Monday, 16 June 2008

Dr David Berlinski: the mathematician who exposes the flaws in the dogmas of Darwinism and Evolutionism

David Berlinski was brought up in New York City, educated at Columbia College and gained a PhD in philosophy from Princeton University. He later became a Fellow of the Faculty in Mathematics and a Post Doctoral Fellow in molecular biology at Columbia University. He has taught philosophy, mathematics, and English at Stanford, Rutgers, Columbia, the Universite de Paris at Jussieu, the University of Puget Sound, the University of Santa Clara, San Jose State University and San Francisco State University.

He has been a fellow at both the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques. He is the author of works on systems analysis, differential topology, theoretical biology, analytic philosophy, and the philosophy of mathematics, as well as the author of "A Tour of the Calculus", "The Advent of the Algorithm", and "Newton's Gift". Berlinski is currently a Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute.

The producers of the critically acclaimed documentary "Icons of Evolution" recently sat down for an interview with Dr. Berlinski. The interview was a lucid and entertaining critique of Darwinian evolution.

Here is a clip of Berlinski in action:

Recently, Ben Stein, scholar, economist, writer and now Hollywood producer, has made a film about the exclusion from US schools and colleges of any critique of the dogmas of Darwinism and Evolutionism.

This film is called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

The film is an expose of the way in which criticism of the dogmas of Darwinism and Evolutionism is ruthlessly excluded and expelled from colleges, schools and academies across the USA.

It features interviews with David Berlinski and ends with Richard Dawkins admitting that aliens, intelligent designers, from another planet may have been responsible for human life.

Berlinski is the most impressive of the interviewees and calmly demolishes the manner in which thin-skinned and intellectually unimpressive Evolutionists are simply unable to respond to his simple questions and rebuttals of standard dogmas of evolution that are taught in schools and colleges and are not allowed to be challenged.

Berlinski is neither a Christian nor a Fundamentalist but is a sceptical, secular Jew. But he is also a formidable mathematician. He accepts those forms of evolution which may be called "micro-evolution" i.e. changes within various biological groupings but he challenges the evidence for what has been called "macro-evolution" i.e. the kinds of changes that are now regarded as "proven" by "science" and which therefore cannot be challenged.

He makes it clear that this is not science but dogma and says why - eloquently, engagingly, calmly and rationally.

No wonder the dogmatic Evolutionists are calling him "incorrigible".

They simply cannot answer him and are terrified even to try.

Go to Youtube and see some of the childish and deeply pathetic attempts to mock and deride Berlinski.

This says more about the paucity of intellectual integrity of some Evolutionists than any opponent could ever say.

More from the devastatingly lucid David Berlinski:

Or try this:

This is a powerful thinker and hugely more interesting, persuasive and powerful than ever Dawkins could dream of.


Tuesday, 10 June 2008

White Rose Day - 10 June: the Royal Stuarts and St Margaret of Scotland

In the late Seventeenth Century the Jacobites took up the White Rose of York as their emblem, celebrating "White Rose Day" on 10 June, the anniversary of the birth of James III and VIII in 1688.

Traditionally the origins of the emblem are said to go back to Edmund of Langley in the 14th century, the first Duke of York and the founder of the House of York as a Cadet branch of the then ruling House of Plantagenet.

The actual symbolism behind the rose has religious connotations as it represents the Virgin Mary, who was often called the Mystical Rose of Heaven. The Yorkist rose is white in colour, because in Christian liturgical symbolism, white is the symbol of light, typifing innocence and purity, joy and glory.

During the civil wars of the 15th century, the White Rose was the symbol of Yorkist forces opposed to the rival House of Lancaster, whose symbol was the Red Rose of Lancaster. The opposition of the two roses gave the wars their name: the Wars of the Roses.

The conflict was ended by King Henry VII of England, who symbolically united the White and Red Roses to create the Tudor Rose, symbol of the Tudor dynasty.

Today is also, fittingly, the Feast Day of St Margaret, Queen of Scotland.

St Margaret, Queen of Scotland, watches as her husband, King Malcolm Canmore kisses her books of religion out of respect for her virtue and learning

Born a Saxon circa 1046 (d. November 16, 1093) and raised in Hungary, Margaret was daughter of the English prince Edward the Exile or 'Edward Outremer', and granddaughter of King Edmund Ironside of England.

She was great-niece of Saint Stephen of Hungary. When her uncle, King Edward the Confessor, died in 1066, she was living in England where her brother, Edgar Ætheling, had decided to make a claim to the vacant throne.

After the conquest of England by the Normans, the widowed Agatha decided to leave Northumberland with her children and return to the Continent, but a storm drove their ship to Scotland where her daughter, the beautiful and learned Margaret married Malcolm Canmore (King Malcolm III of Scotland – son of “the gracious Duncan”, whom Shakespeare's Macbeth murdered in his own castle).

Legend has it that, although he could not read, he would turn the leaves of her books, and kiss those which she liked best. He gave her jewel-encrusted books as presents, one of which, a book of the Gospels, richly adorned with jewels, one day dropped into a river and was according to legend miraculously recovered, and is now in the Bodleian library at Oxford.

St Margaret helped the church in Scotland and was noted for her piety and learning. She founded Dunfermline Abbey as the new burial place for Scottish kings; it was also built to enshrine her greatest treasure, a relic of the True Cross.

It is customary for Jacobites to wear the White Rose on this day in memory of the Jacobite cause, the cause of legitimate, historic, just, Christian government under the ancient Stuart dynasty, illegally ousted by treachery, revolution and a Dutch invasion.

James Stuart, de jure King James III and VIII of England, Scotland, Ireland and France, kept out of his throne after the treacherous Whig revolution and Dutch invasion that illegally cast his father, King James II, from the throne.

Prince James, the true King, was offered the throne by the revolutionary Protestants if he would abjure the Roman Catholic religion and embrace Anglicanism. "Sir", the true King replied boldly, "Nothing would induce me to abandon my religion for it is the true one".

Let his cause for sainthood be introduced!

"Bonnie Prince Charlie", Prince Charles Stuart, son of King James III and VIII


Tuesday, 3 June 2008

St Andrew Kim Taegon and the glorious, immortal martyrs of Korea

The practice of Christianity in Korea has a relatively short history, but after a difficult beginning it has seen significant growth and success.

The deeply-rooted traditional religions of Buddhism, Shamanism and Confucianism held strong for many centuries and have been challenged by Christianity in a meaningful way only since 1784 when the first Catholic prayer-house was established in Korea.

Prior to the Korean War of 1950–1953, two-thirds of Korean Christians lived in the North, but most subsequently fled to the South.

Around 10% of the population of South Korea now describe themselves as Roman Catholics, one of the highest in Asia.

The first known Christian in Korea was Konishi Yukinaga, who was one of the commanders of the Japanese invasions of Korea in the 1590s. He took a Korean girl later known as Julia Ota-a back to Japan with him and she later became one of the first Korean Christians.

Father Gregorious de Cespedes, a Jesuit priest, visited Konishi in Korea in 1593 to work among Japanese expatriates, but he was not permitted to proselytize Koreans.

A decade later, however, the Korean diplomat Yi Gwang-Jeong returned from Beijing carrying a world atlas and several theological books written by Father Matteo Ricci, the Jesuit missionary to China.

He began disseminating the information in his books and from these beginnings the first real seeds of Christianity were sown. Over the next two centuries these ideas remained in circulation without taking deep root but the Church was finally able to gain a foothold in 1784.

The Korean Martyrs were the victims of the religious persecution against the Church that followed in the 19th century, after Catholicism had gained strength. At least 8,000 adherents to the faith were known to have been killed during this persecution, many of whom were canonized en masse in 1984.

The faith came to Korea at the end of the 18th century, purely through the laity who had been reading the Catholic books written in Chinese which had been in circulation since the time of Matteo Ricci.

These lay scholars, mostly Confucianists, founded the Hermitage of Heavenly Truth which laid the foundations for, and became the intellectual dayspring of, Korean Christianity in due course.

It is a remarkable fact that they were all laymen and there was not a single priest among them at the start.

Strong and dynamic Catholic communities soon enough arose but were led almost entirely by lay people until the arrival of the first French missionaries in 1836. The Catholic community suffered major persecutions in the years 1839, 1846 and 1866, producing at least 8,000 known martyrs, executed in a variety ways including torture and beheading.

The vast majority of the martyrs were lay people, including men and women, married and single, old and young. 79 martyrs of Korea were beatified in 1925 and 24 more were beatified in 1968 and the combined 103 martyrs were canonized as saints, in 1984, with a feast day on 20 September. Currently, Korea has the 4th largest number of canonized saints of any country in the Catholic world.

Ricci’s books provoked immediate academic controversy when Yi Gwang-Jeong brought them into Korea, and academics remained critical for many years. Early in the seventeenth century, Yi Su-gwang, a court scholar, and Yu Mong-in, a cabinet minister, wrote highly critical commentaries on Ricci’s works, and over the next two centuries academic criticism of Christian beliefs continued unabated.

Some scholars, however, were more sympathetic to Christianity. Members of the Silhak (“practical learning”) school were heavily influenced by the Catholic Chinese writings they had read and promoted them in Korea but they were often bitterly opposed by the mainstream Korean academic establishment.

Thus, when Christianity was established in Korea, there was already a substantial body of educated opinion sympathetic to it, which was crucial to the spread of the Catholic faith.

The first Catholic prayer-house was founded in 1784 at Pyongyang by Yi Sung-Hun, a diplomat who had been baptised in Beijing. In 1786, Yi proceeded to establish a hierarchy of lay-priests. These were later disbanded when it was realised that Catholic priests had to be ordained by valid bishops with true Apostolic succession.

Nevertheless, Christianity was introduced into Korea by indigenous lay-workers, not by clergy. Thus Christianity began as largely a lay “grass-roots” movement in Korea.

Statue, in St Peter's Basilica, of Pope Gregory XVI who authorised the first Korean Diocese

The Korean lay catechist and martyr, St Paul Chŏng Hasang, was himself the son of a martyr, Augustine Chŏng Yakjong, one of the first converts of Korea, who wrote the first catechism for the Korean Church entitled “Joo Gyo Yo Ji.”

When Yakjong was martyred with Hasang’s older brother, Yakjong’s wife and the other children were spared and went into a rural place.

When he grew up, Hasang became a servant of a government interpreter which enabled him to travel to Beijing many times, where he entreated the Bishop of Beijing to send some priests to Korea. He wrote to Pope Gregory XVI via the bishop of Beijing, requesting the establishment of a Diocese of Korea, independent from that of Beijing. That zealous and apostolic pope, Gregory XVI, established that See in 1825.

Some years later, Bishop Saint Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert and two other French priests were sent to the Korean mission. The bishop found Hasang to be talented, zealous, and virtuous. He taught him Latin and theology, when a persecution broke out.

Bishop St Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert

Hasang was captured and gave the judge a written thesis defending Catholicism. The judge, after reading it, said, “You are right in what you have written; but the king forbids this religion, it is your duty to renounce it.”

Hasang replied, “I have told you that I am a Christian, and will be one until my death.”

After this Hasang endured a series of tortures but with remarkable serenity. He was thereafter bound to a cross on a cart and went to his death, at the age of 45, with extraordinary good cheer.

St Andrew Kim Taegŏn was Korea’s first Roman Catholic priest.

Born of Korean nobility, Kim Taegŏn’s parents were converts of St Francis Xavier and his father was subsequently martyred for practising Christianity.

Kim studied at a seminary in Macau and was ordained a priest in Shanghai six years later. He then returned to Korea to preach and evangelize. It was then, during the Joseon Dynasty, that Catholics were persecuted and executed. Kim was one of several thousands of Christians who were executed during this time. In 1846, at the age of 25, he was tortured and beheaded. His last words were:

“This is my last hour of life, listen to me attentively: if I have held communication with foreigners, it has been for my religion and for my God. It is for Him that I die. My immortal life is on the point of beginning. Become Christians if you wish to be happy after death, because God has eternal chastisements in store for those who have refused to know Him.”

On May 6, 1984 Pope John Paul II canonized Andrew Kim Taegŏn along with 102 other martyrs, including Paul Chŏng Hasang, the layman who had done so much to spread early Catholicism in Korea.

This marked the first canonization ceremony to be held outside of Rome and the largest number of saints ever to be canonized at one time.

From the last letter of St Andrew Kim Taegŏn to his parish as he awaited martyrdom with a group of twenty persons, the Korean Church was bequeathed these noble words:

“My dear brothers and sisters, know this: Our Lord Jesus Christ upon descending into the world took innumerable pains upon and constituted the Holy Church through his own passion and increases it through the passion of its faithful....

Now, however, some fifty or sixty years since Holy Church entered into our Korea, the faithful suffer persecutions again. Even today persecution rages, so that many of our friends of the same faith, among whom am I myself, have been thrown into prison. just as you also remain in the midst of persecution. Since we have formed one body, how can we not be saddened in our innermost hearts? How can we not experience the pain of separation in our human faculties?

However, as Scripture says, God cares for the least hair of our heads, and indeed he cares with his omniscience; therefore, how can persecution be considered as anything other than the command of God, or his prize, or precisely his punishment?...

We are twenty here, and thanks be to God all are still well. If anyone is killed, I beg you not to forget his family. I have many more things to say, but how can I express them with pen and paper? I make an end to this letter. Since we are now close to the struggle, I pray you to walk in faith, so that when you have finally entered into Heaven, we may greet one another. I leave you my kiss of love.”

St Andrew Kim Taegŏn

St Andrew Kim Taegŏn, pray for us!
St Paul Chŏng Hasang, pray for us!
Saint Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert, pray for us!
The 8,000 Korean martyrs, pray for us!