googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

Why is Evolution True?

I was perusing evolutionists' blogs looking for ideas that I could blog about when I came across a site called, “Why Evolution Is True.” It had a very interesting article about a pro-life situation in Ireland that virtually screamed to me to write about it and I intend to presently. For now, I was really looking for something more directly related to evolution. This particular blog had gobs of content, making several posts each day, but after looking at the first several dozen posts, I found very little that actually discussed evolution.

So what is on the site? For one thing, the blogs' authors seem to be obsessed with cats. That immediately caused me to be suspicious. I've noted before that I'm a dog-person. I wonder if there's ever been a study linking militant evolutionism and affection toward cats. It wouldn't surprise me. I'm kidding, of course. Well, sort of.

The other thing I noticed about the site is that it is rabidly hostile toward religion. Perhaps I shouldn't say I “noticed” it. It's really rather hard to miss. The site (I remind you again of its name, “Why Evolution Is True”) posts far more content attacking religion – particularly Christianity – than it does defending, or even discussing, evolution. Isn't that curious? Actually, it's not curious. It's symptomatic. Atheists necessarily must believe there was a natural origin for the universe. I sincerely believe that, in many cases, militant evolutionists hold to their beliefs so ardently not because the evidence is so persuasive but because they so loathe the idea of a Creator God.

I know that basing my opinion on a single website is anecdotal. However, this attitude certainly isn't unique to this one site. I've seen it more than a few times. Militant evolutionists who are atheists are seldom neutral toward religion; they hate it. I invite you to see the site for yourself. Read some of the headlines.  Take special note of the comments as well. You'll see that theophobia is not just seen in the blog's authors but in the visitors as well.

Why is evolution true? I guess it's because Christians are stupid. At least that's the impression I get from that site.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Glory to God in the Highest!

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ, the Lord, the new-born King.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

More Liberal Bigotry

Liberals are bigots. It's a symptom of their ideology - an inevitable consequence of their political agenda. Bigotry is as fundamental to liberalism as swimming is to fish. You cannot be a liberal without being a bigot. Liberals, for example, see every black face as a victim. They don't believe blacks are able to take care of themselves so they must be subsidized with tax payer dollars. Liberals stereotypically believe every black person is the same – they think the same, they struggle the same, and they are all equally victims of whites. Never mind Dr. King's dream that men should be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, if a black man wants a job, or to go to college, or to start a business, liberals automatically think he needs special consideration because he's black. The color of his skin is the first criterion liberals consider. It's called, “affirmative action.” To liberals, blacks are “disadvantaged” as though being black is like being handicapped.

Because they are bigots in their very core, liberals are blind to they own bigotry. It's kind of like that stinky person who can't smell his own body odor. If a conservative should disagree with a black person about anything, then liberals assume the conservative is only disagreeing with the person because he's black. They just can't understand the concept of judging a person (even a black person) by his actions or words. Likewise, if conservatives talk about “welfare reform,” liberals accuse them of racism because the liberals think most people on welfare are black. And heaven forbid if a black person dares to believe he's not a victim and works hard to improve himself because then that person is accused of trying to “act white” and labeled an “Uncle Tom.”

I moved to Kentucky in the summer of 1970, when I was only 4 years old. Even though I was a more than a decade removed from Segregation, I remember some of the racial tensions that still lingered in the South. Being white myself, I can't say I can entirely empathize with the struggles blacks faced in the 50's but I can at least say I'm sympathetic to it. I can imagine, at least a little, the smoldering defiance Rosa Parks must have felt when she refused to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back of the bus.

Certainly there was racism then. For the record, I'm against racism but I'm still for liberty. If a person wants to be racist, I think it's his right to be a racist. However, the real problem wasn't necessarily the racist attitudes that were prevalent at the time but rather it was the segregation laws that put teeth in racism. For example, it would be sad if a black man wouldn't marry a white woman for fear they might be shunned by a racist society. It's a far worse thing, though, to make laws against interracial marriage. It was the laws allowing segregation that truly made blacks the victims of racists.

Democrats back then were all for institutional racism. For example, it was Democrat governor, George Wallace, who stood blocking the steps to a segregated school in Alabama and said, segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” Since then, Democrats may have officially denounced segregation, but they are still not able to divorce themselves from the racism inherent in the liberal wing of the Democrat party.

So where am I going with all this? I mention this now because here in my own beloved state of Kentucky, liberal Democrats have abused the power of their office to impose their racism on another class of people – Bible believing Christians. Just recently, our Democrat Secretary of State, Bob Stewart, advised Ark Encounter, LLC, the group building the Noah's ark themed attraction in KY, that the state has changed its mind on the group's application for a tax incentive KY makes available to tourist attractions. The Ark Encounter will not be receiving the incentive after all.

When I first wrote about the Ark Encounter project 4 years ago, it had already been approved to receive a special tax incentive the state of KY makes available to lure tourist attractions here. It's not really a subsidy, per se. Instead, new tourist attractions can receive a partial rebate of the amount of sales tax they generate for the state. In other words, for every sales tax dollar the state receives from Ark Encounter visitors, they would give a few cents back to the park. So it doesn't cost the state any money – the state is making money from the park. What's more, it's only paying the incentive out of funds received by people visiting the park! No money is being taken from property taxes, income taxes, etc.

Some other attractions in KY that have received this same incentive are the Newport Aquarium and the Kentucky Speedway.

When the park originally applied for the incentive, it was clear this was a for-profit endeavor but was still overtly religious in nature. From the get go, folks like Barry Lynn objected to a religious organization receiving “tax payer funding” but the incentives were approved notwithstanding. With that approval in hand, the group raised the necessary funds, purchased the land, got the permits, and began building. Now, the state has changed its mind and told the group they will not receive the incentive after all. They claim to object on the grounds that AiG intends to use the park to proselytize (AiG has always been very clear about this) and that workers are required to sign a faith statement – which is a federal right for religious organizations. So the objections sound rather shallow since very little has changed about the park's stated goals since the state approved the original application.

I'm not sure how much the group relied on this incentive to make its decision on where to build but I know it was at least a factor. Its location is only a few miles away from OH and IN so the group had other options on where it could build and still be reasonably close to the Creation Museum. It's a rather dirty trick to lure the business in with the incentive and then take it away after it's too late to change its mind.

But besides that, what annoys me the most about all this is how the state is hurting Christians with its racist policies. We saw the same thing when the Boston Mayor wanted to ban Chick-fil-A because its president supported traditional marriage or the confiscatory fines levied against Hobby Lobby because they did not want to pay for employees' abortion inducing drug prescriptions. Time after time, the government treats religious people and businesses as second class citizens. Sec. Stewart said in his letter that the Ark Encounter, “will generate jobs and visitor spending that will be welcomed in the local economy.” I'm sure it will and he is happy to accept it; he just won't offer the same incentive KY has given to non-religious attractions. It's sort of like the bus driver who didn't mind receiving a fare from Rosa Parks but still didn't want her to sit in the white people's section.

If this were a black owned business, Democrats would be falling all over themselves to give away subsidies because they believe blacks can't run a business without help from white liberals. But this is a Christian owned business and they treat Christians differently. They can't see how refusing to give a religious business the same incentive available to anyone else is discrimination.

I'll say it again. Liberals are bigots.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Was Jesus Born in a Stable?

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
(Luke 2:6-7)

The Nativity is an icon that appears everywhere this time of year. I've written before about some of the misconceptions people hold about Christmas traditions and many involve our picture of the Nativity. The wise men (magi) were certainly not there the night Jesus was born, for example, yet they appear regularly in nativities.

Another possible misconception is over where Jesus was born. Luke tells us that Mary laid the baby, Jesus, in a “manger.” A manger is a trough used for feeding animals. In this case, it probably was filled with straw and so would have been adequate as a make-shift bed. It's because Jesus was laid in a manger that people imagine the Nativity as having been in a barn. The wording does indeed strongly suggest Jesus was born in a place where animals were being kept.

The Bible does attest to stables being used for horses but it's not likely that Jesus was born in a stable. Western style barns were not owned by poor, 1st century, Jewish families. I have read commentaries that suggest it was common for people to use caves to house animals. There is not a shortage of caves in that area of the world and archeology has shown us that they were exploited in many ways by the people of that time. It's not unreasonable to believe that Jesus could have been born in a cave being used to shelter animals.

I think the key to understanding this passage rests on the translation of the word, “inn.” I've talked before about the dangers of reverse etymology. When we hear a word, we tend to project our modern understanding of that word onto to the original meaning of the passage. In English, the word, “inn” makes us think of a hotel. Jesus wasn't turned away because all the “hotels” in Bethlehem were booked up.

The word translated as “inn” in the King James is the Greek word, κατάλυμα (kataluma, Strong's word 2646). It is the same word later used to describe the room where Jesus had the last supper with His disciples (translated as “guestchamber” in Luke 22:11 KJV or “guest room” NASB) and is often referred to as “the upper room” in most commentaries of the Last Supper.

First century, Jewish homes were built for function. They had a small courtyard in front, an open first floor, and a second story. During the day, animals were kept in the courtyard and the family lived on the first floor where they prepared meals and ate. At night, the animals were brought into the first floor and the family would sleep in the upper area.

Here, then, is my theory:

When Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem, it would be reasonable to assume they also had their families with them. This was a census, after all, and since Joseph and Mary were both of the lineage of David, then so too were their parents, brothers and sisters, their parents' siblings, their first cousins, etc. Once they arrived at Bethlehem, they likely would have stayed with any family they had there. Because the small home was packed with people, there was not enough room for all of them to sleep in the upper area. Some of them, including Mary and Joseph, had to sleep in the lower area where the animals usually stayed at night. The animals may have been brought in but, due to the circumstances, they could have been left in the courtyard. Note that Luke's account does not mention any animals being present – it only mentions the manger.

So Jesus could quite possibly have been born in a house. A simple home, certainly – not a palace or mansion – but a home nonetheless. When Jesus was delivered, Mary laid Him in a manger, an animal trough, in the part of the home where the animals were usually kept, because there was no room for them in the guest chamber.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Evolution: A Trivial Pursuit

In the first post I made about Bill Nye, I talked about his zealot-like mission to proselytize young people into evolutionism. In the next post, I discussed his fallacious claim that creationists can't be good scientists. A frequent visitor to my blog, Steven J, took issue with some examples and spent quite a bit of time trying to build the case that there is a “broad acceptance” of evolution within the scientific community. He later said, The broad shape of the tree of life is clear from fossils, comparative anatomy, and comparative genomics, even if the exact detail of the branchings is fuzzy in many cases.

It's the “fuzzy details” that was kind of my point in my second post. Of course there is a “broad acceptance” of evolution. Scientists will all swear that everything has evolved even though they are a little “fuzzy” about the details of how, where, and when. Please tell me how practical any theory is to science when many of the details are still “fuzzy.” Nye said, “There are just things about evolution that we should all be aware of, the way we’re aware of where electricity comes from.” Really, Nye? You want us to think we can understand evolution the way we understand electricity? “Science” isn't settled over how, where, and when things evolved. If we had that same lack of precision in how we understand electricity, we'd still be reading by candlelight.

But even if there were complete harmony among all scientists about every point in evolution, it has still not been demonstrated how that contributes to inventing life improving technologies. What would happen if everyone was in agreement about evolution, then suddenly a new fossil – like a rabbit found in the Cambrian – overturned it all? Would airplanes start falling from the sky? Would buildings collapse? Would bridges crumble? These are the kinds of things that could happen if we were dead wrong in a real science like physics. But what about evolution? What would happen if evolutionists were shown to be 100% wrong on some point in their theory. I'll tell you what would happen – a bunch of biologists would drop everything and start running around, redrawing their cherished, nested hierarchy. In the meantime, the rest of science might pause for a moment in healthy curiosity but then would resume its work improving people's lives. The average person wouldn't even notice. Evolution is just that unimportant.

If you ask me, I think it's a shame that we waste resources studying evolution. If I were a philanthropist who gave millions of dollars for research, I would demand the “scientist” provide me a detailed explanation of how his research would contribute to society. I don't want platitudes. I wouldn't accept a vague claim about how such and such a find would help us understand how marine animals transitioned to land. I want to know how that knowledge might improve our lives. What can we do with it? All of evolution research now just ends up in text books and published papers with no real application in science. It's more like trivial pursuit than research.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Some people think there are XXX IMAGES FOUND HERE!

I've mentioned before that I use stat counters to see how many people visit my blog, what posts they read, and how they found it. A couple of years ago, I was a little surprised to see that someone found my blog while searching for porn. The visitor had done a Google search on phrase “humiliation porn pictures” which turned up my post, “Photo Gaffe or Major Porn Humiliation?

I got a little chuckle and thought about how disappointed the visitor might have been when he realized he'd landed on a Christian blog. On the other hand, I also realized that these are people I want to have reading my blog. In half jest, I mused if I should start including choice key words in the titles of some of my posts with the hope it would turn up in more Google searches. I discussed this in a short post which I intentionally titled, “No XXX IMAGES found here!” Sure enough, over the next couple of weeks, I began receiving hits on that post from people searching for “XXX images.”

After a while, the traffic to that post died off and it was business as usual. All of a sudden, though, I've started having a lot of traffic to that post again. My stat counter shows again that it's from people searching the term “XXX images.” Last week, it was the second most read post on my blog.  
By the way, the most searched for term was on the origin of life which I intend to talk in an upcoming post.

I'm not sure what has happened to cause traffic to that post to spike. I do know that Google tends to rank sites found in a search by their relevance and popularity. This means that each time someone clicks on my blog while looking for “XXX images”, the more likely it is to be ranked higher in the next search. You will notice that I've also included the term “XXX images” in the title of this post. I've also used the term “XXX images” several times in this text which makes this post seem even more relevant in a search for “XXX images.” For the next few weeks at least, my blog should see even more visitors looking for “XXX images” than did visit the last couple of weeks.

Getting people to visit my blog hasn't been a real problem. There are typically between 3,500 – 5,000 page views here each month. I just wish I could figure out a way to get these new visitors to stay a while.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Fear Tactics

In my last post, I cited Bill Nye who said,

[T]here are more people in the world — another billion people all trying to use the world’s resources. And the threat and consequences of climate change are more serious than ever, so we need as many people engaged in how we’re going to deal with that as possible. And we have an increasingly technologically sophisticated society. We are able to feed these 7.2 billion people because of our extraordinary agricultural technology. If we have a society that’s increasingly dependent on these technologies, with a smaller and smaller fraction of that society who actually understands how any of it works, that is a formula for disaster.... My biggest concern about creationist kids is that they’re compelled to suppress their common sense, to suppress their critical thinking skills at a time in human history when we need them more than ever.... There are just things about evolution that we should all be aware of, the way we’re aware of where electricity comes from, or that you have cells with mitochondria.

Nye certainly paints a bleak picture. We live a world, supposedly becoming over crowded, where billions of people have to compete for limited resources. We need new technologies. We need alternative sources of fuel – cleaner burning fuel. We need new medicines. We need science! But if kids are being taught creation, they won't be able to contribute anything to science. We're loosing our best resource – the potential of the next generation – at a time “when we need them more than ever!”


First, let me point something out. There is a logically fallacious argument known as an appeal to consequences (argumentum ad consequentiam) which basically argues that a hypothesis is either true or false based on whether the premise leads to a desirable or undesirable consequence. Even if Nye were entirely accurate in his assessment, it doesn't make evolution true or creation false.

But regardless of that, implicit in Nye's comments is the idea that one cannot understand science unless he believes evolution. His concern, as stated overtly here, is that kids who believe creation, will not be able to contribute to any advances in technology or help solve any of the world's problems. It's a flawed premise which likely stems from his seeming inability to distinguish between the terms “evolution” and “science.” I know he's a somewhat intelligent person so he must be intentionally conflating the terms.

As I said in my last post, there is no relationship between a belief in evolution and the ability to engage in science. Nye's point is entirely non sequitor. I asked before for a single example of any life improving technology made in last 20 years whose invention hinged upon a belief in evolution. I don't care – make it any example from any time for the last century. I will say again, I don't think such a thing exists. However, even if someone should surprise me with an example, I won't be phased. Think about all the other incredible new inventions we've seen in just the last few decades: computers, phones, satellites, etc. Even if some small token of technology was inspired by evolution, it is dwarfed by all the other advances that we have made which have nothing to do with it.

To this point, one visitor to my blog said,

I think [Nye's] point is not so much "you can't believe the Earth is only 6000 years old and design perfectly good aircraft engines or solar panels." Rather, his point is that if you reject evidence,... you can dismiss any scientific conclusion you find objectionable.

Curiously absent from this response is an example like I had asked for. Instead, it's merely more of the same appeal to consequence. In this case, it's a slippery slope argument that since a creationist rejects “evidence” (I assume he means “rejects the evidence for evolution”), he's prone to arbitrarily reject any evidence so ultimately wouldn't make a good scientist. Besides mere bald assertions, I'd like to see any scientific study or survey that suggests people who believe creation understand science any less than the average evolutionist? Again, I don't believe such a thing exists. Most scientific disciplines were founded not only by Christians but by creationists. Their beliefs did not hinder their scientific inquiry in any way.

Let me make one final point. There is virtually nothing within the theory of evolution that is agreed on by all evolutionists. Not every biologist, for example, believes dinosaurs evolved into birds. Some believe in gradual evolution like Darwin described; others believe in long periods of stasis interrupted by rapid bursts of evolution. Most evolutionary scientists believe life began in the sea then evolved onto land but a few believe the opposite occurred. There is constant reassignment of where certain animals belong on the tree of life. Sometimes, scientists are “certain” about when some particular species lived only to find fossils dated much older than they originally believed. The entire theory of evolution is plastic and is reshaped every day as new discoveries overturn previously held notions. In other words, you can be wrong about

how something evolved or
where something evolved or
when something evolved

but in order to be a “real” scientist, you still must believe that it evolved.

Nye said we need to understand evolution just like we need to understand electricity! What a joke. At best, evolution would only be ancillary to science but I don't think it's even that. Let me be clear – molecules-to-man evolution isn't even real. How then could it be fundamental to science? To suggest that accepting creation threatens progress is a cheap scare tactic.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Evolution: A Religion of Death

In the months after his debate with Ken Ham, Bill Nye wrote and has now published a new book, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation. A few weeks back, the NY Times Interviewed Nye about his book. You can read the entire interview here, but I found a few of his quotes especially interesting.

In one question, the NY Times asked, You say in the book that your concern is not so much for the deniers of evolution as it is for their children. Do you think the science stakes are higher now than when you started “Bill Nye, The Science Guy” show in 1993? Note the use of the words, “deniers of evolution.” The question is about the effect on children who are taught creation. Here is Nye's response:

Yes, because there are more people in the world — another billion people all trying to use the world’s resources. And the threat and consequences of climate change are more serious than ever, so we need as many people engaged in how we’re going to deal with that as possible. And we have an increasingly technologically sophisticated society. We are able to feed these 7.2 billion people because of our extraordinary agricultural technology. If we have a society that’s increasingly dependent on these technologies, with a smaller and smaller fraction of that society who actually understands how any of it works, that is a formula for disaster. So, I’m just trying to change the world here.

It's the same old stuff, I see. Nye conflates science and evolution by suggesting you deny evolution, then you deny all of science. You can see here that he's talking about things like technology, feeding the world's population, and combating global warming yet how critical is a belief in evolution to any of them? Exactly how does a belief in evolution, for example, help design a smart car? Or build clean burning coal plants? Nye's point is entirely non sequitor. A person's belief on origins has virtually no effect on his ability to be a scientist. I challenge Nye or any other evolutionist to produce an example of any life improving technology in the last 20 years whose invention hinged upon a belief in evolution. I don't believe such a thing exists.

To say that a belief in creation denies “science” and dumbs down society in general are tired criticisms of creation. I was more interested in the rest of the interview where Nye reveals his true agenda. When the NY Times asked, do you imagine a child in a creationist-friendly household managing to get his hands on the book and stealing away with it? Nye answered:

A man can dream! It would be great if the book is that influential. My biggest concern about creationist kids is that they’re compelled to suppress their common sense, to suppress their critical thinking skills at a time in human history when we need them more than ever. By the time you’re 18, you’ve made up your mind. It’s going to be really hard for you, as they say in the Mormon tradition, to “lose your testimony.” But if you’re 7 or 8, we got a shot.

It's because of attitudes like this that many Christians see evolutionism as a religion. Nye dreams of reaching kids early so that he has the best shot of rescuing them from “creationist-friendly households.” He doesn't just want every child to understand science in general and evolution in particular; he wants a belief in evolution to replace the religious teachings of the children's parents. He proselytizes like a zealot. Evolution is his dogma and creation is heresy.

Do you think I'm exaggerating? Read on!...

NY TIMES: It’s funny to talk about the idea of conversion, given the subject of the book. Is that something you’re after?

NYE: Well, that would be the best case. But the other thing, for the book, is that there are fundamentals of evolution.... There are just things about evolution that we should all be aware of, the way we’re aware of where electricity comes from, or that you have cells with mitochondria. I’ve just met a lot of people who have very little training in evolution.

Did I lie? Nye admits it; his goal is to “convert” kids. But read that section again carefully. Nye's “best case” scenario is conversion but “the other” goal of the book is to teach people about evolution. He speaks as though a belief in evolution is the priority – understanding can come later!

What alarms me the most about Nye's entire interview is the last few questions.  At one point, Nye said:

I think the fear of death figures prominently in creationist thought. That the promise of eternal life is reassuring to people who are deeply troubled by the troubling fact that we’re all going to die. And it bugs me, too. But I press forward rather than running in circles screaming.

So, tell me, what exactly “bugs” Mr. Nye about the promise of eternal life? Is it that he believes such a thing isn't real? Since when does “science” have an opinion on the matter? If his primary goal were to simply teach kids about science, then why concern himself at all with beliefs in the afterlife? It's that religious nature of evolution shining through again. 

In spite of his reputation as a scientist, Mr. Nye has no authority to speak on what happens after death. To the contrary, I will trust the words of the One who died and rose again. It seems obvious whose opinion is more credible.

It's no secret that Nye is an atheist and does not believe there is a life after death. You can see he has no problem at all with mixing his religion with his science. Evolutionism is the true psuedo-science. Consider this final exchange:

NY Times: And ultimately, death is a part of evolution.

NYE: It’s the key. The key is that you can pass on improvements by having kids. And there aren’t enough resources for any population to go completely unchecked, whether the population is humans or crickets. There isn’t enough for everybody, so you compete. And this is one of Darwin’s enormous insights.

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” (John 11:25). According to Nye, death is “the key” of evolution. He cites the high priest of evolution, Charles Darwin, and describes this doctrine of death as an “enormous insight.” Rather than trusting in the One who promises eternal life, Nye would rather we be philosophical about death. We might fear it individually, but it keeps populations in check. It drives organisms to improve. In the bigger picture, death is good!

I see Nye as only a little bit removed from a witch doctor. He mixes a little bit of science with a lot of religious beliefs. He is a faithful apostle spreading a terrible gospel. Evolution is the religion of death.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Radiometric Dating: Epic Failure

Mt. St. Helen's erupted in 1980. As far as volcanoes go, it was a rather tame eruption but it was one of the larger ones to happen in this generation. Because of its size and occurrence in our lifetimes, it's been the subject of much scientific inquiry. Dr. Steven Austin, a creationist and PhD geologist, collected rock samples formed in the eruption and had them tested using the potassium/argon dating method. The results on different samples gave ages between .35 (+/- .05) and 2.8 (+/- .6) million years. The known age of the rocks was 10 years old.

The fact that accepted, “scientific” dating methods failed to assign the correct age to the rocks should cast doubt on the ages assigned to rocks of unknown age. However, evolutionists cried foul. Mark Isaak, on the website, Talk Origins, said:

Briefly, Steve Austin collected a sample from the Mount St. Helens lava dome, known to be ten years old then, and sent it to a geochronology lab which tells people very clearly that the methods they use cannot give accurate dates on samples expected to be less than two million years old. In other words, Austin deliberately arranged for the dating to be invalid and then pretended it was someone else's fault.

I thought Mr. Isaak's response was a little vague. He did not spell out exactly why the lab cannot give accurate dates on recent examples. He did provide a link to a site that explained young samples should not have enough 40Ar present to be detected. The fact of the matter was, though, that Austin's samples did have detectable amounts of argon and thus yielded ages much older than the actual ages of the samples. I wrote to TO and expressed my disagreement. Here's a quote from my letter:

Mark Isaak's response to Harold in September's feedback was grossly misleading. Mr. Isaak stated that evolutionists' dating methods "cannot give accurate dates on samples expected to be less than two million years old." He does not explain that the reason is that there SHOULD NOT BE enough of the daughter element present to be detected. In the link provided in the response, Dr. Henke states, "A few thousand years are not enough time for 40Ar to accumulate in a sample at high enough concentrations to be detected and quantified. Furthermore, many geochronology laboratories do not have the expensive state-of-the-art equipment to accurately measure argon in samples that are only a few million years old." This is a real problem for evolutionists. 1) If a rock of unknown date tests to be 3 million years old, how can we be sure it's not only 50,000 years old? By your own admission, accurate dates cannot be given for samples under 2 million years old. 2) If the world truly was created only 6,000 years ago, you must acknowledge your dating methods would be WORTHLESS in trying to establish that.

In reply, Chris Stassen of TO quickly moved the goal post, saying, “'Not able to give accurate dates' generally means that the range of uncertainty swamps the measured age. It does not mean that any arbitrarily old age will result. For example, an age of 0.5 ± 1 million years is not considered either accurate or terribly useful, even though it is correct. I was tempted to point out that the range of uncertainty swamping the measured age didn't happen in the case in question but I let it go.

My exchange with Talk Origins happened in October, 2006. So why am I bringing this all up now? I guess there are a couple of reasons. First, it's still relevant to the debate because secular scientists still resort to these same arguments whenever their tests fail to accurately date rocks of known ages. But more than that, I recently came across a funny video that uses a perfect analogy to drive home these very points.

Ian Juby hosts a periodic show on YouTube called, “Genesis Week.” His humor is a little campy but, overall, I find his videos interesting. The full video (self titled, Rant #100), can be viewed here but I've edited it down to the relevant section below.

Isn't that a hoot? He echos the very points I've made before but his glass of water analogy really nails it. Secular dating methods don't give “no date” for rocks of known origin – they give erroneous dates which are much older than the actual date. How then can we have any confidence in the dates assigned to rocks of unknown age?

There are at least a dozen assumptions that must be made when radiometric dating is being used to determine a rock's age – none of which are testable. One assumption, for example, is that none of the daughter element is present in the sample at its origin (or at least that the exact parent/daughter ratio can be known). In science, nothing is really ever proven “true” but some things can be proven false. I believe this particular assumption has been proven false. What then of the other assumptions? Why should I believe any are valid?

The fact of the matter is that I don't. I don't see why any reasonable person would. But then again, we are talking about evolutionists.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Some Comments on the Creation Week: Conclusion

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.
(Gen 2:1-4)

The six days of creation having been accomplished, God ends His creation with a Sabbath. Of course, God wasn't “tired” and in need of rest. Instead, He “rested” in the sense that He ceased His labor. We might compare it to a “rest” in a piece of music where the music pauses deliberately and not because the performer is tired.

While the 7th day is marked by no work, there is still a lot we can glean from this passage. As I've done in previous posts, I'm going to break this passage down verse by verse.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

The clause, “and all the host of them,” is significant. Everything that exists in heaven and earth was created in the six preceding days. The “host” - meaning the stars, the sun, the earth, the seas, the plants, the animals, man, and every other created thing – came to be in the span of those six ordinary days. There is no room for millions or billions of years.

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made;

This verse says God ended His work. This wasn't just a pause (as in my musical analogy); God “ended” His work. The universe He intended to create had been accomplished and God is no longer creating. This conforms nicely with the 1st Law of Thermodynamics that roughly says no new matter/energy is being created. It's a sort of prediction being made by the Bible. God created natural processes and the universe continues largely under their divinely appointed rules. Of course, Jesus performed creative acts, such as the multiplication of the loaves and fish or the turning of water to wine. It is precisely because we know new things don't naturally appear that we can be certain these acts were supernatural.

Conversely, the fact that God ended His work contradicts the theory of Theistic Evolution. According to TE, God continuously created from the moment of the Big Bang to the creation of man billions of years later. According to evolutionists, stars are still being created (even though we've never seen it happen) and they say animals continue to evolve (evolution by definition) so God's creative work has never really ceased.

and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

God could have created the universe in as short or as long a period of time that He wanted. He could have created it instantly. He could have created it over the course of billions of years. It's not a question of what He could have done but rather what He has done. He deliberately chose seven days.

Perhaps one reason He chose the seven day week was to set a precedence for us to follow. In Exodus 20:8-11, we read the following:

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

God has purposefully established our seven day week to mirror the seven day creation week. This would make sense only if these were seven, ordinary days. The passage is unambiguous. Everything in heaven and earth was created in only six days and the LORD rested on the seventh. Again, there is no room for millions or billions of years.

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.

Before I conclude, let me highlight an amusing aside. Note the use of the word “day” in this passage: “in the day that he LORD God made the earth and the heavens.” In this context, the word covers the entire week of creation and not just a 24 hour period. Theistic evolutionists often argue that since “day” has several meanings, it could mean millions or billions of years in Genesis 1. We see here an example of such a use where the word day clearly means more than 24 hours. However, young-earth creationists never argue that “day” can only mean 24 hours. Instead, we interpret the Bible according to a plain reading of the text. The context here clearly shows the meaning of the word. In Genesis 1, it clearly means a single evening and morning (i.e. – a single rotation of the earth). I've wondered before why it is that seemingly bright people can understand the meaning of the word “day” every other time it is used in the Bible except for Genesis? //RKBentley scratches his head//

Moving on....

The narrative of the creation ends with the labeling, “these are the generations of the heaven and earth.” The inclusion of the title at the end of the chronology rather than the beginning like we might expect had stymied scholars for centuries. The “book of the generations of Adam,” for example, which details Adam's creation, the Fall, the Curse, the murder of Abel, and the birth of Seth, begins in Genesis 2:5 and ends in Genesis 5:2. Perhaps this is what led to the confusion that Genesis 2 was a second creation account; that is, people believed it was introducing a chronology rather than concluding one.

So there they are. The generations of the heavens and earth as clearly told to us in Genesis 1. Time, space, matter, sea, air, land, plants, animals, and man – all created in six ordinary days with God resting on the seventh. One week. No mystery. No ambiguity. And no billions of years.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Some Comments on the Creation Week: Day 6b - The Creation of Man

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
(Gen 1:26-31)

Day 6 of creation climaxed with the creation of man. Genesis 1 gives us an overview of the creation of Adam but Genesis 2 gives additional details. In this post I will be referring to both chapters. I already know this is going to be a long post so I apologize in advance.

Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

The use of plural pronouns in this verse has been the point of much debate. Some have proposed this is an example of the plural of majesty. Per Wiki, some monarchs believed their authority was divinely given so “us” meant “God and I.” In another sense, the plural could be a monarch speaking with the voice of his subjects such as when Queen Victoria famously said, “We are not amused.” But neither would apply here.

Certainly God was not consulting with the animals so they would not be included in the “us.” The Bible never says exactly when the angels were created but we might assume it was during the creation week. In that case, “us” might include the angels.

Of course, given what we know from the rest of Scripture, the “us” very likely means the three Persons of the Trinity. The angels had no part in the creation but we know that John 1 acknowledges Jesus as the Creator. So God's conversation here may be the Father in dialogue with the Son and the Spirit.

It's interesting to note the change in the pace of the action. In every other instance, God spoke and the created thing appeared. In this case, God pauses and deliberates before He acts.

Genesis 1:27-28, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

There are a couple of significant points we can discern from this passage. First, we are different than the animals in that we alone are created in the image of God. One of the first tasks given to Adam at his creation was to name the animals of the garden. Among those beasts, Adam would find none like him. When God created Eve, Adam saw immediately that she was like him and remarked, “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23). According to evolution, we are simply another evolved animal – one possessing higher intelligence. The Bible tells us that we aren't animals.

The second point we can see is that God created the earth to be of service to us. The plants were meant to be our food and we had dominion over every living thing in the sea, in the air, and on the earth. We should be good stewards of what has given us but the biblical description of the relationship between us and nature seems in stark contrast to the attitudes of radical environmentalists. They would have us believe there is something noble in unspoiled nature and it's our duty to serve the earth.

GENESIS CHAPTER 2 – A Second Creation Account?

Many critics have argued that Genesis 1 and 2 have contradictory creation accounts. I'm surprised this criticism has endured because even a cursory reading seems to dispel that notion. I suspect it has been successful through the use of quote mining where a critic will compare select verses from chapters 1 and 2 and the reader never bothers to read the context.

The chronology of the seven days of the creation week ends at Genesis 2:4. Beginning in verse 5 through the rest of chapter 2, the Bible expounds on the creation of Adam on day 6. Roughly, the events are as follows:
  1. God creates Adam from the dust of the earth (v. 7)
  2. God creates the Garden of Eden, which includes the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (v. 8-9)
  3. God puts Adam in the Garden (v. 8, 15)
  4. God creates animals in the Garden and brings them to Adam to be named (v. 19-20)
  5. God creates Eve (v. 22)
Since chapter 2 has some animals created after Adam while chapter 1 has animals created before Adam, critics tout this as a contradiction between the accounts. We can see in the text, though, that the animals created in v. 19 are not the same animals that were created on previous days.

Still another criticism of the creation account is the straw claim that Adam had to name all the animals in the world. Since there are millions of species, naming them all would take more than a single day. However, a clear reading of the text shows that the task was limited only to cattle, birds, and “the beasts of the field.”

Genesis 1:31, And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

At the end of the 6th day, God surveyed His entire creation. At the end of each creative act before now, God proclaimed the thing He had created as good. Now, He says everything He had made was very good. It was a world without sin. It was a world without death. The perfect creation He intended before time began had now been accomplished... in six days!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Some Comments on the Creation Week: Day 6a

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
(Gen 1:24-25)

Day 6 is divided into two events: the creation of terrestrial animals and the creation of man. In this post, I will deal with the creation of terrestrial animals and will discuss the creation of man in my next post.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

The first clause, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind,” seems broad enough to include all types of land animals. The next passage, though, roughly divides terrestrial animals into three groups: cattle, creeping things, and beasts of the earth. This may not be meant as an exhaustive list of the types of animals but it seems sufficiently broad enough to include most types of animals.

Cattle: most scholars agree that “cattle” is a term meant to include all domesticated animals. This may mean that God created certain animals with the expressed purpose of them being of service to man or simply it is simply a description of those animals which are easily domesticated. In other passages, cattle are sometimes referred to as “beasts of the field.”

We know with certainty that all living creatures were initially herbivorous (Genesis 1:29-30) so we did not need these animals to be food. However, I'm not sure if the ban on eating meat would have forbade things like drinking milk so maybe we could have still milked cows. Had man not fallen, we could have become farmers so perhaps the ox might be used to help us plow. We also might have begun building things so we could have used animals to carry heavy loads or maybe carry us (as in horses). Of course, we also keep animals for companionship.

The initial, temperate environment of the earth and the lack of things like thorns meant there was no need for clothing. Neither would we have eaten animals so many of the reasons we now have for domesticating animals would not have been necessary then – no need for wool, eggs, leather, hunting, etc. Perhaps God, in His omniscience and foreknowledge of the Fall, created these animals knowing we will someday need them.

Beasts of the earth: This is nearly unanimously understood to be wild animals. However, this begs the question: if pre-Fall animals were neither predators nor prey, then what substantial difference could there have been between “domestic” and “wild” animals?

I'm a dog lover, personally, because dogs are loyal companions with an uncanny ability to respond to non-verbal cues from their masters. Dogs seem able to understand what we're thinking or how we feel. Cats are only barely domesticated. My daughter seems to think she has trained her cat to sit but I know the cat thinks it has trained my daughter to feed it just by sitting down. We may keep small cats as pets but they still scratch and bite us. We don't keep large cats because they are dangerous and could kill us. I say all that just to say that Adam could have kept a large dog as a pet but he could also have kept a large cat. There would have been no difference between a wild or domestic cat.

The Bible says that after the Flood, God put an instinctive fear of man into the beasts of the earth (Genesis 9:2). This could be a reference to only those specific “wild” animals on the Ark who had become accustomed to Noah during their year-long sequestering together. Or it could mean that even after the Fall, animals still had a natural trust of man which God intended to end after the Flood. Therefore, the designation of “wild” did not begin until after the Fall and eventually became fully realized after the Flood. The initial distinction between wild and domestic in Genesis is a prophetic description of their post-Fall condition.

Creeping things: Stong's Exhaustive Concordance (word # 7431 remes) defines this as “a reptile or any other rapidly moving animal -- that creepeth, creeping (moving) thing.” A characteristic of reptiles is their sprawling gate which distinguishes them from mammals and dinosaurs whose gate is erect. “Creeping” seems an especially accurate description of reptiles.

Other disagree. Some have suggested “cattle” and “beasts” are both references to only larger animals while creeping things include smaller animals like rodents. People in this camp would include larger reptiles with “beasts of the earth” while maintaining that smaller reptiles like snakes and lizards would be included in “creeping things.” Still others argue that all reptiles are “beasts of the earth” while “creeping things” means insects and other, small invertebrates.

The strict classification of creatures is interesting in a scholarly way but is not of critical importance to understanding salvation. One important note is that verse 30 identifies beasts of the earth, fowls (winged creatures), and creeping things as “having life.” These creatures (whatever they may include) were created with nephesh life. There was neither hunter nor hunted prior to the Fall since all living creatures ate plants. Death came only after Adam's sin.

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind:

As was the case with plants, marine animals, and flying creatures, God created the terrestrial animals in groups of “kinds.” The beasts had kinds, the cattle had kinds, and the creeping things had kinds. This contradicts evolutionary theory which holds that all quadruped-animals are descended from a single, common ancestor.

and God saw that it was good.

Finally, we see that creation of the terrestrial animals, like every other creature, was good. It was not the end product of millions of years of death, struggle, and survival of the fittest that brought marine animals onto shore and gave them legs.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Some Comments on the Creation Week: Day Five

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
(Gen 1:20-23)

The creation of marine life and flying creatures occurred on Day 5. The verses are self explanatory for the most part but there are a few points I want to address.

First, I find it interesting that the order of creation of living things precisely matches the order of creation of the inanimate things. God first created water, the the sky, and finally the land. He then populates these realms with marine life, flying creatures, then terrestrial animals (on Day 6). I don't want to suggest there's anything especially significant about this order but the fact that He created life in the same order He created the primitive elements suggests it was not merely coincidence.

Another thing about the order is that the revealed order of created animals differs from secular theories. Evolutionists, for example, believe dinosaurs evolved into birds. Here, we see that birds appeared before dinosaurs. Evolutionists also believe that life began in the sea and evolved onto land. However, Genesis tells us that terrestrial plants were created before marine animals. Marine mammals would be included in the creation event of Day so we also see that marine mammals were created before terrestrial dinosaurs. So the creation account in Genesis and the order of creation according to evolution differ on several points.

An important concept is also introduced on this day. We know that God has already created plants. However, in verse 20 we read, And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life. We see similar wording on in Genesis 2:7 when God creates man, And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. So Day 5 also marks the creation of the first “living” things.”

It's actually somewhat difficult to define exactly what makes something alive but most definitions include having metabolic function. According to modern biology, plants are living. However, the Bible does not recognize things like plants as living in the same sense as an animal or person lives. God intended plants to be food for man and the animals. Yet the Bible also says there was no death before sin so the plants eaten did not “die” in the Biblical sense.

Living animals are described with the Hebrew word nepheshנֶפֶש. Wikipedia actually has a reasonably accurate (not entirely accurate) article talking about the biblical concept of nephesh life. Certainly the Bible draws a clear line between plant and animal life. However, it's somewhat more difficult to classify other types of life. The Wiki article seems to suggest that fish and reptiles don't possess nephesh life but they seem to ignore the very passages they cite. Fish would be included among the marine animals created on Day 5. Many scholars believe that the “creeping things” created on Day 6 means reptiles – which are noted for having a sprawling gate. So the Bible seems to include both of these groups among living creatures.

Does the Bible regard insects as being alive? What about microbes? When we consider the role of things like bacteria in the decomposition of plants or the digestion of food, it's likely that things like bacteria, viruses, etc, are not alive in the biblical sense. Some people neither include insects with animal life since the Bible does not include them anywhere in the description of living animals on days 5 or 6.

In our modern world, I don't see a strong need to be able to rigidly draw a line between the living and non-living. Death has reigned since the Fall (Romans 5:17) and now every living creature will die. What is important to understand is that death is not the tool God used to create everything (as is suggested by theistic evolution). Also, we should understand that God will restore His creation to what it was before the Curse (Revelation 21:3-4), thus there will someday no longer be death.

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind:

Moving on now, we see again that God created “kinds” of creatures. The use of the word “abundantly” suggests that not only were there many “kinds” but also a large population of each kind. God likely didn't create only two (male/female) of the “dolphin-kind,” for example. Having a large, untainted gene pool of each kind guarantees the potential for lots of diversity among its descendants. Of course, during the Flood, each kind suffered a sort of bottle-neck so the variety we see among kinds today is likely dwarfed by the variety possible at the creation.

It should be noted that marine life would include the different classes – reptiles, fish, and mammals. The same is true of winged animals. Besides birds, winged creatures would include mammals (bats) and reptiles (pterosaurs). Again, we see the order of the appearance of these creatures differs between creation and evolutionary theories.

and God saw that it was good.

As God created these kinds of swimming and flying creatures it was “good” each step of the way. The chronic use of this phrase seems to reduce the idea of theistic evolution to absurdity. According to TE, there were millions of years of death and struggle and death and struggle of creatures evolving until man finally appeared. Such a theory contradicts the clear words of the Bible that the creation was “good” every step of the way.

And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

Finally, we see the familiar phrase “evening and morning.” All of the sea creatures and all of the flying creatures were created in a the span of a single, ordinary day. An evening and morning can only mean a single rotation of the earth – not the millions or billions of years theorized by evolutionists.