"The World Around": Lecture #1 of The Faith Puzzle series
"Susan Therapy": Sometimes all you need is a safe place to ask why
Books to Read
The Case for a Creator, Lee Strobel
Lee Strobel does not posses scientific credentials but what he does have is an investigative reporter's training and skill. With a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Yale, Strobel went on to become a journalist for the Chicago Tribune. Throughout his education and most of his career, Strobel was an avowed atheist. When his wife became a follower of Jesus he was shocked and determined to debunk her new-found faith. He set about a personal quest to do just that, beginning with an investigation of the life of Jesus. What he found not only surprised him but ultimately changed his worldview. He went on to write a series of books examining various topics which critics of faith often wrestle with. In "The Case for a Creator" Strobel devotes chapters to a variety of topics and questions related to the origins of life. In each chapter he interviews an expert in that field. The interviews are conducted from the perspective of a skeptic. Strobel keeps the pace moving and any reader, whether technically oriented or not, will find this an interesting read. This is an excellent and broad-ranging introduction to the topic of origins. There is also a great bibliography at the end of the book which provides a great launching point for further reading.
Darwin's Black Box, Dr. Michael Behe
When Dr. Behe released this book in 1996 it sent shockwaves through the scientific community. It is still generating discussion today. Behe is the Professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University so the man knows his subject. The principle he introduced into the discussion of origins was one called "Irreducible Complexity." This is not a long book, and Behe does a good job of using simple illustrations, like a mousetrap, to explain some technical concepts. There are some technical sections in the book, but the author knows these will not be of interest to all readers and has structured the book in such a way that readers can decide if they want to delve into some of the more complex data. It is a fascinating and foundational book for those seriously investigating the evidence for intelligent design.
Signature in the Cell, Dr. Stephen Meyer
The cell which Darwin conceived of as merely a simple blob, we now know to be a highly complex mechanism packed with micro engines and information. This book takes a detailed look at the information in the cell and the evidence it contains for a designer. Meyer also tackles some of the key philosophical underpinnings that direct much of modern research and the discussion of origins. This is a more advanced book but an excellent read for anyone who really wants to grapple with the evidences of design.
The Privileged Planet, Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez & Dr. Jay Richards
A reality that researchers have increasingly come to recognize is what has been termed the "Anthropic Principle" or the "Fine Tuning" of the universe. It is the recognition that the presence of life on our planet is only possible because a multitude of factors all align with uncanny precision - almost as if someone or something had fine tuned or designed the world for our existence and flourishing. In "The Privileged Planet" Gonzalez and Richards take a close look at many of those key, fine tuned components and examine the arguments posed to wave away the appearance of planning.