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How To Talk To Your Kids About Evolution and Creation
probe.org ^ | 1993 | Dr. Ray and Sue Bohlin

Posted on 12/15/2009 11:35:39 AM PST by CondoleezzaProtege

Problems with Evolutionary Theory

Why is there a problem with evolution in the first place? Someone once asked you, "What should I believe?" Remember what you told them?

Basically I said you should only believe what there is evidence for. After spending years studying evolution in bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs, I can tell you that, first of all, there is evidence for small changes in organisms as they adapt to small environmental fluctuations.

Second, there is evidence that new species do arise. We see new species of fruit flies, rodents, and even birds. But when the original species is a fruit fly, the new species is still a fruit fly. These processes do not tell us how we get horses and wasps and woodpeckers.

Third, in the fossil record, there are only a few transitions between major groups of organisms, like between reptiles and birds, and these are controversial, even among evolutionists. If evolutionary theory is correct, the fossil record should be full of them.

Fourth, there are no real evolutionary answers for the origin of complex adaptations like the tongue of the woodpecker; or flight in birds, mammals, insects, and reptiles; or the swimming adaptations in fish, mammals, reptiles, and the marine invertebrates. These adaptations appear in the fossil record with no transitions.

And fifth, there is no genetic mechanism for these large-scale evolutionary changes. The theory of evolution from amoeba to man is an extrapolation from very meager data. So the problem with evolution is that it is a mechanistic theory without a mechanism, and there is no evidence for the big changes from amoeba to man.

The evolution of the horse

I have our son's eighth-grade biology textbook here. Every textbook, including this one, has a story about the evolution of the horse. It is always offered as proof of evolution. What do you say?

It does not prove much about evolution at all. David Raup, with the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, says:

"Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transitions than we had in Darwin's time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information—what appeared to be a nice simple progression when relatively few data were available now appear to be much more complex and much less gradualistic. So Darwin's problem has not been alleviated in the last 120 years and we still have a record which does show change but one that can hardly be looked upon as the most reasonable consequence of natural selection."{1}

There is no chronological sequence of horse-like fossils. The story of the gradual reduction from the four-toed horse of 60 million years ago to the one-toed horse of today has been called pure fiction. All that can be shown is the transition from a little horse to a big one. This is not significant evolutionary change, and it still took some 60 million years. It does not say anything about how the horse evolved from a shrew-like mammal.

Homologous and Vestigial Organs

Homologous organs: What are they?

Homologous organs are organs or structures from different organisms that have the same or similar function. Evolutionists say this similarity is due to common ancestry. The important question is, Do these organs look and function the same because of common ancestry or because of a simple common design. In other words, do they look this way because they are related to one another, or were they designed to perform a similar function? Homology is not a problem for creationists; we have a different but reasonable explanation. It is the result of common design, not common ancestry.

What about vestigial organs, the ones that are supposedly left over from the evolutionary past? I remember being taught that the coccyx, the tailbone, is left over from when we were monkeys. And the appendix, same thing—we needed it when we were evolving, but we do not need it now. Vestigial organs are unused leftovers from our evolutionary past. Since we do not use them, they have diminished; they have become vestiges of their past function—according to evolutionary theory.

Yes, according to evolution. But we have discovered that these structures do have a function. The prime example is the one you mentioned, the tailbone. The coccyx serves as a point of attachment for several pelvic muscles. You would not be able to sit very well or comfortably without a tailbone.

The appendix was also long thought to be a vestigial organ, having absolutely no function within our bodies, but now we find it is involved in the immune system. It does have a function. It is true that you can live without it. However, as we learn more about the appendix, we realize that if it remains uninfected, it may be serving a very useful purpose.

So in other words, "vestigial organs" are not necessarily useless; we just may not have discovered what their role is.

Yes, very often we have called these things "vestigial" because we never bothered to investigate their function because of their reduced stature. Now we find that things like the coccyx and the appendix really do have a function. And if they have a function, then we cannot call them vestigial; they are not leftovers from our evolutionary past.

I am looking at pictures of embryos in this textbook that are very similar. The explanation given in the book is that they are similar because they have a common evolutionary ancestor. Obviously, this is being advanced as evidence of evolution. Is that what it is?

Definitely not. Embryological development does not follow the history of our evolutionary past. That idea was proven wrong 50 or 60 years ago. It is unfortunate that this error is still in the textbooks. Obviously, there are some similarities among species very early in embryological development; for instance, among mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. That is because they all start from a single cell. As development progresses, they become less similar. That is exactly what you would expect from an evolutionist or creationist perspective.

The Early Atmosphere of the Earth

You know, I was pretty happy with how this particular textbook treated evolution. It does not even use the word evolution,and it treats it strictly as a matter of theory, not fact. But you came across another, newer high-school textbook that is stridently pro-evolution. I am concerned about some things I see in this chapter on the origin of life. It is talking about the earth's early atmosphere, and this statement is in bold print (so the students know it's going to be on the test, don't you know!) :)

The earth's first atmosphere most likely contained water vapor, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, and hydrogen cyanide.

Then in the very next section it talks about Stanley Miller's famous experiments in 1953. It says the atmosphere he was trying to recreate was made of ammonia, water, hydrogen, and methane. What is going on here?

This particular section is confusing at best and misleading at worst. Clearly they have described Miller's classic experiment, but researchers today agree that the atmosphere used for that simulation did not exist. But yet Miller's experiment produced results. If you use the atmosphere that the textbook describes as the real one, the results are much less significant. The textbook gives the impression that chemical evolution is easy to simulate. But this is far from the truth. One experimenter says:

At present, all discussions on principles and theories in the field [meaning the origin of life] either end in stalemate or in a confession of ignorance.{2} But you would definitely not get that impression from reading this section of the book.

Phylogenetic Trees

I have another question. Here is this beautiful, tidy chart that shows how neatly different animals evolved from one common ancestor. This evolutionary tree has a crocodile-like animal at the bottom, and all these branches coming out from him, and we end up with turtles and snakes and reptiles and birds and mammals all descended from this one animal. Are we talking science fantasy here, or is there a problem with this evolutionary tree?

Evolutionary trees, or phylogenetic trees, are regularly misrepresented in high-school textbooks. The nice solid lines give the impression that there is plenty of evidence, plenty of fossils to document these transitions&mdashbut the transitions are not there. If we were to look at this same type of diagram in a college textbook, all those connecting lines—the transitions—would be dotted lines, indicating that we do not have the evidence to prove that these organisms are related. The transition is an assumption. They assume these organisms are related to each other, but the evidence is lacking. Stephen Gould, a paleontologist and evolutionist from Harvard, says,

The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches. The rest is inference, however reasonable: not the evidence of fossils.{3}

In other words, these charts make pretty pictures, but they're not pictures of reality.

That's correct.

Natural Selection and Speciation

In this same high-school biology text, I am looking at the chapter on evolution called "How Change Occurs." The big heading for this section is "Evolution by Natural Selection." Natural selection always seems to be linked inseparably to evolution. What is it?

Natural selection is a process where, the organisms that are fit to survive and reproduce, do so at a greater rate than those that are less fit. It sounds circular, but it is a simple process, something you can easily observe in nature.

There are some pictures here of England's famous peppered moths. Why do they keep showing up in science textbooks?

They keep showing up because the peppered moth was the first documented example of Darwin's natural selection at work. There were two different color varieties of the same moth: a peppered variety and a dark black variety. The peppered variety was camouflaged on the bark of trees, but the black variety was conspicuous. As a result, the birds ate a lot of black moths. The most common variety, therefore, was the peppered variety. But then the bark of the trees turned dark or black because of pollution. Now the dark form was hidden, but the peppered variety stood out, so the birds ate up the peppered variety. The proportion of peppered moths to black moths shifted in response to the change in the environment.

So here was a change of frequency. At one time we had more peppered moths, and now we have more dark ones. A clear example of natural selection taking place. But the question is, Is this really evolution? I don't think so. It just shows variety within a form. This does not tell me anything as a biologist and a geneticist about how we have come to have horses and wasps and woodpeckers. When we are looking at peppered moths, we are dealing with natural selection within the same species. What about a whole new species; for example, Darwin's Galapagos finches off the coast of Ecuador. Isn't that an evidence of evolution?

Here is another area where we need to be careful. Speciation is indeed a real process, but speciation only means that two populations of a particular species can no longer interbreed. The two populations get separated by a geographical barrier such as a mountain range, and after a time they are no longer able to interbreed or to reproduce between themselves.

But all we have really done is split up the gene pool into two different, separate populations; if you want to call them different species, that's fine. But even Darwin's finches, although there are some changes in the shape and size of the bill, are clearly related to one another. Drosophila fruit flies on the Hawaiian Islands—there are over 300 species—probably originated from one initial species. But they look very much the same. The primary way to distinguish them is by their mating behavior.

There is a lot of variety within the organisms God created, and species can adapt to small changes in the environment. But there is a limit to how far that change can go. And the examples we have, like peppered moths and Darwin's finches, show that very clearly.

Responding to Evolutionary Theory

You have given a creationist's response to evolution in textbooks, but apart from the books there is a personal issue to deal with. How do you think Christian students ought to react when they get to evolution in a science curriculum in school?

First, don't panic. This should not be a surprise; you knew it was going to come eventually. Second, understand that evolution is a very important idea in society today. It is important to know about it and to understand it. Try to explain it to your kids in that way. You do not have to believe it or accept it, but you need to understand it, know what people mean when they talk about evolution.

What about answering a question on a test? Here it can get a little sticky. You may feel that you have to lie in order to give the answer the teacher wants. But I do not think that is the case at all. What you are doing is simply addressing the issue of evolution; you are showing that you understand it. You do not have to phrase your answer in such a way that says, "I believe this is the way it is." It may come down to how you state your answer. But you are simply demonstrating your knowledge about evolution, not your acceptance of it.

It seems to me that when you show you understand the concept of evolution, you are demonstrating respect for the teacher and really for the theory too, as the prevalent theory of our day, without having to make a statement of, "Yes, I believe this!"

Sure. The concept of respect, I think, is extremely important, because you have to realize that as a middle-school or high-school student, you are dealing with teachers who have studied or taught evolutionary theory for many years. Their level of understanding is much deeper than yours. You cannot simply go in there and try to convince the class that the teacher is wrong, or that evolution is wrong; you need to play the role of a student. And the role of a student is to learn, to try to understand and comprehend the ideas being discussed. But you do not have to communicate in such a way that you appear to believe evolutionary theory.

I found this page in the textbook we have been looking at, right after the chapters on evolution. It is a message from the authors to the students. It says, Evolutionary theory unites all living things into one enormous family—from the tallest redwoods to the tiniest bacteria to each and every human on Earth. And, most importantly, the evolutionary history of life makes it clear that all living things—all of us—share a common destiny on this planet. If you remember nothing else from this course ten years from now, remember this, and your year will have been well spent.{4}

I have never seen a message like this before, from the authors to the student. This textbook obviously has a very strong evolution bias.

Here we have to realize that what is being taught is not science anymore; this is a worldview. This is a statement of naturalism. Obviously, evolution is extremely important to the naturalistic worldview, and the authors are trying to communicate its significance. We are going to see more and more of this bias in textbooks.

Before Christian parents can talk to our kids about evolution, we first must have an understanding of evolution itself, as well as an understanding of the problems with it. We don't need to be afraid of this powerful theory; we do, however, need discernment, in sifting through the rhetoric and distinguishing it from the truth about God's world.

Genesis 1

Typically, if a child spends any time at all in Sunday school, he gets to the point where he realizes, "Hey, this doesn't relate at all to what I'm learning in school!" Our hope is that we can help parents integrate the truth of Scripture with what is known about origins in the world. As Christians, our starting point for thinking about origins is Genesis 1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." From that point on, though, there are a lot of different perspectives explaining the rest of the chapter.

That is true, and unfortunately it not only gets confusing for many of us, but it gets very confusing for many of the academics and the scholars as well. There are a number of different ways to interpret Genesis 1. Let me just run through three of the most prominent views among evangelicals today.

The first is the literal or the very recent creation account. Some people would call the proponents of this view "young earth creationists." They believe that each of the six days of creation was a twenty-four hour period similar to our days today. These days were consecutive and in the recent past, probably ten to thirty thousand years ago. They hold that the flood was a world-wide and catastrophic event and that all the sedimentary layers were a result of Noah's flood. All the fossils, therefore, are a result of the flood of Noah.

The second way of looking at Genesis 1 is the Day Age Theory, sometimes called Progressive Creation. Here, each of the six days of creation is a very long period of time, perhaps hundreds of millions of years. God would have created progressively through time, not all at once. The flood was a local event in Mesopotamia or perhaps even a world-wide, but tranquil flood. Therefore, the flood did not leave any great scars or sediments across the earth.

The third view understands Genesis 1 as a Literary Framework. This view suggests that Genesis 1 was not meant to communicate history. Peoples of the Ancient Near East used a similar literary device to describe a complete or perfect work; in this case, a perfect creation. God could have created using evolution or progressive creation; the point is that there is really no concordance between earth history and the days of Genesis 1.

We need to explain to our children the view that makes the most sense to us, but at the same time let them know that there is some disagreement between evangelicals. You may even be confused yourself, and it is okay to communicate to your children that you do not know, either, and that not knowing is all right. We need to give direction but leave the doors open for other options.

Can we know which one is the correct interpretation? Creation is a mystery. We need to show respect, not only for the mystery, but also for those people holding different views. Evangelicals with backgrounds in Hebrew and Greek differ on their understanding of Genesis 1. So how can we expect a ten-year-old to grasp the problem and make an actual decision?

When we explain the creation account in Genesis 1, we need to communicate to our children that different scholars, all committed to the Bible as God's Word, interpret Scripture differently. The important thing is that we stress that God created the earth, the universe, and every living thing, especially humans.

Early Human History

Now we are going to look at some specific issues that arise from Genesis in terms of early human history. Let's start with Adam and Eve. Were they real people? This is a very important question, and I think it is one that most evangelical scholars can agree on. Adam and Eve were real people, and almost all evangelical scholars agree that they were created by God. The reason is that this is the one creation event where God gives us details as to how He went about it. When He created the other mammals and the sea creatures and the birds, He made them or He created them or He formed them, but we are given details about Adam and Eve's creation. We are told how God did it. Adam was formed from dust, and Eve was created from a rib taken out of Adam's side. It is clear that humans do not have an evolutionary origin. What about australopithecines, those supposed ape-like human ancestors?

Australopithecines most likely are simply extinct apes. Some quibble as to whether they walked upright and therefore may have been on their way to developing into human beings, but even if they did walk upright, that is not a real problem. They are still extinct apes, and they really had no human qualities whatsoever. There is a very good book that you may want to look at called Bones of Contention. There are a couple of books called Bones of Contention, but this is a recent one by Marvin Lubenow. Lubenow goes into great detail about the actual fossil finds—what they mean, where they fit—all from a creationist's perspective, and he does a very good job. He talks about the fact that human remains seem to span the whole era of supposed human evolution from four million years ago to the present, and that even the one particular type of fossil called homo erectus covers a very broad range. Homo erectus does not really fit where he is supposed to, and the fossils seem to contradict evolutionary theory rather than support it.

There is one more question that keeps coming up again and again. Where did Cain's wife come from? In some ways it is surprising that this question seems to be so perplexing to people, but in another way I really understand it. Clearly, Cain married a sister. We react against that idea today because of the many laws we have today concerning incestuous relationships. We have laws against incest because the children that result from that type of relationship are often afflicted with a genetic disease. This is because all of us carry detrimental recessive genes within our chromosomes. Closely related family members may carry similar if not the same set of recessive genes. When we marry within the family, those recessives can pair up and result in a child who is genetically handicapped. But in the original creation, there was no such problem. These were the originally created beings, there were no genetic mutations to worry about.

When it comes to human origins, the Bible gives no room for anything other than God's personal fashioning of Adam and Eve. It is the fact that God personally created mankind that gives us such intrinsic value.

Noah's Flood

The flood of Noah is extremely important because several New Testament teachings depend on it. The Lord Jesus told us that the time right before He returns will be just like it was in the days before the flood. Peter reminds us that God's judgment fell once on the earth and He has promised to do it again. If the first judgment was not real, what are we to think of the second one?

But all too often what comes to mind when we think of Noah's flood is the image of a cute little round boat with the heads of fluffy sheep and tall giraffes and friendly elephants sticking out of it. We think of it as a harmless bedtime story like Cinderella or Scuffy the Tugboat, a remnant of childhood Bible lessons and storybook times. Did the flood of Noah really happen? We are talking about an historical event and one that is very serious. It is spoken of in Genesis in a historical narrative. But evangelicals do disagree as to just how it happened. There are basically three different views. One is the universal catastrophic flood account, where the flood was a world-wide event. It did indeed cover all the high mountains at that time, and it was catastrophic—lots of tidal waves and breaking up of the fountains of the great deep.

The other view is that the flood was universal—it covered the whole earth—but it was a tranquil event and probably did not leave any scars or sediments on the earth.

And the third view is that the flood was just in the Mesopotamian area. Since its intent was to destroy mankind, and mankind had not spread very far, the flood only had to cover the Mesopotamian area. Again, as with the creation account, we need to tell our kids what our conviction is. What do we think about it? And again, if you are not certain, if you are not sure about your view, go ahead and communicate your uncertainty as well. It is okay to be uncertain about some of these things; scholars do not really know everything about them, either. And we have to be ready to realize that the kids might not even like our particular interpretation, or they may have heard things in school, Sunday school, or church that may differ with our view. But it is okay to give our kids a little bit of room on these kinds of issues.

With all of these different interpretations of the flood, what can we feel safe telling our children? What is the point of the flood? What is the bottom line of this event?

The purpose of the flood of Noah was to destroy mankind as it existed at that time. Where scholars differ is just how far mankind had spread. Some suggest that the human population may only have been a couple hundred thousand, so they may have been contained in the Mesopotamian area. But if humans had been around for four or five thousand years, and they had a chance to multiply and grow, there may have been several millions or tens of millions of people spread across the earth. That may be why some suggest that, in order to destroy mankind, the flood had to be universal. But we still do not know whether the flood was a catastrophic or a tranquil event, and so there is some room for discussion. I think all these different theories are helpful because they allow us to investigate God's Word to the best of our ability and try to determine what it really means.

There is one view of the flood—the universal catastrophic flood model—that has really captured the attention of much of the Christian community. Several organizations propose this model. In fact, you spent a couple of weeks in the Grand Canyon with one of these organizations investigating the flood model for the formation of the canyon. We want to address a few specifics about this catastrophic model of the flood of Noah. Would you give just a brief outline of this model? This catastrophic model definitely suggests a very different scenario than the cute animals or the little round boat. We are talking about the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep and huge amounts of water rocking back and forth across the earth. The young earth creationists suggest that most of the sedimentary layers were formed during the flood. Most of the fossils that we find in those sedimentary layers, therefore, would have been laid down as a result of the flood of Noah. There should also be evidence around the earth of the catastrophic formation of all these sedimentary layers. How close to the truth is this model? Does it explain everything?

There are a lot of things that it does explain. There is evidence for catastrophic origin for most, if not all, sedimentary layers. Organisms seem to require a very rapid burial in order for them to be formed as fossils. But there are problems with this model as well, and I think it is important that we recognize what those are. For instance, all the different types of sediment would have to be the result of just one event, a catastrophic flood. When we look at these sedimentary layers, we have sandstone, limestone, mudstone, shale—all different types of rocks—but they all would have had to come from the same event, and that is a bit of a problem. The majority of Christian geologists believe that the strata are due to other events like river floods, deposits from big storms or hurricanes that occurred periodically or, in some cases regarding the sandstones, even desert sand dunes. While the catastrophic model is a captivating idea, I do not see a need to force ourselves to accept it or reject it at this time.

There is a lot of work to be done concerning this model. If you have a curious, science-oriented child, why not encourage him or her to pursue a career in science and become a part of the group that tries to investigate it?

Cavemen

Another question the kids are often curious about: Where do cavemen fit into the Bible?

Most creationists believe cavemen were the early survivors of the flood. Remember, if the purpose of the flood was to destroy mankind, then most of these fossils would be individuals who survived the flood or lived soon afterwards. Cro-Magnon man and Neanderthal man, and probably even fossils described as homo erectus, are all post-flood humans, descendants of Noah's three sons. The so-called primitive characteristics could be due to genetic in-breeding, faulty diets, and life in a harsh environment.

Racial Differences

Where do the different races come from? If we are all descended from one couple, Adam and Eve, why are there different colors of skin?

Races would have originated with Noah's three sons and their wives. Several sets of genes produce the wide variety of skin color present in the current population. It is not difficult at all to envision genetically-similar populations becoming isolated after the flood and being the progenitors of the different races. Much of this genetic variability may have been contained in Noah's sons' wives, arising from genetic segregation that took place since the creation of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were probably people of intermediate skin color with most, if not all, of the genetic variability present in their genes.

Dinosaurs

We cannot talk about explaining creation to our kids without addressing the inevitable question of the dinosaurs. Where do dinosaurs fit into the Bible? There is no question that kids today, particularly boys, are really enamored of dinosaurs. The answer depends on what your approach is.

If you are approaching creation from an old earth perspective, then the dinosaurs have been extinct for seventy or so million years and there is no reason to expect them to be mentioned in the Bible at all. Men and dinosaurs never existed together.

If, however, you are approaching creation from a young earth model, where everything was created in the fairly recent past, then dinosaurs must have existed at the same time as man because they were created on the same day, only ten to thirty thousand years ago. And that raises the question as to whether Noah took dinosaurs on the ark.

It is difficult to imagine a brontosaurus getting on the ark, and most creationists answer that by suggesting he probably did not take adult dinosaurs on the ark, just juveniles or small babies. The extinction of the dinosaurs then was probably due to the flood. Even if

Noah did take some on the ark, apparently the climate and ecology of the earth had changed dramatically as the result of the flood and they were not able to survive following the flood.

But it also raises the very distinct possibility that some dinosaurs may still exist in small, isolated pockets around the world. I do not want to add too much credence to this, but there are very intriguing stories—and I just want to call them stories for right now, not fact—from the Congo of different kinds of dinosaurs being reported by villagers and even some missionaries seeing very large reptile-like creatures out in the swamps. We have cave paintings from South America of dinosaur-like creatures. We have legends from all over the world about dragons, in China and the East and in Europe during the Middle Ages. We seem to have it in our heads that big reptiles are out there somewhere. It is a lot easier to think of them as being left-overs from the flood rather than having existed in small pockets for sixty or so million years since they became extinct in an evolutionary perspective. It is also feasible that dinosaurs could be mentioned in the Bible.

You mean under a different name?

Yes. For instance, Job 40 talks of a creature called "behemoth" in verses 15 to 24. He feeds on grass, he has strength in his loins, he has power in his belly, he has a tail like a cedar, and he ranks first among the works of God. Some think this may be a hippopotamus, but a hippopotamus does not have a tail like a cedar. And you do not think of him as ranking first among the works of God. It could be a mythical creature, but it could also be very real.

What we have tried to do in this discussion is help parents understand the biblical accounts of creation in the early earth so that they can explain it to their children. Although we have presented a few options instead of absolutes, we can still tell our kids that God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, and that the flood was a real event, although some of the details of how these things happened may escape us at this time. This approach allows us to communicate clear biblical truth while at the same time encouraging a child's curiosity and desire to investigate God's world.

This is our Father's world, and it delights Him when His children want to discover it and search out the mysteries of the past, of history, of His story.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Evangelical Christian; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Science
KEYWORDS: creationism; darwin; evolution; faith; intelligentdesign; richarddawkins

1 posted on 12/15/2009 11:35:39 AM PST by CondoleezzaProtege
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

If there is no God then the Universe created itself from nothing. So, the question to ask is; why would it bother?


2 posted on 12/15/2009 11:43:12 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
Homology is not a problem for creationists; we have a different but reasonable explanation. It is the result of common design

Sorry; explanation FAIL. A "common design" that incorporates elements of Design A into Design B even though they are inferior or downright dysfunctional in the context of Design B cannot be explained as "design", unless it is postulated that the designer is an imbecile. I suppose one could rescue creationism with the postulate that God is an imbecile, but for some reason creationists just won't go there....

3 posted on 12/15/2009 11:46:47 AM PST by steve-b (Intelligent Design -- "A Wizard Did It")
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To: steve-b
Creation does not function properly because of the fall of Adam. The earth is fallen and so our bodies. We malfunction all the time and our bodies are living evidence of that. Adam's sin subjected our earth and every living thing to decay and degeneration--mutational degeneration is one example.
4 posted on 12/15/2009 11:50:40 AM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
I like your post. You actually discuss the Bible (Books of Moses.) Few creationists do this. I appreciate it.

Problem is Genesis has two differing creation stories, and two differing flood stories. Biblical analysts call them JE (earlier) and P(later.) The book starts off with P.

Talk about intelligent design, any intelligent analysis can tell that these stories were written at different times by different people. Worse, Moses couldn't write.

How about this being taught with ID??

5 posted on 12/15/2009 11:51:38 AM PST by sickoflibs ( "It's not the taxes, the redistribution is the government spending you demand stupid")
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To: steve-b
A "common design" that incorporates elements of Design A into Design B even though they are inferior or downright dysfunctional in the context of Design B cannot be explained as "design", unless it is postulated that the designer is an imbecile.

This really boils down to the notion that, when discussing the possibility of an omnipotent Creator of all living things, if we see some aspect of the creation which has not been carried out in quite the way that WE would have done it, then we can conclude that God does not exist.

That's a bold position.

6 posted on 12/15/2009 11:54:49 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Macbeth is ripe for shaking, and the powers above put on their instruments.)
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To: massgopguy

Who would you ask?


7 posted on 12/15/2009 11:56:52 AM PST by stuartcr (If we are truly made in the image of God, why do we have faults?)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
A Great DVD I ran into a few months back (suggested by another Freeper) is called God of Wonders.

http://www.godofwondersvideo.org/

God of Wonders is a breath-taking tour of God’s creation and wonders. It demonstrates how only God could of created it all, not some cosmic accident. My 8-year old loves the DVD, especially the lighting storms. and the fantastic cinematography can't be described.

8 posted on 12/15/2009 11:58:13 AM PST by NavyCanDo
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To: massgopguy
So, the question to ask is; why would it bother?

Because it knew mankind would someday invent beer and football.
9 posted on 12/15/2009 11:59:45 AM PST by BJClinton ("Worse" technically is "change".)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

CP, steve here is a chaser of Creation threads, whose purpose is seemingly just to sow discord and disrupt discussion. See my tagline, as, since he does exhibit some of the baser attributes of a liberal, it causes suspicion.


10 posted on 12/15/2009 12:10:20 PM PST by RoadGumby (God did not evolve mankind from pond scum, but it might be easy to think that about liberals)
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To: RoadGumby

Well I posted another thread in honor of people like him specifically devoted to debunking the “vestigial organ” argument. But yes, usually hardened hearts are not accompanied with open minds.

Regardless of how stubborn atheists may get, it’s so vital that Christians know how to defend God’s Word and be strengthened in the knowledge of GOD as the definer and controller of our OBJECTIVE reality. Faith, yes is “belief in the things unseen”, but it is not an emotion, it is not irrational or based on subjective gronds.

We live in an age now where there is just far too much evidence: archaeological, historical, scientific, etc... that the God of the Bible is indeed the Creator of the Universe and that Jesus Christ was truly His Son. Christians need to rest assured, that Jesus is not just someone they “personally” define—He was and is the Sun around which all reality past, present, and future revolves around.

“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” ~ Colossians 1:16


11 posted on 12/15/2009 12:22:04 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

In science classes in Catholic school, we were told that what we learn in class is as close to fact as we can possibly be and what we are told in our churchs was fantasy for “uneducated old ladies.”


12 posted on 12/15/2009 12:46:14 PM PST by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
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To: sickoflibs

Problem is Genesis has two differing creation stories, and two differing flood stories. Biblical analysts call them JE (earlier) and P(later.) The book starts off with P.
__________________________________________________________

How do you arrive to this conclusion, I have studied Genesis and read Genesis 1 as an overview of creation, Genesis 2 going into details of creation.


13 posted on 12/15/2009 12:55:05 PM PST by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: trumandogz

I attended Catholic school for 12 years and was also taught evolution was fact. (I was a Theistic Evolutionist till quite recently.) It was at Catholic school, I learned the Vatican HELPS in perpetuating the Monkey Delusion and undermining the Word of God in the process. But they’ve sadly been doing that for centuries.


14 posted on 12/15/2009 12:56:24 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: sickoflibs; steve-b

So many of the “malfunctions” of Creation so to speak, that anti-Designers speak of are things GOD allows to exist to remind us of our fallen state, make us aware of the earth’s futility, and our own sinfulness. By realizing things are “not as they should be” including us, God is hoping to direct us to our Savior, Christ. By rising from the dead, Christ proved His sovereignty over the powerful forces of decay and sin at work in our world and at work in our bodies.

I think of animals like black, plague-carrying rats. They sort of act as part a trailer of hell. And beautiful, colorful creatures that happen to be venomous? They remind me of the deceptive nature of sin: Beautiful on the outside, poison on the inside. Like the fruit Adam and Eve ate. Once Adam sinned, death and decay entered the world.

I think today, one of the clearest evidences of the truth of God is sexually transmitted diseases. If humans were truly meant to just “mate around,” why does HIV and HPV exist?

It’s incredible how proof of God and His work through Christ is truly in the details of all that’s around us. :) As Paul reminds us in Romans 1!

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”


15 posted on 12/15/2009 1:21:33 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: ThisLittleLightofMine

Chapter 1:1 is P (Yahweh or’God’) created :” Heaven and Earth first, Light, waters, Heaven, Seas, plants, animals , finally man and woman last”, in that order.

But 2:7 is JE (Elohim or ‘LORD God’) created :”Man first, then plants, rivers, animals, and finally Eve from the rib” , in that order.

I would like to see ID analysis of this.


16 posted on 12/15/2009 1:21:39 PM PST by sickoflibs ( "It's not the taxes, the redistribution is the government spending you demand stupid")
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To: CondoleezzaProtege; steve-b
RE :” I think today, one of the clearest evidences of the truth of God is sexually transmitted diseases. If humans were truly meant to just “mate around,” why does HIV and HPV exist?

Now you did it. Homos just want love LOL. Why do you hate?

Seriously though, you are setting up a strawman with the rule ‘evolution’=’mating around’, and then proving it invalid. Evolutionists theorize that monogamy is a gene survival strategy, as well as a human cultural strategy, because humans have such long development times compared to other animals.

I am not selling this idea to you (not taking a side here) , just saying setting up strawmen and knocking them down, a favorite for creationists, is not a rational argument.

17 posted on 12/15/2009 1:32:04 PM PST by sickoflibs ( "It's not the taxes, the redistribution is the government spending you demand stupid")
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To: sickoflibs

Genesis Chapter 2:4-25

** THIS SECTION FILLS IN THE DETAILS OF MAN’S CREATION ON DAY SIX. **

It is NOT a separate creation story! It is an expansion of the details of what happened on the sixth day, specifically in the Garden of Eden. Adam was created, and then God planted a garden for him and revealed animals for Adam to NAME. But plants, animals, air, all that was already in existence!

I understand why people have a vested interest in proving evolution, but failing to plainly read and understand a literary account is strange to me. (I took a “Darwinism & Judaism” class last quarter and my professor insisted that there were two creation accounts.) And even from a secular, plain, Kindergarten-level reading of the text gives no basis for such a conclusion.

“How did Moses obtain this account, so different from the absurd fictions of the pagans? Not from any human source, for man was not in existence to witness it. Not form the light of reason, for though intellect can know the eternal power of the Godhead and that GOd made all things, it cannot know how. None but the Creator Himself could give thid ata and, therefore, it is through faith that one understands that the worlds were formed by the Word of God.”

~ John Macarthur


18 posted on 12/15/2009 1:34:22 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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Bump


19 posted on 12/15/2009 1:39:46 PM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
Sorry, different name for God, different literary style, different order of events. Same for two flood stories. Multiple Authors. (some stories are triplets like these doublets.) Very simple explanation. This was told by word of mouth for hundreds of years before written down by multiple authors in different times and places. Not saying it's a lie, I am not even saying evolution is true. I am saying claiming Genesis was intended as a science book is a nonsense. There was NO science in those days.

This would be a good test for IDers that claim they are not creationists.

20 posted on 12/15/2009 1:47:09 PM PST by sickoflibs ( "It's not the taxes, the redistribution is the government spending you demand stupid")
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
LOL -- good design is proof of "Intelligent Design" AND bad design is proof of "Intelligent Design".

You remind me of the lawyer hired to defend someone against a lawsuit for damaging a borrowed car: "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, first I will prove that my client never touched this car; then I will prove that this car was already damaged when my client took possession; and finally I will prove that this car was in perfect condition when my client returned it!"

21 posted on 12/15/2009 1:49:24 PM PST by steve-b (Intelligent Design -- "A Wizard Did It")
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To: sickoflibs

Wow...you are simply wrong—not on religious accounts, but on literary. The most humble and smartest of literary critics, even non-Christian ones, will at least be willing to attest to the internal consistency of the Word and its overall message, considering it consists of 66 books, 40 different authors from very diverse backgrounds, and 3 different languages.

It is the most ingenious piece of literature ever! WHether you think its fiction or not.

***

“Now, in spite of all of these different factors we find the Bible to be a consistent, harmonious, perfectly unified account of how God is seeking to reconcile sinners back to Himself through the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. This is an amazing evidence of its divine origin. If you’re not convinced, go through your neighborhood and ask just 10 of your neighbors, what their beliefs are on the nature of the universe, the meaning of life, the origin of evil, the way of salvation, etc. and you’ll immediately see how likely it is to have a variety of contradicting opinions!” ~ Charlie H. Campbell


22 posted on 12/15/2009 1:59:12 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: steve-b

IMAGINE you get to have YOUR face to face with the Creator that created your very unique being and YOU get to answer for what YOU did through the passage of this flesh age. Will YOU play dumb or will YOU beg for forgiveness?


23 posted on 12/15/2009 2:02:41 PM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: steve-b

Can’t disagree with you steve-b, I’ll further qualify your statement.

Indeed, “good design” the order of the orbits for example, and the structure of DNA, yes, is evidence of Intelligent Design. And “bad design” like degenerative mutations and disease is evidence of Intelligent Design gone awry due to the Fall.

At this point, I’m not trying to convince you—only clarifying the position you already disagree with.


24 posted on 12/15/2009 2:02:59 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: sickoflibs
I like your post. You actually discuss the Bible (Books of Moses.) Few creationists do this. I appreciate it. Problem is Genesis has two differing creation stories, and two differing flood stories. Biblical analysts call them JE (earlier) and P(later.) The book starts off with P. Talk about intelligent design, any intelligent analysis can tell that these stories were written at different times by different people. Worse, Moses couldn't write. How about this being taught with ID??

The reason there are 'two' differing 'creation' accounts is because they are NOT describing the same 'day' of creation. DNA demonstrates that NO way did all of the Heavenly Father's creation come from only two flesh beings.

NOW why do the evolutionists not focus on this bit of literal scientific data? WHY do they hide behind the argument of age of the physical planet earth? What are they 'hiding' like those global warming scientists tried to hide data?

25 posted on 12/15/2009 2:16:25 PM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Just mythoughts

What’s to answer when his maker already knew what he did, and actually knew he was going to do it?


26 posted on 12/15/2009 4:29:47 PM PST by stuartcr (If we are truly made in the image of God, why do we have faults?)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
I don't think it is fiction. I think it is the classic epic of the early Jews and their covenant with God, based on history. But it is not the modern science or history book that some Christians here try to make it. There was no computer to type out the history at the time. The writers would have no idea what you are talking about.

Great test for ID, analyze the Bible.

27 posted on 12/15/2009 5:10:55 PM PST by sickoflibs ( "It's not the taxes, the redistribution is the government spending you demand stupid")
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

Rhetoric does not refute data and science.


28 posted on 12/16/2009 9:09:33 PM PST by Natural Law
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To: trumandogz
"In science classes in Catholic school, we were told that what we learn in class is as close to fact as we can possibly be and what we are told in our churchs was fantasy for “uneducated old ladies.”"

That sure isn't what I was taught, what my children were taught and what my grandchildren are being taught in Catholic schools. We were taught THAT God is the creator and that the Theory of Evolution only help to explain the process of HOW God created. If you were my kid I would have spoken with your principle.

29 posted on 12/16/2009 9:14:30 PM PST by Natural Law
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
If you wanted transitional's, you should have pinged me!

(They are my specialty)

Here is a one hundred bona fide percent dog-fish that last roamed the earth a few million fruit-fly years ago or something:

30 posted on 12/16/2009 11:09:03 PM PST by Fichori ('Wee-Weed Up' pitchfork wielding neolithic caveman villager with lit torch. Any questions?)
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To: Natural Law

I also believe that God is the Creator, and that along with everything else he created the laws of physics, chemistry, etc. (But, just for clarification - not argument, I am not a proponent of Darwin’s evolution. I used to be).

But, I was trying to explain to my daughter how the earth was formed. Her answer was “God created it”. And I said - of course - he created everything. But HOW did he create it.

And then I had a thought pop into my head (I’m sure others have said the same thing, and perhaps it was in the back of my brain somewhere). When mom makes a cake, does she just snap her finger’s and a cake appears? No. What does she do? She mixes a bunch of things together in the correct amounts and the various laws of chemistry (or whatever it is in baking!) take over. Like the yeast causing the stuff to rise (I guess that’s bread!?), and everything working together just right to come up with a great cake.

The earth is a lot like that I think. Lots of amazing things that have to go together just right to make it work. I told her that the earth is an amazing place. Still lots to learn about it and how it works, but recognizing the love that God put into creating it (like Mom puts into a birthday cake) is a good thing along the way.


31 posted on 12/16/2009 11:23:57 PM PST by 21twelve (Drive Reality out with a pitchfork if you want , it always comes back.)
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To: Natural Law

shaky theories and scientific fads don’t refute eternal facts.


32 posted on 12/16/2009 11:45:16 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege ("When I survey the wondrous cross...")
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To: 21twelve
"When mom makes a cake, does she just snap her finger’s and a cake appears?"

Great analogy. Creation was both an event and a process. No body denies that creation happened. Few deny that God created. Many disagree HOW He created. The debate is between those who believe in an abracadabra instantaneous process and those who believe there was an orderly science based process.

Another analogy is the process of Salvation. God had it in His powers to simple declare salvation yet He went through the process of prophesy, the birth of Christ, the teachings, the formation of His Church, the Crucifixion, and Resurrection. To me those who deny science simply do not grasp the degree to which the discoveries add to the Glory of God.

33 posted on 12/17/2009 7:40:26 AM PST by Natural Law
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

Your post is interesting, so I went to my copy of Steve Jones’ “Darwin’s Ghost, The Origin of Species Updated.”

In there Jones parallels Darwin’s work, chapter by chapter, and covers the fossil record in chapter nine. In there, I caught onto Jones noting how “fast” organic matter decays and disappears.

In there, Jones notes that fossils tell us a lot about extinct species, describing them as “Messages from history”; and from that I see extinction itself as evidence supporting the theory of evolution.

Thank you for your post.


34 posted on 12/21/2009 8:17:19 PM PST by OldNavyVet
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