Author Archives: Jeff

Global Warming

RTB takes the position that the surface temperature of Earth is warming and human activity plays a role in the warming. While the scientific literature clearly supports this position, most discussion of global warming (or climate change) occurs in a politically charged arena. Consequently, we should keep a number of scientific, political and theological points in mind when discussing the topic.

Scientific points:

  1. Measurements clearly show that Earth has been warming over the last hundred years.
  2. A substantial body of evidence indicates human activity contributes to this warming.
  3. Many scientists regard the consequences of global warming as already dire and irreversible. RTB maintains that the scientific evidence is not so clear on how severe a problem the warming is or on the best ways to address it.

Political points:

  1. Much of the “scientific discussion” in the public arena is actually politically driven (both for and against global warming), with supporters selecting their favorite scientific evidence.
  2. When having a political discussion, understand that a person’s worldview plays a major role in the position a person will take.
  3. To properly address the “global warming problem” we need a diverse set of solutions that span the political spectrum.

Theological points:

  1. God is the creator and sustainer of the universe (and Earth in particular) and will accomplish His purposes. That does not mean we can neglect our care for creation.
  2. God commanded humans to care for and rule over creation, being careful to avoid worshiping the Earth or giving it higher priority than humanity.
  3. God has structured creation in such a way that the best solutions will both provide for humanity AND care for Earth.

Above all, in debating the different solutions to global warming, apply the golden rule. Treat others (and their arguments) the way you want to be treated—even when the debate gets heated.

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Four part series with paleoclimatologist Kevin Birdwell.

  • Part One: What happened with climate-gate? Is the globe warming? Is the scientific process working?
  • Part Two: How do humans impact the greenhouse gases? The ocean circulations? How do climate models work and are they useful? Understanding the importance of cloud cover.
  • Part Three: Evidence for climate change. Are global warming and climate change the same thing? How does the Sun affect climate change? How do we respond to the public discussion? What will happen in the next decade? Are there limits to global warming?
  • Part Four: How legitimate is the “hockey stick”? How dramatic is the projected warming compared to the past temperatures? What are the dominant human contributions? How do we find the best solution?

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The term multiverse carries many different meanings and anyone discussing the scientific research about the multiverse should understand these distinctions. Currently the most popular versions of the multiverse suggest universes entirely separate (with different physical laws) from ours. These may form as a consequence of inflation that operated early in our universe, or they may result from quantum mechanical processes. Two things remain clear: our universe shows overwhelming evidence of a beginning and exhibits compelling evidence of fine-tuning for life. Whether the multiverse exists or not, research into this fascinating topic has made the case for a Beginner and a Designer of the universe more robust.

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Scientific advances over the last two decades allow astronomers to detect planets orbiting stars outside our solar system. These objects are known as extrasolar planets, or exoplanets for short. As astronomers study the hundreds of exoplanets already discovered, evidence for Earth’s rare (or possibly unique)  characteristics for supporting advanced life continues to grow. News reports often claim a particular exoplanet is Earth-like or “habitable.” Such announcements typically reflect a “minimalist model” for habitability, namely the assumption that where liquid water exists, life will inevitably exist. RTB’s testable creation model proposes that life requires far more exacting criteria than just liquid water.

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