We want to thank Truthbomb Apologetics for putting together this Free Online E-book Library. Keep in mind that the people at Truthbomb don’t necessarily endorse every book here.
Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity edited by John Piper, Justin Taylor, and Paul Kjoss Helseth [PDF]
Confessions by St. Augustine [PDF]
Curse of Cain? Racism in the Mormon Church by Jerald and Sandra Tanner
Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching by St. Irenaeus
Demons, Witches, and the Occult by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart [PDF]
Essential Truths of the Christian Faith by R.C. Sproul [PDF]
Evidence of Christianity by William Paley
Fifty Nobel Laureates and Other Great Scientists Who Believe in God [PDF]
Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper [PDF]; originally called The Passion of the Christ
Handbook of Today’s Religions by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart He Walked Among Us: Evidence for the Historical Jesus by Josh McDowell and Bill Wilson [PDF]
How Do You Know the Bible is from God? by Kyle Butt [PDF]
I’m Convinced He’s Out There: Good Reasons to Believe in the Existence of God by Jim Wallace
Jesus: A Biblical Defense of His Deity by Josh McDowell and Bart Larson [PDF]
Jesus Rediscovered by Malcolm Muggeridge
Josh McDowell answers Five Tough Questions by Josh McDowell [PDF]
Letters to a Mormon Elder by James R. White Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia by W.M. Ramsey
Mormon Claims Answered by Marvin Cowan Pens’ees by Blaise Pascal Reasons Skeptics should Consider Christianity by Josh McDowell and Don Steward [PDF]
Responsive Christianity: Learning to Become a Christian “Case Maker” by Jim Wallace
Runaway World by Michael Green
Skeptics who Demanded a Verdict by Josh McDowell [PDF] St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen by W.M. Ramsey
Suffering and the Sovereignty of God by John Piper [PDF]
Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas
Ten Reasons Why I Believe the Bible is the Word of God by R.A. Torrey The Abolition of Manby C.S. Lewis
The Case for the Existence of God by Bert Thompson, Ph.D. [PDF]
The Changing World of Mormonism by Jerald and Sandra Tanner [PDF available here] The Dawkins Lettersby David Robertson
The Future of Justification: A Response to N.T. Wright by John Piper [PDF]
The Infidel Delusion– This is response to the John Loftus edited, internet infidel celebrated book, The Christian Delusion offered up by Triablogue. The Irrational Atheist by Vox Day [PDF]
The Islam Debate by Josh McDowell and John Gilchrist [PDF]
The Mark of the Christian by Francis A. Schaeffer
The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable? by F.F. Bruce
The Resurrection of Theism: Prolegomena to Christian Apology by Stuart Hackett NEW!
The Scientific Case for Creation by Bert Thompson, Ph.D. [PDF]
The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World General Editors- John Piper and Justin Taylor [PDF] The Story of the Bible by Sir Frederic Kenyon The Works of Flavius Josephus
Tracking the White Salamander: The Story of Mark Hofmann, Murder, and Forged Mormon Documents by Jerald Tanner
Understanding Secular Religions by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart
Warranted Christian Belief by Dr. Alvin Plantinga
Was Christ Born in Bethlehem? by W.M. Ramsey
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan [PDF available]
Dealing with Doubt by Dr. Gary Habermas
Desiring God by John Piper
Holy War by John Bunyan [PDF available]
Man-The Dwelling Place of God by A.W. Tozer
Real Christianity by William Wilberforce
The Necessity of Prayer by E.M. Bounds
The Normal Christian Life by Watchmen Nee The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
The Thomas Factor: Using Your Doubts to Draw Closer to God by Dr. Gary Habermas
The Works of Jonathan Edwards
With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray
Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design
Darwin on Trial by Phillip E. Johnson In Six Days– Why 50 Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation, Edited by Dr. John Ashton
Natural Theology by William Paley
On the Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin Refuting Evolution 1 by Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D., F.M. Refuting Evolution 2 by Jonathan Sarfati, with Michael Matthews
Taking Back Astronomy by Jason Lisle The Bible and the Age of the Earth by Bert Thompson, Ph.D. [PDF]
The Creation Answers Book by Dr. Don Batton (Contributing Editor), Dr. David Catchpoole, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, and Dr. Carl Wieland The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin
The Global Flood of Noah by Bert Thompson, Ph.D. [PDF]
The Mystery of Life’s Origin by Charles B. Thaxton, Walter L. Bradley, and Roger L. Olsen [PDF or Adobe Reader] The New Answers Book by various authors
In the Shadow of Darwin, a review of the teachings of John N. Clayton by Wayne Jackson and Bert Thompson [PDF]
Logic Handbook on Logic and Rational Thought by a former atheist of 40 years
Logic and Fallacies of Logic by Dr. Johnson C. Philip and Dr. Saneesh Cherian [PDF] Philosophy
Atheism Analyzed by a former atheist of 40 years A Treatise on Human Nature by David Hume
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Critique of Pure Reason by Emmanuel Kant
Ethics by Aristotle
Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard
Me, the Professor, Fuzzy, and the Meaning of Life by David Pensgard
Heretics by G.K. Chesterton
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton [PDF]
Philosophical Fragments by Soren Kierkegaard
Selections from the Writings of Kierkegaard– Translated by L.M. Hollander The Everlasting Manby G.K. Chesterton
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
The Natural History of Religion by David Hume
The Predicament of Modern Man by Elton Trueblood The Sickness Unto Death by Soren Kierkegaard
Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche What’s Wrong with the World? by G.K. Chesterton
Why I Am Not a Christian by Bertrand Russell
Courage and Godspeed, Chad
- Bible and Book of Mormon Contradictions – [ PDF version] Some basic discrepancies between the Bible and the Book of Mormon.
- Bible Verses Relating to LDS Teachings on Temple Work – [ PDF version] Shows how Mormon Temple Work contradicts Bible.
- Does the LDS Church Still Teach That Heavenly Father Was Once a Man? – [ PDF version] Current quotes from LDS Leaders.
- Gethsemane and Christ’s Blood in LDS References – [ PDF version] Sins paid for by Christ primarily in the garden?
- How Do We Test A Prophet? – [ PDF version] Should we take Joseph Smith at his word? Is prayer a good enough test?
- How Does the LDS Church View the Bible? – [ PDF version] Shows how the LDS Church’s view of the Bible differs from Christianity.
- How the LDS Husband Hopes to Resurrect His Wife According to the LDS Temple Ceremony – [ PDF version] Wife’s salvation dependant on husband?
- The Importance of Joseph Smith in Mormonism [ PDF version] How intertwined is Mormonism and Joseph Smith?
- Joseph Smith’s Role as ‘Prophet’ in View of the King Follet Discourse – [ PDF version] by Sandra Tanner
- LDS Church Leaders Declare Christianity to be in a State of Total Apostasy – [ PDF version] Quotes from LDS sources on Christianity.
- LDS Leaders Claim to be Descended from Christ and His Apostles – Contains quotes from church leaders.
- LDS Leaders Define Their Concept of JESUS CHRIST – [ PDF version] Quotes from LDS sources on Jesus.
- LDS Leaders Still Believe There Will Be Polygamy in Heaven – [ PDF version] Is polygamy still practiced?
- LDS Teaching on Lucifer – [ PDF version] Quotes from Mormon leaders on Lucifer contrasted with the Bible.
- LDS View of God Contradicts the Bible – [ PDF version] Includes What the Bible Says About God. Quotes from LDS Leaders.
- Mormons Hope to Become Gods of Their Own Worlds – [ PDF version] Quotes from LDS Leaders on godhood and procreation.
- Proclamation of the Twelve: April 6, 1845 – Proclamation on the Kingdom of God, Restoration, and American Indians being the lost tribe of Israel.
- Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints – [ PDF version] Questions to ask your Mormon friend.
- Terminology Differences – [ PDF version] Mormons use the same words as Christians, but do they have the same meaning?
- The Virgin Birth According to LDS Leaders – Extract from 41 Unique Teachings of the LDS Church, pp. 27-30
- Jesus and Joseph Smith – [ PDF version] Is Joseph Smith greater than Jesus?
- Joseph Smith and the Kinderhook Plates – [ PDF version] Did Joseph Smith attempt to translate forgeries?
- Testing the Book of Mormon – [ PDF version] Is there archaeological proof of the Book of Mormon?
- The Fall of the Book of Abraham – [ PDF version] With the Book of Abraham papyrus found, is Joseph Smith’s translation vindicated?
- The Worst Prison of All – [ PDF version] Is intellectual belief in God enough?
- Power Over the Entire World – [ PDF version] How much is a soul worth?
- 1869 Murder in a Mormon Ward House? – Three men mistakenly murdered to protect massacre perpetrator?
- Baptism for the Dead and the Twelve Oxen Under the Baptismal Font – [ PDF version] Examines the practice and the temple baptismal font.
- Book of Mormon Overview – [ PDF version] Points out some basic problems of the Book of Mormon
- Changing Articles of Faith (The) – Photos from source documents and book excerpt detailing the changes.
- Chiasmus and the Book of Mormon – [ PDF version] Does the presence of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon prove it is from ancient texts?
- Contradictions in LDS Scriptures – [ PDF version] Includes hyperlinks to Mormon verses.
- Do Mormon Leaders Receive Financial Support? – [ PDF version] Mormon leaders boast of having no paid clergy. Is that true?
- Joseph Smith’s Death – Martyred death or a desperate gun battle to save his own skin?
- Joseph Smith’s “White Horse” Prophecy – [ PDF version] Is a modern politician attempting to fulfill an old Mormon prophecy?
- LDS Patriarchal Blessings – Explanation of what they are with examples. Includes Sandra’s blessing.
- Masonic Symbols and the LDS Temple – Contains examples of Masonic symbols Mormons use.
- One of My Family’s Best Kept Secrets – Sandra Tanner’s connection to the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
- Possible Sources For Book of Mormon Names – Compares Book of Mormon names with other sources like the Bible.
- Racial Statements – [ PDF version] A list of racial statements in Mormon scripture.
- Reorganized LDS Church (The) – Information and quotes about the RLDS.
- Sample of Joseph Smith’s False Prophecies (A) – [ PDF version] A list of 12 false prophecies.
- Was the Garden of Eden in Missouri? – [ PDF version] Joseph Smith claimed it was. [Adam-ondi-Ahman]
- What is a Cult? – [ PDF version] Basic definitions of a cult.
- Where Did Joseph Smith Get His Ideas for the Book of Mormon? – Probable parallels from books pre-dating the Book of Mormon.
- Where is Cumorah? – Scene of the last battle of the Book of Mormon peoples. Was it in New York?
- Zelph – The White Lamanite Warrior – Bones of a Book of Mormon warrior found in Missouri?
- How to Remove Your Name from the LDS Records – Includes excerpt on Church Discipline from Encyclopedia of Mormonism.
- One Former Mormon’s Experience with Having His Entire Family’s Name Removed from the LDS Church Records
- A Utah Couple’s 2007 Resignation Letter to their Bishop
- Captain Morgan and the Masonic Influence in Mormonism – This is Chapter 13 from The Mormon Kingdom Vol. 1. Explains the significance of Captain Morgan’s book Exposition of Freemasonry. Includes detailed parallels between the Masonic rituals and the Mormon Temple ceremony.
- Changing the Revelations [Chapter 6 of Case Against Mormonism Vol. 1]
- Introduction to 3,913 Changes in the Book of Mormon – [ PDF version]This revised introduction shows just how different the Book of Mormon is today from its original 1830 version.
- Lectures on Faith – Excerpt from Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? about the removal of lectures on the nature of God from the Doctrine and Covenants.
- The Solomon Spalding Theory – [ PDF version] Chapter 9 of Joseph Smith’s Plagiarism of the Bible in the Book of Mormon
- The Stolen Manuscript: The Golden Bible Excerpt – 116 pages of the Book of Mormon lost? Multiple sets of plates? Excellent analysis by Rev. M. T. Lamb on Joseph Smith’s attempt to save the Book of Mormon by rewriting the beginning.
- A Brief Chronology of Joseph Smith — 1805-1844 Compiled by Sandra Tanner
- Charisma: “The Bravest Woman in Utah” by John Draper
Reprinted with permission from Charisma & Christian Life, June, 2006. Copyright Strang Communications Co., USA. All rights reserved. http://www.charismamag.com
- Delusions: An Analysis of the Book of Mormon by Alexander Campbell
- John Hay Atlantic Monthly Article – The Mormon Prophet’s Tragedy (1869). Details the circumstances surrounding the death of Joseph Smith and the subsequent trial of his killers.
- The Mormon Church Attempts to Conceal Temple Records for Adolf Hitler by Helen Radkey
- The Mormon Prophet Attempts to Join the Methodists by Wesley P. Walters
- The Rise and Fall of the LDS Church by Ed H. Yong. An interesting look at the LDS Church as a business/sociological phenomena.
- The True Church by Bishop J. C. Ryle
Letters to the Editor:Letters to the Editor
- #111 Messenger, Appeal Rejected
- #108 Messenger, Ministry Files Appeal
- #106 Messenger, Update on Lawsuit
- #104 Messenger, Ministry Files Lawsuit
- UTLM Complaint
- Motion to Dismiss Ruling
- District Court Ruling
- 10th Circuit Appeal Ruling
- The Smithsonian Letter – The Smithsonian denounces the false rumor of using the Book of Mormon as a tool for research.
- The National Geographic Society Letter – Refuting the rumor that they also use the Book of Mormon.
- Portuguese Translations
- About Us (Portuguese) [PDF]
- Jerald and Sandra Tanner Testimony from Changing World (Portuguese) [PDF]
- Fighting Prophet (A), Changing World Chapter 17 Excerpt (Portuguese) [PDF]
- General Smith, Changing World Chapter 17 Excerpt (Portuguese) [PDF]
- Greatest Egoist (The), Changing World Chapter 17 Excerpt (Portuguese) [PDF]
- Joseph Smith, Changing World Chapter 17 Excerpt (Portuguese) [PDF]
- Joseph Smith for President, Changing World Chapter 17 Excerpt (Portuguese) [PDF]
- Smith Ordained King, Changing World Chapter 17 Excerpt (Portuguese) [PDF]
- Spanish Translations
- #122 Messenger: Grappling with the Past: LDS Church’s New Statements on Gospel Topics (Spanish) [PDF]
- #111 Messenger: Jerald Tanner’s Quest for Truth – Part 3 (Spanish) [PDF]
- #109 Messenger: Jerald Tanner’s Quest for Truth – Part 2 (Spanish) [PDF]
- #108 Messenger: Jerald Tanner’s Quest for Truth – Part 1 (Spanish) [PDF]
- The Changing World of Mormonism:
- Anthon Transcript:
- Book of Abraham:
- The New York Times, Dec. 29, 1912: “Museum Walls Proclaim Fraud of Mormon Prophet” – Early analysis of Joseph Smith’s claim to translate an Egyptian papyrus into the Book of Abraham. Includes photos of original article.
- Also see Topical Index: Book of Abraham
- Book of Mormon Early Problems:
- 116 Missing Pages
- The Stolen Manuscript: The Golden Bible Excerpt – Excellent analysis by Rev. M. T. Lamb on Joseph Smith’s attempt to save the Book of Mormon by rewriting the beginning!
- The Preface to the 1830 Book of Mormon – Joseph Smith’s statement on why the lost 116 pages weren’t retranslated.
- The Book of Mormon Plates Source Information – Chart (concept) of all the plates used for the Book of Mormon. Also includes part of the Introduction to the current Book of Mormon explaining the different plates.
- Doctrine and Covenants Section 10 – Joseph Smith’s revelation in which he is conveniently told not to translate the missing 116 pages.
- The Words of Mormon – “This insert connects the record engraved on the Small Plates with Mormon’s abridgment of the Large Plates,” from the Introduction to the Book of Mormon.
- Also see SLC Messenger #72 and SLC Messenger #74
- Printing the Book of Mormon
- Memorandum, made by John H. Gilbert, Esq., – Type-setter’s statement regarding the printing process and changes made to the Book of Mormon. Also includes Marin Harris’s comment of seeing the plates only with his “spiritual eye.”
- Interview with John H. Gilbert from The American Bookseller – reprint of an interview in Detroit Post and Tribune. Gilbert comments on the printing of the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith’s money-digging.
- 116 Missing Pages
- Book of Mormon Later Problems:
- Introduction to 3,913 Changes in the Book of Mormon – [ PDF version] Introduction covers how and why changes were made to the Book of Mormon after its first printing.
- Book of Mormon Plagiarisms:
- King James 1611 Preface and Joseph Smith’s “Cloud of Darkness!” – Evidence of Joseph Smith’s plagiarism of the King James Preface. Includes photos and typescript of the preface.
- Also see Topical Index: Book of Mormon, Plagiarism
- Brigham Young:
- Deseret Alphabet
- Brigham Young’s Estate – Quotes on how Brigham “borrowed” from the Church and died owing over $1 million dollars. Includes pictures of Young’s houses.
- Eternal Progression:
- Eternal Progression Chart (PDF)
- LDS Artist Rendering
- Mormons Hope to Become Gods of Their Own Worlds – Quotes from LDS Leaders on godhood and procreation.
- Joseph Smith’s King Follet Sermon – [ PDF version] Sermon from History of the Church. Details Joseph Smith’s concept of God(s).
- Joseph Smith’s Sermon On Plurality of Gods – More on Smith’s concept of God from History of the Church.
- First Vision:
- Evolution of the First Vision and Teaching on God in Early Mormonism by Sandra Tanner.
- Joseph Smith’s Handwritten 1832 First Vision – Contains photo and transcript of Smith’s 1832 first vision account.
- Kinderhook Plates:
- The Kinderhook Plates – Excerpt from Answering Mormon Scholars Vol. 2 about Joseph Smith’s “translation” of another set of plates, only these are conclusively proven forgeries.
- Kinderhook Plate photographs – photos of one rediscovered Kinderhook plate that Joseph Smith “translated.”
- Kinderhook Facsimile – Reproduction of all six Kinderhook plates, front and back, found in History of the Church Vol. 5 pages 374-376. (The plate marked with a red box is the one in the above photographs.)
- Joseph Smith and the Kinderhook Plates – Tract
- Kirtland Bank:
- Nauvoo Expositor:
- Polygamy Revelations:
- Word of Wisdom:
Sermons, Talks, Interviews:
- Harris, Martin
- Interview with Martin Harris in Tiffany’s Monthly – One of the three original Book of Mormon Witnesses interviewed.
- Smith, Joseph
- Joseph Smith’s King Follet Sermon – Sermon from History of the Church. Details Joseph Smith’s concept of God(s).
- Joseph Smith’s Sermon on Plurality of Gods – More on Smith’s concept of God from History of the Church.
- Joseph Smith Boasting and Polygamy Denial Sermon – Where Smith claims he is greater than Jesus and lies about having only one wife.
- Young, Brigham
- Brigham Young Interview by Horace Greeley, July 13, 1859
- Brigham Young Sermon: Joseph Smith’s Consent Needed to Enter Heaven
- Brigham Young’s Speech on Slavery, Blacks, and the Priesthood
- Journal of Discourses Vol. 3, p. 243-249 [Blood Atonement]
- Journal of Discourses Vol. 4, p. 51-57 [Blood Atonement]
- Journal of Discourses Vol. 4, p. 215-221 [Blood Atonement]
- Journal of Discourses Vol. 9, p. 31-40 [Tobacco]
- Harris, Martin
- Blood Atonement
- Brigham Young
- Heber C. Kimball
- Jedediah M. Grant
- Word of Wisdom
- Brigham Young
- Journal of Discourses Vol. 9, p. 31-40 [Tobacco]
- Brigham Young
- Blood Atonement
- A Tanner Bibliography 1959–2014 (PDF) by H. Michael Marquardt
- Backpack Radio | street-level apologetics |
- Bible Answer Man: Hank Hanegraaff
- Family Shield Ministries
- 90.7 FM KY – The Wind
- Razor Swift
- Viewpoint on Mormonism Podcast (Audio)
- Sandra Tanner Interview Part 1 (01/22/18)
- Sandra Tanner Interview Part 2 (01/23/18)
- Sandra Tanner Interview Part 3 (01/24/18)
- MORMON … Archaeology? (08/09/2018)
- When Mark Hofmann Met Sandra Tanner [6 Parts] (07/19/2018)
- Who Has the Priesthood? (03/11/2018)
- Do We Eternally Progress? (02/25/2018)
- Is Jesus My Brother? (02/18/2018)
- Does God Have a Father? (02/11/2018)
- Colliding Worldviews: The Different World of Mormonism (08/15/2017)
- The Mormon Culture of Utah (04/16/2017)
- Polygamy: What Love Is This?: It’s Official: Joseph Smith Was a Polygamist – Part One (09/09/2015)
- Polygamy: What Love Is This?: It’s Official: Joseph Smith Was a Polygamist – Part Two (09/16/2015)
- Ancient Paths (The): Sandra Tanner on the New Polygamy Statement (11/11/2014)
- Mormon Stories (John Dehlin): Sandra Tanner 4 Part Interview (05/13/2014)
- Polygamy: What Love Is This?: Changes in Scripture Headings; Apostasy in Sweden: Sandra Tanner (02/13/2014)
- Polygamy: What Love Is This?: The RLDS offshoot of Nauvoo Mormonism: Sandra Tanner (12/05/2013)
- Character, Motivations, and Death of Joseph Smith (09/25/2013)
- Exmormon Files: Sandra Tanner Interview (05/07/2013)
- Polygamy: What Love Is This?: Are Mormon Temples Biblical?: Sandra Tanner (08/23/2012)
- World Impact TV: Overview of LDS Beliefs: Sandra Tanner Interview (08/10/2012)
- 3 Part Sandra Tanner Interview on the Mormon Temple (05/13/2012)
- Ancient Paths (The) Ep. 155: Mormonism and Politics (10/19/2011)
- Sandra Tanner: Elements of an LDS Testimony (08/06/2011)
- Sandra Tanner: A Look at LDS Scriptures (08/06/2011)
- Sandra Tanner: My Journey Out of Mormonism (08/05/2011)
- Challenge: Mormons Believe in Salvation by Grace: Sandra Tanner (07/19/2011)
- Polygamy: What Love Is This?: Book of Mormon Historical Issues: Sandra Tanner (05/05/2011)
- Ancient Paths (The) Ep. 97: The Changing god of Mormonism (11/28/2010)
- Fireside with Sandra Tanner Part 1 (09/12/2010)
- Fireside with Sandra Tanner Part 2 (09/12/2010)
- Which Jesus?: Sandra Tanner (07/08/2010)
- Capstone Conference: Joseph Smith—The Early Years (03/13/2010)
- Polygamy: What Love Is This?: Early Mormon Lying about Polygamy: Sandra Tanner (02/25/2010)
- The Role of ‘Prophet, Seer, and Revelator’ in the Mormon Church, 2009 Compassionate Boldness Conference.
- Ancient Paths (The) Ep. 80: The Mountain Meadows Massacre (10/03/2009)
- Polygamy: What Love Is This?: LDS Terminology: Sandra Tanner (09/10/2009)
- Ancient Paths (The) Ep. 72: The Book of Abraham (08/08/2009)
- Manti Pageant Talk: Why Mormons Leave: Sandra Tanner (06/19/2009)
- Manti Pageant Talk Excerpt: Joseph Smith as a Sexual Predator (06/19/2009)
- Polygamy: What Love Is This?: Looking at Section 132: Sandra Tanner (01/15/2009)
- Ancient Paths (The) Ep. 43: Who Wrote the Book of Mormon? (01/02/2009)
- Ancient Paths (The) Ep. 31: Sandra Tanner on Mormon Scripture (08/13/2008)
- Polygamy: What Love Is This?: 1890 Manifesto and 1904 Second Manifesto: Sandra Tanner (07/17/2008)
- Ancient Paths (The) Ep. 27: Sandra Tanner on Polygamy (07/05/2008)
- Ancient Paths (The) Ep. 15: Sandra Tanner on “Life of Emma Smith” (03/26/2008)
- Ancient Paths (The) Ep. 7: Sandra Tanner Interview (01/23/2008)
- Mountain Meadows Massacre Clip (2007)
- Lifting the Veil of Polygamy: Sandra Tanner Excerpt (2007)
- Kauai Christian Fellowship: My Journey Out of Mormonism: Sandra Tanner (09/22/2007)
- Heart of the Matter: Major Problem Areas of Mormonism: Sandra Tanner (01/09/2007)
‘Food’ has been created from carbon dioxide and electricity, according to a team of scientists.
The meal of single-cell protein may not revolutionise cuisine but it could open a way for a new type of food in the future.
The Food From Electricity study, funded by the Academy of Finland, was set up with no less an aim than to alleviate the world hunger.
Using carbon dioxide taken from the air, researchers from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) succeeded in creating a protein powder, which could be used to feed people or animals.
The “protein reactor” can be used anywhere with access to electricity. If it was used as an alternative animal feed, this would allow land to be used for other purposes such as forestry or more crops for human consumption.
“One possible alternative is a home reactor, a type of domestic appliance that the consumer can use to produce the needed protein.”
According to the researchers, the process of creating food from electricity can be nearly 10 times as energy efficient as photosynthesis, the process used by plants.
Mr Pitkänen said the powder was a healthy source of protein.
“In the long term, protein created with electricity is meant to be used in cooking and products as it is. The mixture is very nutritious, with more than 50 per cent protein and 25 per cent carbohydrates. The rest is fats and nucleic acids.
“The consistency of the final product can be modified by changing the organisms used in the production,” he said.
Although the technology is in its infancy, researchers hope the “protein reactor” could become a household item.
Juha-Pekka Pitkänen, a scientist at VTT, said: “In practice, all the raw materials are available from the air. In the future, the technology can be transported to, for instance, deserts and other areas facing famine.
The House on Friday rejected a controversial proposal that would have required the Secretary of Defense to conduct a study of “Islamic religious doctrines, concepts or schools of thought” that could be used to radicalize or recruit Islamic terrorists.
The amendment offered by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., was defeated by a vote of 208-217. There were 27 Republicans who crossed the aisle to vote against the measure.
The amendment would have required Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to “conduct two concurrent strategic assessments of the use of violent or unorthodox Islamic religious doctrine to support extremist or terrorist messaging and justification” within a year.
The assessments would be used to identify the role Islamic religious doctrines play in radicalization and terrorist recruitment and how they “are incorporated into extremist or terrorist messaging.”
During Thursday night’s debate, Franks tried to counter allegations his idea was bigoted and anti-Muslim.
He told his fellow members that there is “no desire in my heart whatsoever to single out or denigrate” one religion, but, he noted, even countries in the Muslim world are examining the roots of Islamic extremism. He further added that the primary victims of terrorists are Muslims themselves.
Supporters say the studies are important to develop a coherent strategy to defeat radicalized groups from Nigeria’s Boko Haram to Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines.
Opponents, primarily on the Democratic side, charged it was blatantly targeted toward Muslims and constitutionally questionable.
Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., argued it was not an effort to study terrorism but to restrict the free exercise of Muslim religious expression.
“Nobody is saying you can’t study terrorism,” Ellison, a Muslim, said Thursday evening on the House floor. “You can study what motivates people to commit acts of terrorism. And we should. But we don’t, not equally. The fact is, this amendment singled out one religious group. It’s wrong and it should be voted down.”
The ACLU argued in a letter distributed before the vote that Congress has “no role in assessing religious beliefs or practices and determining their validity, significance, or function” and that the First Amendment protects against such “abuse of governmental authority.”
Opponents also questioned who would lead the study.
Franks’ amendment called for the formation of a team of government experts who possess the “appropriate background and expertise” and another group with similar qualifications to be drawn from outside government.
“[President Trump’s] rhetoric has contributed to the growing movement of hate in our country, and I have no doubt that some of the most notorious racist, anti-Muslim voices will be a part of the non-government assessment demanded by this amendment,” the Minnesotan said in a statement.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim activist group, weighed in, questioning whether the Trump administration was capable of selecting unbiased government representatives.
“The prospect of Trump asking one of his notoriously Islamophobic advisors like Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller or Sebastian Gorka to provide such ‘expertise’ or to identify contributors to this assessment should frighten all Americans,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Robert McCaw in statement opposing the amendment
Researches at Facebook shut down an artificial intelligence (AI) program after it created its own language, Digital Journal reports.
The system developed code words to make communication more efficient and researchers took it offline when they realized it was no longer using English.
The incident, after it was revealed in early July, puts in perspective Elon Musk’s warnings about AI.
“AI is the rare case where I think we need to be proactive in regulation instead of reactive,” Musk said at the meet of U.S. National Governors Association. “Because I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’ll be too late.”
When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Musk’s warnings are “pretty irresponsible,” Musk responded that Zuckerberg’s “understanding of the subject is limited.”
Not the First Time
The researchers’ encounter with the mysterious AI behavior is similar to a number of cases documented elsewhere. In every case, the AI diverged from its training in English to develop a new language.
The phrases in the new language make no sense to people, but contain useful meaning when interpreted by AI bots.
Facebook’s advanced AI system was capable of negotiating with other AI systems so it can come to conclusions on how to proceed with its task. The phrases make no sense on the surface, but actually represent the intended task.
In one exchange revealed by Facebook to Fast Co. Design, two negotiating bots—Bob and Alice—started using their own language to complete a conversation.
“I can i i everything else,” Bob said.
“Balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to,” Alice responded.
The rest of the exchange formed variations of these sentences in the newly-forged dialect, even though the AIs were programmed to use English.
According the researchers, these nonsense phrases are a language the bots developed to communicate how many items each should get in the exchange.
When Bob later says “i i can i i i everything else,” it appears the artificially intelligent bot used its new language to make an offer to Alice.
The Facebook team believes the bot may have been saying something like: “I’ll have three and you have everything else.”
Although the English may seem quite efficient to humans, the AI may have seen the sentence as either redundant or less effective for reaching its assigned goal.
The Facebook AI apparently determined that the word-rich expressions in English were not required to complete its task. The AI operated on a “reward” principle and in this instance there was no reward for continuing to use the language. So it developed its own.
In a June blog post by Facebook’s AI team, it explained the reward system. “At the end of every dialog, the agent is given a reward based on the deal it agreed on.” That reward was then back-propagated through every word in the bot output so it could learn which actions lead to high rewards.
“Agents will drift off from understandable language and invent code-words for themselves,” Facebook AI researcher Dhruv Batra told Fast Co. Design.
“Like if I say ‘the’ five times, you interpret that to mean I want five copies of this item. This isn’t so different from the way communities of humans create shorthands.”
AI developers at other companies have also observed programs develop languages to simplify communication. At Elon Musk’s OpenAI lab, an experiment succeeded in having AI bots develop their own languages.
At Google, the team working on the Translate service discovered that the AI they programmed had silently written its own language to aid in translating sentences.
The Translate developers had added a neural network to the system, making it capable of translating between language pairs it had never been taught. The new language the AI silently wrote was a surprise.
There is not enough evidence to claim that these unforeseen AI divergences are a threat or that they could lead to machines taking over operators. They do make development more difficult, however, because people are unable to grasp the overwhelmingly logical nature of the new languages.
In Google’s case, for example, the AI had developed a language that no human could grasp, but was potentially the most efficient known solution to the problem.
At first blush, it sounds like the talk of a conspiracy theorist: a company implanting microchips under employees’ skin. But it’s not a conspiracy, and employees are lining up for the opportunity.
On Aug. 1, employees at Three Square Market, a technology company in Wisconsin, can choose to have a chip the size of a grain of rice injected between their thumb and index finger. Once that is done, any task involving RFID technology — swiping into the office building, paying for food in the cafeteria — can be accomplished with a wave of the hand.
The program is not mandatory, but as of Monday, more than 50 out of 80 employees at Three Square’s headquarters in River Falls, Wis., had volunteered.
“It was pretty much 100 percent yes right from the get-go for me,” said Sam Bengtson, a software engineer. “In the next five to 10 years, this is going to be something that isn’t scoffed at so much, or is more normal. So I like to jump on the bandwagon with these kind of things early, just to say that I have it.”
Jon Krusell, another software engineer, and Melissa Timmins, the company’s sales director, were more hesitant. Mr. Krusell, who said he was excited about the technology but leery of an implanted device, might get a ring with a chip instead.
“Because it’s new, I don’t know enough about it yet,” Ms. Timmins said. “I’m a little nervous about implanting something into my body.”
Still, “I think it’s pretty exciting to be part of something new like this,” she said. “I know down the road, it’s going to be the next big thing, and we’re on the cutting edge of it.”
The program — a partnership between Three Square Market and the Swedish company Biohax International — is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States, but it has already been done at a Swedish company, Epicenter. It raises a variety of questions, both privacy- and health-related.
“Companies often claim that these chips are secure and encrypted,” said Alessandro Acquisti, a professor of information technology and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College. But “encrypted” is “a pretty vague term,” he said, “which could include anything from a truly secure product to something that is easily hackable.”
Another potential problem, Dr. Acquisti said, is that technology designed for one purpose may later be used for another. A microchip implanted today to allow for easy building access and payments could, in theory, be used later in more invasive ways: to track the length of employees’ bathroom or lunch breaks, for instance, without their consent or even their knowledge.
“Once they are implanted, it’s very hard to predict or stop a future widening of their usage,” Dr. Acquisti said.
Todd Westby, the chief executive of Three Square, emphasized that the chip’s capabilities were limited. “All it is is an RFID chip reader,” he said. “It’s not a GPS tracking device. It’s a passive device and can only give data when data’s requested.”
“Nobody can track you with it,” Mr. Westby added. “Your cellphone does 100 times more reporting of data than does an RFID chip.”
Health concerns are more difficult to assess. Implantable radio-frequency transponder systems, the technical name for the chips, were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2004 for medical uses. But in rare cases, according to the F.D.A., the implantation site may become infected, or the chip may migrate elsewhere in the body.
Dewey Wahlin, general manager of Three Square, emphasized that the chips are F.D.A.-approved and removable. “I’m going to have it implanted in me, and I don’t see any concerns,” he said.
While that sentiment is not universal at Three Square, the response among employees was mostly positive.
“Much to my surprise, when we had our initial meeting to ask if this was something we wanted to look at doing, it was an overwhelming majority of people that said yes,” Mr. Westby said, noting that he had expected more reluctance. “It exceeded my expectations. Friends, they want to be chipped. My whole family is being chipped — my two sons, my wife and myself.”
If the devices are going to be introduced anywhere, Mr. Wahlin noted, employees like Three Square’s might be most receptive.
“We are a technology company, when all is said and done, and they’re excited about it,” he said. “They see this as the future.”
What Protestantism and the New Atheism Have in Common
If someone asked you, “What does the New Atheism have in common with Protestantism?” you might say, “Nothing!” It would seem that devout Bible believing Christians such as Protestants would be as far away from atheists as possible.
Yet there is more to this comparison than meets the eye. Protestants may not be similar to modern atheists in the content of their belief (e.g., God exists, Jesus is God, we will rise from the dead, etc.), but their approach to arriving at knowledge of their subject matter is similar.
A tale of two “onlys”
Consider how modern atheists restrict their rational inquiry about reality to science. For example, in a 2012 debate with former Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, popular atheist Richard Dawkins asserted that appealing to God to explain the universe in the place of science is “a phony substitute for an explanation” and “peddles false explanations where real explanations could have been offered.”
For Dawkins, science is the only thing that counts as a real explanation, and thus scientific knowledge is the only real form of knowledge. This view has led many to deny God’s existence based on the reason that there is no “evidence” for God. Take a recent caller to Catholic Answers Live for example. He expressed his doubt in the supernatural due to a lack of evidence.
When Trent Horn replied with the question, “Are you saying there is no evidence of the supernatural because science has not detected the supernatural?” the caller answered, “Correct.” For the caller, science is the only tool available for detecting the supernatural. And since he hasn’t found God with that tool, he chooses not to believe in God.
In a similar way, Protestants have a restrictive approach to arriving at knowledge of God’s revelation. They believe that the Bible alone is the infallible guide for knowing revealed truth, a belief we know as sola scriptura or “Scripture alone.”
Just as science is the only tool Dawkins and company are willing to use to arrive at knowledge of the natural truth, Protestants use only the Bible for determining what is revealed truth. And as many modern atheists reject anything that science cannot detect, so too do Protestants reject any teaching that is not found explicitly in the Bible. Where Dawkins and others like him are science-only atheists, Protestants are Bible-only Christians.
Not a real form of knowledge
A second note of similarity is that both scientism and sola scripturaare self-refuting ideas.
The statement, “Scientific knowledge is the only legitimate form of knowledge,” is not scientific knowledge—that’s to say, we cannot determine the truth-value of this statement using the scientific method. With what sense can we observe the truth of this statement? Or what scientific tests can we perform to prove this statement? The truth-value of scientism is not empirically verifiable nor quantifiably measurable, and consequently is not subject to scientific inquiry—it’s an assumption.
But this is a fatal problem for the believer in scientism—namely, scientism is not real knowledge. If science can’t verify the truth of scientism, then how can scientism itself be a legitimate form of knowledge?
The answer is, It can’t.
Why should anyone believe scientism is true if it’s not real knowledge? If scientism is not real knowledge, as implied in scientism itself, then it’s self-refuting, and thus should not be accepted as a reasonable worldview.
Similar to scientism, the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura is self-refuting.
As mentioned, sola scriptura teaches that the Bible is the only infallible source for knowing God’s revelation. Therefore, if a teaching is not found explicitly (or perhaps even implicitly) in the Bible, then it’s not part of God’s revealed truth and thus not binding for salvation.
But notice the doctrine presupposes knowledge of what scriptura is. It presupposes knowledge of exactly which books are inspired by God and which books are not, and thus which books are to be counted as Scripture and which are not.
The problem for the Protestant is that his knowledge of exactly which books belong in the canon cannot be derived from the Bible. In other words, nowhere do we find in the Old Testament or the New Testament a list of historical books among the Jews or Christians that are believed to be inspired by God. There is no inspired table of contents.
So, if the Bible is the only source of infallible knowledge concerning God’s revelation, and the Bible never tells us which books are inspired by God, then how can a Protestant have infallible knowledge of which books are inspired by God? How could he know what scriptura is?
Even if a Protestant develops extra-biblical positive criteria for determining whether a specific writing is inspired (e.g., written by an apostle or prophet that performed miracles and claimed to be inspired), he would still not be able to rule out other writings that don’t fit his criteria—e.g., Mark and Luke’s Gospel, Hebrews, the Didache, the Epistle of Clement, the Epistle of Barnabas, and the Shepherd of Hermas.
Furthermore, to appeal to such extra-biblical criteria would be to violate the doctrine of sola scriptura, since such an appeal would be relying on a non-biblical guide for determining God’s revelation.
The bottom line is that a Protestant can’t have infallible knowledge of exactly which writings belong in the canon of Scripture within the framework of sola scriptura. And if he can’t know what scripture is, then Scripture can’t be the only infallible source for knowing God’s revelation. In other words, sola scriptura can’t be true.
The need for an infallible voice
The only way to know exactly which books are inspired by God is if there exists an infallible authority outside the Bible that can speak on God’s behalf. Catholic hold that authority to exist in the pope and the bishops in union with him. But Protestants reject this idea, which gives rise to another conundrum.
If no infallible voice outside the Bible exists, and Protestants believe that our knowledge of which books are inspired is infallible, then we would have an infallible effect produced by a fallible cause, which is absurd.
I highlight the incoherencies of these foundational beliefs of the New Atheism and Protestantism because, as happens so often with erroneous beliefs, they are based on false assumptions. And it is these false assumptions that stand in the way of people coming to know the fullness of truth subsisting in the Catholic Church.
If we can expose these false assumptions, then we put those whom we’re evangelizing one step closer to experiencing the joy God intends for them to experience in the Catholic Church.
By Lynne Terry firstname.lastname@example.org
An Oregon scientist known for breaking barriers has done it again, successfully modifying DNA in human embryos, according to a report in Technology Review.
Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health & Science University targeted a gene associated with a human disease, surpassing work done in China, the report said.
An OHSU spokesman declined to comment, saying the report is still under embargo.
Mitalipov’s team worked with human embryos produced by sperm from men with a genetic mutation, the report said, noting they were of “clinical quality.” They then modified the mutation using a gene-editing technique, CRISPR.
Chinese researchers have also modified human embryos with CRISPR. But the report said Mitalipov worked on more embryos and had more success. His team avoided altering genes that were not targeted — called off-target effects — or only modifying some of the targeted DNA, which is called mosaicism.
“Mitalipov and his colleagues are said to have convincingly shown that it is possible to avoid both mosaicism and ‘off-target’ effects, as the CRISPR errors are known,” the report said.
The work offers the possibility that one day science will be able to modify genes in human embryos to prevent disease. Critics worry, however, that gene-editing in embryos opens the floodgates to the creation of “designer babies” in which parents specify traits they want their children to have.
The technique has stirred waves of controversy. The National Institutes of Health has banned experiments that involve genome-editing of human embryos, and Congress has barred the U.S. Food & Drug Administration from considering allowing human trials involving altered embryos.
Mitalipov, who heads OHSU’s Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy, is no stranger to controversy. He created the first cloned monkeys in 2007 and in 2013 created the first human embryonic stem cells through cloning.
The first CRISPR modifications of DNA in a human embryo date to 2015. But those experiments involved embryos with serious mutations. In the current experiment, the embryos were not allowed to develop for more than a few days, the report said.
— Lynne Terry