Science & Evolution
Posted 5/3/14 at 3:37 PM | Mike Keas |
Neil Tyson and the Cosmos TV series crew are to be congratulated for their contribution to science education, but they have also made many unsubstantiated scientific, historical, and theological claims that do not bear up under close scrutiny. I'll focus on Tyson's promotion of naturalistic spirituality.
Tyson proclaims "Our ancestors worshipped the sun. They were far from foolish. It makes good sense to revere the sun and stars because we are their children." Just because all life is built out of elements cooked up in stars, does not mean that reverance for stars like our sun is appropriate. Furthermore, the recipe for life is much more complicated than "just add water" to heavy elements cooked up in suns. FULL POST
Posted 4/25/14 at 2:35 PM | Barry Bowen |
Imagine building a house without a blueprint. Sounds challenging, right? However, many scientists believe that life forms which are more complex than a house resulted from evolutionary processes that do not include planning.
Author Jay Richards provides 8 definitions of the word evolution in his book God and Evolution. Evolution News & Views posts the list here.
Let's take a look at definition #6:
"Blind watchmaker" thesis: the idea that all organisms have descended from common ancestors solely through unguided, unintelligent, purposeless, material processes such as natural selection acting on random variations or mutations; that the mechanisms of natural selection, random variation and mutation, and perhaps other similarly naturalistic mechanisms, are completely sufficient to account for the appearance of design in living organisms. FULL POST
Posted 4/22/14 at 1:17 PM | American Life League
By Judie Brown
It is imperative in today’s world to have a good understanding of science and the terms frequently used. Today’s commentary explains these terms and helps us understand why some of the old terminology is no longer appropriate.
Today the phrase “from the beginning of his/her biological development” accurately defines when the life of an individual human being begins to exist; the terms “conception” or “fertilization” do not.
We have learned this is so because the fact is that not all human beings begin through sexual means; some are reproduced asexually.
This concept is difficult to explain without a scientific background. I know this firsthand because my vocation is wife, mother, and grandmother, not geneticist. But it can be explained so that anyone gets it.
Follow me for a moment.
Sexual reproduction means “fertilization”—the union of a human sperm with a human egg resulting in the reproduction of a genetically distinct human being. This can happen naturally within a woman’s body, or artificially in an IVF (in vitro fertilization) or ART facility (artificial reproductive technology). FULL POST
Posted 4/21/14 at 6:58 AM | Olabode Ososami |
Just reflect on the new possibilities. You want to pay for some groceries and a new technology scans your face instead of your credit card … bringing up information associated with your identity. These technologies will not just serve to criminalize a part of the population, but will defeat any desire for anonymity or freedoms and remotely control access to services based on predetermined profiles.
Should we trust a central electronic policing that can stop an individual’s ability to procure a can of coke at the till … or disallow the entry of an individual into a bus if systems percieve a civil threat? These technologies are quite close in maturing to pilot rollouts and it is still unclear how legislation should regulate an ability to pick you out from anywhere in the globe and the power it confers on those who will manage these capabilities.
The 21st century marked the advent of formal declaration that we can no more pretend to be nations ruled by the authority of the word of God and this theme propelled a new regime of rights to be freed from what was called religious dogmas. It seems, before the mid-century, society will celebrate a new Biometric Surveillance ability to impose a perfection as defined by a government we trust more than the Creator. Will the guardian angels of the 21st century be dispatched through electronic detection machinery capable of a 24 by 7 monitoring, control and restriction of all movements … stopping for example an escaped convict from purchasing a cup of coffee … but with scope for other potential abuses? FULL POST
Posted 4/7/14 at 11:58 PM | CP Blogs
Two university economics professors have authored a peer-reviewed research paper on the role of "information manipulation" - the exaggeration of "climate change" - to advance international environmental policy agreements.
Nanyang Technological University assistant professor Fuhai Hong and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology assistant professor Xiaojian Zhao authored the paper "Information Manipulation and Climate Agreements" for the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. The research paper abstract states the following:
It appears that news media and some pro-environmental organizations have the tendency to accentuate or even exaggerate the damage caused by climate change. This article provides a rationale for this tendency by using a modified International Environmental Agreement (IEA) model with asymmetric information. We find that the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA, which will eventually enhance global welfare. From the ex ante perspective, however, the impact that manipulating information has on the level of participation in an IEA and on welfare is ambiguous.
Climate Depot, Jayson Lusk and others offered critical commentary which resulted in the authors making a public statement to clear up any confusion: "We never advocate lying on climate change." FULL POST
Posted 3/30/14 at 9:25 PM | Jeffrey Goodman |
Science does for Noah what Russell Crowe Couldn’t
While many people have heard of the story of Noah and the Flood, do not expect to see the Bible’s account portrayed in the new movie featuring Russell Crowe, released in theatre’s March 28, 2014. Not wanting to give much of the movie away, the screenwriter took more than creative license with his distortion of the Biblical account, including his invention of monstrous rock people. As far as artistic merit, at one point Russell Crowe looked a bit like Jack Nicholson in The Shining when he comes after his family members.
I watched a YouTube interview with people on the street answering questions about the story of Noah regarding this movie. At the end of the interview a significant number of the people said they were Christians. Yet few knew the story of the Flood. Most said they did not believe the story to be true, or that God had a right to destroy the people because of their wrongdoing.
As a Christian, is it important to know what the Bible says? In Hosea God says his people die from a lack of knowledge. In the Bible the story of Noah and the Flood is told in a few pages. While scientists do not believe 40 days of rain could produce a world-wide flood that would cover the mountains, the Bible story when properly translated gives information that leads to a scientific explanation and direct scientific evidence for the Flood.
Below you will find an earlier blog that I wrote that presents scientific support for the Bible’s account of the Flood.
Posted 3/18/14 at 10:01 AM | Brian Wallace
We share many of our basic functions with animals, but our higher reasoning gives us the ability to live outside of our basic instincts. However, this is not always a good thing. This infographic outlines some of the areas where we might learn to live better by taking a cue from our animal bretheren.
Posted 3/13/14 at 6:20 PM | Mike Keas |
"The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be." That's how Sunday's premiere of the new TV series Cosmos began. This echo of Carl Sagan's famous statement of naturalistic faith is the organizing assumption for this new series, now hosted by the best known planetarium director in the country, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
For ENV's responses to the Cosmos premiere, see:
The historically inaccurate material on Bruno that dominates the premiere episode has been debunked mutliple times by historians of science. See, for example, Jole Shackelford's essay about the myth "That Giordano Bruno Was the First Martyr of Modern Science" in the book Galileo Goes to Jail: And Other Myths About Science and Religion, edited by Ronald L. Numbers, 59-67 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009). Although this book's essay on intelligent design is inadequate, the other essays, like this one on Bruno, are well done. Jay Richards' blog linked above gives you the essential information you need about what really happened to Bruno, and why. FULL POST
Posted 2/26/14 at 11:36 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By David Murray
One of the young men in my congregation is at Northwestern University in Chicago this week, starting an experimental stem cell treatment for multiple sclerosis that is his only hope of living beyond his twenties. Frustratingly late diagnosis, rapidly worsening symptoms, and disappointingly ineffective drugs had all combined over the past 12 months to produce a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.
Then through a member in our church listening to the radio one afternoon, Trent found out about the extremely rare but revolutionary treatment that the brilliant Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern is trialling on a very few select patients. A number of amazing, we might even say miraculous, providences followed that have resulted in Trent not only being accepted for the trial but the $150,000 cost being met – partly by a generous donor, partly by a phenomenal church collection, and partly by a group of young girls in our church who caused a state-wide shortage of cookie dough! FULL POST
Posted 2/26/14 at 9:39 AM | Tim Challies |
The headline says it all: “The Dawn of the Designer Babies.” Scientists have developed a new technology meant to eliminate genetic abnormalities in newborns. They do this by combining the DNA of three people instead of only two. The procedure has been successfully tested in monkeys and now the FDA is considering whether the trial should expand to humans. At first the procedure would be available only to women who are likely to pass on debilitating genetic diseases to their children. After that? Well, we can only imagine.
The history of technology shows that we would far rather ask the “can we?” questions than the “should we?” questions. We are more interested in ability than morality. Lest we get cocky, we ought to admit that this is true in the small picture as much as the big picture, in the living room as much as the laboratory. Our relationship to technology is such that on some level we tacitly believe technology’s gifts to us must be good. We believe this when the new social network or the new cell phone comes along and we believe this when the new experimental procedure comes along. FULL POST