Science & Evolution
Posted 3/18/15 at 4:14 PM | Mike Keas
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:
Discovery Institute hosts a website that explores science and faith. Here are some of its resources that support my main point today:
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
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.
Posted 11/20/14 at 7:37 PM | Mike Keas
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
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
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
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
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
Posted 9/16/14 at 7:58 AM | Michael Bresciani
After the great Scopes Monkey trial circa 1925 the world eased back and decided that scientists and forensics would continue to carry the ball about origins, while those who thought the Bible was true would be sent to the back of the room where the dummies sit.
Real Christianity never fosters stupidity and soon those who believed the Bible started to use the empirical methods of the scientists to uncover amazing truths about origins that early forensics either overlooked or were not willing to see.
The result of years of ‘creation science’ has accumulated since 1925, but it has run head on directly into what is today called – political correctness.
PC is the equivalent of something better known as - ‘don’t confuse me with the facts.’
There are a lot of factors that fuel the present world view of evolution. Beyond peer acceptance is money. Typical schools like Harvard which has about 1.5 $billion in endowments and an average annual outlay of $68,000 for tuition and other costs, would hardly be expected to allow a view that might block the flow of cash - overnight. FULL POST
Posted 8/20/14 at 9:54 PM | Mike Keas
This summer marks the hundredth anniversary of the start of the First World War. By August 1914 many nations had joined the horrible conflict that would take 16 million lives. Although many factors contributed to the beginning of the Great War, a new documentary from Discovery Institute explores the Darwinian ideological connection.
The documentary relies heavily on the work of historian Richard Weikart who is one of the worlds leading experts on German Darwinism up through the Second World War. He has published many essays in refereed journals about the history of German Darwinism as well as several books on this fascinating topic.
The Biology of the Second Reich: Social Darwinism and the Origins of World War I debuted a few days ago. This 14-minute documentary introduces how Darwinian racial theory helped drive German intellectual and military leaders in the years leading up to 1914.
One of the key sources for the argument advanced in this documentary is Headquarters Nights by Darwinian biologist Vernon Kellogg. This book chronicles some of Kellogg's conversations with German officers and intellectuals during the early part of World War I. Here is one excerpt from that book (some of this is in the documentary): FULL POST