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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 61 Dr. Lee Silver of Princeton asserts that Religions take advantage and hurt people!

 

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 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto:

_____________

Biography

Lee Silver

An internationally renowned molecular biologist and expert on biomedical ethics, legal issues, and the societal challenges posed by advances in biotechnology, Silver is the author of many publications, including Mouse Genetics: Concepts and Practice, and Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World, which has been published in 14 languages since its initial publication in 1997. The primary focus of that book is the ethical concerns and legal issues that arise from the technological advances that were, until recently, found only in science fiction. These issues form the basis for Silver’s new Woodrow Wilson School undergraduate course “Human Genetics, Reproduction, and Public Policy.” Silver is the coeditor of the official journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was a member of the New Jersey Bioethics Commission Task Force, formed to recommend reproductive policy positions for the New Jersey State Legislature. He has testified on reproductive and genetic technologies before U.S. Congressional and New York State Senate committees. Ph.D. Harvard University.

Lee M. Silver

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Lee Silver” redirects here. For Leon Theodore “Lee” Silver, geologist, see Leon Silver.

Lee M. Silver (born 1952) is an American biologist. He is a professor at Princeton University in the Department of molecular biology of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He also has joint appointments in the Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy, the Center for Health and Wellbeing, the Office of Population Research, and the Princeton Environmental Institute, all at Princeton University.

Silver is the author of the book Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Transform the American Family (1998). In the book he takes a positive view on human cloning, designer babies and similar prospects. In this book he coined the termreprogenetics to describe the prospective fusion of reproductive technologies and genetics, which will allow positive eugenic actions on an individual level.

His most recent book, Challenging Nature: The Clash of Science and Spirituality at the New Frontiers of Life, was released in June 2006.

Silver is the co-founder of GenePeeks, a genetic research company which owns a simulation for screening genetic disorders.[1]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ de Lange, Catherine (April 6, 2014). “Startup offering DNA screening of ‘hypothetical babies’ raises fears over designer children”. The Guardian. Retrieved April 16, 2014.

External links[edit]

__________________________________________

In  the second video below in the 92nd 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)

___________

Human cloning: why is there a fuss? (Lee Silver)

QUOTE from Lee Silver speaking about a Ghanaian Witch Doctor:

 

If you look at empirical facts this kind of religion really works. He is a priest and people come to him when they are sick or when their children are sick and he gives them special potions and the special potions actually work very often because he had gone to the city to buy medicines and he comes back to this town and he has things like antibiotics. The kids have inflammation and he goes and gives them a potion. The potions work often and then he gets a lot of wives and that is what he gets out of this the people get better. So it is hard to argue against this system. It works. He is taking advantage of these people but he is making them better. It is fuzzy here whether religion is good or bad. My own personal opinion is that is a lot of what religion is about witch doctors that come who actually figure out how to help.

Here is my response to Dr. Silver below:

October 15, 2015

Professor Lee Silver, Princeton University,

Dr. Lee Silver,

In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” you made the following statement:

QUOTE from Lee Silver speaking about a Ghanaian Witch Doctor:

If you look at empirical facts this kind of religion really works. He is a priest and people come to him when they are sick or when their children are sick and he gives them special potions and the special potions actually work very often because he had gone to the city to buy medicines and he comes back to this town and he has things like antibiotics. The kids have inflammation and he goes and gives them a potion. The potions work often and then he gets a lot of wives and that is what he gets out of this the people get better. So it is hard to argue against this system. It works. He is taking advantage of these people but he is making them better. It is fuzzy here whether religion is good or bad. My own personal opinion is that is a lot of what religion is about witch doctors that come who actually figure out how to help.

I would agree with you that many people have done evil things in the name of religion, and let me make a few points about that. My view is that of evangelical Christianity. The crusades were done by Catholics. However, the point could be made that atheists and those who hold their views have killed far more in the last 100 years than all the Catholics through all the centuries. Take a look at this article by Ravi Zacharias below. 

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

by Ravi Zacharias (from his book “Can Man Live Without God”)

One of the great blind spots of a philosophy that attempts to disavow God is its unwillingness to look into the face of the monster it has begotten and own up to being its creator. It is here that living without God meets its first insurmountable obstacle, the inability to escape the infinite reach of a moral law. Across scores of campuses in our world I have seen outraged students or faculty members waiting with predatorial glee to pounce upon religion, eager to make the oft-repeated but ill-understood charge: What about the thousands who have been killed in the name of religion?

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

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

In case you fear that I am carrying this too far, I present the following for your consideration. It is not always easy in life to pinpoint moments that dramatically change you for the future. Sometimes, however, in retrospect we are able to look back upon such a moment and say, “For me, that was it.” Let me introduce you to one such experience for me.

A few years ago when I was speaking in Poland I was taken to the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau. I shall never be the same. Many, many times in silence I have reflected upon my first visit there, where the words of Hitler envisioning a generation of young people without a conscience are aptly hung on a wall, grimly reminding the visitor of the hell unleashed when his goal was realized.

I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality…. We will train young people before whom the world will tremble. I want young people capable of violence–imperious, relentless and cruel.

On display for all to behold are thousands of pounds of women’s hair, retrieved and marketed as a commodity by the Nazi exterminators, architects of the final solution that sent multitudes to the gas ovens. The incredible reminders–from rooms filled with pictures of abused and castrated children to the toiletries and clothing that are stacked to the ceiling–cast an overwhelming pall of somberness upon the visitor.

That this was conceived and nurtured in the mind of the most educated nation at that time in history and brought forth on the soil that had also given birth to the Enlightenment almost defies belief. But it was atheism’s legitimate offspring. Man was beginning to live without God.

________

As a scientist you don’t accept anything on “blind faith” and I don’t blame you at all. Let me further respond with the words of Francis Schaeffer from his book HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT (the chapter is entitled, “Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?”

Of course, if the infinite uncreated Personal communicated to the finite created personal, he would not exhaust himself in his communication; but two things are clear here:
 
1. Even communication between once created person and another is not exhaustive, but that does not mean that for that reason it is not true. 
 
2. If the uncreated Personal really cared for the created personal, it could not be thought unexpected for him to tell the created personal things of a propositional nature; otherwise as a finite being the created personal would have numerous things he could not know if he just began with himself as a limited, finite reference point. In such a case, there is no intrinsic reason why the uncreated Personal could communicate some vaguely true things, but could not communicate propositional truth concerning the world surrounding the created personal – for fun, let’s call that science. Or why he could not communicate propositional truth to the created personal concerning the sequence that followed the uncreated Personal making everything he made – let’s call that history. There is no reason we could think of why he could not tell these two types of propositional things truly. They would not be exhaustive; but could we think of any reason why they would not be true? The above is, of course, what the Bible claims for itself in regard to propositional revelation.
DOES THE BIBLE ERR IN THE AREA OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY? The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. Charles Darwin himself longed for evidence to come forward from the area of  Biblical Archaeology  but so much has  advanced  since Darwin wrote these words in the 19th century! Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription.13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

Recently I had the opportunity to come across a very interesting article by Michael Polanyi,LIFE TRANSCENDING PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY, in the magazine CHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING NEWS, August 21, 1967, and I also got hold of a 1968 talk by Francis Schaeffer based on this article. Polanyi’s son John actually won the 1986 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. This article by Michael Polanyi concerns Francis Crick and James Watson and their discovery of DNA in 1953. Polanyi noted:

Mechanisms, whether man-made or morphological, are boundary conditions harnessing the laws of in
animate nature, being themselves irreducible to those laws. The pattern of organic bases in DNA which functions as a genetic code is a boundary condition irreducible to physics and chemistry. Further controlling principles of life may be represented as a hierarchy of boundary conditions extending, in the case of man, to consciousness and responsibility.

I would like to send you a CD copy of this talk because I thought you may find it very interesting. It includes references to not only James D. Watson, and Francis Crick but also  Maurice Wilkins, Erwin Schrodinger, J.S. Haldane (his son was the famous J.B.S. Haldane), Peter Medawar, and Barry Commoner. I WONDER IF YOU EVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO RUN ACROSS THESE MEN OR ANY OF THEIR FORMER STUDENTS?

Below is a portion of the transcript from the CD and Michael Polanyi’s words are in italics while Francis Schaeffer’s words are not:

During the past 15 years, I have worked on these questions, achieving gradually stages of the argument presented in this paper. These are:

  1. Machines are not formed by physical and chemical equilibration. 
  2. The functional terms needed for characterizing a machine cannot for defined in terms of physics and chemistry. 

Polanyi is talking about specific machines but I would include the great cause and effect machine of the external universe that functions on a cause and effect basis. So if this is true of the watch,  then you have to ask the same question about the total machine that Sartre points out that is there, and that is the cause and effect universe.Polanyi doesn’t touch on this and he doesn’t have an answer, and I know people who know him. Yet nevertheless he sees the situation exactly as it is. And I would point out what  Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) and J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904–1967) said and that it needed a Christian consensus to produce modern science because it was the Christian consensus that gave the concept that the world being created by a reasonable God and that it could be found out and discovered by reason. So the modern science when it began with Copernicus and Galileo and all these men conceived that the cause and effect system of the universe would be there on the basis that it was created by a reasonable God, and that is Einstein’s big dilemma and that is why he became a mystic at the end of life…What Polanyi says here can be extended to the watch, and the bridge and the automobile but also to the big cause and effect universe.You have to give some kind of answer to this too and I would say this to Michael Polanyi if Iever have a chance to talk to him.You need another explanation too Polanyi.

3. No physical chemical topography will tell us that we have a machine before us and what its functions are. 

In other words, if you only know the chemicals and the physics you don’t know if you have a machine. It may just be junk. So nobody in the world could tell if it was a machine from merely the “physical chemical-topography.” You have to look at the machineness of the machine to say it is a machine. You could take an automobile and smash it into a small piece of metal with a giant press and it would have the same properties of the automobile, but the automobile would have disappeared. The automobile-ness of the automobile is something else than the physical chemical-topography.

4. Such a topography can completely identify one particular specimen of a machine, but can tell us nothing about a class of machines. 

5. And if we are asked how the same solid system can be subject to control by two independent principles, the answer is: The boundary conditions of the system are free of control by physics and can be controlled therefore by nonphysical, purely technical, principles. 

In other words you have to explain the engineering by something other than merely physical principles and of course it is. You can’t explain the watchness of the watch merely by this. You can explain it on the basis of engineering principles in which the human mind conceives of a use for the machine and produces the machine. But notice where Polanyi is and that is in our argument of a need of personality in the universe though Polanyi doesn’t draw this final conclusion, though I thought that is the only explanation.

If you look at the watch a man has made it for the purpose of telling time. When you see the automobile a man has made it for the purpose of locomotion and the explanation of the difference is not in the chemical and physical properties but in the personality of a man to make these two different machines for two different purposes out of the same material. So what you are left here is the need of personality in the universe.

____

Thank you for your time. I know how busy you are and I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher,

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

Big Think Interview with Lee Silver

Published on Apr 23, 2012

ADRIAN ROGERS ON DARWINISM

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

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 57 Neil deGrasse Tyson is fretting because we are on “a one-way expanding universe as we wind down to oblivion!”

 

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 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto:

______________

Neil deGrasse Tyson Biography

Scientist, Writer, Television Personality (1958–)
Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson hosted NOVA ScienceNow and appeared on such shows as The Daily Show and Real Time with Bill Maher.

Synopsis

Born and raised in New York City, astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson discovered his love for the stars at an early age. After studying at Harvard University, he earned his doctorate from Columbia University in 1991. Tyson went to work for the Hayden Planetarium in 1996 and still serves as its director. He hosted the NOVA ScienceNow series from 2006 to 2011. Tyson remains a popular TV science expert today and has amassed over 3.6 million followers on Twitter.

Early Life

One of America’s best-known scientists, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has spent much of his career sharing his knowledge with others. He has a great talent for presenting complex concepts in a clear and accessible manner.

Tyson grew up in New York City. When he was nine, he took a trip to the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History where he got his first taste of star-gazing. Tyson later took classes at the Planetarium and got his own telescope. As a teenager, he would watch the skies from the roof of his apartment building.

An excellent student, Tyson graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1976. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Harvard University and a doctorate in astrophysics from Columbia University in 1991. After spending a few years doing post-doctorate work at Princeton University, Tyson landed a job at the Hayden Planetarium.

Career Highlights

Tyson eventually became the director of the Planetarium and worked on an extensive renovation of the facility, from assisting with its design to helping raise the necessary funds. This $210 million project was completed in 2000, and the revamped site offered visitors a cutting-edge look at astronomy. One of Tyson’s most controversial decisions at the time was the removal of Pluto from the display of planets. He classified Pluto as a dwarf planet, which invoked a strong response from some visitors. While some asked for the planet Pluto back, the International Astronomical Union followed Tyson’s lead in 2006. The organization officially labeled Pluto as a dwarf planet.

In addition to his work at the planetarium, Tyson has found other ways of improving the nation’s scientific literacy. “One of my goals is to bring the universe down to Earth in a way that further excites the audience to want more,” he once said. To this end, Tyson has written several books for the general public, including Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandariesand The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet. He has taken his message to the airwaves as well, serving as the host of PBS’sNOVA ScienceNow documentary series from 2006 to 2011. In addition to breaking down barriers between scientists and the general public, Tyson has brought diversity to astrophysics. He is one of the few African Americans in his field.

Tyson has also served as a presidential advisor. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed him to a commission on the future of the aerospace industry. He also served another commission three years later to examine U.S. policy on space exploration.

These days, Tyson is one of the most in-demand science experts. He gives talks across the country and is a media favorite whenever there is an important science issue making news. Tyson is known for his ability to make difficult concepts accessible to every audience, his oratory skills and his sense of humor, which has led to appearances on such shows as Real Time with Bill Maher, The Colbert Report and The Daily Show. He also hosts his own podcast StarTalk Radio, a science-based talk show that features comedic co-hosts.

In 2014, Tyson hosted and was the executive editor of a 13-episode television series entitled COSMOS: A Space-Time Odyssey. The series reboots the classic science documentary, Cosmos. The original version featured Carl Sagan as host and provided a general audience with a greater understanding of the origin of life and our universe.

Personal Life

Tyson lives in New York City with his wife and their two children. Outside of his scientific endeavors, he is an avid collector of writing instruments.

In  the first video below in the 41st 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)

__________

Recently I ran across this quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson:

“…a look at all the things that just wanna killers ok of most planet orbiting
unstable heartstart formations completely inefficient most places universal kill life instantly
instantly if you will say all the forces of nature just right for life excuse me
expects to look at the volume of the universe where you can live you’ll die instantly that’s not thus not
that’s not what i call the garden of eden right about galaxy orbits the week warburg once every couple hundred million years
you’re bound to come close to a supernova that will wipe out your ozone layer and kill everybody on the surface
doesn’t otherwise have dark-skinned because your high-energy rays will give you skin cancer um… well the collision course with a drama galaxy gold is beautiful spiral that we’re and of course what a one-way expanding universe as we wind down to oblivion as the temperature the universes into a quid pro quo proaches actions if that’s the universe standouts volcanoes tsunami just killed up you know i think that numbers higher  up two hundred thousand people flood twenty none of this is a sign that there’s a benevolent anything out there and this ninety percent is shipping nine nine percent of his earlier noted that’s uh… uh…” Neil deGrasse Tyson 

 

________

It seems that like Carl Sagan and even Charles Darwin before him Neil is  fretting over the future extinction of the human race. Darwin rightly noted that Christians do not have this same worry because they believe in the afterlife. Below at the bottom of this post you will find some evidence that indicates that the Bible is a historically accurate book and if that is so then maybe the Bible’s claims concerning the afterlife are also true.

I have corresponded on scientific issues with dozens of scientists for over 20 years now. You are probably familiar with these names below from Harvard:  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), Gerald Holton (1922-), Edward O. Wilson(1929-), and Nobel Prize winners George Wald (1906-1997), and Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-).

Some other scientists I have corresponded are not from Harvard but none the less are very note worthy such as   Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011),   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-),   Harry Kroto (1939-),   Lewis Wolpert (1929),  Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), and  Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999). As you will notice several of these men have won Nobel Prizes.

___________________

March 16, 2015

Neil deGrasse Tyson

C/O Hayden Planetarium & Department of Astrophysics

Dear Dr. Tyson,

Let me start off by saying that this is not the first time that I have written you. Earlier I shared several letters of correspondence I had with Carl Sagan, and Antony Flew. Both men with strong believers in evolution as you are today. Instead of talking to you about their views today I wanted to discuss the views of you and Charles Darwin.

Previously I wrote you that in 1994 and 1995 I had the opportunity to correspond with the famous evolutionist Dr. Ernst Mayr of Harvard. He stated in his letter of 10-3-94, “Owing to your ideological commitments, it is only natural that you cannot accept the cogency of the scientific evidence. However, to a person such as myself without such commitments, the story of the gradual evolution of life as reconstructed by chemists and molecular biologists is totally convincing.”

I responded by pointing out several points and here are two of them. First, Scientific Naturalism is atheistic by definition. Second, many great scientists of the past were Christians, and that did not disqualify their observations and discoveries.

Recently I ran across this quote from you:

“…a look at all the things that just wanna killers ok of most planet orbiting
unstable heartstart formations completely inefficient most places universal kill life instantly
instantly if you will say all the forces of nature just right for life excuse me
expects to look at the volume of the universe where you can live you’ll die instantly that’s not thus not
that’s not what i call the garden of eden right about galaxy orbits the week warburg once every couple hundred million years
you’re bound to come close to a supernova that will wipe out your ozone layer and kill everybody on the surface
doesn’t otherwise have dark-skinned because your high-energy rays will give you skin cancer um… well the collision course with a drama galaxy gold is beautiful spiral that we’re and of course what a one-way expanding universe as we wind down to oblivion as the temperature the universes into a quid pro quo proaches actions if that’s the universe standouts volcanoes tsunami just killed up you know i think that numbers higher  up two hundred thousand people flood twenty none of this is a sign that there’s a benevolent anything out there and this ninety percent is shipping nine nine percent of his earlier noted that’s uh… uh…” Neil deGrasse Tyson 

Sounds like you are stressing a little bit about the universe ultimately being destroyed. I thought of this quote of you recently when I was reading the works of Charles Darwin because he talks about this same subject. I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer and I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

Darwin wrote in his Autobiography in 1876:

“But I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels.

Francis Schaeffer commented:

This is very sad. He lies on his bunk and the Beagle tosses and turns and he makes daydreams, and his dreams and hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii or some place like this, an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would put his stamp of authority on it, which would be able to show that Christ existed. This is undoubtedly what he is talking about. Darwin gave up this hope with great difficulty. I think he didn’t want to come to the position where his accepted presuppositions were driving him. He didn’t want to give it up, just as an older man he understood where it would lead and “man can do his duty.” Instinctively this of brains understood where this whole thing was going to eventually go…

SINCE CHARLES DARWIN’S DEATH WE NOW HAVE LOTS OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND MUCH EVIDENCE FROM THE FIELD OF ARCHAEOLOGY THAT SHOW THE BIBLE IS HISTORICALLY ACCURATE.

Just like Darwin you need to ask yourself this same question but you will be doing it almost a century and a half later: Is the Bible historically accurate and have I taken the time to examine the evidence? Obviously Darwin was hoping that archaeology would provide some hope for the accuracy of the Bible. Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 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.,

In Darwin’s 1876 Autobiography he noted:

“…it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress. To those who fully admit the immortality of the human soul, the destruction of our world will not appear so dreadful.”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

Here you feel Marcel Proust and the dust of death is on everything today because the dust of death is on everything tomorrow. Here you have the dilemma of Nevil Shute’s ON THE BEACH. If it is true that all we have left is biological continuity and increased biological complexity, which is all we have left in Darwinism here, or with many of the modern philosophers, then you can’t stand Shute’s ON THE BEACH. Maybe tomorrow at noon human life may be wiped out. Darwin already feels the tension, because if human life is going to be wiped out tomorrow, what is it worth today? Darwin can’t stand the thought of death of all men. Charlie Chaplin when he heard there was no life on Mars said, “I’m lonely.”

You think of the Swedish Opera (ANIARA) that is pictured inside a spaceship. There was a group of men and women going into outer space and they had come to another planet and the singing inside the spaceship was normal opera music. Suddenly there was a big explosion and the world had blown up and these were the last people left, the only conscious people left, and the last scene is the spaceship is off course and it will never land, but will just sail out into outer space and that is the end of the plot. They say when it was shown in Stockholm the first time, the tough Swedes with all their modern  mannishness, came out (after the opera was over) with hardly a word said, just complete silence.

Darwin already with his own position says he CAN’T STAND IT!! You can say, “Why can’t you stand it?” We would say to Darwin, “You were not made for this kind of thing. Man was made in the image of God. Your CAN’T- STAND- IT- NESS is screaming at you that your position is wrong. Why can’t you listen to yourself?”

You find all he is left here is biological continuity, and thus his feeling as well as his reason now is against his own theory, yet he holds it against the conclusions of his reason. Reason doesn’t make it hard to be a Christian. Darwin shows us the other way. He is holding his position against his reason.

____________

These words of Darwin ring in my ear, “…it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress…” . Schaeffer rightly noted, “Maybe tomorrow at noon human life may be wiped out. Darwin already feels the tension, because if human life is going to be wiped out tomorrow, what is it worth today? Darwin can’t stand the thought of death of all men.” IN OTHER WORDS ALL WE ARE IS DUST IN THE WIND.  I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

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

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thank you again for your time and 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, United States

 

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

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

LET ME LEAVE YOU WITH TWO THOUGHTS:

1. Evolution can’t explain 4 things that we can have to know

In the video below Adrian Rogers notes four facts about the theory of Evolution:

1. Four Bridges that the Evolutionist Cannot Cross

a. The Origin of Life
The first bridge the evolutionists cannot logically cross is the origin of life—the origin of life. Now, whence came life?

(George Wald  is pictured above and I had the opportunity to correspond with him)

Let me tell you something: Dr. George Wald–Professor Emeritus of Biology at Harvard University—he won the Nobel Prize in Biology in 1971—writing in Scientific American on the origin of life, has said this—and I want you to listen carefully: “There are only two possibilities as to how life arose: One is spontaneous generation arising to evolution. The other is a supernatural creative act of God. There is no third possibility.” And, we would all say amen. Either God did it, or it just happened accidentally. All right. But now, let’s go on. So far, he’s doing good. He said there’s no third possibility. “Spontaneous generation, that life arose from nonliving matter, was scientifically disproved 120 years ago”—that was 120 years from when he made this statement—“by Louis Pasteur and others. That leaves us with only one possible conclusion: that life arose as a supernatural creative act of God.”So far, so good. But now, tune your ears, and don’t miss this. I want you to hear what this Nobel Prize winning scientist, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Harvard, said. Now remember, he said there are only two possibilities: Either there’s a creative act of God, or it is spontaneous generation that arises or moves to evolution. He said—and I’m continuing to quote: “I will not accept that…”—what that is he referring to? That it is a supernatural creative act of God—“I will not accept that philosophically, because I do not want to believe in God. Therefore, I choose to believe what I know is scientifically impossible: spontaneous generation arising to evolution.”

b. The Fixity of the Species
The second bridge the evolutionist cannot cross is the steadfastness, the fixity, of the species—that is, “the basic categories of life.”  We don’t have any evolutionary fossilized remains, missing links.

c. The Second Law of Thermodynamics
The third bridge that the evolutionist cannot logically cross is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Now, what is the Second Law of Thermodynamics? This law says that energy is never destroyed. Everything tends to wear out, to run down, to disintegrate, and, ultimately, to die, but energy just moves to some other form. All processes, by definition, involve change, but the change—now, listen very carefully—is not in the upward direction of complexity, as the evolutionist declares. But, change left to itself is always in disintegration, not in integration. Now, that’s the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It’s called…—to itself, everything collapses, deteriorates, grows old, and dies, sooner or later—it’s called entropy.

d. The Non-Physical Properties Found in Creation
Now, here’s the fourth bridge that the evolutionists cannot logically cross, and that is the non-physical properties found in creation. Now, what do I mean by the non-physical properties found in creation? Music, The love of music, art, beauty, a hunger for God, worship. What is there in the survival of the fittest—what is there in the evolutionary process—that would produce these things? How can they be accounted for under the survival of the fittest? Where do these things come from? Genesis 1, verse 26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26). You see, we have these inner things—this love for beauty, for art, for truth, for eternity. That didn’t come from some primordial ooze; that came from the God who created us.

Adrian Rogers on Darwinism

2. There is evidence that indicates the Bible is true.

Scientists insist on evidence and don’t want to be encouraged to believe anything on “blind faith.” Therefore, I have included some evidence below that seems to confirm the Biblical accounts. Check it out.

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

Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #96)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Negev Nuclear Research Center – Israel

The Negev – Israel’s Desert

This article was first published in the Spring 2005 issue of Bible and Spade.
“If the full meaning of a passage [in the Bible] is to be grasped, the context of the passage needs to be appropriately developed” (Greenwold 2004: 72). In his pithy study of Luke’s Gospel account of Elizabeth and Zachariah, Greenwold gives an example of what he means: “All too often in our church lifetime, we end up being given many theological and doctrinal factual ornaments, but seldom are we shown the tree upon which to hang them. It’s as if we have been handed dozens of pieces to a puzzle, but have never seen what the finished picture on the top of the puzzle box looks like” (2004: 73). I think that Greenwold has it right.
Jesus and the woman at Jacob’s well in John 4 is an excellent case in point. The story takes place near the Old Testament city of Shechem. Shechem is mentioned 60 times in the Old Testament. The city had been abandoned by New Testament times, but Stephen reiterates its importance in his speech in Acts 7:16. A small village, Sychar, was near the ruins of Shechem in New Testament times and is mentioned in the John 4 account (Jn 4:5). Unfortunately, most Bible studies of events at or near Shechem, and commentaries on the Book of John, omit Shechem’s pivotal role in Bible history and how it fit into God’s salvation plan.
 
The narrow pass where ancient Shechem is located at the modern city of Nablus, view west. Mt. Gerizim is on the left and Mt. Ebal on the right. Dr. James C. Martin.
Archaeological investigations have corroborated much of what the Bible has to say about Shechem’s physical and cultural aspects. Archaeology has confirmed Shechem’s location, its history, and many Biblical details. In this article I will integrate what archaeology has illuminated about this important place and its geographical importance with a macro look at Shechem’s place in revealing God’s promise and plan to restore believers to Him.1
Map of Shechem area showing the location of Tell Balata (ancient Shechem), Joseph’s tomb and Jacob’s Well. ASOR, 2002.
Location and Exploration
About 30 mi (49 km) north of Jerusalem is a low, 15-acre mound, known as Tell Balata. This nondescript ruin covers what was ancient Shechem. The tell rests in a long, narrow, east-west valley with the two highest mountains in central Palestine towering over it, Mt. Ebal on the north and Mt. Gerizim on the south. The Hebrew word shekemmeans “back” or “shoulder,” which probably refers to Shechem’s placement between the two mountains. Coming from the south, the major road from Beersheba, Hebron and Jerusalem splits here. One branch goes east, around Mt. Ebal, and provides access to the Jordan Valley and cities like Beth Shan. The western arm leads to the coastal plain and cities to the north such as Samaria and Dothan. Thus, ancient Shechem and its modern counterpart, Nablus, are in a very strategic location along the watershed road between Judah, the Jordan Valley, Transjordan, and the Galilee.2
In 1903, a group of German scholars under the direction of H. Tiersch examined Tell Balata and concluded it was ancient Shechem. Until that time there had been controversy over whether Tell Balata, or the modern city of Nablus nearby, was the location of ancient Shechem. Tiersch’s identification has never been seriously questioned.
E. Sellin led an Austro-German excavation team to Tell Balata in 1913 and 1914. His work was interrupted by World War I. Sellin began work again in 1926 and continued until 1936. Work was resumed in 1956 by an American team under the direction of G. E. Wright and B. W. Anderson. The latest season of excavations at Tell Balata was in 1973 under the direction of W. G. Dever (Campbell 1993: 1347; Seger 1997:21).
Aerial view of the ruins of Shechem. On the right is the Middle Bronze fortification wall and in the upper center the “Migdal,” or fortress, temple. Holy Land Satellite Atlas, 1999, p. 100.
Abram at Shechem
The first mention of Shechem in the Bible is Genesis 12:6, when Abram first entered Canaan. It is succinctly described: “Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem.” At that time, God promised Abram, “To your offspring I will give this land” (Gn 12:7). The next mention of Shechem is 11 chapters, and about 200 years, later, when the Bible records that Jacob, Abram’s grandson, “camped within sight of the city” (Gn 33:18).
Assuming a conservative dating for the Patriarchal events in the Bible,3 note that Abram camped in Canaan about 2090 BC and there is no mention of a city. However, when Jacob arrived 200 hundred years later, around 1890 BC, the Bible notes that he “camped within sight of the city [Shechem].” In the original Hebrew, the word translated in our English Bible as “city” meant a permanent, walled settlement (Hansen 2003:81, Wood 1999:23). Genesis 34:20 and 24 report that Shechem had a city gate; therefore it was fortified.
Can archaeology clarify if there was or was not a city? Yes. The absence of a “city” and walls at Tell Balata when Abram came through and the existence of a city in the time of Jacob is in complete agreement with what the Bible indicates is Shechem’s early history.
Excavations have revealed that the earliest urbanization at Tell Balata was in MB I (Levels XXII-XXI), about 1900–1750 BC. MB I was when Jacob lived by the city of Shechem. Prior to MB I, in the time of Abram’s visit, archaeology has demonstrated that there was a gap in settlement and an absence of fortification walls. Thus, there was no “city” for Abram to reference, as the Bible correctly infers (Campbell 1993: 1347).
Jacob and Joseph at Shechem
What was the city like when Jacob settled there? Archaeologists have revealed that Tell Balata in MB I had structures with mudbrick walls on stone foundations and they have found an abundance of artifacts typical of domestic living (Toombs 1992: 1179). The Bible records that during Jacob’s stay he purchased land near Shechem. This parcel would become the place where his son, Joseph, would later be entombed (Jos 24:32). The tumultuous Dinah affair also occurred during Jacob’s stay at Shechem. Its aftermath resulted in the murder of Shechem’s male population by two of Jacob’s sons (Gn 33–34). Subsequently, God told Jacob to move to Bethel (Gn 35:1) and then on to Hebron (Gn 35:7).
The next Biblical mention of Shechem is in connection with the story of 17-year-old Joseph, Jacob’s son, who was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers (Gn 37). In the account, Joseph’s brothers were grazing the family’s flocks near Shechem when Jacob sent Joseph to inquire of them. After looking for them at Shechem, he found them a short distance north at Dothan. There, the brothers conspired to sell Joseph into slavery, setting the stage for the subsequent accounts of Joseph’s rise to power, Jacob and his family moving to Egypt and, later, Israel’s oppression by Egyptian Pharaohs.
The earliest known extra-Biblical written record of Shechem comes from the Middle Bronze period. It is an inscription on a stele (an upright standing stone) of an Egyptian, Khu-Sebek, who was a nobleman in the court of Sesostris III (ca. 1880–1840 BC). It was found in 1901 by the renowned archaeologist J. Garstang at Abydos, Egypt. King Sesostris III became ruler shortly after Jacob was at Shechem, and he was probably the king when Jacob died in Egypt. Khu-Sebek’s stele describes how the king’s army campaigned in a foreign country named Sekmem (Shechem) and how “Sekmem fell” (Toombs 1992: 1179). W. Shea believes that the campaign on Khu-Sebek’s stele is none other than the Egyptians’ account of the military encounters experienced by the entourage accompanying Joseph when Jacob’s embalmed body was brought to Canaan for entombment at Machpelah (Gn 50:12–14) (Shea 1992: 38 ff.).
Khu-Sebek’s stele reveals that as early as the 19th century BC, Shechem was an important strategic location and a place worthy of mention in a notable Egyptian’s biography.
Stela of Khu-Sebek. He is shown seated, accompanied by members of his family, his nurse, and the superintendent of the cabinet. Discovered by British archaeologist John Garstang at Abydos, Egypt, in 1901, the stela is now on display in the museum of the University of Manchester, England. Mike Luddeni.
Joshua at Shechem
A little over 400 years later, God rescued the Israelites from Egyptian bondage and led them through the desert wilderness for 40 years. Near the end of this sojourn, their leader Moses said that once they entered the land God had promised them (at Shechem, see Gn 12:7!), they were to erect an altar on Mt. Ebal (Dt 27:4) and read portions of the Law while the people were assembled before Mounts Ebal and Gerizim (Dt 11:26–30; 27:12, 13).
As I noted above, the mountains of Ebal and Gerizim overlook the valley wherein lay Shechem. The mountains form a natural amphitheater in which the recitation of the Law could easily be heard. Despite the mountains’ heights (Ebal is 3,083 ft [940 m] and Gerizim is 2,890 ft [881 m]), there are many contemporary accounts of people speaking from the slopes of the mountains and being heard in the valley below. Even with the noise of the busy modern city of Nablus, I myself have been in the park at the top of Gerizim and clearly heard the voices of children playing in the Balata refugee camp at Gerizim’s base.
Joshua fulfilled Moses’ instructions and led the people directly to Gerizim and Ebal after defeating the stronghold at Ai (Jos 7–8). Assuming an “early Exodus” date (1446 BC), the Israelite entry into Canaan, after 40 years in the wilderness, was approximately 1406 BC, in the Late Bronze (LB) IB period.4 LB IB corresponds with Tell Balata’s Level XIV (Campbell 1993: 1347; Toombs 1992: 1178). During the 350 years of the previous MB period, the city had been fortified with earthen embankments and cyclopean wall fortifications. However, Shechem was destroyed around 1540 BC. The ferocity of the destruction resulted in debris covering the city up to a depth of 5.25 ft (1.6 m). It is surmised that the Egyptian armies of Ahmose I or Amenhotep I were the aggressors (Toombs 1992: 1182).
About 90 years after that catastrophe the city was rebuilt early in the LB I period, around 1450 BC. Level XIV corresponds to this date and is noted for the reconstruction of the city’s defensive walls, homes, and a well built, fortress-type, temple. This Level XIV occupation was the city at which Joshua and the Israelites arrived to fulfill Moses’ orders to read the Law before Ebal and Gerizim around 1406 BC.
The Book of Joshua makes an interesting observation about that visit:
All Israel, aliens and citizens alike…. were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the LORD, facing those who carried it…. There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the aliens who lived among them (Jos 8:33, 35).
It appears that the crowd who heard the words of the Law that day was composed of both Israelites and native Shechemites (aliens)! The Bible implies that both Shechemites and Israelites co-existed at Shechem. This unusual situation can be further confirmed by the fact that Shechem became one of only three Israelite Cities of Refuge on the west side of the Jordan River, as well as being a city of the Levitical priesthood (Jos 20:7; 21:21). All this occurred even though there is no record in the Bible of it being taken in battle.5
Years later, Joshua again gathered the Israelites at Shechem (Jos 24). He reminded them of God’s promises and how He had fulfilled those promises and delivered them from diversities. Joshua then challenged the people to say whom they would serve and they promised to serve God (Jos 24:14–20). The renewal ceremony between the Israelites and God recognized the promises God made to Abraham (Gn 12:7; 17:7, 8), Jacob, and the people at Sinai through Moses (Ex 24:8).
The next event at Shechem in the Bible was the fulfillment of another promise: the burial of the Patriarch Joseph. Just before his death in Egypt, Joseph asked his brothers to bring his body back to the land “promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” when God delivered them from Egypt (Gn 50:24–25).
And Joseph’s bones, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. This became the inheritance of Joseph’s descendants (Jos 24:32).
Today, there is a place near Tell Balata venerated by the Jewish and Samaritan faiths as the traditional location of Joseph’s tomb. The shrine marking the tomb, and an associated Jewish school, were reduced to rubble in October 2000 in the wake of the most recent hostilities between the Palestinian Arabs and the State of Israel. Conflicting views have abounded as to whether this was, in fact, Joseph’s final resting place. Unfortunately, no archaeological excavations are known to have taken place at this site that could verify that this was the true location of the tomb of Joseph. Several ancient texts mention the site, but the exact location of Joseph’s tomb is still in question.
The discovery of a LB Egyptian library at Amarna has provided additional insights on the LB period. Letters in the library reveal Egypt’s relationship with Canaan’s rulers in the mid-14th century BC. Some of the letters disclose that the kings of Shechem were independent of Egypt. Further, Shechem’s rulers were criticized by other Canaanite rulers for cooperating with an invading group of desert people called the Habiru. Many conservative evangelical scholars (e.g., Wood 1997; 2003: 269–71) believe the Habiru were the Israelites of the early Judges period.
Letter from Labayu, king of Shechem, to the king of Egypt, probably Amenhotep III. It is defiant in tone, suggesting Labayu had a measure of independence from Egypt (Hess 1993). The letter, numbered El Amarna 252, is written in Akkadian cuneiform, albeit with Canaanite grammar and syntax, and is on display in the British Museum. Mike Luddeni.
Abimelech at Shechem
Later in Bible history, Abimelech, the son of Gideon’s Shechemite concubine (Jgs 8:31), colluded with some Shechemites to kill 70 of Abimelech’s brothers (Jgs 8:30–31; 9). However, Abimelech’s youngest brother Jotham survived (Jgs 9:5). Jotham climbed to the top of Mt. Gerizim and shouted to the Shechemites below. He foretold the destruction of the men of Shechem by fire (Jgs 9:7–21). Later in the same chapter we read that the people of Shechem rose against Abimelech’s leadership. In response, Abimelech fought against the city and razed it. During the attack the leaders of Shechem tried to save themselves in “the stronghold of the temple of El-berith” (Jgs 9:46). The story continues:
He [Abimelech] took an ax and cut off some branches, which he lifted to his shoulders. He ordered the men with him, “Quick! Do what you have seen me do!” So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelech. They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire over the people inside. So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died (Jgs 9:48–49).
Archaeologists (e.g., E. Campbell, B. Mazar, G. E. Wright and L. Stager) refer to the “tower of Shechem” as “the Tower (migdal) Temple or Fortress-Temple” of Shechem (Campbell 1993: 1348, Stager 2003: 26 and 68 note 1). Stager recently reexamined the work of Wright who, in 1926, excavated a large building that has been reported to be this Fortress-Temple (Stager 2003). Stager’s conclusions are that this Temple, “Temple 1, ” was, in fact, the migdal referred to in Judges 9. It is the largest such Canaanite structure found in Israel and was 70 ft (21 m) wide, 86 ft (26 m) long with stone foundation walls 17 ft (5.1 m) thick. The foundation supported a multistory mudbrick and timber temple with an entrance flanked by two large towers. Stager hypothesized that the courtyard of this temple could have been where Joshua “took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD” (Jos 24:26).
Stager (2003: 68) places the destruction of the Fortress-Temple around 1100 BC. So does Seger (1997: 22), who correlates the destruction debris found at Level XI as being from the Iron IA period. Campbell (1993: 1347) states that there was a “significant” destruction “around 1100 BCE” and guardedly concludes, “connecting Level XI with the story underlying Judges 9 is plausible” (1993: 1352).
Dating Shechem’s destruction to 1100 BC helps confirm the Biblical date of 1406 BC as the beginning of the Conquest in Canaan. To do this, it is necessary to know that immediately after we read in the Bible of Abimelech’s destruction of Shechem, Jephthah, the ninth Judge, appears (Jgs 11, 12). Jephthah was hired by Israelites who lived in Gilead, east of the Jordan River, to confront the Ammonites who had made war on them for 18 years. Jephthah first attempted diplomacy with the Ammonite king. He reminded the Ammonite king that the Israelites had been in the land east of the Jordan River for “300 years” (Jgs 11:21–26). Jephthah, of course, was referring to the time when Moses led the Israelites through that region and defeated numerous kings (Nm 21:21–31).
Thus, if Abimelech destroyed Shechem ca. 1125–1100 BC (Jgs 9), and Abimelech was a contemporary of Jephthah, the Conquest would have occurred about 300 years earlier, in ca. 1400 BC (1100 BC + 300 years = 1400 BC).
Shechem in the Time of the Divided Monarchy
The Bible sheds little light on Shechem’s role during the reigns of Saul, David or Solomon. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, was next in line for the throne. All the Israelites assembled at Shechem to anoint Rehoboam king. Rehoboam, however, acted foolishly by chiding the northern tribes and telling them he would tax them heavily. In defense, the northern tribes retaliated by separating themselves from Rehoboam and the southern kingdom. The northern tribes made Jeroboam I king of their region. The country, formerly unified under David and Solomon, became divided. The northern region and tribes, led by Jeroboam I, was known as Israel. The southern area and tribes, first led by Rehoboam, is referred to as Judah in the Bible.
Levels X and IX at Tell Balata represent the Jeroboam I period and are noted for carefully built houses of selected stones. The discovery of stone foundations for stairs suggests two-story, four-room houses, typical homes of that period (Dever 1994: 80–81). Campbell concludes that Level IX (920–810 BC) has “tangible evidence of Jeroboam I’s rebuilding (1 Kg 12:25) and a return to city status” (1993: 1352–53).
The Assyrian invasion of Israel in 724 BC (2 Kgs 17:5–6) brought another destruction to Shechem. The evidence is in Level VII. Toombs noted that in Level VII the city was “reduced to a heap of ruins, completely covered by debris of fallen brickwork, burned beams and tumbled building stones,” typical examples of Assyrian thoroughness (1992: 1185). In addition to the destruction, the Assyrians placed exiled peoples from other nations into the region around Shechem, a common Assyrian practice (2 Kgs 17:23–24).
These new peoples added Yahweh to their own beliefs (2 Kgs 17:25–30). The new religion mimicked Judaism in many respects and Mt. Gerizim was made the center of its worship. New Testament practitioners of the cult are called “Samaritans,” which also referred to the people who lived in the vicinity (Mt 10:5; Lk 9:52, 10:53; 17:16; Jn 4:7, 9, 22, 39, 40; 8:48; Acts 8:25). A remnant of the ancient Samaritans still lives on Mt. Gerizim and they practice sacrifices there just as they did 2,700 years ago.7
Shechem in the Intertestamental Period
Between the Old and New Testaments, Shechem had a modest recovery and there is an abundance of evidence that excellent buildings were constructed in this, the Hellenistic, period (ca. 330–107 BC). It was during this time that the Samaritans built a large temple and sacrificial platform on Mt. Gerizim, the remains of which were still visible in Jesus’ day (Jn 4:20).
As fighting between the Ptolemies and Seleucids swirled around the country in the intertestamental period, physical decline again took place at Shechem. This decline culminated when the Jewish leader, John Hyrcanus, took advantage of the temporary absence of outside armies and destroyed the Samaritan temple on Mt. Gerizim (ca. 126 BC). He leveled the city in 107 BC. Shechem never recovered from this destruction and lay in ruins until identified by Tierschin 1901.
Shechem in the New Testament Period
Samaritans continued to live in the area during the following years, the Roman period. This is confirmed by the discovery of human burials from the period on the lower slopes of Mt. Ebal (Magen 1993: 1358–59). It is known that Samaritans also made several attempts to renew their cult worship on Mt. Gerizim. The Romans suppressed their efforts and in AD 72 constructed a new city, Flavia-Neapolis, about 1 mi (1.6 km) west of Tell Balata (Magen 2001: 40). This new city is now Nablus, a modern Arab city of about 120,000 people8 whose name is probably a corruption of Roman city, Neapolis.
About 500 yd (460 m) southeast of Tell Balata is an ancient well, venerated to be a well that Jacob, the Patriarch, dug when he lived there. Such a well is not mentioned in the Old Testament. There is a small Arab village, Askar, just north of the well. Most scholars associate Askar with Sychar, the village in John 4 near “Jacob’s well” (Jn 4:6). The authenticity of the well is not only based on its physical identification in John 4, but also on “the fact that all traditions-—Jewish, Samaritan, Christian and Muslim-—support it” (Stefanovic 1992: 608). Several churches in Christian history have been built on the site of the well and today it is located under a recently constructed Greek Orthodox church. Access to the well is gained by going down steps from the apse of the new church.
Jacob’s well as it appeared in the 1870s. In the right background is Mt. Gerizim with the tomb of the Arab sheikh, where the ruins of the Samaritan temple were located in New Testament times, visible at the peak.Todd Bolen.
Jacob’s well, at the base of Mt. Gerizim, is at the junction of the main road leading from Jerusalem in the south. Here, the road splits with the eastern branch going toward the Jordan Valley and the western branch leading to Nablus, and in NT times, Samaria and the Galilee. It is an excellent setting for one of the most important passages in the Bible-—the account of Jesus’ verbal Messianic announcement in the fourth chapter of John. In this passage Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, dialogues with her, and tells her He is the long-awaited Messiah.
Mt. Gerizim (left peak) as seen from Jacob’s well. When the Samaritan woman said to Jesus, “Our fathers worshipped on this mountain,” she was no doubt referring to the ruins of the Samaritan temple on top of Mt. Gerizim. The small structure on the peak marks the location of the ruins of the Samaritan temple that easily could have been seen from Jacob’s well in Jesus’ day. Bryant Wood.
Significance of Shechem in Understanding John 4
This article began by stating that context in reading the Bible was important to full understanding of what the original writers wanted the original hearers/listeners to know. In the case of Shechem, it is clear that the writer of John’s Gospel was appealing to the hearer/reader’s understanding of Shechem’s unique historical and theological context.
First, the author established that the event took place at Sychar (Jn 4:6). By making reference to Jacob he reminded his readers/hearers that this is where Jacob first settled when he returned to the Promised Land from Paddan Aram (Gn 33:18). At this spot Abram received God’s promise that “To your offspring I will give this land” (Gn 12:7). In addition to God’s promise given here to Abram, the writer wanted the hearer/reader to remember that many human agreements were made at Shechem in Bible history. Unfortunately, most were corrupted because of man’s sin. For example, Jacob made a promise to spare Hamor and the Shechemites after Dinah was sexually violated. Jacob’s use of circumcision to confirm the agreement with the Shechemites was the same symbol God had ordained as “the sign of the covenant between Me and you” (Gn 17:11). To seal a human agreement in this manner and have it subsequently abrogated as Jacob’s sons had done (Gn 34), could not have escaped the attention of the original hearers/reader.
Later, we read in the Bible that Jacob did not destroy family idols: rather he simply placed them under a tree near Shechem (Gn 35). This whole account is a testimony to the human condition and our willful tendency not to obey God. Jacob, who even had the privilege of a personal revelation from God, still could not totally eliminate idol worship; he played on the edge and placed the idols under a tree rather than destroying them.
The reader/hearer also should have been reminded that Shechem was near the place where Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and then concocted a lie to explain Joseph’s absence to their father Jacob (Gn 37)—another example of man’s deceit and deception.
All of these accounts are, in themselves, mini-stories that illustrate the human condition and how incapable we are of making a lasting promise to God. As a result, we are in need of rescue and restoration and only God, with His patience, could develop and execute a plan, seen throughout Bible history, for accomplishing a restoration that did not rely on man’s fallible nature.
Juxtaposed against the human failings, lies and deceits, the hearer/reader’s attention was brought to the fact that Shechem was where God reminded the people that He is faithful. Having given Abram the promise of the land, the Israelites were to remember that promise by going to Shechem, building an altar worshipping and re-reading God’s Law. This would refresh in the minds of the Israelites how God had led them out of bondage as He had promised and into a land He had promised. The rededication ceremony was accomplished and is described in Joshua 8. Following the conquest, Joshua again assembled the people at Shechem where he reviewed God’s promises and Israel’s obligations, eliciting from the people an agreement that they would “serve the Lord our God and obey Him” (Jos 24:24). This promise was another one that was repeatedly broken as revealed in the succeeding books of the Old Testament.
Earlier in Israel’s history Joseph, as he lay dying in Egypt, reminded the people that God would lead them to the land He had promised to Abraham, Isaac and his father Jacob. He asked that when they did return, they “carry my bones up from this place” (Gn 50:25). This was fulfilled in Joshua 24:32 when the body of Joseph was placed in a tomb in Shechem.
The Hebrew hearer/reader would also remember that Shechem became the center for the idolatrous worship practices that occurred following Israel’s capture by the Assyrians. Importing peoples from other lands and exporting Jewish believers, syncretism of pagan beliefs and Jewish practices resulted in a corrupted form of worship that became centered at Shechem and on Mt. Gerizim by people who were known as Samaritans. They chose to be worshippers of other gods despite their earlier promise in Joshua 24.

Ruins of a fifth century AD octagonal church on Mt. Gerizim, view north. The church, dedicated to Mary, was built on top of a temple built by the Samaritans in the late fifth century BC. John Hyrcanus destroyed the temple in the late second century BC. The small domed building at the northeast corner, the tomb of an Arab sheikh, is the structure visible from Jacob’s well in the valley below. IAA.
I believe the author of John wanted the reader and hearer to recognize and associate Shechem with God’s eternal unbroken promises, man’s corrupted state, the need for a Rescuer and how a Rescuer had been promised throughout history. In John 4 the Rescuer is revealed. The Samaritan woman makes known the promise: “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” And the Rescuer, Jesus, replied that the Messiah was at hand: “I Who speak to you am He” (Jn 4:26)!
The Samaritan woman’s response was to immediately run into the village, leaving her water jar behind, and tell everyone that the Rescuer was there. What glorious news! The Samaritans rushed to the well, welcomed Him and exclaimed that Jesus was the Rescuer, “the Savior of the world” (Jn 4:42).
It should challenge us to remember that shortly after Jesus’ declaration that He was Messiah, He would complete the promise and achieve the rescue through His death, burial and ascension. As He prepared His disciples for their duties, He told them that they would be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The story of Shechem and the Samaritan region had come full circle—from the promises to the Patriarchs to fulfillment of salvation as heard by the woman at the well and declared to the disciples.
Now we have the contextual history of Shechem. It is apparent that the original hearer/reader of John’s Gospel fully understood how Shechem had been a focal point of God’s unbroken promises and man’s fallibility. Hopefully, for the reader of this essay, all pieces of the puzzle of Shechem can now be understood and assembled so one can see the finished picture. And what a wonderful picture it is!
Footnotes
1. The author wishes to express his appreciation to Dr. James C. Martin for permission to use the photographs credited to him in this article.
2. For a discussion of geographical criteria that make for strategic locations in ancient Israel, see Hansen 1991.
3. For these dates, see Davis 1975: 29.
4. For a brief discussion of how this date is derived, see Hansen 2003: 80.
5. See Wood 1997 for his explanation of this unusual situation.
6. For a more thorough discussion of the Amarna tablets and the identity of the Habiru, see Archer 1994: 288–95; Wood 1995 and 2003: 269–71.
7. For a description of the modern Samaritans and how they practice Passover, see Bolen 2001.
Bibliography
Archer, Gleason L.
1994 A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, new and revised ed. Chicago: Moody.
Bolen, Todd
2001 Samaritan Passover. Bible and Spade 14: 41–42.
Campbell, Edward F.
1993 Shechem. Pp. 1345–54 in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land4, ed. Ephraim Stern. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Davis, John J.
1975 Paradise to Prison: Studies in Genesis. Grand Rapids MI: Baker.
Dever, William G.
1994 Monumental Architecture in Ancient Israel in the Period of the United Monarchy. Bible and Spade 7: 68–87.
Greenwold, Douglas
2004 Zechariah & Elizabeth: Persistent Faith in a Faithful God. Rockville MD: Bible-in-Context Ministries.
Hansen, David G.
1991 The Case of Meggido [sic]. Archaeology and Biblical Research 4: 84–93.
2003 Large Cities that Have Walls up to the Sky: Canaanite Fortifications in the Late Bronze I Period.Bible and Spade 16: 78–88.
Hess, Richard S.
1993 Smitten Ant Bites Back: Rhetorical Forms in the Amarna Correspondence from Shechem. Pp. 95–111 in Verses in Ancient Near Eastern Prose, eds. Johannes C. de Moor and Wilfred G.E. Watson, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 42. Kevelaer, Germany: Butzon & Bercker.
Magen, Itzhak
1993 Neapolis. Pp. 1354–59 in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land4, ed. Ephraim Stern. New York: Simon & Schuster.
2001 The Sacred Precinct on Mount Gerizim. Bible and Spade 14:37–40.
Seger, Joe D.
1997 Shechem. Pp. 19–23 in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East 5, ed. Eric M. Myers. New York: Oxford University Press.
Shea, William H.
1992 The Burial of Jacob: A New Correlation Between Genesis 50 and an Egyptian Inscription.Archaeology and Biblical Research 5:33–44.
Stager, Lawrence E.
2003 The Shechem Temple where Abimelech Massacred a Thousand. Biblical Archaeological Review28.4:26–35, 68–69.
Stefanovic, Zdravko
1992 Jacob’s Well. Pp. 608–609 in The Anchor Bible Dictionary 3, ed. David N. Freedman. New York: Doubleday.
Toombs, Lawrence E.
1992 Shechem. Pp. 1174–86 in The Anchor Bible Dictionary 5, ed, David N. Freedman. New York: Doubleday.
Wood, Bryant G.
1995 Reexamining The Late Bronze Era: An Interview with Bryant Wood by Gordon Govier. Bible and Spade 8: 47–53.
1997 The Role of Shechem in the Conquest of Canaan. Pp 245–56 in To Understand the Scriptures: Essays in Honor of William H. Shea, ed. David Merling. Berrien Springs MI: Institute of Archaeology/Siegfried H. Horn Archaeological Museum.
1999 The Search for Joshua’s Ai: Excavations at Kh. el-Maqatir. Bible and Spade 12:21–30.

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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

_________________

Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto:

______________

Ronnie

Ronald de Sousa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Ronald Bon de Sousa Pernes (born 1940 in Switzerland) is an Emeritus Professor at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Toronto which he joined in 1966. He is best known for his work in philosophy of emotions, and has also made contributions to philosophy of mind and philosophy of biology. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2005.[1]

de Sousa possesses both UK and Canadian citizenship. Educated in Switzerland and England, he took his B.A. at New College, Oxford University in 1962, and his Ph.D. at Princeton University in 1966. He has contributed to and is frequently cited in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

_____________________________

In  the second video below in the 98th 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)

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___________

Quote from Ronald de Sousa:

To have conviction is very different than having faith because conviction is a kind of belief that can be sensitive to evidence and argument. the whole point of faith and the virtue of faith which is praised by Christians is precisely the strength to continue to believe something in the face of reason and evidence.

What you are describing is “blind faith” that is not based on any evidence at all and I do reject that!!! I am glad that Ronald de Sousa and I can agree on that.  By the way Ronald de Sousa does have a sort of faith and that is in his faith in the view of the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system!!!! I expand more on that in this letter below:

March 12, 2015

Professor Ronald de Sousa, University of Toronto, Philosophy,

Dear Dr. de Sousa,

As you can tell from reading this letter I am an evangelical Christian and I have made it a hobby of mine to correspond with scientists like yourself over the last 25 years. Some of those who corresponded back with me have been   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-), Harry Kroto (1939-), Edward O. WIlson(1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn Branch, and Ray T. Cragun(1976-). I would consider it an honor to add you to this very distinguished list. 

I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

Here is a quote I ran across recently from you:

To have conviction is very different than having faith because conviction is a kind of belief that can be sensitive to evidence and argument. the whole point of faith and the virtue of faith which is praised by Christians is precisely the strength to continue to believe something in the face of reason and evidence.

 ——-
What you are describing is “blind faith” that is not based on any evidence at all and I do reject that as you do too!!!! I am glad we can agree on that. I will revisit this issue later in this letter. By the way did you know that you too have a sort of faith and that is in your faith in the view of the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system!!!!

Many secularists have claimed that Christians do not even have the right to have a place at the table. However, the vast majority of great scientists of the last 500 years did hold the view that we live in an open system and they did not hold the view of the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system. Recently I read the article ANSWERING THE NEW ATHEISTS, by  KerbyAnderson,  Sunday, January 30 th, 2011, and that article notes:

Are science and Christianity at odds with one another? Certainly there have been times in the past when that has been the case. But to only focus on those conflicts is to miss the larger point that modern science grew out of a Christian world view. In a previous radio program based upon the book Origin Science by Dr. Norman Geisler and me, I explain Christianity’s contribution to the rise of modern science.{27}

Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow also point out in their book that most scientific pioneers were theists. This includes such notable as Nicolas Copernicus, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, Johannes Kepler, Louis Pasteur, Francis Bacon, and Max Planck. Many of these men actually pursued science because of their belief in the Christian God.

Alister McGrath challenges this idea that science and religion are in conflict with one another. He says, “Once upon a time, back in the second half of the nineteenth century, it was certainly possible to believe that science and religion were permanently at war. . . . This is now seen as a hopelessly outmoded historical stereotype that scholarship has totally discredited.”{28}

.Do religious people have a blind faith? Certainly some religious people exercise blind faith. But is this true of all religions, including Christianity? Of course not. The enormous number of Christian books on topics ranging from apologetics to theology demonstrate that the Christian faith is based upon evidence.

But we might turn the question around on the New Atheists. You say that religious faith is not based upon evidence. What is your evidence for that broad, sweeping statement? Where is the evidence for your belief that faith is blind?

Orthodox Christianity has always emphasized that faith and reason go together. Biblical faith is based upon historical evidence. It is not belief in spite of the evidence, but it is belief because of the evidence.

The Bible, for example, says that Jesus appeared to the disciples and provided “many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of ​​the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).

Peter appealed to evidence and to eyewitnesses when he preached about Jesus as “a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know” (Acts 2:22).

The Christian faith is not a blind faith. It is a faith based upon evidence. In fact, some authors contend that it takes more faith to be an atheist than to believe in God.{7}

_________________

Francis Schaeffer also has discussed the nature of proper Christian faith with this story below:

Suppose we are climbing in the Alps and are very high on the bare rock, and suddenly the fog rolls in. The guide turns to us and says that the ice is forming and that there is no hope; before morning we will all freeze to death here on the shoulder of the mountain. Simply to keep warm the guide keeps us moving in the dense fog further out on the shoulder until none of us have any idea where we are. After an hour or so, someone says to the guide, “Suppose I dropped and hit a ledge ten feet down in the fog. What would happen then?” The guide would say that you might make it until the morning and thus live. So, with absolutely no knowledge or any reason to support his action, one of the group hangs and drops into the fog. This would be one kind of faith, a leap of faith.

Suppose, however, after we have worked out on the shoulder in the midst of the fog and the growing ice on the rock, we had stopped and we heard a voice which said, “You cannot see me, but I know exactly where you are from your voices.  I am on another ridge. I have lived in these mountains, man and boy, for over sixty years and I know every foot of them. I assure you that ten feet below you there is a ledge. If you hang and drop, you can make it through the night and I will get you in the morning.

I would not hang and drop at once, but would ask questions to try to ascertain if the man knew what he was talking about and it he was not my enemy. In the Alps, for example, I would ask him his name. If the name he gave me was the name of a family from that part of the mountains, it would count a great deal to me. In the Swiss Alps there are certain family names that indicate mountain families of that area. In my desperate situation, even though time would be running out, I would ask him what to me would be the adequate and sufficient questions, and when I became convinced by his answers, then I would hang and drop.

___________

What kind of evidence is today that would convince you that God exists and the Bible is true? I submit to you that Biblical Archaeology is a field that has advanced tremendously in the last few decades and I propose you look in that area. Did you know that Charles Darwin was looking for evidence that confirmed the Bible’s accuracy back in the 19th century and this is one of the exact areas that he mentioned.

Darwin wrote in his Autobiography in 1876:

“But I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels.

Francis Schaeffer commented:

This is very sad. He lies on his bunk and the Beagle tosses and turns and he makes daydreams, and his dreams and hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii or some place like this, an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would put his stamp of authority on it, which would be able to show that Christ existed. This is undoubtedly what he is talking about. Darwin gave up this hope with great difficulty. I think he didn’t want to come to the position where his accepted presuppositions were driving him. He didn’t want to give it up, just as an older man he understood where it would lead and “man can do his duty.” Instinctively this of brains understood where this whole thing was going to eventually go…

SINCE CHARLES DARWIN’S DEATH WE NOW HAVE LOTS OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND MUCH EVIDENCE FROM THE FIELD OF ARCHAEOLOGY THAT SHOW THE BIBLE IS HISTORICALLY ACCURATE.

Just like Darwin you need to ask yourself this same question but you will be doing it almost a century and a half later: Is the Bible historically accurate and have I taken the time to examine the evidence? Obviously Darwin was hoping that archaeology would provide some hope for the accuracy of the Bible. Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 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.,

AFTER ADEQUATE AND SUFFICIENT QUESTIONS OF YOURS BEING ANSWERED THEN YOU CAN BECOME CONVINCED AS SCHAEFFER’S STORY POINTS OUT.

This might interest you that my good friend in Little Rock  Craig Carney has an uncle named  Warren Carney who lives in Dayton, Tennessee, and  Warren was born in 1917 and he is last living witness of the Scopes Monkey trial. His father took him to the trial every day since they lived in Dayton and it was the biggest happening in the town’s history. Also I attended the funeral of Dr. Robert G. Lee (1886-1978) at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis and he is the minister who presided over William Jennings Bryan’s funeral in 1925. Of course, William Jennings Bryan took on Clarence Darrow at that famous trial. Below is an excerpt from the CD I sent you from Adrian Rogers on DARWINISM and it mentions some evidence presented by evolutionists in favor of Evolution. DOES THIS EVIDENCE FROM EVOLUTIONISTS EVEN COMPARE TO THAT I HAVE PUT FORTH CONCERNING THE ACCURACY OF THE BIBLE?

ADRIAN ROGERS FROM HIS MESSAGE ON “DARWINISM”:

The evolutionist can’t explain the steadfastness, the fixity, of the species. Now, what does the Bible say about the species? Well, Genesis 1, verses 11–12: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit”—now, listen to this phrase—“after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:11–12). You continue this passage. Ten times God uses this phrase, “after his kind”—“after his kind,” “after his kind”—because like produces like.

Now, the evolutionist must believe that reproduction does not always come kind after kind. There has to be a mutation—or a transmutation, rather—between species—that you can become a protozoa; and then you can become an un-segmented worm; and then you may become a fish; and then you may become a reptile, and move from one species to another. Now, all of us know there is such a thing as mutation. If you have roses, you can get various varieties of roses. If you have dogs—canines—you can have everything from a poodle to a Great Dane, but they’re still canines; they’re still dogs. The scientists have bombarded fruit flies with gamma rays or some kind of rays to cause mutations, and they get all kinds of strange fruit flies. But, they never get June bugs; they’re still fruit flies. You see, there are variations and adaptations that God has built, but you never have one species turning to another species. You never have a cat turn into a dog that turns to a cow that turns to a horse. You just don’t have that.

Now, men have tried to do that. I heard, one time, about a marine biologist who tried to take one of these beautiful shell creatures called an abalone and cross it with a crocodile. What he got was a crock of baloney. And, anytime anybody tries this, that’s exactly what they come up with.
Now, you say, “Pastor Rogers, why are you so certain about the fixity of the species, the steadfastness of the species?” Number one: because the Bible teaches it, and that’s enough for me. But, let’s move beyond that. We’re not talking about theological reasons now; we’re talking about logical reasons. Friend, if this is true, you would expect to find transitional forms in the fossils. There are billions of fossils; there are trillions of fossils— multiplied fossils. In not one instance—are you listening?—in not one instance do we find a transitional form. None—there are none.

Now, there are some people who will attempt to show you a proof of these, but I can tell you that eminent scientists have proven that these are not true. You would think that if man has evolved for millions and billions of years, and that life has evolved from one-celled life, some amoeba, to what we have today, that, in the fossils in the earth, we would find these transitional forms. But, they’re not there. The people talking about finding the missing link… Friend, the whole chain is missing—the whole chain is missing. Now, you ask them to prove it—that that is not true; and, they cannot come up with evidence. Well, you say, “But Pastor, they seem to have the proof. What about these ape-men? What about these people who lived in caves—these cave dwellers?” We have cave dwellers today. People have lived in caves through the years. “But, what about these things that we see in the museum? What about these creatures in this Time-Life advertisement?” Those are the products of imagination, and artistry, and plaster of Paris.

Some years ago—in 1925, I believe it was—in Tennessee—Dayton, Tennessee— we had something called The Monkey Trial. Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan were in a court case. A teacher had taught evolution in school, and there were people who sued that evolution should not be taught in school. Now it is reversed— you’re sued if you don’t teach evolution in school. But, there was a great debate, and Clarence Darrow, who was a very brilliant lawyer, was presenting evidence for evolution. Part of the evidence that Clarence Darrow presented was Nebraska Man, and he had all of these pictures.

Now, what had happened is there was a man named Harold Cook. And, Harold Cook had found a piece of evidence, and out of that piece of evidence the artist had created this half-man, half-ape—this Nebraska Man. Well, what was it that Clarence Darrow used as evidence that Harold Cook had discovered? It was a tooth. I didn’t say, “teeth”; I said, “tooth.” He had a tooth; and, with that tooth, he had devised a race—male and female.

I was interested in reading, in my research for this message, where a creationist went to the University of Nebraska, where they have the campus museum. And, since he’s named Nebraska Man, they have the replica of Nebraska Man there, in the museum. So, this creationist went in there and said, “I want to see Nebraska Man.” So, they took him in there, and in a case were the skull and the skeleton of Nebraska Man. And, the creationist said, “Are these the actual bones of Nebraska Man?” “Oh,” he said, “no, they’re not the actual bones.” “Well,” the man said, “where could I see the actual bones?” “Oh,” he said, “well, we don’t have the bones. These are plaster of Paris casts of Nebraska Man.” “Well, you must have had the bones to make the cast.” The man in charge seemed embarrassed. “We don’t have any bones. All we have is a tooth.” That’s Nebraska Man. And, what they had done was to take a tooth, take some imagination, take an artist, take plaster of Paris, take some paste and some hair, and glue it on him—make a male, make a female, make a civilization called Nebraska Man out of one—one—tooth.

And, Dr. Austin H. Clark, noted biologist of the Smithsonian Institute,  said this—listen to this, this is Smithsonian: “There is no evidence which would show man developing step-by-step from lower forms of life. There is nothing to show that man was in any way connected with monkeys. He appeared suddenly and in substantially the same form as he is today. There are no such things as missing links. So far as concerns the major groups of animals, the creationists appear to have the best argument. There is not the slightest evidence that any one of the major groups arose from any other.” Folks, again—not that I’m embarrassed at being a Baptist preacher—but that’s not a Baptist preacher speaking; that’s a biologist at the Smithsonian.

There’s a man today who’s going about speaking on college campuses. His name is Dr. Philip E. Johnson. He’s a Harvard gradate and also a graduate of the University of Chicago. He’s an attorney—and no mean attorney. He has served as a law clerk for the Chief Justice of the United State Supreme Court. I want you… And, by the way, Mr. Johnson, whose books are in our library and in our bookstore, I believe, is a true believer and does not believe in evolution. He’s brilliant. And, he tells the following story of a lecture given by Colin Patterson at the American Museum of Natural History in 1981. Let me tell you who Patterson is. Patterson is a senior paleontologist—that means, just simply, “someone who studies ancient events, and creatures, and so forth”—he is a senior paleontologist at the British Natural History Museum. And, I’ve been to that museum. As you walk in, the first thing you see is the head of Darwin there—the bust of Darwin. He is—Colin Patterson is—the senior paleontologist at the British Natural History Museum, and he is the author of that museum’s general text on evolution. So, this guy’s no “6” or “7.” When it comes to science, he’s a “9” or “10.”

Now, Philip Johnson, who is this lawyer from Harvard, quotes Colin Patterson, and he says this happened: He says—Patterson is lecturing now, and Philip Johnson is talking about it; and, here’s what Philip Johnson says: “First, Patterson asked his audience of experts a question which reflected his own doubts about much of what has been thought to be secured knowledge about evolution.” Now, here’s this man; he’s asking his colleagues this question: “Can you tell me anything you know about evolution—any one thing—that is true?” A good question: “Can you tell me…”—now listen; it’s kind of funny—“Can you tell me anything—any one thing—you know is true?” Now, here are these learned men sitting out there. And, let me tell you what happened: He said, “I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History, and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago”—morphology means, “to change from one form to another”—I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time. Eventually, one person said, ‘I do know one thing: It ought not to be taught in high school.’”
Now, get the setting: Here is a man, a brilliant scientist from the British Museum, who has written a book on the thing. And, he gets these high muckety-mucks out there—these intellectual top waters—and he said, “

Can you tell me one thing that you know to be true—that you know to be true?” Silence. Only thing one of them said: “I know that it ought not to be taught in high school.”

You see, folks, there are some bridges that they cannot cross. One bridge is the origin of life. George Wald said, “That’s impossible, but I believe it—spontaneous generation—because I don’t want to believe in God.” The other is the fixity of the species. We don’t have any evolutionary fossilized remains, missing links.

Is your faith in the evidence that supports the theory of evolution comparable to the faith I have in the Word of God being true and God creating the world? Recently I ran across the term “Implicit Faith” and I thought of your view that evolution must be true and we have to be living in a closed system. When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer. I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father gives the history of his religious views:—

By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported,—and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become,—that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible by us,”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

 He now says who can accept the miracles? But notice again this is an argument from presuppositions, because what this means is that he has accepted the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system which I say is the basic presupposition  of modern man. So therefore since he has accepted a closed system he assumes there is no miracle, but that doesn’t mean he has any evidence that there were no miracles. It doesn’t mean he  is at ease as a man because he has ruled these things out. Darwin is a man in tension. Does  the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system explain the wonder of the universe and secondly the mannishness of man? He himself feels caught on these two great hooks of the real world. In others I would say, “DARWIN your presuppositions don’t even satisfy you. You rule miracles on the basis of your presuppositions but your belief of the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system does not even satisfy you.” Darwin went to his death unsatisfied and yet  he was forced to give up his own presuppositions but he never gave them up. It seems to me you have the old man Darwin perspiring in his tension that you can only think of Paul’s conclusion in Romans 1, that when men deliberately turn away from the truth that is there, the external universe and the mannishness of man, God gives them up to an unsound mind. If there even was anybody that ever demonstrated this it was Darwin himself  at the end of his life. It is a position that Darwin holds with implicit faith. 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. 

There was an amazing man by the name of  H.J.Blackham (1903-2009) and he was the former president of the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION. Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop quoted him in their book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this with a dramatic illustration:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit.79

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.

_______________

To sum up Schaeffer is saying, “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer in THE GOD WHO IS THERE)

IF WE ARE LEFT WITH JUST THE MACHINE THEN WHAT IS THE FINAL CONCLUSION IF THERE WAS NO PERSONAL GOD THAT CREATED US? I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

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

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thank you again for your time and 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, United States

 

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

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

ADRIAN ROGERS ON DARWINISM

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

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 39 (Dr. Marvin Minsky, co-founder of MIT,”…if there are questions science can’t yet answer, why knock yourself out? I regard religion as a wonderful way to save people’s time”)

_____

Dr. Marvin Minsky pictured below:

Marvin Minsky at OLPCb.jpg

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

Harry Kroto pictured below:

__________________________

There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 scientists and I hope to respond to all of them. Wikipedia notes Marvin Lee Minsky (born August 9, 1927) is an American cognitive scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), co-founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s AI laboratory, and author of several texts on AI and philosophy.[10][11][12]

Marvin Lee Minsky was born in New York City to an eye surgeon and a Jewish activist,[13] where he attended The Fieldston School and the Bronx High School of Science. He later attended Phillips Academy inAndover, Massachusetts. He served in the US Navy from 1944 to 1945. He holds a BA in Mathematics from Harvard (1950) and a PhD in mathematics from Princeton (1954).[14][15] He has been on the MITfaculty since 1958. In 1959[16] he and John McCarthy founded what is now known as the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He is currently the Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, and Professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

Isaac Asimov described Minsky as one of only two people he would admit were more intelligent than he was, the other being Carl Sagan.[17]

Dr. Minsky is found in the 69th clip in the second video below and his quote is found below in this post and my response is after that.

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)

_______________

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-).

QUOTE FROM DR. Marvin Minsky taken from atheistic blogger:

My head says the former; my heart, the latter. Maybe my head needs some help—and I know where to find my potential helper: at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, my alma mater. Marvin Minsky, the legendary pioneer of artificial intelligence, is not known to be shy about entering the science-religion debate.
To get Minsky started (it doesn’t take much), I ask him whether it is efficacious for scientists to seek harmony between science and theology.
Minsky gives me a look and calls religion “an amazing phenomenon for thousands of years” that is a “psychologically wonderful device.” But he’s just warming up.
“Take all the questions you can’t answer and give them a name,” says Minsky. “So somebody says, ‘Well, God did that.’ And the right question to then ask is, ‘Well, how does God work?’ And [believers] regard that as rude. So there’s something strange about theology. It’s a system of thinking which teaches you not to ask questions. And so it’s incompatible with science.
“The trouble with religion,” Minsky continues, “is it picks particular things and says, ‘Don’t think about this.’ ‘Don’t change that.’ ‘Abide by this Book.’ And that’s very convenient. It saves a lot of time. At any period, if there are questions science can’t yet answer, why knock yourself out? I regard religion as a wonderful way to save people’s time.”
Minsky believes that if religion would not have impeded science for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, humanity would be far advanced, even in dramatically extending human life. “I think death will go away,” Minsky opines. “But we don’t need to pray for it. We need to work for it.” Not yet finished, Minsky adds, “If we look at religion as fossilized old beliefs, some of which may have been useful, that’s fine. But I can’t see serious discussions of theological ideas because they’re all nutty. Unless you say how God works, saying that God exists doesn’t explain anything.”
Minsky is fierce. Good for him. Religion as an excuse to avoid hard questions? Based on the history of religion, he makes a good argument.
But from the foibles or fallacies of human religion, does anything really follow about a Creator God?

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Let’s break this down a little bit. Religion does not encourage science but discourages it by suggesting that we omit the hard work and just say God did it. Minsky is also asserting in this same discussion, “Unless you say how God works, saying that God exists doesn’t explain anything,” and he is implying that brilliant scientists are the ones who give us the answers that we can depend on.

My first response is to recount my correspondence with the famous evolutionist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) of Harvard. In his letter to me he basically said that there are many chemists and molecular biologists who find the story of gradual evolution of life totally convincing and that he is sticking with them. This is very similar to the approach by Dr. Minsky and it is an appeal to authority in that they are suggesting that we just accept the brilliant scientists’ point of view because they are brilliant scientists and they are smarter than the rest of us.THERE IS A SIMPLE ANSWER THAT I COULD GIVE to both Dr. Mayr and Dr. Minsky which is  a quote from Adrian Rogers:

Did you know that all atheists are not atheists because of intellectual problems? They’re atheists because of moral problems. You say, “But I know some brilliant people who are atheists.” Well, that may be so, but I know some brilliant people who are not. You say, “I know some foolish people who believe in God.” Well, I know everyone who doesn’t believe in God is foolish.

In other words there are brilliant and stupid people on both sides of the fence and it is not an intellectual issue but a moral one. Let’s take a look at the history of science that was handled down to us from Western Europe and take a closer examination of those great men’s religious views and if their religious views were corrosive to their scientific pursuits? This is the accusation of many modern day evolutionists.

Ernst Mayr (pictured below with the beard)

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas…

Published on May 19, 2012

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas, James Cameron, Larry King, Ian Wilmut, Jane Goodall, Stephen Jay Gould, Tim D. White, Leon Lederman, Timothy Berners-Lee and Bill Gates. Complete and more interview go to websites “www.achievement.org”.

Mais entrevistas e completas no site “www.achievement.org”.

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In 1994 and 1995 I had the opportunity to correspond with the famous evolutionist Dr. Ernst Mayr of Harvard. He stated in his letter of 10-3-94, “Owing to your ideological commitments, it is only natural that you cannot accept the cogency of the scientific evidence. However, to a person such as myself without such commitments, the story of the gradual evolution of life as reconstructed by chemists and molecular biologists is totally convincing.”

I responded by pointing out three points. First, Scientific Naturalism is atheistic by definition. Second, many great scientists of the past were Christians, and that did not disqualify their observations and discoveries. Third, the fact that evolution is true does not rule out God’s existence (Harvard’s own Owen Gingerich and many others such as Francis Collins hold to a Creator and evolution).

Let me just spend some time on my second point. Francis Schaeffer in his book “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?” stated that according to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God. In the article, “Christianity and Technological Advance – The Astonishing Connection,” by T. V. Varughese, Ph.D, he observed:

Without question, “technology” has now become the new magic word in place of the word “science.” Since technology represents the practical applications of science, it is clearly consumer-oriented. Herein is bright economic promise to all who can provide technology.

In terms of technology, our present world can be divided into at least three groups: countries that are strong providers of technology, both original and improved; countries that are mass producers because of cheaper labor; and countries that are mostly consumers. Without a doubt, being in the position of “originating” superior technology should be a goal for any major country. The difficult question, however, is “how.”

An obvious place to start suggests itself. Why not begin with the countries that have established themselves as strong originators of technology and see if there is a common thread between them? The western nations, after the Renaissance and the Reformation of the 16th century, offer a ready example. Any book on the history of inventions, such as the Guinness Book of Answers, will reveal that the vast majority of scientific inventions have originated in Europe (including Britain) and the USA since the dawn of the 17th century. What led to the fast technological advances in the European countries and North America around that time?

The answer is that something happened which set the stage for science and technology to emerge with full force. Strange as it may seem, that event was the return to Biblical Christianity in these countries.

The Epistemological Foundation of Technology

According to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God.[1] Entomologist Stanley Beck,though not a Christian himself, acknowledged the corner-stone premises of science which the Judeo-Christian world view offers: “The first of the unprovable premises on which science has been based is the belief that the world is real and the human mind is capable of knowing its real nature. The second and best-known postulate underlying the structure of scientific knowledge is that of cause and effect. The third basic scientific premise is that nature is unified.”[2] In other words, the epistemological foundation of technology has been the Judeo-Christian world view presented in the Bible…

Perhaps the most obvious affirmation that Biblical Christianity and science are friends and not foes comes from the fact that most of the early scientists after the Renaissance were also strong believers in the Bible as the authoritative source of knowledge concerning the origin of the universe and man’s place in it.[4] The book of Genesis, the opening book of the Bible, presents the distinctly Judeo-Christian world view of a personal Creator God behind the origin and sustenance of the universe (Genesis 1:1Colossians 1:17; etc.).

Among the early scientists of note who held the Biblical creationist world view are Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), and Samuel Morse (1791-1872) – what motivated them was a confidence in the “rationality” behind the universe and the “goodness” of the material world. The creation account in Genesis presents an intelligent, purposeful Creator, who, after completing the creation work, declared it to be very good (Genesis 1:31). That assures us that the physical universe operates under reliable laws which may be discovered by the intelligent mind and used in practical applications. The confidence in the divinely pronounced goodness of the material world removed any reluctance concerning the development of material things for the betterment of life in this world. The spiritual world and the material world can work together in harmony.

 References –

  1. Francis A. Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live (Revell, 1976), p. 132.
  2. Henry M. Morris, Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Baker, 1991), p. 30.
  3. Schaeffer, p. 131.
  4. Henry M. Morris, Men of Science, Men of God (Master Books, CA, 1988), 107 pp.

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Henry Morris pointed out:

Many of these great scientists of the past were before Darwin, but not all of them. However, all of them were acquainted with secular philosophies and some were in fact opponents of Darwinism (Agassiz, Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Dawson, Virchow, Fabre, Fleming, etc). Many of them believed in the inspiration and authority of the Bible, as well as in the deity and saving work of Jesus Christ. They believed that God had supernaturally created all things, each with its own complex structure for its own unique purpose. They believed that, as scientists, they were “thinking God’s thoughts after Him,” learning to understand and control the laws and processes of nature for God’s glory and man’s good. They believed and practiced science in exactly the same way that modern creationist scientists do.

And somehow this attitude did not hinder them in their commitment to the “scientific method.” In fact one of them, Sir Francis Bacon, is credited with formulating and establishing the scientific method! They seem also to have been able to maintain a proper “scientific attitude,” for it was these men (Newton, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pascal, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Kepler, etc.) whose researches and analyses led to the very laws and concepts of science which brought about our modern scientific age…. 

To illustrate the caliber and significance of these great scientists of the past, Tables I and II have been prepared. These tabulations are not complete lists, of course, but at least are representative and they do point up the absurdity of modern assertions that no true scientist can be a creationist and Bible-believing Christian.

Table I lists the creationist “fathers” of many significant branches of modern science. Table II lists the creationist scientists responsible for various vital inventions, discoveries, and other contributions to mankind. These identifications are to some degree oversimplified, of course, for even in the early days of science every new development involved a number of other scientists, before and after. Nevertheless, in each instance, a strong case can be made for attributing the chief responsibility to the creationist scientist indicated. At the very least, his contribution was critically important and thus supports our contention that belief in creation and the Bible helps, rather than hinders, scientific discovery.

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My relatives live 3 miles from Spring Hill, Tennessee. When the new General Motors plant opened there I got to go see it. What if I had said, “The assembly line created a beautiful Saturn automobile!” Hopefully, some would have corected me by responding, “The assembly line did not create the automobile. It was first designed by the General Motors engineers in Detroit.” ASSUMING EVOLUTION IS TRUE, IT WOULD STILL ONLY BE THE MECHANISM. DOES EVOLUTION ACCOUNT FOR THE DESIGNER?

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TABLE I

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES ESTABLISHED
BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

DISCIPLINE SCIENTIST
ANTISEPTIC SURGERY JOSEPH LISTER (1827-1912)
BACTERIOLOGY LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULUS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
CELESTIAL MECHANICS JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
CHEMISTRY ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
COMPARATIVE ANATOMY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)
COMPUTER SCIENCE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
DYNAMICS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
ELECTRONICS JOHN AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
ELECTRODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
ELECTRO-MAGNETICS MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ENERGETICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ENTOMOLOGY OF LIVING INSECTS HENRI FABRE (1823-1915)
FIELD THEORY MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
FLUID MECHANICS GEORGE STOKES (1819-1903)
GALACTIC ASTRONOMY WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
GAS DYNAMICS ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
GENETICS GREGOR MENDEL (1822-1884)
GLACIAL GEOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
GYNECOLOGY JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
HYDRAULICS LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452-1519)
HYDROGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
HYDROSTATICS BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
ICHTHYOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
ISOTOPIC CHEMISTRY WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
MODEL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
NATURAL HISTORY JOHN RAY (1627-1705)
NON-EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY BERNHARD RIEMANN (1826- 1866)
OCEANOGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
OPTICAL MINERALOGY DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
PALEONTOLOGY JOHN WOODWARD (1665-1728)
PATHOLOGY RUDOLPH VIRCHOW (1821-1902)
PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
REVERSIBLE THERMODYNAMICS JAMES JOULE (1818-1889)
STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
STRATIGRAPHY NICHOLAS STENO (1631-1686)
SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
THERMODYNAMICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
THERMOKINETICS HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)

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TABLE II

NOTABLE INVENTIONS, DISCOVERIES
OR DEVELOPMENTS BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

CONTRIBUTION SCIENTIST
ABSOLUTE TEMPERATURE SCALE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ACTUARIAL TABLES CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
BAROMETER BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
BIOGENESIS LAW LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULATING MACHINE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
CHLOROFORM JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
DOUBLE STARS WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
ELECTRIC GENERATOR MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ELECTRIC MOTOR JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
EPHEMERIS TABLES JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
FERMENTATION CONTROL LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
GALVANOMETER JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
GLOBAL STAR CATALOG JOHN HERSCHEL (1792-1871)
INERT GASES WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
KALEIDOSCOPE DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
LAW OF GRAVITY ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
MINE SAFETY LAMP HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
PASTEURIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
REFLECTING TELESCOPE ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
SCIENTIFIC METHOD FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626)
SELF-INDUCTION JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
TELEGRAPH SAMUEL F.B. MORSE (1791-1872)
THERMIONIC VALVE AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
TRANS-ATLANTIC CABLE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
VACCINATION & IMMUNIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)

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2000 Interview with Ernst Mayr, Harvard University

Uploaded on Jul 13, 2008

Interviews conducted in March 2000 at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences on the topic of Challenges for the New Millennium. Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. See http://www.aibs.org/media-library/ for additional AIBS conference recordings.

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Henry Morris

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The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book

Download PDFDownload The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book PDF

With the passing in recent years of the three most revered scientific spokesmen for evolution—Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, and now Stephen Jay Gould—Professor Ernst Mayr is left as the unquestioned dean of the modern evolutionary establishment.

Gould, Asimov, and Sagan were all three extremely prolific and brilliant writers. All three were atheistic professors at prestigious eastern universities (Gould at Harvard, Asimov at Boston University, Sagan at Cornell), and all three were effusive and vigorous anti-creationists. They were formidable opponents (but eminently quotable), and we miss them. All three died at relatively young ages.

But that leaves Ernst Mayr, long-time professor of biology at Harvard. Dr. Mayr was born in 1904 and is (at this writing) still very much alive, and nearing the century mark. Dr. Gould recently called him “the greatest living evolutionary biologist and a writer of extraordinary insight and clarity” (in a jacket blurb on Mayr’s latest book).

Mayr’s New Book

And that book is the subject of this article. Its title is intriguing—What Evolution Is (Basic Books, 2001, 318 pages),—for if anyone could speak authoritatively on such a subject, it should be Professor Mayr. In his adulatory foreword, Jared Diamond, another leading modern evolutionist, concludes: “There is no better book on evolution. There will never be another book like it” (p. xii).

That evaluation should give any reader very high expectations. Unfortunately, however, Dr. Mayr first shows his disdain for creationism, not even considering its arguments. He simply says:

It is now actually misleading to refer to evolution as a theory, considering the massive evidence that has been discovered over the last 140 years documenting its existence. Evolution is no longer a theory, it is simply a fact (p. 275).

He dismissed the evidence for creation as unworthy of further discussion. “The claims of the creationists” he says, “have been refuted so frequently and so thoroughly that there is no need to cover this subject once more” (p. 269).

Ignoring Creation Evidence

He himself, however, has apparently not bothered to read any creationist or secular anti-evolutionist scientific books or articles. Or at least that is what one would infer from the fact that none of them or their arguments and evidence are even mentioned in his book.

No mention is made by Mayr, for example, of creationist expositions of the amazing created designs in living systems, nor of the effects of God’s curse on the creation, or of the significance of the great flood in understanding the geologic record. He does not even acknowledge the significance of naturalistic catastrophism or of such scientific concepts as complexity or probability. Current ideas about “intelligent design” are never mentioned. The origins of all things are due to time, chance, and natural selection, no matter how complex and interdependent they may be, according to Professor Mayr, who had been (along with Julian Huxley, George Simpson, and a few others) primarily responsible for the so-called modern evolutionary synthesis (or neo-Darwinism) back in the 1930s and 1940s.

Neither does Mayr seem aware that there are now thousands of credentialed and knowledgeable scientists (including a great many biologists) who reject evolution, giving not even a nod to the Creation Research Society, or to ICR, or any other creationist organization. He does occasionally refer to God or to Christianity, but only in passing, and always in a context that indicates that he does not believe in either one. He, like his three younger colleagues, is an atheist, and this naturally constrains him to ignore any possible theological implications of the origins issues.

The Alleged Evidence for Evolution

Mayr’s new book is beautifully written and does contain much good material, but it will not convert many to evolutionism, even though he does devote a chapter to what he thinks are the evidences for evolution. These evidences are essentially the same as those used 140 years ago by Darwin in the Origin (fossils, comparative morphology, embryological similarities and recapitulation, vestigial structures, and geographical distribution). Mayr adds nothing new to these arguments, ignoring the fact that creationists (and even a number of evolutionists) have long since refuted all of them. He does devote a brief section to the more recent “evidence” from molecular biology. But that also has been vigorously disputed by a number of specialists in this field, especially the supposed evolutionary relationships implied by the molecules. Even Mayr admits that “molecular clocks are not nearly as constant as often believed” (p. 37), but he does not mention any of the numerous contradictory relationships implied by these biochemical studies (e.g., the well-known genomic similarities of humans and bananas).

As do most evolutionists, Mayr spends much time in discussing micro-evolution, whereas modern creationists only reject macroevolution. He devotes five chapters to microevolution and only one to macroevolution. This particular chapter is quite long, discussing many speculative theories about how macroevolutionary changes might be produced, but there is one vital deficiency. He gives no example of any macroevolutionary change known to have happened. In other words, macroevolution seems never to have occurred within the several thousand years of recorded history. Thus, real evolution (as distinct from variation, recombination, hybridization, and other such “horizontal” changes) does not happen at present. Where, we would ask Professor Mayr, are there any living forms in the process of evolutionary change? He gives no examples, of course, because there are none.

As far as pre-human history is concerned, Dr. Mayr does insist that the fossil record documents past evolution. He cites the usual claims—horses, Archaeopteryx, mammal-like reptiles, walking whales, etc.—which are very equivocal, at best, and have all been shown by creationists to be invalid as transitional forms. Instead of a handful of highly doubtful examples, there ought to be thousands of obvious transitional forms in the fossils if evolution had really been occurring. Yet Mayr admits,

Wherever we look at the living biota, . . . discontinuities are overwhelmingly frequent. . . . The discontinuities are even more striking in the fossil record. New species usually appear in the fossil record suddenly, not connected with their ancestors by a series of intermediates (p. 189).

Professor Mayr still says that the fossils are “the most convincing evidence for the occurrence of evolution” (p. 13). Yet he also says that “the fossil record remains woefully inadequate” (p. 69). Thus, as creationists have often pointed out, there is no real evidence of either present or past evolution.

We have repeatedly noted also that the scientific reason why this is so is because real evolution to any higher level of complexity is impossible by the law of entropy, which states the proven fact that every system of any kind “tends” to go toward lower complexity, unless constrained otherwise by some pre-designed external program and mechanism.

Yet Ernst Mayr seems either to ignore or misunderstand this key argument of the creationists. Here is what he says:

Actually there is no conflict, because the law of entropy is valid only for closed systems, whereas the evolution of a species of organisms takes place in an open system in which organisms can reduce entropy at the expense of the environment and the sun supplies a continuing input of energy (p. 8).

And that’s all he says about one of the key arguments against evolution. This ubiquitous dodge of the evolutionists has been discredited again and again by creationists, and one would think that this “greatest living evolutionary biologist” in this “best book on evolution” would at least take notice of our arguments! At least half of America’s population, according to many polls, are creationists, apparently agreeing more with us than with Mayr.

An open system and external energy are, indeed, necessary conditions for a system to grow in complexity, but most definitely are not sufficient conditions. The question is just how does the sun’s energy produce complexity in an open system? The fact is that the application of external heat energy to an open system (such as from the sun to the earth) will increase the entropy (that is, decrease the organized complexity) in any open system, if that’s all there is. This is a basic principle of thermodynamics, and neither Mayr nor any other evolutionist has answered this problem. Evolution seems to be impossible by the known laws of science.

Professor Mayr does not deal with the theological or Biblical evidences, of course. For those who believe in God and the Bible, on the other hand, creation—not evolution—is, to appropriate Mayr’s words, “simply a fact.” Evolution is merely a belief held by many who “willingly are ignorant” (II Peter 3:5) of the strong evidences and arguments for creation, and who don’t even bother to consider them. In the words of the apostle Paul: “Where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (I Corinthians 1:20).

Cite this article: Henry Morris, Ph.D. 2002. The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book. Acts & Facts. 31 (8).

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Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Dr. Minsky says he is open to evidence. There is lots of evidence points to the Bible being historically accurate, for instance, King David existed!!

House of David Inscription

The current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review has an article entitled, “Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible,” by Lawrence Mykytiuk. The first in his list is King David, whose name was found in the Tel Dan Stela, found in Tel Dan in July, 1993. Mykytiuk writes:

According to the Bible, David ruled in the tenth century B.C.E., using the traditional chronology. Until 1993, however, the personal name David had never appeared in the archaeological record, let alone a reference to King David. That led some scholars to doubt his very existence. According to this speculation David was either a shadowy, perhaps mythical, ancestor or a literary creation of later Biblical authors and editors. In 1993, however, the now-famous Tel Dan inscription was found in an excavation led by Avraham Biran. Actually, it was the team’s surveyor, Gila Cook, who noticed the inscription on a basalt stone in secondary use in the lower part of a wall. Written in ninth-century B.C.E. Aramaic, it was part of a victory stele commissioned by a non-Israelite king mentioning his victory over “the king of Israel” and the “House of David.” [See BAR 20:02, Mar-Apr 1994] Whether or not the foreign king’s claim to victory was true, it is clear that a century after he had died, David was still remembered as the founder of a dynasty.

This past October I had the occasion to photograph this important stela, which is housed in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem."House of David" Inscription. Discovered 1993. Photo by Leon Mauldin

Gary Byers suggests that the stela “most likely memorializes the victory of Hazael, king of Aram, over Joram, king of Israel, and Ahaziah, king of Judah, at Ramoth Gilead recorded in 2 Kings 8:28–29″ (Bible and Spade 16:4, p. 121).

For more information on the House of David see Ferrell Jenkins’ post illustrating Isaiah 7 here.

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The Bible and Archaeology (1/5)

The Bible maintains several characteristics that prove it is from God. One of those is the fact that the Bible is accurate in every one of its details. The field of archaeology brings to light this amazing accuracy and Kyle Butt does a great job of showing that in this film series he did on “The Bible and Archaeology.”

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Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject:


1. 
The Babylonian Chronicle
of Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem

This clay tablet is a Babylonian chronicle recording events from 605-594BC. It was first translated in 1956 and is now in the British Museum. The cuneiform text on this clay tablet tells, among other things, 3 main events: 1. The Battle of Carchemish (famous battle for world supremacy where Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated Pharoah Necho of Egypt, 605 BC.), 2. The accession to the throne of Nebuchadnezzar II, the Chaldean, and 3. The capture of Jerusalem on the 16th of March, 598 BC.

2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription.

King Hezekiah of Judah ruled from 721 to 686 BC. Fearing a siege by the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, Hezekiah preserved Jerusalem’s water supply by cutting a tunnel through 1,750 feet of solid rock from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam inside the city walls (2 Kings 20; 2 Chron. 32). At the Siloam end of the tunnel, an inscription, presently in the archaeological museum at Istanbul, Turkey, celebrates this remarkable accomplishment.

3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)

It contains the victories of Sennacherib himself, the Assyrian king who had besieged Jerusalem in 701 BC during the reign of king Hezekiah, it never mentions any defeats. On the prism Sennacherib boasts that he shut up “Hezekiah the Judahite” within Jerusalem his own royal city “like a caged bird.” This prism is among the three accounts discovered so far which have been left by the Assyrian king Sennacherib of his campaign against Israel and Judah.

4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically.

In addition to Jericho, places such as Haran, Hazor, Dan, Megiddo, Shechem, Samaria, Shiloh, Gezer, Gibeah, Beth Shemesh, Beth Shean, Beersheba, Lachish, and many other urban sites have been excavated, quite apart from such larger and obvious locations as Jerusalem or Babylon. Such geographical markers are extremely significant in demonstrating that fact, not fantasy, is intended in the Old Testament historical narratives;

5. The Discovery of the Hittites

Most doubting scholars back then said that the Hittites were just a “mythical people that are only mentioned in the Bible.” Some skeptics pointed to the fact that the Bible pictures the Hittites as a very big nation that was worthy of being coalition partners with Egypt (II Kings 7:6), and these bible critics would assert that surely we would have found records of this great nation of Hittites.  The ironic thing is that when the Hittite nation was discovered, a vast amount of Hittite documents were found. Among those documents was the treaty between Ramesses II and the Hittite King.

6.Shishak Smiting His Captives

The Bible mentions that Shishak marched his troops into the land of Judah and plundered a host of cities including Jerusalem,  this has been confirmed by archaeologists. Shishak’s own record of his campaign is inscribed on the south wall of the Great Temple of Amon at Karnak in Egypt. In his campaign he presents 156 cities of Judea to his god Amon.

7. Moabite Stone

The Moabite Stone also known as the Mesha Stele is an interesting story. The Bible says in 2 Kings 3:5 that Mesha the king of Moab stopped paying tribute to Israel and rebelled and fought against Israel and later he recorded this event. This record from Mesha has been discovered.

8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III

The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri, silver, gold, bowls of gold, chalices of gold, cups of gold, vases of gold, lead, a sceptre for the king, and spear-shafts, I have received.”

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The Bible and Archaeology (2/5)

9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts.

Sir William Ramsay, famed archaeologist, began a study of Asia Minor with little regard for the book of Acts. He later wrote:

I found myself brought into contact with the Book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth.

9B Discovery of Ebla TabletsWhen I think of discoveries like the Ebla Tablets that verify  names like Adam, Eve, Ishmael, David and Saul were in common usage when the Bible said they were, it makes me think of what amazing confirmation that is of the historical accuracy of the Bible.

10. Cyrus Cylinder

There is a well preserved cylinder seal in the Yale University Library from Cyrus which contains his commands to resettle the captive nations.

11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.

This cube is inscribed with the name and titles of Yahali and a prayer: “In his year assigned to him by lot (puru) may the harvest of the land of Assyria prosper and thrive, in front of the gods Assur and Adad may his lot (puru) fall.”  It provides a prototype (the only one ever recovered) for the lots (purim) cast by Haman to fix a date for the destruction of the Jews of the Persian Empire, ostensibly in the fifth century B.C.E. (Esther 3:7; cf. 9:26).

12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription

The Bible mentions Uzziah or Azariah as the king of the southern kingdom of Judah in 2 Kings 15. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription is a stone tablet (35 cm high x 34 cm wide x 6 cm deep) with letters inscribed in ancient Hebrew text with an Aramaic style of writing, which dates to around 30-70 AD. The text reveals the burial site of Uzziah of Judah, who died in 747 BC.

13. The Pilate Inscription

The Pilate Inscription is the only known occurrence of the name Pontius Pilate in any ancient inscription. Visitors to the Caesarea theater today see a replica, the original is in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. There have been a few bronze coins found that were struck form 29-32 AD by Pontius Pilate

14. Caiaphas Ossuary

This beautifully decorated ossuary found in the ruins of Jerusalem, contained the bones of Caiaphas, the first century AD. high priest during the time of Jesus.

14 B Pontius Pilate Part 2      

In June 1961 Italian archaeologists led by Dr. Frova were excavating an ancient Roman amphitheatre near Caesarea-on-the-Sea (Maritima) and uncovered this interesting limestone block. On the face is a monumental inscription which is part of a larger dedication to Tiberius Caesar which clearly says that it was from “Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea.”

14c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

Despite their liberal training, it was archaeological research that bolstered their confidence in the biblical text:Albright said of himself, “I must admit that I tried to be rational and empirical in my approach [but] we all have presuppositions of a philosophical order.” The same statement could be applied as easily to Gleuck and Wright, for all three were deeply imbued with the theological perceptions which infused their work.

The Bible and Archaeology (3/5)

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 35 (Dr. David J. Gross, Nobel Laureate, UC Santa Barbara Physics Department, DOES SCIENCE HAVE RELIGION ON THE RUN, OR DID CHRISTIANITY ENCOURAGE SCIENCE?)

__

אוכל למחשבה – דיויד גרוס (David Gross)

Betting on the cosmos – with David Gross and Robert Laughlin

Published on Oct 10, 2012

Working out what happened in the moments after the Big Bang is difficult. Scientists can come up with theories, but in the end they are useful only if they can be tested. Nobel prizewinner Robert Laughlin is passionate about experiments. He challenges the students in this film, and laureate David Gross, to come up with ways to test our big ideas about the Universe. The two laureates make a bet. Watch the film to find out more and to decide who wins.

The Strong Force: A Chat with Nobel Laureate David Gross

Uploaded on Jun 11, 2009

David Gross, the 2004 Nobel Laureate in Physics and the director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara, talks with veteran journalist Jerry Roberts about why scientists love KITP. [7/2009] [Science] [Show ID: 16805]

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Dr. David J. Gross pictured below:

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 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto:

__________________________________________________

There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 scientists and I hope to respond to all of them. Wikipedia notes David Jonathan Gross (born February 19, 1941) is an American particle physicist and string theorist. Along with Frank Wilczek and David Politzer, he was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of asymptotic freedom. He is the former director and current holder of the Frederick W. Gluck Chair in Theoretical Physics at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is also a faculty member in the UC Santa Barbara Physics Department and is currently affiliated with the Institute for Quantum Studies at Chapman University in California.

He was born to a Jewish family in Washington, D.C. in February 19, 1941. His parents were Nora (Faine) and Bertram Myron Gross (1912–1997). Gross received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degreefrom the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, in 1962. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1966 under the supervision of Geoffrey Chew.[2]

He was a Junior Fellow at Harvard University and a Professor at Princeton University until 1997. He was the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1987, the Dirac Medal in 1988 and the Harvey Prize in 2000.[2]

In 1973, Gross, working with his first graduate student, Frank Wilczek, at Princeton University, discovered asymptotic freedom, which holds that the closer quarks are to each other, the less the strong interaction (or color charge) is between them; when quarks are in extreme proximity, the nuclear force between them is so weak that they behave almost as free particles. Asymptotic freedom, independently discovered by Politzer, was important for the development of quantum chromodynamics.

Gross, with Jeffrey A. Harvey, Emil Martinec, and Ryan Rohm also formulated the theory of the heterotic string. The four were to be whimsically nicknamed the “Princeton String Quartet”.[3]

In 2003, Gross was one of 22 Nobel Laureates who signed the Humanist Manifesto.[4]

Gross’s hobby is fishing. He once caught a two and three quarters pound bluegill in Florida’s Crystal Lake, narrowly missing that state’s record.[cit

Dr. Gross  is found in the 97th clip in the second video below and his quote is found below in this post and my response is after that.

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)

_______________

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-).

David J.Gross Quote:

There have been areas of conflict between religion and science,  by and large religion has been on the retreat in those areas of overlap as scientists discovered more about the real world that did conflict with earlier myths and beliefs and there remains areas of deep conflict in biology and cosmology. I don’t think there is much room for compromise there as a scientist and I think the truth that science reveals are truths according to the scientific criteria and if they conflict with some myth then too bad.

_____

Dr. Gross is suggesting that science has been in conflict with religion and that religion is on the retreat. Let me quote from my former pastor Adrian Rogers:

Skeptics seem to think that the Bible is full of scientific errors. However, before an individual can make that assertion, they had better make sure they know both science and Scripture. You see, I have heard unbelievers state that the Bible is not a book of science, but a book of religion, which is basically true. It is not written to teach us about science, but to teach us about God. But the God of salvation and the God of creation are the same. Science doesn’t take God by surprise. A close look at Scripture reveals that it is scientifically accurate.

Every now and then science may disagree with the Bible, but usually science just needs time to catch up. For example, in 1861 a French scientific academy printed a brochure offering 51 incontrovertible facts that proved the Bible in error. Today there is not a single reputable scientist who would support those supposed “facts,” because modern science has disproved them all!

The ancients believed the earth was held up by Atlas, or resting on pillars, or even seated on the backs of elephants. But today we know the earth is suspended in space, a fact the Word of God records in Job 26:7: “He . . . hangeth the earth upon nothing.” God revealed the facts of cosmology long before man had any idea of the truth.

For centuries man believed the earth was flat, but now we know the earth is a globe. The prophet Isaiah, writing 750 years before the birth of Christ, revealed that “God sitteth upon the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). The word translated here as “circle” was more commonly translated “sphere.” In other words, Isaiah explained that the earth was a globe centuries before science discovered it.

When Ptolemy charted the heavens, he counted 1026 stars in the sky. But with the invention of the telescope man discovered millions and millions of stars, something that Jeremiah 33:22 revealed nearly three thousand years ago: “The host of heaven cannot be numbered.” How did these men of God know the truth of science long before the rest of the world discovered it? They were moved by the Holy Spirit to write the truth. God’s Word is not filled with errors. It is filled with facts, even scientific facts.

When the black plague was killing one quarter of Europe’s population in the fourteenth century, it was the church, not science, that helped overcome the dread disease. The leaders in the church noticed the instructions given by the Lord to Moses in Leviticus 13:46: “All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.” These early believers did not know microbiology or understand what germs were, but they could understand a clear teaching to quarantine someone who was sick. So they followed the Biblical dictum, quarantined those sick with the plague, and stopped it from spreading. The Bible had its science correct even before man discovered the truth! Don’t accept the charge that the Bible is filled with scientific errors. Modern science seems determined to explain God away, and refuses to acknowledge any evidence of the supernatural. But the science of Scripture is one reason to accept the Bible as God’s word. 

_______________

My first response is to recount my correspondence with the famous evolutionist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) of Harvard. In his letter to me he basically said that there are many chemists and molecular biologists who find the story of gradual evolution of life totally convincing and that he is sticking with them. This is very similar to the approach by Dr. Gross and it is an appeal to authority in that they are suggesting that we just accept the brilliant scientists’ point of view because they are brilliant scientists and they are smarter than the rest of us.THERE IS A SIMPLE ANSWER THAT I COULD GIVE to both Dr. Mayr and Dr. Gross which is  a quote from Adrian Rogers:

Did you know that all atheists are not atheists because of intellectual problems? They’re atheists because of moral problems. You say, “But I know some brilliant people who are atheists.” Well, that may be so, but I know some brilliant people who are not. You say, “I know some foolish people who believe in God.” Well, I know everyone who doesn’t believe in God is foolish.

In other words there are brilliant and stupid people on both sides of the fence and it is not an intellectual issue but a moral one. Let’s take a look at the history of science that was handled down to us from Western Europe and take a closer examination of those great men’s religious views and if their religious views were corrosive to their scientific pursuits? This is the accusation of many modern day evolutionists.

Ernst Mayr (pictured below with the beard)

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas…

Published on May 19, 2012

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas, James Cameron, Larry King, Ian Wilmut, Jane Goodall, Stephen Jay Gould, Tim D. White, Leon Lederman, Timothy Berners-Lee and Bill Gates. Complete and more interview go to websites “www.achievement.org”.

Mais entrevistas e completas no site “www.achievement.org”.

_____________________________________________________________________

____________________________

In 1994 and 1995 I had the opportunity to correspond with the famous evolutionist Dr. Ernst Mayr of Harvard. He stated in his letter of 10-3-94, “Owing to your ideological commitments, it is only natural that you cannot accept the cogency of the scientific evidence. However, to a person such as myself without such commitments, the story of the gradual evolution of life as reconstructed by chemists and molecular biologists is totally convincing.”

I responded by pointing out three points. First, Scientific Naturalism is atheistic by definition. Second, many great scientists of the past were Christians, and that did not disqualify their observations and discoveries. Third, the fact that evolution is true does not rule out God’s existence (Harvard’s own Owen Gingerich and many others such as Francis Collins hold to a Creator and evolution).

Let me just spend some time on my second point. Francis Schaeffer in his book “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?” stated that according to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God. In the article, “Christianity and Technological Advance – The Astonishing Connection,” by T. V. Varughese, Ph.D, he observed:

Without question, “technology” has now become the new magic word in place of the word “science.” Since technology represents the practical applications of science, it is clearly consumer-oriented. Herein is bright economic promise to all who can provide technology.

In terms of technology, our present world can be divided into at least three groups: countries that are strong providers of technology, both original and improved; countries that are mass producers because of cheaper labor; and countries that are mostly consumers. Without a doubt, being in the position of “originating” superior technology should be a goal for any major country. The difficult question, however, is “how.”

An obvious place to start suggests itself. Why not begin with the countries that have established themselves as strong originators of technology and see if there is a common thread between them? The western nations, after the Renaissance and the Reformation of the 16th century, offer a ready example. Any book on the history of inventions, such as the Guinness Book of Answers, will reveal that the vast majority of scientific inventions have originated in Europe (including Britain) and the USA since the dawn of the 17th century. What led to the fast technological advances in the European countries and North America around that time?

The answer is that something happened which set the stage for science and technology to emerge with full force. Strange as it may seem, that event was the return to Biblical Christianity in these countries.

The Epistemological Foundation of Technology

According to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God.[1] Entomologist Stanley Beck,though not a Christian himself, acknowledged the corner-stone premises of science which the Judeo-Christian world view offers: “The first of the unprovable premises on which science has been based is the belief that the world is real and the human mind is capable of knowing its real nature. The second and best-known postulate underlying the structure of scientific knowledge is that of cause and effect. The third basic scientific premise is that nature is unified.”[2] In other words, the epistemological foundation of technology has been the Judeo-Christian world view presented in the Bible…

Perhaps the most obvious affirmation that Biblical Christianity and science are friends and not foes comes from the fact that most of the early scientists after the Renaissance were also strong believers in the Bible as the authoritative source of knowledge concerning the origin of the universe and man’s place in it.[4] The book of Genesis, the opening book of the Bible, presents the distinctly Judeo-Christian world view of a personal Creator God behind the origin and sustenance of the universe (Genesis 1:1Colossians 1:17; etc.).

Among the early scientists of note who held the Biblical creationist world view are Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), and Samuel Morse (1791-1872) – what motivated them was a confidence in the “rationality” behind the universe and the “goodness” of the material world. The creation account in Genesis presents an intelligent, purposeful Creator, who, after completing the creation work, declared it to be very good (Genesis 1:31). That assures us that the physical universe operates under reliable laws which may be discovered by the intelligent mind and used in practical applications. The confidence in the divinely pronounced goodness of the material world removed any reluctance concerning the development of material things for the betterment of life in this world. The spiritual world and the material world can work together in harmony.

 References –

  1. Francis A. Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live (Revell, 1976), p. 132.
  2. Henry M. Morris, Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Baker, 1991), p. 30.
  3. Schaeffer, p. 131.
  4. Henry M. Morris, Men of Science, Men of God (Master Books, CA, 1988), 107 pp.

_____________

Henry Morris pointed out:

Many of these great scientists of the past were before Darwin, but not all of them. However, all of them were acquainted with secular philosophies and some were in fact opponents of Darwinism (Agassiz, Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Dawson, Virchow, Fabre, Fleming, etc). Many of them believed in the inspiration and authority of the Bible, as well as in the deity and saving work of Jesus Christ. They believed that God had supernaturally created all things, each with its own complex structure for its own unique purpose. They believed that, as scientists, they were “thinking God’s thoughts after Him,” learning to understand and control the laws and processes of nature for God’s glory and man’s good. They believed and practiced science in exactly the same way that modern creationist scientists do.

And somehow this attitude did not hinder them in their commitment to the “scientific method.” In fact one of them, Sir Francis Bacon, is credited with formulating and establishing the scientific method! They seem also to have been able to maintain a proper “scientific attitude,” for it was these men (Newton, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pascal, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Kepler, etc.) whose researches and analyses led to the very laws and concepts of science which brought about our modern scientific age…. 

To illustrate the caliber and significance of these great scientists of the past, Tables I and II have been prepared. These tabulations are not complete lists, of course, but at least are representative and they do point up the absurdity of modern assertions that no true scientist can be a creationist and Bible-believing Christian.

Table I lists the creationist “fathers” of many significant branches of modern science. Table II lists the creationist scientists responsible for various vital inventions, discoveries, and other contributions to mankind. These identifications are to some degree oversimplified, of course, for even in the early days of science every new development involved a number of other scientists, before and after. Nevertheless, in each instance, a strong case can be made for attributing the chief responsibility to the creationist scientist indicated. At the very least, his contribution was critically important and thus supports our contention that belief in creation and the Bible helps, rather than hinders, scientific discovery.

_______________

My relatives live 3 miles from Spring Hill, Tennessee. When the new General Motors plant opened there I got to go see it. What if I had said, “The assembly line created a beautiful Saturn automobile!” Hopefully, some would have corected me by responding, “The assembly line did not create the automobile. It was first designed by the General Motors engineers in Detroit.” ASSUMING EVOLUTION IS TRUE, IT WOULD STILL ONLY BE THE MECHANISM. DOES EVOLUTION ACCOUNT FOR THE DESIGNER?

________________

TABLE I

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES ESTABLISHED
BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

DISCIPLINE SCIENTIST
ANTISEPTIC SURGERY JOSEPH LISTER (1827-1912)
BACTERIOLOGY LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULUS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
CELESTIAL MECHANICS JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
CHEMISTRY ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
COMPARATIVE ANATOMY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)
COMPUTER SCIENCE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
DYNAMICS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
ELECTRONICS JOHN AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
ELECTRODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
ELECTRO-MAGNETICS MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ENERGETICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ENTOMOLOGY OF LIVING INSECTS HENRI FABRE (1823-1915)
FIELD THEORY MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
FLUID MECHANICS GEORGE STOKES (1819-1903)
GALACTIC ASTRONOMY WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
GAS DYNAMICS ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
GENETICS GREGOR MENDEL (1822-1884)
GLACIAL GEOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
GYNECOLOGY JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
HYDRAULICS LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452-1519)
HYDROGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
HYDROSTATICS BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
ICHTHYOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
ISOTOPIC CHEMISTRY WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
MODEL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
NATURAL HISTORY JOHN RAY (1627-1705)
NON-EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY BERNHARD RIEMANN (1826- 1866)
OCEANOGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
OPTICAL MINERALOGY DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
PALEONTOLOGY JOHN WOODWARD (1665-1728)
PATHOLOGY RUDOLPH VIRCHOW (1821-1902)
PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
REVERSIBLE THERMODYNAMICS JAMES JOULE (1818-1889)
STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
STRATIGRAPHY NICHOLAS STENO (1631-1686)
SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
THERMODYNAMICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
THERMOKINETICS HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)

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TABLE II

NOTABLE INVENTIONS, DISCOVERIES
OR DEVELOPMENTS BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

CONTRIBUTION SCIENTIST
ABSOLUTE TEMPERATURE SCALE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ACTUARIAL TABLES CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
BAROMETER BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
BIOGENESIS LAW LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULATING MACHINE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
CHLOROFORM JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
DOUBLE STARS WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
ELECTRIC GENERATOR MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ELECTRIC MOTOR JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
EPHEMERIS TABLES JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
FERMENTATION CONTROL LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
GALVANOMETER JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
GLOBAL STAR CATALOG JOHN HERSCHEL (1792-1871)
INERT GASES WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
KALEIDOSCOPE DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
LAW OF GRAVITY ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
MINE SAFETY LAMP HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
PASTEURIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
REFLECTING TELESCOPE ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
SCIENTIFIC METHOD FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626)
SELF-INDUCTION JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
TELEGRAPH SAMUEL F.B. MORSE (1791-1872)
THERMIONIC VALVE AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
TRANS-ATLANTIC CABLE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
VACCINATION & IMMUNIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)

_______________

2000 Interview with Ernst Mayr, Harvard University

Uploaded on Jul 13, 2008

Interviews conducted in March 2000 at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences on the topic of Challenges for the New Millennium. Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. See http://www.aibs.org/media-library/ for additional AIBS conference recordings.

________________

Henry Morris

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The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book

Download PDFDownload The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book PDF

With the passing in recent years of the three most revered scientific spokesmen for evolution—Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, and now Stephen Jay Gould—Professor Ernst Mayr is left as the unquestioned dean of the modern evolutionary establishment.

Gould, Asimov, and Sagan were all three extremely prolific and brilliant writers. All three were atheistic professors at prestigious eastern universities (Gould at Harvard, Asimov at Boston University, Sagan at Cornell), and all three were effusive and vigorous anti-creationists. They were formidable opponents (but eminently quotable), and we miss them. All three died at relatively young ages.

But that leaves Ernst Mayr, long-time professor of biology at Harvard. Dr. Mayr was born in 1904 and is (at this writing) still very much alive, and nearing the century mark. Dr. Gould recently called him “the greatest living evolutionary biologist and a writer of extraordinary insight and clarity” (in a jacket blurb on Mayr’s latest book).

Mayr’s New Book

And that book is the subject of this article. Its title is intriguing—What Evolution Is (Basic Books, 2001, 318 pages),—for if anyone could speak authoritatively on such a subject, it should be Professor Mayr. In his adulatory foreword, Jared Diamond, another leading modern evolutionist, concludes: “There is no better book on evolution. There will never be another book like it” (p. xii).

That evaluation should give any reader very high expectations. Unfortunately, however, Dr. Mayr first shows his disdain for creationism, not even considering its arguments. He simply says:

It is now actually misleading to refer to evolution as a theory, considering the massive evidence that has been discovered over the last 140 years documenting its existence. Evolution is no longer a theory, it is simply a fact (p. 275).

He dismissed the evidence for creation as unworthy of further discussion. “The claims of the creationists” he says, “have been refuted so frequently and so thoroughly that there is no need to cover this subject once more” (p. 269).

Ignoring Creation Evidence

He himself, however, has apparently not bothered to read any creationist or secular anti-evolutionist scientific books or articles. Or at least that is what one would infer from the fact that none of them or their arguments and evidence are even mentioned in his book.

No mention is made by Mayr, for example, of creationist expositions of the amazing created designs in living systems, nor of the effects of God’s curse on the creation, or of the significance of the great flood in understanding the geologic record. He does not even acknowledge the significance of naturalistic catastrophism or of such scientific concepts as complexity or probability. Current ideas about “intelligent design” are never mentioned. The origins of all things are due to time, chance, and natural selection, no matter how complex and interdependent they may be, according to Professor Mayr, who had been (along with Julian Huxley, George Simpson, and a few others) primarily responsible for the so-called modern evolutionary synthesis (or neo-Darwinism) back in the 1930s and 1940s.

Neither does Mayr seem aware that there are now thousands of credentialed and knowledgeable scientists (including a great many biologists) who reject evolution, giving not even a nod to the Creation Research Society, or to ICR, or any other creationist organization. He does occasionally refer to God or to Christianity, but only in passing, and always in a context that indicates that he does not believe in either one. He, like his three younger colleagues, is an atheist, and this naturally constrains him to ignore any possible theological implications of the origins issues.

The Alleged Evidence for Evolution

Mayr’s new book is beautifully written and does contain much good material, but it will not convert many to evolutionism, even though he does devote a chapter to what he thinks are the evidences for evolution. These evidences are essentially the same as those used 140 years ago by Darwin in the Origin (fossils, comparative morphology, embryological similarities and recapitulation, vestigial structures, and geographical distribution). Mayr adds nothing new to these arguments, ignoring the fact that creationists (and even a number of evolutionists) have long since refuted all of them. He does devote a brief section to the more recent “evidence” from molecular biology. But that also has been vigorously disputed by a number of specialists in this field, especially the supposed evolutionary relationships implied by the molecules. Even Mayr admits that “molecular clocks are not nearly as constant as often believed” (p. 37), but he does not mention any of the numerous contradictory relationships implied by these biochemical studies (e.g., the well-known genomic similarities of humans and bananas).

As do most evolutionists, Mayr spends much time in discussing micro-evolution, whereas modern creationists only reject macroevolution. He devotes five chapters to microevolution and only one to macroevolution. This particular chapter is quite long, discussing many speculative theories about how macroevolutionary changes might be produced, but there is one vital deficiency. He gives no example of any macroevolutionary change known to have happened. In other words, macroevolution seems never to have occurred within the several thousand years of recorded history. Thus, real evolution (as distinct from variation, recombination, hybridization, and other such “horizontal” changes) does not happen at present. Where, we would ask Professor Mayr, are there any living forms in the process of evolutionary change? He gives no examples, of course, because there are none.

As far as pre-human history is concerned, Dr. Mayr does insist that the fossil record documents past evolution. He cites the usual claims—horses, Archaeopteryx, mammal-like reptiles, walking whales, etc.—which are very equivocal, at best, and have all been shown by creationists to be invalid as transitional forms. Instead of a handful of highly doubtful examples, there ought to be thousands of obvious transitional forms in the fossils if evolution had really been occurring. Yet Mayr admits,

Wherever we look at the living biota, . . . discontinuities are overwhelmingly frequent. . . . The discontinuities are even more striking in the fossil record. New species usually appear in the fossil record suddenly, not connected with their ancestors by a series of intermediates (p. 189).

Professor Mayr still says that the fossils are “the most convincing evidence for the occurrence of evolution” (p. 13). Yet he also says that “the fossil record remains woefully inadequate” (p. 69). Thus, as creationists have often pointed out, there is no real evidence of either present or past evolution.

We have repeatedly noted also that the scientific reason why this is so is because real evolution to any higher level of complexity is impossible by the law of entropy, which states the proven fact that every system of any kind “tends” to go toward lower complexity, unless constrained otherwise by some pre-designed external program and mechanism.

Yet Ernst Mayr seems either to ignore or misunderstand this key argument of the creationists. Here is what he says:

Actually there is no conflict, because the law of entropy is valid only for closed systems, whereas the evolution of a species of organisms takes place in an open system in which organisms can reduce entropy at the expense of the environment and the sun supplies a continuing input of energy (p. 8).

And that’s all he says about one of the key arguments against evolution. This ubiquitous dodge of the evolutionists has been discredited again and again by creationists, and one would think that this “greatest living evolutionary biologist” in this “best book on evolution” would at least take notice of our arguments! At least half of America’s population, according to many polls, are creationists, apparently agreeing more with us than with Mayr.

An open system and external energy are, indeed, necessary conditions for a system to grow in complexity, but most definitely are not sufficient conditions. The question is just how does the sun’s energy produce complexity in an open system? The fact is that the application of external heat energy to an open system (such as from the sun to the earth) will increase the entropy (that is, decrease the organized complexity) in any open system, if that’s all there is. This is a basic principle of thermodynamics, and neither Mayr nor any other evolutionist has answered this problem. Evolution seems to be impossible by the known laws of science.

Professor Mayr does not deal with the theological or Biblical evidences, of course. For those who believe in God and the Bible, on the other hand, creation—not evolution—is, to appropriate Mayr’s words, “simply a fact.” Evolution is merely a belief held by many who “willingly are ignorant” (II Peter 3:5) of the strong evidences and arguments for creation, and who don’t even bother to consider them. In the words of the apostle Paul: “Where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (I Corinthians 1:20).

Cite this article: Henry Morris, Ph.D. 2002. The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book. Acts & Facts. 31 (8).

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Need more evidence that the Bible is true then read this amazing article by the archaeologist Dr. Bryant Wood:

The Walls of Jericho

When one hears the name “Jericho” one naturally thinks of Israelites marching, trumpets sounding and walls falling. It is a wonderful story of faith and victory that we enjoy reading and telling in Sunday School class, but did it really happen? The skeptic would say no, it is merely a folk tale to explain the ruins at Jericho. The reason for this negative outlook is the excavation carried out at the site in the 1950s under the direction of British archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon. She concluded,

It is a sad fact that of the town walls of the Late Bronze Age, within which period the attack by the Israelites must fall by any dating, not a trace remains.…The excavation of Jericho, therefore, has thrown no light on the walls of Jericho of which the destruction is so vividly described in the Book of Joshua (Kenyon 1957: 261–62).

Thomas A. Holland, who was editor and co-author of Kenyon’s excavation reports, summarized the apparent results as follows:

Kenyon concluded, with reference to the military conquest theory and the L[ate] B[ronze Age] walls, that there was no archaeological data to support the thesis that the town had been surrounded by a wall at the end of LB I (ca. 1400 BCE…) (Holland 1997: 223).

H.J. Franken, a member of the Jericho excavation staff, stated,

Miss Kenyon’s work has presented scholars with the hard fact that if Joshua was active with the incoming Israelites either c. 1400 or c. 1200 B.C. he would not have been able to capture a great walled city of Jericho, because there was no city of Jericho in these periods…the huge ruins of the Hyksos city gave rise to the folktale attached to the hero Joshua (1965: 190, 200).

According to Kenyon’s dating, there was no city for the Israelites to conquer at the end of the 15th century BC, the Biblical date for the event. The Jericho of Joshua’s time could not be found-it was lost! Through our research, however, we have found the lost city of Jericho, the Jericho attacked by the Israelites.
 

Aerial view of Jericho, looking south. The trenches and squares visible today are from Kathleen Kenyon’s excavations in the 1950s and the more recent Italian-Palestinian excavation which began in 1997.

Fortifications of Jericho

Before the Israelites entered the promised land Moses told them, “You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky” (Dt 9:1). The meticulous work of Kenyon showed that Jericho was indeed heavily fortified and that it had been burned by fire. Unfortunately, she misdated her finds, resulting in what seemed to be a discrepancy between the discoveries of archaeology and the Bible. She concluded that the Bronze Age city of Jericho was destroyed about 1550 BC by the Egyptians. An in-depth analysis of the evidence, however, reveals that the destruction took place at the end of the 15th century BC (end of the Late Bronze I period), exactly when the Bible says the Conquest occurred (Wood 1990).

 

Pottery found at Jericho by John Garstang. This distinctive pottery, decorated with red and black geometric patterns, was in use only in the 15th century BC, the time of the Israelite Conquest according to Biblical chronology.

The mound, or “tell,” of Jericho was surrounded by a great earthen rampart, or embankment, with a stone retaining wall at its base. The retaining wall was some 12–15 ft high. On top of that was a mudbrick wall 6 ft thick and about 20–26 ft high (Sellin and Watzinger 1973: 58). At the crest of the embankment was a similar mudbrick wall whose base was roughly 46 ft above the ground level outside the retaining wall. This is what loomed high above the Israelites as they marched around the city each day for seven days. Humanly speaking, it was impossible for the Israelites to penetrate the impregnable bastion of Jericho.

Plan of the ruins of Jericho. A-area excavated by John Garstang where he found evidence for the destruction of Jericho by the Israelites which he dated to ca. 1400 BC. B-Two 8×8 m squares excavated by Kathleen Kenyon where she found similar evidence for destruction, but misdated it to 1550 BC and attributed it to the Egyptians.
Within the upper wall was an area of approximately 6 acres, while the total area of the upper city and fortification system together was half again as large, or about 9 acres. Based on the archaeologist’s rule of thumb of 100 persons per acre, the population of the upper city would have been about 600. From excavations carried out by a German team in the first decade of this century, we know that people were also living on the embankment between the upper and lower city walls. In addition, those Canaanites living in surrounding villages would have fled to Jericho for safety. Thus, we can assume that there were several thousand people inside the walls when the Israelites came against the city.
 

Schematic cross-section of the fortification system at Jericho.

The Fallen Walls

The citizens of Jericho were well prepared for a siege. A copious spring which provided water for ancient, as well as modern, Jericho lay inside the city walls. At the time of the attack, the harvest had just been taken in (Jos 3:15), so the citizens had an abundant supply of food. This has been borne out by many large jars full of grain found in the Canaanite homes by John Garstang in his excavation in the 1930s and also by Kenyon. With a plentiful food supply and ample water, the inhabitants of Jericho could have held out for several years.

After the seventh trip around the city on the seventh day, Scripture tells us that the wall “fell flat” (Jos 6:20). A more accurate rendering of the Hebrew word here would be “fell beneath itself.” Is there evidence for such an event at Jericho? It turns out that there is ample evidence that the mudbrick city wall collapsed and was deposited at the base of the stone retaining wall at the time the city met its end.

 

Section drawing of Kenyon’s west trench, showing the fallen mud bricks from the collapsed city wall (red area to the left of retaining wall KD).

Kenyon’s work was the most detailed. On the west side of the tell, at the base of the retaining, or revetment, wall, she found,

fallen red bricks piling nearly to the top of the revetment. These probably came from the wall on the summit of the bank [and/or]…the brickwork above the revetment (Kenyon 1981: 110).

In other words, she found a heap of bricks from the fallen city walls! The renewed Italian-Palestinian excavations found exactly the same thing at the southern end of the mound in 1997.


Excavations at the outer (lower) fortification wall by the three major expeditions to Jericho. At the north end (numbers 1–5), a portion of the mud brick wall (red) atop the stone retaining wall survived, demonstrating that the city wall did not fall in this area. Nothing remains of the mud brick city wall at other points investigated, showing that it had collapsed everywhere else (numbers 6–13). Remnants of the collapsed city wall (red) were actually found still in place in three places at Jericho: number 11 (German excavation), number 12 (Kenyon’s excavation), and the 1997 Italian-Palestinian excavation extending Kenyon’s south trench at number 8.

According to the Bible, Rahab’s house was incorporated into the fortification system (Jos 2:15). If the walls fell, how was her house spared? As you recall, the spies had instructed Rahab to bring her family into her house and they would be rescued. When the Israelites stormed the city, Rahab and her family were saved as promised (Jos 6:17, 22–23). At the north end of the tell of Jericho, archaeologists made some astounding discoveries that seem to relate to Rahab.

The German excavation of 1907-1909 found that on the north a short stretch of the lower city wall did not fall as everywhere else. A portion of that mudbrick wall was still standing to a height of 8 ft (Sellin and Watzinger 1973: 58). What is more, there were houses built against the wall! It is quite possible that this is where Rahab’s house was located. Since the city wall formed the back wall of the houses, the spies could have readily escaped. From this location on the north side of the city, it was only a short distance to the hills of the Judean wilderness where the spies hid for three days (Jos 2:16, 22). Real estate values must have been low here, since the houses were positioned on the embankment between the upper and lower city walls. Not the best place to live in time of war! This area was no doubt the overflow from the upper city and the poor part of town, perhaps even a slum district.

After the city walls fell, how could the Israelites surmount the 12–15 foot high retaining wall at the base of the tell? Excavations have shown that the bricks from the collapsed walls fell in such a way as to form a ramp against the retaining wall. The Israelites could merely climb up over the pile of rubble, up the embankment, and enter the city. The Bible is very precise in its description of how the Israelites entered the city: “The people went up into the city, every man straight before him” (Jos 6:20, KJV). The Israelites had to go up, and that is what archaeology has revealed. They had to go from ground level at the base of the tell to the top of the rampart in order to enter the city.


Dr. Wood points to collapsed mud bricks from the city wall that fell to the base of the retaining wall at Jericho. His left foot rests on part of the fallen wall. (Italian-Palestinian excavation, 1997, location 8.)

Destruction by Fire

The Israelites “burned the whole city and everything in it” (Jos 6: 24). Once again, the discoveries of archaeology have verified the truth of this record. A portion of the city destroyed by the Israelites was excavated on the east side of the tell. Wherever the archaeologists reached this level they found a layer of burned ash and debris about 3 ft thick. Kenyon described the massive devastation:

The destruction was complete. Walls and floors were blackened or reddened by fire, and every room was filled with fallen bricks, timbers, and household utensils; in most rooms the fallen debris was heavily burnt, but the collapse of the walls of the eastern rooms seems to have taken place before they were affected by the fire (Kenyon 1981: 370).


Excavations of John Garstang at Jericho showing the remains of the city destroyed by the Israelites in about 1400 BC.


Exterior of the retaining wall in Kenyon’s west trench.


Section drawing of Kenyon’s excavation showing house walls from the city destroyed by the Israelites and the thick burn layer (lower red layer).

Both Garstang and Kenyon found many storage jars full of grain that had been caught in the fiery destruction. This is a unique find in the annals of archaeology. Grain was valuable, not only as a source of food, but also as a commodity which could be bartered. Under normal circumstances, valuables such as grain would have been plundered by the conquerors. Why was the grain left to be burned at Jericho? The Bible provides the answer. Joshua commanded the Israelites:

The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into His treasury (Jos 6:17–19).


Jars full of grain found by John Garstang at Jericho. They were charred in the fire that the Israelites set to destroy the Canaanite city.

The grain left at Jericho and found by archaeologists in modern times gives graphic testimony to the obedience of the Israelites nearly three and a half millennia ago. Only Achan disobeyed, leading to the debacle at Ai described in Joshua 7.

Such a large quantity of grain left untouched gives silent testimony to the truth of yet another aspect of the Biblical account. A heavily fortified city with an abundant supply of food and water would normally take many months, even years, to subdue. The Bible says that Jericho fell after only seven days. The jars found in the ruins of Jericho were full, showing that the siege was short since the people inside the walls consumed very little of the grain.

Lessons of Jericho

Jericho was once thought to be a “Bible problem” because of the seeming disagreement between archaeology and the Bible. When the archaeology is correctly interpreted, however, the opposite is the case. The archaeological evidence supports the historical accuracy of the Biblical account in every detail. Every aspect of the story that could possibly be verified by the findings of archaeology is, in fact, verified.

There are a number of theories as to how the walls of Jericho came down. Both Garstang and Kenyon found evidence of earthquake activity at the time the city met its end. If God did use an earthquake to accomplish His purposes that day, it was still a miracle since it happened at precisely the right moment, and was manifested in such a way as to protect Rahab’s house. No matter what agency God used, it was ultimately the faith of the Israelites that brought the walls down: “By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days” (Heb 11:30).

The example of Jericho is a wonderful spiritual lesson for God’s people yet today. There are times when we find ourselves facing enormous “walls” that are impossible to break down by human strength. If we put our faith in God and follow His commandments, even when they seem foolish to us, He will perform “great and awesome deeds” (Dt 4:34) and give us the victory.

See Dr. Wood discuss the evidence in this cutting edge video, Jericho Unearthed.

The Bible and Archaeology (1/5)

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Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 28 (Dr. Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in Physics, University of Texas, “[Science] It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too!”)

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Dr. Steven Weinberg pictured below:

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 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto:

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There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 scientists and I hope to respond to all of them. Wikipedia notes Steven Weinberg (born May 3, 1933) is an American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics for his contributions with Abdus Salam and Sheldon Glashow to the unification of the weak force and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles.

He holds the Josey Regental Chair in Science at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is a member of the Physics and Astronomy Departments. His research on elementary particles and cosmology has been honored with numerous prizes and awards, including in 1979 the Nobel Prize in Physics and in 1991 the National Medal of Science. In 2004 he received the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the American Philosophical Society, with a citation that said he is “considered by many to be the preeminent theoretical physicist alive in the world today.” He has been elected to the US National Academy of Sciences and Britain’s Royal Society, as well as to the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Weinberg is found in the 50th clip in the first video below and his quote is found below in this post and my response is after that.

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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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-).

QUOTE FROM DR. STEVEN WEINBERG:

“I have a friend — or had a friend, now dead — Abdus Salam, a very devout Muslim, who was trying to bring science into the universities in the Gulf states and he told me that he had a terrible time because, although they were very receptive to technology, they felt that science would be a corrosive to religious belief, and they were worried about it… and damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too.”
Steven Weinberg

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My first response is to recount my correspondence with the famous evolutionist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) of Harvard. In his letter to me he basically said that there are many chemists and molecular biologists who find the story of gradual evolution of life totally convincing and that he is sticking with them. This is very similar to the approach by Dr. Weinberg and it is an appeal to authority in that they are suggesting that we just accept the brilliant scientists’ point of view because they are brilliant scientists and they are smarter than the rest of us.THERE IS A SIMPLE ANSWER THAT I COULD GIVE to both Dr. Mayr and Dr. Weinberg which is  a quote from Adrian Rogers:

Did you know that all atheists are not atheists because of intellectual problems? They’re atheists because of moral problems. You say, “But I know some brilliant people who are atheists.” Well, that may be so, but I know some brilliant people who are not. You say, “I know some foolish people who believe in God.” Well, I know everyone who doesn’t believe in God is foolish.

In other words there are brilliant and stupid people on both sides of the fence and it is not an intellectual issue but a moral one. Let’s take a look at the history of science that was handled down to us from Western Europe and take a closer examination of those great men’s religious views and if their religious views were corrosive to their scientific pursuits? This is the accusation of many modern day evolutionists.

Ernst Mayr (pictured below with the beard)

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas…

Published on May 19, 2012

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas, James Cameron, Larry King, Ian Wilmut, Jane Goodall, Stephen Jay Gould, Tim D. White, Leon Lederman, Timothy Berners-Lee and Bill Gates. Complete and more interview go to websites “www.achievement.org”.

Mais entrevistas e completas no site “www.achievement.org”.

_____________________________________________________________________

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In 1994 and 1995 I had the opportunity to correspond with the famous evolutionist Dr. Ernst Mayr of Harvard. He stated in his letter of 10-3-94, “Owing to your ideological commitments, it is only natural that you cannot accept the cogency of the scientific evidence. However, to a person such as myself without such commitments, the story of the gradual evolution of life as reconstructed by chemists and molecular biologists is totally convincing.”

I responded by pointing out three points. First, Scientific Naturalism is atheistic by definition. Second, many great scientists of the past were Christians, and that did not disqualify their observations and discoveries. Third, the fact that evolution is true does not rule out God’s existence (Harvard’s own Owen Gingerich and many others such as Francis Collins hold to a Creator and evolution).

Let me just spend some time on my second point. Francis Schaeffer in his book “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?” stated that according to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God. In the article, “Christianity and Technological Advance – The Astonishing Connection,” by T. V. Varughese, Ph.D, he observed:

Without question, “technology” has now become the new magic word in place of the word “science.” Since technology represents the practical applications of science, it is clearly consumer-oriented. Herein is bright economic promise to all who can provide technology.

In terms of technology, our present world can be divided into at least three groups: countries that are strong providers of technology, both original and improved; countries that are mass producers because of cheaper labor; and countries that are mostly consumers. Without a doubt, being in the position of “originating” superior technology should be a goal for any major country. The difficult question, however, is “how.”

An obvious place to start suggests itself. Why not begin with the countries that have established themselves as strong originators of technology and see if there is a common thread between them? The western nations, after the Renaissance and the Reformation of the 16th century, offer a ready example. Any book on the history of inventions, such as the Guinness Book of Answers, will reveal that the vast majority of scientific inventions have originated in Europe (including Britain) and the USA since the dawn of the 17th century. What led to the fast technological advances in the European countries and North America around that time?

The answer is that something happened which set the stage for science and technology to emerge with full force. Strange as it may seem, that event was the return to Biblical Christianity in these countries.

The Epistemological Foundation of Technology

According to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God.[1] Entomologist Stanley Beck,though not a Christian himself, acknowledged the corner-stone premises of science which the Judeo-Christian world view offers: “The first of the unprovable premises on which science has been based is the belief that the world is real and the human mind is capable of knowing its real nature. The second and best-known postulate underlying the structure of scientific knowledge is that of cause and effect. The third basic scientific premise is that nature is unified.”[2] In other words, the epistemological foundation of technology has been the Judeo-Christian world view presented in the Bible…

Perhaps the most obvious affirmation that Biblical Christianity and science are friends and not foes comes from the fact that most of the early scientists after the Renaissance were also strong believers in the Bible as the authoritative source of knowledge concerning the origin of the universe and man’s place in it.[4] The book of Genesis, the opening book of the Bible, presents the distinctly Judeo-Christian world view of a personal Creator God behind the origin and sustenance of the universe (Genesis 1:1Colossians 1:17; etc.).

Among the early scientists of note who held the Biblical creationist world view are Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), and Samuel Morse (1791-1872) – what motivated them was a confidence in the “rationality” behind the universe and the “goodness” of the material world. The creation account in Genesis presents an intelligent, purposeful Creator, who, after completing the creation work, declared it to be very good (Genesis 1:31). That assures us that the physical universe operates under reliable laws which may be discovered by the intelligent mind and used in practical applications. The confidence in the divinely pronounced goodness of the material world removed any reluctance concerning the development of material things for the betterment of life in this world. The spiritual world and the material world can work together in harmony.

 References –

  1. Francis A. Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live (Revell, 1976), p. 132.
  2. Henry M. Morris, Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Baker, 1991), p. 30.
  3. Schaeffer, p. 131.
  4. Henry M. Morris, Men of Science, Men of God (Master Books, CA, 1988), 107 pp.

_____________

Henry Morris pointed out:

Many of these great scientists of the past were before Darwin, but not all of them. However, all of them were acquainted with secular philosophies and some were in fact opponents of Darwinism (Agassiz, Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Dawson, Virchow, Fabre, Fleming, etc). Many of them believed in the inspiration and authority of the Bible, as well as in the deity and saving work of Jesus Christ. They believed that God had supernaturally created all things, each with its own complex structure for its own unique purpose. They believed that, as scientists, they were “thinking God’s thoughts after Him,” learning to understand and control the laws and processes of nature for God’s glory and man’s good. They believed and practiced science in exactly the same way that modern creationist scientists do.

And somehow this attitude did not hinder them in their commitment to the “scientific method.” In fact one of them, Sir Francis Bacon, is credited with formulating and establishing the scientific method! They seem also to have been able to maintain a proper “scientific attitude,” for it was these men (Newton, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pascal, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Kepler, etc.) whose researches and analyses led to the very laws and concepts of science which brought about our modern scientific age…. 

To illustrate the caliber and significance of these great scientists of the past, Tables I and II have been prepared. These tabulations are not complete lists, of course, but at least are representative and they do point up the absurdity of modern assertions that no true scientist can be a creationist and Bible-believing Christian.

Table I lists the creationist “fathers” of many significant branches of modern science. Table II lists the creationist scientists responsible for various vital inventions, discoveries, and other contributions to mankind. These identifications are to some degree oversimplified, of course, for even in the early days of science every new development involved a number of other scientists, before and after. Nevertheless, in each instance, a strong case can be made for attributing the chief responsibility to the creationist scientist indicated. At the very least, his contribution was critically important and thus supports our contention that belief in creation and the Bible helps, rather than hinders, scientific discovery.

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My relatives live 3 miles from Spring Hill, Tennessee. When the new General Motors plant opened there I got to go see it. What if I had said, “The assembly line created a beautiful Saturn automobile!” Hopefully, some would have corected me by responding, “The assembly line did not create the automobile. It was first designed by the General Motors engineers in Detroit.” ASSUMING EVOLUTION IS TRUE, IT WOULD STILL ONLY BE THE MECHANISM. DOES EVOLUTION ACCOUNT FOR THE DESIGNER?

________________

TABLE I

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES ESTABLISHED
BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

DISCIPLINE SCIENTIST
ANTISEPTIC SURGERY JOSEPH LISTER (1827-1912)
BACTERIOLOGY LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULUS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
CELESTIAL MECHANICS JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
CHEMISTRY ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
COMPARATIVE ANATOMY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)
COMPUTER SCIENCE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
DYNAMICS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
ELECTRONICS JOHN AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
ELECTRODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
ELECTRO-MAGNETICS MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ENERGETICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ENTOMOLOGY OF LIVING INSECTS HENRI FABRE (1823-1915)
FIELD THEORY MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
FLUID MECHANICS GEORGE STOKES (1819-1903)
GALACTIC ASTRONOMY WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
GAS DYNAMICS ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
GENETICS GREGOR MENDEL (1822-1884)
GLACIAL GEOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
GYNECOLOGY JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
HYDRAULICS LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452-1519)
HYDROGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
HYDROSTATICS BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
ICHTHYOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
ISOTOPIC CHEMISTRY WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
MODEL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
NATURAL HISTORY JOHN RAY (1627-1705)
NON-EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY BERNHARD RIEMANN (1826- 1866)
OCEANOGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
OPTICAL MINERALOGY DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
PALEONTOLOGY JOHN WOODWARD (1665-1728)
PATHOLOGY RUDOLPH VIRCHOW (1821-1902)
PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
REVERSIBLE THERMODYNAMICS JAMES JOULE (1818-1889)
STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
STRATIGRAPHY NICHOLAS STENO (1631-1686)
SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
THERMODYNAMICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
THERMOKINETICS HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)

______________

TABLE II

NOTABLE INVENTIONS, DISCOVERIES
OR DEVELOPMENTS BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

CONTRIBUTION SCIENTIST
ABSOLUTE TEMPERATURE SCALE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ACTUARIAL TABLES CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
BAROMETER BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
BIOGENESIS LAW LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULATING MACHINE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
CHLOROFORM JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
DOUBLE STARS WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
ELECTRIC GENERATOR MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ELECTRIC MOTOR JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
EPHEMERIS TABLES JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
FERMENTATION CONTROL LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
GALVANOMETER JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
GLOBAL STAR CATALOG JOHN HERSCHEL (1792-1871)
INERT GASES WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
KALEIDOSCOPE DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
LAW OF GRAVITY ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
MINE SAFETY LAMP HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
PASTEURIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
REFLECTING TELESCOPE ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
SCIENTIFIC METHOD FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626)
SELF-INDUCTION JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
TELEGRAPH SAMUEL F.B. MORSE (1791-1872)
THERMIONIC VALVE AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
TRANS-ATLANTIC CABLE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
VACCINATION & IMMUNIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)

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2000 Interview with Ernst Mayr, Harvard University

Uploaded on Jul 13, 2008

Interviews conducted in March 2000 at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences on the topic of Challenges for the New Millennium. Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. See http://www.aibs.org/media-library/ for additional AIBS conference recordings.

________________

Henry Morris

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The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book

Download PDFDownload The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book PDF

With the passing in recent years of the three most revered scientific spokesmen for evolution—Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, and now Stephen Jay Gould—Professor Ernst Mayr is left as the unquestioned dean of the modern evolutionary establishment.

Gould, Asimov, and Sagan were all three extremely prolific and brilliant writers. All three were atheistic professors at prestigious eastern universities (Gould at Harvard, Asimov at Boston University, Sagan at Cornell), and all three were effusive and vigorous anti-creationists. They were formidable opponents (but eminently quotable), and we miss them. All three died at relatively young ages.

But that leaves Ernst Mayr, long-time professor of biology at Harvard. Dr. Mayr was born in 1904 and is (at this writing) still very much alive, and nearing the century mark. Dr. Gould recently called him “the greatest living evolutionary biologist and a writer of extraordinary insight and clarity” (in a jacket blurb on Mayr’s latest book).

Mayr’s New Book

And that book is the subject of this article. Its title is intriguing—What Evolution Is (Basic Books, 2001, 318 pages),—for if anyone could speak authoritatively on such a subject, it should be Professor Mayr. In his adulatory foreword, Jared Diamond, another leading modern evolutionist, concludes: “There is no better book on evolution. There will never be another book like it” (p. xii).

That evaluation should give any reader very high expectations. Unfortunately, however, Dr. Mayr first shows his disdain for creationism, not even considering its arguments. He simply says:

It is now actually misleading to refer to evolution as a theory, considering the massive evidence that has been discovered over the last 140 years documenting its existence. Evolution is no longer a theory, it is simply a fact (p. 275).

He dismissed the evidence for creation as unworthy of further discussion. “The claims of the creationists” he says, “have been refuted so frequently and so thoroughly that there is no need to cover this subject once more” (p. 269).

Ignoring Creation Evidence

He himself, however, has apparently not bothered to read any creationist or secular anti-evolutionist scientific books or articles. Or at least that is what one would infer from the fact that none of them or their arguments and evidence are even mentioned in his book.

No mention is made by Mayr, for example, of creationist expositions of the amazing created designs in living systems, nor of the effects of God’s curse on the creation, or of the significance of the great flood in understanding the geologic record. He does not even acknowledge the significance of naturalistic catastrophism or of such scientific concepts as complexity or probability. Current ideas about “intelligent design” are never mentioned. The origins of all things are due to time, chance, and natural selection, no matter how complex and interdependent they may be, according to Professor Mayr, who had been (along with Julian Huxley, George Simpson, and a few others) primarily responsible for the so-called modern evolutionary synthesis (or neo-Darwinism) back in the 1930s and 1940s.

Neither does Mayr seem aware that there are now thousands of credentialed and knowledgeable scientists (including a great many biologists) who reject evolution, giving not even a nod to the Creation Research Society, or to ICR, or any other creationist organization. He does occasionally refer to God or to Christianity, but only in passing, and always in a context that indicates that he does not believe in either one. He, like his three younger colleagues, is an atheist, and this naturally constrains him to ignore any possible theological implications of the origins issues.

The Alleged Evidence for Evolution

Mayr’s new book is beautifully written and does contain much good material, but it will not convert many to evolutionism, even though he does devote a chapter to what he thinks are the evidences for evolution. These evidences are essentially the same as those used 140 years ago by Darwin in the Origin (fossils, comparative morphology, embryological similarities and recapitulation, vestigial structures, and geographical distribution). Mayr adds nothing new to these arguments, ignoring the fact that creationists (and even a number of evolutionists) have long since refuted all of them. He does devote a brief section to the more recent “evidence” from molecular biology. But that also has been vigorously disputed by a number of specialists in this field, especially the supposed evolutionary relationships implied by the molecules. Even Mayr admits that “molecular clocks are not nearly as constant as often believed” (p. 37), but he does not mention any of the numerous contradictory relationships implied by these biochemical studies (e.g., the well-known genomic similarities of humans and bananas).

As do most evolutionists, Mayr spends much time in discussing micro-evolution, whereas modern creationists only reject macroevolution. He devotes five chapters to microevolution and only one to macroevolution. This particular chapter is quite long, discussing many speculative theories about how macroevolutionary changes might be produced, but there is one vital deficiency. He gives no example of any macroevolutionary change known to have happened. In other words, macroevolution seems never to have occurred within the several thousand years of recorded history. Thus, real evolution (as distinct from variation, recombination, hybridization, and other such “horizontal” changes) does not happen at present. Where, we would ask Professor Mayr, are there any living forms in the process of evolutionary change? He gives no examples, of course, because there are none.

As far as pre-human history is concerned, Dr. Mayr does insist that the fossil record documents past evolution. He cites the usual claims—horses, Archaeopteryx, mammal-like reptiles, walking whales, etc.—which are very equivocal, at best, and have all been shown by creationists to be invalid as transitional forms. Instead of a handful of highly doubtful examples, there ought to be thousands of obvious transitional forms in the fossils if evolution had really been occurring. Yet Mayr admits,

Wherever we look at the living biota, . . . discontinuities are overwhelmingly frequent. . . . The discontinuities are even more striking in the fossil record. New species usually appear in the fossil record suddenly, not connected with their ancestors by a series of intermediates (p. 189).

Professor Mayr still says that the fossils are “the most convincing evidence for the occurrence of evolution” (p. 13). Yet he also says that “the fossil record remains woefully inadequate” (p. 69). Thus, as creationists have often pointed out, there is no real evidence of either present or past evolution.

We have repeatedly noted also that the scientific reason why this is so is because real evolution to any higher level of complexity is impossible by the law of entropy, which states the proven fact that every system of any kind “tends” to go toward lower complexity, unless constrained otherwise by some pre-designed external program and mechanism.

Yet Ernst Mayr seems either to ignore or misunderstand this key argument of the creationists. Here is what he says:

Actually there is no conflict, because the law of entropy is valid only for closed systems, whereas the evolution of a species of organisms takes place in an open system in which organisms can reduce entropy at the expense of the environment and the sun supplies a continuing input of energy (p. 8).

And that’s all he says about one of the key arguments against evolution. This ubiquitous dodge of the evolutionists has been discredited again and again by creationists, and one would think that this “greatest living evolutionary biologist” in this “best book on evolution” would at least take notice of our arguments! At least half of America’s population, according to many polls, are creationists, apparently agreeing more with us than with Mayr.

An open system and external energy are, indeed, necessary conditions for a system to grow in complexity, but most definitely are not sufficient conditions. The question is just how does the sun’s energy produce complexity in an open system? The fact is that the application of external heat energy to an open system (such as from the sun to the earth) will increase the entropy (that is, decrease the organized complexity) in any open system, if that’s all there is. This is a basic principle of thermodynamics, and neither Mayr nor any other evolutionist has answered this problem. Evolution seems to be impossible by the known laws of science.

Professor Mayr does not deal with the theological or Biblical evidences, of course. For those who believe in God and the Bible, on the other hand, creation—not evolution—is, to appropriate Mayr’s words, “simply a fact.” Evolution is merely a belief held by many who “willingly are ignorant” (II Peter 3:5) of the strong evidences and arguments for creation, and who don’t even bother to consider them. In the words of the apostle Paul: “Where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (I Corinthians 1:20).

Cite this article: Henry Morris, Ph.D. 2002. The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book. Acts & Facts. 31 (8).

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The Comparatively Rich Archaeological Corroboration of the Old Testament

The Comparatively Rich Archaeological Corroboration of the Old TestamentWhen I first began examining the claims of the Book of Mormon, I was an atheist who had just become interested in the person of Jesus. As a skeptic, I understood the importance of corroborative evidence when trying to determine if a witness statement is reliable. I began looking for corroboration related to both the Christian and Mormon scripture. I was immediately struck by the stark contrast between what has been discovered related to Old Testament history and what has been not been discovered related to the alleged history recorded in the Book of Mormon. There’s a reason for the absence of maps in the Mormon collection of scripture. There are no archaeological discoveries of any cities described in the book of Mormon. Worse yet, there aren’t any discoveries of any of the names of characters mentioned in the 1,000 year span of American continental history chronicled in the Book of Mormon (from 600BC to 400AD). I don’t expect archaeology to verify everything recorded in an ancient book, but I do expect it to verify something.

The archaeological evidence supporting the Old Testament demonstrates a striking contrast when compared to the Book of Mormon in both the generalities and specificities confirmed by archaeology:

Overarching Generalities
Many of the Old Testament accounts bearing strong resemblances to other ancient accounts discovered through the efforts of historians and archaeologists. The Great Flood account in Genesis 6-9, for example, is very similar to Babylonian and Akkadian accounts discovered in the same region of the world. Some of these accounts may even pre-date the writings of Moses, but all describe a catastrophic flood event predating the generation of the authors. In addition, the Sumerian King List records kings who reigned for long periods of time. Following the great flood, this Babylonian document records much shorter reigns, mirroring the life expectancy patterns described in the Old Testament. The 11th tablet of the Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic speaks of an ark, animals taken on the ark, birds sent out during the course of the flood, the ark landing on a mountain, and a sacrifice offered after the ark landed.

In addition to the flood story, there are other non-Biblical accounts recording events found in the Old Testament. The Mesopotamian Story of Adapa tells of a test for immortality involving food, similar to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Sumerian tablets record the confusion of language as we have in the Biblical account of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). This Sumerian account records a golden age when all mankind spoke the same language. Speech was then confused by the god Enki, lord of wisdom. The Babylonians had a similar account in which the gods destroyed a temple tower and “scattered them abroad and made strange their speech” (Stephen L. Caiger, Bible and Spade, 1936, p. 29). There are many points of agreement in overarching narrative generalities between the Old Testament and the surrounding ancient cultures.

Detailed Specificities
In addition to these generalities, many specific events and historical characters described in the Old Testament have now been confirmed by extra-Biblical sources. Consider the following examples (this list is abbreviated from the work of Dr. Bryant Wood):

The campaign into Israel by Pharaoh Shishak
(1 Kings 14:25-26) is recorded on the walls of the Temple of Amun in Thebes, Egypt.

The revolt of Moab against Israel
(2 Kings 1:1; 3:4-27) is recorded on the Mesha Inscription.

The fall of Samaria
(2 Kings 17:3-6, 24; 18:9-11) to Sargon II, king of Assyria, is recorded on his palace walls.

The defeat of Ashdod by Sargon II
(Isaiah 20:1) is recorded on his palace walls.

The campaign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib against Judah
(2 Kings 18:13-16) is recorded on the Taylor Prism.

The siege of Lachish by Sennacherib
(2 Kings 18:14, 17) is recorded on the Lachish reliefs.

The assassination of Sennacherib by his own son
(2 Kings 19:37) is recorded in the annals of his son Esarhaddon.

The fall of Nineveh as predicted by the prophets Nahum and Zephaniah
(2 Kings 2:13-15) is recorded on the Tablet of Nabopolasar.

The fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon
(2 Kings 24:10-14) is recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles.

The captivity of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, in Babylon
(2 Kings 24:15-16) is recorded on the Babylonian Ration Records.

The fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians
(Daniel 5:30-31) is recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.

The freeing of captives in Babylon by Cyrus the Great
(Ezra 1:1-4; 6:3-4) is recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.

The historical record of the Old Testament is not alone in the history it records. There are other ancient records affirming the overarching generalities and specific details of the Old Testament. There are no such corroborative ancient records providing similar verification for the history of the Book of Mormon. It is the singular lonely voice related to the historical narrative it describes. While archaeology continues to corroborate the Old and New Testament, archaeology only exposes the erroneous nature of the Mormon record.

 

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
A Brief Sample of Old Testament Archaeological Corroboration
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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Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 21 (Dr. Lawrence Krauss, theoretical physicist and cosmologist at Arizona State, “…most scientists don’t think enough about God…There’s no evidence that we need any supernatural hand of God”)

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Is There Evidence for God? William Lane Craig vs Lawrence Krauss

Published on Apr 24, 2012

William Lane Craig debates Lawrence Krauss on the evidence for God. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina — March 30, 2011

We welcome your comments in the Reasonable Faith forums:
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums

http://www.reasonablefaith.org

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Dr. Lawrence Krauss pictured below:

Laurence Krauss.JPG

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

__________________________

There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 scientists and I hope to respond to all of them.  Wikipedia notes Lawrence Maxwell Krauss (born May 27, 1954) is an American theoretical physicist and cosmologist who is Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University and director of its Origins Project.[2] He is known as an advocate of the public understanding of science, of public policy based on sound empirical data, of scientific skepticism and of science education and works to reduce the impact of superstition and religious dogma in pop culture.[3] He is also the author of several bestselling books, including The Physics of Star Trek and A Universe from Nothing.

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Dr. Krauss is found in this first clip in the first video below and his quote is found below in this post and my response is after that.

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)

_______________

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-).

Quote of Lawrence Krauss

“…most scientists don’t think enough about God to know whether they believe in him or not …they don’t think about it enough to even know if they are atheists but the bottom  line is if you look at the universe and study the universe what you will find is that there’s no evidence that we need anything but the laws of physics and the other laws of science to explain everything we see. There’s no evidence that we need any supernatural hand of God.”

________________________

My first response is to recount my correspondence with the famous evolutionist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) of Harvard. In his letter to me he basically said that there are many chemists and molecular biologists who find the story of gradual evolution of life totally convincing and that he is sticking with them. This is very similar to the approach by Dr. Krauss and it is an appeal to authority in that they are suggesting that we just accept the brilliant scientists’ point of view because they are brilliant scientists and they are smarter than the rest of us.THERE IS A SIMPLE ANSWER THAT I COULD GIVE to both Dr. Mayr and Dr. Krauss which is  a quote from Adrian Rogers:

Did you know that all atheists are not atheists because of intellectual problems? They’re atheists because of moral problems. You say, “But I know some brilliant people who are atheists.” Well, that may be so, but I know some brilliant people who are not. You say, “I know some foolish people who believe in God.” Well, I know everyone who doesn’t believe in God is foolish.

In other words there are brilliant and stupid people on both sides of the fence and it is not an intellectual issue but a moral one. Let’s take a look at the history of science that was handled down to us from Western Europe and take a closer examination of those great men’s religious views and if their religious views were corrosive to their scientific pursuits? This is the accusation of many modern day evolutionists.

Dr. Krauss wants us to stop thinking about the possibly that God exists because the brilliant scientists have already figured out that there is no God out there. 

Ernst Mayr (pictured below with the beard)

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas…

Published on May 19, 2012

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas, James Cameron, Larry King, Ian Wilmut, Jane Goodall, Stephen Jay Gould, Tim D. White, Leon Lederman, Timothy Berners-Lee and Bill Gates. Complete and more interview go to websites “www.achievement.org”.

Mais entrevistas e completas no site “www.achievement.org”.

_____________________________________________________________________

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In 1994 and 1995 I had the opportunity to correspond with the famous evolutionist Dr. Ernst Mayr of Harvard. He stated in his letter of 10-3-94, “Owing to your ideological commitments, it is only natural that you cannot accept the cogency of the scientific evidence. However, to a person such as myself without such commitments, the story of the gradual evolution of life as reconstructed by chemists and molecular biologists is totally convincing.”

I responded by pointing out three points. First, Scientific Naturalism is atheistic by definition. Second, many great scientists of the past were Christians, and that did not disqualify their observations and discoveries. Third, the fact that evolution is true does not rule out God’s existence (Harvard’s own Owen Gingerich and many others such as Francis Collins hold to a Creator and evolution).

Let me just spend some time on my second point. Francis Schaeffer in his book “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?” stated that according to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God. In the article, “Christianity and Technological Advance – The Astonishing Connection,” by T. V. Varughese, Ph.D, he observed:

Without question, “technology” has now become the new magic word in place of the word “science.” Since technology represents the practical applications of science, it is clearly consumer-oriented. Herein is bright economic promise to all who can provide technology.

In terms of technology, our present world can be divided into at least three groups: countries that are strong providers of technology, both original and improved; countries that are mass producers because of cheaper labor; and countries that are mostly consumers. Without a doubt, being in the position of “originating” superior technology should be a goal for any major country. The difficult question, however, is “how.”

An obvious place to start suggests itself. Why not begin with the countries that have established themselves as strong originators of technology and see if there is a common thread between them? The western nations, after the Renaissance and the Reformation of the 16th century, offer a ready example. Any book on the history of inventions, such as the Guinness Book of Answers, will reveal that the vast majority of scientific inventions have originated in Europe (including Britain) and the USA since the dawn of the 17th century. What led to the fast technological advances in the European countries and North America around that time?

The answer is that something happened which set the stage for science and technology to emerge with full force. Strange as it may seem, that event was the return to Biblical Christianity in these countries.

The Epistemological Foundation of Technology

According to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God.[1] Entomologist Stanley Beck,though not a Christian himself, acknowledged the corner-stone premises of science which the Judeo-Christian world view offers: “The first of the unprovable premises on which science has been based is the belief that the world is real and the human mind is capable of knowing its real nature. The second and best-known postulate underlying the structure of scientific knowledge is that of cause and effect. The third basic scientific premise is that nature is unified.”[2] In other words, the epistemological foundation of technology has been the Judeo-Christian world view presented in the Bible…

Perhaps the most obvious affirmation that Biblical Christianity and science are friends and not foes comes from the fact that most of the early scientists after the Renaissance were also strong believers in the Bible as the authoritative source of knowledge concerning the origin of the universe and man’s place in it.[4] The book of Genesis, the opening book of the Bible, presents the distinctly Judeo-Christian world view of a personal Creator God behind the origin and sustenance of the universe (Genesis 1:1Colossians 1:17; etc.).

Among the early scientists of note who held the Biblical creationist world view are Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), and Samuel Morse (1791-1872) – what motivated them was a confidence in the “rationality” behind the universe and the “goodness” of the material world. The creation account in Genesis presents an intelligent, purposeful Creator, who, after completing the creation work, declared it to be very good (Genesis 1:31). That assures us that the physical universe operates under reliable laws which may be discovered by the intelligent mind and used in practical applications. The confidence in the divinely pronounced goodness of the material world removed any reluctance concerning the development of material things for the betterment of life in this world. The spiritual world and the material world can work together in harmony.

 References –

  1. Francis A. Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live (Revell, 1976), p. 132.
  2. Henry M. Morris, Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Baker, 1991), p. 30.
  3. Schaeffer, p. 131.
  4. Henry M. Morris, Men of Science, Men of God (Master Books, CA, 1988), 107 pp.

_____________

Henry Morris pointed out:

Many of these great scientists of the past were before Darwin, but not all of them. However, all of them were acquainted with secular philosophies and some were in fact opponents of Darwinism (Agassiz, Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Dawson, Virchow, Fabre, Fleming, etc). Many of them believed in the inspiration and authority of the Bible, as well as in the deity and saving work of Jesus Christ. They believed that God had supernaturally created all things, each with its own complex structure for its own unique purpose. They believed that, as scientists, they were “thinking God’s thoughts after Him,” learning to understand and control the laws and processes of nature for God’s glory and man’s good. They believed and practiced science in exactly the same way that modern creationist scientists do.

And somehow this attitude did not hinder them in their commitment to the “scientific method.” In fact one of them, Sir Francis Bacon, is credited with formulating and establishing the scientific method! They seem also to have been able to maintain a proper “scientific attitude,” for it was these men (Newton, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pascal, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Kepler, etc.) whose researches and analyses led to the very laws and concepts of science which brought about our modern scientific age…. 

To illustrate the caliber and significance of these great scientists of the past, Tables I and II have been prepared. These tabulations are not complete lists, of course, but at least are representative and they do point up the absurdity of modern assertions that no true scientist can be a creationist and Bible-believing Christian.

Table I lists the creationist “fathers” of many significant branches of modern science. Table II lists the creationist scientists responsible for various vital inventions, discoveries, and other contributions to mankind. These identifications are to some degree oversimplified, of course, for even in the early days of science every new development involved a number of other scientists, before and after. Nevertheless, in each instance, a strong case can be made for attributing the chief responsibility to the creationist scientist indicated. At the very least, his contribution was critically important and thus supports our contention that belief in creation and the Bible helps, rather than hinders, scientific discovery.

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My relatives live 3 miles from Spring Hill, Tennessee. When the new General Motors plant opened there I got to go see it. What if I had said, “The assembly line created a beautiful Saturn automobile!” Hopefully, some would have corected me by responding, “The assembly line did not create the automobile. It was first designed by the General Motors engineers in Detroit.” ASSUMING EVOLUTION IS TRUE, IT WOULD STILL ONLY BE THE MECHANISM. DOES EVOLUTION ACCOUNT FOR THE DESIGNER?

________________

TABLE I

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES ESTABLISHED
BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

DISCIPLINE SCIENTIST
ANTISEPTIC SURGERY JOSEPH LISTER (1827-1912)
BACTERIOLOGY LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULUS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
CELESTIAL MECHANICS JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
CHEMISTRY ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
COMPARATIVE ANATOMY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)
COMPUTER SCIENCE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
DYNAMICS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
ELECTRONICS JOHN AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
ELECTRODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
ELECTRO-MAGNETICS MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ENERGETICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ENTOMOLOGY OF LIVING INSECTS HENRI FABRE (1823-1915)
FIELD THEORY MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
FLUID MECHANICS GEORGE STOKES (1819-1903)
GALACTIC ASTRONOMY WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
GAS DYNAMICS ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
GENETICS GREGOR MENDEL (1822-1884)
GLACIAL GEOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
GYNECOLOGY JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
HYDRAULICS LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452-1519)
HYDROGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
HYDROSTATICS BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
ICHTHYOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
ISOTOPIC CHEMISTRY WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
MODEL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
NATURAL HISTORY JOHN RAY (1627-1705)
NON-EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY BERNHARD RIEMANN (1826- 1866)
OCEANOGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
OPTICAL MINERALOGY DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
PALEONTOLOGY JOHN WOODWARD (1665-1728)
PATHOLOGY RUDOLPH VIRCHOW (1821-1902)
PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
REVERSIBLE THERMODYNAMICS JAMES JOULE (1818-1889)
STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
STRATIGRAPHY NICHOLAS STENO (1631-1686)
SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
THERMODYNAMICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
THERMOKINETICS HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)

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TABLE II

NOTABLE INVENTIONS, DISCOVERIES
OR DEVELOPMENTS BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

CONTRIBUTION SCIENTIST
ABSOLUTE TEMPERATURE SCALE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ACTUARIAL TABLES CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
BAROMETER BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
BIOGENESIS LAW LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULATING MACHINE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
CHLOROFORM JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
DOUBLE STARS WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
ELECTRIC GENERATOR MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ELECTRIC MOTOR JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
EPHEMERIS TABLES JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
FERMENTATION CONTROL LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
GALVANOMETER JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
GLOBAL STAR CATALOG JOHN HERSCHEL (1792-1871)
INERT GASES WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
KALEIDOSCOPE DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
LAW OF GRAVITY ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
MINE SAFETY LAMP HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
PASTEURIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
REFLECTING TELESCOPE ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
SCIENTIFIC METHOD FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626)
SELF-INDUCTION JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
TELEGRAPH SAMUEL F.B. MORSE (1791-1872)
THERMIONIC VALVE AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
TRANS-ATLANTIC CABLE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
VACCINATION & IMMUNIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)

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2000 Interview with Ernst Mayr, Harvard University

Uploaded on Jul 13, 2008

Interviews conducted in March 2000 at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences on the topic of Challenges for the New Millennium. Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. See http://www.aibs.org/media-library/ for additional AIBS conference recordings.

________________

Henry Morris

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The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book

Download PDFDownload The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book PDF

With the passing in recent years of the three most revered scientific spokesmen for evolution—Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, and now Stephen Jay Gould—Professor Ernst Mayr is left as the unquestioned dean of the modern evolutionary establishment.

Gould, Asimov, and Sagan were all three extremely prolific and brilliant writers. All three were atheistic professors at prestigious eastern universities (Gould at Harvard, Asimov at Boston University, Sagan at Cornell), and all three were effusive and vigorous anti-creationists. They were formidable opponents (but eminently quotable), and we miss them. All three died at relatively young ages.

But that leaves Ernst Mayr, long-time professor of biology at Harvard. Dr. Mayr was born in 1904 and is (at this writing) still very much alive, and nearing the century mark. Dr. Gould recently called him “the greatest living evolutionary biologist and a writer of extraordinary insight and clarity” (in a jacket blurb on Mayr’s latest book).

Mayr’s New Book

And that book is the subject of this article. Its title is intriguing—What Evolution Is (Basic Books, 2001, 318 pages),—for if anyone could speak authoritatively on such a subject, it should be Professor Mayr. In his adulatory foreword, Jared Diamond, another leading modern evolutionist, concludes: “There is no better book on evolution. There will never be another book like it” (p. xii).

That evaluation should give any reader very high expectations. Unfortunately, however, Dr. Mayr first shows his disdain for creationism, not even considering its arguments. He simply says:

It is now actually misleading to refer to evolution as a theory, considering the massive evidence that has been discovered over the last 140 years documenting its existence. Evolution is no longer a theory, it is simply a fact (p. 275).

He dismissed the evidence for creation as unworthy of further discussion. “The claims of the creationists” he says, “have been refuted so frequently and so thoroughly that there is no need to cover this subject once more” (p. 269).

Ignoring Creation Evidence

He himself, however, has apparently not bothered to read any creationist or secular anti-evolutionist scientific books or articles. Or at least that is what one would infer from the fact that none of them or their arguments and evidence are even mentioned in his book.

No mention is made by Mayr, for example, of creationist expositions of the amazing created designs in living systems, nor of the effects of God’s curse on the creation, or of the significance of the great flood in understanding the geologic record. He does not even acknowledge the significance of naturalistic catastrophism or of such scientific concepts as complexity or probability. Current ideas about “intelligent design” are never mentioned. The origins of all things are due to time, chance, and natural selection, no matter how complex and interdependent they may be, according to Professor Mayr, who had been (along with Julian Huxley, George Simpson, and a few others) primarily responsible for the so-called modern evolutionary synthesis (or neo-Darwinism) back in the 1930s and 1940s.

Neither does Mayr seem aware that there are now thousands of credentialed and knowledgeable scientists (including a great many biologists) who reject evolution, giving not even a nod to the Creation Research Society, or to ICR, or any other creationist organization. He does occasionally refer to God or to Christianity, but only in passing, and always in a context that indicates that he does not believe in either one. He, like his three younger colleagues, is an atheist, and this naturally constrains him to ignore any possible theological implications of the origins issues.

The Alleged Evidence for Evolution

Mayr’s new book is beautifully written and does contain much good material, but it will not convert many to evolutionism, even though he does devote a chapter to what he thinks are the evidences for evolution. These evidences are essentially the same as those used 140 years ago by Darwin in the Origin (fossils, comparative morphology, embryological similarities and recapitulation, vestigial structures, and geographical distribution). Mayr adds nothing new to these arguments, ignoring the fact that creationists (and even a number of evolutionists) have long since refuted all of them. He does devote a brief section to the more recent “evidence” from molecular biology. But that also has been vigorously disputed by a number of specialists in this field, especially the supposed evolutionary relationships implied by the molecules. Even Mayr admits that “molecular clocks are not nearly as constant as often believed” (p. 37), but he does not mention any of the numerous contradictory relationships implied by these biochemical studies (e.g., the well-known genomic similarities of humans and bananas).

As do most evolutionists, Mayr spends much time in discussing micro-evolution, whereas modern creationists only reject macroevolution. He devotes five chapters to microevolution and only one to macroevolution. This particular chapter is quite long, discussing many speculative theories about how macroevolutionary changes might be produced, but there is one vital deficiency. He gives no example of any macroevolutionary change known to have happened. In other words, macroevolution seems never to have occurred within the several thousand years of recorded history. Thus, real evolution (as distinct from variation, recombination, hybridization, and other such “horizontal” changes) does not happen at present. Where, we would ask Professor Mayr, are there any living forms in the process of evolutionary change? He gives no examples, of course, because there are none.

As far as pre-human history is concerned, Dr. Mayr does insist that the fossil record documents past evolution. He cites the usual claims—horses, Archaeopteryx, mammal-like reptiles, walking whales, etc.—which are very equivocal, at best, and have all been shown by creationists to be invalid as transitional forms. Instead of a handful of highly doubtful examples, there ought to be thousands of obvious transitional forms in the fossils if evolution had really been occurring. Yet Mayr admits,

Wherever we look at the living biota, . . . discontinuities are overwhelmingly frequent. . . . The discontinuities are even more striking in the fossil record. New species usually appear in the fossil record suddenly, not connected with their ancestors by a series of intermediates (p. 189).

Professor Mayr still says that the fossils are “the most convincing evidence for the occurrence of evolution” (p. 13). Yet he also says that “the fossil record remains woefully inadequate” (p. 69). Thus, as creationists have often pointed out, there is no real evidence of either present or past evolution.

We have repeatedly noted also that the scientific reason why this is so is because real evolution to any higher level of complexity is impossible by the law of entropy, which states the proven fact that every system of any kind “tends” to go toward lower complexity, unless constrained otherwise by some pre-designed external program and mechanism.

Yet Ernst Mayr seems either to ignore or misunderstand this key argument of the creationists. Here is what he says:

Actually there is no conflict, because the law of entropy is valid only for closed systems, whereas the evolution of a species of organisms takes place in an open system in which organisms can reduce entropy at the expense of the environment and the sun supplies a continuing input of energy (p. 8).

And that’s all he says about one of the key arguments against evolution. This ubiquitous dodge of the evolutionists has been discredited again and again by creationists, and one would think that this “greatest living evolutionary biologist” in this “best book on evolution” would at least take notice of our arguments! At least half of America’s population, according to many polls, are creationists, apparently agreeing more with us than with Mayr.

An open system and external energy are, indeed, necessary conditions for a system to grow in complexity, but most definitely are not sufficient conditions. The question is just how does the sun’s energy produce complexity in an open system? The fact is that the application of external heat energy to an open system (such as from the sun to the earth) will increase the entropy (that is, decrease the organized complexity) in any open system, if that’s all there is. This is a basic principle of thermodynamics, and neither Mayr nor any other evolutionist has answered this problem. Evolution seems to be impossible by the known laws of science.

Professor Mayr does not deal with the theological or Biblical evidences, of course. For those who believe in God and the Bible, on the other hand, creation—not evolution—is, to appropriate Mayr’s words, “simply a fact.” Evolution is merely a belief held by many who “willingly are ignorant” (II Peter 3:5) of the strong evidences and arguments for creation, and who don’t even bother to consider them. In the words of the apostle Paul: “Where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (I Corinthians 1:20).

Cite this article: Henry Morris, Ph.D. 2002. The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book. Acts & Facts. 31 (8).

___________________

12-13-14

When the Case for God Is Strong, Skeptics Attack Christianity

When the Case for God Is Strong, Skeptics Attack ChristianityI’m currently researching and preparing for a second book effort, and I’ve discovered an interesting trend. I’ve been examining the alternative naturalistic explanations for the origin and apparent “fine tuning” of the universe, reading the latest books from atheist physicists, Lawrence Krauss, Stephen Hawking and Victor Stenger (amongst manyothers). It’s been a fascinating learning experience for me and I can’t wait to start writing. These authors offer differing naturalistic explanations for what we observe in the universe, but all three are united in their rejection of Christianity. I found it interesting, however, that Christianity became the specific focus of their comparisons. I couldn’t help but wonder if this wasn’t in some way a tacit admission affirming the reasonable case for God’s existence.

To illustrate this point, let me offer a quick mind experiment. Imagine we lived in a world without any historic theistic or deistic belief systems. No Christianity, no Islam, no Judaism, no Mormonism, no Bahá’í, no Budhism, etc. In fact, imagine this generation of humans was the first to ever even consider the existence of God or any extra-, supra-, or supernatural realities. Given access to the science we have today, would any of us be inclined toward a belief in God? Would theevidence of a universe with a beginning, or even the speculation about a precisely calibrated multiverse generating “first cause”, incline any of us toward some form of belief in the supernatural? Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure these atheist authors,committed as they are to naturalism, would remain atheists. But for the rest of us who are less dogmatically committed to naturalism, would we evaluate their conclusions and reject theistic or deistic explanations as readily? I don’t think so, and I think these atheist authors realize this as well. That’s why they pick on Christianity specifically.

I realize this is a somewhat extravagant and controversial claim. But, whenAntony Flew, the famous atheist British philosopher and Oxford scholar, eventually changed his mind and became a deist, he did so based on the evidence of intelligent design. He died as a deist, convinced the evidence was clear. He found the case for God persuasive, but did not take the additional step to embrace a Christian view of God, saying, “While reason, mainly in the form of arguments to design, assures us that there is a God, there is no room either for any supernatural revelation of that God or for any transactions between that God and individual human beings.” His good friend, Christian apologist and historian,Gary Habermas, was unable to persuade him otherwise, but I can’t help but wonder where Flew might have ended up if he had become a deist at the age of 61, rather than the age of 81. Once an atheist determines the existence of God is reasonable, the move to Christianity requires an additional investigative step (I’ve written about this in Cold Case Christianity).

Those who make a case for some form of atheistic cosmology have a choice. They can examine the evidence and reason to the best inference between atheism and theism (or deism), or they can reason between atheism and Christianity. Krauss, Hawking and Stenger often choose the second approach, recognizing the additional layer of evidences demanded by Christianity. Many of their readers may, like Flew, be inclined toward a belief in God more readily if it wasn’t characterized by some sarcastic view of Christianity. When these authors choose to compare their naturalistic explanations to some cynical misrepresentation of Christianity rather than a more minimalistic characterization of theism or deism, they expose their concern related to the reasonable case for God’s existence.

I believe the evidence for God’s existence is strong, and if there were no historic theistic systems from which to choose, I would, like Flew, embrace some form of theism or deism. But we do have a history from which to draw, and if the history related to Jesus is reliable, we owe it to ourselves to examine the additional claims of Christianity.

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

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! (Dr. David J. Gross, Nobel Laureate, UC Santa Barbara Physics Department, DOES SCIENCE HAVE RELIGION ON THE RUN, OR DID CHRISTIANITY ENCOURAGE SCIENCE?)

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אוכל למחשבה – דיויד גרוס (David Gross)

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The Strong Force: A Chat with Nobel Laureate David Gross

Uploaded on Jun 11, 2009

David Gross, the 2004 Nobel Laureate in Physics and the director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara, talks with veteran journalist Jerry Roberts about why scientists love KITP. [7/2009] [Science] [Show ID: 16805]

 

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Dr. David J. Gross pictured below:

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 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto:

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There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 scientists and I hope to respond to all of them. Wikipedia notes David Jonathan Gross (born February 19, 1941) is an American particle physicist and string theorist. Along with Frank Wilczek and David Politzer, he was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of asymptotic freedom. He is the former director and current holder of the Frederick W. Gluck Chair in Theoretical Physics at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is also a faculty member in the UC Santa Barbara Physics Department and is currently affiliated with the Institute for Quantum Studies at Chapman University in California.

He was born to a Jewish family in Washington, D.C. in February 19, 1941. His parents were Nora (Faine) and Bertram Myron Gross (1912–1997). Gross received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degreefrom the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, in 1962. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1966 under the supervision of Geoffrey Chew.[2]

He was a Junior Fellow at Harvard University and a Professor at Princeton University until 1997. He was the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1987, the Dirac Medal in 1988 and the Harvey Prize in 2000.[2]

In 1973, Gross, working with his first graduate student, Frank Wilczek, at Princeton University, discovered asymptotic freedom, which holds that the closer quarks are to each other, the less the strong interaction (or color charge) is between them; when quarks are in extreme proximity, the nuclear force between them is so weak that they behave almost as free particles. Asymptotic freedom, independently discovered by Politzer, was important for the development of quantum chromodynamics.

Gross, with Jeffrey A. Harvey, Emil Martinec, and Ryan Rohm also formulated the theory of the heterotic string. The four were to be whimsically nicknamed the “Princeton String Quartet”.[3]

In 2003, Gross was one of 22 Nobel Laureates who signed the Humanist Manifesto.[4]

Gross’s hobby is fishing. He once caught a two and three quarters pound bluegill in Florida’s Crystal Lake, narrowly missing that state’s record.[cit

Dr. Gross  is found in the 97th clip in the second video below and his quote is found below in this post and my response is after that.

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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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-).

 

David J.Gross Quote:

There have been areas of conflict between religion and science,  by and large religion has been on the retreat in those areas of overlap as scientists discovered more about the real world that did conflict with earlier myths and beliefs and there remains areas of deep conflict in biology and cosmology. I don’t think there is much room for compromise there as a scientist and I think the truth that science reveals are truths according to the scientific criteria and if they conflict with some myth then too bad.

 

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Dr. Gross is suggesting that science has been in conflict with religion and that religion is on the retreat. Let me quote from my former pastor Adrian Rogers:

Skeptics seem to think that the Bible is full of scientific errors. However, before an individual can make that assertion, they had better make sure they know both science and Scripture. You see, I have heard unbelievers state that the Bible is not a book of science, but a book of religion, which is basically true. It is not written to teach us about science, but to teach us about God. But the God of salvation and the God of creation are the same. Science doesn’t take God by surprise. A close look at Scripture reveals that it is scientifically accurate.

Every now and then science may disagree with the Bible, but usually science just needs time to catch up. For example, in 1861 a French scientific academy printed a brochure offering 51 incontrovertible facts that proved the Bible in error. Today there is not a single reputable scientist who would support those supposed “facts,” because modern science has disproved them all!

The ancients believed the earth was held up by Atlas, or resting on pillars, or even seated on the backs of elephants. But today we know the earth is suspended in space, a fact the Word of God records in Job 26:7: “He . . . hangeth the earth upon nothing.” God revealed the facts of cosmology long before man had any idea of the truth.

For centuries man believed the earth was flat, but now we know the earth is a globe. The prophet Isaiah, writing 750 years before the birth of Christ, revealed that “God sitteth upon the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). The word translated here as “circle” was more commonly translated “sphere.” In other words, Isaiah explained that the earth was a globe centuries before science discovered it.

When Ptolemy charted the heavens, he counted 1026 stars in the sky. But with the invention of the telescope man discovered millions and millions of stars, something that Jeremiah 33:22 revealed nearly three thousand years ago: “The host of heaven cannot be numbered.” How did these men of God know the truth of science long before the rest of the world discovered it? They were moved by the Holy Spirit to write the truth. God’s Word is not filled with errors. It is filled with facts, even scientific facts.

When the black plague was killing one quarter of Europe’s population in the fourteenth century, it was the church, not science, that helped overcome the dread disease. The leaders in the church noticed the instructions given by the Lord to Moses in Leviticus 13:46: “All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.” These early believers did not know microbiology or understand what germs were, but they could understand a clear teaching to quarantine someone who was sick. So they followed the Biblical dictum, quarantined those sick with the plague, and stopped it from spreading. The Bible had its science correct even before man discovered the truth! Don’t accept the charge that the Bible is filled with scientific errors. Modern science seems determined to explain God away, and refuses to acknowledge any evidence of the supernatural. But the science of Scripture is one reason to accept the Bible as God’s Word.

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My first response is to recount my correspondence with the famous evolutionist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) of Harvard. In his letter to me he basically said that there are many chemists and molecular biologists who find the story of gradual evolution of life totally convincing and that he is sticking with them. This is very similar to the approach by Dr. Gross and it is an appeal to authority in that they are suggesting that we just accept the brilliant scientists’ point of view because they are brilliant scientists and they are smarter than the rest of us.THERE IS A SIMPLE ANSWER THAT I COULD GIVE to both Dr. Mayr and Dr. Gross which is  a quote from Adrian Rogers:

Did you know that all atheists are not atheists because of intellectual problems? They’re atheists because of moral problems. You say, “But I know some brilliant people who are atheists.” Well, that may be so, but I know some brilliant people who are not. You say, “I know some foolish people who believe in God.” Well, I know everyone who doesn’t believe in God is foolish.

In other words there are brilliant and stupid people on both sides of the fence and it is not an intellectual issue but a moral one. Let’s take a look at the history of science that was handled down to us from Western Europe and take a closer examination of those great men’s religious views and if their religious views were corrosive to their scientific pursuits? This is the accusation of many modern day evolutionists.

Ernst Mayr (pictured below with the beard)

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas…

Published on May 19, 2012

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas, James Cameron, Larry King, Ian Wilmut, Jane Goodall, Stephen Jay Gould, Tim D. White, Leon Lederman, Timothy Berners-Lee and Bill Gates. Complete and more interview go to websites “www.achievement.org”.

Mais entrevistas e completas no site “www.achievement.org”.

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In 1994 and 1995 I had the opportunity to correspond with the famous evolutionist Dr. Ernst Mayr of Harvard. He stated in his letter of 10-3-94, “Owing to your ideological commitments, it is only natural that you cannot accept the cogency of the scientific evidence. However, to a person such as myself without such commitments, the story of the gradual evolution of life as reconstructed by chemists and molecular biologists is totally convincing.”

I responded by pointing out three points. First, Scientific Naturalism is atheistic by definition. Second, many great scientists of the past were Christians, and that did not disqualify their observations and discoveries. Third, the fact that evolution is true does not rule out God’s existence (Harvard’s own Owen Gingerich and many others such as Francis Collins hold to a Creator and evolution).

Let me just spend some time on my second point. Francis Schaeffer in his book “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?” stated that according to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God. In the article, “Christianity and Technological Advance – The Astonishing Connection,” by T. V. Varughese, Ph.D, he observed:

Without question, “technology” has now become the new magic word in place of the word “science.” Since technology represents the practical applications of science, it is clearly consumer-oriented. Herein is bright economic promise to all who can provide technology.

In terms of technology, our present world can be divided into at least three groups: countries that are strong providers of technology, both original and improved; countries that are mass producers because of cheaper labor; and countries that are mostly consumers. Without a doubt, being in the position of “originating” superior technology should be a goal for any major country. The difficult question, however, is “how.”

An obvious place to start suggests itself. Why not begin with the countries that have established themselves as strong originators of technology and see if there is a common thread between them? The western nations, after the Renaissance and the Reformation of the 16th century, offer a ready example. Any book on the history of inventions, such as the Guinness Book of Answers, will reveal that the vast majority of scientific inventions have originated in Europe (including Britain) and the USA since the dawn of the 17th century. What led to the fast technological advances in the European countries and North America around that time?

The answer is that something happened which set the stage for science and technology to emerge with full force. Strange as it may seem, that event was the return to Biblical Christianity in these countries.

The Epistemological Foundation of Technology

According to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God.[1] Entomologist Stanley Beck,though not a Christian himself, acknowledged the corner-stone premises of science which the Judeo-Christian world view offers: “The first of the unprovable premises on which science has been based is the belief that the world is real and the human mind is capable of knowing its real nature. The second and best-known postulate underlying the structure of scientific knowledge is that of cause and effect. The third basic scientific premise is that nature is unified.”[2] In other words, the epistemological foundation of technology has been the Judeo-Christian world view presented in the Bible…

Perhaps the most obvious affirmation that Biblical Christianity and science are friends and not foes comes from the fact that most of the early scientists after the Renaissance were also strong believers in the Bible as the authoritative source of knowledge concerning the origin of the universe and man’s place in it.[4] The book of Genesis, the opening book of the Bible, presents the distinctly Judeo-Christian world view of a personal Creator God behind the origin and sustenance of the universe (Genesis 1:1Colossians 1:17; etc.).

Among the early scientists of note who held the Biblical creationist world view are Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), and Samuel Morse (1791-1872) – what motivated them was a confidence in the “rationality” behind the universe and the “goodness” of the material world. The creation account in Genesis presents an intelligent, purposeful Creator, who, after completing the creation work, declared it to be very good (Genesis 1:31). That assures us that the physical universe operates under reliable laws which may be discovered by the intelligent mind and used in practical applications. The confidence in the divinely pronounced goodness of the material world removed any reluctance concerning the development of material things for the betterment of life in this world. The spiritual world and the material world can work together in harmony.

 References –

  1. Francis A. Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live (Revell, 1976), p. 132.
  2. Henry M. Morris, Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Baker, 1991), p. 30.
  3. Schaeffer, p. 131.
  4. Henry M. Morris, Men of Science, Men of God (Master Books, CA, 1988), 107 pp.

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Henry Morris pointed out:

Many of these great scientists of the past were before Darwin, but not all of them. However, all of them were acquainted with secular philosophies and some were in fact opponents of Darwinism (Agassiz, Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Dawson, Virchow, Fabre, Fleming, etc). Many of them believed in the inspiration and authority of the Bible, as well as in the deity and saving work of Jesus Christ. They believed that God had supernaturally created all things, each with its own complex structure for its own unique purpose. They believed that, as scientists, they were “thinking God’s thoughts after Him,” learning to understand and control the laws and processes of nature for God’s glory and man’s good. They believed and practiced science in exactly the same way that modern creationist scientists do.

And somehow this attitude did not hinder them in their commitment to the “scientific method.” In fact one of them, Sir Francis Bacon, is credited with formulating and establishing the scientific method! They seem also to have been able to maintain a proper “scientific attitude,” for it was these men (Newton, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pascal, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Kepler, etc.) whose researches and analyses led to the very laws and concepts of science which brought about our modern scientific age…. 

To illustrate the caliber and significance of these great scientists of the past, Tables I and II have been prepared. These tabulations are not complete lists, of course, but at least are representative and they do point up the absurdity of modern assertions that no true scientist can be a creationist and Bible-believing Christian.

Table I lists the creationist “fathers” of many significant branches of modern science. Table II lists the creationist scientists responsible for various vital inventions, discoveries, and other contributions to mankind. These identifications are to some degree oversimplified, of course, for even in the early days of science every new development involved a number of other scientists, before and after. Nevertheless, in each instance, a strong case can be made for attributing the chief responsibility to the creationist scientist indicated. At the very least, his contribution was critically important and thus supports our contention that belief in creation and the Bible helps, rather than hinders, scientific discovery.

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My relatives live 3 miles from Spring Hill, Tennessee. When the new General Motors plant opened there I got to go see it. What if I had said, “The assembly line created a beautiful Saturn automobile!” Hopefully, some would have corected me by responding, “The assembly line did not create the automobile. It was first designed by the General Motors engineers in Detroit.” ASSUMING EVOLUTION IS TRUE, IT WOULD STILL ONLY BE THE MECHANISM. DOES EVOLUTION ACCOUNT FOR THE DESIGNER?

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TABLE I

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES ESTABLISHED
BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

DISCIPLINE SCIENTIST
ANTISEPTIC SURGERY JOSEPH LISTER (1827-1912)
BACTERIOLOGY LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULUS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
CELESTIAL MECHANICS JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
CHEMISTRY ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
COMPARATIVE ANATOMY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)
COMPUTER SCIENCE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
DYNAMICS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
ELECTRONICS JOHN AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
ELECTRODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
ELECTRO-MAGNETICS MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ENERGETICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ENTOMOLOGY OF LIVING INSECTS HENRI FABRE (1823-1915)
FIELD THEORY MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
FLUID MECHANICS GEORGE STOKES (1819-1903)
GALACTIC ASTRONOMY WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
GAS DYNAMICS ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
GENETICS GREGOR MENDEL (1822-1884)
GLACIAL GEOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
GYNECOLOGY JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
HYDRAULICS LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452-1519)
HYDROGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
HYDROSTATICS BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
ICHTHYOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
ISOTOPIC CHEMISTRY WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
MODEL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
NATURAL HISTORY JOHN RAY (1627-1705)
NON-EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY BERNHARD RIEMANN (1826- 1866)
OCEANOGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
OPTICAL MINERALOGY DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
PALEONTOLOGY JOHN WOODWARD (1665-1728)
PATHOLOGY RUDOLPH VIRCHOW (1821-1902)
PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
REVERSIBLE THERMODYNAMICS JAMES JOULE (1818-1889)
STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
STRATIGRAPHY NICHOLAS STENO (1631-1686)
SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
THERMODYNAMICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
THERMOKINETICS HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)

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TABLE II

NOTABLE INVENTIONS, DISCOVERIES
OR DEVELOPMENTS BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

CONTRIBUTION SCIENTIST
ABSOLUTE TEMPERATURE SCALE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ACTUARIAL TABLES CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
BAROMETER BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
BIOGENESIS LAW LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULATING MACHINE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
CHLOROFORM JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
DOUBLE STARS WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
ELECTRIC GENERATOR MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ELECTRIC MOTOR JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
EPHEMERIS TABLES JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
FERMENTATION CONTROL LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
GALVANOMETER JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
GLOBAL STAR CATALOG JOHN HERSCHEL (1792-1871)
INERT GASES WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
KALEIDOSCOPE DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
LAW OF GRAVITY ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
MINE SAFETY LAMP HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
PASTEURIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
REFLECTING TELESCOPE ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
SCIENTIFIC METHOD FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626)
SELF-INDUCTION JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
TELEGRAPH SAMUEL F.B. MORSE (1791-1872)
THERMIONIC VALVE AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
TRANS-ATLANTIC CABLE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
VACCINATION & IMMUNIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)

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2000 Interview with Ernst Mayr, Harvard University

Uploaded on Jul 13, 2008

Interviews conducted in March 2000 at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences on the topic of Challenges for the New Millennium. Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. See http://www.aibs.org/media-library/ for additional AIBS conference recordings.

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Henry Morris

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The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book

Download PDFDownload The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book PDF

With the passing in recent years of the three most revered scientific spokesmen for evolution—Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, and now Stephen Jay Gould—Professor Ernst Mayr is left as the unquestioned dean of the modern evolutionary establishment.

Gould, Asimov, and Sagan were all three extremely prolific and brilliant writers. All three were atheistic professors at prestigious eastern universities (Gould at Harvard, Asimov at Boston University, Sagan at Cornell), and all three were effusive and vigorous anti-creationists. They were formidable opponents (but eminently quotable), and we miss them. All three died at relatively young ages.

But that leaves Ernst Mayr, long-time professor of biology at Harvard. Dr. Mayr was born in 1904 and is (at this writing) still very much alive, and nearing the century mark. Dr. Gould recently called him “the greatest living evolutionary biologist and a writer of extraordinary insight and clarity” (in a jacket blurb on Mayr’s latest book).

Mayr’s New Book

And that book is the subject of this article. Its title is intriguing—What Evolution Is (Basic Books, 2001, 318 pages),—for if anyone could speak authoritatively on such a subject, it should be Professor Mayr. In his adulatory foreword, Jared Diamond, another leading modern evolutionist, concludes: “There is no better book on evolution. There will never be another book like it” (p. xii).

That evaluation should give any reader very high expectations. Unfortunately, however, Dr. Mayr first shows his disdain for creationism, not even considering its arguments. He simply says:

It is now actually misleading to refer to evolution as a theory, considering the massive evidence that has been discovered over the last 140 years documenting its existence. Evolution is no longer a theory, it is simply a fact (p. 275).

He dismissed the evidence for creation as unworthy of further discussion. “The claims of the creationists” he says, “have been refuted so frequently and so thoroughly that there is no need to cover this subject once more” (p. 269).

Ignoring Creation Evidence

He himself, however, has apparently not bothered to read any creationist or secular anti-evolutionist scientific books or articles. Or at least that is what one would infer from the fact that none of them or their arguments and evidence are even mentioned in his book.

No mention is made by Mayr, for example, of creationist expositions of the amazing created designs in living systems, nor of the effects of God’s curse on the creation, or of the significance of the great flood in understanding the geologic record. He does not even acknowledge the significance of naturalistic catastrophism or of such scientific concepts as complexity or probability. Current ideas about “intelligent design” are never mentioned. The origins of all things are due to time, chance, and natural selection, no matter how complex and interdependent they may be, according to Professor Mayr, who had been (along with Julian Huxley, George Simpson, and a few others) primarily responsible for the so-called modern evolutionary synthesis (or neo-Darwinism) back in the 1930s and 1940s.

Neither does Mayr seem aware that there are now thousands of credentialed and knowledgeable scientists (including a great many biologists) who reject evolution, giving not even a nod to the Creation Research Society, or to ICR, or any other creationist organization. He does occasionally refer to God or to Christianity, but only in passing, and always in a context that indicates that he does not believe in either one. He, like his three younger colleagues, is an atheist, and this naturally constrains him to ignore any possible theological implications of the origins issues.

The Alleged Evidence for Evolution

Mayr’s new book is beautifully written and does contain much good material, but it will not convert many to evolutionism, even though he does devote a chapter to what he thinks are the evidences for evolution. These evidences are essentially the same as those used 140 years ago by Darwin in the Origin (fossils, comparative morphology, embryological similarities and recapitulation, vestigial structures, and geographical distribution). Mayr adds nothing new to these arguments, ignoring the fact that creationists (and even a number of evolutionists) have long since refuted all of them. He does devote a brief section to the more recent “evidence” from molecular biology. But that also has been vigorously disputed by a number of specialists in this field, especially the supposed evolutionary relationships implied by the molecules. Even Mayr admits that “molecular clocks are not nearly as constant as often believed” (p. 37), but he does not mention any of the numerous contradictory relationships implied by these biochemical studies (e.g., the well-known genomic similarities of humans and bananas).

As do most evolutionists, Mayr spends much time in discussing micro-evolution, whereas modern creationists only reject macroevolution. He devotes five chapters to microevolution and only one to macroevolution. This particular chapter is quite long, discussing many speculative theories about how macroevolutionary changes might be produced, but there is one vital deficiency. He gives no example of any macroevolutionary change known to have happened. In other words, macroevolution seems never to have occurred within the several thousand years of recorded history. Thus, real evolution (as distinct from variation, recombination, hybridization, and other such “horizontal” changes) does not happen at present. Where, we would ask Professor Mayr, are there any living forms in the process of evolutionary change? He gives no examples, of course, because there are none.

As far as pre-human history is concerned, Dr. Mayr does insist that the fossil record documents past evolution. He cites the usual claims—horses, Archaeopteryx, mammal-like reptiles, walking whales, etc.—which are very equivocal, at best, and have all been shown by creationists to be invalid as transitional forms. Instead of a handful of highly doubtful examples, there ought to be thousands of obvious transitional forms in the fossils if evolution had really been occurring. Yet Mayr admits,

Wherever we look at the living biota, . . . discontinuities are overwhelmingly frequent. . . . The discontinuities are even more striking in the fossil record. New species usually appear in the fossil record suddenly, not connected with their ancestors by a series of intermediates (p. 189).

Professor Mayr still says that the fossils are “the most convincing evidence for the occurrence of evolution” (p. 13). Yet he also says that “the fossil record remains woefully inadequate” (p. 69). Thus, as creationists have often pointed out, there is no real evidence of either present or past evolution.

We have repeatedly noted also that the scientific reason why this is so is because real evolution to any higher level of complexity is impossible by the law of entropy, which states the proven fact that every system of any kind “tends” to go toward lower complexity, unless constrained otherwise by some pre-designed external program and mechanism.

Yet Ernst Mayr seems either to ignore or misunderstand this key argument of the creationists. Here is what he says:

Actually there is no conflict, because the law of entropy is valid only for closed systems, whereas the evolution of a species of organisms takes place in an open system in which organisms can reduce entropy at the expense of the environment and the sun supplies a continuing input of energy (p. 8).

And that’s all he says about one of the key arguments against evolution. This ubiquitous dodge of the evolutionists has been discredited again and again by creationists, and one would think that this “greatest living evolutionary biologist” in this “best book on evolution” would at least take notice of our arguments! At least half of America’s population, according to many polls, are creationists, apparently agreeing more with us than with Mayr.

An open system and external energy are, indeed, necessary conditions for a system to grow in complexity, but most definitely are not sufficient conditions. The question is just how does the sun’s energy produce complexity in an open system? The fact is that the application of external heat energy to an open system (such as from the sun to the earth) will increase the entropy (that is, decrease the organized complexity) in any open system, if that’s all there is. This is a basic principle of thermodynamics, and neither Mayr nor any other evolutionist has answered this problem. Evolution seems to be impossible by the known laws of science.

Professor Mayr does not deal with the theological or Biblical evidences, of course. For those who believe in God and the Bible, on the other hand, creation—not evolution—is, to appropriate Mayr’s words, “simply a fact.” Evolution is merely a belief held by many who “willingly are ignorant” (II Peter 3:5) of the strong evidences and arguments for creation, and who don’t even bother to consider them. In the words of the apostle Paul: “Where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (I Corinthians 1:20).

Cite this article: Henry Morris, Ph.D. 2002. The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book. Acts & Facts. 31 (8).

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Need more evidence that the Bible is true then read this amazing article by the archaeologist Dr. Bryant Wood:

The Walls of Jericho

 

 

When one hears the name “Jericho” one naturally thinks of Israelites marching, trumpets sounding and walls falling. It is a wonderful story of faith and victory that we enjoy reading and telling in Sunday School class, but did it really happen? The skeptic would say no, it is merely a folk tale to explain the ruins at Jericho. The reason for this negative outlook is the excavation carried out at the site in the 1950s under the direction of British archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon. She concluded,

It is a sad fact that of the town walls of the Late Bronze Age, within which period the attack by the Israelites must fall by any dating, not a trace remains.…The excavation of Jericho, therefore, has thrown no light on the walls of Jericho of which the destruction is so vividly described in the Book of Joshua (Kenyon 1957: 261–62).

Thomas A. Holland, who was editor and co-author of Kenyon’s excavation reports, summarized the apparent results as follows:

Kenyon concluded, with reference to the military conquest theory and the L[ate] B[ronze Age] walls, that there was no archaeological data to support the thesis that the town had been surrounded by a wall at the end of LB I (ca. 1400 BCE…) (Holland 1997: 223).

H.J. Franken, a member of the Jericho excavation staff, stated,

Miss Kenyon’s work has presented scholars with the hard fact that if Joshua was active with the incoming Israelites either c. 1400 or c. 1200 B.C. he would not have been able to capture a great walled city of Jericho, because there was no city of Jericho in these periods…the huge ruins of the Hyksos city gave rise to the folktale attached to the hero Joshua (1965: 190, 200).

According to Kenyon’s dating, there was no city for the Israelites to conquer at the end of the 15th century BC, the Biblical date for the event. The Jericho of Joshua’s time could not be found-it was lost! Through our research, however, we have found the lost city of Jericho, the Jericho attacked by the Israelites.
 

Aerial view of Jericho, looking south. The trenches and squares visible today are from Kathleen Kenyon’s excavations in the 1950s and the more recent Italian-Palestinian excavation which began in 1997.

Fortifications of Jericho

Before the Israelites entered the promised land Moses told them, “You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky” (Dt 9:1). The meticulous work of Kenyon showed that Jericho was indeed heavily fortified and that it had been burned by fire. Unfortunately, she misdated her finds, resulting in what seemed to be a discrepancy between the discoveries of archaeology and the Bible. She concluded that the Bronze Age city of Jericho was destroyed about 1550 BC by the Egyptians. An in-depth analysis of the evidence, however, reveals that the destruction took place at the end of the 15th century BC (end of the Late Bronze I period), exactly when the Bible says the Conquest occurred (Wood 1990).

 

Pottery found at Jericho by John Garstang. This distinctive pottery, decorated with red and black geometric patterns, was in use only in the 15th century BC, the time of the Israelite Conquest according to Biblical chronology.

The mound, or “tell,” of Jericho was surrounded by a great earthen rampart, or embankment, with a stone retaining wall at its base. The retaining wall was some 12–15 ft high. On top of that was a mudbrick wall 6 ft thick and about 20–26 ft high (Sellin and Watzinger 1973: 58). At the crest of the embankment was a similar mudbrick wall whose base was roughly 46 ft above the ground level outside the retaining wall. This is what loomed high above the Israelites as they marched around the city each day for seven days. Humanly speaking, it was impossible for the Israelites to penetrate the impregnable bastion of Jericho.

 

Plan of the ruins of Jericho. A-area excavated by John Garstang where he found evidence for the destruction of Jericho by the Israelites which he dated to ca. 1400 BC. B-Two 8×8 m squares excavated by Kathleen Kenyon where she found similar evidence for destruction, but misdated it to 1550 BC and attributed it to the Egyptians.
Within the upper wall was an area of approximately 6 acres, while the total area of the upper city and fortification system together was half again as large, or about 9 acres. Based on the archaeologist’s rule of thumb of 100 persons per acre, the population of the upper city would have been about 600. From excavations carried out by a German team in the first decade of this century, we know that people were also living on the embankment between the upper and lower city walls. In addition, those Canaanites living in surrounding villages would have fled to Jericho for safety. Thus, we can assume that there were several thousand people inside the walls when the Israelites came against the city.
 

Schematic cross-section of the fortification system at Jericho.

The Fallen Walls

The citizens of Jericho were well prepared for a siege. A copious spring which provided water for ancient, as well as modern, Jericho lay inside the city walls. At the time of the attack, the harvest had just been taken in (Jos 3:15), so the citizens had an abundant supply of food. This has been borne out by many large jars full of grain found in the Canaanite homes by John Garstang in his excavation in the 1930s and also by Kenyon. With a plentiful food supply and ample water, the inhabitants of Jericho could have held out for several years.

After the seventh trip around the city on the seventh day, Scripture tells us that the wall “fell flat” (Jos 6:20). A more accurate rendering of the Hebrew word here would be “fell beneath itself.” Is there evidence for such an event at Jericho? It turns out that there is ample evidence that the mudbrick city wall collapsed and was deposited at the base of the stone retaining wall at the time the city met its end.

 

Section drawing of Kenyon’s west trench, showing the fallen mud bricks from the collapsed city wall (red area to the left of retaining wall KD).

Kenyon’s work was the most detailed. On the west side of the tell, at the base of the retaining, or revetment, wall, she found,

fallen red bricks piling nearly to the top of the revetment. These probably came from the wall on the summit of the bank [and/or]…the brickwork above the revetment (Kenyon 1981: 110).

In other words, she found a heap of bricks from the fallen city walls! The renewed Italian-Palestinian excavations found exactly the same thing at the southern end of the mound in 1997.


Excavations at the outer (lower) fortification wall by the three major expeditions to Jericho. At the north end (numbers 1–5), a portion of the mud brick wall (red) atop the stone retaining wall survived, demonstrating that the city wall did not fall in this area. Nothing remains of the mud brick city wall at other points investigated, showing that it had collapsed everywhere else (numbers 6–13). Remnants of the collapsed city wall (red) were actually found still in place in three places at Jericho: number 11 (German excavation), number 12 (Kenyon’s excavation), and the 1997 Italian-Palestinian excavation extending Kenyon’s south trench at number 8.

According to the Bible, Rahab’s house was incorporated into the fortification system (Jos 2:15). If the walls fell, how was her house spared? As you recall, the spies had instructed Rahab to bring her family into her house and they would be rescued. When the Israelites stormed the city, Rahab and her family were saved as promised (Jos 6:17, 22–23). At the north end of the tell of Jericho, archaeologists made some astounding discoveries that seem to relate to Rahab.

The German excavation of 1907-1909 found that on the north a short stretch of the lower city wall did not fall as everywhere else. A portion of that mudbrick wall was still standing to a height of 8 ft (Sellin and Watzinger 1973: 58). What is more, there were houses built against the wall! It is quite possible that this is where Rahab’s house was located. Since the city wall formed the back wall of the houses, the spies could have readily escaped. From this location on the north side of the city, it was only a short distance to the hills of the Judean wilderness where the spies hid for three days (Jos 2:16, 22). Real estate values must have been low here, since the houses were positioned on the embankment between the upper and lower city walls. Not the best place to live in time of war! This area was no doubt the overflow from the upper city and the poor part of town, perhaps even a slum district.

After the city walls fell, how could the Israelites surmount the 12–15 foot high retaining wall at the base of the tell? Excavations have shown that the bricks from the collapsed walls fell in such a way as to form a ramp against the retaining wall. The Israelites could merely climb up over the pile of rubble, up the embankment, and enter the city. The Bible is very precise in its description of how the Israelites entered the city: “The people went up into the city, every man straight before him” (Jos 6:20, KJV). The Israelites had to go up, and that is what archaeology has revealed. They had to go from ground level at the base of the tell to the top of the rampart in order to enter the city.


Dr. Wood points to collapsed mud bricks from the city wall that fell to the base of the retaining wall at Jericho. His left foot rests on part of the fallen wall. (Italian-Palestinian excavation, 1997, location 8.)

Destruction by Fire

The Israelites “burned the whole city and everything in it” (Jos 6: 24). Once again, the discoveries of archaeology have verified the truth of this record. A portion of the city destroyed by the Israelites was excavated on the east side of the tell. Wherever the archaeologists reached this level they found a layer of burned ash and debris about 3 ft thick. Kenyon described the massive devastation:

The destruction was complete. Walls and floors were blackened or reddened by fire, and every room was filled with fallen bricks, timbers, and household utensils; in most rooms the fallen debris was heavily burnt, but the collapse of the walls of the eastern rooms seems to have taken place before they were affected by the fire (Kenyon 1981: 370).


Excavations of John Garstang at Jericho showing the remains of the city destroyed by the Israelites in about 1400 BC.

 

 


Exterior of the retaining wall in Kenyon’s west trench.


Section drawing of Kenyon’s excavation showing house walls from the city destroyed by the Israelites and the thick burn layer (lower red layer).

Both Garstang and Kenyon found many storage jars full of grain that had been caught in the fiery destruction. This is a unique find in the annals of archaeology. Grain was valuable, not only as a source of food, but also as a commodity which could be bartered. Under normal circumstances, valuables such as grain would have been plundered by the conquerors. Why was the grain left to be burned at Jericho? The Bible provides the answer. Joshua commanded the Israelites:

The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into His treasury (Jos 6:17–19).


Jars full of grain found by John Garstang at Jericho. They were charred in the fire that the Israelites set to destroy the Canaanite city.

The grain left at Jericho and found by archaeologists in modern times gives graphic testimony to the obedience of the Israelites nearly three and a half millennia ago. Only Achan disobeyed, leading to the debacle at Ai described in Joshua 7.

Such a large quantity of grain left untouched gives silent testimony to the truth of yet another aspect of the Biblical account. A heavily fortified city with an abundant supply of food and water would normally take many months, even years, to subdue. The Bible says that Jericho fell after only seven days. The jars found in the ruins of Jericho were full, showing that the siege was short since the people inside the walls consumed very little of the grain.

Lessons of Jericho

Jericho was once thought to be a “Bible problem” because of the seeming disagreement between archaeology and the Bible. When the archaeology is correctly interpreted, however, the opposite is the case. The archaeological evidence supports the historical accuracy of the Biblical account in every detail. Every aspect of the story that could possibly be verified by the findings of archaeology is, in fact, verified.

There are a number of theories as to how the walls of Jericho came down. Both Garstang and Kenyon found evidence of earthquake activity at the time the city met its end. If God did use an earthquake to accomplish His purposes that day, it was still a miracle since it happened at precisely the right moment, and was manifested in such a way as to protect Rahab’s house. No matter what agency God used, it was ultimately the faith of the Israelites that brought the walls down: “By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days” (Heb 11:30).

The example of Jericho is a wonderful spiritual lesson for God’s people yet today. There are times when we find ourselves facing enormous “walls” that are impossible to break down by human strength. If we put our faith in God and follow His commandments, even when they seem foolish to us, He will perform “great and awesome deeds” (Dt 4:34) and give us the victory.

See Dr. Wood discuss the evidence in this cutting edge video, Jericho Unearthed.

The Bible and Archaeology (1/5)

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Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! (Dr. Marvin Minsky, co-founder of MIT,”…if there are questions science can’t yet answer, why knock yourself out? I regard religion as a wonderful way to save people’s time”)

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Dr. Marvin Minsky pictured below:

Marvin Minsky at OLPCb.jpg

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

Harry Kroto pictured below:

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There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 scientists and I hope to respond to all of them. Wikipedia notes Marvin Lee Minsky (born August 9, 1927) is an American cognitive scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), co-founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s AI laboratory, and author of several texts on AI and philosophy.[10][11][12]

Marvin Lee Minsky was born in New York City to an eye surgeon and a Jewish activist,[13] where he attended The Fieldston School and the Bronx High School of Science. He later attended Phillips Academy inAndover, Massachusetts. He served in the US Navy from 1944 to 1945. He holds a BA in Mathematics from Harvard (1950) and a PhD in mathematics from Princeton (1954).[14][15] He has been on the MITfaculty since 1958. In 1959[16] he and John McCarthy founded what is now known as the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He is currently the Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, and Professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

Isaac Asimov described Minsky as one of only two people he would admit were more intelligent than he was, the other being Carl Sagan.[17]

 

Dr. Minsky is found in the 69th clip in the second video below and his quote is found below in this post and my response is after that.

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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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-).

QUOTE FROM DR. Marvin Minsky taken from atheistic blogger:

My head says the former; my heart, the latter. Maybe my head needs some help—and I know where to find my potential helper: at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, my alma mater. Marvin Minsky, the legendary pioneer of artificial intelligence, is not known to be shy about entering the science-religion debate.
To get Minsky started (it doesn’t take much), I ask him whether it is efficacious for scientists to seek harmony between science and theology.
Minsky gives me a look and calls religion “an amazing phenomenon for thousands of years” that is a “psychologically wonderful device.” But he’s just warming up.
“Take all the questions you can’t answer and give them a name,” says Minsky. “So somebody says, ‘Well, God did that.’ And the right question to then ask is, ‘Well, how does God work?’ And [believers] regard that as rude. So there’s something strange about theology. It’s a system of thinking which teaches you not to ask questions. And so it’s incompatible with science.
“The trouble with religion,” Minsky continues, “is it picks particular things and says, ‘Don’t think about this.’ ‘Don’t change that.’ ‘Abide by this Book.’ And that’s very convenient. It saves a lot of time. At any period, if there are questions science can’t yet answer, why knock yourself out? I regard religion as a wonderful way to save people’s time.”
Minsky believes that if religion would not have impeded science for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, humanity would be far advanced, even in dramatically extending human life. “I think death will go away,” Minsky opines. “But we don’t need to pray for it. We need to work for it.” Not yet finished, Minsky adds, “If we look at religion as fossilized old beliefs, some of which may have been useful, that’s fine. But I can’t see serious discussions of theological ideas because they’re all nutty. Unless you say how God works, saying that God exists doesn’t explain anything.”
Minsky is fierce. Good for him. Religion as an excuse to avoid hard questions? Based on the history of religion, he makes a good argument.
But from the foibles or fallacies of human religion, does anything really follow about a Creator God?

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Let’s break this down a little bit. Religion does not encourage science but discourages it by suggesting that we omit the hard work and just say God did it. Minsky is also asserting in this same discussion, “Unless you say how God works, saying that God exists doesn’t explain anything,” and he is implying that brilliant scientists are the ones who give us the answers that we can depend on.

My first response is to recount my correspondence with the famous evolutionist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) of Harvard. In his letter to me he basically said that there are many chemists and molecular biologists who find the story of gradual evolution of life totally convincing and that he is sticking with them. This is very similar to the approach by Dr. Minsky and it is an appeal to authority in that they are suggesting that we just accept the brilliant scientists’ point of view because they are brilliant scientists and they are smarter than the rest of us.THERE IS A SIMPLE ANSWER THAT I COULD GIVE to both Dr. Mayr and Dr. Minsky which is  a quote from Adrian Rogers:

Did you know that all atheists are not atheists because of intellectual problems? They’re atheists because of moral problems. You say, “But I know some brilliant people who are atheists.” Well, that may be so, but I know some brilliant people who are not. You say, “I know some foolish people who believe in God.” Well, I know everyone who doesn’t believe in God is foolish.

In other words there are brilliant and stupid people on both sides of the fence and it is not an intellectual issue but a moral one. Let’s take a look at the history of science that was handled down to us from Western Europe and take a closer examination of those great men’s religious views and if their religious views were corrosive to their scientific pursuits? This is the accusation of many modern day evolutionists.

Ernst Mayr (pictured below with the beard)

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas…

Published on May 19, 2012

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas, James Cameron, Larry King, Ian Wilmut, Jane Goodall, Stephen Jay Gould, Tim D. White, Leon Lederman, Timothy Berners-Lee and Bill Gates. Complete and more interview go to websites “www.achievement.org”.

Mais entrevistas e completas no site “www.achievement.org”.

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In 1994 and 1995 I had the opportunity to correspond with the famous evolutionist Dr. Ernst Mayr of Harvard. He stated in his letter of 10-3-94, “Owing to your ideological commitments, it is only natural that you cannot accept the cogency of the scientific evidence. However, to a person such as myself without such commitments, the story of the gradual evolution of life as reconstructed by chemists and molecular biologists is totally convincing.”

I responded by pointing out three points. First, Scientific Naturalism is atheistic by definition. Second, many great scientists of the past were Christians, and that did not disqualify their observations and discoveries. Third, the fact that evolution is true does not rule out God’s existence (Harvard’s own Owen Gingerich and many others such as Francis Collins hold to a Creator and evolution).

Let me just spend some time on my second point. Francis Schaeffer in his book “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?” stated that according to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God. In the article, “Christianity and Technological Advance – The Astonishing Connection,” by T. V. Varughese, Ph.D, he observed:

Without question, “technology” has now become the new magic word in place of the word “science.” Since technology represents the practical applications of science, it is clearly consumer-oriented. Herein is bright economic promise to all who can provide technology.

In terms of technology, our present world can be divided into at least three groups: countries that are strong providers of technology, both original and improved; countries that are mass producers because of cheaper labor; and countries that are mostly consumers. Without a doubt, being in the position of “originating” superior technology should be a goal for any major country. The difficult question, however, is “how.”

An obvious place to start suggests itself. Why not begin with the countries that have established themselves as strong originators of technology and see if there is a common thread between them? The western nations, after the Renaissance and the Reformation of the 16th century, offer a ready example. Any book on the history of inventions, such as the Guinness Book of Answers, will reveal that the vast majority of scientific inventions have originated in Europe (including Britain) and the USA since the dawn of the 17th century. What led to the fast technological advances in the European countries and North America around that time?

The answer is that something happened which set the stage for science and technology to emerge with full force. Strange as it may seem, that event was the return to Biblical Christianity in these countries.

The Epistemological Foundation of Technology

According to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God.[1] Entomologist Stanley Beck,though not a Christian himself, acknowledged the corner-stone premises of science which the Judeo-Christian world view offers: “The first of the unprovable premises on which science has been based is the belief that the world is real and the human mind is capable of knowing its real nature. The second and best-known postulate underlying the structure of scientific knowledge is that of cause and effect. The third basic scientific premise is that nature is unified.”[2] In other words, the epistemological foundation of technology has been the Judeo-Christian world view presented in the Bible…

Perhaps the most obvious affirmation that Biblical Christianity and science are friends and not foes comes from the fact that most of the early scientists after the Renaissance were also strong believers in the Bible as the authoritative source of knowledge concerning the origin of the universe and man’s place in it.[4] The book of Genesis, the opening book of the Bible, presents the distinctly Judeo-Christian world view of a personal Creator God behind the origin and sustenance of the universe (Genesis 1:1Colossians 1:17; etc.).

Among the early scientists of note who held the Biblical creationist world view are Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), and Samuel Morse (1791-1872) – what motivated them was a confidence in the “rationality” behind the universe and the “goodness” of the material world. The creation account in Genesis presents an intelligent, purposeful Creator, who, after completing the creation work, declared it to be very good (Genesis 1:31). That assures us that the physical universe operates under reliable laws which may be discovered by the intelligent mind and used in practical applications. The confidence in the divinely pronounced goodness of the material world removed any reluctance concerning the development of material things for the betterment of life in this world. The spiritual world and the material world can work together in harmony.

 References –

  1. Francis A. Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live (Revell, 1976), p. 132.
  2. Henry M. Morris, Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Baker, 1991), p. 30.
  3. Schaeffer, p. 131.
  4. Henry M. Morris, Men of Science, Men of God (Master Books, CA, 1988), 107 pp.

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Henry Morris pointed out:

Many of these great scientists of the past were before Darwin, but not all of them. However, all of them were acquainted with secular philosophies and some were in fact opponents of Darwinism (Agassiz, Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Dawson, Virchow, Fabre, Fleming, etc). Many of them believed in the inspiration and authority of the Bible, as well as in the deity and saving work of Jesus Christ. They believed that God had supernaturally created all things, each with its own complex structure for its own unique purpose. They believed that, as scientists, they were “thinking God’s thoughts after Him,” learning to understand and control the laws and processes of nature for God’s glory and man’s good. They believed and practiced science in exactly the same way that modern creationist scientists do.

And somehow this attitude did not hinder them in their commitment to the “scientific method.” In fact one of them, Sir Francis Bacon, is credited with formulating and establishing the scientific method! They seem also to have been able to maintain a proper “scientific attitude,” for it was these men (Newton, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pascal, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Kepler, etc.) whose researches and analyses led to the very laws and concepts of science which brought about our modern scientific age…. 

To illustrate the caliber and significance of these great scientists of the past, Tables I and II have been prepared. These tabulations are not complete lists, of course, but at least are representative and they do point up the absurdity of modern assertions that no true scientist can be a creationist and Bible-believing Christian.

Table I lists the creationist “fathers” of many significant branches of modern science. Table II lists the creationist scientists responsible for various vital inventions, discoveries, and other contributions to mankind. These identifications are to some degree oversimplified, of course, for even in the early days of science every new development involved a number of other scientists, before and after. Nevertheless, in each instance, a strong case can be made for attributing the chief responsibility to the creationist scientist indicated. At the very least, his contribution was critically important and thus supports our contention that belief in creation and the Bible helps, rather than hinders, scientific discovery.

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My relatives live 3 miles from Spring Hill, Tennessee. When the new General Motors plant opened there I got to go see it. What if I had said, “The assembly line created a beautiful Saturn automobile!” Hopefully, some would have corected me by responding, “The assembly line did not create the automobile. It was first designed by the General Motors engineers in Detroit.” ASSUMING EVOLUTION IS TRUE, IT WOULD STILL ONLY BE THE MECHANISM. DOES EVOLUTION ACCOUNT FOR THE DESIGNER?

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TABLE I

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES ESTABLISHED
BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

DISCIPLINE SCIENTIST
ANTISEPTIC SURGERY JOSEPH LISTER (1827-1912)
BACTERIOLOGY LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULUS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
CELESTIAL MECHANICS JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
CHEMISTRY ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
COMPARATIVE ANATOMY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)
COMPUTER SCIENCE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
DYNAMICS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
ELECTRONICS JOHN AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
ELECTRODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
ELECTRO-MAGNETICS MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ENERGETICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ENTOMOLOGY OF LIVING INSECTS HENRI FABRE (1823-1915)
FIELD THEORY MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
FLUID MECHANICS GEORGE STOKES (1819-1903)
GALACTIC ASTRONOMY WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
GAS DYNAMICS ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
GENETICS GREGOR MENDEL (1822-1884)
GLACIAL GEOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
GYNECOLOGY JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
HYDRAULICS LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452-1519)
HYDROGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
HYDROSTATICS BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
ICHTHYOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
ISOTOPIC CHEMISTRY WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
MODEL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
NATURAL HISTORY JOHN RAY (1627-1705)
NON-EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY BERNHARD RIEMANN (1826- 1866)
OCEANOGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
OPTICAL MINERALOGY DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
PALEONTOLOGY JOHN WOODWARD (1665-1728)
PATHOLOGY RUDOLPH VIRCHOW (1821-1902)
PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
REVERSIBLE THERMODYNAMICS JAMES JOULE (1818-1889)
STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
STRATIGRAPHY NICHOLAS STENO (1631-1686)
SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
THERMODYNAMICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
THERMOKINETICS HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)

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TABLE II

NOTABLE INVENTIONS, DISCOVERIES
OR DEVELOPMENTS BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

CONTRIBUTION SCIENTIST
ABSOLUTE TEMPERATURE SCALE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ACTUARIAL TABLES CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
BAROMETER BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
BIOGENESIS LAW LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULATING MACHINE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
CHLOROFORM JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
DOUBLE STARS WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
ELECTRIC GENERATOR MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ELECTRIC MOTOR JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
EPHEMERIS TABLES JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
FERMENTATION CONTROL LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
GALVANOMETER JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
GLOBAL STAR CATALOG JOHN HERSCHEL (1792-1871)
INERT GASES WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
KALEIDOSCOPE DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
LAW OF GRAVITY ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
MINE SAFETY LAMP HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
PASTEURIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
REFLECTING TELESCOPE ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
SCIENTIFIC METHOD FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626)
SELF-INDUCTION JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
TELEGRAPH SAMUEL F.B. MORSE (1791-1872)
THERMIONIC VALVE AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
TRANS-ATLANTIC CABLE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
VACCINATION & IMMUNIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)

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2000 Interview with Ernst Mayr, Harvard University

Uploaded on Jul 13, 2008

Interviews conducted in March 2000 at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences on the topic of Challenges for the New Millennium. Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. See http://www.aibs.org/media-library/ for additional AIBS conference recordings.

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Henry Morris

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The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book

Download PDFDownload The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book PDF

With the passing in recent years of the three most revered scientific spokesmen for evolution—Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, and now Stephen Jay Gould—Professor Ernst Mayr is left as the unquestioned dean of the modern evolutionary establishment.

Gould, Asimov, and Sagan were all three extremely prolific and brilliant writers. All three were atheistic professors at prestigious eastern universities (Gould at Harvard, Asimov at Boston University, Sagan at Cornell), and all three were effusive and vigorous anti-creationists. They were formidable opponents (but eminently quotable), and we miss them. All three died at relatively young ages.

But that leaves Ernst Mayr, long-time professor of biology at Harvard. Dr. Mayr was born in 1904 and is (at this writing) still very much alive, and nearing the century mark. Dr. Gould recently called him “the greatest living evolutionary biologist and a writer of extraordinary insight and clarity” (in a jacket blurb on Mayr’s latest book).

Mayr’s New Book

And that book is the subject of this article. Its title is intriguing—What Evolution Is (Basic Books, 2001, 318 pages),—for if anyone could speak authoritatively on such a subject, it should be Professor Mayr. In his adulatory foreword, Jared Diamond, another leading modern evolutionist, concludes: “There is no better book on evolution. There will never be another book like it” (p. xii).

That evaluation should give any reader very high expectations. Unfortunately, however, Dr. Mayr first shows his disdain for creationism, not even considering its arguments. He simply says:

It is now actually misleading to refer to evolution as a theory, considering the massive evidence that has been discovered over the last 140 years documenting its existence. Evolution is no longer a theory, it is simply a fact (p. 275).

He dismissed the evidence for creation as unworthy of further discussion. “The claims of the creationists” he says, “have been refuted so frequently and so thoroughly that there is no need to cover this subject once more” (p. 269).

Ignoring Creation Evidence

He himself, however, has apparently not bothered to read any creationist or secular anti-evolutionist scientific books or articles. Or at least that is what one would infer from the fact that none of them or their arguments and evidence are even mentioned in his book.

No mention is made by Mayr, for example, of creationist expositions of the amazing created designs in living systems, nor of the effects of God’s curse on the creation, or of the significance of the great flood in understanding the geologic record. He does not even acknowledge the significance of naturalistic catastrophism or of such scientific concepts as complexity or probability. Current ideas about “intelligent design” are never mentioned. The origins of all things are due to time, chance, and natural selection, no matter how complex and interdependent they may be, according to Professor Mayr, who had been (along with Julian Huxley, George Simpson, and a few others) primarily responsible for the so-called modern evolutionary synthesis (or neo-Darwinism) back in the 1930s and 1940s.

Neither does Mayr seem aware that there are now thousands of credentialed and knowledgeable scientists (including a great many biologists) who reject evolution, giving not even a nod to the Creation Research Society, or to ICR, or any other creationist organization. He does occasionally refer to God or to Christianity, but only in passing, and always in a context that indicates that he does not believe in either one. He, like his three younger colleagues, is an atheist, and this naturally constrains him to ignore any possible theological implications of the origins issues.

The Alleged Evidence for Evolution

Mayr’s new book is beautifully written and does contain much good material, but it will not convert many to evolutionism, even though he does devote a chapter to what he thinks are the evidences for evolution. These evidences are essentially the same as those used 140 years ago by Darwin in the Origin (fossils, comparative morphology, embryological similarities and recapitulation, vestigial structures, and geographical distribution). Mayr adds nothing new to these arguments, ignoring the fact that creationists (and even a number of evolutionists) have long since refuted all of them. He does devote a brief section to the more recent “evidence” from molecular biology. But that also has been vigorously disputed by a number of specialists in this field, especially the supposed evolutionary relationships implied by the molecules. Even Mayr admits that “molecular clocks are not nearly as constant as often believed” (p. 37), but he does not mention any of the numerous contradictory relationships implied by these biochemical studies (e.g., the well-known genomic similarities of humans and bananas).

As do most evolutionists, Mayr spends much time in discussing micro-evolution, whereas modern creationists only reject macroevolution. He devotes five chapters to microevolution and only one to macroevolution. This particular chapter is quite long, discussing many speculative theories about how macroevolutionary changes might be produced, but there is one vital deficiency. He gives no example of any macroevolutionary change known to have happened. In other words, macroevolution seems never to have occurred within the several thousand years of recorded history. Thus, real evolution (as distinct from variation, recombination, hybridization, and other such “horizontal” changes) does not happen at present. Where, we would ask Professor Mayr, are there any living forms in the process of evolutionary change? He gives no examples, of course, because there are none.

As far as pre-human history is concerned, Dr. Mayr does insist that the fossil record documents past evolution. He cites the usual claims—horses, Archaeopteryx, mammal-like reptiles, walking whales, etc.—which are very equivocal, at best, and have all been shown by creationists to be invalid as transitional forms. Instead of a handful of highly doubtful examples, there ought to be thousands of obvious transitional forms in the fossils if evolution had really been occurring. Yet Mayr admits,

Wherever we look at the living biota, . . . discontinuities are overwhelmingly frequent. . . . The discontinuities are even more striking in the fossil record. New species usually appear in the fossil record suddenly, not connected with their ancestors by a series of intermediates (p. 189).

Professor Mayr still says that the fossils are “the most convincing evidence for the occurrence of evolution” (p. 13). Yet he also says that “the fossil record remains woefully inadequate” (p. 69). Thus, as creationists have often pointed out, there is no real evidence of either present or past evolution.

We have repeatedly noted also that the scientific reason why this is so is because real evolution to any higher level of complexity is impossible by the law of entropy, which states the proven fact that every system of any kind “tends” to go toward lower complexity, unless constrained otherwise by some pre-designed external program and mechanism.

Yet Ernst Mayr seems either to ignore or misunderstand this key argument of the creationists. Here is what he says:

Actually there is no conflict, because the law of entropy is valid only for closed systems, whereas the evolution of a species of organisms takes place in an open system in which organisms can reduce entropy at the expense of the environment and the sun supplies a continuing input of energy (p. 8).

And that’s all he says about one of the key arguments against evolution. This ubiquitous dodge of the evolutionists has been discredited again and again by creationists, and one would think that this “greatest living evolutionary biologist” in this “best book on evolution” would at least take notice of our arguments! At least half of America’s population, according to many polls, are creationists, apparently agreeing more with us than with Mayr.

An open system and external energy are, indeed, necessary conditions for a system to grow in complexity, but most definitely are not sufficient conditions. The question is just how does the sun’s energy produce complexity in an open system? The fact is that the application of external heat energy to an open system (such as from the sun to the earth) will increase the entropy (that is, decrease the organized complexity) in any open system, if that’s all there is. This is a basic principle of thermodynamics, and neither Mayr nor any other evolutionist has answered this problem. Evolution seems to be impossible by the known laws of science.

Professor Mayr does not deal with the theological or Biblical evidences, of course. For those who believe in God and the Bible, on the other hand, creation—not evolution—is, to appropriate Mayr’s words, “simply a fact.” Evolution is merely a belief held by many who “willingly are ignorant” (II Peter 3:5) of the strong evidences and arguments for creation, and who don’t even bother to consider them. In the words of the apostle Paul: “Where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (I Corinthians 1:20).

Cite this article: Henry Morris, Ph.D. 2002. The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book. Acts & Facts. 31 (8).

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Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Dr. Minsky says he is open to evidence. There is lots of evidence points to the Bible being historically accurate, for instance, King David existed!!

 

House of David Inscription

The current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review has an article entitled, “Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible,” by Lawrence Mykytiuk. The first in his list is King David, whose name was found in the Tel Dan Stela, found in Tel Dan in July, 1993. Mykytiuk writes:

According to the Bible, David ruled in the tenth century B.C.E., using the traditional chronology. Until 1993, however, the personal name David had never appeared in the archaeological record, let alone a reference to King David. That led some scholars to doubt his very existence. According to this speculation David was either a shadowy, perhaps mythical, ancestor or a literary creation of later Biblical authors and editors. In 1993, however, the now-famous Tel Dan inscription was found in an excavation led by Avraham Biran. Actually, it was the team’s surveyor, Gila Cook, who noticed the inscription on a basalt stone in secondary use in the lower part of a wall. Written in ninth-century B.C.E. Aramaic, it was part of a victory stele commissioned by a non-Israelite king mentioning his victory over “the king of Israel” and the “House of David.” [See BAR 20:02, Mar-Apr 1994] Whether or not the foreign king’s claim to victory was true, it is clear that a century after he had died, David was still remembered as the founder of a dynasty.

This past October I had the occasion to photograph this important stela, which is housed in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem."House of David" Inscription. Discovered 1993. Photo by Leon Mauldin

Gary Byers suggests that the stela “most likely memorializes the victory of Hazael, king of Aram, over Joram, king of Israel, and Ahaziah, king of Judah, at Ramoth Gilead recorded in 2 Kings 8:28–29″ (Bible and Spade 16:4, p. 121).

For more information on the House of David see Ferrell Jenkins’ post illustrating Isaiah 7 here.

 

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The Bible and Archaeology (1/5)

The Bible maintains several characteristics that prove it is from God. One of those is the fact that the Bible is accurate in every one of its details. The field of archaeology brings to light this amazing accuracy and Kyle Butt does a great job of showing that in this film series he did on “The Bible and Archaeology.”

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Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject:


1. 
The Babylonian Chronicle
of Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem

This clay tablet is a Babylonian chronicle recording events from 605-594BC. It was first translated in 1956 and is now in the British Museum. The cuneiform text on this clay tablet tells, among other things, 3 main events: 1. The Battle of Carchemish (famous battle for world supremacy where Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated Pharoah Necho of Egypt, 605 BC.), 2. The accession to the throne of Nebuchadnezzar II, the Chaldean, and 3. The capture of Jerusalem on the 16th of March, 598 BC.

2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription.

King Hezekiah of Judah ruled from 721 to 686 BC. Fearing a siege by the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, Hezekiah preserved Jerusalem’s water supply by cutting a tunnel through 1,750 feet of solid rock from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam inside the city walls (2 Kings 20; 2 Chron. 32). At the Siloam end of the tunnel, an inscription, presently in the archaeological museum at Istanbul, Turkey, celebrates this remarkable accomplishment.

3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)

It contains the victories of Sennacherib himself, the Assyrian king who had besieged Jerusalem in 701 BC during the reign of king Hezekiah, it never mentions any defeats. On the prism Sennacherib boasts that he shut up “Hezekiah the Judahite” within Jerusalem his own royal city “like a caged bird.” This prism is among the three accounts discovered so far which have been left by the Assyrian king Sennacherib of his campaign against Israel and Judah.

4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically.

In addition to Jericho, places such as Haran, Hazor, Dan, Megiddo, Shechem, Samaria, Shiloh, Gezer, Gibeah, Beth Shemesh, Beth Shean, Beersheba, Lachish, and many other urban sites have been excavated, quite apart from such larger and obvious locations as Jerusalem or Babylon. Such geographical markers are extremely significant in demonstrating that fact, not fantasy, is intended in the Old Testament historical narratives;

5. The Discovery of the Hittites

Most doubting scholars back then said that the Hittites were just a “mythical people that are only mentioned in the Bible.” Some skeptics pointed to the fact that the Bible pictures the Hittites as a very big nation that was worthy of being coalition partners with Egypt (II Kings 7:6), and these bible critics would assert that surely we would have found records of this great nation of Hittites.  The ironic thing is that when the Hittite nation was discovered, a vast amount of Hittite documents were found. Among those documents was the treaty between Ramesses II and the Hittite King.

6.Shishak Smiting His Captives

The Bible mentions that Shishak marched his troops into the land of Judah and plundered a host of cities including Jerusalem,  this has been confirmed by archaeologists. Shishak’s own record of his campaign is inscribed on the south wall of the Great Temple of Amon at Karnak in Egypt. In his campaign he presents 156 cities of Judea to his god Amon.

7. Moabite Stone

The Moabite Stone also known as the Mesha Stele is an interesting story. The Bible says in 2 Kings 3:5 that Mesha the king of Moab stopped paying tribute to Israel and rebelled and fought against Israel and later he recorded this event. This record from Mesha has been discovered.

8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III

The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri, silver, gold, bowls of gold, chalices of gold, cups of gold, vases of gold, lead, a sceptre for the king, and spear-shafts, I have received.”

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The Bible and Archaeology (2/5)

 

9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts.

Sir William Ramsay, famed archaeologist, began a study of Asia Minor with little regard for the book of Acts. He later wrote:

I found myself brought into contact with the Book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth.

9B Discovery of Ebla TabletsWhen I think of discoveries like the Ebla Tablets that verify  names like Adam, Eve, Ishmael, David and Saul were in common usage when the Bible said they were, it makes me think of what amazing confirmation that is of the historical accuracy of the Bible.

10. Cyrus Cylinder

There is a well preserved cylinder seal in the Yale University Library from Cyrus which contains his commands to resettle the captive nations.

11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.

This cube is inscribed with the name and titles of Yahali and a prayer: “In his year assigned to him by lot (puru) may the harvest of the land of Assyria prosper and thrive, in front of the gods Assur and Adad may his lot (puru) fall.”  It provides a prototype (the only one ever recovered) for the lots (purim) cast by Haman to fix a date for the destruction of the Jews of the Persian Empire, ostensibly in the fifth century B.C.E. (Esther 3:7; cf. 9:26).

12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription

The Bible mentions Uzziah or Azariah as the king of the southern kingdom of Judah in 2 Kings 15. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription is a stone tablet (35 cm high x 34 cm wide x 6 cm deep) with letters inscribed in ancient Hebrew text with an Aramaic style of writing, which dates to around 30-70 AD. The text reveals the burial site of Uzziah of Judah, who died in 747 BC.

13. The Pilate Inscription

The Pilate Inscription is the only known occurrence of the name Pontius Pilate in any ancient inscription. Visitors to the Caesarea theater today see a replica, the original is in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. There have been a few bronze coins found that were struck form 29-32 AD by Pontius Pilate

14. Caiaphas Ossuary

This beautifully decorated ossuary found in the ruins of Jerusalem, contained the bones of Caiaphas, the first century AD. high priest during the time of Jesus.

14 B Pontius Pilate Part 2      

In June 1961 Italian archaeologists led by Dr. Frova were excavating an ancient Roman amphitheatre near Caesarea-on-the-Sea (Maritima) and uncovered this interesting limestone block. On the face is a monumental inscription which is part of a larger dedication to Tiberius Caesar which clearly says that it was from “Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea.”

14c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

Despite their liberal training, it was archaeological research that bolstered their confidence in the biblical text:Albright said of himself, “I must admit that I tried to be rational and empirical in my approach [but] we all have presuppositions of a philosophical order.” The same statement could be applied as easily to Gleuck and Wright, for all three were deeply imbued with the theological perceptions which infused their work.

The Bible and Archaeology (3/5)

 

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! (Dr. Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in Physics, University of Texas, “[Science] It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too!”)

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Dr. Steven Weinberg pictured below:

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 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto:

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__________________________

There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 scientists and I hope to respond to all of them. Wikipedia notes Steven Weinberg (born May 3, 1933) is an American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics for his contributions with Abdus Salam and Sheldon Glashow to the unification of the weak force and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles.

He holds the Josey Regental Chair in Science at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is a member of the Physics and Astronomy Departments. His research on elementary particles and cosmology has been honored with numerous prizes and awards, including in 1979 the Nobel Prize in Physics and in 1991 the National Medal of Science. In 2004 he received the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the American Philosophical Society, with a citation that said he is “considered by many to be the preeminent theoretical physicist alive in the world today.” He has been elected to the US National Academy of Sciences and Britain’s Royal Society, as well as to the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Weinberg is found in the 50th clip in the first video below and his quote is found below in this post and my response is after that.

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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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-).

QUOTE FROM DR. STEVEN WEINBERG:

“I have a friend — or had a friend, now dead — Abdus Salam, a very devout Muslim, who was trying to bring science into the universities in the Gulf states and he told me that he had a terrible time because, although they were very receptive to technology, they felt that science would be a corrosive to religious belief, and they were worried about it… and damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too.”
Steven Weinberg

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My first response is to recount my correspondence with the famous evolutionist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) of Harvard. In his letter to me he basically said that there are many chemists and molecular biologists who find the story of gradual evolution of life totally convincing and that he is sticking with them. This is very similar to the approach by Dr. Weinberg and it is an appeal to authority in that they are suggesting that we just accept the brilliant scientists’ point of view because they are brilliant scientists and they are smarter than the rest of us.THERE IS A SIMPLE ANSWER THAT I COULD GIVE to both Dr. Mayr and Dr. Weinberg which is  a quote from Adrian Rogers:

Did you know that all atheists are not atheists because of intellectual problems? They’re atheists because of moral problems. You say, “But I know some brilliant people who are atheists.” Well, that may be so, but I know some brilliant people who are not. You say, “I know some foolish people who believe in God.” Well, I know everyone who doesn’t believe in God is foolish.

In other words there are brilliant and stupid people on both sides of the fence and it is not an intellectual issue but a moral one. Let’s take a look at the history of science that was handled down to us from Western Europe and take a closer examination of those great men’s religious views and if their religious views were corrosive to their scientific pursuits? This is the accusation of many modern day evolutionists.

Ernst Mayr (pictured below with the beard)

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas…

Published on May 19, 2012

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas, James Cameron, Larry King, Ian Wilmut, Jane Goodall, Stephen Jay Gould, Tim D. White, Leon Lederman, Timothy Berners-Lee and Bill Gates. Complete and more interview go to websites “www.achievement.org”.

Mais entrevistas e completas no site “www.achievement.org”.

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In 1994 and 1995 I had the opportunity to correspond with the famous evolutionist Dr. Ernst Mayr of Harvard. He stated in his letter of 10-3-94, “Owing to your ideological commitments, it is only natural that you cannot accept the cogency of the scientific evidence. However, to a person such as myself without such commitments, the story of the gradual evolution of life as reconstructed by chemists and molecular biologists is totally convincing.”

I responded by pointing out three points. First, Scientific Naturalism is atheistic by definition. Second, many great scientists of the past were Christians, and that did not disqualify their observations and discoveries. Third, the fact that evolution is true does not rule out God’s existence (Harvard’s own Owen Gingerich and many others such as Francis Collins hold to a Creator and evolution).

Let me just spend some time on my second point. Francis Schaeffer in his book “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?” stated that according to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God. In the article, “Christianity and Technological Advance – The Astonishing Connection,” by T. V. Varughese, Ph.D, he observed:

Without question, “technology” has now become the new magic word in place of the word “science.” Since technology represents the practical applications of science, it is clearly consumer-oriented. Herein is bright economic promise to all who can provide technology.

In terms of technology, our present world can be divided into at least three groups: countries that are strong providers of technology, both original and improved; countries that are mass producers because of cheaper labor; and countries that are mostly consumers. Without a doubt, being in the position of “originating” superior technology should be a goal for any major country. The difficult question, however, is “how.”

An obvious place to start suggests itself. Why not begin with the countries that have established themselves as strong originators of technology and see if there is a common thread between them? The western nations, after the Renaissance and the Reformation of the 16th century, offer a ready example. Any book on the history of inventions, such as the Guinness Book of Answers, will reveal that the vast majority of scientific inventions have originated in Europe (including Britain) and the USA since the dawn of the 17th century. What led to the fast technological advances in the European countries and North America around that time?

The answer is that something happened which set the stage for science and technology to emerge with full force. Strange as it may seem, that event was the return to Biblical Christianity in these countries.

The Epistemological Foundation of Technology

According to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God.[1] Entomologist Stanley Beck,though not a Christian himself, acknowledged the corner-stone premises of science which the Judeo-Christian world view offers: “The first of the unprovable premises on which science has been based is the belief that the world is real and the human mind is capable of knowing its real nature. The second and best-known postulate underlying the structure of scientific knowledge is that of cause and effect. The third basic scientific premise is that nature is unified.”[2] In other words, the epistemological foundation of technology has been the Judeo-Christian world view presented in the Bible…

Perhaps the most obvious affirmation that Biblical Christianity and science are friends and not foes comes from the fact that most of the early scientists after the Renaissance were also strong believers in the Bible as the authoritative source of knowledge concerning the origin of the universe and man’s place in it.[4] The book of Genesis, the opening book of the Bible, presents the distinctly Judeo-Christian world view of a personal Creator God behind the origin and sustenance of the universe (Genesis 1:1Colossians 1:17; etc.).

Among the early scientists of note who held the Biblical creationist world view are Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), and Samuel Morse (1791-1872) – what motivated them was a confidence in the “rationality” behind the universe and the “goodness” of the material world. The creation account in Genesis presents an intelligent, purposeful Creator, who, after completing the creation work, declared it to be very good (Genesis 1:31). That assures us that the physical universe operates under reliable laws which may be discovered by the intelligent mind and used in practical applications. The confidence in the divinely pronounced goodness of the material world removed any reluctance concerning the development of material things for the betterment of life in this world. The spiritual world and the material world can work together in harmony.

 References –

  1. Francis A. Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live (Revell, 1976), p. 132.
  2. Henry M. Morris, Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Baker, 1991), p. 30.
  3. Schaeffer, p. 131.
  4. Henry M. Morris, Men of Science, Men of God (Master Books, CA, 1988), 107 pp.

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Henry Morris pointed out:

Many of these great scientists of the past were before Darwin, but not all of them. However, all of them were acquainted with secular philosophies and some were in fact opponents of Darwinism (Agassiz, Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Dawson, Virchow, Fabre, Fleming, etc). Many of them believed in the inspiration and authority of the Bible, as well as in the deity and saving work of Jesus Christ. They believed that God had supernaturally created all things, each with its own complex structure for its own unique purpose. They believed that, as scientists, they were “thinking God’s thoughts after Him,” learning to understand and control the laws and processes of nature for God’s glory and man’s good. They believed and practiced science in exactly the same way that modern creationist scientists do.

And somehow this attitude did not hinder them in their commitment to the “scientific method.” In fact one of them, Sir Francis Bacon, is credited with formulating and establishing the scientific method! They seem also to have been able to maintain a proper “scientific attitude,” for it was these men (Newton, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pascal, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Kepler, etc.) whose researches and analyses led to the very laws and concepts of science which brought about our modern scientific age…. 

To illustrate the caliber and significance of these great scientists of the past, Tables I and II have been prepared. These tabulations are not complete lists, of course, but at least are representative and they do point up the absurdity of modern assertions that no true scientist can be a creationist and Bible-believing Christian.

Table I lists the creationist “fathers” of many significant branches of modern science. Table II lists the creationist scientists responsible for various vital inventions, discoveries, and other contributions to mankind. These identifications are to some degree oversimplified, of course, for even in the early days of science every new development involved a number of other scientists, before and after. Nevertheless, in each instance, a strong case can be made for attributing the chief responsibility to the creationist scientist indicated. At the very least, his contribution was critically important and thus supports our contention that belief in creation and the Bible helps, rather than hinders, scientific discovery.

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My relatives live 3 miles from Spring Hill, Tennessee. When the new General Motors plant opened there I got to go see it. What if I had said, “The assembly line created a beautiful Saturn automobile!” Hopefully, some would have corected me by responding, “The assembly line did not create the automobile. It was first designed by the General Motors engineers in Detroit.” ASSUMING EVOLUTION IS TRUE, IT WOULD STILL ONLY BE THE MECHANISM. DOES EVOLUTION ACCOUNT FOR THE DESIGNER?

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TABLE I

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES ESTABLISHED
BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

DISCIPLINE SCIENTIST
ANTISEPTIC SURGERY JOSEPH LISTER (1827-1912)
BACTERIOLOGY LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULUS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
CELESTIAL MECHANICS JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
CHEMISTRY ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
COMPARATIVE ANATOMY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)
COMPUTER SCIENCE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
DYNAMICS ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
ELECTRONICS JOHN AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
ELECTRODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
ELECTRO-MAGNETICS MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ENERGETICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ENTOMOLOGY OF LIVING INSECTS HENRI FABRE (1823-1915)
FIELD THEORY MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
FLUID MECHANICS GEORGE STOKES (1819-1903)
GALACTIC ASTRONOMY WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
GAS DYNAMICS ROBERT BOYLE (1627-1691)
GENETICS GREGOR MENDEL (1822-1884)
GLACIAL GEOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
GYNECOLOGY JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
HYDRAULICS LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452-1519)
HYDROGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
HYDROSTATICS BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
ICHTHYOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
ISOTOPIC CHEMISTRY WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
MODEL ANALYSIS LORD RAYLEIGH (1842-1919)
NATURAL HISTORY JOHN RAY (1627-1705)
NON-EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY BERNHARD RIEMANN (1826- 1866)
OCEANOGRAPHY MATTHEW MAURY (1806-1873)
OPTICAL MINERALOGY DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
PALEONTOLOGY JOHN WOODWARD (1665-1728)
PATHOLOGY RUDOLPH VIRCHOW (1821-1902)
PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
REVERSIBLE THERMODYNAMICS JAMES JOULE (1818-1889)
STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879)
STRATIGRAPHY NICHOLAS STENO (1631-1686)
SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
THERMODYNAMICS LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
THERMOKINETICS HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)

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TABLE II

NOTABLE INVENTIONS, DISCOVERIES
OR DEVELOPMENTS BY CREATIONIST SCIENTISTS

CONTRIBUTION SCIENTIST
ABSOLUTE TEMPERATURE SCALE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
ACTUARIAL TABLES CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
BAROMETER BLAISE PASCAL (1623-1662)
BIOGENESIS LAW LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
CALCULATING MACHINE CHARLES BABBAGE (1792-1871)
CHLOROFORM JAMES SIMPSON (1811-1870)
CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
DOUBLE STARS WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822)
ELECTRIC GENERATOR MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867)
ELECTRIC MOTOR JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
EPHEMERIS TABLES JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)
FERMENTATION CONTROL LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
GALVANOMETER JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
GLOBAL STAR CATALOG JOHN HERSCHEL (1792-1871)
INERT GASES WILLIAM RAMSAY (1852-1916)
KALEIDOSCOPE DAVID BREWSTER (1781-1868)
LAW OF GRAVITY ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
MINE SAFETY LAMP HUMPHREY DAVY (1778-1829)
PASTEURIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
REFLECTING TELESCOPE ISAAC NEWTON (1642-1727)
SCIENTIFIC METHOD FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626)
SELF-INDUCTION JOSEPH HENRY (1797-1878)
TELEGRAPH SAMUEL F.B. MORSE (1791-1872)
THERMIONIC VALVE AMBROSE FLEMING (1849-1945)
TRANS-ATLANTIC CABLE LORD KELVIN (1824-1907)
VACCINATION & IMMUNIZATION LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)

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2000 Interview with Ernst Mayr, Harvard University

Uploaded on Jul 13, 2008

Interviews conducted in March 2000 at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences on the topic of Challenges for the New Millennium. Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. See http://www.aibs.org/media-library/ for additional AIBS conference recordings.

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Henry Morris

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The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book

Download PDFDownload The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book PDF

With the passing in recent years of the three most revered scientific spokesmen for evolution—Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, and now Stephen Jay Gould—Professor Ernst Mayr is left as the unquestioned dean of the modern evolutionary establishment.

Gould, Asimov, and Sagan were all three extremely prolific and brilliant writers. All three were atheistic professors at prestigious eastern universities (Gould at Harvard, Asimov at Boston University, Sagan at Cornell), and all three were effusive and vigorous anti-creationists. They were formidable opponents (but eminently quotable), and we miss them. All three died at relatively young ages.

But that leaves Ernst Mayr, long-time professor of biology at Harvard. Dr. Mayr was born in 1904 and is (at this writing) still very much alive, and nearing the century mark. Dr. Gould recently called him “the greatest living evolutionary biologist and a writer of extraordinary insight and clarity” (in a jacket blurb on Mayr’s latest book).

Mayr’s New Book

And that book is the subject of this article. Its title is intriguing—What Evolution Is (Basic Books, 2001, 318 pages),—for if anyone could speak authoritatively on such a subject, it should be Professor Mayr. In his adulatory foreword, Jared Diamond, another leading modern evolutionist, concludes: “There is no better book on evolution. There will never be another book like it” (p. xii).

That evaluation should give any reader very high expectations. Unfortunately, however, Dr. Mayr first shows his disdain for creationism, not even considering its arguments. He simply says:

It is now actually misleading to refer to evolution as a theory, considering the massive evidence that has been discovered over the last 140 years documenting its existence. Evolution is no longer a theory, it is simply a fact (p. 275).

He dismissed the evidence for creation as unworthy of further discussion. “The claims of the creationists” he says, “have been refuted so frequently and so thoroughly that there is no need to cover this subject once more” (p. 269).

Ignoring Creation Evidence

He himself, however, has apparently not bothered to read any creationist or secular anti-evolutionist scientific books or articles. Or at least that is what one would infer from the fact that none of them or their arguments and evidence are even mentioned in his book.

No mention is made by Mayr, for example, of creationist expositions of the amazing created designs in living systems, nor of the effects of God’s curse on the creation, or of the significance of the great flood in understanding the geologic record. He does not even acknowledge the significance of naturalistic catastrophism or of such scientific concepts as complexity or probability. Current ideas about “intelligent design” are never mentioned. The origins of all things are due to time, chance, and natural selection, no matter how complex and interdependent they may be, according to Professor Mayr, who had been (along with Julian Huxley, George Simpson, and a few others) primarily responsible for the so-called modern evolutionary synthesis (or neo-Darwinism) back in the 1930s and 1940s.

Neither does Mayr seem aware that there are now thousands of credentialed and knowledgeable scientists (including a great many biologists) who reject evolution, giving not even a nod to the Creation Research Society, or to ICR, or any other creationist organization. He does occasionally refer to God or to Christianity, but only in passing, and always in a context that indicates that he does not believe in either one. He, like his three younger colleagues, is an atheist, and this naturally constrains him to ignore any possible theological implications of the origins issues.

The Alleged Evidence for Evolution

Mayr’s new book is beautifully written and does contain much good material, but it will not convert many to evolutionism, even though he does devote a chapter to what he thinks are the evidences for evolution. These evidences are essentially the same as those used 140 years ago by Darwin in the Origin (fossils, comparative morphology, embryological similarities and recapitulation, vestigial structures, and geographical distribution). Mayr adds nothing new to these arguments, ignoring the fact that creationists (and even a number of evolutionists) have long since refuted all of them. He does devote a brief section to the more recent “evidence” from molecular biology. But that also has been vigorously disputed by a number of specialists in this field, especially the supposed evolutionary relationships implied by the molecules. Even Mayr admits that “molecular clocks are not nearly as constant as often believed” (p. 37), but he does not mention any of the numerous contradictory relationships implied by these biochemical studies (e.g., the well-known genomic similarities of humans and bananas).

As do most evolutionists, Mayr spends much time in discussing micro-evolution, whereas modern creationists only reject macroevolution. He devotes five chapters to microevolution and only one to macroevolution. This particular chapter is quite long, discussing many speculative theories about how macroevolutionary changes might be produced, but there is one vital deficiency. He gives no example of any macroevolutionary change known to have happened. In other words, macroevolution seems never to have occurred within the several thousand years of recorded history. Thus, real evolution (as distinct from variation, recombination, hybridization, and other such “horizontal” changes) does not happen at present. Where, we would ask Professor Mayr, are there any living forms in the process of evolutionary change? He gives no examples, of course, because there are none.

As far as pre-human history is concerned, Dr. Mayr does insist that the fossil record documents past evolution. He cites the usual claims—horses, Archaeopteryx, mammal-like reptiles, walking whales, etc.—which are very equivocal, at best, and have all been shown by creationists to be invalid as transitional forms. Instead of a handful of highly doubtful examples, there ought to be thousands of obvious transitional forms in the fossils if evolution had really been occurring. Yet Mayr admits,

Wherever we look at the living biota, . . . discontinuities are overwhelmingly frequent. . . . The discontinuities are even more striking in the fossil record. New species usually appear in the fossil record suddenly, not connected with their ancestors by a series of intermediates (p. 189).

Professor Mayr still says that the fossils are “the most convincing evidence for the occurrence of evolution” (p. 13). Yet he also says that “the fossil record remains woefully inadequate” (p. 69). Thus, as creationists have often pointed out, there is no real evidence of either present or past evolution.

We have repeatedly noted also that the scientific reason why this is so is because real evolution to any higher level of complexity is impossible by the law of entropy, which states the proven fact that every system of any kind “tends” to go toward lower complexity, unless constrained otherwise by some pre-designed external program and mechanism.

Yet Ernst Mayr seems either to ignore or misunderstand this key argument of the creationists. Here is what he says:

Actually there is no conflict, because the law of entropy is valid only for closed systems, whereas the evolution of a species of organisms takes place in an open system in which organisms can reduce entropy at the expense of the environment and the sun supplies a continuing input of energy (p. 8).

And that’s all he says about one of the key arguments against evolution. This ubiquitous dodge of the evolutionists has been discredited again and again by creationists, and one would think that this “greatest living evolutionary biologist” in this “best book on evolution” would at least take notice of our arguments! At least half of America’s population, according to many polls, are creationists, apparently agreeing more with us than with Mayr.

An open system and external energy are, indeed, necessary conditions for a system to grow in complexity, but most definitely are not sufficient conditions. The question is just how does the sun’s energy produce complexity in an open system? The fact is that the application of external heat energy to an open system (such as from the sun to the earth) will increase the entropy (that is, decrease the organized complexity) in any open system, if that’s all there is. This is a basic principle of thermodynamics, and neither Mayr nor any other evolutionist has answered this problem. Evolution seems to be impossible by the known laws of science.

Professor Mayr does not deal with the theological or Biblical evidences, of course. For those who believe in God and the Bible, on the other hand, creation—not evolution—is, to appropriate Mayr’s words, “simply a fact.” Evolution is merely a belief held by many who “willingly are ignorant” (II Peter 3:5) of the strong evidences and arguments for creation, and who don’t even bother to consider them. In the words of the apostle Paul: “Where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (I Corinthians 1:20).

Cite this article: Henry Morris, Ph.D. 2002. The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book. Acts & Facts. 31 (8).

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The Comparatively Rich Archaeological Corroboration of the Old Testament

The Comparatively Rich Archaeological Corroboration of the Old TestamentWhen I first began examining the claims of the Book of Mormon, I was an atheist who had just become interested in the person of Jesus. As a skeptic, I understood the importance of corroborative evidence when trying to determine if a witness statement is reliable. I began looking for corroboration related to both the Christian and Mormon scripture. I was immediately struck by the stark contrast between what has been discovered related to Old Testament history and what has been not been discovered related to the alleged history recorded in the Book of Mormon. There’s a reason for the absence of maps in the Mormon collection of scripture. There are no archaeological discoveries of any cities described in the book of Mormon. Worse yet, there aren’t any discoveries of any of the names of characters mentioned in the 1,000 year span of American continental history chronicled in the Book of Mormon (from 600BC to 400AD). I don’t expect archaeology to verify everything recorded in an ancient book, but I do expect it to verify something.

The archaeological evidence supporting the Old Testament demonstrates a striking contrast when compared to the Book of Mormon in both the generalities and specificities confirmed by archaeology:

Overarching Generalities
Many of the Old Testament accounts bearing strong resemblances to other ancient accounts discovered through the efforts of historians and archaeologists. The Great Flood account in Genesis 6-9, for example, is very similar to Babylonian and Akkadian accounts discovered in the same region of the world. Some of these accounts may even pre-date the writings of Moses, but all describe a catastrophic flood event predating the generation of the authors. In addition, the Sumerian King List records kings who reigned for long periods of time. Following the great flood, this Babylonian document records much shorter reigns, mirroring the life expectancy patterns described in the Old Testament. The 11th tablet of the Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic speaks of an ark, animals taken on the ark, birds sent out during the course of the flood, the ark landing on a mountain, and a sacrifice offered after the ark landed.

In addition to the flood story, there are other non-Biblical accounts recording events found in the Old Testament. The Mesopotamian Story of Adapa tells of a test for immortality involving food, similar to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Sumerian tablets record the confusion of language as we have in the Biblical account of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). This Sumerian account records a golden age when all mankind spoke the same language. Speech was then confused by the god Enki, lord of wisdom. The Babylonians had a similar account in which the gods destroyed a temple tower and “scattered them abroad and made strange their speech” (Stephen L. Caiger, Bible and Spade, 1936, p. 29). There are many points of agreement in overarching narrative generalities between the Old Testament and the surrounding ancient cultures.

Detailed Specificities
In addition to these generalities, many specific events and historical characters described in the Old Testament have now been confirmed by extra-Biblical sources. Consider the following examples (this list is abbreviated from the work of Dr. Bryant Wood):

The campaign into Israel by Pharaoh Shishak
(1 Kings 14:25-26) is recorded on the walls of the Temple of Amun in Thebes, Egypt.

The revolt of Moab against Israel
(2 Kings 1:1; 3:4-27) is recorded on the Mesha Inscription.

The fall of Samaria
(2 Kings 17:3-6, 24; 18:9-11) to Sargon II, king of Assyria, is recorded on his palace walls.

The defeat of Ashdod by Sargon II
(Isaiah 20:1) is recorded on his palace walls.

The campaign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib against Judah
(2 Kings 18:13-16) is recorded on the Taylor Prism.

The siege of Lachish by Sennacherib
(2 Kings 18:14, 17) is recorded on the Lachish reliefs.

The assassination of Sennacherib by his own son
(2 Kings 19:37) is recorded in the annals of his son Esarhaddon.

The fall of Nineveh as predicted by the prophets Nahum and Zephaniah
(2 Kings 2:13-15) is recorded on the Tablet of Nabopolasar.

The fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon
(2 Kings 24:10-14) is recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles.

The captivity of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, in Babylon
(2 Kings 24:15-16) is recorded on the Babylonian Ration Records.

The fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians
(Daniel 5:30-31) is recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.

The freeing of captives in Babylon by Cyrus the Great
(Ezra 1:1-4; 6:3-4) is recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.

The historical record of the Old Testament is not alone in the history it records. There are other ancient records affirming the overarching generalities and specific details of the Old Testament. There are no such corroborative ancient records providing similar verification for the history of the Book of Mormon. It is the singular lonely voice related to the historical narrative it describes. While archaeology continues to corroborate the Old and New Testament, archaeology only exposes the erroneous nature of the Mormon record.

 

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
A Brief Sample of Old Testament Archaeological Corroboration
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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Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

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