Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Misunderstanding Abounds

Recently I partook in a discussion thread that focused on Dan Rather, ID, and Evolution. When the following ill-informed statement was made, I felt compelled to remind the poster that Christ died to atone for the sin and death that initially, Adam brought into the world.

TotallySirius said on 9/20/2005 at 09:54AM PDT
God created evolution.
End of arguement [sic].

My response: The Bible is anti-evolution from Genesis to Revelation. If "God" used evolution to create the universe then the Bible (and thus, Christianity) is a lie.
TotallySirius said on 9/20/2005 at 10:26AM PDT
Does not the Bible state that the motives and devices of God are beyond the ken of mortal man? I've read the Bible many times and I can't find a single anti-evolution passage. If you know of any please post them, this is a subject of serious interest with me.

My response (excerpted from an earlier column:) If the Bible is true, then evolution CANNOT be the way God created life. On a doctrinal level, the Bible teaches that Christ died for our sins. Even the marginally informed non-Christian knows this. Probably the best single sentence summary of the Gospel is 1 Corinthians 15:21 where we read: "For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man."

This is the central truth of Scripture upon which every thing else hangs.

According to the Bible, a specific real man (Adam) committed the first real sin and brought the first real physical death into the world. To remove this curse, according to the Bible, God Himself mandated that the physical sacrificial death of His own son was necessary. The alert reader will immediately recognize the problem then with God using evolution as a methodology for creating/advancing life.

Evolution (regardless of which theory you subscribe to) REQUIRES millions of years of death before Adam arrives on the scene. If death, as evolutionists assert, existed for millions of years before Adam's arrival 6 or 7 thousand years ago, then Christ died for nothing. In other words, if evolution is true then the Gospel message is false. QED

Don't let anyone convince you of the lie that God used evolution as a creative methodology. The Bible goes to great lengths to say just the opposite. It's almost as if God knew that people would make the argument later on ;-)
Then someone else chimed in:

plutosdad said on 9/20/2005 at 10:42AM PDT

I thought the "since death came through a man" referred to the second death, not the first (physical) death.

My response: This is a common argument posited by theistic evolutionists but it doesn't hold water for one primary reason. Death is stated to be a curse on ALL of creation (including things that have no souls). Thus Christ had to die a physical death in order to atone for the sin that was bringing physical death to the world. If the "death" spoken of by Paul was merely spiritual then Christ needed only to die spiritually in order to atone for the sins of men.

Again, the complete explanation for why the first sin brought on physical death needs to be detailed and is thus, beyond the scope of a thread on Dan Rather. Suffice to say, if you are a liberal theologian then the term "death" can mean anything you want it to mean. If the original words of the Bible (just like the original words of the Constitution) mean what they say then the death spoken of by Paul was physical.
Then another spoke up:
Fatal said on 9/20/2005 at 11:13AM PDT

Many people point out that the first Chapter of Genesis indicates that during the creation, God created animals and plants, each to reproduce "after its kind", which would mean that a cow produced a cow, it didn't produce a proto-evolutionary creature that would one day become something other than a cow.

But, I doubt that is conclusive evidence that the Bible is anti-evolution or that God couldn't create an evolutionary process - after all he is God!

Me responding to Fatal, a Christian who was simply trying to say that God can do anything. I did not want people to misconstrue his comments to mean that God used evolution to create life:

The Bible is a lie if God used Evolution to create the universe. According to the Scriptures, physical death on this planet arose about 7000 years ago when Adam first sinned. Thus, Christ had to come and die in order to turn that curse around (for those who chose to believe in Him).

You may not agree with ID but that does not change the fact that the Bible is ANTI-Evolution throughout. Let me repeat, only the ignorant think that the God of the Old and New Testament created using an evolutionary process.

If He did then His son died for nothing!

If I were God, I would not send my son on a sacrificial fool's errand.

God: "Did I create using evolution? Then why did I have my son go and die an agonizing and brutal death on the cross? D'oh! Note to Self: I created using evolution, no need to send Son again to die for nothing."

Me responding to the a general postulate amongst several posters in the thread that "evolution" refers to both abiogenesis and microevolution:

Those who continue to dismiss ID as "religion" and not scientific have not kept up on the current state of research in the field. ID is all about information theory. The process of arranging amino acids into proteins is a problem of coding. This cannot happen by chance.

This reminds me, after hundreds of posts, I still find that many evolution proponents in this thread tend to conflate the various aspects of evolutionary theory. This in itself should disqualify them from speaking authoritatively on the subject.

Please allow me to define in simple terms:

Microevolution: Intraspecies changes that result from environmental pressures. Changes in the height of Japanese men, viral adaptation, expansion of the number of breeds in dogs, etc. would fall into this category. NO ID proponent has a problem with this and indeed, it should not even be termed an evolutionary process but rather, an adaptive process (this would quiet the folks who get confused by a term that has the word "evolution" in it but which doesn't actually refer to the theory at all.)

Macroevolution: This typically refers to the field of study more technically referred to as "Organic" or "Biological" Evolution. This is the theory that once life arose on the planet that, given enough time, it went from single cell to George Bush. It DOES NOT seek to explain the origin of life but rather the origin of the species.

There is another whole line of evolutionary research that people tend to conflate with biological evolution and that is the field of "chemical" evolution. This is the theory trying to explain how life arose in the first place (called "Abiogenesis"). About 40 years ago researchers thought this happened by chance but when the mathematical odds proved too daunting, they moved on (although the public schools did not). Chemical evolutionary researchers are now largely pursuing, not the theory that life arose by "chance", but rather by "necessity". If you see someone point to crystal formation as proof of chemical evolution they have left Chance behind and have moved to Necessity.

The dirty little secret of evolutionary research is that these are the only two possible primary explanations for abiogenesis (I'm leaving the multiverse and panspermia theories off to the side for now).

It's either Chance, or Necessity to Mainstream Science.

But there is a third possiblity. That being Design. This is the field in which SETI lives. They are listening, not for random noise that occasionally sounds designed, they are not even looking for repeating patterns (which can be found in Quasars for example). They are looking for something that is designed. They are looking for aperiodic patterns that have, at their heart, information. SETI is not the only program that is looking for Design but it is the most well known.

Chance, Necessity, Design. All are potential areas of scientific study. In the search for life, it is either Necessity or Design.

Fatal then said: I also believe that God is omnipotent, and therefore, could have created an evolutionary process. Do you disagree or do you think God is incapable of doing so (NOT whether He did it or not, but CAN He do it?)

But of course He CAN. He can do anything that is in character for Him.

He could have just created Man and a pomegranate tree (no Eve) and left it at that. But He didn't.

He could have made it so we could live on the moon without space suits. But He didn't.

He could have come up with an entirely different plan than to sacrifice His son. But He didn't.

The plan He came up with is outlined in the Bible and that outline specifically negates the possibility of evolution.
Fatal: I might note that the claim that death entered the world 7,000 years ago is not accepted fact even among Christians.

The fundamental evangelical community believes that sin/death entered the world through Adam. Adam lived between 6 and 7 thousand years ago. How long He lived before passing is of some debate, hence the debate on the ambiguity of how long ago he lived.
Fatal: The whole 7,000 year thing does not literally appear in the Bible, it is based on calculations done on the lifespans and geneologies presented in the Bible.

Ah, but it does "literally appear" in the Bible. One has to not take the genealogy at face value in order to get anything other than a 7000 year timeline from Adam to now.
Fatal: There are a whole lot of assumptions that must be made to come up with a number identifying how long it has been since Adam was on the earth.

I beg to differ, assumptions are what are made by those who do not accept the Biblical account. In any case, whether it is 7K or 70K since Adam, that is not the issue. The issue I am trying to get across is that theistic evolution (God creating through the mechanism of evolution) is a falsehood. When Adam lived is not so important as whether he brought physical death into the world as the Bible says. If he did then evolution is false. If he didn't then Christ was a deluded guy who was crucified for nothing and ergo, Christianity is a lie.

I concluded with this:

Much of this thread has been about the confluence of Science and Faith. I would argue that a great deal more faith is required to believe in Evolution than in ID.

This has not always been the case. Up until a couple of decades ago, our understanding of DNA was minimal and most scientists thought that "simple" cells were basically globs of gelatin. Now that we know that a "simple" cell is more complicated than an iPod Nano (or even for that matter, the factory that manufactured the iPod) most researchers in origins have had to radically change their thinking. More than a few are turning to Design as they realize that information is required to create life and information never "evolves" of its own volition. Certainly most researchers have turned away from Chance as an explanation for abiogenesis. In any case, traditional Darwinian and chemical evolution, if anyone seriously even believes in them any longer, can be reasonably termed a "faith".

The more that evolutionists seek to censor proponents and researchers in the field of ID the more Evolutionism looks like a full fledged religion, complete with its gatekeepers and inquisitors.

If Evolution is that strong of a theory then its proponents should not be afraid to let it be challenged. ID proponents are more than open to debate. That level of confidence contrasted with the evolutionary community's paranoia speaks volumes.

The future of origins research lies in the information sciences because life is all about complex information encoded in our very being. DNA is a 3 out of 4 self correcting programming language more complex than anything that the folks at Apple or Microsoft have ever attempted. How many people here think that sans designer and given enough time, a fully functional PowerBook with the latest version of OS X might come into existence by chance (or even because it simply MUST spring into existence by necessity)?

The more we learn about DNA the more we realize that DOS evolving into OS X by random mutation is more likely than amino acids forming meaningful protein molecules by chance.


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