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The Case for a Creator Paperback – February 13, 2005
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About the Author
Lee Strobel was the award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune and is the bestselling author of The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, and The Case for Grace. With a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale, Lee has won four Gold Medallions for publishing excellence and coauthored the Christian Book of the Year. He serves as Professor of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University. Visit Lee's website at: leestrobel.com
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A few thoughts,
1. There are plenty of transitional fossils.
2. The Miller experiment updated to our present understanding of the early earth's atmosphere actually showed more amino acids created than the original.
3. Just because the original 1859 Darwin tree could have been wrong doesn't disprove his theory. The tree has been updated with new discoveries and is just fine.
4. The big bang was rejected by theists for a long time and now finally, some now accept it happened. It is just a matter of time before evolution is accepted and twisted to somehow match the bible. Or preferably people finally look at science without trying to prove an endpoint before evidence is gathered.
5. The IDers accept the big bang 13.5 billion years ago, but reject evolution through natural selection. What was God doing for the past 13.4999 billion years of the universe before he decided to create humans, twiddling his infinity holy thumbs?
6. Evolution was not created to destroy faith, or to promote selfish, godless materialism. The theory is so widespread today because it is true.
7. Irreducibly complexity is an argumentum ad ignorantiam at best. The examples stated have all been shown to be possible by natural selection. Blood clotting in some fish and whales have fewer proteins than other creatures and still work fine, for example. The flagellum argument was disproven in the mid 90's, I guess Behe hasn't got the memo yet.
8. This book has an incorrect subtitle. This approach is not journalistic or scientific.
9. The universe was not fine tuned for life, life adapted to the conditions that the universe had already. Life adopted to physics, not vice versa.
10. Even though life as on the earth is probably rare, doesn't mean that they are not possible elsewhere, given that there are trillion and trillions of planets.
11. Life doesn't have to be carbon based. The idea that it does is commonly called "carbon chauvinism". Just because the earth's life forms are carbon based doesn't mean it is the only way to life. Silicone can be used too.
12. Just because the universe was not created for humans does not mean that life is purposeless and void of meaning. Making your own purpose is much more interesting than following what someone else wants you to live for anyway.
13. Christians did think that the earth was the center of the universe, Copernicus' law did deflate egos. Stating a metaphysical idea of earth being promoted to the heavens after Copernicus is not scientific at all. It is dark aged nonsense.
14. Saying that scientists are apart of a conspiracy to promote the idea of a godless universe is absolutely ridiculous. It should be given the same clout as moon landing deniers, holocaust deniers and 9/11 conspiracy theorists (if even that much clout). Also, this does not say much about the IDers who promote creationism for the sole purpose of proving that we need a god to explain the universes' existence.
15. "ID" is seen in the scientific community as pseudo-science, on the lines of science fiction's worst moments, except funnier.
16. Most of the people Strobel interviewed did not have their doctoral work in the fields that they talked about. Most were theologians, which isn't really a proper academic field anyway.
17. Some of the interviewees said that this science has shown that the Judeo-christian god is the one who created the universe. I wonder about the other gods who are also said to have created the universe. Couldn't they all have done it just as well as Yahweh?
18. I actually felt physically sick while trying to read this book, and sincerely hope that people will actually read a real science book instead of reading this frustratingly ignorant and nonscientific nonsense.
Well my twin babies are crying. Got to go, I could go on though...
If you want to be fair as I have attempted to do, and hear the other side of the argument, check out "why evolution is true" by Jerry Coyne, Bill Brysons "A short history of nearly everything" (which Strobel mentions) or Stephen Hawkins new book "The Grand Design." All are easy to read for the layman and interesting.
Second, I am a trained, practicing scientist.
I am not a fan of creation science. Mostly, I think it is dangerous to use scientific arguments as the basis for faith in God. If somebody could refute some of Strobel's arguments, does that mean God didn't create the universe? I'm sorry, but that's the way science works. You put forward a theory that explains all the known facts, and if a single fact is discovered that is inconsistent with your theory, then your theory is abandoned, refuted, incorrect. That is what science is. That is what I do for a living.
The guys Strobel interviews, like most creation "scientists," are not practicing scientists. They do not collect and evaluate data. They are members of a philisophical think tank. They package arguments for a living. They do not understand the data they make arguments about, and more importantly, they would not abandon their theory if they were presented with evidence that refutes it.
If, for example, someone could explain to them that the Miller-Urey experiment was seminal rather than terminal and that it started a whole field of research that continues with refinements today, they would not abandon their theory or its major conclusion. They don't have to, because they are not practicing science.
If they understood basic organic chemistry, they would see that even the earliest, simplest versions of the Miller-Urey experiment produced a mixture containing formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide, and they would remember from their sophomore organic chemistry course that these are the components of the Strecker amino acid synthesis, and they would be greatly embarassed to dismiss such a mixture as "embalming fluid." It's in fact one of the types of mixtures that people first used to make synthetic amino acids. Add ammonia (which you get by hydrolysis of cyanide), and you would see amino acids. Strobel's sources don't know this, because they are not competent, practicing scientists.
A real scientist would give up at some point and admit that the facts don't support their theory. These guys don't. They are not scientists, by definition. They probably don't know enough about what constitutes science to even realize that what they are practicing is not science. If they know what they are doing, then they are charlatans that are arrogantly misleading people. As a Christian and as a scientist, I am embarassed by the bulk of what is offered as "creation science," and I am embarassed that Strobel's book claims to be "the" case and "the" "scientific" basis on which people should worship the Lord.
I have a harder time explaining my religious beliefs than I have explaining why they have nothing to do with believing in a shell game of selected scientific material observations. I'll tell you this much. If I had to rely on someone revealing God to me through tests in the laboratory, I would not be relying so much on faith.
I also have a hard time writing this review. I want people to believe in the one who created the universe and to be saved. I am really torn as to whether it is a good thing that this book might cause someone to have or keep faith. If someone's flawed argument (to be generous) or lies (if that's what they are) leads a person down a path and he ends up saved, does that make it right to mislead people? Ultimately, I think that belief in God should be based on truth rather than trickery. That is why I wrote this.