An Interview with Astronomer Dr. Hugh Ross on Why the Universe Is the Way It Is

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Dr. Brown speaks with astronomer Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe, as they discuss his book Why the Universe Is the Way It Is and discuss some of the toughest objections from the side of evolution as well as young earth creationism. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.


Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Let’s step back and think of the words of Psalm 8, “When we consider the heavens God’s handy work, what can we do but be in awe of our creator God.”

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: The compassionate wise God has shown His compassion and wisdom in the way He made the entire universe. Think about it.


This week Dr. Brown is offering Astronomer Hugh Ross’s important book, “Why the Universe Is The Way It Is”, plus Dr. Brown’s 2-hour interview with Dr. Ross for just $20 Postage Paid!

Call 1-800-278-9978 or Order Online!

Other Resources:

Dr. Brown Interviews Young Earth Creation Scholar Dr. Jonathan Sarfati

Dr. Brown Interviews Scientist Hugh Ross (Reasons to Believe); and Biblical Mistranslations and Misunderstandings

Dr. Brown Interviews Dr. Hugh Ross and Dr. Fuz Rana on Hidden Treasures in Job, Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, Creating Life in the Lab, and the Cell’s Design

  1. Today’s guest was a much better scientist than that last creationist you had on. _much_

    I really enjoyed him!

    I can’t think of much about his science that I could disagree with but I did have concerns about his theology regarding fossil fuels.

    Clearly, use of fossil fuels is severely damaging the planet, so it seems like an unwise theology to say that God gave us carbon-based energy to fulfill the Great Commission.

    (I guess if we used them ONLY for that, we wouldn’t have global climate change!)

  2. I’m wondering what some colorful and creative photography of wine being fermented might look like as it’s being made.

    Maybe it would look something like the things we see in outer space.

    (John 2)

  3. Ray,

    Are you making some reference to the “Cosmic Sea”?

    I’m not sure how that relates to wine.

    Did you hear the show today? I gotta say, Dr. Ross did a great job. I only heard about half the show but, of what I heard, it seemed like good science. (he was a little weaker on his theology, IMHO)

  4. I found it interesting what Dr. Brown said about the question about when sin entered the world and death as a result.

    There were no thorns (apparently) in the garden, for they came about as a result of sin.

    What about the dinosaurs? How do I know they did not come about as a result of sin?

    There’s a lot the Bible doesn’t seem to tell us about this world and so we will likely have so many questions as we go through life in it.

    It’s not so bad to have questions sometimes.

    Jesus made wine out of water in less than a day and the same day the natural laws of the universe, (gravity, time, space, etc) stayed in place. Jesus didn’t let such things prevent him from doing the Father’s will, whether it was going hungry looking at stones in a wilderness, or turning barrels of water into wine at somebody’s wedding.

    I believe there is a connection between what Jesus did that day in Cana in John 2, and the Genesis 1 account.

  5. Ray,

    >>I believe there is a connection between what Jesus did that day in Cana in John 2, and the Genesis 1 account.

    What is the connection?

    The more obvious connection, to me, is to the Last Supper. As far as I know, the eucharist was already being celebrated when John was written, so there is possibly a connection there, as well.

    But, a reference to creation? That’s a new one to me

    Where did the Jews think fermentation came from? Was it somehow tied into creation?

    Certainly, this miracle makes Jesus master of the natural world.


  6. Now that I think about it, could it be that dinosaurs were one of the chief, or first of the ways God dealt with the matter of sin? (Job 40:15)

    I’ve heard it said that fossils have proved that they and man inhabited the earth together.

    Could it be that God made great beasts as a potential threat to man because of sin? (Job 40:19)

  7. Ray,

    Regarding dinosaurs. I can’t imagine what they would have to do with sin.

    Do you they strike you as sinful or corrupted?

    They seem pretty awesome to me.

    As far as I understand, there are some “living dinosaurs” that survived the extinction. Some people theorize that birds are the progenitors of the dinosaurs. They don’t seem sinful to me!

  8. Ray,

    >I’ve heard it said that fossils have proved that they and man inhabited the earth together.

    I’ve heard creationists claim this but I think all evidence is otherwise.

    Dinosaurs and humans are literally millions of years apart.

  9. At any rate, God can deal with sinners by things that are bigger than they. I think that’s a little bit about what hell is about.

  10. Ray,

    No offense, but I really don’t understand you at all.

    Can we back up?

    What does turning water into wine have to do with Creation?

    I am intrigued by the connection. What do you believe about that?

  11. “Certainly, this miracle makes Jesus master of the natural world.”

    Perhaps, if Dionysus hadn’t performed the same exact miracle hundreds of years earlier. You might branch out and try reading something besides the Bible. You can find versions of every story in the Bible in other older Near Eastern literature. Why do you think book burning was so popular among the early Christians?

  12. Van,

    I read broadly.

    Did I ever claim that there are no other ancient stories besides the bible?

    If you are saying that there were other religions in the first century, you have no argument with me.

    I’m curious — what is your belief?

    You seem to have an ax to grind about Christianity. If not Christianity, what do you believe in?

  13. Van,

    Perhaps, if Dionysus hadn’t performed the same exact miracle hundreds of years earlier.

    Documentation please. I have heard of Dionysus calling wine a type of water, but not turning water into wine [and this can’t be traced back before the second century]. I see a lot of assertion of this kind of thing, but I have never seen any proof. Could you please give us the reference with the Greek text?

    You might branch out and try reading something besides the Bible. You can find versions of every story in the Bible in other older Near Eastern literature. Why do you think book burning was so popular among the early Christians?

    Lol, I have read many of these stories in their original languages. As for them being “earlier,” how do you know that? The problem with stories in the ANE is that they can be told and retold until they are finally written down at a later point. The tradition might be far more ancient than the first example of a written text.

    Also, for example, Moses says in Genesis 5:1 that he is using sources to compile his account [this is the *book* of the generations of Adam]. How do you know that these sources he is using are not older than the other stories of the ANE?

    Also, since when do you get the idea that because the stories are similar that the one came from the other? What about the possibility that these stories are polemics meant to attack the ideas found in these pagan stories? What if they had a “Let’s set the record straight” idea? While there are similarities to these stories, there are differences as well. Those differences are crucial, because they display differences in worldview, and ways in which the ancient Hebrews differed from their surrounding neighbors.

  14. Greg,

    When Jesus made the wine out of water in Cana, (John 2) people might have naturally assumed it was aged wine for it was considered to be the best that was served that day by the ruler of the feast. (John 2:9)

    If there had been someone who knew all about wine and how it was made, and if he were to examine it, putting it through all the tests, it doesn’t seem unlikely to me if he would have considered it to be aged wine of more than a few years old, yet it really was only minutes or hours old.

    We may hear how a day with the Lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day.

    Do we often consider that he can make what would seem like it would take thousand of years to produce, in a moment of time?

    Looking at the stars from a scientific perspective, it may seem like some star light might take more than a few thousands of years to get to where it’s light would reach the earth, yet God can bring that light to bear upon the earth in a moment of time, just like Jesus brought the wine into the wedding feast.

    That’s the connection I was seeing, for it was the same Lord who made the stars, who also made the wine.

    I wonder how a biologist would explain thorns.

    To him, where did they come from?

    Had they been since the beginning of time?

    But they were not made by God during creation week as far as I can tell. Maybe they were there, but it seems to me that maybe they were not, but were a result of sin, a consequence that God brought about because of sin.

    God used a whale to swallow Jonah. That doesn’t make a whale sinful. I’m just saying that God can use those things which are bigger than man to be a threat to man should he need to be humbled by God, or is judged to be worthy of receiving his wrath.

    Those who will be condemned to hell will be suffering terribly under the punishment of Satan forever,
    for their sins and the rejection of God’s saving grace.

    It seems to me that the thorns and thistles came about after the ground was cursed for Adam’s sake after he had sinned. (Gen 3:18)

    I’m thinking that there might not have been thorns and thistles up until that time.

    I wonder what effect sin had upon the animals.
    Did they go through any changes after the fall?

  15. It is certainly something to think about that death only came to humans because of sin, whereas it was said that the creation was subjected to “vanity” because of [humans’] sin.
    What is the definition of “vanity”? Were plants “dying” when the animals ate them? If the plants “died” while it was “good”, why would it violate the “goodness” for animals to “die” because of cancerous tumors? Because they are being eaten by smaller organisms does that make it “not good”?

  16. What would Dr. Ross say to someone who says light is not truly a “constant”? That light does not travel at a set speed? That the calculation of the age of the Universe based upon redshift could, therefore, be compromised?

  17. Dr Brown,

    Thank you for having both young and old earth views on. It would be great if you would also have both Dr. Sarfati and Dr. Ross on at the same time, and give them a chance to DEBATE each other.

    Personally, I agree with both mostly with the young earth view. There a many biblical and scientific reasons, I highlight just 2 main ones here.

    1. I believe normal the reading of Genesis 1 is very clearly 6 days.
    Anywhere else in the Bible the word “day” is used with a number, morning or evening it means a regular day. In Genesis 1 God used all 3 to leave no doubt – morning, evening, number day. This is basic hermeneutics.

    While God could have easily created everything in 6 seconds or 6 billion years He used 6 days – why? Exodus 20:11 answers this. To establish the weekly cycle that He made us to operate (He showed us by example).

    2. I like Dr. Hugh Ross, but I believe his main error is natural reasoning, trying to make what looks like must have taken millions/billions of years for light to travel, fossil fuels to develop etc.. then trying to make that fit into the Bible. Observable science is one thing, historical science is usually a guess, with man’s finite thinking.

    A KEY – To me, here’s an important key for understanding all this:

    God created a mature Adam, in a mature garden, with fruit already on there trees, on a mature earth, with the Sun, moon, and stars all in place and visible (for the appointed times) so it could all function as needed from the day man was created. (No need to wait for light to travel however many light year to be visible, God made it already in place – functional and observable.)

    No need to wait for light to travel however many light year to be visible, God made it already in place – functional and observable.

    You have probably already considered these yourself.

    Peace and Grace,

    PS. I don’t usually get involved with forum discussions because it’s usually a waste of time (most people have too much pride to admit their wrong so they defend their position at all costs). Doesn’t usually change much. So I don’t plan to respond to anyone.

  18. Ill admit… Im a pretty intelligent guy… but these new earth vs old earth shows… are over my head. Both ppl make good claims… and good for them.

    All I know… is God did it. & Im good with that. LOL!

    I am jus glad Salavtion is not reliant upon “xplain to Me how I created the earth in 6 days”…. Thank u JESUS!!!


  19. Greg Allen
    I’m curious — what is your belief?
    You seem to have an ax to grind about Christianity. If not Christianity, what do you believe in?
    I don’t believe in any gods, yours or anyone else’s.

    Dr. Michael L Brown
    October 8th, 2013 @ 11:51 pm
    What an utterly ridiculous comment in every respect (I’m speaking of #11).

    Van: Perhaps you have never read, “Myth, Legend, Custom & Folklore in the Old Testament by Theodor Gaster. 101 Myths of The Bible is a less comprehensive read on the same subject.

  20. Van,

    Dr. Brown has a Phd in the subject you are talking about, and I am at the Master’s level in the same subject, and we are both telling you, those arguments are absurd. Especially the Dionysus argument which you still have not provided documentation for.

    Yes, there have been hard leftists who have held those arguments, but I listed several problems with them above which you still have not addressed. They are, fundamentally, absurd. They ignore the complexity of intersocial relations, and they ignore various intents that an author can have by bringing in material from other religious traditions. The development of discourse analysis and sociolinguistics has largely been the death blow to this position. The notion of “parallelomania” is something that has been finally recognized as an exegetical fallacy, and has put a major damper on this position.

    So, yes, Dr. Brown and I have both heard of far left fringe scholars who have all kinds of weird views on things, especially during the time when Theodor H. Gaster wrote, which was a time of methodological free for all in the comparative method. That has largely been hedged in now by the study of sociolinguistics and textlinguistics. One must now recognize and analyze both similarities as well as differences between the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East, and not just blindly say, “This came from pagan myths!”

  21. Greg Allen,

    You Wrote:
    “Today’s guest was a much better scientist than that last creationist you had on. _much_

    I really enjoyed him!

    I can’t think of much about his science that I could disagree with but I did have concerns about his theology regarding fossil fuels.”

    So basically, the measure of good science is your understanding…hmmmmm! And the measure of morality concerning homosexuality and abortion is your understanding…hmmmmmm!

    Did you ever wonder if maybe you are not the most intelligent of humans…and maybe not the best judge of who’s science is best?

    We know that you stand against sound scriptural morality…why would we think that your judgement about who is the better scientist is of any more worth? I am betting that Hugh Ross would not want you to be his spokesman, anyway. I doubt that he approves of a homosexual marriage or abortion.

    And I would like to see a chess match between Ross and Sarfati. It might not be the best test of intelligence, but it is up there in most peoples minds.

  22. Bill Follupa, you write in post # 16, “What is the definition of “vanity”?”

    I assume you are speaking of Romans 5:20. According to Strong’s Greek, the word interpreted “vanity” in that verse means “1. inutility
    2. (figuratively) transientness
    3. (morally) depravity”

    But I would also encourage you to read further to verses 21 and 22. All of creation was not only subjected to vanity, but also to corruption, groaning and travailing in pain. That was not God’s original creation design. The creation was subjected to all of this after man’s sin.

    You further asked, “Were plants “dying” when the animals ate them?” Yes. But plant death is different from animal and human death. Leviticus 17:11 says that the “life of the flesh is in the blood”. This definition of life is what we have in mind when saying that there was not death before the Fall. That is why in Genesis 1:29-30 tells us that God had man and animals eating plants.

    To continue your questions, “If the plants “died” while it was “good”, why would it violate the “goodness” for animals to “die” because of cancerous tumors? Because they are being eaten by smaller organisms does that make it “not good”?”

    Because plants and smaller organisms have no feeling. They have no sentience. Animals that die and have sentience taken away from them and often die painful, emotion-filled deaths. A cancerous tumor would likely be a form of that excruciatingly torturous death. That is why there is a difference and a rather significant difference between plant life vs. animal and human life.

  23. I finally got the chance to listen to Dr. Ross’ interview. I regret that I wasn’t able to hear it live. But I heard some things I wanted to address.

    I wanted to transcribe the following from the
    interview with Dr. Ross because I think it is
    extremely important. (Sorry, it is a bit lengthy.) I will interject my thoughts and critiques of what he is saying in parentheses.

    Dr. Ross discusses about death before sin in minutes 7-11 of the interview and says that he disagrees that, “…If you’ve got God there permitting carnivorous activity or parasitic activity that somehow that demeans the character of God. (Notice though, in Dr. Ross’s view it is not really that God simply allows carnivorous activity. Rather, it is that God specifically designed it that way and wanted it to occur. In that, I do not agree.) Which I find a bit mystifying because all the way through the New Testament you get hammered again and again with a message; the only way you can live is to die; the pathway to salvation is by dying to your self will and receiving new life in Jesus Christ. (That is correct that is the message. But that is a message to a world infected with sin. It is not a message to a world living in the way that God designed it. It is a message to a world that has rebelled from that initial design.) And if God, the Father saw fit to put His own Son to death. Then why are we so disturbed about a cat killing a mouse. (Jesus went willingly to the cross as a sacrifice for us. He was taking our place. It was not His desire for us to be a captive of death. That is why He sacrificed Himself for us. And therefore, His sacrifice to rescue us because there was no other way in which to overcome death in no way compares to thinking that a loving God would intentionally create and design His creation to kill and hurt each other.) I think we tend to anthropomorphize and look at the suffering of these animals as being akin to our own suffering.(Indeed, and God intended us to do so. Observe the Passover lamb that God Himself instituted for His people to observe. That lamb was a visual symbol of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice. It is the same with the sacrifice of bulls and goats in the Old Testament.
    We are to see that and see that our sin has cost
    that animal its life. And while Scripture is clear
    that the animal’s life does not have the same worth as ours. The Israelites were still to see it as a tragic result of sin that the animal had to give up its life.) And we are spiritual beings; we anticipate pain and suffering. The animals do not. (That’s not true. If a man beats his dog. That dog will cower and hide from its master in anticipation of that pain. A mouse will try to escape from a cat. Why? Because of anticipation of pain or death.) I just took my dog for a walk this morning. He was bashing his head against all kinds of obstacles and it was like nothing had happened. I bash my head and I feel a lot of pain and I recognize that those objects ahead are going to cause problems. (I feel that this anecdote is meant to trivialize animal pain as if it doesn’t occur. The reality is that certain dog may not have felt pain in that certain situation. There are also human beings that have higher threshholds of pain than other human beings. But that doesn’t mean animals don’t feel pain. I feel that Dr. Ross’s anecdote trying to trivialize animal pain might possibly be a psychological mechanism in his mind because he recognizes that animal pain is regrettable and wants to assuage that in his own mind. But trivializing very real animal pain is not the answer.) But the Scriptural heart of this is Romans chapter 5 and Young earth creationists tend to only give you part of Romans 5:12. Where it basically says that death comes through the offense of Adam in the garden of Eden. but if you read the entire verse it says death through sin was visited upon all men. The distinction there is of all the species of life that exist on earth only humans experience sin. Our dogs don’t sin. None of the animals sin We are the only ones that are spiritual. God only made one spiritual species that is even capable of sin and that is human beings. (That is true. But it also equally true that man was given headship over all of the creation. Man’s federal headship over creation meant that the effects of sin were not only felt by man but by the entire creation as verses 20-22 go on to point out.) Notice the verse ends with death to all men. It doesn’t say death to all life. the fact that Paul qualifies it twice in Romans 5:12 indicates that this is a text saying that human death was inaugurated by the offense of Adam in the Garden of Eden. it should not be extended to the death of all life or the death of all the plants and animals. (The full context of the greater part of Romans is specifically the subject matter of mankind as it relates to sin. So it makes sense that Romans 5:12 would emphasize human death. But it is an argument from silence to say that because it does not specifically include animal death that animal death did not also come as the result of man’s sin. Romans 8:20-22 makes it clear that all of creation has been affected by man’s sin; not just human beings.)And Paul repeats this in 1 Corinthians 15:20-22. You’ve got two different texts and two different letters where Paul is very carefully qualifying that this is something that is unique to humans its not to be extended to all forms of life. (No that is not
    what those verse said. Again, Dr. Ross is making a
    fallacious argument from silence and turning it
    around as if the verse made an implicit claim that
    “it is not to be extended to all forms of life”. The Scriptures did not say that and it is to ignore Romans 8:20-22 to claim that in the first place.) Moreover if you go to Psalm 104 there is a text there verses 29 and 30 that says it’s the property of all life to die off. But God recreates and renews the face of the earth. (That is entirely true. But that is again the reality is that the world referred to is a world that has been affected by sin. There is no indication from Scripture that this is how the world operated prior to sin. And in fact, Genesis 1:29-30 indicates that is specifically NOT how the world operated prior to sin being introduced into it.) And as I look at Psalm 104, it’s got packing our planet earth with as much life as possible as
    diverse as possible and as long as possible. Why? So that we human beings will have all of the biodeposit resources we need Thanks to the 320 Billion years of death that preceded us so that we can have the resources we need to launch and sustain global civilization and use that civilization to quickly fulfill the Great Commission. (I disagree with his time frame here. But I also disagree with him that just because that is how the world affected by sin now operates, that that is how God specifically
    designed it to work prior to sin. I do not believe
    that at all and see no Biblical proof for that
    assumption.) In other words to fulfill the purpose for which God created human beings placed here upon planet earth to take the Good News of salvation to literally all the people groups of the world and how God is going to use that to bring about the end of all evil and suffering and take us into the new creation where death will never exist again. In this creation God purposes to use the creation and human beings to eliminate evil and suffering and death once and for all. (I have no argument with this. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” But notice it doesn’t say everything is good. But rather that God works things for good. Evil, suffering and pain are not good. They are not part of God’s original design. Yet God can and does work those things for good even though they are not good.) This is a very good creation. The
    ultimate creation is yet to come.

  24. Jonathan Stevenson,
    Scripture says that the even the land mourns and needs its Sabbath rests.

    Why do you say plants have no sentience? How do you know that for certain? I’ve seen experiments done that seemingly disprove that. The Secret Life of Plants proved that a plant could (seemingly) correctly recall a specific person (when that person entered the room) who destroyed another plant in its presence (it understood that this person was the “murderer”).

  25. Dan1el, most people would take Hosea 4:3 where it says “the land will mourn” as an example of personification. It is a literary device that is used frequently in writing. And is found many other places in the Bible. For example: “Psalm 77:16
    The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.”

    or Isaiah 24:23 “Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion”

    But are you actually telling me that you believe that the phrase about the land mourning should not be taken as a figurative personification but an actual literal reaction by the land? If so, you are not only saying that you believe plants are sentient, you are also saying you believe soil and rock are sentient as well.

    Is that really what you are saying?

  26. Dan1el, I looked briefly into “The Secret Life of Plants.” What I found from the wikipedia article about it was that it “is generally regarded as a pseudoscientific work”.

    This is what another wikipedia article had to say about it: “The theory was not accepted by the scientific community since it did not follow the scientific method.[9][12] At the 141st annual meeting of American Association for the Advancement of Science, the panel of biologists found the claim unsupportable. The results seemed to be spontaneous; repeatability is still a problem, for him and the people who tried to perform his experiment. His lack of control experiments were criticized and explanations like, the polygraphs were responding to static electricity build-up and humidity changes, were put forward. The reliability of the polygraph test itself has been questioned.[9] Plants have cellulose cell walls but do not possess sensory organs; this rules out the possibility of plants having ESP or consciousness.[2]
    Biologist Arthur Galston told St. Petersburg Times, “We know plants don’t have nervous systems. But they do have little electrical currents flowing through them and are subject to outside manipulation.” He further said that plants can show altered electrical responses to light, chemical agents and disease but he “draws the line” to the claim of them “responding to human thoughts and events, including life elimination.”[12] Scientists at the Cornell University and the Science Unlimited Research Foundation, San Antonio, Texas, could not find results that supported Backster’s findings in the experiment, where the death of brine shrimp caused electrical voltage changes in the leaves of a plant in another room. Backster explained that they did not follow the exact laboratory techniques which he had used to perform the original experiments. He has not attempted to repeat them himself.”

    See here:

    The fact that Backster has made no attempt to repeat the experiment should tell you something right there.

    By the way, Backster not only believed that plants could feel pain but that they also could read minds.

    If that isn’t enough for you right there, you should also know this: “Encouraged, Backster experimented further, wiring up yoghurt bacteria, eggs and human sperm. The results seemed to demonstrate that “primary perception” could be measured in all living things, echoing the beliefs of hindus, buddhists and new agers”


  27. Jonathan,
    Did Abel’s blood cry out to God? Are you saying blood actually talks?

    What about the verse that says earth will bear witness against Israel “I call heaven and earth to bear witness”.
    What about the verse that says the earth needs its Sabbath rest?
    Of course wikipedia will call The Secret Life of Plants “pseudo-scientific”. That means nothing. Why don’t you also go ask the FDA what to do about cancer and diabetes so you can get the ‘official’ worthless position on that too?

  28. Jonathan,
    If some of these other claims are correct (that he tried wiring up sperm – how would you do that?) then that may make me more skeptical of his work – as I said before, “seemingly” – so I appreciate you sharing that info.
    However, I do believe there is a possibility that the earth is sentient and can “understand” things.

  29. Daniel,

    A few thoughts…

    If life is in the blood, there is no problem with it crying out. If an animal has blood it has the type of life that is usually spoken of in scripture. Plants do not have blood or the breath of life. The land and the rocks do not have the breath of life or blood.


  30. Dan1el,

    As far as Abel’s blood crying out, compare that with Revelations 6:9-11. Abel (unlike a plant) had a soul. His soul was alive even after death and his soul (just as the souls of those martyred in Revelation) could cry out for justice. So in that sense, it can be literally said that the blood cried out (even if I am inclined to also view that as a poetic figure of speech as well).

    As for Cleve Backster (the promoter of the idea of sentient plants) here is an interview done with him:

    I find the following quotes from him to be interesting, don’t you?

    “Then, at thirteen minutes, fifty-five seconds chart time, the thought entered my mind to burn the leaf. I didn’t verbalize the idea; I didn’t touch the plant; I didn’t touch the equipment. Yet the plant went wild. The pen jumped right off the top of the chart. The only thing it could have been reacting to was the mental change.”

    ” It’s very hard to eliminate the connection between the experimenter and the plants being tested. Even a brief association with the plants — just a few hours — is enough for them to become attuned to you. Then, even though you automate and randomize the experiment and leave the laboratory, guaranteeing you are entirely unaware of when the experiment starts, the plants will remain attuned to you, no matter where you go. At first, my partner and I would go to a bar a block away, but after a while we began to suspect that the plants were responding, not to the death of the brine shrimp, but to the rising and falling levels of excitement in our conversations.”

    “Time and again, I’ve been amazed that the capability for perception extends right down to the bacterial level. One sample of yogurt, for example, will react when another is being fed, as if to say, “That one’s getting food. Where’s mine?”

    “So I thought I’d try human sperm cells, which are capable of staying alive outside the body for long periods, and are certainly easy enough to obtain. In this experiment, the sample from the donor was put in a test tube with electrodes, and the donor was separated from the sperm by several rooms. Then the donor inhaled amyl nitrite, which dilates the blood vessels and is conventionally used to stop a stroke. Just crushing the amyl nitrite caused a big reaction in the sperm, and when the donor inhaled, the sperm went wild.”

    “The greatest distance we’ve tested is about three hundred miles. Brian O’Leary, who wrote Exploring Inner and Outer Space, left his white cells here in San Diego, then flew home to Phoenix. On the way, he kept track of events that aggravated him, carefully logging the time of each. The correlation remained, even over that distance.”

    So we are to gather from Backster’s research that plants can not only feel pain but also read our minds and know what we are doing a block away from it. That yogurt also is capable of sentience and that even sperm cells can feel pain. And that cells can sense what is going on in the lives of its donor even after there is 300 miles distance between them. Did I miss anything?

    Hopefully that is enough to convince you this guy is a little off.

    If you believe all of this, I’m sure you also believe what is said on the late night UFO sighting shows as well…

  31. Jonathan Stevenson,
    The point is that you’re making it sound like it is ridiculous to believe the land would mourn yet someone could equally say that blood crying out and bearing testimony is ridiculous as well.

    What he says about plants is not unbelievable in the slightest. The documentary, “Water: the Great Mystery”, agrees with this sort of behavior 100%.
    There have also been scientific studies done (by Rupert Sheldrake – “The Extended Mind”) that showed that the thoughts extend far beyond the mind – whether it agrees with your paradigm or not is irrelevant.

    No, I don’t believe in UFOs.

  32. Bo,
    I don’t disagree that life is in the blood or that it bears witness.

    Do plants eat? Yes.
    Do plants grow? Yes.
    Do plants reproduce? Yes.
    They are alive.

    If plants are living they do have “the breath of life”. What other “life” is there?

  33. Daniel,

    Breath of life refers to breathing air. It was breathed into Adam. It is never said of plants or rocks or insects or even fish. Plants do not breath.

    Ge 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
    Ge 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
    Ge 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

    Ge 6:17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
    Ge 7:15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.
    Ge 7:22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

    All the fish were not destroyed. Insects and plants do not have nostrils.

    Please read closely the passages above.


  34. Daniel,

    Ge 7:23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

    Le 11:46 This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth:


  35. Dan1el, you said, “The point is that you’re making it sound like it is ridiculous to believe the land would mourn yet someone could equally say that blood crying out and bearing testimony is ridiculous as well.” I already sufficiently answered that in my first few sentences of post # 33. If you choose to ignore that explanation, that is your choice.

    I also have nothing more to say about “The Secret Life of Plants, (or water for that matter).

    If you believe vegetables, yogurt and human sperm can think, feel pain, and have telepathic powers from miles away, there just really is nothing more to be said.

  36. Bo,
    Are you serious?
    Of course plants breathe. They “inhale” carbon dioxide (what we exhale) and their “exhalation” is where the planet gets its oxygen from (as far as I understand).

    Do you know what the largest living organism on the face of the planet is? A mass of trees – “Pando”.

    Wrong about the things that died as well: what had to die in the flood was i. “flesh” ii. “on the land” – thus, any designation following or attached to these two premises:
    i. does not rule over a definition of “marine flesh” (as defined by Paul in 1 Cor 15:39) in which there is life (God had not decided to kill “all” flesh/”animals”, but those, specifically, “upon the land”)
    ii. (since it specifies “flesh” – i.e.: animalia – “in which is the breath of life”) does not affect my belief that trees are living (just because trees are not “flesh” “in which breath of life is” doesn’t mean they are not “organisms in which [life] is” – they are alive).

    It is a good thing Scripture never reports plants are not alive – because, if they had, they would be wrong: thank goodness it doesn’t say what you say. If memory serves me correctly, anything that eats, grows and reproduces – all things which plants do – meets the basic definition of being “alive”. Now, what sort of “life” is ever mentioned in the Bible except for a spirit – and a spirit is also “breath” – so how is it that you deny they have spirits and are sentient?

    No problem. 🙂
    There is scientific data proving my view; that your worldview automatically and (and, ironically, unscientifically) scoffs in rejection of these based on no evidence (and even eschewance of evidence) is not surprising to me; but the said “scoff” is not proof of anything (with respect to what is actually scientifically “viable”) – just proof of your closed-mindedness to the information and nothing more. In reality, I don’t blame you: i. it’s been engrained into you since childhood by a world that denies spiritual reality (because that argument befits them); and ii. it works in favor of your argument to demand you remain in ignorance on these matters (I don’t mean that in a derogatory manner) – like these other (unrelated) people, “…because they knew God but did not honor Him as God nor give Him thanks… and as they did not see fit to retain God in their minds…” (the similarity between being that both they and you rejected knowledge because it worked in their favor).
    What do you do with the tests that verify these realities – call them “pseudo-scientific”, along with the rest of the world system (the same one which is at war against the Gospel and “scoffs” at the power and efficacy of prayer [ever seen Sam Harris mocking prayer studies])? At the end of the day, as I said, I believe it is still an unscientific – possibly calculated/purposeful/willful – rejection of knowledge/evidence (the severity of which error is compounded by the fact that the material is so readily available – i.e.: when you could easily go watch the material and judge it for yourself in stead of writing it off [scoffing]).
    You haven’t convinced me in the slightest – what is more, the experiments with the sperm I have no problem with since they seem to accord perfectly with the behavior of water (which humans are made mostly of water).

    Either way, I want to remember that we both believe in Jesus so this discussion is over non-salvific issues. I’m not saying you’re not my brother or that I would have a problem going to your church (if I was invited).
    Have a good weekend.

  37. Daniel,

    You Wrote:
    “It is a good thing Scripture never reports plants are not alive – because, if they had, they would be wrong: thank goodness it doesn’t say what you say. If memory serves me correctly, anything that eats, grows and reproduces – all things which plants do – meets the basic definition of being “alive”. Now, what sort of “life” is ever mentioned in the Bible except for a spirit – and a spirit is also “breath” – so how is it that you deny they have spirits and are sentient?”

    Plants are alive. I never said that they weren’t. You are not reading carefully, either what I wrote or what the scriptures say. Your logic and worldview about plants having spirits and being sentient strikes me as quite new age and pagan. Where does scripture say that plants are sentient or have spirits? That is called animism and its roots (no pun intended) are in pagan mythology.

    Yes, plants are organisms. Yes, fish and sea creatures are alive. The point is about life being in the blood and the breath of life being in nostrils. Plants have neither. Breathing and breath in the Biblical sense cannot be applied to plants. Plants absorb co2 and release o2 on the cellular level, not with nostrils and lungs. They do not have the breath of life or blood which is where life resides, Biblically speaking. Plants absorb nutrients. They do not eat or drink. We ought not use modern ideas, whether scientific or cultural, to import ideas into the text of scripture.

    I know that there are different kinds of flesh. The categories in scripture are very broad. To import modern scientific classifications and ideas into the text is error. The sacrifices in scripture are of birds and animals, not of fish. The word sacrifice carries with it the idea of animal death…blood being shed. The grain offerings (not sacrifices) and fruit offerings are not considered in the same light as blood atonement. We do not have to kill the tree or vine or even the grass to bring these sorts of offerings. Animal sacrifices, of necessity kill the animals and spill their blood.


  38. Bo,
    What is “life”? Spirit. Does Scripture have ANY other connotation – which you wish to import – in it? No. The only “life” is a “spirit”. Thus, living plants have spirits. What you would like to say to me to attempt to disqualify me is ungodly.

    Don’t class me together with pagans.

  39. “in the day of the righteous judgment of the Son of God because” in the second paragraph were my words inserted. I don’t want to attribute to God anything that He didn’t specifically say.

  40. Dan1el,

    Wow! What you said is rather amazing. First off, “Lashon haRa” is not found in Scripture. It is an addition of the Pharisees. Secondly, if you believe someone should follow it, you violated it in your very next post!

    Through this conversation, you have changed your position. At first you implied it might be possible for plants to have spirits. Now you come right out and say that they absolutely do and imply the Bible itself supports this idea. I agree with Bo completely that is a pagan/animist-sounding idea.

    I am also extremely concerned with what you attribute to God saying in post #45. You are treading extremely dangerous ground here. If you attribute words and judgments from God that He did not say, the judgment for that will be very severe. It is evident that it did not come from God because God does not contradict Himself as you did between telling someone not to do something and then turning around and actually doing that exact thing in a supposed word from God…

  41. Daniel,

    Thanks for the warning.

    I am not trying to be Jewish. I have been grafted into Israel. I am not a wanna be theologian, just a voice crying on a web page…”Make your paths straight.” I did not call you a pagan. I do not believe that if have ever said that you were unsaved…although you have stated many times in these threads for the past few years that I am apostate. You are not reading carefully again.

    You still have not produced a passage of scripture that says that plants have spirits or that they have the breath of life. You are using a twisted logic to equate things that simply are not stated or implied in scripture and using a man’s questionable research to back up your idea about plants being sentient and having spirits. Hinduism is Hinduism, animism is animism, earth mother is earth mother no matter if we call it science or religion.


  42. Daniel,

    You are making the mistake of using a modern definition of life and imposing it on the the term “life” in the Scripture. The Bible does not speak of life in the same way we do. Below are a few passages from an article that discusses this. Please read it.

    “Some would argue to the contrary that when any creature in the garden ate a plant it would have caused the death of that plant. Those who assert this also point out that modern biologists consider plants to be “living things”. They say this would pose a serious problem for those who insist that there was no physical death before sin entered the world. This is the typical argument:

    “However the absence of death would pose just as much a problem for three 24-hour days as it would for three billion years. Many species of life cannot survive for even three hours without food, and the ingestion of food requires at least the death of plants”2

    It appears that a contradiction exists between what many believe, and what the Scriptures actually teach. This quotation implies that death has always existed on the earth, and therefore, God must be the one responsible for creating it.

    All too often, people say they believe what the Bible teaches, but accept a popular idea without ever examining the Scriptures to see if such an idea is true. This idea of a “living thing” could be exemplified by plants and animals. One definition of life is: “taking in food, getting energy from it, growing, adapting themselves to their surroundings, and reproducing their kind.”3 This is how many differentiate between something that is living or non-living. Yet the Christian must ask: does this popular definition agree with the biblical definition of what a “living thing” might be?

    The Scriptures set forth limits or boundaries on every area of our thinking. Since the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, man must place his thoughts in subjection to the thoughts of God. So, regarding the definition of life, the Bible does set limits on what possesses life. This must be the determinative source for all areas of man’s study…

    Bible determines to possess life. If it can be shown that plants are not “living”, in the biblical sense, then one can assert that there was no death, suffering, or scarcity in existence in the finished creation…

    Whatever one may conclude about the ruah of man and animals, it cannot be separated from the person or animal. It is a vital part of what the Old Testament considers “living”. One also should note that these terms, ruah or nesama, are never used of plants…

    One should observe that never do the Scriptures attribute the aspect of “life” to plants. The words that are used to discuss life are only used of humans and animals. Animals are given the terms haya and zoe, men are given these terms in a further developed sense because they are created in the image and likeness of God. Plants are nowhere given the same status as animals and men.

    However, it is interesting to observe that in Classical Greek thought plants were given the status of “living”.121 Could it be possible that much of the modern biological thought has been heavily influenced by Greek pantheistic thought? If this is true, it is all the more reason for those who believe the Bible to bring “every thought into captivity” to the authority of the Scriptures…

    We started out to examine if plants had biblical life and so we discussed the biblical parameters that define a “living” thing. The first parameter was nephesh. The Old Testament associates this Hebrew word, as usage shows, with consciousness. Man and animals are the focus of this word. We investigated this parameter in the biota. It seems likely that we may link this word to the nervous system. Here too animals only possess a nervous system, plants do not. The second parameter was basar. The meaning of this term is flesh. The Old Testament uses it referring to man and animals. As we observed the biota, it seems that this word is comparable to striated muscle tissue. Here too, this word never refers to plants. The third parameter is that of ruach. This word may refer to respiration or gaseous exchange in man and animals. Yet it never says that plants possess this characteristic. As we found in the biota, the third and fourth parameters must function together. This fourth parameter is blood. Blood, as we saw, is the means of transport for oxygen in animals and man. Without the blood to exchange gases, and to distribute nutrients, the animal or man dies. Blood is very important to the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. In fact the blood represents the life of the individual. Plants do possess a type of hemoglobin in the root system, and the purpose is similar. But the blood, as a biblical parameter of life, must flow throughout the organism as the Bible states in Leviticus 17:11. So one can rightly conclude that plants do not possess biblical life. If they are not “living” then the animals eating plants in the original creation would not cause death to occur.” –

    I think that you will want to read the whole article if you are not totally invested in your view.


  43. Hugh Ross made some really absurd claims during the show. He said that if there were any more or less mass in the universe, even mass the size of a dime, The existence of life would not be possible. He has also made the claim in the past that if the number of stars in the universe were any greater or any less, life would be impossible. If that were really true, I’m sure NASA would be interested in how Hugh Ross knows exactly how much mass the universe contains or how he knows the precise number of stars there are. In reality the number of stars in our universe changes every day as new stars are born and old stars burn out.

    Ross has also said that the mass and orbit of every other planet in the solar system plays a crucial in life on planet Earth. This is also nonsense. Most of the other planets could disappear tomorrow and there would be no effect on our planet or the life inhabiting it. Ross claims the universe is “fine-tuned” for life. If you just think about that argument for a minute you’ll see how ridiculous it is. God could have made humans and animals to live in a vacuum if He chose to. Why would the universe have to be “fine-tuned”?Life adapts to its environment, the environment wan’t made to adapt to life.

    I remember Ross telling John Ankerberg that if the earth were even one percent closer to the sun all the water would boil off. If it were one percent further away all the water would freeze. Perhaps someone should inform Hugh Ross that the distance of Earth from the sun routinely varies throughout the year and from one year to the next and by far more than one percent. Most of Ross’s statements
    are easy to prove false and yet he is hailed as the ID community’s foremost expert on astronomy. As with Jonathan Sarfati, none of Ross’s ideas are being taught anywhere, even in Christian colleges and universities – and they never will be either.

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