Will Elon Musk’s Neuralink Make It Possible to Control Electronic Devices with Our Minds?

by Fazale Rana

January 27, 2021

He needs little by way of introduction. By some accounts, he is the second richest man in the world. And through his companies Tesla and SpaceX, this entrepreneur’s vision is to change humanity’s future.

Elon Musk thinks that rocket technology will allow us to one day colonize Mars and beyond. The industrial designer also thinks that gasoline-powered automobiles will soon be likened to the steam engine, a relic of past technology, as renewable sources of energy power motorized vehicles.

Musk’s motivation to pursue future-shaping technologies is fueled by a hopeful optimism. In a speech to the National Governors Association in 2017, the innovator said, “The thing that drives me is that I want to be able to think about the future and feel good about that.”

In 2016, Musk helped found Neuralink, a company with the express goal of building a neural implant that can sync with the human brain, affording us the ability to control computers, electronic devices, and machines using only our thoughts. Neuralink’s neural implants are among the latest developments in brain-computer interface (BCI) technology.

Like many others working with BCIs, Musk and his colleagues at Neuralink have a humanitarian motivation for advancing this technology. They hope that their neural implants will soon make their way into clinical settings, providing the means to treat various debilitating diseases and injuries. They also see neural implants as representing the next generation of technological advances that provide more seamless interface between the human user and all the different electronic devices that are part of our lives. Who knows, if Neuralink is successful, maybe one day we will be able to use their implants to stream music directly into our brains.

The Threat of AI
But for Musk, there is a much greater imperative for developing BCI technologies than easing human suffering or developing futuristic technology. He is concerned that if we don’t, humanity’s existence will be in jeopardy. Musk believes that by 2025, AI (artificial intelligence) will surpass human intellectual capacity. When this happens, Musk fears that we will become like pets to the very AI systems we invented, running the risk of becoming subjects to AI overlords. In short, Musk sees AI as the greatest existential threat to humanity.

For Musk, the only way to stave off the threat from AI is to develop neural implants that augment our brain’s capacity for cognition and the storage and retrieval of information and memories. Interfacing our brains with computer hardware and software will give us superhuman intellectual capacities. It would even allow our brains to use machine-learning algorithms that will meld our minds with AI technology.

Ironically, in contrast to the optimism that fuels the work of SpaceX and Tesla, for Musk it is a pessimism about a potential future shaped by AI technology that ultimately undergirds Neuralink’s mission. Because of his vision for Neuralink’s technology, Musk has become a leading advocate for the transhumanist agenda—the idea that we should use science and technology to augment human beings beyond our natural biological limits.

It almost goes without saying that Neuralink’s pursuit generates a mixture of excitement and angst in all of us. As a Christian, it prompts me to ask a number of questions about advances in BCI technology.

  • Should we use this remarkable technology for biomedical purposes?
  • Should we use neural implants to create a more seamless interface between humans and electronic devices?
  • Should we use BCIs to enhance our cognitive capacity?
  • Should we embrace the future envisioned by Elon Musk?
  • Can technology save us from existential threats?
  • Can technology rescue each of us as individuals from our impending death?

But before I address these concerns, I think it would be helpful to discuss BCI technology in general, and, specifically, the design of Neuralink’s neural implants.

Brain-Computer Interfaces
BCIs are electronic devices that provide an interface between the electrical activities of the user’s brain and computer and machine hardware and software. Users learn to control computer software and hardware with BCIs, directing the activity of the devices with their thoughts. Through the use of sophisticated algorithms, BCIs help extract the user’s intent from the electrical activity in their brain, establishing a collaboration between the user and the BCI.

Invasive BCIs are the most advanced form of the technology. To install these devices, biomedical researchers implant BCIs directly into the brain. This approach allows biomedical researchers to stimulate and record the average electrical activity of thousands of neurons in specific regions of the brain. Unfortunately, this capability comes with a cost. The process of inserting electrodes into the brain can damage tissue, leading to scar formation. Electrodes implanted in the brain can also trigger an immune response. And, over time, glial cells in the brain migrate to the electrodes coating them. When this happens, it leads to loss of function.

However, Neuralink’s developing neural implants may overcome many of these problems.1

The Neuralink BCI
The key to Neuralink’s technology lies in the microelectrodes they have developed. Their microelectrodes appear to be safer, longer lasting, and more biocompatible than the electrodes currently used in BCIs. The current electrodes tend to be rigid and possess a fixed geometry. Because of their rigidity, when these electrodes are implanted in the brain they often cause damage, triggering an immune reaction and causing scarring in the brain. Their rigidity and fixed geometry also constrain their access to neuronal populations, reducing the resolution of BCIs.

Neuralink’s microelectrodes consist of a flexible gold filament coated with a biocompatible polyimide polymer. Neuralink technologists have used these microelectrodes to construct a multielectrode probe that consists of an array of either 48 or 96 threads, with each thread consisting of 32 individual microelectrodes.

The thin electrodes cause minimal brain tissue displacement when inserted into the brain. Their flexibility makes their insertion into the brain easier and less traumatic to the brain tissue.

To ensure high precision insertion of their microelectrode probes into the brain, Neuralink has also developed a microsurgical robot capable of inserting 6 threads per minute, allowing each thread to be inserted into the brain with exacting microscopic precision. This process permits the BCI to be implanted into specific brain regions, while avoiding vasculature (blood vessels). This precision process minimizes bleeding in the brain from damaged blood vessels.

The design of the Neuralink implant makes it possible to construct a BCI with 3,072 individual channels (for a 96-thread microelectrode array) that can digitize and amplify the electrical activity of neurons in specific brain regions. The full bandwidth of data is streamed using a single USB cable that can wirelessly transmit data to and from the brain using bluetooth technology.

In short, the Neuralink BCI dramatically improves upon existing BCI technology by: (1) causing less damage to the brain during implantation, (2) enhancing the working life of the BCI (from weeks and months to years), (3) increasing the resolution of the BCI, allowing the recording of the electrical activity of smaller neuron populations, and (4) offering the user greater mobility and comfort by eliminating cables that would “stick out” of their head.

Many experts believe that Neuralink’s BCI technology is a significant step forward and will move BCI technology that much closer to wide scale clinical use. As a Christian it is hard not to be excited about Neuralink’s BCI technology. These devices provide reasonable hope that in the near future the pain and suffering associated with neuromuscular disease, brain and spinal cord injuries, loss of limbs, etc. will be greatly alleviated.

Yet, the same experts question if Neuralink can achieve its grand vision for neural implants. It is one thing to generate simple movements by decoding brain activity. But it is another thing altogether to extract complex mental states from the electrical activity of neurons firing in different regions of the brain.

Neuralink’s Vision: Hope or Hype?
The chief complaint of Neuralink’s critics stems from their observation that Elon Musk and the Neuralink team seem to place an inordinate amount of attention on bioengineering and fail to give enough attention to neuroscience.

These skeptics point out that an engineering approach to neural implants incorrectly views the brain as nothing more than hardware, and our thoughts, emotions, and memories as data. And, while these analogies can be helpful, critics assert, it is important to remember that the brain isn’t hardware and memory isn’t a video playing in our minds. Science journalist Adam Rogers warns that “Neuralink might be headed to a metaphor-based failure.”2

As a case in point: no one knows what the neural substrate (foundation) for thoughts actually is. This understanding is critical for more advanced applications of neural implants. It is quite possible that when people think, the electrical activity of neurons is merely an epiphenomenon. Many neuroscientists think that neuronal activity is only an indication that the person is thinking. It cannot tell us what they are thinking, feeling, or remembering.

Likewise, when it comes to memory—though scientists are beginning to understand the biochemical processes and neurophysiology connected with memory formation, storage, and retrieval—we have no clue how these processes translate into actual memories.

Compounding these concerns is the nagging problem that we don’t know what consciousness is, how it is generated, or even if it is immaterial.

Until neuroscientists solve these problems, critics assert, Neuralink has little hope of success in accomplishing their grand design.

Still, having noted these concerns, it is possible that users could be trained to issue much more complex commands to computer systems with their thoughts, even if scientists and engineers lack basic understanding about the neurological basis for thoughts and memories. As it is now, users have to be trained to use current BCI technology to control computer software and prosthetic limbs. It is also possible that the use of sophisticated machine-learning software and AI algorithms could be coupled with BCI technology to enable neural implants to decode complex mental states. In effect, this tact appears to be the one that Musk and his Neuralink collaborators are taking with their engineering-first approach.

BCIs: A Source of Hope? A Source of Salvation?
Whether or not Elon Musk and Neuralink can deliver on their vision for neural implants, the fact remains that they have produced some pretty impressive technology. This accomplishment inspires hope in many people that one day soon we will be able to routinely use BCI technology for human enhancement purposes. Perhaps Neuralink’s brain implants will allow us, one day, to integrate brains with computer systems and, in doing so, enhance our mental capabilities beyond our natural biological limits. Perhaps in the near future we will be able to seamlessly download information to our brains or upload and retrieve information, along with our thoughts and memories, to the cloud or to share information and our ideas and emotions with other BCI users. BCI technology may even make it possible for each of us to control electronic devices in remote locations throughout the world, any place that the internet can reach. Maybe one day we will even be able to link our minds together with the minds of others to work as a collective.

And, the thinking goes, if these types of enhancements can be achieved, then maybe it will soon be possible for us to upload our conscience into a machine framework, attaining a type of digital immortality.

In other words, for a growing number of people, science and technology may become the means of our “salvation”—allowing us to overcome our biological limitations, going one step further by even conquering death. Humans may achieve a type of immortality—even if it is a digital one.

These are the kinds of goals that fuel the transhumanism movement.

Using science and technology to mitigate pain and suffering and to drive human progress is nothing new. (And it is something that Christians can stand behind.) But transhumanists desire more. They maintain that humanity has a moral obligation to use advances in biotechnology and bioengineering to take control of our own evolution with the ultimate objective of creating new and improved versions of human beings and, as a result, ushering in a posthuman future.

In effect, transhumanists desire to create a utopia of our own design through science and technology. Though clothed in the language of science and technology—make no mistake—a strong religious undercurrent buoys transhumanism. In this regard, for those practicing the religion of techno faith, transhumanism serves as the source of hope, purpose, and density for each individual and humanity at large.

Provocatively, while many transhumanists see our inherent biological flaws and limitations as the ultimate existential threat humans face, Musk views the AI technology that we will soon develop as the greatest danger that we face as a species. And yet, in a type of tautological irony, Musk’s proposed solution to this technological threat involves the use of technology to modify humans so that we can compete with the AI systems we will inevitably design. Remarkably, Musk wants us to use AI technology to power the neural implants with the express purpose of enhancing our cognitive abilities so that we remain safe from the threat of AI systems.

But can the transhumanist agenda deliver on its promises?

Can Elon Musk achieve his objective?

I am skeptical for a number of reasons that my coauthor Kenneth Samples and I detail in our book Humans 2.0One of these reasons is called the salvation paradox.

The Salvation Paradox
By pursuing Musk’s version of the transhumanist vision (with the hope that we will save ourselves from extinction by integrating our biology with computer systems fueled by AI technology), we may well usher in our own demise—the very thing that Musk seeks to avoid.

Like Musk, many transhumanists seek to save humanity by creating a posthuman world. But, in effect, if successful what we will wind up saving won’t be us. Philosopher Patrick Hopkins provides sobering analysis:

Suppose technology has changed me so much that I am no longer a member of the human species, no longer limited by any species-defining human cognitive characteristics. I have changed so much that the existence I now experience is incomprehensible to my former, limited, human self. As much as that language may sound wonderful, exciting, and liberating at first, thinking about it more in depth reveals that such a technological process offers far less to me than hoped…The end result will be some kind of successor entity to me, but it will not be me.3

So, for no other reason than the salvation paradox, the transhumanist agenda provides people with a false hope at best. In this sense, Musk’s version of transhumanism is a dangerous idea. In fact, transhumanism may well be one of the most dangerous ideas ever confronting humanity. For, if this agenda is accomplished in the way many transhumanists envision, it will likely accelerate our extinction. As theologian Brent Waters so aptly points out, “It [transhumanism] is counterfeit…because the cost of victory is the elimination of the very creatures that need to be saved. One has to destroy humankind to save human beings.”4

In short, Neuralink’s technology offers exciting biomedical applications that will mitigate much human pain and suffering. It might even open up the prospects of offering us more seamless interfacing with electronic devices. Both are worthwhile undertakings. But make no mistake, technology can never save us. It can never grant us eternal life. It should never be the source of our hope, purpose, and destiny.

Resources

Endnotes
  1. Elon Musk and Neuralink, “Integrated Brain-Machine Interface Platform with Thousands of Channels,” BioRxiv (August 2, 2020), doi:10.1101/703801.
  2. Adam Rogers, “Neuralink Is Impressive Tech, Wrapped in Musk Hype,” Wired, September 4, 2020, https://www.wired.com/story/neuralink-is-impressive-tech-wrapped-in-musk-hype/.
  3. Patrick D. Hopkins, “A Salvation Paradox for Transhumanism: Saving You versus Saving You,” in H± Transhumanism and Its Critics, ed. by Gregory R. Hansell and William Grassie (Philadelphia, PA: Metanexus Institute, 2011), 77–78.
  4. Brent Waters, “Whose Salvation? Which Eschatology?” in Transhumanism and Transcendence: Christian Hope in an Age of Technological Enhancement, ed. by Ronald Cole-Turner (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2011), 173.

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The Most Persuasive Scientific Reason to Believe?

by Jeff Zweerink

February 3, 2017

What scientific argument for the truth of Christianity do you find the most persuasive? (I would love to hear your answer on either Facebook or Twitter.)

As I contemplated this question, my answer was big bang cosmology. Here’s why.

All big bang models include three essential features: (1) constant laws of physics throughout the universe; (2) a dynamic universe, one either expanding or contracting; and (3) a beginning to the universe. Remarkably, the biblical description matches these essential features.

Constant Laws of Physics

The scientific enterprise depends on a universe governed by constant laws of physics. If measurements today have no bearing on what happened yesterday or will happen tomorrow, no scientific progress can happen. Similarly, if measurements here on Earth are unrelated to what happens in a different galaxy, scientists cannot determine anything about how the universe behaves. The main philosophical motivation for Einstein developing the theory of general relativity was that the laws of physics ought to appear the same everywhere in the universe at all times. Science depends on a universe governed by constant laws of physics, but it provides no basis for this crucial philosophical necessity.

One attribute of God given in the Bible is immutability—God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The specific aspect of God’s immutability relevant to big bang cosmology relates to how the universe behaves. I suspect that many people view God’s interaction with the universe similarly to how I used to. In that view, God created the universe and largely sits back and watches it unfold, although he will intervene at times to bring about some specific outcome. However, Scripture paints a different picture. If God were to withdraw his hand from upholding the universe, it would tumble into nonexistence. In other words, God’s immutability results in the universe behaving reliably because God sustains it at every place, all the time. Jeremiah 33:25–26 explicitly compares the reliable behavior of the universe to God’s faithfulness in keeping his promises. In fact, God sustains the universe so consistently that we can describe its behavior using terms like the “laws of physics.”

A Dynamic Universe

Numerous biblical authors (Job 9:8Psalm 104:2Isaiah 40:22Jeremiah 10:12, and Zechariah 12:1) note that God is stretching (or has stretched) out the heavens. I doubt that these authors had the expansion of the universe in mind when penning the words, but the terminology they use is provocative.

In the early 1900s when Einstein developed the theory of relativity, the solutions to its equations described a dynamic universe—one that was either expanding or contracting. However, the prevailing scientific thought of the time argued for a static and unchanging universe. So ingrained was the idea of a static universe that Einstein added a constant to his equations to remove the dynamic character that naturally flowed from the equations. When measurements in the 1920s confirmed the expansion of the universe, Einstein reportedly called the introduction of the constant “the biggest blunder of his life.”

A Beginning to the Universe

The doctrine of creation ex nihilo pervades the Bible, from Genesis through Proverbs, into the Gospels and Epistles, and ending in Revelation. God created the universe out of nothing. As I understand it, a beginningless universe would contradict this important doctrine. That’s how important creation ex nihilo is. Einstein’s theory of relativity and the expansion of the universe convincingly point to a beginning of time—a conclusion that many scientists strongly resist. Today, that resistance finds some support in the pursuit of a quantum theory of gravity. Yet, the past century repeatedly shows that advances in our understanding ultimately support explanations of the universe that contain a beginning.

I don’t want to imply that big bang cosmology is a “knockdown” argument for the truth of Christianity. Both Christians and non-Christians offer rebuttals to each of the points raised above. Some rebuttals are scientific (the multiverse, quantum gravity, etc.). Some are theological (stretching does not mean expansion, exegesis in light of ancient Near Eastern culture, etc.). However, in my assessment, big bang cosmology represents one of the cleanest and most persuasive arguments that the biblical and scientific descriptions of the universe match. And that fact validates the truth of Christianity.

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Was B. B. Warfield a Theistic Evolutionist?

In recent years, the interpretation of theologian B. B. Warfield as a theistic evolutionist has gained popularity—but there is good justification for questioning this assertion. In this two-part article series, I will explore the compelling reasons to doubt the validity of this view of Warfield

In the ongoing controversy over special creation and theistic evolution (TE), advocates of TE often cite the great theologian B. B. Warfield, principal of Princeton Theological Seminary (1887–1902), as an example of a thoroughly orthodox biblical scholar who believed God used the evolutionary process to accomplish His creative purpose. This view is notably promoted in B. B. Warfield: Evolution, Science, and Scripture, in which the book’s editors, Mark Noll and David Livingstone, assert:1

One of the best-kept secrets in American intellectual history is that B. B. Warfield, the foremost defender of the theologically conservative doctrine of the inerrancy of the Bible, was also an evolutionist.

Yet there are reasons to believe this characterization of Warfield is inaccurate. In part 1 of this series, I will set the stage for Warfield’s view with a look at the budding naturalism of the nineteenth century that clashed with the young-earth creationist perspective, thus leading to difficulties between the religious and scientific communities.

Birth of the Genesis Creation Dates

Creation date calculations by seventeenth-century scholars Bishop James Ussher and John Lightfoot convince many Christians that God created the universe, Earth, and life less than 6,000 years ago. Ussher and Lightfoot came to this conclusion based on two assumptions: (1) there are no gaps in the biblical genealogies of Genesis, Exodus, 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Chronicles, and (2) the six “days” (Hebrew: yôm) of creation were consecutive 24-hour periods. After engaging in some competitive scholarship with Lightfoot over a few years, Ussher deduced that the first day of creation began on October 23, 4004 BC. Such was his influence that beginning in the early 1700s many editions of the King James Bible incorporated Ussher’s chronology into their marginal annotations and cross-references. In 1909, the Scofield Reference Bible—widely popular among fundamentalists and evangelicals throughout much of the twentieth century—also included the Ussher chronology.

Although many biblical scholars concurred with Ussher, others found his calculations to be based on a faulty premise, namely, that an accurate historical chronology could be constructed based on biblical genealogies. Warfield was among those who had serious doubts about Ussher’s work. In a 1911 essay entitled “On the Antiquity and Unity of the Human Race,” Warfield commented that “it is precarious in the highest degree to draw chronological inferences from [the biblical] genealogical tables.”

New Challenges to Genesis

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, naturalists began asserting that new discoveries in astronomy and geology posed serious challenges to the Genesis creation account’s credibility and historicity. Within a generation, traditional Christians found themselves confronted by three challenges. First, in the realm of astronomy, some scientists replaced the instantaneous creation of the solar system with the nebular hypothesis, a view first set forth centuries earlier by Swedish philosopher of science Emanuel Swedenborg and later popularized in the works of Immanuel Kant and Pierre-Simon Laplace.

Second, in the field of geology, Scottish physician and naturalist James Hutton and others began to make the case that Earth was millions of years old rather than a few thousand. In 1862, renowned Scottish physicist William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) calculated the age of Earth at 20–40 million years; soon many naturalists argued that life on Earth, including human life, had existed far longer than the 6,000 years that the biblical genealogies supposedly indicated. Third—and perhaps most alarming—was the challenge posed by Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which holds that all life-forms, including human beings, evolved over eons of time via the aegis of common descent and natural selection.

By the late 1800s, many Christians conceded that the Bible allowed for an ancient universe, an ancient Earth, and even pre-Edenic life—a notable change from the consensus opinion only a generation or two earlier. But conceding Darwinian evolution was quite another thing. So while most naturalists, including many professing Christians, converted from belief in special creation to evolution, others remained unconvinced.

Charles Hodge’s Skepticism

Charles Hodge, a distinguished theologian and the principal of Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) from 1851–1878, was skeptical of evolution for several reasons. For one, he was concerned that a new elite class of “scientific men” was unfairly stigmatizing Bible-believing Christians as “narrow-minded, bigots, old women, Bible worshippers, etc.”2 He resented the new status and influence these scientists held in society at the expense of Bible scholars, theologians, and ministers. In that context, he predicted that Christianity was in a “fight for its life” against these high priests of naturalism who “not only speculate, but dogmatize, on the highest questions of philosophy, morality, and religion” while “assiduously poisoning the fountains of religion, morality, and social order.”3 But Hodge’s objections to Darwinism extended well beyond the bounds of professional turf-guarding. As a rigorous logician, he was adamant that we distinguish between facts that are absolutely true and theories based on conjecture, a principle that the scientific elite of Hodge’s day violated with impunity.

In his Systematic Theology, Hodge took exception to Darwinism on several counts, both theological and philosophical, not the least being that it is an improvable hypothesis. He objected to the theory’s stance against teleology (the philosophical view that final causes exist in nature) and to what he regarded as the impossibility of matter doing the work of a mind and of design being accomplished “without any designer.”4 Because Darwin claimed that God had not intervened in the universe since the creation of “living germ(s),” Hodge viewed his system as “tantamount to atheism” and, therefore, absurd.5

Hodge’s subsequent book What Is Darwinism? included an incisive and well-reasoned critique of evolutionary theory, particularly the antisupernaturalism inherent in the system. Hodge leveled four charges:

  1. Darwinism is simply unbelievable;
  2. “There is no pretence [sic] that the theory can be proved”;
  3. Darwinism is antiteleological, which Hodge regarded as his “grand and fatal objection to Darwinism”;7 and
  4. There is no evidence for trans-species evolution.

In summary, Hodge wrote, “The conclusion of the whole matter is, that the denial of design in nature is virtually the denial of God….We have thus arrived at the answer to our question, What is Darwinism? It is Atheism.”8

His critique of Darwinism aside, Hodge was no young-earth creationist; that is, he did not accept Ussher’s calculations for the date of creation. He readily accepted the antiquity of the planet, believed in the day-age view of creation (sometimes called old-earth creationism), and taught that there were gaps in the Genesis genealogical tables. Furthermore, he conceded that, at least in theory, theistic evolution might be conceived in a way that was compatible with divine design.

Hodge also held that the biblical writers wrote under supernatural inspiration when addressing issues related to faith and practice, but they “stood on the same level with their contemporaries” when it came to science, history, and philosophy.9 Subsequent inerrantists, such as Warfield, disagreed with this assessment of Scripture.

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Autocracy Is Growing Faster Then People Are Aware

By Will Myers

I had decided to stop harping on the orchestrations of special interest groups (SIG) who collect info on each private citizen, analyze the intimate info, and secretly distribute the info, targeting a private citizen(s) to their detriment even unto destroying their livelihood and raising the risk of losing their life from being targeted by SIG. I prematurely stopped harping on the fact that SIG is causing the phenomenon of mass killings; all except drug turf wars. It should be obvious that most of the mass killers are making a statement to the people that persons, strangers, friends, and alike, are invading his life and diminishing their self-worth, and causing humiliation and embarrassment. The snake organization (SIG) steals one’s joy and destroys the assessment by the targeted person’s first choice and even second choices that make them happy. All that the person likes or enjoys is tampered with and even destroyed.

Why in the hell does any society tolerate such activity. SIG should not exist in a free society. The person(s) that feel targeted should be encouraged to meet with concerned persons and organize to back-track to the source of the collection and distribution of their sensitive info and decapitate the snakes in order to stop the mental anguish perpetrated upon targeted persons and to stop the ultimate destruction of our free society afforded by our U.S. Constitution. This should stop the mass killings. The snake organization (SIG) is the operative for hyper-communism whereas the government owns the virtual minds of the citizens that are mapped on computers. The right to be let alone becomes non-existent. The SIG snake organization is invading the inner sanctuary of each private citizen for big business and the government. SIG has gone from the psychological profiles of a group of people to anticipating the thoughts and movements of a targeted person.

An authoritarian force that is taking a small step-by-step process and slowly taking control of our free democracy which is disappearing slowly. The disappearance of privacy and any reference to individual rights. The term individual is being erased. The SIG snakes have crawled back to exist at a monster size. Our democracy is seriously being threatened. As a matter of fact, our democracy is nearing being displayed by autocracy.

In America, Don Trump would have not dreamed of attempting a coup 40 years ago. He tried to overturn the 2020 election because the soil is conducive to an autocratic leader made by SIG snakes. Further, the political system is not aggressively prosecuting the offenders as if it was okay to attempt a coup. The 2022 election is going to be subject to another coup, and the 2024 elections are going to determine whether we have an autocratic leader or an elected official of our democracy.

DECAPITATE THE SNAKES.

My Op-Ed

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God’s People; Few Are Chosen

By Will Myers

Colossians 3:12


New International Version

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

God is love and has provided the means for each soul to be saved and live in eternity with Him, our Heavenly Father, and Creator; although, most have chosen to follow the ways of the world that is temporary in all of their means and ways. We live in a fallen world due to our sin. Those that say speak for yourself are the biggest sinners in the world. But, God has given His Son, Jesus Christ, to be our redeemer. We receive eternal life through Jesus and a taste of eternal life here and now until resurrection day for all deserving souls.

Many expert scientists agree that all things are temporary even unto the universe. The lake of fire spoken of by Jesus shall come into view eventually as the scientific truths confirm the biblical truths. This would be the end of the universe. By this time, all of the biblical truths shall have come to the past when God has resurrected His few chosen ones.

The secular humanist fostered hyper-communism whereas each citizen’s mind is mapped on computers. They have hijacked the scientific method as their truth. In actuality, it is God’s truth.

As man develops technology for the advancement of life which is to have eternal life without depression, deceit, or death, man’s mortality shall be a challenge until the universe comes to an end. There shall be other factors determining the end of man such as locally the sun burning out and exploding.

The biblical prophecy that a sign of the end for mankind is the rapid increase of knowledge and the planting of chips on humans plus others. In all of man’s means and ways, he is facing an end; a disposition of temporariness. Without God’s means and ways for salvation, man is doomed somewhere within the restraints of a 13 billion years lifetime for the universe when it catches fire and the stars shall fall as the universe contracts as spoken of by Jesus. This is when all scientists, secular humanists, and technology have already ended. The universe shall become a memory in the mind of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:15; “That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.”

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We Are All On A Trip Caused By Adam And Eve

By Will Myers

As man considers what is right or wrong there is an endless debate among man. I was blessed by God to have the privilege to realize that what is right is what God says at the moment without any qualifications or exceptions. Adam and Eve sought the ability to determine what is right or wrong as does God. It didn’t happen. God put them on an endless trip for themselves to determine what is right or wrong. As a result, Adam and Eve’s offspring needed a Savior. Jesus on the cross satisfied this need by the Grace of God.
Romans 4:17
“(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.”

No one can second guess God. Matthew 4:4
“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Numbers 22:38
And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak.

“The truth in life is to listen to every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, and obey.”

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A Recap of Unexpected Exoplanet Finds

A Recap of Unexpected Exoplanet Finds
May 22, 2014
By Dr. Jeff Zweerink

As the list of known exoplanets continues to grow (almost 1,800 entries at present), the data indicate that most stars play host to planets—this means tens of billions of planets exist in the Milky Way Galaxy alone. And yet the incredible progress in exoplanets detection and the excitement generated by new finds often blurs an important point: most exoplanet systems bear little resemblance to our solar system.

In fairness, astronomers don’t yet have the ability to detect something like our solar system. However, the diversity of planet configurations has come as a surprise. For example, astronomers believed that planets orbiting binary stars were the sole property of science fiction (think Tatooine from Star Wars). It was thought that the gravitational interactions between the stars would either prevent planets from forming or would eject the planets afterwards. But data from the Kepler Mission revealed a Tatooine-like planet in 2011!

Some exoplanet findings have prompted astronomers to adjust planet formation models. The discovery of hot-Jupiters and retrograde orbits, for example, revealed that gas giants regularly migrate toward or away from their host star—thus necessitating the inclusion of migration in planet formation models.

Hot-Jupiters are gas giants that orbit very close to their host star, where rocky planets should reside, as seen in the solar system. (In fact, some of these hot-Jupiters orbit so closely—they complete an orbit in a few days—that the host star tears the gas envelope away from the planet, leaving behind only a rocky, Earth-sized core.) Retrograde motion occurs when a planet orbits opposite the direction of its host star’s rotation. Usually, the dynamics of planet formation force all the planets and large moons in a system to orbit in the same direction as the host star’s rotation (prograde motion). Yet some extrasolar gas giants orbit in retrograde motion.

Including migration in formation models also shows that the gas giants occasionally eject other planets from their system. Astronomers observed what seem to be ejected planets wandering through space. Even our solar system may have started with five gas giants, according to detailed simulations. It appears the migration of Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus to their current orbits ejected the fifth planet into space!

Even so, including migration into formation models doesn’t account for all the unexpected configurations astronomers have encountered—such as a hot-Earth (with a 8.5-hour year) and a really cold Jupiter (orbiting more than 100 times farther than the Sun-Jupiter distance from its star). Obviously there is still a lot to learn about exoplanets and their home systems.

I expect exoplanet researchers to continue making great strides in understanding how planets form. I also expect those discoveries to reveal a great diversity of planet environments—at the same time demonstrating Earth and the solar system’s unique capacity to support life.

To find out how exoplanet studies teach us more about the ways God designed our home planet and system to suit life’s stringent requirements, check out these articles:

“Exoplanets Set to Reveal Earth’s Rarity”
“Earth’s Unique Element Abundances”
“Is the Solar System Special?”
Subjects: Extrasolar Planets

Dr. Jeff Zweerink

While many Christians and non-Christians see faith and science as in perpetual conflict, I find they integrate well. They operate by the same principles and are committed to discovering foundational truths. Read more about Dr. Jeff Zweerink.

RELATED ARTICLES
Exoplanets: What Does Habitable Mean?
May 19th, 2014
Thank God for the Solar System’s Asteroid Belts
January 9th, 2014
Jumping Jupiter Scenario Reveals More Evidence for Design
January 6th, 2014

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Journey from the Center of a Young Earth

BY GUEST WRITER – APRIL 26, 2019

Kenny Rhodes

We’ve all had journeys of various kinds. Sometimes the conceptual ones are the toughest. They’re fraught with uncertainty, fear, even peril—but the rewards of a satisfying destination make the upheaval more than worthwhile. Such was my case as I sought to understand the truth on the issue of the earth’s age.

As the title suggests, my journey from young-earth creationism (YEC) was indeed “a journey,” a portentous one filled with all the anxiety and expectation of an unforeseen expedition. I imagined myself as the audacious Professor Otto Lidenbrock, from the Jules Verne classic, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, with his indefatigable determination to discover the truth behind the coded note found in his newly purchased runic text. But, in my case it was the original text of Genesis 1, along with other relevant creation passages, which I was determined to understand. While I did not lock my family up without food until I was able to interpret the texts, I did spend countless hours in solitude. I wanted to analyze and understand all the biblical and scientific evidence thoroughly, without presumption or prejudice. I was determined to learn without allowing fear, criticism, relationships, or ministry concerns to influence the outcome of my investigation.1 I was pursuing the truth, and I knew that calling on “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:17) was the answer. I also knew that he who was “the way and the truth” (John 14:6) would give me the proper understanding of his Word and works.

My Starting Point

Before this fortuitous trek, I was a devoted and ardent defender of YEC. I taught its tenets from the pulpit of my church and on TV and radio, and I produced YEC-related material. My feet were firmly planted in young-earth soil, and I was convinced through the work of others that science supported, and even proved, the earth and universe were only six to ten thousand years old. Further, and more importantly, I was convinced that the only option for a Bible-believing, Southern Baptist inerrantist and thoroughgoing biblicist (who was also a classic dispensationalist by birth right and conviction) was to interpret the days of Genesis as normal 24-hour days, which necessarily implied such an age.

My commitment to YEC was a matter of honoring God’s Word; thus, my championing of this position was a matter of orthodoxy and biblical infallibility. Therefore, to deny YEC was akin to calling God a liar and allowing science to tell us that the Bible was errant and Genesis 1 was myth. I was committed to defending YEC and I considered myself a creation science apologist with ambitions to serve the Lord and evangelize through that message.

A Turning Point

But, a noonday signaling shadow caught my attention, and a journey from the center of a young earth became inevitable. The caverns of my mind were enlightened and the light exposed the epistemological blind spots of my thinking. The shadows of my untested presuppositions were revealed, and I could not remain idle. What were these crucial insights that necessitated the journey from young earth creationism?

After finishing my doctoral studies in 2006, I took the opportunity to further explore the philosophical issues that caught my attention during my study and research. The two most intriguing and relevant matters were in the realm of epistemology and metaphysics. Later these two fundamental themes would serve as (two of three) main divisions in my book, The One Who Is: The Doctrine and Existence of God.

Epistemological Help along the Way

The first and most important factor for any person who desires to know truth and the nature of reality is to acquire the understanding of “how we know what we know.” This is epistemology, and to have “blind spots” here is to be subject to forming premature or erroneous conclusions in a matter. To be more specific, as a pastor and theologian, I have discovered that many Christians will allow unknown and untested presuppositions or preunderstandings to drive their interpretation of a given text of Scripture. And, most of the time they are unaware that they have “packed bags” or “mental luggage” that contributes to their understanding of Scripture and of the nature of reality. Other times, these preunderstandings are not only known, but also are deemed proper due to some otherunknown or untested presumption. In our day, it is not uncommon for someone to come to Scripture with the thought that God can speak to them in such a way that nothing else is needed in the acquisition of knowledge. Further, this view is blind to the fact that reality and reason have contributed to their understanding already, and yet those components are discarded as a source of knowing the truth and/or interpreting Scripture.

This mindset appears to be an honorable, spiritual approach to epistemology but it is beset with problems. A thorough treatment of epistemology is impossible in this short article, but a few important points should be mentioned by way of analogy. Our knowing starts with an input device called “sense perception” and our biosystem comes with a very large preformatted “mind-drive” that is ready to be written on by the experience of reality. The first principle written on our mind is the law of noncontradiction, which is followed by the law of identity and supplemented by the law of the excluded middle (called the laws of thought2). From there, our minds engage in the act of apprehension and judgment. The first act of the mind is simple apprehension (conceptus) where a noun or verb is conceptually understood. The second act of the mind is judgment (judicium), where composite understanding takes place and where the mind composes and/or divides subject and predicate. Here subject and predicate are composed into a sentence and knowledge is obtained. Throughout one’s life and experiences the mind apprehends and judges. That’s how things become known. Correct judgments will keep a person from developing erroneous preunderstandings and/or conclusions, and the simple awareness and intentional application of reason will serve in their discovery of truth.

Metaphysical Help

Now, imagine that a person has not considered “how we know what we know,” and comes to Scripture presupposing the ability to properly interpret a text apart from the input of reality and reason3 (or proper hermeneutics). Moreover, this person does not further investigate issues of metaphysics (nature of reality), and fails to understand how, for example, predications (production of meaningful statements) should be applied to God. As finite creatures with finite words and concepts, should we assume that our words and concepts apply to the infinite (God) in a univocal (one-to-one) manner?4 I would say no. Such an approach runs the danger of misinterpreting Scripture through wrong assumptions and epistemological blind spots.

Getting There

God is as much the author of reason as he is of Scripture, and the two must harmonize or we have interpreted either one or both incorrectly. God has designed his creation such that all people will be subject to the nature of reality as he has created it. (Therefore, the related issue of the relationship of faith and reason must be addressed—see part 2). Once I understood that God was the author of creation and the Bible then I knew that they must agree, and that reason could be helpful in understanding Scripture. I was well on my way out of the center of the YEC paradigm and into a better place of understanding.

Endnotes
  1. As Aquinas noted, “A small mistake in the beginning is a big one in the end, according to the Philosopher in the first book of On the Heavens and the Earth,” Thomas Aquinas, “De Ente et Essentia” (On Being and Essence), 1, adapted and html-edited by Joseph Kenny, O.P., https://dhspriory.org/thomas/english/DeEnte&Essentia.htm.
  2. See chapter six in Kenny Rhodes, The One Who Is: The Doctrine and Existence of God, 2nd ed. (Bloomington, IN: WestBow Press, 2015), 93–97.
  3. “The light of natural reason itself is a participation of the divine light; as likewise we are said to see and judge of sensible things in the sun, that is, by the sun’s light.” Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiæ, I q.12 a.11 ad.3 (New York: Cosimo, Inc., 2007), 58. 4. For a further explanation of this topic, see The One Who Is, 28–32.

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RTB’s mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

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    SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS WHO DESIRE TO MANAGE OUR LIVES

By Will Myers

We have forces in America that work to undermine our constitutional rights and to move our nation toward an authoritarian government. Our political base where the most power exists is being infested with special interest groups (SIG) snakes who are invading our privacy in a very adverse manner that is devastating to the targeted citizen. The SIG organization is developing a hyper-communistic government in our nation that works to own the virtual mind mapped on computers for each citizen. They are undermining our individual rights as expressed in our Declaration of Independence.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Further, Supreme Court cases reflect that the citizen is to be “let alone.” SIG’s snake activity is anti-America because they place adversity into the life of the targeted citizen, blocking the targeted individual from successfully seeking a fulfilling life. The first thing that SIG snakes do is steal your happiness.

We are engaging special interest groups (SIG) who intervene in our lives and for the targeted citizens, engaging in a very adverse manner. These SIG snakes desire to be our god and establish a hyper-communistic government in order to control one’s thoughts and movements using the virtual minds mapped on computers. The servers of the snake steps onto every part of the targeted individual’s life.

The SIG snakes have been pushing God and His Son, Jesus, out of public schools; thereby, stigmatizing the Lord in the minds of our youth because SIG makes Jesus seem to be undesired and not welcome.

There are SIG organizations that do good for our citizens as a group, but SIG snakes are working to mold each citizen’s mind to the desires of SIG snakes and change our democracy into hyper-communism.

The collection of sensitive and private info about each citizen; the formulating (Taylor made for each private citizen); the distribution of such info that targets a private citizen in an adverse manner. The SIG snakes always hurt the targeted citizen when he has future interaction with servers of the snake; place a burden, a tax, on the targeted individual so that the servers can successfully ride the targeted individual into the ground. The SIG snakes rape the targeted individual of their human worth and dignity.

I now know why during my life I have heard in the media many times how terrible the Joe McCarthy committee on un-American activity was in our society. The SIG snakes were insuring that their heads were not decapitated.

To be connected to these special groups can be rewarding at first but soon they are going to turn on you because their nature is that of the devil. SIG snakes began at the top 1% economic class to facilitate the training of new VP’s and owner-to-owner relationships. The subjects always receive a reward, but at the political base SIG can not reward materially, only undesired intangibles of verbal encounters; it’s ass in-game only at the economic bottom. The targeted individual does not have the support of a father owning a corporation. The SIG snakes destroy the targeted individual by channeling riff-raff into the targeted citizen’s life. The SIG snakes cause violence, suicides, and horrific acts.

The Sandy Hook and Aurora Theater were acts of retaliation against the SIG snakes who intensifies the humiliation, degradation, and disgrace, and infuriate the targeted subject ten times over. Without the acts of the snakes, the subject would not have performed such a retaliation. They were trying to match the opposing forces as evil as they both are.

SIG collects data from manufacturers about their probable defections’ timetable and uses it to establish respect by fear in the targeted citizen. The same with health records and prognosis.

If a targeted citizen complains then SIG defines them as being paranoid in order to maintain that SIG snakes don’t exist; once again, to save their heads in America because SIG snakes are illegal in America. There are not enough rewards at the political base to reward those that serve the snake. It becomes bare ass and ranks over verbal encounters. The SIG snakes at such disposition shall be revealed as the devil. If one accepts SIG snakes as their American connection then they are headed to hell or pushing others into hell with them to follow later.

DECAPITATE THE SNAKES.  

                                                                             MY OP-ED

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Answering Questions about Gene Editing Technologies

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of interacting with apologists from the RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries) Connect online community in a forum called “Ask RZIM.” The questions I encountered there are similar to ones I often think about and am asked when I’m out and about. I thought I’d share some of the questions and my responses here on Theorems & Theology.

Jimmy posted the following thoughts and questions:

Hi, AJ. I watched a 60-minute segment on a technology called CRISPR. They interviewed Jennifer Doudna, who they credited with being the coinventor of this process. What struck me about the interview was her dream. The host asked her if she had any misgivings about her inventions and she described the dream. In it, she saw a silhouetted man who asked (from memory something to this effect) “Did you invent this technology?” She said that as she answered the man moved out of the light and it was Adolf Hitler.

I know that every new technology brings with it challenges—both moral and ethical—but this technology seems to have the power to change our very beings. Could you share your thoughts on this? How powerful is this technology? Is the genie out of the bottle?

My Response

I think CRISPR technology will revolutionize the future, and like all technologies it has immense potential for good and for evil. I think the potential it holds is on the same scale as nuclear power and the potentially destructive scope is no less for CRISPR than for nukes. I don’t mean to sound like an alarmist (or the narrator that left me terrified of killer bees for most of my childhood)—but the potential of CRISPR technology to be used to alter organisms throughout various ecosystems, as well as possibly one day humans—is real, and currently, the former is much more frightening.

Jennifer Doudna is, or at least has been, very concerned about using CRISPR with caution. In December 2016 a group of scientists from the US, Canada, UK, and China met and discussed what self-imposed restrictions should be placed on CRISPR. Currently, in vitro research in human embryos takes place in some labs in the UK, US, and China. The embryos are not taken beyond 14 days post-fertilization and are never intended to be implanted or taken to full term. This, in and of itself, is an ethical issue for many people—creating embryos to study them up through 14 days and then terminating them. The 14-day cutoff was carefully set as this is the time during embryogenesis when cells are just beginning to differentiate and form the primitive streak which precedes neurulation by a few days.1 But due to CRISPR technology and other advances, there is some growing debate as to whether or not to extend this date beyond 14 days so more can be learned about early human development. This remains an area of concern.

The best (least controversial) human applications for CRISPR technology are in somatic cells, and in individuals after birth. The DNA in somatic cells is not passed on to offspring, so changes remain limited to a particular individual. In this application CRISPR affects targeted cells only in that individual and may bring an end to many diseases associated with mutations in single genes.

There are still many challenges associated with using CRISPR this way, including how to target the CRISPR to the right cells, whether there are enough cells, and to have it work efficiently in those targeted cells at the specific site targeted and not at any other off-target site of the DNA. There are a lot more challenges and I’ve written a few blogs and talked about them in some of our podcasts at RTB. (See Resources below.) In these resources, I and others describe the technology, discuss many of its potential applications and challenges, raise some ethical considerations, and debunk some rather sensational speculations.

I’ve spoken on the CRISPR challenge a couple of different times (with RZIM in Peru and at the annual ASA meeting in 2016). And it’s something I care about quite a lot. So, thanks for asking this question.

Apologetic Considerations

I believe that a robust Christian apologetic includes not just answering questions about our faith but unpacking the breadth, depth, and beauty of the Christian worldview. As we show the coherence of the Christian worldview and its correspondence to reality—including the reality of our deepest desires for meaning and purpose—we present a more attractive and robust (and defensible and reasonable) faith. In light of this, I think Christians need to be informed about CRISPR technology and engaged in conversations and in shaping policy that determines how CRISPR will be used in the US (and everywhere else) and what our government should allow and regulate in the agricultural industry as well as in the pharmaceutical industries and areas potentially impacting human health. We are meant to be good stewards of God’s creation. How we manage technologies like CRISPR is directly related to how well we will care for God’s creation and live out God’s plan as those made in his image.

Resources

Endnotes
  1. This is a correction from my answer to Jimmy, where I mistakenly said the 14-day cutoff was due to the timing of differentiation of neural crest cells. Neural crest cells form a little later at embryonic days 19–20.

About Reasons to Believe

RTB’s mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

Support Reasons to Believe

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