Monday, October 18, 2010

"'Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life" - Prominent Physcist

It seems that a prominent physicist has gotten tired of the unscientific behavior of the so-called "scientific community" in the Global Warming scam. Harold Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has send in his resignation letter to the American Physical Society, citing their unscientific behavior as his reason. The letter, addressed to the APS president Curt G. Callen Jr., states as follows:

Dear Curt:

When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’ĂȘtre of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:

1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate

2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.

3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.

4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the open.

5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.

6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.

APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?

I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.

Hal

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Practical effect of a false doctrine of healing

Over at Call It Grace, Soon Beng has posted an excellent missive on the practical effect of a false doctrine of healing in the life of someone he knows.

Someone I know recently died from lung cancer. She was 50 years old. Apparently, her brother, who is from NCC [New Creation Church], was fervently praying for her to be healed right up to the moment she drew her last gasp of air, refusing to let go of the hope that she would be miraculously healed after two years of fighting the disease. Her 15 year old daughter is now very angry with God for not answering their prayers. Her husband, who is a new Christian, is very confused. Her brother feels very guilty that he did not have "enough faith" to save her.

That's the problem with wrong theology. Theology is not just about dry doctrinal disputes - it makes a huge difference in how you live your life, how you die (me? I would like to have it said - God willing - that I died with a smile on my face), and how you relate to God.

Doctrine has implications, and false doctrines has consequences, some serious. We get angry with false doctrines and false teachers not because we love to argue and be right, but because false doctrines have consequences in real life. In this case, the false doctrine promoted by NCC could very well lead to people apostatizing from the faith. These people are taught that God will always heal, and when the inevitable comes when God does not heal as they have been taught he would always do so, their faith is shaken and may be shattered beyond repair. If they apostatized from the faith, they would be hardened against the Gospel message because they have "Been there, Done that". They would have "tried" the faith, but reality in their experience has shown "Christianity" to be false, or at least their version of Christianity which the false teacher has taught them, and who is there to tell them the difference?

The role of a watchman is a thankless task. The haters (AODMers) continue in their mocking, yet they show their hatred by preferring souls to be led astray instead of false teachers to be named and marked. They love the wolves and not the sheep. In this case, they would rather people lose their faith and be hardened against the Gospel rather than Joseph Prince to be called a false prophet and teacher. Of course, seeing their hatred for the flock, they would probably be wolves themselves who love nothing than for the flock to follow and adore them instead of Christ.

So what should we do with those who follow these false prophets? We should warn them. They may very well hate us (since men love darkness rather than light), but we may impress the truth upon them so that when such a crisis come, they would hopefully come to see the light as God may use the situation to bring them to Himself. When the "theology" taught by the false teachers do not work (which they will not), we hope that they would recall their anger at our warnings and in desperation seriously think through the issue according to Scripture. For who knows whether God will use such a situation to bring them to their senses?

Thursday, October 07, 2010

This is called worship at Saddleback Church

This is a part of Saddleback Church's worship. I really wonder who is being worshipped here, plus what biblical basis do any of the lyrics have.

James White on Rick Warren at DG2010

Dr. James White has recently been "forced" to listen to and evaluate Rick Warren's DG2010 "sermon" on the recent No Compromise radio talk show here with Mike Abendroth. Together with Chris Rosebrough's evaluation, Warren's message has been shown to be totally unbiblical, or perhaps since Warren defines sin as mental illness, he is being particularly insane while giving that "sermon".

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Rick Warren: The use of psychoanalysis and the violation of Mt. 7:1

@RickWarren: Some people only feel close to God when they're angry & attacking. It's caused by fear & deep disappointment. Just love them.

(Source)

One characteristic seen in the twitter feed during DG2010 after Warren's "message", for example in Ed Stetzer's tweet, is the judgmental attitude of these leaders and/or followers towards their critics. A recent Rick Warren tweet perfectly illustrates the issue at hand.

I know a brother in Christ whom I shall not name who I would place in the New Calvinist camp. One of the conflicts we previously have had was over something akin to this. It amazes me constantly how much information they think they can infer from, in this case my actions on the blogosphere, and from there psychoanalyze me. I have heard it myself that in his view, the critics who have the same view as me and encourage me on many of these issues (ie being against Rick Warren) are most probably men who hide in their mothers' basements in some house in Grand Rapids, Michigan, typing away on their computers.

My intention here is not to attack my friend who has since apologized, especially because he is indeed genuinely concerned for me (although the concern was misplaced), but to use this episode as an example of what it seems is epidemic within the so-called Evangelical and New [Evangelical] Calvinist mindset. I am astonished where all these stereotypes come from, and am sad that those who are termed "critics" are pigeonholed into these categories and judged as such.

Warren's latest tweet, as I have mentioned, perfectly illustrates the problem. The question is: How does Warren (or anyone else for that matter except for God) knows that the critics are critics because of "fear and deep disappointment"? I can grant that some critics may be such, but upon what basis does Warren judged the motives of any and every particular person of whom some he has never even meet or converse in person (not that such would excuse Warren anyway)?

Mt. 7:1-5 state:

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. (Mt. 7:1-5)

As Matthew Henry exposited this passage:

The prohibition; Judge not. We must judge ourselves, and judge our own acts, but we must not judge our brother, not magisterially assume such an authority over others, as we allow not them over us: since our rule is, to be subject to one another. Be not many masters, Jam. iii. 1. ... We must not judge rashly, nor pass such a judgment upon our brother as has no ground, but is only the product of our own jealousy and ill nature. We must not make the worst of people, nor infer such invidious things from their words and actions as they will not bear. We must not judge uncharitably, unmercifully, nor with a spirit of revenge, and a desire to do mischief. We must not judge of a man's state by a single act, nor of what he is in himself by what he is to us, because in our own cause we are apt to be partial. We must not judge the hearts of others, nor their intentions, for it is God's prerogative to try the heart, and we must not step into his throne; ...

— Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible (Source). Bold added

Warren stands in blatant violation of Mt. 7:1 in its original meaning of the verse. As Matthew Henry later points out, this passage is not against judging per se but hypocritical judging (and judging of motives). In the same way that we judge we will be judged (cf Mt. 7:2). The Warren critics that I know of use the standard of the Word of God, and therefore we will be held to the same standard of orthodoxy that we use with regards to the application of Mt. 7. Warren however judges intentions based upon his bias interpretation of the actions of others, and his own standard of judging will automatically condemn him. The last command by Warren "Just love them" is so condescending it is insulting and demeaning to anyone it applies to, as if critics are to be treated like insane relatives who are to be loved and their insane actions are to be tolerated because they can't make themselves behave properly.

Is this how the New Calvinists are going to treat critics? If so, they stand in violation of Mt. 7:1 and in fact violate the ninth commandment in bearing false witness against the brethren.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Chris Rosebrough's analysis of Warren's sermon at DG2010

Chris Rosebrough has recently analyzed Rick Warren's DG2010 conference message on his Fighting for the Faith podcast. Hearing Warren's sermon myself and not just reading the notes, I am astonished how unorthodox it is, to say the least; it was worse than I thought from reading the notes. Warren's message is truly Christless Christian Moral Therapeutic Deism as its "best". Half truths and twisting of Scripture are ubiquitous throughout the message, showing Warren's seeming inability NOT to twist Scripture.

It is indeed sad to see the New Calvinists vigorously defending John Piper and now Rick Warren. It seems to me that a significant portion of the New Calvinist movement is engaging in hero worship of the prominent leaders within the movement, and whatever these leaders do and say are always correct. Ironically, the theme of the DG2010 conference is "Think", but it seems that the New Calvinists just checked in their brains when it comes to the actions and teachings of their leaders.

One of the prominent New Calvinists, Ed Stetzer, had tweeted:

Disappointed to see the trolls out during the @RickWarren #DGNC message. Get a new "ministry." #TiredOfAngryCalvinists (Source)

It seems to me that a significant proportion of the New Calvinist movement have taken on the characteristics of the world in her rebellion against God. The [political] Liberals tend to label those who disagree with them on issues such as "homosexual marriage" as "bigots". Similarly, it seems that a lot of Christians are ready to slap labels and infer motives of those who disagree with them on whatever topic. So those who are against Warren and Piper's invitation to Warren are judged to be "haters", "trolls" and "fundamentalists" ad infinitum ad nauseum.

If there is one time Mt. 7:1 really does have a proper application instead of being normally misquoted, it is here. It is simply astonishing to me how the motives of those who disagree with Warren, and Piper and the New Calvinists, have been inferred and attacked. One wonders what basis are such ad-hominem attacks based upon. Where are the biblical counter-arguments disputing our disagreements with Warren or Piper's invitation to Warren? If there is (besides Richard Abanes' terrible booklet which I have refuted in my book), I have yet to see any of them.

I will wait for the New Calvinist biblical counter-arguments to defend such blatant compromise, but I am not holding my breath for that to happen. If personal experience is anything to go by, the demand for biblical counter argumentation will be ignored together with our warnings, and the New Calvinists will continue their "ministries" while moving along the downgrade.

After all, wasn't it said that "The road to hell is marked with good intentions"? Experience, intuition and motives are never reliable indicators of truth and faithfulness to God's Word, and this applies to those of the New Calvinists too.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Rick Warren and more twisting of Scripture

Over at BetterThanSacrifice.Org, Rick Warren's twisting of Scripture in his DG2010 conference message is exposed as can be seen here.

Much of modern evangelicalism seems to be fixated upon the idea that we can only progress as individual Christians and the church if we are pursing a dream or vision. This tendency is epitomized in these two claims:

Nothing happens till somebody starts dreaming. What we need today are great dreamers.

Those words occur not on the website of some ‘best-life-now’ life coach, but, rather surprisingly, in a post over at the Desiring God website:

There we are given the command to ‘Let God stretch your imagination’ and told that ‘Nothing happens till somebody starts dreaming. What we need today are great dreamers.’

Now, where exactly does the Bible teach any of this?

[more]

It seems that twisting of Scripture is a pathological condition for Rick Warren; sadly he just can't stop doing it.

Short review of Esther Meek's book Longing to Know

In the course of my readings, I have to read this particular book by Esther Meek. Here is a short review of the book which I have posted on Amazon.com

In this book, Meek seeks to discuss the act of knowing. As per the subtitle of this book, Meek utilizes simple words and metaphors in an attempt to bring this topic of epistemology (the philosophy of knowing) to the ordinary person on the street. More specifically, Meek writes for a few classes of people: 1) people who wrestle with questions concerning truth and the possibility of knowledge, 2) people who had presumed someone else's answers for questions which they now have to decide for themselves, and 3) people who are considering questions about truth and how we as Christians know the truth. (Foreword, pp. 7-8). Through discussing the act of knowing, Meek seeks to show us how we can truly know something to be true in this postmodern times.

Unfortunately, when Meek's book was perused, it has been found out that Meek embraces the postmodern Michael Polanyi's epistemology and passes it off as Christian. Like Polanyi and Kuhn, Meek seeks to build a relational focused non-absolutist objective epistemology in which the locus of truth is found in relationships primarily and/or secondarily in the believing community.

As an example of such postmodern non-absolutism, Meek on page 60 states:

Truth is always somebody's truth, in the sense that a truth claim is a truth claimed, a truth that somebody claims or asserts. (p. 57)

It [the act of Knowing] is not subjectivistic; it is human,... (p. 60)

Elsewhere, Meek constantly reminds us that knowing is something which humans do, an assertion which is however vacuous. Of course humans are the ones doing the knowing, not machines! The contrast has never been between subjectivistic and human, but subjectivist and objectivist, and between non-absolutist and absolutist. Truth is either outside of us in the sense that we don't determine truth but God does (absolutist objectivist), in relationship and/or within the believing community (non-absolutist objectivist) or determined by the individual (subjectivist). By creating a false dichotomy between subjectivism and being human, Meek skews the issue towards the relational and/or communitarian focus as opposed to the theocentric focus of traditional Christianity.

Meek further confuses learning with knowing, thinking that the two events are the same. In her own words, "What the modern model of knowing refused to admit was the existence and necessity of knowing that can't be put into words." (p 65). With this, Meek criticizes modernist epistemologies for reducing knowledge to cognition, thus ignoring other aspects of learning.

In this however, Meek fails to understand what epistemology is. Epistemology does not cover how people learn things, but how people know things. We learn how to play the piano, but we don't know to play the piano. We can know the technique of playing the piano, but we don't know playing the piano per se. So while epistemology does cover skills, it covers learning of skills as techniques (which can be expressed cognitively) not as the action itself per se.

Meek subsequently denigrates deduction. In its place she extols what she calls "integration", which is "The human effort that links clues to focus and beyond" (p. 75). The problem with this of course is a basic epistemic question: Upon what basis are such clues chosen to be integrated into whatever system of knowing that Meek desires to create?

When we look at the Polanyian edifice that Meek finally creates, a most glaring problem arises. Since the system is non-absolutist objectivist, then what apologetic can be mustered for saying that others are wrong as long as these other systems fulfill the criteria of "confidence in their system as having contact with the world"? If the locus of truth is some mystical undefined relationship and/or the believing community, does this mean that outside the community, these "truths" will not apply? Do the truth values of whatever truths in this system change when the values of the believing community similarly change?

It must be said that Meek's book as a purely descriptive book on the human process of knowing and struggling to understand truths is frank and helpful. However, if one were to use it for epistemology proper, Meek's theory fails tremendously. It is not even Scriptural but based upon the theories of Michael Polanyi. Meek does not seem to understand the main issue of epistemology, which is not the process of knowing (although that is important), but also how we can know what we know to be true. The Christian answer has always been to appeal to Scripture as the final authority, not some vague mystical "relationship" or some "believing community". God is the one who determines truth, not through a mystical relational imparting or the Church. God speaks and we respond to that revelation as truth.

It is sad that this book was written from supposedly Reformed academic circles. Coming from the tradition which prioritizes the authority of God's Word over the thoughts of Man, one would have expected the final authority of Scripture to be taught and emphasized in any epistemology Meek advocated.

Instead of this book, Robert Reymond's one (Faith's Reasons for Believing) is a more excellent alternative towards a truly Christian epistemology.

Friday, October 01, 2010

The Martyrdom of Polycarp

The early church spreads by proclaiming the Gospel. In the pluralistic Greco-Roman world, as it is now in some sense, early Christians were regarded as "atheists" because they denied that the other gods of the nations were truly gods.

It is in this light when we read of the martyrdom of Polycarp. Polycarp was the disciple of the Apostle John, and was martyred by being burnt at the stake for his faith. In the trial, it happened as follows:

...

While he spoke these and many other like things, he was filled with confidence and joy, and his countenance was full of grace, so that not merely did it not fall as if troubled by the things said to him, but, on the contrary, the proconsul was astonished, and sent his herald to proclaim in the midst of the stadium thrice, “Polycarp has confessed that he is a Christian.”

This proclamation having been made by the herald, the whole multitude both of the heathen and Jews, who dwelt at Smyrna, cried out with uncontrollable fury, and in a loud voice, “This is the teacher of Asia, the father of the Christians, and the overthrower of our gods, he who has been teaching many not to sacrifice, or to worship the gods.”

...

In light of the pressure in society towards pluralism, and so-called "religious tolerance" and "harmony", it is instrumental that we know what Polycarp was charged with and what our faith is about.

Remember these verses:

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. (John 15:18-21)

Yet

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)