The Remarkable 20th Century

Something unexpected happened in the twentieth century, something all the more remarkable because it seems to have escaped everyone’s notice. At the opening of the twentieth century, the rise of Darwinism was pushing hard against religious thought and advances in geology had indicated an age for our planet far beyond traditional biblical interpretations. There was every reason to expect that the progress of science would continue to erode the central role of religious belief in people’s lives. Who could have expected that by the close of the twentieth century science would offer an explanation of how everything in the Bible could still be true?

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Miracles, rocks and corn muffins

As a believer I am not the least intimidated by science, in large part because I recognize that the vague term science consists of two components – facts and opinion. Now science is very good at describing, measuring and predicting what it observes (facts). It is not always as good at telling us what it all means (opinions). An honest scientist will agree that science can neither prove nor disprove that God exists. The only legitimate question that can be asked of science is, within the realm of facts discovered is there still room for the God of the Bible to exist? The answer is always emphatically yes.

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Michael Shermer’s Backup Plan

Dr. Michael Shermer is the publisher of Skeptic magazine and has authored a numerous books and articles promoting an atheistic worldview. He is certainly one of this country’s most public and vocal skeptics. In one of his frequent public appearances he debated the existence of God with Father Jonathan Morris. The content of the debate was rather ordinary except for when Shermer responded to a question from the audience. “What if you’re wrong?” someone asked. Shermer’s face lit up and he became quite animated as he declared, “I’ve thought about this. I have little speech prepared.”

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Why should I believe …? Part Two

Instead of asking, Why should I believe in a God for whom no evidence exists?, ask yourself this: What evidence would be sufficient to make me believe? Be honest now. What would it take in the form of evidence for you to accept that God is God? What would it take for you to believe enough to bow you knee and humble yourself before your creator? That’s the real issue, isn’t it? God does not seek mere acknowledgment of his existence. His desire is for faith.

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Victor Stenger and His Trained Straw Dog Show

Victor Stenger is a physics professor who wrote a book in 2007 titled God – the Failed Hypothesis. Simply put, from page one this book is little more than an elaborate straw dog argument. First Stenger constructs his own model of a god and then proceeds to knock it down. That he is able to do so is hardly surprising given the mishmash of religious ideas he strings together. In the end he decides there is no evidence to support his model. This less than shocking conclusion is quite predictable.  Stenger is what Dawkins wishes he could be – a strong atheist, expressing no doubt that God does not exist. Where Dawkins always leaves a little wiggle-room in his certainty, Stenger is all-in.

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That settles it! – or does it?

A number of years back, I read a news report of a fossil found in China that “proved” birds had descended from dinosaurs. It caught my attention only because I’m a backyard birdwatcher, a trait I picked up from my father. As I recall (and memory is an unreliable thing), an expert was explaining to the reporter the significance of a feature of the fossil he called “protofeathers”. I was curious to see what he was talking about and searched the web looking for a photo. While most of the references I found led back to the same interview, one mentioned a second interview with a different expert who examined the same fossil and sniffed, “That’s not a protofeather, just a fold of skin.” Curious.

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Carl Sagan and Recognizing Truth

After Carl Sagan’s death, his wife published his Gifford Lectures on religion and science under the title The Varieties of Scientific Experience. The book presents his lectures as well as excerpts from the Q&A sessions that followed. It’s interesting and helpful because it reveals so much of Sagan’s reasoning about his self-described agnosticism.