Science & Evolution

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Posted 8/31/15 at 7:32 PM | Mark Ellis

Did unusual planetary alignment in 33 AD point to crucifixion of Jesus?

By Mark Ellis

Did an amateur astronomer and self-described “historical detective” stumble upon a remarkable planetary alignment that corresponds with the date of Jesus’ death on the cross?

“I came across a very unique geometric pattern,” says Miguel Antonio Fiol, an entrepreneur and part-time researcher. “The pattern was a representation of the crucifixion – it pointed me to Jesus of Nazareth,” he says.

With Saturn as the “head” of Jesus complete with a halo or crown of thorns formed by Saturn’s famous rings, Jupiter and Uranus formed the outstretched arms of Jesus, and Earth and Venus represented His feet. Fiol was astonished when he connected the dots and this striking image emerged.

This unusual planetary alignment appeared in mid-March through mid-April of 33 A.D., and has only appeared six times between the year zero and 2000 A.D.

In his research, Fiol used an Orrery model to study the relationships of the planets on April 3, 33 AD, the date several other scholars have favored for the climactic moment in world history. FULL POST

Posted 6/22/15 at 6:53 PM | Mark Ellis

Baby found hidden in coffin of mummified 17th-century bishop

Mummified bishop

By Mark Ellis

Scientists in Sweden were astounded to find the body of a small baby beneath the feet of a mummified bishop who died in the 17th century.

A CT scan of the exceptionally-well preserved remains of Bishop of Lund, Peder Winstrup, revealed a six-month-old fetus beneath his feet in his coffin, according to a story by Christian Today.

The baby may not be related to the bishop but may be that of a woman who lost the child through miscarriage, Per Karsten, director of the Lund University museum told Christian Today.

At that time, there was no baptism for miscarried babies. It was thought that their souls were lost for eternity and could never enter heaven.

In the five weeks between the bishop’s death and his funeral, the mother might have bribed a church official to bury her lost baby with the bishop, with the thought that this would ensure his or her entrance to heaven, it was theorized.

Winstrup’s body is one of the best preserved from that time period, with all his organs intact. Scientists are studying his remains to provide facts about the conditions of people in that area during the 17th century, according to Christian Today. FULL POST

Posted 3/18/15 at 4:14 PM | Mike Keas

Science & Christianity: Friends or Foes? Weighing the Historical Evidence

I will highlight resources that support my 2015 Stand Firm Conference presentation, which carried the same title as today's blog. As a historian and philosopher of science, I address the question of whether Christianity has fostered scientific discovery. Earlier I published an essay that addresses some aspects of this question:

  • In the Beginning: Episodes in the Origin and Development of Science,” Salvo Magazine (September 2013). Abstract: Belief in the Judeo-Christian God supported the idea that the universe is predictable and knowable, which is foundational to scientific research. This Salvo article debunks common science-religion myths and shows how Christianity contributed to the rise of modern science.

Discovery Institute hosts a website that explores science and faith. Here are some of its resources that support my main point today:

  • The Roots of Intelligent Design: Use this free collection of readings, audio clips, and discussion questions to explore the intellectual roots of intelligent design in Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian, and modern thought. Especially suitable for small group discussions or an adult education mini-course of 2 or 3 sessions. This collection is the fourth one listed on the above-linked resource webpage.

Are Christianity and science at war with one another? Not according to leading historians. "The greatest myth in the history of science and religion holds that they have been in a state of constant conflict," wrote historian of science Ronald Numbers in 2009. Dr. Numbers is not an adherent to any religious faith. He is also a leading expert on the history of science and religion. Why does the popular "science vs. Christianity" stereotype continue despite the impressive historical evidence otherwise? While some perpetuate this stereotype out of a deep desire to descredit Christianity, others simply repeat the stories in ignorance of their mythical status.

The truth is that science and biblical religion have been friends for a long time. Judeo-Christian theology has contributed in a friendly manner to such science-promoting ideas as discoverable natural history, experimental inquiry, universal natural laws, mathematical physics, and investigative confidence that is balanced with humility. Christian institutions, especially since the medieval university, have often provided a supportive environment for scientific inquiry and instruction.

Posted 1/30/15 at 9:35 PM | Mike Keas

Intelligent Design & Science/Faith Resources & Events: Videos, Conferences, Research

Let's survey some important recent resources that will help you explore the theory of intelligent design and the theistic religious implications of these scientific discoveries.

  1. The top intelligent design research story of 2014 is: New Paper from Biologic Institute, "Shared Evolutionary History or Shared Design?". If you find this story beyond your level of scientific literacy, you can't miss the design implications of the animations (#2 on my list). Or, here is a more accessible explanation of the significance of the top 2014 ID story: Biologic Institute's Groundbreaking Peer-Reviewed Science Has Now Demonstrated the Implausibility of Evolving New Proteins. As a college science professor, I can attest to just how important this new research is for biology and the theory of intelligent design.
  2. Some of the best online animations of cellular features that dramatically illustrate intelligent design have been produce by Discovery Institute. These include the new animation The Workhorse of the Cell: Kinesin and two older animations linked near the bottom of that webpage that are equally impressive. Such animations help you to simply see that they are designed systems.
  3. Finally, check out the upcoming conferences described below.

FULL POST

Posted 1/23/15 at 12:40 PM | Larry Dozier

Quantum Physics & The Bible

This is a standalone film, lasting 8 minutes and 54 seconds. You will get a quick, simple lesson in Quantum Mechanics, while discovering that the Bible contained information about Quantum Mechanics from the very beginning.

Posted 11/20/14 at 7:37 PM | Mike Keas

Remembering Arthur Balfour, Friend of Science and Friendly Opponent to Atheist Bertrand Russell

This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the start of World War I -- and this past week provided a terrible reminder that conflicts stirred by the war remain with us. In Israel, a pair of Palestinian Muslims turned a Jerusalem synagogue at morning prayers into a bloodbath, a reminder to Israelis (as if one were needed) of their vulnerability to terrorists fanatically opposed to the existence of the state. Observers with a long memory may have recalled how a 1917 promise by the British Empire to aid settlement of the Holy Land made possible the establishment of a Jewish state. In Israel, the famous Balfour Declaration, penned by Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, is intensely honored along with its author to this day.

However, while the name of Arthur James Balfour (1848-1930) lives on most famously for his connection to British Middle East policy, his contributions to philosophy are fascinating and important, and should not be forgotten.

Balfour was a statesman, Prime Minister (1902-1905), and philosophical defender of Christianity and its harmony with science. His thought can be appreciated by contrasting him with one of his most formidable contemporary counterparts, Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), famed philosopher and author of pithy essays such as "Why I Am Not a Christian." Timothy Madigan, Associate Professor of Philosophy at St. John Fisher College, and officer in the Bertrand Russell Society, recently celebrated the Russell-Balfour comparison in the pages of Philosophy Now ("The Paradoxes of Arthur Balfour"): FULL POST

Posted 11/18/14 at 11:31 AM |

New book validates biblical version of Creation through comprehensive timeline of archaeological and scientific findings

Search for the Truth Publications will release their latest book entitled Brilliant: Made in the Image of God by the company’s founder, Bruce Malone. The coffee-table-sized hardcover uses a timeline of scientific and archaeological facts to validate that the Creation account of the Bible is accurate. Malone says the timeline makes this title unique among similar books.

“Most books on creation deal with the scientific evidence supporting the reality that we have a designer,” says Malone. “Brilliant places creation in a real biblical timeline of Earth's history. Cultures throughout the world are filled with mysteries which do not fit the pervasive evolutionary time-frame, but make perfect sense if the Biblical timeline of history is understood. Brilliant takes the Bible seriously and every page contains an artifact from some ancient culture testifying to the reality of these true events of history.” FULL POST

Posted 11/10/14 at 8:14 PM | Michael Bresciani

The Pope Presumes – The Theory of Evolution Boosted by Pontiff

Using science is wise – blindly patronizing science is presumption and idolatry – Anon.

In a blazing headline One News Now published an article entitled “Pope backs evolution, Vatican calls creation ‘blasphemous,’” in it, author Michael F. Haverluck says “In a speech given at a Pontifical Academy of Sciences ceremony unveiling a bust of his predecessor, Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis declared his full-fledged support of evolution as the scientifically correct explanation of the origin of man — and the universe.”

Unwilling to go full-fledged “everything from nothing’ the Pope has scratched out an explanation from the playbook of ‘theistic-evolution’ which is a way of saying God created all things, but he used evolution to do it.

The Pope’s first and most serious mistake has to do with theology not science. Among those who hold scripture as final and authoritative is the belief that when man raises himself above scripture he has already begun an apostasy and a fall into full blown error. Whether pastor, pope, evangelist, teacher or religious philosopher, the person who presumes that God fibbed, failed or skimped on the truth revealed in scripture, where God proclaims himself as Creator of all things, including the stars and heavenly bodies over 300 times - that man or women is in the first stages of apostasy and the last stages of full blown presumption. FULL POST

Posted 10/29/14 at 9:30 AM | Tim Challies

The Most Underwhelmingly Astounding Fact

For millennia, human beings have looked to the night skies and grappled with their own insignificance. It is difficult to feel big and important when looking at thousands and millions of stars stretching far beyond our gaze and far beyond our comprehension. King David’s experience is one most of us have shared.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
(Psalm 8:3-4 ESV)

The Bible tells us that the splendor and magnitude of the universe is meant to force us to acknowledge the existence of a Creator and to force us to acknowledge his infinite power. We, too, are meant to echo David: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).

Famous astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson has dedicated much of his life to looking to the skies, but has found a way to feel big. He was once asked by a reader of TIME magazine, “What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?” Here is his answer: FULL POST

Posted 9/18/14 at 9:20 PM | Mike Keas

20 Years of Challenging Evolution: Is the Bacterial Flagellum Irreducibly Complex?

About forty years ago biologists discovered that some bacteria swim by means of a rotating flagellum, which is a long whip-like propellor connected to a rotary engine that is situated within the cell membrane. About twenty years after this discovery biochemist Michael Behe began to argue that the bacterial flagellum and many other molcular machines within living cells exhibit the property of "irreducible complexity," which implied that the likelihood of their origin by means of an unguided material process is beyond reasonable belief. What has become of this argument in the last twenty years? Has the overall trajectory of research supported or eroded Behe's case for the "irreducible complexity" of molecular machines like the bacterial flagellum?

In his book Darwin's Black Box (1996) Behe explained that irreducibly complex systems could not have arisen by a gradual step-by-step neo-Darwinian evolutionary process.

The flagellum is a long, hairlike filament embedded in the cell membrane. The external filament consists of a single type of protein, called "flagellin." The flagellin filament is the paddle surface that contacts the the liquid during swimming. At the end of the flagellin filament near the surface of the cell, there is a bulge in the thickness of the flagellum. It is here that the filament attaches to the rotor drive. The attachment material is comprised of something called "hook protein." The filament of a bacterial flagellum, unlike a cilium, contains no motor protein; if it is broken off, the filament just floats stiffly in the water. Therefore the motor that rotates the filament-propellor must be located somewhere else. Experiments have demonstrated that it is located at the base of the flagellum, where electron microscopy shows several ring structures occur. (p. 70-72) FULL POST

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