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Archive for the ‘Creation Articles’ Category

   A worldview must be able to withstand the rigors of reality. It must match up with truth. If there is no absolute truth, then there is no basis for purpose, moral code, love, or rational thought.

         I believe literally what the Bible says about our origin- created in six literal days approximately 6000 years ago, as separate and fully formed kinds of plants, animals, and humans. This view, which simply takes God at His word, leaves no room for evolution between kinds of organisms, so called macro-evolution. How should a Bible believing individual respond to the claims of evolution? Does evidence overturn the plain reading of Scripture?

         In an online video, “The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection and Adaptation”, the presenters describe what they believe to be an airtight example of modern evolution: “Thanks to Nachman [the researcher],” says the narrator, “Science has an example of evolution clear in every detail.” Michael Nachman has studied pocket mice on the lava beds of Southeast New Mexico. Based on his population field studies and laboratory DNA studies, Nachman believes that a combination of mutation and natural selection has resulted in the pocket mouse being “evolved to be dark like the rock.” He says, “When a black mouse appears in a white population of mice, that is usually going to be due to a new mutation, and those are random and rare events.” He concludes that studies of the mice at other lavabeds show that “the genetic changes that made the mice black were different in each case. What’s amazing to me is how similar the black mice are…completely different genes. The narrator concludes, “The rock pocket mice show us that evolution can and does repeat itself and why evolutionary change is never ending.”

         But not so fast! First of all, before and after this event they are still pocket mice. Secondly, Nachman assumes that the genes for black fur arose by random mutation. But as Carl Wieland points out in an article about the peppered moths of England:

“Actually, even as it stands, the textbook story demonstrates nothing more than gene frequencies shifting back and forth, by natural selection, within one created kind. It offers nothing which, even given millions of years, could add the sort of complex design information needed for ameba-to-man evolution. Even L. Harrison Matthews, a biologist so distinguished he was asked to write the foreword for the 1971 edition of Darwin’s Origin of Species, said therein that the peppered moth example showed natural selection, but not ‘evolution in action.’”

         Thirdly, a very simplistic understanding of genetics results in only one possible conclusion for how multiple gene variations result in black fur. Given the relatively recent understanding of epigenetics, the better explanation lies in shifts within the expression of genes already resident within the mice. As Marc Ambler says about a different mice study,

“Scientists conducting experiments on agouti mice found that by manipulating nutrition they could switch off a certain gene. When the gene is active (‘on’) the mice are normally obese and a yellowish colour; by switching the gene off the mice are of a normal, slim appearance, and brown. By feeding a combination of nutrients including vitamin B12 to the mother before mating, the gene was able to be turned off in the babies.”

         Bible believer, do not give in to the wiles of evolutionary thought. We know God from His Word and our personal experience of His saving grace, and science supports rather than contradicts that knowledge. Only conclusions based on a naturalist worldview that excludes the need or possibility of God deny His plain communication about who He is and how He created all that we see. Those of you holding to a naturalist view, I challenge you to consider the possibility that God is real and evidence of nature rightly understood points toward Him.

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Having taught for 25 years, I have indeed seen many changes in public school. Some represent major cultural shifts while others reflect minor cycles of fad and fashion. One very curious change I have witnessed is a loss of faith in Science. Students used to almost universally confess that science and technology would eventually solve all of man’s problems. Disease will be defeated, genetic difficulties overcome, hunger eradicated, environmental problems will be historical artifacts of developing technologies, mysteries solved, a perpetual motion machine created that would solve all energy problemss, the galaxy traversed. Older minds may have written this off as so much blissful, youthful optimism and ignorance. Instead, I think that it was a product of a worldview that viewed science as the source and conduit of all truth. There were, of course, the rare skeptic that did not trust science or its message.

I see the opposite trend to be generally true today. It is the rare student that has an unflinching faith in Science, or anything for that matter, other than himself. Science and Technology have not solved all of our problems. Epidemics continue, hunger persists, climate change threatens, nuclear proliferation has rebooted, natural disasters terrorize, and people still don’t get along with each other. Unfulfilled expectations and personal discontent are on the rise. Science and technology are frequently viewed as the cause of environmental problems and stressed out living styles.

There could well be many sociological, cultural, and economic reasons for this shift, but I think that in a narrower sense of views about science as a human endeavor, both the blind faith in science and the skepticism of its merits arise from a basic misunderstanding of what the limits of science are. Science is neither the source and conduit of all truth nor the cause of the world’s most pressing problems. Science is a tool. As such it has limits. When I use my large ratchet as a hammer, I damage the tool and very poorly drive the pin I am trying to remove. In a similar way Science used in the wrong way brings harm to its prestige and to the understanding and application it is meant to drive. Science has at least 4 related limits.

Science may only be applied to things which are observable. This observation includes our 5 senses and any other remote sensing we may devise: camera, thermometer, radiation detector, ultrasound, etc. If only time, space, material, and energy exist as many insist, then this observability is not a limit. There is, however, evidence of more than the physical world (the source of beauty, information, purpose, emotions and will) and observability does not automatically exclude the spiritual realm. Scientists use inference (drawing conclusions) as a powerful tool, but it must be based on observation (quantitative data or measurement enable the observation to be unambiguous).

Science is also limited by the requirement of being testable. Scientists test hypotheses with controlled experiments to acquire a deeper understanding of the physical world. There are things that an experiment cannot test which nonetheless exist and effect our lives.

Scientific experiments must be repeatable. Other scientists must be able to use clearly set forth procedures and obtain the same results. If the results are different, some variable has not been controlled for or the experimenters were not careful enough in their observations. Therefore, scientists ask for procedures, data, and analyses from colleagues in order to determine if the conclusions are valid. The best way to do this is to repeat the experiment.

Finally, conclusions resulting from observations must be falsifiable. This does not mean that all evidence or conclusions will be falsified, but rather there must be the possibility of demonstrating that a conclusion is wrong. The essential function of Science is not to reveal truth but to eliminate falsehood. Based upon observation alone, one may never know for sure if something is true. But the ability to falsify wrong ideas narrows down what science accepts as true sufficiently to act upon it. This does not mean that there is no truth. It means that science does not have the ability to state truth in any absolute way. That must be done from other pursuits.

Many ideas are parading around, claiming to be scientific theories when they do not rise to the level of even a hypothesis, let alone a well substantiated hypothesis, that is, a theory. As an example, consider the issue of origins. How did we get here and how did it all begin? Can anyone who is living or has lived observe the beginning of the world? Since they cannot, can they possibly do an experiment on beginning a world? Is that experiment repeatable? If no experiment or observation by scientists may be done directly on the beginning of the world, then it is not a falsifiable idea. Therefore, though evidence may be given from subsequent events as to which version of origins is most likely, presuppositions are inevitably required in any discussion of origins. Another name for presuppositions, those assumptions made in order to begin a discussion or make inquiry, is beliefs. Any discussion of origins by definition is based on a worldview or belief system. It may be labeled religion or science, it does not matter, but it is essentially based on belief.

What this means for any discussion of origins is matching present evidence to the best presuppositional explanation. Does your belief about origins fit the evidence?

What this means about faith in or loss of faith in Science is a need to reconsider its value. Science is a valuable tool wielded by mechanics of varying training and skill, operating from differing worldviews. Retain a healthy skepticism that desires to understand what has been discovered and understood. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathe water. That is, don’t throw out the valuable tool of Science or the useful evidence it provides when you have to wade through false claims, poorly substantiated ‘theories’, intentionally falsified conclusions, or presuppositions that don’t match up with what you know to be true. Science is a useful tool.

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Evidently, last night a spider had laid three lines of silk down the windshield of my truck squarely in the line of my vision for driving. The Sun shining in from just south of my predominantly easterly direction on the way to church down the interstate produced little repeating rainbows in the silk. From bottom to top they gleamed: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and the last two just looked like black gaps before the next red. The colors were brilliant and made the silk appear much wider than it did when the Sun was obscured once or twice by tree branches. I noticed that when I moved my head left or right the colors changed. When I moved to the right the color transitioned to longer red beads up and down the silk. When I moved my head left the color transitioned toward blue. Just before I exited the interstate the roadbed trends slightly more North and I finally began seeing violet when I leaned left.** I was thankful for light traffic on the interstate since I was focusing on 5 lines, one solid white, one dashed, and three multicolored. I thought of lunar eclipses, when the Moon is blood red or orange. Light from the Sun is refracted by the atmosphere onto the surface of the Moon which is moving through the shadow of the Earth. The shorter wavelength colors bend more evidently, careening off into space between Moon and Earth. I also reflected on the refraction that occurs in a droplet of water on a leaf producing and fisheye view of flowers or landscapes behind. The Sun was also pleasantly warm on me. I praised God for beauty He instilled into Creation which points to His superior beauty and His goodness that allows me to be aware of and see it and experience warm Sun and have a truck to travel in, and so on. I went to a corporate worship service later, which I would always recommend, but I got started early with three lines of evidence for God’s beauty and love of beauty.

**I don’t think that I ever see indigo, or is it violet I don’t see? That is, I don’t discern two colors, indigo and violet. I had the thought for the first time today that perhaps I don’t see violet. When I get in discussions with my family about a transition color between green and blue, they always say it looks blue and I most usually say it looks green. Does that mean that I see colors differently than most people, seeing what normal (whatever that means in this situation) eyes discern as blue as green or that I just name them differently? If it is the former, then perhaps I also see indigo as blue and violet as indigo and don’t see a separate violet color. If this is true it in no way changes reality, but only casts a shadow of doubt on my perception of reality. Afterall, certain people certainly hear more or most frequently less than 20 to 20,000 Hz frequency of sound.

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          I have long known from the second law of thermodynamics that all systems involving energy are less than 100% efficient. As I would say to students, “The good news is that you can’t get something for nothing [1st law of thermodynamics or law of conservation of energy], but the bad news is that you can’t even break even [2nd law of thermodynamics]” Emotionally that only discourages people with an engineering turn of mind. To show you just how little the idea penetrates many people’s thoughts, I almost always get a “How about a machine that produces energy that it can use to run…[perpetual motion machine]?” question from one or more students immediately after explaining the laws and sharing the good news/bad news. We have come so far that some have a blind faith in the ability of human ingenuity and technology to overcome the most formidable barriers to progress, even laws of Physics.

         Evolutionists have a similar resiliency in their emotional attachment to what Dr. John C. Sanford calls the Primary Axiom: “man is merely the product of random mutations plus natural selection”. Dr. Sanford, retired plant geneticist of Cornell University, presents an altogether formidable opposition to the Axiom: genetic entropy. Robert Carter simply defines genetic entropy as “…mutations (spelling mistakes in DNA) are accumulating so quickly in some creatures (particularly people) that natural selection cannot stop the functional degradation of the genome—let alone drive an evolutionary process that can turn apes into people.” Dr. Sanford says that useful information in DNA is degenerating; living organisms are degenerating; populations of organisms are degenerating. He referred to Darwinian believers as those who think that populations are getting better by natural selection, but based on his research, they are not. He said that he once also believed that natural variation (arising from mutations in DNA) plus natural selection (of the fittest through conflict resulting in death and survival) equals all that we see biologically. I believe that evolutionists are asking the wrong question based on their false presuppositions: How are species progressing from simpler to more complex? Instead, they we should be asking how species are able to resist extinction in light of genetic deterioration.

         In a recent Facebook discussion one person claimed to have observed modern examples of evolution through bacterial mutation. I pointed out that these adaptations are not species-changing evolution. But Dr. Sanford presents a more damaging argument of the devolving of species by viral and bacterial mutation. One of his examples is the flu pandemic from 1918 to 1920 that killed about 3% of the world’s population. When the frozen body of a soldier who died from that flu was exhumed for research purposes several years ago there was fear of the accidental release of the virus and a return of the epidemic, because it was known that the older strains were stronger. The newer strains of H1N1 are weaker due to genetic entropy. “A key point is that because of the high reproductive rate and the documented phenomenon of genetic entropy, the influenza virus is degenerating rapidly by accumulating 14.4 new mutations per year… It seems that when they leave their proper winged hosts and infect humans, they run out of control and go downhill rapidly because of mutation accumulation, which will lead to their extinction.”

          But doesn’t high mutation rate mean that natural selection has more material for driving evolution forward? This idea could only be true if there were sufficiently more beneficial mutations to increase an organisms’ long-term (mutli-generational) survival than destructive mutations. “Far more mutations are deleterious than advantageous,” says Dr. Sanford. These bad mutations degrade the genome at a much faster rate than good ones could possibly benefit the organism.

          The genetic conclusion of this discussion is that species are definitely not evolving and could certainly not have been around for millions of years at the rate their genome is deteriorating. The belief that “the creation was subjected to futility” and “we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now” (Romans 8:20,22) because of the sin of man fits with the evidence far better than the belief that natural selection through mutation is evolving species.

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     On July 7th The Ark Encounter opened in Williamstown, Kentucky, as a full-sized representation of the biblical description. Bill Nye said he wished that the ark in Kentucky had never been built because it would “indoctrinate children into this extraordinary and outlandish, unscientific point of view.” What many public school science classes have been doing for years is this very type of indoctrination in Big Bang Cosmology and Evolution, rather than in biblical literacy. The result has been that either those people who trust secular science (i.e. Scientism-the belief that science answers all questions that can be answered) have written off the Bible as Bill Nye has done, or many who believe the Bible have written off Scientism and all science, resulting in the science illiteracy Bill Nye decries. But there is a real alternative that does not oppose the methods of experimental science nor deny the literal truth of God’s Word. Science is a very good tool for exploring the world and solving problems, but it has its limits in explaining truth. The Bible points to realities that may be known beyond empirical data while not contradicting plain evidence. For instance, the apostles were eyewitness to evidence concerning the resurrection of Christ, which no longer can be tested other than historically. They recorded what they saw and experienced (I John 1:1-4; I Peter 5:1; Acts 26:12-18). Christians accept their eyewitness authority.

     If the alternative of a Biblical Worldview coupled with useful science is to be considered, it must be able to predict what we should find in the world and explain what we see. I believe that a literal reading of the Bible actually does that better than Scientism (a subset of Naturalism which encompasses Big Bang Cosmology and Evolution). Dr. Robert Carter of Creation Ministries International presents examples of how these statements are true. I intend in the few words I have left to present some of the evidence he outlines. These evidences answer the following question: What would we observe and what would be our understanding of the world if the biblical text is true? As a first example, if God created Adam and Eve and languages resulted from the confusion at Babel, then races do not exist. Adam and Eve could have had the genetic diversity that results in every skin and hair color and facial characteristic. Is it true? There have only been about 150 generations since Noah and his wife and people of all colors and locales have 99+% DNA in common. Thoroughly biracial parents have had fraternal twins, one significantly darker and one significantly lighter than the parents. If we really believed the Bible, racism would be an immediate non-point.

     What would we expect to see if the Flood was real and worldwide? There would be evidence of worldwide destruction from massive hurricane winds, massive erosion and deposition episodes, and volcanic action. Sedimentary Rocks show evidence of these things. For example, fossils are frequently formed in alternating layers with volcanic flows and ash. Also, large amounts of sediments needing large amounts of water, dead plants and animals all dumped on the continents and later turned to rock do exist. The catastrophic and sudden nature of fossil and sediment formation is seen in polystrate fossils (fossils through numerous layers), tightly folded rock layers that must have been soft when they folded or they would have cracked, and sediment layers of continental extent (that is, spreading over the whole continent as with the Tapeat Sandstone in North America). As the flood progressed, amazingly large erosion events should be expected. We indeed see these in the great canyons of the world, which show evidence of being remnants of catastrophic events rather results of slow river erosion. The suddenness is further indicated by the lack of erosion within the fossil record and conformities (interfaces (meeting and interaction) of two differing rock layers). One such interface in the Grand Canyon (Hermit Shale and Coconimo Sandstone) has no erosion even though secular geologists claim there is a 12 million year gap where they meet.

     There is far more that could be said on the deposition and erosion of layers and fossil formation alone and on cosmology, biology, and the rest of geology, but these give a few telling examples. A literal reading of the Bible is a much better and more powerful predictor of the world as we see it than Scientism. It is amazing, credible, scientific, and far more Mr. Nye.

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In one sense we are a society full of skeptics and well we might be since we have many and conflicting sound bites and philosophies foisted upon us with very little solid truth. Some think that the solution to this dilemma is to operate fully on the relational side and not hassle with truth claims and others think the solution is to come up with your own truth. Neither of these approaches leads to truth, however, because one avoids it and the other is self-contradictory. So where is a person to go to ask hard questions? Civil public discussion is one good source. Not intended to be truth by majority rule but rather a gentle airing of views and questions, it is a good way to open up conversation about truth. Recently at our nearby community college such an open discussion was begun. Prem Isaac of Southern Evangelical Seminary presented a clear, engaging rendition of the Cosmological and Teleological Arguments for the existence of God. Several audience members challenged details of the arguments presented to Mr. Isaac and three of his colleagues on a Q&A panel. One person asked, “Why does the Law of Causality not apply to God?” The answer was given that “Who made God?” is a category mistake, that is to say, saying God is created means He is not God. If we retreat to infinite regression, namely that god was created and then who created god and who created that god and so on, then we have not really answered the question. But the cosmological argument logically presents an answer in that everything that has a beginning has a cause. Science and religion both posit that the Universe had a beginning, therefore, it has a first cause, and since that cause is not part of the effect, namely the Universe, that first cause must be wholly different from the effect. That First Cause is God. What if the Universe had no beginning? The question was couched in more complicated terms, “How about the quantum correction and the suggestion that the universe had no beginning?” The answer was proposed that many math problems produce imaginary numbers. Mere pure math solutions to problems have no real world antecedent. I think that it is reasonable to add that General Relativity and Quantum Theory have existed in tandem for 90+ years now. Both have significant experimental evidence for their validity and yet both contradict each other. Mostly this contradiction seems to be because they evaluate similar situations in different ways, but when they evaluate the same thing in the same way they still contradict each other. Obviously, one or both theories need to be revised to come into line with reality. So how do you use mutually contradictory theories to judge God’s existence, theories that are by their empirical nature limited in what they can evaluate? And this brings me to the last question asked at that meeting, “How scientifically do we account for six days?” My answer is we do not account for six literal days scientifically just as the Big Bang theorists do not actually account for the singularity scientifically. God has revealed that He created all that physically is in six days; we accept that. Then we show by scientific evidence that there is nothing in the world that contradicts that idea. The Big Bang theorist posits a singularity, described as a point, wherein space and time do not exist and all the laws of Physics cannot apply. Then he inserts an “inflationary period” after the Big Bang to get the universe up to speed, so to speak, which cannot be evaluated with physical rules because it obeys none we know, all so the universe can look something like what we now observe. The background radiation was supposed to have been the confirmation of the inflationary period, and even though the observers recently denied the validity of the results, it could never prove that period apart from the presuppositions of the theory. The theorist further injects continuous acceleration of the expansion of the universe without cause, that is, net force to accelerate it. In other words, Big Bang theorists rely on “blind faith” of which they accuse the Creationists. Creationists, however, rely on the Word of an All Powerful, Intelligent Designer, who has given much evidence of being reliable. Civil, public conversation must be polite but it can pull no punches if it is to be constructive and pursue what is true. If you see the truth of this statement, I invite you to enter into just such conversation with a Creationist.

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Growing up I was taught that the Bible is true, but at the same time I caught that the National Geographic held truth about the beginnings and progress of the world. My young mind was in conflict. Even at a young age I understood that both could not be true about how we got here and what changes have taken place in the world. God’s grace gave me faith to believe that what the early chapters of Genesis say about the Creation and worldwide Flood are true as plainly read regardless of what others say in print or in person. A good portion of my life has been spent searching and waiting for answers to evolutionists’ barrage of denials of God and His work. My history and perspective opens me to accusation that I am religiously biased and unscientific. On the first point I agree, but on the charge of being unscientific I disagree for two reasons. First of all, Science is a tool limited to investigation of natural phenomena. Science is a tool for understanding what God has done, not who He is. Naturalists insist that this is the reason that they do not accept the supernatural or remain agnostic on the subject. They emphatically claim to only accept empirical evidence. This claim is false in practice and of necessity. They are not admitting to their beliefs and faith. Where did we come from? What is our purpose? What happens after death? What is the source of love, beauty, and kindness? They have no answer for these questions apart from faith, and particularly on the subject of purpose, they cannot continue to live without it. Therefore, my second reason for denying that I think unscientifically is the fact that it impossible to think scientifically without faith. Frequently I read or hear accusations from Naturalists that God must not exist because we cannot observe Him, but the Bible says otherwise: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

As Christians who believe what the Bible says and believe that Science and Technology are God given tools for advancing knowledge and solving real world problems it is a time to rejoice and speak up. The Naturalist’s evolutionary model is proving to be very poor at explaining evidence and making predictions about how the world works. I had the privilege just recently to attend the premier of a documentary, “Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels”1, written and produced by Creation Ministries International. In this 96 minute documentary, 15 scientists explain why evolution’s proclaimed strengths are actually its weaknesses and how the Creation model based on Scripture explains better what we observe and makes predictions that are being confirmed in various areas of science. The areas discussed in the film are natural selection, genetics, the origin of life, the fossil record, the geologic column, radiometric dating, and cosmology. Two subjects that were the longest holdouts in my understanding of how science could reflect what the Bible says were radiometric dating of rocks and fossils and the redshift of cosmological objects (stars, particularly pulsars, and galaxies). How could we deny the time indicated by decaying radioactive elements when their half-lives can be measured in the laboratory. The documentary discusses assumptions (beliefs really) that are made to come up with these dates and evidence that it simply does not work so easily.2 Redshift of starlight is said to be a result of Doppler Effect as stars speedily retreat from us. This Doppler Effect is the same one that causes a siren or race car to change pitch as it approaches, passes, and speeds away from you. There are other reasons why the light may be shifting toward red and evidence is given of stars located in the wrong place to be red shifted as claimed. I urge you to get the DVD for yourself and hear the evidences and conclusions. The final discussion drives home a major practical reason it matters to us and our children: ethical implications. This documentary is not a Sunday School answer, “because God said so.” It meets scientific evidence and evolutionist claims head on with evidence and logic. On the other hand, it does not neglect to bring up what the Bible says and why it matters. I have long believed and proclaimed what the Bible says about the origin and progress of creation. With consistency I now can joyfully add scientific reasons for my faith that I hope will assist those blinded by the glitz of evolution’s false faith-based claims.

 

1It would be well worth your time to acquire your own copy of this documentary and you may for a very modest price at http://www.creation.com. I do not work for them.

2”Thousands Not Billions” by Dr. Don DeYoung, Master Books, 2005, or the DVD by Institute for Creation Research are excellent resources for digging deeper into why radiometric dating is better explained by creationism.

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