Category Archives: Evolution

A Creation/Evolution Debate

On 26 September, 2015, I posted a link on my Facebook page: 10 Misconceptions About the Theory of Evolution.

The post has generated a long discussion. I am posting redacted parts of  it here now to make it easier to read. I welcome readers to add their thoughts to the discussion.

I apologise for the length of this article!

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October 21, 2015 — Back to the Future Day

When I was still living at home, my parents subscribed to the Reader’s Digest, which I devoured every month. I remember reading an article about a teacher in 1960 who asked his sixth-grade students to write their predictions about what life would be like 25 years in the future. He collected their compositions, placed them into an envelope, and promised not to open it until 1985. A quarter of a century later, he kept his promise. As he looked at the juvenile handwriting, he was also amazed at how eerily accurate some of the predictions were.

In 1985, the first of the Back to the Future movies came out. I went with my sister and a friend and —  inside a packed cinema — we watched Marty McFly travel back to 1955, interfere with his parents’ meeting, fix things up, and travel back to a better 1985.

Four years later, we saw Marty McFly travelling to October 21, 2015 (TODAY!!) and fix his kids’ problems. In Back to the Future II, we saw the movie writers’ predictions about what life in 2015 would be like. Some of the things they predicted are too weird and totally wrong, eg the fashion (Phew!) Some of the things are in the making, eg, flying cars and self-lace shoes, proving that life imitates art. Some of the things are amazingly accurate, even though they looked improbable at the time, eg, video phone calls.

My father once predicted that we would one day be able to have long-distance phone conversations and be able to see the person we are speaking with on screens. I thought such an idea was completely possible — after all, we saw such things on sci-fi movies and TV — but I never thought I would see it in my lifetime. And now, here we are. The smartphones we have today are more powerful than the computers they used to send man to the moon. When I heard this, my mind was blown.

What things are in store for us in the future? What would you like to see happen?

I would love to see a change in education. I predict the schools of the future will be a place where people take more responsibility for their own learning. This is, in fact, happening now. But, I foresee more of it happening.

I would love to see an end to Young-Earth Creationism. This movement that is causing a lot of people to become (or remain) atheists has got to go. I’m predicting a can-no-longer-be-ignored piece of evidence to finally, finally, put this ideology to rest. And then, the rest of us Christians had better be there to help with the fallout.

I would love to see computers get smarter and get better at spellcheck and grammar check. Please.

I would love to see a viable treatment, or better yet, a cure for Neurofibromatosis. The gene responsible for this disorder has been identified. Doctors are working on a treatment. So there is hope.

Dear YEC Friend – #12 The Bible Tells Me So

A continuation of a series of letters I have written to a fictitious young-Earth Creationist friend. While the ‘Friend’ is fictitious, it is based on observations of and interactions with people who hold young-Earth ideas.

You can click on the Category Letters to My Young Earth Creationist Friend or go to the Page to find more.

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Dear Friend,

“Compromising Christians”

In response to my last letter,  you said that there is no room for “maybe”.  God told us how he created life, the universe and everything in it very clearly in His Word. If you opened the door to allow for even the idea that the earth could be more than 6000 years old, you could no longer be a consistent Christian.

I see that Ken Ham (and his cronies) have done their job well in convincing their followers of the Dogma of Young-Earth Creationism™ . He calls people like me “compromisers”. I guess that means people who have no integrity, who aren’t intellectually honest. The “official” stance is that it isn’t a salvation issue, but I don’t think anyone is fooled. Oh, yeah, you told me once it is a salvation issue. I’m glad you are able to be honest enough to say it.

To you, not interpreting Genesis (and passages that allude or refer to it) literally is “fracturing” God’s Word. I have already addressed this issue, so I won’t rehash it here. Many YECs have been taught that if Genesis 1-11 isn’t straight history, then Christianity isn’t true. Unfortunately, this kind of teaching is not winning any souls to Christ. In fact, it is turning people away. It is turning a lot of Christians into atheists. YECism is doing the opposite of what it intends to do!

And that is why I think YECism is a dangerous doctrine. It requires believers to accept something as an integral part of the faith which is provably false!

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Review: Jonathan Park: Ep. 109 – Isle of No Return, Part I

I listened to this episode here.

For more Jonathan Park reviews, click here.

Background Information

The Jonathan Park CDs are produced by Creation Works. Through these CDs,  they hope to ‘provide children and adults with scientific evidence that is in harmony with the Word of God’.  [Which raises the questions, ‘What does “in harmony” mean?’ and ‘What do they do with scientific evidence that is not in harmony with the Word of God?’]

Tagline: This is our Father’s world, God created it; we can explore it, so live the adventure!

NOTE: The producers of this series neglect to reference their information in any form.  No references is ever given either on the CD or in the Study Guide for ANY information presented in the series.  Even the voice actors of the series are not given any credit anywhere.

Plot Summary:

The Creation Response Team accepts a challenge to a competition with the Explorer’s Society, which pits their creation worldview against this evolutionary team at an undisclosed location. But will the CRT’s snap decision lead them to victory, or defeat, as they fight to stay alive on Snake Island? (Taken from here.)

Review:

Overall, the story is somewhat engaging. I think it really depends on one’s tolerance for such stories AND one’s predisposition to like/dislike anything produced by a YEC organisation. Yes, I freely admit prejudice comes into play here.

Kendall Park, Jim Brenan, and Jonathan Park are on Ilha da Queimada Grande, a snake-infested island off the coast of Brazil. They are competing against a “Evolution” team. The team that makes its case — and survives — wins. How and why these people agree to go on such life-threatening adventures again and again — and bring children along — is a matter of suspending belief. The women and girls do not go along this time (phew!… I think).

As always, it is good to remember the basic premise of the creators/producers of this series. There are two — and only TWO — worldviews: Creation and Evolution.

Creation: The universe and everything in it was created by God over a six-day period about 6000 years ago. Genesis 1-11 is to be interpreted literally. Science must be done with the Bible in mind. We know scientific findings are correct when they agree with the Bible. If they do not agree with the Bible, it means we are not interpreting the evidence correctly. Creationists are godly and GOOD.

Evolution: A man-made theory about how life, the universe, and everything came about through random, chance processes over millions of years in an attempt to disprove God. Anything and everything that does not agree with a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 is lumped as “Evolution”. People who believe in evolution are called “Evolutionists” and are, at best, misguided, and at worst, EVIL.

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Thoughtful Thursday: Answer This, Creationists!

One of the blogs I enjoy reading is God of Evolution.

His latest post is entitled 10 Theological Questions No Young-Earth Creationist Can Answer.  While I think the word “no” in the title might be slightly off — in his blogpost, he does mention some YECs attempts at some answers — the article is pretty spot-on. Perhaps a more accurate title would be: 10 Theological Questions No Young-Earth Creationists Can Answer Satisfactorily.

If you are not familiar with Tyler Franke’s style of writing, be prepared for some pithy humour which may, or may not, border on snarky depending on your tolerance level.

In summary, here are the questions:

1. What was the point of the tree of life?
2. If human sin is the reason animals die, why can’t they be saved?
3. If physical death is part of the punishment for sin, why do Christians still die?
4. Why was Eve named “mother of life”?
5. How did Adam and Eve know what death was?
6. If the punishment for eating from the tree was that Adam and Eve would physically die … why didn’t they physically die?
7. Can you name any other piece of literature in which the existence of a talking snake and trees with magical powers would suggest to you that it was meant to be taken literally?
8. Why do Genesis 1 and 2 contradict?
9. Why is incest wrong?
10. And finally, if it is so vitally important that Christians take Genesis literally, why did Jesus never once instruct us to take Genesis literally?

Summary Saturday

Interesting articles around the web this week:

Lucid dreams and metacognition: Awareness of thinking; awareness of dreaming

I am a lucid dreamer. Many times, while dreaming, I have become aware of being in a dream. Sometimes I do things I wouldn’t normally do in real life. Sometimes I wake up. Mostly, I get really interested and step back from the action and see what unfolds.

Countering False Claims … Again

In which Ken Ham falsely claims that there are two different kinds of science … again.

Newsboys’ Co-Founder is now an atheist

Before watching God’s Not Dead, Newsboys was only a very small blip on my radar. After watching God’s Not Dead, they became a bigger blip.

Dear YEC Friend – #11 Just Say “Maybe”

Dear Friend,

Today, I came across an article from the BioLogos website about a former young-Earth Creationist.

The following reminded me a lot of several conversations between you and me:

I remember arguing with a well-meaning guy in High School youth group because he thought that accepting evolution could be a potential option for a Christian. I was so sure in what I believed I couldn’t even attempt to hear him out, which makes it hard to respectfully engage with anyone –especially another believer. Saying God could have created with evolution was denying a part of the Bible, I told him, and if you believe in evolution you may as well toss out the rest of the Bible along the way! After all, scientists endorsing evolution all have ulterior motives, and science and Christianity are surely in conflict (or so I thought). Biblical truth is to be elevated above observations of the natural world in the end, I believed, so the Bible gets the final say.

Does this resonate with you? Well, except for the part where it says, “…science and Christianity are surely in conflict…”, because I think YECs would say that science and Christianity are in perfect harmony with each other. If there are any perceived conflicts, it is our interpretation of the scientific evidence that must be reevaluated. We know our interpretation is correct when it matches what the Bible says. Right?

If the truth of the natural world is no less true than the truth we see in the Bible, the way to deal with apparent discrepancies is not to throw one out or elevate one above the other. The error must be on our part; the interpretation is flawed, missing a piece. For me this meant just a brief moment of “maybe.” Maybe God could have used evolution to create the world if there truly is evidence for it extrapolated by good science. Just maybe. In the context of my story, “maybe” was a big thing to finally say.

I know for people like Ken Ham, there is no “maybe” about it. For such people, entertaining such thoughts puts one on a slippery slope to rejecting the Creation message and ultimately the Good News. The Institute for Creation Research lists as one of the Tenets of Biblical Creationism, “The creation record is factual, historical and perspicuous; thus all theories of origins or development which involve evolution in any form are false.”

How about you? Is there room for “maybe”?

 

Jonathan Park

The  Jonathan Park Audio Adventure Series, originally created by the Institute for Creation Research, and then produced by Vision Forum Ministries before they closed down, is now produced by Creation Works.

This the screenshot that welcomes you:

Can You Feel the Love?

Watch Out, Evolution Bullies! Here Come the Creationists! 37,000 Familes (sic)!

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Sundry Sunday: Answers in Genesis Explains Science

Ken Ham is a busy, busy man. When he is not debating scientists on his turf, trying to raise money and hiring like-minded people to build a theme park based on a catastrophe of global proportions (fun!), and encouraging people to visit the Creation Museum, he writes on his no-comments-allowed blog.

This week, Mr Ham wants to remind his readers that there is a difference between Observational Science and Origins Science. The former is the one that is observable, testable, repeatable. The latter is different because it deals with historical events, things that are not observable, testable or repeatable. He accuses mainstream science of removing the distinction in order to make the claim that since Creationists reject evolution, Creationists therefore reject science. Ken Ham would like his readers to know that Creationists love science — they just reject the humanistic, man-made assumptions about man’s origins.

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Sundry Sunday: New Blogs to Follow

A couple of blogs that I have, in the last couple of months, started following and enjoy reading very much.

God of Evolution

Tyler Francke is the man behind this blog which focuses mainly on the Creation/Evolution debate. He is an evangelical Christian and finds no conflict between the theory of evolution and Christianity and he blogs about it. He takes a good swipe at Ken Ham (and others like him) with unparalleled good humour which I find refreshing. Hey, if you’re going to fight your opponents, might as well do it with style, right?

God of Evolution racked up over 300,000 views for 2014 — a staggering number considering that the blog is run by one person, and he made fewer than 100 posts for the year. (In contrast, A Yewnique Life had 74 posts for 2014 and garnered fewer than 10,000 views. Must. Try. Harder.)

A couple of quibbles:
(1) One must to sign up to Disqus to comment on the blog.

(2) He does not post very often. This is not to hard to understand. The blog is a one-man show and life happens. I get it.

He also has a Facebook page here, where he posts more regularly.

The Upside Down World 

Rebecca Trotter is the woman behind this blog. She is a Christian, a homeschooling mom, a writer, a talker, a thinker, a teacher and an odd duck…(not necessarily in that order).

I like what she has to say about Christianity and evolution. The posts are here.

In case you feel too lazy to click on the link above to the posts on Christianity and Evolution, here are some more links (with titles!) for you to look at:

Why Creationism Does Not Honor God
In Which I Call Creationism Demonic
Teaching Creation Science or ID? A formula for putting your child’s Christian faith at risk.

Provocative titles, no?

I have not read everything on the blog, but so far, I like the ones I’ve read about evolution and Christianity.

She also has a great sense of humour. 🙂

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