The aim of science is objectivity and truth — the pursuit of knowledge based on concrete evidence and fact. Human emotion, intuition and philosophy are to be avoided. At least in theory. But in the real world, the difference between these noble concepts and outright narrow-mindedness can be difficult to distinguish. The commendable scientific principle of "don't believe anything until you see it proved" all too often seems to take the form "shut your mind to the obvious." Recently the Ambassador College Science-News team in England was present at a national symposium on water pollution, which was attended by an impressive body of marine biologists, public works officials, etc. From the opening speech it was clear that the delegates were concerned about the future implications of national and global water pollution. In rapid succession speakers emphasized the danger signs that were appearing and the need for quick action to prevent the sure dire consequences in the very near future. It was pointed out that even in England, statutory controls over discharge of raw sewage into rivers and the sea are frequently inadequate or unworkable due to lack of funds. Powerful synthetic fertilizers leeched from the land are beginning to show signs of severely altering the balance of marine microorganisms in large sea areas by stimulating phenomenal growth. Hard industrial chemicals have already turned the Baltic Sea into a biologically dead wasteland. And no laws regulate the transport of radioactive substances on inland waterways and harbors. These and many other sober warnings set a lively tone for the speeches and discussions. Then the chairman of the host body, the Institute of Water Pollution Control, introduced a noted British scientist. In classic scientific indignity he began to "enlighten" the symposium that unless the future dangers of water pollution could be "clearly documented," it was "unscientific" to talk about their control. He said that the opinions expressed at the symposium were too emotional and inadequately supported in scientific fact. Raw sewage discharged close to public beaches might disturb some people, but there was no statistical evidence that bathing in this highly diluted effluent would cause disease. Nobody agreed with him! Speaker after speaker had made it patently clear that waiting for statistics to prove that pollution was harmful was suicidal. In a private interview, the vice president of the Institute of Water Pollution Control, Mr. J. Griffiths, expressed to the Ambassador College Science/News team his reaction to the noted doctor's speech: "...a little bit of philosophy is better than a lot of science, because we've got to look ahead, see what might happen under certain circumstances, realize the dangers and take action to avoid those dangers before they occur. It's no use telling a dead man you've just found a means of curing the disease from which he died." Others in Britain echo the same warning. Lord Kennet, Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Housing, was quoted in the Daily Telegraph, "Guilty until proved innocent ought to be the criterion by which suspected pollutants are judged." He said it was wiser to prohibit a suspected pollutant until it had been proven safe. "If a new substance begins to appear in the environment, and if the relevant experts say we cannot say this substance is harmful, but equally we cannot say it is not, then I believe that substance should be regarded as a pollutant until it is shown to be harmless." Yet at the symposium the learned doctor escaped unquestioned. No one had the courage to enlighten this "man of science." No one pointed out the obvious fact that had the great scientists of the past waited for a mammoth government report before beginning their work, we would still be in the stone age. But because the man was a "scientist," a "doctor," a member of the grand and glorious world of science, he was accorded an unmerited, hallowed position of dignity. In such a situation one sees very little difference between a blind faith in God and a blind faith in science.
LOGIC What's Impossible for God W Sknger
"If God is God, then nothing is impossible for Him. Therefore He can make a rock too heavy for Him to lift. But if it is impossible for Him to lift the rock, then He is not God, so there cannot be any God."
So goes a favorite atheistic argument. And as ridiculous as it sounds — and is — this "logical trick" is nonetheless used to "prove" that God does not exist. But is this reasoning valid? No — it is based on a false assumption. Because the Bible states that there are things impossible for God to do. In order to get a clear picture of what would be impossible for God, let's consider the game of checkers. Checkers, as you know, is played only on the black squares. But could God play it on the red squares also? Absolutely not! It is impossible for God to move His checkers on the red squares and STILL stay within the rules of checkers. It is logically impossible because of the LAWS of checkers. The limitation is on the game itself and has nothing to do with the power of the individual playing the game. Likewise it is IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD TO LIE (Heb. 6:18; Titus 1:2) and still stay within His Law (Ex. 20:16). Wouldn't it be ridiculous to suggest that God does not exist because He cannot move checkers on the red squares without violating the rules of this manmade game ? How much more ridiculous would it be to say that God does not exist because it is "impossible" for Him to lie without breaking His own Law? Then it is equally ridiculous for the atheist to argue that God does not exist because He cannot perform a ridiculously idiotic logical impossibility such as creating a rock too heavy for Him to lift! All other arguments used by those who say there is no God (Psalm 14:l and 53:l) prove equally illogical — some are just more complicated.
NEW FOODS "Milk" From Animal Blood? K C Lee
scientists are now able to produce dry "milk" from animal blood. "The discovery is supposed to have enormous potential," reported Jack Major (Commercial Fertilizer, February 1970, p. 5), "since 7 percent of an animal is blood, more than 2 billion pounds of a valuable source of protein is lost (per year)." How about it? Should blood be consumed by human beings? The Word of God gives the clear answer — NO! "Ye shall eat the BLOOD of NO manner of flesh" (Lev. 17:14). And although it "looks like" and "tastes like" dry milk, however it was transformed, this "new food" is still blood or directly from blood. Furthermore, animal blood or any decomposed product derived from it (which this synthetic product is) should rightly be used as fertilizer to enrich the soil. Whosoever "hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust'' (Lev. 17:13). Crops could then be benefitted by it. And human beings would in turn enjoy the fruits of the land.
ASTRONOMY Lunar Effects K C Horrmann
The superstitious have often believed that the weather could be predicted by noting the phases of the moon. Mention the moon to the man on the street and he thinks of America winning the race with Russia to have a few men set foot there. But what is the moon really for? What are its effects upon the earth and upon man? The words lunatic and looney come from the supposed maddening influence of the moon, especially the full moon, on unstable minds. The word month has its origin in the name moon. We see that the moon is a light-giver, yet fail to see clearly its timekeeping role in man's affairs. Suppose a farmer were to "plant in the moon," expecting rainfall to follow soon after his planting — surely that would be superstition, Or would it?
Farmers have always known somehow that a relationship exists between the weather and the moon... One of the old, now shattered myths of scientists has been that there was no such relationship... the data on the relationship between the earth's weather and the moon has been available all along to anyone who cared to examine routine U. S. Weather Bureau reports... [A very careful analysis of reports over a fifty-year period has shown that] very clearly...there is a strong tendency for the extreme precipitation to fall near the middle of the first and third weeks after the new moon, especially on the third to fifth days after the new moon and full moon. In the same way, the weeks after first quarter and third quarter were lacking in such heavy precipitation, the low point falling about 3 days prior to full moon and new moon. (Quoted from Pictorial Guide to the Planets by Joseph H. Jackson, p. 52-53.)
Briefly explained, the moon's position with regard to earth and sun produces the moon's phases. But as an added item — "a bonus" — the moon's position affects the number of particles coming from the sun and entering the earth's atmosphere. And these particles form the nuclei for raindrops! Is this an accidental arrangement to be mused over and then forgotten? Not at all. Who hasn't heard of a "Harvest Moon" and a "Hunter's Moon"? During the nights of the Harvest Moon, rainfall (according to the U. S. Weather Bureau) is going to be considerably less (on the average) than during the following week, The farmer who scheduled planting and harvest to take advantage of the nights of the Harvest Moon has had (on the average) the added blessing of little rainfall to mar his harvest. A full (or almost full) moon, rising in the east within an hour or two of sunset (before or after) night after night, has given him the illumination to work added hours in the field. His modern neighbor ignores the lunar phases, turns on his tractor lights to work late and keeps his ears open to the changing weather forecasts. The odds would have been somewhat better had he been aware of this subtle lunar pattern. While local weather is surely dominated by local conditions, and there is of course a seasonal pattern for the weather, yet this lunar pattern does exist and works for the man who works with it. Then one would conclude that the moon ought to be one of man's timekeepers? Correct. But how many moons (months) in a year? Twelve, and a fraction left over. What about this fraction? Some years require the addition of a thirteenth month to keep the calendar in line with the seasons. How many additions? Seven times in nineteen years an extra moon (month) is needed to bring the sun, moon and earth into the same alignment — and with a very astonishing accuracy! Consider the accuracy of this pattern 235 lunar months (a lunar month is the time from new moon to new moon) equal 6939.688 days, just slightly over 19 years, which total 6939.60 days. The approximately.09 of a day — 2.11 hours — difference (in 19 years) would need no correction for many centuries. Early man followed such a lunar-solar calendar. The Hebrew Sacred (Jewish) Calendar today is founded on this same nineteen-year cycle. Who set the pattern of the heavens so that twelve years of this 19-year cycle would have twelve months each, while seven would have an additional month? Christian and Jew alike say God did. To find His numbers seven and twelve indelibly stamped on His two main timekeepers (sun and moon) is more than a remarkable coincidence. The pattern of the heavens was obviously Jet. It is the result of design and requires a Designer. Our moon is a multipurpose satellite. No college astronomy book dares to place the whole story squarely before its readers. The distance of the moon, its diameter, its apparent size in the heavens, its role in solar and lunar eclipses, its role in modifying rainfall patterns on earth, its aid to the farmer who follows a lunar-solar calendar in planting his crops, its provision of added light for working late evenings during harvest time, and its partial restraint of rainfall for that harvest, these all make the moon far more than just a romantic symbol in man's affairs. Theologian, astronomer and farmer all acknowledge that the moon occupies a most unusual place in the heavens. How can anyone fail to acknowledge that it was put there? Then the Russians were not the first to place a satellite into orbit around the earth? No, atheistic Russia was second, and doubting America was third.