Monday, February 5, 2024

John Lennox' Failure to Show He's Christian

Reconciling the Bible and Science on the Age of the Earth (John Lennox)
Get To The Heart | 16 Jan. 2024

1:25 Ussher had two problems.

a) he used a Masoretic chronology, should have used a LXX one (with or without the second Cainan)
b) he imagined Abraham was not born when Thare was 70, but later, i e that Abraham's physical father was physically dead when Abraham left.

2:55 "the most important things is not when it happened"

So, when Tiamat and Apsu had given birth to four generations of gods is not offlimits?

"or how it happened"

So by Enlil killing his ancestor Tiamat is not offlimits?

Or at the beginning of the first Yuga, before the second, third and now fourth Kali Yuga, by the one, I will not say God, being simply Being, going to sleep and dreaming, that's also not offlimits?

Anything that's not simply Atheism is not offlimits?

That's a very interesting take from someone professing to be a Christian.

3:30 Thank you, I was arguably more like newborn or not-yet-extant at this point, but I do know that Revd. Bryan Houghton referred to Atheism inherently preferring a steady state universe, and referring to Dom Stanley Jaki's answer, "if so, all the Hydrogen would already be Helium" (whether you take that as Hydrogen available in stars or Hydrogen overall doesn't really matter, the process Hydrogen + Hydrogen = Deuterium, Deuterium + Deuterium = Helium is irreversible, as far as we know).

But it so happens, that 1960's version of Atheism is probably not going to be, in and of itself, and especially by itself the régime of the Antichrist. Atheism may be the main component in the Scarlet Beast, but the Scarlet Beast will not be alone in the endtimes abomination. Of the other three beasts in Daniel, I think all are versions of Theism, and I think the Evolution accepting and the Deep Time accepting version of each is (as more numerous) a likelier ally of the fourth beast into the final composite beast.

5:47 Lennox pretended Aristotle was the main culprit behind an eternal universe?

Well, Aristotle was a Theist.

ATHEISTS were also wedded to an "eternal universe" namely Democritus, Epicure and Lucrece.

6:35 Would the crazy chap in Italy have even been known and had supporters in the school back then?

6:40 I think John Lennox is confusing two different psalms.

103 (which I suppose he numbers 104) has, verse 5:
Douay Rheims : Who hast founded the earth upon its own bases: it shall not be moved for ever and ever.
Vulgate: Qui fundasti terram super stabilitatem suam, non inclinabitur in saeculum saeculi.
LXX: ὁ θεμελιῶν τὴν γῆν ἐπὶ τὴν ἀσφάλειαν αὐτῆς, οὐ κλιθήσεται εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος.

But "stabilitas" and "ἀσφάλεια" do not mean "pillars" ...

Evgeny Selensky
The pillars are mentioned in Job, AFAIR

Hans Georg Lundahl
Yes. @evgenyselensky4036
Who shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.

Job 9:6

This means, the "pillars" are germaine to tectonics, not to astronomy.

6:53 I was absent, otherwise there would have been my hand raised that occasion.

7:25 Galileo was not the first Moving Earther or Heliocentric.

a) Copernicus + Regiomontanus
b) Bruno (also infinite worlds = solar systems = each with its own immanent God the Son, present as the Sun, each with its own immanent Holy Spirit, present as world soul, that's what he was burned for in 1600, well before Galileo was into it)
c) Galileo + Kepler, and of these two, Kepler died before the second Galileo process.

As Lennox is a scientist, I kind of suppose him to be a lousy historian of science, he just confirmed my general suspicion.

I mean, it counts as history of science if Moving Earthism is anywhere near at least a scientific hypothesis, even if it's not the true one. I suppose.

It might be better to call it history of science fiction, since Kepler appealed to Selenites and Jovians having a non-Geocentric perspective from their globes. How many believe Moon and Jupiter are inhabited by biological and sentient and intelligent races? Perhaps 1 angel each, if angels count as biological, but that's it.

8:16 No, I am not happy with that.

If Moving earthism were true, the part of "fixed on stability" would stand in an inerrant psalm, but the part of "shall not be moved" wouldn't, since "moved" literally refers to movement in space.

8:42 "but you don't have to"

Obviously, St. Robert Bellarmine and the later Inquisitors disagreed.

I think they were more logical about what the positions entail about Christian truth.

If Lennox is equally logical, perhaps he doesn't believe Jesus has a body right now? I mean a human body with arms and legs and a head, placed somewhere in space, preferrable on some ground or floor below His feet. I submit that such a position is not just un-Biblical, but deeply Antichristian. It's Semi-Docetism.

Now, if Jesus has a body and it isn't on Earth, both of which are true, except for the miraculous and invisible bilocation into the Sacrament, where is it? Bellarmine and Beza would have agreed that it is:
  • in a city called Heavenly Jerusalem
  • often to be seen on a throne (He presumably takes walks as well)
  • and that throne and that city are material and spatial and they are situated above the sphere of the fix stars.

If Lennox is Moving earther, and pretends the fix stars extent to at least 13 billion light years away, is he saying Heavenly Jerusalem is 14 billion light years away? Or is he substituting the Empyrean heaven by some kind of space ship?

9:36 I suppose the statements go "qatal" and after that "ve-yiqtol"

The most typical "qatal" followed by "ve-yiqtol" is past tense narrative.

I ate breakfast at Tiffany's yesterday. It was a bit hard to arrive in bus, so, finally, I tried to make an extra expense and took a taxi. The problem was, the cab driver was actualy an Uber, and I boycott them, so when I was out of the car, I took a stroll. The waiters were a bit intrigued by my black eye.

The one verb here that would be "qatal" is "ate" ... the rest would be "ve-yiqtol" ... the point being, this is how, not just anyone, but Jonathan Sarfati, a Jew who knows Hebrew, analyses the six days account.

10:02 Lennox has now defended gap theory.

On its own, it just could be defended. Not quite, Our Lord seems to disagree both in Exodus 20 and in Mark 10, but who cares what Our Lord says? It's just Our Lord, right, Mr Lennox? For my own part, I actually do prefer to care, but I do me, you do you.

But that is on its own.

Now, what he has not even attempted to defend (so far) is any fudge factor after Adam's creation.

And, frankly, there isn't any. If Mr. Lennox cares to say "genealogies contain fluidity", fine, the one in Matthew leaves out 10 % ... adding a 10 % fudge factor to Genesis 5 and 11 doesn't change much. Making it about much more than 90 % missing, you can't invoke Matthew 1 for that.

So, presumably, Adam lived sth like 7000 or 6000 years ago.

Neanderthals are human.
Neanderthals have been carbon dated to more than 40 000 years ago.

Now, if Neanderthals descend from Adam, that means a carbon date of 40 000 years goes back to either Setterfield's "time when there was a much faster speed of light and of radioactive decay" or my own "time when the carbon 14 level was much lower in the atmosphere" (below 2 pmC, 2 percent of the modern Carbon 14 level corrected for pre-industrial values).

BOTH of these scenarios would be scientifically impossible in an old universe with an old earth.

13:44 Sirs, may I suggest the Bible also says:
  • He was a loving creator of Adam and Eve
  • before they sinned, He was only generous.

  • This doesn't square with believing in pre-Adamite humans.

    Neanderthals are human not ape.
    Neanderthals are carbon dated or otherwise dated to before Adam's time.

    How do you get around those dates without a wholesale YEC view on the scientific data?

    14:39 Would you mind telling me what exactly you have to say about "literature" in this context.

    Lord of the Rings is of course literature, but it's more specifically fiction.

    The historical books of the Bible aren't that.

    Psalms are poetry, but often enough didactic poetry.

    17:06 You can approach the Bible with deep or with shallow questions, as long as you follow its lead and don't reject the lead of tradition and the magisterium of the ages, it will give correct answers.

    Genesis does not consist of only Genesis 1. Some chapters do answer shallow questions, like "what colour was Joseph's raiment" = "many colours" or "what age was Adam when Seth was born" = "130" or "230" depending on text.

    Young Earth comes, in a very high degree from:
    • sticking to a correct reading of Genesis 5 and 11 (which St. Augustine did)
    • admitting that it's neither Biblically nor scientifically an option to squeeze in millions of years before an Adam who lived 7000 or 6000 years ago.

    It's not an option:
    • Biblically, because of Exodus 20 and Mark 10;
    • Scientifically, because of men carbon dated to 40 000 BP, who were real men, who must have come from Adam, and the dates to be inflated need to have their carbon from a fairly recent atmosphere.

    17:41 "it's more important to answer the real questions"

    If a book cannot correctly answer even small questions, it cannot answer big ones.

    18:01 "that doesn't affect"

    Well, in a context of Novus Ordo Catholics, it can even affect IF I get to marry at all.

    Admitting Earth was young has set me at loggerheads with the last three men, whom they believe to be Popes, and with them too, since Catechism of the Catholic Church and its § 283.

    If I had based my writing on agreeing with you folks, I might already be in print and already married. Or, if God had punished me for that blindness, already out of print and divorced.

    18:11 When it comes to deep questions that affect life and those involving origins — was Adam created by a good God or by a bad one?

    If we believe he was created by a good God, we cannot allow him having non-human immediate progenitors. God did not make him a feral child.

    Are we placed in the world by a good God or by a bad one?

    If we believe we are placed here by a good God, we cannot allow Adam having human immediate progenitors either. He had to be the first human for his sin to have this impact.

    If Genesis 3 trustworthy or not?

    If it is trustworthy history, we cannot allow Adam to have lived 40 000 years or 750 000 years before Moses. In my version of Genesis 5 and 11 chronology, LXX without the second Cainan, Abraham was sixth or seventh in a series of necessary generational overlaps (necessary overlap for Adam = last man born in Genesis 5 before he died; necessary overlap for Abraham = first man still alive when he was born, i e Sarug), which is very good for reliable even oral tradition. In a Masoretic chronology, Moses himself would have been eighth in such a series, also good enough.

    20:03 New Revelation actually was around the corner prior to the New Testament. Or its closure.

    A seeming contradiction for us needs to take into account all of the Deposit of Faith, and a fair view on Church History (as opposed to some urban legends among Novus Ordo Catholics, with some exceptions, and even some Sedevacantists) shows that the Young Earth position actually is part of the Deposit of faith, it's expressed again and again.

    This is where I was coming from when ten years after my Catholic conversion and twentyone years after my Christian conversion, I came back to the Young Earth position.

    And as you may see from the years involved, it was not my first move as a new Christian. Even at 9, it took me into the age of 10 before I gave up trying to harmonise Evolution and the Bible. At age 20, it took me some time to start harmonising Bible and Tree rings worth tens of thousands of years, and then it took me into age 30 to stop that.

    I think, in each case, I had asked more important questions first.

    21:23 Here is a pillar about what the Bible is saying:

    He that liveth for ever created all things together. God only shall be justified, and he remaineth an invincible king for ever
    [Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 18:1]

    The Evolutionary narrative contradicts each point, saying:
    • stars were created without trees for another billion of years, and trees without man for several hundreds of millions of years, things were only gradually put into place
    • no apparent justification for God about our AND Adam's experience of His goodness
    • Open Theism = God is more of a stand off nominal monarch than an invincible one.

    22:36 I think the RATE project has done a pretty good job showing billions of years is not a scientific conclusion from radiometric dating.

    I have done so with starlight, as a Geocentric, and with geostratigraphy by looking at palaeontological layers, and I have calibrated the carbon dates from "39 000 BP" = 2958 BC, the Flood, to the Fall of Troy. The carbon thing not being concerned with billions of years, but with "tens of thousand" like beyond Biblical chronology.

    Don't wait, take what's already offered.

    26:12 That side of "mythology" is more like the metaphysics of a certain mythology.

    And in fact, Christians have ascribed lightning bolts to demons, like pagans have described them to Baal Hadad or Thor. (That's why impersonating Baal Hadad to proto-Norse and being called Thor is a thing that even the sons of such a man would moan like oxen for being reminded of it).

    That's not a story, it's a mechanism. And it's one which as a Christian I agree with.

    I just don't agree with worshipping the spirits that send lightning bolts. And I don't deny their existence just because electric tension builds up. There is a reason why a lightning struck exactly then, not five minutes earlier or later, and exactly there, not when the cloud was in a position to send it down a metre or a km further West or East. I don't believe it is a question of simply the exact amount of electric tension, not one ampère more or less would be possible, if that's the right measure.

    Now, there is a very different side of mythology. Hercules is a man who lived in Greece, in Mycenaean Greece, arguably not just before Troy fell, but before the palaces were destroyed in the Greek state across the Aegean, somewhat earlier. We cannot admit he was son of Zeus. We cannot admit he defeated Thanatos about Alkestis or Hades about Cerberus. But most facts in his purported life we definitely can and even should admit. Just not the theological interpretation that pagans put on it.

    26:31 "the God of the Gaps"
    • the exact phrase was coined by Henry Drummond, a fanatical Scottish Free Church preacher promoting Evolution.
    • the idea had basically already been touched by Nietzsche, a pretty fanatical antichristian.

    It doesn't have real substance, let alone the stability to involve some people using it as the name of "a logical fallacy" (comparable to Undistributed Middle Term or incomplete and not trivially so Induction).

    Evgeny Selensky
    Mechanical motion is relative (science). There actually is a reference frame in relation to which Earth is not moving. Time is also relative, is it not?

    Hans Georg Lundahl
    "There actually is a reference frame in relation to which Earth is not moving."

    The point of Geocentrism however being that this is not only the reference of earth, but also the reference of an Empyrean Heaven above the fix stars.

    23:36 Excellent point.

    If you appeal to philosophy, do you mean Bertrand Russell or do you mean Plato or Thomas Aquinas?

    If you appeal to science, do you mean Jonathan Sarfati or Richard Dawkins?

    Plus, obviously, Hydrology is somewhat more humdrum than radiometric dating, and has more bearing and what it's saying is more certain, like I don't think hydrologists would deny that the Seine was overflooding four times its usual height in 1910, but that's the kind of flat statements of "impossible" that you will hear from some against the Biblical chronology or other statements of the Bible.

    Evgeny Selensky
    @hglundahl good comment

    Matthew Chapman
    The microwave background radiation shows us the earliest instant that we can see, I.e 13.4B years into the past, yet there us 300,000 years on top of that we can't see. Before that, there was a thing before time and that is something we have yet to figure out.

    The earth has a relative motion against this background of 630-ish km/s

    Hans Georg Lundahl
    @matthewchapman2248 "The microwave background radiation shows us the earliest instant that we can see,"

    According to what exact principle?

    According to what exact method of calculation?

    If you asked how simultaneous sightings of the Moon could help us calculate the distance to it, I'd answer trigonometry.

    From Walvis Bay, Namibia, and Sao Paolo, you can see the Moon when it's above the mid-Atlantic, and from different angles. The known distance between those places, measured as a corda, not around the globe, and the angles between Sao Paolo and Moon from Walvis Bay, and between Walvis Bay and Moon from Sao Paolo, as said measured through the earth, not above the surface, will give you the triangulation for the Moon.

    Now your turn, what exact method do you use for getting the microwave background to be 13.8 billion light years away?

    Hans Georg Lundahl
    @matthewchapman2248 "The earth has a relative motion against this background of 630-ish km/s"

    Measured how?

    Matthew Chapman
    @hglundahl it is measured by the redshift in the light that makes up the MBR - very similar to the doppler shift in sound. Good questions

    Hans Georg Lundahl
    @matthewchapman2248 OK, the problem with that is that redshift can be explained in a number of different ways, Doppler effect being just one of them, and that even the Doppler effect as such would ony give you the speed away, not the actual distance.

    W a i t, I thought you were answering my first question, but it's only the second.

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