Traditionally I am not one to write on the New Atheists, but one individual in particular has always been of keen interest in my studies regarding atheism, science, religion, and topics akin to the like. There is plenty of literature in response to the New Atheists and their anti-religious claims, with even more literature regarding an exhaustive analysis of each individual’s particular book and their general principles (Dawkins; Science and Religion – Hitchens; Religion and Indoctrination – Dennett; Evolutionary Naturalism, etc.).
The leading horseman (so to speak) of this so-called New Atheist movement is Richard Dawkins, a prestigious Oxford Biologist who has published many instructive as well as supremely lucid material on the theory of evolution and its natural history. Continue reading →
The concept of an omnipotent being, namely a being with maximal perfection with respect to power, is sometimes believed to involve a contradiction. The most popular reductio ad absurdum case against the existence of omnipotent being is known as “the paradox of the stone.”
The paradox unfolds as follows:
1. If God exists, then He is omnipotent
2. If God is omnipotent then God can create a stone too heavy for anyone to lift.
3. If God can create a stone too heavy for anyone to lift, then God is not omnipotent since He cannot lift the stone He created.
4. If God cannot create a stone too heavy for anyone to lift, then God is not omnipotent since He cannot create the stone too heavy for anyone to lift.
5. Either way God is not omnipotent.
6. Therefore God does not exist. Continue reading →
In 2003, the short-film Most made its way onto the big screen. The film shows the story of a single father who takes his son to work with him at the bridge which he tends. He was responsible for raising and lowering the bridge at the appropriate times to allow ships and trains to pass. One day as the bridge remained raised, a train approached an hour before schedule. After failing to get his father’s attention and warn him to lower the bridge for the quickly approaching train, the boy attempted to manually lower it on his own and accidentally fell into the gear-works that enabled to bridge to operate. Continue reading →
I have been witnessing an alarming trend lately among people I know or people I have been reading about and, while it is an issue we in the apologetics circles know all too well, the trend needs some addressing. Lately, people have been compromising on some of their beliefs in the face of so called “scientific evidence.” We have all heard somebody say, “The Bible and Christianity say one thing (insert any subject here), but I just can’t believe it in the face of such overwhelming scientific proof to the contrary.” Usually, these same people cannot name exactly what evidence would cause them to doubt but that’s another article for another time. What I want talk about today involves the reasons why people will end up compromising and why the whole idea of scientific evidence versus the Bible is ludicrous.
(The rest of this article is a bit of an aside over the internal debate between Calvinism and Arminianism within Christianity, but is pertinent to the problem of evil discussion.)
A bit more should probably be said about the debate within Christianity between the Calvinist and Arminian views (while noting that either thwart the atheist’s challenge). Theology matters! This can be seen in trying to work out this problem. The Bible says that God ordains, but doesn’t author evil. While I think this is best left in some mystery, it is interesting to see how theologians have tried to work it out.
The free-will defense, on the face of it, looks pretty compelling; however it is not without some problems. First, it is unclear how humans could have true freedom without implications on God’s sovereignty. God could corral human actions through external means, but then are humans really free? Second, in the new creation, evil will be abolished. If evil were possible due to freedom in this life, will freedom be taken away in the next? If not, wouldn’t another fall be possible? Ultimately, the Arminian position places more emphasis on the human perspective. God is bringing about a solution that is best for his creatures (the most saved, best lessons learned, etc.)
Discovery Institute recently released a stunning animation (different from the one above) of the mechanics of ATP synthase, a biomechanical power generator found almost ubiquitously across life. The video above offers another glimpse of the engineering prowess of this amazing molecular machine.
There exists three main types of membrane-embedded ATPases: F-type, V-type and P-type. I will discuss here the F-type ATPases (also called ATP synthase). V-type ATPases facilitate the acidification of intracellular organelles, and use the energy from adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis to pump protons into cells and organelles (Beyenbach and Wieczorek, 2006). P-type ATPases are involved in the pumping of cations, also using the energy of ATP hydrolysis (Bublitz et al., 2011; Kuhlbrandt, 2004). The F-type ATPase discussed here is unique inasmuch as it, rather than hydrolysing ATP, actively synthesizes it using the energy from the flow of protons down an electrochemical gradient. There are also A-type ATPases which are found in archaea and perform a similar function to F-type ATPases (Bickel-Sandkötter et al., 1998).
The Ember Days’ More Than You Think has not left my earbuds since I started listening to it a few months ago. It gets better and better with each listen. The entirety of the album contains some incredible lyrics, but there is one line in one of my favorite songs, “Real Jesus”, that deserves to be written about, mainly because I can relate to the people who might be put off by what it says.
Although none of its followers would call it a religion, evolution has become the religion of the university. Instead, they call it science, even though none of it can be verified in the laboratory. However, even a growing number of atheists are challenging this theory. The late theoretical physicist, Fred Hoyle, dismissed this theory:
“Darwinian theory is wrong because random variations tend to worsen performance as indeed common sense suggests.“(CRJ, Vol. 36, #02, 47)
“Biomaterials [the materials of the cell] with their amazing measure of order must be the outcome of intelligent design.”
This brings us to the primary contention by Dan Brown taken from Holy Blood, Holy Grail – that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. According to Brown’s character Teabing, “the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene is part of the historic record.”[i] His proof of this is two-fold. One, because Jesus was a Jew, the obligation was that he should be married and the Bible’s gospels should have offered some explanation for his unnatural state of bachelorhood. Second, the earliest Christian records in the Dead Sea scrolls and Gnostic Gospels record this union. Teabing claims, “One particularly troubling theme kept recurring in the [Gnostic] gospels. Mary Magdalene…More specifically her marriage to Jesus Christ.”[ii] Teabing refers specifically to the Gnostic Gospel of Phillip verse 55b, “The companion of the Savior is Mary Magdalene. Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on her mouth. The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said to him, ‘Why do you love her more than all of us?’” Teabing subsequently concludes that “any Aramaic scholar will tell you, the word companion, in those days, literally meant spouse.”[iii]Continue reading →