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Friday, November 17, 2006

God versus Science introduction

On November 13, 2006, Time Magazine published the cover story; God vs. Science. I intend to blog the article in parts, since the entire article is too big to swallow in one gulp. This is the introduction.

Taking a Trip

Suppose Me and my buddy have an agreement: On our respective birthdays, the two of us will do something the "birthday boy" really wants to do and split the costs down the middle. It is his birthday, and he suggests he wants genuine Chicago-style deep dish pizza from the classic restaurant for deep-dish, Lou Malnati's Pizzeria.

So he presents the idea to me and I compute this in my mind:

Time-

3 hour round trip to the nearest Lou Malnati's if leaving after rush hour
2 hours to eat and schmooze at the restaurant
total of 5 hours minimum time elapsed for the trip

Money-

Five bucks gas, tops
Ten bucks parking
75 bucks for pizza and drinks
heck, add ten bucks to round it off
total of one hundred bucks spent


Decision-

Okay, from our location we invest five hours of time and split about one hundred dollars in costs to celebrate his birthday. No problemo!


But now suppose we live in Hawaii. Make it Oahu, on the Diamondhead side of the island but not too far from Honolulu proper. Same scenario, my buddy wants to do the Malnati thing.

Time-

2 hour round trip to the Honolulu airport if leaving after rush hour
2 hours to check in and get through at the airport times four (Honolulu out, O'Hare in, O'Hare out and Honolulu in) is 8 hours of airport time
9 hours flight time there and back is 18 hours of flight time
2 hours round trip by cab to and from the restaurant
2 hours to eat and schmooze at the restaurant
total of 32 hours minimum time elapsed for the trip, assuming sleeping takes place onboard so that a motel stay is not involved.

Money-

five bucks gas, tops
Twenty five bucks parking at airport
round trip tickets Honolulu to Chicago $2400 each, $4800 total
20 bucks each way cabfare
75 bucks for pizza and drinks
heck, add ten bucks on this one, too.
total of $4,955.00 bucks spent


Decision-

Okay, from our location we invest almost a day and a half of time and split about five thousand dollars in costs to celebrate his birthday. I don't think so!!!


~~~~~~~

So in both scenarios the destination is the same but the starting point is very different. The vast difference in starting points is the difference between whether the trip is reasonable or unreasonable.

The Journey of the Mind

When we consider ideas, our starting point within our minds is our worldview. If I have a worldview that is not far from the idea that is presented from me in terms of what I have logically accepted as the realm of possibility, then a new idea is readily accessible. I may or may not accept it, but I can grasp it and give it due consideration. If the idea is in Chicago and my mind resides in Northwest Indiana, I can agree to go there and check it out with no problem.

On the other hand, if my mind is allegorically out living on an island in the Pacific, such an idea is far from my worldview and is very nearly unthinkable. I cannot easily grasp and consider and idea that is in Chicago, so to speak.

To me, people who only can see the world from a completely naturalistic point of view are stuck out there on an island. Such a limited point of view keeps them from being able to even consider supernatural options when questioning the whats and wherefores of life and the Universe. Yet the majority of the news media personnel and perhaps of the scientific community have placed their minds way out there.

Time-Warner Corporation publishes Time Magazine. Time loves to publish articles that promote evolution and deride Christianity. Ted Turner, that bastion of atheism, is behind much of what Time-Warner now controls, including CNN and HBO. No one is going to charge them with being conservative, that is for sure! So Time Magazine is allegorically being published from, you guessed it, Hawaii!

My intention is to blog the article beginning tomorrow or even late this evening and discussion will hopefully follow. Looking forward to hearing from all of you islanders out there!

18 comments:

creeper said...

One can easily disagree about who's the one on the island and has the bigger trip to make.

Science is neutral on the subject of God's existence, and the theory of evolution does not necessitate an absence of God. It's possible to accept an explanation that best fits all the evidence while believing in a higher being who may or may not have influenced this process. So there's not much of a 'distance' that needs to be covered in your analogy.

Young Earth Creationism, on the other hand, puts up a rather large barrier (in your analogy, maybe an ocean or two) to the acceptance of the theory of evolution. YEC, in insisting on the literal truth of some parts of an ancient religious text (something I suspect even most theologians will not support; Genesis as a clearly metaphorical/mythological text is a pretty reasonable explanation, especially when placed in the context of other creation myths etc.), places itself on an island with its own unwillingness to accept available evidence regarding not just the theory of evolution, but also geology and other sciences. YEC quite simply contradicts available evidence, and the kind of mentality that is willing to include such a block in one's worldview has a long way to travel indeed.


Great to have some semblance of the evolution debate back on the menu again, btw. Looking forward to the discussion.

Incidentally, seeing science as a way of using a naturalistic process to explore God's handiwork is a possibility you have consistently avoided/failed to address.

Amy Proctor said...

Well, I'm looking forward to it. Time doesn't even hide it's bias. It's not a news magazine. As for Ted Turner... forget it, I won't say anything.

Can't wait to see your entries on this.

Seven Star Hand said...

Hello Radar,

Here's my two bits on this intractable debate. Hope you and others can appreciate my efforts to provide a key to a true solution for humanity's seemingly never-ending cycle of struggle and despair.

Analyzing the Creator Debate

Did you ever consider that atheism arose because certain people saw that religious characterizations about the nature of an omnipotent "God" were seriously flawed and then concluded that religion and the Creator were the same things? This is the exact same conclusion at the base of religious beliefs; namely that the Creator and religion are inseparable. Consequently, both atheists and religious followers are arguing over a flawed assumption without considering that other possibilities negate the common core conclusion of both groups. These arguments are actually over religion and whether it represents a reliable model of reality. The answer to this question is of course not. Religion is not only flawed, it is purposely deceptive! Though atheists are certainly sincere in their conclusions, the fact remains that they and religious followers are locked in a debate that cannot be won by either side because both base their positions upon whether the same flawed premise is the truth. In order for this debate to conclude with a truthful answer, a greater level of discernment is required.

One apt clarifying question is, if someone tells lies about you, does that negate you or make you a liar or a lie? Certainly, the image cast about you would be a false one, but that is their image, not the real you. Consequently, faulty religious assertions about the Creator of this universe do not negate the existence of a Creator. Considering the possibility that this universe is not by chance leaves the door open to how it arose, which leads us to seek what could have created and maintained it. Since neither religion nor science has yet adequately answered this question, it is safe to conclude that those who argue about the Creator based on either are most certainly wrong about one or more aspects. Therefore, another point of view and additional knowledge are required.

Read More...

Peace...

highboy said...

Seven Star Hand, go away, you ridiculous false prophet. You are a false teacher, a false prophet, and you are spreading lies of the most disgusting content. You will be judged for your deceit.

For everyone not familiar with this turd, his claim to be the Messiah is not a joke, or a funny gag. The quack is actually serious.

creeper said...

"For everyone not familiar with this turd, his claim to be the Messiah is not a joke, or a funny gag. The quack is actually serious."

Just out of curiosity, how do you know he's not the Messiah?

highboy said...

"Just out of curiosity, how do you know he's not the Messiah?"

You're kidding right?

creeper said...

"You're kidding right?"

That seems to imply that there's an easy answer to the question. If there is, just come out and say it.

How do you know he's not the Messiah?

highboy said...

"That seems to imply that there's an easy answer to the question. If there is, just come out and say it.

How do you know he's not the Messiah?"

Because everything he preaches is contrary to Biblical teaching. The Bible being the chief source for any discussion concerning the Messiah. He is full of conspiracy theory claptrap that even the most devout atheist would reject.

creeper said...

Don't (at least some) prophets bring something new or unexpected to the table, instead of merely living out a prediction? And don't some of them usher in new contracts with God that one was unable to foresee beforehand?

xiangtao said...

Wasn't Jesus crucified for being a false messiah according to the religious authorities of his day?

highboy said...

"Don't (at least some) prophets bring something new or unexpected to the table"

Not really. No.

"Wasn't Jesus crucified for being a false messiah according to the religious authorities of his day?"

Yes, with one glaring difference: He actually fulfilled Biblical prophecy for being the Messiah, which the Jewish leaders ignored. Seven Star Hand not only does not fulfill any of the requirements but outright rejects the Word of God as the Word of God.

But of course you know all of this, so I'd like to know exactly what game you think you're playing?

creeper said...

creeper: "Don't (at least some) prophets bring something new or unexpected to the table"

highboy: "Not really. No."


Joseph? Jonah? Jacob?

"Seven Star Hand not only does not fulfill any of the requirements but outright rejects the Word of God as the Word of God."

Isn't that what happens every time the contract with God is renegotiated?

radar said...

The Bible tells us that in order for someone to be a prophet of God, everything he says must be true and it must agree with what is already written in the Bible.

Jesus thoroughly met that standard.

The hand fails to do so. Thus, he is a false prophet and should be ignored.

highboy said...

"Isn't that what happens every time the contract with God is renegotiated?"

That made no sense. There is no contract with God and no negotiations. Period. You were misinformed about Christianity. Badly.

creeper said...

"There is no contract with God and no negotiations. Period. You were misinformed about Christianity. Badly.""

By Radar, of all people. Go figure.

highboy said...

"By Radar, of all people. Go figure."

When did Radar tell you that there is a contract and a negotiation with God?

radar said...

Contracts and negotiations with God:

Well, that is a deep subject, people. Tim likely thinks that you are saying that God will work out individual contracts with individual people concerning eternal matters, and He doesn't do that.

God has made covenants, or contracts, with mankind down through the ages. He would establish a personal relationship with a man or a couple and they would stand for the entire human race in such cases. He had one with Adam and Eve, which they broke. They ushered sin into the world, which became the primary problem concerning the relationship between God and man from that point on.

Abraham was known as the "friend of God" and his faith has been a model for believers who came after him. In the days before Christ, a man's faith could be accounted to him as righteousness even though the sin problem hadn't been actually dealt with by way of Jesus.

One memorable exchange is between God and Abraham in Genesis 18. God decides to destroy Sodom for its incredible evil and Abraham bargains with God over it. Abraham gets his first concession at fifty men and keeps wheedling until God finally agrees that if ten righteous men could be found in the entire city, He would not destroy it. Sadly, not even ten could be found. But God was willing to bargain with His friend. I am sure God knew that there were not even ten men not entirely given to evil in the entire city, but perhaps He had the conversation with Abraham to allow Abraham to show compassion and caring for his fellow man - it was a matter of revealing and growing the character of Abraham.

You may be familiar with the one He made with Moses and the children of Israel to some extent. (The Ten Commandments being revealed as part of that one.) The Jews didn't keep their end of the bargain too well there, either.

Keep in mind that in the case of Adam, and Abraham, and Moses we have people who knew God and had an ongoing relationship with Him. God has always been about establishing personal communication with people.

The last covenant God made with mankind was through the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ. He made it clear in the book of Revelations that this was the last one. People either choose to follow God through the redemption available through Jesus, or to go their own way. Do that, and you are counting on your own righteousness to be equal with that of God. Not a good bet.

The common theme throughout history has been this: Choosing to believe in God and follow Him, or choosing to go your own way, whatever that way might be.

radar said...

"Young Earth Creationism, on the other hand, puts up a rather large barrier (in your analogy, maybe an ocean or two) to the acceptance of the theory of evolution."

True. This is only a problem if evolution is actually true, and I am quite sure it is not.

"Incidentally, seeing science as a way of using a naturalistic process to explore God's handiwork is a possibility you have consistently avoided/failed to address."

Completely untrue, save one word. I have consistently stated that there are numerous scientists who do exactly that with one little change. Throw out the word "naturalistic" and we are in business. Just use the pure scientific process to explore, with all options open, and then whatever the answer is shall be that much easier to reveal.