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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"GO FIGURE"

This item is available on the Apologetics Press Web site at: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240051

AP Content :: Decisive Designs

The Complexity of the Design Process
by Jeff Miller, M.S.


Typically, in the first semester of engineering school, an introductory course presents broad concepts about engineering. Students may learn the basic differences in the engineering fields (e.g., civil, electrical, mechanical, chemical, structural, etc.). They may spend some time considering ethical dilemmas that engineers have often faced in their careers. First-year students also usually give some consideration to the design process. Even in its basic form, the design process proves to be very complex, even before considering the specialized scientific knowledge required to design a given item.

Many steps are necessary in order to get a product to the public. Consider one introductory engineering textbook’s template for the design process (see Introduction to Engineering..., 2004, pp. 10,32):

Problem symptom or expression; definition of product need; marketing information
Problem definition, including statement of desired outcome
Conceptual design and evaluation; feasibility study
Design analysis; codes/standards review; physical and analytical models
Synthesis of alternative solutions (back to design analysis for iterations)
Decision (selection of one alternative)
Prototype production; testing and evaluation (back to design analysis for more iterations)
Production drawings; instruction manuals
Material specification; process and equipment selection; safety review
Pilot production
Production
Inspection and quality assurance
Packaging; marketing and sales literature
Product
The design process is unquestionably lengthy, technical, complex, and calculated.

Now consider the Universe. Consider the perfect interaction between all entities in this Universe: between plants and animals; between animals and humans; between the Sun and Earth; between the Moon and Earth; between insects and plants; between the circulatory system and the respiratory system. The list could go on infinitely. The finely-tuned machine that we call the Universe is an engineering feat of amazing proportions. Consider the knowledge level and expertise that would be necessary for such perfect design—knowledge and expertise that humans lack. The created order implies an omniscient and eternal Designer, Who must be the Chief Engineer of all engineers, to have produced such a product.

Will a series of random accidents over millions of years result in sophisticated photographic equipment? And then, if given enough time, will that camera eventually spontaneously come to life? And then, given enough additional time, will that living camera grow legs and start walking around? The first step is impossible, much less the subsequent steps. The complexity and design inherent in the camera demands more than mere happenstance. However, turning to the design that the camera emulates, the human eye, scientists assert that the eye could have just happened on its own by accident. But that viewpoint is incorrect. Both products required design in order to get them to the “consumer”—and one took much more knowledge and insight than the other.

If someone were to throw a rock into space, would it eventually spontaneously explode? And from that explosion, is it logical to conclude that that rock would come to life, grow wings, and have babies that evolve into other creatures? To ask is to answer.

Scientists recognize the complexity of the design process. However, when they peer into the amazing Universe, many of these scientists abandon logic and reason, and assert that it all just happened by accident. Many of the engineering feats of the creation are unparalleled by human designs and always will be, even if we spent countless hours, millions of dollars, and used a multitude of engineers. Evolutionists believe that this Universe, which is infinitely more complex and sophisticated than anything humans could ever design, especially without engaging in biomimicry, just happened on its own? Go figure.

REFERENCES
Introduction to Engineering at Auburn University: Manufacturing—Industrial and Systems Engineering (2004), (Boston, MA: Pearson Custom Publishing).

Saturday, January 24, 2009

"Truth" Has it passed your lips lately?

A PERSONAL COMMITMENT TO TRUTH

Truth is abstract but very real. It is the standard in every realm of
existence. There are true or genuine products and there are those
which are false and counterfeit. There are true and false friends. We
are confronted daily with true and false information. There are true
and false answers to questions. There is also true and false
religion, true and false doctrines and practices, hopes and promises.
It is of this category of religious truth of which we write.

The illustrious Bohemian reformer and martyr, John Hus (1369-1415), is
credited with the following lines. "Seek the Truth, Listen to the
Truth, Teach the Truth, Love the Truth, Abide in the Truth and Defend
the Truth unto Death." This was his personal credo. For God's truth he
lost his life to the fiery flames of the executioner's stake.

Truth exists. It is within our reach but we must seek and find it
(John 5:39; Acts 17:11). God's truth is bound up in a remarkable book
of sixty-six units. It is time-tested and universally applicable to
the needs of man. The message contained therein renovates ruined
lives and makes men acceptable to their Creator and Judge. Truth is
attainable. It can be known (John 8:32).

To profit from God's truth, we must be willing to listen to it. Not
all are willing to do so. Some harden their hearts and close their
ears to truth (Matt. 13:14-15). Truth cannot save or benefit those
who will not listen to it.

The true servant of Christ will teach the truth of God (Acts
20:26-27). Paul liked to say, "I speak the truth, I lie not" (I Tim.
2:7). In a very hostile environment, John Hus believed and taught
that the Sacred Scripture was the sole and final authority in all
things moral and religious.

For truth to be fruitful in our lives we must love it. Some do not
have a love for the truth (II Thess. 2:10-11). Their faulty attitude
leaves them vulnerable to delusions and lies. Truth can easily slip
through their fingers and be lost or forgotten.

For truth to do its perfect work in our lives, we must abide in it.
Those who go onward and abide not in the teaching of Christ have not
God. Only those who abide therein have the blessings of the Father
and the Son (II John 9-11). Abiding in truth means to live by its
precepts, to abstain from that which truth forbids and to keep truth
ever in our minds and hearts (Eph. 5:18-19).

We must be willing to defend the truth at any cost. Paul understood
this. He was set for the defense of the gospel (Phil. 1:16). In the
2000 years of Christian history, thousands of believers have paid the
ultimate price for defending God's Truth. Weak, cowardly men quail
before the enemies of truth. They flee when the hateful champions of
error appear. The very thought of suffering for truth enervates their
fickle hearts. At best they are peacetime soldiers, short-timers
hoping the avoid the enemy

John Hus searched for the truth. When he found it, he loved it and
abode in it. He preached the truth throughout Catholic dominated
Bohemia. He shook the foundations of error and struck fear in the
priestly tyrants. They responded with deceit and violence. On July
6, 1415, the Catholic authorities declared Hus an obstinate heretic
and ordered him burned to death. May it never be said of us that we
failed in our duty to God's Truth.

-John Waddey

"What a Women"

Older Women

When I was married 30 years, I took a look at my wife one day and
said, "Honey, 30 years ago, we had a cheap apartment, a cheap car, slept
on a sofa bed and watched a 10-inch black and white TV, but I got to
sleep every night with a hot 25 year old blonde.

Now, we have a nice house, nice car, big bed and plasma screen TV,
but I'm sleeping with a 60 year old woman. It seems to me that you
are not holding up your side of things."

My wife is a very reasonable woman She told me to go out and find a
hot 25 year old blonde, and she would make sure that I would once
again be living in a cheap apartment, driving a cheap car, sleeping
on a sofa bed, and watching a 10-inch black and white TV.

Aren't older women great?

They really know how to solve your mid-life crisis

'LIVING FOSSILS'

“Living Fossils”—Evolution’s Innate Circular Reasoning
by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Another earthshaking find within the evolutionary community only spotlights once again the inherent irrationality of the faltering, fallacious theory. During a Southeast Asian expedition, retired Florida State University science professor, David Redfield, captured the first photos of the Laotian rock rat, once believed to have gone extinct more than 11 million years ago. The fossilized remains, collected previously from sites in Pakistan, India, Thailand, China, and Japan, were thought to verify this last known relative of a long-extinct family of rodents known as Diatomyidae (“Retired Professor Captures...,” 2006). Surprise, surprise—another alleged “ancestor” eliminated from the tattered evolutionary tree.

Observe the two contrasting, conflicting, mutually exclusive approaches to the created realm:

1. Evolution: All animals we see today are advanced forms of primitive precursors, and descendants of a single ancestor. As more advanced forms have evolved by means of adaptation, natural selection, survival of the fittest, and genetic mutation, the earlier forms were naturally displaced and disappeared. Fossils, millions of years old, represent life forms that were the evolutionary predecessors of present life forms, but which went extinct long ago.

2. Creation: God created a spectrum of animals during the six-day week of Creation. While reproducing only after their own “kind” (an ambiguous Hebrew term that likely parallels the modern taxonomic classification “family”), these animals were created with the genetic potential for producing a variety of other species, giving rise to the diversity of animal life presently on the planet. Along the way, due mostly to environmental factors, many animals have become extinct. However, other species have escaped detection by humans for centuries, only to be rediscovered in some remote area.

Which of these two viewpoints fits the actual physical facts? Obviously, the latter. Evolutionists repeatedly find themselves in the embarrassing position of discovering that the alleged evolutionary ancestors of current life forms, that supposedly went extinct millions of years ago, are in fact still living. They are forced to cover their tracks by inventing a self-contradictory, nonsensical term to identify these anomalies—in this case, “living fossils.” But that’s like a round square. Philosophers and logicians refer to such duplicitous posturing as irrational and “logical contradiction.” Evolutionists call it “science.”

REFERENCE
“Retired Professor Captures a ‘Living Fossil’ on Video” (2006), Research in Review, June 13, [On-line], URL: http://www.rinr.fsu.edu/rockrat/more.html.

Copyright © 2009 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved





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"Where Did Live Come From?"

This item is available on the Apologetics Press Web site at: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240045

Where Did Life Come From?
by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


From an atheist’s perspective, the question of life’s origin is a “big mystery” at best. Since nature has shown continually for thousands of years that all physical life comes from previously existing life (a recognized scientific law known as biogenesis), a naturalistic explanation of how life supposedly evolved from non-life is extremely problematic. Stuart Clark recently revisited this conundrum in a series of articles in New Scientist regarding Earth’s “biggest mysteries.” Clark titled one article simply, “Where Did Life Come From?” (2008, 199[2675]:30-31). Consider some of his admissions.

“Leaving aside the remote possibility that life arrived on Earth on a meteorite from somewhere else,” Clark first acknowledged, “we have to assume that it emerged from whatever physical and chemical conditions existed in the planet’s youth” (p. 30, emp. added). Clark admitted in the opening line of his article that the evolutionary explanation of life must be assumed. Such a confession is reminiscent of what one of the world’s foremost origin-of-life experts admitted in a lecture series titled Origins of Life. Dr. Robert Hazen, a member of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life, acknowledged from the outset: “This course focuses exclusively on the scientific approach to the question of life’s origins. In this lecture series, I make an assumption that life emerged from basic raw materials” (2005, 1:6, emp. added). The fact is, the best that evolutionary science can do with the question of life’s origin is to assume it was purely naturalistic.

Second, Clark admitted: “There are no recorded instances of an ‘origin-of-life’ event on modern Earth” (p. 30). Even though evolutionists have no problem teaching impressionable students in science classes throughout the world that life arose from chemicals billions of years ago, they must admit, as did Mr. Clark, that science has no evidence (i.e., “there are no recorded instances”) that physical life ever came from non-life (which would violate the law of biogenesis). The best Clark could do was question whether “the right conditions” still exist, or conjecture whether “it is happening on such tiny scales that we have not noticed” (p. 30, emp. added).

As he continued stumbling through his answer to one of Earth’s “biggest mysteries,” Clark acknowledged “another difficulty” (p. 31). “[W]e are faced with a chicken-and-egg situation: for DNA to do its thing it needs proteins, yet the blueprints for those proteins are provided by the DNA. So which came first? The most likely answer is now thought to be that they evolved at the same time through a network of reactions between simpler chemicals” (p. 31, emp. added). Unbelievable! Not only have evolutionary scientists never observed life evolving from non-life, but they acknowledge that such a suggestion means that DNA and proteins must have evolved and come together at exactly the same time. Supposedly, such precise timing of the necessary building blocks of life all happened purely by chance, and without any kind of intelligence. As the British astronomer Sir Frederick Hoyle wrote 27 years prior to Stuart Clark in the same science journal, such calculation is “nonsense of a high order” (1981, 92:527).

So where did life come from? According to evolutionist and Nobel laureate George Wald, “The only alterative” to spontaneous generation is “to believe in a single primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position” (Wald, 1954, 191[2]:46). Life was either created, or it evolved from non-life. Since every scientific observation known to man has demonstrated that physical life never comes from non-life, and cannot do so, the only logical conclusion is that life was created supernaturally.

Truly, life’s origin is mysterious only if one refuses to recognize the implications of the scientific law of biogenesis. Science, Scripture, and common sense demand a supernatural explanation.

REFERENCES
Clark, Stuart (2008), “Where Did Life Come From?,” New Scientist, 199[2675]:30-31, September 27.

Hazen, Robert (2005), Origins of Life (Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company).

Hoyle, Fred (1981), “The Big Bang in Astronomy,” New Scientist, 92:521-527, November 19.

Wald, George (1954), “The Origin of Life,” Scientific American, 191[2]:44-53, August.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nature's Designer

God’s Ceramics Are More Than Pottery
by Kyle Butt, M.A.


Scientists all over the world are constantly looking for better materials with which to build things. Companies need stronger metals, more flexible nylon, and tougher fabrics. This intense demand for better “building blocks” often makes it difficult for scientists to originate new ideas fast enough to keep pace. One approach that has greatly enhanced scientists’ ability to supply fresh, practical ideas has been to turn to nature and copy the structures found there. Copying design in nature has become so prevalent that the scientific community has named the field of study “biomimicry.” From the research done in this field, it has become obvious that nature’s Designer is possessed of far more creative ability than anything humanity has been able to produce.

Specific examples of excellent design in nature abound. In an article for Technology Review, Katherine Bourzac recently detailed one such example. In her article, titled “Ceramics That Won’t Shatter,” she mentioned the challenge that materials scientists face when working with ceramics. Ceramics can be an excellent construction material since they are hard and lightweight. One major drawback of using ceramics, however, is the fact that they fracture and break, much like a flower pot or dinner plate. Bourzac summarized this difficulty by saying that scientists are trying to find ceramics “that combine strength (a measure of resistance to deformation) with toughness (a measure of resistance to fracture)” (2008). Interestingly, researchers have discovered exactly what they are looking for in “the porous but resilient material called nacre that lines abalone shells.”

Bourzac explained the marvelous design of nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl. It is a combination of calcium carbonate, which breaks very easily, and special natural glue. Combined, these two substances are “3,000 times tougher than either constituent.” The efficiency of this composite material is amazing. Robert Ritchie, a scientist from the University of California who co-led the research and development of the new biomimetic ceramic, said: “When nature makes composites, the properties are better” (as quoted in Bourzac). The list of possible applications for the new ceramic is virtually endless. The new material could be used to make lightweight automobile frames, airplane hulls, bulletproof vests, and military vehicle armor.

Ritchie and his team are still working to perfect the new ceramic that is based on the natural mother-of-pearl structure. He noted that in nature, the ceramic has structures that are “smaller and closer together,” qualities that the team hopes to mimic in newer versions of their ceramic. The researchers are optimistically hopeful that they can come even closer to designing a ceramic that can be mass-produced, and that combines the strength and toughness of the natural material.

While the discovery of a new, efficient ceramic is interesting, it pales to insignificance in light of the necessary implication that should be drawn from such a discovery. If brilliant scientists have only recently discovered this technological wonder of the natural world, and they cannot mimic the structure as effectively as nature constructs it, then it must be admitted by the honest observer that nature’s Designer possesses superior mental abilities to those of the scientists. And yet, as clear and straightforward as this implication is, millions of people will utilize technology based on God’s original designs, but claim that random, chance processes of evolution should be given the credit.

In the Old Testament book of Job, the Bible records one of the most interesting verbal exchanges in all of human history (chapters 38-42). Job wanted an answer from God about why he was suffering. God spoke to Job with a series of questions that Job could not possibly answer. God asked where was Job when God hung the foundation of the world on nothing (38:4)? Could Job command the morning to occur or cause the dawn to break (38:12)? Could Job count the clouds (38:37) or cause the hawk to fly (39:26)? After God’s intense questioning, Job realized that he could not begin to answer God’s questions, much less possess the power to accomplish the things that are necessary for the Universe to continue to exist. Job responded to God by saying: “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.... Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me which I did not know” (42:2-3, emp. added). We in the 21st century would do well to learn from Job’s wise response. The fact that we are just now scratching the surface of the technology found in a “simple” abalone shell should force us to humble ourselves and worship nature’s divine Designer.

REFERENCE
Bourzac, Katherine (2008), “Ceramics That Won’t Shatter,” Technology Review, [On-line], URL: http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/21767/?nlid=1561&a=f.





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Copyright © 2009 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Is the BIBLE "Literally True".

AP Content :: Reason & Revelation

Take Bible Literally
by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Recently, when an ABC News reporter asked President Bush if the Bible is “literally true,” the president responded that he is “not a literalist,” and that one can read the Bible and not take it literally (Escherich, 2008). Sadly, many Americans have been duped by over a century of propaganda perpetrated by higher critics who seek to undermine confidence in the inspiration of the Bible. Nevertheless, the evidence is decisive: the Bible possesses the attributes of inspiration that prove its divine origin (Jackson, 1982; Butt, 2007).

To suggest that the Bible is not to be taken literally is nonsensical. True, the Bible contains much figurative language, i.e., it includes figures of speech (e.g., simile, metaphor, hyperbole, metonymy, synecdoche, etc.)—just like our own English language (e.g., “quit cold turkey,” “stretch my legs,” “died laughing”). But figurative language still communicates meaning that can be comprehended. Did the ABC News reporter’s questions communicate “literal truth” that the president could grasp? Of course. And so does the Bible. Any diligent student can ascertain the original intent of the divinely-guided writers. Could it be that the “can’t take the Bible literally” crowd simply does not want to be restrained by the Bible’s admonitions to “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts” and “live soberly, righteously, and godly” (Titus 2:12)? Could it be they do not want to hear that “fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4), and the “sexually immoral...shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8)?

REFERENCES
Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Escherich, Katie (2008), “Excerpts: Cynthia McFadden Interviews President George W. Bush,” ABC News: Nightline, Dec. 8, [On-line], URL: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Politics/story?id=6418908&page=1.

Jackson, Wayne (1982), “The Holy Scriptures—Verbally Inspired,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/rr/reprints/holyscri.pdf.





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Copyright © 2009 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.