Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fears of millions of years unfounded

Most of you are probably thinking "alright enough about outer space, lets get back to creation and evolution."

Well I have been thinking that too don't worry (hope I didn't lose too many of you), I have an unfortunate case of blogger's block, however I did run into a an article on the Answers In Creaton website which discusses the supposed problems with old earth belief. This poses no problem for the young earth creationist, but I am curious how any young earth creationist would respond, so let the games begin.

Note: I rewrote this article, the other one sounded incredibly complacent, to anyone who read it I apologize.

Does Christianity permit life on other planets?

This question is rather important to some people and less to others. The opinion varies from denomination to denomination. Conservative non-denominational evangelicals usually tend to think that our planet is the only planet with life in the universe. Answers In Genesis holds this view, of course they go so far as to claim life on other planets is based on "evolutionary" and "humanistic" assumptions (yes they can tell the difference between evolution and Secular Humanism, they simply choose not to I guess). On the other side of the extreme the Roman Catholic Church has embraced the idea of extraterrestrial life, they even go as far to say that space would be a missionfield to spread the gospel to other civilizations.

My personal belief is that there is life on other planets, possibly even intelligent life (which sometimes I wonder if it is yet to arise on this planet). There is nothing unscientific about the idea of life on other planets, the main question when it comes to Christianity is a theological one. These intelligent, humanlike aliens if they exist would have freewill. Thus they would have the ability to sin, and thus they would need Christ to save them. The problem is that Christ only died for humans, unless God has a radically different plan for them or he decided to just let them all burn in hell (which I think is very unlikely) Christ would have to visit each planet and die for each races sins. if we are talking unintelligent (or the other term presapient) life then the problem evaporates. The Pheonix probe which landed on Mars on March 25 is searching for water, and life on Mars (microbial life of course). They have even discovered something which might be ice on the surface. This is no problem for Christians. God simply also created life on Mars. Intelligent life isn't necessarily a problem either.

Now if Christ died for all sapient beings in the universe on earth. This problem would not be as bad. It could be that God created all sapient life in the universe about the same time (note this does necessarily mean special creation). At first they were all perfect, then Satan fell from grace and went about causing thousands if not millions or trillions of races to fall from perfection (although some of them may fallen simply because they made the wrong choice and Satan had nothing to do with it). Some would fall but others would resist temptation and right now would be perfect Utopian societies where there is no death, no suffering, no injustice, and no misery. Then there would be their fallen counterparts which would be much like the human race. Being capable of Godlike feats (such as science, humanitarianism, and contact with the creator of the universe) and at the same time being capable of unspeakable evil (such as genocide, rape, etc.). And when Christ died they now all have chance. It might even be humanities responsibility to bring the gospel to the universe, although I would count on it. No doubt God if he indeed exists has revealed himself to all these races and told them of Christs suffering on the cross. Now if Jesus died for each of them individually there are two options; if he did it simultaneously then it would be virtually no different except every culture would have a depiction of Jesus the savior. If he didn't do it all at once then it seems like it would be almost a cycle that all races go through independently. First they would be born unfallen and without flaws, then if they fall into sin they would be a fallen race. Then Christ would come, die on their planet (or at least one of their planets) then they would be a "semi-redeemed" race which is in the process of being restored. Finally there is a Redeemed race; which is back to prefall perfection being ruled directly by God. This idea seems far to De-Chardinish for my taste. Most likely the other view that Christ died simultaneously for the sins all race had or ever would commit is correct, the reason being that there is no scriptural support for a cyclic pattern in the redemption of sapient beings. There are also Christians who think aliens are really demons, well I don't think so, they would probably be on the same level as us.

At the moment this is not a particularly important question since no life in outer space has been discovered. But it is still interesting to talk about.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The saddest thing about anti-science Christians

I was at the Bad Astronomers blog. He has talked about Ray Comfort (the banana guy). Ray Comfort in his blog talked about the Phoenix probe landing on Mars. He talks how he thinks exploration is such a waste of time. For a natural theologian this seems surprisingly anti-science.

Now he does have a valid opinion that we should also be fixing problems on earth as well as be exploring space, but we have enough money to do both.

This highlights the saddest aspect of being an anti-science Christian as opposed to being a pro-science Christian. You miss the grandeur of the creation of God. You miss the expression of the creator's creativity, ingenuity, beauty, intelligence, and most of all the power of the God we claim to worship. Whether or not God created the the universe in six days or six ages of natural processes the universe shouts the glory of anyone who could make it.

Visit the Phoenix section at the NASA website. There are some pretty awesome pictures as well as stories. Someday humans may explore the surface, as well, we will leave and explore the universe leaving people like Ray Comfort behind.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Of asteroids and of conspiracy theories

Well before I leave for three weeks, I Just have to write on this subject. I just watched one of the silliest videos of all time. It is a Christian who has bought into the 2012 "end of the world" nonsense, ignoring verses like Matthew 24:23-28, and unintentionally spreading something which is untrue, (which likely to annoy astronomers and sensible people atleast until 2012). And unfortunately other Christians have been dragged into this rumor.

The rumor has two flavors, one is that on December 22, 2012 a planet Nibiru (which supposedly exists beyond the orbit of Pluto) will come very close the the earth causing floods, earthquakes, tsunamis etc.

The second flavor is that a giant asteroid is going to hit earth on that day and that will be wormwood ( a cosmic object described in Revelation). Well the video I am reviewing is one of the second kind (although the first flavor is also really silly). The person in mind (his user name being states that an asteroid will collide with the earth probably around December 22, 2012.

Both of these are unlikely because neither an asteroid or a planet is going to come that close to earth in 2012, as far as asteroids go; 2012 is going to be one boring year.

Of course if there was an asteroid that was going to hit the earth on 2012 we'd be able to tell, and as we speak NASA would be working on laser technology to try to blow this asteroid off course so it would miss the earth. Now there is an asteroid which will come near earth, but it will come around holloween (yes holloween) 2029, it will come very close to earth but it will miss it. Now whats funny about this talk about asteroid impacts is that back in mid January there were some people who said an asteroid was going to destroy the planet on January 29, 2008! This asteroid was a real asteroid called tu24 which like most other asteroids just passed by unnoticed. And the asteroid which will visit us in 2029 will probably also catch some loonies as well (especially since its happening around holloween).

Now to my fellow Christians; this doesn't mean the world isn't eventually going to end, the bible does say eventually something more then a speck of dirt is going to hit our planet. But we don't know when this is going to happen, in Matthew 24:23 Jesus even goes so far as to say if someone says, "The world is going to end at this time and place" don't believe them! So unlike these two Christians, lets not be so quick to put our faith in rumors and put our faith in God.

Also to my atheist friends; I apologize for the ignorance and fear-mongering of my fellow Christians, there is really nothing which can be done to help this misguided people.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Where is Copernicus when you need him.

You think Christianity has enough problems with young earth creationism? Well these guys go one step further, no the attack on God's word didn't start with Darwin! No!!! It started with the Galileo affair!(Not).

Modern Geocentrists luckily are not very popular among Christians. They aren't popular at Answers In Genesis one of their foremost critics (besides materialist skeptics). Most young earth creationists distance themselves from Modern Geocentrists, which would be wise. Scientific and theological illiteracy seems endemic to Modern American society, I'm afraid. Of course I am optimistic, I believe despite these kinds of people we will continue to move forward, if not at a slower pace.

Towards a synthesis between science and religion

At first this may seem like the average, "making faith compatible with science" rant which usually follows. In Christianity, the attempt to combine reason and faith goes back as far as the early church fathers if no earlier. One of the champions of this field was St. Augustine who did his best to bring the two in harmony.

But of course we mustn't only make faith compatible with science, but also make faith hospitable for science. In order for them to be truly compatible they must both contribute to each other.
This would be a science-compatible theology, where science and theology are mutually adding to and sustaining each other. Now atheists and agnostics don't necessarily have to worry about this having no reason to combine science and faith. However since religious people still have a fair amount of influence in the world so atheists and agnostics and other non-religious people would probably be interested in a theology which does not force all society to accept their worldview, or at least subtly enough that it would still be a choice whether or not to believe in God.

So the objective of a practical science-compatible theology would be;

-- to lay a strong philosophical foundation for science

--Generate intense interest in science

--to Give science the freedom they need to explore the natural world without undermining the authority of the theology

--Be able to differentiate between scientific and spiritual questions

Therefore this religion would allow science to prosper and thrive while contributing to the religion.

Of course if we are to know how faith and science are compatible we must not just reconcile the latest scientific research and the current paradigms but the basic philosophic assumptions by which both science and faith operate. Let us first examine the foundations of science which are;

Uniformity in nature -- In order for science to work there must be laws in nature that repeat themselves in predictable patterns. So that we can test, experiment with, and observe the laws. Uniformity in nature is very important for the scientific worldview.

Objective truth -- Postmodernism (one of its many meanings being that there is no objective reality) is almost the exact opposite of the scientific worldview which states that there is an objective reality. The reason is because in order for science to work there must be a reality which we can test all ideas against, if there is no objective reality science is worthless and the necessity of science is eliminated.

The reliability of the senses and human reason -- Reason is obviously important to science, reason is how we do science. In order for science to be a trustworthy method of finding truth, reason must be reliable; because science is all about using our reasoning powers to discover the world around us. If we cannot trust our reason then science is worthless, because science is built on that crucial assumption. Also the trustworthiness of our senses goes hand in hand with this assumption since that is how we get information about the world, which our reason uses to put together of the pieces of the puzzle of existence.

Now that we know the foundations of science, how do we marry it to the philosophical foundations of faith? well what are the philosophical foundations of faith?;

That there is a reality in which the human intellect is inapplicable-- This is essentially faith, being that human reason is unreliable in gaining knowledge of this unseen world at least can only come from revelation. Now at first, this may seem to make faith and science seem like two contradictory views. But then again it is only referring to the unseen reality in which the five senses are not reliable tools for examining that reality. This does not necessarily mean all reality is undecipherable to human reason.

That there is an unseen reality which ultimately affects our reality -- This is fundamental to Abrahamic faith, since it implies a force from another reality which engulfs our own in its power, and that what happens in the other reality ultimately affect what happens in this reality and vice verca.

Objective Truth -- This objective truth is truth not established by human opinion but by the force which comes from the unseen reality, it is truth which will not change no matter how much a man wants it to.

Absolute Truth -- Even more important to faith is absolute truth. This truth unlike the uncertain truth in science is absolute and unchanging, this aspect of faith is what draws so many people to it. This truth is not found by human reason by revealed by the force from the unseen reality. So therefore it cannot change, that would upset a cardinal philosophical pillar of faith.

How do we reconcile these two views? At first they seem to be exact opposites, science says human reason is reliable and faith says the opposite; however it is clear faith only deems the unseen supernatural realm as inaccessible to human reason, and knowable only through revelation. Also both science and faith operate by the same assumption that there is an objective truth.

Well the obvious question for the Christian is, "Does the bible support science?" The bible gives strong support for using nature for the benefit of Man (Genesis 1:28) which is the the best reason for science. Also there are several verses which imply the reliability of human reason when applied to nature. One is Job 12:7-8; But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. "Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; And let the fish of the sea declare to you. This passage implies that our senses can be used to accurately understand the world. Also Romans 1:20 gives a clear indication that God expects us to be able to use our reason to determine his existence.

So we can say that the bible supports use of human reasoning skills from these two verses. The bible also supports uniformity in nature with passages like Genesis 8:22. Since the biblical God is unchanging and not whimsical in his moral judgements, it is not to much to extrapolate that he is not whimsical with natural law, thus allowing for science to exist. And obviously the bible supports the idea of an objective truth, otherwise the biblical worldview would be forfeit since it clearly states that there is only one truth.
So we find that;
--The bible supports objective truth
--the bible supports limited use of the mind when examining nature
--the bible supports uniformity in nature
--and the bible gives proper incentive for science.
So what would be the biblical reason for science? Well in Genesis 1:28 God gave us dominion of this planet and told us to develop it and to use its resources for our own benefit. Science is the best way to do this, at the same time science is the study of God's creation so it should be incredibly interesting to anyone who is interested in God. Because it is another revelation by which we may know God's face.

So ultimately faith and science are compatible, so let us work together to find truth. If science and religion can work together along these lines, one providing the philosophical foothold and the other gathering information about the world then we are on the right path towards reconcilliation.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Ten so called Dangers of evolution (rebuttal)" series promotion.

Being that no one appears to have my three last posts on theistic evolution (a rebuttal of the Answers in Genesis article "Ten dangers of theistic evolution"). I ave decided to remind those reading this of them;

Ten so called Dangers of theistic evolution part 1 (dangers 1-3)

Ten so called Dangers of theistic evolution part 2 (dangers 4-7)

Ten so called dangers of theistic evolution part 3 (dangers 8-10)

They should be resourceful, tell me if you have any problems with them.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Why Young Earth Creationism isn't science

I have been asked why I don't consider young earth creationism science. It is true young earth creationism is having an unanswerable problem with evidence to support itself, but that does not mean it couldn't otherwise be a scientific theory.

The reason its not science is because young earth creationism does not even follow the same methodology as science, so even if it were legitimate it wouldn't be considered science. You see science starts with no presuppositions of how the world is supposed to be, then looks at the evidence and forms a conclusion; presuppositions may exist but they are ignored. Science draws the conclusion after gathering the evidence. Young Earth Creationism starts out with the conclusion that earth is 6,000 years old and was reshaped by flood 4400 years ago and then find evidence to support the conclusion they have already come to, then they have to force-fit all science into this conclusion. They even freely preach this position; here is a quote from the leading creationist Ken Ham;
When someone tells me they want ‘proof’ or ‘evidence’, not the Bible, my
response is as follows:
‘You might not believe the Bible but I do. And I
believe it gives me the right basis to understand this universe and correctly
interpret the facts around me. I’m going to give you some examples of how
building my thinking on the Bible explains the world and is not contradicted by
science. For instance, the Bible states that God made distinct kinds of animals
and plants. Let me show you what happens when I build my thinking on this
presupposition. I will illustrate how processes such as natural selection,
genetic drift, etc. can be explained and interpreted. You will see how the
science of genetics makes sense based upon the Bible.’

At first glance Ken Ham's view does seem reasonable after all we do interpret everything according to our own biases don't we? Also This perspective allows a person intelligent or not to comfortably except any view and feel perfectly comfortable with it, even though to an outside observer it may obvious that the person is mistaken. Ken Ham has successfully crafted a way that you can believe whatever you want and not have to deal with what the facts have to actually say at all. If I didn't have such high scruples and respect for rational inquiry I would accept this view; it is very, very comfortable, but is it rational? Is this view really how we find truth, is this really how science worked all along? In any area? Why if this idea were true archaeology would be impossible since we would not know anything about this civilization except what they left behind, "we weren't there." The past before human experience can be known.
Suppose I were out hiking in the mountains and I came across the body of a deer which had fallen in my path, also suppose after examining it I found that it was torn apart and showed teeth marks, I would say it must have been eaten by wolves. At this point the only evidence for a wolf attack is the fact that it has teeth marks on its body (as well as the fact that its body was in several pieces). Well what else can I do? Suppose I were to look for wolf foot prints, the deer looks like it was killed relatively recently so there should still be foot prints in the area; so I look around and lo' and behold, there are wolf foot prints all around the place. Also lets say I have to spend the night around that spot, and while I am uneasily trying to sleep I hear wolves howling. This is not a perfect analogy but it shows you can indeed tell what happened in the past without having to here it from an eye witness. Now I may not have the entire picture but I have the basic idea; the deer was attacked by wolves, large parts of its body were eaten. So I can get some idea of the past, unlike how Ken Ham seems to think that we have no way of knowing.

Also there are several problems just with his last few sentences.
--Science does not make sense under his interpretation of the bible
--The bible was never meant to be a science textbook, the bible itself makes this obvious, if it were meant to be a scientific text, the parts of the bible discussing scientific topics (the origin of the universe for one) would be no doubt more detailed.

What do we have here in this view that young earth creationists embrace? Well if this is true and our presuppositions determine reality, then there is no objective truth. You can go ahead and claim the bible is the truth in this view but that is just you assertion, there actually is no substance to it, a Muslim could just as easily claim that what the koran says is absolute truth and his position would be just as valid as your own. Unknowingly and unintentionally Ken Ham and his followers have bought into postmodernism, a view which is both anti-science and anti-Christian, both science and the Christian faith demand that there is a truly objective truth to which all truth can be tested against, otherwise both are in trouble. No matter how tempting an idea may be, we cannot accept postmodern ideas to justify its acceptance.

It must also be mentioned that this view has a general intolerance about it, Answers in Genesis will accept no other interpretations then their own, if you question it based on scientific evidence which contradicted it, you are now a heretic. If we are to make this view the normal view of the scientific community then we have just sentenced science and the scientists to prison, this isn't reconciling science and faith, it is placing science under the thumb of an unnecessary dogma. This isn't science being reconciled with faith, its more like science being oppressed by faith. What could happen if this view is accepted as the mainstream philosophical view on science? Scientists may be forced to rewrite all science into a particular interpretation of the bible, any evidence that truly contradicts their philosophical presuppositions will have to be rationalized or ignored, if they dare try to bring it up as a challenge to the particular view of the scientific community, it would be like a rerun of the Spanish inquisition.

Answers in Genesis says so itself that no theory if it contradicts their view of scripture can be legitimate, if it conflicts with there position it is wrong and that's that, no other examination required. And anyone who dares oppose there position will be fired from their job, lose their reputation and ultimately neither science nor Christianity will be helped by this theocratic control over the scientific community; both will be held back, perhaps for centuries.

Now I am not saying people don't have presuppostions, of course they dom its just they must be discussed in their proper place, in the realm of metaphysics, not in physical science.

I am not saying the AiG proponents all think this way or that somewhere along the line the next generation which holds this veiw might become the oppressors

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Ten so called dangers of theistic evolution part 3 (answering dangers 8-10)

Well this is the last part of my rebuttal to the AiG article "Ten Dangers of Theistic Evolution."

I will finish answering the last couple attacks on theistic evolution; dangers eight, nine, and ten (also if you have not read parts one and two go ahead and look at them).

Alright, enough babbling, lets dig in;

Danger no. 8: Loss of Creation Concepts

At first glance, it doesn't, and if you look further their first reason I am afraid isn't very convincing:

Certain essential creation concepts are taught in the Bible. These

--God created matter without using any available material.

Theistic Evolution does not imply that matter was created out of existing material, the Big Bang implies almost a creation out of nothin; of course boith sides will interpret the Big Bang by how they see the universe.

--God created the earth first, and on the fourth day He added the moon, the
solar system, our local galaxy, and all other star systems. This sequence
conflicts with all ideas of ‘cosmic evolution’, such as the ‘big bang’

Here is an excellent article on why this isn't necessarily the case; there is also one article addressing this topic on the Answers In Creation website. And I should mention one more interesting article on Rich Deem's God and Science website on why the old earth interpretation makes as much if not more sense as the young earth interpretation.

Danger no. 9: Misrepresentation of Reality

The Bible carries the seal of truth, and all its pronouncements are authoritative—whether they deal with questions of faith and salvation, daily living, or matters of scientific importance.
Evolutionists brush all this aside, e.g. Richard Dawkins says, ‘Nearly all peoples have developed their own creation myth, and the Genesis story is just the one that happened to have been adopted by one particular tribe of Middle Eastern herders. It has no more special status than the belief of a particular West African tribe that the world was created from the excrement of ants’.4
If evolution is false, then numerous sciences have embraced false testimony. Whenever these sciences conform to evolutionary views, they misrepresent reality. How much more then a theology which departs from what the Bible says and embraces evolution!

Now this is almost amusing, the young earth creationist writer seems to think theistic evolutionists in particular are the same as atheistic evolutionists. The bible is definitely authoritative in the opinion of many theistic evolutionists including myself. It simply doesn't give us the full story: the story not told God has given us the joy of finding out for ourselves, now can you young earth creationists stop interrupting please? Of course I and most all Christians disagree with Richard Dawkins on what he said about particular creation stories. And lastly Evolution is probably true, and the scientifically established age of the earth as well as the Big Bang are definitely true; so I think our theology is pretty safe, how about you?

Danger no. 10: Missing the Purpose

Missing the purpose of the entire bible is what AiG supporters do best, now why do they think we are missing the purpose? Lets see:

In no other historical book do we find so many and such valuable statements
of purpose for man, as in the Bible. For example:
--Man is God’s purpose in
creation (
). stumbling blocks for the theistic evolutionist

--Man is the purpose of God’s plan of redemption (Isaiah
) stumbling blocks for the theistic evolutionist here either

--Man is the purpose of the mission of God’s Son (1
John 4:9

Agreed...once again this is no problem for the theistic evolutionist, only the deistic or atheistic evolutionist.

--We are the purpose of God’s inheritance (Titus

Agreed, not a problem for the theistic evolutionist.

--Heaven is our destination (1
Peter 1:4

Sigh...will you please bring up a something which actually is a problem for theistic evolution? this sensory underload is killing me; the author was doing good at first but now he's just showing a how little he knows about theistic evolutionists.

However, the very thought of purposefulness is anathema to evolutionists. ‘Evolutionary adaptations never follow a purposeful program, they thus cannot be regarded as teleonomical.’5 Thus a belief system such as theistic evolution that marries purposefulness with non-purposefulness is a contradiction in terms.

Well in the end even my view of evolution says that evolution doesn't have anything to do with our purpose in life or how we should act. Evolution is simply how God created us and how he created life on earth, it really doesn't determine who we are; Atheism and Materialism are the philosophies which say Man has no purpose not evolution. Evolution just biological change over time.

Well that concludes my rebuttal. AiG doesn't seem to understand evolution or theistic evolution. Either. Hopefully an era will come in the future where religion and science are in perfect harmony and both sides have learned to compliment each other. Unfortunately that time seems far into the future, it may never come before the second coming.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ten so called dangers of theistic evolution part 2 (answering dangers 4-7)

I promised I would continue to cover the supposed ten dangers in a later post and so I shall. have received a lot of reception with my last post from young earth creationists and a few atheists. On e concern appears to be that theistic evolution is contrary to the word and I shall answer that claim.

Now onto the so called danger number four;

Danger no. 2: Loss of the Way for Finding

"The Bible describes man as being completely ensnared by sin after
Adam’s fall (
). Only those persons who realize that they are sinful and
lost will seek the Saviour who ‘came to save that which was lost’ (
However, evolution knows no sin in the biblical sense of
missing one’s purpose (in relation to God). Sin is made meaningless, and that is
exactly the opposite of what the Holy Spirit does—He declares sin to be sinful.
If sin is seen as a harmless evolutionary factor, then one has lost the key for
finding God, which is not resolved by adding ‘God’ to the evolutionary

Theistic Evolutionists agree with the first paragraph; yes according to Christian theology Man is completely ensnared in sin and evolution does not help make sin meaningless, pre-human hominids may have done things which if they were human would be considered sinful, but at that time they were merely highly intelligent animals. When hominids became humans with souls and morality and a way of knowing God they were meant to act different from animals and primitive hominids, but they still did the animalistic thing and fell from grace. So they still need salvation, they still need Jesus, this by no means impedes upon the Christian doctrine of salvation.
Danger no. 5: The Doctrine of God's Incarnation is

And why do they think this? Their reasons border on absurd;
"The incarnation of God through His Son Jesus Christ is one of the basic
teachings of the Bible. The Bible states that ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt
among us’ (
), ‘Christ Jesus … was made in the likeness of men (Philippians

OK...a young earth creationist it going to have to explain to me why theistic evolution undermines the word becoming flesh, because this makes no sense. Yes According to Christian teaching, Christ came in the flesh, and he came in the image of a man. The fact that God made the human body through millions of years of evolution has not negatively impact the fact that Christ came in human form. That is like saying; "If Adam and Eve were not Jewish then the Carnation of Christ is undermined because the bible says Jesus was Jewish."
Danger no. 6: The Biblical Basis of Jesus' Work of Redemption is

This is pretty self explanatory, but I will still give you the text of why they think this;

The Bible teaches that the first man’s fall into sin was a real event and that this was the direct cause of sin in the world. ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’ (Romans 5:12).
Theistic evolution does not acknowledge Adam as the first man, nor that he was created directly from ‘the dust of the ground’ by God (
Genesis 2:7). Most theistic evolutionists regard the creation account as being merely a mythical tale, albeit with some spiritual significance. However, the sinner Adam and the Saviour Jesus are linked together in the Bible—Romans 5:16-18. Thus any theological view which mythologizes Adam undermines the biblical basis of Jesus’ work of redemption.

I agree with "sin came into the world by Adam" except for the no death before sin part, I personally think Adam was a real person, most conservative Christians who believe in evolution do not say Adam wasn't a real person. He probably was a real person; he may not have been the first physical person but he was the first spiritual person definitely. I think that Adam and Eve lived in the earliest part of human history and probably are the genetic as well as spiritual ancestors of all people alive today (note this does not necessarily mean they were literally the first humans) . Thus the redemption is not mythologized and this young earth claim is baseless.
Danger no. 7: Loss of Biblical Chronology

As far as salvation is concerned that is 100% irrelevant. And as far as Biblical Chronology is concerned; lets see why they think this is the case.

The Bible provides us with a time-scale for history and this underlies a proper understanding of the Bible.

No it doesn't, it only gives us hints which we may interpret according to our own prejudices. The Genealogies probably have gaps, and there is enough scientific evidence for an old earth and universe to suggest the bible leaves a lot out, that is because the bible was not meant to convey scientific knowledge.
This time-scale includes:
--The time-scale cannot be extended
indefinitely into the past, nor into the future. There is a well-defined
beginning in
, as well as a moment when physical time will end (Matthew

Once again that isn't true, and the end times presents no problem whatsoever for Theistic Evolution or Old Earth Creationism

--The total duration of creation was six days (Exodus

Exodus 20:11 has no chronological merit the same word for day is used as in Genesis

--The age of the universe may be estimated in terms of the genealogies
recorded in the Bible (but note that it cannot be calculated exactly). It is of
the order of several thousand years, not billions.

The geological record suggests millions of years, I think we can revise the genealogies. Besides Man has only been here for a few thousand years and the genealogies only count after Adam

points out the most outstanding event in the world’s history:
‘But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son.’ This
happened nearly 2,000 years ago.

Galatians 4:4 has absolutely nothing to do with the age of the earth, and yes I accept the most outstanding event in the history of the universe is yet to come.

--The return of Christ in power and glory is the greatest expected future

Amen, but what the on earth does this have to do with evolution or the age of the earth?

Supporters of theistic evolution (and progressive creation) disregard the
biblically given measures of time in favour of evolutionist time-scales
involving billions of years both past and future (for which there are no
convincing physical grounds).

When it comes to biblical chronology, the measures given in the bible are conveniently flexible. we theistic evolutionists only accept the "evolutionist" timescales because God's creation declares them to be accurate, now back to you Werner.

This can lead to two errors:

Lets look at these two errors

1. Not all statements of the Bible are to be taken

You do agree that some parts of the bible shouldn't be taken literally don't you? You know things like passages which imply geocentrism and those which would make more sense under a geocentric framework. We know well enough that these are not addressing scientific concepts eventually Christians will know that Genesis 1 is not a scientific text. Only if you go the extreme will this become a problem. The extreme is taking a position without analyzing each step rationally to make sure it was the correct position and some in between position isn't better. As long as you do this devaluing of the biblical text won't happen. And if the bible turns out to be wrong it will happen, but since I and most Christians are not convinced the Bible is false so I won't jump to that conclusion.

2. Vigilance concerning the second coming of Jesus may be lost.

Probably not, how we look at the beginning does not always define how we look at the end.

Well I only got to seven, I will finish answering the rest of them in my final post about this topic; part 3.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ten so called dangers of theistic evolution

Answers In Genesis the current hub of the young earth creationist movement (the other being Institute for Creation Research) has written several articles devoted to tearing down the mainstream Christian position on evolution (to make their view look more credible). Well one of them is the "Ten Dangers of Theistic Evolution."

They basically spell out the reason they are trying to tear evolution to the ground (and doing a bad job I am afraid).

Note: For those of you who seem to think so, I am attacking Answers In Genesis, I am not quarrelling over an unimportant issue. I am correcting AiG in a realm I think they are clearly mistaken.

Well lets get right into it. The first problem involves the common misconception among young earth creationists that theistic evolutionists somehow devalue God, or say that he is not as powerful. It is also based on the "no death before sin" argument for young teaching in the bible;

Danger no. 1: Misrepresentation of the nature of

The Bible reveals God to us as our Father in Heaven, who is absolutely
perfect (
), holy (Isaiah
), and omnipotent (Jeremiah
). The Apostle John tells us that ‘God is love’, ‘light’, and
‘life’ (
John 4:16
; 1:5; 1:1-2).
When this God creates something, His work is described as ‘very good’ (
) and ‘perfect’ (Deuteronomy
Theistic evolution gives a false representation of the
nature of God because death and ghastliness are ascribed to the Creator as
principles of creation. (Progressive creationism, likewise, allows for millions
of years of death and horror before sin.)

Well, young earth creationists have a problem with animal death. According to their idea of God animal death is evil so God is evil. This is not a biblical teaching, I have talked about this before.
Only human death is evil, it is talking about spiritual death not physical death. God is still love. Besides I do not believe God is directly guiding natural selection, more he was guiding the force which influence natural selection. The next objection is not much stronger;

Danger no. 2: God becomes a God of gaps

At first this seems like the most ironic hypocritical statement I have heard coming from AiG, well lets look at their reasons, is it?

The Bible states that God is the Prime Cause of all things. ‘But to us there
is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things … and one Lord Jesus Christ,
by whom are all things, and we by Him’ (
Corinthians 8:6
However, in theistic evolution the only
workspace allotted to God is that part of nature which evolution cannot
‘explain’ with the means presently at its disposal. In this way He is reduced to
being a ‘god of the gaps’ for those phenomena about which there are doubts. This
leads to the view that ‘God is therefore not absolute, but He Himself has
evolved—He is evolution

And somehow God is not the prime cause of all things according to theistic evolution (sigh). I could do nothing but shake my head when they said that it means God is evolution. No, no, no Mr. Gitt (the name of the person writing this) according to Theistic Evolution God guides evolution he is by no means the process itself, you are the only one who is claiming such a thing. Neither does Theistic Evolution imply God is evolving, and of course according to Theistic Evolution God is the cause of all things, ever heard of the Big Bang (yes there are some who disagree I am simply making a point)? And young earth creationists seem to have a much larger problem with "gods of gaps" since they evoke God directly right and left as the with virtually everything, if you do that if a natural explanation is found you are going to create an environment where your religion contracts every time science expands, that is a religion killer.

Danger no. 3: Denial of Central Biblical

The entire Bible bears witness that we are dealing with a source of
truth authored by God (
Timothy 3:16
), with the Old Testament as the indispensable ‘ramp’
leading to the New Testament, like an access road leads to a motor freeway
). The biblical creation account should not be regarded as a
myth, a parable, or an allegory, but as a historical report, because:

Before I let them continue I agree that the Old Testament cannot be discarded or ignored, only liberal Christians say that and I am conservative. I agree that it is the key to understanding the New Testament. And I agree that it is more then a myth, parable or allegory. This is another widespread young earth misconception. Now that we go that over with lets go on to why they think this.

--Biological, astronomical and anthropological facts are given in didactic [teaching] form.

...Yes, they are, very good...Genesis 1 however is not, and besides there are times when a day doesn't always mean a day

--In the Ten Commandments God bases the six working days and one day of rest on the sametime-span as described in the creation account (Exodus 20:8-11).

And this is a good reason to interpret the word yom as day because...Anyway why could God really mean six ages and still give us the layout for a week?

--In the New Testament Jesus referred to facts of the creation (e.g. Matthew 19:4-5).

That could have just as easily been referring to the beginning of mankind and yes I agree, Man And woman evolved (or I'll say were made) both male and female.

--Nowhere in the Bible are there any indications that the creation account should be understood in any other way than as a factual report.

2 Peter 3:8? And The bible has lots of facts and lots of allegory and we should be able to distinguish it using out reason, apparently you don't.

Well I was only able to make it through three of the dangers. So I don't make an inconventiently long article I am going to save the other seven for another post. There are a lot of other things to be covered. Until then, God bless. I mean that both to my fellow Christians( both theistic evolutionists, old earth creationists, and AiG fans) and atheists.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Of Reptillian humanoids and dinosaurs

Is there life on other planets? Perhaps, this question is interesting but actual inquiry should never be taken beyond the scope of scientific inquiry (that's what science fiction is for). Well if there are aliens, this guy has gone one step further. He says the aliens in UFOs are dinosaurs! That's combining to species of geeks into one!

Will the UFO nuttiness ever end?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Carl Sagan explains the history of Creation

Carl Sagan (1934-1996), he was an astronomer, SETI activist, Astrobiologist, and a skeptic. In this particular video he does a good job at eloquently describing history of the universe.

Carl Sagan-origins

I disagree with a lot of what he says, being an evangelical Christian I disagree with a major part of his worldview. But there are also things we have in common; we are love astronomy, we both imagined life on other planets, we both believe the Big Bang and we both generally accept most of the same science. But there is one major difference which leads to several other differences.

The difference is my belief in God.

Mr. Sagan saw the universe as the result of chance events and mishaps. He saw mankind as a highly advanced animal. He saw religion has superstition of an age past.

I see it hopefully how many Christians see it. I see the big Bang as original creation ex nihilo where God began creating the universe. I see the universe as the work of a cosmic genius.

And as for evolution, I see it as the cosmic creator's method of creation. And what is Man? From a materialist point of view Man is no more then animal. A highly evolved primate which will soon be capable of interplanetary spaceflight. But according to the Christian theistic evolutionary worldview; Man is more then that, somewhere along the way we went from being like them, the animals; brutish, dimwitted, dominated by instinct. Humanity has in this view been given the earth by its creator to live on and to steward. Humans are distinguished from all life-forms since they are made in God's image. Having sense, reason, intellect, morality, etc.

According to Theistic Evolution Humanity is not simply here because the odds were in our favor but because our existence had been planned from the very beginning. From the Big Bang our lives had been mapped out and our existence plotted. And now 14 billion years later here we are, we are only a dim reflection of the glorious resplendent jewel that is God but we are still in God's image, we were created for a purpose, and that purpose is to be a child and servant of God and to serve and love other humans.

On this planet have been given the opportunity to finish our mission; we can either use our gifts, our God-given reason and moral sense to help others, make the world a better place, improve other people's lives, and what not. Or we can squander it all for the sake of the greed, selfishness, and wickedness of the vulgar side of humanity, it is ultimately up to us.

A map of interstellar planets

Some of those reading this may be familiar with planetquest, which is part of an active search by astrobiologists (and yes that is a real scientific field) for earth like planets. It is a very interesting study which in which I plan to be involved. The reason I am mentioning this is because I found a really cool 3-D map of all the stars with planets orbiting them. So far only one planet small enough to be a terrestrial planet has been found so far (most are the size of Jupiter or the gas giants). Of course one of the gas giants in the habitable zone may have a large moon which harbors some form of life.

There are also some planets which have circular orbit which might mean there is a small undetectable earth sized planet orbiting that star. You see, a Jupiter sized planet in a very eccentric (comet-like) orbit would carry off any poor unsuspecting earth like planets into the far reaches of its Solar System making it inhospitable for life. So if there are no Jupiter sized planets in eccentric orbit there might be a planet orbiting the star which is earth like or perhaps a large moon orbiting the Jupiter like planet capable of harboring life.

Many of these worlds could be future homes for our descendants

Saturday, May 3, 2008

AAAS on Expelled

Being that I will be out of town for the next week I will close with a comment on what my fellow evolution-supporting Christians think of Ben Stein's Expelled.

It is rather insightful, although some may think of it as old.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Solving the "Dinosaur Dilemma"

About ten days ago I read an article on my friend Elles's blog. It was titled, "A preschoolers road to unbelief." She basically told about how her preschool belief in God was shattered when she could not find out why God if he were protecting the dinosaurs why he would let them go extinct (she has more complex reasons for being an atheist now of course). Well I gave what my response would have been had she asked me at that time. She replied, and soon a conversation on dinosaurs had started. Although it shifted to why did God take a 160 million year detour in evolving mammals who would become our ancestors to make giant lizards which would die off anyway. The so called "Dinosaur Dilemma" although it borders on facetious when I think about writing an article addressing it I feel it must be addressed. She has used the dino dilemma at least two times on her blog when addressing a theistic evolutionist.

Now first of all being that I don't intend to write an essay on this topic I'll try to keep this post a s short as possible.

Now to begin, lets start with a short introduction. The proto-mammals that existed for most or all of the mesozoic era (which lasted 186 million years between 251 Mya and 65 Mya) evolved from nifty creatures known as therapsids. Therapsids were mammal -like reptiles (the earliest could have been thought of as naked lizards with no hair or scales). They were mammal-like in the sense that they show signs of lactation (feeding their children mother's milk, also paleontologists have suggested it was orignally used for keeping eggs moist). The late therapsids (such as cynodonts and theriodonts) could have been easily mistaken for mammals they had hair, lactation, as well as a near-mammalian jaw and middle ear. Also some therapsids had erect limbs. Today and back then lizards have sprawling limbs (meaning their legs are spread out from their body). Today most mammals have erect limbs (meaning their limbs are direclty below their bodies supporting them like pillars on a building).

The evolution of erect limb structure was every erratic and slow, in fact mammalian evolution was quite slow. Therapsids were the dominant terrestrial lifeform in the permian period (between about 299 Mya and 251 Mya). Then about 251 million years ago, something terrible happened.

The Permian-cretaceous mass extinction, it is not agreed on what caused the mass extinction but what did happen is that 96% of sea dwelling species and 70% of land dwelling vertebrates went extinct. It was by far the worst mass extinction earth has gone through yet. This devastated the therapsids, only theriodonts, theracophalians, and cynodonts survived. All other therapsids died out. This also led to the saurapsids gaining dominance and taking over the planet, the archosaurs who include dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and plesiosaurs filled all the niches which the therapsids had previously filled reducing the therapsids to nocturnal insectivores who were often no larger then rats. Now interestingly enough the mass extinction and reptilian takeover aided mammalian evolution;

--since they were small they became warm-blooded so they could sustain their body heat in the cool of the night

--the development towards differentiated teeth with precise occlusion (the arches of the teeth coming together in symmetry) was given a boost because they needed to be able to catch arthropods and crush their exoskeletons.

--an acute sense of hearing and smell became more necessary so as a result the mammalian ear evolved faster then it otherwise would have.

--and the evolution of the mammalian skull was accelerated as a whole.

--Because the jawbones came together further forward on the skull this allowed for less restriction on brain siz allowing the brain to become larger.

After this one of the survivors, the cynodonts, ended up being the ancestors of all mammals today. Cynodonts survived into the mid-cretaceaous period, by the end it had all the characteristics of a mammal. The small bones which are in located in the jaw in reptiles were in its ear (as expected in mammals), it had fur, and it had more mammalian dentistry. It still layed eggs however (which monotremes, or egg-laying mammals still do). Of course this isn't the end of it. The first true mammals did not appear until 125 Mya, and when they did they were marsupials (meaning their offspring were born in pouches). now this was a step but they were not the mammals that would lead to us. The next mammals to evolve were none other then placental mammals (I'll let you guess what those are). And guess what species relevant to humans is a placental mammal; humans themselves. Placental mammals began to diversify 110 Mya splitting off into different groups, then 65 Mya something strangely wonderful happened. It is bad because it was another mass extinction; but this time dinosaurs, plesiosaurs, and pterosaurs (and pretty much anything larger then a house-cat) went extinct. This was was sadly fantastic because now the newly evolved mammals took over and ten million years later they dominated the earth. One group of these mammals inhabited the trees and developed intelligence, then 5 Mya one group broke of and became hominids which led to us (according to the evolutionary theory).

Do you see it? Do you see the hand of God? If the permian extinction had not occurred mammal evolution would have taken much longer, or mammals may have never evolved, then humans would have never arrived. God sent the permian-cretaceous extinction event to speed up mammal evolution and then the cretaceous-tertiary extinction event to allow mammals to populate the earth and lead the way to us, then he revealed himself to us making us in his own image.

Thank God for evolution.