Total Pageviews

Sunday, 10 August 2014

An Astonishing Situation.

As we live somewhat ordinary day-to-day lives, from time to time something I find astonishing comes up on the news bulletin. Like the announcement that the space probe Rosetta had caught up with the comet 67P/C-G and throughout its rendezvous with it, about to orbit the rock on a triangular course, even to to find a suitable site for its robotic landing of its sibling Philae - not easy, as such a lump of rock flying through space is anything but spherical, let alone providing a landing pad. Rosetta was launched from near Kourou, in the South American State of French Guinea, on 2nd March, 2004 - the very same day as the birth of our second daughter. For the last ten years, this vehicle hurtled through space to purposely meet with the chosen comet to find out whether it holds any clues to the origins of life on Earth.

This idea originated from the theory that comets and other heavenly bodies contain the molecule which makes up the animo acids which from which all life originates, to put it simply. No doubt about it, the project is the product of human intelligence - the magnificence of the human mind, the ability to make decisions, and the possibility to solve extremely complex problems using mathematics and physics, making the human brain an astonishing marvel!

Other great ideas, other than the invention of the wheel, includes the discovery of Penicillin in 1928 by Dr. Alexander Fleming at St. Mary's Hospital in London. Like any normal human, he accidentally left open a Petri dish containing the culture of Staphylococcus bacteria - and like a discarded slice of damp bread, it wasn't long before common mould began to develop in the dish, causing a reaction with the bacteria, which such discovery led to the antibiotic Penicillin, a saviour-drug for multiple thousands of patients, particularly those who had contacted venom through sexually-transmitted diseases. This led me to think that such an act of apparent clumsiness or forgetfulness on the part of the scientist can allow nature to take its course and perform acts which we humans can consider miraculous. 
Medicine, for me anyway, can be a fascinating study. While the pre-Renaissance Western world was still languishing with life-threatening diseases, it was known that other cultures of the world, such as in the Far East and the American Indian, were familiar with various herbs which had medicinal powers. And although I had read articles in the past that the origin of medicine was connected with the occult, really it occurred to me that the only occult were the ritual dancing and religious beliefs which accompanied the healing of the patient - particularly among the Native Americans - but had these rituals not taken place, the herbs would have still have had their healing properties.
Then there was good old Dr. Hippocrates, who practiced at the Greek island of Kos in the 5th Century BC. He did not believe in surgical operations, as he thought that dissecting the body was against the will of the gods. But like the American Indian, he prescribed drugs gotten from various herbs, and even had in-patient wards where the sick can be observed while on medication. On the same grounds as the hospital, various temples dedicated to certain divinities were used for the sick to pray, and to offer sacrifices to the gods. Even in our modern hospitals, there is always a chapel found in the premises, but far less obvious and significant than the huge temples which dominated Hippocrates' day. The astonishing similarity of treatment over 2,400 years has allowed the Hippocratic Oath to be taken by medics even to this day.

Hospital of Hippocrates, the Asklepeion, Kos -taken October 2011
But the wonder of these natural herbs providing healing powers - including Penicillin which was gotten from a common mould, and that without accompanying religious rituals - demonstrates the love and mercy of God in such divine provisions. But even at present, when many of the medicinal drugs used at present are synthetic rather than natural, by his provision of the original herbs, we can thank the Lord for his mercies when it comes to healing of illnesses.

And so going back to the subject of the Rosetta Space probe, a stupendous result of a group of ingenious minds working together - then not to mention scores of other human creations and engineering feats, from the microchip which controls an intricate yet powerful computer, to the delicate mechanism of a wristwatch, made with precision to keep time accurately, right up to the mega-structures of civil engineering, such for example, the magnificent Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia, or a railway tunnel bored through solid rock under the English Channel. Let's face it, modern engineering and technology has not only made day-to-day living much easier for us, but has also expanded our horizon of knowledge our forefathers would have never imagined.

Yet in the case of the Rosetta space probe - the very purpose of such a project will be to gather information for clues whether life here on Earth had its origin from outer space. This is a theory originally conceived by Sir Fred Hoyle, a brilliant astronomer and mathematician. Hoyle was an atheist, who rejected the idea of the Big Bang as the proposed theory for the origin of the Universe, and instead, advocated the steady state, which means that the Universe had existed from eternity past, and like a flowing river in which every water molecule is on the move, the river itself remains endless. Hoyle had much trouble reconciling Darwin Evolution with his own research on cell biology. For example, he used the probability of the enzyme, part of the protein chain formed within the nucleus of a cell, to calculate the impossibility of having evolved without divine intervention. He worked out that the probability of just the enzyme itself having evolved to its present form by chance is one out of one, followed by 40,000 zeroes! With such a mathematical result, Hoyle was forced to conclude the reality of divine creation - or come up with some other theory. In this case, to him life on Earth was the result of animo acid molecules entering the primeval ocean, itself formed by comets consisting of ice colliding with the primeval Earth.

Millions was spent, many, many man hours went into the designing, construction and launch of the Rosetta, to find out whether Fred Hoyle was right with his theory. It took a further ten years for the probe to catch up with the comet, and from the time of writing, it will be a further three months before Rosetta launches its sibling, the Philae, for a robotic landing on the comet itself to gather enough information to see how close to the truth this scientist had been. Suppose the comet does consist of ice, and animo acid molecules were found in the rock? Wouldn't this be a massive victory for Darwinism, and the Bible proved false after all?

That is precisely what these brilliant, academic minds are after. The final answer to the origin of life without the need for a God to stick his oar in. Atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris would also rejoice. The Bible would at last be thrown into the dustbin of history and mythology, and as John Lennon wrote and recorded his song - we can imagine a world without Heaven above, nor Hell beneath us, and no religion either. A perfect Utopian society.

This is what I find to be an astonishing situation. All over the world, brilliant, well educated minds abound, many engaged in creating new ideas, the latest inventions, and into medical research. Others study the stars to find out just how we got here. Still others were able to design a robotic vehicle which can carry out meticulous tasks millions of miles out in space. It is so incredible that even throughout history, we can see the wonders of the human mind and imagination. For example, around seventeen years previous to this, I found myself at The Chesters, one of the best preserved Roman sites in the UK, possibly of all of Europe other than the ruins of ancient Rome and Pompeii. The Chesters was a major Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall which marked the northern boundary of the entire Empire. What I have found intriguing were the well-preserved latrine system, a set of holes at a bench where water used to flow in a channel underneath. Also there was evidence of sanitary items existing. The whole structure would be still fully functional to this day had the watercourse beneath had not dried up. As with the Roman city of Aquae Sulis (now Bath Spa) the Romans were superb with plumbing and the hypocaust heating systems for their homes, their utility buildings, and their leisure centres.
Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrian's Wall, UK.
What a difference all this to our nearest cousins, the Primates, from which we supposed to have evolved from. It has been observed that the best they can do is use a large stone to crack a nut. It is a far cry from even the simplest of structures even a child can make. But our academics prefer to believe that we as Homo Sapiens are members of the Primate family, at one with the monkeys, apes, gorillas and chimpanzees. In the world of science, the Bible is ruled out.

It is this hostility to the truth of the Bible which lie behind the Rosetta space probe, along with other branches of science, particularly in Historical Geology and Paleontology. The universities in Britain and Europe became an intellectual battlefield particularly during the nineteenth century, with the likes of Charles Lyell, Jean Baptiste Lamarck, and Charles Darwin, along with others, throwing down the gauntlet against the Biblical truth of Divine Creation. Of all literature ever written throughout history, it seems odd to me that the truthfulness of Holy Scripture had so much opposition thrown at it, yet we as a nation hold a reverential respect for the highly educated, and applaud them for the ability in launching rockets into space, particularly for the purpose to disprove the reliability of the Bible.

Maybe the near-universal hostility of Scripture might have been stirred up by passages like this:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of the age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believed.
Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness o God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25.

Spot on, Paul! Maybe it was because of what you have written that clever men of our age had sent a very expensive, highly technical device to look at a lump of rock in the sky.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Frank. Time after time they have made similar efforts, only to learn that what the discovered proved nothing of the kind, After bragging about what a great success their mission was, they drop it and develop some new theory, never stopping to think that their basic assumption that there is no God might be the problem. When a theory is proven wrong. one needs to examine the assumptions that led to it.