Category Archives: Logic

Faith in the Creationism Debate

The Collins Dictionary defines Faith as a ‘strong or unshakeable belief in something, especially without proof or evidence’ and most would agree that Faith is a belief held despite a lack of solid proof and even where apparent contradictory evidence exists. This however, does not mean that the person holding a Faith Based Belief is irrational or unintelligent as of course many respected scientists believed many things that have since been disproven and many areas of science today are dealing with things that cannot currently be proven or disproven with today’s technology. This doesn’t mean that those who hold to a particular view without absolute proof are unintelligent; even though they believe something that is not current proven fact. Indeed, many highly respected scientists today disagree on certain aspects and theories so logically while holding conflicting views they cannot all be correct despite being intelligent people in possession of all the facts available.

So therefore, people shouldn’t be ridiculed for believing things that cannot be proven; 17th century philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote “In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t”. Faith based belief isn’t a sign of a lack of intelligence, but shows courage in the believer as they are holding to a principle that is not a proven fact which leaves them open to criticism and open to the possibility that they may be wrong. According to the Oxford English dictionary a fact is “A thing that is known or proved to be true:’ I think most people would say that they have many beliefs that are outside the realm of proven facts.

As someone who believes in the creation account as written in Genesis I am the first to admit that there are many facets of my beliefs that are faith based, in general terms they are not proven facts in purely scientific terms; Of course this does not mean that my beliefs are without evidence as there is much scientific and historical data that support the Biblical account and there is a huge difference between saying a particular belief isn’t proven fact and saying it is without evidence.

That moves us on to other faith based beliefs; in mainstream media evolution is often spoke of as scientific fact and indeed, it is taught in most schools (specifically Europe and USA) as fact. Is it a fact? That is, “A thing that is known or proved to be true”?
NewScientist.com article entitled ‘Introduction: Evolution’ says “Evolution has several facets. The first is the theory that all living species are the modified descendents of earlier species, and that we all share a common ancestor in the distant past. All species are therefore related via a vast tree of life. The second is that this evolution is driven by a process of natural selection or the – survival of the fittest.”
This is the crux of the problem, ‘Evolution’ cannot be said to be fact as it is not one particular thing that can be tested. As suggested in the above quote, ‘evolution’ has several facets; one of which being that all living things are descended from a single common ancestor, another being that over time and through generations species change through natural selection (and other natural processes such as genetic drift 1).

Using some of these evolutionary facets as examples; we can ask are they proven, unprovable or disproven? The latter example in the article mentioned is Natural Selection; in terms of producing directed change in a species, we can see this happening in many species today. In its simplest terms an animal with defects will likely not survive to bare its own offspring whereas the ‘fittest’ of the generation is likely to bare the most offspring which in theory will be ‘fitter’ than if all in that generation bared the same number of young. This therefore, is testable to a degree (we can witness it happening today) and therefore I would argue that this is proven to happen and therefore is a proven fact as it is testable, is observed and is repeatable.

The problem is that people are shown one or a number of evolutionary facets and then given the belief that ‘evolution’ as a whole, is proven fact. As another example, the first facet suggested is that ‘all living species are the modified descendents of earlier species’. Can this be proven, or even tested? Obviously we can only test things in the present, so therefore no, I believe this cannot be tested and there are no historical books or writings to substantiate this belief. Another aspect is the evolution of man. In order to come from an ‘Ape-like ancestor’ 1 we would have to conclude that man is (or was) on an upward path from this ape towards a more intelligent being. Do we have evidence for this? Fossil evidence of all types of humans (and apes) has of course been found all around the world but how do we conclude that these ‘beings’ are more primitive? I believe we can’t; evidence normally related to intelligence can include paintings and tools found but really this only tells us a subset of what these people were doing at the time with the technology available rather than bearing any relation to their intelligence. Man has developed technology through the passing on of information throughout generations as people build on other people’s ideas and develop existing ideas and concepts; computers wouldn’t exist had electricity not first been harnessed, yet several generations later the computing power on our mobile phones is many times more powerful than the early incarnations of personal computers. Yet are the people working on this technology today more intelligent that those originally discovering and harnessing electricity? I believe they aren’t, they just have vast amount of information available to them via the storing and passing on of information like never before. The Bible speaks of increasing knowledge where toward the end times knowledge will multiply Daniel 12:4 ‘But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.’ How true this is today as knowledge is at our fingertips at all times but yet we can gain knowledge without learning it ourselves by research and experiment. Therefore I believe there is no evidence that earlier generations of people were less intelligent, this is an evolutionary concept based on a belief.

The last aspect I’d like to mention is the origin of life; it is not strictly included in evolution as to where the first living cell came from but if we are to follow the evolutionary path then this raises the question as to how life started. In the evolutionary scheme how did life first come from non-life if non-living matter was all that existed? There have been attempts to answer this question most notably the Miller-Urey experiment which did manage to ‘create’ some amino acids but did not manage to create living cells from non-living2. Louis Pasteur in the mid 1800s disproved the theory of spontaneous generation proving that life only comes from life by a series of experiments, one of the most famous being sterilising beef broth then sealing it to contaminants and observing that it remained sterile while the container was sealed 3, nothing could grow without living cells (Bacteria) being introduced via contamination.

We’re often told that Evolution is fact while Creationism is just a belief. However when we look at evolution more closely (and I would recommend you research in much more detail than in this article) we find that both views have many facets that are not fact but are faith based and therefore an Evolutionist has faith in evolution the same way a Creationist has belief in creation. The scientific evidence for both sides has to be interpreted. For example, a fossilised Dinosaur skull is evidence that a Dinosaur existed and died. We can test the physical aspects of the skull to find out the facts of the skull; size, density, what it’s made of etc but in order to find how and when this skull came to be we must interpret these facts to come up with a hypothesis. We either interpret the evidence based on Uniformitarianism (if you’re an Evolutionist) or based on Creation/Flood geology (if you are a Creationist). The same evidence interpreted according to your worldview will come up with vastly different answers as to how it got there. Therefore we need to be careful what we categorise as fact and what we categorise as interpretation.

The creation/evolution debate has faith on both sides, not all facets of Creationism are true the same way not all facets of Evolutionism are true. Those facets that are proven fact such as natural selection are shared by both worldviews so the debate is not one of fact versus faith; it’s worldview versus worldview, Theistic thought versus Atheistic though and ultimately it comes down to belief in the Bible as truth versus belief that the Bible is false. In general terms both views are faith based as both views have facets which are unproven. Creationism however is backed and at its core has a historical document that was written near the time of creation and is inspired by the one that was there at the time as the witness of creation.
John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

 

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIIDGeneticdrift.shtml

2 https://answersingenesis.org/origin-of-life/can-natural-processes-explain-the-origin-of-life/

3 http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/445964/Louis-Pasteur/281415/Spontaneous-generation

 

How to deal with testing questions

Many times we find people will try and test us. They will ask questions they think we won’t have an answer to, not looking for an answer but trying to trip us up. The Bible gives us some great advice on how to deal with this.
Proverbs 26:4 “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.”
Proverbs 26:5 “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.”
At first glance these two verses seem to conflict, but the fact that one immediately follows the other tells its own story. It’s a “don’t do this IF ‘x’ is true, but do this IF ‘y’ is true”. A simple pair of statements with precondition and different advice for different situations.
It could be read as “Don’t answer a fool because this will bring you to his level where his question is foolish to the point it doesn’t deserve an answer or an attempt to answer would cause you to look foolish, but answer a fool where not answering would mean he would believe he was right because of your (perceived) inability to answer” (lest he be wise in his own conceit).
The Life Application Study Bible commentary sums this up
“These two verses seem to contradict, but they actually are purposely demonstrating the contradiction between reason and folly. A fool remains a fool whether he is answered or not. The wise person has a choice to make depending on what he or she sees is the greatest need of the fool. Some fools don’t deserve an answer because they are clearly not in a mood to listen, and those who try to answer them will simply stoop to their level. There are other situations where common sense says to answer the fool in order to expose his or her pride and folly.”
The following webpage shows a modern day application of the teachings of these two verses.
http://wallacegsmith.wordpress.com/2008/02/26/answer-or-dont-answer-a-fool-according-to-his-online-folly/

The one who states his case first

Proverbs 18:17 (ESV)
“The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.”

In today’s world, many people just accept what secular scientists have to say on the origins of the world but Proverbs 18:17 teaches us a valuable lesson regarding questioning beliefs. Throughout history theories, hypotheses and beliefs have been put forward  as correct only to be disproven later.
In Proverbs 18 we also read (verse 2) “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion” (ESV). We see this happening daily as atheists and evolutionists use many media outlets to push their opinions and they seem right; because people don’t examine what they say to see what is proven fact and what is unproven opinion.

They are looking at the world from a different perspective than a Bible believing Christian. Firstly they believe that the universe is billions of years old. Why do they believe this? Evolutionary thinking was around long before Charles Darwin but wasn’t credible because scientists at the time realised they could not see evolution happening so it must happen so slowly that it can’t be observed, step forward Charles Lyell (1797-1875) whose book ‘Principles of Geology’ popularised James Hutton’s ideas of Uniformitarianism (the idea that everything was shaped by the geological processes still in operation today). This gave Darwin and others the long ages they needed to hide Evolutionary processes.
They suppress the truth of the creator God, as Charles Lyell said in a letter released after his death “my aim is to free science from Moses”, he did this by creating the belief in long ages which allowed Darwin and others to promote evolutionism as fact.
The sad thing is that many Christians feel that they have to fit the evolution story into the Bible, this doesn’t work and only creates problems. If we add evolution into the Bible we see death and disease before the fall; How can a perfect God call what he made, “very good”, if it included death and suffering? Genesis 1:31 “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day”

We hear from the media about new discoveries, we hear lots on dinosaurs; The BBC did a documentary ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ to show how the world was over 65 million years ago (the secular timescale of the Dinosaurs). Many believe these types of programs are based on good science but for example Dr David Norman of Cambridge University told USA Today that the program “purports to be factual, but actually it fudges the truth… its blending of fact and fiction goes too far”
Angela Milner, a Palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum in London told Time magazine: “I fear that fact and fiction will get mixed up… we really don’t know whether some of the behaviour is correct.”
We can examine various theories and ideas about all these things; but we will find that with the Bible as our starting point God created everything in six days, around 6000 years ago and much of what we see today is God’s creation but not as it was originally as it was destroyed by a catastrophic global flood.

Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, or God created all land animals on day 6. Which is true?
As an example argument, Carbon 14 can only last a few thousand years (estimated around 50,000 years) but yet has been found in dinosaur fossils (http://kgov.com/carbon-14-and-dinosaur-bones) . This is a good example of the need for the verse in question. Secular scientists stating that dinosaurs are millions of years old seems correct if it’s the first thing you’ve heard but under examination there is evidence to the contrary.
Fossil records show that dinosaurs died quickly and were buried rapidly. Fossils have been found which show the dinosaurs fighting and even eating as they were buried. If we are to believe in uniformitarianism and no flood we would believe that most fossils take time to form, animals and plants die then slowly sediment covers the animal for several months. How can this be true if fossils have been found eating and fighting? All this points to a global flood. Dinosaur fossils have been found to have blood and soft tissue still evident; Evolutionary scientist Dr Mary Schweitzer discovered this and through observational science concluded that no collagen should survive anywhere near as long as the long ages they give dinosaurs. However, many evolutionists will still believe that the fossil is 80 Million years old, but will reason that as collagen can’t last that long there must have been some other way that it was preserved as the fossil is 80 Million years old so rather than take the obvious conclusion of the evidence they will come up with other theories of how it could have survived for millions of years because of their bias toward evolutionary theory.

If we as Christians are to examine everything as Proverbs 18 says we should remember 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”

God’s word is true and has been proven time and time again to be true. So why do Christians feel they need to abandon the Bible and believe in secular reasoning? The Bible is God’s word and we should take God at his word and avoid being sucked into the teachings of fallible men “
1 Timothy 6:20 “O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge”
2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”

Intelligent Design: Not for Intelligent People?

IDinaWatch

Atheists and Evolutionists often claim intelligence over those who believe in God. This happens daily in creationist forums on the web where evolutionists try their utmost to turn away people from creationist beliefs. The creationists are described as irrational, unscientific and illogical with no evidence to back up their position. It is becoming popular opinion that atheists strive for truth and creationists have a belief in the Bible that cannot be backed up by scientific evidence.
Unfortunately this belief has spread to Christians and even creationist Christians in some cases feel they cannot fully back up their beliefs using science and reason. However, as the world accepts the big bang and evolution as the intellectual and rational interpretation of the origins of the world in which we live, Biblical creationists are reminded of the verse in Romans 1:22 “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” and if this is read in context (verse 21-23) it becomes even more appropriate as the people had diluted God from an all-powerful creator and sustainer of life and began to worship idols of nature (verse 23: And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things).
How relevant this is to evolution today where people are worshipping nature and it’s abilities rather than the one who created it. The theory of evolution is an attempt to remove God from the process and those that choose to believe evolution rather than creation as written in Genesis are choosing to place their faith in man and nature, that is, mans ideas of how nature could “create” from itself. This means either excluding God completely or reducing Him from God the creator into a god that simply oversees the wonder of nature at work.

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