Thursday, March 02, 2006
Behe's Box & Huxley's Horse - Introduction
So the story goes something like this: The scientists trudged up the hill to God's house. They had been there many times before, but this time the long climb seemed easy for they went in triumph! They knocked on the door and God answered:
"You guys again?"
"Yes, God! This time we have really done it!"
"This isn't another cloned sheep, is it?"
One of the men laughed nervously. "No, this time it is for real. We have been able to create life from non-life just like you!"
"Fine" God says, "Show me."
"Great" One of them says, "First, we take some dirt.."
"Hold it right there!" God interrupts.
"What is it?" They all cry in unison.
"Get your own dirt."
The scientists trod back down the hill.
As a young boy I was fascinated with dinosaurs and the idea of living things that no longer existed. It wasn't enough to have plastic models of Styrachosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex, I had to go tromp the woods and tromp the hills in search of fossils. I found them! Primarily I found the fossils of shelled animals and ferns, on occasion I would find a fish. A personal favorite was trilobites. Sometimes you would find a limestone block that was full of them. Fossils had me hooked. I made up my mind that I would grow up to be a Paleontologist.
Through high school I read voraciously on evolution and fossil-related subjects. I took all the science courses I could in school as well. However, it was not easy to decide my college major so I began taking standard courses with one four-hour Anthropology course as an elective. I tested out of the preliminary courses, fortunately.
College was my first real hint that something was not right. I was apalled at how little evidence was presented in my anthropology lectures for the traces of primitive man. A piece of jawbone and a couple of teeth would become a species of human ancestor, complete with stories of his probable lifestyle and tool usage. I could not begin to fathom how all of that came from some jawbone fragment with a couple of teeth! Yet I was still a committed Darwinist, simply believing that some of the methods needed improvement.
I wound up being drafted and serving in the military. After serving, as related in an earlier post, I went back to school and eventually came to realize that I didn't have answers to more important things than that posed by science. I became a Christian.
I was a Christian who was an evolutionist, or Darwinist, but in reading the Bible I saw all sorts of conflicts and had to eventually make some kind of determination. Either the Genesis accounts were unreliable, or I was not reading them correctly, or many of the terms involved were merely figures of speech. Was I reading history, or metaphor? This I needed to determine for myself. It involved looking into the history of the modern Bible we have today. It also involved the flip side of things: Was the science I believed in reliable, or was THAT the unreliable source?
My journey to discern how and what to believe about the Bible began with careful study, prayerful study, of the Bible itself. Added to that was the historical record of its compilation. Meanwhile, I was introduced to creationism by a fellow by the name of Henry Morris, Dr. Henry Morris, hydrologist. Dr. Morris was a kind man with a great sense of humor but also a brilliant man who had come to believe that the Noahic Flood was quite real and was responsible for the sedimentary layers of rock found throughout the earth. He continued his studies on the subject of creationism and it was through a series of his lectures that I realized that, hey, the evidence needs to be reviewed without presuppositions. I soon became a creationist as well.
I cannot say I am at the end of that journey, because life always involves learning. I can say, however, that I came to some conclusions based on my studies and my relationship with my Father. One needs to continue to be a seeker of truth.
You can seek after facts, but facts can change. It once was a fact, accepted by scientists around the globe, that spontaneous generation of life occurred.
"Aristotle (384-322BC), Greek philosopher and scientist, expressed the hypothesis that decaying material could be transformed by the ‘spontaneous action of Nature’ into living animals. Classical scientists as recently as two hundred years ago believed in vitalism, the idea that non-living material like dirt, damp hay, or decaying meat had innate vitality such that "simple" life would spontaneously arise from it. Francisco Redi is best remembered for his 18th century experiments demonstrating that maggots did not come from the meat but from the flies that had laid their eggs upon it. In the 1860’s Louis Pasteur conducted his famous scientific disproof of spontaneous generation in which he sterilized and sealed jars of nutrients, demonstrating that only life begets life--the law of biogenesis. In reflecting upon this, Wald (himself a proponent of spontaneous generation) notes:
"We tell this story to beginning students of biology as though it represents a triumph of reason over mysticism. In fact it is very nearly the opposite. The reasonable view was to believe in spontaneous generation; the only alternative, to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position. For this reason many scientists a century ago chose to regard the belief in spontaneous generation as a ‘philosophical necessity.’ It is a symptom of the philosophical poverty of our time that this necessity is no longer appreciated. Most modern biologists, having reviewed with satisfaction the downfall of the spontaneous generation hypothesis, yet unwilling to accept the alternative belief in special creation, are left with nothing." (Wald, 1954, p. 46).
(Oddly enough, Pasteur was presenting his proofs and Charles Darwin was publishing his treatise on evolution after having been the naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle.)
Yes, once it was a fact that life generated from non-life, and Pasteur disproved it. Of course, Darwinists say that he did not, and that one day they will prove him wrong. Once most people thought the earth was flat, and now we know that it is actually a globe. Once people thought that the sun revolved around the earth in an earth-centric solar system. Galileo nearly lost his life for proclaiming otherwise after his observations using his early telescope showed him that the earth revolved around the sun:
"Galileo was first denounced by the Roman Catholic Church in 1615. Fortunately, he was personally popular with the most powerful Church officials of his day. After wisely choosing to denounce his beliefs in a Copernican "sun-centered" universe, and promising he would never again teach it, Galileo was left alone by the Church for many years.
However... almost twenty years later, in 1632, with the publication of yet another book entitled Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems : Ptolemaic and Copernican, Galileo forced the reluctant Church to once again take action. In 1633 Galileo went before the Spanish Inquisition one final time. At his inquisition, Church officials refused to even look through Galileo's telescope. They knew full well that the Devil was capable of making anything illusory and deceptive appear in Galileo's telescope.
One more time, Church officials offered Galileo an option for the avoidance of being burned at the stake for church heresy. Denouncing his beliefs in a Copernican "sun-centered" universe, Galileo chose being imprisoned in his own home (and later in homes of his friends) for the remainder of his life. Galileo died January the 8th 1642."
Fact is what we think the truth to be. Truth is what it is, never changing, waiting to be discovered. I am a seeker of truth. It has taken me to places I never expected to go and led me to do things like post this blog, much to the dismay of many of the more committed Darwinists who roam the internet. In order to state a few things clearly, this three part posting....
FIRST: There are three major problems that Darwinists have to deal with and have found no reasonable answer for and here they are:
Where do we get the dirt? A Creationist depends on the narrative from the book of Genesis which tells us, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Some hate the idea of God and some hate the idea of the supernatural. But it is true that creationists have an explanation for how things came to be. God created. Some Darwinists agree that God created things, and then they evolved. Others, however, reject the idea of God altogether and then have to have an alternate explanation.
The Big Bang - Stephen Hawking, The Big Bang, and God by Henry F. Schaefer III provides this passage:
"The idea that the universe had a specific time of origin has been philosophically resisted by some very distinguished scientists. We could begin with Arthur Eddington, who experimentally confirmed Einstein's general theory of relativity in 1919. He stated a dozen years later: "Philosophically, the notion of a beginning to the present order is repugnant to me and I should like to find a genuine loophole." He later said, "We must allow evolution an infinite amount of time to get started."
Albert Einstein's reaction to the consequences of his own general theory of relativity appear to acknowledge the threat of an encounter with God. Through the equations of general relativity, we can trace the origin of the universe backward in time to some sort of a beginning. However, before publishing his cosmological inferences, Einstein introduced a cosmological constant, a "fudge factor," to yield a static model for the universe. Einstein later considered this to be the greatest blunder of his scientific career.
Einstein ultimately gave grudging acceptance to what he called "the necessity for a beginning" and eventually to "the presence of a superior reasoning power." But he never did accept the reality of a personal God."
Dr. Hugh Ross, who has conducted experiments which he says proves that the Big Bang required such precision that only God could have orchestrated it, says,
"Time is that dimension in which cause and effect phenomena take place. . . . If time's beginning is concurrent with the beginning of the universe, as the space-time theorem says, then the cause of the universe must be some entity operating in a time dimension completely independent of and pre-existent to the time dimension of the cosmos. This conclusion is powerfully important to our understanding of who God is and who or what God isn't. It tells us that the creator is transcendent, operating beyond the dimensional limits of the universe. It tells us that God is not the universe itself, nor is God contained within the universe."
So even many proponents of the Big Bang are believers in God. They believe that God produced and conducted the Big Bang itself! That is one way of echoing Genesis 1:1.
But we will not linger here, for the Universe began and all things are, somehow. No matter how it occurred, Darwinists still have two big problems:
Life from non-life: How is it that life arose from non-life? Is it reasonable to believe that somewhere in non-observable time and at a non-observable place, life just happened? In the book of Genesis, God creates all life within the first six days of creation.
Millions of different types of creatures and billions of complex systems, how did they come to be? From the one kind of life that somehow came from non-life, Darwinists say that all the creatures now found on earth and all that have been found to have become extinct had to have evolved. Creationists already know where all the life came from: In the book of Genesis, God creates all life within the first six days of creation.
So we will address these last two problems in the next two posts. But one more thing:
THERE IS NO THEORY OF EVOLUTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Theories must become theories by following a certain protocol:
BELIEF – HYPOTHESIS(TEST – REPEATABLE AND VERIFIABLE)
THEORY ESTABLISHED(TEST – REPEATABLE AND VERIFIABLE)
In the case of Darwinism (and creationism, for that matter) there are believers. The hypothesis has been provided. But no one has been able to test for and verify either macroevolution or creationism. So if anyone tells you that Darwinism is "proven", that it is a "theory" or that it is a fact" then you know that they don't know what they are talking about or, they are being deliberately deceptive, or they sure did drink the Kool-Aid! Wrap your head around it, Darwinism is not fact, not proven, not even a theory, it is simply a hypothesis that the majority of the scientific community still endorses. Right or wrong. For scientific, philosophical, or religious reasons. Nevertheless, merely a supposition rather than theory or fact. Meanwhile, we are looking for truth!
The next two posts will discuss the evidence found on the earth, in the fossils and in the organisms themselves. We will also deal with the mathematics involved. So, stay tuned for the next two posts to explore the second and third big problems with Darwinism up for discussion. Behe's Box and Huxley's Horse? They are coming same bat time, same bat channel..........tomorrow!