The Skeptical Brain
Vol: 120 Issue: 26 Monday, September 26, 2011
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2nd Timothy 3:16-17)
It is often said by skeptics that to be a Christian, one has to leave his brains at the door of the church before going in. The implication is, of course, that nobody with any intelligence would believe in God or believe the Bible is His inspired work.
One of history’s greatest scientists was Nicholas Copernicus. (He kept his brain handy at all times).
Copernicus was the astronomer who mathematically proved that the earth and the other planets revolve around the sun, and not the other way around. Copernicus believed in God, and often cited God in his works.
Sir Francis Bacon was a philosopher who is known for establishing the scientific method of inquiry based on experimentation and inductive reasoning. He was considered quite brainy.
Bacon established his goals in three parts; the discovery of truth, service to his country, and service to the church. Although his work was based upon experimentation and reasoning, he rejected atheism as being the result of insufficient depth of philosophy, stating;
“It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity.”
“…for as God uses the help of our reason to illuminate us, so should we likewise turn it every way, that we may be more capable of understanding His mysteries; provided only that the mind be enlarged, according to its capacity, to the grandeur of the mysteries, and not the mysteries contracted to the narrowness of the mind.”
Rene Descartes was a mathematician, scientist and philosopher who has been called the father of modern philosophy. It was Descartes who formulated the ‘system of thought’ by asking what could be known if all else were doubted – suggesting the famous “I think, therefore I am”.
Which reminds me of a joke . . .
Renes Descartes walks into a pizza joint and orders a large pizza. “You want anchovies on that?” he was asked. “I think not,” he said, before disappearing.
Descartes is often cited to support the concept of atheism. However, Descarte’s conclusions actually established the near certainty of the existence of God. Only if God both exists and would not want us to be deceived by our experiences, can we trust our senses and logical thought processes.
The existence and goodness of God is, therefore, central to Descarte’s entire philosophy.
Isaac Newton was an historical figure of undisputed braininess and innovation. In all his science (including chemistry) he saw mathematics and numbers as central.
What is less well known is that he was devoutly religious and saw numbers as involved in understanding God’s plan for history from the Bible. In his system of physics, God is essential to the nature and absoluteness of space.
Far from finding atheism in science, Newton found the evidence of God’s existence in the perfect harmony of predicted and fulfilled Bible prophecy. When Newton entered a church, he brought his brain in first.
In fact, Sir Isaac indulged in a little prophecy himself:
“About the time of the end, a body of men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the prophecies, and insist upon their literal interpretation, in the midst of much clamour and opposition.”
Albert Einstein is another scientist often quoted by atheists as having proved the validity of atheism as a logical philosophy. There is no evidence that Einstein was a Christian, but there are his own words to disprove any argument that he believed in atheism. The Encyclopedia Britannica says of Einstein:
“Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in “Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists.”
This actually motivated his interest in science, as Einstein once reportedly remarked to a young physicist:
“I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.”
Einstein’s famous epithet on the “uncertainty principle” was “God does not play dice” – and to him this was a real statement about a God in whom he believed. A famous saying of Einstein’s was,
“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
It is worth noting at this point that Einstein’s brain was so remarkable that after his death, it was removed and preserved for testing.
So it could be said that while Einstein didn’t leave his brain at the door before entering a church, he did before entering eternity.
Putting one’s faith in Christ is not in harmony with the concept one has to ‘check his brains at the door’ of a church. The greatest scientific minds in history found few, if any, contradictions between science and the Bible.
If anything, the more they discovered about science, the more they saw the harmony that exists between science and Scripture.
Every generation in history has had its share of great thinkers, philosophers, scientists and debaters. Since the Bible claims 100% accuracy, 100% of the time, the Bible has always been the most tempting target to attack.
If one single fact in Scripture were conclusively disproved; historical, scientific, geographic, or even biological, then the Bible’s central claim of authority — that is, its Authorship — would crumble, together with the foundations upon which both Judaism and Christianity are built.
The philosopher, debater or scientist who accomplished such a feat would be the most famous who ever lived. Keeping in mind all the generations, in all the countries in all the centuries since the Bible was assembled, who was that single, brilliant individual?
You don’t know because he doesn’t exist.
There have been usurpers who have attempted to disprove the Bible by using the various translations of the Bible, but the best they can actually do is cast doubts on the abilities of the translators. The translators didn’t pen the Scriptures, nor did they inspire them.
The Bible was written using the two most specific languages civilization has ever devised, and not a single word of the Hebrew or Greek texts has ever been conclusively disproved.
The Book of Job is believed to be the oldest book, chronologically speaking, written before Moses wrote the first five Books dealing with Creation and the Law.
Job lived sometime before Moses, somewhere in the Middle East. Yet Job records;
“He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing (Job 26:7)
Who told Job that? Especially since it wasn’t until 1981 that astronomers discovered a huge, unexplained ‘hole’ in space in the direction of the northern hemisphere?
Before the time of Moses, Job explained the earth’s hydrological cycle, writing;
“For He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man.”(Job 36:27-28)
How did Job know?
The complex nature of how water is supported in clouds despite being heavier than air is clearly implied when God demanded of Job,
“Do you know how the clouds are balanced, those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge.” (Job 37:16).
“Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the belt of Orion?” (Job 38:31).
In the last century astrophysicists have discovered that the stars of Pleiades move in unison with each other, and are thus gravitationally bound, exactly as Job describes.
What else did Job know?
“For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27)
Note the italicized sections. Job was not a Jew. Neither was he a Christian. Job was born before Abraham and was probably still alive during Abraham’s lifetime. Before the birth of Joseph. Before the captivity in Egypt. Before the Exodus. Before the Ten Commandments.
But Job knew his Redeemer was alive at that moment. Job knew He would stand upon the earth in “latter days.” Job knew of the resurrection and knew his own eyes would behold the Messiah – almost a thousand years before Moses penned the first five Books of the Bible.
Then, we have Isaiah’s profession that the earth is round, 2000 years before Columbus proved it.
“It is He who sits above the circle of the earth . . .” (Isaiah 40:22)
Einstein regarded the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics as the most immutable law of the physical universe. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics states that all systems degenerate from order to disorder. That Einstein was one brainy guy!
But his observation came two thousand years after the writer of Hebrews quoted Job, who lived another two thousand years before that.
“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment. . .”
So Hebrews 1:10-11 confirms the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics two thousand years before Einstein proved it.
To accept the theory of evolution, which is the foundation of the atheist argument that there is no God, one has to throw Einstein’s brain (and Copernicus and Descartes and Newton and Bacon and Spinoza) out the window and argue the exact opposite.
God exists because if He didn’t exist, there would be no debate about His existence. The Bible is true because it contains facts that were unknown until those facts became known. And in every case where the facts are known, they line up with the Scripture.
The evidence for the existence of God is therefore overwhelmingly solid, if one uses one’s brain to examine the existing evidence.
Indeed, what is missing from the debate is the evidence for the existence of the skeptic, although the Scriptures offer an explanation for that, too.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” (Romans 1:28)
It seems the Bible has ALL the evidence. Even evidence that explains the brain of the skeptic.