Dear Secular Humanist: Please Keep Your Religious Views about Abortion out of Politics!

In our country, there is a general feeling that only positions backed by actual fact should drive public policy.  ‘Religion’ is perceived to be the realm of personal opinion.   Even Christians tend to accept the view that people are allowed to have their opinion, but they aren’t allowed to impose that opinion on others.   The result is that many Christians refrain from acting ‘politically’ because they see their own beliefs as nothing more than ‘mere opinion.’

Secularists tend to be people who have dispensed with ‘religion’ altogether, and like to think that they are entirely ‘fact driven.’

When these ideas collide, we observe something very curious:  secular humanists conclude that they can advocate for anything that they want in the public sphere, because nothing they believe is ‘religious, ‘ while distinctly Christian viewpoints are forbidden from entering the public domain, since those will be, by definition, ‘religious.’  And again, even Christians gravitate to that view.

This tends to lead to debates and discussions and policy proposals that take the ‘facts’ of the secularists as the starting points.  We are expected to proceed on their terms.  And why not?  Surely without the ‘religious’ component, those ‘facts’ are as close to actually being real descriptions of the world as one could get, right?

But what if ‘religion’ and ‘fact’ are not opposites? Continue reading

I Can See the Next Holocaust From My House

Anthony Horvath is a contributor at Laigle’s Forum, Christian apologist, pro-life author and speaker, and publisher.  To learn more about his latest project aimed at combating the philosophies discussed in the essay below and how you can help, click here.


Tina Fey, impersonating Sarah Palin, joked, “I can see Russia from my house.”

I can see the next holocaust from my house, and it is no joke.

In the decades leading up to one of the most horrific chapters in human history, the leading lights of the day openly discussed bringing about those horrors.  Eugenics was posited as the rational position of all intelligent, well-meaning individuals.  In journals, newspapers, academic conferences, public health offices and elsewhere, they talked about sterilizing people with or without their consent, segregating them from society, or even exterminating them.  And that was in America.

In a book written in 1920 by two German experts and applauded by American experts, it was argued that it was allowable to destroy the ‘life unworthy of life.’

Who was regarded as ‘life unworthy of life’?  The handicapped, the disabled, the diseased, the mentally ill, the ‘feeble-minded.’  Really, just about anyone the experts decided was ‘unfit’ could be deemed ‘unworthy of life.’  When eugenics morphed into the Holocaust, many of its proponents quietly went to ground.  Some asked ‘What went wrong?’ but few arrived at the right answer.

Fast forward sixty years.  Enter Julian Savulescu.

You probably don’t know who Julian Savulescu is, just as your average American off the street in 1910 wouldn’t have known who Charles Davenport was.  You probably don’t know who Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva are, just as your average American in 1920 wouldn’t have known who Alfred Hoche and Karl Binding were.

But you may recall a few months ago when two ‘ethicists’ quietly submitted an article in an ethics magazine arguing that the logic of abortion does not cease after the child has fully exited the birth canal.  For all the reasons that abortion on demand was justified, so too, the two ‘ethicists’ Giubilini and Minerva argued, was infanticide.  Of course, they preferred to call it ‘after-birth abortion.’

I hope that nobody misunderstands me:  Giubilini and Minerva were correct in their analysis.  If they are to be faulted for anything, it is for stopping at the newborn.

When people heard about this article there was outrage, and not a little of it spilled over onto the journal that printed the article in the first place.  That journal was “The Journal of Medical Ethics.”  Flabbergasted, the editor defended the publication of the article, saying:

“As Editor of the Journal, I would like to defend its publication. The arguments presented, in fact, are largely not new and have been presented repeatedly in the academic literature and public fora by the most eminent philosophers and bioethicists in the world, including Peter Singer, Michael Tooley and John Harris in defence of infanticide, which the authors call after-birth abortion.”

Yes, that is quite right.  The arguments presented were not new, and have been ‘presented repeatedly.’

He continued, “What is disturbing is not the arguments in this paper nor its publication in an ethics journal. It is the hostile, abusive, threatening responses that it has elicited. More than ever, proper academic discussion and freedom are under threat from fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society.”

This embattled editor of a renown journal of medical ethics is named Julian Savulescu. Continue reading

In the beginning was the Word

Stephen Meyer’s “Signature in the Cell”

By Don Hank

Stephen Meyer’s book “Signature in the Cell” may be the most enlightening book I have ever read.

Please try to get it if you haven’t yet. It contains all the answers I have always wanted at my finger tips for debates with Darwinists on the origin of life (I don’t let them drag me into the species change arguments, because I would quickly be in over my head). Having been in thrall to a rigid Darwinist view of life’s origin for many years, I feel liberated about having the origin-of-life side of the theory blown sky high. The origin of life is the key aspect because it gets into the existence of a Creator.

You see, Darwin’s step by step evolution from simple to complex only seems feasible on the macro side — that is, developed plants and animals which develop even further. Darwin could show beyond a doubt that evolution had happened from wolf to dog, for example, under human guidance and from there the idea that such changes would have happened in nature in response to environment was but a stone’s throw. But on the micro level, as researchers found out about the processes in the cell (ever since the early 50s), they discovered that even the simplest cells were factories with the most complex imaginable machinery and computer systems complete with software that for all the world appeared to have been designed and written by someone. The more origin-of-life scientists looked for answers along the accidental Darwinian route, the more confused and baffled they became. The old lightning bolt in the mud theory had failed in the lab and didn’t cut it any more. So much so that today there is absolutely no consensus and the field is in complete disarray. The only scientists who appear to form a consensus are the few dedicated to the notion of intelligent design. But that is a heresy in today’s academe, where intelligence is not allowed because it is eerily reminiscent of that pesky “God delusion” along with its moral code of do’s and don’ts for mankind. Darwin was to have driven a stake in its heart.  Now it was coming back to haunt them.

The heart of Meyer’s book, which will be the chief stumbling block for Darwinists from here to eternity, is the part describing the “CAD-CAM” (CAD=computer assisted design; CAM=computer assisted manufacture) machinery inside the cell that performs gene expression by recognizing and reading the DNA code, written in nucleotide triads, and transcribing and sending the coded specs (for protein synthesis) for translation. In the ribosome (cellular protein factory), the blueprint is then read and implemented, enabling the synthesis of a specific protein to specification by the ribosome based on the information originally contained in the DNA and transferred to the RNA in a different format. Note that the data-bearing DNA, a sort of master copy, is located in a part of the cell far away from the ribosome (factory), so the transcription, for example, isn’t at all like, for example, simply making a carbon copy by just piling 2 sheets of paper on top of each other with a carbon in between and pressing hard as you write or type. Transcription (along with subsequent translation and implementation of the blueprint) is genuinely analogous to a CAD-CAM system, with its own software code.

I suppose that Meyer would groan at this description because I am still grappling with the sticky parts. It is much more complex than this, but you get the idea.

(For an illustration of gene expression in protein building, click here to go to Stephen Meyer’s web site and click on the button at the bottom right to see an amazing animation of the cellular machines at work).

Not to get mired down in detail, but Meyer also mentions machines in the cell that edit the information and others that straighten out the DNA helices and then rewind them once they have been “read” by the RNA.

Oh, BTW, the computer in the cell is capable of processing several times more data than any silicon chip known at this point. Bill Gates is cited as acknowledging this fact.

Meyer makes 4 blockbuster points:  

1 — The message is actually a true code. It is language, it is words. Although in both DNA (original data repository) and RNA (data transmitter), it is in the form of nucleotide triads (called codons), the constituent nucleotide bases constituting the code have no special chemical affinity for the proteins they signify in the code (just as ink has no meaningful chemical affinity for paper that would make certain letters stick to certain parts of a page), so the processes of recognition, transcription and translation involved in making a protein are pure language utilization processes, not chemistry! That makes the “recognition” part quite unobvious and esoteric, requiring a deciphering system that is not based on the chemical properties of the constituent parts (against initial intuitive hypotheses), so that the message borne by the code is independent of any recognizable physicochemical laws–making it a mystery. This fact alone points unequivocally to a designer who started his process with the use of words.

2 — Meyer also makes the point that the protein synthesized by this system (as all proteins in all living cells — even the simplest — are) not only could not exist without the DNA but the DNA could also not exist without the protein (because both the protein and the DNA are both part of the protein synthesis machinery and “software” essential to the manufacture and maintenance of cell constituents). Thus, unlike the chicken-or-the-egg question, there seems to be no way either could have come first. That makes evolution a very tough sell indeed. (One could actually speak of an “evolution delusion” to paraphrase Richard Dawkins).

3 — Besides the living cell, there is nothing known in nature that encodes, decodes, transmits and reads specifications and builds or reproduces machines (living or other) in this computer-like fashion. The only scheme that resembles this enormously complex machinery and computer system is man-made and requires a designer. The designer is logically the default explanation.

4 — Meyer’s colleague, statistical mathematician William Dembski, calculates that the probabilities of the simplest cell producing all the necessary proteins it needs to survive by chance is 1 in 10 to the power of 41,000. This probability is so small as to be utterly negligible. In other words, the advent of life on earth was not an accident.

No one who reads this book can come away believing in the standard academic explanation that life came about by accident. Neither, claims Meyer, do many microbiologists and/or origin-of-life scientists, who are either “baffled” or are on his side.

I think this is the final blow to neo-Darwinism, at least intellectually. Now all that remains is break down the intellectual barriers on the campuses that were erected and maintained by the Lilliputians who inhabit and rule them with an iron fist. But that will be the toughest job of all (as shown by Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled”). Government, the media and campuses are living proof that no common sense or any relationship with reality is required for corrupt systems to stay in place almost indefinitely and make a majority of the populace believe the Wizard of Oz is real.

Although I love education and learning, I am actually encouraged that colleges are now laying off profs in various places — like California — and enrollment is down. I say that that because learning under the principle of free inquiry is no longer taking place there. (For insight into the sad state of US universities, click on the last link under “Related”).

I hate to say it but I hope colleges get so out of reach that parents, for the time being, stop sending their kids to these indoctrination centers — at least until the colleges start returning to common sense principles.

I believe distance education is the wave of the future and courses that actually prepare for careers — non-government that is, will be the focus again.

Too bad the whole system may have to be destroyed by the bad guys before that can happen.

Related:

http://laiglesforum.com/2008/05/02/expelled-exposes-flat-world-academics/

http://laiglesforum.com/2008/04/22/254/

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/OPINION/11/23/meyer.intelligent.design/index.html

Christians Are Not to be Malthusians

This is an excerpt of an article that Laigle’s Forum staff writer, Anthony Horvath, had published at Worldnetdaily.com last week.

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Thomas Robert Malthus would have disagreed. The philosophical forerunner to Darwin, Malthus argued that there are limited resources, and competition for them is intense.  When there are too many people competing for those resources, you have war, famine and a continual threat to civilization itself.

For Malthus, the pie is only so big: We must reduce the number of people who want a share of it.

Christianity embodies another solution: Make a bigger pie.

In Christianity, God takes a few loaves and feeds thousands with them.  Entrance to heaven is not contingent on space available. Jesus came that we would have life, and life to the fullest. Not just for some, but all.

None of what follows is an argument for Christian indifference to the plight of other people. However, Christians should not advocate “solutions” that repress human liberty, dignity and freedom. For some reason, all of the Malthusian’s solutions do just that.

To read the whole article click here.

Global Warming: Evolutionary “Science” Warmed Over?

By Anthony Horvath

I need to admit from the beginning that I have not personally investigated the data said to be for or against Global Warming.  That said, I have been watching carefully how Global Warming is being promoted and defended and as a long time observer of how Evolutionary Theory is defended, the similarities are striking.

Examples of censorship against skeptics of Evolutionary Theory are now so numerous that Ben Stein just produced a whole movie on how those who advance ‘Intelligent Design’ are castigated and even have their careers threatened for taking a view that is not strictly Darwinian.  Have we not seen similar tactics employed in the Global Warming debate?  There are many examples, including comparing skeptics of Global Warming to holocaust deniers, threatening to fire climatologists, and more.

There is one unique difference between Evolutionary Theory and Global Warming, and that is that each of us, as ones living on the globe, can get a sense for themselves whether or not it is warming or cooling in any dramatic fashion, but we do not all have access to all the fossils.

I can tell you that in Wisconsin it was a cold winter and it lasted long!  Anecdotal, to be sure, but it makes one wonder when the Global Warming talk begins and hearing that long cold spells are exactly what you can expect from a warming globe certainly raises eyebrows.  What would you expect from a cooling globe? Hot spells?

It is very telling that promoters of Global Warming have resorted to tactics long employed by Evolutionists.  Rabid Darwinist Richard Dawkins famously said, “It is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).”  It is not long- indeed, the day may already be upon us- before those who are skeptical of Global Warming make the same kind of statements.

We must ask ourselves why the proponents of Evolution and Global Warming feel like they need to advance their positions by using such hostile methods. In the case of Evolution I think the answer is obvious:  the science itself isn’t nearly as conclusive as we are led to believe.  As such, the position needs to be advanced with blunt force since the evidence is not as self-evidently persuasive as other, less controversial, scientific facts.  Might it be that Evolutionary Theory is actually propelled by philosophical naturalism and not the evidence as illustrated by another quote by Richard Dawkins, that evolution made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist?

Science has certainly done great good, although it has handed us numerous ethical dilemmas as well.  Yet few probably understand that what passes as science these days isn’t always like the science they learned in high school.  There we learned that science proceeded along a method:  first you make some observations, then you hypothesize about those observations, then you craft experiments which will tell you more about your hypothesis, and you do this a number of times, testing different explanations and challenges to the data you are generating, and eventually you come to the point where you can generate a theory out of it all.

It is here that the similarities between Global Warming and Evolutionary Theory become uncanny.  All of the really controversial aspects of Evolution happened in the past, outside of observation and beyond experimentation.  We have fossils, which must be interpreted, and we have small scale examples of variation within similar organisms, but the rest of extrapolation.  Nor can we make any precise predictions on what kind of organisms will emerge in the future, since the biggest driver of evolutionary change is change to the DNA code itself- which is random.  The theory is impotent in offering anything more substantially concrete beyond predicting that species will change, which anyone who has seen a baby and noticed that it is different than its parents will observe.

Moreover, you can’t falsify the theory because uncomfortable data merely calls for a revision of it, with no realistic hope that anything would actually refute it.

Global Warming seems to be developing along similar lines prompting us to wonder if it too might be agenda driven.  We observe the weather all the time, but as far as performing experiments at a scale that could actually tell us whether or not humans are causing the putative warming, that is an entirely different matter.  Short term weather forecasting has improved a great deal but attempts to predict how many major hurricanes there will be in a season have been embarrassingly off.  The year 2008 is producing a fair number of tornados, many more than previous years (though not all years), but as near as I can tell, there were not siren calls in 2007 telling us to watch out this particular year.

There is also the curious fact that according to the same data, the earth has endured numerous warming and cooling cycles with no help or hindrance from human activity.  What kind of experiment is being proposed that will help us distinguish between a global temperature change brought about by public policies and a change brought about by natural processes alone?  I am aware of none.  I am not even aware that Global Warming proponents think it important.

So whether it is hot or cold Global Warming is a scientific fact just as Evolution is a scientific fact whether it happens fast or slow (see Punctuated Equilibrium).  And don’t you dare question whether it happened!  Your job is at risk if you do.  That is perfectly justified, since if you do, you are ignorant, stupid, or insane- or possibly wicked.  Naturally, you don’t reason with stupid and insane people, and wicked people you must oppose as a matter of course.   Right?

No, I have not yet formed an opinion on Global Warming, but it appears that skepticism is called for.  If others were to become more skeptical- even of scientists- who knows what towering theories would tumble.

Anthony Horvath is the Executive Director of Athanatos Christian Ministries.  He is the author of the Birth Pangs series and his apologetics website, sntjohnny.com, is frequented by both believer and unbelievers.

“Expelled” exposes flat world academics

I hope you have already seen “Expelled,” but if not, do not hesitate to see it with your family.

Rev. Michael Bresciani shares his thoughts on Expelled, which already is causing a furor in the academic world. As I walked out of the cinema with my family after seeing the film, I realized that it was a watershed event. Academic history would henceforth be delineated between the pre-Expelled era and the post-Expelled era.

I think one of the most striking, and revealing, things about the movie was when Stein took a tour through a Hitler-era “hospital” for the mentally retarded, where in fact, many inmates were “culled” as unfit to live, sent to cyanide showers and then incinerated, Hitler’s Endlösung of choice. It reminded me of many related things in today’s America and today’s Germany.  For example: Terri Schiavo and how Obama said he regretted voting to keep her alive; the German government’s modern day holocaust against home-schooled children and their parents, etc. But the lady guide’s response when Stein asked her what she would say to the people who once ran this death hospital was the most revealing statement about our prevailing post-modern relativist ideology. She said she was not qualified to judge them. She woulnd’t admit that what had been done was evil. Why should she? Public education in the West has eliminated the only criterion for moral judgements of this kind: God.  Darwinism was the driver of change.

It was decided at the Nuremberg trials that people have the duty to reject evil even when they are ordered to perpetrate it by their superiors. Many nazis were convicted on that criterion. Incredibly, that way of thinking seems to be widely rejected in today’s Germany.

But it isn’t only Germany, is it?

We’re all in this together.  The prevailing theory of origins and the attendant relativist — nay, nihilist — ideology that motivated Hitler and Stalin is still driving the dominant institutions of Western culture.  Western moral development was stopped, or rather reversed, in the late 1800s.

Comes Ben Stein and challenges us to move forward. His movie Expelled is long overdue. It has been said that God is not always early, but never too late.

Donald Hank

Expelled the Movie – Ben Stein Exposes Flat World Academics

by Rev. Michael Bresciani

Ben Stein’s ‘Expelled’ could  properly be called ‘Exposed the Movie’ because
it is a nerve rattling jolt to academicians who are ready to bounce or
ostracize anyone who so much as mentions or has a dream in the night about
the theory of intelligent design.

No movie review in history as far as I know starts with instructions about
how to watch the film. Expelled is a documentary and contains hundreds of
interviews and deep conversations with some of the most highly regarded
minds of the time. It has a rhythm and a depth that requires full attention
and you may want to forgo the popcorn, soda and other distractions.

You will also discover something radically different about this film from
the audience reaction. It has been reported that people applaud sometimes
throughout the film and in some theatres it ends with audiences rising to
give it a standing ovation.

I found myself applauding along with other theatre patrons when I saw the
film. It was proof solid for me that while Americans are being asked to get
the nonsense of religion out of their heads the idea of an omnipotent
creator God is still firmly planted in their hearts.

Frivolous lawsuits are being thrown at the producers of the film from
animation companies and John Lennon widow Yoko Ono. Neither suit seems to
have any foundation but the flak from every academic quarter is ample proof
that a nerve has been touched. Is the film fair, is it reasonable, and is it
intelligent? Not only is the answer yes, yes and yes but the film is yet
something much more, something rarely found in a documentary. It is
emotionally charged.

Ben Stein is marvelous in the film. Known more as a comedian he doesn’t poke
fun at anyone and rarely resorts to humor throughout the documentary. It is
clear from the outset that he is not arguing or contending with others views
but only imploring them to seriously ponder their own unquestioned
assertions. He does this with a straight face and the fewest words possible.
The result is obvious; these questions are no joke.

Near the end Stein is found quietly standing alone with his own thoughts in
the middle of a holocaust museum. His thoughts are narrated in the
background and they are perhaps the most profound moments of the film. Stein
has conducted himself discreetly and some might say masterfully throughout
the documentary so at the films conclusion nothing is lost.

The heart of the movie is easy to see. Academics have for a generation now
fed us the idea that the big bang theory and the subsequent lightning
hitting the primordial ooze is the only way to go when it comes to the
question of how life began.

The rapid rise in intelligence in this generation has caused completely
unforeseen phenomena that academicians are not prepared for.  It is not just
faith in God that makes the question bubble to the surface but our own
enlarged understanding of the complexities and vast intricacies of our own
universe. The admonition to question all authority that academics so
blithely espoused to young minds a generation ago has returned to bite them
on the butt. It is the intelligent that are questioning the not so
intelligent refusal of the intelligencia to give some credence to
intelligent design; not doing so is just dumb.

This generation understands that when science leaves the area of repeatable
and observable phenomena and relies on speculation and ‘prior philosophic
postulation’ to explain the origins of life they have entered the realm of
faith. Physical evidence for evolution remains spurious, sparse and suspect
at best so speculation is all that is left to explain what took place four
hundred million years ago. The evolution crowd has been thumping “The
Origins of Species” with evangelistic fervor that makes the best Bible
preachers look tame by comparison. This is what Expelled is about.

The implacability of the evolutionists is compared to the Berlin wall
throughout the film. Nazism and communism are also alluded to for the most
obvious reasons. A party line must be held and enforced for any kind of
fascism to have a reasonable chance to survive. The cost of fascism has
always been the loss of freedom. Expelled centers in on this by likening the
refusal to include the possibility of intelligent design to incarcerating
intelligence not furthering it.

Expelled hones in on the loss of academic freedom, jobs, tenure and respect
for many of those interviewed in the film but it also provokes the larger
question of the number of young minds lost to this generation because of
what is fast becoming rigid Darwinian dogma. Move over inquisitors here come
the evolutionists!

One of the highlights of Expelled is the interview with famed atheist
Richard Dawkins. It may be the only time you will ever see Dawkins visibly
perturbed and almost at a loss for words. Ben Stein managed to pull what
might even be considered an admission from Dawkins that some intelligent
designer may have created everything but that he, she or it would have to
have evolved first. The double talk aside it is a moment well worth the
ticket price alone.

Most movies are rated on a scale of one to five or in some cases a scale of
one to ten. I will not rate this movie at all. What I will do is rate the
‘must see’ element of the documentary. Whether you are an evolutionist or a
believer of “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen
1:1) if you consider yourself even nominally intelligent the must see factor
for Expelled on a scale of one to ten is twenty.

For a list of theatres playing Expelled or further information visit
http://laiglesforum.com/wp-admin/ Rev Michael Bresciani is a
columnist for many online conservative, news and Christian sites and
magazines. Visit The Website for Insight at http://laiglesforum.com/wp-admin/