‘How Did We Get Here?’ The Creation Argument from the debate with unTheist


 
 
 

 

 

 

The following was the opening salvo for the Creation/Evolution debate with unTheist on BlogTalkRadio’s Atheist versus Theist Radio Hour on Sunday, June 14, 2009 11pmEST. The show was originally planned for one hour but was extended by a half hour. The full audio of this live debate is available at:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/scatheist/2009/06/15/The-Atheist-Theist-Radio-Hour-Topic-Evolution-vs-Creation-Debate.

Tell me what you think!

-Rev Tony Breeden


 

The Origins Argument isn’t about facts. The creationist and the evolutionist have exactly the same evidence: we have the same universe, the same Earth, the same physics, mathematics, rocks, fossils – the same facts. And FACTS are not self-explanatory. Facts must be interpreted… usually according to our pre-existing beliefs and assumptions.

And it’s not about science. There’s plenty of evidence for a Creator, if we’re at least willing to entertain the possibility that He exists! Still, when I announce that I’m a Creationist, some people ask, “How can you reject the same science that put man on the moon?” The irony is that it was a Creationist rocket scientist, Wernher Von Braun, who got us to the moon. He did it without need of evolution.

Many inventions and discoveries and scientific disciplines that were founded were the work of Bible-believing scientists, who didn’t need evolution. The Scientific Method itself is credited to one of these Bible-believing scientists, Sir Francis Bacon, and is based on the idea that we have an orderly universe that may be rationally understood because both it and our minds were designed by a Creator.

It’s about authority: The revealed Word of an infallible, infinite God versus the ever-changing word of fallible, finite men who reject Him and who weren’t there.

The Scientific Method works for the excellent reason that universe we observe is orderly, containing precisely set constants, beautiful mathematics, fine-tuned physics and follows definite laws. The existence of such specified information implies purpose. Why should undirected randomness produce any sort of order, much less useful information precisely tuned for a Just Right universe? Especially when things have a tendency toward disorder. Explosions in print shops don’t produce encyclopedias! Yet it’s not only ordered; for the evolutionist, it’s much worse than that. The state of the universe is exactly what is necessary for human life to exist. We live in the perfect type galaxy of the right shape, on the right piece of the arm of the spiral. Our sun is exactly the right size, color, mass, distance, orbit. This incredible string of Free Lunches goes on and on. Each time, the evolutionist invokes chance because they refuse to allow a Divine foot in the door whether the evidence might allow for it or not.

The Bible claims the cosmos was framed by the word of God. God spoke, and light, life and all the rest came into being at His Word. Frankly, those who object to this as a possibility have already ruled God out as a possibility. In all fairness Even Thomas Huxley, Darwin’s bulldog & certainly no friend of religion, conceded that given a Deity, he would have no difficulty in conceiving that where nothing had existed, the universe could suddenly appear out of nothingness, at the volition of that Deity. We also must not forget that a Creator is an artist. Just as Da Vinci didn’t have to paint the Mona Lisa as a baby and then wait for baby Mona Lisa to grow up on canvas, God could create the cosmos with apparent age.

Now, Life does not spring from nonlife, and this also points to Creation. All experiments to prove the viability of chemical evolution so-called have only shown how extremely difficult it would be to accomplish even ON PURPOSE. and how ludicrous that it should have occurred by chance. To get the cell itself… well, the cell has turned out to be a miniature universe all its own, full of incredibly complex, interconnected molecular machines. Six feet of DNA is coiled in each cell and contains more information than all the world’s libraries. Experience teaches us that such ordered information, like the arrangement of notes in a symphony or the letters of a novel, such specified complexity has an intelligent source.

The Bible states that God created plants and animals “after their kind” and told them to be fruitful and multiply “after their kind.” [Gen 1:12,25] To the creationist, this implies variation within fixed limits, which Mendel confirmed in his studies on heredity and which we observe in nature. If you look at Darwin’s finches or dog breeding you can see the potential packed into each created kind: For example, dogs: Be it a wolf, fox, English bulldog or Chihuahua, a dog remains a dog and does not change into anything else. A fruit fly remains a fruit fly, even if it becomes so specialized that it only exists in a certain location. An influenza virus may mutate to beat a vaccine but it remains the flu. Incidentally, it adapts by a loss of genetic information. Evolutionists claim that this sort of limited, horizontal change within a kind is proof of vertical particles-to-people evolution, but nothing in the evidence suggests this. They interpret the data this way because they assume evolution is true to begin with.

The Creationist notes that, Having a common designer, it’s no surprise that many animals are similar and utilize common [homologous] design elements, aesthetic features are repeated, body plans, that sort of thing. And creatures of a more similar appearance and design would have more similar DNA encoding, said encoding being necessary for reproduction of the species after their initial creation

To correct a common misconception, Creationists DO believe in Natural selection, but as a conservative force rather than a creative force. It weeds out harmful adaptations and uses this God-given genetic potential to allow animals to adapt and survive in a Fallen world. But we must point out that Natural selection operates by decreasing genetic information, not by the increases of information and complexity required by evolution. The more specialized an animal becomes the less overall potential survival adaptability it has remaining in its genetic coding. This is what we observe in nature and is consistent with the fossil record.

Stephen Jay Gould noted that “The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism [ie- traditional evolution]: 1. Stasis. Most species appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; A dog is still a dog and recognizably so. 2. Sudden appearance. A species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; by traditional evolution, No, it appears all at once and `fully formed.'” (Gould, Stephen J. [Professor of Zoology and Geology, Harvard University, USA], “Evolution’s Erratic Pace,” Natural History, Vol. 86, No. 5, May 1977, p.14).

This observation is confirmed in present biology and is consistent with the Creationist theory of variation within fixed created kinds. The dots are only connected in their minds, not in the fossil record nor in observable biology. Rather than seeing new kinds of animals appear, we’re seeing species go extinct! 150 years after the publication of Origins, rather than the innumerable transitional forms predicted by Darwin’s theory, we have only a handful of disputable candidates when our museums should be full of them!

Meanwhile, As Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis puts it, the fossil record evidences billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the Earth. Fish fossilized in the act of eating another fish. Polystratic tree fossils, which run vertically through several strata of rock and therefore… several long ages? Mass graves the world over where dinosaur fossils are jumbled together like so much flotsam after a flood — and little wonder if the Bible is true! The Bible tells of a world-wide Flood in the days of Noah. Everyone knows the story. There are flood legends from nearly every ancient culture confirming this event.

If one accepts the probability of world-wide Flood, it adds credence to the Bible’s claims, and one cannot fail to note that the Bible says this Flood was sent in judgment of man’s sin. Many people are opposed to the very idea of a Creator because it suggests that Man might be accountable to someone else. Again, the Origins Argument isn’t about facts or science; it’s about authority. Who gets to make the rules: God or men?

I have to point out that There IS a universal Moral sense that pervades humanity. Most people call it a conscience.The Bible calls it God’s Law written on our hearts. We know what we ought to do, even if we do otherwise. The presence of a universal Moral Law implies a Law Giver & strongly suggests accountability to that Lawgiver. The ability to ignore or act contrary to our conscience confirms that we have free will. That the Lawgivers will is revealed but not imposed upon us suggests that He values free will, That He wants our willing compliance, That He cares what decision we make.

If so, As the Lawgiver, He would also want to reaffirm His will and make it plain, since our moral sense can be corrupted willfully or passively, through social conditioning for example. God would reveal Himself somehow but in a way that would not impose upon the free will he bestowed upon Man, when he made man in His own image. He’d give us too little evidence to be sure, but too much to deny. The Bible claims to be just such a revelation from the Creator of the cosmos.The Bible has been demonstrated to be historically, archaeologically and – if fulfilled prophecy and the evidence or Christ’s resurrection are taken into account – even supernaturally true.

The Bible also accurately describes the world. The picture given of man is that He has a sin nature, he’s depraved by the Fall of Adam, but he’s also made in God’s image and has a conscious, God’s law written on his heart, so that Man is capable of great evil but also great nobility. The Bible does not deny evil or suffering or promise its adherents unrealistic reprieve from calamity. I could go on. Suffice it to say that the Bible resonates with the human experience.

The Bible identifies Christ Jesus as the Creator who even stepped into history to reconcile His creation to himself. The veracity of His Word, including His claims to deity, is validated by the resurrection and by fulfilled Messianic prophecy.
So again, there is ample evidence of Creation if only we keep an open mind. But it’s not about facts and it’s not about science. It’s about authority: The revealed Word of an infallible, infinite God versus the ever-changing word of fallible, finite men who reject Him and who weren’t there.
 

 

 

 

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Vlatko says:

    It isn’t easy to become a fossil… Only about one bone in a billion, it is thought, ever becomes fossilized. If that is so, it means that the complete fossil legacy of all the Americans alive today – that’s 270 million people with 206 bones each – will only be about fifty bones, one quarter of a complete skeleton. That’s not to say of course that any of these bones will actually be found. Bearing in mind that they can be buried anywhere within an area of slightly over 3.6 million square miles, little of which will ever be turned over, much less examined, it would be something of a miracle if they were.

    Fossils are in every sense vanishingly rare. Most of what has lived on Earth has left behind no record at all. It has been estimated that less than one species in ten thousands has made in into the fossil record. That in itself ia a stunningly infinitesimal proportion. However, if you accept the common estimate that the Earth has produced 30 billion species of creature in its time and that there are 250.000 species of creature in the fossil record, that reduces the proportion to just one in 4.000. Either way, what we possess is the merest sampling of all the life that Earth has spawned…

    …It is almost impossible for us whose time on Earth is limited to a breezy few decades to appreciate how remote in time from us the Cambrian outburst was. If you could fly backwards into the past at the rate of one year per second, it would take about half an hour to reach the time of Christ, and a little over three weeks to get back to the beginnings of human life. But it would take twenty years to reach the dawn of the Cambrian period. It was, in other words, an extremely long time ago, and the world was a very different place…

    …Like most things that thrive in harsh environments, lichens are slow-growing. It may take a lichen more than half century to attain the dimensions of a shirt button. Those the size of dinner plates, are therefore likely to be hundreds if not thousands of years old. It would be hard to imagine a less fulfilling existence. They simply exist testifying to the moving fact that life even at its simplest level occurs, apparently, just for its own sake.

    It is easy to overlook this thought that life just is. As humans we are inclined to feel that life must have a point. We have plans and aspirations and desires. We want to take constant advantage of all the intoxicating existence we’ve been endowed with. But what’s life to a lichen? Yes its impulse to exist, to be, is every bit as strong as ours-arguably even stronger. If I were told that I had to spend decades being a furry growth on a rock in the woods, a I believe I would lose the will to go on. Lichens don’t. Like virtually all leaving things, they will suffer hardship, endure any insult, for a moment’s additional existence. Life in, short, just wants to be. But – and here’s an interesting point – for the most part it doesn’t want to be much.

    This is perhaps a little odd because life has had plenty of time to develop ambitions. If you imagine the 4.5 billion odd years of Earth’s history compressed into a normal earthly day, than life begins very early, about 4 a.m., with the rise of the first simple, single-celled organisms, but then advances no further for the next sixteen hours. Not until 8:30 in the evening, with the day five-sixths over, has Earth anything to show the universe but a restless skin of microbes. Then, finally, the first sea plants appear, followed twenty minutes later by the first jellyfish and the enigmatic Ediacaran fauna.

    At 9:04 p.m. trilobites swim onto the scene, followed more or less immediately by the shapely creatures of the Burgus Shale. Just before 10 p.m. plants begin to pop up on the land. Soon after, with less than two hours left in the day, the first land creatures follow. Thanks to ten minutes or so of balmy weather, by 10:24 the Earth is covered in the great carboniferous forests whose residues give us all our coal, and the first winged insects are evident. Dinosaurs plod onto the scene just before 11 p.m. and hold sway for about three-quarters of an hour. At twenty-one minutes to midnight they vanish and the age of mammals begins. Humans emerge one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight.

    The whole of our recorded history, on this scale, would be no more than a few seconds, a single human lifetime barely an instant. Throughout this greatly speeded-up day continents slide about and bang together at a clip that seems positively reckless. Mountains rise and melt away, ocean basins come and go, ice sheets advance and withdraw. And throughout the whole, about three times every minute, somewhere on the planet there is a flesh-bulb pop of light marking the impact of a Manson-sized meteor or even larger. It’s a wonder that anything at all can survive in such a pummeled and unsettled environment. In fact, not many things do for long.

    Perhaps an even more effective way of grasping our extreme recentness as a part of this 4.5-billioniyear-old picture is to stretch your arms to their fullest extent and imagine that width as the entire history of the Earth. On this scale the distance from the fingertips of one hand to the wrist of the other is Precambrian. All of complex life is in one hand, and a single stroke with a medium-grained nail file you could eradicate human history.

    Fortunately, that moment hasn’t happened, but the chances are good that it will. I don’t wish to interject a note of gloom just at this point, but the fact is that there is one other extremely pertinent quality about life on Earth: it goes extinct. Quite regularly. For all the trouble they take to assemble and preserve themselves, species crumple and die remarkably routinely. And the more complex they get, the more quickly they appear to go extinct. Which is perhaps one reason why so much of life isn’t terribly ambitious…

    …It is a curious fact that on Earth species death is, in the most literal sense, a way of life.

    1. Sirius says:

      @Vlatko:

      That was a lovely bedtime story.

      I note that I backed my arguments with actual arguments and evidences, but you simply spin a yarn. Try again. Or don’t. Whichever.

      -Sirius Knott

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