Posted tagged ‘Francis Bacon’

HMNS Continues Support of Anti-Religious Bullies

July 31, 2013

human sin makes us respond irrationally to people who are different

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, there was a man named Jackie Robinson who broke through the “color barrier” in professional baseball. His story is beautifully portrayed in the movie, 42. It is so sad how intolerant and bigoted whites were towards blacks back then. They were so cruel, using their power, influence, and Darwinistic nonsense to bully non-whites into submission and falsely portray themselves as “superior”.

Thankfully in America today, we don’t see this extreme intolerance and hatred towards others on the same level so many non-whites experienced in the past. But Scripture reminds us that all of us are sinners (that means me, and that means you) in need of a Savior(Romans 3:23). So, until the King returns, we should not be surprised to see 21st Century humans responding with intolerance and bigotry towards those who look and think differently.  And just like intolerance toward non-whites was fueled by irrational and anti-intellectual groups wearing costumes (think “KKK”), expect the same from 21st Century groups that promote 20th Century, pre-Civil Rights intolerance.

Who am I referring to? Well, it’s the same group I posted about yesterday, who, like the KKK, are planning to come in costume to the Texas Home School Coalition’s annual convention in the Woodlands. And what are they doing there? Well, believe it or not, their purpose is to display their intolerance towards Christians who have a different opinion about dinosaur history than they do! That’s right, they’re protesting DINO HISTORY. They are intolerant of folks like me and the fact that, by God’s grace, we trust the authority of His word over the authority of men in costumes.

The atheists will be at the THSC convention this Saturday, Aug. 3. Atheist Aron Ra has encouraged them, in KKK bigotry fashion, to attend in costume ((Warning! Aron is quite the capitalist, fueling his anti-religious bigotry with “pop-up” advertisements that appear when you click on any links, plus ads to the side of the blog text).

On Sunday, the same group is planning on having an anti-religion rally disguised as an “Answers in Science” meeting at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I’ve asked HMNS to cancel the meeting, and let this group of intolerant bullies meet elsewhere. We don’t approve of bullies in the classroom, so why does HMNS approve of them in their lecture hall? The atheist gang is certainly entitled to express their opinion and display their intolerance of others for the world to see. I just think it’s wrong for HMNS to profit off of renting intolerant bullies a place to meet.

Yesterday, Brad Levy of HMNS (713-639-4629, press “2” and ask for Brad) gave the excuse that it’s “too late in the game” to ask them to cancel. No, it’s not too late. After I tweeted my blog post to @hmns, I received a response from HMNS VP of Marketing and Communications, Latha Thomas (713-639-4712), who informed me “Organizations are permitted to rent our event space, unless we determine, at our sole discretion, that an event is reprehensible or repugnant.” I called Latha today, but she never returned my call. I am wondering if she has seen any of the comments on my blog post from yesterday? I wonder if HMNS would think any of these are “reprehensible or repugnant?”

“Enjoy your wailing and gnashing of teeth, because reality is coming to bite you HARD.”

“Religion is a mental illness.”

Or how about this from “Answers in Science” speaker Aron Ra (who is not a scientist), whose blog is subtitled: “Science doesn’t know everything. Religion doesn’t know anything.” Should that be HMNS’ new motto, too? I certainly hope not! Pray for HMNS directors to make a wise decision about all this, and see the anti-religious bullies for what they are.

Pray also for atheists like Aron Ra, who defy reason and scholarship by presenting a false battle between science and religion. In Advancement of Learning, Francis Bacon, founder of the scientific method, said that “a man cannot be too well studied in the book of God’s word or the book of God’s works.” He also said we should “Study first, the Scriptures, then nature,” and that we should be careful not to “unwisely mingle” the two together. Bacon’s foundation for connecting Scripture and nature was Matthew 22:29. It was obvious to Bacon, and it’s obvious to me and many other Christians, that there is an incredible unity and diversity between God’s word and His works, or “divinity and philosophy” as Bacon said, or “religion and science” as moderns say.

Only a fool would say there’s a conflict between science and religion. Pray that, instead of pushing intolerance and bigotry, that God would change these atheists hearts. Otherwise, the more they bully, and the more groups like HMNS continue to profit from their intolerance, the closer we’ll get to separate fountains.

HMNS To Sponsor Religious Intolerance, Bigotry

July 30, 2013

atheist protest signsThis weekend (Aug. 3-4, 2013), atheists plan to display their bigotry and intolerance of Christians at two locations. Their first display of irrationality will be outside the Texas Home School Coaltion’s annual convention in The Woodlands. Then, on Sunday, they will take their show to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, who stands to profit off their bigotry and religious intolerance by renting them Moran Lecture Hall.

In the photo, you can see some of the signs they plan to wave, which make irrational, untrue, and downright goofy claims. The photo is found on the blog of atheist Aron Ra (Warning! Aron is quite the capitalist, fueling his anti-Christian bigotry with “pop-up” advertisements that appear when you click on any links, plus ads to the side of the blog text). If you would like to hear Aron completely reject reason, click here and listen to a clip from an audio debate he had with Sye Ten Brugencate.

Because God is a necessary precondition for rationiality, rejecting God equates with rejecting reason. Atheist Aron Ra makes this obvious in the audio clip, as apparently he uses magic instead of reason to define things. Of course, Aron and all atheists use reason to understand and evaluate anything, which exposes the fact that they know God exists.

Atheist rejection of reason is obvious on their protest signs, too. For example, take a look at their foolish sign that ends with “don’t handicap your kids with creationism.” This is obviously false for many reasons, one of which is that the founder of the scientific method, Francis Bacon, was a young earth creationist! In his book New Atlantis, he described a “College of the Six Days Work”, dedicated to advancing science for the Glory of God and service of mankind.

It is self-evident to the Christian that from the beginning, God commands Christians to “do science” (Genesis 1:26-28). He lets us know that He created us in His image, so we are obviously designed to be creative, too. A Christian education that emphasizes the creativity of God (rather than man) is more likely to produce a very creative individual, one who may go on to be a great mathematician, scientists, engineer, doctor, etc.

And no, it’s not just 1 job that requires creationism, as another atheist protest sign reads, it’s ALL jobs that require someone who can think creatively!

I am particularly disappointed that the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) does not seem to have a problem with making a profit off of such a religiously intolerant group. Not only are they attacking Christianity, they are attacking one man in particular, Ken Ham. It is un-American to support such religious intolerance and false claims that Christians are “anti-science”. Christians are not anti-chemistry, anti-physics, anti-biology, etc! I am sure that we would all make a lot more headway in scientific things if atheists showed a lot more tolerance for historical interpretations that differ from theirs, and focus on advancing testable, repeatable science instead.

If you are also disappointed that HMNS is profiting off of the anti-Christian “Answers in Science” meeting (you can see the sign announcing the meeting in the photo above), please consider contacting them to kindly but firmly express your displeasure. You can contact them at 713-639-4629, press “2”, and ask for Brad Levy. I asked Brad that if, for example, a group asked to have an “Answers in Science” meeting, and it turned out their meeting was to discuss “scientific” findings that Jewish people were inferior and Hitler was right about wanting to kill them all, would HMNS support that? Brad immediately answered “no”. Brad is Jewish, so it was obvious to him a meeting like that would be about religious intolerance coupled with unscientific claims. But it is also obvious that the atheists “Answers in Science” meeting is about the same things, religious intolerance coupled with irrational claims that Christians are “anti-science”! Unfortunately, Brad and others at HMNS are having a hard time understanding why they should instantly respond “no” to both my anti-semitic example AND to the real “Answers in Science” anti-religion meeting planned for Sunday. Please contact them and help them correctly reason through this.

One reason Brad gave for not canceling the atheist’s room rental was that it is “too late in the game” to ask them to relocate. Well, no it’s not too late to ask the intolerant and bigoted group to have their meeting somewhere else! It is not too late for HMNS to NOT make a profit off of them. Please pass this on to anyone you know who loves science and opposes religious intolerance in America, and do what you can to encourage HMNS to cancel the “Answers in Science” rental of Moran Lecture Hall.

Pray for the atheists, and remember too that while we were ALL yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Pray that God would turn many atheist hearts to repentance this weekend, as He has already done for us who call Him Lord and Savior.

How to start a homeschool science co-op

February 15, 2013

Here’s a video I made about a typical day at my homeschool co-op science classes. I hope this video will encourage others to start a homeschool co-op in their town. I hope too that it will help skeptics see that Christians are not “anti-science”. And we aren’t against having fun while we do science either!

Is the NCSE good for the world?

November 11, 2011

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No.

A name like the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) gives  the impression of an organization with a vision for improving science education. If NCSE were good for the world, it would be a clearinghouse of information for helping science educators stay updated on the latest advances in science, which they could pass on to students. It would cover all the sciences, and give helpful tips on science fundamentals such as the scientific method and the limitations of this inductive approach to studying our world. And of course it would focus heavily on mathematics, the language of science, with helpful resources to improve mathematics teaching. It would also have a special mission for helping the worst-performing schools, providing hope and encouragement to educators and students to study and apply science in ways that will help them be more productive for the glory of God and the service of others.

Unfortunately, the NCSE is none of these things. In fact, their mission is simply this: defending the teaching of evolution in public schools. Instead of being our national cheerleaders for advancing real science education, the NCSE instead is only about defending a single, faith-based natural history topic known as evolutionism. They confuse natural history with science, which in turn confuses others into thinking that science can answer all questions about the past. The reality is that natural history is a mixed question, and it requires inputs from other areas, such as historical documents like Scripture. Unlike normal scientific research, whose conclusions can be verified, conclusions made from natural history research cannot be verified. Treating origins topics as history instead of science causes people to realize that we all have the same evidence, the differences come in the interpretations, and some interpretations are definitely better than others. It also helps people realize that the creationism vs. evolutionism battle is not primarily a religion vs. science battle, but a battle of one religious belief vs. another. Many individuals, including those at NCSE, confuse the boundary between real science and natural history research.

So, the NCSE is not about promoting science, but evolutionism. Evolutionism is the faith-based idea that somehow, through a very long series of genetic copying errors, bacteria turned into people. And thanks in part to the NCSE’s dogmatic approach to education, this idea is the only major premise used in most biology curricula on the market today. Fortunately, not everyone believes the unverifiable claims of evolutionists.

The more we learn about cells, the more improbable evolutionism sounds. But the NCSE marches on, blind to the advances in 21st Century science, because real science naturally opposes their mission. And if you still don’t believe that the NCSE would choose evolutionism over testable, repeatable science, please, read on.

From June 13-17, 2011, I was able to participate on a Texas review panel for adopting new high school biology curricula in public schools. This process is designed to allow public participation in the review process, and State Board of Education members are allowed to appoint members of the public to a week-long review process. I was nominated by my State Board Representative, Mrs. Barbara Cargill. Texas adopted new high school biology teaching standards in 2009, and the review panels analyzed and evaluated the  new supplemental science curricula to determine if the standards were being met. We also checked for factual errors, but that’s another story.

One of the new standards approved in 2009 is called TEK 7G (TEKS = Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills), which required students to “analyze and evaluate scientific explanations regarding the complexity of the cell.” I thought publishers would jump on this opportunity to teach high school students about 21st Century research involving cell complexity, but I was sadly disappointed. I was also disappointed with the poor quality of some of the curricula, but a curriculum we reviewed by Holt-McDougal was better than most. Unfortunately, the presentation of TEK 7G was extremely weak, and consisted of an evolutionary explanation called endosymbiosis. Endosymbiosis, the turning of a prokaryote into a eukaryote (cell with a nucleus), has never been tested. It is an idea about cells eating other cells, and instead of becoming dinner, the consumed cells turn into highly specialized and purposeful cell organelles. Kind of like if you ate a hamburger, and, instead of being digested, it turned into a dolphin. Or something like that.

The review panels consisted of teams of 3-4 people, and I actually had to go against my other team members and reject Holt’s weak effort to address TEK 7G. One excuse a team member gave for approving it as-is was that what I had proposed would be “too hard” for students to learn! But a mark of a good educator is finding simple ways to explain complex concepts.

Fortunately, the only way for Holt’s weak attempt at addressing TEK 7G to gain approval was if our review panel voted unanimously in favor of it. So I rejected it, and you can read my reasons and suggestions here. I was pleasantly surprised when Holt accepted many of my suggestions. They could have disputed all of my suggestions, as they did with several factual errors our team presented, but they didn’t.

So now, besides endosymbiosis, students who use the Holt curriculum can also learn about 21st century science concepts like genomes, proteomes, and interactomes. Holt added a beautiful section titled 21st Century Cell Complexity, and presented it simply and clearly. And as I had hoped, they also directed teachers to the National Center for Dynamic Interactome Research, where, if you look, you can find an easy-to-understand laboratory activity that uses cell phones to explain interactomes.

While public school biology curricula have a long way to go, the ones from Texas are definitely better than ever at presenting students with alternatives to evolutionism. After Holt made some, but not all of the changes I had hoped for (I wanted them to include a “tree of life” that had multiple “trunks”), the changes still needed to be approved by the State Board of Education. Thankfully, they were adopted on July 20-21, 2011. Not surprisingly, the NCSE sent someone to promote censorship of the self-evident truth that living organisms were designed. Programs and Policy Director Josh Rosenau testified, and I later had the opportunity to meet him. In our brief but friendly conversation, I asked him what he would do if he had to choose between teaching endosymbiosis or teaching 21st century science on cell complexity. Without hesitation, Josh said he would have to go with the non-scientific idea of endosymbiosis! Oh well, at least Texas public school students will have a choice now on what to believe. Are cells specially created, multi-dimensional super machines and is there evidence to support this, or are they cannibalistic bags of salt? I’ll choose the former, what about you?

And that is just one of many reasons NCSE is not good for the world. Now they have a new documentary out that is the closest thing I have seen to white elitism in a long time. Like, since Hitler. Or Sanger. You have to watch the trailer, and see if you notice a seemingly white elitist message  proclaiming that portly, toothless, dark-skinned people with thick accents are the only ones who would consider teaching about alternatives to evolutionism. Immediately following the non-white man, a white woman explains how people who don’t believe in evolutionism are like people with severe handicaps. It could just be bad filmmaking, but the disrespectful, white-elitist message seems pretty clear to me. But then again I’m not sure if I would expect much different from people who have so much faith in Darwin, who based his ideas on Thomas Malthus’ 1800’s human population myths. And it was Malthus who proposed moving poor people to disease infested swamps so that they would be more likely to die, and this would keep their population in check!

Hopefully, this little blog post will open a few eyes to the censorship, misrepresentation of science, and possible white elitism that are NCSE’s agenda. Pray for their leaders to have a change of heart, and to no longer be deceived by hollow, deceptive and unscientific philosophies about origins that are based on the traditions of men, rather than on Christ(Colossians 2:8). Perhaps someday, instead of their current non-scientific mission, NCSE’s leaders will instead pay more attention to the words of Francis Bacon, founder of the scientific method, who wrote in his book, New Atlantis, of a place

sometimes called Solomon’s House, and sometimes the College of the Six Days’ Works, whereby I am satisfied that our excellent King had learned from the Hebrews that God had created the world and all that therein is within six days: and therefore he instituted that house, for the finding out of the true nature of all things, whereby God might have the more glory in the workmanship of them, and men the more fruit in their use of them, did give it also that second name.

Wow, a National Center for Science Education like that really would be good for the world!

Are the aliens coming?

February 16, 2011

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I recently stumbled across a college biology textbook with the following subchapter title:

“Scientists are beginning to take the possibility of extraterrestrial life seriously.”

Table of Contents from the 7th edition of Biology by Raven et al.

Maybe some scientists are taking the possibility of extraterrestrial life seriously, but not all scientists are, including this one. Now, I cannot prove extraterrestrial life does not exist, nor can I prove that it does. What I can do though, as a scientist and a Christian, is use the Bible to inform and direct my scientific pursuits.  And the Bible starts in Genesis 1:1 by saying that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” In other words, He created Earth, and everything else, and Earth was the place He put life. Earth is special and unique. The Bible does not mention that life was put anywhere else. Also, Jesus would have had to die many times over in many other places to take away the sins of those “worlds”, and that’s not mentioned in the Bible, either.

Using that information, I would then ask a question: Does extraterrestrial life exist? My hypothesis would be “No, extraterrestrial life does not exist.” Then, following the scientific method, I would collect data in an effort to falsify my hypothesis. In other words, I would search for extraterrestrial life.

There was a time when the word “superstition” was used to describe beliefs outside of Christianity. Today, the definition has been hijacked by secular fundamentalists in order to paint all Christian beliefs as unreasonable. Indeed, Christianity is foolishness to the unbeliever (I Corinthians 1:18), and I certainly don’t claim some superior rational understanding as to why God allowed a pattern of Creation, Fall, and Redemption, but there sure is a lot of evidence out there to support what the Bible says about this. I’ll use the older definition of superstition for this discussion.

In our universe, there exists a whole collection of facts, subject to interpretation. Who is going to be the best at interpreting those facts, the Christian or the non-Christian? I say the Christian, and the “alien debate” is a perfect example. All we have to do is look to God’s word and His works to see that beliefs about aliens are superstitious. We have already learned what God’s word says about aliens. But what do His works say? What do we learn when we study the Universe? Well, according to a poll, over 70% of people surveyed by SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) believe we are not “on our own”, we just need to keep looking:

In case you are wondering, polls do not prove the existence of extraterrestrials! Real, verifiable data is the only thing that can scientifically prove the existence of extraterrestrials. And ALL the data collected so far shows that every place else in the universe is DEAD. Therefore, my hypothesis stated earlier is correct; extraterrestrial life does not exist. If you want to let all the hype, books, opinion polls and movies convince you that aliens exist, that’s fine, but I think  you are being superstitious.

Back in the early 1600’s, Francis Bacon, considered the founder of the scientific method, wrote that a proper interpretation of God’s Word would lead to a better understanding and use of His Works. And when it comes to extraterrestrial life, a study of His Word and His Works both give the same result, THERE IS NO EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE. If you want to believe in aliens and even search for them, then by all means feel free to, but your pursuit is superstitious, not scientific.

On a final note, you might be interested to know that the subchapter about extraterrestrial life came from the 7th edition of Biology by P.H. Raven et al. The 7th edition came out in 2005, and since then, two newer editions are out. And guess what? The extraterrestrial subchapter was removed from the more recent editions! So, could it be that scientists are starting to take seriously the possiblity that science is overstepping its bounds and needs to step back and rethink a thing or two? Perhaps.

Will the real Francis Bacon please stand up?

January 23, 2011

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Francis Bacon (1561-1626) is considered by many as the founder of the scientific method, which is basically an organized way for us humans to attempt to answer questions about the Created order. A lawyer and a statesman, his greatest passion was in finding ways to improve and extend human knowledge, and this is seen in his written works like The Advancement of Learning.

Francis Bacon wrote many things. He was also accused of many things, and a brief read of Wikipedia’s Francis Bacon Page will leave any reader confused about who Bacon really was, or wasn’t.

Something that naturalists commonly credit Bacon with and creationists accuse Bacon of is encouraging the rejection of the Bible as a tool for informing scientific pursuits. This idea stems mainly from one paragraph he wrote in Novum Organum (1620), which is Latin for “New Instrument”. When describing “idols” that cause problems for proper study of natural philosophy, Bacon lists “superstition and religion” together as two culprits.  Bacon claims that, during his time:

“some moderns….have endeavored to build a system of natural Philosophy on the first chapter of Genesis, the book of Job, and other parts of Scripture; seeking thus the dead amongst the living. And this folly is the more to be prevented and restrained, because not only fantastical Philosophy but heretical Religion spring from the absurd mixing of matters-Divine and Human. It is therefore most wise soberly to render unto faith the things that are faith’s.”

Even though Bacon’s works are in English, I must admit that I feel extremely inadequate when attempting to interpret them.  And if you are anything like me, you may need to read the above passage over several times, and even then, it may still not make any sense. What I think is pretty obvious though is that Bacon is concerned with letting science (philosophy of men) interpret Scripture.  Bacon says it is wise to “render unto faith the things that are faith’s”, and warns against the “absurd mixing of matters Divine and Human.” Notice, he doesn’t say we should never mix Divine (God’s Word) and Human (scientific observations), but rather we should avoid absurd mixtures. This is basically the same thing he said 15 years earlier in Advancement of Learning, Book I:

“A man cannot be too well studied in the book of God’s word or in the book of God’s works, divinity or philosophy…..and again, that they do not unwisely mingle or confound these learnings together.” [emphasis mine]

Again, Bacon did not say never mix things divine and human, just don’t unwisely mix them. That is a BIG difference, one statement leading down a shifty, sandy, secular fundamentalist road and the other leading down a solid, Biblically grounded path for interpreting past, present and future events.

So what was Bacon talking about when he mentioned “fantastical philosophy” and “heretic religion” (in Bacon’s day, “religion” meant Christianity) resulting from “absurd mixtures” of God’s word versus man’s word? It is difficult to say, but possibly one event he was referring to was Galileo’s recent problems with Catholic church leaders. In the early 1600’s, Galileo had reported, based on observations, that the Sun was at the center of our solar system. Church leaders said the Earth was at the center. Now, Joshua 10:12-13, Ecclesiastes 1:5, and Isaiah 38:8, all say the Sun “moves”, but make no mention of whether the Earth does or doesn’t. So why did Church leaders support a “geocentric” idea? Interestingly, geocentrism was proposed by Aristotle, and, even though he never made any actual observations of planetary motion like Galileo had, Church leaders accepted his unscientific claims over Galileo’s real observations.

Christian leaders made a big mistake in trying to apply Aristotle’s deductive conclusions to interpret Scriptures. The Scriptures do mention relative motion between Sun and Earth, and Church leaders should have encouraged the study of this relative motion. This would have avoided false conclusions, as well as providing an excuse for us sinful humans to reject God’s word. Church leaders could have simply said “we don’t know, we haven’t measured it, nor have we been to Space to verify either Galileo’s or Aristotle’s claims.”

In my book, The Exchange of Truth, I talk about Francis Bacon and his impact on science. Before I wrote the book, I did quite a bit of research on him. Here is a .pdf file of a 2005 presentation I gave on Bacon:

The Forgotten Message of Francis Bacon

From what I have learned, it is obvious Bacon had some flaws, just like any of us, but I came away with a different conclusion than some as to what Bacon’s agenda was. What I saw was a man who thought it was perfectly reasonable to mix science and religion. One of his foundational verses was Matthew 22:29, where Jesus informed the Sadducees “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” Bacon thought men should know Scripture (God’s Word) and His power (God’s Works).  This idea permeates all of Bacon’s works.

Because I have written favorably of Bacon in Exchange of Truth, while other creationists have not, I thought I should conduct some more study into the man. To do this, I used a creation research search engine developed at Bryan College called CELD.   I typed in “Francis Bacon” and was greeted by several results. I was pleased to find some recent research published by Dr. Stephen A. McKnight from the University of Florida. In the abstract to a 2007 paper, he drew a similar conclusion to mine:

“Bacon’s program for rehabilitating humanity and its relation to nature is not a secular scientific advance through which humanity gains dominion over nature and mastery of its own destiny but rather one guided by divine Providence and achieved through pious human effort.”

McKnight has also published a book, The Religious Foundations of Francis Bacon’s Thoughts, and is a contributor to The New Atlantis, a journal of technology and society titled after one of Bacon’s most famous works.

So what do you think? Should Francis Bacon be labeled the hero of secular fundamentalists and villain of Christian creationists? I say no, but you should read Bacon and decide for yourself. My suggestion is to read Francis Bacon: The Major Works. Unless you are VERY fluent in 1600’s era English, Latin and Greek, you will find yourself flipping to the notes in the back about every other sentence. I think you may conclude, as myself and others have, that Francis Bacon saw the important connection between science and Christianity, a connection that is badly severed in the 21st century, but not impossible to repair. The Bible can inform science, and thinking of it any other way results in an “absurd mixing”.