November 19th, 2017

Authority of Science


Crisis in Interpretation Science v. Biblical "Truth"

“The details differ,” writes Dr. Robert Jastrow, “...but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.” God and the Astronomers (Dr. Robert Jastrow)


For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.       - Dr. Robert Jastrow



Dr. Robert Jastrow
Director and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mount Wilson Institute. It is this Board which manages the renowned Mount Wilson Observatory (California). It does so on behalf of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.  In addition, Dr. Jastrow is a member of the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) Alumni Association.

Dr. Jastrow is considered one of the top scientists of the 20th-21st centuries... perhaps, of all time. His degrees include: A.B., A.M. and Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Columbia University. 

He was with NASA when it was formed in 1958. His work distinguished him immediately as became a prominent figure in the American space program from its inception. Dr. Jastrow was the first chairman of NASA’s Lunar Exploration Committee. It was this Committee that established the scientific goals for the exploration of the moon during the Apollo lunar landings. In 1961, Dr. Jastrow set up NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. This is a U.S. Government laboratory charged with carrying out research in the astronomy and planetary sciences.  He was also director of the Goddard Institute until his retirement from NASA in 1981.

In recognition of his work in NASA, Dr. Jastrow has received the following:

- the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement 
- the Arthur S. Fleming Award for Outstanding Service in the U.S. Government. 
- the Columbia University Medal of Excellence
- the Columbia Graduate Facilities Award to Distinguished Alumni
- the Doctor of Science degree (honorary) from Manhattan College.

Additional accomplishments:

- He has hosted more than 100 CBS-TV network programs on space science. 
- He was the special guest of NBC-TV with Wernher von Braun for the Apollo-Soyuz flight
- He was the featured guest of the TODAY show on the 10th anniversary of the landing on the moon.  - Dr. Jastrow’s articles on astronomy and space have appeared in The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Foreign Affairs, Commentary, Atlantic Monthly, and Scientific American.
- Director of Goddard
Institute for Space Studies
- Faculty member of Dartmouth College as Professor of Earth Sciences. 
- Manager of Mount Wilson Observatory


His authored quotes (above) demonstrate the crisis in interpretation within the sciences. That crisis has failed because it rejects data pointing to the Standard of truth, the Scriptures, and specifically the Genesis account of Creation.

Who is this "One God"?

 
THE ONE TRUE GOD WHO HAS REVEALED HIMSELF

Though many scientists will never admit it, science itself is dependent upon the knowledge of the one true God, revealed in Scripture. (Many scientists do admit it and believe it as well. More...). As it stands, science and mathematics are dependent upon the Laws of Nature, created by the Lord (Known to theologians under the heading of "General Revelation" in Theology.).

Science has no choice but to use God's laws in nature (ex. "law of gravity, laws of optics, laws of physiology and anatomy, laws of electricity, etc.). Due to the need to lay foundational authority we can take our beginning from a simple source, the historic creedal statement designed for children (for simplicity) entitled the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which asks the question:
Question Five: “Are there more gods than one?”
Answer: “There is but one only the living and true God.”

Scriptural Proof:

Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” - "One" is translated from the Hebrew word "Echad" – used as “one” flesh in Gen 2:24 - “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
Other examples:
Gen.14:15 “Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man..."
Zechariah 14: 9b: “In that day the Lord will be one and his name one.”

Mark 12:29: “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God the Lord is one.”

Romans 3:30: “There is only one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.”

James 2:19: “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even though demons believe that – and shudder.”

UNSOUND and ALLEGED “PROOFS” for the EXISTENCE of GOD

1. First "Poor Argument" -  Ontological Argument: Anselm and Descartes:

Anselm argued that man has the idea of an absolute perfect being; existence is an attribute of perfection:

Several objections: - We cannot conclude from abstract thought to real existence i.e. “I have an idea of God therefore I have an experience of God.” -

Having an idea does not make something objective reality, especially God - This argument tacitly assumes as already existing in the human mind the very knowledge of God’s existence which it claims it would derive from logical demonstration Strength: Embedded in the soul of man is the knowledge of the one true God who is “manifested in them, for God has shown it to them.’ – Romans 1 2.

2. Second "Poor Argument" - Cosmological Argument:


“Everything existing in the world must have had an adequate cause; and if this is so, universe must also have had an adequate cause, which is God.”

Objections: Philosopher David Hume called the law of causation itself in the question and Philosopher Immanuel Kant stated that, if every existing thing as an adequate cause, is also applies to God. 1) Therefore this would lead to an endless chain backwards in causation (regression). 2) Who said such a “proof” must have only one cause… 3) personal and absolute as well(!)

Strength: This is a pale reflection of Romans 1 ("Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them...")

3. Third "Poor Argument" - Teleological Argument: The world everywhere reveals intelligence, order, are many, and purpose, and thus implies the existence of an intelligent and purposeful being, adequate to the production of such a world.

Objections: Romans 8 “vanity” - Merely indicates the probable existence of a Mind that is, at least in considerable measure, in control of the world process. - This is also a causal argument.

Strength: Is a pale reflection of Romans 1.

4. "Poor Argument" - Moral Argument: Immanuel Kant took this as a starting point and inferred that the existence of someone who, as lawgiver and judge, as an absolute right to command man. There are many different variations of this argument.

Objections: Romans 8 - Ecclesiastes 1 ff: “vanity” - This is no more than Platonic (Greek) idealism – man’s quest for a moral “Ideal” therefore necessitates the existence of that “Ideal’.

Strength: This is a pale reflection of Romans 1 and Romans 2.

5. Historical Argument: “Among all the peoples and tribes of the earth there is a sense of the divine. Since the phenomena is universal, it must belong to the very nature of man.”

Objections: The universal phenomena may have originated in error or misunderstanding.

Strength: Is a pale reflection of Romans 1 and Romans 2.

6. Powerful yet extremely offensive Argument from Enmity: All men are, by nature, at enmity (hatred) with God -  not with the Name of the Lord, but with the Lord whom, they know, will Judge them (Romans 1: 32):
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. -Romans 1:32
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: with the True God and reflect it in their hatred of His expressed precepts of Mind: “His Law-Word”. - Romans 2: 14


7. Sound Argument: Transcendental Argument the Existence of God:

A Transcendental truth is one that is Non-material, Invariable, and Universal.

Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God: There are many facts that cannot have their origin from the material universe.

Example:
•    Laws of Logic are all Non-material:
       ex. De Morgan's Theorem #1: ~(p * q) logically equivalent to (~p v ~q) 
            De Morgan's Theorem #2: ~(p v q) logically equivalent to (~p * ~q)

       ex. Law of Logic: Tautology: (p logically equivalent to p)
         Dependent/Derived Law of Mathematics: Reflexive Law: x = x
         Dependent/Derived Science: Law of Identity: A thing is only/always itself.

Something material RECEIVES its logically tautologous attribute FROM outside its material nature. From what outside, designing Source does this ordering principle of Law in nature ORIGINATE?

If we were in a "court of law" we would be asking the question: From where does this Law receive its authority (Jurisdiction) to bind and order everything material? Law is an authoritative ordering that executes an order obediently, being also empowered by a Higher Authority that binds whatever it is given to control. Law has no Mind of its own to direct its obedience. Therefore, its "obedience" is "built-in" (cf. Isaiah 1: 3; Note obedience of inanimate and animate, created material entities. Their praise can only be in their obedience:  Psalm 148: 3-10).

•    Laws of Logic are Universal: They operate in every place without exception. There is no place exempted from their operation. Laws of Logic receive authority to operate EVERYWHERE. That is not an attribute of "material" (matter) itself. No piece of "Matter" can expand itself to cover the whole universe. Matter receives this attribution from some outside, ordering Source.

•    Laws of Logic Invariable: The laws of Logic do not change despite their varied operations.

The Transcendental Argument utilizes the Logic concept of what Logicians call Indirect Proof (used also in science and mathematics):

This argument argues from the "impossibility the contrary": Assume the contrary. Assume 'matter' must somehow create/originate from within itself "Transcendental Truths". But material elements cannot be invariable (changeless). Material itself changes...constantly. It is subject, for example, to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics which says all material elements lose the availability and usefulness of the energy that drives it. The operation of Laws, many of them, upon material elements demonstrates that material is "subjected" to Transcendentals, not the reverse.

It is impossible that it could be otherwise. Two choices:1) material elements cause the laws to operate ... OR... 2) laws operate upon material elements. The first is impossible. Given the two options exclusively, the second option MUST be the Truth.

Someone who is so foolish as to operate in his intellectual life as though there were no God – Psalm 14:1 – thereby “despises wisdom and instruction” and “hates knowledge” – Proverbs 1:7, 29. He needs to be answered according to his folly – demonstrating where his philosophical principles lead – “lest he be wise in his own eyes” – Proverbs 26:5.


God is Non-material • God is Invariable • God is Universal– Capable of rational, intelligent, ordering of thought • Argument from the impossibility the contrary: Someone who is so foolish as to operate in his intellectual life as though there were no God – Psalm 14:1 – thereby “despises wisdom and instruction” and “hates knowledge” – Proverbs 1:7, 29. He needs to be answered according to his folly – demonstrating where his philosophical principles lead – “lest he be wise in his own eyes” – Proverbs 26:5. 3)

THE KNOWABILITY of GOD 1. God is Incomprehensible but yet Knowable Job 11:7 Isaiah 40:18 John 17:3 1 John 5:20 Key: 1 Corinthians 2: the supernatural power and revelation to man by God 2. Reformed theology holds that God can be known BUT it is impossible for man to have an exhaustive imperfect knowledge of God (in this life especially). 1 Corinthians 2:11: Theme – the Spirit searches the deep things of God Romans 8: Theme – the Spirit searches the deep things of God Mystery Romans 8 – God reserves a “monopoly” of interpretation for the Christian and Church 3. Innate and Acquired Knowledge of God Innate knowledge of God: This is a knowledge that necessarily results from the Constitution of the human mind, and is inborn in the sense that it is implanted in man by his creation in the image of God. - Genesis 1:28; Psalm 8. 4. General and Special Revelation of God Special Revelation of God: “Thus saith the Lord…” General Revelation of God: Romans 1 - 2