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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Science and Faith

Abraham KuyperAbraham Kuyper (Dutch Theologian):

“Every science in a certain degree starts from faith, and, on the contrary, faith, which does not lead to science, is mistaken faith or superstition, but real, genuine faith it is not.”

Wanted: Woman willing to give Birth to a Neanderthal Baby

NeanderthalDoes this sound ridiculous or what? Even if we have the technology to create Neanderthal babies, should we? Jennifer Lahl writes:

No, this is not a tabloid headline you read while waiting to checkout at the grocery store or something you might read on Craigslist in their Help Wanted ads. This was a casual comment by Harvard University’s prestigious geneticist, George Church, made in a recent interview for Germany’s Der Speigel magazine. . . .

But just how far-fetched is this idea? In 2009, scientists in Germany reconstructed the Neanderthal genome and boldly proclaimed that with these new technologies (and $30 million) they could produce a living Neanderthal. . . .

As scientists pursue this technology in hopes of resurrecting an extinct species or of dealing with endangered species, one has to wonder what limits should be placed on this new science? What are the moral criteria that will be used in making these decisions? And who gets to decide? …

Again, what are the ultimate goals, the ends and purposes of this biotechnology and medical progress? Cloning a Neanderthal and impregnating a woman with such a clone is not progress. We must advocate for and demand progress based on rigorous and fact-based biotechnologies and medical therapies that honor and secure human dignity rather than undermine it. We must insist upon virtuous character in both the scientist and physician, and recognize the limits of the natural moral order, which promises us a truly human future, deeply situated in the dignity of the human person.

Read this entire article at tothesource. . .

Who has been Monkeying Around?

Sir Fred HoyleSir Fred Hoyle:

A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintendent has monkeyed with the physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce within stars.

The Balance of the Universe

The Hubble Ultra Deep FieldScience and the Bible:

Dr. Paul Davies, noted author and professor of theoretical physics at Adelaide University:

“The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge, and would be total chaos if any of the natural ‘constants’ were off even slightly. You see,” Davies adds, “even if you dismiss man as a chance happening, the fact remains that the universe seems unreasonably suited to the existence of life – almost contrived – you might say a ‘put-up job’.”

The Human Mind and the Universe

Albert EinsteinAlbert Einstein:

“The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books – a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.”

Evolution or Design? Part IV

Science and Evolution:

(Continued from yesterday. . . .) The evidence clearly teaches us that we have a complex universe! Let us look at another required element in the argument for evolution. Is the smallest matter assembled in a random way or is it specifically ordered and organized in a required way? Random chance is not only an inadequate explanation of simple proteins; it cannot explain the existence of the smallest cells. Look at the simplest amoeba cell which is made up of about 2000 proteins. The odds of this kind of organism arising randomly are one chance in 10 to the 40,000th power! The odds of catching a single specific atom out of the entire universe are only 1 in 10 to the 80th power! Imagine just how impossible it is to form an amoeba! When Sir Fred Hoyle realized this fact, he said that the odds of random assembly are “enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution. There was no primeval soup, neither on this planet nor any other, and if the beginnings of life were not random they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence.” Therefore, the argument for design provides a better hypothesis for the creation of life than Darwin’s ill-informed conclusions. To God be the Glory!

According to Charles Darwin:

“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive slight modifications, my theory would break down.”

Evolution or Design? Part III

Science and Evolution:

(Continued from yesterday. . . .) If Darwin were alive, he would have to explain how the individual amino acids came together to form the first protein. We now know that the amino acids have to come together in a specific way, like writing a sentence with letters, to form the protein. There are at least 30,000 different types of proteins that are constructed from the same 20 amino acids. If the amino acids are not arranged correctly, they don’t form functional proteins!

The odds of these acids coming together in a meaningful, specific way are extremely remote. It is the equivalent of being able to throw Scrabble pieces into the air and a meaningful sentence forming after they fall on the floor. The odds of this happening are remote. The very simplest of proteins are made up of a large number of amino acids. The odds of a simple protein forming spontaneously are less than one chance in 10 to the 65th power (that’s a 1 with 65 zeros behind it)! These odds are similar to the odds of finding the winning state lottery ticket lying in the street and then finding another one the very next day, and every day for a thousand years!

Scientists have estimated that if our planet were covered in “primordial soup” and filled with complete sets of all 20 types of amino acids, the time necessary to assemble a simple functioning protein would be about the estimated age of the universe which is 15 billion years multiplied by 10 to the 60th power. There is not enough time in the history of the universe to form a single protein by chance. Darwin assumed that cells are simple, but he was wrong. He believed that the smallest elements would have the smallest number of parts and processes. Now that we have powerful, modern microscopes we can see the incredible complexity of the miniature universe within a cell. Darwin’s hypotheses was completely wrong at it’s very beginning! (Continue reading tomorrow. . . .)

Evolution or Design?

Science and Evolution:

Let us examine the evidence to see which universe really exists. Is it the random, accidental universe of evolution, or the complex, specific, intelligent universe of design? Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) really influenced our world in 1859 when he wrote his famous book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life”. Darwin believed that variations occur randomly within a species, and the ability to survive depends on the species ability to adapt to its surroundings. In essence, he thought that this process of natural selection (small changes to the pressures of the environment over long periods of time) accounted for the slow evolution of everything in our world. He alleged that all life progressed from simple cells to the life forms we see today. His ideas were based on an unproven assumption. Darwin assumed that there was such a thing as a simple cell. He looked through the primitive microscope of his day and observed what appeared to be a little blob of protoplasm. Looking at this, it wasn’t hard to imagine that this little blob could evolve from a small assemblage of amino acids! However, there was much more to see than Darwin guessed! (continued tomorrow. . . .)

Irreducible Complexity!

Science and the Bible:

Another convincing aspect of the design argument for God’s existence is the irreducible complexity of biological systems. Life did not arise by chance because macro-evolution by natural selection cannot explain the existence of humankind. Who programmed the cell with its digital code? Who gave it the capacity to make copies of itself? The advancement in scientific knowledge in this area is a major reason given by famous philosopher Anthony Flew for abandoning his atheism. Check out the following video on irreducible complexity:

 

In the Beginning. . . .

God created all things, the world, and all the creatures that belong to it. He attributes this work to Himself, as one of the particular glories of His Deity, exclusive of all the creatures. “Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: ‘I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself. . . .’” (Isaiah 44:24 ESV) Thomas Boston writes:

The world could not make itself; for that would imply a horrible contradiction, namely, that the world was before it was; for the cause must always be before its effect. That which is not in being can have no production; for nothing can act before it exists. As nothing has no existence, so it has no operation. There must therefore be something which has existence in itself, to give a being to those things that are; and every second cause must be an effect of some other before it is a cause. To be and not to be at the same time is a manifest contradiction, which would infallibly take place if any thing made itself. That which makes is always before that which is made, as is obvious to the most illiterate peasant. If the world were a creator, it must be before itself as a created thing.

The production of the world could not be by chance. It was indeed the extravagant fancy of some ancient philosophers that the origin of the world was from a fortuitous concourse of atoms, which were in perpetual motion in an immense space, till at last a sufficient number of them met in such a happy conjunction as formed the universe in the beautiful order in which we now behold it. But it is amazingly strange how such a wild opinion, which can never be reconciled with reason, could ever find any entertainment in a human mind. Can any man rationally conceive, that a confused jumble of atoms, of diverse natures and forms, and some so far distant from others, should ever meet in such a fortunate manner, as to form an entire world, so vast in extent, so distinct in the order, so united in the diversities of natures, so regular in the variety of changes, and so beautiful in the whole composure? Such an extravagant fancy as this can only possess the thoughts of a disordered brain. (“God Alone Created the World”)

The Anthropic Principle

Science and the Bible:

A scientific explanation of the teleological argument (the design in the universe implies God) is the anthropic principle. This principle informs us that the universe is based upon several fundamental constants of physics. Even non-Christian Stephen Hawking, considered the best-known scientist since Albert Einstein, acknowledges “…the universe and the laws of physics seem to have been specifically designed for us. If any one of about 40 physical qualities had more than slightly different values, life as we know it could not exist: Either atoms would not be stable, or they wouldn’t combine into molecules, or the stars wouldn’t form the heavier elements or the universe would collapse before life could develop, and so on….” (Austin American-Statesman, October 19, 1997)

Who Created God?

Logic and Christianity:

Skeptics sometimes ask, “Who created God?” The answer is that no one created God because He is eternal. A rule of logic states that every effect must have an antecedent cause. God, however, is not an effect; He is the cause. The logic here is simple but compelling. Since something exists and something cannot arise from nothing, and the universe itself has proved not to be eternal; something outside of the universe (the uncaused Cause) must be eternal. An infinite creator God must be that something. Time and space had a beginning, but God exists outside of time and space, which He created.

The Universe and Miracles

According to Dinesh D’Souza in his book What’s So Great about Christianity:

“If you accept that everything that has a beginning has a cause, then the material universe had a nonmaterial or spiritual cause. This spiritual cause brought the universe into existence using none of the laws of physics. The creation of the universe was, in the quite literal meaning of the term, a miracle.” He emphasizes, “It is very important to recognize that before the Big Bang, there were no laws of physics. In fact, the laws of physics cannot be used to explain the Big Bang because the Big Bang itself produced the laws of physics…If the universe was produced outside of the laws of physics, then its origin satisfies the basic definition of the term miracle. This term gives [atheistic] scientists the heebie-jeebies.”

The Stability of Noah’s Ark

Science and the Bible:

The dimensions of Noah‘s Ark as described in the Bible are ideal for stability. In fact, South Korean architects who examined the dimensions found that the boat was virtually impossible to capsize! Their modeling and analysis found that the ark could survive waves higher than 30 meters! Many other cultures have flood legends similar to the account in the Bible, but their ark descriptions are not stable.

Matter Left to Itself does not Organize Itself!

Science and Creation:

A former Evolutionist, Dr. Wilder-Smith debated various leading scientists on the subject throughout the world. In his opinion, the Evolution model did not fit as well with the established facts of science as did the Creation model of intelligent design. “The Evolutionary model says that it is not necessary to assume the existence of anything, besides matter and energy, to produce life. That proposition is unscientific. We know perfectly well that if you leave matter to itself, it does not organize itself – in spite of all the efforts in recent years to prove that it does.”

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