A Question for Flat Earth Theorists

In honor of Rob Skiba’s “having your cake and eating it too” position of being a “questioning globalist” while maintaining a website The Flat Earth Theory dedicated to popularizing intellectually bankrupt flat earth theories, I would like ask him a new question. In fact, the question is directed to all who question the spherical shape of the earth.

Voyager_aircraftHow can an airplane like the Rutan Model 76 Voyager fly without refueling or stopping, in straight course and end up right where it started, if the earth is not a sphere? It’s been done many times now.  That is the challenge, please use diagrams and mathematics to show how this is possible given your flat earth model. see

Voyager: The World Flight (The Official Log, Flight Analysis and Narrative Explanation in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Records)

Correction: the course was not perfectly straight, rather the navigated around mountains and whatnot but the heading was still relatively straight. Here is the exact course (which still falsifies a flat earth):


Guess what? It had already been done back in 1949, traveling straight without landing once, but they refueled in the air. The flight instrumentation is very precise and the pilots navigated a straight course around the globe, how so given a flat earth?

The first non-stop flight around the world was made by, again, a team of the US Air Force flyers in 1949. Taking off from Carswell Air Force base in Fort Worth, Texas on 26 February, Captain James Gallagher and a crew of 14 headed east in a B-50 Superfortress, called Lucky Lady II. They were refuelled four times in air by KB-29 tanker planes of the 43rd Air Refuelling Squadron, over the Azores, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Hawaii. The circumnavigation was completed on 2 March, having traveled 94 hours and 1 minute, covering 37 743 km (23,452 miles) at an average 398 km/h (249 mph).   http://www.didyouknow.cd/aroundtheworld/flight.htm

Stems From Bad Biblical Interpretation

What makes this all the worse, is that proponents of flat earth belief attempt to use the Bible to support the false belief.  I agree that some passages imply a flat earth with a dome over it. But teaching earth science was not the purpose of those passages. God used ancient human authors and ancient human language to convey a moral/theological message. The original authors had a lot of backward superstitious beliefs but God still used them because he was not teaching a scientific message to modern people. To rip scripture out of its ancient context in order to answer a modern scientific concern–that would have not even occurred to the original author–is an abuse.

The Bible is a collection of 66 books by over 40 authors over a period spanning 1400 BC to 90 AD. The meaning of scripture is what the original author intended for the original reader and it is our job as moderns to learn what that was. It was not written to 21st century people, it was written to ancient people in ancient Hebrew and Greek, so it is written for us but not to us. It was written to the ancient folks, so we must endeavor to understand it in its ancient context not impose our own. Using the Bible to determine a scientific question like the shape of the earth is abusing the Bible the same way skeptics do in order to dismiss its moral authority. It’s about theology and morality, not science.  

Bad Science and Math

The earth was proven to be a sphere in around 170- 180 BC by Eratosthenes, a



Greek scholar that lived in 275-194 B.C. in Alexandria, Egypt. He invented the discipline of geography, including the terminology still used today. Please follow the links to learn about the incredible power of mathematics. God created a mathematically discernible reality that we can describe in equations. The rational intelligibility of the universe is one of the strongest evidences for intelligent design — creation was designed by a logical mathematical mind. Indeed, math is the language of creation, it is God’s language. If your beliefs do not agree with the math, you’re probably in error.

You can use high school level math and geometry prove the earth is a sphere for yourself. It’s not at all controversial. 

Science Meet Your Maker

Faith is not exactly a highly esteemed word in the scientific community. Richard Dawkins says faith is belief without evidence. In contrast, the Bible says faith is the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11:1). But what is faith evidence of?  The writer of Hebrews is pointing to the fact that there are realities for which we have no material evidence, but they are no less real. Although we have no certainty apart from faith, it enables us to know that they exist with genuine certainty. Specific examples will be given below but to naturalist’s chagrin, science itself is fundamentally founded on faith. In fact, there could be no science at all without this faith. Historian Joseph Needham explains that despite the intellectual and artistic sophistication of China in ancient and medieval times, science never developed there:


There was no confidence that the code of nature’s laws could ever be unveiled and read, because there was no assurance that a divine being, even more rational than our-selves, had ever formulated such a code capable of being read. [1]

In other words, the Chinese thought, “Why bother?” If the universe is merely a chance combination of matter, the idea that it would be governed by rational laws seems farfetched. For science to be a reasonable pursuit, then at its very foundation must lie a profound faith in the rational intelligibility of the universe. Honest scientists admit this. For example, Albert Einstein once marveled, “The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible”. His astonishment had its fruition in the recognition that the universe doesn’t have to be this way. He wrote further:

Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way… the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.[2]

Within the confines of naturalism and materialism there is no rational justification for why the laws of physics that work on earth should also apply to the stars trillions of light years away. In like fashion, there is absolutely no logical necessity for a universe that even obeys laws at all, let alone one that abides by the rules of human conceived mathematics. As the example given by Einstein above concerning Newton’s gravity shows, it is not merely the fact that that the universe is intelligible that is amazing, rather it is the mathematical nature of that comprehensibility which is even more miraculous.

Atheistic scientists today take for granted the idea that the universe operates according to humanly comprehensible laws. They have conveniently forgotten the bedrock of faith science is founded upon. Naturalism and materialist philosophies do not account for a rational universe. The idea of a rational universe was first invented by the pre-Socratic Greeks like Pythagoras. However, the concept was diminished by paganism as most Greeks believed the Gods controlled the universe at their ever dramatic whims. It comes down to a worldview issue more than an evidential one. Oxford mathematician and philosopher of science John Lennox writes:

Our answer to the question of why the universe is rationally intelligible will in fact depend, not on whether we are scientists or not, but on whether we are theists or naturalists. Theists will say that the intelligibility of the universe is grounded in the nature of the ultimate rationality of God: both the real world and the mathematics are traceable to the Mind of God who created both the universe and the human mind. It is therefore, not surprising when the mathematical theories spun by human minds created in the image of God’s Mind, find ready application in a universe whose architect was that same creative mind.[3]

That being the case, from where can we trace the origin of this modern scientific faith in the rational intelligibility of the universe? History points to Christianity. In Science and the Modern World Alfred North Whitehead concludes that “faith in the possibility of science … is an unconscious derivative from medieval theology.”[4] Dinesh D’Souza takes this argument a step further by arguing:

Christianity reinvigorated the idea of an ordered cosmos by envisioning the universe as following laws that embody the rationality of God the creator. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The term used here for word is logos, a Greek term meaning “thought” or “rationality.” God is sacred and made the universe, and the universe operates lawfully in accordance with divine reason.[5]

The implications of this line of reasoning go much deeper than science’s utter reliance on faith. It also clearly defines the limits of science in a more profound way. The common complaint made by the naturalist about Intelligent Design is that it does not meet their definition of science. But are we searching for truth or are we searching for a rationalization for naturalism? There is truth available outside the scope of narrowly defined reductionist science. It is only one way of obtaining knowledge, not the only way. Mathematical knowledge cannot be known by scientific methods. It is simply discovered and presupposed, while scientific knowledge is gained by sense experience. Sense experience does not justify 1 + 1 = 2. It is self-evidently true and science relies on it. The rules of logic are similar. Truths such as first person introspective knowledge about my own body are much more certain than scientifically derived facts. The problem is deeper than naturalists want to admit.

As it stands today, I contend that by its own rules science is incapable of determining the origin of the universe. Why? The Big Bang theory infers that there was a point in time where everything came into being including time. But that paradoxically includes the laws of physics. Accordingly one cannot coherently use physics to describe the origin of physics. If the universe was produced outside the laws of physics, then its genesis meets the basic definition of the term miracle. Science meet you maker.

[1] Joseph Needham, The Grand Titration: Science and Society in East and West (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1969), 327.


[2] Albert Einstein, Letters to Soloivine: 1906-1955 (Yucca Valley: Citadel Publishing. 2000), 31.


[3] John C. Lennox, God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? (Oxford: Lion Publishing, 2007) 61.


[4] Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1953). 16.


[5] D’Souza,Dinesh.What’s So Great About Christianity, (Washington: Regenery Publishing, 2007), 64.



Secular Humanism’s Self Refuting Theory of Knowledge (part I)

Secular humanists are largely the product of the enlightenment and modern scientific rationalism yet their roots run deep. The bible speaks of God’s displeasure during the days when “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Jud. 17:6). The fifth century BC Sophist Protagoras famously declared “Of all things the measure is man,”[1] and this still seems a suitable credo for today’s humanists.

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy concerned with questions about knowledge and belief and related issues such as justification and truth. [2] A major problem for the secular humanist is their theory of knowledge. The secular humanist will invariably assert scientific consensus as the final word. According to Webster’s scientism is “an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of the methods of natural science applied to all areas of investigation.”[3] For example, Bertrand Russell wrote:

While it is true that science cannot decide questions of value, that is because they cannot be intellectually decided at all, and lie outside the realm of truth and falsehood. Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know.[4]

Yet this precept is self-refuting in that it is not itself established by science via data from controlled repeatable experiment. Science is limited. For instance, the scientific method cannot even discover why I baked brownies yesterday. Perhaps I made them for a party or a church social?  There is a truth to be known, yet short of me telling, science is impotent. God is a person, well actually three persons… much like the reason why I baked brownies, there is truth to be known about God, but it is up to him to reveal it.

Furthermore, science simply presupposes the rules of mathematics and logic, the uniformity of nature and the rational intelligibility of the universe. In fact, science is dependent on them as articles of faith. Yet given atheism, there are no epistemological grounds to assume a rational universe. Albert Einstein once marveled, “The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.” However, theists believe that reality can be described with humanly derived equations because our minds are the product of the ultimately rational God who set reality into motion. Science is dependent on the theistic interpretation of an orderly cosmos.[5] Thus, there is a profound logical incoherence that undermines all of naturalism’s attempts to answer ultimate questions.

…to be continued

[1] Carol Poster. “Protagoras (fl. 5th C. BCE).” The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. April 27, 2005. http://www.iep.utm.edu/protagor/ (accessed 10 26, 2010).

[2]C. Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 39.

[3] Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Eleventh ed., s.v.”scientism.”

[4] Bertrand Russell. Religion and Science (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 243.

[5] Nancy Pearcey. Total Truth: Liberating Christianity From Its Cultural Captivity. (Wheaton,Il: Crossway Books, 2004), 43.

Stephen Hawking’s Descent Into Futility

Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlondinow’s latest book The Grand Design has astounded the philosophical community by making the audacious claim that “Traditionally these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead.” [i] Dr. William Lane Craig begs to differ, please refer to this.

Demise of philosophy aside, Hawking necessarily robs its grave as his book is a case in point, material reductionist philosophical treatise – not hard science.  He sets forth the preposterous idea that the mere existence of the law of gravity allows that the universe could spontaneously create itself out of nothing. He argues that the entire universe is the product of an arbitrary quantum fluctuation, an unintentional cosmic coincidence that has no spiritual significance.

“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.”  [i]

Ok let me get this straight… In other words, to create itself, the universe had to exist, before it existed.  Now that is futile thinking! I guess Hawking’s Grand Design is actually no design… but how grand is that? Yet he still must acknowledge that we find an astonishingly well suited set of conditions for life. This transcends credulity and he knows it.  To explain away the inconceivable precision design we encounter. Hawking asserts,

But just as Darwin and Wallace explained how the apparently miraculous design of living forms could appear without intervention by a supreme being, the multiverse concept can explain the fine-tuning of physical law without the need for a benevolent creator who made the universe for our benefit.[ii]

Multiple universes? Where did they come from?

“Bodies such as stars or black holes cannot just appear out of nothing. But a whole universe can.”[iii]

Wow! This sounds like magic!  Wait a minute… seriously, how can “nothing” fluctuate?  Nothing literally means “no thing” and it can not do anything. But Hawking believes that nothing did something which made everything. That is futile thinking. For many more detailed rebuttal’s please follow this link as this has been demonstrated as nonsense on a number of levels.

Even his research partner Sir Roger Penrose, who won the Wolf prize for physics with Hawking for their paper which proved that time had a beginning, has spoken out against his unwarranted atheistic assertions. It seems as if a famously brilliant scientist is exhibiting embarrassingly futile thinking. I think I know why…

I have been reading A.W. Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy which is a book about the attributes of God and how many modern Christians have lost the proper sense of God’s awesome majesty. I highly recommend it and hope that you might read it, as the above hyperlink links to a free electronic copy. In light of Hawking’s nonsense, a few sections really stood out to me. So much so, I feel compelled to post them. First, Tozer speaks to the fact that modern man has lost his proper sense of awe and wonder for creation. Remarking on how much,

Still we do not know. Secularism, materialism, and the intrusive presence of things have put out the light in our souls and turned us into a generation of zombies. We cover our deep ignorance with words, but we are ashamed to wonder, we are afraid to whisper “mystery.”  [iv]

I think this indeed the case. One’s belief in God is inextricably related to one’s sense of awe and wonder with creation. The arrogance of some scientists is rather astounding considering that we actually know so very little. Tozer’s words “that we still do not know what it is” were penned decades ago. Has science proved him wrong? Hasn’t science now unlocked reality? Actually quite the opposite, in fact, we have actually learned that we know a lot less than we thought we did in 1961. David Spergel leader of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe space mission reveals,

“From our experiments, the periodic table which comprises the atoms or normal matter that are said to make up the entire universe actually covers only 4.5 percent of the whole,” lead theorist Spergel said. “Students are learning just a tiny part of the universe from their textbooks. It would be dark matter and dark energy that comprise the next 22 percent and 73.5 percent of the universe.”[v]

As Dr John Lennox so astutely rebutted Hawking,  “What Hawking appears to have done is to confuse law with agency. His call on us to choose between God and physics is a bit like someone demanding that we choose between aeronautical engineer Sir Frank Whittle and the laws of physics to explain the jet engine.” [vi] Dr. Lennox is indeed correct and this is where my current reading of Tozer connected serendipitously. I had just heard Lennox’s rebuttal when I read this section by Tozer:

One cannot long read the Scriptures sympathetically without noticing the radical
disparity between the outlook of men of the Bible and that of modern men. We are
today suffering from a secularized mentality. Where the sacred writers saw God, we see
the laws of nature. Their world was fully populated; ours is all but empty. Their world
was alive and personal; ours is impersonal and dead. God ruled their world; ours is
ruled by the laws of nature and we are always once removed from the presence of God.

And what are these laws of nature that have displaced God in the minds of millions?
Law has two meanings. One is all external rule enforced by authority, such as the
common rule against robbery and assault. The word is also used to denote the uniform
way things act in the universe, but this second use of the word is erroneous. What we
see in nature is simply the paths God’s power and wisdom take through creation.
Properly these are phenomena, not laws, but we call them laws by analogy with the
arbitrary laws of society.

Science observes how the power of God operates, discovers a regular pattern
somewhere and fixes it as a “law.” The uniformity of God’s activities in His creation
enables the scientist to predict the course of natural phenomena. The trustworthiness of
God’s behavior in His world is the foundation of all scientific truth. Upon it the scientist
rests his faith and from there he goes on to achieve great and useful things in such fields
as those of navigation, chemistry, agriculture, and the medical arts. [vii]

When I consider Lennox’s observation of the category error coupled with Tozer’s prescient theological analysis. I think Hawking’s descent comes into sharp focus. In A Brief History of Time, Hawking invoked God and the “mind of God” as an overarching rationality governing the Universe. How can we account for an otherwise brilliant man’s descent into self-refuting nonsense? The Old Testament is crystal clear on atheism (Ps. 53:1). But Romans chapter one actually prescribes specific consequences that aptly characterize Hawking’s latest effort,

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him,but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Futile thinking indeed…

[i] Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design. New York: Bantam Books, 2010, 14.

[ii] Hawking, Design, 259.

[iii] Hawking, Design, 281.

[iv] Tozer, A.W. “The Knowledge of the Holy.” 1961. http://www.heavendwellers.com/hdt_knowledge_of_the_holy.htm (accessed 10 6, 2010). p. 14-15.

[v] Serinah Ho, “Scientists uncover secrets of universe” http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?we_cat=4&art_id=103438&sid=29804544&con_type=1&d_str=20101004&fc=10 (accessed 10-5-2010)

[vi]John Lennox, ”Stephen Hawking is Wrong” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1308599/Stephen-Hawking-wrong-You-explain-universe-God.html#ixzz11UzsPVRd (accessed 10-5-2010)

[vii] Tozer, Knowledge, p.47-48