The Natural View and the Spiritual View #9

Monday, February 17, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

We continue addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate….

THE BIBLE AND AN OLD EARTH. “No longer could geologists compress all of Earth history into the short span suggested by the Old Testament of the Bible” (my college-level historical geology textbook, The Earth Through Time, by Levin, 8th edition, 2006, page 17). (Bold emphasis mine.) Dr. Harold Levin—an Evolutionist geology professor, not a Creationist—admits the Old Testament does not support an old earth. (So, why do some professing Christians assert Scripture teaches an old earth?)

WHY AN OLD EARTH IS NECESSARY. Do you remember my previous comments about why scientists believe in an old earth? Now, we allow them to affirm what we discussed earlier: “The hypothesis of Earth’s immense antiquity also was supported by Darwin and other biologists, who saw the need for hundreds of millions of years to accomplish the organic evolution apparent in the fossil record” (The Earth Through Time, page 33). (Bold emphasis mine.) Again, “deep time” is critical to biological evolutionary theory!

PLATE TECTONICS. Eschewing great detail, suffice it to say that Earth’s crust (outward surface on which we live) is divided into two-dozen plates, “rafts” that float on a sea of circulating molten rock (Earth’s mantle). These plates split apart to open ocean basins (divergent), collide to build mountains (convergent), or the plates slide past one another (transform faults)—these plates’ motions generate earthquakes and tsunamis, and are related to volcanic eruptions. Today, these plates move at most 4 inches (10 centimeters) per year. Thus, thousands-of-miles-wide ocean basins are assumed to have formed over tens of millions of years, and miles-high mountain ranges are assumed to have taken millions of years to rise.

THE GREAT FLOOD AND ACCELERATED PLATE TECTONICS. It is my personal belief as a geologist that plate movement rates were significantly accelerated during the Great Flood, rates that we do not observe today. Genesis 7:11 describes Earth’s plates rending (breaking) in order to release subsurface water (groundwater) that became floodwaters.

Let us continue discussing the Great Deluge….

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #8

Sunday, February 16, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

We continue addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate….

THE ORIGIN OF LIFE. “Obviously we cannot take a time machine back 4 billion years and determine with certainty how these events occurred. Instead, scientists study the existence of modern life, as well as geological processes and fossils, and speculate about the conditions that existed on primitive Earth. This approach has led researchers to a variety of hypotheses [ideas] regarding the origin of life, none of which can be firmly verified. Nevertheless, certain possibilities are becoming more plausible [likely] and perhaps even compelling” (My college-level textbook, Biology, Brooker et al., 2008, page 458). (Bold emphasis mine.)

Evolutionists openly admit that they do not know how life began on earth: none of their various hypotheses are definite. They concede that they are “speculating,” so why do they reject the Creationist’s Bible as “speculative?” Frankly, they know that if the Bible’s “speculation” is correct about the origin of life, it just may also be right about the origin of DEATH and their need for a Saviour to rescue them from their sins!

COMMON ANCESTRY. “Humans Evolved from Ancestral Primates. Although humans are closely related to chimpanzees and gorillas, they did not evolve directly from them. Rather, all hominoid species shared a common ancestor” (Biology, page 738). Right from their own literature, we learn that gibbons, orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans all share one common ancestor!

Scripture says God “formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). The Bible says God used dirt, not preexisting primates, to form the first man, and man alone received from God the “breath of life!” This is one of many blatant contradictions between evolutionary theory and Scripture. Now we see why people want to re-interpret Genesis chapters 1 and 2 as figurative rather than literal.

More will be said about this later, but for now, we move on to related topics….

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #4

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

We continue addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate….

DETERMINING THE AGE OF THE EARTH. How old is earth? Does the Bible lead us to conclude that the earth is very young, as some claim? Or, does the Bible support a very old earth, as some claim? Does it really matter whether we believe in a young earth or an old earth? As a geologist, I remind you why most scientists believe that the earth is very ancient (currently estimated to be 4.55 billion years old).

Firstly, billions of years are critical to biological evolutionary theory. If the earth were young (thousands of years old), not enough time would have elapsed to produce all the genetic mutations to generate present-day species. Without “deep time” (that is, if earth is young), organic evolutionary theory falls apart!

Secondly, billions of years are critical to geological evolutionary theory. If the earth were young (thousands of years old), not enough time would have elapsed to produce the present-day configuration of continents and ocean basins. Without “deep time” (that is, if earth is young), geological evolutionary theory falls apart, too!

Unfortunately, about two centuries ago, church leaders and theologians began “harmonizing” Scripture with modern scientific thought, lest they be “unscholarly, simple-minded” Bible believers. Perhaps there were huge gaps of time between the “days” of the creation week in Genesis chapters 1 and 2, just not recorded in Scripture (gap theory). Maybe each “day” of the creation “week” was actually a geologic age (large expanse of time), not a literal 24-hour day as previously taught in churches (day-age theory). What if the Bible’s creation “week” was actually millions or billions of years long? What if God used evolution in the creation week (theistic evolution/progressive creationism)? In other words, “Yea, hath God said…?” (Genesis 3:1).

More will be said about this later. For now, suffice it to say that modern scientific thought does require the earth to be old and the Bible does not require it to be old.

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #2

Sunday, February 9, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

We continue addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate….

ORGANIC EVOLUTION VIA NATURAL SELECTION. Evolutionists disagree about life’s origin on earth. The many hypotheses offered—extraterrestrials, meteorites, lightning/atmospheric phenomena, and deep-sea vents are popular—are not infallible (thus, they remain “hypotheses,” ideas subject to change).

Furthermore, every organism’s genome is its entire genetic “blueprint” complete with deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). DNA is a language that governs how the organism (in embryonic stage) will be organized (its physical traits) and how it will develop and function (its growth rate, role in nature, et cetera).

Charles Darwin argued that when an environment grows hostile toward an organism (predation, food shortage, et cetera), mutations (changes in its genetic material) equip the organism to adapt to its surroundings, survive, and pass those new traits to its offspring. Nature selects against organisms that fail to adapt to their environments, and thus, they die, but nature selects for the individuals that adapt, so they survive and reproduce (“natural selection”). Just how mindless, random nature “selects” these advantageous traits before the organism/species dies out [and then it cannot “evolve”] is a “mystery” to Evolutionists [they admit it], since only intelligence [such as God] has a capacity to make such critical selections.

Over many millions of years, innumerable random mutations allegedly generated significant genetic changes: a bacterium evolved into the first fish, a fish evolved into the first amphibian, a dinosaur evolved into the first bird, a great ape evolved into the first human, et cetera. Mutations are actually rarely beneficial, and my physician re-affirmed to me that genetic boundaries cannot be crossed as evolutionary theory teaches (all species could not have descended from one ancestor).

Rather than embracing random genetic mutations and universal common ancestry as origin of the species, the Bible creationist understands that the Creator is the Lord Jesus Christ, Who, at creation, crafted into the perfect original organisms of their “kind” (“family”) all pertinent genetic material. Once man’s fall and the curse of sin, the Lord “switched on” that information to ensure survival.

Proceeding onward….

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #1

Saturday, February 8, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

Herein is offered the first of several (brief) devotional arcs addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate.

As a Bible teacher and student, and a geologist (Earth scientist) pursuing my Master of Science degree (anticipated later this year), I enjoyed the debate. Raised in a Christian home where Bible creationism was believed, and spending nearly two decades in public schools learning evolutionary theory (over seven years in university), I will here evaluate both views and reduce them to “layman’s terms.”

Unfortunately, many professing Christians vacillate concerning, or completely avoid, the Creation/Evolution issue. Sadly, they are unsure how to answer the “scholars’” anti-Bible theories and “evidence,” or they prefer to avoid the “superstitious Bible-toter” stigma and exemption from the “in-crowd”—mainstream scientific community and its agreeing public.

The Creation/Evolution issue actually predates Christ’s earthly ministry. It has been especially controversial during the last 150 years, since British naturalist Charles Darwin published his book, “The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life” (notice this full title [rarely seen or reported] conveys racial undertones—evolutionary theory was once utilized to teach there are superior human races!).

It is now imperative to define terms.

Evolutionary theory asserts that all life forms (bacteria, plants, animals, humans) descended from one original ancestor (which itself “evolved” when random organic molecules mysteriously combined), and this morphing of one organism into totally different species we see today—in order to adapt to environments and survive predation—involved a four-billion-year-long process of genetic mutations (man is considered “most evolved”).

Bible creationism, embracing the Bible’s creation account (Genesis chapters 1 and 2 especially) as literal, historical narrative, teaches that all life forms (bacteria, plants, animals, humans) are not genetically related, but each “family” of organisms was created perfectly by the Lord Jesus Christ within six literal days in the recent past, but which species then used pre-inserted genetic material to adapt to a fallen world (the curse brought on by man’s sin).

Proceeding onward….

What’s the Bible Got to Do With Me? #3

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8 KJV).

One frequent charge the lost world levels against Christians preaching and teaching the Holy Bible is, “That ‘old’ book has nothing to do with me!” Is this a valid objection?

The mainstream scientific community ridicules the Bible creationist scientist such as myself because I believe in an invisible God whose Book cannot be tested in a lab. I am pressured to believe “unbiased science” instead of “religious speculations,” but so far, no scientific lab I ever visited demonstrated macroevolution in practice and not merely in theory. The evolutionist’s system is also of faith: he or she can no more repeat in the lab a supposed “molecules to man” scenario any more than we can scientifically replicate the creation events of Genesis. Our belief in a creation account we did not witness firsthand, is no more “absurd” and “speculative” than the evolutionist’s claim that all the millions of species of organisms descended from one common ancestor (which they admit they never witnessed either, remember). By the evolutionist’s standard, both he and the Bible creationist are on level ground—both have faith in an immaterial concept.

The Bible, although not designed to be a science textbook, is nevertheless a scientifically-accurate book: the science in the Bible corroborates significant portions of what secular scientists believe today (air mass, ocean currents, expanding universe, the human body indeed contains elements from earth’s crust, et cetera).

What does the “old” Bible have to do with you? Scientists study how processes operate in the natural world, but the Bible claims why they occur in light of the spiritual world. For instance, the volcanism and seismicity (earthquakes) we witness today are largely the result of the Great Deluge of Noah’s day.

Empirical evidence—what can be seen, touched, tasted, smelt, or heard—is not the ultimate source of truth. We all have a soul (a will, a seat of emotions, et cetera) and a spirit (a mind), none of which can be perceived by any of the five senses. Should we deny their (our) existence, too?

What’s the Bible Got to Do With Me? #2

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8 KJV).

One frequent charge the lost world levels against Christians preaching and teaching the Holy Bible is, “That ‘old’ book has nothing to do with me!” Is this a valid objection?

This argument is based on the assumption that as things age, they lose their relevance (which is not always a valid supposition). For example, if “old” things are irrelevant to us, then why do we study history? Why do we construct and visit museums? Why do people still read Plato and Shakespeare, authors who lived two millennia and four centuries ago, respectively? We never hear the Bible-naysayers complain that these works are “too old” to consider. In fact, those centuries-old works of literature are still studied and held in high esteem by “scholars,” who reject the Bible for its “primitivism.” (What a faulty position!)

The Bible, although not designed to be a history textbook, is nevertheless a historically-accurate book: the world history in the Bible corroborates significant portions of what secular historians believe today. If the Bible is historically accurate, and there is no doubt in this author’s mind that it is, then why could it not also be accurate regarding “doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16)?

What does the “old” Bible have to do with you? The Bible claims to be the story of the origin of man. Are you not interested in where you came from and what your ancestors did? Are you not curious as to why there are suffering, sickness, and death in this world? Are you not inquisitive about what the future holds for the universe? The Holy Bible tells you answers to these questions… and more! Without the history recorded in the Bible, you would not know from where you came, or where you are going!

Obviously, the “Bible is too old” defense is a smokescreen—age has nothing to do with it. The problem man has with the Bible is not its age, but rather its Author!