ASA Journal 75th Anniversary

ASA Journal 75th Anniversary

On January 7, 1949, the first issue of the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation was released. It was a bulletin written by scientists who believed in God and who wanted to make an academic response to the skepticism creeping into America’s secular education. The ASA is not an effort by preachers but a product of the thinking and faith of scientists who believe in God. The ASA Journal is active today, and they released volume 75 # 2 of their journal Perspectives on Science and the Christian Faith in September 2023.

The 75th-anniversary issue of the ASA Journal contains twenty-five ASA fellows and editors who tell of their work in conveying academic support for faith through science. Every issue of the ASA journal contains book reviews, but this issue has 20 reviews of books dealing with various apologetics issues.

Anyone can read the ASA Journal, but members of the American Scientific Affiliation must “have attained a bachelor’s or higher degree in a science-related discipline, or they must be philosophers, historians, Bible scholars, theologians or other professionals whose vocational activity contributes to the intersection of faith and science.” They must also give assent to the “statement of faith” (you can see this statement on of Faith.)

It is essential to understand that this group consists of people from all denominations and belief systems who believe science supports faith in God. The scholars debate and sometimes express views that others, including your author, may disagree with. However, the organization has made a robust academic response to the growing tide of skepticism, naturalism, agnosticism, and atheism in America today.

You can get more information at or 978-887-8833. Their mailing address is American Scientific Affiliation, 218 Boston St., Ste 208, Topsfield, MA 01983-2210.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Keeping Religion Out of Government

Keeping Religion Out of Government

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), operating out of Madison, Wisconsin, has advocated for keeping religion out of government. That position agrees with the teachings of Jesus Christ, who urged his followers to “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21). However, atheism is a religious faith, and it too needs to be kept out of government.

When atheistic “survival of the fittest” becomes the state religion, the result is war, slavery, and genocide on a massive scale. We have seen that in Russia and other atheist countries. However, keeping religion out of government also means avoiding oppressive religious laws like those in the Middle East. Unfortunately, as the American people reject Christian principles, we see a growth of atheistic beliefs in the U.S. government.

FFRF runs ads in Scientific American and other academic journals, and a recent ad says the FFRF is determined to “keep religion out of government and social policy.” Social policy means any discussion of morality or government action with moral consequences. We see the conflict over abortion, where religious views state that all humans have exceptional worth because they are created in the image of God. At the same time, atheistic views say that humans are just animals and that destroying human life is no different from killing any other form of life.

Religious beliefs are the basis for assuming that human life has infinite value. Government policies based on atheism assume that human life has no special value and should not be sustained if doing so is too expensive. The data shows that a large percentage of medical expenses happen during the last year of life.

Government influencers suggest that when an older person requires excessive medical help, they should be euthanized to save money. Atheist ethics advocates like Peter Singer at Princeton suggest euthanizing the mentally ill who have no real chance of being cured. They also suggest that prisoners with life sentences should be put to death rather than supported by the state.

Keeping religion out of government social policy means rejecting atheistic “survival of the fittest” evolutionary theories. Like the fall of ancient Rome, the greatest danger to our country does not come from military forces on the outside but from the collapse of morality within.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Ronald Numbers and Creationism

Ronald Numbers
Dr. Ronald Numbers in 2008

Dr. Ronald Numbers died on July 23, 2023, at 81. Numbers had an interesting journey from being a Seventh-Day Adventist to an agnostic and supporter of Darwinism. He is best known for his studies and books on Adventism, Creationism, and the history of science.

In 1976, Dr. Numbers wrote an excellent expose’ of Adventism titled Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White. His study of the topic led to his leaving the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. This book remains an excellent source for those wanting to know the weaknesses of that denomination.

In 1992, Ronald Numbers wrote The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism, a scholarly study of the history of the creationist movement. He revised it in 2006 with the subtitle changed from “Scientific Creationism” to “Intelligent Design.”

Although Ronald Numbers disagreed with the faith of the creationists he wrote about, he showed respect for them and presented factual history. Dr. Numbers was Hilldale and William Coleman Professor of the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Wisconsin from 1974 to 2013. Among other writings, he co-edited the eight-volume Cambridge History of Science.

In our exchanges with Dr. Numbers, he was always polite, interested, fair, and understanding. He had his own beliefs, some of which I disagreed with, but he strived for accuracy and fairness and set a model that the evolutionist and creationist camps should emulate.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Data from Wikipedia, the NCSE journal for August 2023, and his obituary from the Wisconsin State Journal. For more information on Creationism and Dispensationalism, click HERE, HERE, or HERE.

If Pain Did Not Exist

If Pain Did Not Exist

Atheists and skeptics maintain that pain and suffering are the most significant proof that there is no God and the Bible is not true. They claim that a good and loving God would not allow pain and suffering. Is there an inconsistency between the descriptions of God in passages like 1 John 4:7-8 and the history of Israel? Unfortunately, skeptics and atheists fail to consider the alternative if pain did not exist.

The ability to exist in a physical world requires being able to feel pain. How could we survive if we could not know that a stove is hot when we put our hand on it? The ability to feel pain lets us know if something is sharp, or dangerously hot or cold.

Pain occurs on more than a physical level. What kind of a person would it be who could not feel guilt, compassion, empathy, and sympathy? These characteristics are unique to humans. We may condition an animal to display a response we interpret as one of those emotions, but humans uniquely can experience mental anguish over the circumstance of another human. People who bury this capacity, such as Hitler, Mao, and Putin, have created enormous problems for the whole human race.

The Bible clearly tells us that God can perform miracles. However, a careful study of the biblical miracles shows there was a reason beyond just curing a disease or infirmity. If people could escape life’s problems by becoming Christians, many would come to Christ to escape even minor physical problems. The Apostle Paul struggled with suffering, which he called his “thorn in the flesh.” He would not have learned an important lesson if pain did not exist. He wrote, “Three times I prayed to the Lord to relieve me of it.” God responded, “My grace is all you need; power comes to full strength in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7 -9).

None of us like to have any kind of pain, but this life is only temporary. If pain did not exist here, there would be negative consequences. Christians have peace in knowing that the future holds an existence that will be free of pain. My suffering has given me a purpose in living and the strength not to fear dying. Denying God’s existence adds another level of denial and uncertainty to life.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Famous Non-Scientists Who Expressed Faith in God

Famous Non-Scientists Who Expressed Faith in God

A popular belief says that famous men of history were atheists or agnostics who broke from the religious conventions of their day and achieved greatness because of their independence from God. We have often quoted words of faith from famous scientists, but likewise, there are famous non-scientists who expressed faith in God and the Bible.

Allen Webster, in his periodical “House to House/Heart to Heart,” collected these quotes:

Charles Dickens – “I commit my soul to the mercy of God, through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and exhort my dear children humbly to try to guide themselves by the teachings of the New Testament.”

William Shakespeare – “I commend my soul into the hands of God, my Creator, hoping and assuredly believing, through the only merits of Jesus Christ my Savior, to be made partaker of life everlasting.”

George Washington – “The hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.”

Benjamin Franklin – “Young man, my advice to you is that you cultivate an acquaintance with and firm belief in the Holy Scriptures, for this is your certain interest. I think Christ’s system of morals and religion, as He left them with us, is the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.”

John Quincy Adams – “My custom is to read four or five chapters of the Bible every morning immediately after rising … which seems to me to be the most suitable manner of beginning the day. It is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue.”

Abraham Lincoln – “I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book that you can by reason and the balance by faith, and you will live and die a better man.”

William Penn – “We believe the Scriptures to contain a declaration of the mind and will of God. They ought also to be read, believed, and fulfilled in our day. We accept them as the words of God himself.”

William Gladstone – “I have known 95 great men of the world in my time, and of these, 87 were all followers of the Bible.”

This is just a sample of the famous non-scientists who expressed faith in God and the Bible.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

References: Allen Webster in his periodical “House to House/Heart to Heart” (Volume 28 #8) – You can see examples of scientist quote in our quarterly publication HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Following the Rules of Debate

Following the Rules of Debate

Recently media debates have occurred in discussions about climate change, global warming, fracking, abortion, evolution, vaccinations, immigration, and the existence of God. The problem with debates in the media generally is that they are not following the rules of debate.

Not too long ago, I had a radio debate with a talk show host in Pittsburg. I presented scientific evidence from cosmology showing that time and space came from God. From scientific data and probability, I then showed that design as the causal agent of creation in the natural world is more reasonable than chance theories. The talk show host admitted that he had not studied the evidence I presented and had no answer for it, nor did his listeners. With 30 seconds left in the program, he said, “I still don’t believe that the Bible’s teaching on morality makes any sense, and that proves that there is no God.” He then said he was an atheist, and I had not changed his mind. He signed off by claiming that, once again, he had won a debate with a Christian.

This is an example of not following the rules of debate, which is not confined to atheists and skeptics. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) coined the term “Gish Gallop” to describe the techniques of the Institute for Creation Research, a creationist ministry using dispensational theology to promote their denominational beliefs.

Eugenie Scott of the NCSE describes Gish Gallop as: “dishing out a ton of information, accurate or not, that your opponent has no way to answer in the time available. It is an effective if ultimately shallow debate trick.” Scott goes on to say, “Debate is a sport. It is not a way of convincing an audience or the public of the accuracy of an opinion. It is played by rules that are different from those of logic and empirical evidence.”

A formal debate can be helpful when it has restrictions on what topics will be discussed and held between people with integrity who are following the rules of debate. We have quit doing debates because, in our experience, both atheists and creationist organizations cannot be trusted to allow reasonable discussion on the evidence. Be careful what you read in the media about viruses, climate change, the age of the Earth, etc., and make sure that statements and claims are well documented with reliable sources.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Guilty of Willful Blindness

Guilty of Willful Blindness

In his book Reflections on the Existence of God, Richard Simmons coined the phrase “willful blindness” to describe many people’s rejection of God and the Bible. This phrase is not confined to people who reject God because they are ignorant, but even scholars and scientists are guilty of willful blindness. 

Thomas Nagel, a philosopher at New York University and a promoter of atheism, described his willful blindness well: “I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and naturally hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God. I don’t want the universe to be like that.”

Many years ago, a young man attending my presentations at Purdue University asked many questions. When he became silent, I asked him, “What are you going to do with all of this evidence?” He responded, “I don’t want to quit having sex with my girlfriend, and so I am going to ignore it.” 

Richard Dawkins, considered the world’s leading atheist at the time of this writing, says, “Even if there were no actual evidence in favor of Darwinian theory … we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories.”

Agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow has made this observation: “Scientific reactions provide an interesting demonstration of the response of the scientific mind – supposedly a very objective mind – when evidence uncovered by science itself leads to a conflict with the articles of faith in our professions. It turns out that scientists behave the same way the rest of us do when our beliefs are in conflict with the evidence. We become irritated, we pretend the conflict does not exist, or we paper it over with meaningless phrases.”

Recently, a reader asked why we continue to do this website. He said that, in his experience, people are not going to be confused with the facts and that we were wasting our time by presenting evidence for God. I asked him why he keeps reading the things we post. He responded that he knew his arguments to reject God were getting weaker and weaker as he read how much evidence there is and how good that evidence is in our material. 

The fact is that, in time, being guilty of willful blindness will bear destructive fruit. I suspect my young friend at Purdue is no longer sleeping with his girlfriend. I feel for him knowing he missed the full joy of sex as God intended. I also feel for those like Dawkins and Nagel who cannot tell you why they exist or what is the ultimate purpose of their lives. Having no eternal purpose in living brings disappointment and frustration. Jesus said He came to give life and to give it more abundantly – John 10:10. Acting on evidence is a first step in allowing God’s Spirit to influence our lives Acts 2:38. 

— John N. Clayton © 2023

After School Satan Clubs

After School Satan Clubs - Satanic Temple

One of the consequences of the rejection of God and Christianity in the United States has been the success of the Satanic Temple. This group, active worldwide, is headquartered in Salem, Massachusetts, and growing in influence in the United States. They have launched a nationwide campaign to bring After School Satan Clubs to elementary schools.

The Satanic Temple claims 700,000 members and has had several successes in opposing Christianity. Recently they gave the invocation at the San Marcos City Council, conducted a Los Angeles Satanic Mass, and administered “un-baptisms” in Boston. In addition, local Satanic Temples have engaged in Bible burning, drinking a blood-like fluid from a cup, and celebrating the sacrifice of goats.

The After School Satan Clubs offer a coloring book published by the Satanic Temple, which engages children in satanic rituals and constructing a pentagram, the official symbol of the Church of Satan. Clubs. The Washington Post commented, “The Satanic Temple is determined to give young students a choice: Jesus or Satan.”

The United States Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that elementary schools could not stop the evangelical “Good News Club” from hosting after school club meetings. The Satanic Temple is using that decision to justify having clubs that promote Satanic beliefs. After School Satan Clubs have reportedly been started in Utah, California, Ohio, Washington, Illinois, and Oregon elementary schools.

The message of the Satanic Temple ridicules Christianity, belief in God, and the Bible’s moral teachings. It seems this group would qualify as a “hate group” which could be legally challenged, but that will probably never happen. Nevertheless, Christians must be aware of this threat. Parents and local church leaders need to educate themselves on what is being taught in the schools and be ready to oppose satanic teaching if it comes to their communities.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

References: The Christian Action Network and The Hill

The Purpose for Human Existence

The Purpose for Human Existence

“Why do I exist?” People have discussed and debated the purpose for human existence from about every philosophical direction imaginable. Atheists have written books to tell us that we are just accidents with no purpose for existence. Many theologians give the trite answer, “Because God wanted to create us,” which is not much of an answer.

Recent evangelical ministers have used the analogy of couples deciding to have a child. If a child asks his parents, “Why did you have me?” What would they say? They might say, “Because we wanted a child to love.” Later, a parent might say their child has brought them great pride as they tell anyone who listens, “That’s my child.” Does that human parent comparison explain why God created us?

I would consider that it is not reasonable to suggest that we humans fulfill a need that God has. God does not have human needs. We don’t praise God because He has an ego problem or is struggling with depression. The Apostle Paul tells us to “glorify God” in Romans 15:6 and elsewhere, but that does not mean God needs us to build Him up because He lacks something. That would be like a political figure or an entertainer who needs people to praise him and build his esteem. Thinking that God has such needs is rooted in human attempts to create God in our own image.

In the Bible, we can find clues to help us understand more clearly the purpose for human existence. For example, the book of Job shows a conflict beyond our daily physical struggles. God never explained to Job the spiritual battle behind the purpose for his existence and which led to the pain he suffered. But after his dialogue with God, Job concluded that the answer is beyond human knowledge or understanding. Speaking through Ezekiel, God tells us that Job, Noah, and Daniel achieved the purpose for which they were created, but their righteousness could not make up for the sins of others. (See Ezekiel 14:14 and 20.)

The New Testament further clarifies the purpose for human existence. First, we see a major confrontation in the war between good and evil in Matthew 4:1-10 when Satan tempted Jesus. Then we see the culmination of the conflict in Revelation 20-22. People often fail to understand the Book of Revelation because they don’t understand that it is not describing a physical war. The war between good and evil is in a realm beyond this physical world. Ephesians 6:10-20 makes it clear that the purpose of our existence is beyond flesh and blood but involves a struggle “against the rulers, against the authorities against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

In Ephesians 3:8-13, Paul writes that his purpose in existing was “to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose He has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Revelation chapters 20 to 22 give a prophecy of the ultimate destruction of evil and the wonderful existence we all can have if we fulfill the purpose for which God created us. First, John 1: 5-9 makes it clear that we will not be perfect, but we will be forgiven and cleansed as we fulfill the purpose for human existence. Atheists try to tell us that evil doesn’t exist and that there is no reason for us to be here. However, the evidence and the biblical message show us the reason for our existence and the joy and love God makes available to us all.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

AI Chatbot Named Bard from Google

AI Chatbot Named Bard from Google

Two months ago, I asked a computer if God exists. Actually, it was Open AI’s chatbot named ChatGPT. This Artificial Intelligence program has received much attention in the form of praise and concern. The praise is because of the many ways AI might positively affect business, medicine, entertainment, work, and education. The concern is how AI can negatively affect those same areas. That is especially true of education because students can use it to write their term papers. Now Google has an AI chatbot named Bard.

Since I had tested ChatGPT with questions on God’s existence, I wanted to put Bard to the same test. I first asked, “How did the universe begin?” Bard gave me a 176-word response compared to 237 words from ChatGPT on that question. It was four short paragraphs that all began with “The Big Bang Theory.” The third paragraph also mentioned the “Steady State Theory and the Oscillating Universe Theory” as if they have some credibility, which they no longer have. However, the Big Bang Theory does not fully explain how the universe began. 

When I asked the AI chatbot named Bard to give me a 300-word essay proving the existence of God, it responded with these 354 words:

“There is no one definitive proof of the existence of God. However, there are a number of arguments that have been put forward that attempt to show that God is a reasonable explanation for the universe and the existence of life.

“One of the most common arguments for the existence of God is the cosmological argument. This argument states that the universe must have had a cause, and that this cause must be something that is uncaused itself. This uncaused cause is what people call God.

“Another common argument for the existence of God is the teleological argument. This argument states that the universe appears to be designed for a purpose. The order and complexity of the universe, the existence of life, and the laws of nature all seem to point to a creator who had a specific goal in mind when creating the universe.

“The existence of evil in the world is often seen as a challenge to the existence of God. However, some people argue that evil is necessary for free will to exist. If there were no evil, then there would be no good, and no choice between the two.

“Ultimately, whether or not you believe in God is a personal decision. There is no scientific evidence that can prove or disprove the existence of God. However, the arguments that have been put forward by philosophers and theologians can provide a framework for thinking about the question.

“Here are some additional arguments for the existence of God:

  • The moral argument: This argument states that the existence of objective moral values is evidence of a God who created us with a moral compass.
  • The argument from religious experience: This argument states that the personal experiences of people who claim to have encountered God provide evidence of His existence.
  • The argument from miracles: This argument states that the occurrence of miracles, such as healings and resurrections, is evidence of God’s intervention in the world.

“These arguments are not without their flaws, but they do provide some food for thought for those who are open to the possibility of God’s existence.”

That is the summary of arguments for God’s existence that the AI chatbot named Bard gave me. It corresponds very closely to ChatGPT’s answer, except that Bard added the argument from miracles and the existence of evil versus free will.

Again, I asked the AI chatbot named Bard the direct question, “Does God Exist?” Here is the answer I received:

“The existence of God is a question that has been debated for centuries. There is no scientific evidence to prove or disprove the existence of God, so the answer ultimately comes down to faith.”

Bard went on to say that there is no right or wrong answer to that question, but each person must make their own decision. I suggest that there is scientific evidence in the design and fine-tuning of the universe and life, but many people choose to reject that evidence.

Like ChatGPT, Bard did not mention Genesis 1:1, so I asked, “What do we learn from Genesis 1:1?” I thought Bard’s answer to this question was the best of all:

“Genesis 1:1 teaches us that God is the creator of the universe. He created the heavens and the earth, and everything in them. He is the source of all life and all order.

“Genesis 1:1 also teaches us that God is a God of order. He created the universe in an orderly fashion, with each part having its own purpose. This order is a reflection of God’s own character, which is orderly and just.

“Finally, Genesis 1:1 teaches us that God is a God of love. He created the universe out of love, and he continues to love his creation. This love is evident in the beauty and order of the universe, and it is also evident in the way that God cares for his creation.

“Genesis 1:1 is a foundational verse for all of Christianity. It teaches us about God’s character, his creation, and his love for us.”

So, I have now questioned two of the latest versions of Artificial Intelligence about the existence of God. Whether it’s an AI chatbot named Bard or ChatGPT, all AIs are created and programmed by humans, so we can expect the answers to correspond to human responses. How would you answer the question, “Does God exist?” The difference is that AI does not have a life, but you do. So, how does your answer to that question affect your life?

— Roland Earnst © 2023

You can see my report on ChatGPT at THIS LINK.