Saturday, September 23, 2006

Mich. Candidate Backs Intelligent Design, etc

Mich. Candidate Backs Intelligent Design,, Kathy Barks Hoffman, 09.22.2006 ...

[Graphic: Cosmic Inflation - see below]

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos ignited a controversy that kept blogs, party activists and editorial writers fired up for days when he said he approves of intelligent design being taught along with evolution in science classes. DeVos, an evangelical Christian and the son of Amway founder Richard DeVos Sr., made the comment ... during a taped telephone interview on education issues. "I would like to see the ideas of intelligent design that many scientists are now suggesting is a very viable alternative theory," he said. "That theory and others that would be considered credible would expose our students to more ideas, not less." ... DeVos no doubt means well, but the ID movement itself is not at this stage dadvocating "intelligent design being taught along with evolution in science classes." ID's position for now is "Teach the Controversy", i.e. if evolution is taught, students should be taught the evidence both for and against it. The latter can include evidence for ID, but it should not be mandated that students be taught ID.

Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm said Michigan schools need to teach evolution in science classes and not include intelligent design. She said school districts can explore intelligent design in current events or comparative religions classes. I believe that God created the universe. That's my religious belief. But religion should not be taught in a science class," she [said] ... Granholm's dichotomy between "science" and "religious belief" is a modern form of Gnosticism which, as ID theorist Cornelius (George) Hunter points out, maintains a "separation of God and the world," with its American manifestation being "now firmly entrenched [in] a doctrine of separation of church and state," such that "God has now been privatized in America":

"This separation of God and the world is one aspect of Gnosticism. It is not surprising that these ideas are encouraged by evolution. As I discussed in Darwin's God, Gnostic ideas predated and influenced the development of evolution, and the wide acceptance of evolution, in turn, strengthened modern Gnosticism. Today, these ideas have had the effect of privatizing God. Evolution has helped to advance the notion that matters of faith should be kept private and out of public life. The reason is that if God is separate from the world and cannot be objectively verified, then what we believe about God is strictly subjective-a matter of opinion. Those who promote this view claim it is neutral and fair to all, for those who wish to believe are free to do so. Likewise, those who wish not to believe are free from unsolicited exposure to religious ideas. God need not be acknowledged in public, for faith is a private affair. Indeed, God should not be acknowledged in public, for this inevitably would force one person's religion on another person. In America these ideas have resonated with the secularization of the government. There is now firmly entrenched a doctrine of separation of church and state. It is commonly interpreted as the idea that the government may not support or allow any type of religious activity. And the government includes everything from the White House to the local elementary school. God has now been privatized in America. The problem with this view is that it is not religiously neutral as claimed. It is in fact, wedded to its gnostic roots as firmly as ever. What is more, its advocates are not generally able to understand the religious bias that is woven into their view. They are apparently so deeply Gnostic that they cannot perceive their own religious position. To them their position seems to be religiously neutral." (Hunter, C.G., "Darwin's Proof: The Triumph of Religion Over Science," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, p.118).

In that Gnostic dichotomy, "science" denotes objective fact and "religion" subjective belief, i.e. "science is the domain of hard facts and objective truth" while "Religion is the realm of subjective belief and faith":

"BUT IT WAS THE AWE-INSPIRING SUCCESS of science itself, nurtured for centuries in a Christian belief system, that caused many to turn to it as the comprehensive source of explanation. With the mighty technology spawned by science in his hands, man could exalt himself, it seemed, and dispense with God. Although Darwin was by no means the sole cause of the apotheosis of materialist science, his theories gave it crucial support. It is perhaps not altogether a coincidence that the year 1882, in which Darwin died, found Nietzsche proclaiming that `God is dead...and we have killed him.' The capture of science (in considerable measure) by materialist philosophy was aided by the hasty retreat of many theists. There are those who duck any conflict by declaring that science and religion occupy non-overlapping domains or, to use a current catchphrase, separate `magisteria.' One hears this dichotomy expressed in apothegms such as, `Science asks how; religion asks why.' In this view, science is the domain of hard facts and objective truth. Religion is the realm of subjective belief and faith. Science is publicly verifiable, and is the only kind of truth that can be allowed in the public square. Religion is private, unverifiable, and cannot be permitted to intrude into public affairs, including education. The two magisteria do not conflict, because they never come into contact with each other. To achieve this peace, all the theists have to do is interpret away many of the central beliefs of the Judeo-Christian tradition. This retreat makes some theists happy, because they can avoid a fight that they feel ill-equipped to win, and can retire to a cozy warren of warm, fuzzy irrelevancy. It also makes materialists happy, because the field has been ceded to them. ... That's what's different about intelligent design. ID says that the best evidence we have shows that life is the product of a real intelligent agent, actually working in space and time, and that the designer's hand can be detected, scientifically and mathematically, by what we know about the kinds of things that are produced only by intelligence. It is making scientific claims about the real world. Because it relies on objective fact and scientific reasoning, ID seeks admission to the public square. Rather than retreating to the gaseous realm of the subjective, it challenges the materialist conception of science on its own turf. It thus threatens materialism generally, with all that that entails for morality, law, culture --and even for what it means to be human. ... And that's why intelligent design is such a big deal." (Peterson, D., "What's the Big Deal About Intelligent Design?," The American Spectator, December 22, 2005. Emphasis original)

But if Christianity is true (which it is) then it is a false dichotomy. Then Christianity (although it includes subjective belief -as does science), is based on objective fact, e.g. the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ who was, and is, God in human form (Mat 1:23; John 1:1,14; 8:58-59; 10:32-33; 20:27-28; Acts 20:28; Php 2:5-6, Col 2:9; Rom 9:5; Tit 2:13; etc). That is, if Christianity is true (which it is) then it is objectively true, i.e. true for everyone, irrespective of whether one subjectively does not believe it.

Science collides with a Big Bang: An argument is raging between physicists on how the universe began, The Australian, Jonathan Leake, August 21, 2006 ... IT was the monkey picture that did it. Neil Turok, professor of applied mathematics and theoretical physics at Britain's Cambridge University, had just expounded to a conference of fellow physicists his revolutionary theory of how the universe began. When Alan Guth, a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the US's leading research universities, took the podium, he pulled no punches. The conference, organised by the US's National Academy of Sciences, froze in embarrassment as Guth attacked Turok and his theories - and called up a slide of a monkey to illustrate his comments. "I was shocked," Turok said. "I had been putting forward a new idea about what happened before the Big Bang and the events that led to the creation of our universe. Depicting me as a monkey was his way of saying I was wrong."... Another older article from my backlog. The importance of this is that Guth's is defending the Big Bang and his cosmic inflation theory (even though neither he nor anyone cannot explain naturalistically what caused the Big Bang and inflation themselves) against those like Turok, Steinhardt and Hawking who don't like the Big Bang because without it "there is no need for inflation or for a creation event - or perhaps even a creator":

"What Turok had done in his lecture and accompanying papers was to challenge an idea that has held physicists in thrall for more than four decades: that time, space and everything else all appeared out of nothing and began with one Big Bang. Instead, Turok says the Big Bang was not a unique event at all. In fact, it was likely to have been one of many, perhaps millions of, Big Bangs. A small but growing band of other researchers, including Paul Steinhardt ... support the idea. If Turok and his supporters are right, the implications are daunting. The life's work of many scientists, and thousands of research papers, would be redundant. No wonder they are fighting back. ... The Big Bang theory has a lot going for it. It fits with the observed expansion of the universe, the age of the oldest stars and the ratio of light and heavy elements found around the universe. The idea has gathered support outside science, too, partly because it suits the creation myths of many religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Pope Pius XII, then head of the Catholic Church, even began preaching Big Bang theology in the 1950s, although he urged researchers not to probe the Big Bang itself, suggesting that the moment of creation was `the work of God'. Pius was prescient. He had put his finger on the very problems that are still troubling many cosmologists today. The universe may have begun with a Big Bang - but where did that come from? What caused it? And was it unique? In the 1970s, Guth was one of those who realised that the Big Bang theory failed to explain how a hot chaotic fireball could become the cool universe with stable clusters of galaxies we see today. Rather than challenge the idea that time and space began with the Big Bang, he suggested the new universe had suddenly expanded trillions of times in a millionth of a second. That idea, called inflation, did such a good mathematical job of explaining the shape of the universe that it was adopted far and wide. Guth himself has built his career on it. Recently, however, it has become clear that the theory has major flaws. There is, for example, no widely accepted way for physics to explain how such `inflation' could have happened. It also fails to deal with the 1990s discovery of `dark energy', the energy field that fills all space and which is now thought to be the cause of the universe's expansion. For Turok and others, such failings have become too much to live with. `The supporters of inflation have become too evangelical. They have no idea why inflation happened but they still believe in it,' he declares. Under his and Steinhardt's theory, the Big Bang was not the beginning of history but simply an event within it, caused by the collision of our universe with another one existing in another dimension. Turok and Steinhardt suggest that such events may happen every trillion years in a kind of cycle. If they are right, then time has always existed and so has the universe. What's more, they always will exist, and so there is no need for inflation or for a creation event - or perhaps even a creator. Pope Pius would be furious. Many of Turok's fellow physicists already are. To those outside physics, Turok's and Steinhardt's ideas may sound radical, but some cosmologists have long recognised that they offer solutions to many of the problems thrown up by the standard Big Bang theory. Among them is Professor Stephen Hawking .... Hawking has suggested that space could have up to 11 dimensions; that our universe could exist inside a `higher dimensional space' that contains one or more other universes; and he has proposed the existence of `shadow worlds' whose presence might only be revealed by tiny fluctuations in our universe's gravitational background. These ideas are the basis of the new theory. .... Andrei Linde, professor of physics at Stanford University, in California, is a longstanding opponent. Linde said: `Turok and Steinhardt's model has many problems and the authors made quite a number of errors, which is why it is not very popular among cosmologists.'" (Leake, J., "Science collides with a Big Bang," The Sunday Times, August 21, 2006).

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
Genesis 2:20b-2520... But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." 24For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 25The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.