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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Scharnagel Response

This is a response to the Jim Scharnagel letter in The Gainesville Times on May 28, 2008. (Mr. Scharnagel responded to my T-Rex to Chicken article published that was in The Times on May 9, 2008, and published on my website on May 4, 2008. The full text of Mr. Scharnagel’s letter is at www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/article/5972/.) As I respond below, I have placed Mr. Scharnagel’s comments in red text.

In his opening paragraph Mr. Scharnagel states that, “His opening sentence would be considered totally absurd by most middle-school or lower students.” The sentence to which he refers says that, the chicken and the T-Rex both came into being on the same day: day 6 of Creation, along with all other land animals. This of course is in reference to Genesis 1:24, which states: “And God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.’ And it was so.”

A child would only find the Creation story “absurd” if he or she had been completely indoctrinated into Darwinian evolutionary thinking. (Of course this is happening at an alarming rate, with most public school systems totally sold out to preaching Darwinian evolution.) However, there are millions of children, young adults, and older adults (including many PhD scientists) who accept the Creation account given in Genesis just as it’s told. In March of 2007 a Gallup poll found that 48 percent of American adults believe God made humans “pretty much in the present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.” A Harris poll in 2005 revealed that 64% of Americans believe that “human beings were created directly by God,” while only 22 percent say humans “evolved from earlier species.”

I highly suspect that if such polls were taken 50 years ago, the numbers favoring Creation over Darwinian evolution would be even greater. Go back 100 hundred years, and it would be greater still. Because of the shortcomings of the Church (in teaching the trustworthiness of Scripture), and the shortcomings of secular education (refusing to look at the vast shortcomings of Darwinian evolution), we are where we are today.

Mr. Scharnagel continues: He states that Tyrannosaurus Rex and a bird domesticated by humans, the chicken, were created on the same day, Day Six, according to Israelite mythology. Can you imagine a chicken surviving millions of years with T-Rex and myriad other carnivorous dinosaurs of various sizes and all of the other carnivorous creatures which appeared during the last 65 million years?” With his “Israelite mythology” comment Mr. Scharnagel reveals the real problem: his apparent disdain for the Bible. It appears that he has chosen to accept the teachings of fallible man over the divine revelation of an almighty God.

This, in spite of the fact that, as biblical scholar F.F. Bruce puts it, “It cannot be too strongly asserted that in substance the text of the Bible is certain…The number of manuscripts of the New Testament …is so large that it is practically certain that the true reading of every doubtful passage is preserved…This can be said of no other ancient book in the world.” Also, as renowned Jewish archaeologist Nelson Glueck wrote, “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever (contradicted) a biblical reference.”

Also, Mr. Scharnagel was wrong to suggest that my column implied that the chicken and the T-Rex survived millions of years together.  I neither said nor believe anything of the sort. I believe that all of Creation is somewhere around 10,000 years old.

Mr. Scharnagel next implies the ridiculousness of the biblical account of the Flood and Noah’s Ark. As I implied in my column, it requires less faith to believe all the miraculous accounts given in Scripture than to believe that the mighty T-Rex turned into the tiny chicken, or that humans and apes share common ancestors.

Next, Mr. Scharnagel points out: where would enough water come from to cover Mount Everest ‘twenty-two feet and more?’ There is no geological or other evidence that there was ever a flood of such gigantic proportions which would have killed back most of the existing flora and all terrestrial prey species, leaving little sustenance for the survivors for some time.” He raises an interesting point here about where the volume of water to cover the earth came from. Also, in the previous paragraph he raises questions about the size of the Ark. For the sake of space, to answer most of these questions, I will refer readers to the article at the following link: www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/really-a-flood-and-ark.

I would add that there is indeed much evidence for a global flood: the billions of dead things buried in rock layers all over the earth. Also, it would not have been necessary for a global flood to cover Mount Everest since, most likely, Mount Everest, along with most mountains and mountain ranges as we know them today, formed as a result of the flood.

Mr. Scharnagel then says that, It has already been well documented by paleontologists that the dinosaurs were the ancestors of birds.” All that has been “well documented” are statements by evolutionists, like Mr. Scharnagel, declaring as fact that modern birds are descended from “ancient” dinosaurs. There is no real evidence, only much speculation. Many ardent Darwinian evolutionists are even hesitant to accept this part of the theory. There are no transitional fossils (showing dinosaurs changing into birds). And please, let no one try to throw “Archeopteryx” out as an example of a transitional form. As Dr. Alan Feduccia, a Darwinian evolutionist himself, and a world-wide authority on birds at the University of North Carolina, says, “Paleontologists have tried to turn Archeopteryx into an earth-bound, feathered dinosaur. But it’s not. It is a bird, a perching bird. And no amount of ‘paleobabble’ is going to change that.”

Lastly, Mr. Scharnagel states that, Since Mr. Thomas, has such a disdain for science because it contradicts his religious beliefs, it would not surprise me if he still believes the Earth is flat and at the center of the universe.” It is disappointing, but not surprising, that Darwinian evolutionists result to personal attacks and insults to make their case. I have no disdain for science (in fact, I have a B.S. in Physics and two graduate degrees in mathematics education), only a disdain for nonsense and foolishness. “Science” is not some mystical “force” (as in Star Wars) which holds all the answers to our questions. Neither is “science” pitted against “religion” in some epic battle. God is the author of truth. The Bible is His revealed word. Anything in “science” or “religion” that contradicts Him is a lie.

Copyright 2008, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

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