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Christian Apologetics A forum to discuss the systematic defense of the Christian belief system with other Christians.

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  #1  
Unread 31st August 2012, 07:03 PM
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Top Arguments for the Science Minded

Having once been an atheist, I understand the mindset pretty well. Empirical evidence is the best thing to use in dialogue with an atheist or an agnostic. Educated atheists and agnostics will, for the most part, be utterly unresponsive to the gospel so long as intellectual barriers to faith remain. So in this thread I'd like to brainstorm some of the most effective arguments to use when dialoging with educated unbelievers. I'll start with a few and you can all add to them.

1. Fine tuning - the universe is highly finely tuned for the existence of intelligent life. The initial conditions of the big bang, which are not physically necessary but are simply given, are so utterly precise that to alter them by a tiny fraction of a percent would make life and even stars impossible. The fact that the universe just so happened to be finely tuned to allow for life, when it could have in theory been otherwise, points to an intelligent mind behind natural design.

2. The beginning - at a finite point in time, 13.7 billion years ago, the universe began to exist. The universe came to be, out of nothing, exactly as Genesis 1:1 declares. Something must be eternal, otherwise you run into the problem of an infinite regress. Either matter/energy is eternal, or something else is eternal. Matter/energy is not eternal, because it began to exist at the moment of the big bang. Therefore something else is eternal. Working with the evidence of fine tuning in the universe, we can infer that the eternal cause behind the universe must be intelligent, powerful, and intentional. Intelligence is needed to explain the ordered design of the universe, and power and intentionality are required to explain the creation of the universe. An eternal cause that is intelligent, powerful, and intentional is, by definition, God.

3. Human uniqueness - Human beings, though genetically very similar to other organisms, are vastly different from the rest of the animal kingdom. Unlike other animals, human beings posses a reflective and introspective self-awareness. Even if we allow for a purely Darwinian explanation for the development of life, the vast complexity of our unique human consciousness cannot be adequately explained. The bible, however, declares that we are made in the image of God and, hence, posses some of his attributes, albeit in drastically minimized form. If we accept this biblical premise as true, we would expect to find the human cognition utterly unique in the animal kingdom, which is exactly what we find. Even though we share 98% of our genes with chimpanzees, our cognition is dramatically more complex and is in fact indicative of transcendence. Add to all of this the omnipresence of spiritual belief in human societies throughout all of recorded history, and you have good empirical evidence for the uniqueness of the human mind. Given all of this, the biblical explanation for the novelty of the human consciousness has the best explanatory power and ought to be accepted as true.

4. Existence of Aesthetics - Humans are also unique in our recognition of and perception of beauty. When we look at the earth and the larger universe we are struck by a sense of wonder and an appreciation of beauty. What is beauty? Why is it that nature, as perceived through our senses, is pleasing to us? Certainly there is no Darwinian reason for the existence of aesthetics, for what differential reproductive benefit can such a thing bestow? The universe, it seems, is objectively beautiful, a fact that is hard to explain in a purely naturalistic and non-theistic framework. However the bible makes the claim that the universe declares the glory of God. Given this premise we would expect that our perception of nature would evoke feelings of wonder and awe, a sense of beauty and majesty, to point us toward the creator and a recognition of some of his attributes. Once again the biblical worldview explains the phenomena better than a naturalistic framework.

Those are some of my arguments, the first two of which are widely used and the last two of which are my own. Any thoughts or other arguments you'd like to contribute?
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God reveals himself both in creation and in his word. Science is a beautiful discipline that can be done to the glory of God; in the study of nature we see the awe-inspiring power and wisdom of our creator.

The old age of the universe and the truth of the theory of evolution are not a threat to faith; they do rather reveal the majestic power of God in the intricacy and elegance of the laws of physics which shape creation.
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  #2  
Unread 31st August 2012, 07:24 PM
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All you mentioned are often used in debates by Christians debating Atheist.

The first two are strong points, but still don't prove God. Atheist will still argue that even though we don't have answers, a belief in a God of any sort would still be a worse explanation that other possibilities. Simply, God isn't science, it's belief in the spiritual, thus theology.

They will explain the other two as biological evolution.
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Unread 1st September 2012, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ALoveDivine View Post
Having once been an atheist, I understand the mindset pretty well. Empirical evidence is the best thing to use in dialogue with an atheist or an agnostic. Educated atheists and agnostics will, for the most part, be utterly unresponsive to the gospel so long as intellectual barriers to faith remain. So in this thread I'd like to brainstorm some of the most effective arguments to use when dialoging with educated unbelievers. I'll start with a few and you can all add to them.

1. Fine tuning - the universe is highly finely tuned for the existence of intelligent life. The initial conditions of the big bang, which are not physically necessary but are simply given, are so utterly precise that to alter them by a tiny fraction of a percent would make life and even stars impossible. The fact that the universe just so happened to be finely tuned to allow for life, when it could have in theory been otherwise, points to an intelligent mind behind natural design.

2. The beginning - at a finite point in time, 13.7 billion years ago, the universe began to exist. The universe came to be, out of nothing, exactly as Genesis 1:1 declares. Something must be eternal, otherwise you run into the problem of an infinite regress. Either matter/energy is eternal, or something else is eternal. Matter/energy is not eternal, because it began to exist at the moment of the big bang. Therefore something else is eternal. Working with the evidence of fine tuning in the universe, we can infer that the eternal cause behind the universe must be intelligent, powerful, and intentional. Intelligence is needed to explain the ordered design of the universe, and power and intentionality are required to explain the creation of the universe. An eternal cause that is intelligent, powerful, and intentional is, by definition, God.

3. Human uniqueness - Human beings, though genetically very similar to other organisms, are vastly different from the rest of the animal kingdom. Unlike other animals, human beings posses a reflective and introspective self-awareness. Even if we allow for a purely Darwinian explanation for the development of life, the vast complexity of our unique human consciousness cannot be adequately explained. The bible, however, declares that we are made in the image of God and, hence, posses some of his attributes, albeit in drastically minimized form. If we accept this biblical premise as true, we would expect to find the human cognition utterly unique in the animal kingdom, which is exactly what we find. Even though we share 98% of our genes with chimpanzees, our cognition is dramatically more complex and is in fact indicative of transcendence. Add to all of this the omnipresence of spiritual belief in human societies throughout all of recorded history, and you have good empirical evidence for the uniqueness of the human mind. Given all of this, the biblical explanation for the novelty of the human consciousness has the best explanatory power and ought to be accepted as true.

4. Existence of Aesthetics - Humans are also unique in our recognition of and perception of beauty. When we look at the earth and the larger universe we are struck by a sense of wonder and an appreciation of beauty. What is beauty? Why is it that nature, as perceived through our senses, is pleasing to us? Certainly there is no Darwinian reason for the existence of aesthetics, for what differential reproductive benefit can such a thing bestow? The universe, it seems, is objectively beautiful, a fact that is hard to explain in a purely naturalistic and non-theistic framework. However the bible makes the claim that the universe declares the glory of God. Given this premise we would expect that our perception of nature would evoke feelings of wonder and awe, a sense of beauty and majesty, to point us toward the creator and a recognition of some of his attributes. Once again the biblical worldview explains the phenomena better than a naturalistic framework.

Those are some of my arguments, the first two of which are widely used and the last two of which are my own. Any thoughts or other arguments you'd like to contribute?
I enjoy challenging educated Atheists with :

How did our personality traits of logic, reason, abstract thinking, love, consciousness (Soul, Mind, Will) etc...come about from Materialism ? I have yet to hear a cogent explanation . Have you ?
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Unread 1st September 2012, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TheyCallMeDave View Post
I enjoy challenging educated Atheists with :

How did our personality traits of logic, reason, abstract thinking, love, consciousness (Soul, Mind, Will) etc...come about from Materialism ? I have yet to hear a cogent explanation . Have you ?
yes. I believe evolution can account for the brain, and the brain supports the mind.

I'm not sure I'd call that materialism. It's a system for which God is responsible. I accept the traditional Christian view that the order in the world reflects God's rationality. It is no coincidence that God created a material order in which rationality would develop.
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Unread 1st September 2012, 05:08 PM
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Bible

According to what I've learned, evolution in its purest form teaches that the species of animals have evolved in accordance with how well they have been able to survive in their environment. So those species that exist today are the 'winners' of this evolutionary lottery.

But how does belief in a Supreme Being help a species to survive? Does it provide shelter for them from the elements? Does it provide the food necessary for them to survive and reproduce? No, it does not. But man is predisposed to worship a being greater than he is. In primitive societies it takes the form of 'natural religion', in which they endow a certain aspect of their environment with a divine status. In 'revealed religion', they progress from natural religion, through the worship of gods and goddesses which could be represented by either celestial objects or the various species of animals they saw around them, to the worship of one deity who created all that now exists, but is himself over and above all that he has created.

So why do we worship a deity if that worship doesn't affect our own survival? Personally, I believe that we worship him because he has revealed himself to us, identifying himself as the person through whom all that now is came into existence. Whereas all other species of animals have brains that simply help them to survive and reproduce in a certain environment, God has enabled the brain of homo sapiens to realize that there is a higher power who is set apart from all that we know through our five senses, but who molded the universe, and this planet, into the form in which we now can exist.
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Unread 2nd September 2012, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ALoveDivine View Post
Having once been an atheist, I understand the mindset pretty well. Empirical evidence is the best thing to use in dialogue with an atheist or an agnostic.

...

I plant a seed and walk away, more than that is a waste of time. God opens eyes not me.
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Unread 2nd September 2012, 11:05 AM
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arguments for the scientifically minded

Here is a fun one that as a Clinical Trial Assistant trained in Biology and Biomedical Method I would propose is an irrefutable biologically sound argument that must be answered.

There cannot be a cell without DNA! DNA on the other hand cannot produce a cell (with all its subsystems necessary for the DNA to produce ) without at least the most basic systems of transcription and translation (which requires a number of other enzymes and organelles to complete). Yet there are cells.


Free floating DNA (a theorized complex molecule never found anywhere in nature and only made in Laboratories by an outside intelligent force) cannot sustain its own existence but left alone and not immediately isolated in a Cold Trap or some other inventive contraption (a device made by an outside intelligent force that does not exist in nature) will almost immediately denature and fall apart into component base chemicals (a fact demonstrated repeatedly even in the Urey/Miller experiments, thus their need for a Cold Trap device).


So no Cells, no functional DNA, BUT no DNA no cells…neither can exist and produce without the other.
Do which one came first? Neither! But what about life forms? Well the indisputable truth is, as former Darwin bulldog Stephen J. Gould of Harvard said (before dismissing Darwin as an unproven myth and jumping to Puncuated Equilibrium theory)…“The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages…indeed our inability even in our imagination to construct functional intermediaries...has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution”.


In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors, it appears all at once and fully formed.“ S. J. Gould, Natural History“ (see the May 97 issue)


This change was initiated because when Gould and a number of colleagues actually looked at the evidence in the Geological Column, from the Cambrian Explosion onward, new Phyla just appear suddenly.

In the very beginning we have entire creatures like Nautilus that (poof!) suddenly appear fully formed with all their functionality and subsystems fully in place. There are many, many, examples of this. The only actual evidence indicates that these organs and organisms do not demonstrate they were formed by a series of slow gradualistic changes. The cells they are comprised of were and still are in Nautilus’s case, fully functional products of DNA encryption which themselves provide the organs and systems and enzymes which all DNA to be unencrypted and produce the required proteins for its own existence and being must already have in place.


Darwin himself admitted that, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down“. Well there it is! Sorry Charlie (and this ain’t no fish story)! Consider it broken down.

So how does DNA produce a cell without a cell? The answer? It cannot. Well then this must mean the cell existed first...maybe its smallest funtional piece like the Mitochondria or something...but wait the most basic cell requires DNA to just to exist as does Mitochindria..who else or what else made these proteins and structures...so the...???? No DNA no possibility of cells, no cells no DNA decryption, transcription, translation, etc....unless their was the involvement of an outside intelligent force...Hmmm!



In His name

Paul

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Unread 2nd September 2012, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by hedrick View Post
yes. I believe evolution can account for the brain, and the brain supports the mind.

I'm not sure I'd call that materialism. It's a system for which God is responsible. I accept the traditional Christian view that the order in the world reflects God's rationality. It is no coincidence that God created a material order in which rationality would develop.
God never used evolution to make everything. Stellar and Macro Evolution are simply atheistic constructs with many people dropping God into the equation. , called 'theistic evolution' . Read Genesis and you find that God made everything FULLY formed and FULLY functioning including man and woman . In fact, it an offense to Gods perfectionistic , loving, caring, nature and character to suggest he allowed everything to develop, piecemealed, including millions of years of animal survival of the fittest including cancer, bloodshed, tearing to pieces , etc....and then call his creation 'Good, very good' . It is totally absurd .

Please stop offending our Creator by needing a hybrid / half-a_ _ _ d process from a perfect in everyway Creator. Get your truth from the Bible and not quasi-scientists having an apriori-commitment to secular wild imaginations. ONLY micro evolution is true --- always within a particular kind/family. , and thats supported in the Bible.

Choose this day whom you will serve : Secular Scientists or The Lord and his written instructions. You cant love God and the World (Man) at the same time .
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Unread 2nd September 2012, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Wednes View Post
Do you think I should start quoting ex Christians? or should you try countering the statement I made?

Dave if you want to believe in creationism then go right ahead just don't inflict it on any children you have or might have, for their sake, after all you are supposed to love your children.

..........
1. No, quote a few Creationist Scientists who drop a bomb on their own field of study, if you can. Ive provided a list of Evolutionists that have on their own field of study . See if you can reciprocate.

1.a. Here we have well over 700 of the Worlds top PHD Scientists whove signed a petition declaring their grave problems with Darwinnian Evolution ; the unproven puerile THEORY is in BIG trouble .....http://www.dissentfromdarwin.org/about.php

2. No need to 'inflict' creationism on any child ; children know intuitively when they get to approx. 4-7 years old that a high intelligence was needed for everything around them and that no amount of time, accidents upon accidents , and wishful thinking....could ever be the Cause. If they didnt, theyd have no need to ask their Parents point blank : 'WHO made all this ?' / 'HOW did all this get here'? / 'WHY is all this here' ? Remember asking these or simular questions to your Parents ?

Its only thru a lieing secular public school system shoving 1st grade books in front of them with airbrushed glossy pictures of a little One Celled Pond Scum Protozoa with a smile on his face....do they trust that this is the truth of their identity --- a reprehensible attempt to fool impressionable innocent Minds which has tremendous fallout once they get older and want to experience a moral-less Culture since 'theres no ultimate moral accountability' coming from Pond Slime.

Isnt atheism convenient ?

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Unread 2nd September 2012, 03:50 PM
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Reps: 108,032,418,398,610,016 (power: 108,032,418,398,617)
super animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond repute
super animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond reputesuper animator has a reputation beyond repute
Evolution is not a atheist's conspiracy.
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