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"Has Science Discovered God?"

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  • MUCHgathersMORE@yahoo.ca
    INTERESTING ARTICLE: On December 10th, The Seattle Times ran an article from Associated Press by Richard Ostling entitled Science nudges atheist toward God .
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2005
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      INTERESTING ARTICLE:

      On December 10th, The Seattle Times ran an article
      from Associated
      Press by Richard Ostling entitled "Science nudges
      atheist toward
      God". In the article he doesn't sound "nudged".
      Rather he has
      distinctly reversed a decades-long stand.

      Antony Flew, an 81 year old "British philosophy
      professor who has
      been a leading champion of atheism for more than five
      decades has
      changed his mind. He now believes in God - more or
      less - based on
      scientific evidence, and says so on a video released
      yesterday."

      He describes his "God" thus: "I'm thinking of a God
      very different
      from the God of the Christian and far and away from
      the God of Islam,
      because both are depicted as omnipotent Oriental
      despots, cosmic
      Saddam Husseins," he said. "It could be a person in
      the sense of a
      being that has intelligence and a purpose, I suppose."


      The article describes the high points of his career as
      a strong
      proponent of atheism and then describes his change of
      view. "There
      was no one moment of change but a gradual conclusion
      over recent
      months for Flew, a spry man who still does not believe
      in an
      afterlife."

      His reason for change: "Yet biologists' investigation
      of DNA "has
      shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the
      arrangements
      which are needed to produce [life], that intelligence
      must have been
      involved," Flew says in the new video, "Has Science
      Discovered God?"

      If you would like to learn more the news article is at
      http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002115194_atheist10.html.

      If this 81 year old professor, a prominent public
      advocate of his
      view, has changed his life-long stand, then something
      is afoot. What
      might it be?

      There are a number of ways to approach the falsity of
      Darwinism. If
      you visit the evolution section of seekerbooks.com you
      will find some
      13 books on the subject. Of all those books, the one
      that seems to me
      most related to the reasoning of Flew is "Darwin's
      Black Box." It is at
      http://www.seekerbooks.com/evolution/darwinism_no/0684834936/index.htm.

      (It is at 40% discount now due to having aged.)

      Here are two quotes from the back cover "Mike Behe ...
      makes an
      overwhelming case against Darwin on the biochemical
      level. No one has
      done this before. It is an argument of great
      originality, elegance
      and intellectual power. For readers who have been
      persuaded that
      biologists have long since demonstrated the validity
      of Darwinian
      theory, Behe's observations are apt to be a source of
      astonishment."

      And again "Michael Behe has done a top-notch job of
      explaining and
      illuminating one of the most vexing problems in
      biology: the origin
      of the complexity that permeates all of life on this
      planet ... This
      book should be on the essential reading list of all
      those who are
      interested in the question of where we came from, as
      it presents
      the most thorough and clever presentation of the
      design argument that
      I have seen."

      I agree with those two assessments. Behe explains
      that we now know
      much more than Darwin did about the details of the
      molecular design
      of cells and how they work. Darwin simply did not
      have this molecular
      knowledge available from the science of his day. When
      one sees the
      details, they are simply too much to assign to chance.

      For example, a well known argument against Darwinism
      is to observe
      that unless all details of the organ of the eye are in
      place
      simultaneously the eye will not function and will not
      give "survival
      value". Behe looks at this traditional example (as
      one amongst others)
      quite carefully and takes it down to the molecular
      level. Once we
      see what is involved at the molecular level - we can
      no longer
      reasonably accept chance as the source of the evident
      design.

      Here is one of his conclusions (p187):

      "The impotence of Darwinian theory in accounting for
      the molecular basis
      of life is evident not only from the analyses in this
      book, but also
      from the complete absence in the professional
      scientific literature of
      any detailed models by which complex biochemical
      systems could have been
      produced, as shown in chapter 8. In the face of the
      enormous complexity
      that modern biochemistry has uncovered in the cell,
      the scientific
      community is paralyzed. No one at Harvard University,
      no one at the
      National Institutes of Health, no member of the
      National Academy of
      Sciences, no Nobel prize winner - no one at all can
      find a detailed
      account of how the cilium, or vision, or blood
      clotting, or any complex
      biochemical process might have developed in a
      Darwinian fashion. But we
      are here. Plants and animals are here. The complex
      systems are here.
      All these things got here somehow: if not in a
      Darwinian fashion then
      how?"

      I will extract one last quote from Behe (p232) that
      shows his writing
      style at its peak. Mostly I quote it for fun. It is
      long but I hope
      you will also enjoy it.

      "Over the past four decades modern biochemistry has
      uncovered the secrets
      of the cell. The progress has been hard won. It has
      required tens of
      thousands of people to dedicate the better parts of
      their lives to the
      tedious work of the laboratory. Graduate students in
      untied tennis shoes
      scraping around the lab late on Saturday night;
      postdoctoral associates
      working fourteen hours a day seven days a week;
      professors ignoring their
      children in order to polish and re-polish grant
      proposals, hoping to
      shake a little money loose from politicians with
      larger constituencies
      to feed - these are the people that make scientific
      research move forward.
      The knowledge we now have of life at the molecular
      level has been stitched
      together from innumerable experiments in which
      proteins were purified,
      genes cloned, electron micrographs take, cells
      cultured, structures
      determined, sequences compared, parameters varied, and
      controls done.
      Papers were published, results checked, reviews
      written, blind alleys
      searched, and new leads fleshed out.

      The result of the cumulative efforts to investigate
      the cell - to
      investigate life at the molecular level - is a loud,
      clear, piercing cry
      of "design!" The result is so unambiguous and so
      significant that it
      must be ranked as one of the greatest achievements in
      the history of
      science. The discovery rivals those of Newton and
      Einstein, Lavoisier
      and Schrodinger, Pastueur, and Darwin. The
      observation of the
      intelligent design of life is as momentous as the
      observation that the
      earth goes around the sun or that disease is caused by
      bacteria or that
      radiation is emitted in quanta. The magnitude of the
      victory gained at
      such great cost through sustained effort over the
      course of decades,
      would be expected to send champagne corks flying in
      labs around the
      world. This triumph of science should evoke cries of
      "Eureka!" from ten
      thousand throats, should occasion much hand-slapping
      and high-fiving,
      and perhaps even be an excuse to take a day off.

      But no bottles have been uncorked, no hands slapped.
      Instead, a curious,
      embarrassed silence surrounds the stark complexity of
      the cell. When
      the subject comes up in public, feet start to shuffle,
      and breathing
      gets a bit labored. In private people are a bit more
      relaxed; many
      explicitly admit the obvious but then stare the
      ground, shake their
      heads, and let it go at that.

      Why does the scientific community not greedily embrace
      its startling
      discovery? Why is the observation of design handled
      with intellectual
      gloves? The dilemma is that while one side of the
      elephant is labeled
      intelligent design, the other side might be labeled
      God."

      Marvelous writing. Well, study Theosophy to learn
      about the whole
      elephant. And hurray for the courage of Flew.

      ________

      At the start of this letter I promised two events.
      But the letter is
      getting long. Here is the beginning of an article
      from the Las Vegas
      Sun describing the second event:

      Today: November 12, 2004 at 1:29:05 PST
      School Unit Mandates 'Intelligent Design'
      By MARTHA RAFFAELE
      ASSOCIATED PRESS
      DOVER, Pa. (AP) -
      When talk at the high school here turns to the origins
      of life, biology
      teachers have to make time for both Charles Darwin as
      well as his
      detractors.

      Last month, this rural south-central Pennsylvania
      community became
      first in the nation to mandate the teaching of
      "intelligent design,"
      which holds that the universe is so complex that it
      must have been
      created by an unspecified higher power.

      Last month, the Dover Area School District board voted
      to overhaul
      its ninth-grade biology curriculum. It now requires
      students to learn
      about alternate theories to evolution, which holds
      that Earth is
      billions of years old and that life forms developed
      over millions
      of years.

      Critics say it's a veiled attempt to require public
      school children to
      learn creationism, a biblical-based view that credits
      the origin of
      species to God.

      ________

      The above story isn't over. The ACLU is fighting to
      prevent the
      introduction into the public classroom of evidence
      that Darwin and his
      materialistic hypothesis might be wrong. Other legal
      groups are
      arraigned against the ACLU.

      Such is the battle array. I have no idea how this
      will turn out in
      the short run. But in the long run, truth will out.

      _________

      To put this in a more specifically Theosophical
      context, as I mentioned
      in the July issue of the newsletter, Madame Blavatsky
      said "Modern
      Science is drawn more every day into the ma´┐Żlstrom of
      Occultism;
      unconsciously, no doubt, still very sensibly."

      We see now that our new-found molecular understanding
      of the cell
      has pushed us yet more in a direction that confirms
      her assertion.
      Flew's conversion, the discovery of molecular problems
      for Darwinism,
      the push for allowing the presentation in the
      classroom of the facts
      supporting intelligent design - all these are three
      more steps in
      the direction she predicted.

      We maybe don't notice this advance of Theosophical
      ideas on a
      daily basis - but it is alive and active in the world
      around us.

      Reed Carson
      __________


      =====

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