Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Support For The Biblical View Of Creation - Evolution Debate (Part 4)

There are many arguments I could use for the existance of God.

Ontological Argument – That there has to be a supreme being in the universe.

Cosmological Argument – That the law of cause and effect still requires a first cause or “unmoved mover” as many philosophers said.

Teleological Argument – This is the argument that I prefer to use. That if the world is designed then it must have a designer. In fact, the second law of thermodynamics disproves Evolution because it says that all systems decay over time left to themselves and yet evolution requires that more and more order would come from chaos through time and chance.

God has revealed Himself to us in three ways.

The first of these is the teleological argument. Take a look at where we are sitting. Was anybody here when this building was being built? Did anybody meet the builder? No – but we know this is a building that had a builder because we can see design in the building.

Take a look outside and you will see creation. We did not see it being Created and we might not have met the Creator but we know that a Creation must have a Creator. Don't you see the design? The earth is the perfect distance from the sun to support life. The earth is on the perfect angle to produce seasons and these seasons allow us to grow food that provides fuel for our bodies.

Many scientists are abandoning Darwinistic evolution since the discovery of DNA which is an amazing sophistacated human genetic code that is impossible to explain by time and chance.

In fact there is a massive list of top scientists at major and prestigious universities all around the world that are either rejecting or seriously questioning evolutionary theory which can be read here. There could even be more if not for the fact that professors and scientists who hold to a biblical creation view or reject Darwin's theory often get "blacklisted" as pointed out in the movie Expelled:

The Bible tells us:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20)

The Second Way God Has Revealed Himself is through the human conscience. The bible teaches us that God has written his moral law on our human hearts. We know right from wrong. We know it is wrong to lie, and steal, and murder. But our nature is constantly against our morality. We desire to do things that we know is wrong. I did not grow up in a Christian home and I found this to be the strongest revelation. Why was I so angry when I heard about paedophiles when no one ever taught me that it was wrong. And why did I keep doing things that I know are wrong. I could see the design in creation. And my conscience told me that I was in trouble with this Creator.

Right now I want to do a test with you to see if your conscience is working. Have you ever told a lie? What do you call people who tell lies? Did you know that the Bible teaches that all liars will end up in hell! That may seem ridiculous but maybe this will help you understand.

If I lie to my daughter she can do nothing to me. If I lie to my wife I'll be sleeping on the sofa. If I lie to my boss he can fire me. And if I lie to the government they can throw me in jail. The higher the authority we sin against - the greater the consequences. What if God is an infinite and perfect authority??? Then our crimes against Him would be infinite. This is why there is a hell. Not only because of our sin but also because of God's perfect righteousness. If you ask the question how can a loving God send people to hell you are asking the wrong question. We should be asking how can anyone be saved from hell? And I will answer that question later.

Have you ever stolen something? What do you call someone who steals? Have you ever misused or blasphemed God's Name? That would make you a blasphemer. How about sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman? Jesus took that a step further and said even a sexual thought makes you guilty of adultery of the heart (Matthew 5:27-28) – have you ever done that? If you answered yes to the four conscience questions I asked then you are a liar, a thief, a blasphemer, and an adulterer, and you have to face God on judgment day! How will you do? If your conscience is working then you will know that you are in big trouble. And that is just four of the ten commandments – there are six more! I will say more about this later.

They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. (Romans 2:15-16)

The Third Way God Has Revealed Himself is in the Bible. This is when the atheist and the evolutionist try to laugh. But have you ever read the Bible? Are you open minded to the biggest selling book in history? It is true that the Bible is not a science text book and I am glad about that because science text books are full of errors. The Bible has never been proven wrong about anything. In fact, the Bible has been right about many things when science was wrong.

Jeremiah 33:22 (written 2500 years ago): “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured.”
The Bible claimed that there are billions of stars (“host of heaven” is the biblical term for the stars). When it made this statement, no one knew how vast the numbers of stars were as only about 1,100 were observable. Now we know that there are billions of stars, and that they cannot be numbered.

Job 26:7 (written 3500 years ago): “He stretches out the north over the empty place, and hangs the earth upon nothing.”
The Bible claimed that the earth freely floated in space. Science then thought that the earth sat on a large animal. We now know that the earth has a free float in space.

Isaiah 40:22 (written 2800 years ago): “It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth.”
The Bible informs us here that the earth is round. At a time when science believed that the earth was flat, it was the Scriptures that inspired Christopher Columbus to sail around the world. He wrote: “It was the Lord who put it into my mind. I could feel His hand upon me...there is no question the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit because He comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures...” (From his diary, in reference to his discovery of “the New World”).

The Proof of Prophecy

One of the strongest arguments for the accuracy of the Bible is its 100% accuracy in predicting the future. These future predictions are called “prophecies.” The Old Testament was written between approximately 1450 BC and 430 BC. During that time, many predictions of the future were recorded in the Bible by God’s prophets. Of the events that were to have taken place by now, every one happened just the way they predicted it would. No other “sacred writing” has such perfectly accurate predictions of the future.

Most Reliable Document of Antiquity

The Bible is also the most reliable document of antiquity (prior to the printing press). Let's compare it with the most famous and reliable documents.

Josephus Jewish War is the main historical source for first century history. They have 9 manuscripts and the earliest manuscripts are 400 years after the original.

Tacitus wrote the Annals of Imperial Rome. We have 3 manuscripts the earliest being more than 800 years after the time of the original.

Seutonius wrote Lives of the Caesars. We have nearly 100 manuscripts the earliest being more than 900 years later.

Homers Iliad has 643 manuscripts the earliest being 500 years later.

The New Testament of the Bible has over 24000 full or partial manuscripts with the earliest being at the time of writing (earliest full manuscript 200 years later; earliest partial manuscripts are Rylands p52 which is dated 30 years after autograph and possibly 7q5 which is from the actual time of writing).

It is this Bible through which God has given His fullest revelation of Himself to us. It is this Bible that tells us that God created the world about 6000 years ago in six 24 hour days. It is this Bible that tells of God creating Adam and Eve the first people, their fall into sin, and their sin being passed onto every other human being. It is this Bible that tells us that God appeared as a man – The Lord Jesus Christ – to keep the laws that we have broken and suffer the punishment that we deserve. It is this Bible that tells of the resurrection of this Jesus Christ proving Who He said He was. It is this Bible that calls on all men everywhere to repent of their sinful rebellion and trust in Jesus Christ because He has fixed a day when He will judge all men in perfect righteousness. It is this Bible that says that the reason why people refuse to believe it is because men love darkness and hate the light and will not come to the light because this light will expose their evil deeds.

Go On To Part 5
Go Back To Part 3
Go Back To Part 1


Kristoffer Haldrup said...

So many silly statements (Try to google "Gish-gallop"...), so little time! Anyway, I will dismantle a few of your arguments just from the top, ignoring those that do not have what might be called truth-claims about the world around us and are just philophizing.

You jump out as being scientifically somewhat ignorant right from the start. -The second law of thermodynamics does most certaintly NOT state that all systems decay over time. What it DOES say is, that ISOLATED systems tend to go in a direction of larger disorder (entropy) as time passes. However, the Earth is absolutely not an isolated system, as we have a very large influx of energy from the Sun! Such an energy input allows order to increase all the time, and there is thus absolutely no contradiction between evolution and thermodynamics.

The "argument from design" you put forth is to me a bit like a lake saying "Oohh, how well I fit into this depression in the landscape -- this must have been made just for me!". In either case, the Earth could have been many millions of miles closer or farther from the Sun, and it wouldnt make much of a difference and it varies no less than 6 million miles during any one year. Sometimes it varies by over ten million miles, which is quite a bit:)
The same argument goes for the seasons...they really do not play much of a role in the overall picture, the axis tilt (and thus the seasons) varies significantly over time and mostly seasons are more of a hindrance to agriculture rather than a boon.

Then you start whipping that long-skeletized remain of a horse called the "Dissent from Darwin", science is not a popularity-contest, but this list comprices less than 0.01% of those with a PhD in a relevant field, such as biology. You may be interested in the related "Project Steve" which has MUCH stricter signatory guidelines -- only people agreeing with evolution AND who are named Steve(!) may sign it -- but even with these demands you will see that it outnumbers the "dissent..."-list. The number of biologists who are not convinced about the evolutionary framework is a truly vanishing small minority, sorry.

You then move on to some of the so-called "science statements" in the bible. First off, you get the number of visible stars´s about 3000 at a time, 6000 total. And as there are less than infinitely many stars in the observable universe, they CAN be counted but it´s not really worthwhile doing it when a reasonable estimate gets you any kind of information you may need for cosmology calculations or whatever:)

Regarding Job 26:7, the "science" at the time of writing did not have an opinion on how the Earth was hanging, floating, resting or whatever. There barely was any science at the time...but the religions in that region (Egypt/ mesopotamia) at that time described the Earth as "flat and floating", which is what is reflected in this verse. The idea of the earth resting on the back of an animal comes from eastern mythology, mostly hinduism. Get your facts straight:)

With respect to Isaiah 40:22, the original hebrew word used here is "chuwg", which is appropriately translated as "circle", not as "round", which would be "duwr". This would indicate that a more accurate translation depicts the Earth as "encircled" (=flat) rather than round, I would say.

With respect to your "source material analysis" I think that a true historian might throw up in his mouth a little and you would certainly not pass Source Criticism 101...but I note in passing that the "momentous events" of the bible are not mentioned in ANY of the other documents from that time, except as almost a footnote in one. A strange fact, that surprised me a little when I learned it.

I look forward to read your response to my critical points above:)

Cameron Buettel said...

Kristoffer, are there things that you know are wrong but you do them anyway?

Kristoffer Haldrup said...

Ahh, it seems like the ouverture for the old "argument from morality"-approach. I guess that is easier for you than adressing my criticisms above, and what a wonderful little example of the "moving the goalposts"-style of debating it is:)

And indeed, yes, there are things I do I maybe shouldn´t do in the Eyes of Men...And LOTS of stuff I shouldn´t do in the eyes of your God:)

Cameron Buettel said...

Kristoffer, I asks that question because it is important - not to shift the goalposts. I will respond to your criticisms in brief this time but from now on I will post my debate material and it can stand as it is. If I was really interested in censorship or afraid of your massive intellect then I just wouldn't post your replies. Be thankful that I do, if I was a lecturer at a university who held to young earth creation I would probably be censored and lose my job.

As per your response, I will comment and then I simply do not have the time right now for further in depth discussion. I have a mountain of sermons, exams, and assignments to prepare. Here goes:

1. Read more carefully my comment about entropy. Also, your sun argument is not an explanation for the orderly running of a complex system.
2. How many planets have been found that are in the right location to support life and a wide diversity of that life? Also, you are very dismissive and lacking in wonder that the earth continues to bring forth it's fruits in season year after year providing enough food to feed everyone. Why are Evolutionists who support time and chance always surprised by random cataclysmic events interrupting the usual order. Wake up and smell the roses!
3. The dissent from Darwin list was never about proving who is bigger or better. I am in the minority and that is no secret but neither does it mean someone is right or wrong as history testifies. What the dissent list did serve to show my audience in the debate was that there are well educated people out there who question Darwin's theory. Stop putting words or ideas in my mouth!
4. I stand by all the comments regarding the Bible verses mentioned. The word science might not have existed in Job's time but knowledge did which is what science means. The fact is that the Bible always proclaimed a larger number of stars than people knew about or could observe. The Bible taught that the earth is round and suspended in space which are both accurate. I question your knowledge of history anyway because of your imagined disconnect between science and Christianity. Go and study the history of science and see for yourself science's dependance upon the biblical Worldview.
5. I totally and unapologetically stand by my claims that the Bible is the most reliable document in antiquity. My source claims are completely accurate and it is pathetic and lame that you trash them. Go home and do your homework.
6. If you are trying to prove that you have an intellect greater than mine then you are wasting your time. I will readily concede. I don't think I am very smart at all but God has saved me, and there are simple basic truths that are knowable and obvious to honest inquisition. I debate with you because truth defends itself and the Truth sets people free. The issue is never intellectual, it is always moral, so even a simpleton like myself can enter the ring in the sure knowledge that everyone knows there is a Creator because their is a creation. That everyone knows they have a sin problem against the Creator because the Creator wrote His morality on their hearts and gave them a conscience to bear witness of their rebellion against that moral code.
7. So what are the things that you do or desire to do that you know are wrong? And why are you like that?

Kristoffer Haldrup said...

First off, I much appreciate that you post my comments. I would say that earns you a good deal of street-cred in terms of blogging! I will of course continue to reply to your comments, but please dont feel obligated to post them immediately or reply straight away, I too have a day-job to take care of;)

In the following are my replies to each of your comments, using your numbering scheme.

1) I read what you wrote about entropy again, and see that you did include the qualifier "...left to themselves", which does make your statement correct, my apologies. However, as suggested at in my comment to this, there is absolutely nothing in thermodynamics that disproves evolution, as we are dealing with a system that has a constant supply of energy.

2) Well, if you had asked me five years ago how many planets we know in the habitable zone, the answer would have, as we did not then have the tools to detect these planets. However, just very recently a couple of telescopes were put in place that CAN actually detect such planets and we now know of a couple. This allows us to estimate how many such planets there actually are around the stars in our galactic neigbourhood, and the answer comes out as around 30.000 close to us and a few hundred million in the galaxy as a whole. The next generations of telescopes will attempt to directly look at these planet and determine if they could possibly be harbouring life, I can't wait till these results begin ticking in!
-That we can continue to feed ourselves comes down more to modern genetics-based breeding methods that to anything else...and if there is anything at all certain about the past and the future of this planet, well, then that would be the fact that cataclysmic events happen every so often. These (mostly) unpredictable events are not surprising at all, but a fact of life for the biosphere on this planet.
3) I am glad that we can agree that science is not a popularity contest, and I guess we can also agree on the fact that many otherwise well-educated people can be rather dense on some issues;)
4) Knowledge is not science as you claim, science is in essence a set of methods for gathering and verifying knowledge, methods that are in general only a few hundred years old. The bits&pieces of commonplace observations and ideas about cosmology that are present in the Bible do not constitute science, but rather what any old sheepherder with too much time on his hands could (and did, as also seen from the Egyptian and Mesopotamian cosmologies) plausible guess at after staring at the sky for a couple of years.
5) Good on you, I guess, that you stand unapologetically by your claims! I´m just afraid that real historians don't care too much about such steadfastness, when they go about finding out what really happened back then. Then the Bible becomes just one source among many, which doesn't exactly do wonders for its reliability.
6) I am not trying to prove anything regarding either my own intellect or yours. But I will relentlessly challenge you, when you make truth-claims that do not have any kind of basis or justification in contemporary science! You may not know better (which is always a pretty good excuse, and one of my personal favourites:) but I hope you are willing to learn from someone who has a pretty good grasp of modern science, if I may be so immodest. And for the record, I do not think that either the existence of the universe or some kind of possible pan-human moral code implies a creator.

Kristoffer Haldrup said...

7) I think I already answered this somehwere else on these pages...but some of my favourite Christian sins to be used for pastime entertaintment are fornication and gluttony(in moderation!), but I do not consider these to be wrong at all:) And I must also shamedfacedly admit to sometimes speeding on the highway, even though I know it is dangerous for me and my fellow motorists...I just find it so boring that I want to get it done with. Lack of self-control, tsk, tsk, tsk!

No honestly, I am afraid I dont have that many problems with my conscience. Boring, really. I dont steal, I dont cheat on the girlfriend, I dont commit violence and I am in general a very honest person (I will lie to protect people). I guess I could be more understanding towards some people sometimes, and this is something I am working on:)

/confession time over;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristoffer,

I wouldn't mind hearing your response to Cam's question.

Are there things that you know are wrong but you do them anyway?


Liz in Melbourne.