Sunday, February 7, 2016

10 Evidences for Biblical Creation: Part 5

#3: The Stasis of Kinds: For evolution to occur, populations must acquire novel traits. To turn a dinosaur into a bird would require it to acquire feathers. To turn a reptile into a mammal, it would have to acquire hair. For a molecule to turn into a man, it would require a billions of years long parade of novel features being added generation after generation. If evolution were true, new traits would have to appear in populations with a fair amount of frequency. They don't.

One of the five lies spoken by evolutionists is that microevolution over time leads to macroevolution. The most famous example of microevolution, by far, is the peppered moth. Due to changes in the environment, the ratio of dark and light coloring in the moth population changed over time. The lie is that the tiny changes (microevolution) we observe can accumulate over millions of years to become drastic changes (macroevolution). Let me ask you a simple question: how long would birds have to eat one color of moth before new colors will appear in the population? Obviously, you cannot add new colors by continuously removing colors no matter how long it continuous. In the end, you will only have fewer colors. In the 100+ years since the famous, peppered moth experiment was first published, we still have light and dark peppered moths. There has not even been microevolution in the peppered moth species.

Let me offer another example – dogs. Most people are familiar with dogs. We see dogs in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. I have a golden retriever but let's pretend I wanted a green retriever. Can I selectively breed dogs to create a green one? What if I did it for 50 years? 100 years? 1,000,000 years? Dogs may come in a lot of colors but they don't come in new colors. Though there are a variety of dogs, they can never evolve past becoming dogs because nothing new is ever added to the dog-kind.

I've seen a hundred examples of critics calling natural selection, evolution. Natural selection is the opposite of evolution. It can only select from traits already present in a population. Over time, natural selection makes animals become well adapted to their environments by continuously removing traits not suited to that environment. The result is a species that is less diverse than the kind. There is a lot of variety among bears (ursa-kind), for example. There is less variety among polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Observing how bears can become polar bears does not explain how dinosaurs could become birds.

I've heard evolutionists suggest how mutations could add new traits to a population but we don't have any examples of it actually being done. Like I've said, if evolution were true, it necessarily must happen frequently. Why don't we see any? What we do observe are moths staying moths, dogs staying dogs, and bears staying bears. We see changes happening, of course, but we've never seen a change in the direction that could turn one kind of animal into another.

The Bible says God created the plants and animals “after their kind” (Gen 1:21, et al). We observe populations changing. We don't see kinds changing. What we observe is more consistent with the Bible than with evolution.

#2: Design and Purpose: Suppose you're walking along and you see a rocky cliff overlooking a beach. How did the cliff get there? It's probably the result of plate tectonics pushing the land up then the wind and waves eroded some of it away exposing the rocks. It might be a beautiful scene but nobody created it to be that way. It just happened.

Next you're walking in another place and you see another cliff. On this cliff, however, you can sort of make out what looks like a profile of an old man. “Interesting,” you think, “but it still looks like the random result of wind and erosion.” Again, it might be a beautiful scene but it's just a coincidence that it resembles a face.

Still later, you're walking again. This time you see four distinct faces in the cliff. You recognize them immediately. “Wow,” you say to yourself, “how did the wind and rain erode these rocks to look just like former US Presidents?!” Actually, no. You don't say that.

We can see design, almost by instinct. The more complex it is or the more purposeful it is, then the more sure we are of it. We are certain, in a moment, if something is an accidental jumble of rocks or an intentional arrangement. Don't you agree? The same thing, then, that we can see in a pile of rocks is also true when we look at complex living systems. We can see, for example, that the DNA molecule is not simply an accidental jumble of amino acids but a purposeful arrangement.

Richard Dawkins said, The complexity of living organisms is matched by the elegant efficiency of their apparent design. If anyone doesn’t agree that this amount of complex design cries out for an explanation, I give up. I don't have to spell out the complexity and design found in nature. Even the devout atheist, Dawkins, sees it and admits it “cries out for an explanation.” Actually, it only demands an explanation if you dismiss the most obvious one – namely that complexity, design, and purpose are the characteristics of created things.

The most reasonable explanation for the “apparent” design we see in nature is that the complexity of living organisms is the product of design.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

10 Evidences for Biblical Creation: Part 4

#5: The Second Law of Thermodynamics: In a nutshell, the second law of thermodynamics says that, in any system, the amount of energy available for work will decrease over time. Put another way, the amount of useless energy (entropy) will always increase over time. The result is that systems tend to become more disordered over time. In the secular theories of our origins, the Big Bang created hydrogen, uneven pockets of hydrogen became stars, the stars fused hydrogen atoms into higher elements, the higher elements arranged themselves to become amino acids and proteins, these chemicals became alive, and a “simple” single cell evolved over countless generations to become all the very complex life forms on earth. It all sounds like a very uphill process where as the second law suggests things should run down hill.

Every time a creationist mentions the second law, a chorus of groans rise up from evolutionists. They sigh in frustration, roll their eyes, and attempt to educate the creationists by saying the second law only applies to closed systems. The earth, they say, is not a closed system because it receives energy from the sun. Blah, blah, blah.

I will first remind them that the universe is a closed system! There is no energy being added to the universe (per the first law of thermodynamics). So, strictly speaking, the universe would have been the most ordered at its beginning. From a Big Bang of hydrogen to the grand design we see now still seems to contradict the downhill process we would expect. Furthermore, our solar system would be considered a closed system since there is virtually no exchange of heat from other stars. So for our sun to form, our planets to form, water to form, and life to form in the closed system of our solar system, would also seem to go against what we would expect from the second law.

But here is the dirty secret of the second law – it even applies to open systems. The addition of energy is not some magic ingredient that suddenly creates order out of disorder. If I apply heat to chemicals, for example, the chemicals will tend to break down faster. But you've seen this for yourself; the sun will destroy the roof of your house, fade your furniture, and ruin the paint on your car.

To create order from energy, there must be some mechanism that can convert energy to work – like an engine. Pouring gasoline on my car and igniting it will destroy my car; putting gas in the tank and sending it through a combustion engine will make my car go. But my car is not perfectly efficient. I have to continuously add fuel. I have to maintain it and replace worn out parts. Yet in spite of all my efforts, my car will eventually succumb to entropy and become scrap. In both open and closed systems, the second law wins every time.

Though machines can convert energy into work, adding energy doesn't explain the origin of machines. Plants can convert sunlight to food (photosynthesis) but the sun shining on lifeless chemicals will never create plants. Our bodies convert food into energy. Plants and animals are like machines; we're open systems that can seem to stave off the second law but only for a while. Organized systems like our universe, our solar system, or our bodies argue against mindless, purposeless origins. It is entirely consistent with a universe that was created with order and design but is now running down.

#4: Soft Tissues in Supposedly Ancient Fossils: About a decade ago, Dr. Mary Schweitzer – entirely by accident – discovered red blood cells in a t-rex fossil believed to be 68 million years old. At first, her discovery was met with disbelief by the majority of the scientific community. However, since her initial find, other specimens have been found. From Student Science we read, Researchers from London have found hints of blood and fibrous tissue in a hodgepodge of 75-million-year-old dinosaur bones. These fossils had been poorly preserved. That now suggests residues of soft tissues may be more common in dino bones than scientists had thought.

Think about that quote: soft tissues may be more common in dino bones than scientists had thought. What exactly do you think scientists thought about the possibility of soft tissue being found in dino bones? Obviously they thought it was impossible for soft tissue to be preserved for 65 million years! In an article about Dr. Schweitzer's find, wondered, “If particles of that one dinosaur were able to hang around for 65 million years, maybe the textbooks were wrong about fossilization.” In the same article, paleontologist Thomas Holtz Jr. said that Schweitzer's work is “showing us we really don’t understand decay.” Hmmm. Maybe they were right to believe it's impossible for red blood cells to hang around for millions of years. Maybe they really do understand decay. Maybe they are wrong about the 65 million years! Did they ever think about that?

What about squid ink that was supposedly 150 million years old but was reconstituted and used to paint a picture? What about microbes trapped in salt crystals believed to be 250 million years old yet still revive in a petri dish? Finds like these have caused scientists to question their assumptions about fossilization. Shouldn't more of them question their assumptions about the millions of years?

Even “young-earth” creationists still believe in an earth that's thousands of years old. I'm surprised soft tissue and microbes could survive even that long. Common sense, though, tells us that it's far more reasonable to believe these things are only thousands of years old rather than millions.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

10 Evidences for Biblical Creation: Part 3

#7: Mimicry & Symbiosis: I just recently wrote a post about mimicry in nature. This is where one species supposedly has evolved to look like another species. An insect might look like a plant. A fly might look like a bee. A moth might look like a bird.

Looking like something else might camouflage the mimic, allowing it to hide from predators or sneak up on prey, or it might fool predators into thinking the mimic is too dangerous to eat. In many cases, the resemblance is uncanny; it's far too similar to be an accident.

According to evolution, the mimic would have had to evolve the similarity gradually. One generation is only slightly like the model, a later generation is a little more like the model, a later generation even more similar, et cetera. The problem with this theory is that evolution is not a directed process. Natural selection did not know the mimic should later look like the model.

The other problem is that the model is also believed to have evolved so over the millions of years that the mimic was evolving to look like the model, the model was also evolving: model changes – mimic changes – model changes – mimic changes. That something like mimicry could ever happen by undirected processes is incredible. To believe it has happened the numerous times we find in nature is laughable. It is much more reasonable to believe the creatures were designed to look similar.

A similar problem for evolution is symbiosis. Symbiosis is where two species of animals exist together in a relationship that benefits both. For example, the Egyptian Plover bird will fly into a crocodile's mouth and pick food out from its teeth. This benefits both creatures – the bird gets an easy meal and the croc get its teeth cleaned – but how did such an arrangement evolve? How did the bird evolve an instinct to fly into a crocodile's mouth? How did the crocodile evolve an instinct to not eat the bird? Keep in mind that both of these unusual instincts would have had to evolve simultaneously in both creatures. If some plover ancestor had the urge to fly into a croc's mouth and was eaten then evolution is over. That bird is removed from the gene pool.

There are thousands, maybe millions, of instances of mimicry and symbiosis found in nature. Two, unrelated species strongly resembling each other is hard to explain with evolution. Believing that it happens time after time after time after time by sheer chance is impossible. To be sure, evolutionists have offered explanations. I find them to be more like “what if” stories than real science. Believing that similarities or symbiosis among different species is the result of design is far more reasonable.

#6: Homoplasy: According to evolutionary theory, some animals share similar features because they have a common ancestor. However, some creatures have features in common even though they aren't closely related in an evolutionary sense. Homoplasy, also called convergent evolution, is the term used to describe similar features in species of different lineages.

It's easy to understand why two (supposedly) closely related species would resemble each other. It's harder to understand why two, distantly related species would resemble each other. This isn't mimicry, as described above, but the problem for evolution is very similar. For example, placental and marsupial mammals are believed to have diverged some 160 million years ago; why would marsupial moles and placental moles resemble each other since they're not closely related?

The usual evolutionary response is that “form follows function” and two animals can have similar features because they've evolved to live in similar environments. The problem I see in this explanation is that if similarities are not necessarily the result of common ancestry, how can they ever be considered evidence of common ancestry?

Humans and chimps, for example, both have an appendix. Most evolutionists will claim this is the result of us having a common ancestor. However, possums (another marsupial) also have an appendix. Humans are not considered by evolutionists to be closely related to possums so the appendix would have had to evolve independently in each creature. Yet the appendix is considered vestigial in humans – a useless evolutionary left over. It may have once had some function but apparently not such an important function that we can't live without it. Why would such an allegedly non-critical organ evolve independently in different species?

Evolution doesn't occur at all, of course, but I can at least understand in theory how analogous structures might evolve in distantly related species. However, the existence of similar vestigial organs in different species is much more difficult to swallow. Evolution is a very weak explanation of homoplasy. It's not hard at all to see how different creatures could have been created with similarities. Creation is the better explanation of the evidence. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

10 Evidences for Creation. Part 2

#8: Fossils:

According to the Bible, there was a worldwide deluge that destroyed all terrestrial life. The only survivors were Noah, his family, and the animals he had taken with him on the Ark. The event, known commonly as Noah's Flood, radically changed the earth's topography and created most of the fossils we find in the so called, “geological column.” A popular meme used by evolutionists has the caption, “We have the fossils. We win.” The truth is, there are so many things about fossils that are better explained by the creation model that I would say that I could do a 10 part series on just fossils. Of course I won't do that. Consider this a single item with multiple sub-points. We'll call it a series within a series.

Abundance: Evolutionists advance the idea that fossils are created gradually as creatures die, are buried, and their bones become mineralized over millions of years. The reality is that fossilization is normally an extremely rare event. When a creature dies, its carcass is usually gone in a matter of weeks or maybe days, the result of scavenging and decay. There is very seldom enough carcass left to even become a fossil. The best chance for an animal's remains to become fossilized is if the poor critter is buried immediately. As we observe the world, we see there are literally trillions of fossils buried everywhere. You can hardly turn over a shovel of dirt without finding one. Seeing that there are so many fossils everywhere and knowing that virtually none are being created now, our observations fit well with the idea that the creatures were buried in the catastrophic flood described in the Bible.

Sudden burials: Numerous examples have been found of animals fossils in the middle of the act of doing something. For example, fish have been found fossilized in the act of eating another fish. An icthyosaur has been found in the act of giving birth. These fossils and others further attest to the fact that these creatures were buried suddenly in some disaster – even before having time to swallow – and preserved as fossils.

Polystrate fossils: The common evolutionary assumption is that rock layers are laid down gradually with each stratum representing some amount of time, similar to the rings of a tree. The lower the layer, the older the fossils in it are believed to be. Often, though, we will find fossils that intrude through several layers. Fossil tree trunks are a common example, where a trunk, several feet tall, stands upright through several strata. Obviously, the tree could not have stood upright for millions of years while sediment was deposited around it. Neither could it have been driven down into the rock like a nail. The more reasonable explanation is that the successive layers were laid down rapidly before the trunk had time to decompose. Besides trees, clam burrows have been found showing where clams had dug through several strata. The clam certainly could not have dug through solid rock so the strata had to still be soft when the clam dug through it.

Preserved Details: Completely intact, larger animals are more scarce in the fossil record. However, an abundance of smaller fossils exist. Something striking about many are the exquisite details that have been preserved – the fragile wings of insects, the scales of fish, leaves (which begin to wilt almost immediately after falling from the tree), and even the soft bodies of jellyfish have all been preserved. Since all of these things would begin to shrivel and decay within hours, the remarkable details could have only been made if the creature was buried immediately upon death. Again, this fits well with the biblical flood.

Ubiquitous Marine Animals: If you've ever found a fossil, I'll bet I can guess what it was. //RKBentley thinks// It was a shell!! Am I right? It's not hard to guess, really, because nearly the entire fossil record (some 95%) is comprised of marine animals, primarily shellfish. Most of what is left are plants and algae. The next largest group (about .25%) of fossils are insects. Only the tiniest fraction of fossils are of terrestrial vertebrates. Even dinosaur and primate fossils are always found with marine fossils in the same layer. There are marine fossils found from top to bottom in the geological column. Marine fossils cover nearly the entire earth's surface including the tops of the highest mountains. The fossil record does not show a history of simple to complex; a more accurate description would be marine animals, amphibians with marine animals, plants with marine animals, reptiles with marine animals, dinosaurs with marine animals, and birds and mammals with marine animals. It is entirely consistent with a worldwide flood.

Out of sequence fossils: Richard Dawkins once told a great lie when he said, Evolution could so easily be disproved if just a single fossil turned up in the wrong date order. Evolution has passed this test with flying colours.I've written before about human footprints found in volcanic ash in Mexico dated by evolutionists to be 1.3 million years old. There are also the Laetoli footprints; these (allegedly) 4 million year old footprints are virtually indistinguishable from modern human footprints. They are said to belong to the species Australopithecus afarensis except that the fossil specimen, Little Foot, shows A. afarensis had very chimp-like feet. Flowering plants are believed to have evolved only 380 million years ago but fossils of pollen spores has been found in Cambrian rocks dated at 1.7 billion years old. There are many more examples I could cite; Dawkins said just one would disprove evolution!

Creationists believe the order in the fossil record depicts better where the creatures lived rather than when they lived. In a universal flood, the bottom-dwelling sea creatures would be buried first, then swimming marine creatures, amphibians and reptiles further up, with mammals and birds at the top. That's roughly what we observe. “Out of place” fossils are only a problem for the evolutionary theory which claims the creatures were separated by eons rather than environments.