Archive for November 27th, 2006

Logan Gage: Evangelical Atheists Crusade Against ‘Pernicious’ Religions

Church of Darwin, Religious, Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Nov 27 2006

PHOTO: Evangelistic Atheist, Richard Dawkins May Soon Be Ringing Your Doorbell? 

by Logan Gage

 

 

 

WASHINGTON – When it comes to science and God, Americans want it all — “MRIs and miracles,” according to this week’s Time magazine.

Increasingly, however, evangelicals are standing in the way. But these religionists may not be who you think.

Richard Dawkins, Oxford Darwinist and best-selling author of “The God Delusion,” says you can’t have it all. Religion is pernicious and survives only because it has direct or indirect Darwinian survival value. Faith is largely a side-effect of the trust we learn as youths. But luckily for us, according to Dawkins, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

Atheist philosopher Daniel Dennett, recent author of “Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon,” has long claimed Darwinism to be a “universal acid” which eats through all traditional notions of God and morality. For Dennett, religion survives because our brains evolved, albeit irrationally, to fall in love, which of course has reproductive advantages.

And in a recent Newsweek, atheist neuroscientist Sam Harris, author of “The End of Faith” and most recently “Letter to a Christian Nation,” presents his “Case Against Faith.” And where does he begin? At the beginning, of course, deriding the faithful for suggesting God had something to do with nature.

What is happening? Is it all just election-year hoopla against the religious right? I suggest another explanation. A quiet revolution is underway; and it will not be publicized.

It’s now been more than 80 years since Hubble observed evidence for the Big Bang, challenging the conventional wisdom among scientists that the universe was eternal. As theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking commented, “Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang.”

Four decades ago, scientists began to notice the “fine-tuning” of the laws of physics, thus revealing the vast odds against a life-sustaining universe. As just one example, if gravity were one part in 100 billion greater or smaller, life would not be possible. Our universe would have kept expanding without forming galaxies, or matter in our universe would have stuck together without forming stars and planets.

And it’s been 10 years since Michael Behe’s “Darwin’s Black Box” first awakened a slumbering world to the “irreducible complexity” of many molecular systems, showing that a step-by-step Darwinian process couldn’t have produced them and that, instead, intelligent foresight was necessary.

We are in the midst of not one but two information revolutions. In the last half-century, scientists have recorded reams of genetic information as well as an intricate system for storing, copying, and editing this information, leading Bill Gates to comment that “DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.”

The cell is a far cry from what scientists in Darwin’s day thought was something like a simple blob of Jell-O.

Some intellectuals are noticing. Probably the most cited atheist philosopher of the last half-century is Antony Flew. At Oxford, Flew sparred at C.S. Lewis’ Socratic Club. But in case you missed it, due to the mounting scientific evidence, Flew has become a theist. “I think the argument to intelligent design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it,” Flew said in an interview.

He insists that he doesn’t believe in heaven, hell or the God of the Bible but that he now sees the origin of life as strong evidence for intelligent design, commenting that “the findings of more than 50 years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.”

Books on atheism used to quote Flew abundantly and authoritatively. Not anymore, although Dawkins derisively mentions Flew’s conversion “in his old age.”

Just as we have confidence that black holes exist, not by direct observation, but because of the movement of bodies around the blackness, so, too, can one be sure an intellectual revolution is underway when we increasingly find books on The New York Times best-seller list by evangelical atheists like Richard Dawkins.

These authors are surely responding to something. That something is powerful scientific evidence challenging their worldview. Time got it right: “This debate long predates Darwin, but the anti-religion position is being promoted with increasing insistence by scientists angered by intelligent design. …”

Logan Paul Gage is a policy analyst with Discovery Institute in Washington.

Fleet of 12 Sea-going Ships Discovered Buried Beneath the Sand in Egypt

Science, Sophistication of Ancestors, Uncategorized, Unexplained Artifact | Posted by Chris Parker
Nov 27 2006

This 140 foot, “5,000″ year old “sun boat” was found buried near the great pyramid. 

“Until recently it was not thought that the Egyptians possessed any real maritime capability, especially during the periods that correspond to the erection of the earliest luni-solar monuments.

However, Graham Hancock recounts in The Fingerprints of the Gods, that strangely, a fleet of 12 sea-going ships had been discovered buried beneath the sand in Egypt; Hancock was in fact moved to ask: “what was the burial in the desert of 12 high-prowed seagoing ships if it was not also a mystery that cried out, loudly, for solution?” before providing his own commentary on the matter, citing first a 1991 news release from The Guardian, London, 21 December:

A fleet of 5000-year old royal ships has been found buried eight miles from the Nile. American and Egyptian archaeologists discovered the 12 large wooden boats at Abydos …

Experts said the boats- which are 50 to 60 feet long – are about 5000 years old, making them Egypt’s earliest royal ships and among the earliest boats found anywhere …The experts say the ships, discovered in September, were probably meant for burial so the souls of the pharaohs could be transported on them. ‘We never expected to find such a fleet, especially so far from the Nile,’ said Davis O’Connor, the expedition leader and curator of the Egyptian Section of the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania….

… the University of Pennsylvania archaeologists had, for legitimate security reasons reburied the 12 mysterious boats they had stumbled on in 1991. They had hoped to return in 1992 to continue the excavations, but there had been various hitches and, in 1993, the dig was still being postponed.

In the course of my research O’Connor had sent me the official report of the 1991 season, mentioning in passing that some of the boats might have been as much as 72 feet in length. He also noted that the boat-shaped brick graves in which they were enclosed, which would have risen well above the level of the surrounding desert in early dynastic times, must have produced quite an extraordinary effect when they were new ..

….’ Each grave had originally been thickly coated with mud plaster and whitewash so the impression would have been twelve (or more) huge ‘boats’ moored out in the desert gleaming in the Egyptian sun. The notion of their being moored was taken so seriously that an irregular shaped small boulder was found placed near the ‘prow’ or ‘stern’ of several boat graves. These boulders could not have been there naturally or by accident; their placement seems deliberate, not random. We can think of them as ‘anchors’ intended to help ‘moor’ the boats.’

….Like the 140-foot ocean-going vessel found buried beside the Great Pyramid at Giza, one thing was immediately clear about the Abydos boats – they were of an advanced design capable of riding out the most powerful waves and the worst weather of the open seas. According to Cheryl Haldane, a nautical archaeologist at Texas A-and-M University, they showed ‘a high degree of technology combined with grace.’

Exactly as was the case with the Pyramid boat, therefore (but a least 500 years earlier) the Abydos fleet seemed to indicate that people able to draw upon the accumulated experiences of a long tradition of seafaring had been present in Egypt from the very beginning of its 3000 year history. Moreover, I knew that the earliest wall paintings found in the Nile Valley, dating back perhaps as much as 1,500 years before the burial of the Abydos fleet (around 4500 BC) showed the same long, sleek, high-prowed vessels in action.

Hancock, Graham. The Fingerprints of the Gods, Seal books, McClellan-Bantam, Inc., Toronto, 1996:431-433

The Ancients Knew of the Global Flood

Science, The Flood of Noah, Uncategorized, Unexplained Artifact | Posted by Chris Parker
Nov 27 2006

The Hittites were once believed to be mythological despite their being mentioned in the Bible.

“Since Noah’s Ark landed in the mountains of Ararat (the mountains rose at the close of the Flood), it is not surprising that Noah’s progeny migrated down the new Tigris River valley from the mountains to found the earliest post-Flood civilizations such as Sumer, Akkad, Uruk, and Nimrud (which later became Babylon), Haran, Jericho, and Sidon (Phoenicia), and more distantly, Egypt and the Indus Valley of N.W. India. (The Tigris and the Euphrates rivers were named after two of the four pre-Flood rivers mentioned in the Bible that flowed from the Garden of Eden.”) 

This article discusses evidence of the great flood in the histories of ancient peoples. Click Here to read