March 11, 2012
A recent paper published by Professor G. Fanti (University of Padua) in the Journal of Imaging Science and Technology arguing that the Shroud of Turin’s image may have been caused by the corona discharge effect (a form of electrical discharge). Fanti told the Italian, La Stampa, newspaper that:
[Ever] since the Italian photographer Secondo Pia obtained the first photographic reproductions of the Shroud in 1898, many researchers have put forward image formation hypotheses, many interesting hypotheses have been examined to date, but none of these is able to explain the mysterious image fully. None of the reproductions obtained manages to portray characteristics that are similar to the ones found on the Turin Shroud.
During my research I also considered the possibility of the combination of more than one mechanism in the image’s formation, returning to the ideas of those who, as of the second half of the last century, started to doubt the authenticity of the Shroud and therefore started suggesting image reproduction techniques used by medieval artists.
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February 1, 2012
To answer the question, “Is it surprising that scientific evidence supports a young earth perspective?” I would respond saying that I would almost consider this a loaded question. I don’t think I can find no evidence for a young earth; however, I find the record of nature to support the proposition that the universe is old (billions of years) by overwhelming evidence. There is hardly any evidence for a young earth, if indeed there is any at all.
Before getting to the geologic record of nature one needs to address the cosmological record of nature (the earth cannot be older than the universe). I initially gained my interest in cosmology (and I must say I really enjoy discussing cosmology) was the Kalam cosmological argument, which is an apologetic argument for a beginning of the universe. I’ll put aside the mathematical and philosophical arguments for a beginning of the universe for that would be off topic and I’ll stick with the scientific evidence. If one were to analyze an extrapolation of space and time then that initial singularity for the universe would take us back 13.73 GYA (giga, billion years ago). There are many models of the universe such as the steady state, oscillating, quantum fluctuation, and other string theory models that coincide with former. The most prominent model with the most philosophical, mathematical, and scientific evidence is the standard model (due to cosmic inflation, the big bang). Prominent cosmologist Paul Davies comments,
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January 27, 2012
The following is a guest blog post by John Quin. John, a 40-year-old electronics engineer working for the Australian Government. He was raised as a Seventh-Day Adventist, a fundamentalist Christian denomination that teaches elaborate narratives beyond what even scripture can reasonably support. It has only been in the last few years that John has simultaneously discovered the flaws with fundamentalism and strength of philosophical based Christian apologetics. John hopes to be able to share his new perspective on Christianity with as many people as God places in his path.
The field of interaction between science and religion is quite vast and in this blog entry I will concentrate on a couple of issues that concern the impact science has had on Abrahamic monotheism/Christianity.
For many people who were raised as a Christian and then went on to study Science at University the religion they had once believed with childlike certainty seems to have been totally and utterly falsified. For them believing in Christianity has become completely unthinkable. But what exactly has been falsified, God’s existence, a Divine genesis, or perhaps the Incarnation and Resurrection of Christ? I would like to propose the hypothesis that the Christianity that has been falsified for many of these people is what I’ll refer to as “Flannelgraph Christianity”.
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January 4, 2012
The following is a guest blog post by Jeff G. Jeff is a 24-year-old student studying biblical theology at North Park University in Chicago. He hopes to go on to grad school and get a Ph.D. in the field of biblical theology, if that is where God wants him.
It was 7th grade biology class, and we began to learn the theory of evolution. The evidence seemed absolutely clear to me—evolution was an undeniable fact. I picked up my bible and compared what I read to what I learned in my biology class. The accounts seemed clearly contradictory. It didn’t take much time for me to conclude that all of Christianity was a sham. I will come back to this in a bit, but first, do me a favor and let me tell you another story…
In January of 2007, world-renowned violin virtuoso Joshua Bell took his 3.5 million dollar violin to the Washington D.C. metro station to play some songs as a street musician. Dressing modestly in a baseball cap, jeans, and a long-sleeved t-shirt, Bell left his violin case open for tips as he played 6 classical songs, one of which has been called the most difficult song on any instrument—J.S. Bach’s Chaconne. Of this song, the great composer Johannes Brahms said, “if I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind.”
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November 14, 2011
The following are a list of podcasts that I’ve been following and listening to that have been quite helpful in my philosophical, scientific, and theological studies. The criteria for consideration are based on 1) quality of content, 2) accurate presentation of the material, 3) constructive and respectful criticism of opposing views, 4) frequency of podcast release, and 5) a broad range of topics/issues discussed.
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November 10, 2011
The English poet John Milton did well when he said that “Truth will rise to the top through a free and open exchange in the marketplace of ideas.” I am so encouraged when I have and see a substantive dialogue with someone concerning an issue. This is certainly important in every day discussions, blogs, and teaching. I assist in managing and teaching an Intro. to Philosophy course at university and I always encourage my students to make us work hard to convince them of what we believe to be true. Do not simply sit there and take what I say and teach prima facie–challenge me, challenge the thoughts, challenge your thinking.
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September 28, 2011
How far can science take us and at what point does philosophy and metaphysics take over? Here is the general process of science and philosophy.
- METHOD. Science’s modus operandi is to observe the data while philosophy is examining the data and reasoning through it.
- MATERIAL. Science’s materials are facts. There are certain data that provide empirical fact to work with. Philosophy’s material are conceptual–concepts that are the basis for the rest of the process.
- PURPOSE. Science is descriptive. Empirical investigation can only observe what happens and the purpose of it is to describe the mechanism or process taking place. The purpose, in relation to philosophy, is to be able to construct an argument.
- GOAL. The goal of science is prediction. We will see this in the strength of a theory by principle of verification and falsification. The philosophical role is providing an explanation of the data. Explanation is philosophical and not scientific.
- OUTCOME. The end of science is the production of technology. The general history of science runs in the direction of greater efficiency in its function. Likewise, in the history of science, philosophy’s outcome is developing a worldview system. Consider the historical development of science with Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton. Copernicus changed the worldview system with the Copernican revolution as did Newton. I would actually argue that Newtonian physics may have made a greater philosophical impact than Copernicus in light of Kant (thanks Kant…).
- REASON. We’ve already touched on this briefly, but the reason for why one does science is for efficiency. The reason for philosophy is a search and understanding for meaning.
August 22, 2011
I just wanted to share this interview conducted by Brian Auten with Apologetics315 and astrophysicist Jeff Zweerink with Reasons to Believe. My graduate research is on fine-tuning and the multiverse so it’s hard for me to pass this up.