T h e   T e r r i b l e   S t r e n g t h   a n d   W e a k n e s s   o f   N a t u r a l i s m
An Interview of Phil Johnson by Tal Brooke
SCP Journal, volume 21:4-22:1, Spring 1998

Tal: For some reason, Phil, scientists are just plain enamored with atheism, as though they derived some kind of deep fulfillment from an empty and meaningless cosmos based on randomness and necessity. This makes them smile with a sort of wild glee and declare, "I'm alone in a meaningless cosmos. Isn't that great? And aren't I remarkable, now that I've come of age and still am able to live with such cosmic solitude?" Dawkins revels in the fact that it is possible, as you said in your book, to be an "intellectually fulfilled atheist now that Darwin has left his mark." Dawkins positively glows like a school boy, ruddy cheeks and all.

Scientists and academics have gone out of their way, it seems, to dispose of all evidences of the Creator by erasing all signs of His various imprints across creation. Their attempt is perhaps much like that of an archaeologist opening up the tomb of some ancient pharaoh, then chiseling away the hieroglyphics as quickly as possible, all to prove that he was really someone else or never there to begin with. So scientists of today have their task of obscuring God, and it becomes a fascinating study of blindness and perverse action. But I want to get to that a little later, Phil. I guess what interests me first is pursuing the winding road of history that allowed scientists and academics to become the emperor with no clothes. They all parade in the intellectual fashion show of our time as though arrayed like great kings, yet they stand naked, to use a Biblical metaphor. And few in the audience are willing to lift their eyes to see the nakedness. As you have pointed out, today's intellectually mediocre theologians are only too ready to come to their rescue and reinterpret to the audience the fact that these people have gowns of the finest preciousness, and often such assurances are made by such theologians using precious voices, voices of the utmost sensitivity. Phil, I need to ask you a question. Science has grown somewhat like our government, taking up more and more territory and, as it were, overriding public ownership of intellectual freedom. Did not science, in fact, begin under the simplest guidelines, based on empirical laws which allowed them to go no farther than the piecemeal observation of experimentally observable processes and events?

Phil: I think it might be a good idea to distinguish at the outset between practicing scientists and what I call the metaphysicians of science. And I think it's that latter group that you have in mind when you use the word scientist. It's a good idea to make that distinction because a lot of practicing scientists are much more modest in their aims than a Richard Dawkins or a Stephen Hawking, and they kind of resent having that attributed to them. So if we make that distinction, then we can say that there is a class of people we can call the metaphysicians of science--I sometimes call them the rulers of science--who provide the general intellectual direction to the whole system. And their work is often really quite different from somebody who is managing a laboratory and trying to find a new drug or something like that, who's operating at a technical level, which, of course, is what most scientists do. At the beginning of science, you see, this category of the metaphysicians of science didn't really exist.

We had a general priesthood, and a class of intellectuals or broad gauge persons who did thinking altogether. Perhaps Plato and Aristotle would be great examples of that from the classical world. Then in the Middle Ages you get Dante, later on a Milton. If you read Paradise Lost, you know it's all full of the science of his age as well as everything else. And it's put in an entire framework that explains all of reality. Now, what the Stephen Hawkings, the Richard Dawkins, the Stephen Weinbergs, the Carl Sagans, the Stephen K. Goulds, and so on aspire to be is the great metaphysicians of our days, the Miltons, the Dantes and the Aristotles. They want to set out the picture of what reality is for the whole intellectual world. There's a very interesting book which I reviewed for the first issue of Books and Culture, by a man named Brachman, who's not a scientist. He's a literary agent who represents Dawkins and Gould and others of them who are his clients, you see. And he's put together two full books of transcribed interviews with his clients and other scientists who write for the general public.

Tal: That's fascinating.

Phil: Now, he has a new book--I think it's called The Third Culture. I reviewed it. And in those conversations, in his introduction to them, the idea is put forth that now the scientists who address the general public are going to take over the intellectual culture. We don't need the literary intellectuals. We don't need the historians. We don't need any of these people because, as Richard Dawkins has written on a number of occasions, nobody really knew anything worth knowing until Darwin came along, and now we have modern science. We have an entirely new grip on reality, and so we have to base everything on that. Now, it's that class of metaphysicians of science, scientific metaphysicians, of which you're speaking and about which I'm writing, and they're a new--they're, in a way, the curse of the 20th century.

Tal: I think that's absolutely true, and I think what we can do through this interview is maybe get back to this book because it sounds like it lets a lot out. But what I want to share with you for a second is something that I wrote down when I was at Cambridge this spring. Stephen Hawkings rolls by, like some digitally fragmented cartoon, is what I wrote. He has banned all discussion around him concerning the Gospel, and I was remembering that his wife apparently claimed to be a Christian. His daughter, apparently, has claimed to be the same. And one of the people who took care of him for years apparently tried to let him hear the Gospel.

Phil: I think they very much are Christian, yes.

Tal: I think that they are . . . the irony that we're facing in history is that one of the darlings of our time--and I'm sure this is going to be one of the ironies of Judgment Day--has been literally approached on bended knees with gold chalices that he might listen to any of their words. And as he goes more deeply into his own myopia, this cosmic paradigm of his, I see him gliding into the twilight grayness of Cambridge . . . He's almost beyond all human conversation, except for the digitized voice with pop phrases that he speaks from a synthesizer. And he's being digitized himself . . .

But could you tell me this? How did science gear shift to suddenly going from having a very limited fence around it--it had very limited boundaries--to where it's taken on a messianic voice in our time. And from what you're telling us, these people wanting to replace literary people and philosophers and everyone else. It sounds like NICE, from C. S. Lewis's third book to his trilogy, That Hideous Strength.

Phil: Yes, it does sound like the NICE. In the view that the scientific metaphysicians take of this, I've just been reading about it in Daniel Dennett's new book in particular and in the recent essay of Stephen J. Gould, where one has this viewpoint very consistently expressed, that the march of science lies in taking away the notion that there's anything unique about human beings. You see, as they tell the story, and one meets this in book after book, this telling of the story; once upon a time, there was a notion that the earth was at the center of the universe, and the whole universe was created for mankind by God. Well, then first comes along Copernicus and Galileo, and they say that we're not at the center, you see. The earth is going around the sun and so on. And this is very hard for people to digest because it seems to upset this--the whole picture of the universe that Dante shows in The Divine Comedy--and to take away human uniqueness. But things still go on pretty much as before, even when the Galilean revolution is accepted. It doesn't really do away with Christianity, for example. Quite the contrary. But then along comes Darwin, and now he shows that the marvelously designed adaptations of plants and animals are not the result of a pre-existing intelligence, a creator, a designer, but of a blind, purposeless process. And then that's extended to human beings and their specific human qualities. So now you see that man is just an animal. First, you see a little more highly evolved animal. But, indeed, as evolutionary theory grows more sophisticated philosophically, it now becomes absolutely required in every work about this to insist there's no such thing as progress in evolution. Gould makes this point in every issue. There's no progress. Nothing is higher than another. In the Darwinian point of view, bacteria are just as good as people. Cock roaches certainly. They've been around longer, and they're just as good as leaving offspring, which is what evolution is all about. And so they insist again there's nothing unique. Human beings are just an animal, just part of the animal world. And then the thing to do is to structure society scientifically so that they can be properly controlled and made happy in, you know, insofar as they can be happy, living in this meaningless world, with material goods provided for them by the society. And this is the overall vision. And it is actually, of course, very much like the vision of the NICE in C. S. Lewis's novel, and that is no accident, Comrade, as the communists say, because C. S. Lewis was consciously trying to satirize that vision, which he understood very well.

Tal: Especially in his Inner Ring essay that he gave at Magdalen College. Did you ever read the Inner Ring?

Phil: Yes, I have.

Tal: Because Oxford's All Souls College is the sister society to Skull and Bones at Yale, so he was very aware of All Souls College, and that same sort of thing, in Cambridge, the Fabian mentality. One of the things I did at Cambridge this last time is I went to the famous outdoor tea place where Rupert Brooke (my distant cousin), Bertrand Russell, Virginia Wolfe and scores of such people formed the conceptual basis of the Bloomsbury Group, that Marxist intelligentsia of London. Now it seems to me we're now seeing it at a more developed level, like a fermenting wine, in someone like a Dawkins or Gould.

Phil: Yes, I think we're seeing the culmination of traits that have been building for a long time, and particularly through the 20th century. Now, this is in a way ironic because the full flowing of this comes just before the fall. That's also true in the NICE story. And we're now nearing the end of the 20th century, which is the great century of scientific atheism. And, in fact, at the very heart of this materialist vision of reality is the Darwinian theory of evolution, which is under such tremendous scientific and philosophical pressure. I think the thing we need to stress at all times when we get into a conversation like this is that, you know, we're talking about the undesirable, the depressing consequences of a certain kind of line of thought. But that's not really the main point. The main point is whether it's true or not. If it were true and depressing . . .

Tal: We'd have to live with it.

Phil: . . . it would still be true. But what has happened is that the process of scientific investigation has been prostituted to this philosophical agenda. And, thus, in the fourth chapter of my book, Reason in the Balance, I distinguish between the philosophical evolution and empirical evolution. Actually, the empirical evolution is fairly philosophical too and is not all that empirical, but I give them the benefit of the doubt on that one. But what I'm really doing is contrasting what, for example, the fossil hunters see.

Tal: And Gould being the foremost--he's a paleontologist, and he's embarrassed by the fact that, as you point out in your book, the fossil layer doesn't have gradual, evolving chains, but a stasis in which creatures remain the same until extinct or a traumatic new species is introduced. This has the signs of a creator at work and not some gradual evolutionary process.

Phil: The paleontologists write this all the time. They never seem to see evolution happening in any significant sense. They do see, you know, tiny, exact variations back and forth, and so on. Things vary within the type. But what they don't see is a process of gradual change. When anything really new appears, it appears all at once and fully formed, and then it stays the same all the time. Now, what you make of that is an interesting puzzle. But, clearly, it's as far away from Darwinian assumptions as the fossil record could possibly be. And that's just one of the contradictions the field is experiencing. My colleagues and I know from the scientific papers that embryology, which has always been presented to the public as supporting Darwinism, doesn't do so at all. The features that are supposed to define groups like mammals and birds and so on, the homologies as they're called . . .

Tal: Which is the old cliché "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny."

Phil: Which we know now is completely false. This is something that everyone is agreed to. But what's more is that the things which are supposed to be inherited from common ancestors and define the groups, develop totally differently in the embryo, at different times from different sections and so on. And this makes no sense from the Darwinian paradigm, so that, in fact, the most prominent of the new generation of embryologists, Brian Goodwin, says in his book, How the Leopard Changed Its Spots, he says Darwinism is only good for micro-evolution. It's good for small-scale variations. When you get into serious stuff, you have to junk it. It just has nothing to do with the science of embryology. So now this is the scientific foundation of all this materialism. It's under tremendous pressure. And all that really needs to be done, I think, to make it explode is to bring the controversies and the facts out into the open.

Tal: Which you've been doing and they hate you for it.

Phil: Yes, the media exists to prevent this sort of thing from happening. The academic world censors it. But, of course, there's also this commitment to freedom of expression and so on.

Tal: Which they claim, at least outwardly.

Phil: Yes.The fact that the claim is made means that ways have to be found to allow you to get things out. And I had to specialize in finding out how to do that, and how to bring the assumptions to the surface, bring out the facts, and prevent this stuff from being just put over like selling soap, like advertising.

Tal: One of the things that you embarrass them with is with one of the riddles of life that even a child can see--God's design in the natural order--and Paul mentions it in the book of Romans. Because on a visceral level it's impossible to see the level of design we've seen, and not understand that a Creator stands behind it. I've taken organic chemistry as an undergraduate and to me, just on a visceral level, the complexity that I see in just biochemical mechanism speaks of an author. Later when I was at Princeton, I heard the astrophysicist who's now replaced Dr. Shapley--and this fellow was a Christian theist--showed the precarious levels of things that had to be satisfied just for the earth to be formed, to hold life including: the different carbon and hydrogen and oxygen levels and heat levels and all those things to come into play. All this spoke of a design that only a Creator could have been responsible for. The chance of this happening randomly was run to a googleplex. And the truth is I once took a biology course from a guy named Hamilton, who was a Nobel runner-up, and he made the comment--I think you'll appreciate it--that the idea that we came out of randomness and necessity, that something like the human nervous system and brain and everything we are came about by chance, is about the same as seeing on the Sahara Desert someting like the World Trade Center assemble itself from random pieces of silicon with air conditioning and elevators and everything else. So they have in a sense missed this design thing, which is so important. One of the things your book points out is, and this is crucial: the idea that we have enormous complexity that they have to explain using only two things: randomness being one and necessity being the other. Is that not an embarrassment to them that they have to account for this complexity that we've been talking about?

Phil: I think we're giving them too much credit to say that they're embarrassed. The amazing thing is that they aren't. You know, one of the inner circle--C. S. Lewis's inner ring--of gurus of Darwinian evolution is a professor named George C. Williams at the State University of New York in Stonybrook. Williams is the pioneer of the gene selection idea that Dawkins popularized in The Selfish Gene. Now, in an interview in this Brachman book, the book by the literary agent that I referred to, and also in a book by Williams himself, he says of the cell, "You know, the important thing to understand in biology is not the material, but the information, the information content." And he says, "You know, this has become particularly evident to me because, like a lot of people, I'm using computers these days, and I write things on the word processor. I use CD Rom. So I'm familiar with how you can take a piece of writing and you can transfer the information from paper to disk, and then you can print it out, and it's back in paper. You can put it in another medium. You can send it out over the Internet. And it's still the same information, even though the physical embodiment is totally different." Well, and I'm reading this, I'm saying, "I can't believe he's saying this," because this is just what the rest of us that understand the falsity of Darwinism have always been saying. It's the information you've got to explain, not the matter. And he even uses as the example of this the novel Don Quixote, and how you can put it on a CD Rom, on a disk, and yet it is still the same information. Well, of course now, what that says is that you can never explain Don Quixote as having grown out of the chemistry of ink and paper, you see? Or the chemistry of ink and paper plus accidents, plus chance. It's something which is imprinted on ink and paper, sometimes, and sometimes in another medium. But the information is a totally different thing from the medium. Now, Williams recognizes that, and it doesn't cause him to doubt his Darwinism for an instant.

Tal: So you would say that he's a true believer in a sense.




Phil: Yes, a true believer in this scientific materialism can stare contradictory evidence right in the face and never even be fazed. He doesn't even ask a question. Now, how could we possibly be sure that the Darwinian mutation can supply the information that's required when a human cell requires not less information than Don Quixote, but more. He doesn't ask that question. For him that's taken for granted. Mutation must have done it, because otherwise we wouldn't be here, would we? Because there isn't anything else. You see, the atheism closes the mind. In Darwin On Trial, I used another example. The physicist and science writer, Heinz Pegels, has this wonderful paragraph that other writers have quoted without seeing how ridiculous it is. What Pegels says is if we look at the universe, there are all these constants that have to be just so. And then he goes through them. The same kinds of arguments that evangelists like Hugh Ross make, the way the universe is designed. And he goes through a bunch of those. And he says how wonderfully designed this is, how perfectly engineered. It must be a wonderful cosmic engineer. Then he stops and he says, "But, of course, that's all poetry. We know there is no such thing because it was done by purely materialistic, unintelligent processes." So . . .

Tal: And at this point all we need is the voice out of the whirlwind, "Where were you at the foundation of the world?"

Phil: Well, yes. It shouldn't take that.

Tal: It shouldn't at all.

Phil: See, here is somebody who is staring straight at evidence of design, describing it as such, and he still doesn't see it because the ideology is so overpowering that it always overrides experience. Now, we've seen this in other contexts.

Tal: Seems to override reason at this point too.

Phil: Well, sure. That's what overriding reason really means--even when you see facts directly to the contrary, you don't see them. Now, you see, Marxists used to do this. They used to do this with any fact. And Freudians were able to do it too. This is the total ideology. Religious cults are able to do this too. You can see the same thing in religion, and that's an unhealthy manifestation whenever you do. You can see people who are under the influence--I don't need to tell you about cult leaders and how they can get their followers just to . . .

Tal: We pick up the damage all the time.

Phil: Yeah. So it happens. These are all manifestations of the total ideology and that's what I--I think it's one of the things that Jesus meant in saying "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."

Tal: That's totally true. I don't see anyone on the horizon who can fill your shoes right now, and I say this as a fellow battler in a different area. I know that some of those confrontations are lonely. Some of these people are passionate in their disdain for the very God that they will not allow in the universe. As I said, one of the things that I was struck with when I read your book is the perversity of such minds in disproving God and yet feigning impartiality and objectivity.

As I was saying, and as we've been talking about, your argument for the complexity that now exists puts the ball in their court for explaining the complexity of life apart from creation. When they can't even explain the existence of a single atom, this is highly problematic. We're in a time in which they're making this religious claim in the name of science, while being unable to explain this complexity. In fact, there are lots of things working against them in explaining it. Maybe you can help itemize some of those things and some of their theories.

Phil: There's a logical flaw in Darwinism which has been known from the beginning and which is, I think, becoming more apparent once again. What's the creative force? What does the creating? Now, the usual Darwinian answer is, "Well, it's natural selection. Selective death." But, of course, we're only talking about death, killing things that are already there. So something's got to supply the new stuff, and that's the mutation.

Tal: You showed that in the supposed development of the bat, and I was just thunder-struck. As we might see with a creature like a flying squirrel or a bat, for instance, all the stuff it would take to give it wings and everything else without it being killed off in the process-- is that not a problem?

Phil: Well, that's right. There are lots of problems with the detail of the Richard Dawkins scenario of how the bat got its wings.

Phil: The skin flaps appearing and so on.

Tal: Yes.

Phil: But at a more fundamental level, it's totally misconceived as an understanding of the problem. You see, the problem is the genetic information that it takes to make the bat. You see, it's as if you were saying, "Well, how can we make a space ship to go to the moon?" And you sort of said, "Well, you know, take a look at these things. They have these things sticking out here, and they have a long, tubular part. And we can see how you could get one of things and you could get the other." We have missed the whole thing. I mean to get to the moon you've got to have this vast information base. You've got to have all those people at Mission Control. You've got to have the computers on board and all of that, the instructions to make the whole thing work. If you start--if you should happen to grow a skin flap in between a couple of your fingers, you would not be in the way to turning into a bird.

Tal: And yet, according to some of these people, you would be. . .

Phil: Developing wings, yes. It's just a complete trivialization of the whole issue. Now, this, you see, as I say, is what I think George Williams has at least begun to understand: that it's the information you've got to explain, and the information isn't contained in one gene for one characteristic bit, you know, so that if you get a little change in the section of the DNA, then you've got a new characteristic. All of the geneticists understand that's not how that works either. Dawkins himself will agree to that. It's a recipe, and it's--by the way, in the DNA there's only a recipe for expressing proteins, for protein synthesis. It's not a recipe for everything that the body does. It's not a recipe for embryonic development, for example. So, in short, what has happened is that the whole nature of biological explanation has been distorted in order to fit this atheistic, materialist view of the world. And then all sorts of techniques of bullying and ridicule and censorship and so on are employed within science to make sure that it sticks.

Tal: Well, we certainly see this in the academy. As I was leaving Princeton, political correctness was coming in at full force, so that literally, Phil, if you didn't frame a sentence with inclusive language, you would be marked down. And the whole feminist tyranny entered in. What I saw, and you're seeing this on the faculty at Cal, is that they will not brook a dissident faculty member who doesn't play the politically correct game with meetings and everything else, and I've certainly talked to scientists--friends who are extremely gifted--and if you don't play the game, you don't get on the reviews and you don't get published and all the other stuff.

Phil: Well, here I have to say a word in defense of the University of California at Berkeley because, in fact . . .

Tal: And you're not doing this for tenure right now. It needs to be said you're tenured.

Phil: I have tenure, and I'm at the highest level of the professor, and I'm being treated very well by the University. And nobody is trying to intimidate me within the law school or within the University. Now, it's true that the evolutionary biologists won't speak to me.

Tal: But you're auditing the books.

Phil: That's their privilege. They're not controlling my career. And that's why it was essential for somebody outside of that scientific mainstream really to be the one to take the lead in making an issue of the metaphysics of science, because where the tyranny is imposed is within the professional organizations.

Tal: Well, this is what people need to know.

Phil: You can't get published in the peer review journals if you're out of line on the major things. They allow dissent within certain boundaries, of course, but not on the major issues. And if you step very far out of line, well, I know--I could tell stories, but I don't like to out people, as they say in another area of life--very eminent people who've said in very convincing ways that we would like to come out and endorse what you say, but we'd never get another grant. And the fact is that even a very eminent person in science can be excluded from the research community if the people who are on review panels, that are influential in the profession, get the impression that it's kind of gone off the rails. That does happen to people.

Now, the coin of the realm in science is peer recognition. That's what's valued more than anything else. So that standing within the peer group is of tremendous importance. And that's understandable. I mean this isn't just vanity. You see, these are the people who "really know." The public doesn't know. And that's why within science, of course, somebody like Dawkins will be regarded a little bit suspiciously just because he is successful with the public. And Dawkins has managed to have it both ways. He has high professional standing too.

Tal: If I remember, he's a zoologist and not a molecular biologist.

Phil: That's right. He's a zoologist. And that puts him a little bit down the pecking order from a molecular biologist. Now, again, he's overcome that. See, one of the things that Dawkins has done is he's gone over the heads of the fellow biologists to the physicists. He's in thick with the Santa Fe Institute crowd and all of that. Now, he's a very clever man, very gifted, and there's no doubt about that. But, in any case, within the scientific community there's a great deal of fear among most people of losing your status because of the way the profession operates and the need for peer approval in order to get anywhere. So there's no question but that this breeds a kind of conformity. And then on the metaphysical issues, you see, there's a very widespread view within the universities at large, not just the scientific departments, but especially strongly in many of the scientific departments, that they see themselves facing an irrational world that's full of religious fundamentalists. They read Gallup polls that say that 80 percent or so of Americans believe in God, and it terrifies them. They think "what if these people should get control of scientific budgets. They've got to be controlled." And that is another factor which places such tremendous importance on unity. And you'll see this, that in evolutionary biology in particular, even at scientific meetings, a speaker like Stephen J. Gould will launch into a tirade against Creationists. Friends of mine have described this to me, and they'll say, "Well, you know, what is he doing this for? There aren't any Creationists here. This is just a scientific meeting." But there is that fear. You have to remind them of the danger. The devil is everywhere, you see, and he'll take over.

Tal: Well, they've sort of become their own fundamentalists, it seems to me.

Phil: I call them that. These are Darwinian fundamentalists. They're scientific fundamentalists. Materialist fundamentalists. And so the problem is--the thing that really needs to be exposed is that they have managed to convince the opinion makers of the culture and media that they have proof of what they say, that what they are saying doesn't come out of their ideology, that it comes out of a process of investigation. We say that natural selection can make an eye and a wing and a brain because we've done it in our laboratories. We've tested it. The fossils show that it happened this way. There are all kinds of statements like that, made or implied all the time, which, of course, are absolutely false.

Tal: And it seems to me the media needs them because they're in the same place. I mean you think of what had happened in education at the time of Dewey at Columbia Teachers' College; you think of some of the great deans of the media. And all of them seem to be playing the same tune. They need each other, it seems,

Phil: Well, this is how that elite maintains its status, is by having control of the Creation story. But you can't read the New York Times editorial page day after day without realizing that they have the same view of being an embattled group of enlightened people, with all these superstitious, prejudiced, irrational people around them, you know, who might win elections, who might take over the government, and that's really got to be prevented. So there's a tremendous ideological bent to this kind of science. And just as, you know, I mentioned a while ago that the illusion is fostered, that the claims of scientific materialism come out of experiment and out of investigation. Well, the Freudians used to do this. It was very similar. If you asked a Freudian, "Well, why do you believe in the Oedipus Complex?" they would say, "Oh, we've examined all these patients, and we've observed it." Well, of course, there never was a process of suggestion like Freudian analytic couch. You know, if you psychoanalyze somebody three or five days a week year after year, and keep planting in their minds the idea that they've got the Oedipus Complex, and they're reading about it all the time anyway, besides what you say, of course, people are going to come out with these things.

Tal: Like people remembering former lifetimes.

Phil: Yeah. And the analysts are going to endorse this. Well, it's very similar to what is happening now with this notorious case of the Harvard professor who is writing about people being abducted by space aliens. Of course, you can get stories out of people. And you can interpret them so that they'll show whatever you want to show. Now, the same thing can be done in investigation of all kinds. The scientific method is supposed to guarantee that that doesn't happen, by the peer group checking, you know, by everybody testing everybody else. But a whole area of science can get taken over by an ideology, a kind of a religion. And that's what Darwinism is. And then that process breaks down. And that's essentially what's happened.

Tal: Well, it seems we've got a status quo. People are intimidated in terms of their jobs and their intellectual credibility. We have a church whose watermark intellectually is as low as ever. There was a time you had men like Isaac Newton, a former professor of mathematics at Trinity College at Cambridge, and the interesting thing is that this particular professor spent the last years of his life studying the Book of Revelation. So he wasn't exactly an atheist. Newton could see the design of God in everything. And you mention, of course, that theology should be the queen of the sciences, the queen discipline. And I think you're totally right, but a restored theology.

Phil: Not what we know as theology today.

Tal: That's exactly right. Because we're at a real low point here as well, we have lost our way. The West has lost its way and become myopic. It's now listening to idiots in bright orange outfits who're hammering on desks, people like Gould, who takes himself very seriously. I mean he must be the highest being in the created order in his own eyes.

Phil: You know, when I said that theology should be the queen of the sciences, there's almost a play on words here, a joke. It's a tautology, because whatever is the queen of the sciences will be theology. You see, what I'm doing is I'm not so much making a recommendation as stating an obvious truth. Now, that's why, you see, when physics takes on cosmology, they start talking about seeking the Holy Grail--the grand unified theory . . .

Tal: The unified theory.

Phil: Yeah. And when they find it, they will know the mind of God. And they all use all this God talk all the time.

Tal: Right, they do.

Phil: So, in a way it's appropriate, you see, because what they're doing is saying, "We are going to discover reality in toto," so that physics and metaphysics are the same thing. That's because everything is fundamentally composed of particles. Well, that turns into theology. So it's not as if I was saying we should take the Biblical scholars at the GTU and give them authority over physicists. What I'm saying is that what the physicists are doing has necessarily turned into theology because the theory of everything, you see, that's what theology is about, is how everything fits into everything else. That's the mind of God. So in any culture there's going to be a group of thinkers whose realm is to worry about things in general. How does one kind of knowledge fit into another? And in our culture it's been the materialist scientists who have managed to grab that mantle, and as a result we have a materialist ideology, and as a result we have relativism and nihilism in the values area. And what could be more inevitable and logical?

Tal: I think the chaos in society all around us speaks of this sort of relativism. It's interesting that another Johnson who wrote Modern Times, Paul Johnson, shows an interesting linguistic mistake after the time of Einstein when they confused relativity with relativism. But, at any rate, we're relativistic ethically, and we have abandoned God, and we're paying the price. During the years of the scholastics, Aquinas et al., you were able to talk about metaphysics, and it was based on Biblical epistemology. And then we see through the Enlightenment, and we see entering this century with Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell writing for Principia Mathematic, and then you see Wittgenstein at Cambridge Trinity College again comes along--what they've done is convoluted knowledge, what can be acceptably spoken of. They've long ago abandoned metaphysics. They know they can't talk about that. So you end up with philology--word meanings. So by the time that Wittgenstein writes the blue book and the brown book and the Tractatus, all he can do, this mystic, is define words. See, it's the narrowing of epistemology, and I find it ironic that physics is now taking over metaphysics.

Phil: Yes, those are the rivals. One of the things I say in Reason In the Balance is that, in terms of what is going to be the queen of science, the ruler of knowledge, physics is the traditional senior partner. They're the theory-of-everything seekers. But the better funded discipline of molecular biology is a credible competitor, you see? They get more money these days, and they say, "Well, we can explain the brains of these physicists by DNA, so we're one up on them, aren't we?" But then, you see, the other rival for this role of queen of the sciences is linguistic analysis, literary theory, what they call just "theory" in the literary realm. And there, you can see, if we have no real knowledge, if God is dead, a God has never spoken to us, we just find ourselves here, then what do we have? Well, all that we know is that we communicate, you see? And we have these words that we use. Often the same words don't mean the same thing to the person who's saying them as to the one who perceives them at all, and so all we can really know is this language, and all we can do is play language games.

Tal: Well, this is one of the things that Dilthey did in his hermeneutics.

Phil: Yes, yes. One of the founders of modern thinking in this area. So, now, these two things are, in a sense, opposed. You have the strong rationalism of the scientific atheists, the scientific materialists, on the one side; and then you have the relativism of this language. But they really both come from the same source. They are two sides of the same coin, the coin being the death of God, with Darwin supplying the murder weapon. And then these are the two implications that you can take out of it. So that you have universities split down the middle, as it were, between the scientific materialist side and this multi-culturalist, relativist, deconstructionist side of intellectual thought.

Tal: And that is fascinating--this whole deconstruction thing. And it seems to me they're bringing back the ancient god of chaos through their own new knowledge, and this is a scary enterprise, isn't it? It's a little bit of Skinner, who wrote Walden II and Beyond Freedom and Dignity, and, of course, this is nothing new. We're left with "how do you manage a society," and, this will be next time around, "how do you give youth hope when we're just molecules randomly put together?"

Phil: Well, the bright side of this--I don't want to talk all pessimism here--is that we have the cultural resources to deal with this. We have the Bible. We have the Christian tradition. We have the civilized tradition of the West going back to Plato and Aristotle. We have a memory of better thinkers and better times. We have plenty of intelligent people around who can come to a better understanding of things. Now, you see, the great tragedy of our times, I think, is that we have been bemused by this materialist picture, this . . .

Tal: It's a big leviathan that has cast a big shadow, hasn't it?

Phil: And, you see, in many ways, then, the reaction to it has been unhealthy. This is what we call the the religious ghetto, or whatever, which tends to build this fortress around itself protecting their particular way of thinking, their particular part of reality or whatever. It's a fortress mentality and a defensive mentality. What we really need is people who have a strong grounding in ultimate reality, and that is God; a strong understanding of the true, the good, and the beautiful, and a strong intellectual interest--a willingness to study and learn from that basis; and to engage that culture--there's no reason why that shouldn't be occurring. And why do we have--why, for example, are our theological schools, our seminaries, so timid, so controlled by the materialist culture, as they clearly are? That can be changed. And, indeed, a great part of my own work is in encouraging young people to do that.

Tal: In the end, God is sovereign, and is the one who raises up and brings down. I love that quote--it came out in the movie "Chariots of Fire"-- He will "bring down the mighty." And I think we're in a time where we're seeing an enormous corruption in the theological institute. We're in a time where the Christian ghetto is known by its mediocrity. Go around the TV channels and see the picture: Tilton begging for money, passing around the laundry bag. Or Christian scandals on television, all bad theater in the ghetto. And bad thinking.

Phil: Well--one thing I think we need to keep in mind is we shouldn't imply that things were all that different in the past. If we go back to the age of Whitfield and Wesley, and the Church of England and their time, which was still a genuine church and had many godly people in it and involved with it, yet it was morally compromised and corrupted. A very large proportion of the clergy were unbelievers, you see. They were the younger sons of nobility or whatever. You know, Charles Darwin almost became a cleric because his father didn't have a better idea of what to do with him. And he would have been a typical, unbelieving clergyman at this time, maybe a mild heretic, you know, at most. And so this phenomenon that we see in our time is typical of many eras, if not most, of the past. The times of intense revival have, if anything, been exceptions, and the Bible is full of stories about how the world will always hate the true believers and so on. The world is always going in another direction. So what we shouldn't get down is that this is just something that's happened in our time. There's always a challenge to be met, and this is our challenge.

Tal: It's a huge challenge. I think when we see the same conformity in the schools of theology and the seminaries that we see in academe, with political correctness and everything else, we need a revolution in many ways. Things are at a critical point of decay.

Phil: Well--we need a revolution in the sense of a revolution in thinking. It's really, I think, almost distressingly simple, to put the question. I always say to the Christian groups, intellectual Christians of any kind, is God real or is God imaginary? Did God really create us, or is that just a sort of comforting idea that makes us feel good? That's the theme of Reason in the Balance, really, is addressing that question.

Tal: And if He is real, act as though He were and not live as if that were somehow unimportant.

Phil: That's right. Now, if He's not real, I mean we can say this: Look! Let's look at the evidence. Now, if that's sufficient to convince us that we've been hoodwinked on this, and our true creator is Darwinian natural selection and, God is out of the picture and so on, well, all right, let's live with that then. I think they've come to the wrong answer, but--they've got the right question, and they've answered it at least. The people that worry me are the ones that never get to the point of answering that question, for whom the difference between a real and unreal God is itself meaningless. And there are many of those, even in the clergy or professional religious work. Now, if God is real, then it simply can't be the case that the way to do honest science is to pretend that God is unreal. That doesn't make any sense at all. Now, of course, that doesn't mean that to say that God is real means that you're going to attribute everything to miracles. That's the caricature that the scientific . . .

Tal: The "God in the gaps" thing.

Phil: But it does mean that you're going to say, if we look to see what's really there, we're likely to see the fingerprint of God. We're likely to see the hand of God. Now, lo and behold, we do see it. In fact, it's so elementary, it's almost embarrassing to relate. We see the genetic information. Even a scientific materialist like George C. Williams recognizes this instantly when he looks at it--that it's like Don Quixote. We recognize the mind of the author. You wouldn't try to go about understanding Don Quixote by pretending that Cervantes never existed. And yet, see, that's exactly what Williams and his fellows do with their biology. They so distort their intellects. So it's a matter of being willing to recognize what it is there and follow the implications of what is there. The reality of God involves recognizing that rationality is a rationality of the true, the good, and the beautiful, as I say. It's not just a rationality of material cause. So if you say, "Well, we want to be rational. So, therefore, we're going to assume that the only thing that's real in the world is unintelligent material causes." That's not rationality; that's irrationality. There are material causes, and it's rational to investigate them. But it's also more rational to understand that they fit into a God-directed system, and that there really is such a thing as truth. There really is such a thing as beautiful, even if most people don't know what it is, because it exists in the mind of God. So that's rationality.

Tal: Which originally, when the theologians said, "You're in the image of God," those are qualities that were part of being an image of God.

Phil: Absolutely. That's the starting point. What makes the human mind rational is that it has this ability to perceive the true, the good, and the beautiful. Now, this is also damaged as of the Fall. We see through a glass darkly. That's the other side of it. But we understand that the absolute true, good, and beautiful do exist, and we can know a part of it--and when we know a part of it, we can understand how the part that we know fits into the greater whole.

Tal: Augustine used the term "God shaped vacuum in us." Dealing with that God shaped vacuum honestly in apprehending the true and the beautiful and all that . . . the harmony . . . this is based on something that is way beyond what we can perceive in our limited fallen condition.

Phil: Yes, and that's why the notion of an educational system that doesn't concern itself with the morals of the students, with the character and so on, which has become just accepted throughout our culture, is itself fundamentally irrational. Now, it's done in the interest of a scientific rationalism, you see. If people just learn the courses and all that, then they'll be all right . . .


Tal: And they're failing all the time.

Phil: It will undermine even the scientific rationalism itself, because--why should anybody pursue anything except wealth and power? Why should they pursue scientific investigation except as an avenue to wealth and power? And now we get scientists like Robert Gallo who has left the NIH under pressure, but, now, he's an example that's typical of many, of the very high pressure scientist who is willing to do what it takes to achieve glory. This kind of ambition is built into the whole system.

Tal: I think that's important though. I think that's important for us to talk about. I think Gallo, who, and I can't remember the name of the Frenchman who he plagiarized....

Phil: Motagne. Yes, now, one of the things we see in the scientific world, by the way, is that because things are so complicated and so technical, that even an allegation of brazen fraud, which in this case was really quite clear-cut, is hard to prove. Motagne had sent him the sample. It was that very sample that Gallo claimed to have discovered. It was--it turned out that it was impossible actually to prove anything, that so much confusion was thrown into the system by the complexity of the science and, I'm happy to admit, by the lawyers . . .

Tal: Well, I can't imagine a worse kind of revolution, of a bunch of lawyers combined with scientists . . . I think it's a banquet in hell, unless I'm mistaken.

Phil: So, clearly, anyone that's watching what's happening with those science cases, then one hardly needs to mention the O.J. Simpson case.

Tal: I was going to mention it. Another endearing moment in jurisprudence history.

Phil: Can you imagine a society that cannot educate its children to read and write? You know, it gets worse and worse at that all the time? That can no longer, in a simple murder case, identify the guilty party and impose punishment? It gets all tied up in its own knots. In which there's just rampant fraud everywhere, and the people that you trust to keep a watch on it are themselves engaged in it? Now, again, I don't want to overemphasize the extent to which all this is new. There's been corruption in every age. Original sin and so on. But what has happened in the late 20th century is that we've lost many of the resources that we had to deal with these situations.

Tal: Well, as you speak about that, I'm thinking of Clockwork Orange, which, of course, was a classic book and then a movie, with Malcolm McDowell, who I think is the only human being genetically predisposed for that role. And the interesting thing about Clockwork Orange is that it fits the prototype of the utopian humanist who's going to use science in the same way--but creates a sociopathic monster at the end of a long conditioning period. In the end you've got Malcolm McDowell with his eyes held open in the conditioning theater as they're putting in the solution to change his inner thinking. In the most morbid part, at the end of the film, is where he smiles. They think he's changed, and he's just the same. The leopard's spots have remained the same.

Phil: Well, Donald Johannsen, the famous anthropologist here in Berkeley, who discovered Lucy, wrote a book, or he allowed it to be ghost written for him, a couple of years ago-- I believe I discuss it in Darwin On Trial--where he suggests something about the meaning of evolution: what we've really got to learn from evolution is that we have to take control of our own genetic future. We have programmed in us all these cave man instincts, which were appropriate for an earlier time. This is the first time that evolution can . . .

Tal: Become conscious.

Phil: . . . become conscious of itself, become intelligently directed. Now we will have a creator. And what's really so amusing to me in reading this, is there's all this talk about "we" can do this. "We," you know.

Tal: The vigilantes of the we, sure.

Phil: You remember that old joke about the Lone Ranger and Tonto. They're surrounded by Indians, and Tonto says, "What do you mean, 'we,' Pale Face?" And, clearly, as I pointed out when I reviewed this, Johannsen doesn't mean the mass of the people. They're the ones with those cave man instincts that we've got to get rid of. We're not going to give them control of the genetic future of the human race. It's got to be, by its inherent logic, an inner circle of scientific masterminds.

Tal: It's CS Lewis' fictitious NICE all over again.

Phil: Yeah, it's the NICE group of scientific elite. Now, that dream is inherent in scientific materialists.

Tal: We saw it in "Dr. Strangelove," when they were going to build the survivors . . .

Phil: Yes, because the literature of scientific materialism is full of these warnings of extinction. There have been these extinctions in the past and we're going to have one unless we take proper steps to deal with it. Now, the proper steps, again, have got to involve this kind of human genetic engineering project, this sort of planned society, and so on. This is the link between socialism and scientism.

Tal: That's exactly right. That's a very key point, the link between socialism and scientism.

Phil: Yes. Well, you know--one wonders why something that worked as badly as socialism, particularly the Marxian socialism, had so many intellectuals behind it. The dream appealed to them. I think of J. V. S. Haldane in particular, you know.

Tal: I was going to ask you about him earlier. The Britisher . . .

Phil: A brilliant man but also a screwball. And he was a life-long Marxist who . . .

Tal: Wasn't he a Fabian? Was he not a part of the Fabian Society?

Phil: I think he was, but he became a hardcore communist, a follower, I think a Party member. He did not follow Stalin all the way into the Lysenko affair. He drew the line there, when they got into his genetics. But, aside from that, he was a communist or a very loyal fellow traveler, and, you see, it fits all of the piece because communism was science applied to society, and it had this dream, the final utopia under communism, when all conflict would be finished because you would do away with all the other classes and you'd have only the proletariat left, and so then you'd have a classless and a conflict-less society. And this was planning towards a utopia under a scientific direction of society. So that even if there were crimes and blunders committed along the way, you see, the notion of the scientific materialist was that this makes sense. Now, of course, that was the appeal to them. Again, to be fair, one must say that there were many scientific materialists who didn't follow that dream, and who rejected it, and that's very much to their credit. Somebody like Bertrand Russell, who was wrong about so many things, was dead right about this one. He went to Russia, and he saw it for what it was.

Tal: And Malcolm Muggeridge, of course, did as well.

Phil: And Muggeridge, who then converted . . .

Tal: Turned, became a Christian.

Phil: He changed his religion, which Russell didn't do. But the attraction of socialism for the intellectual was that it seemed to offer this promise of extending the benefits of science to society. You know, I often like to quote the opening chapter of the leading college evolutionary biology textbook by Douglas Fatuma, which says that Darwin did for biology what Marx did for society and Freud did for the mind. He reduced everything to matter and created this materialist ideology. And that's what Darwinism is all about. It's not really about biology. Biology is used to furnish certain examples to further the materialist program.

Tal: I think that's a central quote because you have mentioned the three names that have guided us into this post-modern era; Darwin, Freud and Marx have to be the ones. And I think what we're ending up with is not the time of Christ, but anti-Christ. I was thinking of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World as you were speaking. And, of course, he, in Brave New World and in The Brave New World Revisited, comes out of the closet. He does his own sort of outing when he talks about an elite intelligentsia who are going to control the world through bread and circuses. And I think there's an almost diabolical parallel when you get the human will and human consciousness, for whatever reason, when it reaches in these strained perverse directions. The sheer passion in their vehement hostility to God . . . because, could it be that, when you want so much to be God, you certainly don't want to rival God. I think that would certainly apply to Stephen Hawking, who you point out in your book--he and Roger Penrose now deny a Big Bang. The Big Bang allowed a doorway for Creationists to say there was a point of creation, there was a moment in history at which it all happened, and it could fall in line with Genesis. So Hawking and others are now scrambling backwards in their thinking to deny a singularity, to now deny a Big Bang, but to go into eternal, constant universe.

Phil: What's wonderful about that is that Hawking is so up-front about it in his book. And he still gets away with it. I mean what his viewers should have said is that this is a theological book by a physicist.

Tal: You're absolutely right.

Phil: But instead they sort of bowed down before it, and I think the Newsweek cover story on it called him a master of the universe.

Tal: And they had the wheelchair there and . . .

Phil: Well, of course, you've got to remember that this is a thrilling story. If you see that movie . . .

Tal: I did. I certainly did.

Phil: I think it's an excellent thing. And it really shows the romantic side of this, that here is this helpless man with this disease which, through his courage, through his mind, he sees through to the reality of things. It's the story of mind over matter. And that, as I say in Chapter Three of Reason in the Balance, is the real irony because then the story he tells is one in which all there is, is matter, and there's no mind. And the mind is just the creation of this Darwinian system to get more mates and leave more offspring.

Tal: In which we have nothing over the cockroaches and so forth, as you point out.

Phil: Yes, those are the real Darwinian successes. So that's the irony of it. But you have to be thrilled by the man, in that--that accomplishment, even though it goes so terribly . . .

Tal: Awry.

Phil: Yes. I don't think that we should focus too much on even the leading metaphysicians, like Hawking, Weinberg, or whatever. In a way the most interesting question is the believers, the people who accept this. There's nothing wrong with somebody being a speculative thinker and, you know, putting out some things. And even if they're crazy--well, somewhat--it's not that there's some great evil in wild speculation. That's what places like Trinity College, Cambridge are for.

Tal: Absolutely.

Phil: Now--where I think the evil comes in is with a culture which is looking for the wrong kind of God, a media culture. So we shouldn't beat on a Hawking, who's doing his thing and very courageous and . . .

Tal: Well, I think only God is going to be able to judge Hawking.

Phil: Yeah, that's between him and God. But the media culture, which says what we want to do is lionize the scientific mind . . . when Time Magazine did a story a couple of years ago, the Christmas issue story, a cover story, it was on what does science tell us about God, you see. And, again, it's a naked propaganda campaign to tell people that--what is an absurdity when you think about it--that you should look at these people who experiment with chemicals and whatever, and they'll tell you what God is. And what they'll tell you, of course, is that God is imaginary, it's a materialist universe. And then they'll tell you how they invest meaning in it. They'll give you a metaphysical dream that comes out of their materialist philosophy.

Tal: The final product of which way you swing your opinion, by their very theory, is going to be based on thinking chemicals.

Phil: It's just some chemicals in your brain that cause you to do that . . .

Tal: That's right.

Phil: I love to quote that statement by Kornberg, Arthur Kornberg, the materialist biochemist from Stanford who says he constantly meets seemingly intelligent people, like medical doctors, who don't know that the mind is part of the brain, is chemistry and only chemistry. And I wrote him "Professor Kornberg, I can explain this mystery to you. They just have different chemicals--they have one set of chemicals in their brains that causes them not to understand this, and you have another set in your brain which causes you to imagine that the mind is only chemistry." Well, that kind of thing is obviously self-defeating in the end, and so that's a problem with the system. But I was also thinking of a different problem, which is the argument between chance and necessity. Now, you see, there's one group of scientific materialists who insist that there are laws which govern the origin of life. Christian De Duva, who's a famous biochemist, has just come out with a big, fat book called Vital Dust. And he argues that it's law-like. There must be laws. There are laws which govern matter, which will cause matter to evolve into more complex systems and in the living systems. And how do we know there are such laws? Well, because it couldn't happen by chance. And, therefore, there must be these chemical laws. Now, the danger in that, from the scientific materialist point of view, is that it's very easy for people to say that, "Oh, well, we know what's behind those laws. You see, you're talking about a God-directed system." This is God talk . . . the lawmaker has ordained the laws, and everything's divinely ordained. Well, now, another segment of scientific materialists sees this coming, and they say, "Oh, we can't have that." That threatens--it's like the singularity of the beginning of the Big Bang.

Tal: It's yet another embarrassment.

Phil: So this is why, I think, Stephen J. Gould spends so much time insisting that it's all chance, you see, is that he's afraid that the laws mean inevitable progress. They mean a benevolently directed system. So one gets that constant back and forth, to keep your mind directed away from the possibility that there's an intelligence behind the whole system because that's the soap that they're selling at the end of the day, that this is an unintelligent and purposeless system.

Tal: You know, it's a frightening thing. Now, you growing up in the Midwest heard the cliché about horse sense, and, of course, you went off to Harvard at sixteen, and got involved in the so-called East Coast mentality of intelligentsia. I think what's amazing--I think you have imported some of your Midwestern horse sense into this pantheon of disfigured deities, and I think the only way to handle it is you either need to do it on that level-- do philosophy with them, audit the books as an intelligent layman--or bring in the clowns.

Phil: Well, you speak of horse sense. Maybe that's what you get after you've been kicked often enough by a horse. So I've had my kicks that have perhaps taught me some sense or humility. But certainly I do recall--I can just so empathize with the mentality that leads to this intellectual elitism--that I left my small town, and I was going to Harvard, unlike anybody else.

Tal: It's the inner ring. You were part of it . . .

Phil: Yes. You know, I could have become part of the inner ring, and joined that knowledge elite. You just had to find the right way into it. Of course, there's always a ring that's more inner than the one that you're in. When you come from a Midwestern high school to Harvard as a freshman, you think you're really in a ring. But, of course, a college freshman counts for nothing. And you find that out. So then you've got to get to something more inner and so on, and you can pursue that all of your life.

Tal: And I think some people do. It becomes a burning desire that'll bind them, I think, against almost anything, even horse sense.

Phil: And then there's this thought that, well, if we can just make over the world with these rational, scientific principles that give the right incentives to people and mange things and so on, well, then we could manage it right. Now, there is, to some degree, mixed in with a lot of pride and so on, of course, there's also a genuine desire to create this harmonious world, this rational world, and so on. But, of course, like all human projects that leave God out of the picture, it allows human corruption to run unchecked.

Tal: Exactly---Now as we close down, I take it you're on a lecture tour with this book. Give us some recent news before we end our session.

Phil: I've got to go to a whole number of universities and lecture. I'm going to be lecturing at the University of Madrid, debating Francisco Ayalla, the University of California's leading Darwinist, there. He has a bit of an advantage, since he's a native Spanish speaker and I am not. And I'm continuing to publish, publishing a lot of book reviews and so on. And trying to bring along and develop a group of young scholars, who can really do all of the academic and scientific kind of work that needs to be done to take advantage of whatever breakthrough and penetration I'm making on the issue.

Tal: Well, I'm privileged to consider you as a friend, and be considered your friend, and I am glad that you're fighting for the cause of truth. It has to be done. I think right now God has you in this place and all you can do is be faithful to this.

Phil: Well, it's good to be talking to you.

Tal: I am privileged, as always, to have you here. I knew Francis Schafer somewhat, and I have in some ways mourned the fact that there haven't been more people who can really take on the establishment. I think you can do it with amazing effectiveness with God's help.

Phillip E. Johnson is a professor at the U.C. Berkeley Boalt School of Law. He graduated from Harvard University and then attended the University of Chicago school of law. Johnson clerked under U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren before joining the faculty at Berkeley. Later he became a convinced Christian. Today he contends for the faith in some of the most pivotal arenas of our time. SCP carries all of his books. Phil Johnson is a friend of Tal Brooke and SCP and we feel fortunate to have the access to him that we do.

For the four other articles included in the Sweet Lies journal please see SCP Journal 21:4-22:1: SWEET LIES, Controlling Beliefs and Occult Bestsellers

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