Refutation of “Christ Revealed” docu-series Ep. 7

First Interviewee: Peter Tsukahira

Pastor and Author, Church of Mount Carmel

Tsukahira goes on and on about his bio, journey, the area, the people, the location where his church is, and eventually talking about the Gulf War.

Tsukahira talks about the scud missiles that were launched during the War. Tsukahira mentions “God’s protection” over Israel, and says the following:

“Dozens of them were fired from the back of trucks, because they’re dangerous because they’re anti-personnel terror weapons. They’re loaded with ball-bearings. And if you are in the open, they can seriously wound you, or even kill you. And these scud missiles, they had like 500 pounds of explosives in them, they could take out entire buildings. And I think it was about 100 days of war, only 1 person was killed as a direct result of those missiles, which is a miracle.”

A) Fuck Tsukahira. I swear. When even a single person dies, it’s not a miracle, it’s a tragedy. To label a tragedy a “miracle” is the pinnacle of apathy and warped morals that results in a dramatic devalue of human life.

B) 72 Israelies died in the Gulf War, 230 were injured.

C) Scud missiles aren’t the best missiles and they were fired at long ranges, which dramatically reduces their accuracy and payload. On top of that, Israel wasn’t “protected by God” they were protected by Patriot missiles to shoot down the scud missiles. So Israel’s defense isn’t a miracle or an example of divine protection, it’s physical and material defense weapons created by humans. Miracles are by definition phenomenons that cannot be explained by physics, but missiles shooting down missiles is totally explainable by physics — in fact, physics is the very field that makes it all possible.

Gentempo jumps on that story and mentions that other people in Israel use specific stories like the one Tsukahira just shared, and notes that these stories “defy normal logic occur that just seem to protect this place.”

It defies logic that people took cover from missiles they knew were coming and there were close to no causalities????

The main thing protecting Israel is not “God” it’s called radar. And bunkers. And counter-missiles.

Tsukahira then goes on to talk about the people in the area, how people in African and Syria are losing their homes and fleeing, and how his church takes in women and children and “deliver the Message” to the people they shelter.

After a long long long talk about the land, Tsukahira mentions that he believes they are living in the End Times.

We are not living in the End Times, we are living in hard times. The main way this will ever be the End Times is if theists actively turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy with their stupidity.

Eventually, Gentempo asks Tsukahira to explain what it’s like to have faith to a person who does not have faith. Tsukahira answers by going back to re-telling his upbringing and journey. He concluded at age 13 that he didn’t believe, but 10 years later when a friend/roommate committed suicide, Tsukahira embraced faith. Tsukahira thought about killing himself in order to convince his friend not to, but Tsukahira decided that was a terrible idea and “the bottom line was, my life is more precious to me than his.” Then Tsukahira met some born-again Christians who pointed out that Jesus died for him, and that pulled Tsukahira into the faith because Jesus though that Tsukahira’s life was “more important than his.”

If you’re life is more important than a omnipotent being, then you wouldn’t be born in a hostile world in a fragile dying body to live your life in suffering.

If you love something more than you life, you treat it with the best care you can muster. To an omnipotent omnipresent being that cares more about you than it does itself, why are you doomed to suffer and die whereas this omnipotent being can never be harmed?

 

Tsukahira mentions that as a teen he did drugs and had “spiritual experiences” which revealed to him “I knew there was a spiritual world, I just never met the spirit of God.” Tsukahira said that the born-again Christians told him “God is a spirit and you need to worship him in spirit,” and the first thing Tsukahira asks is “how do I do that?” to which they answer “pray” and God will “send his spirit to you.” Tsukahira asks what is that spirit like, and they answer “the spirit of God is just like Jesus.” Tsukahira notes that he knew that Jesus was a good man who didn’t advocate violence and was like “yeah, I could meet that spirit.”

Oh wow, he did drugs and tripped his way into “spiritual” experiences. Shocker.

A little dose of knowledge: stimulating your brain can produce a wide variety of experiences. A number of investigations have shown that deep temporal lobe stimulation in the area around the amygdala and hippocampus of the limbic system produces feelings of intense meaningfulness, of depersonalization, of a connection with God, of cosmic connectedness, of out-of-body experiences, a feeling of not being in this world, déjà vu (a feeling that something has been experienced before), jamais vu (a feeling something is happening for the first time even though it has been experienced before), fear, and hallucinations.

There are many ways the brain can be stimulated to experience these (fague states, ecstatic seizures, autoscopic seizures, etc), but doing drugs is a common way. The study of the role of mushrooms in religion is called ethnomycology. R. Gordon Wasson was father and founder of ethnomycology. Over a lifetime he wrote 10 books and over 70 articles in academic journals and magazines on the subject. His collection of over 4,000 books, pamphlets, photographs, charts, slides, and archeological artifacts currently reside in the Ethnomycological Collection in the Harvard Botanical Museum. Wasson and his colleagues became dissatisfied with the then current names for the effects that certain mushrooms had on the mind. They were especially not happy with the terms hallucinogenic, meaning “to roam or wander in one’s mind,” or psychedelic, meaning “mind-manifesting,” since these tended to ignore the important spiritual effects of these compounds. A committee was formed “to devise a new word for the potions that held antiquity in awe.” They decided the best word was entheogen, meaning “God generated within.”

There are many plants that can trigger a spiritual experience. Michael Harner, an anthropologist who lived among the Jivaro Indians of the Ecuadoran Amazon, described his experience with ayahuasca as follows:

“For several hours after drinking the brew, I found myself although awake, in a world literally beyond my wildest dreams. I met bird-like people, as well as a dragon-like creature who explained they were the true Gods of this world. I enlisted the services of other spirit helpers in attempting to fly through the far reaches of the Galaxy. Transported into a trance where the supernatural seemed natural, I realized that anthropologists, including myself, had profoundly underestimated the importance of the drug in affecting native ideology.”

The temporo limbic system consists of the temporal lobes and the amygdala and hippocampal portion of the limbic system. The latter two structures serve as the site of emotional memory. Different studies show that a wide range of factors that influence temporal lobe function can produce hallucinations, paranormal, spiritual, mystical, and religious experiences. These factors include the electrical stimulation of the temporal lobes; spontaneous temporal lobe epileptic auras and seizures; trauma; the severe anoxia of near death, G-forces and carbon dioxide inhalation; psychedelic drugs; speaking in tongues; and many environmental stressors.

In addition, the superior temporal gyrus, the hippocampus, and the surrounding ectorhinal cortex have been shown to be the site of a sense of the self in space. Aberrant functioning of this area can result in the out-of-body sensations, depersonalization and derealization so common in spiritual and mystical experiences. These spiritual experiences are seen as similar to those of ordinary experiences except that they are tagged by the limbic system as of profound importance, meaningful, immensely joyous and of providing a sense of being connected to something greater than ourselves.

The temporal lobe emotional memory system is often unable to distinguish between real, external events and non-real, internally generated non-real experiences. Thus, when these internally generated spiritual experiences occur they may be perceived as totally real. It is necessary for the rational brain to understand that one of the characteristics of the spiritual brain is to strongly believe in something and have faith in something, even when the rational brain says it is unreasonable or that it did not and could not have happened. This is the essence of faith over reason. The temporolimbic system is our spiritual brain.

Gentempo notes Tsukahira’s distinction between using drugs and hallucinogenics to experience spiritual things and “but that’s different than what it means to have your faith now and what that experience is.” Gentempo asks Tsukahira to make that distinction, to which Tsukahira answers, “the distinction is what spirit are you in contact with. And you know, I was doing all kinds of things, and looking for spiritual reality in peyote and mescalin, and you know Native American religions, and I was having experiences. I knew there was stuff out there. But for me, personally, it was frightening and dark, and even demonic. And even then without knowing the Bible, I knew that some of it was just demonic, was evil. And I was getting to the point where I didn’t want to have those experiences any more. And that was when I met the Christians who said “well, you need to meet the spirit of God.” So I asked them, “What is your God’s spirit like?” okay because I’m not sure if I want to meet just any spirit–and I think that’s the differentiation. God is alive, but there are other Gods. The world is full–ask the Hindus, there’s millions of gods. My ancestors from Japan–there’s a god for every neighborhood, there’s a god for every shrine, okay there’s lots of gods out there. And Native people in just about every culture on the planet knows that’s true.

So Tsukahira is a polytheist?

And he thinks all those “gods” that he experienced were real and “demonic”, yet somehow he knows the “spirit of God” is not? How would he know? I mean it, how would he know?

Assuming that there are gods and demons, how would he know the “spirit of God” is not a demon in disguise? Or if it’s an angel lying it’s ass off?

Galatians 1:8 – Even angels can preach a false gospel

2 Corinthians 11:14 – claims that even Satan can appear as an angel of light.

2 Thessalonians 2:11 – says that even God can deliberately make people believe in delusions, and damn them for believing those delusions.

So who can you believe? A demon can trick you into believing it’s an angel, and even if it’s a genuine angel from upstairs it can still make you believe a lie. Even if you receive a direct signal from the Big Kahuna himself, it could be a false delusion. God is supposedly the most powerful entity in all existence, so how could a mortal man like Tsukahira tell if he was being deceived? How could ANY believer know they were not being deceived by any of them (demons, angels, or God himself)???

Paul says in Galatians that angels can preach another gospel. Isn’t that odd? Paul’s telling us that angels can’t tell who the messiah is? How does Paul know who these angels are? How do you know who is right? Who would you rather believe, whose word would you rather take: a mortal or an angel of the lord?

Even after learning this, certain people will still be in denial. Often claiming that God would not lie because “God cannot lie.” Why would God lie when he commanded thou shall not lie? It’s a classic example of “do what I say, not as I do.” The fact is numerous times in his own book, God admits he circumvents a person’s free will and conscience and makes people lie. “Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets” 2 Chronicles 18:22

But this book tells us about this God, and it’s more than just a spiritual experience. It’s when that spiritual experience came into focus and aligned with FACTS. Facts, history, land, people. It just kind of got a lock on me. And I realized I had to pursue this and find out more, and that is what landed us here [Israel].” Gentempo then notes that this “isn’t some kind of whimsical experience with a spirit, there’s a lot of history and a lot of things that unfolded with–at this point, well documented–you know, with this course “Christ Revealed” we interviewed many of these biblical archaeologists and people in the apologetics community and looking at how it all comes together–there’s a deep amount of comprehensive sphere of history and evidence, and evidence that continues to unfold to support it.”

If you haven’t been following my reviews of these “Christ Revealed” series until now, go back and read them and learn how there are no “facts” that align with the Christian faith.

Finding cities, roads, lakes, and evidence of historical leaders like Pilate and Caiaphas maybe “facts” mentioned in the Christian faith (mentioning real places and real people are common in mythologies, otherwise they wouldn’t be convincing and accepted in people’s cultures) but there are no facts of Jesus Christ, the whole central point of the Christian faith. Everything we have on Jesus Christ is all based on hearsay accounts and visions, and we cannot draw any historical “facts” from those. So basically, we are left with diddly-squat, which means the Christian faith aligns with diddly-squat… that’s why they call it FAITH.

Gentempo then asks Tsukahira to share some inspirations, to which Tsukahira notes that the young Israelies are opening up to Jesus/Yeshua because the older generations who went through the Holocaust have reached the point where they refuse to believe even in God. Tsukahira says that more and more non-believing Jews are interested in knowing who Jesus is, the man who “changed the world more than anyone,” more than “Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, or even Steven Spielberg.”

Oh gee, recruiting young Jews who are fresh to the world, growing and learning and naive, who haven’t lived in a world where they were trained off to death camps… basically, get ’em while they’re young especially since they haven’t gone through what their ancestors went through: a world that cries that there either is no God or if there is then God is evil, thus a strong motivator to question their faith.

more and more non-believing Jews are interested in knowing who Jesus is“…. and yet the Jewish population continues to rise in Israel.

There is a difference between being curious/showing interest in learning about a man from another religion and converting to another religion. Many Jews try to learn more about Mohammad to understand Islam better, but that doesn’t mean that they have any intention of converting to Islam.

Second Interviewee: Greg Koukl

This is the last time Koukl will appear in this docu-series. Thank goodness.

Opens up with Gentempo noting that the atheists have up-ed their game with the assertions about God and that theists cannot prove the existence of God. Koukl mentions the Big Four selling a lot of books, and they got a leg up because of 9/11. “What they did was, they created kind of a trend that–I don’t know how long it’s going to last, it’s starting to bake just a little bit right now–but it certainly is a trend in which it’s become sophisticated to be an atheist. They’re getting more respect in a certain way.”

Are we? Are we respected?

After 9/11, atheists are still at the bottom of the least trusted groups in America. Even below Muslims. After 9/11, the country’s view of Muslims went sour, but even after that, Muslims are still viewed in a better light than atheists.

Saudi Arabia has already declared all atheists terrorists. Egypt is considering criminalizing atheism.

Atheism isn’t a “trend” nor did it become sophisticated after 9/11. Most of Europe had a lot of atheists well before 9/11, esp. after the Enlightenment.

“So they’ve advanced arguments to show not only does God not exist, but it is the religious people who are the dangerous people, not the atheists. And the atheist can be really good even without God. Okay, and this presents a challenge for us because our story starts with “in the beginning God” and if there is no God, there’s no story.”

Stories don’t make a person moral or not. Take Moses, raised as an Egyptian prince, likely believed in the Egyptian gods his whole life, until one day he killed an Egyptian guard whipping a Jewish slave. What happened next? Moses hid the body. Why hide the body? Because he didn’t want to be caught. Why hide? Because he knew that murder was a crime and wrong. So he already knew that murder was wrong well before meeting “the one true God” through a burning bush and long before the commandment “Thou Shall Not Kill” was ever chiseled to a stone.

Point is, you don’t have to believe in a monotheistic God or any God at all to possess morality.

And so, it’s become beholden upon us, I think to be, not only more visible with good arguments in favor of the existence of God and answering some of those challenges but also making these arguments more accessible to the rank and file, okay.

Trust me, after 10 years of confronting these “rank and file” Christians, taking and collecting all their gospel tracts and free Bibles (I’ve got quiet a collection) and engaging legions of theists online, I’ve seen all the arguments. The good ones anyway. And the good ones, they’re just sloppy re-writes of the old classical arguments for God— the very ones that have been debunked a thousand times.

I’m always eager to hear something new, it would be great change of pace, but not even Koukl has provided anything new. It’s the same old tired arguments, and of course the sweet-talking to paint Christianity in a good way rather than looking at it for what it really is: a threat.

“And I think that’s happened in response to the New Atheists and others like them. That we’ve been able to take the Cosmological Argument and the Teological Argument and the Moral Argument–see, these are some fancy terms, but we can put them in language that people can understand. For example, the Cosmological Argument. What’s that? Well that’s an argument for God based on the existence of the universe, the cosmos, and asks “Why is there something here rather than nothing?”

And the atheist can ask the theist “Why is there God rather than nothing?” These Christian apologists assume “nothing” is the default that reality should be, but there is no reason to think so.

“Now here’s how I put [the Cosmological argument]. Most people believe in the Big Bang, and I think there’s justification in that, it doesn’t create any problems for me. Some Christians don’t like it, but I don’t think they see how well it fits into their story. “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth”… Big… Bang. There it is. This is perfectly consistent with our story, and the way I put a handle on it for people is “A Big Bang needs a Big Banger.” I mean, that’s pretty straight forward.”

(1) “Big Banger” begs the question because it implies the answer is a sentient being, and assuming the conclusion before arriving to it is a fallacy. The “Big Banger” could be a natural cause of quantum fluctuations, or a couple of universes from the multiverse colliding and that collision sparks the “bang” that started our universe.

Assuming that the cause of a natural phenomenon is a sentient being is the same mistake the pagans did. Where does lightning come from? The Vikings thought they were the sparks caused by Thor beating his hammer. The Greeks thought they were bolts thrown by the chief God Zeus. But they were wrong. We know what causes lightning, and it’s a natural phenomenon that doesn’t require a god to perform. In the very same way, the “Big Bang” is the “lighting” Koukl us trying to explain away with a sentient god. But the fact is we know things like lightning, earthquakes, volcanoes, diseases, and such don’t require a God, and from what cosmology and astrophysics reveal to us, there is no God necessary to explain how the Big Bang kicked off.

(2) Koukl focusing on the first verse and claiming it aligns with cosmological science is misleading us to ignore the next verse that destroys his entire argument in such a colossal embarrassing way. Genesis verse two says “the Earth was without form and void”, and “God separated the waters from the firmament.” I can go on and make a accurate case that the Genesis authors believed the sky to be just a dome, but I’d like to address the second elephant in the room: the water.

The Hebrew word used in this verse is “מָ֫יִם – mayim” which means “water,” the same literal word used for the seas later mentioned in the same chapter in Genesis. Mayim is the literal word for seas, oceans, floods, streams, rivers, and rain. It’s the word used that quenches thirst and bathes our bodies. So we are definitely addressing literal a body of water, H2O, existing before everything else that was created according to Genesis. For those who say this passage is symbolic or metaphorical, despite it using literal words, allow me to point out that there is no indication or any criteria that any of this is being symbolic or metaphorical. But if we are going to argue that this phrase is metaphorical for no reason, why stop there? To be consistent we would have to argue that everything else in Genesis is being metaphorical, including the part of there being a supreme God and the story of creation as a whole.

But that not being the case, and that we are dealing with a literal word to represent water, let’s get to the meat of the argument. Now listen carefully as I explain why this piece is significant and fatal to Jacob’s position, because I will simultaneously argue why the origin of the universe does not require a God to explain it as well as demolish his first argument.

To begin with, all of the matter in the universe is a condensed form of energy. We know this from mass energy equivalence (E = mc²), and we have been able to convert one to the other with two nuclear forces by the manipulation of qluons, W+ and W-, and Z bosons. All matter comes from energy, and energy in accordance to the law of thermodynamics, is eternal. These are also naturally occurring processes, the rule of these processes and the Big Bang Theory is by following inflationary epoch, approx. 10 to the minus four seconds after the Big Bang.

The expansion of the universe causes temperature to fall, to the threshold temperature of protons and quarks, the fundamental constituents of matter, is reached. Further expansion causes the temperature to drop further, allowing protons and neutrons to form, and there are your first Hydrogen atoms.

The first hydrogen atoms get attracted to each other under the force of gravity to form structures of extreme density and heat, eventually resulting in quantum tunneling and allows fusion to take place. This is how the first stars form, and fusion being the process that keeps stars burning by converting Hydrogen into other atoms.

This fusion that powers the stars allow heavier elements to form for the first time, such as Helium, Neon, Carbon, Oxygen, Iron, and so on. But when stars run out of fuel, they die and explode, this is called a supernova. These dying stars release all the heavy atoms within them across the universe. This is where for the first time that Hydrogen atoms can bond with Oxygen and form the first water molecules.

But according to Genesis, water existed first before God created light and stars. But thanks to science and cosmology, we know this to be outright impossible. Turns out Genesis, got it wrong 2,500 years ago and still has it wrong today.

For those of you who were interested to learn more about the “firmament” and what the Bible meant by that, see more here:

“So when I talk to people on this issue, to make it accessible, I’ll ask them a couple of questions: “Do you think things exist?” “yeah, of course I do.” “Do you think the things that exist always existed?” “No, they came into existence, like at the Big Bang.” “Okay, great. What caused the Big Bang?” “Oh I don’t know, I’m not a scientist.” “You don’t have to be a scientist, you only have two options: either something or no-thing.” I want to be careful in saying nothing because people start treating “nothing” like it’s a kinda thing, so that’s why I want to say it’s No-thing, okay, that it had no cause. Either something or No-thing. That’s pretty much a complete set of possibilities there. So what’s he going to say? Well, the atheist doesn’t want to say something because the minute you say something caused everything else, then there is something outside of the “everything else” and they don’t want to say that—“

Screw you Koukl, I answer “something” without hesitation all the time. I’ll explain why in a bit.

“—and they don’t want to say that because their whole project is everything else is all there is.”

What a muppet. Ever heard an atheist talk about the Multiverse? The Multiverse by definition exists outside of everything that is our universe.

“And the something outside of it, is going to have to be pretty smart, pretty powerful, you know and all of a sudden it’s starting to sound like the G-word.”

WHO SAYS SO????? Who says that “the something” outside the universe has to be smart? “Smart” implies intelligence, which implies a sentient mind. WHO SAYS that a sentient mind exists outside the universe? Recall earlier when talking about the Vikings and Greeks assuming a sentient mind caused a natural phenomenon, why must these Christian apologists assume that the “something” outside the universe is a big sentient mind? Where’s the proof of that, because what we have now is a pretty damn good model that demonstrates that the universe could originate naturally, no gods needed.

Likewise, why must apologists assume the “something” outside the universes has to be powerful? Newsflash: physicists are in general agreement that the total sum of energy in our universe is zero, which means it requires effortless work to spark our universe into existence. Ergo, it does not require a powerful being to make a universe, and to insist that there is a “powerful” god is wishful thinking.

“They don’t want to go there, but what’s their only alternative? It wasn’t something, it was No-thing. Now this is wildly counter-intuitive.”

Yeah, so is a round-Earth. That’s the beauty of science, it proves reality is not always intuitive. Our human brains evolved to help us survive in this world, but they are not perfect. For example, the weirdness of quantum mechanics can at times seem counter-intuitive, such as discovering virtual particles just popping in and out of existence for seemingly no cause.

Look at creationists, they think it is counter-intuitive that humans evolved from ape-like ancestors, yet they embrace paternity tests but reject the very same concept when genetics prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that humans and modern apes share a common ancestor.

So where’s the smart money, that’s my question here. Even if you want to say MAAYYYBE something can come from nothing, is that the smart money? No. That’s not the smart money? The smart money is on something, and the minute you say something, you’re in my camp. Okay, that’s God.”

The smart money is rejecting quantum mechanics (the very field that shows particles popping in and out of existence) and embracing the answer being a disembodied mind magically influencing and breaking the laws off physics?

Occam’s Razor would place his money on the answer that raises the fewest questions, and in this case, we have (A) a scientific explanation that the universe occurred naturally and (B) on the other hand that a magical being created the universe. Occam would put his money on (A). Why? Because (B) raises more questions like “what is God?”, “if God created the universe, where did God come from?”, “how did God create the universe?”, “Where was God before the universe, what was God doing?”, and so on and so on. The simple answer is the universe originated naturally thanks to the laws of physics. We accept physics when physics explains how lightning forms, we don’t go “physics doesn’t explain enough, therefore we should believe a god called Zeus creates lightning.”

Gentempo then mentions science and Christianity, to which Koukl picks up on and notes that there appears to be a “conflict” between them. “I’m just going to tell you, this is contrived. This is a contrived conflict, it started toward the end of the 19th century, before that there was NO SUCH THING as a conflict between science and religion.”

“Virtually all the fathers of the major disciplines of science–you know, whether it’s Kepler, or Faraday, or whether it’s Gregor Mendel the monk, or you know whether it’s Newton himself–they were all Biblical theists.”

Here are your fathers of major disciplines of science. Point out the ones who are Biblical theists. Not just pagans, Koukl specifically said “Biblical” theists.

  • Aristotle performed numerous dissection and vivisection experiments in animal anatomy and physiology – composing the most scientific range of zoological works then known.
  • His successor, Theophrastus, extended this work to botany and plant physiology, and produced the earliest known works in pyrology, mineralogy, and other fields.
  • His successor, Strato of Lamsacus, extended their experimental method to machines and physics – by which many of Aristotle’s physical theories were altered or abandoned.
  • A research institute was built in Alexandria, Egypt in the third century BCE, in which Ctesibius and Philo completed the first known scientific works in experimental pneumatics.
  • Eratosthenes invented the science of cartography and was one of the first scientists in history to measure the diameter of the earth (he was off by 15% – not bad), and he analyzed the effect of the moon on the tides. (Somebody better tell Bill O’Reilly that the whole “tides come in, tides go out” thing was explained in the third century BCE)
  • Herophilus became the first scientist to dissect human cadavers. Also, he and his pupil Erasistrus originated neurophysiology, establishing with detailed experiments that the mind is a function of the brain and the specific mental functions were controlled in specific areas of the brain, and they distinguished motor from sensory nerves and mapped them throughout the body. Altogether. their study of the human body and its bones, muscles, and organs, was so thorough that we still use much of their anatomical terminology.
  • In Sicily, their colleague Archimedes was advancing sciences of mechanics and hydrostatics, and discovering, describing, or explaining the first mathematical laws of physics.
  • Aristarchus began measuring the distances of the moon, sun and planets, and proposed the first heliocentric theory.
  • In Rhodes, Hipparchus discovered and measured celestial precession, observed the first supernova, established the first detailed scientific star charts, made numerous advances in planetary theory, and developed the first scientific system for predicting lunar and solar eclipses.
  • Seleucus of Babylon discovered the effect of the sun on the tides (not just the moon), and developed the first mathematical lunisolar tide theory.

All the scientists Koukl has in mind (Faraday to Newton) were pioneers, not “founders” of the scientific disciplines they worked in. All those “Biblical theist” scientists stood on the shoulders of giants, the pagan scientists who came before them. None of the “Biblical theists” made any scientific discoveries using their holy book as a guide or tool.

“And rather than religion being a science-stopper, as the atheists say nowadays, it was a science-starter. Science started in the fertile soil of a Christian worldview. These people were convinced that an intelligent God made an intelligible world that followed certain patterns that we can discover to use for ourselves and learn something about the creator.”

Christianity is clearly not responsible for the invention of science. When the cause is in place, its effect is seen. The Christian religion dominated the whole of the Western world from the fifth to the fifteenth century, and yet in all those tens of thousands of years there was no scientific revolution. Nor did any scientific revolution occur in Eastern Christian world, such as the Byzantine Empire, even though the East was just as prosperous and largely peaceful for five centuries.

Apologists may dismiss Byzantines as somehow the “wrong kind” of Christians (Lynn White Jr. “What Accelerated Technological Progress in the Western Middle Ages?” in Scientific Change, ed. A. C. Crombie (New York: Basic Books, 1963(pg.272-91)); however, in addition to being a No true Scotsman fallacy, the point remains that largely Christian civilizations took over a thousand years to develop science.

The ancient Greeks were the first to use science, in fact they invented reason (in the very sense he means, developing the formal sciences of logic, philosophy, mathematics, and rhetoric). Nevertheless, the scientific method was first formally described centuries later by Francis Bacon. Certainly most of the early scientists of the Renaissance were Christian (i.e., Galileo and Newton). However, the church was often openly hostile to scientific inquiry and on guard for potential heresy. While not always openly hostile to science, the both the Catholic and Protestant churches were quick to attempt to silence anything that appeared to contradict Biblical history, as in the cases of Galileo and Charles Darwin). The Vatican Observatory didn’t come into existence until 1891, and not for scientific inquiry but to establish a better calendar to determine the time to celebrate religious events.

Finally, another fallacy is the conflation of necessary, sufficient, and contributing causes. A good case can be made that scientific thinking was actually the byproduct of early pagan theology (Persuasively argued in David Sedley, Creationism and Its Critics in Antiquity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007)). But even if so, no one would conclude from this that paganism was required. Many aspects of pagan religion could contribute to the rise of science, but it does not follow that only paganism can have these attributes. It is not even certain they are all required. It may have provided values that helped science develop, which science could still have developed without, or that other worldviews could have encouraged just as well.

“Okay, it wasn’t until the late 19th century–Enlightenment sensibilities–started to invade against the existence of God and use science to do it. Okay, so there is nothing about the methodologies of science that preclude God’s involvement in specialized circumstances when the evidence seems appropriate like the origin of the universe or the origin of life–these are two singularities so to speak that are examples of the kind of thing that science–let me put it this way–naturalistic mechanistic explanations are not going to do. It’s just–you know–you’re not going to get something from nothing using scientific principles, it doesn’t work that way. Okay science works with the natural world, it doesn’t explain how the natural world came to be.”

Wow, not only ignorant on the history of science but also it’s methodologies as well. I guess that’s why Koukl got suckered into Intelligent Design.

“And when it comes to the nature of life, life is very complex and it is run by information. That’s what the DNA double helix is all about. Well, who wrote those books?”

Again, Koukl is assuming the conclusion before arriving at it logically, he is assuming that the answer is a “who” instead of a “what.” A “Who” implies a sentient being, but we haven’t even established that the “what” is a being at all. Koukl has irrationally jumped several steps in order to play his apologetic word games instead of having integrity or intellectual honesty to properly examine and search for answers.

“You’ve got to have new information going into the genome for life to develop. Okay, all attempts to explain that by a naturalistic process has failed miserably.”

Says the non-scientist.

Chemistry and Biochemistry study the physical laws where atoms and molecules naturally come together and combine, break, and reassemble. This rearranging of atoms and molecules is a constant flow of new information being formed again and again and again. Therefore it is perfectly expected for new information to form, and as evolutionary natural selection dictates, self-replicating polymers will collect new information again and again and again. Ergo, nothing in biochemistry says that new information naturally being added is impossible, which means life can arise and evolve naturally with no God required.

“So why if the evidence points to God, why can’t we invoke intelligence when it’s seen in evidence?”

Because there is no intelligence “seen in evidence” like DNA. DNA is not a code. The genetic code is not a true code; it is more of a cypher. DNA is a sequence of four different bases (denoted A, C, G, and T) along a backbone. When DNA gets translated to protein, triplets of bases (codons) get converted sequentially to the amino acids that make up the protein, with some codons acting as a “stop” marker. The mapping from codon to amino acid is arbitrary (not completely arbitrary, but close enough for purposes of argument). However, that one mapping step — from 64 possible codons to 20 amino acids and a stop signal — is the only arbitrariness in the genetic code. The protein itself is a physical object whose function is determined by its physical properties.

The word frequencies of all natural languages follow a power law (Zipf’s Law). DNA does not follow this pattern (Tsonis, A. A., J. B. Elsner and P. A. Tsonis, 1997. Is DNA a language? Journal of Theoretical Biology 184: 25-29.)

“Forensic pathologists who go to a crime scene and they look for a fingerprint. Okay. Is that unscientific? No, he’s using science to find the bad guy or the person who did it. Okay, well that’s what we’re doing, using science to find the person who did it–the big thing, the universe–why is that now disqualified when talking about God? Okay, and that seems to be a false move.”

(1) What if the crime was done by an alien, how is the forensic scientist supposed to find a fingerprint from a being with no fingerprints? How would he know what he was looking for if the crime was committed by an intelligent being no of this world?

(2)why is that now disqualified when talking about God?” How about you read the verdict of the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial to learn why.

“Okay, and that seems to be a false move. And there is a reason for this happening though, and the reason that it happens–the reason science points to a designer is “not science but religion”–is there is another religion in play, and that religion is called Materialism. Now maybe saying Materialism is a religion is too self-servicing because there is no God in Materialism, that’s the competition. Materialism is just a view of the world that says “the only things that exist are material things in motion.” Well, that’s the competing religion.”

Now Koukl is pulling shit out of his ass. Materialism is not a religion. Religions have holy books, holidays, places or worship, prayers, rituals, holy men and women, belief in an afterlife… and of course, a belief in the supernatural — where does Materialism support the supernatural, where does Materialism meet ANY of these requirements? The answer is Materialism doesn’t because Materialism is not a religion.

Koukl: “So, what has happened is a scientific methodology–which is perfectly fine and adequate to it’s own task, and many Christians have used in the past like I’ve mentioned–now it has been hijacked by a different religion called Materialism which says whichever way you use your methodology is fine as long as it doesn’t violate the principles of Materialism. Okay, so long as your methodology doesn’t indicate something that is immaterial, like God or souls or even consciousness–“

Gentempo: “I was just about to say consciousness.”

Koukl: “I know, it’s the craziest thing because Daniel Dennett, one of the New Atheists, now he’s saying–and you can go to YouTube and look it up, “Daniel Dennett: Consciousness is an Illusion” and there you’ll get to YouTube, he’s sitting on his easy chair out on the patio talking all about it, which is crazy.”

Gentempo: “The Materialists would look at consciousness as just an epee-phenomenon of the brain, basically.”

Koukl: “They might say that, but this is what Daniel is saying, it’s an epee-phenomenon which would be like a spin-off result of the brain, kind of, would still be something. But there are problems with that view that you just described, and so Daniel Dennett is just going to say, “well, believe it or not, consciousness is just an illusion.” REALLY??? Now why does he got to say that? Because it doesn’t fit into his Materialistic box. But it’s a foolish thing to say, and the reason is because you can ask yourself “what is an illusion?” Well, an illusion is when your consciousness is being appeared to in a distorted or false way.”

Gentempo: “I was going to say that consciousness is something.” [Laugh]

Koukl: “You have to be conscious in order to have an illusion. So what’s having the illusion? Another illusion.”

So much wrong in this bit.

(1) Materialism is not a religion. Nor was science “hijacked” by any new philosophy. The scientific method always operates under methodological naturalism.

(2) Consciousness isn’t a violation of science or materialism. Consciousness is a result of the human brain, which is a physical organ.

(3) Daniel Dennett’s “The Illusion of Consciousness” was a TED talk about 10 years ago. It’s about 20 minutes long, and if you watch it, it becomes painfully clear that Koukl didn’t watch it and didn’t get any further than the title.

In his TED demonstration, Dennett never said that consciousness itself is an illusion, he is merely trying to point out that YOU are not an authority on your consciousness. Your brain will and does fill in a lot of blank or blurred information, your eyes miss a massive amount of data, your memory gets inflated by things you didn’t see, and much more. The “illusion” that Dennett is talking about is not regarding “consciousness” as a whole, the illusion is the amount of control you think you have in processing, catching and remembering information.

“You can see how–They end up saying things that are wildly counter-intuitive and foolish because there is no way out for them. Okay, so this is what’s going on in this so-called battle in science and faith. See, it’s just another way of marginalizing our view as “just that faith stuff.” “Now, the knowledge stuff, we’ve got that, it’s that faith stuff that’s just conjured up.” So, about 10 years ago, or about 20 years ago now, time flies, but there was an article written in the New York Times Review Books by Richard Lewontin, a Harvard geneticist at the very top of the pecking order of these things, you know, in the scientific community, and he wrote a piece that he dedicated to Carl Sagan who just died, it was about Sagan, titled “Billions and billions of Demons.” It’s easy to look up, I’m giving you information for people viewing this can check it out, because what I’m about to tell you is going to stun people. In that article, there’s a long quote where Lewontin actually describes the true battle between science and religion… and he admits it’s contrived. That, it’s not the methodology of science that requires us to come to conclusions that are materialistic, but rather our imposed philosophy of materialism–our a priori commitment to materialism, as he puts it. That means, before the evidence is in, they force us to accept what he calls “just-so stories” or concepts that are beyond or contrary to common sense because of this commitment. And then his famous line: “Why rig the game this way?” And he says, “because we cannot allow a divine foot in the door.” There it is. Richard Lewontin, one of the greatest brightest minds in the business, is admitting to the world that the game is rigged. And he’s not the only one whose done that, there have been many more, but his is the most famous example because it is so bold and unapologetic, and he does it before the world. So this is what’s going on. There is a conflict, but it has to do with the way science is now arbitrarily defined on a philosophical commitment that itself is hostile to anything somebody might characterize as religious.”

Science is not “rigged” nor some conspiracy. (if you want to see a real conspiracy, read about theWedge Document.“) The naturalism that science adopts is methodological naturalism. It does not assume that nature is all there is; it merely notes that nature is the only objective standard we have. The supernatural is not ruled out a priori; when it claims observable results that can be studied scientifically, the supernatural is studied scientifically. It gets little attention because it has never been reliably observed. (Astin, J. A., E. Harkness and E. Ernst. 2000. The efficacy of “distant healing”: a systematic review of randomized trials. Annals of Internal Medicine 132(11): 903-910. and Enright, J. T. 1999. Testing dowsing: The failure of the Munich experiments. Skeptical Inquirer 23(1): 39-46) Still, there are many scientists who use naturalism but who believe in more than nature.

Naturalism works. By assuming methodological naturalism, we have made tremendous advances in industry, medicine, agriculture, and many other fields. Supernaturalism has never led anywhere. Newton, for example, wrote far more on theology than he did on physics, but his theological work is largely forgotten because there has been no reason to remember it other than for historical curiosity. Supernaturalism is contentious. Scientific findings are based on hard evidence, and scientists can point at the evidence to resolve disputes. People tend to have different and incompatible ideas of what form supernatural influences take, and all too often the only effective way they have found for reaching a consensus is by killing each other.

If evolution was based on the foundation of “just-so-stories,” it would be a fundamentally flawed theory, like Creationism. Evolution is backed by independent lines of evidence, that could easily contradict one another and put the theory in controversy. Here’s one example: The Phylogenetic Tree constructed from structural and molecular data points to Dolphins being most closely related to Artiodactyls. This is especially exemplified when one observes that Hippos and Cetaceans share three specific transposons in the exact same place, not found in other animals. Since new transposons are observable and random, the only reasonable explanation for these shared traits is that they are related through common ancestry. This is great evidence for common ancestry but it can easily undermined if another independent source brings contrary data. Here is one example: Dolphins lack a specific Blood Clotting Gene in the form of Factor XII. Artiodactyls on the other hand have it, but, as we saw, the genetic data points to Dolphins being descended from Artiodactlyls. Thereforer evolutionary theory must predict as a rule that Dolphins have Factor XII in the form of a pseudogene, or, in the case of a rare deletion event, evidence from end-sequence profiling. If we don’t find either then the evidence for common descent is flawed and unsubstantiated. As it turns out Dolphins do have Factor XII in the form of a pseudogene, verifying the prediction of common decent. Read for more examples in the “29 evidences for Macroevolution” and see that evolution is founded on much more than “just-so-stories”.

You let science just do it’s thing in terms of it’s general methodology and follow the facts where they lead, follow the evidence where it leads, without this bias, without this extra disqualifying element–well then, I think you’ll come up with entirely different answers, and I think the Intelligent Design crowd has done a really good job in showing how the evidence we have from the natural world points to a God in lots of powerful ways. So this is all on my side here. When it comes to the science and faith kind-of so-called battle, that’s all contrived. I can go to science and use the evidence of science to bear testimony to the existence of God, which is what Paul referred to earlier, that everybody has at their disposal, the faculties to know that God actually does exists. And now in the Scientific Age, we have that material in spades because we are so good at looking at the world.

The best argument that the Intelligent Design crowd ever produced was a god damn mousetrap and arguing “if a single part is taken away, it no longer serves as a mousetrap.”

Surprise surprise, that is exactly what scientists did to disprove their bullshit.

Every single argument proposed by ID proponents have been addressed and debunked. All their examples of biological “irreducible complexity” has been shown to not only be reducible but scientists have also demonstrated maps and models detailed the steps and stages these biological mechanisms can evolve naturally from simple to complex.

If ID proponents had any evidence, how is it that they were unable to prove it not only in scientific fields but also in court? Read the verdict of the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial. The Judge even ruled that even the “irreducible complexity” argument had merit it doesn’t prove ID anyway. “As referenced, the concept of irreducible complexity is ID’s alleged scientific centerpiece. Irreducible complexity is a negative argument against evolution, not proof of design, a point conceded by defense expert Professor Minnich. (2:15 (Miller); 38:82 (Minnich) (irreducible complexity “is not a test of intelligent design; it’s a test of evolution”). Irreducible complexity additionally fails to make a positive scientific case for ID, as will be elaborated upon below.”

Gray, Terry M.. 1999. Complexity–yes! Irreducible–maybe! Unexplainable–no! A creationist criticism of irreducible complexity. http://tallship.chm.colostate.edu/evolution/irred_compl.html

Lindsay, Don. 1996. Review: “Darwin’s black box, the biochemical challenge to evolution” by Michael Behe. http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/behe.html

Miller, K. 1999. Finding Darwin’s God. Harper-Collins, chap. 5.

Shanks, N. and K. H. Joplin. 1999. Redundant complexity: A analysis of intelligent design in biochemistry. Philosophy of Science 66: 268-298. http://www.asa3.org/ASA/topics/Apologetics/POS6-99ShenksJoplin.html

Gentempo then talks to Koukl about the books that Koukl wrote. He talks about his book on morality, and another book called “Tactics” which is a plan Koukl put forward for Christians how to evangelize “diplomatically” because “we want it to be pleasant and nice for people.”

Pleasantly and nicely THREATENING people with an empty lie and hallow promises. Watch the video I shared earlier about Koukl admitting that Christianity is a threat.

Koukl then mentions his “Columbo Tactic” — a technique of using questions to maneuver effectively in conversation.

In other words, the Socratic Method. Koukl is just slapping a new label on a old method and putting his patent on it.

Koukl then talks about a book that he wrote that any Christian can easily give a non-Christian without “embarrassment.”

Handing them a book that tells them fairy tails are real with a mixture of lies and misinformation… the only people who won’t feel embarrassed by doing so are the “deluded and proud.”

Some time later, Koukl says “humans are truth seekers by nature. Okay. And some atheists have made the observation that we look to make sense out of things, alright. And because we have this tendency, they are dismissive of Intelligent Design arguments. Oh, we’re just telling ourselves stories, we find patterns, right? Okay, just because–and that’s a way of dismissing what seems to be a pattern of Intelligent Design–but I think that objection defeats itself, because maybe we’re finding patterns–which strikes me as a design feature itself. Okay, that’s one thing. Secondly, we’re find patterns that are real patterns. I mean, they seem to think that they found a pattern in Darwinian evolution and it’s not enough for me to say–Darwinists say oh we’re just pattern-finding creatures and just wave my hand that evolution goes away–that’s not the way to treat that kind of idea. And so, I think that we are pattern-finding creatures because there are patterns to be found. And one of the patterns–the most meaningful patterns we’re looking for–is a pattern that makes sense of our own existence. What’s it all about?

According to the definition of design, we must determine something about the design process in order to infer design. We do this by observing the design in process or by comparing with the results of known designs. The only example of known intelligent design we have is human design. Life does not look man-made. (more on that in a second)

There are good reasons why people should see design that is not there.

  • Humans anthropomorphize. We tend to attribute our human-like qualities to all sorts of things (like crediting lighting to gods like Zeus). Since design is what humans do, we attribute it far and wide.
  • Evolution and some human design both involve complex systems dealing with the same physical constraints (Csete, Marie E. and John C. Doyle, 2002. Reverse engineering of biological complexity. Science 295: 1664-1669).
  • Evolution has much in common with a design process. It generates trial-and-error modifications of existing forms and discards the inferior versions.

In most cases, the inference of design is made because people cannot envision an alternative. This is simply the argument from incredulity. Historically, supernatural design has been attributed to lots of things that we now know form naturally, such as lightning, rainbows, and seasons.

Life as a whole looks very undesigned by human standards, for several reasons:

  • In known design, innovations that occur in one product quickly get incorporated into other, often very different, products. In eukaryotic life, innovations generally stay confined in one lineage. When the same sort of innovation occurs in different lineages (such as webs of spiders, caterpillars, and web spinners), the details of their implementation differ in the different lineages. When one traces lineages, one sees a great difference between life and design. (Eldredge has done this, comparing trilobites and cornets; Walker, Gabrielle, 2003. The collector. New Scientist 179(2405) (26 July): 38-41.)
  • In design, form typically follows function. Some creationists expect this (Henry Morris, Scientific Creationism 1974). Yet life shows many examples of different forms with the same function (e.g., different structures making up the wings of birds, bats, insects, and pterodactyls; different organs for making webs in spiders, caterpillars, and web spinners; and at least eleven different types of insect ears), the same basic form with different functions (e.g., the same pattern of bones in a human hand, whale flipper, dog paw, and bat wing) and some structures and even entire organisms without apparent function (e.g., some vestigial organs, creatures living isolated in inaccessible caves and deep underground).
  • As noted above, life is complex. Design aims for simplicity.
  • For almost all designed objects, the manufacture of the object is separate from any function of the object itself. All living objects reproduce themselves.
  • Life lacks plan. There are no specifications of living structures and processes. Genes do not fully describe the phenotype of an organism. Sometimes in the absence of genes, structure results anyway. Organisms, unlike designed systems, are self-constructing in an environmental context.
  • Life is wasteful. Most organisms do not reproduce, and most fertilized zygotes die before growing much. A designed process would be expected to minimize this waste.
  • Life includes many examples of systems that are jury-rigged out of parts that were used for another purpose. These are what we would expect from evolution, not from an intelligent designer. For example:
    • Vertebrate eyes have a blind spot because the retinal nerves are in front of the photoreceptors.
    • On orchids that provide a platform for pollinating insects to land on, the stem of the flower has a half twist to move the platform to the lower side of the flower.
  • Life is highly variable. In almost every species, there is a spread of values for anything you care to measure. The “information” that specifies life is of very low tolerance in engineering terms. There are few standards.

Koukl then mentions C.S. Lewis’s Argument from Desire.

Read this article for at least 8 Reasons to dismiss C.s. Lewi’s’s argument.

Last question of the day. Gentempo creates a term “Christian intelligence” (oxymoron) and attributes them to Koukl, but wants Koukl to expand on the importance of the “Christian heart.” Koukl says the entire enterprise is about that, the apex, the whole point is for a “new covenant” to be written on the hearts of people, “a brand new heart restored from this broken, sullied, corrupted, twisted heart that was the result of the Fall that we inherited.”

Gun, meet foot.

If there was a God and if there was a Fall, and said God wanted to “fix” us, then the opportunity to do so would have been the moment right after the Fall, not thousands of years later.

Third Interviewee: Hermana Vilijeon

Evangelical Minister, Magdala

They pretty much repeat the same pointless things in the previous episode. All in all, NOTHING about this interview talking about Magdala is presented that can be used as primary sources and direct evidence of Jesus.

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