Tag Archives: Carl Sagan

Roy Abraham Varghese: New Atheists’ fall for fallacy of LOGICAL POSITIVISM (Richard Dawkins Interview Ricky Gervais About Atheism!)

Richard Dawkins Interview Ricky Gervais About Atheism!

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Antony Flew – World’s Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God

Uploaded on Nov 28, 2008

Has Science Discovered God?

A half-century ago, in 1955, Professor Antony Flew set the agenda for modern atheism with his Theology and Falsification, a paper presented in a debate with C.S. Lewis. This work became the most widely reprinted philosophical publication of the last 50 years. Over the decades, he published more than 30 books attacking belief in God and debated a wide range of religious believers.

Then, in a 2004 Summit at New York University, Professor Flew announced that the discoveries of modern science have led him to the conclusion that the universe is indeed the creation of infinite Intelligence.

For More Info Visit:
http://ScienceFindsGod.com

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Second, they show no awareness of the fallacies and
muddles that led to the rise and fall of logical positivism.
Those who ignore the mistakes of history will have to repeat
them at some point. Third, they seem entirely unaware of
the massive corpus of works in analytic philosophy of reli-
gion or the sophisticated new arguments generated within
philosophical theism.
It would be fair to say that the “new atheism” is nothing
less than a regression to the logical positivist philosophy
that was renounced by even its most ardent proponents. In
fact, the “new atheists,” it might be said, do not even rise
to logical positivism. The positivists were never so naive as
to suggest that God could be a scientific hypothesis—they
declared the concept of God to be meaningless precisely
because it was not a scientific hypothesis. Dawkins, on the
other hand, holds that “the presence or absence of a cre-
ative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific ques-
tion.”6
This is the kind of comment of which we say it is
not even wrong! In Appendix A, I seek to show that our
immediate experience of rationality, life, consciousness,
thought, and the self militate against every form of athe-
ism, including the newest.
But two things must be said here about certain com-
ments by Dawkins that are directly relevant to the pres-
ent book. After writing that Bertrand Russell “was an
exaggeratedly fair-minded atheist, over-eager to be disillu-
sioned if logic seemed to require it,” he adds in a footnote:
“We might be seeing something similar today in the over
publicized tergiversation of the philosopher Antony Flew,
who announced in his old age that he had been converted
to belief in some sort of deity (triggering a frenzy of eager
repetition all around the Internet). On the other hand, Rus-
sell was a great philosopher. Russell won the Nobel Prize.”7
The puerile petulance of the contrast with the “great phi-
losopher” Russell and the contemptible reference to Flew’s
“old age” are par for the course in Dawkins’s epistles to
the enlightened. But what is interesting here is Dawkins’s
choice of words, one by which he unwittingly reveals the
way his mind works.
Tergiversation means “apostasy.” So Flew’s principal
sin was that of apostatizing from the faith of the fathers.
Dawkins himself has elsewhere confessed that his atheistic
view of the universe is based on faith. When asked by the
Edge Foundation, “What do you believe is true even though
you cannot prove it?” Dawkins replied: “I believe that all
life, all intelligence, all creativity and all ‘design’ anywhere
in the universe, is the direct or indirect product of Darwin-
ian natural selection. It follows that design comes late in
the universe, after a period of Darwinian evolution. Design
cannot precede evolution and therefore cannot underlie
the universe.”8 At bottom, then, Dawkins’s rejection of an
ultimate Intelligence is a matter of belief without proof.
And like many whose beliefs are based on blind faith, he
cannot tolerate dissent or defection.
With regard to Dawkins’s approach to the rational-
ity underlying the universe, the physicist John Barrow
observed in a discussion: “You have a problem with these
ideas, Richard, because you’re not really a scientist. You’re
a biologist.” Julia Vitullo-Martin notes that for Barrow biol-
ogy is little more than a branch of natural history. “Biolo-
gists,” says Barrow, “have a limited, intuitive understanding
of complexity. They’re stuck with an inherited conflict from
the nineteenth century, and are only interested in out-
comes, in what wins out over others. But outcomes tell you
almost nothing about the laws that govern the universe.”9
Dawkins’s intellectual father seems to be Bertrand Rus-
sell. He talks about how he was “inspired . . . at the age of
about sixteen”10 by Russell’s 1925 essay “What I Believe.”
Russell was a determined opponent of organized religion,
and this makes him a role model for Harris and Dawkins;
stylistically too they emulate Russell’s penchant for sar-
casm, caricature, flippancy, and exaggeration. But Russell’s
rejection of God was not motivated just by intellectual fac-
tors. In My Father, Bertrand Russell, his daughter, Katha-
rine Tait, writes that Russell was not open to any serious
discussion of God’s existence: “I could not even talk to him
about religion.” Russell was apparently turned off by the
kind of religious believers he had encountered. “I would
have liked to convince my father that I had found what
he had been looking for, the ineffable something he had
longed for all his life. I would have liked to persuade him
that the search for God does not have to be vain. But it was
hopeless. He had known too many blind Christians, bleak
moralists who sucked the joy from life and persecuted their
opponents; he would never have been able to see the truth
they were hiding.”
Tait, nevertheless, believes that Russell’s “whole life was
a search for God. . . .Somewhere at the back of my father’s
mind, at the bottom of his heart, in the depths of his soul,
there was an empty space that had once been filled by God,
and he never found anything else to put in it.” He had the
“ghostlike feeling of not belonging, of having no home
in this world.”11
In a poignant passage, Russell once said:
“Nothing can penetrate the loneliness of the human heart
except the highest intensity of the sort of love the religious
teachers have preached.”12You would be hard put to find
any passage that remotely resembles this in Dawkins.
Returning to the account of Flew’s “tergiversation,” it
has perhaps never occurred to Dawkins that philosophers,
whether great or less well known, young or old, change
their minds based on the evidence. He might be disap
pointed that they are “over-eager to be disillusioned if logic
seemed to require it,” but then again they are guided by
logic, not by fear of tergiversation.
Russell, in particular, was so fond of tergiversation that
another celebrated British philosopher, C. D. Broad, once
said, “As we all know, Mr. Russell produces a different
system of philosophy every few years.”13 There have been
other instances of philosophers changing their mind on
the basis of evidence. We have already observed that Ayer
disavowed the positivism of his youth. Another example of
one who underwent such radical change is J. N. Findlay,
who argued, in Flew’s 1955 book New Essays in Philosophi-
cal Theology, 14 that God’s existence can be disproved—but
then reversed himself in his 1970 work Ascent to the Abso-
lute.
In the latter and subsequent books, Findlay argues
that mind, reason, intelligence, and will culminate in God,
the self-existent, to whom is owed worship and uncondi-
tional self-dedication.
Dawkins’s “old age” argument (if it can be called that)
is a strange variation of the ad hominem fallacy that has no
place in civilized discourse. True thinkers evaluate argu-
ments and weigh the evidence without regard to the pro-
ponent’s race, sex, or age.
Another persistent theme in Dawkins’s book, and in
those of some of the other “new atheists,” is the claim that
no scientist worth his or her salt believes in God. Dawkins,
for instance, explains away Einstein’s statements about God
as metaphorical references to nature. Einstein himself, he
says, is at best an atheist (like Dawkins) and at worst a
pantheist. But this bit of Einsteinian exegesis is patently
dishonest. Dawkins references only quotes that show Ein-
stein’s distaste for organized and revelational religion. He
deliberately leaves out not just Einstein’s comments about
his belief in a “superior mind” and a “superior reasoning
power” at work in the laws of nature, but also Einstein’s
specific denial that he is either a pantheist or an atheist.
(This deliberate distortion is rectified in this book.)
More recently, when asked on a visit to Jerusalem if he
believed in the existence of God, the famous theoretical
physicist Stephen Hawking is reported to have replied that
he did “believe in the existence of God, but that this Divine
force established the laws of nature and physics and after
that does not enter to control the world.”15 Of course, many
other great scientists of modern times such as Heisenberg
and Planck believed in a divine Mind on rational grounds.
But this too is whitewashed out of Dawkins’s account of
scientific history.
Dawkins, in fact, belongs to the same peculiar club of
popular science writers as Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov from
a previous generation. These popularizers saw themselves
not simply as scribes, but as high priests. Like Dawkins,
they took on themselves the task not just of educating
the public on the findings of science, but also of deciding
what it is permissible for the scientific faithful to believe
on matters metaphysical. But let us be clear here. Many
of the greatest scientists saw a direct connection between
their scientific work and their affirmation of a “superior
mind,” the Mind of God. Explain it how you will, but this
is a plain fact that the popularizers with their own agendas
cannot be allowed to hide. About positivism, Einstein in
fact said, “I am not a positivist. Positivism states that what
cannot be observed does not exist. This conception is sci-
entifically indefensible, for it is impossible to make valid
affirmations of what people ‘can’ or ‘cannot’ observe. One
would have to say ‘only what we observe exists,’ which is
obviously false.”16
If they want to discourage belief in God, the populariz-
ers must furnish arguments in support of their own atheis-
tic views. Today’s atheist evangelists hardly even try to argue
their case in this regard. Instead, they train their guns on
well-known abuses in the history of the major world reli-
gions. But the excesses and atrocities of organized religion
have no bearing whatsoever on the existence of God, just
as the threat of nuclear proliferation has no bearing on the
question of whether E = mc2.
So does God exist? What about the arguments of athe-
ists old and new? And what bearing does modern science
have on the matter? By a striking coincidence, at this par-
ticular moment in intellectual history when the old positiv-
ism is back in vogue, the same thinker who helped end its
reign a half century ago returns to the battlefield of ideas
to answer these very questions.

 

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Richard Dawkins vs William Lane Craig – Full Debate –

 

Antony Flew on God and Atheism

Published on Feb 11, 2013

Lee Strobel interviews philosopher and scholar Antony Flew on his conversion from atheism to deism. Much of it has to do with intelligent design. Flew was considered one of the most influential and important thinker for atheism during his time before his death (he’s a much better thinker than Richard Dawkins too – even when he was an atheist). His conversion to God-belief has caused an uproar among atheists. They have done all they can to lessen the impact of his famous conversion by shamelessly suggesting he’s too old, senile and mentally deranged to understand logic and science anymore.

News on Antony Flew’s conversion:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1e4FU…

Interview and discussion with Antony Flew:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53REH…

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Related posts:

Antony Flew did not make a public profession of faith in Christ but will his conversion from atheism to theism have an impact?

____________ Jesus’ Resurrection: Atheist, Antony Flew, and Theist, Gary Habermas, Dialogue Published on Apr 7, 2012 http://www.veritas.org/talks – Did Jesus die, was he buried, and what happened afterward? Join legendary atheist Antony Flew and Christian historian and apologist Gary Habermas in a discussion about the facts surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Join the […]

Concerning the book THERE IS A GOD Antony Flew stated, “This is my book and it represents my thinking!

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Bill Muehlenberg’s review of “There Is a God” By Antony Flew

_________________   Antony Flew on God and Atheism Published on Feb 11, 2013 Lee Strobel interviews philosopher and scholar Antony Flew on his conversion from atheism to deism. Much of it has to do with intelligent design. Flew was considered one of the most influential and important thinker for atheism during his time before his […]

Former Atheist Antony Flew noted that Evolutionists failed to show “Where did a living, self-reproducing organism come from in the first place?”

____   Does God Exist? Thomas Warren vs. Antony Flew Published on Jan 2, 2014 Date: September 20-23, 1976 Location: North Texas State University Christian debater: Thomas B. Warren Atheist debater: Antony G.N. Flew For Thomas Warren: http://www.warrenapologeticscenter.org/ ______________________ Antony Flew and his conversion to theism Uploaded on Aug 12, 2011 Antony Flew, a well known […]

Educated Scholars like Antony Flew can believe in God!!!

__________ Discussion (1 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010 A discussion with Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas. This was held at Westminster Chapel March, 2008 Debate – William Lane Craig vs Christopher Hitchens – Does God Exist? Uploaded on Jan 27, 2011 April 4, 2009 – Craig […]

Antony Flew rightly noted that Richard Dawkins’ “monkey theorem was a load of rubbish”

________   William Lane Craig versus Eddie Tabash Debate Uploaded on Feb 6, 2012 Secular Humanism versus Christianity, Lawyer versus Theologian. Evangelical Christian apologist William Lane Craig debates humanist atheist lawyer Eddie Tabash at Pepperdine University, February 8, 1999. Visit http://www.Infidels.org andhttp://www.WilliamLaneCraig.com ________________ Antony Flew on God and Atheism Published on Feb 11, 2013 Lee […]

Article from 2005 indicated Antony Flew abandoned atheism because of Law of Biogenesis!!!!

___________   Does God Exist? Thomas Warren vs. Antony Flew Published on Jan 2, 2014 Date: September 20-23, 1976 Location: North Texas State University Christian debater: Thomas B. Warren Atheist debater: Antony G.N. Flew For Thomas Warren: http://www.warrenapologeticscenter.org/ ______________________ Antony Flew and his conversion to theism Uploaded on Aug 12, 2011 Antony Flew, a well known […]

The Christian influence on society is real and that is one of the reasons Antony Flew left Atheism!!!

_____________ Antony Flew on God and Atheism Published on Feb 11, 2013 Lee Strobel interviews philosopher and scholar Antony Flew on his conversion from atheism to deism. Much of it has to do with intelligent design. Flew was considered one of the most influential and important thinker for atheism during his time before his death […]

Antony Flew, George Wald and David Noebel on the Origin of Life

___________ Does God Exist?: William Lane Craig vs Antony Flew Uploaded on Dec 16, 2010 http://drcraigvideos.blogspot.com – William Lane Craig and Antony Flew met in 1998 on the 50th anniversary of the famous Copleston/Russell debate to discuss the question of God’s existence in a public debate. Unlike Richard Dawkins, Flew was one of the most respected […]

The Fine Tuning Argument for the Existence of God from Antony Flew!

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

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Today I am looking at Jacob Bronowski and his contribution to spreading the thought of Charles Darwin to a modern generation.  The artist Ellen Gallagher is one of those in today’s modern generation that talks about how evolution is pictured in her art works.

What are some of the observations that Francis Schaeffer makes concerning the evolution that both Bronowski and Gallagher hold so  dear? Here is a summary of some of the points Schaeffer makes in the paper below:

1. Materialists and humanists believe that men and women are not unique. 2. Humans do not have any final distinct value above that of an animal or of nonliving matter. 3. Schaeffer points out that this superior attitude towards Christianity–as if Christianity had all the problems and humanism had all the problems–is quite unjustified. 4. It is the humanist worldview that has brought us to the present devaluation of human life that we see today. 5. Therefore, we need a different worldview to drive out this inhumanity that the materialistic worldview brought down on us.

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Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era
What has produced the inhumanity we have been considering in the previous chapters is that society in the West has adopted a world-view which says that all reality is made up only of matter…Those who hold such a view have argued that Christianity is unscientific, that it cannot be proved, that it belongs simply to the realm of “faith.” Christianity, they say, rests only on faith, while humanism rests on facts.
Professor Edmund R. Leach of Cambridge University expressed this view clearly, “Our idea of God is a product of history. What I now believe about the supernatural is derived from what I was taught by my parents, and what they taught me was derived from what they were taught, and so on…”
So some humanists act as if they have a great advantage over Christians. They act as if the advance of science and technology and a better understanding of history (through such concepts as the evolutionary theory) have all made the idea of God and Creation quite ridiculous.
This superior attitude, however, is strange because one of the most striking developments in the last half-century is the growth of a profound pessimism among both the well-educated and less-educated people. The thinkers in our society have been admitting for a long time that they have no final answers at all.
Take Woody Allen, for example. Most people know his as a comedian, but he has thought through where mankind stands after the “religious answers” have been abandoned. In an article in Esquire (May 1977), he says, “ It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless.”
Allen sums up his view in his film Annie Hall with these words: “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.”
If there is no personal God, nothing beyond what our eyes can see and our hands can touch, then Woody Allen is right: life is both meaningless and terrifying.  The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this when he said, “On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit.”
One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has existed forever and ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form. Thus, Jacob Bronowski says in The Identity of Man (1965): “Man is a part of nature, in the same sense that a stone is, or a cactus, or a camel.” In this view, men and women are by chance more complex, but not unique.
Within this world-view there is no room for believing that a human being has any final distinct value above that of an animal or of nonliving matter. People are merely a different arrangement of molecules. There are two points, therefore, that need to be made about the humanist world-view. First, the superior attitude toward Christianity – as if Christianity had all the problems and humanism had all the answers – is quite unjustified. The humanists of the Enlightenment two centuries ago thought they were going to find all the answers, but as time has passed, this optimistic hope has been proved wrong. It is their own descendants, those who share their materialistic world-view, who have been saying louder and louder as the years have passed, “There are no final answers.”
Second, this humanist world-view has also brought us to the present devaluation of human life – not technology and not overcrowding, although these have played a part. And this same world-view has given us no limits to prevent us from sliding into an even worse devaluation of human life in the future.
So it is naive and irresponsible to imagine that this world-view will reverse the direction in the future. A well-meaning commitment to “do what is right” will not be sufficient. Without a firm set of principles that flows out of a world-view that gives adequate reason for a unique value to all human life, there cannot be and will not be any substantial resistance to the present evil brought on by the low view of human life we have been considering in previous chapters. It was the materialistic world-view that brought in the inhumanity; it must be a different world-view that drives it out.
An emotional uneasiness about abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and the abuse of genetic knowledge is not enough. To stand against the present devaluation of human life, a significant percentage of people within our society must adopt and live by a world-view which not only hopes or intends to give a basis for human dignity but which really does. The radical movements of the sixties were right to hope for a better world; they were right to protest against the shallowness and falseness of our plastic society. But their radicalness lasted only during the life span of the adolescence of their members. Although these movements claimed to be radical, they lacked a sufficient root. Their world-view was incapable of giving life to the aspirations of its adherents. Why? Because it, too – like the society they were condemning – had no sufficient base. So protests are not enough. Having the right ideals is not enough. Even those with a very short memory, those who can look back only to the sixties, can see that there must be more than that. A truly radical alternative has to be found.
But where? And how?

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Jacob Bronowski

Article Free Pass

Jacob Bronowski,  (born January 18, 1908, Poland—died August 22, 1974, East Hampton, New York, U.S.), Polish-born British mathematician and man of letters who eloquently presented the case for the humanistic aspects of science.While Bronowski was still a child, his family immigrated to Germany and then to England, where he became a naturalized British subject. He won a scholarship to the University of Cambridge, where he studied mathematics. He not only achieved high honours in mathematics but also received critical acclaim for his poetry and prose. After receiving his Ph.D. (1933) from Cambridge, he taught mathematics (1934–42) at the University College of Hull. During World War II Bronowski pioneered in a field now known as operational research and worked to increase the effectiveness of Allied bombing. After the war he headed the projects division of UNESCO (1948) and then worked for Britain’s National Coal Board (1950–63).When Bronowski, on a scientific mission to Japan to study the effects of the atomic bombings (1945), saw firsthand the ruins of Nagasaki, he gave up military research. From that time on, he concentrated on the ethical as well as the technological aspects of science, and he shifted his attention from mathematics to the life sciences, the study of human nature, and the evolution of culture.Among his books are The Common Sense of Science (1951) and the highly praised Science and Human Values (1956; rev. ed. 1965). In these books Bronowski examined aspects of science in nontechnical language and made a case for his view that science needs an ethos in order to function. In The Identity of Man (1965) he sought to present a unifying philosophy of human nature. He also wrote William Blake, 1757–1827: A Man Without a Mask (1943), revised as William Blake and the Age of Revolution (1965), and four radio plays.From 1964 until his death Bronowski was a resident fellow of the Salk Institute of Biological Sciences (San Diego). His last major project was the authorship and narration of the BBC television series The Ascent of Man (1973), a luminous account of science, art, and philosophy in human history. The book was reissued in 2011, with a foreword by British biologist and writer Richard Dawkins.

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BBC. The Ascent of Man. Extra Interview with Sir David Attenborough.

Published on Jun 10, 2012

15 minute interview of Sir David Attenborough discussing his role in the ground-breaking documentary “The Ascent of Man” { Written and Presented by Dr Jacob Bronowski. }
This interview was filmed by the BBC. I also recommend Attenborough’s book ‘Life on Air’. It is brilliant.

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The Ascent of Man

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the documentary series. For the book “The Ascent of Man by Means of Natural Selection”, see Alfred Machin (writer).

The Ascent of Man is a thirteen-part documentary television series produced by the BBC and Time-Life Films first transmitted in 1973, written and presented by Jacob Bronowski. Intended as a series of “personal view” documentaries in the manner of Kenneth Clark‘s 1969 series Civilisation, the series received acclaim for Bronowski’s highly informed but eloquently simple analysis, his long unscripted monologues and its extensive location shoots.

Overview

The title alludes to The Descent of Man, the second book on evolution by Charles Darwin. Over the series’ thirteen episodes, Bronowski travelled around the world in order to trace the development of human society through its understanding of science. It was commissioned specifically to complement Kenneth Clark‘s Civilisation (1969), in which Clark argued that art reflected and was informed by the major driving forces in cultural evolution. Bronowski wrote in his 1951 book The Commonsense of Science: “It has been one of the most destructive modern prejudices that art and science are different and somehow incompatible interests”. Both series were commissioned by David Attenborough, then controller of BBC Two, whose colleague Aubrey Singer had been astonished by Attenborough prioritising an arts series given his science background.[1]

The 13-part series was shot on 16mm film. Executive Producer was Adrian Malone, film directors were Dick Gilling, Mick Jackson, David Kennard and David Paterson. Quotations were read by actors Roy Dotrice and Joss Ackland. Series music was by Dudley Simpson with Brian Hodgson and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Additional music includes, amongst others, music by Pink Floyd. Apart from Bronowski, the only other named person appearing is the sculptor Henry Moore.

Malone and Kennard later emigrated to Hollywood, where they produced Carl Sagan‘s Cosmos. Jackson followed them, and now directs feature films.

The book of the series, The Ascent of Man: A Personal View, is an almost word-for-word transcript from the television episodes, diverging from Bronowski’s original narration only where the lack of images might make its meaning unclear. A few details of the film version were omitted from the book, notably Episode 11, “Knowledge or Certainty.”

Series outline

  1. Lower than the Angels — Evolution of man from proto-ape to the modern form 400,000 years ago.
  2. The Harvest of the Seasons — Early human migration, agriculture and the first settlements, and war.
  3. The Grain in the Stone — Tools, and the development of architecture and sculpture.
  4. The Hidden Structure — Fire, metals and alchemy.
  5. Music of the Spheres — The language of numbers and mathematics.
  6. The Starry Messenger — Galileo’s universe—and the implications of his trial on the shift to “northern” science.
  7. The Majestic Clockwork — Explores Newton and Einstein’s laws.
  8. The Drive for Power — The Industrial Revolution and the effect on everyday life.
  9. The Ladder of Creation — Darwin and Wallace’s ideas on the origin of species.
  10. World within World — The story of the periodic table—and of the atom.
  11. Knowledge or Certainty — Physics and the clash of the pursuit of absolute vs. imperfect knowledge, and the misgivings of the scientists realizing the terrible outcome of the conflict. Auschwitz. Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  12. Generation upon Generation — The joys of life, sex, and genetics—and the dark side of cloning.
  13. The Long Childhood — Bronowski’s treatise on the commitment of man.

Legacy

The Ascent of Man was placed 65th on a list of the 100 Greatest World Television Programmes voted for by industry professionals and drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000.[2] Charlie Brooker praises Bronowski and The Ascent of Man on his BBC Four programme, Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe.[3]

The complete series was released on DVD in 2007.

References

  1. Attenborough interview in The Ascent of Man DVD set
  2. “The BFI TV 100”. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  3. “Charlie Brookers Screenwipe S1E1P1”. Retrieved 4 February 2010.

External links

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Page 12

Page 13

These are ones that everyone agrees are not pre-human intermediates between apes and humans.

  • Homo sapiens neanderthalensis (Neandertal man)-150 years ago Neandertal reconstructions were stooped and very much like an “ape-man’. It is now admitted that the supposedly stooped posture was due to disease and that Neandertal is just a variation of the human kind.
  • Ramapithecus-once widely regarded as the ancestor of humans, it has now been realised that it is merely an extinct type of orangutan (an ape).
  • Eoanthropus (Piltdown man)-a hoax based on a human skull cap and an orangutan’s jaw. It was widely publicized as the missing link for 40 years.
  • Hesperopithecus (Nebraska man)-based on a single tooth of a type of pig now only living in Paraguay.
  • Pithecanthropus (Java man)-now renamed to Homo erectus. See below.
  • Australopithecus africanus-this was at one time promoted as the missing link. It is no longer considered to be on the line from apes to humans. It is very ape-like.
  • Sinanthropus (Peking man) was once presented as an ape-man but has now been reclassified as Homo erectus (see below).

Currently fashionable ape-men

These are the ones that adorn the evolutionary trees of today that supposedly led to Homo sapiens from a chimpanzee-like creature.

  • Australopithecus-there are various species of these that have been at times proclaimed as human ancestors. One remains: Australopithecus afarensis, popularly known as the fossil “Lucy”. However, detailed studies of the inner ear, skulls and bones have suggested that “Lucy” and her like are not on the way to becoming human. For example, they may have walked more upright than most apes, but not in the human manner. Australopithecus afarensis is very similar to the pygmy chimpanzee.
  • Homo habilis-there is a growing consensus amongst most paleoanthropologists that this category actually includes bits and pieces of various other types-such as Australopithecus and Homo erectus. It is therefore an “invalid taxon”. That is, it never existed as such.
  • Homo erectus-many remains of this type have been found around the world. They are smaller than the average human today, with an appropriately smaller head (and brain size). However, the brain size is within the range of people today and studies of the middle ear have shown that Homo erectus was just like us. Remains have been found in the same strata and in close proximity to ordinary Homo sapiens, suggesting that they lived together.

Conclusion: There is no fossil evidence that man is the product of evolution. The missing links are still missing because they simply do not exist. The Bible clearly states, “then the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7).

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         What’s a Missing Link?

by John D. Morris, Ph.D.

Evolutionists often speak of missing links. They say that the bridge between man and the apes is the “missing link,” the hypothetical ape-like ancestor of both. But there are supposed missing links all over the evolutionary tree. For instance, dogs and bears are thought to be evolutionary cousins, related to each other through a missing link. The same could be said for every other stop on the tree. All of the animal types are thought to have arisen by the transformation of some other animal type, and at each branching node is a missing link, and between the node and the modern form are many more.

If you still don’t know what a missing link is, don’t worry. No one knows what a missing link is, because they are missing! We’ve never seen one. They’re still missing. Evolution depends on innumerable missing links, each of which lived in the unobserved past and have gone extinct, replaced by their evermore evolved descendants.

While we don’t really know what a missing link is (or was), we can know what they should be. As each type evolves into something else, there should be numerous in-between types, each stage gaining more and more traits of the descendant while losing traits of the ancestor.

If some type of fish evolved into some type of amphibian, there should have been distinct steps along the way of 90% fish/10% amphibian; then 80% fish/20% amphibian; etc., leading to the 100% amphibians we have today. You would suspect that unless evolution has completely stopped, there might even be some transitional links alive today, but certainly they lived and thrived for a while in the past before they were replaced.

Actually, evolutionists don’t mention missing links much anymore. With the introduction of “punctuated equilibrium” in the early 70s, they seem to have made their peace with the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record. Their claim is that basic animal types exhibited “stasis” (or equilibrium) for a long period, but they changed rapidly (punctuation) as the environment underwent rapid change, so rapidly they had little opportunity to leave fossils. Thus we wouldn’t expect to find transitional forms or missing links. Fair enough, but the fact is we don’t find them. Evolution says they did exist, but we have no record of them. Creation says they never existed, and agree that we have no record of them.

Some of these gaps which should be filled in by missing links are huge. Consider the gap between invertebrates and vertebrate fish. Which marine sea creature evolved into a fish with a backbone and internal skeleton? Fish fossils are even found in the lower Cambrian, and dated very early in the evolution scenario. But there are no missing links, no hint of ancestors. The missing links, which should be present in abundance, are still missing!

Both creation and evolution are views of history, ideas about the unobserved past, and both sides try to marshal evidence in their support. Creation says each basic category of life was created separately, thus there never were any “missing links.” Evolution says links existed whether or not we find them. The fact is we don’t find them. The question is: which historical idea is more scientific, and which is more likely correct?

* Dr. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: Morris, J. 2006. What’s a Missing Link? Acts & Facts. 35 (4).

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Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham – HD (Official)

    Streamed live on Feb 4, 2014

Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era? Leading creation apologist and bestselling Christian author Ken Ham is joined at the Creation Museum by Emmy Award-winning science educator and CEO of the Planetary Society Bill Nye. To see Bill Nye’s arguments debunked visit http://debatelive.org .

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Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

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

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)

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Part 1 on abortion runs from 00:00 to 39:50, Part 2 on Infanticide runs from 39:50 to 1:21:30, Part 3 on Youth Euthanasia runs from 1:21:30 to 1:45:40, Part 4 on the basis of human dignity runs from 1:45:40 to 2:24:45 and Part 5 on the basis of truth runs from 2:24:45 to 3:00:04

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below with some of his grand kids:

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Francis Schaeffer with his son Franky pictured below. Francis and Edith (who passed away in 2013) opened L’ Abri in 1955 in Switzerland.

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

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

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

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

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

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes.  Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.

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Today I featuring the artist Ellen Gallagher and she talks about Evolution in this video below. She asserts, “Matter is not fixed. It is always in motion. You are dealing with this idea of ecology, transformation and evolution into something different.”

Ellen Gallagher, Untitled, 2012.(Below)

Ellen Gallagher: “Osedax” | “Exclusive” | Art21

Published on Sep 6, 2013

Episode #188: Filmed in 2013, artist Ellen Gallagher discusses her large-scale installation “Osedax” (2010) at the New Museum in New York City. Made in collaboration with Dutch artist Edgar Cleijne, Osedax was inspired by and named after the bone-devouring worms recently discovered in an ocean canyon near Monterey, California. Drawn to scientists’ description of this discovery, Gallagher sees similarity between their account and how science fiction narratives unfold through the transformation and evolution of characters and physical matter.

Repetition and revision are central to Ellen Gallagher’s paintings, collages, and films. From afar, Gallagher’s work often appears abstract and minimal but, upon closer inspection, details reveal complex narratives that borrow from maritime history, science fiction, popular culture, and the experiences of African Americans. Although the work has often been interpreted as an examination of race, Gallagher also suggests a formal reading with respect to materials, processes, and formal structures.

Learn more about the artist at:
http://www.art21.org/artists/ellen-ga…

CREDITS: Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Ian Forster. Camera: Rafael Salazar & Ava Wiland. Sound: Ava Wiland. Editor: Brad Kimbrough. Artwork Courtesy: Edgar Cleijne & Ellen Gallagher. Special Thanks: New Museum. Theme Music: Peter Foley.

“Ellen Gallagher: Don’t Axe Me” at the New Museum, New York
June 19–September 15, 2013
http://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/…

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Watery abstraction: “Osedax,” a 2010 film installation by Ellen Gallagher and Edgar Cleijne, in a Gallagher retrospective at the New Museum.  (below)

Ellen Gallagher | Art21 | Preview from Season 3 of “Art in the Twenty-First Century” (2005)

Uploaded on May 28, 2008

Repetition and revision are central to Ellen Gallagher’s treatment of advertisements appropriated from popular magazines. Although her work has often been interpreted as an examination of race, Gallagher also suggests a more formal reading—from afar the work appears abstract and minimal, and employs grids as both structure and metaphors for experience.

Ellen Gallagher is featured in the Season 3 episode “Play” of the Art21 series “Art in the Twenty-First Century”.

Learn more about Ellen Gallagher: http://www.art21.org/artists/ellen-ga…

© 2005-2007 Art21, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Ellen Gallagher: Projections | Art21 “Exclusive”

Uploaded on Apr 30, 2009

Episode #054: Artist Ellen Gallagher recounts her childhood obsession with projecting films, paired with documentation of her work “Murmur” (2003-04) installed at Gagosian Gallery in New York.

Repetition and revision are central to Ellen Gallaghers treatment of advertisements appropriated from popular magazines. Initially, Gallagher was drawn to the wig advertisements because of their grid-like structure. Later she realized that it was the accompanying language that attracted her, and she began to bring these narratives into her paintings—making them function through the characters of the advertisements as a kind of chart of lost worlds. Upon closer inspection, googly eyes, reconfigured wigs, tongues, and lips of minstrel caricatures multiply in detail. Although her work has often been interpreted as an examination of race, Gallagher also suggests a more formal reading- from afar the work appears abstract and minimal, and employs grids as both structure and metaphors for experience.

Learn more about Ellen Gallagher: http://www.art21.org/artists/ellen-ga…

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera & Sound: Tom Hurwitz, Eddie Marritz, Mark Mandler, and Roger Phenix. Editor: Jenny Chiurco and Mary Ann Toman. Artwork Courtesy: Ellen Gallagher & Edgar Cleijne. Special Thanks: Gagosian Gallery, New York and Two Palms Press, New York.

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Ellen Gallagher: Master Printer Craig Zammiello | Art21 “Exclusive”

Uploaded on Jun 4, 2009

Episode #059: Master Printer Craig Zammiello and artist Ellen Gallagher discuss their working relationship during the process of creating “DeLuxe” (2004-05), a suite of 60 individual works employing both traditional and non-traditional printmaking techniques.

Repetition and revision are central to Ellen Gallaghers treatment of advertisements appropriated from popular magazines. Initially, Gallagher was drawn to the wig advertisements because of their grid-like structure. Later she realized that it was the accompanying language that attracted her, and she began to bring these narratives into her paintings—making them function through the characters of the advertisements as a kind of chart of lost worlds. Upon closer inspection, googly eyes, reconfigured wigs, tongues, and lips of minstrel caricatures multiply in detail. Although her work has often been interpreted as an examination of race, Gallagher also suggests a more formal reading- from afar the work appears abstract and minimal, and employs grids as both structure and metaphors for experience.

Learn more about Ellen Gallagher: http://www.art21.org/artists/ellen-ga…

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Catherine Tatge. Camera & Sound: Mead Hunt and Mark Mandler. Editor: Mary Ann Toman. Artwork Courtesy: Ellen Gallagher. Special Thanks: Craig Zammiello of Two Palms Press, New York.

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Travelling Lines Conference 2011: Ellen Gallagher in Conversation with Tanya Barson

Published on Mar 25, 2013

Travelling Lines brings together scholars, artists, curators and collectors to create an international forum to consider three key themes: itinerant modes of drawing by Latin America based artists that prioritise investigation and exploration; how the nomadic practices of artists necessitate conceptual and low-key strategies associated with drawing, an especially portable medium; and how itinerant and other modes of drawing circulate within the transnational circuits of the globalised art world. Focusing on one medium, speakers address how visual languages participate in, depend on, and travel across local as well as global territories.

The conference is organised by TrAIN in collaboration with the Drawing Room. It coincides with the exhibition at the Drawing Room entitled The Peripatetic School: Itinerant drawing from Latin America, curated by Tanya Barson, international curator, Tate Modern. Artists whose work is in the exhibition are among the speakers. The exhibition includes art by Brigida Baltar, Jose Tony Cruz, Andre Komatsu, Mateo López, Jorge Macchi, Gilda Mantilla and Raimond Chaves, Nicolas Paris, and Ishmael Randall Weeks.

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About Ellen Gallagher

Ellen Gallagher was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1965, and lives and works in New York and Rotterdam, Holland. She attended Oberlin College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Repetition and revision are central to Gallagher’s treatment of advertisements that she appropriates from popular magazines like “Ebony,” “Our World,” and “Sepia” and uses in works like “eXelento” (2004) and “DeLuxe” (2004–05). Initially, Gallagher was drawn to the wig advertisements because of their grid-like structure. Later, she realized that it was the accompanying language that attracted her, and she began to bring these “narratives” into her paintings—making them function through the characters of the advertisements, as a kind of chart of lost worlds. Although the work has often been interpreted strictly as an examination of race, Gallagher also suggests a more formal reading with respect to materials, processes, and insistences. From afar, the work appears abstract and minimal; upon closer inspection, googly eyes, reconfigured wigs, tongues, and lips of minstrel caricatures multiply in detail. Gallagher has been influenced by the sublime aesthetics of Agnes Martin’s paintings, as well the subtle shifts and repetitions of Gertrude Stein’s writing. In her earlier works, Gallagher glued pages of penmanship paper onto stretched canvas and then drew and painted on it. In “Watery Ecstatic” (2002–04), she literally carved images into thick watercolor paper, in her own version of scrimshaw, from which emerge images of the sea creatures from Drexciya, a mythical underwater Black Atlantis. Gallagher received the American Academy Award in Art and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship. Solo exhibitions include Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; St. Louis Art Museum; Des Moines Art Center; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.

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Charles Darwent on Ellen Gallagher: AxME – The dog ate my homework, Miss Gallagher

Why does this highly-rated American artist ask so much of us before we even look at her work?

Saturday 04 May 2013

JF (alarmed): “Uh, I’m not sure ‘like’ is a word that can be used in critical discourse these days.”

So it goes. Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was nothing wrong with work that pleased, in whatever way it contrived to. Then someone invented critical theory, art schools became university departments, and pleasure went out of the window. Good painting might do a whole  thesaurus of things — ironise, deconstruct, conceptualise, “reference its own process”, etcetera – but it must on no account be likeable.

I have no doubt, by these lights, that Ellen Gallagher is a very good painter. The 47-year-old American is best known for her canvases, although, this being 2013, she also makes films and sculptures: one, Jungle Gym/Preserve, is in the new show of her work, AxME, at Tate Modern. There is nothing wrong with making art in different mediums – see Michelangelo. But it is the idea of Gallagher as a painter, of the kind of painting she does, that bothers me.

Let’s start with Double Natural (2002). This vast, yellow canvas, perhaps 7ft high and 10ft wide, is Gallagher’s best known. On it are pasted, in a grid 33 squares wide and 12 high, advertisements and cuttings from American black lifestyle magazines. (Gallagher’s father’s family came from Cape Verde.) All of these offer perfectability of a kind, or at least an idea of self-improvement. One woman beams at us from under a headline that says, unconvincingly, “I Am Happy”. Another asks, “Do you want men to OBEY YOU?”, while a third advertises an Amazing Liquid That Removes Corns.

It is hair that is Gallagher’s particular focus, though, as it is of the small ads she uses. The majority of these are for hairstyles or hair products. To these the artist has added plasticine hairdos – straightened bangs, cornrows, dreadlocks, flicks – moulded by hand and painted yellow. Gallagher has also blanked out her subjects’ eyes, turning them into zombies. Her point seems clear. Black women are sold a dream of white womanly perfection. She has taken that process to its deadening extreme by turning her women blonde.

To say that Double Natural is dislikeable is to state the obvious.  Its subject – the exploitation of racial insecurity for commercial gain – is not a pretty one, and Gallagher’s image would have no business being pretty. But the problem is that it isn’t anything else, either. Other than an immediate hit of macabre glibness, Double Natural just doesn’t deliver. The longer you look at it, the less you get back. Vacuousness in art can be extraordinarily powerful: Andy Warhol made an entire career out of it. But Gallagher’s painting isn’t empty in a good way. It is just empty.

Let me see if I can be clearer. Another work in this vast, 11-room show is called Bird in Hand. It, too, is vast. Like many contemporary artists, Gallagher has created her own myth-world, one figure of which is a one-legged tap-dancer called Pegleg. (Pegleg actually existed — one of the ads in Double Natural is for his show.) In Bird in Hand, he mutates into a pirate, his hair and half-leg doodling out to fill the canvas in tendrils that might be seaweed.

Gallagher is part of her own mythology. Prior to being an artist she studied marine biology, and did research into pteropods. The many works in her Watery Ecstatic series, given a whole room in this exhibition, start from an interest in sea-life – eels, urchins, octopi. The pictures are largely in watercolour and cut paper, and, as compositions, appear less to evolve than to mutate. You can see the reasoning. Life starts at Point A and wanders off where Darwin takes it: so why not art? Bird in Hand grows, pictorially, out of Gallagher’s own history and interests.

But does that make it a good painting? The abstract works of the Jerwood painter I spoke to stood on their own as images: you didn’t need to know his life story or theories on art to respond to them. To get Gallagher, you have to have done your homework. Her art is about understanding, not seeing; when she paints, she paints incidentally. Any other medium might have done – actually, her films seem to me far better than her canvases (Murmur: Super Boo is annoyingly unforgettable). But then many people disagree with me, and you may well be one of them.

 

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By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

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Carl Sagan v. Nancy Pearcey

On March 17, 2013 at our worship service at Fellowship Bible Church, Ben Parkinson who is one of our teaching pastors spoke on Genesis 1. He spoke about an issue that I was very interested in.

Ben started the sermon by reading the following scripture:

Genesis 1-2:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Creation of the World

1 In the (A)beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was (B)without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said, (C)“Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, (D)“Let there be an expanse[a] in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made[b] the expanse and (E)separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were (F)above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven.[c] And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, (G)“Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth,[d] and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, (H)“Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants[e] yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for (I)signs and for (J)seasons,[f] and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God (K)made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to (L)rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds[g] fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So (M)God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, (N)“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, (O)“Let us make man[h] in our image, (P)after our likeness. And (Q)let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    (R)male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, (S)“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. (T)You shall have them for food. 30 And (U)to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 (V)And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

The Seventh Day, God Rests

2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and (W)all the host of them. And (X)on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

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Then Ben brought up an age-old question: “Who created God?” The answer is very simple. God has always existed. This reminded me of the time I got to interact with Carl Sagan on this same issue. 

I really believe Hebrews 4:12 when it asserts:

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

That verse prompted  me in 1992 to start sending a particular cassette tape out to these skeptics such as Carl Sagan. This tape included three messages (“How I know the Bible is the Word of God,” Adrian Rogers, Sept 1972; “The Final Judgement,” Adrian Rogers,Sept 1972; “How to get a pure heart,” Bill Elliff, 1992.)

On Dec 5, 1995 Carl Sagan while suffering from cancer took time to finally answer the 4 letters I had written to him up to that point.(I don’t know if he ever listened to the tapes I had sent him.) Here is his response: 

Thanks for your recent letter about evolution and abortion. The correlation is hardly one to one; there are evolutionists who are anti-abortion and anti-evolutionists who are pro-abortion.You argue that God exists because otherwise we could not understand the world in our consciousness. But if you think God is necessary to understand the world, then why do you not ask the next question of where God came from? And if you say “God was always here,” why not say that the universe was always here? On abortion, my views are contained in the enclosed article (Sagan, Carl and Ann Druyan {1990}, “The Question of Abortion,” Parade Magazine, April 22.)

I responded with a two page letter on Jan 10, 1996 and I never heard back again from Dr. Sagan and he died on Dec 20, 1996. His wife Ann Druyan reported that many people of faith reached out to Sagan in last few months of his life, but he never left his agnosticism. 

I wish I had heard this message from Ben Parkinson before I wrote Sagan that final letter. One very important point was made by Ben when he quoted from Nancy Pearcey.

Nancy Pearcey in her book TOTAL TRUTH notes:

If you press any set of ideas back far enough, eventually you reach some starting point. Something has to be taken as self-existent–the ultimate reality and source of everything else. There’s no reason for it to exist; it just “is.” For the materialist, the ultimate reality is matter, and everything is reduced to material constituents. For the pantheist, the ultimate reality is a spiritual force or substratum, and the goal of meditation is to reconnect with that spiritual oneness. For the doctrinaire Darwinist, biology is ultimate, and everything, even religion and morality, is reduced to a product of Darwinian processes. For the empiricist, all knowledge is traceable ultimately to sense data, and anything not known by sensation is unreal.

And so on. Every system of thought begins with some ultimate principle. If it does not begin with God, it will begin with some dimension of creation–This starting assumption has to be accepted by faith, not by prior reasoning… In short, it is not as though Christians have faith, while secularists base their convictions purely on facts and reason. Secularism itself is based on ultimate beliefs, just as much as Christianity is. Some part of creation–usually matter or nature–functions in the role of the divine. So the question is not which view is religious and which is purely rational; the question is which is true and which is false.

Then Ben observed, “Even those who don’t believe in a God believe that something existed forever. Could be matter could be some kind of spiritual force, could be something biological. There is something that has always been there, no matter who you are and no matter how much you want to escape it. The one true story which has been given to us by the one who did exist forever gives us the most beautiful explanation of what that something is. Is a personal existent, eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, loving, just creator God. That is who that has existed forever and that is who has created everything around us.”

Ben also went on and read the following scriptures:

Psalm 19:1-6

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Law of the Lord Is Perfect

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

19 (A)The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above[a] proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
(B)Their (C)voice[b] goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for (D)the sun,
    (E)which comes out like (F)a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

Romans 1:17-22 (Amplified Bible)

17For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith.(A)

    18For 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.

    19For 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.

    20For 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 handiwork). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],(B)

    21Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and [a]godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

    22Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

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This second passage in Romans was one that I actually used in two of my letters to Carl Sagan.

I have read lots of Carl Sagan’s books and written several reviews and papers on his views. I will just leave you with two thoughts. 

Sagan observed,”Plainly, there’s something within me that’s ready to believe in life after death…If some good evidence for life after death was announced, I’d be eager to examine it; but it would have to be real scientific data, not mere antedote”(pp 203-204, The DemonHaunted World, 1995). 

Sagan said he had taken a look at Old Testament prophecy and it did not impress him because it was too vague. He had taken a look at Christ’s life in the gospels, but said it was unrealistic for God to send a man to communicate for God. Instead, Sagan suggested that God could have written a mathematical formula in the Bible or put a cross in the sky.However, what happens at the conclusion of the movie Contact?  This is Sagan’s last message to the world in the form of the movie that appeared shortly after his death. Dr Arroway (Jodie Foster) who is a young atheistic scientist who meets with an alien and this alien takes the form of Dr. Arroway’s father. The alien tells her that they thought this would make it easier for her. In fact, he meets her on a beach that resembles a beach that she grew up near so she would also be comfortable with the surroundings. Carl Sagan when writing this script chose to put the alien in human form so Dr. Arroway could relate to the alien. Christ chose to take our form and come into our world too and still many make up excuses for not believing.

Lastly, Carl Sagan could not rid himself of the “mannishness of man.” Those who have read Francis Schaeffer’s many books know exactly what I am talking about. We are made in God’s image and we are living in God’s world. Therefore, we can not totally suppress the objective truths of our unique humanity. In my letter of Jan 10, 1996 to Dr. Sagan, I really camped out on this point a long time because I had read Sagan’s  book Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors  and in it  Sagan attempts to  totally debunk the idea that we are any way special. However, what does Dr. Sagan have Dr. Arroway say at the end of the movie Contact when she is testifying before Congress about the alien that  communicated with her? See if you can pick out the one illogical word in her statement: “I was given a vision how tiny, insignificant, rare and precious we all are. We belong to something that is greater than ourselves and none of us are alone.” 

Dr Sagan deep down knows that we are special so he could not avoid putting the word “precious” in there. Schaeffer said unbelievers are put in a place of tension when they have to live in the world that God has made because deep down they know they are special because God has put that knowledge in their hearts.We are not the result of survival of the fittest and headed back to the dirt forevermore. This is what Schaeffer calls “taking the roof off” of the unbeliever’s worldview and showing the inconsistency that exists. 

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Taking on Ark Times bloggers about abortion on the 40th anniversary date of Roe v. Wade (Part 3) “What should be the punishment for abortion doctors?”

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthanasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

Francis Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live? (Full-Length Documentary)

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

Francis Schaeffer: What Ever Happened to the Human Race? (Full-Length Documentary)

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

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)

On 1-24-13 I took on the child abuse argument put forth by Ark Times Blogger “Deathbyinches,” and the day before I pointed out that because the unborn baby has all the genetic code at  the time of conception that they will have for the rest of their life many scientists were pro-life.

Over the years I have taken on the Ark Times liberal bloggers over and over and over concerning the issue of abortion. I asked over and over again for one liberal blogger to come forward and tell me when they thought an unborn baby should be protected by our government and finally I got someone to do that. In fact, several stepped forward.

“Outlier” responded on 1-23-13:

 I’ll bite. Generally when the fetus is viable outside the womb. There are reasons for late term abortions though. When the fetus has some horrible defect which is not compatible with survival or when the life of the mother is threatened are just two, but there are others.

“TX-Travler” noted on1-23-13,  “…to answer your question; when the doctor recommends it or when the mother decides. It is none of your damn business. Lead your own life and stop trying to tell others what to do!”

Some other bloggers just ranted. Take a look at “Spunkrat”:

I am so sick and tired of your ridiculous ability to fit two completely different ideas into a head the size and consistency of, a baking pumpkin!

You people will kill and murder doctors and anyone who is pro choice to protect, in YOUR words, the “unborn (and by this word unhuman)” from being “murdered,” while your ilk arm as many in this country as you can, so they can “protect” themselves by murdering anyone who gets in their way, AND once they do, you’ll try and strap them to a gurney and execute/murder them, IF you can! The reasoning ability you people have is at best–at BEST, mentally stooped and decrepit.

Find an Ozark cliff and jump. Just jump! But before you do, set fire to your housetrailer so we can clean up the neighborhood!

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On 1-23-13 right before I went to bed I wrote this quick response:

Thank you both Outlier and Tx-Travler for thoughtful responses. Carl Sagan wrote:

But third-trimester abortions provide a test of the limits of the pro-choice point of view. Does a woman’s “innate right to control her own body” encompass the right to kill a near-term fetus who is, for all intents and purposes, identical to a newborn child?

We believe that many supporters of reproductive freedom are troubled at least occasionally by this question. But they are reluctant to raise it because it is the beginning of a slippery slope. If it is impermissible to abort a pregnancy in the ninth month, what about the eighth, seventh, sixth … ?
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I actually wrote Carl Sagan on the issue of abortion and some other subjects and he personally wrote me back.

Sagan’s own writings point out the “slippery slope” problem. However, I was very impressed that he took the time to right me back.

Carl Sagan was kind enough to send me a copy of an article he wrote on abortion that was carried by Parade Magazine. I responded back to him but his health took a turn for the worst and he never got back to me. He was a classy gentleman.

I answered Outlier with a fuller answer on 1-24-13:

Outlier you deserve an answer. You were kind enough to answer my question when very few other people were brave enough to do so and I will take on yours. YOU STATED:
Now, you tell me. Since you believe abortion is murder should the criminal charge be first degree murder for the mother and the attending physician? If you can’t say that, then you don’t believe it is murder. You can’t have it both ways.

I posed this question to you a couple of nights ago, but I guess you missed it.
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1. The criminal charge for homicide is varied in our criminal code and very few charges require the death penalty.
2. We must be consistent in our laws and an abortion is a homicide or a taking of an innocent human life.
3. Currently there are many legal terms applied to each level of homicide and I am not a lawyer that is capable of determining which level each abortion should fall under but I will say that the third trimester should be considered for the death penalty (of course there are some medical exceptions).

Let me explain some. People now get the death penalty in some cases for purposely killing an unborn baby in acts of violence. In 28 states there are laws on the books that place fetal death under homicide statutes and this is the case in the liberal state of California too. Some other states say that pregnant women involved in drug use can be prosecuted on child endangerment charges.

We have to keep the main issue before us and that is we all support stiff punishments for homicide and we do need want those prosecuted that take innocent human lives and now we must look at the unborn child and decide if he or she are human. ISN’T THAT KEY ISSUE? Once we determine when in the 9 month period to provide legal protection then we should determine what punishments the doctors should face.

IF I WAS A LAWYER THEN I COULD ANSWER MORE FULLY, BUT I DID SPEND TIME LAST NIGHT AND THIS MORNING PUTTING THIS BETTER AND THIS IS THE BEST I COULD DO. Thank you Outlier for your question and again thank you to all the liberals on this blog who were willing to answer my tough question “When should we provide legal protection to the unborn child, 3mo, 6mo, etc?” ARE THERE ANY MORE WILLING TO ANSWER

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When I think of the things that make me sad concerning this country, the first thing that pops into my mind is our treatment of unborn children. Donald Trump is probably going to run for president of the United States. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council recently had a conversation with him concerning the […]

Abortionist Bernard Nathanson turned pro-life activist (part 4)

Richard Land on Abortion part 3 On the Arkansas Times Blog this morning I posted a short pro-life piece and it received this response: We have been over this time and again SalineRepublican, and I think we all know the issue: when does the right of a woman to control her own body yield to […]

Abortionist Bernard Nathanson turned pro-life activist (part 3)

Vice Admiral C. Everett Koop, USPHS Surgeon General of the United States Francis Schaeffer Main page Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop put together this wonderful film series “Whatever happened to the human race?” and my senior class teacher Mark Brink taught us a semester long course on it in 1979. I was so […]

Brantley: Concerning abortion views, Lincoln is pro-woman and Boozman is not

HALT:HaltingArkansasLiberalswithTruth.com Mike Huckabee interviews Abby Johnson who is an Ex-Planned-Parenthood Employee who left the organization after witnessing 13 week old fetus fighting for its life on an ultrasound monitor. To anyone who still thinks that a fetus is just a clump of cells, listen to this woman’s story and tell me that this doesn’t make […]

Paul Greenberg became pro-life because we are all “endowed with certain unalienable rights”

On January 20, 2013 I heard Paul Greenberg talk about the words of Thomas Jefferson that we are all “endowed with certain unalienable rights” and the most important one is the right to life. He mentioned this also in this speech below from 2011: Paul Greenberg Dinner Speech 2011 Fall 2011 Issue Some of you […]

KARK Channel 4 in Little Rock distorts size of Little Rock pro-life march

I attended the March for Life at the Capitol in Little Rock on January 20, 2013 and I noticed that there were several thousand people gathered at the pro-life event. My son Wilson even got his picture taken with some of the Duggar sisters.  (Paul Greenberg’s speech was great.) The day before it was reported […]

Mike Huckabee influenced Paul Greenberg 30 years ago to become pro-life

January 20, 2013 I attended the March for Life in Little Rock and heard Paul Greenberg tell how he became pro-life and he gives a lot of the credit to a young Baptist preacher in Pine Bluff named Mike Huckabee. Here is an earlier article written by Greenberg that tells the story. WITNESS by Paul […]

Carl Sagan versus RC Sproul

At the end of this post is a message by RC Sproul in which he discusses Sagan.

Over the years I have confronted many atheists. Here is one story below:

I really believe Hebrews 4:12 when it asserts:

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

That verse prompted  me in 1992 to start sending a particular cassette tape out to these skeptics. This tape included three messages (“How I know the Bible is the Word of God,” Adrian Rogers, Sept 1972; “The Final Judgement,” Adrian Rogers,Sept 1972; “How to get a pure heart,” Bill Elliff, 1992.)

On Dec 5, 1995 Carl Sagan while suffering from cancer took time to finally answer the 4 letters I had written to him up to that point.(I don’t know if he ever listened to the tapes I had sent him.) Here is his response:

Thanks for your recent letter about evolution and abortion. The correlation is hardly one to one; there are evolutionists who are anti-abortion and anti-evolutionists who are pro-abortion.You argue that God exists because otherwise we could not understand the world in our consciousness. But if you think God is necessary to understand the world, then why do you not ask the next question of where God came from? And if you say “God was always here,” why not say that the universe was always here? On abortion, my views are contained in the enclosed article (Sagan, Carl and Ann Druyan {1990}, “The Question of Abortion,” Parade Magazine, April 22.)

I responded with a two page letter on Jan 10, 1996 and I never heard back again from Dr. Sagan and he died on Dec 20, 1996. His wife Ann Druyan reported that many people of faith reached out to Sagan in last few months of his life, but he never left his agnosticism.

I have read lots of Carl Sagan’s books and written several reviews and papers on his views. I will just leave you with two thoughts.

Sagan observed,”Plainly, there’s something within me that’s ready to believe in life after death…If some good evidence for life after death was announced, I’d be eager to examine it; but it would have to be real scientific data, not mere antedote”(pp 203-204, The DemonHaunted World, 1995).

Sagan said he had taken a look at Old Testament prophecy and it did not impress him because it was too vague. He had taken a look at Christ’s life in the gospels, but said it was unrealistic for God to send a man to communicate for God. Instead, Sagan suggested that God could have written a mathematical formula in the Bible or put a cross in the sky.However, what happens at the conclusion of the movie Contact?  This is Sagan’s last message to the world in the form of the movie that appeared shortly after his death. Dr Arroway (Jodie Foster) who is a young atheistic scientist who meets with an alien and this alien takes the form of Dr. Arroway’s father. The alien tells her that they thought this would make it easier for her. In fact, he meets her on a beach that resembles a beach that she grew up near so she would also be comfortable with the surroundings. Carl Sagan when writing this script chose to put the alien in human form so Dr. Arroway could relate to the alien. Christ chose to take our form and come into our world too and still many make up excuses for not believing.

Lastly, Carl Sagan could not rid himself of the “mannishness of man.” Those who have read Francis Schaeffer’s many books know exactly what I am talking about. We are made in God’s image and we are living in God’s world. Therefore, we can not totally suppress the objective truths of our unique humanity. In my letter of Jan 10, 1996 to Dr. Sagan, I really camped out on this point a long time because I had read Sagan’s  book Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors  and in it  Sagan attempts to  totally debunk the idea that we are any way special. However, what does Dr. Sagan have Dr. Arroway say at the end of the movie Contact when she is testifying before Congress about the alien that  communicated with her? See if you can pick out the one illogical word in her statement: “I was given a vision how tiny, insignificant, rare and precious we all are. We belong to something that is greater than ourselves and none of us are alone.”

Dr Sagan deep down knows that we are special so he could not avoid putting the word “precious” in there. Schaeffer said unbelievers are put in a place of tension when they have to live in the world that God has made because deep down they know they are special because God has put that knowledge in their hearts.We are not the result of survival of the fittest and headed back to the dirt forevermore. This is what Schaeffer calls “taking the roof off” of the unbeliever’s worldview and showing the inconsistency that exists.

In several of my letters I quoted this passage below:

Romans 1:17-22 (Amplified Bible)

17For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith.(A)

18For 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.

19For 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.

20For 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],(B)

21Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and [a]godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

22Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

Below is a video by RC Sproul that discusses Carl Sagan and the beginning of time.

R.C Sproul: The Psychology Of Atheism – Defending Your Faith Part 25

Published on May 13, 2012

*I do not own this presentation. Used only for education purposes
All rights to Ligonier Ministries. (C) Ligonier Ministries
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Uploaded by on Jan 2, 2012

Introduction: The Primary Philosophical Questions