Moving Day!

It’s moving day. The old accommodations have been quite nice, and I’m very happy with the service I at WordPress.com. To be perfectly honest, I’m losing one or two sidebar widgets by moving to my own host. The new place has a lot more room for expansion and customization though, and will let me set up a corresponding web site that doesn’t have to fit itself into the blog way of doing things.

The new site for the blog is http://blog.evangelicalrealism.com/, and the new RSS URL’s are:

Also new, and I hope you’ll all bear with me on this: I’m going to put a few ads in the sidebars, just to help pay the bills. Given the topic of conversation around here, I expect a lot of the ads will be for religious books and web sites, which isn’t entirely bad. I’m always looking for new topics to post. 😉

I’ll continue to keep an eye on this blog, of course, but all future posts will be at evangelicalrealism.com. All the old posts have been copied over and hopefully the user accounts have transferred as well. I’ve relaxed the commenting policy quite a bit, though, so you shouldn’t really need an account any more.

See you there!

XFiles Friday: Leaping to the next conclusion

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 8 )

Up to now, Geisler and Turek have focused on eliminating atheism as a possibly true worldview, which they claim to have accomplished in chapters 1 through 7. Polytheism (and inadvertently Trinitarianism) were likewise disposed of at the beginning of Chapter 8. According to G&T, that leaves only three possible contenders for the title of True and Accurate Worldview.

The main point is that the right box top for the universe shows a theistic God. That means that only one of the three major theistic world religions can make the cut of truth: either Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. Now, logically, all of these theistic world religions cannot be true—because they make mutually exclusive claims. Moreover, it could be that none of these world religions is completely true. Maybe they have theism right but little else. That’s possible. However, since we know beyond a reasonable doubt that God exists and that he has the characteristics we’ve listed above—characteristics that include design, purpose, justice, and love—then we should expect him to reveal more of himself and his purpose for our lives. This would require that he communicate with us. One of the three major theistic religions is likely to contain that communication.

Having leaped to the conclusions that God is characterized by design, purpose, justice and love, it’s not surprising that Geisler and Turek would take this opportunity to jump to a number of other conclusions, such as the conclusion that God is a He.

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Theologian answers atheists: “Myth #1, Atheists are Smarter”

A Roman Catholic priest with the impressive (and quasi-military) title of “Legionary Father Thomas D. Williams” tackles what he calls the “myths” being spread by atheists like Dawkins and Hitchens. In a post entitled “Myth 1: Atheists Are Smarter,” he writes the following:

It is a common myth of our day, not surprisingly propagated by atheists, that religious believers are undereducated folk who have abandoned the use of reason in favor of blind faith.

I think he has a point. It’s not necessarily true that a believer has less education or intelligence than a non-believer, and even if it were true it would be, at best, an ad hominem argument against belief itself. The real issue is not who has the most intelligence and/or education. The real issue is who makes the best use of what they do have. And it is on that basis that believers tend to suffer in the comparison.

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Testing worldviews: the canards of creationism

We’ve been looking at schooloffish’s post “DOES YOUR WORLD VIEW PASS THE TEST?,” about whether various worldviews (naturalism in this case) live up to standards of self-consistency, evidence, and “what the experts say.” In today’s excerpt, schooloffish thinks he has found some problems with evolution that all those PhD biologists have somehow failed to notice.

Since evolution postulates that things evolve from simple cell organisms into complex ones, there should never be a stage where the complexity of an organism cannot be reduced to a less complex stage (calledirreducible complexity). Has any one ever wondered how the heart could have continued to work as it mutated from two chambers to four? How could such a defect still keep the mutated creature alive? How could an animal with a half flipper and half leg survive? It seems logical to assume that a half flipper would not allow the organism to swim and the half leg wold make hunting on land impossible as well. It seems that the organism would starve to death of be a perfect meal for a non-defective creature. Lastly, how can abiogensis occur? How did a rock turn into DNA? These questions have been largely ignored because they show that the naturalistic world view should only be rejected as false.

Well, no, actually, that’s not true. Not only have these questions been extensively studied, scientists have made some significant progress towards finding reasonable answers. It’s not the questions, it’s the answers that are being ignored—by creationists.

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TIA Tuesday: How to disprove Christianity

Last time, Vox used the “play dumb” excuse for not being able to fathom what sort of evidence might convince Dawkins that God was real. This week, he plays even dumber by sharing his own suggested list of potential “evidences” against Christianity.

But if rabbit fossils found in a Pre-Cambrian strata would suffice to disprove evolution, then surely a brilliant scientist like Richard Dawkins should easily be able to come up with a few propositions that would suffice to falsify a specific religion such as Christianity. I suggest a few possibilities:

  • The elimination of the Jewish people would falsify both God’s promise to Abraham and the eschatological events prophesied in the Book of Revelation.
  • The discovery of Jesus Christ’s crucified skeleton.
  • The linguistic unification of humanity.
  • An external recording of the history of the human race provided by aliens, as proposed by science fiction authors Arthur C. Clarke and James P. Hogan.
  • The end of war and/or poverty.
  • Functional immortality technology.

Setting aside the obvious fallacy of demanding that Dawkins prove a negative, it might be fun to take a look at these “evidences” and how they actually relate to the question of whether or not Christianity is true.

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Testing worldviews: naturalism part 2

Let’s continue our look at naturalism, as discussed in schooloffish’s post, “DOES YOUR WORLD VIEW PASS THE TEST?” Today we find him taking up the argument from design:

What we see is an orderly Universe where everything is in a perfect location to allow for humanity to thrive. If the sun was just a little hotter, or colder, life could not exist. If the continents were a little bit out of alignment, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn would seize to flow and the world would be covered with ice. If our sun was just a little bit younger or older, our orbit would be such that the planet would be unable to sustain life. The fact is the Universe seems to be ordered, not in chaos as Darwin would have had us believe.

Needless to say, a scientific theory is basically a reasonably accurate description of some particularly orderly aspect of the natural world. If the universe were “chaos,” as schooloffish puts it, a theory like evolution would not even be possible. The absence of any predictable laws of cause and effect would completely invalidate science as we know it.

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Discovery Institute: Reviving and recirculating Nazi propaganda

Over at Discovery Institute’s “Evolution News and Views,” Senior Propagandist Jonathan West criticizes Dawkins for—are you sitting down?—comparing a rabbi’s speaking style to Hitler’s.

Now, after denouncing Expelled as “wicked, evil” and an “outrage” for pointing out that Darwinism was one of the intellectual influences on Nazism, Dawkins has compared a popular Rabbi who dares to criticize him to Hitler! And he did it no less on World Holocaust Remembrance Day. No, I’m not joking. As I’ve said before, it’s getting really hard to parody the Darwinists. They do it so well themselves.

Who knows what West thinks the “parody” would be here. Apparently, you can accuse “Darwinists” of promoting Nazism all day long, and everything’s just peachy, but if one of THEM dares to do the same to YOU, why, gosh, that’s just so over the top, it’s, it’s…well, I mean really. Even if that’s not actually what they really said.

We could look at the Boteach video (which starts off ranting about the British monarchy being a lie), but in fact it’s not really all that important who called whom the “H” word first. That’s just bickering; if you want more of that, watch trash talk TV. The more important issue is the link West cites above, attempting to blame evolutionary science for the Holocaust. It’s a link to a summary page on Evolution News and Views, listing a number of articles by DI fellows attempting to revive the Nazi propaganda that anti-Jewish genocide is scientifically justified.

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