What's So Great About Christianity?

Dinesh D'Souza

Ch 11: A Universe with a Beginning: God and the Astronomers

“The question at issue is whether the design of nature points to a creator or whether that design can be given a purely naturalistic explanation.” He argues that since the universe had a beginning (evidence = Big Bang, the 2nd law of thermo, Einstein’s theory of general relativity) it must have had a cause since everything that comes into existence has a cause. It makes reasonable sense to posit a Creator outside of time, clearly supernatural, immaterial, and powerful.

p115 Quotes of Weinberg, Sagan, Wilson as challenge

p118 Weinberg quote about light as main constitutent of the early universe.

p119 Opposition to Big Bang

p120 Bondi, Gold and Hoyle and their steady state universe

p121 3K background, COBE

p122 discussion of 6 calendar days

p123 creation ex nihilo, Augustine's understanding of creation of time and space.

p124 Penzias quote on Bible , Jastrow's band of theologians

p125 Atheist scrambling in face of big bang. Russell, Stenger, Hume

p126 Creator outside space and time

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What's So Great About Christianity?

Dinesh D'Souza

Ch 12: A Designer Planet: Man’s Special Place in Creation

The latest scientific research shows that “we apparently inhabit a world specifically crafted for us” The size and age of the universe are precisely what they need to be to support life (the anthropic principle). In order for life to exist, (1) The gravity force has to be precisely what it is and (2) the Big Bang had to occur when it did. The anthropic principle “is the most theistic result ever to come out of science” (Jastrow).

p127 Copernicus is dead - principle of mediocrity is dead.

p128 Stenger, Sagan, Weinberg 's version of principle of mediocrity

p128 Copernican principle more importantly challenged man's "special position"

p129 " if man is so central to God's purposes in nature, why do we live in such a marginal speck of real estate in such a big, indifferent universe?"

p129 intro of anthropic principle

p130 Paul Davies "We have been written into the laws of nature in a deep and , I believe, meaningful way."

p130 Barrow and Tipler The Anthropic Cosmological Principle

p130 Martin Rees "Just Six Numbers"

p130 Astronomer Lee Smolin, probability quote from Stephen Hawking

p131 Quotes from Hoyle, Dyson, Gingerich, Jastrow

p131 Lucky Us, Multiple Universes, Designer Universe

p132 Weinberg, Stenger and Dawkins on "Lucky Us"

p132 Leslie's firing squad

p133 Flew on fine-tuning

p133 Multiple universe position

p134 Smolin, Gingerich respond to multiple universes

p135 Occam's razor discussion

p136 Hawking, Weinberg, Dawkins in multiple universe camp

p136 Stephen Barr "It seems that to abolish one unobservable God, it takes an infinite number of unobservable substitutes."

p137 Paul Davies

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What's So Great About Christianity?

Dinesh D'Souza

Ch 13: Paley was Right: Evolution and the Argument from Design

As Paley argued in 1802, design points to a designer. D’Souza asserts that the tension between the scientific theory of evolution and the Bible’s story of creation by God is unnecessary. He believes that much of the tension is due to either (1) a lteralistic interpretation of Genesis or (2) the embracing of Darwinism as complete explanation of all reality (metaphysical naturalism).

p139 full Paley quote and reference

p140 Dawkins' Blind Watchmaker, Bernard Cohen, Quammen, Shermer

p141 some creationism history, Scopes trial

p142 quotes from Ayala, Wilson, Gould, Provine

p142 D'Souza comments universe created from nothing, man created from the dust - all of life from the elements

p143 Huxley's hatred of the church

p144 Kelvin's age of the Earth, 4.5 billion year age of Earth

p144 Dobzhansky and Fisher, Christian biologists who were defenders of Darwin.

p145 C S Lewis had no problem with evolution, Kenneth Miller and Francis Collins

p145 Intelligent design Wells, Dembski, Behe, Johnson, Cambrian explosion

p145 Miller and Dobzhansky quotes on evolution as foundation of biology

p147 Quotes from Dawkins and Dennett which led Gould to call them "Darwinian fundamentalists."

p147 Failure of Miller Urey and everything else to explain the origin of life.

p148 Dawkins likens genetic code to computer program

p148 Harold quote on bacterial cell "displays levels of regularity and complexity that exceed by orders of magnitude" anything in the non-living world.

p148 pegs origin of life between 3.5 and 4 billion years ago

p148 Pinker and Dennett on consciousness

p148 Wallace, Ruse, Pinker on the mystery of consciousness - no answer to its nature or origin

p150 God of the gaps and "atheism of the gaps"

p150 Back to "Paley's argument has never been refuted"

p151 Barrow and Tipler physics has supplied a new "design argument remarkably similar to that proposed by Paley"

p152 Stephen Barr lengthy quote , responds to Dawkins' Blind Watchmaker with "How can a factory that makes watches be less in need of explanation than the watches themselves?"

p152 "It should be clear from all this that the problem is not with evolution. The problem is with Darwinism. Evolution is a scientific theory, Darwinism is a metaphysical stance and a political ideology." "Darwinism is the atheist spin imposed on the theory of evolution."

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What's So Great About Christianity?

Dinesh D'Souza

Ch 14: The Genesis Problem: The Methodological Atheism of Science

The problems with modern science are not really with science per se but with a mis- understanding of science that (1) dogmatically assumes a naturalistic worldview and (2) claims that science is the complete source of knowledge. The limitations of science include its inability to answer questions about the nature (metaphysics) and purpose of reality (teleology). If naturalism is true, how does the naturalist transcend the deterministic or chaotic forces of nature to arrive at the truth?

p155 Dennett quote

p156 several quotes on Big Bang and other objectionable science discoveries and peoples feelings about them.

p157 Douglas Erwin "One of the rules of science is, no miracles allowed."

p158 Copernicus, Kepler, Boyle saw nature as deeply compatible with God

p160 some of the biases of Dawkins, Pinker, others "a level of dogmatism that would embarrass any theist.."

p161 Lewontin "we are forced by our a priori commitment to material causes to create .. a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door."

p162 Collins, Gingerich and the supernatural, Crick and hostility to religion

p163 difference between procedural atheism and philosophical atheism

p163 Polkinghorne and Penrose

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