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   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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If you hold to objects close together with a small gap between them and peer through toward a bright light you can see the bending of the light around the two edges as an interference pattern. The result makes the two object appear to grow together if they are at the correct distance apart. You may find an example at the following link: https://www.meteoros.de/blog/pics/blackdrop2.jpg The parallel lines of dark and light are called a diffraction pattern even though the sight of them results from light interference. Seeing Venetian blinds lit up by sunshine today with blurry edges reminded me of this pattern. If you ever see the old movie “Sergeant York” you may remember him moistening the front sights of his rifle. This disturbs the diffraction pattern making for clearer sights. As I stood taking in this familiar sight on the blinds the thought of a metaphor for moral ambiguity came into focus.

At the edge of light and shadow
Is where the challenge of life is
Ambiguous scenario
Time to have a real life pop quiz

Diffraction pattern blurs the line
Blinds by alternate light and dark
Fuzzy scheme in the contrast cline
Right and wrong seem no longer stark

Are there exceptions to the rule?
Dismiss the law and moral code?
Sparse view, the way of the fool
To quit the way for your own road

There is good and bad in the gray
Right and wrong all mixed together
God has not left us with no way
To discern, know, and do better

When life does not seem black and white
Then pray to God and search His Word
Don't give up on doing the right
Don't give in or follow the herd

 

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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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         I enjoy viewing educational YouTube videos, particularly about Science. I recently watched several videos written and narrated by astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson. He is extremely intelligent, articulate, and fast on his feet when replying to detractors. In our culture we listen to experts. They are informed and intelligent so we should listen to them, right? We should ask, “What is your source of truth?” Mr. Tyson claims that his only source of truth is empirical data, information acquired by observation or experimentation. In one of these videos he says1, “Does the Universe have a purpose? I’m not sure, but anyone who expresses a more definitive response to this question is claiming access to knowledge not based in empirical foundations.” He proceeds to claim that the perspective held by religions and some philosophies that the universe has purpose has failed to explain our universe. He then dismantles, or so he believers, all claims that we can know that the universe has purpose. I am among those who believe that the universe does have purpose, being created by God, and I freely admit and proclaim that this knowledge is not based on limited empirical evidence, though supported by it. Mr. Tyson’s logical fallacy, I submit, is to assume that his supposed empirical foundations are sufficient to explain the universe and why we cannot know the universe has a purpose. He overlooks his own presuppositions: we cannot know that God exists, that God in fact does not exist, and that Mr. Tyson operates purely on empirical data.

         Evidence that God exists is all around us as I have shown in past articles and which Scripture declares (Psalm 19:1-4; Romans 1:19-20). In this article I want to present evidence that those who claim that they operate purely on empirical data do not and cannot. In another MinutePhysics video2 Mr. Tyson is discussing the sequence of events that he and many other scientists believe characterized the universe after the Big Bang. In the midst of this storyline he admits that “under these extreme conditions in what is admittedly speculative physics…” Why is it speculative? It is so because there is no way of directly observing a time with those conditions or reconstructing those conditions because they defied the presently understood laws of Physics. This scenario is supposed to be what we know of the past and yet is based on fanciful conclusions based on faith and not observation. He is nearly two minutes into his seven minute history of the universe when he says, “continuing on with what is now laboratory confirmed physics” He then explains how particles decaying and colliding settle things down to the Physics we now observe. The statement is misleading (presumably not intentionally) because it assumes that what can happen in laboratory experiments and does happen periodically in nature is what did happen in mass to set the course of the universe long ago. Such “observations” are conclusions based on hypothetical scenarios, not inevitable results of data. Another example of this type of observation was the conclusion in March of 2014 that cosmic microwave background radiation had “proved” the inflationary expansion just after the Big Bang. But in June of the same year the researchers came to a different conclusion: “Now a careful reanalysis by scientists at Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study, also in Princeton, has concluded that the BICEP2 B-mode pattern could be the result mostly or entirely of foreground effects without any contribution from gravitational waves.”3 So, the hypothesis concerning the moments after the Big Bang was wrong. The author of this quote explains that many scientists do not conclude that inflationary hypothesis was therefore disproved. Instead, these scientists say this hypothesis is sufficiently flexible to be “immune to experimental and observational tests.” What we are seeing is ‘empirical data’ without observation, which of course is not empirical at all. As Arthur Conan Doyle has Sherlock Holmes say, “ It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

 

1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pL5vzIMAhs “Does the Universe Have a Purpose?”

2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KYTJ8tBoZ8 “A Brief History of Everything”
3 http://www.nature.com/news/big-bang-blunder-bursts-the-multiverse-bubble-1.15346

4 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four, A Scandal in Bohemia

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