Teaching Christian Apologetics in a MegaChurch (McLean Bible) with TE's, OECs, YECs

You said:

non-inertial frames are preferred in SR is not news.

I’m fine with saying “non-inertial frames are preferred in SR”. I’m fine saying we thus haven’t detected preferred frames in GR, if that’s where you were going.

Thanks for helping me find that comment. That was helpful.

The preferred frames in SR are not the preferred frames that you espoused, i.e. the one true rest frame in what you call Neo-Lorentzian theory. The preferred frames in SR are the infinite number of inertial frames.

If you actually agree with

Then you capitulated and agree that what you call Neo-Lorentzian theory or aether theory (Cahill etc) to be false. Do you capitulate?

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No, because there is in an equivocation by what is meant by an intertial frame. Two frames that are presently unaccelerated are treated as intertial in a lot of basic texts, the history of acceleration of one frame vs another is not taken into account. So then, are these technically are not intertial at all? What’s the point then of calling them inertial frames at all?

So there is equivocation about what inertial frames really mean. My best understanding of neo-Lorentzian theory is that we can detect if we have zero velocity relative to absolute space, this can be done with precise enough atomic clocks with appropriate corrections for time dilation due to gravity (which means we weren’t really, strictly speaking, in an inertial frame anyway if there is gravity!)

What you wrote doesn’t make any sense. Inertial frames of reference simply means frames with no acceleration.

It’s simple, you have two choices:

  1. Mainstream physics position: In SR, all inertial frames of reference are preferred.
  2. What you call Neo-Lorentzian: There is a preferred frame among the inertial frames that defines the rest-frame of the Universe

Which one is your choice? If you choose 2), then you are going against mainstream physics, and it goes back to my question:

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But since one frame, at least practically speaking, if we are talking about defining the frame around a physical moving object has a history of acceleration. Of course one could concoct all sorts of imaginary frames I suppose, but I was speaking of practically based frames, not mathematical abstractions where there is no actual history!

The history doesn’t matter. When the frame is not being accelerated, it is inertial.

Nevertheless if you understand this point or not, in mainstream physics, all inertial frame of references are preferred in SR, so make your choice:

Edit: @stcordova did you miss this post of mine from the other thread? A Question on One-Way Speed of Light :

In the limit of infinite acceleration (which for ease, is usually what is presented in introductory textbooks), Rabbit (the moving twin) only becomes non-inertial at one point: the turning point. This is enough to break the symmetry in the twin paradox.

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So is Jerry Coyne admitting that evolutionary biology is really just pseudo-science? Or was he just referring to the fact that biology deals with a much more stochastic history, and therefore has stronger limitations?

Let’s take a look at the rest of the quote:

For evolutionary biology is a historical science, laden with history’s inevitable imponderables. We evolutionary biologists cannot generate a Cretaceous Park to observe exactly what killed the dinosaurs; and, unlike “harder” scientists, we usually cannot resolve issues with a simple experiment, such as adding tube A to tube B and noting the color of the mixture.

Coyne acknowledges that evolutionary biology has limitations. He is not saying the science is illegitimate or wrong.

And you know what? Someone who acknowledges the limitations of his discipline is someone I can trust.

You know what else? When someone habitually quote mines, that person destroys his credibility. Your quote mining of Coyne is not helping your case.

I know some economists who are skeptical of climate science, too. And yes, they are just as unqualified to discuss climate science models as these chemists are to discuss paleontology and genomics.

Kenyon stopped performing research in 1976. I think the field has advanced just a bit since then. Would you agree?

Summary

Your rhetoric is one long frontal attack on the integrity and intelligence of a community of tens of thousands of scientists who have worked hard to reach their conclusions. How is that supposed to build peace and relationships in your church?

You resort to conspiracy theory rhetoric; how is that supposed to build trust?

You double down on warfare rhetoric; how is that supposed to be an effective apologetic when the youth in your church go off to study biology and they get a balanced presentation of the evidentiary basis of evolution?

You still have time to stop the burning the bridges, Sal. For the sake of your faith community – a community that I am somewhat related to as a fellow evangelical – I urge you to consider taking a different tack.

Respectfully,
Chris Falter

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Ah, yes, I found something relevant to the question I raised as far as how to teach apologetics in a church with TE’s, OECs, and YECs.

Before I inherited my current volunteer position as a co-leader in the apologetics ministry, In 2006 our church, MBC did exactly that by having teachers representing all 3 views appear at MBC. I didn’t realize the event was so nicely archived! I have the audio files available myself somewhere filed away:

https://apps.biola.edu/apologetics-store/products/audios/item/loving-god-with-all-our-minds_CD

This is a list of the teachers who appeared at our church and the topics covered. @colewd this might be of interest to you:

https://apps.biola.edu/apologetics-store/products/audios/item/loving-god-with-all-our-minds_CD

The fourth annual EPS apologetics conference. Sessions include:
Evidence for Christianity; William Lane Craig:
Love God with All Your Mind ; J.P. Moreland:
Dealing with Emotional Doubt; Gary Habermas:
The Privileged Planet; Guillermo Gonzalez:
Intelligent Design at the Foundation of Life; Michael Behe:
The Historic Reliability of the Gospels; Craig Blomburg: New Testament Archaeology: Bryant Wood:
Islam; Emir Caner:
The Unnaturalness Naturalism; Garry DeWeese:
The Changing World of Mormonism; Craig Hazen:
Pluralism; Doug Geivett:
Evil and the Justice of God; N.T. Wright.
Plus additional sessions by Greg Koukl, Paul Nelson, Bruce Gordon, Harrold Netland, Mike Licona, Rob Bowman, David Horner, Michael Murray, Sean McDowell and Brett Kunkle

Location: McLean Bible Church, Washington, D.C.
Date: November 2006
Item # WLC-CONF006A
24-disc CD set
Format
Audio CD
Length (in Minutes)
1349.25
Number of Discs 24
Speaker Multiple Speakers

This looks quite interesting. I’m sure many members of the church were strengthened in their faith.

I recognize many names of speakers who advocate YEC and OEC/ID and deal specifically with the science/faith relationship. The only speaker I recognize to have any proclivity for TE is N.T. Wright, and he does not address the science/faith relationship to any significant extent, it seems.

Am I overlooking something here? Or were all the conference presentations on the science/faith relationship delivered from the YEC or OEC/ID perspective? I ask this because the conference has been have presented as a model for discussion of all three perspectives (YEC, OEC, TE), but I only see two being discussed.

Best,
Chris

MBC teaches primarily the YEC then OEC then ID viewpoint. It does not teach the TE viewpoint. The OEC and ID viewpoints are taught in a more pedagogical manner in that we might assume mainstream views to get a certain point across – namely Paley-like design arguments. Stephen Meyer, for example appeared in a separate meeting and he is an OEC/Progressive creationist. Caroline Crocker who is an ID advocate but un committed to any specific origin model has also spoken at MBC.

William Lane Craig is sympathetic to TE, Michael Behe nominally accepts common descent so he could be said to be TE/ID. But I was considering this because it may reflect the demographic of of MBC. We want to welcome the TE’s (for example myself and John Sanford were part of Christian churches for a long time while we were TE’s) but also criticize evolutionary on purely empirical and theoretical grounds.

If TE’s want to incorporate the way they interpret the Bible based on the claims of abiogenesis theory and/or evolutionary theory, then those theories are fair game for criticism based on available facts and the best theories of chemistry, bio-chemistry and physical chemistry, probability theory, etc. “We have solve that problem yet, but we’re working on it” is a claim I hear a lot in abiogenesis theory and evolutionary theory, but “we’re working on it” means it isn’t proven fact. It’s only fair to point that out.

And the sentiment of an influential pastor, Lon Solomon, and many others in the church including medical doctors and NIH researchers, many of whom are OECs or ID proponents, is that evolutionary theory and abiogenesis theory are pseudo science.

FWIW, Frank Turek is from our church and he is co-authoring a book with OEC/Progressive Creationist Stephen Meyer.

In all the time in MBC, I don’t recall that we’ve gone out of our way to emphasize interpretational arguments from scripture. Also, Ken Ham tried to get an invitation to MBC, but none has ever been sent his way, nor are there are plans to do anything of the sort – and I certainly would vote against it as long as I serve as a volunteer leader of that ministry because I don’t want to make origins a moral issue or theological issue, but rather a question of what the reconstruction of history might be possible independent of the Bible.

So I will try to follow the tradition of a modestly open discussion, but one definitely critical of evolutionary theory. If people want to promote evolutionary theory to our church, I’m happy to entertain a civil online video conversation which I will make available publicly. Because several in our church are affiliated with the NIH and are in the medical field, the TE Francis Collins is held in high regard.

FWIW, here was a news article on that Apologetics conference at McLean Bible:

McLean Bible Church will host the three-day 2006 Apologetics Conference this fall under the theme “Loving God with All Your Mind.”

The training conference designed to equip adults, college and high school students to defend and acclaim the Gospel will take place Nov. 16 – 18 at the megachurch in McLean, Va., near Washington, D.C.

The gathering features a line-up of highly respected Christian scholars on a wide range of topics including creation and intelligent design; the reliability of the New Testament; world religions and new movements; and contemporary barriers to faith.

Speakers include N.T. Wright, Craig Hazen, William Lane Craig, J.P. Moreland, and Gary Habermas.

The conference is sponsored by the C.S. Lewis Institute, McLean Bible Church, Biola University, and Evangelical Philosophical Society.

Not at all, it confirms my claim that the meaning of intertial frames are being equivocated or obfuscated since this example is being used as proof of SR. The clock is ticking slower in Rabbit. If it’s ticking slower while Rabbit is coasting in flight, the slower ticking has nothing to do with the fact it will slow down or turn around later.

How do you get this? The meaning of inertial frames are frames that are not accelerated. How is this obfuscated or equivocated?

Chris Falter:

Your rhetoric is one long frontal attack on the integrity and intelligence of a community of tens of thousands of scientists who have worked hard to reach their conclusions. How is that supposed to build peace and relationships in your church?

Not true. I encourage people to study science. I’ve studied science, and was scientist and engineer in the aerospace and defense industry. I have degrees in EE, CS, Math, Physics, and Biology. I’d be delighted for church members to study biology, and apparently you missed the fact that people who are medical doctors, NIH researchers, physics teachers and professors attend my church and the apologetics ministry that has advocated creationism for 15 years and which I now inherited recently as a volunteer co-leader. Lon Solomon himself was a chemistry student and one of his sons is a medical doctor. So where is the warfare rhetoric there? Good science means getting rid of bad science, and there’s a lot of it in evolutionary biology and abiogenesis theory. I’m advocating good science.

You’ve totally misrepresented what I’m saying.

True for biology too, but it’s a lot easier to be an internet gadfly. :smile:

It comes through loud and clear in virtually everything you write.

Please provide some examples of “bad science” in abiogenesis from the peer-reviewed research literature. Not a lot, just a few (less than five) links to the primary literature.

To make this something of a challenge, explain why whatever example you provide is a more glaring case of bad science than this appalling article.

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@stcordova

I have two pieces of advice.

First, state upfront that creation v. evolution debate is not vital to salvation. No matter a person’s view on this matter they are a christian and they are saved.

Second, I would focus more on honestly looking at the facts. In the words of St. Augustine:

Clearing up misconceptions and false arguments would probably be the most helpful.

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Art,

Tour who is a chemist gives a laundry list of problems, and he uses the word “garbage” in this video to describe the state of affairs:

He made a few technical errors like citing eukaryotic cells when he might better have cited prokaryotic cells. Then the was stuff about Jack Szostak that was bit off, but Tour was right to call out a meaningless diagram getting published in Nature. But the problems he cited are exactly those echoed by other chemists.

I’ve thought about sharing tours video to some in my ministry group – and one occasional member of our group is a synthetic organic chemist who works in biology. Other chemists have watched the video and given a positive response.

Tour is a professor of chemistry, one of the tops on the Planet and was obviously a colleague of Nobel Prize winner Richard Smalley at the same school (Rice) – and Smalley (the father of nano-technology) has the same viewpoint as Tour. Tour is qualified to say what he said.

So, in other words, you really don’t have any examples of “bad science” when it comes to abiogenesis. (Just FYI, Tour doesn’t either. His theatrics are just this - theatrics. When it comes to the science relevant to the field of abiogenesis, there is zero substance in his presentations.)

IMO, when you make claims like this, you are out-and-out lying about the field. I think you need to add one question to the list you had in the opening post for this thread:

  1. When you see and hear a YECer lying - plainly, boldly, proudly lying - about science, does this affect your opinion about the church, or your own personal belief in Christ?
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