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The title is A Skeptic's Perspective--the picture is a fence of vertical wood planks with the author's name.

Editor's Note: We thought many of our readers would enjoy Bob Kenny's discussion of “experts” using the cougar example from southern Michigan where we live. It shows where people can go wrong by trusting “experts.” The same issue is very much true of the evidence that there was a beginning and that an intelligence caused it. How much of what we read of “expert” theories about creation (both atheistic and Christian) is accurate, and how much is blind faith?

Faith does not have to be blind. I want to motivate unbelievers and believers to seek out and examine the facts and build a solid foundation for the position they hold. I want to show that skepticism is a necessary component of this process. Ultimately I hope you will examine the evidence and receive some assurance for yourself.


Expert seal.

I have become a skeptic, especially of the most vocal “experts” because they have theories that they “know” are correct, regardless of the evidence. They will look down on you when your experience or data contradicts what they know to be true. It is almost impossible for them to accept evidence that contradicts their position.

An example of this would be the reaction of the “experts” when the common people in southwestern Michigan claimed to have seen cougars in the area. The following article by Louis Stout appeared in the South Bend Tribune on July 9, 2017, page B7:

Wildlife officials have admitted a few cougars live in the Upper Peninsula, but have refuted their existence in southern Michigan.

A motorist driving at night near the DNR's Rose Lake State Wildlife Area east of Lansing provided proof when he snapped a picture of a large cat crossing the road in front of him.

The DNR reviewed the photo, visited the site, and verified it was a cougar.

Numerous cougar reports have been received from various Michigan locations over the years — including in Michiana — but all “confirmed” sightings have been in the Upper Peninsula. Since 2008 a total of 36 cougar sightings have been documented in Michigan's U. P. However, the DNR doesn't believe there is a breeding population in Michigan.

Cougars, also known as mountain lions, were native to Michigan, but were extirpated around the turn of the century. The last time a wild cougar was legally taken in the state was near Newberry in 1906.

If you've followed this column over the past couple of decades, you may recall periodic reports we've shared from Michiana readers who swear they saw cougars along roadsides or in farm fields on both sides of the state line.

You also may recall wildlife biologists pooh-poohing the notion.

Although the newest DNR confirmed sighting was 2½ hours north of South Bend, it adds to the possibility that these big cats are expanding their range and could be passing through this area.

The last report we received from a Michigan resident was in 2010 when a Jones, Mich., farmer … shared a photo of what appeared to be a young cougar in his field.

At that time, [he] had heard of several other sightings near his land and joked about them. The photo, taken by a neighbor, changed his mind.

The previous year, southwest Michigan resident … swore he saw a large cat bolt across M-60 highway not far from Corey Lake.

Like most other sightings, the animal was described as a large, tawny-colored cat. …

The DNR's Cougar team that verified the Lansing area cat remains skeptical.

“Even with this verification, questions remain, especially regarding the origins of the animal,” said DNR wildlife specialist … . “There is no way for us to know if this animal is a dispersing transient from a western state, … , or if this cat was released locally.”

State officials have insisted that unconfirmed Michiana sightings are likely cats that were held as “pets” and released into the wild when they became too large to keep.

That is reasonable. But these southern Michigan sightings add credence that a nomadic cougar could find it's way into Michigan and northern Indiana.

If you see one, the DNR asks you to submit pictures for verification … .

Cougar (Puma concolor), also commonly known as the mountain lion, is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the western hemisphere.

Notice the self-assurance of the “experts.” Common folks do not know what they are seeing. When the “experts” say, “You are not seeing cougars,” you are supposed to trust the “experts.” When the pictures of cougars are shown to them, the “experts” do not believe it and have to confirm it for themselves. After confirmation of the sighting, an excuse is presented. Someone must have hauled one in and released it into the neighborhood.

Being a skeptic, I ask: Is that the truth or your excuse because you were proven wrong? Consider this: When people saw a cougar, they never said how it got to Southwestern Michigan, they only said that it is there, so why can you not just admit that you were wrong? Another question: Who would want a cougar roaming around the neighborhood eating pets? The point of this story is that the “experts” had an opinion based on their model of cougar migration. When they saw data that would require them to either void their model or redesign it, they dismissed the data with a possible explanation, and further study has been minimal or non-existent. This is simply bad science.

Similar problems exist for the question of whether the universe had a beginning.

Planets and galaxy in a science fiction wallpaper.

The apparent age of the universe is billions of years old when you calculate it by dividing the expansion speed into the size of the universe. To use the thousands-of-years interpretation of the Bible would discredit this material to non-believers and those who interpret Scripture differently. One obvious sign that makes the universe appear to be older is the light we see from stars that are millions of light-years from the Earth. The light could not travel that distance in 10,000 years.

When God said, “Let there be light,” could the light have instantly filled the universe? God could have done that so the universe would appear to be billions of years old. That is a position of faith that makes God deceptive, and I want to use the actual measurements accepted by science and see where they take us.

Albert Einstein wax figure at Madame Tussauds Museum, Bangkok, 2019/1/8.

The big bang concept is, by far, the theory most supported by the evidence. Every celestial body in the universe is traveling away from a central point. When we project this motion backward, all of those bodies arrive at a central point at the same time. This fact is a huge blow to those who do not believe in God. When we acknowledge that there was a beginning to the universe, there has to be a valid cause, which is God. Even Albert Einstein let his humanism manipulate his findings when he devised a formula for the universe. His formula would require a beginning for the universe. His beliefs told him there cannot be a beginning, so he added a factor to the equation to make the universe eternal and called it the “cosmic constant.”

Einstein's colleagues were delighted until they tried to find the cosmic constant for themselves. When asked where it came from, Einstein had to admit that he made it up. Einstein could no longer deny the existence of God and said the cosmic constant was the biggest mistake in his life. I would say that his biggest mistake was embracing an atheist theory. If he had been a scientist first and accepted the facts, there never would have been a cosmic constant. Unfortunately, some of the most vocal experts have let their atheism influence their observations giving us a lot of fake science that tries to make the universe eternal.


Impulse Oscillation.

The oscillating universe theory was one attempt to show an eternal universe. This theory accepted the big bang, but put forth the idea that our big bang is only one of an eternity's worth of big bangs. The theory proposed that the expansion of the universe would slow, eventually stop, then collapse on itself to produce another big bang. Experts wrote books on this theory declaring the universe is eternal. Of course, the second law of thermodynamics was either intentionally ignored or ignorantly left out of the equation. This law dictates that, because of energy loss, each big bang would have to be weaker than the previous one until the energy was exhausted. Then the expansion speed was calculated, and it showed that the expansion is accelerating. There was a mad scramble to save the theory, but it was doomed. Atheists have theories, but it is not science when you state your beliefs and ignore the evidence. What we have is just another “Expert” who let his atheism supersede the scientific method.


Two specular universes connected by a black hole in the deep space.

Another theory attempting to make our universe eternal is the parallel universe theory. This theory states that there are other universes, and matter can be pulled out of one universe into another through black holes. A black hole forms after a giant star collapses on itself. The star is more massive than our Sun, but after it collapses, it becomes the size of a baseball. Its gravitational force is so strong that it pulls in any matter that comes near it. Even light cannot escape. The theory says that the collapse produces a hole leading into another universe. Matter then travels through the hole into the next universe. The existence of parallel universes comes from the knowledge of “experts,” some of whom say they cannot believe in a God that they cannot see. They say belief in God is nothing but blind faith. My question is: Have you seen these parallel universes, or are you guilty of blind faith?


The composition of the space of time.

The last theory I want to mention is the virtual time theory. This theory says time is not what it appears. We can look back to the center of the universe and find the beginning of time. The theory says that if we could go back in time, that point would move away from us, and we would never arrive at a beginning. My question is: If that point is moving away from us on this side of the universe, would it not have to overtake the galaxies on the other side of the universe? Now that probably does not make sense, but neither does virtual time. It cannot be tested or falsified. It is not science, but merely human fantasy. More theories will come and go. An atheist once told me that he accepted anything scientists published because they were only looking for Truth. He is too naive for me. Scientists are human, also. They have prejudices and beliefs that affect their analysis of data.

Atheistic theories came from “experts” who “know” there is no God and are out to prove it.

There is good reason to be skeptical of those “experts.” Not all are closed-minded, and many have followed the facts and acknowledged that God had to be the Creator as Einstein had to do. Bad theories have also come from religious people. There was a time when the Catholic church insisted the Sun revolved around the Earth, because Psalm 93:1 (AMP) says, “The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved.” Galileo was sentenced to life in house arrest during the Roman Inquisition in 1633 for teaching that the Earth revolved around the Sun.

Even today, there is a group that will tell you that there were exactly 54 dinosaurs on Noah's Ark. I am skeptical because there is no scientific or biblical evidence there were dinosaurs in existence during the age of humans. We should not accept information from someone just because he is a Christian or a scientist. There are “experts” on both sides with belief systems that affect their claims. Check the motivation of theories and verify the facts as much as possible. God says that we can know that he exists “through the things he has made” (Romans 1:20). Trusting experts who want to contradict that statement is a foolish thing to do.

Picture credits:
Title illustration: Roland Earnst
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© Oleg Golovnev. Image from BigStock.com
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Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.