Gerard van der Leun has a typically excellent essay up today. It’s so good that I almost feel as if I’m committing an offense against the proprieties by pull-quoting it, but…well…maybe the authorities will look the other way:
Back in 2006 National Geographic and other media echo chambers thought enough of this “discovery” to headline it, Jesus May Have Walked on Ice, Not Water, Scientists Say. I’m not nearly so objective. After I read the story, I thought it could more reasonably be headlined, Scientist Confirms Popular Theory That Most Scientists Are Atheistic Asses with Too Much Time and Money on their Hands, Sensible People Say.
The New Testament says that Jesus walked on water, but a Florida university professor believes there could be a less miraculous explanation — he walked on a floating piece of ice….
Nof, a professor of oceanography at Florida State University, said on Tuesday that his study found an unusual combination of water and atmospheric conditions in what is now northern Israel could have led to ice formation on the Sea of Galilee…..
“If you ask me if I believe someone walked on water, no, I don’t,” Nof said. “Maybe somebody walked on the ice, I don’t know. I believe that something natural was there that explains it.”
“We leave to others the question of whether or not our research explains the biblical account.”
We leave to others the question of whether or not this research is worth diddly-squat. What is of broader interest is the present state of the secular mindset to all things religious.
Please read the whole thing. It illustrates the evangelical secularist’s typical tactic for seeking to induce doubt and / or silence among believers. If my Jewish cousins will grant me a lexical loan, Oy vey!
Unfortunately, the trap such secularists set is seductive to far too many persons.
Lurking behind all of science, and every bit of “scientific knowledge,” is a truth that cannot be proved. Yet it has survived disproof throughout human history. However, few persons, regardless of their rationality and intellectual power, have reflected on it:
For any given event
There are an infinite number
Of potential explanations.
One of those explanations is correct. The others are distractions. But when the event is past, and is irreproducible by human power, which explanation is the correct one can be argued endlessly.
That’s why scientists insist upon reproducibility before they grant the investigability of the event in question. If you can’t make it happen again and again, the event is outside the realm of the sciences.
The events of the Gospels are two millennia in the past. Moreover, among the events they describe are several dozen miracles: departures from what we think of as the laws of nature. Today, those events cannot be reproduced. Ergo…?
But evangelical secularists insist upon proposing alternate explanations for the deeds of Jesus of Nazareth, all the way up to His Resurrection. They then claim that now that there’s an alternative explanation for some miraculous event, it’s perfectly rational to wave aside the possibility that it really, truly was a miracle made possible by Divine power. The assertion is usually couched in intimidating language, designed to make anyone who might differ feel intellectually inferior. The article Gerard cites is a perfect example.
This is merely snobbery in pseudo-scientific guise. The subtextual message is unmistakable: “All the bright people, the people with PhDs, accept this explanation. Don’t you feel foolish for disagreeing with them?”
Such supercilious appeals, married to the regular denigration of believers as unsophisticated dullards, can have a great deal of impact, especially upon the young. What young person doesn’t feel the urge to emulate those he admires for their achievements, including their academic and intellectual achievements? What young person doesn’t want to feel that he’s worthy of inclusion in such an elite?
The seductive power of this Tactic must not be underestimated.
Have a pair of brief videos. Please watch them in order:
In the first video, atheist philosophy Professor Radisson, played by Kevin Sorbo, wields the Tactic against believer Josh Wheaton, ably played by Shane Harper. At first Wheaton has no reply. Perhaps the other students in the class are impressed by the Tactic, for who could fail to be impressed by the intellect of Stephen Hawking, to say nothing of the sarcastic delivery of Radisson? But in the second video, Wheaton presents a devastating riposte from an intellect of equal magnitude: mathematics / philosophy Professor John Lennox.
Among the conceits of the evangelical secularists is that they’re the only genuinely bright people around. Indeed, some years ago a group of atheists and humanists tried to make bright a colloquial synonym for atheist. Demonstrating to such persons that they’re not the only players in the intellectual arena upsets them rather badly, as it did in the second video above.
But as I’ve already observed, not everyone is capable of rising to the challenge presented by the Tactic.
Porretto’s Anatomical Axiom states that:
Everybody’s gotta have one.
And it is so. (At least, I’ve encountered no exceptions.) But the evangelical secularist seeks to make opinions other than his socially unacceptable. He does it, in the main, by sneering at those who differ with him, hoping to bludgeon them into silence by the force of his disdain. Once again the subtext is plain as a fart: If you can’t respect the decrees of your betters, at least have the humility to shut up.
But their preference has no binding force. It’s merely an opinion that’s trendy in certain circles and is immune to proof or disproof under the veil of Time. It’s no more “scientific” or “intellectual” than the belief in God, the acceptance of Jesus of Nazareth as His Son, and the hope of an afterlife of eternal bliss in His nearness. It’s delivery merely expresses conceit.
Be not intimidated…nor afraid.