Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Science and Presuppositions; Christians who contributed to "evolutionary" science

Creationists such as Terry Mortension attempt to strengthen the illusion of a worldview difference between secular geology and flood geology as well as secular and young earth astronomy by stating many of the early uniformitarians were deistic and atheistic.

While this is true, not all early long-agers were atheists or deists;

Emmanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) A Swedish mystic and scientist who proposed a form of the Nebular Hypothesis on the origin of the Solar System, although he also studied philosophy, physics, and mechanics; he even drew a sketch for a flying machine. Along with being a rationalist he was also a mystic and claimed to have received visions from God telling him to reform the true Christianity. Although he did hold some heterodox and other downright heretical views about the trinity (Newton did as well, not that holding heterodox views pf the trinity is a good thing of course, it is simply that even though Newton did have unorthodox views he is praised by creationists as a Christian in science), he could nonetheless be described as a Christian, and he could also be described as uniformitarian in his thinking towards natural history. He obviously had a very strong belief in the bible and that did not stop him from being a long age astronomer.

Emmanuel Kant (1724-1804) An influential German enlightenment thinker; most of his works are on philosophy although he did develop the Nebular Hypothesis which gave a naturalistic for the origin of the Solar System. Although most of his scientific work was in astronomy he did write on the history of the earth as well.

More recent scientists include who contributed to the more controversial parts of secular science include Roman Catholic Georges Lemaitre who developed the Big Bang theory, (this is interesting being that many creationists call the Big Bang an atheistic idea when in fact it sprang from the mind of a clergymen!) Jesuit scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who contributed to the field of evolutionary biology (although his theology was in the stratosphere), and evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky.

These are just two 18th century uniformitarians who were indeed Christian theists, many Christian Geologists and Astronomers who believed in an old earth came later in the 19th century when more evidence for such ideas had come. Interestingly enough creationists who were contemporaries of Darwin were often old earthers, among them being Paleontologist Sir Richard Owen and the Theologian Charles Hodge. It is simply not true that all supporters of an old earth had deistic or atheistic philosophies, There were differing views on both sides in both centuries. Belief in an old earth was not because of compromise with an anti-theistic philosophy it was simply because of the evidence for an old earth.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A debate between Old earth creationists and Young earth creationists

A few months ago there was a debate between young earth creationists creationists Ken Ham and Jason Lisle and old earth creationist Hugh Ross with professor of the Old Testament Walter Kaiser on the John Ankerberg show; I don't agree with everything Hugh Ross says but I am much closer theologically and scientifically to Hugh Ross' position then Ken Ham's. It is rather interesting, I do not have the time now but I will give my comments on parts of it in later articles. You can see the debate here (it has ten parts so don't expect it to be short).

Please watch and share your opinions.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

examining Creation Guys episode 5

Since I responded to their fourth one already I decided to respond to each in order. This episode has to do with faith and logic. The first topics they talk about is news about someone trying to sneak an intentionally poor paper past Answers Research Journal peer review, and then the question, "who created God?" I don't have much of a problem with their answer to that question although I would definitely not go as far to call it an unintelligent question. Also I am dismayed at their dismissive attitude, they don't even really answer the question even though it is a serious question.

However the next statement borders on infuriating;
Jonathan Samson: "Now a lot of people--there's a lot of Christian theologians out
there--who just don't really care about this kind of stuff."

They don't care!? So pro-science theologians who look for ways in how faith and science mix don't care about the relationship between science and religion? This makes absolutely no sense, they may not say earth was created in six days but they definitely care about the relationship between science and religion, its anti-science theologians who think science and religion are incompatible and one has to be suppressed who don't care.
Eric Hovind: "Yeah they really compromise the whole situation of--science and
God--they assume that if they practice science and when they practice their
faith--their religion, they kind of have to take of their science hat and put on
their God hat"

True there are many people who do think that science and religion occupy separate zones in the brain and that one somehow suppresses the other. This is not the view of pro-science theologians but more commonly the view of theologians opposed to science because of their off the wall interpretation of the bible. Most theologians he is talking about see science and theology as equivalent and complementary ways of discovering truth.

They go on to say that many Christians feel that if we simply sacrifice a literal interpretation of the bible evolution and Christianity are compatible, while this is true there are many Christians (progressive creationists including) who do not see their acceptance of modern science as contradictory to a literal interpretation of the bible; Just a young earth one. I am Christian and I do not see any problem with accepting evolution. Then he goes onto mention Hugh Ross as if he were a Christian who didn't take the bible literally and believed in evolution. This is ridiculous Hugh Ross does take the bible literally, however he uses an alternate literal interpretation (the day-age interpretation) that does not lead you to the conclusion that the days of genesis were ordinary days, he is still a staunch anti-evolutionist, he is hardly a poster boy for liberal theology. Eric Hovind Continues;

"Dude that is a question that comes up isn't it! 'why can't you just compromise and give into the Big Bang thing?' 'Why are you so dogmatic on this?'"

That is the question isn't it? To my fellow Christians: Frankly I don't care what position you take on Genesis whether your a young earth creationist or progressive creationist or theistic evolutionist like myself. I'm not going to try to deconvert you. And I will give you a chance to defend your position both scientifically and theologically, and I Will tell you only criticize your beliefs if you bring the subject of creation-vs evolution up and you want to debate. And I will tell you why I think your wrong, and if you are spreading misinformation I know it is my Christian duty to stop you. The purpose of this blog is to defend evolution both from a theological and scientific perspective not to attack yours. Also I'm not hard to convince show me that evolution is wrong and that the Big Bang and the extreme age of the earth are a joke and I will wholeheartedly accept creationism. Until then I will remain with my position. As for young earth creationists they will never be convinced that their beliefs are wrong because their interpretation of the bible will not allow it. Leaving a young earth interpretation for a better one would be compromise to them as Jonathan is about to confirm:

"It doesn't make it right, that's like saying, Eric your married, why won't you cheat on your wife as so many husbands have? Your not supposed too! [that's why]"

Jonathan Samson has made it clear that he is not going to change his interpretation of the bible because he sees it as compromising the authority of the bible. He see's it in the same light as cheating on ones wife. He will never change his mind from a scientific perspective and will continue to spread Hovind-style misinformation. What both pro-science Christians and non-Christians need to realize is that the creation-evolution controversy is theological in nature and should be addressed as such. As for anti-creationists who are also anti-religious it must be remembered that creationists are motivated to oppose evolution because the leading anti-religious crusaders have made evolution an argument against the existence of God. If we disassociated evolution from atheism and theism the debate would be over.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Back online

I have not been posting for the past couple of days because my internet connection was shaky, I'll be writing a post on the "Creationguys" tommarrow, Tonight I am too tired, goodnight.

Friday, September 5, 2008

evolution, capitalism, and communism

One interesting accusation of evolution is that it leads to communism and socialism, (national socialism in particular). It is a common claim by creationists to charge evolution with the foundation of Nazism, communism, socialism, fascism, and many other ideologies which are fundamentally socialistic.

Of course knowing that many claim evolution is the foundation of socialism and communism is rather useless if you don't know what any of those are. Now since it is usually Marxist communism which is usually branded as an "evolutionist ideology" I will look at communism and Nazism.

Communism is essentially the idea of a classless egalitarian society where nothing is owned by a single individual but everything is owned by the society at large, also in communism no one is wealthier then another, everyone is part of the working class. In communism you whether you are a plumber or a rocket scientist you get the same amount in return, because of this, you cannot get ahead of anyone else in a communist society, you will either starve or be in the working class but there is no very rich, just the very poor.

Communism sounds wonderful on paper but it is fundamentally flawed in practice due to the fact that it assumes that human nature is basically good and altruistic; when it is clearly not. Socialism a less extreme form, also envisions a society where there is limited private ownership and almost everything is owned by the state. The difference being that most socialist countries were democracies while most communist nations have been ruled by dictators; plus the fact that in communism the wealthy class is overthrown and replaced by the working class while socialism simply has the government taking over every area of life.

Now Capitalism is the virtual antithesis of communism and socialism; in capitalism private ownership is very important, everyone has to work; the means of production (meaning what you need to do your job and the material you are working on) is owned by private investors, and the economy is built on a free market system. Essentially, how well you work to earn money determines which class you will be in (lower, middle, or upper). What you receive depends on how much and how well you work. Capitalism shows our basic biological and psychological need to get ahead and compete with others. All in all, capitalism is superior to communism in that it is more consistent with human nature then communism.

Now in review, which one better fits the evolutionary theory? the basic mechanism of evolution is natural selection. Those who better adapt to their environment are more likely to live to produce offspring to carry on their lineage. Its all about who is the strongest and most productive. Compared to communism, evolution is actually quite different. If evolution really was the foundation of communism. Nothing would ever go extinct, and all organisms would be get the food they need. And the ones to go extinct would be the most successful, the most productive organisms would be eradicated to make way for the more humble creatures. In actuality it is quite obvious that capitalism reflects evolution much more then communism. capitalism like evolution demands that only the best and the most productive reach the top, private owners competing with one and other, very similar to the biological theory of evolution. It is simply libel to blame evolution for communism and fascism and other beliefs, it is shameful for Christians to resort to such tactics.