Articles » Philosophy
The Battle that Never Ends
A new movie is scheduled for showing in theatres during the spring of 2008. It is not your average movie fare. This one, although entertaining, has the objective of educating the public about an issue of great importance. The film is actually one skirmish in a bitter battle for the hearts and minds of North Americans. Read the rest of this entry »
Stampede of the Lemmings
Many people think we can depend upon scientists to draw dependable conclusions. Recent events in the field of environmental science however, throw some interesting light on this issue. When it is evident that a mistake has been made, do scientists change their minds? Not necessarily. The story of atmospheric ozone and the Montreal Protocol, is a case in point. Read the rest of this entry »
Ancient Computer Astounds Everybody
As a society, it is obvious that we are very impressed with the sophistication of our modern technology. It is also evident that the theoretical basis for this technology is fancy mathematics. Not surprisingly then, although not everybody can do advanced math, we consider our society to be advanced both in terms of knowledge base and physical know how. Read the rest of this entry »
Dark Days of November
Most people, over the years, have heard about big name atheistic scientists. The most prominent example today is evolutionary biologist Sir Richard Dawkins, who holds the Chair for Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. Because of his prominent position in academia, he commands lots of attention in his campaign against the “malignant influence of organized religion in society.” It is easy enough to dismiss Richard Dawkins as extremist. Certainly his views are extreme, but the astonishing thing is that they are becoming mainstream in powerful scientific circles. Read the rest of this entry »
Pressing Issues of the Day
We have seen scientists in the past, like famous evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould, who declared that “science” and “ethics” including religion, were separate issues, each with their own spheres of influence. The implication was that everyone should be free to support the philosophy of one’s choice. Well that was then, and this is now. Today, with ethical issues as with everything else, it seems there is only one respectable position, that of the secular scientist. To support any other views is to fight “all of science.” Read the rest of this entry »
Intelligent Design and Creation: What's the Difference?
Intelligent design, and indirectly the creation model, have been in the news a lot lately. Not surprisingly, most of the articles have been sympathetic, not to intelligent design, but to Darwinian evolution, the mechanistic explanation for life so favoured by the majority of scientists. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently American biologists tried to have a colleague fired from his job: a dual appointment to the National Institute of Health and the Smithsonian Institution. These mainstream scientists were extremely annoyed, on philosophical grounds, with Dr. Richard Sternberg. Read the rest of this entry »
What does it matter how we came to be?
Junior high and high school students wonder what difference it makes whether the universe came about through a long process or whether God spoke all things into existence a relatively short time ago. The main thing, many suggest, is that we are here. Details are irrelevant, so why the big fuss over origins? Read the rest of this entry »
Faith, Form and Time
Kurt P. Wise. 2002. Faith, Form, and Time: What the Bible Teaches and Science Confirms about Creation and the Age of the Earth. Broadman and Holman Publishers. Nashville, TN. Paperback. 287 pages.
Few Christians in science today are as qualified as Kurt Wise to talk about origins theory. His field of expertise is fossils and he obtained his Ph.D. in this discipline from Harvard University. His research director was none other than arch-evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould who well understood that Wise was a creationist. After graduation Dr Wise accepted a position in a small Christian college in Tennessee. There he has encouraged a nucleus of like-minded scientists to cooperate on highly technical research of relevance to creation. He does not appreciate superficial efforts. Indeed he has made himself unpopular in some circles through his insistence on high standards in scientific research and in the drawing of conclusions. Thus one might expect his new book to deal with science but it only lightly touches on the issue. What this book does is to provide a Scriptural defense of the creationist position. Read the rest of this entry »
Déjà Vu Again
The genius of the English language, many people say, is that it freely borrows from other languages. For example, the term “déjà vu” is French and it means “already seen.” We might more readily say “been there, done that!” Another equivalent expression is “nothing new under the sun.” Indeed some things are just so-o-o-o predictable. Among current events, none seems more aptly connected to the term déjà vu than the resistance of established scientists to criticism, any criticism, of their views. Read the rest of this entry »
Find a Fresh Idea, Dudes!
Teachers! or parents! What do they know about creativity? How many of us have been provided with a paper and pencil and commanded, urged or cajoled to draw something or write something. But you can’t just produce something on command! You have to have an idea … and ideas are hard to find. I once received a greeting card that declared “Nothing to do so I’ll write … nothing to write so I’ll close.” If we could convince grownups that creativity is a special gift that few of us enjoy very often, maybe then there would be fewer assignments and more spare time for doing nothing. (I know it’s just a dream, teachers and parents are not going to change anytime soon, and this is probably just as well.) Read the rest of this entry »
Evolution: The Secret Behind the Propaganda
“Everybody” knows, one might suppose, that evolution is about facts and the creation model is about belief. Certainly this was the message of the recent PBS TV series entitled “Evolution” which aired in September 2001. Indeed information sent to all the PBS stations stated this very thing: “All known scientific evidence supports evolution…. New discoveries over the past 150 years have all supported the validity of the theory of evolution.” (PBS Internal Memo. 2001. The Evolution Controversy: Use it or Lose it. Evolution Project / WGBH Boston. p. 5. June 15.) The memo further defined a scientific theory as a “higher level of understanding that ties ‘facts’ together.” (p. 5). As to the creation model, the memo dismissed it as “not science. It is part of a religious belief system…” (p. 6). Such statements and other similar ones over the years have convinced many among the public that science in general and evolution in particular are based on observations from the natural world and thus they are empirically or factually based. The interesting thing is that this is not the modern understanding of science among scientists themselves. They have long since abandoned much concern for actual data. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s Time For a “New” Biology
Among biologists, there have always been mavericks who dared to take a stand for the creation model. Point by point, these scientists have contested evolutionary speculation. But all too often such individuals have seemed like voices crying in the wilderness. The public often perceived creation based arguments as offering little but negativity. It is indeed the case that rearguard skirmishes won’t win a war. What is clearly needed, is a frontal assault on biological thinking. It is time to re-examine the foundations of biology. Thus it was in August 2001 that the Center for Origins Research and Education of Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee; the Institute for Creation Research in El Cajon, California; and Cedarville University of Cedarville, Ohio — jointly sponsored a conference entitled “Discontinuity: Understanding Biology in the Light of Creation.” Read the rest of this entry »
The Fight For American Minds
Advance warning of a spectacular media blitz arrived at PBS affiliates as the past school year ended. The memo, dated June 15/01 was entitled “The Evolution Controversy: Use it or Lose it.” According to the memo, the affiliates should prepare not only to promote the eight hour series entitled Evolution, but they were also to promote the very concept of evolution itself. The series would run in September as the new school year began. This project, which was two years in preparation, was co-produced by WGBH Boston (of NOVA fame) and Clear Blue Sky Productions. The program was declared to be a “comprehensive PBS project, not just a television series.” The objective was to reach as many people as possible (including teachers and ten million students over a ten year period). To that end, a feature-rich web site had been prepared as well as a HarperCollins companion book. Among the target audiences the memo listed religious leaders and government officials. These are not usually expected to pay particular attention to general interest science programming. But this was to be no apple pie and motherhood “beauty of nature” sort of show. Indeed one of the “outreach” objectives was to “co-opt existing local dialogue about teaching evolution in schools.” To support this more serious political agenda, the advertising campaign would include television, print media and “guerrilla/viral marketing” whatever that may be (but it doesn’t sound good). Read the rest of this entry »
No Crocodile Tears for Kansas
Indeed it was a “tragedy,” opined an editorial in the New York Times (August 13, 1999). Within this context, naturally enough, the editorialist continued “deep sadness is the most sensible response.” The reader might have been pardoned for suspecting the opinion piece was actually written tongue in cheek. The event which called forth this public mourning was none other than a decision by the State of Kansas’ Board of Education. That action of the Board, according to the NY Times, “makes it more likely that many schools will spend less time on evolution …” Oh really? One might have understood if the newspaper had called the action regrettable or ill-advised, but “tragic?” What was going on here? Read the rest of this entry »