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Confronting Our Fears, Part 5: Losing Peace

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November 30, 2012 Tags: Lives of Faith

Today's entry was written by Mike Beidler. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of The BioLogos Foundation. You can read more about what we believe here.

Confronting Our Fears, Part 5: Losing Peace

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? (Rom 8:35, ESV)

So far I’ve looked at three of the four fears I think are common to evangelicals as they begin to consider evolutionary creation: the fear of losing biblical authority, the fear of losing our Savior—the place of Jesus in salvation history—and the fear of losing face and admitting that we might not have all the answers. Today I finish up this series by looking at the last fear—one that touches especially on our lives together as the body of Christ: the fear of losing peace.

Eight times in 21 years, my work has required that I pull up stakes and move. And with every new work-related move has come the loss of a loving church family and the dreaded journey of finding a new church home. For someone like me, that’s not an easy task. Though I’ve been asked on a number of occasions why I don’t seek out a church that agrees with what I believe theologically in regard to creation and evolution, the fact is that conservative, evangelical churches are a “known quantity” in each location in which we’ve lived—dependable places to find Christian community, and ones with which I’ve never desired to part. Also, if I took only and all of my theology into account, I’d end up worshiping in a church comprised of just me: a cult of one! But worshiping the Trinitarian God is to be done in community, and theology is something to be lived out in that community—not simply studied. Thus, my family and I have chosen not to isolate ourselves with others who agree with us on every point of Christian culture; we go where the Holy Spirit leads, and it appears that God’s found fit to put us right in the middle of congregations that are solidly young-earth creationist—right in the middle of all sorts of potential anxiety.

Depending on your particular situation, loss of peace can come in a variety of forms. It can be well-intentioned but overbearing counseling from concerned pastors and elders who fear the entrance of heresy into the church. It can be shunning by other families in your homeschooling circle. It can be the internal heartache caused by shocked family members and the resultant emotional discord that follows when your theological views no longer align with those of your spouse. It can be the threat of joblessness if your employer finds out that its premiere Old Testament scholar has shifted his views away from the institution’s Doctrinal Statement of Faith. It can be the threat of losing your entire apologetics ministry because a vast majority of your supporters will no longer support you if you revealed your paradigm shift. It can be the potential financial loss resulting from a repudiation of your previous scholarly work. One does not easily step out of the comfort zone of seemingly-settled doctrine into a world in which one’s beliefs, if made public, can cause all sorts of worry or anger from family members, pastors, friends, co-workers, and supporters.

As I mentioned in this series’ introduction, church members, pastors, elders, and deacons have blessed me by not causing me to endure any significant persecution. So what’s the secret? I’m not entirely sure. While I’m careful not to reveal my entire hand at the first available opportunity, I’ve never hidden or denied my views, either. In fact, when my wife and I last attempted to pursue official church membership, the board of elders denied our membership request as a result of my evolutionary creationist views. Nonetheless, we were warmly welcomed into the life of the congregation: My wife was given a children’s Sunday school teaching position, and I joined the worship team as a vocalist. More amazing to me was that I was explicitly instructed not to refrain from discussing my views if the occasion should arise—even within the context of adult Bible studies. Was the invitation to continued fellowship (if not membership) in our church the fruit of candidly confessing my views before the church’s elder board? Was it because I had exemplified my devotion to Jesus Christ in the months previous? Or was it demonstrating a thorough knowledge of Scripture that invited a congenial spirit from those whom I believed would firmly oppose me? Perhaps it was a combination of all of the above. This same approach of demonstrating respect and love before, during, and after engaging in risky dialogue has also proved successful with interactions in our current congregation, and we find ourselves once again fully involved in various church activities and ministries despite not being voting members of the church body. In every case, my agenda is nothing more than to be a productive member of the Body of Christ.

Although my “layman’s advice” doesn’t necessarily translate to a sure-fire method of maintaining a teaching position at a Christian academic institution, keeping an apologetics-based ministry afloat, or maintaining your book sales, I do know that attitudes and actions that reflect a devotion to Jesus win over hearts (if not minds), and are vastly superior to argumentative behavior and being a constant source of dissension. Granted, not all churches will be as accommodating as mine, but I offer my anecdotes as a small measure of hope for those readers who have encountered or will likely encounter persecution from family, friends, and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Whatever your situation is, treat those who persecute you with love, patience, and understanding, and reassure them of your steadfast devotion to Jesus Christ. If your Christ-like love isn’t returned after a concerted effort on your part to forestall a spiritually bloody confrontation, shake the dust off your feet and move on to a congregation that will accept you (cf. Matt 10:14). You owe it to yourself and those who rely upon you for spiritual leadership and protection.

Finally, I would also counsel those who stop pursuing the truth for fear of losing peace in their lives to not succumb to that fear. Rest on Jesus’ promise that the truth will set you free (John 8:32). Seek the help of the Lord (Heb 13:6) and seek the help of those who are on or have successfully made the same journey. We are out there, we love you, and we will help you (Gal 6:2).

Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. (1 Pet 3:14b-16, ESV)

A retired U.S. Navy commander, Mike currently resides in the Washington DC Metro Area and works in international business development for a major aerospace/defense company. Mike holds an MS in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego, a BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan, and an AA in Persian-Farsi from the U.S. Army’s Defense Language Institute. Mike is President of the DC Metro Section of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA), a member of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), and helps administer the Facebook group Celebrating Creation by Natural Selection.

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Merv - #74901

December 1st 2012

Thank you for this series, Mike.  It is an encouragement to those who may labor under the perception that they are alone in their congregation when they quite probably are not—and certainly not alone in the larger body of Christ around the world!

-Merv


Mike Beidler - #74930

December 2nd 2012

Thanks, Merv!


Paul Yoh - #74933

December 2nd 2012

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I have been to many churches and so far none had ever asked me what was my position on evolution/creation and I have degrees in Biology, Psychology, Spanish Literature, Physiological Optics as well a couple doctorates….


Mike Beidler - #74935

December 3rd 2012

Paul,

That’s great to hear that none of them questioned what you believe.  (Are you, in fact, a theistic evolutionist?)

But have any of your churches required signing a specific Statement of Faith contrary to your personal beliefs?  For me, it is in this specific context that my application for membership was outright denied, as one of the elders decided to Google me and discovered my blog.


Paul Yoh - #75093

December 8th 2012

Hi Mike! I am not much into labels but I would consider myself creationist, simply because I consider Genesis account in a literal manner. As to whether the young part or old….it seems like the old have the better support at the moment…

And I can see how one person can think it took six days while others think it took millions of years….I have seen that often enough in Psychology !!

Some people can make a deal out of the meanings of certain Scriptures but I think the biggest deal right now is, are you doing what God has called you today? Are you doing His will? What has he called you to do?


Mike Beidler - #75321

December 15th 2012

Yes, Paul, I believe I am doing what God’s called me to do:  Help the evangelical Christian community come to terms with scientific reality without feeling that it requires abandoning the One through Whom, by Whom, and for Whom all things were made.


wesseldawn - #75007

December 5th 2012

Are we reading the same Bible? The Bible clearly tells us to treat others “as” (the same as/like) ourselves. In other words “don’t do something to someone else that you would not want done to you”.

All this talk of forgive and forget is clearly not Biblical:

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (Matt. 18:15)

Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. (Luke 17:3)

Only where a brother repents from the wrong should we then forgive…though we had better make sure he was wrong otherwise we will bring judment upon our own heads.

But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment... (Matt. 5:22) 


Mike Beidler - #75027

December 6th 2012

Wesseldawn,

Are we reading the same Bible? The Bible clearly tells us to treat others “as” (the same as/like) ourselves. In other words “don’t do something to someone else that you would not want done to you”.

What is your point, Wesseldawn?  Where have I advocated a “forgive and forget” approach here?  Are we reading the same essay?


wesseldawn - #75315

December 14th 2012

Mike,

Actually you did contradict the Bible:

Whatever your situation is, treat those who persecute you with love, patience, and understanding, and reassure them of your steadfast devotion to Jesus Christ.

Your theological position is wrong: if a brother/sister sin against us, we are instructed to “rebuke them” - always with love lest we fall into the same situation.

 


Mike Beidler - #75320

December 14th 2012

I appreciate your concern, Wesseldawn.  Thanks.


wesseldawn - #75338

December 15th 2012

I’m somewhat disappointed with you Mike as real humility has no trouble admitting their error when they are shown to be wrong…and I am not concerned for you but rather for the people that you are teaching!


Mike Beidler - #75527

December 19th 2012

Since you haven’t shown me that I’m wrong—you certainly seem to have convinced yourself that I’m wrong—would you prefer I express false humility?


Mike Beidler - #75528

December 19th 2012

Or, alternatively, I could commit intellectual suicide and declare that I am, in fact, wrong after all.  Your choice:  Insincerity or lying.


2cortenfour - #75116

December 10th 2012

Mike
Thanks for all the thought and research you have put into this series. A few concerns.

1. Your conclusions are mainly predicated upon the presupposition that evolution is an undisputed fact. But it is not (see the multitudes of Ph.D’s who reject the theory - they are not ignorant at all).

- Theological problem:  Evolution must by definition be unguided. As soon as you make an allowance for divine intervention into the process, you have special creation and intelligent design. So, the “god” of Theistic Evolution, who sets the laws and spins everything into motion, then simply lets go, is more akin to the god of Deism than the True God of Biblical Christianity.
- Scientific problems (a couple among many)
The Genetic Probability problem
To get from a simple one-celled organism to Man, additional genetic LANGUAGE, or CODE, is required. LAW does not produce language - only intelligence does. Random mutations are not enough, even with natural selection. You would need several hundred billion, not 4.5 billion, years to bring the odds into line. http://carm.org/secular-movements/evolution/problem-genetic-improbability
The Gaps:
Between Matter and Life
Between the animals and Man
Evolution fails miserably in attempting to account for these.
2.  The fears you cited which keep Christians from accepting evolution are of people.
However, I would say that it is more the fear of God, not Man,  that keeps many Christians opposed to evolution. I believe most have thought deeply, done research, seen the lack of agreement in the scientific community, and considered the troubling theological ramifications, and have decided to reject the Darwinian model of origins. They express fear (or reverential awe) for God by taking Him at His Word.
3.  In your comments on Part 1, you claimed it is not necessary to allegorize the early chapters of Genesis in order to hold to evolution. But you go on to describe Gen 1-11 (pt 3) as containing etiological (causational) myths, and declare that evolution presents a better explanation of sin than the Scripture.
So as you demonstrate, it most definitely is needful to reject a literal historical Adam in order to hold to evolution.
And Adam is not the only one in question in Gen 1-11. You explain away Paul’s view of Adam as historical, saying it was simply a device to make the Gospel more understandable to his audience. There is no biblical evidence for that.
Besides, if Gen 1-11 is full of myths, why is there an unbroken narrative going back from Chapter 12 which includes detailed genealogies, real geographical locations, detailed construction plans (for the Ark), etc. ?
Back to NT problems with your view. Hebrews 11, Jude, Luke, etc view as historical these Gen 1-11 people: Abram, Adam, and the majority of those in between. Jesus (He’s God btw) knew that Noah was real: so did Peter and OT prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel.

So, in sum, I think you have a lot more work ahead of you trying to convince biblically literate Christians that the Darwinian model of origins is superior to the Scriptural one. Again I appreciate your efforts, but do consider that you are a teacher in this endeavor, and (James 3:1)Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
Let God’s eyewitness testimony of Creation provide the assumptions you bring to the evidence instead of letting unproven scientific theories about the distant past dictate your view of Scripture.
“Let God be true and every man a liar”
Blessings


Mike Beidler - #75151

December 10th 2012

Jeff,

Your conclusions are mainly predicated upon the presupposition that evolution is an undisputed fact. But it is not (see the multitudes of Ph.D’s who reject the theory - they are not ignorant at all).

If scientific truth can be easily overturned by appealing to the fact that its disputed, then geocentrism also falls into the same category as evolution.  And I would be curious to know who this “multitude” of PhDs are who reject evolution.  Certainly, there was a document produced by the Discovery Institute floating around about 5 or 6 years ago alleging that the 101 signatories to this “document of doubt” rejected evolutionary theory.  Perhaps it is this of which you speak.  If so, that list has been thoroughly debunked (here’s a good sample).  Even if the list were accurate, 99.99% (if not more) of scientists (all with PhDs in the appropriate fields) accept it as an undisputed fact, even though the mechanisms of evolution may not be entirely understood.

Theological problem:  Evolution must by definition be unguided. As soon as you make an allowance for divine intervention into the process, you have special creation and intelligent design. So, the “god” of Theistic Evolution, who sets the laws and spins everything into motion, then simply lets go, is more akin to the god of Deism than the True God of Biblical Christianity.

Does God actively guide all facets of the weather, chemistry, continental drift, physics, etc.?  Of course not.  Yet when it comes to evolution, you have an issue with Got not actively guiding it.  While I don’t believe God is “guiding” evolutionary processes, I do believe that God upholds and sustains the laws of the cosmos, which evolutionary processes follow.  If God is upholding the cosmos by the word of His power, that is not “simply letting go.”  Quite to the contrary.  And a deist God does not incarnate Himself and become the focal point of human history.  There is no theological problem here.

You would need several hundred billion, not 4.5 billion, years to bring the odds [of evolution happening] into line.

And you quote an anti-evolution Christian ministry to support your claim that the odds are against evolution happening?  Surely you must have better sources.  Even if something is improbable, if it happened, it’s certainly not impossible.

Evolution fails miserably in attempting to account for these [gaps between matter and life, i.e., abiogenesis, and between animal life and mankind].

I’m sure what literature you are reading, but it’s certainly not mainstream literature in which new discoveries are being hailed on a weekly basis.  And although we’ll never be 100% sure of how abiogenesis occured, there are a number of plausible scenarios that have already been proffered up.

The fears you cited which keep Christians from accepting evolution are of people.

Fears #1 and #2 are certainly not fear of people.  Both reflect fear of being doctrinally (and possibly damnably) wrong both in terms of understanding Scripture and the role of Jesus in salvation.

I believe most have thought deeply, done research, seen the lack of agreement in the scientific community, and considered the troubling theological ramifications, and have decided to reject the Darwinian model of origins.

Theological ramifications are the more likely scenario, Jeff.  However, I’m pretty darn sure that most evangelical Christians have not thought deeply or performed enough research to see that the overwhelming number of scientists, both secular and Christian, are agreed on the fact of evolution.

(to be continued)

 


2cortenfour - #75154

December 10th 2012

Hi Mike
Before you continue, I just want to point out that you beg the question regarding evolution by describing it as “scientific truth”. That point has not been conceded. I’m sure that you are well aware of scientists in both the Creationist and Intelligent Design camps who do hold Ph.D’s in the appropriate fields who have written extensively against the Darwinian model of origins. Just because someone’s conclusions are “anti-evolution”, their views are not automatically disqualified (as you seem to suggest re the article I cited).

Speaking of that article, it contains a description of what is required for a new structure to be formed in an organism (minimum number of beneficial mutations which are functionally related, etc.) and the probabilities thereof. It’s easy to see that new biological structures need a certain DNA code to form them. If that code does not exist in the previous organism, it must come about somehow. Evolution attributes this to unguided processes governed by laws (which you say God upholds, “law” of evolution, “law” of natural selection I guess). But as I point out in the section you haven’t addressed yet, laws do not produce language - and that is what DNA code is. Only intelligence produces a message. According to Scripture, that language was embedded in each living thing “according to its kind” and those living things subsequently reproduced “according to their kinds.”  This is another example of evolution being completely divorced from the description in Genesis, since it holds that organisms reproduced according to OTHER kinds through mutations and natural selection. 
One more reason it is necessary to allegorize the Genesis account in order to hold to evolution.

In Christ
Jeff


Mike Beidler - #75152

December 10th 2012

In your comments on Part 1, you claimed it is not necessary to allegorize the early chapters of Genesis in order to hold to evolution. But you go on to describe Gen 1-11 (pt 3) as containing etiological (causational) myths, and declare that evolution presents a better explanation of sin than the Scripture.  So as you demonstrate, it most definitely is needful to reject a literal historical Adam in order to hold to evolution.

Do you know what allegory is, Jeff?  If you did, you would not accuse me of allegorizing the early chapters of Genesis.  You are correct, though, that I reject the existence of a historical Adam as depicted in the Bible.  However, you and I are both Adam when it comes right down to it, for Adam is archetypal of the human condition.

And Adam is not the only one in question in Gen 1-11. You explain away Paul’s view of Adam as historical, saying it was simply a device to make the Gospel more understandable to his audience. There is no biblical evidence for that.

Actually, Jeff, there is evidence.  Read Peter Enns book The Evolution of Adam for some excellent examples.  Read how Paul uses the OT out of context in order to press theological points he spiritually understood this side of the cross.  If you would commit to reading it and stay in touch with me (perhaps even by means of this very forum), I’ll purchase a copy and ship it to you on my dime.  (Yes, it’s that good. I actually wish I had read it before I wrote my series.)

Besides, if Gen 1-11 is full of myths, why is there an unbroken narrative going back from Chapter 12 which includes detailed genealogies, real geographical locations, detailed construction plans (for the Ark), etc.?

On the topic of detailed genealogies, I offer this excerpt from an article by Daniel C. Harlow from the September 2010 issue of ASA’s journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith.  Harlow is professor of biblical and early Jewish studies in the Department of Religion at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan:

The genealogies in Genesis 5 and 10, with ten generations between Adam and Noah balanced by ten generations between Noah and Abram, are literary-theological assemblages displaying the Israelite priestly ideal of a perfectly ordered creation. The one in Genesis 5 is actually based on the one in Genesis 4 and borrows its particular form from Mesopotamian king lists. Further, the ages given for the antediluvian people named in Genesis 5 are not randomly distributed, as we would expect in a list of real people, but neatly contrived according to a precise numerical scheme, a base-60 or sexagesimal system of Babylonian origin. So Genesis 5 mimics not only the form but also the numerology of the fictional lists of Mesopotamia. Its “competitive genealogizing” is a strategy for claiming an ancient pedigree for the Hebrew people over against the pretensions of Mesopotamian culture.

The branched or segmented genealogy of Noah’s three sons in Genesis 10—an ethnographic “family tree” often called the Table of Nations—is full of anachronisms: many of the ethnic and national entities it lists, seventy in all, do not even fit the primeval epoch being pictured in the surrounding narratives, but reflect the geopolitical map of the first millennium BCE as the Israelites viewed it. Genesis also reflects the naïveté of ancient ethnographies, that the origins of cities, nations, and peoples could be traced to named individuals. None of these observations serves to discredit the Bible but only to clarify the nature of the passages in question. The ancient biblical authors did not miswrite these genealogies; we moderns have simply misread them.

(to be continued)


Mike Beidler - #75153

December 10th 2012

As for real geographical locations and detailed instructions on how to build an ark, you’re clearly not familiar with the Epic of Gilgamesh or the Epic of Atrahasis.  In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the geography and building instructions are even more detailed than the plans God provided Noah.  If you’re going to base a story’s historicity on how detailed it is, you might as well switch religions right now.

Jesus (He’s God btw) knew that Noah was real

Did Jesus know the day and hour of His return?  He was God, BTW.  Did Jesus know that the orchid seed was actually the smallest seed on the earth?  He was God, BTW.  Did Jesus know who touched Him as healing power went out of Him?  He was God, BTW.  You edge quite close to docetism in ascribing Jesus too much of His pre-Incarnate divinity at the expense of His humanity, especially in light of Philippians 2:6-8.

do consider that you are a teacher in this endeavor, and (James 3:1) Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Trust me, Jeff, I take my teaching duties quite seriously, and I didn’t come to my position lightly or quickly, as this series attests.  I am ready to be judged quite strictly on the other side of this life, and I am fully confident that I won’t suffer loss of reward in this matter.

I do, of course, appreciate all of your concerns that you’ve laid out here.  However, I would recommend that you move your reading habits outside of your comfort zone and not simply rely on my series as the basis for making a judgment call.  You just might be as surprised by theistic evolution / evolutionary creationism as C. S. Lewis was surprised by joy. 

Best of luck to you, Jeff, in your further studies.  And don’t forget that the book offer is open to you.


2cortenfour - #75155

December 10th 2012

On genealogies:
It seems you agree with Harlow that these lists in Gen 1-11 bear the marks of fiction. Abram is in that group. Do you also deny his existence? Just curious.
What I’m getting at is this: where are you going to draw the line between “myth” and history in Scripture?

Food for thought.


2cortenfour - #75156

December 10th 2012

allegory[al-uh-gawr-ee, -gohr-ee]
Main Entry: allegory
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: indirect representation, storytelling
Synonyms: apologue emblem fable figuration moral MYTH parable story symbol symbolism symbolization tale typification (emphasis mine)

Technically I suppose you called Genesis 1-11 an “etiological myth”.
But you could have used “allegory”....


Mike Beidler - #75159

December 10th 2012

Let’s get away from simple dictionary definitions (which may or may not be as accurate as we’d like when discussing complex topics) and look to the heart of what allegory is.  Allegory, generally speaking, symbolizes ideas and concepts.  This is not what etiological myth does, for there is no one-for-one correspondence in Genesis 1-11.  And Genesis 1-11 doesn’t speak figuratively either, nor is it primarily extended allegory, i.e., metaphor.  Some attempt to use allegory to explain myth, but they are not one in the same. 

Etiological myth describes reality and explains why things are the way they appear in the present day. 


Mike Beidler - #75157

December 10th 2012

No, Jeff, I don’t deny Abram’s existence.  However, there is a point at which historical beings to blend into mytho-historical.  The genealogies serve as an attachment to the past.

In short, I generally view Genesis 12 and beyond as historical.  But that’s primarily because of literary concerns, not scientific.


Mike Beidler - #75160

December 10th 2012

*beings = begins

I just love the inability to edit comments for stupid typos like this.  Note to self to speak to BioLogos’ webmasters!


2cortenfour - #75161

December 10th 2012

Hmmmm…

Nothing about laws producing language or code yet…. Do you concede this point? If not, can you please give an example of a natural law which produces an intelligible language or message, not simply a pattern (which laws commonly produce)
I think it’s just common sense… Where there is language there must be a speaker ...


Mike Beidler - #75164

December 11th 2012

Jeff,

Be patient, man!  I’m a busy fellow.  I’ll get to your points about information in due time. 


Mike Beidler - #75173

December 11th 2012

To get from a simple one-celled organism to Man, additional genetic LANGUAGE, or CODE, is required. LAW does not produce language - only intelligence does.  Random mutations are not enough, even with natural selection.

If scientists can demonstrate the existence of any natural mechanism that can produce “additional genetic language, or code,” then the direct divine intervention required by ID is no longer the best explanation for the origin of DNA information.  Fortunately, biologists are aware of examples of natural selection adding functional information to DNA, and these same scientists have observed such occurrences numerous times, documentation for which they have reported in considerable detail (see recommendation #1 below).  Once you read about the aforementioned 22-year-long experiment, imagine extrapolating that over 3.5 billion years!  However, since I am not a professional genomicist, Jeff, I cannot speak to your question with authority, I will defer to the experts below:

  1. Take a good look at E. coli Long-term Experimental Evolution Project
  2. Dennis Venema’s excellent BioLogos series on Evolution and the Origin of Biological Information
  3. Ard Louis’ excellent BioLogos paper on miracles and science

Where there is language there must be a speaker

I prefer to approach the “information debate” philosophically.  If information can arise via natural means, why should that imply the absence of God’s hand in the process?  Are not natural processes (e.g., meteorological, astronomical, physical, chemical, embryological, etc.) manifestations of God’s supernatural sustenance of the cosmos?  Why do you begrudge Him of his honor? 

Christians should eagerly view what scientists observe as universal “laws of nature” as descriptions of God’s ongoing, regular, and repeatable activity!  Why resort to pitting God, the Author of all creation, against His own creation?  Attempting to understand the mechanisms by which God accomplished so much via the very natural processes He ordained is no threat to God’s role as Sustainer of creation.

Returning to the scientific aspect of your question, I am confident that the evidence will prove ID’s premise, that God’s supernatural activity (beyond His ordination and sustenance of the laws of nature) is required to explain the origin of information, as ill- and unnecessarily conceived, especially when it is easily falsifiable.


Edward Tigchelaar - #75239

December 12th 2012

Mike:

You and Jeff are moving along at a good pace.  Great reading.

I was reading in Walt Brown’s book the other day (In the Beginning…compelling evidence for creation and the flood) and Walt makes the following observation about DNA:  There are about 100,000,000,000,000 (one hundred trillion) cells in our bodies. 46 segments of DNA in almost all of our cells.  We received 23 segments from Mom and 23 from Dad.  DNA contains the unique information that determines what you look like,much of your personality and how every cell in your body is to function throughout your life.

If all the DNA in one of your cells were uncoiled, connected and stretched out, it would be about 7 feet long.  If all the DNA in your body were placed end-to-end, it would stretch from here to the Moon more than 500,000 times. (end of quote).

We serve an amazing creator whose creative power is evidenced all around us, including the DNA within each of us.  250,000 trips to the moon and back just on the total length of the DNA within us! 

Christian scientists have no trouble believing Jesus rose from the dead or that he appeared to his disciples after his death or that he completed many miracle including raising Lazarus from the grave, yet for some reason cannot comprehend a God who could create this universe in 6 days.

Sincerely,  Ed

PS Mike, it is mentioned above that 99.9 % of scientist support evolution.  I am not certain as to the reliability of that % but my guess is that the number is significantly lower.  Many scientists may give token allegiance to evolutionary claims (for a variety of reasons)  but within know the evidence does not support the claims.

Secondly, you mentioned the Epic of Gilgamesh providing more detail of Ark construction than what God provided to Noah.  I am not sure of the point you are making as it should not surprise anyone that the second model always contains more detail than the prototype.


Mike Beidler - #75261

December 13th 2012

Christian scientists have no trouble believing Jesus rose from the dead or that he appeared to his disciples after his death or that he completed many miracle including raising Lazarus from the grave, yet for some reason cannot comprehend a God who could create this universe in 6 days.

A vast majority of Christian scientists have less trouble believing in the miracles of God Incarnate because the readily available physical evidence for a 13.8 billion-year-old universe screams in direct contradiction to a woodenly literal reading of Genesis 1 that trashes the ancient literary context in which the account resides.  It is that simple.  To reject the plain evidence, in an effort to support an literarily irresponsible hermeneutic, requires a severe case of cognitive dissonance.  Been there, done that. 

Of course, even the widely respected St. Augustine had difficulties with a woodenly literal interpretation of the 6-day creation account.  I suppose I am in good company. 

Mike, it is mentioned above that 99.9 % of scientist support evolution.  I am not certain as to the reliability of that % but my guess is that the number is significantly lower. 

While the level of acceptance by the general American populace is embarrassingly low, the 99% figure is pretty much in line with a 2009 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, in which 97% (see p. 37) of scientists acknowledge a belief in the veracity of biological evolutionary processes.  If this is all that the Discovery Institute can muster to convince the American populace that acceptance of evolution is on the wane, or that the number is significantly lower than 97-99%, they have a long way to go.

Many scientists may give token allegiance to evolutionary claims (for a variety of reasons) but within know the evidence does not support the claims.

Is this conjecture?  Who are these scientists?  What are their reasons?

Secondly, you mentioned the Epic of Gilgamesh providing more detail of Ark construction than what God provided to Noah.  I am not sure of the point you are making as it should not surprise anyone that the second model always contains more detail than the prototype.

I was merely downplaying Jeff’s insinuation that a story with detail is strong evidence in favor of an historically authentic account.  By Jeff’s measure, the Epic of Gilgamesh would trump the Noahic account.  That being said, if you have evidence in favor of the Noahic flood account being older than the Sumerian account, by all means, present it here.

 


Edward Tigchelaar - #75290

December 14th 2012

Mike

Thank you for your comments, observations and questions.   Taking some of your points in order above:

“the readily available evidence for a 13.8 billion year old earth screams in direct contradiction to a woodenly literal reading of Geneisis 1”.    Are you certain about that age estimate Mike?  I am intriqued that  your number is 13.8 and was not rounded to 14 as the ranges I have read are between 6 billion and 18.5 billion.   

Secondly, a “woodenly literal reading of Genesis 1” is a most interesting choice of words.   But speaking of wood Mike, I found  a bit of it in the quote you attributed to David C Harlow (on staff at my old alma mater no less): ‘it’s competitive geneologizing is a stategy for claiming an ancient pedigree for the people over against the pretensions of mesopotamian culture’ (Huh?).   Contrast Harlow’s quote to the following two statements from Genesis 1:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them”. 

By contrast  to Harlow, Genesis 1 flows like poetry.

My concern with relagating Genesis 1 - 11 to the woodpile is where does one stop?  If these particular chapters of Genesis create problems of understanding,  what about the miracles of Christ in the New Testament or the revelations contained in the Book of Revelation?   Will they eventually hit the chopping block too?   That is my concern.

Brian Alters is on record stating that the theory of evolution is accepted by 99.9% of scientists.   Who is this Brian Alters?  Brian, it turns out, is an ex-cop who got tired of riding around in a squad car and went into teaching.  By all evidence he is a gifted teacher and is (or was) the head of the science department at a secular university (McGill) in Montreal Canada.  His statement of 99.9% would carry much more weight if he held a similar position in a Christian University.  It is therefore safe to assume that the number is less than 99.9% (I suggest significantly less)  the Pew folks notwithstanding.

However, science is correct in limiting evolution within the box of ‘theory’, for evolution is not referred to by any scientist as the Fact of Evolution or the Proof of Evolution for the simple reason that no conclusive scientific evidence exists.  This distinction seems to be overlooked in most discussions dealing with ‘The Theory of Evolution’.

As referenced elsewhere, my old biology professor (Prof. Bengelink of Calvin College in GR Mich) who I, along with  1000’s of other students (many who work currently in branches of science or medicine) heard him say regularly ’ No scientist worth his or her salt can provide scientific evidence to support the Theory of Evolution’.    For many of his students, that statement still stands today.

Mike, if you can list scientific evidence to the contrary, please do so.  (I do not consider the finches of the Galapagoes evidence).

I believe a quote from G.K. Chesterton on this question of evolution is instructive: “It is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything.”

With respect to the Biblical ‘Noah” flood vs the Gilgamesh account, you asked for evidence as to which is the older.

According to a number of records (each one available through Google) Galgamesh lived around 2500 BC and his legacy was first recorded around 1700 BC (some say 2000 BC).

On the other hand, the general consensus of a Biblical Flood is 2348 BC (David Wright AIG US March 9/12).

The Biblical Flood is down to a precise year.  Galgamesh remains an estimate.  You decide which is older.

Sincerely,    Ed Tigchelaar.


Mike Beidler - #75481

December 19th 2012

Ed,

Are you certain about that age estimate Mike?  I am intriqued that your number is 13.8 and was not rounded to 14 as the ranges I have read are between 6 billion and 18.5 billion.

Although you mention the existence of wildly varying estimates, I don’t think you’re taking into account when these various estimates were made and by what methods they were made.  Over the course of time, as independent lines of evidence converge and the largest sources of error are removed, scientists have been able to refine their estimate.  As this Wikipedia article says, “calculating the age of the universe is accurate only if the assumptions built into the models being used to estimate it are also accurate.”  I would argue that NASA, as a source, is fairly authoritative:  http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/uni_age.html.

Secondly, a “woodenly literal reading of Genesis 1” is a most interesting choice of words.   But speaking of wood Mike, I found a bit of it in the quote you attributed to David C Harlow

Harlow was speaking of the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 10; he was not speaking of Genesis 1.  If Chapters 5 & 10 and chapter 1 are to be read differently, it is because they have different purposes, i.e., Genesis 1 is modeled on ancient temple dedication texts, while Genesis 5 and 10 are modeled on ancient Sumerian king lists.  While both are etiological in nature, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.  You need to meet the text where it is, Ed, rather than impose your own paradigm upon it.  Let it speak to you, using the best available resources to help inform your paradigm, instead of you speaking to it and attempting to make it say what you want it to say.

My concern with relagating Genesis 1 - 11 to the woodpile is where does one stop?  If these particular chapters of Genesis create problems of understanding,  what about the miracles of Christ in the New Testament or the revelations contained in the Book of Revelation?   Will they eventually hit the chopping block too?   That is my concern.

Again, Ed, you seem caught up in this idea that we need to read the Bible through a uniform lens without taking into account that the Bible was written over the course of many centuries, by different people in different cultures, and using a variety of genres, some of which you’re not even remotely familiar with because they do not have any modern equivalent (e.g., temple dedication texts, king lists/geneaologies).  A close, honest study of the various genres the Bible uses will (hopefully) assuage your concern over whether to take the miracles of Christ literally (you should!) while taking Genesis 1 less literally (and more literarily).  The reason you are worried about the Gospels hitting the chopping block is because you’re wielding a huge axe.  What you really need to use is a laser scalpel.

[Brian Alters’] statement of 99.9% would carry much more weight if he held a similar position in a Christian University.

Carry much more weight with whom?  Harlow is a prof at your alma mater, yet you still seem to take great issue with him.

if you can list scientific evidence [in favor of evolution] to the contrary, please do so.  (I do not consider the finches of the Galapagoes evidence).

Ed, I could spend hours, nay days, cutting and pasting URLs linking you to a voluminous amount of evidence in favor of evolution, so I’m not going to do that.  In fact, I’m not even going to link to one until I understand what, in your mind, would constitute scientific evidence in favor of evolution.  I suspect that your answer will be a direct reflection on your level of understanding of what evolutionary theory actually predicts.

(to be continued ...)


Mike Beidler - #75483

December 19th 2012

However, science is correct in limiting evolution within the box of ‘theory’, for evolution is not referred to by any scientist as the Fact of Evolution or the Proof of Evolution for the simple reason that no conclusive scientific evidence exists. 

This is not remotely accurate, as you do not understand what the scientific term theory actually means or how it is used.  Instead, you’ve resorted (perhaps unwittingly) to using a popular, non-scientific definition of theory as a weapon to attack evolution.  As well, scientists worldwide will readily admit the fact that evolution has occured in the past and continues to occur today.  (“Proofs,” on the other hand, are used only in mathematics.)

Here are some references regarding the proper use of the term theory:

From the National Academy of Science (NAS):
In science, [a theory is] a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.  The contention that evolution should be taught as a “theory, not as a fact” confuses the common use of these words with the scientific use. In science, theories do not turn into facts through the accumulation of evidence. Rather, theories are the end points of science. They are understandings that develop from extensive observation, experimentation, and creative reflection. They incorporate a large body of scientific facts, laws, tested hypotheses, and logical inferences. In this sense, evolution is one of the strongest and most useful scientific theories we have.  (http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=6024&page=2; emphasis mine)

From the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS):
In detective novels, a “theory” is little more than an educated guess, often based on a few circumstantial facts. In science, the word “theory” means much more. A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not “guesses” but reliable accounts of the real world. The theory of biological evolution is more than “just a theory.” It is as factual an explanation of the universe as the atomic theory of matter or the germ theory of disease. Our understanding of gravity is still a work in progress. But the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is an accepted fact. (http://www.aaas.org/news/press_room/evolution/qanda.shtml; emphasis mine)

From Wikipedia:
Scientists create scientific theories from hypotheses that have been corroborated through the scientific method, then gather evidence to test their accuracy.  ...  The strength of a scientific theory is related to the diversity of phenomena it can explain, which is measured by its ability to make falsifiable predictions with respect to those phenomena. Theories are improved as more evidence is gathered, so that accuracy in prediction improves over time. Scientists use theories as a foundation to gain further scientific knowledge, as well as to accomplish goals such as inventing technology or curing disease.  Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge. This is significantly different from the word “theory” in common usage, which implies that something is unproven or speculative. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory#cite_note-1; emphasis mine)

Back to your post ...

I believe a quote from G.K. Chesterton on this question of evolution is instructive: “It is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything.”

Fortunately, Chesterton’s views about evolution and what evolutionary theory assumes were misinformed by scientific ignorance and his understandable hatred of eugenics.  I suspect that if Chesterton were alive today, during an age in which the Catholic Church has come to terms with evolution, he would be more kind in his assessment.

With respect to the Biblical ‘Noah” flood vs the Gilgamesh account, you asked for evidence as to which is the older.  According to a number of records (each one available through Google) Galgamesh lived around 2500 BC and his legacy was first recorded around 1700 BC (some say 2000 BC).  On the other hand, the general consensus of a Biblical Flood is 2348 BC (David Wright AIG US March 9/12).  The Biblical Flood is down to a precise year.  Galgamesh remains an estimate.  You decide which is older.

Do you realize, Ed, that you’re weighing the alleged year in which the Noah story takes place against the estimated era in which the Epic of Gilgamesh was produced?  There is zero evidence that the Hebrew story, in the form we have it today, is older than the Sumerian story.  Given the facts that Sumerian culture is considerably older than Hebrew culture and the oldest version of the Epic of Gilgamesh dates to the 18th century BC, if we assume that Moses wrote Genesis and lived in the 13th-14th century BC, it seems to be that it would be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to argue that the biblical account of Noah’s flood (which is actually a synthesis of two seperate Deluge accounts) is older than the Gilgamesh epic.
 
As well, 2348 BC is not the “general consensus.”  That’s James Ussher’s calculation.  The much older manuscripts of the LXX certainly don’t support such a date.

Edward Tigchelaar - #75564

December 20th 2012

Mike:

Thank you for your response of Dec. 19th.

“Calculating the age of the universe is accurate IF the assumptions built into the models being used to estimate it are also accurate.”

The word “if” above says you and I are singing from the same hymn book.  I did notice that word “if” kept slipping into the NASA article you referenced resulting in a number of differing age estimates; 9 billion, 11 billion, 13.7 billion and 18 billion, which does give some credence to my earlier ‘wild’ numbers.
The last sentence of the (excellent) NASA article concludes with:  ‘But our current estimates of age (13.7B) fits well with what we know of other types of measurements.’  Note: it is still a current estimate.

With respect to a “woodenly reading of Mr. Harlow’s quote” my comment had nothing to do with the person or personality of Mr. Harlow, but merely contrasted his awkwardly worded statement to the poetry inherent in Genesis.  Contrary to your statement, I have neither a great issue or any issue with Mr. Harlow.

The Gospels will also end up in the woodpile”.  Mike, if one takes the liberty to change scripture to fit one’s interpretation of science we will end up like the folks of the Jesus Seminar who naively pontificate on the words Jesus did or did not speak.  Not surprisingly they concluded most were not the words of
Jesus.

“Brian Alters and 99.9%.”  You are correct Mike, I take serious issue with Alters obviously biased opinion and also your earlier opinion that the 99.9% held doctorates.  In my opinion, by contrast, the vast majority of scientists are cognizant of Intelligent Design including a significant number within this group (Christian or non Christian) who acknowledge the creation account as being more probable than existing evolutionary evidence.

I had earlier asked you to provide scientific evidence in favor of evolution for it is at this very point Mike that we come to the entire crux of the matter.  I will both simplify and clarify my earlier request:  Please provide scientific evidence that macroevolution has occurred.  (that will save you hours of cutting and pasting).  As a guide:  micro evolution + eons of time does not equal macroevolution.

“Evolution staying within the box of ‘theory’ “.  In responding Mike you used a cannon in an attempt to kill the proverbial fly.  Perhaps an illustration will help:  I was in court a while back and the Judge asked the Defendant to describe in his words how the accident happened.  He replied: “Judge, this is my theory….”.  The Judge interrupted by saying: “Son, I am not interested in your theory.  This court is only interested in hearing your statement that you either support or contradict the written record”.
Mike, theory remains theory until proven to be fact.  Facts however are facts.  When the Theory of Evolution becomes The Fact of Evolution, every evolutionist will shout it from the rooftops.  I have heard some stirrings, but no shouting.

“Fortunately Chesterton’s views were misinformed”.  Mike you have not done justice to Mr. Chesterton
Chesterton is regarded by some as ‘one of the greatest apologists of the twentieth century exceeded perhaps only by C.S. Lewis’.  (Russell Sparkes….editor of Prophet of Orthodoxy re: Chesterton).  Similar to Muggeridge, when Chesterton provides a succinct opinion on Evolution, one cannot simply brush it aside in the manner you have.
Secondly, with respect to your statement of the Catholic Church “having come to terms with evolution” you are incorrect.  The terms the Catholic Church came to, perhaps understandably after the Galileo incident,  was to stay right smack dab in the middle of the road on the question of Evolution vs The Creation Account in Genesis.

Concerning Noah vs Galgamesh, the key question is:  when did Noah’s flood occur, not when was it written down.

Thanks once again for your comments Mike.  Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you and yours.

Sincerely,  Ed


Mike Beidler - #75614

December 21st 2012

Merry Christmas, Ed!

‘But our current estimates of age (13.7B) fits well with what we know of other types of measurements.’  Note: it is still a current estimate.

Scientists will always qualify the age of the cosmos and the earth with the word “estimate.”  Is there some reason that an estimate can’t be in the ballpark or provide some semblance of confidence?  Science is constantly self-correcting, Ed.  You seem to want it right and right all the time.  That’s not the way science works, which is why I think you’re having such a rough time with it.  It’s not serving your ends.

if one takes the liberty to change scripture to fit one’s interpretation of science we will end up like the folks of the Jesus Seminar who naively pontificate on the words Jesus did or did not speak.  Not surprisingly they concluded most were not the words of Jesus.

I think you’re missing my point, Ed.  I neither read evolution into nor out of Scripture.  I don’t think it’s possible.  At the same time, I’m not attempting to re-read Genesis either in order to justify my acceptance of the fact that evolution has occurred and continues to occur.  I reached my conclusions about evolution based on the scientific evidence, not the Bible.  Insofar as what Genesis actually says, I prefer to read Genesis in its proper literary and cultural context and leave it at that. I’d rather not force a modern paradigm onto it.  As such, I seems that I have a much higher view of Scripture than you do for the very reason that I allow Genesis to speak with its own ancient voice rather than force it to speak to issues of modern science when it was never intended to do so.  (For what it’s worth, I think the Jesus Seminar is shoddy and biased scholarship.)

In my opinion, by contrast, the vast majority of scientists are cognizant of Intelligent Design including a significant number within this group (Christian or non Christian) who acknowledge the creation account as being more probable than existing evolutionary evidence.

As you state, this is “your opinion.”  However, it is a wrong opinion.  You simply don’t have the data to back it up.  Is there a particular survey or study done by which you justify your opinion?

Please provide scientific evidence that macroevolution has occurred.

Not until you tell me what kind of evidence would make you reconsider your position.  In other words, what (in your estimation) would qualify as evidence for so-called “macroevolution”?  Until we can agree on what evolutionary theory predicts, this discussion is pointless.

Mike you used a cannon in an attempt to kill the proverbial fly.  Perhaps an illustration will help:  I was in court a while back and the Judge asked the Defendant to describe in his words how the accident happened.  He replied: “Judge, this is my theory….”.  The Judge interrupted by saying: “Son, I am not interested in your theory.  This court is only interested in hearing your statement that you either support or contradict the written record”.  Mike, theory remains theory until proven to be fact.  Facts however are facts. 

Again, Ed, you conflate the popular usage of the word theory with the scientific definition.  Your illustration betrays this.  Like my earlier observation that until we can agree on what evolutionary theory predicts the discussion in pointless, so it goes with agreement on the usage of the term theory.

When the Theory of Evolution becomes The Fact of Evolution, every evolutionist will shout it from the rooftops.  I have heard some stirrings, but no shouting.

I’m sorry, Ed.  I say this with no malicious intent: You are willfully blind to the evidence and deaf to the shouts.

Mike you have not done justice to Mr. Chesterton.  Chesterton is regarded by some as ‘one of the greatest apologists of the twentieth century exceeded perhaps only by C.S. Lewis’.

Considering that C. S. Lewis was accepting of evolutionary theory, it appears you are not doing justice to Jack.  As for Chesterton, perhaps my characterization of him as “misinformed” was too harsh.  It’s better to say that he was understandably ignorant of scientific evidence that was unavailable to him (and the vast majority of the populace) during the years he walked this earth.  Keep in mind, of course, that neither Lewis nor Chesteron were scientists; they were apologists.  The two don’t necessarily go together.

with respect to your statement of the Catholic Church “having come to terms with evolution” you are incorrect.  The terms the Catholic Church came to, perhaps understandably after the Galileo incident,  was to stay right smack dab in the middle of the road on the question of Evolution vs The Creation Account in Genesis.

Sorry, Ed.  You have obviously not remained in touch with where the Catholic Church is in regard to evolution:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_church_and_evolution.  The only thing that Catholics are required to reject is a natural explanation for the human soul.  As well, all the rest is good to go as long as one does not reject faith in favor of atheistic materialism.

Concerning Noah vs Galgamesh, the key question is:  when did Noah’s flood occur, not when was it written down.

Well, if one demands that a global flood (as described in Genesis) occurred approximately 4500 years ago, the answer is simple:  It didn’t occur.  There is zero geological evidence for a global flood at that time in history.

Happy New Year, Ed!


Edward Tigchelaar - #75712

December 27th 2012

Mike

Christmas is over and New Year’s coming around the bend…..as quickly as it always comes.  (Some things do move faster than ‘evolution’ Mike!!).
I note in the summary BioLogos provides that I have commented 10 times to two of the articles you wrote Mike,  (Biblical Authority and Peace….fear of losing both).  As I reflect on my lack of progress made to demonstrate to you that evolution cannot have happened as you opine,  it is time for me to say ” here is the conclusion of the matter” :  The theory of evolution has too many gaps for it to ever be accepted as a viable alternative to the Genesis account.
Earlier I quoted Muggeridge to Lancelot (see below reponse dated Dec 18/12), and Muggeridge sums up my position neatly and completely.
All the best to you and yours Mike. 
Sincerely,  Ed


lancelot10 - #75393

December 18th 2012

Mike - all the miracles of Jesus were of instant creation - the loaves and fishes were even cooked  - they were not evolved.   Lazarus was smelling - all his trillions of cells had died - he was dust - yet Jesus instantly recreated his body - Martha Mary did not stand around for 5 billion years while Lazarus was evolved through the apeline.  Prof Dawkins the athiest has more discernment since he maintains that evolution is incompatible with the Bible but creation is.

Plus we are all waiting for the final resurrection - this is not an evolutionary event but the instant recreation of all who had ever lived in their eternal bodies - the most incredible creation miracle without a scintilla of evolution about it.

God is in charge of every atom in the universe - even the hairs on your head and your every emotion.


Edward Tigchelaar - #75438

December 18th 2012

Lancelot (Sir?)

Great observations.  I was not aware of Dawkin’s statement.  Most interesting.  I am aware however of another well known personage, Malcolm Muggeridge who said this about evolution:  I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it’s been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books in the future.  Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity it has.

Muggeridge made that statement at the University of Waterloo (Ontario Canada) in the late 70’s.  I believe the entire content of the two lectures he gave at the Unviversity (celebrating the life of Blaise Pascal) are contained in a book entitled The End of Christendom.

Thank you for your comments Lancelot.


lancelot10 - #75470

December 19th 2012

edward - if you google “anti evolution quotes there are thousands” and many from unbelievers such as 

 “One of the reasons I started taking this anti-evolutionary view, was ... it struck me that I had been working on this stuff for twenty years and there was not one thing I knew about it. That’s quite a shock to learn that one can be so misled so long. ...so for the last few weeks I’ve tried putting a simple question to various people and groups of people. Question is: Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing that is true? I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said, ‘I do know one thing—it ought not to be taught in high school’.” 

Dr. Colin Patterson, Senior Paleontologist, British Museum of Natural History, London Keynote address at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City


Mike Beidler - #75524

December 19th 2012

Don’t you love quote-mining? 

Patterson’s been a victim of dishonest quote-mining for over three decades:  http://www.skeptictank.org/files//evolut/missquot.htm and http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/patterson.html

If you can find any such sentiments in his last work before he died, I’ll buy the book back from you.

In his preface, Patterson writes, “The knowledge in my first edition came from education and indoctrination; it was that neo-Darwinism is certainty. The knowledge in this second edition comes more from working things out for myself; it is that evolution is certainty. And part of the ignorance in the first edition concerned the difference between neo-Darwinism and evolution, whereas the ignorance in this edition is of the completeness of neo-Darwinism as an explanation of evolution ... I think that belief [common ancestry] is now confirmed as completely as anything can be in the historical sciences ... [but] ... I am no longer certain that natural selection is the complete explanation ...”

But perhaps these excerpts reveal some deep-seated doubts about evolution:

“Many species have features, like individual bristles in insects, details of wing coloration in butterflies or fingerprint patterns in man, which are genetically controlled, but appear to be so trivial that they can make no difference to the survival of the individual, and can have no selective value. ... If these features are useless, how did they become fixed by natural selection? Genetic drift—a mechanism which could fix neutral or useless features by chance—provided a welcome explanation of such difficulties.”

“Darwin cited several sorts of observations which would, in his view, destroy his theory. ... Darwin’s potential tests may strike the reader as pretty feeble, or as tests of natural selection rather than evolution. But many discoveries, not foreseen by Darwin, provide more severe tests of the theory. These include Mendelian genetics; the real age of the earth; the universality of DNA and the genetic code; and the evidence of protein biochemistry. Evolution has survived all these with flying colors.”

Nope.  Guess not.


lancelot10 - #77460

March 14th 2013

Mike

There is absolutely nothing wrong with quotes - everybody uses them from scientists to evolutionists and also to the apostles and even Jesus .

Only if the qoute is intended to deceive would it be sin.

Prof patterson’s quote stands alone as a proof that he has found no evidence of transitionals - this quote is bound to be attacked.    Bristles in insects and such like will have a purpose - just because a purpose for a feature has not yet been discovered does not prove evolution in the slightest.   The appendix is now known to have more than one purpose as has so called junk DNA .

Trying to find things without a purpose as proof of evolution is absurd when scientists dont even have a viable mechanism of evolution


Mike Beidler - #75526

December 19th 2012

Lancelot,

Just to be clear, I don’t deny any of the miracles of Jesus Christ.  I don’t think you were implying that, but I just wanted there to be no misunderstanding by any readers.

That being said, you seem to want to approach the Gospels the same way you approach Genesis 1-11.  Unfortunately for your approach, there is no rational or literary justification for it.  Is there some literary evidence that would suggest we take Genesis 1 using a woodenly literal approach, as if the events were being reported as the camera saw them?

Plus we are all waiting for the final resurrection - this is not an evolutionary event but the instant recreation of all who had ever lived in their eternal bodies - the most incredible creation miracle without a scintilla of evolution about it.

Not sure where the resurrection comes into a discussion about evolution.

God is in charge of every atom in the universe - even the hairs on your head and your every emotion.

This is true, to an extent.  I certainly don’t believe God is a puppetmaster, telling each atom what to do or each photon were to go.  I do, however, believe that God ordained the natural laws which makes evolution possible and that He sustains those laws by the very word of His power. 


lancelot10 - #75587

December 21st 2012

Mike

The Final Resurrection of billions of dead with their eternal bodies will be in the blink of an eye - so if God does not need a billion years to create the final resurrection why would he need billions of years to evolve Adam - why not create everything in six days - yom - morning and evening.

So do you think the final resurrection is an evolving event over billions of years  - if so we would have to rewrite large parts of the bible ?

Without God’s energy a single atom would die.    Nothing was created without God.


Mike Beidler - #75597

December 21st 2012

Lancelot,

You appear to read the Bible homogeneously when you have no valid reason for doing so.  If you appreciated the concept of the historico-grammatical method, you would not ask me whether I think the final resurrection is an event that takes place over billions of years.

Without God’s energy a single atom would die.    Nothing was created without God.

Amen, and Amen!  We appear to agree on something.  :D


W W W - #76422

February 7th 2013

And Adam is not the only one in question in Gen 1-11. You explain away Paul’s view of Adam as historical, saying it was simply a device to make the Gospel more understandable to his audience. There is no biblical evidence for that. (auto)
Besides, if Gen 1-11 is full of myths, why is there an unbroken narrative going back from Chapter 12 which includes detailed genealogies, real geographical locations, detailed construction plans (for the Ark), etc. ? 
Back to NT problems with your view. Hebrews 11, Jude, Luke, etc (cars) view as historical these Gen 1-11 people: Abram, Adam, and the majority of those in between. Jesus (He’s God btw) knew that Noah was real: so did Peter and OT prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel. 


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