While the murder trial of abortion provider Dr. Kermit Gosnell is receiving a little more national media attention than when the trial began, the press is still missing the point of the story. Abortion is not an issue of the cleanliness of the clinic or the safety of the women undergoing the abortion or the qualifications of the people assisting Dr. Gosnell in performing abortions. It is the issue of basic humanity.
Many skeptics of theism accuse theists of “god-of-the-gaps” argumentation when it comes to providing evidence for God’s existence. Many theists claim that naturalists are guilty of using a “naturalism-of-the-gaps” argumentation to explain away evidence for God’s existence. Others prefer to remain agnostic and simply, “I don’t know, one way or the other.” Yet, still others will say, “No one can know.”
I’ve noticed a pattern here (I’m sure I’m not the first, though). We all know that we are not omniscient – none of us knows everything. Which means that everyone has gaps in their knowledge, and we fill those gaps with something (there are no exceptions, as I am about to show). As mentioned in my previous posts, “What is Faith?” and “Do You Rely on Authorities?” we tend to look to past experiences to determine what to put our trust in to fill those gaps.
I am really excited to bring you this review. Dr. Hugh Ross and the Reasons to Believe (RTB) scholar team are the means that Christ used to keep this modernist thinker from completely giving up on the Christian faith about seven years ago. You can read about this more on my page Nature vs. Scripture. Reasons to Believe provides a scientific and Biblical model of the creation and history of the universe that is testable. They have produced many books and papers outlining details of different aspects of the model. They have not really produced a single resource that provides a quick overview of the model for those who might be curious and need an introduction.
That’s where More Than a Theory comes in. This book was written as an introduction to the various aspects of the testable model. It frequently refers the reader to the other resources for more details. Throughout this review I will include links to their other books and articles on their website that I am familiar with that go into some more details. Dr. Ross also produced a series of podcasts that briefly go over the contents of each chapter. I will include a link to each episode at the end of each chapter’s description. These episodes will give you a better description of the contents of the chapters plus what Dr. Ross specifically want the reader to focus on for each chapter.
Michael Palmer’s The Atheist’s Creed records the first article of faith, which characterizes what I call religious atheism, namely “I BELIEVE THAT the cosmos is all that is or ever was and ever will be.”(Palmer 2012:5, emphasis in original), which is contrary to modern cosmology. I recommend reading the first part: Cosmic Beginning And Grousing Of Religious Atheists, before reading its second.
In The Beginning And Religious Atheists’ Fear
Religious atheists’ fear, as echoed in Steven Hawking’s prerecorded speech played on his 70th birthday, is that “[a] point of creation would be a place where science broke down. One would have to appeal to religion and the hand of God.” (Grossman 2012: 6).
Every day thousands of scientists around the globe perform experiments and observations of the natural realm. They note a certain condition, make (or allow) a change, then note the new condition. Many times, the same experiment or observation is conducted repeatedly to be certain the results of the first (second or third) were not just “flukes.” Scientists combine many of these to come to conclusions about the natural realm. But what is it that allows these conclusions to hold any validity? They are based on experiments and observations, but what allows those to be trusted to reflect the natural realm?
After leaving atheism for theism more than 40 years ago, I’m answering some of the most-asked questions from atheists: What happened to me? Did I lose my mind? Was I on drugs? How can an atheist possibly become a theist? Was I just a bad atheist? Is that what happened?
“Neurotheology” is a term used by Dr. Andrew Newberg to describe the relationship between the brain and religious experience. In fact, many neuroscientists have performed studies claiming to find the part of the brain responsible for religious belief and experience. One approach is to use a single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scanner to analyze the brains of religious people (from various faith traditions) and look for stimulation in activity in certain portions of the brain. In fact, many scientists claim to have found the “God Center.” A variation of this research comes from geneticists who search for the “God Gene,” a particular gene that correlates with religious belief.
In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with these studies. The problem lies in the use many new atheists try to put them to. [Read more...]
About a year ago I was having a conversation with a friend who told me that science had proven that God was not necessary for the universe to come into being. He concluded from that that God is not required to explain the existence of the universe, and he is justified in his belief that God does not exist. He claims that an honest look at the evidence will lead to this conclusion (implying that other conclusions are not honest evaluations of the scientific data, and that they stifle scientific progress).
On the other hand, about a month ago I was in a conversation with a person who hold me that science can’t prove anything, and he must be skeptical of everything that scientists say. He believes that he is justified in rejecting many of the commonly accepted-as-true theories in the scientific world in favor of one that the scientific community, as a whole, has rejected. He claims that this is a humble and honest approach to science (implying that all other approaches to science are dishonest, and only skepticism promotes scientific progress).
According to Science Buddies, the steps to conducting scientific experiment are as follows:
- Ask a Question
- Do Background Research
- Construct a Hypothesis
- Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
- Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
- Communicate Your Results
It seems to me that Christian thinkers follow much the same method. We ask questions about life and destiny, we do research, we draw some conclusions based on research, test our experience against our conclusions and communicate the results.
“Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity, which implies that nothing exists but natural phenomena (matter), that thought is a property or function of matter, and that death irreversibly and totally terminates individual organic units. This definition means that there are no forces, phenomena, or entities which exist outside of or apart from physical nature, or which transcend nature, or are “super” natural, nor can there be. Humankind is on its own.”