(Originally posted September 2013; updated June 2021)
My title, “An Atheist Response Turns Into Evidence of God,” is worded that way because if the evidence used against God is said to be proof against His existence… and later it is shown that such evidence actually support the God hypothesis, it doesn’t cease being evidence, it just changes columns (or can be in both). Much to the skeptics chagrin. (In other words, “natural evil” turns out not to be so evil.)
First order of business: God Talk
Mind you, these are consequences of a fallen world, i.e., things that must happen via entropy in order for life to continue when not sustained directly — like before the fall. One commentator put it thus:
The question then becomes how do we know if a particular natural disaster is directly from God. The answer is simple. We don’t know. What we do know is that the ratio of the very small number of God-announced natural disasters compared to the total number of naturally occurring natural disasters is very, very small. So we can safely assume that a natural disaster is probably just that, a naturally occurring phenomena that happens because we live in a fallen world [….] So let’s stop blaming God for something that He didn’t directly cause…. (DAVE MAYNARD)
However, as an aside, “fullness of history” itself is known by God alone, so verses like this make known a great mystery that all of it bends to the “arch of God,” if you will:
He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He planned in Him for the administration [dispensation] of the days of fulfillment [of times]—to bring everything together in the Messiah, both things in heaven and things on earth in Him. (Ephesians 1:9-10)
While Christian thinkers often have used speculative methods in an attempt to explain the interplay of God’s sovereignty and human responsibility, finite creatures likely will never fully understand this mystery. Yet believers can live in the full confidence that God is in control and that the Lord of the universe always does what is right (Genesis 18:25b).
Another example is that hurricanes help to regulate the earths temperature, and cause “sea deserts” to bloom… assisting in many ways earth’s climate:
“Some parts of the ocean are like deserts, because there isn’t enough food for many plants to grow. A hurricane’s high winds stir up the ocean waters and help bring nutrients and phytoplankton to the surface, where they get more sunlight, allowing the plants to bloom,” Babin said. (NASA | NASA)
Why are these “blooms” important, you ask? Well, the blooms produces most of the worlds oxygen, one old article I noted said 90% — but in fact it is closer to 50% (NATGEO says %50… still, that’s the lions share!), and revitalizes what is known as “Dead Zones” in the ocean. Which bring life in “blooms” to the ocean which feed its inhabitants. To wit:
In the process of photosynthesis, phytoplankton release oxygen into the water. Half of the world’s oxygen is produced via phytoplankton photosynthesis. The other half is produced via photosynthesis on land by trees, shrubs, grasses, and other plants.
….“Most certainly,” says Steve DiMarco, a Texas A&M University oceanography professor who for 16 years has studied the Gulf of Mexico, which has a “dead zone”where oxygen-depleted water can kill marine life.
In early July, most of the Texas-Louisiana shelf from Freeport, Texas, to the Mississippi River Delta was hypoxic – meaning the salt water has lost large amounts of oxygen. Later in July, Hurricane Dolly disrupted the dead zone and re-oxygenated the shallow waters south of Louisiana and the entire shelf off Texas. Oxygen levels started to drop again within days after the storm.
In early August, Hurricane Eduard re-oxygenated the Louisiana shelf, but by mid-August oxygen concentrations dropped to hypoxic levels.
And guess what?
Hurricane Ike re-oxygenated the shelf when it made landfall Sept. 12 in Texas. The latest data collected in October showed oxygen concentrations nearly all at normal levels, DiMarco said….
…New research provides yet another component that appears fine-tuned for life. In a letter in the September 27, 2007 issue of Nature together with a corresponding news release from the University of Bonn, Arno Rohrbach and his colleagues have discussed another mechanism similar to the carbonate-silicate cycle. It also depends on plate tectonics but, in this case, the mechanism controls the amount of oxygen on the surface of the Earth.
Oxygen becomes bound up in various oxides which are then drawn into the Earth’s interior, where various processes result in its being incorporated into an exotic mineral called majorite. The results reported in this letter established that majorite functions as a kind of “reservoir” for oxygen, and when the majorite ascends nearer to the surface of the Earth it breaks down and releases its oxygen. Some of this oxygen also binds with hydrogen released from the interior of the Earth to form water. The authors have referred to the whole process as an “oxygen elevator.”
They go on to say that “without the ‘oxygen elevator’ in its mantle the Earth would probably be a barren planet hostile to life. According to our findings, planets below a certain size hardly have any chance of forming a stable atmosphere with a high water content.”
This research confirms the existence of one more finely tuned mechanism that depends on plate tectonics and contributes to an environment that can support life. It also gives humans one more reason to be appreciative rather than dismayed when we experience an earthquake that breaks some precious possessions beyond repair.
In other words, the skeptic should be THANKING God for the environment that allows life. The gift of life and the opportunity to know and have a relationship with your Creator is a miracle! And is why God is a jealous God and burns with righteous anger at the rejection of giving Him alms — instead the non-regenerate use even their breath to curse Him.
If a good God made the world why has it gone wrong? And for many years I simply refused to listen to the Christian answers to this question, because I kept on feeling “whatever you say and however clever your arguments are, isn’t it much simpler and easier to say that the world was not made by any intelligent power? Aren’t all your arguments simply a complicated attempt to avoid the obvious?” But then that threw me back into another difficulty.
My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I gotten this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too — for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist — in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless — I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality — namely my idea of justice — was full of sense. Consequently, atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (San Francisco, CA: Harper San Francisco, 1952), 38-39.
The 2013 hurricane season just ended as one of the five quietest years since 1960. But don’t expect anyone who pointed to last year’s hurricanes as “proof” of the need to act against global warming to apologize; the warmists don’t work that way.
Warmist claims of a severe increase in hurricane activity go back to 2005 and Hurricane Katrina. The cover of Al Gore’s 2009 book, “Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis,” even features a satellite image of the globe with four major hurricanes superimposed.
Yet the evidence to the contrary was there all along. Back in 2005 I and others reviewed the entire hurricane record, which goes back over a century, and found no increase of any kind. Yes, we sometimes get bad storms — but no more frequently now than in the past. The advocates simply ignored that evidence — then repeated their false claims after Hurricane Sandy last year.
And the media play along. For example, it somehow wasn’t front-page news that committed believers in man-made global warming recently admitted there’s been no surface global warming for well over a decade and maybe none for decades more. Nor did we see warmists conceding that their explanation is essentially a confession that the previous warming may not have been man-made at all.
That admission came in a new paper by prominent warmists in the peer-reviewed journal Climate Dynamics. They not only conceded that average global surface temperatures stopped warming a full 15 years ago, but that this “pause” could extend into the 2030s.
But keep in mind, our total CO2 (carbon) emissions is no laughing matter:
Obviously, Then, CO2 and Climate Are Not Connected
1. The Mean Global Temperature has been stable since 1997, despite a continuous increase of the CO2 content of the air: how could one say that the increase of the CO2 content of the air is the cause of the increase of the temperature? (discussion: p. 4)
2. 57% of the cumulative anthropic emissions since the beginning of the Industrial revolution have been emitted since 1997, but the temperature has been stable. How to uphold that anthropic CO2 emissions (or anthropic cumulative emissions) cause an increase of the Mean Global Temperature?
Besides the Global Warming crowd blaming everything on it (even the violence in the “arab spring“!), its failed predictions about no ice in the north-pole, no more snow in europe, islands drowning, polar bear numbers, and the like… Al Gore’s claims about Hurricanes is [again], laughable, to wit: when you even lose Jeraldo Rivera, your leftist stance may be very luaghable:
The first hurricane of the season has formed on or after September 1 only 25 times in the past 161 years. Since the satellite era began in the mid-1960s, there have only been five years without a hurricane by August 31. The last time a hurricane failed to form before September 1 was in 2002 when Hurricane Gustav formed on September 11.
It would be foolish to make fun of anything involving such potentially dangerous storms and it’s also possible we could still see many late developing storms. However, given all the misleading information passed off on the topic by Gore, his allies and a fawning media, hopefully any lack of serious storm activity won’t be buried by the media for political reasons.
As everyone knows, climate orthodoxy holds that climate change from carbon emissions is going to make extreme weather more extreme. So I won’t hold my breath waiting to hear the climatistas commenting on this story from the Bezos BulletinWashington Post today:
In the whirlwind that is 2018, there has been a notable lack of high-end twisters.
We’re now days away from this becoming the first year in the modern record with no violent tornadoes touching down in the United States… It was a quiet year for tornadoes overall, with below normal numbers most months. Unless you’re a storm chaser, this is not bad news. The low tornado count is undoubtedly a big part of the reason the 10 tornado deaths in 2018 are also vying to be a record low.
The story also offers this chart of tornado trends over the last several decades:
….Figure 1 [top] shows all tornadoes above EF1. (See here, why EF1’s are excluded.) The 10-Year Trend is significantly below the level consistently seen up to 1991, although the high totals in 2011 have inevitably caused a small upwards blip.
We see a similar pattern with the stronger EF3+ tornadoes.
I do not claim to know what will happen to tornado numbers in coming years. And anyone who does is lying.
This is a story from NewsBusters (http://tinyurl.com/noo9bdo), and I decided to isolate the portion that the story references. A Los Angeles Times reporter, Stacey Lessca, asks a question about the connection between hurricanes and tornadoes in regards to climate change/global warming. The research climatologist from the National Severe Storms Laboratory, Robin Tanamachi, corrects this understanding mentioning that the data does not support this idea.
Max Planck Institute For Meteorology: “Prognoses Confirm Model Forecasts” Warming Postponed “Hundreds Of Years”
Now that global temperatures have not risen in 15 years, a number of scientists find themselves having great difficulty coming to terms with that new reality.
The Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) in Hamburg is no exception. For years the institute insisted that the man-made climate catastrophe was real and happening now. Today it finds itself scrambling for a backdoor.
“Jochem Marotzke is part of a team of the world’s most renowned climate scientists who have taken the most recent development of the surface temperature into account in order to forecast how the Earth will heat up from the greenhouse effect, foremost from carbon dioxide (CO2). These prognoses confirm that the climate models correctly forecast global warming trend over multiple decades, that is until the middle or the end of the 21st century.There is no wise reason for calling off the alarm. Because the climate has a very high thermal inertia and the oceans warm up only very slowly, it’s going to take some time before the effects of the greenhouse gases completely take hold. A warming from the greenhouse effect will be amplified by numerous feedbacks, and weakened by a few processes. Only when this complicated interaction quiets down will the climate come to a stable condition. This long-term reaction by the climate is called equilibrium climate sensitivity (ESC) and is calculated by climate scientists. It is the final temperature increase that comes from a doubling of CO2 concentration, and will probably occur first after a few hundred years.“
WHY? I mean, why all the dire predictions? I think it has to do with what William Paley called the “God Shaped Vacuum”
~ Blaise Pascal, Pensées
“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”
People who are rabidly secular…
After college I worked as an appointee in the Clinton administration from 1992 to 1998. The White House surrounded me with intellectual people who, if they had any deep faith in God, never expressed it. Later, when I moved to New York, where I worked in Democratic politics, my world became aggressively secular. Everyone I knew was politically left-leaning, and my group of friends was overwhelmingly atheist. ~ Kirsten Powers
…still need some religious experience. And this religion, environmentalism with progressive leanings, needs an eschatology. Just like there being people in the Christian world that specialize in the “end-times” scenarios ~ eschatology — so too are there people in secularism that provide this “fix” for the vacuum. They just make waaaaay more money than the Christian heralders of the apocalypse. Way more.