Friday, March 27, 2009

Some thoughts by a former Atheist on the Logical Fallacy of the Universe Being created by Chance

Anthony Flew was a well known Atheist. In 2004 he became a theist because of what he says were overwhelming evidences from a scientific and logical viewpoint of the need for an Intelligent Designer.

He wrote a book called There is a God about his journey from Atheism to Theism. He was in his 80's when he converted to Theism. He is not a Christian, yet his case for Theism is very strong. I have posted a passage below from his book.

Gerry Schroeder first referred to an experiment conducted by the British National Council of Arts. A computer was placed in a cage with six monkeys. After one month of hammering away at it (as well as using it as a bathroom!), the monkeys produced fifty typed pages - but not a single word. Schroeder noted that this was the case even though the shortest word in the English language is one letter (a or I). A is a word only if there is space on either side of it. If we take it that the keyboard has thirty characters (the twenty-six letters and other symbols), the the likelihood of getting a one-letter word is 30 times 30 times 30, which is 27,000. The likelihood of getting a one-letter word is one chance out of 27,000.

Shroeder then applied the probabilities to the sonnet analogy: "What's the chance of getting a Shakespearean sonnet?" he asked. He continued:

"All the sonnets are the same length. They're by definition fourteen lines long. I picked the one I knew the opening line for, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" I counted the number of letters; there are 488 letters in that sonnet. What's the likelihood of hammering away and getting 488 letters in the exact sequence as in "Shall I compare Thee to a Summer's Day?" What you end up with is 26 multiplied by itself 488 times - or 26 to the 488th power. Or, in other words, in base 10, 10 to the 690th.

[Now] the number of particles in the universe - not grains of sand, I'm talking about protons, electrons, and neutrons - is 10 to the 80th. Ten to the 80th is 1 with 80 zeros ofter it. There are not enough particles in the universe to write down the trials; you'd be off by a factor of 10 to the 600th.

If you took the entire universe and converted it to computer chips - forget the monkeys - each one weighing a millionth of a gram and had each computer chip able to spin out 488 trials at, say, a million times a second; if you turn the entire universe into these microcomputer chips and these chips were spinning a million times a second [producing] random letters, the number of trials you would get since the beginning of time would be 10 to the 90th trials. It would be off again by a factor of 10 to the 600th. You will never get a sonnet by chance. The universe would have to be 10 to the 600th times larger. Yet the world thinks the monkeys can do it every time.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thoughts from Bernard of Clairvaux on "Glorying in the gifts God has given"

Here is a passage from a great author. The title of Bernard of Clairvaux's book is "On Loving God". He lived from 1090-1153.

There is no glory in having a gift without knowing it. But to know only that you have it, without knowing that it is not of yourself that you have it, means self-glorying, but no true glory in God. And so the apostle says to men in such cases, ‘What hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now, if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it? (I Cor. 4.7). He asks, Why dost thou glory? but goes on, as if thou hadst not received it, showing that the guilt is not in glorying over a possession, but in glorying as though it had not been received. And rightly such glorying is called vain-glory, since it has not the solid foundation of truth. The apostle shows how to discern the true glory from the false, when he says, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord, that is, in the Truth, since our Lord is Truth (I Cor. 1.31; John 14.6). We must know, then, what we are, and that it is not of ourselves that we are what we are. Unless we know this thoroughly, either we shall not glory at all, or our glorying will be vain.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Some More Titus Brilliance

This past Saturday I was going to our backyard in order to ask Titus if he wanted to come with me to the store. Titus was sitting on one of those bouncy exercise balls in the middle of the yard and this is the conversation that ensued:

Me: Hey buddy! What are you singing?

Titus: Um, The Happy Song!

Me: Why were you singing that song?

Titus: So God and Jesus can hear me.

Me: Why do you want them to hear you?

Titus: Oh, I just want them to still know I am here. Let's go to the store now.

He blew me away with his comments. I was talking to my step mom today and she made the statement that it would be good for all of us to sit in the middle of the yard on a exercise ball and sing to Jesus. So, if you are by the house any time soon and you see me in the middle of our backyard singing, just know that I have been learning from my son :)