House of Abaddon
(The State of Modern Science)
By Richie Cooley
Richie Cooley (2016)
Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International
The following essay uses mostly British spelling…
Is it just me or is the entire world losing its marbles? Every other headline seems to display the fact that our collective psyche is becoming more and more off key. We seem to be in the midst of Bizarro World. Nothing proves this greater (in my opinion) than what is happening in the genre science. To start this essay let me first state my thesis: secular scientists are out of their gourds, and this is bound to have disastrous effects, compounding the other multitudinous troubles.
First of all let’s go back a few decades. From the second half of the 1800s up to the 1960s you weren’t a “cool” scientist unless you were a Darwinist or a Neo-Darwinist. Nothing else would do. Darwinism was at the same time both the eighth wonder of the world and the most eminent, incontrovertible fact to ever grace the mind of mortals (and of course “mortals” were all that had ever existed or would exist.)
Things begin to change in the 1960s and 70s. Carl Sagan in the 60s and Francis Crick in the 70s discussed the idea of directed panspermia. This was the shocking idea that life on earth perhaps originated elsewhere and was sent here intentionally.
The panspermia theory in general is usually divided into two groups: those who believe it was intentionally directed by intelligent aliens versus those who believe it just happened to arrive via a comet or asteroid, etc. The general idea has been floated by scientists occasionally in the past (see Lord Kelvin for example), but has never garnered broad support (and certainly aliens never loomed large). That has since changed. Francis Crick might not have originated the idea of panspermia, but his credentials and the sensational “directed” claims surely helped to start a fire that has now blazed brighter than Lord Kelvin or Hermann Von Helmholtz could have ever imagined.
Panspermia is now a major theory that has almost become a forgone conclusion for many in the academies. The question is, how does it fit in with normal Darwinian ideas? The answer is that it doesn’t. Many in the scientific community are probably banking on the very strong probability that not a lot of people will make that connection. Some have made it nevertheless, and have even been very candid over the fact that acceptance of panspermia means the demise of key Darwinian fairy tales. For example, a secular scientist at panspermia.org stated…
Until the emergence of panspermia, science believed that our whole planet was a biologically closed system. If so, the closed-system experiment is already well under way with proven, planet-wide results in favor of Darwinism. But the mere possibility of panspermia changes the situation entirely. One can no longer safely claim that the planet is a biologically closed system. Therefore, any instance of biological progress on Earth may result from the expression of genes acquired from elsewhere. In other words, the whole planet is subject to genetic contamination from space. If science ought to be sceptical of claims that have weak support, it should now be sceptical of the Darwinian account of evolutionary progress.
Other widely accepted theories have been overthrown after careful scrutiny. An example is the “luminiferous aether,” believed to be the medium in which light waves propagate. Following the Michelson-Morely experiment it was abandoned, and the theory of relativity emerged.
With Darwinism, the problem up to now has been that there was no scientific alternative . Both Darwinians and creationists said that there were only two choices -- and only one of them is scientific. But now we know that biological input into our planet’s biosphere from elsewhere is possible. This possibility makes strong panspermia a scientific alternative to Darwinism. [http://www.panspermia.org/oseti.htm]
I highlighted a line above. Did you catch the drift of it? This scientist seems to be saying that up till now we’ve basically been stuck with Darwinism because there was no alternative apart from special creation by God. With panspermia they now have another alternative. Some may still call it Darwinism but it is nothing of the sort, unless it is acceptable to call it “Double-Neo-Darwinism with an endless supply of materialistic miracles.” Please read between the lines: the acceptance of panspermia means that Darwinian evolution failed as a theory. It failed. Don’t let CNN or the BBC gloss this fact over with declarative statements devoid of intrinsic fortitude.
On a footnote, the scientist cited above, Brig Klyce, completely disregarded creation because it is not “scientific.” What does that mean? Does not “scientific” mean empirical? Contrary to snooty professors, most religious people seek to be empirical. It’s not a rare thing. It’s just that there are boundaries. Take for instance Esther Cox of Nova Scotia, the “Amherst Mystery?” A village worth of people along with many doctors, scientists, clergymen, and journalists, witnessed first-hand demonic goings-on. They investigated rationally and empirically as far as they could, just as all scientific inquiry has impenetrable bounds. If our lack of knowledge concerning metaphysical spirits should brand us incompetent as scientists, does not knowing the complete constituents of a particle mean particle physicists are all rubes?
Although the general idea of panspermia is tamer and therefore bound to appear to be more acceptable in the macro-scientific community, the amount of attention it is getting seems to also be bringing the quest for extra-terrestrial life to the boiling point. The ghost of Francis Crick seems to be looming larger and larger. More and more reports are coming in from professors and scientists that advanced alien life is on the cusp of being discovered. Hardly anything has changed when it comes to proof of extra-terrestrial life, it’s rather that the bar has been lowered and ambitious people are beginning to reinterpret data.
As I’ve written before, one has to gasp at the hypocrisy of modern academia. Proof of God (such as intelligent design or Bible prophecy) is laughed to scorn, but an oddly shaped microbe, a few bleeps on a radio channel, or an ultra-distant shadow on a heavenly body is proof enough to accept aliens? DNA doesn’t prove the existence of an intelligent God, yet beep-beep ba beep-beep proves the existence of intelligent aliens? Really?
But all this is pretty old news. I didn’t write this wee quasi-essay to expand on the idea, but rather to introduce the reader to a newer, more shocking development in the field of “science.”
It seems as if Sagan and Crick opened up Pandora’s Box. They made it vogue and cutting-edge to promote weird theories that circumvent the unsolvable quandaries of Darwinism while still rejecting the God of the Bible. It seems that as their ideas became more acceptable a signal was being given to scientists everywhere: it’s field day! It has become possible to reject classic models and to be accepted, as long as God is left squarely out of the equation. Due to this trend it isn’t surprising that something that would be just as shocking as directed panspermia would arise, but I don’t think anyone saw coming the bombastic nature of the newest headline theory. It’s hard to write about it with a straight face.
Let’s begin back in 2003. Now I’m not saying that this idea started in 2003 or even started with the scientific philosopher I’m about to cite. It’s impossible to know when technically the first word was uttered or written regarding general theories. But just as Sagan/Crick have been tied to panspermia, Nick Bostrum of Oxford is being tied to the “matrix” theory, that life is nothing more than a computer simulation being run by a higher intelligence. Many have taken this view on board, most notably, the ultra-popular Neil deGrasse Tyson. Clara Moskowitz wrote for Scientific American earlier this year…
If you, me and every person and thing in the cosmos were actually characters in some giant computer game, we would not necessarily know it. The idea that the universe is a simulation sounds more like the plot of “The Matrix,” but it is also a legitimate scientific hypothesis. Researchers pondered the controversial notion Tuesday at the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate here at the American Museum of Natural History.
Moderator Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the museum’s Hayden Planetarium, put the odds at 50-50 that our entire existence is a program on someone else’s hard drive. “I think the likelihood may be very high,” he said. He noted the gap between human and chimpanzee intelligence, despite the fact that we share more than 98 percent of our DNA. Somewhere out there could be a being whose intelligence is that much greater than our own. “We would be drooling, blithering idiots in their presence,” he said. “If that’s the case, it is easy for me to imagine that everything in our lives is just a creation of some other entity for their entertainment.”
A popular argument for the simulation hypothesis came from University of Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrum in 2003, when he suggested that members of an advanced civilization with enormous computing power might decide to run simulations of their ancestors. They would probably have the ability to run many, many such simulations, to the point where the vast majority of minds would actually be artificial ones within such simulations, rather than the original ancestral minds. So simple statistics suggest it is much more likely that we are among the simulated minds.
And there are other reasons to think we might be virtual. For instance, the more we learn about the universe, the more it appears to be based on mathematical laws. Perhaps that is not a given, but a function of the nature of the universe we are living in. “If I were a character in a computer game, I would also discover eventually that the rules seemed completely rigid and mathematical,” said Max Tegmark, a cosmologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “That just reflects the computer code in which it was written.”
You know what I’m going to write. I’m a rabid fundamental Christian who believes in young earth creationism; you know what I’m about to say. If the laws of the universe are so rigid that a mathematician seemingly created them; um, yeah, he’s called Yahweh. He has a Son named Jesus, the Messiah of Israel. Ever heard of that guy? Am I missing something? Is this a Saturday Night Live sketch? Clara, could you have at least ended your story with David Spade doing a “Hollywood Minute” just for good measure?
It’s easy to poke fun at Sagan/Crick’s children, the directed panspermians. They are clearly looking for alien life that is reminiscent of Darth Vader or Krang. But at least they have a modicum of plausible deniability. Even though they are looking for Death Stars and Technodromes, they could at least pretend that there’s much more to their hunt. But the children of Bostrum do not even try to hide their motivation. They have been directly inspired by the Matrix films and they freely admit it. I propose a truce. We’ll accept this theory but still preach the Gospel, yet a modified form of it. Instead of asking God for forgiveness and asking to be saved through the merits of Jesus Christ, we’ll address our prayers to Laurence Fishburne through the acting merits of Keanu Reeves. The conclusion to all the new Gospel tracts could go something like this: “Abba, Fishburne, please take me one day to your own private Idaho.”
But is this really a popular theory? Has Bostrum really trumped panspermia (I apologize for the “t” word)? And so quickly in comparison? It is beginning to seem that way. His philosophy appears to be catching fire much more quickly than panspermia ever did. This past week (I’m writing in September of 2016) a shocking headline appeared on some news feeds highlighting an even more astounding story. I’ll let Jacob Ferudi of The Independent break the comical news…
Analysts at Bank of America have reportedly suggested there is a 20 to 50 per cent chance our world is a Matrix-style virtual reality and everything we experience is just a simulation.
The report, which was issued to clients, also implies even if our world was an illusion, we would never know about it.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch backed up the claims by citing comments from leading philosophers, scientists and other thinkers.
“It is conceivable that with advancements in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and computing power, members of future civilizations could have decided to run a simulation of their ancestors,” the report stated.
The analysts took inspiration from inventor and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who believes there is a high probability the world is part of an artificial intelligence created by a future civilisation.
Helpfully, Jacob’s article was graced with a large picture (icon?) of our new lord and saviour, Keanu Reeves.
Note a couple of amazing facts... These are the world’s best philosophers and scientists and businessmen, and their new theory of origins has been taken from a blockbuster film. And yet Biblical creationism is scorned? Moreover, note the gargantuan amount of confidence that they have in this brand new, idiotic yarn. Bostrum made it popular only last decade and it couldn’t be a bigger cornball, but a top North American company is willing to say there’s a 50% chance that it’s truth? That’s staggering. One might be dispossessed to simply laugh it off if the number was somewhere around the 1% mark; but 50% is not only an admission that the theory is plausible, but also that it is completely valid to accept it. Imagine what a paradigm shift that would be!
Now obviously I’ve been a bit tongue-in-cheek with my response, but I haven’t embellished the facts of what has been going on in the scientific community over the last few decades. This leads me to the second part of my thesis; namely, that this is all obviously detrimental to civilization.
I fully believe in the Genesis account of special creation. I believe the same God who created the world will also judge all its inhabitants and that no one will pass the test, for all have sinned (Romans 3:23). The only hope we have is to escape this particular judgment through faith in Jesus Christ (John 5:24), repenting of our sins and trusting in his sinless righteousness, atoning death, and resurrection of glory. This matter touches eternal heaven versus eternal hell, and so obviously couldn’t be more important. Yet when I say that those who espouse panspermia or “the matrix” are harming society I’m not just thinking about such lofty principles exclusively. From any vantage point, even a purely secular one, what is going on in the world of science is bound to have extremely deleterious consequences.
The theory of evolution is silly, blasphemous, crude, and has led to deadly ends such as eugenics over and over again. Yet it at least provided some sort of stability throughout culture and a stationary target for its foes. With the death of Neo-Darwinism (and the Big Bang seems seriously wounded as well), what will society look like? If it doesn’t accept the Christian worldview the odds are that it will look far worse. This is why I’m against the water-logged intelligent design movement. It’s not enough to knock Darwin; you must also recommend Jesus Christ. Darwin’s expulsion results in just one demon being removed, yet seven which are more pernicious will follow it back to the host.
Whether scientists want to face it or not, they are role models. Their ideas help shape the heart and the psyche of many, especially the youth; and if they recommend something baneful, a generation will be permanently scarred. Just recall what happened when Darwin’s proverbial best-friend-forever, Richard Dawkins, published his influential Selfish Gene. This is what he himself said happened…
Unwriting a book is one thing. Unreading it is something else. What are we to make of the following verdict, from a reader in Australia?
Fascinating, but at times I wish I could unread it…On one level, I can share in the sense of wonder Dawkins so evidently sees in the workings-out of such complex processes…But at the same time, I largely blame The Selfish Gene for a series of bouts of depression I suffered from for more than a decade…Never sure of my spiritual outlook on life, but trying to find something deeper -- trying to believe, but not quite being able to -- I found that this book just about blew away any vague ideas I had along these lines, and prevented them from coalescing any further. This created quite a strong personal crisis for me some years ago.
I have previously described a pair of similar responses from readers:
[Dawkins is quoting himself here…] A foreign publisher of my first book confessed that he could not sleep for three nights after reading it, so troubled was he by what he saw as its cold, bleak message. Others have asked me how I can bear to get up in the mornings. A teacher from a distant country wrote to me reproachfully that a pupil had come up to him in tears after reading the same book, because it had persuaded her that life was empty and purposeless. He advised her not to show the book to any of her friends, for fear of contaminating them with the same nihilistic pessimism…
[The Selfish Gene (30th Anniversary Edition), 2005; (from the introduction)]
Dawkins of course goes on to lament these responses. There’s something about the popular professor that I’ve always liked and admired, so I’m not trying to be insulting; yet The Selfish Gene is hardly soul-splitting reading; nevertheless, many people have suffered because of it.
I’m convinced that the suicide epidemic some nations are facing is directly tied to the New Atheism which is directly tied to The Selfish Gene. What will happen when young people are taught that the “matrix” is true?
Well, this is a catchall theory that would destroy ever empirical notion there has ever been. If Michael L. Brown, the great Jewish apologist of the Christian faith, stood up and tirelessly proved from the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus Christ fulfilled countless prophecies, someone could simply say, “Yeah, but that’s just part of the matrix. Jesus Christ might be true in the near sense, but not in the ultimate sense.”
Just as many Hindus believe in a saguna Brahman that can be known and one that is beyond description (nirguna Brahman), which is the true reality, demons are inspiring scientists to view life in this unknowable-Brahman sort of way. This destroys the validity of every form of science, philosophy, and religion. This is truly a house of Abaddon.
Blessedly, there is an old remedy to the onslaught of demons, as Esther Cox discovered long ago…
The author went to see her [Esther] at the farm, on August 1st, 1879, and found her making a patch-work quilt, on which she stopped working every few minutes to play with the little children. She informed him that she read her Bible regularly every day, and was contented and happy. Before departing he advised her to pray earnestly that she might never again be possessed by devils. She promised to take his advice. So hoping that her prayers would be answered, he bade her farewell forever. [Walter Hubbell; The Haunted House]