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Theistic Evolution, Flying Frogs—
What Do They Have in Common?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 | Comments (73)

What if someone asks you, “Could God have used evolution as an agent of creation?” How would you respond? The question deserves an answer, and the text of Genesis 1 and 2 provide it. Maybe you’ve never thought about that kind of question. John MacArthur has, and he gives his compelling answer in the following short video excerpt. Don’t miss it!



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#1  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 1:21 AM

Excellent John MacArthur.

How difficult can it be?

The point is not the created, but the wonderful Creator.

He's the one in focus.

Knowledge is fine, but love is supreme.

God is on display, so that we can see Him and find Him. That's the whole purpose with the creation.

#2  Posted by Jose Bitong  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 10:35 AM

Amen Pastor John. To God be the Glory!

#3  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 11:11 AM

The farce continued until a child exclaimed: "The Emperor has no clothes!" (From the children's fairy tale "The Emperor's New Clothes", by the Danish poet and story writer Hans Christian Andersen).

Evolution is not true.

It's a fairy tale.

#4  Posted by Dirk Gently  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 11:24 AM

2:34 in and we already have:

Circular reasoning - "Either it happened this way, or it didn't, but we know it happened this way, because that's the way it happened."

False dichotomy - "Either the earth was created in 6 days or the Bible is false"

Out and out lies - "There's nothing that supports evolution."

I wonder if Dr. MacArthur or any of the commenters here have every been to any type of professional scientific presentation or symposium where the audience was primary other scientists in the same field of study as the speaker. The reason I'm curious about this is because when it comes time for questions and answers, the speaker had better be prepared, because he will be RIPPED to SHREDS if any of his claims are spurious, speculative, or otherwise not well supported.

The idea that there is some sort of conspiracy to prop up evolutionary theory amongst the scientific community without any evidence is preposterous. If a young scientist came forward with convincing evidence to the contrary, his career would be made from that moment. Professional science is extremely competetive, and those who publicly espouse their theories have excellent support for their claims.

#5  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 1:19 PM

#4 Show me a creature with a brand new gene!

#6  Posted by Dirk Gently  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 2:26 PM

#5 Here you go:

http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/new_info.html

#7  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 2:31 PM

Dirk,

It isn't circular reasoning because the statement has Scripture as a starting point. Perhaps putting it that way with no further explanation makes it circular, but the meaning of that phrase is "we know it happened this way because that is what Scripture says."

A lot of people do gymnastics to make you think that it is a false dichotomy, but we really believe that if Genesis 1 is false then Scripture cannot be inerrant.

MacArthur isn't lying when he says, "There's nothing to support evolution" because what he means is there is nothing objective that supports evolution. Evolution is supported by a house of cards (presuppositions), assumptions, lines of reasoning, lack of evidence, etc.

If a young scientist came forward with convincing evidence to the contrary, his career would be made from that moment.

Wow, you have a very optimistic view of the scientific community. Did you see the documentary "Expelled"? It seems pretty clear that a young scientist with scientific evidence against evolution would lose all credibility... after all... consensus is what seems to matter most. I would mention all the scientists who do have evidence that contradicts, or at least finds significant fault with evolution, but they are ridiculed and chalked up as bad scientists.

#8  Posted by Dirk Gently  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 3:04 PM

Gabriel,

"It isn't circular reasoning because the statement has Scripture as a starting point. Perhaps putting it that way with no further explanation makes it circular, but the meaning of that phrase is 'we know it happened this way because that is what Scripture says.'"

I suppose we could rehash the interpretive debate, but suffice it to say, the issue of "what Scripture says" is a lot more complex than MacArthur would have you believe.

"A lot of people do gymnastics to make you think that it is a false dichotomy, but we really believe that if Genesis 1 is false then Scripture cannot be inerrant."

Okay, that's fine if you believe that, I suppose, but there are many who would disagree with you. So the question becomes, how important is it to you? Is the historicity of Gen 1 - 3 a burn at the stake for issue to you?

"MacArthur isn't lying when he says, 'There's nothing to support evolution' because what he means is there is nothing objective that supports evolution. Evolution is supported by a house of cards (presuppositions), assumptions, lines of reasoning, lack of evidence, etc. "

I don't say this to be rude, and I know you're had this directed at you before, both here and at Biologos, but I don't think you understand the science very well. You've been fed selective things that are "problems" for evolutionary theory, but guess what? Every scientific theory has gaps. That's why research continues. On the whole, Evolutionary Biology is a very successful theory.

It would be more intellectually honest if you and other YEC proponents, rather than try to discredit evolution from a scientific standpoint, drew your line in the sand and said, "Despite the scientific evidence, we hold our interpretation of Scripture to be the higher authority, and therefore reject your science a priori, and do not attempt to substitute a scientific theory of our own, but rather hold to our theological interpretation of natural history, evidence or no."

"Wow, you have a very optimistic view of the scientific community. Did you see the documentary 'Expelled'? It seems pretty clear that a young scientist with scientific evidence against evolution would lose all credibility... after all... consensus is what seems to matter most. I would mention all the scientists who do have evidence that contradicts, or at least finds significant fault with evolution, but they are ridiculed and chalked up as bad scientists."

Actually, I'm a member of the scienific community (physicist). Believe me, dissent is the way of scientific progress. However, finding "significant fault" with a theory is not the same as disproving it. Let me give you an example from physics.

Einstein's General Theory of Relativity (GTR) is a wildly successful theory, almost universally accepted as providing a comprehensive explanation of gravitational effects.

Quantum Mechanical Theory (QMT) is equally accepted and successful at describing the sub-atomic world, where gravity is so weak compared to other forces at play so as to be ignored.

The problem? When you try to apply GTR to a situation where you have a high density of mass but the scale is subatomic (such as a black hole) you get answers that make no sense at all (infinities popping up where you should have finite numbers). So presently, two theories that are very successful in making predictions in their seperate domains of scale break down when you try to apply them to the same situation. Now, if a scientist came out and said, "Look GTR doesn't work at the subatomic scale, it's completely wrong" he would be laughed out a ridiculed. This is analogous to a creation scientist noting a gap in evolutionary understanding and stating, "See? The whole thing is untrue." Instead, this is an open scientific question with ongoing scholarly inquiry.

#9  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 3:36 PM

False dichotomy - "Either the earth was created in 6 days or the Bible is false"

Out and out lies - "There's nothing that supports evolution”

Dirk:

Premise A – The Bible claims to be true

Premise B – The Bible (Exodus 20:11) claims God created the earth in 6 days

Conclusion – God truly created the earth in 6 days

There’s no false dichotomy in John’s statement. Exodus 20:11 says the following: “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.” We affirm the Word of God to be an infallible, inerrant document. Hence, either God made the heavens and earth in six days, or the Bible is false. That’s sound, irrefutable logic. As a physicist, you may reject it, but as a logician, you can’t.

Also, if John’s statement about evolution is a lie (as you adamantly claim), bring on the evidence. Science does not support evolution, scientists do—there’s a big difference between the two.

Finally, as to your argument about John engaging in circular reasoning, as Gabe said, John’s starting point is Scripture. John elaborates on the points introduced in the video more fully in the full message.

I would encourage you to watch the entire sermon at this link: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Videos/V8290-359

or read the entire transcript at this link:

http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-359

I just read your response to Gabe:

So, if the Theory of Relativity breaks down when applied in some situations, and scientists come forward claiming it’s completely wrong, they would be laughed at and ridiculed, right?

Yet when scientists come forward with presuppositions about origins, claiming the biblical view of creation is completely wrong based upon their so called “evolutionary evidence”, we should scrap the Biblical account of our beginnings and elevate their theories, right? Yeah, that sounds about right to me . . .

#10  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 3:46 PM

"what Scripture says" is a lot more complex than MacArthur would have you believe.

Let's take MacArthur out of the picture. I don't believe in creation because MacArthur teaches it. The historicity of Genesis 1-3 is plainly evident based on the text itself and the appeals of the rest of Scripture to these foundational chapters.

So the question becomes, how important is it to you? Is the historicity of Gen 1 - 3 a burn at the stake for issue to you?

Here is the problem: most people (I'll avoid saying "all") who reject Genesis 1 don't just reject Genesis 1. They reject Genesis 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and a number of other passages all throughout Scripture. By "reject" I don't mean tear out of their Bibles, I mean they render them virtually meaningless and void of God's power. All of a sudden God is not the Creator, He is the Instigator. He is not the destroyer (flood), He just made it rain more than usual. He isn't the preserver of all life (animals on the ark), He just helped a few little fuzzy friends out. He isn't a history teller, He is an creative story teller. He doesn't always speak the truth, He says what is convenient.

Evolution decimates the majestic view of God that Scripture clearly reveals. So it isn't that I would die for just Genesis 1-3. I would die for full breadth of biblical truth throughout Genesis and the rest of Scripture.

I don't think you understand the science very well.

I'm not a scientist, but I do know that science includes far more than facts and evidence. Evolutionary science, in all of its forms, is built upon an anti-supernatural philosophy apart from which evolution is null and void. We've had other physicists on here who don't believe in evolution. How can that be the case? Either one of you is a bad physicist, or both of you operate on different presuppositions.

On the whole, Evolutionary Biology is a very successful theory.

I disagree. The entire common ancestry argument assumes what has yet to be proven. I've listened to lectures by geneticists attempting to prove the common ancestry of chimps and humans. They failed completely. Evolutionary biology rejects a priori biblical revelation (because of its atheistic philosophical presuppositions) and replaces it with assumptions about how we got from A to Z without evidence of anything in between.

It would be more intellectually honest...

Sure, there are aspects of science that I reject a priori, but there are also aspects of science that should be refuted on the basis that it is not good science (like common ancestry between humans and chimps).

Science should be more intellectually honest when it is guessing and doesn't really know; instead it asserts as fact imaginary theories which it will then "refine" when evidence contradicts it. They call it successful science to refine theories, but sometimes the original theory was pure fiction. That is intellectual dishonesty and a serious lack of integrity (can we say global warming?).

#11  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 4:05 PM

Dirk Gently, I still DEMAND THE EVIDENCE.

Because I think you are bluffing, but this is not a game of poker. This has implications for millions of people.

You must show your cards and bring forth that proof.

Accusing John for being a liar, is very serious and I demand you to prove him wrong, by answering my question.

My guess is that you can't. Then you have to reconsider your philosophy.

#13  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 5:18 PM

Michael Kruger wrote a good journal article for the TMS Journal 2001 issue on the sufficiency of Scripture for apologetics located here: http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/tmsj12m.pdf

He addresses the objection of circularity

At this point the most common objection is this, "Are you saying we should assume the Christian worldview as we try to prove the Christian worldview? Isn't that circular reasoning?" The simple answer is yes, that is circular reasoning. Although most circular reasoning is negative, when one argues for an ultimate intellectual criterion, a certain amount of circularity is unavoidable. If I stake the truth of the Bible on anything other than its own self-attesting authority, then the Bible ceases to be the ultimate criterion for truth and is replaced by another ultimate criterion. All other philosophical systems are in the same situation. ...

To deny circularity when it comes to an ultimate authority is to subject oneself to an infinite regress of reason. If a person holds to a certain view, A, then when A is challenge he appeals to reasons B and C. But, of course, B and C will certainly be challenged as to why they should be accepted, and then the person would have to offer D, E, F, and G as arguments for B and C. And the process goes on and on. Obviously it has to stop somewhere because as infinite regress of arguments cannot demonstrate the truth of one's conclusions. Thus, every worldview (and every argument) must have an ultimate, unquestioned, self-authenticating starting point. Another example: imagine someone asking you whether the meter stick in your house was actually a meter long. How would you demonstrate such a thing? You could take it to your next-door neighbor and compare it to his meter stick and say, "See, it's a meter." However, the next question is obvious, "How do we know your neighbor's meter stick is really a meter?" This process would go on and on infinitely unless there were an ultimate meter stick (which, if I am not mistaken, actually existed at one time and was measured by two fine lines marked on a bar of platinum-iridium alloy). It is the ultimate meter stick that defines a meter. When asked how one knows whether the ultimate meter stick is a meter, the answer is obviously circular: the ultimate meter stick is a meter because it is a meter. This same thing is true for Scripture. The Bible does not just happen to be true (the meter stick in your house), rather it is the very criterion for truth (the ultimate meter stick) and therefore the final stopping point in intellectual justification.

#14  Posted by Dirk Gently  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 5:34 PM

Hey guys, sorry, I don't have a ton of time to respond right now, but I will get back to you soon, I promise.

Rudi, I linked to several articles, but for some reason it didn't make it through. I'll look them up again and try to repost.

Gabriel and others, while we may disagree about some things, we do agree that we serve an awesome God. I think we also agree that italics in comments are really cool and useful. Could someone tell me how to do that?

#15  Posted by Robert Sorensen  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 5:37 PM

False dichotomy - "Either the earth was created in 6 days or the Bible is false". You are wrong, and I believe you are disingenuous. Here's what is happening: Genesis says that the world was created in six days. Exodus restates this. Jesus reaffirms it all. It is not a false dichotomy. I believe a more accurate technical term is "the domino effect".

Out and out lies - "There's nothing that supports evolution." There are abundant holes in the "theory", and that it is so bad, so unsupported, so unscientific, that evolutionism has become a faith.

I strongly suggest that you do your homework before making accusations.

#16  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 6:01 PM

Dirk (and all),

You can italicize text by putting <i> in front of the text and </i> after the text. Both pieces are needed, otherwise the italics won't end :-).

#17  Posted by Dirk Gently  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 7:02 PM

There’s no false dichotomy in John’s statement. Exodus 20:11 says the following: “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.” We affirm the Word of God to be an infallible, inerrant document. Hence, either God made the heavens and earth in six days, or the Bible is false. That’s sound, irrefutable logic. As a physicist, you may reject it, but as a logician, you can’t.

Unless of course the Iraelites took the Genesis story to be 'mythic' (and not mythic as in untrue, but mythic as in a story that explains a truth about the way the world is) and so were appealing to their own creation myth, the truth of which still stands to set the example of taking a day of rest, which of course is the point of Exodus 20:11.

Also, if John’s statement about evolution is a lie (as you adamantly claim), bring on the evidence. Science does not support evolution, scientists do—there’s a big difference between the two.

As I said, I posted a link to an article about bacteria developing new traits by random mutations that created new genes. I'll try to find it again.

Evolution decimates the majestic view of God that Scripture clearly reveals. So it isn't that I would die for just Genesis 1-3. I would die for full breadth of biblical truth throughout Genesis and the rest of Scripture.

I know you use "Evolution" to mean any approach other than a literal 6-day YEC, correct? Assuming that, I fail to see how any such view decimates a majestic view of God. In fact, I think it elevates our view of God to think of him as creating a universe whose fundamental laws inevitalbly produce life!

I'm not a scientist, but I do know that science includes far more than facts and evidence. Evolutionary science, in all of its forms, is built upon an anti-supernatural philosophy apart from which evolution is null and void. We've had other physicists on here who don't believe in evolution. How can that be the case? Either one of you is a bad physicist, or both of you operate on different presuppositions.

All true science is functionally atheistic. But just because we know that gravity holds the earth in orbit around the sun, or that the electromagnetic force holds electrons around a nucleus, or that the strong nuclear force holds the nucleus itself together, does not in any way shape or form make Col 1:17 any less true.

Sure, there are aspects of science that I reject a priori, but there are also aspects of science that should be refuted on the basis that it is not good science (like common ancestry between humans and chimps).

I can't pretend to have more than a layman's knowledge of evolutionary biology, but I did read Garrett League's links in another thread about common ancestry, and there certainly seem to be some significant smoking guns in favor of it.

There seems to be a lot of straw manning going on in terms of what you all believe about the "scientific conspiracy" to promulgate evolution without facts. There are facts which fit evolutionary theory quite well, and present problems for a literal 6-day YEC. Sure there are gaps in the theory. But that is true of any theory. Science is always a work in progress.

#18  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 7:14 PM

Just a couple things for now:

Unless of course the Iraelites took the Genesis story to be 'mythic'

And what evidence is there for this?

not mythic as in untrue, but mythic as in a story that explains a truth about the way the world is

This indeed is a false dichotomy. Christian evolutionists love to make this claim. The reality is evolutionists don't believe Genesis is true at all. So yes, mythic as in untrue AND mythic as in a story...

think of him as creating a universe whose fundamental laws inevitalbly produce life!

All the while ignoring billions of years of death? I don't think so. Evolution necessarily requires failure (death) as a primary reality and success as a minuscule chance.

All true science is functionally atheistic.

Thank you for admitting that at the outset... getting most evolutionists that have visited this blog to make that admission has been like pulling teeth.

significant smoking guns in favor of it.

The overarching presupposition of common descent is that similarity equals common descent. The problem is that evolutionary biologists spend so much time under the microscope that they forget to look at reality. It doesn't matter how similar human DNA is to chimps; we are utterly unique in every significant way.

#19  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010at 11:55 PM

Hi Folks: "What's cookin?" the mid-night oil for myself, ha ha.

One of the problems that I see is not just the circular reasoning issues, (we call these axioms I think). But how we arrive at the conclusion that these are indeed the "groundforms"for our system of beliefs. For example my friend Bob told me that he could not trust a scientist who believed in God because of a bias he has. "He must see God in everything and thereby looses objectivity".

My problem with this is that it sounds objective but is not. If you leave the "God option" out, you must see millions of years or aliens as means to creation. And furthermore, you must see it because you are trying to take God out of the picture. And you are forced to experiment and adjust your datum and your data to fit within the self proscribed limits so as not to have the "God option" rear up it's ugly head.

We take lightly, I believe, the person of God when we are not careful to... well let me put it to you all this way "... Hey, I'm right here, and you are talking as if I'm miles away" (God). I know the God of the Bible,( I'm not just trying to be spiritual here), and I can trust what he says he did because he said it. Accommodation is not required here. And besides why is it that we think that Ancient Man was so stupid that he required accommodation. Once you get to know the author, you don't have as many questions. And we act as though God just began revealing himself to modern man. It just "aint so Joe". If any accommodation took place it was that God used 6 days instead if 14. 2 billion years. Just a thought.

#20  Posted by William Davis  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 4:32 AM

Hey folks, isn't it enough to take God at His Word? Satan has been trying to distort the Word of God from the very beginning. If you are looking for wisdom then FEAR the LORD (Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. Do you want knowledge? then FEAR the LORD (Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

#21  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 6:10 AM

Dirk writes under #8

It would be more intellectually honest if you and other YEC proponents, rather than try to discredit evolution from a scientific standpoint, drew your line in the sand and said, "Despite the scientific evidence, we hold our interpretation of Scripture to be the higher authority, and therefore reject your science a priori, and do not attempt to substitute a scientific theory of our own, but rather hold to our theological interpretation of natural history, evidence or no."

Sounds just like what evolutionary biologist, Richard Lewontin, wrote in defense of evolutionary theory in his review of Sagan's old screed against Christianity,

Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [emphasis his]

SOURCE: http://www.drjbloom.com/Public%20files/Lewontin_Review.htm

#22  Posted by Robert Sorensen  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 6:28 AM

Why is this so difficult? God means what he says in the Bible, or he doesn't. I don't get into the smorgasbord option, pick and choose what is true and what is not, otherwise, how do you know that salvation by faith is true?

I cut to the chase before: Six days in Genesis, reaffirmed in Exodus, Jesus reaffirmed as well.

This was not an issue until men wanted to accommodate evolutionism and look "scientific". Then we had people doing violence to the scriptures with the "day-age theory", the "gap theory" and other nonsense. Of course, if you believe the faulty, ever-changing "science" behind evolutionism, then I can see why you might be compelled to compromise, accommodate and disbelieve God's word.

By the way, the word "day" in Genesis is "yom", which either means "indefinite period of time" if there is not an indicator (like a number) with it, or it means a literal day when there is an indicator or number — so when it says "six days", "evening and morning, the first day", etc., it means six literal days, not six indefinite periods of time. If you want to tack on thousands or millions of years, fine, but it is NOT what the scripture clearly states.

#23  Posted by William Davis  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 7:16 AM

For those professing christians who are using science to prove scripture, just know this...1 Cor 1:27 says "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." There seems to be a lack of humility and fear in christian circles today. Humble yourselves before God, for Proverbs 30:5-6 says "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add not unto his words, lest he reprove you, and you be found a liar." If you want to use science, then use it in a way that brings honor, glory and praise to our Creator.

#24  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 7:49 AM

# 13 - Fred, that link doesn't work for me, the page won't load. Just in case someone else is having the same problem, what I did was I went to the TMS home page and searched "Michael Kruger".

thanks for the info!

E.

#25  Posted by Dirk Gently  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 7:50 AM

And what evidence is there for this?

Ancient rabbinical writings.

This indeed is a false dichotomy. Christian evolutionists love to make this claim. The reality is evolutionists don't believe Genesis is true at all. So yes, mythic as in untrue AND mythic as in a story...

a) I take exception to this, because I believe Genesis (and all of the Bible) to be True.

b) The ancients' concept of myth was very diferent from ours

All the while ignoring billions of years of death? I don't think so. Evolution necessarily requires failure (death) as a primary reality and success as a minuscule chance.

Where is your support for your presupposition that there was no death before the Fall?

The overarching presupposition of common descent is that similarity equals common descent. The problem is that evolutionary biologists spend so much time under the microscope that they forget to look at reality. It doesn't matter how similar human DNA is to chimps; we are utterly unique in every significant way.

Yes there is a fundamental difference between us and chimps, but there are also astounding genotypic as well as phenotypics similarities. Just look at the way we're put together!

#27  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 7:55 AM

Gabe and the others, sorry. I finally figured it out about the link Fred posted. Instead of clicking on it, I have to right click and choose "save link as..." and download the pdf file. Should have thought about that before.

so... please do not post any of my comments. Sorry for the trouble.

E.

#28  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 7:57 AM

Elaine, the link doesn't work for me either. I sent an email to the proper authorities. Hopefully they can get it fixed.

Mean while, here is the link to the actual journal where the article is found: http://www.tms.edu/JournalIssue.aspx?year=2001

Fred

#29  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 8:59 AM

Dirk,

Ancient rabbinical writings

I asked for evidence that the Israelites took Genesis 1 as mythical, not ancient Rabbis. To my knowledge the only evidence we have of what the Israelites thought of Genesis 1 is found in Scripture and the Old Testament is replete with historical interpretations of Genesis 1.

The ancients' concept of myth was very diferent from ours

Can you explain how a myth is true/factual in any sense of the term? What I mean is that evolutionists don't believe Genesis 1 (or 1-3) is factual.

Where is your support for your presupposition that there was no death before the Fall.

Romans 5:12.

there are also astounding genotypic as well as phenotypics similarities.

And the point is...? What does that prove? You need to look beyond the similarities and realize that the differences are too significant to make the similarities meaningful. Sure the similarities are there in the genome, but they stay there and have no significant impact on the functional life of chimps and humans. If we are so similar, why do we put chimps in cages and go watch them in the zoo? We should let them out and allow them to live among us as near equals, right? After all, they are extremely similar to us.

#30  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 9:27 AM

Dear Fred: Thanks for the link. It was a good thing I hadn't had breakfast. The relevant information is in your "blurb". I find it fascinating that the article tried to make it sound that the hillbillies in Arkansas were all Fundamentalist- My hometown is Fayetteville, and we pride ourselves in our being "learned" Hillbillies. The University of Arkansas has just as many evolutionist as most major Universities, and his comments blame them for not doing their job in bringing others into the fold of materialism. Much of what that author said in the link was just so much "tears" over being beaten so badly in the debate. And he said so in the portion you provided. The "inspite of(s)", and comment regarding the "Divine foot" really shows the issue. It shows that his "atheism" is a religion and a false one at that. And it shows that what was said in prior blogs regarding their "science" as being biased, are true, we didn't make this stuff up. And it shows that they know that, in reality, their arguments are weak and can not stand up to the truth. I suppose that is also why they can't have a YEC around them. Thanks for the link, really good stuff. (Got me thinking!)

#31  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 9:29 AM

#24 and #28

There was a dot too much in the end of the link:

http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/tmsj12m.pdf

#32  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 9:48 AM

Dirk Gently, I still must demand the evidence

In #8 you wrote this:

I don't say this to be rude, and I know you're had this directed at you before, both here and at Biologos, but I don't think you understand the science very well. You've been fed selective things that are "problems" for evolutionary theory, but guess what? Every scientific theory has gaps. That's why research continues. On the whole, Evolutionary Biology is a very successful theory.

You are still bluffing. Evolution is a farce. Now after 150 years, there is still no evidence. There are no creatures that evolved brand new genes. It’s a smoke screen.

You know it, and I know it. But you are trying to avoid the obvious. Your philosophy is totally empty talk without evidence, unless you bring that proof to the table.

#33  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 11:08 AM

Hi Rudi,

You wrote:

Evolution is a farce. Now after 150 years, there is still no evidence. There are no creatures that evolved brand new genes. It’s a smoke screen.

I will let Dirk answer your question. But why don't you listen to one of your fellow YECs on the subject. Todd Wood, who teaches at Bryan College and works with the Center for Origins Research (CORE),one of the few YECs who attempts some research, wrote the following on his blog last year:

"Evolution is not a theory in crisis. It is not teetering on the verge of collapse. It has not failed as a scientific explanation. There is evidence for evolution, gobs and gobs of it. It is not just speculation or a faith choice or an assumption or a religion. It is a productive framework for lots of biological research, and it has amazing explanatory power. There is no conspiracy to hide the truth about the failure of evolution. There has really been no failure of evolution as a scientific theory. It works, and it works well.

I say these things not because I'm crazy or because I've "converted" to evolution. I say these things because they are true. I'm motivated this morning by reading yet another clueless, well-meaning person pompously declaring that evolution is a failure. People who say that are either unacquainted with the inner workings of science or unacquainted with the evidence for evolution. (Technically, they could also be deluded or lying, but that seems rather uncharitable to say. Oops.)"

#34  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 11:38 AM

Landon,

To save everyone the trouble of looking up the "gobs and gobs of evidence" for evolution would you please post here just one example where one species has evolved to another different kind of species...just one.

Don't give links to where there is proof of adaptation, or proof of natural selection, or proof of mutation, or any other so-called evolution within a species. What we are discussing here is evolution from "molecules-to-man".

One piece of concrete evidence Landon...just one.

#35  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 11:40 AM

Well Landon, I saw that before.

But about evolution. You are playing tricks with definitions.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/02/01/feedback-new-information

The supplied answer in #6 is not adequate. No new genes, but adaptation. (Already existing gene pool)

#36  Posted by Dirk Gently  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 11:51 AM

You are still bluffing. Evolution is a farce. Now after 150 years, there is still no evidence. There are no creatures that evolved brand new genes. It’s a smoke screen.

You know it, and I know it. But you are trying to avoid the obvious. Your philosophy is totally empty talk without evidence, unless you bring that proof to the table.

I'm not bluffing, and its also not my job to go do your research for you. The information is out there, and it is plentiful. Type "evidence for evolution" into a search engine, read one of the FAQs that will be linked on the first page of results, and then read the articles in the citations.

As I've mulled over these conversations, I've become more convinced that many YEC (at least those on this blog) are stuck in a kind of theological dualism, where either God is acting miraculously, or "nature" is taking its course, with a Deistic god standing on the sidelines.

I see God as intimately involved in his creation, down to holding molecules together and planets in motion around thier suns. We might call these things "electromagnetism" and "gravity", but they are truly the handiwork of an orderly, consistent God, in whom "all things hold together."

It makes sense that if we can study the heavens and deduce how God causes the planets to move, and study the elements, and deduce how God causes them to interact, then we should be able to study life and see how God has created it.

#37  Posted by Garrett League  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 12:17 PM

First off, really slick video production. Kudos to the folks behind that. Second, flying frogs do exist, unless you want to pull the Buzz Lightyear card and claim it's not flying, just falling with style: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQndkNvgAHQ. But then consistency would demand that we henceforth refer to flying squirrels as "falling with style squirrels," and that just doesn't roll off the tongue as nicely.

All kidding aside, Dr. MacArthur's presentation (which I've seen in full) has a few problems:

"Couldn't God have used evolution? Couldn't He? That's a ridiculous question. Could frogs fly? It's irrelevant, it's intrusive."

Well, aside from the fact that some frogs do glide like flying squirrels, MacArthur shows here that he's never honestly examined this question. You can tell he can barely even stomach asking it. It's just too absurd to even countenance. Hence, the ridiculous rhetorical question. Look, I can do it too: Does God exist? Do leprechauns and unicorns frolic in the tooth fairy's gumdrop garden with bigfoot playing the banjo?!" This is the type of stuff you might expect from some youtube atheist, but I think it's beneath Dr. MacArthur. Many genuine brothers in Christ hold to evolutionary creation and it's not something you can just dismiss in a cavalier fashion and be done with it. I know he's in front of a crowd, but this is a serious question and to write it off so glibly means he may not fully realize what he's dealing with.

"But the answer is no! He couldn't have used evolution because God doesn't equivocate with Himself. He determined to create miraculously, which is the only way that it could have happened, because it's the way it did happen."

That last part sounds like a Doug Wilson quote. Look, I like presuppositional apologetics. In fact, I lean heavily towards it. But this is more fideism than fidelity. So not even God could have used ordinary providence to create, not even if He wanted to! Why not? Because he didn't. How do you know? Because that's not how He said He did it. Fine, but now, to be consistent, you better start lookin for a firmament, an ocean of waters above it, and a moon that gives off it's own light, rather than reflecting the sun's, since scripture makes no distinction between the sun and moon as light-bearers. If you take part of Genesis as scientifically accurate, why explain away the most obvious contradictions? Why not be consistent?

"You weren't there and nobody else was there."

Your honor, I know all of the forensic evidence says my client committed the crime, but I ask you, were you there? No. And since no other reliable witnesses were there, we can't know for sure if he did it. Forget all this forensic mumbojumbo, this case is just inconclusive without a reliable eyewitness account.

"We don't gain any ground by somehow saying that because evolution doesn't exist now it couldn't have existed then."

I find this perplexing. I wonder what sort of research he proposes then, since creation can't be studied or proven empirically and it's pointless to try and prove that evolution can't happen today, whatever that means.

"God did not use evolution because it is clear in Genesis that He created everything in 6 days."

The moon does not merely reflect sunlight because it's clear in Genesis that he made it as a light-bearer. If you want biblical biology, you better accept biblical astronomy too! NOBODY got our current cosmology sola scriptura.

"God created everything that exists in the universe out of nothing from no preexisting material, obviously that obviates evolution."

Creation of the matter, time, and energy from nothing does nothing to obviate evolution, which is simply descent with modification and only applies to living things.

"What if someone asks you, “Could God have used evolution as an agent of creation?” How would you respond?"

I would say, "If He can make frogs that fly, then I suppose anything is possible!" No really, I'd say that since all science says He did it that way and it's not merely an illusion, then yes, He could have and clearly did, since true science is always compatible with the bible (which is all true) and biblical revelation clearly intersects with ancient science (mostly based on naked eye observation), not 21st century science, and we shouldn't expect it to meet our modern demands of precise scientific accuracy, since that clearly was not the authorial intent. See Gordon Glover's "Does Science Contradict the Bible?" vidoes 1-3 here: http://www.blog.beyondthefirmament.com/video-presentations/does-science-contradict-the-bible/

#38  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 12:46 PM

Nice tactics. But I asked you for proving John wrong. Can you do that?

Everyone here would like to see that proof.

#39  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 12:47 PM

"Type "evidence for evolution" into a search engine"

So, is that your method and/or standard for research?

#40  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 12:59 PM

Rudi,

Are you saying I am playing tricks with definitions? Or that Todd Wood is? Most of my post was a quote from Wood.

Keith,

Why don't you ask Wood about the evidence? I was quoting him - he is a YEC researcher!

I will list a few of the main lines of evidence for your benefit - pick up any textbook in evolutionary biology for a deeper discussion (Futayama's is good).

structural homology

the fossil record

biogeography

computational phylogenetics

observed natural selection

plus many more

Plus you could also read some of the actual scientific research - this paper is on my list:

Springman, R., Keller, T., Molineux, I. J., Bull, J. J.

Evolution at a High Imposed Mutation Rate: Adaptation Obscures the Load in Phage T7

Genetics 2010 184: 221-232

Look it up - there should be a free pdf download.

#41  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 1:16 PM

Landon,

You have read Todd's follow up articles at his blog haven't you? We have discussed Todd Wood in previous articles already.

Of all the "evidence" you list, a good deal of it is an interpretive issue. Structural Homology, for example, doesn't prove molecules-to-man common descent evolution. I would argue it demonstrates a common designer, which is what I would hope you would want to argue as well. No creationist argues against "observed natural selection" either. Such was "observed" before Darwin even wrote out his research. Again, it doesn't prove molecules-to-man evolution, just that animals adapt and change to survive the environment in which they live.

#42  Posted by Lois Dimitre  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 1:17 PM

Just a few aside comments for now. There is a whole lot of 'intellectual bullying' going on in this thread. This is what Dr. Chittick calls the tactic oft-used by adherents to evolutionism. (I mentioned this on an earlier thread, but believe it bears repeating). It needs to be exposed, and frankly stopped in its tracks when noticed.

He (Dr. Chittick) wrote, in part:

"Evolutionists are fond of referring to their own world view as scientific and to that of the Bible as religious. By this they intend to convey the idea that their view is more intellectually respectable than the opposing view. It is an example of intellectual bullying. Evolution begins on the same basis as any other view. It begins with faith in a set of beginning assumptions, just as any other view does." (The Controversy - Roots of the Creation-Evolution Conflict, page 121)

~This tactic, covertly used for many decades is now overtly used in an attempt to intimidate those who may not have a background in science. The suggestion is you don't know what you are talking about and only real "scientists" do. Therefore, if you are taking God's Word on faith, you have no real ground on which to stand. "Science" knows better. And so the argument goes, ad naseum.

To that I say, "Balderdash". Pure balderdash.

#43  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 1:55 PM

Rudi,

You've asked for evidence several times, but have dismissed valid evidence that has been presented. What kind of evidince are you looking for specifically? Can you give an example of hypothetical evidence that would convince you that evolution is true?

Virtually all genetic mutations can be considered "new" genes. What additional criteria are you adding?

This may not be what you are looking for, but here is evidence from Berkley about known transitional forms (which all fossils are.) This one shows a transitional species between a particular species of ancient land mammal and a modern species of whale.

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/lines/IAtransitional.shtml

#44  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 2:06 PM

Garrett,

I understand that your reference to the flying frogs was somewhat tongue in cheek, but just to be clear, flying refers more to going up (and staying up) in the air rather than going down. So no, frogs don't fly.

I am weary of your repetitious use of Gordon Glover's false arguments that have already covered in previous comment discussions. The Bible does not say that the moon projects its own light; that is a lexical fallacy, meaning it assigns a meaning to the word that isn't inherent in the word (which is what John Walton does with "bara").

Gordon Glover and John Walton want to interpret Scripture through the lens of ANE thought. That is no different than if we were to try to understand a sermon through the eyes of the unbelieving world. That just doesn't make sense.

we shouldn't expect it to meet our modern demands of precise scientific accuracy

Exactly. But that is what you are wanting God to do before you believe Him. Since He didn't say it according to modern scientific precision, you assume that it is a myth of some sort. Genesis 1 & 2 does not aim to be a scientific explanation of anything. It aims to be a simple explanation of the miraculous power God exerted to bring all things into being.

#45  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 2:29 PM

Joey,

This one shows a transitional species between a particular species of ancient land mammal and a modern species of whale.

That was pretty disappointing. How do they know they are common ancestors? "Although pakicetids were land mammals, it is clear that they are related to whales and dolphins based on a number of specializations of the ear, relating to hearing." The hole of the ear tells them that a land animal is related to whales and dolphins? Seriously? I guess virtually everything changed as the animal evolved except the ear hole. Right. That is just too much to swallow (or hear?).

transitional forms (which all fossils are.)

Is that what they are saying these days?

#46  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 3:23 PM

"There is a whole lot of 'intellectual bullying' going on in this thread."

I would argue that it is pseudo-intellectual attempted-bullying on the part of the pro-evolution fellows here...no way these guys can be taken seriously when their method of research is "typing in evidence for evolution" on a search engine. Further, anyone who actually subscribes to evolution has taken leave of logic any way you look at it. So, intellectual no; pseudo-intellectual yes.

"Why don't you ask Wood about the evidence? I was quoting him - he is a YEC researcher!"

I was responding to your statement about typing in "evidence for evolution on a search engine"...Landon.

#47  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 3:32 PM

#46 - Keith

I was wondering the same thing. In all my ignorance about this topic, it seemed interesting, at least to me, that one's conviction on TE/OE goes as long as google comes up with results.

I rather stand on the Word of God. I don't fight with God. It wouldn't be wise.

Grace and Peace,

E.

#48  Posted by Dirk Gently  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 3:35 PM

So, is that your method and/or standard for research?

Ha, ha. You caught me. No, for one I'm not an evolutionary biologist, so I don't do this type of research. Second, I was trying to point whomever questioned me to the plethora of evidence that is out there, with a Google search as a start point. But thank you for your comment.

Just a few aside comments for now. There is a whole lot of 'intellectual bullying' going on in this thread. This is what Dr. Chittick calls the tactic oft-used by adherents to evolutionism. (I mentioned this on an earlier thread, but believe it bears repeating). It needs to be exposed, and frankly stopped in its tracks when noticed.

This tactic, covertly used for many decades is now overtly used in an attempt to intimidate those who may not have a background in science. The suggestion is you don't know what you are talking about and only real "scientists" do. Therefore, if you are taking God's Word on faith, you have no real ground on which to stand. "Science" knows better. And so the argument goes, ad naseum.

No one here is suggesting "science" trumps "faith." They are complementary ways of knowing about God and his creation. But one does inform the other. What those of us arguing the other side are trying to point out is that at the least, YECs are misinformed about the science out there. Everyone is more than entitled to believe what they will about science and faith. But if you choose to have your interpretation of Genesis trump the scientific evidence, a) be ready to be corrected by those who know the science and b) have the guts to say that what you're doing, namely rejecting real science - not just "someone's interpretation based on their presuppositions" - and substituting your spiritual point of view and c) stop trying to disprove evolution scientifically.

Gordon Glover and John Walton want to interpret Scripture through the lens of ANE thought. That is no different than if we were to try to understand a sermon through the eyes of the unbelieving world. That just doesn't make sense.

Actually, there's a big difference. The earliest saints looked at Scripture through the lens of ANE thought, the same way you look at it through the lens of 21st century Western thought. Is the way our earliest brothers and sisters viewed Holy Writ irrelevant to how we look at it today?

#49  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 3:36 PM

The obvious fallacy in Garrett's courtroom analogy is that we do have an eyewitness, God Himself, and He wrote down His account of the miraculous creation week. Interpretation of circumstantial evidence must yield to God's testimony.

#51  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 4:19 PM

Arne,

Curious if your Korean friend, who is having such a hard time accepting a miraculous creation account in Genesis, has the same hang-up with accepting the other tenets of Christianity that are rather unbelievable, like a baby being born from a virgin woman, a man feeding 15 thousand people by creating food out of thin air, or a dead man raising from the dead after three days. Why is the issue of creation a struggle for him, but these other things are not?

#52  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 4:21 PM

Dirk writes,

The earliest saints looked at Scripture through the lens of ANE thought, the same way you look at it through the lens of 21st century Western thought. Is the way our earliest brothers and sisters viewed Holy Writ irrelevant to how we look at it today?

The earliest saints? Really? Forgive my incredulity, but can you document this assertion?

#53  Posted by Dirk Gently  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 5:39 PM

The earliest saints? Really? Forgive my incredulity, but can you document this assertion?

Certainly. Surely you consider Moses to be among the saints. He grew up in Egypt and spent his final years in the Middle Eastern wilderness. He did not live in a cultural vacuum, so it follows that Moses, one of the earliest saints, viewed the world (and the word of God) through the lens of ANE thought.

#54  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 6:00 PM

Dirk wrote,

Certainly. Surely you consider Moses to be among the saints. He grew up in Egypt and spent his final years in the Middle Eastern wilderness. He did not live in a cultural vacuum, so it follows that Moses, one of the earliest saints, viewed the world (and the word of God) through the lens of ANE thought.

You need to make yourself clear next time. By the use of "earliest saints" I thought you were implying the first couple of centuries of the church. My bad I guess, but you can understand the confusion.

We have already hashed this out in the comments under other posts the last few months. Certainly Moses (by direct revelation of God) understood the impact of Egyptian mythology, but Genesis is a polemic against ANE thought. Not in that it is presenting an alternative "myth" like atheists claim Christians borrow from Mithras legends, nor is Moses just noting "theological function" as Walton tries to argue. Genesis is unique in that it contrasts the real history of how God created the world in the space of a week, one day at a time, against all of the bogus myths of gods fighting and creating the world out of the bodies of their dead opponents and the like. God creates out of nothing, while ANE myths create out of eternal matter. God is one and only, ANE myths are polytheistic revival gods who exercise no ultimate sovereignty.

#55  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 6:00 PM

Dirk,

Moses was the first author of Scripture (depending on how one dates Job). He did grow up in Egypt, but he rejected Egyptian thought. It makes no sense to say that Moses, who had no Scripture to work with until he wrote it, viewed what he wrote through Egyptian eyes.

Furthermore, we have no indication that he took his own writing of Genesis 1 as non-historical. In fact, it seems as though he believed it was quite historical as it was the foundation upon which he also wrote Genesis 5:2, 29; Exodus 20:11; 31:17 (btw, God is speaking in the Exodus passages), and probably other passages I'm missing.

#56  Posted by Dirk Gently  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 6:24 PM

You need to make yourself clear next time. By the use of "earliest saints" I thought you were implying the first couple of centuries of the church. My bad I guess, but you can understand the confusion.

Like you said, your bad guess. I thought it was common for JMac to refer to OT figures as "saints" so I thought I would be understood. I will be as clear as possible in the future.

We have already hashed this out in the comments under other posts the last few months. Certainly Moses (by direct revelation of God) understood the impact of Egyptian mythology, but Genesis is a polemic against ANE thought. Not in that it is presenting an alternative "myth" like atheists claim Christians borrow from Mithras legends, nor is Moses just noting "theological function" as Walton tries to argue. Genesis is unique in that it contrasts the real history of how God created the world in the space of a week, one day at a time, against all of the bogus myths of gods fighting and creating the world out of the bodies of their dead opponents and the like. God creates out of nothing, while ANE myths create out of eternal matter. God is one and only, ANE myths are polytheistic revival gods who exercise no ultimate sovereignty.

I agree and disagree. Genesis 1 certainly is polemical against other ANE creation myths. However, it certainly predates Moses as an oral tradition, as do other stories in the rest of Genesis, so to say that he had no interaction with it other than writing it down at the behest of God is a bit simplistic. It also utilizes ANE cosmology as a framework for deconstructing the other myths, as Garrett and others have pointed out ad nauseum.

Moses was the first author of Scripture (depending on how one dates Job). He did grow up in Egypt, but he rejected Egyptian thought. It makes no sense to say that Moses, who had no Scripture to work with until he wrote it, viewed what he wrote through Egyptian eyes

I knew Moses was a bad example as I typed it because I knew you would latch on to him being the first author of Scripture as a way to sidetrack the argument. So let's pretend I said Samuel or Elijah and leave it at that. The point stands.

#57  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 6:33 PM

it certainly predates Moses as an oral tradition, as do other stories in the rest of Genesis

You're going to have to help us out with this. How do you know? What other stories in Genesis were oral tradition?

I knew you would latch on to him being the first author of Scripture as a way to sidetrack the argument

I was refuting your logic, not sidetracking the argument. Plus, you don't have an argument, just an assertion.

So let's pretend I said Samuel or Elijah and leave it at that. The point stands.

A point can't stand if it hasn't gotten off the ground. You haven't proven anything. You've made an assertion without demonstrating it.

#58  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 7:27 PM

Dirk writes,

It also utilizes ANE cosmology as a framework for deconstructing the other myths, as Garrett and others have pointed out ad nauseum.

But what we have pointed out to you ad nauseum, is that it deconstructs the other myths by presenting the REAL history as to how God created: Miraculously, out of nothing, by His Word, in the space of 6 days.

#59  Posted by Garrett League  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 10:03 PM

#44 Gabriel: Garrett,

"I understand that your reference to the flying frogs was somewhat tongue in cheek, but just to be clear, flying refers more to going up (and staying up) in the air rather than going down. So no, frogs don't fly."

I was being facetious. They glide.

"I am weary of your repetitious use of Gordon Glover's false arguments that have already covered in previous comment discussions. The Bible does not say that the moon projects its own light; that is a lexical fallacy, meaning it assigns a meaning to the word that isn't inherent in the word (which is what John Walton does with "bara")."

Oh, so the bible uses different terms for the two great lights? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see a distinction between the sun and moon as being greater and lesser light-bearers. Check it out yourself: http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/gen1.pdf

"Gordon Glover and John Walton want to interpret Scripture through the lens of ANE thought. That is no different than if we were to try to understand a sermon through the eyes of the unbelieving world. That just doesn't make sense."

So we shouldn't understand Genesis in the cognitive environment of the ANE? Should we take it out of context and read it like a modern, post-enlightenment western person would? Aren't you forgetting the history part of the grammatical-historical method?

"But that is what you are wanting God to do before you believe Him."

If by "believe Him" you mean "read it like I do" then I guess a whole bunch of facts would have to change. But, correct me if I'm wrong, aren't you the one who holds that Genesis is 100% scientifically accurate?

"Since He didn't say it according to modern scientific precision, you assume that it is a myth of some sort."

No, I assume that it's ANE cosmology, which it is. That's why I don't try and bend it to superficially align with modern concepts. Call it a "myth" if you want, but we both know that that is a loaded pejorative. If by myth you mean a fairy tale, with no basis in reality, then far from it. If by myth you simply mean a mythic purpose or genre, then ok, but with a huge asterisk.

"Genesis 1 & 2 does not aim to be a scientific explanation of anything."

On that we agree. So why are you a YEC then? If it's not a competing scientific explanation, then why not go where the evidence points? Is it the whole "miracles aren't subject to scientific inquiry" thing? I mean, if God made the waters above the firmament miraculously, then why don't you believe that there is an ocean up there? Isn't that inconsistent if you also believe he made animals of the earth miraculously?

#49 Mary Kidwell: "The obvious fallacy in Garrett's courtroom analogy is that we do have an eyewitness, God Himself, and He wrote down His account of the miraculous creation week. Interpretation of circumstantial evidence must yield to God's testimony."

The analogy was saying "If there was no eyewitness, we can't know for sure." You agree with that, right? The ONLY way we can know hoe God created is if he tells us how He did it, right?

#58 Fred: "But what we have pointed out to you ad nauseum, is that it deconstructs the other myths by presenting the REAL history as to how God created: Miraculously, out of nothing, by His Word, in the space of 6 days."

So the historical record just happened to be a direct polemic on particular ANE mythologies? Doesn't the fact that it seems to be tailor made for that purpose cause you to think that maybe the history is creatively and rhetorically re-presented for theological purposes, and not merely told in a matter of fact way? You don't think God intentionally adopted ANE conventions to make a point about the true meaning of creation, since Genesis is clearly at home in an ancient understanding of the cosmos? The authors didn't intend it it be that way, the historical facts just happened to pan out like that? It seems like your begging the question, avoiding the obvious. Could you clarify how Genesis could be "REAL history" and yet also an intentional polemic/deconstruction against other myths, since the polemical function, in your understanding, seems mostly incidental, just a handy byproduct of its historicity? History itself was perfectly suited to rebut those particular myths in a just so fashion? You don't think there was any motivation on the author's part to present creation that way? I think Dirk makes more sense; the ANE cosmology was a framework or vehicle for showing the Israelites why there pagan neighbors got it wrong, but in terms that the Israelites could understand.

#60  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 11:25 PM

Oh, so the bible uses different terms for the two great lights?

No, the Bible is not referring to the physical properties of the "two great lights." It is not teaching the scientific inner workings of how the sun and moon generate light. It is simply saying that they both shine light on the earth, which is a scientifically accurate statement. To force the words to say that the Hebrew means self-generating light is erroneous.

Aren't you forgetting the history part of the grammatical-historical method?

Interpreting special revelation through the lens of ANE mythological cosmology is not a valid use of the grammatical-historical method.

But, correct me if I'm wrong, aren't you the one who holds that Genesis is 100% scientifically accurate?

I don't remember saying that specifically, but I do remember saying a number of times that Genesis 1 is miraculous and cannot be studied by science. There are aspects that are scientifically accurate (two great lights the shine one the earth), and there are aspects that scientifically inexplicable (how things came to be).

If by myth you mean a fairy tale, with no basis in reality, then far from it. If by myth you simply mean a mythic purpose or genre, then ok, but with a huge asterisk.

But you don't believe that Genesis 1 (1-3?) has any basis in reality because there is no correlation, in your view, between Genesis 1 and history. So it is both myth because it has no basis in historical chronological reality, and myth in purpose or genre--right?

If it's not a competing scientific explanation, then why not go where the evidence points? Is it the whole "miracles aren't subject to scientific inquiry" thing?

Yes it is the miraculous issue. I'll say it again, evidence doesn't point anywhere, presuppositional interpretation of the evidence does.

why don't you believe that there is an ocean up there? Isn't that inconsistent if you also believe he made animals of the earth miraculously?

Because it doesn't say that there is an "ocean" up there. There is no reason that the waters above the firmament could be in different forms (gas, for example). I don't know, the point is that the text doesn't say "ocean". Notice that God called the gathered waters below the firmament (not those above) "Seas".

#61  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Wednesday, June 16, 2010at 11:26 PM

Dear Garrett L: It is interesting that you have put so much thought into your responses. How much do you really know of ANE thought? I realize that we all have a grid that we work off of, but part of the trouble with the thinking you present is that it is based upon a false assumption. You are assuming that God needed to use pagan cultural references/ backgrounds to accommodate his believing saints. This simply is not the case. Much of that ANE thought is pagan nature worship and idolatry. Even a cursory reading of translations of ANE worship text bear this out. What about Sodom, do you suppose God would have taken some of their cosmology? Nothing in Scripture would allow us to believe that pagan thinking has intruded. God makes it plane that there is nothing in this "world system" that has anything to do with him and why would you believe that God would use anything from that mess? The references I make to R.K. Harrison should have helped some. Dr MaCabe(sp) is also a good source, and he is on this blog, now and again.

And I might add that JM worked with one of the nations leading O.T. scholars of years gone by, Dr Fineberg. He knows his stuff, so I would direct some of you questions directly to him. Believe it or not, he is a real student of history. Just a thouhgt

#62  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Thursday, June 17, 2010at 12:10 AM

The real problem is when we do not define what we are talking about, when referring to "evolution".

Do we mean variation or variation with adding of new information in a way that you start out with ex. 4000 genes and ends up with an offspring with let’s say 4010 genes? And these added 10 genes are a new working trait. (Information and not useless duplications).

The first one happens, but not the second one.

All "proofs" for evolution (as molecule to man) presented are within the first definition. They present variation in already existing genes. Nothing was added, but something within changed to something else. There was both a loss and a gain within the traits, but there are still 4000 genes.

If molecule to man evolution is true, there must be a gain of information without at the same time a loss of already existing information.

Such evidence has never been presented, because molecule to man evolution is not true.

Look at the "Cambrian explosion". Everything is created "after their kind".

#63  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Thursday, June 17, 2010at 4:56 AM

Garrett,

God does tell us how He did it.

"By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth...For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast." Psalm 33:6 and 9

This confirms what Genesis 1:3,6,9,11,14,20,24,26 tell us that God spoke creation into existence. He is God and He is able and He is not a liar.

Satan deceived Eve by getting her to doubt what God had really said.

Don't fall into his trap. Don't take the teachings of men (many of whom don't have the beginning of wisdom as they don't fear God) over the clear Word of God.

#64  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Thursday, June 17, 2010at 5:17 AM

Garrett,

That was pretty disappointing.

Sorry to disappoint. Admittedly, I’m fishing for the kind of evidence Rudi is looking for. If that’s not it, that’s fine. I’m just trying to find out what counts as compelling evidence. Everyone seems fine with rejecting evidence, but failing to say what would count as good evidence.

How do they know they are common ancestors?

They don’t. It’s based on assumptions, but those assumptions are based on critical analysis of the fossil record including the ages, corresponding ecology and geology, and the predictions made by evolutionary theory. They all line up. They could very well be wrong and these species may very well not be related, but the most plausible assumption is that they are, until more evidence comes to light or until a more plausible explanation is tested.

The hole of the ear tells them that a land animal is related to whales and dolphins? Seriously? I guess virtually everything changed as the animal evolved except the ear hole. Right. That is just too much to swallow (or hear?).

Not really. That’s exactly how natural selection theory works. It predicts that previously evolved useful mutations, maybe the location of an ear hole for example, might not change while less useful mutations, or ones that are more useful in a new environment, such as the location of nostrils could.

transitional forms (which all fossils are.)

Is that what they are saying these days?

Again, that’s nothing new. The idea that any fossil, or any living organism could somehow NOT be a transitional form is incoherent. Pretty much anything living must have had a parent or two. That makes them a mutation and thus a transitional form. How else could you define “transitional form?”

#65  Posted by John Adams  |  Thursday, June 17, 2010at 9:12 AM

Rudi,

What is it that you are looking for? What is your definition of "new information" and how would we ever know if we observed it?

Perhaps you could look at these;

http://recursed.blogspot.com/2009/01/test-your-knowledge-of-information.html

http://sfmatheson.blogspot.com/2007/12/gene-duplication-not-making-worse-what.html

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14094-bacteria-make-major-evolutionary-shift-in-the-lab.html

http://www.physorg.com/news127667797.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC345072/

As for speciation, there are many observed documented examples of it;

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0169-5347(01)02149-8

http://www.life.illinois.edu/bio100/lectures/s04lects/25s04jk-macro.html#Example

http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/599300

http://www.physorg.com/news127667797.html

http://news.bio-medicine.org/biology-news-3/Butterfly-speciation-event-recreated-6340-2/

#66  Posted by John Adams  |  Thursday, June 17, 2010at 9:13 AM

Also;

http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/irwin.html

#67  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Thursday, June 17, 2010at 9:45 AM

Joey,

(just to be clear, you were responding to me, not Garrett)

failing to say what would count as good evidence.

That's fair.

They don’t. It’s based on assumptions

Thank you. Educated assumptions are still assumption because the "educated" part of the assumption is also on shaky ground.

maybe the location of an ear hole for example, might not change while less useful mutations, or ones that are more useful in a new environment

But we're talking over 50 million years and transition from land to water. I'm no expert, but I would expect the ears to change in that transition from land to water. Do you know of any modern land and sea animals that have the same ear shape/hole?

#68  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Thursday, June 17, 2010at 10:47 AM

I'm amazed by your links. Are you Christians? It's like using "The God Delusion" as a source to the truth.

Try using science, scrutinizing the "evidence". Then you could avoid the big hook with line and sinker in your mouth.

Try using the same diligence as this very excellent answer to just one of these "undeniable proofs":

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v2/n1/a-poke-in-the-eye

#69  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Thursday, June 17, 2010at 11:43 AM

Gabriel,

“ (just to be clear, you were responding to me, not Garrett)”

Oh my mistake. My apologies to both you are Garrett.

“Thank you. Educated assumptions are still assumption because the "educated" part of the assumption is also on shaky ground.”

You are welcome. Exactly which part are you considering “shaky ground?” I wouldn’t refer to the assumptions I’m talking about as “educated assumptions” because that sounds too much like an “educated guess” which is something else entirely. I would call these “tested assumptions” which means they continually hold up to scrutiny and the influx of new data.

“But we're talking over 50 million years and transition from land to water. I'm no expert, but I would expect the ears to change in that transition from land to water. Do you know of any modern land and sea animals that have the same ear shape/hole?”

Well, like you admit, I’m no expert either. I do know that evolutionary theory never predicts that mutations must result in changes over a long period of time. Crocodiles, for example, have supposedly changed very little in the last 200 million years.

#70  Posted by Dirk Gently  |  Thursday, June 17, 2010at 1:40 PM

You're going to have to help us out with this. How do you know? What other stories in Genesis were oral tradition?

Probably most of it. Otherwise Moses would have been confused when God introduced himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

I was refuting your logic, not sidetracking the argument. Plus, you don't have an argument, just an assertion.

A point can't stand if it hasn't gotten off the ground. You haven't proven anything. You've made an assertion without demonstrating it.

Okay, Moses, Elijah, Samuel all lived in the Ancient Near East, correct? (agree/diagree, circle one)

No one lives in a cultural vacuum (not even you and me). (Agree/disagree, circle one)

Ergo, Moses, Elijah, Samuel, etc. would be influenced by/think live an Ancient Near Easterner.

Because it doesn't say that there is an "ocean" up there. There is no reason that the waters above the firmament could be in different forms (gas, for example). I don't know, the point is that the text doesn't say "ocean". Notice that God called the gathered waters below the firmament (not those above) "Seas".

In his "Battle for the Begining" that was broadcast about 2 years ago, JMac explicitly stated that there was water above the sky (although he inserted the extra-biblical assertion that God must have flung it far away in space somewhere to account for the fact that the Apollo missions didn't get wet on their way to the moon), so at least he's consistent on that account.

#71  Posted by Peter Heffner  |  Thursday, June 17, 2010at 2:29 PM

Mr. Gently-

If a young scientist came forward with convincing evidence to the contrary, his career would be made from that moment. Professional science is extremely competetive, and those who publicly espouse their theories have excellent support for their claims.

You need to get down on your knees and thank God for the wonderful life you've led! But if you think the world is really like that, you are in for some big surprises very soon.

If you like science, you may like an empirical experiment. In a professional setting, try saying something frank, independent, and thoughtful on evolution, race — or even mention Jesus Christ — and see what happens. But before you do, you should make sure your parents are willing to let you have your old room back.

The real world hates excellence, virtue, righteousness, and anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture. If you even smell like any of these things, then face the army of the fallen.

#72  Posted by Dirk Gently  |  Friday, June 18, 2010at 5:44 AM

Larry,

I've been in the real world for more than a decade in academic and professional circles, and my faith has never been an issue. I've been open about it and my collegues and mentors have been respectful of it.

And what I said is true. The scientific community is a marketplace of ideas. True, not all new ideas are adopted immediately, and there are certainly egos invovled when someone is proved wrong, but believe me, if AIG or ICR had a true smoking gun against an Old Earth, or natural selection, or speciation, or a more elegant explanation for why the C vitamin deficiency in primates (including humans) is due to a point mutation at the same place on the same gene, then they could get evolutionary biologists to rethink their views.

As it is, the physical evidence points to an old earth, common descent, and descent with modification. I stand by what I said. Any scientist who could demonstrate otherwise would be an instant celebrity. Would there be entrenched interests who fought against him? Certainly. But there is not the conspiracy to prop up an unsupported hypothesis, as you and others seem to believe.

#73  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Friday, June 18, 2010at 11:35 AM

Hi Folks:

I've been reading the comments again, it seems to me that there is a dismissive attitude toward those who support a conservative viewpoint. It is as if saying your viewpoint makes it so. Some of the reference material that has been given by Fred and others is summarily dismissed. I try to read the postings of all the friends here. And I think about what is being said. You folks, of the more liberal persuasion,do not seem to understand what has been said. Fred's last blog regarding the quote made by Leuwontin should scare the "willies" out of you-all. For it demonstrates that the basis of materialistic science on which you view Genesis' creation account is false. And what is worse, he admits that "whatever it takes" there must not be any room given to allow God into the picture. I mean doesn't that send up any red flags for you-all?

#74  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Friday, June 18, 2010at 1:40 PM

Fred Butler's blog about Richard Lewontin is #4 here: http://www.gty.org/Blog/B100519

#75  Posted by Sam McCloud  |  Saturday, June 19, 2010at 12:22 PM

Here are my thoughts on science vs God. Science can only ever observe the results of what the power of God has rendered, it cannot dictate or control truth but instead it can only acknowledge the truth or overlook the truth (accidentally or intentionally) and then as a result of that error (if the truth is indeed not recognized), believe and teach a lie.

There are some pretty amazing things that are stated in the creation account in Genesis that science can never explain without first acknowledging the power of God and the resulting miraculous occurrences that brought forth everything we can observe in any sense today. First of all (and this may be stated by John MacArthur in some other resource at gty.org but I'm making observations exclusively from what I see in the biblical account of creation.)

Day one: God spoke light into existence without a sun or moon or stars being present and still somehow there was day and night. (Sounds miraculous to me.)

Day two: From what I understand on this day God created the gaseous atmosphere that surrounds our globe and gave it the properties that we observe today as being astonishingly amazing really. It protects us from meteors and filters solar radiation while allowing enough sunlight to get through to provide plant growth; and provides air to breath for plants and animals. To anyone who thinks this all happened outside of intelligent design.... well you have much more faith in something much less worthy of anyone's faith than I do.

Day three: Earth and Seas separated... Sometimes words just fail to do justice to the staggering visual reality of what some events would have been like were they actually witnessed first hand (by human eyes).

Keep in mind that there is still no sunlight at this point and this is the same day that vegetation is caused to sprout all over the now available exposed earth (vegetation including fruit-bearing trees).

Day four: After three days and nights God now creates the sun and moon and stars for which he surely has specific reasons for making the way he did. For the sun at least one of those reasons not being because he had to have it to accomplish separation of day and night or to sustain the growth of fruit-bearing trees. The light from His spoken word has all the life giving properties necessary to serve that purpose for which the sun now serves and since it was made by God it would be nothing for him to add the same life giving properties in some measure to its light as well.

I could go on but these facts as they are stated in Genesis cannot be explained by science in any respect without giving full acknowledgement to the miraculous power of God's spoken Word and His most intelligent design. These points will not even delve into the topic of evolution (which I do not think is biblical or true obviously) as I am attempting to specifically emphasize the supremacy of God's power even over the very elements and light and life itself.

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Mark 4:40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”

Mark 4:41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

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James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

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John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.

John 1:3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

#76  Posted by Sam McCloud  |  Sunday, June 20, 2010at 11:24 PM

Science will only be as effective and accurate as the observations it makes. Since the origin of man and the origin of the first life on this planet occurred before scientific observation was possible then science can only attempt to look for clues as to how everything originated and then form theoretical guesses based on those findings. I believe that the earth and all life on it originated the way it is stated in the Bible. Science would do well to consider the truth that the Bible contains but the problem is that many scientists aren't Christians. I'm not going to make some unfounded claim that I know who is and isn't a Christian, but there is at least one important fact that should be considered when assessing this situation.

To explain what I mean as simply and clearly as I can, let me present a scenario. Let's say I'm a scientist and I'm trying to theorize the origin of life and I'm not satisfied with any hypotheses that I have seen presented by the scientific community or anything that I have produced from my own efforts as a scientist either; I then consider the creation account in the Bible and realize that this is clearly the most intelligent, reasonable explanation for the existence of the world and the universe as we know it today. But let's also say that I'm a non-Christian scientist and although the creation account looks really valid to me can I really accept it as truth without accepting the truth contained in the rest of scripture? Then you have a more complex issue that goes beyond a simple discussion of origins and now is going to have to also deal with the reality of Christ and His commandments.

There is generally a certain amount of hostility toward God from those who aren't Bible-believing Christians so when the truth concerning the origin of the world is explained in God's Word then it is only natural that worldly people will reject it with hostility in most cases, no matter how logical it might be and then form a theory of their own or accept as truth the next best theory rather than embrace the Word of God as truth and as a result also be obligated to submit to the more sweeping truths the Bible contains. One scripture stands out in my mind as I consider these things and this is it:

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Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,

Romans 8:4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

Romans 8:6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Romans 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.

Romans 8:8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 8:9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

Romans 8:10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Romans 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

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So my conclusion based on these facts is that the flesh will always stand in the way of and reject the truth unless the Spirit of God transforms hearts and minds to submit to God's law and as a result fully embrace Him and all the truth in His Word. He is truth by definition and must ultimately be realized as such. Also, God's Word is always the highest authority, not scientific theory. If scientific theory does not line up with biblical truth then it's the scientists who have failed in their task, not God. We as Christians must remember that the truth in the Bible is inspired and originated by God through the Holy Spirit, it cannot be flawed. Scientists are not acting on the behalf of God but on their own behalf and on that of science, unless of course they happen to be Christians, and then they better be placing importance where it's due: namely on God and the truth contained in His Word.

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John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,

John 14:17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

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John 16:12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

John 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

John 16:15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.