The Apple Of God's Eye

June 13, 2011

Hypotheses, Intellectual Curiosity And Controversy = Scientific Truth?

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Never has there been an age like this one. An avalanche of scientific information is pouring down on us and few can keep up with the torrent of new knowledge. But is man the wiser for all this new knowledge?

Are the latest conclusions of geology, of archaeology, or history any nearer the truth? Or are we being crushed by the sheer weight of new ignorance — new superstitions, this time garbed in the respectable clothes of Scientific Knowledge?

It would seem this ought to be the wisest, most knowledgeable generation that has ever lived. But it is not! And there is a reason. Never in the history of the world have so many been speculating so much. Speculation, hypothesizing, intellectual guessing have become the lifeblood of the sciences — especially the social sciences. The result is an age typified by a chaos of ideas.

The reason? Only those facts which fit an hypothesis are concerned! The purpose of hypothesis is not eternal truth — only intellectual curiosity to see whether the hypothesis be so! No wonder the scholarly world is in confusion? That the genuine history of man has been rejected and forgotten. That Scripture is labeled “unscientific” and “myth”

WHY HYPOTHESES?

Scientific and historical journals are filled with “learned” conflicts and controversies. These conflicts are not due to a lack of factual material. There are often “too many” facts. Controversies in philosophy, in science, in education are the direct result of hypothesizing. Theories and hypotheses by their very nature breed controversy. What is needed is a true view of the factual material already available. Present material is more than sufficient to solve every one of the primary questions regarding Man, his origin in time, and the record of his experiences.

Can the facts of geology, of archaeology, of human history and the Bible be reconciled? Not if the method of study now in vogue in the educational world is used! Crowning the heap of discarded theories with another hypothesis will not resolve the problems.

Yet a solution is possible. The facts of geology, of archaeology, of human history and the Bible are reconcilable. It is the hypotheses and theories of Science and Theology that are not! No one, caught up in the vicious cycle of intellectual guessing, finds it easy to divorce facts from hypotheses. But once one is willing to do that, the gnawing questions of science and history find answers.

Why haven’t men been willing to face facts, and forget hypothesizing? The answer is simple. Facts do not automatically organize themselves into clear and unmistakable answers. There is always the need of some kind of yardstick, some standard, to guide man in organizing the myriads of facts lying mutely before him.

A geological stratum by itself does not answer when? or why? A potsherd by itself does not reveal who? or when? Even a written record by itself often fails to convey motive, proof of accuracy, or history of transmission.

Scholars and scientists must of necessity resort to some external framework or yardstick by which the recovered facts may be judged. Only two choices are available — hypothesis or Divine Revelation. The educated world has chosen the former. It has, without proof, rejected the latter. Hypotheses appeal to human vanity, to intellectual curiosity, to the desire to hear of something new. Divine Revelation requires acknowledgement of a Higher Power, the subjection of human reason to the revealed Mind of the Creator. But human reason revels in its own superiority. By nature it opposes and exalts itself against Higher Authority.

No wonder educators take for granted that the facts of geology, of archaeology, or human history contradict the Bible. Not until human beings are willing to acknowledge God, to acknowledge His Authority, His Revelation, will they ever come to a satisfactory — and satisfying — explanation of Man and the Universe. Not until human reason is conquered will the scholarly world enjoy the privilege of understanding the meaning of geology, of archaeology, of history and the Bible.

Why don’t today’s educators know the answers to these problems? Because they have discarded the key that would unlock the answers. That key is God’s revelation of essential knowledge for man — the Bible. But men don’t want God telling them anything authoritatively. They therefore refuse even to test whether the Bible is authoritative.


Source: Compendium Of World History, Volume 2, by Dr. Herman Hoeh

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February 12, 2011

Neanderthal Man DNA Disproves Evolution!

Filed under: Evolution,Science — melchia @ 7:09 am
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Editors Comment: Once again, evolution is being shown as an amateurish attempt to discredit God. The following article from the Trumpet.com shows that DNA from Neanderthal man is so similar to humans, that the difference is insignificant. Seems Neanderthal man is nothing more than pre-flood humans with a lot more muscle than his modern, soft counterparts.

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johnberardi.com

After years of anticipation, the genetic code of Neanderthal “cavemen” is being decoded. And it is unraveling the theory of evolution. Apparently Neanderthals are a little more closely related to humans than expected. How close? Let’s just say that the man Aunt Thelma married may really be a “Neanderthal” after all.

According to a May 6 Science article, the Neanderthal genome sequencing is nearing completion. It is not complete yet, but what scientists have found so far is astounding: Humans and “Neanderthals” are practically identical at the dna code level.

The researchers used dna captured from the nucleus of cells found in three bone fragments from three different female Neanderthals found in Croatia. The scientists then compared the Neanderthal genome to the human at 14,000 protein coding gene segments that differ between humans and chimpanzees. In doing so, they looked at over 3 billion combinations of four key protein molecules.

What did the scientists find? Simply put: Neanderthals are human. There was virtually no difference between the two codes. The few differences they did find were so slight that researchers say that they are functionally irrelevant—and that if more Neanderthal genomes could be compared there might be no differences at all!

But that is not all the scientists found. The data suggests Neanderthals are as closely related to humans as Chinese are to Germans, or French to Javanese. Furthermore, the genetic material analyzed indicated that Neanderthals and humans interbred and produced offspring that interbred—and regularly.

Uncle Jed’s jutting eyebrow? Chalk that one down to dna passed down from generation to generation.

“Whatever our differences, they’re not in the composition of your building blocks,” reports Wired Science. The “Neanderthal genome shows most humans are cavemen.”

Did you get that? All those supposed pre-man, caveman bones are actually just plain old human skeletons.

It is a startling admission for evolutionists because it throws a monkey wrench into conventional evolutionary theory. (more…)

August 28, 2009

God, The Failed Hypothesis?

1I recently ran across a book entitled: God, the Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist. It is the author’s conclusion, after examining the scientific data relating to every attribute, that the empirical scientific evidence is overwhelmingly against the existence of any being possessing any of them. In short, none of the standard attributes accepted by most believers as being true about their god can be salvaged in light of known facts about the universe. This, in turn, prevents any rational, reasonable, or justified belief in such a god from being salvaged.

Life, he says, was not designed, it evolved naturally. The universe was not created, it arose naturally. Morality was not divinely created, it evolved naturally. The universe was not fine-tuned, it’s just what we would expect to find.

As usual, this type of book rambles about on with a crude sense of cynicism, arrogance and hostility wrapped up in the cloak of science. I did not however find that the author knew much about theology, philosophy and history and found at least a dozen logical fallacies and false generalizations.

For example, the arguement that no indisputable evidence of God has been found in nature, therefore God must not exist is futile, since God is spiritual and cannot be seen by human eyes (Col. 1:15). God is everywhere in nature, since it is His creation. He says in Rom. 1:20:

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

“The expression “his invisible things” refers to those things which cannot be perceived in an intellectual way, by the faculty of the understanding; things which may be known of him, though not discoverable by the eye. We judge of the objects around us by the senses, the sight, the touch, the ear, etc. Though we can’t judge God this way, we may come to the knowledge of him by, ‘his eternal power and Godhead, by means of the material universe which he has formed. The argument implies that is enough to leave mankind without any excuse for its ignorance.” (Albert Barnes’ Notes On The Bible).

So, the power of God is evident in invisible things, and yet clearly seen in creation. The workman is known by his work. The variety, multitude, order, beauty, harmony, different nature, and excellency of the things that are made, the direction of them to certain ends, and the concurrence of all the parts to the good and beauty of the whole,  abundantly prove a Creator and his eternal power and Godhead. The proof is not weakened because we don’t see the process of creation constantly going on. It is rather augmented by the fact that he sustains all things, and continually controls the vast masses of matter in the material world.

God has given us so much clear evidence of his existence and claims, that man is without excuse for his denial. We have all the modern discoveries of astronomy, and no one thing more proves the stupidity of people, than the sad forgetfulness of Him that made the heavens and the earth.

Is archaeological proof lacking?

The book also argues that no archaeological evidence exists of a certain Biblical person, place or thing, therefore he/she or it must be mythical. In other words, the Bible is guilty until proven innocent, and a lack of outside evidence places the Biblical account in doubt. This standard is far different from that applied to other ancient documents, even though many, if not most, have a religious element. They are considered to be accurate, unless there is evidence to show that they are not.

Contrarily, when archaeological findings show “supposed”proof of  “discrepancies,”  we find when these are examined in detail, it is found that the problems lie with misinterpretation of evidence, lack of evidence, or poor scholarship, and not with the Bible.

Although it is not possible to verify every incident in the Bible, the discoveries of archahaeology since the mid-1800s have certainly demonstrated the reliability and plausibility of the Bible narrative.

Here are some examples:

  • The discovery of the Ebla archive in northern Syria in the 1970s has shown the Biblical writings concerning the Patriarchs to be viable. Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place names in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. The name “Canaan” was in use in Ebla, a name critics once said was not used at that time and was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible. The word tehom (“the deep”) in Gen. 1:2 was said to be a late word demonstrating the late writing of the creation story. “Tehom” was part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use some 800 years before Moses. Ancient customs reflected in the stories of the Patriarchs have also been found in clay tablets from Nuzi and Mari.
  • The Hittites were once thought to be a Biblical legend, until their capital and records were discovered at Bogazkoy, Turkey.
  • Many thought the Biblical references to Solomon’s wealth were greatly exaggerated. Recovered records from the past show that wealth in antiquity was concentrated with the king and Solomon’s prosperity was entirely feasible.
  • It was once claimed there was no Assyrian king named Sargon as recorded in Is. 20:1, because this name was not known in any other record. Then, Sargon’s palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. The very event mentioned in Is. 20, his capture of Ashdod, was recorded on the palace walls. What is more, fragments of a stela memorializing the victory were found at Ashdod itself.
  • Another king who was in doubt was Belshazzar, king of Babylon, named in Daniel 5. The last king of Babylon was Nabonidus according to recorded history. Tablets were found showing that Belshazzarr was Nabonidus’ son who served as coregent in Babylon. Thus, Belshazzar could offer to make  Daniel “third highest ruler in the kingdom” (Dan. 5:16) for reading the handwriting on the wall, the highest available position. Here we see the “eye-witness” nature of the Biblical record, as is so often brought out by the discoveries of archaeology.

Source: Christiananswers.net

The universally accepted nature of science is that it is always evolving, with old theories and hypothesis being revised or discarded in favour of new ones, on the basis of the latest evidence. Therefore scientists do not believe in absolute proof, because new evidence might turn up which alters an old model, theory or law.

However, the existence of God can be proven. It is evident in the power of His creation; it is evident through archaeological evidence; through records of accounts written even after the facts by enemies of Christ, by the Roman Catholic church; it is evident by faith; and certainly will be evident through eschatological verification – when Christ returns, or when we die – whichever comes first. We will then have conclusive proof.

I find it pitiful that evolutionists or atheists believe that religion is a mere superstition: irrational folk beliefs that arose from fear and the human need for meaning and control of our surroundings. Science and our ability to control our environment has supposedly made us the captain of our own fate – no need for God anymore. But our control is a mere illusion. God says:

“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” (I Pet. 1:24-25)

So you see, we have only a few years on this earth and then we die. Without God, we have no hope, no future, no reality. It is only the word of God which is truth (John 17:17), not the ego filled vanity of atheistic nonsense. If all we have is hope in the present life, we are indeed hopeless.

But God promises eternal life, and He (unlike man), cannot lie (Tit. 1:2). I’ll take that statement above the fables foisted upon man by evolutionary science. At least I know where I’m going.

May 6, 2009

Why Hasn't Science Discovered God?

hybrid-androgyne.deviantart.com

hybrid-androgyne.deviantart.com

Until the later half of the nineteenth century, the intellectual community was dominated by religious thinking. In intellectual pursuits men were expected to espouse a belief in God. Alternate views were automatically viewed with suspicion. Science existed, but it was cloaked in a shroud of superstition.

Early in this century, however, the actors on the intellectual stage exchanged roles. God became a mere “extra.” Superstition was cast as the villain. Science emerged to replace religion in the leading role. In the final act many expected science to explain all mysteries, dissolve all superstition and leave nothing to the realm of the supernatural.

But will it? Is this its responsibility? Should we expect science to replace God and religion as significant forces in the intellectual world? Will all knowledge finally succumb to the defining scrutiny of empirical investigation? And will scientists and other educated men who today believe in God eventually cease to believe? Or is there more to the question of God and science than is commonly assumed?

A careful analysis is in order for anyone seeking an intelligent perspective of reality. Science is neither anti-God, nor does it disprove Him. There is no reason to be confused by the belief that God can or even should be done away with by science. Here is why.

What Is Science?

The English word “science” comes from the Latin scientia, which simply means “knowledge.” On the surface it would seem, then, that knowledge of God ought to be a scientific issue. Some religious groups even hold this idea as a basic doctrine of faith. They state that science is not really “true” science unless it includes God and a knowledge of things supernatural. Yet if one is really precise in his definitions, and wishes to avoid inaccurate logic in his quest for factual knowledge of God, this simple definition must be refined.

Science in its proper modern usage is the pursuit of only a limited type of knowledge. “At no time does science claim to be in possession of the whole truth; in fact, science is quite clear in insisting that it is never able to be in possession of the whole truth …” (Richard H. Bube, ed., The Encounter Between Christianity and Science [Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1968], p. 35). “Science gives us only a partial, even though ever expanding, picture of the universe. To assume that its descriptions cover the whole of reality is folly indeed!” (Ibid., p. 265.)

Science by definition is confined to establishing general truths by the means of empirical evidence available through the five senses. It originates exclusively in physical observation, experience or experimentation. Therefore, “Science is concerned only with the natural world. Unless a phenomenon can be described within the framework of space and time, it is not properly within the domain of science …

The human senses are the tools of science in studying the natural world. If you can’t see it, hear it, feel, taste, or smell it, then science can’t work with it …” (ibid., p. 18). “Its very nature is such that it cannot deal with unobservable phenomena …” (ibid., p. 265). “Science as such cannot either affirm or deny the truth of statements that lie beyond the limits of that which is empirically verifiable and observable” (ibid., p. 280).

In fact, had not scientists confined their investigations to repeatable, testable evidence — the realm of the physical — many of science’s greatest discoveries might still be covered by a cloak of irrational superstition.

One does, though, sometimes hear the term “science” used in less specific ways. Take the term “religious science,” for example. Here the term “science” really ought to be understood as merely meaning “knowledge” — in that religion is not within the scope of science in its exact sense. Therefore, it would seem that the term “religious knowledge” might be more appropriate when used in critical discussions.

“… We must always recognize the limitations of science. Its very nature is such that it cannot deal with unobservable phenomena, including those that are supernatural …” (ibid., p. 265). “Supernatural phenomena which are not thus observable [by use of the senses, etc.] are outside the scope of science” (ibid., p. 263).

Philosophy, Not Fact

Nevertheless, many do forget the distinction. In fact, much of the skepticism, agnosticism and atheism in the civilized world can no doubt be traced to a disregard of the implicit limits of science. In such a case, scientific methodology is universally applied to everything outside the laboratory. One ceases to deal with science, but enters the realm of philosophy, called empiricism or scientism. Such a concept is not scientific; it is merely the highly restrictive view that anything nonscientific is unreal or untrustworthy.

As the dictionary defines it, empiricism is “a theory that all knowledge originates in experience” (Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary). I am sure that many thinking men would reject the validity of this philosophy. But in an age when science has done so many wonderful things for mankind, it is difficult to reject the idea that science does not hold the keys to all mysteries. But conclusive knowledge of God is patently a bigger issue than science alone. God is not antiscientific. He is not even unscientific. He is simply extra-scientific, or largely beyond the testability of empirical methods.

“An awareness of these limits can help us avoid many inappropriate controversies. For example, does the idea of God lend itself to scientific scrutiny? … If our hypothesis is correct, God would indeed exist everywhere … and we would never be able to devise a situation in which God is not present … But if our hypothesis is wrong, He would not exist and would therefore be absent from any test we could possibly make … Yet we would need such a situation for a controlled experiment. Right or wrong, our hypothesis is untestable … and science cannot legitimately say anything about Him. It should be carefully noted that this is a far cry from saying ‘science disproves God,’ or ‘scientists must be godless … ‘ Science commits you to nothing more … than adherence to the ground rules of proper scientific inquiry” (Paul B. Weisz, The Science of Biology, 4th ed. [New York: McGraw-Hill Inc., 1971], p. 8).

Thus we see that a scientist, when speaking as a scientist, should confine his comments to the limits of his discipline. Unless properly qualified, he should avoid philosophic extrapolations into fields which empirical techniques do not permit him to venture. To require this is not to criticize. It is a mere statement of definition. “The supernatural is not excluded from science because of a bias on the part of scientists; the supernatural is excluded by definition” (Bube, op. cit., p. 19).

Many great scientists, particularly of the last century, did also possess experience that qualified them to speak on topics other than science. Two notable examples are Isaac Newton, who had a well-developed love for poetry, and Samuel B. Morse, the inventor of the telegraph and a recognized painter in his day. In fact, most educated men of that day felt an obligation to gain a broad-based educational experience before venturing into specialized fields. Like classical Greek scholars, they felt it poor intellectual wisdom to theorize in areas where they lacked a foundation of basic knowledge.

Perhaps it is unrealistic to attempt, as did nineteenth century scholars, competence in all fields of learning. The sheer mass of information available to a student today makes the task impractical. Yet the need to respect the value and existence of knowledge other than empirical knowledge is still obvious. Many have not, however, and have fallen into the quicksands of empiricism.

I have no objection to a scientist expressing an opinion. Anyone has that right. But a thinking person must object to the man’s reputation as a scientist being used as authority to express non-scientific opinions. Knowledge of science does not qualify one to make authoritative statements about God.

And yet it surprises me how many people trust anything that comes from a scientific authority without asking if it is scientific fact or mere extra-scientific, personal opinion wrapped in a technical-sounding package. Such is the problem today of many who have some education in the field of science and who otherwise want to know about God. They respect science, but they also feel that God might also make sense. But they have been lulled into an acceptance of the philosophy of empiricism by an educational system largely devoted to materialistic goals.

Science is very important to our modern world. To look down on such benefits would be foolish. But to forget the limits of science is even poorer thinking. Science is useful and productive, but it is not the final authority on knowledge. Much truth lies beyond the investigation of empirical observation and experiment. The existence of God, for example, lies within that realm.

But how does one come to grips with truth beyond science? In science, the facts are real and tangible. Beyond it, whatever truth might exist seems unworkable. This surely is the next logical question in the God/science controversy.

Vital Definitions

To properly understand how one can work with all truth, and not just the variety we see, smell or taste, the meaning of the word “truth” itself must be comprehended. In fact, three concepts commonly tossed about in discussions of God and science must be brought to sharp focus. They are: truth, proof and evidence.

Truth is defined as “that which conforms to fact or reality; that which is … has been, or must be.” Anything which intrinsically and absolutely exists is embodied in the term “truth.” As the dictionary states, “truth” is “that which is,” whether scientifically testable or not. Truth is truth even if no human minds perceive that it exists; and all truth, visible or not, is equally real.

Evidence is, as the dictionary defines it, “Clearness: an outward sign; indication ….” It is that which makes truth visible and clear to the human mind. The truth of electricity, for example, may not be clear and visible to a human mind until it can see, through the eye, the effect of the electricity on a physical object like a light bulb. That is evidence of electricity.

The real difference between scientific and supernatural truth lies not in the degree of validity of one truth over another, but in the inability of the human mind to see all truth with equal ease. We are physical beings, and our thinking mechanism receives its raw material only via the five physical senses. Therefore scientific truth is naturally seen. Supernatural evidence is just as real; but we simply do not have the senses to detect it automatically as we do physical fact.

Some truth, like many basic physical truths, can be so easily demonstrated that scientists call it scientific law. For others, the evidence is less available. Albert Einstein, for example, long sensed the truth of relativity before other scientists were able to provide empirical observational evidence.

Thus we see that man’s overall view of reality is naturally limited. Where the evidence is abundant, truth can be defined with considerable certainty. But in many cases it cannot. God is the supreme example. The truth of His existence clearly does not abound with physical evidence, at least not the irrefutable, objective type. Theoretically (and as the Bible does say), God’s handiwork as the Creator of the universe is physically visible. But as the long history of serious, sincere and conscientious scholars shows, physical evidence alone is inadequate. If one chooses to exclude from his thinking everything but empirical evidence, then he must intellectually recognize the well-established fact that there is no ladder by which a man can climb to a sure knowledge of God. Final proof must depend on the assistance we have received in God’s revelation.

Even if one finds this fact disappointing, revelation is a necessity to make the picture complete. It provides the basic dimension of certainty lacking in physical scientific evidence alone. Frankly, it is God’s responsibility to make His revelation both adequate and believable.

“But I Want Solid Proof!”

But of what value is revelation? Some say they can only trust something they can “prove” — like scientific evidence. And here we meet with a surprise. Revealed evidence can be proved exactly as scientific evidence can. There is no difference when one properly understands the real meaning of “proof.”

Most dictionaries have defined proof as, “The degree of cogency, arising from evidence, which convinces the mind of any truth or fact and produces belief.”

Proof is not absolute or intrinsic. It is entirely personal. It is in the “mind”; it “convinces”; it produces “belief.” And the key is “cogency.” Proof is the mental acceptance that something is sensible, reasonable, logical; in other words, cogent. Therefore it is completely subjective.

It is narrow-minded thinking to insist that proof to you “must” be proof to someone else. But it just can’t be. What may constitute “proof’ to one person may be woefully inadequate to another. Absolute proof simply does not exist. That is why science does not deal with absolute proof. It only seeks out and systematizes evidence that leads to an increasing level of probability.

But viewed as a personal matter, it is not difficult to realize why scientific evidence is no better at proving (producing a belief in) truth than is supernatural evidence. Whichever is the more cogent, logical, reasonable or sensible to an individual’s mind, provides the best “proof.” Some people accept meager evidence as solid proof, while others seem to have the capacity to remain unmoved in the presence of the very best evidence!

Some, as we have seen, resist the cogency of anything but physical, scientific evidence. But whether the evidence is empirical or not does not matter!

Cogency is the criterion, but for it to make sense, one must intelligently accept proof as a relative issue and reject science as the final authority in all knowledge. These are surely basic steps to philosophic stability.

Source: The Good News, January 1974

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