAW PROFESSOR, WHO LITIGATES ANIMAL RIGHTS CASES, SAID HE “WOULD NOT ALLOW AN ANIMAL TO SUFFER, EVEN IF THE RESEARCH WOULD PRODUCE A CURE FOR CANCER.” HE SAID, AND I QUOTE, “I DON’T BELIEVE IT IS MORALLY PERMISSIBLE TO EXPLOIT WEAKER BEINGS, EVEN IF WE DERIVE BENEFITS.” AND IN A SYMPOSIUM WITH THESE ANIMAL RIGHTS PEOPLE, ONE PERSON ASKED A QUESTION LIKE THIS: “IF A PIG COULD GIVE ITS LIFE TO SAVE THE LIFE OF A BABY, WOULD YOU BE FOR IT?” AND THIS ANIMAL RIGHTIST SAID, “ABSOLUTELY NOT!” HE SAID, HE WARNED STERNLY AGAINST THAT, AND SAID THAT THE BABIES PARENTS SHOULD BE MADE TO CARE ABOUT THE PIG. NOW, WE HEAR ABOUT RACISM AND SEXISM. GET READY! THERE IS A NEW WORD COMING: SPECIES-ISM. THAT IS, IF YOU’RE, UH, FOR HUMAN BEINGS, THINK THAT HUMAN BEINGS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANIMALS, YOU ARE A, “SPECICIST.” HARD TO SAY, SO MAYBE IT WON’T GO FOR VERY WELL. BUT IT’S HARD TO SAY. NOW, NOW LISTEN. YOU SAY, “THIS IS ALL SILLY!”

(Peter Singer below)

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BUT PETER SINGER’S FOUNDATIONAL TEXT, ANIMAL LIBERATION, IS, UH, IS, UH, THE TEXTBOOK THAT MANY OF THESE -GO BY. AND LET ME QUOTE FROM THAT. QUOTE, “IT CAN NO LONGER BE MAINTAINED BY ANYONE BUT A RELIGIOUS FANATIC THAT MAN IS THE SPECIAL DARLING OF THE UNIVERSE.” AND, BY THE WAY, MOST OF YOU HERE ARE WHAT HE WOULD CONSIDER RELIGIOUS FANATICS. AND HE GOES ON TO WRITE, “OR THAT OTHER ANIMALS WERE CREATED TO PROVIDE US WITH FOOD, OR THAT WE HAVE DIVINE AUTHORITY OVER THEM, AND DIVINE PERMISSION TO KILL THEM.” AND

 

THEN, AGAIN, MICHAEL FOX IS QUOTED IN THE WASHINGTONIAN. HE PUT IT SUCCINCTLY, AND THIS IS WHAT HE SAID, LISTEN, “THERE ARE NO CLEAR DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN US AND ANIMALS. ANIMALS COMMUNICATE. ANIMALS HAVE EMOTIONS. ANIMALS CAN THINK. SOME THINKERS BELIEVE THAT THE HUMAN SOUL IS DIFFERENT BECAUSE WE ARE IMMORTAL! AND THAT JUST BECOMES COMPLETELY ABSURD!” THEY’RE SAYING, “THERE… IS…NO…DIFFERENCE!” NOW YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHY THEY’RE SOME WHO WANT TO TREAT ANIMALS AS HUMANS, AND WHY SOME HUMAN BEINGS ARE LIVING AS ANIMALS. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. AND, OF COURSE, IF MAN IS THE PRODUCT OF EVOLUTION, THEY’RE RIGHT! AND ANY STRAIGHT THINKING PERSON WOULD SAY, “THAT IS RIGHT.” I MEAN, IF MAN IS INDEED JUST ANOTHER ANIMAL WHO HAS COME UP THROUGH THE EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS, THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAN AND ANIMALS IS THAT MAN IS PROBABLY A LITTLE MORE CLEVER. NOW, LET’S SEE WHAT GOD’S WORD HAS TO SAY ABOUT IT. AND, BY THE WAY, DEAR FRIEND, AREN’T YOU GLAD FOR THE BIBLE? THIS IS THE ONE BOOK, AND THE ONE BOOK ALONE, THAT HAS TRUTH, EH, THAT WE CAN GO TO AND FIND WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT. AND HERE THE KEY IS ON THE FRONT DOOR OF THE BIBLE. GENESIS, CHAPTER ONE, VERSE 26, “AND GOD SAID, LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE, AND AFTER OUR LIKENESS….” WHY DOES IT SAY “OUR”? GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON, AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. YOU HAVE THE TRINITY HERE ON THE FIRST CHAPTER, IN THE FIRST CHAPTER OF THE BIBLE: GOD THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT. GOD, SINGULAR, SAID, “LET US,” PLURAL, “MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE.” AND THEN READ, “AND LET THEM HAVE DOMINION OVER THE FISH OF THE SEA, AND OVER THE FOUL OF THE AIR, AND OVER THE CATTLE, AND OVER ALL THE EARTH, AND OVER EVERY CREEPING THING THAT CREEPETH UPON THE EARTH.” NOW, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IN ALL PHILOSOPHY THERE IS ONE, ONE, ONE OVERRIDING QUESTION. LET ME TELL YOU WHAT IT IS.

HERE’S THE QUESTION: DID GOD MAKE MAN, OR DID MAN MAKE GOD? THAT IS, IS MAN IN THE IMAGE OF GOD? OR IS GOD IN THE IMAGINATION OF MAN? THAT’S THE QUESTION. DID GOD MAKE MAN, OR DID MAN SIMPLY CONJURE UP THE IDEA OF GOD? AND YOUR WHOLE PHILOSOPHY WILL GO FROM ONE SIDE TO THE OTHER,

 

ACCORDING TO HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT. NOW, THEY’RE THOSE WHO JUST SIMPLY FEEL THAT WE ARE THE PRODUCT OF BLIND CHANCE. HUH, HUH, THAT THE WHOLE UNIVERSE SOMEHOW JUST, IT’S JUST HERE! IT NEVER HAD A BEGINNING! AND IF IT DID HAVE A BEGINNING, OUT OF NOTHING, SOMETHING CAME. YOU HAVE SOME PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS WITH THAT I HOPE. HUH, HUH. THAT NOTHING TIMES NOBODY EQUALS EVERYTHING. BUT THAT’S WHAT THEY BELIEVE. AND THEN, SOMEHOW, OUT OF THIS, UH, PRIMORDIAL OOZE, THIS CHAOTIC MASS, SOMEHOW THE MOST COMPLICATED FORMS OF LIFE, WITHOUT ANY GUIDANCE, JUST CAME INTO BEING. FIRST OF ALL, OUT OF THIS OOZE, OUT OF THIS PRIMORDIAL SOUP, THERE CAME PRIMITIVE PROTOZOA, EARLY LIFE. HUH-AND THEN, MILLIONS OF YEARS, BILLIONS OF YEARS, COMPOUNDED BY CHANCE, TURNED THAT PRIMITIVE LIFE INTO UNSEGMENTED WORMS. AH-AND THEN, DUMP IN SOME MORE MILLIONS OF YEARS, AND THOSE UNSEGMENTED WORMS BECAME FISH. AND THEN MIX IN SOME MORE YEARS AND SOME MC)RE CHANCE, AND THOSE FISH BECAME REPTILES. AND THEN SOME MORE YEARS AND SOME MORE CHANCE, AND THOSE REPTILES, THESE FIRST AMPHIBIANS, AND THEN REPTILES. AND THEN THOSE REPTILES BECAME MAMMALS….OR BIRDS, AND THEN MAMMALS, AND THEN MAN. HUH, HUH, HUH! NOW, IN THE, IN THE NURSERY SCHOOL, WHEN WE TELL ABOUT A PRINCE THAT WAS A FROG, AND IS KISSED BY A PRINCESS, AND THE FROG TURNS INTO A, A PRINCE, WE CALL THAT A NURSERY RHYME. BUT IN THE CLASSROOM, WHEN FROGS BECOME PRINCES, WE CALL THAT “SCIENCE.” BUT THEY BELIEVE THAT. I MEAN, THEY, THEY BELIEVE THAT! AND IF THEY BELIEVE THAT, I SAY, “THEY’RE RIGHT!” THERE IS BASICALLY NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAN AND THE ANIMALS, EXCEPT THAT MAN IS A HIGHER FORM OF THE ANIMALS.

 

BUT THAT ISN’T WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS! LOOK AT WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS I N VERSE 26, “AND GOD SAID, LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE, AFTER OUR LIKENESS: AND LET THEM HAVE DOMINION…” NOW, LET ME TALK TO YOU ABOUT THREE THINGS. FIRST OF ALL, “THE CREATION OF MAN AND THE ANIMALS,” “THE CREATION OF MAN AND THE ANIMALS.” MAN AND THE ANIMALS WERE CREATED BY ALMIGHTY GOD. AND THEY WERE CREATED AT, BASICALLY, THE SAME TIME. THE BIBLE DOES NOT TEACH EVOLUTION. “WELL,” YOU SAY, “PASTOR, WHAT ABOUT ALL THESE PRIMITIVE HALF-HUMANS, AND HALF-MEN THAT WE’VE SEEN IN THE TEXTBOOKS WHAT ABOUT ALL OF THAT–THESE, THESE CREATURES IN THE MUSEUMS, THESE, THESE MEN ON THEIR WAY UP. WELL, DEAR FRIEND THAT IS WHAT IS IN SOMEBODY’S IMAGINATION. THESE ARE NOT PICTURES OF ACTUAL BEINGS. THESE ARE THE CREATION OF SOMEBODY’S IMAGINATION! FOR EXAMPLE, UHM, THE SCOPES TRIAL WAS HELD HERE IN TENNESSEE, THE FAMOUS MONKEY TRIAL, BACK IN NINETEEN AND TWENTY-FIVE. AND PEOPLE ARE STILL LAUGHING ABOUT ‘BOUT THAT BECAUSE, UH, THEY SAY THAT,

UH, WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN, WHO WAS THE GREAT, UH, BELIEVER IN THE WORD OF GOD, ARGUED WITH CLARENCE DARROW ABOUT EVOLUTION, AND SO FORTH. AND DARROW, WHO WAS A VERY CUNNING, AND A VERY SHREWD, AND A VERY BRILLIANT LAWYER, ARGUED WITH THE GREAT, UH, CHRISTIAN, WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN.

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AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT DARROW DID WAS TO BRING IN FOR EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION A, A, UH, REPLICA OF A PREHISTORIC MAN, PAINTINGS AND ALL. HIS NAME WAS “NEBRASKA MAN.” AND “NEBRASKA MAN” WAS THOUGHT TO BE ONE MILLION YEARS OLD. AND HE SAID, “WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO, BRYAN, ABOUT ‘NEBRASKA MAN’?” “WELL,’? HE SAID, “I, I JUST THINK WE NEED MORE EVIDENCE. I DON’T THINK YOU HAVE ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO PROVE THAT ‘NEBRASKA MAN’, THIS HALF MAN, HALF APE EVER EXISTED.” WELL, UH, THE SCIENTISTS, THEMSELVES, DID SOME MORE WORK ON “NEBRASKA MAN”, AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY FOUND OUT? HUH, HUH. THEY FOUND OUT THAT THE MAN WHO, UH, WHO DISCOVERED “NEBRASKA MAN”, A MAN NAMED MR. COOK, HAD REALLY DISCOVERED A TOOTH. I DIDN’T SAY “TEETH”, I SAID “TOOTH.” AND OUT OF ONE TOOTH, THEY CREATED AN ENTIRE RACE OF PEOPLE–MALE AND FEMALE–DREW PICTURES OF THEM, AND THERE THEY WERE. AND, GAVE AN AGE AND A DATE. BUT, FRIEND, YOU HAVEN’ HEARD THE PUNCH LINE. LATER ON THEY FOUND THE ENTIRE SKELETON, AND IT WAS THE PIG, THE TOOTH OF A PIG. AND OUT OF THE TOOTH OF A PIG,

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CLARENCE DARROW, THE GREAT, BRILLIANT LAWYER CAME INTO THE COURTROOM AND HELD UP A WHOLE RACE OF MEN. AND SAID, “THIS IS PROOF OF EVOLUTION.” “WELL,” YOU SAY, “YES, UH, THIS THAT’S, THAT DOESN’T DISPROVE THAT EVOLUTION IS TRUE. IT JUST PROVES THEY MADE A MISTAKE IN THAT PARTICULAR AREA.” WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL, WE STUDIED, IN MY BIOLOGY CLASSES, “THE PILTDOWN MAN.”

UH, HE WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN DISCOVERED BY CHARLES DAWSON. AND WHAT CHARLES DAWSON REALLY HAD IN THIS SUPPOSED APE-MAN, HE HAD, UH, UH, A JAW THAT HAD TWO MOLARS IN IT, AND PART OF A SKULL. HE FOUND IT IN A GRAVEL PIT IN PILTDOWN, ENGLAND. AND HE PRESENTED THAT. THEY, THEY, THEY HAD A WHOLE RACE OF MEN THAT THEY DESCRIBED AFTER THAT. LATER ON IT WAS SHOWN TO BE A HOAX. AND IN 1956, THE READERS DIGEST HAD AN ARTICLE–I HAVE IT SOMEWHERE IN MY FILES–CALLED “THE GREAT PILTDOWN HOAX!” WHAT HAD HAPPENED IS THIS: THAT UHW, IT, THE, THE JAWBONE THAT THEY FOUND WAS THE JAWBONE OF AN APE. HE WAS ONLY FIFTY YEARS OLD. SOMEONE HAD FILED HIS TEETH DOWN, AND DISCOLORED THEM WITH CHEMICALS. AND HID THEM THERE IN PILTDOWN, HOPING THAT IT WOULD BE DISCOVERED. IT WAS A JOKE, A COLOSSAL JOKE! BUT, MY DEAR FRIEND, THE POINT I WANT TO MAKE IS THIS: THAT THE SCIENTISTS BOUGHT INTO IT LOCK, STOCK, AND BARREL, AND DEVELOPED A WHOLE RACE OUT OF IT! NOW, THESE ARE ONLY TWO EXAMPLES. BUT I JUST USED THEM AS EXAMPLES TO SHOW HOW EAGER MEN ARE TO MAKE MONKEYS OF THEMSELVES. HOW EAGER!

 

WELL, YOU SAY, “PASTOR, WHAT ABOUT ALL THE DINOSAURS? NOW I’M THIS, FORGET THE, THE CAVE MEN AND THE HALF-APES. WHAT ABOUT ALL THE DINOSAURS? DON’T YOU BELIEVE THE DINOSAURS EXISTED?” OF COURSE I DO! THE BIBLE TELLS ABOUT THE CREATION OF THE DINOSAURS, RIGHT HERE. THE BIBLE SAYS HERE, IN VERSE 24, “AND GOD SAID, LET THE EARTH BRING FORTH THE LIVING CREATURE AFTER HIS KIND, CATTLE, AND CREEPING THINGS, THE BEAST OF THE EARTH AFTER HIS KIND: AND IT WAS SO.” AND WHEN GOD MADE THESE ANIMALS, GOD MADE THE DINOSAURS. YOU SAY, “WELL, WHY DON’T WE HAVE ANY MORE DINOSAURS?” BECAUSE, MY DEAR FRIEND, THE DINOSAURS ARE EXTINCT. BUT THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT THE DINOSAURS WERE CREATED THE SIXTH DAY WITH MAN! MEN AND DINOSAURS WERE ON THE EARTH TOGETHER! AS A MATTER OF FACT, IF YOU’LL TURN TO THE BOOK OF JOB, YOU’LL FIND THE DINOSAUR DESCRIBED. JOB, CHAPTER 40, VERSE 15, “AND NOW, BEHOLD BEHEMOTH, WHICH I MADE WITH THEE….” THAT IS, “I MADE BEHEMOTH THE SAME TIME I MADE MANKIND, JOB.” “HE EATETH GRASS LIKE AN OX. (16) LO, HIS STRENGTH IS IN HIS LOINS, HIS FORCE IS IN THE NAVEL OF HIS BELLY. (17) HE MOVETH HIS TAIL LIKE A CEDAR….” SOME HAVE TRIED TO SAY “BEHEMOTH” HERE IS AN, IS AN ELEPHANT. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN AN ELEPHANTS TAIL? “HE MOVETH HIS TAIL LIKE A CEDAR: THE SINEWS OF HIS STONES ARE WRAPPED TOGETHER. (18) HIS BONES ARE AS STRONG PIECES OF BRASS; HIS BONES ARE LIKE BARS OF IRON. (19) HE IS THE CHIEF OF THE WAYS OF GOD…” IN OTHER WORDS, HE’S A BIG DUDE. “AND HE THAT MADE HIM CAN MAKE HIS SWORD TO APPROACH UNTO HIM.” HE’S NOT STRONGER THAN GOD. “(20) SURELY THE MOUNTAINS BRING HIM FORTH FOOD, WHERE ALL THE BEASTS OF THE FIELD PLAY. (21) HE LIETH UNDER THE SHADY TREES,(AN’) IN THE COVERT OF THE REED, AND THE FENS. (22) THE SHADY TREES COVER HIM WITH THEIR SHADOW; THE WILLOWS OF THE BROOK COMPASS HIM ABOUT. (23) AND BEHOLD, HE DRINKETH UP A RIVER, AND HASTETH NOT… 11 THAT IS, HE JUST LUMBERS ALONG. “HE TRUSTETH THAT HE CAN DRAW UP JORDAN INTO HIS MOUTH. (24) HE TAKETH IT WITH HIS EYES: HIS NOSE PIERCETH THROUGH SNARES.” AGAIN, THAT CAN’T BE AN ELEPHANT. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN AN ELEPHANT’S NOSE? NO, THAT’S THE HORN ……

 

ON A DINOSAUR! IF YOU WERE TO GO DOWN TO GLENROSE, TEXAS, NEAR GLENROSE, TEXAS, AT THE PILUXI RIVER, THERE YOU WOULD SEE IN A RIVER BED THE FOOTPRINTS OF DINOSAURS AND HUMAN FOOTPRINTS INSIDE THOSE DINOSAUR FOOTPRINTS. DID YOU KNOW THAT? TO PROVE BEYOND THE SHADOW OF ANY DOUBT THAT HUMAN BEINGS AND DINOSAURS EXISTED TOGETHER–JUST AS THE BOOK OF JOB TELLS US, AND JUST AS GENESIS, CHAPTER ONE, VERSE 24 TELLS US, THAT GOD MADE MAN AND THE ANIMALS ON THE SIXTH DAY! GOD CREATED THESE CREATURES. AND SO, I WANNA SAY THIS, FIRST OF ALL, ABOUT MAN, AND THE ANIMALS. THE CREATION OF MAN AND THE ANIMALS: THEY WERE BOTH CREATED BY GOD. THEY’RE NOT THE PRODUCT OF EVOLUTION. I HOPE YOU WILL NOT BUY INTO THAT MONKEY-MYTHOLOGY. NUMBER TWO, I WANT YOU TO SEE “THE COMPARISON OF MAN AND THE ANIMALS.”

 

IF YOU WERE TO COMPARE A MAN AND THE ANIMALS, YOU’D SEE, IN MANY WAYS, THEY’RE VERY SIMILAR. FOR EXAMPLE, MEN AND ANIMALS ARE SIMILAR IN DESIGN. WHEN I TOOK HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY IN COLLEGE, ONE OF THE THINGS WE HAD TO DO WAS TO WORK ON ONE OF THOSE PIGS THAT HAD BEEN SOAKED IN FORMALDEHYDE. I HAVE YOU EVER DONE THAT? I MEAN, I, WELL, YOU’RE LOOKING AT SOMEBODY WHO’S DONE SURGERY. I MEAN, TO LOOK IN THERE AND TO FIND THE STRUCTURE OF THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM AND THE, AND, UH, ALL OF THE SYSTEMS THAT ARE IN THAT PIG! WHY? BECAUSE WE CAN LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT HOW WE WORK BY STUDYING HOW THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM AND OTHER SYSTEMS OF ANIMALS WORK. DOES THAT MEAN, THEREFORE, BECAUSE MAN AND ANIMALS ARE SIMILAR IN DESIGN THAT MAN HAS EVOLVED FROM THE ANIMALS? OF COURSE NOT! UH, I MEAN IF, IF YOU WERE TO LOOK AT A DOG HOUSE, AND THEN LOOK AT A COTTAGE, THEN LOOK AT A FINE HOUSE, AND THEN LOOK AT A MANSION, THEY WOULD ALL BE VERY SIMILAR IN SOME WAYS. ALL HAVE FLOORS, ALL HAVE, UH, WALLS, AND ALL HAVE ROOFS. WOULD YOU SAY, THEREFORE, THAT, UH, THAT THE UHM, THE COTTAGE EVOLVED OUT OF THE DOG HOUSE AND THE MANSION EVOLVED OUT OF THE COTTAGE? OF COURSE NOT. WHEN WE BUILT THESE BUILDINGS, WE WANTED TO REMEMBER, UH, OUR HERITAGE, SO WE HAVE A BEAUTIFUL WATERCOLOR. ONE SHOWS THE LITTLE STONE CHURCH. THE NEXT SHOWS, THE BELLEVUE AUDITORIUM, THE LEE AUDITORIUM. THE NEXT ONE SHOWS THAT GRACIOUS AND BEAUTIFUL AUDITORIUM THAT WAS DEDICATED IN 1952. AND THE NEXT SHOWS THIS ONE. NOW, IF YOU GIVE THAT TO SOME SCIENTIST TODAY, THEY’D SAY, “SEE, THAT PROVES THE EVOLUTION OF A BUILDING.” NO, IT DIDN’T’ PROVE ANY EVOLUTION. IT JUST SIMPLY PROVES THAT WHOEVER DESIGNS BUILDINGS SAYS BASICALLY BUILDINGS HAVE CERTAIN THINGS IN COMMON. IN THAT IS ‘ THEY HAVE FLOORS, WALLS, AND CEILINGS BECAUSE THEY SERVE A COMMON PURPOSE. AND SO, MEN AND ANIMALS LIVE IN THE SAME ENVIRONMENT. SO, IN MANY WAYS, THEY HAVE A “SIMILARITY IN DESIGN.”

 

THEY ALSO HAVE A “SIMILARITY IN DIET.” LOOK HERE, IN GENESIS, CHAPTER ONE, AND VERSES 29 AND FOLLOWING, “AND GOD SAID, BEHOLD, I HAVE GIVEN YOU EVERY HERB BEARING SEED, WHICH IS UPON THE FACE OF ALL OF THE EARTH, AND EVERY TREE, IN WHICH IS THE FRUIT OF A TREE YIELDING SEED; TO YOU IT SHALL BE FOR MEAT. (30) AND TO EVERY BEAST OF THE EARTH, AND TO EVERY FOWL OF THE AIR, AND TO EVERY THING THAT CREEPETH UPON THE EARTH, WHEREIN THERE IS LIFE, I HAVE GIVEN EVERY GREEN HERB FOR MEAT: AND IT WAS SO.” MEN AND ANIMALS HAVE, NOT ONLY A “SIMILARITY IN DESIGN,” BUT A -‘SIMILARITY IN DIET,” BECAUSE WE HAVE THE SAME KIND OF ORGANS. WE HAVE STOMACHS, ESOPHAGUS. WE HAVE GASTRIC JUICES. AND SO, THEREFORE, WE CAN EAT THE SAME THING. DOES THAT MEAN THAT MAN, THEREFORE, HAS EVOLVED FROM AN ANIMAL? WELL, IF YOUR AUTOMOBILE BURNS GASOLINE AND YOUR MOTORCYCLE BURNS GASOLINE, DOES THAT MEAN THAT YOUR AUTOMOBILE EVOLVED FROM YOUR MOTORCYCLE? NO. THEY BOTH BURN THE SAME FUEL. MEN AND ANIMALS HAVE A “SIMILARITY IN DIET.” THEY HAVE ANOTHER SIMILARITY.

 

THEY HAVE A “SIMILARITY IN DEATH.'[ I MEAN, MEN AND ANIMALS DIE. LOOK, IF YOU WILL, IN CHAPTER 2 AND VERSE 17. GOD SAID, “BUT OF THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, THOU SHALT NOT EAT OF IT: FOR IN THE DAY THAT THOU EATEST THEREOF THOU SHALT SURELY DIE.” MEN DIE, AND ANIMALS DIE. ECCLESIASTES, CHAPTER 3, VERSES 19 AND 20 SAYS, “FOR THAT WHICH BEFALLETH THE SONS OF MEN BEFALLETH BEASTS; EVEN ONE THING BEFALLETH THEM: AS THE ONE DIETH, SO (DIETH) THE OTHER ….. 11

 

A “SIMILARITY IN DESIGN,” A “SIMILARITY IN DIET,” A “SIMILARITY IN DEATH.” WHY DO MEN DIE, AND WHY DO ANIMALS DIE? BECAUSE ALL CREATION IS UNDER A CURSE. AND DEATH IS AN IRRESISTIBLE FACT FOR BOTH MAN AND ANIMALS. SO, I’VE TALKED TO YOU ABOUT “THE CREATION OF MAN AND THE ANIMALS.”

“THE CONTRASTS OF MAN AND THE ANIMALS.” 

BUT NOW LET ME TALK TO YOU ABOUT “THE CONTRASTS OF MAN AND THE ANIMALS.” WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAN AND AN ANIMAL? OR ARE THESE RIGHT WHEN THEY SAY THAT THERE IS BASICALLY NO INTRINSIC DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MAN AND AN ANIMAL? LET ME SHOW YOU THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND ANIMALS.

“Craving for Deity”

NUMBER ONE, MAN HAS A LONGING IN HIS HEART TO KNOW GOD. HE HAS A CRAVING FOR DEITY. NOTICE VERSE 26, (GENESIS 1:26), “AND GOD SAID, LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE, (AND) AFTER OUR LIKENESS…” NOW, MY DEAR FRIEND, WHEN GOD MADE YOU, GOD MADE YOU IN HIS IMAGE. NOT IN HIS PHYSICAL IMAGE, GOD DOESN’T HAVE HANDS, AND FEET, AND EYES, AND EARS. GOD IS A SPIRIT! WHEN GOD MADE YOU IN HIS IMAGE, HE MADE YOU IN HIS MORAL AND SPIRITUAL IMAGE. IT’S A SPIRITUAL IMAGE! PUT THIS VERSE DOWN,

COLOSSIANS 3, VERSE 10. THE BIBLE SAYS, “…PUT ON THE NEW MAN, WHICH IS RENEWED IN KNOWLEDGE AFTER THE IMAGE OF HIM THAT CREATED HIM.” SO, YOUR NEWNESS HAS TO DO WITH YOUR KNOWLEDGE. IT IS A, IT IS A MORAL, A MENTAL, A SPIRITUAL CAPACITY. THAT’S WHAT IT MEANS TO BE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. AND THIS ONE, EPHESIANS, CHAPTER 4, AND VERSE 24, “THAT YE PUT ON THE NEW MAN, WHICH AFTER GOD IS CREATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUE HOLINESS.” LISTEN TO IT AGAIN, “…WHICH 15 CREATED AFTER GOD, WHICH AFTER GOD IS CREATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUE HOLINESS.”

YOU SEE, BECAUSE WE ARE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, WE HAVE A MORAL AND A SPIRITUAL NATURE. HINDUISM, NEW-AGEISM HAS BASICALLY NO MORALS. AND YOU CAN UNDERSTAND IT. YOU SEE, IF GOD IS EVERYTHING, AND EVERY-THING IS GOD, THEN EVIL IS GOD, AS WELL AS GOOD IS GOD. BAD IS GOD, AS WELL AS GOOD. AND SO THERE ARE NO REAL MORAL DISTINCTIONS. AND THAT’S THE REASON ANYTHING GOES IN THE NEW-AGE MOVEMENT, BECAUSE THERE IS NO MORAL, SPIRITUAL BACKBONE. THAT’S THE REASON THE NEW AGE HAS A MENACING DANGER TO ALL OF US. YOU SEE, MAN MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD HAS A MORAL, MENTAL, SPIRITUAL PROCLIVITY TO REFLECT HIS CREATOR. HAS A “CRAVING FOR DEITY.”

CAPABILITY FOR DOMINION.

HE ALSO HAS A “CAPABILITY FOR DOMINION.” LOOK IN VERSE 26 (GENESIS 1). GOD SAYS, “….AND LET THEM HAVE DOMINION….” MAN, MY DEAR FRIEND, IS MEANT TO RULE. PSALM 8, VERSES 6 THROUGH 8, GOD SAYS, “THOU MADEST HIM (MAN) TO HAVE DOMINION OVER THE WORKS OF THY HANDS; THOU HAST PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET: (7) ALL SHEEP AND OXEN, YEA, AND THE BEASTS OF THE FIELD; (8) THE FOWL OF THE AIR, (AND) THE FISH OF THE SEA, AND WHATSOEVER PASSETH THROUGH THE PATHS OF THE SEA(S).” GOD MADE MAN TO HAVE DOMINION OVER THE ANIMALS. AND WHEN JESUS CHRIST WAS HERE ON EARTH, HE DEMONSTRATED THAT DOMINION. JESUS RODE A WILD DONKEY INTO JERUSALEM, ‘UPON WHICH NEVER A MAN SAT. I WANNA SEE ONE OF YOU TRY THAT! JESUS HAD DOMINION! JESUS HAD A, ROOSTER TO CROW AT THE EXACT, PRECISE MOMENT HE WANTED THAT ROOSTER TO CROW, AFTER PETER HAD DENIED HIM. REMEMBER THAT? MAN, I WANNA SEE YOU MAKE ONE CROW, MUCH LESS, I WANNA SEE KEEP ONE FROM CROWING. YOU KNOW, THE ROOSTER THINKS BECAUSE HE CROWS THE SUN COMES UP. BUT JESUS HAD DOMINION OVER THE FOWLS OF THE AIR. JESUS HAD DOMINION OVER THE FISH OF THE SEA. WHEN IT WAS TIME FOR JESUS TO PAY HIS TAXES, HE SAID, “YOU GO CAST, A HOOK INTO THE SEA.” AND THERE WAS ONE PARTICULAR FISH, OUT OF ALL OF THOSE FISH, THAT OUR LORD HAD GUIDED TO A CO I N LY I NG ON THE BOTTOM OF THAT, UH, GALILEAN SEA, AND THEN GUIDED TO THAT HOOK. NOW, FRIEND, LISTEN, HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU GONE FISHING AND NOT CAUGHT ANYTHING? BECAUSE, YOU SEE, MAN, TO SOME DEGREE, HAS LOST HIS DOMINION. BUT GOD GAVE MAN DOMINION OVER THE ANIMALS. THERE’S NO IF AND’S, AND BUT’S ABOUT IT. YOU SEE, MAN HAS SOMETHING THAT ANIMALS DON’T HAVE, BECAUSE ANIMALS HAVE SOMETHING THAT MEN DON’T HAVE. DO YOU KNOW WHAT ANIMALS HAVE?

ANIMALS HAVE INSTINCT. MEN DON’T HAVE INSTINCT. GOD, IN MERCY, GAVE THE ANIMALS INSTINCT. I SOMETIMES GO OUT IN THE MORNING, AND I MARVEL WHEN I SEE A SPIDER’S WEB, WITH THE DEW IN IT. HAVE YOU EVER DONE THAT? LOOKED AT THAT ENGINEERING MARVEL! NOW, DEAR FRIEND, A SPIDER CANNOT HAVE A VERY BIG BRAIN, ‘CAUSE I HAVE LOOKED. I MEAN, YOU KNOW. AND YET, OVERNIGHT, THAT’S INCREDIBLE THAT HE CAN DO THAT! AND THE BEEHIVE, AS THEY BUILD THOSE LITTLE EIGHT-SIDED THINGS. UH, IT, IT’S INCREDIBLE WHAT GOES ON IN THE BEEHIVE. AND THE BEAVER AS HE BUILDS H I S BEAVER DAM, LIKE WE HAD SOME UP HERE ON OUR LAKE. MY DEAR FRIEND, YOU’LL NEVER SEE A BEAVER BUILD AN EIGHT-SIDED CELL, OR YOU’LL NEVER SEE A BEE BUILD A DAM. ALL THEY HAVE IS INSTINCT THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO THE CREATURES. BUT GOD DIDN’T GIVE MAN INSTINCT. GOD MADE MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE! AND GOD GAVE MAN THE HOLY SPIRIT! THE HOLY SPIRIT IS TO MAN .. WHAT INSTINCT IS TO THE ANIMALS. NOW, IF YOU WERE TO TAKE THE INSTINCT OUT OF THE BEEHIVE, WHAT WOULD HAPPEN? IT’D BE VERY MUCH LIKE OUR WORLD TODAY MEN WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT. MEN WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT. YOU SEE, WHAT HAS HAPPENED, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD TODAY IS THAT MAN IS NOT OPERATING AT FULL FUNCTION. YOU SEE, MAN HAS A, A CAPACITY FOR DOMINION, A “CAPABILITY FOR DOMINION.” AND THEN HE HAS, I WANNA SAY, A “CAPACITY FOR DEPRAVITY.” ANIMALS DON’T HAVE, ANIMALS CAN’T SIN, ‘CAUSE ANIMALS DON’T HAVE ANY CHOICE. THE REASON THEY DON’T HAVE ANY CHOICE IS THEY DON’T HAVE ANY MORAL BASIS. BUT MEN DO! AND THE SAD THING IS THIS, THAT MAN CREATED A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS HAS MORALLY BECOME A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANIMALS. I MEAN, MEN CAN DO THINGS THAT ANIMALS CAN’T DO. MEN HAVE A CAPACITY FOR SIN THAT ANIMALS DON’T HAVE. SOMEBODY WROTE A POEM ABOUT MONKEYS SITTING IN A TREE, DISCUSSING EVOLUTION. I DON’T HAVE THE WHOLE POEM, BUT THE KICKER, THE LINE IN THIS, SAID ONE MONKEY SAID TO ANOTHER, AS HE WAS SO ASHAMED OF THE DRUGS AND EVERYTHING. HE SAID: “MAN DESCENDED, THE ORNERY CUSS, BUT, BROTHER, HE DIDN’T DESCEND FROM US.” I HEARD ABOUT SOME MONKEYS HAD A NEW LITTLE BABY MONKEY. AN’ THE FATHER MONKEY AN” UH, THE MOTHER MONKEY WERE LOOKING DOWN AT THAT LITTLE BABY MONKEY. AND ONE OF THEM SAID, “AH, THANK GOD IT’S NORMAL. I WAS AFRAID OF EVOLUTION.” I MEAN, DEAR FRIEND, LET ME TELL YOU, THAT MEN WILL DO THINGS THAT ANIMALS WOULDN’T DO! YOU DON’T HAVE SEXUAL PERVERSION AMONG THE ANIMALS, LIKE WE HAVE AMONG MEN. IT’S INCREDIBLE! SEE, LISTEN, MAN HAS A “CRAVING FOR DEITY. MAN, MY DEAR FRIEND, HAS A “CAPABILITY OF DOMINION.”

“CAPACITY FOR DEPRAVITY!” 

BUT HE HAS A “CAPACITY FOR DEPRAVITY!” I ‘LL TELL YOU SOMETHING ELSE ABOUT MAN THAT MAKES MAN DIFFERENT FROM THE ANIMALS.

MY DEAR FRIEND, MAN HAS A “CONCERN FOR HIS DESTINY.” MAN IS THE ONLY CREATURE WHO KNOWS HE’S GOING TO DIE. NO ELEPHANT KNOWS HE’S GOING TO DIE. HE MAY, BY INSTINCT, GO TO THE BURIAL GROUNDS. UH-HUH, THE SALMON MAY SWIM UPSTREAM AND SPAWN AND THEN DIE. BUT THEY NEVER THINK ABOUT DEATH. THEY NEVER SAY, “I ID BETTER PREPARE FOR ETERNITY.” BUT THE BIBLE SAYS THAT GOD, CONCERNING MAN, GOD HAS PUT ETERNITY IN OUR HEARTS!”(ECCL 3:11)  A GALLOP POLL HAS SI SHOWN THAT 67% OF AMERICANS BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER DEATH. DEAR FRIEND, WE DON’T BELIEVE IT BECAUSE WE’VE PROVED IT. WE MOVE HEAVEN AND EARTH TO PROVE IT BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IT! WHY DO WE BELIEVE IT?! BECAUSE WE’RE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF ALMIGHTY GOD! THERE IS A DIFFERENCE! PLANTS HAVE A BODY, BUT THEY DON’T HAVE A SOUL. ANIMALS HAVE A BODY AND A SOUL. YOUR SOUL IS YOUR MIND, YOUR EMOTION, AND YOUR WILL. BUT ONLY MAN HAS A SPIRIT. AND THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT IS WHAT MAKES US WHAT WE’RE TO BE. GOD GAVE MAN A SPIRIT. WITH YOUR BODY YOU KNOW THE WORLD BENEATH YOU. WITH YOUR SOUL YOU KNOW THE WORLD AROUND YOU. BUT WITH YOUR SPIRIT, YOU KNOW THE WORLD ABOVE YOU! AND GOD MADE MAN WITH A SPIRITUAL CAPACITY TO KNOW HIM, TO LOVE HIM, AND TO SERVE HIM! NOW LISTEN TO ME,

DEAR FRIEND, YOU’RE NO ANIMAL. YOU’RE THE DISTINCT CREATION OF ALMIGHTY GOD. AND WHAT DID GOD MAKE A FISH TO DO? GOD MADE A FISH TO SWIM IN THE SEA. AND WHAT DID GOD MAKE A BIRD TO DO? GOD MADE A BIRD TO FLY IN THE SKY. AND WHAT DID GOD MAKE YOU TO DO? GOD CREATED YOU TO KNOW HIM, TO LOVE HIM, AND TO SERVE HIM. THE BIBLE SAYS, “IT IS IN HIM THAT WE LIVE, AND MOVE, AND HAVE OUR BEING.” NOW LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY, IF YOU DON’T KNOW GOD AND IF YOU DON’T SERVE GOD, YOU HAVE MISSED THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH YOU WERE CREATED. AND YOU WILL BE LIKE A FISH OUT OF THE SEA. TAKE A FISH OUT OF THE SEA AND PUT IT IN A TREE AND HE’S AN UNHAPPY FISH. TAKE A BIRD OUT OF THE AIR AND PUT THAT BIRD IN THE WATER, AND TO SAY THE LEAST, HE’S AN UNHAPPY FISH. DEAR FRIEND, IF YOU ARE NOT SERVING GOD.

IF YOU DON’T KNOW GOD, YOU HAVE MISSED IT ALL. AND HOW CAN YOU KNOW GOD? BY RECEIVING JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOR AND LORD. GOD LOVES YOU SO MUCH. JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR YOU IN AGONY AND BLOOD. YOU ARE NO ACCIDENT AND YOU ARE NO ANIMAL. YOU ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. YOU ARE MADE FOR HIS GLORY. HEADS ARE BOWED AND EYES ARE CLOSED.

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May 16, 2016 letter to Stephen Hawking and my reflections on his life and books

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Stephen Hawking celebrating 50 years as a fellow of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, holding a Caius teddy bear.

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Thirty years ago the christian philosopher and author Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) died

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and on the 10th anniversary of his passing in 1994 I wrote a number of the top evolutionists, humanists and atheistic scholars in the world and sent them a story about Francis Schaeffer in 1930 when he left agnosticism and embraced Christianity. I also sent them  a cassette tape with the title “Four intellectual bridges evolutionists can’t cross” by Adrian Rogers (1931-2005). Stephen Hawking was one of those scientists that I have written to over the years. Surprisingly many of those of the top  scholars wrote me back. Some of those who corresponded with me since that time include Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),

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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-).

Stephen Hawking is one of the authors I have really enjoyed. In fact, not only did I read his books but the movie “Theory of Everything” got me interested in his personal life. As a result, I read his autobiography “My Brief History” 6 times and took extensive notes. In the following weeks I hope to post many of those along with the many letters I sent him.

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Who knows if any of my letters were ever read to Hawking, but you never know. I have seen some unexpected things during these last 25 years. I have had a Nobel Prize winner call me on my phone to visit, and even the great  Carl Sagan evidently took time  to read several of my letters judging from his various comments in the personal letter he wrote me in 1995. I assume there are times that authors want to see what their readers think about their books.

When I look through the more than a dozen letters I wrote to Professor Hawking there is one  I wrote that especially applied to his impending death. It is a subject that Hawking himself said he had been grappling with since age 21. Like his good friend Don Page had done many times in the past I wanted to point out to him what the Bible has to say on the subject.

Below is the letter dated May 16, 2016 about death chasing us

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May 16, 2016

Dr. Stephen Hawking,
Wilberforce Road, Cambridge

Dear Dr. Hawking,

I went to see your movie THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING and I enjoyed it so much that I went back and saw it again and again. It was inspiring. I also had the opportunity to read the article, “Morning MixHow Stephen Hawking, diagnosed with ALS decades ago, is still aliveBy Terrence McCoy February 24, 2015,” and this article pointed out how amazing your life has been in that you have survived ALS so long. I wonder if this Bible verse may indicate why you have made it so long:

2 Peter 3:9King James Version (KJV)

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Back in January I saw that you were having your 74th birthday,  and today I am turning 55 years old today and many people call that middle age but how many 110 year people do you see walking around?    I also  have started to think about the end of my life in recent days since it is fast approaching all of us. King Solomon in his book of ECCLESIASTES talks about death quite a lot and he wrote a passage in chapter 2 that I wanted to quote and then I wanted to include some comments from the preacher Ken Whitten in his sermon HAUNTED BY DEATH:

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King Solomon gives us a little key to his heart in the Book of Ecclesiastes when he said he looked for everything imaginable to find satisfaction UNDER THE SUN.  Now folks anytime you look for satisfaction UNDER THE SUN it means you have an earthly view of life and if all you have is an earthly view of life you are going to be discouraged. You can tell Solomon is cynical. In Ecclesiastes 2 it says Solomon has tried LEARNING, LABOR, LEISURE, LUST, LAUGHTER, and LIQUOR but it is just like chasing the wind. It was like a little bubble that a kid would blow and then he catches it and there is nothing left there.

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12 So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done? 13 And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness. 14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one fate befalls them both. 15 Then I said [j]to myself, “As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So [k]I said to myself, “This too is vanity.” 16 For there is no [l]lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die! 17 So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was [m]grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

Solomon is saying no matter if you are a fool or a wise-man it has nothing to do with removing the reality of death. It is an universal experience and it is going to happen to everyone. The Bible says it “befalls” or overtakes them all. Death overtakes us all.

Solomon looks at life like a race. At the beginning of life and when you are younger you look over your shoulder and in the far distance you see that someone is chasing you and he is in the race with you but you don’t pay much attention to him and there is no sense looking back since you are so far ahead. You think he will never catch you. Then you get a little older and guess what you notice. He seems to be going a little faster and you seem to be going a little slower. And you notice that while you continue to move you are starting to hear the footsteps and you starting failing. Something is happening to us and we are deteriorating physically. In verse 14 Solomon says one fate  befalls both the fool and the wise and that is they both die. The rich is gonna die and the poor is gonna die. The actors, athletes, entertainers and the movie stars are gonna die.

Solomon doesn’t like this very much and he says in verses 16-17:

16 For there is no [l]lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die! 17 So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was [m]grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

Solomon is saying that he doesn’t like this. It doesn’t matter how famous you get because there will be very little remembrance of you. Regardless of how famous you become there are people behind you who are going to be famous and they need your space in the history books and they will take it.

The rich and poor are gonna die. It doesn’t matter what is in your pocketbook but only what is in your heart. If you died tonight where would you spend eternity?

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Brandon Barnard

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You might have said that this letter is a real downer but I have some good news to share with you. On Easter morning March 27, 2016 at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH our teaching pastor Brandon Barnard delivered the message THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING based on I Corinthians chapter 15 and I wanted to share a portion of that sermon with you today.

This day is the day that changes everything. The resurrection changes everything and that is why we are gathered here today to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ because it changes everything.

Some of you are going to be blown away by the opportunity before you this Easter morning because the resurrection of Jesus Christ stands at the very heart of Christianity. If what we we are gathered here to celebrate did not happen then people need to pity us as believers.  They need to feel sorry for you and me more than anyone on earth because we have set our hopes firmly on a lie.

But if the resurrection really did happen, then we need to repent and we need to believe in Jesus and we need to rejoice that we have hope in this life and the life to come. 

Paul wrote this to the believers in Corinth.

1 Corinthians 15:3-6, 13-21 English Standard Version (ESV)

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.

13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.19 If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

If Christ hasn’t been raised then these facts are true:

  1. PREACHING AND FAITH ARE IN VAIN.
  2. WE ARE FALSE WITNESSES
  3. WE ARE STILL IN OUR SINS.
  4. THOSE WHO DIED IN FAITH ARE STILL DEAD
  5. WE ARE TO BE PITIED MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD.

Verse 20 says, “but Christ has been raised!!! Therefore, these things are true:

  1. Our faith is significant, valuable and eternal.
  2. we are truth tellers!!
  3. we are forgiven of our sins.
  4. death is not our final stop.
  5. don’t pity us but join us in believing in Jesus Christ.

A lot of people say they do not believe in an afterlife. However, would you agree that if the Bible is correct in regards to history then Jesus did rise from the grave? Let’s take a closer look at evidence concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

I know that you highly respected Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and he co-authored with Francis Schaeffer the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? Below is a piece of evidence from that book:

We should take one last step back into the history of the Old Testament. In the previous note we looked first at the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating to around 100 B.C. Then we went back to the period of the Late Monarchy and looked first at the siege of Hezekiah in Jerusalem by Sennacherib in 701 B.C. and also at the last years of Judah down to about 600 B.C. Then we went further back to about 850 B.C., to Ahab and Jezebel, the ivory house, the Black Obelisk, the Moabite Stone and so on–then back again to about 950 B.C., to the time of Solomon and his son Rehoboam and the campaign by Shishak, the Egyptian pharaoh.

This should have built up in our minds a vivid impression of the historic reliability of the biblical text, including even the seemingly obscure details such as the ration tablets in Babylon. We saw, in other words, not only that the Bible gives us a marvelous world view that ties in with the nature of reality and answers the basic problems which philosophers have asked down through the centuries, but also that the Bible is completely reliable, EVEN ON THE HISTORICAL LEVEL.

The previous notes looked back to the time of Moses and Joshua, the escape from Egypt, and the settlement in Canaan. Now we will go back further–back as far as Genesis 12, near the beginning of the Bible.

Do we find that the narrative fades away to a never-never land of myths and legends? By no means. For we have to remind ourselves that although Genesis 12 deals with events a long time ago from our moment of history (about 2000 B.C. or a bit later), the civilized world was already not just old but ancient when Abram/Abraham left “Ur of the Chaldeans” (see Genesis 11:31).

Ur itself was excavated some fifty years ago. In the British Museum, for example, one can see the magnificent contents of a royal burial chamber from Ur. This includes a gold headdress still in position about the head of a queen who died in Ur about 2500 B.C. It has also been possible to reconstruct from archaeological remains what the streets and buildings must have been like at the time.

(Below is the Monkey Strums the British Museum: Ur of the Chaldees Part II: Going Glam for the Great Beyond)

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Like Ur, the rest of the world of the patriarchs (that is, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) was firm reality. Such places as Haran, where Abraham went first, have been discovered. So has Shechem from this time, with its Canaanite stone walls, which are still standing, and its temple.

Genesis 12:5-9New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the [a]persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they [b]set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the[c]oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your [d]descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord andcalled upon the name of the Lord. Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the[e]Negev.

Haran and Shechem may be unfamiliar names to us but the Negrev (or Negeb) is a name we have all read frequently in the news accounts of our own day. 

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

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Physicist Stephen Hawking dies at 76 “He once said: ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love’”, the scientist’s children say in a statement. AUTHOR Evangelical Focus CAMBRIDGE 14 MARCH 2018 16:16 h GMT+1 Stephen Hawking. / Reuters. The renowned physicist and author of A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking, has died at 76, at his home in Cambridge. Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert and Tim released a statement this Wednesday morning confirming his death. “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world”. “He once said: ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever”, they added.   BLACK HOLES, SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS Hawking was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease at the age of 21, and doctors expected him to live for only a few more years. The illness left him in a wheelchair, he could only speak through a voice synthesiser. The British physicist was the first to set out a theory of cosmology as a union of relativity and quantum mechanics.   Stephen Hawking had three children with his first wife, Jane. He also discovered that black holes leak energy and fade to nothing. That phenomenon would later become known as Hawking radiation. Additionally, Hawking, along with mathematician Roger Penrose, applied the mathematics of black holes to the universe and showed that a singularity, a region of infinite curvature in space-time, lay in our distant past: the point from which came the big bang. A Brief History of Time, published for the first time in 1988, is his more famous work. The book made the Guinness Book of Records after it stayed on the Sunday Times best-sellers list for 237 weeks. It sold 10m copies and was translated into 40 different languages.   BEYOND THE ACADEMIC WORLD Hawking’s popularity went beyond the academic world, when he appeared in several TV shows including The Simpsons, Red Dwarf and The Big Bang Theory.

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Hawking’s first wife, Jane, wrote a book called Travelling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen. British actor Eddie Redmayne won the Oscar for portraying Hawking in the film The Theory of Everything, which tells his rise to fame and relationship with his first wife, Jane Wilde.

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“It is not film about science, but about the frailty of life”, theologian and journalist José de Segovia wrote in an article for Evangelical Focus. “Although The Theory of Everything it revolves around the life of a scientist who has been used by many atheists, it is surprising how much the film talks about God”.   HAWKING AND GOD Hawking married his first wife, Jane Wilde, in 1965, two years after his diagnosis. The marriage broke down in 1991. According to Jose De Segovia, “Hawking become increasingly more atheist after leaving Jane. At first, he spoke about God in his books, even though he was not a believer. The strange thing is that Jane believes that the same illness that strengthened her faith, explains the atheism of Stephen”. She wrote a book called Travelling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen, which “contains some very surprising anecdotes, for example, about the time when Hawking smuggled Bibles into Russia, along with a group of Baptists. Many atheists will be flabbergasted by reading about such episodes”, explained De Segovia. “We are told how Stephen interceded with the Pope to rehabilitate Galileo and, like his colleague, the award-winning physical theorist John Polkinghorne, he decided to study theology, to be ordained into Anglican ministry”, the author pointed out. In an interview with The Guardian, Hawking said: “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark”.
See more: http://evangelicalfocus.com/science/3337/Physicist_Stephen_Hawking_dies_at_76

 

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Some Experiences I have had since a sermon I heard by Adrian Rogers in 1976 on Ecclesiastes!!!

Adrian Rogers (1931-2005), was pastor of Bellevue Baptist in Memphis where I grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

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I have been interested in studying the Book of Ecclesiastes since I heard a message by Adrian Rogers on it in 1976 at my Junior High Chapel Service at school. Today I will review some of the experiences I have had that came from my study of the book since that day in 1976.

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Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Published on Oct 14, 2012

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On May 15, 1984 Francis Schaeffer passed away. I had read his books and seen his films all through the 1970’s and 1980’s and they had impacted my life in a big way and give me what he would have called a Christian Worldview. Both Schaeffer and my former pastor, Adrian Rogers were fond of discussing the works of skeptics such as Carl Sagan and Nobel Prize winner George Wald. I took a lead from them and started reading books by skeptics and then writing them to discuss their works. In those letters I would use stories and quotes from Francis Schaeffer. Also I would include a cassette tape of a Rogers’ sermon on Evolution, Creationism and Romans 1, and one by my pastor at the time, Bill Elliff on Romans 1 and Charles Darwin. However, I started the cassette tape off with the 3 minute song DUST IN THE WIND by the group KANSAS because it was my view that if this life is all we have then we are all “DUST IN THE WIND.”

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(George Wald above and Carl Sagan below)

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(Bill Elliff of Summit Church North Little Rock, Arkansas seen below)

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Adrian Rogers: Evolution Fact or Fiction (#1914)

On May 15, 1994 (the 10th anniversary of Francis Schaeffer’s passing), I  sent out hundreds of these letters that I have described to leading skeptics on the subjects of Evolution, Ecclesiastes, and the ultimate meaning of our lives without God in the picture.
I got a lot of responses back dated the first week of June of 1994. Professor John Hospers (1918-2011), former close friend of the novelist Ayn Rand,  wrote me back on June 2, 1994 after listening to the audio cassette tape “Dust, Darwin and Disbelief.” The late Dr. Hospers thought the idea that there is no  lasting meaning to our lives as the song DUST IN THE WIND was fine with him, and he did not see how adding God into the equation would add any additional meaning to our lives:

Our lives can have profound meaning thru various activities and relationships; why do they have to be eternal? Why is it so uncomfortable for you to realize that all things pass?  They are none the less real and noble because they are temporary. In another couple of thousand years. the earth will undergo another ice age; in another 6 billion years the sun will be extinguished and life on earth no longer possible. 

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These facts inspired the author of the song DUST IN THE WIND. Kerry Livgren of KANSAS, who wrote the song noted, “I happened to be reading a book of American Indian poetry and somewhere in it I came across the line, ‘We’re just dust in the wind.’ I remembered in the BOOK of ECCLESIASTES  where it said, ‘All is vanity,’ ” Livgren said of the passage that it reminds man he came from dust and will return to dust.

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I remember a visit in 1976 that Adrian Rogers made to our Junior High Chapel service at EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, and it was that day that I personally began a lifelong interest in King Solomon’s life, and his search for satisfaction as pictured in the Book of Ecclesiastes.

(Kerry Livgren, Dave Hope in back)

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Solomon was searching for meaning and satisfaction in life in what Rogers called the 6 big L words in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He looked into Learning (1:16-18), Laughter, Ladies, Luxuries, and Liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and Labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10The 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!

(Edward John Poynter Painting  below of Solomon)

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

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King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2:11 sums up his search for meaning with these words, “…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

After hearing the sermon by Adrian Rogers in 1976, I took a special interest in the Book of Ecclesiastes and then the next year I bought the album POINT OF KNOW RETURN by the group rock group KANSAS. On that album was the song “Dust in the Wind”  and it rose to #6 on the charts in 1978. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of KANSAS become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more. I was hoping the members of KANSAS would keep looking for something more than just material pursuits UNDER THE SUN.

Livgren wrote:

“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.”

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player DAVE HOPE of KANSAS became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and DAVE HOPE had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. DAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

Those who reject God must accept three realities of their life UNDER THE SUN. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life. FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. In contrast, Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren believe death is not the end and the Christian can face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “UNDER the sun.” Notice this phrase UNDER THE SUN since it appears about 30 times in Ecclesiastes. Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.”

The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

Even though this  phrase is used over and over in Ecclesiastes, Solomon omits the phrase in the 12th and final chapter of Ecclesiastes. In Ecclesiastes 12 he looks ABOVE the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

(Adrian Rogers below)

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Kerry Livgren/Dave Hope: 700 Club Interview (Kansas) Part 1

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Kerry Livgren/Dave Hope: 700 Club Interview (Kansas) Part 2

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