Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Tribute To My Buddy Mike, Rest in Peace Brother

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!



  1. It seems beyond the ability of the arrogant atheists to accept that there might have been an Intelligence in existence prior to our own.

  2. Arrogance is a good word to describe the "Man as God" mindset that goes with atheism. As Mike expertly pointed out, there are SO many coincidences that have to be swallowed to deny God, that the atheist is purposefully blind.

    Thanks for stopping by Makarios!

  3. Holy SMOKE...you're not on moderation but I wrote and wrote and put in the WORD VERIFICATION and my post didn't publish! Oh, well.

    Suffice it to say that I'm SO GLAD you and the other good people from FPM that we both loved are at our blogs now...You were so much fun at FPM, Jingo! And, I'm SO happy you saved this amazing bit of thinking/ writing of Mike's...

    I do remember sending you that link a few years ago...I may look at it again! THANKS....xxx me

  4. Z, that link you sent me is among the best I've ever gotten. It's nice that an astrophysicist can explain His "footprints" in the periodic table and even more!

    About FPM. There was a time when we has 20-30 of the smartest people I've ever dealth with. It was fun, and at times HUMBLING. But that's how we learn, right? You, Mike, Farmer, Pat (WV), Pris, DONAL, Roger (FT), there are just so many bright people in that crowd.

  5. Jingo - This is great. Your personal tribute to Mike, and his answer to DLAF.

    As I read Mike's reply to DLAF, I thought, my God, Mike described Intelligent Design as if he himself had done the years of scientific research, and published the paper on it.

    I have read the write up on Intelligent Design in The American Spectator. I swear, Mike could have written it. He was so intelligent, and so deep of thought, and faith. This is a jewel.

    I'm copying, and saving it. Thanks Jingo, for this wonderful contribution about Mike.


  6. Pris, thank you for stopping by. I think of the true intellects that I've encountered in the blogosphere, and I count YOU and Mike and all of those listed in my 12:48 post among them.
    Thanks for the heads up about the American Spectator article!

  7. I never got involved in the FPM fora, but I did participate in the "Moonbat Central" blog that FPM once had.

    I think I would have liked Mike alot.

  8. Really Beamish? I thought you were one of the regulars there? Either way, you're right about Mike. He was OUR kind of guy.

  9. People who think of Evolution as a refutation of G-d's very existence


    Who thinks of it as a refutation of God's existence?

    It's a powerful refutation of literal Old Testament interpretation but hardly a refutation of God.

  10. To be an atheist you are a believer in coincidences--THOUSANDS as a matter of fact!


    No. The universe is just what it is and if it were different then Planck's constant or the ideal gas law might be different.
    This is what developed and if the bang hadn't been so big it would have been something else but you can't go from this existence to some kind of intent --- well maybe mystics can but they have never been particularly welcomed by fundamentalists.

    "God doesn't play dice with the universe." But the thing is Einstein said that in despair because he knew that Heisenberg had demonstrated just that at the micro level. Einstein knew he was beat.

  11. Don't get too teleological, you may become an Hegelian and from there it's a quick trip to Marxism.

  12. I have bookmarked this page. Thank you for sharing it.

  13. Ducky wrote:
    "No. The universe is just what it is and if it were different then Planck's constant or the ideal gas law might be different."

    Well I guess that settles it then ! :-)
    Ducky did you take 15 minutes to watch the Owen Gingerich interview? I think you'd really enjoy it. Talk about a lively intellect...

    Linda, thank YOU for stopping by!

  14. Jingoist, the argument by design fails because in order for there to be a teleological force there must be an end goal.

    Now in the case of the universe you are going to have a difficult time delineating the goal so the argument by design falls apart.

  15. Ducky just because we cannot even begin to fathom the aims or intentions of the Creator doesn't mean that the argument "falls apart."

    When you compare that thought process--loosely defined as "teleological"--with metaphysical naturalism it seems perfectly logical, by comparison that is...

    Denying the Creator is one heck of a lot harder than accepting Him. For the physical world to have arranged itself as it has WITHOUT a higher intelligence at work just becomes more untenable the more you think about it. We're back to happy coincidences Ducky. Aren't we?

  16. As you stated, your friends explanation was about the best I've ever heard.


  17. (L) Mike was as good as they come. Thanks for stopping by. I looked at your profile and we havew a lot in common. I grew up in Ft. Myers!