Friday, 22 August 2014

Morality of survival of the fittest

..of course, if you actually read Darwin, it has really always been about 'non survival of the least fit'. Like kids with Down's Syndrome, which is of course a mutation.

The amateur philosopher Richard Dawkins is in the news again after stating that it is 'immoral' to allow a child with Down's Syndrome to be born, i.e. immoral NOT to kill them in the womb by abortion. His fellow atheist philosopher Stephen Pinker would go further, Google his views on infanticide.

The most interesting aspect of this conversation is Dawkins' use of the term 'immoral'.  Just what does he mean by morality? By what standard? Answerable to whom? Why? How is there any morality in his godless, accidental universe as we while away our pointless lives in the interval between the big bang and the heat death of the pointless universe?

Just what does Dawkins, or any of us, mean by appealing to 'morality'?

I know. But do you?

Bad Arguments for Evolution

Great article on Creation Ministries International on Arguments Evolutionists Should Not Use.


I hear them used absolutely all the time, and with great confidence.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Richard Dawkins and Fairy Tales

 The amateur theologian and philosopher Richard Dawkins has been back pedalling after his comments against the practice of reading fairy tales to children have been widely criticised by some people who actually knew what they were talking about and had some evidence to support their views. He made the comments at a literary festival in Cheltenham. A link can be found here

Interestingly, there were some reflections on storytelling, willing suspension of disbelief, the meaning that fantastic tales can carry etc. in my last post about Godzilla, which was posted before these comments of Dawkins were reported. Anyway.....

I had to laugh when I heard that Dawkins said that children should not be read traditional fairy stories as, for example it was ‘extremely statistically improbable’ that a frog should turn into a prince. For this same Dawkins believes that hydrogen atoms turned into people, including princes, by random processes which utterly defy probability and cannot be demonstrated. 
Imagine the kind of bedtime stories that would be told if the old bigmouth had his way..... 
'Now listen carefully children. Once upon a time there was Nothing, then the Nothing exploded and made everything, including time and the laws of physics. Then the particles from the Big Bang clumped together and made stars, and the stars made heavy elements like iron, oxygen and tin. Then some of the stars blew up and showered bits of star dust everywhere, then some of the bits stuck together and made the earth (with its perfectly balanced moon). A load of water came to earth from somewhere and together with some volcano gas and sparks made the first amoebas, some of which turned into sponges, worms, jellyfish, snails, fish, frogs, reptiles, birds, apes and then finally you and I.  And there was no designer or god of any sort, it all just happened. Because it did.
This is not make believe, although I AM going to MAKE you BELIEVE it.
Good night children (depending on what we mean by 'good' in an evolutionary sense) and remember THERE IS NO GOD.'

He talks about 'improbable events' but famously refuses to debate with people such as Stephen Meyer who dare to challenge him on the mathematical probability of the processes which supposedly led molecules to man evolution, which is the Fairy Tale that Dawkins demands that all children are indoctrinated with from the earliest age. Meyer’s Book ‘Signature in the Cell’ used only mathematical arguments to show that the existence of the information on the DNA molecule is profoundly statically impossible without a designer. It is not a religious book, yet while both men were on US book tours, Dawkins refused invitations to debate Meyer’s arguments in public, writing him off as a ‘creationist’. Dawkins has elsewhere advised his followers not to enter rational debate with Christians or creationists but to abuse and insult them.

He says that instead of being taught traditional tales, which as one expert said can carry some moral and social values (e.g. Little Red Riding Hood teaches young girls to beware predatory male adult strangers) they should be taught ‘scientific rigour’.  However, as we saw over the Michael Reiss affair, in which Dawkins and others at the Royal Society forced an innocent man out of his job for merely suggesting that Darwin dissent in the classroom should be met with politely and a request for evidence. The Dawkins line is that children must be taught that Darwinian evolution is an unchallengeable dogma that may not be questioned. Even the fact of the existence of scientifically literate disagreement may not be acknowledged in the classroom.

Traditional Fairy Tales are introduced with the phrase ‘Once upon a time...’ which sets the scene for a willing and temporary suspension of incredulity. Dawkins' Fairy Tales are introduced with ‘This is supported by Mountains of Overwhelming Evidence-so don’t ask naughty questions, just believe!’
As I often say, people should read Darwin's 'Origin of Species' and see how often phrases such as 'may we not believe?...I have no difficulty in imagining...I can hardly doubt....' occur to make up for the lack of evidence. Indeed, one of the biggest Fairy Tales of all surround the idea that molecules to man evolution is somehow supported by rigorous scientific facts and repeatable observations. Dawkins is of course one of the greatest purveyors of this Mythos.

Dawkins’ back pedalling is interesting. Like a crafty politician he is always testing the limits to see how much of his agenda the public will tolerate. Just testing the water, although if he is able to drive the climate of opinion just a little further towards a totalitarian intolerance of Christianity.....? When it turns out he has gone slightly too far for the current climate of opinion, he uses the classic 'Oh I was misunderstood...taken out of context....only being ironic.....' strategy after being caught out and revealing his true heart of darkness. He doesn't REALLY want the children of believers taken into care. 'I only said teaching children about Jesus was tantamount to child abuse......' 
But on the other hand, His real target is  of course not traditional children's stories of dragons, witches, dwarves and ogres (although of course like all good atheists he hates the C S Lewis Narnia stories) but is the Christian religion, which he regards as a ‘pernicious’ Fairy Tale’. He wants the teaching of Christianity as truth to children banned. Outlawed. Criminalised. He is careful not to put it in quite so many words. 

Do not be deceived. Take a look at 20th century history to see what hard line atheists actually do when they get into power. One of the first things they always do is take complete control of the ideas to which children are exposed.

PS Dawkins doesn't want children to hear about princesses being rescued from dragons in enchanted castles in case it gives children ideas he finds unacceptable. So how does he feel about shoot-em-up computer games, World of Warcraft, Tour of Duty, Grand Theft Auto etc?


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Radiation eating monsters versus Godzilla -film review

I saw the latest remake of the Japanese classic monster movie Godzilla last week and felt like writing a few comments about evolutionistic aspects of the film. Before continuing I should say I thought it a first class monster movie, and that I understand how we willingly suspend disbelief when storytelling is going on. However, the film was presented as modern-day realistic, and people clearly get at least some of their ideas about life from art, whether novels, songs, theatre or film. I am sure most of the audience felt they were getting a good adventure thriller, and so we were, but we also got a good dose of evolutionary reinforcement as well, largely subliminal.

CAUTION: This review may contain plot spoilers and you might prefer to see the film first.

The dramatically staged introduction included clips from the original Japanese black and white film ‘Gojira’ (fish lizard, nothing to do with any kind of ‘god’) and footage from the 1950s Pacific nuclear weapons tests. There was also a brief, almost subliminal, shot of the frontispiece of Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’, including the subtitle ‘..or, the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.’ That bit of the title usually gets left out, not least due to that other world changing book with the word ‘Struggle’ (*) in the title. Anyway, introductions matter and we were being told that he story had something to do with evolution and radiation.

Some expert geologists/palaeontologists are helicoptered to a mine in the Philippines where a huge chasm has opened up, swallowing 40 workers and much machinery. Deep inside it (‘below the Cambrian’ as we were told) a truly gigantic fossil skeleton is found. They stand inside it’s rib cage which seems to go on for several hundred feet. There is also a huge cocoon like structure. We then learn that another similar structure has been discovered from which something appears to have hatched. We then see a gigantic trail of smashed trees and a vast furrow leading from the mine to the sea.

The next thing is that a nuclear plant in Japan collapses under what appears to have been an earthquake. The whole town is evacuated and kept sealed off. 15 years later we discover through a grief-deranged scientist whose wife died in the disaster that the radioactivity has disappeared and  a secret project is going on, studying and hopefully containing a huge weird cocoon like the one we saw in the Philippines mine. It hatches, from it emerges a gigantic winged and taloned monster that causes great destruction before flying away on huge leathery wings.

The injured researcher at last gets some answers. The pre-Cambrian MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Object) has been awakened at the Philippines earthquake, hatched out, burrowed under the nuclear station to which it was attracted by radiation, and has been consuming the radiation. Yes, it ‘comes from a distant period in the earth’s past when radiation levels were much higher than today’ as the scientist played by Ken Watanabe tells us (or was it his assistant? Please excuse minor inaccuracies, I don't have a transcript). It eats radiation, that's why it was attracted to the nuclear plant. Now it has metamorphosed (we never got to see the earlier form it took, presumably sticking with this story line it was a mega caterpillar) and now having hatched into its adult form has gone looking for some more radiation to eat.

A Russian nuclear submarine goes missing, and is tracked to a remote island jungle where the MUTO is eating it, tearing off great lumps of metal and chewing and swallowing them. The overall reality of the plot and acting and the excellent special effects actually tend to make this evident impossibility reasonably credible. The grey beast has an oddly shaped flat pointy almost metallic head ( a bit like the Shadows in Babylon 5) and bizarre talons (slightly reminiscent of the mysterious monster in the rather nasty ‘monster destroys New York’ film ‘Cloverfield’).

Anyway, it turns out that there was another cocoon, which the secret researchers ‘vivisected’ and then stored in a nuclear waste facility. They go there to discover it has hatched out (what, after being 'vivisected'?), another even larger MUTO, and, horror of horrors, its a female. It has heard the other one’s call and heads to it. Lots of violence, buildings smashed, brave soldiers getting wasted trying to stop it, and airplanes falling out of the sky as MUTO emits EMP (electromagnetic pulses) which disable all electronic devices. ‘This will take us back to the stone age’ we are told by one researcher.

A plan is conceived to move a big H bomb to an offshore site, attract the monsters to it, then blow it up. Because of the EMP grounding planes and disabling electronics, a clockwork H bomb in a Minuteman missile is used. However the male MUTO grabs the bomb. The MUTOs mate (we are thankfully spared the sight) and a cluster of football sized eggs is laid around the missile, each with a vile monster embryo wriggling inside it. Certainly quite amazing to go from fertilised ovum to chicken sized hatchling in a couple of hours.

Godzilla turns up, bigger than an aircraft carrier, and fights the MUTOs, eventually killing both in dramatic fashion. He then gives a victory roar and swims off into the sunset, fulfilling scientist Watanabe’s hopes about Gojira ‘restoring the balance’. The monster is hailed as a ‘Saviour’ (and he does indeed appear to rise from the dead after sacrificing himself to save San Francisco, although not sadly its iconic bridge, destroyed in so many films of this kind.). 

Where do I start?

Godzilla is taller than a skyscraper, big enough to cause a tsunami. How would his blood circulate that kind of distance from heart to extremities. is he air breathing (apparently), if so how does he live unseen at 10,000 feet? What would he eat? And how could something so big, or rather a breeding population of them, survive undetected from the pre-Cambrian? OK, it’s only a monster movie, we can let that kind of stuff go.

regarding the MUTOs, the assumption that a living thing of any kind, let alone a very large one, could survive in a cocoon from the pre-Cambrian is really in the ‘The cow jumped over the moon’ category of, shall we say, very highly improbable. More to the point, the idea that such a creature (**) could ‘eat radiation’ is even more bizarre. The grammar doesn’t even make sense. You could in theory eat uranium, but first you’d have to extract it from the ore in which it occurs, a long and complicated task (as we know from discussions about Iran’s centrifuges).
But radiation isn’t in any possible sense a foodstuff-it is destructive, just like a bullet from a gun. Whether gamma rays, ultraviolet rays, or charged particles, it is a purely destructive process. But, aha, this is where a ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ comes in, for in evolutionary mythology (remember the homage to Darwin’s Origin of Species in the film’s introduction) mutations (the bad monsters are called MUTOs) are the primary, if not only, agent of change in progressive process whereby newer, fitter, more diverse organism arise. As Darwin wrote, ‘Until the favourable variations chance to arise, natural selection has nothing to work with’. And radiation certainly causes variations, although not favourable ones as many cancer sufferers know to their cost.

In evolutionary storytelling, mutations are good, therefore radiation is good. Only in real life we know that ain’t so. So who is willingly suspending disbelief, and to what end? 

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings trilogy although I am quite clear in my mind that there are no deathless elves, hairy footed hobbits or rings of power. I’m not complaining about seeing fantastic things in a fantasy film. But, although it might carry moral messages we could discuss, LOTR is clearly presented as fantasy. The 2014 remake of Godzilla is presented as somewhat realistic present day science fiction. I think it probable that people will to some extent have their ideas about the inevitability of evolution by natural selection acting on random mutations reinforced by some of the semi-subliminal messages in the film. I am not saying that the producer and director sat down and deliberately planned to make Darwinist propaganda, I’m sure they were more concerned with art, fame and money, but the message is there all the same. It is ubiquitous, and it is never questioned. The most effective propaganda is the propaganda of which you are completely unaware.

Nevertheless I thought Godzilla a pretty good state of the art sci-fi monster movie remake. I conclude by noting how many apocalyptic/end of civilisation films are being made these days. Something in the air? As Joni Mitchel sang in 'Woodstock'
'maybe its just the time of year, or maybe its the time of Man...'
(*) Mein Kampf (my struggle) by Adolf Hitler

(**) The term 'creature' means something created. Technically its incorrect for an evolutionist to use the term, or term s like 'designed', but they often do anyway.






Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easter reflections on intelligent design, science and how we deceive ourselves.

On Easter Sunday I find myself reflecting on the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the event that started the Christian faith. The Christian message of God being born as a man, dying for our sins, and coming back to life before ascending to Heaven to rule until the final judgment is, and offering a free pardon and adoption into God's family with eternal joy for true believers is, if true, evidently the most important thing that has ever happened or will ever happen in the history of the Universe. If Jesus is who he said he was, it would be insane not to follow him. And as Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15, it all hinges on whether or not Jesus was in fact raised from the dead with a new glorified body. 

Deciding whether all this is true or proving beyond doubt that it is not would seem an absolute imperative. So it is surprising that people often merely shrug off or ignore the resurrection, or perhaps even more strangely, say that it may have happened but not doing anything about it.

So is it true? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? And if not, then what? If the resurrection did not happen, we require an alternative explanation for the origin of the Christian church.

Several things are quite literally not in doubt. For a start, the Christian church exists. Like other movements, e.g. Islam, Marxism, Nazism, it had to have had a reason to start existing.
Christianity began in Jerusalem around 50 AD and then spread worldwide, and despite persecution, misrepresentation, corruption and internal conflicts due to treachery, has survived. The men who started the church and spread it worldwide despite persecution insisted that they had seen the risen Christ. The very earliest Christian documents and the testimony of secular/pagan historians puts the testimony of the church founders to the risen Jesus beyond doubt. So we require an explanation for this belief.

The world has offered several alternative explanations for the disciples’ story that they had seen the risen Christ.

1)      Jesus didn’t die, he passed out and came round later in the tomb. He escaped and went into hiding, managing to persuade the disciples that he had risen again.

2)      They had stolen and hidden his body and were deliberately lying.

3)      They had hallucinated.

4)      The whole story was invented by the Romans (e.g. Emperor Constantine) as a means of rule.

I have heard several further alternative explanations that are just too daft to be worth discussing, but the above 4 are the ones I find come up most often. Do they bear rational examination?

Before going any further, I note that I just introduced the term ‘rational’. This term is often claimed by materialists as their own. Not so. Being rational means using reason. To investigate a matter rationally means to assemble and evaluate the relevant evidence, consider alternative possibilities, applying logic, trying to rule mistakes out and establish the truth of a matter. The assertion that being rational means ruling out supernatural explanations is ‘the philosophical assumption of materialism’. I will return to this logical error later, but meanwhile let’s apply a process of reason to the resurrection of Jesus.

1)      Did Jesus swoon and come round later? No. The Romans were good at killing people. Jesus was speared through the heart and blood and water gushed out-this was probably pulmonary oedema fluid from extreme heart failure. There is no prospect of him having survived crucifixion. Even if he had, he would probably have succumbed in the cold tomb later. Even if he had survived, he would have been a broken man and could not possibly have persuaded the disciples that he had risen with a new glorified body. Mega fail. I can hardly believe that people still come out with this tripe.

2)      Did the disciples steal the body and then lie about it? This is the story the Jews put out. Seems unlikely, especially given the demoralised state of the disciples and the Roman guard on the tomb. But even if it were so, we are then left with a group of men who were, in the name of truth, willing to stand up and lie-and die rather than admit they were lying. People will die for a lie they believe in, like Muslim suicide bombers, but who will die for what they know is a lie? The apostles all died under persecution, none of them got rich. This story is unbelievable.

3)      Did the disciples hallucinate that Jesus was risen? This is essentially what the heretic bishop John Shelby Spong proposes in his book ‘Resurrection: Myth or Reality?’ It’s a very weird book and never comes near to proving its case. Spong goes further than the weasel words of bishop Jenkins of Durham who gave the notorious quote about ‘a conjuring trick with bones’, Spong asserts that Jesus would have been buried in a common grave and his bones turned to dust. I don’t want to say much more about Spong here beyond saying that he has made a set of statements of personal belief which are generally agreed to contradict every element of historic and biblical Christian faith. Hallucinations do occur, but there is no record of an enduring mass movement having begun or been sustained by hallucinations. This really makes no sense. The likeliest explanation of Spong asserting that the Christian religion was started by hallucinating disciples is that he insists on a naturalistic explanation and made one up to suit his preferences. He is one of the false teachers that the New Testament warns us about, e.g. in 2 Peter 2: 1-3.

4)      ‘It was all made up’. Well they would say that wouldn’t they. Because if it wasn’t ‘all made up’ then it would have to be true, in which case the only rational response we can make is to fall at Jesus’ feet and worship and obey him.


OK, so where does this tie in with evolution and intelligent design hypothesis? Simple. The exact same line of reasoning is taken in dismissing the Resurrection as in dismissing evidence against molecules to man evolution,.-the evidence points to a conclusion we don’t like, so we’ll fix the rules  of debate so that any evidence pointing to the conclusion we don’t like will be stifled, ignored, misrepresented and forbidden. Supernatural explanations are ruled out even if they fit the facts best. We will apply the assumption of materialism and call it science.

The philosophical assumption of materialism rules out miracles and is also typically used to rule out rational discussion of the intelligent design (ID) hypothesis. ID proponents look at the known facts of biology and rationally evaluate the evidence for Darwinian gradualism (natural selection acting on naturally occurring variations) and ALSO discuss the observable characteristics of things that we know have been designed.
The ID proponent essentially uses a process of reason to attempt to falsify Darwinism, and succeeds. He also studies the observable process of design, and finds that living things and their systems (e.g. photosynthesis, protein synthesis, Krebs cycle, the immune system etc) demonstrate features that point strongly to design. The ID proponent therefore adduces to the most reasonable explanation, which is design. However (and this is one of the key lessons of the notorious Dover mis-trial, which also violated the US constitution by pronouncing on a matter of religious belief) this is ruled out by the Darwinist since it amounts to saying ‘God did it’ which is philosophically ruled out. Design implies a designer, who may be God, and the secularist revolutionaries who have seized control of most of our government, media and education systems are radically opposed to the idea of God, at least the idea of a demanding, Sovereign Creator Lawgiver God. Their agenda is not God's agenda, he stands in the way of their earthly humanist Utopias. This is why there is no intelligent discourse about ID in the media and discussion of it is actually outlawed in our schools and colleges.

Its the same for the facts about the Christian faith, including the fulfilled prophecies that validate Jesus, the absolutely foundational importance of biblical Christianity to our liberty and prosperity, the growing power of the State to control thought, and the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. They don't want you to know about these things. However, the truth is still what it is and will be what it will be. 
There is still time to make diligent enquiry into Jesus. I would if I were you. There is too much at stake to just drift along with the spirit of the age, a spirit that has been created and applied by people who do not necessarily have your best interests in mind. 


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Noah Film and the Flood

I haven’t see the Noah movie yet although I intend to. Answers in Genesis (AiG) sent some researchers to have a look and they produced this review 

Assuming (as I do) that the review is accurate, the film (written and produced by atheists) is not merely a highly inaccurate re-telling of the biblical Noah Flood story, but takes extreme liberties with the character of Noah, misrepresents the nature of God and angels, and adds numerous completely fantastic extra-biblical features.
The film departs so far from the Genesis story that viewers should have no difficulty recognising that the two accounts have nothing in common other than a lot of water and the names of some of the characters. Perhaps this is a good thing, a subtle lie may be easier swallowed that a truly gross one. But then again....we humans have proved capable of swallowing some pretty gigantic lies, especially when they make us feel good about ourselves. The AiG review suggests that the film is something of an eco-parable, probably with an anti climate change agenda, and of course supports big bang to humans evolution.

AiG discourages people from seeing the film (while not calling for a boycott) but acknowledges that it may bring up opportunities to talk about God, Genesis, the Noah Flood, Jesus and the coming Judgment. This is not an easy thing for Christians to talk about, and atheists are already talking up the idea of God as a moral monster for destroying all but a handful of the earth’s inhabitants. We read in Genesis chapter 6 verse 5 onwards that as man spread through the earth,
'God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually...And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and was grieved in His heart’.
This is perhaps the most distressing thing that has ever been written.

The bible teaches that God did have a plan to redeem men and women, or some at least, and that it was a necessity in His divine plan of salvation to terminate the wicked culture that had emerged though men’s rebellion against him, men having ‘...filled the earth with violence...all flesh having corrupted its way’ (subsequent verses in chapter 6). The Flood was a regrettably necessary part of that plan.

All the usual questions will come up. If God knew this level of human wickedness would happen, why go ahead with the creation? Shouldn't He have practiced better safeguarding? What about innocent children? How much warning and opportunity to change did people get? Who is He to judge us? etc. I’m afraid you will have to address those questions to the Almighty; perhaps you will have better success than Job (see Book of Job chapter 38 onwards).

Jesus referred to the Noah Flood as history, and as a warning of future universal judgment. See Matthew’s Gospel chapter 24 verses 36-40

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.  For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark...and the Flood destroyed them all.’

There are also 2 references in Peter's letters to the historicity of the Noah Flood, and the fact that in the last days people would deny the Flood and mock believers. See 1 Peter 3:20 and 2 Peter 2:5 and 3:3-9, which like Jesus' reference cited above, link the past judgment to future judgment. Both judgments are seen by scripture as deserved, inevitable and universal, but also with a possibility of being saved by turning to God.
I don’t have time right now to go into all the evidence for the Flood, beyond a few bullet points

-there is plenty enough water to cover the whole earth if you raise the ocean trenches, lower the highest mountains and allow for the ice caps to melt (or rather to have not yet formed). This is perfectly feasible given a creation in which there were no ocean trenches, ice caps or high mountains prior to the Flood. The ocean trenches and high mountains could have been created by speeded up tectonic plate activity at God’s command. This is hinted at in the Genesis account where we read that as well as rain, God ‘broke up the fountains of the great deep’ (Genesis chapter 7 verse 11).
-many ancient cultures have legends about a great flood that covered the earth and in which a few people were saved through a boat.
-billions of fossils are found all over the earth in sedimentary rock which could only have been formed through massive movements of liquid mud.
-billions of tons of fossil fuel (oil, shale, gas, coal) exist in thick layers beneath the earth. The most feasible explanation for all this buried biomass is a global flood. Burial must have been rapid to have ensured anaerobic breakdown of the biomass to fossil fuel.

These matters are dealt with in more depth in various creationist sources.

It is appalling that God would destroy the earth in this way. But if He did, then our response should rather than to judge our maker as a moral monster, we should ask why He would have done this. Jesus linked the past judgment by water to a coming judgment by fire. Will we judge God? Or will HE judge us? Wicked people are apt to deceive themselves about their own righteousness, but as Isaiah wrote 'Hail will sweep away the refuge of lies'.

It is what it is. If you can read this, there’s time to repent and get right with God though faith in and obedience to Jesus, whom God sent to be our Ark.



Tuesday, 11 March 2014

More routine anti Christian propaganda from Jeremy Paxman


Watching last night’s University Challenge on BBC iPlayer, I could not fail to notice yet another subversion of the programme to anti Christian propaganda. And a rather nasty little one.
About 10 minutes into the Southampton versus Manchester semi final, the well known Dawkinist Jeremy Paxman introduced a round on ‘Science, philosophy and religion’. The three questions related to 3 of the ‘Four horsemen of the New Atheists’, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. Shame there aren’t 4 questions in a round as Sam Harris, the fourth member of this group of aggressive anti-theist philosophers had to be left out. The questions were easy, I got them all and so did the team. The last one about Dawkins was gratuitously offensive, asking who had identified himself as a ‘tooth fairy agnostic’ thus comparing the historically well attested Christian faith which provided the intellectual and moral base for western civilisation with a story told to small children.

In the same programme there was a positive question about Darwin. There is nothing subtle about this.
On three separate episodes of University Challenge I have personally watched (and I don't always watch it), Paxman has introduced aggressively and offensively anti intelligent design set of questions. His body language and tone of voice as he used terms like ‘pseudoscience’, made sneering jokes about a satirical video about 'Intelligent Falling' (gravity) and presented a totally false view of the infamous Dover trial made his position very clear. He is using the programme as an activist. This is wrong.  
Another time I saw him on The One Show, a BBC daily chat programme, raging against ‘this ridiculous nonsense’ of intelligent design. Viewers will have to take Paxman’s word for the fact that the intelligent design hypothesis is ‘ridiculous nonsense’ because despite public interest the subject is never, ever, ever covered on BBC TV or radio except in the context of one sided misrepresentation and abuse, despite the publicly funded BBC's legal obligation to provide fair and balanced coverage.

I have no problem with University Challenge taking the broadest possible liberal view of science, religion, the arts etc as long as they stick to facts and recognise where there is legitimate uncertainty and difference of opinion. But under Paxman, coverage of intelligent design and Christian faith in general is pure one sided bias, reflecting his own known opinions. As has been noted here before, questions on University Challenge are often  transparently used to promote a secularist agenda and normalise the ‘Science versus religion, science wins’ position of the aggressive secularists. This question round should have been introduced as being about the New Atheists or anti-theistic philosophers ad their books, not ‘Science, religion and philosophy’.

More routine anti Christian propaganda from the BBC. I have stopped writing to complain about this flagrant bias which occurs across a wide range of programmes-news, drama, quiz shows, documentaries- and breaks the BBC charter. As I have mentioned before, you just get a standard condescending letter denying your experience and telling you that the BBC is right and you are wrong. People who would like balanced coverage of Darwin dissent have to endure this propaganda and censorship and have no remedy.

I hope that Paxman will find the grace of repentance, if not then it will go hard with him because he has had many opportunities in this life and has used his exalted position at the BBC to attack the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our only hope of salvation. God is very patient and forgiving but in the end, is not mocked. Christopher Hitchens has already gone to his appointed place , see Luke's Gospel chapter 16. He cannot send a message back to warn his friends to repent, they have already been given fair warning. 

As St Paul wrote to the Corinthians; ‘Where is the wise man and the debater? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the wise?...the wisdom of this age is coming to nothing...if anyone thinks he is wise, let him become a fool for Christ’s sake.’ Paxman and the BBC governors won’t look so clever when they stand before their Creator, Lord and Judge on that Day. The European Court of Human Rights has no jurisdiction before the throne of God.