Intelligent Design

The Warfare Thesis Explained

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Much has been written about the so-called “warfare thesis” first popularized in the 1870’s by Andrew Dickson White.  This thesis posits that there is an inherent conflict between Christianity and science.  Never mind that many of the most famous scientists in history, including practically all of the progenitors of the scientific revolution, were Christians (Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, etc.).  The obvious historical weakness and intellectual tendentiousness of the warfare thesis has led to its reevaluation and often its rejection by contemporary researchers.  (See here for example).

The idea that there is an inherent conflict between science (in the sense of an investigation of nature) and Christianity is risible.  This is not to say, however, that there is no conflict at all.  There is indeed.  Alvin Plantinga describes it:

There is indeed a battle between the Christian community and the forces of unbelief. This contest rages in many areas of contemporary culture-the courts and in the so-called media-but perhaps most particularly in academia.

The conflict is not between Christianity and science.  It is between Christianity and atheists claiming the mantle of science.  How we got here is completely understandable.  We got here because many atheists hold their metaphysical naturalism with such a blinkered, dogmatic and stubborn obstinance, that they literally cannot conceive of anyone disagreeing with them in good faith.  Consider Richard Dawkins’ oft-quoted quip:

It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).

Who says that atheist/materialists must be moral subjectivists?  Notice that “absolutely” in the beginning of the quote.  Dawkins claims to have found an absolute moral truth – if you disagree with him you are a bad person.  Again, this is easy to understand.  Dawkins is a dogmatic metaphysical naturalist.  And like any dogmatist, he believes that anyone who disagrees with his dogma is fundamentally wrong – that is what it means to call it dogma after all.

But here is where Dawkins and other warfare thesis fanatics go off the rails.  They confuse their science with their metaphysics.  In a certain sense Dawkins is correct.  If metaphysical naturalism is true, then something like Darwinian evolution must also be true.  As Phillip Johnson once said, Darwinism is an almost inescapable logical inference from naturalism.  It follows that IF naturalism is true, Dawkins is right.  Anyone who disagrees with Darwinism is ignorant, stupid, insane, or wicked.  But I capitalized that “if” for a reason.  It is a very big “if.”  Dawkins acts as if he can be absolutely assured that metaphysical naturalism is true.  Now that is a position to which “ignorant, stupid, insane, or wicked” could be aptly applied.  The proposition that metaphysical naturalism is true is at best doubtful.  It is staggeringly stupid to say it is certain.  Indeed, if it were certain there would be no way to know it is certain, because “knowing” implies intentionality, which under naturalism is impossible.

There is a conflict, but the conflict is not between Christianity and science.  It is between Christianity and metaphysical naturalists.  And the reason most naturalists believe that the conflict is with their science and not their metaphysics is because their views on the matter, like Dawkins’, are so blinkered and dogmatic that they are literally unable to see the difference.

14 Replies to “The Warfare Thesis Explained

  1. 1
    jdk says:

    This is why theistic evolutionists don’t have this conflict, as their metaphysics doesn’t conflict with either science or Christianity. It does, of course, conflict with philosophical naturalism, which is a different matter. Science and philosophical naturalism are not synonymous.

  2. 2

    This is why theistic evolutionists don’t have this conflict, as their metaphysics doesn’t conflict with either science or Christianity.

    That’s the beauty of equivocation in such socio-political affairs. There’s always a sucker to repeat it.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    While science can study moralities as a cultural or social or psychological phenomenon, it has nothing to say about which, if any, is “better” than all others. On the other hand, although there have been many great scientists who were also Christian, as has been pointed out, providing explanations of how the Universe works is not a primary concern of the faith. To that extent, there is no conflict between Christianity and science.

    Having said that, where the Bible makes a testable claim about the world which is contradicted by science, then there is at least the potential for conflict. For example, if the Bible describes a great worldwide flood thousands of years ago but geologists are unable to find any evidence of such an event in the geological record then Christians face a dilemma. If they reject the science to protect their beliefs then they are practicing a kind of religious Lysenkoism where the test for acceptable science is the extent to which it is consonant with Christian theology. If they accept the science, on the other hand, then they allow it to become a measure of the credibility, veracity and authority of Christian claims. So, if science can find scant evidence for the existence of the Biblical Jesus then the whole basis of the faith is threatened. Wars have been fought for less.

  4. 4
    Barry Arrington says:

    Sev,

    “where the Bible makes a testable claim”

    As Plantinga says in the article from which the above quote is clipped, before we can conclude with certainty that Biblical claims about a subject conflict with scientific claims about the subject, we must have certain knowledge about what the science says and certain knowledge about what the Bible says.

    The problem, of course, is that those who can speak with certainty about science rarely have the capacity to speak with authority (or sometimes even simple coherence) about Biblical interpretation. Witness Richard Dawkins’ pitiful blitherings about theology. Conversely, experts in Biblical exegesis are rarely also experts in science.

    The problem is illustrated in your comment. Does the Bible claim that Noah’s flood inundated the entire globe? Is the text consistent with a great regional flood? And if so does science rule out a great regional flood?

    I don’t speak Hebrew and I’m not a geologist. So I cannot speak authoritatively on any of these questions. But those who can assure me there are reasonable interpretations of the Biblical text that do not conflict with reasonable interpretations of the geological history.

    In the meantime, we see people making silly statements like “the Bible says the sun set. That proves the Bible gets even simple scientific facts wrong, because every schoolchild now knows the sun does not move with respect to the earth.” Sigh. Just tonight I commented to my wife about how beautiful the sunset was. I guess that makes me a stupid rube on the order of a flat-earther. Or, just maybe, . . .

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky,

    First, science is impossible without basic theistic presuppositions about the universe. Namely, God created and sustains the universe and that we are capable of grasping the rationality with which God created and sustains the universe since we are made in His image.

    The Threat to the Scientific Method that Explains the Spate of Fraudulent Science Publications – Calvin Beisner | Jul 23, 2014
    Excerpt: It is precisely because modern science has abandoned its foundations in the Biblical worldview (which holds, among other things, that a personal, rational God designed a rational universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image) and the Biblical ethic (which holds, among other things, that we are obligated to tell the truth even when it inconveniences us) that science is collapsing.
    As such diverse historians and philosophers of science as Alfred North Whitehead, Pierre Duhem, Loren Eiseley, Rodney Stark, and many others have observed,, science—not an occasional flash of insight here and there, but a systematic, programmatic, ongoing way of studying and controlling the world—arose only once in history, and only in one place: medieval Europe, once known as “Christendom,” where that Biblical worldview reigned supreme. That is no accident. Science could not have arisen without that worldview.
    http://townhall.com/columnists...../page/full
    Several other resources backing up this claim are available, such as Thomas Woods, Stanley Jaki, David Linberg, Edward Grant, J.L. Heilbron, and Christopher Dawson.

    The Christian Origins of Science – Jack Kerwick – Apr 15, 2017
    Excerpt: Though it will doubtless come as an enormous shock to such Christophobic atheists as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and their ilk, it is nonetheless true that one especially significant contribution that Christianity made to the world is that of science.,,,
    Stark is blunt: “Real science arose only once: in Europe”—in Christian Europe. “China, Islam, India, and ancient Greece and Rome each had a highly developed alchemy. But only in Europe did alchemy develop into chemistry. By the same token, many societies developed elaborate systems of astrology, but only in Europe did astrology develop into astronomy.”,,,
    In summation, Stark writes: “The rise of science was not an extension of classical learning. It was the natural outgrowth of Christian doctrine: nature exists because it was created by God. In order to love and honor God, it is necessary to fully appreciate the wonders of his handiwork. Because God is perfect, his handiwork functions in accord with immutable principles. By the full use of our God-given powers of reason and observation, it ought to be possible to discover these principles.”
    He concludes: “These were the crucial ideas that explain why science arose in Christian Europe and nowhere else.”
    https://townhall.com/columnists/jackkerwick/2017/04/15/the-christian-origins-of-science-n2313593

    The War against the War Between Science and Faith Revisited – July 2010
    Excerpt: If science suffered only stillbirths in ancient cultures, how did it come to its unique viable birth? The beginning of science as a fully fledged enterprise took place in relation to two important definitions of the Magisterium of the Church. The first was the definition at the Fourth Lateran Council in the year 1215, that the universe was created out of nothing at the beginning of time. The second magisterial statement was at the local level, enunciated by Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris who, on March 7, 1277, condemned 219 Aristotelian propositions, so outlawing the deterministic and necessitarian views of creation.
    These statements of the teaching authority of the Church expressed an atmosphere in which faith in God had penetrated the medieval culture and given rise to philosophical consequences. The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature and so God was free to create this particular form of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary form of existence; and so it has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Indeed the contingency and rationality of the cosmos are like two pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos.
    http://www.scifiwright.com/201.....revisited/

    Seversky mentions a flood, and the supposed lack of evidence for it, yet as usual, Seversky is wrong in his assumption. There is now abundant evidence for global superfloods approx. 14,000 to 13,000 years ago

    Humanpast.net
    Excerpt: Worldwide, we know that the period of 14,000 to 13,000 years ago, which coincides with the peak of abundant monsoonal rains over India, was marked by violent oceanic flooding – in fact, the first of the three great episodes of global superfloods that dominated the meltdown of the Ice Age. The flooding was fed not merely by rain but by the cataclysmic synchronous collapse of large ice-masses on several different continents and by gigantic inundations of meltwater pouring down river systems into the oceans. (124)
    What happened, at around 13,000 years ago, was that the long period of uninterrupted warming that the world had just passed through (and that had greatly intensified, according to some studies, between 15,000 years ago and 13,000 years ago) was instantly brought to a halt – all at once, everywhere – by a global cold event known to palaeo climatologists as the ‘Younger Dryas’ or ‘Dryas III’. In many ways mysterious and unexplained, this was an almost unbelievably fast climatic reversion – from conditions that are calculated to have been warmer and wetter than today’s 13,000 years ago, to conditions that were colder and drier than those at the Last Glacial Maximum, not much more than a thousand years later. From that moment, around 12,800 years ago, it was as though an enchantment of ice had gripped the earth. In many areas that had been approaching terminal meltdown full glacial conditions were restored with breathtaking rapidity and all the gains that had been made since the LGM were simply stripped away…(124)
    A great, sudden extinction took place on the planet, perhaps as recently as 11,500 years ago (usually attributed to the end of that last ice age), in which hundreds of mammal and plant species disappeared from the face of the earth, driven into deep caverns and charred muck piles the world over. Modern science, with all its powers and prejudices, has been unable to adequately explain this event. (83)
    http://humanpast.net/environme.....ent11k.htm

    Seversky then says that science may ‘question’ whether the historical Jesus existed and thus bring a crisis to Christianity…. Funny, not only have advances in modern science confirmed that Jesus existed,,

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

    ,,, but if we rightly let the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into the picture of modern physics, (as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned), then an empirically backed reconciliation between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity, i.e. the ‘Theory of Everything’, readily pops out for us in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, and thus brings us what may be termed an ‘ultimate closure’ to modern science:

    Copernican Principle, Agent Causality, and Jesus Christ as the “Theory of Everything”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NziDraiPiOw

    Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural – December 2011
    Excerpt: After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists.
    However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax.
    Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic.
    “The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said.
    And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....79512.html

    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.

  6. 6

    If they reject the science to protect their beliefs then they are practicing a kind of religious Lysenkoism where the test for acceptable science is the extent to which it is consonant with Christian theology.

    You mean like you do with modern science Sev, where you look off into the forlorn distance when science repeatedly documents a semantically closed symbol system that’s specifically organized to circumvent physical regularities in order to accomplish its primal task – just as it has to be, and just as it was predicted to be. Suddenly we can just ignore Peirce, Turing, Von Neumann, and the others, right? You dare not actually speak of Darwin’s outdated 18th century ideas about the cell being a simple thing with a simple beginning, but in order to get by, you adopt the mindset just the same.

    Spitting at theists day after day after day, for years on end now, must provide some measure of relief.

  7. 7
    Marfin says:

    Sev- No evidence for a worldwide flood so it must not have happened,No evidence for life coming from non living materials, but that does not mean it did not happen, talk about double standards.
    Atheists use the word science as a big blanket to cover all and say its science it must be so , well thats equivalent to me saying 2+2 = 5 why, well because its maths it must be so. There can be faulty maths just as there can be faulty science.

  8. 8
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sev

    While science can study moralities as a cultural or social or psychological phenomenon, it has nothing to say about which, if any, is “better” than all others.

    Yes, that is why science alone is not a sufficient source of knowledge for human life.

    Science (as it is incorrectly but popularly understood today) cannot determine whether anything is really good or evil. Science is blind to purpose, meaning, quality and value – except that these are “phenomena”. Science must be governed by or subject to a higher law. Science by itself, has no problem with any sorts of experiments. Even if a test shows no results. Science-alone could inflict any kind of pain and torture on people for the sake of getting data. In fact, science cannot even state that lying about scientific results is a bad thing to do. It cannot govern itself that way. Lying, dishonesty, distortion of data, manipulating results, biased interpretations, selective reporting, propagandist conclusions, manipulation of data … all of these are just ‘phenomena’ that human beings can do. Science cannot say that scientists “should” be truthful. Science is just a system of observation, measurement and interpretation. It has no authority or competence to make moral statements. It cannot even determine how to interpret its own data. All of that must be governed and directed by moral and ethical norms that come from somewhere other than science.

    So, why should atheist scientists tell the truth? If there is a higher purpose, for example, to promote and defend a country or goverment (as with some Nazi or Communist scientists), then science should be manipulated to make the necessary changes and progress. Results and conclusions do not have to be “truthful” or “reasonable”. Science can be used for propaganda – and science has nothing to say about it.

    That’s the difference with belief in God.

    Belief in God carries with it some very significant demands. God sets a high moral standard – and people are required to live up to that standard. Belief in God requires a response – a responsibility. That is why many people oppose God. They know that God requires a moral change and betterment.

    Atheism has no moral standard. There are no requirements at all to be an atheist. Any and every human behavior is perfectly consistent and justified within atheism.

    That includes unjust and dishonest criticism of religion and a failure to respond to evident truths for one’s own personal benefit.

    It does happen.

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    Spitting at theists day after day after day, for years on end now, must provide some measure of relief.

    And it helps keep then clean!

  10. 10
    Seversky says:

    bornagain77 @ 5

    First, science is impossible without basic theistic presuppositions about the universe. Namely, God created and sustains the universe and that we are capable of grasping the rationality with which God created and sustains the universe since we are made in His image.

    First, science can be and has been done perfectly well without any theistic presuppositions. As Laplace pointed out, we have no need of that hypothesis. We can observe that this is an ordered Universe and infer that if it wasn’t we would not exist. And while the origins of everything is undoubtedly a great mystery, we do not need to know the answer in order to study the nature of that bit of the Universe that is within our reach.

    Seversky mentions a flood, and the supposed lack of evidence for it, yet as usual, Seversky is wrong in his assumption. There is now abundant evidence for global superfloods approx. 14,000 to 13,000 years ago

    Yes, there is abundant evidence of major local flooding in various regions thousands of years ago. There is no evidence of a worldwide flood event that wiped all life on the surface of the Earth save for a tiny group of lucky survivors in a boat. There is abundant evidence that it was a widespread fable since it appears not just in the Christian Bible but in the mythologies of several other non-Christian cultures. Maybe Christianity just absorbed this story from earlier peoples.

    Seversky then says that science may ‘question’ whether the historical Jesus existed and thus bring a crisis to Christianity…. Funny, not only have advances in modern science confirmed that Jesus existed

    No, they haven’t and the Turin shroud is most likely a medieval forgery.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky at 10 states:

    “First, science can be and has been done perfectly well without any theistic presuppositions.”

    Ignoring the fact that Theistic presuppositions underwrite the ‘miracle’ of modern science and that the universe is indeed rational and is comprehensible by the human mind does not take away from the fact that basic Theistic presuppositions lay at the founding of modern science and continue to be essential for the practice of modern science. Both Einstein and Wigner are on record as to regarding it as a ‘miracle’.

    Sev then states:

    “As Laplace pointed out, we have no need of that hypothesis.”

    LaPlace is not as friendly to your militant atheism as you seem to think:

    Here is an interesting article about the Newton-Leibniz-Laplace controversy that shows Newton’s ‘God of the gaps’ controversy is not nearly as cut and dried as some atheists and/or Theistic Evolutionists have tried to make it out to be:

    a) Newton did develop perturbation theory for the orbits (and actually applied it to the moon), so it is false that God belief prevented him from attempting to solve the problem.
    b) the math was not “crumbs” for Newton, since Laplace had worked on foundations laid by some of the most brilliant mathematicians of the century (Euler, Lagrange, Clairaut), some of whom also failed to solve the very same problem Newton was working on, and one of these, Euler is regarded as the greatest mathematician of all time!
    c) Laplace did not really solve the problem in the end, but only for first degree approximations, but Haret showed that orbits are not absolutely stable using third degree approximations.
    d) Finally, and most ironically perhaps, it is not clear that Laplace was motivated by atheism to solve this problem, Laplace cites with approval Leibniz’s criticism of Newton’s invocation of divine intervention to restore order to the Solar System: “This is to have very narrow ideas about the wisdom and the power of God.”, to them, it would count as evidence against intelligent design if God had to intervene to prevent the solar system from collapsing. So intelligent design could just as easily be a motivation to prove the stability of the solar system.
    (of note: original article modified since originally accessed)
    https://letterstonature.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/neil-degrasse-tyson-on-newton-part-1/
    “Leibniz, in his controversy with Newton on the discovery of infinitesimal calculus, sharply criticized the theory of Divine intervention as a corrective of the disturbances of the solar system. “To suppose anything of the kind”, he said, “is to exhibit very narrow ideas of the wisdom and power of God’.”
    – Pierre-Simon Laplace
    https://books.google.com/books?id=oLtHAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA73&lpg=PA73

    As to not having to “remedy the defects of His creation”, I hold that both Newton and Leibniz (and even Laplace) would be very pleased by what modern science has now revealed about the wisdom and power of God:

    “You might also think that these disparate bodies are scattered across the solar system without rhyme or reason. But move any piece of the solar system today, or try to add anything more, and the whole construction would be thrown fatally out of kilter. So how exactly did this delicate architecture come to be?”
    R. Webb – Unknown solar system 1: How was the solar system built? – New Scientist – 2009

    Is the Solar System Stable? By Scott Tremaine – 2011
    Excerpt: So what are the results? Most of the calculations agree that eight billion years from now, just before the Sun swallows the inner planets and incinerates the outer ones, all of the planets will still be in orbits very similar to their present ones. In this limited sense, the solar system is stable. However, a closer look at the orbit histories reveals that the story is more nuanced. After a few tens of millions of years, calculations using slightly different parameters (e.g., different planetary masses or initial positions within the small ranges allowed by current observations) or different numerical algorithms begin to diverge at an alarming rate. More precisely, the growth of small differences changes from linear to exponential:,,,
    As an example, shifting your pencil from one side of your desk to the other today could change the gravitational forces on Jupiter enough to shift its position from one side of the Sun to the other a billion years from now. The unpredictability of the solar system over very long times is of course ironic since this was the prototypical system that inspired Laplacian determinism.
    Fortunately, most of this unpredictability is in the orbital phases of the planets, not the shapes and sizes of their orbits, so the chaotic nature of the solar system does not normally lead to collisions between planets. However, the presence of chaos implies that we can only study the long-term fate of the solar system in a statistical sense, by launching in our computers an armada of solar systems with slightly different parameters at the present time—typically, each planet is shifted by a random amount of about a millimeter—and following their evolution. When this is done, it turns out that in about 1 percent of these systems, Mercury’s orbit becomes sufficiently eccentric so that it collides with Venus before the death of the Sun. Thus, the answer to the question of the stability of the solar system—more precisely, will all the planets survive until the death of the Sun—is neither “yes” nor “no” but “yes, with 99 percent probability.”
    https://www.ias.edu/about/publications/ias-letter/articles/2011-summer/solar-system-tremaine

    Moreover, to top that off, I remind you that LaPlace’s determinism has now also been falsified by quantum mechanics.

    Sev then questions the flood again after I referenced a paper citing ‘great episodes of global superfloods that dominated the meltdown of the Ice Age.’:

    Interesting, that atheists first denied a flood even happened and now, with advances in science, are left arguing for “major local flooding in various regions”. And are also arguing that all these flood stories from all the ancient cultures are ‘just a myth’. Excuse me for stating the glaringly obvious, but the fact that practically every ancient culture mentions catastrophic flooding strongly indicates that we are dealing with a real event that really happened and that effected everybody worldwide and not just a myth that did not even happen. Considering that we are dealing with ancient history where specific details are exceedingly difficult to corroborate, I consider the parallel to the Biblical narrative, now uncovered by geology and archaeology to be fairly good.

    Seversky then denies the Shroud is genuine.

    Okie Dokie Seversky. Instead of just the usual denial of evidence, I want to know exactly how some medieval forger made a photographic negative hundreds of years before photography and as well as a making hologram hundreds of years before holography.

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TL4QOCiis

    Moreover, I want to know why this unmatched genius of the medieval ages saved all his genius for forging the shroud alone and why he destroyed all his highly advanced scientific instruments, which nobody knows how he could have possibly made those highly advanced instruments, after he made the forgery so that no trace of the instruments, or his genius, was left.

    Raymond Rogers himself, the lead chemist from STURP, a staunch advocate of the Carbon Dating, changed his mind when new evidence came forward and said that the Carbon Dating was not valid since it came from a single area of the Shroud that was subjected to ‘reweaving’ so as to repair the frayed edges.

    Shroud of Turin – Carbon 14 Test Proven False –
    – Joseph G. Marino and M. Sue Benford – video
    (with Raymond Rogers, lead chemist from the STURP project)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxDdx6vxthE

    Moreover, the Shroud was sewn from two pieces and is quite similar to the hem of a cloth found in the tombs of the Jewish fortress of Masada. The Masada cloth dates to between 40 BC and 73 AD.

    The Shroud of Turin – Evidence it is authentic
    Excerpt: In June 2002, the Shroud was sent to a team of experts for restoration. One of them was Swiss textile historian Mechthild Flury-Lemberg. She was surprised to find a peculiar stitching pattern in the seam of one long side of the Shroud, where a three-inch wide strip of the same original fabric was sewn onto a larger segment. The stitching pattern, which she says was the work of a professional, is quite similar to the hem of a cloth found in the tombs of the Jewish fortress of Masada. The Masada cloth dates to between 40 BC and 73 AD. This kind of stitch has never been found in Medieval Europe.
    http://www.newgeology.us/presentation24.html

    Moreover, to remind you, the technology to make the shroud in correct detail did not, and still does not, exist.

    Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural – December 2011
    Excerpt: After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists.
    However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax.
    Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic.
    “The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said.
    And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....79512.html

    Here is a more detailed reply to the skeptics:

    Dr. Schneider Five Part Series – Part 4: Skeptics
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBTuqkYWJ_Q

  12. 12
    ET says:

    Seversky:

    As Laplace pointed out, we have no need of that hypothesis.

    Laplace didn’t have a clue how nature could have produced our solar system. The numerous just-so cosmic collisions required to give the Earth its rotation stretch the realm of possibility. You have to be really desperate and gullible to be a materialist given the evidence.

  13. 13
    Axel says:

    You have grown very silent, Sev. What’s the matter ? Cat got your tongue ? Have you no answers to BA77’s rebuttals of your admittedly transparently inane points.

    I’m with you, BA, on the medieveal photographsy. I think the character who forged the photographic negative was lkely to be a bit of a churl, as Newton was said to be. He must have said to hmself :

    ‘Let them darnded well discover photography for themselves. I’ve given them a clue. Why should I spoon-feed them ?

    But seriously, this question of the anachronism of the negative of the Shroud is so primordial to anyone with an IQ above room-temperture, so elementary and fundamental, it truly shrieks of the cynicism underlying their fear of the truth, which was so frankly, if shamefully, expressed by Richard Lewontin. Bad faith on what one would have considered to be an unimaginable scale, even to less idealistic careerists.

  14. 14
    Seversky says:

    bornagain77 @ 11

    Ignoring the fact that Theistic presuppositions underwrite the ‘miracle’ of modern science and that the universe is indeed rational and is comprehensible by the human mind does not take away from the fact that basic Theistic presuppositions lay at the founding of modern science and continue to be essential for the practice of modern science. Both Einstein and Wigner are on record as to regarding it as a ‘miracle’.

    The orderliness of the Universe is observable not a theistic presupposition. That the Universe is amenable to rational investigation and explanation is something we have found by practice. The only situation in which a theistic supposition may be needed is when trying to account for the origins of everything and you can’t think of any alternative to some sort of intelligent agency

    Theistic presuppositions could also be counter-productive. In earlier times there were no doubt some people – just as there are a few even today – who held that the various deadly diseases that afflict humanity were punishments visited on us by a just God for all our sins. On that theistic presupposition to try and treat them or even understand them would be a sinful resistance to God’s will.

    Sev then questions the flood again after I referenced a paper citing ‘great episodes of global superfloods that dominated the meltdown of the Ice Age.’:

    Interesting, that atheists first denied a flood even happened and now, with advances in science, are left arguing for “major local flooding in various regions”. And are also arguing that all these flood stories from all the ancient cultures are ‘just a myth’.

    If I remember correctly, it was early geologists who looked for evidence of a worldwide flood – in which they, as Christians, believed – but failed to find any in the strata they were studying.

    And atheists deny the occurrence of a worldwide great flood because nobody has found any credible evidence for one. As I said, we now know of large-scale flood events in various parts of the world as the last ice age ended and possibly even caused by the impact of a large comet or asteroid. It’s possible that they inspired the flood stories in various cultures but that does not mean they support the Biblical account as being the only true one.

    Seversky then denies the Shroud is genuine.

    It is for those who claim that this cloth is the actual burial shroud of Christ to prove that claim. Until then, there is no compelling reason for anyone to accept it.

    Okie Dokie Seversky. Instead of just the usual denial of evidence, I want to know exactly how some medieval forger made a photographic negative hundreds of years before photography and as well as a making hologram hundreds of years before holography.

    I have no idea, although I suspect that a modern forger could manage something similar using materials of the period.

    Here’s another question: the image of the front of the body is much stronger and clearer than the image of the back. If the images are caused by the transfer of material from the body to the cloth and the body was laid to rest on its back, shouldn’t the back image be stronger from its weight pressing into the cloth beneath it?

    Regardless, there is no conclusive evidence to date the Shroud to the First Century and, even if there were, that would not make it the burial shroud of someone who may not have existed.

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