The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe Itself? Part 2

Part 2 of my review of the book: “The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe Itself,” by Sean M. Carroll. Part 1 is found here.

Introduction

In the Prologue the author writes:

“We have two goals ahead of us. One is to explain the story of our universe and why we think it’s true, the big picture as we currently understand it. It’s a fantastic conception. We humans are blobs of organised mud, which through the impersonal workings of nature’s patterns have developed the capacity to contemplate and cherish and engage with the intimidating complexity of the world around us. To understand ourselves, we have to understand the stuff out of which we are made, which means we have to dig deeply into the realm of particles and forces and quantum phenomena, not to mention the spectacular variety of ways that those microscopic pieces can come together to form organized systems capable of feeling and thought.

The other goal is to offer a bit of existential therapy. … By the old way of thinking, human life couldn’t possibly be meaningful if we are ‘just’ collections of atoms moving around in accordance with the laws of physics. That’s exactly what we are, but it’s not the only way of thinking about what we are. We are collections of atoms, operating independently of any immaterial spirits or influences, and we are thinking and feeling people who bring meaning into existence by the way we live our lives.” (p.3)

The latter he must say because later he says that the material world is all there is. He argues that there is no such thing as a spirit or a soul that is not part of our material body. When we die that is it, there is nothing beyond life.

Carroll is a student of many philosophers, mostly atheists, or who are at least those who challenge a conservative Christian worldview of life.  For example he mentions, Descartes, Nietzsche, Laplace, Hume, Leibniz, Spinoza, Lewis (not C.S.), Russell, Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard and others. But it would seem that the author relies more strongly on the so-called Enlightenment philosophy of the atheist Scotsman David Hume.

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An eternal quantum potential or an eternal Creator God

JGH1As a teenager I co-authored a book comparing the competing cosmologies in 1968. They were the Big Bang Theory (BBT) and the Steady State Theory (SST). Even though the discovery of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation provided a big boost to big bang theories at that time, I preferred the SST because it had no origin in time. You see, I was an atheist then and I reasoned that if the Universe had no beginning then it didn’t need a Creator and thus I had no God that I needed to obey.

The fact that the BBT has an origin in time—a unique past boundary—has been particularly vexing for the atheist believers in that cosmogony. Using various approaches the BB theorists have been trying to eliminate the beginning, by replacing the Creator with an eternal quantum potential, which existed for eternity past, and then 13.8 billion years ago exploded into the big bang universe, … or, so they say. For now though, they are stuck with the universal origin in a singularity, which in itself has led them to worshipping the Universe itself.

The explanation given in the Bible I now find so much more satisfying. Any cosmogony, which attempts to correctly describe real history, must be consistent with and follow not only the biblical time scale but also follow the sequence of events in the Genesis account. I present a very brief summary of a few biblical creationist models. These models acknowledge the eternal Creator God as the source of everything in the Universe.

An illustrated talk presented at the Creation Ministries International 2016 Creation SuperCamp at The Tops Conference Centre, NSW, 9:45 pm Wednesday January 6, 2016.

Video of Powerpoint presentation

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An Essay: it’s about time

—John Gideon Hartnett and James Chappell

What is time? This seems to be a particularly intractable question!

Also, while space appears quite tangible and easy to visualise, time on the other hand seems an extremely elusive The-Thinker-Auguste-Rodin-Grayscaleconcept.  Some theorists have thereby concluded that time is perhaps merely a human invention and that only space is real.  However, many authors have also concluded1  that all mathematical concepts are freely created and so it is therefore invalid to single out time in this way.

Similarly, some scientists say that while time is not real the laws of physics are perfect and unchanging. This is part of what is referred to as the Newtonian paradigm.  Time becomes merely a parameter to calculate kinematical and dynamical processes. However, how can we say that the laws of physics do not change with time when we do not have a rigorous definition of time?

Sir Isaac Newton said that he was searching for the way God made the Universe, in the laws of physics.

“The True God is a living, intelligent, and powerful being: His duration reaches from eternity to eternity.”2

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Why is it so hard for many to understand God’s truth?

Adam-and-EveIn the beginning God created two people who were perfect in all ways. They were Adam and Eve, made in the image of God. Then they rebelled against the living God by disobeying the one commandment he had given them—eating fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I don’t think the fruit was poisonous, since there was nothing in the creation that was, but this was a test of their obedience to the Creator. For without a choice Adam and Eve would have been just ‘robots’.

As a result of their action they were cursed, as was the whole creation (Romans 8). One result of the Curse (the Fall) was degeneration in humans. This would have included errors in the genetic code, not corrected for when copies were made every time cells are replaced in our bodies. (Before the Curse God sustaining power would have corrected any thermodynamically induced copying errors.) As a result the offspring of Adam and Eve, of which there were many, would have in many ways been less than perfect, physically and mentally. They then passed these inferior traits down to all their offspring, which includes all the human race, to us.
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AntiChrist Pope denies the Word of God

Last year (2014) the pope stood before the Church of Rome’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences and declared that the Creator God  the Almighty Jehovah used evolution to create all living organisms on Earth.  Francis’ reasoning was along the lines that God is not omnipotent and could not create anything that He might like to and so He had to use evolution (a very wasteful process) to develop life on our planet.  God also used the big bang apparently to create the Universe because He was not powerful enough to do it by himself.

One online news source headlined it with “Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not ‘a magician with a magic wand’ .” So Francis does not believe the plain reading of the biblical text. That means he denies the truth of Scripture. He denies the plain statements of the Lord Jesus Christ who said:

“But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.” (Mark 10:6)

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From a Christian to a disciple of Jesus Christ

I tell more of my story of how I continued to seek the Lord and of my journey around Australia, in 1974, which led me out of the Roman Catholic Church. I sought for the baptism and power of the Holy Spirit because I desired to be a witness for my Lord. I outline my meeting with other Christians and the Children of God and finally my infilling of the Holy Spirit. This involved my commitment to the Lord to forsake all else to serve Him and Him alone. All the glory to God.

Hymn DR Oct 21 M


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Atheists turn out to strike against creationism and the supernatural

On Friday June 6th, I presented a lecture at the University of Adelaide entitled “8 Reasons Why Evolution is Foolish” to an audience of about 55, filling about half of the seating in a small lecture theatre. I spoke on the topic for about 60 minutes presenting my 8 reasons via 8 questions which, so far, have not been answered by evolutionists. Following the lecture we had about 40 minutes of Q&A. The video of the lecture is here.

Atheist commentAn organised group of atheists turned out to strike a blow for science against creationism and the supernatural by taking me on. That is what they claimed on their website.See left excerpt.

There were about 10 members of some atheist club, who peppered themselves through the audience. After the event one guy identified himself as president of some atheist club, so it is clear they came with an action plan. I had been forewarned that something like this might happen as one contact told me that there had been a lot of activity on a university-connected FB page about this event. But their arguments and the questions they put to me in the Q&A were a total failure.

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