Saturday, 29 September 2012

FAITH = CREDULITY? (Part 1)






I won't be obnoxious, I promise.

On either side of the argument (there IS a God, or there IS NO God), it seems to me that there is a tendency to stick to one’s guns as it were, dismissing the other side’s view without even trying to gauge it. It transpires in comments like “I don’t have to prove anything. I have FAITH, you don’t” or on the other side “you believe in NONSENSE, it’s been proven”.
If you are willing to read further, I will share with you my take on this.

First, blind faith is not true faith. The bible’s definition of faith is this: "Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld" (Hebrews 11:1, New World Translation)

 Or, as the Common English Bible Translation puts it: "Faith is the reality of what we hoped for, the proof of what we don't see"

The bible doesn't encourage believing without sound foundation, believing just anything we are told (credulity). Instead, it tells us

“Put all things to the test.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, Today’s English Version)

I did this and this is the first part of my thinking process. I will blog the second part and my conclusion next week.

OUR PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
Celestial bodies follow mathematical laws so their movement is predictable, which is why we are able to send probes into space and make sure they hit the right planet/moon etc…Every celestial body (except black holes I believe) moves around in ellipses. We are part of a gigantic ballet. I say "ballet" because it seems quite graceful, well executed and beautiful. We don’t see many collisions on our blue planet. One would have thought that with so much debris in space, we would have been on a deadly collision course with something much more often (apparently, we have Jupiter to thank for that).

The second law of thermodynamics stipulates that anything left to its own devices will fall into disarray. So why is the universe still so orderly after almost 13.8 billions years?  Should it not be ostensibly more disorderly? Also, the universe is expanding but the pre-existing order doesn't seem to be affected.

The famous equation (E=MC2) suggests that energy is transferred into matter and vice versa. The abundance of matter around must therefore have originated from tremendous energy. Where did this energy come from is still a mystery for Science. The fact that the universe is also expanding at increasing speed puts this energy problem in sharper focus. 

Since Louis Pasteur, we have proof that spontaneous generation does not exist on Earth. Life only comes from pre existing life. There has been no experiment proving that life can come from the inanimate, only inconclusive attempts so far. 

WHAT MAKES US HUMAN: FEELINGS 

If  there is no God and that survival of the fittest is what drives us, what is the reason for our sense of justice, fairness, love? What is the problem with killing or robbing someone weaker? Were feelings an accident of evolution?
Physician Dean Ornish said “love and intimacy are at the root of what makes us sick and what makes us well”
If feelings were an accident and therefore not belonging in our evolution path, should we have survived that long with them? What's the use of laughter too? Beauty? Music? Do they make us fitter for survival?
We don't just live, we enjoy life or at least aim to do. We are definitely driven by something else than pure survival of the fittest. Well, at least  I am. Are you?

THE MISSING LINKS
The fossil records is still being scoured for “missing links”. I remember the last big fuss that was made after a scientist thought he found the missing link, round about August 2009. It was quickly abated when counter evidence showed that the specimen found could not be proved to be one of our “ancestors”. The media hype is unfortunately all that is left in people’s mind. I had to research the truth afterwards to realise that the media, in an effort to make sensational news, had blown the truth out of proportions.
In fact, there is no real convincing evidence that we have slowly evolved. Darwin’s theory of evolution was produced at a time where many discoveries were yet to be made. No idea about microscopic life at the time, spontaneous generation (the fact that life can just appear out of nothingness) was viewed as a fact of life.
But now we know that life is much more complex and organized. Since Louis Pasteur, we know that there is microscopic life and that life only comes from life (For instance, corpses don’t generate worms as previously thought. Flies lay their invisible eggs which hatch and release the devouring little beasts).
A little digression here. With the advent of the microscope, the more we looked, the more complexity we found. That would have surprised Darwin. People thought that the building blocks of life would be very simple. What was later called “cells” were little more than greasy blobs in their eyes. How far from the truth they were.
Cells are where lies a complex library of genetic code.

I haven’t found any solid evidence that species evolved into another. All things seem to have a master plan in their cells: the DNA. This also prevents a species to perpetuate a hybrid race with another species. Changes, mutations occur, but are very limited and only in movies do they result in super species.
For instance, donkey + horse=Mule. Mules are infertile. Tiger + lion = Liger. Bigger than lions or tigers but their lifespan is shorter and they are very prone to birth defects.

Another thing. If we evolved, then our ethics should have too. But have they?

EVOLUTION OF ETHICS?

Some time ago, I heard on the radio that Ofsted reported children aged 4 to 6 were exhibiting what was deemed “sexual behaviour” for which some were expelled from their school. (A couple of months later, I saw it myself. A little boy in my neighbourhood, probably aged 8, was showing his penis to all people driving by, cheered on by his mates, including a girl)
I found quite surprising how one official (I think a doctor) appeared to belittle this behaviour by saying those children were probably bored or looking for attention and not being sure about what is socially acceptable, being unaware of the boundary between things you do in private and things you do in public. More to the point though, another official said that those children were fed this behaviour, probably through TV and the Internet; the official added she was amazed at the crudeness of some material that children can be exposed to. 

The bible says that morals would decline (2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13). Most people that I have spoken to (who have lived much longer than me) confirm that they have.

The next post on this theme (Part 2) expands on one of my favourite subjects (languages) and the one after (Part 3) deals with prophecies.


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