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1 Recommended book: See book.htm

2 Christianity, Philosophy and Science. God. The Soul, Life, The Atom, The Universe.

3 Physical Matter (the material) is studied by science. Physical matter is everything we can see, hear, touch or smell. Even very small things like the cells of our bodies which can be seen through a microscope are physical matter. Or very large things like stars & galaxies. Or very complicated things like the human brain. The spiritual = the soul (or perhaps God) is not studied by science.

4 World Views. Materialism: –Only the material exists. Therefore science can tell us everything that is real. –The Soul is nothing. Idealism: Only the spiritual (our souls) really exist. –The physical world is our imagination or dream. Dualism: –Both exist and are fundamental and affect one another. –Many theists are dualists, but not all. (not all theories about body and soul are dualist) –If dualism is right, can the soul survive the death of the body or does it depend on having a new heavenly body? My hands, my happiness and my thoughts.

5 Worldviews (cont), Science and Philosophy. Under each of these headings there are many sub sections not mentioned here. The material universe is an illusion or a dream. Only the spirit or mind is real. (Some versions of Eastern Religions are Idealism.) –Now the opposite view: The material universe is all that there is – the whole story. (Materialism.) –Combining them together: Both the material and the spiritual are real, basic (dualism) and interact. However the spiritual may give rise to the material world. (Theism.) With which worldview does science and philosophy fit most comfortably?

6 World Views: Materialism. Francis Crick: “You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more that the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” (The Astonishing Hypothesis page 3)

7 The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as of all serious endeavour in art and in science.... He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. The sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as feeble reflection, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all that there is. Albert Einstein (Speech in Berlin, Germany 1932).

8 A Common Mistake. Because science studies physical matter religious belief is only about the ‘spiritual’ in humans and God. –Wrong! –If God exists He is relevant to all things – spiritual and physical. If God exists He created the material, physical world – not just the spiritual world. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (The first words of the Bible). “And God made ‘man’ in His own image.” (Near the beginning of the Bible) “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1)

9 Brain - Mind - Consciousness - Soul. The Brain - extremely complex. Prof. Ambrose (Emeritus Professor of Biology in London University) in his book 'The Nature and Origin of the Biological World' page 152, describing the complexity of the brain says that it is like 500 million telephone exchanges all connected properly. The connections possible are 10 1,300,000,000,000. (To write this number out in the normal form l,000, etc. would take about one hundred thousand years to do.)

10 Could a brain scientist of the future know ‘you’ or ‘me’ by examining our brains? Our thoughts? Not the results of our thinking, but our actual thoughts? (Leibniz’s argument.) What you and I see when we look at something red. Not the results of red light on the brain, but the actual experience of that colour? Could he know my experience of ‘me’ as ‘I’? Could he know what it feels like to be a cat, a snail etc? If the answer to these questions is ‘no’ then science can examine the brain but not our thoughts (the mind). Therefore brain and mind are not the same (not identical).

11 Physical forces just exist. They are not true or false. It does not make sense to ask whether they are true or false. Thoughts can be true or false. Therefore thoughts are not merely physical forces. They interact with the physical. They are the main reason for decisions about the physical. We can’t understand the physical by itself. Thoughts, decisions and intentions are basic to human history. If we imagine a world of mere matter, there would be no room for falsehood in such a world, and although it would contain what may be called ‘facts’, it would not contain any truths, in the sense in which truths are things of the same kind as falsehoods. In fact, truth and falsehood are properties of beliefs and statements: hence a world of mere matter, since it would contain no beliefs or statements, would also contain no truth or falsehood.[1] [1] Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy, page 70.[1]

12 If we imagine a world of mere matter, there would be no room for falsehood in such a world, and although it would contain what may be called ‘facts’, it would not contain any truths, in the sense in which truths are things of the same kind as falsehoods. In fact, truth and falsehood are properties of beliefs and statements: hence a world of mere matter, since it would contain no beliefs or statements, would also contain no truth or falsehood. (Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy, page 70.)

13 Participants and speakers at the ‘Out of Body’ - ‘Near Death Experience’ (NDE) lecture: David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network; Dr Olaf Blanke, Dept. of Neurosurgery, University Hospitals of Geneva and Lausanne; Dr Pim van Lommel, Consultant Cardiologist, Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem, Netherlands; Dr Peter Fenwick, Institute of Psychiatry, University of London; Professor Bob Morris, Koestler Chair of Parapsychology, University of Edinburgh. For more on the scientific research see: ‘The Lancet’ December 15th 2001.

14 Interesting results of research reported at the April 2003 Edinburgh Science Festival. NDEs are reported by 18% of resuscitated patients (a very much higher proportion for children) often involving: Seeing the old body from above and watching the medics at work. One example given was of seeing way beyond the hospital to distant places where the mind focussed. –Many of such things seen produced verifiable knowledge. A review of earlier life including childhood. Travelling down a tunnel to a beautiful light where deceased family members and religious figures are there to welcome. An awesome experience of peace, unconditional love, beauty and freedom. Finally seeing a ‘border’ beyond which there will be no return. Not all experience all of these phases. Many return to their body after the first one or two stages.

15 Attempts have been made to explain these experiences from the consequences of the body closing down and starving the brain of oxygen. It is alleged that this lack of oxygen would produce illusions including an illusion of light. However those addressing the Science Festival said this could not provide an explanation because: –The experiences happened when the brain had become completely inactive (no electrical activity at all). –The reported sensory experiences (visible, audible and tangible) were clear and coherent and could not come from a failing brain. –What was seen of the hospital room (and beyond) was verified as true. –People born blind who had never seen anything report seeing clearly as the experience progresses !

16 In answer to questions afterwards we were told: Previous culture or religious practice are not relevant to the experience/non-experience of NDE. There was no statistical difference between reports from religious former West Germany or from non- religious former East Germany. –Types of illness/accident, or drugs used in treatment, are not relevant to the experience/non-experience of NDE. –NDEs usually (but not always) lead to: belief in the after life; transformed attitudes to other people; a belief in purpose for life on earth; a loss of fear of death. –The religious content experienced does not always correspond with the person’s previous religious beliefs.

17 Two days after attending the presentation I received this message from a friend in Malawi (who did not know about the lecture I had attended). It is about a former Moslem. I quote it verbatim: “He is a man who used to be a Moslem but is now a Christian. His testimony was unusual to say the least. He had a ‘near-death’ experience (some describe it as a ‘post-death’ experience!) and during that time, although he was a follower of Allah he heard God saying to him that ‘Jehovah is the true God and Jesus Christ is His Son’. He recovered to life, found himself clear of the disease that he had had, and became a Christian. He says that his Christian faith has brought him liberation and a joy unimaginable beforehand.”

18 After the meeting the two of the presenters told me: Typically the person feels that his/her new life is (a) embodied AND ALSO (b) clothed. The clothes are not those worn in the hospital bed, but clothes associated with life when he/she was in the prime of life. –My comments: The NT teaching on the nature of resurrection is that the resurrected self is not a disembodied soul but an embodied self - in a transformed ‘spiritual body’. Jesus left the grave clothes behind but did not appear naked to Mary Magdalene. The day after the presentation was Easter Day but, not surprisingly, the presenters did not mention this.

19 Near death experiences almost always convince those who experience them that God exists. There are some known exceptions e.g.: A.J.Ayer, during his middle years was one of the most famous 20th century atheist philosophers. –But late in life, he had a `near death’ experience. –In his article `What I saw when I was dead’, he wrote: " The only memory that I have of an experience, closely encompassing my death, is very vivid. I was confronted by a red light, exceedingly bright, and also very painful even when I turned away from it. I was aware that this light was responsible for the government of the universe.."

20 What kind of response and evaluation of his experience did A. J. Ayer make? "My recent experiences have slightly weakened my conviction that my genuine death, which is due fairly soon, will be the end of me, though I continue to hope that it will be. They have not weakened my conviction that there is no god."

21 Animal and human consciousness - the differences? Higher animals are conscious but not self- conscious? They don’t think universally or abstractly. They don’t ponder their own existence? Language and signals. Human personhood dependent on interpersonal relationships. - Ultimately the relationship with the Person of God? Dark side of human self-awareness. Contemplating pain and death. Self-worship - the foundation of human sin.

22 A Word from the Bible: 1 Cor 2:11. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no- one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

23 Fundamental to Christianity is that, not only does God know us from the outside looking in, but also - through Christ who became one with us - He knows us from the inside looking out. He is thus the Redeemer of the whole person - body and soul.

24 Now to life and evolution. The Mystery of the Origin of Life. (Biological evolution can only get going once life has begun to exist). A common theory: In the early earth there was a ‘cosmic soup’ of gases and liquids. Electricity from lightening produced, in the cosmic soup, amino acids - the building blocks of life. This can be replicated in the laboratory today.

25 How did life originate? (Cont) However it is one thing to know how stones (say) were formed but another to know how an intricate stone palace was built from the stones. Energy and an mind are needed to work on the stone. Simple proteins involve many amino acids in correct sequence. How are proteins actually made? In the cells of life. In each cell of life there is a chemical factory (cytoplasm) for making the proteins, a computer program (the DNA) and a translation system (the RNA)

26 Nucleus of cell made up of DNA Cytoplasm for making proteins. It receives its instructions from the DNA via the RNA translation system. RNA

27 Professor Francis Crick, who received the Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of DNA (the famous double helix), writes: “The origin of life appears to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to be satisfied to get it going” (italics added). Professor Harold Klein, chairman of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences committee that reviewed origin-of-life research, writes: “The simplest bacterium is so damn complicated that it is almost impossible to imagine how it happened” (italics added).

28 American Spectator magazine (May 2005) says: IMAGINE A NANOTECHNOLOGY MACHINE far beyond the state of the art: microminiaturized rotary motor and propeller system that drives a tiny vessel through liquid. The engine and drive mechanism are composed of 40 parts, including a rotor, stator, driveshaft, bushings, universal joint, and flexible propeller. The engine is powered by a flow of ions, can rotate at up to 100,000 rpm (ten times faster than a NASCAR racing engine), and can reverse direction in a quarter of a rotation. The system comes with an automatic feedback control mechanism. The engine itself is about 1/100,000th of an inch wide - far smaller than can be seen by the human eye. And then goes on …

29 Most of us would be pleasantly surprised to learn that some genius had designed such an engineering triumph. What might come as a greater surprise is that there is a dominant faction in the scientific community that is prepared to defend, at all costs, the assertion that this marvellous device could not possibly have been designed, must have been produced blindly by unintelligent material forces, and only gives the appearance of being designed.

30 How did life originate? (Cont) The chemical factory receives its instructions from the very complicated DNA code. The DNA is a code written in a four letter ‘alphabet’. (Each letter is a different nucleotide.) The DNA code even for a simple bacteria may be a thousands of ‘letters’ long. These letters have to be in a particular order to provide the information necessary for the manufacture of the proteins. The DNA sends its instructions to the cytoplasm via the RNA which ‘translates’ the instructions so that the cytoplasm can ‘understand’. The DNA, cytoplasm and the RNA are themselves made by the very cells of which they are a part!

31 Some say that life’s beginnings may have been much simpler than this. However we still have the problem of the origin, not just of complexity, but of information.

32 How did life originate? (Cont) The Atheist Richard Dawkins writes : What lies at the heart of every living thing is not a fire, warm breath, nor a 'spark of life'. It is information, words, instructions... Think of a billin discrete digital characters... If you want to understand life, think about information technology.

33 How did life originate? (Cont) In his award winning book ‘Consilience’ Edward Wilson the eminent non religious science writer who has recently won many prestigious prizes tells us that cells use “very modern technology involving digital logic, analogue-digital conversion and signal integration.” He tells us that this complexity exceeds that of “super- computers and space vehicles.”

34 How did life originate? (Cont) Encyclopaedia Britannica: The origin of the code. A critical and unsolved problem in the origin of life is the origin of the genetic code. The molecular apparatus supporting the operation of the code the activating enzymes, adapter RNAs, messenger RNAs, and so on are themselves each produced according to instructions contained within the code. At the time of the origin of the code such an elaborate molecular apparatus was of course absent.

35 How did life originate? (Cont) Douglas Hofstadter, (a world famous and non religious artificial intelligence expert) writes: "A natural and fundamental question to ask, on learning of these incredibly, intricately interlocking pieces of software and hardware is: 'How did they ever get started in the first place?'..... from simple molecules to entire cells is almost beyond one's power to imagine. There are various theories on the origin of life. They all run aground on this most central of central questions: "How did the Genetic Code, along with the mechanisms for its translation originate?" For the moment we will have to content ourselves with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than with an answer.'

36 Michael Polanyi's gave his reaction to the claim that the discovery of the DNA double helix is the final proof that living things are physically and chemically determined. No said Polanyi it proves the opposite. No arrangement of physical units can be a code and convey information unless the order of its units is not fixed by its physical chemical make- up. His example is a railway station on the Welsh border where an arrangement of pebbles on a bank spelled the message - "Welcome to Wales by British Rail". This information content of pebbles clearly showed that their arrangement was not due to their physical chemical interaction but to a purpose on the part of the stationmaster... The arrangement of the DNA could have come about chance, just as the pebbles on that station could have rolled down a hillside and arranged themselves in the worlds of the message, but it would be bizarre to maintain that this was so...

37 But how did self-replicating organisms arise in the first place? It is fair to say that at the present time (2006) we do not know. No current hypothesis comes close to explaining how …….. the prebiotic environment that existed on planet earth gave rise to life. (Francis Collins, head of the human Genome project)

38 Messages, languages, and coded information ONLY come from minds. (Minds are conscious.) - minds that have agreed on an alphabet and a meaning of words and sentences and that express both desire and intent. If we analyze language with advanced mathematics and engineering communication theory, we can say: Messages, languages and coded information never come from anything else besides a mind. No-one has ever produced a single example of a message that did not come from a mind. Languages etc can be carried by matter or energy (eg sounds, ink, electronic and radio signals) but they are none of these things. Indeed they are not matter or energy at all. They are not ‘physical’. The physical universe can create fascinating patterns - snowflakes, crystals, stalactites, tornados, turbulence and cloud formations etc. But non-living and non-conscious things cannot create language. They cannot create codes.

39 Retired professor of Mathematics in Oxford Roger Penrose FRS (making no religious profession – but calling himself a Platonist, in his book ‘Shadows of the Mind’ ) claims in his more recent book ‘Road to Reality’ that there is a transcendent truth, a transcendent beauty, and a transcendent goodness and that they are one. So for him mathematical truth is to be discovered, not invented. (Bertrand Russell held this position until his ‘escape from Pythagoras’, as he calls it.)

40 A hierarchy of mysteries: The nature of: Conscious life - such as the higher animals have. Life - anything that is alive - such as plants. Matter - material or physical existence. Conscious life (human) that can: reason (think abstractly and universally), ponder its own life, death, and possible life after death. be aware of good and evil, know that it is responsible (partly) for its own behaviour.

41 The Argument from Design. Bertrand Russell (sceptic though he was) greatly respected the argument from design especially as expounded by Leibniz. (He regarded Leibniz, in whom he specialised, as "one of the supreme intellects of all time") BR writes: "This argument contends that, on a survey of the known world, we find things which cannot plausibly be explained as the product of blind natural forces, but are much more reasonably to be regarded as evidences of a beneficent purpose." He regards this familiar argument as having no "formal logical defect". He rightly points out that it does not prove the infinite or good God of normal religious belief but nevertheless says, that if true, (and BR does not give any argument against it) it demonstrates that God is "vastly wiser and more powerful than we are". (See his chapter on Leibniz in his History Of Western Philosophy.)

42 How do we arrive at a scientific theory? By inferences. Are these inferences or reasonings themselves physical? The materialist says ‘Yes’. Because he/she believes the physical is everything. One person makes one inference and another makes another based on the same data. How do you decide which is right? By reason. But that too would be the result of physical processes. But evolution is a physical theory. It can’t therefore explain the human capacity for reasoning and making scientific theories. It can’t explain human attributes that have nothing to do with survival in the future. E.g. music.

43 “How did natural selection prepare the mind for civilisation before civilisation ever existed?” He goes on: “That is the great mystery of evolution: how to account for calculus and Mozart … Natural Selection does not anticipate future needs.” (E. O. Wilson: Consilience)

44 Harvard to Investigate Origins of Life Mon Aug Harvard University is joining the long- running debate over the theory of evolution by launching a research project to study how life began. The team of researchers will receive $1 million in funding annually from Harvard over the next few years. The project begins with an admission that some mysteries about life's origins cannot be explained. (This is an admission that the origin of life remains a mystery.)

45 But how did self-replicating organisms arise in the first place? It is fair to say that at the present time (2006) we do not know. No current hypothesis comes close to explaining how …….. the prebiotic environment that existed on planet earth gave rise to life. (Francis Collins, head of the human Genome project, and author of ‘The Language of God.’)

46 Science has been v. successful in explaining much (but not all) in the physical world. It does not follow that non- physical does not exist or is not needed to explain the behaviour of the physical world!

47 How did life originate? (Cont) My comment: We can add to the mystery of the `miracle' by noting that the DNA, by itself, is useless; it must be translated via the RNA so that its `message' can be put to use by the cytoplasm `factory'. The problem is that the RNA that links the DNA with the factory, itself is manufactured by that very factory which cannot function without the RNA and the DNA! Indeed each component depends on the other for its manufacture. Try to imagine a factory for making computers - the factory itself being run from the beginning by the very computers it alone can manufacture! This is only one of the enigmas of the origin of life even in its simple forms.

48 An individual life form is more complex than the DNA codes in his cells. I am more complex than even the cell of life from which I grew. Just consider one of a thousands of possible examples the brain. Writing about the brain Richard Dawkins in his preface to `The Blind Watchmaker', tells us : " The brain with which you are understanding my words is an array of some ten million kiloneurones (ten thousand million neurones). Many of these billions of nerve cells have each more than a thousand `electric wires' connecting them to other neurones." Where does this greater complexity come from?

49 An individual life form is more complex than the DNA codes in its cells. (Cont) The Plot thickens - differentiation! Research Chemist Ernest Lucas tells us: "The single fertilised egg does not have miniature arms and legs. These new structures appear later as the cells multiply and divide. If every cell in my body contains the same DNA code, how, at the beginning of my life, does each new cell know whether it is to be part of a nose, my liver, etc? How does this mystery of differentiation happen? Who or what tells it?

50 An individual life is more complex than its DNA codes. (Differentiation Cont) Paul Davies writes: If every molecule of DNA possesses the same global plan for the whole organism, how is it that different cells implement different parts of that plan? Is there, perhaps, a `metaplan' to tell each cell which part of the plan to implement? If so, where is the metaplan located? In the DNA? But this is surely to fall into infinite regress.

51 An ancient belief in Evolution? St Basil, the 4th century Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia: ‘Why do the waters give birth also to birds?’ he asked, writing about Genesis. ‘Because there is, so to say, a family link between the creatures that fly and those that swim. In the same way that fish cut the waters, using their fins to carry them forward, so we see the birds float in the air by the help of their wings.’ (Quoted in the Spectator:25th October 2003)

52 EVOLUTION. Random mutations (changes) in the DNA sometimes produce improvements which make the species more able to live in its environment. So it then survives better and passes on its new characteristics to succeeding generations - and so on. This process is called: Natural Selection or The Survival of the Fittest. However it would have to be the result of an aggregation of very small steps: "…Natural selection acts only by taking advantage of slight successive variations; she can never take a great and sudden leap, but must advance by short and sure, though slow steps.” (OOS page 162)

53 A note about Mutations. (Summary of Denis Alexander’s explanation). ‘Point Mutations’ involve the change of a single ‘base’ (the letter in the ‘genetic alphabet’). Other mutations may happen because of a loss or gain of a whole sequences of DNA. If such a gain happened it would be DNA that had been added inappropriately from some other chromosomes in the same cell. Such events occur quite often during the process of cell division. The copying process is extremely accurate, but the enormous rate at which cell division occurs in some tissues leads to errors in replication. Many of these are rectified by the DNA repair enzymes, which are constantly on the look out for mistakes. However some mutations may still be passed on to daughter cells.

54 Evolution (Cont) Micro evolution - non controversial. Small changes and adaptations do occur within a species but they do not produce new parts of the plant or new organs for the animal - such as leaves, bark, petals, wings, eyes, livers, lungs, blood streams, brains, nervous systems, etc. Micro evolution alone cannot explain how bacteria changed into elephants, oak trees, spiders and humans etc. So is there macro evolution? Macro evolution (controversial) says that evolution can bring entirely new organs into being and thus explain the whole process from bacteria to tiger, swallow, rose and human.

55 Barrow, Tipler and Carter have calculated the chances of bacteria changing to a human being given the alleged time allowed. They calculate the possibility as 1 in 10 24,000,000. (See “The Anthropic Principle and Its implications for Biological Evolution” by Brandon Carter in The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Astronomical Society A : ; and Tipler and Barrow, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle page )

56 Darwin's Finches on the Galapogas Islands. The finches on different islands vary by the shape of their beaks and what they eat - some eating seeds and others eating insects. Their beaks vary in accordance with their diet. They seem suited to the environment on their respective islands. The Ground Finches eat ticks they remove with their crushing beaks from Tortoises. The Sharp Beaked Ground Finch jumps on the backs of other birds pecking at their flesh and feeding on their blood. Woodpecker and Mangrove Finch use small twigs and cactus spines as tools to dine on the larva stored in dead tree branches.

57 Though they have adapted to allow for specialised feeding most finches are generalised eaters. Their different beaks come into their own in times of drought and what is left on their respective islands during the droughts. Then these specialised beaks allow the birds to better compete for food sources with other birds and animals. Certain kinds of beaks and diet are suited to certain islands. Those that had suitable beaks survived and those that didn't died out. (i.e. Natural Selection.) Therefore each island had finches suited to its environment. Not that God created this finch for that island. The fittest to survive did survive and then it passed on its characteristics to its offspring.

58 Some important questions. 1. How did the initial change in the shape of the beak come about? - before Natural Selection could begin to work? 2. Does this relatively small change give us solid ground for believing that creatures without nerves, brains, blood streams, bark, petals could change into the many life forms we see today? (It is spoken of as if the evidence is clear.) But is it clear? 3. Isn’t the belief that these developments took place solely by random mutation and natural selection based on the assumption that only physical causes exist? But what is the evidence for that assumption? In principle there can be no such evidence.

59 Evolution (Cont) In response to a claim in late 2001 by Eugene Scott of the (US) National Center for Science Education that “virtually every reputable scientist in the world” supports (Darwinian) evolution, a list of over 100 reputable scientists was published in an advert in the New York Times - entitled “A “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism.” Signatories included 5-times Nobel nominee Henry F Schaefer, University of Georgia chemist, and other research scientists who are faculty members at Princeton, Berkeley, Yale, MIT etc. These are not arguing for creation in 4004 BC, but scientists who dare to doubt Darwinism on the basis of the evidence itself.

60 Evolution (Cont) Darwin did not believe that Natural Selection could provide a full explanation for the origin of species. Many modern evolutionary biologists (such as Steven Jay Gould) agree with Darwin that there must be more to it than that. Militant atheists such as Richard Dawkins insist that natural selection alone will one day provide sufficient explanation. What is the evidence for their prophecy? That is the question.

61 Evolution continued: Irreducible complexity. (This is one of the points made by the controversial Intelligent Design movement.) Challenge from Darwin: If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ exists which could not possibly be formed by numerous successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. Michael Behe’s ‘Darwin’s Black Box’ responds, claiming there are many irreducibly complex organs in nature. He uses the workings of a mouse trap to illustrate his point. If just one of the eight parts of the mouse trap is missing the mouse trap will not trap fewer mice - it will trap none at all. See Handout: Behe Defends ID. Others dispute this claim (see for example Forrest and Gross's Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design, (OUP) - the debate continues.

62 Two statements from cell biologist Franklin Harold in his 2001 book (OUP) titled The Way of the Cell. 1. “We should reject, as a matter of principle, the substitution of intelligent design for the dialogue of chance and necessity.” (Chance = random mutation; Necessity = Natural Selection.) This statement (1 above) is immediately followed by: 2. “But we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.” (I have adapted this from an article by Bill Dembski: Unintelligent Evolution.)

63 Evolution (Cont) Problems for the view that natural selection alone can account for the origin of the species of life: –If the mutations were truly random then one would expect harmful changes to be common and improvements to occur very rarely indeed - if ever. A common answer is to say that there were billions of forms of primitive life - so improvements are not all that unlikely. A response says that this does not explain alleged evolutionary changes in bigger species where their numbers were relatively small. –If the changes in DNA code are not random - what or Who guides them?

64 Evolution (Cont) Perhaps a clue to the development of life could come from the underlying quantum physics in the cell - the ‘language’ at the subatomic level. Lothar Shäfer's quantum view of evolution. However that only pushes the question about the source of life’s developing information, one stage further back.

65 Evolution (Cont) My Comment: I do find it difficult to believe that purely accidental processes and random changes, even given billions of years of the `survival of the fittest', could change a single cell (without brain, nervous system, liver, eyes, ears, blood, lungs, leaves, feathers, bark, roots, petals, etc. etc.) into all the wonderful forms of animal and vegetable life we see around us. However this process could have occurred if the process of mutation was not random but guided by an overarching purpose that transcends the universe. That could happen only if the universe itself were an open system.

66 The Biblical view is that God is overflowing love. His Word and Spirit creates and upholds all things and moves them towards their purpose. Can this help us to understand the existence of life in its countless and marvellous forms? Fundamental to God’s purpose is the redemption of the world from evil through the death and resurrection of Christ.

67 Daniel Osmond (Prof of Physiology and Medicine – (Toronto): I do not wish to build a "God of the Gaps" argument built upon gaps in evolutionary knowledge. This would be dangerous because science has a habit of filling gaps, sooner or later. Nor would I wish to predict that, because these particular data are either unavailable or very difficult to obtain, evolutionary gaps will never be filled and use this prediction to argue in favour or Creatorship and Purpose. My point is simply that, in the presence of such huge gaps in knowledge concerning their most important theory pertaining to biological origins, all scientists should exhibit a more realistic, humble attitude. With such huge gaps staring us in the face in the empirical domain, we should refrain from usurping other domains, not accessible to empirical study, with an air of arrogance of super confidence. What evidence is there that physical effects must have physical causes?

68 Common descent Behe, Origin of Life and Then TE. His latest view. We share much of our DNA with animals. Bananas. Or Common Creator. ======================= Cambrian explosion. (500 million years ago.) In a relatively short time most major groups of animals, fully formed, appeared in the fossil record.

69 Junk DNA and Vestigial Organs. It is commonly claimed that present day creatures have useless parts of their DNA or anatomy which are left-overs from their distant ancestors. However as time goes on, what was once thought to be useless, is, after all, discovered to have function. E.g. Tonsils and Appendices. Also it is not completely clear that our all our supposed ancestors did have these extra parts. Since our science is in its infancy in this area, we should hesitate before using this as evidence for or against evolution.

70 But how did self-replicating organisms arise in the first place? It is fair to say that at the present time (2006) we do not know. No current hypothesis comes close to explaining how …….. the prebiotic environment that existed on planet earth gave rise to life. (Francis Collins, head of the human Genome project)

71 TE verses ID ID is proposing an extra miracle to creation. ID is saying that the creation of life exhibits one aspect of creation. Creation is ‘one seamless whole’ (DA). Creation was in several steps, each not reducible to the former. Physical effects must have physical causes. What about thoughts and their physical effects? God of the gaps. (Nature does this and God does that.) It is the advance of knowledge that has led to ID, not ignorance. The advance of knowledge reveals a code and information, not just complexity.

72 AE; (Intellectually fulfilled atheist.) Weak TE; (Fruitful potentiality) Strong TE; (ID) OEC; (ID) YEC. (ID) Universal Flood, Catastophism, Dating Methods, No suffering before the Fall. Fallen Time and Redeemed time. We could never get back to God’s time. Jewish year commemorates Adam, not Creation, because Genesis 1 is God’s time unknown to us. What is the alternative to Evolution? It does not bear thinking about. Hence the passion. Much is at stake.

73 TE crits of ID 1.Behe and Dembski. Parts of nature exhibit Design. No, all do. 2.The word ‘Designer’ is inadequate. (Beauty & goodness too). ID Crits of TE 1.The natural world is ‘One Seamless Whole’ say TE. No, it comes in a series of stages – each stage needing creative input. 2.TE is guilty of dualisms. Spiritual/Physical. Gen 1 is ‘Theology’ – (mere?) Theology.. Creation/Redemption. Miracles are allowed in Redemption but not in Creation. 3.Dishonesty about the difficulties. All sown up.

74 The Atom. Two of Bertrand Russell’s questions without answers: 1. What is mind (where your thoughts are)? Leibniz’s mill or mountain. 2. What is matter? Leibniz’s monads or souls. We know consider this one – What is matter?

75 What is matter? Or What is energy? Since the time of the Greek philosophers, (before Christ) there have been two different theories as to the fundamental nature of matter/energy. Also the first Buddhists asked ‘What is everything made of?’ Atomist: Matter is made up of tiny particles. (Molecules, atoms, etc) In differing combinations they make up the physical world as we experience it. When school science teaches us about atoms & electrons etc., we get an ‘atomist’ picture of reality. Plenum: The whole of space is filled with a ‘field’ which manifests itself as matter. When school science teaches us about fields of force (like magnetism) we get the ‘plenum’ picture of reality.

76 A Mystery. If matter is made of particles - what are the particles made of? If matter is a wave - a wave in what medium?

77 Consider a message in a letter or a formulae in a mathematical treatise. You receive a letter written by hand in a foreign language. It gives you instructions as to where to find the hidden money and a mathematical formula you have to follow as well. Would you take the letter to a laboratory to analyse the chemistry of the ink and paper to understand the message? No! The message does not come from the ink or paper (they only carry the message). The message comes from of the mind (the thoughts) of the person who wrote the letter using the ink and the paper. The information is not explained by the chemistry of the ink and paper, but the mind who wrote the letter/treatise?

78 Information and Word? (1) If we think of matter/energy as a wave or field (plenum) we find that it is a wave we can understand by Mathematics. Galileo: “Mathematics is the language with which God wrote the universe.” In one of his non-religious books on Quantum theory, Sir John Polkinghorne (Professor of Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University and also Priest) says it is intelligibility from which all physical existence emerges. So information or ‘language’, (in the form of mathematics?) lies in and behind all physical reality.

79 John 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made.

80 Information and Word? (Cont.) The theoretical physicist Paul Davies in ‘The New Scientist’ recently wrote: "Normally we think of the world as composed of simple, clod-like, material particles, and information as a derived phenomenon attached to special, organised states of matter. But maybe it is the other way around: perhaps the Universe is really a frolic of primal information, and material objects a complex secondary manifestation.” (New Scientist, January 30, 1999, Pg. 3), (Rather than the other way round: information emerging from mindless particles and energy.) If Paul Davies is right then it resonates with the Bible’s teaching that ‘Word’ is the foundation of all things.

81 Bertrand Russell ( atheist/agnostic) believed the most powerful argument for God’s existence comes from Mathematics. Pythagoras: Numbers: 1. have properties; 2. don’t exist in our space-time. Penrose: Numbers exist in a transcendent world. (So does beauty and goodness). All three are One. Human consciousness accesses this transcendent world and can therefore make discoveries about numbers. But Is Mathematics discovery or is it merely invention? Russell and ‘The Principals of Mathematics.’ Godel. (Electrons etc are not picturable as ‘things’ in space-time. Some say it is consciousness that gives them the property of particles in space-time.)

82 Consider this from Bertrand Russell’s ‘Study of Mathematics’: Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty - a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show. The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than Man, … is to be found in mathematics as surely as in poetry. And consider this from Paul Dirac (Nobel Prize: Quantum Theory):.. fundamental physical laws are described in terms of a mathematical theory of great beauty and power … One could perhaps describe the situation by saying that God is a mathematician of a very high order and He used very advanced mathematics in constructing the universe. Eugene Wigner, (Nobel Prize for Maths) and Dirac’s brother-in- law, wrote of the unreasonable effectiveness of Mathematics in understanding nature. He said: “ It is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.”

83 A hierarchy of mysteries: The nature of: Conscious life - such as the higher animals have. Life - anything that is alive - such as plants. Matter - material or physical existence. Conscious life (human) that can: reason (think abstractly and universally), ponder its own life, death, and possible life after death. be aware of good and evil, know that it is responsible (partly) for its own behaviour.

84 TE crits of ID 1.Behe and Dembski. Parts of nature exhibit Design. No, all do. 2.The word ‘Designer’ is inadequate. (Beauty & goodness too). ID Crits of TE 1.The natural world is ‘One Seamless Whole’ say TE. No, it comes in a series of stages – each stage needing creative input. 2.TE is guilty of dualisms. Spiritual/Physical. Gen 1 is ‘Theology’ – (mere?) Theology.. Creation/Redemption. Miracles are allowed in Redemption but not in Creation. 3.Dishonesty about the difficulties. All sown up.

85 The Beginning and the Big Bang. In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1) Father of the Big Bang Theory Georges-Henri Lemaître (Catholic priest and scientist) was born July 17, 1894 in Charleroi, Belgium. Lemaître is credited with proposing the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe, although he called it his 'hypothesis of the primeval atom'. He based his theory, published between 1927 and 1933, on the work of Einstein, among others. Einstein did not, at first, like the theory because it was too much like the teaching of the Bible. However in 1935 Einstein, after having travelled on a long train journey with Lemaitre, applauded a lecture on the subject, given by Lemaitre himself, and said, "This is the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened". Against much opposition from the scientific community, Lemaître’s theory finally triumphed from the sheer weight of evidence. (In the second half of the 20 th Century.) He estimated the age of the universe to be between 10 and 20 billion years, which agrees with modern opinions.

86 The Beginning and the Big Bang. In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1) Did the universe (in one form or another) begin or is it eternal? Steady State or Beginning? Evidence for beginning. –Stars still burning. –Not fallen in on one another. –Anti-Gravity?? No! Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding as if from an explosion. Big Bang of ‘light’ fifteen billion years ago. Seemingly from nothing! From this Big Bang hydrogen and helium eventually formed. The hydrogen clouds contracted and heated up and stars were created. The inside of stars created the heavier elements from which planets are made. Background radiation - as if from the Big Bang’s echo - confirmed the theory. Did this confirm the Biblical teaching that God created the cosmos out of nothing?

87 Robert Wilson, one of those who discovered the background radiation was asked by journalist Fred Heeren if the Big Bang indicated a Creator. Wilson said, "Certainly there was something that set it all off. Certainly, if you are religious, I can't think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis."

88 At this moment it seems as though science will never be able to raise the curtain on the mystery of creation. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about the conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself up over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries. Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements and the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same; the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy. God and the Astronomers, Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow.

89 Will the Universe contract again to a Big Crunch? Did the Big Bang come from a Big Crunch? An oscillating universe? Probably No! But even if the universe is oscillating between crunch and bang, the series could not be infinite. We still have the problem of the genesis (beginning) of everything. Could Quantum fluctuations in a vacuum have caused the Big Bang? What are and why are there quantum fluctuations? Colliding membranes and eleven dimensions creating the ‘Big Bang’? The Wave Function of the Universe? If that exists why does it exist? Where did it come from? The end of the universe - heat or cold death?

90 The Biblical Teaching is that there has been, is, and will be a New Creation. Not a creation out of nothing but out of the ashes of the old. When evil and decay have done their worst to this world, God intervenes in New Creation. The link between the Old and New is the Death/Resurrection of Jesus Christ in whose Person, God and the world are held together and humanity is forgiven and nature healed. Too good to be true? Perhaps, but we are faced with the reality of our universe. Where did it come from? Why should anything exist at all is surely amazing - but here we are - too good to be true?

91 The Universe is finely tuned! If the properties of the universe had been a tiny bit different: the stars would not have formed or if they had, they would have not lasted long. there would have been no sun, no planets and no earth. the universe would either have been black holes or gas. there would have been complete darkness.

92 What are the variations in the initial conditions of the universe that would have made it dark and lifeless? Rate of expansion from the big bang. (1 in ) Strength of gravity. Dark Energy. Initial conditions together 1/10 to power 10 to power 30! Origin of materials that go to make up earth: Elements (e.g. carbon) were made in the centre of stars. However the process is a very very delicate one. The Whole Universe seems very finely tuned! Earth’s position in the solar system for liquid water. Jupiter, Position in the galaxy.

93 The recent theories about ‘Dark Energy’ have strengthened this point. In their paper "Disturbing Implications of a Cosmological Constant" two atheist scientists from Stanford University stated that the existence of this dark energy term "Would have required a miracle... An external agent, external to space and time, intervened in cosmic history for reasons of its own."

94 Blaise Pascal (d.o.b. 1623) and the Meaning of Life. I owe the material in these slides to Thomas V. Morris and Peter Kreeft.

95 His accomplishments: He invented the precursor of the calculator, founded Probability Theory, designed the first system of public transportation in Europe.

96 Pascal accepted the metaphysical proofs for God. For example the argument from the objective reality of numbers. However he cautioned as follows: The metaphysical proofs for the existence of God are so remote from human reasoning and so involved that they make little impact, and, even if they did help some people, it would only be for the moment during which they watched the demonstration, because an hour later they would be afraid they had made a mistake. (190) and in (449) he says: Even if someone were convinced that the propositions between numbers are immaterial, eternal truths, depending on a First Truth in which they subsist, called God, I should not consider that he had made much progress towards his salvation.

97 Blaise Pascal (French Philosopher and Mathematician 17 th C.) He wrote about the human condition. He said we are both glorious and wretched. We are capable of advanced mathematics, reasoning and science and great goodness. We are made in the image of God. We are capable of evil and we are all moving towards death. We are all seeking but not finding happiness and truth. This is a sign that we have lost something.

98 Pascal’s Illustration. Two labourers. 1. The first used to be a prince. He has lost his royalty and so feels unhappy. 2. The second was never a prince and so he has not lost anything. He is not unhappy. =========================== Humans are like the first. We have a collective memory of something that we have lost. That is why we are seeking, but not finding, happiness and truth.

99 Pascal’s Ideas – continued. God made us for glory but we lost it because of sin. We need to be restored to God as His children (princes ). So God, who loves us all, suffered the pain of our sin for us and then lifted us up back to Him. This is the meaning of the cross of Jesus. The cross shows us how much God loves us – our glory. It also shows us how bad we are now - our wretchedness. Only the cross links our glory with our wretchedness and makes sense of our human lives.

100 However men hate religion because they are afraid it may be true. (Said Pascal) (They prefer to live lives independent of God.) They use the following to try to avoid God: 1.Indifference. They pretend they do not care. 2.Diversion. They are too busy with other things. We go on to consider: The Meaning of Life. The Human Enigma.

101 Indifference. A realisation that religion is one cause of dispute is a widespread excuse for indifference among many people. Pascal describes such people as persons “who do not love the truth”. An object of love is not a matter of indifference. When you have it you embrace it. When you lack it, you pursue it. People who are indifferent about ultimate questions neither embrace nor pursue truth.

102 Indifference (Continued) There are only two classes of people who can be called reasonable: those who serve God with all their heart because they know him and those who seek him with all their heart because they do not know Him. (427) There are only three sorts of people: those who have found God and serve Him; those who are busy seeking Him and have not found Him; those who live without either seeking or finding Him. The first are reasonable and happy, the last are foolish and unhappy, those in the middle are unhappy and reasonable. (160)

103 Indifference (continued). There are people who avoid religious and philosophical thinking out of fear. Often it is just fear of the unknown. Others fear what they suspect to be true and wouldn’t want to face head-on. (TVM)

104 (In my early years) I began to write out of vanity, self-interest and pride. I did the same thing in my writing that I did in my life. In order to acquire the fame and money I was writing for, it was necessary to conceal what was good and to flaunt what was bad. And that is what I did. Time after time I would scheme in my writings to conceal under the mask of indifference and even pleasantry those yearnings for something good which gave meaning to my life. And I succeeded in this and was praised. (Leo Tolstoy, Confession.)

105 That man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his love and beliefs, are but the outcomes of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling can preserve individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins – all these things if not quite beyond dispute are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation be safely built. (B. Russell, Why I am not a Christian.)

106 Pascal applies the context principle. Our behaviour is a function of its context. People attend to every context they find themselves in except the ultimate context. Since in this life there are often more rewards for vices than for virtues, few would prefer what is right to what is useful if they neither feared God nor hoped for an after-life. (Descartes, Meditations.)

107 Pascal wanted to shock us out of our indifference. Imagine a number of men in chains, all under the sentence of death, some of whom are each day butchered in the sight of others; those remaining see their own condition is that of their fellows, and looking at each other with grief and despair await their turn. This is an image of the human condition. (434)

108 After Indifference comes Diversion. Being unable to cure death, wretchedness and ignorance, men have decided, in order to be happy, not to think about such things. (133)

109 Woody Allen wanted to make a story about: people in Manhattan who are constantly creating these real unnecessary neurotic problems for themselves ‘cause it keeps them from dealing with more unsolvable, terrifying problems about the universe.

110 Pascal is not against all diversion. It is the constant use of diversion to stop us from ever thinking about ultimate issues that he warns against. That is why men are so fond of hustle and bustle; that is why prison is such a fearful punishment; that is why pleasures of solitude are so incomprehensible. That, in fact, is the main joy of being a king, because people are continually trying to divert him and provide him with every kind of pleasure. A king is surrounded by people whose only thought is to divert him and stop him thinking about himself, because, king though he is, he becomes unhappy as soon as he thinks about himself. (136) We run heedlessly into the abyss after putting something in front of us to stop us seeing it. (166)

111 Why do we pay medical doctors so much? Because we want to keep death from our door. We want them to keep death and the troubling questions it raises as far away as they can. We want this badly and we are willing to pay. But have you noticed that we pay the best entertainers even more, in fact much more – the cinema and television stars, the sports heroes? Maybe it is because we know, deep down, that the doctors will ultimately fail, and the entertainers keep us from thinking about that. This might also explain why we pay philosophers so little: they make us think about it. (TVM)

112 There are two striking human passions, the passion for uniqueness and the passion for union. Each of us wants to be recognised as a unique member of the human race. We want to stand apart from the crowd in some way. We want our own unique dignity and value. But at the same time we have a passion for union, for belonging, even for merging our identities into a greater unity in which we have a place, a role, a value. (TVM)

113 The Meaning of Life. Tolstoy: Five years ago, something very strange began to happen to me. At first I began to have moments of bewilderment, when my life would come to a halt, as if I did not know how to live or what to do; I would lose my presence of mind and fall into a state of depression. But this passed, and I began to fall into a state of depression. But this passed, and I continued to live as before. Then the moments of bewilderment recurred more frequently and they always took the same form. Whenever my life would come to a halt the question would arise Why? And What next?

114 Tolstoy: I did not even want to discover truth anymore because I had guessed what it was. The questions seemed to be such foolish, simple, childish questions. But as soon as I laid my hands on them and tried to resolve them, I was immediately convinced, first of all, that they were not childish and foolish questions but the most vital and profound questions in life, and, secondly, that no matter how much I pondered them there was no way I could resolve them. Or in the middle of thinking about the fame that my works were bringing me I would say to myself, "Very well, you will be more famous than, Pushkin and Shakespeare - so what? And I could find absolutely no reply. My life came to a stop. The truth was that life is meaningless... The only thing that amazed me was how I had failed to realize this in the very beginning. All this had been common knowledge for so long. If not today, then tomorrow sickness and death will come (indeed, they were already approaching) to everyone, to me, and nothing will remain except the stench and the worms. Why, then, do anything? How can anyone fail to see this and live? That's what is amazing! It is possible to live only as long as life intoxicates us; once we are sober we cannot help seeing that it is all a delusion, a stupid delusion! Nor is there anything funny or witty about it; it is only cruel and stupid.

115 If we never died would that solve the problem of meaning? A few thousand years in front of a TV set would answer that! An infinitely long life is not necessarily endowed with meaning. However the reality of death does focus the mind on the ultimate questions. Something has meaning if and only if it is endowed with some purpose by a purposeful agent. Meaning is never intrinsic, it is always derivative.

116 What about a ‘Do it yourself’ approach to meaning? Then there would be no objective meaning to life. Make up your own meaning (subjective meaning) for your own life. Find out what you can do best and do it to the full. John is good at curing diseases and it brings him pleasure. Bill is good at torturing people and he enjoys it. Fred is good at collecting match boxes and he is happy focussing his whole life on this hobby. They devote their whole lives to these pursuits. If there is no objective meaning then there is no way to distinguish, from one another, the value of these different ‘meanings’.

117 Only One who is Eternal and has an eternal purpose for our lives can give our lives real meaning. Thus there is nothing more important than the search for God, and nothing more foolish than the neglect of God through indifference or diversion.


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