Blogalogue

Blogalogue


Why I am not a creationist

posted by mnovak

Dear Ken,
I’m glad you’ve agreed to this exchange. This topic is perennial, but I imagine you share my view that it’s also urgent and essential. With that in mind, I’ll dive right in–first, to make some general observations on the nature of the creationism vs. evolution debate, and second to offer specific scientific reasons why I embrace evolution.


One of the most painful experiences of my life was abandoning my belief in young earth creationism. I had been raised in a wonderful Baptist church that was fundamentalist but, as it was on the edge of a potato field in rural New Brunswick, Canada, it lacked the hard political edge that makes American fundamentalism so unappealing. It was a great place to grow up, to learn to love God, and I have nothing but fond memories of the believers with whom I worshipped as a child.
As an intellectually curious teenager I read with great pleasure many of the classic works of Christian apologetics and creationism, including Whitcomb and Morris’s classic: The Genesis Flood. I was fully convinced of its truth, and even contemplated attending Christian Heritage College in San Diego, where Morris’s Institute for Creation Research was located.
Because Boston was much closer to New Brunswick and the home of my beloved Red Sox, I decided to attend Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) on Boston’s South Shore. ENC was a Christian college and I was expecting that my creationist beliefs would be reinforced by my studies there. However, although the college was thoroughly Christian, with wonderful faculty and students eager to serve God, creationism was not taught in either the science or religion classes. My studies led me to question the assumptions supporting my creationism–assumptions that soon dissolved and left my childhood belief in creationism without a foundation. Eventually I abandoned creationism and embraced theistic evolution–the belief that God creates through natural processes over billions of years. I discovered, to my surprise, that creationism required a certain willful blindness to both the natural world and the Bible.
There were several reasons I abandoned creationism. And now, years later, I am convinced that creationism poses insurmountable problems for anyone who would defend creationism today. I would like to mention a few general concerns and then some specifics to make my point.
Creationists have to “explain away” a gigantic mountain range of evidence that the scientific community has accumulated in the past century. Neither the scientific community nor the scientific data is is on their side. They have to believe that God created a profoundly deceptive world, with countless markers inexplicably pointing to evolution, even though that was not how things originated. This makes no sense. Creationists, who are almost always Biblical literalists, also have to come up with eccentric and strained readings of the Bible to accommodate its many references to ancient near eastern cosmologies. The Bible speaks of a solid dome in the heavens (Genesis 1:6) holding back the waters to take one example. The Bible refers to the earth as “immoveable,” to take another (Psalm 93:1). The alternate readings of these passages by the creationists are not faithful to the text and twist the original Hebrew in ways that would make it unrecognizable to the writer. I don’t think creationists are as faithful to the Biblical text as they claim.
The most disturbing claim of the creationists, however, is their accusation that the scientific community is engaged in a vast conspiracy to trick the public into thinking that evolution is well supported. I believed this when I came to college but, as I pursued my degrees in physics, I realized that this could not possibly be true. Science is ruthlessly honest and done by bright, often maverick, intellectuals who would never sign on to a conspiracy to suppress the truth. As a fully trained scientist, now with a Ph. D in physics and publications in research journals, I can attest to the high level of integrity of the scientific community and its methods. Heroic efforts are made to ensure that bias and carelessness do not creep into scientific research. When you say, in your book The Lie: Evolution, that scientists cannot be trusted because they are “biased” and “not objective,” you are devaluing the work of so many honest and unsung heroes. Scientists are “truth-seekers,” which is why they have discovered so many useful and interesting things about the natural world–from curing smallpox, to landing a man on the moon, to establishing that epilepsy is not caused by demon possession. Scientists may not be perfectly objective, but this is hardly a license to set aside those parts of science that you don’t like. Medical doctors are certainly not perfect, but we put our lives in their hands when we go to the hospital. The question is not “What absolute guides do we have, that will lead us to certain truth?” The question is: “What is the most likely road to whatever truth we are capable of grasping?”
I am pained to see how the creationists tar the entire scientific community with this brush of bias, for they smear the work of a great many Christian believers like Francis Collins, Ken Miller, and John Polkinghorne, who have made their peace with evolution without compromising their Christian faith. These three scientists are friends of mine and I can attest to the vitality of their faith.
Getting into some specifics, the following are reasons why I think Christians should embrace evolution over creation:
1) The age of the earth has been proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, to be billions of years, not thousands, as the creationists claim. There are so many categories of evidence for this: radioactive decay of different elements indicates that these elements were formed billions of years ago; the transit time of starlight from distant stars indicates that the light has been traveling for billions of years; continental drift reveals that the surface of the earth is very old; the fusion process by which atoms are forged in stars indicates that our sun is billions of years old; the expansion of the universe points to an ancient cosmos. And so on.
If the universe is not billions of years old, why is it filled with so many different and independent lines of evidence suggesting that it is? If all these dating methods are so unreliable, as the creationists claim, why do they converge on the same results?
2) Recent discoveries in genetics reveal that humans share almost all their genes with primates and other animals. If these genes were all functional and did something meaningful–like make blood clot, or give us two lungs–we could suppose that God used common genetic tools to make different species. But many of these genes are completely nonfunctional and do nothing. Some of them, called pseudogenes, are mutated copies of functioning genes. They sit irrelevantly beside functioning genes, not needed because their neighbors are doing all the work. There are so many different possibilities for pseudogenes that we would never expect, from a statistical point of view, for different species to have identical pseudogenes, unless they inherited them from a common ancestor. The distribution of these and other genes in different species strongly suggests that these species are related and were not created independently. Why does genetic research point so strongly toward common ancestry if common ancestry is not true?
The evidence from genetics is compelling and trustworthy. We have confidence in genetics to establish biological kinship in legal cases, such as paternity suits; that same genetics now indicates biological kinship among species and we should accept that as well.
3) I will add one more observation that seems significant. Creationists claim that humans and dinosaurs lived together on the earth just a few thousand years ago, until virtually all of them were destroyed in Noah’s great flood. If this were true, it seems odd that not one dinosaur fossil was ever found with a human fossil. Why are dinosaurs always found in strata that look so much older than the strata containing human fossil remains, and never found with human remains? Was there not one place on the entire planet where a dinosaur might have killed a human just as the floodwaters were doing them in?
To be a creationist requires distorting the ancient text of the Bible–God’s revelation in Scripture–to camouflage the obvious references to an obsolete cosmology. And it requires distorting the data from science–God’s revelation in nature–to camouflage the mountain of data supporting evolution. Why not accept the world at face value and let it speak for itself? And why not let the Bible be what it most clearly is–a collection of inspired texts from the ancient world, and not a textbook of modern science?
In embracing evolution my view of the natural world has been deeply enriched, for I have become a part of that world. I write these words from a home office looking out into a New England forest. The leaves have donned their autumn splendor and many are joining the birds in the air, in preparation for winter. Deer, wild turkey, raccoons, squirrels, and countless other species live in those woods, and occasionally come to visit and nibble on my landscape. How awesome to think that I share a history with these life forms and that, to varying degrees, I am related to them. I am humbled to think that God’s creative work is of such grand coherence and scope that the universe is one gigantic narrative of creation. This seems far richer than my former creationist view that the universe is a collection of separately created things. And, to top it off, God created us with minds capable of unpacking the whole amazing story.
Why would any Christian find it hard to believe that evolution was God’s way of creating?



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Robert Flight

posted October 21, 2008 at 12:58 pm


Dear Karl,
I have one comment to make about your lines of evidence, and that has to do with the nonfunctional genes you talk about. Incredibly, modern genetics is discovering that many of the genes that are common across many species are in fact active, and do in fact have a purpose, a very similar purpose in many different species. This has allowed the building of large sequence databases to compare genome sequences, and assign tentative functions to genes based on sequence similarity alone. Frequently, human genes are assigned function based on a similar gene observed in yeast or fruit fly. In fact, this has led the way in Bioinformatics research for the past 10 years.
Cheers,
-Robert



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Lukas Caldera

posted October 21, 2008 at 1:11 pm


You have valid points and questions. I could take the time to respond but you weren’t asking me. You’re clearly asking Ken Ham. So what I would like to know is: have you asked him? Outside of posting on this website, have you contacted Ken Ham or just used their website to give them this? If I am able to immediately think of answers to your statements, surely the various materials on their website or AiG staff themselves can reply. I’ve asked them questions myself and it never takes them more than a week to reply.
I do have to wonder though: Is the Genesis Flood the only creationist book you ever read? Might I recommend The Answers Book, which answers nearly all of the statements/questions you made? If you don’t want to pay for it, the material is available on their website.
Please note that there are a good number of Ph D scientists supporting AiG with very credible degrees. So while it is possible that somehow all of them are wrong and evolution is an accurate means to explain life’s origins, it is also possible that scientists who don’t accept that explanation of life’s origins have good reason.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/qa.asp



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Lukas Caldera

posted October 21, 2008 at 1:13 pm


“I’m glad you’ve agreed to this exchange.”
I’m sorry by the time I got to the end of your letter, I’d forgotten about that first line. I’m curious what the reply you received was.



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KJH

posted October 21, 2008 at 1:24 pm


Not sure why the reply isn’t posted yet, but here is the Ken Ham Reply



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 21, 2008 at 1:31 pm


As a veteran of many years of these sorts of battles with creationists, I can already see where this is heading.
The primary problem that makes progress in these debates almost impossible, is that the two sides approach the subject completely differently. The creationist side is based on belief, tradition, scripture, and faith; whereas the science side is based on data, analysis, and objective review. Those are completely opposite ways of answering the question, “How did we get here?”
Mr. Giberson reflects this right away in his first post by focusing on the data that points to an ancient earth and common ancestry. The problem is, because that’s not where creationists come from, appeals to data and analysis don’t resonate with them. Faith in scripture is their overwhelming priority; the data will always be a distant second (at best). Ken Ham’s “AnswersinGenesis” openly declares this in their Statement of Faith…
“No apparent, perceived, or claimed interpretation of evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record.”
To be blunt, you cannot have a rational discussion of the scientific data with anyone who holds this view. They’ve already made it clear that whenever the data contradicts scripture, they will always, always, always take the side of scripture.
The best one can hope for is to delve into specific data points and ask the creationist to directly address them and clearly explain (in his own words) how he meshes them with young-earth creationism. In my experience, the creationist will either ignore the questions, leave the discussion, or put out what frankly are some of the most bizarre answers you’ll ever see.
That won’t serve to convince the creationist of anything, but it will demonstrate to any onlookers the sort of mental contortions one must go through in order to be a young-earth creationist.



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bobxxxx

posted October 21, 2008 at 1:40 pm


“In my experience, the creationist will either ignore the questions, leave the discussion, or put out what frankly are some of the most bizarre answers you’ll ever see.”
I noticed creationists are extremely stupid. They are perhaps the most stupid people in human history.



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Ryan

posted October 21, 2008 at 1:46 pm


I think this is going to be interesting, and I don’t think what Mr. McGrew said is entirely accurate. I do find it surprising that Mr. Giberson has clung to so many things that creationists have already written about and refuted, one scientist in particular who has written on every topic brought up in this article is Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, PhD in Chemical Physics and Spectroscopy. I certainly hope the posts to come are far more well researched as to avoid creationist repetition.



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 21, 2008 at 1:53 pm


Ryan,
Of course Dr. Sarfati has “written on” these topics. He HAS to! After all, he signed the statement that declares:
“No apparent, perceived, or claimed interpretation of evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record.”



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KJH

posted October 21, 2008 at 2:15 pm


Mr. McGrew,
It is true that Biblical creationist believe that no interpretation of evidence in any field can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record. It is also understandable that a creationist’s explanation would seem strange and is very possible that creationists explanation of data is false. However, we must make a distinction between what is observed science and what is an interpretation of observed science. For example, radioactive decay tells us how much of a particular isotope remains in an item compared to another isotope, however it does not tell us how old the item is. The current speed of light can be calculated, and the distance of a planet from ours can be calculated those things also can’t tell us how old the planet is.
A Biblical creationist should believe in observed science because scripture tells us that God created organization in the world (cosmos). Without scripture (or a source of truth from an all knowing being) there is not definitive reason for us to believe observed science, because nothing tells us that there is always uniformity. Just because we have always observed something to be true does not mean it has always or will always be true, we only assume that.



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Ryan

posted October 21, 2008 at 2:22 pm


Mr. McGrew, please. I will do my best to keep this as formal and polite as possible, without YELLING through the text. The fact the Dr. Sarfati has signed this statement of faith in no way makes his scientific, or religious, work any more or less reliable and accurate. His work has been published in both secular and Christian science Journals, and he is amazingly gifted in the areas of logic and science. I would simply jsut encourage the reading of many of his articles, especially feedback articles, to find this for yourself.
And as for that statement of faith, it seems that both Mr. Giberson and Mr. Ham would hold that to be true, but each approach the Bible differently in interpretation, but regardless, both would hold that something can not be true if it is opposed or different than what I would imagine both define as The Truth.



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 21, 2008 at 2:40 pm


KJH,
I’m sorry, but radiometric dating does indeed “tell us how old an item is”. Unsubstantiated assertions on the internet do not overturn decades of established science. The same holds true for cosmology.



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm


Ryan,
The all caps text is not “yelling”, but is a means of emphasis. I don’t believe there’s any other way to emphasize words in this format.
And yes, the fact that Dr. Sarfati has signed that statement does indeed call his work into question (especially the work done for AIG). Declaring “Scripture always, always, always trumps data” is not only non-science, it is the exact opposite of science.
One might as well go to a golf course, use a giant slingshot to launch one’s ball, declare “I don’t have to put the ball in the hole”, and claim to be a golfer.



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mike

posted October 21, 2008 at 3:01 pm


Can you answer a question thats kind of bugging me. Is the bible true or not. Do we believe only part of it or all of it. The bible says god created every thing that was created in six days and rested on the seventh.
The bible says that there was no sin or death untill adam sinned while in the garden. How do you reconcil the death for millions of years it would take to evolve to that time. I’m not a real smart person but there are lots and lots of things like these that make me believe in creation. I believe all of the Bible is the written word of God and not just the parts you like to make evolution look good.
mike



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KJH

posted October 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm


Mr. McGrew,
I understand that radiometric dating is a relied upon method of dating, but I am stating that it is not fact. While there are instances where the dating method is consistent(as stated by Mr. Giberson), there are many examples of radiometric dating contradicting itself when using different elements. Radiometric dating is not observational science, it is an fallible humans explanation of observed amounts of an isotope.



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Ryan

posted October 21, 2008 at 3:33 pm


And again Mr. McGrew, the statement does not in any way call the evidence and data into question, but as KJH said, it merely calls into question fallible man’s interpretation of that evidence ad pits it against God’s infallible Word. It seems as though you do not regard my final statement that both Mr. Giberson and Mr. Ham would agree that the Bible is the source of ultimate Truth, which makes me wonder if you are here for actual enlightenment by either Mr. Giberson or Mr. Ham, or simply here to play devil’s advocate.



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ZeroBomb

posted October 21, 2008 at 3:41 pm


mike:
The bible also says in John 6:48-68 (amongst other things)
“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.”
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.”
What you really mean in asking if we believe “all of it” is if we believe *your interpretation.* You have decided that Genesis is literal, but you would probably argue that the above passage is figurative, despite the strong language used. How would you respond if someone told you you were not really Christian because you do not interpret the passage literally? You, they might say, are like the disciples that “returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him” after he made that speech.



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 21, 2008 at 3:47 pm


KJH and Ryan,
You both make references to “fallible humans” and their “interpretations”.
One has to wonder though, how exactly are YOU coming to conclusions if not via your own “fallible interpretations”? Are your interpretations infallible? Are Ken Ham’s?



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ZeroBomb

posted October 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm


Ryan and KJH
The reason different isotopes would give different results is because each element has a different time resolution and range. Therefore while carbon dating can only measure ages less than 60,000 years, uranium-lead dating can measure ages from 1 million to 4.5 billion years. Thus, if you were to try to determine the age of something 500,000 years old with these methods, you would get conflicting numbers since neither method is sensitive in that range.
E.G. you will get different results if you time a 30 second race with a small sundial and a stopwatch.
The only conflicts here are man’s fallible interpretation of the bible and man’s fallible interpretation of scientific data.



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KJH

posted October 21, 2008 at 4:47 pm


Mr. McGrew and ZeroBomb,
In regards to fallible human explanations/interpretation:
I’m not sure that we really need to argue this point. It is very clear that human reasoning can be wrong (otherwise we wouldn’t have opposing views on this issue – by logic we know that at least one of us has to be wrong). So if we agree about that then the argument becomes: can we know something is absolutely true, even though we (humans) are known to be fallible. I think that it is possible to know absolute truth, but only because we have a logical all-knowing creator. If we do not have a logical and all-knowing creator then we would have no basis for truth. We could say that if something is repeated in a lab one-hundred times that must be true, but how do we know that every possible control has been accounted for and that every assumption we made is correct. You may say there is no reason to doubt that there are two balls in a bowl if 100 out of 100 people tell you that there are two balls in the bowl. But maybe a third ball that is so small that no one could see it was in the bowl. An all-knowing God could tell you that, but “fallible humans” could not with 100% certainty tell you that.



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Ryan

posted October 21, 2008 at 4:54 pm


KJH,
Think you can handle these guys? I seem to have my hands full over at Ken Ham’s first post. Not sure how much longer I’ll waist my time. Not only has Mr. McGrew not answered any of our questions, he seems to be against both Mr Ham and Mr. Giberson, which means there seems to be little need to approach them in this given forum of debate.



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 21, 2008 at 5:09 pm


KJH,
You’re missing the point. The underlying premise of your argument is that human interpretations are fallible, thus we cannot trust the findings of historical science.
But you and Ryan both conveniently ignore the fact that you’re using your own fallible reasoning to reach this conclusion.
Further, as Ryan observed, Mr. Ham and Mr. Giberson have different interpretations of scripture. And we certainly don’t have to look very hard to find additional interpretations of the Bible. How do we tell which one is the correct interpretation without relying on what you refer to as fallible human reasoning?
IOW, you’re both guilty of the logical fallacy of special pleading. The very thing argument you attempt to use against science applies equally to your own conclusions (if not moreso).



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ZeroBomb

posted October 21, 2008 at 5:23 pm


KJH
Your balls in a bowl analogy shows a fundamental disconnect between our understandings of science. If the claim was made “there are 3 balls in this bowl” then we could apply any number of tests to see if there were. If the 3rd ball could not be found then our model would be “there are 2 balls large enough to detect” Science would use this model for as long as it could get accurate results; i.e as long as the 3rd ball was undetectable it wouldn’t matter. (note, we have not proven its nonexistence since that is impossible, only its triviality) However if the assertion was that there was only 1 ball and we found 2, the statement would be demonstrably false.
Now in reference to the age of the world the contention is: the earth is 6000 years old. So we do tests, all of which say “the earth is not 6000 years old.” Therefore the scientific model is going to be 6000 years is not the age of the earth. This is different than the 3 ball scenario, where we had to qualify our finding of 2 balls.



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Gary S.

posted October 21, 2008 at 7:04 pm


Talk about distorting Bible texts.The Bible says oceans before land, first life on land, Earth before stars, birds before reptiles, plants before sun. Evolution distorts all these 180 degrees. The bible says man’s sin caused death. Evolution says death causes progression. The Bible says fixed and distinct kinds, evolution says everything is in flux.
And what about the 2nd Adam of 1Cor:15. Please reread Romans 5 and 1Corinthians 15. The Bible is not a science text book per se but it is the authoritative Word of God.



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Gary S.

posted October 21, 2008 at 7:22 pm


Mr. McGrew,
Here is some young earth science not belief, tradition, scripture, and faith. The earth’s rotation is slowing. Move this rate back a couple of hundred of millions of years and we don’t have a planet. Comets can only survive about 10,000 years. If we’re billions of years old how come we still have them. (the Oort cloud is only a theory and has never been observed) Ken Ham’s outfit (to whom the original post was addressed) had rock from the Mt St. Helen’s eruption radiometrically tested in Cambridge MA and these 20 year old rocks were found to be hundreds of thousands of years old. I have faith but I have the science on my side as well.



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 21, 2008 at 7:43 pm


Gary,
First, you need to realize that it was European Christian naturalists from the late 18th and early 19th centuries who laid out the chronological order of geologic strata and the fossils they contained. They were some of the first to realize that the data they were uncovering didn’t support a literal reading of scripture. If you read some of their accounts, the realization was quite painful for them.
Second, if you’re going to trot out old re-hashed YEC arguments that have been refuted countless times, I’ll suggest you check here first:
http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/
If it’s on that list, you’re wasting your time.
Finally, no you don’t have science on your side. You have the dishonest misrepresentation of science on your side. And quite frankly, I have little to no interest in arguing over whether the earth is 6,000 years old, people and dinosaurs co-existed, the entire earth was flooded a mere 4,000 years ago, and all extant life descended from what rode aboard a wooden boat. These things are barely….and I mean JUST BARELY above flat-earth geocentrism on the absurdity scale.
So just as I don’t waste time arguing whether the earth is flat, I don’t waste time arguing YEC.



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MC

posted October 21, 2008 at 8:36 pm


[radiometric dating does indeed “tell us how old an item is”.]
Radiometric dating methods aren’t even consistent with each other. They are wildly inaccurate at guessing ages for rocks of KNOWN age. How can they be trusted with rocks of unknown age? If you’re going to stick with the radiometric dating method, you’re going to have to refute every argument in Thousands, Not Billions, with hard evidence.



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Gary S.

posted October 21, 2008 at 9:16 pm


Mr. McGrew
Your intolerance is stunning.
You won’t argue on the basis of scripture and faith, and “I don’t waste time arguing whether the earth is flat, I don’t waste time arguing YEC” if you disagree with their scientific theories.
How about spontaneous life generation. There are questions about the Miller-Urey experiment. When you look at the math…when you apply the mathematical probability on spontaneous life generation to anything else we say its impossible. How about the complex machines that make up the “simple” cell. I want some to use the scientific method to show me how an explosion can produce order. Every explosion I’ve seen results in chaos and destruction not creation.



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 22, 2008 at 12:39 am


Since my name has been mentioned, especially with regards to my books and feedback articles, it’s only right to point out that the organiztion I work for is now called Creation Ministries International, and my books and feedback articles from the last two years are available from http://creationontheweb.com (as well as the others)
AiG no longer sells my book “Refuting Compromise” nor those on (available from CMI) nor anyone , although Ken Ham said:
“Well, I believe, personally, that your book, Refuting Compromise, is a classic on the same scale as The Genesis Flood. … I personally believe it’ll go down in history as a turning point in the creationist ministry worldwide. I see it as that important. I see it as that definitive. … I really see it as a modern creationist classic. And I really believe that every single person needs a copy of this book to show the positive aspects, that we can defend, logically, the book of Genesis, and that God’s word is authoritative right from the very beginning, and we can confront compromise, like Progressive Creationism … (AnswersLIVE, Refuting Compromise, live broadcast 27 April 2004)”
I also note an irony: many demand that creationists should publish in scientific journals. Yet Giberson is one who explicitly states that he would refuse to publish creationist articles! It’s a bit rich to demand that creationists submit to journals and at the same time rail against publishing creationists. Giberson said:
‘If an editor chooses to publish a hostile review of a book, common politeness would suggest that the author ought to have some space to respond. But editors have a “higher calling” than common politeness, namely the editorial mission and guidelines that inform every decision as to what will be printed and what will be rejected. I have learned, since becoming the editor of Research News, common politeness is often in tension with editorial priorities … In my editorial judgment, the collection of ideas known as “scientific creationism” (which is not the same as intelligent design) lacks the credibility to justify publishing any submissions that we get from its adherents. I would go even further, in fact. The collection of creationist ideas (6,000 year old earth, no common ancestry, all the fossils laid down by Noah’s flood, Genesis creation account read literally, etc.) has been so thoroughly discredited by both scientific and religious scholarship that I think it is entirely appropriate for Research News to print material designed to move our readers away from this viewpoint. For example, we might publish a negative review of a book promoting scientific creationism … while refusing to allow the author a chance to respond. Is this an unfair bias? Or is it proper stewardship of limited editorial resources?’ [Editorial Guidelines: Prejudice or Stewardship? Research News & Opportunities in Science and Theology, July/August, 2002.]



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KJH

posted October 22, 2008 at 7:54 am


Mr. McGrew,
The fallibility of human interpretation does not mean that we cannot believe science. I believe it does mean that when our explanations don’t match up with the explanation written out by an infallible God, then our explanation must be wrong. But just because we are fallible does not mean we are always fallible. I believe that God gave us the ability to reason and use logic and therefore come to absolute truth concerning some things, however there are some things that we cannot know for sure (such as every detail concerning a fossil that has been buried for thousands of years).
You are correct in stating that there are many different interpretation of the Bible, however one can infer the right way to interpret scripture using our reasoning abilities. Just as you can tell that a science textbook should be read as non-fiction and a novel should be read as fiction you can tell that the first chapter of genesis should be taken as historical. I understand that it is possible that my interpretation is wrong, but if my interpretation is wrong then other parts of scripture start falling apart that are essential to the faith, and other principles concerning the way the universe works come into question (such as the order of the universe).



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KJH

posted October 22, 2008 at 7:55 am


ZeroBomb,
I believe that you are correct in your statement concerning the scientific conclusion about the balls in the bowl, but I don’t see how that applies to radiometric dating. Radiometric dating does not proven that anything is older than 6000 years old. You have only shown that the amount of an isotope might suggest that age, just as a person saying “there are two balls in a bowl” would lead you to believe that there are two balls in the bowl. I don’t think you have any undeniable proof that the earth is older than 6000 years old, you only have interpretation of scientific data that leads you to that conclusion. Because they are interpretations it is possible that they are wrong, just like it is possible that there are 3 balls in the bowl. Non young earth creationists claim to have undeniable facts that the Earth is ‘old’, but I have seen no such proof.
The question I pose is: if you don’t have God (and his written word) as your source of truth, then what is your source of truth and how can you trust it? Also, why should we believe that there is and always will be order and uniformity if there is no God who says there will be?



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 22, 2008 at 12:37 pm


MC,
As I said, anonymous unsubstantiated assertions over the internet are insufficient to overturn established science. To put it another way, the utility of radiometric dating is not negated by your say-so.
Regardless of what you or I say in this tiny corner of cyberspace, the scientific community will continue to successfully use radiometric dating, and young-earth creationists will continue to sit on the sidelines and wish it weren’t so.



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Your Name

posted October 22, 2008 at 12:42 pm


Gary S.,
Yes, I am indeed “intolerant” of young-earth creationism…just as I am “intolerant” of flat-earth creationism, holocaust denial, phrenology, alchemy, astrology, etc.
In case you haven’t noticed, the field of origins research has progressed immeasurably since the 1950’s.
I also have no idea what you’re referring to when you say, “how an explosion can produce order”. If you’re referring to the big bang, I suggest you make the effort to understand its basics before thinking yourself an authority on the subject.
Has it ever occured to you that the problem isn’t with the science, but with your understanding of it?



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 22, 2008 at 12:54 pm


>
KJH,
You’re not making a consistent argument. Whenever the results of science conflict with your religious beliefs, you dismiss it as “the results of fallible human interpretation”. But then you turn right around and say, “The fallibility of human interpretation does not mean that we cannot believe science”.
Your statement:
“when our explanations don’t match up with the explanation written out by an infallible God, then our explanation must be wrong”
…reflects exactly what I stated in my first post here, i.e. that the root issue here is theological and not at all scientific. Thus, attempting to debate the data and analyses misses the point entirely and will most likely be a fruitless endeavor.
You and Ken Ham have both made it abundantly clear that the reason you disagree with an ancient earth and common descent isn’t because you’ve independently and objectively studied the subjects, poured over the data and analyses, and discovered fatal empirical flaws. Rather, you disagree with those things for no other reason than that they conflict with your religious beliefs.
So my question is: Why then bother pretending that your position has anything to do with science? Isn’t that a little deceptive?
Finally, what you believe to be the “infallible word of God” didn’t come directly from God to you, did it? It came from God, to a fallible human, who then passed it on to other fallible humans, who passed it on to other fallible humans. And many times between there and now it has been translated into different languages by fallible humans.
So again, the exact same argument you attempt to invoke against science applies just as much (and likely moreso) to your own position.



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Dimitry

posted October 22, 2008 at 1:34 pm


Dear McGrew and all evolutionists,
I am editor of international creation newspaper in russian language and have been studing the creation/evulution issue for years. I would like to engage you on what you said in your post.
For starters, here is my open honest question to all who subsribe to evolutionary faith. How do you deal with the fact of existence of thousands of living fossils – animals, insects, plants which did not change (or changed little) for allaged tens and hundreds of millions years. For example, recently found Camrian jellyfish fossil (dated by evolutionists around 520 mln years) is practically the same as living jellyfish today. Hundreds of millions of generations and no evolution. The same is true for allagedly 370 mln years lamprey which show no evolution till today. Or, for example, fossil tautara dd 200 Mln is same as living one today. And so on and on and on – from algae to fish latimeria, from bee to gecko. And these factual examples are numbered by thousands – its not exception, but rule. If find that together with extinct living forms, which “stay” in fossil record also demonstrate little to no change, it’s all nature like that – demonstrating no evolution during whatever period of time people ascribe to them.
How do you explain living fossils? Note please that to say that natural selection ensured their long-term stability stability is simply to restate the fact and not an explanation. Should we believe that while latimeria fish stayed unchanged during 400 mln years untill today, during same time another fish managed to evolve into birds, horses, whales and people?
And if evolution is based on objective data and derived from it (and does not consistute commitment to materialistic faith or to starting assumption of naturalism) why do you have to give interpretation to living fossils, explaining them away, as opposed to let them simply speak for themselfs?
And if scientific establishment is not dedicated to materialism and naturalism in history of origins (as opposed to false idea of conspiracy which most of creationists don’t promote) why then most of kids and students and educated people today don’t even know about the fact of existence of tens of thousands of living fossils?
Regards,
Dima



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Arnold

posted October 22, 2008 at 1:45 pm


Mr. McGrew, I a earlier comment you stated;
“These things are barely….and I mean JUST BARELY above flat-earth geocentrism on the absurdity scale.
So just as I don’t waste time arguing whether the earth is flat, I don’t waste time arguing YEC.”
Seriously, you hold to the theory of evolution despite all the evidence against it and you call YEC absurd? And please don’t try to make this a science vs. religion issue. There are very intelligent scientific minds on both sides of the issue. What determines the outcome is the starting point and also the desired outcome.
Throwing out insulting condecending statements as you did serves no purpose and certainly does not bolster your credibility.



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 22, 2008 at 1:59 pm


Dimitry,
If you wish to discuss specific data, you’re going to have to specify more. It would also be more productive to discuss one subject at a time, rather than taking a “shotgun” approach.
Which specific “Cambrian jellyfish fossil” were you referring to?



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 22, 2008 at 2:07 pm


Arnold,
Of course this is a religion vs. science issue. You don’t think it’s a coincidence that all the evolution denialists just happen to be religious fundamentalists, do you?
And saying “there are scientists on both sides” misrepresents reality. The number of bone fide, practicing scientists who support young-earth creationism is infinitesimally small when compared to genunine scientists who endorse, support, and utilize evolutionary theory. You may as well assert, “There are scientists on both sides of the flat earth-round earth debate”.
If merely pointing out the reality that young-earth creationism has absolutely no standing in the scientific community (and hasn’t for over 100 years) is “condescending”, then your problem is with reality, not with the person bringing it to your attention.



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Gene

posted October 22, 2008 at 2:44 pm


Comment on Psalm 93:1 “…The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.” One cannot jump to a conclusion that this is to be interpreted literally rather than figuratively. When Jesus said “I am the bread of life”, I don’t think anyone believes that Jesus is a literal loaf of bread. Rightly dividing the Word of Truth involves literal and figurative passages. This becomes difficult if you believe that Genesis is a figurative description. If Genesis is a figurative description, when does the Bible become literal?



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Curtis

posted October 22, 2008 at 4:12 pm


I am not a scientist but I have ample experience in dealing with the biblical texts. I have no way of knowing whether evolution is good science or not but I know one thing, the Genesis texts are not and never were meant to be ready literally or historically. The contradictions (a word I don’t think applies here because contradictions only take place where there is meant to be unanimity, but I will use it nonetheless) between Genesis 1 and 2 are impossible to logically remove. The two stories have differing, yet complimentary, theologies, anthropologies, and cosmologies. We should praise the original biblical canonists who were willing to include books and teachings that did not always harmonize for it is because of this the work of biblical theology is never a finished task. So, I don’t have a stake in evolution being good or bad science, but I do have a stake in whether the Bible is treated carefully and critically and the YEC rarely do either.



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Your Name2

posted October 22, 2008 at 5:17 pm


Curtis:
We must be reading different Bibles, then. You’re going to have to explain how those two chapters are so contradicting, because I can easily see how Genesis 2 can fit within the theology and chronology of Genesis 1. You should also mention how you have so much experience, because it seems like you’re just trying to find any questionable material you can find to prove something, and then saying you have experience in an attempt to “validify” your viewpoint.



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Dimitry

posted October 22, 2008 at 6:11 pm


Dear Gerald McGrew,
I would be more than glad to deal with specific data. You didn’t answer my first question regarding numerous living fossils (of which, I assume, you are well aware). Please answer how you deal with them?
As for unchanged during allaged 500 mln years jellyfish please see http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/10/071031-jellyfish.html
Regarding stunning find of 115 mln years old platypus please see
Erik Stokstad, “Jaw Shows Platypus Goes Way Back,” Science, 23 November 2007: Vol. 318. no. 5854, p. 1237, DOI: 10.1126/science.318.5854.1237a.
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/318/5854/1237a
Regarding ancient 100 mln years old gecko (already with existing marvelous foot design) see please http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080902163920.htm
Concerning unchanged during allaged 370 mln years lamprey please see http://www.livescience.com/animals/061025_fish_mouth.html
As for oldest bee, which is predominantly bee and still remain bee after one billion generations (!) please see http://www.livescience.com/animals/061025_oldest_honeybee.html.
Should we believe that while coelacanth, jellyfish and lamprey ramained unchanged till today, at the very same time fish evolved into birds, dinos and all mammals?
Do you really suppose, sir, that it’s rational to believe that while bee, gecko and platypus remained bee, gecko and platypus till today, after millions of generations, all mammals (including whales) managed to evolve into what we observe today?
I can give you literally thousands of examples, including numerous plants, of living fossils and I invite you to honestly deal with it.
Before I send specific rebbutal to your first post, for starters please openly admit pressupositional nature of creation/evolution debate, that is you and other evolutionists in issue of origins begin with starting assumptions, main one being naturalism – that only natural causes are allowed for explanation of origins of everything. Thus you exclud Lord and His supernatural power a priori (God becomes unscientific by definition) And then, preceeding from these assumptions evolutionists interpret historic and present data. And then these interpretations are presented as real history.
One of the reasons I respect creationists is that they are open and clear about their pressupositions (starting faith, Biblical assumptions), while most evolutionists are not, and try to present all issue as sceince vs religion, while in reality it’s religion vs another religion. Materialistic starting assumptions are no less religious than Biblical ones.
Regards,
Dima



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 22, 2008 at 6:26 pm


It really isn’t too difficult to reconcile Genesis 1 and 2. Jesus Himself cited Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 together, showing that he regarded the two chapters as parts of a whole (Mt. 19:3–6). Leupold made the point well in his scholarly Exposition of Genesis 1:130 (1942):
‘Without any emphasis on the sequence of acts the account here records the making of the various creatures and the bringing of them to man. That in reality they had been made prior to the creation of man is so entirely apparent from chapter one as not to require explanation. But the reminder that God had “molded” them makes obvious His power to bring them to man and so is quite appropriately mentioned here. It would not, in our estimation, be wrong to translate yatsar as a pluperfect in this instance: “He had molded.” The insistence of the critics upon a plain past is partly the result of the attempt to make chapters one and two clash at as many points as possible.’
As for Giberson’s claims about faulty biblical cosmology, they are refuted in “Is the ’erets (earth) flat?” and “Is the raqiya‘ (‘firmament’) a solid dome?” .



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Robert Esland

posted October 22, 2008 at 6:38 pm


McGrew writes: ‘Unsubstantiated assertions on the internet do not overturn decades of established science.’
Decades of established science cannot tell us anything about age in terms of billions of years. A teaspoon is a tool with which to measure volume. An ocean may be considered as a volume of water. The first person on earth who is able to use only a teaspoon to accurately measure the volume of water in the Pacific Ocean is the only person on earth who has achieved the credibility to measure the age of a star in terms of the years that we humans measure time with.
Scientists want to make us believe that science can explain data without needing philosophy to help scientists understand the concept of time. Thus, scientists to this day do not understand that duration can only be measured in terms of ‘time passed’ between a witnessed or referenced moment (a recorded start time) and another witnessed or referenced moment (end time). To illustrate: for the past century or so the world has witnessed the strange phenomenon that the age of the universe has proven to be dependent not on observed natural laws but on technological ingenuity, in case the diameter of telescopes. To further illustrate, a scientist driving 20 miles to work cannot accurately inform his or her colleague how many minutes it took for the journey this morning when setting out from home without noting the exact start time of the journey. So why would people believe these same scientists when they make claims about the age of the universe when no one has recorded the starting moment?
McGrew: ‘the scientific community will continue to successfully use radiometric dating…’
Yes, of course they will. But the point is, radiometric dating is not a tool to measure time with. It is a tool with which scientists successfully obtain the data they require. As I indicated, scientists need philosophers to help them understand the difference between ‘obtaining required data’ and ‘measuring actual duration.’



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 22, 2008 at 7:35 pm


Robert,
You assert:
“Decades of established science cannot tell us anything about age in terms of billions of years”
Yes, it can and it does. Again, naked assertions over the internet are insufficient to overturn established science.
I understand that young-earth creationists cannot ever, under any circumstances accept the validity of this methodology or its results. They’ve made the reason for their denial abundantly clear:
“No apparent, perceived, or claimed interpretation of evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record”
As long as the YEC position is “Billions of years contradicts scripture”, given the above it is pointless to discuss radiometric dating with YEC’s.
The root issue isn’t empirical science, it’s fundamentalist theology.



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Illary

posted October 23, 2008 at 12:04 am


Mr. McGrew:
Could you please respond to Mr. Dimitri? He is a clever creationist, don’t you think so? I’m waiting for your response.



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CD

posted October 23, 2008 at 3:01 am


Mr. McGrew,
Several times you have stated the following from AIG’s statement of faith:
“No apparent, perceived, or claimed INTERPRETATION OF EVIDENCE in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record”
Then you go on to say that AIG adheres to something like the following:
“No apparent, perceived, or claimed EVIDENCE in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record”
It seems that you are confusing the phrase “INTERPRETATION OF EVIDENCE” with the word “EVIDENCE”. There is a difference.
As Ken Ham and creationists often state, both creationists and evolutionists observe the same exact evidence (facts, data, etc) in the present, but it is the interpretation of that evidence that must not contradict scripture. Creationists are NOT denying the evidence, as you keep saying. You can call creationists foolish if you like for having different interpretations of evidence, based on the constraints of scripture. But please be consistent, and stop saying that they are denying the facts. That’s not true. They have a different interpretation than you, based on the assumption that scripture is true. You have an interpretation of the evidence based on the belief that there is no Creator.



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Dimitry

posted October 23, 2008 at 10:36 am


Dear Gerald McGrew,
You wrote in your posts that evolution is science and is derived from objective data, being the result of truth seeking (as opposed to bias of creationists).
Could you tell me which data exactly make you believe that following detailed “portrayals” on wings of butterfly came about as result of mutations and natural selection?
Mammal face – http://www.naturephoto-cz.com/eyes-of-the-sphinx-moth:sphingidae-photo-2299.html
Two parallel cobras – http://creationontheweb.com/images/feedback/2008/5992atlas_moth_lge.jpg
Owl – http://www.livewild.org/CostaRica/Pics/a6024.jpg
Eyes – http://farm1.static.flickr.com/55/147993453_a1c46878aa.jpg?v=0
Leaf – http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2179/2092798784_f26db83eed_o.jpg
Eyes – http://neatorama.cachefly.net/images/2007-10/io-moth.jpg
+ many more
Note please symmetry, precision of pictures, parallelism of colours etc.
Did anybody ever observe mutations/selection creating such pictures?
Do we have any basis to believe that mindless process is in principal able to create such pictures, encoding them in DNA of butterflies? Moreover, they had to evolve not one picture but numerous ones in different moths. Any basis for such belief?
Do incidental mutations in DNA know how owl, mammal, cobras etc (totally unrelated to moth) look like? Are mutations aware of their anatomy, including blister in the eyes?
Please provide honest and straight answer to above examples.
Do you infer evolution from data or interpret data according to a priori (beforehand) commitment to naturalism/evolution?
Regards,
Dima



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 23, 2008 at 12:47 pm


Illary,
I did respond to Mr. Dimitri.
__________________________________________________
CD,
All data must be “interpreted”. The data that indicates the earth revolves around the sun must be “interpreted”. The data that indicates pathogens cause certain diseases must be “interpreted”.
The problem with YEC is that it is founded on the position that all interpretations of data must adhere to their religious beliefs. That’s not only not science, it’s the exact opposite of science.



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dimitry

posted October 23, 2008 at 1:41 pm


Dear Gerald, Unless overlooked you didn’t answer to my second post with required by you specific examples of living fossils. Please address the fact of existence of tens of thousands of living fossils? Regards, Dima



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm


dimitry,
My apologies. I didn’t see your second post when I first checked this morning.
As I stated, I would prefer to address these topics one at a time, and not in a “shotgun” fashion.
Regarding the jellyfish specimens, it’s always more informative to actually read the published paper than the press releases. Fortunately, the paper is freely available online:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0001121
As one can see from reading the article, while the specimens appear to display some morphological similarities with extant jellies, there are also differences. The fossilized specimens that appear to be representatives of the class Cubozoa do not show the complex eyes nor the complex nervous system of extant specimens. The authors speculate that these traits may have evolved during the mid-Cambrian.
Thus, your assertion that these specimens show “no change” compared to extant jellies is false.
Further, we must note that we’re looking entirely at whatever morphological traits happened to be perserved. But evolutionary change is not limited to morphological characteristics.



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Dimitry

posted October 23, 2008 at 7:14 pm


Dear Gerald,
Thank you for response. I would like to answers as follows.
1. Gerald, we are talking here of (supposed) 500 Mln years ! Just think about it: it’s a time during which had to evolve all amphibians, all reptiles including all dinosaurs, all land tees and plants, flowers, all birds, elephants, giraffes, whales, penguins, dogs and all other mammals, almost all insects etc – in short all all post-Cambrian nature, including you and me.
And all this time these jellyfish remained essentially the same till today. After 2 BILLIONS generations! Is that all evolution can do? And with all of that all you can do is to try to find some differences to counter powerful message of living fossils, including these jellyfish. And yet you got it wrong about differences as my below explanation will show.
2. You wrote:
=== As one can see from reading the article, while the specimens appear to display some morphological similarities with extant jellies …=
Some? I beg a pardon. Fossil specimens, attributed by authors to 3 classes already had following features as modern jellyfish of these classes have:
– distinct bell shape
– subumbrellar and exumbrellar surfaces
– tentacles
– radially arranged muscles sense organs
– presence of pedalia, tentacles, and nematocyst batteries
– and possibly even the gonads
– + others
3. You wrote: ===, there are also differences. The fossilized specimens that appear to be representatives of the class Cubozoa do not show the complex eyes nor the complex nervous system of extant specimens. The authors speculate that these traits may have evolved during the mid-Cambrian ===.
I understand that in hurry to find at least some differences (after all, 500 mln years passed ?) and create impression that some evolution took place (and created eyes and nervous system), you misread the text of the article. Authors say:
“Extant medusozoans possess several complex characters. For example, the living cubozoan Tripedalia cystophora has sophisticated reproductive behavior that includes mate recognition and courtship, involving the indirect transfer of sperm through spermatophores. Cubozoans also have complex eyes and nervous systems. The existence of our newly described fossil material may suggest that these complex traits could have evolved within the Cnidaria BY the Middle Cambrian”.
Gerald, not DURING mid-cambrian but BY mid-cambrian – which means and it’s clear from article that authors recognized the fossil specimens already had these complex features like modern classes do and speculated that they “could have evolved” by the time of these fossils.
Authors wrote: phylum Cnidaria is one of the earliest branching animal groups to display organized tissues and a nervous system
And how could they exist with essentially same morphology without nervous system?
Thus, my initial assertion that these specimens show “no to little change” stands true (I always try to stress as I did in my first post “unchanged or LITTLE changed” because we accept variation within created kind + downhill accumulations of mutations) .
4. Please have again close look at photos:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/10/071031-jellyfish.html
Is it not obvious that these jellyfish by and large didn’t change?
5. Note please there are no any intermediate forms leading up to jellyfish – they appear in Cambrian suddenly and fully formed, demonstrating mind boggling complexity right there in the bottom of column:
Jellyfish Have Human-Like Eyes
http://www.livescience.com/animals/070330_jellyfish_eyes.html
Advanced optics in a jellyfish eye
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v435/n7039/full/nature03484.html#a1
You didn’t address the fact of existence of tens of thousands of living fossils, including provided by me several specific examples.
My main question for you: is evolution derived from data or data is interpreted according to a priori assumption of naturalism/evolution?
My concern that you refuse to admit true nature of debate on origins issue – PRESSUPOSITIONAL nature – you start with religious materialistic assumptions and fully committed to them, and then proceed to interpret data.
Using your words:
“No apparent, perceived, or claimed interpretation of evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the NATURALISM and NATURALISTIC RECORD (EVOLUTION).”
“The problem with EVOLUTION is that it is founded on the position that all interpretations of data must adhere to these religious materialistic beliefs. That’s not only not science, it’s the exact opposite of truth seeking”.
“EVOLUTION always, always, always trumps data” is not only non-science, it is the exact opposite of science”
Regards,
Dima



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Robert Esland

posted October 24, 2008 at 12:22 pm


Gerald McGrew said: ‘As long as the YEC position is “Billions of years contradicts scripture”, given the above it is pointless to discuss radiometric dating with YEC’s.
The root issue isn’t empirical science, it’s fundamentalist theology.’
McGrew, you seem not to have understood my comments, nor those of others in this debate. I challenged the assumptions of science from a philosophical perspective, not on the grounds of Scripture or Young Earth Creationism. Could it be that you are an admirer of David Hume: considering anything not empirical as unworthy of consideration?
The thing is, there is no need to consult Scripture or any of its interpreters to focus on the issue at hand, which you insist isn’t empirical science but fundamentalist theology. You are wrong: it is neither. The root issue is not fundamentalist theology but fundamentalist interpretation of data gathered from empirical science. The root issue is that many scientists deny that they interpret data according to agreed upon scientific paradigms.
Here is the perfect example, from your answer to CD: ‘All data must be “interpreted”. The data that indicates the earth revolves around the sun must be “interpreted”.’ You see, there is no empirical data that logically and inevitably leads to the conclusion that the earth revolves around the sun. The earth revolving around the sun is in itself already an interpretation.
Many scientists are incapable of philosophical thinking. They are incapable of understanding the word ‘belief’, which is ‘trusting something to be true or someone to be saying the truth.’ Most scientists actually believe in the hypotheses their colleagues have formulated and they consider these hypotheses a sound basis for justified interpretation of empirical data but they refuse to acknowledge that ‘regarding as true the hypothesis formulated by such and such team of scientists’ is in and of itself the expression of a belief, in case the belief that the scientists of the team are correct in their formulation of the hypothesis.
The core problem of misunderstandings between scientists and believers is not empirical data; it is the refusal of scientists to accept that they themselves are believers as well, but have decided to create their own belief system (The Rules for the Interpretation of Empirical Data, or RIED) rather than believe in a religious framework for interpretation.
I can cause most scientists to disagree with me – without ever referring to the Bible or to God – by merely uttering the words ‘philosophical perspective.’ Christians know that Jesus Christ once said that it will be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. This paints a very strong picture and I would humbly borrow the structure of the analogy to express my view which is that it will be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a scientist to acknowledge that he or she, too, is a believer, albeit in other assumptions than those of religious believers.
Finally, there is also a strong contention between science and technology. Many take for granted the role of technology, but I would think that none of present scientific progress would be possible without technology, and no, technology and science are absolutely not the same. Technology is what makes science possible. Technology enables us to detect a star very far away, science then claims the star is actually a planet and has existed for so many million years and has a surface temperature of 1500 Kelvin and will eventually be drawn into a black hole no one has yet discovered but before this happens will hopefully tell us a bit more about where life on earth came from.
I believe the current state of Technology is a remarkable expression of how well God has created mankind. Science neither makes nor creates. Could it be that scientists are a bit jealous?
Robert



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 24, 2008 at 1:42 pm


Dimitri,
Can you show where in the Cartwright et al. paper they state that the specimens in question have eyes? They state:
Extant medusozoans possess several complex characters. For example, the living cubozoan Tripedalia cystophora has sophisticated reproductive behavior that includes mate recognition and courtship, involving the indirect transfer of sperm through spermatophores. Cubozoans also have complex eyes and nervous systems. The existence of our newly described fossil material may suggest that these complex traits could have evolved within the Cnidaria by the Middle Cambrian
But nowhere in the Results section do they bother to mention that these specimens show the existence of eyes, “complex” or otherwise. They go into great detail about muscular traits, tentacle arrangements, umbrella shape, and all manner of morphological traits, yet there isn’t any mention of the presence of eyes in any of these specimens.
So unless you think going from “no eyes” to “complex eyes” is “not changing much at all”, your original assertion about these specimens remains false.
Note please there are no any intermediate forms leading up to jellyfish
What exactly would you expect a precursor to jellyfish to look like?
You assert:
“No apparent, perceived, or claimed interpretation of evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the NATURALISM and NATURALISTIC RECORD (EVOLUTION).”
“The problem with EVOLUTION is that it is founded on the position that all interpretations of data must adhere to these religious materialistic beliefs. That’s not only not science, it’s the exact opposite of truth seeking”.
“EVOLUTION always, always, always trumps data” is not only non-science, it is the exact opposite of science”

Can you show where I’ve said anything of the sort? The difference here is that I’ve shown repeatedly where AIG makes it clear that they take that sort of approach. You on the other hand, must resort to attributing things to me that I’ve never said. That by itself speaks volumes.



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Gerald McGrew

posted October 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm


Robert,
Could it be that you are an admirer of David Hume: considering anything not empirical as unworthy of consideration?
No. Science cannot tell me what is or isn’t art or music, yet I value those things very much.
The root issue is not fundamentalist theology but fundamentalist interpretation of data gathered from empirical science.
You’re attempting to change the issue. Nice try and I almost fell for it, but no such luck.
The issue here is young-earth creationism and its conflict with most of modern natural science. Why the conflict? Why does YEC even exist? The fact that all young-earth creationists adhere to fundamentalist religion is a pretty powerful clue as to exactly what’s going on. Further, the declaration from AIG that there cannot ever be any data or interpretations that conflict with their fundamentalist religious beliefs removes any doubt as to the root cause of their position.
Given the central role these fundamentalist beliefs have in their lives, and their importance to their sense of who they are on a deep personal level, we suddenly understand their seemingly odd behaviors. They argue “no transitional fossils” despite their existence by the thousands. They argue “no new genetic information” despite its observed evolution on an almost daily basis. They engage in some of the most blatently dishonest tactics one can ever envision (think “quote mining”).
Simply put, we’re talking about denialism. YEC is no different than holocaust denial, flat-earth geocentrism, or any of a number of denialist beliefs. These positions require such a level of cognitive dissonance, it boggles the mind. One one hand they live in a modern society and enjoy the benefits that modern science has given us, but on the other they decry science as the “product of fallible humans” and as something that can’t be trusted. Even though they understand that their position is based in their fundamentalist beliefs, they try and pretend it is scientifically justified. Even though they bash science as a biased, flawed enterprise, they crave its endorsement and credibility in creating monikers like “scientific creationism” and “intelligent design theory” (oftentimes immediately after arguing evolution is “only a theory”!).
It’s just bizarre……until you understand just what’s at stake for them. They’ve managed to convince themselves that evolution or even “billions of years” equals eternal damnation, the non-existence of God, and/or the destruction of everything they believe in and hold dear. Suddenly I understand how one creationist could have told me, “I could hold a transitional fossil in my hands and see it with my own eyes, but if it goes against what God has told me, then I must believe it doesn’t exist”.



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brightmoon

posted October 24, 2008 at 7:22 pm


“Please note that there are a good number of Ph D scientists supporting AiG with very credible degrees. So while it is possible that somehow all of them are wrong and evolution is an accurate means to explain life’s origins, it is also possible that scientists who don’t accept that explanation of life’s origins have good reason.”
even very intelligent educated people can be blinded by their prejudices
there is actually no evidence for a young earth creation nor is there ANY doubt about common descent in the international life science community
the PhDs at the ICR and at AiG are considered to be crackpots if they accept separate creation or a young earth BECAUSE there is NO evidence for a young earth and separate creation is a meaningless concept(like phlogiston, 19th century racial ‘theories’ or luminiferous aether) to biologists BECAUSE even eucaryotic cells arent single organisms from a single lineage (mitochondria are purple bacteria-alpha proteobacteria)



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John

posted October 24, 2008 at 9:16 pm


Brightmoon,
Respectfully, “there is actually no evidence for a young earth creation” … rubbish.
“..nor is there ANY doubt about common descent in the international life science community..” – utter rubbish.
All it would take is one evidence of each to falsify your claim.
Age Estimate
1. Receding Moon 750 m.y.a. max
2. Oil Pressure 5,000 – 10,000 years
3. The Sun 1,000,000 years max
4. The Oldest Living Thing 4,900 years max
5. Helium in the Atmosphere 1,750,000 years max
6. Short Period Comets 5,000 – 10,000 years
7. The Earth’s Magnetic Field 10,000 years max
8. C-14 Dating of Dino Bones 10,000 – 50,000 years
9A. Dinosaur Blood and Ancient DNA 5,000 – 50,000 years
9B. Unfossilized Dinosaur Bones 5,000 – 50,000 years
9C. 165 Million Year Old Ligaments 5,000 – 50,000 years
10. Axel Heiberg Island 5,000 – 10,000 years
11. Carbon-14 in Atmosphere 10,000 years max
12. The Dead Sea 13,000 years max
13. Niagara Falls 5,000 – 8,800 years max
14. Historical Records 5,000 years max
15. The San Andreas Fault 5,000 – 10,000 years
16. Mitochondrial Eve 6,500 years
17. Population Growth 10,000 years max
18. Minerals in the Oceans Various (mostly young) Ages
19. Rapid Mountain Uplift Less than 10 million years
20. Carbon 14 from “Old” Sources 10,000 to 50,000 years
21. Dark Matter and Spiral Galaxies 100 – 500 million years (max)
22. Helium and lead in Zircons 6,000 years
and … 600+ voting scientists of the Creation Research Society (voting membership requires at least an earned master’s degree in a recognized area of science).



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Russ Davis

posted October 25, 2008 at 1:48 am


McGrew’s blind fundamentalist antitheist bigotry is of course without historic or verifiable foundation since true versus revisionist history irrefutably (at least for those who are honest, unlike evolutionists, as Richard Sternberg found out in his Smithsonian persecution) shows that modern science was founded by Christian creationists like Newton and Galileo, totally refuting his bogus antitheist fundamentalist babbling about creationist’s religious fundamentalism since evolutionists have proven themselves far more narrow-minded and lock-stepped in their utterly deranged fascist persecution of any who disagree with them (even other evolutionists, e.g. Richard Sternberg’s Smithsonian persecution by liars among those who are supposedly the nation’s leading “scientists,” very like what happened in the Soviet academy that was the Free world’s laughingstock we have now become by embracing evolution as they did unlike the creationism we previously embraced then now discarded to pursue immorality since the ’60s as did Darwin’s Huxley. There is of course nothing wrong with such “immoral” behavior for an evolutionist who to be consistent must demand total randomness for everything, but this of course is exactly what ironically puts the evolutionist in the unenviable and indeed impossible predicament of having to pursue his antitheist religion of evolutionism solely on the basis of a Christian worldview without which he cannot do his own science since if everyone was free to lie there could be no research and if every day everything was truly random as they demand then today’s 3.14… pi might be 52 or anything else tomorrow. As Huxley was bold enough to say, evolutionism has always only been merely about shaking off the Christian God of Darwin’s age in order to engage the immorality desired supposedly without having to face the Christian God and give an account, an essentially infantile system as seen in today’s delusional fascist employment of the judiciary like the Soviets did since evolution lost in the debate arena decades ago and its adherents are too vain and proud to admit so they call in the judges, sadly blind to the fact that the truth will eventually out as it did in the USSR and their walls will soon crumble as it did there. I was once an evolutionist until I got an education and, only by the grace of God, grew up. As you will see from Gilberson (and other evolutionists), whose alleged “conversion” from so-called “creationism” to “evolutionism” was likewise not based on evidence or science or truth, it is rather the usual emotional crisis that as with Darwin comes to the fore and so has to be justified for one to look “respectable” to the world (of course caring nothing for God or His Word ultimately or even primarily, despite contrary spin) by the smoke and mirrors vainly trying to make it look legitimate for those easily fooled by such trickery). I have yet to meet an evolutionist that wasn’t a self-deceived liar, as I myself was before God condescended to open my eyes as I pray He will in this debate that the truth may out, chips fall where they may.



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An Observer

posted October 25, 2008 at 9:48 am


Mr McGrew
For someone who, as you say, doesn’t waste time arguing YEC, you sure have spent a lot of time here doing just that! And not only here but elsewhere since you describe yourself as “a veteran of many years of these sorts of battles with creationists”.
My question for you is this, do you believe abiogenesis is how life originated and if so why? What scientific data have you used to reach this conclusion? Please don’t brush this of as something that has been answered on the talkorigins list you sited in an earlier post. I’ve read that nonsense! I want to hear in your own words why you would believe this and what scientific data you used to reach this conclusion.
I found a particularly amusing comment on the talkorigins site you mentioned. It is from Claim CB090 and states: “Abiogenesis is a fact. Regardless of how you imagine it happened (note that creation is a theory of abiogenesis), it is a fact that there once was no life on earth and that now there is. Thus, even if evolution needs abiogenesis, it has it.”
Please note that creation is NOT a theory of abiogenesis as this person suggests. Life did not come from non life in the creation account. It came from Jesus Christ who is “The Life”



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Dimitry

posted October 27, 2008 at 2:27 pm


Gerald,
Evolutionists themselves admit that ancient jellyfish (if assuming evolution timeline, of course) had eyes:
In Cartwright et al paper:
“Extant medusozoans possess several complex characters… Cubozoans also have COMPLEX EYES and nervous systems. The existence of our newly described fossil material may suggest that THESE complex traits could have evolved within the Cnidaria BY the Middle Cambrian”
In article “Jellyfish Have Human-Like Eyes” I gave you refernce to (http://www.livescience.com/animals/070330_jellyfish_eyes.html) :
“Because jellyfish belong to one of the first groups of animals to evolve eyes (the phylum Cnidaria), Garm said, understanding how their eyes operate will show scientists what eyes WERE LIKE EARLY in evolutionary time”.
In news release (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/10/071031-jellyfish.html)
“The researchers liken the two fossils pictured here to living species from the genus Cunina (top) and Periphylla (bottom). If verified, these connections would suggest that jellies either evolved into their CURRENT COMPLEX form very quickly around 500 million years ago, or they evolved slowly and have existed much longer than has been estimated”.
So authors-evolutionists admit that jellyfish of this class (and of the phylum Cnidaria) had already eyes in Cambrian. So your attempts to have these eyes evolving somewhere between found fossils and modern living jellyfish fail.
Cartwright et al didn’t describe eyes due to their small size and inssuficient for it preservation, but they admit along with other evolutionists that Cambrian Cnidaria had eyes.
You continuous attempts to “evolve” in these 500 mln years in jellyfish nervous system and eyes at first, and then eyes alone failed.
And note please that for a jellyfish – one of the most primitive animals in evolutionary thinking – to have “human-like eyes” is an astonishing upset. It’s almost like God threw in surprises here and there to falsify evolutionary notions.
You didn’t answer anything to my first two posts regarding existence of tens of thousands of living fossils. Why?
Again, my only question to you is this: do you have a priori starting assumptions in origins issue or not? Is evolution derived from data or data is interpreted according to a priori assumption of naturalism?
The way you dealt with specific example clearly, very clearly demonstrated to me that you do have a priori presuppositions in origins issue.
And there is nothing wrong with having the ones (after we all have, and biblical creationists are open about theirs). But it’s wrong not to admit the obvious fact that you and other evolutionists do have a priori commitment to naturalism.
Why is it so difficult for you to admit it?
Regarding quotation you didn’t get my point. I didn’t intend to attribute to you what you never said. I paraphrased your own words/ quotations about AIG and YEC’s a priori commitment to Genesis, by inserting NATURALISM/EVOLUTION instead of CREATION/BIBLE to convey my point – that you do have starting presuppositions:
“No apparent, perceived, or claimed interpretation of evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the NATURALISM and NATURALISTIC RECORD (EVOLUTION).”
“The problem with EVOLUTION is that it is founded on the position that all interpretations of data must adhere to these religious materialistic beliefs. That’s not only not science, it’s the exact opposite of truth seeking”.
“EVOLUTION always, always, always trumps data” is not only non-science, it is the exact opposite of science”
Starting assumption person holds clearly means:
1) It’s person’s ultimate authority, he is biased by it.
2) All data/facts are interpreted and reinterpreted accordingly (until starting assumption is substituted by another one)
3) It in some sense constitutes conslusion (person who starts with naturalism in issue of origins, exluding GOD a priori, will never never arrive at creation as conclusion)
4) Starting with assumption person starts with history (at least in general sense). When evolutionist begins with pressuposition of naturalism in origins (that nature did it all) he already starts with history – how everything came from one another, how living forms came one from another, how life originated from dead chemicals (because he already excluded supernatural creation) – the rest are details of this story. The idea that evolutionists objectively restore true history of origins is false. They start with naturalistic history, the rest are details compared to magnitude of this starting assumption.
So the question then is which set of starting assumptions – evolutionary or biblical ones – better explain origin and history of our universe.
Bible when given fair chance clearly wins.
Regards,
Dima



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JimA

posted October 29, 2008 at 6:40 pm


John, though 600 scientists or degreed persons seems like a lot, give Google a search for “Project Steve” to get a sense of the very lopsided ratio between those who identify with a non-evolutionary view and those who hold to an evolutionary view.
Regards – JimA



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Marc Kay

posted November 1, 2008 at 1:02 am


Both sides seem to take solace in the number of accredited scientists that their own brand is supported by. However, truth can (must?) never be decided according to the number of subscribers. After all, any revolution in science had only one supporter in its initial stage.
Evolution/creation is no exception. Truth can only rationally be decided by the data and what theory can best explain them. If numbers were a reasonable tool to impress, then McDonalds is a three star Michelin restaurant.



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Steve Sorensen

posted November 6, 2008 at 4:47 pm


How about the RATE conference and publications since? Even radio metric data is open to interpretation.



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Steve Sorensen

posted November 7, 2008 at 12:30 am


Your lack of understanding of the Bible’s use of “figures” and its difference between the various uses of poetry and narrative reflects your lack of knowledge of systematic interpretation of Scripture. The first eleven chapters of Genesis are prose and are meant to be.
You fall right into the category of those who, through peer pressure, accept the notion that all things observed today follow the same processes and patterns they always have; that “all things continue as they were from the start.” That truth of unbelievers is clear in the Bible. You have followed an “unbeliever’s” path, quite inconsistently.
The Bible never teaches that those with epilepsy were demon possessed. You have mixed faulty interpretation from biblically illiterate teachings.
In addition to radio metric dating, the transit time of starlight is not beyond reasonable doubt. That is false. You have caved into peer pressure. You have not read all the facts, even from inconsistent evolutionists. You have not found the truth here. The fusion process by which atoms are forged in stars? Please! Let’s strive to understand our own sun, first. And all the other forces within and about our earth not understood, not to mention the varying beliefs of “scientists” about the “missing energy or matter” that supposedly makes up most of the universe they cannot account for. Don’t you think that “matter” or “energy”could have an affect on how we view stars? Don’t you? Honesty is the best policy here.
And then speculation, assumption, and biased interpretation permeates your understanding of genes. You have never observed the processes you profess. That is not science. It is another false faith. And that’s a fanciful story you created about dinosaur fossils and human fossils. It was your interpretation. And I am sure you have not seen enough fossils to verify your story beyond a reasonable doubt.
There is no mountain of data supporting evolution. That is a foolish and unscientific statement. If evolution were true, there would be unquestionable masses of fossils clearly showing each intricate step along the way. They would fill museums worldwide and volumes of books will photos that would require their own huge libraries. They do not exist. They have not been found. Only interpretations and stories to support an anti-supernatural Creator position.
Do you believe the water into wine? The multiplying of loaves and fish? Do you? Do you believe the resurrection? If not, why not? If so, why? How powerful is any God you profess to believe in? How “very good” did He create things before man’s fall into sin?
The story of evolution is cosmologically boring. The vast majority of all foundational scientists were creationists. Accept it, and accept it in relation to all you have rejected in order to be accepted by evolutionists. You will be judged for this on that Day, not by your “peers” but by the Judge of all creation.



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Dilys

posted January 9, 2009 at 6:51 pm


ah the gentlemen in last comment, that not enough fossils displaying every step of evolution were found doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t exist. Maybe all we need are somewhere out there and it is just the ability of human exploration is limited. Maybe we could one day find a fossil with dinosaur and human being hugging…we just don’t know.
I thought no preassumptions of anything is one strong argument for creationists. Correct me if I’m wrong.



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Your Name

posted May 21, 2009 at 1:49 pm


Actually, many Christians do support evolution. Here is the link to an article written by a Catholic scientist.
http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=11034
You can also read this article:
http://www.cuttingedge.org/n1034.html



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Mike

posted January 6, 2010 at 3:00 am


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Robert Hutchinson

posted July 27, 2010 at 3:04 pm


The irony of all this is that the vast majority of believing Christians, including the current and most recent pope, DO accept the reality of evolution. What we do not accept is the metaphysical, non-scientific claim that evolution means we live in an utterly random universe.



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Pingback: New Book by Nazarene-Affiliated Scholars Slams Biblical Creationists | Around the World with Ken Ham

Spencer Gilliam

posted September 29, 2011 at 10:54 pm


Evolution is Satan’s way of planting a Trojan Horse into Christianity.

It is amazing how many Christians and people who believe themselves to be Christian have been duped and are blind to what the Bible actually says.

Evolution is the lie that deceives.



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Karen Henck

posted October 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm


What a miracle it is to live amidst a dynamic, self-regenerating creation! Evaluating creation as a work of art, it is one of the most magnificent works I can imagine. To me, the book of nature cries out that God did not fashion a static world. Instead, he created a place in motion, where creation is ongoing, constant, and responsive. When I look at art, I usually discover things about the artist, and thus I come to understand from God’s creation that he is an ever present, dynamic, and responsive God, always engaging in the processes of creation because he is the soul of creation, as well as the soul of love. I think the world and how it works, as far as science tells us, reveals a maker who enjoys watching relationships between different created things shape and change those things. He is in control, but as the God of free will he gives what he creates freedom to respond and be shaped by other creatures and by their environment. I can’t imagine expecting any less from the ultimate creator–from the ideal mind that revels in realization and the process of communicating revelation with others.
Observing the book of nature and carefully trying to use our powers of observation, language, and reason leads us on to truth. What is real–what is true–how can that be contrary to the God that created that truth, as well as the dynamic, often mutable creation and the minds that perceive it?



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Lige Jeter

posted October 26, 2011 at 12:16 am


In Jewish discernment certain passages found in Scripture portrays parallel truths about God that cannot be denied. Gen. [1:3] “Then God said,” carries the same concept as God willed, meaning all of creation was intentional as planned and could not have happened by chance. Psalms [33:6a] We learn that “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.” and in John [1:3] we are told that “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

The words in Genesis [1:4] “That it was good.” acknowledges the will of God fulfilled in His creation. This is repeated five additional times in the creation story. Additionally in Genesis [1:31] God said; “It was very good.” suggests all that He created was according to His will. And that He was pleased with every part that was brought into existence and was satisfied that nothing was lacking in the whole of His creation.

In the original Hebrew the Torah was not divided into chapter and verses as we have today. Perhaps this is why some believe there are two accounts of creation. The first account in chapter 1 and the second account in chapter 2. Actually they are the same account expressed somewhat different for different purposes. Genesis [2: 1-3] actually belongs in chapter 1 according to Hebrew teaching. This makes sense when you apply it as a continuance of creative days that are held in chapter 1.

Our total understanding of creation is limited in light of God’s word. To me the order of creation is more important than the length of time to actually create something. It speaks volumes about a meticulous God who cares about perfection, leaving nothing to chance, in what He provides for all His creation.

Consider this! In Genesis [1:5,8,13] seperate the creation events described as one day each. Some describe the first three days of creation are not ordinary days as of man. According to Jewish teaching these are considered the days expressing a span or period of time belonging to God. Psalms [90:2,4] support this. “Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past.”

I believe earthly or human calculations of time do not apply to the first three days of creation because the stars, moon, and sun was not yet in existence. They were not created until the fourth day. Genesis [1:14] alludes to this when it divides “the day from night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years.” FYi the Hebrew word for day is “Yom” and is expressed in various lengths of time.

True man is smart, but like Job [42: 3]must acknowledge “Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand things too wonderful for me.” I challenge Dr. Giberson to read Job chapters 38 through 42 especially 38 and answer God’s questions to Job.

Before we leave this there are two Hebrew words that express God’s Justice and Mercy. For God to create the world by mercy alone “Adonay” without Justice, lawlessness or sin would prosper without remedy. To create the same world by Justice alone “Elohim” then the world as we know it, without mercy, would cease to exist. We see this in the Flood. God’s justice condemned the world of sin while His mercy to the righteous shut the door to the ark before the flood.



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Albert DeBenedictis

posted November 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm


In response to mnovack’s comments regarding creationists, I do not believe he realizes that not all creationists agree totally with Ken Ham, John Whitcomb, Henry Morris, John Morris, the Institute for Creation Research, the Discovery Institute, or Answers in Genesis (AiG). Some creationists also utilize science to arrive at their conclusions. Their views are not just obtained from their interpretations of Scripture. Some creationists believe that the universe, including the earth, is more than 10,000 years old. The majority of creationists believe that the universe could not have originated on its own or that life could have originated by natural processes. Also, some creationists (as well as some evolutionists who are not Darwinists) believe that minor changes may occur in a species, but that no major changes occur in nature. Some evolutionists believe that the current level of knowledge does not reflect Darwin’s theory of “decent with modifications.” They, as well as creationists, believe that biological changes can only go so far in a species (micro evolution). Many creationists believe that it is possible for some changes to occur in species, however, they believe that it is not possible for a reptile to evolve into a mammal or a land dwelling mammal could evolve into a whale (macro evolution). I do not wish to go into details here as it would require a great amount of information, too much for this posting. I have compiled many of the arguments from both sides of the issue (evolutionist as well as creationist) in my book “Evolution or Creation? A Comparison of the Arguments,” that was recently published. My book provides the arguments and allows the reader to decide for themselves whether evolution or creation is true. I would encourage anyone who is truly interested in both sides of the issue or is just curious about what the “other side” claims, to read my book. I believe that if everyone on both sides of the issues knew what the other side believes, it would eliminate a great deal of needless confusion, false accusations, and argumentation and could therefore concentrate on the real issues.



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posted 4:21:02pm Nov. 13, 2008 | read full post »

Faith Is Not Just Belief
Dear Heather: There are many aspects of popular Catholic faith that have sometimes shocked me and turned me away. Yet I well remember visiting the great Catholic shrine at Czestechowa, in Poland, where once almost a million people turned out for Pope John Paul II when he first pierced the Iron Curta

posted 3:48:33pm Nov. 12, 2008 | read full post »




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