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Thursday, April 29, 2010 | Comments (74)

First, listen to this 9-minute clip:

Launch Player  |  Download  |  Full Sermon

Here's the topic for today's discussion:

In the 1990s, Richard Dawkins, fanatical atheist and leading spokesman for Darwinian evolution, was asked during an interview if he could produce an example of a mutation or evolutionary process that led to an increase in information. Although this had been known for some time to be a significant issue, Dawkins was unable to offer any such example of a documented increase in information resulting from a mutation. Following that interview, a mad scramble was made both by Dawkins and the atheistic scientific community to produce a satisfactory response to the embarrassing question. No such answer was ever produced—no such answer exists.

When Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of Species, science was still relatively primitive. Electron microscopes wouldn’t arrive for nearly another century, and the ability to study complex molecular structures and discover encoded information in living organisms was unheard of. Darwin explained the universe based solely on his personal, untested observations. Without sufficient technology to debunk his faulty theories, Darwin’s observations went largely unchallenged.

However, the deeper modern science goes, the more it is forced to accept the conclusion of intelligent design. One of the fascinating sciences driving such conclusions is the study called information theory.


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#1  Posted by Josué Morissette  |  Thursday, April 29, 2010at 5:12 AM

It is always mind boggling to me to see how much sin can blind poeple. They can't even explain the most basic driving principle of evolution and yet it is the predominant view on how we came about. Instead of answer they come out with other explaination that supposedly prove evolution, such as different breeds of dogs and the fact that given steroids a cow will develop a muscular mass beyond anything we've seen before or when bombarded with radiation a fly will have 4 wings even though it can fly, can't reproduce and has a life span a fraction that of a regular fly. This was all in the lastest book from Dawkins. He also says that the fact we have a similar cellular structure proves evolution, but it might as well prove that there is only one Creator. All non-sense that proves only one thing about these people; that they are ready to disregard any kind of scientific rigor to excuse the worst sin of all: denying the true and living God, proving Romans 1 truer than ever.

#2  Posted by Kurt Hutchison  |  Thursday, April 29, 2010at 10:17 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#3  Posted by Gail Woehrer  |  Thursday, April 29, 2010at 10:40 AM

The very existence of the universe & all that is in it, it sheer precision in everything from the greatest to the single cell is mind numbing, it witnesses itself as to Gods wisdom, awesome power majesty.

For since the creation of the world God's invisible attributes-his eternal power and divine nature-have been understood and observed by what he made, so that people are without excuse.

#4  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Thursday, April 29, 2010at 11:11 AM

I find it amusing to to think that Dr Francis S. Collins, the head of the Human Genome Project, seems to have come to faith because of his research. He is still an evolutionist, and has probably never read Wilder-Smith's works, but I have a feeling that if his faith is true, God will bring the truth to light. A good reference such as Lubenow's book on fossils, as well as those done in various other field's, (cp "Darwin Fights Back", which is a look at how certian complex organisms could not have arisen by chance, and works like "Genesis and the Big Bang" which demonstrate that even one with an "evolutionary" perspective must come to grips with evidence which refutes the "god of chance"), provide fresh evidence if one wants to see it. I personally think that if one were to take a look at the miricles of Jesus in the gospels, that should settle most of the questions regarding the nature of creation. Christ was never deminished or tired from doing them. And they were done instantaniously in most cases. We see him tire from walking and from being up all night, but never because of a creative act. I guess the Almighty, who never sleeps nor slumbers, never tires or hungers; would not find it troublesome to create suns and worlds in a verse.

I also find it instructive that a person who believes that intellegence or reputation is called into question will find a reason, any reason, to use evolutionary thinking to prevent others from thinking that they are unintellectual or uninformed and thus perpetuate the lie. I have seen atheist use reasoning such as "All real scientist" believe in evolution, or "I would not trust any scientist who believes in God, while in the labratory", (as if that makes one neutral when doing science). And it destroys the faith of some who follow this reasoning without taking time to pray or think about it. That is why I guess we need to come to Christ as a little child. Children don't worry about reputation, they see things as they are and will tell you as much.

#5  Posted by Kurt Hutchison  |  Thursday, April 29, 2010at 11:14 AM

Thanks for this - hits the nail on the head.

I have long believed this is one of the primary evidences against evolution. Any true empiricist (which they aren't) would admit that their case is disproven by the evidence - no such example exists - despite decades long attempts to produce one by irradiating species like those poor innocent fruit flies. :-)

The continuing trend towards discovering "unexpected" complexity in even the "simplest" cells known renders the idea of a "simple" cell as unsupportable as any idea ever was. It isn't just DNA/RNA/ribosomes any more.

After all that, it is no surprise that a large minority believe in ID, despite the evos near choke-hold on education and scientific institutions.

#6  Posted by Paul Neil  |  Thursday, April 29, 2010at 11:29 AM

Somehow the complexity of life is not enough to tell people that there must be a creator. You dont have to be a Christian to realise there is something more to this life and that it is impossible to get nothing from nothing but getting God (Our God) out of the picture somehow rationalizes that!?!?

I looked up Michael Behe - "Darwins Black box" and saw he has another book "the Edge of Evolution."

Here is an interview: http://calitreview.com/260

#7  Posted by Keith Krohn  |  Thursday, April 29, 2010at 7:00 PM

I remember that even as a child (by His grace of course) I knew there was a God, just like it says in Romans 1:19-20. Despite all of my Catholic upbringing (a morose and negative false religion) it was the Holy Spirit that began to convict me and gave me a healthy fear of Hell that eventually lead to my repentance as a young boy. I never found Jesus Christ through Catholicism even though from Kindergarten through 8th grade I was surrounded by Christ's image, heard the Bible read almost every day in class, and was told about God, etc.

God lead me to Himself by starting with general revelation, through nature. I first saw Him in the sun. It rose every morning and set every night and was entirely reliable. And I remember playing with potato bugs in the yard. I'd gently poke them enough and they would roll into a little ball, then I'd move the ball around like a marble! At night, I would see God in the stars in the sky and the moon, and probably what really spoke directly to me that there was an intelligent Creator were fireflies. I was so fascinated with their luminescent beauty as a child when we were camping, and I still am.

All of that to say I think that EVERYONE who has ever lived, whether or not they ever come to faith in Christ, has had some kind of experiences like mine. People either move toward that general revelation in nature by God's enablement and God gives them special revelation about Jesus Christ, or they resist these beautiful truths in nature and move toward an eternity of damnation.

#8  Posted by Alyssa Stefovic  |  Thursday, April 29, 2010at 10:02 PM

I'm a Christian and a microbiology grad student. I have been involved in the scientific community for a few years now and it never ceases to amaze me how some of the most intelligent people can be so blind. They don't believe because there is no proof. I say there is: DNA. Four chemical structures (okay, 5 if you want to get technical and include the uracil from RNA) are the basis for all living things, from bacteria and viruses to plants to animals and humans. You mean to tell me that this is just a big coincidence? And what about the complex biochemical processes that keep us alive? The cycles and their components just happen to pop up over time? If that's true, and the whole "all living things evolved from a few cells over millions of years" is true, then why aren't all of these pathways found in all living things? And how about the fact that Earth is the only planet that just happens to be perfectly suited for all of our physical needs? Sounds to me like there are just one too many coincidences that evolution can't answer. However, I have found the answer: Genesis, 1-2:7. Sadly, there are very few scientists who believe this, even though the truth is staring them in the face.

Mr. Tucker- I don't know where you heard/read that "all scientists believe in evolution" but you'll be happy to know that this isn't true, we're few and far between, but we're out there :-)

#9  Posted by Vince R.  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 3:31 PM

Have any of you been watching the series on the discovery network called "Life"? I watched it for the first time last night and was absolutely amazed. The show was on plant life. I really got a kick out of the script they gave Oprah to read. The more they went on to explain the complex life systems and designs of these amazing plants the more I had to laugh at how they owed it all to the theory of evolution. These plants were so complex in how they produced and multiplied and grew that you would think that they could even drive you to work if you planted one in your car. How anyone could think that they evolved from pond scum is beyond me. Praise God for his intelligent design.

#10  Posted by Kim Crenshaw  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 3:54 PM

Alyssa Stefovic - I never reply to posts that I read, but I was so moved by your post I just wanted to encourage you to keep speaking God's truth! You could use your knowledge and line of work to do great things! :-) May God Bless You!

#11  Posted by Garrett League  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 4:20 PM

Hello Alyssa! I am also a Christian grad student in biology (Drosophila genetics). If DNA was created by God via miracle, then why do we humans have genes (now nonfunctional due to mutation) that encode for tails, homologous to those in mice? Why do we have dead genes that encode for yolk? If none of our ancestors (going back to Adam and Eve) had tails or yolk, then why did God put the genes in our DNA? Why are 1 in 500 whales born with hind limbs? Dolphins with hind limbs? Talpid2 mutant chickens with atavistic first generation alligator teeth? What are your thoughts?

#12  Posted by Garrett League  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 4:28 PM

I think the blog writer is uninformed on this topic. I just gave a presentation today on CNPs in Drosophila melanogaster; new genes give novel protein functions all the time. A CNP is a copy number polymorphism and covers tandem/dispersed gene duplications, chimeric genomic rearrangements, whole-gene duplication, and even de novo gene formation from non-coding intronic stretches of DNA. Novel genes with new functions and info have been documented; I just turned in a term paper on this. Novel olfactory proteins, digestive proteins, genes that grant all kinds of new functions.

#13  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 4:32 PM

Garrett,

Your comment (#12) is completely unintelligible to those of us who are not grad students in biology. Can you please explain in normal language where you disagree with the John?

#14  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 4:46 PM

Garrett, 

The written blog was merely introductory for the audio blog.  Have you taken the time to listen to the audio clip?  I think it would help inform and clarify your comments.  

 

#15  Posted by Garrett League  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 5:10 PM

Hi Tommy! No, I didn't listen before I posted, but listening to it now, I've already heard pastor John make those arguments before (even on Larry King!). He's used the Von Neumann analogy for a while. To my knowledge, I've listened to/watched/read just about all Dr. MacArthur has produced on this subject because I value his opinions. I've read "The Battle for the Beginning," and once accepted essentially all of it. I do believe that the design in DNA is real, not merely apparent, but I don't think God made it by a miracle, but by secondary causes. For me, inerrancy and evolution aren't mutually exclusive; exhibit A, B.B. Warfield!

#16  Posted by Garrett League  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 5:37 PM

Hey Gabriel (#13), let me clarify: the statement "and example of a mutation or evolutionary process that led to an increase in information...No such answer was ever produced-no such answer exists" is, to put it bluntly, scientifically false. New genes can, have, and do form in nature and there are lots of examples. Here's just one: exon shuffling (that is, the shuffling of the part of the gene that codes for a protein) can create novel genes called chimeras. In mythology, a chimera is an animal with body parts from all sorts of creatures, right? Same with chimeric genes; they form through rearrangements of existing genetic information to create novel function. Also, genes can arise de novo, by rearranging previously non-coding segments of DNA. So MacArthur's argument falls flat.

#17  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 6:38 PM

Garrett writes,

but I don't think God made it by a miracle, but by secondary causes.

Really? Is there anything miraculous God did? Secondary causes are a product of first causes.  Are those first causes miraculous? 

Again, as we have noted a few times already on other posts, Genesis is historical narrative. It is telling how and in what manner God created:  A span of 6 ordinary days we call a week.  This is confirmed by both Moses in Exodus and our Lord Jesus on numerous occasions in the gospels.  Depending upon what authority one invests in the scripture, confidence in the claims of evolutionary science has to give way at some point.

For me, inerrancy and evolution aren't mutually exclusive; exhibit A, B.B. Warfield!

B.B. Warfield was limited in his understand of these issues.  He often spoke outside his field of expertise.  Like we noted in another post already, Princeton suffered from an inadequate apologetic methodology that gave too much heed to the claims of academia that really was not warranted.  Warfield's attempts to harmonize a high view of scripture and the anti-theological claims of evolutionary intelligentsia of his day was him at his weakest as a defender of the Bible. 

Fred

#18  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 6:44 PM

they form through rearrangements of existing genetic information to create novel function.

I note the word "existing" genetic information.  No creationist argues against the idea of adaptation or speciation.  As a Christian who believes God placed with in His creation the ability to adapt to wide ranging climates, environments, and even changes, I would expect such ability with in genes.  The issue is that these creature stay with in their genetic boundaries.  See for example Dr. John Sanford who has written extensively on this aspect of genetics. 

#19  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 7:29 PM

reply to #11 "Why are 1 in 500 whales born with hind limbs? Dolphins with hind limbs?"

I'm always wondering who's out there swimming through the ocean counting & confirming these kinds of claims?

#20  Posted by Shane Carver  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 9:09 PM

Garrett, my old biology 111 text book (which was written by evolutionary biologists by the way) defined evolution as a chance process with no direction. If you believe that God used evolution than you couldn't consider yourself a true evolutionist because that would give this "chance process" a clear direction. It grieves me to hear you are falling into naturalistic philosophy that is not compatible with the truthfulness of God's word. How are we to interpret scripture? Through a scientific process that is fallible and at best can only get us somewhat aloof of truth but can never find it? Or do we take God's Word for what it is (truth!) and apply it outwardly? You see, science is ever changing. God's Word does not! If we reinterpret scripture from science it will lead to a forever changing interpretation of it. I am a fellow scientist and I reject evolution because it cannot explain the origin of life and is not compatible with a good hermeneutical interpretation of God's word. I urge you to prayerfully reconsider your interpretation of God's word.

#21  Posted by Garrett League  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 10:16 PM

"I'm always wondering who's out there swimming through the ocean counting & confirming these kinds of claims?"

I'm not making it up. Check the claim out for yourself.

#22  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 10:53 PM

Let's start with the nonsense about dolphins, whale and chimeras as evidence for evolution. Please refer to these articles...

A dolphin with legs—NOT:

http://creation.com/a-dolphin-with-legsnot

Walking whales, nested hierarchies, and chimeras: do they exist?:

http://creation.com/walking-whales-nested-hierarchies-and-chimeras-do-they-exist

I'm tired and I'm going to bed. More on some of the other stuff posted when I have time.

#23  Posted by Garrett League  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 11:13 PM

Hey Fred, thanks for the thoughts, here's my response:

"Is there anything miraculous God did?"

Yes. Lots. I was referring to DNA, which was probably not created via miracle. If it was, then why does our DNA contain a tail gene (homologous to those of mice)? Some infants have that gene reactivated and are born with atavistic tails. Why did God create that gene in our DNA if he didn't intend us to have tails?

"It is telling how and in what manner God created: A span of 6 ordinary days we call a week."

I agree. Sort of. Do you believe that there is a solid firmament above us, with waters above it? This is what God did on day 2 and that's how the ancient Hebrews thought of the world. Do you?

"I note the word "existing" genetic information."

Oh sure, it's not ex nihilo. Just de novo. My point was old information can be rearranged to make NEW information. Non coding segments can be shuffled into coding segments. Do you deny that, because many YEC's say "NO NEW INFO!" which is just demonstrably not the case.

As for genetic boundaries, I assume you're essentially saying "micro, not macro," right? Great dane and chihuahua, sure, but not reptile to mammal. If that's the case, then why do whales have leg genes? No ancestors with legs right? Then why the genes? DNA has macro written all over it. Your argument is like saying "I believe in micro-aging, you know, infant to toddler, but not macro-aging, baby to adult." But the fossil record also has macro all over it too. Do you deny all feathered dinos (there's a ton!) mammal-like reptiles, tiktaalik roseae, all the hominids, etc. All buried in the flood in sequential order from lesser to greater complexity and in geographic layouts mirroring the current locations of extant relatives (why are giant Kangaroo fossils in Australia, where modern Kangaroos are? Glyptodons where modern armadillos are, giant sloths where modern sloths are?)?

#24  Posted by Garrett League  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 11:19 PM

"Please refer to these articles..."

Hi Don. I've seen the whale leg bones myself. Here's a pic:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section2.html#atavisms_ex1

#25  Posted by Garrett League  |  Friday, April 30, 2010at 11:31 PM

Hey Shane, great points, here's my response:

"If you believe that God used evolution than you couldn't consider yourself a true evolutionist because that would give this "chance process" a clear direction"

Not so: "The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord." Prov. 16:33. What is totally random to us isn't to God.

" If we reinterpret scripture from science it will lead to a forever changing interpretation of it."

I agree (that's why I reject scientific concordism, which YECs and OECs hold to) but I don't think you practice what you preach. Do you believe in a solid firmament with water above it? Why not? The Moses did. Heck, so did Luther!

" I am a fellow scientist and I reject evolution because it cannot explain the origin of life"

It doesn't attempt to. That's abiogenesis. Even then, they'll probably never get it down pat.

"not compatible with a good hermeneutical interpretation of God's word"

I think the same of YEC. Read John Walton's "The Lost World of Genesis One" (http://www.wheaton.edu/physics/research/symposia/conferences03/Sci_Sym.swf) and Bruce Waltke's "An Old Testament Theology." Also check out J.I. Packer's lecture here: http://www.sydneyanglicans.net/media/audio/creation_evolution_problems/

"I urge you to prayerfully reconsider your interpretation of God's word."

I will, and do! Please consider my sources, esp. the John Walton lecture online. I want prayer bec. I don't want to get this wrong. Thanks for the concern.

#26  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 7:50 AM

Garrett,

Walton and Waltke are not good examples of good hermeneutics. They purposefully reinterpret Genesis to accomodate science (see previous blog posts, especially this one). They are excellent example of eisegesis--reading into the text external material (i.e. evolution).

I get the sense you've come into the discussion most of the way through because you are rehashing things that have been discussed at length in previous posts and comment threads. You would do well to go back and read through them at least so you know what we've discussed already.

You keep mentioning the genes that we and animals have. To be quite honest, that is not a valid argument for me. Why? Because clearly those genes have extremely little impact on how things really are. Yes, there are those anomalies in dolphins and people who have hind legs or a tail, but if the genes are there, why don't all humans have tails and dolphins have hind legs? To me this is like saying "humans have an apendix, it clearly isn't needed. It must have evolved and was needed at one point, but now it isn't used for anything since evolution has progressed further." Sorry, that's just intrepreting the facts through the framework of evolution, not letting the facts speak for themselves.

A few weeks ago I listened to a lecture by a geneticist who went to great lengths to demonstrate the similarity between the DNA of humans and chimps. I will say that he did an excellent job demonstrating that clear and undeniable fact. His goal was to demonstrate common ancestry and that Christians can indeed believe in evolution because of this evidence. However he didn't give a lick of evidence to tied the two facts (human DNA and chimp DNA) together. This is a professor at a significant university and his argument, simply put, was "Humans and chimps have similar DNA, therefore there is common ancestry." Again, he demonstrated the first part well, but his conclusion was completed unfounded.

Your argument is exactly the same, "Dolphins have genes for hind legs and humans have genes for tails, therefore evolution is true." What? You only make that conclusion is you assume what remains to be proven.

You keep asking the "why?" question. Why do humans have tail genes? Why do some dolphin and whales have hind leg genes? Well, here is an answer: I don't know, and neither do you. The existence of the genes today do not demand and prove the macro-evolutionary process in the past. They simply don't. Only God knows why those genes are there, perhaps they serve a purpose that scientists haven't figured out yet (like that's never happened before!). But to assume evolution on the basis of certain genes is simply reading into the evidence.

Finally, you mentioned the "solid firmament". Can you explain what you mean by "solid firmament"? Most modern translations use the word "expanse" and God named it "sky" or "heaven" which would indicate it isn't solid. So can you explain what you mean?

#27  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 8:46 AM

Garret writes,

Hi Don. I've seen the whale leg bones myself. Here's a pic:

Okay, so what? Did you even bother to read the articles he linked?

Garret writes,

I was referring to DNA, which was probably not created via miracle.

How do you know this? A highly complex molecule that can replicate, and direct the formation of highly complex biological organisms was not created via a miracle?

Garret writes,

why does our DNA contain a tail gene (homologous to those of mice)? Some infants have that gene reactivated and are born with atavistic tails. Why did God create that gene in our DNA if he didn't intend us to have tails?

Because we have a coccyx, a tail bone,  just like mice, and pretty much every other mammal on earth.  Similarity in design does not equate common ancestor.  There has been no human born with an active tail that swings like a gibbon or a mouse for that matter.  Claims of such by evolutionists are wildly exaggerated and misleading.  Of those people born with what looks to be a tail, at closer examination, such is not the case.  The appendage is usually fatty tissue and two or so extra bones and can be removed with out injury.  More than likely such thing is an anomaly, and does not represent some evolutionary ancestry, just like a person born with extra toes or fingers. See here for more: http://creation.com/human-tails-and-fairy-tales

Garret writes,

Do you believe that there is a solid firmament above us, with waters above it? This is what God did on day 2 and that's how the ancient Hebrews thought of the world. Do you?

The idea the ancient Hebrews thought the sky was a solid dome above us is something of an urban legend.  John Byl writes about it here:

http://bylogos.blogspot.com/2010/02/genesis-and-ancient-cosmology.html

And agree with his conclusion: "It seems to me that the current attempt to read Genesis as accommodation to erroneous ancient pagan cosmology is motivated primarily by the desire to constrain biblical authority so as not to contradict modern secular science. This itself is just another form of accommodation, whereby God's word is truncated to fit human reason."

And I would image that is your motivation, too.

Garret writes,

My point was old information can be rearranged to make NEW information. Non coding segments can be shuffled into coding segments. Do you deny that, because many YEC's say "NO NEW INFO!" which is just demonstrably not the case.

I am not sure which YEC you mean. Perhaps you can give specific examples? All the creationist literature I am familiar with believes just what you write here: old information can be rearranged to make new information to  help the species to adapt to changes in the environment and so forth.  For example, the iguanas and the finches on  the Galapagos Islands.  Finches for example can switch beak sizes within a generation as if in anticipation of environmental changes.  

Garret writes,

As for genetic boundaries, I assume you're essentially saying "micro, not macro," right?

In a manner of speaking.  The illustrations you provide for your point, a baby becoming an adult are really a non-sequiter. It is still a human being.  By genetic boundaries, I mean to say that the organism remains in its kind.  In other words, dinosaurs do not become birds.  Scales are unrelated to feathers.  There are no whale fossils with nasal cavities on the front of their faces. There aren't "tons" of feathered dinosaurs, and the ones pointed to as examples are birds.  You are familiar with the archaeoraptor hoax in 2000 put on by National Geographic, right?

Garret writes,

(why are giant Kangaroo fossils in Australia, where modern Kangaroos are? Glyptodons where modern armadillos are, giant sloths where modern sloths are?)?

Because they all either can't adapt to their environments or are killed off just like unusual animals in today's world are killed off. 

#28  Posted by Garrett League  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 9:45 AM

Hey Gabriel:

"Walton and Waltke are not good examples of good hermeneutics. They purposefully reinterpret Genesis to accomodate science (see previous blog posts, especially this one). They are excellent example of eisegesis--reading into the text external material (i.e. evolution)."

Hmm, that's interesting, given Walton doesn't even accept evolution. If you haven't, read "The Lost World of Genesis 1" then please do so, it's really solid, or watch this (http://www.wheaton.edu/physics/research/symposia/conferences03/Sci_Sym.swf)Waltke is an exegete; read "Genesis: A Commentary" and "And O.T. Theology." See for yourself.

"but if the genes are there, why don't all humans have tails and dolphins have hind legs?"

Because the genes, though used in an ancestor, have been silences due to mutation; hence a loss of the phenotype.

"Sorry, that's just intrepreting the facts through the framework of evolution"

Well, how do YOU interpret the fact that we have a gene that codes for a tail? "I don't know" right? That's exactly my point; it only makes sense if one of our ancestors had a tail, otherwise God just put it there for some inscrutable reason.

"Humans and chimps have similar DNA, therefore there is common ancestry." Again, he demonstrated the first part well, but his conclusion was completed unfounded."

Friend, it's much more complicated than that. You can't merely say "same genes, same creator" because the KINDS of similarities and the KINDS of differences and their location on our genomes is uncannily similar and only make sense if we share a common ancestor, unless God made our genes separably to look AS IF we shared one. I don't have space to hash out those evidences, but look up humans, chimps and the vitamin C gene. I'm guessing you've already seen Ken Miller's talk.

"The existence of the genes today do not demand and prove the macro-evolutionary process in the past. "

Of course not, they just strongly suggest it.

"perhaps they serve a purpose that scientists haven't figured out yet"

They aren't active in us. Hence, no protein, no purpose. They USED to have a purpose, i.e., encoding a tail.

"Finally, you mentioned the "solid firmament". Can you explain what you mean by "solid firmament"? Most modern translations use the word "expanse" and God named it "sky" or "heaven" which would indicate it isn't solid. So can you explain what you mean?"

Yea, its raqia, a solid dome or vault. Many ancient cultures believed this. Firmament, w/ an ocean above it (i.e., water above the firmament): http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hildebrandt/OTeSources/01-Genesis/Text/Articles-Books/Seely-Firmament-WTJ.pdf

#29  Posted by Garrett League  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 10:25 AM

Hey again Fred; thanks for the input:

"Okay, so what? Did you even bother to read the articles he linked?"

Not all of it. Seen it before; I was a YEC until recently, very familiar w/ the arguments.

"How do you know this? A highly complex molecule that can replicate, and direct the formation of highly complex biological organisms was not created via a miracle?"

Probably not, since we share defective genes (same defect, same gene, same mutant nucleotide!) with other primates (see the gulo gene of the vitamin C pathway). Also, we have tail and yolk genes. Still have a yolk sac, but no yolk. If you think God miraculously gave us genes he never intended us to use, then that's fine, I just think that's a stretch.

"Because we have a coccyx, a tail bone, just like mice, and pretty much every other mammal on earth."

Only the gene I refer to is a TAIL gene; the coccyx is the way it is because the tail gene is silent.

"The appendage is usually fatty tissue and two or so extra bones and can be removed with out injury."

Of course it is; they all don't develop to the same extent (the gene is messed up, remember?). However, occasionally, when activated, people can have atavistic tails, with hair, veins, vertebrae and all, not fused either. Why is that?

"And agree with his conclusion: "It seems to me that the current attempt to read Genesis as accommodation to erroneous ancient pagan cosmology is motivated primarily by the desire to constrain biblical authority so as not to contradict modern secular science. This itself is just another form of accommodation, whereby God's word is truncated to fit human reason."

Yea, I know not all accept my conclusion. But here's my reasoning: since all ANE people thought of the firmament that way, and God didn't reveal anything otherwise, why wouldn't the Hebrews? You read this: http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hildebrandt/OTeSources/01-Genesis/Text/Articles-Books/Seely-Firmament-WTJ.pdf And I'll give your article a shot, ok?

"And I would image that is your motivation, too"

Oh sure, probably in part, I am sinful. Still, my opinion is based on good scholarly evidence too. I think seeing the FIRMament as merely atmosphere is reading modern concepts into an ancient text rather than letting it speak for itself. http://www.wheaton.edu/physics/research/symposia/conferences03/Sci_Sym.swf

"I am not sure which YEC you mean. Perhaps you can give specific examples?"

Oh sure, plently, Hovind (my former hero!), Baugh, even AIG. This is from Jonathan Sarfati's "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use": "There are no beneficial mutations.’ This is not true, since some changes do confer an advantage in some situations. Rather, we should say, ‘We have yet to find a mutation that increases genetic information, even in those rare instances where the mutation confers an advantage." See http://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationists-should-not-use To say "we have yet to fins a mutation that increases genetic information" is just plain false. We DO! Tons of them! Brand spanking new info!

"The illustrations you provide for your point, a baby becoming an adult are really a non-sequiter. It is still a human being."

Yea, it's an analogy. Analogous, not identical, that would defeat the purpose.

"In other words, dinosaurs do not become birds. "

Nope, evolution doesn't quite say that either: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/misconceps/IBladder.shtml

Evolution doesn't say "monkeys become people" anyway, see Miller's 06 lecture for what evolution really is: http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/evolution/lectures.html

"Scales are unrelated to feathers."

Ok, know you didn't! I have a dev. bio. text on my shelf that says otherwise; they are NOT "unrelated."

"You are familiar with the archaeoraptor hoax in 2000 put on by National Geographic, right?"

Dude, it was a fraud. Because one was a fraud, they all are? That's just unfair. Are these all hoaxes too: http://www.feenixx.com/prehistoric/images/a302-feathered_dinosaurs_poster.jpg

Arguments we think creationists shouldn't use: "Archaeopteryx is a fraud.’ Archaeopteryx was genuine (unlike Archaeoraptor, a ‘Piltdown bird’), as shown by anatomical studies and close analysis of the fossil slab. It was a true bird, not a ‘missing link’." It was a REAL feathered reptile-like animal. You've got to face the facts, whatever your interpretation is.

"Because they all either can't adapt to their environments or are killed off just like unusual animals in today's world are killed off. "

Oh, so those fossils weren't created by the flood? If they were, then why did modern kangaroos/armadillos/sloths migrate to the one place on earth after the flood that contained the remains of their ancestors (Australia was created after the flood right?)?

#30  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 10:25 AM

Garrett writes:

Friend, it's much more complicated than that. You can't merely say "same genes, same creator" because the KINDS of similarities and the KINDS of differences and their location on our genomes is uncannily similar and only make sense if we share a common ancestor, unless God made our genes separably to look AS IF we shared one. I don't have space to hash out those evidences, but look up humans, chimps and the vitamin C gene. I'm guessing you've already seen Ken Miller's talk.

Gabe is correct here. This is an interpretation of the evidence issue, and ultimately comes down to what you believe has the greater authority: a-theological philosophical naturalism or biblical supernaturalism.  God didn't make our genes look like anything.  He is the creator.  As a creator creating creatures to share the same biosphere and environments he is going to use the same genetic templates, if you will, within those variety of creatures.  For example, pretty much all animals having iron based blood, red blood cells, white blood cells, etc., same physiological systems like hearts, lungs, intestines, etc.  You seem to have in your mind that God being the creator is true if all creature were absolutely dissimilar rather than similar. 

Garrett writes:

Well, how do YOU interpret the fact that we have a gene that codes for a tail? "I don't know" right? That's exactly my point; it only makes sense if one of our ancestors had a tail, otherwise God just put it there for some inscrutable reason.

I am taking it that you read that article I linked? You're basically building your argument based upon faulty, misleading info. 

You write,

Yea, its raqia, a solid dome or vault.

No, it is not.  Again, read Byl's refutation of this particular argument.  raqia is better understood as expanse, not solid dome or vault. 

#31  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 10:35 AM

Garrett,

Regarding John Walton, his views are suspect because it superimposes his understanding of ancient worldview onto the text. The fact remains that the rest of the Old Testament and New Testament clearly contradict Walton's view. Genesis 1-3 are not merely about function, they are about what God created and in what order. I absolutely reject Walton's views. It is as an implicit assent to evolution without explicitly assenting to evolution. Why is it that Walton was the first person to come up with (and promote) his views? Did no one before Walton understand the ancient worldview and how they understood Genesis 1?

"only make sense" is a theme in your response. Unfortunately that doesn't prove anything. What makes sense to you doesn't make sense to me. You can't prove common ancestry. The best you can do is "it makes sense." It only makes sense if you start with the presupposition that evolution is true.

When it comes to genes, you focus so heavily on the similarities and specifically the kinds of similarities. This is the "we're more alike than different" perspective. However, when you take your eyes off the microscope (figuratively), you see that we're actually more different than alike. Chimps and humans share many common traits: two eyes, two nostrils, two hands, feet, arms, legs. We have hair, similar bone structures, and on and one and one. Now let's look at the differences: intelligence, language, communication, civilization, government, culture, music, and on and on. When we consider those factors, the chimp is closer to a fish than a human.

The simple fact is that humans are in a different class on their own in every important way. Here is a question for you: how does the existence of the soul make sense in the evolutionary framework?

#32  Posted by Garrett League  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 11:11 AM

Hey again Fred, I think we are at an impasse. I think you're take on "same gene same designer" is far too simplistic. You think I'm wrong on the firmament. I'll reexmaine both; I don't want to accpet evolution, I just think I have no choice (trust me, I used to be a YEC, I WANT to be wrong here!). God bless. I'll look over those sources again.

#33  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 11:12 AM

Garrett, before you leave the discussion, can you explain how the soul came to be?

#34  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 11:21 AM

And by the way, you don't have to believe in evolution. After all, it's only an unproven theory. The issue isn't evidence, it is authority. You are simply placing authority on in a philosophical system through which evidence is interpreted.

I'd rather put authority in unchanging Scripture that is quite clear, no matter how some men try to twist it.

#35  Posted by Garrett League  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 11:24 AM

"Why is it that Walton was the first person to come up with (and promote) his views?" That's not the case. It's very similar to J.I.Packer's views, plus I think closer to the ancient hebrew's views, and plenty of other modern/ancient scholars.

"Chimps and humans share many common traits: two eyes, two nostrils, two hands, feet, arms, legs. We have hair, similar bone structures, and on and one and one."

Those are the most superficial similarites, and don't prove anything conclusivley. But DNA is different, it's more informative and it's past on from generation to generation. I don't think the similarites in it make sense unless we shared a common ancestor. If I find out someday it's wrong, I'll shout it from the rooftops; until then, I've got to go with the evidence.

"The simple fact is that humans are in a different class on their own in every important way."

I agree! They weren't made in God's image.

"Here is a question for you: how does the existence of the soul make sense in the evolutionary framework?"

It doesn't because it's science. Evolution doesn't, indeed cannot pass judgement on that question because the soul is immaterial and it can't prove or disprove it. God must reveal that truth to us, bec we don't have the means of testing it scientifically.

TO EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN RESPONDING TO ME (ESP. GAB AND FRED):

Thanks so much for the thoughts! I hope iron has sharpened iron. I will rethink my accpetance of Walton/Waltke/a few others and I will look into alternate explanations of our DNA similarities with other animals. I think the case is pretty much closed scientifically, but maybe my methodological naturalism has led to poor explanations of the evidence. I am still interested in hearing your alternatives, and I will read the articles more in depth after my finals/thesis work is done. At this point, I've only glossed over most of them, though I pretty sure I've heard every argument under the son. Hope these are new and improved!

#36  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 11:42 AM

Garrett writes,

I think you're take on "same gene same designer" is far too simplistic.

Really? Attempting to explain the world according to a God centered worldview is too simplistic? And your take on "same gene common ancestor" isn't?

trust me, I used to be a YEC

I don't doubt your claim at all.  If Kent Hovind was your main hero, I imagine you have a fundamentalist background and were eventually exposed to what in your mind was more respectable authorities in this field of study.  But honestly, if Kent Hovind was your main source of information, then you have both a misdirected and an extremely limited view of what biblical creationism teaches.

 

#37  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 11:51 AM

Garrett writes,

I agree! They weren't made in God's image.

Just as a point of consistency, you argued in previous comments that DNA didn't come about by an act of a miracle.  I would argue that any creation is a supernatural act.  You seem to reject this premise in your comments.  Are you then arguing that the material world co-existed with God in eternity past?  With this comment, you are invoking the language of miracle, "made" in God's image.  I see a rather pronounced inconsistency with what you are advocating, what the Bible teaches on the eternality of God, and this comment about being made in God's image. 

#38  Posted by Garrett League  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 11:51 AM

Yea Gab, here's my thoughts:

"Garrett, before you leave the discussion, can you explain how the soul came to be?"

No. And niether can you (aside from "God somehow did it" which is exactly what I would say). If you're asking if I can explain it scientifically, then of course it's a resounding NO! Science cannot deal with metaphyical/spiritual realities; it's methodologically and epistemologically impossible. Here's my theory though: when do babies get a soul? How do they get it? Not a clue. But they do get one, probably in some mysterious way beginning at conception. Same for the human race as a whole. When/how did we get it? Don't know, but mysteriously, perhaps over a period of development (like a baby develops over 9 mo.) we got one, starting at our natural conception. That, I hope, is a helpful analogy.

"And by the way, you don't have to believe in evolution."

I surely don't, but I think, given the evidence, I ought to. I cannot, at this point, knowing what I know, in good conscience, accpet YEC. Just can't.

"After all, it's only an unproven theory. The issue isn't evidence, it is authority."

I think that's a bit naive. It's one of the most strongly supported and best attested theories around. "Only a theory" is misleading, because gravity, too, is "only a theory," as is cell theory, general relativty, germ theory, etc. Theory, in the vernacular, is nothing but a mere guess or hunch: not so in science. The technical definition is a coherent explanation of all the relevant data. A theory is on a different order of knowing than facts. Facts are cheap and easy to come by. If I spend my life as a researcher uncovering neat little facts about fruit flies, I'll die in obscurity and my ideas will too. If I come up with a super coherent explanation that takes into account of the seemingly disconnected facts, I'll be a genius (that's what Newton, Einstein, and Darwin did). Facts are nothing; explaining the facts is where it's really at!

"You are simply placing authority on in a philosophical system through which evidence is interpreted."

I've got the wrong glasses on? Ok. But when I put my YEC glasses on, none of the data makes sense. Nearly all scientists agree. It's not bec. they all are materialists (though sadly, many are), but because If you assume young earth, no evolution, global flood, viritually none of the data is coherent. I CAN'T make the data fit in a YEC framework (and trust me, I've tried, and tried, and tried some more! I was a YEC of YEC's not all that long ago and my move to theistic evo was kicking and screaming, scratching and clawing). When I put my normal providence/secondary causes (dare I say, naturalistic!) glasses on, God's creation makes sense. God uses means. He ordained and sustains the laws that created us, just like he ordained and sustains the laws that make the world go round (Did Newton, as many claimed, kick God out of the solar system? No way!). What is a "natural" law, but a label for how God usually, by his providence, does things? As Sproul has said, if God doesn't want that book to fall to the ground, then "gravity" has no say in the matter! I know that's hard to swallow, given life's complexity. But I think God, providentially, through 2ndary causes, made us, just a he knits babies together in the womb.

"I'd rather put authority in unchanging Scripture that is quite clear, no matter how some men try to twist it."

Well, if I'm right (along with Waltke, Walton, Packer) then you're doing the twisting! I think you are reading modern thoughts into the bible. I think you are reading it like a modern, post-enlightenment, westerner. If you step into an ancient Isealites' sandals, it all makes sense. I think Walton/Waltke do that best.

#39  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 11:54 AM

Garrett, you said "I think the case is pretty much closed scientifically."

How can a completely unproven (and unprovable) theory be a closed case? Nothing about origins or common ancestry has been tested or repeated. All you have are naturalistic rational theories.

I appreciate your apparent willingness to be open to new ideas. I'd encourage you not to be open to "new ideas" but instead to examine where you are putting authority: man or God. Man knows sooooooo little. We think we know a lot, but really we have a tiny fraction of information to work from scientifically (compared to what there is to know). But man is completely willing to put more faith (that's what it really is) in the unknown rather than in God who has revealed the truth.

Btw, have you spoken to an ancient Hebrew recently? I haven't. I know Walton, and no one else has either. So even the idea that the ancient Hebrews thought a certain way is an unprovable theory. The only way to know what they thought is if Scripture tells us. And Scripture tells us that they believed in a six-day creation because that is what God revealed to them. All we have is a fixed inspired and inerrant Scripture which has never changed. All scientists have is constantly changing atheistic interpretations of scraps of evidence. Hm... I wonder which is more reliable.

#40  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 11:59 AM

To say that evolution is as much a given as gravity is indeed naive. You can test, repeat, and do all sorts of things with gravity. Can't do any of that with evolution. Evolution is a philosophy, not science. It defies the very definition of science.

#41  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 12:04 PM

Garret writes,

But I think God, providentially, through 2ndary causes, made us, just a he knits babies together in the womb.

Again Garrett, secondary causes are a result of first causes.  Unless I missed it, you didn't really explain how secondary causes are independent of first causes and if they are dependent upon first causes, how first causes are not miraculous. 

Garrett writes,

Well, if I'm right (along with Waltke, Walton, Packer) then you're doing the twisting!

The thing that is important is that Waltke, Walton, and Packer's views were not held by anyone among the Jews or the Christian church until individuals thought there was a need to accommodate perceived scientific evidences with Genesis.  That is the point. Their ideas are novel, because they are developed as a reaction to what is taken as a greater authority. 

 

#42  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 12:09 PM

Garrett League,

"Hi Don. I've seen the whale leg bones myself. Here's a pic:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section2.html#atavisms_ex1"

This is yet another case where Talk Origins stretches the truth.

To begin with, Talk Origins took the photo of these alleged whale “leg” bones from this article:

Andrews, R. C. (1921) "A remarkable case of external hind limbs in a humpback whale." Amer. Mus. Novitates. No. 9. June 3, 1921. http://hdl.handle.net/2246/4849

Talk Origins makes it sound as if real legs were protruding from the back of this whale, yet nothing could be farther from the truth. If we examine the same article’s photograph of the specimen’s hind limb in situ it looks more like a degenerate fin:

http://members.cox.net/jfrankparnel/WhaleHindLimb.jpg

Keeping in mind the article I posted previously (A dolphin with legs—NOT - http://creation.com/a-dolphin-with-legsnot), it is clear that whales and dolphins both possess latent genetic information for four fins. One could easily substitute “whales” for “dolphins” in the concluding paragraphs of A dolphin with legs-NOT:

“Whereas most [whales] have only two front fins, we now know that some [whales] have two front and two rear (the dorsal fin is not being considered in this discussion). In other words, the genetic information for these extra fins is a part of the total gene pool of the [whale] group.

Today’s two-finned [whales] may actually have the latent genetic information for generating all four fins. All [whales] may have once had two rear fins, and subsequently lost the information for generating them. Since the fins are not used for propulsion but for steering, it may be that one pair is adequate, so natural selection would not work against a mutation that corrupted the information to develop the rear pair. This sort of downhill change has nothing to do with turning something like a cow or a wolf into something like a whale.”

Sorry, Garrett, but your whale of a tale is weak when critically examined.

For a little perspective, I would recommend taking a look at this article by Carl Wieland (the author “quote-mined” on that Talk Origins page):

The strange tale of the leg on the whale - http://creation.com/the-strange-tale-of-the-leg-on-the-whale

#43  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 12:12 PM

Garrett: 

Although I take serious issue with your conclusions, I like your attitude.  Thanks for all your comments on this thread.  It's rare to dialogue with a theistic evolutionist and come out shaking hands.  I do hope after your school priorities are out of the way, you will consider some of the arguments presented on this blog with an open Bible and discerning mind.  I think they are substantial.  

I would leave you with a thought that troubles me most about those in your camp.  When someone claims to believe in inerrancy and evolution, they are, in a sense, committing to dual authority.  But reading their arguments, one immediately sees which "authority" is master and which is slave.  I don't think it's possible to be exposed to a community of atheistic teachers (articles, lectures, books, professors, colleagues, etc...) and not be affected negatively in your view toward the authority of God's Word.  Reading your arguments and those in your camp, I see very few references to Scripture, and hear even fewer echos of confidence in the truthfulness and power of God's Word.  That is extremely troubling to me and cast significant doubt on your claim to believe in the Bible.  Your claims certainly do not match the authorities you and others in your camp throw around in these creation/evolution blog threads.  You've read article after article, heard arguments on both sides, but what about Scripture?  Which is sufficient?  Which is superior?  

I leave you with a suggestion.  Before you begin tearing through all the articles discussed here and expose yourself to more and more human writings, why don't you do this.  Put everything away but a good translation of the Bible.  Read it through, especially those parts in both the Old and New Testaments making references to creation.  How did Jesus view creation, Paul, Peter, John?  See how your science lines up with a God breathed testimony.  And do this, read it carefully, prayerfully, reverently and slowly.  I think that's important.  Scripture is not a science book or a biological journal.  It's the revelation of the living God.

May the power of God's word hold you captive friend.  Thanks for visiting the blog.  

-Tommy    

#44  Posted by Garrett League  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 12:50 PM

Tommy, thanks for the adivce, doesn't get any better than that. I SO wish I coul respond to the most recent comments, but I've got to attend to other things; Lord willing, I'll be back next weekend to respond (Gab and Fred, I've read your latest and have great comebacks! Really I do! :) Be back next weekend, Lord willing.

So realy quick, here's a few last thoughts for now:

"Reading your arguments and those in your camp, I see very few references to Scripture, and hear even fewer echos of confidence in the truthfulness and power of God's Word."

That's very unfortunate and it needs to change. It's probably because most t.e.'s have traditionally not thought very highly of God's word (btw, I find it weird that you call me a t.e., and refer to my camp, as nobody has ever called me that before! I'm new to this postion, and it's still funny to hear it applied to me, as I was a YEC since middle school). By God's grace, that's not the case w/ me. Only, I can't convince anybody of evolution from the bible. It's just not there. But, niether is most of modern science. A.A. Hodge, who thought evolution=atheism, also said if we only had the bible, we'd be geocentrists (only until science proved otherwise did the church weed out its faulty interpretations). Luther spoke poorly of Copernicus, and his biblical (I think more biblical than the modern YEC's) cosmology reflected his confidence in the bible and the waters above the firmament: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MartinLutherCosmology-Tiny.gif

"Which is sufficient? Which is superior?"

The Bible! I think the Belgic confession's "two books" notion is still true, and reformed folk have always agreed, with one MAJOR qualification. Scripture takes prescedence because of it clarity. Special revelation trumps general, I know that. This is MacArthur's stongest argument against Hugh Ross in "TBFTB." That's why I reject Ross's concordism, as I do Ham's (and MacArthur's) concordism; I think they are two sides of the same coin. Not only is the bible not a science text book, but when it speaks on matters that intersect the natural sciences, it speaks about them in NON-scientific ways (not unscientific, as that would assume it was trying to be scientific in a modern sense). Calvin nailed that home with accomodation. "No," he would say, "the bible isn't saying, in modern scientific terms, that the sun and moon are the two largest celestial objects in the universe, only the two largest from our perspective." In his day, some astronomers said the bible was scientifically false because jupiter was found to be larger than the sun and moon, only it looked smaller because of it's distance. But that's silly. It's like saying the bible is erroneous becase Jesus said the mustard seed was the smallest, when it isn't, all things considered. But that's a really warped view of what it means for the bible to be innerant, I think. The Chicago confession accounts for that nicely.

"Put everything away but a good translation of the Bible."

I'll bust out my NASB MacArthur s.b. tonight (it was a gift of Grace to You in 06', thanks guys!).

- Thanks all, and God bless.

(p.s.: I've been listening to D.A. Carson's sermon on Genesis 3. He says it should, at some level, be taken as historical, but also that it's told, at some level, in a symbol-laden way. He compares the account of the fall to Nathan's parable of David's sin: an analogy that mirrors reality, though not perfectly. He also said it's not "a matter of first importance" whether or not the snake/tree was literal or merely mirrored what really happened in space and time. What do you think? Here's the audio: http://www.euroleadershipresources.org/Media/Audio/Don_Carson-Sin_and_the_Fall.mp3)

#45  Posted by Garrett League  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 1:01 PM

"For a little perspective, I would recommend taking a look at this article by Carl Wieland (the author “quote-mined” on that Talk Origins page)"

Will do Don. Haven't read the primary lit. myself, only 2ndary creationist/evolutionist sources, which can be polarized and manipulate the data. I HAVE, however, presented on latent tooth formation abilities in the Talpid2 chick mutant, so I do stand by that. But I may very well be wrong on the whale/dolphin thing. I was under the impression that actual leg bones formed (femur, tibia, etc.) If I'm misreading it, hopefully your sources will straighten me out. Thanks.

#46  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 1:23 PM

Well, next weekend this comment thread will be closed, so hopefully you have time in the next couple days to respond.

I'm also limited on time, but I'll quickly respond to D.A. Carson. I believe it is of first importance whether Genesis 3 is literal history. If not then just toss out Romans 5 and if you're going to toss out Romans 5 then the rest of Scripture needs to go (obviously he would never do that). Suffice it to say that anything but a literal historical interpretation of Genesis 3 does significant damage to Scripture. There is no legitimate way to get around a historical Adam and Eve and still come out with a faithful understanding of the history of redemption. All Scripture assumes a literal Adam and Eve and a literal fall.

#47  Posted by Garrett League  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 1:43 PM

Hey Gab; if the comments will be closed, then I definitely won't be able to respond. For a complete summary of where I stand, more or less, see "Beyond the Firmament" by Gordon J. Glover. Or, better yet, watch his video series. Go to youtube, search "theistic evolution GPLeague" and watch the playlist I made a while back: the 16 part video series by Glover is excellent. It answers the objections you made that I couldn't respond to. Nice talking!

#48  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 1:44 PM

Leonard Ravenhill, the fiery revival preacher of the last century said, "One day, somebody is going to open the Bible, read it, and believe what it says, and we're all going to be embarrassed."  I think that quote is relevant in threads like this.  I can't imagine anything worse than standing before God with a whale bone appendage in my hand seeking to explain the reasons for rejecting a historical, literal, grammatical interpretation of His Word on an ex-nihillo creation.  But, of course not much of anything will be said in that day for those without Christ.  Every mouth will be stopped and the whole world will stand guilty before God.  I think the issue (for most but not all) is not insufficient proof, but suppression of the truth already clearly presented.      

#49  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 1:49 PM

It's a whale of a tale and it's all true. I swear by my tattoo...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCRT9NyWsFU

#50  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 1:57 PM

"if the comments will be closed, then I definitely won't be able to respond."

Yeah, the comments close after a week, which kinda puts a damper on things sometimes.

#51  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Saturday, May 01, 2010at 3:45 PM

Gabe & Fred, You have sure earned your pay this week! :) Great job guys!

And thanks to Don & Tommy for their comments too!

It does all boil down to faith & where you put that faith. I've learned over the years to NEVER question God, (Yes that's hard sometimes, but I try to keep in mind that I am the clay, He is the potter,) and I've learned to question just about ANYTHING ANYONE SAYS! I look for their agenda, & many times it is obvious.

#52  Posted by Lois Dimitre  |  Sunday, May 02, 2010at 6:36 AM

Garrett queried Alyssa in post #11:--Lois throws down another 'friendly flag on the play' :) This is not done as a personal attack on Garrett. I do this for illustrative reasons to show (as has been done by others) how the philosophy of evolution affects the manner in which science/research information is presented to the general public. Please note I am not an 'expert' in genetics; as stated before fwiw my background is Veterinary Science and Biochemistry. However, I feel fairly comfortable discussing genetics, especially as it relates to Talpid^2 and frankly, anything 'poultry' having taken several courses in the subject :) Probably not everyone's cup of tea - LOL. I'll try to be as brief as possible...

First, when questions are posed in a manner similar to Garrett's, some may be led to believe for instance, that these "mutant chickens" actually developed "alligator teeth". First, Talpid^2 is a lethal mutation, meaning that these chickens rarely - if ever -'hatch out'. For this reason the research is done on embryonic chicks, not hatchlings or adults. Second, the 'teeth' to which Garrett refers are not true "teeth" as people may picture when they hear that term, nor are they true "alligator teeth" as suggested. This is another example of if one repeats a statement often - and with enough gravitas - the statement can easily take on the appearance of truth.

Here is one brief overview from ScienceNOW (21 Feb 2006) that gives a bit of background of the research on Talpid^2 mutant chickens to which Garrett referred (if you have access to certain journals you can read the research itself, but this article is for overview only): http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2006/02/21-03.html . Note the photo and the caption which states, "The jaw of the talpid^2 mutant chick (aged 16 days) show(ing) the beginnings of cone-like teeth."

The article goes on to state: "...Further investigation by Harris and colleague John Fallon at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, indicated that the teeth were conical and saber-shaped, resembling those of an alligator or crocodile...". And upon further research as reported in the 21 Feb Current Biology the researchers reported "...The mutant version of talpid2 thus appears to turn shh on in the right place for growing teeth. Over time, changes in the gene may have disrupted this ability, resulting in tooth loss..." (bold and italicized emphasis mine - LD)

Note the article indicates the researches said the 'teeth resemb[led] those of an alligator or crocodile'. They are not actual 'reptile teeth', but indicate similarities in location of gene expression/patterns. However, this isn't really what evolutionists want the general public to take away from this research. For examples of that as it relates to these 'discoveries', read the opinions of two scientists (one biologist; one biochemist) at the end of the above article.

Data which is presented as "thus appears" or "over time changes in genes may have" quickly becomes indisputable proof as supporting evolution, as indicated by rhetorical questions such as 'What about " Talpid2 mutant chickens with atavistic first generation alligator teeth?".

#54  Posted by Paul Paul  |  Sunday, May 02, 2010at 8:22 AM

Reply to Garrett post #11 re: Your comment about having genetic code for tails and yolks in humans.

God created the animals before man. (Gen 1:24-26). It is very likely that God used the genetic code from animals as a starting point for creating man and simply deactivated the genetic code that wasn't needed for man. That's why there is similarities in man and most animals (ie 2 eyes, 1 mouth, 1 heart, 4 limbs, 1 head, etc). To give you an example, a computer programmer will often re-use code from other programs that do similar functions and simply "comment out" the lines of code that aren't applicable. A commented line of code in a computer program does not run, but it's existence in the program can be for the following reasons:

1) as documentation to provide a better understanding of the other code.

2) for testing purposes before the final product

3) for future versions that may need the additional functionality.

There is no sense re-writing code from scratch when there is already proven code that works, then you just build upon that proven code. Likewise, God stated that his creation of animals "was good", and so He simply resused that "good" code as a basis for building upon his final creation, MAN. If it is true that man has code within Him that defines a tail and yolk, it then just serves to prove that all the code was written by the same designer.

#55  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Sunday, May 02, 2010at 12:57 PM

Regarding Talpid2, all the Google searches I have done for "Talpid2 teeth" only shows articles with the same microscope photograph of the embryo with a heaping helping of the usual evolutionary clap trap piled on top of it in the text. The only references I can find regarding the fate of the chicks says that "The mutant bird has severe limb defects and dies before it can hatch" [Hens' teeth not so rare after all - http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-02/uom-htn022206.php].

Furthermore, every article covering this says that the protuberances "look like teeth." Well, are they teeth or not? Do these "teeth" have enamel like real teeth or are they made out of keratin; the same material as the beak?

My baloney detector is going off regarding Talpid2 teeth being any sort of evidence for atavism. What Talpid2 "teeth" looks like to me are malformations in the keratin in an embyonic chicken that dies before it can hatch. So, what am I missing here?

#56  Posted by Lois Dimitre  |  Sunday, May 02, 2010at 3:02 PM

Don Jordan,

Your baloney detectory is in fine, working order :)

The results in the following article may help answer some of your questions: Hen's teeth with enamel cap: From dream to impossibility - http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/8/246

These authors conclude:

"Eliciting well-developed, reptilian teeth (i.e. with enamel cap) in chicken will remain unachievable because all genes encoding the structural proteins crucial for enamel and dentine formation have been invalidated or have disappeared from the chicken genome. The odontogenic pathway remains inducible in chicken embryos because the genes required for tooth morphogenesis remain active in the chicken, involved in many developmental processes. We can speculate that the tooth germs that form with experimental reactivation of this pathway or in ta2 chicken mutants could develop until an advanced stage of predentin deposition because the process to this point requires mainly collagen matrix deposition. However, the next step of tooth development, during which enamel matrix proteins are deposited, either could never be activated or if it was (in the lack of data on the promoter sequence we cannot demonstrate that the AMEL gene is not translated) the protein would not be functional, and enamel will not form.

Another focus of this study is to demonstrate clearly that the four dental protein genes were tooth specific, at least in the last common toothed ancestor of modern birds. After the loss of teeth 100-80 mya, the four dental proteins became no longer useful; when the functional pressure relaxed on the coding genes, they started to accumulate mutations at random. After a period of 100 my, it is not surprising that they are now pseudogenes or have disappeared after chromosomal rearrangement events. In the currently ongoing sequencing of the genome of the zebrafinch, a passeriform, we have found AMEL exon 2, with a deletion of 12 bases and a base substitution leading to a premature stop codon. The AMEL gene mutations in these two bird species indicate that this crucial gene for enamel formation has lost its functional constrainsts long before the split between Passeriformes and Galliformes (Sire et al, unpublished data)." [emphasis mine]

#57  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Sunday, May 02, 2010at 3:23 PM

Thanks, Lois.

I love this from the paper you cite:

"Eliciting well-developed, reptilian teeth (i.e. with enamel cap) in chicken will remain unachievable because all genes encoding the structural proteins crucial for enamel and dentine formation have been invalidated or have disappeared from the chicken genome."

Or maybe the "genes encoding the structural proteins crucial for enamel and dentine formation" were never there to begin with? Hmmmmm?

#58  Posted by Garrett League  |  Sunday, May 02, 2010at 3:52 PM

Wow! The feedback is tremendous, thanks for keeping me on my toes. I just can't resist responding to a few comments during my study break so here goes: Lois, Don, Paul, Gabe, Fred, hold on to your hats!

First Lois: As a preface to your remarks, I presented the paper you referenced in a dev. gen. course a few weeks back, so I know it backwards and forwards. What you say is accurate at points but your conclusions are misleading, just a few corrections are needed: 1.) yea, their are no alligator-toothed chicks terrorizing a lab technician somewhere; the talpid2 chicks die before hatching. They are really messed up, hence the messed up jaws which allow tooth formation. 2.) "the 'teeth' to which Garrett refers are not true "teeth" as people may picture when they hear that term, nor are they true "alligator teeth" as suggested" This is misleading, since they are, according to the authors "identical to those of the early evaginations seen in the development of first-generation teeth of the alligator." In other words, they are histologically i.d. to first-generation alligator teeth (NOT, as I think you're trying to point out, adult alligator teeth). Sorry if that came off as misleading, but it's hard to get too technical in a comments section. Here's what the authors say: "These data suggest that the ta2 chick is capable of forming early dental structures anatomically similar to the first-generation teeth of the alligator" and "The outgrowths in the mutant are patterned and show regional regulation of gene expression as well as specific differentiation, consistent with tooth formation in other vertebrates." When the tooth-inductive signalling center (why do chicks have that?) is juxtposed over competent mesenchyme in the mutant jaw, boom, tooth activation. NOT FULLY FORMED TEETH. Remember, it's a mutant. Nevertheless, the equipment for making teeth are latent in chick DNA. Why is that? You make a point of saying the teeth only "resembled" alligator teeth; but how is THAT even possible?

Ok, now Don: "Well, are they teeth or not?" Yes. They are; "early dental structures anatomically similar to the first-generation teeth of the alligator" to be exact. Not an adult human tooth or anything like that, of course. In fact, "Neither the chick nor alligator dental structures make enamel, and there was no evidence of dentine in either." So, not all teeth are the same, and the Talpid2 mutant's don't fully develop, but only begin to devlop before the chick dies. Again, sorry if I mislead, I can see how simply saying "Chickens have teeth! Evolutoin is true!" can be misleading. It only points towards latent tooth formation capacites (these are UNdenibale) that may have functioned in a toothed ancestor of modern birds, consistent w/ evolutionary predictions. Not knock down, drag out proof; just a pointer.

On to Paul Paul: Now THAT is an interesting explanation. Sounds similar to Hugh Ross' stance. God, of course, could have done just that: re-used animal codes for us. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. But what if the gene is broke? We have a ton of useless gene, like ones coding olfactory proteins (apparently we used to smell a lot better). What future use, for example, would a dead tail/yolk gene possible have? Your explanation, I think, is ad hoc, and smacks of special pleading. Plus, why would humans and great apes, who must get vitamin C from our environments, all have the same defective gulo gene (needed for making vitamin C)? Did we all, independently, have the same mutation? That, frankly, is a bit much for God to reproduce in man.

Gabe: "So even the idea that the ancient Hebrews thought a certain way is an unprovable theory." So why bother reading literature from that time to get an idea of how they thought of the world, right? Wrong, we need to see the world from their persepctive, which is very diff. from ours. Will we ever know it as they did? Of course not, but worth trying to approach it. Your argument here is strangely postmodern. "All we have is a fixed inspired and inerrant Scripture which has never changed." Then you believe their are waters above the firmament as all ancients did? No? Why is that? "Evolution is a philosophy, not science. It defies the very definition of science." What definition? Ken Hams? Repeatable, testable, etc.? That's very baconian. Branches of science, like geology and astronomy, live in the past and make predictions that work in the real world based on good, yes, TESTABLE assumptions about the past. It's like your sayin unless you witness a murder taking place, or have a written account of someone there, you can't POSSIBLY convict someone. You weren't there! That doesn't hold it court; use the evidence to reconstruct the murder and convict the guy it points to. That's what evo/geo/astro sciences do. And based on old earth/evo assumptions (like faunal succession in the fossil layers) geologists can tell oil companies where to drill. And it works. Flood geology hasn't done that yet. They are still at the drawing board.

 

 


Fred: "Unless I missed it, you didn't really explain how secondary causes are independent of first causes and if they are dependent upon first causes, how first causes are not miraculous." Sorry, yes, the creation of time/space/matter ex nihilo was NOT natural, couldn't have been (ex nihilo, nihil fit). After that, God did miracles to attest agents of revelation (i.e., Moses, Jesus, the Apostles, etc.). Besides that, only at special times in redemptive history were miracles clustered, being less common in between. I see no reason why God had to create us by a series of miracles after the creation of the universe (he saw us coming from the get go right?). He set it up so that, in time, through providence, 2ndary causes, and the upholding of his ordained and sustained laws, we showed up on the scene. We did. We fell. And Jesus came to save us.

"The thing that is important is that Waltke, Walton, and Packer's views were not held by anyone among the Jews or the Christian church until individuals thought there was a need to accommodate perceived scientific evidences with Genesis."

Oh, so you agree with Luther and Calvin that Copernicus was wrong for teaching the world revolved around the sun? And you hold, with Luther, that ""Scripture simply says that the moon, the sun, and the stars were placed in the firmament of the heaven, below and above which heaven are the waters... It is likely that the stars are fastened to the firmament like globes of fire, to shed light at night... We Christians must be different from the philosophers in the way we think about the causes of things. And if some are beyond our comprehension like those before us concerning the waters above the heavens, we must believe them rather than wickedly deny them or presumptuously interpret them in conformity with our understanding." Sounds like your interpretation, according to Luther, is wicked, dare I say, novel?

Whew, thanks for the study break, hope this helps clarify my position. Let me know where I'm wrong. Thanks again.

#59  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Sunday, May 02, 2010at 5:55 PM

OK, Garrett, that clarifies your position for me.

In the meantime, I found this article from Creation Ministries International regarding this:

Chickens with teeth - http://creation.com/chickens-with-teeth

#60  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Sunday, May 02, 2010at 6:29 PM

"Let me know where I'm wrong."

Gen 1:26 "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.' "

Gen 1:27 "So Go created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them."

Garrett, You are wrong. Forgive my lack of scientific knowledge, but I don't need fallible man's concepts of origins (which have changed several times since I was in school, simply to keep up with the changing technologies & discoveries, but holds fast to a fairly modern theory which truly removes God from the creation.) I have faith, which you seem to have lost, or never had in the first place. Are you suggesting God's image is that of a great ape or even an amoeba? I don't think so. Follow your theories to full conclusion & remember you will be saying all of this to God one day. Will your scientific argument hold water (firmament) then?

Prov 3:5-8 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones."

Have a cup of tea, STUDY God's word, & fervently pray for His Holy Spirit to guide your understanding & grant you saving faith. I'm praying for you.

#61  Posted by Lois Dimitre  |  Sunday, May 02, 2010at 7:57 PM

Garrett, I know you have more important things to do right now (your studies, etc.) but you might want to re-read my post(s) if you have some spare time. I believe you've mis-read what I wrote and have come to some erroneous conclusions about what you think I said and understand. Regardless, I do appreciate the dialogue. For me it helps illustrate just how ones presuppositions influence understanding.

#62  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Sunday, May 02, 2010at 8:39 PM

Can't help thinking about this evolution blog & what are these people going to say to God when they face Him & find out evolution is hooey & they were wrong?! It’s a juxtaposition for me that I don’t have fear of facing God at death because I have fear of God now, (Prov 1:7 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, fools despise wisdom and instruction.") As a Christian, I’m resting on the promise of salvation through faith in Christ’s atonement & redemptive work on the cross/His sacrifice in my place. But the evolutionists appear not to have fear of God NOW, but they will then when they are facing the Creator of the universe, WHO SACRIFICED HIS ONLY SON IN THEIR PLACE, & suddenly they realize they blew Him off! THAT’S SCARY!

Matthew 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul & body in hell.”

 

#63  Posted by Rick White  |  Sunday, May 02, 2010at 10:18 PM

Garrett,

Since Evolution teaches that man came along towards the very end of creation, was Jesus wrong when he taught that man was created at the beginning of creation in Mark 10:6-9? After all, Jesus was there when man was created, so I think he would know. John 1:1-3,14.

#64  Posted by scott parker  |  Monday, May 03, 2010at 10:22 AM

Although Darwin's theory is very often compared favorably to the great theories of mathematical physics on the grounds that evolution is as well established as gravity, very few physicists have been heard observing that gravity is as well established as evolution.

--David Berlinski, The Devil's Delusion

#65  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Monday, May 03, 2010at 10:49 AM

Garrett,

"[There] are no alligator-toothed chicks terrorizing a lab technician somewhere."

That conjours up memories of Far Side cartoons.

#66  Posted by Garrett League  |  Monday, May 03, 2010at 9:53 PM

#60 Carol Gayheart

Hi Carol, thanks for the prayer. I am not 110% fixed on my position, so hopefully If I'm wrong, God will get that through my thick skull via your prayers. I love tea/my ESV sb, so I' ll take your advice and do some more reflecting. Although I am disturbed that you would call my faith into question based on my leaning towards evolution, I appreciate your concern. Thanks.

# 61 Lois

I'll reread those later. Thanks for the dialog as well!

#63 Rick

Hey Rick, that's a great question. Since "the beginning" refers, in context, to the initial creation week and not the initial creation of the physical cosmos, no, Jesus was not wrong. After all, in your view, man was made 5 days after the initial creation event, so the phrase "the beginning" must refer to the week as a whole since man was not the first thing to be made and that would make Jesus wrong too. In my view, man is the climax of creation coming at the tail end of a series of creation events. The Genesis text is clearly a temple text, and the 7-day temple inauguration followed by God's resting in the temple of the cosmos didn't have anything to do with the making of material stuff, only the creation of function, purpose, and order, which is how ancient people working out of a functional ontology thought about creation. This helps explain why "bara" (only used with God as the subject) is not used with materials. In other words, it's not so much the creation of matter ex nihilo (reflecting a modern, materialistic ontology) as it is the creation of order, function, purpose out of chaos simply by God's decree. That's why the initial state of creation, like other ANE cosmogonies, is a chaotic, watery abyss and not absolute nothingness (a foreign concept to the ancient mind). This view is supported by John Walton in "The Lost World of Genesis One." A similar view is taken by John Sailhammer in "Genesis Unbound" and by Gordon Glover in "Beyond the Firmament."

#65 Don

Lol, Gary Larson would be proud.

#67  Posted by Rick White  |  Tuesday, May 04, 2010at 4:54 AM

Garrett,

In reference to Mark 10:6-9, the word translated creation is the Greek word Ktisis. It can mean the very act of creating or the product of creation, which would include the physical cosmos. This is the very same word translated creation in Romans 1:20 and Romans 8:19-22. There is nothing in the context in Mark that would change the meaning. So, by your line of reasoning, Jesus would be wrong in his statement. You also make many assumptions in thinking that all ancient people looked at creation as not the creation of matter but the the creation function, purpose, and order. Do you really believe that every thing the ancients thought about was recorded, preserved, and later analyzed by us? Like most things in the past there is more that we don't know than what we do know. So, to base your view of origins on assumptions about what we know so little, makes no sense. I'm going to take Jesus' word for it and believe man was created at the beginning of the creation (Ktisis).

#68  Posted by Rick White  |  Tuesday, May 04, 2010at 9:59 AM

Garrett,

Another scripture you might want to consider is Exodus 20:8-11. Obviously Moses believed that God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them is six literal days.

#69  Posted by Garrett League  |  Tuesday, May 04, 2010at 3:32 PM

Hey Rick, Aside from the word used for create, what did Jesus mean by "the beginning"? Was he not referring to the first creation week, as Genesis uses the phrase? "You also make many assumptions in thinking that all ancient people looked at creation as not the creation of matter but the the creation function, purpose, and order." It's not an assumption, but a conclusion based on multiple ANE creation accounts. It's how they thought of things. Something existed, not when it had material form, but when it was given an anthropocentric purpose. Word studies of bara also point to a non-material use of that word. Isn't it important to get a feel for their worldview if we are to read the text as they did? Or is that just futile? "Do you really believe that every thing the ancients thought about was recorded, preserved, and later analyzed by us?" Of course not, but from what we do have, I think I'm closer to their concept of creation. "Another scripture you might want to consider is Exodus 20:8-11. Obviously Moses believed that God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them is six literal days." That he did. But don't sneak your assumptions in the back door. Moses also believed in a firmament with waters above it, which I'm guessing you don't. Paul thought of the universe as three-tiered. Does that mean we have to? No. God accomodates his revelation to the time and place he gives it.
#70  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, May 04, 2010at 4:09 PM

Garrett, Do you mean to say that when God gave Moses the ten commandments that He misunderstood how He created everything? Do you mean to say that there are factual errors in the Bible? You mentioned multiple ANE creation accounts. Do you really believe that God, the One of created, revealed His act of creation in the same way that another ANE creation myths were written? This assumes that Scripture is no different than any other ancient document. The reason that using ancient mental frameworks is dangerous is because those are based on extra-biblical texts which obviously serve totally different purposes than Scripture. The Hebrew Scriptures, ancient as they are, cannot be compared with other ANE writings. God's revelation was meant to reveal Truth without error. Truth that transcends culture, times, science, and language. If you read ANE creation myths it is very obvious how different they are than Genesis 1-2.
#71  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, May 04, 2010at 4:16 PM

Regarding Paul's understanding of the three-tiered universe, maybe he was right and you just misunderstand it. Take a look at the beginning of this sermon: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/66-17_A-Trip-to-Heaven-Part-2
#72  Posted by Rick White  |  Tuesday, May 04, 2010at 5:34 PM

Hey Garrett, Actually I don't think I'm trying to sneak anything in the back door. Moses was actually quoting God Exodus 20:1. If the Bible says that there was a firmament with waters above it at the time of creation, then that is absolutely true. There are many explanations for what Moses meant by that and I'm not dogmatic about any particular one. There are many things about creation that I can't explain scientifically. I wasn't there and God didn't choose to explain it any further. It was a miraculous event. It can't all be explained by science. Since I wasn't there, I trust what God has clearly revealed throughout the Bible. It is obvious that I have a much higher view of the Bible than you have. The Bible is the only thing we can count on 100 percent of the time. It is completely reliable in all it says 2 Timothy 3:15-17. That's why it is always my starting point when it comes to historic, scientific, or spiritual matters. When there is a conflict between the Bible and any scientist I start looking for where the scientist got off track. It's a matter of authority.
#73  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Tuesday, May 04, 2010at 11:16 PM

Thanks for the encouragement Ms Stefovic: The truth is a high school teacher was the latest of many who have said this to me, but I've heard it since my 20s when I was at Faith Baptist Bible College. People assume that to believe that God exist somehow takes us out of a "neutral" state of mind so that we can't see what we do in the lab. I know It's non-seance,but there you go. To discard the option of God just because you happen to believe in atheism is wrong,and I believe that such folks like the brilliant Stephen Hawkings have gone another path because they would rather believe that "aliens" were those who "seeded" our world then to believe in a creator. (If it were only a matter of the "seed" that would be one thing, the other problem is that the earth is unique to the stuff that is "planted" here, there is a symbiosis which is more then remarkable.)

#74  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Wednesday, May 05, 2010at 8:48 AM

To Garrett: One thing I have seen over the years is that evolutionary science is not above faking evidence if it is to their purpose. They are not above shutting out other points of view, esp. a biblical one when it suites their fancy. (And if you have read any literature from a conservative view point you know what I am talking about. Even Smithsonian has misleading displays and refuses to change them for fear of loosing ground in their "war against God". This is not a question of "neutral Science"; Ben Stein's film shows how biased modern Science is to any question regarding origins.)

#75  Posted by Garrett League  |  Thursday, May 06, 2010at 12:10 AM

# 70 Gabe: "Garrett, Do you mean to say that when God gave Moses the ten commandments that He misunderstood how He created everything?" No, he was consistent. " Do you mean to say that there are factual errors in the Bible?" Only if you think the mustard seed is the smallest of all. "Do you really believe that God, the One of created, revealed His act of creation in the same way that another ANE creation myths were written?" Not in the EXACT same way, just using common modes of thinking of the day. You know, watery chaos, firmament, waters above it, windows of heaven, etc. All common ways of thinking of the cosmos at the time. These all tell me that God spoke in a way that made sense to them. "This assumes that Scripture is no different than any other ancient document." BY NO MEANS! One scholar said, if you were a pagan at the time, the DIFFERENCES, not the similarities, would stick out like a sore thumb. Read the other versions of the Noah story. They're pathetic. The gods send a flood because humans are too noisy, and they swarm the sacrifices after the flood like flies because they were hungry. The bible is in an ethical, monotheistic league of its own. "God's revelation was meant to reveal Truth without error. Truth that transcends culture, times, science, and language" I think you have an almost docetic view of inspiration. The bible's writings reflect their times very well, just not the pagan errors. However, God's people believed in water above the firmament, and God didn't correct it. I think you need to come to grips w/ that.

Rick #72: "If the Bible says that there was a firmament with waters above it at the time of creation, then that is absolutely true" Well, considering that there is no workable canopy theory as of yet and all YEC's admit this...Plus, ancient folks thought of the firmament (windows of heaven let rain through) as being solid, so how will you prove that one scientifically? They also thought heaven was just above the waters. The psalmist says God founded his throne upon the floods (ie, ocean above the sky). Do you think hell is a physical place below us? No? Are you going to "spiritualize" heaven and hell! Calvin and Luther would be most displeased. "That's why it is always my starting point when it comes to historic, scientific, or spiritual matters" Really? Then why is your cosmology so different than Luther's? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c6/MartinLutherCosmology-Tiny.gif I'm calling your bluff.