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Sunday, October 13, 2019

‘It’s not science’ – Dr. Don Batten, Australia – Ph.D. in Plant Science


HEAVEN ON EARTH - ORTHODOXY



‘It’s not science’

by

Dr. Don Batten, Australia, Ph.D. in Plant Science

University of Sydney, Australia

Anti-creationists, such as atheists by definition, commonly object that creation is religion and evolution is science. To defend this claim they will cite a list of criteria that define a ‘good scientific theory’. A common criterion is that the bulk of modern day practising scientists must accept it as valid science. Another criterion defining science is the ability of a theory to make predictions that can be tested. Evolutionists commonly claim that evolution makes many predictions that have been found to be correct. They will cite something like antibiotic resistance in bacteria as some sort of ‘prediction’ of evolution, whereas they question the value of the creationist model in making predictions. Since, they say, creation fails their definition of ‘science’, it is therefore ‘religion’, and (by implication) it can simply be ignored.

What is science?

Many attempts to define ‘science’ are circular. The point that a theory must be acceptable to contemporary scientists to be acceptable, basically defines science as ‘what scientists do’! In fact, under this definition, economic theories would be acceptable scientific theories, if ‘contemporary scientists’ accepted them as such.

In many cases, these so-called definitions of science are blatantly self-serving and contradictory. A number of evolutionary propagandists have claimed that creation is not scientific because it is supposedly untestable. But in the same paragraph they will claim, ‘scientists have carefully examined the claims of creation science, and found that ideas such as the young Earth and global Flood are incompatible with the evidence.’ But obviously creation cannot have been examined (tested) and found to be false if it’s ‘untestable’!

The definition of ‘science’ has haunted philosophers of science in the 20th century. The approach of Bacon, who is considered the founder of the scientific method, was pretty straightforward:

observation → induction → hypothesis → test hypothesis by experiment → proof/disproof → knowledge.

Of course this, and the whole approach to modern science, depends on two major assumptions: causality1 and induction2. The philosopher Hume made it clear that these are believed by ‘blind faith’ (Bertrand Russell’s words). Kant and Whitehead claimed to have solved the problem, but Russell recognized that Hume was right. Actually, these assumptions arose from faith in the Creator-God of the Bible, as historians of science like Loren Eiseley have recognized. Many scientists are so philosophically and theologically ignorant that they don’t even realize that they have these (and other) metaphysical assumptions. Being like a frog in the warming water, many do not even notice that there are philosophical assumptions at the root of much that passes as ‘science’. It’s part of their own worldview, so they don’t even notice. We at CMI are ‘up front’ about our acceptance of revelation (the Bible). Unlike many atheists, we recognize that a philosophy of life does not come from the data, but rather the philosophy is brought to the data and used in interpreting it.

Perceptions and bias

The important question is not, ‘Is it science?’ One can just define ‘science’ to exclude everything that one doesn’t like, as many evolutionists do today. Today, science is equated with naturalism: only materialistic notions can be entertained, no matter what the evidence. The prominent evolutionist Professor Richard Lewontin said (emphases in original):

“We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfil many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”3
Now that’s open-minded isn’t it? Isn’t ‘science’ about following the evidence wherever it may lead? This is where the religion (in the broadest sense) of the scientist puts the blinkers on. Our individual worldviews bias our perceptions. The atheist paleontologist, Stephen Jay Gould, made the following candid observation:

“Our ways of learning about the world are strongly influenced by the social preconceptions and

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

‘Flat Earth’ Theory: A Secular Myth Fabricated to Defame Christianity


GOD AND SCIENCE - ORTHODOXY



‘Flat Earth’ Theory:

A Secular Myth Fabricated to Defame Christianity

Where did the idea of “Flat Earthers” come from? The idea has been traced back to “a slanderous fabrication invented by opponents of Christianity in the 19th century and has been thoroughly debunked by contemporary historians of science.” …

It’s taught in school textbooks, it’s a favorite citation of New Atheism, and it’s been referenced by no less than the President himself — Medieval Europe believed the Earth was Flat. And so it’s fact! – Except that they believed no such thing.

The popular view taught in schools is that scientists came along and rescued us all from the Medieval Church’s anti-scientific views that the World was Flat.

The only flaw in that story is that nobody ACTUALLY believed it was flat, and hadn’t believed it was flat in a very, very long time — as far back as Greek Antiquity. Even Pythagoras, Aristotle and Euclid called it spherical.

Textbooks from the middle ages described the world as round. So did Dante. And no less than the Catholic Church’s leading Medieval thinker, Thomas Aquinas wrote the following in his greatest work, Summa Theologica“:

“The physicist proves the earth to be round by one means, the astronomer by another: for the latter proves this by means of mathematics, e.g. by the shapes of eclipses, or something of the sort; while the former proves it by means of physics, e.g. by the movement of heavy bodies towards the center, and so forth.”

Where did the idea of “Flat Earthers” come from? The idea has been traced back to “a slanderous fabrication invented by opponents of Christianity in the 19th century and has been thoroughly debunked by contemporary historians of science.”

As it happens, Washington Irving wrote a fictional novel about Columbus, which was reported as history by John William Draper (History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science) and Andrew Dixon White’s similar tome. The “Conflict Thesis“ (idea of Religion and Science being incompatible) is attributed to Draper’s work.

“Contra Mundum: The Flat-Earth-Myth” is the article much of my piece has been summarizing. It goes into greater depth, and gives references. I highly recommend it.

This leaves us with two closing thoughts.

(1) If the authors and “historians” who gave rise to the Flat Earth Theory have been dismissed by serious historians as propagandists of their day, which are really behaving like “Flat Earthers” … people of faith, or those who blindly parrot debunked historians? (The latter includes, ironically, Richard Dawkins.)

(2) If the so-called historian to whom the “conflict thesis” has been attributed was caught in a lie, how much weight should we put on his characterization of the tension between faith and science? Is it not possible that a public duped by an untrue Flat Earth myth might also have fallen for his Conflict Theory? Maybe instead of “taking scientists word for it” we could decide for ourselves whether the two are in conflict.

Sources:

https://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2013/09/flat-earth-theory-a-secular-myth-fabricated-to-defame-christianity/

https://www.oodegr.com/english/epistimi/flat_earth_theory.htm

Friday, August 9, 2019

How can I know if God exists?


HAVE FAITH - ORTHODOXY


How can I know if God exists?

Evidence for God’s existence can be found in several ways:

1, In creation – we see nature all around us, for example in flowers, landscapes and mountains. Creation implies a creator.

2, In design – a computer is more complex than a chair. A hierarchy of designs from simple to complex implies that there must be a supreme designer of all of them. An analogy was provided by William Paley (1743-1805) and runs like this: Suppose someone found a watch in an empty field. The complexity of the design would lead one to conclude that it could not be the product of random events, but rather of some creative intelligence.

3, In morality – the sense of right and wrong. Where does this sense come from ? This points to a supreme lawgiver.

4, In causality – every effect must have a cause. Thus the world must have been caused by something else. However, there must be something that is uncaused, something not dependent on anything. That something is God.

5, In contingency – we observe that some things are dependent (‘contingent’) on other things for their existence. However, not everything can be contingent, so there must exist something that is not dependent on anything else (i.e. God).

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Does God exist? Is there evidence for the existence of God?


TEXTS - ORTHODOXY


Does God exist? 

Is there evidence for the existence of God?

The existence of God cannot be proved or disproved. The Bible says that we must accept by faith the fact that God exists: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). If God so desired, He could simply appear and prove to the whole world that He exists. But if He did that, there would be no need for faith. “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’” (John 20:29).

That does not mean, however, that there is no evidence of God’s existence. The Bible states, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4). Looking at the stars, understanding the vastness of the universe, observing the wonders of nature, seeing the beauty of a sunset—all of these things point to a Creator God. If these were not enough, there is also evidence of God in our own hearts. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us, “…He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.” Deep within us is the recognition that there is something beyond this life and someone beyond this world. We can deny this knowledge intellectually, but God’s presence in us and all around us is still obvious. Despite this, the Bible warns that some will still deny God’s existence: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). Since the vast majority of people throughout history, in all cultures, in all civilizations, and on all continents believe in the existence of some kind of God, there must be something (or someone) causing this belief.

In addition to the biblical arguments for God’s existence, there are logical arguments. First, there is the ontological argument. The most popular form of the ontological argument uses the concept of God to prove God’s existence. It begins with the definition of God as “a being than which no greater can be conceived.” It is then argued that to exist is greater than to not exist, and therefore the greatest conceivable being must exist. If God did not exist, then God would not be the greatest conceivable being, and that would contradict the very definition of God.

A second argument is the teleological argument. The teleological argument states that since the universe displays such an amazing design, there must have been a divine Designer. For example, if

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The moving change of a former prostitute in Athens, Greece ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* The Greek Nun Porphyria when she was a taxi driver in Athens helped a prostitute woman to meet God & the Orthodox Faith


FAITHBOOK - ORTHODOXY


The moving change of a former prostitute in Athens, Greece

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

The Greek Nun Porphyria

when she was a taxi driver in Athens helped a prostitute woman

to meet God and the Orthodox Faith

Sister Nun Porphyria (+2015) was born and raised in Piraeus, Athens, Greece. Exercise at times various professions. For ten years (1997-2007) he worked as a taxi driver in Athens and Piraeus. Meet the modern virtuous and inserts Elder Porphyrios (now he is Saint Porphyrios) of books on the life and teachings. This acquaintance brought her closer to Christ and conscious Christian life. With a strong faith and deep love to God has been working His glory and the salvation of others. So the taxi became a modern pulpit, which led many to change life, blessed lesions. In recent years she became a nun with dual purpose: to fight distractions for salvation and to minister to the modern investigational human. Nun Porphyria died in Piraeus (Athens, Greece) on 2015.

The Nun Porphyria, tells us:

“The shift is my night, eleven o’clock in the evening. I driving in the street Piraeus to Square Omonia, the center of Athens. Inside the taxi, as usual, I was talking to my sweet Jesus. Spontaneously I told myself to Christ: “The first man who would I bore signal to stop, I will go him without money, sufficient to bring him near You. Does not stop it until it reached at the streets Piraeus and Menandrou. There in the corner stood a girl. Stop and look at her. Waiting customers for payday. Without thinking, I went near her.

-Good evening!

-Good evening!, she replied.

-You know, this time, I feel a lot of pain in my soul and I with someone to share.

She looked puzzled and says:

-Well, and you found me to talk?

-Yes! My heart tells me you’d understand me.

-You know what I do for myself?

-I see.

-And you want to talk with me?

-Yes! I want to talk with you. You’re wasting both today payday? May be able to help me and be saved.

-Come, he says reluctantly.

-OK, let’s go!

Threw a glance around her and went quickly into the taxi.

Glad I did, but puzzled; what I would say? “Oh my God! Come down and help me, what do I do

Friday, May 24, 2019

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994): The false evolution, the temptation of atheism when he was 11 years old and the appearance of Jesus Christ to him


SAINT PAISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS



Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994): The false evolution, the temptation of atheism when he was 11 years old and the appearance of Jesus Christ to him

From the age of eleven [says Saint Paisios], I would read the lives of the Saints, I would fast and keep vigil. My older brother would take the books and hide them, but that didn’t stop me. I would just go into the forest and keep reading there.

Later, when I was fifteen, a friend of my brother named Costas told my brother, “I’ll make him willingly give up all this nonesense.” He came and explained to me Darwin’s theory of evolution. I was shaken by this, and I said, “I’ll go and pray, and, if Christ is God, He’ll appear to me so that I’ll believe. I’ll see a shadow, hear a voice—He will show me a sign.” That’s all I could come up with at the time.

So, I went and began to pray and make prostrations for hours; but nothing happened. Eventually I stopped in a state of exhaustion. Then something Costas had said came to mind: “I accept that Christ is an important man,” he had told me, “righteous and virtuous, Who was hated out of envy for His virtue and condemned by His countrymen.” I thought to myself, “since that’s how Christ was, even if He was only a man, He deserves my love, obedience, and self-sacrifice. I don’t want paradise; I don’t want anything. It is worth making every sacrifice for the sake of His holiness and kindness.”

God was waiting to see how I would deal with this temptation. After this, Christ Himself appeared to me in a great light. He was visible from the waist up. He looked at me with tremendous love and said, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in Me, even if he dies, he shall live” (Jn. 11:25). He was holding the Gospel in His left hand, open to the page where the same words were written.

With this event, the uncertainties that had troubled my soul were overcome, and in divine grace I came to know Christ as true God and Savior of the world. I was convinced of the truth of the God-man, not by men or books, but by the very Lord Himself, who revealed Himself to me even at this young age. Firmly established in faith, I thought to myself, “Come back now, Costas, if you want, and we’ll have a talk.”

Source:

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos by Hieromonk Isaac

Friday, May 10, 2019

Jozef Van den Berg, actor, the Netherlands: From atheism to Orthodoxy (+Video)


NETHERLANDS OF MY HEART



Jozef Van den Berg, actor, the Netherlands:

From atheism to Orthodoxy




Jozef Van den Berg (Beers, 22 August 1949) is a Dutch puppeteer, playwright and actor, who nowadays lives as a hermit.

Biography of Joseph Van den Berg
Youth

From the age of seven, he lived most of his youth at Cuijk, where his father bought an old rectory and tended an accountancy bureau. His father was a primary school teacher, first at Beers and then Rijkevoort, and a member of the resistance during the War. The family he belonged to consisted of eleven children. On January 30th, 1962, at the age of twelve, his father died and afterwards also his best friend Fritz. Already as a child, Van den Berg wanted to become a priest. For Christmas his mother gave him a set to play a little priest. At the age of 10, he played his first theater role as a Pharisee in a Passion Play of the Welpen at the patronage building at Cuijk. At the age of 13 he got a girlfriend, because of which the priesthood disappeared into the background. During his secondary school at the Internaat Bisschoppelijk College [Boarding School Diocesan College] in Roermond he was very active in school theater. For example, he played Sisyphus in the play Sisyphus And Death, and later on, inspired by Henk van Ulsen, with a lot of success Diary Of A Madman by Gogol.

Puppetry

At the end of the 60’s, after obtaining his high school degree, he passed his entrance examination and started at the theater school in Arnhem, which he quit after the second year. He went to live with Ruth in Arnhem and later on moved to Groningen. He applied for social assistance and started playing puppet shows. He borrowed a horse and cart and wandered around puppetering. In this period he became member of the Gurdjieff movement. After a show in Groningen he got acquainted to his wife Hansje, whom he married on September 11th, 1973. They had four children: Lotte [nowadays a well-known playwriter, theater actor and director herself], Maartje, Jasmijn and Jesse Van den Berg. In Groningen he lived on a farm and rented a basement at Zwanestraat where on Wednesday afternoon he played for children, and on Friday evening for adults. He started his professional career as a