Sep 072006
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14 years ago

Ok, what’s the reason for this thread? Here is the real reason, to present a radical view of eschatology and creationism.

If the end of the world is around the corner, the creation science of Setterfield may provide a means for Christians to find safety during the Great Tribulation.

I don’t believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. I’m a historic pre-millenialist who believes the majority of saints will be taken to meet the Lord at the end of the millennium and that believers will suffer at the hands of the anti-Christ, but some will find safety.

Revelation 12 suggests part of the church may flee to safety during the great tribulation. Setterfield’s work may unlock the key to fast space travel.

Hairbrained idea? Yes, but even if it is wrong, it is a worthy investigation into physics. See: Faster than the speed of light

Yet with God there are invariably hidden truths waiting to be discovered that make the best that men can imagine seem like kindergarten.
Newtonian mechanics imposes no maximum upper limit to attainable velocities in the universe, but Einstein’s relativity theory does. As charged particles are pushed up near the present speed of light they grow heavier, and more and more energy input is required to gain a smaller and smaller increment of increased velocity.
At the Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC), near where I live, electrons injected in the accelerator reach 99.999% of the velocity of light in the first few feet of travel, and then they ride, traveling radio waves for two miles down a long evacuated pipe, gaining virtually no additional speed, but mostly acquiring mass (and therefore energy). There is no reason to doubt the highly successful and well-verified theory of relativity in this regard. One can point to countless examples of proven relativistic effects whenever charged particles are involved.
Physicist Hal Puthoff1 has recently suggested that the ability of a spacecraft to modify the properties of space in its immediate vicinity could allow it to travel faster than light. This is because the speed of light is simply a measure of two properties of the medium of space, or the vacuum: permeability and permittivity. It has been tacitly assumed by some theoreticians that the speed of light might be a measure not only of the electrical properties of space, but the mechanical properties of space as well. It now turns out that this is probably not the case!
A very exciting possibility has now come into the light. It has long been known that gravitational forces apparently act instantaneously over the entire universe. Why this should be so is simply glossed over and ignored in every generation of physics classes and in countless technical papers.
One way to understand this is to consider what is called “the classical aberration of light”-which was discovered by Bradley in 1728. In fact, aberration data became one of the early methods for measuring the speed of light. Light from the sun requires 8.3 minutes to travel from the sun to the earth during which time the sun and the earth have moved as much as 20 arc seconds with respect to each other.
Similarly, light from the stars arrives at an angle which can be as much as 20 arc seconds because the earth is moving with respect to the stars. It is by carefully measuring these aberration angles, and knowing the relative velocities involved, that Bradley made excellent and trustworthy measurements of the velocity of light 250 years ago.
However, during the time interval it takes light to travel from the sun to the earth, the sun and the earth have kept in touch with each other “instantaneously”-or at least very much faster than c! In fact every mass in the universe communicates with all other masses in the universe in a time frame that makes the present speed of light seem like the velocity of molasses on a cold day!
Astronomer Tom Van Flandern has recently detailed all the evidence that shows that gravitational forces, unlike light, operate with no measurable aberration!2
But Van Flandern shows that there are sound reasons for believing that the “speed of gravity” is not infinite. By carefully studying the observable data, Van Flandern now concludes that the speed of gravity is greater than or equal to the present speed of light by a factor of 2 x 1010.
This velocity (6 x 1018 meters per second) turns out to be just below Barry Setterfield’s latest estimate of the speed of light everywhere in the universe on Day Two of creation week! Setterfield arrives at this initial velocity of light on the basis of the maximum observed Hubble constant, which gives an initial value of c that turns out to be 2.54 x 1010 times the present value.3
Since creation week, the diameter of the universe has been constant (a static universe) and the speed of light has dropped precipitously to its present value-following decay curves we can now piece together with some confidence based on (a) measured values of c for the last 300 years, (b) corrections to known radioactive decay dates which go back to approximately 2000 B.C., and (c) the observed quantization of the red shift of light from distant galaxies for the time period from creation to about the time of Abraham.
As the universe aged, the free space permittivity and permeability increased and c decreased – but the velocity of gravity may not be tied to the permittivity and permeability of free space!
If this is the case, the velocity of gravity stayed at the original velocity of c. If we can produce a propulsion system based on gravitational principles rather than electromagnetic or chemical ones, we could travel at absolutely enormous speeds-we could hope to push a space craft anywhere in the universe, very literally at warp speeds beyond what even the Starship Enterprise could produce!

14 years ago

Moses Maimonides’, Guide for the Perplexed is an eye opener where interpretation of scripture is concerned. I also suggest The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis for some anti-deception armor! 🙂

14 years ago

As one of those insane fundamentalists, I believe in the perspicuity of Scripture. I believe God is the author of the Bible and as such He must meant for us to understand it. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Co 2:14-16)

That said I agree end time prophecies are tricky. I am a semi-preterist but open to pan-eschatology.

Nevertheless, I think your approach to fulfilled prophecy as specified complexity is a good one. Consider the analogy from Stoner.
He says 1017 silver dollars would cover the state of Texas two feet deep. Mark one coin with red fingernail polish. Stir the whole batch thoroughly. What chance would a blindfolded person have of picking the marked coin on the first try? One in 1017, the same chance that just eight of the 300 prophecies “just happened” to come true in this man, Jesus.

I hope you can get the technical issues worked out. I will be looking forward to seeing the unfolding of ID and Biblical Specified Complexity.

14 years ago

The Bible makes claims that seem outrageous to the human mind. Perhaps one of the most fantastic claims was that men and women once lived hundreds of years. There is scientific evidence for this. See:
Geron Corporation, Human Immortality, Genesis.

For Noah’s flood, see Walter Brown (PhD MIT) hydroplate theory at:


14 years ago

“I’m a historic pre-millenialist who believes the majority of saints will be taken to meet the Lord at the end of the millennium and that believers will suffer at the hands of the anti-Christ, but some will find safety”

This does not make much sense to me 🙂

14 years ago

This reminds me of a joke that I read once. I don’t have the exact text anymore but I will try to recreate it from memory. It goes something like this.

A man was standing on a bridge contemplating on ending his life. A second man comes by, realizing what was happening, he tries to dissuade the first man from going through with it.
2nd man: Please come down from the rail. Why are you doing this?
1st man: Life is too painful to bear.
2nd man: Do you believe in God?
1st man: (A bit stunned by the question replies) Yes, yes I do.
2nd man: Are you a Christian?
1st man: Yes I am.
2nd man: Great, so am I. Are you a Baptist?
1st man: Yes I am.
2nd man: Wonderful, me too. Are you a 5 point Calvinist?
1st man: Yes I am.
2nd man: Great, I am too. Are you pre-trib or post-trib?
1st man: (beginning to realize the consequences of what he is doing answers) Post-trib.
2nd man: Me too. Are you pre-mill or a-mill or post-mill?
1st man: (smiles) Post-mill?
2nd man: (grabs the 1st man and pushes him over the bridge screaming) YOU HERETIC.

It is obvious you can replace disputed contents with any other theological dispute that you want. This is also fuel for critics to use against Christians. The issue of eschatology is much too ambiguous to be dogmatic. My motto is Augustine’s “Unity in the essentials, liberty in the non-essentials, and charity in all things.” Outside of the essentials there are very few things I would separate fellowship over. It doesn’t mean that I am not dogmatic or fight tooth and nail to my grave, over those secondary issues. I just don’t think we should separate our fellowship over these secondary issues. I guess that makes me a Biblical conservative and an ecclesiastical liberal.

Please note, I am not suggesting anyone here has exhibited this type of extreme dogmatism. I just hope you enjoyed the joke. I am often reminded of this joke when the issue of eschatology comes up. Someone at my Church once criticize me for not being more interested in eschatology and unwilling to take a dogmatic stand on eschatology. My answer was, on the contrary, I am dogmatic about eschatology. I am dogmatic that the Scripture does not lend us to be dogmatic.

14 years ago

I was away over the weekend. Let me outline eschatology first of all from a purely empirical and theoretical basis.

1. 2nd law of thermodynamics ensures the universe will end, and with it all life

2. The sun will one day engulf the world based on know physics. Life on Earth will be extinguished.

3. John Sanford’s genetic entropy indicates our genes our deteriorating rapidly. World class geneticist Brian Sykes at Oxford estimates humanity as we know it will end in 100,000 years.

4. Population explotion, environmental concerns, nuclear and biological terrorism around the corner. In a couple decades home labs can make biological agents almost as easy as making computer viruses. Plagues can happen I’m sad to say.

All the above are based on known science without invoking any theology whatsover. As my truly favorite humanist philosopher lamented :

Such, in outline, but even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which Science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home. That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins–all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.

–Bertrand Russell

How then in the light of science can we find hope given these very sad considerations?

The only way is if science affirms the Bible’s history, then, it lends confidence to its other claims. If indeed science shows the Bible has been a reliable guide to history (such as Adam and Eve) then, there is hope the words can be trusted. Granted there is still an element of trust, but if science shows that Adam and Eve and all the world has been specially created, then there is a ray of hope.

That said, if the Bible is shown trustworthy in making the appropriate description of God’s miraculous creation of Adam, then the prophecies tell us of what will happen in the end. The problem is deciphering what it says.

I don’t myself know the answer but I will lay out various views:

1. Post-Millenial
2. A-Millenial
3. Historic Pre-Millenial
4. Dispensational Pre-Millenial

Historic Pre-Millenial is the least figurative and plain reading of the book of revelation. There is the great tribulation which last for seven years. The early church fathers believed Christians would be persecuted and would not be “raptured” before all the bad things happened. This is consistent with what they experienced since so many of them knew of accounts of torture and being fed to the lions. It was quite reasonable for them to believe members of their congregation would be slaughtered when the anti-Christ took hold of power.

To this day, I can’t see how Tim LaHaye’s “left behind” can be taken as absolutely true. Christian throughout history have not accepted this sort of magical rescue, and I certainly don’t see it in the scriptures where the Lord explictly says His entire church will magically disappear and be spared from trouble.

If I’m wrong, fine. That would be nice. However, we have these sobering words from Revelation:

He who has an ear, let him hear.

If anyone is to go into captivity,
into captivity he will go.
If anyone is to be killed[c] with the sword,
with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.

We do know the Lord will spare some churches

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

and this possible allusion to part of the church that is able to flee to the desolate places

The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring– those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

14 years ago

I love that joke, Teleologist.
I would presume it originated with Emo Phillips (at least I hope he didn’t hack it).
I saw him do it on one of those HBO comedy specials in the 80s, when stand-up was the new rock-and-roll.
I loved all those comics.

Here is Emo’s version of this joke, along with many others.
I should find you a video, but I’m a little lazy.

14 years ago

I don’t know who originated it. I first read it in one of those office humor email, you know the type, 4 or 5 a day. Mostly junk mail really, but apparently some must think it funny enough to propagate. Of all the hundreds of humor emails that come across cyberspace, there are probably only a couple of dozens that was actually funny. Of those, only a hand full is memorable. This was one of them.

I’ve never heard of emo, but looking at his pic on wiki. I can almost imagine what he must be like in person. A high pitch, high strung, neurotic individual. He may not be that way at all, but that’s just how I imagine him to be.