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Title: I no longer have enough faith to be an atheist.


1
I no longer have enough faith to be an atheist.
  • Gil Dodgen

2
My Background
  • Son of a brilliant scientist who earned his Ph.D.
    in physical chemistry in his early 20s while
    working on the Manhattan A-Bomb Project.
  • Grew up in a small university town surrounded by
    intellectual atheists.
  • Earned three college degrees in a highly
    secularized academic environment.

3
  • I earn my living as a software engineer in
    aerospace research and development. Hobbies
    include classical piano and artificial-intelligenc
    e computer programming.
  • worldchampionshipcheckers.com

4
My Father
5
  • My father is the most brilliant scientist I have
    ever known, and, except for the fact that he is
    an atheist, he is the best Christian man I have
    ever known.

6

(How Religion Poisons Everything)
7
What I Believed
  • There is no God. Man invented God. God is just a
    fantasy of human imagination, created to explain
    what we dont understand and to provide solace
    a psychological crutch.
  • There is no afterlife.
  • I am the product of Darwinian evolution, a
    purposeless, undirected, materialistic process
    that did not have me in mind.

8
The obvious implication of this worldview that
was clear to me even as a child
  • Life is ultimately meaningless and pointless.
  • But I figured that this was just the way things
    are, and I had to learn to live with it.

9
William Provine, famous historian of science at
Cornell University makes my former atheistic
conclusions clear, and extrapolates
  • Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences
    that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No
    gods worth having exist 2) no life after death
    exists 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics
    exists 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists
    and 5) human free will is nonexistent.

10
One Big Problem With Provines Thesis
  • Darwinism is in a state of complete logical,
    evidential, empirical, and mathematical collapse.
    It is a 19th-century, materialistically-driven
    ideological fantasy based on complete ignorance
    of the nature of living systems, which have now
    been demonstrated to be fundamentally based on
    the most sophisticated computer program ever
    written.

11
Christianity as the worldview that inspired
scientific discovery
  • Historian Rodney Stark, in his important book The
    Victory of Reason writes The success of the
    West, including the rise of science, rested
    entirely on religious foundations, and the people
    who brought it about were devout Christians.

12
Great Scientists and Christianity
  • Isaac Newton
  • (some consider him to be the greatest scientist
    of all time)
  • Newtonian Physics, Calculus
  • It is the perfection of God's works that they
    are all done with the greatest simplicity. He is
    the God of order and not of confusion. I have a
    fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of
    God, written by men who were inspired. I study
    the Bible daily. This thing a scale model of our
    solar system is but a puny imitation of a much
    grander system whose laws you know, and I am not
    able to convince you that this mere toy is
    without a designer and maker yet you, as an
    atheist, profess to believe that the great
    original from which the design is taken has come
    into being without either designer or maker! Now
    tell me by what sort of reasoning do you reach
    such an incongruous conclusion?

13
  • Johannes Kepler
  • Astronomy/Laws of Planetary Motion
  • I had the intention of becoming a theologian,
    but now I see how God is, by my endeavors, also
    glorified in astronomy, for the heavens declare
    the glory of God.
  • I am a Christian. I believe only and alone in the
    service of Jesus Christ. In Him is all refuge,
    all solace.

14
  • Robert Boyle
  • Founder of Modern Chemistry
  • Governor of a missionary organization for
    propagating the Gospel in New England. Personally
    financed the translation of the Bible into Irish,
    Turkish, and Arabic. Author of The Christian
    Virtuoso, reflecting on the study of nature for
    Christians. Author of a Christian devotional
    book. His will after his death financed the
    "Boyle Lectures" in defense of Christianity.

15
  • Samuel Morse
  • Inventor of the telegraph
  • "Education without religion is in danger of
    substituting wild theories for the simple
    commonsense rules of Christianity."

16
  • Michael Faraday
  • Inventor of the electric generator and
    transformer, first described field theory
  • Faraday was hailed by Albert Einstein as the
    foundation for his own scientific discoveries.
  • "Speculations? I have none. I am resting on
    certainties. I know Whom I have believed and am
    persuaded that He is able to keep that which I
    have committed unto Him against that day. A
    Christian finds his guide in the Word of God, and
    commits the keeping of his soul into the hands of
    God.

17
  • James Prescott Joule
  • Described the First Law of Thermodynamics The
    Law of Conservation of Energy
  • American Biochemist Isaac Asimov said that the
    First Law of Thermodynamics is one of the most
    important generalizations in the history of
    science.
  • It is evident that an acquaintance with natural
    laws means no less than an acquaintance with the
    mind of God therein expressed. Order is
    manifestly maintained in the universe, governed
    by the sovereign will of God. After the knowledge
    of, and obedience to, the will of God, the next
    aim must be to know something of His attributes
    of wisdom, power, and goodness as evidenced by
    His handiwork.

18
  • James Clerk Maxwell
  • Statistical thermodynamics, field equations of
    electricity, magnetism, and light
  • The following is a prayer written by Maxwell and
    found among his notes
  • Almighty God, Who has created man in Thine own
    image, and made him a living soul that he might
    seek after Thee,
  • and have dominion over Thy creatures, teach us to
    study the works of Thy hands, that we may subdue
    the earth to our use, and strengthen the reason
    for Thy service so to receive Thy blessed Word,
    that we may believe on Him Who Thou has sent, to
    give us the knowledge of salvation and the
    remission of our sins. All of which we ask in the
    name of the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.

19
My Conversion to Christianity A Confluence of
Events and Influences
  • The birth of my first daughter after a long
    infertility ordeal. We named her after my wifes
    sister, who died at the age of 20 months.
  • A Christian friend, Dave Pounds, whom I greatly
    admired.
  • C.S. Lewis and a cartoon video entitled The Lion,
    the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which I bought on a
    whim for my daughter when she was five years old.
  • The realization (to a great degree thanks to
    Dave) that the science I once thought put God out
    of a job and made Him irrelevant, actually made
    belief in God an inescapable logical conclusion.

20
A Month-Long Battle Spiritual Warfare
  • Once all this began I was in a state of complete
    turmoil. Two Gils argued with each other, all day
    long.
  • I started listening to Christian radio in the car
    driving to work, read the Bible every night, and
    called up Dave to ask questions.
  • One night he prayed for me over the phone, and
    suggested that I give it a try myself. Once I
    did, the battle was over. Christ won.

21
God By The Numbers
  • 1
  • 2

Weve invented addition!
22
  • The inverse of addition is subtraction
  • 2 1 1
  • Subtract a bigger number from a smaller number
    and we have negative numbers
  • 1 2 -1

23
  • Repeated addition is multiplication
  • 2 2 2 2x3 6
  • The inverse of multiplication is division
  • 6 / 3 2

24
  •  

25
Pure Mathematics Eulers Identity and the Beauty
of Mathematics as Evidence for the Existence of
God
  • The five most important numbers in mathematics
  • 0 and 1
  • form the basis of arithmetic.
  • e 2.7182818284590452353602874713526... (goes on
    forever and never repeats)
  • e is an irrational number, the natural logarithm
    base. It appears all over the place, especially
    in physics and engineering.
  • p 3.141592653589793238462643383279... (goes on
    forever and never repeats)
  • p is an irrational number and is the ratio of
    the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It
    appears all over the place in mathematics, and is
    the basis of trigonometry, geometry, and
    analytical mathematics. I use e and p on a daily
    basis in my work as a software engineer in
    aerospace RD.
  • i is the square root of -1, the imaginary number.

26
What is an imaginary number and what does this
have to do with reality and God?
  •  

27
 
Eulers Identity
  • Multiply the ratio of the circumference of a
    circle to its diameter by the imaginary number,
    then multiply e by itself that number of times
    (whatever that means), and you get -1. In the
    second formulation the five most important
    numbers in all of mathematics are used.

28
Eulers Equation Quotes
  • A poll of readers conducted by The Mathematical
    Intelligencer magazine named Euler's Identity as
    the most beautiful theorem in mathematics.
    Another poll of readers that was conducted by
    Physics World magazine in 2004 chose Eulers
    Identity tied with Maxwells equations of
    electromagnetism as the greatest equation ever.
  • After proving Eulers Identity during a lecture,
    Benjamin Peirce, a noted American 19th century
    philosopher / mathematician and a professor at
    Harvard University, stated that It is absolutely
    paradoxical we cannot understand it, and we
    don't know what it means, but we have proved it,
    and therefore we know it must be the truth.

29
My Favorite Quote
  • A mathematics professor at MIT, an atheist, has
    said of Eulers Identity, There is no God, but
    if there were, this formula would be proof of His
    existence.

30
The Mathematics of Physics The Fine-Tuning of
the Universe for Life
  • The laws of physics that govern the universe can
    all be described with mathematics. Two examples
  • Newtons Second Law of Motion F ma (force
    equals mass times acceleration)
  • Newtons equation of gravity F Gm1m2/r2
  • This is the inverse square law. Double the
    distance and the force is reduced by a factor of
    4. Triple the distance and the force is reduced
    by a factor of 9, etc. Why is this?

31
All the laws of physics must be described exactly
as they are by these mathematical formulas, and
all the forces and values in physics must be
exactly as they are, or life would be impossible.
The obvious conclusion is that the universe was
designed from the outset for life. This is called
The Anthropic Principle.(Mention Brandon
Carter.)
32
Anthropic Principle Quotes from Famous
Nonbelieving Physicists
  • The famous physicist Paul Davies The laws of
    physics seem themselves to be the product of
    exceedingly ingenious design. There is for me
    powerful evidence that there is something going
    on behind it all. It seems as though somebody has
    fine-tuned natures numbers to make the universe.
    The impression of design is overwhelming."

33
  • Physicist Freeman Dyson The more I examine the
    universe and the details of its architecture, the
    more evidence I find that the universe in some
    sense must have known we were coming.
  • British astronomer and physicist Sir Fred Hoyle
    A common sense interpretation of the facts
    suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with
    the physics, as well as with chemistry and
    biology, and that there are no blind forces worth
    speaking about in nature. The numbers one
    calculates from the facts seem to me so
    overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost
    beyond question.

34
How fine is this fine-tuning?
  • Imagine a ruler divided into one-inch increments
    running across the entire universe, a distance of
    14 billion light years. This is the distance
    light travels in 14,000,000,000 years at a speed
    of 186,000 miles per second. Thats
    82,119,744,000,000,000,000,000, or 82 billion
    trillion miles. Each inch represents a possible
    value for the force of gravity. Move it one inch
    either to the right or left, and life would be
    impossible. All the laws of physics and all the
    forces of the universe are fine-tuned to this
    kind of precision in order that life might be
    possible.
  • (Mention Michael Dentons Natures Destiny.)

35
With evidence for a Fine-Tuner so obvious, how
does the atheist attempt to get out of this?
  • They propose a multiverse, as opposed to a
    universe. Perhaps there is an infinitude of
    alternate universes, so just by chance ours came
    out right. Of course, it is argued, we find
    ourselves in a fine-tuned universe because in any
    other kind of universe we wouldnt exist.
  • (Firing squad example.)

36
Problems With the Multiverse Escape Hatch
  • There is no evidence for it.
  • Ockhams Razor the law of parsimony, law of
    economy or law of succinctness is a basic tenet
    of science which says that a simple or economical
    explanation that fits the facts is to be
    preferred over an unnecessarily complex one.
    Entities must not be multiplied beyond
    necessity, is how Ockham put it. The multiverse
    hypothesis is the ultimate violation of this
    principle, since it multiplies entities
    (universes) into infinity.
  • In any event, it doesnt solve the problem. The
    infinite universe-generating machine would have
    to be fine-tuned to generate universes with our
    universes laws, only with different values. Why
    wouldnt it generate universes with no laws at
    all, or laws that have nothing to do with
    gravity, etc.?
  • If there were an infinite number of universes,
    anything and everything that you could imagine
    would be certain to occur. A theory that explains
    everything explains nothing. (Darwinism suffers
    from this same logical shortcoming.)

37
Darwinism on its Scientific Deathbed, and
Evidence of Design by a Super-Intelligence in
Living Systems
  • At the behest of my Christian friend Dave I read
    Michael Dentons book, Evolution A Theory in
    Crisis. Denton has no theological axe to grind.
    As best I can figure he is an atheist or at least
    an agnostic. Upon finishing the book I realized
    that I had been conned by the scientific
    community.
  • Denton writes

38
  • To grasp the reality of life as it has been
    revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a
    cell a thousand million times until it is twenty
    kilometers in diameter, so each atom in it would
    be the size of a tennis ball, and resembles a
    giant airship large enough to cover a great city
    like London or New York. What we would then see
    would be an object of unparalleled complexity and
    adaptive design. On the surface of the cell we
    would see millions of openings, like the
    portholes of a vast spaceship, opening and
    closing to allow a continual stream of materials
    to flow in and out. If we were to enter one of
    these openings we would find ourselves in a world
    of supreme technology and bewildering complexity.
    We would see endless highly organized corridors
    and conduits branching in every direction away
    from the perimeter of the cell, some leading to
    the central memory bank in the nucleus and others
    to assembly plants and processing units. The
    nucleus itself would be a vast spherical chamber
    more than a kilometer in diameter, resembling a
    geodesic dome inside of which we would see, all
    neatly stacked together in ordered arrays, the
    miles of coiled chains of the DNA molecules. A
    huge range of products and raw materials would
    shuttle along all the manifold conduits in a
    highly ordered fashion to and from all the
    various assembly plants in the outer regions of
    the cell.

39
  • We would wonder at the level of control implicit
    in the movement of so many objects down so many
    seemingly endless conduits, all in perfect
    unison. We would see all around us, in every
    direction we looked, all sorts of robot-like
    machines We would see that nearly every feature
    of our own advanced machines had its analogue in
    the cell artificial languages and their decoding
    systems, memory banks for information storage and
    retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the
    automated assembly of components, error fail-safe
    and proof-reading devices used for quality
    control, assembly processes involving the
    principle of prefabrication and modular
    construction However, it would be a factory
    which would have one capacity not equaled in any
    of our own most advanced machines, for it would
    be capable of replicating its entire structure
    within a matter of a few hours
  • Unlike our own pseudo-automated assembly plants,
    where external controls are being continually
    applied, the cells manufacturing capability is
    entirely self-regulated
  • Denton, Michael, Evolution A Theory in Crisis,
    Adler, 1986, pp. 327 331.

40
  • 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.
  • Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1859

41
Michael Behe, Darwins Black Box, and Irreducible
Complexity
  • Molecular biologist Michael Behe read Dentons
    book and had the same reaction I did. In the book
    Darwins Black Box (the cell was once a black
    box, the inner workings of which were entirely
    unknown in Darwins day) Behe makes a compelling
    case for design in living systems and the
    insufficiency of the Darwinian mechanism of
    random mutations (errors) and natural selection
    to account for what we find.
  • Natural selection does not have any creative
    powers and produces nothing new. Natural
    selection is death. It only throws stuff out.

42
Irreducible Complexity
  • Behe coined this term to describe systems which,
    in order to function at all, must have all their
    parts in place at once, and cannot be arrived at
    in a step-by-tiny step fashion, with each step
    being functional and therefore advantageous, as
    Darwins theory requires. An example is a
    mousetrap. Until all the parts are in place you
    dont catch any mice at all. Natural selection
    can only select for some feature that gives an
    organism a survival advantage.

43
The Bacterial Flagellar Motor
  • The most efficient motor in the universe.
  • Howard Berg, Harvard University

44
Irreducible Complexity has NOT been refuted.
  • It is often claimed that irreducible complexity
    in living systems has been refuted. In many cases
    critics simply misrepresent Behes definition of
    IC and claim that he claims that the parts of an
    IC system cannot serve other functions. This is
    false. Behe simply claims that all the parts have
    to be in place at once for the system to function
    at all.
  • In other cases, critics cite protein sequence
    similarities between parts of the bacterial
    flagellum and other proteins. This is completely
    irrelevant to Behes argument.

45
The Co-Option Hypothesis(Actually, just a story
made up out of whole cloth, with no evidence.)
  • It is claimed that the flagellum could have been
    assembled by co-opting parts that originally
    served another purpose.
  • I wrote the following for Bill Dembskis
    Intelligent Design blog
  • In order for co-option to produce a bacterial
    flagellum (for example) all of the component
    parts must have been present at the same time and
    in roughly the same place, and all of them must
    have had other naturally-selectable, useful
    functions. There is no evidence whatsoever that
    this ever was the case, or that it ever even
    could have been the case.
  • The components would have to have been compatible
    with each other functionally. A bolt that is too
    large, too small, or that has threads that are
    too fine or too coarse to match those of a nut,
    cannot be combined with the nut to make a
    fastener. There is absolutely no evidence that
    this interface compatibility ever existed
    (between all those imaginary co-opted component
    parts), or that it even could have existed.

46
  • 3) Even if all the parts are available at the
    same time and in the same place, and are
    functionally compatible, one cant just put them
    in a bag, shake them up, and have a motor fall
    out. An assembly mechanism is required, and that
    mechanism must be complete in every detail,
    otherwise incomplete or improper assembly will
    result, and no naturally-selectable function will
    be produced. The assembly mechanism thus
    represents yet another irreducibly complex
    hurdle.
  • 4) Last, and perhaps most importantly, assembly
    instructions are required. Assembly must be timed
    and coordinated properly. And the assembly
    instructions must be complete in every detail,
    otherwise no function will result. This
    represents an additional irreducibly complex
    hurdle.
  • Co-option is a demonstrably fantastic story made
    up out of whole cloth, with absolutely no basis
    in evidence, and it doesnt withstand even the
    most trivial analytical scrutiny. There is not a
    shred of evidence that this process ever took
    place, or that it even could have taken place.
    Worst of all, it requires blind acceptance of the
    clearly miraculous.

47
  • There is a great irony here. This verifiably
    ridiculous co-option fantasy is presented as
    science, while a straightforward and reasonable
    inference to design is labeled pseudoscience. The
    real state of affairs is precisely the reverse.

48
Huge Improbabilities and Darwinism
  • Life is based on the most sophisticated computer
    program ever devised. Can you arrive at a
    computer program through random errors and
    selection? Clearly not it is hopelessly
    improbable.
  • The first computer program every student writes
    is called a Hello World program. It is a simple
    program that prints Hello World! on the screen.
  • Heres a Hello World program in the C programming
    language
  • include ltstdio.hgt
  • int main(void)
  • printf(Hello World!\n)
  • return(0)

49
  • This program includes 66 non-white-space text
    characters. The C language uses almost every
    character on the keyboard, but to be generous in
    my calculations Ill assume that we only need the
    26 lower-case alpha characters. How many
    66-character combinations are there? The answer
    is 26 raised to the 66th power, or 2666. Thats
    roughly 2.4 x 1093 (1093 is 1 followed by 93
    zeros).
  • Recall that there are about 1080 subatomic
    particles in the known universe, so there are as
    many 66-character combinations in our example as
    there are subatomic particles in 24 trillion
    universes.
  • What is the probability of arriving at our Hello
    World program by random mutation and natural
    selection, or of evolving it into another, more
    complex program that will work and produce
    meaningful output? There is no chance.
  • Now one might ask, What is the chance of
    producing, by random mutation and natural
    selection, the digital computer program that is
    the DNA molecule, not to mention the protein
    synthesis machinery and information-processing
    mechanism, all of which is mutually
    interdependent for function and survival?
  • The only thing that baffles me is the fact that
    Darwinists are baffled by the fact that most
    people dont buy their blind-watchmaker
    storytelling.

50
Bill Dembskis Explanatory Filter
51
By design or by chance and natural law?
52
  • Romans 120 (New International Version)
  • 20 For since the creation of the world Gods
    invisible qualitieshis eternal power and divine
    naturehave been clearly seen, being understood
    from what has been made, so that people are
    without excuse.
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