Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lesson 5 – Science: What is True?

Introduction – What is true?
In this, the fifth worldview tour, we are invited to enter the cavern of nature, gaze upon the jewels of creation, and establish yet another important pillar in the Temple of Truth: Science.

Video: Did you ever wonder... about everything?

A. The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork (Psalm 19:1)
We’re going to look inside the box and see 2 things:
1- The glory of God:
For when we open the box, we find that it is filled with voices that speak to us loudly about the majesty and power of the One who has created the physical universe.

2- The work of his hands:
Everywhere we look – whether up at the grandeur of the stars and galaxies or deep into the tiny and elegantly designed inner workings of a living cell – there is evidence that the cosmos is the handiwork of an intelligent, rational mind.

In the contemplation of nature, we come face to face with the truth that God exists and that He has revealed Himself to us, not only through His written Word (special revelation) but also through the works of His hands (general revelation).

How many stars are there?

- Hipparchus, the Greek astronomer, in 128 B.C. stated there were 1,026 stars in the sky.
- Kepler in 1600 A.D. did his own count and found the number to be 1,005.
- Today, thanks to the Hubble Telescope among other methods, the actual number is put at 70 sextillion (70 x 1021).

B. The Creator’s “invisible attributes are plainly seen” (Romans 1:20)

  • Is God’s handiwork so difficult to see? Is it obscure?
  • God has made it plain to us!
  • We must go out of our way to deny this and ignore it.
  • Mankind has nevertheless chosen to ignore the obvious truth, twisting scientific investigation into a vehicle for propagating a godless philosophy of human independence and self-determination.
  • The fool says in his heart: There is no God.
  • Our natural reaction to this experience should be like that of a child: wonder, marvel, and praise for the Creator.
  • But because of the effects of the fall and the polarizing influence of the Cosmic Battle, man shows a tendency to deny what is plain to the senses and to “exchange the truth of God for a lie” (Romans 1:25).

C. Scientific Investigation
“The systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment” – It is also a valid way of ascertaining truth.

D. The great cosmos question: Where did the cosmos come from?
Only two possibilities: the cosmos has always existed or the cosmos had a beginning – either one posses a serious problem for those who deny a Creator.

The problem with the claim that the cosmos had a beginning:

  • How can we start with nothing, and then have everything? It’s like magic!
  • Philosophical question à why is there something rather than nothing?
  • Einstein was irritated with the concept that the universe started from nothing – that is why he proposed the cosmological constant, which is a modification to his theory of general relativity to achieve a stationary universe. He abandoned the concept after observations by
Edwin Hubble indicated that the universe appears to be expanding.
  • It takes faith to believe that the cosmos began with nothing.

  • The problem with the claim that the cosmos has always existed:

    • The idea is that matter has always existed in the form of either matter or energy; and all that has happened is that matter has been changed from form to form, but it has always been.
    • The Humanist Manifesto says, "Matter is “self-existing” and not created," and that is a concise statement of the atheist's belief.
    • 1st problem: We live in an expanding universe that gets bigger and bigger and bigger with every passing day. Now, if we were to make time run backwards, we would arrive at a point, at a beginning. At what scientists call a singularity!
    • 2nd problem: Energy is always breaking down in the cosmos (hydrogen is being consumed). If this process has been going on forever, we would have run out of hydrogen. All the energy should be used-up by now.
    • 3rd problem: The second law of thermodynamics states that in any closed system, things tend to become disordered, which is the universal law of increasing entropy. Getting old is simple conformity to the second law of thermodynamics. In space, things also get old. Astronomers refer to the aging process as heat death.

    E. Metaphysical questions:

    • Does God exist?
    • Why are we here?
    • Is the universe eternal or not eternal?
    • Are the body and the “self" the same?
    • After death, do we continue to exist or not exist?
    • What Attracts Us To Beauty
    • Why is there music? Can you think of that evolving?

    F. Design vs. Randomness
    Science is a methodology for discovering and classifying

    knowledge. The scope of science encompasses all measurable phenomena. Science falls under two scopes: natural science, dealing with the physical, natural world, and social science, dealing with society and human nature.

    • Science and philosophy are very closely linked.
    • Philosophy is trying to develop truth claims about the upper level ideas
    • Science is trying to develop truth claims about the particulars

    Dr. Steven Meyer >> The idea of design
    Study nature >> created by a rational intellect

    Randomness >> There’s nothing intelligent

    Unlocking the mysteries of life – Scrabble Illustration

    Where does the organized information come from? Is it just a matter of time and chance??!!

    Earliest scientists were convinced that the universe bore evidence of design
    Scrabble Example – Where does the organized information in the genetic code come from?
    Wald- “Time is the hero of the plot …the impossible becomes possible.”

    7 men that ruled the world from the grave:

    Charles Darwin: Devolution into Depravity >> He popularized the theory of evolution, and revolutionized modern science. Instead of staying in science, the theory of evolution is now thought to apply to society at large. "Social Darwinism" is a foundational belief of our culture. This concept says that the social structure is engineered and controlled by impersonal forces, natural selection, and the survival of the fittest, rather than by a personal God. Society has become secularized, and God is resented and opposed at every opportunity. The fact is Darwinism is not true, not in science, and not in society. Man is digressing instead of progressing, just has God said he would, II Timothy 3:13. A prime example is our criminal "justice" system. Our "primitive" hang-em-high 19th Century system of justice did a much better job in eliminating the criminal threat to society, than today’s "humane" system. Instead of evolving into a higher life form, mankind is devolving into the depths of depravity.

    Karl Marx: But Socialism is Alive and Well >> Godless atheism produced in the wake of Communist revolutions in Russia and China has not been overthrown. Socialism and the welfare state is alive and well in Europe, North America and Australia and New Zealand. Marxism continues to have a profound influence on western intellectuals, who reject the Judeo-Christian morality in favor of atheism.
    Communists are materialists, i.e., they believe that all is material, and deny the existence of immeasurable things such as love, honor, courage and fidelity. 60,000,000 people have died at the hands of blood-thirsty Communists. Communist dictators live like kings all the while claiming to be promoting a "classless society".

    Julius Wellhausen: Higher Criticism, Religious Liberalism >> a German rationalist, Old Testament scholar, and theologian, declared that human reason was totally dependable and the Bible could not be seriously trusted. Rather than divine inspiration, the Old Testament was said to be a product of evolutionary thinking of several individuals (referred to as the Elohim, Jehovah, Priestly and Deuteronomy, or EJPD, sources). He became a leader in a religious school of thought called "Higher Criticism”.

    Sigmund Freud: Looking for the Truth Within >> The basis for Freudian thinking is the idea that the driving force behind all human action is the sexual instinct or urge. There exists a force, or libido, within mankind that, properly analyzed and controlled, will lead him to greater social progress. Freud opened the door for the New Age Movement, which insists that man can discover and control his own "life force" and obtain a utopia.

    John Dewey and Humanistic Education >> He developed our liberal education system where there is no foundational truth. Nothing is settled, final and sure, but only subject to further research. Nothing is constant, given, or finally true, but rather all is pragmatic, adaptable, and subject to reinterpretation deemed appropriate to the time. Truth, he believed, was only found in experience. Rather than instilling morals in students, teachers were led to teach by experiment, to mold students to be servants of the state.

    John Maynard Keynes: The Government is God >> He had a profound influence on the development of our government economic system. In the wake of the devastating global depression of 1929 through the 1930’s he thought that it was the responsibility of government to create full employment, even if it had to borrow money and assume mounting debt to do so. Rather than get rid of the sins which cause economic depression, vanity, jealously, lust and greed, he promoted the idea that government had all the answers.

    G. Examining Darwin’s Theory

    • Hypothesis, theory, law – data must confirm investigation of truth claims
    • Hypothesis: Very early assumption made on the basis of limited evidence and basic data used as a starting point for further investigation.
    • Theory: Much more sophisticated than a Hypo. Idea or belief about something formed by speculation, conjecture, or deduction from certain facts within certain parameters. It is one that allows us to make predictions about future occurrences or observations of the same kind and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise verified through empirical observation.
    • Declaration of a Law: A statement of scientific fact that a particular natural or scientific phenomenon is invariable under given circumstances (Laws of science are considered universal and invariable facts of the physical world.)
    • Darwinian Evolution taught as “Fact” – Does his theory match reality?
      Paley’s Argument – Anyone who looks at a pocket watch understands that is was designed with intelligent purpose
    • Ignoring the obvious – Francis Crick: You’ve got to keep in mind that all of this was not designed

    H. Hollow & deceptive philosophy:

    Carl Sagan’s Assumptions:

    • Our future depends on how we understand this cosmos
    • We’re going to follow the truth wherever it leads (dishonest statement – if it leads to a creator, we will ignore it).
    • We need imagination and skepticism
    • We will not be afraid to speculate.

    I. Contemporary Molecular Biology
    Testing Darwin’s statement that his theory would absolutely break down if it could be demonstrated that a complex organism could not come into existence without numerous, successive slight modifications.

    • In the 19th century, the cell was viewed as a simple glob of plasma, a black box; today, micro technology reveals a cell filled with exquisite machinery
    • Irreducible complexity – The cell cannot exist if one component of the machinery is missing – Examples: mouse trap and the flagellum motor

    The flagellum motor research: 40 unique structural parts – it can be compared to the construction of a house built from the inside out.

    • It is in the realm of molecular genetics where we see the most compelling evidence of design on earth – evolution fails Darwin’s test.
    • Today we have the technology to look at the inner cell machinery.
    • But Man doesn’t always accede to the reality of this evidence.

    J. The fossil record:

    • The fossil record – testing Darwin’s statement that if one can’t find all of the fine, graduated evolutionary steps in the fossil record, then one can rightly reject the theory
    • If speciation requires many thousands of morphological changes, there should be some fossil evidence of those changes – Darwin agreed they weren’t there, but only because we hadn’t dug up enough fossils
    • 120 years after Darwin’s time we have a lot more fossil evidence than he did, but we have even less support for his evolutionary theories
    • Theory of punctuated equilibrium – offered by evolutionist Gould because of the lack of evidence in the fossil record; purports immediate speciation to account for the missing links
      Icons of Evolution – used for years as “proof” of evolution – all are inaccurate and outdated
    • Theory of directed panspermia – purports that the first living cell was sent to earth from another planet – offered by Crick because evidence was overwhelmingly against spontaneous generation – now the problem is somewhere else? – this is now resorting to blind faith.
    • Evolution again fails Darwin’s own test

    K. Fearfully and wonderfully made

    Video: "Did You Ever Wonder about blood clots"
    Blood clot – the clotting of the blood.
    An amazing system >> is it a part of evolution?
    How long will we last without blood clotting?

    Testing Carl Sagan’s Statement – “Evolution is a fact amply demonstrated by the fossil record and contemporary molecular biology.”

    Contemporary Molecular Biology – testing Darwin’s statement that his theory would absolutely break down if it could be demonstrated that a complex organism could not come into existence without numerous, successive slight modifications (slow gradual process)

    Dr. Meyer’s Response – Post 1953 discovery of DNA, cells cannot be looked at in the same way.

    In the 19th century, the cell was viewed as a simple glob of plasma, a black box; today, micro technology reveals a cell filled with exquisite machinery.

    Molecular machines contain matter and energy.
    There’s a 3rd factor >> INFORMATION!!! (For processing)

    Today we have the technology to look at the inner cell machinery.
    Dr. Kenyan’s statement on the Molecular structure:
    Finely tuned apparatus (devise)
    Genetic information processing
    The result of an intelligent designer

    L. Man doesn’t always accede to reality

    Francis Crick – Evolutionist: Amazing complexity at the fundamental level of life

    Directed Panspermia – Theory >> The problem is now somewhere else.

    Blind Faith – George Wald – The origin of life
    Spontaneous generation hypothesis >> it’s broken down

    Michael Behe >> Darwin’s Black Box
    Irreducible complexity – mouse trap

    Flagellum motor Research:

    • 40 structural parts
    • unique parts
    • Compared to the construction of a House from the inside out

    Dr. Chandra Wickramasinghe

    M. The Fossil Record >> Book: Of Pandas and People

    • The variety must be enormous
    • We got a problem in the fossil record
    • The amount of changes are so much greater
    • Fundamental Pantheology
    • Questions and issues

    If going from one species to another, it requires many variations of varieties.

    Book: Icons of Evolution

    Collin Patterson >> no water tight argument

    Archaeopteryx >> missing link or fully formed species of its own?
    David Raup >> we have more fossils now but no transitional forms.

    Gould’s Response (Graduated Equilibrium) >> Theory supported by the lack of evidence in the fossil record

    Jonathan Wells
    Darwin’s finches (Nutty Journalism)
    Jonathon Wyler >> The power of Darwinian process.
    Can the beak size be extrapolated?
    Changes oscillate back and forth.

    S. Huvtrap
    This is just a scientific truth claim it’s also a philosophical truth claim.

    The consequences of rejecting it forces them to face the reality of a creator.

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