Posts Tagged With: design

Our Universe: Designed for Humanity

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson declared, “The universe is a deadly place. At every opportunity it’s trying to kill us.” When astronomers look out to the universe, some are struck by all the dangers it poses to life, especially to human life. In every region of the cosmos beyond Earth, they see gravitational disturbances, supernova, gamma-ray bursts…asteroids, comets, and solar and stellar flares that can easily destroy us.

This dark, doomsday perspective perspective makes sense for astronomers and others who’ve embraced the beliefs expressed by their predecessor Carl Sagan. His message — that the universe is all there is or was or ever will be — shapes their perspective…

What if all that appears so deadly and dangerous is actually what makes life, especially human life and its flourishing, possible? What if the cosmos is not all there is or was or ever will be? Such a perspective would alter the significance of everything about it and within it. – Dr. Hugh Ross, astronomer

When astronomer Hugh Ross first began writing about anthropocentric or theological science in 1991, many were surprised the universe appeared designed for Earth to exist. Not just Earth —but only Earth — and the human life on it. This was contrary to the alleged “great demotion” of humanity’s place in the cosmos, as naturalism evangelists like Carl Sagan preached. Some probably thought science would prove Ross wrong.

It didn’t.

In fact, the years since have become a golden age of astronomy. Discovery after discovery pointed to Earth’s uniqueness, but more importantly, that everything about the structure of the universe prefaced the coming of humans.

Ross has previously documented this growing body of evidence in books like Why the Universe the Way it Is, and Improbable Planet. His new Designed to the Core continues pulling this research together — and this is cutting edge science from around the world.

It’s the implications, however, that should give the chaotic peoples of this world pause. What if there was truly purpose to this existence? What if the reason no aliens have been discovered — and the constants of physics continue to rule out billions of worlds — is because Earth was the point of the universe’s coming into being?

As biologist Michael Denton writes in is recent book, The Miracle of Man, some may disagree with these conclusions, but the science is not in dispute. Those who disagree do from a place of philosophical bias, not a scientific one.

Why cling to a depressing view of the universe, where nothing ultimately matters, where chance decides everything, if the evidence points elsewhere?

Materialistic naturalistic philosophies have infected many fields. They have handcuffed science. Humanity doesn’t matter, if you follow these beliefs to their logical conclusion. Yet lives of millions contradict this every day, and like never before, so do the heavens.

From distant galaxies, to the Sun, and Earth itself; from the instant of the Big Bang, to the quantum and the atomic, it all has fingerprints of being designed to the core.

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Go Against the Tide with an Oxford Thinker

John C. Lennox, Oxford professor of mathematics, is a throwback to a time when universities were full of intellectual scholars intent on uncovering knowledge, finding wisdom, and promoting academic freedom. Unlike many self-proclaimed intellectuals, or anointed celebrity experts, Lennox is neither condescending, nor afraid of questions. An everyman intellectual, his books such as God’s Undertaker and Gunning for God, have explored the intersection of religion and science, and why the two are not — and cannot be — separate realms. He has often debated the foremost minds of our day who disagree with him. In many ways, he is the heir to the legacy of another great Oxford thinker, C.S. Lewis.

The documentary, Against the Tide, hosted and narrated by Kevin Sorbo, traces Lennox’s intellectual journey. They explore the science and reason behind his beliefs. A humble, yet brilliant scholar and debater, he lays out evidence for a designed universe that defies naturalistic explanations. He also shows why his religious beliefs aren’t rooted in blind faith.

He goes into far more detail in his books, but Against the Tide is perfect introduction for seekers of truth and wisdom. If you are curious about the nature of the universe, and your place in it, Lennox is an excellent guide.

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Reclaiming Science: Stop the Abuse

We often equate science with facts and laws of nature, therefore we tend to hold writings couched in scientific lingo in high regard. To a fault we have become too trusting and forget that people write or say these things and people have agendas (purposefully or not). Yes, this is going to be one of those critical thinking posts (I know, it doesn’t quite fit with the theme of the site anymore, but I still occasionally touch on these topics).

Not that the abuse of science is anything new, but it seems to me like it’s becoming more prevalent. With technology so pervasive, we think we know science and trust anything that sounds vaguely like it. That can be a mistake. Take this article on “Finding Israel’s First Camels.” Innocent sounding enough, isn’t it? But very quickly we see an agenda materialize when we read, “Their findings further emphasize the disagreements between Biblical texts and verifiable history.” So is this on an archaeological find or a theological debate?

Reading further we don’t really learn about claimed “disagreements” other than, “archaeologists have shown that camels were not domesticated in the Land of Israel until centuries after the Age of the Patriarchs (2000-1500 BCE). In addition to challenging the Bible’s historicity, this anachronism is direct proof that the text was compiled well after the events it describes.” This is quite the statement and one would expect serious proof, yet the authors of this report don’t do this. The careful reader will note that they base their claim on the assumption that they have found the oldest camel remains.

The rational reader then will ask, “How could they possibly know they have found the oldest remains?” Well, they cannot, but these finds support their particular view of the Bible, so why bother with logic? Amazingly, this article actually waves a couple of red flags on its own:

“In all the digs, they found that camel bones were unearthed almost exclusively in archaeological layers dating from the last third of the 10th century BCE or later…The few camel bones found in earlier archaeological layers probably belonged to wild camels…the origin of the domesticated camel is probably the Arabian Peninsula…In fact, Dr. Ben-Yosef and Dr. Sapir-Hen say the first domesticated camels ever to leave the Arabian Peninsula may now be buried in the Aravah Valley. [emphasis added]”

Almost? Probably? May? And so they did find “earlier” remains that are “probably” wild?

Wow. This is the “science” that leads to the proclamation that “the Bible’s historicity” is challenged?

I don’t think the Bible has much to worry about here (and others have pointed out that the researchers above have ignored other research outside of Israel). My goal here isn’t to start a fight between “believers” and “non-believers,” but to show that conclusions couched in science or coming from scientists doesn’t mean we should not test their claims. Often, as with this example, it is not that hard. Another recent example was the recent Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham spectacle, portrayed as some great intellectual moment between science and religion.

It was more between two people who promote the “science and religion” aren’t compatible myth, albeit from different ends of the spectrum. One thinks science can’t see into the past (Ham), the other thinks science too dumb to detect design (Nye). Funny, I look at the Sun and see it as it was eight minutes ago and archaeology and forensics detect design every day.

These are the best we have to debate serious issues? They are not, but serious doesn’t sell.

We should be concerned that science and theology are so easily hijacked. Those who are well-schooled in the issues often don’t want to jump into the fray, they have better things to do. We cannot, however, give up on science, critical thinking and flushing out those who abuse these things and other higher fields of learning such as theology. We’ve let the few, the entertaining, and the media take over our learning for far too long.

Pope John Paul II said it best with, “Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.”

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