Tag Archives: and Lewis Wolpert

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! PART 157b Professor comments on Schaeffer Analysis of Bertrand Russell

 

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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

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Harold W. Kroto (left) receives the Nobel Prize in chemistry from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf in Stockholm, in 1996.

Soren Andersson/AP

Image result for harry kroto nobel prize

 

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Image result for harry kroto

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

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

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In  the first video below in the 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

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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Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.

Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?

Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true._

 

From WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

The Unveiling of Truth
The famous Hindu writer and statesman Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan once wrote, “The altars erected to the unknown gods in the Graeco-Roman world were but an expression of man’s ignorance of the divine nature. The sense of failure in man’s quest for the unseen is symbolized by them. When asked to define the nature of God, the seer of the Upanishad sat silent, and when pressed to answer claimed that the Absolute is silence.”
By contrast, the Apostle Paul, speaking in the context of the very same altars to unknown gods in Athens, said, “…Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you” (Acts 17:23). And again, writing to the Corinthians not far away, “However, as it is written: `No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived …’ but God has revealed it to us …” (1 Corinthians 2:9,10). This claim is common to the whole Bible. God has not waited for us to stumble to Him in the dark (which would be impossible anyway), but has revealed Himself to us. The word revelation in Greek is apokalupsis which means literally “unveiling”; so God has “unveiled” to us the things we could not know because of our finiteness and sin.
This revelation or unveiling to finite and sinful people is the Bible as the written Word. This is the claim of the whole Bible. Moreover, through the Bible we learn of the life and teaching of the Second Person of the Trinity, who became man at a point in history and so became the Living Word of the Godhead: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9).
In this claim the dilemma of all humanistic systems is overcome at a stroke. The infinite God has spoken. None of the many finite attempts to define truth, doomed to failure as we have seen, is necessary. God has communicated to man, the infinite to the finite. God has communicated, in addition, in words that are understandable to us. The One who made man capable of language in the first place has communicated to man in language. Also, God has communicated truth about both spiritual reality and physical reality, about both the nature of God and the nature of man, about both events in past history and events in the future. Where all humanistic systems of thought are unable to give an adequate explanation of things, the Bible as God’s statement is adequate.
It is equally important to note that the Bible’s answer does not have to be believed blindly. There are good and sufficient reasons for seeing that it is true. It is the key that fits into the lock of what we know best about ourselves and the universe around us.
To change the metaphor: Imagine a book which has been mutilated, leaving just one inch of printed matter on each page. Although it would obviously be impossible to piece together and understand the book’s story, few people would imagine that the printing which was left on those one-inch portions had come together by chance. However, if the torn pieces of each page were found in a trunk and were added in the right places, then the story could be read and would make sense.
So it is with Christianity. The ripped pages remaining in the book correspond to the universe and its form and to the mannishness of man. The parts of the pages discovered in the trunk correspond to the Scriptures, which are God’s propositional communication to mankind. Neither the universe nor personality can give the answer to the whole meaning of the created order. Yet both are important as a testimony in helping us know that the Scriptures, God’s communication to man, are what they claim to be. The question is whether the communication given by God completes and explains the portions we had before and especially whether it explains what was open to observation before (though without an explanation), that is, that the existence of the universe and its form and the mannishness of man are not just chance configurations of the printer’s scrambled type.
This illustration is important for several reasons. First, it emphasizes that Christians do not start out from themselves autonomously, as the humanists try to do. God gives the pages, and thus God gives the answers.
Second, it helps us see the proper place of man’s reason. Just as a scientist does not create the order in the universe but does recognize it, so reason does not create the answer but simply recognizes it. Of course this does not mean that reason will necessarily receive the answer. Each person has to choose to receive God’s truth. But God’s truth is clear. The individual must acknowledge that he (and mankind) is not autonomous, not the center of all things, and he must acknowledge that he has many times done what he knows to be wrong and thus needs the work of Christ for himself. Those who refuse to back down from the position of autonomy make it impossible for themselves to receive the truth, even though there are good and sufficient reasons for knowing that it is the truth.

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Now to pages 119 to 123 of THE GOD WHO IS THERE in chapter 5 (How Do We Know It Is True?) of section three (How Historic Christianity Differs from the New Theology).

 

All men on their own level face a problem. Confronted with the existence and form of the external universe and the “mannishness” of man, how does it fit together, and what sense does it make?

(Then Schaeffer goes on and talks about propositional communication from the personal God before us, not only the things of the cosmos and history match up… a moral absolute and morals; the universal point of reference and the particulars, and the emotional and aesthetic realities of man as well.)

 

The Nature of Proof

In dealing with the question of proof which has been raised by the illustration of the book, I want to suggest that scientific proof, philosophical proof and religious proof follow the same rules. We may have any problem before us which we wish to solve; it may concern a chemical reaction or the meaning of man. After the question has been defined, in each case proof consists of two steps:

A. The theory must be non-contradictory and must give an answer to the phenomenon in question.

B. We must be able to live consistently with our theory.

…Then there is the negative consideration. After a careful definition has weeded out the trivial, the other possible answers that do not involve a mystical leap of faith are of the following nature:

  1. That the impersonal plus time plus chance have produced a personal man. But this theory is against all experience and thus usually the advocates of this theory end with a leap of faith, often hidden by connotation words.
  2. That man is not personal, but dead;that he is in reality a machine, and therefore personality is an illusion. This theory could fit the first criterion of being non-contradictory, but it will not fit the second, for man simply cannot life as though he were a machine. This may be observed as far back in the history of man as we have evidence–for example, from the art and artifacts of the caves or from man’s burial rites….Although man may say that he is no more than a machine, his whole life denies it.
  3. That in the future man will find another reasonable answer. Firstly, this could be said about any answer to anything and would bring all thought and science to an end. It must be seen to be an evasion and an especially weak reply if the person using it applies it only to this one question. Secondly, no one can live with this answer, for it simply is not possible to hold one’s breath and wait until some solution is found in the future. Continually the individual makes moral judgments which affect himself and others, and he must be using some working hypothesis from which to start. Thus, if a person offers this seriously as an alternative theory, he should be prepared to go into deep freeze and stop making judgments which touch on the problem of man. Bertrand Russell, for example, should have stopped making sociological decisions which involved others. This position is only possible if one stops the clock.
  4.  That the scientific theory of relativity may in the future prove to be a sufficient answer for human life. But the scientific theory of relativity cannot be applied to human life in this way. The scientific theory is constantly being tested, both as a theory and by measurement. Therefore it does not mean that “anything goes,” as it does when relativity is applied to human values. Moreover, in science the speed of light in a vacuum is considered an absolute standard. Therefore, scientific relativity does not imply that all scientific laws are in a constant state of flux. To use scientific relativity to buttress the concept of relativity in regard to human life and human values is completely invalid.

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I mailed this above to a professor that I have a lot of respect for and asked a few questions and he gave me permission to post this response of his:

Dear Everette,

Thanks. I found the quote and I believe what Schaeffer says according to the context is generally as you suggest, namely that

 

“Bertrand Russell has taken the position that we cannot know anything is true unless there is an absolute and since Russell does not have one then he should be quiet. Or is Schaeffer saying that Russell has taken the position that we don’t have a unified field of knowledge but one day we will so Russell should shut up today?”—so, actually I think it is both, but in this context the focus is on the later.

 

Schaeffer is dealing with the matter of epistemology and claims that what is accepted under the naturalistic view of things one cannot know what is right or wrong for others and yet he finds himself prone to making such moral judgements. That is, the naturalist has no explanation for the way life is—the way man is, that he has moral motions. Schaeffer points out that: “continually the individual makes moral judgements which affect himself and others, and he must be using some working hypothesis from which to start.” But the naturalists (including Russell) have nothing but a chemically determinism as their starting hypothesis. On this view of things, they have no starting point by which to make moral judgments, and yet they do. If the naturalist agrees that currently their vision of reality denies them any basis on which to make moral judgements of others, but claim that in the future they will have a vision of reality that allows him to make judgements consistently, Schaeffer says he should remain silent until that day comes  (that is what he means by “hold their breath”). So, I think you are right by offering both alternatives as they are not mutually exclusive, but actually the second is entailed in the first. It is both that the vision of reality proposed by the naturalist does not allow him to make moral judgements on others, and if he agrees his present view of reality is inconsistent with the way life is, but in the future he will have an answer, then Schaeffer says that he must remain silent. He puts Russell and Skinner in the same inconsistent circle of thinking.

 

I think Schaeffer is right on this.

 

Thanks for the question. I hope this helps.

(End of Professor’s response )

 

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[From a letter dated August 11, 1918 to Miss Rinder when Russell was 46]

It is so with all who spend their lives in the quest of something elusive, and yet omnipresent, and at once subtle and infinite. One seeks it in music, and the sea, and sunsets; at times I have seemed very near it in crowds when I have been feeling strongly what they were feeling; one seeks it in love above all. But if one lets oneself imagine one has found it, some cruel irony is sure to come and show one that it is not really found.
The outcome is that one is a ghost, floating through the world without any real contact. Even when one feels nearest to other people, something in one seems obstinately to belong to God and to refuse to enter into any earthly communion—at least that is how I should express it if I thought there was a God. It is odd isn’t it? I care passionately for this world, and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted—some ghost, from some extra-mundane region, seems always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand the message. 

There was evidence during Bertrand Russell’s own life that indicated that the Bible was true and could be trusted.

Here is some below:

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnotes #97 and #98) written by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop

A common assumption among liberal scholars is that because the Gospels are theologically motivated writings–which they are–they cannot also be historically accurate. In other words, because Luke, say (when he wrote the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts), was convinced of the deity of Christ, this influenced his work to the point where it ceased to be reliable as a historical account. The assumption that a writing cannot be both historical and theological is false.

The experience of the famous classical archaeologist Sir William Ramsay illustrates this well. When he began his pioneer work of exploration in Asia Minor, he accepted the view then current among the Tubingen scholars of his day that the Book of Acts was written long after the events in Paul’s life and was therefore historically inaccurate. However, his travels and discoveries increasingly forced upon his mind a totally different picture, and he became convinced that Acts was minutely accurate in many details which could be checked.

 

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Bertrand Russell pictured above and Francis Schaeffer below:

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Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Francis Schaeffer in another place worded it like this:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

We all know deep down that God exists and even atheists have to grapple with that knowledge.

Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”

Take a look at this 7th episode from Schaeffer’s series “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? The Age of Nonreason”:

How Should We Then Live – Episode Seven – 07 – Portuguese Subtitles

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Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible.

Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible in Chapter 5 of the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

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

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

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Related posts:

 

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Today we look at the 3rd letter in the Kroto correspondence and his admiration of Bertrand Russell. (Below The Nobel chemistry laureates Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley) It is with sadness that I write this post having learned of the death of Sir Harold Kroto on April 30, 2016 at the age of […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 52 The views of Hegel and Bertrand Russell influenced Gareth Stedman Jones of Cambridge!!

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WOODY WEDNESDAY John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

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John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

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Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

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Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 1)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 151d Sir Bertrand Russell placed absolute faith in the doctrine of uncertainty and he rejected the notion of absolute truth, except when it came to his firm belief in his doctrine of doubt!

 

Image result for bertrand russell
900 × 889Images may be subject to copyrightLearn More

 

 

Image result for bertrand russell
200 × 255Images may be subject to copyrightLearn More

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

Image result for harry kroto
538 × 379Images may be subject to copyrightLearn More

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

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

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In  the first video below in the 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

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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Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.

Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?

Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true._

Bertrand Russell’s Greatest Paradox was His Faith

The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of The Christian Post or its editors.

Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, and social critic. He is recognized as one of the most important logicians of the 20th Century. He is also credited for showing that the naive set theory created by Georg Cantor leads to a contradiction. This is known as “Russell’s paradox.”

Seemingly unbeknownst to Russell however, his greatest paradox was actually his faith. He was a man who placed absolute faith in the doctrine of uncertainty. He rejected the notion of absolute truth, except when it came to his firm belief in his doctrine of doubt. Russell explained it this way: “In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” Jesus, on the other hand, taught his disciples to always rest certain of His Word and His love for them. Russell taught people to reject any sense of certainty. He said, “I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.” That worship of uncertainty was Russell’s undoing and his ultimate paradox.

On March 6, 1927, he delivered a lecture entitled, “Why I Am Not a Christian.” It is a revealing presentation which clearly shows the difference between the mind of natural man and the enlightened mind of a Christian believer. In this lecture, Russell accused religion of being “based primarily and mainly upon fear.” Not only was he mistaken on that account, but ironically he was the one actually basing his own philosophy on the fear of being wrong. He was terrified to place absolute trust in something because in his mind, it might eventually be proven false. That fear kept him bound in chains to his skepticism. This is where his longing for rationality made him irrational. He was the poster child for fear-based living. It consumed him. It enslaved him. And it motivated him to reject Christ.

Interestingly, Russell’s doubts led him to place tremendous confidence in his own intelligence. It is a very proud and misguided position. As the Scripture says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12) For Russell, the world needs man much more than man needs God. In explaining why he was not a Christian, he said the world “needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time toward a past that is dead, which we trust will be far surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create.”

Christians trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Bertrand Russell trusted in his intelligence as his personal savior. The problem is that his savior cannot truly save. His savior is very weak when compared to God. His savior is limited to human reason and man’s understanding. There is a higher level of reason which man desperately needs to acquire. This higher level of sanctified reason is only reached after you trust Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and save your soul. Up until that point, man is basing his conclusions on a limited amount of information and an uninspired level of human reason. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25)

No wonder Russell, amidst all of his intelligence, never found any ultimate satisfaction in life. He repeatedly refused to humble himself before the Lord. Yet he found himself often trying to explain away the very God which he argued wasn’t needed or real. He had made a conscious decision during his teenage years to reject God and the Bible once and for all. From that period forward, it was obvious that Russell had an axe to grind with God. There was a chip on his shoulder and Jesus Christ was one of his favorite targets.

In fact, Russell went so far as to say: “Historically it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if he did we do not know anything about him.” It is astounding that a man with his intellect could be so ignorant regarding the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth. That is how far into the realm of irrationality he was driven by his doctrine of uncertainty. It is truly mind-boggling.

His rejection of Christ was very much related to his denial of his own sinful condition. In his 1927 lecture he said, “When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings.”

Rather than it being an illuminated insight, Russell’s rejection of personal sin was his Achilles’ heel. He respected himself too much to bring himself to admit before God that he was a sinner and in need of salvation. In the end, his deep struggle was not really an intellectual one. It was a moral struggle. It was a moral refusal to admit fault, blame, sin, and the need for God to save him. Therefore, he resorted to trusting his own intelligence to save him not from sin, but from fear. Even then, Russell found that his savior could not deliver him from the very thing he dreaded the most.

By the end of his earthly journey, Russell’s savior left him no different than before. He was just as fearful, if not more so. If any rational person today wants to see where “self-respecting intelligence” ultimately leads, just examine Bertrand Russell. No real hope. No real peace. And absolutely no certainty. A mind is a beautiful thing to waste. And it sure makes a sorry excuse for a savior.

Bertrand Russell was a walking paradox. His life was a permanent contradiction. He ended up doing the very thing he was most afraid of doing, and he trusted in something which he should have known would fail him. His pride blinded him to the contradiction that was his life. It became an infinite loop. A mathematician of Russell’s caliber should have been able to recognize such a thing. This loop has continued for him beyond the grave. His worst fears have now been realized.

In fear he ran from fear. In fear he also ran from God. In so doing, Russell became locked in his own mental contradiction. He couldn’t, or wouldn’t, get out of it. He lived and died without trusting in the One Person who could have delivered him from his paradoxical and misplaced faith. What a sad life and tragic end for a man who had so much human potential. If anyone could ever have been saved by logic alone, it was Bertrand Russell.

God said, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” (1 Corinthians 1:19) Bertrand Russell experienced that frustration more than most. Unfortunately, his life’s message was seen as foolishness from the grandstand of heaven. The message of heaven is only understood by those who become humble before their Creator. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)

Bertrand Russell was too proud to allow himself to be “saved” from anything, least of all his sin before a holy God. He rejected that doctrine as being beneath his dignity and mental superiority. After all, he was Bertrand Russell. Even his four wives and many mistresses over the years seemed to do little if anything to ever make him feel personally guilty for any wrongdoing. He was too self-absorbed to sincerely love God or to truly love a woman. “He seemed detached in mind and body,” one mistress wrote, “but all the furies of hell raged in his eyes.”

With God out of the way, Russell felt free to explore relationships with many women without being burdened down by any absolute set of sexual ethics. His lustful romantic relationships were every bit as paradoxical as his faith in the doctrine of uncertainty. In fact, they fed off each other and fueled even more exploration and an unwillingness to make a lifetime commitment to one woman or to God’s one set of values. At the end of the day, the driving forces of his life were passionate sex with multiple partners and passionate uncertainty in multiple disciplines.

Bertrand Russell is a classic example of how radical skeptics come and go. Meanwhile, “God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.” (Psalm 53:2) When will man wise up and recognize the limitations and contradictions of his own intelligence?

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.

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Bertrand Russell pictured above and Francis Schaeffer below:

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Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Francis Schaeffer in another place worded it like this:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

We all know deep down that God exists and even atheists have to grapple with that knowledge.

Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”

Take a look at this 7th episode from Schaeffer’s series “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? The Age of Nonreason”:

How Should We Then Live – Episode Seven – 07 – Portuguese Subtitles

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Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible.

Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible in Chapter 5 of the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

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

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

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Related posts:

 

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Pausing to take a look at the life of HARRY KROTO Part C (Kroto’s admiration of Bertrand Russell examined)

Today we look at the 3rd letter in the Kroto correspondence and his admiration of Bertrand Russell. (Below The Nobel chemistry laureates Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley) It is with sadness that I write this post having learned of the death of Sir Harold Kroto on April 30, 2016 at the age of […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 52 The views of Hegel and Bertrand Russell influenced Gareth Stedman Jones of Cambridge!!

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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:   Gareth Stedman […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

Top 10 Woody Allen Movies __________ John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were  atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!! Monday, August 06, 2012 (More On) Woody Allen’s Atheism As I wrote in a previous post, I like Woody Allen. I have long admired his […]

John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

______ Top 10 Woody Allen Movies PBS American Masters – Woody Allen A Documentary 01 PBS American Masters – Woody Allen A Documentary 02 __________ John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!! Monday, August 06, 2012 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

Great debate Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 2)

Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of UK/BBC copyright. Pardon the hissy audio. It was recorded 51 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 1)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 149 MM Sir Bertrand Russell’s writings make me think of Norman Geisler’s comment “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist!”

 

I recently read the book “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist,” by Norman Geisler. I think of the title of that book when I think about what Francis Schaeffer said about the nature of Bertrand Russell’s faith discussed later in this blog post.

(William Ramsay pictured below and more about him later in this post)

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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

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Harold W. Kroto (left) receives the Nobel Prize in chemistry from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf in Stockholm, in 1996.

Soren Andersson/AP

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

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

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In  the first video below in the 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

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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Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.

Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?

Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true._

 

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Bertrand Russell pictured above and Francis Schaeffer below:

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Francis Schaeffer noted concerning the IMPLICIT FAITH of Bertrand Russell:

I was lecturing at the University of St. Andrews one night and someone put forth the question, “If Christianity is so clear and reasonable then why doesn’t Bertrand Russell then become a Christian? Is it because he hasn’t discovered theology?”

It wasn’t a matter of studying theology that was involved but rather that he had too much faith. I was surrounded by humanists and you could hear the gasps. Bertrand Russell and faith; Isn’t this the man of reason? I pointed out that this is a man of high orthodoxy who will hold his IMPLICIT FAITH on the basis of his presuppositions no matter how many times he has to zig and zag because it doesn’t conform to the facts.

You must understand what the term IMPLICIT FAITH  means. In the old Roman Catholic Church when someone who became a Roman Catholic they had to promise implicit faith. That meant that you not only had to believe everything that Roman Catholic Church taught then but also everything it would teach in the future. It seems to me this is the kind of faith that these people have in the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system and they have accepted it no matter what it leads them into. 

I think that these men are men of a high level of IMPLICIT FAITH in their own set of presuppositions. Paul said (in Romans Chapter One) they won’t carry it to it’s logical conclusion even though they hold a great deal of the truth and they have revolted and they have set up a series of universals in themselves which they won’t transgress no matter if they conform to the facts or not.

Here below is the Romans passage that Schaeffer is referring to and verse 19 refers to what Schaeffer calls “the mannishness of man” and verse 20 refers to Schaeffer’s other point which is “the universe and it’s form.”

Romans 1:18-20 Amplified Bible :

18 For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. 19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. 20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification].

We can actually see the two points makes playing themselves out in Bertrand Russell’s own life.

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[From a letter dated August 11, 1918 to Miss Rinder when Russell was 46]

It is so with all who spend their lives in the quest of something elusive, and yet omnipresent, and at once subtle and infinite. One seeks it in music, and the sea, and sunsets; at times I have seemed very near it in crowds when I have been feeling strongly what they were feeling; one seeks it in love above all. But if one lets oneself imagine one has found it, some cruel irony is sure to come and show one that it is not really found.
The outcome is that one is a ghost, floating through the world without any real contact. Even when one feels nearest to other people, something in one seems obstinately to belong to God and to refuse to enter into any earthly communion—at least that is how I should express it if I thought there was a God. It is odd isn’t it? I care passionately for this world, and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted—some ghost, from some extra-mundane region, seems always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand the message. 

There was evidence during Bertrand Russell’s own life that indicated that the Bible was true and could be trusted.

 

There was an archaeologist by the name of William Mitchell Ramsay and he had written extensively about the accuracy of the Bible. These books were available to Russell.  Francis Schaeffer discusses William Ramsay’s life below:

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnotes #97 and #98)

A common assumption among liberal scholars is that because the Gospels are theologically motivated writings–which they are–they cannot also be historically accurate. In other words, because Luke, say (when he wrote the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts), was convinced of the deity of Christ, this influenced his work to the point where it ceased to be reliable as a historical account. The assumption that a writing cannot be both historical and theological is false.

The experience of the famous classical archaeologist Sir William Ramsay illustrates this well. When he began his pioneer work of exploration in Asia Minor, he accepted the view then current among the Tubingen scholars of his day that the Book of Acts was written long after the events in Paul’s life and was therefore historically inaccurate. However, his travels and discoveries increasingly forced upon his mind a totally different picture, and he became convinced that Acts was minutely accurate in many details which could be checked.

 

(Under footnote #98)

Acts is a fairly full account of Paul’s journeys, starting in Pisidian Antioch and ending in Rome itself. The record is quite evidently that of an eyewitness of the events, in part at least. Throughout, however, it is the report of a meticulous historian. The narrative in the Book of Acts takes us back behind the missionary journeys to Paul’s famous conversion on the Damascus Road, and back further through the Day of Pentecost to the time when Jesus finally left His disciples and ascended to be with the Father.

But we must understand that the story begins earlier still, for Acts is quite explicitly the second part of a continuous narrative by the same author, Luke, which reaches back to the birth of Jesus.

Luke 2:1-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all [a]the inhabited earth. [b]This was the first census taken while[c]Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a [d]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

In the opening sentences of his Gospel, Luke states his reason for writing:

Luke 1:1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things[a]accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those whofrom the beginning [b]were eyewitnesses and [c]servants of the [d]word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having [e]investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellentTheophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been [f]taught.

In Luke and Acts, therefore, we have something which purports to be an adequate history, something which Theophilus (or anyone) can rely on as its pages are read. This is not the language of “myths and fables,” and archaeological discoveries serve only to confirm this.

For example, it is now known that Luke’s references to the titles of officials encountered along the way are uniformly accurate. This was no mean achievement in those days, for they varied from place to place and from time to time in the same place. They were proconsuls in Corinth and Cyprus, asiarchs at Ephesus, politarches at Thessalonica, and protos or “first man” in Malta. Back in Palestine, Luke was careful to give Herod Antipas the correct title of tetrarch of Galilee. And so one. The details are precise.

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W.M. Ramsay

British archaeologist and New Testament scholar

Biography

William Mitchell Ramsay was born on the 15th of March 1851. He was educated at the universities of Aberdden, Oxford and Gottingen, and was a fellow of Exeter College, Oxford (1882; honorary fellow 1898), and Lincoln College (1885; honorary 1899). In 1885 he was elected professor of classical art at Oxford, and in the next year professor of humanity at Aberdeen. From 1880 onwards he traveled widely in Asia Minor and rapidly became the recognized authority on all matters relating to the districts associated with St Paul’s missionary journeys and on Christianity in the early Roman Empire.

He received the honorary degrees of D.C.L. Oxford, LL.D. St Andrews and Glasgow, D.D. Edinburgh, and was knighted in 1906. He was elected a member of learned societies in Europe and America, and has been awarded medals by the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and the University of Pennsylvania.

His numerous publications include: The Historical Geography of Asia Minor (1890); The Church in the Roman Empire (1893); The Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia (2 vols., 1895, 1897); St Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen (1895; Germ. trans., 1898); Impressions of Turkey (1897); Was Christ born at Bethlehem? (1898); Historical Commentary on Galatians (1899); The Education of. Christ (1902); The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia (1905); Pauline and other Studies in Early Christian History (1906); Studies in the History and Art of the Eastern Provinces of the Roman Empire (1906); The Cities of St Paul (1907); Lucan and Pauline Studies (1908); The Thousand and One Churches (with Miss Gertrude L. Bell, 1909); and articles in learned periodicals and the 9th, 10th and 11th editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His wife, Lady Ramsay, granddaughter of Dr Andrew Marshall of Kirkintilloch, accompanied him in many of his journeys and is the author of Everyday Life Turkey (1897) and The Romance of Elisavet (1899) .

Works by W.M. Ramsay

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In the Book of Revelation, we find John’s letters to the seven churches of first century Asia Minor, written during the era of the Roman Empire. The seven churches correspond to the seven congregations found in these cities: Ephesus, City of Change; Smyrna, City of Life; Pergamum, City of Authority; Thyatira, City of Weakness Made Strong; Sardis, City of Death; Philadelphia, Missionary City; and Laodicea, City of Compromise. William Ramsay presents these letters to help readers better understand their content as well as the historical context surrounding their authorship.Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia is filled with facts regarding the general importance of letter writing in the Early Church, the mobility of letters during this time period, John’s intentions in writing the Seven Letters, and the influence of religion in the development of first century cities. John’s letters provide historical insight into Greco-Roman culture and geography. They also serve to guide Christians in their spiritual development. Ramsay’s book brings John’s letters into a useful contemporary light.

Ramsay wrote this book to tell the story of Paul’s life as it was documented in the Book of Acts. Before Ramsay begins his study of Paul’s life, he discusses the date, composition, and authorship of Acts. “The first and the essential quality of the great historian is truth,” says Ramsay. Of the four types of historical writing, namely, romance, legend, second rate history, and first rate history, Ramsay classifies the Book of Acts as first rate historical writing. The characterization of Paul found in Acts contains such individualized detail that the author could not have gathered this information by any means other than personal acquaintances and original sources. As such, Ramsay believes that the author of Acts has attained a superior mark of historical accuracy and literary trustworthiness.St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen contains an excellent study of the Book of Acts as well as of Paul’s life and travels in first century Asia, Greece, and Rome.

In 19th century schools of theology in Continental Europe, it had become fashionable to be skeptical about any traditional doctrine about the Bible. Many academic theologians denied the divinity of Christ, and others claimed that Paul’s letters were forgeries. Ramsay, while he used some of the same critical methods as his academic peers, was nevertheless able to counter their arguments effectively. Having spent years in Asia Minor studying the missionary journeys of Paul and the Apostles, Ramsay had become an expert on the New Testament’s historical documents. He argues that Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of Luke, was as reliable an historian as any other in the first century. Thus in answer to the question, “Was Christ born in Bethlehem?” Ramsay answers: “Yes. We can trust Luke’s Gospel.”

Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Francis Schaeffer in another place worded it like this:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

We all know deep down that God exists and even atheists have to grapple with that knowledge.

Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”

Take a look at this 7th episode from Schaeffer’s series “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? The Age of Nonreason”:

How Should We Then Live – Episode Seven – 07 – Portuguese Subtitles

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Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible.

Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible in Chapter 5 of the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

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

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

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Related posts:

 

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Pausing to take a look at the life of HARRY KROTO Part C (Kroto’s admiration of Bertrand Russell examined)

Today we look at the 3rd letter in the Kroto correspondence and his admiration of Bertrand Russell. (Below The Nobel chemistry laureates Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley) It is with sadness that I write this post having learned of the death of Sir Harold Kroto on April 30, 2016 at the age of […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 52 The views of Hegel and Bertrand Russell influenced Gareth Stedman Jones of Cambridge!!

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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:   Gareth Stedman […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

Top 10 Woody Allen Movies __________ John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were  atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!! Monday, August 06, 2012 (More On) Woody Allen’s Atheism As I wrote in a previous post, I like Woody Allen. I have long admired his […]

John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

______ Top 10 Woody Allen Movies PBS American Masters – Woody Allen A Documentary 01 PBS American Masters – Woody Allen A Documentary 02 __________ John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!! Monday, August 06, 2012 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

Great debate Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 2)

Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of UK/BBC copyright. Pardon the hissy audio. It was recorded 51 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 1)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 144 Paul Rabinow, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California (Berkeley), “I am not a believer or a theist,…never felt the need to go [into that debate]”

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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

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Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

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There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 academics and scientists and I hope to respond to all of them.

Paul Rabinow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Paul Rabinow
Paul Rabinow à l'Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris.jpg

Portrait of Paul M. Rabinow, made in 2002 by Saâd A. Tazi, at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, during his Blaise Pascal professorship.
Born June 21, 1944 (age 73)
Florida, United States
Citizenship American
Fields Cultural Anthropology
Institutions University of California, Berkeley
Alma mater University of Chicago
Doctoral advisor Clifford Geertz
Influences Michel FoucaultRichard McKeon

Paul Rabinow (born June 21, 1944) is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California (Berkeley), Director of the Anthropology of the Contemporary Research Collaboratory (ARC), and former Director of Human Practices for the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC). He is perhaps most famous for his widely influential commentary and expertise on the French philosopher Michel Foucault.

His major works include Reflections on Fieldwork in Morocco (1977 and 2007), Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics (1983) (with Hubert Dreyfus), The Foucault Reader (1984), French Modern: Norms and Forms of the Social Environment (1989), Making PCR: A Story of Biotechnology (1993), Essays on the Anthropology of Reason (1996), Anthropos Today: Reflections on Modern Equipment (2003), and Marking Time: On the Anthropology of the Contemporary (2007).

Biographical details[edit]

Rabinow was born in Florida but moved as a small child to New York City. He lived in Sunnyside, Queens and attended Stuyvessant High School [1]. Rabinow received his B.A. (1965), M.A. (1967), and Ph.D. (1970) in anthropology from the University of Chicago. He studied at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris (1965–66). He received a Guggenheim Fellowship (1980); was a visiting Fulbright Professor at the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro (1987); taught at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris (1986) as well as the École Normale Supérieure (1997) was a visiting Fulbright Professor at the University of Iceland (1999). He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and National Science Foundation Professional Development Fellowships (for training in molecular biology). He is co-founder of the Berkeley Program in French Cultural Studies. He was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 1998. He received the University of Chicago Alumni Association Professional Achievement Award in 2000. He was awarded the visiting Chaire Internationale de Recherche Blaise Pascal at the École Normale Supérieure for 2001-2. STICERD Distinguished Visiting Professor- BIOS Centre for the Study of Bioscience, Biomedicine, Biotechnology and SocietyLondon School of Economics (2004)

Overview[edit]

Rabinow is known for his development of an “anthropology of reason”. If anthropology is understood as being composed of anthropos + logos, then anthropology can be taken up as a practice of studying how the mutually productive relations of knowledge, thought, and care are given form within shifting relations of power. More recently, Rabinow has developed a distinctive approach to what he calls an “anthropology of the contemporary” that moves methodologically beyond modernity as an object of study or as a metric to order all inquiries.

Rabinow is well known for conceptual work drawing on French, German and American traditions. He was a close interlocutor of Michel Foucault, and has edited and interpreted Foucault’s work as well as ramifying it in new directions.

Rabinow’s work has consistently confronted the challenge of inventing and practicing new forms of inquiry, writing, and ethics for the human sciences. He argues that currently the dominant knowledge production practices, institutions, and venues for understanding things human in the 21st century are inadequate institutionally and epistemologically. In response, he has designed modes of experimentation and collaboration consisting in focused concept work and the explorations of new forms of case-based inquiry.

Rabinow has also devoted a great deal of energy to the invention of new venues, adjacent to the existing university structures, diagnosing the university’s disciplinary organization and career patterns as among the major impediment to 21st century thought. In view of the fact that the organization and practices of the social sciences and humanities in the U.S. university system have changed little in recent decades, they are unlikely to facilitate the composition of contemporary equipment. Rabinow has called for the creation of venues that are adjacent to, but more flexible than, the university and the existing disciplinary structure. He has played leading roles in the design of two such organizations, the Anthropology of the Contemporary Research Collaboratory (ARC), and the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC).

The Anthropology of the Contemporary Research Collaboratory was founded by Paul Rabinow, Stephen Collier, and Andrew Lakoff as part of an effort to create new forms of inquiry in the human sciences. Its aspiration is to create models for new infrastructures, tools of collaboration, and practices of inquiry. The core of the ARC collaboratory is ongoing reflection and communication in a now broadening network of scholars about concept formation and collaboratory work in the human sciences. ARC is a collaboratory for inquiry into contemporary forms of life, labor, and language. ARC engages in empirical study and conceptual work with global reach and long-term perspective. ARC creates contemporary equipment for collaborative work adequate to emergent challenges in the 21st century. ARC’s current concerns focus on interconnections among security, ethics, and the sciences.

 

His comments can be found on the 3rd video and the 118th clip in this series. Below the videos you will find his words.

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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Quote from Paul Rabinow:

In other words I am not a believer or a theist, but I am not also a militant atheist. I think that debate leads into a range of different and diverse existential corners that I don’t want to go to and never felt the need to go to.

More lengthy quote from Paul Rabinow:

on religious belief – don’t believe in God; there are passages in Levi-Strauss’ ‘Tristes Tropiques’ on Buddhism which are relatively close to what I felt much more strongly as a younger person; this question is interesting because in recent years I have been working with a student who has just finished a degree in theology and is now doing a degree in anthropology; he is a practising Christian and we get along remarkably well, discussing ethics etc., but it is clear that the larger theist dimensions are radically disparate; this is an interesting anthropological dimension where ethically this seems to not cause any problem; I frequently related to people with strong but quiet religious beliefs; Michel de Certeau was a Jesuit and I had a number of other Jesuit friends; I think it is the fact that they care about the world and other people, are thoughtful, committed and concerned, and I don’t have to share other parts of their belief system while finding them worthy of friendship; I am uninterested in the Dawkins’ argument of science disproving religion, I am not a positivist, there is a big difference between this form of nineteenth century militant positivism and a Weberian position in which science does not answer ultimate questions; when science becomes a world view, a cosmology, it seems to part company with its deep critical functions; I may not be a believer or theist, but I am not a militant atheist; I also part company with people like Jurgen Habermas or Charles Taylor who feel that unless we have sure foundations for our ethical life that we flounder, which seems wrong; no one has ever proved the ultimate foundations of anything to everyone’s satisfaction yet ethical life and decent human relations seem to me not all that common, but not impossible either; I am not looking for ultimate stopping points, and there is some anthropological dimension to that through respect for the complexity of different commitments; cosmopolitan enlightenment sense that we have to live with difference which can be a good thing, and that intolerance –even in the name of tolerance — is not so admirable.

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I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-).Harry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-),  and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

Some atheists claim like Dr. Rabinow that they have never felt inside that there was anything telling him that there is a God that created him. However, the Bible says in Romans that everyone knows in their heart that God exists. AND THAT THERE IS  A GOD THAT CREATED THE WORLD AND PUT THAT CONSCIENCE IN EVERYONE’S HEART THAT BEARS WITNESS THAT HE CREATED THEM FOR A PURPOSE?

Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”

CSICOP experts commented 15 years ago on a lie-detector’s ability to detect one’s repressed belief in God!!!!

In the book, THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan.  Sagan writes:

The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal is an organization of scientists, academics, magicians, and others dedicated to skeptical scrutiny of emerging or full-blown pseudo-sciences. It was founded by the University of Buffalo philosopher Paul Kurtz in 1976. I’ve been affiliated with it since its beginning. Its acronym, CSICOP, is pronounced sci-cop C as if it’s an organization of scientists performing a police function  CSICOP publishes a bimonthly periodical called The Skeptical Inquirer. On the day it arrives, I take it home from the office and pore through its pages, wondering what new misunderstandings will be revealed (p. 299).

Back in the late 1990’s I corresponded with many scholars from CSICOP concerning the lie-detector’s ability to detect one’s repressed belief in God. I have a good friend who is a street preacher who preaches on the Santa Monica Promenade in California and during the Q/A sessions he does have lots of atheists that enjoy their time at the mic. When this happens he  always quotes Romans 1:18-19 (Amplified Bible) ” For God’s wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness REPRESS and HINDER the truth and make it inoperative. For that which is KNOWN about God is EVIDENT to them and MADE PLAIN IN THEIR INNER CONSCIOUSNESS, because God  has SHOWN IT TO THEM,”(emphasis mine). Then he  tells the atheist that the atheist already knows that God exists but he has been suppressing that knowledge in unrighteousness. This usually infuriates the atheist.

My friend draws some large crowds at times and was thinking about setting up a lie detector test and see if atheists actually secretly believe in God. He discussed this project with me since he knew that I had done a lot of research on the idea about 20 years ago.

Nelson Price in THE EMMANUEL FACTOR (1987) tells the story about Brown Trucking Company in Georgia who used to give polygraph tests to their job applicants. However, in part of the test the operator asked, “Do you believe in God?” In every instance when a professing atheist answered “No,” the test showed the person to be lying. My pastor Adrian Rogers used to tell this same story to illustrate Romans 1:19 and it was his conclusion that “there is no such thing anywhere on earth as a true atheist. If a man says he doesn’t believe in God, then he is lying. God has put his moral consciousness into every man’s heart, and a man has to try to kick his conscience to death to say he doesn’t believe in God.”

It is true that polygraph tests for use in hiring were banned by Congress in 1988.  Mr and Mrs Claude Brown on Aug 25, 1994  wrote me a letter confirming that over 15,000 applicants previous to 1988 had taken the polygraph test and EVERY TIME SOMEONE SAID THEY DID NOT BELIEVE IN GOD, THE MACHINE SAID THEY WERE LYING.

It had been difficult to catch up to the Browns. I had heard about them from Dr. Rogers’ sermon but I did not have enough information to locate them. Dr. Rogers referred me to Dr. Nelson Price and Dr. Price’s office told me that Claude Brown lived in Atlanta. After writing letters to all 9 of the entries for Claude Brown in the Atlanta telephone book, I finally got in touch with the Browns.

Adrian Rogers also pointed out that the Bible does not recognize the theoretical atheist.  Psalms 14:1: The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”  Dr Rogers notes, “The fool is treating God like he would treat food he did not desire in a cafeteria line. ‘No broccoli for me!’ ” In other words, the fool just doesn’t want God in his life and is a practical atheist, but not a theoretical atheist. Charles Ryrie in the The Ryrie Study Bible came to the same conclusion on this verse.

Here are the conclusions of the experts I wrote in the secular world concerning the lie detector test and it’s ability to get at the truth:

Professor Frank Horvath of the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University has testified before Congress concerning the validity of the polygraph machine. He has stated on numerous occasions that “the evidence from those who have actually been affected by polygraph testing in the workplace is quite contrary to what has been expressed by critics. I give this evidence greater weight than I give to the most of the comments of critics” (letter to me dated October 6, 1994).

There was no better organization suited to investigate this claim concerning the lie detector test than the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). This organization changed their name to the Committe for Skeptical Inquiry in 2006. This organization includes anyone who wants to help debunk the whole ever-expanding gamut of misleading, outlandish, and fraudulent claims made in the name of science.

I read The Skeptical Review(publication of CSICOP) for several years during the 90’s and I would write letters to these scientists about taking this project on and putting it to the test.  Below are some of  their responses (15 to 20 years old now):

1st Observation: Religious culture of USA could have influenced polygraph test results.
ANTONY FLEW  (formerly of Reading University in England, now deceased, in a letter to me dated 8-11-96) noted, “For all the evidence so far available seems to be of people from a culture in which people are either directly brought up to believe in the existence of God or at least are strongly even if only unconsciously influenced by those who do. Even if everyone from such a culture revealed unconscious belief, it would not really begin to show that — as Descartes maintained— the idea of God is so to speak the Creator’s trademark, stamped on human souls by their Creator at their creation.”

2nd Observation: Polygraph Machines do not work. JOHN R. COLE, anthropologist, editor, National Center for Science Education, Dr. WOLF RODER, professor of Geography, University of Cincinnati, Dr. SUSAN BLACKMORE,Dept of Psychology, University of the West of England, Dr. CHRISTOPHER C. FRENCH, Psychology Dept, Goldsmith’s College, University of London, Dr.WALTER F. ROWE, The George Washington University, Dept of Forensic Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

3rd Observation: The sample size probably was not large enough to apply statistical inference. (These gentlemen made the following assertion before I received the letter back from Claude Brown that revealed that the sample size was over 15,000.) JOHN GEOHEGAN, Chairman of New Mexicans for Science and Reason, Dr. WOLF RODER, and Dr WALTER F. ROWE (in a letter dated July 12, 1994) stated, “The polygraph operator for Brown Trucking Company has probably examined only a few hundred or a few thousand job applicants. I would surmise that only a very small number of these were actually atheists. It seems a statistically insignificant (and distinctly nonrandom) sampling of the 5 billion human beings currently inhabiting the earth. Dr. Nelson Price also seems to be impugning the integrity of anyone who claims to be an atheist in a rather underhanded fashion.”

4th Observation: The question (Do you believe in God?)  was out of place and it surprised the applicants. THOMAS GILOVICH, psychologist, Cornell Univ., Dr. ZEN FAULKES, professor of Biology, University of Victoria (Canada), ROBERT CRAIG, Head of Indiana Skeptics Organization, Dr. WALTER ROWE, 
 
5th Observation: Proof that everyone believes in God’s existence does not prove that God does in fact exist. PAUL QUINCEY, Nathional Physical Laboratory,(England), Dr. CLAUDIO BENSKI, Schneider Electric, CFEPP, (France),
6th Observation: Both the courts and Congress recognize that lie-detectors don’t work and that is why they were banned in 1988.  (Governments and the military still use them.)
Dr WALTER ROWE, KATHLEEN M. DILLION, professor of Psychology, Western New England College.
7th Observation:This information concerning Claude Brown’s claim has been passed on to us via a tv preacher and eveybody knows that they are untrustworthy– look at their history. WOLF RODER.
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Gene Emery, science writer for Providence Journal-Bulletin is a past winner of the CSICOP “Responsibility in Journalism Award” and he had the best suggestion of all when he suggested, “Actually, if you want to make a good case about whether Romans 1:19 is true, arrange to have a polygraph operator (preferably an atheist or agnostic) brought to the next CSICOP meeting. (I’m not a member of CSICOP, by the way, so I can’t give you an official invitation or anything.) If none of the folks at that meeting can convince the machine that they truly believe in God, maybe there is, in fact, an innate willingness to believe in God.”
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Let me share a story from a former atheist named Jamie Lash:

DOES GOD BELIEVE IN ATHEISTS?

 

I grew up as an atheist. I thought that the reason I didn’t believe was the lack of evidence that I could see or touch. I kept asking God to show me a sign if He was really there. He didn’t. Despite nine months of searching, I was just as alienated from God as I had ever been.

I remember the shock it was when God revealed to me that what I thought was the obstacle wasn’t the obstacle at all! The obstacle was pride and hardness of heart. It wasn’t a head problem; it was a heart problem. I had to come to the place where I was willing to let God be God over my life. Was I willing to confess (i.e. admit) that Jesus is Lord?

Years ago Adrian Rogers counseled with a NASA scientist and his severely depressed wife. The wife pointed to her husband and said, “My problem is him.” She went on to explain that her husband was a drinker, a liar, and an adulterer. Dr. Rogers asked the man if he were a Christian. “No!” the man laughed. “I’m an atheist.”

“Really?” Dr. Rogers replied. “That means you’re someone who knows that God does not exist.”

“That’s right,” said the man.

“Would it be fair to say that you don’t know all there is to know in the universe?”

“Of course.”

“Would it be generous to say you know half of all there is to know?”

“Yes.”

“Wouldn’t it be possible that God’s existence might be in the half you don’t know?”

“Okay, but I don’t think He exists.”

“Well then, you’re not an atheist; you’re an agnostic. You’re a doubter.”

“Yes, and I’m a big one.”

“It doesn’t matter what size you are. I want to know what kind you are.”

“What kinds are there?”

“There are honest doubters and dishonest doubters. An honest doubter is willing to search out the truth and live by the results; a dishonest doubter doesn’t want to know the truth. He can’t find God for the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman.”

“I want to know the truth.”

“Would you like to prove that God exists?”

“It can’t be done.”

“It can be done. You’ve just been in the wrong laboratory. Jesus said, ‘If any man’s will is to do His will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority’ (John 7:17). I suggest you read one chapter of the book of John each day, but before you do, pray something like this, ‘God, I don’t know if You’re there, I don’t know if the Bible is true, I don’t know if Jesus is Your Son. But if You show me that You are there, that the Bible is true, and that Jesus is Your Son, then I will follow You. My will is to do your will.”

The man agreed. About three weeks later he returned to Dr. Rogers’s office and invited Jesus Christ to be his Savior and Lord.

A man might be convinced that he’s being very sincere in his search for God, but until he humbles himself, he will never find Him.

                 

— Jamie Lash  

A Brief Sample of Old Testament Archaeological Corroboration

A Brief Sample of Old Testament Archaeological CorroborationI’ve learned to test witnesses in my criminal investigations before trusting their testimony, and I evaluate them with the template we typically use in jury trials. One dimension of this template is corroboration: Is there any verifying evidence supporting the claims of the eyewitness? Corroborative evidence is what I refer to as “touch point” evidence. I don’t expect a surveillance video confirming every statement made by a witness, but I do expect small “touch point” corroborations. The authors of the Bible make a variety of historical claims, and many of these claims are corroborated by archaeological evidence. Archaeology is notoriously partial and incomplete, but it does offer us “touch point” verification of many Biblical claims. Here are just a few of the more impressive findings related to the Old Testament:

Related to the Customs of the Patriarchs
Critics of the Old Testament have argued against the historicity of the books of Moses, doubting the authenticity of many of the stories found in Genesis (and sometimes rejecting the authorship of Moses along the way). Skeptics doubted primitive people groups were capable of recording history with any significant detail, and they questioned the existence of many of the people and cities mentioned in the oldest of Biblical accounts. When the Ebla archive was discovered in Syria (modern Tell Mardikh) in the 1970′s, many of these criticisms became less reasonable. During the excavations of the Ebla palace in 1975, the excavators found a large library filled with tablets dating from 2400 -2300 BC. These tablets confirmed many of the personal titles and locations described in the patriarchal Old Testament accounts.

For years, critics also believed the name “Canaan” was used incorrectly in the early books of the Bible, doubting the term was used at this time in history and suspecting it was a late insertion (or evidence of late authorship). But “Canaan” appears in the Ebla tablets. The term was used in ancient Syria during the time in which the Old Testament was written. Critics were also skeptical of the word, “Tehom” (“the deep” in Genesis 1:2), believing it was also a late addition or evidence again of late authorship. But “Tehom” was also part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use 800 years before Moses. In fact, there is a creation record in the Ebla Tablets remarkably similar to the Genesis account. In addition, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (once thought to be fictional) are also identified in the Ebla tablets, as well as the city of Haran. This latter city is described in Genesis as the city of Abram’s father, Terah. Prior to this discovery, critics doubted the existence of this ancient city. The Ebla discovery confirmed the locations of several ancient cities, corroborated the use of several terms and titles, and confirmed ancient people were capable of being eloquent and conscientious historians.

Related to the Hittites
The historicity and cultural customs of the Patriarchs have also been corroborated in clay tablets uncovered in the cities of Nuzi, Mari and Bogazkoy. Archaeological discoveries in these three cities have confirmed the existence of the Hittites. These findings also revealed an example of an ancient king with an incredible concentration of wealth. Prior to this discovery, skeptics doubted such ancient affluence was possible and considered the story of Solomon to be greatly exaggerated. This discovery provided an example of such a situation, however. Solomon’s prosperity is now considered to be entirely feasible.

Related to Sargon
The historicity of the Assyrian king, Sargon (recorded in Isaiah 20:1) has also been confirmed, in spite of the fact his name was not seen in any non-Biblical record. Archeology again proved the Biblical account to be true when Sargon’s palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. More importantly, the event mentioned in Isaiah 20, Sargon’s capture of Ashdod, was recorded on the palace walls, confirming the history recorded in Old Testament Scripture. Fragments of a stela (an inscribed stone pillar) were also found at Ashdod. This stela was originally carved to memorialize the victory of Sargon.

Related to Belshazzar
Belshazzar, king of Babylon, was another historic king doubted by critics. Belshazzar is named in Daniel 5, but according to the non-Biblical historic record, the last king of Babylon was Nabonidus. Tablets have been discovered, however, describing Belshazzar as Nabonidus’ son and documenting his service as coregent in Babylon. If this is the case, Belshazzar would have been able to appoint Daniel “third highest ruler in the kingdom” for reading the handwriting on the wall (as recorded in Daniel 5:16). This would have been the highest available position for Daniel. Here, once again, we see the historicity of the Biblical record has been confirmed by archaeology.

Related to Nebo-Sarsekim
It’s not just kings and well-known figures who have been verified by archeology over the years. There are thousands of “lesser known,” relatively unimportant characters in the Bible who would easily be overlooked if archeology did not continue to verify them. One such person is Nebo-Sarsekim. Nebo-Sarsekim is mentioned in the Bible in Chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah. According to Jeremiah, this man was Nebuchadnezzar II’s “chief officer” and was with him at the siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC, when the Babylonians overran the city. Many skeptics have doubted this claim, but in July of 2007, Michael Jursa, a visiting professor from Vienna, discovered Nebo-Sarsekim’s name (Nabu-sharrussu-ukin) written on an Assyrian cuneiform tablet. This tablet was used as a receipt acknowledging Nabu-sharrussu-ukin’s payment of 0.75 kg of gold to a temple in Babylon, and it described Nebo-Sarsekim as “the chief eunuch” of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon. The tablet is dated to the 10th year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, 595BC, 12 years before the siege of Jerusalem, once again verifying the dating and record of the Old Testament.

Related to Nehemiah’s Wall
Skeptical historians once doubted the historicity of Nehemiah’s account of the restoration of Jerusalem that is found in the Bible. Nehemiah lived during the period when Judah was a province of the Persian Empire, and he arrived in Jerusalem as governor in 445 BC. With the permission of the Persian king, he decided to rebuild and restore the city after the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians (which occurred a century earlier, in 586 BC). The Book of Nehemiah records the completion of this wall in just 52 days, and many historians did not believe this to be true, since the wall itself was never discovered. But in November of 2007, the remnants of the wall were uncovered in an archaeological excavation in Jerusalem’s ancient City of David, strengthening concurrent claims King David’s palace was also found at the site. Experts now agree that the wall has been discovered along with the palace. Once again the Old Testament has been corroborated.

Archaeology is an ever-developing discipline, providing new insight into the past with every new discovery. Many of these findings are featured at the Biblical Archaeology Society and at other similar sources. The claims of Judaism and Christianity are more than proverbial insights; they are claims about the historic past. As such, they can be verified or falsified. Archeology is one way we can test the claims of the Old and New Testament, and this discipline continues to provide “touch point” corroborative evidence affirming the claims of the Bible.

 

Related Posts In This Series:

Establishing the Reliability of the Old Testament: A Trustworthy Process of Transmission
Establishing the Reliability of the Old Testament: A Timely Test of Transmission
Establishing the Reliability of the Old Testament: The Ardent Testimony of the Ancients
The Comparatively Rich Archaeological Corroboration of the Old Testament
From Reliable to Divine: Fulfilled Prophecy in the Old Testament

 

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Pausing to take a look at the life of HARRY KROTO Part J “Harry discusses Templeton Foundation”

It is with sadness that I write this post having learned of the death of Sir Harold Kroto on April 30, 2016 at the age of 76. He was a scientist of remarkable abilities and a man of great humor too. In this series  I posted the Memorial by Richard Dawkins for Dr. Kroto and a letter I wrote him about Israel and I also looked at Kroto’s membership in CSICOP and his admiration for Bertrand Russell and his 2 emails he sent to me on 9-18-14.  Peter Coles, Head of the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Sussex gave an excellent tribute Dr. Kroto which I posted and also I inclued  a February 16, 2009 post from the blogger Rob from the blog THINKING MATTERS about Dr. Kroto.

Next in part F of PAUSING TO LOOK AT THE LIFE OF HARRY KROTO, I take a closer look at one of Dr. Kroto’s favorite books:  THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan. New York: Random House, 1995. 457 pages, extensive references, index. Hardcover; $25.95. PSCF 48 (December 1996): 263. In part G, I look at Sam Harris on the Bill Maher Show stating that there is no comparison to Islam and Christianity today concerning killing in the name of religion and then I look at some of Dr. Kroto’s comments on that and then my response.

In part H of PAUSING TO LOOK AT THE LIFE OF HARRY KROTO, I respond to his statement, “How anyone can believe that an ALL-POWERFUL ENTITY, with even an iota of humanitarian sensitivity, could have created a living system that is so blatantly, intrinsically CANNIBALISTIC is beyond my belief.” In part I, in an hour long video Dr. Kroto discusses the work of  Fred Hoyle and I include some comments from others on Fred Hoyle.

I did not know Harry Kroto personally but I did have the opportunity to correspond with him in 2014. I sent him a letter in the spring and two in the summer and he responded with an email on 9-18-16 and I thanked him for responding in an email and then he emailed me again and even sent me a letter on 11-21-14. In that 11-21-14 letter he referred me to the You Tube film series Renowned Academics Speaking About God which has over 300,000 views on You Tube and that prompted me on 11-29-14 to start my blog series RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Below are the links to the posts I have already done on previous Tuesdays in this series:

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

Harry Kroto on Templeton Foundation

 

Harry Kroto (1939-2016): A salesman of science in the best sense of the term

Harry Kroto who sadly passed away yesterday at 76 co-discovered fullerenes and was a passionate communicator of science. After he got the Nobel Prize, he devoted all his time to spreading the excitement of science in developing countries. Among other things he started the Vega Science Trust website which features interviews with and lectures by many famous scientists, from Feynman to Sanger. 

I had a nice chat with Kroto at the Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting in Germany in 2009. At Lindau he gave a sparkling multimedia presentation that was less science and more of a paean for science. After his talk I wrote a post comparing his presentation to savoring a rich parade of treats, and I think this attitude to science characterized his entire post-Nobel career. Below I reprint the post. Harry’s zest for science will be missed

When I visit my favorite restaurant for lunch or dinner, I usually order a legitimate food item from the main course. But once in a while, just to indulge, I order a sample platter of appetizers. The appetizers don’t always provide the deep satisfaction that I get from eating a proper, expensive food item. But they provide me with a different kind of unique satisfaction; they give me a glimpse of what’s new, what’s possible. They provide a view of the diversity that can emerge in a plate of bite-sized chunks. And through their frequent novelty, they give me hope that there are new possibilities on the horizon. These appetizers constitute occasional but necessary fodder. Sir Harold Kroto’s talk was one of the most satisfying platter of appetizers I have sampled, and I had not even ordered it.

Harry Kroto exemplifies the British intellectual tradition at its best. He has three passions; science, education and humanism. And in a wonderfully entertaining talk filled with animation, quotes, videos and wit, he exemplified all three qualities. And of course no talk is ever really interesting without being a little provocative, so there was plenty of that too.
Kroto shared the Nobel Prize in 1996 for discovering a chemical structure that has become a cornerstone of our scientific imagination in the same way that DNA has. The fullerenes that he, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley discovered have symbolized scientific discovery. The myriad odd structures emerging from these structures including carbon nanotubes give us the hope of novel technologies in engineering and medicine. Since his discovery of buckyballs in 1985, Kroto has turned toward other endeavors. He has strived to make his beloved science accessible to those who would most benefit from it, namely children around the world. To do this he travels all over the world and organizes local groups in developing and developed countries who teach children about science.
Kroto believes that science should always be presented in an attractive way for it to become truly appealing. To this end his talk reflected this style. Each of the slides was highly pictorial, filled with rapid animation, videos and quotes, exactly the dose of inspiration and fun that a roomful of 500 excited science students and young researchers needed. The talk began with an exposition of “chemistry in 30 seconds”. It must have been a module that Kroto and his team designed for students; starting from simple numbers and figures Kroto derived the periodic table on the screen. The next few slides explored molecular flexibility, an important consideration which is paramount in the biological activity of drugs for instance. Kroto’s own speciality- microwave spectroscopy- examines this phenomenon and was key in the discovery of fullerenes. Kroto’s story is the quintessential story of serendipitous scientific discovery.
His real interest was the study of molecules found in outer space. One day during this exploration he and his team accidentally discovered a peak in their spectrum, something that they were not looking for. Today a PhD. advisor may severely reprimand a graduate student if he tries to assign a chemical structure to a single signal in a complex spectrum. But Kroto and independently Smalley and Curl investigated this anomaly. As they say, the trick in science consists of seeing what everyone sees, and thinking of what nobody thinks. The rest is history, although Donald Huffman and Wolfgang Krätschmer had to synthesize fullerene in measurable quantities to meticulously characterize it.
After encapsulating chemistry in 30 seconds, Kroto moved on to the topic of science education. Some of the brightest children in the world are the most pressed for access to scientific knowledge. As I write this and look at the young scientists and bloggers around me, I ask myself, “What if we had been born in Somalia, or the DRC, or El Salvador, or a tiny village in China or India?”. We each have to realize that most of us are privileged in doing what we do not just because of our own intrinsic capabilities of learning but because of fortunate circumstances, educated parents and plain old good luck. We should continue to remember that there are kids brighter than us, kids who potentially could make Nobel Prize winning contributions, who don’t have the tiniest chance to climb the ladder of education. We owe it to ourselves to make sure if we can, to invest a tiny amount of effort in our own way to educate those who have not been fortunate to educate themselves.
To achieve this, Kroto has started the Vega Science Trust which seeks to communicate the value of science and common sense thinking to children in poor countries. In this respect Kroto is not a general who dictates from the sidelines. He is a foot soldier who is out there in the field. Photographic evidence of this fact came from several photos of Kroto teaching science to children in Mexico, Florida, China and Africa. The children were wearing t-shirts that were proudly emblazoned with fullerenes. The teaching of science extended to the spiritual; “fullerene meditation” in which children balance fullerenes on their heads while adopting a state of quiet contemplation. Kroto also emphasized the importance of the three bastions of modern information access, Google, Wikipedia and Youtube. All three constitute important forms of information access for millions of people in the future. Especially Wikipedia is a tremendous example of the remarkable wealth of high-quality knowledge and intense interest that individuals have in contributing to it.
The Vega Science Trust also has a really great website which has free access to interviews with Nobel Prize winners and other scientists, lectures by famous scientists (including a fantastic set of four one-hour lectures by Richard Feynman) and many other science resources. I have listened to several of the interviews and talks on this site and they do an admirable job of inspiring young people to study science.
However, educating children is not just educating them about science, because science itself is not simply about facts but about a process of constant questioning and revision. Sir Harold’s third passion, humanism, firmly rests on the pillars of open criticism and inquiry that exemplify science. Humanism is not necessarily a rejection of religion, but it is an active and relentless emphasis on critical thinking, equality and skeptical thought.
Here is where the talk became provocative because when you start talking about impediments to learning you inevitably have to mention religion. The science-religion controversy is so widespread that you think that everything possible that one can say about it has been said. However Kroto focused on some key aspects. He was categorically clear that children should not be indoctrinated with their parents’ religion and taught that that is the only “right” one. Kroto has spent more than a decade teaching children to be inquisitive, critical and open-minded. Religious indoctrination of children will undo much of what he has been trying to do. But for Kroto the issue goes much further. Religious indoctrination is part of many different environments that the child inhabits. To make his point Kroto showed pictures from the odious creation “museum” in Kentucky, with saddled dinosaurs and with children shown the “evolution” of the earth over the past 6000 years. Even religious moderates should find this spectacle ridiculous. Richard Dawkins has called parents bringing up their children in their own religious tradition as engaging in “child abuse”. While one might debate the merits of such a strong statement, there is no doubt that parents of all stripes must teach their children the value of open exchange and critical thinking.
But why? Why constantly stress the value of scientific thinking? Because otherwise our future generation would not be able to make the contributions that scientists at Lindau have made, and they would not be able to reap the benefits of these discoveries. The current flood of students at Lindau might well dwindle down to a trickle. We depend so intimately on continuous scientific discovery that we largely take it for granted. Too much of the science-religion debate ignores the simple fact that science has led to an enormous reduction in the amount of suffering in our world. As just two examples, Kroto quoted the discovery of anesthetics and penicillin, two discoveries which were watersheds in the amelioration of human disease and suffering. Whatever the positive and negative qualities of religion, the positive qualities of science should be apparent to any person. And it is only through the constant application of critical thinking and healthy skepticism that we have bequeathed the fruits of scientific wisdom.
Thinking about critical thinking and a balanced outlook takes us to the last point that Kroto discussed, and that was the absolutely crucial need for sustainable development. The same rational thinking that has led us away from superstition should also lead us to realize the grave danger that our activities pose to our planet, and the urgent need for prompt and cogent action. If we don’t take care of our planet, we would not be able to take care of ourselves and nothing would matter then; not fullerenes, not education and not the science-religion debate. All that would matter would be the throes of a helpless species which could not prevent its own destruction. For a species which has sequenced its own language of life, sent men to the moon, plumbed the depths of its planet and defied nature by extending its own survival and life-span by leaps and bounds, we owe ourselves more than that.
Albert Einstein once said that “all of science measured against reality is primitive and childlike- and yet it is the most precious thing we have”. This is another profound realization that is frequently lost in the science-religion debate; that science makes no claim to ultimate truths (notwithstanding the utmost self-confidence that some of its practitioners may exhibit) but it has been supremely useful in gradually helping us know and get rid of our biases; as Niels Bohr said, the rather unpretentious goal of science is the gradual removal of our prejudices. To this extent science should be the epitome of modesty. We should be humbled and reminded of our own tiny little space in the universe whenever our eyes stretch across the vast milky way or whenever we view the sheer diversity of the species that populate a rain forest and recognize the deep and intimate relationship we share with these creatures.
At the same time we should feel supremely privileged that science, with the simplest of lessons, has allowed us to transcend our dreams in ways that have been possible for no other species on our planet. Science is not perfect, but the values of open-mindedness and skepticism that it has taught us have not only allowed us to make the world a better place through practical discoveries, but have also engendered the most basic elements of humanity, including a respect for free and open minds that is independent of nationality, gender, race and language. The Lindau meeting proves that science transcends every kind of barrier like no other endeavor. This rare realization, this most unifying of paradigms, is indeed a thing of limitless value. The most precious thing that we have.

_____

dadnmeinboat jpg

Related posts:

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! John Dunn, political theorist, Cambridge, “I am interested in how religious belief works and what it has meant but it is not [my] belief”

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 I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Pausing to take a look at the life of HARRY KROTO Part A

Communication at the The Royal Society Featuring: Professor Sir Harry Kroto, Alexei Leonov, Dr Richard Dawkins, Dr Brian May, Professor Stephen Hawking   It is with sadness that I write this post having learned of the death of Sir Harold Kroto on April 30, 2016 at the age of 76. He was a scientist of […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Haroon Ahmed, Physics Dept, Cambridge “I decided then as a thinking child that religion was not good for one”

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975 and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them. Harry Kroto Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto I have attempted to respond to all of […]

(The Nobel chemistry laureates Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley)

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! C.J. van Rijsbergen, Dept of Computing Science, University of Glasgow, “Martin Rees said, ‘I am a non-believing Christian.’ I thought yeah that is exactly quite close to what I am. In other words, I understand and I accept the culture that we have has come out of Christianity, but just because I accept it and go along with it and admire it actually, doesn’t mean to say that I have to also believe in God”  

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 I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 80 Alison Richard, Yale University, Professor of Anthropology, “I would classify myself as an agnostic. You can not  know enough to know that there is nothing you don’t understand…To sign up to a fully elaborated religious system of beliefs is something I can’t do.” 

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 I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments […]

(Kroto and his wife, Margaret)

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 79 Sir Patrick Bateson, biologist and science writer, emeritus professor of ethology at Cambridge “Darwin’s response when he was asked whether he was an atheist was …I think agnostic, I’m actually an atheist when all is said and done, I really don’t believe in a God!”

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975 and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them. Harry Kroto Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto I have attempted to respond to all of […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 78 John Sulston, University of Manchester, “All the religions are in conflict with each other”

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 I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments […]

(Margaret and Harry Kroto with students at Lindau 2005)

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 77 Gareth Stedman Jones, Centre for History and Economics, Magdalene College, “I quite like the rituals of the Church of England, but I don’t believe in God and all that; my position was reinforced by reading Hegel, at school I did read Bertrand Russell’s explanation of why he was not a Christian”

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975 and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them. Harry Kroto Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto I have attempted to respond to all of […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 76 Lisa Jardine, Historian, University of London, “I received no religious training of any sort from my family… we are a secular family…”

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975 and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them. Harry Kroto Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto I have attempted to respond to all of […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 75 Roger Penrose, Oxford University, mathematical physicist, “I tend to call myself an atheist versus agnostic but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have doubts…[though I don’t think religions are correct]…particularly the Christian religion”

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 I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology, Harvard, and proponent of DETERMINISM, “THE MIND IS THE PRODUCT OF THE BRAIN, THE BRAIN IS THE PRODUCT OF EVOLUTION, THERE IS NO NEED TO INVOKE AN IMMATERIAL SOUL in understanding how the mind works”

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 I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments […]

(With his son Stephen in Joshua Tree)

DSC00653

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! John Sulston, University of Manchester, “All the religions are in conflict with each other”

__ 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 I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 74 VS Ramachandran, neuroscientist UC San Diego, “Things like creativity may go up to a certain point in explaining (the brain) or you have to start saying the divine sparkle or something that we scientists don’t believe in, eventually the answer is yes, we are going to explain many different aspects by brain function”

  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 Sir Harry Kroto, FSU’s Francis Eppes Professor of Chemistry   I […]

(Marg Kroto with two sons Stephen and David)

Marg and Steve and David

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Roger Penrose, Oxford University, mathematical physicist, “I tend to call myself an atheist versus agnostic but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have doubts…[though I don’t think religions are correct]…particularly the Christian religion”

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 I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 73 Mahzarin Banaji, Harvard, “I was born into a Zoroastrian family, and I stopped believing roughly around the age of 8!”

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 Wikipedia notes: Mahzarin Banaji From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [hide]This article has […]

(With Marg in 1964)

Image21 (2)

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! A.C.Grayling, Philosopher, “If you think that the reasons you have for believing in fairies are very poor reasons; that it is irrational to think that there are such things, then the belief in supernatural agencies in general is equally as irrational”

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 Wikipedia notes: Anthony Clifford “A. C.” Grayling (/ˈɡreɪlɪŋ/; born 3 April 1949) […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 72 Riccardo Giacconi, Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist, Johns Hopkins University. ” Irrational thinking of any kind is very dangerous”

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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto: ______________ I have […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 71 David Friend, Physics Dept, Cambridge, “If you believe that the truth lies in strange scrolls dug up from somewhere or another written by someone then there is no logical counter to that”

  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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto: ______________ I […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 70 John Searle, Phil Dept, Berkeley, “I think religion is here to stay because it does satisfy [our] needs, but intellectually I don’t think you can justify it!”

  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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto: ______________ I […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 69 George Lakoff, Cognitive Linguist, Berkeley, “So the soul doesn’t see, doesn’t think, doesn’t hear, doesn’t have emotions, or a personality. Okay, whose soul is it and what good is it?”

_____ RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 69 On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URLhttp://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 _________________ Below […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 68 Stephen F Gudeman, Anthropologist, MN “I say I am an agnostic…I don’t know how the universe started period!”

_____ RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 68 On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URLhttp://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 _________________ Below […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 67 Michio Kaku, Physics Dept, City College of New York, “Remarkable claims require remarkable proof”

___ 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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto: ______________ I […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 66 Stephan Feuchtwang, London School of Economics, “I am deeply respectful, as well as utterly sceptical, of what people say they have as their spiritual experience including what they say about God”

_______ 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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto: Professor Stephan […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 65 Alva Noe, Phil Dept, Berkeley, “It is certainly true that there is nothing that science is teaching us about how we are that supports different religious fables”

___ 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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto: ______________ I […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 64 Arif Ahmed Cambridge, “There are other examples in life where committing oneself means staking your life like flying on a plane to France tomorrow…These are precisely not cases where you should make a leap in the absence of evidence!”

__ 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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto: I have […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 63 Robert M. Price “The burden of proof is on the person who says that there was [a historical Jesus]”

  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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto: ______________ I […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 62 Dr.Yujin Nagasawa of Birmingham “…why we don’t live in this kind of environment where we are not tempted to perform morally wrong?”

  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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto: ______________ Yujin […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Riccardo Giacconi, Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist, Johns Hopkins University. ” Irrational thinking of any kind is very dangerous”

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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto: ______________ I have […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! David Friend, Physics Dept, Cambridge, “If you believe that the truth lies in strange scrolls dug up from somewhere or another written by someone then there is no logical counter to that”

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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto: ______________ I have […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! John Searle, Phil Dept, Berkeley, “I think religion is here to stay because it does satisfy [our] needs, but intellectually I don’t think you can justify it!”

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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto: ______________ I have […]

__________

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Roger Penrose, Oxford University, mathematical physicist, “I tend to call myself an atheist versus agnostic but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have doubts…[though I don’t think religions are correct]…particularly the Christian religion”

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

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

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

Roger Penrose

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sir Roger Penrose
Roger Penrose-6Nov2005.jpg

Roger Penrose, 2005
Born 8 August 1931 (age 83)
Colchester, Essex, England
Residence United Kingdom
Nationality British
Fields Mathematical physics
Institutions
Notes
He is the brother of Jonathan Penrose, Oliver Penrose and Shirley Hodgson; son of Lionel Penrose; nephew of Roland Penrose.

Sir Roger Penrose OM FRS (born 8 August 1931), is an English mathematical physicist, mathematician and philosopher of science. He is the Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford, as well as an Emeritus Fellow of Wadham College.

Penrose is known for his work in mathematical physics, in particular for his contributions to general relativity and cosmology. He has received a number of prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their contribution to our understanding of the universe.[1]

Early life and academia[edit]

Born in Colchester, Essex, England, Roger Penrose is a son of psychiatrist and mathematician Lionel Penrose and Margaret Leathes,[2] and the grandson of the physiologist John Beresford Leathes. His uncle was artist Roland Penrose, whose son with photographer Lee Miller is Antony Penrose. Penrose is the brother of mathematician Oliver Penrose and of chess Grandmaster Jonathan Penrose. Penrose attendedUniversity College School and University College, London, where he graduated with a first class degree in mathematics. In 1955, while still a student, Penrose reintroduced the E. H. Moore generalised matrix inverse, also known as the Moore–Penrose inverse,[3] after it had been reinvented by Arne Bjerhammar (1951). Penrose earned his PhD at Cambridge (St John’s College) in 1958, writing a thesis on “tensor methods in algebraic geometry” under algebraist and geometer John A. Todd. He devised and popularised the Penrose triangle in the 1950s, describing it as “impossibility in its purest form” and exchanged material with the artist M. C. Escher, whose earlier depictions of impossible objects partly inspired it. Escher’s Waterfall, and Ascending and Descending were in turn inspired by Penrose. As reviewer Manjit Kumar puts it:

As a student in 1954, Penrose was attending a conference in Amsterdam when by chance he came across an exhibition of Escher’s work. Soon he was trying to conjure up impossible figures of his own and discovered the tri-bar – a triangle that looks like a real, solid three-dimensional object, but isn’t. Together with his father, a physicist and mathematician, Penrose went on to design a staircase that simultaneously loops up and down. An article followed and a copy was sent to Escher. Completing a cyclical flow of creativity, the Dutch master of geometrical illusions was inspired to produce his two masterpieces.[4]

In 1965, at Cambridge, Penrose proved that singularities (such as black holes) could be formed from the gravitational collapse of immense, dying stars.[5] This work was extended by Hawking to prove thePenrose–Hawking singularity theorems.

In  the third video below in the 139th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

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)

TEDxWarwick – Sir Roger Penrose – Space-Time Geometry and a New Cosmology

Uploaded on Jan 13, 2011

Sir Roger Penrose is one of the world’s leading mathematical physicists. He is also joint winner of the Wolf prize with Stephen Hawking for their contribution to our understanding of the universe. Some of his discoveries include Penrose Tiling, Twistor theory and works about the geometry of spacetime. He is also a recreational mathematician and philosopher.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Hawking, God, & the Universe – Alister McGrath vs. Roger Penrose

Published on Sep 18, 2013

Date: September 24, 2010
Location: Unbelievable? Premier Christian Radio

Christian debater: Alister E. McGrath
Atheist debater: Roger Penrose

For Alister McGrath: http://users.ox.ac.uk/~mcgrath/

Roger Penrose – What Things Really Exist?

Published on Jan 25, 2013

For more videos and information, visit http://www.closertotruth.com

What things really exist? Our host Robert Lawrence Kuhn poses the question to Roger Penrose, in an interview from our series “Closer To Truth,” currently airing on PBS stations nationwide. Check your local listings for air times.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Below is a letter I wrote responding to Dr. Penrose’s quote:

April 12, 2016

Dr. Roger Penrose, c/o Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, United Kingdom,

Dear Dr. Penrose,

In the You Tube video “A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3),” you asserted: 

I tend to call myself an atheist versus agnostic but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have doubts. I don’t think the words convey appropriately the differences. I mean an agnostic is someone who doesn’t know and take the view that some religions could be right. I certainly think it would be highly unlikely that any existing religion in the sense of the stories that go along with it, particularly the Christian religion,  Christ having a particular role in this where as it doesn’t mean that God in a more metaphorical sense couldn’t exist. I don’t like using the term God because it has too much baggage with it, and you might think you could pray to this entity which doesn’t seem to me as necessary…

If you are an atheist and a humanist then what do you have to  say about the negative view that many humanists have about the ultimate meaningless of life?

I know that you are active in the  BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION so I thought this short letter may interest you.

H. J. Blackham was the founder of the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION and he asserted:

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).

On John Ankerberg’s show in 1986 there was a debate between  Dr. Paul Kurtz, and Dr. Norman Geisler and when part of the above quote was read, Dr. Kurtz responded:

I think you may be quoting Blackham out of context because I’ve heard Blackham speak, and read much of what he said, but Blackham has argued continuously that life is full of meaning;

Harold J. Blackham (1903-2009)

Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984)

Jacques Monod (1910-1976), Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1965)

With that in mind I wanted to ask you what  does the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION have to offer in the area of meaning and values? Francis Schaeffer two months before he died said if he was talking to a gentleman he was sitting next to on an airplane about Christ he wouldn’t start off quoting Bible verses. Schaeffer asserted:

I would go back rather to their dilemma if they hold the modern worldview of the final reality only being energy, etc., I would start with that. I would begin as I stress in the book THE GOD WHO IS THERE about their own [humanist] prophets who really show where their view goes. For instance, Jacques Monod, Nobel Prize winner from France, in his book NECESSITY AND CHANCE said there is no way to tell the OUGHT from the IS. In other words, you live in a totally silent universe. 

The men like Monod and Sartre or whoever the man might know that is his [humanist] prophet and they point out quite properly and conclusively what life is like, not just that there is no meaningfulness in life but everyone according to modern man is just living out some kind of game plan. It may be knocking 1/10th of a second off a downhill ski run or making one more million dollars. But all you are doing is making a game plan within the mix of a meaningless situation. WOODY ALLEN exploits this very strongly in his films. He really lives it. I feel for that man, and he has expressed it so thoroughly in ANNIE HALL and MANHATTAN and so on.

According to the Humanist worldview Jacques Monod the universe is silent about values and therefore his good friend Woody Allendemonstrated this very fact so well in his 1989 movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS. In other words, if we can’t get our values from the Bible then  the answer is MIGHT MAKES RIGHT!!!!

I CHALLENGE YOU TO TAKE 90 MINUTES AND WATCH THE MOVIE “CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS” AND THEN ANSWER THE QUESTION: “What reason is there that Judah should not have his mistress eliminated if there is no God and afterlife of judgment and rewards?”

CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS was written and directed by Woody Allen

Judah has his mistress eliminated through his brother’s underworld connections

Anjelica Huston

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King Solomon closed the Book of Ecclesiastes (Richard Dawkins’ favorite Book of the Bible) with these words, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with[d] every secret thing, whether good or evil.” With that in mind I have enclosed a short booklet called THIS WAS YOUR LIFE!

Thank you again for your time. I know how busy you are. 

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

PS: Dr. Penrose you say that you are sure that Christianity is not true but have you investigated adequately? If  someone is truly interested in investigating the Old Testament Scriptures then all they have to do is google some of the following posts I have featured and click on these links and the evidence is there showing that Christ is the Messiah predicted in the Old Testament. Here are some of my past posts on this subject, My correspondence with Daniel Bell and Irving Kristol about the rebirth of Israel!!!!My personal visit with Bill Kristol on 7-18-14 in Hot Springs, Arkansas!!!!Simon Schama’s lack of faith in Old Testament ProphecyWho are the good guys: Hamas or Israel?“A Jewish Doctor Speaks Out: Why I Believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah” written by Dr. Jack Sternberg (author of the book CHRISTIANITY: THE JEWISH ROOTS), and  Jesus Christ in the Old Testament by Adrian Rogers,

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