3 Challenges That Confront Science

Commercialisation

The biggest challenge science faces is found in money. The old mantra that science follows the evidence is not necessarily correct. A distinction needs to be made between the scientific method and scientific research (where the method is used). Science tends to follow the money. If you can’t get a grant, you can’t do science. To pay for the costly lab you must beg benefactors for funding.

This is problematic because financially powerful interest groups gain control of what research gets funded. If your proposed work supports their purposes, they will fund you, but if not you wont find funding. Some areas of science languish in the disinterest of the money givers. Others are like a feeding frenzy.

The outcome is that certain areas only get explored if funding bodies are interested and that scientists will find themselves biased towards the political ends of their patrons.

Fraud

Like anything where there is money on offer, science research is prone to fraud. Not only is it prone to fraud, but alarms are beginning to sound about an epidemic of fraud. Many commentators are aware of this fraud, but doing something about human greed meeting money is fairly challenging.

While fraud can be motivated by greed for money, it can also be motivated by commitment to a dogma. Numerous fraud. have been used to support a single dogma, for example –

  • Piltdown man hoax
  • Archaeoraptor
  • the peppered moth
  • the Midwife Toad
  • Haeckel’s embryos
  • Ancon sheep
  • the Tasaday Indians
  • Bathybius haeckelii
  • Hesperopithecus (Nebraska Man)—the missing link that turned out to be a pig

Unscientific reasoning

Philosophy has invaded science. Speculation has replaced scientific method. Science uses inductive reasoning. Inductive reason is a structure of reasoning that draws an inference from a range of data based on probability. This is how science works. However, outside of science, there is a speculative type of reasoning called inference to the best explanation. It is un-inductive and therefore unscientific. This reasoning does not follow probability and data to draw inferences but rather speculatively invents plausible explanations and selects the “best explanation” based on its “explanatory power” – however it gets defined. Dogmatic atheists love this reasoning, but it’s not science. They also hold a considerable number of funding bodies hostage to their philosophy. Too bad many “scientific” claims that cause contention are based on this unscientific reasoning.

Conclusion

Science and it’s future a shaped by monetary interests. This motivates fraud and encourages bias towards the dogma of the institutions that give grants. To support various dogma speculation has been used in the name of science. In conclusion we can agree with the scripture which says –

“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.”
Jeremiah 17:5

Don’t let science be an idol in your heart. Instead trust the truth of God’s word.

How did life begin?

How did life begin? This is a question that intrigues scholars and the average person alike. Science has shown that the trillions of cells, that make up our bodies, are unfathomably complex with prescriptive information codes at their very core. This issue has two layers that point strongly in one direction: authorship

Spontaneous generation

In medieval times, it was commonly thought that rats, flies and other vermin spontaneously came into existence in certain conditions such as dark and moist cavities (rats) or meat (flies). This belief was handed down from pagan philosophy, centuries before. It was an ignorant and superstitious belief that was largely due to our ancestors’ lack of understanding of life cycles.

Spontaneous generation was soon exposed as false by Rene and Pasteur who demonstrated the doctrine of biogenesis: that life comes from life. The idea that life could spontaneously arise in certain favourable conditions was disproved by robust experiments.

But recently, atheists have revived the old superstition of spontaneous generation and given it a new name. But more about that in a moment.

Chicken or egg? What came first?

Life has many important components but DNA, RNA and proteins (made of amino acids) are essential. Without any one of these three components, life is impossible. DNA is the prescriptive information code that carries the instructions for the blueprint of life. Proteins perform many functions include reading, writing and proof reading DNA and RNA. RNA is a prescriptive information code that is less durable than DNA but more versatile. Proteins transcribe DNA instructions into the temporal code of RNA. A specific type of RNA is used by proteins to produce proteins. But a further type of protein is then needed to fold the proteins so they can function.

Without DNA, there are no instructions or blueprints for proteins. Without RNA, the DNA instructions cannot be translated into proteins. Without Proteins, the DNA and RNA instructions cannot be read, replicated, executed or proof read.

Subscribers to the newly revived superstition of spontaneous generation are trying to cloak superstition with science. Different ideas have been put forward. One idea is that life started when a strand of DNA accidentally formed. Those who push this view point out that proteins require DNA instructions. DNA is exceedingly more stable than RNA. Others argued that, DNA is too rigid, but RNA is more flexible and that is was what spontaneously strung itself together. While some others claim a protein world hypothesis, where a complex protein suddenly formed in a bubbling soup of amino acids. They would point out the RNA is far too unstable to support life.

The fact is they’re all half right. DNA is too inflexible and cannot replicate itself. RNA is incredibly unstable and would not be able to remain stable for long enough to spontaneously generate into meaningful codes. Both DNA and RNA wouldn’t be able to replicate without proteins. And the protein world view is dead in the premordial soup, too, since proteins do not carry their own instructions. Protiens are completely dependant on DNA and RNA for instruction on how to form and function. They all have a deeper problem.

Encoded Information

The difference between life and non life is the existence of functionally specified complexity, which is information. This is not any type information either, but prescriptive information. The question “how did life begin?” can be phrased “How did all that prescriptive information get there?”

The information encoded in DNA is incredibly complex. It is not merely functional or shannon information but a very specifically prescriptive information code. It has not only data but also metadata. In fact, there is more metadata than basic data. Much of the data is contingent on the metadata. This is apparent in DNA splicing. DNA splicing is a process where different parts of multiple genes will be cross read to reveal another code. For example, if you took the capitalised letters out of the following words, you would have “creation”: inCRedible Evidence ATtracts thInking Observers Normally. It can do this because of the metadata in the DNA that tells the protein how to read the code. This is just another reason why mutations can’t improve the genome overall, even when beneficial, since one improvement in one gene will inevitably destroy other genes.

Authorship of life

“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” (Heb 11:3)

The best explanation for encoded prescriptive information is an intelligent author. Human experience, common sense and science supports this.

The Bible teaches all things were made by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3; Genesis 1). So it is no surprise that there is a code in all living things and natural laws that underlie the universe. DNA is a written record of God’s prescription for living things. God made all things by His word and that is why it is so finely tuned!

But something went wrong. We were separated from the Author of life. This led to decay and eventually death. The separation was caused by sin; we had disobeyed the Word of God and so we became separated from the Author of life.

The Author of life

Thankfully, the “Word became flesh”, the very flesh it created, “and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). He came to pay the penalty of our sin on the cross so that we could live in him, reconciled with the Author of lIfe. His name is Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

People rejected and crucified “…the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.” (Act 3:15)

Racist pseudo-science strikes again

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” A century ago, pseudo-“scientists” were having a grave robbing frenzy as they stole the bodies of countless of Australian Aborigines to “study”. They were the race theorists, or eugenicists, who were founded by Galton, the infamous cousin of Darwin. Aboriginals have long suffered under the label of “less evolved” and now pseudoscientists are at it again.

Nature has published an article claiming that new DNA, yet unidentified, carried by the Australian Aborigines indicates that they interbred with “early” humans, and now carry this “early” human DNA in their genome. One news source reports it like this:

“No fossil remains have ever been found of this “human” but the genes are still carried by Australia’s Aborigines today.”

Yes, those quotation marks on the word “human” are original! The news source is suggesting the Australian Aboriginal carries genetic information that shows they are an “ancient” human. It seems that today, rather than calling them “sub” human or “less evolved”, it’s more PC to call them “ancient” or “early” human, which of course suggests the same thing.

Have you noticed that it is only non-Europeans who get labelled as “early” or “ancient”? The news source continues its rant labelling “Australian Aborigines, the planet’s most ancient first non-African people.”

We haven’t come far since Darwin said: “The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

Talk about storytelling. They find unidentified DNA, and then impute a completely unsubstantiated story about an “ancient” human race existing. Genes are just that, genes. Their historical significance, however, tends to be more the subject of speculation. Speculation is not science.

There is a deeper systematic problem within the field of science. Science is normally known for rigorous peer review. Nothing unsubstantiated can be claimed. However, if you’re trying to further evolutionary theory, the rules of evidence go out the window and peer reviewers turn into mindless college cheer leaders.

And that’s the distinction between science and pseudoscience.

What the science really shows us is that the human genome is in rapid decline. Each generation accumulates deleterious mutations resulting in function loss. Mutations either reduce, rearrange or remove genes. Rather than evolving, we are devolving. The human genome is in entropy not evolution.

What does the Bible say? In Acts 17:26, the Bible stands in strong contrast to the racist pseudoscience of today. “And he [our creator God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth”. This means that every “nation” or people group descend from a single common human ancestor. No “half” humans. All equal.

Then, according to the Word of our Creator, mankind was affected by sin causing death and decay in our world. This decay is evident in our human genome which, as said above, degrades generation by generation through genetic mutations. Because we were separated from the author of our genome when we sinned, our genome now suffers decay. What we need is reconciliation between God and humankind. Jesus came to pay the sin debt and to bring peace between God and man. Therefore, “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)

The Biblical solution to racism is this:

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” (Ephesians 2:13-16)

The New Religion [Part two]: Persecution

 

The New Religion

As I said in my previous post, there is a New Religion offending the separation of church and state. It has the four essential elements of a religion, which are answers to the following four questions every religion seeks to answer:

  1. who are we?
  2. how did we get here?
  3. what ought we to do while we are here?
  4. who is God?

As it turns out, “Secular” humanism meets all the essential qualifications. It turns out that “secular humanism” is “secular” in name only. Its essential doctrines answer those questions. Secular humanism teaches that (1) & (2) we are “highly” evolved apes [Darwinism, Humanism], which explains who we are and where we came from. It also teaches (3) what we ought to while we are here, which is seek happiness and human advancement [Darwinism, Humanism, Environmentalism, Socialism and Capitalism]. Finally, it answers the question “Who is God?” in some rather lame kinds of ways.  It teaches that since there is no supernatural [atheism], therefore either the most evolved must be God, or the universe [mother nature] or aliens who must have seeded life on earth. Note that the definition of “religion” does not need to include a supernatural “god”, or that would exclude pantheism and animism. These explanations are really just pathetic attempts at reviving logically absurd pantheism, which claims the universe is a “god”. This is logically absurd because it postulates a self caused entity.

Separation of Church and State

The Separation of Church and State, was originally proposed by Christians, who wanted the state to stay out of Church affairs. Throughout history, “secular” authorities imposed religion on Christians as a test of loyalty, or tried to control Christian worship and define Christian faith. The Roman Emperors who burned Christians on stakes, fed them to lions, ants and a multitude of wild beasts for mob entertainment. When Christianity spread so fast that the Roman authorities couldn’t kill them fast enough, one Emperor tried to hijack the church through his “conversion” into and then control of the Church. So began the Church State religion that continued to burn Biblical Christians at the stake during the Reformation. Tired of persecution, some Biblical Christians decided a Separation between Church and State was needed to allow for the free exercise of religion. It seemed to work for a time.

Then came along “secular”(in name only) Humanism. This new state sponsored, media hyped, intellectually elite, politically correct religion answers all four of those questions with its basic doctrines. No longer does the state wish to have an official church, but rather an ideology which replaces church with a new ‘secular’ religion. The institutions of society are now hijacked as places for religious education. In the school classrooms, mainstream media, and university lecture theatres, these doctrines are disseminated for the “non-experts” (laypeople). The Clergy of Academics are kept “pure” of nonconformists, since grant applications by scientists for funding are given special attention if they somehow promote socialism, darwinism or some other humanist rhetorical enterprise. In some cases, outright fraud are used to ensure the lapping up of doctrine by the non-elite devotees.

Not only has it hijacked the state, but it also seeks to attack nonconformists. Think wedding cakes and bakers, gender identification and toilets, evangelism and so on. If you don’t want to participate in gay weddings or gender neutral toilets, you will be fined. If you don’t affirm a doctor’s right to kill unborn babies, you will be marginalised and called a bigoted misogynist. If you don’t believe the doctrine of Darwinism, they’ll call you an idiot and laugh you out of scientific grants till you career grinds to a sudden halt because science is funded by grants. If, however, you dare to think you’re persecuted, you must have the “Evangelical Persecution Complex”. They’ll laugh at you for thinking its wrong to be fined for being faithful to your conscience towards God. The New Religion sponsors attacks of Biblical Christianity and laughs at those who call them out.

A History Lesson

The Roman Problem

If we look back into the last multicultural empire that sought to keep order, we find the Roman Empire. The Roman imperial rulers had territory covering all of the Mediterranean, most of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. With this huge territorial expansion, came a complex problem of maintaining unity among the various peoples, languages, religions and cultures as diverse as the Celts of Britain and Gaul, Berber of Africa and the Jews in the Middle East. The Romans were usually “tolerant” of other religions, but desperately needed a way of uniting the Empire behind a common religion. Their solution was the strange practice of Emperor worship. Every person in the empire could worship their own “gods” provided they sprinkled a pinch of incense to an image of Caesar (their emperor) and hailed him and the “gods” of Rome.

The Jews  were exempt, providing they sacrificed daily for the Emperor in their Temple. Rome didn’t need an armed confrontation with the Jews. Also the Jews did not try to spread their religion and therefore weren’t likely to inspire other peoples refuse the worship of the Emperor.

The Christians

There was just one problem. A growing faith, called by their enemies “Christians”, would not sprinkle incense to Caesar. Not only were they unwilling to do this, but they also advocated their message and sought for others to join them in their pursuit of the Kingdom of Heaven. Their evangelism was spreading like a wildfire through the Roman Empire.

One letter written by a governor of the region in what is now known as Turkey to the Emperor Trajan, explains the effect Christianity had on pagan worship. According to the Roman Governor of Asia Minor, the temples were nearly empty and the markets that once bustled around the temples, were now neglected.Christianity had almost wiped out Roman and Greek religion in what is now known as Turkey. Writing about 96-87AD, this Governor noted his confusion.

I am very unsure… whether the name [of being a Christian] as such should be punished even if there is no crime, or whether only the crimes attributed [atheism etc] to this name should be punished. Meanwhile I have followed this procedure with those who are denounced to me as Christians. If they confessed I repeated the question a second  and third time and, moreover, under threat of the death penalty. If they persisted I had them led away to their death, for I had no doubt that, whatever it is was they confessed, their stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy certainly deserved to be punished.

After describing his torture of two girls, the Governor then described the impact of Christianity on pagan worship in the province:

For many of all ages, of every rank, and of both sexes are already in danger [of becoming Christian], and many more will come into danger. The contagion of this superstition has spread not only in the cities but even to the villages and to the country districts. Yet I still feel it is possible to check it and set it right. Of this I am sure, that people  are beginning once more to frequent the beautiful temples which have been also deserted, …so that fodder for the animals to be sacrificed, for which until now there was scarcly any demand, is being bought and sold again.

Persecution

Clearly, not only was Christianity seen as a threat to the unity and religion of the empire, but also the economy suffered when the religious sector was hit. Christianity swept through the Roman empire like a broom through a dirty room cleaning out the pagan filth in its wake and the Romans were not happy! Religion has always hated pure faith, and the old religion of Roman paganism was as state building oriented as the New Religion of Secular Humanism has become.

Persecution ensued. Christians were beheaded, burned, fed to wild animals in public places for the amusement of mobs. One essential characteristic of the Roman persecution of Christians involved false accusations of infanticide, orgies and other sins (ironically things openly practised by Romans) yet as the Governor above acknowledged were really known for their love and purity.  The Romans were bent to ensure they kept their imperial authority and unity no matter what evil they had to do.

All this was suffered because the early Christians understood that they could not betray Jesus by giving their loyalty to another. They certainly respected the emperor (Romans 16) but would not worship him (Exodus 20).

Today, we live in a multicultural society, again. As in Rome, society is looking for unity in an increasingly fragile and divided world. Once again, the world is looking for a caesar to worship, something for unity. With the external threat of extremist religion and internal disunity, the world looks like the Roman empire as it sought to throw off the Gothic hoards without and remain united within. The solution to the modern unity problem is the New Religion, forced Secular Humanism. It boldly declares “you can believe what you like, but you can’t talk about it and live it out.” We are in the perfect melting pot for persecution.

There is a way to respond to the New Religion. It is the same response that the early church used, which eventually brought down paganism in the Roman Empire without lifting a sword or shedding the blood of others. The Bible speaks of the “accuser” which means the one who accuses us of wrongdoing simply because of our faith. It tells us how to deal with him.

How do we respond?

We respond in the way the Bible declares:

“And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
(Revelation 12:10-11)

 

 

Bibliography and Further Reading

English Standard Version

Eberhard Arnold “The Early Christians in Their Own Words” (1997) (Plough Publishing House)

Bruce Shelley “Church History in Plain English” (1982) (Word Inc)

Science needs faith: here’s why

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Science is both a process and a body of knowledge acquired through that process. When a scientist experiments, analyses data or publishes interpretations of that data he or she does so based upon the work of others. For example, Fact A and Fact B may be known based on research published in scientific journals, so a scientist then tests for Fact C: he discovers this and then publishes it for other scientists to read. Based upon A, B and C, they can draw inference D, but all scientists must trust one another’s work. In science many more facts are needed than just three; and the multitude of data from experiments is not often repeatable by a single scientist due to the enormous quantity of it. That scientist must trust the word of others about their work, and even trust the reviewers to have engaged in rigorous review of the publications.

This process continues as science develops. While experiments and data need to be repeatable, a scientist will not have tested all the prior research he cites as given in his paper, upon which he has based his experiments and through which he will have interpreted his data. If a scientist had tested and verified every prior experiment already performed by another scientist she cites to interpreted her own data, she would have no time to perform her own experiments – let alone publish her own data.

This obviously means she has a great deal of faith in the scientists who have gone before. If this process of each scientist trusting the word of those who have gone before them did not exist, we would not have the incredible development of science today – all thanks to faith.

The Public Believe Science by Faith

In fact, when scientist say they have discovered something, they ask us to trust their word since most people don’t have the skills or knowledge (let alone resources) to repeat their experiment and reproduce their data. This means scientists do need some faith to be believed.

The Truth is Science is Nothing Without Some Kind of Faith

The problem, when people claim that science and faith are opposed, is the profound ignorance those people have of both science and faith. As shown above, scientific progress and publication requires faith – because we cannot each completely verify all of the scientific facts we accept and believe. It also requires faith because science is based on unprovable metaphysical, logical and epistemological assumptions that presuppose science. It also gets the idea of faith wrong, because faith is trusting the Word of another without needing to verify it constantly.

It is important to note that science developed mostly through Christian thinkers who wanted to exercise their faith in science.

A Different Kind of Faith – Saving Faith

There is a more wonderful faith that leads to a better knowledge than the richest treasuries of scientific progress. The eternal reward of knowing God based on faith in Jesus his son, his finished work on the cross and resurrection. We can trust the all-seeing, all-powerful, all-knowing and truthful God more than we can trust sinful limited humans. Read His Word, trust His Word, today.

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The foundation of science

I was just reading an impressive article about the foundations of modern science, which would prove interesting to anyone pondering the Romans Road.

The writer of the article points out that three fundamental unprovable ideas that underlay the scientific method:
1. That the external world exists.
2. That such external world is ordered.
3. That such ordered external world is accurately perceivable by our senses.

These ideas were necessary for science to arise. The writer then goes on to acknowledge the source of these three fundamental ideas.

Many of the early men of science were also men of God. The founders of many areas of modern science were Christians: Robert Boyle (who founded chemistry), Louis Pasteur (bacteriology), Michael Faraday (electromagnetics), James Clerk Maxwell (electrodynamics), Carolus Linnaeus (taxonomy), and the list goes on. It might be objected that they were only men of their time and that ‘everyone’ was Christian then. But that is precisely the point. That is why science arose then and there.

The question arises from that: why did science become understood in a way that many assert contradicts God’s Word? That is because a fourth unfounded, unprovable and unbiblical assumption was added to the three founding ideas of science.

Conflicts between the Bible and science have arisen in recent years because a fourth assumption has been added to the three listed above. This assumption is naturalism; the belief that the supernatural does not exist, or, if it does, it does not operate in the physical world. Like the three previous assumptions, this is not provable. Unlike the others, it is not founded on Christian doctrine. To quote one of contemporary science’s best popularizes, Carl Sagan: “The cosmos is all there is or ever was or ever will be.” This is an extreme statement by an outspoken humanist, but it serves to illustrate the point that scientific dogma, as it is now structured, will not admit the existence of the supernatural.

Obviously, the secular humanist/atheist will go to any length to deny the necessary conclusion that an ordered structured and meaningful universe leads us to. Anything but accepting that God has created the universe. But why?

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
Romans 1:19-25

To know God we must love the truth. The gospel is true and God’s word is true. To know more about the gospel click here.