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Creation/Evolution

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Climate Change (& friendly debate)

Climate change. Does it happen? Of course! Is it man-made? The news will tell you the science is settled. Now right off the bat that phrase should concern you. If science is settled, it’s not science. “Settled science” is anti-science as it disuades further study. Actual science welcomes new ideas and debate.

In my studies I quickly learned that when the news media reports a science story they normally quote mine for a juicy quote that will create clicks. (Click bait). The quote is normally part of the story, but when I would go to read the actual study or article the news report was based on I would find that the results did not infer the attention grabbing headline. Sometimes the complete opposite.

You see news sells through controversy. If they can get a heated debate going in the comments, thats a LOT of clicks. AND since news sells science, studies that report controversy get more funding. If you see anything or anyone saying “science has proven…”, ask for your money back. Science doesn’t prove anything. Science disproves or rules out possibilities to make the hypothesis more likely.

Climate change occurs, but the actual science as to what causes it (if you read it) is incredibly mixed and far from any consensus. Then you have to consider the political agenda. Fear sells in Democratic politics. We need bigger government to protect us from ourselves. There’s always an angle. Follow the money.

Does man cause climate change? You could possibly say that. Man rebelled against God. God sent a massive flood which enacted all weather calamities to follow. Every weather event today can trace its roots back to the flood. Does that mean God is punishing people for their sins today through hurricanes? No. It means we live in a world where hurricanes happen because we live in a broken world in need of a savior.

Do we need to take care of our planet? Absolutely! But God has already told us how it all ends, and it’s not from man made climate change. Do not buy into the fear.

 

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The following is an exchange I had with someone on Facebook after I posted this to my personal profile.  Their comments are in bold.

 

Sooo because God is going to end the world and not climate change (even though lots of people die in God’s ending… Earthquakes that shake the entire planet and all) We should take care of our planet but not believe we did it because skepticism. 

I am a scientist. My work, my life is based on the physical universe God made. Did man contribute to climate change in a way that has heated the oceans and melted glaciers? Yes. That is something that science has in fact lead towards the most likely possibility. Has the planet been getting “better” since we as humans have been fighting our man-made contribution to climate change? Yes!! Check out the story of refrigerants we used to use that were messing up the molecular make-up of our atmosphere.

Does this post spur humans to act because of their mistakes? No. As much as the news bugs me because I read the studies not just listen/watch the news. Their panic sells, but also their panic that they have whipped the public into has done good things. It has informed the public/senators to do something about it. Which is a main contribution to “green” energy. Does money change the hearts and minds of politicians? Yes. It is always some seedy organisation looking to just get rich? Not always. Also if you can make money on making the planet a better place that is the whole point right. Using our natural resources costs something. It is not free. We should use our economy to save our planet. We should use our political system to help fix the molecular make up of the atmosphere when we send it out of whack with our economy and policies. 

Politics and economics are not bad things in themselves. Try not to demonize them when we talk about solutions to real problems.

 

I’m against the fear mongering that’s all. I’m for truth. First truth says we are not the cause of the demise of this planet. We may have done some things that have hurt the environment and we should work to fix those when we learn of them as much as possible. You say fear produces action and so is justified. I think it produces fake or short lived action. I believe truth produces the most actions. When someone believes something undoubtedly, they will stop at nothing. But…if you don’t have enough truth, fear can be a helpful seller. Again, we need a bigger government to protect us from our stupidity…and we’ll pay them more to do it to.

Just as there are studies you can cite showing man made climate change, there are studies I can cite showing the opposite. Study bashing is boring and doesn’t prove or do anything. But how can there be studies that show opposites. You know it happens all the time, right? My theory is human bias.

 

 I have read studies on both sides, but I also know it is not just throwing studies back and forth it is the overwhelming evidence that leads to the conclusion humans have unequivocally been a leading contribution to climate change. Did we do it alone? No. Did we do a large percentage of it? Yes. I have a deep rooted belief in our flaws as humans. Scientists believe the truth of their study. Humans on the other hand most often have apathy for the situation unless you can prove how it harms them individually because we are selfish creatures. So your belief in the goodness of man to fix their wrong when pointed out to them in my life has been proved to be wrong. Your faith in humanity is wasted. We suck. We don’t care. We would party into our own destruction. It is the job of those that fight for truth to be applied to these apathetic humans. The only way to get an apathetic human to do anything is by fear.

I am against fear mongering as well, but I am not the only fighter. I fight for local changes. I am not a national fighter as much as I disagree with their practices. They get results. Solar credits have not only made solar competitive, but it has driven down costs of manufacturing and dropped money in the market to make it profitable without credits. So in that case a short term solution lead to a long term solution.

Also I never said if fear produces action it is justified. I said I don’t have an issue with it because I am down here fighting to fix our planet from apathetic jerks. I am too busy to fix the fear that media makes money off of. I would rather solve real problems like people losing their homes on the coast due to ocean waters increasing in temperature and height.
If you have an army of undoubting believers you can do amazing things, but just like Christianity has Christians who are apathetic to their community and only care about their personal salvation. You are never gonna find that.

Your human bias of studies is white washed out of meta studies of climate change studies that agree HUMANS ARE A LEADING CONTRIBUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE. Meta studies are a study of all the studies. They collect all the data and come their own conclusion with all the data and it is that conclusion.

 

I always take issue with studies and conclusions based on extrapolations. Even if man is contributing now, it requires extrapolations to come to the conclusion that it will severely harm the environment. I understand the logic of that, but reality infers that so many unknowns factors can majorly change the conclusion.

For example, the age of the Earth is calculated using extrapolations. Rocks decay at a given rate today, using that rate and extrapolating into the past we get an age of 4.5 billion years. But that extrapolation ignores any Biblical possiblities that God intervened in the process and/or created things in an aged state necessary for the immediate sustaining of life. Studies that extrapolate make sense logically, but they don’t necessarily equal truth.

 

Yeah your interpretation of the Bible and how God could have interacted with the physical world is not something we agree on so I don’t think it is a good point to work off of. 
I believe the Bible. I believe God created the cosmos. I also believe thata new earth creationism doesn’t make sense to what the world around us tells us. God’s world. Words can be interpreted in many different ways, but scientific constants and laws of the universe can’t really be interpreted any other way. I choose to bend language and explode my imagination and God’s power rather than limiting humans understanding of the universe God made. God is crazy awesome. I believe he is capable of interacting in our world without it having to go against what we have observed in his physical universe.

After all it says God created the universe and everything in it. Next big event garden stuff

Not God created the universe then changed the constants of his universe so some sticklers to my word that only wish to read the stories literally can age out the world.

 

What it says is God created in six days, made Adam on the sixth day, then gives a 4000 year geneology from Adam to Jesus who lived 2000 years ago. To come to any other conclusion is to force your own interpretation onto the text. I do not believe there is a single piece of evidence against a young earth perspective. Of course their are faulty interpretations based on extrapolations that ignore the Bible as a historical record.

That’s my point. You can ignore certain evidences and make extrapolations to give you conclusions that may not be true. I believe that happens with the age of the Earth looking backwards and climate change looking forwards.

 

I don’t think Genesis is meant to be literal history. That is our different perspectives. I think it is a story we can learn from. I have never thought we should take it literally because it doesn’t make sense literally. I believe God meant to make sense not to change. He is immutable.

 I am not ignoring the genealogy when I take it as a story, it just doesn’t mean as much to me as it does to you.

 

You don’t think Genesis is meant to be taken as literal history because of your preexisting belief in an old earth and evolution. You recognize the two are telling different stories and you side with consensus science despite the continual warnings in the scripture about siding with man. I’m not anti science, I’m pro truth and that requires looking at all angles. If you interpret the evidence in the world using Genesis as your hypothesis, then it all lines up. There is no need to interpret it as allegory.

 

how do you know with 100% certainty you are not forcing a perspective on the text that is just not there. Like what if God’s day in Genesis is not our day? A day is a revolution around the sun, but the sun had not been created yet so you are forcing a definition that had not been defined yet.

If Genesis is allegory it still lines up with science. There is no conflict. I didn’t have to change any definitions. I just read the text and looked at the world and made sense of it.

 

A day is not a revolution around the sun, it is a spinning on its own axis. A sun is not required.

 

Sorry let me correct myself. How can you have a day a revolution without a starting point? The sun

 

I can spin a ball without another ball in the room.

 

Yes but a spin is marked by a beginning and end which is the sun. If you just spin with no reference there is no start or stop. Without a reference point a day without the sun could be 10,000 years.

 
Also let’s poke holes in Noah for a sec. A boat with a buoyancy described in the Bible could not take the weight of the animals also described in the Bible. This math has been done. So unless God intervened which is not directly mentioned it is not possible. Therefore allegory to destruction with water.

 
I take God as he states with the logic he has given me. He gave me science and other humans to work out his wonders. I can read biologists work and marvel at God and his works. I can read work on geologists and marvel at the system that protects the squishy humans that live on this planet. I take their work and marvel at God’s work rather than scoffing at the ingenuity of their discoveries because it doesn’t match my narrow minded view of God that I got from a word that has been translated out of its original culture and language.

 
I am pro truth. I am pro God and his works in the world. The problem I have with your skepticism is it bashes the beauty that is God’s world and natural revelation. You can find God in two ways. Thru the Bible and thru his creation. By using only the Bible all those people that have never heard the word get to be condemned. Rather than opening up to the possibility God can work outside of his Word in the physical universe he created.
As for the spinning thing, you might have a point there – but you also have to take into account that the first thing God created was a light source (not the Sun). If we compare that to other scriptures about God being a light, we can assume this light came directly from him. So yes, the Earth had a light source to use to calculate a day.

As for the Ark, I’ve not actually heard this claim before. How many animals are the supposing was on the Ark? The normal claim I hear is between 1-2000 with the Ark being capable of holding close to 100,000. I know of another feasibility study (done by a secular university) that showed the Ark would have worked.

I don’t want you to get the assumption that because I am a creationist I am missing out on the wonders of science. To me, becoming a creationist opened up science to an amazing degree I never thought possible. Now it has meaning and purpose behind it, instead of mindless and accidental. I’m glad you find wonder in science. I would never want that to change. I believe we are to study the earth and figure out more things about how it works, but not to trump God’s definitive word on the matter. His word is the ultimate authority and the final say on all matters.

Here’s the biggest issue with evolutionary science. If it is true, then God created cancer and called it “very good”. If the 4.5 billion years of creation has to be fit into the creation week of Genesis allegorically, then so does all the history of pain, disease, suffering, and death. Then after the creation, God calls it all “very good”. If you go with my understanding, God does create a world “very good”, free of pain and suffering. Man brings those things into the creation. So the big question is: is God to blame for creating the world this way, or did we mess it up? If you believe in evolution, you have no choice but to blame God. BUT this goes against so much of his character and invalidates so many passages.

I do not mind entertaining other interpretations, but if they create contradictions with later passages – that is where I draw the line. God’s word can’t have contradictions or it is no longer God’s word. God’s word calls death an enemy. So is it an enemy or part of the process of creation and “very good”? Which is it?

END OF CONVERSATION
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11 reasons why evolution is so widely accepted

The following is borrowed from a comment redditor JoeCoder made to a question posed in the subreddit Creation when asked why evolution is so widely accepted…

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According to the NCSE (an evolution advocacy group) 55% of scientists are atheists, 40% believe God guided evolution, and 5% are young earth creationists. The survey had no category for old earth creationists and they don’t break it down by field, so the results aren’t perfect.

I don’t like to profile large groups of people I’ve never met and I think the reasons for evolutionary theory’s widespred acceptance are complex and multifaceted. But I’d guess it involves some of the following:

  1. Many immediately reject creation or ID from the many embarrassingly bad “why are there still monkeys” arguments used by laymen. They assume there’s nothing beyond that and never dig deeper to encounter the good arguments.
  2. It’s what they were taught in school and they never questioned it. “I didn’t give it much thought; It wasn’t my area of concern”, Michael Behe reflected of his postdoc research days. “college students have not been shown the weakness of Darwinian evolution” as Joseph Kuhn published in 2012.
  3. Many don’t know about issues outside their narrow field. Paleontologist and ID critic Don Prothero wrote that “Nearly all metazoans [meaning animals] show stasis, with almost no good examples of gradual evolution… the prevalence of stasis is a puzzle that has no simple answer” but lamented, “by and large the neontological [non-paleontologist] community still ‘doesn’t get it’… The journal Evolution continues to publish almost no contributions by paleontologists”. Ironically I’ve also seen geneticists cite the fossil record as evidence for evolution when genes don’t form trees.
  4. Others don’t talk about the problems. Renowned chemist James Tour describes, “Let me tell you what goes on in the back rooms of science – with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners. I have sat with them, and when I get them alone… I say, “Do you understand all of this, where all of this came from, and how this happens?” Every time that I have sat with people who are synthetic chemists, who understand this, they go ‘Uh-uh. Nope.’ These people are just so far off, on how to believe this stuff came together. I’ve sat with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners. Sometimes I will say, ‘Do you understand this?’ And if they’re afraid to say ‘Yes,’ they say nothing. They just stare at me, because they can’t sincerely do it.”
  5. Many see anything but materialistic naturalism as a violation of scientific professionalism. One reporter described of a conference in China, “Chinese scientists encouraged the investigation of a variety of new hypotheses to explain the Cambrian explosion: hydrothermal eruptions, sudden seafloor changes, even intelligent design. This last was too much for one American paleontologist who stood up and shouted, ‘This is not a scientific conference!'”. Likewise, asLynn Margulis said, “The critics, including the creationist critics, are right about their criticism. It’s just that they’ve got nothing to offer but intelligent design or ‘God did it.'”
  6. Many biologists don’t understand engineering. Many of the patterns claimed to only arise by common descent are the same I see in my own code.
  7. Some recognize insufficiencies but hope new theories will arise to resolve them. Depew & Weber published in 2012: “Darwinism in its current scientific incarnation has pretty much reached the end of its rope… however, we are confident that a new and more general theory of evolution is evolving”
  8. A bias toward sensationalism in the media–which is true everywhere and not just with evolutionary biology.
  9. Those who disagree are rarely given a voice, and are often forced to move on to careers outside biology. Creation evolutionary biologist Todd Wood’s response to critic Phil Senter was “declinedwithout review by 4 different journals”. Without review means they didn’t read them. Probably due to some of the reasons above, Yet being unable publish reinforces the cycle.
  10. The more vocal opponents successfully prevent journals from publishing papers questioning evolutionary theory by threatening boycott. Even when the papers have already passed peer review. Thankfully the papers were peer reviewed again by another journal and still published.
  11. A small number of rather popular evolution “evangelists” shame anyone who dissents from the party line. For example see Jerry Coyne’s response to Lynn Margulis claiming evolution doesn’t work (cited above). Coyne says she’s “dogmatic, willfully ignorant, and intellectually dishonest”, “wrong in the worst way a scientist can be wrong”, and “embarrasses both herself and the field”. He and others write those accusations against anyone mentioning problems.

Evidence-based approach to origins leads to creation

The following is adopted from Come and Reason Ministries

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Can any scientist demonstrate something coming from nothing? I can show you a world filled with evidence of new things coming from something that already exists.

Can any scientist demonstrate life coming from non-living matter? I can show you a world teeming with life coming from living matter.

Can any scientist demonstrate complexity coming from chaos by random forces without any intelligent input? I can demonstrate a world filled with complex machines, computers, and technology, all of which is a result of intelligent design and input.

Can any scientist demonstrate random genetic mutation that has added genetic fitness? I can show you millions of genetic mutations that destroy fitness.

Can any scientist demonstrate selection that removes enough genetic damage to cause a species to become more genetically fit than the preceding generations? I can show you that despite selection the accumulation of genetic damage increases with each subsequent generation thereby degrading the species.

Further, which theory is in harmony with known laws of physics? The first law of thermodynamics, energy is conserved, rules out the first premise of evolution origins. Something cannot come from nothing if energy is conserved.

The second law of thermodynamics, things tend toward disorder unless energy is put into a system, simply states that left to its own things decay over time. This law rules out the premise that complexity comes from chaos without intelligent input. It also rules out the idea that genetic mutation results in increased fitness.

Both of these scientific laws of thermodynamics support the premises of creation origins but fail to support evolution origins.

So, which theory is actually built upon testable, reproducible evidence, in harmony with known laws, and which theory is demonstrated, by the evidence, to be inconsistent with testable evidence and laws? Then which theory is more scientific?

I find it fascinating that Creationism is actually founded upon scientific premises and beliefs, and supported by testable laws, whereas evolutionism origins is founded upon “blind faith,” premises that are disproved by objective testable science. Yet, scientists refuse to follow the evidence and instead persist in proclaiming evolutionary origins are actually scientific.

 

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How can all those scientists be wrong?

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Is the photo above a man standing sideways (profile), or is the man standing forwards with half the picture cut off?  Two different people will come to two different conclusions.  Let’s keep that in mind…

 

The vast majority of scientists agree that the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old, and evolution via natural selection and common ancestry is the means by which humanity came into being.  Obviously, as a young-earth creationist, I do not agree with either of those staples of science.  But what about all the evidence, Tim??  Let me explain my position…

I believe that the scientific method requires that all evidence must be interpreted before a conclusion is drawn.  My issue is not with the evidence itself, it is with the interpretation stage.  I believe that scientists interpret the evidence through a worldview filter.  Their worldview filter includes their personal beliefs about how the world does or does not operate.  For example, if I believe there is no supernatural influence in the world and everything continues on the way and the rate at which it always has, then I am going to interpret something like radiometric decay or geology much differently than someone who believes God has intervened in this world at various points in our early history.

 

Let’s look at a couple examples…

If God really created Adam on the literal sixth day of creation – how old do you think he might look on day 7?  Was he a full grown man?  30… maybe 40?  But the truth is he is only one day old.  He was created fully mature and able to sustain himself.  Now apply that concept to the rest of creation.  If God really created the world in six days fully mature and self-sustaining – how might that affect the apparent age of the earth?  And how might that affect our research if we left out that concept?  Might we come to a much different conclusion?  I think so.  The point is evidence like radiometric dating the age of the earth doesn’t rule out a special creation because things still might appear older than they truly are and yet that would still be in line Biblicaly.

But isn’t that a deceptive God??  I hear this all the time.  No, it’s not.  Perhaps God never intended us to study the age of the earth while ignoring his revelation about how He did it!  Not God’s deception, human ignorance.

As for geology, we have to look at what might have happened had Noah’s flood actually covered and destroyed the whole world as the Bible seems to imply.  Take the layers at the Grand Canyon.  Two schools of thought: either a little bit of water (the Colorado River) over a long period of time (millions of years) OR a lot of water (the flood) over a little period of time.  The same evidence, different conclusions based on different interpretations that are dependent on our worldview assumptions.

But doesn’t science work to weed out the assumptions?  Yes, but it gets harder and harder when science steps outside of direct observation and repeatability.  Of course we can’t observe or repeat creation or the flood or anything from that time period.  We only have left over evidence that requires human interpretation.

But what about multiple lines of evidence all agreeing on the same conclusion??  Isn’t that correlation the nail in the coffin?  No, not if each one of those line of evidence were all interpreted under the same starting worldview assumption of uniformitarianism – the idea that present processes are the way things have always worked.  If Genesis is true and the world was created rapidly, altered following original sin, and destroyed during the flood – uniformitarainism fails, and so does all conclusions that follow from that assumption.

Keep in mind that I am NOT saying that the laws of nature change all the time and thus science is impossible.  I am being specific and citing three main events from Genesis in which things would have worked differently than the way we see them working today.  Science that puts computers on our desks and phones in our pockets are based on modern, observations that are repeatable and verifiable.  Science such as evolution and the age of the earth are much different and require much more debatable assumptions.

The conclusions of an old earth and evolution rely on the worldview assumptions of naturalism and specifically uniformitarianism being absolutly true and unchangeable.  As a Christian, I believe God does and has intervened in our world.  I also believe the Bible is a historical, reliable account of the creation of the world.  And since that is true, it contains information that makes me seriously doubt uniformitarianism.  I replace it with the assumption of catastrophism of history – that several high impace, rapid events occurred shaping our planet’s apparent history very quickly rather than gradually.

Yes, we both use starting assumptions to interpret the evidence.  It’s not evolutionists have more evidence than creationists, it’s that we interpret the same evidence differently based on a different set of starting assumptions.  So, the real question is – whose starting assumptions are more reliable?  The majority of scientists believe their assumptions are correct because the constant rates have never been observed to be different.  That actually is a pretty logical conclusion.  But that doesn’t disqualify the creationist worldview.  We believe we have additional information in the revealed word of God – therefore we see our starting assumptions as more reliable than fallible human intellect because it comes straight from God who was there, observed it, and doesn’t lie.  And thus, the debate rages on!

 

 

 

Twitter debate with Biologos

This week I had the pleasure of interacting with Mario Anthony Russo of Biologos.  Russo is a God-loving Christian who used to be an outspoken young-earth creation apologist and is now with Biologos, the largest theistic evolution promoting organization.  We had a debate in 140 characters or less on Twitter.

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It was in response to his new article titled “Tales of a recovering Answer Addict: From young-earth apologist to Evolutionary Creationist” (http://biologos.org/blogs/brad-kramer-the-evolving-evangelical/tales-of-a-recovering-answer-addict-from-young-earth-apologist-to-evolutionary-creationist).  Here is some more background info on Russo:

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The following are screenshots of our Twitter debate.  Since it is kinda confusing to go into Twitter and see everything, I tried to reassemble it in chronological order below.  Of course Twitter is not the most preferred format for a debate (and hard to screen cap – you will see a couple duplicates, etc), it certainly gets to the point quickly.

I hope you will be able to see how I believe he dodged several direct questions and was not willing to admit that he interprets the Bible through his beliefs about science…

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This entire debate can be summed up in this image:

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Quotes for contemplation…

Recently I have come across a couple of quotes that really got me thinking.  The first is from famed atheist, scientist, and philosopher Carl Sagan.  It  was posted recently from one of my super-liberal friends.  I found it quite ironic!  Read it first, and I’ll explain…

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If you read up on both side of the creation/evolution debate you will quickly see how this quote could apply equally to both sides – yet I’m sure Sagan didn’t see it that way.  In other words, the quote is very powerful but will do pretty much nothing to move along the conversation.

From our perspective, evolutionists will not acknowledge the evidence of creation because they already have a pre-defined conclusion and our evidence doesn’t fit into that.  The irony is that is exactly what they accuse of us of doing… and they are right.  But we will admit it, and they won’t.

The next quote has very much impacted me!  In the creation/evolution debate things can get very detailed about evidence and what is / what is not possible.  It can be very helpful to reminded of this simple but profound concept I think we too quickly forget…

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Kent Hovind has certainly had his fill of controversy in the creation/evolution community – but he is also well loved by many.  He has a very unique approach that is no holds barred.  Many disagree with his methods and some of his arguments, but Kent certainly has a special way of saying plainly what for many of us would be tripping over our words.

I will never forget this quote of his!  It puts the whole debate into perspective very quickly.