Steve Hinrichs Rational Site with a Meaningful Purpose
http://home.roadrunner.com/~rrr33/homepage.html (revised 1/2012)
The goal of the Steve Hinrichs web page is to present in an accurate and concise manner the best arguments for and against the claim that ultimately there is a purposeful explanation for the origin of humans. A genuine investigation involves studying the best rational arguments for and against all the different possible explanations.
Rational Reasoning for Reality explains that proof by elimination is a key logical concept used to rationally determine the truth about reality. This webpage presents Steve Hinrichs' rational evaluation of issues related to this claim along with external links.
It is apparent to me that naturally I have a strong interest in a meaningful explanation for my life. Some critical scientist will claim this is just a personal bias; however, science is supposed to be guided by observation. If there is anything such as an honest observation about the nature of myself, it is that I have an interest in a meaningful explanation for my life.
Section 1 of Apologetics Summary for the Bible shows that the natural world cannot on its own provide a purposeful explanation for the origin of humans; thus, it is natural to investigate if there is evidence for the super natural to see if there is a plan or purpose for humans. A rational method for such an investigation is proposed in Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention. This approach is conservative and falsifiable. It makes use of the process of elimination to make an argument for the supernatural, so I would think scientist would appreciate it.
Can chance and natural necessity completely explain the origin of life and the universe?
The universe started with a Big Bang and out of it fell quite an array of stars and planets with our Earth just happening to be well suited for life. Does this appeared to be planned or just happened by chance? William Craig explains the Kalam Cosmological argument that claims God started it. The initial conditions of the universe and it properties fall in a very narrow range of the possible range that would allow for life. Reasons to Believe lists these finely tuned variables. The teleological argument that these finely tunes value were set by a designer are explained by Craig Teleological and Discovery Teleological.
Some evolutionist claim that their theory along with the impersonal natural laws completely explain the existence of humans. Since evolution theory claims that all new information originated by chance, this claim obviously has great bearing on the questions that I raised at the beginning of this page. The great complexity of life raises the question if it could have all evolved by chance. The scientific community has extensively studied the origin of life issue and most scientist propose that based upon fossils in the geological record all life is related by common ancestors which developed by a process of chance and natural necessity. This proposal is shown on Tree of Life and the arguments for it are very well summarized in Talk.Origins Archive. My articles do not dismiss the concept that there are certain progressions of morphological features in the fossil record that follow a common pattern of development. In addition, life forms share quite a few common characteristics that imply common descent. A good example of this is explained in Compelling Data for Common Descent from Matching Redundant DNA Sequences. These evidences make a solid and strong case that life evolved; however, there are good reasons to think as I do that God must have been involved. Natural selection is completely dependent upon chance or the intervention of intelligence for providing the new life forms on which it acts upon. The following articles claim that just chance cannot completely explain the origination of the information on which these new life forms are based.
In Probability of Abiogenesis the probability of obtaining something like the first cell which is a crucial step in the proposed evolutionary process is investigated. This article describes the great problems of such a life forming out of a primordial soup. Best attempts of evolutionist to explain such a process are also presented so you can see for yourself if such a belief is scientifically justified. Read this article and found out why Frances Crick the Nobel Prize winner and discover of DNA stated, "An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle".
Darwin stated in Ref. 2. "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possible been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory (Natural Selection) would absolutely break down." This is appropriate since the step by step sequence guided by natural selection is limited to unplanned mutations and copying errors. Since the scientific process is supposed to be one that focuses on falsification, it is appropriate to investigate features of life to see if they fit the description that Darwin defined. Several features about life are submitted in Design Articles as satisfying Darwin's requirement. They include, the blood clotting system, the immune system, the fabrication of the crucial nucleotide AMP and vision.
Rational evidence in Christianity for a Super Natural Origin?
Is there evidence for a God that has left a message that indicates a good purpose for humans? In Section 1 of Apologetics Summary for the Bible I propose certain characteristic to look for in trying to answer this question. In Section 2, I submit evidence from the Bible that I propose indicates that these characteristic can be found in the Bible. Section 3 presents evidence that indicates there is reliable information in the Bible. The Bible does has its difficulties and it is appropriate mention them which I do by reference in Section 4 and briefly deal with some of them. Extensive work has been done by the critics in academia which claim that the Bible was completely fabricated by men. This work is briefly mentioned and dealt with in Section 4.
Naturally, critics often select interpretation of Gospels passages in a way that maximizes alleged contradictions. The process of maximizing alleged contradictions is the business of salesmen, not scientist. The way to definitely determine contradictions is to first investigate if there are plausible interpretations or possibilities that do not imply contradictions. If there are no plausible interpretations or possibilities with no contradiction, then there is a valid argument that there really is a contradiction. I do not claim there are no valid arguments for contradictions in the Bible. The Bible should be investigated for real contradictions rather than a process of maximizing alleged contradictions.
There are different approaches promoted by theist and atheist that allow them to maintain their position regardless of the evidence so they are invincible to evidence that imply their position false. Scientist would not promote arguments that are invincible to the evidence whether it is for maintaining a certain form of Theism or NonTheism. The articles on this website do not use arguments that are invincible to the evidence.
Messianic prophesies are an important issue concerning the claim that Jesus was the divine Messiah. The most remarkable one is found in Daniel 9:25. Even the critics admit that this the passage is the most convincing prophecy for Christians that Jesus was the divine Messiah. However, the critics claim it is full of problems. You can read it and see for yourself which is the case. Daniel's Messiah in the Critics Den explains the prophecy and list the criticisms of the prophecy along with rebuttals.
The apostle Paul states in I Cor. 15:14 "And if Christ be not risen, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain." Unlike most religions, Christianity hinges on a proposed historical event. That Jesus died for the sinner, defeated the consequence of sin (physical and spiritual death for humans) and proved it by bodily rising again. Naturally, the critics dismiss the resurrection accounts by claiming that they were fabricated by the early Christian Church. They attempt to support this view by claiming that the five different resurrection accounts are so contradictory that is impossible to resolve them in a reasonable manner. Is this the case? Well, in Resurrection Puzzle is a reconstruction of the resurrection that is proposed as consistent with the five different accounts. The five different accounts are listed in parallel according to the proposed reconstruction so that the reader can see for themselves if the reconstruction is consistent with these accounts. Also, are listed are the 19 alleged contradictions made by the critics along with rebuttals so that the reader can determine for themselves if these accounts are contradictory.
Another interesting point of the resurrection account is The Gospel of Matthew mentions the roman soldiers guarding the tomb of Jesus had to make up an alibi to explain the empty tomb. There are certain features about this story that do not fit well with this being just a legend. These are explained in the testimony of hostile witnesses concerning the resurrection. By the way the Tabloid story of Jesus being buried in the Talpoit Tomb is not true.
Converge presents a summary of the rational evidence that there is a God with a purpose and plan for humans.
Send any question to S2c2h@aol.com.
Steve Hinrichs Social Page has several articles related to social issues.
References for Steve Hinrichs Homepage
1. Hauer, Young, An Introduction to the Bible, Prentice Hall, 1986
2. Darwin, C., Origin of Species
Debates are good because fallacious claims can be quickly exposed and one can see in a condensed format the key arguments from both sides along with rebuttals. William Craig is one the best debater for the existence of God. At his web site, Reasonable Faith are listed many debates. Also, you can watch his UTube God Existence Debates where Craig and others argues for a creator who initiated the beginning of the universe and fine-tuned it for life. In the UTube Jesus Resurrection Debates Craig and others argues there is evidence which supports the bodily resurrection of Jesus.
The scientific community has extensively studied the origin of life issue and most scientist propose that based upon fossils in the geological record all life is related by common ancestors which developed by a process of chance and natural necessity. This proposal is shown on Tree of Life and the arguments for it are very well summarized in Talk.Origins Archive. Other good links can be found through Talk.Origins Counterpoints.
The arguments against my claims concerning Christianity are very well summarized in The Secular Web. These folks think that you, I, themselves and any religion are ultimately explained by just chance and natural necessity. They also provide many links.
These folks believe that themselves and Christianity cannot be completely explained by just chance and natural necessity William Craig's Page, Craig's Historical Jesus, Gary Habermas Website, Gary Habermas Links. They also provide many links.
Professors at Cal State Fullerton that offer a class on discussing these issues have set up a web page with many links from a variety of different positions.
I believe the earth is old and different species share a common ancestor because there is geological and astronomical data that the young earth view cannot explain but is explained by the old earth view and there is strong evidence that different species share a common ancestor.
It is my opinion that creationist, evolutionist and atheist all have important information to offer concerning origins questions. There is data which each of these positions has difficulties explaining. The internet is an excellent source for investigating and discussing the success of different theories which attempt to completely explain the origins of life and religion.