This Guy Says One Big Bang Isn’t Enough, There’s Gotta Be Three More

Pretty much everybody has heard of the Big Bang, the moment an estimated 4.6 billion years ago when the universe appeared out of, literally, nothing.

The Big Bang was followed in recent decades by the Big Debate among theologians, philosophers, scientists and talk show hosts on whether or not the existence of God was thereby proved.

So why does the headline say something about three more Big Bangs?

Continue reading “This Guy Says One Big Bang Isn’t Enough, There’s Gotta Be Three More”

Who Said DNA And Suffering Are Meaningless, Atheist Dawkins or Jesus?

Oxford Professor Emeritus Fellow Richard Dawkins is among the world’s most famous atheists, thanks largely to his prolific pen, which produced such well-read books as “The God Delusion” and “The Blind Watchmaker.”

Less appreciated perhaps is the unmitigated bluntness with which Dawkins so forthrightly discusses the implications of his conclusions about the origin of man and the universe for the rest of us.

Writing on the Moral Apologetics blog last year, Theologian Tom Thomas pointed to the stark difference between Dawkins’ view of suffering and tragedy in human existence that of Jesus Christ. Continue reading “Who Said DNA And Suffering Are Meaningless, Atheist Dawkins or Jesus?”

Big Challenges For Christians In Pew’s Latest ‘Nones’ Survey Results

“Religious Nones” are among the fastest growing groups whenever survey research organizations like the Pew Research Center do polls concerning religious issues.

The results of the latest Pew survey of a representative sample of the Nones – which includes those who identify themselves as “atheist,” “agnostic” and “nothing” – finds an important reason (60 percent) these folks give for their views is they “question a lot of religious teachings.”

Continue reading “Big Challenges For Christians In Pew’s Latest ‘Nones’ Survey Results”

Science & Faith: ‘Quantum Artificial Life’ Ends Origins Debate? Not Yet!

Something cannot be created from nothing. That’s why the material world either is eternal or had a beginning, which requires a beginner, AKA the “First Cause,” or “God.”

Not according to many materialists, however. They might say “quantum processes.” And they may have just gotten a potentially huge boost to their case, thanks to a team led by a Spanish scientist, according to The Daily Galaxy (TDG). Photo above by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash.

Continue reading “Science & Faith: ‘Quantum Artificial Life’ Ends Origins Debate? Not Yet!”

No, The Human Mind Does Not ‘Work Just Like A Computer’

It’s a truism that’s often heard among smart people in conversations on Capitol Hill and elsewhere and it goes something like this: “The human mind thinks and processes just like a computer.”

Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? After all, minds, or our brains, and computers use logic to process information – “inputs” –  and then produce “outputs,” typically in words or numbers.

But here’s something to think about: If the human mind “thinks” like a computer, that’s really odd because, according to The Stream’s senior editor, Tom Gilson, computers don’t in fact think. They can’t think.

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New Evidence Shows Luke Didn’t Just Invent The Census In The Christmas Story

Christmas is less than a month away and that means there is a fair amount of discussion in the media and popular culture about the birth of Jesus Christ in a manger in Bethlehem.

Critics have long delighted to point out that the census that plays a key role in Luke’s Gospel account of His birth never really happened. Here’s how Luke put it:

Continue reading “New Evidence Shows Luke Didn’t Just Invent The Census In The Christmas Story”

Do Moral Intuitions Point To God, Evolutionary Experience or Chance?

Ask 100 randomly selected congressional aides whether they think it’s immoral to torture children and I guarantee you all 100 — like virtually any other similarly sized and chosen group — will react in horror and say something like “of course not, only a monster would do that.”

Such responses are evidence of the moral intuitions with which every human being is born. Those intuitions don’t just turn up, Christian apologists contend, they are evidence of the creator, who is the source of the standards of right and wrong underlying the intuitions. Evolutionary materialists argue moral intuitions simply represent the accumulated experience of the results of similar courses of action.

Obviously, something too often intervenes to corrupt or silence the moral intuitions and what that something is generates as much debate among believers and non-believers alike as the source of the intuitions.

Dr. Frank Turek dealt with an aspect of that debate in response to a question posed by a Towson University student. This video of Turek’s response was posted on YouTube November 9.

This Mom Is A Great Argument for God

So you’re walking down a corridor of the Dirksen Senate Office Building during a break in a committee hearing and there on the floor is the word “MOM” spelled out in Cap’n Crunch.

Being a dutiful son or daughter, you love your mom, of course, so you stop to ponder  this odd sight, speculating for a few seconds about how it got there and then going on about your business before the hearing resumes. As the day continues, though, your mind keeps going back to that MOM because something about it is puzzling.

Continue reading “This Mom Is A Great Argument for God”

So When Was The Last Time You Checked Your Unstated Assumptions?

You know what I mean; assumptions like if a person is a Harvard graduate, he or she must be smart. Or anybody who becomes a plumber or a carpenter isn’t likely to be reading philosophy at night. Or Texas really is God’s country.

OK, maybe not that last one about the Lone Star State, but here’s another one that is clearly among the most important influences on American public life these days: Modern science has liberated us from the shackles of beliefs and values based on ancient myths.

There are multiple variations on the theme but what they all come down to, more or less, is the unstated assumption that “science” is the only path to truth. Anything that claimed to be truth prior to, oh say, 1900 is almost prima facie considered by the current generation to be wrong or worse.

I would bet next month’s paycheck — assuming I get one! — that if you asked 100 randomly selected congressional aides about this, the vast majority of them would quickly agree with that proposition.

A closely related proposition and one that also has profound influence on the way issues are analyzed on Capitol Hill is the idea that there are “facts” and there are “opinions,” and public policy ought always be based solely on the former, not the latter. Stuff like faith and patriotism are mere opinions.

So, think about this: To be “true” in the scientific sense, according to this assumption, something must be observable, repeatable and measurable. That being the case, it must also be concrete, material. That means it cannot be non-material, or, to put it bluntly and in layman’s terms, there ain’t no such thing as the “supernatural” or “spiritual.”

So much then for the fundamental claim on which the entire Christian faith rests – the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, the Son of God. Given the science assumption, Jesus may have been a great teacher, an itinerant preacher with a real knack for turning a phrase or maybe just a lunatic, but what He couldn’t be is dead, buried and then alive again on the third day.

Normally at this point, I would launch into a discussion of the many apologetical “proofs” for the veracity of the Resurrection claim. But there’s another way to go at this issue and that is to examine the historicity of the claim.

Brit N.T. Wright — a former university lecturer/turned bishop, delivered a lecture some years ago in which he made an extremely persuasive case for the proposition that:

The Christian claim was from the beginning that the question of Jesus’ resurrection was a question, not of the internal mental and spiritual states of his followers a few days after his crucifixion, but about something that had happened in the real, public world, leaving not only an empty tomb, but a broken loaf at Emmaus and footprints in the sand by the lake among its physical mementoes, and leaving his followers with a lot of explaining to do but with a transformed worldview which is only explicable on the assumption that something really did happen, even though it stretched their existing worldviews to breaking point. More of that anon.

What we now have to do is to examine this early Christian claim more thoroughly, to ask what can be said about it historically, and to enquire, more particularly, what sort of ‘knowing’ or ‘believing’ we are talking about when we ask whether ‘a scientist’ can ‘believe’ that which, it seems, ‘the resurrection’ actually refers to.

I could give you the link to the text version of Wright’s lecture, but it’s so much better to watch and listen to him deliver “in person” via this video:

Thanks, by the way, to Wintery Knight for bringing this superb lecture to my attention so that I can share it with all my friends and future friends on Capitol Hill. Wintery Knight notes of Wright that he “has taught at Cambridge University, Oxford University, Duke University, McGill University, and lectured on dozens of prestigious campuses around the world. He’s published 40 books.”

In other words, Wright is somebody to whom we would be wise to pay attention. That is not to say I agree with everything he says because I don’t. But his point about thinking historically is an important one, especially if you happen to work in a job in an institution in which making history is an everyday occurrence.