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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Defense of "Creationism"

Anyone who has given the creation/evolution debate even a cursory following has heard the creation position described as “creationism.” One rarely, if ever, hears of “evolutionism,” as though only one side (evolution) of this debate is rooted completely in logic and reason, without any un-provable premises.

It is very often overlooked that when it comes to the question of how life began on earth, people on every side of this debate have the same evidence (rocks, fossils, current living things, and other measurable objects), use the same equipment (microscopes, telescopes, labs, and so on), and employ the same techniques to support their positions.

It is also frequently overlooked that every side of the creation/evolution debate derives their knowledge (The word “science” is derived from the Latin word “scientia,” meaning “knowledge.”) from certain governing presuppositions. In other words, whether a person is a creationist or an evolutionist, or some combination of the two, eventually he or she must eventually rely on certain un-provable assumptions. As the late philosopher, Dr. Greg Bahnsen, put it, “At the most fundamental level of everyone's thinking and beliefs there are primary convictions about reality, man, the world, knowledge, truth, behavior, and such things. Convictions about which all other experience is organized, interpreted, and applied.”

Likewise, theologian, author, and pastor, R.C. Sproul, in 2009 discussed the “lasting impression” that the book, The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science, which he read over 50 years ago, had made upon him. He noted that the book was so influential to him because it “clearly set forth the importance of understanding that all scientific theories presuppose certain philosophical premises.”

The concept of “primary convictions” or presupposed “philosophical premises” is important when it comes to the creation/evolution debate. The devout creationist has primary convictions that are rooted in the Genesis account of creation. The devout evolutionist has primary convictions that are rooted in purely naturalistic forces.

Neither side can use exclusively the methods of science to verify their primary convictions. The scientific method of observing, measuring, testing, and repeating does not work when it comes to revealing exactly how life began. In spite of what some devoted evolutionists would have us believe, no one has ever observed or been able to experimentally repeat evolution that shows one kind of creature changing into another. We certainly have never seen life created in a Petri dish.

Of course, neither have we observed someone creating matter or speaking life into existence. However, what the creation account has that the Darwinian account lacks is a written record of events. Now, many are quick to discount the biblical record of events as fiction, but this is typically because the accounts of events recorded in Scripture directly contradict the primary convictions of Darwinian evolution.

Evolutionists know that such a historical narrative is desirable. Ernst Mayr, considered one of the most influential evolutionists of the 20th century, put it this way:
Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is an historical science—the evolutionist attempts to explain events and processes that have already taken place. Laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques for the explication of such events and processes. Instead one constructs a historical narrative, consisting of a tentative reconstruction of the particular scenario that led to the events one is trying to explain.
How does the evolutionist construct this historical narrative? By assuming (using primary convictions) that “the present is key to the past.” Today’s evolutionist observes “change over time” within certain species, such as with peppered moths, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, insecticide-resistant bugs and the like, and uses such evidence to support billions of years and molecules-to-man evolution.

In accepting the biblical narrative of creation, Creationists typically support the doctrine of biblical inerrancy. This doctrine is deduced from two biblical conclusions: the Bible is the Word of God and God is never in error. However, interpretations of the account of creation vary within those who accept biblical inerrancy. In other words, conversely, not all who accept biblical inerrancy accept the six days of creation that a straight-forward reading of the book of Genesis reveals.

Creationists who accept the six-day account in Genesis do so by practicing a form of hermeneutics known as the literal historical-grammatical approach. This method attempts to find the literal meaning of a text based on an understanding of the historical and cultural settings in which it was written.

Following accepted rules of grammar and noting the particular style of the book (historical, poetic, prophetic, and so on), conclusions about proper interpretation are then reached. Borrowing from Dr. David Cooper, we get a clear, if not succinct, summary of the literal historical-grammatical approach: When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense. Therefore, using the standard meaning, form, and syntax of the words in use; and understanding the proper historical position of the author; take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.

Or, as Screwtape put it to his demon protégé, “The documents say what they say and cannot be added to.”

The validity of the literal historical-grammatical approach is supported by multiple facts. First of all, a scholarly approach to the New Testament reveals that, when interpreting the Old Testament, this approach was taken by both New Testament authors and characters.

Of course, there are many references to the Old Testament in the New Testament. Consider for a moment only the references to the book of Genesis. Every New Testament author either directly quotes or alludes to Genesis. Dozens of times Adam, Eve, the Serpent (Satan), Cain, Abel, Noah, the Flood, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Lot, Sodom, Gomorrah, and so on, are directly (and indirectly) referenced. They are spoken of as literal historical characters and events, not mythological beings and occurrences.

Jesus Himself referred to Genesis several times. When asked about marriage, He quoted directly from Genesis chapters one and two. Speaking of marriage as a union of one man and one woman, Jesus used the phrase “from the beginning of creation,” which only makes sense if he was talking about a literal Day 6 of creation. In other words, Jesus understood the text exactly as it was supposed to be understood—exactly as the author intended for it to be understood. Jesus also referenced Sodom, the Flood, Abraham, Noah, and Lot—and again, did so in a nothing but literal historical manner.

Paul, in Romans—the “caput et summa universae doctrinae christianae” (“the summary of the whole of Christian doctrine”)—chapter 5 referred directly to Adam and compared him to Christ as “a pattern of the one to come.” He also added, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men…Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness (Jesus’ atoning death) was justification that brings life to all men.” Thus, the man who wrote nearly half of the New Testament saw Adam as not only a real historical figure, but as essential to the Christian doctrine of sin and death.

Secondly, the literal historical-grammatical approach is how most early church fathers interpreted Scripture. These men were “theologians after the apostles.” As Dr. James Mook put it,
Most of the Church Fathers interpreted Genesis 1 in a plain and straightforward way, as actual history. The six days were 24-hour days. Ephraim (Ephrem) the Syrian (306–373) and Basil of Caesarea (329–379) argued for the literal sense of Scripture against the distortions of allegory. Basil said twenty-four hours fill up the space of one day. Even Ambrose of Milan (330–397), mentor of Augustine, believed each day consisted of twenty-four hours, including both day and night. In addition to this, the Fathers believed that the earth was less than 6,000 years old.
Also, this hermeneutical philosophy is consistent with how we speak, hear, read, and write in our everyday communication. Real communication cannot happen otherwise, as trying to understand one another becomes a ridiculous exercise where one misses the forest because of the trees. Or, as C.S. Lewis, when discussing Modern (liberal) Theology and Biblical Criticism, put it: “These men ask me to believe they can read between the lines of the old texts; the evidence is their obvious inability to read [in any sense worth discussing] the lines themselves. They claim to see fern-seed and can’t see an elephant ten yards away in broad daylight.”

The use of the word “day” in Genesis chapter one provides an excellent example of how the literal historical-grammatical approach works. The Hebrew word for day used in Genesis chapter 1 is “yom.” A number and the phrase “evening and morning” are used for each of the six Days of Creation. In Scripture outside Genesis 1, yom is used with a number 410 times. Each time it means an ordinary day. In Scripture outside Genesis 1, yom is used with the word “evening” or “morning” 23 times. “Evening” and “morning” appear in association, but without yom, 38 times. All 61 times the text refers to an ordinary day. Why would Genesis 1 be the exception for the use of yom?

In addition, in Exodus 20:8-11, the fourth commandment instructs the Israelites to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Thus, the seven-day week (six-day work week) is established as Moses records that “in six days the Lord made the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.” Any number of words or phrases could have been used here, but again, “yom” is used in both parts with the same context as in Genesis chapter one. Therefore, the only logical and common-sense conclusion is that “day” here means a 24-hour period.

Of course, many devout Darwinists will reply, “So what!” Their conclusion is that the Bible is inaccurate on many points, with the use of “day” in this context being another. Thus, in the creation/evolution debate, what we see more often than not is sincere (or at least self-proclaiming) Christians pitted against one-another: those accepting a literal six-day creation, and those who reject such a literal reading of the creation account, but nevertheless, and to varying degrees, believe that God is the creator of the material universe.

It is (sadly, in my opinion) the latter view which is more prominent in mainline Christianity—both Protestant and Catholic—in the U.S. Such a view of creation is often referred to as “theistic evolution,” though many reject this label. Secular humanist and non-theist Eugenie Scott, Director for the U.S. National Center for Science Education, notes that “In one form or another, Theistic Evolutionism is the view of creation taught at the majority of mainline Protestant seminaries, and it is the official position of the Catholic Church.”

According to Callie Joubert of Answers Research Journal, although “some proponents of theistic evolution such as (Francis) Collins (2007), and Giberson and Collins (2011) prefer BioLogos, and others such as Denis Lamoureux (2010a) prefer ‘evolutionary creation,’ they all share their three core beliefs with other variants of theistic evolution, such as the emergentism, panentheism, process theism, or naturalistic theism of Barbour (1990), Clayton (2000; 2006), Griffin (2000), and the late Arthur Peacocke (2006).” Lamoureux, the author of Evolutionary Creation and of I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution, sums up these “core beliefs” well when he states that science “reveals how the Creator made” the world, “while the Bible (reveals) precisely who created it.”

Vaguely articulating the Anglican (especially the Episcopal Church in the U.S., and the Church of England) position on creation and evolution, the former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams said
I think creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories. Whatever the biblical account of creation is, it’s not a theory alongside theories…My worry is creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing it.
The official Anglican position is laid out in Catechism of Creation Part II: Creation and Science. This document attempts to reconcile a “conflict” between “science and the Bible.” (Though, I know of no one, especially those who intelligently articulate the six-day creation position, who see a conflict between science and the Bible. This is a common straw-man argument thrown out by those wanting to compromise creation and evolution.) “There is a middle way,” states the Catechism, “which some call a Complementary approach.”

The Catechism asks, “Is it proper to speak of an evolving creation?” Of course, the answer is “Yes.” Reflecting the “Complementary approach,” the Catechism adds “[Astronomers] are able to see our universe at many stages of cosmic evolution since its beginning in the Big Bang.  Here on earth biologists, paleontologists, geneticists and other scientists are showing that life has evolved over four billion years, and are reconstructing evolution’s history.  None of these scientific discoveries and the theories that explain them stands in conflict with what the Bible reveals about God’s relationship to the creation.”

The problems with such a “Complementary approach” are myriad. I submit that an atheistic Darwinist, who completely denies God and the Bible, while proclaiming molecules to man evolution as absolute truth, has a more logically defensible position than the Christian who wants to compromise Darwinian evolution and Scripture.

In addition to violating the approach to Scripture interpretation taken by Christ, the New Testament authors, and the early church fathers, such a compromise misrepresents the nature of God. Scripture reveals God’s creation work is “very good” and “perfect.” Also, Genesis reveals that there was no death until the sin of mankind. In direct contradiction to the Genesis record, Darwinian evolution requires billions of years of death and struggle before we see the first humans.

What’s more, and perhaps worst of all, a compromise between evolution and creation mythologizes the biblical account of the redemptive work of Jesus. (See the Romans reference above.) Jesus came to save all people. Save from what?  From sin and death. How did sin and death come to all people? By what is revealed in Genesis.

If we don’t have a literal Creator, a literal creation, a literal Adam, a literal Eve, a literal serpent, a literal garden, a literal tree, a literal fruit, and a literal fall, why did Jesus have to come and die for our sins?

At this point, it needs to be clarified what it means to take the Bible “literally.” As apologist Greg Koukl puts it, the question “Do you take the Bible literally?” is ambiguous, confusing, and awkward to answer. The best way to answer such a question is that we (“literalists”) take the Bible literally when it is meant to be taken literally. In other words, as Koukl puts it, we read the Bible in its “ordinary sense.” (“When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense.”)

A good analogy that Koukl provides is the reading of a modern day sports page. When a sportswriter says that one team “crushed,” “destroyed,” or “annihilated” its opponent, no one speculates or frets about literal meanings. When we read that the Georgia Bulldogs “steam-rolled” the Florida Gators, there is no investigation into whether state highway equipment went missing during what used to be known as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” Though certainly a more difficult read than a sports page, we are to approach reading the Bible in the same way.

Additionally, when it comes to believing miraculous events recorded in the Bible, whether the virgin birth, the resurrection of Jesus, or the miracle of a literal six-day creation, the inconsistency applied by “evolutionary creationists” is fascinating and troubling. After all, why believe in the resurrection of Jesus? Has science proven how we can raise the dead?

After His resurrection, why did Jesus chastise the two disciples on the road to Emmaus? Was it because they failed biology 101? “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” In other words, why did you not believe what was written?! If one will doubt the creation account, why believe the prophets? Why believe any of the accounts of supernatural events in Scripture?

A bias against the supernatural is pervasive throughout the evolutionary community and, I believe due to the willingness and the attempt by many Christians to reconcile Darwinian evolution with Scripture, sadly has infected the Christian community as well. For example, about a year ago several churches in my community, Gainesville, GA—one of the most conservative and Christian areas of the country—sponsored a seminar held by “progressive Christian” Marcus Borg.

The pastor of First Baptist Church Gainesville said that Borg “speaks of an emerging paradigm to see faith and practice faith in an age of science and technology.” The implication here is that in our “modern” age of science and technology, we need a new approach to understand our faith. We need a new way to understand Christianity without having to believe in things like virgin births, water turning to wine, the instant healing of the blind and leprous, the raising of the dead, and so on. Because, of course, science—especially Darwinian evolution—tells us that these things are not possible.

In other words, if it can’t be explained in the natural, then it must not be true. This is certainly the belief of the “Jesus Seminar” of which Dr. Borg has been affiliated for decades. Begun in 1985, the Jesus Seminar is a group of self-described scholars (I’d be willing to bet that each one of them is a Darwinist.) who attempt to discover the “historical Jesus.” According to Koukl, “they have rejected as myth the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, the virgin birth, all Gospel miracles, and a full 82% of the teachings normally attributed to Jesus—all dismissed as legendary accretions with no historical foundation.”

Thinking themselves “brilliant” and unique, the Jesus Seminar (and any similar movement) “scholars” are only undertaking what the demon Screwtape (in the early 1940s) told us happens “every thirty years or so.” Each “historical Jesus,” Screwtape reveals, is “unhistorical—something which does not exist.”

In 1995, J.P. Moreland rightly concluded that the Jesus Seminar operates from an “unfalsifiable presupposition” that is rooted in naturalism. Thus, he notes, any event in the Bible that is deemed supernatural is automatically dismissed as unhistorical. Of course, this especially includes the act of God speaking into creation the entire universe.

Though many who attempt to seek a compromise with evolution and creation do not reach Borg’s extremes, this is eventually what results once compromise with Scripture creeps in: We get so-called Christians whose teaching and “preaching” are almost completely devoid of historical and biblical Christianity. This is why compromise with Darwinian evolution is so dangerous.

Such compromise is why we have the Episcopal Church in the U.S. saying not only that homosexuality is no longer a sin, but going so far as to ordain openly homosexual priests. This is why we have the Church of England willing to “bless” same-sex relationships. When Scripture is so compromised, it becomes very difficult to call upon the authority of the Word of God in any matter, but especially when it comes to calling sin what it really is.

Lastly, perhaps the most common accusation hurled at Christians who accept the biblical account of creation is that we are ignorant anti-science boobs (or something similar). Nothing could be further from the truth. What’s more, at times it seems that the (ridiculous) implication is that nothing in science can get done unless it is done from an evolutionary worldview. This is certainly the case in fields related to biology, but many Darwinian evolutionists would have us believe that everything from anesthesiology to zoology rests upon Darwinian evolution. Given that Darwin proposed his theory just over 150 years ago, it’s a wonder that anything at all was accomplished in science prior to 1850.

Of course, much was. As I have noted before, anyone past (such as Pasteur, Pascal, Newton, Kepler, et al) or present can practice good science while operating from a biblical worldview. If this is not the case, then how did Newton, considered by many the greatest scientist of all time, ever invent calculus and develop his laws of motion and universal gravitation while operating from a strict biblical worldview? Newton also calculated the age of the earth to be only a few thousand years and declared, “For an educated man…any suggestion that the human past extended back further than 6,000 years was a vain and foolish speculation.”

If science and religion are “fundamentally incompatible,” how did Pasteur, “the father of microbiology” and a firm believer in God and His Word, ever discover the principles of vaccination, fermentation, and pasteurization? If Darwinian evolution is “biology’s greatest theory,” then why did Pasteur directly oppose Darwin and his theory, all the while conducting experiments to enhance the Law of Biogenesis?

Certainly ours is not a blind and ignorant faith. Though we can’t prove or disprove the supernatural through natural means, this does not mean that there is a lack of evidence for what we believe. As the Apostle Paul noted as he stood before King Agrippa, “What I am saying is true and reasonable.” For the things upon which our faith rests were not “done in a corner.” We know in whom we believe. The evidence is within Scripture as well as outside of it.

The science of archaeology has been a great friend to Christianity. Noted Jewish archaeologist Nelson Glueck wrote: “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted (his word) a biblical reference.” He asserts that the “incredibly accurate historical memory of the Bible…is fortified by archaeological fact.”

The great archaeologist William F. Albright states that,
There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of the Old Testament tradition.” Millar Burrows of Yale, a leading authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls, observes that “Archaeology has in many cases refuted the views of modern critics. It has shown in a number of instances that these views rest on false assumptions…
He explains such unbelief:
The excessive skepticism of many liberal theologians stems not from a careful evaluation of the available data, but from an enormous predisposition against the supernatural.
An acceptance of the biblical account of creation does nothing to hinder anyone in any arena of science. However, a denial of the creation account places significant logical burdens upon those who still want to hold to other truths of God’s Word.

(See this column on Real Clear Religion.)

Copyright 2014, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of: The Miracle and Magnificence of America
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Yes A.J., the Grammys Were "Demonic"

Back at the MTV awards show in the summer of 2013 when Miley Cyrus with her hair horns twerked her way into infamy, I wrote “Don’t Cry to Me about MTV.” Back then, I wasn’t sure what was worse: Cyrus gyrating around like a “demon in heat,” or that ANYONE watching (with some even allowing their young children to view the hedonistic display) was surprised at what they were seeing.

It seems much of America did not learn their lesson. The recent Grammy Awards show seemed to want to continue along America’s plunge into complete moral decay. Evidently (you couldn’t pay me to watch the trash) the show was so depraved that (several) Drudge headlines used words like “demonic,” “evil,” and “satanic.” Christian artist Natalie Grant was so disgusted that she and her entourage departed the show early.

Former Alabama and future NFL quarterback, A.J. McCarron, tweeted, “Is it just me or are some of the Grammy performances so far seem really demonic??” It looks as if that Alabama education is already paying dividends. Better be careful though, A.J., the NFL is watching and listening.

The Grammy Awards featured Katy Perry (the daughter of a Christian pastor), who was dressed as a witch and mockingly burned at a stake. Perry’s performance prompted even the folks at secular E! Online to wonder if they were witnessing “actual witchcraft.”

Of course, what would be a secular awards show without promoting homosexuality? Queen Latifah, who was deputized by (surprise!) Los Angeles County to make things legal (but of course, not moral), performed a mass wedding ceremony involving 33 couples, including many homosexual couples. The ceremony took place while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performed their pro-gay marriage anthem “Same Love.”

Beyoncé (another surprise!) dressed as a hooker and performed a whorish dance where her hedonistic husband grasped her rear-end for the entire world to see. Sadly, like the 2013 MTV awards show, far too much of the world did see. At 28.5 million, the Grammy viewing audience was the largest in years.

As I noted last year, most of these performers could be described as little more than “whores,” as they have prostituted themselves on the altar of fame and fortune.

Copyright 2014, 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

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The New York Times (of course) "Blows" It Again

In typical morally ignorant liberal fashion, Charles Blow of The New York Times editorialized recently that when it comes to out-of-wedlock births (or “unintended pregnancies” as Blow puts it), “sex is not our problem.” Actually, though quite accidentally, Blow is right. When it comes to out-of-wedlock births, as Uncle Si would put it, sex isn’t our problem, sin is our problem.

That’s right. America’s favorite duck hunting uncle better understands what really plagues our nation than the editorial writers of the nation’s “newspaper of record.” Yeah, I know, Silas was talking about guns, but you get the idea—unless you’re a liberal.

Blow thinks that the problem of out-of-wedlock births is not as “black-and-white” as many claim. Of course he would think this, because “black-and-white” sounds too much like sin, and for a liberal, things simply can’t be about sin.

Blow declares that “We can’t look longingly at the halcyon ideals of yore, where marriage held more primacy and premarital sex was considered more depraved. Those days are gone.” By “halcyon ideals of yore” Blow means ideals rooted in Christian morality. They are disappearing as a result of the efforts of Blow and his liberal friends.

Certainly in much of the U.S.—especially in the circles where Blow and his ilk run—the days of where sin is called sin are gone. Most of today’s liberals, at least those who craft and coach modern progressivism, are little more than present-day pagans. They are fulfilling well what occultist, bisexual, and habitual drug user Aleister Crowley described as the creed of modern paganism: “Do What Thou Wilt.”

Much to the thrill of today’s liberal, the great lure of paganism is that the moral demands are few. Such demands are decided by each individual, and thus we have the chaos that stems from moral relativism. What was once deemed shameful is now celebrated. Tragically, the secularism that is the fruit of modern liberalism has given us a culture that is bereft of shame.  

In addition, what was once immoral and even illegal is redefined as a "right." Thus, abortion is declared a “right;” marriage is a “right” defined by the two (or more) people claiming it; pornography is a matter of “rights;” and, of course, sex between consenting adults is always “right.”

Speaking of sex and sounding like a good (and articulate) pagan, Blow writes that, “Most think young people should delay sexual activity until they are mentally and emotionally capable of reasonably consenting and comprehending the consequences.” He later adds that, “We could…begin teaching young people to value themselves in a way that contextualizes the initiation of sexual activity as a thing fully within their control and not so easily manipulated by peer and societal pressures.”

Finally Blow declares, “Everyone can be affirmed, though, in the fact that they must love themselves enough emotionally to be in control of whom they allow to love them physically, and when.” In other words, as long as one is mentally and emotionally mature, and if we value and love ourselves enough, “Do What Thou Wilt.”

Of course, Blow would not be a very good modern liberal, if, as part of his solution to the significant number of out-of-wedlock births, he failed to mention abortion. He doesn’t disappoint. He laments that “more abortion restrictions were enacted in the last three years than in the previous decade.” And just as reliable as rain in a hurricane, Blow offers up “prophylactics and contraceptives” as a way to curb out-of-wedlock births.

Also, the home and our schools must provide “thorough and unimpeded sex education…about how to engage in sex safely and responsibly.” And don’t worry, today’s liberalism will provide us with the necessary curriculum to accomplish this.

Isn’t it comforting when liberals start telling us what we “must provide” in our homes—especially when it concerns our children? I mean, it’s almost as if liberals are telling us what doctors we have to use, and when we can use them. After all, it’s not as if liberals are going to be data mining our children in the public schools to find out what is going on at home, right?

Continuing his pagan ramblings, Blow goes on to say that we “must respect all family structures (but not polygamy, right libs?)” and that we should avoid “sex shaming” that “inflames the pathology of patriarchy in our culture.” Because, you know, calling sex outside of (biblical—how sad it is that I must clarify here!) marriage sin is all about men oppressing women.

Like so many liberals who peddle their supposed “wisdom” in the pages of the NYT, Blow is a fool. And I mean a fool in the Old Testament book of Proverbs sense of the word. In this sense, liberals like Blow are not feebleminded idiots; instead, they are morally corrupt and despise true wisdom. Being wise in their own eyes, they have rebelled against God and His Word.

Such liberals have knowledge, and they crave power to put it into practice. Sadly, too many Americans have given them this opportunity. Thus, many of us have learned the hard way that, “Knowledge is a deadly friend, when no one sets the rules. The fate of all mankind I see is in the hands of fools.”

Copyright 2014, 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

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Debating Evolution (A preview of Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye)

Recently, Answers in Genesis, the Christian organization devoted to teaching “the relevance of a literal Genesis to the church and the world,” announced an upcoming (February 4) debate between Ken Ham, founder and president of the Creation Museum, and Bill Nye of TV’s “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” Such a rare public debate, given the celebrity of both participants, will certainly garner much media attention. This event should be welcome by all who love the free exchange of ideas. However, for a variety of reasons, many evolutionists are opposed to Nye’s participation.

This is no surprise. Just as in the matter of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW), when it comes to how man came to inhabit the earth, for those who are devoted to a godless worldview, “the debate is over.” Certainly there are many committed conservatives (Charles Krauthammer, George Will, and so on) and even many sincere Christians who have accepted Darwinian evolution, however, along with abortion on demand, same-sex marriage, and AGW, Darwinian evolution (DE) is a tenet of today’s liberalism.

It is also quite unsurprising that liberals have united behind both the “science” of AGW and DE. The worldview behind DE in almost every way agrees with those who have turned their eyes toward “Mother Earth”—worshipping and serving “created things rather than the Creator.”

After all, DE teaches that since all life sprang from the same single-celled source, all living things are related. Darwinian evolutionists see humans, along with all other living things, strictly as a product of nature and natural processes. Therefore, to see humans on equal footing with all other life and owing our very existence to the earth are very logical conclusions for such a philosophy. Thus, the earth-worshipping environmentalist is almost always a Darwinist, as well. Again, with both DE and AGW we are often told “the debate is over.”

Nevertheless, evolutionists are right to fear debating Ken Ham, as they should be with anyone who has a significant knowledge of science, is skilled at debate, and most of all, is devoted to the truth of Scripture. They should be especially fearful if Nye tries trotting out some of the familiar, but easily (and often) discredited arguments in favor of evolution.

This is likely to happen, as even those cautioning Nye (with some even urging him to back out), who claim to be well versed in debating evolution, are using these tired arguments. “Evolution is all around us, all the time. Evolution is why we need to get a new flu shot every year,” claims Benjamin Radford. This sounds suspiciously like the “antibiotic-resistant bacteria is evidence for evolution” argument. (Even Doonesbury got in on this one.)

Whether it’s antibiotic-resistant bacteria, insecticide-resistant bugs, or genetic variations within a virus, the genetic information for these changes was already present in some of the creatures. They then reproduce more resistant creatures, but this is not an example of one kind of creature changing to another. In other words, an event such as bacterial resistance to antibiotics is the result of a horizontal transfer of pre-existing information. Such activity is in no way a demonstration of what needs to happen in molecules to man evolution.

Another favorite argument in favor of DE that we are likely to hear from Mr. Nye is that mutations are the “engine” of evolution. However, in almost every case, mutations are either genetically neutral or they yield a loss of information. As Dr. Gary Parker points out, “[M]utations are moving in the wrong direction to support the advancement of complexity required by evolution. Almost every mutation we know of has been identified based on the disease it causes.”

Perhaps the most dangerous and deceptive line used by Darwinists is that evolution (meaning molecules to man evolution) is nothing more than “change over time.” This is dangerous because many people have been duped into believing that because in certain situations (but always within the same species) we sometimes observe “change over time,” and this equates to creatures changing into other creatures over billions of years.

This “change over time” is nothing more than natural selection. Natural selection always “selects” from existing information. In other words, no new information results that would allow for creatures to change into different creatures over a long period of time. Not only that, but through natural selection, a loss of information results, as unfavorable (or unlucky) genes are removed from the population.  

The phrase “natural selection” gets tossed around a lot in support of DE. This is similar to the mutations argument, and just as mistaken. Just as with mutations, we see natural selection occurring all around us, and natural selection does result in variations within species. But what we never see with natural selection is evidence for one kind of creature changing into another.

In fact, natural selection may not even always result in the “strongest” surviving. The fastest mouse may be able to flee any cat, but the patient mouse that is able to hold still is less likely to get eaten by a soaring hawk. Whichever survives longer to pass on its DNA, mice beget mice, cats beget cats, hawks beget hawks, and so on.

Another popular position taken by Darwinian evolutionists is that evolution is the “foundation of biology,” or the “foundation of modern medicine.” As Bill Nye put it in his popular YouTube video (that played a role in leading to the February 4 debate), “Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology.” Nye implies that without evolution, “you’re just not going to get the right answer.”

It seems that Louis Pasteur didn’t have a hard time “getting the right answer.” Known as “the father of microbiology” and operating from a biblical worldview—while strongly rejecting Darwin’s theory—Pasteur did amazing work in a variety of scientific areas. Pasteur, a microbiologist and chemist, who, along with giving us the process of pasteurization, disproved the theory of spontaneous generation (which put him at odds with Darwin and his work) and was a pioneer in the battle against infectious diseases (leading us to the process of vaccination).

At times it seems that the (ridiculous) implication is that nothing in science can get done unless it is done from an evolutionary worldview. This is certainly the case in fields related to biology, but many Darwinian evolutionists would have us believe that everything from anesthesiology to zoology rests upon DE. Given that Darwin proposed his theory just over 150 years ago, it’s a wonder that anything at all was accomplished in science prior to 1850.

Of course, much was. Generally considered the greatest scientist who ever lived, Isaac Newton—inventor of calculus, and famous for his laws of motion and universal gravitation—was a devout Christian and performed his work from a biblical worldview. On gravitation he noted that, “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done.”

For DE to be a tenable explanation of all life on earth, extremely long periods of time are necessary. Nye verifies this when he declares that, “The idea of ‘deep time,’ of billions of years, explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that [the idea of billions of years], your worldview becomes crazy…untenable…inconsistent.” The supposed age of the earth (according to DE, about 4.5 billion years) is often used as a “test” by secularists—especially those in the liberal media—to determine the intellectual capacity of (or to attempt to embarrass) targets. (Remember the question to Marco Rubio by GQ?)

When it comes to the age of the earth, both Newton and Johannes Kepler calculated the earth to be only a few thousand years old. Kepler calculated a creation date of 3,992 B.C. Newton stated that, “For an educated man…any suggestion that the human past extended back further than 6,000 years was a vain and foolish speculation.”

The fact is that even in today’s world it is possible (and has been demonstrated literally millions of times over) to reject completely DE and millions/billions of years and still operate perfectly well in any scientific field. I personally know individuals from virtually every field of science—engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, medicine, and so on—who (just as Pasteur, Newton, Kepler, and the like) obtained their degrees and practice in their area of science completely unhindered, all the while operating from a strict creationist worldview.

Even with all that I have presented here and all that we will hear on February 4, the thing that we all need to consider most when weighing evolution against creation is that when the theories of man are in conflict with the Words of God, it is most certainly man who is in error.

Copyright 2014, 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

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

President Obama, Meet Lucy

In a stunning acknowledgment of his administration's failure, President Obama on Tuesday gave (yet another) speech in a push to further extend long-term unemployment benefits. Nearly five years into his administration, and as Brit Hume notes, about five years after emergency unemployment compensation was first extended to 99 weeks, and about four-and-a-half years into an economic recovery that the president and Democrats keep telling us is getting better all the time, Obama is again telling us that extending long-term unemployment benefits is an emergency.

Never mind that his policies and those of his party continue to contribute to the high unemployment and weak economy that have plagued the U.S. since his election, President Obama shamelessly continues to preach to the low-information crowd about how throwing billions more dollars into what is little more than another entitlement is good for America.

As noted, for five years now long-term unemployment benefits have been at 99 weeks. As Charles Krauthammer points out, what we now have is chronic unemployment subsidized. “And the fact is, if you subsidize apples, you get more apples; if you subsidize unemployment, you get more of it.” What's more, those getting their government subsidy tend to vote for those handing it out. In an election year that is already looking daunting for Democrats, you can be sure that liberals will milk this issue for all that it will give them.

Thus, in what was surely political pandering, in his speech Tuesday Obama declared, “I can't name a time where I met an American who would rather have an unemployment check than the pride of having a job. (Applause.)”

In an effort to enlighten the leader of the free world, President Obama, meet Lucy from Texas:

Copyright 2014, 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