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Tag Archives: Science
I have no idea to whom to attribute the following little article to — I just found it in my collection. If you know the author, I will give full credit to him/her. Some of my readers may not know that I recently endured double bypass surgery. I have determined to never do that again. I will recommend a couple of books that have converted me to a plant-based, fat-free diet. In the meantime enjoy the little parable below.
And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.
And Satan created McDonald’s. And McDonald’s brought forth the double-cheeseburger. And Satan said to Man, “You want fries with that?” And Man said, “Super size them.” And Man gained pounds.
And God created the healthful yogurt, that woman might keep her figure that man found so fair. And Satan froze the yogurt, and he brought forth chocolate, nuts and brightly colored sprinkle candy to put on the yogurt. And woman gained pounds.
And God said, “Try my crispy fresh salad.” And Satan brought forth creamy dressings, bacon bits, and shredded cheese. And there was ice cream for dessert. And woman gained pounds
And God said, “I have sent your heart healthy vegetables and olive oil with which to cook them.” And Satan brought forth chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained pounds, and his bad cholesterol went through the roof.
And God brought forth running shoes, and Man resolved to lose those extra pounds. And Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil to change channels between ESPN and EPSN2. And Man gained pounds.
And God said, “You’re running up the score, Devil.”
And God brought forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition. And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also. And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swaddled in cholesterol. And Satan saw and said,
“It is good.”
And Man went into cardiac arrest.
And God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery…
And Satan created HMOs.
Among the things I wish I had learned before it was too late was the 10,000 hour rule. Malcolm Gladwell’s amazing book, Outliers, was my first exposure to this principle. Stated simply: If you want to become an expert in any given endeavor, it is necessary to involve yourself (study and practice) for a minimum of 10,000 hours. You want to be a great musician? Learn the basics of music and your instrument and then practice for 10,000 hours. You want to be a great scientist? Get the basics of your field and then research, experiment, collaborate, etc. for 10,000 hours. Baker, butcher, chef, artist, salesperson, preacher, teacher, actor, you name it…after 10,000 hours of serious pursuit you will achieve expert status. You can read more here.
My attention, sadly, has always been divided. I have always had too many irons in the fire. I have been too interested in too many things. I see something that interests me and I think, “Hey, I can do that!” Maybe so…but without the dedicated pursuit and practice…no achievement of expertise. Now, I find myself at the “twilight years” able to converse about many things but not as a maven, guru, whiz-kid, ace, go-to-guy, virtuoso or hotshot.
I may come close in a couple of areas where I have some native ability, but it’s a bit too late to become a real expert. What was needed was to find my passion of passions and then focus, focus and focus. Hopefully, it is not too late for you.
If you want to read a thoughtful and thought-provoking post, I recommend “The Times, They Are a-Changin'” by my good friend and brother in Christ, Bob Odle. You can read it here.
Several atheistic blogs I read are guilty of “scientism.” Scientism is not science but rather deductions and speculations arising out of scientific observations. Truth is truth no matter the source. Scientism, however, sees science and empirical observation as the only source of truth. Consider this definition:
Scientism sees it necessary to do away with most, if not all, metaphysical, philosophical, and religious claims, as the truths they proclaim cannot be apprehended by the scientific method. In essence, scientism sees science as the absolute and only justifiable access to the truth.
Here’s an example from a blog called, Unreasonable Faith
Belief never invented a laser, or pressed a CD, or kept a ‘plane in the air, or restarted a heart – Science has done all of that and more, a whole bunch of times.” And, “Against this staggering work and monumental achievement (the proof that one of Einstein’s theories is correct – DW) on one single scientific project out of hundreds of thousands, there stand some old men in robes, telling us that God did it, because it says so in the nth translation in the chain of some bronze-aged myths written by some camel-herders.
For the moment let’s ignore the ridicule and the reality that many respected scientists believe that “God did it.” More to the point: science and faith are two different things and, thus, not in competition. Faith is defined as, “…the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). On the other hand, science is totally based on what can be seen. When interpretation of scientific observations moves beyond the observable, it becomes speculation. Speculation is fine and useful for building hypotheses but it is still speculation. And there’s nothing wrong with speculations as long as they are recognized as such. Just don’t ask me to accept them as incontrovertible truth.
Many religious people have rightly been resistant to speculations contradicting the concept of a Creator. Others have stubbornly held to their own religious speculations that are in obvious contradiction to observable and undeniable facts. This is foolish in light of the reality that observable facts (sans speculations) do not contradict the concept of a Creator God. In truth, some of those facts call loudly for a first cause and a designer.
Science and faith operate in two separate realms. Faith presupposes the existence of a supernatural realm (things not seen). Science can only operate in the natural realm. To place them in competition is ridiculous.
My wife and I enjoy reading and watching mysteries – you know, Agatha Christie, etc. I like to watch the television versions with her because I often get lost in the details and she doesn’t. I have to have things spelled-out in simple terms. “Okay, was it the long-lost cousin who showed up from Kenya who took the papers from the study in the dark of night or was it the daughter who stood to lose her inheritance?” “Who done it,” is easy for her (and Miss Marple), difficult for me. I have noticed I have to do this with most things.
I can’t claim to have always been a solid theist. In my university days, I followed in the footsteps of my father and began my studies as an agnostic. My professors reinforced that position since most of them were either atheist, agnostic or ambivalent on the matter of belief. Thanks to a teacher who helped me to see there are two sides to the question of belief, I came down on the side of faith in a Creator. It just seemed much more reasonable. Still does.
In my life-long attempt to get things straight, I have looked long and hard at the ongoing debate between theists and atheists. I have begun to see that whether to believe or not believe is largely a matter of perspective. We are part of an amazing, spectacular, unfathomable, intricate universe. Before we even consider our microscopic little blue planet, there are the stars orbited by uncountable planets, gathered into galaxies numbering in the multiplied millions. Then there is our tiny island with the only life we are presently aware of. Intricate complexity and design is increasingly evident as we delve into the subatomic realms. Are the complexity, intricacy, design and order we see the results of accidental, random yet unobservable processes? Is life the outcome of chemical processes that we don’t yet understand? How do we account for all this?
As for me, this is how it all boils down: The theist looks at the universe and concludes there is no way this complexity, intricacy, design and order could happen by itself. The atheist looks at all the complexity, intricacy, design and order and concludes that it did indeed happen by itself. Two perspectives – which one makes more sense to you?
In the Charamon Garden: charamongarden.wordpress.com
Whitsett Carving: whitcarv.wordpress.com
Mission South Pacific: missionsouthpacific.wordpress.com
“People who believe in God are ignorant and superstitious. Intelligent, educated people do not believe in God.” Perhaps you have read or heard such nonsense spouted by the so-called “new atheists.” This is an ignorant and arrogant falsehood. From time to time in this blog, I will feature quotations from highly respected scientists (many Nobel Prize winners) who are solid theists. Hopefully, such information will put to rest such misinformed arguments among open-minded readers.
Consider Nobel Prize winner Sir John Eccles. Sir John was an Aussie, born in Melbourne in 1903 and died in 1997. More information can be found in Wickipedia and at Nobelprize.org.
Science and religion are very much alike. Both are imaginative and creative aspects of the human mind. The appearance of conflict is a result of ignorance.
We come to exist through a divine act. That divine guidance is a theme throughout our life; at our death the brain goes, but that divine guidance and love continues. Each of us is a unique, conscious being, a divine creation. It is the religious view. It is the only view consistent with all the evidence.
There has been a regrettable tendency of many scientists to claim that science is so powerful and all pervasive that in the not too distant future it will provide an explanation in principle for all phenomena in the world of nature, including man, even of human consciousness in all of its manifestations. [Karl] Popper has labeled this claim as promissory materialism, which is extravagant and unfulfillable.
Yet on account of the high regard for science, it has great persuasive power with the intelligent laity because it is advocated by the great mass of scientists who have not critically evaluated the dangers of this false and arrogant claim.
I regard this theory as being without foundation. The more we discover scientifically about the brain, the more clearly do we distinguish between the brain events and the mental phenomena, and the more wonderful do the mental phenomena become. Promissory materialism is simply a superstition held by dogmatic materialists. It has all the features of a Messianic prophecy, with the promise of a future freed of all problems—a kind of Nirvana for our unfortunate successors.
We have to recognize that we are spiritual beings with souls existing in a spiritual world as well as material beings with bodies and brains existing in a material world.
The amazing success of the theory of evolution has protected it from significant critical evaluation in recent times. However, it fails in a most important respect. It cannot account for the existence of each one of us as unique, self-conscious beings.
Thanks to John Clayton and Does God Exist? Quotes were downloaded from http://www.doesgodexist.org/MayJun10/Eccles-Nobel.html, 18 July 2010
“The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer.”
— Albert Einstein 
Quotes from two atheists demonstrate an unattractive and arrogant elitism for which there is no credible reason. Guy P. Harrison said, “…atheism is not a conscious act of turning away from all gods. It is simply the final destination for those who think.” Ernest Hemingway concurred, “All thinking men are atheists.” Many similar quotes from so-called “new atheists,” echo these sentiments. Such statements are deluded, egocentric and, with all due respect, stupid. I define “stupid” as willful ignorance. I suppose we have all been stupid from time to time, but such statements qualify since they are made in spite of facts to the contrary.
Perhaps a teeny history lesson is needed here. Religious thinkers have existed in every age. Historically, they laid the foundations for today’s science and philosophy and founded nations. Can “thinkers” be “believers?” Below, I provide a list of such people who, in the opinion of most, are “thinkers.” For the sake of brevity, I have confined my list to the 20th and 21st Centuries. These are men and women who, though some may not believe in a “personal God” have acknowledged a “higher power.” To this power they attribute some role in the design and creation of the universe and the origin of life.
R. Buckminster Fuller
Wernher Von Braun
C. S. Lewis
Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr.
G. K. Chesterton
William Lane Craig
Martin Luther King, Jr.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list. But the question remains: were these men and women thinkers or not? Of course, a similar list could be compiled for atheist thinkers. But, then again, I would not be so blind and bold to say otherwise. It is estimated that 40% of working scientists are believers. Yes, they are a minority, but a large one. But here’s the pertinent query: can they do science without thinking? I think not.
Will this tiny article put a stop to such foolishness? Not if those who make such inane statements continue to ignore the facts. Ironic, isn’t it? Those who disparage theists for believing in God without evidence ignore ample, overwhelming evidence. Off the cuff, I can only think of five reasons for such statements:
- They can’t handle the inconvenient truth.
- They have invented their own exclusive standards and definitions for “thinkers.”
- They arbitrarily decide that theists can get lucky sometimes but can’t really think.
- They believe they have a corner on intelligence.
- They need to get out more.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
 Goldman, Robert N., Einstein’s God—Albert Einstein’s Quest as a Scientist and as a Jew to Replace a Forsaken God (Joyce Aronson Inc.; Northvale, New Jersy; 1997).
Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things (Ephesians 3:17-19).
The most effective enemies are those of which we are unaware…the ones we fail to recognize as enemies. In our subconscious we probably already know some entities are not helping the cause of Christ; that they are, indeed, major hindrances. They are hindering enemies especially because we have become familiar and comfortable with them. It is much like making a pet of a tiger. We pet them, feed them, love them…and then one day, they have us by the throat. They are attitudes, actions and situations that divert us from truly following Christ. The world notices and these same diversions become hindrances to unbelievers and ammunition for anti-Christian activists. And here is the kicker: so often, we shoot ourselves in the foot (pun intended). This is a post that hopefully will challenge us to do some thinking about who and what our enemies are. As usual, your comments, pro and con, are welcomed.
Striving for Acceptance
It’s not easy being different. And yet, being different is part of our Christian walk. We are different from the world not because we try to be but because following Christ separates us from those who aren’t. Sadly, many who claim to be Christians lie, cheat and steal just like their worldly counterparts. But the similarities don’t end there. Too often our values and ambitions are the same as those outside of Christ. To place our hope in riches, to ignore injustice, to place comfort above compassion and status above service proves we are still of the world. Here’s the truth: the way of Christ runs counter to the ways of the world. Never forget it. Continue reading
I would really like to know who gathered the following information but it is really by our old friend “Anonymous.” According to atheists, life is the result of a series of propitious accidents and random mutations that just happen to be beneficial. If they take the time to read this, they will attribute each example of intelligent design to unintelligent processes. Whatever your belief or lack of it, this is pretty good food for thought.
God’s accuracy may be observed in the hatching of eggs. For example,
- The eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days;
- Those of the canary in 14 days;
- Those of the barnyard hen in 21 days.
- The eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days;
- Those of the mallard in 35 days.
- The eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days.
(Notice, they are all divisible by seven).
God’s design is seen in the making of an elephant. The four legs of this great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other Quadruped is so made. God planned that this animal would have a huge body, too large to live on two legs.
- For this reason He gave it four fulcrums so that it can rise from the ground easily.
- The horse rises from the ground on its two front legs first.
- A cow rises from the ground with its two hind legs first.
God’s wisdom is revealed in His arrangement of sections and segments, as well as in the number of grains. How wise the Lord is in all His works of creation!
- Each watermelon has an even number of strips on the rind.
- Each orange has an even number of segments.
- Each ear of corn has an even number of rows.
- Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains.
- Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of bananas, and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even number and the next row an odd number.
- All grains are found in even numbers on the stalks
The waves of the sea roll in on shore twenty-six to the minute in all kinds of weather.
God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain specified times during the day, so that Linneus, the great botanist, once said that if he had a conservatory containing the right kind of soil, moisture and temperature, he could tell the time of day or night by the flowers that were open and those that were closed!
Design is evident. Design requires a designer.
Many have decided not to believe and that is certainly their prerogative. For myself, I choose to believe in a Creator. Too much of what I see is inexplicable without Him.
In Romans 1 Paul writes, “…that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made…”