The Logic of Dragons

Dragons are myth, and legend, and lore, yes? Part of tapestries, and tales, folklore and children stories. Certainly mankind has never hunted and defeated dragons to protect the villagers?

Dinosaurs, society knows, are very real, and of course we look to evidence within the fossil records. We see the erected bones in museums, and their animatronic representations in parks and movies. No intelligent present day person, regardless of belief, would deny that dinosaurs roamed the Earth. And regardless of the time of extinction, we concur that most of these large reptilian beasts are in fact extinct.

But with minimal research, it does not take an advanced degree to discern that dragons were very real, and in fact are the self same dinosaurs that intrigue us today. This is known in Biblical Creationist circles of course, but perhaps not so obvious to certain churches, public schools, and within homes and families that haven’t considered it. What if we use common-sense logic, and history, to identify the connection between dragons and dinosaurs?

One of our first considerations is Sir Richard Owen, a founding father of paleontology, who actually coined the term ‘dinosaur’, in the year 1841. This, as we learn in school, means ‘terrible lizard’. He was a creationist, and had built a natural history museum, within which was displayed creatures’ bones and fossils in 1838 (before the term dinosaur), called ichthyosaurs. Beneath these were the stamped words, “Sea-Dragon”.

Early paleontologists, as they discovered buried creatures, often referred to these large sea, land, and air reptiles as dragons, before and even after the term dinosaur was used. Often the two were used interchangeably.

Thomas Hawkins, and early paleontologist, wrote a research book on “Ichthyosauri and Plesiosauri” called Book of the Great Sea Dragons.

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Book of Great Sea Dragons, by Thomas Hawkins

This was in 1840, and in it, we can see the common name known to these scientists being used as they logged their discoveries of each fossil specimen. “Dragon”.

Aside from this, it is common knowledge that the Chinese called dinosaur fossils dragons, and is still a colloquial term used today. We certainly do not need to point out how important dragon legend is to the cultures of the Far East. But it is interesting to note that ancient emperor logs have indicated having dragons pull chariots, as well as employing royal dragon feeders, which would seem a strange position to hold with no dragons.

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Labelled Dinosaur Fossils

 

Another consideration would be to deduce whether or not mankind had knowledge of dinosaurs before paleontology, and natural history museums. Of course, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. How do we know this?

Perhaps we can consider the multitude of depictions within the artwork of cultures around the world?

Mayan petroglyphs depict common shapes such as humans, and birds, but also dinosaurs.

Murals and tapestries have dinosaurs depicted in them along with the subject matter of daily life. Some are full of head dresses, leopards, tribesman, and also dinosaurs!

One of my favorites are the engravings of two sauropods on the tomb of Bishop Richard Bell, in the Carlisle Cathedral, built in 1122 A.D.carlisle-sauropods The rest of the tomb is decorated with the commonly observed creatures of today, such as bats, fish, even a dog with what appears to be a collar. Would be tough to explain why an artist/engraver, would suddenly take an aside, and concoct a large long-necked dinosaur that disappeared 65 million years ago.

Another interesting example comes from Calvin pic John Calvin’s commentary on the book of Genesis, the artwork for which was done in 1578 A.D. It is beautifully done, and is full of many animals, some of which appear to be dragons, again, long before paleontology, and before the term dinosaurs was ever coined. It is clear from the cacophony of history, that man has had knowledge of many creatures we would call dinosaurs today.

 

calvin2
calvin 3      There are hundreds of examples, from ocean stories, to cave paintings, to carvings in buildings, and these examples span the globe, as well as span a great length of time. Dinosaurs were being depicted for thousands of years, in every culture, long before modern science had reconstructed the shapes of the different species.

As the tension between Biblical creationists and Evolutionists continue, there are always rebuttals. We see this in lunar regression, in the decaying magnetic core, and we see it in the horizon problem of the Big Bang, etc. There is no difference here, as the prevailing theory is that ancient peoples uncovered fossils and depicted the animals they discovered.

Like many of the problems with evolution, the mental gymnastics of the ivy tower elite is handed off to academia for consumption. The dynamo theory, the inflation theory. Evolution asks the layperson to set aside common sense and trust the the non-observable ‘faith’ of scientists in chance and deep time to produce information against insurmountable odds, the hope being that people will believe if given enough time anything can happen.

In this case, we have a world of artistic history and discovery, and the very people who created paleontology in the first place confirming dragons as part of reality, rather than legend. Common sense would dictate that many of these creatures had been observed long before we assembled the bones in museums. Art, after all, imitates life.

I would ask that Biblical creationists not allow their common sense to be compromised through intimidation. Laypeople have every right to engage in healthy debate on the topic of origins, age of the Earth, and fun things like dragons. It is easy sometimes to defer to ‘experts’ such as the modern paleontologists who tout evolution as a fact and view all data through this presupposition.

This can lead to bad science and gross errors. Example?

Consider Carbon 14. Most evolutionary paleontologists would never consider testing dinosaur bones for Carbon 14, since it only lasts thousands of years. Why waste the money on testing, when they already “know” that they won’t find anything. Good observation by the elite, yes?

Except, when it is done, they detect Carbon 14. They get dates magnitudes closer to a biblical timeline than to the accepted 65,000,000 year old dates. Often, the secular labs doing the testing, such as The University of Georgia center for applied isotope studies is not told that the bone they are testing was from a hadrosaur so that they would indeed test it.

Typically what follows are cries of contaminated specimens (despite applied decontamination processes), but the reality is, the results are what we wold expect if dragons had walked the Earth with man. Again, observable, demonstrable, repeatable science is a help, not a hindrance, to true Biblical History.

 

 

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Atheism: Definition

Regarding the term atheist, there is commonly an adoption of this identity by people who don’t want to consider God, or who don’t necessarily choose to believe in a god, or any god for that matter. It is often stated as a philosophy, which acts as a barrier against the need to consider morality, origins, afterlife, etc, and serves to reject the consideration of “religion” in its entirety.

People will claim, “I am an Atheist,” and when pressed, will define it as “I don’t believe in a god,” or “I lack a belief in God.”

This is not comprehensive enough to be considered ‘atheism’, in my opinion, and is hopeless as a definition.

It is no longer a position, or viewpoint, but rather becomes merely description of your psychological state. You are stating that you, personally, do no choose to believe in a god at this time. “I don’t believe in a god” is not a truth claim about the existence of God at all, and can neither be right or wrong. It is simply a belief.

If I say, God is real. That must be either true, or false. There is no getting around it. I can believe what ever I want as a subjective individual, but the moment I make a truth statement, I have to open myself up to evidences, and the possibility that I am incorrect, based on the law of non-contradiction.

In much the same way, a true atheist could categorically state,”I believe there is no god.” This is a truth statement, which now must be verified, scrutinized, held up along side evidence, and considered against opposing views as either true or false.

Michael Shermer, publisher of skeptic magazine even stated at the opening of his debate with Dr. Turek, “There’s two types of atheism, there’s weak and strong atheism, strong atheists say ‘I believe there is no God’, weak atheists say, ‘I don’t believe in God’.”

This weak position also prevents people who call themselves atheists from simply stating, “I am an atheist, prove me wrong.” In other words, “I don’t believe in a god, but you now have the burden of proof.” If the two opposing viewpoints are making truth statements, then both parties assume a burden of proof. Or else, I could just as easily state, “I believe in God, prove me wrong.”

Instead, I may say, “there is a God.” I made a truth statement. An atheist may then ask, “What evidence do you have to support that?” (For examples of evidence click here.)

This tactic of lacking a belief in a truth-claim is obvious during any research on the subject. For example, the atheists.org site asserts numerous times that a truth claim should not be pinned to the belief system. It rejects the idea of being a belief at all. Here is an excerpt from that site:

“Atheism is not an affirmative belief that there is no god nor does it answer any other question about what a person believes… Atheism is too often defined incorrectly as a belief system. To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods…. Despite the fact that atheism is not a religion, atheism is protected by many of the same Constitutional rights that protect religion. That, however, does not mean that atheism is itself a religion, only that our sincerely held (lack of) beliefs are protected in the same way as the religious beliefs of others. Similarly, many “interfaith” groups will include atheists. This, again, does not mean that atheism is a religious belief.” – American Atheists, www.atheists.org/activism/resources/about-atheism/

Notice the attempt to absolve all responsibility from making any truth statements, while maintaining religious protections. This is not an indictment upon atheist persons as a group, certainly not ones who are searching, studying, and determining their own belief paradigm, as much as it is upon an agreed upon definition which allows a group to straddle that line. To be simultaneously a belief and not a belief; a religion and not a religion; a people group that promotes unity and solidarity under the banner of a lack of believing. In other words, a people group who share a belief in no belief.

They state, “To put it in a more humorous way: If atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby.” (et. al.) This would of course hold water if persons who did not collect stamps were a politicized, and well organized people group who wrote, persuaded, and influenced the culture around them of the merits of not-stamp-collecting, as opposed to simply being people who do not collect stamps.

Imagine a group of people who have decided not to collect stamps stating , “We have more than 170 affiliates and local partners nationwide. If you are looking for a community, we strongly recommend reaching out to an affiliate in your area in order to continue not collecting stamps.”

Stating an opinion does not claim anything, or differentiate you from bananas, baboons, and babies, all who are considered atheists under the weaker, culturally accepted definition, i.e. they don’t personally believe in a god. Atheism is a truth claim, “there is no god.”

For the record, Merriam-Webster declares the definition to be a “belief that there is no god, or a strong disbelief in a god.” This is the point I am arguing here. Are we making a truth statement, or simply stating a psychological position, such as “I don’t like okra.”

No evidence for or against okra is likely to change my mind. But once we make that truth claim, we can now consider how the evidence stacks up; in the case of God, we can overlay the realities of objective moral law, design in nature, the existence of matter, the beginning of the universe, and see if science upholds the possibility that all of this was accidental and random, (a faith in and of itself).

This becomes important during debates, specifically because of the burden of proof. It is often placed upon the Christian nowadays during even civil and healthy debates, but rarely on the atheist, as if the lack of belief in a god should be obvious and universal. But, in times past, it was the other way, and belief in God was the norm, and therefore the default setting if you will. It was up to Charles Lyell and Thomas Huxley to campaign against the bible, much like Dawkins and Hitchens have done in modern times, precisely because they make a truth claim.

Remember, a true atheist must carry some of the responsibility of a burden of proof in a debate. It is not one sided. Learn to recognize the difference between someone making a truth claim, and someone just stating their opinion.

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Side note: Thomas Huxley, Darwin’s bulldog, was a devout campaigner for Darwin, outspoken, charismatic, and he drew in crowds like a rock star of today. He actually coined the term agnostic, the West’s new faith, a word he used as a stepping stone to drive doubt against the bible, and to hoist up Darwin’s ideas of all life having common ancestors. This quote by Huxley will give you some insight into the motivation behind such claims. It is fair to say personal philosophy, and not science, drove much of the campaigning for evolution, as it still does today.

“No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man. And if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathous relative has a fair field and no favour, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller-jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried out by thoughts and not by bites.” – Thomas Huxley.

Education vs Indocrination

The Classical Education Paradigm has been replaced with our current public school curriculum, for better or worse. This includes Common Core, which is certainly polarizing. But what classical education was predicated upon was how the brain of a created child naturally develops and evolves through childhood.

“Regardless of their learning style, children learn in three phases or stages (grammar, logic or dialectic, and rhetoric), known as the trivium. In the grammar stage (K–6), students are naturally adept at memorizing through songs, chants, and rhymes. If you can get children in this stage to sing or chant something, they will remember it for a lifetime. In the dialectic or logic stage (grades 7–9), teenaged students are naturally more argumentative and begin to question authority and facts. They want to know the “why” of something—the logic behind it. During this stage, students learn reasoning, informal and formal logic, and how to argue with wisdom and eloquence. The rhetoric stage (grades 10–12) is naturally when students become independent thinkers and communicators. They study and practice rhetoric, which is the art of persuasive speaking and effective writing that pleases and delights the listener. Again, it is this approach to teaching students based on their developmental stage that makes this approach so very effective.” –  Dr. Christopher Perrin; https://classicalacademicpress.com/what-is-classical-education/

So, in regards to teaching macro-evolution as true, is it any wonder that the books children first absorb, the fun ones about space and dinosaurs, categorically state billions of years, millions of years, repeatedly,  like a broken record during that critical stage of absorbing knowledge. We do not teach a first grader in public school to reason, for they cannot. We simply introduce things to them for consumption. So by the time they begin reasoning, and asking why, and how, and what about this or that, they are in middle school. If they started reading science books at age 4, that is nine years of Big Bang, billions of years, dinosaurs extinct for 60 million years, missing link ape men, and all of the ridiculous assertions that are endlessly made before a child has a chance to ask if it makes sense.

They are not taught of its holes, its bad science, and sorted, bloody history. These flaws include considerations for the second law of thermodynamics, or first law for that matter; law of angular momentum with planets;  lunar regression problem; lack of transitional fossils; lack of super novas in the sky; or how stars form; lack of weight and mass in gas clouds; deterioration magnetism problem; river deltas; genetic limits of species; soft tissue discoveries of “millions of years old” specimens; Grand Canyon; etc. They are simply given evolution as a fact to absorb, to repeat, and to believe.

By the time a child is twelve… he or she has been told that this is the only way to think, and has never been introduced to any alternate theories. They already believe it before they know to question it.

What if we explained to children that under the ice caps of Antarctica
they drilled down and hit the tops of tropical trees. How would that effect your opinion on matters, possibly global warming, or earth history, or geology?
If taught that Darwin was a racist, who stated categorically that he supported the wiping out of inferior races, would that change the opinion of whether or not students wanted to learn from him, or perhaps make them examine closer whether his opinions held water? (They do not).

So… I would ask, when they are feeding these theories that “have to be true” to children, why are they not teaching real facts that may hurt their theory simultaneously? Is it wrong for children to understand that another possibility exists? Or that the theory isn’t bulletproof? Why be scared of the conversation?

One final note on the matter. It is already the default position of many to be against God. A God evokes thoughts of rules, consequences, something to reign over you, or something to worship or humble yourself in front of. It is probable that if taught from day one of education that the world around you can be explained without a God, this would be more palatable to most, who wish to do what they please, what is “right in their own eyes.” Especially if such a position is condoned by parents, teachers, and those a child naturally looks up to for guidance.

The result, once a child reaches the developmental stage of reasoning, and independent thinking? The result will be the same for many, what many atheists have called Unyielding Despair.

They will reason, much to the chagrin of caring parents everywhere, since it is “true” that God is not necessary to explain the world around them, that the point of life will be to please self, please the collective, or that no course in life matters. These are logical conclusions, based on reason, under that world view. Unfortunately for many, it will never have occurred to question the consequence of the indoctrination they endured, or whether the world view makes sense. When they finally apply reason, it will be in terms of how to deal with the world view they were convinced of. The outcome is bleak for many reasons. But if you are truly nothing more than stardust, what does it matter?

Endurance Through Trials

Romans 5 : 1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Been meditating on this verse lately. Trying to, though counter-intuitive, be grateful for sufferings. Each of us bears his or her own loss, or bitterness of heart. Having been broken in love, or denied goals, having drank the anguish of defeat, often it causes us to resolve ourselves to hopelessness.

Charles Spurgeon said, “The mind can descend far lower than the body, for in it there are bottomless pits. The flesh can bear only a certain number of wounds and no more, but the soul can bleed in 10,000 ways, and die over and over again each hour.”

But, in wading through these things, we do good to remind ourselves of a couple of key truths. Firstly, For by him [Christ] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. (Col 1:16)

Also consider, John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

God has given us creation to enjoy, to be sure; love, wine, nature, a myriad of pleasures, but that only works if our hope and focus is on Him. When we look to the world to make us happy, finding sustaining life in the world is impossible. Welch put it this way:

“When you observe life and listen to wise people, you will quickly find that it is not about us, which hurts our pride but is a welcome relief. We simply can’t invest our hopes, dreams, and love in the self because it was never intended to carry such freight. For that matter, there is nothing created that was intended to sustain such hopes. Creation is to be enjoyed, but we don’t put our trust in it. The only alternative is God himself.” -Welch, Edward T.. Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness (Kindle Locations 913-916). New Growth Press. Kindle Edition.

If we face bitterness and continue to long for that which we feel we are owed, even owed by God, then our resentment towards Him would distance us from that which is most important, would it not? If Christ is the door, the way, the truth, if indeed the greatest command is to love God above all else, then it could be determined that any trials, though not caused by God, are allowed to happen, in order to bring about the truth of this reality.

Paul said, it is better for you to lose your life and save your soul. Again, very counter-intuitive with how the world thinks. But imagine a world where every pleasure and desire was realized, and those pleasures kept you perpetually from seeking God. That life is still subject to entropy, and eventual death. Would it not be better to endure trials that “produce perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope?”

This has led me to conclude, rather reluctantly, that I am grateful for my trials. I say this carefully, not wishing certainly to evoke more, God forbid. But, my bitterness has certainly exposed the worst parts of me, it has exposed all of what I need to work on, and all I have put my hope in other than God Himself.

If the rest of my life, hypothetically, were devoid of all joys, stripped of all hope of love, and robbed of all entertainments, and ego-boosting assurances, understanding this one fact, that it is God’s love that will sustain me, then it is not a life wasted.

That is not to say, that nothing should be enjoyed. You won’t see me moving to a stone-built monastery in the Alps this year leaving my LOTR extended addition behind, or selling my car and living with the Amish (though I am sure they are much happier than many of the people who are plugged deeply into the world). But the folly of dependence upon people or things is lessened, as I focus my hope on Him, who has promised to sustain me, not just now, but always. John 5:24 “Truly, Truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes in Him who sent Me, has eternal life…”

Yes it is counter-intuitive. But I am grateful for my trials.