Christian Evidences

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Important Debate

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. Kyle Butt of Apologetics Press will debate Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Mr. Barker is a popular author and has conducted over 60 debates.

To watch the live Webcast of the debate, go to the AP website (www.apologeticspress.org) and click on the link immediately beneath the Darwin Day Debate box.

Pray for Kyle. His is an important and formidable task. Who knows who might be watching? His arguments just might turn some struggling soul from the dark dead end of atheism to the light of Christ.

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Faith and Evolution

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

This just in: evolution explains everything. Or so says a group of scientists who have found a corrolation between religion and the survival of the fittest.

A cadre of scientists, including Washington University anthropologist Pascal Boyer, are trying to explain why, in almost every human culture, people choose belief in God over unbelief — why, it seems, the human brain is wired for belief.

And the scientists are finding something that would please Charles Darwin himself: Religion may have evolved through the same rules that led to big brains and opposable thumbs. From an evolutionary standpoint, they have found, belief can be useful.

For years theists have pointed to the religious nature of man as evidence of a Creator. If there was no God, why is man so religious? What on earth can explain worship, prayer, and faith?

Several scientists have been honest enough to admit this is something about man that we cannot ignore. Boyer, the anthropologist mentioned above, says belief is so solidily engraved in human minds that it’s probably not possible to eliminate. “It’s a bit like saying life would be better without gravitation.”

But instead of allowing this glaring fact to guide them in the direction of faith, Boyer and his colleagues are falling back on the same old thing: evolution. They say science can explain why man believes in God.

Their “proof” is explained in the Commercial Appeal:

Biologists who study evolution try to explain traits by measuring physical changes over generations and showing how they helped the species survive. It’s more difficult to talk about the evolutionary value of a mental state like a belief in God because religiosity is difficult to measure. But there are correlations between religion and health.

For example, the men of Cache County, Utah, mostly devout Mormons, have the highest life expectancy in the country. Studies have shown that religiosity is associated with lower rates of cirrhosis, emphysema, suicide and heart disease. Of course, much of this health effect could come from religion’s conventional taboos on smoking, alcohol, drugs and sex — which can all lead to disease.

Basically these scientists have based their findings upon two sizable assumptions, the first being that God does not exists and the second being that evolution is always the mechanism that explains man’s behavior. But nothing in these experiments has eliminated God from the equation. It could just be that people of faith fare better in this life because God blesses them.

Evolution is the Great Assumption Christians have to learn to deal with; it’s the age we live in. For that reason, we must always read the papers with a skeptical eye, taking nothing for granted. The majority may believe in God, but it doesn’t hold the bullhorn.

ABC’s Debate on Religion

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron’s debate with the Rational Response Squad (the group responsible for the “Blasphemy Challenge” on YouTube) is now running on ABC’s news website. I watched as much of it as I have time for, but early on it became clear that neither side was prepared for a discussion of the arguments for the existence of God.

Comfort started with the argument from design, a strong argument to be sure. He gave several effective illustrations, but then he moved on to two other “arguments” that were actually gospel sermons unconvincingly cloaked in science. Comfort feebly argued from the existence of morality, allowing the discussion to turn towards the Ten Commandments and sin. This was unfortunate because it left atheist Brian Sapient an open door for accusing his opponents of not honoring the terms of the debate. (Comfort asserted that he would prove God’s existence without mentioning faith or the Bible.) Last, Comfort gave a gospel sermon couched as an argument based on the power of conversion.

On the atheistic side Brian Sapient, spokesman for the Rational Response Side, brushed off the argument design by saying it was “full of holes.” “Who designed the Designer?” he asked. This told me I was watching a debate broadcast for people who have never studied these arguments before, and about thirty seconds later, after Sapient said he had answered all of Comfort’s claims, I stopped watching. The question “who designed the Designer?” is a non sequitur, because it does nothing to negate the initial argument that a Designer can be inferred from the natural world. True, Sapient spent about ten seconds challenging Comfort’s premise, pointing out that men have mammory glands and that animals eat each other to survive, but in my opinion somebody’s going to have to do better than that before I come to believe an eternal universe accidentally formed our world and all of its marvelous features using only the tool of evolution.

What was interesting to me is that, although the event was staged at a Baptist Church in Manhattan, Sapient received vigorous applause from the audience. In the portion of the debate that I watched, Comfort didn’t receive any positive feedback.

It’s too bad that Christians can’t get a major network to broadcast an event like this unless Kirk Cameron is involved. On the atheistic side the representatives were even more embarrassing. The Rational Response Squad could not hide their arrogance, yet if they had read anything beyond the opinions of their friends on the Internet, it didn’t show. If the ABC’s producers were really interested in getting to the bottom of this, they would have invited some full-fledged philosophers to the table for a discussion.

I’m told that portions of the debate will air on ABC’s Nightline tonight. Maybe somebody who watched the entire debate can comment to this post to give a more accurate recap of the debate.

Cameron/Comfort to Debate Atheists on ABC

Monday, May 7th, 2007

ABC has announced that it will feature a debate between actor Kirk Cameron and evangelist Ray Comfort on Wednesday, May 9. The debate will be broadcast on ABC.com at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern time); later that evening excerpts will be shown on ABC’s news program Nightline.

Cameron and Comfort assert that they can prove God’s existence scientifically, without mentioning faith or the Bible.

It is strange that, out of all the renowned theists in the world, this opportunity has been granted to Kirk Cameron, the actor who starred in several movies connected with the Left Behind series. I’m hoping his arguments are more logical than his end-time scenarios.

Also, it will be interesting to find out who Cameron and Comfort will be debating. That important piece of information was left out of the press release.