Thursday, November 17, 2011

Design needs a Designer despite evolutionist claims

In a discussion at EvC about logical fallacies a creationist claims it is logically valid to say that biological information must have had a designer, and an evolutionist answered that that's not valid because it leaves out evolution as a cause of anything that looks designed. [I'm paraphrasing because I don't have time to track it all down at the moment, but maybe I can later].

Of course the designer is obvious in most cases where something appears designed, whereas evolution has never ever been shown to produce something that appears designed, it's simply assumed that it must have. They merely assert it, they do not, because they can not, prove it.

Now we have a slightly different twist on the argument:
[Creationist Mike the Wiz says] I am not dogmatic, but nobody has shown me any strictly logical reasons to give up the belief in information showing a designer.
[Evolutionist Dr. A answers] * coughs *

Yes I have, namely that we often see it being produced without one. When it comes to living things, we invariably see it being produced without one. Who designed your genome? We know that it was produced by reproduction, recombination, and mutation, don't we?
"Your" genome is not "the" genome. Just because once in operation it goes on reproducing itself is no proof whatever that the whole system in which self-reproduction is part of the design was itself designed without a designer but only by blind evolution. In fact there are many machines designed by human beings that once in operation go on operating without human input but only do so because their ability to go on operating without human input is what they were originally designed by human beings to do.

Silly silly silly Dr. A.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Puny Fallen Human Mind Wins Against God?

Kirk Bertsche is a physicist, a Christian and a creationist, who posts occasionally at EvC forums. I usually appreciate his thoughtful posts, but he believes in an Old Earth and that is a contradiction with the Bible. (Buzsaw is another creationist at EvC who believes in an Old Earth. In fact I don't think there is a Young Earth Creationist at EvC any more). This is sad. It means he's allowed science to triumph over God's word.

Today he posted on a thread about the speed of light as a challenge to Young Earth Creationism. He gives three possible answers to the challenge and pretty much concludes that the fact of the speed of light does indeed defeat the Bible:
1) the simplest answer: God created light in transit. But when one considers the vast amount of information which is contained in the light from a star, this makes God seem deceptive. (The spectrum tells us elemental composition, recessional velocity, rotational velocity, etc.) Thus some YECs have said this argument should not be used.

2) another answer is that the speed of light was much faster in the past. But the main evidence for this is an imaginative analysis of historical data by Setterfield, which has been questioned even by other YECs. Again, some YECs have said that this argument should not be used.

3) Jason Lisle has recently proposed an imaginative theory, that the speed of light moves instantaneously toward an observer, and at 1/2 c away from an observer. He claims freedom to do this because he believes that we can only measure the round trip speed of light, but not the one-way speed of light. But in this he is wrong. We have good measurements of the one-way speed of light, and devices such as particle accelerators and free-electron lasers would not work if the one-way speed of light were not c.

I think the speed of light is a good issue to raise with YECs. I have a YEC friend who became an OEC ("old earth creationist") after thinking about the explosion of SN 1987A.
Why isn't it immediately apparent to a generally good head like Dr. Bertsche, who does seem to be a true Christian, that what fallen humanity is able to think cannot be made God's judge?

The only right answer to this challenge is that we don't know how God did it -- perhaps one of the current YEC theories is correct for that matter though obviously it's not easy to determine that -- but if we believe God's word it is certain that NOTHING in His universe is going to contradict His Word.

This is only "a good issue to raise with YECs" because we don't have an answer to it, so it gives us the choice of rejecting science, which is cause for endless jeering by the unbelievers, or capitulating as his friend did who became an Old Earth Creationist. So by saying that, Dr. Bertsche shows his bias in favor of science against God. We have these and only these options: Choose against science or choose against God. Why is it that so many choose against God? WAY too much trust in our current state of knowledge and in the fallen human intellect.

No, issues we do not know enough to answer in a way that supports God's word have to be left alone. We have plenty we can answer very well, and if those were taken seriously they should in themselves force an honest person to rethink such claims as converted kbertsche's friend.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Geology course at EvC update

Just want to report I've been following the Introduction to Geology thread at EvC and finding it interesting. I like the way he's organizing it. Nothing controversial for a Floodist so far, just a good presentation of the material. I'm collecting the posts but there's nothing to comment on yet.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Good overview of Biblical foundations for Young Earth by Albert Mohler

Happened to hear Albert Mohler on the radio this morning, talking at last year's Ligonier conference on the subject of "Why does the earth look old?" He did a great job spelling out from the Bible why we have to be Young Earth Creationists

I was going to post some of my notes on it but found the talk well-represented by the notes here.

I'll just post a few of the comments from that site:
Mohler then asked this: what is the urgency of this question? The answer is that there is great urgency in adequately addressing this question. There are some recent developments that indicate why this is so. The controversy concerning Bruce Waltke is just one example—Waltke said recently that unless we embrace evolution, evangelicalism will be reduced to the status of a cult. Meanwhile, we are constantly faced with supposed facts that science presents a challenge that must be embraced by the church. The current mental environment in which we live is an environment shaped by the intellectual assumption that the world is very old. To speak in confrontation to that environment comes at a significant cost. Even greater urgency is pressed upon us by the new atheism...

Mohler proceeded to argue for the theological necessity of understanding a young earth and 24-hour calendar days. He presented two great issues that arise when we allow for a day-age theory or any other old-earth understanding of creation.

The first issue concerns the integrity of Scripture. He conceded that many of those who hold to a day-age view are seeking to believe it without doing violence to the inerrancy of Scripture. And yet there are many issues that must be addressed. What is sorely lacking in the evangelical movement today is a consideration of the theological cost of such a view. This entire conversation is either missing or marginalized in the church today. The exegetical issues are real and the exegetical evidence based on a Reformation understanding of Scripture leads to a natural understanding of 24-hour days in creation. Mohler would allow that it might be possible that he is over-reading the text in this regard. For this reason we must hear the warnings of those who hold to an older view of the universe since it is possible that we may be creating an intellectual problem that is not necessary. And yet he simply finds that the exegetical cost and the theological cost is just too high.

An old-earth review raises at least two important issues. First, it raises the issue of the historicity of Adam. Paul bases his understanding of human sinfulness and Adam’s headship over the human race on a historical Adam and a historical Fall. An old earth understanding has serious complications because the old earth is not merely understood to be old but also through its age telling a story. The story it is telling is of billions of years of creation before the arrival of Adam. How then can it account for a historical Adam? An old earth understanding requires an arbitrary intervention of God in suddenly creating Adam and depositing him in the world. This presents problems both in Genesis and Romans.

The second question it raises regards the Fall. We understand from Genesis 3 and the entire narrative of Scripture that what we know in the world today as catastrophe, as natural disaster, as pain, death, violence, destruction, predation—that all of these are results of the Fall. We end up with enormous problems if we try to interpret a historical fall in an old-earth rendering. This is most clear when it comes to Adam’s sin. Was it true that, as Paul argues, when sin came, death came? Keep in mind that if the earth is old, and we determine it is old because of the scientific data, it also claims that long before the emergence of Adam there were all the effects of sin that are biblically attributed to the Fall. No Christian reading of the Scripture alone would ever come to this kind of conclusion. And once you come to such a conclusion it is very difficult to reconcile with the Bible. If the animosity between the lion and the lamb predates the Fall, what joy or purpose is there in saying that they will be reconciled in the consummation?

The avoidance of this question about the age of the universe will come at the cost of our own credibility. But disaster ensues when the book of natural revelation is used to trump the book of special revelation. We would not be having this discussion today if these questions were not being posed to us by those who assume that general revelation is providing to us compelling evidence that forces us to reconstruct our understanding of the biblical text, that the assured results of science are forcing us to rethink what the Bible seems to say. Great caution is in order when we begin to cede to science. The assured results of science—what do they tell us about a virgin birth? About a resurrection? About sexual orientation? Are we going to submit special revelation to what science says in all of these areas? The end of this process is theological disaster.

When it comes to the confrontation of evolutionary theory and the gospel we have a head-on collision. It is our responsibility to give an answer to this question of why the universe looks old, but the most natural understanding comes to this: the universe looks old because the Creator made it whole. When he made Adam, Adam was not a fetus but a man. By our understanding this would have required time. But for God it did not. He put Adam in the garden, which was not merely seeds, but a fertile, mature garden. God creates and makes things whole. And secondly, it looks old because it bears the effects of sin, the flood, catastrophe. Creation is groaning and in its groaning it looks old and worn, giving us empirical evidence of the reality of sin.

In the end the conclusive answer to this question is known only to God. This is where we are left; and it is a safe place to be.
Biblically this is where we must stand.

But it would also help if we could demonstrate some solid scientific proofs. Trouble is I think we've demonstrated many already but the kind of theory we're dealing with is nothing but a complex convoluted self-validating myth that can morph into anything they need it to be to answer us.

AND of course, face it, too many creationists do come up with some untenable stuff.