• Christopher Herman
     
    www.christianpost.com
    “I didn’t feel like I became an atheist, the feeling was more that I realized I always had been,” expressed Morgan. “I had a feeling that I never actually believed in God but I was looking for some unhealthy psychological reason [to believe]… coming out as an atheist was really a hallelujah experien...
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    Christopher Herman
     
    www.johnsanidopoulos.com
    Many people dismiss metaphors and imagery as surface polish. But just look at the way they have hijacked our thinking on evolution.
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      Christopher Herman
      January 31, 2011
      New Scientist

      "SELFISH genes, survival of the fittest, competition, hawk and dove strategies. Like all theories, Darwinism has its own distinct vocabulary. So distinct, in fact, that we end up asking how else we can talk abou...t evolution? After all, isn't competitive evolution the only possible context for explaining the biological facts? The drama implied by competition, war and selfishness passes unnoticed because people are used to this rather hyped-up way of talking even about current scientific beliefs.

      The trouble with metaphors is that they don't just mirror scientific beliefs, they also shape them. Our imagery is never just surface paint, it expresses, advertises and strengthens our preferred interpretations. It also usually carries unconscious bias from the age we live in - and this can be tricky to ditch no matter how faulty, unless we ask ourselves how and why things go wrong, and start to talk publicly about how we should understand metaphor.

      Evolution has been the most glaring example of the thoughtless use of metaphor over the past 30 years, with the selfish/war metaphors dominating and defining the landscape so completely it becomes hard to admit there are other ways of conceiving it. In How The Leopard Changed Its Spots, biologist and complexity theorist Brian Goodwin suggested the kind of correction needed, remarking mildly that humans are "every bit as co-operative as we are competitive; as altruistic as we are selfish... These are not romantic yearnings and Utopian ideals, they arise from a rethinking of our nature that is emerging from the sciences of complexity". But that was in 1991 - and few were listening.

      From the merest glance at a wider context, it becomes clear that competition cannot be the ultimate human reality, still less (as philosopher Daniel Dennett argued) the central creative force behind the universe. Entities complex enough to compete cannot exist at all without much internal cooperation. To create cells, organelles must combine; to create armies, soldiers must organise. Even the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins pointed out on the 30th anniversary of publication of his iconic book, The Selfish Gene, that genes are actually cooperative rather than egoistic.

      So why has this imagery become so prevalent? Because it expresses deep conflicts originating in 17th-century England which are still unresolved in the western world. The central clash is between communal and separatist views of human nature. It rose out of the English civil war, which shifted the world picture from a feudal, communal pattern towards the more individualistic, pluralistic model we officially follow today. Ideals of personal allegiance, heroic warfare and the divine right of kings began to yield to civilian visions based on democracy, technology and commerce.

      That individualistic, post civil-war world view has always been seen as scientific. This was largely because Newtonian physics viewed matter atomistically, as composed of hard, billiard-ball-like particles bouncing off each other in complex patterns - patterns which, under God, shaped that huge clock, the classical universe. Billiards, fashionable at the time, may have helped shape this view, while the vision of a vast, regular, unchanging cosmic machine was certainly reassuring.

      The reality, however, was that society was changing unpredictably and would need other, very different kinds of metaphors and images, ones better able to reveal shifts and clashes of interest. To fill this need, philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau devised a kind of social atomism, along with the colourful individualistic metaphors it inspired and still inspires. Through this lens, people no longer appeared as parts of a machine: they were still atoms, but distinct, active, independent units.

      But the philosopher Thomas Hobbes's claim that the natural state of humans was "a war of all against all" (put forward in a bid to stop people supporting misguided governments) accidentally launched a wider revolt against the notion of citizenship. The slogan made it possible to argue later that there is no such thing as society, that we owe one another nothing. This thought also inspired campaigns for admirable things like easier divorce and universal suffrage and it is still strong today, even though physicists themselves no longer see their particles as radically disconnected.

      In the 18th century, economists eagerly applied individualism to commerce, arguing that free competition always serves the general good. Its champions could thus believe they were being scientific while still acting as good citizens. And its emphasis on conflict reassured them they were still heroes, that bourgeois life had not corrupted their machismo. So atomistic thinking, originally drawn from physics, acquired a social meaning in economics and was then returned to science as ideas of competition began to dominate 19th-century biology. The resulting jumble of atomistic ontology, laissez-faire economics and warlike noises came together fully in the theories of 19th-century "social Darwinists" like Herbert Spencer.

      Charles Darwin actually hated much of it, flatly rejecting the crude, direct application of natural selection to social policies. In The Descent Of Man he insisted that humans are a deeply social species whose values cannot be derived from selfish calculation. Yet, as a man of his age, he still shared Spencer's obsessive belief in the creative force of competition. He ruled that natural selection was indeed the main cause of evolutionary changes, And - apart from sexual selection - he could not suggest any other possible source.

      He was sure, however, that natural selection could not be their sole cause. He must be right: natural selection is only a filter and filters cannot be the sole cause of the coffee that comes from them. "Evolutionary coffee" - genuine new developments - could not emerge unless the range of selectables has somehow been shaped to make it possible. If that range were indefinite only randomness could follow, however much time elapsed.

      Biologist D'Arcy Thompson pointed this out in On Growth And Form in 1917, noting the striking natural tendencies which contribute to evolution - the subtle, natural patterns such as Fibonacci spirals that shape all manner of organic forms, and the logic underlying patterns such as the arrangement of a creature's limbs. Thompson's work was little noted in the 20th-century's concentration on natural selection, but more recently biologists such as Brian Goodwin, Steven Rose and Simon Conway Morris have developed his work, showing how natural selection is supplemented by a kind of self-organisation within each species, which has its own logic.

      Now the old metaphors of evolution need to give way to new ones founded on integrative thinking - reasoning based on systems thinking. This way, the work of evolution can be seen as intelligible and constructive, not as a gamble driven randomly by the forces of competition. And if non-competitive imagery is needed, systems biologist Denis Noble has a good go at it in The Music Of Life, where he points out how natural development, not being a car, needs no single "driver" to direct it. Symphonies, he remarks, are not caused only by a single dominant instrument nor, indeed, solely by their composer. And developing organisms do not even need a composer: they grow, as wholes, out of vast and ancient systems which are themselves parts of nature.

      Recognising the cultural origins of evolution's metaphors and that we are slowly, painfully, creating new ones takes the drama out of things, but it does mean we will learn how to think about metaphors and their philosophical underpinning. We will discover we need them to serve us as thinking tools, not to turn us into slaves of our own conceits."

      Mary Midgley describes herself as a freelance philosopher, specialising in moral philosophy. She studied at the University of Cambridge during the second world war alongside Mary Warnock and the writer Iris Murdoch. This essay was developed from her latest book "The Solitary Self" (Acumen).
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    Christopher Herman renamed the group to "Science and the Christian Faith".
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    Christopher Herman
     
    www.accuracyingenesis.com
    Affirming Research and Bible study concerning the wonders of the Scriptual Creation account, the Genesis record, and quotes concerning the difficulties with the theories of evolution. Word study of the Hebrew text is combined with scientific evidences to examine long held beliefs concerning the cre
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    Christopher Herman
     
    www.independent.co.uk
    It was under the last rock of the day, that scientists finally came face to antennae with the giant crayfish of Shoal Creek. Twice as big as its competitors, the hairy crayfish, which can grow to lobster proportions, was a new species not previously seen.
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    Christopher Herman
    "Einstein did not consider time and the three spatial dimensions as being separate, but as being linked to form a four-dimensional quantity known as space-time. Einstein's theories of relativity have been proved by numerous experiments, including one in 1971 in which highly accurate atomic clocks were placed aboard two high-speed aircraft, with another one at an airbase. Despite staying in the same location, the ground clock was not stationary, since it was travelling at the same rate as the Earth spins. One aircraft flew eastwards from the base, travelling in the rotational direction of the earth and so moving faster than the ground clock, while the other flew westwards and so moved relatively slower. After the flight, the eastbound aircraft's clock had lost time relative to a ground-based atomic clock, while the opposite was true of the westbound aircraft's timepiece. Amazing eh? The only constant in the theory of Special Relativity is that the relative speed between any observer – regardless of their own motion and any ray of light is always 300,000 kilometres per second (186,000 miles per second). The consequence of this theory, once the equation has been balanced, is that not only is time different for a faster observer, but also lengths and mass change."
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    Christopher Herman
     
    www.dailygalaxy.com
    Remember a little thing called the space-time continuum? Well what if the time part of the equation was literally running out? New evidence is suggesting that time is slowly disappearing from our universe, and will one day vanish completely. This...
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    Christopher Herman
     
    www.independent.co.uk
    Archaeologists have found Britain's oldest properly engineered road, and the discovery could change the way we look at a key aspect of British history. Now, many of the country's key A roads – long thought to be Roman in origin – could now turn out to be substantially more British than scholars had
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    Christopher Herman
    "A major turning point in the public’s understanding of science came about a century ago, with the introduction of Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity. Before then, educated laymen were expected to and usually could understand new developments in science, at least in outline. After Einstein this changed. Science moved beyond the ken of educated laymen. You didn’t understand what these new arguments were about? Then stick to your poetry, or perhaps your knitting. Science was becoming a private party to which you weren’t invited. (Except that, increasingly, your taxes were expected to pay for it.)

    Newton’s laws of motion and gravity always were intelligible to the layman, and could be expressed in plain language. Einstein’s relativity changed that, in the direction of reduced clarity, intelligibility and vastly increased complexity. I shall go further and say that relativity failed to improve on Newtonian physics in terms of accuracy.

    Recently I wrote a book about relativity, Questioning Einstein: Is Relativity Necessary? It was based on the research and arguments of Petr Beckmann, who taught electrical engineering at the University of Colorado after defecting from Czechoslovakia in 1963. He wrote books that were both popular (A History of Pi) and obscure (The Scattering of Electromagnetic Waves from Rough Surfaces), and late in life he published Einstein Plus Two (1987).

    He argued that the facts that led to relativity could more easily be explained by classical physics – without relativity. His book was in many ways technical, but before he died (in 1993) he reviewed it for my benefit in a series of tape-recorded interviews."
    www.lewrockwell.com
    A major turning point in the publics understanding of science came about a century ago, with the introduction of Einsteins special and general theories of relativity. Before then, educated laymen were expected to and usually could underst
  • Liz Franklin
    Playing at being gods again.
    www.time.com
    We're fast approaching the moment when humans and machines merge. Welcome to the Singularity movement
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    Christopher Herman
    "The mummy was recovered from China's Tarim Basin, in Xinjiang province. But her Caucasian features raised the prospect that the region's inhabitants were European settlers. "
    www.independent.co.uk
    For her advanced years, she looks remarkable. Despite nearing the ripe old age of 4,000, long eyelashes still frame her half-open eyes and hair tumbles down to her remarkably well-preserved shoulders.
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    Christopher Herman
    "It seems evolutionists want to have it both ways. Larger brains are evidence of evolution; smaller brains are evidence of evolution. Does the new claim muddy the waters of brain size as the measure of increasing human intelligence? "
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    Christopher Herman
     
    www.telegraph.co.uk
    An armchair archaeologist has identified nearly 2,000 potentially important sites in Saudi Arabia using Google Earth, despite never having visited the country.
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    Christopher Herman
     
    www.narth.com
    Gay activists look to the animal kingdom for evidence that homosexuality is normal and healthy, but their cases fails on several counts, the author explains.
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    Christopher Herman
    "The world before the Fall had no death, disease, or suffering, as God proclaimed the finished creation “very good” Genesis 1:31). Consistent with this, God gave plants to the animals to eat (Genesis 1:29-30).

    Nowadays, many creatures have equipment that seems designed for attacking, hurting, trapping, killing , or eating others, or defending themselves against such things—for example, the poison-injecting fangs of snakes, the great meat-eating cats, and the spider's web, to name just a few. So, when and how did these things, which are suited to a fallen world but were unnecessary before the Fall, come to be?"
    www.christiananswers.net
    Discussion on the origin of bad things from a fundamental, Christian perspective
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    Christopher Herman
     
    www.worldwideflood.com
    Some illustrations show an old bearded Noah chipping away at a log with an adze. Some portray Noah belonging to a 'primitive' culture of nomadic herdsmen, who never made anything more advanced than a tent-pole and a clay bowl. The evidence disputes this. From the 'dawn' of civilization (which is
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    Christopher Herman
    “We all have this view in our minds that we [humans] started precariously as sort of an ape-like creature” and our numbers grew continuously, adds Wood. “We’re so used to the population increasing inexorably over the past few hundred years that we think it has always been like that.”

    But if it had, Gagneux notes, our genetic variability should be at least as great as that of apes.
    www.s8int.com
    ‎...God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water... 1 Peter 3:20
  • Christopher Herman
    “...sociologist William Sims Bainbridge makes clear, secularization does not represent the complete obliteration of religion. Instead, it represents the opening stage of occult counterculture movement.”
    www.americanchronicle.com
    We are an online magazine for national, international, state, local, entertainment, sports, and government news. We also provide opinion and feature articles.
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    Christopher Herman
     
    www.geocentricity.com
    After leaving Egypt and wandering in the Sinai wilderness for forty years, Israel entered the land of Canaan late March to mid- April, 1448 B.C.1 The Israelite leader, Joshua, had a clear-cut task set before him: to completely eradicate all the previous inhabitants of the land. The story is
  • Christopher Herman
     
    www.pathlights.com
    A fraudulent dating method was introduced by evolutionists in archaeological timeline systems in the late 1930s and 1940s. The objective was to throw off the true dates by a century or more, so Near Eastern dates would not appear to confirm Biblical records. Here are the facts. You will want to