Sunday, November 12, 2000

The Case for a Creator / By Lee Strobel

The Case for a Creator

By Lee Strobel

i picked this book up at a Bible store in Salinas, California, While waiting for a bus to take me to San Francisco.

  1. White-Coated Scientists :--: Are Science & Religion two different things, or the same thing...? Strobel argues; like The Translucent Amoebae Consortium, that they are actually the same thing...! Both are trying to explain The Universe-- Perfect ( unrealized ) Science tries to do this by finding the truth that's hidden along the edges of snowflakes, and Perfect ( unrealized ) Religion thinks it already knows all the answers. Unfortunately; Both have severe limitations: Religion touches on only a few of the many facets of Reality, & Science fails to accept The Humanimal Experience as a viable source of information. Science also thinks that the very topics that Religion is most authoritative in, are Off-Limits, while Religion does exactly the same thing with 'Scientific' Topics... When will these Squabbling Sisters sit down & reconcile their differences...???
  2. The Images of Evolution :--: This book really should have included some illustrations...!!! Besides this prejudice against visual aids, many 'learned' books also commit another crime; That this one only partially perpetrates; and that is to fill page after page with solid blocks of unbroken text...! Fortunately; Strobel knows how to hit The Carriage Return, and when to break up a thought from time to time with a period. He frequently draws our attention to items that are so visually accentuated, that he has to tediously describe them for us...!!! Such as Ernst Haechel's Chart of Embryonic Forms... i'm sure you've seen this before... It's the one with chicken, frog, human & fish Embryos that look essentially identical-- Proving Common Descent. Well-- It's a Fake...!!! So he claims. And he sounds believable! Also considered in this chapter is Stanley Miller's Primordial Soup Experiment, which is also repudiated. And the Tree of Life. Fake, Fake, Fake. As this book goes on, it becomes increasingly annoying that the title of this book should have been; A Case for Jehovah. Never does he argue for the existence of a generic Creator, or Aliens that invented our DNA, or that we live in A Screen Saver Reality. No-- Jehovah or nothing. Such that whenever his pretense confronts evidence that may actually support his thesis of a Creator, but leads him away from Jehovah, he is forced to discard it. ugh.
  3. Doubts about Darwinism :--: One of the Annoying things that Creationists do; Is to use their own 'Model' of Biblical Knowledge as the Template for 'Darwinism' / Evolution. So that-- Charles Darwin becomes Evolutionists Infallible Gawd and Animals invariably evolve in a straight line from Primitive forms to Advanced Forms, with Humanimals at the top. Such that any effort to explain to them that Evolutionists have long since discarded many of the quaint ideas that Darwin held, or that animals frequently De-Evolve or Wildly Branch-Out into a multitude of forms-- will miss their ear holes and bounce off the sides of their heads. It's so very annoying that they continue to attack positions & evidence for Evolution that have long since been discredited; Such as Early Man fakes, Human fetal gills & Homology; The 'Science' of grouping animals together, based on their outward appearances.
  4. Where Science Meets Faith :--: The curious thing about Faith is that; in theory; It's supposed to be a belief that is utterly free of Reason-- But if that were true, When would anyone stop believing...??? Once you've allowed yourself to start believing in things as a function of Faith, You'd end up being equally convinced that there are Unicorns living in Caves on Mars, That Sidewalk Cracks will cause Osteoporosis and that George Washington never wore is Mothers underwear! People actually believe crazy things because: a) They're pleasing to Believe & b) They think that they have Good, Reasonable Evidence for Believing in them, Such as falling off a bicycle just before it runs into a Wonderbread Delivery Truck may lead you to believe in Angelic Intervention... Never mind that The Angels should have turned your head to see the truck coming... A Miracle is a Wondrous thing, even if it costs you your New Bicycle. As it turns out; Creationists aren't the only ones that are effected by Irrational Beliefs, Scientists too, are Strongly Influenced by their desire to pursue an agenda which will lead them to some pleasant unreality. ( most of us should have known this all along... most of the chapters in this book are just filler anyway... there are only two good ones, and of those, only one is a good one. )
  5. The Evidence of Cosmology :--: This is the first Chapter with some meat on it. Strobel attempts to argue that The Big Bang ( The Kalam Theory, proposed by several ancient cultures; That since Whatever exists has a Beginning, and Whatever has a Beginning has a Cause, And that Since the Universe >Must have<> Unfortunately; The Big Bang & The PreCambrian Explosion of Life are not Genesis & [ As always ] ...If it's So Dang Unacceptable that The Universe always existed ( in various forms ) Then why do Creationists so easily Accept that Jehovah has always existed...??? Over & Over throughout this book, Lee Strobel tries to convince us that he's a Hard Boiled, SamSpadian Detective, Looking unflinchingly for The Truth-- But time & time again, he will fail to ask the obvious question when interviewing his collection of experts, and blithely allow them to dismiss alternative theories or criticisms. This may well have been a powerful book, and may be a powerful book, Written my someone else, But this treatment of The Evidence is flavorless Milk-toast.
  6. The Evidence of Physics :--: Most of the Reviews of this book have considered this Chapter it's most powerful, and which i consider one of its weakest...! Again; Strobel discusses examples, details & finer points, without providing us with the elements of his argument. He merely lays down his conclusions that he's hastily scribbled on soiled napkins and considers this the proper way to present an irrefutable logical argument. i would kind of have liked him to at least list The Eight Variables that Define Out Universe...! Strobel argues that all these Variables are so finely tuned that if any one of them were even, ever so slightly changed, Then The Universe as we have come to expect it, would be so thoroughly changed that Life would be Impossible. And this is almost certainly True...! Except-- When Strobel says 'Life', He Doesn't mean Self Replicating Molecules or Systematic Lattices of Information Storage with a accompanying set of Tool Using Appendages... No-- He means; People, just like you and me. If one of these Alternative Universes were to spring into existence, We Humanimals would surely Die before we could take a Second Breath. But he completely fails to consider that Any Orderly System-- that is; Any Universe with Rules that Govern it, Irregardless of how Foreign they are, will have Structure & Predictability to go with it. Such a Universe may, Certainly so, Be Very, Very Different from our own, Possibly without anything even resembling Stars, Molecules or Cellular Telephones-- But so long has it has its own form of Order, it will find a way to exist, and may even harbor Life in some Utterly Alien Form.
  7. The Evidence of Astronomy :--: This is a very weak Chapter. It attempts again to claim that since other Stars, in other locations throughout The MilkyWay Galaxy, and The Universe, would be unsuitable for Humanimal Life, they would be Unsuitable for any Life at all.
  8. The Evidence of BioChemistry :--: This is The Second, or Third, to the Strongest Chapter. In it Strobel argues ( sloppily ) that Biological Chemistry; Living Organisms; contain various components that are defined as Irreducibly Complex. That is; Like Cilium Motors; which snap Cilia back & forth on tiny Single Celled Animals & inside our Throats, Can't be taken apart in such a way that would allow Evolution to 'Grow' Them a little bit at a time. Another Example is; Blood Clotting-- and Thankfully, he Does NOT include the Eye...!!! If-- In Fact; Evolution did produce these Molecular Machines, Insect Wings, Dolphins Blow-holes & Situational Comedies... Then they were most probably created by a process of Indirect Fudging... Which suggests that The Complex Biddles were once something completely Different, and Underwent a Sudden Change in functionality, When all their Components Independently Evolved along their own tracks. i'll grant you that this 'Explanation' is itself very weak, But since Strobel refuses to allow for the possibility of Alien Intervention, it's the only one that's available here.
  9. The Evidence of Biological Information :--: The more you read about how DNA works, the more you have to come to the conclusion; That it just HAD to have been Created by a Well Defined ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence. For my three cents worth, and to address the criticism that IF it were created by Aliens from another planet, THEN: where did they come from? Well-- THEY did Evolve, But without DNA...! They have something more like protein templates that directly transcribe their proteins into functional cellular materials... and they also reproduce through budding.
  10. The Evidence of Consciousness :--: Of course; All this talk about Aliens creating our DNA is completely MOOT-- If you consider The Impossibility of Consciousness... Which Strobel thinks is Evidence for Jehovah... But is Really Evidence that EVERYTHING is WRONG...!!! Out Entire Reality is Maya...!!! We're living in a Screen-Saver Reality, and the Source of our Consciousness is found in our 'Mother' Reality, that is Completely Different from this one. ( ! ) Just consider for a moment that If the Brain were the Origin of our Minds, then; EVERY thought that you have, Was Created in your Brain... So that if you're deciding between a Peanut Butter Sandwich or a Bologna Sandwich, It's your Brain that makes that Decision... You may be Aware of that Dilemma, But any 'Thinking' that is going on in your Consciousness, is being formulated by your Brain...! That is; Your Brain Generates the Effect of your Consciousness, Your Awareness... But Then; There is NOTHING that is going on in that Consciousness that Was Not Generated By Your Brain...!!! The Brain; By some Inexplicable Process Creates the effect of your Consciousness, But there is NO WAY that your Brain could be Aware of that...! It's like a light bulb; It produces light, but there is no way that it would know that it's producing light...!!! So that when your Brain generates statements like: "I think; therefore I am." It is either Not being truthful, or it's Idea of Thinking is Completely different from your Awareness of Thinking... And when it argues to this point... Where in The Heck is that coming from...??? How could Electro-Chemical processes ever become Aware anyway... How can your Eyes take in a 2D panorama, break it all down into it's visual components, then somehow represent within your brain a 1::1 correspondence with your outside world... The internal representation Must be Completely Different, And how can you perceive it as an Holistic Experience...??? How can the Electro-Chemical patterns on one side of your Brain become a Single Unified Experience with patterns on the other side...??? The Correct Conclusion is that Everything Is Wrong, Not: 'Mutilate your Genitals & Be Welcomed into The Kingdom of Jehovah'
  11. As Babynous has asked : "Are we living in a Universe that is So Cruel, That it allows us to be Aware that we are Robots?"
  12. Additional Filler :--: The Last few Chapters include a synopsis of Strobel's previous books, A Case for The Historical Jesus & A Case for Faith. Just to prove to you that he's completely fair & unbiased.
  13. Suggestions for How to make This Theme Into a Stronger Argument :--: This book does briefly touch on some of the Moon's Anomalous features, But it does so; as with all it's 'Scientific' References; with a considerably conservative presentation... That is; If the established Scientific Community says that The Big Bang is a Verified Fact-- Then it is so. This approach seems considerably opposed to the lines of attack that most Creationists use, But it may be quite consistent-- Actually --with their notoriously sloppy handling of what they would like to be; Verifiable Evidence... Which is to use Established 'Facts' when it suits their agenda, and to disregard, Equal or Superior Facts when they don't. The Translucent Amoebae Consortium would like to be known as A Provincial Fountainhead of Wisdom that Uniformly, & without Prejudice, Disregards all Established Truths, Irregardless of their Origins. Such that : There are many elements about this reality that we find 'suspicious'... ??? Tides for Example; Don't you find it just a little bit... Totally Freaking Unbelievable ...that when the moon is on one side of The Earth, pulling up the oceans a fixed amount; On the other side of The Earth, The Earth itself is being pulled Away from the oceans at exactly that same fixed amount, So that along any given beach, It will have 2 high & 2 low tides of essentially equal heights...??? This sort of thing just >Smacks< of an Inside Joke, left behind as Irrefutable Evidence of Artificial Reality Generation...!!! : Another example that would seem to question 'Evolution' is the case of Eyeless, Albino Salamanders that are occasionally found in Caves that have been isolated for 'x' numbers of years from the surface world... It would seem to me that while Surface Pigmentation & Eyeballs would have no use to these animals, and they are undoubtedly No worse off for their discontinued use-- That is Not the way Evolution is supposed to work...! For these Salamanders to loose these features, They have to be Selected Out by Either Genetic Mutations, or-- The Selective Weeding out of those features from Normal Diversity... And just how often are Albino Salamanders born without Eyes...??? Probably not that often, and even so; for these features to then Dominate the Population; The Salamanders with Eyes & Colouration would have to be at a Measurable Disadvantage...! Normally, When a Brain is denied the use of some Sensory Organ, That portion of the Brain is then 'Taken Over' by the other Senses so that it is put to good use... So that The Eyed Salamanders would have the same use of their brains for their other Senses as the Hypothetical Eyeless Salamanders... And also: How would Pigmentation be to their Disadvantage; so that it to would be Selected Out...??? Obviously; Some Creationist Element has specifically Designed or Introduced these features into this Isolated Population. : A curious thing about Evolution; That may also be found in Flying Saucer Reports, as well as Ghost Stories, Big-Foot Encounters, Spontaneous Eruptions of ESP ---and so on... Is that when one examines The Totality of The Reports for any of these given Topics... The Evidence seems Overwhelmingly to Support the General Assertion... BUT -- When you take Any One of The Accounts, and Examine it for Validity or Some Reasonable Measure of Believability... It will Fail Miserably...!!! When this applies to Flying Saucers, It is Perhaps ( ? ) Sensible to suggest that because the Aliens are So Very Different from us, that any measure that we may wish to apply to their Behaviour, Technology or Motivations is unwarranted... They are; By Definition, Wildly Strange & Completely Bizarre from Everything that we're familiar with, So it is to be Expected that our Encounters with them are UnBelievable... : But when we take this same approach with The Evidence for Evolution, and Encounter the Same Difficulties... We would like to expect that there is some Logical Continuation to The Development of Fauna and such... So that when we see, again & again in the Fossil Record that Wholly Formed Species just Pop into Existence... We are left wondering... 'How did they do that?' : The Evidence for a Creative Force or Agent may well be Overwhelming, But when you go looking for it, Don't bring along too much Prejudicial Anticipations of Who the Master Craftsman is, Because it may very well turn out ( If we'll Ever Know...! ) that this Architect of Our Reality may be something Very Different than we would Expect -- or Desire...!

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