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Romans 1.20

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For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Last verse we discussed that every human knows that there is a God because there is a conscience within them that tells them this is the truth.

This verse lets us know a second reason why every human knows that there is a God: creation.

The invisible things of God: His power, His nature, His goodness are clearly seen in the creation of the world.

If you can see the creation of the world, you can see what God is like. It is not a perfect picture because creation is fallen since Adam sinned, but it is a picture that is good enough for any single human to know there is a God.

You can tell that God is powerful from the creation of the world. Anyone claiming to believe in evolution is a fool, because you can tell from creation that it was designed and made.

The phrase in this verse “things that were made” is simply one word in the Greek: poiēma. It means craftsmanship, design, creative work. If you cannot see craftmanship and design and creativity in this world you must be blind.

A wonderfully appropriately named marine biologist called Frank Fish was once looking at the sculpture of a humpback whale fin. He was amazed at the bobbled edge and assumed the sculptor had made a mistake. He found out the sculptor was right and that humpback whales have a bumpy leading edge. Up until then conventional wisdom was that smooth leading edges are far more streamlined.

Frank Fish, together with a team of scientists from Harvard, did some tests and found out that the bumps on the leading edge meant that the humpback whale creates vertices and is 8% more efficient than any human designed system.

Frank has developed the design and started a business selling the design to appropriate companies that develop turbines and fans. There is now a ceiling fan based on his research, and the technology might be utilized on helicopters! Frank is hailed as a great designer – but you would have to be a fool not to realize that God is the super designers and Frank is just smart enough to copy God.

A whale fin is better designed than the most intelligent scientists in the world have ever been able to design! This was not the result of random process, but proof that there is a genius of a designer behind it.

This is why everyone is without excuse when God holds them accountable for their sin. They know there is a God because their conscience and creation lets them know there is a God.

You should this week learn some things like Frank Fish’s research. I recommend this week learning three stories like this. Use a website like www.answersingenesis.org (Frank’s story is at http://www.answersingenesis.org/arti…2/whale-design) and find out a couple of things to point out to people.

When you find out your three stories about the wonder of creation, practise with a friend telling them quickly in a way that can easily be understood. This will increase your confidence and make you bolder in witnessing.

Give the Holy Spirit things to work with! Telling stories like this aid in awakening someone’s conscience and making them think about the God of this universe.
If you have any more stories like this why not add them to the bottom of this blog post as comments…

Glory and freedom,
Benjamin

An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design (Sean McDowell)

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An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design

Sean McDowell

 

One of the most stereotypes of intelligent design (ID) is that it is an evangelical Christian movement intent upon forcing religion into the classroom. The release of Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design (Bradley Monton, Broadview Press, 2009) officially puts this claim to rest. Defenders of ID do include evangelical Christians, but also Muslims, Hindus, agnostics, and now even atheists! University of Colorado philosophy professor Bradley Monton is ultimately not persuaded by the arguments of ID (which is why he’s an atheist), but he says that they do have some force, and they make him less certain of his atheism.

 

For those of you who have followed the ID movement, this should come as quite the surprise. Yes, an atheist actually defends the integrity and merits of ID! Monton argues that criticisms of ID-whether from atheists or theistic evolutionists-are largely unfounded, misplaced, and erroneous. Monton doesn’t so much defend the truth of ID, but he believes it is a reasonable, (somewhat) persuasive, and legitimate scientific project.

 

The best part of the book (from my perspective) is that Monton sees right through much of the rhetorical tactics commonly used by ID opponents. For example, critics frequently conflate ID with creationism so as to make it an easier target to defeat. Monton rightly observes that some ID arguments are not related to creationism at all and that such comparisons are “sloppy” (31).  Critics also love to claim that ID makes no predictions and is not testable. According to Monton: “I would say that intelligent design proponents are making a prediction: they are claiming that, if one looks, one will find evidence that there is a designer” (72).

 

Monton also criticizes Judge Jones’ ruling against ID in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005). Darwinists have continued to herald this ruling as an overwhelming defeat for ID. However, says Monton, Judge Jones’ arguments were “fundamentally flawed.” In his attempt to discredit ID, Jones argued that it is not a legitimate science because (among other reasons) it postulates supernatural creation.

 

Surprisingly, Monton argues that postulating supernatural causation is actually compatible with science! He gives a fictional example of a pulsar that pulses out Morse code. The message claims to be God, and can answer any questions that scientists formulate in their heads. If such a thing happened, shouldn’t the “God” theory be a legitimate option? This is a highly unlikely scenario, but it shows that at least (in principle) science can explore supernatural causes, despite the ruling by Judge Jones.

 

Ultimately, says Monton, we shouldn’t get caught up debating whether or not ID is science. The most important question is whether or not the claims are true (73).  Monton recognizes that proclamations against the scientific status of ID are largely meant to suppress debate so the actual truth-claims of ID can be avoided.

 

Professor Monton challenges both atheistic and theistic opponents of ID. For example, he critiques theistic evolutionist Kenneth Miller (author of Only a Theory) who claims that intelligent design closes down scientific investigation. According to Monton: “While theistic scientists could choose to stop investigating the world, and be satisfied with the answer ‘God did it,’ they need not. What theistic scientists can do is investigate questions like: ‘What structure did God choose to give the world?'” (112). Miller’s claim that ID is anti-science “doesn’t hold up.”

 

Surprisingly, Monton agrees that intelligent design offers the best explanation for certain features of the universe. He admits that there are currently no naturalistic explanations for why the universe exists, for the nature of consciousness, and a detailed scenario for the origin of life. Yet rather than believing in design he says: “The truth of the matter is that there’s no explanation at all” (37). To avoid the conclusion that God exists, Monton is forced to accept that certain features of reality simply don’t have an explanation. Rather than offering an alternative explanation, Monton challenges the notion of explanation itself.

 

Much more could be said about Seeking God in Science. It is certainly refreshing to read someone who desires to transcend the culture wars and to communicate his ideas in a respectful and generous tone. Supporters of ID can learn much from his style and substance, even if they ultimately disagree with his conclusions (as I do!). This is a watershed book in the history of ID, and is hopefully a sign of more to come.
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Creation In The 21st Century – Our Young Moon 1 of 3

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Dr Carl Baugh and Spiros Psarris talk about how our moon is young. They provide evidence that the moon is not very old.Extra Tags – Activity on the moon Geologically Active Maria on the Moon G…

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How Did the Turtle Get Its Shell? (from http://www.crev.info/)

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How Did the Turtle Get Its Shell?   07/10/2009    


July 10, 2009 — The cover story of Science this week is about turtle evolution.  The caption on the cover illustration, which compares the skeleton of a turtle, chicken and mouse, reads, “The turtle body plan is unusual in that the ribs are transformed into a carapace, and the scapula, situated outside the ribs in other animals, is found inside the carapace.  A report on page 193 explains the evolutionary origin of this inside-out skeletal morphology.”  So let’s walk outside-in to this issue and see if the promised explanation can be found.
    The title of our entry is the same as Olivier Rieppel (Field Museum, Chicago): “How Did the Turtle Get Its Shell?”  The first thing we learn from Rieppel is that there are two opposing camps among evolutionary biologists: the transformationists and the emergentists.  The first group sounds like old-style Darwinians: “The classic transformationist approach sees morphological evolution as a result of natural selection working on variation manifest in reproducing organisms.”  The emergentists, by contrast, look for variations in embryonic development.  This difference determines what members of either paradigm are looking for to explain the unique skeletons and shells of turtles.  Transformationists look for adaptations in the adult form that might have been passed on to the progeny.  They might look for incipient plates in the skin, for instance, that could have ossified over the generations, then fused into a shell.  Emergentists, instead, would observe the developmental stages of turtles to look for clues about their evolutionary history.  That’s the approach members of the Laboratory for Evolutionary Morphology at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan took in their scientific paper in same issue of Science.2
   

A key player in the story was the fossil turtle Odontochelys announced last year (see 11/29/2008), which had a plastron (front shell) but no carapace (back shell).  Scientists back then were debating whether the fossil was a missing link or a specialized turtle derived from pre-existing fully-formed turtles.  This team acknowledged the debate: “It cannot be ruled out that the carapace of this animal merely underwent a secondary degeneration,” they said; “however, if it really possessed the precarapacial dorsal ribs as reconstructed (Fig. 4), the evolution of the turtle body plan would be consistent with the embryonic development of the modern turtle.”  This means that their hypothesis about turtle evolution depends on accepting one side of the debate.
   

As for how the skeleton of a pre-turtle vertebrate could have undergone the spectacular modifications required, in which the scapula bones dived inside the rib cage (instead of remaining outside as in all other vertebrates), and the ribs fused to the carapace, forming a complete circle and ridge connected to the plastron, the authors looked to turtle embryos for evidence.  Rieppel summarized their research:

Nagashima et al. observed that during early development of the Chinese soft-shelled turtle Pelodiscus sinensis (see the figure), translocation of the ribs to a position outside the shoulder blade involves folding of the lateral body wall along a line that defines the later formation of the carapacial ridge.  This folding restricts rib growth to the horizontal plane of the carapacial disk and also maintains the shoulder blade in its superficial position relative to the folded body wall.  This organization is thought to characterize ancestral turtles.  Some muscles that develop from the muscle plate that is associated with the folding body wall even retain their “ancestral connectivities” in the adult.

Since there are no ancestral turtle embryos to observe, how can they think about what characterized them?  Here’s where they tied in their story with Odontochelys.  Rieppel continues:

Nagashima et al. hypothesize that in this ancestral turtle, the carapacial ridge was differentiated only along the side of the trunk, remaining incomplete anteriorly and posteriorly.  Only later during the evolution of turtles would the carapacial ridge be completed, causing the anteriormost trunk rib to grow across the shoulder blade and localizing the latter inside the ribcage.

So the researchers would not only have to take the emergentist view from the start, they would also have to assume that Odontochelys was a missing link instead of a specialized form.  This stacks two assumptions on top of each other.  It even sounds a bit like Haeckel’s discredited “Biogenetic Law” (also called the Recapitulation Theory) that asserted, “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.”  The authors almost said that, in fact.  Watch for that word recapitulate and see how they used it:

Odontochelys reconstructed by Li et al. resembles the embryonic modern turtles in some respects (Fig. 2, A and E, and Fig. 4), and this animal may represent an ancestral state.  The Odontochelys-like, ancestral pattern is still retained in the first rib in modern turtles (Fig. 4, right).  Although it remains to be seen whether latissimus dorsi of Odontochelys was shifted rostrally (Fig. 4, middle), its pectoralis would have established a new attachment to the dorsal aspect of the plastron (Fig. 4, middle).  Thus, the developmental sequence of P. sinensis may not wholly recapitulate the suggested evolutionary sequence of turtles.  Nevertheless, the above suggests that the dorsal arrest of ribs can now be assumed to have taken place by the common ancestor of Odontochelys and modern turtles, and in the latter, the completed CR would have allowed for emergence of the carapace (Fig. 4, bottom).  The modern turtles have acquired their unique body plan by passing through an Odontochelys-like ancestral state during embryonic development.  Our embryological study may help to explain the developmental changes involved in both the pre- and post-Odontochelys steps of turtle evolution, from an evolutionary developmental perspective.

So although they couched their Biogenetic-Law explanation with the disclaimer that the developmental sequence (ontogeny) of modern turtle embryos “may not wholly recapitulate” the ancestral evolutionary sequence (phylogeny), they turned right around and depended on Recapitulation Theory to explain turtle evolution.  They said, “The modern turtles have acquired their unique body plan by passing through an Odontochelys-like ancestral state during embryonic development.”  This would only make sense, of course, “from an evolutionary developmental perspective” – i.e., the emergentist view of evolution, which may itself be a recapitulation of Haeckel’s view.


1.  Olivier Rieppel, “Evolution: How Did the Turtle Get Its Shell?”, Science, 10 July 2009: Vol. 325. no. 5937, pp. 154-155, DOI: 10.1126/science.1177446.
2.  Nagashima, Sugahara, Takechi, Ericcson, Kawashima-Ohya, Narita and Kuratani, “Evolution of the Turtle Body Plan by the Folding and Creation of New Muscle Connections,” Science, 10 July 2009: Vol. 325. no. 5937, pp. 193-196, DOI: 10.1126/science.1173826.

This entry should not be entitled, “How did the turtle get its shell?” but rather, “How did the evolutionist get its tall tale about how the turtle got its shell?”  The BBC News called this a “spectacular insight into turtle evolution.”  National Geographic contorted this story with the line, “Turtles Have Shells Due to Embryo Origami,” and said “The findings shed light on turtle evolution.”  *Sigh.*
    It is really quite shocking to see slipshod Haeckelian logic employed by today’s evolutionists, and for Science to publish it, knowing that the popular media will gobble it whole and barf it out for the public (see next entry).  Stephen Jay Gould would have been appalled.  Recapitulation was tossed into the dustbin of Darwinism decades ago.  There is no reason even from an “evolutionary perspective” to expect modern embryos to retain any memory of their assumed evolutionary past, or to think that adult forms are somehow more evolved than the embryo is.  Stephen Jay Gould argued that the adult is actually a degenerate form of the embryo (neoteny), not a more advanced stage.  That’s the reverse of what the Recapitulation Theory paradigm teaches.  Besides, one can’t explain that modern turtle embryos are recapitulating their evolutionary past without assuming the very thing one needs to prove.  Yet here it is: Haeckel Recapitulation Theory Biogenetic Law Nonsense popping up again in Science.
    Worse yet, the emergentist view of evolution is little more than a restatement of the Stuff Happens Law (09/15/2008 commentary).  Something weird happened in a pre-turtle vertebrate embryo, things got shuffled around, and presto! the turtle was born.  Why?  Stuff happens.  If you need more convincing that the evolutionary just-so story “How the Turtle Got Its Shell” is summarized by “Stuff Happens,” look at prior attempts: 11/22/2008 piece, “Turtle Vaults Over 65 Million Year Evolutionary Hurdle,” where the explanation amounted to, “We have no idea.”  In the 10/09/2008 entry, the scientists said, “Exactly why turtles evolved their shell remains a mystery.”  Check out the 07/03/2002 entry, where some evolutionists tried to convince readers that the chickens and turtles are sisters despite their radically different skeletons.  Coming up with that idea required contorted attempts at card stacking.  Conclusion: evolutionists are clueless about why these amazingly-adapted, completely-formed animals are the way they are.
    The observational facts do not allow for stories about turtle evolution.  There are no fossil pre-turtles.  If scientists want to stick to empiricism, they cannot appeal to unobservable entities like some mythical common ancestor of turtles.  The evidence only permits them to state scientifically that “turtles have always been turtles.”  Why not leave it at that?  Answer: evolutionary religion requires them to insert turtles into the great chain of being known as Turtle Cosmology.
Next headline on:  Terrestrial ZoologyEvolution

Bible Increasingly “Irrelevant” in UK Study (Ingrid Schleuter)

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by Ingrid Schlueter

It should come as no surprise to those who read the British papers that a new study claims that only one in twenty Brits can name the Ten Commandments. The same study shows that 16% can’t name one. The moral anarchy in the West as a whole can be directly traced to the abandonment of the truths of God’s Word and its substitution with the lies of evolution and humanism. Moral rot and societal carnage are the natural result of man’s rebellion.

Recently, UK citizens were in an uproar over the abuse of the expenses system in Parliament. Both dominant political parties were shamed as MP’s were exposed for having lied or covered up their dishonest cashing in on a system designed to reimburse politicians for legitimate expenses. The Telegraph was filled for weeks with outrageous examples of greed and lies and profit taking at the public expense. But when a society as a whole can’t even name God’s command that stealing is sin, what do you expect? So exactly what moral code produces the public outrage? It’s the Law of God, written on the hearts of men, but deeply suppressed in unrighteousness, the Scripture tells us. God has given us all we need for life and godliness in His Word. Individuals and governments reject that at their own peril.

(Here’s an example of what’s going on: Britain’s National Health Service is handing out pamphlets letting students know about their right to a good sex life. This is in a country with the highest number of teen pregnancies in Europe.)

Evolutionists – Impossible to Embarass Them (Henry Morris)

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“And He spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?” (Luke 6:39).

Creationists have often pointed out that evolution is unscientific because it can never be proved by science to be true. It is not happening at present and without a time machine, they can never be sure that it happened in the past. Regardless of how much an organism looks like it had been intelligently designed, evolutionists (without even sounding embarrassed) will insist that natural selection has the power to make it look like it was designed, even though it wasn’t. Furthermore, no matter what fossil they find out of its accepted place in the evolutionary “record,” the evolutionists can “explain” how it got there.

The recent discovery of the intact flesh of a Tyrannosaurus rex with its “blood vessels—still flexible and elastic after 68 million years—and apparently intact cells”1 is a case in point. It would seem impossible for such soft structures to be preserved intact even for 6800 years, but evolutionists accept it on faith.

Similarly, Silurian fossil ostracodes supposedly 425 million years old have been found recently in England virtually identical to their modern-day counterparts and containing “a jaw-dropping amount of detail,”2 but this discovery does not faze evolutionists. They still believe it was buried 425 million years ago!

On another front, one would think that geophysicists would be embarrassed by their repeated failure to find the so-called Mohorovocic Discontinuity (except by inference from seismic waves) at the boundary between the earth’s “crust” and “mantle.” Since the supposed evolutionary history of the earth is theoretically related to this “Moho,” scientists have been trying to confirm its existence, along with the assumed nature of the mantle, by drilling deep holes in the crust. This has been going on since the early sixties without success, the latest such attempt having failed earlier this year.

The Bible long ago prophesied that it was not possible that the “heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath” (Jeremiah 31:37). Nevertheless: “Undaunted, oceanographers are ready to try again.”3

On the heavenly front, the same unembarrassed evolutionary cosmologists will evidently continue trying to “explain” the evolutionary history of the cosmos. Theories abound, and change frequently, the rising favorite being “string theory,” involving multiple dimensions of space and even multiple universes of space/time. However, as one evolutionary astrophysicist admits: “. . . the universe unveiled by the hellishly complex mathematics of super-string theory is not even remotely close to what string theorists anticipated.”4

Another cosmologist insists, however, that “string theory possesses a virtue for which many physicists are willing to accept these seeming absurdities: It can reconcile quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of gravity.”5 But then he admits that “the theory itself continues to grow more complicated and mysterious.”6

Its main virtue is that it can explain the cosmos without God. As Gardner insists, “. . . the fundamental credo of science is that deep mysteries like these will someday, if only in the distant future, succumb to rational explanation.”7

And what about human evolution? A recent statistical study of the genetics of human populations revealed,

the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) for a randomly mating population would have lived in the very recent past. . . . In particular, the MRCA of all present-day humans lived just a few thousand years ago in these models.8

The writer avoids mentioning the “Adam and Eve” explanation, of course. Nevertheless, he also notes that: “And a few thousand years before that, . . . the ancestors of everyone on the earth today were exactly the same.”9

One would think that analyses such as this, made by evolutionists on the real data of genetics and human populations would be embarrassing to evolutionists who commonly postulate an approximately million-year history of human existence on earth. But even if there were people living all during the past million years, how come they all kept the same genetic makeup until just a few thousand years ago? The Biblical record would seem at least relevant to the discussion!

Then there are the recent research findings by ICR scientists and others working on the RATE project that have
uncovered many new evidences that the earth is young, including the ubiquitous presence of radiocarbon in coal beds and even in diamonds. For years, of course, creationists have been pointing out that no real evolution has taken place during the several thousand years of human history and also that there are no legitimate series of transitional forms in the fossil beds of the past, plus the negative effects of mutations and the testimony of the laws of thermodynamics—all of which seem to make any macroevolution extremely unlikely, if not impossible.

Yet evolutionists continue to control the scientific and education establishments, insisting that total evolution is a scientific fact and creation is religion, so only evolution can be allowed to be taught in public schools and colleges. They gloat over the alleged fact that “an unprecedented 14 percent of Americans tell pollsters that they are atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, or simply disinterested in religion.”10 Even if this figure is assumed to be correct, it still leaves 86% of the population who believe in God.

And they express surprise that so many people have somehow come to believe in creation despite all the brainwashing in schools. The editor-in-chief of the premier magazine Science, recently moaned in a lead editorial that:

Alternatives to the teaching of biological evolution are now being debated in no fewer than 40 states. Worse, evolution is not the only science under such challenge. In several school districts, geology materials are being rewritten because their dates for Earth’s age are inconsistent with scripture (too old).11

A few evolutionists do seem to have at least a glimpse of why we object to their insistence that evolution be considered a scientifically proven fact. The following commentary on evolutionary science was in a recent issue of Geotimes.

Evolutionists have “Physics Envy.” They tell the public that the science behind evolution is the same science that sent people to the moon and cures diseases. It’s not.

The science behind evolution is not empirical, but forensic. Because evolution took place in history, its scientific investigations are after the fact—no testing, no observations, no repeatability, no falsification, nothing at all like physics. . . . I think this is what the public discerns—that evolution is just a bunch of just-so stories disguised as legitimate science.12

Another evolutionist makes an interesting admission. He says: “Contrary to their public image, scientists are normal, flawed human beings.”13 They are as capable of prejudice, covetousness, pride, deceitfulness, etc., as anyone.

Evolutionists can’t seem to comprehend why most Americans still believe in God, creation, and the Bible, despite having the “fact” of evolution dogmatically taught to them throughout their school years. The fact is that there is an abundance of objective evidence that the Bible really is the Word of God. It is not just a book of religion as they argue, but a book of factual history. Jesus Christ really did rise from the dead and Jesus Christ really did confirm the truth of the Biblical account of origins. Creationists do not believe in the Bible just because they are ignorant of science.

Peter says that “we have not followed cunningly devised fables. . . . We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed . . .”
(II Peter 1:16,19). And the apostle Paul, prophesying of the humanists of “the last days” said that they would be “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Timothy
3:1,7) because “they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Timothy 4:4).

A creationist scientist justifiably might think of the Psalmist’s caustic commentary on the ancient idol-making pantheistic evolutionists:

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: . . . They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them (Psalm 115:4,5,8).

Endnotes

  1. Erik Stokstad, “Tyrannosaurus rex Soft Tissue Raises Tantalizing Prospects,” Science (vol. 307, March 25, 2005), p. 1852.
  2. Erik Stokstad, “Gutsy Fossil Sets Record for Staying the Course,” Science (vol. 302, December 5, 2003), p. 1645.
  3. Richard A. Kerr, “Pursued for 40 Years, the Moho Evades Ocean Drillers Once Again,” Science (vol. 307, March 18, 2005), p. 1707.
  4. James N. Gardner, “Fundamental Cosmological Understanding Eludes Us,” Skeptical Inquirer (vol. 28, July/August, 2004), p. 51.
  5. Adrian Cho, “String Theory Gets Real—Sort of,” Science (vol. 306, November 26, 2004), p. 1461.
  6. Ibid., p. 1462.
  7. James N. Gardner, op. cit., p. 52.
  8. Douglas L. T. Rohde, Steve Olson, and Joseph T. Chang, “Modeling the Recent Common Ancestry of all Living Humans,” Nature (vol. 431, September 30, 2004), p. 562.
  9. Ibid., p. 565.
  10. Promotional brochure published by the Council for Secular Humanism.
  11. Donald Kennedy, “Twilight for the Enlightenment?” Science (vol. 308, April 8, 2005), p. 165.
  12. John Chaikowsky, “Geology v. Physics,” Geotimes (vol. 50, April 2005), p. 6.
  13. David Weatherall, “Conduct Unbecoming,” American Scientist (vol. 93, January-February 2005), p. 73.

The Elevator – A Metaphysical Conversation (Israel Wayne)

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The Elevator – A Metaphysical Conversation

by Israel Wayne

 

The Metaphysical Hotel was the Ritz. John loved the restaurant at the pinnacle of the edifice and enjoyed meeting clients there for lunch. He walked briskly down the sidewalk from his office and entered the automatic double-doors of the building. Heading through the lobby, he entered the elevator which would take him to the 44th floor.

 

He glanced at the peculiar sign above the elevator door which read, “The Physical Realm.” There was only one occupant when the doors opened and John paused for a moment to allow the gentleman to exit. The man just stood there with his eyes closed. After a second of hesitation, John stepped in and pushed the button to close the doors. He glanced at the man next to him who suddenly opened his eyes.

 

“Going back up, eh?” John said with a slight chuckle in his voice.

 

“Depends on what you mean. After all, ‘up’ and ‘down’ are relative terms.”

 

“Sure. I guess. So, uh, do you work here?”

 

“Here? In the elevator? You could say that, but it would probably be more accurate to say that I live here.”

 

John blinked hard. “What was that?”

 

“I mean, where else am I going to live. This elevator is all there is.”

 

“You’ve got to be kidding me! There’s a lot more to this place than just the elevator. I mean there are conference rooms, a health spa, and the best restaurant in town! And beyond that, there is the city and the rest of the world. Quite a bit more out there than just the elevator!”

 

“No, those are all just figments of your imagination. You WANT to believe there is something more than the elevator, so you invent these weird notions. Such beliefs are a crutch for weak-minded people who can’t accept that this elevator is all there is.”

 

Now John was really shocked. “What is your name?” he asked the stranger.

 

“Mr. Materialist. But you can call me Matt.”

 

“Okay, Matt. Has it ever occurred to you that we are suspended at about the 22nd floor of ‘something’ and that there must be a structure that holds ‘The Physical Realm’ up so it doesn’t just crash and kill us?”

 

“Ah, so you must be a supernaturalist?!” Matt retorted.

 

“Well, actually I am. I mean, how could an elevator even be built if there weren’t something outside of it? I mean, an elevator can’t be eternally existent, and you can’t get the materials to build the elevator from within it. Does that make sense?”

 

“Here we go again! The ‘Hotel of the Gaps,’ theory. That’s the oldest one in the book. Just because we can’t explain everything naturalistically, you think that we need a supernatural or metaphysical explanation. I think that is a cop-out.”

 

“Matt, we can’t conceive of an elevator that just made itself. That just doesn’t make sense. Where did the materials come from? Who was the designer?”

 

“It’s simple. With enough time, it just built itself.”

 

“That is absurd. Beyond that, where did the materials come from?”

 

“They came from lesser materials within the elevator itself.”

 

“That is begging the question. You are assuming the eternal pre-existence of the elevator itself in your explanation of its design and origin. But that isn’t your only problem. You still haven’t explained how the elevator works. We know that there are pulleys and laws of motion that govern the movement of the elevator. Those laws are ‘outside’ of the physical elevator. Without the structure of this ‘non-physical’ building around the elevator, the elevator could not function.”

 

“No, quite the contrary. You are arguing that there can’t be a ‘Physical Realm,’ without the existence of the ‘Metaphysical Hotel,’ which surrounds and supports it. I would counter that the elevator itself is responsible for your notions of the hotel. There are chemical reactions that occur inside the elevator that cause an illusion of the ‘Metaphysical Hotel,’ but these things do not exist in reality, trust me.”

 

“Chemical reactions that cause me to believe whatever I…how did you put that earlier? Whatever I ‘want’ to believe?”

 

“Oh, uh, yeah, something like that.”

 

Suddenly they came to a stop and the doors opened. John looked at his watch. He was intrigued with the conversation, but really needed to head off to his lunch appointment. With a bit of sadness for the odd man who remained standing inside with his eyes closed, he stepped out to enjoy the rest of his day.

 

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” (Psalm 14:1)

 

Copyright 2009, by Israel Wayne. All Rights Reserved

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