Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Evolution and Christianity make strange bedfellows

When I was young, I believed in evolution. Even after I became a Christian, I continued for a while believing in evolution. I actually thought I had invented the idea of theistic evolution. I've recently detailed some of the reasons I now reject theistic evolution but I know there are still many Christian (too many, in my opinion) that try to interpret Scripture in a way to make it compatible with the theory of evolution. If you're going to wed your understanding of Scripture to the secular theories of godless men, all for the sake of making Christianity seem more appealing, then you need to know who you're in bed with.

First, let me say that many evolutionists try to encourage the idea that Christianity is compatible with evolution. While telling educators how to “deal with design” (that is, “intelligent design” or “creationism”), Nature Magazine had this advice:

Scientists would do better to offer some constructive thoughts of their own. For religious scientists, this may involve taking the time to talk to students about how they personally reconcile their beliefs with their research. Secular researchers should talk to others in order to understand how faiths have come to terms with science. All scientists whose classes are faced with such concerns should familiarize themselves with some basic arguments as to why evolution, cosmology and geology are not competing with religion.

That certainly sounds reasonable, doesn't it? Don't be fooled! Evolutionists will say anything if they think there is a chance of changing someone's mind. They're seldom sincere, though. They try to convince the wavering creationists that there is somehow “middle-ground” between “science and faith,” while all the while, they secretly hold any notion of “intelligent design” in contempt. Look at a few other quotes made by evolutionists:

The obvious implication is that THE DESIGNER OF LIFE IS INCOMPETENT. We all know it; no amount of gushing over how "perfect" life is can cover up the fact that everything here can be improved upon. Let's stop making up excuses and admit that the Creator did a half-assed job. [God and Science: The Theory of Incompetent Design]

[Homologous structures] makes sense if every feature of an organism is the product of its history, but it doesn't make sense if you want to argue independent design with appropriate reuse of common elements. Unless, that is, you're willing to argue that the Designer is wasteful, incompetent, and lazy. [PZ Myers, Talk Origins Feedback]

In human males, the urethra passes right through the prostate gland, a gland very prone to infection and subsequent enlargement. This blocks the urethra and is a very common medical problem in males. Putting a collapsible tube through an organ that is very likely to expand and block flow in this tube is not good design. Any moron with half a brain (or less) could design male "plumbing" better. [Evidence for Jury-Rigged Design in Nature]

I guess the "Biblical Creator" in his infinite wisdom could not design eyes any better than natural selection could. [Cretinism or Evilution? No. 3]

It's often claimed that creationists make Christianity look bad. I say that compromising on Genesis for the sake of making Christianity more appealing to the secular-minded accomplishes nothing. In their own words, secular evolutionists see God as a lazy, incompetent, wasteful moron with less than half a brain. Why would anyone want to forsake the omnipotent Creator of the Bible who spoke the universe into existence and replace Him with the dim-witted god of evolution who can't create a way out of a wet paper bag?

I'm not saying that a person who believes in evolution can't be a Christian. I just wonder why anyone would feel the need to “reconcile” the two. If we concede evolution is true, then we are tacitly agreeing that all the terrible things evolutionists believe about the Creator are true. Evolution and Christianity make strange bedfellows.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

There really are thought police!

Americans just celebrated the anniversary of our independence from England. It's sad that so many Americans think of Independence Day only as an opportunity to watch fireworks while they are completely ignorant of what they're celebrating, when we declared our independence, who we declared independence from, and why. Here's a funny (but still sad) video showing random people who can't answer even the most basic questions about the history of our independence.

Some kids who paid attention in school might believe we fought the Revolution because of a tax on tea. That's actually a very misleading characterization of the attitude of the colonists. It's a complicated subject but the reasons more accurately involved things like an oppressive government that did not give colonists any voice in the laws that affected them and a strong military presence of British soldiers in the colonies. The colonists believed that governments should protect the rights of its people – not subjugate them; they believed that armies were for fighting enemies – not keeping citizens in line. Because of his repeated abuses against the colonists' rights, King George III was called a tyrant.

Now, fast forward to the present. Just a couple of weeks ago, a third grade, NJ student used the word “brownies” during an end-of-the-year party at school. His mother says he was talking about the baked dessert but another student in the class considered the term to be a racial slur. Instead of educating the offended student about the word, the school decided to call the police who interviewed the 9-year-old about what he said. Read the following quote from the article from the Huffington Post:

The school then called the Collingswood Police Department to settle the matter, according to The exact comment the boy allegedly made has not been made public, but his mom, Stacy dos Santos, said she believes the school officials overreacted.

He said they were talking about brownies... Who exactly did he offend?” dos Santos told “There was a police officer with a gun in the holster talking to my son, saying, ‘Tell me what you said.’ He didn’t have anybody on his side.”

The boy stayed home the last day of school and police said they have since referred the incident to the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency.

My first reaction was probably the same as most people's, namely that political correctness has gone too far. However, this is more than a simple case of overreaction. It highlights exactly how vulnerable our rights truly are. It's not just that the officials felt the need to call the police but it's also that the police bothered to respond at all!

As seen in this quote, the exact context surrounding the word, “brownies” is not known. Let's assume, for a moment, that the student was indeed making a racial slur. Please tell me when it became a crime to be racist? Do we not have the freedom of speech? Do we not have the freedom of association? Unless the child actually threatened violence the police should have told the school officials to call the child's parents and stop bothering them. Instead, the police responded and wanted to know exactly what the child said. Why? If the child had said he was calling a dark-skinned student, “brownie,” what then? Would the police officer have arrested him? If not, then what is the point of the police even being there? The mere fact that a police officer was there shows that our first amendment rights are being threatened.

To live in a free society means that people will sometimes say things other people don't like. I'm sorry but there is no right to “not be offended.” I don't agree with bigots but I will still defend their right to be bigots. They can spew their hatred and I can highlight their ignorance. I'm happy to compete in the arena of ideas but I don't want the government deciding whose ideas are acceptable and whose are criminal.

What would happen to me if someone decides my blog is filled with hate speech? Might I someday expect a knock on my door by an armed police officer demanding, “Tell me what you said”? Does the government fear someone being called a name? It seems to me they don't care that the actions here are earning them the name, tyrant! “King George, meet the NJ police and public school officials.”

Friday, June 17, 2016

Let me tell you what I find offensive...

So, I'm having breakfast with my wife at McDonald's on Saturday and I read this headline on FaceBook: Community Shocked Over Christian Church Sign: 'Muhammad not Greater than Jesus.' And they aren't kidding when they say shocked. One resident, Eric Cohn, is reported as saying, I literally had to stop and back up and make sure I saw what I saw, and I was profoundly offended and upset by it.” Cohn also felt moved to write a letter to the editor of the local paper where he said, “Disparaging another group’s God is completely out of line.... Please, take it down — now.”

Another offended resident said in the same editorial, I want to complain openly about the marquis in front of the Missionary Baptist Church on Belmont Drive. The message on the west bound side of the sign promotes ignorance, bigotry and hatred, none of which are regarded as true Christian values.

In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father but by me.” The message of Christ is one of exclusivity. There is only one name by which men may be saved: it's Jesus – not Allah, not Muhammad, not Buddha, not Confucius. If Jesus is right, then all these other religions are wrong. Liberals say I'm intolerant but the truth pretty much is exclusive. I find it offensive – and more than a little hypocritical – that liberals say I'm bigoted and intolerant for believing the words of Christ. They say I'm wrong for believing someone else's religion is wrong yet liberals can't see how they are calling my religion wrong.

Even the mayor of Hood River, OR, had an opinion on the sign. Mayor Blackburn said, I was really annoyed and sad. I am annoyed that in this political season there's a solid case of ugly going on. I think it norms up this kind of behavior like 'oh it's okay to be a bigot now.'

The other thing that offends me is when elected, public officials abuse their office. Is this mayor aware that the Constitution protects our freedom of speech and the right to freely exercise our religion? If private citizens want to write letters to the editor or protest a church, they have a right to do so. But when the mayor, a representative of the state, uses the sway of his office to mock and ridicule the religious speech of a church, it erodes our liberty. Mayor Blackburn is a despot, a tyrant, and an offender of freedom!

OK, now fast forward to Sunday. My wife and I are having lunch after church and see the news of the shooting in FL. A radical Muslim called 911 and pledged allegiance to ISIS before shooting more than 100 people, killing 50 of them (later it was amended to 49). How sad.

I find it strange that the “peaceful” religion of Islam continuously spawns worshipers who would shoot people in a night club, burn Christians alive, behead people on TV, fly planes into buildings, and strap bombs to themselves to blow people up in a mall, while brain-damaged liberals continuously call for tolerance. Yet let a Christian church puts out a sign that says Jesus is greater than Muhammad and militant bleeding-hearts seem ready to riot. Really?

Oh, and I'm getting a little offended that the shooting is being characterized as an attack on gays. It's sort of like the President calling the Ft. Hood shooting a case of workplace violence. This was a jihadist. He would have found any reason to shoot innocent people. If it weren't a gay nightclub, it could have been a bus full of first-grade kids. It didn't matter to the shooter. At the end of the day, he wanted to create terror. If we don't identify the problem for what it is, it only distracts from the issue. We need to deal with radical Muslims who want to kill all of us; this is not the time to talk about gay rights or gun control.

It is God's will that we should all come to believe in the Son and have life (John 6:40). It is the plan of terrorists to kill non-believers. Christians want the lost to hear the truth. We want to reach them with the gospel – the good news. There is life in Jesus and none other. We plead with people, we reason with them, we pray for them – we don't shoot them. Are liberals really so thinned skinned that they're offended by a sign that says the Muslims are wrong?

I'm offended by stupidity.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Five Reasons Why I Reject Theistic Evolution: Part 5, Conclusion

5) Evolution is just bad science

Let me just start by saying that I'm surprised evolution is even given the time of day by anyone other than evolutionary biologists. It is a useless theory. It makes no predictions, has led to no advances in technology, and has zero impact on any other branch of science. I'm trying to find something just as useless to which I can compare it but I really can't think of any other trivia that's quite as useless. Maybe if someone studied the relationship between the names given to frogs in jumping contests and their number of wins, you might find something close except that there would at least be value to the owners of frogs if a correlation were found. He he he.

Remember too that most scientists who believe in evolution practice a brand of science where only natural explanations are ever considered for any phenomenon. According to them, miracles cannot happen. Period. This doesn't include just the creation, it also means there was no virgin birth, no healing of the sick, no feeding of the multitudes, no walking on water, no calming a storm, and no resurrection! Christians who compromise on Genesis often believe they are making Christianity more appealing to the masses. Maybe it does – but only by removing the omnipotent God who is the object of our worship and replacing Him with an impotent god who is a slave to the physical laws he supposedly created and is indistinguishable from dumb luck. To an evolutionist, believing God guides evolution is akin to saying gravity is accomplished by angels dragging the planets in their courses. Christians gain no credibility with unbelievers by trying to impose godless theories onto the Scriptures.

I know that people cannot ordinarily walk on water. When Jesus walked on water, it demonstrated that even physical laws like gravity are subject to His will. Miracles are evidence that there is a God and I know when a miracle has occurred precisely because I understand science. All secular explanations of our origins are simply feeble attempts to mask the obvious miracle of the creation. The supposed billions of years, the Big Bang, and biological evolution are fraught with difficulties – so much so that if any theory in a different field of science had similar problems, it would be laughed at.

I wrote a series a few months back where I detailed 10 observations that are best explained by a miraculous creation. I highly encourage you to read those but, for the sake of brevity, I'm going to borrow just a few points from there and offer some examples of where secular theories fail miserably to explain what we observe.

According to evolution, all the different species on earth have a common ancestor. In other words, people, parrots, palm trees, and piranha are all descended from the same, single-celled creature that allegedly lived 3.5 billion years ago. Darwin supposed this “simple” cell was little more than a gelatinous blob of amino acids. For a single-celled creature to evolve into something else, it must acquire novel traits. To turn a dinosaur into a bird, you would have to add feathers. Get it? To turn a molecule into a man, you would have to add new features, generation after generation for millions of generations: skin, blood, bones, organs, hair, etc. For evolution to even be possible, we should see new traits arise in populations fairly often. We don't. It's been more than a century since Darwin and evolutionists have less than a handful of questionable examples. A theory which requires creatures to acquire novel traits flies in the face of what we actually observe happening.

Next, there is the appendix. Though it's often cited as evidence for evolution, I believe the appendix is strong evidence against common descent. If the appendix were leftover from some distant ancestor, we would expect all mammals who have an appendix to also have a common ancestor. The truth is that the appendix exists in about 60 species of mammals with no discernible pattern. It appears in some species of primates, rodents, and even marsupials, but is absent from the intermediate groups that supposedly link these species. It's not at all what we would expect if comment descent were true.

Among secular scientists, the Big Bang is the commonly accepted explanation of the universe's origin. However, the theory is so plagued with difficulties that physicists have to constantly invent incredible stories to even make it work. They propose things like dark matter, dark energy, multiple universes, a finite universe with no center, and a period of hyper-inflation where the universe expanded million of times faster than the speed of light. Many of these are things that we cannot observe or test with the scientific method; they are merely hashed out in peer-reviewed journals where scientists expended great effort showing how such things could work on paper.

These are just a handful of examples of how secular theories of our origins simply fail to explain the evidence. Biological evolution and Big Bang cosmology are plausible sounding theories at first but they cannot bear scrutiny and so are constantly being propped up with ad hoc sub-theories. Unbelievers cling blindly to them not because they are so compelling but rather that the only alternative – special creation – doesn't fit in their there-is-no-god paradigm.

I wrote a while back about a website called Genesis Veracity Foundation. It attempts to defend the Bible but it has a peculiar characteristic of constantly referring to Atlantis. Yes, I mean the lost city mentioned by Plato. I can't figure out why anyone would think it was necessary to defend the Bible with such dubious evidence when the existence of the thing in question isn't really relevant to the Bible anyway. That's the same way I feel about theistic evolution. Why would anyone want to reinterpret the Bible to make it compatible with such an irrelevant and unscientific theory?