The Good News

Discussion of the Best News in the World, the Gospel of Jesus, and related topics

Category Archives: Origins

Thank God on Earth Day

From Reasons to Believe in 2016:

Every year on April 22, millions of people worldwide will gather on local beaches, streets, and parks to collect trash, plant trees, and honor and celebrate our Earth. In recent years, Earth Day has become almost as popular as Halloween and Christmas, observed by people from diverse religious beliefs and backgrounds. Rather than dismissing the holiday as just another day, Earth Day can remind us of the carefully crafted and fine-tuned home God has made for us. Read more of this post

Origin of Life Points to the Existence of God

This video, excerpted from J. Warner Wallace’s presentation of the evidence for God (from his book, God’s Crime Scene), summarizes the case for Gods existence from the origin of life. Has science answered the question of life’s origin? How do philosophically natural scientists tackle the “chicken and egg” problems related to the origin of life? Read more of this post

Did Creation Really Happen?

This is not you typical review of data on the possibility of creation.  This is an interview with Dr. Hugh Ross on his new book:  Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job

PR:* Job, so what led to your interest in Job

HR:+  this is the foundation of the rest of the bible I believe it is the oldest book in the bible

Job has much about science and  creation.  Job deals with scientific discoveries that are happening right now such as global warming and cosmic darkness.

Dr Ross speaks to soulish animals which are covered in the CBN article.  God designed them to please us and Job says to teach us about God.  Genesis1 talks 3 origins of life:   physical, bacteria and insects  Genesis 5 God created soulish animals to nurture human beings.  The third order of life is the creation of humans who are here primarily to worship and give glory to God. Read more of this post

The Aurora – Northern Lights

Spectacular view of the Aurora

 

 

For a slightly larger video click below.

The Aurora from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

God of Wonders, God of Creation!

Sit back and think about the world around you.

Part 1
Read more of this post

God Bless the Microscope

Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry at Leh...

Behe

I have seen this budding–or maybe I should say blooming.  Meyer and Behe have documented some fantastic things going on in the cell.  So much they conclude makes sense to me.

Alfred Russel Wallace, co-discoverer of evolutionary theory, broke with Darwin over Wallace’s increasingly pronounced conviction that blind material forces lack the power to generate intricate biological structures. Wallace pointed to, among other things, the origin of life itself as a mystery that Darwin’s idea seemed incapable of resolving. Reading science historian Michael Flannery’s fascinating and concise new biography, Alfred Russel Wallace: A Rediscovered Life, I wondered about the degree to which advances in other scientific fields played a role in Wallace’s dawning doubts about materialist evolutionary thinking.

After all, despite the fact that the two men announced their theory of natural selection in the same year, there was a 51-year gap between the publication of The Origin of Species (1859) and that of Wallace’s magnum opus The World of Life (1910). A lot can happen in a half century. Of all the latter book’s eerie foreshadowings of contemporary ID theory, eeriest of all may be Wallace’s chapter on the cell, pointing the way to arguments that would later be articulated in full by Michael Behe and Stephen Meyer.

I wondered specifically about microscopy and asked Professor Flannery if, between 1859 and 1910, there was a significant advance in the power of microscopes to see into the cell that might account in part for Wallace’s emphasis on the cell as evidence for ID. It wouldn’t be the first confirmation we’ve had that intelligent design, of which Wallace is effectively the founder, gains in persuasiveness with the increase of scientific knowledge, whereas the more we know, the more Darwinism fails to persuade. Professor Flannery kindly responded:

I think the question embedded here is why or how was it that Wallace was able to have a more intricate view of the cell than Darwin. The answer is a complex one. The short answer is, yes, microscopes in 1910 were much better than in 1859. But I think the answer also has to do with advances in the whole field of cellular pathology ushered in by Rudolph Virchow (1821-1902) and cytology in general. Indeed modern pathology begins with Virchow. By the 1880s scientists like German zoologist Karl August Mobius began to delineate structures later developed and known as organelles.

At the same time microscopy was surely aided by the introduction of the microtome for making thin section and dyes for selective staining. Walther Flemming, a German cytologist, used the new analine dyes and improved microscopes to discover chromatin; these combined to form larger threads named chromosomes in 1888 by Waldeyer. Also by 1893 we got August Kohler‘s illumination technique that vastly improved microscopic analysis (we didn’t have the electron microscope until 1931).

There is also Wallace’s appreciation of the work of August Weismann (1834-1914). Weismann really laid to rest the pangenesis theory (one of Darwin’s pet theories). Weismann demonstrated that genetic information cannot pass from soma to germ plasma to the next generation (known as the Weismann barrier and a key to the modern neo-Darwinian synthesis). This is mentioned on page 82 of my book. Now Weismann is highly regarded among Darwinists and indeed Ernst Mayr ranked him second only to Darwin himself. But I think where Weismann saw random mutation, Wallace saw information and order. Of course too by 1900 Hugo de Vries and Carl Correns rediscovered Mendel.

So a lot indeed happened between 1859 and 1910.

Origins of Life, Part 2

Diagram of gene duplication based on http://en...

Gene Replication

So, how do we resolve the conflict between the theory of evolution and the Genesis record of the creation of the earth.  A better question might be, is there a conflict?  I take us back to the quote of the Catholic clergyman,

As to the Divine Design, is it not an instance of incomprehensibly and infinitely marvellous Wisdom and Design to have given certain laws to matter millions of ages ago, which have surely and precisely worked out, in the long course of those ages, those effects which He from the first proposed. Mr. Darwin’s theory need not then to be atheistical, be it true or not; it may simply be suggesting a larger idea of Divine Prescience and Skill. Perhaps your friend has got a surer clue to guide him than I have, who have never studied the question, and I do not [see] that ‘the accidental evolution of organic beings’ is inconsistent with divine design — It is accidental to us, not to God.

Christian Smith argues in his book that the relationship of science to religion was deliberately set as a conflict.  But that is an exaggeration used by scientists, educators and even church leaders to increase each groups cultural power.  The truth is that many scientists see no incompatibilities between faith in God and their work in biology or chemistry.

According to Tim Keller’s book, The Reason for God,  two studies were conducted in 1916 and 1997 which show that many scientists believe in God though they also may believe in evolutionary principles.  In the 1916 study 40 percent of scientists polled say that they believe in a God who actively communicates with humanity.  Forty percent said that they did not believe this and 20 percent were unsure.  In 1997, Larson and Witham repeated this survey asking the very same questions of scientists.  They reported in Nature, that they found that the numbers had not changed significantly since the first survey.

Enter today the evolutionist polemicist, Richard Dawkins, and others of his philosophical bent.  Mr. Dawkins and others believe that the origins explanation can only center on particle physics, string theory or laws that govern the elements of the material world and can’t conceive of a scientist who does not believe much as he does.

His notions and theories are rejected however by many in the scientific community.  Rather, they go about their business ignoring his polemics.   Thomas Nagel has said of Mr. Dawkins’ project:

The reductionist project usually tries to reclaim some of the originally excluded aspects of the world, by analyzing them in physical–that is, behavioral or neurophysiological–terms; but it denies reality that what cannot be so reduced.  I believe the project is doomed–that conscious experience, thought, value, and so forth are not illusions, even though they cannot be identified with physical facts.

Many scientists believe Dawkins is wrong.  Science cannot explain everything.  This also explains why scientific thought can be compatible with religious belief.

So, where should we be as Christians or honest seekers regarding the apparent conflict between the secular explanations of origins and what the Bible communicates about the intervention of a God into human history?

As I stated at the beginning of part 1, some aspect of the theory of evolution have been developed to the degree that they are acceptable to someone who believes in God.  Certainly I believe that God has guided the entire process and yet left space for mutations and other changes within animals and plants.

Here is summary quote on the congurience between evolution’s theory and a creationist view:

If “evolution” is…elevated to the status of a world-view of the way things are, then there is direct conflict with biblical faith.  But if “evolution” remains at the level of scientific biological hypothesis, it would seem that there is little reason for conflict between the implications of Christ belief in the Creator and the scientific explorations of the way which–at the level of biology–God has gone about his creating processes.  (David Atkinson, The Message of Genesis 1-11, IVP)

So evolution provides explanation of how biological processes work but do not exclude the possibility or the probability that there was divine intervention to supervise beginnings and continuing processes.

Sometimes Christians come off as if we have all the answers to life’s deepest questions and never waver in our beliefs or understanding.  That simply is not the case and I hope is not implied here.

There is a great statement in the New Testament that points how the struggle that we Christians go through at times.  Matthew 28:17, “When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.”  That’s right, believers saw the risen Jesus but from that statement we can only conclude that they could not bring themselves to firmly believe that Jesus the Son of Man, had risen from the grave. That is, in spite of the face that he was before them and that they could even touch him, yet they doubted what they were seeing was actually happening.

I will be the first to admit that I do not have all of my convictions firmly formulated.  I was to believe in Him and His resurrection, but as a military officer said to Jesus when He was here, “help me in my unbelief.”  I certainly am in the process of growing in my faith and convictions.

 

Early Origins of Life Part 1

I studied science in high school and loved it!  I went on to get a Chemical

Flow chart of scientific method

Image via Wikipedia

Engineering degree.  I even went back to school for a Master’s in Clinical Nutrition where I got a good dose for organic chemistry and biology.  So, for the subject or biology and chemistry I have good reference.

Now, to move to what scientists say about the origins of life.

As a Christian I realize the secular person looks at Christians  and thumb their nose at my theories because all that I have to go on if I call on an existence of a Creator god from “out there” is that theory.   Even though we have a person who entered into a human existence and said radical things, was killed by a mob of religious people and, now here is the clincher, rose from being dead after burial.  There is a set of events that are more recent history than the early origins of life which could be better investigated that the early origins of life  to determine whether the 1st century writers were telling the truth or not.  But that is a diversion for scientists who use the scientific method to validate theories, which after much replication, become know facts!!!  There is not priority to investigate a poor Galilean to see if what he said and did were fact or not! Read more of this post

God Strikes Back

Okay, Mr Dawkins got me going with this video.

He said: “they attack Darwin’s legacy, which they just don’t understand.” “They” in the context of Dawkin’s words are “Christians.” I agree, most Christians don’t understand Darwin’s legacy. I don’t understand Darwin’s legacy and I believe that the evolutionary theories are somewhat/partially true at a minimum. However, as mr Dawkins accuses Christians, so he, also fails to understand faith—and I would go further and say “in the least.” He does not care to understand faith.

However, some of Mr. Dawkins arguments aren’t even on the real issues. Faith is NOT, repeat NOT disproven nor dimished by advances in evolutionary theory. That is the straw man battle.   Advances in evolution theory say nothing about faith at all. What he needs to deal with is the theory of spontaneous generation. Why don’t we experiment with creating life from chemicals?  That would be a feat to crow about. But for evolutionists it may be a dead issue.   Proving mutations says nothing about creation or how we all got here in the first place.

Illustration of the Swan-necked bottle used in...

Swan-necked bottle used in Pasteur

Another totally falacious theory that Dawkins rides on is that faith is “blind faith.” That is, it has not evidence for foundation or support. That is a joke. Mr. Dawkins exists in 2010 and he is so ignorant of the faith legacy to say that?? So, it appears that pot is calling the kettle black or found guilty of what he is accusing people of faith of being.

And what about all the people who listen to Dawkins and just swallow it up, hook, line, and sinker. There is a great divide between those in non-faith communities and their heroes/leaders. There is also a great divide between those in the faith communities and their leaders. I think we all need to study and research the truth claims more than we do.

How do we say “Intelligent Design” in Hebrew?

The Tetragrammaton Yahweh intended to be prono...

Image via Wikipedia

melechet machshevet”

So, perhaps intelligent design isn’t even a theory of man’s creation after all.  No maybe a big Creator utilized the concepts in His creation.  That’s what you could derive from the Hebrew words!!  The Creator God, Yahweh, in not afraid of work!!   But He also thinks about it before he acts too.

Melechet Machshevet in the temple.

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