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Rossiter on the Essentially Arbitrary Nature of TE Distinctions

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Wayne Rossiter holds a PhD in ecology and evolution from Rutgers and is an assistant biology professor at Waynesburg University.  In a comment to another post he writes:

Literally, Jesus is their great stumbling block. Consider the words of Darrel Falk (one of the BioLogos founders):

“Faith in Christ’s resurrection is thus the single most important belief that Christians hold. Is it scientifically credible? . . . It is not. Yet this is the position we hold. to a scientist . . . the belief in a risen body is irrational.”

They think that purely scientific explanations for the world are compatible with Christian theism…except on Jesus. There, they will fly in the face of their science. But why? And if there, why only there? They all make space for miracles in principle, but never tell you which they actually accept. And what do they do with petitionary prayer, the miracles surrounding Jesus (in the NT). Heck, most aren’t real warm to the concept of angels.

I’ve continued to evaluate all manner of TE-types. All have massive contradictions and unfounded claims. But boy, they’re an atheists best friend. That’s why Salon magazine called TE “training wheels towards atheism.”

One might quibble with Dr. Rossiter’s use of “literally.”  Otherwise, this is about as penetrating and succinct a statement of the issue as one could hope for.

I really like the fact that Rossiter points out the inconsistencies of TE's:
They think that purely scientific explanations for the world are compatible with Christian theism
What I find even more amazing is a thought about atheist/materialists is... They think that purely materialistic explanations for the world are compatible with science. The practice of science includes several steps ( generation of hypothesis, intentional gathering of data, choices of experimental procedure, deliberate isolation of non-wanted variables, error analysis including hypothetical reasons for failure) which could only be done by an independent, intelligent agent capable of generating information. But as far as I can see, the existence of an intelligent agent which can generate information is incompatible with materialism. JDH
Although Falk seems to think that he needs to accept methodological naturalism unreservedly in order to be considered 'scientific', the fact of the matter is that methodological naturalism is a miserable failure as a scientific philosophy. Methodological naturalism, the axiom of Materialism as it is applied to modern science, i.e. only materialistic/naturalistic answers are ever allowed, is the primary method of science taught in American universities. Yet, Materialism/Naturalism is not itself a finding of modern science but is merely a unproven philosophy that is a-priorily imposed onto science. A completely unproven philosophy which makes the dogmatic assertion that only blind material processes generated the universe and everything in it, including ourselves. Materialism is thus in direct opposition to Theism which holds that God purposely created this universe and everything in it, including ourselves, i.e. holding that God created us in His image. This dogmatic imposition of the philosophy of materialism, i.e. methodological naturalism, onto modern science is especially interesting since materialism had little to nothing to with the founding of modern science, but instead modern science was born out of the medieval Christian cultures of Europe by men who were by and large devoutly Christian in their beliefs. Specifically, they believed the universe to be rational and that they had minds capable of grasping that rationality. Moreover science, or more particularly the scientific method, in reality, only cares to relentlessly pursue the truth and could care less if the answer turns out to be a materialistic one or not. Ironically, since truth itself is a transcendent entity which is not reducible to some purely material/natural entity then Methodological Naturalism actually precludes ‘the truth’ from ever being reached by science! Imposing materialistic answers onto the scientific method beforehand, methodological naturalism, is especially problematic in these questions of origins, since we are indeed questioning the materialistic philosophy itself. i.e. We are asking the scientific method to answer this very specific question, "Did God create the universe and us or did blind material processes create the universe and us?" When we realize that this is the actual question we are seeking an answer to within the scientific method, then of course it is readily apparent we cannot impose strict materialistic answers onto the scientific method prior to investigation. When looking at the evidence from modern science in this light we find out many interesting things which scientists, who have been blinded by the philosophy of materialism, miss. This is because the materialistic and Theistic philosophy make, and have made, several contradictory predictions about what type of science evidence we will find. These contradictory predictions, and the evidence found by modern science, can be tested against one another to see if either materialism or Theism is true. Here are a few comparisons:
Theism compared to Materialism/Naturalism - a comparative overview of the major predictions of each philosophy – video https://youtu.be/QQ9iyCmPmz8 1. Naturalism/Materialism predicted space-time energy-matter always existed. Theism predicted space-time energy-matter were created. Big Bang cosmology now strongly indicates that time-space energy-matter had a sudden creation event approximately 14 billion years ago. 2. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the universe is a self sustaining system that is not dependent on anything else for its continued existence. Theism predicted that God upholds this universe in its continued existence. Breakthroughs in quantum mechanics reveal that this universe is dependent on a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause for its continued existence. 3. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that consciousness is an ‘emergent property’ of material reality and thus should have no particularly special position within material reality. Theism predicts consciousness precedes material reality and therefore, on that presupposition, consciousness should have a ‘special’ position within material reality. Quantum Mechanics reveals that consciousness has a special, even a central, position within material reality. - 4. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the rate at which time passed was constant everywhere in the universe. Theism predicted God is eternal and is outside of time. – Special Relativity has shown that time, as we understand it, is relative and comes to a complete stop at the speed of light. (Psalm 90:4 – 2 Timothy 1:9) - 5. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the universe did not have life in mind and that life was ultimately an accident of time and chance. Theism predicted this universe was purposely created by God with man in mind. Scientists find the universe is exquisitely fine-tuned for carbon-based life to exist in this universe. Moreover it is found, when scrutinizing the details of physics and chemistry, that not only is the universe fine-tuned for carbon based life, but is specifically fine-tuned for life like human life (R. Collins, M. Denton).- 6. Naturalism/Materialism predicted complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Theism predicted the earth is extremely unique in this universe. Statistical analysis of the hundreds of required parameters which enable complex organic life to be possible on earth gives strong indication the earth is extremely unique in this universe (G. Gonzalez; Hugh Ross). - 7. Naturalism/Materialism predicted it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11). Geochemical evidence from the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth indicates that complex photosynthetic life has existed on earth as long as water has been on the face of earth. - 8. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the first life to be relatively simple. Theism predicted that God is the source for all life on earth. The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. (Michael Denton PhD) - 9. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Theism predicted complex and diverse animal life to appear abruptly in the seas in God’s fifth day of creation. The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas. - 10. Naturalism/Materialism predicted there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record, Theism predicted sudden appearance and rapid diversity within different kinds found in the fossil record. Fossils are consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within that group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. - 11. Naturalism/Materialism predicted animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Theism predicted man was the last species created on earth – Man (our genus ‘modern homo’ as distinct from the highly controversial ‘early homo’) is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record. (Tattersall; Luskin)– 12. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the separation of human intelligence from animal intelligence ‘is one of degree and not of kind’ (C. Darwin). Theism predicted that we are made in the ‘image of God’- Despite an ‘explosion of research’ in this area over the last four decades, human beings alone are found to ‘mentally dissect the world into a multitude of discrete symbols, and combine and recombine those symbols in their minds to produce hypotheses of alternative possibilities.’ (Tattersall; Schwartz). Moreover, both biological life and the universe itself are found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis. 13. Naturalism/Materialism predicted much of the DNA code was junk. Theism predicted we are fearfully and wonderfully made – ENCODE research into the DNA has revealed a “biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.”. - 14. Naturalism/Materialism predicted a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. Theism predicted only God created life on earth – The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever. (M. Behe; JC Sanford) - 15. Naturalism/Materialism predicted morality is subjective and illusory. Theism predicted morality is objective and real. Morality is found to be deeply embedded in the genetic responses of humans. As well, morality is found to be deeply embedded in the structure of the universe. Embedded to the point of eliciting physiological responses in humans before humans become aware of the morally troubling situation and even prior to the event even happening. 16. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that we are merely our material bodies with no transcendent component to our being, and that we die when our material bodies die. Theism predicted that we have minds/souls that are transcendent of our bodies that live past the death of our material bodies. Transcendent, and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created or destroyed), ‘non-local’, (beyond space-time matter-energy), quantum entanglement/information, which is not reducible to matter-energy space-time, is now found in our material bodies on a massive scale (in every DNA and protein molecule).
As you can see when we remove the artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy (methodological naturalism), from the scientific method, and look carefully at the predictions of both the materialistic philosophy and the Theistic philosophy, side by side, we find the scientific method is very good at pointing us in the direction of Theism as the true explanation. - In fact modern science, as was mentioned in post 1, is even very good at pointing us to Christianity as the solution to the much sought after 'theory of everything'
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from Death as the “Theory of Everything” – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uHST2uFPQY&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5&index=4
Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Of supplemental note: The problems with methodological naturalism get worse than just its abject failure to make accurate predictions for major findings in science. Much worse!
Darwinian evolution, and atheism/naturalism in general, are built entirely upon a foundation of illusions and fantasy Excerpt: Darwinian evolution, and atheism/naturalism in general, far from being the supposedly ‘scientific’ worldviews, are, in fact, built entirely upon a foundation of quicksand that quickly engulfs all of our conceptions and observations about reality into a quagmire of illusions and fantasy.,,, basically, without God, everything within the atheistic/naturalistic worldview, (i.e. supposed evidence for Darwinian evolution, observations of reality, beliefs about reality, sense of self, free will, even reality itself), collapses into self refuting, unrestrained, flights of fantasy and imagination. It would be hard to fathom a more unscientific worldview than Darwinian evolution and Atheistic materialism/naturalism in general have turned out to be. Scientists should definitely stick with the worldview that brought them to the dance! i.e Christianity! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Q94y-QgZZGF0Q7HdcE-qdFcVGErhWxsVKP7GOmpKD6o/edit Atheistic Materialism/Naturalism - Where All of Reality Becomes an Illusion - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4TfovIU96g
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
as to:
Consider the words of Darrel Falk (one of the BioLogos founders): “Faith in Christ’s resurrection is thus the single most important belief that Christians hold. Is it scientifically credible? . . . It is not. Yet this is the position we hold. to a scientist . . . the belief in a risen body is irrational.”
Contrary to what Darrel Falk may believe, not only is Christianity compatible with science, but science finds what may be termed its 'ultimate resolution', for the quote unquote 'Theory of Everything', (i.e. the unification of Quantum Theory and General Relativity), in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from Death as the “Theory of Everything” – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uHST2uFPQY&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5&index=4
That Christianity should provide an empirically backed solution to the much sought out “Theory of Everything”, i.e. a primary reason for why the universe exists, should not really be all that surprising since, 1. Modern science was born out of the Christian worldview. 2. The belief that there should even be a unification between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, (i.e. a mathematical theory of everything), does not follow from the math, but is a belief that is born out of Theistic presuppositions (K. Godel, G Chaitin, S. Fuller). 3. The denial of Agent Causality behind the laws of physics, and in our own personal lives, leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science. 4. Christianity ‘predicts’ that “in him all things were created” Verse:
Colossians 1:15-20 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Supplemental notes:
Special Relativity and General Relativity compared to Heavenly and Hellish Near Death Experiences – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbKELVHcvSI&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5&index=1 (Entropic Concerns) The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead is the correct solution for the "Theory of Everything" – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqv4wVP_Fkc&index=2&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5 Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram https://youtu.be/F-TL4QOCiis Astonishing discovery at Christ's tomb supports Turin Shroud - NOV 26TH 2016 Excerpt: The first attempts made to reproduce the face on the Shroud by radiation, used a CO2 laser which produced an image on a linen fabric that is similar at a macroscopic level. However, microscopic analysis showed a coloring that is too deep and many charred linen threads, features that are incompatible with the Shroud image. Instead, the results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”. 'However, Enea scientists warn, "it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts )”. Comment The ENEA study of the Holy Shroud of Turin concluded that it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology. https://www.ewtn.co.uk/news/latest/astonishing-discovery-at-christ-s-tomb-supports-turin-shroud THE EVENT HORIZON (Space-Time Singularity) OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN. - Isabel Piczek - Particle Physicist Excerpt: We have stated before that the images on the Shroud firmly indicate the total absence of Gravity. Yet they also firmly indicate the presence of the Event Horizon. These two seemingly contradict each other and they necessitate the past presence of something more powerful than Gravity that had the capacity to solve the above paradox. http://shroud3d.com/findings/isabel-piczek-image-formation Turin shroud – (event horizon) – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHVUGK6UFK8

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