The Bible says that God created all things and saw that they were good. It seems to me that God should have known, in advance, that they would have been good (or not) and he wouldn’t have had to wait to “see” the result of his creation. To me, this implies that God could not anticipate the results and thus the Creation was an experiment!
A prime example of this in the Bible is the Flood Story. According to the Bible, God saw that his Creation was no longer good and so decided to destroy what he had created and start over (with Noah). It was, in effect, a complete reversal of his original Creation. Again, why hadn’t God known that his creation was going to turn out this way and if he did why did he create it in the first place….unless it was an experiment.
The same thing is true with respect to Satan. Why would God knowingly create an evil being…unless Satan was the result of an experiment that God couldn’t anticipate the outcome of. Therefore, one could easily come to the conclusion that the creation of life was a process of trial and error. As a general rule, God could not intervene without invalidating the experiment.
How else could one explain the complete lack of logic in God’s actions, at least the God as defined by theology. Unless of course, God, as we have come to believe in Him, is not really God, the Prime Creator. That alone might explain a God who created evil, a God who was not omniscient and a God who would willingly destroy his own Creation. Please explain to me again why we pray to such a god?
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life is a miracle; neither science nor religion can adequately explain it. So let’s start with some basic chemistry.
For the most part, human life requires two things to exist: oxygen and water. About half of the earth’s crust and more than half of our bodies are made up of oxygen and yet the universe consists of just 1% oxygen. So where does the oxygen come from? Science has said that it is provided by the photosynthesis of living organisms (plants), which use the energy of sunlight to produce oxygen. Since human life cannot exist without oxygen and oxygen can only be made with the help of the sun’s energy, it would seem obvious that the sun might be considered the source of life. That certainly would be consistent with the ancients who equated the sun with God. Of course, that doesn’t explain where the plants came from, or for that matter the sun either.
Then, there’s nitrogen. Without nitrogen life couldn’t exist as it is responsible for, among other things, the proteins/DNA in our bodies. It constitutes a negligible amount of the universe and yet it makes up the vast majority of our atmosphere. Overall, 98% of the universe consists of hydrogen and helium, but the earth’s atmosphere consists primarily of nitrogen and oxygen. That’s nothing short of a miracle and flies in the face of logic. So how did so much of the nitrogen in the universe wind up here in earth’s atmosphere. There’s lots of theories, but apparently no one really knows.
Of course, there’s also water. Approximately 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water. Water plays a critical role in virtually every biochemical reaction and thus is the fundamental building block of life and yet water can act outside the physical laws of Nature (e.g. water rises in trees against gravity). In addition, current scientific research seems to suggest that water has a memory; it’s alive in a manner of speaking.
Moving into the realm of physics, we have gravity. I think everybody has at least some idea of what gravity is having experienced it in their daily lives. Without gravity, life is for the most part impossible. However, science is still trying to come to grips with this mysterious force. This has led one theoretical physicist to admit that when you do calculations concerning gravity, “…you get stupid answers. The math simply doesn’t work.”
The hottest thing in science today seems to be genetics and the enigma of DNA. Just think of it. Trillions of cells in our body each encoded with instructions on how to operate and grow our bodies; and these trillions of cells are all working in precise harmony with every other cell. The neural circuitry in our brains uses algorithms undreamt of in modern science, way beyond the capabilities of the most sophisticated supercomputer. Yet, we can’t figure out how those instructions (similar to computer code) got there. Who exactly was the programmer, anyway?
These are just are a few of the things in the physical world that might lead one to the conclusion that the chance for life in the universe, absent some form of intelligence, is infinitesimal. But what about the quantum world, you might ask? Well, ask away because the quantum world is beyond man’s power to observe and therefore will probably forever be a mystery. What little we seem to know is that the in the quantum world everything is different than in the physical world, including different laws of physics. The physical world appears to be simply the effect, with the quantum world being the cause. You could say that the quantum world is the true reality and we are living, or perhaps more correctly dreaming, inside a virtual reality matrix.
So here we stand today vacillating between two diametrically opposed beliefs (God vs. evolution); between two fairy tales, one of the Genesis story and one as to how so many dead chemicals, in the primordial soup, somehow coalesced into life. George Wald, a Nobel laureate, stated that it had been scientifically proven that spontaneous generation of a living organism was impossible. Yet he still chose to believe in something that, in his own words, was impossible rather than to believe in a Creator. That pretty much sums up for me the utter absurdity of man’s rationalization on this issue. I can only assume that if I were to return here in another 2,000 years the very same argument would still be ongoing!
“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”
It’s interesting how many cultures have similar stories of how the gods first visited them. It makes one wonder if perhaps they’re not the very same gods.
Take the ancient Egyptians for example. Their history indicates that “in the beginning” the gods came to Egypt. They referred to this period as Zep Tepi (The First Time); it was a time when the Sky Gods descended from the stars and the “waters of the abyss” (the Great Flood) receded. Our understanding of Zep Tepi comes from the Palermo Stone, among other sources, which date back to almost 3000 BC. However, Zep Tepi occurred in a remote epoch prior to ancient Egypt. Based on the kings’ list of Manetho, an ancient Egyptian historian, Zep Tepi might have actually been some 25,000 years ago.
So how was it that the ancient Egyptians built those incredible structures, including the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid? Under the circumstances, how was it possible that such a backward country (ancient Egypt) had any technology at all? There was no formal education system in ancient Egypt and what little education existed was limited to boys studying to become a scribe or a priest.
James Fergusson, in his work the History of Architecture, describes the Great Pyramid as “the most perfect and gigantic specimen of masonry that the world has yet seen.” The Great Pyramid incorporates advanced technology and very advanced mathematics/geometry. Even by today’s standards it is a miracle in engineering. The builders of the Great Pyramid understood the mystical number Phi, the Golden Ratio, that was not “discovered” until the great Greek Civilization, at least one thousand years later (if not much more). Civilization like that just doesn’t pop up out of nowhere. It takes time, and lots of it, for a group of people to progress from being hunters and fisherman to being farmers to building small buildings (rather than mud huts) and then cities to having an education system to finally developing technology. There are no writings or archaeological evidence in Egypt of any of that. Besides, just how did the knowledge disappear, anyway?
Let’s not forget that some researchers have challenged the conventional idea of exactly when the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx were built. Geologist Robert Schock, for example, studied the weathering effects on the enclosure of the Sphinx and came to the conclusion that the weathering could have only been caused by rain, rather than wind and sand. If that’s true, one would have to go thousands of years further back in time to find an era of large rainfall that would account for such weathering, since the Sphinx is currently situated in the Sahara Desert. With regards to the exact time of the construction of the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx, any placement further back into antiquity makes the whole discussion problematic as modern man presumably was just then crawling out of his cave at the end of the last ice age.
Egypt was an illiterate country in ancient times and certainly did not have anything resembling the know-how that would have been required to construct the Great Pyramid. Even today, Egypt has a literacy rate of only 72%, which is no better than some Third World countries. Ancient Egypt was like a bright flame; admired by all, understood by none…and apparently the flame came into existence without a candle or a candle maker…and then the flame mysteriously blew out.
So, then who were the pyramid builders? If you’re interested, I’ll let you pursue that question. If you do go down that path, here are some things to consider:
- Like the advanced Egyptian civilization, which appeared out of nowhere and disappeared just as mysteriously, another civilization had a somewhat similar history in somewhat the same timeframe in close approximation to Egypt (in what is now modern-day Iraq). That civilization, referred to as Sumer, left detailed records (including drawings) of their living gods.
- Pyramids were constructed in ancient times all over the world. Some of these pyramids are bigger and/or older than the Great Pyramid.
- Some of the pharaohs who ruled ancient Egypt have rather interesting mummies. Their hair, which has been carefully preserved, is light-colored (brown or blond) and their skulls are clearly Nordic, rather than African.
A recent genetic study on the pharaoh King Tut revealed that he is related to 70% of the males who currently reside in Britain. The inconvenient truth is that those pharaohs were not of the same ethnic/genetic lineage as the natives of ancient Egypt that they ruled over.
The ancient Egyptians supposedly believed that humans were meant to evolve beyond their present terrestrial form and are destined to become as gods, which is echoed in the Bible with Jesus saying, “Ye are gods” (John 10:34). According to them, the gods return at the beginning and end of each time cycle, or half of the solar system 26,000 year orbit around the galactic center. So does the Vatican know all of this? Of course, they do. Then, are they anticipating the return of the gods?
P.S. Please check my prior posts for the answer.
“The study of prehistory today is in a state of crisis. Archaeologists all over the world have realized that much of prehistory, as written in the existing textbooks, is inadequate: some of it quite simply wrong… prehistory as we have learnt it is based upon several assumptions which can no longer be accepted as valid.”
– Colin Renfrew, prominent archaeologist
My last article, “What Do you Think You Know?” produced a firestorm of controversy on all sides. That’s the way it should be. My point, that many people missed however, is that what we think that we know can only best be described as proof without certainty (thank you Ashley Montague). That’s because the search for who and what we are is based on scientific inquiry that by definition is unsettled. That’s the very nature of science.
Everybody says that they know this or they know that. They’re so positive that they’re almost convincing. Certainly, they are convincing to themselves. Then, one day, they become just as convinced about the new theory du jour. Take Richard Dawkins for example. He told the TED conference that now he has proof that evolutionary theory is correct. The implication from his statement is that he must not have been positive in the past even though he said that he was. How can you take anyone like that seriously?
As science ventures further and further into the unobservable, its theories become less and less reliable. As scientist Robert Lanza said, “We have failed to protect science against speculative extensions of nature, continuing to assign physical and mathematical properties to hypothetical entities beyond what is observable in nature.” So theories concerning, say, evolution, gravity and black holes are just that – theories. Evolution, for example, has not been able to demonstrate the core tenet of its theory – the existence of transitional fossils. Then there’s gravity. We see the effect, but with apologies to my friend Albert E., we don’t have a clue how it works – which means that we really don’t know what it is. As for black holes, they only exist, so far, on the chalkboards of theoretical physicists. At least, physicist Andrew Strominger understands the dilemma as he admitted that, “A singularity is when we don’t know what to do. What’s so embarrassing about singularities is that we can’t predict what’s going to come out of it.” However, I would ask a different question and that question is this: Does a singularity even exist?
Generally, people’s thought processes work like this. They ask themselves what they believe in? That’s not so much a question I suppose as it is a belief system that’s already been implanted in their mind (perhaps even subconsciously). We’re in love with our beliefs, even in the absence of emperical evidence and despite the fact that we don’t have the experience to form our own opinions on most questions. Even great minds have developed many important ideas from other people, rather than through a scientific process. For example, Copernicus was heavily influenced by Pythagoras and hermetic writings. We should be looking for information to help us form an opinion but instead we look for data to support a preconceived notion. Is it any wonder, then, that in the end we come to the conclusion that our “evidence” constitutes incontrovertible proof. How convenient.
So what then constitutes reality? Well for starters, perception is reality. What seems real to you or what you convince yourself is real is in fact a real experience, since the mind cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is vividly imagined. But what does science say is real? Max Planck, the father of quantum physics, believed that behind the forces of the universe is “The existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.” Albert Einstein referred to Planck’s mind as “a spirit… manifest in the laws of the universe. Famous theoretical physicist David Bohm developed a theory of what he called the implicate and explicate order to explain what reality is. Michael Talbot, in his book “The Holographic Universe”, described Bohm’s theory this way, “Our brains mathematically construct objective reality by interpreting frequencies that are ultimately projections from another dimension, a deeper order of existence that is beyond both space and time: The brain is a hologram folded in a holographic universe!” In other words, what we perceive as our world is merely a projection from a different reality, the Unseen or the Source if you will, which is located beyond space and time.
Just because you can observe life and have thoughts about what it all means doesn’t mean that you understand reality. We are simply processing our sensory experiences according to what I call Morpheus’ Law. As Morpheus said in the movie The Matrix, “If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.” That’s all that our perception of reality is then – an interpretation of electrical signals. As for what we call reality, Einstein himself referred to it as an illusion.
Leading theoretical physicist Jim Gates disclosed that scientific equations which describe the fundamental nature of the universe and reality contain embedded computer codes (the same type of binary codes which your computer utilizes), with the implication being that we live in a virtual reality matrix. Even our DNA is encoded. Nobel Award-winning physicist Francis Crick developed his famous “sequence hypothesis” which states that the chemical constituents in DNA function like symbols in a computer code. This sentiment was echoed by, of all people, Bill Gates who noted that, “DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we’ve ever created.” So how then can you know beyond a shadow a doubt that your thoughts are even your own?
Imagine. Your body has trillions of cells and each one of these cells is as complicated as a city. As scientist David Eagleman stated about the brain, “Trillions of synaptic conversations hum in parallel, that this vast egglike fabric of micron-thin circuitry runs algorithms undreamt of in modern science, and that these neural programs give rise to our decision making.” Yet, people’s beliefs imply that they understand the very nature of these algorithms that apparently are so far beyond human comprehension. So how can we be so sure of our opinions when science hasn’t even scratched the surface in understanding the basic fundamentals of life? How are we sure about the brains interpretation of the electrical signals it receives (within this virtual reality matrix) when we can’t even fully explain how the brain works?
Amongst all of the uncertainty, ideologues rule the day since they by definition are always certain. However, as David Bohm put it, “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” And so it goes…as a species, man has seemingly proven everything and yet is certain of nothing – that is, until the next new theory comes along.
“What a life in science really teaches you is the vastness of our ignorance.”
Everyone seems to be so sure about what they think that they know. Virtually, everyone; from the intellectuals to truck drivers to the so-called “man on the street”. But what if everything you knew was wrong?
Let’s start with belief systems. Belief systems can be developed from only one of two sources – experience, or by accepting someone else’s opinion. That’s it. Since most people have had limited experiences, they, by definition, owe almost all of their “knowledge” to other people and their opinions. So it’s more accurate to say that we believe that other people are correct in their opinions than to say that we know for certain. Then again, if everyone believes that something is true, then perhaps we would be even more comfortable in our certainty. Of course if we had believed that the sun revolved around the earth, like everyone did once upon a time, then we would have all been wrong even if we had been originally certain of it. What this demonstrates is that even with something like science there is no certainty, or as Ashley Montague, an anthropologist himself, said, “Science has proof without certainty.”
In the final analysis, you can only know something to the extent that you can understand reality, as without that framework there is no basis for knowing anything. A lot of heavy hitters have weighed in on the nature of reality. No less than Albert Einstein said that, “Reality is merely an illusion, although a very persistent one.” Max Planck, the father of quantum physics, expounded on Einstein’s illusion thusly, “All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.” So according to Planck, underlying all reality is a field of consciousness from which matter (a form of energy) comes into existence as, essentially, a holographic projection. This holographic projection can be explained scientifically by the Holographic Principle which states that the entire universe can be seen as a two-dimensional information structure on the cosmological horizon.
Further, science says that an atom is 99.9% empty space, with the other .1% being “mass”. This .1%, then, constitutes our reality. Problem is – science doesn’t know exactly where “mass” comes from. The deeper scientists probe into the quantum world the more they find organized information, in other words Intelligent Design. In a biblical sense, reality comes from what I call the Unseen (see the Bible, Hebrews 11:3). Neurophysiologist and physicist Karl Pribram stated that we exist in a virtual reality matrix where our brains construct reality by interpreting frequencies that are projections from the Unseen. Our view of reality is therefore not real, at least not as we know it, but simply electrical signals interpreted by the brain. We then overlay logic and biases to form our ideas of what we think is real and what is not. At that point, what we have is nothing more than our “perception” of reality .
Inexplicably, the laws of quantum physics which govern the microscopic particles that atoms are made of are different than the classical laws of physics which apply to the physical world. That’s because the fundamental reality of all life is actually the quantum world, rather than the physical world. As for the physical world, it is merely a projection from the quantum world, complete with altogether different laws of physics.
It’s this quantum world that is unobservable (Unseen) to man. There is no way, therefore, for deists to prove that the Bible is the Word of God nor any way for atheists to prove that God doesn’t exist. What lies beyond space and time is not observable and, therefore, not provable. Yet, as I said in the very beginning, everyone seems to have an opinion and they are absolutely certain that they are right. It is surprising how men think that they know so many things and yet understand so little. As Greek philosopher Democritus said, “Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion.” Opinions, anyone?
“The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe.”
– Albert Einstein
Christianity didn’t start out the way that most Christians practice it today. Some of the church dogma is hardly even recognizable, if at all, in the Bible. Take Original Sin, for example.
If it was in the Old Testament, it would by necessity have to be part of Jewish religious thought. However, one rabbi summed up Judaism’s rejection of Original Sin this way, “The term ‘original sin’ is unknown to the Jewish Scriptures, and the Church’s teachings on this doctrine are antithetical to the core principles of the Torah and its prophets.” By Jewish Scriptures, he meant the Old Testament, of course. So how exactly, did the Church get there?
The road to Original Sin is a fascinating story. It all started with the Greek philosopher Epicurus who created the well-known logic problem with respect to evil and where it came from (for a comprehensive discussion of Epicurus and his logic problem you can read my article “The Illogic of God” posted 8/26/13). The Church had a quandary. How do you have a omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God without having to finger Him as the source of evil?
Their answer was remarkably simple. Since God, by definition, had to have created a perfect world, the source of evil in the world must have been Man. One problem though, since if God created man then the source of evil still had to be ultimately attributable to this all-powerful God. The solution to that dilemma was to say that souls were not part of God, which doctrine is typically referred to as creatio ex nihilo (creation out of nothing); as if anything could ever be created out of nothing.
Aside: Why would a non-contingent being create a contingent being, anyway?
That solution caused yet another problem in that an all-powerful God certainly could have created a good entity (out of himself) if he wanted to. He didn’t have to resort to creating something out of nothing. So the Church tried to solve that dilemma by saying that Man fell (The Fall of Man) as a consequence of Original Sin. The Church thought that perhaps they were now off the hook. However, an omniscient God would have known the end result (sin) if he had created something out of nothing. All this twisted logic about Original Sin was simply the result of trying to explain how God (who is presumably good) created man (who is presumably evil).
Aside: Of course, the concept of Original Sin ignores the fact that the Bible says that life was created from either the Waters, the Deep or from the Chaos (depending upon which verse you read), as opposed to creation from absolutely nothing.
French biologist Louis Pasteur, popularly known as the “father of microbiology”, actually may have had the last word on this issue. It was Pasteur who proved that life can only come from life (omne vivum ex vivo), also known as the Law of Biogenesis. That pretty much upset the apple cart of both the deists who believed in Original Sin and the evolutionists. No more primordial soup and no more creating life out of nothing. Unfortunately, no one was listening then and still are not listening now. Perhaps they never will.
“Nothing comes from nothing.”
– Lucretius, Roman poet and philosopher