Saturday, April 24, 2010

Worldview Class #2 – Part 10 – New Age Biology

While teaching a Sunday morning class on the topic of various worldviews, I plan to share some of the more significant findings which our class is learning. The main text for the study is The Battle for Truth by David Noebel. A good deal of this class is also based on personal research.


Cosmic Humanists wants nothing more than for man to fulfill his ultimate purpose of ushering in the New Age (their words, not mine). Consequently, they require a theory of science and the origin of man which allows for a constant self-improvement plan – a spiraling upward of man’s abilities and “consciousness”. The problem that faces this theory is that each individual clearly progresses at a different rate. How do they overcome the possibility that some will progress toward their desired end state more quickly than others?

Their answer lies in the concept of individualism vs. collectivism. Marilyn Ferguson has said, “The proven plasticity of the human brain and human awareness offers the possibility that individual evolution may lead to collective evolution. When one person has unlocked a new capacity its existence is suddenly evident to others, who may then develop the same capacity.” Thus, the “growth” of one person may be enough to drag all others along to the higher state. In all seriousness, I see very little difference between such a society and that of the Borg from Star Trek. The aim of both movements (I know, I know, one is fictional!) is to achieve perfection by adding biological and technological improvements to the species.

So, evolution is fundamental to the New Age movement. But how does the Cosmic Humanist see such a change occurring – as gradual steps over time, or as something else? Like Marxism, the New Ager believes that such collective changes will likely happen in surges. When one individual breaks through with an evolutionary change, society will quickly copy it and bring everyone else along, one step closer to enlightenment. David Spangler describes this - “In this [evolutionary] context, civilizations, like individuals, go through profound changes from time to time which represent discontinuities; that is, a jump or shift is made from one evolutionary condition to another. The New Age is such a shift.”

Once again, the mechanism to achieve this state is the theory of punctuated equilibrium. A surge of biological improvement will quickly be created and adopted within the species. And while this theory is supported by few observations (as well as entirely violating the Second Law of Thermodynamics), the convenience it provides is too tempting to be ignored. As we pointed out in the section on Marxist biology, bad science backed by insubstantial proof is completely trumped by a theory - if that theory allows one to believe whatever they want.

Why is this theory so popular, even though science sees little proof of such a mechanism? For the New Ager, it solves two problems.

1) It promises a shared future divinity

2) It solves the worry of sin – by denying any original fall of Man
The promise of one day becoming gods ourselves is very tempting for some. Indeed, the New Age philosophy says that we are gods today – just imperfect ones. Like Marxism, this worldview is rooted in the desire to deny the existence of a single Creator of everything. Instead, a magical “force” drives the New Age movement along, gaining continual improvement and harmony (perhaps I’ve now moved from Star Trek to Star Wars?).

So, I ask a question. If we are constantly marching toward enlightenment and peace, then why is there still war and disease and starvation and cruelty? Have these things become better over time? I would make the case that they have not. In fact, the world seems to have become a much worse place in which to live than the 1950’s, when the Leave It To Beaver family lifestyle was popular. Cosmic humanists see this world as Paradise, which is slowly being unveiled. Joseph Campbell explained the disconnect between theory and observation of this world by saying, “That is the way it feels, but this is it. This is Eden.” Humans need to “see not the world of solid things, but a world of radiance.”

My advice – be very careful. The pull of New Age thinking is everywhere around us, and the danger in it is that it often lies very close to the truth. To see an example of this, reference Dan Brown’s latest book The Lost Symbol. This book progresses along a fascinating path of science and in some places, Biblical teaching, nearly ending in absolute Christian truth, only to take a final diversion away. It is so close to God’s truth at times – but close is not correct. That is why real truth must be absolute.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Worldview Class #2 – Part 9 – Marxist Biology

While teaching a Sunday morning class on the topic of various worldviews, I plan to share some of the more significant findings which our class is learning. The main text for the study is The Battle for Truth by David Noebel. A good deal of this class is also based on personal research.


Three events occurred in the year 1859 which were critically interrelated to the subject of humanist thought on biology. Darwin’s Origin of Species was published in that year. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels began publishing their most concerted work on communist thought.

And Louis Pasteur proved that the concept of spontaneous generation was a falsehood (see The Slow Death of Spontaneous Generation (1668-1859)).

In prior posts, I have shown that spontaneous generation – the idea that all things came into existence from nothing – is a critical a priori assumption made by humanists. And yet, even in the face of Pasteur’s very convincing experiment, Engels said, “Pasteur’s attempts in this direction are useless; for those who believe in this possibility [of spontaneous generation], he will never be able to prove their impossibility by these experiments alone…” From my point of view, this is absolute proof that Marxists rely on the concept of faith at least as much as those who are Christians. In fact, it seems that the ability to trust in the “scientific” concept of “something from nothing” requires far more faith than to simply admit the possibility of a God and Creator of all.

When Marx read Darwin’s paper, he believed that he had finally found “the explanation” that he had been looking for as to how everything came into existence. Marxism relies primarily on the concept of atheism, and in the Marxist worldview there is simply no room for God. Thus, any explanation that can be created which denies God altogether is generally acceptable for the Marxist.

But Marx had a big problem with Darwin’s theory. Darwin himself had said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” This Darwinian concept is called gradualism, and is a pivotal element in teaching evolutionary thought. And yet, such a concept rails against the concept of Marxist dialectic – which says that history and society is formed by sudden and rapid changes. Georgi Plekhanov, a renowned Marxist in the early twentieth century said, “Many people confound dialectic with the theory of evolution. Dialectic is, in fact, a theory of evolution. But it differs profoundly from the vulgar [Darwinian] theory of evolution, which is based substantially upon the principle that neither in nature nor in history do sudden changes occur, and that all changes taking place in the world occur gradually.” For a very long time, Marxism struggled under the burden of this disconnect. Darwinian gradualism was generally accepted by the scientific community, but it disagreed fundamentally with the Marxist concept of sudden change.

All of that changed in 1972, when the concept of punctuated equilibrium was proposed. This handy theory completely explained away the annoying differences between Darwinian evolution and Marxist thought. But like many convenient solutions, it was founded on poor assumptions and bad science. Nevertheless, the idea of sudden changes between species is a generally accepted theory in today’s world. The quality of the science takes a back seat to a theory which confirms the Marxist worldview. Said differently – Marxists will believe anything that supports their viewpoint.

Isn’t it interesting that Christians are often the ones who are accused of establishing a conclusion and then finding facts to support it? But scientists who propose theories and then casually label them as facts are the ones who are lauded as “objective and unbiased”. Christians are made to feel that the idea of a God/Creator and the possibility of a young earth are silly, insubstantial science. But Christians should never forget these simple facts:

1. God created science

2. God made the laws of nature to be sensible and reliable

3. God has made these things plain to those who will but open their eyes to see what He has done
Psalm 19:1-3 tells us,

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.”
In a world dominated by humanist thought and worldly thinkers, God has set forth evidence after evidence before us – in the skies of nature and in all of our surroundings – proclaiming his handiwork. Sadly, as foretold in Romans chapter 1, there are still some who will not see it.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Time For A Revolution

I think our federal government is revealing its true colors, now more than ever. While many think that the government naturally exists to take care of the people, or that it is basically harmless, news stories seem to indicate that our national leaders has reached a new low in both senselessness and selfishness.

It seems clear to me that it’s all about power and money. Warning: the following news story may make you mad.

A recent article entitled Feds to Convince DC Area Taxpayers to Embrace $4.8 Billion Mileage Tax just goes to show the extremes that our government will go to in order to get our money. I have to admit I laughed at the title when I first read it – I mean, getting people to “embrace” a new tax? But when I read the article, I realized that it is exactly what they are trying to do. It seems that since gas tax revenues are down in Washington, DC – because people are driving less or using vehicles with better fuel economy – the government needs to replace the tax shortfall with a new tax. The idea is to install a GPS device on every vehicle, and the owner will pay a fee for every mile driven. No matter what road you drive on. Even if you’re just pulling the car out of the garage to wash it.

There are many crazy implications in this article. Here are just a few:

· The first thing the planning board is going to do is spend $400,000 of taxpayer money for a study “on how best to sell the public on a controversial per-mile tax proposal”. Note the irony – taxpayer money is being spent on a study to figure out how to get more taxpayer money.

· “The funds will pay for a series of telephone surveys and focus groups with residents and special interest groups with an eye to determining how best to package ideas that have generated significant public opposition when proposed in other areas around the world.” So – they know it’s not a popular idea, which will require them to figure out how to “package” the concept. I think “package” may be a code word for “lie about”?

· The GPS required for each vehicle would record the distance traveled, as well as the time and location of each movement. Can you say “invasion of privacy”?

· The reason for the new tax would be to make up for the current shortfall of $420 million – money that used to come from gasoline taxes. The new plan would raise ten times that amount – as much as $4.8 billion. I can only conclude that the law would not exist to replace revenues, but to increase them dramatically. I wonder where the money goes? Hmmmm….

· The article lists all of the current places where taxes are paid by motorists in the area – federal excise tax, state excise tax, personal property tax, vehicle registration fees, car insurance tax, special commercial vehicle tax, and parking/speeding tickets. Do you still think the government isn’t out to get ALL of our money?

· It also states that “The total of all motorist-related taxes in Virginia exceeds the amount spent on road building and maintenance in the state”. If true, why do they need to establish a new tax? Could it be that the money will be diverted elsewhere?

Can there be any doubt about what is going on here? Our current crop of politicians want more money, ostensibly to keep running the same programs that exist today. But we also can deduce that they want to invoke more and more programs, thus increasing and consolidating their power over us.

I have had enough. Our leaders have departed from what made this country great. They are trying to drag us to a place of mediocrity and dependent status. Never forget these words of our predecessors:

"Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." - George Washington

"We, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution."
Abraham Lincoln

So where does the money go? One wise writer told us a long time ago where it goes, and also about the fate of those who abuse their God-given power:

"The Lord enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: ‘It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses.’" - Isaiah 3:14
I think it’s time for a little revolution!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Offering Meditation – The Easter Gift

He is risen!

God is good. He has given us so much in this nation – blessings and wonders abound all around us. It is said that our average lifestyle today is better than any king enjoyed two hundred years ago – the comfort and warmth of our homes, the quality and abundance of our food, and the convenience and speed with which we can travel from place to place are far superior to anything known in previous history. Each week, we take a few minutes to reflect on this, and ponder giving something back to God.

We sometimes think of our offering as a “gift”. Where does that idea come from? Is there a book, chapter, and verse to sustain this idea about gifts? Is it Acts 2:38? No, this says the gift of God is the Holy Spirit. What about Romans 6:23? Again, this says that the “gift of God is eternal life”. 2 Corinthians 9:14-15? No, this speaks of the surpassing greatness of God’s gift of grace. So where do we get the idea that we are giving God a gift?

Well, I found the book, chapter, and verse. It’s called Form 1040, Schedule A, Line 16 – “Gifts to Charity”.

This line of our tax forms implies that we have offered a gift. But can you give a gift to someone who already possesses the thing you are giving? All that we “own”, all that we possess – this is a gift from God to us. Was there ever a moment when all of this wasn’t His? In fact, though we sometimes think that God gave us outright ownership of what we have and that we are generously giving it back to Him, in reality God possesses everything.

God has a history of unselfish giving to mankind. Two-thousand years ago, Jesus Christ lived in heaven with God the Father. Yet, God chose to send him to earth as a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus lived, died, and lived again in order to fulfill God’s purpose – to give us one ultimate gift. Eternal life and victory over death – a priceless present. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to report that on Form 1040?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Worldview Class #2 – Part 8 – Secular Humanist Biology

While teaching a Sunday morning class on the topic of various worldviews, I plan to share some of the more significant findings which our class is learning. The main text for the study is The Battle for Truth by David Noebel. A good deal of this class is also based on personal research.
Much of our world seems to revolve around science. This tendency has increased dramatically over the last hundred years as we gain more knowledge about our surroundings, and as technological leaps have enabled us to witness, measure, and create wonderful things. Indeed, for some, the wonders of science have almost become a cause for worship…

Among the many scientific areas of interest, the field of biology generates a greater intersection of scientific discovery and emotional response than any other. Topics touching how we got here, and whether we were created by God or formed through random chance, are usually accompanied by a passionate belief.

For the secular humanist, the guiding principle behind their opinion on biology is Darwinian evolution – the theory that matter was created from nothing and that man is continually evolving into a more capable being. The Humanist Manifesto I says “Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as the result of a continuous process,” while the Humanist Manifesto II claims, “Science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces.” It is interesting that in the forty year period between these two documents, humanists migrated from “Humanism believes” to “Science affirms”. Is that indeed a fact?

Facts are funny things – they are supposed to be unimpeachable. Yet most objective scientists who take a look at evolutionary science will admit that there are serious flaws.

First, where did it all come from? For matter and energy to become a living, breathing life form after “millions of years”, there had to be a start. That is, where did the original matter and energy come from? To answer that question, evolutionary scientists rely on the concept of spontaneous generation – the creation of something from nothing. Yet with all of our knowledge and advanced lab equipment, science has not been able to duplicate this theory in any fashion – not even on the smallest scale. So, how does “science affirm” this very important piece of evolutionary theory? So far, it has not.

Skipping past this obvious difficulty in the theory so far, evolutionists next claim that natural selection, through the mechanism of beneficial mutations, allows life forms to evolve over time – nature will select those mutations which give the life form a benefit over competing animals and organisms. Again, do science and observation bear this out? In discussing this with a medical friend, his observation is that nature actually appears to frown on mutations. Many fetuses with a genetic mutation do not make it to birth. And those that are born with a mutation typically have a much shorter life expectancy than average. Consider it – when was the last time anyone ever demonstrated a mutation in an animal or a human being that gave an advantage to that being? Could it be that mutations are actually detrimental, and that a living being with no mutations is actually the one most likely to survive (from the Christian perspective, does God’s creation require a mutation to be “improved”?) What does objective science and real observation say about this piece of evolutionary theory? Again, the proof seems to be against this hypothesis.

Finally, evolutionists point to the fossil record as proof that their theory is correct. Carl Sagan went so far as to say that “evolution is a fact, amply demonstrated by the fossil record.” But is this true? If evolution were to be proven by the fossil record, two things would have to occur. First, fossilized organisms need to become increasingly more simple, the farther down one digs into the earth. The most complex organisms should be nearer to the surface, because they “evolved” later in history. Add to this that there needs to be a plausible ancestor relationship that can be constructed between the fossils that are found in these layers. Second, transitional forms need to found in the fossil record – these are the “missing links” that must have occurred between species. You should be able to find a multitude of examples that appear to be somewhere between a fish and a frog, or that are part bird and part-dinosaur. Yet, do fossil discoveries bear this theory out? In fact ,they do not. So, scientists modify their theory to include unprovable new ideas like punctuated equilibrium (where inter-species evolution occurs very quickly, leaving little time for fossils of these “between species forms” to be deposited). How convenient.

But evolutionary science fails to display proof of any of these three theories (spontaneous generation, beneficial mutations, and the fossil record of evolution). That leaves them with an empty, unproven theory – open for debunking.

Evolutionary scientists could recover from this had they not made one far greater mistake at the very outset of their philosophy. Humanism rejects the possibility that a Divine Creator could have existed to create matter, guide genetics, and create all of the species ever needed in just a few hours. Julian Huxley, famous humanist of the twentieth century, spelled this out when he said, “Modern science must rule out special creation or divine guidance.”

To which I respond with a few questions:

1) Is it good science to initially reject the possibility of a supernatural Creator, without any experimentation or proof to make such a sweeping claim?

2) Are the theories of spontaneous generation and beneficial mutations, coupled with the lack of evidence of evolution in the fossil record, the best science that you can come up with? Don’t these theories require a great deal of faith, since the evidence doesn’t support them?

3) If we’re going to rely on faith, why not consider a “theory of creation” instead?
To me, the last question is intriguing. “Good science” is supposed to be objective. Most of us were taught in science class to assume nothing before conducting an experiment. Wrong assumptions lead to incorrect conclusions. By casting aside a very relevant possibility – that of a Divine Creator – humanism is painted into a very dangerous corner. The idea of humanism is built on two shaky foundations – one of Darwinian evolution, and one of atheism. If either of these foundations were ever to crumble, humanism would have its downfall.

I believe that science is beginning to question the reality of the theory of evolution. It seems possible that a new class of objective scientists will rise up to debunk the theory. Will they allow “the theory of creation” into the discussion? Romans 1:20 tells us that, “since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse”. This tells us that science – real science – can actually prove the existence of God. I can’t wait.

Finally, Romans 1:23 tells us,

“Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Could it be that this scripture, especially the highlighted part, is fulfilled in the common textbook progression below?

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