Category: evolution

The Theological Implications of Finding Alien Extra-Terrestial Life

I have already addressed this in several places- here, and here- so I won’t dwell on things much. Instead, I want to reflect on an article I just read regarding the Vatican participating in an astrobiology conference to discuss the question.

In my previous posts, I argued that if aliens appeared, they might fly in the face of current expectations that are drenched in an evolutionary (and atheistic) outlook. Namely, we may find that these intelligent agents believe in God. They may not, as Richard Dawkins smugly posits, inquire first as to whether not humans have ‘discovered’ evolution. Let us allow that it is a possibility… but they may also possibly have a concept of God and creation that is identical, in theological principle, to what we see in the Christian Scriptures. Naturally, they may have a belief system identical to other systems.

My point is that they may deviate a great deal from the common narrative of aliens either being hostile consumers of resources or super-intelligent, highly technological and benevolent agents that have transcended petty human foibles and myths. In this narrative, both sides assume not just evolution but atheistic presuppositions.

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Some More Thoughts on ABC’s Visitors

So ABC’s “V” was on again tonight. I enjoyed it. It lacked the same punch as the first episode but I still liked it. It seems a little hurried to me. Maybe there are too many commercials? I’ve seen other hour long shows that seemed to really carry a narrative so I know its possible. I can’t put my finger on it with “V” but it isn’t enough (yet) to push me away from future viewings.

In my previous post, I hoped that I would see some metaphysical conversation. Perhaps its too early in the series, but there wasn’t much in that regards. Ie, unlike the first episode, this one seemed to lack substance. It still got me thinking anyway. I will now outline some of those thoughts.

The visual effects are far superior to the previous incarnation of the series. Indeed, far superior to any show from the 80’s and earlier. The miracle of CGI!

But isn’t it interesting that we are able to recognize that just because the space ships we see hovering over American cities in this show, despite their incredible life like detail, are fictional? This uncanny ability (most) people have is interesting given our “Seeing is believing” society. There is a great deal on television, movie, and computer screens that appears to be absolutely real. Yet, we know it isn’t.

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Atheism as ‘Gateway Drug’ to Drifting Away

As of this writing, I am facilitating a course/discussion regarding the decline of Christianity in America. Someone made a point in the discussion that is similar to one I’ve made previously… but I can’t find where I made it so I’m making it anew. 🙂

The question begins with a look at the measured increase in self-identified ‘religious nones’ in America since around 1990. (This data can be found linked to here.) In 1990, some 8% of Americans identified themselves as having no religion. Today, that figure has doubled. In the meantime, there has been a drop in those identifying themselves as Christians, from about 86% to 76% of the nation’s population. Some back of the napkin calculation suggests that some 30,000,000 fewer people call themselves Christian than did in 1990 with a significant portion of these falling into the ‘religious none’ category.

However, of note, the number of outright atheists has seen only a moderate increase. Even many of the ‘religious nones’ say they believe something.

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Malthusians not just in New Zealand

Apparently a gent named Michael Laws, a politician in New Zealand, has advocated that the solution to child abuse and neglect is to pay the ‘underclass’ not to have children; this would be accomplished by $10,000 and sterilization.

This is a perfect example of the Malthusian Mind that I discussed in my Worldnetdaily.com column not too long ago, Christians Beware the Malthusian Mind. http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=111412

He writes, “it would be far better for this appalling underclass to be offered financial inducements not to have children, given the toxic environment that they would provide for any child in their care.”

Critics repudiate his position later in the article, saying, “It’s hard to comprehend that an intelligent man who’s leading a city is making such reprehensible suggestions.”

Ha! I find it ‘hard to comprehend that an intelligent man’ who is Obama’s Science ‘czar’ (John Holdren) has made even worse suggestions!

The ‘mark’ of the Malthusian Mind is simply that they leap to eliminative solutions almost by instinct.

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A Christian Reaction to ABC’s “V” Visitors

I am hoping that ABC’s “V” takes the place that Heroes formerly occupied before it jumped dozens of sharks. It is too soon to be sure, but there is certainly promise.

While “V” does not appear to break this kind of innovative ground, it was a breath of fresh air to have one of the main characters be a Christian priest who is… wait for it… skeptical. Christians are often portrayed as gullible or extremist whackos (see again, “Contact”) and your hard core evolutionary atheistic types are veritable bastions of cool headed logic and reason (see the TV show, “Bones.”) (Yes, it’s true that one Christian in “Contact” was more reasonable, but he wasn’t exactly definitive about his beliefs, either).

The Christian priest in “V” issues forth a sermon that makes quite a bit of sense: “Before you jump on the bandwagon, make sure it is sturdy enough to hold you.” There is no atheistic foil in “V.” Nonetheless, I am pretty sure that your hard core secular humanist would accept without question a message presented to them by aliens like those we see in “V.” I know this because they already have.

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Fall 2009 Online Academy Offerings

The Fall 2009 session of Athanatos Online Apologetics Academy is set to begin Nov. 2. This session includes several new courses and several new instructors. Two courses are available for free. All are listed below:

http://www.academyofapologetics.com/fall2009/

Nov 2nd – Basic New Testament Greek Part 1
Nov 2nd – Reliability of the New Testament Documents
Nov 2nd – Origins: A Survey [Creationism/Evolution/Intelligent Design]
Nov 4th – Jesus According to… [Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, etc…]
Nov 4th – Studies in Atheism
Nov 9th – The Death of Christianity [FREE!]
Nov.16th – Christ Promised in the Old Testament
Nov 23rd – Hitler and Christianity [FREE!]
Nov 30th – Study in Alleged Bible Contradictions
Nov 30th – Basic New Testament Greek Part 2

www.academyofapologetics.com

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Second Column Published on WND.com on Malthus

Today Worldnetdaily.com published a second column of mine. Title: Christians Beware the Malthusian Mind!

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Thomas Robert Malthus would have disagreed. The philosophical forerunner to Darwin, Malthus argued that there are limited resources, and competition for them is intense. When there are too many people competing for those resources, you have war, famine and a continual threat to civilization itself.

For Malthus, the pie is only so big: We must reduce the number of people who want a share of it.

Christianity embodies another solution: Make a bigger pie.

In Christianity, God takes a few loaves and feeds thousands with them. Entrance to heaven is not contingent on space available. Jesus came that we would have life, and life to the fullest. Not just for some, but all.

None of what follows is an argument for Christian indifference to the plight of other people. However, Christians should not advocate “solutions” that repress human liberty, dignity and freedom. For some reason, all of the Malthusian’s solutions do just that.

Read the whole column on Malthus and Malthusians.

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Uncertainty the Only Absolute Moral Value?

From my experience dealing with secularists, ‘true believing fanatics’ is really a redundancy to them. A fanatic is, virtually by definition, someone who truly believes what they say they believe. ‘Humility’ in practice means, someone who doesn’t act on what they believe.

My response to the gent was brief:

Is your belief system a fact?

Clearly, if your belief is that all beliefs that claim to be fact must be debunked, then it is also true that this very belief that all beliefs must be debunked must be debunked.

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We have no rights, health care or otherwise, unless…

One purpose of the post is to highlight the obvious dangers, illustrated over and over again throughout history, and in the last century in particular, of having secular humanists and atheists in charge of bestowing rights. What they giveth, they can taketh. And they have often taketh.

But another purpose of this post is to point out to the many Christians calling for ‘universal health care’ that if you are claiming that God has bestowed certain rights such as health care, you’ve got to back that up somehow. Your sentimental arguments, sincere and well meaning, have as much weight to me as sentimental arguments like “God makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, don’t you want that, too?” have weight with atheists. In short, none.

Why? Does it mean that I am indifferent to those who struggle to receive adequate health care? Not at all. It does, however, have important implications as to how we proceed to address that issue

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Adam and Eve and the Tree of Knowledge and PZ Myers

Here is a short story I wrote inspired by the comments in this thread on PZ Myer’s blog. Enjoy!

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Adam and Eve and the Tree of Knowledge of Knowledge

“I got here as fast as I could!” gasped the old man. He put one hand on the hood of the squad car and bent over as he tried to catch his breath.

The annoyed chief stared at the man waiting for him to explain who he was because the chief didn’t recognize him at all. At last, the balding and sweating gentlemen stood erect and stared back at the chief expecting some word of thanks or gratitude from him. But the chief was silent.

“Well, don’t you want my help?” the old man snapped.

“I don’t know who you are,” the chief grumped back.

“Don’t you know who you’ve got up there?” the old man gestured in the direction of the top of a seven story building that was the object of all the attention.

The chief shrugged, irritated, “Two people threatening to jump?”

The old man scowled.

“This is what I’ve been trying to tell you, chief,” said a police officer standing nearby.

“What? Just tell me already!” the chief cried out, slapping his hand on the hood of the car.

“That’s Adam and Eve,” the old man snarled, “and I’m Dr. Stein Franken.”

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Eugenics the Logical Consequence of Evolutionary Theory Part One

So, if it is the case that eugenics is not a logical consequence to evolutionary theory, by all means, we should wonder how it came to be so strongly associated in the first place. It isn’t enough to righteously deny a connection. For decades the most learned people on the planet believed there was.

To help promote such an investigation, I submit for your reading the positions of a certain Jacob Appel, a modern evolutionary bio-ethicist in support of eugenics, and a book called Applied Eugenics by Paul Popenoe,writing in 1918. Skip to around chapters 7 and 8 and see if you can spot the similarities between Popenoe’s arguments and Appel’s. (Earlier in, Popenoe credits the Germans for their innovation…)

For example, there is this juicy bit: “The science of eugenics is the natural result of the spread and acceptance of organic evolution, following the publication of Darwin’s work on The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, in 1859.” Page 148.

So, where did the world’s smartest men go wrong in the early part of the 20th century? And why do their arguments sound so similar to what we hear coming out of today’s politicians urging us on to ‘make sacrifices’ ‘for the good of society’?

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Missing Link, Scopes Monkey Trial, Science, Secularism, and Education

For you see, there was a day when the implications of evolutionary theory were more obvious and more openly admitted. Margaret Sanger, the founder of the aforementioned Planned Parenthood, openly urged abortion as a method of eugenics. And of course, since this was all science, and science is ‘neutral’, it should follow naturally that religious people can raise no objections.

Today of course eugenics has a bad rap. We can thank Hitler for that. But that doesn’t mean the implications have changed or that there aren’t ‘neutral’ scientists and secularists who advocate for eugenics today. People aren’t as dumb as secularists would like them to be. When you promote ‘survival of the fittest’ as the guiding biological principle the inevitable conclusion is that we have the moral obligation to utilize that principle according to our own terms. You just aren’t supposed to say it out loud…

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Ridicule: Weapon of Choice for an Easy Victory

I think that this blog entry might be useful as a beginning of a series.  I should just post examples as I come across them.  It’s the kind of thing that you’ll notice more once you see a few examples. What I’ve noticed is that there are quite a few areas out there where arguments […]

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Does the planet need saving?

The planet isn’t going anywhere. The planet doesn’t care if it is polluted. In fact, ‘polluted’ is a term that is only meaningful relative to we human-folk. Indeed, ‘save the planet’ can, on the best construction, only mean something to the effect, “save the habitats that we consider important to life.” Presumably, with all the expressed fear that the ocean levels will rise, etc, what we mean by ‘life’ actually is ‘human life.’ [More…]

The slogan ‘save the planet’ is an attempt to make the endeavor bigger and broader than our own selfish interests so it is ironic that the statement is only meaningful in the context of our own selfish interests. After all, if ocean levels rise and swamp creatures (for example) lose their habitat other creatures- marine ones- will gain habitat.

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