ROCKVILLE, Maryland (CNN) -- I am a scientist and a believer, and I find no conflict between those world views.
As the director of the Human Genome Project, I have led a consortium of scientists to read out the 3.1 billion letters of the human genome, our own DNA instruction book. As a believer, I see DNA, the information molecule of all living things, as God's language, and the elegance and complexity of our own bodies and the rest of nature as a reflection of God's plan.
I did not always embrace these perspectives. As a graduate student in physical chemistry in the 1970s, I was an atheist, finding no reason to postulate the existence of any truths outside of mathematics, physics and chemistry. But then I went to medical school, and encountered life and death issues at the bedsides of my patients. Challenged by one of those patients, who asked "What do you believe, doctor?", I began searching...
Remember, militant atheists are militant atheists because they WANT to be militant atheists and deny, hate or otherwise "blast away" at God, the Bible and Christianity. No matter how intelligent your argument, (you may get them running themselves in circles, I've done it) they will never change their views nor concede defeat, for their hearts are like Pharaoh's in Exodus: hard. They will never stop being militant atheists, no matter how you destroy them intellectually, unless God de-hardens their hearts to him. But that is no reason to stop arguing with them.
By the way, where on the site is this war taking place?
Neil wrote: JP, one answer - fallacy of composition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_composition Or another take. I don't have time to do a proper Scripture word study (which I advise), but most theologians agree that God is infinite in these senses: 1. (adj) Having no boundaries or limits. 2. (adj) Immeasurably great or large; boundless Ref: www.thefreedictionary.com/infinite "Infinite" is a property, and while it can be a noun, it is not used as such in theology. But "nothing" is always a noun. So how can a property of something "embrace" (contain?) anything? But perhaps a trained philosopher can shoot holes in such "grammatical" reasoning...
Thanks for the help Neil. I feel like we are drowning over there on ChristianPost.com in a barrage of insults and antagonism. There are between 6 and 10 militant atheists that are working the sight. We could use some help, if interested. I‚Äôm going to post my e-mail address for you to email me if something else comes to mind. Thanks again! [email protected]
JP, one answer - fallacy of composition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_composition
Or another take. I don't have time to do a proper Scripture word study (which I advise), but most theologians agree that God is infinite in these senses: 1. (adj) Having no boundaries or limits. 2. (adj) Immeasurably great or large; boundless Ref: www.thefreedictionary.com/infinite
"Infinite" is a property, and while it can be a noun, it is not used as such in theology. But "nothing" is always a noun. So how can a property of something "embrace" (contain?) anything? But perhaps a trained philosopher can shoot holes in such "grammatical" reasoning...
Neil wrote: JP, good talking w/ you. FYI: www.trinityfoundation.org/PDF/018a-ScienceandTruth.pdf
Before you go let me ask you about a recent challenge that I have come across.
‚ÄúTo be truly infinite, your god would have to embrace all things, including nothingness. Since an infinite amount of nothing is nothing, your "infinite" god does not exist.‚ÄĚ
My response was: This is a false dichotomy. God does not have to embrace all things, nothingness is not a thing.
The challenging response was: infinite means everything, including nothingness and things which don't exist. Otherwise, there are limits, and therefore, no infiniteness. An infinite god is an infinite amount of nothing, which is still nothing, and so an infinite god does not exist.
Neil wrote: To be brief, atheists, by attempting to escape the axiom of revelation, depend upon other epistemological axioms which are fatally flawed. The more perceptive among them like Bertrand Russell & Karl Popper have admitted that science cannot yield universal truths, for they cannot solve the problems of causation and induction. Therefore, atheists have nothing to pit against Scripture.
I think you are correct in your assertions regarding the limitation of science. I also appreciate your enthuisiasm in the battle for truth.
Meanwhile I have no desire to debate radio carbon dating. What I will say is that Christians at the very least should not put so much weight into the age of the earth. While we have been snoozing along and ignoring scientific discoveries, we are doing so to the advancement of atheism and agnosticism. If the whole of the Christian faith depends upon the age of the earth as Ken Ham presumes, the debate could be over with one discovery. Christians would of course could recuperate, but to the detriment of the confidence of many.
It is interesting to note that it was creationists who initially came up with the concept of natural selection. this seems to be ignored by creationists today.
JP, I was not implying that Ross believes *everything* Darwinists say.
Anyway, by attacking atheists' philosophy & logic, we can "pull the rug out on them" on questions of evidence, which at bottom, are only opinion. History is littered with failed scientific theories which "worked."
But I will address some of your points. How old is a fossil? That is usu. based upon inductive *theories* of radioactive decay which cannot be proven, quite apart from the fallacy of "petitio principii" often committed by paleantologists. So saying that God made them look old begs the question.
How fast is light? 3e8 m/s today does not mean it was millenia ago or in the Andromeda galaxy. Certain recent experiments suggest that light can be slowed down, depending on the medium. www.smm.org/buzz/blog/bursts/scientsts_slow_the_speed_of_light Regardless, it cannot be inferred that distant starlight is necessarily ancient.
So by all means, understand & critique their theories, but do not ignore epistemology & formal logic.
Neil wrote: There is no conflict between science & the Bible because science yields no truth. The scientific method is illogical when used to reach categorical conclusions (i.e., define scientific laws). So Ross is trying interpret Scripture in light of an unprovable theory.
Neil I agree that science cannot make conclusions about certain aspects of history and laws. You are however wrong about Ross. He does not adhere to common decent which is one main aspect of Neo-Darwinism. He does agree with the various ways science has demonstrated the age of the earth, which I happen to find most compelling. I mean, would God actually go so far as to for some strange reason fool as all into thinking that the light from distant galaxies really does not take the necessary time to get to earth as is equivalent to the normal speed of light. Why would God make the earth and the sun appear to look as old as it is? Why would God go to the trouble of making fossils so that they all look much older than they really are? Just some things to think about. I really do not want to argue over the age of the earth. I just want to challenge my brothers and sisters to prepare for battle. The war is on and it is getting more heated than ever.
JP, evidence pro & con about Darwinism has its place, but there are more fundamental issues at hand that I wish more creationists were aware of.
To be brief, atheists, by attempting to escape the axiom of revelation, depend upon other epistemological axioms which are fatally flawed. The more perceptive among them like Bertrand Russell & Karl Popper have admitted that science cannot yield universal truths, for they cannot solve the problems of causation and induction. Therefore, atheists have nothing to pit against Scripture.
Gordon Clark is the only Christian philosopher I know of who has addressed this matter satisfactorily.
I have been debating a lot of atheists and Neo-Darwinists on ChristianPost.com. It seems we have stirred up a hornets nest.
My sincere desire is to see people get saved, including atheists. It seems however that no one really understands their opponents or where they stand. Even more disturbing is that Creationists (myself included) do not really know where they stand. I have personally been to more creation seminars and met more creationists such as Ken Ham and Ken Hovind than most people. I own numerous books, DVDs, mp3s cassettes on the subject. Nevertheless, I did not really know where the battle line is being drawn. I did not know the difference between natural selection and genetic mutation. Christians need to wake up and study to show themselves approved unto God as a good workman that needs not be ashamed. We need to be prepared to answer those who inquire as to the hope within. This does not however mean that they (skeptics) have some sort of authority of what constitutes proper belief.
Faithful Remnant wrote: "I am a scientist and a believer, and I find no conflict between those world views." Same here
I have recently begun reading The Evolution Controversy: A Survey of Competing Theories by Thomas B. Fowler and Daniel Kuebler. It is quite interesting, but it is a very difficult read; both in terms of its style and dealing with its conclusions, as one who has been actively involved as a YEC.
I did hear that Hugh Ross has found some kind of a link that reveals that all humans did come from one single man and one single woman.
there are several presumptions made by young earth creationists that do not seem to have much explaining power.
1. Sin = all death. It seems to point towards spiritual death. Our hair and skin are made up from dead cells. It is also usually interpreted not to include plants. If one disagrees with Ken Ham he is anathema.
2. Does an old earth creation contradict a literal translation of the text? Dr Hugh Ross seems to adequately translate Genesis as a day = a period of time.
3. Does common decent rule out a literal Adam and Eve? Not necessarily!
4. Does Neo-Darwinism attempt to explain the origin of life? NO! Origin of species.
I do believe Collins needs to read the bible a little more(read a lot more!) to understand what it means to be a Christian.
Jesus himself fully agreed with what Moses wrote of in Genesis concerning the way God created. Don't believe me?
Jesus says in John5:46 -
"If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?"
How do you reconcile millions of years of death and suffering before man arrived? How could death be the punishment for sin(man's sin), if death was around long before man came around? Evolutionists teach something that they have ZERO proof of, and in no way can they reconcile it with what JESUS HIMSELF SAYS.
And Jesus said to them, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." Luke 16 - When Jesus said this it was a little prophesy of His own death and resurrection and how noone would believe it if they didn't believe what the one who came before Him wrote about Him!!!
"If you cannot believe me when I speak of earthly things, how then shall you believe me when I speak of heavenly things?" -- Jesus said that
Sadly, we cannot convince the unbeliever, that the penitent, believing, sinner, has been where the impenitent, unbelieving, self-righteous are. We know what they believe. The reverse is not true. The only thing they can believe in, is what they don't have. Over the years, I have come to have more pity on the unbelieving evolutionist. Many of them simply do not want to be in the void. Give a man, to whom the Lord has not revealed Himself, a rock, a bird, and a star, and tell him to come up with; who we are, how we got here, and where we are going...what can he do? How lamentable are the blind. To the austere...we all have loved ones, whose souls we fear for.
"Yes, evolution by descent from a common ancestor is clearly true. If there was any lingering doubt about the evidence from the fossil record, the study of DNA provides the strongest possible proof of our relatedness to all other living things."
Here we go again...is the common ancestor a man? a chimp? a rock from which rain made a primordial soup? bacteria? the big bang?
We all had a common designer!
Scientists may discover DNA similarities but no microscope will ever detect sin in one's own heart. No telescope can penetrate the third heaven where God dwells but His promise of his kingdom is within each believer and collectively in His Church.
The evidence of God's existence is His Church that professes Christ with their tongue, their life, and their humble belief in Jesus who is their Saviour and Lord, and for unbelievers, their Judge.