Archive for May 3rd, 2012

May 3rd, 2012

The Bible’s Use of Non-Biblical Texts

by Max Andrews

This isn’t a problem for inerrancy at all nor should it bother the Christian.  There are other examples but these are just a few.  You’ll see Paul using ancient Greek poetry and philosophy as well.  Enjoy.

1. Book of Jasher Josh 10:13, 2 Sam 1:18

2. Book of Wars of Jehovah Num 21:14

3. Laws of Samuel 1 Sam 10:25

4. Acts of Solomon 1 Kings 11:41

5. Chronicles of Kings of Judah 1 Kings 15:7, 23

6. Chronicles of Kings of Israel 2 Kings 14:15, 28

May 3rd, 2012

A Brief Intro to the Kalam Cosmological Argument

by Max Andrews

The Argument

  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
  2. The universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.

Note that the primary argument is philosophical and mathematical.  It’s not dependent on any particular cosmology; however, the leading model of cosmology and particle physics, the standard model (big bang), simply confirms the philosophy. The argument for premise 1 is that anything that begins to exist does so temporally, at some indexical moment of time.  Because there is a difference between moments, an earlier or later than, there must be a cause to the thing which begins to exist, which determines its temporal existence.  William Lane Craig offers two arguments for premise 2

May 3rd, 2012

Why You Need to Know What a Scientific Theory Is

by Max Andrews

Have you ever heard, “Well, that’s just a theory” or “a theory hasn’t been proven.” You’ll find quite a bit of this in regards to evolution–“Well, evolution is just a theory.” Objecting to a theory because it is ‘just a theory’ is a misunderstanding of what a theory really is.  Please take the time to understand what a scientific theory really is.

A theory is distinct from a mere scientific explanation.  Scientific explanation requires a causal explanation, which requires a law-governed explanation.  Natural law describes but does not explain natural phenomena.  Newton’s law of universal gravitation described, but did not explain, what caused gravitational attraction.  Theories unify empirical regularities and describe the underling process that account for these phenomena.  Within theories are axioms, a small set of postulates, which are not proved in the axiom system but assumed to be true.[1]

A theory goes beyond natural laws and scientific explanations in explaining the scientific explanations. A theory refers to a body of explanatory hypotheses for which there is strong support.[2]  Theories are a conjunction of axioms (of the laws of nature) and correspondence of rules specified in a formalized ideal language. 

May 3rd, 2012

Galilean Relativity Theory

by Max Andrews

Galieleo’s relativity stated that an observer who moves uniformly with constant speed in a straight line, that is, who moves with constant velocity, is called an inertial observer.  The Galilean principle of relativity can be stated as follows: The mechanical laws of physics are the same for every inertial observer.  In other words, by observing the outcome of mechanical experiements, one cannot distinguish a state of rest apart from a state of constant velocity.

By Galileo’s definition, two inertial observers can disagree on whether or not two separate events occurred at the same position in space. Since no mechanical experiment can distinguish a state of rest from one of uniform velocity, Galileo effectively abolished the universality of the notion of an ‘observer at rest.’

May 3rd, 2012

Are We Morally Obligated to Appropriate our Belief to the Evidence?

by Max Andrews

W.K. Clifford summarized this deontic model of rationality when he stated, “it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.  If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind… the life of that man is one long sin against mankind.”[1] I will need to clarify a few of the nuances to Clifford’s epistemic ethic.  I would part ways with Clifford in his sea-worthy ship story with regards to his alternate ending.  The ship owner is not responsible or equally guilty for the shipwreck even though it never happened.  Such counterfactuals are absurd to consider as having deontic statuses since they do not pertain to reality.  I would merely suggest that someone’s wrongfulness for believing upon sufficient evidence is congruent and the wrongfulness is not congruent to the consequent of actions taken based on that belief.  William James’ position states that it is permissible to believe upon insufficient evidence and, perhaps, even obligatory for us to believe on insufficient evidence.  I disagree with James (see my argument for justification for the contrast).

May 3rd, 2012

Theology Thursday: Gotthold Lessing

by Max Andrews

Theologian: Gotthold Lessing (1729-1781)

General summary of his theology:  Lessing rejected all external authority such as the church and Scripture as unnecessary once the human race reaches its own autonomy.  Lessing therefore would not believe in any of God’s transcendence because it was not something he could see and touch, rather a greater emphasis would be placed on the impenitent qualities of God.  Lessing’s view of revelation is very anthropocentric (it is all about us and all about me). It is about my autonomy as well as the autonomy of the human race as a whole. His view is a perversion of the idea of the progress of revelation.

May 3rd, 2012

How the Scientific “Consensus” on Evolution is Maintained

by Max Andrews

Original story by Granville Sewell

As ENV readers may know, I wrote an article, “A Second Look at the Second Law,” that was reviewed and accepted by Applied Mathematics Letters (AML) in 2011, then withdrawn at the last minute because “our editors simply found that it does not consist of the kind of content that we are interested in publishing.” The circumstances surrounding the withdrawal were so embarrassing to the publisher that it ended up paying $10,000 in damages and publishing an apology in the journal. But they still refused to publish the article itself.

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May 3rd, 2012

The Challenge to Darwinism from a Single Remarkably Complex Enzyme

by Max Andrews

Original story by Ann Gauger

Meet carbamoyl phosphate synthetase (CPS), a remarkably complex enzyme. This enzyme uses bicarbonate, glutamine, ATP, and water to make carbamoyl phosphate via a multi-step reaction at three separate active sites, involving several unstable intermediates.

CPS is made of two protein chains with a combined length of over 1,400 amino acid residues. We now know from extensive biochemical data that a fully coupled CPS requires the hydrolysis of one glutamine and two molecules of MgATP for every molecule of carbamoyl phosphate formed.

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