Discussion of the Best News in the World, the Gospel of Jesus, and related topics
Tag Archives: Evolution
04/22/2017Posted by on
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
12/20/2016Posted by on
I’ve developed a new interest in apologetics since joining Reasons to Believe. Dr. Ross and his associates on the site keep updating the papers then review making some facinating points about life on earth, the uniqueness of earth to support advanced life forms and the beautiful origins of the universe.
Here is just one quote from an article on natural selection and evidence for it or stasis.
An obvious lesson is that it is a mistake to build a model for the history of life on Earth based only on short-term field studies. Rather than the transmutation of species through natural selection that Darwin deduced from his few months on the Galápagos Islands, the long-term field studies suggest that natural selection maintains stasis, the stabilizing of a species’ morphological traits over time.
09/21/2013Posted by on
Peter Hitchens lays out a case for the enslavement to evil which illegal substances cause us. He is right–society, as a whole pays, and pays dear for the irrational choices and actions of many. Then, there are compounding consequences: robbery, murder, ruined relationships, physical and emotional pain, psychological issues for the drug-taker and for those they impact.
Here is more proof from Peter Hitchens that many get swept up into a drug culture without knowing or understanding why. Evil may present clothed in a nice gray suit, dark tie and white shirt or it may present as porn to in the white power of a dastardly drug. A Hitchens call to sanity. Not the most gracious approach but then again, maybe in his context, that is what is needed for that audience at the moment.
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06/05/2012Posted by on
Last Sunday I attended worship in a small South Carolina city. The pastor said to the graduates in his medium-sized congregation, “You are going into a world that is hostile to Jesus Christ. You are going before a world that is hostile to His Gospel.”
After lunch I read an article in World Magazine about how fellow believer, Ben Carson, was received for his views on Evolution. Some of these views he expressed at his commencement address at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.
Here is what non-believers don’t like about Dr. Carson–but he is right.
Ultimately, if you accept the evolutionary theory, you dismiss ethics, you don’t have to abide by a set of moral codes, you determine your own conscience based on your own desires. You have no reason for things such as selfless love, when a father dives in to save his son from drowning. You can trash the Bible as irrelevant, just silly fables, since you believe that it does not conform to scientific thought. You can be like Lucifer, who said, “I will make myself like the Most High.” Read more of this post
08/04/2011Posted by on
Here is Steve Meyer with an update on research that points to Intelligent Design. The research goes much deeper than you may realize.
The Positive Case for Intelligence Design
- Case for ID (Reason to Believe)
- Intelligently Designed Nanotechnology – Intelligent Design the Future (idthefuture.com)
07/03/2011Posted by on
Sit back and think about the world around you.
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06/17/2011Posted by on
This is old but we are coming back to it because it is so important to the education of children around the world. What do you thoughts on the feasibility of evolution? Charles Darwin? Darwin Day? But, does natural selection explain everything? What of spontaneous generation? Has SG been proven? Let your thought be know. Comment below.
- Darwin meets the citizen scientists (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
02/06/2011Posted by on
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.
01/16/2011Posted by on
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.
01/16/2011Posted by on
I studied science in high school and loved it! I went on to get a Chemical
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