There are numerous ways in which Christianity differs from many other world religions, and from ancient mythologies. One of the most significant is the concept of creation ex nihilo. Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase that means “out of nothing.” The doctrine of creation ex nihilo asserts that before the creation of the cosmos, nothing existed but God alone. No thing at all. Then God spoke into existence the material universe. It was created by divine fiat, by the order of God. The universe was not created out of any kind of preexisting material, for nothing existed before the creation. Continue reading
Several years ago I set myself the task of writing an essay without using the letter “e.” It was more daunting than I thought it would be. It became a real challenge. I had to read and reread my drafts over and over. Those pesky little critters (“e’s,” that is) kept creeping in everywhere. I would be sure that I had expunged them all. “Out, you varmints!” And then, lo and behold, another one! It took a while to finish that piece.
After that experience, I wanted to again do something difficult. So I decided I would challenge myself again. But how? Then I hit upon an idea. I would write about nothing. Hmmmmm! Here are the results of my meanderings in the realm of nothingness. Continue reading
An area that I find fascinating to study is quantum theory and the world of sub-atomic reality. Here is a world that is more bizarre than any science fiction story. Things are both particles and waves. Particles can be in two places in the same time. Once particles interact they can affect one another instantaneously, although separated by great distances. Time speeds up and slows down. Reality is affected by the simple act of observation. (We have to wait until the box is opened to find out if that live/dead cat is actually either one.) Things pop into and out of existence. And chance and randomness and probability seem to be the order of the day. Continue reading
In discussing the theory of evolution, I have often mentioned the fact that processes of organic evolution are all random events. Contrary to the idea of a Creator who designed the cosmos, evolution is squarely based on chance. However, I have been taken to task for this assertion. The objection I have heard is this: Natural Selection is not a random process. This is the position of noted scientist (and atheist) Richard Dawkins. Dawkins asserts that natural selection is a “non-random force.” He says there is an inherent determinism in natural selection. Multitudes of generations of genetic selection have caused the inevitable survivability of a species. There is a natural design and order in this process. My question is this: Is natural selection, and thus Darwinian evolution itself, something that is deterministic and non-random or is it truly random? Continue reading