Blogalogue

Blogalogue


Science cannot judge the Bible

posted by kgiberson

Karl,
We certainly have waded into some deep waters here, Karl, but I do believe our postings have enabled each of us to more fully understand our respective positions.
First, I want to clarify one thing in case there might be a misunderstanding: I love science. In fact, AiG employs a number of scientists (and works with others), all of which obtained their doctorates from secular institutions. Across the hall from me, for example, is Dr. David Menton, who earned a PhD in biology from an Ivy League school (Brown University).
As we both know, the etymology of the word “science” has the basic meaning of “knowledge.” Today, when the word “science” is used, we are usually referring to observational science–such as the example you gave concerning medical science.
Science is a wonderful tool that God has given us. But because science is imperfect, and changing, and because different scientists disagree on what the evidence really means, science cannot serve as an ultimate, infallible standard. It can certainly be a secondary standard by which certain types of claims are evaluated. But science is not the limit of possibility, and thus is not in a position to judge the Bible upon which it depends.


You say that there are, “some passages in the Bible–like the story of Joshua’s long day–that were misunderstood until after they were illuminated by science.” However, this approach, if applied consistently, leads to the logically inevitable conclusion that we cannot know that any of the Bible is true. If a certain level of scientific knowledge is necessary in order to understand some scriptural passages, then how can we ever know that even today we’ve obtained a sufficient level of knowledge? In other words, how do you know that passages that you do take in a natural way (such as the Resurrection of Christ) are not currently misunderstood, and will only be correctly understood after future scientific illumination?
Regarding Joshua’s long day, there is nothing wrong with stating that the sun really did stand still in the sky. It is perfectly appropriate to use the Earth as a reference frame. Astronomers today write about “sunrise” and “sunset,” yet no one accuses them of denying heliocentrism.
The Bible, as a revelation from God, gives us many things, among them:
1. The foundation for science
Although the Bible does not give the details on how to build a microscope or develop antibiotics, it does give us the foundational framework that makes such things possible. As I mentioned in my last post, science presupposes a Christian worldview – in particular, a worldview that takes the Bible as written. It is therefore inconsistent (i.e. irrational) to believe in the procedures of science while simultaneously denying the straightforward reading of the Bible – the foundation of science.
Most secular scientists have not given much thought to the presuppositions necessary for science (and the fact that such foundational truths stem from the Bible). The fact that they are able to do science is not in question. Of course they can – because the Bible is true! This it not a moot point. Science is possible because biblical creation is true.
2. The historical information concerning how the universe and life came into existence.
The Bible presents other events of history besides creation (e.g., the Global Flood and Tower of Babel) that enable us to have the correct way of thinking to connect what we see in the present with the past.
The point I will make again is that observational or operational science, which we all agree upon, enables us to use the things of the present to develop medicines, technology, etc.
On the other hand, origins science (knowledge about how the universe and life came to be) involves understanding the evidence of the present in the context of history (we were not there).
As you rightly point out in your response, “Science is not equipped to assess miracles like the resurrection of Christ, for example. The resurrection, of course, cannot be explained by natural science since it is by definition, supernatural. Ditto for eternal life and other mysteries of the faith that transcend human understanding and experience.”
And I would add: ditto for the supernatural creation events. Both the Resurrection of Christ and the creation of the universe are recorded in Scripture as historic, supernatural events. It is inconsistent to take one as myth, and the other as literal. In fact, the Gospel message itself links back to the literal history of Genesis. It is because Adam literally sinned that death entered the world, and is why we all possess a sin nature, will die physically, and are in need of salvation. The apostle Paul makes the connection between Adam and Christ clear in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22. If Paul is mistaken about Adam (“For as in Adam all die”), then how can we have confidence in the future resurrection (“so also in Christ all shall be made alive”)? If Genesis was just a story, then there would be no rational reason for the death and Resurrection of Christ. So, although a person may believe in both the Gospel and evolution, he or she, I submit, must do so at the expense of rationality.
The tools of science are well-suited to describing the way that God consistently upholds the universe today. But this is different than explaining how the world came into being. Let me explain further: Observing changes (e.g., mutations) that have occurred in bacteria to result in resistance (H pylori becoming resistant to antibiotics) involves observational science. The origin of the bacteria in the first place is in the realm of origins science.
In regards to Bible interpretation, it is true there are passages that are hard for us to understand. Even Peter comments on this in 2 Peter 3:15-16 — “… as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand …”
And we are told to study diligently (2 Timothy 2:15). Nonetheless, the basic doctrines of Christianity are very clear.
Concerning the passage you cite from 1 Corinthians 15:29, it is true that some commentators state that this is the hardest passage in the New Testament to understand. However, there is agreement that the basic meaning concerns the truth of the Resurrection–a central tenet of Christian doctrine.
And no, Karl, I really don’t believe the biblical authors were mere “secretaries.” God used them to write His truth, but allowed them to use their own styles, and even figures of speech that were common in the day. At the same time, God is omnipotent, and is certainly able to ensure that the authors wrote only what He wanted without error. Remember, Jesus took the Scriptures as absolutely authoritative (“it is written”; “have you not read?” and so on), and therefore so do I.
You keep mentioning that Christians in the past (and today for that matter) have misunderstood passages in the Bible. While quite true, of course, I think it actually supports my position rather than yours. Many of the misunderstandings of the Bible were caused by people “reading into” the passages based on the secular science of the day. The Galileo incident to which you refer is a prime example, as shown here. The belief that the Earth was immovable and the center of the solar system was the prevailing secular scientific view of the day, and many people interpreted the Bible to match – although as I showed previously, the Bible does not really teach such a cosmology. Nor does the Bible really teach a solid dome view of the sky, as shown here.
In any case, the fact that people have misunderstood biblical passages does not in any way refute my position that the Bible is to be read in a natural way. After all, if someone misunderstood a statement in your latest article, would that mean that your article is not meant to be read in a natural way? Really, all language must be taken in a natural way (e.g., poetry as poetic, history as literal, figures of speech as such, etc.) in order for communication to be meaningful. This very debate would be impossible if you and I had not already presupposed that we would read the other’s comments in a natural, straightforward way.
Karl, I still ask the question of you from my last posting: “What is the ultimate standard by which you decide when the word of secular scientists is to be taken in place of the Bible, and when to do the reverse?” I recognize you explained how you view science and the Bible–but it still doesn’t answer for me at least this specific question.
As I get to my final point in this posting in relation to how I take the Bible, I note that you stated:

“I am puzzled by your comment: ‘The only way we can be absolutely certain about anything is if we have a basis in an absolute authority–which is what the Bible claims for itself.’ I don’t see how you can say this. I will set aside the obvious circularity in accepting a claim that the Bible makes about itself. Instead, I will point out that the Bible does not even make such a claim about itself.”

I am sure you are familiar with biblical passages (and other similar ones) such as:
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness …” 2 Timothy 3:16
“… to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:2-3
Really, any worldview that does not start with an ultimate standard will inevitably – if applied consistently – lead to radical skepticism. We could not even say that things are “likely” to be true without an ultimate and certain standard, because we would have no standard by which to evaluate how likely or unlikely anything is. The reason I speak with authority (even if an unsettling authority to many) is because I do accept God’s Word for what it claims to be. Yes, God used different people against different backgrounds, but the timeless truths are obvious regardless when one takes a natural reading of the Word of the Lord that “endures forever.”
That is also why I know without a doubt I will spend eternity with the Lord: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).
Ultimately, it’s not really an issue of faith vs. science. All worldviews are based on some kind of faith. They all presuppose a standard, be it the Bible, naturalism, empiricism, probability, or even the scientific method. But only a faith in the Bible will lead to a rational worldview – one that is self-consistent, non-arbitrary, and provides the foundation for science and knowledge. So, it is really an issue of which faith system we should choose as our ultimate standard – our starting point. I contend that faith in the biblical God as revealed in a natural reading of the Bible is the key to preserving rationality and science, as well as ethics and Christian doctrines.
The Bible states, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him …” (Hebrews 11:6). I admire the great apostle Paul and his statement in 2 Timothy: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith….” May that be the position of each one of us as we prepare for eternity and stand before a Holy God to give account of our lives. My sincere prayer is that I do not in any way want to lead anyone astray (Mark 9:42), but I yearn for people to be saved through the preaching of the gospel from the Word of God. After all, “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”
Kindest regards,
Ken



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aaron

posted October 25, 2008 at 10:54 am


[i]But science is not the limit of possibility, and thus is not in a position to judge the Bible upon which it depends[/i]
But it’s surely in the position to judge YEC claims.



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Bud

posted October 25, 2008 at 11:55 am


aaron,
Yes it is…and the Bible affirms a YEC position very nicely. As you noticed, Ken does a good job showing his YEC position is grounded on the Bible. He does that by explaining that truth is not arbitrarily decided, but something that already exists. Truth is the word of God. That is why operational science (the kind that gives us computers, medicine, puts us on the moon etc…) is totally compatible with scripture. Origins science cannot be tested scientifically (BB or Creation) and because of that, your presuppositions will guide you to conclusions about your origins. The question is: What is a good starting point to use to determine your origins? Everybody uses one. Christians who fail to use anything but the Bible – source of Truth – as your starting point are doomed to fall into gut wrenching inconsistencies in all areas of life and faith.



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Christian

posted October 25, 2008 at 12:42 pm


I keep coming back to 2 Peter 3:3-7:
“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.
They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.” (New Living Translation)



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Raj

posted October 25, 2008 at 7:13 pm


Is not YEC position based on the presupposition that the literal interpretation of Genesis 1 is the right method?
Is not YECers make up their mind to read Genesis literally even before opening the Bible?
How can one be sure that literal is the only correct interpretation?
Given the evidences from science regarding age of earth, gene fossils, fossils in the earth… atleast we should have the humility to admit there could be different ways to interpret Genesis.
I know YECers would say all these evidences have to be interpreted too… Yes! everything has to be interpreted. Nothing is black and white. We have to live with this tension till we meet our Lord. Why can’t we make it this topic inclussive of all views than make it one exclussive of each other. If we can agree that we cannot be 100% sure of anyone view, we could accommodate each other and concentrate on different issues that our Lord commissioned us to do.
my 2cents…



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Kevin Butterfield

posted October 25, 2008 at 9:02 pm


Raj, to bring all things into obedience to Christ is a commision. Young Earth Creationists do consider the legitimacy of an allegorical Genesis. How could we refute theistic-evolution if we hadn’t. You should be careful with your words, because your accusation is that the other view is apparently ignorant. You do not need to jump to the extreme in how you understand people who have a different understanding than you.



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MC

posted October 25, 2008 at 9:56 pm


“How can one be sure that literal is the only correct interpretation?”
As Ken repeatedly pointed out, by reading history as history, poetry as poetry, prophecy as prophecy, law as law.
You should read a few books before you close your mind to YEC.
Thousand Not Billions (mostly geology, but includes Hebrew verb study that shows the author(s) of Genesis clearly intended their writing to be read as true history, not allegory)
Refuting Compromise
Refuting Evolution
Refuting Evolution 2
The New Answers Book (http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab)
The New Answers Book 2



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D. Artly

posted October 25, 2008 at 11:32 pm


I would like to add a book to that list.
Old Earth Creationism on Trail
by AiG astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle and
Tim Chaffey.
It’s a very complete look at why trying to read millions of years into
the historical account of Genesis just doesn’t work. It’s a very well written
book full of challenging logic and truth, yet without a harsh edge towards
the person that may believe in millions of years.
1 Peter 3:15
But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense
to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you,
yet with gentleness and reverence.



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Raj

posted October 25, 2008 at 11:32 pm


I have read YEC books by Dr. Henry Morris, Ken Ham, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati and somany. I used to be a strong YEC. I used to subscribe to Creation Magazine (it is called Answers now!), TJ, CRSQ etc. (I even attended thousands not billions conference in san diego) So YEC’s argument are not new to me. Please note that I am not saying YEC is wrong and theistic evolution is the only interpretation. I have read books by Dr. Francis Collins, Prof. Ken Miller, Dr.Michael Behe and Karl Gibson. There are very good Christians all over the spectrum. (literal, progressive, framework,ID,etc). So it is not that easy to make black and white conclustions.
Theistic evolution provides one of the better frameworks for interpreting Genesis. Theistic-evolution is not a threat to Biblical worldview.



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John

posted October 26, 2008 at 12:08 am


Raj,
If you read scripture as Jesus taught, then YEC is the only position that is consistent. Jesus taught scriptures as history, Genesis, the flood, Jonah etc etc. If we take His word as truth, then we take Genesis as direct history, not allegory.
Evolution goes directly against Biblical world view, as it puts death and disease BEFORE man, not as a result of man’s sin.
Something for you to contemplate.



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Ryan

posted October 26, 2008 at 1:02 am


I ma enjoying not only the main debate, but still very much the side debate occuring on the sidelines. I am very happy to see that there is still disagreement, but it is being dealt with in a much more humane way than it was in earlier posts.
I absolutely enjoyed the post by Ken. In my opinion it was not only very well written, but seemed to address the key issues much better than did Dr. Giberson’s previous post. He produced well thought out arguments and I love how he speaks with authority, knowing that “if God is for him, who can be against him.” He has truth on his side, and regardless of how this debate turns out, he will always win in the end.



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Paul Smith

posted October 26, 2008 at 8:42 am


Rene,
I don’t know if you will even get to read this post (I hope so) because I thank you for your response and for the effort you went to. (refer to comments from Ken’s previous post)
Thank you for the information about the egg laying Great Tits. It is amazing the chain of events, but your comments prompted me to do a Google search on these birds, especially in regard to the research being done on their egg laying habits etc.
Having come from a farming background, I do not accept that a concentration of a particular gene can be legitimately termed ‘evolution’ whether ‘micro’ or ‘macro’ because the farming practice of selective breading of any kind of animal or plant has gone on for generations – this is not producing another kind (or species), just simply a concentration of a certain gene, thus limiting the possible variations available.
As I understand it, one of the reasons for the creation of the international Seed Bank, is to ensure the continued existence of ‘purest’ seed varieties. Any farmer or Biologist knows that this practice is not bring about new species but actually the opposite, ie. limiting the potential variations available….it is a loss of information, not gaining more or new information, in any real sense.
Secondly, you state that ‘Evolution is simply a change in the genetic makeup of a community, either be genetic drift (eg. inbreeding) or mutations.’ but I’m sorry, once again from practical experience, I have observed a number of mutations (I have already dealt with inbreeding sufficiently to rule this out) that could never be seriously upheld as being any improvement, and I have NEVER witnessed a mutation being passed from one generation to the next…it is nothing more than a mistake in the development of the animal – NO reasonable-thinking person in the practical world would say differently.
However, I must thank you most sincerely, for getting me into doing some Google searching, because I got onto a National Geographic site, which had entries on the discoveries from some Peru burial sites, which I further Googled and led me to http://www.omniology.com/omniology-content.html which has a few pages with photos of tapestries, rock art etc depicting very clearly dinosaur shaped creatures AND in some cases with men fighting with them etc.
NOW, if it wasn’t for the purpose of covering-up these amazing finds, why didn’t these rate any mention in the N.G. site – take a look for yourself – I cannot dispute what I see. They appear to be authentic. Please take my word for it, I have not even seen these before about 6 hours ago. Also I have never before been to this website, I don’t even know what else they promote…but what I have seen looks OK.
The amazing journey continued, in that this Omniology site had a link to the Institute of Creation Research (I have previously heard of this Institute, but to the best of my knowledge, I have not previously been to their website). I discovered http://www.icr.org/article/405/ which was an article from Keith Davies (never heard of him before) on the ‘Evidence for a Young Sun’.
It also took me to a website I was aware of, but had not been to this page: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/young.asp on the evidences of a young earth and universe.
There are too many ‘evidences’ for me to open each article, but I intend to do more research in this area.
If evolution requires long periods of time to get anywhere, and there are sufficient ‘evidences’ to show long periods of time are not possible…I will be left with no option but to apply some common sense and look elsewhere than evolution.
Thank you again Rene.



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gwyddion9

posted October 26, 2008 at 3:04 pm


I find the quote interesting:
“But science is not the limit of possibility, and thus is not in a position to judge the Bible upon which it depends.”
I find the whole idea of creationism, questionable as it is based on faith not fact. the other issue i have with such a statement is it assumes that their beliefs are fact and the truth.
perhaps they haven’t heard of the fact that is an objective truth and a subjective truth.
Objective is based on truth and fact, ie: water is made of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom.
Subjective is needing to apply faith in order to support a fact.
creationism simply seeks to redefine science in order to define and support religious beliefs. I do not see honesty in their work, only the need to justify their beliefs in another area of life, thereby pushing their religion into another area of thought.
To me, it’s another attempt to push the Christian theocracy paradigm on the rest of us.



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MC

posted October 26, 2008 at 3:36 pm


“Theistic evolution provides one of the better frameworks for interpreting Genesis.”
If you read secular biology INTO the Bible instead of letting the God’s Word speak for itself, yes, but as Dr. Lisle frequently points out (thanks D. Artly, I haven’t gotten around to reading that yet) isogesis can (not necessarily “will”) lead to a faulty interpretation of the Bible.
“Is not YECers make up their mind to read Genesis literally even before opening the Bible?”
No, YECs make up their mind to read the Bible as God intended it to be read. If Genesis was written as poetry this might be a very different conversation, but it was written as history. If you accept the Bible as God’s Word, you have to explain why have the origin of the universe written in a puzzle. “Day” is even defined in a very straightforward manner. Evolution has never been witnessed. Genetics doesn’t allow for new useful information to be generated by mutations. The rock record is better explained by rapid deposition of a global flood. Evidence of an old earth has to be interpreted and doesn’t agree with nearly any other secular method of measurement. It also has to dismiss the many more evidences of a young universe. Jesus was a young earth creationist. He should know, He was there.



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Stefan Morin

posted October 26, 2008 at 3:56 pm


“I find the whole idea of creationism, questionable as it is based on faith not fact. the other issue i have with such a statement is it assumes that their beliefs are fact and the truth.”
Creationism begins with the unprovable assumption that God created the universe as literally described in Genesis. All evidences (fossils, geological strata, DNA, etc.) are interpreted through that paradigm. In this sense, you are partially correct.
Evolutionism begins with the likewise-unprovable assumption that the universe and all things in it, including life, arose through happenstance and other chance events. All evidences (fossils, geological strata, DNA, etc.) are then interpreted through that paradigm.
Both belief systems begin with unverifiable assumptions, and thus both are based on FAITH. Both sides believe they have “fact and the truth”, so why do you criticize one and lift the other up as superior?
“Objective is based on truth and fact, ie: water is made of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom.”
What you’re talking about here is observational science. When it comes to things we can look at under a microscope and see happen, or repeat in a laboratory, creationists and evolutionists agree. After all, how you can debate facts in that sense? It’s when you start getting into origins that things get different. The origins of the universe, however, can never be proven. We cannot hop in a time machine and go see what happened. Nor can we recreate the beginnings of the universe in any laboratory (to claim otherwise would mean you would have to KNOW what the universe was like when it was first created before you ever began your experiment to produce results you already claim to know – an excellent example of circular logic).
So the question is, which paradigm, evolution or creation, best explains what we OBSERVE in nature today? We have never observed one life form evolving into a different kind of life form. Bacterial resistance is not evidence of molecules-to-man evolution as it – in all cases I am aware of – always comes about as a result of de-specification or loss of information. There are plenty of other evidences to suggest that Darwinian evolution cannot account for life on our planet, and AiG’s website is an excellent source. Also, google “a scientific dissent from Darwinism” to find a list of PHD’s (some creationists, some not) that disagree with the claim that all scientists believe in evolution.
Take care.



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Teresa Beck

posted October 26, 2008 at 5:25 pm


I appreciate the respectfulness of both men in this debate; it is so different from the disrespect and vitriol found on so many anti-theist websites.
It is unfortunate, however, that secular indoctrination of the last two or three hundred years into a belief in long ages will not be overcome simply. Christian people must be brought into remembrance, as Peter said in 2Peter 1&2 in which he reminded his readers of the fall of the rebellious angels, the flood, Sodom and Gomorrha, and of Baalam, whose ass rebuked him, in order for Peter to admonish his readers that only those who believe escape judgment. Peter clearly believed in a historical Genesis, as did every writer of the Bible who touched on creation, Adam, Noah, the flood, Babel, the dispersion, etc.
Further, written histories of many cultures list kings back to Noah’s sons and grandsons just as the Bible does. There is a plethora of evidence in the archaeological world that the world has existed just as God has said (except for their radiocarbon dating which often does not line up with the historical data). Having been destroyed in the flood, the Garden of Eden will never turn up, but other evidence, like the Acumboro (sp?) clay figures and drawings on the walls of Grand Canyon, indicate that man did in fact live alongside dinosaurs after the flood of Noah. The secular scientific world relegates these histories and archaeological evidences to fraud, “evolutionary memories,” or other such nonsense.
The world WANTS to believe the Bible is not true, that we evolved from slime, and that there is no God to whom to give account. If, after all, the Bible IS true, then God owns everything (and everyone) and has the right to judge. People would rather believe in a Santa Claus god who would never allow them to experience the “wages of sin.”
We Christians must continue to pray for all that are in the world and of it, that they would hear the Word, believe, and be saved so that the kingdom of God is enlarged and the authority of the Word of God honored.
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”



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Joe

posted October 26, 2008 at 7:40 pm


“The rock record is better explained by rapid deposition of a global flood.”
Really?
So, why isn’t there a single lion, tiger, bear, sheep, cow, goat, monkey, ape, armadillo, camel, cat, dog, deer, gazelle, kangeroo, sloth, racoon, squirrel, chipmunk, bat, anteater, leopard, dingo, wombat, any other modern mammal species, any modern bird species of any type, or any human fossils buried amongst all of the thousands and thousands of dinosaur fossils? Any and all dinosaur fossils are found in layers located below any layers with any fossils of any of the above species. Did the dinosaur live at the same time as the afore mentioned species. No.



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Joe

posted October 26, 2008 at 7:43 pm


Teresa,
When were the Great Pyramids built?



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Paul Smith

posted October 26, 2008 at 10:10 pm


Joe,
You asked me to do some research on this same question (regarding fossils) in response to one of my comments posted under Ken’s ‘Are you Certain about Certainty?’ debate post.
I will respond with what I have been able to ‘dig up’ within the next day or two. If I find nothing exciting, I will tell you honestly.
BUT, Theresa, please don’t hold back, if you also want to respond. This is all new territory for me…you may already have all the information right at hand.
What I have already researched, there is no possible way to respond fully on a topic such as this (in this kind of forum) but I will be giving it my best shot.
Joe, please refer to my most recent comments made (and offer for you to do some research also) under Ken’s ‘Are You Certain about Ceratinty?’ post.
I intend to make future responses under this comments section only.



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Gwyddion9

posted October 26, 2008 at 11:19 pm


Why is it that some Christians try to interpret the Old Testament as being a literal history when the Jews, whose book is the Tanakh, Old Testament, do not see or teach it as a literal history? Could it be that one group is changing things to meet their requirements when the original owners, to whom this book belongs, do not?
I have spoken to many Jewish men and women on this board, which emphatically states that the interpretation given by Christians is wrong. So, if I’m going to believe anyone on the matter or interpretation, it will be with those of the Jewish faith, who know what he or she is talking about.



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John

posted October 27, 2008 at 12:01 am


Joe,
You state: “Any and all dinosaur fossils are found in layers located below any layers with any fossils of any of the above species.”
What if by some chance, soft tissue and blood heme were found in a T-Rex bone? Would you then consider that dinosaurs existed a lot later than 60 million years ago? http://discovermagazine.com/2006/apr/dinosaur-dna
And what if there were written records of man and large reptiles together?
The great Swiss naturalist and medical doctor Konrad Gesner published a four-volume encyclopedia from 1516-1565 entitled Historiae Animalium. He mentioned dragons as “very rare but still living creatures.” (p.224)
Marco Polo reported in 1271 that on special occasions the royal chariot was pulled by dragons. In 1611 the emperor appointed the post of a “Royal Dragon Feeder.” Books even tell of Chinese families raising dragons to use their blood for medicines and highly prizing their eggs. (DeVisser, Marinus Willem, The Dragon in China & Japan, 1969.)
The well-respected Greek researcher Herodotus wrote: “There is a place in Arabia, situated very near the city of Buto, to which I went, on hearing of some winged serpents; and when I arrived there, I saw bones and spines of serpents, in such quantities as it would be impossible to describe. The form of the serpent is like that of the water-snake; but he has wings without feathers, and as like as possible to the wings of a bat.” (Herodotus, Historiae, tr. Henry Clay, 1850, pp. 75-76.)
Even the atheistic astronomer Carl Sagan once remarked: “The pervasiveness of dragon myths in the folk legends of many cultures is probably no accident” (Sagan, Carl, The Dragons of Eden, New York: Random House, 1977, p. 149). Indeed he felt compelled to address the similarity to the great reptiles of the Jurassic era and “explain them away.”
Every culture from around the world has historical writings of large reptiles (dragons) and I suppose it is just by chance?



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 27, 2008 at 4:14 am


If Mr Ham wants to cite the TJ (now Journal of Creation), the proper citation for the cited article “The Galileo affair: history or heroic hagiography?” by Dr Thomas Schirrmacher is given in the URL above. And it is an excellent article, demolishing the misinformation about Galileo by both misotheists and their churchian allies.



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 27, 2008 at 4:22 am


My book Refuting Compromise covers the issue of ministerial v magisterial uses of science, Galileo and geocentrism, and the flat earth myth on pp. 50-55.



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savedbyHisblood

posted October 27, 2008 at 5:53 am


Gerald McGrew (sorry I’m late, are you still there?)
You state that you observed “novel genetic sequences” among strains of E. coli. This expression makes it sound like the existing gene sequence was simply re-arranged – a phenomenon that YECs don’t actually dispute. I ask in all sincerity: exactly what was present in the resistant strain’s genetic sequence that was not in any of their ancestors’?
What would I consider “new genetic information”? How about multi-cellular bodies, sexual reproduction organs, a central nervous system, limbs, eyes, an exoskeleton … basically, something that would disqualify the new strain from being classified as Escherichia or, better still, Enterobacteriaceae.
You ask an important question about why we appeal to science when we also state it is the product of fallible humans. I do believe that science, like any human endeavour, is subordinate to the authority of Scripture. However, it is far from negligible. It can save lives, improve quality of life, facilitate widespread communication and much more. It deals with what we see, hear and physically feel – evidence that carries considerable weight with us as individuals. So when someone produces an allegedly scientific argument against Scripture, we can’t just say “Scientists are fallible and that’s that”. We need to examine the argument. Are there any unverifiable assumptions? Are there any alternative hypotheses that have not been considered? Do the findings demonstrate what they are alleged to show, or something else altogether? Your novel genetic sequence example seems to fall into the last category – demonstrating variation within a kind, rather than one kind of organism spawning a different kind.
Thanks for your link to the Caroline Crocker article. I especially loved Ken Miller’s breathtaking revelation of fossil animals who could have walked on land AND flippered through the water – you mean like sea lions, otters, platypi, crododiles or turtles? Stein’s glib summary as quoted by you of the events certainly doesn’t give the full picture about Crocker – she was quite explicit about the problems she perceived with evolution. However, as far as dishonesty goes, this example has nothing on Vedantam – by the end of the article he had managed to imply that disbelief in evolution equates to disbelief in natural selection.
As for YECs putting limits on God – the only “limits” I place on God are that He Is Who He says He Is, has done what He says He has done and will do what He says He will do. If we can’t expect that of Him, we can’t expect anything of Him.



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 8:04 am


John,
Nice try, but you didn’t answer the question. Please explain the paleontological data described above in light of the theory that all land animals were created together.



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MC

posted October 27, 2008 at 12:39 pm


“So, why isn’t there a single …modern mammal species, any modern bird species of any type, or any human fossils buried amongst all of the thousands and thousands of dinosaur fossils?”
3 reasons. As the fountains of the great deep opened, the bottom-dwelling marine creatures were buried first, then fish, then large reptile living in the tropical climate of the shore, then animal living in cooler inland climate. Birds and mammals are more mobile more quick to sense trouble and begin moving away from it. Finally, hydrologic sorting.
“Did the dinosaur live at the same time as the afore mentioned species.”
Yes. Order in the fossil record is no more than a record order of burial and fossilization. Stretching it to mean they were separated by millions of years required a different set assumptions that is not implied by the geologic record itself.



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MC

posted October 27, 2008 at 12:49 pm


“So, if I’m going to believe anyone on the matter or interpretation, it will be with those of the Jewish faith, who know what he or she is talking about.”
Most people of the Jewish faith also do not accept Jesus as the Messiah. Why then should Christians accept an alleged Jewish interpretation of Genesis which is foundational to Christology when same do not accept Christ? I would point out that the Hebrew writers who wrote the text accepted a historical/literal interpretation. As did Christ himself.



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MC

posted October 27, 2008 at 12:51 pm


In regards to the dating of the pyramids, see The New Answers Book 2, which lays out a much more credible Egyptian chronology.



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Only Me

posted October 27, 2008 at 1:27 pm


Dear Raj,
A bit late I suppose, but a (very) brief responce.
I totally agree that there are good and honest christians on both sides of the argument, however, since I can read Hebrew and, as a theology student, have learned to make an exegeses on a seculair state-university (in Holland so with a lot of German historical critical influence) I am 100% positive that Gensis 1-11 was written by someone(s?) who believed that the events described really did happen and he wrote it down in a historical narrative genre.
I’m sorry for all the folks who are good christians (probably including you), but as far as I’m concerned they are simply not correct.
Kindest regards,
Only Me



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 1:41 pm


MC,
Why don’t you just give me the answer from The New Answers Book 2? Save me a little trouble, please? Oh, and can you tell me tell me if the the new chronology is backed-up by peer-reviewed archaelogical research?
“As the fountains of the great deep opened, the bottom-dwelling marine creatures were buried first, then fish, then large reptile living in the tropical climate of the shore, then animal living in cooler inland climate. Birds and mammals are more mobile more quick to sense trouble and begin moving away from it. Finally, hydrologic sorting.”
You’re joking, right?
You are aware, of course, that there are countless strata bearing marine fossils located above dinosaur-bearing strata. You are aware, of course, that there are no marine mammal-bearing strata found below dino-bearing strata. You are aware, of course, that there many, many mammal and bird species adapted to tropical shore climates. You are aware, of course, that there were many dinosaurs adapted to cooler inland climates. You are aware, of course, that there were many fast moving, intelligent dinosaurs, not to mention, flying dinosaurs. You are aware, of course, that there are many slow moving, burrowing mammals. And you are aware, of course, that hydrological sorting is a function of body density and shape and that there is no reason to expect a random grab of reptiles and mammals to sink in taxonomic order. I could go on, but you get the idea. Thanks for playing.



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Rene

posted October 27, 2008 at 2:01 pm


Paul,
I just found you comment in this thread. Clearly, you’re putting an effort into your research, which is good. However, you lines of inquiry are a bit one-sided. Both Answers in Genesis and the ICR are young-earth creationist institutions. There are more Christian views on origins.
Try for example old earth creationism, for example on reasons.org. The ideas of this organization are the subject of a critical book by Jonathan Sarfati, who has also contributed to this thread. It’s called ‘refuting compromise’. Another old-earth site is answersincreation.org, which has a section refuting the book by Sarfati. (Yes, we Christians keep each other busy, don’t we?).
Alternatively, you might also dip into theistic evolution. A good place to start is the website of the Faraday Institute (/www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/faraday/), which has a wonderful multimedia page full of lectures. Fairly high-brow stuff, but also try the ‘Faraday Papers’ which you can download from the site. They’re quite readable.
Other sites are Christians in Science (UK, http://www.cis.org.uk) or the American Scientific Affiliation (www.asa3.org), both of which have excellent resources on their website.
Your response to my comments on evolution are a bit too simple. It is exactly the example of human selection (farming, selective breeding), which gave Darwin the idea that natural selection might be a force that can change species. Again, the timescale is of importance. Indeed, some claim the universe is young. I used to belief so as well. After carefully looking at the evidence, I had to conclude the earth and the universe are billions of years old. Same with evolution: I didn’t want it to be true, but found that it (most probably) is. Most of the ‘young earth’ claims are refuted on old-earth creationist websites. Just put a claim in Google and see what comes up.
It is not much use repeating my arguments. I just want to encourage you to investigate both sides, and don’t be fooled simple arguments. Try reading ‘The Language of God’ by Francis Collins, or ‘Coming to peace with Science’ by Darell Falk. Try ‘Can we believe Genesis today’ by Ernest Lucas and work you way through the evidence.
And check out Karl Giberson – I don’t know his books, but he said some very sensible things in this debate!
Just one thing: I didn’t quite understand what you mean by ‘I have NEVER witnessed a mutation being passed from one generation to the next’. If you’re from a farming background, you can’t mean what this says. Mutations are passed on all the time, even young-earth creationists belief that! They claim mutations is what created all dogs, wolves and foxes from a pair of hounds in the Ark.
Mutations are changes in the DNA of a reproductive cell, which get passed on to the offspring. These can be beneficial (ability to digest milk in adults), detrimental (lots of genetic diseases) or neutral. Some mutations (the sickle cell gene) are beneficial when you get one copy (it protects you against malaria) but detrimental when you get a copy from both your parents (you get sickle cell anaemia).
Perhaps you should visit your local library and get some textbooks on genetics and / or evolution from the shelves. Don’t be put off by any rhetoric in these books, just digest the facts!
Good luck,
Rene



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Michael

posted October 27, 2008 at 2:04 pm


Raj,
I see others have provided answers to your concern for accepting Genesis 1 as historical, but I want to focus on your final question, “Why can’t we make it this topic inclussive of all views than make it one exclussive of each other. If we can agree that we cannot be 100% sure of anyone view, we could accommodate each other and concentrate on different issues that our Lord commissioned us to do.”
A major problem with Darwinian view for a Christ-follower is the millions of years of death and destruction that would have occurred prior to the fall of man from the holiness of what God created. If death and destruction existed in a natural order prior to Adam’s rejection of God’s command, then the resulting penalty of death and destruction entering into the whole earth would be redundant to what was already occurring. “Because you have…eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; …Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:17-19.
If the penalty of death proclaimed by God was not as a direct result of Adam’s disobedience, if God’s creation was already perishing and decaying without Adam’s disobedience, then Jesus’ death on the cross looses its’ effect of redemption, God’s purchase of us from the penalty of death. Since death then is not a penalty of disobedience, but a natural order from the beginning. And if Jesus’ death is of no effect, then the resurrection is of no effect and he was a liar, the Gospel message is false and anything you claim to do in following him is false.



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 2:16 pm


Michael,
What are the ecological consequences of “no death”? How do you feel about an infinite number of cockroaches?



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Raj

posted October 27, 2008 at 2:55 pm


Hi Only Me,
Yes! I would not question your scholarship and sincerity in deciphering God’s word. As you have stated the author of Genesis could have written it as historical narrative. For me that is where the issue is.
I guess you would agree with me the Bible was NOT written ‘to” us, but it was written ‘for” us.
Genesis 1 was written “to” people who lived around 1500 BC. My question, is there a possibility that the author used historical narrative(story) or (poetical history) to convey that God was behind all the creation? We don’t have to think about this possibility if the modern science did not mount so many different line of evidences that points to billions of years for the age of the universe and evolution.
I noticed in this blog someone said “Jesus was a YEC”. I don’t dare to claim that I have can comprehend the incarnation of the Second Person of Trinity, but as scholars like N.T.Wright pointed out, Jesus lived as a first century Jew within the perimeters of first century Judaism. It may be that Jesus believed what a 1st century Jew would believe.
So, I think we cannot discard the historical context of the author and people it was written to, while interpreting the Scripture.
I am sure oneday it will all be clear… till that day, lets keep up the good work.
I like what Pastor Chuck Smith says, “Blessed are those who are flexible, for they will not break” :)
regards,
Raj



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Michael

posted October 27, 2008 at 2:59 pm


Joe,
As i’m sure you know, there is little information provided concerning the timeframe of man’s existance in the garden before the fall. But when the consequences of disobedience enterred into God’s creation, all lifeforms sufferred as a result. Genesis says, “…to every living thing which moves on the earth, I have given every green plant for food.” So we are told there were originally no carnivores. How different then were the Garden cockroaches? Feel free to speculate.



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Jason

posted October 27, 2008 at 3:08 pm


The ecological implications of “no death” is that populations would simply decrease reproduction once they had saturated their ecological niche. No death equals no need for further reproduction.



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 3:14 pm


Originally no carnivores? How long would such an ecosystem be functional? How long can an ecosystem function without death?
If you’re going to argue that the timeframe in the Garden of Eden was brief, then you must consider the fact that God had to count on Adam and Eve commiting sins within a very short period of time or the Garden would have been overrun with roaches, yes? That is, sin is actually required before ecosystems can function.
And if there were no carnivores in Eden, where did all those marvelous adaptations for carnivory come from?



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Jason

posted October 27, 2008 at 3:18 pm


Raj, YECs with models like the Humphries/Hartnett white hole cosmology have already proposed a mechanism for a billion year old universe created a few thousand years ago (by Earth watches).
As for evidence for evolution, I’m sure Ken has already raised the point that creationists accept the mechanism of natural selection but distinguish between simple change within an animal family through the sorting of existing genetic information. That which he takes issue with is the claim that all living things are descended from a single form which in turn arose from non-living matter. Ken Ham has himself commented wryly, survival of the fittest does not explain arrival of the fittest.
The more we learn about the cell and its functioning the less likely seems any sort of naturalistic origin. Evolutionists admit this whenever they claim that whatever the first cell was it must have been far simpler than the modern cell. Of course that merely begs the question, and then the question has to be asked “how simple could it be and still be a functioning cell?”. It is features like this which brought the intelligent design movement into being.



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Jason

posted October 27, 2008 at 3:20 pm


Divine forward planning.



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 3:25 pm


Jason,
Why should organisms cease to reproduce once they’ve “saturated” their enviroment? How would they know that they had “saturated” their enviroment? For your model to work, organisms must have knowledge they do not possess, and then they must consciously stop all reproduction. They can not simplly decrease reproduction, but they must stop all reproduction, ceasing to use all of their marvelous adaptations for reproduction. Without sin, from “saturation day” forward, they must never use these gifts from God ever again. Make sense to you?
This is not how organisms behave. Ever seen a plague of locusts or a gypsy moth outbreak? These animals (and the vast majority of other animals) simply continue to reproduce as fast as they can until their populations are contained by death (starvation, epidemic disease, etc.). Organisms simply do not stop reproducing once they’ve saturated their environment. They lack the knowledge and they lack the ability to decide. Reproductive rates may decline if organisms experience severe physiological stress, but that doesn’t sound like paradise to me.



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Raj

posted October 27, 2008 at 3:33 pm


Michael,
I know “death before Adam’s sin” is one of the arguments by YEC.
See! all the world religions are trying to answer this question of “death and suffering”. Unjust suffereing is definitely a problem for theism… Great thinkers like C.S Lewis even written a book on this issue. I am afraid the answer is that simple.. that is Adam sinned, God cursed and the world now suffers death and pain.
Why did God put the tree in the Garden? Did He not know that Adam would sin? What kind of world was he trying to create? If his goal was to create a world (or atleast he knew that with “free will” beings this is the world he would get finally), why did he create a paradise and put a tree so that the first human can sin? Did He do that so that he could blame Adam (and us) for the world we live in? Why did he remove Adam from the Garden ?
“And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
So a fruit can give eternity? knowledge of good and evil? What was going on? Did God afraid of human beings that they would become like him, live forever?
Why did God curse serpent if the serpent speaking was a diabolical miracle (that Satan spoke through serpent)? Or Did God create talking serpent? When this incident happened, was there only one serpent in the Garden? If there were more serpents, why would the whole serpent species be cursed?
See! there are so many questions… the list can go on….
I would rather take the creation story as an explanation for God’s creation and death and suffering, than take it as a literal history and trying to answer all these questions and refute the modern science.
Please note that I do believe that Jesus’ death on the cross and his bodily resurrection is what saves me (a sinner) and gives the privilage to call him “Abba , father”. However I think it is unnecessary to make the connection between creation story and redemption.
thanks
Raj.



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Only Me

posted October 27, 2008 at 3:47 pm


Dear Raj,
Ahh, you read N.T. Wright? You’ve got style! :D
I’m planning to buy some of his books soon, but ok, back to the subject.
I would fully agree that Genesis 1-11 was written for us and to ppl at the time of Moses.
Again I’m going to say this very brief for the sake of the format but here are some thoughts:
In the desert God revieled Himself to be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jakob (Ex 3). He has heared of the suffering of His ppl and sends Moses to fulfill His promise to Abraham.
Now there are some questions: God the the ONLY God, but also the God of A, I and J. Why is that? Because God made a special covenant with Abraham (and renewed it with his son and grandson). But what about the rest of the world, doesn’t God care about them? Sure He does, but… He tried and that “failed”. (Gen 4-11)
But why did it fail? Because ppl didn’t want to listen to God and instead murder, get drunk, have sex in an unholy way etc. etc. Who’s to blaim? Those ppl were placed in a not-so-good world with death, suffering, violence and lots of “dirty jobs”.
Genesis 1-2, however, is shown to contrast that “fallen world” from after Genesis 3 with the world that God actually created.
As for all the lines of evedence: I know a bit of biology/geology/astronomy, but in order to stick to the subject I’ll sort of quote Calvin who said that we need special revelation (Scripture) in order to understand the general revelation (Nature).
What I’ve seen in biblical scholarship is that your starting assumptions determine the outcome of your research and I stronly suspect natural sciences of the same as Ken has pointed out in some of his posts here.
Kindest regards,
Only Me



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Michael

posted October 27, 2008 at 4:13 pm


Joe,
You have many questions. I’m not sure if you’re baiting me or truly interested in the differences of God’s original design and the decaying earth we see today. Your questions seem to discount the possibilities of ecosystems varying from the one we see today. Even Star Trek with a little imagination excepted and explored the possibilities of different designs in ecosystems.
God’s orginal ecosystem was obviously much different than that after the fall of man. Death is not discussed except as a result of disobedience. I wouldn’t say God “counted” on Adam’s disobedience, but that it did not take him by surprise and that along with God’s foreknowledge of Adam’s choice, God already had a plan for man’s redemption through his son Jesus. Our ecosystem today is impacted by the fall of man. As a part of the curse on Adam’s choice, God says of the earth, “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you.” This appears to indicate the nonexistance of thorns and thistles prior to the curse of the fall of man. Did God alter the genetic makeup as a part of the curse or did he simply allow genetic mutations to flourish? Either way resulted in a preditory animal kingdom.



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 4:41 pm


Michael,
I’m not trying to bait you, I’m trying to get you to think. So, ecosystems changed radically after the Fall? And how did they change radically after the fall? How do we get animals beautifully adapted to carnivory?
We “allow genetic mutations to flourish”? Whoa. Careful. You sound like an evolutionary biologist. To get the big changes needed, it’s going to take some serious increases in genetic information and lots of beneficial mutations. Thanks for the support for evolution.



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 4:48 pm


Jason,
Define “simple change within an animal family”. What constitutes “a simple change”. What constitutes “an animal family”. If change is “allowed” within family, what is to prevent change from creating new families?



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Michael

posted October 27, 2008 at 5:02 pm


Joe,
To answer, “To get the big changes needed, it’s going to take some serious increases in genetic information and lots of beneficial mutations.”
You are baiting me!! You’re really a YEC’ist. You’re statement is the very reason Darwinian evolution doesn’t fit the observable evidence. For DE to work it requires the serious increases in genetic information you mention, which has never been observed in the fossill record. Creationism on the other hand, we would expect to find sudden appearance of distintly seperate animal kinds in the fossil layers with changes within species resulting from a loss of genetic information, mutation, which is exactly what we find. Good point. You almost had me fooled.



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Jason

posted October 27, 2008 at 5:03 pm


Joe, since no observed genetic mutation has been observed to add genetic information, that some (not many) mutations possess beneficial effects is irrelevant to the question of why are there animals in the first place. However mutations, such as those that disable the regulation of hair growth in poodles, can provide the materials for speciation.
Getting animals “beautifully adapted to carnivory” from a creationist perspective is that you start with an animal with unexpressed potential (instilled by its creator) to live on a carnivorous diet and then, with ecological pressure the potential is manifested. Even then some carnivorous animals will live on a vegetable diet. There was a lioness documented for her refusal to eat anything other than vegetables.
To get animals “beautifully adapted to carnivory” from an evolutionary perspective you start with nothing. Then that nothing becomes chemicals. Then those chemicals become a living cell. Then that living cell becomes a multi-cellular organism. Then that multi-cellular organism becomes a fish, then an amphibian, then a reptile, then a mammal (or a bird) and somewhere along the way it develops a preference for consuming flesh.
As for your question as to how the insect population would know when to stop reproducing? They lack the knowledge now. In fact it would be suicide for them to retain that knowledge. That does not mean that they couldn’t have had it in the past.
Michael has already answered your question about how it changed. It went from a relatively idyllic habitation where work was easy and animals nonthreatening to one where you bust your buns daily for little return and everything is out to get you.



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Jason

posted October 27, 2008 at 5:09 pm


Joe, the study of baramin (created kinds) is an ongoing part of creation research, as such I don’t have all the answers.
An example of a baramin would be the mallard kind which seems to have given rise to swans, geese, and ducks from the same ancestor.
Probably most of the big cats belong to the same baramin, and obviously all dogs do.
When a dog gives birth to a cat you have a mixing of animal families.



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Raj

posted October 27, 2008 at 5:17 pm


Only Me,
Yeah! I like N.T Wright. He got lot to say. Good insights.
I agree with you that starting assumption guides our interpretation. YECs are theologically predisposed that God cannot/will not create a world with death and suffering, though He would allow it. That is, if he had a world like ours in his mind, he has to first create a good world and then allow it to deteriorate to what it is now.
I don’t have that predisposition because I don’t see any difference between creating a world through evolution and creating a good world that would eventually become( by planting a “tree”) a world similar to one created through evolution, except Adam can be blamed for creating the mess we are in now. I see the motivation for this interpretation, but what if we are wrong?
regards
Raj.



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 5:19 pm


Michael,
Oh no, not the “no new genetic information” and “no transition forms” arguments. Oh, please, not that again. Go to http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html for disproof of both statements.
By the way, you still didn’t explain how we get the big increases in genetic information needed in an instant (in the instant after the Fall) to convert herbivores into carnivores.
Now, if you want to talk fossil record, maybe you’d like to tackle the following.
So, why isn’t there a single lion, tiger, bear, sheep, cow, goat, monkey, ape, armadillo, camel, cat, dog, deer, gazelle, kangeroo, sloth, racoon, squirrel, chipmunk, bat, anteater, leopard, dingo, wombat, any other modern mammal species, any modern bird species of any type, or any human fossils buried amongst all of the thousands and thousands of dinosaur fossils? Any and all dinosaur fossils are found in layers located below any layers with any fossils of any of the above species. Did the dinosaur live at the same time as the afore mentioned species. No.



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Kevin Butterfield

posted October 27, 2008 at 5:29 pm


What motive is there, besides putting all people in the same boat, in believing that through Adam sin was introduced to the world? Is that a wrong motive.



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 5:37 pm


Jason,
Like Michael, you need to go to http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html for a disproof of the old “no new genetic information” argument.
As to your “unexpressed potential” argument…I’m sorry, but you’re just throwing words out there, and I can barely make sense of this. So rattlesnakes slithered around with venomous fangs and infrared detectors, but didn’t use their potential until Adam and Eve ate the fruit? Sharks chewed seaweed with their incredible teeth until Adam and Eve ate the fruit?
What “ecological pressure” are you talking about? What is the pressure that converts an herbivore into a carnivore? There’s plenty of prey around before the Fall, so why not chow down? Where does the “pressure” come from? Why is there a change in “pressure” tied to the Fall? What is that change? Animals have to eat before the Fall and they have to eat after the Fall, so where’s this change in pressure coming from?
Do you seriously believe that before the Fall, the locusts looked around, noticed that they were running out of food, and as a result, they all agreed not to have sex anymore? This is the knowledge that you claim they had, yes? And this same knowledge and voluntary restrain would have also been possessed and acted upon by millions of other insect species? Pure fantasy.
So a mallard can give rise to swans, geese and ducks. Do you have any idea how much evolution is involved in that? Do you really think that the genetic differences between a swan, goose, mallard and other ducks are less than the genetic difference between apes and humans?
Bottom line, if mallards can give rise to swans, geese and ducks, if these are all one created kind…then apes and humans are also one created kind and apes can give rise to humans. You can not say that the one can happen while simultaneously prohibiting the other from happening. If mallards, swans and geese are a single “baramin”, then so are apes and humans.



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Only Me

posted October 27, 2008 at 5:46 pm


Dear Raj,
It is clear to me that you ask the right questions! However, to answer them may take way too long here; I personally prefer to talk face to face but that’s not possible (at least, probably not and/or not untill…).
Anyway, let’s talk about Augustene, he named the world prior to Genesis 3 “posse pecare” (possible to sinn) and the current world “non posse non pecare” (impossible not to sinn) and the future world “non posse pecare” (impossible to sinn). However if it is possible to sinn, it is also possible not to sinn. This is, I think, in line with biblical theology and not just the theology of Genesis 1-2.
Another issue would be that (again Augustene) evil is “privatio bonum” taking away the good. Just as Leibniz said: evil isn’t “created” by God, it’s just that His existence makes evil possible. However I don’t see how good can be taken away by something non-rational like forces of nature or animals.
Yes, animals are smart, but are they also rational in a way that they can be held accountable? I think that animals react upon a very sophisticated instinct, but not reason in the way we do.
Thanks for letting me think throught this once more, it’s been a healthy challenge :)
Kindest regards,
Only Me



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 27, 2008 at 5:52 pm


Raj,
Frankly I don’t believe your claim to have read my books or to have been a strong YEC. For one thing, you are misinformed about Creation magazine: it is NOT now called Answers; the latter is a difference magazine, but subscribers of Creation magazine were switched to the new Answers magazine.



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Michael

posted October 27, 2008 at 5:58 pm


Raj,
All very good questions my brother. I will try to offer some simple answers from my study of scriptures without getting too theological.
[i]Why did God put the tree in the Garden?[/i] He said he planted two trees in the midst of the garden and the trees offered Adam a choice. Why did Adam choose the tree of knowledge of good and evil first? And why didn’t he eat from the tree of life? See answer below.
[i]Did He not know that Adam would sin?[/i] Yes. But in his foreknowledge, he also provided a means for redemption.
[i]What kind of world was he trying to create?[/i] He already had an angellic community that served him continually, but Jesus said we were made a little above the angels, indeed in God’s image, a as a child to the Father, yet a bride to the Son. And God wants us to have a heart relationship with him, not simply intellectual.
[i]If his goal was to create a world (or atleast he knew that with “free will” beings this is the world he would get finally), why did he create a paradise and put a tree so that the first human can sin? Did He do that so that he could blame Adam (and us) for the world we live in?[/i] No. The paradise demonstrates his desire for perfection with us, but not one of compulsion. Just as Jesus told the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
[i]Why did he remove Adam from the Garden?
“And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
So a fruit can give eternity? knowledge of good and evil? What was going on? Did God afraid of human beings that they would become like him, live forever?[/i] Obviously God is not afraid. The verse you cite points out God’s compassion toward us. If Adam had, in his disobedience, also then eaten from the tree of life, he would have lived eternally seperated from God, there could no longer have been any redemption available.
[i]Why did God curse serpent if the serpent speaking was a diabolical miracle (that Satan spoke through serpent)? Or Did God create talking serpent? When this incident happened, was there only one serpent in the Garden? If there were more serpents, why would the whole serpent species be cursed?[/i] I’ve read a lot of commentary on the Serpent and this is my best response. I believe this is the point in time when Satan originally challenges God’s authority, possibly out of jealousy. Read Job. Just as when the demon Legion conversed with Jesus and asked to be cast into a herd of pigs which then ran off the cliff, the pigs were used by the demons, same as the serpent was used by Satan. The pigs died the serpent was cursed. Would you feel better about the serpent if you knew the God originally created it to crawl on its’ belly?
And how do you answer the question of why did Jesus have to die on the cross if not to redeem me, purchasing me from death deserved from the sin nature inherited through my father Adam? If death was already occuring, Jesus’ death is simply a product of nature and entirely meaningless.



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 27, 2008 at 6:03 pm


Raj, YECs are NOT “theologically predisposed that God cannot/will not create a world with death and suffering”. Rather, we *deduce* this teaching from the Scriptures! I.e.
God called creation “very good” (Gen. 1:31)
He reveals that humans and animals were created vegetarian (Gen. 1:29–30)
He warned Adam that he would die if he disobeyed the one command He made (Gen. 2:17)
He sentenced Adam to return to the dust only after this disobedience (Gen. 3:20)
Death is called “the wages of sin” (Rom. 6:23) and “the last enemy” (1 Cor. 15:26), bizarre if God had created via a process of death and suffering and called it “very good”.
Isaiah talks about a return to a quasi-Edenic state with vegetarian animals, where they will “no more hurt or destroy) (Is. 11, 65)
Romans 5:12 ff and 1 Cor. 15:21–22 explicitly declare that Adam’s sin brought human death.
Romans 8:19 ff. explicitly teach that the whole creation is groaning, and commentators agree that God subjected creation to futility at the Fall.
See also my article “The Fall: a cosmic catastrophe—Hugh Ross’s blunders on plant death in the Bible” (URL above)



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 6:50 pm


Jason,
A couple of other questions.
How are predations genes turned on after the Fall? How do all of the predators learn about the Fall? For example, how does the rattlesnake know that it’s time to start eating mice when the snake has been doing so well before by eating..what?…grapes? What switches on predation behavior? What switches on predator avoidance behavior in prey species? Remember, counting insects, we’re talking millions of species. What are your mechanisms for all that you claim?



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Raj

posted October 27, 2008 at 7:06 pm


Michael,
Most of your answers are from you system of theology (or framework) rather than direct statements from Bible. I have heard those answers before.
Anyway…I guess the Satan was dumb (or God intentially made him to act like that) that he made Adam to eat fruit of “good and evil” before he eats fruit of life. If Satan had been smart enough, he could have made Adam to eat the fruit of life first then eat the fruit of “good and evil”….then Adam would be stuck in that state forever!!! I wonder you need to extend your thought that God did not allow Adam to eat the fruit of life out of compassion to the very thought of Satan to make Adam eat the fruit of good and evil first, but not the other way.
thanks
Raj.
Dr. Sarfati,
Yeah! I have read your books and articles. I wonder how you could be so convinced that a strong YEC could never look from other point of view. I am afraid of this closed mind.
Again I am not saying literal interpreation is wrong… I am only saying we cannot be sure. There equally good interpreations such as progressive, framework, long-age, theistic evolution. Out of all, in my view theistic evolution explains the data (Bible and science) better than other views. If you read with a open mind “The language of God” by Dr. Francis Collins or books by Kenneth Miller, you will be able to see what I am saying.
thanks for your input
regards
Raj.



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Stefan Morin

posted October 27, 2008 at 7:41 pm


Joe,
I think it’s obvious that creationists do not have all the answers (no one in their right mind claims to). I would like to point out, however, that evolutionists do not have all the answers either. For instance, why do most all of the major phyla ever recorded on Earth suddenly appear in the Cambrian era with little or no fossil records of complex life beforehand? How did life begin on earth? How did the sexes, male and female, evolve in tandem with one another? How did the eye evolve? There are many other questions which can’t be addressed in this type of exchange, but you get the idea.
I have read all the supposed refutations of creationist claims. Unfortunately, most are just-so stories that sound good, and some I suppose even make a little sense. Unfortunately, these stories are not backed up with science Dawkin’s “explanation” of human hemoglobin evolution through gene-duplication for instance: do we have access to ancient hemoglobin to study and compare to our own?
For “transitional” fossils to be evidence for evolution, you have to begin with the ASSUMPTION that homology represents common ancestry. Have you personally witnessed one kind of lifeform transforming into another? While we’re on the subject, what of living-fossils – animals that were once thought to have gone extinct millions of years ago but have been found and are unchanged after countless millennia of mutations. Why haven’t these creatures evolved? Surely not all of them are evolutionary dead ends.
As I’ve said before, it comes down to what we can observe and repeat. We have never observed one kind of animal becoming another kind (a fly becoming a wasp, single celled organism become multicellular, etc), we have never observed a genetic mutation creating new, novel genetic information (with the possible exception that I’m aware of being the case of nylon eating bacteria- still for NDE to have any hope, should we see many, many more of these mutations occurring all around us?). I’m sorry, but I’m not convinced by peppered moths, bacterial resistance, or finches represent evidence of particles to people evolution. When a bacteria pops out a pseudo-pod or something from no where, I’ll reconsider my position.



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 7:53 pm


Stefan,
“I have read all the supposed refutations of creationist claims.”
That’s nice. But you haven’t responded to any of them. You haven’t explained why they fail as refutations. Care to try the fossil question?



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Michael

posted October 27, 2008 at 7:58 pm


Joe you asked, “So, why isn’t there a single lion, tiger, bear, sheep, cow, goat, monkey, ape, armadillo, camel, cat, dog, deer, gazelle, kangeroo, sloth, racoon, squirrel, chipmunk, bat, anteater, leopard, dingo, wombat, any other modern mammal species, any modern bird species of any type, or any human fossils buried amongst all of the thousands and thousands of dinosaur fossils? Any and all dinosaur fossils are found in layers located below any layers with any fossils of any of the above species. Did the dinosaur live at the same time as the afore mentioned species.”
I visited the website in your post and read through many of the articles listed therein. It is an interesting site, but you and I are not going to agree on its’ content. What I found is that many of the explanations do little to prove the point they are trying to make anymore that they disprove the Creasionists viewpoint. Instead their explanations are filled with caveats that are faith-based on what they expect or hope some day to find.
So much of what we discover in science is based on preconceptions of what we expect to find. Science makes a prediction and then seeks to confirm (or deny) said prediction. A DE looking at the evidence will expect to find an evolutionary explanation to support their prediction and unfortunately with human nature if the evidence fails to support their prediction might have a tendency to tweak their finding to fit their prediction. See the article for Piltdown Man on your website. While peer review will hopefully correct these errors, sometimes the misinformation is hard to expunge. According to your website, it took 40 years before a thorough review of Piltdown Man found to be a fraud after its’ discovery in 1912. A forgery manufactured to fit the evolutionary prediction. But why did it take 40 years to uncover and why was I still being taught its’ legitimacy in public school in the late 60′s?
I am not indicting science or its’ well-meaning and hard working researchers, but to answer your question, neither I nor you can say for certainty that something doesn’t exist simply because it hasn’t been found or for what ever reason hasn’t been reported.
As I said earlier, preconceptions are faith-based, yours in following the truthfulness of man, mine in following the truthfulness of the creator God. The bottom line my brother is what you choose concerning the one they call the Christ, Jesus.
Be well.



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Your Name

posted October 27, 2008 at 8:13 pm


Raj you wrote, “Most of your answers are from you system of theology (or framework) rather than direct statements from Bible. I have heard those answers before.”
I can provide biblical references to all if you choose. Maybe the reason you have heard these answers before is because they are scripturally supported. So why are you kicking against the picks? Acts 9:5 KJV
Satan does not have all the answers. He ultimately failed when he tempted Eve. He ultimately failed when he tempted Job. And he ultimately failed when he tempted Jesus. 3 strikes. I think he’s out.



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Stefan Morin

posted October 27, 2008 at 8:36 pm


Joe,
You commented:
“That’s nice. But you haven’t responded to any of them. You haven’t explained why they fail as refutations. Care to try the fossil question?”
I’m sorry; was there one in particular you wanted to hear? The folks at Answers in Genesis are much more articulate when it comes to such things, and they all happen to have advanced degrees in their various fields of study, so I’ll defer you to them. It seems only fair, after all – you didn’t really present any arguments yourself, merely a link, so my doing likewise should suffice!
No, I don’t particularly care to “try” the fossil question, though I noted neither did you seem to care to try and answer any of mine. It is interesting though, that this seems to be your main point of contention with creationists, in addition to your question of how predation came about or population control pre-Fall. I readily admit that I do not have all the answers, and you seem to feel that this somehow automatically makes your side right even though I have presented several questions to which I have received no sufficient response from ANY source.
To clarify, I do not hold any advanced degree in science or theology. I respect those who do, on both sides of the issue. There was a long period of time when I believed that evolution was the answer to the myriad of life around us, but having examined arguments from both sides, I choose to side with the creationists. I’m not so foolish as to think I can change your mind about evolution. I, like you, simply seek to make other people think about why they believe what they do, to examine the evidence, and to judge for themselves rather than letting someone else tell them what they should believe. At least that’s what I think you’re trying to do.
Regards.



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 9:57 pm


Michael,
If you can’t answer the question I raised about the dino fossils, just say so. All you did was change the subject.
“Science makes a prediction and then seeks to confirm (or deny) said prediction”.
You’re right. So when YECers make a prediction about the history of life on earth, given the YEC hypothesis, what would you accept as evidence against YEC? How could YEC be disproved?



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 10:16 pm


Stephan,
You made the claim that “all the supposed refutations of creationist claims…are not backed up by science”. This was your claim. All I’m asking you to do is back up that claim. Specifically, why is my refutation of YEC based on the order of the fossils “not backed up by science”?
Yes, in answering most evolution questions, I like to direct people to the Index of Creationist Claims, because it’s easy to do and it’s designed to address very specific questions. Of course, as Michael’s response indicates, it doesn’t matter what the evidence for evolution is, the answer will be rejected. No specific reason or logical argument will be given for the rejection, no explanation will be given for the rejection, it will just be rejected. Saying it “all depends on your preconceptions” is not an answer. By that reasoning, we could still be arguing over geocentrism and heliocentrism; by that reasoning, we could never know anything about the natural world.
So, why should I waste my time trying to keep up with the YEC questions? God said it, you believe it, that settles it. There isn’t anything I can do about it. And so instead, I find it more productive to try to get YECers to think about their “theory” instead. Hence, all of my questions. All it takes is a few questions and we can see that there are no answers. I not talking about “not knowing everything”, of course, no one knows everything. I’m talking about a theory (YEC) with no answers at all. I’m talking about not knowing anything.
But if you want one of your questions answered, let’s look a question that you’ve already answered for yourself. Can genetic information increase by mutation? As you have said, the nylon eating bacteria show that it can. And that’s it. If it can happen, then it can happen. If it can happen once, then it can happen again and again and again. How do you know how often it has to happen for evolution to occur? Where are your data? What is the basis for your claim that it doesn’t happen often enough? Do you have any idea of the consequences of a mutation in the regulatory regions of developmental genes? Genetic information can increase by mutation, you said so yourself, end of story. For other answers go to http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html.



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Ryan

posted October 27, 2008 at 11:07 pm


At the risk of looking like I’m getting back into this side scruffle, I couldn’thelp but point out that the nylon-eating bacteria “problem” has been sovled for over a good eight years, refuted in this article, and those linking to it:
http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/1994/
See? I can do it too. And Joe, the thing about Talk Origins is that they are admittedly not peer reviewed, as opposed to Answers in Genesis, True Origins, Creation on the Web, ICR, CSI, and many others that are peer reviewed sites and also produce peer reviewed magazines. I find it funny that anti-creationists cry foul, pointing out (although mistakenly) that creationists never appear in peer reviewed articles, but are more than happy, well…the less informed ones are happy to support and use fallacious and non-peer reviewed sites such as Talk Origins and use it as Gospel.



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 11:30 pm


Ryan,
Your refutation of the nylon-eating bacteria fails for the following reasons.
The fact that the gene is on a plasmid is irrelevant. Yes, plasmids can move from bacterial species to bacterial species, so once they exist, they can move into species other than the original source species. But so what? The nylonase gene had to come from somewhere, right?. Before the invention of nylon, this gene had no value, and in the absence of selective pressure, it would have quickly mutated out of existance had it not been a recent mutation. This gene was not present at the creation, even if the creation was 6000 years ago. This gene must be a product of a recent mutation.
The claim is made that the nylonase enzyme is just the product of a “loss of information” occurring in a protease gene. This is false. There is no evidence that the nylonase enzyme has any activity at all against any proteins. There is no evidence that it was created as a result of a mutation in a protease gene. There is no evidence that the nylonase gene was ever a protease gene. We know the base sequences, so we know these things conclusively. The author of the article is lying to the audience when the above claims are made. He/she is pulling this garbage out of his behind.
Learn some molecular genetics before cutting and pasting.



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Stefan Morin

posted October 27, 2008 at 11:30 pm


Joe,
“…[I]t doesn’t matter what the evidence for evolution is, the answer will be rejected. No specific reason or logical argument will be given for the rejection, no explanation will be given for the rejection, it will just be rejected.”
So, let me get this straight – you’re allowed to answer my questions by directing me to a website with information on the theory of evolution, but I have to produce answers on demand? Bit of a double-standard there. It seems to me that whenever a creationist gives you a response or directs you to some article(s) the answer will be rejected. No specific reason or logical argument will be given for the rejection, it will just be rejected. I’m not going to do your research for you. I’ve already admitted I can’t answer your fossil question (though I will be looking into it as time allows), but despite every other point I’ve brought up, you come back to that same question, as though my not having an answer will suddenly shake my convictions.
You still haven’t addressed any of the issues I brought up, even to admit that you aren’t certain of the answer. Of course this doesn’t matter as you’ve rejected creationism outright as evidenced by your comment:
“I’m talking about a theory (YEC) with no answers at all. I’m talking about not knowing anything.”
Bit of an ad hominem…
As for the nylon eating bacteria, I don’t think I conceded that point entirely. I said that as far as I knew, there had been no refutation yet by creationists (but a little searching on AiG revealed my error – http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v17/i3/bacteria.asp). As you so stated, if it happened once, it could happen again, sure. But if such mutations are so rare that you can only produce one example within the last 30 years or so, and a questionable one at that, I should think you would reconsider your position. I would recommend doing a little research on the work of Lee Spetner. He has quite a knack for numbers and could explain the probabilities much better than myself.
But then you’ll probably just accuse me of not backing up my claims yet again even though you’ve done nothing to reinforce your position but send me to talkorigins and make ad hominem attacks on your caricature of creationism. Still, I’m sure evolutionists have refutations of creationists refutations who have refutations and so on ad nauseam.
I hope you aren’t so prejudiced that you won’t at least take the time to explore the creation position. It sounds a lot to me that your knowledge of creationism is limited to what you read on evolutionist websites.



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 11:42 pm


Stephan,
You don’t like links? Okay….
First, a little background. Nylon is an artificial polymer not found in nature. Indeed, not only is the nylon polymer not found in nature, neither are the linkages that bind the subunits together. Nylon first entered the environment in the 1930′s. By 1975, bacteria capable of hydrolysing nylon were found in wastewater from nylon plants.
Now, it is obvious that the gene(s) for hydrolysing nylon cannot have been present from the beginning, as in the absence of the substrate (nylon, not present before 1930), the gene product is non-functional, and the gene would be mutated to uselessness (or an entirely different function) in a few hundred years by random mutations, let alone thousands.
Faced with such an obvious production of a new gene with a novel function, the first thing creationists tried to do was claim this was a loss of information, that the nylonases represented a protein-digesting protein (protease) that had lost substrate specificity. That of course didn’t fly, as the nylonases are exquisitely specific, act on no known amide bond other than the nylon beta amide bond, and have no relationship to any known protease.
Now AiG is trying to claim that the nylonases are not due to random mutation and natural selection. Their arguments are spurious to say the least.
Some more background, in Flavobacterium there are four nylonase genes, nylA, nylB and nylB’ (which are duplicates) and nylC, carried on one plasmid. In Pseudomonas there are two nylonase genes (nyl A and nyl B, homologous to the nylA and nylB genes in Flavobacterium) carried on two different plasmids. The nylB gene does most of the heavy lifting, so to speak, and it is the nylB gene that was formed from a deletion mutation and subsequent frame shift in the RSII repetitive element. The key here is that the mutation was in an internally repetitive sequence of DNA. Frameshifts in non-repetitive sequences usually end up with a high probability of producing a premature stop codon, resulting in production of short non-functional proteins. However, repetitive sequences are very likely to not produce premature stop codons, and it is likely that long, functional proteins can be produced by frameshifts in these proteins. In the case of nylB, an insertion of a T at position 99 in the repetitive sequence resulted in a start codon and a stop codon some 392 amino acids away.
Now onto AiG’s claims.
“Evidence against the evolutionary explanation includes: 1. There are five transposable elements on the pOAD2 plasmid.”
Transposable elements are relatively short sequences of DNA that can move around the genome by themselves. Don Batten suggests the presence of transposable elements means the plasmid is “designed” to be adaptive. Well, transposable elements can result in rapid adaptation, but the mechanism is pure random mutation and natural selection. Transposons are not specifically targeted anywhere, but jump about at random without regard to the cell’s “need”. They can generate new enzymes by producing recombination of existing enzymes, but they are just as likely to cause damage. One strain produced by researchers had lost nylA as the transposable elements cut it out. Transposable elements are well known as possible agents of evolution.
“2. All five transposable elements are identical, with 764 base pairs (bp) each. This comprises over eight percent of the plasmid. How could random mutations produce three new catalytic/degradative genes without at least some changes being made to the transposable elements?”
Firstly, the transposable elements are 880 bp and they are not identical, they contain duplications and inversions. Now, Don Batten seems to think that it would take massive mutations to produce the nylonase genes. However, nylB is a one BP insertion, it doesn’t take much to make these genes (and nylB’ is a duplicate of nylB). Furthermore, the nylA and nylB genes are on different plasmids in Pseudomonas (which doesn’t have nylC). It is very likely that the genes arose on different plasmids and were stitched together by the transposable elements at a later stage. Furthermore, the transposable elements (IS6100) are present in many different bacteria and are very strongly conserved, suggesting they do not tolerate mutations very well. So given that the transposable elements are conserved in sequence between different bacteria, and that you don’t need many mutations to make a functional nylonase, this objection is void.
“3. All three types of nylon degrading genes appear on plasmids and only on plasmids.”
Well, we only HAVE two species of bacteria with these genes, and one seems to have got its genes from another, so it is hardly surprising. They make a big deal that getting all three genes on one plasmid is improbable (but not particularly improbable), while ignoring that in Pseudomonas the (two) genes are on different plasmids and only in Flavobacteria are they are on the same plasmid. Transposable elements have a habit of carrying genes around, so it is not at all unlikely that the genes originally evolved on different plasmids, or even the chromosome, and then were stitched together into one plasmid in Flavobacterium. Furthermore, a large proportion of the genes on plasmids deal with xenobiotic handling or metabolic functions (nylC is next to a cluster of oligopeptide transporters), indeed in Pseudomonas most of the xenobiotic degradation genes are on plasmids, so it is entirely likely that a xenobiotic handling enzyme will arise from mutations of xenobiotic handling genes.
“4. The antisense DNA strand of the four nylon genes investigated in Flavobacterium and Pseudomonas lacks any stop codons.”
To start off with, this statement is wrong. NylB, nylB’ and nylC in Flavobacterium have no stop codons in the antisense strand, as does nylB in Pseudomonas (it doesn’t have nylC). Three of the four genes are nylB, not four independent genes as implied.
Now, having no stop codons in the antisense strand (that is, the partner of the coding DNA strand, remember that DNA is double stranded, and only one strand is translated) is a bit unusual, but the probability they quote (10-12) is dead wrong, the probability is 0.0001. As the three nylB genes are, well, nylB, it is not at all unusual for them to share this property. Furthermore, as nylB is descended from a peptide with many internal repeats, and itself contains a fair number of internal repeats, this makes it less likely to generate stop codons in the first place.
Don Batten’s statement, “Yomo et al. also show that it is highly unlikely that any of these genes arose through a frame shift mutation, because such mutations (forward or reverse) would have generated lots of stop codons” is wrong. Yomo et al. show no such thing, they don’t mention it at all. As noted above, the precursor sequence to nylB was an internally repetitious sequence, and repetitive sequences are very likely to not produce premature stop codons for significant lengths.
Batten also writes “Some statements by Yomo et al., express their consternation…”
Actually, the statements express their excitement. They think they have found a new evolutionary mechanism (amongst other things they suggest that new genes could be produced from antisense strands of functional genes).
“5. The Japanese researchers demonstrated that nylon degrading ability can be obtained de novo in laboratory cultures of Pseudomonas aeruginosa [strain] POA, which initially had no enzymes capable of degrading nylon oligomers. This was achieved in a mere nine days! The rapidity of this adaptation suggests a special mechanism for such adaptation, not something as haphazard as random mutations and selection.”
Oh dear, it happened too fast. In actual fact, it was 9 days before colonies could grow at all on a simple nylon dimer, and three months before fast growing strains that could handle linear and cyclic dimers were isolated. This is typical of random mutation, a simple mutation allows the bacterial to just cope with the xenobiotic, allowing it a small selective advantage, and subsequent mutations improve on the initial weak activity. The time scale is not at all unusual for random mutation (if anything a bit slow).
“6. The researchers have not been able to ascertain any putative ancestral gene to the nylon-degrading genes. They represent a new gene family. This seems to rule out gene duplications as a source of the raw material for the new genes.”
Not true, as before, the nylB group comes from a frameshift of an internally repetitious gene (so not surprisingly it is novel). NylA and NylC have not had homologous genes identified as of 2000, but then again a lot of bacterial sequencing has been done since, and as Don Batten states in a footnote, no Flavobacterium genome has yet been sequenced. Gene duplication is a major sources of new genes, but frame shifts, recombination and so on are all other sources of genes.
The whole article tries to show that the nylB (and other genes) cannot occur by random mutation, and must occur by directed mutation. They draw attention to B-cell hypermutation (which generates diversity in antibody genes) in vertebrates as an example of “directed” mutation. Unfortunately for them, hypermutation in B-cells is pure random shuffling with the occasional insertion, deletion and frame shift.
Generation of the nylon hydrolysing genes is standard “mutation followed by selection”. The AiG article shows once again how poor their understanding of both biology and evolutionary theory is.



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An Observer

posted October 27, 2008 at 11:51 pm


Joe,
Gerald McGrew made the same appeal to the talkorigins site as you did. His comments are in the thread titled “Why I am not a creationist”; he, like you, was also not specific about which claims on that site he felt refuted the arguments. I visited the site and read some of the so called refutations, and would have to agree with Michael and Stefan’s assessment of the arguments. I posed a specific question to Mr. McGrew but he has yet to respond. Perhaps he has not seen the question yet so I’ll repost it here. And since you appealed to the same site, you might like to answer the question too; or at the very least, consider it in your own mind. I think the question illustrates the naturalistic assumptions the atheist is forced to use in his interpretations. The comment made in the CB090 argument certainly does.
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 off as something that has been answered on the talkorigins list you cited 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” (John 14:6)



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 11:57 pm


Stephan,
Is the above sufficientg to answer the charge of “no specific reason or logical argument will be given for the rejection”?



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Joe

posted October 27, 2008 at 11:59 pm


An Observer,
When do you think that life on Earth began? Just want to clarify.



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Joe

posted October 28, 2008 at 12:26 am


Stephan,
I would also like to highlight the following from the AIG article:
“The Japanese researchers demonstrated that nylon degrading ability can be obtained de novo in laboratory cultures of Pseudomonas aeruginosa [strain] POA, which initially had no enzymes capable of degrading nylon oligomers.9 This was achieved in a mere nine days! The rapidity of this adaptation suggests a special mechanism for such adaptation, not something as haphazard as random mutations and selection.”
AIG *ADMITS* that new genes can evolve in a very short time (not once every 30 years)! And all they have to say is that a “special mechanism” is required? What do they think happened here? What do you think happened here? Did a magic man reach down and tickle the genes, right before the eyes of the researchers!? Come on.
You wanted an example of increasing information, and here it is. The Japanese watched this increase in information happen right in front of them. What more do you want? What other explanations are there for this carefully documented phenomenon besides natural ones?



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John

posted October 28, 2008 at 12:36 am


Joe,
Your comments re ‘nylon eating bacteria’ are very interesting. A question for you: Is it still a bacteria, or has it evolved into a human yet?



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Joe

posted October 28, 2008 at 7:48 am


John,
Nice demonstration of a lack of understanding of evolutionary biology. But you’re good at moving goal posts.



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Joe

posted October 28, 2008 at 7:57 am


Stephan,
Ok, I understand that YEC can’t answer a single refutation laid out by real scientists and you’re not going to try.
Now, your response is that I won’t answer any of your questions either. But I did answer the “no new information” question. Would you like for me to try to address another one of your questions? How about transitional fossils?
First, I need you to define “transitional fossil”. What are we looking for? What would count as transitional? We need to do this upfront so that we don’t have any goal post moving later.



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An Observer

posted October 28, 2008 at 8:52 am


Good morning Joe,
I hope you got some sleep last night. As to your question of when I think life on earth began.
I think life on earth began at precisely the instant the sovereign Lord said it did. If you are asking am I a young earth creationist; yes I am. The question, however, is more about how it began than when. For the atheist, I don’t see any other logical conclusion than to accept abiogenesis as fact. But why does the atheist accept this as fact? Is his belief based on an empirical scientific conclusion or is it based on a philosophical presupposition he brings to his interpretation of empirical scientific data? Joe, I sense that you are an atheist, so perhaps you can answer this question from the atheist standpoint. Or at least consider it in your own mind.
Also, for further clarification, I do not think origin of life research is a waste of time. At the very least, it demonstrates the complexity of the problem. I also think that atheism is a useful tool of the sovereign Lord for keeping Christians honest. Lets face it, Christians, like everyone else, can come up with some pretty far out ideas and the skepticism of the atheist helps keep that in check; which in turn brings honor to the truth. Remember John 14:6.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
But I digress! So back to the original topic which was the question. Do you believe abiogenesis is how life originated and if so why? What scientific data have you used to reach this conclusion?
P.S. I hope you are now able to understand why an appeal to the index on the talkorigins site is an inadequate response to the arguments being presented. It would be more helpful to those you are debating if you would specify a claim on that index. Such as CB090 when the topic is abiogenesis.



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Joe

posted October 28, 2008 at 9:49 am


An Observer,
How do you think that the first cells were created? If the first cells were created at the same time as all of the multicelled plants and animals, what would you expect to find in the fossil record? Would the oldest layers containing fossils of single celled organisms also contain multicelled plants and animals?
All of these questions to the issue of “empirical scientific conclusions”. I assure you that these questions are relevant to my answer.



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 28, 2008 at 10:44 am


Gwyddion9 hasn’t a clue about Jewish interpretations of Genesis.
The New Testament authors were all Jewish (including Luke!) and took Genesis as history.
Josephus said in his Antiquities—and note that the book title was “Containing the interval of three thousand eight hundred and thirty-three years From the Creation to the death of Isaac”:
… the name he gave to one was Night, and the other he called Day: and he named the beginning of light, and the time of rest, The Evening and The Morning, and this was indeed the first day. [then explains what God created on each day] Accordingly Moses says, that in just six days the world, and all that is therein, was made. And that the seventh day was a rest, and a release from the labor of such operations; whence it is that we celebrate a rest from our labors on that day, and call it the Sabbath, which word denotes rest in the Hebrew tongue.
The Talmud accepts six ordinary creation days as a given, and records debates on what happened on which *hour* of Day Six.
The Jewish commentator from medieval Spain, Abraham Ibn Ezra (c. 1089–1164), wrote in his well-regarded commentary on the Pentateuch:
‘One day refers to the movement of the celestial sphere. …
‘The heavenly sphere made one revolution. The sun was not yet seen in the firmament; neither was there a firmament.’
This ‘sphere’ was the celestial sphere of the pre-Galilean Ptolemaic cosmology, universally accepted in the Middle Ages. This is yet another refutation of the claim of compromisers like Giberson that the Bible or its followers promoted a ‘flat earth’. But now we would say that the earth was rotating relative to the light created on Day 1, according to the reference frame of the centre of mass of our solar system.



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Raj

posted October 28, 2008 at 12:01 pm


What happened to the light created on day 1( I assume it must be directional to have day and night – evening and morning). I know the following answer.
“Where did the light come from? We are not told,27 but Genesis 1:3 certainly indicates it was a created light to provide day and night until God made the sun on Day 4 to rule the day. Revelation 21:23 tells us that one day the sun will not be needed because the glory of God will light the heavenly city.”
So God created a temporary light on day 1 till he could create sun onday 4.
See the explanation below,
“Perhaps one reason God did it this way was to illustrate that the sun did not have the priority in the creation that people have tended to give it. The sun did not give birth to the earth as evolutionary theories postulate; the sun was God’s created tool to rule the day that God had made (Genesis 1:16).
Down through the ages, people such as the Egyptians have worshiped the sun. God warned the Israelites, in Deuteronomy 4:19, not to worship the sun as the pagan cultures around them did. They were commanded to worship the God who made the sun—not the sun that was made by God.”
So God foresaw this and to prove that Sun does not have any priority in creation, he created a temporary light on day 1? Is that the conclusion?
OR
Was that a story to bring about the same effect in the people to whom the Genesis was written?



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Rene

posted October 28, 2008 at 12:02 pm


Jonathan,
Yes, Genesis is history, but what kind of history? You interpret the text as modern history. Modern history is all about chronology and facts. But is that the same in history written over 3000 years ago? Maybe not. Genesis tells us wonderful truths, God is the Creator, he made the earth for man – man was not created to work for the gods, as the Babylonians believed.
There are suggestions that composition is sometimes more important than chronology in the Bible. And Genesis 1-3 shows signs of very careful composition, in word number, order and use (sun and moon are no gods, just a ‘big lights’).
It is wrong to ‘break’ the Bible, but the creation-science reading puts it in a straightjacket, that prevents all natural movement in the text. Ken Ham argues that there is but one interpretation of the Bible, as far as origins are concerned. I think that is not correct. Sometimes the Bible leaves no room, like in the death and resurrection of Jesus. But creation? I think there is room there.
I’ve flicked through your book, like ‘answersincreation’, and found many things puzzling. I showed the C14 data in coal to the head of a world-renowned C14 lab, and he didn’t recognize these readings, other than in contaminated samples. He’s not a Christian, but I do know him a bit, and he’s a serious scientist. If this was ‘natural background’ for coal, he would have told me.
There are many things in the creation-science point of view I don’t understand. Why did God save the dino’s in the Ark, to let them succumb in the turbulent years after the Flood? Why are 98 percent of fossil species now extinct? Why did God alter a physical constant to increase radioactive decay at creation and the Flood, and why didn’t this fry the earth? I know you have answers to all these questions, but for me, they just don’t add up. You have to add tons of interpretation to Scripture to make this work.
The saddest thing in all this is, that belief in a young earth has been made into a test for True Christianity. I can accept brothers and sisters who think differently about such issues as child baptism or the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Can you accept a brother who believes in an old earth and theistic evolution?
Rene (also PhD, in renal physiology)



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An Observer

posted October 28, 2008 at 1:59 pm


Joe,
But you have yet to provide an answer! The conclusions drawn from the fossil record are to my mind, subject to interpretation. But you assure me that these questions are relevant to your answer; so by all means provide your answers to the questions and also to the one I posed.
I’m probably not going to have the time in my schedule for the next couple of days to reply. So please don’t think I’m ignoring you. I’ll keep an eye out for your answer(s) though.



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Joe

posted October 28, 2008 at 3:13 pm


My plan was to answer the question through hypothesis testing. So I need to know, explictly and clearly, what is your hypothesis? And how can we test your hypothesis? If your hypothesis is accurate, what do we expect to find in the fossil record? Without this information, I can not proceed.
I suspect that your hypothesis and my hypothesis make very different predictions about the fossil record. Even with “subjectivity”, I think we can figure out which hypothesis is supported and which is contradicted. Even with subjectivity, there is not an infinite number of interpretations. We really can learn something from the fossil record, at the very least, we can discard bad ideas. Science does not always produce good, complete answers, but it’s very, very good at identifying and disposing of bad answers.
Since you refuse to give me your predictions about the fossil record, I think you know this, too. I think you know that your hypothesis is in deep trouble if we put it to the test.



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 28, 2008 at 7:23 pm


Raj, if you really were as well informed as you claim to be, you would know the answer to this. In Refuting Compromise, I point out:
This old argument is often put forward as though creationists have never thought of it. Some historical research would have shown that this ‘problem’ was answered centuries ago. Christians have long realized that God can create light without a secondary source, and the Bible tells us clearly that God created light, as well as the earth, on the first day. We are told that in the new heavens and Earth there will be no need for sun or moon, because God’s glory will illuminate it, and the Lamb will be the lamp (Revelation 21:23). In Genesis, God even defines a day and a night in terms of light or its absence.
For example, Reformer Calvin (1509–1564) had no problem, for he taught:
• The day-night cycle was instituted from Day 1—before the sun was created [commenting on ‘LET THERE BE LIGHT’ (Genesis 1:3)]:
‘Therefore the Lord, by the very order of the creation, bears witness that he holds in his hand the light, which he is able to impart to us without the sun and the moon. Further, it is certain, from the context, that the light was so created as to be interchanged with the darkness … there is, however, no doubt that the order of their succession was alternate …’
• The sun, moon and stars were created on Day 4—after the Earth—and took over the role as light dispensers to the Earth [commenting on ‘LET THERE BE LIGHTS …’ (Genesis 1:14)]:
‘God had before created the light, but he now institutes a new order in nature, that the sun should be the dispenser of diurnal light, and the moon and the stars should shine by night. And he assigns them to this office, to teach us that all creatures are subject to his will, and execute what he enjoins upon them. For Moses relates nothing else than that God ordained certain instruments to diffuse through the earth, by reciprocal changes, that light which had been previously created. The only difference is this, that the light was before dispersed, but now proceeds from lucid bodies; which, in serving this purpose, obey the commands of God.’

This unusual, counter-intuitive order of creation (light before sun) actually adds a hallmark of authenticity. If the Bible had been the product of later ‘editors’, as alleged by the Wellhausen school (‘Documentary Hypothesis’), they would surely have modified this to fit with their own understanding. Having ‘day’ without the sun would have been generally inconceivable to the ancients.
Having the sun appear after the light would have been very significant to pagan worldviews which tended to worship the sun as the source of all life. God seems to be making it pointedly clear that the sun is secondary to Himself as the source of everything. He doesn’t ‘need’ the sun in order to create life, in contrast to old-Earth beliefs.
In fact, early church writers used the literal fourth day creation of the sun as a polemic against paganism. For example, in the second century, Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch, wrote in an apologetic work to the learned pagan magistrate Autolycus:
‘On the fourth day the luminaries came into existence. Since God has foreknowledge, he understood the nonsense of the foolish philosophers who were going to say that the things produced on earth come from the stars, so that they might set God aside. In order therefore that the truth might be demonstrated, plants and seeds came into existence before the stars. For what comes into existence later cannot cause what is prior to it.’
In the 4th century, Basil the Great commented on the same passage:
‘Heaven and earth were the first; after them was created light; the day had been distinguished from the night, then had appeared the firmament and the dry element. The water had been gathered into the reservoir assigned to it, the earth displayed its productions, it had caused many kinds of herbs to germinate and it was adorned with all kinds of plants. However, the sun and the moon did not yet exist, in order that those who live in ignorance of God may not consider the sun as the origin and the father of light, or as the maker of all that grows out of the earth. That is why there was a fourth day, and then God said: “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven.”’
Note that it was the **real history** of the sun created after the vegetation that is essential. There is little point if Genesis is no more historical than the pagan myths. See also the above URL refuting the “Genesis is a polemic” rubbish and the Framework nonsense.



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John

posted October 28, 2008 at 7:29 pm


Joe,
You accused me of moving the goalposts, but this was not my intent. As far as I can see regarding any claims to evolution in any bacteria, the bacteria remain just that: bacteria.
However, even a bacteria is incredibly complex, and something which man has never been able to create. So if man is unable to create life of any kind, how could an accident (no matter how much time is available) create the abundance of life (plant and animal)that we find today?
The many evolutionists I have debated in the past have all used the copout defence…”abiogenesis is not part of the evolution debate” but I contend that without it, evolution has no chance, as it has no start.
Your thoughts?



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 28, 2008 at 7:38 pm


Rene:
I interpret Genesis the same way as the rest of Scripture does: the events happened, the people existed, and even the order of events was the way it was stated. See above URL for documentation. Any other “history” is playing with words.
I don’t care about your anecdotal account of some unknown non-Christian C-14 scientist. The RATE group are Ph.D. physicists and geologists, and they repeatedly found C-14 in coal and diamond samples, and ruled out contamination.
See previous post’s URL refuting the “framework” nonsense: for one thing, the order is not what you think. The great Keil and Delitzsch commentary on the OT points out:
The work of creation does not fall, as Herder and others maintain, into two triads of days, with the work of the second answering to that of the first. For although the creation of the light on the first day seems to correspond to that of the light-bearing stars on the fourth, there is no reality in the parallelism which some discover between the second and third days on the one hand, and the third and fourth on the other. On the second day the firmament or atmosphere is formed; on the fifth, the fish and fowl. On the third, after the sea and land are separated, the plants are formed; on the sixth, the animals of the dry land and man. Now, if the creation of the fowls which fill the air answers to that of the firmament, the formation of the fish as the inhabitants of the waters ought to be assigned to the sixth day, and not to the fifth, as being parallel to the creation of the seas. The creation of the fish and fowl on the same day is an evident proof that a parallelism between the first three days of creation and the last three is not intended, and does not exist.
Moreover, if the division of the work of creation into so many days had been the result of human reflection; the creation of man, who was appointed lord of the earth, would certainly not have been assigned to the same day as that of the beasts and reptiles, but would have been kept distinct from the creation of the beasts, and allotted to the seventh day, in which the creation was completed-a meaning which Richers and Keerl have actually tried to force upon the text of the Bible. In the different acts of creation we perceive indeed an evident progress from the general to the particular, from the lower to the higher orders of creatures, or rather a steady advance towards more and more concrete forms. But on the fourth day this progress is interrupted in a way which we cannot explain. In the transition from the creation of the plants to that of sun, moon, and stars, it is impossible to discover either a “well-arranged and constant progress,” or “a genetic advance,” since the stars are not intermediate links between plants and animals, and, in fact, have no place at all in the scale of earthly creatures.
I point out in my latest book /By Design/:
Some object to a Designer on the grounds that allegedly 95–99 percent of species have become extinct. However, the known record of extinct and extant species does not support this. The number of fossil species actually found is estimated to be about 250,000, while there are about three million living ‘species,’ or even more, depending on who’s telling the story. But if this >95% claim were correct, we would expect there to be many more fossil species than living ones.
The only plausible explanation is evolutionary bias. For evolution to be true, there would have been innumerable transitional forms between different types of creatures. Therefore, for every known fossil species, many more must have existed to connect it to its ancestors and descendents. This is yet another example of evolutionary conclusions coming before the evidence. Really, the claim is an implicit admission that large numbers of transitional forms are predicted, which heightens the difficulty for evolutionists, given how few there are that even they could begin to claim were candidates.
The rest of your objections amount to “I can’t figure out why God would have done what the Bible says He did, so I won’t believe it.” Of course, if Rene can’t figure out a reason, then there can’t be a reason (/sarcasm).



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Joe

posted October 28, 2008 at 8:47 pm


John,
“Just bacteria”? Do you have any idea of the range of genetic diversity that is encompassed by the phrase “just bacteria”? There is probably more genetic diversity, and so more evolution and more genetic change, in the bacterial world than in the entire world of multi-cellular eukaryotic organisms.
My plan is to answer the question (about a abiogenesis) through hypothesis testing. So I need to know, explicitly and clearly, what is your hypothesis? And how can we test your hypothesis? When were cells created and how were they created? If your hypothesis is accurate, what do we expect to find in the fossil record? What evidence would be accepted as disproof of your hypothesis? Without this information, I can not proceed.
(By the way, I wouldn’t bet on humans not being able to create life. We’re much closer than you think.)



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Michael

posted October 28, 2008 at 9:53 pm


Joe writes: “(By the way, I wouldn’t bet on humans not being able to create life. We’re much closer than you think.)”
When we do this out of “nothing” we will be like God! Joe implies, “Move over God. (Joe’s) coming to claim your throne!”
At’a boy Joe!



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Joe

posted October 28, 2008 at 10:00 pm


Michael,
I implied no such thing. Get a grip. More lousy reasoning by YECers.



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Raj

posted October 28, 2008 at 10:14 pm


Dr. Sarfati,
Yes, if one interprets Genesis literally, that is the conclusion one can draw. But my question is have we not learnt anything from science since Calvin and Luthers day to enable us to understand (or interpret) Genesis 1 in a better way? Why do we have to lock on to those old interpretations?
Suppose if Galieo, Newton, Einstein were not born, do you honestly think that Church would have corrected its geo-centric interpretation by exegisis alone? Did science not contribute anything to help us correct those doctrine of the church? Did science not help us in anyway?
I know you would say (or the YEC answer) to this issue: Church was locked to the scientific view of its day and Galileo was challenging the scientific community too. But evolution is not like that.
Yes! fair enough. But my point is, the church did eventually altered its view based on Galileo’s discovery. His discovery not only helped scientific community, but also helped church to do proper exegesis.
So we do learn from science to help our understanding of Bible.
Ok now you will throw this argument to trash by saying that evolution is “origin” science, not operational science.
The problem is we have good Christians (both scientists and theologians) all over the spectrum. So, we cannot blindly conclude all of them are wrong. Science is a process of understanding General revelation, which could help us to understand special revelation. Given the acceptance of evolution among scientific community all over the globe, why can’t we consider the possibility that theory of evolution could help us understand Genesis little better? why do we have to think evolution is a threat to Christian worldview?
Ok. This is my grand dream. If Christian community could come to terms that there could be legitimate different interpretations for Genesis, then we don’t have to spend time & energy to refute each others view, but we could help each other in enhancing each views. We could build each other. Whether it is AIG or CMI or ReasontoBleieve or Francis Collins or Ravi Zachariah or Norman Geisler or Alister Mcrath or Dinesh dSouza or N.T Wright(the list goes on), we could all stand together and complement each other.
All we need to do is to agree that one view might not have got it all correct. If we could simply acknowledge this limitation, we could build bridge and together we could make the kingdom of God ( the dream of God / the will of God) come true in this world.
Or am I day dreaming?
thanks
Raj.



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 28, 2008 at 10:36 pm


Raj
If you had read Refuting Compromise, or some of my earlier posts, you would understand that the whole geocentrist/geokinetic dispute is a non-issue. It’s all about reference frames.
The late Sir Fred Hoyle made it clear that using the earth’s reference frame was not a scientific error:
‘The relation of the two pictures [geocentricity and heliocentricity] is reduced to a mere coordinate transformation and it is the main tenet of the Einstein theory that any two ways of looking at the world which are related to each other by a coordinate transformation are entirely equivalent from a physical point of view…. Today we cannot say that the Copernican theory is “right” and the Ptolemaic theory “wrong” in any meaningful physical sense.’
Note also that the leading geokineticists Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton were YECs!
RC also discusses the ministerial and magisterial uses of science, as I mentioned before here:
“The ministerial use elaborates on the clear teachings of the Bible, and may help us decide on equally plausible alternatives consistent with the language. Note that this approach to Scripture does not deny the authority of Scripture, but recognizes that while Scripture is ‘true truth’ it is not exhaustive truth. In contrast, the magisterial use overrules the clear teaching of the Bible to come up with a meaning inconsistent with sound hermeneutics. Instead of the Reformation principle of Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), this is Scriptura sub scientia (Scripture below science).”
It is a ministerial use of science to suggest that the Bible is using the Earth as a perfectly valid reference frame, but solar-system astronomers might find it profitable to use the centre of mass of our solar system as a reference frame. It is a faulty magisterial use of science to overturn the clear biblical teaching of a young earth, organisms reproducing after their kinds, the seperate creation of Adam and Eve, and a global flood.
See also my article, “Loving God with all your mind: logic and creation” (URL above)



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Joe

posted October 28, 2008 at 10:56 pm


Rene,
Before you take Dr. Sarfati’s word that…
“The RATE group are Ph.D. physicists and geologists, and they repeatedly found C-14 in coal and diamond samples, and ruled out contamination.”
…you might want to check out:
http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/carbon-kb.htm
By the way, isn’t it odd that the RATE group kept getting dates of 50,000 years old for coal that were allegedly formed 4500 years ago during the Flood? I believe they’ve made up a story about “special conditions” at the time of the Flood, but this ignores the fact that C-14 dating has been independently calibrated to dates of at least 10,000 years using tree ring data. When you look at the C-14 levels in 4500-year old wood, those levels are close to what you would expect for 4500-year old wood. That is, there is absolutely no evidence to support RATE’s claim that something really strange was happening at 4500 years ago. There are no weird changes or crazy spikes in the calibration curve at 4500 years ago. And yet, the RATE measurements consistently showed the coal was 50,000 years old. The dates of around 50,000 years were the result of contamination and/or due to sloppy technique, but still, why didn’t the coal produce dates of 2500 BC? Where was all of the C-14 that should have been present in coal formed during the Flood? I thank RATE for proving that the Earth is much older than 6000 years.
My question remains. Why are dinos, modern birds and modern mammals so neatly sorted by taxa in the fossil record when all were allegedly created together around 6000 years ago? And while talking coal, can anyone explain the complete and total absence of angiosperms from the massive, world-wide Carboniferous Period coal deposits when all plants were created together in 4000 BC?



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John

posted October 28, 2008 at 11:05 pm


Joe,
You have done yourself a dis-service. You state “”Just bacteria”? Do you have any idea of the range of genetic diversity that is encompassed by the phrase “just bacteria”? There is probably more genetic diversity, and so more evolution and more genetic change, in the bacterial world than in the entire world of multi-cellular eukaryotic organisms.”
I would agree with the first part of your statement, but this does NOT indicate evolution. (Macro-evolution). It indicates created diversity and complexity.
Surely if evolution from nothing to Newton were true, there would be fossil evidence of each of the ‘intermediates’ rather than an ‘explosion’ of fully formed, incredibly complex life. There are no intermediates.
The proponents of abiogenesis (who hope to disprove Pasteur) would need to observe life from no life without any external intelligence. My suggestion is to put a frog into a blender, (1 minute at high speed) then put the resulting chemicals (which would contain all the pre-requisites of life)into an environment of your choosing, then wait. If life formed, then I would be the staunchest supporter of macro-evolution, probably surpassing Richard Dawkins…..
Please don’t take this as a joke. Surely if life in all its complexity could form without an intelligent designer, it would prove abiogenesis, disprove Shannon’s Theory, disprove the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, and would set the scientific world alight.
And, you could make a fortune:
http://missinguniversemuseum.com/Reward.htm
http://www.geocities.com/worldview_3/rewards.html



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Brian

posted October 28, 2008 at 11:16 pm


In reading many of the above comments, I came across variations of the sentence, “Jesus supported a literal translation of Scripture.”
Unfortunately, I cannot personally recall reading something along these lines anywhere in the Gospels.
Did I miss it?
I was curious and hoping someone could help me out.
Thanks.
God bless.



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Raj

posted October 28, 2008 at 11:36 pm


Yeah. I know about reference frame. I brought Galileo issue only to point out that science did help us to understand Bible better (whether geo-centric is right or not in a particular reference frame or so). My only concern is whether “Sola Scriptura ” or “Scriptura sub scientia”, modern scientific discoveries could influence (or aid or alter) our understanding of Genesis. Or Are we 100% sure that we got figured (understanding special revelation, especially Genesis 1)it all?
I only wish if the possibility of different views could be agreed among christians, we could bear better witness and stand against people like Dawkins, Christopher Hithens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Bart Ehrman, etc….
anyway…I know it is not that simple!!!



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Joe

posted October 28, 2008 at 11:36 pm


John,
Define “macroevolution”. You claim it doesn’t happen, but you need to define your terms or the claim is meaningless. At what point do we have enough change for you to call it macroevolution? Why doesn’t “created diversity and complexity” equal macroevolution?
“Surely if life in all its complexity could form without an intelligent designer, it would … disprove the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics”. This is a false statement. The second law doesn’t not prohibit local increases in complexity. If it did, you would have never grown any larger than a fertilized egg cell. Any mechanism of abiogenesis would be consistent with the second law. In short, like all YECers, you don’t understand the second law of thermodynamics.
Again, with regards to abiogenesis, I need to know, explicitly and clearly, what is your hypothesis? And how can we test your hypothesis? When were cells created and how were they created? If your hypothesis is accurate, what do we expect to find in the fossil record? What evidence would be accepted as disproof of your hypothesis? Without this information, I can not proceed. Why are you reluctant to provide this information?
“There are no intermediates.” That’s quite an assertion. Define “intermediates”. Without definitions, your statement is meaningless. Care to give me a definition so that we can test the assertion?



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Your Name

posted October 28, 2008 at 11:50 pm


Raj, the reference frame is an example of the ministerial use of science. It doesn’t contradict Scriupture, but elucidates it. But goo-to-you evolution *does* contradict Scripture: age, order of events, origin of mankind, entrance of death in the world. Indeed, it is hard to imagine something more diametrically opposed to Genesis! So unlike geokineticism, which is just an alternate reference frame, and doesn’t place “science” above Scripture, evolution makes “science” authoritative over Scripture, which is denied in practice.
Yes, unity against the misotheists mentioned would be nice. Right, so ask these compromisers to stop attacking biblical creation. These misotheists treat compromise with contempt. But Christophobes like this bluff artist “Joe” person pretend to care about what is “Christian” when it suits them.



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Joe

posted October 28, 2008 at 11:59 pm


Yes, evolution contradicts young earth creationism. But so does reality. If there was no theory of evolution, the geological evidence would still utterly refute the order of origins in YEC. If there was no theory of evolution, ecological theory would refute the “no death” part of YEC. You can take evolution completely out of the picture, and YEC fails the basic test of reality. YEC can be totaly disproved without any reference to evolution at all.
I’m not a Christophobe. Christ was cool. His followers? Not so much.



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Michael

posted October 29, 2008 at 12:03 am


Raj asks, “why can’t we consider the possibility that theory of evolution could help us understand Genesis little better?”
Raj, you’re either not reading the terrific answers by Dr. Sarfati and others above or “in seeing you don’t see.” You keep throwing out the same old crap. How can a natural, self-spontaneously occuring molecules to man theory that’s in complete contradiction to Genesis possibly help us understand “better” God’s message of his clear authority over all creation?
So what, you’ve got a problem with God creating everything in six days? Do you think that if he decided to do it in just one day, he couldn’t? But he had purpose and meaning in doing things the way he did it. There’s purpose to his creating light before the sun. There’s purpose in his creation spanning over six days; and resting on the seventh. There’s purpose in his planting 2 trees in the middle of the garden. There’s purpose in his command to not eat of the one and freely of the other. Do you not get it…Adam had just one law to keep. AND HE COULDN’T DO IT! So what, you feel sorry for yourself because you don’t like that you are burdened with the inherited sin from Adam? How many of God’s commands do you violate every single day? None of us is without sin!
Stop arguing for what other people think. Stand on your own two feet and decide what you think. Joe and I may never agree on the truthfulness of the Bible, but at least he is firm in his faith-based humanist choice. Jesus said, “I would that you were either hot or cold, but lukewarm causes me to spit you out of my mouth.”
Ken Ham has done a wonderful job of defending the trustworthiness of Genesis. But the bottom line is it’s not about what I believe or what Dr. Sarfati believes or Giberson or Ham or any of the others who have defended the scriptures to you. Are you willing to trust what Jesus says about the truthfulness and faithfulness of God’s revelation to man and what the New Testiment companions of Christ testified concerning him. Your problem appears that you concern yourself too much about what other people think, and write, instead of really studying for yourself God’s revelation written to YOU and accepting his faithfulness as the final WORD. And just maybe you’ve never really accepted Christ Jesus AS LORD and SAVIOUR. Just stop trying to rewrite scripture and either accept it or reject it and let’s move on.



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 12:16 am


Michael,
“Faith-based humanist”? What does that mean?
Raj is right to reject YEC. It’s garbage. The evidence against it is overwhelming. And Sarfati’s answers have generally ignored that evidence. You believe an ancient story written millennia ago by all-too-human men because you want to, not because of “excellent answers” or because it’s defensible. Believe what you want, but understand what you are doing.



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Raj

posted October 29, 2008 at 12:17 am


Dr. Sarfati,
One thing I know for sure is that there are not only good Christians all over the spectrum of Genesis interpretation but they are also very competent. I remember Ken Ham once praised you that you could beat people in chess with blind folded…!!!
anyway… thanks for your inputs and time. Though I moved to the other side of the spectrum (compromisers in your language:)), I do think (and pray) with all the differences some how God would use us to bring his will come true in our life and in this world. I appreciate your efforts, please keep up your thinking/work…
thanks
Raj.



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 29, 2008 at 12:51 am


This Joe person really does have *blind faith* in goo-to-you evolution, as a crutch for his materialistic *religion*. And if he really thought JEsus was “cool”, then he would believe what Jesus said, e.g. “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35) and that God made humans male and female “at the beginning of creation” not billions of years afterwards (see URL above). I would rather believe Him—because He was there—than uniformitarian scientists and their thralls who were not.



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Michael

posted October 29, 2008 at 1:03 am


Brian, Do any of these help?
Mark 10:6 (Jesus speaking)”But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female’.”
Luke 16:31 (Jesus Speking)”But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Luke 18:31 (Jesus speaking)Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished.
Luke 24:25 (Jesus speaking) And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
Luke 24:27 (referring to Jesus) Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
Luke 24:44 (Jesus speaking) Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
John 5:39 (Jesus speaking) You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they (the scriptures) which testify of Me.
John 5:46 (Jesus Speaking)”For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. (47) “But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
Along with many affirmations by the Apostles including:
2Timothy 3:16 (by Paul referring primarily to the Old Testament and Paul claimed to have received direct revelation from Jesus) All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
2Peter 3:15 …just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, (16) as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.



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Michael

posted October 29, 2008 at 1:45 am


Joe,
I like you, and it’s been fun sharing belief systems with you. I used to believe as you in the flawed and constantly changing unprovable assumptions of self-spontaneously generated molecules to man dead Darwinian evolution. And I found it just took too much faith. Yet now as a creationist, I agree, we need ancient dinosaur bones like you to keep challenging creation science. So let’s talk about belief systems.
You keep asking for the fossil evidence of co-mingled dinosaur bones and modern animals, right? But even Darwin complained that the fossil record may be inadequate to solidly prove origin. (Found that on your favorite website.) As for me, if we never find solid confirmed peer reviewed evidence of co-minged fossils, I am still completely confident in the trustworthiness of God’s word.
My question to you is if we find solid confirmed peer reviewed evidence of co-minged fossils, will you continue to trust in self-spontaneously generated molecules to man dead Darwinian evolution?
And just for fun look up the URL above.
Be well.



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 29, 2008 at 2:01 am


Brian, to add to Michael’s good examples, I suggest “Jesus Christ on the infallibility of Scripture” on the URL above (excerpt from Dr David Livingston’s M.A. Thesis titled, ‘A Critique of Dewey Beegle’s book titled: Inspiration of Scripture’)



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An Observer

posted October 29, 2008 at 2:02 am


Joe,
Without my hypothesis you can not proceed; what kind of nonsense is that! What, is this the first time you ever thought about your belief in abiogenesis? You’ve been itching for a fight with anybody about the fossil record all through your posts; and now your trying to make this about the fossil record. If you want to include your interpretations of the fossil record in your answer that’s fine with me, but you certainly don’t need my interpretations to do that. You’ve never had them before and I assume you have come to some conclusion about abiogenesis before now. So quit dancing around the issue and let’s hear it!



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 29, 2008 at 2:58 am


Michael
Please, if you cite an article by a CMI scientist, cite it from the CMI site, i.e. the site with which the scientist is affiliated. BTW, our most recent article on the T. rex blood cells is in the URL above.



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Rene

posted October 29, 2008 at 7:15 am


Joe,
thanks for the ASA link, I think I’ve already read it. They also have a very good paper on dating in general.
No need to convince me the earth is old.
Rene



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Rene

posted October 29, 2008 at 7:34 am


Jonathan,
Can you please tell me the order of Christ’s temptations in the desert? Is it 1) Turn stone into bread 2) jump off the temple and 3) worship me
Or: 1) Turn stone into bread 2) worship me 3) jump off the temple
First is Matthew, second is Luke. Trivial? Perhaps, but this isn’t the only example of change in order. That doesn’t diminish my faith in the Bible, but it does make me think. What you call ‘playing with words’, I call: doing good research into the meaning of an ancient (and extremely important) text. The Bible wasn’t written just for us, you know, but for all ages. So take of you modernist glasses and see what is there!
Your comment about ‘some unknown non-Christian C-14 scientist’ is way off the mark. Firstly, non-Christians can be clever, wise even, and do good science. Is that the same attitude when you take medication? “Discovered by non-Christians (very likely), so it can’t work.” I take non-Christian scientists very serious, as long as I can see they stick to their data. And when Christians don’t stick to data, I don’t take them serious.
The C-14 scientist I told you about is the head of one of Europe’s leading academic C-14 labs. And his findings on coal are in line with those of many thousands of scientists. And they are not one big conspiracy.
I don’t understand all of Gods works, but the fact is he made a reliable and understandable universe. So to invoke changes in physical constants goes against this God-given order. That is possible, but it does require explanations. And proof. Convincing proof, lots of it.
Finally, you didn’t answer my last – and most important – question. I’ve just read an interview with Terry Mortenson, who said he believed theistic evolutionists would probably go to heaven, but in the same article claimed this theory is from the devil. So, I am a follower of the devil, but might make it to heaven…
I would be interested to have your opinion on this matter, so I repeat: Can you accept a brother who believes in an old earth and theistic evolution?
Rene



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Brian

posted October 29, 2008 at 9:18 am


Michael and Jonathan,
Thank you so much! I was worried my little inquiry would get ignored in light of the bigger debate.
God bless,
Brian



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 9:20 am


I see I’ve prompted lots of non-answer answers. I’m getting a lot of “you have to believe that the Bible is literal history”, but I’m not getting any physical evidence to support that conclusion and/or I’m not getting any physical observations, data and reasons to counter the disproofs of YEC. All I hear is “the Bible says you have to believe the Bible”. As I said, you’ve chosen to believe the words of ancient men (now, that’s blind faith). Well, that’s your choice, I guess.
I don’t have “blind faith” in evolution and evolution is not my “religion”. As JBS Haldane famously said, show me a rabbit in the pre-Cambrian and I’ll throw out evolution (I’m paraphrasing a bit here). So, show me a rabbit in the pre-Cambrian.
“Without my hypothesis you can not proceed; what kind of nonsense is that!”
That nonsense is called science. I want to address the question of abiogeneis scientifically. I’m not dancing, I’m waiting for you to stop dancing. I’m itching to discuss this (even though you won’t discuess the disproofs to YEC), but you hold the key. Give me a little info, and I’ll discuss the question. It’s up to you.



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Dr Claire Tuttlebee

posted October 29, 2008 at 10:08 am


These debates make me want to simultaneously scream and cry. As a believer in the authority of Scripture, I fought tooth and nail during my Ph.D (microbiology) to continue believing in a young earth and instant creation. I argued with my supervisors etc. I’ve been to hear Ken Ham and agreed with what he was saying (but disliked his arrogant attitude intensely). This year I finally plucked up the courage to look at evidence for evolution. What I found blew me away.
The evidence from genetics is absolutely compelling. When one considers the similarities between our chromosome 2 and the chromosomes 2a and 2b of the apes and how the centre of our chromosomes contains telomeres which should only be found at the end of chromosomes then one begins to appreciate the burden of evidence for genetics. Read the article I recommend for further info. We also have to face that we have pseudogenes in our chromosomes that code for the enzyme that can Vitamin C- but it’s non-functional. This is the exact same code as chimps have and it’s very similar to rats (in which it’s functional). It’s all pointing towards common ancestry. I had to get down on my knees and humbly acknowledge to the Lord that I had been wrong about the lack of evidence for evolution. There is evidence if we’re willing to look. The creationist arguments that I clung to (such as only an inch of dust on the moon proves a young earth, and dinosaur/human foot prints found together, and even Neanderthal man being a human being) have been shown to be utter rubbish and are acknowledged as such by YECs (except perhaps the Neanderthal man).
I don’t expect people to break out of their paradigm on the basis of the few comments I’ve written when they’re convinced that literal reading of Genesis is the only way. I know how scary it can be to rre-examine things with an open mind. However, if anyone does have an open mind I would beg you to look into the evidence for evolution and also examine how theologians well before Darwin’s time considered a non-literal approach to Genesis.
Remember Galileo!



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 29, 2008 at 10:22 am


Rene
Please spare us liberal games; I could get those from morons like Spong. It’s quite simple: Matthew is generally written in thematic order; Luke in chronological order, as is well known from the grammatical-historical hermeneutic. The same hermeneutic shows that Genesis is real history, as the New Testament writers understood it; and that the Psalms are poetic. CMI is not “literalist” but *originalist*, i.e. interpreting Scripture according to the meaning original readers would have understood.
Again, I care nothing for anecdotes about anonymous C-14 scientists, compared to the eye-witness testimony of Christ about the age of the earth and the RATE scientists who discovered C-14 in something as uncontaminable as diamonds.
As for your last question, you’d know the answer to this as well if you had bothered to inform yourself about what you’re criticising, e.g. my article “Church of England apologises to Darwin: Anglican Church’s neo-Chamberlainite appeasement of secularism” (URL above).



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 29, 2008 at 10:29 am


The emotionalism of this ill-informed Claire Tuttleby to justify her apostasy is breathtaking. What “god” did she repent to, since it seems to have nothing to do with the true God of the Bible that she professed to have once believed in (with no evidence of such belief). She clearly can’t have been a well-informed creationist (if she ever was a *biblical* creationist at all) if she was still clinging to arguments that YECs have LONG advised against using, and relying on these rather than God’s eye-witness revelation.
This Finlay stuff is well known to me; he is another who thinks that God can’t reveal himself plainly in Scripture, and instead “created” by a process of blundering incompetence. The pseudogene argument is just another “vestigial organ” argument: we don’t know the function, therefore it has none. But see “Potentially decisive evidence against pseudogene ‘shared mistakes’” (above).



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 10:33 am


Dr. Tuttlebee,
I sincerely thank you for your input. I think that you can see that Dr. Sarfati is immune to reason. It’s a good thing that we live in the 21st century, because I strongly suspect that had you disagreed with him in the 16th century, and if he’d had the power, he’d be the first in line to literally burn you at the stake. Death to the appeasers!
Yes, remember Galileo!



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 29, 2008 at 10:54 am


Joe and Dr Tuttleby should indeed remember Galileo: because this was another example where the church appeased the science of its day (the absolute geocentric model taught by Ptolemy then modified by Brahe), and followed the advice of the Aristotelians at the university to suppress Galileo’s challenges. Now Dr Tuttleby is following misotheists like Joe, who wouldn’t know reason if he tripped over it, to oppose current challengers of the materialistic “scientific” theory of goo to you via the zoo.
I’ve already discussed the usual misinformation about Galileo by misotheists like Joe and their churchian allies like Dr T. See for example “The Galileo affair: history or heroic hagiography?” by Dr Thomas Schirrmacher (URL above).
Good grief, this “Joe” worries what I’d do with power, while even conservatives at American university faculties are almost non-existent since they refuse to toe the liberal groupthink.



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Joe, PhD

posted October 29, 2008 at 11:42 am


Dr. Sarfati,
Ah, so now the Galileo affair is science’s fault. I should have known. After all, the Bible is clear that Joshua made the Earth stop spinning. Oh, wait, I forgot. It actually said that Joshua commanded the Sun to stand still. Oops.
I wouldn’t know reason if I tripped over it? I know that no one is addressing my reasoned disproofs of YEC. That much I know. Do you think that you can dismiss a well-tested scientific theory with cutsie phrases like “goo to you via the zoo”? Wow, there’s some fine reasoning there. As Dr. Tuttlebee has noted, the YEC arguments against evolution are rubbish. Sorry, old boy, the Earth ain’t 6000 years old. It just ain’t.
And, of course, we have to have the obligatory attack on universities. Any of this backed up by court cases showing discrimination? No? Hmm. Well, we did throw the geocentricists out of the astronomy departments and the miasma theorists out of the microbiology departments, I’ll give you that. (Now, if you want to see a real purging of dissention, check out what the Southern Baptists did in their seminaries back in the 1980s.)
I know fanaticism. I know that no one hates like a Christian can hate. When people start to condemn the views of others of the same faith with words like “appeaser”, “apostasy”, “moron” and “ill-informed emotionalism”, then I know how this movie ends. I know that when people have an absolute belief in a particular set of human words (words claimed to be infallible), then it tends to lead to very bad things. And when people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, I know how they behave. Yeah, in a different age, you’d light the fire.
You know, I used to go to church. But the churches were full of folks like you. It was either leave or go insane.



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Rene

posted October 29, 2008 at 12:18 pm


Jonathan,
It’s not so very easy to extract an answer out of your article on the Darwin apology. I do note, however, that you don’t hesitate to quote non-Christian scientists approvingly when the support your ideas (i.e. Dennett on Darwinism as universal acid).
I suppose your answer is, that I’m a waffling compromising liberal. Well, I’ve tried to keep this exchange civil, and will continue to do so (thought I doubht whether there is much point in going on). Your use of words to me (as a non-native speaker of English) seems a bit rude, which is not quite in line with the fruits of the Spirit and other scriptures on behaviour amongst fellow-believer. Indeed, there is a verse (can’t come up with it on the spot) that says (my own words, don’t know the NIV/King James, whatever): if you call your brother a fool, you’re one for the fires of Hell.
The anonymous scientist is prof. dr. Harry Meijer of the CIO http://www.rug.nl/ees/onderzoek/cio/index?lang=en
And, by the way, there are some (non-liberal) Biblical scholars who would not agree with you hermeneutics of Genesis. But you don’t want to hear that, really. If someone doesn’t agree with you, he must be a liberal.
Wishing you well (really, I do)
Rene



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Raj

posted October 29, 2008 at 1:22 pm


Dr Claire Tuttlebee
I used to be a YEC too. Exactly what you have described about the evidence for common ancestry helped me to see the validity of evolution. Dr. Francis Collins talkes about this in his book “The language of God”. Prof. Ken Miller’s latest book “Only a theory” gives lot more examples. Ironically, Michael Behes recent book “the edge of evolution” also gives information on common ancestry.
As you have mentioned, there are compelling evidences for common ancestry… the ID movement lost its case twice in the court. Creationims lost its case long time back. Still, I wonder why people cling on to their old interpretation and do not even willing to accept there could be other views…



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An Observer

posted October 29, 2008 at 1:27 pm


Dr. Joe,
You said your plan was to “to answer the question through hypothesis testing” and you said, “I think you know that your hypothesis is in deep trouble if we put it to the test.”
As I’ve said earlier, I’m on a really tight schedule this week so I don’t have time for arguing with you. So how about this Joe; I’ll just concede that my hypothesis is incorrect and yours is correct. So now that we agree that your hypothesis is correct; would you please answer the questions.
Do you believe abiogenesis is how life originated and if so why? What scientific data have you used to reach this conclusion?



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 1:36 pm


An Observer,
And how do you know that your hypothesis is incorrect? What are the observations that disproved your hypothesis? I understand you’re busy, but this should just take a second.



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Rene

posted October 29, 2008 at 2:06 pm


Joe, PhD,
apologies for my fellow-believer Jonathan. See my previous post on his use of words. Did you ever read ‘Coming to Peace with Science’ by Darrel Falk? Try it, he felt a bit like you describe at the end of you posting, but eventually found a church that would accept him. Trust me, they’re out there…
Rene



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 2:26 pm


Rene,
Thank you for your suggstion. I’m not familiar with Darrel Falk, but I’ll look this up.



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Michael

posted October 29, 2008 at 3:00 pm


Dr. Tuttlebee,
You stated, “As a believer in the authority of Scripture…”
Are you still a believer in the authority of scripture or has that changed?
You indicate that via your investigation of “evolutionary” genetics, your position toward evolution has changed. Are you saying that your investigation provided absolute proof of common ancestry and could not possibly indicate a common tool of a single creator?
And why do you include flawed hypotheses of creationists as reasons to turn away, but ignor in your comments the volumes of flawed hypotheses in evolution?
These are serious questions to which I would like the favor of your response. I also wonder if you have put the same effort as you did in searching evolution into a thorough study of the faithfulness of scripture.
And Dr. Joe, you said, “You know, I used to go to church. But the churches were full of folks like you.”
That is so beneath you. You know, I used to go to hospitals. But they were full of sick and dying people.



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 3:04 pm


Michael,
Umm, and this hospital analogy works because…? Sorry, I don’t get it.
Whether my comment is “beneath me” or not, it’s the truth. Banging one’s head against the wall is bad for one’s mental health.



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Michael

posted October 29, 2008 at 3:14 pm


You thought everyone should be perfect at church? But because they weren’t that stopped you from going? No, maybe you don’t get it.
God still loves you brother.



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 3:22 pm


Michael,
Generally speaking, the people in hospitals didn’t choose to be sick, and with a very few exceptions, they didn’t choose to be dying. In fact, in most cases, people in hospitals would be thrilled to be anywhere except the hospital.
People in churches often choose to stop thinking. Not all of them, by any means, but enough of them to make churches unpleasant places to be.
See the difference?



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Michael

posted October 29, 2008 at 3:48 pm


So very obtuse. Like I said, maybe you don’t. Or you just get a kick out of being difficult/arguementative. Whatever Joe, your the man!



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 4:43 pm


Obtuse? Not really. I understand human imperfection and fallibility. The problem is that many of those in churches (again, by *no* means *all*) seem to have concluded that their positions, beliefs and actions flow from a place of perfection, infallibility and absolute certainty. And that leads to head banging (and in the good old days, to bonfires). By contrast, hospitals are a paradise.



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Michael

posted October 29, 2008 at 4:56 pm


Don’t let the “perfect” ones distract you from God’s calling. Their perfection only serves to illuminate their imperfection.



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An Observer

posted October 29, 2008 at 5:21 pm


Joe,
The observations that disproved my hypothesis are all of the ones you cite in support of yours. So now that we agree that your hypothesis is correct; would you please answer the questions.
Do you believe abiogenesis is how life originated and if so why? What scientific data have you used to reach this conclusion?



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 5:41 pm


An Observer,
Ah, but you don’t know what I’m going to cite when testing my hypothesis, do you?
I still have no explict statement of what your hypothesis is or why you would consider it disproved. I’m puzzled. Why is it so hard to state your hypothesis and its disproofs? I’m just asking for a simple sentence, like “the first cells were created X years ago by a process Y, and this hypothesis is disproved by Z”. Shouldn’t take that long to do. Why you are so reluctant to be explict?
When I first asked for this information, I honestly thought that I’d made a simple request. Now appears that I’ve asked the impossible. Curiouser and curiouser. And much more entertaining than I had imagined.



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 29, 2008 at 6:56 pm


Of coure, Rene is not in aposition to apoligize for someone else’s actions, even that seems to be the liberal fashion these days. I make no apology for defending the same view of Scripture as Jesus had, rather than appeasing materialists (see URL above). Our site has also reviewed that crass Falk book (originally reviewed in our Journal of Creation, formerly TJ).



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Your Name

posted October 29, 2008 at 7:06 pm


Yes, Joe, as documented, Galileo’s problems were with the Aristotelian scientists. And I’ve already pointed out the elementary physics that all mostion must be described with respect to a reference frame.
The Southern Baptists were right: their official position is that teh Bible is inerrant, and liberals were thus violating their ordination vows when they attacked the Bible they had vowed to defend. Previously, in other denominations, liberals got control and expelled Bible-believers like Gresham Machen.
Joe is such a Christophobe that the compromisers like Rene and Claire who attempt to appease are merely trying a known failed procedure. And if Rene wants to play postmodernist games about biblical interpretation, he will have to do better, i.e. deal with the actual text of Genesis and the arguments for taking it as history. I’ve already given links.
Raj pretends he was a well-informed YEC who saw the light, yet he relies on this ally of atheists, Kenneth Miller, whose errors were pointed out by CMI, and for goodness’ sake an activist judge with no science qualifications.
If Joe really wants hatred, he should look to his fellow misotheists like Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot, and the current persecution and vitriol directed at creationists.



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 8:16 pm


Define “Christophobe”. Give me a definition, and I’ll tell you if I qualify.
Hee, hee! I knew we’d get to Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot eventually! Re-read my criteria for “how to know when things are going to go badly”.
When people start to condemn the views of others of the same faith with words like “appeaser”, “apostasy”, “moron” and “ill-informed emotionalism”, then I know how this movie ends. I know that when people have an absolute belief in a particular set of human words (words claimed to be infallible), then it tends to lead to very bad things. And when people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, I know how they behave.
I think Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot would fall into one or more of the above catagories. The problem is not “misotheism”. The problem is a hankering for absolute truths and a belief that one’s actions and beliefs are infallible. As Jacob Bronowski said:
“We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.”
Dr. Sarfati,
Current persecution of creationists? Really? When was the last time a scientist burned a creationist at the stake? You must have a very low persecution threshhold. Yes, people laugh at young earth creationists. Is that “persecution”? Seriously?
As an aside, I just love the way “Your Name” can read Raj’s mind.
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war!



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An Observer

posted October 29, 2008 at 8:19 pm


Joe,
It is entertaining……LOL!!! Allow me to borrow your words and say, when I first asked for this information, I honestly thought that I’d made a simple request. Now it appears that I’ve asked the impossible. Curious as to why you need input from me to answer these simple questions.
If I have more time throughout the night I’ll write more. If not, it will be sometime tomorrow afternoon/evening before I’ll have the time to get back to this.



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 8:27 pm


AO,
Once I have your input, I think it will be clear why I needed it.
By the way, it’s always a sign onto me that I’ve seriously disturbed young earth creationists when all they want to talk about is abiogenesis. It’s a classic formula for distracting attention away from the reality of the endless disproofs of YEC. No one wants to respond to the disproofs. No one wants to consider the taxonomic sorting of fossils. Better change the subject fast, eh?
Anyway, the ball’s in your court. It’s your choice.



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JimA

posted October 29, 2008 at 8:33 pm


It’s interesting to me that at least two of Karl’s easily understood points remain unresponded to, the first being the circularity matter, essentially making an authority claim which in its essential is that the Bible is true because the Bible itself says so. No one would accept that argument for any other writing. The second concerns the, “All scripture is given…” passage, which certainly refers to the Torah and other OT writings, and not to itself (not to the NT writings themselves, those not being collected and incorporated into a canon at the time of that writing). JimA



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Michael

posted October 29, 2008 at 8:54 pm


Dr. Joe,
In a recent National Geographic, paleontologist Mary Schweitzer described the seemingly inexplicable preservation of soft tissues including branching blood vessels and partial unfossilized bone in a 68-million year old T. rex from Wyoming.
See URL above.
“The accepted viewpoint is that collagen, like other organic molecules, will degrade relatively rapidly, so that after a maximum of about a hundred thousand years nothing will remain,” Schweitzer acknowledged.
Might you be willing to accept an opinion that these T.rex remains are no older than say 1-million years?
BTW – I did respond to your geo-layer sorting question quite honestly. So you owe me one.



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Michael

posted October 29, 2008 at 9:27 pm


JimA,
The Bible as you probably know is quite different from other writings in that it was written over a 2500+ year period by many different contributors with a unified message. That makes it completely different than a book by a single author attempting to make the same inerrant claim. (IE. Book of Morman, Quran)
Another important factor is the numerous prophetic claims the Bible makes with 100% accuracy.
Also, (see my response above to Brian) are all the verses quoting Jesus in the New Testament authenticating the truthfulness of scripture and note in my response that I did indicate Paul was primarily referencing the Old Testament in his “All scripture…” statement. However, it does not necessarily exclude the prophetic application to the New Testament. It all depends on the readers willingness to accept it prophetically.
Check out the link above provided by Dr. Sarfati.



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 29, 2008 at 9:51 pm


I note once again the mimophantic character of anti-creationists, whether misotheistic like Joe or his compromising churchian allies. I.e. they are as thick-skinned as elephants when it comes to spouting vitriol aagainst creationists, but delicate as a mimosa when creationists dare to talk back.
Joe’s hatred of Christianity leads him to both scientific incompetence (ignorance of the elementary concept of describing motion **relative to a reference frame**, as per Hoyle above), and historical revisionism. That is, freedom of speech is strongest in countries with a Christian heritage, and we see a biblical justification by John Milton, author of Paradise Lost, in his “Areopagitica: A speech of Mr John Milton for the liberty of unlicensed printing to the Parliament of England”, a protest against censorship:
“For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.”
“As good almost kill a man as kill a good book: who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God’s image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye.”
“And though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play on the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter?”
“I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.”
If you want censorship, look at the atheistic communist paradise of China. They really do persecute Christians and censor information from the people. And these self-professed advocates of freedom like Google and the Western media abetted this censorship! Similarly, it is humanist-dominated modern American universities who censor Christian viewpoints with their enforcing of “politically correct” language, campus speech codes, and “diversity training”. And average university humanities faculty has less *ideological* diversity than the average Southern Baptist congregation. And see above for government school censorship of a valedictory address by a Christian girl.



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 9:54 pm


Michael,
I scrolled back up to try to find your answer to the question, but I honestly couldn’t find much that would qualify as a direct answer. It true that you quoted the question in one of your comments, but I’m not sure this is really an answer to the question. Perhaps you could clarify your answer for me. I’m not trying to be the least bit rude; I just don’t see an answer.
I’m certainly aware of the dino collagen find. It did surprise paleontologists. But you have to keep in mind the fact that there are two different hypotheses being tested here.
The first hypothesis is that the T. rex was 68-million years old. That hypothesis could be tested using a variety of dating methods, and all of the methods gave essentially the say answer. The T. rex was 68-million years old. To consider otherwise, you would have to reject an awful lot of geology. You can consider the possibility the T. rex was only one million years old, but to do that, you’d have to explain why all of the other evidence said that it was 68-million years old. Finding collagen is just one bit of information; you have to consider the total informational context of the find.
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: No modern bird or mammal species were found with the T. rex. That’s because there were no modern birds or mammals alive at 68-million years ago.
The second hypothesis is the one described in the Schweitzer quote:
“The accepted viewpoint is that collagen, like other organic molecules, will degrade relatively rapidly, so that after a maximum of about a hundred thousand years nothing will remain”.
Note the words “accepted viewpoint”. “Accepted viewpoint” does not equal absolute truth. “Accepted viewpoint” means that as far as we know, pending further discoveries, this is how the world works. “Accepted viewpoint” means “testable hypothesis”.
Now, in the absence of the Schweitzer discovery, the hypothesis that all proteins would be degraded in one hundred thousand years looked pretty good. Then Schweitzer made her find and neatly disproved the second hypothesis. In this case, the accepted view was wrong. It was suprising, but you need to keep in mind that collagen is a particularly tough protein, and the collagen in question was encased in protective bone. So, ok, basically we learned that under the right conditions, very tough proteins can be preserved for very long periods of time.
This is how science works. All hypotheses are vulnerable to disproof. When we find evidence that disproves an hypothesis, we toss it out. That’s why science is different from religion. And yes, we would toss out evolution, too, if we found a rabbit in the pre-Cambrian. What would accept as disproof of young earth creationism? Anything?
By the way, you might want to consider the fact that if all dinos were rapidly buried in anaerobic muck just 4500 years ago, we’d be able to find lots of dinos with far more than just collagen preserved. Once you remove the oxygen, lots of organic material can remain intact for 4500 years. You’ve heard of the “Bog People” who were buried in peat for thousands of years and who were almost perfectly preserved after all that time? And yet, all we get from this one T. rex is a little bit of collagen well encased in protective bone. What happened to the thousands of other types of proteins if the dinos were recently buried? We can extract DNA from 30,000 year old Neanderthal remains, but there was no extractable DNA in this T. rex. If humans and dinos lived at the same time, where’s the dino DNA?



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 10:00 pm


Dr. Sarfati,
Define Chritophobe.
What would you accept as evidence that young earth creationism is false. What possible observation would constitute disproof of the young earth hypothesis?



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 29, 2008 at 10:09 pm


Regarding that piece on C-14 dating by that compromiser, avidly cited by our board’s mimophantic misotheist:
Hi CRS: Concerning the thread, “RATE’s Radiocarbon: Bertsche trashing
Baumgardner?”, below is what John Baumgardner asked me to post for him. He shows how his critic Bertsche has again muddled the issues. — Russ Humphreys (Ph.D. physicist)
—————————————————
There seems to be some confusion arising from Bertsche’s statement (
http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/carbon-kb.html)
“While samples containing less than 0.01 mg of carbon have been
successfully dated, measurement precision begins to suffer below about 0.1 mg of carbon due to counting statistics. The maximum allowed sample size is typically about 10 mg of carbon. Larger samples produce excessive CO2 pressure in the sealed tubes used in the process, causing tubes to explode and samples to be lost. Thus, even if larger samples like RATE’s “on the order of 100 mg” [6] are submitted to an AMS laboratory, only about 1 mg of carbon will actually undergo analysis. Though Baumgardner calls a 1 mg sample “tiny” [6], it is generally considered “large” by AMS laboratories [e.g., 5, 7, 8], with enough carbon to provide ion source current for about a day. Most laboratories prefer to receive samples larger than 1 mg to allow some loss in cleaning and to have additional material available if needed.”
The confusion has to do with to which step in the overall process the 1 mg sample size applies. Are we talking about the sample size submitted to the laboratory, which needs to be large enough to make up for losses in cleaning and pre-processing steps, including the usual acid-base-acid treatment, plus possibly some pre-oxidation? Are we talking about the sample size that enters the oxidation and reduction-to-graphite steps? Or, are we talking about the amount of graphite that actually is placed into the AMS sample holder to be ionized by the intense cesium ion beam for possibly as long as 24 hours?
For almost all the cases referred to in the publications mentioned,
including our own, there has been plenty of material available to be
analyzed. Keep in mind that for the AMS method, when a sample consists mostly of carbon, only about 50-100 mg is all that is typically needed. In the case of our coal samples, we provided about 100 mg, enough to make multiple runs if necessary. In the case of our diamond samples, we generally provided about 50 mg of material. With this much material initially available to work with, labs typically oxidize no more than about 10 mg when the starting material is mostly carbon for the reason that Bertsche mentions. Oxidizing 10 mg of material, when the oxidation step is allowed to go to completion, which is normally the case, the result after the reduction step is typically some 5-8 mg of graphite. Of this amount,
usually only a portion, commonly about 1 mg, is actually loaded into the sample holder and placed into the vacuum environment of the AMS system.
In general, most of the laboratory contamination occurs in the steps beginning with the oxidation and ending with the reduction to graphite, as Bertsche mentions elsewhere in his article. It is primarily in these steps where most of the rough number of the ’1 microgram’ of unavoidable laboratory contamination Bertsche mentions comes into play. Note that one microgram of modern carbon in 5 mg of sample corresponds to 0.02 pMC of contamination. Also note that if only 1 mg of this 5 mg of graphite makes it into the sample holder, the contamination contribution from this source is still only 0.02 pMC.
Bertsche’s statement that “even if larger samples like RATE’s “on the order of 100 mg” [6] are submitted to an AMS laboratory, only about 1 mg of carbon will actually undergo analysis,” while true, is misleading in the context.
Typically, when there is plenty of sample, about 10 mg (not 1 mg) will be oxidized and then reduced to graphite. It is this 10 mg into which the primary laboratory contamination is introduced.
Bertsche is adding to the confusion when he states, “Though Baumgardner calls a 1 mg sample “tiny” [6], it is generally considered “large” by AMS laboratories [e.g., 5, 7, 8], with enough carbon to provide ion source current for about a day. Most laboratories prefer to receive samples larger than 1 mg to allow some loss in cleaning and to have additional material available if needed.” Yes, indeed, most laboratories definitely prefer to receive samples much larger than 1 mg for the very reasons Bertsche states.
Exactly for these reasons a 1 mg sample size is far below what is ideal from a contamination standpoint and is why I applied the word ‘tiny’. But 1 mg of graphite actually in the sample holder, after processing, is a different story. Such an amount is indeed usually sufficient unless the AMS run time, for purposes of precision, is made to be very long, say, more than 12 hours.
I empathize with the confusion many have expressed on these issues. I trust these brief comments help to bring some clarity.
John Baumgardner



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 10:21 pm


Umm, the case of the Christian girl and the school speech was a First Amendent issue. I thought that you were foaming at the mouth about persecution of creationists by scientists. Where’s the persecution of creationists in this story? Did I miss a memo?
John Milton lived one thousand, six hundred years after Jesus. If Christianty is so obviously pro-free speech and individual liberty, why did it take sixteen centuries for this to surface?



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 10:26 pm


Still waiting to hear what evidence you would accept as disproof of a a 6000 year old Earth.



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Joe

posted October 29, 2008 at 10:59 pm


….and Bertsche replies (scroll about 2/3 of the way down the page until you see the name “KBertsche”).
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?s=8120d80803d01f6b0157be8b44adac92&t=103916&page=5
This is just one page of a very, very, very long discussion of these issues.
Look, I’m not a physicist, but it seems to me that there is an easy solution here. Why not replicate the experiments with everybody working together? Get some YEC and mainstream geologists together in the field and in the lab, everybody can watch everybody else, methods can be agreed upon in advance, all sources of contamination can be discussed together, etc. Then the results can be published together in a peer-reviewed journal. And maybe that would settle it.
In the meantime, I find it very, very odd that all of these samples keep coming up with a date of 50,000 years. It looks to me like a systematic problem with the basic method once you get past a certain date. Calibration with tree ring data shows it’s fine for younger dates, but then you hit a limit around 50,000 years. Ok, so what’s the big deal? Limits are are part of all scientific measurement.



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MC

posted October 29, 2008 at 11:21 pm


Joe,
No, I’m not going to type up an entire chapter of a copyrighted book, but you can find similar information at the link.



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MC

posted October 29, 2008 at 11:26 pm


“What are the ecological consequences of “no death”?”
A more relevant question is “How long did it take Adam and Eve to sin?” A week? A month? It couldn’t have been long.



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Kevin Butterfield

posted October 29, 2008 at 11:27 pm


To the Creationists I have two non-technical ideas that I’ve never seen mentioned concerning the legitimacy of Noah’s Ark. Cutting to the chase: First, In addition to plant-life replenishment apologetics, Noah was a 500 year old vegetarian who most likely had vast knowledge and collections of plants for food, medicines, and other uses, their seeds, and, of course, the insight to bring as much as possible on the Ark. And the people dispersed from Babel most likely would have taken plants good for food and other uses with them. Second, the Ark most likely would have been used for building projects directly after the Ark. There probably will not be any remains ever found.



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MC

posted October 29, 2008 at 11:54 pm


“geological evidence would still utterly refute the order of origins in YEC.”
Once again, you mistake the order of burial and fossilization as evidence of having lived at different times. Catastrophism is required to have laid down your geological evidence. So where are you putting your millions of years? Between the layers? Where is the evidence of erosion?
http://www.trueorigin.org/geocolumn.asp
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i2/fossils.asp
http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v14/i1/fossils.asp
https://www.theox.org/images/images_A2115/Ch%2010-FOSSILS%20AND%20THE%20GENESIS%20FLOOD.pdf



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MC

posted October 29, 2008 at 11:56 pm


“Still waiting to hear what evidence you would accept as disproof of a a 6000 year old Earth.”
How about a more reliable eyewitness than the One who Created.



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Michael

posted October 30, 2008 at 12:27 am


Thank you for a very thoughtful answer. I completely understand having to rethink long held hypotheses in the light of new evidence. Normally fossilized dinosaur bones are permineralized giving it great protection from the normal processes which cause things such as bone to just naturally disintegrate, but this T.rex bone was observed with only partial permineralization. So how did it survive 68-million years along with soft tissue without disintegration as would say…my great-great-great-great-great-grandfathers bones? I feel sure that Darwinian Evolutionists will provide some answer to maintain the 68-million year claim for the time being, something like, “will you look at that, it survived 68-million years when we didn’t think it could” just like the 100,000-year claim that this find appears to blow away. I am sure they’ll provide a little bit of science to cover their tracks, because we surely cannot call into question the pre-supposed age of the bone or the pre-supposed age of the geo-layer in which it was found.
Joe, you wrote, “The T. rex was 68-million years old. To consider otherwise, you would have to reject an awful lot of geology.”
I agree, but why isn’t that also at least a possibility? If we can be wrong a little bit, can’t we be wrong a lot? Or are some hypoteses sacred?
You wrote, “No modern bird or mammal species were found with the T. rex. That’s because there were no modern birds or mammals alive at 68-million years ago.”
Joe that’s not what lack of evidence means. As a Darwinian evolutionist, you should know that. Lack of evidence simply means we haven’t found it…yet! Which brings me to my original answer above to your repeated question, “You keep asking for the fossil evidence of co-mingled dinosaur bones and modern animals, right? But even Darwin complained that the fossil record may be inadequate to solidly prove origin. (Found that on your favorite website.) As for me, if we never find solid confirmed peer reviewed evidence of co-minged fossils, I am still completely confident in the trustworthiness of God’s word.
My question to you, if you can be honest enough with yourself to answer, is if we find solid confirmed peer reviewed evidence of co-minged fossils, will you continue to trust in self-spontaneously generated molecules to man dead Darwinian evolution?”
To which I also appreciated your response, “And yes, we would toss out evolution, too, if we found a rabbit in the pre-Cambrian. What would accept as disproof of young earth creationism? Anything?”
To answer you, I really don’t know. I simply haven’t seen anything so far offered by Darwinists to shake my confidence in the trustworthiness of God’s word. I see too many other discoveries like the one above that better fit YEC as opposed to ODE.
Joe you ask, ”What happened to the thousands of other types of proteins if the dinos were recently buried?”
Which is a fair question and one in which the NG article stated, “Schweitzer and her collaborators, including paleontologist John Horner of Montana State University, agree that their discovery should prompt such a rethinking, which could lead to changes in how fieldwork is conducted.”
Maybe now we’ll find more and if the right changes are accepted, we can accept challenges to old-earth arguments as well.
See you tomorrow.



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Michael

posted October 30, 2008 at 12:33 am


Kevin,
I’m not sure what you are driving at here.
What evidence do you have that Noah was a vegetarian?
The ark may very well have been disassembled to be used for habitation. What’s your point?



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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted October 30, 2008 at 1:03 am


Joe is right about one thing: that he’s not a physicist:
“After all, the Bible is clear that Joshua made the Earth stop spinning. Oh, wait, I forgot. It actually said that Joshua commanded the Sun to stand still.”
So what do you think happens when a traffic officer or stop sign tells a car to STOP? Oh, I forgot, Joe the biblioskeptic thinks they really don’t stop at all since they are still carried along by the earth’s rotational and orbital motion. Sensible people who understand the concept of reference frames realise that “Stop” means “cease moving **relative to the earth**! So Joshua shouldn’t be faulted for the same.
And of course, if Joe’s SO said, “Look at the beautiful sunset”, Joe would whinge that it was really the earth’s rotation that caused the line of sight to the sun to form a tangent then chord with Earth’s curvature.
In answer to his Christophobic question about freedom of speech, it’s the same as about slavery. The Christian West should not be singled out for repression and slavery, since they were ubiquitous. The real question is why freedom of speech and abolition of slavery occurred first in the Christian west; Communism and Islam (and university campuses) *still* reject free speech, and there is still slavery in some Islamic countries.



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An Observer

posted October 30, 2008 at 6:29 am


Dr Joe,
The subject of my posts here has always been the topic of abiogenesis, so I don’t see where I have changed the subject at all. I’m sorry you view the subject of abiogenesis as, “a classic formula for distracting attention away from the reality of the endless disproofs of YEC”. It is not my intention to ignore your “disproofs”, it is just that they are not the focus of my attention. I actually like your question on the taxonomic sorting of fossils; I think it is a legitimate question and deserves consideration. However, the fossil record is something I am not well versed in and have never claimed to be. And aside from email exchanges with personal atheist friends, this is the very first online debate I have ever participated in.
As for the topic of abiogenesis; I’ve yet to encounter an atheist who can tell me from an empirical scientific standpoint why he believes abiogenesis is a fact. But they will all inevitably tell me that their beliefs are based on science.
It’s quite clear to me that you aren’t going to answer my questions. And you won’t even say why you need my input to tell me what your beliefs are!? I honestly think that if I gave you the information you say you need, you still wouldn’t answer the questions I’ve ask. You would probably just move the goalposts and/or launch into one or another of your “endless disproofs” for YEC.
Now there’s a hypothesis that might be fun to test!!! Will my prediction be correct? Or will you finally answer the questions?
How about this Joe, I’ll leave the why part off of my question for now and you can answer with just a simple yes or no to these two questions. Are you an atheist? And, do you believe abiogenesis is how life originated? Answer these two questions and you just might get the simple XYZ sentence you say you need. Then we can move on to some hypothesis testing and hopefully your answers to my original questions!
P.S. I’m curious Joe; Where and in what field of study did you get your Ph.D.?



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Joe

posted October 30, 2008 at 7:53 am


AO,
Define “belief”. Define “fact”.
Moving of goalposts is precisely my concern here. Hence, the desire to making the starting points as clear as possible from the being.
“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” – Sherlock Holmes
First, we need to eliminate the impossible, leaving the highly improbable. Without several hypotheses on the table, we can’t do that.



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Joe

posted October 30, 2008 at 8:18 am


MC,
Read the Egyptian chronology stuff. Saw it was based almost entirely on the Bible and not archaeological evidence. Saw that it included as valid evidence the “fact” of men living 400 years. Saw very few references to peer-reviewed archaeological journals. Saw that it moved the date of the Pyramids by 600 to 700 years, that is, way beyond the point where archaeologists quibble over possible errors of a hundred years or so either way. Saw that 99 % of archaeologists would reject this chronology, not that this is going to stop anyone. Saw that it was garbage.
What if it took Adam and Eve a thousand years to sin? That’s just as possible as a week, right? Well, it’s just as possible had God not set up the game with the inevitable result that Adam and Eve would blow it, bring to the front the issue of who’s really responsible for what happened. If it takes 1000 years for Adam and Eve to sin, the established ecological system fails in a spectacular way. So, Adam and Eve MUST sin to make God’s plan work. There is NO other option. In sinning, Adam and Eve are doing God’s work.
“Once again, you mistake the order of burial and fossilization as evidence of having lived at different times.”
Wrong. You just don’t get it, do you? I’m starting with the assumption that all of the animals are living together at the same. I’m starting with the assumption that all of the sedimentary layers in question are formed in a few months or years. And I’m testing that hypothesis.
And the bottom line is this. If dinos, modern mammals and modern birds DID all lived together, it is simply impossible to sort them taxonomically during a catastrophe such that all of the dinosaurs end up in the middle layers (say the ones deposited after two months) and all of the modern birds and mammals end up in the top layers (say the ones depostied after six months). With all this catastophe, what keeps the dinos out of the top layers (and for that matter, the bottom layers, too)? What keeps ALL, repeat ALL modern birds and mammals out of ALL of the bottom and middle layers? And while we’re at it, what keeps ALL of the angiosperms out of the bottom layers, too, including layers with massive, massive amounts of other plant material?
If all these organisms lived together, then nothing can keep them from “co-mingling” in the fossil record. The conclusion that they lived at difference times is derived from the disproof the hypothesis that they lived together. If they didn’t live together (and they didn’t), then one is left with only one possibility; they lived at different times.
Me: “Still waiting to hear what evidence you would accept as disproof of a a 6000 year old Earth.”
You: How about a more reliable eyewitness than the One who Created.
Well, that’s the ballgame isn’t it? You mind is squeezed extraordinarily tightly shut and nothing is ever going to open it. Thus, I waste my time.



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Joe

posted October 30, 2008 at 8:29 am


What does “partial premineralization” mean? Does it mean it couldn’t survive? Does it mean that the collagen couldn’t have been protected? Why not? Remember my reference to the “bog people”? Thousands of years of preservation, all due to the conditions at the time of burial. I’m pretty sure that their bones were not “mineralized”, although I’d have to do some digging to be certain.
The same applies to other bones and shells of other creatures. Remember, bone itself is mostly rock (hydroxyappetite) to begin with. How long something survives in an “unfossilized” state depends on many variable, with pH and oxygen being near the top of the list. Take away the oxygen, lower the pH, prevent bacteria from entering the sterile spaces inside of bones, and decompostion may essentially cease all together.
One can call into question the “pre-supposed age” of anything. Of course, it’s a possibility. Nothing is sacred. I repeat, nothing is sacred. But as I said, you’ll have to reject a lot of geology to do it, and you will have to do a lot of explaining. You will have to start with trying to explain why there are places on Earth where the sedimentary deposits are five to ten miles thick. You’ll have to figure out why sedimentary layers are much thicker on the continents than in the oceans, when supposedly, the Flood waters drained off the continents and into the oceans. You will have to figure out how continents can move thousands of miles in a matter of months without releasing an amount of heat that would melt the surface of the Earth. You will have to explain how every single geological feature on Earth that post-dates the appearance of life could form in a few thousands years; that’s every single geological feature. And that’s just a very short list.
I’m not a geologist, but I’m sure that there are geologists out there that would answer your challenges and questions much better than I can if you would like to question the age of the Earth. But you might want to think about why 99.9 % of all geologists think that the Earth is very old. Geologists are very practical people. Most are not involved in the evolution game. They’re not likely to persist in accepting a theory that doesn’t work. If YEC worked, they’d use it.
“Lack of evidence simply means we haven’t found it yet”.
Well, yes, this is always a possiblity. And as I said, yes, there are findings that would lead me to toss out my evolution notes. I believe that I’ve stated that clearly.
But the point I think you are missing the fact that we have a massive, massive sampling of thousands and thousands of species distributed in layers that collectively add up to miles and miles of strata. And we haven’t found those co-mingled fossils yet. Not even once. Now, given that all of these kinds were supposed to have lived to together, honestly, how likely is that? How on Earth do you manage to achieve such an extraordinary separation? How likely is it that all of the these creatures lived together, and yet we’ve never found the “co-mingling” you seek. Dinos, modern birds and modern mammals live together, die together, are swirled around in the Flood together. And after examining a truly massive, massive set of data, we’ve never found them together. Never.
To repeat myself, If dinos, modern mammals and modern birds DID all lived together, it is simply impossible to sort them taxonomically during a catastrophe such that all of the dinosaurs end up in the middle layers (say the ones deposited after two months) and all of the modern birds and mammals end up in the top layers (say the ones depostied after six months). With all this catastophe, what keeps the dinos out of the top layers (and for that matter, the bottom layers, too)? What keeps ALL, repeat ALL modern birds and mammals out of ALL of the bottom and middle layers? And while we’re at it, what keeps ALL of the angiosperms out of the bottom layers, too, including layers with massive, massive amounts of other plant material?
As presidential polling shows, you don’t have to find and count every single human being before you can measure the likely outcome of an election. In fact, you only have to ask a few hundred people, and you can guess the outcome. That’s because a small, randomly chosen, *representive* sample can tell you a great deal about a much, much larger group of people. The same is true for the sampling provided by the fossil record. If all of these kinds of animals lived together, at this point in time, after all the sampling we’ve done, it’s extraordinarily unlikely that we’ve missed it. Not 100 % impossible, but extraordinarily unlikely. We could miss many, many species from a given group, but a total exclusion of all modern mammal and bird species from the dino layers? Not going to happen.
I appreciate your honesty in saying that you don’t know what you would expect as disproof. But I think it reveals a problem with the “theory” of young earth creationism. All theories should be subject to disproof, including evolution and YEC. I can list a hundred things that would disprove evolution. If you can’t think of even one thing that would disprove YEC, then this is something of a waste of time. When you say that if we never find co-mingling, you would still believe YEC…while I don’t doubt your sincerity or the strength of your conviction…it does make me feel as though no existing or future observation could lead you to reject YEC, no matter how overwhelmingly clear.
But keeps asking questions. You might make it out of the YEC swamp yet.



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Joe

posted October 30, 2008 at 8:34 am


Still haven’t defined Christophobe. Still won’t tell me what you’d accept as disproof.
Still haven’t explained why freedom took so long to catch on in the Christian West. Here’s a hint: Look for something that CHANGED after 1600 years of Christianity…like rise of capitalism and a middle class, revival of Greek ideas, renewed emphasis on the individual, decrease in the power of the Church, development of science, etc.. I would think that there were many interacting factors involved, but again, if Christianity was the key, then why not “freedom of speech” as a continent-sweeping idea in AD 800?
Honestly, I’ve barely a clue as to what you are saying about the Earth and Sun. Yeah, I get it, make the Earth stop and it looks like the Sun stops. But the Earth does rotate, yes? Can we agree on that? So why not say “Earth stop spinning”, when in fact, that’s exactly what you’d have to do to make the Sun appear to stand still? Why put a statement in the Bible that would later encourage men to make the sensible deduction that the Bible says that the Sun goes around the Earth? Why not impress future generation by saying Joshua made the Earth stop spinning? And by the way, when the car stops at a light, yes, it’s still moving at 1000 miles per hour as the Earth spins. But again, you’re statements on the subject are not very clear. I’m not sure I get any of your points here.
And for crying out loud, stop blabbing on about college campuses. I’m not thin-skinned, it’s just that you haven’t a clue. It’s true that you can’t stand on a sidewalk and scream “gays are going to hell”, but that’s much more a matter of basic civility than any anti-Christian bias. It just good manners. Further, a couple of years ago, the conservative Pennsylvania State Legislature formed a committee to identify and root out “supression of conservative ideas” in the classrooms of state universities. They desparately wanted to find many of the things that you claim are there. After months of wasted effort and taxpayer dollars, they found bupkus.



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Joe

posted October 30, 2008 at 8:36 am


Last two posts were addressed to Michael and Sarfati, respectively.



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Jason Failes

posted October 30, 2008 at 10:21 am


The part that confuses me is “the Truth is the Word of God” argument we see again and again and again.
Ok, I agree that if there is a God and if that God spoke to us (and also assuming additionally that God is benevolent and would not lie to us) we would be well advised to listen to what he says.
Where this argument falls apart is where the proponent makes the unjustified leap in assuming that one ancient holy book from one tribe, filled with well-demonstrated inaccuracies, is the “Word of God”.
Rather than assuming that The Bible is “The Word of God”, and spending the rest of our time trying to ignore/argue against the vast contradictions between it and science, shouldn’t we look at all the world’s holy books and rank them according to how well they measure up to modern scientific knowledge?
Put another way, presuming there is a God, and that he wrote any of our human books at all, such a book should stick out as unusually accurate for its time/place of authorship. The Bible does not do this, but perhaps another holy book does.



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PAZ

posted October 30, 2008 at 10:46 am


Hey all.. what are we talking about here? Young Earth Creationism and evolution? Oh. Well, all scientific evidence, from a variety of fields, points to the earth’s age of 4.54 billion years. One would have to provide a very solid, compelling, testable and repeatable accumulation of evidence for a young earth….. and this evidence must come from a number of separate fields (cosmology, geology, paleontology, chemistry, etc.) and converge to form a greater preponderance of evidence for a young earth than the preponderance of evidence in existence for an old earth.
That hasn’t happened yet, so the consensus will be that the earth is c 4.54 billion years old. And now, a prediction: I predict that this figure will become more specific and solid, over the next century, as progress in scientific research uncovers even more data that supports it.



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Greg

posted October 30, 2008 at 1:55 pm


Hey Joe,
You said, “99.9 % of all geologists think that the Earth is very old.”
I love how those who argue against young-earth creationism always seem to use this method as arguing against a young-earth or belief in creationism. First, do you have a source for your 99.9% figure? Secondly, even if your percentage was factual, just because a majority of people believe something is true does that make it true?



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Joe

posted October 30, 2008 at 2:36 pm


Greg,
I tired of answering questions. Ask PAZ. He/she looks interested in playing with you.



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Ryan

posted October 30, 2008 at 2:36 pm


Anyone have any idea what’s going on with Dr. Giberson? I certainly hope thigns are ok for him. He hasn’t posted in over 5 days.



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Michael

posted October 30, 2008 at 2:58 pm


Dr. Joe,
You asked, “What does “partial premineralization” mean? Does it mean it couldn’t survive? Does it mean that the collagen couldn’t have been protected?”
See the above “Science Blog” article for a more thorough answer. The way I understand it, this 68-million year old T.rex bone was not fossilized as we normally expect, but instead may have some similarities to modern bone.
Quoting the article, “In modern bone, removing the minerals leaves supple, soft organic materials that are much easier to work with in a lab. In contrast, fossilized bone is believed to be completely mineralized, meaning no organics are present. Attempting to dissolve the minerals from a piece of fossilized bone, so the theory goes, would merely dissolve the entire fossil.
But the team was surprised by what actually happened when they removed the minerals from the T. rex femur fragment. The removal process left behind stretchy bone matrix material that, when examined microscopically, seemed to show blood vessels, osteocytes, or bone building cells, and other recognizable organic features.”
This YEC remains optimistic that they won’t now argue, “gee soft tissue can hold up to 68-million years of decay.”



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Joe

posted October 30, 2008 at 3:35 pm


“This YEC remains optimistic that they won’t now argue, “gee soft tissue can hold up to 68-million years of decay.”
And this old earther remains optimistic that after viewing the massive amount of fossil data available, they won’t now argue, “gee, dinos and modern birds and mammals all lived together”.
I think both of us are probably too optimistic.



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Michael

posted October 30, 2008 at 3:42 pm


Touche. Stay tuned.



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Joe

posted October 30, 2008 at 4:20 pm


To all the Joe fans out there, I’ve spent several days fielding and responding to comments from several different people at once. At one point, I was trying to keep up with four diffent conversations. It’s taken up way to much time, and so now it’s time to say good-bye.
I’m walkin’ down that long, lonesome road, babe.
Where I’m bound, I can’t tell.
But goodbye’s too good a word, gal,
So I’ll just say fare thee well.
I ain’t sayin’ you treated me unkind,
You could have done better but I don’t mind,
You just kinda wasted my precious time,
But don’t think twice, it’s all right.



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shen

posted October 30, 2008 at 6:11 pm


“Creationism begins with the unprovable assumption that God created the universe.”
your sentence carried on too long with some other details. i fixed it.
in fact we could argue that it could be stated better.
“Creationism begins with the unprovable assumption that God exists.”
“But science is not the limit of possibility, and thus is not in a position to judge the Bible upon which it depends”
similarly, i have an undetectable dragon in my room. the bible is ignorant of the superior dragon creators that whipped up the christian “god” on a whim. the bible is not in a position to judge the dragons.
honestly, are all young earth types this gullible? no wonder the wold is such a messed up place. go ahead and believe your ignorant tripe, but please stop voting for your kind. the leaders of our nations should at least be able to tell fact from (bad) fiction.



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Kevin Butterfiel

posted October 30, 2008 at 11:05 pm


Michael, I know that it was random. In another forum I am involved in someone asked me a question regarding plants rotting after Noah’s Ark, and despite the usual things said about flotsam, floating seeds, sinking and buried seeds, etc, I meditated on the question a little more and came up with what I said. I only figured that this debate would be a fine place to mention it. It doesn’t need to be discussed. It is just that when I first began researching the feasibility of Noah’s Ark plant regeneration was probably the most difficult thing for me to wrap my mind around. I think I needed to know that plants needn’t be dependent on chance.
If Noah didn’t eat meet until after the Flood what else could he have eaten?



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An Observer

posted October 30, 2008 at 11:27 pm


Good bye Joe,
Sorry to see you leave. Thanks for the Sherlock Holmes quote.
“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” – Sherlock Holmes
A word of caution that may be beneficial with respect to your eternal soul; be very careful in your determination of what is impossible. Particularly in regard to the supernatural.
Take care,
AO



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Kevin Butterfield

posted October 31, 2008 at 12:36 am


Shen, (forgive me for capitalizing the “s”) I believe there is an undectible dragon in your room. However, it is not possible for you to know that the Christian God does not know about it.



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JimA

posted October 31, 2008 at 1:36 am


Michael:
I’m not sure this responded well to my post. The issue is authority, and that is a bit distinct from belief or willingness to accept. A circular assertion of authority (it is true because I say it true) is of essentially no use in establishing authority. There may be other means of establishing an acceptable authority, but that does not justify ignoring the simple failure of logic as in the circularity of this particular argument for authority.
Nor does it justify the sloppy misuse of the passage which clearly refers to the Tanach (Torah, Prophets, Writings) referred to in our tradition as the Old Testament. The author was not “primarily” referencing those writings. He referencing ONLY those writings. They were all that comprised their sacred writings at the time.
Most of the writings in the NT are distinctly different from those of the Tanach, mostly comprising letters shared among fledgling churches. It seems to me to be quite a gloss to stretch the meaning of those words to enfold all of the NT as well. There are strong traditions based on many arguments to support belief in the message and nature of the NT. But I don’t see that it benefits anyone to distort the meaning of this passage. Indeed it may comprise a stumbling block to one who realizes the actual reference must to the Tanach alone, for the simplest of reasons and with the most straightforward of readings.
Just to repeat a bit, there are other foundations for acceptance of these NT writings, adding them to the Jewish canon, but there are better (more broadly acceptable) ones than this particular circular argument.
Or so it seemeth to me. Regards JimA



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Michael

posted October 31, 2008 at 2:35 am


Kevin,
I still am not sure what questions you are asking, but I will take a stab from Genesis 6–9.
Noah’s diet pre-flood: We know that while Adam occupied the Garden, God gave only vegetation for all diets. We know that God sacrificed the first animal to provide a sin covering of animal skin to cover man’s nakedness in his exposure to sin. We know that Abel also sacrificed animals as a offering to the Lord. In Gen.6 God declared that the earth was filled with violence and “all flesh” had become corrupt. While this statement is non-specific, it implies the corruption of animals by now to be eating other animals. It became Hebrew tradition that when an animal was sacrificed that the meat was often cooked and included in the feast that followed such events. So, was Noah a strict vegetarian or had he been introduced to a meat diet as well? We have 2 clues pre-flood. God found Noah to be righteous and blameless, yet God gave a command to Noah concerning “clean” animals going aboard the Ark. The “clean” animal designation generally referred to those animals which God had approved to be allowed for man’s consumption. Since Noah seemed to understand the clean animal designation, does this mean Noah was a meat-eater? I cannot decern the evidence with absolute certainty to indicate one way or the other, but another clue is given when Noah departs from the Ark.
Noah’s diet during the flood: God commanded Noah to take for himself “some of all food which is edible.” We are not told what this included, but it probably included any thing that they knew how to perserve for such a long trip. It is very unlikely that if Noah was a meat-eater that he took aboard any additional live animals since to be consumed they would need to be roasted which Noah probably would not have risked on a wooden boat filled with straw, but he may have taken perserved meats along with dried fruits. It seems most likely, all of the Ark passengers were vegetarians during the trip. Later in the journey after the window was opened it is possible they may have attempted to catch fish.
Noah’s diet post-flood: God said to Noah, “every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you.” This included both clean and unclean, however since there were only 2 of every unclean animal coming off the Ark and since Noah after 600 years might have been set in his ways opposed to eating unclean animals, it is unlikely that he was quick to consume any of them. Also, the unclean animals were later restricted from the Hebrew diet. Immediately upon departing the Ark, Noah sacrificed one of every clean animal and clean bird and roasted them. Lest you become concerned over the sudden consumption of clean animals, an often overlooked piece of information is that God had Noah take 14 of every clean animal and bird upon the Ark. (Gen 7:2-3) The number of clean animals taken aboard allowed a fairly quick recovery of the clean animal herds. This is where the 3rd clue comes in. Since God now allowed consumption of ALL animals and if no animals were being consumed prior to the flood, why the designation of clean and unclean animals?
Your other question seems to be about vegetation regeneration. I don’t know about any rotting plants. Generally all dry land plant life would have been covered in sedimentary layers. If Noah had planned well, and there is no reason to believe otherwise, he would have plenty of seeds from the “all things good for food” still remaining onboard. Also, many seeds and fruits float eluding being covered by the sediments and would have redeposited upon the soil as the water receded. Does the Bible tell us this? YES!! Approximately 2 months after the mountain tops were exposed, Noah sent out a dove from the Ark which returned carrying an olive leaf in her beak. So as the water receded, the vegetation life began restoration.
Does this answer your questions?



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Your Name

posted October 31, 2008 at 3:52 am


JimA,
Your claim against the Bible, “A circular assertion of authority (it is true because I say it true) is of essentially no use in establishing authority.”
This is not the same claim Dr. Giberson raised. His has to do with rather or not the Bible claims a historical understanding of Genesis.
The response I gave you is admittedly brief due to my time and the forum here. There are many good books dealing with your question of authority. I am certain you can find good sources on CMI and AIG websites.
Your other claim about whether or not Paul’s “all srcripture…” statement could also be applied to the New Testament demonstrates a lack of spiritual understanding on your part. You are allowed to make any claim you want concerning Paul’s spirit leading and his historical or revealed knowledge or lack thereof. My point is, in accepting that Paul most certainly had Holy Spirit directed knowledge of all “Old Testament” (quotations are specifically for your benefit) scripture being inspired by God, that by the same Holy Spirit and God having foreknowledge of His intended New Testament can so very well intend for us to understand that the New Testament is inspired by God. If you are accepting that Paul’s statement in 2Timothy concerning the “Old Testament” is true, then as it seems Paul’s writing is being inspired by God, then by inclusion of Paul’s writings in the New Testament must make the New Testament inspired seeing his writings are inspired. You cannot claim that only the parts you like are inspired, but then the writing itself is not inspired. And you cannot claim to have some ultimate superior knowledge as to whether or not Paul may have had a revealed prophetic understanding of a future New Testament. The simple fact is God who inspired Paul’s writings did know about the cannonization of the New Testament and therefore makes the verse relevant to the New Testament, depending of course on your acceptance or rejection of God and his son, Jesus the Christ.
I wasn’t attempting to make this point initially, demonstrated by my use of the term “primarily” to avoid legalists and scoffers with superior knowledge of Paul’s intent.



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Michael

posted October 31, 2008 at 3:54 am


It’s very late. My name to the above post was omitted by accident.



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Kevin Butterfield

posted October 31, 2008 at 8:50 am


Sure, why not? It adds to my understanding. And I appreciate the time. It makes sense that Noah may have not been 100 percent vegan. However, consider this about clean animals. Could it have been based on Noah’s own eating habits prior to the flood? Maybe, Noah found lizard meat to be detestable and would only eat certain animals the like which are described as clean later. Maybe, God made clean and unclean animals out of respect for Noah’s pre-flood diet? (We know that God had respect for Abel’s sacrifice. Perhaps, it could also be that sacrifices were modeled after this first sacrifice. Splitting the animal up in pieces and so forth.)



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Damitall

posted October 31, 2008 at 3:48 pm


One problem that YEC seems unable to produce an answer for is the fact that a number of different dating methods confirm each other, and an old earth, with a high level of consilience.
C14, corals, speleothems, ice cores, lake varves,dendrochronology … all closely agree. If they are all wrong, then they are all wrong by the same factor: highly improbable, since they all depend upon totally different mechanisms.
Young Earth Creationism is increasingly seen to be failing to produce credible counter-arguments to the growinng mountain of scientific evidence for an old earth.



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Michael

posted October 31, 2008 at 7:03 pm


D,
Wow, all right you caught us. The one place we hoped you wouldn’t have thought of, dating methods. Dang!
I haven’t seen you contribute here previously. Did you just wake up from a 2.5-million year nap?
For every one else, all dating methods involve the subjective evaluation of data. Each dating method listed in D’s complaint along with radiometric dating are each discussed extensively in YEC apologetics. See CMI or AIG web sites and search each method.
Hey D, go back to sleep.



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Damitall

posted November 1, 2008 at 7:17 am


Michael, I’ve seen ‘em all.
Not one gives any kind of credible answer to the question “Why do the curves agree?” Not one.
Tell you what. You come up with a young-earth explanation of the linear correlation between varve depth in Lake Suigetsu and radiocarbon dating of the same varves AND the markers in those varves of recorded events (major volcanic eruptions), and someone might believe yo have a faint inling of what you’re talking about.



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Marvin

posted November 1, 2008 at 2:00 pm


If everything we know involves the subjective evaluation of data, then how is it that we know anything?



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Kevin Butterfield

posted November 1, 2008 at 5:09 pm


You mean how do we know anything accurately. Answer: We don’t. Everything in the world has changed except the Bible.



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Marvin

posted November 1, 2008 at 5:29 pm


So we don’t know if bacteria cause disease or if dinosaurs built Stonehenge or if the Earth goes around the Sun or if fossils are the remains of once living creatures or anything? We don’t know anything accurately? Nothing?
And isn’t the Bible the product of the opinions and prejudices of the writers, and of stories told to the writers, and of interpretation of “data” (observed events) by the writers? Of course it is. The Bible is also the product of the subjective evaluation of data by the writers. It’s not a question of whether or not it’s changed. It’s a question of whether or not the statements and conclusions “involve the subjective evaluation of data”. They do.



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An Observer

posted November 2, 2008 at 6:01 am


Damitall,
Would you explain for me the concept of the “curves” agreeing in a little more detail? Does this concept have a formal name? Can you provide any links where I could read more about it?
Thanks in advance.
AO
P.S. I like your screen name! Would it be more descriptive with a hyphen or a capital A?



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Kevin Butterfield

posted November 2, 2008 at 10:39 pm


Marvin, You must investigate the Bible first before you denounce it, or you negate yourself.



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Marvin

posted November 2, 2008 at 10:49 pm


I’ve investigated it.



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Ryan

posted November 3, 2008 at 3:47 pm


Ok, seriously, this has gotten rediculous. Where has Dr. Giberson gone to? I certianly hope his absence is not due to any physical and/or health problems. You guys on hte sidelines honestly havent even been that entertaining lately. Not your fault, it jsut sseems you’ve finally realized that your constant babbling about on here isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about anything.



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Kevin Butterfield

posted November 3, 2008 at 11:36 pm


See, I told you you would negate yourself.



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Marvin

posted November 4, 2008 at 7:49 am


Kevin,
Your comment does not make any sense. You asked if I had investigated the Bible before I made the above statements about “subjective evaluation of data”. The answer is yes. How does this negate myself?



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Michael

posted November 4, 2008 at 1:06 pm


Ryan,
I gathered from the Giberson-Ham discussions, these were their final exchanges.



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Michael

posted November 4, 2008 at 1:12 pm


And as you noted, the blog entries have strayed from the original Biblically literal history vs. theistic evolution to just another creation vs. Darwinian evolution “he said, she said” arguement.



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Marvin

posted November 4, 2008 at 2:44 pm


Are these arguments really just “he said, she said”? Is there no way to settle the question?



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Your Name

posted November 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm


Marvin, you wrote,”And isn’t the Bible the product of the opinions and prejudices of the writers, and of stories told to the writers, and of interpretation of “data” (observed events) by the writers? Of course it is. The Bible is also the product of the subjective evaluation of data by the writers. It’s not a question of whether or not it’s changed. It’s a question of whether or not the statements and conclusions “involve the subjective evaluation of data”. They do.”.
You apparently think that the Biblical writers were not being objective to God’s provisional inspiration. You assume out of their favor, because you are biased against the Bible. You even admit that the Biblical writers made interpretations of observed events. That would be identical to the claim of Evolutionary scientists, which you would surely call objective. Whether or not the Bible is anything you have negated yourself because you have shown a prejudice against Scripture.



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Marvin

posted November 4, 2008 at 6:30 pm


“Prejudice” does not negate conclusions, provided said prejudice is based on an accurate assessment of the data. I have a “prejudice” in favor of the conclusion that the Sun goes around the Earth, and so in my prejudice, I’ll will interpret sunrise as being the product of the rotation of the Earth. My prejudice prevents me from concluding that the sunrise is a product of the Sun going around the Earth. Nevertheless, I think there’s a good chance my “prejudice” has steered me in the right direction.
When evolutionary scientists make observations and draw conclusions, those observations are subject to testing and disproof. All conclusions are provisional and can be overturned with the next discovery. This is true of all science, not just evolution.
By contrast, you apparently have an absolute belief in the absolute truth of “God’s provisional inspiration”. What does it mean to be “objective” to God’s provisional inspiration”? How does one know if one has such inspiration? How can one test “God’s provisional inspiration”?
For example, when the writer of Joshua said genocide was cool, was that “God’s provistional inspiration”? Or was it just a late bronze age storyteller’s re-interpreting horrific events so as to put them in the best possible light for his fellow tribesmen?



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Kevin Butterfield

posted November 6, 2008 at 12:30 am


You think your prejudice has steered you in the right direction? Please, read over your last post carefully and confirm that this is so.



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Joe

posted November 6, 2008 at 9:54 am


Uhhh…you mean the Sun does go around the Earth?



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Marvin

posted November 6, 2008 at 7:56 pm


I’ll go with what Joe said.



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GeologistandChristian

posted November 7, 2008 at 12:59 am


I have just read through the 198 comments in this discussion very quickly, so forgive me if I have missed anything. I am concerned by the vehemence of views expressed, especially in view of the fact that science textbooks are up for authorization in Texas next year, and there appears to be a determined effort to get them to at least say that there is argument about the validity of evolution in the scientific community, which is a vast overstatement of the truth. Creationist beliefs of all kinds are based on a particular reading of the Bible that has arisen relatively recently (see for example http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Biblical-literalism:
“Biblical interpretations that were considered literalist have changed through history. For example: Saint Augustine, (4th century), claimed that the entire Bible should be interpreted as literally as possible, but his own interpretation of the book of Genesis was made in such a way that would be considered “allegorical” by many modern readers[9]”
Therefore Creationist views should, IMO, be regarded as religious, not scientific, and taught in religion/social studies classes, not science classes. Evolution is fundamental to modern biology, geology, and medicine, and if we as a society reject it we are, I am afraid, doomed to extinction (pardon the pun).
People who deny evolution should be aware that there are tens of thousands of known fossil species and that there are many known “missing links” between genera and families (see for example http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=when-whales-had-legs). If anyone wants to join me I would be willing to lead a field trip in the Cretaceous of central Texas to demonstrate evolution from the rocks.
One poster mentioned the strong support for evolution from genetics, and another mentioned some of the many absolute and relative dating methods that have been applied to measure the ages of the earth’s rocks. I do not understand the claim that these methods involve subjective interpretation: one can measure the half-life of radioactive nuclides very accurately in the lab (and it is necessary to know them in order to design a bomb or a nuclear power plant), and one can measure the relative abundances of daughter products in rocks equally accurately. Simple math (the “curve” someone asked about) then gives you the age of the rock. There are now literally hundreds of ways of dating rocks accurately.
Rocks as much as 3.8 billion years old (see Valley, J.W., 2008, Geology, v. 36, no.11, p.911) may contain evidence of life, and by 2 billion years ago the production of oxygen by blue-green algae changed the atmosphere enough to cause the precipitation of vast amounts of iron, now mined to form the skeleton of our industrial civilisation. By 800 million years ago multi-cellular organisms (Bristow and Kennedy, 2008. Geology, v.36, no.11, p.863; Zhu, M, et al., 2008, Geology v.36, no.11, p.867, also look up Ediacaran or Vendian on the web) are found in all environments suitable for their preservation. At the end of the Precambrian there was a major extinction event, probably caused by a rapid climate change, itself indirectly caused by living organisms. Following this, at the beginning of the Cambrian, for reasons that are unknown in detail, but probably due to an increase in the efficiency of predation, several of the surviving animal phyla developed calcareous or chitinous external skeletons over a short period of time, and this innovation allowed them to radiate across the earth. Their descendants form the main part of the fossil record. The appearance of multi-cellular life was not sudden, but its skeletalisation appears to have been. However, for nearly 3 billion years life on Earth was unicellular (or perhaps even acellular at the very beginning (think virusses)): it took a long while for evolution to take those early steps.
Opponents of evolution should also know that a lot of our oil and gas has been found because paleontologists and micropaleontologists are able to correlate particular evolutionary assemblages of fossils over large distances, and they are able to distinguish intervals of much less than 1 million years on the basis of the unique forms of life each interval of time contains. If you drive a car, ride an aeroplane or use oil or gas central heating you are dependant on a successful application of the Theory (no theory – this one has been repeatedly tested and makes verifiable predictions – e.g. in support of oil exploration) of Evolution. If you use a steel knife it is cheap because we figured out that most huge iron deposits are in rocks of the same age. If you use electricity, it is also cheaper because we figured out the relationship between the destruction of oceans and the occurrence of major copper deposits. It is, in fact, hypocritical to avail yourself of the benefits of industrial civilisation and deny the science upon which those benefits are based.
I find no conflict between the science that I use in my everyday life and my belief in Jesus or the Bible. I do not think that a just and loving God would go to the lengths to trick His people that he must have gone to if YEC is valid. There is no way that any prophet of ancient time, even if he had seen the past or the future in great detail, to communicate it to his listeners, who did not have the mental framework or the words in their language to describe the things we now know (try saying “plate tectonics” in ancient Hebrew, and then trying to describe what it means). If Jesus were all-knowing, He would have the same problem. In his “Confessions”, St. Augustine describes how, after struggling for years in conversation with God, he arrived at a conception of the nature of God that is very close to that of many main-line Christian denominations today, and his ideas prevailed for nearly 1500 years. God is eternal, unknowable, and present in all things. He exists outside of time and space. I am aware that in the last paragraph I ignore a vast amount oif Creationist exegesis.



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GeologistandChristian

posted November 7, 2008 at 1:04 am


My apologies for the typos in the posting above: I’m a terrible proof reader.



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Only Me

posted November 9, 2008 at 9:54 am


Dear GeologistandChristian,
I surely won’t question your honesty in both faith and science. However I can advice you to read some work of John Duns Scotus and his critics on physics from his metaphisical starting point.
You probably won’t find him in a normal library since he’s a Medieval philosopher (and priest), but his insights show exactly what you don’t seem to grasp and that is that objective data, no matter how solid they seem, still need interpretation.
The funny thing is that he writes way before modern science came up, but now scientists have reached the ends of some things and relativity, quantummechanics and other mistery’s come up he’s works become more and more relevant :)
Kindest regards,
Only Me



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Marvin

posted November 9, 2008 at 2:47 pm


Now, there’s the perfect spokesman for YEC, a Middle Ages theologian. “Young Earth Creationism: It’s not just backwards looking, it’s positively medieval!”



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John

posted November 9, 2008 at 5:27 pm


GeologistandChristian,
Please take this response kindly. You are not being consistent. The Bible is clear (as has been mentioned many times on this debate/blog) that the world is not as old as you have been taught.
As I have mentioned earlier, the ONLY method af accurate dating is eye-witness. The many methods that indicate young earth (population growth rates, magnetic field decay, soil erosion, moon recession rate etc etc) have not been rebutted, and therefore remain ‘in the mix’ as relevant indicators of time, but not absolutes.
If you are a Christian, (and therefore believe that the Bible is God’s Word) then you should not let ‘science’ be you guide. If Jesus was a YEC, then so should you be. Science is purely man’s observation of God’s creation, and should not be put ahead of God. This is the secular worlds big mistakes, and reeks of human pride and arrogance against God.



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Marvin

posted November 9, 2008 at 5:39 pm


John,
Did anyone alive and talking see Scott Peterson kill Laci Peterson? No.
But despite the absence of witnesses, Scott Peterson is a convicted murderer. How can that be? How can we know what happened without eyewitnesses? Do you think Scott Peterson should be freed?



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Marvin

posted November 9, 2008 at 5:52 pm


In case it’s not clear, many criminal acts are “unwitnessed events”. And yet, somehow we are able to figure out what happened in the absence of eyewitnesses. Similarly, the history of the planet Earth is also largely unwitnessed. But why insist that you must have eyewitnesses to have an accurate account of events when we do not have a similar requirement in our courts? Besides, any criminologist will tell you that eyewitness testimony can be highly unreliable.
Population growth rates have not been rebutted? Really? Could you explain?



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John

posted November 9, 2008 at 8:53 pm


Marvin,
Proving something did happen is different to proving when something happened. I will stand by my statement that the only sure way of determining true age is by eyewitness measurement.
Attempts to refute population rates have not been successful, however if you have new information I would love to see it. In addition, you could try refuting magnetic field decay (a measurable change in recent ‘scientific’ history)
Who is Scott Peterson?
Regards,
John (from Australia)



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Marvin

posted November 9, 2008 at 10:25 pm


Scott Peterson is an American who murdered his pregnant wife. It got a lot of attention in the U.S. a few years back. And not only did the detectives establish what happened, they also established when it happened. Whether it’s “what happened” or “when it happened”, it’s all part of the same thing, namely, understanding an event that was not witnessed. By the way, who are the eyewitnesses to the creation of the Earth?
What do you mean by “population rates”? I’d be glad to refute them once I know, specifically, what you’re talking about.
Magnetic fields:
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD701.html



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Only Me

posted November 10, 2008 at 10:05 am


The 19th, 20th and now early 21st century have shown to be quite unique in several ways.
One way it appears to be unique is that some great and many lesser thinkers in these century’s seem to think that there were no smart people before they were born.
Don’t fall for that one, be smart ;)



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Marvin

posted November 10, 2008 at 10:15 am


I’m sure that medieval philosophers were smart. What they lacked was the information about the natural world that we have available today.



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MC

posted November 11, 2008 at 7:01 pm


“By the way, who are the eyewitnesses to the creation of the Earth?”
Only the Creator. So it’s His Word against yours.



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Christan Skeptic

posted November 11, 2008 at 7:33 pm


Ok Karl, where’s your rejoinder?????



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Marvin

posted November 11, 2008 at 7:57 pm


So the Creator was the eyewitness and He wrote all of this down for us? How did He do that? I mean how did He phyically write this down?
I would have expected Him to be able to get the history right. But all of the evidence suggests that He wasn’t really paying attention when the Earth was created, because seriously, He really screwed up the story here.
Or is “His Word” really just the word of some late Bronze Age storyteller?



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GeologistandChristian

posted November 13, 2008 at 8:06 pm


John:____”Attempts to refute population rates have not been successful”: this must be some sort of coded statement. To refute what about which population rates? ____However, if it means that you think that human population rates of increase in the past have been anything like what they are today, you are ignoring the effects of improvements in public health, nutrition and living conditions that go back only a hundred or so years. You are also ignoring the fact that plagues, droughts, wars and so on have often caused highly negative rates of population growth in the past.____More generally, every organism tends to multiply until the constraints of its environment force a limit. When it reaches that limit, it stops growing (i.e. births balnce deaths). When constraints are removed populations will explode, and according to the fossil record often have exploded, until their environment is totally overwhelmed and there is a massive die-off. ____It could be argued that, because public health and medicine have removed constraints on the growth of the human population, we have increased in numbers beyond the carrying capacity of the earth for our species, and that there will be a massive die-off (on the order of 3-4 billion people) of humans within the predictable future. The problem is that we cannot predict when or how it will happen. Possibilities are (1) the evolution of a microorganism that will cause a global pandemic among humans (2) nuclear war (3) the evolution of a pest that will attack crops, leading to global famine, (4) the decay and reversal of the earth’s magnetic field, causing harmful mutations in the human population now exposed to UV and cosmic rays (just threw that in for fun), etc.____On terrestrial magnetism: one of my specialties has been the use of this to find oil and minerals. I can tell you that the strength of the field and the locations of the poles have varied all over the place over the last four billion years. Its variation can be and has been used to map the travel of continents across the globe. Recently (within the last two decades) the field has begun to weaken at an accelerating rate and the magnetic N Pole has begun to travel faster and faster towards the North Geographic Pole. In the meantime, a new pole seems to be appearing in the South Atlantic. This is exactly the sort of thing that mathematics predicts will happen before a reversal.____I do not know how the actual measurement of a radioactive decay rate (actually observed (heard or seen by use of an instrument) fails to qualify as an eyewitness account. Since the decay rate follows a mathematical law, dating of a rock is a “simple” extrapolation back in time. God set up the mathematical laws (some may disagree with that statement), and again, I do not see why God would set the world up as a giant trick. Such a God is not the God of love that we have been told about, nor is He the God of Truth, since YEC has to posit that the entire physical, observable world is a lie. That is a much stronger attack on everything the Bible teaches about God than any atheist could mount. It goes beyond the views of the Platonists and existentialists who would have us believe that the world is a mirage.__



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Ana

posted November 15, 2008 at 8:55 pm


‘The Bible, as a revelation from God, gives us many things, among them:
1. The foundation for science’
It does? Then why would the Hebrews be satisfied with 3 as an approximation for pi (I Kings 7:23-26)? Why did early Christians burn the Library at Alexandria? Why has the Christian church been so hostile to scientific inquiry throughout the centuries? The Hebrews were not exactly a mathematically- or scientifically-inclined people. Experimental science as we know it came from other peoples — the Greeks, the Arabs, the Indians, the Egyptians, among others.
If one were to argue that seeking answers to explain natural phenomena is a precursor to experimental science, then the ancient Hebrews can hardly lay claim to being the first to do so or to laying a foundation. They were probably not the first to look into the heavens, observe the movement of the stars, and plant crops accordingly…or to wonder why the sun ‘sets’ and ‘rises’.



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munene

posted November 24, 2008 at 5:56 pm


Ana, in your reference to the 1Kings7:23-26, if you consider that the molten sea was a hand breadth thick (about 4 inches) and then take into consideration that there are inside and outside dimensions to consider, you will find it amazing that rather, if the 30 cubits is on the inside of the sea, then (a cubit is 18 inches) the inside diameter is 171.8181… inches. If then the 10cubits is an outside diameter (180 inches), then you have a difference of 8.1919… inches which is close to the 2 handbreadths (4 x 2 inch) measure – one for each side…
I am not smart enough to come up with that – I got it from Kent Hovind info. But I do think its pretty smart, rather than having to record fractions like 9.5454… cubits and so forth.



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Eric

posted November 29, 2008 at 9:33 pm


To Marvin,
So, what history did He not get right? I love how people make these claims all the time, as if they are throwing out some amazing zinger. But rarely do I see any facts to back them up.



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Eric

posted November 29, 2008 at 9:39 pm


Ana,
I would suggest that you look at the middle east today and see what group of people is doing the highly technical work. If you think Hebrews (Israelites) aren’t that smart, you haven’t been paying attention. Their country is the only one that is prospering due to intelligence, while they are surrounded by third world squalor because of tyrannical theocratic dictators who believe in a made up, inconsistent religion.



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Marvin

posted December 2, 2008 at 9:46 pm


Eric,
That would be the history of life on Earth, e.g., birds do not appear on Earth before non-flying terrestrial animals. And there’s an endless list of other inaccuracies about said history.



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Your Name

posted December 6, 2008 at 10:15 pm


“Any worldview that does not start with an ultimate standard will inevitably – if applied consistently – lead to radical skepticism”
I have to say I’ve found the opposite to be true. Any worldview beginning with an ultimate standard will be forced, in sundry situations, to rationalize that standard in light of opposing evidences. The best that anyone- Christian, Atheist, and theist of another faith alike- can do is make his best suppositions and allow the experiences of the world to correct those. Although Jesus promoted Childlike Faith, I don’t think He promoted Childlike worldviews, as these would automatically be self-centered and self-serving. If, then, we can not have such an ultimate standard as children, when is it right to develop this ultimate standard? It seems that such a standard can only be developed after we have made adequate observations about the world around us to formulate it with some authority. And if we are allowing, for a time, to allow our observations to shape our worldview, and what point does this cease to be true?



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Philip Bitar

posted January 26, 2009 at 4:42 pm


Ken Ham says:
“Science is a wonderful tool that God has given us. But because science is imperfect, and changing, and because different scientists disagree on what the evidence really means, science cannot serve as an ultimate, infallible standard. It can certainly be a secondary standard by which certain types of claims are evaluated. But science is not the limit of possibility, and thus is not in a position to judge the Bible upon which it depends.”
I recently published a book in which I present a comprehensive theory of human life. I introduce the book at http://www.philipbitar.com.
In the opening note of the book, I establish that knowledge is given by reason applied to experience, and in chapter 1 I characterize knowledge precisely as the simplest, most accurate predictor model of our observations. I show that all knowledge is so characterized, including our knowledge of God. The theory of knowledge is not subject to infinite regress because it accurately characterizes itself as an instance of knowledge.
Ken Ham’s deficiency — I don’t wish to be strident but direct — is that he doesn’t understand what knowledge is. He doesn’t understand what he’s doing when he makes a claim of knowledge. Yet, we can see that Ken is using reason applied to experience whenever he makes a claim of knowledge, including a claim as to the status of the Bible and as to interpretation of biblical passages. As a result, my characterization of knowledge in chapter 1 reveals what Ken is doing when he pursues knowledge, even though he doesn’t know what he’s doing.
Given the theory of knowledge, the simplest way to characterize knowledge in the vernacular is to say that all knowledge is scientific knowledge — the result of reason applied to experience. On this basis, after establishing what knowledge is, I go on to cover the following topics, each in its own chapter: reality, religion, ethics, commerce, government, and meaning — the meaning of human life.
In section 2.3, I show that theism is rational. Yes, our idea of the existence of God is the result of reason applied to experience, and it is rational in its simplest terms, namely, that reality is an intelligent free agent. In section 7.1, I show that the concept of afterlife is rational as an implication of the strong anthropic cosmological principle, a principle that remains to be established.
In short, all knowledge is scientific knowledge, meaning that all knowledge is the result of reason applied to experience, including our knowledge of God and of afterlife. Once we understand this, we can, on this basis, seek to acquire more knowledge. This is what scientists do; this is what engineers do; this is what historians do; this is what politicians do; this is what homemaking moms do; this is what children do; this is what theologians do; this is what Ken Ham does. This is the only way to acquire knowledge.
The problem with theologians and with Ken is that they don’t realize that their ascription of authority to a sacred book is the result of reason applied to experience. They think that they have some kind of subjective, direct access to knowledge conferred by God and that the indication of who has this direct access is whether or not another person agrees with them. If you agree with them, that shows that God conferred knowledge directly to you, and if you disagree with them, that shows that something’s wrong with your relation to God such that God hasn’t conferred the respective knowledge to you.
The apostle Paul expresses this viewpoint in some of his letters, as does the writer of John, which presents a Pauline view of Jesus. The idea is that the moral people of the world agree with Paul, while the immoral people don’t. This simplistic, dichotomous view of the world is emphatically expressed by Augustine in his idea of the divine city vs. the secular city.
I refer to this notion as dichotomous humanity. It has pervaded western civilization for 2000 years, causing unending conflict in the relations of people on a personal level, on a community level, and on a global level. In section 3.1 of my book, I prove that the underlying idea of dichotomous afterlife –- heaven vs. hell –- is irrational and hence false. Having swept that idea out of the way, we can sweep away the idea of dichotomous humanity, and proceed to do our best to acquire more knowledge about reality without categorizing everyone as to which of the two categories they fall into: the good guys vs. the bad guys, the God-enlightened people vs. the unenlightened people, the saved vs. the damned.



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Linda Harris

posted February 13, 2009 at 12:47 pm


Hi my name is Linda. Hey what is all the hoopla about sometimes I think of Charles Darwin as a very precotious child. The kind of kid who asks “Dady why is the sky blue and then has the odacity to find out the reason. Quite frankly I fail tosee the conflict. I believe in DIVINE CREATOR I don’t think evolution threatens that at all. Who are we to say how GOD made anything? That is what Inteligen Design tries to do is limit the truth. The bible is not a blue print for creation. The almighty didn’t tell us how instead he let us fighure it out for our selves. Who is to say it didn’t happen the way Darwin says? How can you explain the penguin for instance. A bird that once flew likeother birds but now his feather have been changed into flipper like appendiges. This process of course took millions of years. The penguin is still considered a bird. It has a beek like other birds and lays eggs as well. What happened to its wings? GOD and the universe is a mystery we will never really solve. The most we can say for sure is that a Divine Creater put it all together. The particulars are always up for speculation.



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sam

posted June 22, 2009 at 2:37 pm


RECORDS– THIS IS THE KEY TO WHAT EVERYONE IS LOOKING FOR,PAY CLOSE ATT TO WHAT I WILL SAY,ERASE EVERYTHING FROM YOUR MIND THAT YOU WAS TAUGHT.WHERE WOULD YOU HIDE THE ONE OF THE GREATEST SECRETS FROM MAN,YOU WOULD PUT IT RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS EYES.I WILL GIVE YOU THE CLUES,THE FIRST KEY IS YOUR MIND,THE SECOND KEY IS YOUR VISION,THE THIRD KEY WILL BE 3D,WHAT EINSTINE SAID EVERYTHING IS NOT ALWAYS WHAT IT APEARS TO BE,THE GREATEST DECEPTION IN THE HISTORY OF MAN KIND IS EVERYWHERE,YOU DONT NEED A PICK OR A SHOVEL,LAST CLUE ,WHEN YOU TAKE A PICTURE OF A WATERFALL ON THE SIDE OF A MOUNTIAN WITH A LOT OF ROCKS PLENTY OF TREES,THEN YOU PROCESS THE INFO TO PAPER,IT IS PERFECT,A PERFECT DESIGN,TO PERFECT,YOUR MIND WHEN U LOOK AT THE PHOTO SAYS IT IS JUST A WATERFALL AND U THROW THE PICTURE IN THE DRAW,WRONG,YOU ARE LOOKING AT A CD WITH THE SECRET OF ALL SECRETS,USE THE FIRST KEY,AND ACESS THE INFO,WHAT U WILL FIND IS THAT YOUR BRAIN WONT LET U ACESS THE INFO,THIS IS BECAUSE YOU WILL HAVE TO RETRAIN YOUR MIND TO ACESS INFO IN 3D.X



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jboy

posted August 4, 2009 at 9:13 am


hi Mr. Ken Ham
I’m a Christian student here in Kidapawan city, Philippines
I am also concerned for those people and members of our church, especially the children, and I want to prepare myself for the great works that God will make me do in the future.
But I don’t have enough resources from where to get some important knowledge.
I would like to ask you to give me a favor of having your book “Already Gone” for now and I’m going to pay when I will have a job in the near future.
If you have read this post please contact me…please
thank you so much…



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Your Name

posted October 1, 2009 at 2:42 pm


If the evolution paradigm is correct, why in Harding County, South Dakota, a T-Rex was discovered with part of a bone visible above ground. Was there no climate change in 65,000,000 years with the many geomagnetic reversals that would have ocurred?
Buckminster Fuller settled the debate 30 years ago in his books Synergetics 1 and 2. Holder of many patents and inventor of geodesic dome, his arguments are based on present day science, not the outdated “facts” used by Darwin and Dawkins.



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cheap hotels

posted August 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm


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Changzhou Heating Star International Co., Ltd. is infrared halogen heating tube, quartz glass tube and accessories manufacturers and suppliers. Our products are exported all over the world for its excellent performance and stability, reasonable price, fast delivery, well received by national clients. Customers the best products and services is our mission.



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Pingback: Nazarene Professor’s New Book Slams Biblical Creationists | Around the World with Ken Ham

Ken Ham

posted October 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm


Well, I guess they must think AiG is making an impact since they spend so much time on me! I’m honored. Once again, they make the same old false accusation that Dr. Giberson has made many times before, that we “bash science” and that we reject science. This is simply not true. We love science.

Now, we also need to understand that the word science means knowledge, and as we have stated over and over again, there is a great distinction between operational science (based on repeatable tests, builds our technology, etc.) and historical science (knowledge concerning the past—history). In fact, three years ago I actually participated in a written debate with Karl Giberson on the Beliefnet website. I include all the links for the back and forth, but I encourage you to read at least the one I wrote called “Science cannot judge the Bible.” Karl Giberson knows what we say about science—it is all in writing in these debate articles—so he and his co-author are making false accusations in their just-released book.

Also, in the book, Giberson and his historian co-author revile us for speaking on topics for which we are not credentialed, but then they write about theology, eschatology, politics, and other topics for which they are not academically trained!

At least one of our PhD scientists is writing a detailed review of the book, particularly in its statements concerning me and AiG. We should have that available in the near future.



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Ken Ham

posted October 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm


This past week our ministry’s library received a copy of the new book The Anointed,1 authored by Drs. Karl Giberson and Randall Stephens and published by a division of Harvard University Press. Dr. Stephens teaches history at Eastern Nazarene College; Dr. Giberson is a former science professor at the same college.

We noticed right away that Answers in Genesis and president Ken Ham were featured prominently in the book. However, based on the fact that Dr. Giberson (a theistic evolutionist) has been a frequent critic of AiG, we realized we would probably not be treated in a flattering way. We can accept such prominence in the book as something of a badge of honor. After all, the authors recognized AiG as going against the grain of the secular academic establishment while we stand on the authority and trustworthiness of God’s Word from the very first verse (as opposed to word of finite, fallible man).
The Anointed

In fact, the first chapter of The Anointed is devoted to Answers in Genesis. Throughout their book, Giberson and Stephens took swipes at AiG as well as other ministries and Christian leaders. In our modern “academic” world, the authors deemed us to be intellectually unrespectable and an embarrassment to Christianity. Multiple Christians were called “amateurs,” and other derogatory words pepper the book.

The authors argued that when Bible-believing Christians engage the culture in controversial areas like creation vs. evolution, believers should trust a highly educated PhD theistic evolutionist and evangelical like Dr. Francis Collins over someone like Ham (who has the Australian equivalent of a master’s degree).

What follows is a summary of the many problems with this highly pretentious book.
Outright Factual Errors

This is a book that attempts to be a scholarly look at “unscholarly” Christian leaders of prominence in America. It is, after all, published by the prestigious Harvard Press. Yet we were surprised to find several mistakes in the introduction and first chapter alone—plus a generally snide tone that is unbecoming of a scholarly work. For example, the authors gave the wrong month for our Creation Museum’s opening (p. 11); they mistakenly claimed that Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, is a young-earth creationist (p. 19); the year given for the first “Back to Genesis” seminar is incorrect (p. 41); and the name of our daily radio program is incorrect (p. 11).
Misrepresentations

Also, we found many exaggerated misrepresentations in The Anointed, including the claim that the late Dr. Henry Morris of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), the founder of the modern creationist movement, supposedly drew significant inspiration from a “mentor,” George McCready Price (p. 23). This is simply incorrect and was most likely regurgitated from the book The Creationists by historian Dr. Ronald Numbers. In addition, the authors asserted that Bryan College in Tennessee is “a leader in the young-earth creationist movement” (p. 213). In reality, it is not committed to the young-earth position at all—many of Bryan’s professors reject it outright.
A Major Logical Fallacy

In the beginning of the chapter on AiG, the authors commit the logical fallacy of reification.2 In the opening passage, the authors declared that people driving to the Creation Museum are probably oblivious to the “successive layers of rock [that] tell the tale of life in the Ordovician era: one species giving way to another” and that “motorists … have little interest in the story told by the rocks outside their car windows” (pp. 21–22).

They stated that the very rocks outside our Creation Museum bear testimony against what is taught inside the museum. But rocks, of course, don’t have the capacity to “tell a story.” Their formation must be interpreted by people. The rocks don’t have stickers on them that speak for their age or how they were formed, nor do we observe in the rocks a sea-floor environment with creatures living and dying. There is only one empirical conclusion we can make with certainty from observing the fossils in these rock layers—this is where the once-living marine creatures are now buried on the continent.

Dismissing the Two Kinds of Science

In the opening passage and then again later in chapter one of The Anointed, the authors failed to differentiate between historical science (like a possible interpretation of rocks, which were formed without human observation) and observational science in the present.3 Furthermore, as Ken Ham shared with The Anointed co-author Giberson in a 2008 online debate, the researchers’ biases and presuppositions about the unobservable past influence their interpretation of the evidence in the present. Ken wrote the following:

It is crucial to understand the nature of starting points when interpreting the evidence around us–which is why our Creation Museum starts with a “starting points” exhibit. We all have biases–both creationists and evolutionists–so we in no way wish to denigrate scientists for having biases.

When it comes to science in the present (science “proper” – empirical, testable, repeatable observation and experimentation), there is actually little disagreement between creationists and evolutionists. However, when it comes to reconstructing past events, our different starting points will cause us to interpret the same evidence differently. After all, creationists and evolutionists have a different view of history–even a different philosophy of what is possible in the past.

The creationist embraces the history and the catastrophic effects of Noah’s Flood, whereas evolutionists largely dismiss the Flood as a global event, and embrace the philosophy of uniformitarianism (to varying degrees) instead. Our different worldviews cause us to interpret the same evidence differently.4

Does Evolution Really Cause Social Ills?

The authors also asserted that ICR and AiG argue that evolution is “responsible for much of what’s wrong with the world” (p. 36). Answers in Genesis has never stated or implied this. We have both—in countless articles and even in the 2008 online debate between Ham and Dr. Giberson—declared instead that the teaching of evolution has caused many to doubt or disbelieve the Bible.

Thus, the more we see people not believing the Bible, the more we will witness morality being seen as relative, and thus people can justify all sorts of moral ills. For example, if a person wants to be a racist, evolution can be (and has been) used to justify racist beliefs or even fuel racism. But evolution does not cause racism. Sin is the cause of racism.
Hyperbole

In alarmist ways, the authors often resorted to hyperbole as they attacked the credibility of several Christian leaders in an effort to turn them into societal boogeymen. They call several small creation ministries “large” (p. 33) when they are not at all. The authors even described AiG as a “media empire” (p. 45) and then a “juggernaut” (p. 59). However, our annual budget is dwarfed by even the smallest cable TV networks. For example, our yearly revenue is a mere 1/60th of the cable network Home & Garden Television (HGTV), which is hardly a media empire compared to the big TV networks.

The authors of The Anointed also fatuously claimed that creationist groups have access to considerable funding to proclaim their biblical authority messages. However, when put into perspective and compared to the billions of dollars in revenue received annually by public schools, science museums, and public television across America (which proclaim the anti-biblical message of evolution and millions of years), the creationist funding is the proverbial drop in a media financial bucket.
Credentials Lacking

The authors brought up the tired charge that creationist groups like AiG and its leaders not only lack credentials but are “at war with science” (p. 11). Again, much of this stems from not differentiating between historical science and observational science. We uphold and applaud science. Ken Ham wrote the following in his 2008 online debate with co-author Giberson:

I love science. In fact, AiG employs a number of scientists (and works with others), all of which obtained their doctorates from secular institutions. Across the hall from me, for example, is Dr. David Menton, who earned a PhD in biology from an Ivy League school (Brown University).

As we both know, the etymology of the word “science” has the basic meaning of “knowledge.” Today, when the word “science” is used, we are usually referring to observational science.

Science is a wonderful tool that God has given us. But because science is imperfect, and changing, and because different scientists disagree on what the evidence really means, science cannot serve as an ultimate, infallible standard.5

Are the Authors Out of Their League Themselves?

The Anointed authors extolled Darwin as the most famous scientist of the 19th century (p. 43), but we must note that Darwin did not have the much-vaunted doctorate set as the gold standard for academic respectability. Interestingly, Giberson pointed out that a medical degree is only “marginally relevant” (p. 56) to the field of evolution. Yet as someone who holds a PhD in physics, which we would argue is largely irrelevant to the field of evolution, Dr. Giberson felt confident that his assertions about evolutionary biology and geology are valid.

We must point out that six of the full-time Answers in Genesis faculty members have doctorate degrees in their fields, including genetics, astrophysics, geology, biology, the history of science, and medicine. This fact is conveniently omitted in a book that pretends to question the scholarship of our staff. And apparently for the authors, Ken Ham’s 35-plus years of research, writing, and speaking on apologetics don’t quite measure up to the knowledge level of a student leaving a university with a PhD in science.
Ken Ham in the Crosshairs

As the authors frequently singled out the AiG president for criticism, they demean him with terms like a “pied piper” (p. 45) of the seemingly uneducated masses of Christians. His views, the book argues, have “transported [him] into a scientific Land of Oz” (p. 59). Ken is said to have a “pandering anti-intellectual presentation style in his talks and writings” (p. 45). Furthermore, the authors bizarrely contend that the last time Ken “brushed up against science” was during the Cold War (p. 58).

Ken has surrounded himself with PhD colleagues for the past 25 years, as well as doing his own extensive research and writings. When he and another creationist debated two evolutionists over ten years ago at Harvard, Ken acquitted himself quite well. At least The Anointed authors managed to muster the word “affable” (p. 45) to describe Ken, though he was also called “stern” (p. 11) earlier in the book—so which is it?

The authors’ shining example of a Christian scholar who runs counter to the supposedly unscholarly Ken Ham is evolutionist Dr. Francis Collins, who is the only alternative for “the educated wing of the evangelical world” (p. 51).
Conclusion

If Drs. Giberson and Stephens are wrong in both small things (like incorrect dates) and large matters (falsely accusing ICR and AiG of blaming evolution for many social ills, implying they lack credentialed staff, etc.), then the book’s very premise that “amateur” evangelicals are to be taken as untrustworthy is called into question. The book’s manifest poor scholarship casts a revelatory spotlight on the authors’ own failings and biases concerning biblical Christianity.

As we expose the poor scholarship of a book that appears under the Harvard banner and is meant to be taken as a scholarly work, we will mention another irony. While Giberson and his historian co-author (acknowledged as an expert in American Pentecostalism6) reviled ministries like Answers in Genesis for speaking on topics for which they are not credentialed, the two authors themselves frequently dwelt on topics for which they were not academically trained to address in their doctoral programs.

These include theology, political science, psychology, and sociology. Furthermore, as we indicated earlier, Giberson is trained as a physicist, yet he felt qualified to critique AiG in areas far outside his specialty, such as biology and geology. All this raises the question, if the authors are not academically trained in these areas, who decided to anoint them to critique evangelicals who hold views different from their own?

As Christians, our authority rests with the clear teachings of the Bible, starting with its very first book. The authors have made their belief clear that science trumps Scripture. “Many educated evangelicals, informed by biblical scholarship, have thus concluded that the Genesis story of Creation is simply not literal history” (p. 49). They added that “the modern scholarly approach to Genesis transforms the story into a myth in the best sense of the word—a story with a powerful meaning that may or may not be tenuously rooted in history” (p. 49). What the authors failed to recognize is that the Bible’s history in Genesis is foundationally important to the gospel. Even some atheists realize this connection, as seen in this quote from the anti-Christmas campaign of the American Atheists organization.

No Adam and Eve means no need for a savior. It also means that the Bible cannot be trusted as a source of unambiguous, literal truth. It is completely unreliable, because it all begins with a myth, and builds on that as a basis. No Fall of Man means no need for atonement and no need for a redeemer.7

If Genesis is merely a myth, then it nullifies the purpose of the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and as the apostle Paul wrote, “”If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty”” (1 Corinthians 15:14). This is why the issue of biblical authority is so vital to Christianity. It’s not just about Genesis; it’s about the person and work of Jesus Christ.



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




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