Does God Exist? - Battle Royale VII - Bob Enyart vs. Zakath

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Nathon Detroit

Due to unforeseen career obligations Zakath has requested additional time to prepare his 8th round post. We (the TOL staff and Bob Enyart) have granted Zakath an additional 24 hours to prepare Zakaths next post.
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Resident Atheist
Zakath's Post #8

Zakath's Post #8

In his last post, my opponent continues his Creationist "march to the sea" steamrolling along with his God of the Gaps argument. In this view, since science cannot yet answer every question in the universe, many of the unanswered questions must be relegated to the "evidence for the supernatural" category as Pastor Enyart cannot conceive of any other reasonable explanation than "God did it." The problem with this view of the universe is that it is too simple as well as misrepresenting what science is all about. Science is about inquiry, testing, and adapting theories to the reality of new evidence. Science frequently involves accepting change. Pastor Enyart is a believer in a religion which believes that certain things are immutable, among them, the creator for the universe. Change is anathema to such believers and when they look at science, they view any change with suspicion. Unfortunately for people who fear change, real science need not be so dogmatic. It is subject to change as new and better evidence turns up and better experiments are developed to gather more data. Theists view the subject of their inquiries, "God", as an unchangeable constant in a world (and universe) full of change. I'll address Pastor Enyart's most recent science questions toward the end of this post. I'll begin by addressing his other single area of evidence for the existence of God, absolute moral values.

Absolute Moral Values
Pastor Enyart tells us that, "We know right from wrong because there is a god and because he has revealed it to us." This is an interesting assertion. One might ask, is this revelation for a special few or is it for all humans in every age? If it is only for a special few, then Pastor Enyart's God is a partisan player of favorites, damning people pretty much indiscriminately and hardly fits the standard definition of the Christian deity. If the revelation is for all humankind, then we should be able to investigate the mechanism of that revelation. How does this deity allegedly communicate this knowledge of "right and wrong" to human beings? According to Pastor Enyart, he does so by, "… creating us in His likeness with a conscience, and through other means." This sentence is a bit difficult to decipher.

I would ask Pastor Enyart to clarify which of the following he intended to indicate:
  • a) God created us in his likeness and then gave us a conscience after creating us in his likeness, or

    b) God created us in his likeness which included giving us a conscience since God has one

Regarding the rest of the statement, one might ask, "What other means, Pastor Enyart?" We know that my opponent is a professional communicator and I find it unlikely that he did not name a single one of the "other means" out of forgetfulness. Perhaps it is because those "other means" are even weaker support than his conscience argument… The problem for his argument is that we have already refuted the value of conscience as a reflection of the absolute standard since moral standards in the human conscience is: a) demonstrably not universal (some humans do not even appear to have a conscience) and b) demonstrably not uniform among all humans (differing codes of ethics and morals around the world). This would appear to leave his "other means" as the possible universal, uniform evidence of absolute morality.

Perhaps Pastor Enyart will explain to the eagerly awaiting throngs of readers just what "other means" his deity uses to demonstrate his absolute standards to the human race.

Pastor Enyart then has the temerity to insist that "atheists ultimately have no valid reason to insist that a criminal refrain from hurting a victim…" This petty attack on atheists is revealing as much for what it says as for what it does not say. First of all to discuss the actions of a "criminal", one must first be proposing that the individual in question lives in human society. That society must have laws, for to be a criminal means one must transgress one or more laws. Thus the very definition of the word "criminal" provides all the justification anyone (atheist or theist) might need to insist that a criminal refrain from injuring another. Whether the criminal agrees with the laws of the society in which he lives is immaterial. The laws exist and he can either obey them or accept the natural and societal consequences of disobedience.

"Evidence" for God?
I have requested throughout this debate that Pastor Enyart provide evidence for the existence of his deity. As stated before, the only evidence he has provided is the human conscience, which we have refuted, and a series of gaps in scientific knowledge which he claims, without any tangible support, must provide evidence for the existence of a supernatural being. The logical flaw in his argument is that any supernatural being of sufficient power will fill the bill. Some atheists are fond of using the Invisible Pink Unicorn (IPU) as an alternative to Pastor Enyart's God, claiming that she (yes, we do know the IPU is a "she", those who claim otherwise are heretics…) is just as viable an explanation as his own. There is absolutely no evidence he has presented, thus far, that could not be equally well ascribed to the auspices of the IPU. The IPU, we could argue, gave men consciences, modeled on her own. The IPU, we could assert, created the universe, with a swish of her tail and one golden hoof tied behind her back. Thus we do not need Pastor Enyart's God to be the creator of the universe or the author of moral absolutes - we can use the IPU to fill any gaps that Pastor Enyart cares to identify.

(For those wishing to find out more about the IPU (PBUH), click here. If you are a "serious" IPU scholar, try this site - complete with scriptures, forums, and other unicornia – the Institute for Unicorn Research. :D )

Now, some of you might wonder why I bother to post such silliness. I use this humorous aside to demonstrate a point, using just as much evidence as Pastor Enyart has presented, to date. Every gap he claims must be filled with his deity can just as readily be filled with the IPU. Where's the evidence, you ask, for the IPU's existence? Well, just like Pastor Enyart, I need merely assert it to be truth and leave it for my opponent to refute it.

To date, I have presented the following formal arguments:
  • The Moral Knowledge Argument for Atheism (MKAA) – No god's morality is universally known or accepted by the entire human race (or even the greater majority)

    The Argument from Confusion (AC) – All the followers of any god cannot agree on major theological "truth" about their deity and his/her will and design for humans

    The Argument from Non-Belief (ANB) – No god has managed, after 6,000 years of recorded human history, to capture the belief of even a simple majority of the human race

Pastor Enyart has not effectively refuted any of the first three, instead relying on philological legerdemain to present the appearance of an argument while providing no real substantive answers.

In my previous post, I presented Euthyphro's Dilemma which essentially argues that moral absolutes must exist either because the god(s) decree them to be so or because the god(s) acknowledge another external standard.[/quote]

Pastor Enyart, in a fit of apparent hubris, claims that, after 24 centuries he has "solved Euthyphro's Dilemma by observing that, if God exists, a description of God's nature can be independent of his nature itself, and thus there is no logical contradiction in the possibility that God's nature defines an objective moral standard." I will demonstrate that he has not yet done so and that philosophy students everywhere may continue, as they have for some 24 centuries, to argue Euthyphro's Dilemma in their classrooms. ;)

In his failed effort to refute Euthyphro's Dilemma, Pastor Enyart makes use of what is referred to as "Essential Moral Attribute Response" (EMAR) to attempt to answer the first horn of the dilemma by claiming that right and wrong are part of the nature of his deity and that, to again use his own words, "God could not do evil (anything against the present description of his nature), and remain holy."

A bit of examination demonstrates the weakness of this argument. Appealing to God's character does not solve Euthyphro's dilemma, it only postpones the problem of since it merely restates the dilemma in terms of God's character. Is God's character the way it is because it is good or is God's character good simply because it is God's character?

Is there an independent standard of good or does God's character set the standard? If God's character is the way it is because it is good, then there is an independent standard of goodness by which to evaluate God's character. For example, suppose God condemns rape because of his just and merciful character. His character is just and merciful because mercy and justice are good. Since God is necessarily good, God is just and merciful. According to this independent standard of goodness, being merciful and just is precisely what a good character involves. In this case, even if God did not exist, one could say that a merciful and just character is good. Human beings could use this standard to evaluate peoples' character and actions based on this character. They could do this whether or not God exists. So, in this case, God is not necessary for the existence of a moral system.

Suppose God's character is good simply because it is God's character. Then if God's character were cruel and unjust, these attributes would be good. In such a case God might well condone rape since this would be in keeping with his character. But one might reply that God could not be cruel and unjust since by necessity God must be good? It is true that by necessity God must be good. But unless we have some independent standard of goodness (outside of God) then whatever attributes God has would by definition be good: God's character would define what good is. It would seem that if God could not be cruel and unjust, then God's character must necessarily exemplify some independent standard of goodness. Using this standard one could say that cruelty and injustice are not good whether God exists or not.

Pastor Enyart's argument also raises some other interesting problems to consider in future posts, if we have time:

  • Is God only capable of doing good acts? If so, then perhaps Pastor Enyart could explain how he has concocted a God that is not a free moral agent while the most menial human being possesses the power to choose good or evil. In addition to making the deity internally incoherent, such a belief also appears to be contradicted in the bible.

    If all "good" is essentially dependent upon the nature of the deity; then it would follow that, if Pastor Enyart's God did not exist, then basic moral beliefs, for example that the gratuitous torture of babies is morally wrong, would be mistaken. This is absurd.

Perhaps Pastor Enyart will share with us some of the source material from which he derives his ideas of the character of his God… is his God the same deity that other Christians worship? If so then, according to a variety of Christian sources, God's character includes:
  • God is not immutable, he changes his mind
  • God murders
  • God kills the unborn and orders his followers to do so
  • God withholds help in time of disaster
  • God has built an imperfect world in which tragic genetic mutation causes monstrosities to be born to human parents
  • God punishes children for the wrongdoing of their parents
  • God orders fathers to kill their children
  • God encourages human slavery
  • God causes prophets to lie
  • God orders the ritual mutilation of children
  • God orders human sacrifice
  • God allows rape
  • God orders genocide

All these are part of the outward manifestation of God's character. If Pastor Enyart's contention is correct, then all these things are absolutely good and must be acceptable in human society. The observable fact that most of these actions would not be perceived of as good by many of the readers here is a further demonstration of the implausability of Pastor Enyart's argument and further support for the Argument from Confusion.

Time and Astronomy
"Time", as they say, "is on my side.Yes it is." (with a nod to Mick Jagger and the lads). Pastor Enyart brings up time as a supporting evidence for the existence of his diety. His argument is not related to time specifically but merely appears to be a warmed over reserving of the Argument from Design he presented earlier in the series. I'll address some of his specific points here.

Contrary to Pastor Enyart's assertion, random events can produce an ordered result. Anyone who has ever won at a game of poker can verify that randomly shuffled cards can produce, on occasion, ordered groupings when dealt to the players. If' you've ever held a pair, three of a kind, four of a kind, or a straight, or flush you've experienced this phenomenon.

Note also that his "not enough time" argument has obviously been refuted since his own body is composed of proteins. He exists due to a purely natural event – unless there is something he has been holding back (;) ), he was not created by a deity but by the recombination of living material from his parents and their genomes. His argument is based on a simplistic misstatement of reality. Proteins are not formed by random interactions of atoms. They arise form other less complex molecules through clearly understood mechanisms. His assertions of mathematical estimates are presented with no basis on observed experiments. There are such experiments, interested readers can learn about some of them here at "Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and Probability of Abiogenesis Calculations." In essence, Pastor Enyart's argument demonstrates a basic misunderstanding of both the process of protein synthesis and statistics.

Ian Musgrave, (Ph.D. in neurophysiology), one of the authors at explains the probability issue very clearly using the example of a coin toss:
Here is a experiment you can do yourself: take a coin, flip it four times, write down the results, and then do it again. How many times would you think you had to repeat this procedure (trial) before you get 4 heads in a row?

Now the probability of 4 heads in a row is is (1/2)4 or 1 chance in 16: do we have to do 16 trials to get 4 heads (HHHH)? No, in successive experiments I got 11, 10, 6, 16, 1, 5, and 3 trials before HHHH turned up. The figure 1 in 16 (or 1 in a million or 1 in 1040) gives the likelihood of an event in a given trial, but doesn't say where it will occur in a series. You can flip HHHH on your very first trial (I did). Even at 1 chance in 4.29 x 1040, a self-replicator could have turned up surprisingly early. But there is more.

1 chance in 4.29 x 1040 is still orgulously, gobsmackingly unlikely; it's hard to cope with this number. Even with the argument above (you could get it on your very first trial) most people would say "surely it would still take more time than the Earth existed to make this replicator by random methods". Not really; in the above examples we were examining sequential trials, as if there was only one protein/DNA/proto-replicator being assembled per trial. In fact there would be billions of simultaneous trials as the billions of building block molecules interacted in the oceans, or on the thousands of kilometers of shorelines that could provide catalytic surfaces or templates [2,15].

Let's go back to our example with the coins. Say it takes a minute to toss the coins 4 times; to generate HHHH would take on average 8 minutes. Now get 16 friends, each with a coin, to all flip the coin simultaneously 4 times; the average time to generate HHHH is now 1 minute. Now try to flip 6 heads in a row; this has a probability of (1/2)6 or 1 in 64. This would take half an hour on average, but go out and recruit 64 people, and you can flip it in a minute. If you want to flip a sequence with a chance of 1 in a billion, just recruit the population of China to flip coins for you, you will have that sequence in no time flat.

Thus the time and complexity issues are essentially non-issues when viewed from a planetary scale.

Additionally, in his last post, Pastor Enyart appears to have shifted is argument from declaring gaps in scientific knowledge as evidence for God to declaring them as evidence for the vague term "supernatural"."…if no natural means can be found for a phenomenon, then that ecomes evidence for the supernatural; if no natural cause exists, then tha tbecomes proof for the supernatural." I will remind our readers that this tactic is merely "God of the Gaps" trotted out once again. Merely because Pastor Enyart cannot perceive that a natural mechanism existss for a give observable phenomenon does not preclude the existence of that natural mechanism. (Unless, perhaps Pastor Enyart is trying to tell us that he is omniscient… ;) ) Remember that for centuries, humans ascribed epilepsy to supernatural causes until its mechanisms were researched and understood. Now it is merely another treatable medical disorder. We've gone around again to "God of the Gaps" and I will once again remind the readers that, despite Pastor Enyart's attempts to assert otherwise, ignorance is not evidence for the existence of God. Ignorance is merely there result of a gap in knowledge. Something that history has shown can be rectified with time and diligent research.

It would also be helpful if Pastor Enyart could explain exactly to what specific genes he is referring to in his human/ape comparison. According to the people who study such things, the human genome contains roughly 3 billion base-pairs. It is only reasonable that Pastor Enyart explain to which base pairs (or even which chromosomes) he is referring since mutation rates and probability will partially depend on where a give base pair is on a particular chromosome. Once he is specific, then we have a better likelihood of evaluating his, currently unsupported, assertions about mutation rates and probability. All he has presented thus far is vague generalities, unsupported by any actual facts. Providing the source for his mathematical manipulations would also be useful in evaluating his position.

In answer to his astronomical question, I'll refer him and our readers to the helpful post supplied by TOL's favorite cetacean, Flipper. (I'll never understand how he types so well with flippers instead of fingers ;) ) Flipper points out some information that indicates that Pastor Enyart's information may be a bit out of date and incorrect… Flipper's post. Since I am not allowed to post images on my posts, the references and images in the links so kindly provided by Flipper will have to do.

So to sum up this eighth post, we've addressed much of last round's material and posed the following questions for Pastor Enyart to discuss in his future posts…

Absolute Morals
  • 1. Explain what "other means" Pastor Enyart's God uses to demonstrate his absolute standards to the human race.

    2. Did God create us in his likeness and then give us a conscience after creating us in his likeness, or did God create us in his likeness which included giving us a conscience since God has one?

    3. Demonstrate several source materials he uses to derive the character of his god.

    4. Explain how he determines which manifestations of his god's character are useful for moral absolutes and which ones are to be ignored.

    5. Is God only capable of doing good? If so, then do you consider all the I listed above as good?

Euthyphro's Dilemma
  • 1. Explain why his Essential Moral Attributes Responses to the dilemma should not be considered a mere restating of the dilemma, but actually providing an answer.

Gaps in Scientific Knowledge
  • 1. Provide a source for the mathematical models that underlie his assertions about the impossibility of genetic mutation occurring on earth within the span of planetary history.

    2. Provide specifics about the genes or base-pairs to which he refers in his argument about human/ape genetic discrepancy.

Nathon Detroit

ANY AND ALL POSTS ON THIS THREAD WILL BE DELETED UNLESS THEY ARE POSTED BY: Me (Knight), other Administrators, Bob Enyart or Zakath. You may discuss Battle Royale VII here.

Abusing this will result in banishment from TheologyOnLine.
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Nathon Detroit

Due to the fact we extended Zakath's 8th round post deadline it has caused a minor scheduling conflict for Bob's 8th round post. Therefore.... with the consent of Zakath we have extended Bob's deadline an extra 24 hours.
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Bob Enyart

Staff member


Misrepresentations were the theme of Zakath’s seventh round. The theme of his eighth post is to assume victory in disagreements for which he has not rebutted but simply Ignored My Argument (marked below by [IMA]). Where he does this, I think it would be more effective for him to show how my arguments are ineffective, rather than to simply assume them so, or even just to completely ignore them. For example, Zakath’s main argument is the God of the Gaps claim [IMA], which I challenged in post 2 and presented a specific, significant rebuttal to in post 5. I have agreed that “ignorance is no evidence.” And until Zakath attempts to answer my Gap rebuttal, perhaps in round 10, he has no grounds to write: “Despite Pastor Enyart's attempts to assert otherwise, ignorance is not evidence for the existence of God. Ignorance is merely there result of a gap in knowledge.” What is Zakath’s defense to my Gaps rebuttal? No one can know from reading the debate thus far, because he has simply ignored it and the suspense builds as we wonder if he has an answer. As for me, after reviewing the status of the latest questions, I will present additional evidence for God’s existence from psychology [ZQ10-7], and then do as I do, respond to all of Zakath’s points, thus making this my longest post, so I offer him an additional 24 hours to respond.

Bob’s Questions to Zakath

BQ27: Zakath, do you agree that I have solved Euthyphro’s Dilemma?
ZA27: Zakath answered no. [IMA] I answer his related ZQ29 below.

BQ28: Zakath, please indicate if my estimate is incorrect that mathematics predicts that it will take more than a trillion years to form a single protein molecule by chance.
ZA28: Zakath presented the “game of poker” as evidence that “random events” can produce an “ordered result” [by which he unreasonably ignored that men designed playing cards and poker rules to achieve those very results based upon probabilities, and conversely he ignored my reasonable appeal to casino operators regarding mathematical probabilities]. Also, Zakath criticized me writing that Bob’s “‘not enough time’ argument has obviously been refuted since his own body is composed of proteins” [which is a most embarrassing example of the illogical begging the question by assuming the very point that he is trying to prove.] Oops. My answers to ZQ31 and ZQ32 further expose the atheist’s inability to refute the Father Time proof for a Creator God.

BQ29: Zakath, please indicate how hundreds of random events that would not occur in a trillion years each, even if we used the entire known universe as a laboratory, could all occur within an extremely short time just on planet Earth?
ZA29: Zakath offered evidence from 52 trials of flipping four coins to show that highly improbable events actually will happen quite readily. (See [BA31] below.) And he wrote that “proteins are not formed by random interactions of atoms. They arise from other less complex molecules through clearly understood mechanisms.” [This is simply untrue in the atheist sense; the only understood mechanism for building proteins is via DNA in living cells. Zakath’s bizarre claim makes it sound like the atheistic origin of proteins has been resolved; but he would win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and his own program on PBS if he could show convincingly how the first proteins arose.]

BQ30: Zakath, please explain in the most broad terms how random mutations… would then be propagated to an entire species, all millions of times over in just a few million years?
ZA30: In ZQ32, he asks me to narrow the question, so I have in BA32, and now I await his answer to BQ30.

BQ31: Zakath, which do you think was vindicated, the 1995 prediction of atheistic NASA engineers that a developing Hubble photo would show galaxies forming, or the prediction of a Christian talk-show host that Hubble’s photo would show typical, not early, galaxies?
ZA31: Zakath didn’t answer.

Zakath’s Questions to Bob

ZQ20: Explain what "other means" Pastor Enyart's God uses to demonstrate his absolute standards to the human race.
BA20: In addition to conscience, God has provided mankind with all the general revelation that exists throughout creation, including human consciousness, relationships, and personality, and thus with all the knowledge that we can derive from the existence of not mere matter, but persons also. In addition to the general revelation of creation, any special revelation, in which God has communicated to mankind linguistically, in spoken or written language, can add to His demonstration of absolute standards.

ZQ21: Did God create us in his likeness and then give us a conscience after creating us in his likeness?
BA21: No.

ZQ22: Did God create us in his likeness which included giving us a conscience since God has one?
BA21: God could not have created beings in His likeness without instilling within them the knowledge of right and wrong, which in man we call conscience. But if your main question is: Does God have a conscience?, then I will answer that God is unavoidably aware that there is a difference between right and wrong, and that He should not do wrong. In men we refer to this as conscience, but in God we simply describe this as a part of His nature.

ZQ23: Demonstrate several source materials [Bob] uses to derive the character of his god.
BA23: 1) The personal nature of God which is logically necessary since He created people; 2) His loving provision of the world and its resources for man; 3) The love I have for my wife and children which mere chemicals cannot account for; 4) The conscience that God instilled within us. I could provide more, but this answers the question.

ZQ24: Is [Bob Enyart’s] God the same deity that other Christians worship?
BA24: Yes. Of course, as human beings do on even the most objective matters, Christians have different opinions about God’s nature, but different views of Andromeda would not mean that the galaxy does not exist.

ZQ25: “We do not need Pastor Enyart's God to be the creator of the universe or the author of moral absolutes - we can use the Invisible Pink Unicorn to fill any gaps that Pastor Enyart cares to identify.”
BA25: I agree. This debate is not, “Is Jesus God?” or “Is the IPU God?” but “Does God Exist?” Atheism would be defeated regardless of whom God is. I have given evidence for the existence of God whom I defined as: “the supernatural Creator of the natural universe, existing eternally, powerful, wise and knowledgeable, personal, loving, and just.” But beyond my own evidence, I have responded to two of your challenges regarding falsification and the ability to possess knowledge of absolute morality using the persons of the Trinitarian God.

ZQ26: [Let Bob] explain how he determines which manifestations of his god's character are useful for moral absolutes and which ones are to be ignored.
BA26: Every single manifestation of God’s character is useful for understanding moral absolutes.

ZQ27: Is God only capable of doing good?
BA27: God does good not because He is unable to do otherwise, but because He wills to do good. In post 7 [IMA] I stated:
• “Using the biblical paradigm, if Jesus Christ [the Christian God] gave into temptation by submitting to evil and worshipping Satan, then He would not have remained righteous.”
• “The Son willingly submits to the Father.”
• “If He willed to embrace evil (as described currently by His nature) then He would no longer be the righteous God.”
If God did evil, which He could do, then He would no longer be a righteous God, but He commits that His faithfulness will remain forever.

ZQ28: Do you consider all the [biblical inferences] I listed above as good?
BA28: As I observed earlier, Zakath is trying “to divert the debate into a wide-ranging discussion of the Bible, rather than sticking to the question of God’s existence.” Zakath, if you and our moderator Knight concur, I will happily debate you in another Battle Royale on the question: “Is the Bible the Word of God?” (That seems to me to be your big issue anyway.) But that’s not the topic of the current debate and does not address my seven lines of evidence and proofs for God. And as I stated earlier, God either did or did not exist prior to the writing of the Bible. Your ZQ23, ZQ25, ZQ26, and ZQ27 are attempts to divert the last five posts into an open-ended Bible discussion. So for ZQ27 as before, “I will postpone answering it until my last post.”

ZQ29: “Explain why [Bob’s] Essential Moral Attributes Responses to [Euthyphro's] dilemma should not be considered a mere restating of the dilemma, but actually providing an answer.” And, “Is God's character the way it is because it is good or is God’s character good simply because it is God’s character?”
BA29: Zakath, while I maintain that I solved Euthyphro’s Dilemma in post 7b, the actual question I then posed to you did not sufficiently incorporate my solution, so below I provide BQ35 which restates BQ27. You summarized this dilemma stating that “…no action performed by God can be out of his character.” In my response I warned you that, “without discipline, you will once again fail to even understand the point. So please put your auto-pilot Bible rebuttal mode in its upright and locked position, and first comprehend this new material.” And what did you go and do? In this section you made twelve accusations against the Bible’s God, and you ignored much of my argument, which I will now cut and paste for you to consider again:
“Moral inconsistency is an absolute determinant for wrong… Thus consistency is a necessary property of righteousness (and thus of being right)… Humans are social beings, and our morality magnifies itself in our actions toward others. Thus because morality is social, a social God [IMA] who interacts with multiple persons has an additional context in which to objectively demonstrate His morality. Let me illustrate the implications of this using the Christian conception of the Trinitarian God, Father, Son and Spirit, three persons in one God. If God is a Trinitarian God, then He has an eternal track record of interaction between the persons of the Godhead. And if during that eternal fellowship, if any moral inconsistency appeared, then God would be objectively evil. But an atheist may ask, ‘What if there was no inconsistency because this God is consistently evil?’ A [Trinitarian] God with other Persons to interact with has other frames of reference, that is, other perspectives from which to declare Himself. Thus if the Son willingly submits to the Father, because He implicitly trusts the Father from whom He has never experienced harm, and the Spirit brings glory to the Son, because He has never felt threatened by the Son, and the Father loves the Son and the Spirit, never having His wellbeing jeopardized by either, then ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.’ Thus even though it is the only standard He has ever known, God the Father can determine that His own standard is righteous because He has never violated it, and because the independent persons of the Son and the Spirit testify that the Father has never violated their own self-interests. This process is greatly amplified when God creates other beings, and as He reveals Himself to them in various ways. For, He must behave toward them in their own best interest, or else He violates His own standard of love. And He must punish those who hurt others, or else He violates His own standard of justice. And if God’s intention was not for the welfare but for the harm of created eternal beings, then He would have violated His own declared standard. Thus while moral inconsistency indicates wickedness, eternal consistency proves either continuous good or continuous evil; and multiple perspectives from independent persons provide information regarding whether God acts on behalf of, or against, their best interests.”

ZQ30: Pastor Enyart has not effectively refuted any of the first three [of Zakath’s formal arguments MKAA, ANB, and AC], instead relying on philological legerdemain to present the appearance of an argument while providing no real substantive answers.
BA30: Zakath used his invincible secret weapon against my rebuttals to his three arguments: he ignored them. In BA17 [IMA] (which summarizes parts of BA9 and post 3b) I claimed to rebut his arguments. Please attempt to demonstrate, rather than ask the readers to just assume, that my rebuttal is not substantive.

ZQ31: Provide a source for the mathematical models that underlie his assertions about the impossibility of genetic mutation occurring on earth within the span of planetary history.
BA31: You offered an experiment from a neurophysiologist as a rebuttal to the creationist use of probability. This scientist tossed four coins and obtained all heads seven times in 52 trials. Below [BA31], I counter that with an experiment my wife Cheryl has been conducting on her computer by which she is randomly rolling dice (alphabetic dice in software) trying to get all 26 letters of the alphabet to come up in the right sequence, which is more sophisticated and demonstrative than the four coins of your neurophysiologist. So far Cheryl, a home-school mom, has run her trial 9.8 trillion times. Yes, trillion, with a “t.” By the way, the seed for Cheryl’s random number generator is saved along with her results making her entire experiment, unlike the neurophysiologist’s, exactly repeatable and verifiable. Cheryl’s results do not bode well for the evolutionist who hopes to circumvent mathematical probabilities.

ZQ32: Provide specifics about the genes or base-pairs to which he refers in his argument about human/ape genetic discrepancy.
BA32: My arguments apply generally to the development of any new functional DNA sequence or protein, and to the speed of propagation of any genetic improvements throughout a species’ population. However, if you want to narrow the focus for some reason, then let’s use the research just reported this month in which Japanese scientists have found not a 1.5 or 5 percent, but a 15 percent difference between chimp and human DNA. If you really think narrowing the discussion will not obfuscate but help you solve the challenge, then feel free to attempt a rebuttal with respect to the 36 genes that differ between human chromosome 21 (the most well researched) as compared to its counterpart chimpanzee chromosome 22, regarding both the time for their initial creation and then the number of generations needed for their propagation throughout the entire species; and then determine if enough time exists since the dawn of the universe for the genes to appear randomly via mutation, and if enough evolutionary time exists to propagate throughout some primate species all the DNA changes needed to code for humans.

ZQ10: Continued request for evidence for God (implied by his post 7a claim that theists “don’t have any real significant evidence”).
BA10-7: I now add my seventh line of evidence [ZQ10-7] for a supernatural Creator from Zakath’s own field, psychology.

Evidence from Psychology

As a believer in God, I have often stated that everywhere you look everything you ponder provides evidence for a supernatural Creator regardless of how unlikely the thing you consider. How do we test this claim? We check to see if even apparently improbable issues are explained well by theism or by atheism. So, to see if we find evidence for a supernatural Creator even in the most unlikely topics, I submit to you: [ZQ10-7] Dirty Jokes. On two occasions, I publicly sparred with The Man Show host, now with ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, calling him a crotch humorist and pointing out that TV’s old romantic comedies mostly have been replaced by genital comedies. Unlike animals, human beings have a sense of embarrassment about various bodily functions which humor can exploit. Why do people commonly laugh and feel uncomfortable in public regarding reproduction and expelling waste? If human beings were not at all spiritual but strictly made of matter, consisting only of atoms and molecules, then we would have no context from which to view our base bodily functions as funny or embarrassing. So we theists describe both human and animal behavior as an expected function of our worldview. Since animals do not have spirits, they have no context from which to be embarrassed about relieving themselves or reproduction, and readily do both in public. A male horse pulling a carriage of tourists in Denver will defecate in front of his favorite mare and the rest of the world, while a human being would die a thousand deaths emotionally before doing likewise.

Humor requires degrees of truth and the unexpected. A popular comic has noted that when we knock on restroom doors, we often hear the occupant say, “There’s somebody in here.” Somebody? As in somebody else? Since a restroom is primarily for our basest bodily functions, we tend to distance ourselves from its use and even refer to the facility as though it is for resting or bathing. We speak of heart doctors, ears, nose, and throat specialists, eye doctors and even brain surgeons, but we disguise experts in our most embarrassing function by calling them proctologists, so well veiled that we don’t even recognize the Greek root of the title. If we called him a crapologist, no one would take the job. A slight reference to the function in public can get a frown or a laugh out of billions of people. Yet a dog in heat cares nothing about witnesses; monkeys make no attempt to hide their private parts; and a statue at the center of attention will get covered in bird droppings. Mark Twain critically observed in Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World (1897, ch. 27) that “Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.”

Everything, even dirty jokes, provides evidence for God’s spiritual realm. And again, atheism cannot directly explain even one of all the observations ever made, while all those same observations are themselves ready and direct evidence for theism. Thus in this debate Zakath the atheist is on the defensive and tries to run away even from scientific discussions. Human beings have a spiritual dimension and thus we do not have a matter-of-fact attitude toward our lowest material functions. If you could teach a dog to laugh, you couldn’t get him to laugh at fire hydrants or reproduction, because he would have no frame of reference from which to consider such things funny or distant. But spiritual beings could look with surprise, shock, and embarrassment, the stuff of dirty jokes, upon their physical selves. Actually, to introduce this matter, I have simplified the issue somewhat, for the derivative of the word psychology does not come from the Greek word pneuma for spirit, but from the word psyche for soul. Life is more complicated than just matter and spirit, for man is body, soul, and spirit. Both scientific observation and religious writings indicate that animals are not simply made of matter, but they also have souls, which enables them to relate to one another. The souls of men and animals do not exhibit identical capacities, and even the souls of different animal species enable different degrees of social and even rudimentary emotional capacities for relating to other animals and to man. As relationships have a greater value than chemical reactions, soul is a higher function than body. And as a relationship with a spiritual (supernatural) Creator is the greatest possible relationship for a creature, spirit is a higher function than soul. Only humans exhibit evidence of having an eternal spirit which observations are also consistent with the most common religious view. Thus the species of Homo sapiens possesses the widest context from which to distance ourselves from various bodily functions, and as those functions become most base, we have the context to view them as virtually foreign from our true identities.

We conceal reproduction and the expulsion of waste (which even prostitutes and pornographers do in their private lives), and then we also cover our nakedness with clothes, and reside in private domiciles. We get married in the most public of ceremonies and then live in extremely expensive privacy. As a group, the most progressive liberals could have billions of dollars extra to use toward meeting other needs if they did away with expensive private accoutrements like clothing and bedrooms. And if atheistic evolution were true, especially indoors, the universality of clothing itself is difficult to account for and should be easily discarded. Even nudists use private restrooms and claim to conceal their sexual behavior from relatives and other onlookers. In rejecting God, an individual or societal conscience can be seared and values lowered. So tribesmen can adopt minimalist clothing and condition their women to go topless, but missionaries find that women in such cultures readily reassert their modesty. Behaviors that are characteristically human, which are unlike those in the animal kingdom from which we supposedly evolved just a short time ago, testify to a morality of human nature imposed upon us by the Creator.

Now let’s move from jokes to fears, specifically, fears of the dark, of ghosts, and of the dead. We humans differ from animals in strange quirks which theism readily explains. Evolution supposedly selects so well for survival that human brains advanced quickly to now process quadrillions of instructions per second. Yet if atheism were true, then natural selection has introduced the most backward oddities only among human animals. According to Isaac Asimov, the human brain “as far as we know, is the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the universe” (Asimov, In the Game of Energy and Thermodynamics You Can’t Even Break Even, Smithsonian, August 1970, p. 10). And yet people, the greatest supposed achievement of evolution, are the only animals that are afraid of the dark, afraid of spirits, and afraid of dead bodies. A little mouse moves about fearlessly at night. A fish calmly sniffs at the recently deceased corpse of its own mother. No snake is afraid of ghosts. Yet human beings have an uncanny fear of these which we overcome to varying degrees. But why do these experiences exist for humans and not animals? Why? Because human beings, being spiritual as well as physical, are inherently aware of the spiritual realm, the domain beyond death, of spirit beings, the realm that cannot be seen with the eyes. Such physical experiences remind us of that realm when we are in the dark and confronted with a reality which we cannot see, and when we think of the spirit beings who inhabit that realm, and when we come in contact with the remains of another person who has departed from this life into the next. For a dead body is the closest physical connection we have with the afterlife. Such behavioral evidence further distinguishes humans from animals and provides additional evidence for mankind’s reasonable and unshakeable belief in the afterlife. For if God put an eternal spirit into man but not into animals, we could predict that animals will not behave as humans do regarding the dead and the unseen. And even the atheist exhibits such fears, not being able to shake his own awareness of the spiritual realm. Again every single observation ever made provides direct evidence against atheism and for God.

Atheists of course will always attempt explanations. “We fear a dead body because whatever killed it may lurk nearby to kill us.” Or, “Fear disguises our sadness at losing a loved one.” But these do not explain our eerie feeling if we happen to stumble upon an old human skull. Some atheists may even deny that such fears are a common part of the human experience, but just hold a discussion with a random test group, about spirits, in the dark, at night, in an old cemetery. Yes by training or repetition people can overcome such anxiety and atheists can find one in a thousand people who will deny ever experiencing such creepy reactions. But then, let him find one in a thousand cows that show such fear. So my theistic worldview would predict and directly explains these broad differences in behavior between trillions of non-humans and their billions of human counterparts, while atheism fails to account for any of it, tripping up even over dirty jokes and universal fears, requiring secondary and tertiary assumptions, along with a boatload of completely unimaginable factors in which they nonetheless implicitly trust.

A human can experience a fear of the dark and want to quickly switch on a light even when walking through his own familiar bedroom, even when sure that nothing is amiss and without worry of any intruder. Humans have a fear of spirits, and commonly, even those who do not believe in ghosts get readily spooked in so-called “haunted houses.” (I know; I saw more than 30,000 people pass through one that I worked in run by Youth for Christ’s Campus Life high school ministry in New Jersey.) If evolution simply produced such universal fears of the dark, and of ghosts, and of the dead because they are valuable for survival, then why produce them only in humans and not in countless other species? Of course, God could have created animals with such instincts, but not doing so helps men see the uncrossable divide between us and animals, and helps deter even depraved men from modeling animal behaviors such as eating their own young. Compared to animals, humans have both noble and evil distinctions that atheism cannot account for, like our greater intellect, depth and breadth of personalities and emotions, our standing erect which gives us an upward heavenly gaze looking toward the immeasurable Creator, and even our sinful flesh. For the bigger the man, the harder his fall, and to whom much is given, much is required. And thus compared to animals, it is mankind that has the extraordinary capacity for evil. So the unknown, the unseen, the spiritual, the dead, all strike a chord that resonates uniquely throughout mankind. For if God made us with a spiritual dimension, to have an awareness of a spiritual life after death, then we should expect such behavior.

Psychology leads us also to consider beauty. Can we accurately reduce the recognition and appreciation of beauty to simply a ploy of evolution. Or is beauty independent of any human or biological observer? Atheists have claimed that evolution produced the beauty in flowers, butterflies, and peacocks; but what of the splendor in snowflakes and galaxies? The universe is filled with evidence that beauty exists independently of biological observation. The beauty of deep sea plants and distant nebulas awaited discovery by man. If beauty does not exist independent of man’s observation, then it does not exist as evidence for God, but if a mountain stream or a wheat field is objectively beautiful, then God exists. The atheist can tell his wife she is not truly beautiful, or he can mimic the Christian and tell her the truth.

I took a class in Artificial Intelligence at Arizona State University in which I wrote a software program that could play chess. Also that semester we looked at vision systems which began my own continuing consideration of beauty. The appreciation of beauty is a spiritual function not attributable to matter. Albert Einstein in his 1944 Remarks on Bertrand Russell's Theory of Knowledge wrote of “the gulf -- logically unbridgeable” between ideas and matter referred to by some linguists and scientists as Einstein’s Gulf. Atheists are impotent to explain anything at all, and are especially unable to explain how the universe can begin with matter alone and develop to where knowledge is possible. They attempt to defend their atheistic worldview with knowledge, ideas, reason, science, language, and logic. But nothing inherent in matter should reliably give rise to any knowledge whatsoever, and especially not to beauty. For information science shows that knowledge does not arise nor increase by chance. And if any atheist thinks otherwise, then produce the proof discovered since Einstein which shows that knowledge can arise from matter.

Beauty is not purely subjective to biological life. The innate beauty intrinsic to the animate and inanimate world testifies to us of a Creator who appreciates that delightful quality of things which possess a harmony of form, color, texture, and perspective, things which show originality and excellence of craftsmanship, all within the right setting. For we find beauty in a sunrise but not in a rotting corpse, in a soprano’s voice but not in a man’s belch, and in the eyes of a child but not in the droppings of a pig.

Human observations provide evidence of purpose. We analyze our temperaments and so classify ourselves as introverts and extroverts, thinkers and feelers, detail-oriented and big picture types, planners and doers. Our population is filled with these fundamental characteristics in proportion. Since opposites attract (remember the Creator made both physics and romance), we have equal numbers of opposites and so as an extrovert I could marry a wonderful introvert named Cheryl. Clinical research shows that 2/3s of men are thinkers and 2/3s of women are feelers, meaning that men act more upon rules, and women act more upon relationships, giving us again a fine-tuned symbiosis. Thus men build bridges across rivers, and women build them across generations. And speaking of rules, atheistic feminists say that men made the rules of traditional morality in order to keep women down. But if it were up to the average man, society’s morals would force women to go naked, and instead of faithfulness in marriage, the Ten Commandments would insist upon promiscuity. And if men made up the rules, why is it that men are less virtuous than women? Just look at the jails, unfaithfulness, addiction, crassness, and murder. Sadly, as our society increasingly rejects belief in God, this gender gap narrows as women become less feminine, and we see the atheistic feminization of crime, infidelity, alcoholism, perversion, rush hour, and suicide.

Just as no conceivable process can account for consciousness, i.e. self-awareness, arising of itself from matter, neither could personality and emotion so originate. Logically, the effect cannot be greater than the cause. Our consciousness comes from a self-aware Creator who made us. We are persons, with personality, because He who made us is a personal God. And we have emotions because He can love and hate. Emotions do not arise from chemical reactions, as though mixing a compound in a test tube for an eternity could produce envy or hope. Of course, since emotional beings can express their conditions emotionally, then we can emote our reactions to substances like alcohol or adrenaline, but it is naïve in the Einstein sense, “which separates the world of sensory experiences from the world of concepts” (ibid), to say that such substances produce the emotions. Chemicals do not feel anxiety. To get to emotion, requires personality, and to get personality requires a Person. Thus the evidence points not only to God, but it shows us what kind of God He is. He is not just a cosmic energy source, nor an impersonal organizing force. For neither a Duracell battery nor an Oracle database could ever produce a happy or sad personality. Since we have personality, it is rationale, logical, and utterly scientific to conclude that the cause of our existence is a personal God (just as Pasteur scientifically concluded that microbial growths came from unseen microbes). Atheists reject the Creator apart from any evidence and out of an unprovable, pre-existing bias which they typically refuse to show as falsifiable, leading them to irrational, illogical, and unscientific theories which defy every single observation ever made.

Zakath, help us gauge an atheist’s ability to objectively weigh evidence. Regarding [ZQ10-7] dirty jokes, and privacy in reproduction and expelling waste, and our various fundamental differences from animals like the desire for clothing and the fear of the dark and of ghosts and of the dead, and the recognition of beauty and the existence of ideas, and temperaments, emotion, and personality, please indicate whether all these broad observations appear, even if only superficially, to provide evidence for God or for atheism?

Responding to Specifics

Zakath: Theists are “people who fear change”
Bob: I love change, in science and otherwise and by the way, Christians believe that the eternal God the Son became a Man and at the crucifixion took upon Himself the punishment for sin. Those are dramatic changes.

Zakath: “I have already refuted the value of conscience as a reflection of the absolute standard since moral standards in the human conscience is: a) demonstrably not universal… and b) demonstrably not uniform…” And he responded to my examples like the Columbine murderers and NAZIs writing that “some sociopaths” attempt “to justify their actions… only after they have been apprehended… to avoid punishment… in another attempt to ‘beat the system.’”
Bob: But Harris and Klebold were justifying themselves privately in videos long before they murdered anyone and then even committed suicide to escape condemnation, and the NAZIs were not trying to beat it, they were “the system.” So Zakath should present evidence that I have not already invalidated that refutes my argument for a universal human conscience. And I add evidence of the most cruel, vicious, and unrepentant villains who even disclaim any conscience but who nonetheless judge that someone has wronged them whenever they are falsely accused, or their own rights are violated, or their own private property is stolen, etc., all showing clear evidence of an ability to weigh actions on the scales of justice.

Zakath: Pastor Enyart then has the temerity to insist that "atheists ultimately have no valid reason to insist that a criminal refrain from hurting a victim…"
Bob: I have accused you of “morality-envy” and stated that “when you describe an act as horrible, you only mean you have a strong preference against it, but someone else may have an equally strong preference for it, and there is no standard by which your dislike for rape is objectively correct, and the other’s preference for it objectively incorrect.” So temerity or not, I am asking you to respond to my specific observations. You made much of my use of the word criminal, but I could simply have used villain, or NAZIs, or any murderer like Osama bin Laden who is approved of by his society, and your appeal to cultural laws breaks down. Again, Zakath’s attempt to feign right and wrong apart from any ultimate standard shows how uncomfortable he is with atheism. Zakath, do you admit that the NAZIs who murdered millions held a merely different value system which you may not prefer but which they did prefer, which your preferred laws forbid but which their laws permitted, and that by atheism, there is no final standard that can objectively judge your moral values as superior to the NAZIs?

Zakath: He rejected my statement that, “If no natural means can be found for a phenomenon, then that becomes evidence for the supernatural; if no natural cause exists, then that becomes proof for the supernatural."
Bob: Rejecting that statement indicates intellectual cowardice. I find demonstrations of such fear common among atheists. Whereas Christians like me readily assert that if a natural cause exists for a phenomenon, then such is not proof for God.

Zakath: Pastor Enyart's information may be a bit out of date and incorrect [regarding my report of the processing power of the human brain].
Bob: In 7b I wrote that “Scientists… estimate that the human brain can perform around… 2 QIPS [quadrillions of instructions per second].” Zakath linked to an ally post in the Grandstands which ridiculed such an ignorant estimate and quoted 100 MIPs instead. I got my estimate from an article by Ralph Merkle, president of Foresight Institute, called “nanotechnology’s leading forum for discussion” by the New York Times. Thus I took Merkle’s estimate of the brain’s potential power at as high as 10 QIPS.

Father Time: The Atheist God

Zakath: Quoting his atheist neurophysiologist, “In the above examples we were examining sequential trials, as if there was only one protein/DNA/proto-replicator being assembled per trial. In fact there would be billions of simultaneous trials as the billions of building block molecules interacted in the oceans, or on the thousands of kilometers of shorelines.”
Bob: Zakath, don’t you recall that I offered [BA31] “the entire known universe as a laboratory” granting you far more than our tiny oceans; I gave you all the atoms in the universe, a laboratory capable of 1077 simultaneous experiments all occurring a billion times per second, as compared to your neurophysiologist bragging about getting a lab the size of the entire population of China (which is only 109), and with all my generosity, still you require more than a trillion years to initially generate by chance the first (and each subsequent) protein.

A close friend is the chief engineer of a company which writes some of the most efficient software in the world for major hardware manufacturers. He also wrote a program for Bob Enyart Live called Evolve.exe [BA31] which my wife has been running on her computer. The program uses the best known random-number generating software in the world. Cheryl has run Evolve for years on her own computer and has tallied 9,826,102,000,000 random tests. But, we have other computers at our home running it also. I had not planned to officially use the results of our Evolve program until we reached one quadrillion trials. But since Zakath and the atheists at feel confident with their 52 trials of flipping four coins, I guess the 32.3 trillion attempts that we have logged so far, rolling twenty-six, 26-sided dice and the verifiable and repeatable nature of our experiment, merits at least as much boldness (and a whole lot more significance). Proteins are made from combinations of 20 different left-handed amino acids, each typically linking hundreds of amino acids in a specific order to accomplish specific chemical tasks. Thus the Evolve alphabet test is a tiny baby version of evolving just the first little teeny-weeny partial protein, and yet, one billion computers running evolve 100,000 times per second would take 1.95 quadrillion years just to get our small alphabet, and that with all the pro-evolutionary benefits built into the very concept. Of Cheryl’s nearly ten trillion attempts to get the alphabet dice in the right places (but not necessarily consecutively, we want to make evolution as likely as possible), here’s how many letters she obtained in the right places, and how many times:

If we can get one billion people to run the program in parallel (averaging 100,000 trials/second) it will only take about: 1,950,756,580,000,000 years = 1.95 quadrillion years!

Right...Times Obtained


Cheryl’s best match so far looked like this: abcdxtyhqkylmfotqrituywwvv. Our friends have loaned us some of their PCs’ processing power and between us we’ve racked up 32,358,971,500,000 attempts and in all those trials the best we have achieved is getting 14 letters in their correct positions just once (and we’re offering a $1,500 prize for whoever runs the free program and achieves 15 correct!) Notice that out of 32 trillion attempts, we haven’t achieved a dozen 17s, three 20s, and two 24s. Of course not. The slots fill up in an extraordinarily orderly and methodical way. That’s why Pascal’s name is remembered centuries after his death, because his mathematical probabilities are among the most significant findings of science, although atheists desperately seek to get around them. We’ve run Evolve for years now, and along the way, we’ve done some analysis. For example, we compared theoretical predictions with actual results for one run after 305,010,000,000 rolls. Probability theory estimated that out of 305 billion attempts, 114.4 billion times we would get only one of all 26 letters in the correct location (114,414,375,855 to be exact), and our actual run achieved 114,414,189,957, which is remarkably within just 0.000162% of theory after 305 billion tests! For 12 letters in their correct spots, theory predicted we would get 17, and we hit 18. Zakath’s neurophysiologist said that probability “gives the likelihood of an event in a given trial, but doesn't say where it will occur in a series.” But if your theory needs a hundred events to occur at about the same time and in about the same place, each of which is unlikely to happen in a trillion years anywhere in the entire universe, then you do not have a credible scientific theory, but an unscientific, superstitious blind faith in something that hard mathematics tells you would never occur.

If you randomly generated pixels on a TV screen, do you think it plausible that you might quickly obtain a picture of Hillary Clinton, sitting on a Harley, reaching for an anti-abortion poster, falling off the George Washington Bridge, with Bill Clinton in the background at the broken guardrail holding a torch? Yes, it’s unlikely. But atheists would tell you that there’s no reason that it couldn’t pop up right away, perhaps within the first day of the experiment, after all they’ll say, that’s just as likely as it popping up a billion years later. Forgetting the atheists, you would never get that picture or anything reminiscent of it in a trillion years with a trillion universes filled with a trillion TV sets per atom, flashing a trillion images per second. What you would get is a never ending variety of meaningless static. Blaise Pascal’s probability theory is ruthlessly enforced when random processes must achieve highly improbable outcomes many times over.

Finally, atheists hope that some mechanism, something like natural selection, will help bring about the first proteins or partial proteins. But of course, natural selection [BA31] is a conservative force, not a creative force. Nature will select some functions that improve survival, but it cannot steer or direct the creation of those functions to begin with. Also, of course atheists claim that some kind of primitive proteins would have developed first, and only later would “modern” proteins arise like the tens of thousands of different proteins along with the million living species today. But BQ6 is one of those many questions which Zakath made no attempt to answer. BQ6 dealt with the possibility of the “reduced complexity of pre-cell life” and suggests that [BA31] the most primitive life still has to perform the basic functions of:
• separating itself from its outside environment
• communicating between its subsystems
• producing hundreds of intricate compounds
• repairing damaged components
• selectively admitting raw materials from outside
• expelling waste, and paramount,
• reliably reproducing itself.

The first life that arose had to accomplish these things. And a single-celled creature accomplishes these with great efficiency, and not a lot of unnecessary functionality. Thus a single cell is about as simple a living organism as can exist. For example, there are not [BA31] many orders of magnitude of unnecessary complexity in an amoeba. Thus, primitive life must be extraordinarily complex. Further, proteins are extraordinarily simple as compared to a living cell, and tens of thousands of them must be developed, each one taking over a trillion years to come about by chance. And so, atheists suggest that they will be built from smaller parts. But again, claiming it all began with partial proteins [BA31] increases the complexity required for life to arise, rather than simply generating the modern proteins directly. What? They want to break up a simple protein into five pro-proteins (each of which will take billions of years to assemble by chance, and each must occur in the same place at the same time), and their differing functionalities must be viable individually, and then they must be assembled while retaining their viability. And that is simpler? As I warned from my first post, atheists attempt to explain the origin of complexity by introducing “even more complexity.” That will not go unnoticed here.

Question Summary

BQ32: Zakath, help us gauge an atheist’s ability to objectively weigh evidence. Regarding dirty jokes, and privacy in reproduction and expelling waste, and our various fundamental differences from animals like the desire for clothing and the fear of the dark and of ghosts and of the dead, and the recognition of beauty and the existence of ideas, and temperaments, emotion, and personality, please indicate whether all these broad observations appear, even if only superficially, to provide evidence for: a) God b) atheism
If B, please explain: __________________________________________________

BQ33: Zakath, please present evidence that I have not already invalidated that refutes my argument for a universal human conscience, or show the flaw in my invalidation.

BQ34: Zakath, do you admit that the NAZIs who murdered millions held a merely different value system which you may not prefer but which they did prefer, which your preferred laws forbid but which their laws permitted, and that by atheism, there is no final standard that can objectively judge your moral values as superior to the NAZIs?

BQ35 (BQ27 restated) Zakath, is the following reasoning internally consistent, and if so, do you agree that I have solved Euthyphro’s Dilemma with these two observations: 1) if God exists, a description of God’s nature can be independent of His nature itself, and 2) a track record of eternally interacting, independent persons (of the Trinity) who have never experienced a threat to their own wellbeing can each testify of the eternal consistent goodness of the others, and by these three independent witnesses, they can declare their mutual standard as righteous.

BQ36: Zakath, do you agree that it is wrong to attempt to explain the origination of complexity by introducing even more complexity? a) Yes b) No

Sincerely, Bob Enyart

Nathon Detroit

DING DING DING... Thats it for round 8!

Only two more rounds to go before battle Royale VII is OVER!!

ANY AND ALL POSTS ON THIS THREAD WILL BE DELETED UNLESS THEY ARE POSTED BY: Me (Knight), other Administrators, Bob Enyart or Zakath. You may discuss Battle Royale VII here.

Abusing this will result in banishment from TheologyOnLine.
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Nathon Detroit

I am getting a lot of messages regarding this so....

NOTE: Zakath has not contacted me nor responded to my PM yet but I am assuming he is taking advantage of the offer Bob posted in his 8th round post...
I will present additional evidence for God’s existence from psychology [ZQ10-7], and then do as I do, respond to all of Zakath’s points, thus making this my longest post, so I offer him an additional 24 hours to respond. - Bob Enyart
We will give him the benefit of the doubt and add 24 hours to the clock.
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Nathon Detroit


Due to the fact that Zakath keeps his identity somewhat anonymous and we have no way to contact him other than e-mail and we have grown somewhat concerned as to his well being.

THEREFORE: We are placing Battle Royale VII on cease fire for one week or until we hear from Zakath himself.

Hopefully we will hear from Zakath before a week passes and if anyone knows how to contact him please do so and let us know if Zakath is OK.

So... BR VII is on cease fire until next Friday (Aug. 1st) midnight MDT.
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Nathon Detroit


OK folks here is the deal...

Zakath no longer responds to my e-mail nor private messages therefore I can only guess as to why he has missed this past deadline extension.

However... we are going to give him ONE final chance to make a ninth round post. I am extending his deadline until Wednesday August 6th at midnight.

If, Zakath does not post by Wednesday August 6th at midnight he will indeed forfeit his 9th round post. And at that point Bob will go on the clock and make his 9th round post by Friday August 8th at midnight MDT.

Hopefully it is evident that we are giving Zakath EVERY possible opportunity to avoid throwing in the towel on this debate.
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Nathon Detroit

Tonight is Zakath's last chance to post his 9th round post.

I have reason to believe "Zakath" is just fine! Yet will most likely not be finishing the Battle due to the fact he simply cannot come up with anymore material that is worth posting.

It looks like this was a TKO in the 8th round.

Nathon Detroit

OK, that is it!

Zakath has thrown in the towel. Battle Royale VII is an official TKO. Zakath has been knocked out in the 8th round.

We will now allow Bob Enyart to make his two final posts (rounds 9 and 10).

Bob's 9th round post will be due within 48 hours from now.
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Bob Enyart

Staff member


Below, I address Zakath's forfeit. But first, there's work to do.

Zakath’s Questions to Bob

ZQ2/ZQ3/ZQ10 (held over from posts 1a, 2a, and 3a): The request for evidence for God.
BA10-8: I now add my eighth line of evidence [BA10-8] for a supernatural Creator from higher biological functions.

Higher Biological Functions

I will show that it is irrational to believe that irreducibly complex higher biological functions [BA10-8] like for example, vision, flight, echolocation, and even a giraffe’s neck, could arise by chance. Science makes awesome progress in describing how things work. The entire cosmos, and especially biological life, is much more complex than what mankind had previously imagined. Remember the honeymoon period of atheism? As long as atheists still agree that complex functioning systems cannot appear by chance in one single step, then the more complexity science discovers, the more difficult it becomes to fathom a chance explanation for origins.

Vision: Consider vision systems, and the supposedly primitive brains with which evolutionists think eyesight evolved. Science has taught us that vision systems are wildly more complex than unscientific men may have imagined. For example, when photons strike the rods and cones in our eyeballs, the images they illuminate are communicated to our brains using symbols that do not correspond to the image itself. Look at my picture to the left of this post (called an Avatar). Yes… that one, showing me in a suit and tie. Now, imagine that a primitive creature, say a mosquito, can use vision to increase his chances of survival, since it would help if he bites my neck rather than my shirt. Functioning vision systems provide extraordinary survival benefits to organisms. But that handsome picture of me (I’m bragging about the picture quality, not my looks), is not nearly as instructive (or as good looking) if you look at the actual data in the .GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) file that contains that picture. Most readers can right-click on the photo and then from the shortcut menu that pops up, select “Save Picture As…” and save it to your desktop as Bob.txt. Then, most readers can right-click on that file and open it with a text editor like Microsoft Notepad. By doing this, you can see what that picture data looks like to a word processing program like Notepad. That rubbish looks much more like what a bug would see when trying to decipher the information coming to his brain as a visual image. Here’s what I look like when encoded as a stream of data:

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Now, how does the supposed evolving bug brain begin to decipher such a data stream to identify in the above symbols, say, my nose? Can you spot my nose in the above image data? You couldn’t spot Jimmy Durante’s nose in those symbols. But the job for the bug is way more complicated. The above gibberish interprets the data in my photo as though it were ASCII and ANSI (computer text) characters. We could view the same information in hexadecimal characters (base 16), or in a binary series of bits (but then we’d have to look at about 4K, or 4,073 bytes, i.e., 32,584 bits of zeros and ones), but at least the above is a single, unchanging, defined set of information. For the bug, the stream of electrochemical signals is continuous, and constantly changes. Get that?

By the way, an eyelid could close to give the bug time to think about the last image he saw, but would that lid have evolved prior to the brain evolving sufficiently to interpret the data sent to it by the forming eye? And while we’re at it, a broadband optic nerve with sufficient data transfer rates must develop by pure chance. I know the atheists in the Grandstands are particularly obtuse about this, thinking that atheism does not depend upon pure chance to create such new functions. But by atheism, there is no directing force to develop sight in a blind creature. And natural selection could not preserve sight (eyes, nerves, processing, comprehending) until its component parts operated together at least as a rudimentary vision system.

So the bug needs to develop (by chance) a method of interpreting the symbolic vision data stream. But if every atom in the known universe represented a trillion ways per second of interpreting the above data, and we enlarged that universe by a trillion, trillion, trillion times, and let such an inquisitive bug live a trillion years, that poor slob of a bug couldn’t begin to touch the possibilities of chance coming up with the correct way of interpreting that data. The primitive bird brain or bug brain would have no conception that the incoming stream of electrochemical signals could indicate the look on my face. How would it even begin to analyze the data? Would the data represent heat, sound, touch, taste, or smell? If it represented an image, would the picture appear as a series of lines (vectors) or arrays of pixels? Would pixels be arranged row by row? Column by column? Columns of what length? 640 x 480? 1024 x 1024? Color or B&W? How many bits (or millivolts) per pixel? Would it store the image for processing as vector (lines & shapes) or bitmapped (dots)? And remember, the bug brain is not even trying to interpret the data. It just has to fall upon this ability by chance! Yes, natural selection will preserve the living daylights out of the first bug to come upon sight by chance. But natural selection can only preserve the functioning system once it begins to give its host a survival advantage. In churning through the possible ways of interpreting vision data (which itself is an inexplicable and functionally meaningless concept for randomness), an evolving bug brain would happen through a googolplex of complex algorithms before it randomly fell upon one that might give it some semblance of a valid interpretation. For example, while the above vision data actually encodes a photo of me in a tie, as far as the bug knew, it might represent:

• The sound of thunder
• A predator’s mouth
• The taste of mold
• Zakath’s fingers in ten splints
• The heat of a flame
• A spider’s web
• The smell of ozone
• Nothing

The atheist shows himself irrational by suggesting that a non-directive force of chance can begin to correctly interpret symbolic data. The irreducible complexity of higher biological functions like vision cannot arise by chance. For, any vision system must convert photons reflected by an object into a symbolic data stream, and the functions of processing, encoding, storing, and interpreting that data (all before the system yields any survival benefit) cannot happen by chance. This is just one of millions of ways to refute evolution as contrary to reason, math and science, and based upon blind faith. The symbolic nature of any vision system by itself damns the atheist. Regarding the object to be viewed, to avoid reducing it into a series of symbols, you would have to put the entire object inside the collector (the eye) of the organism. That is, if you want to avoid symbols in a creature’s sight, you will have to put the object itself into the creature, that is, a mosquito would have to suck an entire Tyrannosaurus Rex into its eyeball, and physically feel and touch it to identify it. But of course, that would no longer be a vision system. Thus, a vision system cannot avoid the processing of encoded symbolic information. And the nature of symbolic representation is that there is an almost infinite variety of ways to symbolize data. During WWII, the Allies worked strenuously to decode the transmissions of the Japanese and the Germans, and we knew what the goal was, we knew the data streams contained linguistic content, we knew the parameters of the meaning of that content, we presumed where the data streams started and stopped, and we systematically worked through algorithms using an enormous base of knowledge about the people doing the encoding. A bug brain could not by chance decode and identify Midway as the destination of the Japanese fleet. A bug brain, without goal-oriented direction, could not accidentally happen upon a way to decode symbolic data. No conceivable series of chances could accomplish such a feat. Not once! And yet, all the diverse species, genera, families, orders, classes and six phyla of sighted organisms have backed almost all atheists into assuming that vision evolved repeatedly, many times over! Paired eyes exist in three phyla: vertebrates, arthropods and mollusks, and ninety-five percent of all animal species have sight, and so far, eleven different eye types that have been identified, including most recently the telephoto lens of the chameleon. So, evolutionists believe that eyesight can so readily evolve, that it is not surprising that it has evolved multiple times! What foolishness. Here’s a message to decode, from science itself to the atheist: the physical laws have no symbolic logic function!

Life is as much based upon information as it is upon chemicals. Atheists are fond of imagining that an innumerable variety of completely different proteins can accomplish specific tasks. That is not true. And of googols of possible algorithms for interpreting the above vision data, only the smallest percent (close to zero) can realistically interpret such symbols. But wait! How about the initial development of vision to begin with? For, before the brain can begin to unravel the symbolic data, that data stream must be delivered to it. How does that happen? Well, the pre-sight creature could not possibly comprehend that harvesting photons could improve his chances of getting a meal, or avoiding becoming one. So, he must develop his eyes by a fluke, by a fortuitous accident. Many evolutionists have imagined that perhaps a sunburn, or a pimple, introduced light sensitivity and then vision into organisms. (Can you say: sun chariot?) But of course, if you get sunburn, your next baby won’t feel the sting. Atheists constantly forget the difference between the phenotype and the genotype, i.e., between the actual features of an organism and its genetic code, for genetics control reproduction, not experience. You can jump until the cows come home and your offspring will not inherit springy knees; a horse can stretch his neck all he wants to eat from tree branches, and his great-great horse-son will not become a giraffe. Such a gaffe is about as embarrassing a blunder as one could make in biology. Yet such ideas abound in our public-schooled society with its atheistic curriculum. And belief in evolution is the cause of the prevalence of these genetically-challenged, anti-intellectual ideas.

Since the genetic code determines the offspring, and not a creature’s need or experience, consider then what happens to the probabilities when atheists expect that random mutations will bring about improvements in interconnected, interdependent, complex systems. As an example of complex systems that interface with one another, consider banks that wire funds internationally while adjusting for real-time currency exchange rates: any changes that add new functions to that system must be carefully coordinated by the banks and clearing houses, and integrated into all related subsystems. Random changes in one system will eventually break the entire system. When highly interconnected systems enhance functionality, the complexity increases geometrically as compared to systems with fewer connections. [That’s partly why PC operating systems from Apple and Linux run more stably than those from Microsoft, because they both interface with far fewer third-party hardware and software goods.] With the non-directive forces of atheism, a single protein will not arise by chance. And the absurdity of hope in the impossible multiplies when atheists believe that systematic improvements frequently arise by chance in the multitude of families of diverse creatures in our world. The human eye has millions of rod and cone receptors which encode visual data, and the wildly complex, very high-bandwidth optic nerve transmits that data to the brain, and different centers in the brain process and decode the symbolic data, and even give executive summary reports of that information to the conscious mind. And remember, an ambitious pimple with hopes of becoming a receptor cone will not be preserved by natural selection until:

• that pimple starts improving survival;
• and such a cone wannabe can’t help sight until it is serviced by a compatible optic nerve;
• and this aspiring cone and nerve can’t help sight until the brain can decode their symbolic output.

But forget all that. Really. Let’s consider just enhancing an existing black and white system into color vision by granting the atheist the first, say, 1,000 rods, a serviceable optic nerve, and brain circuitry for seeing. The DNA that describes these functions and reproduces them into the offspring is wildly complex. And now an organism begins to develop color sight by the random chance appearance of cones (an absurdity). But wait! The appearance of those cones means nothing without a parallel improvement in capacity and compatibility of the optic nerve (an absurdity squared times a googol). And of course both these must begin in parallel by pure random chance, because until color sightedness actually begins to improve survival, natural selection will not preserve any color components. [And here we find another absolute! Atheists are in absolute denial of this basic function of their own theory.] But wait! Neither the cones nor the nerve mean anything without the integration of a new brain capacity by which it processes light wavelength symbols to yield a dimension of data previously unfathomable to it (an absurdity cubed times a googolplex). For the creature’s evolving brain has no hint that color even exists! And before natural selection can even begin to help, the color collectors, encoders, and symbolic decoders all have to occur by pure and utter random chance without the slightest inkling of any goal whatsoever. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 50:1). Thus, while the probability of a single function first arising, like a new enzyme, is less than would occur in a trillion years with the entire universe as a laboratory, the mathematical probability of non-directed improvements to interrelated complex systems is non-existent. And the more science discovers about biological life, the more we learn that everything is interrelated and wildly complex.

[Here is a personal note to any unbeliever still reading: If you are a committed atheist or agnostic, then the more clear evidence you see that proves the existence of the Creator, most likely, your heart will become increasingly hard and bitter against God. Therefore, I think you should skip the rest of this ninth round. Really. For, shoving truth into someone’s face does not tend to produce a humble admission of error. But as for me, I will continue to do my best, and let the results occur as they may. -Bob]

Flight: In school in the 1970s, I was taught that animals evolved flight when small hungry rodent-like creatures climbed trees and jumped after flying insects for food. (I wonder what preflight insects jumped after?) To succinctly describe this popular notion: some creatures jumped a lot, and eventually their descendants grew wings. Replace this with some current inanity about jumping dinosaurs, or invent any variation on the theme and it will remain utterly unscientific. Creationist Mendel fathered genetic science and first taught atheists the difference between the phenotype and the genotype, i.e., between the actual visible characteristics of an organism and its genetic code. And it is the genotype that controls reproduction, not the phenotype. A dinosaur can hop for a lifetime and his offspring will not be inclined toward growing feathers.

[By the way, this week my son Nathaniel and I worked on a fossil dig run by creationist paleontologists who are excavating a 100-foot long brachiosaurus in Massadona, Colorado near Dinosaur National Monument. Earlier this summer, these friends, at, helped to dispel a popular evolutionist myth by excavating in the badlands of South Dakota of a 30-foot long Edmontosaurus. For on the weakest of assumptions, many evolutionists have claimed that some dinosaurs evolved into birds, and specifically, some say that the Edmontosaurus perhaps had feathers. Dinosaur skin imprints are extremely rare. So thankfully, Peter and Mark DeRosa, world-class (home-schooled) dinosaur excavators scientifically documented, unearthed, and preserved the skin imprint from much of the Edmontosaurus’ back and one limb, and of course, it had no feathers!]

Initially developing the requirements for animal flight, including hollowed out bones, feathers, brain avionics, and wings would have nothing to do with need or experience. But atheists just can’t come to terms with this. One of evolution’s basic flaws is ignoring the most basic law of microbiology: genetics. Evolutionists succumb to a vestigial Lamarckian delusion. Atheists secretly hope to discover that genetic science is wrong, and that really the phenotype, not the genotype, directs reproduction. But a jumpy rat does not incline his kids’ DNA toward flight. Atheists are like the true believers of a cult whose dogma ignores our scientific knowledge of genetic reproduction, cloaking their ritual belief in phenotype reproduction in silly myths. But after a million jumps, the DNA of a rodent’s offspring will not benefit from even the slightest nudge in the direction of improved jumping skills. Such skill would have to arise by chance alone, and only then could natural selection preserve it. Rodents who jump a lot (say, after food) will not be more inclined to produce babies with tiny wings sprouting, nor with feathers, nor with the hollowed out bones needed for a lighter, flight-ready skeleton. A lazy mouse would have as much chance of having a baby with pre-feathers as does the Prebles Jumping Mouse.

Yes, natural selection could preserve the living daylights out of the first creature to take to flight (assuming its mutations were compatible with a heterosexual partner). But natural selection cannot create, preserve or refine flight functions until such flight first improves survival rates. Natural selection is a conservative, not a creative force. (I’m trying to drive this home since atheists remain in denial of this most basic concept.) Thus, the higher function of flight requires extraordinarily complex, interconnected and interdependent systems which cannot possibly arise by chance in order then to be preserved by natural selection.

Echolocation: Bats use extraordinarily sophisticated echolocation to find their way out of dark caves, to maneuver around tree branches, and to find their prey. They must emit very loud ultrasounds rapidly varying the frequency, and with extremely sensitive hearing, detect and interpret returning echoes, using the differing pitch to distinguish between larger objects further away and nearer smaller objects, while filtering out competing environmental noises including ultrasonic pulses from other bats. Man’s most advanced sonar to date can distinguish echoes six millionths of a second apart, but bats effortlessly interpret data signals separated by only three millionths of a second, and such sophistication enables, for example, fishing bats to successfully hunt minnows, spotting a fin as fine as a human hair that extends only eight hundredths of an inch above the water.

In the last round, I claimed that “atheism cannot directly explain even one of all the observations ever made, while all those same observations are themselves ready and direct evidence for theism.” Let’s test that claim again. As I write this section on echolocation, I’ve taken a Starbucks break and opened the Rocky Mountain News and coincidentally read that bats can eat 600 mosquitoes per hour! At night! Tiny mosquitoes! Try to read an echo off of a mosquito! In flight! Aside from our dinosaur hunt, our family also went on an excursion to Glenwood Caverns, in which we toured at night an awesome cave that until recently was closed to the public for 80 years. Bats flew over our heads exiting the cave in search for food, mostly tiny mosquitoes. I explained to our children that the bats hearing is so delicate that the loudness of their own signals would cause them to go deaf, but a clever system muffles their ears with each burst of sound. For natural selection to even begin preserving echolocation system components, this higher function must increase the animal’s chances for survival, and that will not happen until the wildly complicated system begins to operate correctly, and even the slightest function out of sync will disable the entire system, and until the conservative forces of natural selection kick in, the only force available to the atheist is random chance mutations. And so, go ahead and attempt to quantify the probability that echolocation will evolve by chance to the point where it begins to improve survival. Remember what that psalmist wrote?

Long Necks: The atheistic, evolutionist curriculum in our public schools has led millions of young people to believe that giraffes long necks evolved because low-lying food died out, and horse-like creatures had to stretch to reach the leaves in trees. Really! Wow. (Can you say: “horse-drawn sun chariot?”) Is that inane or what? Talk about being in denial of hard science, and promoting myths. So, generations of horses began worrying that the low bushes were dying out. But Jesus said, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Mat. 6:27). Remember, all the stretching in the world will not add an inch to the babies’ necks. And wouldn’t all the baby giraffes have died off in that first generation, along with all other short animals for that matter? Besides, as the giraffes’ necks supposedly grew, their hearts had to increase in size to push the blood that much higher against gravity. But when the giraffe bends over to drink, that greater blood pressure would literally blow out his brains, and so a valve at the base of the giraffe’s skull shuts off that flow when he bends over. But without fresh blood to his brain, he would faint every time he tried to drink, so a spongy reservoir in his head gently refreshes his brain with oxygenated blood while he drinks. This one creature illustrates what is true of every living creature, that interdependent systems are irreducibly complex and must first function together in order to ensure survival and only then can these entire interconnected systems be preserved by natural selection. Thus, a Creator is required to begin such complex life. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Actually, God came first, and He made the chickens, and they laid the eggs.

Countless Biological Systems: Countless biological systems prove the need for the Creator. The immune system is so wildly complex that scientific volumes have just begun to describe it. Cellular activity is so wildly complex that our greatest scientists stand in awe, even though most of them reject the Creator who made the cell. Why reject Him? Men disbelieve due to a refusal to humbly submit themselves to God’s moral judgments. What each reader already knows about digestion, breathing, lactation, hearing, and reproduction is more than enough to convince a humble and honest person that God exists. Thus, if you reject God, I am telling you directly that you have a problem with humility and honesty, both of which result from your sin and rebellion. You are a person who hurts others and you defend yourself unjustly, and you refuse the forgiveness that God offers you if only you will trust in Him. By the way, in order for mosquitoes to reproduce, the adult male abdomen must rotate 180 degrees and lock in place because he is born with his sex organs on the wrong side of his body, and only after this permanent contortion can the male mate with the female. How does the first mosquito pull that off, so that his descendants can bite you? So not only do the most unlikely observations provide direct evidence for God, but so do the most annoying. God has left evidence for His existence everywhere we look. And even the looking itself tells us that God exists!

To any atheist, is it true or false that natural selection is a conservative, not a creative, force? Evolutionists believe that natural selection will preserve changes in species that improve their chances of survival. But those changes have to first appear for natural selection to preserve them. Natural selection only selects by killing off the less robust organisms, and it passively allows “improved” individuals to survive. Natural selection has no ability to bring a beneficial genetic mutation into existence, but only to preserve ones that do appear. For example, if a bat needs some new protein with 250 amino acids in order to eventually echolocate his prey, natural selection cannot help steer mutations toward generating that protein (or a suitable alternative if one exists); but if such an improvement ever did appear by random chance, only then could it be preserved. So, probabilities are crucial to determine whether species can evolve. Thus atheists intuitively ignore math. Reading the Grandstands, I notice that atheists get especially annoyed at creationists who use mathematical probabilities to show the impossibility of evolution. They claim we misunderstand the process. So, I challenge them to demonstrate what mathematic or scientific principle or principles creationists misapply when calculating the probabilities of a single protein originally appearing by chance, or of color vision, or of echolocation.

The black and white to color vision development is one example that illustrates the impossibility of the atheist suggestion that each small evolutionary step can be beneficial to survival. There is no beneficial step midway between black and white and color vision. And yet the gap between the two functions is insurmountable by random chance. I can hear the atheist say that color vision could arise in small steps, for example, by adding one color at a time, rather than three at once. But of course, this does nothing to answer the dilemma posed, for the conceptual problem exists whether adding one color, or all three primary colors. For some color vision must arise successfully as a new functioning capability before natural selection could have anything to do with it. Also, there is no beneficial step for natural selection to preserve midway toward flight. There is no beneficial step midway toward echolocation. There is no beneficial step midway toward a giraffe’s blood reservoir. There is no beneficial step midway toward lungs. There is no beneficial step midway toward the development of a cell wall. Etc., etc., etc., about ten thousand times over. And yet, atheism requires not just one but thousands of discrete beneficial steps toward these functions.

And since we live during the honeymoon period of atheism, we theists have been able to persuade many people with the following argument: One of the laws of nature, gravity, indicates that matter attracts matter. But if you simmer a can of Campbell’s Alphabet Soup, there is no law of nature that will cause the pasta letters to attract one another to form grammatically correct English sentences. Similarly, the laws of physics do not incline atoms toward forming amino acids and functioning proteins. Nor do the laws of physics incline acids toward forming RNA and DNA. And while proteins are three-dimensional molecules and therefore the laws of physics can eliminate some theoretical proteins, no law can eliminate any particular nonsensical sequence of nucleotides in DNA. For example, a hard drive does not care about the sequence of bits in a file. Likewise, the laws of physics have no say whatsoever in the sequence of genetic information in DNA! So in addition to the laws of physics not driving atoms to create DNA, further, they have absolutely no control over the nucleotide genetic sequence. And it’s the sequence that gives DNA its meaning! That is, the genetic sequences provide the information needed for life! (Remember Einstein’s Gulf?) Thus, the physical laws do not pull atoms to form the molecular foundations of life. If no Creator exists, then if such things are to arise without external guidance, they therefore must arise by pure random chance. Yes, if life could arise that way, then reproduction could enable natural selection to preserve traits that promote survival. But natural selection does not operate until after the trait first comes into existence. Natural selection is conservative, not creative. Thus, there is no atheistic mechanism that can conceivably drive toward creating new functions, proteins, enzymes, higher functions, genetic sequences, etc. And that is where the science of mathematical probabilities becomes so relevant. There are at least a million living species on Earth today. And there are hundreds of thousands of known proteins and perhaps many more viable proteins. And yes, once a protein exists in a functioning organism, then natural selection can help maintain it. But natural selection cannot create a protein; it can only help to preserve it after it has come into existence. Even if less complex biological forms, like partial proteins, supposedly arose first, all of the information content in today’s species must still arise by random chance, and the probabilities of all that happening fortuitously show conclusively that Earth’s complex ecosystem with its numerous and varied life forms could never arise by chance.

An unbeliever in the Grandstands made a typical atheist argument, describing a beach and pointing out the absurdly unlikely probability that all those grains of sand would have lined up just as they now are, each grain in its own special place, with particular grains of sand all around it. If yesterday, someone required or predicted the current arrangement of sand for just one day later, that requirement would yield an absolute utter impossibility of not one chance in a googol of occurring. Yet, the beach exists! So atheists argue that due to a lack of mathematical insight, we creationists make an argument that is exposed as an error at every beach party. Everyday and every moment, they claim, the arrangement of sand on the beach shows that supposedly absolute utter impossibilities occur constantly: they just point to the beach, as real as could be, as real as the sand beneath your feet, and say, “See, creationists are wrong!” Atheists make this argument, bragging that they understand math and probabilities while creationists obviously do not. However, their argument ignores the fact that sand, like money, is fungible. That is, one part or quantity can be replaced by another part or quantity, without functional loss. Any ten dollar bill can pay any ten dollar debt, and any grain of sand can suffice as a part of the clump between your toes. On the contrary, life depends upon precisely arranged units of information. Randomly rearrange grains of sand and you still have a beach. Randomly rearrange DNA and you have birth defects. The atheist’s beach party refutation of probability theory is a great intellectual embarrassment, yet atheists frequently repeat it and similar arguments. And further, this argument of theirs is tantamount to an attempt to falsify the mathematics of probabilities, which is utter foolishness, as though every outcome is equally probable. I am embarrassed for them, for their ignorance; and I know that it is not intellectual deficiency that causes their confusion, but it is a willful ignorance, for they are blinded by their emotional opposition against God. No scientist can begin to explain life apart from information theory. Our very word “information” brings forth the picture of elements lined up “in formation.” Information requires an ordering of data that has nothing to do with physical laws like gravity or magnetism. Thus, in answer to Zakath’s first question, I defined God as the “knowledgeable,” “supernatural Creator of the natural universe,” just as He must be.

Atheists blindly hope that multiple complex systems together will randomly improve functionality by chance harmonious and mutually beneficial changes in each. Right. That’s mathematically and scientifically inane, and contradicts the very disciplines that atheists claim to trust in. And again, everything in biology is complex and interconnected! I began by stating that it is irrational to believe that irreducibly complex higher biological functions like vision, flight, echolocation, and even a giraffe’s neck, could arise by chance. However, as science has revealed the workings of the single-celled amoeba, the tiny C. elegans worm, and of each of the trillion cells in the human body, we have learned that there is no such thing as a simple biological system. Everything is wildly complex, interrelated, interconnected, and interdependent, with countless species and systems requiring the existence of so many other species and systems as prerequisites, showing that Earth’s basic life forms (the kinds) came into existence not gradually over time but instantly, at the spoken word of God.

Where's Zakath?

Before this debate began, I requested from and offered to Zakath a reciprocal agreement by which either party could publish this Does God Exist? Battle Royale VII, which Zakath agreed to. I want to thank Zakath for his eight rounds, and express my concern that he has decided to forfeit these last two and thus the Battle itself. Regarding my concern for Zakath, Jesus Christ reinforced the Old Testament teaching that man’s rebellion against God is the great cause of human suffering. And since the world is filled with pain that we humans inflict upon one another, then Zakath’s lack of humility before God means that he is not part of the solution but part of the problem. And the problem includes the extraordinary heartache of human suffering and ruined lives. This is why Jesus spoke so much about punishment for unbelievers. Therein lies my concern.

As a Christian, it is weird to “thank” an atheist for arguing against God’s existence. Zakath’s stand is one in which He denies the most fundamental truth of all of existence. And broken human lives that fill the world with hurt and suffering cannot mend apart from this truth. Thus, as I laid out in post 1b, because God is moral and just, the cost of atheism is incalculable. Yet there is a benefit to those who are seeking God, to see a debate between a believer and an unbeliever; to see the unbeliever obfuscate, misrepresent, ignore arguments, and refuse to answer questions; and to see that the theist is able to respond forthrightly to the atheist’s questions. Since so many unbelievers simply refuse to openly discuss God, by participating, Zakath has helped others see the brokenness of atheism.

My goal was not just to beat Zakath in the debate. According to some who are more familiar with TOL, Zakath was probably not expecting to face as much persistence and attention to detail as he has here. But my actual goal, of course, was to show convincingly that God does in fact exist. Now, after round eight and the repeated deadline extensions offered to Zakath, Knight informs us that Zakath “is just fine,” but that he will not be finishing the Battle. Knight has called the battle “an official TKO” (technical knock out), stating that “Zakath has been knocked out in the 8th round.” We offered to be even more flexible, and Zakath has chosen not to accept that offer, preferring to quit, and indicating that he will be back on the boards soon. Just like old times! So now I will complete the last two rounds unopposed by Zakath. However, Knight has offered TheologyOnline unbelievers the opportunity to contribute toward a tenth round composite post. I’ve been reading their very confident posts in the Grandstands and welcome any collective challenge they can muster. We’ll see what happens.

Bob’s 8th Round Questions to Zakath

BQ32 – BQ36 Zakath didn’t answer through forfeiture. The unanswered questions regarded observations in psychology, the ubiquitous human conscience, the inability of atheism to ultimately condemn any wickedness (i.e., Nazism, whereas theism can condemn actions of theists, i.e., the Crusades), the solution to the supposed dilemma of the existence of an absolute moral standard, and lastly, a question about the error of explaining the origination of complexity by introducing more complexity.

Complete Question Summary

By my count, Zakath asked me 32 questions. I directly answered all 32 questions (see A1, A2, and BA3 – BA32).

So far, I asked Zakath 33 questions. (But I accidentally skipped numbers BQ10 – BQ12.) Zakath answered nine of my 33 questions: BQ1, BQ2, BQ7, BQ8, BQ13, BQ24, BQ27, BQ28, and BQ29. Some of these answers were unfulfilling, like BQ28 regarding the appearance of proteins which Zakath answered with an extremely weak appeal to poker, to flipping a very few coins, and by begging the question. Zakath misstated BQ13 and answered his own version of the question, which avoided the matter. Also, Zakath answered some of these questions indirectly by equivocating or by implication, as for BQ7. He answered BQ8 as “I don’t know” and thereby admitted that he could not give even “a conceptual solution in the most broad terms” or even “offer a wild guess in some vague direction for how intellectual consciousness can originate from matter.”

Zakath did not answer 24 questions: BQ3, BQ4, BQ5, BQ6, BQ9, [I omitted 10-12], BQ14, BQ15, BQ16, BQ17, BQ18, BQ19, BQ20, BQ21, BQ22, BQ23, BQ25, BQ26, BQ31, BQ33, BQ34, BQ35, and BQ36; nor did he answer BQ30 which he asked me to refine, which I did and is pending as BQ32.

I invite the TheologyOnline unbelievers to respond to any of the above unanswered questions. In my tenth round post, I will do my best to role-play an atheist and answer any remaining unanswered questions. And I offer the following additional questions:

BQ37: With Zakath AWOL, would someone in the TOL atheist community please respond: Natural selection is a conservative, not a creative, force. a) True b) False
If B, please explain: _________________________________________________

BQ38: With Zakath AWOL, would some atheist please demonstrate what mathematic or scientific principle or principles creationists misapply when calculating the probabilities of a single protein originally appearing by chance, or of color vision, or of echolocation.

Sincerely, Bob Enyart

Nathon Detroit

Ohhhh.... Atheists where are you?

Ohhhh.... Atheists where are you?


OK.... Sorry for the delay but the plans have changed somewhat. Due to the fact that we didn't get much response from our atheist community in composing a 10th round post we are changing our plans ever so slightly (only Flipper and "attention" made an effort).

Bob will go ahead and make his 10th round post by Tuesday August 19th at Midnight MDT. Which will officially end Battle Royale VII "Does God Exist?".

THEN... after Bob's 10th round post has been made we will create a new thread (to be named later) where we will post Flipper's atheist compilation post and Bob will respond to it specifically.

Therefore.... if you want to add to this follow-up atheist post I suggest you contact Flipper ASAP. The last time I set a deadline and we had almost ZERO takers until the deadline was over :rolleyes:. So this time don't wait until its too late OK?

If you have questions regarding what type of input you can supply or quantity of input please PM Flipper and arrange your input.


Bob is back on the clock and we are giving him until Tuesday August 19th to finish his 10th round post.
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Bob Enyart

Staff member


Welcome to the finale of Battle Royale VII. O Zakath, Zakath, wherefore art thou? We'll see if we can find Zakath somewhere in this post! Meanwhile, let's get to work. Millions of students have been taught variations of seven typical atheist clichés. Zakath obscured some of these hidden within his three rather bizarre arguments for atheism. See if you can spot the ones he used. Boiled down to clear statements exposed to the light of day, each of these popular clichés can be disproved within eight seconds.

Atheist Cliché 1: There is no truth!
Theist Rebuttal: Is that true? [1 second]

Atheist Cliché 2: There are no absolutes!
Theist Rebuttal: Absolutely? [1 second]

Atheist Cliché 3: Only your five senses provide real knowledge!
Theist Rebuttal: Says which of the five? [2 seconds]

Atheist Cliché 4: Great suffering proves that a loving God cannot exist!
Theist Rebuttal: The unstated assumption is false, that suffering can have no value or purpose. [4.5 seconds]

Atheist Cliché 5: Atheism is scientific, because science does not allow for a supernatural interpretation of an event!
Theist Rebuttal: Such circular reasoning forces science to assume that which atheists claim it supports. [5 seconds]

Atheist Cliché 6: Widespread evil proves that a righteous God cannot exist!
Theist Rebuttal: The two unstated assumptions are false: that love can be forced; and that some love is not worth enduring much hate. [6.5 seconds]

Atheist Cliché 7: If theists claim that the universe could not have always been here, then God couldn’t have always been here either.
Theist Rebuttal: The natural universe is subject to the physical laws, so it would run out of useable energy; a supernatural, spiritual God is not subject to physics. [7.9 seconds]

If your worldview can be dismantled within eight seconds, then get a better one.

The atheistic worldview, like the world’s pagan religions, is self-contradictory and undermines morality, reason, and the worth of the human being. Zakath’s clumsy arguments about Confusion, Moral Knowledge, and Non-Belief parallel the errors in clichés four and six about suffering and evil, using unstated assumptions that there can be no value or purpose in the suffering that follows human disagreements and conflicts, and that love cannot be worth enduring hatred. It’s not that Zakath’s arguments ridicule these great realities of human experience, rather, they utterly ignore them. If these assumptions are so obviously true, atheists would state them in their arguments, but they omit them because they contradict vast human experience. We value love greatly. Cheryl’s love for me is so incredibly dear because I know she could withhold it from me, even despise me, and love someone else instead. And yes, I hurt for the suffering people of the world, including those in my own family, and of course I have suffered greatly myself, mostly due to my own wrongdoing. But our three toddlers ran to me as I was leaving for work this morning, the older two saying, “Daddy, kiss and a hug,” while the youngest, Dominic, said, “iss ana ug.” I would endure a lifetime of pain for the opportunity to love them. And I seek to minimize, but not to eliminate, the suffering of all our children. For we do not live a make-believe existence, but in reality. And certain behaviors are destructive. So I would rather they experience the pain and suffering that results from wrongdoing, rather than raise them in an artificial laboratory that insulates them from truth and consequences. God sees such truths and weighs them not just for a single individual, but for the entire human race, and He does so far more accurately than I can. There is no inherent contradiction, as implied by Zakath’s arguments, for God to find it worthwhile to allow men to suffer while providing the opportunity for us to love.

Who wins this Battle Royale VII on Does God Exist? Often in debates, both sides claim victory. In the Grandstands early in the debate I made a challenge to Zakath, acknowledging that we might both claim victory. I suggested that eventually we will reveal our own true opinions as the participants, as to whether we have won or not. One rule of thumb for discerning if an opponent really believes his own claim of victory is to see if he promotes the finished debate to a wider audience or not. If the one who claims victory puts a permanent link to the debate on his website or in his forum signature, or somehow attempts to publicize the contest in his own sphere of influence, then that is evidence that at least this opponent really does believe he won. On the other hand, if one side claims victory, but makes no effort to promote the completed debate, and even would rather everyone forget it ever occurred (Zakath, are you listening?), then that provides evidence that this opponent does not believe his own claim of victory. Knowing who truly believes he won or lost of course does not ultimately decide whether a certain opponent was right or wrong on the matter being debated, but if the debaters have significant experience in the subject, and one opponent believes his side lost (or showed poorly), that of course is of interest to those evaluating the debate. It appears obvious as Zakath has been posting casually on the boards recently, that he would rather we forget about the debate and just get on with life. (Zakath, I directly challenge you, put a link to BRVII in your signature!) And while the atheists in the Grandstands have proclaimed boldly all along that the atheist side was winning the debate and the theist side was offering no arguments whatsoever, I challenge you all collectively to promote this debate in your own sphere of influence. After all, if I offered nothing in evidence and Zakath so deftly refuted my arguments, then his abbreviated effort would easily outshine my lengthier one, and more so by his succinctness. So atheists, you are challenged to link to this debate in your signatures. After all, it is probably your loyalty to Zakath that kept most of you from making a composite post for the tenth round, so why not publicize his work? Of course, I will promote the debate as I have said I would from the beginning, because I truly believe that the theist side won, while the actions of the atheists will speak louder than their words.

Below, I offer two final lines of evidence for God, the transcendental argument and evidence from history. The historical evidence is that of special revelation. That is, I will provide evidence that God has directly communicated to man in history, as recorded in the world’s most well-read history book. And in that book, God has revealed Himself in more detail than we could learn from just the general revelation of the creation. While presenting that evidence, I reply to Zakath’s accusations against the God of the Bible. And in between these last two arguments for God, as promised, I have answered all those questions that Zakath refused to answer, in a section titled, Zakath on Sodium Pentothal (truth serum). I did my best to answer these from the perspective of a response atheist. I conclude the debate with a brief summary of all the evidence.

Transcendental Proof for God

As soon as the atheist says he wants to resolve this Battle Royale in a rational way, he has lost. Here’s why:

God exists because of the impossibility of the alternative. Unbelievers require theists to provide evidence for God which is not circular, which does not beg the question, that is, they insist that we do not assume that which we should try to prove. They claim that faith puts theists at a disadvantage, because we trust in God. Contrariwise, they claim that they reject faith, and constrain themselves to the laws of logic and reason. Atheists claim that only evidence based upon logic and reason is valid. But how do atheists validate that claim? They cannot. For [BA10-9] if atheists attempt to justify “logic and reason” by logic and reason, then they have based their entire godless worldview on circular reasoning; and we find that rational atheism is an impossibility. And if they cannot defend the foundation of their worldview by logic or reason, they leave themselves only with the illogical and irrational, which accounts for arguments actually offered by atheists. To justify logic apart from circular reasoning, you must seek the foundation of logic outside of logic itself. Thus we learn that, apart from belief in God, nothing can be truly knowable. If an honest and consistent atheist could actually exist, he would not claim that atheism is defensible by logic, since logic itself is indefensible by logic apart from circular reasoning. Therefore on the one hand, if the atheist claims to know anything at all, he unwittingly has shown that atheism (the alternative to God) is an impossibility, because apart from God, nothing is knowable, as demonstrated in this paragraph.

On the other hand, as a last ditch attempt to consistently defend atheism, the atheist may claim to be a no-nothing, that is, to know nothing at all, because by atheism, actual knowledge is impossible. Popular atheism is moving in this general direction. When this happens, we theists point out that the pinnacle achievement of atheism is ignorance. As I have said, every observation provides direct evidence for God while atheism struggles to account for anything whatsoever. The honest thinker who wants to work out a systematic atheistic worldview will find that without God, the only things that are possible are nothing and ignorance (the lack of knowledge). Apart from God, nothing can be known or justified, not microevolution nor heliocentricity, not a wit of logic nor even a half-wit. No certainty can exist without Him who is the foundation of truth, and those who love truth, love Him. (Dr. Greg Bahnsen successfully used the transcendental proof for God while debating a leading atheist, Dr. Gordon Stein, at the University of California at Irvine.)

A fundamental difference between God and logic is that logic is a system of thought that attempts to rationally justify ideas, and as an idea itself, logic must somehow be justifiable, or found to be illogical. God is not a system of thought that needs to be justified. He is an actual being. And while the existence of logic apart from God is self-contradictory as just demonstrated in BA10-9, there exists no contradiction in the existence of the rational God whose very mind and thoughts provide the foundation for logic itself. And while we cannot see God, as we cannot see hope or love, the Bible defines “faith” as accepting “the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

In giving my first eight lines of evidence (except for the epistemological part of [BA10-7]) I assume that atheists often use logic and reason (imitating Christians) even though they cannot logically defend doing so in their own godless worldview. But without a foundation for logic, I also realize that their intellectual discipline allows them to treat all evidence illogically, since they have no ultimate commitment to reason, not even to logic itself, and certainly not to truth or morality. So, in an atheist’s attempt to win a debate, there is nothing inherently inconsistent or wrong with lying, cheating, or quitting in an attempt to spoil the endeavor (which I will not let Zakath do); for there is no ultimate reason for honesty, no absolute commitment to truth, and no foundation for an unwavering determination to be logical. Word games, contradictions, unresponsiveness, slight of hand, obfuscation, misstatements, and ignoring arguments all can be used as consistent with atheism in order to attempt to win the debate, and in actual practice, such deception is the strength of the atheist’s ability to persuade.

Yet surely, God either exists or does not exist. (Ahh, see, there I go again! I said “surely!” I’ve used logic here, which a theist can use with certainty, whereas the atheist cannot absolutely defend even such simple logic.) The atheist worldview is dysfunctional, and they can only operate by borrowing the certainty that is possible with God. By the way, that is an insight we can find in Christ’s statement that, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26), by which He was not claiming that square circles could be drawn, nor defending any irrationality, but that all things knowable or doable, especially evident in the matter of salvation itself, are only possible because of God. In contrast to atheism, my theistic worldview is functional, because I recognize that logic and reason do exist, that they are absolutes, and that they are possible because they flow from the mind of God. Logic exists and can only exist as a consequence of the rational thoughts in the mind of God. God is non-contradictory, truthful, logical, reasonable, and knowledgeable, and there is no other epistemological basis upon which we can absolutely defend truth, logic, reason, and knowledge.

Popular atheism has come to accept that it rejects absolute morality. As mankind corporately continues to think through these matters, given enough time, popular atheism will also come to accept that atheism also rejects absolute truth, logic, reason, math, and science. Again: the pinnacle achievement of atheism is ignorance. We find examples of this in the early rounds of this debate and in the life of Bertrand Russell. Zakath readily talks about morality, and admits that he does not believe in absolute morality (although he recoils from the ramifications), whereas he is more hesitant to talk about truth, and posts 2a to 4b show that his intuition tells him that an atheist should resist defending even the existence of truth. While Zakath consciously acknowledges that atheism disallows absolute morality, only subconsciously does he fear that atheism also disallows truth, logic, and reason. So like most atheists, Zakath has yet to embrace the intellectual, though amoral, ramifications of atheism. Apart from a righteous God, as Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason rightly observed, no such thing as absolute morality can exist; and conversely, if Zakath admitted the existence of absolute morality, he would thereby concede the existence of God. What atheists disdain most about God is absolute right and wrong (because they pridefully rebel against His moral constraints, desiring immorality with impunity). So naturally, the atheist community is most ready to admit to the moral consequence of atheism that denies the possibility of ultimate righteousness. But as the intellectual ramifications of atheism continue to work their way into mankind’s corporate thinking, eventually, atheists will lose their hesitancy and admit the same effect regarding logic. Apart from God logic cannot exist, since it is illogical to prove something via circular reasoning, that is, you should not assume (or declare by faith) that which you are claiming to prove, so atheists cannot build a consistent, godless, logical worldview. Notice that it is with foundations and origins that atheists have the greatest difficulty in even attempting to construct a defense, as regarding the origins of the universe, life, consciousness, personality, higher biological functions, and now, even of logic itself. Why is this? Because God is the foundation of all that exists, physical and spiritual, rational and logical. So atheists are stuck beginning with faith in their origins, apart from any evidence, science, logic, reason, or laws which predict or justify their faith in atheist origins, and then by faith they construct arguments for origins which, unlike the theistic origins claims, defy all evidence, science, logic, reason, and law, superficially and fundamentally. So only with a rational God can the laws of logic can truly exist, as can math and the laws of science, and they can be known only because knowledge can exist. Bertrand Russell devoted his long life to providing an atheistic foundation for logic, reason, math, and knowledge, and after many decades, he became increasingly uncertain of almost all knowledge. Again, and again: the pinnacle achievement of atheism is ignorance.

With clarity Los Alamos scientist John Baumgartner reveals an implication of Einstein’s Gulf: “If something as real as linguistic information has existence independent of matter and energy, from causal considerations it is not unreasonable to suspect an entity [like God] capable of originating linguistic information also is ultimately non-material [i.e., spiritual] in its essential nature. An immediate conclusion of these observations concerning linguistic information [the existence of ideas, knowledge, logic, reason, law] is that materialism, which has long been the dominant philosophical perspective in scientific circles, with its foundational presupposition that there is no non-material reality, is simply and plainly false. It is amazing that its falsification is so trivial.

What gives intelligibility to the world? Only the thoughts in the mind of God can make the cosmos understandable. Nothing but God can demonstrably or even conceivably allow for actual knowledge. The reason Einstein could not identify any way for matter to give meaning to symbols is that there is no way, for the physical laws have no symbolic logic function, and they cannot have any such function because logic is not physical and so is outside of the jurisdiction of physical laws. No physical law can even influence symbolic logic, yet the rules of logic constrain the physical laws, showing Baumgartner’s point that the spiritual takes precedence over the physical!

So try this: go and find an unsuspecting atheist, and ask him two questions. First, Q1: Is atheism logical? Second, Q2: Are the laws of logic absolute or has society only agreed upon them by convention? He will be happier with the first question than with the second. To the first, a typical atheist today will answer, yes! A1: Atheism is logical. (Why that answer? Atheists crave a foundation and so they are still substituting an indefensible, reasonless rationalism for the reasonable God whom they rebel against.) But for the second question, the atheist’s fear of the absolute will cause him to hesitate. If that phobia is strong enough, it could bring him to expose his own rejection of logic itself. A2-1: “No, the laws of logic are not absolute!” as the leading atheist Stein maintained in the above mentioned debate. And if logic is not absolute but rather a consensus of rules which some men have created, then any logical argument for atheism is really just an appeal to authority, an appeal to the authority of those men or those societies which agreed upon the current set of laws. And since atheists reject the source of all authority (God), they especially despise appeals to authority. (When pressing for an answer to Q2, expect some obfuscation, word games, or unresponsiveness.) When it dawns upon them, whether consciously or not, that denying its absolute nature turns logic into an argument from authority, some atheists then hesitate to say that logic is not absolute. But the unbeliever must step out of his own realm of atheism and become inconsistent to answer yes. A2-2: Yes, the laws of logic are absolute. He will then face the immediate follow-up question for which we will not permit him a circular justification: “What validates logic?” What justifies your faith in logic? Atheists tell the theist not to beg the question by using circular arguments. So by his own worldview, we will not allow him to assume (by faith) that which he claims he should be able to prove by logic (remember A1). This atheist finds himself with the same difficulty as his predecessors who tried to defend absolute morality apart from God: it can’t be done. And so, popular atheism has long ago yielded absolute morality to theists. (With even knowledge, logic, and reason falling victim to atheism, not surprisingly, the godless long ago discarded wisdom and righteousness.) Paralleling their loss of absolute morality, apart from God today’s atheist cannot defend the absolute laws of logic either. Regarding A2-1, as with morality, atheism will move toward a consensus against the existence of logic. For eventually, either atheism collapses, or its trust in logic collapses. They will redefine logic to mean just convention, as they have redefined right and wrong. As atheists fall into denial by increasingly rejecting the universality of logic, they will eventually yield logic to theists, just as they did with morality. Such intellectual schizophrenia demonstrates the claim of Christians that atheism is inherently self-contradictory, and more than just morality, atheism also undermines logic. For, rational atheism is easily demonstrated to be impossible [BA10-9], and the transcendental proof for God affirms His existence by the impossibility of the alternative. And so, which worldview is logical, theism or atheism? Once again I will grant that if right and wrong does not exist, and now if logic does not exist, then God does not exist. So if Zakath wanted to resolve this Battle Royale disagreement over God’s existence in a rational way, he has lost, for atheism has no rational basis.

Zakath on Sodium Pentothal

I promised that I would role play Zakath the atheist and answer the 24 questions that he refused to answer. Below, I have answered these outstanding questions as best as I could from the prospective of a responsive atheist. I mark those answers below as ZOSP (Zakath On Sodium Pentothal, i.e., truth serum). Let me repeat to make this really clear. Many readers really were interested in how Zakath or any atheist would answer the kinds of questions that they typically refuse to answer. So, I’ve written the following answers for Zakath, pretending that we shot him up with truth serum.

BQ3. Regarding the origin of the natural universe:
a) The universe is a perpetual motion machine; b) It came into existence from nothing; c) It was brought into existence by a supernatural creator
d) Other e) I don’t know; If D, please explain.

ZOSP: A. Let’s see :think:. I believe that the universe, even if just as a speck, was always here. As far as this turning the universe into a perpetual motion machine, I take by faith that the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to the entire universe, so that a universe-sized perpetual motion machine can exist.

NOTE: Let’s Isaac Asimov and Stephen Hawking want in on this question, so let’s let them weigh in also:

Hawking: “This argument about whether or not the universe had a beginning, persisted into the 19th and 20th centuries. It was conducted mainly on the basis of theology and philosophy, with little consideration of observational evidence. This may have been reasonable, given the notoriously unreliable character of cosmological observations, until fairly recently. The cosmologist, Sir Arthur Eddington, once said, 'Don't worry if your theory doesn't agree with the observations, because they are probably wrong.' But if your theory disagrees with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it is in bad trouble. In fact, the theory that the universe has existed forever is in serious difficulty with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Second Law, states that disorder always increases with time. Like the argument about human progress, it indicates that there must have been a beginning. Otherwise, the universe would be in a state of complete disorder by now, and everything would be at the same temperature.” Stephen Hawking, The Beginning of Time

Asimov: “This [second] law is considered the most powerful and most fundamental generalization about the universe that scientists have ever been able to make.” Isaac Asimov, In the Game of Energy and Thermodynamics You Can’t Even Break Even, Journal of Smithsonian Institute, June 1970

BQ4. Zakath:
a) Can you please either explain conceptually how the first cell would have developed; or,
b) Give an explanation in broad terms of how a simpler system could perform the necessary functions of a biological life form, which I believe must include processing raw materials, containing itself, encoding instructions, implementing instructions, chemical processing, and reproduction, which whole system is itself irreducibly complex.
c) nothing substantive about life’s origin; If A or B, please explain.

ZOSP: C. I can’t conceive of how biological life could exist apart from the functions you list: “processing raw materials, containing itself, encoding instructions, implementing instructions, chemical processing, and reproduction,” and I admit that atheistic science has made no progress in theorizing how all those things could naturally arise together, but I have hope that some day we will understand such things.

BQ5. There are only three theoretical alternatives to the origin of the universe. a) True b) False; If B, explain and please list.

ZOSP: B. But I cannot explain my answer. When you say that the universe was either always here, popped into existence from nothing, or that a supernatural creator made it, I get annoyed that I can’t think of a fourth possibility (let alone a dozen others). While I think that the universe was probably always here, I do not want to limit my possibilities to those three, because one day, it may become overwhelmingly obvious that science shows the first two to be impossible, and so I would like to keep fallback positions open. However, I cannot conceive of any other alternatives, and by the nature of the question, it does seem that there are no other possibilities. I realize that with this question you are trying to trap me, because the most well-tested laws of science do seem to indicate the impossibility of the first two options and so science leaves only creation as not contradicting basic physics. But remember, I’ve already answered BQ3 honestly that, “I take by faith that the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to the entire universe,” and so even if the real BQ5 answer is A, since I have faith that the most fundamental laws of science fail in regards to the universe, my faith will keep my position tenable. :thumb:

BQ6. Zakath will either:
a) admit that he was unable to devise or find any explanation of the theoretical reduced complexity in pre-cell life forms; or,
b) he will explain that functional simplicity, not in detail, but only broadly, covering just the utmost basic descriptions of the needs of biological life, including its need:
* its need to separate itself from its outside environment
* its need for communication between its subsystems
* its need to produce hundreds of intricate compounds
* its need to repair damaged components
* its need to selectively admit raw materials from outside
* its need to expel waste, and paramount,
* its need to reliably reproduce itself. If B, please explain.

ZOSP: A. Of course I cannot find any details of functional simplicity of pre-cell biological life, but you specifically indicated you did not want details, but only broad concepts covering just these most basic requirements of biological life. Even still, I cannot come up with any reasonable proposal about how any of these basic functions would be unnecessary in the first life. You knew that or you wouldn’t have asked the question. So, while it seems that each of these functions would need to exist in life from the start, I hold out faith that they are not really requirements. Perhaps life could have existed without one or the other, but when I try to eliminate any of them, like imagining biological life existing without processing raw materials, or without communication between its systems, or without expelling waste, or without reproduction, it seems I am imagining fantasy and not reality. It does seem that the simplest life form would require a minimum set of complex functions, and that does present the problem of how such a set of requirements could arise simultaneously to form the first life form. But although no atheist scientist has ever presented a reasonable solution to this dilemma, I hold out faith that a first life form could have arisen by chance.

BQ9: Zakath, regarding the following “Theistic Worldview” paragraph, please indicate a) true or b) false whether it contains foundational issues which the theist position explains consistently and directly, issues which the atheist position struggles to explain even conceptually:
The Theistic Worldview: is consistent within itself regarding origins and with the observable facts and the laws of science. There is no fourth alternative to explain the origin of the universe, and the most well-established physical laws indicate the universe could not always have been here, and could not pop into existence on its own from nothing, and so that leaves a supernatural, powerful, pre-existing Creator as the only other option. The irreducible complexity of biological life indicates that it could not have originated from simpler pre-cell life forms, and so that leaves a knowledgeable Creator as the only option. And the consciousness of human beings could not arise by natural processes from matter, and so that leaves us with a personal Creator.

ZOSP: I hate myself for saying this, and I really don’t know why I am saying it (we injected Zakath with the sodium pentothal while he slept), but I cannot answer B. I want to answer false, that these most basic observations are not consistent with the theist position, but of course they obviously are. So, I am forced to answer A, but let me quickly add my caveat. There is an apparent quirk of science whereby the more we learn about physics and biology, the more difficult it becomes to explain origins naturally. But I don’t understand why this quirk is there. I would think that the more we learn about matter, energy, the physical laws, and how the systems in the cosmos function, the easier and easier it should be to see how everything could have originated naturally. But the opposite effect does occur. For example, the laws of thermodynamics and genetics naturally have emboldened the creationists and we atheists have been struggling to respond to such basic arguments. However, I do hold out faith that this trend someday will be reversed, and scientific laws and discoveries will no longer seem to so obviously support the creationist worldview.

BQ14: Zakath, I have designed some of my questions to get you to focus on the scientific discovery of limitations. So, can science possibly discover real limitations of matter, energy, and natural processes? a) Yes b) No If B, please explain.

ZOSP: Once again, I would love to answer B, no, because I want to believe that nature is omnipotent and can do anything. But honestly, I think that one of the most significant aspects of scientific investigation is identifying the limitations of the material universe, and every scientist working today deals with known limitations, otherwise, he probably could not devise a single experiment. For example, Einstein’s theory of relativity makes much of the speed limit of light, and his conversion formula of energy to matter is E=mc2. That is, and you can’t get more energy out of matter than is in there to begin with. The equivalent conversion of energy and matter is a major and pervasive limitation that science has discovered, and it seems unscientific and even irrational to assume that you can get more energy out of matter than is represented by that matter to begin with. Yes, it seems that there are limitations identified in almost every scientific discovery. The Sun cannot revolve around the earth, because the earth lacks sufficient mass. A human being cannot survive rapid bleeding unless the bleeding is slowed or his blood supply is replenished. A bullet shot upwards from a normal pistol from sea level cannot escape the earth’s atmosphere because it lacks sufficient momentum. Scientific limitations even showed Voltaire to be utterly wrong when he rejected that that dinosaur skeletons and all other fossils were created by actual animals that had been buried; for he assumed that skeleton and skull and full skeleton designs were natural rock formations, but we know that the physical laws would not repeatedly draw in stone the same detailed pictures of animals bones over and over and over, and so, fossils must be the remains of actual animals which have chemically turned into stone, which we know because the physics of rock formation does not include any law that would draw detailed anatomical designs, and the same complex designs, millions of times over. Etc., etc., etc., yes, science is all about finding limitations.

BQ15: Zakath, can you admit a bias in which you would be slower to recognize a scientific limitation of nature than would a theist? a) Yes b) No

ZOSP: Once again, I want to answer B, but that would be an obvious lie. And since I have been in an especially truthful mood, I’ll just come out and answer A: Yes, as we atheists clearly do have “a bias in which we would be slower to recognize a scientific limitation of nature than would a theist.” I don’t know why I hesitated to answer that question the first time you asked it. Oh no, wait a minute, actually yes, I do know why I didn’t answer this back in round six. I didn’t want to admit this apparent intellectual weakness on the part of atheism. (Hmphd^@$%rghstadt!:mad:, I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut!!) But now that I’m inclined to just tell you the truth, yes, while we atheists do claim to value science, we rather systematically dismiss much of what it discovers. But then, can’t I turn this question around on you and ask, “Can you Christians admit a bias in which you would be slower to recognize a scientific capability of nature than would an atheist?” But I guess that wouldn’t get me very far, because you theists frequently answer questions directly, and you’d probably just say “Yes,” and make my own hesitancy in the matter look like I’m really afraid to face up to various scientific discoveries. Yeah, you guessed correctly by implying that I would “rather not think about the limits of natural processes.” Perhaps I just hope that someday such limitations will just go away? (errrrr…ahhgrly, ghastrgn#*&$%#, I guess I know that physical limitations will not just go away someday and that they are utterly real, but I just don’t want to believe in them! There, I said it! Can we take a break now?)

BQ16: Zakath, could science conceivably ever falsify natural origins by closing the gap for the origin of the universe and biological life, showing conclusively that natural processes themselves cannot account for such origins? a) Yes b) No; If Yes, please explain how. If No, please explain why not.

ZOSP: Of course the very purpose of science is to tell us how it is that things do happen, and what physically can and cannot happen. So, of course, Yes, it is conceivable for science to falsify natural origins. I know, I know, I never ever admit that. And it’s because… it’s because… because I’m afraid to. Of course, if I do not admit that science could conceivably disprove natural origins, well, then I make atheistic science guilty of circular reasoning, assuming exactly what we claim that it proves. And yes, I know that belies my own claim, that I have a purely scientific and logical worldview. “If Yes, please explain how,” well, ok. If even just one thing ever occurred that could not occur naturally, that would be proof of the supernatural. And if reason truly limited the origin of the universe to just three possibilities, and if scientific laws correctly understood indicated that the universe could not make itself from nothing, nor could it have always been here, then we would know for a certainty that we had a supernatural origin. It’s just that these things are generally hard for me to admit publicly, and really, I usually don’t even allow myself to think about such things. Oh yes, and you asked about natural biological origins, and if science possibly falsified that, how might it do so? Well, if correctly understood scientific laws showed that even the simplest possible biological life forms were extremely complex, and that the physical laws lack the ability to organize matter as finely as required by the simplest life, then science would have shown that life cannot naturally arise from matter.

BQ17: Zakath, please show that your ‘conditions’ argument against the possibility of absolutes is potentially valid by falsifying it (feel free to use my scenario or your own).

ZOSP: When I argued against even the possibility of absolute morality, I kept repeating that you cannot include conditions in any absolute law. So, for example, my rules imply (although I was not then ready to admit it), that if you said, “Murder is absolutely wrong,” I could ask, “Does murder require the killing of a human being?” And as soon as you said, “Yes,” then I could pounce on you and say, “Aha, then it’s not unconditional, is it?” Yes, I do admit that is embarrassingly absurd. And while I do a pretty good job of trying to convince even myself of some of these word games, I was having a hard time with this one, and really didn’t appreciate you pressing me on the matter.

BQ18: Zakath, please indicate which of these laws of thermodynamics do you believe do not apply to the universe as a whole:
a) The First Law: that nature can bring neither matter nor energy into existence from nothing.
b) The Second Law: that the universe cannot work and burn forever, since it would eventually expend all available energy.
c) Neither the First nor Second laws apply to the universe as a whole.
d) Both the First and Second laws apply to the universe as a whole.
Please do your best to explain your answer, or explain why you cannot or will not answer.

ZOSP: Ok, ok, I realize you asked this again because I was very unresponsive in the Battle. Now that I am being forthright, you know from my answer to BQ3 that my answer is B. You know, this TOL forum thread ID 7709, Room 7709 as you called it (I didn’t like that), really did feel constricting. I didn’t like being stuck in there, unable to get out, and I really hated when you kept bringing up issues that I was trying to avoid. It especially annoyed me that you didn’t let me change the topic of the debate to the Bible. I definitely did not want to continue talking about science. For some reason, even though I am an atheist who claims to live by science, I’m much more comfortable talking about the Bible than about science. Weird, huh! Well (ergdfdf%#%A^$shngrmns), I guess it’s not weird after all. The Bible is such a big book, and written so long ago, that there’s plenty of opportunity for me to take things out of context, or twist things, and since most people know even less about the Bible than they do about science, well, my studying how to make the Bible look bad usually silences my opponents. But in that eighth round, when you offered to debate me on the very topic that I pride myself in attacking, on the Bible itself, I sort of freaked out. For now at least, if you insist on going over these questions I avoided, well, I guess I’ll keep talking…

BQ19: Zakath, if you really want us to pursue further your Moral Knowledge Argument for Atheism, then please address my prior BA9 answer, way back in 2b, on the negative consequences of shoving truth into someone’s face.

ZOSP: I had asked you why god has chosen “to play hide-and-seek with the universe? Why not make his existence irrefutably obvious?” and you answered that he is irrefutably obvious and that “He does not play hide-and-seek;” neither of which I found very challenging. But then you said that “further demonstrations of His existence would be counterproductive. Daily miracles could easily produce a stubborn immunity to God in yet more people, and even if dead celebrities were resurrected, most people would not believe, because when the truth is shoved into someone’s face, the human tendency is to shove back.” Yeah, I ignored that argument. It’s another one I’d rather not think about much. I guess that’s because I have so much evidence in my own life experience that agrees with the observation. For example, if someone is committed to an argument, and the most obvious contrary evidence is presented to them, the most common human response is to resist the obvious. And I guess that’s because of their pride. And while I don’t believe in god as you know (gkj$&^$#sfrgves!, khnot againnnnnnya), well, at least, I am trying to convince myself that I do not believe in god. It’s hard to admit how prideful men are, and how that pride so easily blinds us. Naturally, pride would exert itself most against some Being trying to judge me as guilty; my pride would go into high gear fighting against some god who claimed to judge me as selfish and hurtful of others. So, yeah, even on the TOL boards, when some idiot theist makes a good argument, I have a really hard time admitting it, especially if it hits anywhere close to my fundamental beliefs. So I understand what you are saying, that because of pride, human beings have the capacity to reject even truths that are blatantly obvious. And yes, I do admit, that does directly respond to and undermine my Moral Knowledge argument, which really would only hold up if humans had no pride, and exhibited no tendency to defend themselves even when they are in the wrong.

BQ20: Zakath, have you reconsidered your atheism since hearing that natural law has no jurisdiction over a supernatural Creator? a) Yes b) No

ZOSP: When I read this question, actually, I just laughed at you :crackup:. Because I knew that you knew that when I said perhaps I would reconsider, I was only being rhetorical. No, I did not make any effort to reconsider my views. Actually, throughout the entire debate, I did not put any intellectual effort into reconsidering my beliefs. Rather, I tried to insulate those beliefs from challenge by ignoring your most irritating arguments.

BQ21: Zakath, can you identify any apparent contradiction between a supernatural Creator bringing the universe into existence from nothing, and the natural laws of physics? a) Yes b) No; If Yes, please explain.

ZOSP: Well, normally, I like to suggest to naïve Christians that if the physical laws would prevent natural origins, that they would also prevent a god from creating. But yes, I know that argument is disingenuous, because the physical laws govern the physical universe. And if a supernatural creator (I am not going to italicize “super” as you always did; :noid: that bugged me), if a supernatural creator made the universe, then of course it is irrational to say that just because proteins could not form on their own, that he couldn’t build them. And likewise, just because the physical laws tell us that a rock cannot make itself from nothing, it is absurd to imply that such natural laws could even possibly prevent a spiritual, supernatural being from making a rock where no matter had previously existed. The theistic model is that the spiritual god created the physical universe and with it, brought the physical laws into existence. And so those laws did not even exist when he began to create, and obviously would have no jurisdiction over him. And also, since even we humans with our little knowledge and power, can work to overcome the laws of physics (like flight overcoming gravity), a spiritual god who created the universe could undoubtedly (if he existed) exert himself in his creation and do things that would not happen naturally, things we call miracles. So yes, I admit, that the natural laws do show us about limits to nature, but that they do not and cannot show us that a spiritual god could not bring the universe and those laws into existence, and neither do they show us that such a god could not supercede those laws if he choose to, for example, by parting the Red Sea for the Jews. Of course, I am not saying that he did these things, I am just admitting that the physical laws do not in any way preclude such a being from doing such things, and when we atheists frequently imply otherwise we are being somewhat disingenuous.

By the way, since you’re obviously not letting me off the hook until we get through these last ten questions :bang:, I’d like to combine your next two questions with a single answer…

BQ22: Zakath, do many atheists think it is possible that the entire universe came into existence from nothing? a) Yes b) No
BQ23: Zakath, do many atheists think it is impossible that the entire universe came into existence from nothing by a Creator? a) Yes b) No

ZOSP: A, and A, that is, Yes, and Yes. Ok, ok, that makes us look bad. To say that we believe the universe could possibly have made itself from nothing, but that a creator could not possibly have made it, makes us look immature. But I think the reason we say such things is because we are afraid that if we give in even just the tiniest bit, we will open up a hole in the dike, and we might have even a harder time defending our position. We mock you theists, but you do make it hard for us in these debates. Of course, if we atheists think the universe could come into existence from absolutely nothing, we should also admit the theoretic possibility of it coming into existence from something spiritual. After all, something spiritual is at least something to start with, even if it is not materialistic, rather than an entire universe coming into existence starting from absolute nothingness. This is hard to defend. But I guess we would say that scientific experiments do not show evidence of the supernatural. (I know, I know, you say that god created supernaturally and then rested, letting the universe function naturally, so natural processes today function naturally.) And so we just assume that there was no spiritual creator. But it’s really hard to admit that we are just assuming that which we claim science proves. If atheists were to commonly admit this, it would make our circular reasoning really obvious. And on a normal day (this one is a really weird day), I would never, ever admit this.

BQ25: Zakath, regarding the slow spin of the Sun, Earth’s ecosystem being enabled by the Sun’s properties and distance, our own moon’s relative size and distance from the Sun and the Earth, and the harmonious orbits of the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, the relationship between Pluto and Charon, and their harmony with Neptune, and the backward spin of Venus while she shows her same face when between us and the Sun, do all these apparently indicate evidence for Creation, or evidence for atheism?

ZOSP: Well, if our solar system formed naturally, by the physical laws, then we would not expect to find any of the features you have listed. And it is somewhat frustrating to me that it is mostly atheist scientists who have made these careful scientific observations, and then you theists end up using these major features of the solar system against us. Yes, I admit that at least on the surface these broad features of the solar system appear to provide evidence for creation. But appearances can be deceiving. Just because so many features of our solar system defy the physical laws as we know them, does not mean the sun and planets did not form naturally. I have faith that we will eventually find out that the laws of physics did not apply to the solar system when it formed, or that we really have no idea what the laws of physics actually are, so that when we correct all of our grossly erroneous scientific understanding, all these major conflicts that seem to inexplicably contradict the laws of science today will be easily resolved. And yes, I do see that I have put myself in a bind here, because I normally claim that it is the great advance of science that shows that god is unnecessary, yet my real hope is that some day we find out that all this science has been really, really wrong on so many of its most basic and greatest accomplishments. So, should I trust in science or not? Well, let’s just say that if I think something in science will help me reject god, I will trust in that, and anything else science discovers, I’ll just ignore. Honest enough for ya?

BQ26: Zakath, please explain what evidence you have to indicate that the above solar system design elements indicate actual gaps that must be filled, rather than imaginary gaps that science already has closed.

ZOSP: I think I hated that filled/closed argument of yours more than anything else in this entire debate. (Well, I guess the thing I really hated most was when you offered to debate me on the Bible; since I’m being so open, I’ll admit that was even worse.) But this God of the Gaps rebuttal was so annoying. I really don’t want to thing about it, even now. I guess I understand your point. No, I’m sorry; I know I understand your point. You’re saying that science proves some ideas false, and validates others. And so now you are asking a pain-in-the-neck question regarding the so-called design elements of the solar system. Atheists say that the physical laws somehow caused the sun virtually to stop spinning and Venus to dance with the Earth even without sufficient gravitational attraction; but what evidence do atheists have to indicate that science will validate these statements, rather than invalidate them? Of course, if science invalidates these statements, that is, if by the laws of physics and the conservation of angular momentum the sun’s rotation cannot be stopped while leaving the planets merrily spinning on their way, then if that cannot happen naturally, then logic and honesty would mandate that we acknowledge a supernatural influence on the sun. Because everything that exists must exist for either natural or supernatural reasons, and if scientific investigation eliminates a natural cause for something that actually exists, then science itself has proven the existence of the supernatural. So much of your argument has pointed in this direction, and I just was not going to admit to any of this. After all, if I did, I would be breaking with the ranks of the atheist community. We figure, if we just stonewall on such arguments, and act like we don’t understand them, then people who don’t think much about all this will just assume that we are right, because we are being more scientific. So, to answer truthfully, I don’t even allow science to consider supernatural causes for events, and that is the main reason that I believe that science will one day validate natural origins. So, if you accuse me of using circular reasoning again, I’ll admit that I am. But, don’t you do the same? :idea:

BQ30/BA32: [BQ30 refined as Zakath requested, restated in BA32] Let’s use the research just reported this month in which Japanese scientists have found not a 1.5 or 5 percent, but a 15 percent difference between chimp and human DNA. If you really think that narrowing the discussion will not obfuscate but help you solve the challenge, then feel free to attempt a rebuttal with respect to the 36 genes that differ between human chromosome 21 (the most well researched) as compared to its counterpart chimpanzee chromosome 22, regarding both the time for their initial creation and then the number of generations needed for their propagation throughout the entire species; and then determine if enough time exists since the dawn of the universe for the genes to appear randomly via mutation, and if enough evolutionary time exists to propagate throughout some primate species all the DNA changes needed to code for humans.

ZOSP: The only way that enough time has passed in the universe to form even a single protein is if we atheists make assumptions that gene formation is likely, and that the laws of physics would have a tendency to form them. I realize we often state, as I did in the debate, that of course proteins are likely to form because, hocus-pocus, here they are, trillions of them in our own bodies. And yes, that’s begging the question, and assuming the very thing we are trying to debate. I guess I do that a lot. But what if we assume that they would be likely to form because they would be simpler than today’s proteins? Oh yeah, that’s right, you’ve pointed out that even if that were the case, all the information content in today’s proteins (and all the species for that matter) would still have to come about by random chance, and only then could natural selection preserve it. It is true that we atheists do not believe in a guiding force behind the cosmos. So, perhaps proteins would form because atoms are limited in how they will bond with one another? But, I guess that only eliminates some theoretical possibilities but it doesn’t eliminate the common reactions from happening infinitely over, and it also doesn’t provide direction to bringing about all the information content we find in life. I guess my answer is, I don’t know how all the mass of DNA information could have accumulated, and while I don’t have evidence that science will find a way, I’m still going to have faith that all the genetic information could have accumulated naturally. As to how many generations would take for the genetic “upgrades” to primates to propagate throughout their species and eventually produce homo sapiens, apparently atheist evolutionists have struggled with this, showing that a few million years is not nearly enough time to propagate enough changes to turn chimps into people, even when they make extremely favorable transmission assumptions. But maybe humans began evolving not just a few, but a hundred, million years ago. You know, the ages in millions of years that date the geologic column were published by evolutionists long before we developed radiometric dating. And so, perhaps all the evolutionary dating is wrong by an order of magnitude! Did you ever think of that?

BQ31: Zakath, which do you think was vindicated, the 1995 prediction of atheistic NASA engineers that a developing Hubble photo would show galaxies forming, or the prediction of a Christian talk-show host that Hubble’s photo would show typical, not early, galaxies? Hint, see the post 7b photo.

ZOSP: So, big deal. Really. Thousands of predictions are made by scientists every year. Besides, Flipper in the grandstands said that photo was published in January of 1996! Ha! See, you were off by a year! :bannana: Or, uhhh, well, at least by a month. Oh, wait, you said the "prediction" was in 1995. Oh. Anyway, back to the question. Really, so what? The atheists at NASA predicted that the moon would be deep in dust because it was billions of years old, and so the Lunar Lander had bowl feet to stop if from sinking. And so theists said it would only have a bit of dust, and you guys were right then. But so what? All NASA had to do was re-measure how much dust landed on the moon. But you know, astrophysicists are making discoveries to show that the galaxies did evolve gradually, and were not created instantly. I know, I know. You’re going to offer me a bet that all photos ever taken will always show fully formed galaxies, and they will never show forming galaxies. Well, perhaps there will be a good reason for that, if, that is, that turns out to be true, which I doubt. Well, er, a… a, which I hope will not happen.

BQ32: Zakath, help us gauge an atheist’s ability to objectively weigh evidence. Regarding dirty jokes, and privacy in reproduction and expelling waste, and our various fundamental differences from animals like the desire for clothing and the fear of the dark and of ghosts and of the dead, and the recognition of beauty and the existence of ideas, and temperaments, emotion, and personality, please indicate whether all these broad observations appear, even if only superficially, to provide evidence for: a) God b) atheism. If B, please explain.

ZOSP: Well, when you say that theism predicts such things, and that atheism struggles to account for them, well then superficially, I would agree with that. But things are not always as they appear on the surface. We atheists attempt to find naturalistic explanations for the great divide between humans and animals. Yes, the human distinctions do appear to be evidence for what we would call our spiritual dimension. For, we did not evolve greater vision, or speed, or hearing, or sonar, or tougher digestion or hides, etc., none of the things you might expect in a materialistic world from the most evolved species. But actually, our differences do appear to relate to some spiritual aspect, but I deny the existence of a spiritual dimension. So, I will simply continue to look for natural explanations for the relatively rapid appearance, evolutionarily speaking, of all these human characteristics.

BQ33: Zakath, please present evidence that I have not already invalidated that refutes my argument for a universal human conscience, or show the flaw in my invalidation.

ZOSP: Ok, I have pointed out that rules of morality vary, and you keep arguing that there are underlying similarities. You say that the conscience is this virtually unavoidable human tendency to weigh moral actions on the scales of justice and for example, you point out that even evil people like the Columbine murderers and the NAZIs typically attempt to justify themselves, that is, they weigh their actions on a scale of justice and attempt to show that what they are doing is “right.” And you added “evidence of the most cruel, vicious, and unrepentant villains who even disclaim any conscience but who nonetheless judge that someone has wronged them whenever they are falsely accused, or their own rights are violated, or their own private property is stolen, etc., all showing clear evidence of an ability to weigh actions on the scales of justice.” I do admit that evil people do show a definite understanding of wrongdoing when it is done to them. So what? I don’t concede any point to that. Just the observation. What further evidence do I have against a human conscience? Well, right now, all I can think of is people in a coma, and those who are severely mentally retarded. Yes, you will say that even the vast majority of the mentally ill demonstrate a clearly functioning conscience, and that the comatose have no idea what is happening to them, and that I should no more use them than a corpse. But right now I can’t come up with anything beyond what we’ve already covered against the universality of conscience.

BQ34: Zakath, do you admit that the NAZIs who murdered millions held a merely different value system which you may not prefer but which they did prefer, which your preferred laws forbid but which their laws permitted, and that by atheism, there is no final standard that can objectively judge your moral values as superior to the NAZIs?

ZOSP: Because I reject the existence of god, I therefore do not believe in absolute right and wrong. And even though I like using the terms right and wrong, good and bad, virtuous and evil, really, there are no such things in an absolute sense. They are just conventions. And while humans with more power might be able to impose their “morality” on others, their morality has no inherent absolute justification over others. For example, we might say that morality is a social consensus, but then black slavery was the social consensus. And yet, I believe that those who went against the consensus and helped slaves escape were the true heroes, yet I am then defending those who went against the consensus. Yet in the case you bring up, I admit that I oppose the NAZIs whose genocide went against Western Civilization’s consensus. So, I admit that I seem to be intuitively aware of a standard by which even I support or condemn society’s consensuses. And yes, the NAZIs did prefer to kill the Jews and without an absolute moral standard, I will admit that which is very unpopular to admit, that atheism provides no finally compelling reason why a NAZI must abandon his morality for another. But in fact, I like this position because it allows me to go with any morality I prefer. For example, if some man (and I’m not saying me) impregnates a woman other than his wife, with atheism, he can bring her to Planned Parenthood and for $500 bucks, solve his problem, no questions asked, and no moral judgments made. So I just prefer getting to make up my own morality. And if I disagree with society, say I want to steal money or cheat on my wife, then, well, as long as I don’t get caught, I can do what I want.

BQ35: [BQ27 restated] Zakath, is the following reasoning internally consistent, and if so, do you agree that I have solved Euthyphro’s Dilemma with these two observations: 1) if God exists, a description of God’s nature can be independent of His nature itself, and 2) a track record of eternally interacting, independent persons (of the Trinity) who have never experienced a threat to their own wellbeing can each testify of the eternal consistent goodness of the others, and by these three independent witnesses, they can declare their mutual standard as righteous.

ZOSP: I don’t like to make a judgment such as that these two statements are “internally consistent.” But let me just say that I cannot find any inconsistency in them at the moment. As to whether they solved Euthyphro’s Dilemma, when Euthyphro wrote, he had no conception of the christian trinitarian god. So, of course he wouldn’t have considered that possibility. Also, as I have read atheists who use this argument, neither have they attempted to evaluate whether this dilemma stands in light of the specifically trinitarian claims that you make. So, you are asking me to consider and respond to something in the short timeframe of a debate which atheists have not considered for two thousand years. I know that I put a lot of concentration into presenting this argument, but I don’t want to think through your rebuttal. So, have you solved this dilemma that tries to disprove even the possibility of absolute morality? I doubt it, but :sleep: I don’t have the energy to find whatever logical flaw may exist in your argument. Besides, I really hate it when christians use the trinity to make their points.

BQ36: Zakath, do you agree that it is wrong to attempt to explain the origination of complexity by introducing even more complexity? a) Yes b) No

ZOSP: It depends what you mean. If there is a question about something complicated, like how does a cruise missile work, then of course a full answer will contain much complexity. However, if you are asking, which I guess you are (well, er, I can see clearly that you are, so let me restart…). But since you are asking about the origination of complexity, then yes, clearly, it is wrong for us atheists to posit something even more complex when we are trying to explain how complex things arose from mindless matter. So in post 3a I guess I was…, no, er, :mad: uhh, I can see that I was obfuscating when I complained that you refused “to accept complex answers to complex questions.” But as an atheist it is hard to discipline myself to think in terms of increased simplicity for pre-cellular life because we atheists can’t even conceive of how biological life could be all that much simpler than it is. And so, we talk about viral systems (which I will admit are more complex that cells, since they require cells to function), and we talk about broken proteins because that’s about all we have to work with right now. You can forgive that, no? Oh, well, I guess not. Never mind. Ok, so I see your point, that when we atheists try to explain the origin of complexity, we should never introduce more complexity, but discipline ourselves to either show the possibility of greater original simplicity, or just admit that we cannot think of any. Are we done now? Yeah. Well, good.

Evidence Summary

For those who are following closely, I still owe the evidence from history and a response to Zakath’s accusations against the God of the Bible. I will present that response and evidence together in the Special Revelation section. Here is a summary of our entire debate, which Zakath framed with his first two questions:

ZQ1: How do you define God?
BA1: I define God as the supernatural Creator of the natural universe, existing eternally, powerful, wise and knowledgeable, personal, loving, and just.

ZQ2: Upon what evidence do you base your belief in this God?
BA2: In this post, I present evidence only related to the creative, eternal, powerful, and knowledgeable aspects of God from the origins of both the universe and biological life. In future posts, I expect to use more evidence from physics and biology, add evidence from astronomy, and then, as evidence for God being personal, loving, [wise,] and just, I will present observations from psychology and history.

Here is a summary of the evidence for God I have presented, along with the tenth line which follows:
[BA10-1] origin of universe, from physics
[BA10-2] origin of biologic life, from biology
[BA10-3] origin of consciousness, from psychology
[BA10-4] conscience and morality, from psychology
[BA10-5] solar system features, from astronomy
[BA10-6] insurmountable time constraints, from biology
[BA10-7] dirty jokes and other human characteristics, from psychology and epistemology
[BA10-8] higher biological functions, from biology
[BA10-9] the transcendental argument, from epistemology, and
[BA10-10] special revelation, from history.

Special Revelation (The Bible)

The Bible is a book which comes out of the history of the world, and therefore atheists who reject it as the Word of God must still deal with it as a book of history. At the least, the Bible is an anthropological and historical curiosity of major proportions. For much of the thinking, and therefore the history, of the world has been influenced by the Bible, even to this very day, for example in conflicting biblical interpretations by the President of the United States, by politically influential Jews in Israel, and by the leaders of Islamic and Palestinian terrorist organizations, who have definite opinions of the meaning of significant historical and theological claims of the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, atheists should either consign themselves to complete ignorance regarding one of the most significant factors in human history, or they must attempt to construct a godless explanation for the writing and impact of the Bible in the annals of mankind.

I will present evidence to show that mere human beings could not have written the Bible alone. The Christian Scriptures claim that its message can impart eternal life to its adherents, and by way of confirmation, the Bible also claims that its message is unsurpassed in its ability to repair broken human lives. I believe what motivates Zakath is not atheism itself, but the defense of the brokenness in his own life, and therefore, an extreme opposition to the Bible and Christianity specifically. That would not be unusual. At a dinner party, a picnic, or in line for a Grateful Dead concert for that matter, politely bring up Buddha, Krishna, Vishnu, the Great Spirit, reincarnation, yin and yang, whatever religious concept you like other than the Bible message, and you may or may not get an interested audience, but you most likely will not get a negative visceral reaction from the group. They may think that you are weird, spiritually enlightened, or stupid, but they generally will not become noticeably annoyed or angry. Bring up Jesus Christ in a sincere way, and antagonistic reactions commonly follow. My sons and I were among the quarter million people at Denver’s People’s Fair and we tested this observation. Our plan was to go to the same booth twice in the day, and ask a question about Eastern Religion, and Christianity, and observe the responses. First we said to the workers in the booth: “We’d like to learn more about reincarnation, can you guys tell us about reincarnation?” And the group appeared to enjoy our question, and we were told that their group did not believe in reincarnation, but they directed us to another booth that would be happy to tell us about that subject. After lunch, we went back and asked, “We’d like to learn more about Jesus Christ, can you guys tell us about Jesus?” They reacted negatively, even harshly, and told us they didn’t believe in Jesus, saying his name mockingly. I’ve traveled some, from Key West Florida throughout continental America and Canada to Fairbanks Alaska, from Hawaii to New Zealand, from Israel to Italy, and I find this observation to be repeatable. I think Zakath really dislikes the Bible and Jesus Christ, and hence, his repeated attempt to divert our topic to the Bible, and his accusations against the God of the Bible for violating some kind of moral standard, which are especially peculiar coming from an atheist like Zakath who denies absolute morality.

The first eight lines of evidence primarily were from creation itself, and the Bible itself points to evidence from creation, as in Psalm 19 and Romans 1. But the Bible itself adds extraordinary evidence for God’s existence, and I will present three forms [BA10-10].

1. Scientific Knowledge unattainable in the ancient world apart for God’s specific revelation.
2. Prophecies of future events recorded over a period of many centuries so that those prophecies and their fulfillments would become a part of the history and the culture of civilization itself.
3. Non-prophecies, that is, a wide-ranging collection of extraordinarily weird stories, a few of which include Abraham going to sacrifice his own son Isaac, Jacob deceiving his father to steal Esau’s inheritance, and the bizarre details of the Passover and the Feasts of Israel, all assembled by the Jewish people in their Holy Scriptures, which stories of themselves seem to be contradictory to the message of the rest of the Bible itself, and are extremely eccentric, but which, when viewed from the perspective of the person of Jesus Christ, as symbols of his life, death, and resurrection, not only harmonize with the rest of Scripture but these peculiar stories become the pinnacle of its inherent vindication as a book that mere men could not write.

Unbelievers for the most part are unaware of the most significant scientific statements of the Bible, and when confronted with them, since they obviously cannot dispute their antiquity, they tend simply to ignore them. And regarding the messianic prophecies for example, some skeptics claim that Christ could have manipulated events in an attempt to fulfill specific messianic prophecies like His lineage, the manner of His conception, the place of His birth, the quality of His life, the miracles He would perform, the year of His death, the injustice of His sentence, the manner of His execution, the timing of His resurrection, and the predicted ensuing worldwide and permanent reactions to His sacrifice. Non-Christians have difficulty claiming that Jesus manipulated all his prophetic credentials because such matters are generally outside of the control of even the cleverest mortal. What is the likelihood that Jesus could pull off the above scam, and then at the same time give deep meaning to dozens of major non-prophesies throughout Jewish sacred history, not only resolving their apparent contradictions with biblical morality, but emblazing upon these stories the role of secretly prefiguring the coming of the Messiah. For the historian Luke reports that Jesus said that “‘all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms [that is, throughout the entire Old Testament] concerning Me.’ And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures” (Luke 24:44-45). As with the chance appearance of color vision, for Jesus to self-fulfill the direct prophecies, and give meaning to all the non-prophecies of Scripture, rises to the level of a geometric absurdity. Rather, the overwhelming evidence is that He fulfilled true divinely-inspired prophecies because He really did come to save from their sins those who follow Him.

Scientific Knowledge: While many of the ancient peoples worshipped the Sun, moon, and stars, thinking they were gods, the Bible from the very first chapter says that they are just lights.

God said, “Let there be lights in… the heavens to divide the day from the night… and let them be for lights… to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Gen. 1:14-15

Scripture commands us that “when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars” that you do not “worship them and serve them” (Deuteronomy 4:19). This view of the cosmos, beginning in Genesis 1, provides a solid foundation for science itself. I had an opportunity once at to debate an editor with Scientific American, Michael Shermer. I asked him to admit that the Bible was correct, at least on this one point, that the Sun, moon and stars are lights, not gods. Shermer refused to admit even that, saying, “The sun is not a light!” On that day, March 5, 2001, that editor for Scientific American illustrated what we Christians have long said, that atheists are extraordinarily biased by their rebellion against God, so much so that they will entertain the most unscientific absurdities in their attempt to stay as far from God as they can. (By the way, just like evolutionist Dr. Eugenie Scott and Zakath, and so many other atheists I’ve debated, Shermer tried hard and repeatedly to switch the debate from science to religion.)

The Pleiades and Orion: The Bible begins with Genesis, since that book tells about the Creation, but the first book actually written was Job. And in the book of Job, God talks to him, and reveals Himself as God planting astronomy evidence then into ancient history which has become especially compelling today, nearly 4,000 years later. In the dialogue of this ancient book, God asked Job:

“Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion?” Job 38:31

Not until millennia later could modern astrophysicists confirm the fascinating knowledge presented by this verse, which was designed to humble Job before the Creator. For the stars of the Pleiades are gravitationally bound together, “bind[ing] the cluster,” and the stars of Orion’s belt are speeding away from each other, “loose[ning] the belt.” Before we had light spectrometers, radio-telescopes, or the orbiting Hubble, we had the Bible. And in its oldest book, back when men had no advanced technology to interpret data in starlight, the Bible quotes God somehow accurately stating that the stars of the Pleiades are bound together, as they are, gravitationally bound, and that the stars of Orion’s belt are loosed, as they are moving apart and eventually, would completely undo “the belt” from Earth’s perspective. What are the possibilities that of all the stars visible to the naked eye, of all the ancient constellations, of all the infinite number of ways to describe a picture in the sky, that Job would make an astonishingly accurate scientific statement?

Isabel Lewis of the United States Naval Observatory says that astronomers have identified 250 stars as actual members of the Pleiades, all sharing in a common motion and moving through space in the same direction. Dr. Robert J. Trumpler of the Lick Observatory has confirmed that Job 38:31 is actually a true statement. Over 25,000 individual measurements of the Pleiades stars are now available, and their study led to the important discovery that the whole cluster is moving in a southeasterly direction. “This leaves no doubt that the Pleiades are… a system in which the stars are bound together by a close kinship.” But concerning Orion’s Belt, for which God told Job He arranged an opposite scenario, the stars are rapidly moving apart from one another. The belt viewed from Earth consists of an almost perfect straight line, a row of a few second-magnitude stars about equally spaced, each star traveling in different directions at different speeds. Astronomer Garrett P. Serviss has said that “In the course of time, however, the two right-hand stars, Mintaka and Alnilam, will approach each other and form a naked-eye double; but the third, Alnitak, will drift away eastward so that the band will no longer exist.” So this verse provides evidence of the divine authorship of Scripture. But I ask the atheist, “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion?”

Giant Reptiles and Evaporation: Millennia before paleontologists systematically uncovered dinosaur fossils, God’s dialogue in Job described, “the behemoth” with a “tail like a cedar” tree and its “bones are like beams of bronze… indeed the river may rage, yet he is not disturbed,” (Job 40:15-23). And “leviathan” cannot be captured or leashed, nor his skin filled “with harpoons,” and man would “be overwhelmed at the sight of him?” (Job 41:1-9). Thousands of years before meteorologists explained the water cycle, the Solomon wrote that, “All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place from which the rivers come, there they return again” (Eccl. 1:7). Today we understand the mechanics of evaporation. Back then, Jeremiah quoted an even earlier Bible passage writing that “There is a multitude of waters in the heavens: ‘And He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth’” (Jer 10:13; 51:16, quoting Psalm 135:7). The Bible has inspired many of the greatest scientists to understand God’s creation.

Man Made of Dust: Ancient man had little understanding of the elements, atoms and molecules. What was human flesh made of? It was nothing like fire, water, or air. And it wasn’t like rock, or wood. What is man made of? The Bible records in the second chapter of Genesis:

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground… Genesis 2:7

Only with the advent of modern chemistry, a physical science fathered and enabled by men who believed in God, like Paracelsus, Robert Boyle, Francis Bacon, and John Dalton, only since modern chemistry has man been able to scientifically verify the Bible’s statement that we are made of dust, of the exact same elements we find in the soil on the ground, no different. Of course the man who despises the God of the Bible for moral or theological reasons can easily sneer at such passages. But the man who honestly looks at the evidence for God, and opens the Bible to see what ancient human beings wrote, should admit amazement and wonder at such passages.

The Earth Hung on Nothing: In Job 26:7 we read that God stretched out “the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.” Yes, this could have been a wild guess. All these scientific observations could have been wild and lucky guesses. But is that a reasonable interpretation? The pagan Greeks struggled with the question of, what did the earth rest upon? Pick up a heavy rock and it falls, a branch falls quicker than dry leaves resting on it, a mountain is heavier than a rock, the whole earth has enormous weight. Why isn’t it falling, and why aren’t lighter things like parchment and rose petals flying upward as the earth plummets downward? So, the ancients mythically imagined perhaps the earth rested on pillars, or was held up by Atlas, or maybe it sat on the back of a tortoise. And the tortoise? Well, it was probably turtle upon turtle, all the way down. But as with so many topics, scientific, economic, moral, historical, and theological, the Bible elegantly declares, that God hung “the earth on nothing.” By special revelation from God, directly or through ancient prophets, Job learned that outer space is basically a vacuum, and that God hung the earth on nothing, painting a majestic word picture which our most advanced planetariums reinforce.

He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing. Job 6:7

As you can learn reading the writings of Galileo, Johann Kepler, Isaac Newton, and so many of our greatest scientists, in their opinion, the Bible is not antithetical to science. Unlike the eastern religions which relegate the universe to the realm of maya, illusion, Scripture supports science and even contains observations, some startling, of truths the Creator would know.

Prophecies: Prophecy in the Bible is unique evidence of divine authorship. For the other major religious books of the world were not written over centuries, filled with prophecies, prophecies and their fulfillments which became a part of the very fabric of human history. Islam claims to build upon “The Book,” as it calls the Bible, but fundamentally rejects central Bible stories of Abraham and Isaac, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And so, is Islam’s Koran, or Christianity’s Bible correct, or are they both wrong? Muslims cannot point to centuries of prophecies of Mohammed before his birth, for nothing of Islam existed prior to Mohammed himself. Neither Buddha nor the Hindu Veda had centuries of prophecies to confirm their authenticity. The Bible is unique in the use of prophecy, claiming that prophecy can validate the divine authorship of a message (Deut. 18:20-22). Of course, correctly predicting events, repeatedly, especially unique and peculiar events, in the near and far future, including events which the author has no control over, is something so unnatural, and so beyond human capability, that such a feature of Scripture demands the consideration of men who will honestly consider the evidence for God’s existence.

Israel Forever The Bible, for example, prophesied that Israel would endure forever, as in, “God has loved Israel, to establish them forever” (2 Chr. 9:8). A later prophet quoted God saying that Israel shall never “cease from being a nation before Me forever” (Jer. 31:36). Countless ancient tribes and peoples have disappeared into history, especially after being dislocated from their homeland. These prophecies were not written in secret, and then produced years later in such a way that their origin was in doubt. Such prophecies were recorded in the world’s best-selling, most well-read book. Yet after being exiled by the Assyrians and Babylonians, and now even after nearly 2,000 years of wandering the earth since 70 A.D. when the Romans expelled the Jews from their own land, Israel exists! She has not “cease[d] from being a nation.” Scripture even predicted that because the Jews would rebel against God (easy to predict since all nations do), that God would scatter them abroad (hard to predicet). “And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you” (Deut. 4:27). And yet, on May 14, 1948, they became a nation once again.

“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion [Israel] was in labor, she gave birth to her children… Rejoice with Jerusalem…” Isaiah 66:8, 10

Jerusalem Troubles the World: Against all odds, Israel remains as the Bible predicted. Even their capital city, Jerusalem stands to this day as the prophet wrote that, “Judah [Israel] shall abide forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation,” (Joel 3:20). But further, the Bible predicts that Jerusalem would be the trouble spot of the world, even in the last days.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples… And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples” Zech. 12:2-3

And to this day, to today’s headlines, millennia later, even on the very day that I make this final post in the tenth round on August 19, 2003, in fact, even as I write here about biblical prophecy (I was a few paragraphs down at the exact moment), a Palestinian terrorist bombed a Jerusalem bus murdering at least five. Jerusalem symbolizes the troubles in the Middle East between Israel and the Arabs, which struggle began in the mid-chapters of Genesis, which till today is that “very heavy stone” for the world.

Old Testament Translated into Greek by 200 B.C.: When committed unbelievers look at the prophecies in the Bible, of course, they have the ability to reject that which stares them right in the face. And they will typically claim that either the prophecies failed, or that they were very general and not specific, or even that the prophecies were probably written after-the-fact, to match events that occurred later, as though someone today wrote a prophecy of the 9-11 terrorist attack on America and dated it in the year 2000. But the Septuagint helps to confirm that the majority of Bible prophecies could not have been written afterward. We learn from Josephus and Philo, prolific first century Jews who never converted to Christianity, that the king of Egypt had commissioned a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures 200 years before Christ. And that translation remains with us to this day. Thus, the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in Jesus Christ could not have been written after his birth, life, death and resurrection, for they were available in two languages, on a few continents, for centuries before His birth.

Messianic Prophecy: The coming of the Messiah is a major theme of the Hebrew Scriptures (called by Christians the Old Testament). History, linguistic and cultural considerations, archaeological finds, and the Septuagint, establish that the messianic prophecies were written centuries, some more than 1,000 years, before Christ’s birth. Thus, either Christ did not fulfill them and the New Testament history has been fabricated by the apostles, or as a mere man Jesus manipulated the appearance of fulfillment, or the Father truly sent Him to die as the substitutionary punishment for those who seek God, so that they could live and not pay the eternal consequence due for their rebellion. So, what are a few of the prophecies?

Beginning in Genesis, we learn that the Messiah would oppose Satan and come from the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15), from Abraham’s descendants (Gen. 12:3; 22:18), and not by Ishmael as in the Koran but through Isaac (Gen. 21:12; 26:4), and through Jacob (Gen. 28:14), eventually, descending through the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10; Ps. 78:68), leading to King David, to whom Nathan prophesied that after his death, God says, “I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom” (2 Samuel 7:12-13). Scripture then prophesied that the Messiah, the eternal one, would be born in the tiny village of Bethlehem. “But you, Bethlehem… out of you shall come forth to Me the One… from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2-5). Daniel prophesied of the year and month when this Messiah would be killed (Daniel 9:24-27), although I admit that Daniel’s prophecy is not as clearly stated as so many others. But really, how could the world know whether or not some Jewish carpenter was born in Bethlehem, or to what tribe He belonged to, or whether He was a descendant of David? If Jesus were born in Nazareth, or Bethlehem, or Egypt for that matter, how would anyone really know? Well, Psalm 87, one of the Bible’s shortest chapters, records a prophesy of a fascinating time indicator for the Messiah’s birth, which, though written many centuries earlier, could help to answer this question of veracity:

The LORD will record, when He registers the peoples: “This one was born there.” Psalm 87:6

What does that mean, when He registers the peoples? It sounds like a census of not one, but of many nations, which marks the important birth of the Coming One, who was already prophesied to be a descendant of King David. This Psalm 87 says twice: “This one was born there,” referring to the Messiah. And referring to King David, and to His descendant, Jesus, Psalm 87 says:

"This one [King David] and that one [his descendant, the Messiah] were born in her [in David’s hometown of Bethlehem]; and the Most High Himself shall establish her." Psalm 87:5

Instead of Dec. 25th, it was more likely that we would commemorate September 23rd, because when Christ lived, the world celebrated the birth not of a carpenter but of nobility, the grandnephew of Julius Caesar, who grew up to become Caesar Augustus. He succeeded his uncle and became the undisputed leader of Rome after defeating Mark Antony and Cleopatra in a naval battle for control of the Empire. Years earlier, to weaken his political opposition, Augustus had sealed an agreement with Marc Antony and concluded the agreement with the shed blood of 200 knights and 300 Roman senators, including the famous Cicero. Caesar August, the first to take the title Imperator, gave us our word Emperor. At the height of his power, this ruthless leader of the western world became a pawn in the service of the lowly child from Bethlehem. For he performed well his role in announcing to the world the fulfillment of Psalm 87 and the conditions to certify the birth of Jesus Christ, his family lineage, and his birthplace. For in unwittingly obedience to the God of heaven:

…it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. Luke 2:1

The Roman Empire was extremely sophisticated, with economic development, roads, mail service, and communication unlike the world had ever seen. And Christ’s birthplace, time, and family lineage, were all recorded and documented as a matter of official Roman business. So God manipulated the world’s most powerful leader, the sole ruler of the Roman Empire, to command that “all the world should be registered”, that a census would be taken, so that a nearly 1,000-year-old prophecy would be fulfilled, that, “The LORD will record, when He registers the peoples: “This one was born there” (Psalm 87:6).

This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Luke 2:2-3

The world obeyed Caesar, and Caesar obeyed God, albeit unknowingly. (By the way, the ancient world used a 30-day month calendar, and the Egyptians added 5 holidays per year, but then Julius Caesar named a month after himself and gave it an extra day, so Augustus did likewise robbing a day from February, giving us today 31 days in July and August.) The events back then have shaped our world. And remember, the messianic prophesies were written in Hebrew, widely circulated, then translated for the Egyptians into Greek a couple centuries before Christ’s birth, as attested to by the history of the world. Well, pretty much everyone obeyed the commands of ruthless Augustus, and so Mary and Joseph headed off to Bethlehem, even though she was in her ninth month of pregnancy. During that census, Jesus Christ was born, recording the time and place of his birth, by the authority of the Roman Emperor himself, for all mankind to consider.

Virgin Birth: The greatest opposition to the Bible’s record of Christ’s birth, of course, is the claim that He was conceived by God within a virgin’s womb. Christ needed to be sinless so that His crucifixion could pay for the sins of others, and not for His own, and the Bible indicates that the sin nature (and perhaps the soul/spirit) passes through the father and not the mother. Thus, God could become flesh, to become a Man, to best communicate His love for us, and He would be the seed of the woman, the descendant of Abraham, and even of David’s own body, yet through the virgin birth, Jesus would not inherit death from Adam. It seems that the Jews did not give much attention to Isaiah’s reference to a virgin birth prior to the Christian era, and since, they have claimed that the Hebrew word should be translated maiden, not virgin. However, the Septuagint which was translated centuries before Christ used the Greek word for virgin, not a word for young woman, thus testifying to the original meaning of the text. Also, if a maiden conceived, that is not so much a “sign” from God as an everyday occurrence. Whereas the prophet wrote:

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (Jer. 31:22; Gen. 3:15)

Messenger: John the Baptist, beheaded by Herod the Great’s son Herod Antipas, fulfilled the prophecies of a messenger who will “prepare the way of the Lord” (Isaiah 40:3-5; Mal. 3:1; 4:5; Mark 1:2; Luke 7:27; John 1:22 23).

Crucifixion Year and Month: After the Jews were carried away captive by Nebuchadnezzar into Babylon, from there, Daniel prophesied that from the command to rebuild Jerusalem, until the Messiah would be killed, would be 483 years (Dan. 9:24-27). Governor Nehemiah, former cupbearer to Artaxerxes, records (Neh. 2:1) the date of that command, which occurred in the month of the Passover, the month of Christ’s death. The dating of events in such ancient history by historians is of course not exact, but adding 483 years to the traditional date that secular historians ascribe to that command brings us to within a decade of Christ’s crucifixion in A.D. 29 (He was born in 4 B.C., just after Herod’s death, which is dated precisely by the eclipse mentioned by Josephus). Time and time again, additional archaeological and historical finds have helped increasingly to corroborate biblical details and prophesies, and because Christians have been convinced by overwhelming evidence of the Bible’s divine inspiration, we believe it likely that further discovery will help to show the exact fulfillment of this prophecy also. (Although Sir Robert Anderson’s book The Coming Prince has a remarkable demonstration of using prophetic years of 360 days and accounting for leap years reinforces by the fulfillment of prophecy the accuracy of the traditional date.)

Manner of Execution: On the cross, Jesus cried out a quote from Psalm 22, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” (Mathew 27:46 quoting Ps. 22:1). To provide the ability for God to justly forgive our crimes (sins) without just ignoring them (which always makes things worse), God the Father poured out His wrath upon God the Son who had taken upon Himself the sin of the world. Centuries before crucifixion became commonplace, King David wrote prophetically in Psalm 22 of the Messiah that:

For dogs [i.e., Gentiles] have surrounded Me… They pierced My hands and My feet [crucifixion]; I can count all My bones… [None were broken, as in Ps. 34:20; John 19:33-36] They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots. Psalm 22:16-18

And, "then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son [God’s only Son]” Zechariah 12:10; 13:6

The prophets predicted the Messiah would do miracles (Isa. 35:5-6; Ps. 107:29), so either Jesus did so, or along with countless other manipulations, He made people think that He did. Only His were not the curing of headaches, and cancers that really don’t go away as is common today among charlatans, but giving sight to those born blind, instantly healing the paraplegics, curing leprosy, and raising the dead from the grave. The Messiah would be rejected by His own (Isaiah 8:14; 53:1-8). Christ was betrayed by Judas to Caiaphas the high priest for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13; Matthew 26:14-16; 27:5-7). Being crucified next to two criminals, therefore “He was numbered with the transgressors” at his “death” (Isaiah 53:12). After being murdered with the wicked, the Messiah would be buried with the rich (Isa. 53:9), as Christ was placed in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb (Mat. 27:57-60) which still exists today providing many particular evidences of Christ’s crucifixion account. (Details of the tomb are available at in our Mount Moriah video we produced, which we have always offered for free for those who do not believe in Jesus Christ.) And finally, the fulfillment of the great theme of the Old Testament, in Christ’s resurrection, “for You will not leave my soul in Sheol [the grave], nor will You allow Your Holy One [the Messiah] to see corruption [so Jesus’ body did not decay, for He arose]” (Psalm 16:10).

Non-prophecies: Even more significant than the extraordinary prophesies of Christ, were the non-prophesies. That is, the many Jewish stories that make very little sense, stories woven into the history and Scripture of Israel, and therefore, of the world. These stories have little meaning, or appear even absurd, until viewed in the light of Jesus Christ, as prefiguring Him, His life, death, and resurrection. They are not prophecies. A prophecy is more direct. The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem, during an international census, and have His hands and feet pierced, He will be buried in a rich man’s tomb, but His body will not decay. Those are prophecies. Consider now a few of the non-prophesies of Scripture.

Mount Moriah: Genesis 22 records a bizarre story in which God instructs Abraham to take His only son Isaac to the mountains of Moriah, to a special place, and three days later, after his son carries the wood needed for the offering up the mount, to kill Isaac there as a blood sacrifice. Among Zakath’s many accusations against God, in his last post, he wrote that “God orders fathers to kill their children.” Ancient peoples of Canaan, like many pagans around the world from the Sumerians, Egyptians and Moabites, to ancient American peoples, practiced human sacrifice, and since children were especially easy to kill, they slaughtered many children in their perverse rituals. The God of the Bible utterly prohibits human sacrifice (Lev. 18:21; Jer. 7:31), and God identified child sacrifice as murder worthy of the death penalty (Lev. 20:2). The Hebrew Scriptures document repeatedly that the Jews followed the example of the Gentiles around them, and murdered their own children in ritual sacrifice (2 Kings 6:3; 21:6; Ezek 16:20; 20:31). So, if God is against human and child sacrifice, why command Abraham to kill Isaac? Jews and Christians note that at the last minute God stopped Abraham and substituted a ram whose head was caught in a thicket. But that does not justify God’s request in the first place. For surely God would not ask a man to rape his daughter to prove his obedience, so why ask Abraham to kill his son?

The answer lies in Jesus Christ. The parallels are startling. God the Father brought His only Son to the exact same mountain upon which later the Temple was built (2 Chr. 3:1; 1 Chr. 21:22), to the summit. And as did Isaac, Jesus carried the wood for the offering, the crossbeam, to Golgotha. And as the substitutionary ram, Christ had His head in a crown of thorns. Only Isaac and the ram were symbols of Christ, and unlike Isaac, Jesus would not escape the sacrifice. And He was crucified in that same mountain. Our Mount Moriah video explains these and other parallels in detail. For as the angel prophesied to Abraham, “In the Mount of The LORD it shall be provided” (Gen. 22:14). Thus an incomprehensible story of mental cruelty becomes a glorious story of historical confirmation of the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection. For Abraham got his son back after these three tormenting days, and so too, Christ rose from the dead on the third day, according to the Scriptures.

Ritual Sacrifice: The entire system of priests and animal blood sacrifices seems bizarre until we realize the absolute requirement of justice which demanded Christ’s death as a punishment for sin in order that some may be saved. If you raise a child, and he steals from his mother’s purse, and you do not punish him, he will get worse. And if he is not forced to pay restitution, then his mother actually must pay for the crime, because she is not only the mother of a thief, but now she has also lost the money. If you make believe that sin can go unpunished, you are a fool. Liberals hate the very concept of punishment, not because they love the drug dealer selling on the playground, but because they intuitively recoil from the concept of punishment, resenting the notion that a righteous God may punish them. So, God planned to save those who would trust in Him by paying for our sins by sacrificing the blood of His Son. Thus, the symbolism of the animals sacrificed pointed to Christ. Always, they had to be without blemish, symbolizing his sinlessness. And the blood was applied to the people, as Christ’s blood saves His followers. And even the priesthood symbolized Christ, for while they offered up lambs, He offered up Himself. Thus, the Jewish priests also had to be without blemish, and they could not serve if they had “a broken foot or broken hand” (Lev 21:19), because Christ was crucified, but none of His bones were broken.

Israel’s Feasts: The Passover was the first of the annual feasts of Israel prescribed in detail in the Bible. Every Jewish family was commanded to purchase their own Passover, a lamb without blemish, three days and three nights prior to the Passover. And then, in unison, all the families killed the lamb, applied the blood to their front doors, and cooked and ate the lamb, but could not break any of its bones! Then began the days of Unleavened Bread, when they did not use yeast, so that their bread did not rise. And then that Sunday would be the feast of First Fruits. And fifty days later came the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost). After 1,500 years of Jews keeping this bizarre schedule, the high priest Caiaphas paid 30 pieces of silver for Jesus, whom Paul refers to as the Passover Lamb. And a few days later, as the nation was preparing to kill their Passover lambs, Christ was crucified, his hands and feet pierced, but none of His bones broken. The news spread throughout Jerusalem as a million people that day slaughtered their own Passover lambs. And then, over the next few days as their homes had only bread without yeast, Jesus Christ, the “bread from heaven” was buried in a tomb, but as prophesied directly, His body did not decay. And as prefigured in the non-prophesy of the Feasts of Israel, yeast causes decomposition, and so the bread in all the homes across Israel saw no corruption, as neither did Christ. And then, as God had commanded and Moses wrote in Leviticus 23, that Sunday was the Feast of First Fruits. And on that day, Jesus Christ arose, the First Fruits of all those who would thereafter trust in Him! The apostle Paul, who had previously persecuted, arrested, and murdered Christians, converted, and he wrote that more than 500 people saw Christ alive after the resurrection. And fifty days after the resurrection, on the Feast of Pentecost, as Luke the historian reports, God poured out the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the believers and 3,000 Jewish people converted, beginning the evangelistic effort that has remained for 2,000 years and the preaching of the resurrection that will continue for as long as sinful men live on the Earth awaiting God’s judgment and Christ’s return.

Bizzare Stories: So many more bizarre Bible stories, non-prophecies, find their extraordinary meaning and fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ. As we are covered by the blood of Christ, Rachel’s blood covered her idolatry and saved her. Genesis has five weird sibling swaps, where the older takes the place of the younger, all of which revolve around Jacob, whose name God changed to Israel. For example, his father Isaac, the younger, took the inheritance of his older brother Ishmael. And Jacob’s son Judah had twins, and the nearly firstborn had a scarlet thread tied around his foot, but then his foot went back into the womb, and his brother (of Christ’s lineage), came out first. Jacob stole the birthright from Esau, and then deceived his elderly father so that He would receive the blessing of the firstborn. None of the stories like that make sense until you realize what Jesus Christ did. He took Adam’s place! He died for me. He was the substitution. He took your place on the cross. And he deceived death (so to speak), and took Adam’s inheritance of guilt and death upon Himself. And so, Jesus Christ came after Adam (in the flesh), but took his place and is now the true federal head of the human race. The non-prophecies, the stories embedded in the history and culture of the world, go on and on, prefiguring Jesus Christ, and getting their glorious meaning centuries after God inspired their inclusion in the Bible, of Joseph, and Moses, and Aaron, and Joshua, and David, and Daniel, and Jonah, and on and on, the Scriptures speak of Him!

Non-prophesies are even more powerful as corroboration than are direct prophecies. For, with direct prophecies, the author and those fulfilling the prophecy could conspire together, even if they do not know one another, to deceive others. But non-prophesies are perplexing stories, sometimes with great detail, which seem to defy interpretation. And because the Old Testament is such a huge book, and without computers and mass printing, many of these non-prophesies were not even explored in the first century by the writing of the New Testament. As Jesus indicated that the Hebrew Scriptures were about Him, we find centuries later, that as we pour through them, we find extraordinary examples of symbolism in stories which make no sense. Until! Until those stories are looked at in light of Christ. Then, they make wonderful sense, and become the most cherished of intellectual possessions of millions of believers. The non-prophecies provide extraordinary evidence for the existence of God, and more. Only in retrospect, after Christ, can we see why God inspired their record in the Bible. For they confirm the Scripture message, that God the Son became flesh, lived a sinless life, died for our sins, and was raised from the dead, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Bible Authorship: The Bible was written over a period of 1,500 years, by forty authors, on three continents, mostly in two languages, by men of greatly differing experiences. Moses was an Egyptian leader & Jewish revolutionary, David a king, Amos herdsman, Joshua general, Nehemiah cupbearer, Daniel prime minister, Solomon a philosopher, Luke a physician, Peter fisherman, Matthew a tax-collector, and Paul a rabbi. Imagine the difficulty of forty men trying to write a book on any topic, let alone religion, and their chapters agreeing with one another. As the Jews say, assemble 100 rabbis, and get 100 opinions. Yet most of the Bible authors did not even know one another, and they lived during different centuries. And these men, inspired by God, wrote of the paradise lost of Genesis becoming the paradise restored of Revelation. This Bible tells a single unfolding story: God’s redemption of fallen man.

If the Bible story was just made up, like the Koran, then it could have whitewashed its main characters and justified the sins of the prophets and the apostles. But the Bible does not do that. Rather, Scripture deals honestly with the sins of its heroes and of its own authors! The Bible’s patriarchs were cowards, its chosen people were idolaters, Moses’ lack of obedience kept him out of the promised land, King David committed adultery and murder, Peter denied Christ, Thomas doubted, and all the apostles forsook Him at His hour of need, and there was tension between Peter and Paul, and great disorder within the early church. What’s more, Jesus warned people to beware of His own followers (Matthew 24:5)!

Zakath’s Accusations Against God: When Zakath lists his accusations against the God of the Bible, he includes crimes committed by men in Scripture. But Zakath implies that God somehow specifically wanted or approved of the crimes, as when he wrote in 8a “God allows rape.” God has the power to physically put a bubble around every person to protect us from one another, but of course that would produce a completely different kind of existence, for if God artificially removed our vulnerabilities to one another, he would change human relations to such a degree that we would no longer recognize them. And for me, I recognize the potential value that comes with vulnerability. Perhaps atheists refuse to recognize that value because they simply want to savor another accusation against God. In the book of Judges, for example, we read about the work of twelve more or less godly leaders, but Judges also includes three anecdotal stories showing the wickedness of the people. Israel’s intense wickedness is a theme which runs throughout their Scripture. And while the ancient peoples of the world, think of the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Assyrians, recorded their kings labors as though they were gods on earth, the Bible, written by the Jews, presents the Jews and their leaders in painful truthfulness. So, Zakath takes the honest record of Israel’s sin, and leads people to believe that such deeds were desired or approved by God.

Zakath also accuses the God of the Bible of murder and genocide, as in the flood and in His command to kill the Canaanites. As an atheist, of course, Zakath does not believe in absolute morality, yet He implies that He has found deeds by which He can absolutely show that the God of the Bible is unrighteous. Of course, if Zakath were right, there are only disagreements over what should be acceptable, but no ultimate standard. However, Zakath is wrong. The NAZIs cannot be condemned by their evolutionary worldview of survival of the fittest, because evolution has no morality. But Christians, including prophets and apostles, can be judged by Christian morality. And even the actions of God can be looked at for consistency with absolute morals. Zakath accuses God of murder (but probably excuses Hillary for slaughtering unborn children by abortion). But God is the Creator who made creatures (us) to live life in two stages, in this life, and then the next life. If God chooses, without any question of impropriety whatsoever (let alone morality), God can bring one of his creatures from stage one to stage two. We call that process death. At the same time, God is not under any requirement to delegate to men the authority to dispatch any person they please into stage two. God made us to live our lives in an initial short stage, as on the porch of a home, and then in death, we go through the front door and enter the living room, to settle into our permanent residence. It is inane to suggest that a Creator in that scenario somehow would be evil to do that. And it is also completely unreasonable to demand that he then delegate that authority, to send people into the afterlife, to every creature (human). God could kill people directly (as with Er), or by a natural mechanism (as in the Flood), or by commanding His people to kill those He selects, or by delegating to governments authority to execute capital criminals. When we look at God not with the spite of a rebel, but with the humility of a servant, we see that He is righteous. I challenged Zakath to a debate on the Bible to deal with his accusations, but then he dropped out.

So the Bible deals harshly with the sins of its great men, because their sins deserve harsh treatment. Except for Jesus Christ! Jesus did not write a single word of the Bible Himself. Yet the prophecies and eye-witness accounts describe Him alone as sinless. As God the Son, He lived a righteous life, and so, His sacrifice could pay for our sins.

But hasn’t the Bible changed so much over 2,000 years, that today, we have no idea what it originally said? Well, when Jesus stood in the Temple and read from Isaiah, thanks to the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are 2000 years old, we know that what he read from Isaiah is exactly what we can read in Isaiah today, word for word, reliably preserved over the centuries. And the Dead Sea Scrolls contain 230 passages from the Bible’s books, some very extensive as long as the entire scroll of Isaiah, and they quote from almost every book of the Old Testament. Further, about 100 people in the Bible have been identified by secular historians and archaeologists, unlike the Book of Mormon, and unlike that book, hundreds of cities and geographic locales, every ancient coin has been found. Ancient civilizations described in Scripture that were denied by skeptics have been found and documented by archaeologists. The Bible claims to have been written as holy men of God were inspired to record real events and teachings for our benefit. Then, for both the Old and New Testaments, God led the Jews and later the Christians to accept the books that had been written by their prophets and apostles. And these writings became the sixty-six books of the Bible.

Worldwide and Permanent Influence: The Bible reveals the seven-day week of creation, and 6,000 years later the human race still keeps a seven-day week. Even the atheists who hate God, organize their lives around His schedule. Each time they write the date on their checks, and read it in their newspapers, they are dating the years since the birth of Jesus Christ, as even the U.S. Constitution in Article VII refers to Jesus Christ as “our Lord.”

If God wrote a book, you might guess it would be a bestseller. Well, in the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to interview two New York Times #1 best-sellers, Ann Coulter, and former FBI Agent Gary Aldrich. Usually, selling a few hundred thousand books catapults an author onto the list, with the best authors selling a few million books a year. So how well does God’s book, the Bible, sell? The Bible has not sold millions of copies, but billions! In 1998 alone, the United Bible Society’s Scripture Distribution Report, documented the publication of 21 million Bibles, 20 million Testaments, plus the printing of 544 million selected books and passages of scripture! Almost 600 million printed publications, in one year! The 1996 Guiness Book of Records calls the Bible the “world’s best-selling and most widely distributed book” and in just 160 of the more than 500 years of its publication, 2.5 billion copies were sold, from 1815 to 1975! But as the first book ever printed, the world had already been producing printed Bibles since 1455, for more than 350 years! And in the thirty years since, more than a billion Bibles and New Testaments have been printed, and billions of selections.

If every Bible in the world was destroyed, we would reproduce it from millions of quotes in literature, in the classics and in countless books about the Bible, plays, movies, pamphlets, etc. We have eight ancient manuscripts of Plato, but over 20,000 of the New Testament, in part or in whole. The French infidel Voltaire predicted the death of Christianity within 100 years of his death. But fifty years later, the Geneva Bible Society purchased his home to publish Bibles. Nietzsche said God is dead. But God says that Nietzsche is dead (Heb. 9:27). Who will you believe?

The Bible has been translated into more than 2,000 languages and can be read in whole or in significant part by 90% of the people of the earth. Today, 6,000 workers with Wycliffe International are translating Scripture into 1,638 languages. Their goal is that by 2025, to have begun translation work for every language group that lacks a Bible. Lord willing, Christians will produce the first universally translated text since Babel when wildly diverse languages first appeared suddenly in man’s history. To stop the influence of the Bible, you might as well put your shoulder to the Sun to stop it motion. (Oh yeah, the atheists have tried that too [BA10-5]!)

Question Summary

BQ39: Who do you say that Jesus Christ is?

BQ40: Will you repent of your godless life, and humbly ask God to forgive your sins, and believe that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead for you?

TheologyOnline, Battle Royale VII, God Does Exist, Conclusion

Those non-Christians who have read this debate are especially accountable to God. As Jesus said, “that servant who knew… shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required… I came to send fire [of Judgment] on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:47-49).

For even belief in God alone is insufficient, if the theist rejects Jesus Christ or refuses to trust in Him. As the Apostle James wrote, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe; and tremble!” (James 2:19). The pagan gods are not the source of righteousness, and they do not insist upon the justice that will eventually vindicate the righteous, and they do not offer the forgiveness available by the blood of Christ, nor demand the humility required to trust in His sacrifice instead of our own good works. (After all, we humans are the reason for all the hurt we inflict upon ourselves and one another in the first place, so we cannot possibly justify ourselves.) Those who promote false gods are part of the problem of hurt and pain in the world, and they resist the only answer, which is Jesus Christ.

Salvation requires more than a non-Christian theism. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25). And with enough exclusivity to anger most of humanity, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).

I wrote in post 5b: “Zakath, why don’t you make a commitment to yourself that thirty years from now, on your deathbed (if you have that luxury), you will look back to see if scientific progress has filled any of the origins gaps, or if they’ve been squeezed shut [closed] even more tightly.” But perhaps I shouldn’t have encouraged your false sense of security in your future. For, to the self-assured man who was prepared for the good life “for many years” to come, Jesus quoted that “God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you…’” (Luke 12:19-20). Jesus said, “Fool,” because such a man’s rebellion against God is so unnecessary. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).

Sincerely, Bob Enyart

Nathon Detroit

DING DING DING.... OK thats it, the Battle is officially OVER! Sadly one of the combatants threw in the towel in round 8. But we certainly thank Zakath for the effort in the rounds leading up to that.

And we especially want to thank Bob Enyart who brought the TOL Battle Royale Series to a whole new level! Absolutely AWESOME stuff - thank you!

And now for the BR VII POST GAME SHOW.
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