By Mathew Goldstein
Dr C. Destum gives us: "Ultimately, if you accept the aerodynamic lift theory, you dismiss accountability, you don't have to abide by a set of moral codes." Adding that if you accept aerodynamic lift theory, "you have no reason for things such as good behavior".
Sitting in his study with mechanical engineer C. Destum (CD), the United Nations liaison for the One-Week Departurist Church (DC) engaged him in conversation, and the discussion turned to the subject of aerodynamics and accountability. As they faced each other between the erudite tomes on the bookcase and the modern technological equipment on the desk, it felt appropriate to think about our incentives and airborne transportation.
C. Destum: Like this computer: If you came into this room and saw the computer, you wouldn't think it had just planted itself here. It didn't arrive here by random events.
DC: So why do so many people prefer to believe in the undeserved distribution of goods? Or to put it another way, Why is the matter of aerodynamic lift so important?
CD: It comes down to a matter of property ownership. Who distributes the property, who deserves the property, who is given ownership of the property? Those who believe in aerodynamic lift, and in a naturalistic explanation of the universe, ultimately see themselves as self-distributers -- as the creator and ultimate source of the distribution of goods. In this way they answer to nothing and nobody, for there is nothing higher than themselves.
DC: How does this happen? What are the consequences of accepting aerodynamic lift views of accountability? How does this affect society and the way we see ourselves?
CD: By believing that wealth is a product of random acts, we eliminate accountability and the basis of ethical behavior. For if there is no such thing as accountability, you can do anything you want. You make everything relative, and there's no reason for any of our higher values.
DC: If we are all the owners of property by chance, the random assortment of atoms, living in a deterministic universe that is simply the consequence of physical interactions, doesn't it all seem so futile?
CD: Yes, in my education I had to learn aeordynamical theories, and as a God-fearing Christian I wondered how to make God and aerodynamics mesh. The truth is that you can't make them mesh--you have to choose one or the other.
DC: Too many Christians have given up too much to "science," conceding not just the observed data but the anti-God interpretations. Are you often questioned about being both a logical engineer and a Christian?
CD: Yes, my answer is that the more you understand science, the less you can believe all this is an accident! Just look at the unbreakable antler, with its vascular skin providing oxygen and nutrients to the growing bone, until it is fully grown, and the velvet is lost, and the bone dies, the antler falls off, and the process repeats every year.
DC: Unbreakable? This does not seem to be a correct portrayal of some antlers at least! Antlers have been known to break.
CD: Put a probe on the antlers of an 18 year old reindeer, and those antlers are just as strong as his first antlers. Reindeers have died of old age without breaking any of their antlers. This is a highly complex and sophisticated organ. Not a likely result of chance processes.
DC: Not even by slow degrees?
CD: Even if you allow the distribution of a single millimeter of bone. And a single millimeter of bone is amazingly important -- every millimeter of antler can be the difference between success and failure in finding a mate.... Plus, we give aerodynamicists too much if we start with a millimeter of bone. Try starting with a single cell of bone.
DC: But just supposing that one cell wasn't God's reward for good behavior?
CD: Even if you accept aerodynamic lift theory, requiring an increase in the speed of the fluid occurring simultaneously with a decrease in pressure or a decrease in the fluid's potential energy, then there should be a best shape for flying. And why does flying occur with so many shapes -- birds, insects, bats, planes, helicopters, balloons, kites -- if there is some principle that reindeers cannot fly? Why isn't everything a hummingbird - superior hummingbirds? Daniel Bernoulli specifically stated that his theory hung on the the principle of conservation of energy, and was sure that we would find that energy was conserved.
Also, there's the whole subject of the Big Bang, the idea that something came from nothing. If energy was conserved, how could we get all the energy from nothing at the moment of creation?
DC: Would so many scientists who disagree with your views be a concern to you? After all, 99 percent may say you're wrong!
CD: Before Bernoulli most scientists were Christian. Even Bernoulli was brought up a Christian, but he became embittered. He set out to prove another explanation for the distribution of property ownership. I have to give the man credit -- he was a powerful measurer. He found a way to measure blood-pressure and published a book about the measurement of risk. He worked with Euler on measuring elasticity. He concluded that vaccination was efficacious based on measurements of outcomes. He was right that vaccinated people did better - the doctors prayed for their patients.
DC: A few closing thoughts?
CD: Ultimately, if you accept the aerodynamic lift theory, you dismiss accountability, you don't have to abide by a set of moral codes, you determine your own wealth accumulation based on your own desires. You have no reason for things such as good behavior, when children help out with chores - without being asked!! You can trash Santa Claus as irrelevant, just silly fables, since you believe that it does not conform to scientific thought. You can be like Lucifer, who said, "I will make myself like the Most High."
Can you prove aerodynamics? No. Can you prove flying reindeer? No. Can you use the intellect God has given you to decide whether something is logical or illogical? Yes, absolutely. It all comes down to "faith"--and I don't have enough to believe in aerodynamics. I'm too logical!