Alive

Alive

An Enquiry into the Origin and Meaning of Life

by Magnus Verbrugge
Publisher: Ross House Books
©1984, Item: 33362
Trade Paperback, 159 pages
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This study is of major importance as a critique of scientific theory, evolution, and contemporary nihilism in scientific thought. Dr. Verbrugge, son-in-law of the late Dr. H. Dooyeweerd and head of the Dooyeweerd Foundation, applies the insights of Dooyeweerd 's thinking to the realm of science. Animism and humanism in scientific theory are brilliantly discussed.

ANNOTATED TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Foreword by Dr. Rousas John Rushdoony

Introduction

PART ONE: HOW WE GOT WHERE WE ARE TODAY

Chapter I: A Matter of Life and Death
The rejection by science of God as the Origin led to theories that often facilitated and even encouraged the deliberate destruction of human life and to the view that life is nothing but a special case of matter in motion.

Chapter II: Animism and Early Science
Early pagan religion in Greece sought to explain the origin of life through various forms of animism, by ascribing creative power to “spirits,” i.e. either concrete or abstract human concepts.

Chapter III: Of Soaring Spirits and Reason
From the Renaissance till today “hard” science has progressed spectacularly by shedding Greek mythology and at the same time the theories on life’s origin have remained bound by modern versions of Greek animism, fro Descartes onward.

Chapter IV: In the Beginning God Said…
From Augustine to the theologians of today, all attempts to accommodate the doctrine of creation to the theory of abiogenesis - the proposition that life originated through mere natural processes - have failed, as have Christian’s efforts to present creation as a “scientific model.” This shows the folly of tying God’s word to human theories.

PART TWO: SOME FACTS OF LIFE

Chapter V: In the Land of the Miniscule
Some information about the minute organs inside of a living cell and the methods we use to get it – which usually kill the cell.

Chapter VI: The Little Demons of Jacques Monod
Microbiology and the role of proteins in keeping the cell alive.

Chapter VII: Cell Duplication and the “Equivalent of Life”
The propagation of living things and the prevailing animistic notions about the role played by DNA and the protein molecules.

PART THREE: ANIMISM IN THE SPACE AGE

Chapter VIII: Life from the Dead
The rise of abiogenesis and the victory of its materialistic version over that of vitalism.

Chapter IX: The Little Gods of Descartes
The materialistic scenario of the “mechanists” for the origins of life and its experimental failure.

Chapter X: The Hand of the Dead and the Cradle of Life
Dialectical materialism for Hegel through Marx and Engels to contemporary biochemist calls forth life by decree from the primeval oceans through a variation of animism: emergentism. Life refused to obey.

PART FOUR: WHAT DO WE REALLY KNOW?

Chapter XI: How We Look at Things
We distinguish aspects of real things which we analyze in science but to which we may not ascribe independent existence as penalty of being guilty of practicing animism.

Chapter XII: The Things We’re Looking At
The smaller physical particles form larger systems but never produce anything but complex physical systems that interact at random with other systems in spite of the desires of scientists looking for the origin of life with its required order.

Chapter XIII: The Captain and His Captive Oarsmen
The theory of encapsis accounts for the order in physical systems and living beings without resorting to the animism, needed by materialism and vitalism.

Chapter XIV: Life is Very Special
The unscientific nature of the theory of abiogenesis and the real nature of living things which rules out man’s access to the theoretical

PART FIVE: HUMANISM IN CRISIS AND DEFEAT

Chapter XV: The Battling Scientists
Growing discord among materialists on the origin of life with the mechanists crying: “cosmic animism” at the dialecticians. Meanwhile the dialecticians call the mechanists: “cryptic creationist.” But in reality both types adhere to a form of animism.

Chapter XVI: The Failure of the Foundation
Growing recognition among scientists that abiogenesis is: 1) not proven; 20 not provable; 30 not a scientific proposition. Hence it can only be believed.

Chapter XVII: The Walls Are Crumbling
With the basis of abiogenesis knocked out from under humanism and its sect of materialism, it displays its real religious nature. Its honest adherents acknowledge the riddle of life’s origin but retain their faith in abiogenesis.

PART SIX: THE WORDS OF GOD AND THE LAWS OF MAN

Chapter XVIII: We See, Conclude and Formulate
Only the believer in God acknowledges the origin of the laws of creation and needs no animistic explanations, so common among humanists, for current enquiry on “origins.”

Chapter XIX: Theory and Faith
The idols of modern animistic science must be replace with an awareness of the lawfulness God has put in His creation, especially the laws for human theoretical thinking, if we are to base science on the real world, not on animistic speculation. Chapter XX: The Ultimate Question: The Meaning of Life The purpose of living things is not to maintain individual or species – because no creature except man can know a purpose – but to fulfill the laws of their Creator and so to honor Him, Who gives life meaning as known to the only creature endowed with conscious thought: man, who was created in the image of his Creator.

Glossary

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