Posts tagged ‘skeptic’

April 21st, 2012

The Unbelievable? Conference is Giving a Skeptical World Reasons to Believe

by Max Andrews

Justin Brierley and Primer Christian Radio is hosting an apologetics conference this year in partnership with Hugh Ross and Ken Samples with Reasons to Believe.  The theme of the conference is ‘Giving a Skeptical World Reasons to Believe.’ For all my UK brothers and skeptic friends, I hope that you’re able to make it to the conference.  For those of us across the pond it’s very likely that we won’t be able to make it.  There are DVD’s that are made afterwards, which are available for purchase.  This is excellent material to help equip you to understand and respond to questions about the faith.  A few of the speakers include Hugh Ross, Ken Samples, Michael Green, John Lennox, Krish Kandiah, Bonnie Yule-Kuehne, and more.  What’s very important is that you absorb this material yourself.  I remember hearing Dan Wallace say that the road to hell is lined with the bones of apostate apologists.  This knowledge will be edifying for the saints.  Use it. Know it. Share it.  Please pray for the speakers and for minds to be opened, that fruit will blossom, and that people may be saved as a result of this knowledge.

Unbelievable? The Conference 2102 Giving a Skeptical World Reasons to Believe
Saturday 26 May beginning at 9.30 AM
Transformation House, St. John’s Hill, Clapham SW11 2AA

September 7th, 2011

The Eagle Has Landed – or Has It? Obvious Hoaxes Part One

by Max Andrews

This is a guest blog post by Greg West.  Greg is an apologist and founder of The Poached Egg, a Christian worldview and apologetics journal where theology, science, philosophy, history, and pop culture collide.

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On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 was the first manned spacecraft to land on the moon. Hours later, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the lunar surface. Or did he? You see, I personally don’t believe that man has ever been to, or let alone walked on the moon, because there is no proof and very little evidence in support of it.

As a matter of fact, there is every reason to believe that the whole thing was a hoax, and that Neil Armstrong probably never even actually existed (I know you’re thinking, “Uh, Greg, Neil Armstrong is still alive”, but I’ll get back to that later). The cold war was in full swing back in 1969 and we were in a race with the Soviet Union to see who could get to the moon first, and it was starting to look like the Soviets were going to win.

This is why the President, congress, NASA, and the news media got together and decided to fake the whole thing. After all, our national pride was at stake! I realize that many of you think you saw the whole thing on TV and that millions of other people did too; it even made Walter Cronkite cry while he was doing live coverage of the alleged moon landing. What you saw on TV was actually taking place at a secret soundstage made to look like the surface of the moon, and special effects were used to make it look like the astronauts were semi-weightless. This was all done because the perpetrators of the conspiracy knew that we were not going to beat the Soviets to the moon, so they wanted you to believe that we did to save face.

Also, did it ever occur to you that maybe you just believe that we’ve actually been to the moon because you were brought up in the U.S. where you have been culturally indoctrinated and raised to accept the moon landing on faith? If you were to visit the remote tribal people of the Amazon Jungle, point at the moon and tell them that men have walked on it, they would probably look at you like you were nuts. They might also consider having you for dinner.

Some of you young people may have heard your parents or grandparents talk about how they saw the moon landing on TV and go on and on about how awesome and inspiring it was; but have you ever seen this so-called “actual” footage? It is so grainy and scratchy that it’s really hard to tell what you’re supposed to be seeing, and it is hardly convincing.

When speaking with these alleged eyewitnesses, they will tell you what a moving moment it was and how it changed their lives, but you know as well as I do that this kind of experience is 100% percent subjective and not empirically provable by science. Everyone just wanted to believe so much that a man could walk on the moon, that they bought the lie hook line and sinker, and have convinced themselves that they actually witnessed a man walking on the moon.

As I mentioned before, Neil Armstrong probably never even actually existed. He was a person that the conspirators “made up” to help people feel good, sort of like Captain Tuttle in that one episode of M*A*S*H*. I know that there is a living person who believes that he is the-first-man-on-the-moon Neil Armstrong, but this person was actually born in a laboratory, raised in a bubble, and was brainwashed and hypnotized to believe that he actually walked on the moon. An alternate theory, which has some credible evidence, but not as much as the former theory, is that the real Neal Armstrong was paid a large sum of money by the government to keep quiet, went into the witness relocation program, and eventually ran off to Istanbul where he married a belly dancer named Maggie.

One final piece of evidence that proves the moon landing was a hoax is that the cable television show Myth Busters did an episode were they supposedly busted the “myth” that the moon landing was a hoax. I saw that episode and they really didn’t prove anything, not to mention the fact that they were paid a lot of money by the government, and were given access by NASA to super-secret technology to help them pull it off.

In Obvious Hoaxes Part Two we’ll examine why some people are so gullible as to believe that the Bible is actually true.

Greg’s Note: The above article is satire at best or pure sarcasm at worst. It might be a little of both, but I can’t prove it either way.

June 18th, 2011

Gravity: The Theory of Intelligent Falling

by Max Andrews

I’ve heard gravity used as an example as a means of mocking intelligent design by its equivocation to Darwinism.  I’ve dialogued with Darwinists and when I refer to their position on evolution as Darwinism some have retorted with, “I believe in gravity, does that make me a Newtonian?”  There are so many fallacious equivocations with comparing Darwinism to gravity that it’s a bit embarrassing for the mocker to make such a claim.  What spurned this post was question asked by a skeptic at the Glasgow Skeptics at the Pub talk with the University of Minnesota Biology Professor PZ Myers.  After a question by Jonathan McLatchie, an intelligent design proponent, Dr. Myers proceeded to ridicule McLatchie (I’ll comment on this in another post, you can read more on Dr. Myers’ reaction here).  The following question was asked by a skeptic right after McLatchie’s debacle with Dr. Myers.

Why do you think evolutionary biology is such a target for creationists? I mean, if you had been talking about general relativity you wouldn’t expect people to be here advocating intelligent falling [inaudible... "spaghetti monster"]. So why do you think it is that evolutionary biology is such a target?

Dr. Myers proceeded to answer the question by stating that physics and cosmology has been criticized by creationists.  This is true, many creationists (despite the categorical breadth of the term), do challenge the standard model of particle physics and big bang cosmology (among many other models).  Dr. Myers was correct in that but he failed to note the equivocation in the question and in his own response.  The equivocation is categorical, attempting to compare the strength of explanatory power and scope of Darwinism with gravity.  General relativity is, perhaps, the most well established scientific theory that sufficiently explains the relationship between two massive bodies.  Darwinism is the theory that all living things descended from an original common ancestor through natural selection and random variation, without the aid of intelligence or nonmaterial forces.  Here are my main contentions:

  1. Darwinism attempts to explain the origin of life in a prescriptive manner for the organization of information whereas gravity is a descriptive and is a means of transmitting information.
  2. Gravity could be an information component when aggregated with other constants and initial conditions to bring about a finely-tuned universe for the essential building blocks of life and environments required for life (at best to make Darwinism possible).  (See PCW Davies’ paper “How Bio-Friendly is the Universe?”).  When gravity is being used as an equivocation for being an information component the equivocation falls short because it is merely a part of a series of necessary components.  Again, Darwinism is a theory that takes information and organizes it to create life; gravity transmits information and has no ability to self-organize in a mechanistic manner to create information.
  3. There is information displacement in appealing to gravity as an equivocation.  Because of the descriptive and prescriptive differences between Darwinism and gravity the appeal to gravity does not sufficiently explain the aggregate information.  A sufficient equivocation would be the presence information fine-tuning of the universe’s initial conditions, laws, etc. with the information present in the Darwinian mechanism.  The only comparison that can be made is the presence of information (which is still debatable).  The origin and transmission of information cannot be appropriately equivocated.  Even so, if one wants to advocate a mere presence of information in the initial conditions then that information is, again, not self-producing and must have been caused by intelligence since no physical effect could self-produce information from the initial conditions. It creates a causal circularity.  (See Stephen Meyer on information in the physics and how this falls short in front-loading evolution from a theistic perspective).
In fairness, I suspect that the equivocation is supposed to correlate the sufficiency in explanatory power and scope of the data and how widely accepted or established the theories are.  Even so, one of two fallacies rest with this appeal (depending on intent).  Either’s it’s a slippery slope by suggesting that doubting Darwinism leads to doubting gravity or it’s an argumentum ad populum by appealing to its wide acceptance.  Either way, the attempt to intentionally correlate the two theories falls prey to fallacious reasoning.  All that one is left with at this point is fallacious mockery.  Dare I equivocate it to shooting oneself in the foot?