Mike was one of my best friends from FrontPage magazine. As much as any person who posts in the blogosphere can shape opinion, Mike did shape opinion. He was an intellectual GIANT who wrote in terms the rest of us could comprehend. I'm not ashamed to say, Mike dumbed it down for us mere mortals and did it seemingly without an ego. He was the greatest and most artriculate champion for human freedom that I've ever encountered on any message board, and his loss leaves a terrible vacuum. G-d bless and keep you pal.
Around three years ago Mike was involved in one of his vaunted "discussions" at FrontPage with an atheist. I enjoyed it so much that I asked his permission to copy the discussion and make a blog post. From 2007:
A Conservative Answers An Atheist
Last night one of the regular posters at FrontPage Magazine.com, "DumbLikeAFox", let loose with an atheist screed that was terribly hostile and misinformed, but one I'm rather familiar with. Atheist hostility towards people of faith is sometimes so palpable that one is left with the impression that atheists view themselves in "competition" with the faithful. There are many thoughtful exceptions to this rule, but this hostility seems to be the rule.
As an aside, when self-professed atheists control the state we invariably end up with Communism or Fascism. Atheist governments feel no compunction to respect any "G-d given" rights of the people. They seek to perfect the imperfectable humans in their midst. We round humans just REFUSE to fit into square holes! That's when the bloodletting commences. Refer to Robespierre, Mussolini, Hitler, or Stalin.
(I've Italicized the correspondence for ease of reading)
This is DLAF's atheist rant from last night:
"Religion has to be the greatest bull-hit story ever told. Think about it, religion has actually convinced people that there's an INVISIBLE MAN...LIVING IN THE SKY...who watches everything that you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten special things that he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry for ever and ever 'til the end of time...but he loves you."---DLAF
Mike's reply to this hostile rant was beautiful, and dare I say--poetic.
"Interesting. I'm glad you're a physicist because you'll have a much deeper understanding than most.
To be an atheist physicist you have to believe that billions upon billions of galaxies composed of billions of stars spreading across an area so vast that it takes around 15 billion years for light traveling 6.2 trillion miles per year to reach from one side to the other.
Yet all this impossible to imagine tremendous amount of mass was compressed into an area 1 x 10 to the -48 centimeter. And in an instant (where time and space itself ,not to mention the word "instant",have no meaning) this amount of energy exploded forth from an area no larger than the distance of an electron from it's nucleus. After some time the energy accelerated in a way governed by scores of arbitrary constants. Any one of these scores of constants being of any other value then they just happened to be and matter would not exist, let alone suns, planets, plants and cocker-spaniels.
And there is the rub. All these perfectly tuned variables have the probability of near zero of simply randomly occurring the way they did.
But they did, now didn't they? That's where the evidence takes you. That's what you have to believe. And somehow you think that tale happening randomly is somehow less fantastic and bizarre than suggesting their is a greater purpose behind it? That it was intended?
So let me answer your question this way. I have a logical mind. In all my years I have never once purchased a lottery ticket. Not for any moral or anti-gambling reason, but simply because I understand the mathematical odds. In fact, I believe the lottery to be a tax on the mathematically illiterate. My loving and dear wife, on the other hand, has purchased a ticket every week for the past 27 years.
Now I ask you, another person with a logical mind and an understanding of numbers, to do two things....
1) I want you to calculate in rough terms the odds of the universe occurring the way it did with all its myriad variables randomly falling into place in just the precise way it did so that matter itself is possible and its subsequent evolution into a universe no doubt full of life conscious enough to ask the question "Where did I come from? Why I am I here?".
2) When, in much frustration, you've calculated that the odds of you winning the lottery are nearly infinitely greater than the universe unfolding in the precise way it did, then I want you to go drop to your knees and pray to the Great Void and thank it for THAT happy random coincidence.
Care to buy a lottery ticket? It sure looks more attractive now, doesn't it?"---Mike
I've come to much the same conclusion, and had that conclusion reinforced while helping my daughter with her Physical Science and Algebra homework. The world we live in has RULES! It seems as though we live in an ordered universe, at least as we perceive it. The atheist with his telescope or microscope or chalkboard will always miss the hand of the Creator in the natural world that he observes and uncovers, while the believer will appreciate His work. You don't have to believe in the creation myth or be a Biblical literalist to understand the brilliance of the Creator.
To be an atheist you are a believer in coincidences--THOUSANDS as a matter of fact!
People who think of Evolution as a refutation of G-d's very existence are almost childlike in the simplicity of their thought processes. For example they never stop to ask, "Is it possible that He created evolution as a means for animals to adapt and survive when the rest of nature throws us a wicked curveball?"
This morning a friend of mine, Z (from geeeeez and Mac n' Geeez) sent me this link of the renowned astrophysicist Owen Gingerich discussing the intersection of faith and the Periodic table. It's a must see!