Do Neandertals Disprove Day Six Creation?

The evolutionary claim is that Neandertals split from the lineage of humans about 500,000 years ago, and are an ancestor of humans (homo sapiens) which constitute a link between us and ape ancestors. We can include the newly “discovered” lineage of Denisovans as well, a particular DNA from archaic man that appears to have fingerprints in modern DNA. The Neandertal DNA is found, too, in the modern human genome, which shows that interbreeding took place between them and us.

Let us look at three possibilities:

  1. Atheistic evolution is true, and these groups must be 500,000 year old links to our ape-like ancestral past.
  2. Progressive or ‘old-earth’ creation is true, which means these were pre-Adamic soulless non-humans, or that man existed, lived and died, long before the fall.
  3. Man was created on day 6 of creation, and these are simply humans.

1. If atheistic evolution is true, we would need to be confident in our ever-changing timeline based on each conflicting fossil discovery. But modern evolutionists such as Evolutionist Donald Johanson, discoverer of the “Lucy” Australopithecus, said this about Neandertal:

“From a collection of modern human skulls Huxley was able to select a series with features leading ‘by insensible gradations’ from an average modern specimen to the Neandertal skull. In other words, it wasn’t qualitatively different from present-day Homo sapiens.”

Prof. Clive Finlayson of the Gibraltar Museum, an evolutionist, says the scientific community will have to accept that the Denisovans, like Neandertals, were, like us, Homo sapiens.

If this is true, on an evolutionary timeline, we have broader acceptance of humans being humans, having interbred, and moved about the world as merely people groups of the same homo sapien species for the last 500,000 years, with still no connection to apes. Hence, we are only examining the genetic interbreeding of different people groups from different parts of the world.

But were Neandertals truly like us? Consider the archaeological evidence, discovered and corroborated regardless of belief in an intelligent designer:

Tools make of stone.

Leather working skills.

Ability to control fire, and make pitch.

They had jewelry.

They used make-up (cosmetics).

They had culinary skills, and used herbs to spice food.

Burial customs for the dead.

They had an understanding of music, and instruments.

They made glue.

Understanding of architecture, even building large structures underground.

Care for the disabled among them (evidence shows some members of the community living long past an injury).

Created shelters, much like native Americans, covered with animal skins.

Evidence of a voice box (they could speak to each other).

This to me does not sound like a group of evolving apes based on evidence, and there is no need to even assert biblical beliefs to conclude this.

2. If Old Earth creation or progressive creation is true, then we must ask of the timeline. Adding the dates of the bible, even with a liberal understanding of its chronology, you cannot add up the dates and get to 10,000 years, 100,000 years, or the 500,000 years that Neandertals supposedly lived. Stretching out the lineage in this case is of no help. The progressive creationist must accept secular dating. Therefore they must decide if Neandertal is a soulless non-human, (can’t be true based on their ability to breed with modern humans, making them the same created kind), or if they lived and died for half a million years to bring about God’s timeline in dealing with modern man.

I have mentioned Frank Turek many times in my writing, and he continues to be a wonderful apologist, well spoken, and so very smart. I have the utmost respect for him, and his Cross Examined ministry. But as he does not prescribe to a biblical timeline for the universe, I still find myself in conflict with him on this point. I bring him up now, because I just watched him in a debate with atheist Michael Shermer. Frank was amazing as always, articulate and logical, and only got backed into a corner at one point. And that was when Michael had the wherewithal to press Frank on the millions of years problem. Shermer asked, “…Christianity began about two thousand years ago, what was God doing that 99.99% of all that time, if this is all beautifully designed and elegant[ly], teleological and purposeful, and it’s all here for us so that we would be here, boom, here we are, why the 13.7 billion years of nothing, and then, I think I’ll send my son to this desert place in the bronze age culture… and I’ll give them the message?”

He goes on to ask of the supposed souls of Neandertals, of Australopithecus, all the way down to his dog. Frank, normally confident, was stymied, and forced to quip back with sub-par responses, because his world view on this point does not line up with scripture. Death before sin, of course. But Shermer’s point is obvious, and engaging, and yes, logical! Why indeed would an all-powerful God mill about for 13 billion years then finally deliver a message 2000 years ago. What a cosmic waste of time for a God who can create from nothing, who is love, who desires a relationship with us. From a biblical perspective it makes no sense.

Dr. Turek was forced to take a weak position, responded first with a joke, and say blandly that yes Christ died for the Neanderthals if they had a capacity to make moral decisions, as well as Lucy, and homo erectus. He is correct in asserting that Christ’s sacrifice was retroactive, and still based on faith retroactively, but now you have a sub-species of ancient man who didn’t make the morality cut off line, who perhaps didn’t have souls, and who were so far from homo sapiens that they would have no capacity for religion. More than that, you have now inadvertently implied that religion is a modern (aka man-made) construct that had no relevance to certain ancient groups. Apparently God was sitting back and watching them live, and die, until they became moral enough to start interacting with them, a process He decided to start only 6000 years ago.

God also revealed to us by special revelation (God-breathed word, the Bible) that by one man, Adam, sin entered into the world. A pre-Adamite group who suffered the penalty of sin (death) for millions of years before the fall would make this claim a lie, and would therefore be heretical. It would seem that once again, if man’s interpretation of data is accepted, based on the pre-supposition that we evolved, it would clearly undermine the authority of scripture. When even brilliant men like Dr. Turek, and Dr. Ross try to blend the two, it inevitably waters down the word of God.

3. Since Neandertal DNA is present in modern man, the interbreeding indicates they were in fact the same species, just a different people group. If these are robust post-flood, post Babel decedents of Adam, then all of the evidence fits perfectly. They lived and died as human beings, nomadic for a time, in a world that was just destroyed in deluge and was unsettled. They suffered from malnutrition, buried their dead, and exhibited normal tribal behaviors. Furthermore, they were alive at a time where the bible records long life (hundreds of years), which explains robustness of the skull and skeleton, and is backed by scientific understanding of the changing oxygen, air pressure, and magnetism of that time as compared to present day.

Once again we find that logic and evidence answers the riddle of Neandertal using a biblical framework with relative ease. The historicity of the word of God continues to be a tremendous source for understanding the ancient pre and post flood world.

What Are Students Taught about the Death of Dinosaurs?

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A giant, life ending, asteroid is the common theory, yes? 65,000,000 years ago, teachers confidently espouse, that the most “likely” scenario was an asteroid that our dragon friends could not survive. Despite no evidence for such an event, there are a surprising amount of specifics taught to children about this make-believe impact. It is a model that fits the bill, when one is needed to prop up faith in evolution, and allows evolutionists to maintain their pre-supposition in molecules-to-man, despite the observable data at hand.

The asteroid was apparently 6 miles wide, the needed girth to cause an impact great enough to change the weather, which would have created a crater 110 miles across. There are no craters in the surface of the Earth that show evidence of such an impact, though scientists have tried to pigeon-hole the data from the Caribbean Sea to imply that this event must have happened there. This impact, according to the theory, first proposed by geologist Walter Alvarez in about 1980, wiped out the dinosaurs, along with 80% of the Earth’s animals.

This theory is mostly propped up using the discovery  of a higher content of  of iridium in the Caribbean,  and coupling it with the made-up geologic column which exists no where on Earth. (Iridium is a mineral found in many meteorites, but is also heavily prevalent in volcanic events, which occurred during the flood.)

It is worth noting that though this is a prevailing theory, it is not the only one. Many scientists believe that alternate events killed the dinosaurs. Some of these include mammals eating dinosaur eggs,  the evolution of narcotic plants, climate change,  diseases, loss of plants causing herbivores to starve, which in turn caused the carnivores to starve, lowering of oxygen partial pressure in the atmosphere.

There are excellent articles and evidences addressing reptile size, geologic column, radiometric dating, etc, from a creationist perspective. But the important point here, and the crux of this article, is to note that none of these theories indicate a global flood. None of these indicate a drowning event, or water at all, as a catalyst for bringing about the extinction of large reptiles.

Why is this important? We can safely agree that academia in general has a strong bias against the bible, and its historical narrative, so we certainly wouldn’t expect the default opinion of secularism to match the global flood history recorded in genesis.

But what is telling is the actual observable data.

Certainly we know about finding buried dead things all over the Earth, including large pre-flood dinosaurs, or dragons. IMG_9378We have discovered billions of dinosaur tracks over the last 20 years, across the globe in over 1500 different locations. Scientists are slowly agreeing that these fossil graveyards, soft bodied (jellyfish) animal fossils, and fossils buried mid-meal, or mid-birth indicate a quick catastrophic burial, rather than some slow burial lasting millions of years.

But even more telling is that we have scientists themselves admitting that these finds were originally deposited due to water. For example:

World’s Largest Dinosaur Graveyard Linked to Mass Death, By Charles Q. Choi, Live Science Contributor – “The way the fossils are linked together in the same layers of earth within these bonebeds suggests all these Centrosaurs were wiped out simultaneously. The likely culprit in this scenario was a catastrophic storm, which could quickly have routinely made the waters flood up as high as 12 to 15 feet.”

Drowned dinosaur eggs’ fossil remains reveal embryos grew fast, Los Angeles Times, April 10, 2013|By Amina Khan

Publication in Yellowstone National Park – “Mammoth Site in South Dakota. Mammoths and other megafauna got trapped in a sinkhole and drown about 26,000 years ago.”

This is just a sampling. All over the world, and in article after article, scientists observe the data that these fossils were drowned at the time of death.

Now, look at these pictures of dinosaurs discovered buried:

Struthiomimus_skeleton_jconwaydownloaddeath_pose-lgcompsognathus_fossil

Notice they exhibit this peculiar contorted position popularly called the “death pose.” This pose of many fossilized dinosaurs, with wide-open mouth, head thrown back and recurved tail, likely resulted from the agonized death throes typical of brain damage from asphyxiation, according to paleontologists. If they were buried in rock slides, or were buried after death and then fossilized, they would not have this position. These animals were obviously suffocating as they were being buried by mud and water. These animals drowned.

We find this data all over the globe, and yet, I would remind you that all of the deep time, secular speculations taught in schools do not involve water! I would say that I remain curious as to why that is. But I know the answer. It puts science a little too close to a biblical theory that must not be allowed in the door. But, as it has many times before, the bible continues to be shown as the most accurate explanation of our early Earth. Is the story fantastic, and amazing? Absolutely. But it so easily explains so many geological features that it puts secular theories to shame. Academia will of course continue to scoff at the bible, regardless of how well the data matches the history. But it is quite faith-building to know that when you put in the time and research, you can stand on a great deal of evidence to support the biblical narrative.

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2 Peter 3:3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

What are the Odds, Layperson?

In the last article on dragons, I eluded to a default acquiescence that people engage in if they are laypeople, and are faced with advanced degrees and elite status. It is important to discover what science, and experts have learned, of course. But that is not to say that laypeople cannot engage in common sense considerations in regards to the creation vs evolution debate.

Often, we lay down against an opposing force with initials behind their name, and automatically assume that we are ignorant, or even stupid, if we disagree with them.

I have experienced this myself, when speaking to an astrophysicist. He talked circles around me, and was light-years (haha) smarter than me about Big Bang Theory, star formation, accepted postulations, lunar regression. But when I walked away, I couldn’t dismiss the fact that many of his postulations were deep time scientific models i.e. made up. The Biblical history described in Genesis was not only more logical in the end, but much more intellectually satisfying.

The point is, and this is just my opinion, laypeople have every right to engage in healthy debate, and if done cordially, and with respect, they can depend on their own sense of logic and common sense when it comes to the both biblical, and evolutionary studies. On the biblical side, we must ascertain if miracles are possible, for example. On the evolution side, we must decide if it is logical for us to believe in abiogenesis, or life from non-life. Another example may be that both camps have a huge problem with explaining starlight distance against time. One camp doesn’t have enough time for it to reach Earth, the other doesn’t have enough time for it to be observably equal across galaxies.

We have all heard the old example of monkeys pounding out Shakespeare on a typewriter. If not, it goes something like this:

If several hundred monkeys were lined up at typewriters, and were coerced to start pounding on the keys, and if this experiment went on long enough, we would eventually get the complete works of Shakespeare. This is evolution to a tee. It is a sold probability, and is supported by the elite of academia, regardless of whether or not it passes the smell test of our collective common sense. It is an accepted truth. It is technically possible, and so we add deep time, and conclude that without any guidance what-so-ever, a bacteria can through natural selection become a giraffe. This means that an unintelligent cause, literally beyond a simple-mindedness into the reality of no-mindedness, which knows nothing of giraffes, transforms a bacteria into a giraffe.

Must you be a technical expert in genetics, or biology to understand that this does not hold water?

The theory is perpetuated like this:

Can our monkeys accidentally hit the ‘T’ and then the ‘O’ one after the other? Sure, it is possible. One might say, hey neat, this monkey accidentally made a small word, the word “To”.

Is it technically possible that the space bar is hit next? Of course. Then, the odds would be small, but again technically possible for that monkey, assuming we had enough monkeys, billions of monkeys, hit ‘B’, ‘E’, ‘space’, ‘O’, ‘R’, ‘space’…

And then, ‘N’, ‘O’, ‘T’, ‘space’, ‘T’, ‘O’, ‘Space’, ‘B’, E’.

Is it technically possible? Given billions of monkeys, and billions of years, that eventually you would get the sentence, “To be or not to be”? It is a stretch. I’m going to say the answer is an obvious no. This is based on what I observe. I am not a geneticist. Not a biologist. But I know that based on my experiences this cannot happen.

We as logical, rational laypeople, realize that if I toss a handful of letters up in the air, it is possible that two letters may land next to each other, and spell ‘be’, or ‘to’, or ‘is’. If I actually got a three letter word, I’d probably laugh in amazement. “Holy cow, look, I tossed these letters up and it spelled bat! I mean, the ‘T’ is a bit crooked, and the ‘B’ is backwards, but still, that’s crazy!”

But if I go up in a helicopter, and toss out millions of letters, and I do that millions of times, will I ever spell, “To be or not to be, that is the question”?

Now imagine doing that and putting several million in the right order – the amount of base pairs in one bacteria cell’s DNA (cell of a human is 3 billion base pairs).

Another logically huge difference is evolution’s need for trillions of monkeys, to pound on that keyboard non-stop for billions of years. As if the universe, by chance through a series of non-intelligent causes with no agenda, is somehow trying to make order from chaos an infinite number of times. Not only this, but the universe must by chance continue to create new information, beneficial mutations, in order, at the right place, in a habitable zone, and with precise timing, all in order to bring about a result it does not desire in the least. Again, the mindless universe does not know what a giraffe is.

This is what we are taught. And despite our teachers telling us this is how it happened, we know instinctively that this cannot be the case. In fact, one could say, that we are “Without excuse.” It is my opinion, that people must train themselves into this belief, regardless of its absurdity. People wanted to believe it, wished for it, sold it, and of course now it is prevailing and acceptable. So much so that theistic evolutionists have adopted its processes as some warped way that the God of the bible would have created us. It is handed to us by an increasingly secular, man-centered society, and it is a gift for people to latch on to who hate the idea of God.

When Christ said ‘the truth shall set you free’, to those that sought to kill Him, they argued about accepting His truth about God the Father. He told them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did… If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.” (John 8: 39-45)

We know that an anti-God position is presented to allow for the greatness of man and his theories, but more so for his flexible morality. But I reiterate, a layperson should have every right to test what is being taught against their common sense,  about macro-evolution (molecules to man), abiogenesis (life from non-life), and all random chance creating perfect order (anthropic principle) out of chaos for literally no reason, and with no intelligence.

I speak out about it to hopefully lend courage to those on the fence, or who are too scared or intellectually bullied by science elitists. It is okay to disagree with a prevailing theory that makes no sense, and is completely un-observable. It is okay to speak up and say that you don’t believe you came from a sub-species of ape, or from a fish, or from a bacteria, or the now infamous ‘we all came from stardust.’ It is okay to believe that billions of monkeys doing random things will never create the genius of a play, or the genius of a hummingbird, or the genius of you, who are made in the image of something wonderful. It is okay to believe you are worth more than happenstance, built upon random pointlessness.

It is more than okay. It is obvious.

 

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Romans 1:20 – For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse

 

 

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.

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.

 

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. 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.

 

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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.

 

 

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 causes atheists to say,  “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.

_________

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.

2nd Law of Thermodynamics

I posted this pic on my Facebook author page, https://www.facebook.com/cooper.author/;

31913695_588273344874387_7039792427137236992_nand as you can plainly see, one of the assertions in this meme is that the theory of evolution violates the law of entropy, or the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Disregarding for a moment all the other assertions, I had a friend who has an interest in the creation vs evolution debate single out this law, and ask me how specifically the law is violated by the evolutionary theory. Evolutionists claim that the theory does not violate any known laws of physics, including the second law.

What is the second law? Thermodynamics refers to the relationship between energy, heat, and matter. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that as energy is transferred or transformed, more and more of it is wasted. The Second Law also states that there is a natural tendency of a system to degenerate into a more disordered state, or experience entropy (disorder). This means on a long enough timeline, these systems will experience a heat death, or an energy death, where potential energy will cease to be available. People like to say, ‘everything tends towards chaos.’

Now, the main caveat that evolutionists will include is that this applies only to isolated systems, and not to open systems, or systems that exchange matter and energy with the systems around it. They will say that the universe, the Earth, these are open systems, and therefore materials and energy can be added to them, which of course, is correct. The sun, for example, adds energy to the Earth constantly. So does it all depend on whether the system is open or not?

First, lets define the three systems; isolated, closed, and open.

An isolated system shares zero matter and energy with the systems around it. Without intelligent interference, these systems will wind down.

Then there are closed, which only share energy, not matter, and open, which share both energy and matter with its surrounding systems, such as Earth, receiving materials from space (debris, meteors, maybe comets, etc), as well as energy and heat.

But, the interesting thing is, the 2nd law applies to these open systems as well, despite the evolutionist’s claim to the contrary. Dr John Ross of Harvard University states:
“… there are no known violations of the second law of thermodynamics. Ordinarily the second law is stated for isolated systems, but the second law applies equally well to open systems. … There is somehow associated with the field of far-from-equilibrium thermodynamics the notion that the second law of thermodynamics fails for such systems. It is important to make sure that this error does not perpetuate itself.”

Open systems still move towards disorder. There are some instances, in an open system, where order is increased, at the expense of a net loss of order in the surrounding systems, such as in crystals. But it is important to note, as Dr Jonathan D. Sarfati B.Sc. (Hons.), Ph.D., F.M. points out, there is a huge difference between order, and complexity. A crystal is not increasing information, just aligning and repeating. If one breaks open a crystal, the same repeated alignment is still present, but in smaller chunks. Whereas, if one breaks a cell, or a frog, one destroys the complexity, and thereby destroys the system completely.

Plus, and this is key, you cannot pump raw energy into a system and expect order and increased complexity. It destroys. Stand in the desert sun for awhile and see if your body can utilize the energy of the sun. One anti-creationist states that ice cubes prove adding energy can create order. However, that is through an intelligently designed device, a freezer. Adding raw energy would heat water, and increase disorder, creating steam and air. Plants have a built in mechanism, and language (DNA), and components that enable it to harness the sunlight. We have the intelligence to harness it with devices such as solar panels. We can utilize our designed intelligence to create things from food, to structures, and thereby can create order with intelligence, which is the only way order can be actually created.

This is why entropy rails so hard against the theory of evolution. It is only with an intelligent designer that order has appeared, and through observing how nature utilizes energy to create function and order, whether an open closed system or not, we see once again that “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” – Romans 1:20.

It took intelligence to make the universe, and life, a sensible deduction because as we observe every time, it takes a directed harness and intelligence to use it. So again, we see that observable, repeatable, demonstrable science supports a designer, rather than random chance.

All sides of the debate agree that the universe as a whole is winding down, that it had a beginning, and will one day, on a long enough timeline, experience a heat death. We see entropy in everything from the non-beneficial mutations of the human genome, to the aging of our bodies, to lunar regression, to even the sun itself having a finite amount of fuel to burn. Evolutionists must continually rail against good science to prop up their theory so as to “not let a divine foot in the door,” by inventing ways the universe could have randomly ordered itself, sustained itself, and perpetuated itself. Stars must explode to make more stars, proteins must increase in complexity to become life, the magnetic field of Earth must self-sustain for billions of years (even though we observe it losing magnetism [called the dynamo theory – insert eye-roll here]), and proponents of the theory must assert loudly that their side is the only one that practices good science.

Without intelligence to harness and utilize available energy, regardless of the type of system, we see the universal 2nd law of thermodynamics is very much on the side of creation. The fall back for evolutionists is of course to invoke great amounts of time to solve the problem; the “anything possibly can happen if given enough time” faith. But time only increases entropy. Ask yourself if it is good science to believe that if a cat walks on a keyboard long enough, he will write a book. Now realize that in the simplest  organism, there are 1000 pages worth of specific genetic coding. Knowing the 2nd law is true, how do you arrive there without intelligence?

Is There a God? How Do We Answer?

Obviously, to become a Christian, you must come to believe that there must be a Creator God of the universe. This is an essential step between non-belief and Christ as Lord of your life, but this very basic and obvious truth is attacked, and done so with such vigor, and under the guise of logic, materialism, and science, that it can be an intimidating hurdle for Christians to even explain how it is we know there must be a God.

Certainly there are many ways to unpack this particular question, but the three main logical responses are:

Cosmological

Teleological

Moral

Certainly our bible tells us “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” – Romans 1:20, This is a true claim, does prove to be accurate, but cannot necessarily be used as an argument against an atheist who gives no credence to the Bible yet. In other words, though the bible is true in its message, if a person doesn’t believe in a god, much less the God, why would they believe in anything that God says.

It used to be quite obvious that people were created, designed, that all of this organized world could not have come from nothing. The axiomatic truth was known to great philosophers, such as Aristotle, who called the creator the “Unmoved Mover.” It was clear to him that someone or something must have started everything, because science, is ultimately the search for causes, and something must always cause other things. Things do not, and never have been observed to have been caused by nothing whatsoever.

Cosmological, simply put, is the shared opinion of both naturalists and theists alike that the universe had a beginning. Things like the 2nd law of thermodynamics, and the general theory of relativity have led both theistic and non-theistic scientists to conclude that the universe had a beginning. Einstein himself stated being “irritated” that his equations pointed to a beginning, so much so that the great mathematician put a fudge factor into his work (dividing by zero!) in order to perpetuate a steady state theory. Arthur Eddington found this proof “repugnant” and said, “The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural.”

Like it or not, both sides are forced to deal with a beginning, and science continues to drive home the point that not only is a slow heat death occurring, but that “nothing” cannot cause something. There must be a first cause. Whether we believe that nothing caused the universe, or God did, both would qualify as anti-naturalistic miracles.

Teleological proof is simply the watchmaker theory, or an argument from design. There is much research on this, from the irreducible complexity of the eyeball, and human knee, to the detail and beauty of the peacock feather, to the written coded language in our genetic code, 1000 encyclopedias-worth of messages written into each cell in the correct order, in order to create and sustain life. We could walk into a cave and see a picture or message written simply by an ancient culture, and know that it was created, yet this obvious complex and stunning language to make and sustain life is somehow viewed as mere chance. Design is a powerful argument for a designer. In Dawkin’s book, the blind watchmaker, Dawkins himself states how things have the “appearance of design,” a logical and scientific conclusion, but rejects this based on his philosophy and world view, not because of any scientific reason, merely because for him it cannot be true. This is a philosophical rejection.

Thirdly, the moral argument, a basic standard of right and wrong. How do we know things are wrong? What makes the Nazis, baby killers, rapists wrong, and helping people right? An atheist would say that that it is a natural response to help perpetuate a society, but that is subjective, and when analyzed, does not hold water. If we can agree that any one thing is objectively wrong, above and beyond our own opinions and subjective standards, then there must be an objective good. A correct law (yes, written on our hearts) demands a law-giver. Without this, it is simply he who has the bigger stick that makes the laws. We have seen the results of this throughout history, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, from slavery, to genocide, to abortion. Without moral law, people do not by default fall into a paradigm that “works best” for society. It is a matter of opinion. If there is in fact a moral objective, then we should of course find it, and try to follow it. Seeking which morality is correct is maybe another topic, but agreeing that there is one, at this stage, is the goal.

These three arguments define quite simply why it is logical to believe in a creator. It is obvious from observing causes, winding down of the universe, time space and matter, life, that there must be a timeless, space-less, immaterial, personal, intelligent creator. This is the description of the God of the bible. It is merely good science, good logic, good philosophy.

Keep in mind, it is okay to doubt things, doubting helps us adjust our thinking, and leads us to research and find truth, but the evidence doesn’t change. If you go back and forth, good day you believe, and a bad day you struggle with faith, it is you and your emotions that change, not the evidence. The evidence for God, for historicity of the New Testament remain constant and readily available.

 

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,

IMG_1496
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.

 

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, i.e. nothing created something, 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 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.

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.

 

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