MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Scientists Wonder, Christians Worship

February 12th, 2007 Visited 3175 times, 2 so far today

Hugging SkeletonsThere was an article on Global Warming that reminded me a lot of the Creation / Evolution debate. What I found interesting is that this man rightly illustrated that consensus is more important than fact in the scientific community. You see, we live in a world of influence and many voices– that and one that doesn’t know the difference between causation and relation. Scientists hold firmly to both Global Warming and Evolution and though they claim to be truth seekers, they are rather story tellers out to make sure theirs is the only one heard.

In both cases, there is tremendous information that the scientists might be wrong. And yet anyone who says such is a pariah, is maligned, and their credentials are threatened.


Take, for instance, the discovery of these skeletons– dated, amazingly, around 5000 years ago (ring any bells?). So, we find skeletons of people who are hugging— I doubt that they were not surprised, since how would you not do something to protect yourselves? If the dates are right, that would have put them during the Noahic flood– definitely something where they would be holding on to whatever meaningful for dear life!

A while back, scientists were marveling at sea creatures that they never could have believed existed:

Peering deep into the sea, scientists are finding creatures more mysterious than many could have imagined. At one site, nearly 2 miles deep in the Atlantic, shrimp were living around a vent that was releasing water heated to 765 degrees Fahrenheit. Water surrounding the site was a chilly 36 degrees.

And yet the scientists don’t question whether they must be mistaken about everything happening by chance, they just try to rationalize it. I mean, the computation for animals living everywhere has to be astronomical– and yet they cannot reach that conclusion.

We as believers can see the awesome power of a Almighty God and worship Him. We can thank this Being for saving us from our sins, and look forward to all He has promised. The scientist has to continue to try to refute creation, or else confront face to face that he is not smarter than everyone after all.

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  • Mary says on: February 12, 2007 at 8:46 am

     

    I love reading about archaeological proofs for Christianity…it’s exciting to see the correlations between history and the Bible… That is an incredible picture, btw!

  • Stephen Kingston says on: February 12, 2007 at 9:29 am

     

    The quoted article on global warming is highly flawed. I read the whole article and only found one paragraph of actual evidence being offered for why we should reject that atmospheric carbon dioxide is causing global warming. The rest of the article is an elaborate appeal to authority: listen to me, bceause I have a higher degree in climatology.

    I have not yet checked the author’s credentials, nor anything else he has written. Based just on that article, I find the flawed reasoning of appeal to authority, and this argument:

    The theory of Global Warming assumes that CO2 is an atmospheric greenhouse gas and as it increases temperatures rise. It was then theorized that since humans were producing more CO2 than before, the temperature would inevitably rise. The theory was accepted before testing had started, and effectively became a law.

    So he is saying that an orthodocy was established without empirical evidence, contrary to the scientific method.

    He is wrong.

    In the 19th Century a scientist by the name of John Tyndall, working in the UK, calculated the temperature that we should find on the surface of the earth for a planet at this distance from the sun. The question is how warm should the planet be based on the energy budget it receives from the sun. Tyndall discovered that the planet should be a very chilly place – much colder than it actually is. He and others then worked on the hypothesis that the atmospheric gases retain some of that energy, feeding some back into space and some back to the earth. In 1859 Tyndall et al., demonstrated experimentally that water was the major gas for retaining heat in the atmosphere, and that Carbon Dioxide also had a very significant effect on this.

    Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish scientist, later calculated exact contributions to warming by atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. He demonstrated that halving the concentration of carbon dioxide would cool the earth by about 5 degrees celsius. He was attempting to examine why ice ages occurred. He also suggested that we set fire to unretrievable seams of coal for the express purpose of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide to deliberately warm the earth! (But he did come from Sweden, after all!)

    These facts have been demonstrated time and again. We even know why certain gases act as greenhouse gases (mostly through dipole moments, but in the case of Carbon Dioxide through vibration of the molecule).

    The writer of the other piece suggests quite deliberately that the greenhouse effect is some new and untested effect without research and experimental support. He writes: “the consensus was reached before the research had even begun.” This is simply false.

    The recent IPCC report, which is highly conservative, as it needed consensus from every nation (and was resisted by the Chinese delegation), has settled on the definition that man made fossil fuel emissions are very likely to be causing climate change, with certain predicted rises in temperature. The definition of very likley is at least 90%.

    If I said that you had a demonstrable 90% chance (at least) of being killed in a road accident in the next year, wouldn’t you drive more carefully and avoid roads?

  • ann_in_grace says on: February 12, 2007 at 9:40 am

     

    Before Darwin the life was fairly simple for a Christian. That old man changed everything, both to the good and to the worse. To the good – because there is nothing wrong in science, when it challenges us to deeper studies and when those, in turn, make us better believers. To the worse – because the Pandora’s Box got opened, and atheists got a weapon.
    So what do we do now? The only possible thing: we take the Bible and use it the way Lord wants us to use it – as a sword, both in the matters of faith, and in the matters of science.
    I do not know about global warming – it looks like it is man-made to some extent; some scientists say, though, that the costs of adaptation to it are far less fierce and harmful than the costs of reversing it. And I must agree.
    And remember the Revelation? It is right on schedule… But remember also “the new heavens and the new earth”. And remember the sovereignity of God. He is working all things for good.

    Stephen, what did You mean by “But he did come from Sweden, after all!”? 😉

  • Rand says on: February 12, 2007 at 10:02 am

     

    I’m a Christian AND a Scientist. I work in the field of Biological Science. It never ceases to amaze me just how much foolish superstitions my colleagues believe in; and that, despite the overwhelming evidence of the hand of God in all we study.

    I remember a particular incident, a few years ago: I had just handed in the results of an in depth analysis of a bacterium we were studying. My boss quickly glanced through my work and began to shake his head, mumbling to himself. Fearing I had done something wrong, I asked:

    “Is there a problem, John?”

    “No, no…” he answered. “It’s just that, looking at your data, and what I have been working on… well… it’s almost like SOMEONE MADE ALL THIS!!!”

    I just looked at him and rolled my eyes, and slapped my forehead. Knowing all about my faith, my boss simply said: “Yeah…yeah… I know what you’re going to say…”

    He knew what I was going to say, he knew it made sense just by looking at the pure science, but still, he wanted no part of it. When the Bible says sinners are blind and dead, THEY ARE BLIND AND DEAD! (I’m praying for the light of the Gospel to shine forth in my work mates’ hearts)

    “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

    Rand

  • Stephen Kingston says on: February 12, 2007 at 10:36 am

     

    Ann,

    Well it does get very cold in Sweden. 😉

  • MInTheGap says on: February 12, 2007 at 10:59 am

     

    Thanks for the background, Stephen– but I think the issue is far from settled. Whereas the article I linked to did have a lot of appeal to the man’s authority (since he was trying to set credentials for even having the right to speak on the matter), I do not think your sources are are trustworthy as you would lead us to believe.

    The small print explains “very likely” as meaning that the experts who made the judgment felt 90% sure about it. Older readers may recall a press conference at Harwell in 1958 when Sir John Cockcroft, Britain’s top nuclear physicist, said he was 90% certain that his lads had achieved controlled nuclear fusion. It turned out that he was wrong. More positively, a 10% uncertainty in any theory is a wide open breach for any latterday Galileo or Einstein to storm through with a better idea. That is how science really works.

    The problem here (and the real point of this post) is that the whole scientific field has been politicized, both in reference to Global Warming and Creation, such that if any scientist rejects what the consensus says they are labeled a pariah. They are labeled as as stupid, missing the point, and obviously not intellectual since they don’t accept settled science.

    Check out this article— it talks about how the leading alternate theory is that the Earth’s temperature is more controlled by the Sun than by human CO2 emissions. It also fits data regarding another warming period in Earth’s history and asks the question “if the Earth is getting warmer, why is Antarctica gaining more ice?

    Back to the point– if you’re not on board with the consensus, are you wrong?

  • Stephen Kingston says on: February 12, 2007 at 11:03 am

     

    Just to follow up on my own notes about the appeal to authority. The writer – one Timothy F Ball – claims:

    I was one of the first Canadian Ph.Ds. in Climatology and I have an extensive background in climatology, especially the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on human history and the human condition

    I am not sure what evidence he has for being one of the first doctors in Climatology in Canada. I suspect there may be some hair splitting going on there, as there were many Canadians prior to this who researched climate.

    As to his extensive background in climatology, I cannot find much evidence for this – but he is right to draw attention to the fact that reconstruction of past climates is his area of expertise. His thesis from the University of London was:

    Climate Change in Central Canada, A Preliminary Analysis of Weather Information from the Hudson’s Bay Company Forts at York Factory and Churchill Factory, 1714-1850.

    I couldn’t immediately find any published papers by him on climate, so a web search revealed these titles that someone turned up after an exhaustive search of web of science and worldcat:

    1. “Historical Evidence and Climatic Implications of a Shift in the Boreal Forest Tundra Transition in Central Canada” 1986

    2. “Instrumental Temperature Records at 2 Sites in Central Canada, 1768 TO 1910″ 1984

    3.”The migration of Geese as an indicator of climate change in the southern Hudson-Bay region between 1715 and 1851,” Climatic Change 5, 85-93 (1983).

    4. “Climate of 2 locations of the southwestern corner of Hudson-Bay -AD 1720-1729.” International Journal of Climatology 14, 1151-1168 (1994).

    So Dr Ball’s expertise lie in understanding how Canadian climate has changed between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This, of course, ties in with the little ice age which followed the medieval warm period, and is an interesting period because of the anomalous conditions in Europe (and the Hudson Bay area) at this time. But in his piece quoted above, Ball gives the impression that the little ice age was a world wide phenomenon. he wrote:

    The world has warmed since 1680, the nadir of a cool period called the Little Ice Age (LIA)

    Notice that all Dr Ball’s research is over 12 years old. Increasingly we have come to understand that the little ice age was a localised phenomenon. Some have suggested this was because of melt water from retreat of the Greenland ice sheet in the medieval warm period causing a failure of the North atlantic drift to warm Europe (because the melt water had lower salinity, causing the cold water to sink and drive the North Atlantic drift down).

    Whatever the reason though, recent research is clear that the little ice age was not a global phenomenon, but a localised one. See for instance:

    “Climate Change 2001: Working Group I: The Scientific Basis 2.3.3 Was there a “Little Ice Age” and a “Medieval Warm Period”?”. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2002)

    Now this is the sum of Dr Ball’s research. Despite his great claims to be a leading climatologist, he has published just 4 peer reviewed papers on the subject – all on Canadian climate change prior to the industrial period.

    To put that in context, a researcher in the UK who does not produce at least four peer reviewed papers over three years would not be even entered in the research assessment exercise as a current researcher.

    He disagrees with a global consensus on climate change, but he does not carry out research on the subject. He has not published *any* research on the subject for well over a decade. We would do well not to be taken in by such people.

  • Stephen Kingston says on: February 12, 2007 at 11:18 am

     

    1958 when Sir John Cockcroft, Britain’s top nuclear physicist, said he was 90% certain…

    So one scientist was 90% certain, and the others needed convincing. When no proof emerged, Cockroft was proven wrong. But in the IPCC we have scientists from every nation in the world discussing the science and settling on a view of 90% certainty. It is not one person but thousands.

    Remember that if one scientist is 90% sure and another is 10% sure, then the consensus opinion is no better than 10% sure.

    You are right that the politiciosation of this debate has been very damaging. But we should not close our eyes to where the science is taking us just because of that politicisation. Where we go and what we do with the science is a political matter – but the scientific consensus is just that – consensus.

    The link seems to be broken on that article you pointed me to, but it is uncontroversial that the earth’s climate is more controlled by the sun than by carbon dioxide. The ice ages, for instance, are largely caused by Milankovitch cycles – perturbations in the earth’s orbit caused by the gravitational attraction of other astronomical bodies. But these operate over much longer periods, and thus allow adaption to the effect.

  • MInTheGap says on: February 12, 2007 at 2:28 pm

     

    The link worked for me. I don’t know that I personally dispute whether the world is getting warmer. Certainly the world has been a whole lot warmer (look at the farm land on Greenland, etc). I disagree that it’s catastrophic, and am skeptical that it is man made. I don’t know how much there is that man can really do about it, and with my escatological view, I believe that should do my best to take care of the planet, but I don’t worry because this Earth (with all of its sin) will pass away.

  • Leticia says on: February 12, 2007 at 5:12 pm

     

    I do believe that we are experiencing “global warning” the ice bergs are, indeed, melting and that is quite startling. Plus, our winters are shorter and warmer.

    I found that picture proof enough for me that the flood did occur (not that I ever doubted) why else would they be clinging to each other?

  • Stephen Kingston says on: February 13, 2007 at 8:49 am

     

    Min, the problem with the link must have been a temporary glitch. It worked fine for me later on.

    Greenland is indeed quite green on its southern and western fjords even now. Look at Nuuk (the capital city, with a population of some 14,000 people) on google earth, and you will see green valleys straddling icy fjords and snowcapped mountains. The picture, of course, was taken in summer.

    However, the vikings did settle Greenland and lived there happily for about 400 years in the medieval warm period before they disappeared. We don’t know why they disappeared. Three theories are (1) Plague, (2) raiders taking them into slavery and (3) famine caused by the onset of the little ice age that followed the medieval warm period (this third explanation does not fully fit the dates, but it is perhaps close enough).

    As I indicated above, the climate change in the North Atlantic in the medieval warm period was not experienced worldwide, as indicated by the latest climate research.

    The world has been warmer than it is now – again that is uncontroversial. But the problem is the speed of change. When the world is warm the sea level rises (both through release of water trapped in ice and thermal expansion). Land is lost, deserts expand, storm cycles become stronger etc.

    This is only dangerous if it happens so quickly that we cannot adapt to the change. Species are only lost if they cannot migrate or gradually adapt to new conditions.

    Aditionally though, climate change is not just about heating. Whilst the total energy budget leads to a global warming, in different regions this leads to climate change that may not involve warming. For instance, the North Atlantic drift has cooled 30% in a couple of decades, and we may well be heading for another European little ice age event. Elsewhere temperatures may be rtoughly the same, but higher atmospheric energy will lead to more severe storms. The seas are becoming less alkaline as they absorb more carbon dioxide, and this could be fatal to coral for instance.

    Some newspapers have spun the story too far towards the catastrophic, but the damaging effects of global warming are truly alarming, and could lead to strife and geopolitical risk.

    I think we have an important lesson from eschatology: Jesus is coming back, but no one knows the hour or the day. There is no reason to believe that He will return just in time to save us from our folly if we destroy our ecosystem. Moreover, if we destroy that ecosystem when we could have avoided doing so, and if the damage we do causes death and suffering – we are responsible for that death and suffering. That is a poor Christian witness – particularly as we are stewards of this creation. If we hand back a vineyard that is parched and despoiled, what kind of stewards are we?

    Your final point: is climate change man made? The official statistic is that the probability it is so is at least 90%. I wouldn’t bet against such odds (particularly as the experimental evidence of the last couple of decades confirms the theoretical basis for climate change that goes back 150 years). The forecasts for climate change have dramatically worsened over the last couple of years, and the opportunity to do anything about this is slipping away very quickly.

  • Stephen Kingston says on: February 13, 2007 at 9:01 am

     

    Leticia, whilst I don’t really want to contradict you or Min on this, I feel I have to point out that one perfectly good reason these skeletons might be hugging is if they were a couple who loved one another in life. If they died together, they may have been deliberately arranged in this manner by their relatives when they were buried.

    Now if we posit the great flood at about this time, there is no reason to suppose that these people died in the flood. They might have died just before or just after the flood.

    So a single piece of evidence is not a proof – interesting as it may be. Likewise, nothing I have said does *not* inidicate they died in a flood.

  • Leticia says on: February 13, 2007 at 2:44 pm

     

    Stephen, no offense taken. That scenario had occurred to me also, which is rather sentimental. But, on the God side of things, I like to think they were clinging for dear life, rather tragic, is it not?

  • Stephen Kingston says on: February 21, 2007 at 4:20 am

     

    Check out this article– it talks about how the leading alternate theory is that the Earth’s temperature is more controlled by the Sun than by human CO2 emissions.

    I have now looked thoroughly at Calder’s article you reference, and included two new posts on the subject on my own blog. In summary, the actual science Calder references does not support his thesis.

    1. Yes, Svensmark’s paper demonstrates a correlation between cosmic rays and the formation of rain clouds, and a mechanism by which this happens.

    2. No, warming of the earth has not stopped since 1999. The trend is still quite clearly upwards (despite an outlyer in the data in 1998).

    3. The warming does not correlate with a reduction in cosmic rays – the 10 year mean for which has been static since records began in 1953.

    Therefore solar forcing is not a major factor in the current warming trend (although the IPCC specifically speaks to the extent to which it *is* a factor).

    I have made some graphs of points 2 and 3, available on my site, with references to the source data.

    Regards,
    Stephen

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

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