In the Beginning…

I am attempting this year to stay faithful in a quest to read the entire Bible in one year. I have, over the course of my life, read the entire Bible, but never in a precise manner. At any rate, today I was reading Genesis, when it made me think about a lot of things.

I understand the mental block for those who feel that Genesis is a fictional account of how things began. It all seems a bit far-fetched, doesn’t it? Literary critics have tried to destroy the creation account over and over again, and a never-ending parade of Darwinists like Richard Dawkins, Chris Hitchens, and the late Stephen Jay Gould literally fall over themselves to find new ways to refute the creation.

For those who would think that the Theory of Evolution is the grand explanation of life, I would ask this: How do you reconcile the fact that most scientific evidence does NOT support macroevolution?  I know that scientists who believe evolution is the answer have a constant stream of plausible explanations for the holes in the evidence for evolution, but eventually they are going to be left with no more excuses.  What then?

Belief in the Word of God as inerrant and inspired is difficult to grasp at first for the new believer, especially the new believer that is steeped in postmodernism.  However, when you look at how far evolutionists have to stretch reason in order to make the theory plausible, does it really take any more faith to be a creationist than an evolutionist?

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6 thoughts on “In the Beginning…

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  1. How do you reconcile the fact that most scientific evidence does NOT support macroevolution?

    I do hope this is not another case of a creationist misusing the term ‘macroevolution’. That gets tiresome rather quickly.

    And the scientific evidence actually supports the entirety of the Theory of Evolution, from countless independent studies across a wide variety of scientific disciplines from right across the globe. Unless you’re willing to say that all these thousands of scientists are dead wrong about all the work that’s been done over the years or they’re some part of some grand conspiracy … or you’ve uncovered startling new evidence which will guarantee you a nobel prize or six … I have to conclude that you’re rather wrong in regards to your claim.

    1. Matt,

      I appreciate the fact that you are an ardent student and desire to know as much as possible. However, I would ask, rather than giving a blanket statement in regards to the works of these scientists, why not give specific examples. It’s easy to give a general comment, and yes, you can say that I did as well. However, when you look at the work of people like Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards, along with the bevy of work that has been dug up by people like Lee Strobel and other apologists, as well as the fact that even Richard Dawkins seems stumped out how life came about, I don’t think it is entirely fair to assume that Christians/Creationists are not working from the basics of science. You of course are left to your own conclusions, but if there was such massive evidence in favor of the Theory of Evolution, why would scientists not trumpet their accomplishment that they most certainly killed God? After all, the first people who purportedly discovered Jesus’ resurrection reported it loudly and clearly.

  2. owever, I would ask, rather than giving a blanket statement in regards to the works of these scientists, why not give specific examples.

    What sort of specific examples would you like?

    However, when you look at the work of people like Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards, along with the bevy of work that has been dug up by people like Lee Strobel and other apologists

    Gonzalez has been discredited ever since it turned out he lied during that whole ‘Expelled’ silliness. Strobel has never had much credibility and his work has likewise been debunked time and again. I must admit, I am not familiar with Jay Richards.

    Yes, those are blanket statements but it’s hard to provide specific examples when given general statements.

    as well as the fact that even Richard Dawkins seems stumped out how life came about

    No, it seems fairly straight forward thanks to the Theory of Abiogenesis.
    Dawkins has stated that he doesn’t know for certain how life came about but that’s is perfectly in line with scientific reasoning; which doesn’t deal in certainties.

    I don’t think it is entirely fair to assume that Christians/Creationists are not working from the basics of science.

    Yes, it is. They, generally speaking, work with a backwards version of the scientific method. Normally that method says you collect the evidence, test it to make sure it’s authentic/proper and then form hypothesis to explain that evidence. You then test those hypothesis to see if it stands up, you get all that checked quite a few times by independent peers and if no problems/faults/mistakes/bias’/whatever are found after all that testing … you have yourself the start of a Scientific Theory.

    What creationists, especially the young earth variety, tend to do is start with a conclusion and work backwards from there; usually ignoring any evidence they don’t particularly like.

    You of course are left to your own conclusions, but if there was such massive evidence in favor of the Theory of Evolution, why would scientists not trumpet their accomplishment that they most certainly killed God?

    Science has nothing to do with god or the supernatural. And they have actually proclaimed, countless times, all the evidence that supports the Theory of Evolution. The amount is truly massive; from fossils, genetic matches, predictions being verified, testing on micro vertebrates, speciation being observed and so on.

    It has been proven as much as any other scientific theory has been, perhaps even more so.

    After all, the first people who purportedly discovered Jesus’ resurrection reported it loudly and clearly.

    Yet there’s no independent records of it ever happening. How odd.

    1. Well, again, any example would suffice. You are making blanket statements by implying that there are more examples than can possibly examined. As far as Gonzalez being “discredited,” how did he lie, exactly? I haven’t seen the film, but I also haven’t seen any headlines declaring “Gonzalez lied about …..” Tell me what he lied about. As for Strobel, Lee is a journalist, not a scientist. If you have issues with the work that he has done, take it up with the scientists he has interviewed, such as Jonathan Wells, or Stephen Meyer, Bill Craig, Robin Collins, or Michael Behe. As for abiogenesis, again, what has changed such that the Oparine-Haldane Hypothesis is actually feasible? And if science does not deal in certainty, why are naturalists/evolutionists so dogmatic about their beliefs? After all, lack of certainty should breed humility, but it doesn’t. How do Creationists work backwards from the scientific method?

      Science and God have plenty in common. Science is the way in which we are given the opportunity to study the universe and see how it was put together. The funny thing is that evolutionists are by far more dogmatic in their approach, drawing transitional forms where there are none, explaining the origin of life with multiverses, string theories, and any other manner to avoid where the evidence logically leads. Creationists view the origins of life and development of life as something to study, just as much as evolutionists are. The difference is that Creationists also realize that because there are moral ramifications from what they have discovered, it adds the dimension of philosophy to science. Matt, you have given no real concrete proof for evolution again. It is not proof to repeat the mantras of “there is so much proof.” Well, if there is, offer proof. What you have offered is more evolutionist dogma.

      As for Jesus’ resurrection, there is plenty to look at as evidence. First, there is no one who seriously doubts Jesus’ existence. Therefore, we can’t argue Him away. If He lived, it’s a certainty that He died. For someone to have the impact that He had on civilization, details such as how he died had to be pretty easy to come by, and they were. Even the Talmud describes His death. If He died, then He either came back from the dead or He didn’t. If He didn’t, the Jews could have shown the disciples His body, killed all of the disciples for blasphemy, and we would all be Jewish or Animistic. But, considering His disciples willingly died for the cause of His resurrection, I have to think that they probably knew something pivotal, namely, that He had risen from the dead. Matt, I am a rational man. If I knew something wasn’t true, I wouldn’t die for it. But they did.

      At the very least, you have to admit this: In order to be truly atheist, you would have to have been all over the universe, gone to every nook and cranny, and every “alternate universe” and not found God. But, in that case, had you done those things, YOU would be God. At least be academically honest and admit that Evolution/Abiogenesis is as much belief/religion as Creationism/Intelligent Design.

  3. Well, again, any example would suffice.

    Of what though? The predictions the Theory of Evolution has made and since been verified? A list of transitional fossils? What are you looking for?

    You are making blanket statements by implying that there are more examples than can possibly examined.

    In the format we have here, that would actually be about right. Blog comments aren’t exactly built for such things.

    As far as Gonzalez being “discredited,” how did he lie, exactly? I haven’t seen the film, but I also haven’t seen any headlines declaring “Gonzalez lied about …..” Tell me what he lied about.

    Just for the sake of saving myself some time:
    http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/the-truth/gonzalez

    Jonathan Wells, or Stephen Meyer, Bill Craig, Robin Collins, or Michael Behe.

    All of those listed have been unable to provide any concrete work which supports their claims or has stood up to any sort of peer review in regards to the Theory of Evolution. To take Behe as an example (again blog comments tend to limit things somewhat) the testimony he gave at the Dover trial displayed his ignorance of the very field he claims to be an expert in. Ken Miller, yet again, has once again come forth and torn his work to veritable shreds.

    As for abiogenesis, again, what has changed such that the Oparine-Haldane Hypothesis is actually feasible?

    What is your objection to it thus far, precisely?
    You’ll also have to be more specific, since there are various different models being researched at the moment by various different people (Rasmussen, Venter, etc). Abiogenesis is recognised as a valid Scientific Theory, it should be noted, and is fully supported by the scientific community in general. I find it odd you can state that you believe that Abiogenesis could not possibly have happened but fail to provide the evidence to back this up – if you can, I’m sure the nobel prize committee would be very interested in seeing it.

    And if science does not deal in certainty, why are naturalists/evolutionists so dogmatic about their beliefs?

    They’re not. Like all scientists, they’re prepared (and look forward) to being proven wrong – which is why the peer review portion of the scientific method is held in high regard. In short, scientists love trying to prove other scientists wrong since it directly assists in eliminating any mistakes/biases/misinterpretations/whatever and thus ends up straight at the truth.

    How do Creationists work backwards from the scientific method?

    I believe I already explained that. You work through the evidence to reach a conclusion and then test it thoroughly. You do not start at a conclusion and then look for evidence to support it (that method can lead you to all sorts of rather absurd findings).

    The funny thing is that evolutionists are by far more dogmatic in their approach, drawing transitional forms where there are none

    Really? Would you like a list of just some verified transitional forms? Let’s try these: Haasiophis terrasanctus, Pachyrhachis, Mososaurs, Pezosiren portelli, Runcaria and Halkiera. That’s not to mention even more recent finds such as fossilised transitional spider forms, well recorded whale ancestry and so forth.

    explaining the origin of life with multiverses, string theories, and any other manner to avoid where the evidence logically leads.

    What you’re dealing with there is much more theoretical physics than anything to do with the Theory of Evolution. Of course, those things you mention are all backed up by evidence – even if it is only mathematical in nature. If you’re able to disprove them, again I’m sure the scientific community would be eager to hear your evidence based objections.

    it adds the dimension of philosophy to science.

    Which is a mistake. They are completely different fields of study. You may as well try mixing chemical engineering and language study.

    Well, if there is, offer proof. What you have offered is more evolutionist dogma.

    You haven’t stated what sort of proof you’d like to hear. In general terms, there’s the good ol’ fossil record, geology, pretty much the entire field of biology is based on Evolutionary foundations, the useless parts found in the human body, the predictions the Theory of Evolution makes and have since been verified (such as fused genomes and placement of fossils in strate to name but two), speciation being observed numerous times, lab experiments such as the recent E Coli ones which show organisms rearranging fundamental parts of their biology to meet changed environmental conditions and so on.

    As for Jesus’ resurrection, there is plenty to look at as evidence. First, there is no one who seriously doubts Jesus’ existence.

    Well, that’s a tough call to make. I know there are a few scholars who would say otherwise. However, they are in the minority and we can ignore them until they come up with some better evidence. Of course, it is rather hard to prove that something/someone doesn’t/didn’t exist.

    Therefore, we can’t argue Him away. If He lived, it’s a certainty that He died.

    That tends to be the nature of biology.

    For someone to have the impact that He had on civilization, details such as how he died had to be pretty easy to come by, and they were.

    It’s a given that he was hung up on a cross. But there are (and here’s the really important bit) no independent records of any sort of divine acts, the resurrection or anything of the kind. Meanwhile parts of the New Testament are highly dubious to say the least (such as the Roman Empire wide census, culling of infants, etc).

    If He didn’t, the Jews could have shown the disciples His body, killed all of the disciples for blasphemy, and we would all be Jewish or Animistic.

    That is, in no way, evidence. There are, for example, plenty of other reasons that they were unwilling to do so (keep the peace), couldn’t be bothered (at the time of his death, no great number of people had good feelings about the man) or couldn’t (someone else could have previously removed the body).
    Regardless, it’s not evidence that he got up and walked out of the tomb by any stretch of the imagination.

    But, considering His disciples willingly died for the cause of His resurrection, I have to think that they probably knew something pivotal, namely, that He had risen from the dead.

    Lots of people, both throughout human history and the modern age right up to the current day, have died for causes which have since shown to be false. The various human religions certainly have an enormous number of people that have died for them but I dare say you won’t say their beliefs were true, just as a quick example.
    Your statement does not count as any sort of evidence, by any stretch of the imagination.

    At the very least, you have to admit this: In order to be truly atheist, you would have to have been all over the universe, gone to every nook and cranny, and every “alternate universe” and not found God.

    Not at all. I can sit where I am right now and state with a strong sense of confidence that “There is no Zeus”, “There are no unicorns”, “There is no Thor”, “There is no Flying Spaghetti Monster” and so on. Why? Because there is no evidence for any of these things actually existing.
    Again, you’re assuming that scientists and atheists (and no, they’re not one and the same) deal with certainties. They don’t. They deal with probabilities and evidence. If there’s no evidence for something, then there’s no reason at all to believe it exists (at least, not until evidence does crop up at which time the whole deal get re-evaluated again).

    So yes, there is a great deal of evidence for the Theory of Evolution being correct. Meanwhile, I have yet to hear of any for either Creationism (especially the Young Earth variety) or Intelligent Design standing up to critical scrutiny. Have any to share by any chance?

    1. Matt,
      You make good points. However, they are not without some serious flaws. First, some of the members of the committee over Gonzalez’s tenure vote admitted that they did not vote for him because of his support of intelligent design. Also, Gonzalez put out more than the amount of work required of someone who was working on as many things as he was at the time. You can find plenty of info about the whole thing if you look.

      Ken Miller in no way ripped Behe’s work to shreds. He took it out of context anf claimed that Behe posited that both the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways of blood clotting are irreducibly complex, but Behe states that only the extrinsic pathway, which requires a different set of components, is irreducible. Miller used a cunning misdirection in order to defend evolution. In order for most models of abiogenesis to work, it requires an atmosphere very different from our own and it also requires certain conditions in place that the evidence does not support. I won’t discuss the problems with deep sea vents because the nature of blog comments tends to limit what we say, right? To be entirely honest, I have not done enough research on the flora/fauna you offer as evidence, however, looking at things like tiktaalik, I have to say that paleontologists are really talented to render entire models of an animal based off of part of a skull and one purported leg. If the other items described proof is anything similar to poor tiktaalik, I am unimpressed. Especially when considering the high standard evolutionists hold intelligent designers to.

      As far as your refutation of far-fetched things in the Bible, first of all, Augustus WAS VERY FOND of censuses, such as the one he conducted in Gaul. Quirinius was governor of Syria TWICE, just like we would expect if Luke’s census account was correct. There has been plenty of items of antiquity discovered to prove the existence of men like Pontius Pilate. And as far as the culling of infants in a tiny town of maybe 400 to 500, there may only be 10 or 12 little children to kill. It’s not like they went through New Jersey and killed every resident who says “New Joisey.” And consider, for a moment, the Jews at the time. A messianic pretender fomenting rebellion? You would explicitly find his body to produce TO KEEP THE PEACE AND SHUT THEM ALL UP. And who is your vote for the poor schmo who moved the body? The disciples, who were scared out of their minds? Joseph of Arimethea, who probably wouldn’t stand a chance moving a giant boulder and successfully fighting off the Roman soldiers who were stationed there by Pilate? Beyond that, you miss the point of my “Martyr” argument. Yes, people die because of lies all of the time (see suicide bombers). However, no one MAKES UP THE LIE AND THEN GOES AND DIES BECAUSE OF THE LIE. That’s just stupid. So yes, when looked at from that point, no one dies because they made up a lie about some freak rising from the dead and then refuse to admit it’s a lie when admitting so would prevent them from hanging on a cross like a decoration. That’s a weak argument.

      I can actually say, considering your responses, you are at least a learned skeptic. I do appreciate that there are men like Stephen Gould, Richard Dawkins, Ken Miller, and Chris Hitchens. I do, however, have to disagree with them on the basis that evolutionists do EXACTLY what you accuse creationists of doing. You operate from the basis that evolution has to account for everything, then argue everything from a standpoint that will support that. Hmmm. That’s exactly what you say creationists do. At least be honest, Matt, and admit that evolution is just as much a religion as Christianity. Besides, if you deal with probabilities and evidence, what do you do with the evidence that does not support evolution? What do you do with butterflies? Tell me, how do evolutionists look at butterflies? I won’t get into it, but suffice to say, even a cursory examination of butterflies would reveal that evolution will have a hard time with that one. Or maybe evolution can posit an idea as to why we would evolve in the first place? Forgive me if I am wrong, but doesn’t evolution follow the theory of natural selection, which states that the optimum form is the survivor? If so, why did evolution move past bacteria, considering that bacteria are capable of surviving pretty much anywhere, and often times thrive no matter what the condition? That should have been it, considering that it is the simplest, most effective design of life. I realize that’s a philosophical question, but hey, you seem to have the answers.

      Matt, I think that as strong as your case for evolution seems to be, you should take up Kent Hovind’s offer to pay out $250,000 to anyone who can put up reasonable evidence that refutes creationism. In today’s economy, $250,000 would be helpful. I think, however, the reason Kent still has that $250,000 is that there is NO evidence that effectively roots evolution as the only possible answer for the world we live in.

      I think, when you get right down to it, evolutionists like the idea of life without God not because it is the most reasonable answer, but because it is the one that renders God impotent or absent, leaving you and anyone else who supports evolution with no god but yourselves. That is the core of the problem, and I think as long as people decide that they don’t want to be accountable to God, you will have people arguing in favor of evolution. I think I may have already said that to you before on Frank Turek’s board, but if not, at least I have said it now.

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