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.

 

_______

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

 

 

Advertisements

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.

IMG_4769
Book of Great Sea Dragons, by Thomas Hawkins

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

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

IMG_9375.JPG
Labelled Dinosaur Fossils

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Genetics and Evolution

With molecules to man evolution hanging on the possibility that despite the complexity of DNA, mutations must somehow add to the genetic make up of an organism over time, the theory is truly struggling. Genetics is NOT a friend to evolutionary theory. Ignoring the magic elixir of “time” that evolutionists add to the mix in order to devise an acceptable probability ratio, we must conclude firstly that enough mutations will slowly (or quickly) transform one kind of animal into another (I sometimes can’t even believe this still needs to be discussed).

A couple of short points: You have heard of a gene pool, yes? This is an invention, a constructed idea of early population geneticists who were dedicated to Darwinism. The problem they faced is that most genetic mutations aren’t catastrophic in nature. They instead degrade, and interact with other nucleotides, to create a long term minimal effect. Genes are poly-dimensional, working many different ways as a language. Imagine a book that could be read forwards, and backwards, and using every other word, and using a cipher. This is the type of complexity we encounter. It is well known in genetics that one nucleotide, since it doesn’t affect enough of the whole organism, would not be enough to be selected or mutated beneficially to bring about a change. Rather, we know that several nucleotides would have to be changed productively at once. The gene pool constructs a visual that sells well, promoting the idea that out of this “pool” nucleotides can be mutated to change the overall composition of the organism over time without consideration for those other nucleotides it affects.

In other words, the ripple effect from being a multi-purposeful nucleotide would create so much “noise” and would affect the overall organism so little, that there is almost no correlation between that one nucleotide changing, and the betterment of the animal as a whole. You are talking about an almost atomic level of change.

We must therefore conclude that large “chunks” must change to create any real progress. So we must analyze this possibility.

Mutations within the human genome have been scrutinized and analyzed, and it has been found that most of the mutations are not “noisy” enough by themselves (changing a letter in a DNA strand, like a typo in a book) to be selected by mother nature to pass on, whether good or bad. These mutations are neutral, or un-selectable, and therefore cannot occur with enough impact to change the organism, regardless of time. Geneticists realize that most are neutral, and that because of this there would be no reason for  this information to be passed on to further a species up the evolutionary chain.

Furthermore, if we consider the ratio of beneficial to non-beneficial mutations, the vast majority are on the negative side. One experiment reviewed 10,000 mutations, and could only list 4 beneficial ones, which later all proved to be a net loss of information. Any that are actually considered beneficial mutations are usually in the neutral range anyway! This even further reduces the chance of benefit occurring, and being passed down.

Remember, evolution requires a high rate of beneficial mutations over time to succeed. This is not observably the case on any level.

There is so much more we could discuss, but this is a blog, and I just want to offer a sense of the trouble actual genetic science delivers to the evolutionary theory. Two more final notes. One is that considering that all of these nucleotides are multi-functional, if you do actually come up with a beneficial mutation that helps the organism in one way, there is no possibility that that change has also somehow benefited the way it is used in all of its other ways. It would disrupt how the information was read in all of its other variable forms, and therefore would only be beneficial in one sense, but damaging in all others.

Secondly, genetics ignores in its models the very real, and very detrimental concept of “fitness valleys”. Consider this: If 99.9996% of all mutations are either bad, or neutral, and those are occurring all the time, can you suppose a timeline whereby the positive ones somehow surpass the overall effect of all the negative ones to essentially make the organism healthier and more complex?  Food for thought.

Answering Ark Encounter Critic

Creationism is a subject close to my heart, because of many reasons. The vast rich history of mankind, the over 350 flood legends of ancient cultures that corroborate the Genesis account, the geological features that attest to the great volume of water that had to have been covering the world, to even the words of Jesus himself, it is a powerful historical truth that points us towards the ultimate authority of scripture. It is an important lesson in ministry, because only if the beginning is true is the end necessary, perhaps a point for another time.

One of the great attempts of our time to teach this authority of the Genesis account is of course the  Ark Encounter at Ken Ham’s new park in Kentucky. I have been following closely as an apologist, and am continually impressed with Ken’s patience and grace towards his detractors. I was specifically impressed with his handling of Bill Nye, who popped up with a camera crew to fill his own documentary about why he feels Christianity takes away from science. This premise holds no water, but the exposure he gets from making an arch nemesis out of Mr. Ham gets him the publicity he desires, and his impudence towards him face to face, and on the cable access shows following their encounters is childish, petty, and full of ad hominem attacks that have no bearing on the subject in question. Furthermore, his attitude and refusal to show the same respect that Ken shows him is beautifully contrasted, in my opinion, by Ken’s love for people, his desire to do God’s good work, and to spread the gospel. I continue to see Ken’s love for others, as well as his class in the face of those who hate the God of the bible. In fact he welcomes opposition, in hopes that the Holy Spirit will change their hearts.

When I mentioned my respect for how he was handling the aggression of atheists, this comment was shared by another detractor:

$10 million spent on a ridiculous monument to ignorant superstition that could have been spent housing, feeding and clothing the needy. Do Christians ever actually read the bible and study the words of their messiah? I can’t recall a single passage that would indicate Yahushua [sic} would have approved of such a farcical waste of resources that could have undoubtedly been put to better use. Regardless of what you may say to the media, Ken Ham, this monstrosity is nothing more than a gigantic monument to your own vanity.

I would first say, absolutely you have the freedom to not only feel this way, but speak it, as this country grants those God given rights. I encourage questions and opinions on every subject, which is how we grow. It can be inferred by the comment that she clearly does not believe in the authority of scripture, and further that the flood was a made up story with no veracity whatsoever.

With what follows I will elaborate on my initial response:

It was actually $100 million, not $10 million to build the Ark. I would point out that freedom to spend money as they see fit is the right of Americans, and there is nothing stating that though charitable donations have been  given to projects concerning the great commission, which Jesus (Yeshua) did condone since He was the one giving it, that other donations cannot continue to be given towards hunger, shelter, and disaster relief, which is certainly the case. The religious demographic in America is, in study after study, found to be the most philanthropic, and specifically Christians are most likely to donate to the causes mentioned then almost any other group. It is precisely because of the Bible that this charitable heart and a value for others’ lives arises, and is distinctly void or lessened in other world views. E.g. Allah wills it, and it is karma, and survival of the fittest.

Ken, his well educated staff, and many visitors do in fact read their bibles and study the words of the Messiah. In their bibles can be found verses such as:  “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female (Jesus);that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation,  from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple (Jesus);  For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words? (Jesus)”. We can conclude that Jesus believed in the truth of Moses’ historical creation narrative, and that He did not think the flood, or creation, or any of Moses’ writings were as the comment accused, ‘farcical’, or ‘ignorant superstition’. Instead it is clear that Ken and his ministry continues to teach the authority of scripture, and to spread the gospel to the world, which is exactly what Christ asked us to do in Matthew 28, known as the Great Commission. I personally couldn’t think of a more worthwhile cause then to help those with the means spread the gospel message. 

I would also point out that when people donate $100 million to discover alien life forms under the tutelage of atheist Dawkins, or SETI, or any other endeavor to show that evolution is true through the existence of other evolved beings somewhere else in space (which is their freedom to do), the same outcry isn’t heard from the majority of religious entities, when those resources, according to a Christian or Creationist world view are most assuredly being wasted. But it is the exact belief that this ministry is not a waste, and that the flood is not a myth, as proclaimed by the vast evidence that has been collected by scientists and organizations such as http://www.answersingenesis.org, that lead Christians to exercise their freedoms to teach upon the authority of scripture, the same authority that Jesus lent to it, not to put too fine a point on it.

I want to be respectful of dissenters (although I am admittedly less skilled at it then Ken), however, if with a passing shot over the bow, someone dismiss the bible’s authority as a farce and merely ignorant superstition, and in the same breath attempts to educate creationists on Jesus’ teachings about humanity (from that same bible), I have to wonder which comment I am expected to listen to?  And moreover, what reasoning I would have to do so based on logic? Furthermore, when you add the personal attacks against Ken’s character because his focus at present is different then yours, I can conclude these statements are not based in reason, but in a personal biased against the subject matter.

http://www.jrcooper.org

http://www.facebook.com/cooper.author