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How Christianity Gave Rise to Modern Science

The Influence of Christian Theology

Methodological naturalism is a convention that has been around really only since the late 19th century. Science actually got started in a very explicitly theistic—indeed Christian—milieu. The period of time that historians call the Scientific Revolution is roughly 1300 to 1700. There’s debate about when it actually started and how much the Protestants versus Catholics were responsible, but clearly theological ideas—Christian theological ideas—had a huge in the formation and foundation of modern science.

One of those key ideas was the idea of intelligibility: that nature is intelligible. There’s an order and design that can be understood and discerned by the scientist because nature is the product of a rational mind, namely the mind of God, and that that same mind or creator who made nature with that rational order built into it made us and our reason, so that we could perceive and understand the reason that he built into nature. That was what gave people confidence to do the hard work of investigation to figure out the hidden order, the design that is beneath the appearances of natural phenomenon.

Since the order in nature is contingent on the act of the Creator, we have to go and look and see what kind of order he put into it.

The Order of Nature

The first thing to say is that science did not arise because of a set of naturalistic presuppositions. It actually arose because of a conviction that there was a lawful order in nature, that human beings could discern and understand it because they’d been made in the image of the creator of that order, and that also they needed to go investigate. While they might expect that there’s a rational order there (the Greeks believe the same), they also knew the rational order was contingent on the choice of the creator.

This was a product of recovering the doctrine of creation in the late Middle Ages. Since the order in nature is contingent on the act of the Creator, we have to go and look and see what kind of order he put into it. We can’t just simply sit in our armchairs and deduce it from logical first principles.

Theistic Evolution

Theistic Evolution

J. P. Moreland, Stephen C. Meyer, Christopher Shaw, Ann K. Gauger, Wayne Grudem

This volume of more than two dozen essays written by highly credentialed scientists, philosophers, and theologians from Europe and North America provides the most comprehensive critique of theistic evolution yet produced, opening the door to scientific and theological alternatives.

The Greeks and ptolemaic astronomy were a good example of this. They figured that since the most perfect form of motion is a circle, and since the planets are in a heavenly realm, they must be inscribing circular orbits. But, in fact, they were doing ellipses.

So the early modern scientists broke with the ancient Greeks and said since nature is created by God and he could have done otherwise, we need to go and find out not what he must have done, as Robert Boyle said, but what he did do—which means empirical investigation. You’ve got to look and see.

There were a number of ways in which Christianity gave rise to modern science, and the idea that a set of naturalistic assumptions is necessary to do science is just historically false.



Related Articles

https://www.crossway.org/articles/how-christianity-gave-rise-to-modern-science/

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The Proof of the Bible

The Proof of the Bible long version  32 pages total

26 pages text, 6 pages bibliography

 

5 Key Scientific Problems with Darwinian Evolution

  June 28, 2018Bruce 

https://bcooper.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/5-key-scientific-problems-with-darwinian-evolution/

Question: What are some of the scientific problems with current theories of biological and chemical evolution?

Response: (obtained from discovery.org/id/faqs/ )

Genetics: Mutations cause harm and do not build complexity.
Darwinian evolution relies on random mutations that are selected by a blind, unguided process of natural selection that has no goals.  Such a random and undirected process tends to harm organisms and does not improve them or build complexity.  As National Academy of Sciences biologist Lynn Margulis has said, “new mutations don’t create new species; they create offspring that are impaired.” Similarly, past president of the French Academy of Sciences, Pierre-Paul Grasse, contended that “mutations have a very limited ‘constructive capacity’” because “no matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution.”

Biochemistry: Unguided and random processes cannot produce cellular complexity.
Our cells contain incredible complexity, like miniature factories using machine technology but dwarfing the complexity and efficiency of anything produced by humans. Cells use miniature circuits, motors, feedback loops, encoded language, and even error-checking machinery to decode and repair our DNA.  Darwinian evolution struggles to build this type of integrated complexity.  As biochemist Franklin Harold admits: “there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.”

Paleontology: The fossil record lacks intermediate fossils.
The fossil record’s overall pattern is one of abrupt explosions of new biological forms, and possible candidates for evolutionary transitions are the exception, not the rule.  This has been recognized by many evolutionary biologists such as Ernst Mayr who explained in 2000 that “new species usually appear in the fossil record suddenly, not connected with their ancestors by a series of intermediates.” Similarly, a zoology textbook observed that “Many species remain virtually unchanged for millions of years, then suddenly disappear to be replaced by a quite different, but related, form. Moreover, most major groups of animals appear abruptly in the fossil record, fully formed, and with no fossils yet discovered that form a transition from their parent group.”

Taxonomy: Biologists have failed to construct Darwin’s “Tree of Life.”
Biologists hoped that DNA evidence would reveal a grand tree of life where all organisms are clearly related. It hasn’t. Trees describing the alleged ancestral relationships between organisms based upon one gene or biological characteristic very commonly conflict with trees based upon a different gene or characteristic.  As the journal New Scientist put it, “different genes told contradictory evolutionary stories.” The eminent microbiologist Carl Woese explained that such “phylogenetic” conflicts “can be seen everywhere in the universal tree, from its root to the major branchings within and among the various taxa to the makeup of the primary groupings themselves.” This implies a breakdown in common descent, the hypothesis that all organisms share a common ancestor.

Chemistry: The chemical origin of life remains an unsolved mystery.
The mystery of the origin of life is unsolved and all existing theories of chemical evolution face major problems. Basic deficiencies in chemical evolution include a lack of explanation for how a primordial soup could arise on the early earth’s hostile environment, or how the information required for life could be generated by blind chemical reactions. As evolutionary biologist Massimo Pigliucci has admitted, “we really don’t have a clue how life originated on Earth by natural means.”

Creation or Evolution?

https://bcooper.wordpress.com/creation-or-evolution/

This web page is specifically devoted to providing information on Evolution, Intelligent Design (ID) and to a much lesser extent, Creationism.

What the vast majority of the information that is provided below focuses on is the conflicting beliefs that all that we see and all that we can scientifically investigate in our world and the universe, either points to having been created by undirected random chance (Evolution) or an unidentified intelligent causal agent (Intelligent Design). Intelligent Design does not specifically identify the intelligent causal agent as God and consequently is not based on Biblical sources. That would be where Creationism comes into consideration.

We live in a materialistic world, where what we have been taught in school and in many universities is the prevailing materialistic worldview. Materialism is the view that everything is ultimately material in nature. At the most fundamental level, everything that exists consists of nothing but matter and energy. Everything is governed by the basic laws of physics and, in principle, can be completely explained in terms of those physical laws. Materialists deny the existence of spirit, and they look for physical explanations for all phenomena.

Darwinism is a theory of biological evolution developed by the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882) and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Natural selection does not acknowledge any specific intelligent causal agent but advocates that what happens through natural selection is undirected and simply the result of random chance.

There are usually two sides to every case that is being made. The information on this web page presents the other side. All I would ask is that you carefully read over and consider the information that is presented.

——————————————-

What you think you know about Evolution, what is currently being taught about Evolution and what scientists are actually saying about Evolutionary Biology behind closed doors are not necessarily one and the same.

Take a look at this link: Scientists Confirm: Darwinism Is Broken

Or this 2014 post: renowned-chemist-says-evolutionists-do-not-understand-the-origin-of-life/

Or this recent post: evolutionary-theorist-concedes-evolution-largely-avoids-biggest-questions-of-biological-origins

And what-evolution-controversy-scott-turner-gets-high-praise-from-quarterly-review-of-biology/

A direct quote from the Darwinism is Broken link above reads as follows:

“The technical literature in biology is now replete with world-class biologists routinely expressing doubts about various aspects of neo-Darwinian theory, and especially about its central tenet, namely the alleged creative power of the natural selection and mutation mechanism.” “Nevertheless, popular defenses of the theory continue apace, rarely if ever acknowledging the growing body of critical scientific opinion about the standing of the theory. Rarely has there been such a great disparity between the popular perception of a theory and its actual standing in the relevant peer-reviewed science literature.”

And this article which presents an up-to-date overview of the sheer improbability of evolution evolving via mere chance: epsociety.org/library/article

Or this article authored by Nathaniel T Jeanson. Dr. Jeanson has a Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard University.

And this quote ” I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence. Believe me, everything that we call chance today won’t make sense anymore. To me it is clear that we exist in a plan which is governed by rules that were created, shaped by a universal intelligence and not by chance. — Michio Kaku (cited in, String Theory Co-Founder: Sub-Atomic Particles Are Evidence the Universe Was Created)

Franklin M. Harold, Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Colorado State University wrote the following concerning the origin of life: “I do not mean to disparage serious scholars who are doing their level best to crack the hardest nut of all. Quite the contrary: I would argue that, if our purpose is to understand life, the origin of life is the most consequential question in all of biology. It holds the key to understanding the relationship between the living and the inanimate, the quick and the dead.

Each new bit of evidence strengthens our belief that organisms obey the laws of chemistry and physics; and scientific investigations have turned up no traces of a vital force to nurture the wellspring of life. We assume, then, that cells are material systems that arose by some sort of evolutionary process four billion years ago here on earth (or conceivably, someplace else). I share this premise, but feel obliged to note that, in the absence of evidence as to how this came about (or even of a plausible hypothesis), this explanation is merely a belief–a leap of faith. … Of all the gaps in our understanding of life, this one is the widest. Until we bridge it, we cannot lay to rest lingering doubts as to whether science has read nature’s book of biology correctly.”

If you would like to read a well documented and eye opening lengthy history of how the “Theory of Evolution” evolved itself, to it’s current status of “fact” versus “theory”, I would strongly encourage you to read this article authored by Bert Thompson, Ph.D. : Is Evolution a “Fact” of Science?

Do all critics on the validity of Darwinian Evolution come from a “religious” perspective? No they do not, as this link validates but it does bear witness to the intense opposition that will quickly surface should anyone question Darwinism. Becoming “persona non grata” is a reality that nonreligious scientists and scholars who challenge neo-Darwinism and/or sympathize with ID, often face, in pressuring them to conform to the materialist party line.

I know this is a complex subject and I am by no means any type of authority on this subject matter, but ….. and this is important, there are many highly qualified scientists who ARE authorities on this subject and they disagree with the basic tenets of evolution and what they are saying needs to be heard and considered.

INTELLIGENT DESIGN

What is Intelligent Design all about and is there a Case for Intelligent Design? To get an good understanding of what is being questioned and advocated, please click on this link.

For an additional easy to read and understand overview of how Intelligent Design originated and the specific problems within undirected evolution that it addresses click on this link.

Intelligent design refers to a scientific research program as well as a community of scientists, philosophers and other scholars who seek evidence of design in nature. The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

Is Intelligent Design the Same as Creationism?
No. The theory of intelligent design is simply an effort to empirically detect whether the “apparent design” in nature acknowledged by virtually all biologists is genuine design (the product of an intelligent cause) or is simply the product of an undirected process such as natural selection acting on random variations. Creationism typically starts with a religious text and tries to see how the findings of science can be reconciled to it. Intelligent design starts with the empirical evidence of nature and seeks to ascertain what inferences can be drawn from that evidence. Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent design does not claim that modern biology can identify whether the intelligent cause detected through science is supernatural. Though intelligent design is not based upon religious belief, it does affirm a key tenet of a biblical worldview—namely, that life and the universe are the products of a designing intelligence.

If one is to believe all the information that is put forward with regard to “Intelligent Design” by the scientific community, one could easily make the assumption that belief in “Intelligent Design” is pretty much a joke. This link provides a typical overview of ID: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design

The problem being, it isn’t a joke and there are many Peer-Reviewed and Peer-Edited Scientific Publications being produced that support the Theory of Intelligent Design. Of course, if you didn’t actually check to see if these scientific papers are being produced in support of ID, you’d never be aware of this fact. The list of scientific papers that have been submitted total 107 pages and have been updated as of 2017.

You may download the full bibliography of these Scientific Publications in Adobe pdf format from the link in this sentence.

There are multiple hubs of ID-related research. Biologic Institute, led by molecular biologist Doug Axe, is “developing and testing the scientific case for intelligent design in biology.” Biologic conducts laboratory and theoretical research on the origin and role of information in biology, the fine-tuning of the universe for life, and methods of detecting design in nature.

Another ID research group is the Evolutionary Informatics Lab, founded by senior Discovery Institute fellow William Dembski along with Robert Marks, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor University. Their lab has attracted graduate-student researchers and published multiple peer-reviewed articles in technical science and engineering journals showing that computer programming “points to the need for an ultimate information source qua intelligent designer.”

Other scientists around the world are also publishing peer-reviewed scientific papers supportive of intelligent design. These include biologist Ralph Seelke at the University of Wisconsin Superior, Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig who recently retired from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Germany, and Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe.

These and other labs and researchers have published their work in a variety of appropriate technical venues, including peer-reviewed scientific journals, peer-reviewed scientific books (some published by mainstream university presses), trade-press books, peer-edited scientific anthologies, peer-edited scientific conference proceedings and peer-reviewed philosophy of science journals and books. These papers have appeared in scientific journals such as Protein ScienceJournal of Molecular BiologyTheoretical Biology and Medical ModellingJournal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent InformaticsQuarterly Review of BiologyCell Biology InternationalRivista di Biologia / Biology ForumPhysics of Life ReviewsQuarterly Review of BiologyAnnual Review of Genetics, and many others. At the same time, pro-ID scientists have presented their research at conferences worldwide in fields such as genetics, biochemistry, engineering, and computer science.

Collectively, this body of research is converging on a consensus: complex biological features cannot arise by unguided Darwinian mechanisms, but require an intelligent cause.

Am I aware that the majority of scientists currently reject Creationism and Intelligent Design? Yes I am. But does a materialist mindset or worldview that denies or rejects that a supernatural being (the Creator or Designer) could possibly have anything to do with what we see in our universe and our world, have anything to do with this determination? Check this link out if you don’t think it is a factor: reiss-resigns-as-royal-society-stifles-debate-on-evolution or this link. Many learned scholars think it is a factor. Does all the new evidence being discovered support this materialist worldview? Many learned scholars don’t think it does.

This page will present a lot of information, a substantial amount of which you may not currently be aware of. Take the time to look at it, evaluate their collective findings and then make your own decision.

What science is discovering right now is simply amazing. You owe it to yourself and those you love to honestly look and consider. God says in His Word (Romans 1:20 NIV) that “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

If you would like to examine the actual probability of simple life beginning by chance I would highly recommend you view the following discussion (including all of the comments) at the following link: https://theosophical.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/signature-in-the-cell-part-4-assessing-the-chance-hypothesis-for-the-origin-of-life/

Honestly take a look at all of creation within our universe and gain an understanding of what has been made, how it’s been made, the utter complexity, the razor sharp fine tuning and balance, the extremely complex replication processes involved and the order and design of it all. It’s all around you, everywhere you look, both within and without. If the probability of all this happening by sheer chance (e.g. without an intelligent cause) is deemed highly unlikely if not downright impossible and we find that even the simplest single cell contains detailed DNA intelligent information that surpasses our wildest expectations, the question on how this intelligent information got there in the first place needs to be answered. By chance (without an intelligent cause) or by intelligent design (with an intelligent cause), you be the judge.

AN INTRODUCTORY LEVEL SERIES ON EVOLUTION OR CREATION?
case-making-101-creation-or-evolution
case-making-101-is-darwinian-evolutions-answer-to-the-origin-of-life
case-making-101-intelligent-design-vs-evolution
case-making-101-human-evolution-or-creation
case-making-101-how-darwinian-evolution-collapses
case-making-101-12-things-darwinian-evolution-cant-answer

RECOMMENDED POSTS OR ARTICLES
does-the-cumulative-case-for-design-point-to-a-divine-designer  Just type in “Intelligent Design” in the Search Option at the top right of your screen on the coldcasechristianity.com website for many more posts on this subject.
the-impotence-of-darwinism-a-christian-scientist-looks-at-the-evidence/
the-big-bad-wolf-theism-and-the-foundations-of-intelligent-design
allaboutcreation.org/
why-natural-selection-cannot-explain-the-origin-of-animal-development-paul-nelson
evolutionary-theorist-concedes-evolution-largely-avoids-biggest-questions-of-biological-origins
where-does-the-information-in-dna-come-from
the-failure-of-evolution-to-account-for-the-miracle-of-life
darwins-theory-of-evolution
author-douglas-axe-presents-his-book-undeniable
a-privileged-species
unlocking-the-mystery-of-life

RECOMMENDED INTELLIGENT DESIGN WEBSITES
godandscience.org/evolution – many links
intelligentdesign.org/resources – many links
revolutionarybehe.com/category/intelligent-design/  Dr. Michael J Behe
http://www.discovery.org/id/  Dr Douglas Axe
oldearth.org/creation-science.htm Greg Neyman
http://crossexamined.org Dr. Frank Turek
intelligentdesign.org
natureandscripture.blogspot.ca
michaelgstrauss.com/   Experimental particle physicist Dr Michael G Strauss
www.trueorigin.org/
lukenixblog.blogspot.ca/p/nature-and-scripture Luke Nix
geochristian.com/
www.reasons.org/   Dr Hugh Ross (progressive creationism)
jjwwartick.com/origins-debate/
ideacenter.org/
uncommondescent.com
c4id.org.uk/
intelligentdesignnetwork.org
y-origins.com
answersingenesis.org/intelligent-design/
darwinontrial.com
billdembski.com/dembski-on-intelligent-design/
arn.org/authors/meyer.html
arn.org/authors/behe.html
evolutionnews.org – Douglas Axe

RECOMMENDED VIDEOS
Apologetics And Worldview: An Introduction – Science and Personal Knowledge
Apologetics And Worldview: An Introduction – The Myth of Naturalistic Science
Apologetics And Worldview: An Introduction – Scientism and Circularity
The 3 above lectures given by Paul Martin Henebury, PhD.
The Scientific Evidence for Intelligent Design
The Mounting Evidence for Design
The Human Genome: ENCODED for Design – Dr. Fazale Rana
The Case for Intelligent Design in Biology
Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, PhD talks about the Case for Intelligent Design
Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design
The Edge of Evolution: the Limits of Darwinism | Michael J. Behe, PhD
Creation and Evolution: The Biological Evidence
The Great Debate: Creation, Evolution, or Both?
Why the Universe is the way it is
The Fine Tuning of the Universe
How the Fine-Tuning of the Universe Points to the Existence of God : J Warner Wallace
The “Simple” Cell: Abolishing Abiogenesis
The Case For A Creator: Lee Strobel
Do Scientific Discoveries Point to God?: Dr. Michael Strauss
Unlocking the Mystery of Life
Journey Inside the Cell
ATP Synthase: The power plant of the cell
The Workhorse of the Cell: Kinesin
Information Enigma
The Privileged Planet
The Privileged Species
Seminar on Intelligent Design by Stephen Meyer
Darwin’s Dilemma
Michael Behe and the Mystery of Molecular Machines
Water, Ultimate Giver of Life, Points to Intelligent Design
The Cambrian Explosion
David Berlinski Explains Problems With Evolution
Irreducible Complexity vs Evolution | RE: Intelligent Design | Michael J. Behe, PhD
Evolution: A Theory in Crises | Thomas Woodward, PhD
The Evidence of the Fossil Record
Honest Challenge Of Darwinian Evolution (Sean Mcdowell)
Author Douglas Axe presents his book “Undeniable”
Undeniable (Part 1 – Chapters 1 and 2)
Undeniable (Part 2 – Chapters 3 and 4)
Undeniable (Part 3 – Chapters 5 and 6)
Undeniable (Part 4 – Chapters 7 and 8)
Undeniable (Part 5 – Chapter 9)
Undeniable (Part 6 – Chapter 10)
Undeniable (Part 7 – Chapter 11)
Undeniable (Part 8 – Chapter 12)
Undeniable (Part 9 – Chapters 13 & 14)
Jonathan Wells (Icons of Evolution)
Jonathan Wells (Zombie Science)

Life is quantum

https://aeon.co/essays/quantum-weirdness-is-everywhere-in-the-living-world

The point of the most famous thought-experiment in quantum physics is that the quantum world is different from our familiar one. Imagine, suggested the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, that we seal a cat inside a box. The cat’s fate is linked to the quantum world through a poison that will be released only if a single radioactive atom decays. Quantum mechanics says that the atom must exist in a peculiar state called ‘superposition’ until it is observed, a state in which it has both decayed and not decayed. Furthermore, because the cat’s survival depends on what the atom does, it would appear that the cat must also exist as a superposition of a live and a dead cat until somebody opens the box and observes it. After all, the cat’s life depends on the state of the atom, and the state of the atom has not yet been decided.

Yet nobody really believes that a cat can be simultaneously dead and alive. There is a profound difference between fundamental particles, such as atoms, which do weird quantum stuff (existing in two states at once, occupying two positions at once, tunneling through impenetrable barriers etc) and familiar classical objects, such as cats, that apparently do none of these things. Why don’t they? Simply put, because the weird quantum stuff is very fragile.

Quantum mechanics insists that all particles are also waves. But if you want to see strange quantum effects, the waves all have to line up, so that the peaks and troughs coincide. Physicists call this property coherence: it’s rather like musical notes being in tune. If the waves don’t line up, the peaks and troughs cancel each other out, destroying coherence, and you won’t see anything odd. When you’re dealing only with a single particle’s wave, on the other hand, it’s easy to keep it ‘in tune’ – it has to line up only with itself. But lining up the waves of hundreds, millions or trillions of particles is pretty much impossible. And so the weirdness gets cancelled out inside big objects. That’s why there doesn’t seem to be anything very indeterminate about a cat.

Nevertheless, wrote Schrödinger in What Is Life? (1944), some of life’s most fundamental building blocks must, like unobserved radioactive atoms, be quantum entities able to perform counter-intuitive tricks. Indeed, he went on to propose that life is different from the inanimate world precisely because it inhabits a borderland between the quantum and classical world: a region we might call the quantum edge.

Schrödinger’s argument was based on the following, seemingly paradoxical fact. Although they seem magnificently orderly, all the classical laws, from Newtonian mechanics to thermodynamics to the laws of electromagnetism, are ultimately based on disorder. Consider a balloon: it is filled with trillions of molecules of air all moving randomly, bumping into one another and the skin of the balloon. Yet, when you add up all their motions and average them out, you get the gas laws, which precisely predict, for example, that the balloon will expand by a given amount when heated. Schrödinger called this kind of law ‘order from disorder’, to reflect the fact that the macroscopic regularity depends on chaos and unpredictability at the level of individual particles.

What does this have to do with life? Well, Schrödinger was particularly interested in the question of heredity. In 1944, a decade before James Watson and Francis Crick, the physical nature of genes was still mysterious. Even so, it was known that they must be passed down the generations with an extraordinary high degree of fidelity: less than one error in a billion. This was a puzzle, because one of the few other known facts about genes was that they were very small – far too small, Schrödinger insisted, for the accuracy of their copying to depend on the order-from-disorder rules of the classical world. He proposed that they must instead involve a ‘more complicated organic molecule’, one in which ‘every atom, and every group of atoms, plays an individual role’.

Schrödinger called these novel structures ‘aperiodic crystals’. He asserted that they must obey quantum rather than classical laws, and further suggested that gene mutations might be caused by quantum jumps within the crystals. He went on to propose that many of life’s characteristics might be based on a novel physical principle. In the inanimate world, as we have seen, macroscopic order commonly arises from molecular disorder: order from disorder. But perhaps, said Schrödinger, the macroscopic order we find in life reflects something else: the uncanny order of the quantum scale. He called this speculative new principle ‘order from order’.

Was he right?

The color of your eyes, the shape of your nose, your intelligence or propensity for disease are encoded at the quantum level

A decade later, Watson and Crick unveiled the double helix. Genes turned out to be made from a single molecule of DNA, which is a kind of molecular string with nucleotide bases (the genetic letters) strung out like beads. That’s an aperiodic crystal in all but name. And, just as Schrödinger predicted, ‘every group of atoms’ does indeed play ‘an individual role’, with the position of even individual protons – a quantum property – determining each genetic letter. There can be few more prescient predictions in the entire history of science. The color of your eyes, the shape of your nose, and aspects of your character, intelligence or propensity for disease are encoded at the quantum level.

And yet, the new science of molecular biology that followed Watson and Crick’s discovery remained largely wedded to the concepts of classical physics. This worked pretty well in the latter half of the 20th century, as molecular biologists and biochemists focused on things such as metabolism, which is a product of very large numbers of particles operating under the order-from-disorder principle. But as the attention of 21st‑century biology is now turning to the dynamics of ever-smaller systems – even individual atoms and molecules inside living cells – quantum mechanics is once again making its presence felt. Recent experiments indicate that some of life’s most fundamental processes do indeed depend on weirdness welling up from the quantum undercurrent of reality.

Let’s start with a few relatively peripheral examples – such as the sense of smell. The conventional theory of olfaction is that odor molecules are detected by odor receptors via a kind of lock‑and‑key mechanism inside the nose: the molecule slots into the receptor and triggers a response, like a key turning a lock. It’s a nice, intuitive theory, but it fails to account for certain puzzling observations – for example, the fact that very similarly-shaped molecules often smell different and vice versa. A revised approach suggests that, instead of shape, the receptors might be responding to molecular vibration. This idea received a further quantum twist in 1996, when the biophysicist Luca Turin proposed that vibrations might promote quantum tunneling of electrons to open the olfactory lock. A quantum theory of smell sounds outlandish, perhaps, but evidence has recently emerged to support it: it was found that fruit flies can distinguish odorants with exactly the same shape but different isotopes of the same elements, something that is hard to explain without quantum mechanics.

Or consider this. Some birds and other animals are known to find their way by detecting the Earth’s very weak magnetic field, yet the mechanism by which they do this has been a long-standing puzzle. The problem is that it is hard to see how such a weak field can generate a signal inside an animal’s body. Further questions emerged in studies involving the European robin: the research revealed that its compass is light-dependent, and that, unlike a conventional compass, it detects the angle of magnetic field lines relative to the Earth’s surface rather than their orientation. No one had any idea why.

Then in the 1970s, the German chemist Klaus Schulten discovered that some chemical reactions produced pairs of particles that remained connected via a peculiar quantum property called entanglement. Entanglement allows distant particles to remain instantaneously connected, no matter how far apart they are: they can be flung to opposite ends of the galaxy and yet remain mysteriously correlated. Entanglement is so weird that Albert Einstein himself, who gave us black holes and warped space-time, dismissed it as ‘spooky action at a distance’. But hundreds of experiments have demonstrated that it is real.

Schulten discovered that entangled pairs of particles can be extraordinarily sensitive to both the strength and the orientation of magnetic fields. He went on to propose that the enigmatic avian compass might be using quantum-entangled particles. Hardly anyone took the idea seriously, but in 2000, Schulten wrote an influential paper with his student, Thorsten Ritz, showing how light could be used to make a quantum-entangled compass in a bird’s eye. In 2004, Ritz teamed up with the celebrated husband-and-wife ornithologists Wolfgang and Roswitha Wiltschko, and together they found compelling experimental evidence that the European robin was indeed using Einstein’s spooky action to find its way around the globe every year.

Navigation and smell are important, no doubt, but perhaps they don’t seem very central to the business of life on Earth. So let’s go after something bigger.

Take enzymes. These are the workhorses of the living world, speeding up chemical reactions so that processes that would otherwise take thousands of years happen inside living cells in seconds. How they achieve this speed-up – often more than a trillion-fold – has long been an enigma. But now, research by Judith Klinman at the University of California, Berkeley and Nigel Scrutton at the University of Manchester (among others) has shown that enzymes can employ a weird quantum trick called tunnelling. Simply put, the enzyme encourages a process whereby electrons and protons vanish from one position in a biochemical and instantly rematerialise in another, without visiting any of the in-between places – a kind of teleportation.

This is pretty fundamental stuff. Enzymes made every single biomolecule in every cell of every living creature on the planet. They are, more than any other component (even DNA, given that some cells get by without it) the essential ingredient of life. And they dip into the quantum world to help keep us alive.

We can up the stakes still further. Photosynthesis is the most important biochemical reaction on the planet. It is responsible for turning light, air, water and a few minerals into grass, trees, grain, and, ultimately, the rest of us who eat either the plants or the plant-eaters. The initiating event is the capture of light energy by chlorophyll molecules. This light energy gets turned into electrical energy, which is then transported to a biochemical factory called the reaction centre, where it is harnessed to fix carbon dioxide and turn it into plant matter. This energy transport process has long fascinated researchers because it can be so efficient – close to 100 per cent. How is it that green leaves can transport energy so much better than our most sophisticated technologies?

Graham Fleming’s laboratory at University of California, Berkeley has been investigating this question for more than a decade, using a technique called femtosecond spectroscopy. Essentially, the team shines very short bursts of laser light at the photosynthetic complex in order to discover the path of the photon as its makes its way to the reaction center. Back in 2007, the team investigated a bacterial system called the FMO complex, in which the photon energy has to find its way through a cluster of chlorophyll molecules. It was thought to travel as a kind of electrical particle that hopped from one chlorophyll molecule to another, much as Schrödinger’s cat might have hopped from one boulder to another across a stream. But this didn’t make complete sense. Lacking any navigational sense, most photon energy should hop aimlessly in the wrong direction, ending up in the metaphorical water. And yet, inside plants and bacteria that perform photosynthesis, nearly all packets of photon energy reach the reaction center.

When the team shone the laser at the system, they observed a very peculiar light echo that came in beat-like waves. These ‘quantum beats’ were a sign that, instead of taking a single route through the system, the photon energy was using quantum coherence to travel by all possible routes simultaneously. Imagine if, when confronted by the stream, the famous cat somehow divided itself into lots of identical quantum-coherent cats that hop across the chlorophyll boulders by every available route to find the quickest one. Quantum beats have now been detected in many different photosystems, including those of regular plants such as spinach. It appears that the most important reaction in the biosphere is exploiting the quantum world to put our food on our table.

How does life maintain its molecular order long enough to perform its quantum tricks in warm and wet cells?

And if that’s not enough for you, we come at last to the very mechanisms of evolution itself. Schrödinger suggested that mutations could involve a kind of quantum jump. In their classic DNA paper, Watson and Crick proposed that they might involve nucleotide bases switching between alternative structures, a process called ‘tautomerisation’ thought to involve quantum tunneling. In 1999, the physicist Jim Al-Khalili and I suggested that proton tunneling might account for one very peculiar kind of mutation – so-called adaptive mutation – which appears to occur more frequently when it provides an advantage. Our paper was entirely theoretical, but we are currently attempting to find experimental evidence for proton tunneling in DNA. So, watch this space.

Beneath all these quantum solutions to puzzling vital phenomena, we find ourselves with a deeper mystery. Quantum coherence is an immensely delicate phenomenon, depending on those in-tune particle waves. To maintain it, physicists usually have to enclose their systems within near-perfect vacuums and cool them down to very close to absolute zero temperature to freeze out any heat-driven molecular motion. Molecular vibrations are the mortal enemy of quantum coherence. How, then, does life manage to maintain its molecular order for long enough to perform its quantum tricks in warm and wet cells? That remains a profound riddle. Recent research offers a tantalising hint that, instead of avoiding molecular storms, life embraces them, rather like the captain of a ship who harnesses turbulent gusts and squalls to maintain his ship upright and on-course. As Schrödinger predicted, life navigates a narrow stream between the classical and quantum worlds: the quantum edge.

Johnjoe McFadden is professor of molecular genetics at the University of Surrey. His latest book is Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology (2014), co-authored with Jim Al-Khalili.

Science does NOT confirm a Genesis “sudden creation” concept

[An interestingly powerful article by Bryan Fisher gave a strong conclusion regarding why he disregarded the possibility of evolution based on new DNA studies. I sent his article to a Christian brother I know who studied science to the PhD level. Though he believes in the Creator, and in the Bible, he does not believe that the Bible necessarily teaches that God created everything AS IS, but more in the evolutionary process – he is unwavering in His faith in God´s Word and in Christ´s redemption.]

Dear brother,

 I want to thank you for sharing this Bryan Fischer article with me. Since 2006, I’ve been trying to keep up with and understand both sides of the creation-evolution debate. My time is limited, and I don’t always know where to focus. Furthermore, I must admit that I graduated 25 years ago, and I did not pursue academia and research; [….]

I have followed up with your article by Bryan Fischer and tracked down his source material, and I have also read or skimmed through a good number of additional research articles on the topic of Fischer’s source material, that topic being the use of mitochondrial DNA in understanding how the process of speciation unfolded. The bottom line (according to my humble and quick analysis, which may not be trustworthy) is that Fischer does not know what he’s talking about.

His presentation displays his misunderstanding, misinterpretation, and misrepresentation of the findings of the research paper from which he quotes. I will begin my response to your inquiry by presenting a couple of previous cases of similar thinking which came to mind (although I know there are many many more cases out there).

 Case #1 – Dr. Michael Behe, Intelligent Design spokesperson

In the 1990’s the Intelligent Design proponents (namely Michael Behe) announced that macro-evolution was not possible because in nature there are very complex biochemical machines (such as the bacterial flagellum and the blood-clotting cascade and many others) which have numerous interrelated parts that could not have all been positioned by gradual change over time via Darwinian processes. A few short years later they were proven wrong. But their focus was also wrong; they were focused on two of the proposed mechanisms of Darwinian evolution—mutation and natural selection. They failed to recognize that there is an overwhelming weight of scientific evidence for common descent (that all organisms descended over a long period of time with modification from a common ancestor) regardless of whatever kind of mechanisms could be identified or even refuted.

 Case #2 – Dr. Fazale Rana of Reasons to Believe

 In 2014 a group of American scientists at the Scripps Institute created a living organism with synthetic DNA that has a genetic code quite different from that of natural organisms, and it was able to carry and transmit to succeeding generations its new genetic code. Shortly after this research was published, Dr. Fazale Rana of the Intelligent Design research and apologetics organization called Reasons to Believe published a response to the Scripps Institute’s announcement. Rana emphasized that this creation of the first living organism to carry and pass down to future generations an expanded genetic code “required ingenuity on the part of the investigators, who based their research strategy on decades of accrued knowledge and understanding of biochemistry.” Thus, Rana’s view is that these kinds of research breakthroughs “point to the necessary role of a Creator” (implying that the role of a Creator and the role of biological evolution are mutually exclusive) because “the direct intervention of intelligent agents” is needed. Once again, the Intelligent Design community failed to recognize the obvious import of the Scripps Institute findings.

In order to understand the importance of the Scripps Institute findings, let me explain. There is a universal genetic code for all species (with very few simple and minor variations). A universal genetic code points to the fundamental unity of life and strongly under-girds the notion that all living organisms with all their vast differences have descended from a single common ancestor in the very distant past. “In the absence of the theory of common descent (i.e. evolution), it is quite possible that every species could have a very different genetic code, specific to it only, since there are 1.4 x 1070 informationally equivalent genetic codes, all of which use the same codons and amino acids of the standard genetic code.

This possibility could be extremely useful for organisms, as it would preclude interspecific viral infections, for example. However, this has not been observed, and the theory of common descent effectively prohibits such an observation” (quoted from Dr. Theobald). The crucial point to be gained from the Scripps Institute research is the demonstration that the universal genetic code is not essential for all life, and that if all the species on the earth were not fundamentally related by their genetical document, then we would expect to find, among the millions of species, different genetic codes. But, to the contrary, all living organisms have virtually the same genetic code.

 Case #3 – Bryan Fischer

             Now I believe the Bryan Fischer article to be yet another case of misunderstanding the biological evolution argument, not understanding that there is an overwhelming weight of scientific evidence for common descent (common descent is NOT what is in question) and misrepresenting the findings of the scientists who published the source article entitled “Why should mitochondria define species?” from which Fischer quotes. I’ve boiled down Bryan Fischer’s article into his three main points, followed by a few of my comments:

 (1) Fischer: Nine out of 10 species on earth today, including humans, came into being 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. If this study is valid, evolution cannot possibly be true, because evolution seeks to convince us that all living things came into being through a tedious process that took millions and millions of years and consisted of tiny little incremental advances in animal life produced by beneficial genetic mutations, which are virtually unheard of in the natural world.

 Me: Bryan Fischer was quoting from an article entitled “Why should mitochondria define species?” (Incidentally, this article has not yet been peer-reviewed, but is a pre-print awaiting review). Firstly, let me point out that the authors did NOT say, “Nine out of 10 species on earth today,” but rather they said, “90% in the best characterized groups.”

These “groups,” they say, are in four major animal phyla (out of 27 total animal phyla—and not including any plants). Secondly, let me also point out that the authors of this source article certainly do not believe or imply that their data calls into question the matter of common descent. Rather, they (and other researchers who study speciation using mitochondrial DNA, versus nuclear DNA) suggest that something may have happened in the environment 100,000 to 200,000 years ago which caused not only the species Homo sapiens to evolve from its progenitor species, but many other speciation events to occur during the same time period, and many of these species are still around today.

Some researchers point out that 200,000 years ago was the Pleistocene, a period of time when the earth was going in and out of glaciations. Because respiration and energy production are tied to mitochondria (organelles inside the cells of organisms) and are also affected by climate, and mitochondrial DNA is tied to nuclear DNA, the thought is that change in mitochondrial DNA will automatically and quickly cause speciation (a lot more explanation is needed here, I know). Furthermore, a change that facilitated adaptation in the mitochondrial DNA of a single individual during the climate collapse would likely cause the genome of that individual to sweep through its entire species and become the predominant, if not the only, mitochondrial DNA variant for the species at that time.

The authors of the source article actually mention that conditions that favor the kind of genetic uniformity observed in their study are frequent in biology. It is interesting to note that while these authors speculate about special environmental conditions that may have invoked numerous simultaneous speciation events, other researchers have published, utilizing quantitative genetics models, that the current biological evidence is consistent with speciation during this same time period being a lengthy and slower process.

Bryan Fischer is both misunderstanding, misinterpreting, and misrepresenting the information in this article in order to convince his audience that the theory of evolution is in jeopardy. He says that the findings of this study “should shake the theory of evolution to its roots”; he refers to “the hoax of Darwinian evolution”; he says, “If this study is valid, evolution cannot possibly be true”; and he says that something is revealed in this study that “is fatal for the theory of evolution.”

These kinds of statements are probably not made maliciously, but rather, I believe they are made out of a true lack of understanding and perhaps out of an earnest concern for Christians who may be stumbled by something which Fischer (and others) perceives to be incompatible with the Bible. The purpose of my book, as you know, is to demonstrate that evolution is absolutely compatible with the Bible.

            Bryan Fischer also made the statement here that “beneficial genetic mutations are virtually unheard of in the natural world.” This also is simply not true. In fact, in my book, in the section entitled “Nonrandom Evolution,” I cite numerous examples of beneficial mutations even induced by the environment.

 (2) Fischer: While Darwinian evolution requires an untold number of transitional forms, forms that are somewhere between one life form and another, the fossil record has no transitional fossils for which a credible case can be made, not one.

 Me: To the contrary, there are plenty of transitional fossils – see Dr. Theobald’s website (http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html#pred4). The source article from which Fischer quotes does have the phrase “intermediates are not found” on page 9. The authors, however, were not at all referring to the fossil record. They were referring to the non-overlapping clusters of genetic “barcodes.” The genetic “barcodes” were taken from clearly identified species, which, by definition, are genetically isolated entities. In fact, the authors point out that the utility of their genetic barcode technique broke down when applied to organism groups that were not clearly identified species.

 (3) Fischer: Species have very clear genetic boundaries, and there’s nothing much in between. There are fixed genetic boundaries between one life form and another and between one species and another, and absolutely no genetic evidence whatsoever of any so-called “missing links.”

 Me: Of course! species have very clear genetic boundaries; that is part of the definition of species: they are discrete, genetically isolated entities. Nevertheless, a population of a species can get out of range of gene flow from other populations of the same species, and then, due to the accumulation of mutations and different selection pressures, that population may diverge genetically from the other populations of the same species to the point that it’s individuals can no longer interbreed with individuals of the other populations if they were to later come into contact again. This is the process of speciation. In my book (3rd edition) I have included examples of speciation in process before our eyes.

 Conclusion:

 Well, brother, I hope this analysis of mine helps.[…] Whether or not evolution is the way that God produced all the biological life forms on the earth remains to be seen: I suppose that it will not be until we meet Him face-to-face that we will know for sure! But at least for now it seems that many students […] have been helped (and even relieved) to know that it is very possible that the scientific perspective of evolution does not at all contradict the Bible, and based on this realization, they have been able to lay to rest any doubts about pursuing the Lord with all boldness. May it be so with many others who are being stumbled by evolution!

Sincerely in Christ,
Your brother

Science confirms Genesis AGAIN

Bryan Fischer column

Bryan Fischer
June 1, 2018

Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
Host of “Focal Point” on American Family Radio, 1-3pm CT, M-F www.afr.net

When people try to tell you that science and the Bible are in conflict, don’t believe them.

Now, to be sure, there can be a conflict between bad science and good theology, or between bad theology and good science, but it is impossible for there to be a conflict between good science and good theology, for the simple reason that God is the author of both.

An earth-shattering gene survey has confirmed that the best in science is perfectly consistent with the best in theology. This study, which should shake the theory of evolution to its roots, will probably get buried by the Talking Snake Media because it doesn’t fit their narrative. (Note, by the way that evolution is a theory, not a fact. Don’t let them lie to you about this.)

In this seismic article on the www.phys.org website, Sweeping gene survey reveals new facets of evolution, author Marlowe Hood reports on a study of five million gene snapshots – referred to as “DNA barcodes” – that are on deposit in the GenBank database, which is managed by the U.S. government.

These DNA barcodes have been taken from about 100,000 animal species by researchers all over the world. The findings were published last week by Mark Stoeckle of the Rockefeller University in New York and David Thaler of the University of Basel in Switzerland.These findings are “sure to jostle, if not overturn, more than one settled idea about how evolution unfolds.” That’s the understatement of the year.

These findings are more like an atomic bomb going off under the hoax of Darwinian evolution. This study, interestingly enough, was prompted by a handheld genetic test which is used to bust sushi bars trying to pass off tilapia for tuna.

The first nuclear bombshell is – get ready for this – is that virtually all living things

came into being at about the same time.

“The study’s most startling result, perhaps, is that nine out of 10 species on Earth today, including humans, came into being 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

‘This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could,’ Thaler told AFP.

That reaction is understandable: How does one explain the fact that 90 percent of animal life, genetically speaking, is roughly the same age?” (Emphasis mine throughout.)

“Surprising” indeed. More like volcanically explosive. And the question is absolutely penetrating: how can evolution possibly be true when the scientific evidence, based on the best in genetic research, reveals that all living things came into existence at about the same time?

If this study is valid, evolution cannot possibly be true, because evolution seeks to convince us that all living things came into being through a tedious process that took millions and millions of years and consisted of tiny little incremental advances in animal life produced by beneficial genetic mutations, which are virtually unheard of in the natural world.

The researchers flail around trying to find a remotely plausible evolutionary explanation for the stunning fact that all living things are about the same age. Viruses, ice ages, new competitors,and loss of food sources are all unconvincingly trotted out to give a Darwinian cover to an obviously fatally flawed theory.

Here is the pull quote of seismic proportions: “In analyzing the barcodes across 100,000 species, the researchers found a telltale sign showing that almost all the animals emerged about the same time as humans.”

How indeed do we explain the fact that all animal life is the same age? Well, creation scientists and students of the Bible have a perfectly coherent explanation. The reason that all living things, including human beings, are the same age is that the Creator created them all at the same time, just as Genesis 1 tells us.

The study reveals another jolting discovery, which likewise is fatal for the theory of evolution. While Darwinian evolution requires an untold number of transitional forms, forms that are somewhere between one life form and another, the fossil record has no transitional fossils for which a credible case can be made, not one.

Darwin himself recognized the problem of missing links in his own day, and optimistically believed that time would solve the problem – he figured as more and more fossils were discovered, missing links would finally be found. Alas for Darwin, we actually have fewer missing links today than in his day, as advances in science have revealed that forms once considered transitional aren’t transitional forms at all.

As Stephen Jay Gould, one of the preeminent paleontologists in the world, said, “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology.”

That sets the stage for the second utterly revolutionary pull quote from the article. “And yet – another unexpected finding from the study – species have very clear genetic boundaries, and there’s nothing much in between.” In other words, the reason that no transitional forms have ever been found is quite simple: there aren’t any.

There are fixed genetic boundaries between one life form and another and between one species and another, and absolute no genetic evidence whatsoever of any so-called “missing links.”

Where have we found an explanation of origins that fits with this discovery? Ah, yes, in Genesis 1, where we are told 11 times that each of the life forms God created

reproduces “according to its kind.” In other words, Scripture teaches us that when God created every living thing, there were “very clear genetic boundaries” between them.

So we have a choice. We can go with an explanation of origins – evolution – which is contraindicated by virtually everything we know to be true scientifically, from genetics to biology to paleontology, or we can go with an explanation that fits snugly with what the Word of God tells. I don’t know about you, but for me and my house, we are going with the Word of God. Ladies and gentlemen, DO NOT DOUBT THIS BOOK.


Bryan Fischer is the host of the daily ‘Focal Point’ radio talk program on AFR Talk, a division of the American Family Association. ‘Focal Point’ airs live from 1-3 pm Central Time, and is also simulcast on the AFA Channel, which can be seen on the Sky Angel network.

© Copyright 2018 by Bryan Fischer
http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/fischer/180601