SES National Conference on Christian Apologetics

I just got back from the 2017 SES National Conference on Christian Apologetics which took place in Charlotte, at the Calvary Campus, and was for two days, home to some of the greatest apologetic minds of our day. It was a bit like going to Disney World for me. This was my Super Bowl.

I met the great Norman Geisler,

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Norman Geisler

and his son, and spoke with many great minds from different fields. There was not always agreement about theological interpretation, but all these men and women love the Lord, and it was wonderful to see the camaraderie and the shared mission of the speakers, to make disciples for Jesus Christ and the truth of the resurrection.

There was much to hear, I bought many new books, and of a most interesting conflict among the scholars was of course young verses old earth opinions. I may do a follow up article on that, as it was quite unique the way scholars who believe in the big bang theory have to explain themselves under the paradigm of a creator. They certainly have rebuttals and evidences all neatly decided upon, however, to me (though I am no astrophysicist), these explanations fall very short, and completely contradict what we find in God’s word. You can play interpretation games all day long, but as Ken Ham said quite correctly at the conference, you do not get the idea of millions of years from a simple reading of bible. It is a man-made worldview, which must then be shoehorned into the text to make it seem to fit.

There was a particularly potent and personal talk I attended, given by a neuroscience Doctor, a Dr. Camp. She (pictured above) was discussing specifically the tendency of Christians, within the social and secular construct of this world as a perfect storm, to be anxious and depressed, and why that is, rather than full of joy for Christ. Personally, this is something I struggle with, and so I attended her class away from my group, and learned a bit more about how our brains were wired. What I learned both comforted me, because there were solutions, one of which was knowledge, and also scared me, because of how are brains become hardwired to believe the lies we tell it.

There was an atheist vs God debate, based on things like philosophy, and the perceived tyrannical nature of God in the Old Testament. Dan Barker from the Freedom From Religion Foundation debated Dr Howe, and did very well. I commend him for braving the venue, and standing before all the Christians making a very direct and succinct case. It created a great many good topic questions for us later in groups, and his overall communication skill was terrific. Clearly he is passionate, though I disagree with his goals and conclusions. We discussed in groups questions like, can God commit murder? And, the importance of context when discussing bible stories/verses.

Frank Turek and J. Warner Wallace were amazing, and I loved meeting Dr. Sanford who wrote Genetic Entropy, an excellent case against evolution from the observable degradation of the human genome.

All in all, it was a fantastic and mentally stimulating trip, and I’d love to make it a tradition. Honestly, I’d love to lock myself in there and just study and drink coffee for a year, however, that seems slightly impractical.

 

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Case Study: A Wasted Life, Martians vs Percival

470172a-i1.0What led to Percival Lowell’s obsession with life on Mars? Led him to be convinced all the way to his deathbed it held signs of ancient civilizations? Led him to waste 22 golden years convincing his eyes of what his heart wanted to see? Life on mars, and martians,  is a theory that captivates the imaginations of people even today. (See: UFO’s and God)

As the egregious failure to provide evidence of abiogenesis, or the natural process of life arising from non-living matter,  marred evolutionary progress in the late 1800’s, some form of organic evolution had to be found. Abiogenesis was essential for propping up Darwinian theory, and amidst the embarrassment of Darwin’s disciples classifying gypsum (sulphate of lime) as a spontaneous sea life form, science needed a new, non-divine source for life. Incidentally, the newly found ‘life form’ was never denounced publicly, and Haeckel, the evolutionist who presented it, was convinced the real life form of his imaginings was laying in the ocean floor waiting to be discovered until his dying day. He was lecturing in Berlin on evolution in 1905, standing before a back drop of artist renderings relating man with apes, and his own notorious embryo drawings, found later to be completely falsified. (Haeckel was known to be a German hero of Hitler, and gave credence to his opinions on the master race.)

At the height of his influence in 1876, Haeckel said, “[The spontaneous generation] hypothesis is indispensable for the consistent completion of the non-miraculous history of creation.” One year later was the’discovery’ from Italian astronomer Schiapatelli that would ignite a series of far reaching events to answer this evolutionary vacuum. With the limited telescopic technology available, this searcher of the stars found a straight line on the planet mars. He called them “canali” for channel in Italian, which of course became “canals” in English. A few months after this announcement was the failure of Haeckel’s spontaneous life form. Despite the modesty of Schiapatelli’s report, the imaginations of the scientific community where abuzz with visions of extraterrestrial life. And why? Ian T. Taylor says it this way: “Relegating that origin to some cosmic outpost gave a measure of intellectual satisfaction since no amount of negative evidence could lessen the possibility of it being true; in other words, it was for the foreseeable future beyond the reach of man’s inquiry and could neither be proved or refuted.” (In the minds of Men, 2008)

Which brings us, stage now set, to Percival Lowell. While traveling abroad, Percival discovered that Schiapatelli was no longer able to continue his work, and enthusiastically adopted the search for proof of Martians. He was surrounded by the progressive thinking of evolution, and with science clamoring for a life source from space, Mr. Lowell was all too eager to help. From 1894 to 1916, Lowell observed Mars, wrote about Martians, and encouraged the public with lectures and maps. Using the excellent viewing conditions of Arizona’s nighttime sky, the number of canals he observed swelled to over 700.

Other scientists seemed to struggle with eyeing the same canals Percival did, to which he replied – ‘such observations relied heavily upon viewing conditions.’ There was even a water vapor discovery that also somehow eluded other scientists. This did not stop the passionate, if not obsessed, astronomer from producing “Mars” (1895), “Mars and Its Canals” (1906), and “Mars As the Abode of Life” (1908) along with a myriad of articles discussing our fourth planet.

I discuss the dangers of indoctrination in other articles, and continue to make application as we face an educational system today that is itself obsessed with the faith of evolution. Let us examine the fall out from Lowell’s observations, bearing in mind the unrelenting PR campaign for evolution that took place before Lowell, run by Huxley, the X-Club, and various societies that held sway over the whole scientific community (this is not an exaggeration, and parallels today’s methodology). Lowell influenced the imaginations of the western world with his continual promotion of a martian probability. One such imagination belonged to a writer named H.G. Wells. The very one who wrote War of the Worlds (1898) about a martian invasion of Earth.

You know what comes next. Another Wells, this time Orson Wells, and his Halloween hoax radio show of 1938, an age of tension, and war, and technological terror. Orson proved that with theatrics, some sound effects, and not a shred of evidence, a dedicated groups of individuals could create absolute panic. The radio broadcast convinced thousands the end of the world was happening, as he presented a War of the Worlds live radio show, causing at least one death, flooding the police switchboards, and pulling off the greatest media stunt of all time.

Sci-fi followed suit, from Isaac Asimov to  area 51 to Star Trek, and as evolution was blasted into the American school system in 1959 via Eisenhower’s National Defense Education Act, the need for abiogenesis was just as necessary as it was in 1876. With the space race against the Russians being the impetus for this, and the moon landing not far off, it is no wonder America never lost its fancy for Martians.

In 1976, 60 years after Lowell’s death, the Viking spacecraft landed on Mars, mapping the surface, and proving what the Mariner series spacecraft had already ascertained a couple years before. Lowell was wrong. There were no canals. None. Not one.

I cannot think of a more disappointing scientific legacy that that of Percival Lowell. I have written my first book, and know the passion and dedication that it takes to carry it out. This man not only wrote three, but built his own observatory, staffed it, and arduously studied the red planet for 22 years. I in no way feel that Lowell was a con-artist. On the contrary, I believe with every fiber of my being that he worked with dedication, ethics, and honor, and that he truly felt he was serving humanity with his efforts. He never learned of the worthlessness that was his legacy. So where did it all go wrong?

The presupposition, of course. The starting point, believed with an emotional faith that, I dare say, no one could have talked him out of. It is the same here as with biology, paleontology, anthropology, and all sciences, where how you interpret the world around you is directly affected by what you believe. Some would levy the same argument against Christianity, and would be right to do so, though it is the only starting point that offers satisfaction. To explain would take another article entirely, however I will say this. There is reason, logic, and answers within Christianity that cannot be found anywhere else. Rom 1:20 – “For from the creation of the world the invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood through the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” God can be clearly seen, and a presupposition beginning with a holy, inerrant, and prophetic creator is a much more reasonable faith than a faith based on man’s failed attempt to prove we are all just cosmic accidents. If Percival Lowell hadn’t been influenced by man’s idea to supplant Christian truth with humanistic evolution, as history shows us, this story wouldn’t be so tragic. Would  those 22 years have been better spent studying God’s word, instead of Mars?

You Have Two Choices

There are really only two games in town. Both Christian scientists and atheistic scientists agree that the universe had a beginning. I have spoken with post-modernists who offer up alternatives to these two possibilities, such as a past eternal universe, or mere relative understandings of truth. Without getting into the weeds too much, your main theorists and thinkers on both sides reject these ulterior notions based on sound evidence, such as heat death, entropy, and others.

Biblical creationists already have a Genesis account of a beginning, corroborated by Christ, and many writers of scripture, so this news does not pose issue in and of itself.

On the other hand, when scientists discovered that the universe had a beginning, they were not happy.

Physicist Arthur Eddington wrote: “philosophically, the notion of a beginning of the present order of nature is repugnant to me… I should like to find a genuine loophole.”

When Einstein discovered that space-time-matter had a beginning, he was quoted as saying the result “irritates me”, due to its theological ramifications. You could surmise that a multi-verse would somehow change the implications, but it does not. Mathematically (since a multi-verse is hypothetical and un-explorable), a theorem that explains a multi-verse, created by Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin and his scientific team, proves that even if one exists, there is a beginning to them all.

Vilenkin, a believer in a multi-verse rather than God says,  “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).”

So to the point: the two games in town are

a) The universe created itself, or

b) A creator outside of time, space, and matter created it. Therefore He is timeless, spaceless, and immaterial.

We have delved into space travel, the Big Bang, and other related topics on this site, but to now bring up an additional bit of information in the realm of philosophy, there is a self-evident principle of causality with which we must contend. In its simplest form, the law of causality simply states that everything has a cause. A house has a cause, yes, but that is an easy one. But I can go pick a leaf off a tree, and determine its cause, or a rock laid down by an ancient flood, and it will have a cause. Now, we may disagree on what the forensic evidence points to as an initial cause, but we will not disagree that said object does indeed have one.

This self-evident first principle of philosophy is there, along with others such as the law of non-contradiction, identity, and so on, to prevent the need for an infinite regression of explanations. In other words, if you have to explain everything, then you will never get to the end of explanations, and truth ceases to exist. This is why we must stop with certain obvious realities, or these first principles.

Of course a common retort is, who caused God then? But being outside of time, space and matter, being infinite, there is no logical reason to need a cause. Like our first principle, He is self-evident, or the un-caused first cause – Aristotle said, the unmoved mover. Hence why He refers to Himself as I AM. There is no “was”,  there is no “will be”. For us yes, but not for Him. Besides, you cannot have a higher god that is “more infinite” than infinite. This also is illogical.

Now, in regards to anything within the forensic sciences, something not repeatable, observable, or demonstrable, we are looking for causes at the most basic level. Science is basically the search for knowledge, or search for causes – causality.

Therefore, one must now ask him or herself, do I abandon the law of causality when it comes to origins? This isn’t about age of the universe, or dinosaurs, all which do have answers according to a biblical world view. But simply regarding the beginning of it all, do I base my life on the natural and material sciences only, dismissing all possibility of creation, and force myself to choose a beginning that happened in eons past against the laws of all I claim to hold dear?

The great skeptic and atheist Christopher Hitchens was debating Frank Turek, and equated the Big Bang to a suitcase about to pop open, “and everything that is ever going to be is inside that;  that was the best I could do.” He went on to say, “And I don’t think many people could do, if I say it myself, that much better.” For such a revered and intelligent man, to state that the historical narrative of the Genesis account, in all of its beauty, and mastery, revered for thousands of years, and preserved through the ages doesn’t compare with this suit case analogy is quite telling. But in the end, an avid atheist will always struggle with how to articulate a result with no definable cause, because to repeat the point, both sides agree there was a definitive beginning.

There are only two choices. Einstein knew this. I commend atheists for being consistent in their take on naturalism, but as we view all manner of explanation and mental gymnastics to explain godless possibilities, and then relegate those possible happenings to the far unobservable past, do we not firmly place it in the category of faith? Faith in that there must not be a God.

Both sides, as human beings will try to identify the three basic life questions:

Where did I come from?

Why am I here?

What happens when I die?

The last two questions are bound inexorably to the first. Einstein was right, it can be irritating, since there is a beginning. But if nothing can cause something, or more than that, everything, then we have undone what is self-evident, and have removed meaning from all we observe.

There are only two choices.

Christians are Hypocrites

“I don’t go to church, because Christians are nothing but hypocrites!”

This charge is often levied against churches, or the people who attend them.

“I know a guy/girl who goes to church, and acts Christian, but they did this, or that.” “I talked to this pastor, and he was a jerk.” “At least I’m real and true to who I am, Christians pretend like they are perfect or righteous.”

Let’s cut past all the subterfuge and subtlety. Are Christians hypocrites? Yes. Every single one. Hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform. By definition, Christians have moral beliefs, set forth by God’s word, to which we desire to adhere. But every single Christian fails in this task. Every single one falls short, and I dare say this happens daily in the heart and minds of each, if not in actions.

Jesus says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” The moment this expectation, demanded by a holy God (for what else could infinite perfection demand), has failed to come to fruition, even in the smallest of ways, we have by definition become hypocrites and in fact, lawbreakers. We have failed to live up to a moral standard we accept as right.

But let us consider an atheist, who by definition, has a subjective moral code, derived from either ones own opinion, from popular opinion, or from the opinion of those who are in charge and can force a citizenry to exercise a particular behavior. In these instances, a moral code also exists, albeit one that is not handed down from a perfect creator, but is instead decided upon by mankind. If we reflect on the results of these subjective moral laws, depending on the flexible moral code of a given society, then two results  can generally be expected:

  1. If you live in a morally stringent society with heavily girded laws, as a citizen subject to these agreed upon codes, any violation of these codes renders you a hypocrite, and a law breaker, i.e. anyone who disagrees with Sharia.
  2. If you live in a morally relativistic society, defined by anarchy, nihilism, or lawlessness, or if you have determined within your own subjective mind that your behavior should fit no moral code (i.e. sociopath, or in religion – New Ageism), then you have absolved yourself from consequence to escape guilt. Anything goes.

Number 2 is extreme, and approaches mental disorder, however the reality in everyday life is a combination of the two. Often one who wishes for the freedom to be flexible in beliefs finds themselves to be militaristic towards anyone who holds to an opposite view, like during an abortion or transgenderism conversation, thereby pitting one set of subjective beliefs against another, if there is indeed no standard, and neither of which has more merit.

The reality is, therefore, to escape being a hypocrite against whichever moral code you reside under,

you must either operate perfectly within that framework – nigh impossible, or

you must adopt a framework with a moral bar set so low that you can’t help but live up to its standard, and then defend it militantly to escape any shame and guilt associated with those behaviors, or

you must constantly be ‘moving the goal posts’ within an ever changing set of standards, which is by definition, not a standard at all.

With careful, logical scrutiny, one could conclude that every acceptable moral set of beliefs would inherently have as its members nothing but hypocrites, all of whom are constantly trying, and re-trying, to live up to the expectations they believe in. As it is with every pursuit in life, from sports, to education, to religion, to parenting, human experiences are riddled with failures, and shortfalls. We strive for excellence in these pursuits, though we may never achieve perfection, and in so doing we work to better ourselves. It is the same with our walk in Christ, and for this walk we use the word sanctification, a lifelong and constant goal. The alternative, in Christianity, as well as sports/parenting/education, is to set the standard so low, that you feel validated by sub-par character and performance. This is no way to enrich a life, or the lives of those around you.

The result of this constant falling short is accepting the reality of hypocrisy. This is why Christians should gather in churches, as it is a place not only for worshiping the one person who set up the holiest standard possible, and then lived up to it, but also to surround yourselves with those who cannot, and are there to love and support each other. This is the essence of the body of Christ. Those who recognize that despite all human effort, they are in need of grace and mercy from a holy Creator.

Let me save you the trouble of pointing it out. You will not find perfect Christians in church. Christians struggle with anger, alcohol, sexual immorality, hate, depression, gossip – oh Lord the gossip, among a myriad of other sins. Yes we hide them, yes we don’t like to announce our struggles and shames from the mountain tops, and yes we pray for forgiveness constantly for not being as good as we can be. But there is peace and joy in Christ, in grace, and in knowing that we can let go of all of our missteps and focus the next day on how to love better. And despite these struggles, there is a concerted effort (or should be in a healthy church group) to do good works, to support others, and to be generous with the gifts that we do have.

If you are a non-believer that has had an unpleasant experience with a Christian, please realize that this person is struggling daily to do what is right, or may be going through his or her own temptations or trials, just like you. To dismiss thousands of years and mounds of evidence of revelation from God, to dismiss all His good works to bring about a savior, and our relationship with Him, and to dismiss the reality of eternal life with that Creator, because you interacted with someone who fell short in their walk is to dismiss the very reason we need Jesus Christ. In fact, as an unbeliever, are you not claiming to have a problem with a belief to which you do not conform? Is that not hypocrisy?

So if someone finally reaches the conclusion that he or she has fallen short of God’s perfect moral standard, that they are ready to admit that they are a hypocrite in their own right, based on the moral law written on their heart, then they can safely come to a church of believers. They are in good company, a place full of hypocrites, who all have fallen short, and all wish to experience freedom from their sins. If I see you there, I will do my best to lift you up, and do life with you. But I am a hypocrite too, so I may fail, and need forgiveness from time to time.

 

Supposed Final Words of Steve Jobs

Widely reported as the last words of Steve Jobs, though inspired and interesting, is most likely a false deathbed speech. We can easily imagine thoughts such as this passing through our minds at the end. Though most likely not genuine, it is interesting to consider them, and how they reflect our hopes for our lives:
“I have come to the pinnacle of success in business.
In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success.
However, apart from work, I have little joy. Finally, my wealth is simply a fact to which I am accustomed.
At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was once so proud, have become insignificant with my imminent death.
In the dark, when I look at green lights, of the equipment for artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of my approaching death looming over me.
Only now do I understand that once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, you have to pursue objectives that are not related to wealth.
It should be something more important:
For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood.
No, stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me.
God has made us one way, we can feel the love in the heart of each of us, and not illusions built by fame or money, like I made in my life, I cannot take them with me.
I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love.
This is the true wealth that will follow you; will accompany you, he will give strength and light to go ahead.
Love can travel thousands of miles and so life has no limits. Move to where you want to go. Strive to reach the goals you want to achieve. Everything is in your heart and in your hands.
What is the world’s most expensive bed? The hospital bed.
You, if you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take your illness that is killing you.
Material things lost can be found. But one thing you can never find when you lose: life.
Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls.
Please treasure your family love, love for your spouse, love for your friends…
Treat everyone well and stay friendly with your neighbours.”

I have never personally faced a life threatening illness. But I have had my life threatened, as well as watched the life of a loved one deteriorate. I have watched helplessly at a bedside, when the only power I had was to pray to God. And the only hope that I had in my heart was that if that loved one passes from this world to the next, I will get to see them again, and stand with them before a God who saved us both through His mercy and grace.

These final words go far, and they are serious, and wise, but do they go far enough? The author mentions God, but if there is one and only one infinite God, He alone is to be sought. And if that God has declared the one door to Him is through His son, Jesus Christ, then I would lovingly declare this statement does not go far enough by any stretch of the imagination. An atheist who lived out Steve’s advice would die with memories, and still with no hope. And those who remembered them, would also perish, and so the love that had been attained in a lifetime of wholesome philosophy would be lost to history. This alone is not the answer. That is why I often repeat my favorite verse in these articles, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

In John 10:9, Jesus says, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

In John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

This may seem narrow-minded to some, or dogmatic, and I assure you it is, unless it is the truth.43dc6e87710d1c4d4f780482f310a7df If it is the truth, if God entered His creation to die for our sins, and that sacrifice resulted in the legal and moral substitution for a judgement we deserve, then it would indeed be the only way, and the truest act of love. The author mentions God, and speaks of the importance of love in this life. True words, sir, and a very fine philosophy for living. Yet those with money, and those with loving memories both still stand to lose all if they do not address the truth of salvation.

The bible is not ambiguous on this point. There isn’t one way for Christians, one for Muslims, one for Buddhists, and another path for New Agers. There is one door, which is why Christ Himself includes that He is the truth, as well. It is a warning, given in love, and providing hope for all, for all are fallen, and all face death. To Mr. Steve Jobs, I say, boldly and beautifully said, a sad and grave wake up call against the things that drive us. But, I also say, your love and memories cannot save you. Living for a fallen version of love will still leave you wishing and hoping in a hospital bed. There is only one door. Though it is now, more unpopular than ever to state, and offends many, we cannot be so timid as Christians that we cannot claim the truth, and that is that Jesus Christ is our door to salvation. It is said that this speech, despite its lack of authenticity, has inspired many. But we must ask, does talk like this truly help? or does it give a false sense of meaning, and therefore provide a complacency more dangerous than the position of men who admit they are evil. Change is only possible when one realizes it is necessary.

 

Taphonomy

Taphonomy is the branch of paleontology that deals with the processes of fossilization. It is like investigating a crime scene to find out the best possible explanation for the evidence. In laymen’s terms, it is attempting to find out what killed the animals in question. In the case of the paleontological dig in Wyoming run by Dr. Arthur Chadwick, it is about finding what cased the death of many dinosaurs.

Art explained: “We’re doing what’s called taphonomy.  Taphonomy it’s like CSI, Crime Scene Investigation.  Our goal is to find out what killed the dinosaurs, what they were doing when they died, and then what happened after they died.  Did they sit around and rot, or were they buried right away?  And then what happened after they were buried to preserve the bones and change them?”

The area that he was excavating for study was over 80 acres in size, and had millions of fossilized bones in it, most disarticulated. This just means that they are found disconnected from the adjacent bones. This indicates some swirling pressure, and some rot (enough to separate bone from connective tissue). Fascinatingly, most of these bones in Arthur’s bone bed are found in the first 3 feet of mudstone. In 80 acres and only a meter thick, we find millions of bones laid out together!

So what is the doctor’s conclusion as to how they got there? He explained: “These animals had to die and then their carcasses had to have time to rot. So we’re talking days or weeks or months during which time the bones and tissue were either eaten away or rotted away. And then the bones that remained were deposited instantaneously in this environment because they’re in a graded bed with big bones at the bottom and little bones at the top, and you can see that here. The big bones are all down at the bottom. When they start digging up here, they start to find smaller bones. So that condition requires a sorting process that can only take place during a catastrophic emplacement.”

“The only way I know how you could develop a graded bed is if you had a catastrophic process that transported these bones and laid them all in as a single event.” – Art Chadwick, PhD

So, take a minute and think about the environment that this must have taken place in. Not the slow gradual environment that they try to teach in school. That would not explain this, nor a plethora of other fossil graveyard sites. In a millions of years scenario, there would not be sorting. They would not all be so close to the surface. They would not be so densely packed, and over so wide a range (if say deposited by an ancient river). How would this occur slowly over time, and somehow carcasses  not be consumed by nature too quickly for fossilization (like we observe in nature today). This, according to tophonomy is best explained by a single catastrophic event. You have many dinosaurs which all died together, swirled in muddy eddies, rotting and breaking apart over weeks or months, and then settled in mud and water. And most of these animals that found themselves in these swirling, violent, muddy deathtraps would indeed be disarticulated.

Picture100Remember, this is a forensic science. Studies current data to explain a past event. We have two events to consider, the slow depositing of animals world wide who all were buried in mud and water (not occurring today), or a recorded world wide deluge, corroborated by the bible, over 270 flood legends, and evidence such as bone-beds like this picture. Could this happen all over the world with slow natural processes? These observations are made, knowing full well the disdain modern scientists have for studying data in light of the reality and authenticity of Genesis. But our education is our own, not someone else’s. You must decide which model makes sense to you.

Archeological/Geological Response to Atheist Part 5 of 5

Atheist: Here’s a very incomplete list of things that cannot be explained by your flood or fit into the young earth creationist’s timeline (continued):

(for part 1, click here)

(for part 2, click here)

(for part 3, click here)

(for part 4, click here)

nor [evidence for] the global flood,

As you can see from the many examples given in this 5 part series (not exhaustive by any stretch) we can be encouraged and edified in trusting the word of God to be accurate,  and to be a realistic telling of the events that occurred in history, as it is embedded within observable science and laws. Many of our major geological features are not only explainable in a deluge model, but this is in fact the easiest way to explain them all at once! If someone says, there is just no evidence of the flood; its ridiculous.

Particularly difficult to apply the principle of uniformitarianism to:
1. Cause of mountain building
2. origin of geosynclines
3. origin of petroleum
4. Cause of continual glaciation
5 overthrusting mechanics
6 cause of peneplains
7 volcanism causing vast volcanic terrains
8 origin of mineral deposits
9 saline deposits
10 granitization
11 origin of coal measures….. and others….

One geological note about where I live specifically:

There are over 1700 water gaps in the Appalachian mountain ranges alone, where water should have gone around, not through mountains. This could only happen if water was carving valleys while over the mountain tops such as in the great flood of Noah’s day. Water doesn’t run uphill, and takes the path of least resistance, an embarrassment to uniformitarianism. The geology of the Blue Ridge Mountains could not have been formed, except through this catastrophe.

Geological evidence is being pointed to, forcing geologists to admit to catastrophism and the quick twisting and reshaping of the earth’s surface. Evolutionists such as Gould, and Krynine admit to it, stating uniformitarian thinking is contradicted by facts. Gould says “”present is key to the past” is a smokescreen hiding confusion for both teacher and student.” – Is uniformitarianism useful?- 1957

Evolutionist and geologist, KE Caster states, “the vast bulk of stratified rock is shallow water deposits.” These layers are riddled with fossils. FOSSILIZATION DOES NOT NORMALLY HAPPEN TODAY. IT REQUIRES SUDDEN DEATH, SUDDEN BURIAL, AND GREAT PRESSURE. There are no fossils in the bedrock granite. Fossil creation is so rare, and yet Millions of animals died SUDDENLY! Evolutionist Colbert states,”At this spot in Wyoming… the concentration of fossils was remarkable; a veritable mine of dinosaur bones; piled in like a log jam.”

The many fossil graveyards means, at some point in history, vast amounts of animals were buried suddenly, all over the earth. For anyone to look at the earth’s crust and state there is no evidence… must be trying very hard not to see it.

 

I encourage more study into any areas of interest, but in regards to the flood being actual history, one note to be made is that we have presently over 270 ancient flood legends from different people groups around the globe! There are over 270 ancient flood legends and traditions recorded in ancient history, 80% of them mention a large vessel saving the human race. 88% involve a favored family. In 70%, survival was due to the boat. In 95%, the flood was responsible for the death of mankind. This is remarkable evidence that a flood occurred to the ancestors of all people groups. In fact, you could even imagine if there were no flood legends, this would be quite the effective criticism from atheists, saying how come there is no written or oral history to back up the story other than the bible? 

Also, the  city of Nineveh in the Bible had its Library of Ashurbanipal excavated in the 1850’s. But in 1872, George Smith of the British Museum discovered cuneiform writing that had to be deciphered. It said, “The mountain of Nisir stopped the ship. I sent forth a dove, and it left. The dove went and turned, and a resting place it did not find and it returned.”

This Babylonian flood legend, along with the much older Atrahasis epic, and Sumerian deluge story, make up some of the over 270  legends we have catalogued in archaeology, all having astonishing areas of agreement with the Bible, lending veracity to its historicity.

 

nor a couple million Hebrews wandering in the desert (zero trace of that), and in fact contradicts several parts of the bible, like cases where the stories reference a city that did not exist at the time the story supposedly took place (but DID exist hundreds of years later when the bible was actually written).

These points were mostly addressed. Often critics accuse the bible of being written later than what is reported, therefore explaining the exactitude of its prophecies. Unfortunately for the critic, this doesn’t hold water either. Again, archaeology proves time and time again that even the people groups, cities, economies, and famines described were true. From the price of a slave, to the grave of Joseph, to many eye-witness accounts, we do not have to fall for the critic’s accusation here. These continue to be either arguments from silence, or in most cases now, ignorance of the embarrassing amount of evidence we have.

They try this with the New Testament as well, since it predicts many things about Jesus’ life in great detail. How accurately was prophecy fulfilled? Could a book have predicted accurately over 500 years before in OT: Zec: 11 “I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter.”
NT: Matthew 27 – Judas returns 30 silver coins to the chief priests and the elders, they decided to use it to buy the potters field.

or

Micah 5:2-5 But you Bethlehem Ephratah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are of old, from ancient times…

Fulfilled over 500 years later: Matthew 2: 1-6 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?”

or

Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matt. 1:18, 25
Born at Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Matt. 2:1
He would be preceded by a Messenger Isaiah 40:3 Matt. 3:1-2
Rejected by His own people Isaiah 53:3 John 7:5, 7:48
Betrayed by a close friend Isaiah 41:9 John 13:26-30
His side pierced Zech. 12:10 John 19:34
Crucifixion Psalm 22:1,
Psalm 22:11-18 Luke 23:33,
John 19:23-24
Resurrection of Christ Psalm 16:10 Acts 13:34-37

So, it must have been written after to be so accurate, yes? Josh MacDowell teaches us this:

“If you are not satisfied with 450 BC as the historical date for the completion of the Old Testament, take into consideration the following: The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, was initiated in the rain of Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-246 Bc). It is rather obvious that if you have a Greek translation initiated into 250BC, can you had to have The Hebrew text from which it was written. This will suffice to indicate that there was at least a 250 year gap between the prophecies being written down in their first fulfillment in the person of Christ.”
There is nothing scientifically accurate about the bible.

This absolute statement shows the bias against the bible. Even scientists who believe in evolution have used the accuracy and history of the bible to find many discoveries. To say there is “nothing” is to show the true and emotional disdain towards the idea of a creator God. That being said, evolutionists and materialists often criticize the bible for its belief in miracles at large. If something is claimed to be a supernatural event, science will automatically dismiss it, and therefore, if anything supernatural exists at all, science will never find it. But consider, if the first verse of the bible is true, that means all miracles within it are indeed possible. This goes not only for the creation itself, but miracles like the parting of the Red Sea, healings, Sampson’s strength, and of course the Resurrection. So with the realization that the bible is a book about a supernatural, or beyond-natural being who is above space time and matter, we can conclude that He can act supernaturally within His creation.

But there is more evidence within the bible that proves its natural scientific accuracy as well. It spoke of many things long before science proposed it, or understood it to be true:

Stars are innumerable (Genesis 22:17; Jeremiah 33:22)
Stars differ in glory (1 Corinthians 15:41)
Stars follow a predictable pattern (Jeremiah 31:35)
Earth is round, not flat (Isaiah 40:22; Psalm 103:12)
Earth hangs on nothing (Job 26:7)
Water cycle (Ecclesiastes 1:7; Isaiah 55:10)
Sea currents (Psalm 8:8)
“Fountains of the deep broken up” (Genesis 7:11)Job 38:16, God asked, “Have you entered the springs of the sea? (water coming up into the ocean from the crust)
Life in the Blood, Blood circulation (Leviticus 17:11)

Many of these may seem obviously true to us now. But much of history was ignorant to these simple truths. We thought the world sat on the back of a tortoise, and blood letting was performed even up to recent history.

Considering these biblical truths, inspired and breathed by the God who created them, we would expect them to be accurate. And as it turns out, that is precisely what we find. As I always state, the bible is not a science book, nor a book on taxonomy, biology, or geology. It is much much more. But nevertheless, if it is full of true history, and we would expect to find a great many explanations in it that fit with what we observe today. After all, science just means knowledge. For one to claim that within God’s word there is no knowledge… well, we can only pray that one day, like it says in Phil 2:12, that the atheist who said it will continue to work out his salvation with fear and trembling.

Science tells us it is impossible that the current human population of the world came from a single breeding pair, or even three pairs. The minimum estimated population during the most severe bottleneck in our past was at least a few hundred, and probably closer to a few thousand individuals.

Our final point, and again the more ludicrous of the two options is the evolutionary premise, which would have us believe that mankind in one form or another, has existed between 1 million and 7 million years, depending on who you ask and when you start counting them as man rather than some ape ancestor. The premise is that in these pockets of slowly evolving people  lived in nomadic tribes, and that life was so harsh that the population remained stable until about 5000 years ago when agriculture was discovered. This is the catalyst that skyrocketed the population. As you can imagine, this creates a long, long, long long long, ridiculously long timeline of no population growth until just about the exact time that the flood occurred. According to creationists, the population sprang up from the 8 people on the ark about 4500 years ago. Tracking basic population rates, longevity in different periods, death rates, etc, we easily and rationally can surmise the 7 billion people of today coming from just a few people a few thousand years ago.

“In the “out of Africa” model of genetics, evolutionists say that humanity went through a near-extinction bottleneck before a population expansion. Why is the bottleneck part of their model? Because they are trying to explain the lack of diversity among people spread across the world. The diversity is much less than they first assumed. The bottleneck is an ad hoc addition to evolutionary theory. But low diversity, and all coming from very few (a bottleneck) has been part of the creation model from the start.”  -Dr Robert Carter.

The fact is, the creationist population growth analysis makes perfect sense, and what’s more, the history laid out within the word of God supports what we observe in genetics as well. It would be quite unreasonable to assume a mankind only slightly more sophisticated than apes, with no art, or music, or play stations, or golf clubs, and virtually no forms of escapism from everyday life, to not do the one thing that seems to come naturally to all mammals. The math here is unmistakable,  which is why we have the agriculture story to try and prop up the cave-man mythology. If the population doubles 29.5 times between now and the flood (once every 152 years) we have achieved the current population. (The world’s population was approximately 600 million in the year 1650 and increased to about 2,400 million by 1950. This means that it would have doubled twice in 300 years, at an average rate of once every 150 years). It fits perfectly.

So again this point is slung like so much spaghetti against the wall, to see which strands stick. Unfortunately it isn’t rooted in facts. This is why evolutionists must assert presumptions into an un-testable model. Agriculture, nomadic tribes, population wiped out several times. At the end of the day, I would hope that hanging one’s faith upon the hopes of a weak evolutionary model isn’t the determining factor on whether or not that person considers a relationship with a God who loved us enough to come die for us.

 

Again, these 5 articles are not meant to be exhaustive. But as an enjoyable exercise for myself, and hopefully to bolster the faith of other bible believing Christians who are constantly being told that the bible is ridiculous and inaccurate, it was neat to counter typical atheist criticisms for a bit. I would encourage you to keep reading, keep praying, and keep building your relationship with God, or if you haven’t then start by reading of His love in the word. We know by now Romans 1:20 – “For from the creation of the world the invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood through the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”

We know there exists within us a moral law, a realization that design and beauty is all around us, that it couldn’t be random chance, and that God wishes for all to come to know Him. I pray you keep studying, keep seeking, keep searching. The answers are out there. But remember, if the supernatural does exist, and you refuse to believe it possible, you will of course never find it. Not in this life. Your faith instead will be in chance, in time, and in self, three things that cannot offer salvation.